*Image above via Vincenzo Dascanio. This has nothing to do with our shopping goals below, but the picture left me weak in the knees. What vision this event designer has!
Lots of maternity wear, dining room decor, and special occasion dresses! Plus, the $25 outdoor pillow you need…
Q: This is so specific: light blue and white short-sleeve striped tee.
A: Your wish is my command. I have a few of these tees — great basics at a great price.
Q: I’m looking for a 30th birthday dress. I’ll be 14 weeks pregnant with my first, so I’m expecting I’ll be in that awkward phase where I don’t quite have a bump but won’t look great in something form fitting. Would love to hear your suggestions!!
A: Congratulations! You might find some good picks in this roundup of maternity dresses, especially since most of them are non-maternity and therefore would work well in the early stages of pregnancy, but a couple of dresses that are on my personal shopping list that would also work:
Q: Comfy but stylish maternity swimsuit.
A: People love the Summersalt maternity swimsuit, but I probably would have looked for something less expensive since I swam so rarely while pregnant — I love this Marysia-esque style, this under-$30 ASOS steal (TOO CUTE), this flounced style in black or stripe.
Q: Round or oval dining table that will seat six and work everyday for children to go with Henry Link cathedral chairs I just snagged locally for light/bright dining space that is not formal but not casual.
A: What a great score! I immediately imagined a pedestal table like this. Pottery Barn has lots of similar styles with different finishes, including marble, but something about that weathered gray strikes me as ultra-versatile and a perfect blend of formal and informal. It’s not the solemnity of polished wood, and it’s not the informality of painted white wood.
P.S. If you’re shopping for other parts of your home, I feel like a lot of the picks in this roundup of furniture finds walk a similar line between formal and informal.
Q: Outfits/shirts for a two year old girl and five year old boy for photographic portraits. Timeless, not too formal, and not too casual. I want the kids’ faces to stand out, not the clothing and accessories. Most of our photographer’s clients have worn white. I think my children tend to look best in shades of blue. And of course they should look cohesive so they display well as a pair.
A: Get thee to Jacadi! Jacadi has beautiful pieces that are not too fussy but still traditional. This scalloped collar dress might be just the ticket. Interesting but not distracting — I find the scale of the details on these clothes more demure and less exaggerated than many other classic children’s brands. Then you could go with these trousers and a shirt like this (or a solid-colored white oxford) for your little man. If you want something with a little more interest, check out Bellabliss — something like this dress maybe? They also tend to have great, crisp-looking clothes that aren’t too fancy/fussy.
P.S. There are more blue and white finds for all members of the family here.
Q: Honeymoon staples, warm weather!
A: Oo la la! Congratulations! You’ll need a few great swimsuits — I especially love this Marysia (look for less with this) for a newlywed and I adore this style from Alexandra Miro — and some easy caftans/sundresses to throw on over a swimsuit for post-swim/post-beach lunch. A few options I like:
I also like a pretty pareo (can double as shawl in cooler evenings) and a pair of gauzey white beach pants to get even more mileage (more looks!) out of a handful of swimsuits. I would pack a beach bag and a cute little clutch.
For footwear, I like the idea of these pearl-studded sandals, which could be paired with a dress in the evenings or a swimsuit in the mornings, although I can’t do the beach without flip flops (and I generally hate flip flops). I have found these to be the absolute best. Very low-profile and they last forever despite the reasonable price!
Then, you’ll need a couple of fun evening dresses for dinner dates with your new husband! I bought myself a pale blue D&G corset dress I’d been lusting after for my honeymoon trousseau (this was 2010…) and I felt like a million bucks in it. Go for the fun date night look you’ve always dreamed of! It’s the most romantic time of life! I think a fun hot pink dress like this, or a bolded printed dress like this, would be perfect. And you can’t go wrong with a pretty LWD!
Q: A long, casual but still pretty dress for engagement pictures outside at a farm setting.
A: Congratulations, friend! My top rec is this Love Shack Fancy. It feels casual and airy but the details are amazing. Ethereal, but grounded somehow. I also love this eyelet, this Mara Hoffman, this on-trend SEA, and this Sleeper. A little more dressy, but I also adore this Staud.
Q: Dining room table to use as a conference table for the office. Should seat six.
A: I feel like something simple and unfussy, like this style, might be the ticket. It feels more work-appropriate than some other styles I’ve seen. This more expensive style also has a stately vibe to it — like people might sit around it closing deals? — that could be right.
Q: High-waisted shorts of any kind.
A: These SEA shorts have been flying and a few of you have sent pictures of your cute selves in them to me — they are SO chic on! If the denim isn’t your speed, there are fun florals from Endless Rose and Jonathan Simkhai to consider. And Sandro has some great shorts out, too! And for under $20, these linen-style high-waisted shorts look pretty compelling (in white, paired with a white linen button-down — YES — or in black, paired with a striped tee).
Q: Tiny wallets just for credit card and ID.
A: For designer, I love this quilted Dior or this powder pink Gucci. Under $100: Cuyana (can be monogrammed!), Dagne Dover, or this shadow-lettering style from M&G. I also like this customizable Etsy find!
Q: Dress for grandson’s baptism in October in Virginia.
A: Congratulations! A couple of thoughts:
CREAM SHEATH DRESS (I ALWAYS GRAVITATE TOWARDS CREAM FOR BAPTISMS!)
Q: Maternity for spring/summer!
A: I am really loving Hatch’s latest releases — esepcially this striped dress and this breezy style. And then maybe some white jeans (or, if your style — a la Annie Banks in Father of the Bride — some biking shorts) to pair with some oversized boxy button-downs?
Q: Elegant dining room chairs.
A: I love ours and think Restoration Hardware has great seating in general for a formal dining room. You can get the look for less with these. These from W-S also have a bold, stylish look to them that I love.
Q: Non-traditional wedding dress for Hawaiian wedding. I am the bride!
A: Wow! Congratulations! My first thought was Markarian! Most gorgeous designs. I love this, this, and this. Amazing statements and definitely not traditional. Emilia Wickstead also always comes out with unbelievable white gowns. If you are going more informal, take a look at Zimmermann, Johanna Ortiz, and Solace London.
Q: A pretty ceiling fan for a traditional home.
A: Hi! I am always drawn to the ones that have rattan-like finishes — they add warmth and texture and almost seem like decor! (This one is good.). I have also seen this used in a professionally-designed bedroom and it looked great. This handsome, sleek one gets rave reviews — the Cadillac of ceiling fans! — and comes in different finishes.
P.S. Great lighting for home here.
Q: Outdoor pillows that aren’t awful.
A: These $25 Target ones are amazing — love the pattern on the front and the woven back. I also always love a classic ticking stripe or gingham. Charming! The Inside also has some well-priced outdoor pillows in designer fabrics — check out the cabana stripes! For a solid with interest, these are very attractive.
P.S. More outdoor/backyard finds here.