Inside Stitch

The official Vera Bradley blog

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List

Sip on some lemonade, cruise with the windows down and crank up “Summer Nights” because the sunniest season of all is in full force. Chilly winds and rainy days are behind us, and we have bucket loads (pun intended) of to-dos for the months when the sun shines brightest. Print or screenshot our ultimate summer bucket list and check them off before the season ends. Our list is made to optimize the long days with fun that starts as early as sunrise and runs into those cool summer nights.

summer bucket list

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1. Have a Picnic

You know as well as we do that any sunny and warm afternoon begs for a lunch outdoors. Pack up the sandwiches, carrots, hummus and cookies (obviously), and stroll over to your favorite park to take advantage of the beautiful day.

2. Make Homemade Popsicles

Who said popsicles are just for kids? Fill your summer afternoon with a popsicle-making experiment. Whether your drink of choice is Coca-Cola or orange juice, pour it in a popsicle tray and turn your favorite drink into a delicious summer treat. For a grown-up treat, pour your favorite mixed drink in as a refreshing new twist! We love these popsicle molds.

3. Yoga in the Park

While the quiet and dim-lit aura of a yoga studio may be calming, so is the sunny warmth that hits your skin as you strike a pose in the park. From the lovely greenery to the cool summer breeze, you’ll find yoga in the park brings a different kind of peace and calmness only found during the summertime. Find a local spot to practice this summer.

4. Visit the Zoo

Summer is never complete without a trip to the zoo — where there is no age limit!  Feed the giraffes with your friends or spice up a date night by spending the evening with lions and zebras. Tip: Look online to see if your local zoo has a “zoo brew” — a fun evening filled with plenty of wine and tiger selfies, with proceeds going towards a cause.

5. Take a Road Trip

The summer heat brings the temptation for taking a vacation to a new extreme. If you don’t have enough time to jet off to a destination far away, pack a small travel bag and take an adventure to a local gem. With the radio turned up, your bestie in the passenger seat and a new place ahead of you, there is no better way to spend a Saturday.

6. Rent Stand-Up Paddle Boards or Kayaks

These water sports designated for the summer can be a real workout or a relaxing pastime. Whether you’re putting your arm strength to the test by paddle-boarding or enjoying the view of the lake from your kayak, you can’t go wrong with either activity.

7. Go to a Festival

Whether it’s a local mac n’ cheese fest or Chicago’s Lollapalooza, there is always a summer convention out there that will be just your cup of iced tea. Each year there are new festivals that will either please the palette or the ear. Throw on your summer dress with a hands-free crossbody and wander through a festival near you.

8. Start a Garden

Take your love of home décor outdoors and design a colorful landscape that speaks to you. Gardening makes an especially fun summer-long activity, in which you get to see your flowers grow and blossom before your eyes. Nothing will put a smile on your face like pulling up to your house after a long day of work and seeing the vibrantly-colored garden you created.

9.   See a Drive-In Movie

Drive-ins are a summer classic. There’s no fear of being shushed when you whisper a comment to your girlfriend and homemade snacks not only are allowed but welcomed! Best of all, it’s common for drive-ins to play two movies back to back.
Tip: Drive-ins tend to play films late into the night; our fleece throw blanket is the perfect sidekick to keep you cozy as the temperature drops.

10. Create an Ice Cream Scavenger Hunt

Become the ice cream taste-tester you were always meant to be by making your favorite summer treat into a game. Venture into every ice cream parlor around town until you and your friends have found the ultimate treasure: the best ice cream shop in your city.

What are you most looking forward to this summer? Share below in the comments!

Sneak Peek: Falling Flowers

Earlier this week we gave you a sneak peek of our new Painted Medallions collection, but that’s not our only new pattern. That’s right — floral lovers can rejoice! Arriving online and in stores on Thursday, July 6, Falling Flowers is the pretty floral pattern perfect for the height of summer and early fall. Inspired by patches, embroidery and embellishments, this floral features a dark green ground with multiple shades of pop colors throughout the print. If you like to mix your florals, you’ll love Falling Flowers Neutral, available in our Lighten Up fabrication. 

sneak peek: falling flowers
sneak peek: falling flowers
sneak peek: falling flowers
sneak peek: falling flowers
sneak peek: falling flowers

sneak peek: falling flowers

sneak peek: falling flowers

sneak peek: falling flowers

how to wear it: falling flowers
We love the Santa Fé vibes of summer fashion, which is why we love pairing Falling Flowers with neutral hues and breezy fabrics. Our outfit recommendation: a graphic tee with linen joggers — it’s the ultimate uniform of summer paired with those new mules you’re obsessed with and of course, a neck scarf. Your new summer bag should definitely be a crossbody. The Hipster is made for busy summer days when you need your hands free for iced chai and an instant camera.

Style your tech
Dress up your phone, tablet or desktop screen with our new pattern:

desktop downloads: Falling Flowers

Download: Desktop | Tablet | Mobile

See the inspiration in pictures. Visit our Falling Flowers board on Pinterest.

Shop the entire collection when it arrives, online and in stores, on Thursday, July 6!

Sneak Peek: Painted Medallions

We’re nearly halfway through the year and that calls for a wardrobe refresh! Good news — we have new patterns and styles that will transition your wardrobe from summer to fall releasing next week! Arriving online and in stores on Thursday, July 6, Painted Medallions is inspired by the modern look of patches and badges. Composed of a neutral blue ground with bright pops of color, this geometric pattern has an almost 3-D effect. If this color scheme is everything your closet has been craving, you’re in luck. Painted Medallions has two coordinating patterns that you will love — Geo Medallions and Mini Medallions.

sneak peek: Painted Medallions
sneak peek: Painted Medallions
sneak peek: Painted Medallions
sneak peek: Painted Medallions
sneak peek: Painted Medallions
sneak peek: Painted Medallions

sneak peek: Painted Medallions

sneak peek: Painted Medallions
how to wear it: Painted Medallions

With its neutral ground and colorful pops, Painted Medallions will coordinate with your summer wardrobe effortlessly. We love the way this pattern looks with navy, so we recommend pairing it with a simple denim dress. Pick 2 to 3 pop colors from the pattern as your accent pieces for your shoes, jewelry and accessories. Insider secret: the Carson Shoulder Bag is going to be the IT bag for the season, so make sure you scoop it up first and show your friends (and Instagram) what a trendsetter you are.

Style your tech
Dress up your phone, tablet or desktop screen with our new pattern:

desktop download: Painted Medallions

Download: Desktop | Tablet | Mobile

See the inspiration in pictures. Visit our Painted Medallions board on Pinterest.

Shop the entire collection when it arrives, online and in stores, on Thursday, July 6!

Behind the Scenes: Back to School Photo Shoot

Last week’s new arrivals release has us feeling all of the preppy vibes. Our new patterns and styles are rooted in heritage, so our creative team needed to find a photo shoot location that would reflect the design inspiration. Back in February when everyone was curling up in throw blankets, our team was in Savannah, Georgia scouting the perfect location for our Back to School photo shoot. We got the scoop from Senior Art Director, Lionel, who shared the inspiration behind this season’s photo shoot and the highlights of our new collection.

VB: Tell us about the theme for the Back to School photo shoot.

Lionel: “For Back to School, we went back to our heritage, which was heavily rooted in prints and pattern mixing. We really embraced this idea, particularly in our styling. The team wanted to give our girls a bit of a rock-n-roll edge, so music became a key element of the season. You’ll see our models rock various instruments throughout the campaign.”

Fall 2017 behind the scenes

VB: How did the new patterns inspire the overall Back to School theme?

Lionel: “Our Back to School patterns are bright and playful, so we wanted to ensure that attitude was carried throughout the theme of the season. Going back to school shouldn’t be boring or mundane, so we think our backpacks will get you an A+ in style!”

Fall 2017 behind the scenes

VB: Why did you choose Savannah as this year’s shoot location?

Lionel: “We chose Savannah, Georgia because of their beautiful historical architecture, which we felt tied back nicely to our heritage. The shoot had a small town feel since most of the locations we shot in were within walking distance of each other. The Savannah College of Art and Design has also done an amazing job restoring the city while still maintaining its history. We really loved the large oak trees with Spanish moss, which gave a true fall atmosphere in the South, even though it was late February.”

Fall 2017 behind the scenes

Fall 2017 behind the scenes

VB: What was your favorite part about working on this photo shoot and what did you learn? 

Lionel: “My favorite part of this shoot was connecting with a lot of local community members and shops around Savannah. We shot in the iconic Forsyth Park, a cute coffee shop called Mirabelle Café and Paris Market. Paris Market is a beautiful space we shot in and around that you’ll spot in our later Fall Fashion launch. I learned that Vera Bradley had actually shot in Savannah previously, so it’s interesting that we can take the same location and make it look and feel completely different. I also learned a lot of movies have been filmed in Savannah, like Forrest Gump and the new Baywatch movie!”

Fall 2017 behind the scenes

Fall 2017 behind the scenes

VB: What should our fans know about this year’s Back to School Collection?

Lionel: There’s a big floral trend in fashion right now! I especially love our Ditsy Floral and Modern Medley patterns because they’re bold and this season is all about not being afraid to stand out. We also paid close attention to functionality and ensured our products are not only beautiful, but also provide solutions from a padded laptop sleeve to a special pocket for your phone charger. Lastly, don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns (or wear head-to-toe patterns)!”

Fall 2017 behind the scenes

Haven’t checked out our new arrivals yet? Shop the full collection

3 Ways to Use a Throw Blanket in the Summer

There are few things we love more than wrapping up in a cozy throw blanket with a toasty hot chocolate on a cold day. Our throw blankets are constantly used throughout the cool months of the year but don’t get much love in the summer. With the vibrantly colored patterns and softest touch ever, our throws deserve to shine all year, so we rounded up our three favorite ways to use our throw blankets in the summer.

1. Picturesque Picnic

3 ways to use a throw blanket
There’s nothing like sipping on rosé and snacking on strawberries in the summer. Make your next picnic insta-worthy by adding a pop of pattern. Pack your favorite cheeses and fruit and have yourself a picnic (literally).

2. Living Chic

Living Chic
You may not be curling up in your throw this time of year, but why not keep it on display? Toss it over a blanket ladder or drape it on your couch as an unexpected accent piece.

3. Cozy in the Car

3 ways to use a throw blanket
Between countless getaways and weekends at the lake, we spend a lot of time in the car during the summer. Put a few throw blankets in a basket in the backseat or trunk of your car for your next road trip (because you’re bound to take a nap). This will also come in handy if you frequent the drive-in movie theater on chilly summer nights.

Have you ever used your throw blanket in a unique way before? Tell us your favorite way to use a throw blanket in the comments!

What Every Bride Needs For Her Honeymoon

With wedding season in full force, weekends book up with bachelorette parties, bridal showers and of course, the big day. We know it can be hard to keep track of it all, so we’re here to help. We already chatted with ten-time bridesmaid, Anna, to get her tips on being a better bridesmaid, and now we wanted to learn more about what the bride needs for her honeymoon. You have plenty of parties and showers ahead, and it’s important to you that you choose a thoughtful gift that the bride actually will use. When the bride filled out her registry, she likely wasn’t thinking about her honeymoon. These pre-wedding events are the perfect time to gift her something she can use on her honeymoon, so we consulted with two brides-to-be to find out what’s on their wishlist.

Bride-to-Be Profiles

bride-to-be profiles

VB: Tell us about the proposal!

Caroline: “I was meeting Robert and his family in San Antonio a few days after Christmas. When I went down to baggage claim, I was greeted by Robert’s family and a big banner that said: “Welcome to the family!” They dropped the banner and Robert was kneeling behind it with the ring out. He loves his family so much and really wanted them to be involved.”

Kaitlin: “We were vacationing on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Spain. We spent the day on the beach and looking for jellyfish in the cove. On our way back to the car, we wandered out on the pier to watch the sailboats and Dylan kept making small talk until we were alone. Then he dropped to one knee and said, “Will you make me the happiest man in the world and marry me?”. Of course, I said yes and the rest is history! The funniest part is that he had hidden the ring inside my Leighton Backpack and every time I would even consider leaving it at our apartment or in the car he would tell me I had to bring it along. I had no idea that I’d been carrying my future engagement ring around on my back for almost a week!”

Katilin

VB: What are you looking forward to the most about your wedding day?

Caroline: “Besides the obvious excitement of marrying my best friend of eight years, I’m looking forward to dancing to my Grandpa’s 17-piece jazz band at our reception!”

Caroline

Kaitlin: “I’m most looking forward to our wedding ceremony. We’ll be getting married in a beautiful outdoor location in the woods and we wrote our own vows together. I’m super excited to be surrounded by our loved ones and to get to tell them how awesome I think he is! I’m also pretty excited about gaining a four-letter last name!”

VB: Where are you going on your honeymoon?

Caroline: “We are going to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We plan to stay at an all-inclusive resort and maybe take a day trip to see the Mayan ruins or go ziplining.”

Kaitlin: “We will be going to Jamaica for our honeymoon and staying at an all-inclusive resort. We’re looking forward to having a swim-up suite and enjoying some serious R&R at the spa. We’ll also be doing some exploring on the island and attending a rum tour.”

honeymoon

VB: What essentials are you planning to bring for your honeymoon?

Caroline: “I’m planning on bringing a Straw Beach Tote for carrying my beach towel and flip flops to the beach and pool. For the plane ride, I’m bringing my fleece travel blanket because we’re leaving at 6 am and I’ll be taking a few naps!”

Kaitlin: “I’ll definitely be bringing my Lounge Around Beach Towel. I still haven’t used it yet, so I’m excited to show off that unique style on the beach. I will also be taking my ultimate travel essentials — the RFID Passport Cover and my Turquoise Sea Hanging Organizer.”

what the bride needs for her honeymoon

VB: If a bridal shower guest wants to give you a gift specifically for your honeymoon, what would you suggest?

Caroline: “I would love a new swimsuit for the beach! I love the Harper top and Shannon bottom. It’s fun, girly and will totally match the fruity cocktails I’ll be drinking!”

Kaitlin: “I would love to receive the Grand Traveler for my honeymoon. I’m obsessed with the trolley sleeve and the interior pockets are awesome for organizing the swimsuits, flip flops and accessories I’m planning to take along.”

For more wedding gift ideas, newlywed, Allison, shares what the bride actually wants

Recently walked down the aisle yourself? Enter for a chance to win a customized Vera Bradley prize package and an instant camera. Post a photo capturing your proudest moment with the hashtags #vbcelebrate and #entry and fill out the form.

How-to: Be A Better Bridesmaid

With wedding season in full force, weekends book up with bachelorette parties, bridal showers and of course, the big day. You’re at the age where everyone and their sister is getting engaged or married, so your calendar is completely filled with every wedding-related event. You’ve gone to a few bachelorette parties and attended dozens of weddings, but now it’s your time to serve as a bridesmaid for your best girlfriend. Being a bridesmaid can seem like all fun and games, but it’s actually a lot of work, too. It’s no secret that the big day is all about the bride, so it’s your job to keep her happy and stress-free. We chatted with ten-time bridesmaid veteran, Anna, to get tips on being a better bridesmaid and what to avoid in order to make the bride happy.

Bridesmaid Profile

bridesmaid profile

VB: How do you prepare to be a bridesmaid? What do you bring with you to better help you assist the bride?

Anna: “I make sure I have extras of anything in my cosmetic bag — bobby pins, tissues, nail polish, nail files, mints, lipstick, hair spray, etc. If the bride doesn’t need it, one of your fellow bridesmaids will. In one wedding, the bride really disliked her hair, and we all had to rally around her and fix it right before she walked down the aisle. We used all of my bobby pins, a curling iron and some stronghold hairspray.”

how to be a better bridesmaid

VB: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about being a bridesmaid from your experience?

Anna: “Be prepared for anything! From comforting the bride-to-be to mediating a conflict between bridesmaids, I’ve had to play a lot of different roles during the wedding process. It’s a fun job, but can be physically and emotionally draining to be someone’s right-hand woman on the biggest day of her life!”

how to be a better bridesmaid

VB: What are three things that make a great bridesmaid?

Anna: “1. Always be punctual. The last thing a bride needs to worry about is when you are going to show up to her rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, wedding and reception.

2. Try to stay positive, no matter what. This is the biggest time of her life, so she will get stressed and maybe even become a bridezilla at times. Try to keep your complaints about the $200 dress or the fact that you have to take off work again for a bachelorette party to a minimum. She will do the same for you when your time comes.

3. Always ask how you can help. The bride may not need help, but the fact you are asking her lets her know you are there and that you care about her.”

VB: What should a bridesmaid NEVER do?

Anna: “NEVER complain about the other people in the wedding party. Whether the mother-in-law is driving everyone crazy, or one of the bridesmaids is a total diva, just keep comments to yourself. The bride is allowed to complain, but you are not.”

how to be a better bridesmaid

Are you a semi-professional bridesmaid over the summer, too? Share your top bridesmaid tips below!

Recently walked down the aisle yourself? Enter for a chance to win a customized Vera Bradley prize package and an instant camera. Post a photo capturing your proudest moment with the hashtags #vbcelebrate and #entry and fill out the form.