10K on Instagram: What I’ve Learned So Far

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Dress: Old- Anthropologie,  Similar, Similar, Similar, Similar Earrings: Here, (less expensive options here and here),  Shoes: Here 

Y’all I am so excited to announce I hit 10k on Instagram! I hit it on my 5th month blogging anniversary (June 14th), so that makes it even more special. I just cannot believe it.  It feels like I have been an Insta blogger forever.

First off, I want to say thank you so much for the support. I would be nowhere with out all of my readers/followers. I never thought I would ever start a blog or would share my outfits on Instagram, so I am proud of myself for biting the bullet and starting this hobby. It is something I have always wanted to do, but I was afraid to put myself out there. Blogging has been a wonderful experience and a complete whirlwind. I am also so thankful I started this because it has given me great purpose while my hubby has had his busiest year of medical school.

Just a little reflection on my time as a blogger, I have achieved two goals I never thought possible: I was accepted into Reward Style and I hit 10,000 followers on Instagram recently. This is going to be a long post, so I apologize in advance.

Lately I have been getting a lot of messages about advice, especially about growing on Instagram. I am so flattered, but I don’t see myself as a expert at all! I have decided with my new milestone of 10k Instagram followers, it is finally time to stop procrastinating and share some tips.

Instagram:

I probably get the most questions about how to grow on Instagram. I want to note I have done it 100% organically. For the first few months my growth was pretty slow, but after I hit a certain point, my account has grown fast. With this being said, don’t get discouraged if your growth has been slow.

  1. Engage, engage, engage: I cannot say this enough. With the new Instagram algorithm, engaging with your followers is soooooo important. This helps your post to show up and to gain/maintain followers. (By engaging I mean liking and commenting on posts.)
  2. Consistency: To grow on Instagram, you really need to post at least once daily and 2 times max daily. This helps new followers find you and helps maintain your current ones. I started to do one post daily and have found this is easier for me to manage.
  3. Hashtags: It is important to use hashtags to make your posts more visible, but you cannot use too many. It’s all about balance. If you’ve heard about the shadow banning, Instagram is cracking down on “misusing” hashtags. I try to use between 5-15 now. I also switched to a personal Instagram account, since I have heard they’re cracking down more on business accounts. I try to not reuse the same hashtags on my posts for this reason. I also made an account that does not follow me, so I can monitor this.
  4. Similar accounts: Follow and engage with similar accounts. If you think about networking for a business, it makes sense why this helps. I have found some quality followers on Style Collective’s page.  I would normally say join like/comment pods, but with all of the rumors flying around I don’t know what to say about them.
  5. Tag brands: I tag the brands that I am wearing in each post. I really attribute this to a lot of my success, as Target followed me and posted one of my pictures on their awesomeshop page.
  6. You get what you give: I treat this blog/Instagram as a job. At first I treated it as a part-time job, but lately as I have grown I have really treated it as a second full-time job.

Blogging: 

A lot of this advice is important for Instagram too:

  1. Join Style Collective: This is a network of bloggers. They share helpful tips and articles. Here is my referral link to join.
  2. Organization is key: At first I was able to do things on a whim, but now that I’m over 5 months deep, I’ve found that that doesn’t really work.
  3. Follow similar blogs and interact with them. If you make the effort to support them, they will usually support you back.
  4. Install Google analytics to see where your most common referrals are coming from and focus on that. I have noticed with blogging my most common is Facebook, so I have been occasionally doing targeted ads to help promote my posts.

Collaborations:

Lately I have had a lot of questions about how to get collaborations. For collabs, I used to wait until a brand reached out to me, but lately I have reached out to more. I would say most of my collaborations are brands that have reached out to me, but I am starting to screenshot brands I would love to work with. Also, if you’re wanting to do a collaboration for summer clothes, make sure to reach out when it’s still spring. I am just using this as an example, since I have found out the hard way you need to ask early.

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As you may have seen in this post, I got accepted to Reward Style’s Like to know it program. I have also had many bloggers ask me for advice and what they’re looking for, and here’s what I think is key:

  1. Tagging products in your blog/Instagram posts: They like to see that you’re showing your followers where your items are from.
  2. Engagement: They like to see that your followers are engaging with you and that you’re engaging with them.
  3. Consistency: They like to see you post at least once daily.
  4. Referral: I am always more than happy to send a referral, it seems to help to have one. Just Dm me or email me 🙂

If you have specific questions, do not hesitate to leave me a comment, email me or send me a direct message on Instagram! I am always willing to help and I strongly believe in bloggers supporting other bloggers. It’s not about competition; there is room for us all to succeed!

S E Kennedy Designs

IMG_3263Processed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_1394Necklace/ Earrings: Here  Dress: Old-Lilly Pulitzer,similar, Similar, Similar, Similar Shoes: Here Purse: Here

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. We had a pretty laid back weekend, since Jake is getting down to the wire with this semester. He only has 2 more weeks until he is done with his 3rd year of medical school, so he has a lot of studying for his final shelf exam.

Supporting small businesses is something I love to do! I wanted to introduce you all to one of my new favorite Etsy shops, S E Kennedy Designs. Recently I connected with Sarah Beth and she is the sweetest single mom to two precious little boys. She has definitely had a rough year personally, but she is so strong and has started a business from the ground up.  Her necklaces are custom made and handmade and she has such a talent.

The thing I love most about her line is how she embraces her southern roots. She is based out of Hampton, South Carolina and has designed her jewelry to go with a lot of Lilly Pulitzer. I’ve been a huge fan of her work, so when she reached out to partner with me, I was so excited to pick out a piece!

I picked the beaded tassel necklace/ the turquoise and teal drop earrings because I felt like they would be perfect for summer.  You can expect to see these pieces on repeat! I paired them with one of my favorite lace dresses. I cannot get enough lace, I even wrote a blog post on lace dresses recently. You can check it out here. The necklace has a little bit of cobalt, so I can see myself pairing it with a cobalt dress or even a light pink dress to have some contrast. I have a similar pair of earrings in pink and I picked these because they add the perfect finishing touch to any outfit.

I love that she incorporates a lot of tassels in her line. This is one of my favorite trends lately. Make sure to check out her Instagram account, where she is always posting pictures of her new items.

In collaboration with S E Kennedy Designs, all opinions are my own.

Lovely In Lace

8EAD8287-97C4-4E27-808C-6FC6E9EBFB8DHappy Monday! My hubby is starting week 3 of Ob/Gyn.  He has been working nights, so I have barely seen him this week. As hard as it is to not have a “normal” marriage right now, I am so thankful because Jake finally graduates in less than a year now! I know residency will not be all fun and games, but we’re both so ready for school to be over.

One of my favorite things I cannot get enough of lately is lace. I am constantly finding myself drawn to lace dresses. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve worn several lace dresses this spring. I wanted to do a round up and share my 3 favorite lace dresses I have bought this season. These are all still available and I LOVE them.

Hollow Out Fit & Flare Lace Cami Dress

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Dress: Here, Red Version Pink Tassel Earrings: Almost Identical, Similar, Similar (these are too fun) Nude Block Heel: Here Bag: Old-Tory Burch, Similar

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Dress: Here, Red Version Silver Chandelier Earrings: Here (Color Bar-Style Greta, stones drusy and slate), Similar Glitter Bow Heel: Here Clutch: Here

I bought this dress with no real event in mind to wear it to. On the day of my hubby’s med school formal, I made a last minute decision to wear it. It worked out perfect. The thing I love about it is that it’s so versatile. It can be dressed up or down. In the formal case, I dressed it up with dressy silver shoes and a clutch. I also wore it on a date night with nude block heels and pink tassel earrings.

It is perfect for a date night, cocktail party/ spring wedding, brunch, or a bridal shower. For a brunch or luncheon, I would suggest a little cardigan over the shoulder to make it a little more conservative. Also, I would recommend more of a sandal with a heel.

The best part about this dress is the straps are adjustable. I got a size small and it fit perfectly. This dress also comes in red and is gorgeous. Too bad I don’t have an event to wear it to 😉

Lacey Lace Halter Sheath Dress

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Dress: Here Earrings: Here (Color Bar-Style Greta, stones drusy and slate), Bracelet: Here Shoes: Similar Bag: Similar

I initially bought this one for my hubby’s formal, but changed my mind last minute. Here are more pictures of me wearing it in our Jord Watches blog post. It is the most dressy of the 3 and is just gorgeous. I love the halter details. It is perfect for spring weddings or a brunch with a cardigan. It is a midi length which is very in right now. I paired it with statement earrings and bow heels. This dress is true to size. This picture below shows the fit better.

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Crochet Pom-Pom Trim Sheer Lace Dress

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Dress: Here, Black Version Earrings: Here, Similar (same look, but lower price) Bag: Here Shoes: Here 

This dress is one of my favorites. I love that it incorporates current trends with the pom pom and bell sleeve details. I did a full blog post on this dress here. I paired this dress with rock stud dupes and statement earrings. This dress also comes in black and is super cute. With this particular retailer, their items tend to run small. However, this item has a larger fit, so I went down a size. If you are taller, I would recommend staying with your typical size as it is a little on the short side.

I tried the Sonia V-Neck Sleeveless Block Lace Sheath Dress and loved it. It’s on sale now. (Excuse my selfie, but it’s too good to not share)

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Which dress is your favorite?

 

 

Hair Tutorial

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Happy Thursday! One of the most common questions I get besides fashion questions is about how I do my hair. I thought it was time to share my hair tutorial as well as two new products I have recently been introduced to, Rooted Hair Powder and Bali Secret Hair Vitamins. These pictures were from my cousin’s recent wedding. I decided to document how I do my hair.

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  1. Wash/Condition hair: I do this every other day. I color my hair and like to stretch the color out as far as I can due to my budget. I am able to go about every 8 weeks. Not washing my hair daily helps my color last. I use this shampoo and this conditioner. After I get out of the shower, I brush my hair with a wet brush and towel dry it. My hair tangles like crazy, so this brush has been the only way to get my hair brushed quickly.
    • IMG_9932I have recently discovered Rooted Hair Powder and this helps me stretch my washes out. Like I said, being on a budget I want to get the most of my hair color as possible. The thing I love about this product is not only does it get rid of the greasy hair, it also gets rid of bacteria. This product is also organic and it helps volumize your hair while increasing hair strength, collagen and growth. It comes in two colors: blonde and brunette. Being a brunette, this is much appreciated, since most dry shampoos leave a white residue in my  hair. This product also smells amazing and works very fast.
  2. Apply Bali Secret Hair Vitamins: I have long fine hair, so my hair easily gets dry. I also love to curl it, so that quickly damages it. I was recently introduced to these hair vitamins and this has helped with my dry ends. This product is enriched with Argan oil, Morrocan oil, macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, and vitamins A, C, E and pro vitamin B5. It helps my hair feel smooth and look shiny. The capsules are not taken orally as my husband thought. You break open a capsule and apply to towel dried hair. The capsules were a little hard to open for me at first, but once they open I put the oil on the palm of my hand and I do about 75% of my hair, skipping my roots. The product smells really good and I have been happy with it.
  3. Apply boosting spray and blow dryAfter I apply my hair vitamins, I apply this boosting spray. I apply it when my hair is still damp. It is heat activated, so I make sure to blow dry right after I apply. It helps give my fine hair some volume.
  4. Tease: Once my hair is 100% dry, I brush it once more and tease the crown with my tease w/ eez brush.  This creates even more volume for my “poof”. Here is a video that shows how to tease your hair, if you’re unfamiliar.
  5. Pin it: Once my hair has some volume, I brush it out a bit, and then gather it and pin it. I like to pin it up and have a little “poof” because I am a Texas girl and we like to say “the bigger the hair, the closer to God.”
  6. Curl/Hair Spray: Per recommendation of my hair stylist, I use this curling iron. It has worked well for me. I finish off my hair with Oribe hairspray.
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If you have any questions, please let me know!

Thank you to Rooted Hair Powder and Bali Secret for providing me with a free product sample. All opinions are my own.

LOFT Sale

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Dress: Here Shoes: Here Bag: Old-Tory Burch, Similar (I have this in hot pink and highly recommend it), Similar, Similar Earrings: Here

Ladies…stop what you’re doing right now and head over to LOFT’s website. They’re having a sale and I am sharing my favorite dress from this season and my other picks. I have a direct link below.

They’re currently offering 30% off everything or 40% off with your LOVELOFT credit card. Use code LOVEMOM to receive the discount. Some items are already marked down to 40% off without the promo code. They’re also offering free shipping on orders $125 or more.

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I got this off the Circle Lace Off The Shoulder Dress at the start of the season and it has been one of my favorite dresses. I love the navy blue color and the beautiful embroidered details.  It is dressy, yet casual. The flowy fabric makes it comfortable.

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It could go from a casual date night with flat sandals to a casual cocktail party. I paired mine with a pink camera bag, gold earrings and some block heel sandals. This dress does run a little big, so I recommend sizing down. I have found Loft runs a little large in general.

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I always recommend reading their reviews, since they are usually accurate.

Here are a few of my other picks:

off the shoulder top

Blossom Off The Shoulder Top

cold shoulder

Eyelet Flutter Shift Dress

eyelet skirt

Striped Eyelet Skirt

off the shoulder navy

Lace Off The Shoulder Shift Dress

gingham top

Gingham Side Tie Off The Shoulder Top

Floral Romper

Floral Wrap Romperstripe shorts

Striped Tie Waist Riviera Shorts

What are you eying at the LOFT sale?

Spring Weddings With Jord Watches

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Happy Friday! It’s time for the weekend! No pun indended 😉

It’s spring, so that means it’s wedding season. I always have my go to accessories and so does my hubby.  For a less formal wedding, he likes to wear a sport coat, a button up and khakis and now his new watch.

When it comes to watches, my hubby has a nice silver one that he wore for a while but he got bored of it and stopped wearing it. He had been wanting a new one, so when I asked him about this wood watch he was so excited. My hubby basically wears nothing but Brooks Brothers and Polo Ralph Lauren, so I was a little surprised he loved the natural look of the wood watch. Here’s what he had to say about the watch:

“I had always thought wood watches looked cool but I’m pretty cheap so I didn’t want to spend a decent amount of money on one and then end up not wanting to wear it very much. So, when I got the opportunity to try the Jord wood watch out, I leaped at the chance. Being a typical man, I’m not big into fashion, and I usually buy stuff based on either ‘that looks cool’ or ‘that looks like something Courtney would allow me to wear’. So anyways, not being a fashion expert, it’s kind of hard to put into words what I liked about the Jord watch, but I really enjoy it. Though they have several other styles that looked cool, I chose to go with this dark brown and red one. The dark sandalwood looks rather sophisticated; something about the way it looks as well as the sturdy feeling it has makes me feel like it came from an old, massive tree. The elegant color gives it a maturity that makes it look like the wood has been around for a hundred years, while the durable feeling of it makes it seem like it could last for a hundred more. The burgundy manages to blend in smooth with the sandalwood color while also popping out. Juxtaposing a dark color (like the sandalwood) with a color that is both light and dark (after all, burgundy is just bright red that they added some brown to I think) is a cool way to have both elements blend together while also popping out. I think this watch jumped out to me because I’m a big Maker’s Mark fan and the colors reminded me of that; the sandalwood looks like the oak barrels and the whiskey itself, while the burgundy is reminiscent of the red wax top. This reinforced the mature, understated elegance of the watch to me. Anyways, enough about the look of the watch. It also feels great and works great. Being in the hospital, I’m always doing something with my hands, whether it’s performing a physical exam or writing a patient note. Despite the sturdy feeling of the watch, it never feels cumbersome when you’re using your arms. Even after a long day, it still felt very comfortable. Overall, I think it’s a great watch, and my only regret is that I forgot to make sure I got a left-handed watch. Courtney and I are both lefties, and it seems like every day something like this happens to remind us it’s a right handed world. Anyways, other than me forgetting that like everybody else on earth is right handed, I highly recommend the Jord watch! I’ve never been a big watch guy, but now as I finally am close to being done with medical school and moving on to actually being a doctor, it’s important to have a professional, elegant look, and the Jord watch definitely fits that profile.”

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Jord to give away a FREE Conway watch. Click here to enter.

With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day around the corner, a Jord  Wood Watch would make the perfect gift. Shop Men’s watches here and Women’s here 

Jake’s Watch: Here Courtney’s Dress: Here Earrings: Similar Purse: Similar, Similar Shoes: Similar
Wooden Wrist Watch

 In collaboration with Jord Wood Watches

It’s All About Embroidery

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Top: Here Skirt: Here Earrings: Here Shoes: Here Bag: Here, Here

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start! I don’t know about you, but this weekend flew by for us (they always seem to). On Friday, we went to my hubby’s med school ball and just relaxed the rest of the weekend. He only has 8 more weeks until he starts his 4th year of med school. We are both so ready!

You may have noticed that I am not doing as many blog posts as normal. I am trying to work on a new way to switch things up and maybe drop down to two blog posts weekly instead of three. I am very overwhelmed between blogging and working full-time, so this should help.

IMG_9022IMG_1206One trend I am obsessed with is embroidery.  It’s all about embroidery for summer and spring. It is everywhere from jeans to dresses. I am so glad it’s back because it reminds me of my childhood. I will never forget this little embroidered denim jacket that I had and some jeans with pink flowers. I probably still have them at my parents house.

The thing that I love about embroidery is that it incorporates so many fun colors. Bright colors make me happy, so I jumped on board with this trend quick. It reminds me of a fiesta!IMG_1205

When I wear something embroidered, I like to accessorize with colors that are in the embroidery pattern. Recently we had beautiful weather on a date night, so I decided to wear my new skirt. I decided to play up the pink and tone it down with this black ruffle bodysuit (I promise I don’t wear it everyday).  FYI, this skirt runs small, so I recommend sizing up. I also recommend wearing a bodysuit with it, since it lays better with the skirt.

Trending: The Bodysuit

IMG_7933IMG_7973IMG_7947IMG_7967IMG_7941Happy Thursday! I don’t know about y’all, but I feel like I need a vacation badly. I think it’s because my hubby is on a rotation where he goes in before the sun comes up and I feel like during the week I barely see him. It could just be my lack of sleep lately 😉 I am always more creative at night and always seem to wake up at night even if I am exhausted all day!

Anyways, one trend that I jumped on late was the bodysuit. I never in a million years thought they would be flattering, so I never tried one. I also thought they seemed weird until I saw this ruffle off the shoulder one. The ruffles were what spoke to me, so I gave it a chance. Let me just tell you, they are a major game changer!

The thing that I love about bodysuits are they give you the “tucked in” look without having a lot of fabric that gets bunched up. When I wear skirts, it always seems like I am constantly fixing my top, but with a bodysuit it gives you the perfect tucked in appearance.

I have paired my bodysuit with jeans, palazzo pants and skirts. They are so versatile! I have a feeling that I am going to be buying several more in the near future.

What is a trend that you’re loving lately?

Necklace: Kendra Scott, Similar(Same necklace, different shade of turquoise) Bodysuit: Target Jeans: Michael Kors, Similar, Similar Shoes: Target Bag: Louis Vuitton

Traveling In Comfort and Style

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Happy Monday! I wanted to start off by saying thank you to everyone who commented and reached out to me to congratulate me on getting accepted into Reward Style. I have been so overwhelmed with support and I want to thank you all because without your support I wouldn’t be here. I am planning on doing a post in the next few weeks with the story of how I started my blog and also a post about blogging tips. I am not sure if it will be combined into one post or two separate ones, but stay tuned.IMG_1185IMG_1186

Last weekend I traveled down to Texas to see my family and attend my cousin’s bridal shower near Austin. I wanted to share my travel look. When I travel, the main thing I want is to be comfortable. When you’re sitting down for hours, nothing is worse than wearing a tight pair of jeans and being miserable. This is why I like to wear loose dresses or comfortable pants when I travel. It was a little chilly that weekend, so I wore this adorable short sleeve t-shirt dress with a denim jacket and a colorful scarf. 337 Brand sent it to me, and I really like it and think it’s great quality! I sized up for a boyfriend look, but I do think I should have stuck with my regular size. The dress was a little too big on me, but with a jacket it wasn’t noticeable. When traveling I always like to wear a jacket, since the airplane is usually cold.

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This dress is such a good staple piece. I can see myself pairing it with a long cardigan and boots for fall, and I can also see me adding a fitted leather jacket for a dressier look.

Dress: 337 BRAND Jacket: J. Crew Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer, Similar, Similar Sunglasses: ilymix use code: Lifeofa20 for 20% off of your purchase Shoes: Tory Burch, Similar, Similar Purse: Michael Kors, Similar, Similar Rolling Suitcase: London Fog Pink Duffle Bag: Jon Hart

In Collaboration with 337 Brand

Popping Champagne For Some Exciting News

 

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Happy Friday, y’all!

I took a little break and I didn’t do a blog post on Wednesday since I was so overwhelmed and unorganized from being out of town over the weekend. Sometimes taking a step back is much needed.

I am back and have a special announcement…last week I received an email that I have been accepted into Reward Style’s LiketoKnow.it program! When I started a blog, being accepted into Reward Style was my #1 goal. I always wanted to be part of this program, but never thought it was something I could achieve. I remember right when I started  posting outfit pictures on Instagram, my sister-in-law asked me when I was going to get on LiketoKnow.it. I told her it would be a while, if ever. Hard work pays off!

If you don’t know about this program, it is a big deal to be accepted this early on. Today is my 3rd full month of blogging. It literally took a whole month to find out, but I am so excited! Huge bloggers/influencers like Katey McFarlan and Emily Gemma are part of the program, so I was literally shaking when I read the acceptance email. I feel like a legit blogger now!

What is LiketoKnow.it?

LiketoKnow.it is a service that allows you to shop products you see in your Instagram feed. Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links to products, so when you see a product or outfit you like, you can’t just click over to the product directly from the Instagram post. With LiketoKnow.it,  you can just “like” the post as usual and get an email sent to you with product links.

How to sign up

1. Register your email at LiketoKnow.it.

2. Like Instagram posts that mention LiketoKnow.it.

3. Once you sign up, you will automatically receive an email with ready-to-shop product links for photos you like on Instagram.

Now that the news is out, I also wanted to share one of my favorite outfits that I recently wore recently. I thought the champagne picture was very fitting.

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I received this jacket from Coalition LA and LOVE it! It is the perfect thing to throw on during a cold spring day and I know it will be perfect for fall/winter. For reference, I am wearing an XS and it fits like a glove. The cool thing about this brand is that the products are vegan.

The jacket really gives this chiffon tulip skirt a little edge. I think the striped shirt and the black and nude shoes really tied the skirt and jacket together. I wanted to dress this look up, so I wore a statement necklace and studded pumps.

Cheers!

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Jacket: Coalition L.A. Top: Old, Similar Skirt: Target Shoes: Dillards, Similar Bag: Kate Spade, Similar Necklace: Target

In collaboration with Coalition L.A.