There’s nothing better than coming back to your childhood home and face planting onto your bed after four long years of college and internships and post-graduation travels. While most of my friends had June start dates, I am lucky enough to be able to spend July relaxing at home before I officially move into New York City. Much of my stay included cleaning, packing, running errands, and revamping Bouge & Rouge, but I was able to do all the things I loved to do when growing up here in New Jersey one last time.
In my Home Sweet Home Summer 2017 Lookbook, I bring you five of my favorite outfits in my favorite childhood places with the best (and my favorite), the beach, for last.
*Note: I apologize ahead for the quality of this batch of photos as the sun’s harsh lighting has not been nice to me all week!
The Farmers’ Market
There are tons of different farms and flea markets around me. While a few of them have sadly decreased in popularity and vendors, I still like visiting one particular farmers’ market by my old middle school. Here you can get fresh bread, flowers, organic vegetables, baked goods, and handmade jewelry! I spent a Sunday here with my mom picking out the week’s bread, some kale, and a batch of sunflowers for the dining room table.
My market outfit consists of a floral short, loose tank, and comfortable sandals. I love “dressing to the theme” and these floral shorts were the perfect fit for a farmers’ market. Since Sunday mornings to early afternoons get quite hot at the markets, I opted for a hat and loose tank to keep it airy and light.
Top: Banana Republic
Purse: Calvin Klein
Necklace: Forever 21
You don’t live in suburbia until you hang out with everyone at the local mall. This time, I spent a decent amount of time at my local mall not because of the sales but rather because my MacBook died on me while I was on vacation. After four long weeks without it and three trips to the Apple Store for troubleshooting, it was finally revived and ready to go home. On my way out, I noticed Zara was moving into a huge lot. I couldn’t help but smirk with excitement. That side eye is telling you I’m going to spend a lot of time camped out in here…
The AC in the mall is typically insane. I don’t understand the power of those units, but I make sure to dress for the temperature! When going to the mall, you want to keep the outfit simple and easy to slip in and out of in the dressing room. So if you’re the type that doesn’t like leaving the house in baggy shorts and a tank, you can always slip on a pair of comfortable jeans, sneakers, and a flowy uncomplicated top. Avoid anything with laces or buttons and any dresses, as it’s easier to pick a shirt or a pair of pants when you have another top on to create a look with.
Top: a French boutique in Taipei
Purse: Kate Spade
Necklace: Ted Baker
As a kid, I used to kick around soccer balls in my yard and run through the sprinklers. Then when my dog was a puppy, it became his playground. Although both of us are much too old for horsing around now, it’s still so pleasant to be able to sit on my deck and stare out at the vast greenery. Despite the fact the grill wasn’t working this Fourth of July, I had a fun time walking around the yard with my now old dog (who refuses to pose with me) while enjoying a cold beverage. After all, my front yard is soon going to be the view of concrete and brick.
For this Fourth of July outfit, I slipped on an airy pant and loose cotton tee. The hat made another debut as it was too hot to let my dark hair attract all the heat. I also wore a high wooden block heel, allowing me to look dolled up but not get stuck in the grass.
Pants: Banana Republic (Avery)
Necklace: Adastra in Brooklyn
Sounds weird right? Well my house is on a tall hill, making my slope of a driveway my favorite thing to speed down as a kid. I used to get in all sorts of injuries flying down full speed on my bike or rollerblades. When the adrenaline got old, I would chalk up the driveway with pictures or hopscotch grids and then have a picnic inside my garage when it got too hot. Now, my garage is strictly a storage for cars, my snowboard, and a bunch of crap. Regardless, it still reminds me of my childhood playdates and bandaids.
This is one of my go-to summer outfits. It’s easy, breezy, … comfortable. You can alternate between denim shorts or white denim as well as any sneaker from Converse to Kids to Nikes. You can even switch up the hats according to mood! For this photo, I picked a special hat I purchased in Taipei. It says “看見台灣” meaning “Seeing Taiwan.” It’s the title of a famous documentary a Taiwanese photographer made about Taiwan (the English title is Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above). He worked with locals and National Geographic to shoot beautiful aerial images before his helicopter crashed in the mountains this early June, killing him, his pilot, and his assistant. This particular documentary is breathtaking. It shows Taiwan in a whole new angle and brought so much pride and love for their country to Taiwanese people. I’m so heartbroken he passed before he could make his sequel, so for me wearing this hat is a reminder that it’s always worth chasing after the magic of creating art, because life is short and it’s better to die doing what you love than die doing nothing at all.
Top: Urban Outfitters
At last. My favorite. New Jersey has beautiful parks, farms, and gardens, but nothing beats the shore. My favorite area to visit is Pier Village by the Long Branch and Seven Presidents beach. For those of you who know the more famous Jersey beaches, it’s slightly under Sandy Hook and above Belmar, Point Pleasant, and far north from Seaside Heights and Wildwood. There are great shops, good food, and clean coastlines.
I visited the shore for dinner with a childhood friend around sunset and watched the beautiful bright red moon rise as we ate. Since we were there to dine, I wore a summery maxi dress and festival styled wedges. I wore my hair extensions and braided my hair into a fishtail. It gets chilly at night by the boardwalk, so always be sure to bring a light sweater or cardigan!
Dress: Francesca’s Collections
Shoes: Madden Girl
Purse: Calvin Klein
Hair Extensions: Bellami Hair
Even though I have such a New York spirit, I’m forever a Jersey Girl at heart. I’m so excited to be moving to the city of my dreams, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t already miss home. I hope you enjoyed visiting central Jersey. À bientôt, mes chéries!