STRIPED DROP WAIST DRESS

I just love, love, love the colors on this dress! The stripes are made up of different ribbons and I like that it features a small dose two colors I rarely wear, coral and orange (#redheadproblems). It’s part of the summer collection at J.McLaughlin and one of literally dozens of their current pieces I want in my closet (this, this, and this for starters!). They just launched a new website and everything is to die for, including this adorable little bamboo clutch that I’ll be carrying, oh, every night for the next three months.

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J.McLaughlin Ruby striped drop waist dress c/o  //  Lele Sadoughi pearl necklace c/o (bracelet version here)

J.McLaughlin bamboo clutch c/o (also love this)  //  Essie Fiesta nail polish  //  Alice + Olivia pumps

I don’t always have the best luck with drop waist dresses but this one is tailored to perfection. It was basically love at first try-on! Now I just need more occasions to wear it… With all the crazy storms we’ve had in Texas, fun nights out have been few and far between! Sending lots of love to my readers in Houston, who are dealing with seriously scary flooding this week. At this point I think we’re all practically looking forward to those 100 degree days I’ve heard so much about!

HERVÉ LÉGER BANDAGE DRESS

File this outfit under: dresses I never thought I’d wear. Bandage dress? Body-con? Not me, no way. I can admire the look of a curve-hugging dress on other girls but I definitely prefer less fitted styles on myself. The top half of this dress is super fitted and sucks you right in… but the bottom half flares out and leaves a little more to the imagination. I’ve realized I like dresses that accentuate my waist and deemphasize my hips and behind. In that case, I really shouldn’t be so surprised that I fell in love with this dress! Plus I love any skirt that makes me want to get up and dance and this wedding-worthy style does just that.

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herve leger navy bandage dressHervé Léger bandage dress and Dannijo earrings on loan from Rent The Runway

Green beaded clutch  //  My favorite nude pumps (similar style for $54)

Would you ever try a bandage dress (at least one with a flared skirt)? What kind of dresses are you most comfortable in for weddings and other special occasions?

P.S. Did you know you can rent Chanel earrings? Yes please.

WEEKEND READING

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1. 7 bottles of rosé to try this summer.

2. 9 ways to start your summer in Dallas (written by a former Design Darling intern — so proud!).

3. Chic heels in a must-have hue.

4. I loved this look on Allison.

5. Is this not the prettiest hotel you’ve ever seen?

6. I’ve been wearing these so often that I had to scoop these up too (30% off right now with code WEEKEND).

7. Kiel James Patrick takes Tokyo.

8. My favorite pair of tortoiseshell cat-eye sunnies broke and I think I’ve finally found a worthy substitute!

9. These tulip fields look like heaven on earth.

10. This strawberry spinach salad looks delish.

A PEEK AT THE DESIGN DARLING OFFICE…

I’m slowly but surely settling into a new weekday routine in Dallas and let me tell you, it. is. amazing. (Maybe one of these days I’ll shoot a little day in the life feature if you’re interested?) After two and a half years of working primarily by myself from a studio apartment in New York, I can’t overstate what a blessing it is to have a brand new office and a full-time employee to help with shipping, customer service, sourcing and uploading new inventory, and more creative endeavors you’ll soon see here on the blog. I was (and still am) so scared to make these investments in my business but moving to Dallas was the perfect opportunity to take things to the next level and make things happen that just wouldn’t have been (financially or spatially) possible in New York.

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After just a few weeks of this new schedule, the combination of working outside of my home and working with someone else all day has me feeling more inspired than I have in months. I’m obsessed with all the new items we’ve recently added to the boutique and wanted to encourage you all to click over and see what’s new if you haven’t stopped by in a while. My favorites include these ginger jar cocktail napkins, these raspberry pink recipe binders, and these boho chic horn necklaces that are already selling like hotcakes. We have so many new products and projects in the pipeline that I am bursting with excitement to share with you!

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I snapped a few pictures around the office not because it’s ready to be featured but because I want to remember this time in my life and in our company history. It’s funny — like our house, there’s no art on the walls, a lot of the furniture needs to be reupholstered, and we’re still figuring out what works and what we need to replace… But to me, it’s perfect. This industrial blank canvas in an office park surrounded by other small business owners (referred to me by a friend of Will’s to whom I am so very grateful!) means so much more to me than just a reason to get dressed and leave my apartment every morning. Having space to be creative — and having an enthusiastic teammate to help me bring creative whims to fruition — represents infinite possibility and big hopes for what Design Darling will become in its new home.

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I still pinch myself walking in the door every day thinking that a small business that started on my parents’ dining room table can now support an employee and grow into its own office and warehouse facility. And if I don’t say it enough, please know that I’m grateful to all of you who make it possible — by reading this blog, shopping the boutique, tagging your friends on Instagram, and more. Design Darling really is my dream job and I hope I can continue to make it a place where you feel inspired to achieve your goals, encouraged to dress your best, and excited to make your house feel like home. This blog and business have truly grown up with me and it is one of my life’s greatest joys to get to take all of you along for the ride!