I've been loving Annabelle Fleur's blog, Viva Luxury since the day I found it! Annabelle has a wonderfully chic sense of style, even when she's doing laidback looks. She always manages to inject a sense of sumptuousness and sophistication into her styling. It can be as simple as adding velvet sandals to a denim look, or pairing satin sneakers with shorts. Her style is fabulous - a blend of vintage femininity with a modern edge. There's a consistent glamour , but it's subtle and inviting. She often mixes casual and fancy pieces, which I adore! There's plenty of inspiration here for how to wear dressier items in the daytime. The photos on the blog are beautifully done, capturing a moody softness which brings a restful vibe, as if you are entering the house of a close friend for a quiet escape and good conversation. That last is particularly evoked by my favorite thing about Annabelle: she's one of the few blog writers who, instead of just relying on her pictures and a throwaway blurb, really writes about her fashion thoughts and choices and gives insights as to why she picked certain pieces or styled an outfit a certain way. I love seeing how others think about fashion, so it's one of the things that immediately drew me in to Viva Luxury. In addition to style, she intermixes posts about travel and beauty, with the same accessible thoughtfulness. Her blog is definitely one to add to your list of stylish online place to visit!
I've been a fan of J. Crew for aaaaaages so I was mildly freaked when Mickey Drexler retired from his duties. And then I totally freaked when Jenna left as well. Omg couldn't even. Like many long-term customers, I knew the company has lost a little of its mojo after the glory years of 2007-2010 when it could practically do no wrong. I felt like maybe Jenna had lost her way a smidge and tried to get a little too experimental with a brand whose trademark was classic with a twist. Even so, there were so many things that J. Crew does well and/or that no one else does *at all* that I couldn't help holding out hope. That holding out became panic...until I saw some of the new Summer-Fall 2017 transition arrivals. There is so much goodness...yeet! For the first time in a long time, I'm feeling like they're back on track. There seems to be a movement back to natural fabrics, as well as to some of the really special materials that made their pieces both stand out and be worthwhile. For example, that gorgeous cotton/silk faille has made a re-appearance via the Ready To Party line, including in a waist-tie midi pencil skirt that comes in a succulent guava shade (and a fabulous marigold! :) ). There's a fantastic version of the Jackie that includes a tulle detail - it reminds me strongly of a ruffle-placketed sweater from around 2010 that I adored (and have two of ;)). The Italian Super 120s wool suiting line - always one of J. Crew's standouts - not only is offered in traditional neutrals, but now comes in a glorious light violet shade that is utterly crave-worthy. Several of the new blouses and tops have me drooling, including a sure-to-sell-out floral appliqué top - no, those flowers aren't printed on. They're 3-D fabric flowers scattered about on the piece - as if you're wearing a field of wildflowers. Completely amazing! They've updated the denim styles to include a high-waisted flare (yes!), in a lovely warm shade of ecru. I love the versatility of the color choice. White denim goes away after Labor Day, but this shade is wearable year-round. Brava. There are a number of fantastic dresses back in the line-up, but the one that really caught my eye is this brilliantly-designed ruffled clip-dot piece. The ruffles are placed to provide camouflage where needed, but the silhouette still creates shape. That's devastatingly tricky to pull off, but what results here is a nearly flawless frock that's super easy to wear - add shoes, bag and done. The black shoulder-tie details give it a very French chic vibe (though it's also offered in navy if you prefer a monochrome look). (And PS the tulle ball skirt is back in a new ballet pink hue and powder blue shade!) I'm beyond thrilled to see one of my favorite companies getting back to the quality classics - with that crucial twist! - that they do oh so well. Yes. Yes. Yes! Whether you're a long-time fan or a fan-in-the-making, this is a great time to get up close and personal with the new J. Crew line-up, so toddle on over, Fancies! (Toddling via your fingers is 100% acceptable) :)
1. Hand-embellished Floral Top
2. Ready To Party Tie-Waist Skirt in Faille
3. Tiered Tie-Shoulder Dress in Clipdot
4. Cotton Jackie Sweater with Tulle
5. Tailored Italian Super 120's Suiting Blazer
6. High Rise Flare Jean in Ecru
Show of hands: how many of you have dresses kicking around in the recesses of your closet from proms or weddings? Pieces that you love and don't particularly want to donate, but aren't really sure how to wear again? Been there! I am the queen of advocating appropriate fashion, but I'm also a practical gal who hates wearing clothes just once. The philosophical resolution of this conundrum is that sometimes, you have to make the appropriateness. You browse around for inspo and get creative. Why not? It's silly to leave gorge fashion gathering dust and if you love it, you should wear it! And it can be done in super-stylish ways ;)
Whether long, short, be-sequined or plain, sleeveless or sleeved, A-line or straight silhouette, you have options with almost any iteration. The key them is mixing in more casual pieces into your outfit to take the edge of the dress's formalty. Did you choose an all-over sequined or metallic piece? Give it a bit of a punk turn by topping it with a graphic or band tee. If it's boxy, enhance the waist of your look by knotting it at the dress's visual waist. Finish the look with something colorful and lighthearted, like bright espadrilles or pom-pom sandals. For cooler environments, top the outfit with a classic denim jacket. A simple gown needs little more than a cute cardi and coordinating flat sandals to transition into a day or casual evening look. Another option is a slightly cropped blouse- like this- that hits at your waist. Give a lace or tulle gown new life by adding a knotted tank in a coordinating color. If your gown has short sleeves, make sure the neckline is visible above the tank's neckline and that the shapes are similar - this will create the look of a casual vest, a super hot and modern styling. Add sneakers for a sporty vibe. Top with a baseball cap if desired, or a bomber for cool evenings (or arctic air conditioning ;)).
Recently, I started to wonder about the enduring inspirational power behind Carrie Bradshaw's fashion. The looks created by Patricia Field for Sarah Jessica Parker's character are literally still being discussed somewhere in fashion almost daily. That's a lot of staying power for a medium that moves at light speed. Carrie is kind of like the modern era's Holly Golightly: you might not want to actually be her, but hot dang, you want to dress like her - at least in some part of her wardrobe. So many of her looks seem fashion forward, even by today's standards - making her about a decade ahead of her time. The tulle skirt is practically synonymous with Carrie, with every know fashion blogger referencing her when they wear one. She made Manolo Blahnik a household name. With all of that, it's interesting that, while her aesthetic can be succinctly described - urban, quirky, chic - its difficult to box it into a single, or even several, genres. Carrie could do Parisian sophistication, uptown New York, downtown New York, artsy, princess-y, minimalist, sometimes downright silly. The variety of her influences may account for the perennial influence of her style. But I think that's only part of it. Even more than breadth of styles and variety, Carrie's sense of playfulness and true-to-self-ness comes through. As a character, she looooved (LOVED!) fashion and she had FUN with it. She was never afraid to experiment and nearly always included something off-beat, like the note you hear in a song that sounds wrong at first but eventually becomes the reason you love it and can't stop singing it. She was never afraid to mix odd elements (I mean, really - who wears a tank top with a tulle skirt anyway? But, then again, it works!), or pair designer pieces with economical ones (a philosophy espoused by Anna Wintour when she first took over Editor-in-Chiefship of Vogue). She tried menswear, but also wore ultra feminine pieces (the Paris Versace dress!). Her wardrobe felt real, like something collected over time by a lover of fashion, with a specific sense of things that appealed to her. Through it all runs a core of something that's easy to forget about fashion: with all the trends, with all the marathons to find the right piece, with all the periodic re-vamping that needs to take place, style is supposed to be personal and fun. It's not supposed to feel like taking a test everyday. It's supposed to be something that makes you smile. And Carrie's style did. Even her most sophisticated looks contained that one funky, over-the-top or off-kilter element, be it her standout shoes, a contrasting-genre belt or an over-the-top flower, that makes think "Huh?" at first and makes you remember it afterward, whether you grow to love it or hate it. That consistent "off" element was the heart and soul of the wrong that makes it right. It was the common thread that tied all of her varied genres together. And it was fun :). That playful, life-is-a-runway creativity more than anything else, is what continues to make her style so inspirational, and such an important reminder not to allow ennui to take over, to keep evolving, keep experimenting, keep being silly or daring or whatever adjective(s) suits you. Don't make a home in the ruts. Do things that feel like you, but aren't expected. Keep playing, keep dabbling and keep fashion fun.
If you are on the hunt for a pointy-toe pump, whether you're looking for a special color or fabric, or just your standard, basic kind of fabulous, def take a look at the Hazel by Same Edelman. The shoe has a razor-sharp point that adds the perfect, fierce finish to everything from jeans to suits to midi skirts. The vamp is cut medium-high with a lovely softly rounded shape that makes the shoe very polished. It shows a touch of toe cleavage, but still very office-appropriate unless you're in a field that's super-strict about that kind of thing. The leather is gorgeous, with a soft, buttery feel and the satins are of a high quality as well, with a beautiful sheen. Beyond all that, I was super-impressed by how insanely comfortable this shoe is! It is easily the most comfortable pointy I've worn. Not only does the new cushioned footbed give a nice squish under the sole, the toe area is designed with a slight umbrella effect. It's hardly visible in the silhouette, but it gives extra toe room and relieves the pressure there that so many pointies create, making this a shoe you can wear for an eight hour day and not notice. Huge win! It comes in a number of neutral options: nude (in both patent and silk), jute ( a light gold metallic), soft caramel (in leather and suede), black (naturally :), with a range of material options here as well), pewter satin, gray silk, matte silver and mirrored silver (phew). If color is your jazz, there are orange, golden yellow and and pink suede. The satins include cobalt and emerald choices. Then, there are the prints: python, gingham, dark floral. Oh, and gold glitter and denim versions too, if nothing above tempted your fancy. Warning: I absolve myself of all blame f you have to expand your shoe closet to accommodate the seventeen pairs you just bought yourself for your "birthday". :) Have fun, loves!
Go directly to the brand at samedelman.com, or check out zappos.com 's excellent selection. (Note: The brand is currentlly matching Zappos' free shipping/free returns policy, so come early and shop often ;))
As you might conclude from the name, Pink Peonies does indeed present a myriad of outfits that utilize pink. Rach also works in a number of neutrals, though, as well as some other classic shades so it's not like pink overload :). It is, however, a perfect guide to building a wardrobe around a neutral palette, spiked with a signature shade. So, if that's a fashion philosophy that attracts you, Pink Peonies is sure to give you some inspiration. In addition to some beautiful, feminine and classic looks, Rach has a genius for putting together casual pieces that have just the right touches of distinction and style consequence to make them borrow-worthy. They're masterfully balanced proportionally and incorporate enough basic pieces that you don't need access to the Vogue closet to translate them with your own wardrobe. She intersperses inspiration-board style posts, as well as collected picks for fashion elements that are striking her fancy each season. She discusses beauty, accessories and home decor as well - pretty much anything she loves! :) And, if you find yourself in love with her personal style, you can check out her own fashion line, which is available online via the "Shop" link on the site. So, definitely make sure you while away some hours at Pink Peonies on your fashion explorations!
If you're looking for a little inspiration for spring accessories - we can talk about spring, now, right? ;) - how about these beauties? A little rainbow, a little saturated color, a few florals and a LOT of sparkle...because ...shiny! :) The rainbow finish on the Trina Turk pin totally calls to me - it's similar to one Eddie Borgo played around with recently, but in a more accessible design. It's just so dang cool! It's like modernity and fun had a baby ..that you can wear lol. I'm also loving all the colors showing up in jewels this spring - that's a major way to perk up an outfit of neutrals! This indigo collar necklace immediately caught my eye because of how unusual the shade is - it's so rare to find this color in jewelry. And then, we need to talk about florals: they are EVER-Ywhere this season and a floral necklace or ring is a fab way to add one (or several :)) to an outfit if you don't feel like going the full-on print route.
1. Gardenia Statement Necklace by J. Crew
2. Uno de 50 Rhinestone Ring via Lord & Taylor
3. Openwork Flower Brooch via Lord & Taylor
4. Carolee Garden Party Quartz Chandelier Earrings via Lord & Taylor
5. Magnolia Crystal Necklace by J. Crew
6. Oscar de la Renta Stone Accented Teardrop Wrap Ring via Lord & Taylor
7. Trina Turk Stick Pin Brooch via Lord & Taylor
8. Trina Turk Starburst Faceted Crystal Teardrop Cocktail Ring via Lord & Taylor
9. Givenchy Crystal Drop earrings via Lord & Taylor (the sparkle in this line is out of this world!)
10. ABS X Allen Schwartz Stone Accented Collar via Lord & Taylor
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets- fashion fairy tale world.