Have I sung my praises for Smak Parlour before? Okay, that’s a trick question because a quick search of my own archives tells me, no, I haven’t. It’s time though, so pull up a seat.
For the uninitiated, Smak Parlour is a a boutique in Old City Philadelphia, plus a fashion truck (think food truck, but with clothes not tacos). The store is painted pink, and they sell clothes and accessories that are a mix of retro, kitschy and modern. The founders, Katie and Abby, have their own USA-made label, Smak Parlour Cut & Sew Collection. Oh, and the Smak Parlour Instagram is everything.
Anyway, most of my past purchases from Smak Parlour have been accessories. I’ve wanted one of their dresses for years, but the price tags meant I could only justify it as a special occasion purchase. So I promised myself when I found a new job, I would purchase my first Smak Parlour dress.
As luck would have it, my new job has me working from home most of the time, so I don’t really need new clothes for the office. It felt silly to spend money on a dress just to keep a silly promise to myself.
The weekend before I started my new job, my friend and I were browsing Smak Parlour. It was Memorial Day weekend, so the store was having a sale. This fruit print dress was in my size, marked down to $15(!!) and you know, it fit like a glove. Even better, it was just fun.
Do you know what we call that? Fate.
The first time my fruit print dress and I went out was for brunch with the PHLbloggers team — Chrystina, Melissa and Priyanka. This dress seemed a little too casual, too American for Parc, so I dressed it up — as much as you can dress up a dress covered in cherries, strawberries and watermelons. Hopefully, sand-colored wedges, pearl studs and subtle makeup did the trick. It doesn’t really matter though, because I was too busy enjoying my mimosas and my new dress.
Well, hello summer! The last few weeks have been crazy, but in a good way!
In June I started a new job! I work from home now and write for luxury marketing publication, Luxury Daily. The subject matter is super interesting, and it’s fulfilling to finally be using my journalism degree. I have a lot to learn, which is exciting, but everyday I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
June also marked eight years since I started Shades of Sarah. This space has gone through a few evolutions and more than a few hiatuses over the last few years, but we’re still here. It’s crazy how many things have changed since I first signed up for a WordPress account. I had just finished my freshman year at Fordham, and now I’ve lived in Philly for half a decade. I’ve moved, changed jobs, made new friends, adopted dogs and this blog has been a constant. My blog is one of the first things people ask me about when I haven’t seen them in awhile, and it’s nice to have something I do just for me. Of course, I do appreciate anyone who has ever read my blog over the years! You guys are the ones who encourage me and make it more fun.
Anyway, onto the outfit! Summer in Philly is my favorite — there is so much to do and the whole city comes alive. It also gets hot, so I need to get creative with my wardrobe. This outfit felt very me, so I thought it was perfect to mark my 8 year anniversary! The crochet crop top and the earrings are a little bohemian, but the polka dot skirt is feminine and classic. The glitter sandals? They’re just fun, and comfortable enough that I can walk in them for blocks.
Oh! And I almost forgot about the sunglasses. I love them, and I love the trendy vibe they add to my outfits. Also, it’s always important to protect your eyes from the sun!! (Anyone else notice the guys on Queer Eye never wear sunglasses? It drives me crazy!)
Anyone else have a summer outfit that feels very them? I want to hear about it!
Crop Top: Forever 21 (similar)
Skirt: Dress altered to be a skirt (similar)
Bag: Thrifted (similar)
Sandals: Target (similar)
Sunglasses: Foster Grant (similar)
Many, many moons ago, Julia tagged me in this post to answer 11 things about myself. Now that The Blog Connect is over (more on that later), I figured I might as well answer these questions (and share some photos from…last summer??). Better late than never! 😉 In case you are new-ish around here, these are the basics: my name is Sarah, I’m a Miami native living in the cold Northeast, I love all dogs (especially mine), and I’m accumulating plants at an alarming rate. Now, onto Julia’s questions!
What has blogging taught you?
Ugh, so much. There are skills that are actually practical: self-revision, photography, SEO. Mostly, I am grateful that blogging has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I interned at a lot of cool places in college, and my blog definitely set me apart from other applicants. Now, I’m on the board(?) planning committee(?) of PHLbloggers, and we just hosted our third Blog Connect Conference. A crazy amount of my friends in Philly, well, I met them through blogging. I’m not sure if starting a blog was my ~sliding doors~ moment, but it has definitely changed my life.
What was your favorite blog post to write?
The first one that comes to mind is when I got to visit the set of American Ninja Warrior! Outfit photos are fun, but I also really like writing about sports (like I did here and here).
What are some of your favorite blogs to read?
Lucky for you, I still have an entire page dedicated to my blogroll!
Where do you live and what do you love about it?
I’m coming up on five (!!!) years in Philadelphia, which is crazy. I did not expect to fall in love with Philly the way I have, but here we are. So what do I love about this city? I love the neighborhoods, the walkability, the food, the people, the history, the culture, the beer gardens, the weather from May through October. I decidedly do not like the Eagles or winter, but nothing and nowhere is perfect.
What was your college major?
I double-majored in communications and American studies (basically the study of American history and culture). While not always relevant, most of my classes were interesting.
What is your dream travel destination?
This is so dull, but London. I’ve always loved English history, and I still haven’t been! Also on my list are Prague, Montreal and Vancouver (again).
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had traveling?
Luckily, I’ve had mostly positive experiences traveling. My trip out West was great (even though I still have to finish blogging about it!). I’ve been blessed to go to Colombia and Costa Rica numerous times and learn more about my family history and heritage. One of the most meaningful experiences though? Probably my service trip to Esperanza in the Dominican Republic.
What is your favorite season?
In Philadelphia: summer. In Florida: winter. Basically, I aspire to enjoy my retirement as a snowbird.
What have you been reading lately?
The Internet? Is that not a legitimate answer? I did go on a tear of James Patterson books this winter in an attempt to clear out my bookcase.
What is the most meaningful souvenir you’ve gotten when traveling?
Such a good question! There are definitely some pieces of jewelry and clothing I’ve purchased while traveling that mean a lot to me. I also collect postcards, so those are always fun. Nothing beats personal photographs though.
What is one thing few people know about you?
This is so hard. I think I am a pretty open book, so nothing came to mind easily. Despite all my traveling, I’m actually petrified of planes and heights — but I think a good amount of people IRL know that about me. I also cannot ride a bike! I 100% used to know, but guess what, after ten years without riding a bike, you do, in fact, forget how. I wish I had some secret fun facts that make me sound less inept, but not today!
Jeans: Gap Factory
Necklace: InPink (RIP)
Woven Bag: Thrifted? Hand-me-down? No idea.