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Bows + Blooms

For the longest time, I've wanted a pair of culottes. In a middle school lunch room, the culottes are the cool girl surrounded by pretty friends and I'm the awkward outsider working up the courage to sit at her table. It's possible, but once you start down that road you better have a good plan in place. Not just the right top, the right proportions...and the right shoes go without saying.

Trendy pieces - non-essentials, shall we say - shouldn't be investments. In my last #OOTD post, I broke down my high-style/low-cost equation to building a fun yet functional wardrobe. And guess what? This date-night get-up follows the same formula: updated separates set off by eye-catching accessories. Who knew once we started talking clothes I'd become good at math?

I found my way into the popular crowd by way of these under $30 culottes from the Who What Wear x Target collection. Their line is on my Labels to Love list, so be sure to check them out even if you're tone deaf to the allure of affordable cropped pants. (Wouldn't blame you, they're not for everyone. See lunchroom analogy).

Despite my reservations, the mid-rise waist and relaxed fit do good things for my figure. That being said, the full leg and cropped length require the right top to balance things out. Luckily, I went back to a familiar well - Zara - and scooped up this adorable bow tie tank for a song during their midsummer sale. The blousy, semi-cropped fit hits just the right spot to nail that 1/3-2/3 proportion Tim Gunn so sagely recommends.

Doesn't everybody wildly swing their purse when they jaywalk?

Speaking of my purse, this basket tote is a vintage Coach bag of my mom's that she's saving for Harlow. SO. CUTE! Both the bag and the sentiment. I can remember when my mom carried this one IRL and I wanted to steal it right out from under her. Of course, I didn't...I was too busy sneaking random pieces of her jewelry back to Chapel Hill. Thankfully, she loves me and wouldn't get too upset.

With her and Harlow's consent, I borrowed this bloomed basket for just a little while. Even though my Tote Savvy can convert just about any tote into a chic diaper bag, it doesn't quite make the cut in this case. Date night bag it became!

Between the bow tie shoulder detail and the vintage straw bag, I looooove the accessories and details of this look. Playing off their playfulness, I added striped canvas platforms and beaded tassel earrings, both in current heavy rotation. Though I debated how much wear I'd get out of those shoes, I actually wear them quite a bit and get SO many compliments on them! They're sold out almost everywhere, but I found them available online in a good size run and linked them below.


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