Fall Outerwear

I love a good statement coat, poncho or cape. Fall is the perfect time to wear these items, because they can stand alone and stand out. In the spring I usually resort to a lighter jacket or cardigan (most of the time, boring), and in the winter most statement pieces are covered up by the dreaded parka and the millions of layers it takes to keep me warm. Anyone else the same?

During the fall though, the temperature and weather is usually just right to go sans parka and wear something heavier than a cardigan.

Like this amazing Steve Madden Blanket Wrap Coat from Nordstrom.

I was instantly drawn to it because of the color. Anything plum purple... it's mine! I was worried that the online pictures could have distorted the true color of the coat. Basically, I was afraid I was going to get a bright red and yellow garment in the mail. Not the case at all!

This particular coat is a little heavier than I had envisioned, but it made me love it that much more! I paired it over a basic button up and my go-to jeans. I can wear it with riding boots or loafers, depending on the weather, too. It is super comfortable and I just love the way it fits. I can tell that I'll be wearing this coat as much as I can this fall.

Nordstrom has a few other fall outerwear pieces that I've got my eye on, so I have linked them in the slider below. Just scroll through!!


One Shirt, Two Ways

Last week I attended the J.Crew fall preview event in Georgetown, hosted by my good friend Alicia Tenise.

I've attended several of these preview events in the past, but always look forward to the fall event. Why? Because fall is my favorite season of course! Even more so, I love fall fashion.

This season's J.Crew collection definitely didn't disappoint. If I had an endless supply of money I'd buy everything. There wasn't one thing I saw, that I didn't like. J.Crew really impressed me this season!

One thing I love about a lot of J.Crew's newest arrivals, is that you can wear each individual piece many ways. Like this amazing plaid shirt.

Of course Alicia and I ended up buying the same thing, ha! But we didn't mind. Why? Because we both have our own individual styles. We both knew that we'd style the same shirt different ways. That's when a great idea came to us. Why not show y'all how we'd style it?

So Alicia and I took the same plaid button down and put our own spin on it. Alicia went with a more chic look, by pairing her button down with a leather skirt and heels. Leather has made a comeback in a big way this fall, so it was the perfect combo. It helped take a rather "male" looking shirt, and feminize it. Head over to her blog to see more of her look!

As for my outfit, I wanted to stay true to my fall fashion go-to. Jeans and a blazer. Throughout fall you'll see me in jeans, various plaid shirts or button downs, and a classic blazer. It's so easy and I'm all about versatility.

I paired my button down with my favorite skinny jeans and go-to navy blazer. I didn't want to come across too masculine, so I added a pop of sparkle with a statement necklace and threw on a fun pair of booties. You can easily change the feel of an outfit just by adding a few accessories.

Whether your style is chic or classic, you can certainly take this J.Crew plaid shirt and style it to your liking. Two bloggers... one shirt... two very different looks! See more J.Crew plaid shirts I'm loving by clicking any of the images below.

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**Photos by Lisa Chiu Photography


The Handwritten Note

It may be the Southerner in me, but I'm an avid sender and supporter of a handwritten note or card.

Growing up, my mother taught me to always send a thank you for anything and everything. Even the smallest gesture gets a handwritten card. So I've tried to carry this sentiment with me throughout life.

Last year I did a post featuring some thank you note etiquette. It got a wonderful response, so I wanted to share even more insight into the handwritten note. Why? Because we're approaching the season that I usually send the most amount of mail. So I thought, why not share a few more of my tips before the busy season begins.

Always Have a Card On Hand // It's easier to send a thank you, note or card when you already have some on hand. Whether I have a purpose for a card or not, I tend to buy ones that I like and save for a special reason.

Save Addresses // I keep a word doc on my desktop at work and at home, that lists friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances addresses. You can also store them in your contacts on your phone. That way you can easily access someone's address without heckling them every time you need it. Plus, it'll be 100% a surprise when they receive it!

Personalized Stationery // Whether you're a male or female, having personalized stationery on hand is a must. The beauty of this is you can use these types of cards for anything and everything. Need to send a thank you? Want to congratulate someone for passing the Bar Exam? You can quickly snag a piece of your stationery. **Paper Source is currently offering 25% off personalized stationery right now!!

Purchase Stamps in a Roll // While the initial cost upfront may seem high, having a large amount of stamps on hand will save you the trouble of having to run to the post office last minute. I keep a roll in my drawer at work and can easily grab one when needed.

Skip the Boring Card // While it's nice to send a note or card either way, take the kind gesture one step further. There are so many amazing cards out there these days. Most recently, Hallmark created a new line of cards under their Signature series. I met with the ladies behind Hallmark Signature at this past summer's Southern Blog Society Conference. The cards they shared are VASTLY different from what you've seen before. They're bigger, bolder, totally on trend and some have really cool 3D features. A few of my favorites are featured in the photos in this post!

I mean how cool would it be to receive a card like one of these?! Would make your day, right?!

What about holiday cards? I know many people my age tend to overlook sending Christmas cards or New Year cards. Why? Because the cost can be pretty expensive. Holiday cards aren't just for families or couples. I love sending a little holiday cheer through the mail to friends and family! The key to getting a good deal is to shop early and buy in bulk.

Buy Early // Most online paper shops will offer an incentive for buying early. As in, right now. Sites like Minted (currently offering 20% off), Paper Source and Hallmark can offer discount codes throughout September and some during October, if you buy early.

Buy in Bulk // The more you buy, the more you save! Yes, you are spending more money overall, but you are getting more for that money. Plus, you'll think of last minute people that you may have accidentally left off your list. Or we're all human. You never know when you'll have a slip of the wrist and need to start over. Thus, it never hurts to have a few extras!

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**Photos by Lisa Chiu Photography.


Why Taking a Blogging Break is Good for the Soul!

I never thought to actually write a post on this topic, but I definitely found it necessary after such a great response to Tuesday's Life Lately post. I'm definitely going to get a little personal here, so bear with me.

There were quite a few comments, tweets and emails from y'all about my blogging break. All, were supportive and encouraging! So first of all, thank you for that! Some of y'all even sought out some advice on taking your own break from the world wide web. So I thought, why not discuss it here on the blog as well?!

I've been blogging for about a year and a half now. In many ways I'm still new to the blogging world, have plenty of room to grow and in other ways I feel like this has been apart of me for well beyond the time I've actually been doing it. Blogging has sort of become a second job in a way and apart of my daily routine. So much so, that it can be hard to separate myself from it (sorry for posting Instagrams at dinner my friends).

When summer began, I was really in the heat of blogging. I was posting about four times a week and really starting to see my hard work come to fruition. Then... life happened. Well, actually it was summer in general. The days started to get busier, my evenings started to get packed and my weekends seemed to end before they even began. So finding the time to blog and produce great content started to get challenging.

I also was entering a new relationship, preparing for several summer trips and events, and finding it very hard to find a free day on my calendar. I was really just enjoying life and while doing so, blogging started to slip away from me. Not in a bad way of course, but I just found myself really wanting to immerse myself in my offline life. There's NOTHING wrong with that! Something I needed to learn.

As summer came to a close, I found myself in a different scenario. I went through a really hard... breakup. I've alluded to this over the past few weeks. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed to share this, because well... it happens to everyone. At this point, I found myself shying away from blogging because my mind was undoubtedly focused on other things. I needed to focus on myself. Selfish? Maybe. But it was necessary for healing and growing.

The few weeks of focusing on life offline, really helped me clear my head and find new inspiration for all sorts of things. Ultimately, it was blogging that pulled me out of this emotional state. It was the fact that I've experienced so many wonderful things because of starting this little space on the web. But mostly it was the people that I've met throughout the past year and a half that I truly found myself leaning on. I wasn't thinking about "how many followers I've lost" or "how it was going to take some rebuilding" to get back to the point I was at the beginning of the summer.

I realized that no matter the length of a blog break, the reason for it, or the follower count that may dwindle... it is truly about the context of it all. The relationships, experiences and friendships that have come from it, and the passion I have for continuing on.

So no matter what you're going through. If you're in a blog rut, feeling uninspired, too busy to handle it all or just honestly going through a hard time in your life, remember the paragraph above and.. take a break. Life happens. Real things that aren't shared online or with your followers. So take all the time you need. Everyone will be supportive and understanding. I can definitely attest to that. **Photos Via

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Life Lately

I was inspired by my good friend Katie to do a "life lately" post. It has been awhile since I've shared what has been going on during my offline life + I've taken a little blog break the past few weeks. So it's time to catch y'all up and get back into the blogging grind. For real this time. The new month and my favorite season upon us, has truly amped up my blogging motivation + provided me with a ton of new post ideas and content. So get ready.

Saying Goodbye to Summer: It's hard to believe that in about two weeks we'll officially be saying goodbye to summer. While fall is by far my favorite season, I'm always sad to see summer go.

This past summer definitely was one of the best I've had. It's hard to recount all the amazing experiences (we'd be here all day). There were several firsts too. Went to my first blogger conference. Gambled for the first time in an actual casino (and won $40!). Played my first 9 holes of golf. And so much more!

I went to many Washington Nationals games and several concerts like Sweetlife FestivalMumford & Sons + Zac Brown Band.

I also made a ton of new friends, turned the big 25, watched my best friend get married, experienced a wonderful relationship, and am truly ending the summer with some amazing memories. While this past summer brought a few hardships and unexpected things as well, I'm leaving the summer stronger, in a positive mindset and looking forward to what fall has in store.

Learning a New Skill: This coming weekend I'm really excited to finally be doing something I've always been interested in learning... calligraphy. I've been dying to learn this art for many years! I finally took the plunge and look forward to learning from one of the best, Laura Hooper Calligraphy. I'll definitely be sharing a recap of my experience next week on the blog!

Travel: While I didn't do much traveling this summer, other than to Charleston and Nashville, I do have a few trips in the works for fall.

I'll be heading down to Rocky Top for the Tennessee vs. Georgia game in October. I cannot wait! My veins will always bleed orange and anytime I'm back in Neyland Stadium, I'm truly in my happy place.

I'll also be down in Knoxville for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is what I'm most excited about. My family decided this year to forgo the traditional Christmas and presents, and take a family trip. We're heading to Orlando for a week at Disney and Universal Studios!! We've heard Christmas is the best time to visit Disney, so I'm pretty excited about it. My inner child is screaming with excitement!

What I'm Reading Right Now: I'm starting to get back into finishing the books that I began at the beginning of the summer. Just a few chapters left in #GirlBoss, about halfway through Leave Your Mark, and I just purchased Aziz Ansari's book, Modern Romance. I was super pumped to get this book. It came in the mail this past Friday and I'm already three chapters in. It's WORTH the read for sure. Aziz is hilarious! I definitely picture him reading the book to me. Makes it even more entertaining!

Work: While I normally don't share too much about my day job on the blog (most of you know that I work in politics), I've actually had quite a few of you reach out to me about getting your foot in the door and wanting to learn more about living in DC. I'm always happy to chat via email about it, so keep the questions and emails coming!!

Taste of the South: If you've been an avid follower of the blog, you know that I spent my entire past year and pretty much every second of March preparing for one of the biggest charity galas here in DC. Taste of the South hosts more than two thousand people at the Washington Hilton each year. We have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 34 years for deserving charities across the southeast.

This year is especially exciting because Tennessee has been selected to be the featured charity!! The majority of the proceeds will be donated to our state charity, Camp Koinonia. If you're interested in getting involved, or are a business that wants to help out, please get in touch!

What I'm Loving Right Now: That it's almost fall. It's my FAVORITE time of the year. Basic, I know. But it really is. I've got a fun "fall fashion" post coming your way tomorrow, so stay tuned!

What's Ahead On the Blog: The blog sort of took a backseat this summer, but that won't be the case this fall. I've got a lot of fun things planned for this month! Some new recipes, outfit posts, career related posts, and of course, fall fashion. Is there anything in particular y'all want to see? I want to know what you'd like to read about on Primp & Proper. Leave some ideas in the comments below!

Thankful: I have to say... I have been blessed with some pretty amazing friends and family. Of course I already knew that, but it's easy to get caught up and take things for granted sometimes. I truly cannot thank y'all enough for reading my blog, being so supportive and excited about what I'm doing.

I've made some of my best friends through blogging, and I have to pinch myself each day realizing how lucky I am.

Even through the crux of life, even through heartbreak, even through personal things... I have my health, a job I love in a place I love, a great family and wonderful friends. So I'd say I'm doing just fine.

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