summer style 2018_reviving charm

How to Wear Black During the Summer

There’s an art to putting together a great ensemble and some may say wearing black is the lazy’s persons way out of styling a great outfit – that it’s not very creative. If you’re someone who subscribes to that train of thought then I’m letting you know right now that we will have to agree to disagree. Black is timeless and classic; it’s always chic. Yes, it is fail-safe, and when done right it can make you look like a million bucks. Case in point…The Duchess of Sussex looked fabulous in this cropped leg black Givenchy pantsuit during her recent trip to Ireland.

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No matter what season it is, you’ll always find me wearing black. Summer is no exception. It’s a “color” that most people avoid when the temperatures rise, but there is definitely a stylish way to wear black during the summer without looking like you’ve committed a fashion faux pas. Here’s my secret:

A fail-safe way to pull off black successfully during the summer is to pair it with crisp, bright white.

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If you are looking to update your summer style then here are a few pieces you might want to consider adding to your Summer 18 wardrobe. For your added convenience, I selected pieces at every price point so there is something for everyone.

I hate to be negative but I can’t write talk about summer style without mentioning one of the things that I despise the most about Southern California. I really dislike how overly casual we’ve become. I live by the beach and I’d like to think that people tend to dress even more casual here than other parts of the state but it’s just not so. Casual doesn’t give someone an excuse to be downright sloppy because it really sends a message that someone just doesn’t care. I get the fact that summer is about comfort but with little extra effort there’s a way to pull off a stylish, yet very comfortable look and this top is a great example of that. I like its woman’s cut and feminine sleeve detail. It’s a great alternative to a classic T with a great striped pattern. Plus, it looks fabulous teamed up with a pair of white pants. It’s an outfit that I would call “snappy casual”. It gets my seal of approval for casual wear. black white stripes_reviving charm

When I was in Italy last year everyone was wearing culottes and wide leg pants. Eventually, styles make their way to the U.S. and I love this look from & Other Stories. It’s a look that can easily transition from day to night just by swapping out the flats for heels and adding some bold accessories (statement necklace, anyone?). A crisp white blouse is timeless and the pants look stylish, yet comfortable.

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Drawstring waist blouse.

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Barely there earrings are great for day or night. I especially like that these black onyx studs and studs with the circular gold element can actually be worn all year round. summer style stud earrings_reviving charm

A simple dress like this one can keep you cool all summer long. Pair it with the sandals below for a great daytime look. black dress summer style_reviving charm 1

Summer is about a great pair of sandals and I fell head over heels with this tassel sandal the very moment I laid eyes on it.  summer style tassel sandal_reviving charm

I really wish my hair was longer because there are so many cute hair accessories I would buy. I love this cute chain link hair clip. It’s currently on sale for only 8 bucks (originally $25).

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These barely-there sandals in satin from Rosetta Getty caught my eye. rosetta getty sandals_reviving charm

Here’s a more affordable option in suede. summer fashion_sandal_reviving charm

Cropped wide-leg jumpsuit.

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Faux wrap jumpsuit.

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To complete the look above you’ll need a great heel. How about this one from Stewart Weitzman?

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This one is almost identical to the Stewart Weitzman version but is a more affordable option. 

Or how about this one with the knotted bow? summer style fashion shoes_reviving charm 2

I was recently in the market for a new black tote bag. Bally is one of my go-to brands and I love that this tote also comes with a detachable pochette. It’s pricey but a classic will last forever.

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If you are looking for a less expensive option, this classic leather tote from Cuyana is a great choice, plus they will even monogram it for you. I love supporting California businesses and Cuyana is a favorite.

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I own a lot of shell blouses from Ann Taylor and the Swiss Dot Ruffle Neck Shell is one I’m planning to purchase. It’s currently on sale at half off by using code: TOPITOFF

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Canvas and leather belt.

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This off the shoulder crepe dress is perfect for a summer evening event when you need to dress things up a bit. It’s an extremely affordable option at only $149 at Nordstrom so you won’t feel guilty if you only wear it a couple of times during the season. By the way, the highly anticipated Nordstrom sale has already started for cardholders but starts July 20 for everyone else.

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These black and gold hoop earrings are a winning combination but they are also available in orange in case you want to add a little color into your life.

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This straw wristlet could easily become my best friend this summer. I love its unusual, modern shape.

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Polka dots are having a moment and I like this dot print chiffon dress. This pattern is also offered in a pretty blouse style. summer style polka dot_reviving charm

I like investing in classic pieces. And when it comes to shoes, they can last a lifetime if they are well taken care of. These Roger Vivier flats may be pricey but they are a great option if you are looking to add a investment piece to your wardrobe. They are shown here in suede but they also come in leather. Other colors are also available.

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ln Fall 2017 Rihanna collaborated with the luxury brand powerhouse LVMH to release Fenty Beauty. I’ve been using the translucent Invisimatte Blotting Powder since the day it was released and I can’t imagine living without it. In fact, I always keep two on hand: one for home and one to keep in my bag. It comes with a touchup sponge that works fine for me when I’m on the go but you can also purchase the mini touchup brush that is magnetic and conveniently sticks to the compact like two peas in a pod. This isn’t a beauty post but the black and white packaging fits right in with the theme of this post. Plus, who doesn’t want a good tip on how to reduce shine during the summer?

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Summer is all about great swimwear and this bathing suit is appropriately named Showstopper. I love the ultra stylish design but if you’re going to wear this then be prepared for some unusual tan lines unless you decide to remove the detachable shoulder and back strap.

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Black sunglasses are my trademark fashion accessory so I couldn’t write about summer style without offering up a ccouple of sunglass suggestions. I’m not sure I’ll ever embrace the complete cat-eye frame that I’ve seen lately, but this one from Gucci is so very subtle that I could probably pull it off. gucci cat eye sunglasses_reviving charm

If you like the look of a thick frame, how about this stylish, yet less expensive option?nordstrom sunglasses

Summer evenings can get a bit cool, particularly here at the beach, and I like wearing a scarf like this one to keep the chill at bay. It’s a good alternative to a sweater. summer style scarf_reviving charm

Eugenia Kim hats are nothing new and they tend to pop up all over the internet during the summer. I personally like this one that says “Dream On”. However, what is new this season is that fact that you can now customize a hat with your very own personalized message. What would yours say? 

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Boring but important info: This post contains affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any more to purchase the items in this post but I will be rewarded for your purchases. If you have any questions about this, please contact me. Thank you for supporting Reviving Charm.

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Revisiting San Francisco

I dubbed this past weekend and the latest jaunt to San Francisco as “The Weekend of Mr. B”. We took the one-hour plane ride up to the City by the Bay to celebrate his birthday. I also promised Mr. B that we can do anything he wanted, although I may have influenced his decisions on a couple of occasions! The weather was originally thought to be rainy all weekend, much like it would be at home. Instead, beautiful cloudy blue skies and sunshine greeted us and stayed with us for the duration of our trip.

There are a million and one restaurants in San Francisco and you can probably try something new every night if you wanted to. In my previous post, I mentioned that Mr. B chose Cafe Claude for his birthday dinner (I mentioned it here). After a nice dinner, we walked around downtown to window shop at night. This is where all the good shopping for designer goods is located so the window displays are always top notch.

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We went to one of my favorite museums, The Legion of Honor, to check out the current special exhibit, “Casanova”. The building is always impressive.

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We never miss an opportunity to stop into Neiman Marcus located directly on Union Square. The building is extraordinary with its beautiful glass skylight, which is particularly stunning during Christmas with a Christmas tree spanning up all four levels of the building.

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We had lunch at The Rotunda Restaurant, located on the top level (4th floor). We were lucky to have snagged a table next to the window overlooking the activity of Union Square. Dining in this space also provides you with an up-close look at the skylight.

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I’ve never had a bad meal here. We shared a shrimp appetizer and I enjoyed a delicious chicken salad. The calories for each dish are printed on the menu which is great for those of us who are watching our waistline.

Rotunda Restaurant lunch Neiman Marcus San Francisco

We did more shopping and window shopping in and around Union Square. The Banana Republic in this town is hands down the most beautiful one I’ve seen.

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I received another catalog from Cuyana just days before our trip. I was excited to visit their shop since I’ve been on the hunt for a new black leather tote bag like this one. Their leather goods are beautiful in their simplicity and quite reasonably priced compared to other high-end leather brands. Their shop is located on the 2nd floor of a building off of Union Square. It was very busy when we stopped in so I wasn’t able to snap a great picture inside their boutique but it is quite lovely. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the inspiration board behind the cash wrap area. We all know how I love a good inspiration board!

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A trip to San Francisco is never complete without a trip to Gumps. This legendary department store has been in business since the late 1800’s and is a favorite place for bridal registries. It looks like they are all ready for Easter.

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I can’t remember the last time we visited Chinatown. We didn’t actually “visit”, but instead used it as a  quick cut-through on our way to Jackson Square.

chinatown san francisco_reviving charm blogcolorful steps San Francisco Chinatown_Reviving Charm blog

Jackson Square is a small neighborhood developed with historic, low-rise buildings that happens to be one of my favorite areas in San Francisco. Even though it’s in the heart of the city, it has a very quaint feel to it. I remember when it use to be home to mostly antique shops and home design stores. It’s still home to some design shops but the area is transitioning and is now home to more clothing boutiques and restaurants. It’s starting to feel like a much better balance.

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I love this particular building with its brick and black painted facade. I only wish the car didn’t have to ruin my picture.

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When in Jackson Square we always pay a visit to William Stout Architectural Books. It is a treasure trove of books related to design, architecture, and landscape. They’ve been in business for 30 years, with 20 of those years in its current location.

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While walking to the Ferry Building Marketplace, we couldn’t help but to stop and admire the beautiful blue sky and puffy clouds serving as a backdrop for the City’s skyline. I am also glad I was able to catch one of the vintage streetcars in the picture. These streetcars have quite a history and come from all over the world. If you are able to catch a glimpse of one up close, you’ll notice the original markings on it that identify its origin. I’ve seen cars come as far away as Milan, Italy. You can learn more about the historic fleet here.

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The Ferry Building is a fun place to visit. Located right on the water, it is a marketplace of restaurants, food stalls and retail vendors. They also have a Farmer’s Market several times a week. To the far right of the picture below you can see the crowds of people visiting the Farmer’s Market.

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One of the chocolatiers at the Ferry Building is getting ready for Easter. It was really hard to take good pictures inside the Ferry Building because it gets so crowded. Traveler tip: If you visit the Ferry Building, try to visit during the week when it’s less crowded. Otherwise, it is a “sea of humanity” both inside and out.  (YT..are you reading?).

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Many of the restaurants do get their local produce from the Ferry Building and the adjacent Farmer’s Market. I am always intrigued by this one particular vendor who sells nothing but mushrooms. Who knew that there are so many edible mushrooms?

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No matter what City we travel to, we are always on the lookout for new hotels for a potential future stay. This is the lobby of the Hotel Vitale conveniently located directly across the street from the Ferry Building that opened last year. The soothing colors made me forget about the noise and crowds just right outside its doors.

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One of our favorite lunch spots is Tadich Grill located in the heart of the City’s Financial District. Tadich Grill is California’s oldest restaurant and reportedly the third oldest restaurant in the country. They opened a second location in Washington D.C. that we have yet to try.

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There is always a line and if you can’t snag a table then sit at the counter. I actually prefer the counter because its fun to witness the hustle and bustle of the staff. Many of the employees have been here for approximately 20 years and they have things running like clockwork.

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We both ordered the Dungeness Crab and Prawns a la Monza. It might not look pretty (food is hard to photograph) but it’s a delicious dish of crab and prawns served over a cream sauce with celery, leeks, paprika, parmesan cheese with everything baked in a casserole dish. We’ve ordered it many times before but it wasn’t until this weekend that we learned that this dish actually made it onto a round of the T.V. game show Jeopardy. The statement was “Prawns a la Monza is a specialty of Tadich Grill, an institution in this California city since 1849”. If you happen to see the re-run of the December 1, 2009, show you’ll now know that the answer is “What is San Francisco”.

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After lunch at Tadich Grill, we walked by Micheal Mina’s restaurant next door. The beautiful flowers in the brass vase caught my attention.

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Many people don’t know that the City of San Francisco has a requirement for private developers to provide “Privately-Owned Public Open Spaces” (POPOS) to the public for free usage. These areas are marked with a simple plaque and include plazas, terraces, atriums, and parks most centered in the Downtown area. We happened to visit one on the 9th floor of the Westfield Mall on Market Street. It was a quiet oasis from all the crowds at street level. It also provided us with a close up look at the mall’s glass dome. To learn more about POPOS, read this.

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San Francisco POPOS Privately Owned Public Open Space_Reviving Charm

San Francisco Westfield POPOS _Reviving Charm

The Palace Hotel is always a place we like to visit. The flowers at the entrance are always stunning. I like how one simple flower in a variety of shades grouped in mass provide such a statement.

The Palace Hotel San Francisco

We always make it a point to stop at the Garden Court at the Palace Hotel for either a meal or an appetizer and drink. It provides a quick break within a beautiful setting.

The Palace Hotel San Francisco Palm Court_Reviving Charm

Don’t underestimate the City at night. The buildings look amazing lit up.

san francisco architecture at night_reviving charm blog

No trip to San Francisco would be complete without a picture of a cable car. We had a great trip and plan to be back soon!

san francisco cable car

All photos in this post taken by Reviving Charm.