music monday flor – hold on music video

 

This is my favorite music video of the moment. From the incredible sounds that they produce in their music, to their use of visuals and fluorescent colours, Flor is definitely a band to watch this year. Their use of visuals often reminds me of the 1975, but their sound is a little softer and more ethereal.

I absolutely love the visuals used in this music video, and it kind of gives me Studio Ghibli meets Wes Anderson vibes. I really like the violet-y pink colour palette, and the nostalgic feeling that the storyline of the story gives. Plus the actress is super cute with her pixie cut and doe eyes.

Flor is set to release more new music this year, and I can’t wait. They’re also going on tour, where they will be performing some of their shows with GroupLove! I’ll be seeing them at the end of January in Cleveland and I can’t wait.

Check it more of Flor’s music on Spotify  and find more details on their upcoming shows on their website here.

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when your heart is discouraged and your soul doubts

If I were to be honest, it’s been a rough kind of week. I have faced much disappointment and confusion, and hurt from certain situations and relationships. I’m left feeling a little betrayed and a little hurt, but mostly discouraged.

I’m tired. I’m tired of where I am right now, tired of the hurt and disappointment. I’m weary from fighting battle after battle, and trying to keep my head above the waves. I’m not where I want to be, my heart is straining for what’s ahead and what could be, but it’s stuck here. And my discontentment is breeding doubt. I’m doubting that this is where I’m supposed to be.

And I know I’m not the only one that’s feeling wounded from situations or relationships in their lives. I know that I’m not the only one who’s feeling so discouraged, so doubtful. I know I’m not the only one.

And I wish I had the words for those who feel the way I do, but I’m not full of wisdom or insight. I don’t know what the right things to say are.

But what I do know is that there are promises for us, ailments for our hurting hearts and sick souls in the Word.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit. //
Psalm 34:18

I am an incredibly introspective person, who is perhaps a little too self-aware. I hid away inside myself when I am feeling a little too much, and I retreat to the back parts of my mind, as if I’ll find answers there to answer the “why”. I don’t like to leave questions unanswered, and I like to find those answers for myself. But sometimes (most times) I don’t have the answers to why things are the way they are. And I don’t know why things must hurt as much as they do.

But I serve a kind and just God who has a plan and a purpose for everything that I go through, all the little and big hurts I feel. I serve a God who doesn’t seek to bring pain to my life, but lets me walk through fires and storms so that I can better experience His sovereignty and faithfulness. I serve a God who promises to be a good Father, even in a world full of heartbreakingly bad situations.

The LORD is righteous in all His way and kind in all His deeds. // Psalm 145:17

Even though my heart is wrestling with discontentment and worry about what is to come, my future rests in the hands of a God who has been faithful in every season in my life, and will be faithful in every season to come. He has held me up when I was struck in my grief, and He has led me through the darkest hours of my life. When I look back at the valleys and storms and fires and mountains He’s led me through, how could I ever doubt that He will be faithful now and in the future?

In my deepest doubt and furthest wandering, still He chooses to rescue my heart and bring me home. When I didn’t want to seek Him, He sought me. When I didn’t want to love, He loved me. It amazes me how He still chooses to see me as His child, even when I’ve been more like a prodigal.

A thousand times I’ve failed, still Your mercy remains. And should I stumble again, still I’m caught in Your grace // hillsong

If your heart is filled with discouragement and you find yourself doubting, I want to encourage you to look back. Remember the difficult times that you’ve been through and the darkness that you’ve seen. Remember the storms. Remember the tragedies and the loss and the brokenness. But also remember that you are here right now. You made it. He saw you through some of the most difficult things in your life. He carried you through it all. He lead you through the darkness and through the valleys and through the storms before, and He will continue to do so. He has been faithful and He will continue to be.

I know it’s easy to settle into discouragement and doubt, because it seems (for a little while at least) comfortable. It is familiar. But you cannot stay there. We cannot stay there. We cannot let our hearts get weighed down by the hurt, we cannot let our souls start to forget His faithfulness. We cannot stay here. We must choose to remember His faithfulness and His sovereignty in our lives, for that is the only way our discouraged hearts and doubting souls can be healed.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. // Psalm 147:3

my top 5 beauty picks

You know those beauty products that you just can’t live without? That you would just be so lost without it in your normal routine?

I’m definitely a creature of habit, especially in my skincare/beauty routine. I thought I’d share my top 5 beauty picks with you, and how I incorporate them into my daily routine.

 

  1. Micellar Water by Simple5a67a022-b763-4543-9674-e75f3d5e967d-_cb312494333__sr285285_
    This stuff is amazing. I have really sensitive, dry skin that’s prone to redness and discoloration. I actually was using another cleanser by Simple before I switched over to micellar water, so I readily tried out the micellar cleanser. And my skin has honestly never been in better condition!I dampen a cotton pad with the micellar water and rub it into my skin. It removes any makeup and dirt off my face easily, without being too harsh on my skin.

    Get it here! 

  2. Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Moisturizer lbd-48234-1Again, I have really dry, sensitive skin. Lubriderm has been my go to moisturizer for years now, and this advanced therapy formula helps keep my skin soft and smooth – even in the winter!

    Get it here! 

  3. Maybelline “Fit Me” Concealer

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    This concealer  has been called a low price dupe for the NARS concealer. I really like this because it goes on and blends easily, and there are multiple color choices for almost every skin tone.

    Get it here!

  4. L’Oreal Total Repear 5
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    This stuff is AMAZING! I have extremely dry and damaged hair from all the bleaching and dying I’ve done to it. I use this hair balm a few times a week to keep my hair shiny, smooth, and hydrated.

    Get it here! 

  5. St. Ives Apricot Scrub

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    Making sure your skin is exfoliated is SO important! Exfoliation helps to scrub away the dead skin and dirt that’s deep in your skin, revealing the soft skin below. I’ve been using St. Ives since middle school, and it’s by far my favorite exfoliator.

    Get it here!

What are your favorite products that you incorporate to your beauty routine?

With love,

Erin ❤

StyleWe: Dress Review + Try On!

I’m so excited to share this little collaboration I got to do with the brand StyleWe. Style We is an online website that delivers “Designers At Fingertips,” meaning that their designer quality dresses are just a click away on their online shop.

In exchange for two dresses from the site, Style We asked me to review them on my blog and Instagram account.

The first dress is a gorgeous red color, with the super trendy cold shoulder detail. It has a cute high low skirt, with a peplum around the waist. This one gives me major Taylor Swift vibes, and I can’t wait to find an event to wear it to!


(You can get the dress here!)

The second one they sent me is a trendy LBD. I love the scalloped, off the shoulder neckline. It really accentuates the waist, and would look great dressed up or down. I think it would be perfect for a modern Audrey Hepburn look!


Get it here!

Overall, I was absolutely blown away by the quality of these dresses. The fabric is thick and sturdy, and you can tell it’s quality. The workmanship of the dress is amazing too, and I have yet to find a lose thread or uneven stitching. The sizing was perfect for me (I am around 5 foot and muscular, and I got size smalls). They list measurements online, so it’s easy to find your size if you’re unsure what to order!

I definitely recommend Style We, and hope to collaborate more with them in the futures.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to give Style We a follow on Instagram: @stylewe and check out their shop online here.

With love,

Erin<3

trendy tuesday: winter trends + how to style them

The Trend: Sock Boots

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We can thank Kanye and his YEEZY brand to making sock boots so popular! For this look, I chose a pair of varsity inspired sock boots and paired them with a midi-length turtleneck dress. I wanted to keep the color palette simple, so I added a red fur coat as well as minimalist accessories. Shop the look below!

The Trend: Bomber Jackets + Wide Legs
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Bomber jackets are here to stay this season! And for this look, I wanted to pair it with wide-leg pants. So to add a bit of “edge” to the look, I picked out a metallic bomber jacket with a red turtle neck underneath. (i love this shade of red!) With some basic (but super functional!) black pumps and trendy accessories. Shop the look below!//shopsensewidget.shopstyle.com/#/?options=%7B%22widgetId%22%3A%225871a2f7e7055a3c3df96275%22%2C%22version%22%3A1%2C%22pid%22%3A%22uid16-37909996-57%22%2C%22size%22%3A200%2C%22columns%22%3A3%2C%22rows%22%3A1%2C%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fapi.shopstyle.com%2Fapi%2Fv2%22%2C%22iframeHeight%22%3A275%2C%22iframeWidth%22%3A705%7D
The Trend: Slip Dresses
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The slip dress hails from the 90s, and I am such a fan of its comeback! The black slip dress looks flattering on anyone, and to add some sparkle I layered it over a metallic top. The gray coat keeps the look warm, while the booties give the look some height. To add a little more 90s vibes, I added a choker and a velvet clutch. Shop the look below!

#CreativeCrush – Madison!

Do you follow any designers/photographers/stylists on instagram whose work you just totally ADORE? I certainly do! As a creative, I’m always looking out for inspiration in other’s work, or for a new friend who has similar (or totally different) styles as me. Iron sharpens iron, so I think it is important for we as creatives to build a strong sense of positive and encouraging community around us. We ought to stop treating the world of art and design as a competition, and rather see it as a common ground. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and we should share in those together.

With all of that in mind, I’ve decided to start a series called Creative Crushes where I will be posting about a fellow creative and their work. Their specialities will range from design to photography to poetry to fashion design to interior design to just about anything else. My hope in this is to bring attention to some truly amazing creatives and give them a chance to share about themselves.

This week’s creative crush is Madison Booth, who is currently a fashion design student at Kent State University.

creative_madison_b

I’ve been following Madison’s instagram for a couple years now, and I absolutely love seeing her snapshots of the behind the scenes of fashion design. I especially love how she shows a sketch of a piece she’s drawn next to the finished product. It almost seems like magic, how she is able to turn what she dreams up on paper into a reality. She has designed costumes for theater productions, as well as designed runway pieces through her studies.

I asked Madison to share a few words about herself and her inspiration and love for design.

“From a young age, I was interested in creating things. My deconstruction of Barbie clothing eventually morphed into an interest in fashion. It wasn’t until college, however, that I really became interested in style. You become hyper-aware of your style and the way you carry yourself when you’re meeting a bunch of people for the first time, like during school. Ever since freshman year, I’ve worked hard to hone my style. I love to pay attention to detail, and I think it’s reflected in my work. I also love storytelling, especially through clothing. With that love, I’m pursuing a career in costume design, to give clothing even more purpose.” – Madison Booth

These are just a few glimpses of Madison’s incredible work, so be sure to follow her instagram to check out more and send her some love!

-Erin<3

{ if you’d be interested in having your work featured as a Creative Crush, send me an email at erinmathews14@gmail.com }

January Beauty Musts!

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

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    I’ve been DYING to get my hands on this palette for months now! I personally LOVE warm tones because they really complement my skin tone and brown eyes. I’ve only heard great things about this palette, so I can’t wait to try it out!

    Get it on Amazon here!

  2. Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette

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    My inner moon child loves this palette. Just from the sleek, minimalist design of the palette to the pretty highlight colors, what isn’t there to love? Kat Von D is a hot brand this year, and she’s set to release a new eyeshadow palette sometime soon, which I’m keeping my eyes peeled for!

    Get it on Amazon here! 

  3. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

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    I’ve been using the same eyeliner since middle school (hey, it’s affordable and hasn’t failed me yet!) but I want to splurge a bit and see what the Stila hype is all about! Cult followers rave about this liner’s precision and staying power.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  4. Thebalm Manizer Sisters Palette

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    Another brand that I’ve been dying to try! I’ve only heard great things about this palette, as it is a go to contour palette for many beauty mavens.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  5. Too Faced Peach Eyeshadow Palette

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    Oh look, another eyeshadow palette! I absolutely love Too Faced products, and I so want to try this one out. Peachy eye looks are super in, and this palette has the perfect colors to get that sought after look.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  6. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

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    I am a true ColourPop addict, but Kat Von D’s liquid lippies are said to have CRAZY color payoff and insane staying power. Plus there are so many colors to choose from.

    Get a set of her mini lippies on Amazon here!

  7. NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

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    I personally don’t use a lot of foundation, so I like light coverage when it comes to liquid foundation. But NARS foundation is known to have full but light coverage and lasts all day. Plus they have been praised for having a wide range of colors, so it’s easy to find one that matches your skin tone!

    Get it on Amazon here!

  8. Cover FX Enhancer Drops

    coverfx_customenhancerdrops001
    HOLY WOW, oh man! These drops make any product turn into a highlighter, or you can use them alone for an ultimate glow effect. They’re a tad pricey, but the highlight you can get with them is amazing.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  9. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

    theyre-real-mascara-hero_3

    I have really sparse lashes that do NOT like to curl, no matter how much I curl them! But this mascara promises curl and full lashes without the clumpy effect that most mascara has.

    Get it on Amazon here!

  10. Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit
    glow-kit-moonchild
    I have so many ABH products on my beauty wishlist, but this one made the top 10. I’m all about highlighting and adding shine to beauty looks, so this glow kit is perfect for beauty beginners or beauty novices.

    Get it on Amazon here!

    What are some of the products on your beauty want list?

    with love,
    Erin ❤

A Look Back: My Favorite Moments of 2016

With the craziness that December was for me (having final exams ten days before Christmas, having a parent have an unexpected hospital stay, having to plan my visit to Georgia, having to schedule my classes for the next semester, having work the days following up to Christmas…) I had little time to reminisce and look back at 2016.

2016 was a rollercoaster for me, with so the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I walked through the grieving process, as I lost my best friend in November of 2015. I got an incredible summer internship. I performed in a super fun concert. I got engaged. I got to see two of my close friends get married. I got to see my best friend get engaged… it’s been a rush.

There are so many memorable moments that happened this year, but I decided to pick out a few of them to share with you.


Concerts, concerts, concerts!

This year I got to see SO MANY of my favorite bands, including Ben Rector, Colony House, Mat Kearney, needtobreathe, and Passion Pit. Seeing these bands perform wasn’t the only highlight, but getting to experience it with such good friends made it so much better. I got to see Ben Rector with my boyfriend, Mat Kearney and needtobreathe with a couple close friends from college, and I got to see Passion Pit (for free!!) with my best friend because we volunteered at Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus.

Elliv: The Experience

My university puts on this incredible performance every year called Elliv. It’s totally student planned and student led, and a way of “de-stressing” before the craziness of finals week. We audition to be put on different music teams then spend the whole spring semester practicing and getting ready for the big performance. My team was the “rock” group, and we played songs by Muse, Paramore, Kelly Clarkson, and Young The Giant. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced, and performing in front of 3000+ was absolutely energizing. Not only did we have fun, but my team grew close and became good friends through the hours and hours of practicing. Plus I got to wear killer costumes and great hair + makeup.

You can check out part of our performance here.

Choir Tour + Chicago

The choir that I am in, Jubilate, goes on tour every spring semester. In 2016, we got the chance to go to Chicago and Wisconsin to perform at a couple different churches and schools. This was my first time in Chicago, and I was SO pumped to see such a cool city. Honestly, all I can remember from tour is the few hours we spent in Chicago. It was so cold and windy, but it was so much fun popping into coffee shops and record stores and experiencing a new place with friends.

THE BEST SUMMER INTERNSHIP EVER

Oh, I’m getting emotional typing this… This summer, i had the blessing of interning at Jersey Students, a ministry at Jersey Baptist Church. I was one of two interns for the summer, and my specialty was anything creative. I led worship on a weekly basis and shot photographs for various events, as well as shooting and editing video for a week long missions event and a week long camp. It was hard work and exhausting, as I was also working a part-time job at a local cafe. But God blessed me big time by letting me intern at such an incredible ministry. I met so many wonderful people and got to be a part of so many Christ-centered conversations and share my heart with some pretty amazing students. It was honestly a dream internship, since I got to do creative things while also working in youth ministry (a huge passion of mine!). I miss it so very much.

Got Ink

I got my first tattoo during the summer of 2015, but I got two more in 2016. These two tattoos mean so much to me, and are little reminders of what I have survived this year.

I got twenty tree rings on my shoulder in memorial of the 20 years of Gregory Long. Greg was my best friend for nearly 7 years. In November of 2015, just a couple weeks after his 20th birthday, he and his girlfriend Haley passed away in a car accident. It absolutely rocked my world. I had lost before, but never someone who I was so close to. These twenty rings are a celebration of the life that he lived and the impact that he had during his short life. Greg was truly an incredible person, and I wish that everyone had the blessing of calling him their best friend.

My close friend Abby wanted to get tattoos over our fall break while we were in St. Louis. I decided to get a simple one and settled on “it is well” across my neck. This phrase has been an anthem for me lately, as 2016 was a year full of challenges and struggles. It’s a reminder that through it all, I have the ability to say that “it is well” because of the goodness and grace of God.

Fall Break in STL

For fall break last year, my friend Evan and his sister Emily invited us back to their home in Illinois. (they live just thirty minutes from STL) Over our five day break, we got to explore downtown STL, taste authentic STL bbq, explore an incredible interactive museum in a huge, old warehouse, and enjoy time spent with friends. STL is easily one of my favorite cities I’ve had the chance to travel to, and I hope to come back soon. Plus I’m glad I got to spend some time exploring with my best friends.

I GOT ENGAGED!!!

A couple weeks before it happened, my good friend and fellow photographer India asked me and Kevin to be models for a Wes Anderson themed shoot. Wes Anderson is my all time favorite director, and I absolutely adore his style in his films and photographs. What I didn’t know is that this was all part of Kevin’s elaborate plan. We spent the day walking around taking pictures in downtown Columbus, and at the end of the shoot India handed me a prop – a notebook. When I opened it, it was actually a hand-bound scrapbook of memories that Kevin and I had made over the last year and a half. The last photo had the caption “how about we do a real engagement shoot?” and when I turned around, he was on one knee. Oh my heart. It was absolutely perfect, and I had no idea. I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!

And all the little moments in between…

2016 gave me so many memories to keep in this little heart of mine. I got to experience so many new things and new places and meet new people. I grew closer to friends and learned new things about myself. I got to see the Lord work in my life and the lives of others. I got to see the other side of my grief. I got to come back to a great university to continue my education. i got to share my heart and passion with others. I got to take a lot of pictures, sing a lot of songs, and laugh a lot of belly laughs. 2016 was a testament to God’s goodness and grace, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017.

What were your favorite memories of 2016? Let me know in the comments!

With love,
Erin ❤

instagram.com/erin.esther

 

Get the Kendall look (for less!)

Love them or hate them, the Kardashian-Jenner family is made up of some of the most popular style icons of our culture. My personal favorite style icon of the Kardashian/Jenner clan is Kendall. Her look always gives off the sophisticated, classy vibe and she always looks put together. But unfortunately, we can’t all afford to dress like Kendall…or can we? I put together three outfits inspired by three of my favorite Ken-Jen looks, all with affordable pieces.

Back In All Black

Kendall’s style is a bit more toned down than her sister Kylie’s, and this simple all black outfit is no exception! The mesh top adds some texture to rest of the outfit, as she keeps it simple with black trousers and black booties. The all black ensemble definitely screams “model cool.”

Top: Harrod’s $100
Trousers: Far Fetch $75
Booties: Go Jane $48
Purse: Luxury Divas
Sunnies: Pop Map $15

Pretty In Pink

I love this neutral outfit! It transitions summer skirts into fall perfectly by adding a chunky knit sweater and lace up booties. Blush pink is currently one of the trendiest colors, and keeping the rest of the outfit neutral with creams and light tans makes the outfit feel romantic and whimsical.

Skirt: Miss Selfridge $34
Sweater: Joules $49
Booties: Nordstrom $77
Purse: Rock Frocks $68
Sunnies: Quay $60

Airport Casual

Kendall makes traveling look cool in this simple outfit. She makes the classic jeans + plain white t shirt interesting with a long black cardigan and a structured black tote. She finishes the outfit with a pair of adidas super stars, which are currently super popular.

Jeans: Hollister $60
Tee: Mink Pink $30
Cardigan: LucLuc $40
Shoes: Adidas $105
Tote: Amazon $45

What’s your favorite Kendall look? Let me know in the comments!

With love,
Erin ❤

instagram.com/erin.esther

the little black dress, reimagined.

The LBD is hands down one of the most important pieces to have in your closet. It can be dressed up for formal events and dressed down for casual, everyday wear. You can wear it with heels, boots, booties, or sneakers. You can wear it by itself or with a shirt under it or a jacket over it. The outfit combos are nearly endless, because everything goes with black.

Since the LBD is such an important closet staple, I thought I’d show you I would style a few different LBDs.

LBD #1: Sparkles and Sequins: for a formal event

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You can’t go wrong with a sparkly number for a formal occasion. This dress is less than $100 at H&M and I paired it with navy velvet heels and silver accessories. The faux fur stole gives some warmth to the outfit, as well as an instant formal vibe. Since the neckline is already so pretty and detailed, I skipped the necklace and just added a bracelet and earrings.

Dress: H&M
Heels: Nine West
Faux-Fur: Selfridges&CO
Clutch: Nordstrom
Bangle: Belk
Earrings: The Dressing Room

LBD #2: Pop Of Color: for the office

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For this outfit, I went with a conservative yet classy knee-length dress with a defined waist and wrap top. I personally love the navy + tan + black combo, so I kept things simple by pairing the LBD with a navy blazer and tan booties. The scarf gives the outfit a sophisticated vibe while the clutch adds a pop of color and some fun.

Dress: Vintage Fringe
Blazer: ModLi Co
Booties: Dorothy Perkins
Scarf: Handbag Tailor
Clutch: Betsy Johnson

LBD #3 Blacks and Pinks: athleisure
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Athleisure, or the joining of athletic wear with leisure wear. Love it or hate it, this trend has taken the fashion world by storm. Celebrity after celebrity is seen pairing some adidas trainers with dresses or heels with sweatpants. I decided to pick this cute print t-shirt dress and add a bomber jacket (which is SO in this season) with some blush trainers. The accessories are handy and functional, with the hat and choker adding that “casual cool girl” vibe.

T-shirt dress: Boohoo
Bomber Jacket: Sans Souci
Sneakers: Adidas
Backpack: Vera Bradley
Hat: PopMap
Choker: Romwe

LBD #4 Grunge: for your inner rebel

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I have loved the 90s fashion revival lately, especially with the grunge style coming back. I actually have many variations of this outfit myself! Throwing a dark flannel over a black skater dress instantly adds grunge appeal, and you can’t go wrong with a pair of Doc Martens.

Dress: Hollister
Flannel: Madewell
Boots: Doc Martens
Beanie: Vans
Choker: RoseGal

LBD #5 Black Maxi: summer wear

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Yes, you can wear that LBD in warm weather too! A black maxi dress looks good on anyone, and this strappy one from Boohoo is no exception. I added these cutes tan sandals with a structured denim jacket to pull the look together, with some coordinating accessories.

Dress: Boohoo
Jacket: H&M
Hat: Kohls
Sandals: Nordstrom
Tote: Domino
Sunnies: Bloomingdales
Bangles: Nordstrom

LBD #6 Casual + Cool: my personal style

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This is my absolute favorite outfit, and it’s absolutely my style. I wear a lot of stripes and neutral colors, so I chose this cute jumper dress and put a simple striped under it. A trendy heeled bootie is always my shoe of choice, and I really love this red velvet pair. I added some tough girl accessories with a statement bangle and this cross-body purse with skeleton hand details. And I think the choker and print beanie add some more fun to the outfit.

Jumper dress: Dorothy Perkins
Top: J Crew
Booties: New Look
Beanie: Vera Bradley
Purse: Romwe
Bangle: Nordstrom
Choker: Miss Selfridge

What is your favorite way to style your LBD? Let me know in the comments!

With love,
Erin

instagram.com/erin.esther