The Wedding Guest Outfit Guide: Tradish Edish

VTNF Picks

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BABY BLUE FRINGE EARRINGS // C/MEO COLLECTIVE RUFFLE DRESS
DREW BY DREW BARRYMORE DRESS // NAVY FRINGE EARRINGS (STEAL ALERT!)

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TRINA TURK DOBBIE DRESS IN PURPLE // TURQUOISE FLOWER EARRINGS // STRAW CLUTCH (STEAL ALERT!)

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GREEN AND WHITE PATTERN DRESS // EARRINGS

C/MEO MIDI RED FLORAL DRESS // BLUE CLUTCH

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LIKELY PATTERN MIDI DRESS // BOYFRIEND BLAZER // TEAL BEADED EARRINGS
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C/MEO FLORAL MIDI DRESS // BOYFRIEND BLAZER

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TRINA TURK DRESS // NAVY WRAP // TEAL FLOWER EARRINGS // TORTOISE CLUTCH

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PINK FLORAL DRESS // NAVY WRAP // CHANDELIER EARRINGS // FLORAL BEE RING

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NAVY JUMPSUIT // PATTERN SILK WRAP // HOOPS
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LIGHT BLUE MIDI DRESS // NAVY BLAZER
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BLUE LACE DRESS // NAVY BLAZER // TURQUOISE HOOPS
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The Real Real Wedding Guest Guide

VTNF Picks
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Sky Blue Alice + Olivia Dress, Size 6, $40 with code REAL // Kenneth Jane Lane Embellished Hoops

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Embellished Blue and Gold Alice + Oliva Dress, Size 6, $128 with code REAL // 14K Royal Blue Studs

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Alice + Olivia Striped Ruffle Midi Dress, Size 8, $136 with code REAL // Kenneth Jay Lane Red Clips-ons

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Alice + Olivia Floral Midi Dress, Size 0, $60 with code REAL //  Arme de L’Amour Hoops

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Alice + Olivia Halter Maxi, Size 10, $245 // Alex Bittar Druzy Drop Earrings

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Alice + Olivia Vintage Printed Maxi, Size 4, $145 // Givenchy Drop Earrings

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Alice + Olivia Strapless Dress in Navy, Size 0, $40 with code REAL // Oscar de la Renta Pearl x Crystal Earrings

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Alice + Olivia Floral Midi Dress, Size 2, $140 with code REAL  //  Alexis Bittar Crystal Drop Earrings 

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Alice + Olivia Floral Maxi Dress, Size 6, $325 // Tom Binns Door Knocker Earrings

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Alice + Olivia Cold Shoulder Midi Dress, Size 4, Size 6, $68 with code REAL // Onyx Drop Mini Hoops

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Alice + Olivia Hot Pink Low-Back Mini Dress, Size 2, $40 with code REAL // Tory Burch Banana Tree Earrings!

 

 

 

Fake it ‘Til You Make It: #BandierBabe Edition

VTNF Picks

I’ll be the first to say that I LOVE Bandier. The loud colors, the bold prints, and the intense pang of anxiety I feel every time I see a Georgetown student bounce out of SoulCycle wearing a matching set worth more than my car has been a welcome addition to my Instagram and IRL feed.

The aesthetic this high-end athleisure collective has curated provides a maximalist response to the Goop-promoted “neutrals or GTFO” approach to workout wear. It’s a fitness wardrobe that I’ve really come to appreciate…on Instagram. That’s because in order to be a daily #BandierBabe one must be willing to invest at least one-third of their monthly earnings into buying brightly colored hoodies you will likely wear in 10-minute increments (from car to yoga, from yoga to car.) 

I definitely understand the idea that workout clothing is worth investing in. As someone with weird bodily proportions, my first Lululemon leggings were a straight-up game changer. That said, companies like Bandier are marketing an aspiration as much as they are quality, well-made clothes, and it’s not exactly impossible to replicate. In fact, my inspiration for this post came from a run-in with a retro-inspired hoody at Wal Mart that — apart from the giant “~Peace and Love!~” overlay on the back — definitely could have passed the #BandierBabe test with flying colors.

Turns out, there’s actually not a lot that physically separates the high-end designer products on Bandier and the God-only-knows-where-this-was-made finds on Shein, etc. Most leggings are made of a combination of spandex and polyester (the proportions vary) and the other gear is made up of a combination of cotton and spandex. I did notice that the cheaper brands did sub in nylon in place of spandex or polyester for certain pieces, but it doesn’t look like there’s a big difference there, either. Obviously, higher end stuff comes with its list of benefits: more consistent sizing, durable stitching, and better for washing/drying. Whether it’s worth paying 4-6x as much is up to you. As I said, I will gladly fork over a lesser-used organ for high-quality leggings. But a cropped hoody? Catch me in the bottom of the internet’s metaphorical bargain bin for that one.  

Take one scroll through the Bandier or Outdoor Voices Instagram and you’ll start to catch the vibe: bright colors, fluid, non-committal poses, lots of $$$$. And again, if you’re someone who likes to invest in your workout gear, then that’s great! But, if you’re a fairweather gym member who loves to get the #LookForLess, then follow me. I can’t drag you to your hot yoga class, but I can make sure you look as a good as a 20-year-old GW student who gets 500 likes on every Instagram post when you show up. Godspeed! 

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SHOP: ADAM SELMAN SPORT VIA BANDIER // SHEIN ZIP-UP

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SHOP: BANDIER STRIPE HOODY // SHEIN STRIPE ZIP-UP

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SHOP: BANDIER HOODY // SHEIN HOODY

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SHOP: BANDIER RAINBOW HOODY // SHEIN RAINBOW HOODY

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SHOP: BANDIER LEGGINGS // AMAZON LEGGINGS

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SHOP: BANDIER JOGGERS // SHEIN JOGGERS

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SHOP: OV COLORBLOCK LEGGINGS // SHEIN COLORBLOCK LEGGINGS 

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SHOP: BANDIER COLORBLOCK LEGGINGS // TARGET COLORBLOCK LEGGINGS

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SHOP: BANDIER FLORAL SPORTS BRA // TARGET FLORAL SPORTS BRA 

VTNF’s Best Vests

VTNF Picks

You’ve probably noticed by now that I’ve recently procured a fur vest. Since receiving, I’ve laughed in my vest, cried in my vest, wiped my nose on my vest (post aforementioned crying), shoveled snow in my vest, slugged oysters in my vest, and, perhaps most outrageously, paired my vest with a plaid blazer (see below.)

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SHOP MY BLAZER // SHOP MY EARRINGS

I’ve had “vest I can pet” on my shopping list for a few winters now, but it was hard for me to justify a purchase of this sort. It felt like a luxury that, while useful during the colder months, would not offer much versatility. I stand corrected. So far, I’ve ventured far beyond the black turtleneck I originally thought I would be limited to, and I have a feeling there will be more where that came from. From candle lighting to “last call” lighting, I love the  texture and warmth this piece adds to a time of year that is markedly uninspired (sartorially and otherwise.)

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SHOP MY EARRINGS // SHOP MY BOOTS // SHOP LOOKALIKE VEST

I found my vest on The Real Real, and as you can see, I made the right choice. That said,  I was a little disappointed to find it was made of rabbit fur (I’ve noticed it’s hard to get material details on a lot of items from TRR.) Although I am a failed vegan many times over, I do prefer to wear faux fur (mostly by virtue of being poor, but also by virtue of liking rabbits.) Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to return the vest my dreams are made of, instead opting to live in near-constant fear of getting powdered by PETA and their many vigilantes. 

Below, I’ve linked a lookalike version of my fur vest, along with a few other faux fur vest options (customer review approved!) that I absolutely love. That said, if you are in the market for real fur, I recommend Pologeorgis — they have fabulous items at many different price points.

VTNF’S BEST VEST PICKS

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Check it out!

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Check it out!

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Check it out!

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Check it out!

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Check it out!

Shop The Real Real’s current selection of fur vests here

xxac

Best Life, Best Price: Frivolous Shoes Edition

VTNF Picks
THE SONGBIRD BY BIRDIES VS. AMAZON 

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AVAILABLE ON PRIME
M.GEMI LOAFERS VS. AMAZON 

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FOUR STARS // AVAILABLE ON PRIME
TORY BURCH VS. AMAZON

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FOUR STARS // AVAILABLE ON PRIME
STUBBS & WOOTTON SLIPPERS VS. AMAZON
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SHOP THESE HERE
SOMETHING NAVY SLIDES (PRE-LAUNCH) VS. AMAZON 
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FIVE STARS // SHOP THEM HERE
ALEXANDRE VAULTHIER VS. SOMETHING NAVY 
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SHOP THESE HERE
TORY BURCH CLARA FLATS VS. AMAZON (ROUND 2)
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SHOP THESE HERE
(SOLD OUT!) PHOEBES BY BIRDIE VS. AMAZON
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SHOP HERE

 

The Best of 2018

VTNF Picks

VTNF’s most clicked, most liked, and most LOVED of 2018. I hope you enjoy! 

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Maximize Sales on Poshmark

15 Ways to Maximize Sales on Poshmark

This is my most-viewed post every single month. Do you guys want to see some tips for shopping on Poshmark, too?!

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Framing Things with Sarah B. Keating

A few months after this ran, baby girl’s eh-mazinngggg bedroom was also featured in Washingtonian. BIG 2018, KEATS!

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Resident Cool Girl: Nikki Blank of Sip City DC

In similar fashion, this exact picture turned up on signs all over Whole Foods a few months after this went live! YAS, Sip City! Am I the Nostradamus of the blogging world or WHAT?!

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Dairy Detox: One Year Later, I Feel Good

Update: I’ve caved (a little) and started adding in  goat cheese, Bleu cheese, and some higher-end hard cheeses. Also working on a post to discuss what else I gave up to 2018: EGGS!

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Drinking Wine in Bed: a Beginner’s Guide

TBH this is how my seasonal depression manifested itself this year but I’m glad you guys were there to commiserate. #SelfCare

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An Ode to Wearable Blankets

In December, I hopped back on the blogging saddle to celebrate my favorite accessory of all (and recommend a few looks, of course!)

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Paraíso Perdido: Gabby Buda Talks Picking Up the Pieces in Puerto Rico

Loved working on this piece with one of my besties six months after Hurricane Maria.

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Prime Find: this Top is Probably, Definitely From Amazon

Once again, #theshirt reigns supreme.

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Winter Skin Must Haves

For when your complexion is literally about to crack.

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The California Lookbook

V happy my first trip to the left coast and corresponding lookbook made the cut! I absolutely loved this trip and can’t wait to return in 2019.

The Florida Lookbook

VTNF Picks

The winter getaway. A time-honored, oft overdue escape into a separate existence known for instilling so much joy that the impending flight home seems optional at best. While I do recommend everyone try flying south at least once during the cold, dark, temperature-based punishment for all summer sins known collectively as “winter,” prepare yourselves for the rebound — I have not left bed for the last twenty-four hours, instead choosing to stare despondently at my desktop background that I think is Antigua. 

That said, there are some things one should consider when escaping snow flurries for sea foam. I’ve outlined them below. 

Your skin. Your dry, frozen-solid skin may not get the memo you’ve upgraded your surroundings significantly. To prevent the sun from drying it out even more, I recommend my go-to SPF moisturizer by Murad, and Juice Beauty serum for added oomph and an undeniably dewy glow. Check out my full guide to winter skin care here

The weather. It’s easy to become so entranced with the idea of sun and sand that you forget that even the Caribbean can become chilly at night. For this, I recommend a soft, cashmere wrap or easy-to-pair jean jacket. If you need some inspiration, check out my ode to blanket scarves here

The circumstances. If traveling for a wedding, consider day-of apparel may require something beyond a sundress. My recommendation? A long-sleeve midi dress and slides — easy to wear, universally flattering, and flexible should a sand-based ceremony require you to go barefoot before the reception. 

So, without further ado, here is my winter getaway lookbook beaming in from Naples, Florida! I absolutely loved Naples — the dining was great, the ocean was beautiful, and the palm trees provided an endless supply of Instagram story backdrops that I’m sure didn’t get old once! It reminded me a lot of Newport Beach (see my West Coast Lookbook here) except Florida always strikes me a California’s less intellectual, more fun little sister. And, despite the fact I spotted a venomous frog, shark, and herd of wild raccoons within the same hour, I can’t wait to go back. 

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SIMILAR C/MEO DRESS // SIMILAR DROP EARRINGS
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DRESS // ESPADRILLES // CLUTCH

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REBECCA MINKOFF BOW SLIDES

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SWEATER // SUNNIES

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SIMILAR EARRINGS // SUNNIES

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ESPADRILLES // MIDI DRESS

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SIMILAR C/MEO DRESS // POM-POM SLIDES

xxac

how to style a blanket scarf

An Ode to the Blanket Scarf

VTNF Picks

If you know me you know that I am often wrapped in some sort of woolen, “cashmere inspired” synthetic fabric popularized by many retailers as the “wrap,” “stole,” or, my personal favorite, “blanket scarf.” A piece that begs the question; “Am I supposed to make a statement or swaddle a baby with this?” the B.S. has truly become the breakout starlet among my collection of unnecessary things.

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The first time I encountered a well-styled wearable blanket was in the fall of 2014. I, a broke 22-year-old nursing a three-month hangover after spending my 21st summer living in downtown Ocean City, spot her, a sophisticated late-twenty-something delicately sipping a glass of wine that did not come from a box, wrapped in a piece of cashmere heaven that could have been ripped from the tiny shoulders of Patron Saint Gwyneth of Goopness herself.

Let me break it down for you: black turtle neck, black (vegan?) leather jeggings, round diamond studs, plum-toned lip color, and, of course, a black cashmere wrap that brought the whole thing together. Her platinum blonde hair jumped off her understated ensemble, as if it was an accessory of its own, and her earrings reflected off of her wine glass in a way that said, “I am the crème brûlée of humans.” I know it may seem creepy that I remember this stranger’s outfit and appearance so vividly and emotionally, but I didn’t start a fashion blog because I hate clothes, ya know? It’s a look forever etched onto my mental Pinterest board. 

It wasn’t long before I started to build out my own non-edible wrap collection, too. So, without further ado, I present you with the official timeline of my #blanketscarfjourney: 

2015: My first-ever blanket scarf makes its sartorial debut in Dewey Beach. I, a #beachinsider (see above) am equipped with the knowledge that while sand radiates heat during the day, the temperature almost always drops drastically at night. Knowing that my tank top would be insufficient and a jacket would inevitably be left to start a new life at The Starboard, my blanket scarf proves to be a happy and efficient medium that fits neatly within the safety of my favorite crossbody. 

2016: A now full-time member of the blanket scarf fan club, I find myself dramatically flipping my omnipresent extra layer over my shoulder for added emphasis during the year’s many, many dinner table debates. The benefits are truly limitless.  

2017: After a long night at American Ice Company, my favorite wool blanket scarf is tragically left behind. When I return the next day to retrieve it, it is lodged under a back booth among approximately 243 beer cans, dropped chips from swatchos of yore, and all former members of Trump’s Presidential Cabinet. An immediate trip to the dry cleaners ensues, but my commitment to continuing life as a woolen human taco does not falter.

2018: I refuse to exit my home with no less than three blanket scarves and develop a cult-like following as the “giant, walking heap of knockoff cashmere” in many local publications. It’s a badge I wear with honor. 

If my completely sane, healthy obsession with blanket scarves hasn’t convinced you that you need one, then I GIVE UP. But if it has, here are four looks you can pull together for the fashion black hole known as WINTER. 

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Peter Millar Cashmere Wrap // Navy Turtleneck // Kendra Scott Platinum Drusy Earrings // Heels // J Brand Coated Navy Jeggings (40% OFF) // Botkier Winter Navy Clutch

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UNIQLO Cashmere Wrap // VTNF Favorite White Button Down // Riding Boots // Cords (25% OFF) // Hair Scarf // Bee Sting Earrings // VTNF Favorite Leopard Clutch
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Wrap // J Crew Sweater Tank // Booties // Flares // Dani Barbe Pink Tourmaline Studs // Hat // GiGi of New York Clutch

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Dress // Scarf // Boots // STAUD PVC + Leather Tote // Hoops // Ring // Cuff
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Pologeorgis Plum Fox Trimmed Wrap // Earrings // Jeans // Booties // Turtleneck // Bracelet

xxac

Prime Finds: Holiday Edition

Amazon Prime Finds, VTNF Picks

Welcome! I will not bore you with an interlude. I know from stalking your Instagram stories that you are all very extremely BUSY and very extremely sequined and very extremely drunk on your very extremely trendy eggnog cocktails. With that, to the races! (And by races I mean, to eight holiday party inspired items for when your festive attire selection and checking account start to run dry.) Everything is under $30!

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ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN // EIGHT

xxac

2018’s Amazon MVPs

VTNF Picks

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This eyelet top, which basically launched my blog into international superstardom.
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These ~fun and trendy~ statement earrings. Under $10!
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These polarized Ray-Bans that are basically aviators you can push to the top of your head without ripping half of your hair out (#BIGHAIRWIN.) You can shop lookalike earrings here.

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These tortoise sunnies perfect for those of us who appreciate a super-bouj eyewear but have yet to master the art of not losing sunglasses. I also have them Matte Black!
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Mario Badescu Hydrating Spray // The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc Formula  //  Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum // Evening Primrose Oil Capsules
View full winter skin post here.

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This chic-as-shit jacket that also comes in navy, red and black.

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These Icelandic cleansing cloths that make my skin feel like a little baby Eskimo’s even when I am too lazy to wash it.
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This MILLY feather skirt that I wear around my apartment, alone, far more than I currently care to admit.
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This Joie Dress that I lived in all summer and you could also live in all spring or fall, too! (Maybe get it dry cleaned once or twice.)