// Saffron + Bark

Saffron + Bark
First I'll talk to you about these sweet threads, then I want to discuss something a little more "serious" if that's cool with you. So this dress was sent to me last week by the ever so lovely Aileen (from Kintage! Love her!) and I put it on immediately after ripping open the hot pink bubble mailer it was sent in. I wore it while we ran errands in the next town over. It is the perfect Summer dress - white, lace, and not polyester! I had no idea what I wanted to pair it with but since white is like the most neutral color ever, the options were endless. I decided to swipe my mustard yellow cardi (last worn here) and these slingbacks would be perfect. This is actually the only pair of slingbacks I own. For some reason I always steered clear of them, thinking they'd look stupid on me or something. Now I'm not usually one to accessorize too much, but I was in a "mood" so I went for it. A couple of wooden brooches to play up the many brown hues, and this gorgeous white bib necklace as the cherry on top. I had just painted my nails the yellow color the day or so before, so it was a nice matchy, matchy situation haha
Saffron + Bark
Saffron + Bark
Now for the more "serious" part of today's post... (It's not really all that serious. Just some thoughts) I didn't realize until well after these outfit photos that literally every single item in them was c/o or a gift. Well, aside from the bundle of bangles. Okay so that's embarrassing. I started thinking about itemizing it all at the bottom and how dirty it felt to be showing off all of these free things. "Oh hey! Look at my free dress! And these free RayBans! Oh oh oh, don't forget this free purse, too!" Right? I love being a blogger and I love having the opportunity to work with brands, big and small, to promote their items and give this blog more content. But at what point does it get to be too much? Where is that line for people? I mean, as long as I feel like what I'm doing is ethical and in line with my personal beliefs, I feel like I'm maintaining my integrity. I realize that line is different for everyone. How about you? Would it be different if my style "shifted" because of all the new free things I received? Could that just be a natural progression of personal style, or something that was "bought" by a brand? I have all of these questions and zero answers. 

I didn't know if I was going to post this outfit or not. I felt as though it was shameful to write it all out at the bottom. Maybe like a humblebrag. "Oh look at me! I can write a blog! That means I deserve free stuff!" Ahhh. I know a lot of other bloggers have had this same thought process and some have even gone as far as to nix courtesy items all together. But it's been my goal to only work with brands that I feel fit my style, and to seamlessly integrate courtesy pieces into my wardrobe. I always try to make sure that my outfit posts only have a few courtesy items because otherwise it just gets tacky. But here I am, in all my glory, with what feels like every single free piece in my closet. I really liked the outfit and the photos so I figured I'd use it as a platform to try and bounce my thoughts off of you. Am I totally neurotic for even worrying about these things?! I've said it once (twice? five times?) before, but man... blogging is weird! What a strange new media world.
Saffron + Bark
Saffron + Bark
Now with all of that off of my chest, I have some errands to finish and meetings to skedaddle to. Maybe if I get it all done early I can surprise Toby with some pool time. The kid goes crazy if he's not in the water haha. Plus, i could use some relaxation as well. Anyone doing anything exciting this weekend?! Hope you have a lovely rest of your Friday, and a fun-filled weekend!

Simply Charming dress c/o Kintage
A Team 'Goldenrod' cardigan c/o August Wrinkle
Thrifted belt
Forever 21 bangles
Golden Leaf bracelet c/o Kintage
Discover tote c/o Hearts
RayBan sunglasses c/o VisionDirect (last year)
White bib necklace c/o The Northern Sea
Frenchie brooch - gift from The Paper Mama
Valley heels c/o Queen of Hearts and Modern Love


  1. I love your outfit post, even more so when you can work the c/o items into your wardrobe like you went looking for them! You have a style and you work it!
    Being a 'fashion' blogger, or any time of blogger comes with c/o items of all kinds, its about being honest with your readers and you do a great job of that! I love how you point out what you really love, and if you don't like the item you say. You aren't blinded by trying to get more swag, you are you!
    Thank you :)

  2. I think as long as you feel ok with it, it's fine. If you were being dishonest that would be one thing, but enjoying a free product and showing it off? Nothing wrong with that! I love the dress!

  3. Hey, if I got awesome free clothes and they looked good, I'm wearing them. Fact. I don't mind one bit that they're all gifts, it's your style I love so as long as you tell me where it's from, I'm happy! :)

  4. i honestly rarely read the "care of" outfit details at the bottom because i know that you love it if you ordered it and you wouldn't write about it if it was terrible! i think we trust you and your style is very authentic.

    that being said, adore kintage and that dress
    ladies in navy

  5. I feel like this outfit is very you, and it wouldn't have occurred to me that there was multiple c/o items. I don't think it's a problem with bloggers style c/o items as long as it feels like their style. All c/o items all of the time would be weird, but you definitely don't do that. I love the yellow, too, by the way.

  6. usually i dont like yellow, its such a special colour, but that cardigan looks so good! I'm jealous ;3

  7. I don't think you have anything to worry about. The only thing that comes across to me as "phony" is when it is out-of-their-way obvious that they were doing it as a sponsored post. That doesn't seem real to me anymore. If I can tell that it's within their personal style & it doesn't skip a beat with the rest of their outfit posts, I still admire them. I'm new to the whole "blogosphere" so I haven't had that opportunity just yet. I can't wait till I do, but I will try, like you, to not be a phony. I think this fits what I've seen from your other posts, so don't sweat it! Keep up the good work.


  8. Kaelah, thank you for being so real. Your honesty is what makes your blog a must read, for me! A lot of times (as a reader) it seems like more and more bloggers are just expecting to get free stuff, and that is the only reason that they blog: for the stuff. They forget about all the things that made the passionate about blogging in the first place and basically become walking advertisements. It's cool to know that not all "big" bloggers are this way!

    Also, because of this post I was introduced to Hearts! What an awesome company. I'm always on the lookout for ethically made items, and this site is fab!

  9. I love your outfit posts, regardless of the source of your clothes. I really appreciate that it is clear if you received items for free, as some other bloggers are very discreet as to the source of their clothing, which is a little annoying.
    Keep up the awesome work!

  10. I think the main thing people need to consider when accepting/posting about things they're given is that you're being completely honest. Not just about it being a c/o, but how it fits and why you like it, the positives AND the negatives (if there are any) too. Surely thats the whole point? Companies are choosing people to give real accounts of their stuff.

    When it gets to the point bloggers post about shit they hate and lie about it just because they were given it for free, thats when it gets shitty.


  11. your hair is always so flawless. I wish I could be a mom that looked so stylish!

  12. You know, I personally don't have much of a problem with courtesy items, it's going to happen when a blog gets to a certain size. I think it's something one must accept as a reader of blogs. I do agree that some bloggers are way tackier/braggier/shittier about it than others, but if I don't like it I don't read it. Fortunately you are never that way- classy as always! Love that outfit combo btw. I am a huge fan of brooches. :)

  13. Lady! Take a breath! Your readers who have stuck with you couldn't care less where your clothes come from. They keep coming back for you, your story, and your unique style. I, for one, don't care where it came from and trust your stylish opinion regardless. I hope you have a lovely weekend :) Use sunscreen!

    xo Ashley

  14. I only have a problem with c/o posts when they're so different to what the blogger usually wears. But this is totally your style and they all look great on you! I love you in yellow!

  15. First of all, I think this outfit is stellar. That cardigan is awesome, and the eyelet white dress is beautiful on you. And I love the ampersand brooch! I need to start wearing brooches on my cardis. And about the c/o thing... I think the fact that you are so thoughtful and conscious about the brands you work with AND about it coming off as bragging or something mean that you are still working within your vision of your blog and your style, and you should feel accomplished (and not embarrassed!) by the fact that you have the ability to work with brands and businesses that fit into your own branding. Blogging is kind of a weird thing, if you think too much about it. What a strange world we live in! And I know some bloggers are kind of "in it" for the free stuff, and obviously, you are not one of them! That wasn't the reason I started blogging, but I do definitely want to be able to get to the point where I can work with brands that fit into my personal aesthetic. In short (ha), you shouldn't feel weird about the "c/o" label at the bottom. Part of your blog is working with brands you think are in-keeping with your style and beliefs! If people have a problem with it, then they're ass-hats.

    xox Sammi

  16. Okay, you're beautiful. And I totally love this outfit.

    Just because you received these as c/o, doesn't mean that you're shallow, greedy, bragging, or anything like that. As long as you're honest with yourself, your readers, and the companies that want to work with you and that you want to work with, there's nothing wrong in receiving courtesy items. You're conscious of your company and item choices and aren't changing yourself in any way for the ability to receive swag - There's absolutely ZERO wrong with that.

    And hey, as long as you feel beautiful, who's to tell you that you're wrong? ;)

    xo Kristina Rose

  17. I do feel like once a blogger's entire outfit is C/O, that really turns me off the outfit entirely. I don't want you to think that means I hate your clothes! Just that the outfit, when taken as a whole, I really will definitely have a negative feeling about if I see that it's all C/O. Like, I like your purse quite a bit, love the dress, love the shoes even, but looking at all that free DOES turn me off that particular post, you know?

    My honest-to-God line, if I even really have anything so concrete as a line, is if I notice that a blogger seems to wear C/O's with every single outfit, I start to feel like they aren't wearing THEIR clothes, they're wearing BRAND clothes, and I usually drop the blogger entirely shortly after. I start to feel like I'm not reading a blog about a woman's personal style anymore, just reading a series of advertisements. I don't want to spend my personal time clicking over to ads, you know? And that's kind of what happens.

    So... I don't know. I like your blog a lot, ever since I stumbled across it. I really think your balance between style & life is pretty ideal, and I always have a great time smiling along with you while you talk about what's going on. So my line obviously isn't as hard-and-fast with you as with a blog I maybe don't feel as much of a personal connection to, because you wearing a C/O here and there doesn't bother me as much as some other bloggers have. Maybe because you write so much about yourself, and your feelings, and your life that I don't feel like I'm just looking at ads.

    Or something.

    It's sort of a magical land of mystery we live in when it comes to blogging, huh?

    Ugh. I think I just wrote you a novel. Sorry!

  18. Darlin' I don't think it's wrong to reap the rewards of a long, hard road of blogging -- constantly being under pressure to come up with new material, dealing with the downright *caustic* audacity of people who feel emblazoned by their internet anonymity, and always biting your lip about what's too much to share or not enough to add about RL...

    I'm an artist myself. With a knack for photo realism, I grew up looking wistfully at other artists who were selling work for thousands of dollars that I knew I could equal in talent. But I could barely convince anyone to pay more than a couple hundred bucks for a painting, even if it took me dang near 6 months to paint it. I'd have people try to pick up objects that I'd painted onto a canvas that I'd left drying on a table. My mentors pushed for Yale. Eventually I realized that, sadly, I'm not up for the fight of self-promotion. I just don't CARE enough about decorating someone's walls after years of crying over why people would stop to say how amazing a painting was but not want to buy it. After a spiritual experience that would be rather long winded if described ;p I was inspired to devote my 'art' toward the medical world and use my portrait skills and knowledge of the human figure to become a reconstructive surgeon.

    But there won't be a *single day* I don't look on the wall and sigh at the sight of a painting that's sold for 4,000 dollars that I KNOW I could do just as well. But I've realized now what these people had that I did not -- perseverance. They loved their paintings enough to stick with them. Through the raised brows, and the scoffs, and the never ending restaurant jobs, these artists did NOT give up. And now their work was on a wall in front of me -- selling for WAY more than it cost them to make it, selling for WAY more than if an up and coming artist of the same talent had done it.

    But they deserve it. They EARNED their success and everything that comes along with it.

    That's my point.

    Because the upward road of a struggling artist -- which has to be at least SOMEWHAT similar to that of a blogger -- is not something that everyone can handle. Ambition without talent is just a dream; however, talent without ambition is 100% a nightmare. It definitely takes more than *I'm* willing to give.

    So I guess Kaelah, what I've tried to convey here through my windingly arduous anecdote, is that you deserve to reap the benefits of your hard work. Besides -- more importantly -- you're so dang classy hon, it's not like you take pictures curled around all your free stuff like some sort of fashion dragon ;p lololol. If anyone has an issue with you getting free stuff, screw them. They're probably the sort of people who key nice cars because they drive a beater.

  19. I've never had a problem with reading blogs that were heavy on the C/O items, unless it changed their personal style or it was a ton of $400 dresses that just weren't accessible to the majority of the readership.
    I always felt like your style has been your style, and that I have a hard time distinguishing OOTD that have heavy C/O's with ones that don't. (And this outfit is super cute, by the way)

  20. here's my two cents: I've read your and Delightfully Tacky's blogs for quite a while. She did a post a while back (I'm sorry I can't find it!) about the same subject - most of her posts are all c/o items or something she's thrifted. She spoke about how usually she gets to choose the clothes/items that she is sent as part of a sponsorship deal, and thus sees it as another way to generate income - that she doesn't have to shop, that is. On top of that, she will thrift if she finds something she enjoys. She never accepts a sponsor item that she won't actively enjoy and wear. Because of all of this, I think it's completely fine to have several (or all) items be a c/o, as long as they maintain the blog's integrity and are obviously something you would otherwise wear. But the end and end of it is...it's your blog! my opinion doesn't matter!!! and that's what's awesome!!! :] I so appreciate you trying to stay true to yourself but you've worked pretty darn hard to get where you are now, so I say do what you feel! p.s. I love that cardigan. :]

  21. Don't worry about it! I think the fact that you didn't realize they were all c/o at first shows that it really is your style, not intentional. No one thinks you're selling out Kaelah! xx

    Allie @ callmesassafras.wordpress.com

  22. I really don't think you're a person that would change her style because of some free stuff. Usually you get to pick what they send anyway, so that's still your own style. I don't mind seeing c/o on your posts. I know all of your outfits aren't entirely gifted. This outfit looks exactly like something you would wear whether it was free or not. You look super cute, by the way. I love the yellow cardigan paired with your white dress. I think I need to wear something like this asap.
    Keep on keepin' on! You're awesome. No need to worry.

  23. That outfit is too cute not to share. :)

  24. If this outfit contained jeans or a t-shirt that was c/o I'd be worried, but this one is SO you! I think what makes your posts so different from other bloggers who wear a lot of c/o stuff is you aren't spending paragraphs on how perfect the item is and how we should all go buy it. You tell us why you love it and continue on with your post writing about YOU! You aren't trying to convince us that a brand is great. I don't even follow your blog for the fashion, so it goes to show you are much more than that!

  25. that mustard color looks lovely next to your hair color! great outfit :)

    <3 max.
    petticoats and pantalones

  26. I love how honest you are about this! And I think this is the cutest outfit I have seen you in thus far :)

  27. You're one of the most down to earth, upfront, and honest bloggers I read. I appreciate that you're real about a conflict that fashion/style bloggers have to deal with, and you're admitting that you don't really know what to do in this situation. Honestly, I don't have an opinion either way about the ethics of wearing sponsored clothing. What I do have an opinion about is the way a blogger presents the sponsorship. And you're SO upfront about all your sponsorships and don't try to be subtle about their presence on your blog. That's what matters to me.

  28. I love this outfit and don't care that it is all c/o stuff...because it is stuff you love anyway and it is your blog.

  29. Love your dress! Thank you thank you for your comment! x



HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB