Berries, Stripes and Connections

I am counting down the days to my one year anniversary of blogging.  In fact, LinkedIn is already serving up congratulations.  There are times that blogging feels isolating.  I am at the computer editing photos, holding myself to tough deadlines, spending (too much) time on social media.  Then there are moments where a comment or an email from a reader comes through and I feel a sense of connection.  I am so grateful for the community of bloggers, instagrammers and J. Crew fans.

Amy of @howtojcrew fame and I kept missing each other at J. Crew.  We had been following each other on Instagram for a while.  It seemed every time I was shopping she had just been there or was coming later.  Finally one day, we both reached out on Instagram and we met for coffee to “talk shop”.  Then one day we actually did bump into each other in the J. Crew dressing room at the Grove.  Both of us were trying on looks from this berry collection.

jcrew-thegrove-howtojcrew

 

So we decided to meet and swap photographer duty.  My “Instagram” husband was thrilled to be relieved of his duties for a few outfits.  We have taken photos twice together now and both times it rained, but we managed anyway.

We shot these berry looks in the mist.  I love that social media which can be isolating at times actually had a connecting power in real life (IRL).

jcrew berries stripes flatlay

My look:

J. Crew Berries Popover

J. Crew Piper Sunglasses

J. Crew Striped Clutch (similar here)

J. Crew Striped Gemma Flats (similar here)

AG Prima Jeans

Chanel Rouge Double Intensite Ultra Wear Lip Color in Sensual Rose

Amy’s look:

J. Crew Berries Sweater

J. Crew Matchstick Denim

J. Crew Flats (similar here)

Here’s to connecting and friendships.

Happy Shopping!

XO,

JAE

Antwerp Memories and Pink Cherries

Shoes can tell the story of your life.  They have walked with you through your experiences.  In my case, I often buy them on vacation and then remember the trip when I put them on.  The shoes in this outfit were purchased in 2005 in Antwerp, Belgium.

My friend and I had traveled to Brussels, Belgium for another friend’s wedding.  On the day of the wedding, we had enough time for a day trip. We were deciding between Bruges and Antwerp.  My friend is a fan of diamonds, so Antwerp it was.  We arrived after a short train ride and enjoyed the sights.  We stumbled upon a shoe store that had Prada driving shoes arranged in a circle in every color you can imagine.  They reminded me of the Cole Hahn loafers I craved in High School that came in a rainbow of colors.  I chose this hot pink and my friend chose a pretty beige suede.  We were both so excited with our selections. The dollar was favorable enough at the time that they were also a good value.

We each went to pay and my card was declined. The same thing had happened to me the summer before on another trip to Europe.  The fraud detection team was overly zealous and had shut me down.  This time I had called my credit card company to let them know ahead of time where I would be visiting. I was furious.  I decided it just was not meant to be.  My friend insisted on buying my shoes and I would pay her back. She simply would not take no for an answer.  Once I returned to the hotel in Brussles,  I called and got the credit card straightened out.

The shoes are still in great shape.   I still wear them eleven years later which is amazing considering they are driving shoes with out a full sole. Every time I wear them or see the box in my closet, I think of the kindness of my friend and that trip.

I styled them with a fun J. Crew top in a cherry print, my favorite pink  J. Crew sunglasses, dark denim and a pink cardigan.  Between the color, the cherries, and the memories of Antwerp,  I can’t help but feel cheery.  The shoes are long since sold out, but I’ve linked two fun hot pink styles below.

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J. Crew Shirt

J. Crew Featherweight Italian Cashmere Cardigan

J. Crew Jane Sunglasses in Pink

J. Crew  Jeans in Resin (similar here)

Prada Driving Shoes (circa 2005) similar here and here

Happy Shopping and Storytelling!

XO,

JAE