Starfish & Stripes for the Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July weekend, friends! 

I don't know about you but I can hardly believe that the Fourth is already upon us. The Fourth of July is the pinnacle of summer, even though it takes place just a few weeks into the official summer. School has been out for around a month and by the first week of August we start our tax-free back to school shopping, so the Fourth is truly the height of the season and the biggest and best summer celebration. Fireworks, good food, plus family and friends--it's the perfect recipe for a good time as we spread cheer over the little nation that could's independence from Great Britain.  

Since the Fourth has definitely snuck up on me, I haven't solidified my family plans for the weekend, but I know it will include fireworks, something yummy to eat, and watching my neighborhood's golf cart parade because I just know that Iris will love waving at all those people and all of the puppies that I suspect will be riding along for the chance to feel the wind in their ears. 

No matter where the weekend takes you, I've got the perfect summer-weight dress to toss on, and you can shop the looks below right  HERE. I spotted this cotton sundress on a recent email from Ann Taylor that advertised its Bermuda Edit, and the beautiful blue cabana stripes instantly caught my eye. I think by now y'all know I have a pretty big thing for stripes and the color blue... plus, the whole cabana chic look has really stuck with me since my visit to The Greenbrier. Dorothy Draper, the famous designer who upfitted the historic hotel would love these stripes. She'd even pair the dress with a bold flower print tote. 

Upon seeing the Bermuda Edit email, I immediately added the dress to my online cart, but I noticed that it had a price tag of $139. Not a major fortune, but not what I'd like to pay for a cotton dress these days. (Has anyone else noticed that the going rate for a quality day dress is teetering around $100? Thank goodness for Ross/Marshalls, Ann Taylor Factory, and Style Encore for big sales and beautiful dresses!) At this point, I'm wise enough to the retail game to know that you should almost NEVER pay full price for anything. If you are patient, a sale will happen! Sure enough, another email followed with a 50% off discount code AND free shipping. Now we're talking! I ordered the dress, which comes in petite and regular sizes 00-16, and watched for the mailman like a little kid waiting for Santa. 

Fun fact: Before I ordered the dress, I noticed that the Bermuda email showed the dress with a shirt collar, but online the dress does not have any such collar. Ann Taylor might wanna check the Bermuda triangle for it... ;)  Nonetheless, I thought the neckline would be flattering and that the wrap styling would definitely be figure-friendly.  

Sure enough, the dress arrived and gave me all the summer feels. I love the stretch cotton of the dress and how lightweight it is, even with a lining, making it perfect for a southern summer. The stripes line up really nicely down the seams which is always the sign of a well made garment. 

Because I hadn't banked on the neckline being so low on the dress, I layered a cami underneath for a little more coverage. Reviews online, which were not there when I ordered the dress, have all reported the same finding: it's a little low cut and if you have an ample bosom, you'll likely want to cami it up or dare to bare. One reviewer said that she sized up to give herself a little extra coverage. (Personally, I am hoping that I will shed a little more baby weight from my chest. Pre-baby, my bust was the FIRST place I lost weight. Now, with only 7 pounds to go to get back to my starting weight, pounds seem to be coming off from every place BUT my chest. Anyone else experience this? I know some ladies might love this problem, which I respect, but I really miss my now packed away box of smaller bras.) 

One of the ways I styled the cabana striped dress was with a cute twisted coral pink necklace that I found at Charming Charlie. It's a really cheerful pop of color and compliments the blue so nicely since it is of a similar intensity. Since I was about ten years old, my three favorite colors have been coral, aqua, and periwinkle. These three shades flatter all skintones and hair colors, something I learned when I worked in a bridal salon, and to me they are beachy without being too loud or soft. I pulled this color triumvirate together here with a beautiful watercolor scarf that I got on sale at LOFT for just $8.99 during a big sale weekend. Now it's priced at $14.99 but is an extra 50% off using code SPARKLER. Having seen how beautiful and large the scarf is, I can vouch for it being worth $15 but go right ahead and get it for $7.50. Major steal!  
This shot below is a happy accident. I was looking down to give my eyes a break from the sun, and the end of the scarf slipped out of my fingers in the prettiest flutter, which my bestie Tonya caught on camera. I only wish I was smiling, but I was concentrating pretty hard on how I wanted to incorporate this starfish into the shot. This was not how I intended to use it but I think it's a fun picture that really shows my favorite colors well. ;) Thanks for indulging me, kind friends. 


I told Tonya that I would love to try to catch a fluttery pic of this scarf, if the breeze was cooperative, and we got the shot. Look how beautiful the design is on this scarf! I later paired it up with a simple red dress and it made the colors really come alive. You can also use it as a sarong or top so you'll get a lot of bang for your $7.50. I may even attempt to relive my youth by hanging it on a wall somewhere like I did in college.  

Another beauty shot of the scarf! Ahhhhh, I'm totally having an "I'm on vacation in my mind" moment. A moment that suggests that I have no cares whatsoever and that my tote is filled with sunscreen and a kindle loaded with beach reads instead of IRL being packed with baby wipes and spilled Altoids thanks to Iris learning how to open the tin in the time it took me to pull my dress over my head.   

The monogram tote above (which smells curiously minty now!) is my favorite summer purse from Thirty-One. It comes in two sizes, and I chose the smaller since the larger version is ideal for a beach bag and I needed an everyday bag. Currently, the beach bag size is still available, and you can shop it  here with the fabulous Melissa Burns who will show you countless monogram options without ever getting impatient with your indecision. (Thanks girl for hanging with me while I mulled over what color embroidery to choose as if it was a matter of life or death.) 

I love the shoes that I'm wearing here. They're new and were on sale 50% off. They are incredibly comfy and will go with everything you wear all summer since the band across the toes has shades of nude, silver, and gold. And this may come as a surprise to you, but I'm not a shoe-aholic. I rarely buy shoes and wear the ones I have until they literally fall apart. So when I buy shoes, I either get them on clearance or invest in a decent pair (I paid $64 for these) because I know I will more than get my money's worth. It's time to retire my old faves, a pair of Gianni Bini turtle bejeweled flats that I got on clearance for $20 like four summers ago. I've repainted the teal beads of the turtle shell with OPI nail polish a few times and the bottoms look pretty gross, but I have a hard time letting go! Alas, the thong finally broke the last time I wore them, signaling that it was time to treat myself to a nice new summer sandal. These are going to probably be around until Iris starts middle school.   

Here I've styled the cabana stripe dress with my favorite red coral necklace for a patriotic seafarer feel and added my white scalloped (get it?) clutch from Tartan Lane. To snag these items for yourself, check out the contact details at the end of this post. And in case you ever wondered how far away Key West is from Myrtle Beach, the sign out front of  The Wildflower will tell you. This shop is filled with whimsical treasures that bring the beach vibe to any space. It's a must-see when you make a day trip to Main Street North Myrtle Beach. Speaking of Main Street, don't even make me remind you how to die for good  Melt is. Because you know I will. Right  here. Did I mention that last time I went I sampled their lavender ice cream? It's like a day spa for your mouth. Praise the Lord for craft ice cream! 

Oooh ok, back to The Wildflower. It's where you will also find the beautiful Wildflower wall seen below, that is a total blogger's paradise. You kind of have to have your picture taken there. I said on an earlier IG post that I'd be pretty content to stand in front of it all summer long. You see it's my three favorite colors just amped up :) 

I love the that dress looks a lot like Draper James blue. That's Reese Witherspoon's clothing brand if you aren't familiar. It's above my price point so I am always looking for similar styles at more affordable prices. I'm dedicated to the every-woman's budget! However, if Draper James ever wants to do a blog collab with me, you will forgive me if I fangirl about how amazing the really expensive clothes are, right? I could never say no to Reese!

I hope wherever the Fourth of July takes you that you are surrounded by greats: people, food, outfits, and fun, all the while likely hearing Katy Perry's "Firework" a few times too many. ;) 

If you have questions about any of the items in the post, comment or email me at  

Outfit details:

Shop the dress, shoes, and accessories  HERE
Shop the red coral necklace  HERE
Shop the scalloped monogram clutch  HERE. Available in white, gold, green, and red. $18 plain or $25 with monogram. 

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