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Summer to Fall with Steady Clothing

If I had to choose some sort of mission statement for the way I shop it would be this: versatility, versatility, versatility. Living in Southern California - and therefore without real seasons - we only get a couple months of "fall" and winter. Because of that, I find it really hard to justify buying clothes specifically for the seasons and instead like to only buy things that I know I can wear year-round with the help of some crafty styling. That's why I'm so excited to be partnering with Steady Clothing today to show you how to style some of their pieces for both summer and fall. Well, in my case, summer and winter. But if you live in a normal location, my version of winter clothes will undoubtedly be more fitting for your fall. 

Fall Dapper Day Recap

Hello from a Dapper Day Weekend survivor! It's been some time since I've really had the motivation to blog, but I had such a great weekend and loved how my outfits turned that I decided I put together a little recap. If you're unfamiliar, Dapper Day is an event that happens at Disneyland (in my case. It also happens at Disney World) where people visit the parks in their best vintage and vintage-inspired looks. It's a great excuse to dress to the nines with no questions asked and be surrounded by people doing the same. This was only my third Dapper Day, and it was my first time doing both days of the weekend. 

While I went to the Expo last year and just want to the parks one day this spring, I decided to do both this weekend. I went to the Expo at the Disneyland Hotel with my friend Whitney on Saturday, and while it was a struggle to get there after she got a flat tire (she and her car are fine luckily!), we managed to have an amazing time visiting the vendors and running into Internet friends. My favorite part of the Disney community is getting to meet likeminded people, and Dapper Day is the perfect storm of getting to see a bunch of people I love all in one place. As someone very introverted, I get pretty nervous showing up to these things (What if I go up to someone and they don't recognize me? What if I don't know someone's name? How can I not act as awkward as humanly possible?), I love these events because I feel really in my element. The nerves go away once I remember how truly kind the people I've met are, and it's great to bond over a shared love of Disney, vintage styles, and brands.

Keep reading for the rundown of my looks!

Witchy Vibes with Lindy Bop

Who's ready for Halloween? I'll be the first to admit that it's never been my favorite holiday, but this year I've really been getting in the spooky spirit more than usual. Because I've never been too into it, though, I don't have a ton of Halloween theme clothes, so when Lindy Bop (AKA one of my all-time favorite brands) contacted me about this green and black lacy number, I knew this was the perfect chance for a witchy look. It's not something I'd usually gravitate toward, so I wasn't sure how it would look on me, but I ended up LOVING it on. The lace overlay is gorgeous, and I felt incredibly confident in it all day. 

I knew I wanted a location to match for these photos, so my friend Whitney and I went to Rogers Gardens in Newport Beach. Rogers Gardens is an adorable plant nursery, and this year, they have a pop-up Hocus Pocus/Harry Potter shop. The shop was the coolest, but it was pretty small and dark so it ended up not being the best spot for photos like I had hoped. Luckily, they also had plenty of spots with pumpkins for sale, so I was still able to have the Halloween shoot of my dreams. 

That said...this dress would also be perfect for Christmas, wouldn't it? I can't wait to style it for the holidays this winter too!

End of Summer Floral with eShakti

If you've followed me for a while, you'll know that my love for eShakti is nothing new. I did my first ever collab with them, and since then, I've had the pleasure of working with them multiple times and have gotten some of my absolute favorite dresses from their site. 

If you're just reading for the first time, or maybe you've somehow never been introduced to eShakti, you're in for quite a treat. eShakti makes gorgeous clothing that is all customizable, meaning that you make sure that whatever you order, it looks and fits exactly as you'd like. 

As usual, I had a tough time deciding between all of the adorable dresses that they offer, but when I saw this one, I knew it was it. It combines all of my favorite things: a collar (of course), my favorite color yellow, purple flowers, and a shirt dress. I customized the sleeves to make them cap sleeves because not only do I like the style better on myself, but I've also found that they are easier for layering under cardigans. The dress was everything I ever wanted. It even came with a slip, which is SO rare with dresses that tend to be a little sheer. Living in SoCal, I always look for thin dresses so that I can wear them in the heat and also layer them easily. The downside is that they tend to usually be a bit sheer, this getting a slip with this one was such a nice surprise.

I've already worn this dress twice, but I first wore it on Saturday to get coffee with my friend Whiteny at Morning Lavender. I'd been wanting to try this coffee shop for a while since I've been seeing people sharing photos of it, and it was even cuter in person. I did feel a *little* judged when I made a big mess with my croissant, but whatever. I can't be classy ALL the time, right?

Cacti with Karina Dresses

Hello, hello? Is this thing on?

You know, it's been so long since I've blogged, I was worried I'd forgotten how to do it. 

Nice to meet you, blog, I'm Elana.

Okay, FINE. Enough dad jokes! I'm back with a post for the first time in a long time partially because I miss writing about the mundane things in my life, but mostly because I love this dress and felt it needed a proper post. I've been wanting to try Karina Dresses for a while now, and I'm so excited to get the chance to work with them. WOW did this dress live up to the hype! 

If you're unfamiliar, Karina Dresses makes clothes in super flattering shapes in a breathable material that doesn't wrinkle. I know them best for their wrap dresses, and I've been wanting to try one desperately. They just launched their new Western Collection, and I couldn't get over how adorable this cacti print was on the signature Ruby faux wrap dress

I cannot stress this enough: this dress is a dream. It's always a relief when an item I'm gifted is something I like, but it's even better when it's something that I then insist on wearing at least once a week. This dress is so comfy and lightweight, and it was the perfect thing to pack when I went to the Midwest last week. I'll be honest and admit that I didn't read the descriptions on the website well enough and thought it was a real wrap dress, and I was slightly disappointed when I realized it wasn't. Honestly, though? It ended up being a blessing in disguise. Because it's a faux wrap dress with a higher neckline, it actually works great for larger busts, which is something I am always on the lookout for. 

As for fit, the dress runs true to size, but because it's so stretchy, there's definitely some room to play. The size chart is a little tricky due to the nature of it, and I found myself in between sizes. The chart indicated that I might be a medium, but since I'm usually a large, I decided to play it safe and order the large. It ended up fitting perfectly, but because of the material, I think I would have been okay with the medium as well. Moral of the story? This is the kind of dress you can eat in, and if you ask me, that's the best kind of dress.

Local: A Meal with Aloha Poka

Sometime last year, I got food poisoning from eating poke. I had ordered a bowl from a random place through Door Dash for lunch, and after feeling like death the rest of the day, I couldn't touch the stuff for a long time. Needless to say, I've been wary about trying new poke places, but when Aloha Poke reached out to me to invite me to try their Costa Mesa location, it seemed as good a time as any to put my fears to rest. I'll be the first to admit that I've never been a food blogger, but I've not so secretly been wanting to become one. I love sharing new restaurants, and ever since I decided to stop being embarrassed of still living in Orange County, I've been more eager than ever to talk about good food in the area with whoever will listen.

All of this is to set the scene for my lunch with Aloha Poke. Simultaneously excited to make my mark as a "food blogger" and worried about getting sick, I walked into Aloha last week on my lunch break, and I walked out full, fat (unrelated to the poke), and happy. The restaurant is super cute and Instagram-worthy with neon accents, which if I'm being honest, is more enticing to me than I'd probably like to admit. I had of course eaten traditional poke bowls, but I had never tried Hawaiian poke, which ended up being the perfect mix of savory and sweet. I was lucky enough to try a few items on the menu, and the most I ate was of the Crunch Bowl, which I got with salmon, their signature aioli sauce, and included a seriously delicious mix of crunch and edamame. One of the best surprises though? The Walkin' Poke appetizer. If you've ever had a walkin' taco, the mix of Frito's with poke really shouldn't come as a surprise, but man, I was not expecting that to be that good. As someone who really struggles to eat healthy and would choose mac & cheese over a salad 100% of the time, it's always a huge relief to find food that's healthy, made with truly fresh ingredients, AND is extremely tasty.

Any good restaurant review should really be about the food, but what I was even more taken with was the business itself. The small chain started in Chicago - which of course appeals to my Midwest college days - and the restaurants in California are operated by an all-female team who are driven, funny, and like to wear "Support Your Local Girl Gang" sweatshirts. And sure, I may be a biased feminist who judges people based on how many feminist articles of clothing they own, but I am who am. 

Aloha Poke also partners with Goodwill, and the team couldn't speak highly enough of their experience working with a group of disabled young adults to help sticker their bowls before distributing to the other locations. In all honesty, I was a little confused as to why a poke place (even a cute, delicious one) would have any interest in working with a vintage style blogger, but after spending lunch with their team and learning about their company culture and commitment to the community, it was easy to see why someone might think I would like it. They weren't wrong.

Etsy Favorites #64: Large Vintage

If there's one thing I find frustrating about shopping for vintage, it's that almost every time I find a dress that I love, it ends up being a size small or extra small. Obviously there's nothing wrong with those sizes, but as a size large, it gets pretty difficult to find items I like in my size. That said, they do exist, just hidden among the smaller items in shops. If you're a size large like me, I've scoured Etsy for some of the best vintage in my size.