Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Holiday Cheer: The Not So Ugly Holiday Sweater



Back when I was in my 20s, I used to rock the holiday sweaters during the Christmas season without a hint of irony. There was so such thing as an ugly holiday sweater craze back then, it was just being festive. I even a tiny pair of candy cane post earrings that I loved...I mean, my holiday game was strong, if not a bit off the fashion mark. Eventually I came to the conclusion that these were not exactly me any longer and shipped my holiday sweaters off to my Mom, who was more than happy to have them. The apple definitely didn't fall far there. I did keep the earrings and I still love them! ;)



This fall I have been a bit obsessed with the Fair Isle sweater and have been on the look out for something that is a little different. The "ugly" holiday sweater craze has reached epic proportions at this point, with everyone from retail giants to vintage shops getting in on this little tongue in cheek trend. While surfing the web for fair isle sweaters I happened upon the most enchanting sweater ever, and I bought it. And yes, it is a holiday theme sweater! Let me defend myself here...




The Boden Fair Isle Sweater was full of British charm, with its guardsman around the neck embellished with the tiniest bit of silver thread. I wore it with a pair of rag and bone leather pants to make it more interesting and edgy. Then I added two pieces from local shops from my Queen Anne neighborhood. First, I wore a star print denim shirt that I purchased last summer from Foundation Seattle. Stars are everywhere this year, and the contrast of the print and the leather felt modern to me. This awesome black faux fur leather jacket from Peridot Boutique also gives the look some edgy fun.  Stuart Weitzman Notazzie black suede booties keep the line of the black pants going for a slimming affect. And while ugly sweaters have their place and are fun, don't be afraid to be festive with a holiday sweater that is actually cute. The key is to mix it with non holiday pieces to keep the look fresh, not kitschy.




Thank you to Leslie from Intermezzo Salon here on Queen Anne in Seattle for the hairstyling for this shoot and as always, to Krissi for making photoshoots so fun. This one in particular was at Swanson's Nursery in their Christmas tree area. I went back a couple of days later with my family and bought a tree from them and it couldn't have been a better experience. The trees were fragrant (and inside on a very rainy Saturday) and the staff was super nice and even loaded the tree up for us. We have been going to Swanson's since our children were small to see the real reindeer and pick out beautiful plants and holiday decor. It is definitely a year round Seattle treasure.

Cheers to a festive December! xx

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Little Green Dress and Fabulous Faux Fur


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

I often talk about shopping local both on this blog and on my Instagram, and I really practice what I preach. Sure, I am often enticed by surfing the web or perusing the fast fashion chain world, but when it comes down to it, knowing the shop owners by name in my neighborhood and being a regular customer feels great. After all, it is a win/win situation. You can support small businesses and local companies while finding beautiful clothes, great gifts, lovely home furnishings. I love it. Plus, no matter where you live you can participate in Shop Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 25th, right after the dreaded Black Friday, a much better option.





I am going to take one holiday at a time here, and right now I am gearing up for Thanksgiving. The green dress featured in this blog is the Tart Collection Sian Dress and it is a GOOD one. I love the green ruffle bottom and of course the pockets. Plus it is the perfect length to show off a great pair of over the knee boots. I think a neutral or black suede would be gorgeous, but my Sam Edelman snake print boots add a bit of chic personality to the whole look. I love this dress and even better, it is 30% off at Queen Anne Dispatch on Friday, November 17th, when the store holds a day long party for its 30th Anniversary. Now that's something to celebrate.




Faux fur is everywhere this season and with good reason. It is the kind way to show style with fur, and faux fur comes in as many colors and kinds as you can imagine. I am a big fan of the the Pia Rossini Snood that QA Dispatch carries--every season I give them as gifts and several have made their way home to my own closet. Add it to a dress or wear it out with a coat--no matter what you have on, a little fur makes a big impact. The knit Pia Rossini Wrap Sweater I am wearing above (also from QA Dispatch) is a super cozy way to stay warm and look cool. I like wearing this chic Pia Rossini Wrap with denim too. The faux fur is so soft and "real" looking you may get people wanting to pet you.....you've been warned.

Dries Van Noten Rimbaud Faux Fur Coat

In other faux fur news, my fantasy pick has got to be the Dries Van Noten Rimbald Faux-Fur Coat from Barneys New York. I saw it on a woman yesterday with a causal pair of jeans and it is a stunner.That may be on a Christmas list....

Free People Dolce Faux Fur Bag

On the budget friendlier side, my Free People Dolce Faux Fur Bag in Wine gets more compliments than any other bag I carry. It is so fun and super soft and comes in a rainbow of furry fun colors.  It would make a great gift too but you may be too enchanted with it to give it away. ;)




From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving and cheers to a festive holiday season ahead. xx






Friday, November 10, 2017

Overall Fabulous: The Velvet Overall

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Fashion this season has taken on a creativity that has blurred the lines of fashion rules by the pairing of unlikely patterns as well as adding nighttime luxury to day dressing. From stripes and florals and sequins in the daytime to wearing velvet all year round, there is an amazing freedom to dressing well right now. Without the constrictions of certain elements of style being for certain times of the day, the sky is the limit on showing your own unique style.




Velvet is truly one of my favorite fabrics to wear because it is the epitome of luxury. That being said, its beautiful texture can lend a chicness to something as casual as say, overalls.  I was on a hunt for the perfect pair of velvet overalls this fall and these Pilcro and The Letterpress pair at Anthropologie were that and more. They have a flattering figure hugging fit that is as comfortable as a pair of high waist denim, and yet they still have a sexy edge to them. The leg is cut in at the thigh and then flairs out on the bottom. The whole design is one of edgy femininity. They also come in a cool dark turquoise that I would have bought in a heartbeat if they had had it in stores, but the black pair are equally rock star.

Because the overalls are fitted up high, I chose to wear a fitted body suit which would guarantee I wouldn't have to constantly tuck in a more billowy top. This alice + olivia Joan Bodysuit is sold out, but I love both their Britney Bodysuit and the Becker Scallop Bodysuit. Intermix has a fabulous assortment of cool bodysuits too and I am particular to this Cinq À Sept Elara Bodysuit. 




Velvet shoes, boots and accessories are also a great way to up your style game. I collect vintage handbags and and always enchanted by the embellishments, details, and tiny mirrors that accompany vintage bags. I found this beautiful little Fuji velvet clutch embroidered with gold thread and tiny beads at one of my favorite haunts for such things, Lucky Vintage. It is a treasure trove of vintage finds of all kinds for both men and women. I bought it over the summer when it was 90+ degrees out so you know I must have been wowed by it's pristine black velvet loveliness. I look at vintage as things that have had a fabulous past life and are ready for a new chapter with me. Check out Lucky Vintage in Ballard.




I love a shoe with big personality and these stand boots stand out against the all black. I spotted these in the window at Clementines in Pioneer Square and it was love at first sight. The Kat Maconie Ursula black ankle boot is made of kid suede leather with subtly-printed pony hair and gold accents that make your exit quite dramatic.

Overalls aren't just for kids. I have a leather pair as well that I wore with a high neck lace blouse and heels to an auction. This Madewell pair has a similar vibe to my pair, but with a skinnier leg. And this A.L.C. Harlow Crepe Overall from Neiman Marcus would be gorgeous at a holiday event.

As always, thanks for reading and happy shopping! xx











Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Shop Local: Happy 30th Anniversary Queen Anne Dispatch!

Photography by Theresa Wingert

We all have things that we love about our neighborhoods that make us glad we live where we do. My family has been on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle for more than a dozen years now and we love it. It is like living in a small town inside a big city. Growing up in Billings, Montana, I lived in a 1920s house on a tree lined street, and it is a happy coincidence that my family and I ended up in the same type of neighborhood.

Up on “The Ave”, better known as Queen Anne Avenue, small businesses reign. From small clothing shops and salons to Seattle chef-owned restaurants, the street is center of the community hub. Although some things do change, (RIP Nancy’s Sewing Basket and Communique Gifts) there are a few institutions that we love around here, and one of them is Queen Anne Mail and Dispatch.

Queen Anne Mail and Dispatch, or to many of us, “The Dispatch”, was founded in 1987 by Jan Paolini. The business originated from her experience in the moving industry and her perception of what the local residents of Queen Anne needed in their neighborhood. Today Queen Anne Dispatch is not only a personal mailbox/shipping/office, it is also a boutique filled with gifts, beautiful clothing and more. The location, which was once an independent grocer where Jan's daughters bought penny candy as children, is now a center of the community here on the hill. Jan's daughter's, Tara and Sabrina, have taken her legacy and continued to make this small business an integral part of Queen Anne living.




So, now it is time to celebrate! And who doesn’t love a party? On November 17, 2017, The Dispatch will celebrate 30 years in business. This is no small feat in this ever-changing world, and you are invited! Owners Tara and Sabrina will be celebrating with the community all day long, with 30% discounts throughout the entire store, bubbles and bites, giveaways and more. Mark your calendar and come celebrate what is great about the small businesses in our neighborhood. While I was there taking advantage of their business services, several lovely pieces caught my eye, including the Gypsy Havana Midi Dress and more....






Dark florals are where it is at this season, and this gorgeous Gypsy Havana Midi Dress is completely on trend. I actually wore it backwards so that the v-front was in the back and the little buttons showed in front. The fitted Tart Collection Natasha Jacket gives it a chic vibe with its faux fur and zipper details. My red velvet Zara Sock Booties play off the colors in the floral pattern. Also, every year I buy the Pia Rossini faux fur infinity scarves, also known as a snood, for gifts (and for myself too) because they are the perfect accessory to look chic and stay warm. I love this champagne colored one because it goes with everything.







Small businesses thrive and make our community better when we all support them. Cheers to 30 more years, Queen Anne Dispatch!

Queen Anne Dispatch 30th Anniversary Party
Friday, November 17, 201,  9 am to 9 pm
2212 Queen Anne Avenue North
Seattle, Washington 98109

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blue Velvet





Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Since this is a personal blog, I am going to be personal for a moment. For the past month I have had a family member in crisis and it has taken all of me to help my loved one. Without my family, I don't know what I would have done. We seem to pull together even tighter than the tight knit clan we are in times like this, and I know that we will see this through together. Family really is everything.

In times like these it has seemed odd to me to be talking about trends and style, and all of it really seems terribly unimportant. I have been reminded that even in the darkest of times it is important to continue to move forward, to do what you love and to focus on the things that make you happy. It is important that I show my loved one that I am strong and I am present and that nothing is more important than being healthy and happy.  But it is also ok to laugh, and to write about things you love and see the light in the world again. As simple as it may sound, this beautiful fall has been a gift of sorts for me. The beautiful colors that surround me have made me feel appreciative and grounded.

And so, fashion. My photographer Kirsten Beeksma Morse, Krissi to me, is also a friend. She met me recently to do a shoot even though I mixed up the days and was totally off my game and disorganized...which is not the usual way I operate. The end result was some laughter and some friendship and some fabulous photos of a beautiful dress on a lovely fall morning. The parents at the soccer game next door to our shoot might have thought me a tad overdressed for a Saturday morning in a park, but that was part of the fun. And so, let's talk velvet......





Truly, velvet is one of my favorite materials this time to year. It is luxurious and decadent and has a celebratory feel to it. That being said, don't reserve wearing velvet for party time, it is also gorgeous in the daytime. Velvet overalls are one way to show some velvet love during the daylight hours, and you can easily toss on heels and a silk blouse to dress them up for evening. I am particular to this Pilcrow and The Letterpress pair from anthropologie because of the slim silhouette.


Pilcrow and The Letterpress Velvet Overalls


You can find velvet accessories, boots and shoes everywhere right now, which makes it easy to incorporate a bit of luxury into your existing wardrobe. I have been wearing the Madewell Gemma flats in gorgeous burgundy all fall and they will even more fab with a pair of sparkly socks, my current obsession. Jump on that socks with heels, socks with boots, socks with slides bandwagon. It is a subtle yet cool trend that is a stylish transition to take your fall shoes into the cooler months ahead.

Madewell Gemma Pointy Toe Mule

Zara Kaftan with Back Embroidery

The Kaftan has made a glamour reappearance and done right it can be uber chic. Watch out for the dusters that are too billowy or have a bathrobe vibe, unless that is what you are going for. I prefer a luxurious fabric and a longer lean silhouette. The Zara Velvet Kaftan with Back Embroidery checks all the boxes for me in this regard. And can we have a moment for those green boots? Killer.

Marcus Adler New York Velvet Baseball Cap

I love a great baseball cap and velvet gives this little lid the perfect chic update. Saks Off 5th just opened up in downtown Seattle and I found this little Marcus Adler gem for under $25. The deep merlot colored velvet is stunning, and it comes in a dark blue as well as black.






When I was in New York City last month we stayed in the meatpacking district and the dining, shopping and hotels were off the charts. It was over 80 degrees at 9 pm the day we arrived, but that didn't stop me from coveting the amazing fall fashion.
I like mixing different kinds of materials with velvet, including fur, brocade and leather. This Theory Transformer Pouche is a cross body and a clutch and its furry exterior is fantastic. This baby will be going everywhere with me this season and I especially like the way the neutral color plays off the major pop of color dress.





And finally, the dress. I love Karen from Where Did U Get That? and KarenBritChick on Instagram and am very always inspired by her personal style. When she wore this incredible blue velvet ASOS Velvet Plunge Kimono Midi Dress recently, I immediately hopped online and ordered it. It has a V-neck front, and Karen wore it backwards, which was genius. I can't begin to describe the color.. .it is aquamarine on steroids. I paired it with fun snakeskin heeled booties but it would be gorgeous with a variety of cool boots or even a heeled loafer.

Want to add some lux to your wardrobe this fall? Whether it is a pair of boots or a stunning dress, velvet is where it is at this fall. November is around the corner and this year I couldn't be more thankful and grateful for all that I hold dear. Keep your loves close and cheers to a new month ahead. xx
L.





Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Big Coverup: Favorite Fall Jacket Trends



Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

The beautiful fall weather is finally gone from downright hot to that slight chill in the air that means its time to grab a jacket. It is that time in early autumn for something that you can put layers under or wear alone to show off your favorite pair of denim.

Trends for fall have been so creative and "anything goes" this fall that it has been fantastic to revisit some classics as well as embrace some fun new looks. From oversized plaid blazers (hello 90s) to feather and embroidery embellishments, finding your look was never more fun. Plus you can mix it up again the next day.




Levis, the oldest and largest denim brand, is instantly recognizable as an iconic brand, but with the onslaught of premium denim over the past decade it has been overshadowed by the perpetual onslaught of new lines of denim. I was happy to see that Levi come to the forefront of denim once again with their collaborations and capsule collections that stay true to the brand while giving it a modern edge. I bought these Levi 721 High-Rise Skinny Jeans from the Levi store in the Meatpacking District in NYC a few weeks ago. I love the fit and the detail of the rose embroidery on the hips. It makes me really happy to see this classic brand broaden their scope but still maintain the Levi look. And denim is always a great way to show off a stylish jacket.




In addition to a great pair of denim, boots are also a versatile way to show your style. Ever since I saw the Fendi Rockoko Chelsea boots with its ribbed color-block elastic inserts and multicolor floral embroidery at the Nordstrom Season Shift Event, I have been obsessed. I have been wearing these all fall, with dresses and skirts as well as denim. These boots are one of my favorite fall purchases and although they are clearly a splurge, I plan on getting my moneys worth in wear. Sometimes when someone says something is an investment piece it sounds like an excuse for spending money on a label, but these are truly one of those boots that I am proud to own.

Faux fur is another fun trend that makes the perfect fall handbag! Intermix in the Meatpacking District in NYC had this Maison Boinet Teal Mini Crossbody Bag that totally grabbed me. You can hold it by its gold ring handles or wear it in a cross body style for a great eye popping accessory.

Not everything needs to have a designer label to be cool. H&M has really pretty blouses that showcase the dark floral trend perfectly. This one is similar to mine, because as is the way of fast fashion, the blouse I am wearing is sold out. I wore it with a half tuck in the front to show off the embroidery detail on my Levis. Here are three of my favorite jackets to wear right now and into the cooler months ahead.




The Oversized Plaid Blazer

The blouse, denim and boots are great pieces that enables me to mix up my look with the change of my jacket. The oversized long plaid blazer is updated from the 90s and it a major component of the 2017 fall wardrobe. I think this blazer looks so cool with denim but I would also wear it with a dress and a chunky knit scarf. It is a super versatile piece that has polish and street smarts, and that is why I chose the Tibi Glen Plaid Oversized Jasper Blazer. You can get also get this look from Target, ASOS, and Shopbop.




Cargo Jacket with A Twist

Judging from the amount of army green hanging in the jacket section of my closet, I may have been having a love affair with the army jacket and it's fancier cousins for the past few months. My fashionable friend Monica spied this great jacket at Zara in Paris this past summer and I jumped online and grabbed it. If feathers aren't your thing, never fear. Shopbop has a fabulous lineup of cargo jackets, from statement sleeves to patched. Check them out here.




The Bomber Jacket

The bomber continues to be a big jacket shape for fall and I love all new twists that this jacket style has. The Cinq À Sept Leia Ruffle Bomber Jacket takes a plain army green bomber to a new level with  a double row of ruffles that run across the sleeve and around the jacket. And it is on sale ladies, at Nordstrom Rack, down from the original price of $595 to $189.97.  And don't be fooled by the photo on the Nordstrom website: it is not brown, it is green.




Metallic Moto Jacket

I think that Joie makes some of the best jackets around. I am a big fan of metallic moto jackets particularly ones that have a subtle look to the leather rather than a high shine. The Joie Leolani Leather Jacket is made of distressed leather so it is not bright, but has that favorite worn jacket look that goes with absolutely everything. I bought mine from my gorgeous friend Rebekah at the University Village store. I paired it with a Miu Miu skirt from MB Finds and those favorite Fendi boots of mine while out and about in NYC, but would also wear it with denim or over a dress. The sky is the limit. It comes in a gorgeous gray color too.



Raw Edge Blazer

Raw edges take a great jacket and just make it look cooler. The raw or unfinished hem takes a done up blazer and makes an individualistic statement. This Isabel Marant Étoile Ela Blazer was another MB Finds score, but you can find it here as well. I love the raw edge on a denim jacket or blazer too, and this Alexander Wang Collarless Grey Denim Jacket is a great combo of low key high style. Love!



Denim and Patches

Whether you are looking for a low key stylish look or something of a major statement, there are some amazing choices in jackets for fall. A interesting and fun piece like a metallic or embroidered and embellished really makes an outfit. I have been adding vintage patches to my distressed cropped denim jacket over the past year, and this week I finished it with a Gucci-inspired vintage snake patch I found in an antique store in Fremont here in Seattle. It is the cherry on top of this fun project and made the jacket complete.

Cheers to covering up in style. xx



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wear White After Labor Day: The White Hot Bootie for Fall


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

I have been a shoe fanatic since I was a little girl, and that obsession continues to this day. This year I am really loving fall's amazing boots with all the modern and unexpected colors and details. The embellishments, like pearls on heels, and details like the embroidery make boots a total kick this season. I fell in love with the sock trim of this Fendi boot at the Nordstrom Season Shift event this summer, where they were shown in a fantastic silver metallic. I love the black as well. At the recent Neiman Marcus Fall Trend Show all of the female models wore the Stuart Wetizman Clinger Bootie in white, definitely a huge trend for fall. The sock bootie is all over the place this season, in fun colors and fabrics, like velvet. Yes!




Recently I overheard a conversation between two young women about the white boot trend that was both amusing and difficult to not comment on. Luckily we were in adjacent dressing rooms so they couldn't see me or my facial expressions. One woman was really into the trend and the other was against it because "everyone knows you don't wear white after Labor Day." She also stated that "white is not a fall color." I have to whole heartedly disagree.




The origins of the fashion "rule" of not wearing white beyond Labor Day come from a very different time. Beginning in the early 1900s, clothing was more formal and there were strict guidelines regarding what was appropriate to wear as the seasons changed. The summer season began at Memorial Day and ended at Labor Day. Society families headed from the city to summer places like seaside cottages to escape the heat. City clothes were left behind in exchange for lighter, whiter attire. Come fall and the return to the city, summer clothes were put away for formal, darker clothes.  It was an age when there was a dress code for practically every occasion, and not wearing white after Labor Day was meant to mark the appropriate change between summer resort clothes and clothing worn for the rest of the year.




The “No white after Labor Day" in 2017 is now about as valid as wearing a bustle. Still, people do cling do it, for reasons unknown. For me, the decorum of dressing well is to wear what you love, and show creativity and originality, especially when following trends. White boots with cropped pants and dresses show an edgy modern style that gives fall colors a fresh pop. I love it.


I decided that the Joie Saleema Bootie in a beautiful soft white shell color were the perfect fall boot for me. I love Joie boots because they are so comfortable, even with a higher heel, and these babies have the perfect modern vibe that I was looking for. I paired it with a Veronica Beard Alpha camouflage sweater with a crisp white removable collar. (Currently on sale from $395 to $119 by the way!) With the darker J Brand pants, I liked having another pop of white to play off the boots, but you don't have to wear it that way. 



I donned a Shrimps Bingo Faux Fur Jacket for a fun contrast with the camo sweater. I found this cropped jacket with a cool brooch embellishment at the Nordstrom Rack, but you can find it on sale here too. It is a great coat that will be a lot of fun to wear with denim this fall too. 



Never one to be a rule follower, I think the only rule you should ever follow is to make your own rules. Love it or not, this boot trend is white hot and gives a fresh perspective to fall's rich hues. Happy shopping!  xx


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse