Fall Fashion Favorites for Now and Later

“When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks; when great leaves fall, then winter is at hand…” –William Shakespeare

It’s been awhile since I shared a Shakespeare quote on here, but this one felt appropriate for today’s topic. Though it is very much still fall in the Pacific Northwest (a mix of crisp, sunny days and long stretches of rain), winter is on the horizon.

As such, I’m sharing five fall fashion favorites that you can wear now but also transition into the colder months ahead.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Note that if an exact item is no longer available for purchase online, then I link similar styles.

1. Camel Coat

Shop this look here.

First on this list is a classic camel coat. My Calvin Klein version is a soft wool blend that I purchased last year, and I’ve gotten so much use out of it. There’s a ton of options out there that vary in length, cut, and color–from light beige tones to warm shades of caramel.

I styled mine with a polka dot dress for my friend’s recent baby shower (shown above), which was perfect for the mild fall afternoon.

However, you can also effortlessly layer it with turtlenecks and knit sweaters for colder days (or even snow days!). It’s truly a chic, timeless staple that always elevates an outfit.

2. Wool Fedora

Shop this look here.

Wool or felt fedoras have been really popular the last few years, and I think they’re a fun accessory for fall and winter (a great option to keep your head warm if you don’t feel like wearing a beanie!).

Shop this look here.

I personally prefer the more structured, less floppy versions. I also like ones with less embellishments and in neutral tones, that way they’re more versatile.

3. Turtlenecks in Neutral Colors

Shop this look here.

I’m one of those people who’s almost always cold, so turtlenecks are a must-have during the fall and winter months! They’re the perfect layering piece, whether you’re going with a sleeveless turtleneck for temperate days or a long-sleeved wool blend for cold winter nights.

Shop this look here.

Turtlenecks in neutral tones are especially versatile for layering–that way you have countless ways to mix and match with your favorite coats and scarves!

4. Faux Suede Jacket

Shop this look here.

I’ve seen so many amazing faux suede jackets recently that feel soft and luxurious, but are at great price points. The faux suede trench pictured above I purchased a couple months ago at H&M, and the warm cinnamon color has been so perfect for fall.

Shop this look here.

I also love faux suede moto jackets (this one was a TJ Maxx find from last year, but I linked a ton of similar styles in a variety of colors). There’s something effortlessly cool about the moto style; it looks great with pants of course, but also works well with a dress or skirt.

5. Off-the-Shoulder Sweater

Shop this look here.

Last but certainly not least is the off-the-shoulder sweater. The exposed skin gives it a playful vibe, but also reminds me of elegant off-the-shoulder styles that ladies would wear in the 1800’s.

Both of these sweaters are from H&M; they’re actually the same sweater, just in different colors. 😉 Pro style tip: if I find an item I really like I often purchase it in more than one color!

This particular H&M sweater is super cozy, and because of the ribbed knit at the top, it’s very adjustable–it can be worn with just one shoulder showing or with both! It has a fall or winter feel, depending on what accessories you style it with.

What are your go-to items for fall and winter? Or are you still in search of that perfect camel coat or cozy sweater? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great week, 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!

Travel Series: London Town

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“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” –Samuel Johnson

London is definitely one of those cities I will visit as many times as I can in my life. From the lively theatre scene in the West End to the cultural significance of Westminster to the grand tradition of afternoon tea, the sights and sounds of this historic city captivated my heart. Being an English major and a lifelong fan of British lit, I was truly inspired.

Like last week’s travel post on Paris, this is not intended to be a comprehensive guide; instead I’ll be sharing specific insights, experiences, and things that I enjoyed. Also, in honor of the Royal Wedding this weekend, I will be sharing our visit to Windsor Castle, which is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married.

Theatre

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First of all, it had always been bucket list for me to see a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (pictured above). We saw Much Ado About Nothing and absolutely loved it (for more info on this play, check out my first blog post).

A bit of advice: I studied quite a bit of Shakespeare in college, whereas my husband, who majored in the sciences, hadn’t been exposed to any Shakespeare since high school. So in order to prepare for the play, we read it together before our trip and also watched the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation. Since Elizabethan English is quite different from modern English, I highly recommend doing this, unless you’re a Shakespeare expert or quite familiar with the play you’re going to see.

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We also saw Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre and Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Both musicals are longtime favorites of mine. I admit that I cried at the end of Les Mis, despite that I know the story and songs very well. And though I’d seen Phantom live in the US on four previous occasions, it was an entirely new experience to sit under the famous chandelier when it drops.

We would’ve loved to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well, and even though we tried to buy tickets months and months in advance, they are so hard to get! However, we did have a magical (pun intended!) Harry Potter experience at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

Harry Potter Studio Tour

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Growing up, I was a Harry Potter fanatic (hmmm where was my Hogwarts letter?). When each new installment was published, my parents would drive me at midnight to a nearby bookstore so I could be among the first to read the latest book (I would definitely be a Ravenclaw).

Anyway, visiting the gorgeous sets where the Harry Potter movies were filmed made me feel like I was ten years old again and seeing the movie for the very first time. They truly transport you to the Wizarding World and beautifully illustrate how the costumes, sets, and special effects make the magic come alive. Allow at least three hours here, especially because the line to get into the Great Hall, where the tour begins, can get quite long (even if you purchased tickets in advance like we did).

Pictured below is my husband staring up at the huge, intricate model of Hogwarts, which is what they used to film many of the panoramic shots of the castle.

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If you’re even a moderate fan of the Harry Potter universe, I still think you would enjoy this; if you’re like myself and are a Hermione-level expert of all things Harry Potter, then this is a must.

Westminster

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The area of Westminster includes the famous sites of Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey.

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In addition to watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, we were able to tour inside the State Rooms (no photos allowed inside, unfortunately). From late July through September you can purchase tickets for this tour. I’ve heard that the dates can vary slightly from year-to-year, based on the Queen’s summer travel plans (since it’s available to tour when she’s on holiday elsewhere). For more up-to-date info visit the Royal Collection Trust’s website.

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We purchased our Westminster Abbey tickets in advance and greatly enjoyed visiting this iconic church. When I was in college, Prince William and Kate Middleton were married there, and I remember staying up late to watch the beautiful ceremony and marvel at Kate’s stunning Alexander McQueen gown. I also very much enjoyed “Poet’s Corner,” where many renowned writers, poets, and playwrights have been buried or memorialized (Shakespeare, for example, has a monument there, though he was buried in his hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon).

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The telephone booths in this area are also ideal for photo-ops!

Shopping at Harrods and Afternoon Tea

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Simply put, Harrods is shopping heaven. The exterior particularly dazzles at nighttime and beckons one inside to the opulent grandeur. Their gift shop is also a great spot to bring home souvenirs for yourself and for loved ones.

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My husband and I had afternoon tea at The Georgian, an elegant restaurant inside Harrods. I’ve always been more of a tea drinker than coffee, so this was a special treat for me (also: Pink champagne! Tea sandwiches! Pastries! Yay!). We booked our tea time on their website several days prior so we could get the exact time we wanted.

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Windsor

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This 11th century castle feels like something out of a fairy tale, and is one of the Queen’s official residences. We visited first thing in the morning when it opens and really enjoyed wandering the beautiful grounds and touring the State Apartments.

This Saturday Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married at Windsor inside St. George’s Chapel. I will definitely be staying up late to watch it on TV, and I can’t wait to see her wedding gown!

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What to Pack

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Red Top: Pleione (similar here and here) Black Ponte Pants: Jolt (similar)  Striped Shirt: H&M (similar)  Lace Top: Rose and Olive (similar here and here)  Trench Coat: Ellen Tracy (similar here and here)  Bag: Longchamp Small Le Pliage Tote  Scarf: Burberry (similarUmbrella: Burberry (same style, but in red)  Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

As I’ve mentioned in my previous travel posts, staying within a neutral color palette is my personal preference for packing versatile outfits. Adding a dash of color helps mix things up (red and maroon tones always look great with black, white, and beige, as illustrated above).

The other way to add interest to an outfit is with textures and prints (lace and stripes are classics). For London, I brought both my Burberry scarf and umbrella, as the iconic print evokes timeless British style. Given their cloudy, damp climate, a water-resistant trench coat is vital.

P.S. Just wanted to mention that I had such a wonderful time viewing the rare books and manuscripts at the British Library Treasures (they have a copy of the Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s First Folio, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and many other historical texts). If you’re a bookworm like me, this was a real treat.

I didn’t discuss any of the London museums we’ve visited, but the British Museum and the National Gallery are especially stunning and overwhelming. If you enjoy history, give yourself as much time as you can at the British Museum in particular. It’s MASSIVE. Next time I would really like to spend longer there.

(The photo below was taken just a few blocks from the National Gallery. I couldn’t resist a picture with those beautiful flowers!)

Are you going to be tuning in to the Royal Wedding this weekend? Let me know in the comments! Hope you all have a great week!

Much Ado About Valentines

“I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is not that strange?”

It seems fitting to start my first post with a passage from Shakespeare–and, since it’s Valentine’s Day, for it to be about love. This is a famous line from his comedy Much Ado About Nothing and might at first glance seem an unconventional choice for today’s post, especially when the Bard wrote so very many tales about love. But I adore this play (saw it with my husband at the Globe Theatre in London last summer!), and here’s why: it’s filled with clever humor and classic Shakespearian mixups of mistaken identities. But it also has Benedick and Beatrice, the snarky yet lovable protagonists who go toe to toe in a battle of words and wit, and in the play’s opening scene they proudly proclaim they will never fall in love with anyone. So, naturally, by Act IV when Benedick utters the above line, they have fallen in love with each other. And perhaps that seems predictable–and perhaps it is–but I feel that this fiery duo falls for each other not merely because of their friends’ elaborate scheming, but because they finally recognize what is so apparent to the audience. For it is plain to see throughout their verbal sparring that they are an evenly matched pair–Beatrice is just as intelligent and clever as Benedick, and quite often she has the final say. In an era when a woman wasn’t often valued for such qualities and was merely defined by the man she married, it’s special that Benedick, a self-proclaimed lifelong bachelor, is the one to swallow his pride and admit his love for her first.

In sum, don’t be fooled by the comedic nature of this play: though it’s full of love schemes and silly mixups, at its core is a timeless story of two strong individuals recognizing their equal in another.

And now, onto my outfit of the day!

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Dress: Monteau (similar silhouettes here and here)  Coat: Trina Turk (similar color palette here)  Heels: Christian Louboutin (similar here)  Earrings: Chanel  Glasses: Chanel  Lip color: Birthday Suit by Tarte

In the Pacific Northwest, great outerwear is essential, so I’m a big fan of stylish and versatile coats. This Trina Turk wool coat has served me well the last few winters—the black and white pattern acts as a great neutral, while still providing some interesting texture. This red a-line dress by Monteau is super festive and was a fabulous TJ Maxx find (I’m constantly perusing their new arrivals in store and online!). And, of course, a girl can’t go wrong in a pair of black Louboutins. The exact ones I’m wearing are unfortunately sold out, but I have my eye on a patent pair with a similar toe shape and heel height, which I linked above.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you all get to spend it with your loved ones!

P.S. I highly recommend Kenneth Branagh’s charming film adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing–Emma Thompson plays a brilliant Beatrice opposite an always entertaining Branagh as Benedick.