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Shen Dove Style: April 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jumpsuited Denim

Jumpsuit: gifted; Denim Jacket: Zara (girls); Wedges: Target; Clutch: 
vendor in Bahamas; Sunnies: Target;  

 This outfit truly felt pajama-like and though that's not a goal in my weekend outfits usually, it was a bonus. The weather in Philly was so great over the weekend that I don't even mind that it's rainy today.


Here's to a positive and productive week!

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Links of the Week: April 28th

Here is some great reading material to keep you occupied today.

Here are some great tips for sustainable style

17 eco-friendly finds that really work.

18 ideas to do with blogger friends

I'm looking for a lighter perfume for summer, I might try this one.

I found this article interesting.  Do you agree that relationships are more important than ambition?

The history of espadrilles 

These cute ankle boots could be worn during chilly spring evenings.

If you have a difficult time incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet, try these ideas.

I'm definitely going to try this DIY with the jars I have hanging around.

Read this interesting story about a man who retired at 30.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Flashback: Preppy

Happy Friday! So I'm trying to limit my clothing shopping until I finishing decorating my apartment (I have a way to go...).  Because I'm doing less clothing shopping, now is a good time as ever to take a peek into my wardrobe past and hopefully get excited by my existing wardrobe at the same time.

Original Post: April 2012, Preppy

I actually haven't worn these pieces together since I last wore this outfit in April 2012....shame on me. Preppy inspired looks never go out of style, so I'll definitely wear this again. Don't be surprised if you see me walking around Center City Philly with this outfit next week : )

Have you shopped your closet recently?

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shop Profile: Aoki Boutique

Aoki Boutique owner, Alina//the front of Aoki Boutique

I really enjoy supporting local business owners, so when I stumbled into Aoki Boutique recently while walking in Center City Philly, I knew I had to ask Aoki Boutique owner Alina for an interview.  So now to the interview!

Shen Dove: When did you open Aoki Boutique? And what is the story behind the name? 

Alina: I opened Aoki Boutique in April 2012, so I actually just celebrated my One Year Anniversary! Aoki is a Japanese surname that literally means "blue tree."  It's actually the name of my cat, though, who is sort of my muse. I was living in Tokyo when she entered my life, and she's very quirky, adventurous, and sweet, just like the ideal Aoki Boutique customer!

Shen Dove: Tell me about your professional background, what inspired you to open this boutique? 

Alina: My professional and educational background is in tourism and hospitality; that's what I studied in college, and the industry in which I worked until I opened Aoki. I've always been passionate about hotels and restaurants from a design and ambiance perspective. I love the notion of created memorable spaces and experiences for people, and not only providing them with a tangible product, but also with a warm and inviting atmosphere. My love of travel and the excitement and adventure that comes with led me to view women as citizens of the world, and motivated me to create a space for them where they can play around with their look and practice radical self-expression.

Shen Dove: What do you like the most about being located in Center City? 

Alina: As the name suggests, Center City is obviously very centrally-located, so it's accessible for people, and kind of the hub of action in the city. I love being within Center City but slightly off the beaten path; I like to think that it makes Aoki feel like a little hidden treasure, and that way I'm also not directly competing with the Rittenhouse Square-area retailers, nor am I paying the exorbitant rent that would come along with it. I'm the only retailer within a few blocks, which offers me an advantage, while I'm still able to benefit from some of the spillover foot traffic from Rittenhouse...so it's kind of the best of both worlds!

Aoki Boutique's unique interiors and products

Shen Dove: What do you think makes style in Philly unique? 

Alina: Philly style (and the whole vibe of the city in general) represents a lot of dichotomies and contradictions; on one hand it's very historical and all the academia brings a little more of a preppy and conservative side, but on the other hand it's a very gritty, DIY city filled with a lot of young creative types that take their cues from street style and subcultures. I see more risk-taking and, obviously, designer wear when I'm in NYC, but Philly fashionistas know what works for them and are really savvy buyers who know how to work a budget.

Shen Dove: What do you look for when you’re on the hunt for products and designers to feature in your boutique? 

Alina: I pretty much buy items that I personally would wear or love to own, and just hope that it translates. I stock everything from novelty erasers to dresses by up-and-coming clothing designers, so I have to be careful that the collection doesn't go from quirky and eclectic to altogether random. I do that by buying a mix of items that are all consistent in the story that they tell and the aesthetic that they work to create. I curate very carefully to create a particular look and feel, while making sure that the price point stays accessible (currently my priciest item is $180, and it never really goes much beyond that).

Shen Dove: What trends are you excited about featuring in your boutique this summer? 

Alina: Summer trends that I'm excited about include pastels, body con, and black/white. In terms of silhouette, I'm glad to see the continuation of peplum and hi-low, which are both fun and flirty.

Books and candles galore near the entrance of Aoki Boutique

Shen Dove: Do you have any fun events you’d like locals or those visiting Philly this spring or summer to attend at your boutique? 

Alina: I just had a big event two weeks ago for my anniversary party, so I may not do another big party until June, when I tentatively have a First Friday-type event planned. Check the Aoki Facebook and Tumblr in the coming weeks for updates!

Shen Dove: Thanks for the interview Alina!  If you haven't already, stop by Aoki Boutique and pick up a cute item sometime soon! I know I will definitely be back soon.

Store: Aoki Boutique
Location/Neighborhood: 115 S. 22nd St/Center City
Hours: Tue-Fri – 11:00am to 7:00pm Sat-Sun – 11:00am to 5:00pm Mon – Closed
Website: www.aokiboutique.com


Monday, April 22, 2013

Yellow Dotted Navy

Blazer: Joyce Leslie--old (similar); Top: Swapped; Necklace: (DC) Eastern Market vendor

I'm a strong believer in being true to your personal style for work and for personal time, so I definitely felt like "myself" at work in this casual Friday outfit.  I don't believe in saving my bright colored pieces for weekend wear only. 

Jackets have a way of making even the most casual look work for professional settings. I could easily swap my jeans for a pencil skirt and pumps for a dressier work day. 
yellow and navy

Enough about my outfit, here is to a positive and productive week!


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Links of the Week: April 20th

What a week it's been for many people.  The tragedies that occurred during the past week are very fresh on many people's minds I suspect.  But here is some lighter reading material to keep you occupied this weekend.

Here are some tips for installing a gallery wall that I'll keep in mind once I'm ready to complete mine.  And here are some great pieces to add to a gallery wall if you're planning to create one. 

Green your beauty routine with the item mentioned in this post.

10 Leadership lessons for 20-somethings.

I'm really feeling these shoes.  They would work great with some graphic black and white skinny jeans and a tee.

Tax season is over (thank goodness!), but bloggers should bookmark these tips for next year.

I really like these napkins which aren't something I usually buy, but really like now.  I see more Instragram food shots featuring pretty napkins in my future.

If my (non-existent) home office looked like this, I'd never leave.

Looking forward to reading more in this blogger's new series. 

This skirt would work nicely for the spring weather before the heat and humidity arrive.  It could easily be dressed up or worn casually.

I'm going to make this soup for lunch next week with my leftover sweet potatoes.

If you're looking for something fun to do on Tuesday evening in Philly, attend this event which will be hosted by some cool and stylish bloggers.  You can also attend virtually if you aren't local or can't make it to the actual event.

Will you be in DC on May 9th?  Purchase tickets for this cool clothing swap that will raise funds to stop domestic violence.   I've enjoyed the DC swap events I have attended hosted by these awesome organizers.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Black + White Simplicity

Blazer: Loft; Dress: swapped (similar); Shoes: Go Jane; Necklace: Shoxie

Though I've worn plenty of color so far this year (especially pink), I've also worn a great deal of black and white.  When you are short on time in the morning, sometimes coordinating patterns or bright colors is a bit of a lofty goal. On these days, picking the simplest of colors: black and white works best.


My thoughts and prayers are still with those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Currently Feeling...Minty


Camo + Stripes

camo and stripes 1
Shirt: H&M; Vest; thrifted; Jeans: Target (exactly); Clutch: thrifted; 
Necklace: Shoxie; Wedges: Go Jane (similar)
I hope the skinny jeans style is always widely available in stores because for this petite girl, they are the jeans style of choice.  Just scrunch the extra fabric at the ankles instead of alteration and call it a day.  One of these days when I either feel like paying for a tailor or learn to sew myself I may alter these camo jeans, but for now, it's scrunch and go!

camo and stripes 5

Here's to a great week!


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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Links of the Week: April 13th


Here's some good reads to keep you occupied this weekend!

When I purchase my first juicer (perhaps this one) I'll try this green juice recipe.

Are you making one of these money mistakes?

Here are some cute iPhone cases, to freshen up your phone for spring.

Productivity tips!

Conquer writer's block with these time management tips.

Questions every woman must answer.

These cute gold earrings could be worn with dressy or casual looks.

I didn't even realize you could get around LA pretty easily without a car. I'll keep this in mind on my next trip there!

I could imagine myself wearing this simple shirt dress for work this summer.  You definitely need sleeves in highly air conditioned offices.

I also love this gold clutch.  I need to carry clutches more during the daytime, my daily work bag is embarrassingly heavy.

Not sure what to do with your life? Lean in anyway.

Here is a great mini travel guide to France. I'm bookmarking this for future reference since France is on my to-travel list.

If you are in Philly next Friday, don't forget to purchase tickets for this cool shopping event.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Friday, April 12, 2013

How to Rescue a Dress from the Donate Pile

 Blazer: Tulle; Dress: swapped and Dyed; Heels: Zappos (similar); 
Earrings: Buffalo Exchange; Belt: Target (similar)

Happy Friday! I wore this dress which I found at a clothing swap last summer.   As a simple dress, I got a little bored with the color and was thinking about tossing it in the to-donate pile for my next thrifting trip.  But I decided to get a box of RIT Dye and see if I could give it a fresh look with color.  I'm happy with the results.  For a person who doesn't have sewing skills (yet), a box of dye is my favorite way to give clothing a new look.  If you have one, what's your favorite way to rescue items from the donate pile?


I've decided to move my links of the week post to Saturday, so expect to see it tomorrow!  
Have a lovely weekend.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pink + Mint

Blazer: thrifted (similar); Top: Target (similar); Jeans: Gap; Earrings: H&M; Necklace: Borrowed

Buying bright colored blazers can be addictive.  I've been a collector of skirts in the past, now I'm on a blazer kick.  I now get easily distracted while window shopping in stores like H&M, Zara, and the Gap by the other brightly colored or printed blazers on the racks.  Maybe I'll budget for purchasing another one soon before it gets too hot to actually wear them.

Happy Wednesday!  

Currently reading: Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

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Event: Gilt City Philadelphia Warehouse Sale

I love a good shopping deal, so I was excited to hear that on Friday, April 19th (at 3500 Scotts Lane), shoppers will be able to attend the Gilt City Philadelphia Warehouse.  Purchase your tickets for the event here.  Attendees should find racks stocked with fashionable shoes, jewelry, suits, jackets, denim, tops and outerwear for men, women and children. You can can expect to see items from top brands and up-and-coming designers.  For the home, expect to see bedding, kitchen and bath accessories, decorative pieces, and more. Refreshments and snacks will be available to attendees.

Here are photos from previous Gilt City Warehouse events so 
you can get an idea of what to expect.

If you are a Philly local or will be in town on April 19th, grab your ticket
Hope to see you there!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Style Profile: A STLYd LIFE

A STYLd Life 1_4-7-13

It's been a while since I've done a style profile, but I really enjoy interviewing the talented bloggers, artists and entrepreneurs I meet in real life and throughout the blogosphere.  Expect to see more interviews this spring and summer here on Shen Dove Style.  I met DeAnna and Diane of A STYLd Life at a recent fashion event in Philly and thought you all would like to learn more about these stylish entrepreneurs and bloggers.  These talented ladies are a triple threats with their cool T-shirt line, styling business and blog.  Now on to the interview!
Shen Dove: I think it's great that you decided to launch your blog and other endeavors together. Why did you decide to start your blog and , T-shirt line, and styling business together?

A STYLd LIFE: We originally partnered to design a fashion tee line to help support our mentor’s nonprofit organization. After beginning the journey we realized that sharing our lives on a personal platform would inspire and empower women to do the same.


Shen Dove: What is your favorite aspect of doing styling for clients?

A STYLd LIFE: We have a lot of fun creating the aesthetic for campaign shoots, styling music artists and public figures. However, we find the most joy working with everyday people, guiding them to discover and embrace their personal style.

Shen Dove: Where do you draw your style inspiration from ?

A STYLd LIFE: Our style inspiration is drawn from the effortless, sexy and apologetically bold women that we admire from different walks of life. Such as, Rachel Roy, Sheikha Mozah, Michelle Obama, Misty Copeland, Jeanette Jenkins just to name a few.

Shen Dove: What was the initial inspiration behind your t-shirt line?

A STYLd LIFE: The initial inspiration was to use our creativity and passion to support a vision that has the potential to change communities across the country. We also use this outlet to inspire others to recognize and fulfill their purpose in society.


Shen Dove: How has the places you've lived influenced your style and creative endeavors?

A STYLd LIFE: Traveling has had the most impact on our creativity and style. Living in the South Pacific the atmosphere was so laid-back and free, my [Diane] eyes were opened to a whole new way of being-how people dressed, how they enjoyed meals and community.  For me [DeAnna], experiencing the European culture pushed me to embrace my personal style-dressing how I feel. The cultural diversity and importance of family sparked my interest in becoming well-rounded.

Shen Dove: As bloggers and web-based entrepreneurs, you are probably constantly connected to others with gadgets and technology. Do you have any low-technology or no-technology hobbies that you enjoy?

A STYLd LIFE: OF COURSE…Thumbing though the latest issues of my [DeAnna] favorite fashion magazines is the perfect way to disconnect and unwind. NATURE, NATURE, NATURE for me [Diane]. There is nothing like the sun on your face, a cool breeze and the fresh smell of the outdoors to decompress and let everything go. 

Shen Dove: What are your favorite local shopping destinations, sites or restaurants?

A STYLd LIFE: In terms of shopping, we are obsessed with indie boutique, Kembrel and vintage shopping with The Katacomb. Restaurants…how do we pick just one! Being the foodies that we are, we love late-night sushi at Raw, Saturday brunch at Honey’s Sit & Eat, and Zin Burger for wine & kobe beef (Veggie for Diane).


Shen Dove: Do you have any quotes, sayings or rules you try to live by? If so, what are they?

A STYLd LIFE: Our number one mantra is to embrace who you are at your core and walk that out in every aspect of your life. Find your purpose and work the hell out of it! A quote that inspires us is

“THINK ahead, WORK ahead, and then be patient while your life catches up.” –Christian B. Winters

Shen Dove: Thanks for the interview ladies!  Be sure to bookmark A STYLd LIFE to see their latest T-shirt collection and blog. DeAnna and Diane are having a launch event for their Spring/Summer T-shirt collection next month, so if you are a Philly local or visitor, see the event details here.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Links of the Week: April 7th

Happy Sunday!  Here is some (belated) reading to keep you occupied for the remainder of the weekend.

I'm going to try this project to create stylish storage in my apartment.

Put your money where your happy is.

Life and love and never stop growing.

Here are a few movies that I plan to add to me to-see list.

I'm still on the hunt for a neutral colored wedge or heel to wear this season, these would be a good option, I also like these heels too though they are dressier.

I'm going to try this recipe as a healthier option to my usual cookie or candy bar when I get a sweet tooth.

Have a fabulous afternoon!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


pink and black 1
Blazer: Loft (old); Pants: H&M (similar); 
Heels: Zappos (similar); Necklace: H&M

 Despite the fact that I wear dresses or skirts the majority of the time in spring, these pants have become a perennial favorite.  Maybe I should invest in more bright colored pants this season.

pink and black 3
Happy Wednesday!


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Festive Dash of Floral

Dress: Target: Blazer: F21; Heels: Target; Necklace: Eastern Market vendor in DC; Earrings: Buffalo Exchange

Happy Monday! Hope your weekend was filled with fun, relaxation and family. Here is my Easter Sunday look featuring the dress I wore casually in this post.  

This isn't the brick wall I grew so accustomed to using as backdrops for outfit photos in DC,
but it will do.

Here's to a great week!

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Monday, April 1, 2013

March Favorites

March Favorites
Now that April has begun, here are a few of my favorites from the month of March.
  1. Snack: Oranges were my favorite snack of the moment.
  2. Outfit: This was my favorite outfit of the month.
  3. Book: Blog Inc. was a favorite book of the month.  It's always cool to learn tips from successful bloggers.
  4. Beauty: My favorite beauty product of the month was Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer.  It offers light coverage that lasts all day.
  5. App: My favorite app of the month was the NPR News App so I can keep track of the top news stories.
  6. Music: This album was a favorite during the month of March.
Did you have any favorites during the month of March?

Oranges Image source