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 ;)).
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets-fashion fairy tale world, the home of my non-wrestling-related style musings and loves.