Essential Dresses for Your Summer Travels

When packing for your summer vacation, or any other vacation for that matter, your list probably consists of a variety of separates to supply you an endless number of outfit combinations. However, no holiday capsule wardrobe is complete without your essential dresses. No fuss, lightweight garments that can be styled from day to night, your trips this season are the perfect time to be showing off your dress collection. But like any other time you’re filling up your suitcase, the ability to edit is crucial. The specific items to bring will depend on your destination. So if you’re having trouble narrowing down your options, below is a guide on packing according to your holiday getaway.

If you’re going on a city break:
Look fabulously chic in a shirt dress. One of the best features of this classic piece is that it can be adjusted to suit any weather condition. Wear it with a cardigan in case you’re going somewhere cooler, or on its own if the temperatures are at an all-time high. As Marie Claire states, “It’s such a key piece that can be brought out time and time again.”

Essential Dresses for your Summer Travels

If you’re headed for the tropics:
Go for maxi dresses. Style experts from Lyst suggest saving easy jersey maxis and bold prints for the weekend. But when you’re on holiday, you can take full advantage of these summer staples for that laidback feel that’s hard to pull off when you’re in the city.

If you’re traveling to a cultural destination:
Veer towards the conservative side. Places such as Istanbul and other religious spots have stricter dress codes embedded in their cultural norms, so t-shirt dresses that are of modest length are your safest best for destinations like these. Although a long, cotton item might feel a bit restrained compared to the rest of their dresses, The Travel Hack reminds women that it’s possible to look and feel sexy in this travel must-have, without showing any flesh.

What essential dresses will you be bringing on your trip this summer?

xo Rania

Little White Box Pleated Skirt

White is certainly my go-to color, and I just love how this box pleated skirt fits me. The ways to style a skirt like this are endless, and the circle shape is so playful and sweet. The reason a box pleated skirt works so well is the defined waistline and the soft pleating which give the outfit an easy and feminine feel.

A white skirt is a great summer staple that could be styled with flats or heels, bold prints, colorful tops or a bright white-on-white ensemble. You can choose between a mini or midi skirt – or even have one of each  – depending on which is more comfortable and works best for your body type. Caged heels will add a nice edge to a girly outfit, and combined with a skater mini skirt make your legs appear super long and slim. I completed this look with a pair of bold sunglasses which are one of my most favorite summer pieces.

Box Pleated SkirtWhite Asos Prom Skirt Box Pleated SkirtMy hair’s been growing out pretty quickly, and although I’m used to my blunt long bob I have been tempted by all the pictures of gorgeous summer mermaid hair I see all the time. I’m not sure if you’ll agree but I always find different hair lengths and style suited to different outfits. Since summer clothes consist of a lot of maxi co-ord sets, tropical playsuits and cute mini skirts I might leave my hair in this land of in-between for now so I can have more style options available to me. What do you think, long or short?

xo Rania

New Look Stripe ShirtAsos Prom Skirt Hayden SatchelBox Pleated Skirt: Asos | Striped Shirt: New Look | Heels: Aldo, similar from Steve Madden | Bag: Kate Spade Hayden | Sunglasses: Quay Australia | Necklace: Baublebar.

Photography by Natelee Cocks.

Makeup by Beatriz Gonzalez.

Off the Shoulder Top

The heat has officially become unbearable these days, and so I’m provisioning my wardrobe with a bunch of lightweight off the shoulder tops and dresses. Blush pink is so obviously my favorite color, but I don’t actually wear it as often as you would think mainly because I prefer to have a tan when I wear it. I would usually pair this off the shoulder tiered top with white jeans and a full neutral palette, but I wanted to go with a black and pink combo this time. The ruffle on this top gives it an oversized effect which I balanced with skinny jeans and strappy sandals. What I love most about this off the shoulder trend is it looks good on everyone and is quite slimming as well. This style is flirty and cute, so it makes an immediate statement.

Asos topAsos blush pink topoff shoulder pink topI’ve been making it a point to be more intentional with every piece I invest in, and assessing how often I would actually wear something. Ever since I committed to doing that, I’ve been wearing more of my clothes and getting more creative with styling them over and over again. My motto has always been quality over quantity, but I’m putting my money where my mouth is and trying to create a wardrobe I’m confident in and a style that is comfortable and timeless. Have you been going through some style changes, and what’s your mantra these days?

xo Rania

Asos tiered off the shoulder top

Blush Pink Asos TopOff-the-shoulder trend
Off the Shoulder top: Asos | Jeans: Topshop | Heels: Express | Hat: Nordstrom

Photography by Natelee Cocks

Makeup by Beatriz Gonzalez

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Baroque Tea Dress

Chi Chi London has the prettiest clothes and this baroque dress comes in so many beautiful colors. I couldn’t commit to one of their tea dresses until I saw this sky blue and gold combo. It would seem appropriate because of my dark hair that I would relate the most with Princess Jasmine or maybe even Snow White, but the truth is as a little a girl I’d always dreamt of being Cinderella. She is kind, forgiving and completely selfless. Although a so many people think her character is passive and a little subdued, I find her immensely brave and strong. To be good in a world filled with hate and negativity is beyond courageous in my eyes, and for that I’ll always think she’s a wonderful role model to young girls. So, here I am finally having my Cinderella moment after all these years – but in my own way of course.

Baroque DressChi Chi LondonBaroque Dress

The bodice is padded and there are quite a few layers of tulle underneath the skirt that make it a little bulky and heavy, so I would recommend removing a layer or two for a more comfortable fit. The baroque dress has such beautiful intricate detailing and the fabric is really good quality, which makes it a great choice for a wedding, prom or gala. You can simply pair a tea dress with gold sandals or nude pumps and chandelier earrings. Since the lace really speaks for itself  and the neck is high, you can keep the accessorizing to a minimum. I’d love to hear what you think of this baroque dress and if you would wear this style. Who’s your favorite disney princess?

xo Rania

“They can’t order me to stop dreaming.” ~ Cinderella

Chi Chi London ClothingTulle Dress Baroque Tea Dress
Dress: Chi Chi London
Photography by Natelee Cocks.

Makeup by Beatriz Gonzalez


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Striped Frilled Shirt

You may have heard me use this line before, but the shoot for this Zara Frilled Shirt is one of my all-time favorites, and it’s not only because I absolutely adore this outfit. I’ve been stung by the wanderlust bug again and that’s what inspired this lookbook. While dreaming up what I’d like to pack on a trip to Tuscany, I knew it would involve stripes, a straw hat and of course a pair of strappy gold sandals. My off-shoulder obsession has already begun in full-fledged mode and this frilled shirt has an extra cute flounce to it.

Zara Frilled Top

While shopping at Zara recently, I noticed it was stripes and off-shoulder central, which made me wonder how many similar tops and dresses I can buy before it gets to be too many. I came to the conclusion that it’s probably all I’ll be wearing these days and I’m not going to fight it. This is certainly the hottest trend this spring/summer, and since we’ve all invested in so many of these cute shirts, it’ll hopefully stick around for another few years.

Summer StyleKate Spade Cedar StreetDubai Street Style Frilled Top

Whenever I wear this soft blue shade it reminds me of our honeymoon in Santorini, the color of the clear sky connected with the ocean and the tops of the little churches in Oia. As you can see, I’ve got it bad and I’m itching to go somewhere soon. Luckily I haven’t booked any trips yet, thus giving me plenty of time to build the perfect wardrobe for when I do finally jet off, my trusty hats in tow. What have you been dreaming of lately, my darling?

xo Rania

Straw HatFrilled ShirtFrill Top Travel Style

Frilled Shirt: Zara | Jeans: Forever21 | Sandals: Steve Madden | Bag: Kate Spade | Hat: H&M

Photography by Natelee Cocks.

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Spring Tweed Jackets

I still remember the first time I saw tweed pieces during Spring and the sheer excitement I felt over a mint pencil skirt and the creamy tweed jackets. While we’re still clinging to remnants of a breeze here in Dubai, I thought I’d remind you to put your pretty tweed jackets to good use, without the need to overdress. Tweed is such a beautiful and elegant texture (thank you Ms. Coco Chanel) and I love finding the pieces with a little shine in the threading. I debated over how I wanted to style this jacket since I usually tend to reach for dresses and skirts, but I thought it carried its own weight pretty well and was confident it would turn a simple look into a chic ensemble. Since this blazer is in my favorite shade of cream I was not about to shy away from pulling out all my soft pastel accessories, but I would definitely keep my eyes peeled for all the dark and smoky tweed jackets out in the market right now.

Spring Style Inspiration

Tweed Jacket and Jeans

Spring Outfits

I adore my simple and meaningful jewelry but I knew I had to add a bit of sparkle to complete my ‘Sunday brunch on the upper westside’ vibe, and this necklace from J. Crew was just the right amount of gloss I needed. When it comes to investment pieces, tweed jackets go a long way in the eternal style department. You’ll see them make an appearance during the fall and last all through winter and spring.  You can pair them with a simple shift dress, over a pleated skirt and even tailored shorts and channel your inner effortlessly stylish parisian. Let me know what you think!

xo Rania

Kate Spade Maise

Spring Jewelry

Tweed Blazer

Dubai Fashion Blogger

Tweed Jackets

Blush Pink Satchel

Tweed Jackets: Asos, Nordstrom| Skinny Jeans: Topshop | Heels: Aldo | Satchel: Kate Spade Cedar Street Maise | Necklace: J. Crew | Ring: Baublebar.

Photography by Natelee Cocks.

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Printed Pencil Skirt

Have you ever spotted something and immediately knew it’s exactly what you’ve been searching for? That’s what this printed pencil skirt was for me. I love wearing these midi skirts, especially for spring and finding the right print that is bold without being too colorful was a must for me. The best part about a printed pencil skirt is it does all the work for you, just add a simple top and fun accessories and you’re good to go. I’m quite infamous for my whites and pastels, but it feel so good to wear an outfit that’s a little edgier than my usual looks. This look is super feminine and ladylike and can be worn for work, a dinner party or an evening out. These printed pencil skirts work great with bold lipstick and bright earrings as well, because that’s what spring is all about. A lot of ladies worry about the fit of a midi pencil skirt, but I assure you with the right heels they’re extremely sexy, flattering and are perfect if you don’t feel like showing too much legs. You’ll never know until you try, so be a little adventurous this spring and wear something you haven’t thought you’d like before. What is your number one must have for this season, and have you found it yet?

xo Rania

P.S. It feels so good to be back, ladies. 😉

Printed Midi Skirt

Street Style Dubai

Fashion Looks

Street Style Dubai

Dubai Fashion Blogger

Printed Pencil Skirt

Black Lace Blouse

Printed Pencil Skirt

Street Style Dubai

Bold Pencil Skirt

Topshop Lace Blouse

Outfit Details:

Printed Pencil Skirt: River Island. Black Lace Blouse: Topshop. Sandals: Express. Lipstick: Nars – Fanny.

Photography by Natelee Cocks.

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Printed Blazer

I pulled out this printed blazer recently since I haven’t worn one in a while, and I pretty much fell in love with it all over again. I’m always trying to make it a point to try on new colors and add variety to my wardrobe, but there’s something about a black/neutral combo that gets me every time. I kept everything else simple and monochromatic so the printed blazer would stand out, and I couldn’t resist a floppy hat and cozy flat boots. Since I needed a pop of color I opted for a bright lip in my favorite shade of pink.

Printed Blazer

Black And White

Street Style

I’m currently in snowy Michigan and soaking in every moment with family and friends. It took me longer than usual to recover from jet lag and adjust to the time difference, but I used this as an opportunity to relax and spend my free time to cozy up on the couch and read. I’ve realized how wound up and stressed I’ve been lately and it’s nice to step back from life and get some perspective, so I can get back into things with a clear head and a fresh eye. I feel light and free these days and I’m really looking forward to being a better version of myself for my loved ones and for my business. I’ll be working hard to continue churning out the best content possible, and although the temperature is extremely low and the chilly air stings my face I’m excited to put together pretty outfits. I’d love to know what more you’d like to see on The Blush Diaries and how you would style your favorite printed blazer.

Floppy Hat

Printed Blazer

Printed Blazer

Monochromatic

Black Clutch

Street Style

Outfit Details:

Printed Blazer: BCBG Maxazria, similar here | Wrap Blouse: Mango, similar from Ann Taylor | Moto Jeans: Topshop.

Photography by Natelee Cocks

Fringed Skirt

Happy New Year beauties, I hope 2016 is off to a great start! I’m traveling to Michigan next week and I’m so looking forward to seeing my family and friends, as well styling cozy outfits and soaking in all the snowfall. Although I prefer warmer climates I genuinely miss wearing some heavy knits, wool coats and cozy boots so I’m planning on getting it out of my system this trip. I was on a streak of super girly outfits and lots of pastels and neutrals, so I decided to start this year off with an edgier look and a playful fringed skirt. It can be a little tricky styling over the knee boots, and I wanted each piece in the outfit to stand out without overpowering the other.

Fringed Skirt

Grey Vest and Black Clutch Fringed Skirt OTK Boots

Over the knee boots

It took me a while to choose a pair of over the knee boots, but I knew I wanted black suede ones and this slouchy pair fit the bill perfectly. I’m always about beauty and comfort when it comes to choosing pieces.  You can feel it in the way you walk and move, so it’s important to love the way something fits and not just how it looks. I wasn’t sure how I felt about fringe when it first came back in style but this fringed skirt really took this look from simple and monochromatic to just a bit edgy. What’s your style challenge this year and have you started trying new things? I hope you liked this look, I would love to hear what you think babes!

xo Rania

Fringed SkirtFringed Skirt Fringed Skirt Over the Knee boots Black Suede Over the knee boots

Outfit Details: Grey Vest: Miss Selfridge (namshi)| Tank: Topshop | Fringed Skirt: Forever21 | OTK Boots: Steve Madden | Clutch: Banana Republic (c/o) | Necklace: Banana Republic (c/o)

Photography by Enchante Portrait Couture.

*Affiliate links are used in this post.

New Year’s Eve Outfits

I have no problem with a little style cliché every once in a while, especially when it comes to new year’s eve outfits. This is my excuse to bring out the sequins that I hardly ever get to wear, and throw in some faux fur for an added luxe effect. When choosing sequined pieces, I try to stick to neutral or soft colors without too much sparkle so I don’t feel like a walking disco ball. But I do spot some bold shiny outfits on others and find them pretty as well. Some of my previous new year’s eve outfits included cozy pajamas or warm sweat pants, and since we haven’t yet decided what we’ll be doing this year I sure am glad I got to put this pretty outfit together so I don’t have to worry about it at the last minute.

New Years Eve Party

New Years Eve Outfits

New Years Eve Outfits

There’s so much glitz, rush and excitement towards the end of the year which makes me a little sad it’s almost over and pretty grateful for a fresh new beginning. There have been so many ups and downs in 2015, but it’s been such a positive year with many learning experiences and moments that thickened my skin. In a few previous years I evaluated myself harshly and wasn’t quite happy with what I had achieved in my life so far, but as I get older I’m accepting myself more with all my flaws and focusing on joy and living in the moment. I’m approaching this New Year’s Eve almost like any other day: taking the lessons I’ve learned from it, putting the bad behind me and keeping my eye on the ball. This year, let’s not make goals related to our weight or ticking off a bucket list, but instead let’s promise each other to live every day with more intention, gratitude and adventure. I hope you have a lovely evening sipping champagne (or hot chocolate if you prefer) without thinking about what is gone or what’s to come, but only focused on the moment at hand.

All my love,

xo Rania

New Years Eve Party

New Years Eve Party

New Years Eve Outfits

Sequin Dress

New Year's Eve Outfits

Photography: Enchante Portrait Couture.