It's that time again, fellow shoppers! I didn't do a whole lot of shopping, but still ended up with a handful of practical + pretty pieces. Surprised? You must be new here! 

What I Bought

what i bought july

H&M Twill Shorts in Black - $12.99
H&M Twill Shorts in Navy - $12.99
H&M Twill Shorts in Yellow - $12.99 (sold out online, not pictured)
H&M Cotton Shorts in Blue - $24.99 (sold out online, not pictured, worn here)
Forever 21 Cutout Lace-up Block Heels - $34.90
Forever 21 Blush Blazer via Poshmark - $15.00 (not pictured)

Monthly Total: $113.86
Quarterly Budget Spent: $421.96
Quarterly Budget Remaining: $78.04

Whooo! I didn't go over my quarterly budget in the second month! I was extremely busy this month, which helped a lot in not shopping, but this last week has been a doozy as far as temptation. The shopping itch has bit and I'm going to have to work SO hard to control myself next month!

In case you couldn't tell, July was a hot one, so I desperately needed a few pairs of shorts. I also, after a couple weeks of scouring the Internet, ordered a pair of sassy heels to wear with my mid-calf dress (and, like, everything else). Lastly, I finally found a blush blazer thanks to Poshmark! Stay tuned to see all the things on the blog soon.

One thing I wanted to mention is that July last summer was a turning point for me in the way I shop. It was the first time I attempted (and failed) a shopping freeze. Last June, I spent $300 in one month, and I knew I couldn't repeat that in July. That was really when I started taking the idea of a budget and watching my spending seriously.

A funny thing about July? It's always the month of the annual Nordstrom anniversary sale. Which means that for two years now, I have managed to miss out on avoid shopping the sale. The FOMO is real, y'all. I have got to plan better next year! Though, it's weird because that sale is fall-oriented and in July I'm still very much shopping for summer (bring on the tank tops!). So, I don't know if working the sale into my budget makes a whole lot of sense. I'm interested to know how you budget around it if you shopped the sale this year!

What I Received

what i bought july2
photos by Megan McClary

Last weekend I was introduced to an incredible brand that I am SO excited to tell y'all about very soon: LuLaRoe! I don't want to give away too much too soon, but this body positive brand is about to fill my closet -- and hopefully yours too! I'm grateful for the opportunity to try new-to-me brands, especially when I fall in love and inevitably give them all my money. ;)

So that's it for July! Next month I'm hoping to finally find a pair of overalls, pick up a couple of tank tops, and maybe find a shawl cardigan I love. As always, I'm linking up with Fran and the budgeting bloggers. Be sure to check out what everyone else snagged in July!

What did you buy this month?

what i bought in july

colorful vintage button down and high waisted shorts styling a bandana: tie it around your neck with a colorful button down Swedish Hasbeens Debutante clogs, H&M high-waisted shorts, and vintage shirt tying a bandana around your neck for a cool summer outfit detail vintage blogger outfit for the heat of summer a bandana, a purse pompom, and clogs are the trifecta of cool girl accessories pink purse pompom from francesca's, black high-waisted shorts from H&M colorful vintage-inspired summer outfit getting dressed for summer should be fun! turn to vintage, quirky accessories, and a good pair of high-waisted shorts styling your vintage outfit with colorful and quirky accessories
shirt: vintage (similar) // shorts: H&M // shoes: Swedish Hasbeens c/o Shopbop // purse: Old Navy (similar) // pompom: francesca's // bandana: vintage // earrings: Kate Spade c/o Shopbop // rings: Moulton

photos by Chelsea Laine Francis

I'd like to think that if the girl gang wore scout uniforms, they would look something like this. I thrifted this vintage sleeveless button down two summers ago and I was so excited to re-discover it in my closet the other day! It's got exactly the colorful vibe of another time I've been drawn to all summer. Wearing it makes me miss thrifting, because you just don't find unique pieces like this in regular retail.

Though the top is a statement of its own, this outfit is kinda all about the accessories. A purse pompom, white clogs, and summer's hottest accessory -- the bandana -- might be the trifecta of adorable outfit details.

I've been thinking lately about the self-proclaimed style description I came up with last summer: playfully classic. Every time I put together an outfit, I check that the balance is there. Yeah, this outfit definitely leans pretty far playful, but at its core you've got a pair of high-waisted shorts and a collared button down shirt. In no uncertain terms, that's as classic as a summer uniform gets.

How do you ensure that your personal style shines through in the heat of summer?

summer scout

black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt1 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt2 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt4 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt11 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt3 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt6 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt7 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt5 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt8 black blazer striped tank blush midi skirt9
blazer: Forever 21 (their current version) // tank: Old Navy (similar) // skirt: Ann Taylor (similar) // purse: vinage Coach via Pieceology Vintage // shoes: Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop // necklace Old Navy (similar)

I'm certainly not the only gal who dreamed of growing up to be a ballerina. Though, I probably had less of a chance than some, what with my complete lack of grace and coordination. That hasn't stopped me from fantasizing about dancing through life or dressing like I do. Not knowing any ballerinas personally, I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty confident this is their exact off-duty uniform: a blush pleated skirt, a menswear-inspired blazer, and a baby bun. Does anyone have insider knowledge on this that they can share with me?

While my workwear may not include a tutu, I've been thinking about ways to add more blazers into my weekly work ensembles. Specifically, I've been inspired by Adina, who I've deemed Queen of the Blazers (here's her June outfit recap for reference). When I started brainstorming the next way to wear my beloved blush midi skirt, I immediately pulled my blazers out of the closet to see what worked. Adina once wore this black and blush blazered look on the blog, and it's apparently been stuck in my head ever since because I'm giving my best impersonation in today's outfit. So, if I can't be a ballerina, can I at least be more like Adina?

Since shawl collar blazers are my jam and ever-elusive, I thought I'd link to a few I found in case you're in the market!

Are blazers making an appearance in your summer wardrobe? I'm looking for styling suggestions!

off-duty ballerina


Happy Friday! This was a totally weird week and I've got a busy weekend ahead. Anyone else? I'll write more about this later, but I'm officially a member of the work from home party! If you've got tips for working remotely, I'm all ears. I've got big plans to get my workspace set up this weekend (finally, with the help of my parents!) so hopefully I'll be able to share a few tidbits of that soon. In the meantime, it's about time for some links!

♥ I've never met a jumpsuit that wanted anything to do with my body, but Priya is making me want to give them all a try anyway.

♥ Is anyone else struggling to find the heart in humanity lately? This project helped me remember (and, you know, cry a bunch).

♥ I totally agree with Kimi about gravitating towards separates this summer. How cute is her easy navy and white outfit?

♥ One of my favorite songs played (on butter tubs) by two of my favorite ladies.

♥ "Instead of losing weight I just lost the clothes I hated" - holy shit this writer's experience is basically my exact story!

♥ What was the most popular food the year you were born? Mine was Tiramisu!

♥ Rachel took the most ballin' Euro trip this summer and made a clever video recaping the experience. Your 13 minute vacation is right this way...

♥ Speaking of travel, I loved reading Jess' thoughts on setting road trip expectations after she and her guy (and their pugs!) took a cross-country excursion.

♥ Killuh '70s outfit inspiration from the always fabulous Julie.

♥ Do you ever rock a headscarf? Excited to try these two ways soon!

♥ A pastel wishlist: these perfect blue clogs, these periwinkle statement earrings, a romantic blush trench, this slouchy ivory blazer, and these petal pink block heels.

What are you up to this weekend?

link love

scalloped cotton shorts from H&M comfy cool girl outfit for summer 2016 Lush sleeveless blouse, H&M scalloped cotton shorts, Saltwater Sandals dressing up your comfiest pair of shorts how to wear elastic shorts and look totally chic the only pair of elastic shorts you need this summer blue, white, and gold outfit you won't believe how much these blush tassel earrings cost white tassel clutch and blue scalloped shorts what to wear with tassel earrings easy summer outfit with H&M, Nordstrom, Saltwater Sandals, and Etsy there's no such thing as too many tassels blue and white outfit for summer
top: Lush // shorts: H&M (similar one, similar two) // sandals: Saltwater Sandals // purse: Nordstrom (exact is sold out; similar) // earrings: Gudbling // bracelets: Alex and Ani, The Gypsy Fawn // sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar)

A few weeks ago, someone on Twitter asked me if I would do a post on styling the fancy cotton shorts everyone's selling this summer. I was like "nah, that's not really my style," and went on with my midi skirt-wearing life. Then, I randomly popped into H&M with Chels and Steph and decided it wouldn't hurt to try on some shorts. I ended up with these in three colors, and then there were the fancy cotton shorts I brought to try on just for fun. Do you ever do that? Grab something that's way out of your comfort zone, just to see what happens?

Well, what happened was magic. I stepped out of the dressing room, reluctantly asking my girlfriends for their opinions. It was like a burst of heart eye emojis filled the dimly-lit dressing room. For $24, I'd stumbled upon the Holy Grail of fancy cotton shorts.

So, how do you style fancy cotton shorts? A loose tank (I love the way this polyester Lush blouse looks tucked in!), a pair of cute-but-casual sandals, and a handful of cool girl accessories (read: two different kinds of tassels and a mini arm party).

Does it feel like I'm wearing pjs? Absolutely. Does it look like it? I'll let you be the judge of that.

fancy summer pjs

chambray skirt espadrille sandals1 chambray skirt espadrille sandals3 chambray skirt espadrille sandals6 chambray skirt espadrille sandals4 chambray skirt espadrille sandals8 chambray skirt espadrille sandals9 chambray skirt espadrille sandals10 chambray skirt espadrille sandals11
shirt: Old Navy // skirt: c/o ModCloth // espadrilles: Soludos c/o Shopbop // purse: Forever 21

As you might expect, this is a post I've waffled on writing for some time now. Deciding to call myself a body positive blogger put me in an interesting position because the buzzword can mean something a little different to everyone. Am I body positive if I don't always love what I see in the mirror? Am I body positive if I dress to accentuate my favorite parts rather than my less-than-favorites? Am I body positive if I sometimes slip into shapewear before I put on the rest of my clothes?

After gradually gaining weight for the last few years (read about my eating disorder recovery here), this is the first summer I've had to deal with the dreaded chub rub in a real way. It's no secret that I have an affinity for skirts and dresses, and I started this season feeling helpless to the summer heat rubbing between my thighs. A new-to-me style dilemma, but one that many women have faced since the beginning of time. I set out to find a solution. I started researching shorts to wear beneath my favorite dresses and skirts. Something that wouldn't ride up, something that would provide coverage for my soft thighs and maybe for my soft tummy too. I read reviews of Jockey Skimmies, Bandelettes, and more. I ended up at Nordstrom and walked right up to the Spanx and I found my solution: Thinstincts Mid Thigh Shorts. This post isn't sponsored by Spanx, so I'm not going to spend too much time selling them to you, but they make me feel like my thighs are made of air and I legitimately forget I'm wearing them. Plus, they have "targeted" tummy "control" that smooths what I sometimes wish looked smoother. Can I be body positive and wear targeted smoothing technology? 

Immediately, I started wearing every skirt I own every day of the week. I got excited to get dressed again. I put together some of my favorite outfits of all time, and I loved how they looked on me, not just in theory. Am I body positive because I didn't let my body keep me from wearing what I wanted?

Of all the weights and pants sizes I've gone through in the past few years, I can confidently say that I'm happiest in my current body. Sure, it's the most I've weighed and the highest number on a tag I've worn, but I don't spend the time I used to picking apart my body for what it wasn't. I've happily accepted the body I'm in. Now I get to focus on the fun of dressing it.

Wearing Spanx doesn't make me not a size 10. I think that's an important point here. I'm not wearing them to look a different size, or to take up less space. I'm wearing them to feel more comfortable -- physically, because chub rub is real y'all! -- and to take the focus actually off of my body. Not having to feel the burning of my thighs rubbing during my lunch break walks means I have more capacity to feel all the other things I experience: twirling in my pretty skirt, enjoying the trees and sunshine, having uninterrupted conversations with my friends.

I'm body positive, I wear Spanx, and I'm a happier me since deciding on both.

What are your thoughts on shapewear and body positivity?

To reiterate: this post is not sponsored by Spanx and all opinions are, always, my own!

on being body positive and wearing spanx

floral and black5 floral and black3 floral and black2 floral and black12 floral and black11 floral and black13 floral and black9 floral and black16 floral and black17 floral and black7
top: Old Navy // skirt: Forever 21 (similar) // purse: Ann Taylor // shoes Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop // necklace: Old Navy (similar)

I know there are a lot of reasons not to shop at Forever 21 -- ethics, for one; being a few years older than 21, for another -- but once in a while you find something of such quality and cuteness that you wear again and again. If I'm going to shop there, I better at least wear the heck out of what I buy, am I right?

I picked up this skirt last October on accident -- I needed something to try on with a crop top -- and now it's a total closet MVP. The colors lend themselves to a variety of styling options and transcend seasons. Don't believe me? I've already shown you how I wore it in the fall and spring (whoops, somehow didn't blog a winter outfit even though I def wore it with tights!), and now I've got a summer outfit that I maybe love the most.

black floral forever 21 midi skirt  
Since discovering that this skirt looks killer with bright colors (thanks to my Ann Taylor purse), I actually have another warm weather look I want to try (hint: it involves my favorite top). Hopefully that will probably be hitting the blog before the summer is up!

How would you style this skirt? Does it feel like a particular season more than the others to you?

skirting the seasons

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