Knits and Neutrals

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” –Albert Camus

It has certainly felt like a second spring the last few days! We’ve had some beautiful sunny weather here in Portland, though it’s been crisp and cold. I’m grateful for the vibrant trees of yellow, orange, and red, though many of the leaves already cover the ground.

Today, I’m sharing two of my favorite things about cold-weather fashion: knits and neutrals. I have a slight obsession with cozy sweaters and classic peacoats, but I truly wear them nonstop during the fall and winter months so I feel like they are pieces worth investing in. In Oregon we wear coats for well over half the year, so I try to choose ones that are functional and fashionable.

Coat: Calvin Klein Sweater: TJ Maxx (similar styles here and here) Black Jeans: 7 for All Mankind Boots: Blondo Waterproof Purse: Chanel Medallion Tote (similar quilted styles here and here) Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

This Calvin Klein camel coat is a recent purchase from Amazon. I love its classic silhouette and the super soft cashmere-blend. It’s something I know I’ll be able to wear with a variety of outfits for years to come.

My gray wool sweater is from TJ Maxx and is so cozy and warm for these crisp fall days. This outfit would also be a great option for Thanksgiving because this sweater is more loose fitting–perfect for that extra slice of turkey or pumpkin pie!

My ankle boots are from Blondo Waterproof, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is one of my all-time favorite shoe brands. This pair has a comfortable block heel, which makes it possible for me to wear to work, even if I’ll be on my feet a lot that day.

On a different note, I’m very excited to announce that I’m now a part of RewardStyle, and you can easily shop my looks directly through their LIKEtoKNOW.it app! RewardStyle is such a great way for brands and bloggers to connect with their followers; it makes it so easy to purchase items and looks that you love! Simply download the LIKEtoKNOW.it app for free in the App Store and search for Shakespeare Loves Chanel (or click here!).

I’ll be sharing more Thanksgiving style ideas in the next post and some holiday gift ideas as we quickly approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! ❤️

Mix and Match: Fall Edition

Something I’ve really enjoyed sharing here on the blog is how to style the same item multiple ways–aka, how to mix and match! When I’m buying a piece of clothing, I always ask myself two questions: “What do I already own that this can be worn with? And can I wear it for work and play?” My go-to items are the ones that can be dressed up or down and can be styled for a variety of situations.

This faux suede vest from Bebe is honestly one of my fall wardrobe favorites because of its versatility. The olive color is perfect for the fall season, and the soft texture gives it a luxe feel. It’s also ideal for the transitional fall weather, when some days are sunny and others are chilly.

Vest: Bebe (similar silhouettes here, here, here) Top: Lush (similar) Jeans: Topshop Suede Boots: Sam Edelman (similar) Purse: Prada (similar here)

When I want to keep an outfit simple and chic, I accomplish that by pairing the statement piece with neutral items. In this case, I wore all black so that way the vest stands out more prominently. I could easily wear this look on a casual work day or while out-and-about on the weekend.

Striped Dress: One Clothing (similar here and here) Bag: Chanel Classic Flap (similar quilted styles here and here) Peep-Toe Boots: Qupid (similar)

I styled this vest in a previous post with the striped dress above. Earlier in the fall when those two photos were taken, an outfit like this would be perfect. For the Pacific Northwest weather, I would definitely need to wear a dress with tights by this time of year.

When I’m styling a long vest with a dress, I like the dress to be a bit shorter than the vest. Proportions are definitely something to be mindful of when layering.

Striped Top: Remy (similar here and here) Belt: Gucci Pointy-Toe Boots: Blondo Beanie: Kyi Kyi

Last but certainly not least, this third look is perfect for those crisp fall days!

I love it with this classic striped shirt, my favorite Topshop skinny jeans, and pointy-toed ankle boots from Blondo. I added two accessories to this look: the Gucci belt to accentuate the waist and the Kyi Kyi faux fur beanie for a little extra warmth. I adore the oversized pom-poms that Kyi Kyi does on their beanies!

I hope this gave you some inspiration for mixing and matching your own wardrobe. Which way do you think that I styled the vest the best? (Hey, that rhymes! 😉) Let me know your favorite in the comments below!

Have a wonderful week! Thank you for stopping by ❤️

Hey, Pumpkin

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery

October is one of my favorite months of the year, and it’s not just because it’s officially pumpkin season. I do, of course, enjoy knit sweaters and colorful fall foliage, but I absolutely love scary movies and dressing up for Halloween! I’ll be starting this post off with a recent trip to a local Portland pumpkin patch and cozy fall attire. I’ll also be sharing some couples’ costumes inspiration, featuring some of my faves that my husband and I have worn over the years. Last but not least, I’ll be listing my picks for horror movies and spooky TV series.

Plumper Pumpkin Patch

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Last week my bestie, her husband, and I drove out to Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm. It was sunny and about 70 degrees–we couldn’t have asked for more idyllic fall weather!

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Scarf: Kitson (similar here and here) Sweater: TJ Maxx (similar here and hereJeans: Topshop Boots: Blondo Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

We wandered through the pumpkin patch and apple orchard, and I was so glad I wore a trusty pair of Blondo boots. These are the Elvina booties, and, even with the stylish pointy-toe, they’re still super comfortable.

This is one of my favorite fall scarves–I love the red, gray, and cream-colored tones, which contrasts so well with a simple, off-white sweater. My scarf is several years old and was a purchase from Kitson (which is no longer in business), and my sweater is from TJ Maxx. I’ve linked several similar scarves and sweaters above. As much as I enjoy neutrals in my day-to-day life, I especially love red and orange tones in the fall. Scarves are a great way to add a fun accent to an otherwise neutral outfit.

My high-waisted black jeans are the Jamie style by Topshop. I’ve featured these in previous posts because I seriously wear them all the time! They are super flattering and have the perfect amount of stretch–which is ideal when you’re doing something a bit more active, such as searching for that perfect pumpkin! 🎃

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How adorable are the pastel colors of that sweet little farmhouse?!

Halloween Couples’ Costume Inspiration

From Gatsby to Cleopatra, my husband and I have drawn inspiration from history and pop culture for our Halloween costumes. What was great about our Gatsby-era costumes shown above was almost every item was something we already owned in our closet! The black fedora Mark is wearing we borrowed from my brother, and the feathered headband I ordered from Amazon.

Phantom of the Opera is one of our favorite musicals (we saw it in London last year!), so getting to dress up as the Phantom and Christine was a real treat. My off-the-shoulder lace dress I already owned (I love re-purposing items from my closet and using them for costumes!). Our masquerade-style masks and my husband’s cape were all purchased at a very reasonable price from Amazon (seriously, Amazon is one of the best places to find costume accessories or ready-to-wear costume sets!).

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Last year I dressed up as the Egyptian queen Cleopatra and my husband was the Roman general Mark Antony. I enjoyed practicing the elaborate eyeliner in the weeks leading up to Halloween (Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra makeup was a big inspiration). My headpiece and necklace were awesome Amazon finds, which I wore with a high-neck maxi dress that I already owned. We purchased the Roman costume from Amazon as well, which is still available for purchase.

Sometimes just a few new accessories or costume jewelry can turn an item you already own into the perfect Halloween costume!

Scary Movies and TV Series

Something I have been a fan of since the very beginning is American Horror Story. This groundbreaking anthology series has a different theme every season, though most of the actors return from year to year to play new characters (or, sometimes to reprise the role of a character from a previous season). Though I miss the seasons with the incredible Jessica Lange, actors like Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters have such range and talent that they bring something new and exciting to each and every season.

This show is not for the faint of heart or for those easily spooked; also, it is quite violent at times, along with some graphic sex scenes and nudity. However, it does such an amazing job of weaving together myths, legends, and folklore with the creepy and the supernatural, and every season it never fails to surprise me in some way.

A new Netflix series I just started watching is The Haunting of Hill House. I’m halfway through and am really enjoying it. The first couple episodes were a bit slow in my opinion, but once I got to know each of the main characters I was definitely hooked. So far each episode focuses on one of the five siblings and jumps around in time between the past and the present. Gradually, a picture is emerging of the terrible event that occurred when they were kids, and the way it shaped all their lives.

In a way it’s a family drama, but so far what I find most interesting is the way it makes you question the characters’ realities. Are they truly haunted by ghosts or evil spirits? Or is it something else?

And if you’re not in the mood to invest in a TV series, here are a few of my horror film picks from the last several years: SinisterLights OutDon’t BreatheGet OutIt (the recent one, not the original), Annabelle (I like all the movies from The Conjuring universe). My husband and I watched Hereditary awhile back, and I’ll add it to this list just because it was so very strange and haunting (seriously, I couldn’t get certain images out of my head for days).

I would also add the films Split and A Quiet Place to this list, though some might argue they’re more of the thriller genre than true horror movies. A Quiet Place was particularly memorable–the premise was so intriguing, and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt had phenomenal performances. There are few words spoken aloud throughout the entire film, which further contributes to the film’s eerie tale.

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As much as I love scary movies, I’ve had so much fun soaking up the beautiful weather we’ve been having the last few weeks. Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm was such a cute spot to visit, and it had tons of activities for kids and families as well (if you’re local, check them out!). Unlike some of the Portland-area pumpkin patches, they’re open daily from the last week of September through Halloween from 9:00am to 5:30pm. I really enjoyed spending the afternoon there and marveling at these gorgeous views of the Willamette Valley. I also want to thank my BFF for being my photographer for the day!

Are you dressing up for Halloween? Do you have a favorite scary movie? What do you love most about this time of year? 🎃👻

Have a great week everyone!

Classic Vs. Trendy

“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” –Karl Lagerfeld

This famous quote by Chanel’s longtime creative director is something I think about when I see various trends floating around Pinterest and Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of current trends I’m 100% excited about (Jumpsuits? YES! Mules? Soooo cute and comfy! Leopard print? Eh not for me).

As I’ve gotten older and have come into my own personal style, I’ve realized that just because something is trendy or cool right now doesn’t mean I have to jump on that particular bandwagon. It also means I can admire a trend on someone else without necessarily wanting to wear it myself.

Gray coat: Zara Scarf: Burberry (similar) Bag: Prada (similar styles also here and here) Over-the-Knee Boots: Blondo

It’s no secret that I love classic pieces that transition effortlessly from season to season and can go from work to play (seriously, this gray Zara coat is on repeat!). I like to mix in trends too, but the classics are timeless for a reason.

This gray wool coat is one of those chic, versatile items that goes from work to weekend with ease. It functions as a long blazer, but also as the perfect lightweight coat. Above, I paired it with a Burberry scarf that I’ve had for several years (it’s a classic investment piece that always elevates a look!).

My over-the-knee boots are from Blondo (and are currently on sale at Nordstrom!).

Below my gray coat is styled for a business casual workday. I paired it with a simple white tee, black ankle jeans, and pointed-toe booties. The silver layered necklace adds an elegant finishing touch.

White Tee: Soprano (similar here and here) Jeans: Hudson (similar) Pointed-Toe Booties: Franco Sarto (similar)

For me, it’s about balance: having classic wardrobe staples that always look chic and transition from year to year, but also indulging in fun trends that I enjoy.

What do you think? Are you Team Trendy or Team Classic? Or a bit of both?

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you for stopping by ❤️

Cozy Weekend

I kept my attire casual chic this weekend with a cozy cardigan and lace top. The soft cardi and elegant lace provided interesting contrasts in texture, while the cream color palette of both items coordinated well together.

Cardigan: Tahari (similar here and here) Lace Top: Love, Fire (exact style here in a variety of colors) Jeans: Topshop Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster Ankle Boots: Franco Sarto (similar)

These high-waist Jamie jeans by Topshop have been my go-to lately. They’re super comfortable, flattering, and can be dressed up or down with ease.

I know there’s that old rule that “you can’t wear white after Labor Day,” but I personally think that’s an outdated notion. It’s all in how you style it, and cozy layers really give this particular ensemble a fall vibe. I think these pointy-toed ankle booties by Franco Sarto add the perfect finishing touch, and white boots have been very on trend this year.

Instead of discussing a book or poem this post, I wanted to share some thoughts on the recent remake of A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, which was just released in theaters.

The various movie trailers had me extremely excited about the film (the music sounded amazing, and I’m a longtime fan of both Gaga and Cooper).

I’d also heard the film was rating well with critics. Experts are also already predicting that it will receive multiple Oscar nominations.

Thus, I went in Friday night with high expectations. And honestly? I was blown away. This was hands down my favorite film that I’ve seen this year, and here’s why:

  1. The on-screen chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. In so many films I feel like something falls a bit short between the main characters–either their romance feels too rushed or too forced, and I just don’t fully buy into it. In this case, however, there are so many small moments and little gestures between the pair that feels so real and authentic.
  2. The music was incredible. The duets with Gaga and Cooper were particularly emotional and pulled at the heartstrings. They were catchy without feeling cliched. I also loved the way certain songs are repeated throughout the film, and how they play such an important role in the story’s momentum and character development.
  3. It felt like an honest portrayal of alcoholism and battling with addiction. Bradley Cooper’s character is an alcoholic and drug addict, and the film shows so poignantly how it affects his own life and the lives of those close to him. A family member of mine has struggled with alcoholism for many years, and there were many scenes in the film that truly hit close to home.

I think that’s something that I’ve always loved about the power of storytelling. Whether or not we share anything in common with the plot or the setting, we see in the characters real human experiences and emotions–and those are the things that we can profoundly relate to.

Are you planning to see A Star Is Born? Or have you already seen it? Let me know in the comments below!

Hope you all have a wonderful week! ❤️

Falling for Fall

III. NATURE XXVIII. AUTUMN by Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry’s cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,

The field a scarlet gown.

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

I’ll put a trinket on.

I chose this short and sweet Dickinson poem to share this week because it honestly made me chuckle at how relevant it still is!

Dickinson writes of all these beautiful things she’s observing about autumn through the use of personification (giving objects human qualities or attributes). For example, the berry has “cheeks” which are “plumper,” and both the maple and field are wearing metaphorical clothes that exemplify the colors and feel of the fall season.

And–for fear of being “old-fashioned”–Dickinson decides to be like the festively attired foliage and add some sort of adornment (which she calls a “trinket”) to her look. We aren’t told what exactly that trinket might be, but taking inspiration from nature’s vibrant colors feels very familiar to me. A quick glance at my social media feeds this week, and one can see the rampant obsession with fall attire, the warm tones of the changing leaves, and pumpkin-spice flavored everything. I guess Ms. Dickinson was onto something. 😉

We’re quite lucky here in Oregon because our falls are beautiful. This week has been exceptionally so, with sunny blue skies contrasting the bright yellow and orange leaves that are my absolute favorite this time of year.

I also decided that it was the perfect opportunity to go back to brunette! The talented Nichole, who owns Sweet Pea Salon and Spa, took me back to a dark brown color very close to my natural one.

Dress: TJ Maxx (similar styles in neutral colors here and here) Scarf: BP (similar here and here) Boots: Blondo Purse: Prada (similar styles here and here) Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)

I love tall boots paired with dresses, and it’s a look that I think is perfect for breezy fall days. This charcoal-colored dress is a TJ Maxx find from awhile back, but I’ve linked some great basic dresses above. Of course black dresses are versatile staples for one’s wardrobe, but I also love gray, navy, and olive for other neutral options.

My knee-high boots are from Blondo, which is truly one of my favorite shoe companies. Their shoes are stylish, comfortable, and waterproof (SO practical and functional for the rainy Oregon climate!).

My exact BP scarf is unfortunately no longer available on Nordstrom’s website, but I’ve linked some great fall scarves above.

Have a wonderful weekend, loves! Thank you for stopping by!

Birthday Girl, Part 2

From classic Shakespearean theatre to the great outdoors, my husband planned the perfect birthday weekend getaway!

We road tripped down to southern Oregon, stopping once at the In-N-Out in Grants Pass. It’s the closest location to Portland–about 4 hours away–and one of only two locations in the whole state. I mean, if it’s on the way, you gotta stop! This girl loves her burgers.

I snapped a pic of this road sign because it had both our destinations on it: the historic hotel where we would be staying at, and of course, the Festival itself.

My grandparents used to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival almost every year for their wedding anniversary (I always say they’re where my love for classic lit came from!). They both passed away when I was in my teens, but they weren’t far from my mind this weekend when we saw Romeo and Juliet.

We watched the famous play of star-crossed lovers performed underneath the stars in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre. It’s an outdoor theatre, and, though it was a chilly evening, it was such a treat.

Peacoat: H&M (similar) Striped Top: Adrianna Papell (similar here and here) Black Jeans: Topshop Clutch: Saint Laurent Shoes: Franco Sarto (similar)

I wore a wool coat over a long-sleeved blouse, but I was admittedly still a bit cold. Many playgoers brought blankets with them, which was definitely a good idea this time of year (the evening temperatures were in the mid 50’s). The play’s start time was 8pm and was almost three hours long (including an intermission in the middle).

As for the play itself, I very much enjoyed the set design, the Elizabethan-style costumes that had a modern edge, and the high quality caliber of the actors (we weren’t permitted to take photos inside the theatre itself due to copyright laws). Juliet’s performance was especially memorable–the actress balanced the character’s youthful innocence and fierce passion extremely well. My husband thought Friar Lawrence provided the perfect dose of humor and wit to the tragic nature of the play.

I first read this play in high school in my freshman English class, when I was 14 and quite near Juliet’s own age of 13. Like a lot of teenage girls, I was a bit fanciful then–the whole notion of love at first sight seemed romantic, and the idea of a secret elopement felt exciting and forbidden.

Now I’m 27 and–needless to say–have a bit more life experience under my belt. I studied the play several times in college, but something that struck me this time around was the fact that Romeo and Juliet share only four scenes together–technically five if you count the death scene at the end; however, they don’t speak with each other because at first Juliet is still asleep, and then by the time she wakes up, Romeo has already killed himself. This is one of the most iconic plays in English literature, and the title characters barely interact with each other!

And yet, four scenes is all it takes. The eloquence of Shakespeare’s writing, the immensity of what’s at stake, and the timeless romanticism of forbidden young love all make it the great tragedy that it is.

Before the play, we had dinner at Larks, a cozy local restaurant adjacent to the Ashland Springs Hotel. I had one of their daily specials (the salmon was excellent!), and I was grateful my husband had made reservations weeks prior to our visit because it was such a busy spot.

We’d also made our hotel reservations at Ashland Springs about 5 months prior (Ashland is a small town and the hotel is so conveniently located to the Festival–barely two blocks away!).

The next day, we headed out on Crater Lake Highway to–you guessed it!–Crater Lake National Park. I’ve lived in Oregon all my life, and yet I’ve never visited this famous site.

It was formed by the explosion of Mt. Mazuma over 7,000 years ago. The crater was filled in with water over time, gradually becoming what is now the deepest lake in the United States.

Hat: Portland Gear Jacket: Levi’s (color is Concrete Indigo) Hoodie: J. Crew (similar) Leggings: Nike (similar) Sneakers: Nike (similar here and here) Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

No filter needed for the incredible blue water of Crater Lake! It’s famous for its vibrant blue hue, and the intense sapphire color truly didn’t disappoint.

I’m no expert, but I learned that the remarkable blue color has to do with the lake’s depth and water purity. Since the water is so clear, sunlight is able to penetrate deep into the water and most of the colors on the light spectrum (red, orange, etc.) are absorbed. But the blue and violet light rays are reflected to the lake’s surface, creating that amazing blue.

We had planned a short hike at Crater Lake, but my husband was just getting over a cold and I was just starting to come down with one, so unfortunately neither of us were up to it. Next time!

I do recommend checking the weather and visibility before making the trek to Crater Lake. We had friends who went earlier in the summer, and they couldn’t see anything because of the smoke caused by the wildfires in Oregon and California.

All in all, it was the perfect birthday weekend! Thank you to my sweet husband for planning such a lovely trip with so many of my favorite activities. ❤️ I’m hoping we can take another visit down to Ashland next summer for some more plays! Is there ever such a thing as too much Shakespeare? 😉

Have a wonderful weekend, loves! Thank you for stopping by!