Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rent the Runway Review

Head to Toe: Tank, Old Navy // Pants, BB Dakota // Platforms, Musse & Cloud

You may have noticed a larger array of new pieces on the blog lately. This is in large part thanks to my Rent the Runway unlimited subscription. Full disclosure: Although I am a Rent the Runway affiliate (meaning, if you click on a RTR link or ad on my blog and purchase something, I receive a percentage), I am not receiving any discount or promotion for my subscription but decided to take the plunge all on my own. I've been thrilled with my experience over the past month or so and wanted to share the details with you.

How it works: For a flat fee ($140 per month), you can borrow three items at a time and keep them for as long as you want. Then, return one, two or all of the pieces and order that many new ones. Dry cleaning and shipping is included.

Pros: I've had a blast trying lots of fun trends, like these wide-legged pants. Let's be honest, in a few seasons, these trendy slacks will probably look dated. So it's a great opportunity to try new styles without a permanent investment. As long as your closet is stocked with the basics, RTR has tons of cute tops, bottoms, dresses and jumpers to rotate into your wardrobe. I've noticed that with my subscription, I don't spend on clothes elsewhere, so it ends up being about the same (or sometimes less) than my Buffalo Exchange habit, and I get to go "shopping" all of the time. Plus, it makes dealing with New York City closet space—or lack thereof—a lot easier.

Cons: Unlike one-off RTR orders, unlimited doesn't give you a free back-up size. I have ordered a few things that were too big or too small and had to send them back, but the site has a lot of reviews and size/fit notes to help out. Besides one instance where a dress arrived without a hook-and-eye, everything has been in great condition. And, in that case, RTR was very apologetic, and I ordered a new item right away.

I haven't tried other services like Le Tote or The Ms. Collection, but I like the freedom to pick your own pieces RTR has in comparison. But if you're someone who doesn't have a ton of time to browse or simply wants more guidance, those may be better (and slightly cheaper) options. What are your thoughts on these types of services?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sport Authority

Head to Toe: Top, J.O.A. // Sneakers, Puma // Jeans, 3x1 // Backpack, GX by Gwen Stefani


We’re currently wrapping up the July issue of Footwear Plus (all about sneakers), so you’ll have to forgive me: Kicks are on the brain. Despite all of my research on the trend from a business perspective, I have to admit how much I’m obsessed with the style and comfort of sneakers. I used to be the queen of heels and wedges, but living in a walking city like New York, sneakers are just so much comfier and more convenient. Even if I do wear dressier shoes or booties, I keep a pair stashed in my desk to slip on for lunchtime errands. They’re an obvious match for skinny jeans, like in this outfit, but I also love a clean white pair with a dress. I wore my Pumas with an Alexis wrap dress for a trade show, and after logging nearly eight miles on my tracker, my feet were still in good shape. And I got a ton of compliments on my outfit! For a sportier look, I wore a colorful pair of Coolway knit sneakers with a gray t-shirt dress for work and errands. Either way, sneakers are a win in my book.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Weekend Jumpsuit

Head to Toe: Jumper, Josie Natori via Rent the Runway  // Sandals, Dr. Scholl's // Chambray, Marshall's // Bag, Nine West

It's funny how much you take the place you grow up for granted. I was in town visiting family and friends this weekend, and my dad took these outfit photos at the sea wall near their house. Looking at the photos, you would think I was on vacation! I forgot how much I missed it. And I will admit, the bright jumper adds to the getaway vibe. Another Rent the Runway score, people were stopping me on the street to ask where I got it! Not to mention, it's pajama comfortable. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, fashionistas! I am headed back to the city hustle and bustle...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Smooth Sailing

Head to Toe: Blouse, Marshall's // Jeans, thrifted // Sandals, Dr. Scholl's

Happy Friday, fashionistas! This look is a little more preppy than I usually go, but this blog is in fact called New England Romance, so I have to go the nautical route every now and then. I’ve been living in dresses, but a rainy/chilly Thursday called for long pants and a loose blouse. I’m also in love with these Dr. Scholl’s slides, which I’ve come to call my Carrie Bradshaw sandals. New England meets New York. How perfect? Enjoy your weekends and kiss your papas, friends!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Photo Diary: Punta Cana

Dress, American Apparel via Buffalo Exchange
Top, Yandy // Bottoms, American Apparel
Sean and I just got home from what was truly a wonderful vacation in paradise. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stress that sometimes all you need is a few days away to unwind. We stayed at the Catalonia Royal Bravaro resort in the Dominican Republic and absolutely loved it. Mornings on the beach, afternoons in the pool, evenings on the patio—I didn't want to leave! But, I have to admit, it does feel nice to be back home...until the next getaway, that is.
Parrots Lola and Antonio // Bikini, Yandy
Dress, Matison Stone via Rent the Runway // Heels, Chinese Laundry
Custom-made tunic by my mom. She is one talented lady!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Punta Cana Packing

Hola, fashionistas! This week, Sean and I are taking a much-needed vacation to the Dominican Republic. Our plans involve a lot of beach time, poolside relaxing, tropical drinks and not much else. While some people dread packing, it's one of my favorite pastimes. What better way to get excited for a getaway than to plan what you'll be wearing when you get there? I'm sharing my suitcase essentials and strategies for packing efficiently.
Most airlines these days charge to check a bag, even internationally, so I always try to fit everything in my carry on. Especially for a summer trip where clothes are light, it can be done. The secret is to plan outfits ahead of time instead of just tossing in a bunch of tanks/shorts, etc. Since they are the tiniest items, I packed a bunch of bikinis (like the Yandy ones above). Light cover ups (my mom made this orange tunic!) are also easy to stock up on. Think several basics and lots of tiny extras, like bandeaus, scarves and jewelry.
Yes, you can bring your sun hat! I layered a few of my bulkier things at the bottom of my suitcase then put my hat in upside down. I slid lighter items under the sides and stuffed the center with bathing suits so the hat will keep its shape. Another handy trick: Stuff socks into shoes/sandals. It doubles up on space, and they won't get crushed trying to squish them in. 
I don't pack light when it comes to product but load up on sample-size items. (All of this easily fit into the gallon ziplock required for airlines.) I subscribe to Birch Box, so I always try to stockpile some sunscreens, foundations and face moisturizers for an upcoming trip. And the sample-size beach sprays and leave-in conditioners are a godsend. If you don't subscribe to a sample service, don't underestimate the drug store's travel aisle. They have a ton of sample-size products as well as small containers you can pour your favorite products into. The hotel will have shampoo and conditioner, but I always pack body wash to avoid using itchy bar soap. 
For my "purse" carry-on, I always put a small bag into a larger tote. That way, the tote can double as a beach bag, and the smaller clutch or cross-body works for nights out or day trips.
For a beach vacation, I usually only bring one strapless or convertible bra. Bikini tops can double as great layering pieces! Light sundresses don't take up much space and are easy to lay on top right before you zip. Good to go!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Blue Skies

Head to Toe: Dress, Tibi  via Rent the Runway // Sandals, Musse & Cloud

When I first tried on this Tibi dress, I wasn't so sure about the baggy fit. Convinced by the sweet powder blue and shoulder cutouts, I wore it to work for a day of meetings with an evening event. And as it turns out, I got a ton of compliments on it. The clincher, I think, were these sky-high platforms (borderline stilts) for added height to balance out the extra fabric on my petite frame. And it's also comforting to know that if I ever had to jump out of a building I could fasten it into a parachute. Just kidding—I used that joke during a cocktail event and it went over equally as awkwardly. Happy Monday, fashionistas!