Upgrading Mom Clothes 101

The only thing that goes better with mom jeans than Kendall Jenner is a mom top. While I’m a firm believer that Banana Republic is often tossed aside as a store relevant only to soccer moms and/or individuals seeking professional attire, BR actually has some really chic finds that can be integrated into many people’s closets. This is such an “ah-ha” moment because Banana Republic stores can be found nearly anywhere. I mean, the Gainesville, Florida mall has a BR store, and its nicest department store is probably tied between Dillards and Macy’s. (Spoiler Alert: Neither of the department stores carried Chanel makeup, or many of the usual brands that they would have in other locations, so that should be explanation enough for what type of mall we are talking about here.) The moral of the story is that sometimes it’s fun to look elsewhere from your peers so you can avoid the tragic “matching at a party scenario” we’ve all been through.

 

 

 

This particular top I’m wearing is from Banana Republic and I got it in the spring. The jeans are by Pilcro from Anthropologie and they’re the comfiest things in the world. The shoes were from Missguided, which naturally means they were an absolute steal. Honestly, the only things I can give you an exact link to is the flap bag from Chanel and my Quay sunnies… But per usual to this situation, I have supplied you all with many options from the same/similar stores to build your own look that’s reminiscent of mine. This outfit was perfect for grabbing some coffee and lunch, then heading to my friend’s college graduation party. With graduation season upon us, it’s important that your look is appropriate for all age groups attending the event. Basically I had to leave my sheer tops behind as I mingled with parents and children.

PSA: From now until May 30th Banana Republic is having a storewide 40% off sale both in stores and online, so take advantage of it.

Top 1 // Top 2  // Top 3 // Jean 1 // Jean 2 // Jean 3

The shoes I am wearing had a brief moment of popularity back when I got them my freshman year of college, and they were honestly somewhat hard to find even then — especially since that’s when I still wasn’t wearing any leather. I couldn’t find any exact replicas that I could guarantee were from safe sites or in large quantities (they were all resale), but I did find this really cool pair from ASOS that is a crossover of my pair with the current platform wedge trend. Get them at ASOS here for only $35!

Bag 1 (medium) // Bag 2 (jumbo)

Here are two really great Chanel bags from Bag Borrow Or Steal. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site, Bag Borrow Or Steal is a company that has two options: 1. Borrowing designer handbags on a monthly basis, or 2. Buying designer handbags in vintage/pre-loved condition for a great price. New is always great, but there’s something exciting (and more affordable) about getting to be a part of recycling gorgeous pieces. Borrowing is also amazing because you can let your indecisive streak run wild or treat yourself to an item briefly for an event or travel. In addition to the bags I have shown here, you can find so many other designers and styles at http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/.

 

I wore the same Coach men’s belt as usual, mostly because my pants nearly always fall down but also because guys clothes/accessories rock. You can get one here or just wear a women’s belt like a normal human being.

Last but not least, this Quay sunny staple can be purchased so many different places in person. For example, Nordstrom carries Quay and I got mine at a boutique called Wolfgang, which is great for all of you Gainesville or Jacksonville girls. If you don’t feel the need to try them on, you can buy them straight from the Quay site with no price inflation from a store. These are my holy grail for not looking overly extra, as many of my other sunglasses tend to do. They go with pretty much everything and are the ultimate cool girl must-have.

While this look was nothing overly special or extravagant, I feel like it’s a super good everyday outfit that can be worn in front of all audiences. I had so much fun celebrating my friend Sydney’s graduation, and I felt like this look transitioned well from my day of lunching to my evening of socializing!

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Cool Girlie

Styling a look that cohesively blends tomboyish staples with the ultimate femme pieces is a recipe for the perfect outfit. This look is contingent on coordinating pieces that are both old and new. The key is that the newer pieces must have a vintage feeling to them so that there isn’t a stark difference between any aspects of the look. Slip dresses are one of those trends that people wore a million different ways during the fall, and I think it’s safe to say they’re simple enough to continue wearing however you’d like.

I paired this Tobi dress with a dark corduroy, vintage jacket find (shoutout 90’s Gap) and my favorite Coach men’s belt. It isn’t a waist belt so it was loose when I wore it, which I really liked. Finding different uses for pieces can make your look that much more unique and personally exciting. I added my favorite Steve Madden booties, Stella McCartney purse, and Dior sunnies to finish off the look. Anytime you add a Stella accessory to a look I feel like it gains at least 10 cool points, and these Dior sunglasses are so unbelievably chic and timeless. All of these items are no longer available, but I’ve put some alternative options I really loved below.

Boots 1 // Boots 2 // Sunglasses // Corduroy Jacket // Men’s Belt // Stella Handbag

 

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Total Betty Move: The Two Piece

There are so many amazing things about the movie Clueless; I don’t even know where to begin. One of the biggest inspirations Cher could ever give us, however, is that sets are absolutely everything and will make you look like a total betty. Today’s common forms of matching sets can easily come across as basic and a little bit 2014, so you have to be picky. When I found this particular set from Tobi I fell in love and was beyond excited. While certainly not 90’s inspired as Cher would have loved, it is almost like a cross over between pin up girl and Coachella. Basically it’s everything I love about this world in two adorable pieces.

 

You could pretty much wear this top and bottom anywhere. I really love styling more feminine pieces with sneakers, but then again I love styling everything with sneakers. My Stan Smith Adidas worked perfectly and are my favorite shoes ever, but sadly I can’t find the rose gold online for sale anymore… They were really hard to get my hands on. What’s most important to remember about the shoe you pair with an outfit like this is that it’s clean and just posh enough so that it doesn’t look ridiculous. Plain white trainers always do the trick, and I made sure to get protectant and cleaner from Adidas so I could maintain mine.

Now for accessories, I love a sweet yet fun earring stud and a delicate watch. These earrings were a vintage find and the watch is Kate Spade. I think quirky, retro glasses add a fun pop to any look. I got the ones I’m wearing here from Tobi for an awesome price, but it was quite some time ago and they no longer have them. I do recommend checking out their variety of sunglasses because sometimes it’s nice to try out unique styles in affordable frames.

 

 

 

 

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Why I Watched 13 Reasons Why and You Should Too

You may be asking yourself what is so unbelievably special about the new show 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I started watching it the moment it came out immediately after seeing an ad for it on Instagram the day prior to the release. To me, this show was absolutely riveting. Perhaps it may not have as strong of an impact on you as it did on me, since I ended up feeling as emotionally connected to Hannah as Clay feels, but I digress. So without further ado, here are the reasons (not numbered, and not on tapes) that you need to watch 13 Reasons Why.

You need to watch this show because it’s real. It might be one of the realest shows I’ve seen in a while. The sincerity of the message is coupled with raw emotion, which is so imperative when telling a story like this, because although fictional, this story needs to be heard.

The reality of this world is that, for a lot of people, high school sucks. Middle school sucks. College sucks. Life in these environments of social and educational archetypes just genuinely sucks. One little action may not seem like much, but when coupled with other scenarios, it can chip away at a person until they feel like they are left with nothing. Furthermore, each person reacts to situations differently, and that is just so important to understand.

People make up rumors about you. People blow your mistakes out of proportion. People use you as your scapegoat. People ditch you. People betray you. People violate you.

There are people who are picked apart, chewed up, spit out, and left to deal with it on their own. There are people who encounter so many hurtful moments, that eventually the smallest thing can make them snap.

Girls get raped. Their friends get raped. It can happen more than once. It can happen in different ways. No one deals with it the same way and that’s okay because what happened to those girls is not okay.

I think we live in a society where people have sympathy for these types of situations, but these same people lack the understanding to really put forth the effort to make a change. This show has two very important messages that make up the rest of the equally critical messages. Firstly, everyone’s unkind actions have some sort of detrimental impact. Secondly, every person on this planet is wired individually, and based on their personality and their experiences, they are bound to be affected differently by these said actions.

This show should serve as a reminder that we as a society need to come together and cut the bull shit. We’re all human beings and it’s unfair to judge people for their reactions to all of the crap that’s thrown their way. Instead of making assumptions that people are weak, we need to instead work to understand their perspective. In reality, sometimes it doesn’t take much more than that to save someone’s life. To be able to make someone’s life worth living just by entering a point of view separate from your own is a beautiful thing, and it’s a thing that this show reminds us we need to do.

 

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One Piece Swimsuits: The New Flower Crowns?

Everyone with a pulse knows that flower crowns are sooo not the move for festival season anymore. Thankfully, one of the major festival staples of the now is way more versatile: the infamous one piece! I’m obsessed with how popular these have become both on the beach and when worn as a bodysuit. Whether for a festival, or just as your pre-beach look, you can pair it with a multitude of different pieces. I highly recommend denim this season, and I personally would probably rock it with a cute denim mini skirt.

This particular one piece is the perfect mix of sexy and fun, and definitely stands out enough on it’s own to only require some simple jewelry to compliment the look. Layered necklaces are my favorite right now, and I’ve attached some super cute options since the one I’m wearing is sold out (not to mention tangled, how awkward am I).

The first two necklaces are both Free People and can be found here and here. The body chain is always a fun beachwear/festival alternative to the layered necklace and can be found through Tobi here.

Like I said, denim mini skirts are not only a must have piece for your closet, but they work super well with this suit. The one I wore with my Wildfox jumper as a coverup was from Pac Sun, but it is sadly yet another item that has sold out. The first alternative I have is a Levi’s and sold at Free People here. The deconstructed look and light blue wash is very similar to mine, and just comes in handy as a go-to piece. The second option I found I also really liked, and is kind of more of a Woodstock vibe than an Avril Lavigne vibe. It’s by RES Denim and can be found at Tobi here.

I would finish off the look with a nice pair of Converse high tops. They’re another closet essential and have an amazing life span. Converse are just overall really comfy and effective for saving your feet in concert crowds, unlike gladiator sandals.

I hope you guys are able to enjoy this seasonal inspiration, whether you’re listening to The Chainsmokers live in a grassy field or on your Pandora station while laying out in the sand. Either way, the look will definitely produce a cute Instagram or two.

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It’s all Gucci Baby

I have personally been falling in love with Gucci more and more recently and I think it is safe to assume that the rest of the world has been feeling the same way. I definitely believe that 2017 is the year of Gucci, and just the fact that their logo tee has completely taken over everyone’s casual boyfriend jeans’ ensembles is proof enough. Taking a look at their fall 2017 collection is so exciting, because they always have such an incredibly, quirky take on each piece.

Gucci begins each look with a classic aura and transitions it to be shockingly fun and unique. Bright colors and bold patterns dominated their runway, and they even print mixed pieces together, which I loved. These vivid, funky patterns were accompanied by statement collars, bold shoulders, sparkles galore, and many belted waists. The greatest part about wearing Gucci is you are guaranteed to stand out, and their pieces are so multidimensional that they’re wearable for a multitude of occasions. I mean, come on, it’s not like you plan on really blending well with the masses in any of their pieces.

Here are some of my favorite looks straight from the runway.

imgs via

As you can see, it’s all in the details. So take a hint from the Gucci playbook, and if you have a more simple piece, layer it with others. Throw some sheer layers in or throw some tights/socks with your heels, because when will that ever not be an amazing way to take your outfit from boring to fun? Oh, and I’m now starting a GoFundMe page to support my efforts to afford an entire closet filled with their collection, so feel free to donate. Kidding… Sort of.

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My Valentine’s Sweet Theory

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means lots of Hallmark cards and Fifty Shades Darker trailers. It also means that there is yet another excuse coming up to eat horribly delicious food, and this time in shades of pink! I absolutely love Valentine’s Day for no reason other than that I love candy hearts and boxed chocolates. I buy them for myself and binge watch movies with friends under the excuse that I’m “single and sad”, even though I’m really just “single and hungry”. Whatever.

With so many different sweets to decide from, besides the previously mentioned candies, I decided to help you all out and rave about my absolute favorite bakery. Located in Jacksonville, FL is none other than Sweet Theory. I don’t even know where to begin with Sweet Theory, from their gluten free/vegan options, to their organic ingredients, to the adorably retro environment. It’s all amazing. Also, no, this post isn’t sponsored! I’m just overly obsessed with them and wanted an excuse to tell people without being judged… Or at least with only being partially judged. However, Sweet Theory: if you ever want to give me a lifetime supply of doughnuts, you know where to find me.

This is my absolute favorite cake I’ve had done by them. The elegant simplicity and feminine touch would be perfect for a Galentine’s celebration with friends!

Here’s the link to their Facebook page, you guys must check them out.

They’re generally closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but I know they’re doing special order cookie cakes available for pick up after Sunday at 2PM according to Instagram.

Remember, no one can judge you for ordering a cookie cake and eating the whole thing if no one sees you. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Chanel Spring 2017 Haute Couture

While the general population’s four seasons have been greatly affected by Climate Change, there is a magical world of seasons we can look to that simply never changes. Each and every fashion week comes consistently and never disappoints. Paris Haute Couture is perhaps my favorite week of all because it is truly filled with beautifully crafted pieces that transport us to an alternate reality where couture is the norm. I’m not sure how I can get to this reality, but if anyone has any suggestions I’m all ears. I would love to wake up every morning and slip on a sheer tulle dress, but who wouldn’t?

Although I am admiring the shows from overseas, distance has never stopped me from investing fully in the process before. Dior and Chanel will eternally be two of my absolute favorite designers, so it is no surprise that I took special interest in what they had to offer this time around. Both shows featured pieces that were equally as dreamy as they were bad ass. Although this article’s focus is on the Chanel show, I would like to note that the Dior ball had unicorns, and that is seriously so cool.

Karl Lagerfeld has never missed an opportunity to provide social commentary through a general, bold statement over his collections. So with Spring 2017’s Haute Couture line it came to no one’s surprise that Chanel has tipped its hat off to politics, and more importantly, to girl power. The chunky waist belts, done in a medium-width with a square buckle that dawned may of the outfits, emphasized the celebration of a woman’s silhouette. This carried through alongside their 80’s inspired power looks with bold shoulders and knee length skirt hemlines that frequented both power suits and evening wear alike. Sorry Hillary, the return of the skirt suit seems to have finally arrived. Although with such an iconic look, I doubt she’ll change it up, even for Chanel.

Overall, the color palette was magical and ultra feminine. There were pastels, hushed tones, silvers, and sparkles. The fabrics were effortlessly glamorous and girlie, not to mentioned varied. Of course there is a special place in my heart for the feathers (long live Scream Queens). Now, here are some of my favorite looks from the show:

images via

Obviously I included the finale bridal look twice because I mean… Hello, who wouldn’t want to get married in a high fashion version of a Barbie wedding dress?

 

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The Off-Duty Model: Kendall Jenner Edition

Off-duty model wear has become increasingly popular in the fashion world as people turn to social media for outfit inspiration and often see their favorite models looking amazing in casual paparazzi shots. The cool girl vibes and absolute casual comfort that coincide with adopting the ‘model look’ for your next ootd are enough to make anyone swoon. KENGI (Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid for those of you who are clueless) are perhaps the ultimate stars of this movement, as they are totally #goals in every way possible.

Both girls do an amazing job at setting trends that are doable and take a unique perspective that says “raised in LA but born for NYC”. Even better, however, is the fact that while their looks are fabulous, they are equally versatile and can help you play it safe with your clothing choices. Gigi often opts for an integration of more classic pieces, which I generally relate to, but yesterday I subconsciously channeled my inner Kenny J. I’d have to say that she is the ultimate cool girl right now, as I feel like she’s always wearing black and just downright slaying.

Now over the past few years we’ve seen graphic tees take home a lot of wins, and the key to all of that, is finding unique ones that represent something you love (whether it be a political statement or one about brunch). I opted for a Keith Haring t-shirt because, as one of my dad’s favorite artists, I’ve grown up loving him. It sort of has a slight edge that could almost resemble a band tee I could envision Kendall wearing. Pairing it with a mid rise straight leg pant that was soft as ever, some pointed booties, and a hoop earring, I was ready to go.

For this look I decided to finally wear pants other than my boyfriend jeans, but I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to integrate menswear inspiration (one of my eternal favorite trends). So, my belt is actually a Coach men’s belt. I call it the “boyfriend belt”, or the “stole it from my dad’s closet because it looked cool and I don’t have a boyfriend belt”, whichever you prefer.

A fun way to make your look a little more girly in this scenario is simple: your sunglass. I opted for my favorite Dior cat eye; the shape reminds me of Audrey Hepburn and the floral pattern of Swarovski crystals on the sides give it an ultra feminine touch. My outfit doesn’t have too much rock ‘n roll to it, so the different styles were able to blend together really cohesively and I could maintain my own twist on it all!

As usual, I tagged the original brands on my Instagram @zoebrine and am supplying you with some similar items below to create this look, since my specific pieces are no longer for sale. I always try to maintain similar quality/price range when selecting alternative items, but even better for this look, I was able to keep to the original brands and stores for the most part as well!

 

Shirt | Jeans 1 | Jeans 2 | Belt | Boot 1 | Boot 2 | Earrings | Bag | Sunglasses

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Spotted: Leopard Printed Coats

While most Floridians spend the miscellaneous cold days of our ‘winters’ bundled up inside, under layers of blankets and fuzzy socks, I am quite different. The other day was a low of 20º and a high of 40º, and personally, I was eager to finally embrace a true moment of my favorite season. After ordering bagel sandwiches at Delicomb, and then having many failed attempts at grabbing some coffee and a study table at one of the multiple Bold Beans in Jacksonville, my friend Meghan and I perched ourselves on steps outdoors to enjoy our 2PM breakfast and cappuccinos. We then, in good fashion, proceeded to disregard our academic pursuits of the day.

This outfit transitioned perfectly from my afternoon to an evening at the mall, and then later for when I went out to dinner. As you can see in the quick snaps we managed to grab, my look was a lot of layering and bold mixing. I do, however, tend to like risks so I was up for the challenge. There are so many ways that animal print can go wrong, making finding a classically cut coat and simultaneously maintaining adequate skin coverage key. I tied together pink, the statement sleeve, and the anti-cleavage (aka turtlenecks) to really show my love for the recent trends and also give a hat’s off to my eternal style icon: Twiggy.

All of the items I’m wearing are no longer for sale, so I’ve created a spread with alternatives that create a similar look while also maintaining similar quality and pricing! I’ve tagged the original brands in my Instagram post on @zoebrine.

Coat: Rebecca Minkoff  | Turtleneck: Madewell | Dress: Lord and Taylor | Boots: Tory Burch  | Tights: Urban Outfitters | Bag: Coach | Watch: Kate Spade

I live for these random cold fronts, and can’t wait until the day that NYC kidnaps me and makes me a slave to the fashion community and cold weather… I will gladly accept the torture.

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