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!



All Saints dress (similar) // Nike shoes (similar) // Illesteva sunglasses c/o Ditto // Guyana tote

Hi guys!

Sorry for the silence over the last week--I needed a bit of an adjustment period as I'm getting back in the swing of things with school and my new, busier schedule. Anyways, I'm glad to be back!

If I saw these pictures two years ago, I would have seriously doubted my fashion choices. A silk dress and tennis shoes? Really? Well two years ago my personal style was a lot ( I cannot emphasize that enough) different. As I've grown into my style, I've started to blend some athletic wear into my wardrobe and I like the direction I am headed in. I found this two-piece dress in New York a few weeks ago during an awesome sale at All Saints. I rarely ever shop there because the prices are outrages, but I got super lucky that day and found this perfect dress-up/dress-down piece I can wear year-round. I love mixing navy & black and I also love shapeless dresses, so this was a yes in my book. It's a navy slip plus a sheer black dress and together they make the perfect piece which can be worn to virtually any function. Just recently, I wore this dress with wedges and a little bit of jewelry for a party, but as you can see here I can easily pair it with a pair of chic tennis shoes for a polished, but not trying to hard look.

What do you think of mixing athletic wear into your wardrobe? Comment below!


art update

palm print // cactus print // abstract print
NYC map print // quote print
XO print // black dots print
Lately I've been thinking about re-doing a few parts of my room, to give it a little refresh. I recently focused on organizing my desk and re-doing my bulletin board ( I just did a whole post on it). Now I'm moving to art. I don't really have a gallery wall, but I have all of this unused space above my bed that would be perfect for a mini-gallery wall. I love art and I think it's a great way to update your room and also make it more beautiful! I've rounded up some of my favorite prints from around the web and I will probably end up ordering some, so stay tuned for a gallery wall post in the future!


Martha's Vineyard photo diary pt. 2

A somewhat desolate beach on Chappaquiddick //  Wearing my favorite J.Crew bikini top on State Beach // State Beach dunes // Sunset watching at Menemsha // State Beach // Chappy waves // exploring a new part of Chappaquiddick // Remember this instagram post?  // Re-creating this photo from last year with this year's findings // still dying over this precious puppy found in Edgartown  // picture-perfect summer home // flowers outside of the house // obsessed with this open-knit sweater I found--I had been dying to wear a sweater! I'm so sick of the heat! // No. 1 beach essential: Glossier coconut balm dot com

You guessed it--I have even more photos from my trip to Martha's Vineyard. There are so many for me to go through and it was tough selecting a few to share with you guys.

Usually when I'm on the Vineyard, my family and I will make a day trip to Chappaquiddick, a small island connected to Martha's Vineyard. You get there via a 2 minute ferry from Edgartown harbor and  it's a fun place to explore. Chappy is much less populated than MV and it doesn't really have a "town," it's mainly just the residents and a few other places. It just so happened that the day I went a few special guests were heading to the island as well. As you probably know, President Obama his family summer on the Vineyard. It's great for the island, but the traffic he creates with secret service/his arrival is horrendous. This year I missed him playing golf at Farm Neck (I live in that area) when I headed to Chappy in the morning, but I did see a suspicious SUV with secret sirens on the ferry ahead of us and assumed it was someone in his posse. A few minutes later after we've gotten off of the ferry and start driving to the beach, I see the same car. Hmm. Then I see three people on bicycles out of the window, one in the back who is not too covert about hiding his gun which pretty much confirmed my assumptions. When we finally drove past, we realized it was Susan Rice, the National Security Advisor. Just a slightly important person for the United States. So that's my not super exciting "celeb" sighting. It was one of those serendipitous moments and a  fun fact I'm going to keep under my belt and save for one of those "tell us a fun fact" ice breaker games.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the second installment of my MV photo diary, and you can read the first part here. Part three coming soon!

P.S. Sorry this post is late! It was supposed to go up Tuesday, but the start of school is crazy and I totally forgot to schedule it!

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