Friday, December 23, 2011

Fashion Stimulus: Not Your Average Messenger

I'm currently blogging from my bedroom in my parent's home in NYC; sipping hot cocoa and listening to Celine Dion's Christmas album. It feels so good to be back for the holidays. The house is just as festively decorated as always and the tree just as tall and bright.

Being home for the holidays really allows you to satisfy the best of both worlds: you can lounge around your childhood home freely in plush pajamas, but you can also "dress to the nines" for Christmas and New Year's Eve. As an ode to this welcome blend of casual + couture, I leave you with a glossy and effortlessly chic take on the every day messenger bag:

Meet the Python Shine Messenger, complete with classic turn-lock gold hardware from Mr. Marc Jacobs. (Available here.) This was mentally added to my Lust List the moment I saw it. There are still a few days left before Christmas! According to my 5-year-old nephew, Santa is a real and tangible person. What are the odds that he's up on the blogosphere? Dear Santa...  ;o)

Happy holidays everyone!

'Til Next Time,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spread the Sparkle: Holiday Heels

Holiday ensembles are all about bursts of vibrant reds and a touch of sparkle. Usually the sparkle is accomplished with decadent jewelry, big bright silver eyes, or sequin clothing items. But for those with a bit more "chutzpah" and daring, this time of year means it's finally appropriate to bust out our loudest and most attention-seeking heels.Who says you can't wear the sparkle on your feet right? After all, if an adorable little girl from Kansas (see: Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz) can own a pair of red glitter heels in 1939, we owe it to ourselves to try this trend on for size ; )

Blue: Kate Spade NY Charyl / Silver: Kate Spade NY Licorice / Black: Kate Spade NY Latrice

All three pairs can be purchased here, here, and here

'Til Next Time,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hidden Edge: Leather Mini

One of my all time favorite style-challenges is taking a potentially edgy piece, like the leather mini below, and completely changing the tone of it by adding items of another "fashion genre". I wanted to maintain my femininity without muting the edginess of the skirt, so I paired it with a plum J Crew knit sweater and a pair of eternally classic Ralph Lauren riding boots. After initial consultation I found the outfit a bit wanting, so I strung on a spiky gold leaf bib-necklace and felt content at the mixture of spunky & polished pieces.

Sweater: J Crew / Skirt: Armani Exchange / Tights: Target

Necklace: NY Boutique

Boots: Ralph Lauren 2009
I'd love to see how all of you dress up or down edgy pieces. The fashion blogosphere really is a constant source of inspiration.

I will officially be with my family in 48 hours. The anticipation is building! And the infamous city awaits.

'Til Next Time,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Ensemble

I've been brainstorming my Christmas eve attire for a few weeks now. It's a pretty big night in my family and probably my most favorite holiday tradition. I started mentally piecing together multiple items for potential outfits and then realized making collages on my trusty laptop would A. be wonderfully relaxing, B. organize my options without having to ransack my closet, and C. save me from having to make multiple purchases and subsequently, multiple returns! : )

Here is one of the ensemble collages:

Dress: F21 $22 / Shoes: Pedro Garcia $395 / Clutch: Nanette Lepore $295 / Blazer: Wes Gordon $2490
As it turned out, I used this collage for inspiration more than anything else. The prices are a bit too steep and I'm a girl on a budget! However I did purchase the dress (re: affordable) and plan on wearing it with a slightly different look on New Years Eve. 

I'd love to see all of your holiday ensemble ideas!

'Til Next Time,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Penny Loafers & a Peek-a-boo Collar

Do you all feel it? The heightened excitement winding through the air like electricity? Energy levels are soaring, laughing comes easier and eagerness builds as you anticipate your loved ones' reactions to the gifts you've hand picked for them. Things have really been looking up as of late, and the most wonderful feeling in the world is being 100% sure that the holidays are merely augmenting the joy that is already there.

Here's to growth, love and trust. And here's to those challenges and obstacles that give you the strength to forge through the rough times. I'll leave you all on that note, and with pictures of today's outfit.

Sweater: F21 / Jean Leggings: Banana Republic / Button Down: Express

Necklace: Century 21

Penny Loafer Heels: Nine West
I hope you all have wonderful weekends and get the rest of your holiday shopping out of the way. Once that's complete you can REALLY start basking in the holiday energy  ; )

'Til Next Time,

Dear Santa: Aspinal of London

Happy Friday everyone! Now that the holidays are nearing, we're occasionally reminded of our long standing, all-year-long wish lists. You know: that repertoire of luxurious goodies you've been compiling for years, only ever recorded in your wonderfully ambitious mind. Lets call it a faux Christmas list. Well, here are a few items I've been stockpiling.

Stacking bracelets is a huge trend this season and will very likely continue on into the warmer months. The above adorned cuffs are not only perfectly "stack-able" but are the ideal pop of color for any ensemble. I also found them impossibly versatile - they're casual enough to go with jeans and a T-shirt but have just enough embellishment to accessorize a cocktail dress. (All bracelets can be found here.)

And why not invest in a quality modern day briefcase? If money wasn't an object, I'd most certainly purchase this document case for those particularly busy days when I have to take work home with me. I know one soon-to-be lawyer in Boston who would rock this with the utmost poise.

These bags and clutches give a whole new meaning to the term "arm candy". We have all of the bases covered: animal print, suede, patent leather and sequin; an option for day, night, the office, the Christmas party and dinner with the girls. (All bags found here.)

And while the thought of one day fulfilling our grandest purchase-desires holds a certain level of sophistication and glamour, I revel in the rush that accompanies buying a quality piece on sale or scoring some unique treasure at an inexpensive retail store. I don't think that appreciation will ever change.

Now, I've hopefully left you all pondering your own faux Christmas lists, and the wonderful journey that will coincide with the pursuit of our somewhat frivolous dreams  : )

'Til next time dear blogosphere,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fashion Stimulus: Golden Wedged K. Spade

For those of us in warmer climates for the holiday season, these Kate Spade wedges are the perfect New Years Eve alternative to bejeweled closed-toe pumps. The woven effect of the golden striped cubes is glamorous without being too loud & in your face. I love how much the midnight blue suede compliments the gold accents. It's the ideal balance of sophistication and vibrance. 

Courtesy of Kate Spade NY: The Farryn Wedge.
Available for purchase here.

'Til Next Time,

Festive Philosophy

This is without question my favorite time of year. I find that my appreciation for the sentimentality of this season grows as I do. Yearning to see distant friends and dearly loved relatives is one of the most gratifying feelings. This often overlooked sensation is such a beautiful reality; having someone to miss with such intensity. Though it pains us at times, really what is life if not the collection of experiences, feelings and memories we share with those we love. And what are we if not the culmination of all those wonderful individuals who impact out souls, after which we are rarely the same... and always wiser.

I have so many golden hearted "some ones" to miss. The silver lining of this has far more of an enduring impact than the occasional heartache. I guess there goes my festive philosophy.

I'll leave you perfect listeners with my outfit for today:

Jeans & Cardigan: Express / Leopard Print Blouse: Forever 21 / Watch: Anne Klein
Having a massive amount of errands usually draws me to somewhat comfier attire; i.e. jeans and a long cardigan. Especially when said errands take place amidst the sea of frenzied holiday shoppers. The very fact that people are now under the (red and green) gun to buy gifts seems to drive the majority of shoppers mental during an otherwise normal shopping adventure.

I rarely opt for a mid-drift baring top but once on, I found the cropped cut and exposed denim waistline pretty flattering. Definitely a trend to experiment with in the warmer weather.

Booties: Payless
And last but not the least, the shoes. Believe it or not, I scored these lace-up booties from Payless a few months ago. I'm still surprised at their comfort and flexibility. I can run around in them all day without experiencing any soreness! It's discount shoe-love at its best.

'Til Next Time,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas at Tiffanys 2011

My best friend alerted me to the above marketing genius and we were both floored by the outfits put together for this lovely actress. The decadence is overwhelming. The last few frames featuring black high heeled pumps and a pleated pea-coat are breathtaking. It's exactly the kind of elegance you would expect from Tiffany.

A nod of appreciation to the stylist of this commercial.

Happy holidays everyone! :)

'Til Next Time,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Polished Cargo

Happy Saturday! The holidays are nearing! I'm very eager to get home, see my beloved city all decked out for the holidays and hug my sisters. My family celebrates two religions, so we've always gotten the best of both worlds: potato latkes AND a Christmas tree. I cannot wait to bask in the holiday love.

This past week my significant other completed two of his law school finals. We felt it more than appropriate to get a little dolled up and take ourselves out to celebrate his hard work. I've had this Chanel-esque cropped jacket in my wardrobe for over two years now (from Express) and I've only managed to wear it once. I wanted to make the polished look a bit edgier so I paired it with my army-green cargo skinnies (also from Express), a ruffled black blouse (Forever 21) and a new pair of black patent Steve Madden pumps.

Jacket & Cargo Pants: Express / Blouse: Forever 21 / Watch: Anne Klein / Pumps: Steve Madden

Lipstick: Maybelline "Peachy Scene"

 I'm in love with the detail and tailoring of this jacket. The delicate black ruffle trimmed with a single line of silver chain is trendy yet so eternally classic. I know this piece will be in my wardrobe for many years to come.

I hope you all have beautiful weekends! :)

'Til Next Time,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Snazzy Spotlight: Guiliana Rancic

Earlier in the week Guiliana Rancic and her suave husband were on the Wendy Williams Show (my SUPER guilty pleasure; I can't get enough) and I fell in love with her ensemble. She wore this incredible sequin structured blazer on top of a black blouse and black silk accordion skirt. She was also carrying a classic black Hermes birkin on her way out of the studio.

Her composure and style is particularly inspiring because she is currently battling breast cancer.

I'm drooling over the boxy shoulders and black piping on the pockets. She looks perfectly polished.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day! The weekend is just around the corner :)

'Til Next Time,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fashion Stimulus: Spotted & Spiked Louboutin

As a follow-up to the Style Encore post featuring slip-on loafers (see here), below we see the perfect product of high-end meeting edgy glam.

Hello lover.

The above magnificence is courtesy of Christian Louboutin.


'Tis the Season: Botanical Gardens Lights Show

This past weekend the boyfriend and I visited the Botanical Gardens to see the holiday light show. Let me tell you, it far surpassed our expectations. The displays were all throughout the gardens and were enormous! The dim lights and softly playing holiday music made the experience very romantic. At first we were keen on taking pictures of EVERYTHING. Then as the sappiness set in we put the Nikon away and basked in the lights and each other's company.

It was a little chilly that night so I chose my Jessica Simpson brown boots (most comfortable boots ever crafted), a pair of black Banana Republic skinnies, a white boyfriend-fit button down (not shown) and a gray Express pea-coat.

Boots: Jessica Simpson / Jeans: Banana Republic / Coat: Express

The original coat didn't come with these buttons. I bought these at M&J Trimming in Manhattan and sewed them on myself. Notice how each one is different. I love the look of shiny mismatched buttons. The coat originally came with black and silver buttons but I think the gold really polishes up the overall look. (Before and after pictures coming soon)

If you live in the greater Atlanta area, you must visit this display before the holidays are over. Our favorite section was an inside rain forest decked out in tiny blue lights. It was so decadent and calming. I've barely posted a fraction of what's there. It's definitely a perfect venue for a romantic and festive date night with your significant other.

Time to start dinner. Tonight we're having sun dried tomato crostinis. My significant other has his Contracts final on Thursday so treating him to a nice dinner is the least I can do.

Has anyone else visited the Botanical Gardens? I'd love to see pictures. :)

'Til Next Time

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fashion Stimulus: Midnight Blue Sergio Rossi

As most within the fashion blogosphere would agree, there's a fine line between couture and art. Have you ever experienced the appreciation, admiration and awe-factor that bubbles up inside of you at the thought of someone dreaming this beautiful creation up in their mind and making it the sparkling reality before your eyes? Well that my lovelies is when you know you've crossed the line into fashion-art. Not all fashion-art is particularly wearable, but don't we all have those extra special occasions every now and again?  ;)

The masterpiece below is courtesy of Sergio Rossi.

Available for purchase here.

Until the next stimuli,

Where the Vine Meets the Sunshine: Part 2

Our third day in Napa was just as blissful as the first two. We headed out into the sunshine early without any plans at all. We knew we wanted to walk around a massive vineyard, but we didn't know which one. Our plan was to drive around until we spotted something we couldn't resist. (Only in Napa is this kind of activity successful!) What we ended up stumbling upon was a little slice of heaven; or maybe the Garden of Eden. The latter paints a far better picture. It was a HUGE vineyard, potentially never-ending. The hills rolled on for as far as the eye could see. As we hiked walked we came across at least four massive ponds and the sun was shining everywhere you looked.

Knowing that we were going to spend most of the day walking around outside, I opted for an orange sundress from Forever 21. I knew the light fabric would be perfect at keeping me cool throughout the day. I wrapped a brown leather belt around the dress and slipped on my Steven by Steve Madden brown leather sandals. These are my absolute favorite sandals - padded foot-bed, soft brown leather, and polished gold hardware right in the center. I grabbed my Louis Vuitton speedy and we were out to explore wine country once more.

Dress: F21 / Sandals: Steve Madden / Bag: Louis Vuitton / Belt: F21

Watch: Anne Klein

Earlier in the summer, my charming significant other bought these Hermes earrings while he was visiting Paris. He gave them to me on my birthday shortly after. He has such a golden heart. I put them on with this dress because they coordinated perfectly but in reality I just wanted to see him smile. 

It seems like we'll be heading to the west coast for yet another mini-excursion at the beginning of next month. I think my handsome partner is antsy to fly again.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

'Til next time,