Living My Best Simply Sophisticated Summer with Banana Republic

banana-republic-blue-ruffle-dress

blue ruffle dress // jacket (similar, here and here) // clutch (similar) // necklace // heels (similar + only $32!) // watch

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Hey guys! Man, it seems like forever since I wrote a blog post. Did you miss me? I sure missed you guys and this precious little space of mine and I’m SO excited to be back!

I’m actually doubly excited because today I’m teaming up with Banana Republic to talk about my Simply Sophisticated summer and show off this gorgeous blue ruffle dress. To be honest, when I first received this dress I was not so thrilled about it. It was just a tad too girly for me with the big ruffle around the waistline and the color was a little more pastel for my taste, although you probably remember this dress which is a similar color.

To make this dress more “me” I added a cute pair of strappy heels, an edgy leather jacket and a bold leopard print clutch.The juxtaposition of the edgy black jacket was the perfect compliment to a very feminine styled and colored dress. I also added a few modern touches with my mirrored sunnies (only $12!), choker necklace set and cuff.

banana-republic-blue-ruffle-dress-leather-jacket

banana-republic-blue-ruffle-dress

Sophistication can mean so many things to different people. To me, feeling simply sophisticated is when I’m feeling my best self. And that’s when I feel confident in what I’m wearing and how I feel. The minute I put this dress on, buckled up my heels and threw on this jacket, I walked a lot taller (if that’s even possible! lol) and felt more confident, because I felt more like myself. And to me, that’s the best way to show off your sophistication.

banana-republic-blue-ruffle-dress-leather-jacket

How fun is this flamingo wall? These photos were taken in Chicago while attending The Blog Societies Conference (#TBSCon) a few weeks ago. Chicago has so many fun murals, like this pink wall, this multi-colored wall and obviously this flamingo one, you could spend all day finding them. To save you some time, this post is a great resource for where all the murals are in the city.

If you follow my Instagram/Insta Stories you probably saw how much fun we all had and all the networking and learning we were exposed to. I plan on writing a post about it and what to wear to a blogging conference, so stay tuned for that.

banana-republic-blue-ruffle-dress-leather-jacket

banana-republic-blue-ruffle-dress

blue ruffle dress // jacket (similar, here and here) // clutch (similar) // necklace // heels (similar + only $32!) // watch

Which brings me to the news that I’ve been hinting around about. For the last (almost) 3 years of blogging I’ve tried to consistently post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If you’re an avid reader of Style in a Small Town, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve struggled quite a bit the last year with being consistent with my posts.

After attending the conference and doing a little bit of soul searching I’ve decided that I love, love, love blogging and it’s not something that I want to stop doing. However, my daytime job has become quite a bit more hectic and a little stressful so I’m not going to be posting 3x/week anymore. I’m only going to post 2x/week now and it’ll be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

One of the most valuable tools a blogger has are Google Analytics (GA). They can tell me almost everything about my blog traffic, such as where traffic is coming from (i.e. from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.,) demographics of my audience, how long someone stays on my blog, also called the bounce rate, just to name a few. So when it came time to evaluate what days I was getting the most traffic, I turned to my GA. Sure enough, it looks as though most of you read my blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Which, quite frankly baffles me since I very rarely ever post on those two days, but apparently my posts are being read the day after I’ve posted.

So, what does all this mean to you. I’m going to do a trial run and post on Tuesdays and Thursdays for awhile to see how you guys like that. If you have an opinion one way or another on which days you’d prefer to see content, please let me know!! I’d love to get your opinions and insight, after all this blog is mostly for you all! And of course to keep me sane and busy! 🙂

As always, thank you SO SO much for reading! It really means the world to me!

xoxo, Hillary

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This post contains affiliate links. As always, thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Style in a Small Town!

I was gifted this dress by Banana Republic to review. However, all opinions and comments are 100% my own. THANK YOU to Banana Republic for sponsoring this post!
  • Angelle Marix

    Gorgeous!! Love this dress. It looks perfect with the jacket and heels.

    xoxo,
    Angelle
    http://www.dashingdarlin.com

  • sandyalamode

    This dress is stunning on you! I love the way you styled it with that gorgeous jacket and you can’t go wrong leopard print!

    • Thank you so much, Sandy! I always love a good leopard print pop! xx

  • Love that baby blue shade! So gorgeous!

  • Miriam

    i am loving that beautiful dress! love the ruffle detail!

  • Such a cute dress!

  • Sarah Tripp

    BR always has the best pieces!

    • Yes, they do! Thanks, Sarah! xx

  • Ruthie Ridley

    This dress is so great and I love your shoes!!

  • what a beautiful mural!

    • Isn’t it so fun! I’m sure you’ve gotten a photo or two there?! xx

  • Popofstyle

    Loving the edge you added with this jacket!
    x
    Missy
    http://popofstyle.com

    • Thank you, Missy! It was just a little too girly for me! xx

  • This dress is so good! And I love this color on you… I wish I could create this wall in my bathroom. Its all flamingo themed. Great find babe! 🙂

    Brittany 🙂
    http://www.kingdomofsequins.com

    • Lol – I hear a DIY project! Thanks, Brittany! xx

  • Ashley Zeal

    Gorgeous dress, gorgeous wall! Love everything about this!

  • In love with this dress Hillary! You look stunning! So glad that you found a schedule that will work best for you. Have a great week!

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

    • Thanks, Kathrine! I feel really good about the decision I made! xx