Saturday, February 26, 2011

hats off to you

Not since Monica Lewinsky's infamous red beret have hats been getting so much attention!  And it seems you are either a wearer of hats or you aren't, but hopefully I can convince you to become one with all the fab choices out there. Hats are perfect for both hiding or drawing a bit of attention, whatever your bag is, and they have many functions: they can hide a bad hair day (baseball hats), tell the world what you do for a living (a chef's toque) or where you are from (as in cowboy hat).  Covering your head can be both functional and an essential part of your ensemble.  I am a lover of hats on occasion, but not one of those people that always wears one, thus avoiding bordering on "quirky".  I'll take risk-taker over quirky, thanks very much.
If you haven't discovered ASOS, the British shopping site that has over 40,0000 designer labels, including their own, including lines for women, men, plus accessories, jewelry & beauty, (not to mention free worldwide shipping)--get yourself online right now and check it out.  I am in love with my ASOS Wide Brim Fedora in a lovely camel felt with a black band.  Cool and chic and great with both a feminine blouse or a military style jacket.  And being a girl from Montana, the cowboy hat is always going to be one of my favorites.
Slouchy knit beanies are a cute right now look, and I have to admit I do have a rabbit fur trapper hat that is so cozy and fun--I bought it last year during a ski trip and have worn it often this winter as well.  My friend Kacy inherited a fabulous fur cossack hat that she describes as a bit "Marge Simpson", but I think looks fantastic on her and all the more fabulous because it is vintage.
If you are in the mood for more a warm weather lid, go for a floppy 70's hat or a straw fedora of some kind.  For the past couple of years I have worn my straw trilby all summer long, with shorts, sun dresses, and my swimsuit at the pool.  So much so its time for a new one.  Grab a girlfriend and hit an accessories department to check out the latest styles first, if you are feeling a little hesitant about what looks best on you.  Being a head case was never so much fun.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

that 70's show

I disappeared into the world of auctions, illness, parenting & valentines recently......but now I am back!  While I was on a bit of a blogging hiatus I did manage to follow all the excitement of NY Fashion Week and the nonstop chatter of spring --although not in most of our worlds quite yet, we can always make things happen for our closets, right?  
I see a reoccurring theme of 70's style appearing over and over again for spring and I love it.  The actual seventies for me were considerably less glamourous then what I am viewing on Shopbop these days, but nonetheless, I think it is a really great perspective on spring.  Plus, a lot of the looks can be worn now as transitional pieces as we move from bundling up to showing a bit of skin.  
I am really loving the wide brim floppy hats, both in felt or now and straw in the spring.  While my skinny jeans are still my go to at the moment, I have been revisiting my boot cut and flared leg denim all week and had forgotten how flattering they are.  I remember when I was a little younger, we used to wear our jeans so belled that you couldn't see your feet.  You can get the look again with the Hudson Wide Leg Jean or if you prefer more of a slight flair, the 7 For All Mankind Kaylie Skinny Flare Jean has the look of a trouser and is not quite so Led Zepplin. 
The flowing floral blouses are also everywhere, along with bangles, fringed bags long chains, and of course the fabulous wedge shoes, like True Religion's Sue wedge.  Remember, even higher wedges are comfortable because of the foot support, so don't be shy.  Start now picking up a piece here and there so you will have a bit of a look put together when the temps do actually start to get above freezing.  Iit will cheer both you and your closet up.  Promise. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

maxed out

Lest you think this is a post about a shopping addiction of some kind, (which I would never admit to, for pete's sake) --its not.  Its about the major reappearance of an old favorite, the maxi.  In an earlier post I mentioned my love for the maxi skirt, in particular, the MinkPink Total Eclipse long skirt in a ombre velveteen that I ordered from one of my favorite sites, Shopbop.  It is fitted in all the right places and it's now on sale, by the way. (hurry!) I dressed it up at the holidays but have worn it with a combat style lace up bootie and layered cotton sweaters too for a more casual daytime look.
I know that the "patio dress" has been around for a couple of years but it is nice to know that if you aren't usually hanging out on said patio, you can still wear a full length skirt or dress in the day to your usual haunts without feeling like you escaped Little House on The Prairie.  I can see this trend is here to stay and is branching out with all kinds of options--originally a harder to find style-- my yellow DVF full length patio dress from two years ago still feels fresh.  Back on my MinkPink kick--the Storm Boy long skirt will take me into spring when the velveteen time has past and its funky print would be great for a night out.  You can find a maxi skirt or dress from almost everyone you can think of: Free People, James Perse, Splendid, Elizabeth and James and of course Winter Kate, where Bohemian Queen Nicole Richie does it right.
While shorter skirts and dresses still have a place in my closet (although mostly my Mini is the one I drive) some days I am definitely going to be dressed to the max.

Monday, February 7, 2011

white out

While much of the US is getting pounded with crazy winter weather, here in Seattle things are pretty mild.  The days no longer have that bitter cold feel to them, which makes Spring seem closer every day.  I am looking forward to packing away the over the knee boots I seem to have on every single day, along with my puffy coat.
I am also looking forward to brightening up my closet this spring, and by this I actually mean white.  I am not sure who decided that "winter white" (which actually means cream to me) is alright this time of year and bright white is a no no until after Easter, but toss those old fashioned ideas out the window.  Wearing white is a chic & fabulous choice all year round, as long as you have the type & weight of fabric correct for the season.
The Burberry Brit Double Breasted Trench is fabulous example of a classic white jacket that is price wise a bit of an investment, but will be something that you will wear for years to come.  (You can get it in black too if you like.)  And as long as money is no object (ha ha) the Burberry Slim Fit Cotton Pea Coat is amazing.  Back in reality, I love the Tipped Mini-Dot Trench Coat from the store with the rather odd name, White House/Black Market (what? never have gotten it).  For a weekend look, a white denim jacket thrown over a little dress or paired with your favorite jeans gives a great casual look a little panache (but no matching white denim pants--promise me!)
I am really looking forward to all the great white denim that is coming out--and man, its everywhere--so there are lots of options for whatever your style is.  Boyfriend, skinny, cargo, cropped, trouser--I love the look of white jeans, especially with spring's floral print tops, plaid shirts and funky t-shirts.  Make sue the denim is heavy enough that we don't see you or your nude colored unders please.  Love white denim.
Thirdly, a crisp white blouse is a must have for everyone's closet.  Personally, I am a big fan of the tuxedo shirt--it is sexy in a buttoned up way.  JCrew has a gorgeous one, the Thomas Mason fabric tuxedo shirt--pair it with a maxi skirt or dark denim.  A white shirt is also a great way to showcase a great jewelry piece. Just remember you must replace your white tees every year, including the layering tanks.  You may not see it, but they get tired real fast.  It doesn't matter if they are affordable JCrew or Target or a higher end James Perse...there is a point where they just don't have the same wow to them.    The one thing I will say no to in white is shoes.  Unless your getting married, are a small child, or are lucky enough to be able to pull off some funky vintage number, its not a good look.  I don't even like white tennis shoes or trainers, but that's just me.
Is white the new black?  Who cares if its February--its the perfect color for transitioning into a new season.  Check it out for yourself.

Friday, February 4, 2011

cross my heart

At Christmastime last year I had spotted the Marc by Marc Jacobs Natasha Bag on a mannequin as I walked through Barneys & passed on the info on a card to my husband--lucky for me that he actually went out and bought if for me because they quickly sold out everywhere.  I especially loved the two gold metal birds that embellished the front of the bag--it is has a great downtown feel to it and I have used it often.  Although it can be used as a crossover back with its long strap, it was always a bit heavy for me to be worn in that manner, even without the 300 hundred pounds of things I carry around for some unknown reason.  A couple of my friends bought the Marc Jacobs Pouchette bag--the same as mine but in a mini version with a single gold bird and much lighter, and I still have total bag envy.
I never made the leap to buy the smaller bag, but have been looking ever since for a cross body bag that was small enough to be comfortable, yet could fit my things that I need as I dash around.  There are a zillion out there, so narrowing down choices by color, style, and price can help.  When I spotted the Love Dove Pouchette (again, fitting for a Valentine, no?) at Neimans I fell in love with the sassy tomato color and embossed patent leather/calfskin combo.  It has a hint of Louis Vuitton to me, which is not surprising considering Marc Jacobs' work at the French design house.  I also love the pop of color against my dark coat and being hands free--a nice break from toting my giant bags everywhere.  Speaking of Valentines (again), this particular blog seems to be one to Mr. Jacobs, but with good reason--he continues to thrill me with his beautiful designs and unique take on fashion.
As for the messenger bag trend, give it a try with either a large bag so you can still carry all your gadgets with you (god forbid we not have them at all times!) or you can leave it all behind with the sleek look of a small cross body bag.  Either way, its a great way to update your day to day look.  Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

a little sparkle

I have sparkly things on my mind these days since acquiring a new piece of jewelry yesterday.  'Tis the season for jewels, being the month of February, right? This is also the time of year that my friend, jewelry designer Juliet Roger, shows her pre-Spring/Summer line of designs and today I stopped by her studio for a look.  And let me just say that it took every bit of self control I have to leave there empty handed, thank you very much.  Don't worry, I will be back next Friday, February 11th, for her trunk show and I know what's coming home with me.  Juliet told me today that summer is her favorite time of year to design for because of all the beautiful stone colors, like turquoise and coral, that make a statement and really stand out against your skin.  You can see your jewelry more and that is an opportunity to have more fun with it.
I have been collecting Juliet designs over the past seven years and without a doubt wear her bangles the most.  Her newest ones have large and small stones intermixed and have a gorgeous heavy feel to them that is pure luxury.  Of course hoops are a must have during the summer months, and so it was great to see she has also expanded her stone laden gold hoops in three sizes.  Fabulous.  I also loved all the long chains she is showing, some layered in threes, some with a large bauble anchoring them.  Several designs had a great Bohemian feel to them that is very au courant.
Want to see for yourself?  Stop by Juliet's Queen Anne studio on Friday, February 11 from 9:30 - 9:00 or Saturday, February 12 from 10-4.  Please call 206-282-3300 for address and directions.  See you there--and Happy Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

treasure hunting

Remember when consignment stores were sketchy, moth ball laden places where polyester went to die?  That was long ago, my friend, and now they are clean, and hip and filled with lovely things that still have the tags on them.  I am sure that the economy has had an impact on this latest surge in recycled clothing, but it no longer has a bad name.  Last fall my neighborhood welcomed a petite new space, My Dressing Room, (and it is about the size of one), but man, is it packed with fabulous stuff.  Louis Vuitton bags for half the retail price, Mui Mui, and Marni, lovely pieces by Chanel, and more affordable labels like Coach and Vince.  At Christmas time I brought in some of my better pieces that no longer worked for me, and ended up with a Juicy Couture butter soft leather motorcycle jacket with the tags still on it--marked down from a $800 to $300.00.   Thanks, Santa.
I mentioned in my New York blog that my friend Kacy found two fabulous dresses at a consignment store--that was one treasure hunt I was not able to go on, sadly.  NYC vintage and consignment shopping could be a whole other trip to the Big Apple.  
Back in Seattle, I have been a big fan of Le Frock on Capital Hill, where you can score vintage finds as well as current labels, keep a sharp eye out while you peruse the rounders and you can find some amazing things.  Show Pony in Fremont has a main floor of new lines and has a great collection of affordable and fabulous consignment upstairs.  My friends and I even had a little consignment party of our own once at my friend, Kari's house.  We cleaned our closets, brought bottles of wine, and put our stuff out for our girlfriends to see.  The only rule was, you were not allowed to say, "You aren't giving that away, are you?!" to anyone.  It was very fun, and we all came away with a few new things, plus had a great girls night in.  
Consignment clothing has been around a long time and for good reason.  You can make a little cash on items that get cleaned out of your own closet, plus find some beautiful pieces for a fraction of their retail value. Instead of just walking by, check out that great neighborhood store or seek out some of your city's well known vintage and consignment spots and stop by from time to time.  What I love the most about it is that it is a great way to add original, chic pieces to your wardrobe.  Love original.  Love vintage.  Remember, something someone else is ready to part with could be your next new favorite.  
Details:  My Dressing Room, 1817 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, 98109.