Monday, March 27, 2017

Time to Shine

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Today is my birthday. I am 55. I remember when my Dad turned 55, he called it being "the double nickel" which I remember finding very amusing...until I was ME that was the double nickel. Actually, I love my birthday and I always have. It may not be cool to love one's birthday but I stopped worrying about whether I was cool or not a long time ago, and besides, birthdays are a gift. They are a privilege, not a right and I am acutely aware of that with each passing year. I feel happy and loved and isn't that what birthdays are all about?

I don't have any wise words about aging, I am figuring it out as I go along. But I wouldn't trade my current self for all the perfect smooth skin in the world. One of the true joys of aging for me is with the passing of time the feelings of love, of gratitude and of happiness grow stronger. Love is a powerful thing. The pure joy of being loved and of loving all the people in my life. I am a lucky girl.

Well, you also know by now that I also love fashion. My Mom told me I was particular about my clothing and shoes since an early age so I guess the writing was on the wall a long time ago. I did, however come into my career as a style writer later in my life, and for that I am grateful. Having experiences, with fashion and with life, makes me a better writer. So let's talk about some spring fashion, shall we? After all, there is a lot to love!

I was inspired to style for this shoot after seeing the Spring Trend Show at Neiman Marcus a couple of weeks ago. Fellow style blogger Kirsty of The Kirsty Files styled a pair of 7 For All Mankind Destroyed Sequin Skinny Ankle Jeans that I fell in love with. Toss that old notion that shiny, sequins, and metallics are for evening. They are for ALL the time. A pair of denim with gorgeous sequin details is a subtle bit of luxury that looks good no matter what you are up to.

The pair that I am wearing are from Zara, and I loved the block of sequins in the front and the slouchy boyfriend style. My favorite way to wear a boyfriend jean, which has a looser fit, is with heels. What better way to show off a boyfriend than in a girly way? I paired them with my Betsey Johnson Camo Heels because mixing patterns is a modern way to show some style. Here is a similar pair. 

The show at NM also showed silky camisoles layered over fitted turtlenecks and t-shirts, a look I love! I have this great silk backed t-shirt from J.Crew that I wore backwards to show off the pretty draping of the fabric, then layered my Winter Kate cami over the top of it. Of course, you do need to wear the half tuck to show off the great pattern on my belt. Funny side note: during the shoot a passerby stopped to let me know that my top was "half tucked in the front, in case I needed to fix it".  I had to tell him I did that on purpose. Hilarious!

I am in love with this metallic jacket by Divided that I got at H&M. It is going to be as great with sundresses this summer as it is with denim. It's time to shine in the daytime.

While we shooting for this post we noticed a policewoman in her car watching us. Krissi took her son Miles over to say hello and thank her for her service to our community, which I loved that she did. The policewoman offered to let Miles to sit in her car but he was too shy, so Krissi had me hop in. What better way to kick off 55 then by hanging out in a cop car in a tiara. The best! ;)

Have a wonderful week ~ The Birthday Girl xx

“To shine your brightest light is to be who you truly are.”
― Roy T. Bennett

Friday, March 24, 2017

7 Favorites Things: Poolside Packing for Grownup Girls

I am really looking forward to our family trip to Hawaii for spring break in April, especially with the constant monsoon that is happening here in soggy Seattle. I feel lucky to get to go, and of course terrified of shopping for a swim suit. The usual.

Getting ready for a trip is both fun and challenging, but being organized is key to arriving to your destination both in style and without forgetting your undergarments. Although my teen daughter packs herself these days, most trips involve me making sure that the house, pets, mail, work, and kids are all pulled together before departure. Oh, and I have to pack myself too. Lists are essential, and so is being organized. How much happier will you be when you are poolside with that first umbrella drink if you know in fact that you made sure everyone has a swimsuit? And no one wants to buy a $10 toothbrush at the gift shop, so it pays to have your act together prior to heading to the beach.

J.Crew One Shoulder Swimsuit

From great swimwear to a festive little straw clutch, here is what I am bringing along to make certain I have a great vacation that is easy-breezy. Make that list and check it twice, people! Aloha.
Maslin & Co. Zebra Towel

1. The Masin & Co. Beach Towel 

I am so obsessed with this uber chic towel, which I know seems silly. However, what is not to love about a animal hide shaped cotton towel in a bright zebra print that comes with its own leather carrying strap? I mean, can it get any cooler than that? It was $225 but is now on sale for $97 bucks at The Outnet. It would make a great gift too!

2. Paravel Luggage

The Paravel Stowaway

Paravel is the affordable luxury bag company that will help you say goodbye to that trashed ugly black suitcase of yours. All under $350, these beautiful pieces are stain proof, waterproof, and lightweight. The cases are trimmed in Italian leather and are built to beautifully withstand the trauma of modern day travel. My favorites are the Stowaway, which collapses flat and can fit inside another piece of luggage, and the packing cubes. My entire family used packing cubes to keep ourselves organized within our suitcases during a three week trip through Europe, and it was a life saver. We continue to use them even on weekend excursions and they are the best! I would never travel without them again. 

Anthropologie Solid & Stripe Lexi One Piece

3. The Swimsuit

I have always had amazing luck with J.Crew swimwear. Since I am in mid 50s, (gah!!) I look for a chic and flattering one piece that makes me feel good. It can be a tall order, but J. Crew seems to know how to fit women's bodies. The J.Crew One Shoulder Suit in their classic red stripe is a great take on the one shoulder trend happening right now with summer tops. I also am a fan of a fabulous seersucker swimsuit because the fabric is just so summer. I am loving the red piping detail on this Tipped Seersucker Suit.  That being said, Anthropologie also carries a chic and flattering collection of one piece suits as well. The Lexi One Piece is minimalistic modern take on a classic style. 

Kayu Pineapple Clutch

4. Sunny Holiday Clutch

I love little straw clutches and one with a pineapple on it is just all that much better. This Kayu Pineapple Clutch is the perfect little bag to stash in your bigger beach bag to hold valuables, and can accompany you to cocktails when the sun begins setting. Fruit seems to be a major theme in summertime prints, so why not debut it during spring break? 

Etsy by LifeHasJustBegun Beach Hat

5. An Awesome Sun Hat

These custom beach hats are the best. You can find them in many styles, sayings and embellishments on Etsy. You can choose a custom saying, have it embroidered or spelled out in sequins, add pompoms or a colored ribbon...the sky is the limit. I chose "Aloha" from LifeHasJustBegun because I like to keep things simple but feel free to let the hat do the talking for you if you are out of the office! 

Goddis Voyager Summer Knit Poncho

6. Cool Cover Up

There are a million great way to cover up at the pool or peach, but I love the idea of a poncho best. Often you want to be covered up enough to walk to your room comfortably or go sit at the poolside restaurant and the poncho allows you to do this in style. I like the shorter sleeves of this beautiful Goddis Voyager Summer Knit Poncho in "serene sea" blues. A poncho is an easy way to show low-key elegance. 

Zara Floral Pool Slides

7. The Pool Slide

The Pool Slide is the hottest shoe around for summer, both on the street as well as at the actual pool.  Many of the high end pool slides, like Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Vince are awesome with a summer dress or pants, but perhaps not as great at the pool. I would leave the fancy slides in the hotel room for later and grab a pair of these embellished Floral Slides from Zara for the actual pool. And believe it or not I like this Kendall + Kylie pair as well. 

Rainbow Drink Floats from Urban Outfitters

As a side note, the world of fun and festive pool floats have reached epic proportions. You can float on your own clam shell or pizza slice, and have a seperate flamingo float for your drink! Lots of great options at Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom! 

Plan ahead for your warm weather adventures and you can score some great prices on clothing and other sunny vacation essentials. Aloha to sunny days ahead! xx

Feature image via Paravel Instagram. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Little Suede Style

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse
I consider suede to be an everyday luxury that is also a year round closet staple. A chic counterpart to leather, suede has a chameleon like ability to go from casual to glamorous, depending upon its use. Suede came into mainstream fashion during the 1930s, when the material was first used for women’s pumps and gloves.The luxurious softness and flexibility made it popular with the fashionable crowd and was definitely a defining element of 60s and 70s fashion. Today we wear suede any time of the year (weather permitting) and it continues to represent modern elegance. Here are some of my favorite pieces  that I consider closet essentials.

Suede Booties
While suede can represent a casual look as easily as one of dressier proportions, I think there is nothing like a suede bootie to elevate your style. I bought these pristine Isabel Marant Etoile Dicker Velvet Booties in gray from my friend Mary Bridget of MB Finds and have been high-fiving myself every since for my good fortune. Isabel Marant boots are iconic and with good reason: they are the epitome of the Parisian designer's bohemian chic roots. I paired them with my 3x1 Straight Leg Fringe Jeans that keeps the western vibe at bay and adds a cool chick vibe. A feminine layered ruffle peach colored blouse seems like the perfect pairing with the more rough and tumble denim. My Zara top is sold out, but this Endless Rose blouse is similar, although it is off the shoulder (also a great trend) instead of high neck.

I love a good suede jacket as much as the next girl, but Olivia Palermo had me at "cape". The Olivia Palermo x Chelsea 28 Trench Vest with a removable cape was one of my purchases last fall from her collection with Nordstrom. The soft gray color and unique form means it is a perfect right now with spring fabrics as it was last fall with my velvet jeans, making the case for investing in suede for all year wear. You can find this particular cape on sites like Postmark now, or go The RealReal for a gorgeous St. Laurent chocolate brown suede version.

Free People Bali Well Dressed Jacket

This Free People Bali Well Dressed Jacket with its cropped silhouette and exaggerated and embellished sleeve represents a modern version of a suede jacket. I picture this over a long black maxi sundress for the perfect amount of bohemian flare. If you want to make a statement with a more traditional piece, try a bold color suede jacket, like this Acne Studios Suede Bomber or this more wallet friendly BLANKNYC Morning Suede Moto Jacket that comes in several gorgeous shades.

I don't think that there are enough hours in the day to express my love for the long list of suede handbags there are out there. If I was forced to choose two in particular, they most certainly would be Chloe Faye Leather and Suede Shoulder Bag, and of course the iconic Saint Laurent Monogram pieces, including the brilliant blue shoulder bag pictured above, and the Large Quilted Suede Shoulder Bag. I also love a good suede tote, like this Madewell Suede Transport Tote in the most beautiful pinky clay color. It would make a great work or travel bag.

Rainy weather aside, suede really is a beautiful way to add that certain je ne said quo to one's wardrobe all year round.  ;) With all leather pieces, be it a handbag or boots, make sure to spray them with a good leather protector after you get them home. Invest in a suede brush and keep your pieces protected in their bags and boxes when you are not wearing them so they don't get transfer their color to other things or get damaged. I have used a tiny bit of white vinegar to dab at small stains with success, but mostly I am very diligent about caring for my pieces so they last.

Last but not least, I wanted to go off topic and share my love for Faris Jewelry. I asked for these LADYDAY earrings for Christmas and I cannot get enough of them. I have worn just one with a small stud in the other ear for a different take on them, or both to show off their oversized flower shape. I think they are the perfect spring accessory. Check out all of the amazing pieces from this local designer here. Happy weekend friends!