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Blog

A fashion blog about weekend style

 

Filtering by Tag: Picnic

The Cottager

Jessica Wagner

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Seventies Vintage

I pulled this vintage beauty out of my parents attic. Maybe it's the old soul in me, but I've always been drawn to clothing that tells a story. Dreamy pieces in creamy white, like this natural frock, speak to my sensitive nature. I love the lived-in feel from another time and place.

My sisters and I used to have a big wooden box of dress up clothes and this 1970s dress was one of our favorites. Back then it would fall three feet too long, dragging across the floor, and take us to an imaginary world of royal tea parties and secret gardens -- or dark alleyway dealings as British spies in disguise.  

Fast forward to today, it's the perfect fit for picking wild flowers on a rosé picnic at the cottage. I love the soft worn-in linen feel of the dress. The tag actually reads "The Cottager for the Junior." I couldn't find much about the brand, but it breaths like a warm summer night. The empire waist and detailed buttons up the back add a charming vibe that makes it stand out from today's fashions. 

I believe a good vintage dress has the ability to transport you... the more ethereal the better. I have a soft spot for our weekend escapes to our family cottage. Our happy place. <3 Life slows down and we usually just enjoy eachothers company or get lost in nature. Fishing on the lake, walks on the beach, running through wild flower fields or picking berries from the local farm.  I've been coming up to the lake since I was born. t's a place that holds childhood memories and peaceful nostalgia. BBQs, late nights around fires. Sunning like little sand crabs on Papa's dock. Canoe rides and getting pushed on the swing {or into the pond!} The sound of crickets and the hum of nature. A place for wild strawberries and wild freedom.

We discovered this quarry down an old dirt path, and this dress just felt right for whispered dreams and special moments. Earth-goddess hair, bare feet and free flowing fabrics where staples of the seventies. In full hippie-chic mode I added a few Queen Anne's Lace to my braid for added effect. {Interesting fact: Queen Anne’s Lace is in actuality, a wild carrot!}

When looking to add vintage clothing  to your wardrobe, don't be afraid to shop around in antique shops, or your own auntie or grandmothers dresser drawers. Hats, baskets and scarves are a few accessories I usually walk away with for a steal! 

When it comes to making a decision on to buy or not I like to try and envision wearing it in a countryside flower field, full of eyelet lace, and creamy shades of dancing white. Little stone cottages and over-grown ivy. Lost dirt roads and hidden wishing wells. If the dress fits the scene - (and fits!) or can be easily altered, into the bag it goes! Always check for stains, holes, and missing pieces. 

Long maxi dresses or even midi styles will serve as versatile summertime wear and will evoke an "imperfect" elegance. Shabby chic at it's best, out in the open sky among the singing reeds. Unabashedly feminine, and whimsical. 

If you are also enchanted by history and vintage style, where are you favorite places to find  additions to your wardrobe? I would love to hear in the comments below! 

Outfit Details:
Dress: Vintage The Cottager For The Junior  Shoes: Vintage Huaraches - House of Dow Picnic Basket: Vintage Hat: My grandmother's <3 Lips: Le Marc Lip Crème Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 

You’re Invited

Jessica Wagner

Party Planning: Summer Soirée with Paperless Post

One cannot have too large a party
— Jane Austen

Summer is in full swing – and that means lots of seasonal celebrations! In my ideal world ever day would be a party. Since fancy cocktail and dinner parties don’t happen every night at our house, when it comes time to prep for a special occasion I tend to go all out – down to the smallest details. Big groups, or the more intimate affairs, I want every aspect to feel authentic and have an organic excitement to it!

Planning a summer soirée? How do you prep for celebrations?  I have multiple up-and-coming events that I am hostess for. I thought it would be fun to share how I scheme up ideas for our get-togethers, big and small.

First thing first – my end goal is always for everyone to have FUN and keep it EASY! (Followed by deciding what to wear!) I have literally planned whole parities around an outfit – haha. A theme doesn’t have to be obvious – for example, when planning our wedding (coming up on our 7 year anniversary whaaaaat!) I used “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” as my subtle inspiration. I also love a simple floral motif or color scheme (for my daughters 1st birthday we did gold and shades of pink.) One of my favorite parties was a 1920s dinner party we threw for one of my 20-year birthdays. It’s amazing how having a vibe can make a bash feel cohesive and thoughtful. Although mine usually turn into some sort of “champagne campaign” lol. Mimosa bars just work --and add an easy bit of effervescent liveliness.

I've had this whole *spiked lemonade* party planned out in my mind, and keep buying things for it – (AKA anything with a lemon on it – have you seen this post?) When life gives you lemons….  you share them with your friends! (In the form of spiked lemonade that is.) File this under charming and whimsical outdoor entertaining. Always looking for an excuse to share a cocktail with good company! Anyways, I guess all I need to do it set a date?

Once you decide to throw a party there are so many factors to consider – like how many people can I cram into our house? Or should I reserve a spot at the bar – hopefully one that’s not too loud/crowded. Or can I schedule enough time before hand to clean and provide nosh? Should we have a sit down dinner or keep it cocktail friendly? A daytime soiree? (Sit home alone with a bottle of wine and have a party of one?)

When it’s time for a seasonal entertaining I’m all about creating an atmosphere – it’s so important to set the mood.

Here are a few tips and ideas on making your next outdoor soirée one to remember.


PARTY PREP:

Once you decide to have a party, birthday, special occasion, or low-key get-together, you need an invite list. I am not a numbers girl, but for parties having a head count is numero uno. Once you have a number in mind you can set a budget and plan food, drinks, location.

INVITES:

An invite that is customized can tell your party-goers everything they need to know – what to wear and what to expect. Food? Drinks? Dancing? Entertainment?

When it comes to inviting your guests, do you use paper invites or do you prefer to use apps or online invitations?

Sure, sometimes a text or a Facebook group suffice, but what about when you want to make more of an impact? I personally love receiving tangible mail, and will proudly display it on our fireplace mantel, but to be honest, when you are the sendee it can get expensive quick! If you want to elevate your party-goers experience through presentation, another option is to use Paperless Post. They have an endless supply of beautiful, simple card designs that will make your shin-dig talk of the town. (I love this one, this one, and this one!)

Paperless Post reached out to me, and I am infatuated with their gorgeous prints! Since exploring their site, I am convinced digital invites are the way to go! For one, it’s a HUGE money and time saver! I know you are all looking for ways to save time and money. Plus, it’s a great way to go green, which is always a smart move. I lean sentimental, but I think a lot people toss out cards after giving them a quick glace.

Digital invitations/cards are a relatively new idea, but more and more people have started to use them for weddings, baby showers, bachelorette parties, birthdays, holidays, and other occasions. Here are a few favorites from their site!

Here’s the run-down. Paperless Post carries multiple high-end designers, such as Kate Spade, Rifle Paper Co. (one of my all-time favorites! Have you seen this dress post?) Charlotte Olympia, Liberty Fabrics, Kelly Wearstler, Sugar Paper LA (I love their wrapping paper seen in this post.) I love when fashion and print worlds collided, as it usually equals creative clever charm.

Let your imagination run wild– you can custom create your invite or greeting card to say whatever you want, without having to design the actual graphic or print. (Which is not my strong suit. I’m much better at mixing colors and patterns.) Their layout tools are really easy to use too!

So how does it work?

First, you pick your invite (and good luck narrowing it down – sooo many darling options!) Some digital styles come at a cost, and some are free. 

Next, you can customize your font, the envelope liner, and response card. There is a “preview” option for each design, so you can see what your guests will experience as they unveil their digital mail.

What an awesome and practical option for weddings, kids birthday parties, cocktail parties or even a surprise party! They also have amazing greeting cards, stationary, and thank you notes!

SET UP:

This part makes me giddy with excitement! I love to decorate, and add little touches to make the fest just that – festive! Fun paper straws, flowers, a custom drink of the night, music. Gather all your supplies as you plan ahead and keep them in a bin, so when the time comes all you need to do is grab your scissors and tape!

(Make sure you have scissors on hand. Multiple pairs. I always find when decorating or prepping someone is always asking for the scissors!)

PHOTOS:

If you are like me, you like to capture a few shots of your pretty little details and set up before your guests arrive! It’s fun to show off your creative handy work and maybe inspire someone else along the way.

I love my Instax Mini 8 for adding nostalgia to the night and giving guests a little take-away in the polaroid form. Nothing notes a memory a like photograph.

FOOD:

For a light picnic, BBQ or clam bake, take into account your gusts food preferences, allergies, and dietary needs. Make sure to provide a mix of options. Fruit, veggies and a main dish. I love a  decadent dessert spread and if someone offers to bring something take them up on it!

MUSIC:

Music will set the mood. (No, I don’t know how to play the ukulele. I took a guitar class in college and got a B. Like one of the only Bs I got in school. So I’m more of an air guitarist typically, but my sister plays the uke and taught me how to hold it so I look cool.)

Make a playlist, or I love to put on some Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday or a Lumineers channel on Spotify. At home we use the record player and mix it up. Keep it light, and as the night goes on play somehting that will make your guests want to sing along or maybe have a triwl. I have a bunch of friends who do know how to strum a guitar, so tell them to bring it along!

DRINKS:

Make sure to supply options for the non-drinkers, but hopefully most are down for some "spiked lemonade in the glade," "rosé on the roof," or whatever else you want to throw out there as a party drink theme!

I love to make fruit and flower ice cubes too! So easy to plop a little berry, mint leaf, gummy bear, or rosebud into the tray and freeze! (It’s also something you can do ahead of time!)

***Don’t forget to actually spike that lemonade and garnish with a flower. (Pretty sure someone I know made accidental virgin jell-o shots once!!)

HOSTING:

As the hostess it is your job to serve your guests. Make them drinks, do introductions. You are the connector. Be gracious and offer to take purses/coats. Show them where the food and restrooms are. (Usually my first two stops at an event.)

FOWERS:

Bring blossoms to your host when you attend a soirée, and use them to decorate when you are hosting the soirée!

They don’t need to be excessive or over-the-top, but a few sprigs can really add a bit of whimsy and color. Babies breath and white daisies go with everything. (Or grab a few wild flowers!)

ATMOSPHERE/ COMFORT:

Take into account the weather. Make sure your gusts are comfortable. Provide fans, if it’s a hot day (this shoot was soooo humid!), seating, mood lighting, have some sort of entertainment planned. We usually end up playing games aka Cards Against Humanity and sometimes Rob will set up a DIY photo booth.

(Or you can always provide live ukelele entertainment, lemon juggling, poetry reading, and flower picking.)

OUTFIT:

Pluck a flower in your hair and be done! Add a hat, shades and a jumpsuit covered in fruit – haha ok I get not everyone is going to wear what they are serving at the party, but as hostess I say let yourself shine!

Go out and get a special dress or if that’s not your thing, put on your favorite laid-back tee. Your guests want to see that you are relaxed and comfortable, you really set a lot of the feel for the night. If you are running around frantic your guest are going to pick up on it.

Most importantly, have FUN! Otherwise – what’s the point?! When it comes to hosting a special night, just know the juice is worth the squeeze my friends!

A special thank you to Paperless Post for collaborating on this post!


I‘m going to end with a poem I wrote back in college: (My love of written word and citrine fruits is long standing. Weird fact: as a kid I would eat lemon slices - like whole.)


Lemonade

Sweet and sour

Next to you

My rush hour

Let me be

Wild flower

You dispense

I’ll devour

Squeeze tight

Electric power

Pucker up

Citrus shower


Outfit Details:
Jumpsuit: Anthropologie Lemon Grove Strapless Sunglasses: Anthropologie Sky Bag: Free People Miklos Marrakech Straw Basket Lips: Anthropologie Albeit Geranium Shoes: Old, (also love these here)

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Model Mother Muse

Jessica Wagner

A fabulous muse is the best accessory
 

When it comes to fashion, we are surrounded by all types of influences. Models in the glossies, stars in moving pictures, our closest friends and ever-present social media to cite a few.

When I was younger, I lived for the day Teen Vogue magazine arrived. I wanted to be a carbon copy of the Olsen twins (and… still do, what’s up Olsen’s?) If my bestie bought a “Saved by the Bell” tee-shirt, you know who had the same one the very next day. But the role model in my life for what it means to be a woman was my mama.

Growing up, people would look at my sisters and I, and debate if we looked more like our mom or dad.  Let me just say, dad rocked a thick black mustache for most of my childhood... I can remember swelling with pride when anyone compared me to mom. To me, she was (and still is) all things beautiful, selfless, and strong.

There are many ways mum’s influence who we are and one of them is the way we dress. From sewing and making clothes, to dressing us when we are too little to chose for ourselves. A mother shapes her children’s lives, and is a girl’s first example of how to dress and act.

I can remember sitting on her bed, watching her put on make-up, getting ready every morning, looking on in awe. She was beautiful. She smelled like a garden. I was enchanted. She possessed something I wanted to have someday. Poised and graceful. It was like watching her transform into a masterpiece. A walking work of art. Daddy always showered her in compliments. Her eyes sparkled. Her skirt twirled. I wanted to be just like her. I had an endless amount of adoration for my mom, and took to imitating her every move.

Mom was always fashionable, but what made her different was how she wore an air of elegance. I recall every family outing, us kids sitting in the car in the driveway waiting for mom. A combination of our impatient dad, honking the horn, (such a guy) and my mom, who would emerged in a poof of perfume, rolling her eyes. Lipstick on point. Hair perfectly coiffed. Looking breezy and effortless. She always stunned, even in blue jeans and a tee-shirt. Pictures from her growing up reveal a long brown haired freckled beauty. A total 70s hippie knockout. She was tall, lean and always wore a sun-kissed glow. Then she pulled off looks from those crazy 80s like it was nothing. Big hair. Neon. No problem. Photographs from our childhood show her looking picture perfect. There’s a home video from when I was born of her, absolutely glowing and powdering her nose. She was so ladylike! Even after just giving birth! Even on early holiday mornings, there she was, bright faced, striking green eyes, looking demure and like us girls, all in matching pajamas (sometime dad too.) And then all of us coordinating for the day, mom taking the time to do each of our hair in braids or curls, with stick-on earrings, so we could be like her.

I would describe my mom’s overall look a mix of bohemian, feminine, with a western edge. Turquoise jewelry, is what comes to mind. Pretty printed scarves and cool belts with funky buckles. Lots of ankles boots. (My vintage bandana collection was passed down from her.) On a night out mom would turn into a Hollywood starlet. I can remember parading around and trying on her things from the jewelry box and her on her way to a party, coming into my bedroom to kiss me goodnight, a waft of her scent and a swish of the perfect matching dress.

My mom and grandmothers taught me fashion is 50/50. Part what you wear, part how you wear it. Mom always looked and acted comfortable in her own skin. More than any style or look, my take-away from studying the matriarchs of my family from a young age, was wear what makes you feel good. You can make a brown sack look good if you combine it with confidence, a smile, and a great pair of shoes.

My mom never said you have to wear this or act this way. She let my sisters and I chose for ourselves. I think that’s a big reason I enjoy fashion so much, and experimenting with style. Fashion isn’t about one identity. I believe personal style is an evolution, but it’s the primary women in my life who helped shape my perception as being worthwhile and beautiful. Confidence takes time to build. Grace is not a given.

Beauty, selflessness, and strength are characteristics you can read about in a magazine or watch in a movie, but to truly emulate grace and style it helps to be brought up among it. These are the kind of women I want to be. Hats off to you mama! Here’s to big sunhats, pretty white dresses and to our moms.

 Mama

My Paternal Grandmother

 My Maternal Grandmother

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all you pretty mama’s out there!!

Outfit Details:
Dress: Urban Outfitters, Alice & UO Antoinette Poplin Midi (sold out, also love this one and this one) Hat: Anthropologie Midship Sun Hat Shoes: Zara Leather Mule Shoe Picnic Basket: Target Sunglasses: Ray-Ban (old, similar here) Watch: Guess (old, also love this one) Lips: MAC Ruby Woo Nails: Essie Ole Calienete