Tag Archives: fashion

Black and Blue, a Look for Less

First let me say that I am in LOVE with the Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2011 collection.  It’s like swoon, double take, amble mindlessly through the collection when I visit it in stores, kind of love.  However, I am not currently in the spend $300+ on a bolt of berry blue silk wrapped around me.   It’s a look I love, but I want for a lot less.

Aspire: Reara draped silk-crepe dress by Diane Von Furstenberg at Net-A-Porter, Jimmy Choo Candy Collection Clutch at Nordstrom, AO3541 by Sergio Rossi at Zappos Couture

Attain: Aqua Sleeveless Ruffle Wrap Dress at Bloomingdale’s, Effe Patent Clutch by HOBO International, Sam Edelman Novato at Zappos

What looks are you loving for summer that you want for a lot less?  Style at a steal!

A Wild Trip for Spring

The weather is changing, the sun is out, flowers are popping up on every corner, and my Passport is asking to be used.  It is saying, throw me in a bag with a flowing dress, some bejeweled sandals, radiant sunglasses, and lets find some far off land, where spices are sold in burlap sacks, the food is hot and the people are beautiful.

Ashika Pratt in Vogue India
I pulled together these pieces that are all different but tied together but the vibrancy of the colors, the boldness of the print and the ease of wear. 
A Tribal Spring
A Tribal Spring, from L to R: Shine on Dress at Anthropologie, Gibillterra scarf-embellished printed swimsuit by Missoni Mare at Outnet, Belted Print Skirt at Barneys New York, Lottie patent-leather and raffia clutch by Jimmy Choo at Net A Porter, Frayed Straw Fedora at Forever 21

Bottom, from L to R: FALIERO SARTI Ios Sand/Multicolor Pompom Scarf at StyleBop, Alligator skin-print jersey dress by Tibi at Outnet, Alba Mini Skirt at AllSaint Spitalfields, Dollhouse Alfa Slingback Sandal at Endless, Knot intrecciato snakeskin clutch by Bottega Veneta at Net A Porter, Melbourne Sunglasses by Lacoste, Rainbow Ring by Citrine by the Stones at Charm and Chain

The trick for going big with color, prints and patterns is to not be afraid.  Find a silhouette you typically gravitate towards, a slim pant, a waist cinching wrap dress, a pencil dress and go bold.  Step away from the gray and black and add yellow, oranges, limes, cerulean, ruby.
I love the idea of making a splash in a bold and beautiful way, that’s as wild as it is sophisticated.

Dress Like a Princess, Spend Like a Commoner

For as much as Kate loves Will, I’ve noticed a few other things that have really caught her fancy.  Among them, tights, boots, blazers, and a great cocktail dress.  Kate has a style that is contemporary and accessible.  She knows her shape, colors, and what works best for a life in the limelight.

She favors deep v-necklines, which I suspect will become less deep after the “I do”, cinched waists, and fabric details.
Want the Kate look for less?  Try these on for size.
Like any good Brit, Kate often dons the trench coat, but like any savvy shopper we’ll forgo the Burberry for a chic coat for less than $200.
Casual about Town, Top Row: Macks Trench Coat via French Connection, English Rose Kimono Blouse via Anthropologie, Broome Street Jeans via Kate Spade, Calvin Klein Metallic Scarf, Heeled Stretch Boots via Boden.

Kate is often photographed in dresses, like the one in the original engagement photos, the highlight and accentuate her slender waist.  Expect to see more dresses and conservative style in her new role.  She also isn’t afraid to shop off the rack – we should be no different!
Dress for the Occasion, Middle Row: BCBGMaxAzria Ruched Jersey Dress via Bluefly, Tahari ASL Sheath Dress via Bluefly, Contrast Tank Sundress via White House/Black Market, Cole Haan Opaque Tights via Zappos, Michael Michael Kors Flex Low Pump via Zappos,  ASOS SUGAR Bow Court Shoe via Asos.

Will and Kate got engaged while on Safari in Africa, and I am sure they will honeymoon somewhere fabulous.  Whenever they get the chance for some R & R, expect more dresses and chic, simple resortwear.

Princess on Holiday, Bottom Row: Free People Tiered Lace Dress via Nordstrom,  Crisp Chambray Blazer via Anthropologie, Off White Anglaise Bikini via TopShop, Sapphire and Diamond Ring via Ice.com, Melin T-Strap Pump via Nordstrom

Travel Inspiration: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Inspiration comes from so many places: the people you meet, art, life and yes, the places you go (or dream of going).  

One of my favorite trips to date was to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Talk about big sky, fresh air, and slower living, that is Jackson.  The downtown is quaint and cute, the food is fresh and real, the air is crisp and everywhere you turn there is a scenic photo waiting to be taken.

In designing this inspiration board and the matching Wyoming wardrobe I looked for colors that were natural the environment and pieces that were wearable and utilitarian (while still being refined and dare I say, cute)!

From L – R: Charlotte Ronson F2011; 291 Locals Only Sweater at Shopbop.com; Before and Again Camo Cheetah Thermal at Searle; G.E.T. Drawstring Anorak at Neiman Marcus Last Call; Eternal Sunshine Creations Paca Cardigan at Shopbop.com; Aran Sheer Cable Tall Sock at Free People; Rag & Bone Sweater Dress at Shopbop.com; Tory Burch Howard Wedge Hiking Boot; Steve Madden Perrin Knee High Boot at Endless.com

Dreaming of a California Closet

I am on Twitter (@CRL26) and I follow Rachel Zoe (@rzrachelzoe) and the other day another fan, of hers, asked what she should wear for an upcoming trip to California.

This was her response: “the weather is gorgeous right now so maxi dresses, pretty blouses, flared jeans, wedges, jacket 4 night. think Cali cool XoRZ”

I have just survived DC’s first “Thundersnow”, and all I can really do is dream of being in California, and having these outfit sets in my California closet!

Have a fabulous, fashionable, foodie weekend!

I Just Want to Wear Sweatpants

Less than a week ago the temperature was teetering around 75 degrees, I knew, it couldn’t last forever. But this morning as I woke up Mark said to me, “you know its 30 degrees this morning,” and that was enough to consider Caribbean real estate, or at least an extra sweater.

I have lived in DC for seven years, it is hard to believe time goes by so quickly, and every Fall transition it shocks me how cold it suddenly gets.  I go through the same cycle every year; look for boots, look for Uggs (which I have never purchased), look for a hat (and then resign that I don’t really wear hats, although I love them).

This morning when I got dressed all I wanted was to wear my comfortable chunky sweaters and extra soft lounge pants to work, but clearly that wouldn’t do – here are some finds for taking cold weather comfort beyond the couch.

Keep an eye out for ponte legging and pants; these are the extra thick, double knit pants (sometimes referred to as scuba knit) that not only hold you in, but they also keep you warm, and look more refined than a traditional knit stretch legging.

A sweater dress is a seasonal must have.  The tunic cut, and heavier knits are beyond forgiving for an extra slice of pie, and the accessorizing options are endless: scarves, jewelry, belts, all change the look of a basic sweater dress in an instant.

Pick up a soft, knit blazer.  It’s warmer than a regular blazer and will serve double duty for weekend wear.

Looking for new boots?  Try out some of the shoe brands that specialize in comfort footwear, Aerosoles, Merrell, Uggs, and many more.  They have finally wised up and put out shoes that are almost as chic as they are comfortable.

It takes a bit more thought to get dressed in the fall and winter and still look pulled together and feel comfortable, but you have to admit your office isn’t going to let you wear a Snuggie anytime soon!

Happy Fashionable Fall!

Madonna, The Mother of Reinvention, an Ico

Madonna has never been my icon, but there is absolutely no denying that the Mother of Pop Music is also the Mother of Reinvention.  In the span of her career no other artist has transformed their look so seamlessly, and stayed so true to their personal style.  Who would A Virgin could become a Geisha and then a Disco Cowgirl.  That is Madonna.

There is a ton of inspiration to be found in Madonna, and not just for Halloween.  Certain signature staples like a structured corset black dress, sequins, and fishnet stockings have always been Madonna. 
In the 80’s Madonna rocks leggings, layered jewelry, virginal white and then bold neons, oversized hair accessories and lace.  Watch out for the lace, it becomes a signature.

In the Mid 90’s Madonna identifies with another platinum icon, Marilyn and then she finds Tom Ford.  It is almost safe to assume that in the 1990’s Madonna saves Gucci from financial peril.  Nearly fully covered in a shirt and pants, she still oozes Madonna.  She also begins to infuse a vintage aesthetic to her wardrobe as she films and later promotes Evita.
Madonna in Gucci in 1995

Madonna discovers Kabballah and Yoga.  Brittney and Christina want to also be like a Virgin and thus Madonna goes back in time and back to the gym to look the youngest and be the most fit.  Her wardrobe in the early 2000s is inspired by disco glamour (color, sequin), and fitness (track suits, leggings, leotards).

Madonna in 2005
Today, at 52 years old, she is Mother Madonna.  She is still a rock star, but she has added to her resume fashion designer with daughter Lola, humanitarian, and she continues to be a filmmaker.  Her wardrobe today is a sophisticated representation of the past three decades.  She still favors body conscious fits, sexy details, ultra feminine pieces but it has a more practical presentation to keep up with her travels and life.

Madonna and Lourdes
“The history of women in popular music can, pretty much, be divided into before and after Madonna.”  – Susan Sarandon

Finding the Wild Side

I am having a bit of an animal moment.  I don’t know where it came from, but lately I am gravitating towards animal prints of every variety; leopard, cheetah, tiger, zebra.  Wild animals on footwear and accessories are often on the prowl in South Florida, but spotting animal print in DC is like hunting endangered animals – as in the occurrence is rare.  There is a fine line between eye catching and over the top, let’s see what we can find…

Ralph Lauren Leopard Hair-Calf Peep Toe Pump
Jeffrey Campbell Kammie Ballet Flat
Vince Camuto Rues2
I love the idea of the leopard shoes.  You know I’m all about the classic aesthetic, and I think these all would work great as a surprise accessory with a slim, straight leg jean in a dark wash, or a black shift dress.  They add a kicky pop to any outfit that’s a little playful, a lot of fun, and still classically cool.  
I’m still hunting for animal inspired home pieces too, so look out for that in a future post!

Iconic Fashion

In fashion there are always archetypes and icons.  The women who stand out for having that certain look – whatever it may be.  Their personal style becomes the trend and something to model.  Certain women stand out as setting trends and just following them, and over the next few weeks I’ll highlight their style – and how to be inspired by it, without looking like you’re wearing a costume, Halloween hasn’t started – yet!

We’ll start with the beginning, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  I don’t think it is an overstatement to say she is the most iconic woman of the 20th Century.  In my mind there are two versions of Jackie style: White House and New York.  These different phases of her life clearly informed what was necessary and appropriate to wear but what is most striking is that no matter what she is wearing she always looks like herself, she looks effortlessly refined, authentic and American.
Image via At its best

After the White House she maintained the style and elegance she always had but in a more casual, accessible way and defined what today is called American sportswear.

Image via Harper’s Bazaar
“No one else looked like her, spoke like her, wrote like her, or was so original in the way she did things. No one we knew ever had a better sense of self.” 
Teddy Kennedy on Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

A Few of My Favorite Things

It’s probably clear by now where on the fashion spectrum I fall.  I think of myself as a real “classic” kind of a girl.  I live in neutrals, love my denim, and keep my makeup and jewelry on the simple, and of course classic side.

These are my favorites, some are aspirational (ahem, custom DVF), and some are within reach with a visit to the makeup store.
Laura Mercier Cake Liner in Black Ebony
I don’t wear makeup everyday, and even less in the summer.  While, I have never been and don’t foresee becoming a total face makeup wearer, I can never go wrong with the Cake Liner.  The girls got it for me for my birthday, and after it met and untimely death by falling in a toilet – tragic – I treated myself to it.  It’s an instant glamour pick me up.
Essie Mademoiselle

It might be because I am not a risk taker, but I can never pick up the hot picks, purples, blacks when that was current.  No matter the season or the event I go for Essie Mademoiselle, or Sugar Daddy.  It’s seen me through my first manicure to my wedding day.  No sense in changing up a good thing.

DVF Sketch for First Lady Michelle Obama

If I could start collecting any premium designer it would be Diane Von Furstenberg.  I think her designs exemplify the modern woman, how she works, how she celebrates and how she travels.  It’s timeless, and she’s classic.

Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses

I can’t wear the traditional aviator sunglasses, they interfere with my cheekbones and segment my face in a weird way.  But, it doesn’t mean I don’t love them.  This modified shape is perfection.

Burberry Double Breasted Trench Coat
To me, nothing says classic outerwear like a Burberry trench.  Other than updates on fit, the silhouette and style have remained the same for years – it’s a timeless must have.  Don’t believe me, it ranks up there with the classic white shirt, red lipstick, and a well fitting pair of jeans as seen in every style guide from In Style to Nina Garcia.
Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard – Tiffany & Co

This is the true aspirational piece.  I have loved the look of Diamonds by the Yard since I was a little girl.  It looks like raindrops, snowflakes, a smattering of sparkle.  One day…