3 dresses for easy fall outfits

Sometimes during the fall and winter it's easy to get in a routine of outfits. Wearing the same jeans and boots everyday, while just shuffling out sweaters. I love wearing dresses and I've rounded up three of my favorite fall styles to wear when you just want a change. Scroll down below to see my favorite picks!

the plaid dress 

Fall is the time to bring out the plethora of plaid in your closet (but please, don't go crazy). I love keeping a few plaid dresses in my closet to throw on with tights and booties or maybe some over the knee boots. This version is a little pricier, but love this darker option!

the  shirtdress

My go-to dress for almost any event is a black shirtdress--its a closet essential. What I love about shirt dresses is that almost every retailer has them (they are currently in all of the "new arrivals" pages). I love this one (in the graphic) above because that drop-waist adds something a little extra and unexpected...plus it's only $69 and comes in red so you can save it for the holidays. Pair it with some dainty jewelry + skinny heels + tights, and you've got yourself a party outfit.

You know for those days where you can put in about 3% effort into your effort and you need a one-stop shopping type of outfit. Enter the sweatshirt dress, throw on a pair of boots (tall or short) with a sweatshirt dress and you're ready to walk out the door. This Topshop piece is slowly starting to creep near the top of my wish list currently, so you just might see it on the blog soon.


Couture stories

From birth, I've always been the girly-girl, opting for princess barbies and running around the house in my plastic "high-heeled" shoes just because.

 Naturally, I got into fashion (as you can see fashion is a big part of my life now) and primarily, it was because I was fascinated by the couture world. The insane detailing that goes into these dresses and the countless hours of work are just hard to grasp.
Here's a shot from my personal archives: here are some bridal gowns in the Randi Rahm atelier  and I can only imagine how much time went into to attaching those flower appliqu├ęs to the dress. It's enthralling. 


What really re-captured my attention was this video, published by Refinery 29 about a year ago, the story of the 200 hour Dior dress. Specifically, the pleated masterpiece above. \

If you have time, watch it. Seriously. No longer will the garment women model down the runway be a fleeting thought in your head about how pretty or flattering it is, but instead you can think about the story behind the dress. Videos like this one (here is another!) add a whole other dimension to the fashion world and make us cognizant that it's not just the designer doing everything. There are hundreds of people working in these ateliers doing truly amazing things. 
While on the subject, I'f you're like me and a total Haute-Coture nerd (I guess this is a term I just made up), watch Dior & I, the movie made about Raf Simons and his first collection for Dior. 

How do you view couture? Discuss below! 


Why I decided to Take a break

(I may or may not have just "styled" my desk for this photo...but this is a pretty accurate representation) 

As you've probably noticed, the blog hasn't been updated that recently.

No, I'm not stopping blogging. I just had to re-structure my priorities. I'm currently a first-semester senior which means "free time" isn't  exactly in my vocabulary. I'm in the middle(ish) of the college application process and it's ridiculously time life consuming. This process includes SATs, endless meetings, essay revising, traveling, sitting in on info sessions--I could go on forever. In order to get all of this done and focus as much as possible on my applications, Stripes & Peonies (unfortunately) needed to be sidelined for a bit. 

Over the last month or so, I truly missed blogging. For me, blogging is a creative outlet and its my favorite thing to do in my free time.There are so many ideas I have for Stripes & Peonies, but unfortunately not enough time to do them. But I'm happy to be back and it was truly weird not blogging everyday. Anyways, I have a lot of exciting things coming up for this fall and early next year (I'll say more about it later, but I'll be in NYC for January) and I'm excited and looking towards the future. And I'm sure you're wondering, where I am applying, what my first choice is, blah blah blah. In order to keep my sane, I won't really discuss my college process in detail on the blog until after I've gotten in/decided where to go, but after that I will have tons of college-themed posts and surely some outfit posts in my future school colors! ;)

Happy to be back writing and I hope you guys will continue to follow along!


Tips for wearing black on black

 We all love our black-on-black power outfits. I wear them all the time. As we head into fall (or at least the rest of the country except Texas does), I thought I'd offer some advice on crafting the best power outfit. A black on black outfit seems simple enough to make, but to get something stylish going, I've crafted three rules to stick to. Enjoy!

1. Mix Up Textures

When I do wear black on black, I usually mix up the textures of all of the pieces I'm wearing. Maybe ripped denim, a silk shirt, and wool jacket. This combination makes the outfit interesting and stand out. Above, the girl on the left (obsessed with her outfit) paired a chiffon/crepe dress with lace and button detailing with a solid black blazer. This is a perfect example where the black pieces don't fade together and become just one big item. To get her look, pair this lbd with a chic blazer. 

2. Show a Little Skin
Again, to avoid looking like one big black blob, showing a little skin wouldn't hurt. Now I'm not saying go crazy here, but splitting up the blacks is a great trick style-wise and it's more flattering. I plan on doing this 24/7 this fall when it comes to dresses & knee high boots. You could also work in a little crop top or something with sheer paneling . For a night out look, pair this dress with affordable knee-high boots 

3. Color Block...a Little 

If you're not up to showing a little skin, you can substitute that with a little color blocking. The white oxford peeking out from the sweater right here is the perfect example (plus she's mixing up the textures!) and it's a great way to add some dimension to your look and lighten it up a bit. I would add a silk tank  under an oversized sweater and a skirt/jeans for the ultimate look.


15 things you don't know about me

To get back into blogging a little bit (last week was crazy for me!), I'm reviving a post I haven't done in forever. I've been blogging for almost four years now and I love these posts to reintroduce myself every once in a while. Whether this is your first time reading Stripes & Peonies or if you've been with me since the start, I hope you get to know me a little better with these fun facts! Also, I'm curious to know how long you have been reading this blog, so let me know in the comments below!

1. Anastasia is (and forever will be) my favorite movie. Ever. 

2. On my kindergarten soccer team, I refused to play at games so I sat defiantly on the sides and ended up getting a participation trophy at the end ;). 

3. My nicknames are "Graquel" and "Kgwall"

4.  Im terribly impatient. Don't even get me started on slow walkers on crowded streets. 

5. Favorite subject: history 

6. Least favorite subject: physics (again, don't get me started on this one)

7. My "thing" in middle school used to be making study guides for friends/the grade

8. I can (and have) spent hours on Wikipedia researching different monarchies. It all started when I went on the page for Reign and I just kept clicking...

9. I started watching "The Daily Show" and "Key and Peele" this summer and I'm obsessed. 

10. I swear I was meant to be a musical theatre star in another life...

11. The amount of time it took me to binge watch seasons 1-8 of Grey's Anatomy a couple of years ago was downright embarrassing. 

12. If I could learn another language, I would want to learn either French or Arabic. 

13. I'm a night-owl...but I hate sleeping in. 

14. I played the role of the salt shaker in my 8th grade production of "Beauty and the Beast" 

15. So far the best concert (non-festival) I've been to so far is Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran + loop pedal is literally the most pleasing thing your ears will ever hear. period.



The virtual try-on is very cool. 

Let's face it. Some "designer" sunglasses are overpriced. So why not rent them?

Enter Ditto. Ditto is a company where you can rent designer sunglasses or prescription glasses for just a small fee each month through their Endless Eyewear program. Perhaps you read about them in the New York Times? You can find your favorite frames from Ray Ban, Illesteva, Karen Walker, Zac Posen, and many others. You can swap pairs any time you want and there's tons of pairs to choose from. After learning about the company, I realized how perfect it is for those who go through sunglasses constantly and is always wanting new frames. It's like a sunglass hut/birchbox combo. Oh and did I mention they have a super handy feature where you can virtually try on glasses so you're not disappointed once they get there? This was super important for me because I'm super picky about sunglass shape and I spent a good 30 minutes playing around on the computer picking out the best shape (it's really fun).

In my most recent outfit post, I'm wearing these Illesteva frames, c/o Ditto. They let me pick out a pair and I couldn't resist trying out the half clear/half brown round frames. Although it's a little bit of a bolder look than I go for when picking out sunglasses, but I was pleasantly surprised. I can't wait to swap out this pair for a new one to try! 

Because I want to treat my sweet readers, you can get one whole month free at Ditto with the code STRIPESPEONIES! This basically means free sunglasses for you, so take this opportunity! Shop my sunglass picks below and get shopping!

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