pleats and pearls

5 best websites to shop online

The Look For LessKaylee DeLacyComment

Hello, hello!

I know it's only Tuesday, but I'm already counting down the days until the weekend! Brian and I are heading to Chicago to see Hamilton and celebrate our one year anniversary (I know, right? How is it already one year?)! I could NOT be more excited! Mallory is going as well, so we'll get to spend the weekend with her! When picking out an outfit for the show, I immediately turned to shopping online (rather than, you know, looking at my own closet). Living in Fort Wayne, my online shopping tendencies have only gotten worse, since we have such limited options in town. Since I've become a bit of a pro when it comes to finding the best deals online, I thought I'd share my 5 favorite places to shop online.

J. Crew & J. Crew Factory

It's no secret I love J. Crew. The majority of my closet is comprised of J. Crew and J. Crew Factory. A lot of people have asked me how I can afford so much J. Crew when the prices tend to be quite steep. Ignoring the fact that this question is not only loaded, but also pretty rude and presumptuous, I always respond with "learn your timing and it's not expensive." Having majored in merchandising and worked in the field fresh out of college, I understand how markdown and promotional cadences work. J. Crew has a pretty standard promotional cadence. When they release new arrivals, I find something I like and wait. I monitor styles I like weekly, especially since their hero styles tend to sell out quickly. In the first four weeks (and sometimes sooner), there is bound to be a promotion of 25-30% off full-price styles. If that's still not in your budget and the item appears to be fully in-stock, wait another 2-3 weeks. If you want it enough and price is your #1 priority, waiting 6-7 weeks will slash that price by 50% or so.

J. Crew and J. Crew Factory are king when it comes to giving an extra % off sale items, so it's really easy to get an on-trend style for an additional 40% off the sale price. Another reason I shop online with J. Crew so often is their online-only promotions. They sometimes have a slightly better sale online than in-stores — for example, an extra 50% off sale online vs. an extra 30% off sale in-stores. I'm telling you — pay attention to timing and you'll never pay full-price for J. Crew again.

Tobi

If you're wanting super trendy items, but don't want to pay a high price, Tobi is the answer. An upgrade from Forever 21, Tobi is an online-only, fast-fashion retailer that specializes in mega trends. This is great for those who want to participate in trends that won't last more than a season or two, but can't afford to splurge on the real deal. The top that I'm wearing above is only $42 full price, but you're likely going to get it in a 50% off sale for closer to $20. So if you've been looking for a dress with the back cut out, a lace-up sweater or anything off-the-shoulder, this will be your go-to.

Everlane

Everlane is one of my favorite sites to "window shop." The minimalist, chic styles are modern staples that you find yourself needing one of each color for your closet. The reason I don't often pull the trigger at Everlane comes down to budget. Priced similarly to J. Crew, Everlane is a mid-to-upper tier online retailer with few major promotions. I love their aesthetic, so I'll pick up a piece every once in awhile, but it's more of a treat when I do. My biggest style crush at Everlane? Their shoes.

ASOS

It's not a shocker that ASOS made this list, because they make pretty much anyone's round-up of the best online shopping sites. It makes sense — they have trendy styles that are both from brands you love, as well as their own private label collection. They really have it all — high and low fashion, basics and trends, and every category you could want, at any price point you would want. There are a few reasons I particularly love ASOS. First, their site is SO user-friendly. I know this makes me really sound like I work in retail, but that's really important for customers, especially those who know what to look for in site navigation. You can filter by just about anything to get the results you're looking for — brand, color, style, size, price or even activity. Second, you can get free shipping on orders of $40+. That's a pretty low threshold that's easy to meet for most shoppers. If you're a frequent shopper, you can splurge for the premiere delivery for $19/year that gives you UNLIMITED two-day shipping. That's a pretty incredible feature that I haven't found with many other retailers. Lastly, if you're a student, you can save on every purchase by signing up with your university email address. Sweet deal, right?

LOFT

I am a huge LOFT fan. They have modern updates to classic styles that always fit effortlessly into my wardrobe. So many of my favorite dresses and tops are from LOFT — not to mention my sister Mallory's ENTIRE closet is LOFT, and there's good reason. Their styles truly work for both work and weekend. I don't think I own anything from LOFT (besides shorts, obvi) that wouldn't be appropriate for work. That being said, I mostly wear LOFT on the weekends. Their styles were made for real life, so you can always expect style AND comfort.

One of my favorite reasons to shop at LOFT is their constant flash sales. Definitely sign up for their emails if you haven't already and pay attention to when you get an email after 4 pm. They do evening flash sales pretty frequently, where you can save up to 60% off on styles! Pretty insane, right? They also have cute online exclusives that you would miss by only going in-stores. LOFT is similar to J. Crew in their markdown cadence and frequently has better deals online than in-store.


Well, that's all! Did any of your faves not make my list? Tell me your favorite places to shop online in the comments!

Until next time —

feeling green

Fashion FixKaylee DeLacyComment

Hello there!

Guys, it's Friday — but not just any Friday, it's my last full-day Friday at work until after Labor Day! We have "flex Fridays" from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend and can leave at noon if we get our hours in. I'm a big fan of this since I don't live close to family and friends, and it makes travel A LOT easier in the summer. Or if I have no plans, I can get a few prime hours at my apartment complex's pool to get my tan (more like cherry-red-burn) on.

Last weekend I visited my friend Katie in Chicago. She told me to pack clothes I'd want to get pictures of since she had just bought her brand new camera and wanted to test it out. We found the cutest little neighborhood in Lincoln Park to capture my style for the day — and I have to say, I am just SO obsessed with everything about these. I absolutely love my new casual shirt dress from J. Crew Factory. I will definitely be wearing this ALL summer long since it's so damn comfy! Black and gold accessories completed my outfit, with the perfect tassel earrings as my statement piece. Oh, and you'll want these earrings too since they're under $15!

weekend snapshot: chicago

A Day In The LifeKaylee DeLacyComment

Hello there!

Coming off of a fun and eventful weekend, I have a major case of the Mondays. When I lived in Madison, I seemed to travel the majority of weekends in the month, keeping me really busy. Fort Wayne is different, since I stay here nearly every weekend. I've fallen out of that travel routine, so when I do get away for the weekend, exhaustion hits me — and hits me hard. That being said, this weekend was one of the best of the year and I would totally do it all over again.

On Friday, I took a half day at work and drove up to Chicago to visit my friend Katie. If you follow any lifestyle blogs, you may know her from Little Black Blog. We've been talking about me visiting for months, so I was so excited to finally make the trip! When I got into the city, we spent a few hours catching up before heading downtown to Cindy's Rooftop, where Maya of Charmingly Styled and Sarah of The Kissing Booth met us for apps and drinks. The view was absolutely insane and was the perfect way to start the weekend.

Side note: Cindy's Rooftop is hella pricey, so after our apps and drinks, we went downstairs to Shake Shack for dinner. It was my first Shake Shack experience and it was sensational.

Saturday we headed to Lincoln Park to explore the farmer's market and the Lincoln Park Zoo. We walked around for awhile before grabbing lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, a cute little café/bakery chain. We ran a few errands and then walked down to Lake Michigan at Diversey Harbor to lay out for a bit because it was SO DAMN NICE OUT. We walked up and down the shore to burn off the shakes we got at Stan's Donuts & Coffee (the nutella was amazing), before heading back to her cute place in Lakeview to get ready for dinner. We dined at Barcocina, which was just a short walk from her apartment, on their outdoor patio and enjoyed tacos, cheesy filled potatoes and margaritas. At this point, I was trying to think of ways to convince Brian to move to Chicago. I was just so obsessed with it all. 

Afterward, we headed downtown to Londonhouse's rooftop bar. Two of my best friends from Madison/Iowa, Kast and Miyad, were there for a bachelor party. The timing was perfect, so we were able to meet up for a few drinks and to catch up since we hadn't seen each other since before I moved to Fort Wayne! It was so great to see some of my closest friends and have it be like old times. I kind of crashed the bachelor party, but I only feel a little bad because I had such a blast with Kast, Miyad and Katie!

Sunday morning we went for a chai tea run, then I headed home. I was so sad to have the weekend be over, but we're already planning my next trip for this fall! Here are a few snaps from the weekend.

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Until next time —

my picks: little black dresses under $50

Fashion FixKaylee DeLacyComment

Hello, hello!

Wedding season is upon us and the invitations are rolling in. When you're in your mid-twenties, you get invited to a lot of weddings. If you're like me, you probably don't like wearing the same dress to any two weddings, but when you have over five weddings to go to, it's probably not realistic to buy five new dresses that you'll only wear one time each. This is why my summer wedding uniform typically consists of one or two little black dresses that I style differently with shoes and accessories. It makes getting ready super easy and your wallet will thank you too!

In the spirit of saving money during wedding season, I rounded up my five favorite little black dresses that can work for your more casual, outdoorsy weddings as well as your more formal events. All five of these are under $50, so feel free to pick out two or three! I won't judge. 

Sweetly Scalloped Dress Now less than $36!

I love Tobi's Scalloped Shift Dress since it can easily be dressed up or down with different shoes, bags and jewelry. I love wearing it with my watermelon bag and gold flats.

Tobi Scalloped Shift Dress c/o | Vera Bradley Watermelon Mini Saddle Bag | J. Crew Gold D'Orsay Flats (this pair is under $25!!) | Sugarfix by Baublebar Tassel Earrings

Do you have any great strategies for saving money during wedding season? I'd love to hear!

Until next time —

heating up

Fashion FixKaylee DeLacyComment

Hello there!

I'm happy that May is here and April is over, which I'm certain I've never said before. April is usually one of my favorite months because of my birthday, but this one was rough. Between work, travel, the VB Outlet Sale, issues with my ankle, and packing, I got out of my routine and started to feel pretty awful by the end of the month. I really didn't stick to a single goal, so I'm ready for the new month and a fresh re-start. I also tend to have the most energy in the summer months, which is much needed right now.

Now that it's finally starting to heat up, I'm feeling those summer vibes (now if my tan could just catch up with me). I've recently picked up a few new things that I'm sure will be my summer go-tos. Much like anyone else with a wallet and eyesight, I'm obsessed with Target. They recently had buy one, get one half off on all shoes, so naturally I had to meander through the aisles. I picked up some cute sandals and espadrille wedges that are my new faves (and will literally go with everything).

I paired my new wedges with high rise jeans and a breezy off the shoulder top for a perfect spring-to-summer transitional look. Since my motto lately has been that no outfit is complete without a straw hat, I tossed that on and kept my accessories neutral.