Layering with Navy and Black for a Fall Wedding

Navy LOFT Scuba Sleeveless dress with Black Lace Sleeve Sweater

Pair black and navy for a fall wedding

Lace sleeves add a feminine touch to a sleeveless dress

Dress: LOFT (last winter)
Sweater Blouse: LOFT (last winter)
Heels: Clarks

This past weekend, I attended the last of the four weddings I was invited to this year! My best guy friend from college, Ben, married the love of his life, Paige, and I am so genuinely happy for them. It was such a nostalgic but fun affair, and it really made me realize how wonderful friendship truly is. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but it still felt surreal watching my first college friend (and very quickly my best friend) get married–it’s like time just flew by and suddenly we’re old(er). Love is a beautiful thing.

Since this was a fall wedding on a sunny and mild day, I wasn’t quite sure what to wear. My summer dresses were packed away and I thought I’d give this gorgeous number a breather (thank you, genius dress, you’ve served me very well during the past three occasions!). As I was digging through my closet, I realized my choices were between 3/4 sleeved and sleeveless dresses. I immediately grabbed this navy LOFT number from last winter (worn here and here), but none of the cardigans I tried with it were doing it for me.

And suddenly, my Greek chorus (you know, Heidi, Kate, and Brynn) sang me the answer in perfect harmony. Layers, duh!

But seriously, I’ve always been inspired by their layering techniques that I thought to myself how I could incorporate layers in an evening dress look. I scanned my closet and when I came across this beautiful lace sweater, I just knew. Initially, I was not sure how black and navy would work together, but I guess it’s not really an issue anymore? Even though it wasn’t a perfect fit (layering never is), I thought it worked perfectly fine for the evening!

What do you think of this unconventional layering for an evening dress? Can you think of ways to incorporate the same principle in your closet?

LOFT Lace Sleeve Sweater layered under Sleeveless Scuba Dress for Fall Wedding Attire

Classic Clark Heels for Fall Weddings

Linking up to: What I Wore WednesdayI Feel PrettyRandom WednesdaysYour Whims WednesdayWhatcha Wearing WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdaysBeautiful YouColor Brigade

NaDoWoMo: Not Your Typical NaNoBlogMo

Several of you reading this are counting down the days to NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month–and are charged with the anticipation of participating in something exciting and seriously productive. (If you don’t know what the hype is all about, click here and read #2!) And while I won’t be participating this year, I’ll be your cheerleader all the way through!

Even though it’s my choice not to participate (well, I blame it on my brain for not coming up with a brilliant story plot or even a cool character to start with. It’s been a long time since my killer NSYNC and Harry Potter fanfiction days.)  I can’t help but feel a bit of FOMO. I, too, want to be a part of something big. I, too, want to get a lot of stuff DONE. I, too, want to be motivated and held accountable by others. So I thought, why not apply this principle to blogging? Brilliant!

Except my goal here is not to post every single day in November. Or even to write 50,000 words.

With one quick Google search, you’ll find that I was not alone in my brilliant idea to apply NaNoWriMo to blogging (womp womp). There are tons of support groups that are participating in NaNoBlogMo (National Novel Blogging Month?) and striving to write a blog post every day or to write 50,000 words in November. (And a few of you are just wrapping up a similar one for #Blogtober!) For some of you, maybe that IS your goal, and I say: more power to you! I think that’s really awesome and maybe one day I will be disciplined enough to make that a goal and learn so much in completing that writing practice.

Right now, however, my priorities are all about getting those little things crossed off my list to make my blogging better. And getting around to those really awesome posts that take a little extra effort to put together. And giving myself the push to refocus and reorganize for the new year.

Somehow, I doubt I’m alone in this, too.

Therefore, I have decided to form a challenge and support group of sorts for the month of November in which bloggers can come together to get work done. For now, we’ll call is NaDoWoMo, “National” Do Work Month.  We’ll gather in a closed Facebook group and we’ll discuss our personal blogging goals and share our expertise and struggles with one another. Each week, I’ll post a challenge for each of us to complete. You can completely customize each challenge for what you want to work on or you can follow the challenge exactly. The end result: at least four completed tasks and a safe and supportive community with whom you can trust and hold accountable.

NaDoWoMo National Do Work Month with The Modern Austen

Are you in? Fantastic! All you need to do is CLICK HERE to request to join the Facebook group. And then invite your blogging BFFs to join, too! We’ll spend the last few days of October introducing ourselves and getting ourselves mentally prepared for an excitingly productive month!

If you’d like your challenges emailed directly to your inbox to make sure you stay on top of things or if you’re interested in receiving some extra special goodies, fill out this form:

Join the NaDoWoMo Challenge Group!

* indicates required

In all honesty, I have no idea how this challenge group will work, but I can’t imagine it will be anything but AWESOME. Let’s find out together, shall we? I’ll be waiting right here with a glass of (virtual) wine.

The Friday 5: v. 35

The Friday 5 is a weekly feature highlighting interesting, controversial, heart-wrenching, inspirational, and/or creative content worth reading and sharing. I always find the best blog posts, articles, outfits, and inspiration from other bloggers, so I hope I can do the same for you. Here’s to hoping something will make a difference in your weekend!


Spooktacular Finds

  1. 7 Real Life Truths About Unplugging from Technology
  2. Pentatonix nails it yet again. I saw them live over two years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
  3. How to Always Have Blog Post Ideas
  4. An insight into Harry Potter’s Greatest Villian (and no, I’m talking about Voldemort)
  5. Doesn’t Brynn look amazing in these fall dresses?

Frighteningly Good

  1. Are you a blogger that wants to get a lot of work done in November? Join us! It’s going to be super productive and fun, personalized to you and your blogging goals.
  2. DIY: Foldover Clutch Tutorial
  3. A favorite fall look from last year
  4. My Second StitchFix Experience
  5. Nerd Status

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you all have a fantastic and safe weekend! Yesterday, we had a Halloween party at work where I dressed up as Rosie the Riveter. It was a huge success! I am going to a Halloween party tonight and swing dancing tomorrow night so there are lots more opportunities to dress up (which totally makes up for the lack of costume last year). Be sure to check Instagram to see if I switch things up… What are you dressing up as this year? Do you have any fun plans or are you more of a stay-in-and-binge-watch-Hocus-Pocus-and-Halloweentown-High kind of person? Or both?! I have an idea–if you find yourself without any plans, you can check out all of the fabulous content above! ;)



Fly Me to the (Air) Mall

Have you ever actually spent time shopping at the airport? No seriously. Besides the typical meal, occasional tourist t-shirt, and the rare neck pillow, have you ever spent your layover browsing the stores and boutiques? I know that up until the past month, I never took a second glance at the stores in the Pittsburgh Airport (or any airport for that matter). Why? Well, I’m not exactly sure. Maybe I didn’t think shopping + flying made sense. Or perhaps the designer brands threw me off. I didn’t really think there would actually be feasible shopping opportunities for me.

Interestingly enough, I was proved wrong! While I wasn’t able to personally attend, I was invited to Pittsburgh’s Airmall #FLY2014 event to celebrate the opening of a ton of new stores as a result of a huge $10 million renovation, including Furla, Pinko (the first Pinko boutique in the U.S.), Lacoste, Metalsmiths, Tumi, and Collezioni-The Beauty Gallery. The event included a runway show and a makeover session from Carmindy of What Not To Wear! (Yes, I was super bummed I missed it, but you can check out Jess’s recap here.)

Photo credit: Kristi Jan Hoover

Pittsburgh Airmall #FLY2014 Event Furla

Pittsburgh Airmall #FLY2014 Carmindy What Not to Wear 5 Minute Face Makeover

Carmindy from What Not to Wear book signing for Bloom at Pittsburgh Airmall #FLY2014 event

Pittsburgh Airmall #FLY2014 event runway show

Pretty awesome, huh?

Even though I missed out on all of the cool events, I was given the opportunity to explore and shop for an afternoon a few weekends ago! (Fun story: It almost always feels so awkward going through security, but it feels even more anxiety-inducing when you aren’t even flying and you have to get a special day-pass and you’re not carrying anything…I still sent my typical “Made it!” text to my parents once I got through. #nerd)

Sticking true to myself, I am not a high-end designer girl. I just can’t do it. But I can at least appreciate it. I spent some time browsing in Furla, drooling over their gorgeous handbags and loving on some of the fun pieces in Pinko. Their clearance rack was actually fairly reasonable. Moving on to some of the more “me” stores, I really enjoyed browsing Metalsmith, which is a great place to get a claddaugh ring or a special “life event” gift like a communion, graduation, wedding, or anniversary. Eventually, I got my shopping on at Nine West, L’Occitane, and Collezioni.

Here’s what I snagged:

My purchases at AirMall Pit from Nine West L Occitane Collezioni

This red Hudson Leather Crossbody beauty is really great, BUT I have been looking for a black leather crossbody for a long time and I was disappointed that they didn’t have the black in store. I bought it anyway and really do like it, but I know that the black will be more practical and I can just order it online and exchange it. What do you think?

Since almost every loafer I’ve ever tried on has instantly hurt my feet, I was surprised that these Lobster Smoking Loafers were fairly comfortable. Since these were something I would likely never buy on my own (out of sheer practicality and budget when there are so many other shoes to buy first), I used this opportunity to get something special and fun.

I’m at that stage in my life where I want to take better preventative care of my skin (beyond Accutane). I know pricey hand creams seem ridiculous, but I was sold once I tried a tester of this shea butter lotion trio (along with everything else at L’Occitane). It’s a “luxury item” that I am willing to buy since it will be so useful in the months to come. Additionally, I’ve been looking for the perfect perfume for basically forever and I think I may have found my match! This Cherry Blossom roll-on is light, fresh, and feminine without that powdery or overly floral scent. I think I am going to add the full size spray to my Christmas list.

Going along with my skin care goals, I added two Clinique products (Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Massage) and have already been seeing improvements in just the week or so of use. I threw in Essie’s Chinchilly after seeing it on Angelica and am so surprised that I was willing to step WAY out of my comfort zone (You may recall my polish preferences in this fun video). Collezioni was SO much fun to browse because they had beauty products and fragrances from a wide variety of popular brands.

I was impressed to see that prices were the same as what you might find at a mall, so even though food prices might be higher, you don’t have to fork out extra cash to shop at the Airmall.

…Which is good news for one very lucky reader BECAUSE I’m giving away a $100 gift certificate for Pittsburgh’s Airmall to be used in any store or restaurant! This gift certificate is valid until September 17, 2015, so that’s almost a full year to make it to the airport to shop your heart out before or after your next trip. Head on over to Instagram to enter to win! The giveaway will run until Saturday, October 25th at midnight. Winner will be announced on Sunday, October 26th :) Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Pittsburgh Airmall provided me with a gift certificate to shop and one to give away in exchange for my media support. As always, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Modern Austen possible!