Fall For Crop Kick

We're just two days out from the autumn equinox, which means that boot-wearing season is officially upon us. The weather is still pretty warm here in LA, but we have been seeing some overcast skies here and there, which I'm taking as a cue to break out some ankle boots. I just got this pair from Banana Republic, and I'm totally loving the sleek angles. They're filling a hole in my wardrobe that I didn't even know existed--quite a bit more polished than what I am used to. I definitely anticipate that I'll be reaching for these a ton this season. I've been eager to try out the combination of ankle boots with a pair of crop kick jeans, as it's been mostly too warm to do so all summer. Tuck a shirt (a modal tee like this one always feels luxurious, and I am a sucker for a little ruffle action) into the jeans and I am totally feeling this easy outfit formula for fall!

Tiered ruffle top, c/o Banana Republic. Crop kick jeans, Topshop. Pointy leather ankle boots, c/o Banana Republic. Mini belt bag, Céline.

Be There With Bells On

Though this look is decidedly summery, two trends that will definitely still be going strong into fall are bell sleeves and crop kick jeans. I'm not super fond of bell sleeves personally (this top was just too pretty to pass up on, and on sale!), since I'm always worried about accidentally dipping them into food or whatever (I'm messy!), but the crop kick is definitely a trend I can get behind. The silhouette is just super fresh right now--a cropped leg with just a slight flare at the hems. Surprisingly, I found this pair at the Gap. Not that it's surprising that the retailer best known for basics has such an extensive denim selection, but I was surprised that they're carrying some of the more fashion-forward styles and trendier cuts ahead of many other retailers! Awesome possum, Gap.

Lace-up baby doll blouse, Urban Outfitters (similar style here. Crop kick jeans, Gap. Fringed slides, Free People. Mini mini bucket bag, Mansur Gavriel, Choker necklace, c/o Urban Outfitters.

Best Friends Wear Matching Backpacks

Meet my best friend. She is two going on three. She is definitely a fashionista but we have very different styles. She is all about pink and purple and can rarely be found in any other color. The more ruffles, tulle, and "shiny", the better. She is also a sucker for anything Elsa, Minnie, or Hello Kitty. She usually likes to be the one giving me fashion advice, but for this shoot, we agreed to compromise. We went with her favorite colors, but I got to pick out what we wore. She loves it when we wear our Fjallraven Kankens together, because they are our best friend backpacks. She wishes hers were purple though, because Dora (the explorer) has a purple backpack. Some days she calls me Belle and tells me to call her Punzel. Other days she tells me to call her "My Little Pony." We put snacks in our backpacks and always have fun adventures together. One time, she gave me a fortune cookie, which was super special because sharing isn't one of her strong suits. Every day with her is the best day.

On me: White linen tee, H&M. Corduroy skirt, c/o Urban Outfitters (looks pink on the website but it's actually more of a lilac). Gladiator sandals, Free People (sold out). Fjallraven Kanken (in Neutral), c/o Urban Outfitters. Rose floral choker, c/o Urban Outfitters. Leather choker, c/o Urban Outfitters. On her: Baby doll tee and embroidered shorts, Baby Gap. Fjallraven Kanken Mini (in pink), c/o Urban Outfitters.

The Culotte Jean

I can't remember a more exciting time in denim than now. I mean, the early aughts when designer denim first became a thing might qualify (we all remember how important those fancy back pockets were right?) Or 2012-2013 when we had jeans in every color of the rainbow (I definitely fell victim to a few too many pairs of those). But I am, at heart, a denim purist, I think. So a pair of true blues with no flashy logos is always infallible. Currently we've got so many different silhouettes to play with that it really feels like you can't go wrong no matter what you pick: culottes, kick flares, high-waists, step hems, mom jeans, straight legs, boyfriend jeans, girlfriend jeans, fringed hems, and everything in between. Even though I still love a great pair of skinnies, they're starting to feel a bit stale with all of the fresher cuts on the scene.

With this in mind, I decided to try out my first pair of culotte jeans. Still kind on on the fence about them...despite being a petite-sized pair, I feel like I need to be taller to pull these off perhaps. Or maybe a fancier pair of shoes would do the trick. What do you gals think?

Denim culottes, Topshop. Sleeveless neck-tie blouse, Free People (currently on sale...for more great sale finds check out my Finds Under $50 page). Flatform Espadrilles, Pull & Bear. Suede bucket bag, Mango.

Off the Shoulder

A lightweight silk tank should be considered a summer staple. This one is the first I've ever owned and I'm a fan. Bonus points for the off-the-shoulder detail which is kind one of the biggest trends this summer.

I've written about the Farleigh slim mom jeans from ASOS before; I liked them so much that I bought another pair. These are the most perfect summery light-wash. Even though I got them in the same size as my other pair, they fit a bit looser for some reason, which I kind of like. I had also purchased a pair in black (which I ended up returning) but they were way too tight on me. So if you're looking to pick up a pai rof these, just a word of advice that the sizing is a bit inconsistent. Good thing ASOS has super easy and free returns!

Silk cami, Free People (sold out). Farleigh slim mom jeans, Asos. Lace choker, Forever 21 (similar here). Georgia mini shoulder bag, Chloé. Tan suede strappy sandals, Banana Republic (on sale!)

London, UK

The Ultimate Afternoon Tea Experience in London

While in London last month, I had the pleasure of having afternoon tea at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason. I've always been a huge lover of afternoon tea, so the idea of having afternoon tea in England where the tradition originated had me excited enough to wanna spontaneously combust. If we were only going to have afternoon tea once in London, we had to do it right! So I researched all of the best and most famous places. Just kidding. My friend recommended Fortnum & Mason and I was like "OMG that sounds amazing!" and that was that.

I went with a group of friends, so some of us ordered the "Savoury Afternoon Tea" and some of us ordered the regular "Afternoon Tea" (which comes with sweets instead of savouries) so that we could try a bit of everything. The main thing to know about the afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason, and the point that sold me on it, is that yes it is on the pricey side at £44-£48 a person, but it's essentially all-you-can-eat! Anything you like, you can ask them to bring more of. Furthermore, at the end of the meal, you get to choose a slice of cake from the cake carriage!

Fortnum & Mason has been selling tea for over three centuries, so instead of going with my usual standby choice of "English Breakfast" (although it was super tempting to actually have it in England for the first time), I decided to try the "Royal Blend." No regrets but they do allow you to switch tea blends if you so desire.

These are the savouries we got. I've seen pictures of some different ones on Yelp so maybe the menu changes seasonally. There's a wild mushroom puff with truffle, English asparagus wrapped in Parma ham, savoury choux with smoked salmon tartare, lobster and egg mayonnaise, and pea panna cotta with quail egg and cheese straw. The Savoury afternoon tea also comes with savoury scones; we got a cheddar cheese onion scone and a Portland crab scone. Surprisingly, those were pretty good, and I didn't mind the fishy spread that was served with them at all.

The tea sandwiches: smoked salmon, coronation chicken, cucumber and mint with creamcheese, honeyroast ham with mustard, and rare breed hen's egg salad. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the sandwiches as the fillings were so sparse and the bread was a bit stale. I was expecting tea sandwiches in England to blow me away, but I've definitely had much better in the States.

The presentation of the pea panna cotta with quail egg and cheese straw was so pretty, but the taste was overwhelmingly green and vegetably. Something to try once and never again in my opinion haha.

This is the regular afternoon tea, served with individual patisserie rather than savouries, and regular scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and fruit preserves (not pictured).

I never think these types of little sweets are very tasty, but it's fun and interesting to try.

The cake carriage...we were so stuffed by this point that we didn't even all get a slice! We just shared a few instead: