Wednesday, December 29, 2010

3,2,1 Happy New Year!

A comfortable and easy way to look stylish is the maxi dress. One piece of clothing and you've got an effortless, great looking outfit. Also, it's a great excuse to wear flats - which I am always a fan of. Wear stylish sandals like any of these above. Then, pile on a mix of bangles. Mix colors and metals, just make sure it compliments your dress and you're good to go. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

3,2,1 Happy New Year!

I love this mix of masculine and feminine and it would be a great look for New Years Eve. A blousey, oversized tuxedo shirt with a tutu skirt is both chic and fun - exactly what you want to accomplish on NYE. 

For shoes, wear lace-up, peep toe oxford booties to keep the masculine/feminine theme. They will compliment the look really nicely. Wear simple jewelry because there is so much embellishment in the outfit.

Monday, December 27, 2010

3,2,1 Happy New Year!

 Not to make anyone think I'm a negative Nancy, but I think New Years Eve is pretty much always a letdown. There are always high expectations, and rarely a big payoff. However, we can still look great as we watch the ball drop. Here are my suggestions for what to wear on New Years Eve. One recommendation I have are dresses in bright jewel tones with simple black pumps.

I was once told, why would you wear black to a party? The girl next to you is probably wearing black. I tend to take this advice to heart and try to wear vivid colors when I attend events and parties, and these dresses would certainly make a statement at any New Years Eve party. With a dress that is so vivid, keep shoes and accessories simple. Black pumps are perfect and easy to find. I would wear a blazer with pushed up or cuffed sleeves for warmth and simple but pretty jewelry such as a rhinestone cuff. Like these below:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!! 
Sorry for my impromptu hiatus this week, but I promise I will be back on Monday with some great New Years Eve outfit suggestions!

Our Christmas Tree!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Would Die For...Accessories

You know when you're shopping and you see that one thing, that outrageously expensive, gorgeous thing you must. own. now? Why care that it will cause a major dent in your credit card? You're fixated and it isn't going to end until that item is in your possession. Well, I feel that quite often. And I'm feeling it now. When scouring shops looking for Christmas gifts for other people, I inevitably find something (okay many things) that I want. So this week, I am going to do a "Nonsense vs Necessary" series for various items I have run into that I am going crazy for. I'll show you the outrageous item, as well as a cheaper alternative.

I would kill for those Christian Louboutin spike flats. I would wear them with a Mad Men style 1960s dress and a belted cardigan in bright colors - very good girl on top, edgy punk on the bottom. I know that the shape of the shoes is different (pointy toe versus square toe), and silver versus gold studs, but I think it's very important to keep the continuity of pyramid studs instead of flat studs. The latter are easily found.

I adore this Marc Jacobs bag. I love ladylike structured bags in textured leathers. A great alternative to this expensive bag is this faux ostrich leather bag from ASOS.

 Rings are perhaps my favorite accessory. Huge cocktail rings to be specific. That's why this one from YSL would be a dream come true. But instead of blowing $795 on one ring, I'll take this cluster ring from Max & Chloe! The colors don't match perfectly, but I think the resemblance is quiet impressive.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Casual Fridays

This one is for all of you who have been hit with snow lately. As I was involved in about two to three inches of snow here in Nashville, I have a lot of sympathy for dressing to prepare for snow. Here is what I recommend to stay warm, stylish, and safe from slipping on the snow and ice! 

I recommend a standard white button-down under a warm cable knit sweater. Keep it in a nice sunny color to brighten and counter the muted winter colors others will be wearing. 

Wear skinny jeans tucked into Hunter boots. The pair I own are the ones shown - tall gloss in graphite. The gloss boots don't get that weird white stuff that the non-gloss ones do. I realize that sounds grosser than it actually is, I apologize, but it isn't gross, I think it has something to do with the rubber. Moving right along...

I would not survive the winter without my Barbour Bedale Jacket. It is classic and flattering and I love it so much. Finally, wear a warm scarf - like this awesome faux-fur one from Rachel Roy. If you have a colorful sweater, keep the scarf in black or gray, but if you pick a neutral colored sweater, add a pop of color through the scarf you wear. 

Now go out there and enjoy the winter wonderland!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Style to Steal: Julija Steponaviciute

I love this feminine and classic look. It is so simple, yet undeniably stylish. Here is an inexpensive way to recreate Julija's look.

Start with skinny black pants. It is hard to tell from the picture, so I am not entirely sure what material her pants are. Regardless, the pair I've featured is from Paige Premium Denim and they are corduroy. Corduroy is a great winter fabric for warmth so I highly recommend it, even if it isn't exactly replicating Julija's outfit.

I cannot extol the virtues of Equipment blouses more. They are so comfortable and flattering, and will create the great oversized and blousey look. They come in a large variety of colors, but for this outfit we are using the "Natural White." 

Her tweed blazer in pinky-red takes what could be a very basic, almost boyish, outfit to a feminine and chic place. Do the same with this berry colored tweed jacket from Spiegal. 

Finally, wear a pair of black ankle booties with a thick heel like these from Joe's Jeans. And carry a black bag with a chain-link strap. I like this one because the studs add a bit of edge to the look.

Over the River and Through the Woods...

For the girl who is always put together, try this mix of casual and professional. I am willing to let myself go a little in the airport. And by let myself go I mean let my appearance go. I am not a celebrity, paparazzi will not be waiting outside baggage claim when I arrive. But some people really like to look pulled together at all times. More power to them. Here is what I would wear to look chic in the airport.

I love the mix of this outfit - the denim and canvas mixed with the printed blouse and skinny cropped black pants. It takes the look from office appropriate to dressed-up daywear. I would wear a comfortable flowly blouse in a fun print, like this one from Topshop (which has a bunch of adorable printed tops right now). I would not wear anything skin tight to the airport. That's just uncomfortable. Over the blouse, instead of a sweater or blazer, pull on a denim jacket to obtain that casual chic look. 

Wear black skinny pants on the bottom. I love these slouchy-skinny ones from Calvin Klein. They look both comfortable and flattering. Worn with black heels, a blouse and a blazer, you're ready for the office. But with a fun blouse and other relaxed pieces you will look appropriate for a day of travel (or lunch with a friend).

I cannot say this enough: I beg you to stick to flats. It may be tempting to wear boots or heels, but pulling those off and on is always a hassle. And honestly, why would you wear heels to the airport?  Wear red flats to pick up on the accent colors in the blouse. Of course, different blouse, different flats - remember to coordinate appropriately. Finally, use a canvas bag in a complimenting color as your carryall: like this one from Lands' End. It will add to the easy casualness of the look. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods...

For clothing, my top goals when traveling are comfort and efficiency - then style. When all three are combined, I've found travel-apparel gold. Leggings, a long cardigan, flats and a scarf is one of those outfits.

I know there is a whole "leggings as pants" debate. People take sides, it gets ugly. But I have to say, I am a fan of the simple black legging or jegging when it comes to plane flights. There are not as sloppy as sweats and are far more comfortable than most jeans. They are also stretchy - perfect for all that contorting in your seat to get comfortable before you can sleep. 

Keep colors neutral throughout the outfit, but feel free to mix and match them. Wear a basic white tee, long sleeve for this season, under a thick knit cardigan. I like to wear a thick marled wool cardigan from JCrew or a DKNY cozy, but I also quite like this one in a narrow cable knit from All Saints. Here is the caveat about leggings as pants - your top must cover your butt. That's why I recommend a long cardigan such as this one.

In terms of accessories, layer with a circle scarf which can double as a pillow on the plane. Scarves are also great to hide the wires of iPod earbuds so you can keep listening to music even after you've been warned to turn off all electronic devices. Wear flats - simple, comfortable black ones are ideal in this case. They will easily slip on and off when you go through security. And use this LeSportsac metallic carryall as your carry on - both stylish and functional.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods...

It's that time of year again - visiting the relatives season that is. Everyone seems to be hopping in a car or on to a plane. If you're going to be riding in a car for several hours, there may not be a stylish choice, but in this week's posts I am going to address airport chic. I find dressing for the airport close to impossible. I want to look stylish, as I strive to look stylish as often as possible, but going through security in cute boots, or heels and in the on-trend layering of the season is just ridiculous. In our current atmosphere where pat downs are more aggressive than your yearly physicals it makes no sense to dress too well to the airport. Taking off those boots or cute shoes and all those layers then having to hoist them back on is just too much work. Since we are heading into the busiest travel time of the year, I thought it wise to blog some cute and appropriate airport looks. Here is my first recommendation on what to wear to the airport:

First, I would wear a comfy sweatshirt-top. Not a shapeless sweatshirt, but a sweatshirt-top. There is a notable difference. I like this one from Urban Outfitters. You can't tell in the image but the edges are trimmed in chiffon and there are patches on the sides and under the arms in silk. I also quite like the ones from American Apparel as an alternative. 

For warmth - don't you always find planes freezing? - tie on a scarf in a solid color like this pretty blue. Scarves are a nice layering piece and won't be too much of a time suck come security. 

Wear a pair of slim boyfriend jeans, or whatever your comfiest pair is. I have a pair of really well broken-in AGs that are cigarette leg, but so soft, they are my go-to pair of travel jeans. 

I think it is imperative to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off to the airport. I recommend Toms. They are so comfortable, they are cute, and they have the added bonus of doing some good - for each pair purchased, the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. 

Finally, carry a Longchamp bag that compliments your outfit - I like the color combo of the blue scarf, red Toms, and olive bag. Longchamp bags are my absolute favorite carryalls. They are durable and stylish. I have two - one in navy and one in beige. Now that you've got your outfit all ready, don't forget your favorite celebrity gossip magazines and you're good to go. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Casual Fridays

I love cold weather dressing. Scarves, jackets, sweaters and coats are my favorite pieces of clothing. When everyone else seeks refuge indoors, I walk slowly outside and enjoy the cold crisp air. So here is a type of outfit I would wear as the temperature drops. 

First of all, I think that some type of pant needs to be invented that is warmer than jeans, because cold air really still gets in. However, it's the best we've got. I love tunic blouses tucked in in the front but left out in back - like this one in white. 

Wear a motorcycle jacket over the tucked in top - my favorite one is my dark blue-gray jacket from Rag and Bone with a removable quilted liner. This one from BCBG is adorable as well. Pair it with a knit eternity scarf like this one in forest green - one of my favorite colors. To keep your feet warm, wear caramel colored boots like these. And you're ready to brave the cold.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear, Santa

I love to read. Most of my time during the school year is taken up reading what is required of me, which, trust me, is a lot of reading. I try to read a chapter a night of a book just for pleasure, but when I go home for breaks I go book crazy. My favorite genre is non-fiction. I love essays like David Sedaris, and every Christmas I re-read his Holidays on Ice, with the literally side-splitting tale of his time spent as an elf at Macy's. I have read everything by him, and have already purchased his newest book: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. I also love non-fiction books about very specific topics, like The Hot Zone by Richard Preston - all about the Ebola virus. But my favorite right now is Stiff by Mary Roach, an investigation into cadavers and what physically happens to our bodies after we die (especially if we donate our bodies to science), which was the starting point for my Christmas list of books - hence two of her other books making the list.

1. Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace: the namesake essay of this book is about whether or not lobsters feel pain as they are dunked into boiling water. The other essays range from his experience attending "The Academy Awards of pornographic film" to a scathing review of Tracy Austin's autobiography.

2. Spook by Mary Roach: two of the six books on this list are by Mary Roach - I truly love her writing. This book, in contrast to Stiff, tackles the spiritual elements of death. Roach asks doctors to sheep ranchers to try and discover what happens to us after we die, and whether or not there is an afterlife.

3. Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin: as I've shared in previous posts, I love to cook. And this book, by Laurie Colwin, is a collection of essays about cooking and food. The book is filled with her own experiences of tasting an ingredient for the first time, foods she likes and dislikes, and how to prepare her favorites.

4.You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin: Yes, this book is fiction. But it sounds so beautiful. It is the story of a young widower, Victor Aaron, coming to terms with his wife's death. He discovers note cards in his deceased wife's room, filled with memories of their relationship - often angry and bitter. And Victor is forced to realize that his preserved memories may be inaccurate. 

5. The Privileges by Jonathan Dee: this book sounds like Gossip Girl and Less Than Zero were put on a collision course with each other. Think Upper East Siders with serious moral bankruptcy.

6. Bonk by Mary Roach: here, Roach explores the intersection of science and sex - as the title states. On the larger scale, she seeks answers as to how understanding anatomy, physiology and psychology of sexual response can help us pursue greater marital happiness. But on the smaller scale, in her very own hilarious voice, she investigates some of the most bizarre things I have ever heard - which probably should not be mentioned here. You'll just have to read it!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

For the third installment of cold weather clothes, here's a look that is more ladylike feminine. If your style is girly, I recommend a coat with some embellishments. For example - ruffles. I love these on the Rachel Roy coat - they are kind of floppy and loose which makes the ruffles more modern and less like those horrible and antiquated pleated collars you see around Beefeater's necks. 

Underneath the coat, wear an easy pullover sweater like this one in heather gray from Urban Outfitters. Gray compliments the deep olive color of the coat in such a lovely way. Wear skinny black pants and gray flats - I love this with the buckle on the toe. 

Of course, can't forget the gloves and the scarf. This raspberry scarf will really up the look in terms of color content as it will pair beautifully with gray and deep olive. Finally, wear these driving gloves for a hint of preppy-ness to the look. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

If your style is more classic with a hint of prepster - a camel toggle coat is for you. To maintain the classic look, wear a white button down and a striped crew neck sweater over the top. Neutrals like gray and navy will compliment the camel coat. Wear your favorite pair of skinny jeans and nude colored oxfords - I love these in perforated leather. 

The other key elements to keeping warm are the gloves and the scarf. These red gloves provide a lovely pop of color in contrast to the rest of the outfit. These gloves are aptly named KIT gloves, which stands for Keep in Touch. This is because the thumb and index finger are tipped with a special fabric which allows use of touchscreen devices. 

As I have stated previously, faux fur is all the rage this season, and what better way to add a faux fur accent then an eternity scarf? It looks so warm and cozy. So bundle up and head outside - the weather's fine. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We had our first snow flurries today in Nashville. And if snow is starting to hit the South, then it is getting cold everywhere. And when I say cold I mean brutally cold. When it gets this cold, style often goes by the wayside in favor of Michelin Man inspired puffy jackets and those old woolly gloves. Well, just because it's cold outside is no excuse to not look your best! There are plenty of ways to look great in coats, gloves and scarves - just be sure to pick the right ones. So watch for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday cold weather looks.

A great way to stay warm is a classic green parka. I love mine and wear it often. This one from ASOS is great, a good length and a faux-fur lined collar. Wear it with a chambray button down and a creme circle scarf. In terms of keeping warm I think circle scarves are the way to go. They hold very close to your neck so all the warmth stays in. My personal favorite are the circle scarves from American Apparel. I currently own three. Layer with a sweater over the chambray top for added warmth. Instead of wearing sweats to stay warm, wear leggings which are more body-conscious and flattering. I always have the issue of leggings riding up, and while I am generally opposed to the idea of stirrup leggings, if they are hidden in boots or booties you can't quite tell they are stirrup pants. Finally, wear a pair of dark brown suede gloves like these from Urban Outfitters, and a trendy pair of shearling booties.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Casual Fridays

Casual Fridays have become one of my favorite posts to do. Probably because this is how I dress on a day to day basis and I get to embrace my natural style choices. For this look, I would wear a long tank, like this one from T by Alexander Wang. T by Alexander Wang is a great brand. Their tops are so comfortable and will last forever. I highly suggest investing in some great basic tees from this brand. I would then pair the tank with a camel jacket (the color of the season). Corduroy is a good fabric for fall and thicker in terms of keeping you warm. On bottom, I would wear a lean boyfriend jean - don't go all the way into a baggy boyfriend jean as that wouldn't look right, but one with some fit towards your figure will look great. Finally, accessorize for deep purple leather flats and a gem-stone necklace like this one in a pale jade color for some nice colorful additions to the look. Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear, Santa

I love to cook and I love to entertain. I am responsible for cooking everything for Thanksgiving dinner, and my plan as an only child is to marry a boy with a huge extended family that I can entertain for every holiday and occasion. I am always looking for great books about entertaining and the perfect food to make for entertaining. I currently own these two wonderful books: Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining, and Fandango. But this Christmas, two of Martha Stewart's entertaining books are topping my list as well as a mini encyclopedia of toasts and quotes.

1. Good Things for Easy Entertaining
2. Great Parties: The Best of Martha Stewart Living
3. Little Giant Encyclopedia: Toasts and Quotes

Minimalist Chic

Minimalism is a great trend to utilize another fall trend - the camel coat. Wear an all black outfit as the backdrop to the coat. I suggest this Urban Outfitters simple black sweater dress, it is easy to throw on and warm! Wear black opaque tights and black pumps to unify the look. And carry a lady-like bag - I love a small bag with a chain link shoulder strap. Then don't forget the camel coat! It breaks up the all black outfit and puts the perfect polish on this fall look.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Minimalist Chic

Another reason I love minimalism? 
My collages are so much easier to craft! 

While the fewer pieces in my collages have been more convenient, let's get to the fashion aspect of minimalism. As I mentioned in the previous post, minimalism is all about utilizing neutrals - whether you are mixing them or using all one color. So wear gray on gray! I like pairing this charcoal belted dress with a tweedy, paler gray boyfriend coat. I actually could not love this coat more. The shape is so on trend and the price is right. Wear nude pumps, and carry this oversize clutch to finish off the look.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Minimalist Chic

Minimalism is the perfect trend for me. It is all about creating a pared-down, chic look by combining luxurious, classic pieces with pure simplicity, which fits very neatly into my current aesthetic. Above is one way to achieve the minimalist look. Minimalism is all about neutrals, think black, white, gray and camel - fall's "it" color. Mix and match these neutrals for different outfits. Try a white button down blouse, and a camel skirt. Keep the accessories simple - like a winter white cashmere sweater, black ribbed tights, peep-toe booties, and an ostrich leather (or faux) bag.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Casual Fridays

As we all have heard, army jackets are on trend this season - and they make for a perfect casual look. Olive looks great with bright orange, so for fall, pair your army jacket with a bright orange sweater. This will make the the utilitarian trend much more fun and feminine. Wear dark wash skinny jeans and taupe suede boots to complete the look. Finally, carry a big black tote bag that can hold everything you may need! 

Dear, Santa

Yep, that's my desk! Not. I wish. 

I think I am constrained by the fact that I live in a college dorm and my desk is made of formica. I try to brighten up the space, however, with a ceramic horse head which I keep my pencils, pens, and scissors in, a shallow, white ceramic dish to keep odds and ends like bobby pins, and I've covered the provided bulletin board with photos, postcards, and my favorite quotations and fortune cookie fortunes. And currently I have a pop-up Christmas tree from MoMA by Robert Sabuda to celebrate the season.

So in my journey to keep my desk bright and lovely, I have included these products on my Christmas list:

1. Jonathan Adler Aztec Diamond Laptop Case: Currently, my laptop case is black and boring (and it has some holes in it from where my cat chewed it in high school) so I love this one from Jonathan Adler.

2. Banderole Pom Pom Pencil Set: These pencils with streamers coming off the end are the cutest things I have ever seen. I use pens more than pencils usually, but these just may convert me.

3. Lilly Pulitzer White Zin iPhone 3 Case: I am always torn as to whether or not I want a cute print or a plain color for my iPhone case, and I've alternated between the two. I currently have a solid red one, but this big bright flower print is definitely going to mean it's time to switch!

4. Kate Spade Dot Cosmetic Case: I use cosmetic cases as pencil cases, and these ones from Kate Spade are the perfect size for me as I put pencils, pens, highlighters, chapstick, lip gloss, and Orbit gum in my case. They are also coated in plastic so they take the wear and tear of being thrown around in my school bag like pros.

5. Kate Spade 2011 Desk Calendar: It's kind of become tradition that next year's Kate Spade desk calendar is in my stocking. I eternally look forward to which design approach they will take each year and this year it looks no different - it will be adorable as always.

6. Leave Your Mark Monogram Sticky Notes: Whenever something I need to do pops into my head I have to write it down immediately. I always have Post-It notes on my desk - so I always have something to write my to-dos down on. I then put up the note on my mirror so I remind myself of it as I do my make-up in the morning. Currently I just use neon Post-Its, but I would love to use these far cuter monogram ones.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Recipe for Thanksgiving Dressing

Now this is what my Thanksgiving will look like. Casual, relaxed, with my dearest family. Actually, my Thanksgiving will be a little more harried than this I am sure. I will probably be wearing an apron when our guests arrive - hopefully it will be a cute one from Anthropologie. But underneath the apron I plan to have on an outfit just like this:

I love this deep yellow sweater with red velvet flats - the perfect fall combination inspired by the changing leaves. Wear this oversized sweater over a crisp white oxford (clearly a staple in my closet) and with skinny cropped black pants. Mix this classic casual look with a tribal-inspired black beaded necklace. This is the perfect outfit for an at home Thanksgiving. Now go and enjoy your holiday everyone! Have a wonderful day tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recipe for Thanksgiving Dressing

The eternal question. What do you wear to meet the parents? And if you've already met them, what do you wear for the first holiday spent with the family? For holidays with your boyfriend's parents, it is important (and tricky) 
to find the balance between over-dressed and under-dressed. And you also don't want to look like you're going in for an interview. So here is an outfit that strikes the perfect balance.

Like I've said, Thanksgiving is a great time to embrace fall colors, or in this case, luxe fall fabrics - like velvet. To find that happy medium between looking nice without looking too formal, I would wear wide leg black pants, a traditional crisp white oxford, and a tuxedo style velvet blazer. Add a mixed material - like chain and pearl - oversized necklace. And finally, wear a flat with a bit of a wedge, like these that hit on the fall leopard trend. A bit of a heel always makes us stand up better and gives our legs better shape, but keep it low and keep it a wedge - you never know when your boyfriend's mom might ask for some help in the kitchen!