My guilty pleasure is definitely swimwear–I own a *ton* of it! This summer I have really been crushing on designer swimwear, particularly Italian labels. Italian swim is flattering, skimpy, timelessly sexy and–most of all–fun! Each designer has a signature pattern that is unique to him/her. One of the most distinguishable is that of Missoni.

Lucky for me, I found this bikini by Missoni for a steal! (Like, under $100.) Similar suits by the same label retail for over $300. It is the prettiest color combo for summer; the turquoise and pink hues look awesome with a tan. And it fits like a glove because the fabric is so stretchy. I am so obsessed! *Insert drooling emoji here.*

Pulling the sides of your bottoms up is a huge trend. Yes, it is flattering because it lengthens the legs, but I can’t help but obsess over the ultra low-rise 1990s/2000s cut. It’s flirty and really stands out without being over the top.

I prefer unlined swimsuits with zero padding over lined and padded swimsuits. The less coverage the better for me! This ‘kini is perfect because it is unlined, not padded and has the tiniest strings to tie it–great for getting a tan!

What swimwear are you loving this summer? Let me know in the comments below, or on IG @maduhlyn_. 🙂

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During my last trip to an estate sale, I found a two beautiful vintage pieces—a satin dress with a halter neck and a tea-length slip skirt with lace trim. The dress is amazing on its own, but the skirt is really simple, so there are endless ways to style it.

My first instinct was to add a white graphic t-shirt to offset the skirt’s ultra-femme feel; I chose this colorful, 80s/90s-inspired one that’s great for summer and has a fit that I love. Still, I felt a little frumpy in the flowy-skirt-and-baggy-top combo. So the outfit would flatter my figure a little more, I reached for a chunky lace-up belt. The belt’s nude hue kept the entire outfit’s color palette light and airy, which was exactly what I wanted, and a relaxed half-tuck is the perfect balance of boyish and ladylike.

Because I decided this outfit needed some more texture, I slipped into a pair of worn-in leather snake-print booties. I love the earthy Brown for daytime, and these shoes seem to work with pretty much everything! They are my favs for casual, everyday wear.

How do you style yourself for summertime? What are your go-to pieces to wear or styling tricks?

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Last year I put together a short swim editorial to celebrate Independence Day. I chose a blue bikini with white stars by Minimale Animale, an Los Angeles-based brand. Because I love this concept so much, I decided to do it again in 2018 with a made-in-the-USA one-piece by Inamorata Swim.

If you know anything about me, you know Emily Ratajkowski is my biggest girl crush, so of course I had to pick up a suit (or two) when she dropped a swimwear line earlier this year. In addition to a cheetah-print bikini that fits like a glove—a very cheeky glove—I fell in love with the Leucadia in Red Snake. So unique!

This suit has the laidback wearability of a basic bikini with the vibe of a high-fashion resort collection. It is definitely an embodiment of the word steezy, the perfect blend of stylish and easy.

For the past few months, I have really been into the color red. Other than lipstick and nail polish, I never used to like wearing red. But now, I cannot get enough! Leucadia in Red Snake has a gorgeous combination of candy apple red, brick red and black. I love wearing a mix of colors and textures, and that’s not always doable in something as skimpy as a swimsuit. So, this suit is a great compromise.

I can’t wait to see what’s to come from Inamorata Swim. Because everything is made in the United States, this label makes me feel good about indulging in my swimwear obsession.

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Wearing a ribbed tank from Reformation & reworked Levi’s denim

The frequency at which I see bloggers, YouTubers and influencers promoting fast fashion labels is beyond nauseating. That, in addition to my own research, turned me away from the fast fashion industry big time. Although I do not claim to be perfect (I still own a number of things from fast fashion giants such as Zara), I am making a huge effort to greatly reduce my consumption.

Of course it is amazing when you find an affordable piece that happens to be exactly what you want, but we should all strive to consume consciously, i.e., buy less, but buy better. There is never a reason to blindly follow trends you don’t even like, buy something just because it’s on sale, stay all day in clothes that are ill-fitting and uncomfortable because they were made haphazardly or have a closet full of falling-apart pieces you never wear–all of which can be super stressful! To guide us in the right direction, I gathered some of the biggest names in fast fashion and paired them with ethical alternatives offering thoughtful, quality designs that make us feel good inside and out.

Instead of Fashion Nova, try Backbite.

When it comes to edgy pieces fit for a rockstar, such as jumpsuits, bodysuits and hot pants, Backbite is the go-to source. This Los Angeles-based, online-only retailer also has an impressive collection of unique vintage t’s and killer (cruelty-free) animal prints.

Instead of Tiger Mist/Princess Polly/I Am Gia, try Daisy.

It is hard to resist fun, trendy styles on these Australian-based sites. Is it just me, or do girls down under have the coolest style?

But these rapidly growing fast fashion retailers are known for copycatting up-and-coming labels such as Daisy (aka @daisydaisy.tv). An Opening Ceremony favorite, Daisy is known for slinky lace-up dresses and corset-inspired tops that put an ubersexy spin on traditional styles. The pastel colors and clean neutrals look amazing on all skin tones and body types, while giving everyone the option to personalize their Daisy looks.

Instead of Zara, try Rosemilk.

Whether you are looking for dreamy, nostalgic pieces for your next vacay or something classic to wear to your next job interview, Rosemilk has you covered (quite literally)! Although the selection is limited–they are a new business–it does not feel that way because everything is so gorgeous. Their styles are the perfect blend of masculine and feminine, and comfort is never sacrificed.

Instead of Aerie, try Hot As Hell.

Looking for beautiful lingerie or sexy swim that will make you feel feminine and help you stand out from the crowd? In Hot As Hell‘s range you will look just as good as the name suggests. 😉

Instead of Forever 21, try REVICE.

I guarantee that you will find your new favorite show-stopping jeans that fit like a glove and boost your confidence on REVICE‘s site.

Instead of Revolve, try Are You Am I.

So, not everything on Revolve is technically fast fashion; it is more of an online department store (with a pretty awesome denim selection, might I add). Although most styles on this site come with a somewhat hefty price tag, the speed at which Revolve stocks new pieces is dizzying; for that reason I am grouping this retailer in the fast fashion category.

At Are You Am I, however, you will score the best basics for everyday wear, plus the perfect party dress for any event! The quality fabrics ensure these pieces will last forever. The simplified design promises they will never go out of style. And the chic aesthetic means you will want to live in them all year long.

Instead of Urban Outfitters, try Reformation.

Reformation is a one-stop shop for office-appropriate fashion that is still *ahem* fashionable; think of it as UO for grown-ups. Although most styles at Ref tend to be on the conservative side (at least for my taste), everything has a modern, effortless feel–perfect for recreating the highly coveted French girl style, athleisure-obsessed American style or anything in between!

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Recently, I fell in love with New York-based label Rosemilk. After weeks of scrolling their dreamy IG feed and drooling uncontrollably over every post, I placed an order. And I definitely chose the right time to do so–their pieces are perfect for summer.

Because I *hate* fast fashion, I am always on the hunt for beautiful and original pieces made in the United States (and I don’t use the word “hate” lightly). Rosemilk’s pieces are nostalgic and romantic yet wearable, feminine yet masculine. All of this combined makes Rosemilk the perfect match for me!

As soon as my ordered arrived, I knew these were the type of pieces that I would be keeping forever and someday passing down to a daughter of my own. They are just so, so special and TIMELESS! The tropics, nostalgia and romance all serve as inspiration for Rosemilk, and that comes through very clearly in each and every design.

I chose the Bambina Crop top in pale yellow, the Chiquita Banana Wrap skirt, the Filomena Cotton Wrap in white and the Bambino Trouser in tangerine, all of which are super-versatile in my opinion and appropriate for my office (given that I style them properly). Plus, I do have somewhat of a life outside my career, so I can always style these picks for a vacay, a day trip or a night out.

Without even intending to do so, I bought two perfectly styled outfits! The crop top and wrap skirt look amazing together, as do the wrap top and trousers. What better way to introduce my newest favorite retailer to Haute Mess than with a look book featuring these two outfits?

One of my most-loved ways to play up summer’s sultry, beach-y vibes is with a pair of statement earrings. I am a sucker for big hoops and medallion styles (and bright colors, too)! Wear a fun headband adds even more to the outfit and really shows off the earrings.

Even though all these Rosemilk pieces are pretty relaxed, I still wanted to look polished, so I chose my fuchsia block healed slides to pair with the first look, and my brown (faux!) snakeskin booties to go with the second one. That way, I truly feel like myself in both these outfits, which is the first thing I look for when shopping at new retailers (or even shopping for new pieces at any of my go-to labels).

As far as makeup goes, I kept it relatively simple with lived-in bronzy, sun-kissed look from top to bottom. Although I do like playing around with color when it comes to beauty, I do not usually wear so much color in terms of my wardrobe, so I decided to let these outfits shine, instead. I made sure to go with light- or medium-coverage products to get fresh, dewy skin.

Of course these Rosemilk pieces all work so well together, but I also plan to dress down both tops with some Levi’s Wedgie Fit jeans and both bottoms with a simple white tank.

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