French Connection

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California winter may not be considered intense by most, but when the high is only 60°F, doubling up on jackets and adding a faux fur is necessary to keep me warm. Don’t ask me how I handled Midwest winters as a college swimmer, literally walking almost a mile across campus with wet hair in negative temperatures. I don’t know. I was ridiculous.

Shop this outfit:

Fitted puffer jacket: French Connection via Piperlime // Black day jacket: Dolce & Gabbana, vintage via Encore in Burlingame, CA // Black v-neck: J.Crew // Waxed denim: Target (old, amazing J Brand option here) // Faux fur stole: H&M (last year) // Nude pumps: Nine West via Piperlime // Black tote: Coach // Men’s watch: Akribos // Cocktail ring: Nordstrom Rack // Stud earrings: Target // Sunglasses: Dior // Red nail polish: Chanel 475 Dragon (found in-store)

I actually got a phone call about my old swimming team and how they were doing at the latest meets as we were doing this shoot, and my photog-husband just kept shooting. He’s getting better and better with photography, and was even just featured in SFGate as my official photographer. Proud of you, boo!

If you haven’t noticed the Parisian theme going here lately, I’ll fill you in: I would like a vacation and a somehow gluten- and dairy-free croissant stat, please.

Xo, Sarah

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Penny Pop

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This dress has quickly become a go-to outfit for hot summer days. Layered with a long blazer and heels, it works for business meetings, but this particular day was a full day in my home office. I just finished the first phase of a big project that I am really excited to launch, which is a great feeling. We also bought the puppies an extra-large bed that goes next to my desk, making everyone’s 9-to-5 ten times better!

Asymmetrical hem t-shirt dress: Michael Michael Kors (summer dress, similar style here) // Handbag: Legacy Penny by Coach (summer color, now available in fall tones) // Love in a bottle necklace: Forever21 // Pavé link bracelet: BaubleBar // Round sunglasses: Target // Gold and black sandals: Mix No. 6 via DSW

I’ve been toting around this Penny Legacy shoulder bag by Coach and love the color and feel of the bag. It’s a little small, so I’m searching for something similar that can also accommodate my penchant for oversize sunglasses and the respectively large case.

Between mono and starting my own business, it just finally started feeling like summer to me about a week and a half ago. Now I can’t believe how quickly it’s flying by! A few great things are on the horizon: a trip to LA, a visit from my dad, my birthday and my sister’s wedding. Now that I’m fully back in the swing of things, I can’t wait.

Xo, Sarah

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Roman

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Floaty white dress: BCBGMaxAzria (similar still available) // Gold Roman sandals: Sam & Libby for Target // Pavé ring necklace: H&M // Round sunglasses: Target // Black leather tote: Coach

There’s something about a simple summer outfit that makes me feel effortlessly chic, and in the most comfortable way. I’ve been putting in a lot of long hours and the San Francisco Peninsula just had a heat wave, which meant uncomplicated outfits and cold Starbucks were fueling my life.

For fall, I’m already planning on layering this with a leather jacket and maybe some burgundy accents. Not that I’m ready for the chill of autumn – I still need more summer. I could swelter it out all year long and be happy as a clam. I’m only fall-ing for the fashion, baby.

Xo, Sarah

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My First DVF

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah's Ambitions - My First DVF

Sarah's Ambitions - My First DVF

Sarah's Ambitions - My First DVF

Wrap skirt: Diane von Furstenburg. Turtleneck: Target. Vest: Kenneth Cole Reaction, old. Glitter heels: Target. Wristlet: Coach.

I like to think this skirt and I had the perfect meet-cute. We bumped into each other at Neiman Marcus Last Call and fell in love.

Luckily, it was during a post-holidays sale, so our little rendezvous of a lifetime was also a major bargain. With its classic fit and material but fun color and snap details, this is a piece I will be able to repurpose for years to come. Picture it in spring with a floral top, or even a simple, white shirt. The black band along the bottom is everything, making it mix even easier. On-trend for 2013 and a workable piece for many seasons to come. Allow me to state the obvious: I love this skirt.

Marking significant events sartorially has always been my thing. When I was younger, I always wanted to buy clothes on vacation, so I could remember that beach or that mountain every time I wore it, rather than having a trinket on a shelf. Now that I’m forging my future and starting my own business, purchasing my first designer piece of clothing is an oh-so-perfect way to commemorate the occasion. Plus, Diane von Furstenburg is a pretty faboosh role model herself. Pretty perfect skirt. #fashiongirlsolutions

Xo, Sarah

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Stylish, Sparkly & Sweet: Wedding Wear

Silver lace dress: Betsy & Adam via Macy’s (similar here) // Red lipstick: Maybelline 14-Hour in Continuous Cranberry // Gray nail polish: Chanel 559 Frenzy via Nordstrom // Round sunglasses: Target // Black wristlet: Coach (old, new version here) // Black wedges: Steve Madden (last season, similar here) // Men’s watch: Kenneth Cole, my gift to le hubs on our wedding day (similar here) // Floral bracelet: what I wore on our wedding day

Last weekend, two of our good friends held a gorgeous wedding celebration in Sonoma, California, and it was the most magical wedding. In addition to the mermaid swimming about the pool, the unicorn at the end of the ceremony, the bagpipes and the custom cocktails in mason jars, the love this couple celebrated at their wedding is a thing of beauty so rare and so special, it’s the stuff of legends.

The night before, le hubs and I met after work for a quick dress shopping session and landed this beauty. As soon as I saw it, I knew — despite it being in the Petites’ sale section and me being 5’11”. Luckily, I didn’t even need to alter it! Serendipitous sartorial success, I say. I wanted something a little more romantic than my go-to LBD, and this silvery, lace dress was just what I was hoping to find for the “garden cocktail” attire.

Tip: wear wedges to any wedding that will be outside. You don’t want to aerate the lawn with your heels!

My favorite part of this ensemble? I fully plan to layer this dress with a sweater and make it werk for work. Just as I repurpose my wedding jewelry on a weekly basis, I love wearing pieces chosen for special occasions in everyday life. It keeps the magic alive (and makes the cost-per-wear even better).

Xo, Sarah

Making It

Snakeprint sweater: BCBG Max Azria (last season, similar here) // White skinny denim: Gap (last season, similar here) // Black leather wedges: Steve Madden (last season, similar here) // Woven chain necklace: Forever21 // Black leather wristlet: Coach // Black cateye sunglasses: Target

If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it.

Essentially, that motto simplifies one of the beliefs by which I have guided my life. It has helped me change much of the negative in my little world and has given me the gusto to get where I am today. When I didn’t like living in Minnesota, I made the cross-country leap to California on sheer ambition. If I wasn’t happy at a job, I did something to fix it. I don’t just quit, like the motto may imply, I make it better.

I’m making something great out here. Between my blog, my job, my boo and my bubbies, there is quite a lot that keeps me going. So when a few internet trolls decided to bash me when Gap featured my recent post, I was a little surprised. It wasn’t my favorite photo, but it by no means looked like I “forgot to put on pants.”

Even though those people were clearly wrong and rude, it made me feel overly exposed and vulnerable. I felt self-conscious about the way that I looked, which made my already shaky body image (discussed here) take a nose dive. I had also gotten some bad family news earlier in the morning, and I was near defeat. I considered quitting blogging, because I definitely wasn’t enjoying the situation.

I’ve felt this way before (discussed here). Fact of the matter is, when you have your own editorial space, people will be critical. Mean, even. Worse, claim your material as their own.

But that’s the creative world. People will love what you do, people will hate what you do, or they’ll hate you for loving what you do. Anna, I totally get it now.

I needed to focus on the positive, which my lovely Twitter crew reminded me of oh-so-sweetly. Gap featured me on their Facebook! Woohoo!

So, once again, I’m here to stay. I love what I do. And I’m working on getting tougher, because there is no reason for anyone to shake me.

Shoutout to Gap for handling the situation so well. I am obviously still obsessed with the brand. (People, the Always Skinny jean will always make you look skinny. Trust.)

And, as I said the last time I discussed this: shoutout to my haters, sorry that you couldn’t (really) faze me.

I am making it. Thank you for following along with my little space in the fashion world. Let’s make this werk.

Xo always, Sarah

It’s Electric

Hot pink blouse: Pleione via Nordstrom Rack (similar here) // Hot pink lipstick: Maybelline Super Stay 14-Hour in Eternal Rose // Black pleated mini: Forever21 // Wrapped chain necklace: Forever21 // Silver and rhinestone watch: Relic // Floral rhinestone bracelet: from my wedding // Black leather wedges: Steve Madden (similar here) // Round sunglasses: Target (similar Stella McCartney here, swoon!) // Black patent shoulder bag: Coach // Red nail polish: Chanel in Dragon 475

What is an outfit shoot without a little Coco Rocha risk-taking pose work? And what would my wardrobe be without some brights to add a jolt to my classic black staples?

I have been loving my Maybelline Super Stay 14-Hour lipstick, of which I now own three shades. This hot pink ‘Eternal Rose,’ a fierce, red ‘Continuous Cranberry’ and an oh-so-sweet pink, ‘Ultimate Blush.’ I have gotten more compliments on my lipstick than ever!

Since I don’t get to model for my day job, I’m living out the dream here. (But, Karl, Michael, Valentino, Diane, Donna . . . if you’re reading this, I wear an 8 in couture sizing.) The beauty in this is that as long as I fit into my own definition of “the right measurements,” all is well.

If you’ve been paying attention to the Olympics, you know that swimmers’ bodies aren’t exactly 34-24-34. I have the medals and the scars to prove my allegiance to the sport, and although a positive body image is a concept I still struggle to wrangle on a daily basis, seeing people who have the same body shape as me (obviously with more muscle) on TV has helped me embrace my lanky limbs and athletic shoulders better than ever before.

I can’t tell you how many times I have started a shopping trip feeling inspired, excited to try on all of my amazing finds, but instead leave empty handed, feeling simultaneously deflated and bloated. When you’re 5’11” and your inseam is 5″ longer than average, it’s difficult to get hems to lay in the right places and easy to feel like the ill-fitting clothes make a misfit of you.

We all have our hangups. I’m just trying to make the majority of mine be on the people who plant these seeds of doubt — instead of myself.

Xo, Sarah

Dashing Florals

Floral scarf: H&M (last year) // White boyfriend button-up: Gap // Black lacy shorts: BCBG Max Azria (similar here) // Oversize black jacket: Springfield (purchased in Spain, Spring 2009) // Red suede bow flats: Ivanka Trump // Black patent shoulder bag: Coach (old) // Round sunglasses: Target // Gold and silver watch: Invicta, borrowed from le hubs (similar, smaller version here)

Lately, my life has been all go, go, go, which is just fine for this #getitgirl. I’ve been so busy with my new job that I haven’t been home in time at night to snap outfit photos before dark, and on the weekends, sleep has been my top priority (followed closely by watching Psych on Netflix with le hubs and our snugglepups).

This outfit is my perfect run-out-the-door kind of look for a busy Sunday afternoon. A simple black and white combination (don’t even feign surprise) with a dash of floral and pop of red, and we were in business.

Le hubs and I drove to San Francisco, where I bought my first bit of Chanel, a bottle of Dragon nail polish. We then drove down the peninsula and found the sunshine and a new hairstylist who tamed my tresses five minutes after we took these photos. (TGFY — thank goodness for Yelp!) A quick mani/pedi, plenty of puppy snuggles and a slice of Domino’s new gluten-free pizza later, le hubs and I called it a weekend.

The little things always end up really being the big things. Enjoying these moments with my little Cali family may seem like the norm, but it’s what I love most. And a quick swish of a scarf takes but a moment, but really makes the outfit.

Parallels in life and fashion — my work here is done.

Xo, Sarah

The Sweet Escape

White dress: Max & Cleo (from my wedding, similar here) // Faux leather moto: Target // Black leather wedges: Steve Madden (similar here) // Black wristlet: Coach (similar here)

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