Summer sort of snuck up on me this year. We’ve been having this lovely, mild weather lately, with plenty of rainy afternoons.
I was starting to wonder if we were even in West Texas.
But this week, the heat returned with a vengeance and finally hit that 100 degree mark, so it’s been cool, breezy dresses every single day.
There’s something about a pure white dress that just makes me nervous. I don’t want to be responsible for keeping it clean, especially with all the chips and salsa and dusty patio chairs around.
But an ivory dress with some texture and pattern to it, like this one? Definitely less intimidating.
(Even though I might still bring my chambray shirt along, just in case I need to tie it around my waist. Dusty chairs and all.)
Since it’s officially feeling like summer around here, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite poolside playlists + reads with you.
- Patio Dinners playlist / Just like it sounds, this is my go-to for patio dinners. It’s a mix of 60’s and 70’s soul mixed with some modern R&B and indie. The vibe is happy and a little nostalgic.
- Indie Poolside Chill playlist / Put this playlist on shuffle while you’re hanging out by the pool. It’s indie pop with a beachy sound.
- The Royal We book / There’s a good chance you’ve already read this book, but I can’t help but mention it. I read it last summer, and it’s so fun that I might read it again this year. Light and easy, it’s a fictionalized version of Will and Kate’s love story.
- Mistborn Trilogy books / You might be surprised to learn that I’m super into the fantasy genre — and this series was what got me into it. It’s got a strong female lead, political intrigue, and a bit of romance. It’s more intense than most beach books, and quite a bit longer too — three books, 700 pages each — but if you’re looking for a shake up in your fiction lineup, this is it.
Got any summer books or playlists to share? I’d love to hear!
Next week, I have a little surprise for you. I’m releasing a new + updated version of my printable capsule planner! You’ll be able to print it out — for free, as always — and complete the whole thing in less than 30 minutes. Even if you just want to use it to get a better grasp on your style, you’ll love it.
And hey! If you’re going to be in Austin this weekend, you can get an advance copy of the new planner. I’m going to be at Madewell at the Domain on Sunday the 19th from 10am – noon. We can sip a mimosa or two and fill out the planner together. See you there!
Liked today’s outfit? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using the affiliate links below:
02 | Sandals gifted by Sseko (empowers women)
03 | Bag by ONA
That is such a cute dress. Unfortunately in Scotland we have had our summer, a week of glorious sunshine and tan lines and now we have a week of consistant rain :( I am hoping summer will return soon. But rain jackets are a must at the moment, even if it is over a pretty dress as the temperature is still pretty high for these parts.
Sooooooo excited for the new planner. I have not quiet found the time to go through my wardrobe for this season (though it is much needed!) I think it is maybe because I am more of an autumn girl and just waiting for new seasons clothes to come early :) But I will be ready next week with the planner :) Thank you so much.
FASHION MANDATE says
You are so gorgeous Caroline…i definitely love that dress on you.
Hi Caroline, I have followed your blog nearly from the beginning and this is my first comment! Just wanted to say I’ve loved sharing your journey with you and an unfancy post always brightens my day!
Just a thought for Stef from Scotland, I live in the North of England so we have very similar weather. I used Caroline’s wardrobe planner last year and I made a big “wet and cold weather” capsule that I use from about
November to May. Then I made a small “hotter weather” capsule which has pieces I can swap in and out if needed and use for holidays to hotter countries. Took me a good few months of trial and error but organising it this way has been a revelation! ?
Sarah, I’m so glad you’re making it work for you!! Good luck on continued success. xo, xo
Laura lou can says
Sarah, I am in Edinburgh and love your idea of a wet weather wardrobe. I hate this rain so much!
Going to give your planner a try, probably turn tropical as soon as I have finished! X
Love the dress!
I’m curious how tall you are? I love this dress, but wondering about the length. I’d want it to be a little longer on me, so I’m hoping you’re taller than 5’4″. :)
She said in an earlier post that she us 5’5″ which blew my mind. You look 5’10” Caroline, you really do.
Hey Julie, I’m just a little bit taller than you at 5’5″! xo, Caroline
I missed where your height was mentioned in an earlier post – but I agree, you look much taller! :) I’m giving the dress a go – thanks for your reply. xo
Also, your previous post about being mindful of the setting of an outfit idea, etc. was so incredibly helpful. I didn’t comment on it, but several lightbulbs went on that have helped me in making my wardrobe smaller and more practical for me – so thanks for that:)
The voice of rayniialott! Good to hear from you.
Thanks for the playlist recs – I’m so out of good music ideas it’s not even funny!
Excited about the planner – I’ve actually gone so minimal from a huge move across the Atlantic/indecision that I’m ready to get my wardrobe on track and maybe even own more than 4-5 shirts XD
Polly, that’s a huge move! Good luck getting that wardrobe together :) xo, Caroline
Jan Tymorek says
Since you seem to care about clothing that is responsibly made, I just want to let you know that SERRV has wonderful sundresses made of beautiful cool Indian cotton. They are a non-profit organization that offers fair trade items. The dresses are designed in Chicago by a company called Mata Traders. Very flattering and perfect for hot summer days.
Thanks for the tip Jan! xo, Caroline
Such an easy breezy dress for the summer! I have to admit, I ordered the black diamond-print Madewell romper from your post a few weeks ago. It’s my first romper, so new and uncharted territory for me! It’ll be a fun trend to try!
I must also tell you — I was excited to “restyle” an item from my closet this week. I have this J.Crew floral-print sleeveless top I bought two summers ago. It’s very cute (though floral typically isn’t my thing), and I had a certain outfit in mind when I pulled it out of the closet on Monday. I put the outfit on and realized I hated it! And for a moment, I wondered if maybe it was time to let that top go. But then, on a whim, I tucked it into a pair of flared jeans and tossed a cardigan over it. Such a simple idea, and I don’t know why I didn’t of it before, but it felt like a total light bulb moment! It made me think of your post involving uniforms and resolving to restyle wardrobe items that have become tired and predictable.
Here’s to a summer of less buying and more restyling!
Danielle, I love that! Glad you found a way to make it work. :) xo, Caroline
Omigosh, Mistborn is one of my favourite series! I’ve been lucky enough to meet Brandon Sanderson three times, and each time I’ve brought him a plushie I made – of Spook, then Marasi, and finally a Koloss. Have you read his second Mistborn series? I was so disappointed with the last book. :(
Um, and I love this dress on you. I have a similar-ish black one from Madewell from last year – so you gave me a nice styling idea! :)
Gwen, that is so cool! And what a great gift to give him :) xo, Caroline
Caroline must be pretty tall because I saw the dress in the store today. I love to wear dresses right at the length she’s wearing in the photos, but when I held it up to myself (I’m also 5’4″), it was way longer than that. It hit me right above or at the knee.
Thanks so much for the info Melissa!
I finished Euphoria by Lily King a few weeks ago and LOVED it. It was a big hit in 2014, so I’m a bit behind the times. In a nutshell, it’s a love triangle between three anthropologists in pre WWII Papa New Guinea. Romance with some serious brains? Yes, please.
Rachael, sounds like a great read :) xo, Caroline
That was a great one! So intense.
Hey Caroline – I strongly recommend “Station Eleven” for your summer reading list. :) It’s an awesome book!
Thanks Katrina! xo, Caroline
I’m actually in the middle of the second Mistborn! Its so good. What other fantasy series have you been reading lately? I love getting new ideas! Have you heard of the Mapmakers Trilogy? The main character is young, but the books and themes are so wonderful and different from anything I have read. The third book is coming out next month!
xoxo love the dress!
Hey Tess! I’m pretty new to the genre, so I’m really just into Brandon Sanderson’s books (for now!) The Emperor’s Soul is another good one by him — and shorter too. The Steelheart series is by him as well. I’ll have to explore some other authors for sure. xo, Caroline
Thank you for the playlist recommendations. And I am also looking forward to your planner. This summer I am interning, and would like to give off an appearance of being more “set” in my style – as well as have less hassle in the morning, so I’m thinking to try this capsule thing ;)
Johanne, good luck with your internship! I hope the capsule helps you feel put together and ready to take on new working roles :) xo, Caroline
I love fantasy but haven’t tried the Mistborn trilogy yet, so I’m excited to check that out. What are some of your other favourite fantasy books?
I’m so excited for the new wardrobe planner! I have followed your site for years but haven’t actually tried the capsule wardrobe thing myself yet. But I want to try for summer maybe, or the fall, so I’m really looking forward to this :)
Hey Kait, some of my other favorites include The Emperor’s Soul and the Steelheart series — both by Brandon Sanderson. Relatively new to the genre, so I’ll be checking out lots more recommendations :) xo, Caroline
Mistborn :) I was surprised but that made me super happy! Nothing wrong with loving fantasy novels!
Tania // girlwithanakita says
I’m so jealous of you pulling off that dress. For some reason, I look like I forgot my pants when I wear boxy cuts.
LOL! Sorry Tania, but your comment made me laugh! Pants are overrated anyway ;) I suppose boxy cuts aren’t made for everyone, but I do think length plays an important role if you have a hard time feeling like you can pull it off. Have you tried a longer length, like all the way to the knee? It might work! :) xo, Caroline
Abby | Lace & Lilacs says
Such a cute look!
I’m in DFW so I feel you on the heatwave (not so much a heatwave as it is a heat block…) and on the casual breezy dresses! I’ve been in tanks and skirts all week, and I finally found my own breezy dress! I love the idea and the look of white but I’m paranoid enough about spills when wearing just a white shirt, let alone a whole dress! More power to you for donning white in patio season.
I’m excited to try out your playlists and take a look at your summer reads, I posted mine earlier this week and they’re way less fun- mostly heavy books like How Not to Die and education books.
Have you tried Wolfblade by Jennifer Fallo? It’s been a few years since I read it, but I really enjoyed it. The American cover art on it is terrible, if you can get a UK copy it’s much better…but that just the cover art, the words inside are the same.
Charmaine, good to know the art work is different. ! I’ll add it to my list and check it out :) Thanks! xo, Caroline
Heidi c says
Mistborn, wow! Sanderson is my favorite fantasy author; I prefer his Stormlight Archive books, though they are monstrously big (which I LOVE!). Would like to hear more about your reading lists, especially other fantasy reads you like!
Hey Heidi! Pretty much anything by author Brandon Sanderson! :) xo, Caroline
Orange bangle says
Great book recommendation, thanks! If you haven’t read Melanie Rawn’s early stuff you may like the Dragon Star and Exiles trilogies.
Thank you! xo, Caroline
Hey Caroline, love that dress and bag on you!
Diana | http://thechicdiary.com/blog/6/16/2016-aer-duffel-pack-the-modern-gym-bag-for-the-everyday-professional
I love this look! It’s so true about pure white dresses, they inevitably end up with underarm stains as well.
Your house always seems to have the perfect backdrops to shoot! I’m so jealous, would love to see a tour/more info on how you decorated sometime!
Angelina Is | Bloglovin’
Such a cute dress and great book recommendations! Xo
I adore that dress!
shanique brown says
I’m excited that I was entroduced to your blog and capsule collection, by a youtuber “viviannadoesmakeup”. It was a concept new to me, but I tried and it’s so refreshing. I like in Canada with four seasons, that sometimes blends into each other. But I’ve been doing it for going on 6 months and I it’s amazing. Now I really need to empty my inbox.
Shanique, that sounds cool — I’ll have to check her out! :) xo, Caroline
shanique brown says
Gosh…please excuse my spelling errors. Auto correct drives me nuts.
Love the dress! Perfect for a hot day. I went to a Madewell for the first time yesterday. I felt like I had been living under a rock (they don’t have any stores here in Maine) because everything was so amazing! I love the natural silk and cotton that they use, the simple colors, and the super flattering cuts. Definitely will be shopping online there now.
Ariel, glad you finally got to experience first hand the awesomeness that is Madewell! :) xo, Caroline
Victoria B says
Thanks for the playlists! I will be using the patio one this evening when our friends come over! I also love that outfit and those sandals are calling my name. Are they comfortable? And silly question, are they easy to trip on? I do that way too much with some sandals – I am very clumsy.
I love fantasy books, so I definitely added that trilogy to my to-read list! I also really enjoyed The Royal We. I don’t typically follow the usual summer books trend of being light and quick, but last year the books I read and would recommend are as follows: “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler, “The Martian” by Andy Weir, “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline, “Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell, and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer.
This summer I plan on reading “A Hundred Summers” and “The Nest.”
Hi Victoria! I just finished reading “Eleanor and Park” and “Landline” by Rainbow Rowell (great summer reads), and I’m on the waiting list at the library for “The Nest.” I may need to add “The Royal We” to my list!
Victoria, these sandals are so comfy! They have a soft, squishy insole and I haven’t had (much) trouble walking in them. Haha ;) But really, they are great. xo, Caroline
I think you’d like Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, based on you liking the martian and ready player one (I haven’t read that but have heard about it). It was also all about space, but with so many strong female scientist characters. I don’t know enough about that type of science to know what is real and what he made up (aside from the obvious catastrophic event, etc) but enjoyed a more sciency sci-fi book!
Abigail C says
Ooo, I will have to try Mistborn. I do enjoy a good fantasy novel.
I’m old school: Gone With the Wind always feels like the perfect summer read to me.
Also, anyone know of similar summer dresses, but knee-length or longer? (I’m 5’6″.) Can’t seem to find one that doesn’t look like a nightshirt!
Hey Marisa, one of my readers recommended Serrv for a similar style, in various lengths. Maya Traders also has some longer options, although I didn’t see anything in white. Two Neighbors has some beautiful pieces as well. Just browsing around, I also saw several embroidered dresses on Asos. Hope that helps! :) xo, Caroline
Since we’re talking about reading and Madewell dresses, I thought this might interest you- it’s a history of the company by one of the descendants of the founder. Surprisingly funny and engaging- Madewell is more “colorful” than anyone gives them credit for.
(I have no idea why my comment will only appear in all caps- my work browser is not playing well with your blog. Apologies for the “yelling.”)
Kathryn, what a crazy story! Nice to read about the actual history. Thanks. xo, Caroline
…or it’s only showing up as all caps when I type in the comment box itself. Hey, I’ll take it!
Peta Caldwell says
Hi Caroline! I love reading your posts! I also really love your style! I’m the mother of one of your friends (ERC) who lives in Nashville. Sure do wish I could meet you on Sunday at the Domain but we have other plans. Hopefully, someday!
Best wishes and please keep on posting!
Thanks Peta! Nice to meet you — “virtually” :) xo, Caroline
So glad that you love the Mistborn books in addition to having great fashion sense!
Would recommend The Way of Kings if you haven’t read it yet!
Thanks for the recs Lauren!! :) xo, Caroline
Aww you look wonderful..i love that dress! I just made a may spring playlist on my blog a few days ago..i would love if you take a look and listen :))
Tanya E says
So great to see you are blogging again! I love having a capsule wardrobe, it makes life so much easier. Like some previous posters, I live in the UK and it has been a very rainy summer so far. I definitely factor in summer rainwear and knitwear.
I’m going to have to look up all the reading and music suggestions too. Lovely dress.
I just like you :-) So glad you’re back!
Thanks for the music and book recommendations! I’m reading heavy books right now so The Royal We sounds like a nice diversion during my trip to the West Coast in a couple weeks. And I’m very much looking forward to that printable capsule wardrobe planner — if it can help me pin down my style, I’ll be forever grateful!
Ahh MISTBORN TRILOGY YESSSS! Mildly freaked out when I saw that up there – you don’t find too many people who like/know that series. Some of my favorite fantasy series’ are the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown, the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix, and pretty much anything by N.K. Jemisin bc her world-building is uh-mazing. Do you have a goodreads? Would love to follow you!
ugh just have to second n.k. jemisin! BEST world building EVER. also… are you me? all of these book recs are perf.
@caroline, i wish i had seen this before we met this weekend, we could have talked books! I second the suggestion that stormlight archive is better than mistborn! and all of catherine’s recs above are awesome too, esp n.k. jemisin’s stuff!
i’ve been re-reading Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series — you know, the Napoleonic wars BUT WITH DRAGONS so how can you go wrong? — because the new one just came out. She also wrote a new book called Uprooted that may be one of my all-time top-fave books!
Thank you Elyse and Catherine for the recommendations! :) xo, Caroline
hey elyse and catherine! i too have very similar taste in books. was wondering if either of you have a goodreads account? i find it very hard to find great new fantasy reads and would love to keep in touch about it. :)
I know I’m way behind the times, but I’m a long time devotee of Sanderson and Nix and just devoured everything N.K. Jemisin, so I wanted to get in on this! Any other recommendations?
I need to ask. I have been eyeing this purse each time you post with it. Is the purse heavy? Before loading up with essentials? ;)
Hi Marinell! The bag is heavy duty — heavier than your average leather tote. It’s actually a camera bag, so it has padding and is sturdy quality. It is best for traveling, but not bad at all for day to day if you don’t load it up too much :) xo, Caroline
Outfit on point ! xoxo
Jillian – http://www.cupofcharisma.com
Marie @ The Business of Blooming says
Can’t wait to try your new capsule wardrobe planner :)
My summer playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/1220195689/playlist/0O8WxuCdHhhgdSlNaygbNF
I love reading through all of the book recommendations – I can add in the Name of the Wind series by Patrick Rothfuss, so much great language in those books. The first two are out and there have been a lot of people waiting on the third book for a while, it’d probably be a good time to jump into them!
Could you please write a post on Madewell’s (and parent company, JCrew’s) human rights protection and responsible sourcing efforts, if any? I was under the impression that JCrew was one of the worst offenders of poor worker conditions, but I am realizing that I may not have been looking at the most current information. Thanks!
Hi Cindy! I have actually contacted Madewell with some of these questions, but haven’t heard back. If I do, I will absolutely share! The information online is so convoluted, it’s hard to know what’s accurate. But I encourage you also to do your own research (maybe write to them?) and shop at places that are in line with your values. Good luck! :) xo, Caroline
Thank you!! You’re awesome! :) I definitely think a post like that would be a natural and interesting personal story to follow on with the conscious closet work that you’ve done already….What are the best ways to understand what the “big name” clothing brands are doing in terms of sustainability? How has your opinion of your favorite clothing brands changed now that you’re a better informed consumer? Are you looking for alternatives?
I love that you’re branching out to blog about other beautiful and inspiring things in life that you love! :) Much appreciate the playlists, summer music is the best.
As far as reading recs go — have you checked out Hugh Howey’s Silo Series yet? The books are called “Wool”, “Shift”, and “Dust”, in that order. It’s a sci-fi/dystopian future type story with some amazing character development and strong female leads. Was sad to finish the last book before summer beach time started! It’s somewhat of a commitment, page wise, but really well written (especially books #2 and #3) and completely worth diving into. I think the rights to the story were sold to a major film maker… so get the reading done before it’s on screen! :)
Hi, Caroline! I enjoy reading your blog. I am wondering how you get your hair to stay up in a messy bun high on your head. I read your post about using a donut bun maker, but do you still use it for the messy buns? If not, is there a particular kind of ponytail holder you use? I have thin, fine hair and my ponies always fall down. I too don’t use much product, but maybe that would make a big difference? Thanks for your help!