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 Herm├Ęs 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. 


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. 


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. 


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