It’s been over a month since I’ve posted on my blog, and I’m having stage fright coming back to it. This is partly because I don’t know what to write about; partly because it’s been one of the hardest professional months of my life and I simply didn’t make time for writing; partly because I spend way too much time writing each post, pouring my heart and soul into the best way to wear eyeliner; partly because I haven’t really achieved what others have who started out blogging when I did – though I claimed I was doing it just for me, it’s been hard not to get caught up in the comparison game; and partly because I haven’t been practicing what I preach lately – not taking care of myself or putting my best foot forward. Ugh – the identity crisis continues!

So I’ll start my return out slow by posting a cute outfit. This isn’t just any outfit, though. It’s one of my go-to summer looks. This season for me is going to be all about ladylike style that is easy and on trend. You will see me in some pretty simple looks because that is where I am in my life. I don’t want to stick out for my wacky style. I don’t want to call unnecessary attention to myself. I don’t want to spend 40 minutes choosing a look that is slightly off-color so that I feel different. I don’t want to feel different right now. I do want to look put together and recognizably stylish, but that’s it.

Why? Because I am in transition – I’ve resigned from my job, we’ve moved to a new city (Atlanta), and I am working on what is next. Therefore, I am in need of simplicity, and I’ll reflect that in my style and the way I get dressed everyday. I’ve got too much to focus on at this time to be distracted by my outfit. And what better way to figure life out than therapy-by-clothing?! So here I am, wearing my heart on my sleeve – literally. 

This look is made up of a bunch of the basics I’ve bought this season and they’ll all be on repeat. My budget has been very small since I am leaving my job and need to be money-conscious, so most of my pieces are going to be from H&M and DSW, or the sale racks of Banana Republic and Ann Taylor. I know exactly what sizes fit me from these places, I know they will be on trend and I know the prices will always be affordable. Again – simple + sales = happy Belle. 

I bought this white eyelet skirt at Ann Taylor from the sale rack with an additional 40% off, and I’ll wear it at least twice a week over the three summer months. That’s TWO DOLLARS per wear!! I like that it isn’t too short and that it will add instant femininity to any top and belt combination. The belt is Banana Republic, which I got for $19 on the extra 40% off sales rack. The shoes match and I bought them at DSW from the clearance rack with a $20 off coupon, bringing them to $25 total. The top is H&M and was only $19.99. I bought it because I’ve been wanting to give in to the shoulder-exposure trend. But confession – it ripped right before our shoot in the armpit! No surprise there. It’s the price you pay (or don’t pay) for H&M. But I do love it enough that I’ll be returning it and buying another one (maybe in the next size up to try to avoid ripping it). And finally, the bag! I bought it during our time in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. These structured plastic woven bags were all over town, and I chose one in neutral colors so I could wear it with everything. I do love that it has a pop of color with its fringe and pom-poms.

And finally, let’s take a moment to look for levity. That’s right, this summer is all about simplicity, but it’s also gotta be about joy and smiles and gratitude AND LAUGHS! Look at the port-a-potty in the background – sometimes I forget to take my surroundings into account while trying to look fabulous. So I’m gonna laugh about it and keep reminding myself to keep it light each day. 

Stay tuned for more adventures in simplicity, growth and transition – we’re going to do this together, my friends. Thank you for reading!