Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Countdown: What To Wear & Last Minute Gifts

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Christmas is a week away and the next seven days are proving to be a jam packed one for most of us, including me. One of my favorite events is the annual Nutcracker evening with the Wick girls. Gracie and I have been friends with Madi and her mom, Amy, since the girls were babies. The four of us have been attending The Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker since the girls were five years old. They are now both 16, and still as enchanted as ever with going to the ballet. I love the tradition and the fact that even as teens, they look forward to time together.  It is such a festive thing to do, please go if you can. It will really get you in the holiday spirit.


The rest of the week includes: a birthday breakfast for a dear friend, a Christmas cookie exchange party, a family outing, decorating our church for Christmas and a movie and dinner date with the Roberts girls, another lovely pair of mother/daughter friends, then Christmas Eve Mass, dinner and two neighborhood parties, with a finale of hosting Christmas dinner. I look at these events as a calendar chocked full of major fun, each needing their own outfit. :)
While some events are dressier than others, you can keep yourself looking festive and reduce stress if you plan ahead just a little. Wear the same pieces you have in different ways throughout the week by evaluating what you own and doing your outfit planning ahead of time. Not only will it prevent you from panicking about your favorite blouse still being at the dry cleaner, you will look lovely with minimum effort.

Here are my picks and tips for a fashion plan and gift ideas for the busy week ahead!




WEAR A STATEMENT PIECE

There are a lot of fabulous faux fur sweaters and sweater coats again this season. My favorite is this Opening Ceremony Faux Fur Front Coat that I got on sale at Nordstrom. I have been wearing it with distressed denim as much as dressed up with skirts and dresses. The back is sweater material, making it unique and versatile. I also love the British brand Shrimps, which make really cool coats that are really fun to wear. They can be pricey, but you can catch them on sale and remember they will last forever. Nordstrom and Shopbop carry them as well. Last year I found a great blue faux fur one at Zara, and this year they have quite a few. My favorites this year include a Shrimps inspired one, a leopard one, and a cape with a faux fur collar that prove to be just as fabulous. The best thing about these cozy pieces? They are super versatile and make the outfit. Boom, done. Don't have a big faux fur coat? Find a favorite piece from your closet, like that sparkling top you keep meaning to wear or those velvet pants and get them in the mix for the week. Day or night, wear what you love and you will feel as great as you look.



BOOTIE CALL

No, not that kind of bootie call, silly. This is a fashion blog! The kind that makes gives your look a super chic appeal and keeps those toes warm and toasty. These Alexander Wang Kenze oxblood suede boots have a cool block heel and silver buckle detail that make them stand out from basic black. Booties not only look good with denim, they can give your dress or skirt a major edge. If you don't have booties yet, get on it, girl. These shoes are the workhorses of any closet, and come in a million heel types. From high heels to flats and everything in between, the bootie is here to stay.




WEAR A SKIRT

I love wearing a dress, but my collection of skirts are my go-tos for getting ready and looking instantly chic. A skirt is universally flattering and can change personalities almost as quickly as a teenage girl. ;) This anthropologie glinted sweater fringe Cecilia Prado skirt was a find from last year as well, but this year the company has another beautiful collection of fringed skirts here. The cozy sweater style is perfectly on point for the season and into the winter months ahead. I added sweater tights because it was a chilly day, but you could certainly do an over the knee sock for an edgier look.




ACCESSORY ESSEMBLY

Having your details in order is key. Locate that velvet handbag or pair of vintage bracelets prior to heading out to the next event. I am a list maker,  and I also hate tearing apart my closet looking for a last minute item. Since you have planned your looks for the next few days, (right?), get your details together as well. Plan your accessories ahead of time, tuck the jewelry inside that handbag you want to carry, and you will have it all in one place. It is so worth the time to put it all together ahead, then you will be ready to go quickly rather then causing chaos in your closet last minute. I have always been a big fan of J. Crew jewelry and have worn these Petal Cluster Drop Earrings (featured above) a lot this season. They look as good dressed up as they do with my favorite gray cashmere sweater and denim, so they are the perfect accessory. The Bouquet Drop Pair are equally as stunning and I got a ton of compliments on them. And a bonus: they are lightweight! 

STILL NEED A GIFT OR TWO? 




With the busy week ahead, it is important to have some gifts ready ahead of time for last minute stocking stuffers and hostess gifts. Last post I chatted about Rosanna and how much I love their beautiful home accessories gorgeous glassware and cool decor pieces. I ended up making another trip back to the Rosanna Warehouse Store to purchase a few more gifts, including this coffee commuter. I also fell in love with these gorgeous Jazz Age Flutes, which I ended up buying for a friend and myself! The outlet store is open M-F from 9 am to 4 pm, and remember it is next to their actual warehouse, so wear a warm coat. It is so worth the trip. If you order online you can get 10% off using the code LASTMINUTE10 at checkout, and all shipping has been upgraded to 3-day Express, with free shipping on orders over $50. 
Aesop Gift Package

Over in Madrona, the store Hammer and Awl has a perfect selection of curated things for men. I found a cool engraved money clip, a unique tie and a perfect pocket square to round out my last minute gifts. Also, I am completely obsessed with these Winkylux lip glosses from Queen Anne Dispatch. I like adding them to the top of a package because of their beautiful floral packaging, and I love them so much that I have been back three times to buy more of them. The Aesop store in Fremont, located where Starbucks used to be, has fabulous gift sets that are beautifully packaged as wells. This line is stellar--you and your gift recipient will be hooked. Check it out here. 

Winkylux available at Queen Anne Dispatch

Have you had a memorable trip or family event this past year? I went online and made a custom book from iPhoto of our trip to Europe last summer as a gift for my family and it arrived in three days. It was a perfect way to gather up all my photos sitting on the computer and turn it into a book that we can all look at again and again. And speaking of books, I always give books from Queen Anne Book Company every year. The staff is lovely and they gift wrap. It is what shopping small and local is all about. There is just something so personal and lovely about giving an actual book. 

Finally, I wanted to say thank you to my friend and photographer Krissi. We have spent the past year and a half on an adventure that has been amazing. We are both busy mothers, trying our best to keep our personal passions in sync while loving and caring for our families. Krissi is a tireless giver, the kind of person that always thinks of others before herself. She is also an incredibly talented photographer who has a keen eye and endless creativity. I am so lucky that I get to work with her, I am incredibly grateful for all her time and talent. The greatest gift of all really is friendship and I am lucky to have hers. 

Happiest of holidays to everyone and Merry Christmas from my house to yours. xx













Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Making The Season Merry & Bright: Good Gifting






Photo by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Gift shopping is really one of my favorite things. Granted, if I get my 84 year old Dad's name for Christmas (we trade names on my side of the family for Christmas) it is a bit more challenging than finding something for my friend Kacy. But when it comes to hostess gifts, gift exchanges and thank you gifts it is always fun to do something creative to say "happy holidays". Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate the holiday season and say thank you in a lovely and festive way.
Chez Elle Tray Champagne S'Il Vous Plait . Image courtesy of Rosanna Inc.

Last week I was invited down to Rosanna Inc. and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. I have been buying things from Rosanna since I first moved to Seattle in the late 1980s, and I still have a big beautiful pasta bowl that I cherish and use weekly. It is time for me to gather gifts for a holiday gift exchange, hostess gifts and of course treasures for friends, so I couldn't wait to see the latest at Rosanna. And I didn't leave empty handed. 

Rosanna Bowles, the founder and President of Rosanna Inc, began her company out of her Seattle home in 1982. Bowles' life long passion for beautiful tableware and objects for the home and her hands on approach as art director make her company stand apart. The company flourishes with gorgeous unique pieces that are the perfect combination of form and function. 
Chic Happens Commuter Mug. Image courtesy of Rosanna Inc.

I was so taken with the chic and stylish appeal to everything, even the things that had a playful side, like the "Chic Happens" commuter mug that I am told is one of their most popular and blogged about pieces. If you want to get personal with this cool coffee holder, you can find brightly colored Hanky Panky undies rolled up and tied with a ribbon at Queen Anne Dispatch. Just tuck a pair or two inside the mug for a cheeky little surprise. I also like giving favorite beauty products to play off the word "chic" and usually am gifting these Chanel Glossimers this time of year. So much more fun than tea, but you could do that as well if you know your audience. ;)

Good Cheer Merry Santa Mugs. Photo by Lisa Cole

There is such an array of stunning glassware, beautiful platters, cool bags, and chic home decor that I was in heaven. Rosanna has come a long way since I first bought my cherished pasta bowl. The special occasion pieces for weddings, girlfriends and holidays are fabulous, and all of these lovely things come in equally lovely gift boxes. Even better. The Good Cheer Merry Santa Mugs come individually in their own printed boxes and I plan on filling them with a gift card and of course a handful of sweet chocolate. Give these gifts early so that the receiver can enjoy using the holiday mug all season long.

The Fa La La Dish is equally fun and perfect for a hostess gift, and comes in a beautiful box as well. Instead of fighting the clear cellophane on a roll, head down to Packaging Specialties (a block from Rosanna Inc.'s outlet store by the way) to stock up on all your gifting needs. The place is out of this world packaging heaven. At PS you will find clear cellane bags in all sizes, making it easy to pop your Rosanna gift box inside a clear bag along for extra flair and add a beautiful scented soap or Christmas candies to go with the Fa La La Dish. 

Sole Society Shoulder Duster Earrings. Photo by Kirsten Beeksma Morse
The Chez Elle Tray Champagne S'Il Vous Plait would be a perfect match with Le Reve Bakery macaroons or other French treats your hostess can pop on the tray. Or add a wrapped piece of jewelry to show the receiver of your gift that the tray would be perfect to hold jewels on a dresser or night stand. These Sole Society Shoulder Duster Earrings would be a gorgeous addition to the chic tray, plus you can buy a pair for yourself to wear to the next holiday party since they are now 40% off at Nordstrom!

Fa La La Pieces. Image courtesy of Rosanna Inc.


I loved the Rosanna Fa La La wine bag and put a bottle of my favorite pink bubbly, Antech Emotion Cremant de Limoux Rose to gift, which I always buy from Ken's Market on Queen Anne or from Pete's Market near Eastlake. Champagne is my favorite thing to drink this time of year, and róse champagne is just that much more special. Add a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds to your champange flute and watch the seeds go up and down in the glass with the champagne bubbles. Delicious, fun and good for you too! 

Rosanna Ladies Choice Collection Gusset Tote. Photo by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

What do I love to wear when shopping for gifts? Well, I hate being cold so the warmest coat I own is key. I bought the Trina Turk "Scarlet" mohair coat pictured at the top last year at Nordstrom and it is the coziest and chicest coat I own. It looks good with party clothes and it can fit thick layers inside because it has a generous cut. And speaking of layers, this Endless Rose Exaggerated Sleeve Sweater from Revolve Clothing is the perfect update to my gray sweater collection. It looks and feels way more expensive than it's $83 price tag, plus I don't have any guilt about adding a fresh new style. The cropped body and layered sleeves make it a really beautiful piece.

Topshop Floral Jamie Jeans and Fa La La Wine Bag
Photo by Kirsten Beeksma Morse


I am really a FRAME denim girl and wear a lot of cropped flare jeans. On our recent trip to New York City, however, I was on a mission to find an embroidered pair of denim. While perusing Topshop on 5th Avenue with my daughter I spotted these Floral Jamie Jeans with a high waisted fit, and they have become my new favorites. The fit like a glove and are super comfy and show off my Valentino Rockstuds on warmer days, or fit perfectly into boots. I highly recommend them. May be getting the black pair too...

Rosanna Ladies Choice Collection Gusset Tote. Photo by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Whether you need hostess gifts for parties or want to say thank you to that awesome delivery person or hairdresser, or perhaps a merry wish for a neighbor, making the effort with a special gesture is always worth it. Have the happiest of holidays this season! 

*This post was not sponsored and all the opinions are my own. Cheers! 












Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Be There: The Queen Anne Dispatch Friends & Family Event is November 11th



Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Back when my husband and I were first married, we decided to throw our first party, a Valentine's Day themed affair. On Thursday of each week we taste tested a different label of champagne to figure out what we liked best. Even after the party was done, we continued our tradition of "Champagne Thursday". Happily, it continues to be "our thing" some 20+ years later. My older brother even wrote it into his movie, "Failure to Launch", where the characters played by Sarah Jessica Parker and Zoe Deschanel had their own Champagne Thursday! And I once found the saying on a birthday greeting card. All this had been very fun to see, but it originates with David and I. 



After what has been a very rough week for most of us, it is time to focus on the positive. Community, family and friends are important to all of us, and we have it right here on Queen Anne Hill. I love that everywhere I walk I see someone I know, that we share keys with our next door neighbors to help each other out, that I know I have friends a stones throw away. Whether you live here or elsewhere, now is a really good time to reach out to the people around you and find community wherever you live.




Queen Anne Mail and Dispatch has been part of the community since 1987, when it was founded by Jan Paolini. Inside a former grocery store, the business began as a personal mailbox and shipping place and has gone on to be the hub of community on Queen Anne Hill. Jan's daughters, Tara and Sabrina, have grown the business to include gifts, beautiful clothing and shoes, accessories, outdoor gear, things for baby....the list goes on and on. While still a full general and specialty shipping business, as well as personal mailbox and packaging supplies, they go beyond the ordinary. Tara has helped me figure out how to ship something I sold on Ebay, and Sabrina's fashionable eye has lead me to the perfect birthday gift. Those girls have got it going on, and so does their store.



I, for one, could use a good reason to pop a cork of bubbly and feel a sense of community surround me. Luckily for me, and for you, the annual Queen Anne Dispatch Friends and Family Event is on Friday, November 11th. The 20% storewide discount is good all day, but swing by after work or school from 6-9 pm to listen to music, catch up with friends, have a cocktail and a bite. I'll be there getting a jump on my holiday list, because it is where I always go to find things like hostess gifts and laugh out loud cards for all occasions, not to mention fabulous fashion.




And speaking of fashion, this is the perfect time to be thinking about holiday attire as well as gifts. I am a big fan of the tulle skirt, but because most of them go out in a puff of fabric, they aren't that flattering on my curvy frame. This O2 Collection skirt is the perfect tulle skirt. It is layered in beautiful ombré tulle that cascade down and not out, making it work beautifully. We layered it with a super soft cream knit mock turtleneck tank, and a gorgeous cashmere wrap cardigan sweater, all from Queen Anne Dispatch. The cashmere cardigan is a cocoon shape, but I wrapped and tied the front in a ballet sweater fashion. I also grabbed a pair of my own sparkling heels and a leather fur trimmed jacket to show how versatile this beautiful skirt can be with so many things you may own already. As for the pink bubbles, you can find a fabulous selection of those at Ken's Market, right around the corner at 2400 6th Avenue West. Love the Hill. 

Join Queen Anne Dispatch for the perfect end to a long week: friends and fashion, discounted shopping, music, drinks and so much more. See you there, friends. 

Queen Anne Dispatch Friends & Family Event 
Friday, November 11, 2016, all day discounts, festivities are 6-9 pm. 
2212 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fashion, Politics, and My Fifties


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

I have been writing my blog since 2008 now, and have been working as the fashion and style writer for Vanguard Seattle for over three years as well.  Time really does fly when you are having fun, and I am certainly having that. My writing style has evolved right along with my personal style and I have learned an unbelievable amount in the past few years. Learning about local based designers, international design houses, trends, the progression of style and processes of creativity continue to shape me as a writer and as a person.

I love being a style writer. Ever since Editors Sarah Caples and Trenton Flock hired me to write for Vanguard I have felt grateful to do what I love. It has been amazing to find work that feeds my soul. It has been important for me to show our two kids how it matters to do what you love and to find the things in life that make you, well, YOU. It is a continually process that I embrace.



I also have the distinction of being the oldest style writer in the greater Seattle area. Being in my mid-fifties is absolutely freeing, frankly, and most of the time I love it. Being older gives me more freedom to be myself. I have no angst about who I am as a person, and that in itself is worth a few wrinkles. Do I wish I had smoother skin or were a little less in need of a good filter for a decent Instagram photo? Sure. But I also know myself so well by now that I know I will never stop learning or changing. I feel lucky.



Being older also has given me perspective, although things can sometimes get skewed a bit. Working in my home office is really amazing. The space is beautiful and peaceful. But it can also be isolating being a freelancer. Not that I get to avoid the office politics, they just aren’t in an office anymore. They are at the trunk shows and the runway shows and the parties. The Instagram feeds and the Facebook posts can get at me sometimes even if I know that they have only one foot in reality. That’s when I walk my dog or call my Dad.

I love taking my almost 16 year old daughter to fashion events when I can and she loves going. Since she is just a visitor to my work world and she is young, she also has that uncanny ability to see all the cliques and the small snubs that happen from time to time.  People are people and they do these things, even when they are grown ups. It was disappointing to have her watch, yet the people I really want to spend my time with are part of an organic process that works itself out. Through what I do I have met so many generous, amazing people whom I admire and love. Kindness is always cool.



And speaking of cool, I spotted this beret at Scotch and Soda and was smitten with its fabulous brooches attached. I love a good hat, but it has been awhile since I have done the beret. Since navy and black are super chic, it was the perfect choice to add to my wardrobe. My Isabel Marant Étoile booties are the perfect year round shoe. They look good with my leather pants but will be great with white jeans or a dress in the warmer months. This pair is sold out but the Isabel Marant Étoile Dicker Suede Ankle Boot would be fantastic for any month of the year.



I thought it would be fitting to wear my Marc by Marc Jacobs coat with my Hillary shirt that was also designed by Marc Jacobs himself. I wore it with my Clare V. x Vogue clutch made especially for members of Vogue VIP. As I am a major fan of Clare V, it was worth it just for the gift of this cool navy suede and gold clutch to become a member. But there are other perks like special discounts, custom stationary, live chats with Vogue editors and more. Check out all the details for Vogue VIP here. 

Have a safe and happy week my friends, and do what you do best: be your lovely self. xx


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Made For Each Other: The Pantsuit

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Originally I had set out to write about how shoes can change an outfit, but during the course of getting my look together for the photoshoot I found myself trying to create a pantsuit to go with my footwear choices. I realized that I could make my own pantsuits out of all the different pieces I already owned, with inspiration from what I have seen on the runway and in stores.
Yes, the pantsuit is back, so make it your own.

Cristian Siriano Pantsuit from his Fall 2016 Collection

The word "pantsuit", at least for me, used to conjure up images of Hillary Clinton, bankers: all business, with not much style. For the season of Fall/Winter 2016-17, designers such as Michael Kors, Cristian Sirano, Tibi, and Gucci reimagined the pantsuit into a chic creature that is stunning at work and can take you from your desk to cocktails without missing a beat. It is one of the most wearable trends for this fall and with all the combinations of plaids, florals and mixing and matching of color combinations, you can really get creative in how you put together your own look.


Edie Blair of Atlantic Pacific in the Theory Treeca K Pants
Image courtesy of Nordstrom
I bought the Theory Treeca K Check Plaid Knit Cropped Pant at the Nordstrom sale this year and found that they are perfect with a printed t-shirt and sneakers or can be worn with a cool metallic loafer and jacket, as seen above on Edie Blair of the blog Atlantic-Pacific for Nordstrom. They are also fantastic with a gray blazer to make a mismatched pantsuit. The cropped pant allows you to show off your shoes, so make them count. I like a flat for daytime that has got serious style, and then i like to wear a sassy heel or chunky bootie if I am hitting the town.



My Le Crop Mini Boot Denim by Frame look dressy when you pair them with a cool blazer to create your own pantsuit type of look. Wearing black pants with a black jacket create a unique pantsuit from two completely different pieces. My Veronica Beard moto jacket paired with the cropped flare black denim makes the perfect modern pantsuit with a bit of a rock and roll vibe.

Fendi Decollete Vitello Spazzalato Heeled Loafer

J.Crew Collection Elsie Jeweled Fabric Heels

For a daytime look, the Fendi Decollete Vitello Spazzolato heeled loafer is rocking the embellished heel that is so on trend this season. They are all business in the front and party in the back....
For evening, J.Crew always gets it right with their beautiful Collection heels. My pair of Elsie Jeweled Heels with their printed feather silk fabric and jewels really lend an elegance to any look. I wore my DVF pinstriped silk blouse underneath for a bit of work attire glam. Mine is sold out, but the DVF Alvanna Bow Blouse is a gorgeous piece as well, and is especially perfect with the updated bow detail.

J. Crew Collection Drake's Pajama Top and Matching Pants
I tend to go big or go home with a trend so when I saw this J.Crew Collection Drake's for J.Crew Pajama Top and matching pants in the awesome Midnight Unicorn print I was smitten. I love it styled with the stripe underneath that take it away from the loungewear look to an original take on the pantsuit. Imagine wearing this out to a holiday party with a killer pair of heels and some blingy earrings. You will not only be the coolest girl in the room, you will be the most comfortable.



Whether you wear matching pieces or create your own unique pantsuit, accessories matter. This Louis Vuitton belt was created by Kristin Lear by repurposing old Louis Vuitton luggage and creating belt buckles that she attaches to all sorts of awesome belts. Mine is on a black suede belt that I wear constantly, and the buckle looks cool with the classic "half tuck" of my blouse. You can buy these original LV belts, cuffs and other pieces at Canopy Blue. 




I bought my Longchamp Pliage Tour - Eiffel bag while I was in Paris this summer and it is an awesome workbag. I can fill it to the brim, toss it in my car without a thought, even stash an extra pair of heels and a clutch in it for a night out. It is a workhorse bag with killer style and I love that it folds up neatly into a tiny square when not in use. We bought my teenage daughter the small backpack and it is also a great go-to bag she has used constantly. Check out all the great Longchamp here. 

We had a lot of fun at our photoshoot last week, and it concluded with a big fuzzy photobomber who had been patiently watching our shoot waiting to give me a big kiss. I am talking about the dog of course.
Have a great week! xx


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Thrill of The Hunt: Designer Consignment


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

For the past five years I have been working for a friend's designer consignment business in addition to writing fashion for Vanguard Seattle and my own blog here. And I love it all. Writing about fashion and style on a weekly basis has been a true education in not only becoming a better writer, but in teaching me so much about the history of fashion, local designers, and so much more. I love it.

I started out as a customer of MB Finds Designer Consignment trunk shows and eventually it turned into a part time job. While sharing a passion for truly beautiful clothing, Mary Bridget Pehl and I also are good friends. She has a long history in the world of designer clothing, including working at Nordstrom, and her depth of knowledge is really impressive. She knows collections by years, designers and their particular dynamics and details of fit and styles. She is amazing.



The best part for me has been the exposure to brands and designers that I would not normally be able to own, or that I have not had a chance to learn about. Getting a customer's consignment pieces feels a little like Christmas when it arrives. Designer consignment has changed my closet and the knowledge I have gained has spilled over into my writing as I learn more and more about the beauty and artistry of so many amazing brands. I have said before that designer consignment is the secret not-so-secret of the well dressed woman, and those that don't shop it or understand it's value truly baffle me. Adding a coveted designer piece (at a lovely discounted price) gives your closet new life, and who doesn't love that?

The most important thing about bringing new pieces into your own closet is knowing your closet well. You don't know what you need if you aren't sure what you have. It is very easy to keep buying new versions of the same thing when you don't even know what is in there, so I encourage you to grab an honest friend and a bottle of wine and get cleaning. After you have your closet cleaned out, organize things by color. Trust me, this is crucial. You many have your own designer pieces that for whatever reason must find a new home. If not everything is worthy of a higher end consignment shop, check out Buffalo Exchange before you donate your items. It is a great place to pass on items and get cash (or credit) on the spot. Then you will be in possession of "free money" you can use to update your closet with a new item or two. Winning!



I bought this gorgeous Isabel Marant Etoile sweater coat from MB's Finds this fall because it is the perfect addition to my fall closet. It can be a sweater or a jacket over lighter layers, in this case a lighter sweater and my favorite Hermès scarf. The green gray tones work really well with denim and it is super soft and cozy. Chunky knits are always big each fall so this is a piece that will never go out of style. I knew after cleaning out my closet recently that my sweaters needed a refresh, so getting rid of a few I no longer wore made room for this beautiful one.


Back to my closet. I am such a big fan of the cropped flare denim that is huge right now for so many reasons. It is practically all I wear right now. This pair of rag & bone Cropped Flare in the color Paz is one of my favorites and I love them with cool booties that are the of-the-moment shoe to have. I also love all the fringing on denim. I attended the opening fall trunk show at Sell Your Sole Consignment in the Belltown neighborhood last month and found a pair of 3x1 Fringe Jeans in the Stella wash with the tags on in my size! The thrill of the hunt.....

While hosting a shopping event at Joie in University Village last week, I bought this gorgeous pair of green suede Joie Cloee Booties. They are such a cool color that will go so well with all the my fall and winter neutrals, and the deep green is way more fun than basic black or brown. And did I mention they look fabulous with my latest consignment find? ;)

This is a quintessential weekday look for me, and I am really happy to add this gorgeous knit to my closet at a fraction of it's original price tag. Incidentally, I found this Alexander Wang Rocco bag at a consignment shop while on vacation in Arizona a couple of years ago. It pays to look around wherever you go. I will definitely be on the look out next month while in NYC! 

Get your closet ready for fall with a closet refresh and check out MB Finds Facebook page for information on her trunk show coming this week! Happy hunting!





Thursday, October 13, 2016

Rain or Shine: Feller Seattle Outerwear


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse


Coat season is upon us, which suits me perfectly since I have more than a little obsession with outerwear. While I have myself covered, literally, for almost every kind of weather, I have never really found a raincoat that I loved. Until now.

Feller Brand is a Seattle based company began by Wendy Feller, who has a long and successful history in the business of fashion. Feller, a New York native, first began her career in 1986 with the sweater line "Wendy Feller Knitwear". The collection was quickly picked up by Henri Bendel which inspired her to continue knitting and designing patterns. The distinctive sweaters sold to over five hundred boutiques in addition to prestigious department stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue.



Wendy Feller's latest venture is an outerwear collection inspired by the ever changing weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Launched in January 2016, Feller coats are designed to be the perfect combination of form and function. Made from traditional British waxed cotton, the coats have a ton of great features. First, there is a hood, which is huge. It is amazing how many outerwear pieces do not feature a hood, and I love that the Feller hoods also zip off. The interiors are lined with colored cotton and when the weather turns colder there is an interior zipper to add an additional Feller wool vest liner you can purchase separately. The big roomy pockets rock, and there is also interior pocket to keep your phone safe and dry as you dash about in the weather.


Feller Queen Anne Trench in brown tartan
I am wearing the Feller Queen Anne Trench in brown tartan and it was the perfect length with the sweater dress I had on. The rest of the collection includes the City Pocket Jacket and the Seattle Parka. All three designs come in three different color schemes and are made to add liners added to them if you choose to buy this additional piece. We were down at Green Lake for our photo shoot on a drizzly and chilly morning last week and this coat was so perfect. It was so chic that it really stood out amongst the puffy coats at the lake. Feller has the "looking cool while being warm" down perfectly.

Wendy Feller tells me she was inspired after not being able to find a raincoat that she could wear every day and into the evening. She wanted to wear something with a hip vibe that had a print and realized there was a hole in the market, and so it began. She worked on the designs for a year before launching them at Wear Wednesdays at the W Hotel in Seattle in January. And there is more to look forward to from this talented designer. You can pre-order her Spring 2017, which includes some new silhouettes like this super cool cape.




And finally, a word about boots. This fall the look seems to be clearly either a bootie or an over the knee style and not really much in between. Of course as my friend Tamara and I were discussing, the classic riding boot style will always be around, but the boot scene is definitely one of highs and lows these days.

I love these Stuart Weitzman 50/50 City Boot in Slate. I have them in navy too and with their over the knee style and gorgeous suede and stretch combo they are my go-to boots all fall and winter. I consider them a worthy investment. Booties are huge too, and with good reason...they come in every kind of style imaginable from tall sexy heels to on trend chunky ones. You definitely need them with all the great cropped flares, dresses and other fall silhouettes.



You can see the entire Feller collection online at www.feller.clothing, and Feller is also available in Seattle at Mercer, Anthropologie (online and in stores), Jack Jerome, Clementines, and at Oxalis in Portland, Oregon. Stay dry out there!










Monday, October 3, 2016

Be Original: Three Favorite Fall Trends


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

I am always attracted to pieces that have originality and can be worn in a creative way. I don't mind standing out in a crowd, in fact I love it. There is a freshness to the fashion this fall that I have not seen in awhile, and I am feeling really inspired to try new things.  I can't get enough of the flared, cropped, raw hem and washes of the denim. The shoes are full of uber personality, and bombers are in abundance, from silk to embroidered or cropped. Here are three favorite trends of mine to try right now. 

THE NEW DENIM

Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans (or two) that your reach for again and again on denim days. I have enthusiastically embraced the fringed denim styles this past year and love my pair of 7 For All Mankind Raw Hem Ankle Skinny jeans. They have that perfect higher waist and skinnier leg that is super flattering. I might equally love my FRAME Le Cropped Mini Boot Jeans with their perfect little flare leg. This is on trend denim style is at the top of my list of great denim styles and goes so well with all the groovy flats and booties for fall. I wear both these trends often, so when I sent my pair of 7's off to be hand dipped in paint, well, you know I must have really been intrigued by MARZdenim. 

MARZdenim is the brainchild of Marion Zaniello. As I mentioned in my previous post about this company, during a vacation in Mexico, Zaniello was inspired by the white painted trunks of the palm trees all around the resort. When she returned home, she altering the fit of an old pair of jeans and dipped the hems in old house paint. And so MARZdenim was born. 



These one-of-a-kind recycled jeans are altered for a more current fit and look, then hand dipped in paint. Each pair is slightly different from the next, with a range of styles and paint dips. You can choose white, navy or green paint and a style of either a perfect line edge or an uneven look, as I chose for mine. You can buy a pair from MARZdenim here, or you can have your own favorites dipped, as I did. They also come with custom embroidery on the back: I had them but my initials on the back pocket. They are one of my favorite jeans, only all that much cooler now. 




FABULOUS FLATS

My new paint dipped 7 jeans look really pretty with a pair of chunky on trend heels, but the Marni leopard and gold flats make a gorgeous statement that stands up to the intense look of the denim. Here is the latest version of this fabulous flat from Marni, minus the leopard but still perfect Marni magic. From lace up ballet flats to studs and metallics, flats this season are full of personality and are a great way to show some original style of your own. Go for a pair that can dress up denim or give a work outfit some personal flair. 



BOMBER JACKETS

I attended Front Row Fashion by Vogue last weekend at Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection, where fall trends were presented, and bombers made a major appearance. The evening's host, Vogue's Cara Crowley, stated at the beginning of the runway show that a bomber jacket was the number one thing to have for fall. I haven't been shy about my love for this trend, as noted in my post here. But during a spin through Zara recently this bomber jacket stopped me in my tracks. The cropped silhouette was really cool and I love the belt feature, but the clincher was the zipper that runs down the back of the jacket. This little piece looks really great over my long Isabel Marant blouse and it was stunning over a long black dress too. It is a great alternative to a blazer. A really versatile little jacket that is the bomb. :) 






Get out there and try some fun new trends this fall, and enjoy this beautiful autumn weather. Cheers! xx