Lush Kendal dress (item # for this specific print is 747572), H&M blazer + hat (both recent)
As Instagram friends may know, Nick and I spent the past few days in Chicago visiting friends, eating our way around the city and admiring all the architecture. The food in general has been fantastic but I must mention Uncle Mike’s to brunch lovers – their hearty Filipino breakfast (garlic fried rice, eggs, meat plus some traditional sides) hit the spot with Nick lapping up nearly 2 plates, and is perfect for recovering after a night out. Wedding planning had fallen by the wayside for me so I was thrilled that my sweet friend booked my first bridal dress appointment during this vacation - I can't wait to share more about various styles after trying a few more places, in case fellow brides-to-be might find it helpful.
We had a variety of activities planned and limited luggage space, so I relied on a few comfy pieces that could be worn and reworn with small tweaks. For strolling and going out at night, I wore this flowy dress with low-heeled (very stable...I prefer these to many of my flat shoes) BP booties. For a setting with formal dress code I swapped the booties out for heels plus a light jacket.
I reviewed these booties last winter and feel they've gotten even more comfy with wear. They come in extended sizing down to sz 4, which I love that Nordstrom in-house brands offer. I un-wisely did not heed the suggestion to size up initially, and ended up selling a first pair to a smaller-footed friend. Do go up half a size if interested, and leave even more room for an insole if you like more cushioning.
For the formal settings I packed these Ivanka Trump "Carra" heels, which bear resemblance from afar to the popular Manolo Blahnik BBs for a fraction of the price. I own both - aside from Manolo's Italian hand craftsmanship which I have to admit is pretty superb, a main design difference is that the BBs are cut lower in the front which give it a distinctive sharp and sexy toe area. The Carra heels still show toe cleavage, but relatively less which some ladies may prefer especially for the office. I own the olive green and they also come in a striking sapphire blue, leopard, or deep red for those looking for a little autumn color.
I thought pricing on the Carra was very fair for leather uppers and soles (lining is synthetic which is another difference from the BBs), and sizing fit true to size in my opinion. I'm usually between a 5 and 5.5 and tried both on - the 5's fit, but as with most of my pointy shoes, I went with half size up so toes don't get squished.
Last but not least, this faux-wrap dress was a juniors department find last month. Once in a while I brave shopping amongst teens half my age for pieces that might fit better off the rack. The flowy, boho-style is more relaxed than shapes I usually gravitate towards, and has been surprisingly cool in the humidity. The waist is elastic (thus perfect for traveling and eating) so you can adjust the skirt length ~2 inches just by tucking in more or less. I took size XS and didn't think it ran too large per the description - the only fit adjustment I made was a small safety pin to close up the neckline one inch higher.
Material is all poly with a chiffon-y feel (not knit nor stretchy) and the skirt part has a thin lining. I was disappointed to see it labeled dry clean only since the fabric is just like ones I hand wash all the time - I know from Instagram a few of you also own this dress, so would love to hear how it's lasted any hand or machine cleanings! *Update* thank you to a reader for sharing her experience washing this dress - she was able to machine wash cold and mentioned the dress came out just fine. I would recommend air drying since dryer machines (esp. with varying temperatures) seem to cause the most material damage/shrinkage in my past experience.
This post was in collaboration with Nordstrom fall shoes. As always, opinions shared are my own.