What to Wear to a Fall Wedding: Part 2

I, for one, die for fall weddings! I mean, I met my hubs in the fall, we got married in the fall… Fall is the perfect time for love in my humble opinion! Weather-wise you’re typically going to be in luck. Hopefully it won’t be too cold, it won’t be too hot, it’ll be juuuuuuust right.

I love weddings for the obvious reasons: the friends, the food, the drinks, the dancing. And I simply LOVE love! However, another reason I’m totally into weddings is it gives me a chance to dig deep into my vintage dress treasure trove and pull out dresses so rarely worn and let them shine. This one here just happens to be one of my vintage babies that I love dearly.

For my outfit I went sans sweater and tights, but those are both easy elements to add last minute if necessary. Or if you’re not feeling like having a sweater moment add a little blazer or even maybe even a cute jean jacket for the after party.

Even though it can be a bit of a drag to keep track of a purse all night I absolutely cannot go without one. If you’re like me and must have a purse or handbag, make it a statement piece. Again, I’m very into pulling something out of my closet that I love but doesn’t see much action, save for special occasions.

Another must: bring an alternate pair of shoes!!! A simple pair of ballet flats will work for sure. These vintage kitten heels I’m wearing are comfortable, don’t get me wrong, but weddings can go on for hours and sore feet are the worst! I like to glam it up for awhile, then once everyone has had a few drinks slipping off your shoes and changing them out ain’t no thing. No one will notice but you!

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I really love what Devan did with my hair! I went in with just a few ideas: big and curly, and she took the reigns from there. I tend to get stuck in hair ruts, so it was a total luxury to have her curl and tease my hair and definitely gave me some ideas for how to glam it up myself in the future! For a wedding I think it’s fun to get out of your comfort zone and do something different. I usually pin my hair back in one way or another, so big curly hair (well as big as it can be with short hair!) was a total treat for me.

One of my best friends is getting married this fall and I can’t wait to replicate this look for what is sure to be a totally fabulous time!

Outfit details: hair: Devan Elbel at the Beauty Parlor | dress, shoe, handbag :: vintage, vintage, vintage! | bracelet :: F21

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What to wear to a fall wedding

Oooooh kitties fall is in the AIR! I’m getting excited for everything fall-related: colorful tights, all pumpkin everything, and booooties! I’ve been a busy little lady, and one of the things I’ve been working on is Your Wedding Iowa magazine. So since I’ve had weddings on the brain, Jessi and I thought it would be fun to do a couple posts dedicated to wedding guest fashion!

When it comes to weddings, I like to go a big amount of fancy. And here’s a genius idea: get your hair done! Devan, our friend and awesome stylist, styled our hair for these photos and she did an amazing job as always! While I give it a good attempt every once in awhile, I am definitely a self-proclaimed hair amateur. Devan whipped me into fancy mode for sure! I love how gorgeous and yet totally effortless it looks.

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Usually if someone says, “I’m going to wear snakeskin to a wedding,” I would probably cringe a little. However, if it’s done in small, tasteful doses, it can be super glammy and successful! These snakeskin shoes were a definite impulse buy on my part and I love them. They are both sassy and comfortable. I love pairing them with jeans and a plain gray v-neck too.

I have to admit: I don’t have a wedding to go to this fall, but I loved dressing up! Some ideas for fall weddings:

1. Have fun with print-mixing!
2. Bring a little crop cardigan or bolero in case it’s a bit chilly. Or just dance the night away to stay warm!
3. Take a date night outfit and find a way to turn it up a notch. Remember the words of Oscar Wilde: You can never be overdressed or overeducated!
4. Get your hair done! It’s a great way to feel automatically gorgeous, even if it’s just a blow out.

Outfit details: Hair styled by Devan Elbel, stylist at the Beauty Parlor in Des Moines | Dress :: Dry Goods | Belt :: my mom’s| Heels :: Target | Necklace :: gift from Joe | Bow Bracelet :: Charming Charlie | Kate Spade bag :: gift from Joe from Von Maur

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Stay tuned for Jessi’s fall wedding look: she’s looking too cute!

Road Trip + Family Fun

Last weekend John and I took some time off from our regular lives for a good ole family vacation! We drove up to a lake house in Wisconsin to hang with my brother and his better half as well as my mom, aunt and grandma. I grew up on road trips so the five hour trip it took to get to  our destination was no big deal. As a kid my family often drove to Colorado and we made several trips to Florida and even drove to New York once. Throughout the years John and I have taken many mini road trips to Omaha, Minneapolis and Chicago so by now we pretty much have road tripping down to a science. We stockpiled music and podcasts (check out our Podcast post to see what we’re in to!), got our requisite bagel and tea breakfast on our way out of town and stopped once or twice for road snacks and to stretch John’s long legs.

Side note: my fav road snack hands down is a Whatchamacallit candy bar. I can’t believe they still make those! So delish.

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We took these photos at a rest stop that was downright beautiful! It was tucked into the woods a bit and perfect for a photo op. When traveling in the car I like to dress for comfort, of course, but don’t ever want to get caught looking too schlubby. This outfit here has been my summer go-to of late. The top is actually a stretchy dress that I could not personally pass as a dress (too tight! too short!) but it works just fine tucked into a skirt or high-waisted jeans. I’ve really been in to scoop-back tanks or anything that reveals my tattoo. I almost forget about Gus in the middle of winter! I’ve gotta show him off when I can. I bought this denim skirt very recently from a store in the mall that I would not normally shop at (check out my outfit details at the end to reveal the mystery store!). I’m typically very into thrifting or spending as little as possible on anything, with the exception of dresses from Modcloth, my total weakness! I usually stay away from slightly higher end stores because of the price tag, but this denim is quality and it’s nice to own something that I know won’t fall apart any time soon. Oh the luxury! Don’t get me wrong though, I will thrift-shop until the end of time, I’m in no way fully converted. But this skirt is so comfortable and fits into my wardrobe really nicely. And it withstood the road trip test!

I spent the next few days in my swimsuit by day and leggings and boots by night around the camp fire. It was nice to get away and I 100% do not want to go back to work, right?!

outfit details: Top, seashell ring :: forever 21 | shoes :: urban outfitters | skirt :: Ann Taylor Loft (similar) | necklace :: Domestica | belt :: thrifted | sunglasses :: Ray-Ban

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A day on vacay

Last week Joe, Charlie and I went on an epic Midwest road trip for our 2nd Annual Summer Family Vacation (last year we headed west!). On Monday, we found ourselves in the Dells of Wisconsin. If you’ve never been, I’m here to tell you: that place is cuckoo! I’d never heard of it until about a month before we left, and I wasn’t prepared for all the craziness! As a friend said, “It’s like Vegas mixed with Branson plus a bunch of water parks.” Love!

We had a jam-packed day: mini golf, a deer park, a ride on an army boat (called a duck!), and lots and lots of swimming. Luckily Joe snapped some pics of me during mini golf, and I’m also sharing some other photos taken that day.

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Looking at these photos again makes me wish I was still on vacay! Our whole trip was just super fun, and this day was one of the best.

Packing for a week long trip is always a little bit of an exciting challenge. Here are my tips for vacation packing:

1. Write down/draw out the outfits you want to wear each day, and tuck it into your suitcase. Sometimes I feel inspired on the trip to mix and match, but I like knowing I have planned outfits since you don’t want to spend 45 minutes getting dressed when adventures await!

2. Try packing outfits that you know you feel good in and are comfortable. I’ve packed crazy outfits that I’ve never worn before the day of vacation, and then I’m uncomfortable all day and regret it. Juxtapose those crazy fun outfits for a normal weekend!

3. Plan for weird weather. One day on our trip we hit a cold front and downpour and it was in the mid 60s. This led to the whole family getting new hoodies at a mad dash to Target, when we could have just packed them!

4. Always remember to bring at least one extra outfit. You will look at what you wrote down to wear one day and think, “Nope. Not feeling it.” It’s nice to have another option all ready picked out!

I want to know your tips, since I am definitely no expert (see #3)!

outfit details: sunglasses :: Forever 21 | dress :: an epic garage sale! | belt :: my mom’s | shoes :: Charlotte Russe (super old)
on Charlie :: long-sleeved tee :: gift | basketball shorts :: Children’s Place | Air Jordans :: gift, Nike Store | Batman hoodie :: Target (similar)

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Green Acres

A few weeks ago I visited my mom in Mt.Vernon, a couple of hours away from Des Moines. She recently moved back into the farm house she grew up in, a home that’s been in our family for over a 100 years. It’s not a working farm anymore but is pretty gorgeous in the summer. The yard is huge, and I would know, I used to have to mow it back in high school! The light was so nice when I pulled up to the farm that I made my mom take pictures of me right away. When your friend or family member is a fashion blogger you never know when you’ll get pulled into and bossed around for an impromptu photo shoot!

Anytime I go back home for a visit I try to make a stop in Iowa City for a quick shopping trip. I was short on time but managed to run into White Rabbit and pick up a few things. Yay! I’d been eyeing this necklace via White Rabbit’s Instagram account (@whiterabbitgalleryic). Since I’m prone to breaking/losing jewelry I don’t usually invest too much in it but I decided to splurge slightly and I’m so glad I did, I’ve worn it nearly every day since I got it. I also picked up this tank on my stop. It’s lightweight and the print is super cute! I don’t have much else like it in my closet, which is a new shopping rule for me. There have been too many times that I’ve come home from thrifting only to realize I had nearly identical dresses or tops just waiting to be worn. I’m gonna take a moment here to say I think that Cher from Clueless was spot on in terms of archiving all her outfits via Polaroid pictures. The girl is brilliant, obviously! New summer project, perhaps???

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The first order of business once I made it to the farm was to play with my mom’s new kitten, Thomasina. She was about 8 weeks old when I met her and just toooooooo cute! I’ve tried to talk my mom into getting another cat for awhile now and I’m excited she finally did! Suffice to say most of the evening was taken up with kitten time, much to the dog’s chagrin. But we did manage to take a break and visit Palisades Cafe in town (shout out Palisades Cafe!!) The food was super delicious and, even better, is owned by a friend of mine from childhood. We had a brandy cheese dip to start and I had a black bean and beet veggie burger… Yum yum! Highly recommended if you happen to be passing through Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Outfit details: tank, skirt, necklace :: White Rabbit | Shoes :: Worishofer

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A fun take on mixing patterns

Kitties! I’ve been digging on some plaid + stripes these last couple of weeks. Try it out! Of the outfits I’ve tried, this one is by far my favorite. Bright colors + black and white are a no fail combination in my eyes. The last time I wore this dress on the blog I dressed it up for a Christmas party, and my goal was to dress it down for this post but it’s ended up in that fuzzy area of not overly dressed up but definitely not dressed down either. That fuzzy area is pretty much where I like to dress 98% of the time.

Also in classic Marlena fashion, I have three different bows on (belt, shoes, and a small bow on my purse). Bows! I just love them. This top has no bows but does include ridiculously puffy sleeves, and every time I wear it I definitely get some sidelong glances. I feel like a space commander in it, albeit the type that wears purple kitten heels.

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So I do have to take a time out and talk about my new purse, especially since I never want to use another one again. Joe and I just celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary, and we like to do the traditional wedding gifts. Joe was like, “Leather? That seems hard; any ideas?” haha uhhhh yeah! So now here I sit with easily the nicest purse I’ve ever owned and I love love love it! I got him some cute oxford shoes by Cole Haan. We definitely went overboard…

Speaking of presents, I can’t believe it’s my birthday month already. Yesterday I had a blast at our company golfing trip (I was lucky enough to score the position of Gator Driver instead of Golfer… I can say with real confidence I left all of my athletic hopes and dreams back in high school) but the entire time I was like, “Why is it so hot?” Uh, because it’s June, dummy! Still isn’t kicking in I’m afraid, but now I have sunburned knees to remind me.

Outfit details: plaid ruffle top :: thrifted | black and white stripe dress :: Charlotte Russe | brown belt :: Francesca’s | purple bow heels :: Grey Dog Boutique | Kate Spade bag :: gift from Joe, Kate Spade

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Pssssst! Did you miss our $50 ASOS gift card giveaway, happening right now? Hop to it and good luck! We will announce the winner on Monday.

 

Red on red

My parents have been living in Kansas City for like 10 years and not once, NOT ONCE! did I think to myself, “Let’s go vintage shopping!” How can this be, pretty kitties? I think I have always been sucked into the H&M and Urban Outfitters and it just never occurred to me until recently! Joe and I had a day date while Charlie hung out with his grandparents. We went to Westport, I tried on about 2,000 dresses (and took 3 home!), we went to a record store, a toy store, walked around a bunch, and then went and met back up with my parents. It was a beautiful day that was made all the better by the new spring clothes!

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So this is one of the dresses I bought. I’m in love! I’m a sucker for a cute boat neck, and this bandana pattern is the tops! I paired it with my red jacket, which I was a little iffy about, but then Charlie said, “You look cute Mama!” so I left it on. Nothing like a compliment from a 2 year-old to give confidence to your fashion choices!

Outfit details: bandana dress :: Re-Runs |  white belt :: found in my Mom’s closet! | red jacket :: Hill Vintage | blue flats :: Charlotte Russe

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A jacket-less spring day

One of my favorite parts about spring is the fact that I don’t have to wear a jacket anymore! Or at least not all the time. Fall and winter jackets are cute for awhile but they really end up cramping my style around February or March. The allure of tights, boots and jackets are gone and I just want my arms and legs to be free! However, with a slight chill still in the air I like to strike a balance. If my legs are bare then I’ll cover up my arms (shorts and a sweater are the cutest!) or, here, I threw on some jeans with this cute but tight dress. I bought this dress recently on a birthday trip to Ragstock in Minneapolis. I love the color and pattern, which reminds me of little crescent moons that compliment my tattoo nicely. The dress didn’t fit quite right but I bought it anyway, as I tend to do. It was close enough though, and I knew once I got it home I’d figure out a way to make it work. Since I’m not really into the body-con dress trend I needed something on my legs to make me feel more at ease. I threw on my best jeans ever that I’ve mentioned in previous posts along with some 80s wedges and was ready to go!

Side note: this cute table and chair set up is right outside one of our absolute favorite local Des Moines stores, Vitae, which we mention here often!

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This is the first post of many where I’ll be showing off new clothes acquired from birthday shopping, birthday gifts or vintage scores from Portland, so look out!

Outfit details: scarf, shoes, belt :: thrifted | dress :: Ragstock | necklace :: Domestica | jeans :: Urban Outfitters

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Let’s pretend it’s summer

On Easter we spent the afternoon at Gray’s Lake, a local park in the middle of Des Moines. It was a bit windy, but oh my it was so lovely. Think running in the sand, playing at the playground, and throwing rocks into the lake.

Full disclosure: we don’t actually swim in the lake. I have a pretty high tolerance for disgusting things (I mean, I have a son), but the lake itself is basically a giant toilet. After I stepped on a dirty diaper one time, the luster of the free swim was over. We now go to the city pools, where at least I can tell myself the chlorine kills all the pee….

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I was never into maxi dresses before getting pregnant three years ago. Then I fell in love with the easiness of them. This one is a bit too low-cut for my preference, so I wore the scarf. This concealed everything about 20% of the time due to the dumb wind.

Anyway, these photos make me want to leave my computer and get back to the beach! Too bad it’s raining…

Outfit details: striped hat :: garage sale find (similar from Modcloth) | scarf :: gift from my grandma | striped top :: Kokorokoko | maxi dress :: target (similar) | bow shoes :: target (similar) | bracelet :: gift from Joe, Betsey Johnson | sunglasses :: my husband’s, from a gas station (similar)

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Two day roller coaster

Wednesday: best day! Thursday: worst day! Wednesday was my husband’s birthday, and I was able to take off for the afternoon, eat a fancy lunch with Joe and then head to the zoo with him and Charlie. So fun! That night I had put together a surprise dinner party for Joe at a fun Teppanyaki grill place. So great! And Joe was so surprised I loved it.

Before I left work for the afternoon, Kristen snapped some pics of me. It was super windy and I actually ended up changing before we went to the zoo but I am digging this outfit. I’ve actually paired this belt with this crop sweater before here, but I’m loving this beautiful bright red dress with it. Jessi gave it to me! And this scarf is a gift from my grandma that I’ve been wearing a lot lately. It’s so big and filled with such pretty colors.
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The worst day was Thursday. Not only did I have to go to the dentist on my lunch break (always a blast), I got into an accident on the way back to work! A nice enough woman wearing a terrible outfit (kitties, please never match a teal bulldog shirt with a light yellow Winnie the Pooh jacket and giant jeans. Ok?) ran a red light and crashed right into me. I wasn’t hurt or anything, but she hit my car so hard the front tire ended up falling off. Cuckoo! Oh well, now I have a rental for the rest of the month.

outfit details: pearl earrings :: gift from Joe | dress :: gift from Jessi | gold cardigan :: Charlotte Russe (forever ago) | blue anchor belt :: Kokorokoko | scarf :: gift from my grandma | gold oxfords :: Aldo (similar)

 

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