Birthday Star // Turning 27 + Black Slip Dress

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper holding star-shaped balloons from the Upper Westside.
This week I'm celebrating another trip around the sun! My 27th birthday is Saturday, Aug. 17 and you better believe I'm escorting 26 out with a bang — stars in all. 
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's birthday photo shoot in Washington Square Park with balloons.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper sharing one of the best New York City photoshoot locations.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing her 2019 birthday dress.
I wish you guys could see the subtle rainbow glitter on my dress. The sparkles take it to the next level, making it completely special-occasion approved! But whether you can see the shine or not, a slip dress like this one is the perfect blend of sexy and sophisticated. The double slits are especially flattering and fun.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper doing a balloon photoshoot.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's birthday photos in New York City's Washington Square Park.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's Washington Square Park photo shoot in the Summer of 2019.
I'm all for dressing up on your special day — whatever kind of day that may be. For me, a birthday outfit is an empowering way to celebrate and ensure you feel your best. After all, what's better than feeling like a star? And what better way to feel like a star than dressing like one? It's called confidence, baby...and sometimes clothing can make all the difference!
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a sexy black slip dress.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper sharing how to take cute photos with balloons.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's photo shoot with star-shaped balloons.
Full disclosure: I bought this dress three years ago, and although I loved it, I never felt fully comfortable in it. After wearing it once and shooting it for this post (umm can you believe how long my hair is?), I put it in the back of my closet and pretty much forgot about it. 

Now, three years later, I've developed more confidence in myself (and not going to lie, I also toned up and lost weight), and I was so excited when I put this LBD back on and felt incredible in it! What a feeling! It's THAT feeling you want to accompany you during any and all of your big days. Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper sharing her 2019 birthday outfit idea.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's New York City balloon photo shoot.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's Washington Square Park photo shoot with balloons.
[dress: & Other Stories (old, but I also like this one) // heels: Zara (old, but I also like these) // earrings: Ann Taylor (I also like this pair) //lip color: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in "Backtalk" // balloons: Balloon Kings]

Every year I look forward to doing a fun, personality-filled birthday photo shoot with balloons. For me, it's the perfect way to celebrate a new year and make the milestone that much more memorable. This year, Antonio and I headed to Washington Square Park and arrived by 8:30 am on a Sunday in order to capture it essentially empty. 

And how about these balloons? Last year I was all for tonal, metallic vibes, but this year I was feeling rainbow, sparkle, and pizzaz! It just goes to show that no matter how "old" you get, you're never too old for whatever makes your heart sing. JUST DO YOU :) ...and if that means buying the rainbow balloons and parading them around NYC, then do it! And do it boldly. 

// SHOP DRESS //


Firecracker // Cropped Tank + Midi Skirt

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's cute summer outfit idea.
From beautiful botanicals, graphic pops, animal motifs, and tie-dye swirls, prints are always a good idea — and a no-effort way to refresh your style. I love a poppy pattern like this one to energize my look, and paired with a bold hue up top, it's a downright firecracker. 
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing an Aritzia firecracker crop top.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a summer date night outfit of a skirt and crop top.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing bedazzled metallic and nude heels from Banana Republic.
A true party heel, these shoes never fail to add pizazz to even the simplest looks. They're the perfect way to dress up ANYTHING, making me feel and look 100 percent special-occasion-ready.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a summer midi skirt outfit.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a midi skirt outfit on the streets of Naperville, Illinois.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a summer date night outfit.
They don't call it red hot for nothing! Spicy and full of life, crimson is a look-at-me hue worthy of firecracker status. When you want to make a statement, red is the color to do it in. And you know it's the the more the merrier — accessories, lip color, the works!
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a red Furla mini bag.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a high-waisted skirt, crop top outfit.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper in Naperville, Illinois during the summer of 2019.
[top: Aritzia // skirt: Classiques Entier via Nordstrom (old, but I also like this one) // heels: Banana Republic (I also like this pair) // purse: Furla // necklace: Tiffany & Co. // earrings: fine jewelry, gift from my mom (similar pair here) // heart tag bracelet: Tiffany & Co. // silver bangle: Alex & Ani // amethyst bangle: David Yurman // lip color: Kylie Cosmetics matte lip kit in "Kristen"]

Earlier this summer, I wore this look for a full day of hanging with friends, eating out, and bopping around the city. Granted, I wasn't able to wear these heels all day, but I slipped into them before dinner, which was the perfect way to transition this outfit into evening. Fun, playful, and fiery, this was definitely a memorable summer combo.

// SHOP //


Beach Please // Striped One Piece + BODY REAL TALK

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a pink and white striped one-piece swimsuit.
Whether you're catching waves oceanside or chilling by the pool, the right swimsuit will have you soaking up the sun in style. This neon striped one-piece is my latest favorite.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's 2019 Rockaway Beach pics.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper on the beach with her striped swimsuit, striped beach bag, and striped towel.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a Solid and Striped one-piece swimsuit.
Sometimes rocking a swimsuit with confidence is hard. Join my TED Talk below 💗
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York 2019.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's beach photo shoot ideas.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's cute striped beach accessories.
How was my FIRST 2019 trip to the beach only this past weekend? Antonio and I headed to our favorite spot at Rockaway Beach here in New York on Saturday, and, as always I had a blast.

I went with a striped theme and completed my beachy look with neutral shades and a star-printed fabric headband, which was perfect for keeping my hair off my face despite the salty breeze. 
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing tan sunglasses from Banana Republic.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a pink and white Solid and Striped one-piece swimsuit.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a low-back one-piece swimsuit from Solid and Striped.
While a comfortable-fitting, stylish swimsuit may be important, nothing complements a beach look more than unapologetic confidence. Usually that's the last thing we feel when we step into a swimsuit, but, at least to me, that can mean you haven't found the right swimsuit. 

The key is not only to find one that you think looks great on you, but one that makes you feel empowered; like yourself. Easier said than done, I know. But finding a suit you're proud of, is the first step to feeling great when you hit the sand — and beyond!
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper wearing a cute outfit to the beach.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper's beach photo ideas 2019.
Nyc fashion blogger Kathleen Harper on Rockaway Beach, New York.
[swimsuit: Solid & Striped via Marshall's // headband: J.Crew (I also like this one) // sunglasses: Banana Republic (I also like this pair) // yellow & white towel: Kassatex New York // pink & white towel: Dock & Bay quick dry towel (I also like this one) // flamingo cup: Party City // striped beach bag: J.Crew // lip color: Sun Bum Tinted Sunscreen Lip Balm in "Raisin Hell"]

Not going to lie, as much as I adore the beach, I do NOT adore myself in a swimsuit. Posing for these types of photos, let alone posting them, isn't always the easiest thing. Looking back on all the pics Antonio and I took, YES I saw cellulite (way more than I even thought I had), YES I saw bulges I didn't know existed, YES I saw stretch marks, and you BET I felt my confidence deflate a few times.

I wish I had a secret confidence-boosting sauce to give to all my fellow fierce females out there, but the truth is, sometimes it's HARD to feel strong and beautiful, and that's ok. I've heard other people advise to think about how far you've come — no matter what that may mean for you. Personally, I think of my fitness journey — how much stronger I am now than three years ago, how much dedication I put into my cardio and strength training sessions. I'm physically not where I WANT to be, but in reality, will I ever be? Hmm, deep questions...

But no matter WHO you are, your body is capable of incredible things, and you better believe that's reason enough to celebrate! Your body woke you up this morning, it carried you through your day, it took you where you needed to go, and it continues to be with you every single step of the way. 

So maybe wearing a swimsuit isn't as easy as we wish it were, but the good news is that confidence and happiness grow from WITHIN, and propelling yourself forward is a journey you can start at any time — including now.

// SHOP //