It has been raining a lot…as in LOT around here lately and, as much as I love my stilettos, perpetual puddle jumping does eventually make me begin to question the wisdom of them. Ditto sneakers…nothing worse than running around with squelchy, wet feet all day. What I usually do is wear something practical (slightly hideous? :)), but waterproof and then carry my heels in a tote so I can change at my destination. Still, some days are crazy enough where ya just don’t feel like doing the big shoe reveal. That is when you need a pair of cute rain boots that you can just be warm and fairly stylish in all day.
Enter, the classic: Hunters. They are a staple in the closet of every fashionista and fashion blogger and for good reason. They’re durable, do their job and come a range of fun colors. The higher shaft on the tall boot (16”, compared to most other brands’ 14-15”) gives them a more stylish vibe than most. A couple notes: if you’re in between sizes, size down, as they run a tad large. Also, over time, the boots can develop a powdery finish, which is characteristic of quality, natural rubber. Hunter makes a buffer and a shine that can restore the original finish. Hunter makes a shorter version as well if tall shafts aren’t your thing or boot-weight is crucial for you. Equally awesome brand UGG makes a short boot as well in an array of fabulous colors (coral, lilac, aqua, oh my!). In the ankle boot category comes in the most fab rain boot I’ve ever seen: the Hurricane from Jeffrey Campbell with a slightly squared toe and block heel. Like omg..an actual, fashion boot done in rain material! #Bliss If the multi-silver glitter doesn’t have you drooling, there is also cobalt blue, apple red, orange, lemon yellow (yum!) and clear. Are you running for your credit card yet? :). Note: the edge of the ankle on this pair has a tendency to rub if you go bare in these; plan to add socks below. On a more classic front is the Tally from Ralph Lauren. I love the red gusset though –what a super-fun bit of spice that is! Last up is the Tinsley from Sam Edelman, which bridges fun and practical with a low heel, pull-on style and dark but cute colors: this sangria shade as well as navy and olive. There’s also one light shade: a pretty dove gray.
1. Hunter Tall, Hunter Tall Floral (cuz who doesn't need flowers on a rainy day?!),Hunter Tall in Starcloud (multi-glitter on black. Glitter = heart eyes ) via Zappos
2. Hunter Tall, Refined: a slimmer silhouette which I love! There are fewer colors, but they include this pretty pink and a gorge pastel powder blue
3. UGG Sienna via Zappos
4. Hurricane by Jeffrey Campbell (is it raining again or am I salivating that much? :))
5. Tally by Ralph Lauren via Zappos
6. Tinsley by Sam Edelman via 6pm
One of the colors making waves in fashion atm is lilac, a gorgeous shade of pastel blue-purple! I’ve actually been waiting for it to have its fashion moment ever since 2011 when Mila Kunis stunned at the Oscars wearing an ethereal gown in the color. It’s taken all this time, but with the incoming pastel trend, it appears that lilac is finally about to have the spotlight :). That’s a fantastic happening in my book because I adore the color and lament that it’s so hard to find – I collect bits of it whenever I can! Lilac is dreamy and sweet, but the blue tones keep it cooler in feel than blush. It works fabulously with other pastels (ice pink, powder blue, soft banana, lime), as well as most neutrals. While it plays wonderfully against black, one of my favorite dark tones to mix with it is navy because the blue tones complement each other and create a very chic vibe. Its femininity makes it work as a playful counterpoint to polka dots and stripes. I also love lilac as an accessory shade – it lightens and uplifts charcoals and other deep tones, adds a cool sweetness to pale beige, brightens taupe hues and complements cerulean, aqua, peach, coral and daffodil. Touches of it also bring a spring vibe to transitional looks that incorporate deep violet, grape and plum hues. All of these wonderful attributes led me to go searching for a pair of lilac shoes to add to my current collection. If you too are craving a pair of lilac lovelies for your feet, behold the results of my search ;):
1. Frostbite Sandal by Nine West ( I love that these are lilac leather, instead of suede!)
2. Downstage Ruffled Flat x Seychelles via Zappos (whew.. is it tough to find pretty flats in this color rn!)
3. Harlow Pump x Sam Edelman via DSW
4. Camylla Sandal x Vince Camuto via DSW
5. Kaos 2.0 x Wilson via Zappos
6. Dizzy Slingback x Steve Madden via Dillards
7. Stephanie Sneakers x Aldo via Dillards (I'm not a huuuge sneaker gal, but omg how cute are these?!)
8. Stecy x Steve Madden via Dillards (the wider-strapped Carrson also comes in lilac, if you prefer a chunky heel)
9. Hazel Pump x Sam Edelman via Dillards (I can’t recommend these pumps highly enough! They’re well-made and super-comfortable and I’ve been in a pitched battle with my wallet over whether or not to buy one in every color ever since I got my first pair. See my full review here). If you want a slightly lower priced alternate, check out the Tatiana by Nine West.
Happy hunting! XO
The classic silk scarf is a beloved accessory for good reason. It’s an easy way to add a dash of color or finishing touch to a look and always brings a sophisticated vibe, whether it’s used as a counterpoint or exclamation point. Whether you choose a single swathe of solid color or a gorgeous print, a silk scarf represents a piece of wearable art. Many major fabric and couture houses, like Hermes in France, Etro in Italy and Liberty in London, collaborate with artists to produce unique and beautiful designs, while the Metropolitan Museum of Art creates magnificent pieces based on items in their collection, allowing you to wear a replica of Monet’s Water Lilies or Louis Tiffany’s stained glass. Scarves become a wonderful way to liberate art from galleries and allow it to beautify real life. Because of this association with art, many scarves transcend decades, staying relevant over many years. This is especially true of pieces that are classic in genre to begin with: neutral shades, solids, stripes, florals, leopard, paisleys. While there are currently a variety of avant garde shapes being offered (infinity, triangles, diamonds), the classic scarf is usually one of two shapes: square or rectangle (always called “oblong”). The oblong shape is my favorite for versatility (especially long ones in the 70” range), followed closely by large squares (36”x36” or more). The light weight of silk fabric creates a number of folding and twisting options without bulk: wide oblongs can be rolled to create a skinny style or knotted at various places to form a necklace. Smaller squares (and many oblongs too!) can be folded to double as pocket squares or rolled and tied to become a bracelet. In addition to the color and beauty, one of my favorite aspects of scarves is how much functionally you get form a single item. It makes them a practical wardrobe addition, as well as an enjoyable one. Here are a few that I love:
1. Sheer Rose Print Scarf by Vince Camuto (*Note: this item is a viscose/silk blend, not pure silk)
2. Scroll Print Silk Foulard by Saks
3. Geo Trellis Silk Oblong by Echo
4. Poppy Leopard Silk Scarf by Vince Camuto
5. Roxanne Square Silk Scarf by Ralph Lauren
6. Bloomsbury Silk Square by Echo
7. Chevron Stripe Silk Scarf by Ralph Lauren
8. Ombre Leopard Silk Scarf by Vince Camuto
9. Solid Silk Oblong by Echo
PS Many silk scarves are listed as 'dry clean only'. If that's a consideration for you, I will add that I've hand washed many of mine in cold water and air-dried them without any issue.
Pearls have been revered for thousands of years for their soft iridescent beauty. Once the exclusive province of the very wealthy, they were made more accessible by cultured variations and became a hallmark of chic, due to being the choice of style mavens of various eras. Chanel was a devotee and often wore multiple layers of them. She adored costume jewelry and, through her example and design aesthetic, popularized faux pearls. The gems experienced another resurgence in the 1960’s when Jackie Kennedy was photographed with baby John Jr., wearing a three-strand necklace – also a faux creation. She also wore a single strand collar on her wedding day, helping to make pearls an integral part of the fashion of that era and beyond. In addition to their classic aura, pearls have a chameleon-like ability to be appropriate for any occasion, making them a must-have for every fashionista’s jewelry box. Pearls are measured in millimeters. As a guide, a 6mm pearl will just fit inside the curve of a large paper clip, while a 14mm pearl is about the same diameter as an AA battery. As a general rule, the smaller diameters are the right scale for petite women, while larger pearls work better on Rubenesque frames. Naturally, the rule can be skirted around ;) – layer small pearls to get a bolder effect, play with lengths and simple strands to make large pieces work for a smaller build.
Prologue: vintage faux pearls often have an ivory shading, giving them the patina of heirloom real pearls, which tend to become creamier and develop a more beautiful luster as they worn. Check for collectible fashion jewelry on eBay and Etsy…or in your old box of dress-up clothes, or your Mom’s/aunts’/grandmother’s jewelry collections – assuming they’re amenable to lending or parting with them ;). I have an opera-length necklace of my Mom’s faux pearls, which I adore, both because the beads are gorgeous and because it was hers. I love pearls in general and go through periods of being obsessed with them, but – like Chanel – I’m especially attracted to the idea of “ropes of pearls” and consequently go wild over extra-long strands :). Here are a few more of my faves (note: all are either faux or man-made):
1. 12mm White Pearl & Sterling Silver Necklace by Majorica
*Majorica is a brand that specializes in cultured pearls. They can be a little pricey, but the pieces are of excellent, collectible quality.
2. 10mm 72" White Pearl Rope Necklace by Carolee - I LOVE the length of this piece - it's opulent! Here is a slightly smaller-scale version by Ralph Lauren, featuring 8mm pearls and a 60" length.
3. Sicilia Necklace w/ 14mm Cultured Pearl by Majorica - I'm so in for the casual feel of the black leather cord.
4. 10mm Man-made Pearl Stud Earrings by Majorica
5. Two Row Adjustable Choker by Carolee
6. Pearl Spike Steel Necklace by Majorica - I'm wild over the danger-meets-femme vibe of this piece :)
7. 8 Row Torsade Necklace by Gemma Layne - the luxe vibe of a torsade is a worthwhile addition to any pearl collection!
8. 10mm 18" Pearl Necklace by Ralph Lauren, also a 14mm version, and a 16" 6mm version
9. 60" Convertible Double Strand by Carolee - this piece is amazing! The circular beads and clasp allow it to be converted between 1, 2 and 3 rows, as well as into a lariat. It's like four necklaces in one. I adore that kind of practicality in a beautiful piece!
10. 10mm Pearl Studs by Ralph Lauren
11. 6mm Pearl Studs by Majorica.
Not shown: 14mm Pearl Studs by Carolee
I can't resist including this piece by Nadri, as well; it's a lovely homage to Jackie's three-strand necklace.
For cool weather, there is no better material for staying comfy and cozy than down! The feather-filled toppers are my go-to for about six months out of every year, both for fashion and practical purposes. If the shell fabric is well-made, a down piece should last for years – I have a ten year old one that’s still serviceable, even though I really beat it up for most of its life by wearing it while working outdoors. My father has a truly venerable one with a shell made from stainless steel…just kidding – I have no idea what the outer fabric is, but it is TOUGH. The jacket looks new, other than a few stains and it’s older than I am! :) Whether you choose a sporty hip length jacket (I love having a bright color to add punch to cold-weather looks!) or a sleek longer silhouette, down is a fabulous topper to have at your disposal for easy, lightweight warmth and now is a great time to look for one because a number of places have pieces on end-of-season sales. It handles light rain and snow well too – it takes awhile for the water to soak through the down, so you can skip a rain coat if you’re not out in a downpour. Also, the higher the power fill, the warmer the piece will be (*caveat: "packable", and "ultralight" pieces will be thinner than standard down and not as warm, even at a higher power fill. For example, 800 Ultralight isn't as warm as 650 power fill in a standard/non-ultralight piece. I tned to always be cold and I find that 650-700 power fill keeps me toasty. With a thermal, sweatshirt and fleece below, I can be outside in 17 degree days for three or four hours and be fine. If you’re in the market for a down piece, here are a few of my faves:
1. The North Face Nuptse Jacket (Mine is in it's second year, going strong and warm as toast! Plus, the inner pocket is awesome :))
2. Lands End Women's Lightweight Down Jacket (good power-fill and fantastic colors)
3. L.L. Bean Ultrawarm Down Jacket
4. Lands End Convertible Down Jacket
5.Lands End Women's Down Jacket (Great price on this!)
6. Marmot Aruna Jacket (I also love this hooded version in lime green)
If there's one skirt that's been taking over fashion this holiday season, it's the pleated metallic! The pleats create beautiful movement and the metallic gives the pieces that extra special vibe that makes them holiday-worthy...and everyday-worthy. Because...why not? :) Any day is an excuse for amazing fashion! Pair them with simple turtlenecks, chunky oversized sweaters, sleek button downs. Top them with tough leather or disciplined military jackets. Complete them with suede ankle booties, combat boots, ankle-strap heels. And most importantly, twirl your heart out! Here's a few that I love:
1. Pleated Metallic Maxi Skirt by Eliza J at Dillards
2. Metallic Satin Pleated Skirt by English Factory at Shopbop (also in gold in limited sizes, blue also at LastCall at a better price, but in fewer sizes, also a blue similar at Anthropologie in limited sizes)
3. Foil Pleated Skirt by Vince Camuto at LastCall
4. Kyla Pleated Metallic Midi by Cremieux at Dillards
5. Pleated Metallic Midi at White House, Black Market (also a deep blue version with a soft sheen here)
6. Pleated Metallic Midi by Sugarlips at Dillards
7. Pleated Metallic Midi by JOA at Dillards
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
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 ;))
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
If you're searching for one of those oh-so-seductive and lovely feminine blouses which have been taking fashion by storm, we've got ya covered! There are tons out there in designer brands like Stella McCartney, RED Valentino, Sea and Self-Portrait, which I'm wild over. On the flip side, I do have to pay attention to my budget :) So, here are some gorgeous pieces that caught my eye which you won't need to pawn a valuable for (ps if designer is in your budget or you find it to be worth saving up for - or blowing your tax refund on (not that I know anyone who does that. Nope. Def not.), by all means, go for it! ;)):
1. Elodie Tunic at Anthropologie
2. Ruffle Blouse at Nordstrom
3. Hinge Lace Peplum at Nordstrom
4. ASTR Embroidered Blouse at Nordstrom
5. Lita Lace Blouse at Anthropologie
6. English Factory Ruffle Button Down at Shopbop
7. NM Lace Front Bell Sleeve Top at Last Call
8. Max Studio Pleated Bell Sleeve Tunic at Last Call
9. Cold Shoulder Peplum by BCBG Max Azria
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.