Ralph Lauren sweater // Forever 21 striped shirt (similar) // J.Crew jeans

Say hello to my cousin Emily! We were born 14 days apart and now live 13 blocks apart in New York. She's a merchandiser at Ralph Lauren and I'd be lying if I said I didn't steal her trench coat for Monday's outfit post. While we were taking pictures, Emily posed with an older woman in workout clothes and winked at various passersby. Three cheers for family/friends with great style and an even better sense of humor!

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...A few current loves in my all-time favorite color. What's yours?!

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Note to self: hot pink was made for rainy days! How fun is this silk shift from Social Dress Shop? The owner Sarah is a doll and is graciously giving away a $75 gift card to one lucky reader and offering 25% off all full-priced items with code DESIGNDARLING at checkout! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win. I'm head over heels for this backless beauty and this navy number — shop here and let me know what you snag!

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Classic accessories, transitional outwear, and skinnies in every color and wash... Key ingredients to a few looks I'm loving of late. Which look is your favorite?

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The colors in these pictures are utterly breathtaking, no? Taken by photographer Steve Back, they showcase an aerial view of Hutt Lagoon in western Australia. The colors come from naturally occurring algae that have been concentrated into manmade lagoons. Pictures like this give me insane wanderlust! Have you traveled down under? What country or continent is next on your list?

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A playfully polished ensemble perfect for weekend fun. Hope you have a good one! xx

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Calvin Klein jacket (similar) // J.Crew shirt // Swiss Army watch
Ralph Lauren chinos // Braided belt from Argentina (similar) // J.Crew desert boots

How cute is my friend Eddy? He's been my right hand man at Design Darling for a couple months now and when he showed up in this get-up earlier in the week I knew it was time for a new series on the blog. I can't wait to rope in a few more friends and keep the outfit posts coming! In the mean time, let's note everything Eddy's doing right: you can't go wrong with blue on blue, every guy should own these pants in every color, and desert boots are possibly the most versatile shoe offering since the equally beloved boat shoe. Bravo, my friend! Next up, my cousin and partner-in-crime, Emily. I hope you enjoy! :)

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One of the projects I'm most excited to tackle in my apartment is assembling a gallery wall next to my desk. My friend Amy has the most beautiful little vignettes in her apartment (catch a glimpse here) and totally inspired me to start covering my bare walls with new prints, old maps, and random keepsakes. Anything you're coveting for your walls at the moment? Do share!

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{Books top to bottom: one, two, three, four, five, six}

I've crossed a few things off the apartment to do list but it's definitely still a work in progress! I'll continue to share bits and pieces on Instagram until it's ready to be photographed. How long did it take for you to make your first place feel like home? Tell me I'm not crazy for taking a few months to make everything just right ;)

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Number 59 on my 101 in 1001 list was to find a go-to LBD that could be dressed up or down for various occasions. This one has just the right amount of flounce (so important, right?!) and plays well with other basics in my closet like this and this. Have you found your perfect little black dress?

P.S. More cute LBDs here, here, and here!

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(1) J.Crew frog bangle (2) Kain white tankhow comfy does this look? (3) Bensimon tennis sneaks

A gratuitous round-up of cheeky little things catching my eye this week. What have you wishlisted lately?

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I pay attention to trends in the sense that I read blogs and magazines and like to know what's going to be big in stores in the coming months. But there are usually only a couple trends each season that jive well with my personal style. Neon? Only in small doses. Spikes and studs? Not for me. White bags and shoes? Just say no. But lately I'm seeing a lot of fun updates to the classic baseball tee — brighter colors, cool zipper details, unexpected fabrics. Here are a few that have caught my eye:

{Addison, $138 — I bought this one!}

What do you think? Is this a trend you'll be buying into? 

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Sometimes you just need to put on a pretty dress and twirl around, you know? I can't tell you how jealous I am of those of you in Dallas and Los Angeles already wearing cute dresses but the New York chill didn't stop me from taking a spin around the block in my favorite Sail to Sable number. Paired with my old beat-up cowboy boots, it's exactly what I'll be wearing for strolls through Central Park this spring. Maybe next time I'll remember a manicure with my favorite red polish? Oops ;)

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A few links for your weekend leisure time...

- A budget-friendly cocktail dress that goes with everything in your closet.
- Club Monaco's new arrivals are good. This navy skirt has just the right amount of flounce.
- Facebook is rolling out a new look. Does anyone else wish they'd just let it be for a while?
- If you're looking for a good movie, watch this. Ali MacGraw is too chic for words and I promise you'll be sobbing by the end. (Isn't that the universal sign of an awesome movie?)
- Puppy in pajamas. What more could you want?
- Put a bow on it! My newest shoe crush.
- This striped shirt belongs on my body. Doesn't it look so comfy?

Have a good one, friends! xx

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I don't really believe in having separate wardrobes for each season. Besides the obvious (snow boots and swimsuits, for instance), I like most of my clothes to transition seamlessly from summer to winter and vice versa. This means relying on basics like fitted oxford shirts, great jeans, lightweight sweaters, and one of my new favorites: the trench coat. Here's how I'd wear it now and how I'd wear it when it warms up in a couple months...

Classic camel and navy now, a pop of turquoise later. Finish either look with this killer cuff and a swipe of my favorite pink lipstick and you've got instant polish. Are you a fan of the trench coat? What's a recent wardrobe staple you've invested in? Have a great weekend! xx

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I took outfit pictures (coming soon!) in a white dress over the weekend and noticed how frighteningly pale I am... which doesn't bode well for my newfound love of mint greens and periwinkle blues. Alas, for those of you who aren't ghostly white this time of year:

I'm usually a brights kind of girl (evidence here, here, and here) but I'm kind of digging these softer hues! What's your color crush at the moment?

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