Easy, Breezy Tropical Prints

Recent sweltering, sunny days at the beach with my gal pals has me seeing palm trees. I’m not hallucinating – there are no palm trees in Chicago – but this season’s striking tropical prints are on my mind. They’re bright, summery, and pack quite a punch. Sun, sand and surf are a cheap flight away, but I’d rather spend my money on these gems.

tropical

[Clockwise from top left]

Printed Trousers, $60 ZARA | Tropics Snapback Hat, $29 American Needle

Underwire Bikini Top & High-Waisted Bikini Bottom, $42 per piece Urban Outfitters

Palm Print Top, $15 H&M | Smocked Dress, $54 Kimchi Blue

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(Well received) British Invasion

Anglophiles and British fashion fans have long loved the U.K.’s most hip chain brand, TOPSHOP.  For years the clothing, famous for its brave approach to current trends, was the envy of us Americans and sported stateside only by lucky jet-setting Hollywood starlets.

Eventually the brand hopped the pond, but American fans still had to make a pilgrimage to New York, Chicago or Las Vegas to shop the line in-store. But rejoice! This past week the clothing made its debut in select Nordstrom stores across the country making TOPSHOP more accessible than ever before.

The affordable offerings include some of the brand’s best sellers in addition to limited edition pieces that will no doubt be snagged up in short order. The department store is also carrying a full line of shoes and accessories, maternity wear, and TOPMAN products for the gentlemen.

The pieces, which are conveniently available online from Nordstrom too, are super on trend for the fall. There are tons of innovative prints, studded tops, chunky sweaters, and tailored tops and bottoms.

So plan a spree at Nordstrom and make off with some of these awesome pieces. Bonus points if you master an English accent to accessorize your new threads.

Fact: : No one dislikes weddings, surprises, or leggy blonde actresses.

That’s why Blake Lively’s secret nuptials over the weekend to People’s Sexiest Man Alive 2010 (that’s Ryan Reynolds of course) was the trifecta of awesomeness. I laud the genetic overachievers for pulling of such a stealth ceremony, but to deprive the prying public of pictures is harsh.

Blake Lively is my absolute favorite modern fashion icon. The woman can literally do no wrong. She rocks everything she dons from slinky red carpet gowns to skinny jeans and t-shirts. Of course she’s most notorious for showing off her gams in flirty frocks and menswear inspired short-short ensembles. The coolest part about her, and I’m gushing like a middle-school girl, is that she doesn’t have a stylist. She picks out her own stuff. Like a normal person!

Word is, she walked down the aisle in Marchesa, which couldn’t be more fitting because some of my favorite Blake moments ever were Marchesa moments. Nobody could have been better suited to dress Blake on her wedding day than Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, the mastermind designers behind one of my all time favorite couture lines.

To celebrate the bombshell bride, and because it never hurts to feast your eyes on fine fashion, I’d now like rehash some of her greatest Marchesa looks.

Cue the somber song that plays during the “In Memory” slideshow at the Academy Awards.

Blake in a blue Marchesa frock at the 2010 Costume Institute Gala.

At the premier of “Where the Wild Things Are”

At the premier of her film “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee”

At the 2011 BAFTA’s

Bold in yellow.

Here’s hoping Blake and Ryan enjoy years of happiness and that Carl Lagerfeld starts making children’s clothing. Naturally, only Chanel will do for the offspring of these two.

P.S. – Time had fun speculating what her dress may have looked like. Check it out, there are lots more pretty dresses!