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Art As Style Inspiration: My Collab with the Amazing Mom Edit

cool-birkenstocks-683x1024

If you’re a mom and into fashion, you’ve probably heard of The Mom Edit by now and if you haven’t yet, well, you’re missing out.  I’ve mentioned my love for Shana, the site’s creator, before and shared some of the art collaborations we have done together for The Mom Edit. Last month, we were talking about what direction we should head in this year for our monthly art/style collaborations when Shana suggested doing a mini shoot featuring both my style and my art. We were already at the beach, and a few glasses deep into our bottle of white wine so we figured why the heck not?! And then last night I got a text from my best friend who said she just spotted my feature on The Mom Edit, so I thought I would share some of the photos here too!

best-birkenstocks-683x1024 (1)

fashion-illustration

shoe-illustrations

I’m Wearing:

Top:

a63ee73fd883-333x400

Marylin and Main’s Batwing Oversized Tunic Top, $29.30 on Amazon.

Shorts:

striped shorts

Mango’s Striped Cotton Shorts, $24.99, Amazon.

sandals:

282-Birkenstock-Women-s-Yara-Oiled-Leather-Sandals-1

Birkenstocks’ Yara Leather Thong Sandal from Amazon, $105.99 to $149.99. 

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Free Original Art Desktop Wallpaper Downloads

Hi everyone, this is my first attempt at creating wallpaper designs of my own, using my own art. .This has definitely been a learning experience for me, the wide world of graphic designing is a bit overwhelming  but I figure, I have to start somewhere.

I did three different designs and made two different pixel size versions of each….there are so many different display screen sizes out there (including the screen on the mockup photo I used…I still don’t know what size that is supposed to be)  so if any of the sizes don’t fit for your screen, feel free to email me at thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com and I will add one for you.

My next task is to figure out how to link a google doc or dropbox account directly to my blog so you can download from there but for now, just click on each individual image to save the wallpaper designs to your computer.

I hope you enjoy!
abstract art destkop wallpaper design mock up.001

 

 

1440x990 pixel version
1440×990 pixel version
2560x1600 pixel version
2560×1600 pixel version

free marbleized desktop wallpaper.001

 

1920 x 1200 pixel version
1920 x 1200 pixel version
1440 x 990 pixel version
1440 x 990 pixel version

abstract art screensaver background mockup.001

 

2560 x 1600 pixel version
2560 x 1600 pixel version
1440 x 990 version
1440 x 990 version

 

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Some Pages from My Art Journal: Spring 2015 Edition

 

"There is a wolf in me."- Carl Sandburg
“There is a wolf in me.”- Carl Sandburg


IMG_0918



sketchpagesketchbook page: playing with patterns

April 12th, 2015's sketchbook page artist: Jessica Ross
April 12th, 2015’s sketchbook page
artist: Jessica Ross

art journal quote and abstract art

"You touched me and I flew open."
“You touched me and I flew open.”

journal page

 

abstract art version 2

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spring style: fun, flowy, floral, boho dresses

hooray for all things Spring….Sun, flowers, rain, birds, allergies. I’ll take it all if it means I can stand outside for more than a minute without getting frostbite.  I’ve been waiting for a day that was nice enough to wear my Free People Parker Dress. Although there aren’t enough photoshopping or fliters that help my legs look less blindingly white and pasty.

free people dress black esparilldos

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite floral spring dresses I found online:

Free People Parker Dress, $69.00:

FREE-people-parker-dress-sage

MINKPINK Women’s Moon Flower Midi Dress:

mink-pink-midifloral-dress

Needle & Thread’s Summer Garden Floral Sequin Bodycon Dress ($360.00):

needle&thread-bodycon-sequin-garden-dress

Free People First Kiss Dress, $98.00:

free-people-first-kiss-boho-dress

 

Free People Embroidered Austin Dress, $148.00:
free-people-austin-embroidered-dress

Needle & Thread Gilded Filigree Three Quarter Sleeve Cocktail Dress:
needle&thread-gilded-filigree-dress

 BB Dakota ‘Heleen’ Print Fit and Flare Midi Dress ($98.00) at Nordstroms:

BB-dokata-heleen-floral-dress

Volcom Juniors Nevermore Dress

volcom-floral-dress

 

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Daily Affirmation: Live Colorfully (Free Downloadable Design)

 

 

live colorfully originalshort and sweet today, just wanted to share a little design I did last night using some abstract art I’ve been having fun playing around with.

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Art Collaboration with The Mom Edit Style Blog

mom edit march art style fashion collaboration jessica ross

I am so so excited to be collaborating again with the AMAZING Shana, and her equally amazing blog: The Mom Edit on a series of monthly fashion themed art pieces.

Shana's latest spring OOTD on the mom edit.
Shana’s latest spring OOTD on the mom edit.

I love being able to collaborate with Shana. She has been an enthusiastic supporter and an advocate for me and my art, even when I usually can’t stand whatever it is I’ve made. supporter and cheerleader  She is passionate, enthusiastic and just all around bad ass. I love all of her style and she approaches each post with honesty and frankness about life that makes me laugh out loud.

I was really struggling creatively the last few months and this collaboration has  breathed new life into  my art and given me a new purpose and direction. This project has also been hands down the hardest artistic challenge I’ve undertaken simply because it’s so scary for me to have my artwork “out there” to be seen and judged. I usually have two modes: 1) being super impulsive about what I publish on social media and then afterwards feeling embarrassed or 2) overthinking and analyzing every thing I make until I just stop mid-way through and never finish it.

Here is the March art piece I did for The Mom Edit along with Shana’s picks to go along with it:

jess ross mom edit art collaboration march spring style

jessbobess march-collage-01-614x1024

And here is the link to her article:

http://themomedit.com/2015/03/hello-march-and-some-exciting-news/

This is the art piece I did for the February collaboration with The Mom Edit:

valentine-01 mom edit art collaboration

Here is her AMAZING outfit that inspired the art I did for her and the LINK to her article Winter Florals and Leather Jackets (The Anti-Valentines Day Outfit):

chiffon-maxi-leather-jacket-winter-floral-beanie-681x1024 chiffon-maxi-skirt-winter-floral-tank-leather-jacket-sole-society-winter-beanie

 

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OOTD: An Ode to Spring, All the Bright Colors, J.Crew, & My New Style Idol, Monling Lee

monling lee  colorindex jcrew

Her name is Monling Lee and she is my everything.

monling jcrew colorblock

She is an architect and urban designer with a passion for vibrant colors and a sense of style that is one of a kind.  I first discovered her via Instagram @monlinglee fell instantly in love with every single one of her photos.  She combines her unique and brilliantly colored personal style in perfectly coordinated urban environments. moonlingleecolorindex

 

By following her instagram account, I found out that she was teaming up with J. Crew to “Test-drive” Their new spring accessories on their blog: hello.jcrew.com. And was inspired to try to create my own color blocked outfit with my skirt I bought for a penny at Nordstroms Rack. JCrew and Monling Lee are having an instagram contest on how where you wear (and pair, and pile on) your J.Crew accessories with the hashtags #ACCESSORYFIX and #JCREWCONTEST for a chance to win one of three $1,500 shopping sprees. And although I don’t have a new spring accessory to actually join in…here are my outfits:
Processed with VSCOcam with 7 preset

 

color block jcrew spring

 

 

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Current Studio Art Wall Inspiration: A Spring Mood Board Refresh!

Today, the birds were chirping and the sun was out and the snow is melting into muddy lakes, but if that means spring is on it’s way…I’ll take it.

studiowall

Some much needed refreshing of my studio walls and work space. I’d like to try and change my art wall at least once a month but we’ll see how that goes!

art studio work space mood board inspirationThis one day of sunny weather has got me feeling all sorts of alive again.  

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OOTD: Playing with Prints

ootd personal style mixing patterns floral slipit’s that time of the year when I begin to feel even more crazy than usual.I like winter but, a Midwest winter is a different kind of beast. There has been snow on the ground basically since Thanksgiving and by Mid-February the temperatures average below freezing and that doesn’t even include the windchill.

Going outside means putting on every single warm-ish item I can find in my closet and looking like Joey from the Friends episode where he puts on all of Chandler’s clothes: joey-3

and then on top of that, there’s the robber face masks, scarves, gloves and beanies to cover any exposed extremities, like kitty:

winter-is-coming-23184

 


 

I like hunkering down and having an excuse to do nothing, and a snow storm is the ultimate laziness excuse but even that is has gotten old by now and I’ve developed a serious case of cabin fever, going nuts, shuffling around the house, pacing in circles, starting out at the snow for long periods of time, and murmuring unhappily to myself (even more than usual).  My boyfriend took a picture of me while I was peeking in on him just yesterday:

Here's Johnny

har. har.


all that just to say that my already questionable fashion taste is even more questionable than usual, given the previously stated circumstances. But, this led me to mixing prints and layering in a way that I otherwise wouldn’t have out of boredom, coldness, or craziness….

ootd personal style mixing patterns floral slip Details: Floral Print Lace Slip from Dailylook.com, $22.95, Ryan Crewneck Pullover from Free People, $98.00, Stripped Long Sleeve Top, Forever21, $14.90, Bettye by Bettye Zap Booties, Nordstroms, $141.95

oh and here it is with jeans:

ootdprintsfloralstripes1

Floral Print Lace Slip from Dailylook.com, $22.95:

florallaceslip

 

Ryan Crewneck Pullover in Cranberry from Free People, $98.00:

ryancrewneckpullover

 

Stripped Long Sleeve Top, Forever21, $14.90:

stripedcrew

Bettye by Bettye Zap Booties, Nordstroms, $141.95:

wedgecaramelsuedebooties

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More of my sketchbook pages.

 

 

floral sketchbook page quote

 

The start of a new year means a new sketchbook. I get really excited about starting a new journal- especially at the beginning of a new year. It literally allows me to turn a fresh page in my life and re-organize, reflect and motivate. I’ve been slowly compiling pictures of some of my sketchbook pages from this past year or so and funny, I never realized before just how often my pages center around a quote or lyric that is inspiring me at that time. I think because a big part of the reason I keep a journal is to motivate me and to help me stay positive. Oh, I also apparently am big on bright colors and florals.

 

 

 

 

 

sketchbookpagejessross

also, I’m really interested to know (for any fellow art journalists who stumbles across this page)…what your favorite sketchbook/journal is(Mixed media paper, watercolor paper, bound, spiral, small, large….)? I have over 30 journals and have tried all different types and sizes and I am starting to narrow it down to my favorites but I still feel like my perfect sketchbook is out there somewhere undiscovered and waiting. just really want a large sized sketchbook with pages that don’t bleed through…I like the watercolor moleskine sketchbook but it didn’t have very many pages and was quite expensive.
Here are my go tos:

The Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album

(12″ X 8.5″) Professional Folio Series, Hardcover $27.37

click on the picture to view in Amazon

pros: thick, heavyweight, high quality watercolor paper, super absorbent and doesn’t bleed through.

cons: expensive & only has 60 pages while most sketchbooks have at least 100 pages.

 

The Canson 180-Degree Art Book ($13.79)

(8.3′ x 11.7″) 80 sheets 

canson art sketchbook, click picture to view in amazon

Pros:  Lays flat, nice design

Cons: Paper is not high quality, and poor quality paper, rips easily

Strathmore Hardbound 500 Series Mixed Media Art Journal

(11.5″ x 8.5″, 64 Pages)

Strathmore Sketchbook, Click picture to view in Amazon

Pros: Great size and Price

Cons:

 

stormsrootsstitched together quote rjournalpagemixed media sketchbook page lyricsWhat inspires you? Do you have a favorite medium when journaling? What is your go-to when you are sketching or journaling… I always wish I wrote more….  but I never do….abstract ocean blue sketchbook page
journal illustration page

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An Easy and Fun DIY Abstract Art Project Tutorial for All Ages!

abstract art ideas

 

I can’t help that my natural artistic impulses are the same as every 2 year old who has just been given their first ever box of crayons (to take all the colors, smash them together, color all the paper,  mess all over the floor and then take a nap curled up in the eye of the hurricane). I swear I have every intention of trying to become a decent artist when I get out my graphite pencils and little eraser to practice sketching. Somehow though, I always end up on the floor surrounded by paint in every color and shade available. But Im at my happiest and  most inspired making my kaleidoscopic messes…

Abstract Geometric Watercolor Artwork by Yao Cheng

I happened to spot the inspiration for this DIY art project in an advertisement in House Beautiful magazine for minted.com. I ripped it right out (don’t worry, it was my copy!) , taped it to my wall and started to go to work on my own version. Later, I was able to investigate further and discovered (thank you pinterest) that the Artist’s is Yao Cheng, she specials in beautiful watercolor paintings and her online store on Minted’s website is FULL of stunning watercolor prints. The above piece and the object of inspiration is “Hexagon Cluster,” and you can purchase  her Limited Edition of Hexagon Cluster print on Minted (or click through the links) for anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on size and finish.

Here is everything you will need to make it:

1) watercolor paints (the Kids Crayola watercolors work just fine) and paper (brushes and cups of water as well)

I suggest the following liquid watercolors for bright, vibrant colors:

Sargent Art 8-Ounce Watercolor Magic Set (10 different watercolors for $49.95)

click on picture to view in Amazon

or Dr. Phil’s Concentrated Watercolors (my personal favorites) They average about $5.00 a bottle or a set of 14 is around $69.99.

Dr Phil’s Concentrated Watercolors (click pic to view in Amazon)

2) Watercolor Paper Pad

For the best price and quality, I suggest Strathmore 360900 Cold Press 140-Pound 12-Sheets Strathmore Watercolor Paper Pad, 9-Inch by 12-Inch, which is only around $7.00, also available on Amazon

Click photo to purchase in Amazon

 

3) Thick, heavyweight white paper Mixed Media paper works well, just something to hold the weight of mixed media and glue without tapering.

4) Scissors and a gluestick!

The How To:

The steps to making this DIY project are super simple.  But since I’m not sure of how the original artist created her stunning piece so I’ll tell you how I made my version.

1) Get out your watercolors and watercolor paper and go crazy (this is one of my favorite things in the world to do). You don’t need any fancy paper or expensive watercolors. In fact, I mostly used plain old, reliable Crayola Washable Watercolors  (available in probably every single pharmacy and grocery store in America).   because I had just moved to Grand Rapids from Chicago when I got this project itch, I had none of my supplies and couldn’t wait a few days till I went home again.

* Try experimenting with colors…I love playing with colors and mixing and matching up colors I wouldn’t usually put together while doing this…I tend to lean towards bright, bold, colors but what I love about Cheng’s is that she uses subtle, subdued colors with a pop of bold color that makes the piece stand out. Her use of subtle tones and light/grey hues accentuates the rich blues and the  subtle use of warm orange colors all come together to create a vibrant, yet refreshingly simple and peaceful piece of art that would compliment many differently styled rooms.

2) Using a ruler or something to help you draw straight lines, trace out 20-30 hexagons (6 sided shapes). Make sure to make all different sized hexagons..the sides don’t necessarily have to be symmetrical or have all equal lengths..this will help to add to the abstract and organic feeling of the piece.

3) Arrange them in a way you like on your heavyweight art board..the only rule I used for myself was that each shape has to be touching another shape by at least one point..I think this helps adds continuity and fluidity of the artwork and helps guide the viewer’s eye from each unique hexagon to the next.

I also tried another technique and did one piece where all the sides of the shapes had to be touching sides perfectly..this one took a little more time and a lot of cutting down shapes to fit better…

DIY abstract art project

4) admire, frame and hang!

Here are a few that I did, as you can see, I have a hard time using natural and subtle colors- which I think makes my finished pieces a little to “in your face.” But to each their own!

DIY Abstract Shape Art Project

abstract diy shape project

 

And that is it my friends!

 

 

 

 

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Fabulous Fall: 6 Autumn Fashion Fundamentals

I spent longer than I should have trying to fit as many words starting with the letter “F” in the title.. (Ill save you the counting: it’s four). I’ve been waiting alll summer to write this post. Because Autumn is my favorite. I’ve seen this Someecards Ecard floating around online the past few weeks:

pumpkinspice

And as a white girl who likes her yoga pants (they  are comfy and stretchy!) I have several objections. First off,  I don’t think an individual’s avid appreciation for the Fall Season has anything to do with the fact I am a white girl who likes her yoga pants on occasion (so comfy and stretchy!). Secondly, I don’t even like Pumpkin Spice Lattes (pumpkin candles, loaf breads, muffins and pancakes are another story). But, I will tell you my favorite things about Fall without you having to go through the trouble of saying “Pumpkin Spice Latte” 3 times. (Who’s the weirdo now? At least Im not the one talking to my mirror…amiright?)

I was thinking about what it was that made me love Autumn so much and I found this “Autumn Blessing” Affirmation on pinterest that resonated with me:

2c1fd8ef31dcbea3739a5f66b22664af

I never realized before that all the changes in nature that Autumn brings; (the crisp weather, bright colored leaves, the smell of firewood burning that permeates the air) really does represent a time of transformation and reflection. As a very sensory and visually orientated person, I appreciate the transformations to my physical environment that Fall brings. It forces me to acknowledge the passing of time, every time I walk outdoors.  I appreciate the Autumn season even more after being in Southern California for four years while at school. Looking back at that wonderful life experience, it feels like one really long summer and its difficult for me to remember exactly when my favorite and most precious memories occurred.  While the winter season is a whole other beast here in the Midwest, I’ve come to relish the Fall season even more.

Besides the beautiful weather (and the dozens of colorful leaves I find and put in my coat pockets and forget about and then spend the rest of the year pulling crumbled up bits of dried leaves out of various pockets) the other reason I love Autumn is for the fashion!

Maybe its because I remember all those end of summer clothes shopping excursions with my mom trying to pick out the perfect outfit for the first day of school, or maybe it’s because I spend my entire summers sweating through everything I wear the second I step outdoors and I’ve never felt comfortable in my skin in a summer wardrobe: shorts (the chafing!), bikinis (the shaving!) and tank tops (the arm jiggles!). I am much more comfortable covering up “all that” in scarves and over sized sweaters.

As usual,  I  got sidetracked on what was supposed to be a short intro into the main subject of this post: my 6 Fall Wardrobe Essentials.

 

I decided to make an inspiration board using my illustrations so here we go:

My Fall Wardrobe Essentials
My Fall Wardrobe Essentials

1. Leather (or Leatherette) Moto Jacket:

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Not so heavy or bulky as a winter coat and as the outermost layer of clothing, it’s the important in making a  “style statement.”  With oversized cardigans and slouchy, drapey sweaters and not to mention scarves, a simple, classic and fitted moto leather jacket keeps me from looking like a chunky pumpkin.

My dream jacket is this Veda Max Classic Tan Leather jacket Scuba Vintage Leather Jacket in Tan, available at Nordstroms

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for (wait for it, wait for it) $890. I love everything about this jacket (the dramatic, asymmetrical collar or oversized lapels) and the color.  And if I  was in a position to buy it, I would and probably never take it off.

Another similar and more reasonable and equally lovely jacket is the BB Dakota Lillian Vegan Leather Jacket 

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available at Urban Outfitters for $98.00. And it’s VEGAN, so you can feel good about not harming animals while wearing it!

 

2) A Bold (Tribal Inspired) Statement Jewelry Piece:

When I’m browsing for clothing or jewelry online, I always, 100% of the time, go with the more outrageous, the more colorful and bold option. Should a  30 year old be purchasing leopard print jeans? I learned the answer (it’s a big NO for me) when I showed up to the elementary school I was teaching at, only to run into  7th grader wearing the same exact pair as me (she was embarrassed, I was like “twinsies!!)  At these moments, I question my sanity and resentfully acknowledge my actual age. (I am 30, I am 30, I am 30). I am learning the beauty of simplicity but this is not one of those times. I give you the aptly named Falkor necklace from DylanLex.com…

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and my reaction to seeing this necklace for the first time can be summed up in the following picture:

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and the Falcor necklace can be yours for only $980.00!

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aaaand that’s the face I made when I saw the price.

Sorry, getting carried away again.

Urban Outfitters has some similar pieces like their Lalla Rhinestone Statement Bib Necklace for a fraction of the price ($68.00)

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Or you can do what I do, to wile away the hours and find some original and tribal inspired statement necklaces over on my favorite site on the web, etsy.

3. Boho Leather Handbag

Just recently I have re-fallen in love with bucket bags and leather backpacks as well as vintage tooled leather bags as well. I have been debating on fringed leather bags for years now and I still like them, although, they are becoming part of that festival season uniform- but my eye is always drawn to them.

Madewell makes a classic and simple style leather backpack- I don’t know why, but almost every leather bag I have ever owned is this carmel color. It’s definitely my favorite and saves me from having to decide wether to go with black or brown.

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Madewell’s leather Rucksack can be yours for $298.00 at Madewell.com and also ShopBop! 

Urban Outfitters has the perfect combination of the fringe that I hate to love and is also a rucksack/bucket bag,  the Cruz Studded Fringe Bucket Bag, and is much cheaper find at $54.00 and is also available in red and blue!

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I also love the vintage fabric woven tote/bucket bags/leather backpacks but have yet to find a patterned bag that is also a designer brand Etsy and Ebay are my stomping grounds for those unique and beautiful finds and the best part is they are usually one of a kind!

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this woven, Ikat, bucket bag on etsy: 

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I am sorry to say I had to purchase it but this Handmade Genuine Leather and Kilim Bucket Bag is still available from the Etsy shop: Puro Leather for $85.00

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whew, sorry this post is getting long! thanks for sticking with me.

Fourth on the list of Fall Wardrobe Essentials is….

4. Oversized, Slouchy, Sweater or Cardigan:

My two personal favorite sweaters of this season (as well as the color contrast jeans) are both from H&M. Although not everything is carried in their online store…

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The Oversized Sweater is available online in both gray and navy blue for an absolute steal of $14.95. I love this sweater and am so glad it caught my eye, although I have to admit , I would have passed it by if the mustard color version hadn’t caught my eye in the store. I love the length and the lightweight texture. I also am a big fan of contrast colors (as you might have guessed) but the black sleeves are definitely pleather and not very breathable.

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And here is the dark blue version also on sale for $14.95. I love the leather pants and really would like some of my own (imitation leather of course) but let’s hope this beautiful model’s leather pants are not made of the same pleather material as the sweater, or she is definitely sweating it out. What do you guys think about leather pants? Do you own any?

My second favorite oversized sweater is also from H&M, the Ribbed-Knit Sweater, which I got in Orange and is also nicely priced at $24.95. For the low prices, I am impressed with the quality of the garments I have purchased from H&M.

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and just cause a girl’s gotta dream about overpriced clothing items I will never be able to afford way out of my reach… my ultimate dream sweaters are both from Acne Studios (one of my new favorite “Dream” brands).

The Galactic Turtleneck Sweater is available at Barney’s New York and Also Acne Studio’s website for $620.00.

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Gaja Oversized Sweater ($500.00)  available online at Shopbop. 

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#5 in the Fall Wardrobe Essentials is….

Heeled Leather Booties

oh boots, bootie, boot, boots. I love boots….I can never have enough. What is it about women and their love for shoes and handbags? I don’t know, and don’t really care. In the past, I have always gone for tall, knee high length boots, but in recent years I am drawn more and more to ankle boots.

Basically every boot that Anthropologie has on their website is amazing. Their whole selection of boots, booties, ect, are kick ass, and usually always are.

I love the triple buckles and the price of the Vendaveles Boots (available exclusively online at Anthropologie) for $150.00.

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Since I am loving anything and everything color blocked this season I love both of these booties from Anthropologie: 

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above, The Metallic Colorblock Booties by Nina Payne, $290.00 (Also available only online).

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and the Coromell Booties, $130.00, also available exclusively online at Anthropologie as well.

FINALLY!

#6: Patterned Fitted Pencil Skirt

Goes well with an oversized sweater, tights and booties. And again, anthropologie stuns with their patterned pencil skirts:

4120336410577_079_b 2129634a695e35ba771e81300a090621Perhaps my favorite skirt at the moment (which I am currently trying unsuccessfully to persuade my boyfriend to buy for me for our 2 year anniversary)  is this beautiful Tapestry Pencil Skirt, $98.00 from Anthropologie, available online and in stores.

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I love the longer length of the new pencil skirts, like this Collection Stripe Skirt, from J.Crew for $128.00, but on sale right now for 25% off using the code: SHOPFORFALL.

Thank you for sticking with me through this incredibly long and incredibly materialistic post. I hope you all take the time to enjoy the first official day of Fall tomorrow.