A SWEET PLEAT

Is it just me, or do you tend to establish favorite businesses and only frequent them when you're out and about? I'm a creature of habit and having a routine and the same old spots is my jam.

One of my go-to places for a mid-day craving is Gelataio. You know that one spot that you take all your friends and family to? This is mine.

So when my photographer asked me where I wanted to shoot this outfit, I hit her back with the age-old question: "Have you ever been to Gelataio?"

I've had a sweet tooth ever since I was a baby, so I've had my fair share (and then some) of ice cream. As I've gotten older, my focus shifted from getting the sweetest flavor to acquiring the most artisanal, local frozen treats. Lucky for me, we have a few wonderful ice cream shops in town (I also love Tin Pot Creamery and Gelato Classico). When I discovered Gelataio, I felt like I'd struck gold.

They have a small but mighty corner kitchen where they churn out the freshest seasonal flavors on the daily. The gelato display is a delight for all senses. I've always liked how gelato shops decorate each flavor ever so slightly, whether it be a chocolate drizzle or edible flowers. But aside from the scrumptious gelato, the thing that keeps me coming back are the chocolate wafers. Hidden behind the ice cream shelf are two chocolate faucets, one dark and one milk. After your gelato is all flattened out (why do they do that, by the way?), you'll be asked the most important question, "Would you like a chocolate-dipped wafer? Milk or dark?," to which I always answer, "Of course! Milk, please."

After claiming your treat, there's some colorful seating right by the window, perfect for people watching. Or on a beautiful warm day, there's plenty of outdoor space, too. There's also another fantastic coffee shop, Coupa Café, right next door, just in case you need some caffeine to go with your gelato.

In a perfect world, I would wear gorgeous A-line dresses with full, twirlable skirts every day, much like this RED Valentino one. I actually had a dinner date with a few friends at another one of my favorite restaurants, Tamarine, that night, so I finally decided to wear it. I tend to always save my nice fancy dresses for special occasions, but lately, I've found myself pulling them out more often for family dinners and such. It just feels like such a waste to spend so much on a dress and wait around to wear it because by then, it's old news. Hence, my newest dress philosophy: flaunt it right after you bought it.

I'm cautious when I'm shopping for black dresses. It's not a kind color on me -- it clashes with my skin tone and dark hair. There's barely any black in my closet, but the pieces that I do have are truly special. What set this dress apart from all the other similar options was the pleating and the lace hem that flowed over just a teeny bit. It's the straightforward elegance that exudes from Valentino's designs that makes this fashion house one of my most beloved brands.

I'm not big on accessories -- I like to let my primary pieces speak for themselves. For instance, these pumps that I purchased in Vienna are equal parts timeless and chic. The soft suede had a toned down look that drew me in and the simple gold touches added a classic touch. To bring out the accent color a bit more, I dusted off my champagne-hued envelope clutch. Had it been cooler, I think a fuzzy pink coat like this one would have completed the look flawlessly.

Shop this look

RED Valentino dress

Salvatore Ferragamo pumps (old, similar here and here)

Rebecca Minkoff clutch (sold out, similar here)