Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tales from the Sales Floor: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2017

photos courtesy of Nordstrom

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Early Access is in full swing, and anyone with a Nordstrom card can "pre shop" to purchase items before the sale opens to the public on July 21st. While there are those that refuse to think fall in the middle of July, I have never had anything but love for this sale. Every year I have a list that I check off, then store my purchases away until the weather cools and go back to wearing summer dresses and sandals. What is not to love about finding pieces that you are coveting and saving a little money while you are at it? Yes, please.

I also love autumn; it has been my favorite time of year since I was a girl. When I was growing up in Montana my grandmother sewed my sister and I new dresses for the school year often, which makes us sound like we were some kind of farm girls, but really it was just the 60s and people didn't have as much stuff.  We also "got to" shop at JC Penney and pick out three new dresses for school, which I thought was the coolest. Since I am a lifelong shoe addict, picking out a new pair of shoes from Vaughn Ragsdale, a local department store, was my favorite day. And I still remember my black velvet flats with colored tear drops near the laces on the top. Shades of things to come....

This year I approached the Nordstrom sale with a smaller but specific list. I have been cleaning out my closet all spring and summer in anticipation of a closet refresh. My style always changes a bit each year and each season and I definitely have my favorite things that I love to wear...that would be a gray sweater and a pair of denim...but I also love reinventing myself each new season.

I like to think I attended the sale this year with more mindfulness in my shopping. I do have a lot of clothes already, but each season things often have a new twist. Mostly I wanted to look for new silhouettes, for well made pieces that are interesting and unique, and to buy what I actually need, not just want because they are on sale. This time of year I always feel like I have enough summer things, so I only buy pieces that will transition me into fall or fall/winter pieces that are going to make me super happy come September.

Here is what I chose from this year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. There may be a lot of black, no judging please, and happy shopping!

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Parka with Fox Fur Trim

The Statement Coat

I love having one piece that stands out and this coat more than does the trick. I have been on a bit of a army jacket bender the last six months, but I couldn't resist this Derek Lam 10 Crosby Parka with its pink fox fur collar. Look for this baby on a future blog post. You can remove the collar if you like, but what would be the point of that? Pink is the surprise guest of this fall's party, so embrace it!

rag & bone Josephine Leather Front Skinny Pants

Leather Leggings

I have been wearing faux leather leggings for years but have always wanted to invest in a really great pair of actual leather leggings that were both flattering and beautifully made. The rag & bone Josephine Leather Front Skinny Pants were perfect for what I was looking for. They have a grosgrain ribbon trimmed high waist and are a split of buttery soft leather at the front and a stretchy cotton blend on the back. I consider leather leggings to be a stylish closet essential, and a great pair is always worth investing in because you can wear them season after season. Check out this pair if you are in the market....so gorgeous!

Via Spiga Gallo Platform Loafer

Lug Sole Loafers

Platforms really give the loafer a fresh perspective.  A loafer is dressier than a sneaker but not as fussy as a pointed heel. I was totally into the beautiful burgundy color of the Paul Green Natasha Loafer, so I am hoping they get that back in stock. However, my first choice was the Via Spiga Gallo Platform Loafer, which is such a cool take on a menswear shoe and the patent leather and wide strap give it some serious chic style. And I know I will wear black a lot, especially with trousers or denim, but also with tights and a skirt or dress. Bring it, lousy weather....I am ready for you...in style.

Tibi Oversized Glen Plaid Blazer
Image courtesy of Tibi

Oversized Blazer

I am a big fan of Tibi, which have a very modern feel to their pieces. The Tibi Oversized Glen Plaid Blazer hints at the 90s in a modern way. I'll be wearing it with skinny trousers or over a midi dress, or maybe with a graphic tee and denim. Since the silhouette is oversized, keep the rest of the outfit slimmer, both to show off the jacket and be certain you don't look like David Byrne from The Talking Heads. I haven't seen this kind of piece for fall in awhile so it is fun to see the 2017 update and how to incorporate it into a modern wardrobe.

PAIGE Transcent Hoxton High Waist Undone Hem Skinny Jeans

New Denim Perspectives 

I am giving big love to the Frame Le Nouveau Split Hem Jeans this year. The style is fresh and cool and I can wear these now with summer slides or in the fall with booties. And I had to have the Paige Transcend Hoxton High Waist Undone Hem Skinny Jeans, which are super hot. They are incredibly soft but hold their skinny shape, and the frayed slanted hem is a new version of the step fray edge. They are going to look so good with my new boots....

Stuart Weitzman Notazzie Bootie

Block Heel Booties

Block heels are where it's at, baby. They are not only cool, they are comfortable, which means you can do your daily marathon routine with major style. The luxurious suede covers even the heel on these Stuart Weitzman Notazzie Booties, and they come in black as well, and.....there is a good chance I may have purchased the noir color. ;)

rag & bone/JEAN Dana Cold Shoulder Sweater

Sweater Weather

I love sweaters and live in them, but found that it was time for a refresh on my selection. I do get my money's worth after all. There were a lot of bell sleeve sweaters at the sale but I ended up going a different direction. The Helmut Lang Distressed Merino Wool Pullover is the perfect combo of sexy distressed and super soft. Gorgeous. And the rag & bone/JEAN Dana Cole Shoulder Sweater is just a little hipper than your average cold shoulder piece. The cut of the shoulder is further down onto the arm, giving the illusion of a sweater and matching long gloves or arm warmers. I know you may find this description odd, but trust me, this sweater is very cool. Well done, you.

For me this sale was about finding pieces from my list that I know I will wear again and again in different ways. And I love Marianne, the salesperson who is a rockstar at Nordstrom Flagship. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, like many throughout the year, do not dictate my style, but enhance it. It is a bit of a treasure hunt, really, and I hold the map.

Happy Shopping! xx

Friday, July 14, 2017

Postcards From Paris: Street Style Report

I am back from a week in Paris where I was fortunate enough to spend time with my daughter in my favorite place in the world. It was magical, and I know that sounds so silly, but it is the only way to describe it. It is my fifth trip to the City of Light, and each time it becomes more familiar, more lovely, more magical to me. I can't wait to go back. 

The weather is much like Seattle, beginning my trip with crazy rain storms that changed into beautiful sunny evenings, and ending with 95 degree days that were steeped in humidity. Not exactly a place where air conditioning is common, I nevertheless told myself I was not complaining because I was in Paris. And what could be more lovely than that. 

During our time perusing the shops and walking the neighborhoods I took note of a few of the repeating trends in the hope that I could capture some of that Parisian chic upon my return. Here is my list of what I saw:

Director Theresa Wingert and my daughter Gracie wear the sneaker trend perfectly

Five years ago you saw Converse on everyone you saw, then the white Adidas took over and had their big moment. I still saw plenty of those, but more designers and companies have gotten into the sneaker game now. The popularity of athlesuire continues and with that come many cool sneaker choices. White sneakers still seem to rule over all. I am a big fan of sneakers and dresses in the summertime, which ups your style game but makes the look approachable. 

Shrunken Jackets
Moto jackets, denim jackets and more, the look was cropped and fitted. The fitted jacket feels very fresh looking to me, especially when many tops, sweaters and dresses are oversized. The close fit is sophisticated, even when it comes to denim pieces. 

Wide Leg Pants
This made me super happy since I had bought these Topshop Embroidered Leg Trousers at Nordstrom for my trip and love them! I actually traveled in them since they were both comfortable and chic. Wide leg pants were everywhere, both in cropped and full length styles. Also, striped wide leg pants were huge, and I have become somewhat obsessed. I did purchase these Alice + Olivia Paulette Striped Wide-Leg Pants before I left, so I am high fiving myself for having a bit of fashion foresight. :) 

Stripes, along with the scarf, are considered quintessential Parisian. They dominated the street style scene. Stripes were everywhere, on off the shoulder tops, blouses, t-shirts, dresses and pants. The blue and white striped top with a pair of army green skinny pants or wide leg denim showed the perfect casual chic. 

I think Bohemian is tricky. It can look like a costume if you aren't careful. The fringe, smocking, tassels and embroidery details are hallmarks of the boho look, but it is good to remember that one main piece with these details best tell your story. I found this great off the shoulder blouse at Intermix on sale, but I also love this one. Boho is also the perfect summer attire, and this is where we get into that territory of how the French know how to do things so much better than you and I. It is the art of being thrown together with the utmost care. The store Bimba Y Lola in Paris had cool girl boho pieces that were amazing, but I ended up with the below featured shoes...

High V Opening Shoes
The high V opening is definitely the hallmark of a super chic shoe. This style, also called a "glove fit", is showing up in pumps, boots and flats. The Bimba Y Lola Ballerina flat from this shop has this very look, which is why I bought them. And a pointy toe....always gorgeous. 

Wicker Handbags
Style icon Jane Birkin's wicker basket bag is the inspiration for the Lindroth Design Blue Small Birkin Basket, which I found on www.shopbazaar.com.  I love the details of the stitched leather handle, and I saw versions of this bag in many of the boutiques and small shops we went into in Paris. You have to be ok with being casual about your belongings, because the handbag top fits loose, but that is part of its charm. It is not all buttoned up and structured but loose and free, just like summer.

Fringe and Unfinished Edges
From high end stores to small boutiques and fast fashion chains, unfinished and fringed edges rule. This sophisticated way of being a little bit undone is captivating because it breaks the rules. Cut off hems and torn fabric makes for interesting and unique, and I love it.

Dior at Musée Des Arts Décoratifs 

One of the highlights of the trip to Paris was visiting two fashion exhibits: Balenciaga at Musée Bourdelle, an absolutely gem of a museum built around the artist's studio and gardens. While we were there the 70th Anniversary of Dior Exhibition at the Musée Des Arts Decoratifis opened. Gracie and I attended the opening day of Dior and it was one of the most beautiful exhibits either of us have ever seen. It was especially exciting to walk the exhibit behind Anna Wintour, who was being toured by a small party and mingled among we mere mortals. My daughter even spoke to her, and she was far from The Devil. She was lovely to her.

The sales or soldes are regulated by the French government, and we happened to be in Paris during these fabulous sales. I spotted a pair of Fendi Pink Bug Flats in my size in the uber sale section at The Bon Marche and scooped them up. There is nothing more fun than finding an item you have coveted on sale in your size. It's the little things... ;)

Paris window shopping

Until we meet again, Paris. xx

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Path To Health & Wellness: FASTer Way To Fat Loss

This is one of those posts that I have thought awhile about sharing, but because of its personal nature I have hesitated. This week my friend Jennifer Lovin, who must have been reading my mind, texted me, encouraging me to share. She said I had done the work so it was time to show the results. Since she is the person that inspired me to get on this path to health and wellness, it seemed like the perfect time to share.

Since April I have been participating in a online fitness program, FASTer Way To Fat Loss. Yes, an online fitness and exercise program. Since then, I have lost 12 pounds, 5 inches in my waist and gained muscle tone, strength and more confidence than I have had in a long time. I sleep great, I feel strong, and I am wearing things that I have not fit me in a long time. My closet has become a new world to me.

I am a fashion writer and I love stylish things. I have been following trends and writing about fashion for the past five years, but have been a lifetime lover of style. But, I have struggled with both health problems (IBS--yay) and the inability to figure out what to eat and how to exercise to get back to being me again. I learned to disguise my issues through how I dressed, but the basic problems never went away. I felt trapped. In a world of beautiful clothes, there were many things I couldn't wear and more importantly I often didn't feel well. It was like looking in from the outside. At 55 I am already at somewhat of a disadvantage in the world of youth and fashion. Or at least that is what I thought. No longer.

Being the busy mother to two teenagers and working part time gave me plenty of reasons to use the excuse that walking the dog was a form of exercise. I bought a FitBit. I rejoined the gym. I am a talented home cook and we have always eaten mostly whole foods and I cook healthy family dinners probably five days a week, but still I struggled.  It was time to think differently, to try something new and to be open to seeing health and nutrition in a new light. I decided I wasn't going to take mid life lying down, I wasn't going to accept that "that's what happens when you get older". Nope. It was time to take control.

Back in April when my family and I were in Hawaii, I wasn't feeling great or confident or myself. There is nothing like swimwear to make you face reality. Once I had read Jennifer's post, I texted her and after we talked and I was in. And I haven't looked back. The FASTer Way To Fat Loss six week program uses intermittent fasting and carb cycling to works with your body, coordinating workouts that go with each day's "theme" so to speak. There are low carb days, typically the most difficult for me because it is more restrictive, regular calorie days, low calorie days and all of it is combined with workouts. Each program is tailored to you and your needs, tracking your food on the MyFitnessPal app. At first, I was NOT thrilled about tracking food and now I can't imagine not doing it, it is second nature. Knowledge is power, my friend, and it is really a great tool.

The program, by Amanda Tress, uses private Facebook groups to group clients going through the same program at the same time. Through Facebook, Amanda provides weekly exercise plans with corresponding dietary guidelines. The private members only as a significant motivator and you are expected to check-in daily to maintain accountability.  The support and intimacy of the group, including Amanda and her couches checking in daily, solidifies the program and its strength both for individuals and as a collective group. The groups include women for all over the country, from fitness buffs, to new moms, to people like me.

The benefits for me, now in my second round of this program (I did back to back sessions to solidify my knowledge) is that my IBS has all but disappeared, I feel healthy and strong and I am me again. It isn't just the weight loss, although I am not going to lie, that has been incredible for me, but also the way I now understand nutrition and how to eat well all the time. And I love my bubbly and rose and believe me, I have not given them up. This program works seamlessly into a real life, and that is why it works. As Amanda says, "Progress, not perfection", and that is truly the premise behind this whole thing.

There is nothing better than being your best self, and knowing that you made the decision to make things better and did the work to get there.

Have a great week, my friends, and feel free to message me with any questions. Cheers to health and happiness.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Packing For Paris

This post is going to be short and sweet, because I actually AM packing for Paris at the moment!

My teenage daughter, Gracie, has been in France since June 15th on an exchange with her French II class. Last April we hosted a lovely guest from Nante, France, Pauline, and now Gracie is with Pauline's family. She started her trip with five days in Paris and will meet me there at the end of her stay with her host family. I am lucky enough to be able to fly over and meet her for a week of girl time in the beautiful City of Light. I am over the moon with excitement!

Although this is my fifth visit to Paris, when I was there in the summer last year it was not nearly as warm as it will be when I arrive. Typically I pack a day or two ahead of time for trips, then re-evaluate what I packed and take a few things out. After all, I need room for some Paris shopping treasures...right?  ;) Here are a few things I am taking with me on my trip that are also pieces I will wear over and over again when I get back to life in Seattle.

Nike Blazer Low Top Sneakers

Cool sneakers are the perfect shoe for walking the city in style. The Nordstrom x Nike shop in the flagship store mixes high fashion and exclusive or new release Nike pieces for a stellar mix of style and substance. These Nike Blazer Low Top Sneakers are a remake of their classic 70s basketball shoe, with modern details like perforated leather and gold details. They will be walking the walk through the Paris streets, both with dresses and denim.They are really lightweight too, so they are perfect to pack.  I also loved the All Court 2 Sneakers, pictured below, both in the cream and the pink. The textured open weave of these babies makes for a surprising bit of the feminine along with street smarts.

Nike All Court 2 Sneakers

Warm days are lovely but often nights are cool, and a lighter jacket is always a good idea. I am a big fan of Intermix, with their mix of edgy pieces, up and coming designers, and established luxury. When they have a sale, I always take notice. Last weekend I swung into the Intermix Bellevue store where I found a couple sale pieces perfect for the trip, including this killer jacket from Harvey Faircloth. The navy satin peplum hem lined with a red border brings this khaki field jacket up a notch, and you had me at fabric covered buttons. You can find this beauty right here.

Harvey Faircloth Satin Peplum Khaki Field Jacket

Nomia Lace Shoulder Top. Image courtesy of RIZOM

Truly one of my favorite stores in Seattle is RIZOM. The store hosts a series of beautiful pieces from a variety of designers in a perfectly curated collection whose originality continues to enchant me. I could take the whole store home with me, but have limited myself to several choices instead, including the Nomia Laced Shoulder Top. The beautiful creamy white and grommet one shoulder strap make this a perfectly understated chic piece. I have featured it before on the blog, it is just too good to not pack.

Silver Dora Pants. Photo courtesy of RIZOM and Silvae.

Also at RIZOM, Deborah Roberts and her gorgeous line, Silvae. The Dora Pants are woven culottes in light blue denim with inverted box pleats at the front waist that make the pants almost look like a skirt. The high waist means even I can rock a top with a shorter crop. These pants are head turning and fabulous, so they need to head to Paris too.

M.Patmos Maria Camisole. Image courtesy of Flora and Henri

A couple of weeks ago the iconic Seattle store, Flora and Henri, opened up the doors of their new and gorgeous brick and mortar in Pioneer Square. The new space holds not only their beautiful children's line but clothing for women, mens accessories and a fab array of gifts and home items. I bought the M.Patmos Maria Camisole on my visit. The fringe and pom pom details give this sophisticated piece just the right amount of whimsy. Gorgeousness x 10.

Finally, what is a trip without a great bag? I bought this En Shalla Ocean Rafia Tote in raffia and cotton with a fun metallic thread throughout. It is a great tote to pack because it is can be made to be completely flat in your suitcase. Made from recycled rice bags, I got mine at Baby and Company. You can also find it on sale at Anthropologie. 

Ok maybe this wasn't short and sweet, but there is much to share. Back to packing. 
Je t'aims Paris. xx

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hello Summer!

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Not long ago I attended an event where I was talking to an acquaintance and he commented that I "lead a charmed life".  I understood it to be a compliment, but the comment has stuck with me. I kept thinking about how each of us choose to be perceived through our social media, or lack thereof, our clothing, our writing and many other ways in which we share with the world something about ourselves. I always have said, "Well, I don't Instagram doing laundry", half jokingly, but then it made me think that maybe I should. The reality is I do have a charmed life, and I am grateful. But I also have many challenges too, like we all do.

This past month has been a true test of my strength. The needs of my both of my children have been great recently, and I have been challenged in the knowledge that while both of my kids struggles were different, they also were things that I had little power over. That is hard thing to swallow as a parent. I would do anything for my children. They are my life. My son has been battling a difficult case of mono, which has kept him from his final month of school and isolated both him and me. Not exactly something that you post on Instagram.

If anything this time has taught me that I need to trust my instincts. It has made me value my time with my children. It has forced me to slow down. If I have been disappointed by people that I had expected that I could count on the most, I have also been treated with kindness and thoughtfulness from unexpected places. It has taken this devastating time for me to understand that while some things remain out of my control, it is up to me to see the positive in this. It is time to look forward into the sunny summer months with a renewed sense of what a charmed life is. Family. Love. Strength. Positivity. Friendship. Grace. Gratitude.

And now onto something that always makes me happy....fashion.

This photoshoot was one of my favorites for several reasons. I had left my son home to sleep while Krissi and her son Miles and I, the usual gang of three that we are, dashed to the beach for photos. Miles busied himself collecting shells and beach treasures and found a special one for Oliver to help him feel better. There is something about the ocean that makes everything seem peaceful and balanced. And I love Krissi. She is a talented photographer, a long time friend. But her true talent lies in how she sees the world, with love and humor. She is one of a kind.

As is my style, I had a mix of high/low fashion that made this outfit very me. I had spotted this frayed denim online at Zara, but sometimes things don't translate quite as cool in real life. That was not the case with these jeans, which I was able to try on in the store and fell in love with! They have a mid rise waist and the fringed open fronts on the legs are awesome. I am not seeing my denim online currently, but this pair is very similar.

Because the denim is so distressed and casual, I like wearing a dressier top to play off as an opposite. A couple of weeks ago I visited Rizom, where Deborah Roberts, the designer of SILVAE, helped me pick out some things to wear for my anniversary dinner. I had to stop myself from buying out the store, but went back recently for this Nomia NYC Laced One Shoulder blouse, because I could not stop thinking about it.  It is the most beautiful creamy white and its simple chic style suited me perfectly.

My closet would not be the same without designer consignment. It has introduced me to labels and designers that are things I would not normally have either the access or the funds to own. I have learned so much about the beauty of well made clothing. I have worked for Mary Bridget Pehl of MB Finds for a very long time and am always amazed at her talent and eye for great things. An Hermès belt has been on my wish list, so when Mary Bridget got one in, in my size, I scooped it up. It was meant to be! :)

I live on Queen Anne in Seattle and walk along the main street every day with my dog, Henri. My friend and fellow fashion blogger, Kirsty of The Kirsty Files owns a lovely little shop with her husband, Queen Anne Frame and Gift. Kirsty buys the coolest things for the store and one of them was this hat. It sat in the window beckoning me each day and I finally went in and bought it. I don't think I have taken it off since. If you are a hat person like I am, a straw fedora is the perfect summer lid.

I am loving the denim on denim trend that is happening right now, and especially all the great summer shoes in denim. While I didn't have these Steve Madden Victorya Sandals on for very long on the actual beach, I wore them all day afterwards. The on trend round heel, embroidered details and wrap ties are spot on for summer dressing. I scored these babies at DSW and you can too!

Cheers to a healthy and happy summer! xx

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Other Birkin Bag: Jane Birkin and The Wicker Basket

Most of us are familiar with the legendary Hermès Birkin bag, named after the style icon Jane Birkin. But it was Jane Birkin's simple woven straw basket, which she carried everywhere from black tie events to the market, that began the making of a fashion story that continues today.

In 1981 the fashion "It Girl" was by chance seated on a flight next Hermès chief executive, Jean-Louis Dumas. When Birkin placed her straw basket in the overhead compartment everything fell out. This prompted a discussion with Dumas about the difficulty of finding a stylish bag big enough for all her things. Together they began designing a bag, and a legend was born. Incidentally, Birkin only owns one of her namesake bags, because why would you need more than one? No Kardashian excess here. I love her.

Jane Birkin with her signature Birkin Basket

Jane Birkin's originality and natural je ne sais quoi made her a fashion legend and her style is both enviable and endlessly copied. Through her heyday of the 70s to today, Birkin's style continues to inspire and her "Birkin Basket Bag" has yet again become a statement of style. The Birkin Basket bag has reappeared again this summer, so much that the simple tote has sold out already from several sites and again made the list of it bags.

Even before I became enamored with the Birkin Basket, I have been a big fan of summer's wicker bags. Here are five of my favorites, perfect for sunny days ahead!

1. The Linderoth Design Birkin Basket

Linderoth Design Birkin Baskets

When an email with these little babies landed in my Inbox from the ever tempting ShopBazaar, I was more than smitten. I love the chic little colored leather handle, a modern nod to the original Birkin Basket.

2. Clare V. Alice Woven Bag

Clare V. Alice Navy Woven Bag

I am kind of obsesseed with round bags, and even more so with Clare V. Her bags are so cool and modern, and they always hit the mark. I love the structure of the Clare V. Alice bag, and the navy is pure French chic.

3. WaiWai Betina Bag

The WaiWai Betina Bag

This is an investment summer bag, but with good reason. The pop of color acrylic top and suede interior of the WaiWai Betina Bag lend a luxury spin to summer's lighthearted handbag.

4. Etsy Birkin Baskets

DreamBaskets Birkin Basket

Etsy has a ton of Birkin Basket inspired handbags, in a range from $40 to $200. The ones from Portugal with attached handles are the closest to the original, and you can find them in all sizes, some embellished with pom poms!

5. Zara Raffia Bucket Bag

Zara Raffia Bucket Bag

Zara's wicker bucket style cross body has a cheeky lining make this a fabulous little cheap thrill. The lighter raffia color is spot on for summer's lighter hues.

And speaking of cheap thrills, I scored the most charming little bag ever while standing waiting for my daughter at Buffalo Exchange. I can't believe someone consigned it because it is so darling, and in pristine condition. Plus, it was $12! This little gem has been traveling all over the city this week with me. I love the tiny wicker bow and cloth drawstring lining. It has become my new summer favorite.

Whether you want to follow in the footsteps of the chic Jane Birkin or make your own modern statement, it is time to lighten up your handbag look for summer. Happy hunting! xx

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Show Your Stripes: Olive Green for Summer

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Stripes are the quintessential look of the breezy days of summer, but they also are a great "neutral" to mix and match with your warm weather pieces. When one hears the word, neutral, it is easy to think of beige, gray or black. A modern approach to neutrals is using prints or stripes as your base, or neutral piece.  Then, pair it with something unexpected, like an olive green. Summery stripes mixed with a edgier hue still look summery, but with that little something extra that is well, cool.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending The Mixed Media Wearable Art Collection at the Vera Project x Union Bay event, hosted by Baby & Company. The event featured pieces from Union Bay, like army and denim jackets, that were recreated, embellished and designed by local artists and designers. The project benefited The Vera Project, a Seattle nonprofit which fosters creative culture for young people through music, arts programs, experimental learning and more. Not only was supporting young artists and musicians a great cause, the pieces in the collection were one of a kind and amazing.

I also found this stunning Malene Birger Pracia Ring in silver while I was shopping at Baby & Company. I don't think I have taken it off since I bought it!  Baby & Company always has the most unique and beautiful accessories. It is a curated collection that is so well thought out. I love it.

I spotted this army swing style jacket designed by Kayla Gates Frazier as soon as I arrived at the soiree and immediately bought it. It's denim ruffle and paint detailing really grabbed me. Apparently it grabbed a lot of people, because the SOLD sign they placed on the mannequin disappointed quite a few shoppers. I high fived myself for my decisiveness, which means I am now the proud owner of this great jacket. I loved the edgy cool vibe and the fact that it is an original piece created by a local designer. I can't wait to see what else Kayla has in store.

Army green, best without the yellowish tint on me, is one of my favorite colors of denim when I want to get away from blue or black. The color is amazing paired with black, dark gray or cream and white, but don't just stop there. Paired with a classic summer blue and white top lightens up the look for a bit of summer in an unexpected way.

I was suffering through a visit to Forever 21 with my teenage daughter a month ago and found this top for myself. Normally the place makes me crazy, but it does do fast fashion super fast, and in the summertime I don't mind the price tag of a trendy piece. This one covers summer stripes, off the shoulder, bell sleeves and tie embellishments all in one $20 top. And I loved it with the olive pants.

And speaking of these pants, they are another great summer find. A Zara everyday denim with a mid rise, they are super flattering. I have worn them with heels and a dressier top for a night out too. They are a great little pair of denim in a lighter summer fabric that is soft but doesn't get baggy. 

These Prada neutral flatform sandals are a chic way to pull this together, but I wouldn't shy away from a great leopard or floral print sandal, or even denim. It is the perfect time to be bold, if the mood strikes you. 

A fresh take on how to show your stripes? Stripes x olive green = the perfect summertime look. xx