Tuesday, December 6, 2011

cherries in the snow

Red lips are a quintessential favorite for the holiday season and this year it has been my go to look for all of the festive affairs I am attending.  I like the fact that it is a great for both day or night and well, nothing shows more confidence and sophistication than a perfect pair of red lips.
Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for this look:
First, white teeth.  No one can get away with not paying attention to teeth these days--so make sure your dental hygiene is up to date and get yourself in the routine of using something that can keep your smile sparkling, such as Plus White 5 Minute Whitening, Go Smile, or Zoom,  There are a ton of products out there, both from your dentist and on the store shelf.   And remember, friends share this info with friends, so check with one of your girls if you aren't sure what to try.  The good news is that red lips actually make teeth look whiter, another reason to feel the love.
Second, lip liner.  You have to use it.  Reds can bleed off of your lip line easily, so you want to make a perfect outline of your lips before applying the color.  I am a huge fan of the Chanel lip liners because they are so creamy yet precise, but Loreal Colour Riche Lip Liner comes a close second--Always Red is the perfect color for matching my lipsticks or blending my own shade with a couple different colors.  And I always apply a lip balm after lining my lips and believe it or not I love the Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker.  Hello 1980.
Third, find the perfect shade of red for your skin tone and coloring.  This is the fun part.  Take some time to check out the goods in your local drugstore where you can find the iconic Revlon "Cherries In The Snow".  This classic lipstick shade was launched in 1953 and has been a favorite ever since with its bit of fuchsia tint to the perfect pop of red.  I love Maybelline's Ruby Red & Loreal's Spiced Wine as well.  On to the department store, and in my opinion, no one does a red lip better than Chanel.  Chanel's Rouge Allure Laque is so gorgeous that I get compliments from both women and men every time I wear it.
And don't forget a touch of gloss, to give your color a bit of sparkle or bring the red color down in intensity if you wish.  Again, Chanel Glossimer's are worth every cent, and as the fab French salesgirl at the downtown Nordstrom told me last week, no one should be without the color Spark in the winter.  I agree.  Lest, I sound like a giant Chanel ad, I have to mention that my newest favorite line is Face Stockholm.  I have been impressed with every product I have tried, from lipgloss to foundation.
It might just be a little brave thing to rock the red, I know it isn't everyone's comfort zone, but its fun to think outside the box sometime--you might surprise yourself.  I don't think any body says it better than the fabulous Gwyneth Paltrow..."Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick."
Pucker up, baby.

Monday, December 5, 2011

snow bunny

REI is one of those places that I used to hate.  An old boyfriend used to take me there, where he was a like kid in a candy store.  He was an amazing skiier and outdoorsy, so it was to him like what Barneys is to me.  I love to ski and bike but am not exactly off the charts in either of those areas, so I felt like a fish out of water every time I set foot in the place. It was like there was an alarm about to going to go off at any minute, and someone might get on the intercom and announce, "Could someone please escort the blonde on aisle 3 who doesn't belong here from the premises immediately, please?"
Nowadays, REI can still annoy me (why do people walk so slow in there? Bugs.) but I no longer feel like a stranger.  I like to be outside with my family, and in fact wouldn't mind a mountain bike for times when the old Electra cruiser isn't going to cut it on the trails.  And I love to ski with our kids--they are old enough to really have fun on the slopes with.
Still, does bundling up for the weather in athletic gear mean one must wear icky colors and unflattering oversized fleece?  I think not.  While standing in the women's section I saw two women stop in front of a a woman's ski clothing display and comment on the Skhoop Short Down Skirt hanging there.  One asked her friend if she would wear the puffy little skirt and they both decided it was "obviously designed by a man" because what woman would make her ass puffier on purpose, right?
I tend to like a challenge, so I promptly grabbed the skirt and its slight longer, less puffier sister, the Skhoop Original Insulated Skirt to give them a try and have to say, I disagree with them.  I loved them and thought they were super cute and yes, flattering.  I felt neither puffy or frumpy in it--quite the opposite--it was a great twist on cold weather fashion. (which in the past might have been a bit of a oxymoron). The longer one may be more difficult to downhill in, but for a zillion other outdoor winter activities, it is perfect.
Skhoop isn't the only company that makes a ski skirts--the Sierra Designs Gnar Skirt comes in all sorts of sassy colors like eggplant and sangria--and its on sale!  Eider makes a Nunavat black down skirt that is a good basic if you like a shorter style as well.
Ski skirts may or may not be good for actual skiing--I think that is still in debate, but they are a fashionably cozy way to enjoy outdoor winter fun with a little bit more style.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

sheer genius

We are in that unique little niche of fall here in Seattle, before the wind & rain blow us sideways and the puffy coats and Hunter boots come out again.  Its nice enough to show off a little of the fall fashion without being bundle to the hilt, and the sheer trend is perfect for right now.
Last spring I purchased a sheer peach blouse from H&M and then layered a black tank underneath it which had a Chanel feel to it--I wanted to skip the tank and just wear a black bra....but something told me I was a bit too old to pull this off--sometimes I can push the envelope but in the case I think it would just push me back.
Since the blouse is very prominent this season, it is a good idea to refresh your layering tanks--I like the jersey style ones that have a longer fit to them--you can find them everywhere in many price points and can even get them as shaper if you have the need for that.  I like just the basic ones--get a couple of black, white & grey basics--I wear them whether you can see them or not with almost everything.
The sheer maxi skirt that debuted this spring is still a great look into fall, and at Paris Fashion Week lingerie inspired skirts, dresses, shorts and tops were prominent for Spring/Summer 2012.  Some of these skirts come with a built in shorts which is brilliant. Today I have my black Woolford opaque leggings underneath my sheer maxi skirt and then a black Theory sweater dress that hits mid thigh over the top of the skirt.  I threw on my black leather motorcycle jacket, ballet flats and a bright scarf and am good to go.
Transparent clothing is a classy & cool trend that works as long as you show a little and leave the rest to the imagination.  Come on, show me what you've got.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

for the love of leather

I think the mere mention of leather clothing scares some people.  Its must conjure up pictures of motorcycles, rock bands, Grease, Billy Idol....I am not sure.  I happen to love it...the idea is to wear one key piece and let that make a statement or have leather details incorporated into your outfit.  There are lots of choices out there for adding leather to your wardrobe--here are some of my favorites:
Yes, yes, I know I have mentioned last years find from my NYC trip--my Elizabeth and James leather shorts--not too short, with pleats & pockets, I have worn them in all seasons.  Twelve8Twelve has a similar pair and I have since then seen leather shorts everywhere from H&M to Neiman Marcus.  The key is not too short and not too tight.  And yes, you can wear them.  Add opaque tights, and a silky tie neck blouse or a casual tee.
Last year I found the most fantastic Woolly Minded Leather Trim Cardigan  at the Barneys sale--the perfect grandpa sweater with a twist.  And Elizabeth and James have added leather sleeves and details to tops and jackets that are so amazing--these mixed material designs are one of my favorite fall looks. Burberry has leather details on many of their coats this season, this amazing collection of leather sleeved outerwear is definitely destined to be another classic. Love.  If you want to make less of an investment, go for the Neiman Marcus Leather Sleeved Tweed Jacket for a perfect little piece to update your wardrobe.  Add some attitude and you are good to go.
If shorts are not really in your comfort zone, a lovely leather skirt is always an option--H&M leather pencil skirt has a high waist and a just above the knee fit that is modern and classic at the same time.  I am also going to say that the leather and pleather leggings I have seen out there are great--as with the skirt, be picky about the feel and look of the leather or faux leather--and as always but especially with this piece, fit matters just as much.  You can afford the look of a classy leather pant or legging, you cannot afford to be seen in anything shiny and/or patent leather.  I saw a woman in previously mentioned such pants downtown last week and, well, I have no words.  Except for don't do it.
Fall is such a fun time to discover new trends and figure out what works with what you have already in your closet.  Maybe you own a tassle necklace, a skinny belt for putting around a sweater, or cool headband in leather already--you can search out a new piece or use what you have in a new way to embrace one of the coolest trends out there.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

initially yours

My friend Kacy, who is from the East Coast, and I were discussing why it is that the peeps in that part love to put their initials on everything?  Luggage, towels, handbags, shirts, sweaters.  I guess it could be pegged as a preppy style, (anyone who was around in the 80's has to have had a monogrammed sweater in pink or green, and if it wasn't monogrammed, it was Lacoste.)  Kacy explained it as "an East Coast thing" but one look at her new West Avenue gold monogram necklace  and I decided it needed to be a Lisa thing as well.
For those of you who don't know, the three initial monogram rules go as such: first name initial is on the left, middle name initial is on the right, and your last name initial is in the center. Max and Chloe is a great website for finding your specific style in monogrammed jewelry.  The classic three initial script is beautiful but I also love the Lisa Stewart Large Monogrammed Teardrop Necklace with a single initial.  I think this type of thing would be a lovely gift for a special friend.
If you want to make it personal in a subtle way, go for the Danielle Stevens Bracelet or try a more modern vibe with this awesome Serenity Cuff, also by Lisa Stewart.  West Avenue, who are the makers of Kacy's beautiful necklace, also make script monograms rings as well, but what caught my eye was the Melissa Joy Manning Alphabet rings--they curve into a single letter which would be fantastic stacked to make your initials, or those of your children or a loved one.
Remember when Carrie (aka Sarah Jessica Parker) from Sex & The City wore a "Carrie" necklace as her  signature piece with all of her fabulous ensembles?  Jane Basch Jewelry has a half dozen styles of name plate necklaces if you want to emulate the look.  This designer has had quite a bit of press, and the site is devoted to monogrammed jewelry of all types--and although not all of it is my style, I love the (cheesy name alert) Leather & Lace monogrammed bracelet.  A little more rock and roll then prom queen.
You know how things come back around eventually when it comes to fashion, but there is always a little bit of a twist on it?  I think that personalized jewelry is a classic look that you can add to your collection no matter what your personal style.  I was lucky enough to inherit a lovely charm bracelet that was my great grandmother's in the late 1800's.  It has delicate round flat charms with initials, dates & words that hang off a single gold wire.  This lovely piece is timeless & personal--just like the perfect piece of jewelry should be.

Friday, October 7, 2011

party on

Party season is almost here--personally I think "back to school" means back to the social calendar...people are in town again after summer travel and well, its time.  While I am all for an impromptu gathering, I also love the planning of a party almost as much as having it, starting with the invitation.  And intimate dinner or large holiday gathering, the way you invite your guests is important.
Invitations set the tone for what kind of shindig you are planning, the occasion, style and size.  Evite has long been the favorite among party planners--you can design your own invite, customizing it to make it personal, download email addresses from your address book, and track who received the invite, when they viewed it and their reply.  And its free.  There are other electronic invitation websites similar to Evite--I used Pingg one year for my son's birthday and it was easy to download a photo of the birthday boy and customize it.  But I still was looking for something a little different than Evite.  Something with a little more panache.
Paperless Post is correspondence with class.  The invitations are lovely with a ton of choices for every type of festivity, plus awesome graphics and easy to use design tools.  The feature I loved the best is that it is interactive--the invitation has the look of traditional card stock & moves with a click, the envelope turning and the invitation sliding out for viewing.  Clicking the next arrow leads you to a response card and you are done.
One of the best features as a hostess or host is that you can track what happens to your invitation after you send it.  Paperless Post notifies the host as each invite is sent & opened, and most importantly if it was undeliverable.  Rather than just sitting looking like it was an unopened invitation like other websites, Paperless Post undeliverable section alerts you to any problems.  And saves you from possible social mishaps later.  Other tools include setting up an automatic reminder to guests, creating spreadsheets, tracking replies, printing lists or sending messages.
All this classy stuff comes with a small cost, although when you sign up to use the site you get 25 free "stamps"--one stamp mails one invite, and 10 "coins" which you can use to add premium designs, logos etc.  Adding say, 30 stamps is a mere $5.00 --still much cheaper than a traditional paper invite.
I adore the look of Paperless Post and well, you don't have to ask me twice to look for an occasion for having a party.  I believe that there are definitely certain times when no less than a paper invitation will do, however I like being old fashioned about correspondence from time to time. Still, I am still certain that the statement you make will be a stylish one with a Paperless Post invite.  Super easy.  Now the hard part...what to wear.... :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

lighten up

A trip to the makeup counter can be a very intimidating trip for some women.  I find it slightly overwhelming and annoying, but am drawn like a moth to a flame, since I happen to love makeup.  (If you don't believe me, one look of any photo of me from the 1980's should convince you.)  In NYC, walking through the cosmetic section of any major department store is taking your life in your own hands, the reps for the lines are so aggressive--its a total lions den.  Can you say commission?
I happen to think I have recovered from my 80's problem and have a fairly deft hand now, but the sheer mass of products available is unbelievable, plus any sales rep of a line is certain that their products will be life changing for you.  Anyway, I am up for anything that makes me look and feel better, so that is why I became fascinated with a concealer/highlighter product by Yves Saint Laurent called Touche Eclat.  Nearly every magazine I opened featured it some way, and I decided finally I must investigate.
YSL's product has been the darling of makeup artists for some time and is considered the gold standard for both concealing and highlighting the eye area.  At the makeup counter the YSL rep sat me down and matched my skin tone, then showed me the importance of applying the product correctly.  It is shaped like a little gold pen with a clicker on one end and a brush on the other.  A few clicks gets the product going and she swept it in a V on the side of each eye, all the way underneath to the inside corner and above the outer part of my eyebrow.  The key is to "pat" the product into your skin, not rub or sweep it, otherwise it will not conceal properly.  This "complexion highlighter" as it is advertised, made my skin glow and gave it lightness at the same time --I have to say I LOVED it.  Youthful glow? I am in. Wow!
I can be a big skeptic when it comes to all this anti aging product pushing--I really think that how you look is based on part genes and part healthy living, water drinking and sleep.  Nothing can replace being good to your body, after all.  The price tag, at $40, is a bit steep, but my friend at the makeup counter said it lasts about four months, so doing the math, that works for me.  And seeing that chick in the mirror with the glowing skin, that works too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

hello again

Hello, friends. I am back at my very neglected blog-- it has taken awhile for me to be up to writing again.  My beloved Mom died recently, which, in addition to breaking my heart, made it nearly impossible for me to care about whether leopard was in for fall or not. (It was never out, by the way).
I know my Mom read my little blog, although she claimed to love it even if she didn't always quite get it.  And she always, always encouraged to do what I loved and I love to write.  While I seem to be operating in a perpetual state of sadness these days, I am going to start writing again, because I know that she wants me to do things that make me happy, and this is one thing that does just that.
A couple of months ago while on an excursion to the fabulous boutique, sway & cake, to use my Groupon believe it or not, I discovered a fantastic collection by Marcia Moran featuring Drusy Quartz.  I had never heard of drusy myself, so I decided to investigate further.
Drusy, druzy, druse--there are different spellings for these small quartz crystals that form on or in the surface of other stones,  The explanation in short form is that when ground water carrying dissolved silica is forced into a porous area of the rock, rapid cooling often occurs, causing the formation of tiny crystals on the surfaces or in cavities of the rock. The clear crystals often form on top of previously deposited minerals. This is called a drusy. I call it totally fabulous.
I totally fell for the chunky Marcia Moran Oval Agate Drusy Oversized Ring in gold.  Since my ring finger is a tiny 3 1/2, this will definitely be going on my middle finger, which is the perfect place for a statement piece such as this.  A couple of the websites I read talked of drusy's more fragile nature, and warned against choosing it in a ring where it could be bumped and damaged, however I plan on just being careful with it.  There are also really fantastic pendants and earrings as well, if you don't fancy it in a ring.
The most appealing part of drusy is that it is just....different.  It has elements of both elegance and an organic feel to it and may well be the perfect thing to add some unique sparkle to your party outfit this fall.  I am a girl who believes in daytime every day sparkle, if you will, so I will doing the denim & drusy thing  until we hit the full stride of party season.
While I am not up for much socializing these days, I am glad to be back out in at least the cyberworld.  One new day at a time.  Cheers.


Monday, August 29, 2011

flat out fabulous

I know we all have dreams.  Owning your own home, taking flying lessons, traveling to a far away place...I have a few of those big dreams that I have hung onto over the years..some being of a adventurous nature, and some more simple, like owning a pair of Lanvin ballerina flats.  Call me shallow, (well, actually, please don't..) but its just a small dream that any fashion crazy girl might have.
Ballerina flats are the perfect shoe for more than one reason.  Oh sure, I love my sky high pumps and platform wedges as much as the next gal, but flats really are universally one of those things that can appear to be practical, but that are actually quite a bit more fun than that (kind of like me).  Ok, I don't give the appearance of practical even on my best day but anyway, back to flats.
Before our Paris trip a couple of years ago I was gifted with a pair of black Chanel ballet flats that I promptly wore almost every day of our trip and they still are my very favorite go-to shoe.  Well made, butter soft and classic.
I am a huge fan of the shoes of Anthropologie--and loved the Scarf-Topped Skimmers they introduced in their fall catalog.  And snakeskin being so prevalent this fall, I couldn't miss the fabulous J.Crew Cece ballet flat.  J.Crew has a charming assortment of ballerinas in a variety of colors, fabrics, and details.  The Reva from Tory Burch has really been another classic in the making (and I love my leopard pair), but this fall I am tending to look for ballerinas that have more of an unusual quality to them.  The Barbara Bui Stud Ballet Flat is a cool neutral with an edge that fits that bill perfectly.  And what is not to love about Attilio Giusti Leombruni's mango & fuschia pair which would jazz up your grey or black outfit in a flash.  So would Steve Madden's "Koool" flat in a sassy red patent.  Yeah, baby.
Puma has been making dressier flats for a few years and they definitely have the combination of style and comfort down, like with this cute pair of Karlie flats.
Whether you go for a patent, animal print, pattern or neutral, its easy this fall to find a pair from budget friendly to spurge worthy.  Put away those Toms and dance away in a pair of ballerinas this fall.

Monday, August 22, 2011

ring around the collar

I may be dating myself with the title of this latest blog...it is a tag line from an old laundry commercial...but I am not chatting about that necessary evil today....I am back on accessories for fall.  Nothing can update your look more quickly than adding a fun new accessory to transition from one season to the next and the latest twist on the statement necklace has me very excited--the collar necklace.
The last couple of years people have been sporting some major bling around the neck--ribbons laden heavily with gems, sparkling bib necklaces--and those are still relevant for certain.  The addition of the collar necklace can be a fresh look at having a unique and ornate piece to carry your outfit like Topshop's Chain and Tassel Collar, or you can make an impact with more simplicity, like this Alexis Bittar Freeform Collar Necklace.  And back to Topshop, I love the Python Collar...pair it with a simple black tee for some major impact.  And the price is a winner as well.
You can find these modern chokers in silk, leather, a variety of metals, ornate or simple and in every price point.  One of my favorite looks when I am not going all snakeskin on you is just a simple metal piece--a modern day choker.  The Kenneth Jay Lane Textured Chain Bib Necklace was my choice for an everyday look with my favorite grey sweater or a wow factor for a night out.  Although currently sold out, you can find your own look by hunting through ShopStyle, my go-to to research where to find something specific in fashion.  Remember, whether you keep it simple or go ornate, this is a look that everyone can wear.  And of course your best accessory is always the one you have already, confidence.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

tied up with a bow

This season's accessories have a sweet factor that has caught my attention--the bow.  Even if you are not a girly girl, you can add some sass to your look with a bow detail...its a bit like winking at someone...sweet and saucy at the same time.
The Chloe June bow-embellished leather shoulder bag kind of looks tough girl to me with its leather bow detail, and I am a big fan of the cross body style bag.  And of course Valentino has been rocking the bow on its handbags probably the longest that I have seen--the Betty Bow Tote in cherry red patent is a classic. You can find a lot of styles of Valentino bags on BlueFly.  From Marc Jacobs to Christian Louboutin to Kate Spade--bow details are on bags everywhere you look.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I went to Paris and had the most fun just hitting the streets and wandering.  One day I passed a little boutique and screamed to a halt.  In the window was a perfect yellow leather belt around a mannequin's waist, snapped together with a bow detail.  I promptly went in and bought two, the yellow for me and the taupe one for my fashionable friend, Caroline.  I like this Hugo Boss Artesia one, its got a toughness to it with the leather and the silky bow is pure elegance.
I am completely obsessed with bracelets right now---I recently found both a rocker leather bow cuff and a snakeskin & metal bow bangle on OpenSky, a favorite social shopping site of mine for unique finds & great gifts.  At OpenSky, you choose the ten "curators" you want to follow and they share their favorites finds with you from four types, Food, Style, Health & Design.  Anyway, this fantastic Yochi Green Ribbon Leather Cuff has a wow factor similar to the one I found on OpenSky.  Super cool baby.
I like the Juicy Couture's Pave Bow Ring too, it is a little wink of sweetness if you want just a subtle bit of sparkle.  And on a recent jaunt through my favorite shoe department I saw bows everywhere, from ballet flats to sky high heels. The list goes on and on.
Maybe all the things in my life cannot be neatly tied up with a bow, but I am all for having some lighthearted fun with my accessories this fall.  Sweet.

Monday, August 15, 2011

the red shoes

I am on vacation this week in Sun Peaks, British Columbia, Canada.  Although known for its skiing, in summer it is picturesque, with hiking, horseback riding, and major mountain biking trails.  It is quiet during the week, but on the weekend it was chosen for a wedding spot for several couples.  One wedding, on Saturday, had lots of guests and was a big festive affair.  On Sunday evening, as I peered out our deck, I spotted another couple, standing alone, except for a photographer, out in the August sunshine.  The bride had a beautiful fifties style pure white dress on, with an ankle length full skirt and fitted bodice.  Her hair was swept up in a chignon, and she had a round bouquet--she looked like something out of the show, Mad Men.  And on her feet, were the most beautiful pair of t-strap high heels, in a gorgeous shade of red.  Her groom wore a suit, with a red tie, a slash of color that bound him perfectly to his beautiful bride.
The red shoes were not only enchanting, they got me to thinking.  A lot.  I went online searching for meaning of wearing red shoes with a wedding gown.  Finally, I concluded that its meaning will remain with the beautiful bride, however I am going to venture that wearing red shoes with your white gown shows passion, an expression of individuality, and love.
I love when people chose to be themselves, even if it means standing out.  There is such a difference between fearlessly showing yourself and trying too hard.  You know what they say, if you have to try too hard to be cool, well, then you probably aren't.  Personally, I like being a little different, and sometimes that works out for me and sometimes it doesn't, but its worth it all the same.
Back to the red shoes.  I felt oddly inspired by them.  This year I have had that feeling of wanting to try new things, of scaring myself maybe just a bit by being open to things in the past that I have been too afraid to do, even though I really wanted to.  I am not talking climbing Mt. Everest here.  Just some personal challenges that make me happy I tried them.  I have never been the most athletic person in the world and I always wished I was.  I admire all these outdoorsy types.  I am just a bit more at home with exploring a boutique than REI.  My lifelong hatred of hiking is still in place, but I would hit a bike trail any time, and think a mountain bike may be replacing my cruiser with the wicker basket soon enough.  And I am proud to say I work out and train regularly, something I could not have claimed to do ten years ago.
In February I pierced my nose with a tiny diamond.  Always wanted to do it and one Tuesday, I just did, and then went grocery shopping.  That may have been anticlimactic, but it made me happy, it felt great to do something I always wished I had. Its so small that it after an entire weekend with my parents I had to ask my Dad what he thought and he had no idea what I was talking about.  My Mom said, "At least its not your belly button." Um, ok?
This year I have been trying to figure out what to do with myself, when I wasn't caring for children, being a wife, a friend, a volunteer.  I love to write, it comes out of me in the same way I get an idea for what I want to wear. All of the sudden I just know, and it comes together.  I come from a long line of writers, most notably my paternal grandfather, who was the night editor of The Billings Gazette, and my older brother, Tom, who has written Emmy winning television programs, television series, and a few blockbuster movies.  He is naturally funny, amazingly smart and articulate, as are all of my three siblings.   Although I do not possess the same writing talents as my relatives, I like to think that you are good at the things you love, and to follow that path will work in your favor.
Remember back in the 80's when David Bowie sang, "Let's dance, put on our red shoes and dance the blues"?  I am fairly certain I have got a pair of red shoes somewhere in that color coded closet of mine.  They may be just what I need to remind myself to approach my life with the same individuality, passion and love that I saw in that bride standing in the sunshine here in beautiful Canada.  Cheers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

the tortoise and the hair

I have always seen tortoise as a somewhat summery type of thing, along the lines of turquoise jewelry if you will.  But summer is fleeting, (or non-existent this year if you live where I do) so I am excited to see it interpreted into many fall collections. It has depth in color and a rich texture to it that is pure timeless elegance.
Love the Stuart Weitzman kitten heel pumps for a daytime look with denim, or step it up with this gorgeous pair of Manolo Blahnik Pointy Toe Pumps that you can preorder from the Fall 2011 Collection.  Be still my heart.
In keeping with the look of chunky mens style watches that are so prominent, you can find tortoise in many styles as well--my friend Amy has a great big tortoise watch, similar to this Michael Kors one, which I love especially because of the chocolate brown mother of pearl dial.
I bought a tortoise box style 1950's handbag off of eBay a few years ago and it is one of my most coveted finds.  You can find tortoise details on bags, such as the clasp or handle, especially if you shop vintage or look for a ladylike top handle bag.
Tory Burch has incorporated tortoise in her collections, including her resin logo cuff , clutches and her classic Reva ballet flats, although those are sold out at the moment.  I love the look of the cuff especially, and you can find this look in many price ranges, from the reasonably priced J.Crew Factory Cuff or go all out with fabulous Kara Ackerman Adjustable Cuff.  With one major statement piece or even a small accessory, tortoise is something that you will be able to incorporate into your wardrobe year after year.
My other favorite fall detail is fur.  So happy its back in full swing.  Lots of faux, as well as rabbit, fox and other real fur details.  In addition to fur vests in leopard, cheetah, and other animal prints, there are luscious greys, deep camel, chocolate brown, snowy white.  Boots are fuzzy inside and out, pumps have fur roses, bags have fun furry details.
Be a shell seeker this fall and while your at it, make sure you keep yourself cozy with a little something fuzzy, two trends that are here to stay.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

hot pants

Denim is a wardrobe staple with many choices.  Skinny, bootcut, skinny bootcut, distressed, dark, trouser, jegging, and so on.  I am currently in love with all the jewel tone denim that has been so prominent, so add that to the choices as well, and I was happy to see that the trend is continuing into fall.
On an earlier expedition to find the perfect pair of red denim pants I found that the range in colors of "red" ran from a deep rose to a gorgeous pumpkin color.
Surprisingly, after searching for a fire engine red denim, I ended up with a lovely pair of Current/Elliott Skinny Stretch Jeans in Bright Rose Wash.  They are stretchy and comfy but fitted and flattering as well.  Its a deep enough hue that its fun with a summer white top right now but will be gorgeous this fall with a grey or black top, and lets just say I have a few of those. :)
Want a rich wine colored denim to tuck into boots?  Rich & Skinny's Legacy Zip Legging Jeans have a great fit and the perfect amount of stretch.
Flare jeans are very prominent this fall and J Brand's Mid Rise Flare Leg comes in Black Cherry & Bermuda Blue.  Be warned, the flare is big and the pants are loooooong, so you are going to need to have them hemmed for boots or rock some major heels, unless you are blessed with the legs of a giraffe.  J Brand also has a high rise version with their Ali jean, in a beautiful corduroy terracotta.
In addition to pinks, reds, & oranges, denim colors come in blue, green, yellow, purple, and prints, like leopard & snakeskin (see my blog "Snake in the Grass").  Colored denim is a great way to both update and transition your closet from summer to fall.  You'll be glad you added some color to the darker tones most of us have in our winter closets down the road, and for now, just enjoy being the bright and sassy girl you know you are.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

savvy shopping

Consignment shopping has a high end sister that any fashionista worth her Manolos knows is an essential part of building a wardrobe.  Luxury resale is a niche in the fashion world where everyone comes out a winner.  New with tags or "been to the party once" shoes, jewelry, handbags & apparel are resold at a fraction of their value both in shops popping up in neighborhoods as well as exclusive private sales.
Why would someone sell things they had never worn for a fraction of the original price, as indicated on the tags hanging off them?  Socialites who can only wear a dress once in public, estate sales, purchase regret, or a change in style, who knows, but one person's closet cleaning expedition can be of great benefit to you, if you know where to shop...
For the past five years the beautiful and fashionable Mary Bridget Pehl has been one of Seattle's best designer resale dealers.  Mary Bridget combines boutique retail experience, her personal connections into some of Seattle's most coveted closets and her own stylish intuition into gathering goods that are to die for.  Today I had the privilege of previewing her luxury goods for her biggest and best sale yet.  She has teamed with Baby & Co., a fashion institution known for their edgy, ahead of trend creativity and unique designers, to create a pop up shop, and it is going to be incredible.  
I could go on and on about the incredible luxury goods I saw that were in pristine condition--and for a moment, I will.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I saw just the handbags: never used Gucci, & Jimmy Choo, a Kara Ross clutch with a real amethyst on the flap, the large YSL downtowner bag ( I own the smaller version of this bag and it is classic and lovely--the best bag ever), and an amazing Alexander McQueen ostrich bag with the original tags.  Heart attack.  
Ok, we moved onto shoes.  In sizes ranging from 5 1/2 to 11, there were Manolo, Jimmy Choo boots, Dolce & Gabanna heels, Tod's driving moccasions and more.  Piles of fabulous denim, vintage jewelry, edgy cuffs, The Row & James Perse tees, Zac Pozen dresses, a Marni suede cape, Chanel jackets, a Lanvin unstructured blazer (perfect with your favorite jeans) and a buttery soft Celine leather coat....getting the idea?  Sizes range from 0-12/14.  
The cocktail party dresses were some of the best I have ever seen, and all the details including lace and or beadwork were perfect.  I was especially taken with the Oscar de la Renta 50's style dress with a circle skirt. Complete loveliness.  I was also very impressed on how much Mary Bridget has done her homework--lots of research has been made into the value of the luxury pieces, including online sales and original pricing.  
I have my eye on the YLS EPI bag in cerulean blue and a Milly faux leopard trench.  If you'd like to beat me to it, here are the details for the pop up shop location.  Don't miss out, and while you are there, get on MB's list so you can be in the know for future events.
Details:

MB Pehl and Baby & Co. Designer Closet Sale
mbpehl@comcast.net
Thursday, August 11 to Sunday August 14, 2011, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Pop-up Shop at 2004 1st Ave., Downtown Seattle, 2004 1st Ave. Seattle, WA 98121


Thursday, July 28, 2011

men in black

Today as I drove my Mini Cooper through downtown Seattle I got a lot of good people watching in and I noticed a common theme to many of the men scattered across the streets of my city--and realized I need to blog about them.  Wait, let me get my badge on...I am going to start with some fashion police do's and don'ts for men, mere opinions from me, but hey, its my blog.  I will start by saying there is no doubt that women love a well dressed man.  And guys, you don't have to spend a ton of time or money on it, but you are not excused from some basic rules of dress.
Let's just start with checking your calendar.  Its 2011.  That means that if you are wearing jeans from ten years ago, this is not a badge of honor.  I mean, great, you can still fit into those pants and all, but the thing is, styles of denim change for men too, not just for women.  While some of we women may chase the constant updates of style a little more closely than other women and men, it is still important to make sure that the waistband of your pants are not hanging down super low or located anywhere near your armpits.  Every man should own dressier dark jeans for a night out or to step it up a notch from your favorite Levis.  
And speaking of waistbands, if you are wearing a t-shirt with your shorts or pants, please keep your waistband hidden.  My biggest pet peeve ever...t-shirts tucked into your pants---double yikes.  Don't do it.  Please. And don't clip anything to your belt either...you have a back pocket, use it.
T-shirts.  We all love them.  Just not when they are too short, too tight, or making some statement about being with stupid. Cool graphics, yes!  "Funny phrases", no!  Add a couple plain black & grey basics to your closet each year--Velvet Men makes great ones. 
I think shoes are a big deal.  You don't need to run around in Gucci loafers all the time (unless you are able, and then good for you!), but try to skip the cheap shoes.  Its the worst.  Take care of your shoes and they will last for years-- its a worthwhile investment.  No puffy all white sneakers either unless they are the classic Jack Purcells. (love yours, Jono!) And have some fun!  I happen to think Converse sneakers are very sexy on men, particularly when paired with khaki pants and an (untucked) button down shirt.  Big kisses.
Also on my list of loves for men:  leather sneakers, Ray Ban sunglasses, a tweed sport coat worn with jeans, a new white t-shirt underneath any and all shirts, a well fitting outerwear jacket, dry cleaned dress shirts (especially white) paired with jeans, pants without pleats (always), solid cashmere v-neck sweaters,  motorcycle boots, a good watch, and an awesome smile. Gets me every time.  



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

fall into place

Yesterday I met my friend Kirstin for a little "retail research" for this blog....and we had a great time.  I went to preview the fall trends at Nordstrom after combing my fall preview mags and the zillion emails I get regarding same.  I had in mind what I was looking, but being a big online shopper, it is always a treat to see things in person as well.  I am rarely off the mark, but there are always the nice surprises of finding that not so expensive item that looked good in the catalog looks fantastic in real life as well.   Budget wise, I had to pass on several things that I really wanted, but I have them filed away as must haves the closer we get to season, which is, unbelievably, a month or so away. In the meantime, the Seattle weather has been disappointing and so I won't be adding any more summer to my already barely touched wardrobe.  I am moving on mentally to my favorite season, fall.
Here are the fall trends that I am loving the most--wedge booties & wedge tall boots, the color burgundy, fur accents, capes & ponchos, skinny jeans with a coating or sheen to them and skinny jeans with a flare bottom, and 70's prints in dresses & flowy blouses.
The wedge bootie is a must for updating your boot collection.  Over the knee boots are still hot so hang on to yours, and adding a suede wedge style is a great way to go paired with a fun wide wale corduroy legging in black or brown....I like the wedge and body of the boot to match, not a fan of a different colored crepe sole.  I chose a grey lace up bootie style that was both comfy to walk in and is perfect for skinny jeans or tights and a dress.
I am toasting the fact that the lovely color of wine and burgundy have been reintroduced into the fall palette.  Its always a fantastic color to wear with grey or black, or even cream.  I am on the hunt for a fantastic burgundy patent handbag and my dream item in this color has got to be the Haute Hippie Burgundy Fur vest I saw yesterday at Nordstrom.  I cannot find a photo of it online but it is on the upcoming sale.  If you love burgundy, go for it, you lucky girl.
Fur accents and full on fur vests & coats in both faux and the full on real deal continue to be strong.  If you were smart enough to love this trend last year you can trot out your furry friends again this fall, and there are beautiful new cozy sweaters that have fur accents that are fantastic new twist on the fuzzy stuff.
I bought a great lambswool poncho from H&M last year that is cozy and functional as well as cute, and was happy to see lots of great choices in ponchos and cape style coats, as well as the poncho style sweater.  The trick to this style is to definitely have a slim fitting pant on the bottom--otherwise you will just be a giant ball of fabric.  I love the sweaters in a poncho style, but beware of getting swallowed up by them, a cropped style with a dolman sleeve is a perfect alternative if you want to keep a slimmer look.
I sung the praises of my JBrand Wax skinny denim this past year and they are still my go to pants for a night out.  Yesterday Kirstin pulled the JBrand Gigi black cropped flair jeans and I fell in love again.  They have a gorgeous sheen to them--a more subtle way to shine than some of the almost sequin or sparkling denim I have seen for fall.
There were lots of flowing blouses in matte suede like fabrics, or patterned silk they definitely had that 70's flair to them.  Dresses too had a pop art design in the fabric--it definitely looked of DVF to me--and of course DVF continues to wow us with her gorgeous prints and new & classic silhouettes.
In accessories, I loved that cuffs were still strong, and am loving both the snake embossed and filigree styles.  Belts are strong, wide suede around sweaters and dresses or to add a pop of color, and big rings are still strong as well.
There are lots of fun things to choose from and the good news is that if you invested in a few key trends from last year they are still relevant this fall as well.  You can update them easily with a belt, cool cuff, or wedge boot.  Do your homework, check out a few of your favorite websites, and go forth and shop.  Then you can stash them away until the leaves turn, knowing you are ready for a new season.  Most of all, have fun.  That is what its all about.  Cheers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

knee deep

There is a woman whose children attend the same school as mine, and she is one of those people you just have to look at.  She has that something something.  It turns out she is Italian, and well, for me that explains a lot about the creative and beautiful way she dresses.  She is one of those people who inspires you to try something new, see your closet in a new light--sort of like when I look at the photographs of the fabulous blog, The Sartorialist.
After politely admiring each other for the past couple of years as we dashed in and out of school with our children, we finally met at a party.  She was lovely and fun and while we were chatting I noticed her socks.  Yes, her socks.  She was wearing a pretty circle skirt with the most beautiful pair of over the knee black opaque socks that were connected to a delicate garter.  And trust me, this was no Victoria Secret get-up.  It was a cool, and well, sexy, but daytime look and not in a in your face way.  Back in November when Kacy and I went on our glorious trip to NYC I purchased a couple of pairs of over the knee socks to wear with skinny jeans or tights peeking out of boots.  This is a different twist on that and she told me they were the Italian brand, Calzedonia.  Alas, a search has so far showed no source for purchasing this brand online.  (If someone knows different--please let me know).  Rats.
The good news I did find a totally American source, JCrew, that had the look I was going for (minus the cool garter) with a great Thigh High that I am apparently wait listed for and will ship sometime in August.  I can live with that.
Keep the look from being over the top by pairing your new pair of over the knee socks that you are going to purchase after reading this :)--with a pair of flats.  You can do a chunky heel if you are a braver sort, just no high heels please.  Its an interesting and fun way to wear a summer skirt or dress up a pair of shorts in an original way.  Cheers!

Monday, June 27, 2011

fringe benefits

I have to admit, I think a little boho goes a long way, but my latest obsession in jewelry touches into the boho and the rock and roll worlds equally.  I am loving the look of the tassel, especially in a necklace.  At a recent private shopping event at the Fremont's hip boutique, Show Pony, I bought the Daly Bird "Kelly" necklace is super soft black leather.  The photo doesn't do it justice--it hangs long and is a mix of the metal back chain connected to braided leather and a long tassel.  Its statement without the flash, and no one will ever accuse me of swiping it off my curtains.  Its too cool for that.
House of Harlow 1960 (aka Nicole Richie--whose style I love), makes a funky Tasseled Crescent Cuff that is different & fun and the detail fringe on it isn't so long it will end up in your salad when you eat. :) I have a fun ring along the same lines that I purchased from JewelMint called the Liberty Ring, that has a mix of metals and a small metal fringe piece hanging off the top--it can be a bit tricky to wear if you aren't used to that much movement in a ring but I have received a ton of compliments on it.  And one of my favorite pair of earrings I discovered in a little boutique about five years ago that have a beautiful long silver fringe hanging off the bottom of them, slightly disco look.  Love them still.
Back to our friend, the tassel.  If you really want to go crazy, there is the Tiffany 18 Rose Gold Fringe Tassel Earrings, but you know what they say, if you have to ask the price....
Personally, I'd save myself a couple grand and go for the BCBGeneration Chain Reaction Earrings in Rose Gold or the gorgeous ABS by Allen Schwartz Fringe Earrings.
When it comes to a tassel necklace, it isn't necessary to go big or go home, but depending on your personal style, some of the more statement pieces are definitely worth a look.  I love Juicy Couture's "Laurel Canyon" Dip Dye Fringe Necklace--it has crystal strands intermixed with mixed metals that have an ombre look to them--oooh, and look-- it is on sale! JC's jewelry has a great quality feel to it--so sale pieces are always a treasure.  Or go for the more hippy chick look with a braided leather piece, like the Catherine Stein Braided Leather Necklace with Beaded Tassel Accent.
Accessorize your summer wardrobe with something a little on the fringe....it will give that summer sundress or GNO top the little extra special something it needs to be so you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

lace up

No, not your sneakers.  Its time to tap into your feminine side by adding some lace to your summer wardrobe, so stash that LBD in the back of the closet and replace it with a white crochet or lace frock for summer festivities.  If you are the sort that dresses with a more minimalist approach, never fear, you don't have to be all boho about it--lace dressing can be rock and roll or just plain cool, as in this Trina Turk Belted Serpentine Lace Dress.  I like the color and the leather in the belt makes it more edgy.  My other favorite is Topshop's Cream Lace 50's Dress with its gorgeous overlay and sexy back.
Today I found an awesome pair of lace shorts, stay with me here, at H&M and they are fantastic!  They are a very soft pink lace paperbag style, and I paired them with a super sheer top of the same color with a cami underneath and tucked in to show the paperbag waist. I think they will be also be great with a solid tank in black or white and chunky wedges.  Sorry to say I do not have a link to show you but lets just say its love love love.  They are a great length and are beautiful on....trust me.
No one holds a candle to Valentino when its comes to a lace embellished handbag, but if you are not wanting to invest in that little piece of loveliness, there are several great selections at Endless.com that fit the bill in a more reasonable price range. Personally, I would go vintage when it comes to accessories.  Check out eBay or hunt through your neighborhood consignment or vintage clothing stores for unique pieces that are trendy but original.  I am going to have to go with the only place I am not wild about lace is on my feet...just doesn't work for me.....don't do it.
Of course the most popular lace is what goes underneath, but that is an easy one.  Hanky Panky, Cosabella, or Commando all make lovely lacy things that make the lacy number on the outside look all the better.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

coral reef

I tell you, a trip to a Barneys sale is better than Prozac for me! (not that I take it...I'd rather workout, shop or complain to my girlfriends over a beverage...but anyway...)  The sun is out, its warmer than 45 degrees, and well, I got a little lift from a color that in the past has reminded me of that icky lipstick shade old ladies wear (no offense).
Coral, according to Wikipedia, is a reddish or pinkish shade of orange.  It can be bright or pastel, and I totally fell in love with it today.  It said SUMMER to me.  The nice thing about coral is that depending on the shade you choose, it is universally flattering, and even seems to give the skin a little glow.  I am glad I rethought my previous feelings about the color, because it is actually very complimentary as a pop against a neutral, such as taupe, grey or white.  The Remain Sleeveless Cowl Neck Tank I found at Nordstrom is gorgeous, super flattering and at $58.00 a great price point. Layer a neutral racer back tank underneath it, since it is a tissue like fabric.  Even more wallet friendly is the H&M jersey racerback tank in apricot, or you can get all fancy on me and rock the Haute Hippie Open Shoulder Silk Blouse.
When we were in Palm Springs in March I found a cool 60's carved resin bracelet in a soft coral color and plan on stacking it up with mixed metal bangles.  Vintage shops are a great place to find pieces, my favorite local place is Rhinestone Rosie, an absolute treasure trove of a store in my Queen Anne neighborhood--I never leave empty handed!  Real coral jewelry is actually the traditional gift to give someone for their 35th wedding anniversary, but before purchasing the real deal, do your homework regarding authenticity & endangerment issues.  If you are happy with the mere color, check out this funky Zad Coral Necklace made out of beads--so fun.  It is a color that is even flattering as a home accent, my friend Aysin has a few beautifully placed coral accents against the black and white in her house and it has a truly stunning effect.
Whether its a top, accessory, handbag, or even makeup (just not that scary old lady color, please), add some warmth to your wardrobe with a shade of coral.  Scuba mask not required.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

snake in the grass

Animal prints are always in fashion, especially come fall, but now that it is summer I love, in particular, the look of snakeskin.  Love the way it looks against tan skin, it has a coolness that is sexy without being in your face.  Let me say for the sake of being PC, that nearly all of the snakeskin I possess is that of a faux nature.  That, along with a true crocodile, is one of the most elegant things you can touch. Be that as it may, many still cannot stomach the nature of its origin, or maybe just can't afford its high price tag, but there are many ways to emulate the elegance of the reptile with a guilt free conscience.  
One of my favorite denim makers, Joe's Jeans, makes a fantastic style called The Ankle Chelsea, in a Snakeskin print, and I was lucky enough to score a pair from HauteLook, the website that hosts private limited time sale events on luxury brands.  They came just in time for me to rock them at the U2 concert on Saturday--yes!
If you are not quite the girl who slithers about in snakeskin print pants, you can add the look with accessories.  There are a zillion styles of shoes with snakeskin embellishments in a range of price ranges.  I purchased the Tory Burch Reva Grey Snake Ballet Flats at least four years ago and they are my go to shoe this time of year.  Worth every cent.  Jimmy Choo's Snake Embossed Espadrille are fantastic with their slingback and peep toe, but last year I bought the Ruby & Bloom "Camilla" Espadrille for a fraction of the cost, plus they are beautiful and you can run fast in them.  Or dance.  :)
And don't get me started on handbags.  Oh, ok.  Well, what is cooler than a snake embossed clutch?  DVF has the real deal (Indonesian watersnake) with her sassy Lytton Clutch--I love the coral and black number.  Or you can fake it in a good way with the Annabel Ingall "Magic Snake" Pleated Clutch at Nordstrom.  Actually, a trip through any department store, boutique, low and high end place can turn up a bit of slithery stuff--from bikinis to bangles to boots, it is everywhere.  
Ok, so it is June 1st and I have decided that no matter what the thermometer says outside my back door, I am joining Slytherin House this summer.  Sorry, Harry. You can't always be the good guy, right?  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

beach bunny

A couple of years ago my friends and I went on a girls weekend to Vegas.  I know, I know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas....but this blog is about beachwear.  :)  The first day we arrived we threw our things in the rooms and got into our swimsuits to head to the hotel pool.  Being Pacific Northwest girls, we didn't want to waste any time taking advantage of the sun.  The six of us hopped into the elevator, and Kelly, the tiniest of the group, was sporting possibly the biggest beach bag I have ever seen.  It was bigger than she was--- the rest of us could hardly get into the elevator around it--and no one could stop laughing.  I mean, I get it, this small lady is the mother of three kids so when she packs for the pool she's bringing towels, gear, sunscreen, toys, snacks, magazines, and everything else you can think of for a family of five.  Its a little hard to get out of that mindset and realize you only have to think about what YOU need for what is hopefully relaxing fun.  Hence the name, "girls weekend".
That funny incident came to mind when I packed for the last couple of trips to the sun.  Whether you have a family trip or an adult weekend, a car trip or a plane ride will effect the size and shape of your bag.  I am definitely a fan of mixing the high and the low, and when it comes to a beach bag--starting at Target can be great way to go.  The Calypso St. Bart for Target bag is a sassy way to say hello to the sun, and pretty enough to carry on the plane.  Should you feel like stepping it up a bit, Marc by Marc Jacobs Preppy Straw Rose Tote (could the name be any longer?) is fabulous.  I also love the ethnic print and style of the bluma project orange print beach bag for a bit of hippie chick cool.
A few years ago, everyone had on trucker hats at the pool, (remember Ed Hardy--eek) followed by cowboy hats, and now every man and woman I saw seemed to be sporting a straw fedora (including me).  I purchased one when I was in Palm Springs and crushed it accidently on the way home, so had to commit to wearing its replacement on the plane when I took my next trip.  Its one of those vacation purchases that will actually work well back in my real world summer wardrobe (hoorah!).
Swimwear coverups are just as important as your actual swimsuit--throwing on a pair of shorts and tshirt over your suit is a thing of the past, ladies.  DVF makes some of the most glamourous coverups out there--sophisticated enough to take you from your pool chair to cocktails without a thought.
While I love Target, once again, for cute and affordable covers, I am not a fan of their swimsuits.  I have found time and time again that a bit of investment in a great suit means you can wear it for many seasons, and the cheaper suits just seem to stretch, pill, and become worse with time than my actual figure!  NG.  Who do I love the best for swimwear? JCrew.  We all have our body issues, but they have styles and sizes for every beach bunny.
Finally, what to put inside that beach bag of yours?  I am finally going to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which my friend Kacy lent me quite awhile ago and Chef's Walk Seattle by Tom Douglas on Kindle.  That and my Clarins sunscreen, a pair of Ray Bans and I am ready.  All I need now is a plane ticket....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

bohemian rhapsody

Summer is around the corner--the temps are heading towards the 70's--and the 70's are also making their way into my summertime closet.  Maxi dresses, wedge sandals, flare jeans, and peasant blouses are all such a lovely change from the grey Vince cashmere sweater I have been wrapped in constantly since last fall.
Recently I discovered a new jewelry designer while checking out the latest boho on Cusp, Neiman Marcus' sister website that is geared towards the more hipster crowd, and I am in love!
The Josefina de Alba jewelry designers are sisters Karina and Marcela Padilla, who have combined sterling silver and Kuichol Indian artistic beading to create stunning necklaces, earrings, bracelets and headbands.  I ordered the Beaded Fringe "Fabulous" Earrings and was dually impressed by the beauty of the colors--and how gracefully they moved with my long hair--lovely and free spirited simplicity.  Check out their website to view their entire collection.
A few other accessories that have a cool summer vibe, Juicy Couture's Kissing Birds Ring, a chunky ring with a sweetly unique design, (I think it would make a great gift for someone special), Serafina's Mini Feather Earrings, which are a gorgeous and funky, and finally, the stunning Nakamol Beaded Cuff, which will turn a simple outfit into a head turner.
Accessorizing with a bohemian piece is a great way to try out the trend of the moment without a wardrobe overhaul--whether it is feathers, beading, or a bit of fringe.  Peace, love and hippie chicks.

Monday, May 9, 2011

the long and the short of it

I love that shorts have gone from a summer wardrobe staple to a year round fashionable alternative to wearing pants or a skirt.  Last fall when my friend Kacy and I went off to NYC, at the top of my shopping list was a pair of leather shorts.  Don't be frightened by this, I don't mean leather stripper girl hot pants--and I found a great pair of Elizabeth and James motorcycle leather shorts that I have worn an absolute ton.  I paired them with opaque tights and knee high flat boots, and am happy that now that the weather is warmer I can still wear them, but with bare legs, a floral top and shoes with a bit of an edge, like a black Roman sandal, wedge sandal or embellished flats.
Shorts can be tricky.  I think the super short styles are best left to a younger woman or for the beach, but frankly it kind of depends on where you live & of course your body type. A rear view peek before you leave the house can give you a reality check, should you need it.  As always, fit and proportion matter.
Remember "walking shorts" as they were called in the 80's?  How about "pedal pushers"? Bermudas?  If you do, then choose carefully before you put a pair of shorts that hit behind the knee--because I have to be honest here--longer doesn't always mean more flattering--and you could end up looking frumpy.  If you are more comfortable in longer styles, make sure your top is flattering, a flowing blouse or tee--and cute flats.  I am not a fan of those tight denim knee length shorts--I think they look good on no one.  I will make an exception with the Hudson Jeans Viceroy Stretch Shorts--(in white), these have an incredibly flattering fit and looks awesome dressed up with a wedge.  Or you can always roll the legs a couple of times for a more casual look with your favorite flip flops.  And watch the pleats, sister.  My leather shorts have pleats but they don't make me look like I am ten feet wide, they just make the fabric (or in this case, leather) lay right.
My favorite look in shorts this season--a white short with a floral top, cuffed paperbag styles, leather shorts with a sequin tee and a classic camel colored short with a funky sweater.  The deal breaker on taking shorts from basic casual wear to chic outfit?  The shoes. Come on, show us your gams girl!

Friday, May 6, 2011

breakfast at tiffany's

Today is my 16th wedding anniversary.  For many years, my husband would give me a card each year and inside would be an illustration of a little wrapped gift with the words "little blue box" written underneath it.  It was a little promise of a gift just around the corner, and I was ok with it.  Until I wasn't.  I finally had to put my foot down and tell him I didn't want any more fancy illustrations--and I was fine without the little blue box ever coming...just stop saying it might be.
Let me make something clear about my spouse, he is a lovely and generous man.  And the thing is, I think he always meant each year, after the bonus came or we finished the remodel, or he got a minute or whatever, that he would bust a move to Tiffany's, find me a treasure, and he could check the box, so to speak. And on Valentine's Day one year it did actually happen, so I am not complaining, merely story telling.  Again, this kind and thoughtful guy loves me and I know this and I certainly don't need a blue box to prove it but after awhile it was annoying, then it turned into funny, and now its a thing to tease about, and I really stopped ever thinking about it.  After all, I know how lucky I am to have his love, and that is not something that fits inside a damn box.
So this morning when an actual real live little blue Tiffany's box showed up at the breakfast table it was a bit of a surprise, and a sweet one at that.  I am not going to tell you what was inside, but lets just say it was amazing and wonderful and fit me perfectly, just like him.  Happy Anniversary.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

my mother, myself

Yes, that is me in the photo.  I was a first grader at a Catholic grade school and had just had my first "driving accident".  I got a little too fancy with my bike riding and ended up hitting a crack in the sidewalk that sent me over the top of the handlebars --where I promptly did a face plant onto the cement.  That resulted in a bloody nose and two black eyes.  I still remember doing almost all of it, including my favorite little yellow & white checkered summer blouse I was wearing that was covered in blood, and the fact that I was only worried about if I was going to have to go to bed early.  I also remember my Mom reassuring me as she cleaned my wounds and my trashed top in the bathroom that, "Little girls who have black eyes get to stay up as late as they want!"  Well, that worked for me.  Phew. I am certain that the memories of that day are correct, trust me, my memory is a great one. I am the person in the room that will remember what you were wearing when you told me something at a party that in 10 years you won't even recall you attended.  It is a bit of a blessing and a curse, really.
That little snapshot of a moment in my young life started me thinking about Mother's Day and about mothering.  At that point, my parents had four kids under the age of nine.  Yikes.  I am crazy busy with just two of my own little people.
We all know that being a Mom (and a Dad) is hard work.  It is not for the faint of heart.  My daughter bounces back and forth between wanting to being a little girl and growing into her own person.  My son is still a Mama's boy in the best sense of the word.  Right now they need me, for shoelace tying and homework, but I know that not too far down the road they will want to spend more time with their friends than with me, that I will be needed less for shoelaces and more for growing pains.  I remember when they were very tiny, my friends and I used to say that just when we had one of their "stages" figured out, they started a new one.  I think that may be a recurring theme of parenting.
I am certain I probably scared the hell out of my Mom that May evening when I bounced off the sidewalk in dramatic style, but my Mom's kindness, love and reassurance always made it all ok, no matter what.  I remember what her hugs felt like when I was small, how soft her skin was, how her presence always made everything good again.
I worry every day of my life that I will do the right thing for my children, that I will be the best mother I can be.  Some days I may fail to reach my own high benchmark, other days I look at their sleeping faces and know that they are safe, happy, mine.  Happy Mother's Day to you, Mom.  You are in my heart always.  love, your daughter

Saturday, April 30, 2011

pop of color

On a recent spin through the shops downtown while I was running errands, I saw lots of neutrals, white and grey, and at this point in the spring--I am feeling a bit desperate for color.  I was told summer had not been put out yet in many of the stores--and I know it is almost May, so lets get to it people.  If I want grey or neutral, I can get that by looking outside at our lousy weather, so I think its time to get that pop of color and raise some spirits a bit.
While I have always been a bit cautious with the neon in the past, after all, I did the eighties already--now I am feeling bolder.  Its one of those things that for me, a little goes a long way, my JCrew neon pink v-neck shirt layered under a sweater or shirt gives my outfit the cool punch it needs right now.  The color also seems to give my skin a bit of a sunkissed glow, that bright color seems to brighten me as well.  Perfect.  JCrew has flip flops, bags, and layering pieces with bits of neon that are fresh looking and say spring in the perfect non ladylike way. :)
If you not a pink girl, another great neon bright is orange, and I think its a color that everyone can wear, its just a matter of tweeking the tone a bit.  Halston Heritage, the darling of my favorite fashionista, Sarah Jessica Parker, has a beautiful Off Shoulder Cocktail Dress that is the perfect summer party frock.  And Kate Spade usually comes out with a neon punch to her ladylike bags and clutches every spring, so look for those now in the department stores carrying that label.
You don't need to attend a rave to rock the neon look, its perfect for daytime to modernize your wardrobe -- even a pair of ballet flats with a twist, like Mui Mui's Flourescent Patent Ballerinas  can make you stand out in the crowd.  Speaking of standing out in a crowd, not long ago I spotted a woman in Soho sporting a neon yellow trench that knocked my socks off.  Not everyone can wear that wow of a statement piece of neon, but her confidence as she walked briskly across the cobblestone street told me she sure could.  Love it.
Pink, green, orange, yellow--pick one item in your favorite color --pair it with black & white, denim, grey or neuatral, and make it neon bright.  And don't forget to channel that Soho woman's confidence when you do, because confidence is always the best pop of color.