Friday, December 28, 2012

Pretty Party Dresses (Wishlist)

Happy holidays, everyone! In classic childhood fashion, I wanna know - what'd you get?

Most of you know what I got (and I went with the grape since I have to agree it might be the more practical choice - and it happens to be a super pretty color). My handbag is on its way to me. I got so busy right before Christmas that I forgot to order it, and well, now I have to wait a bit.

I don't mind so much, though - there's nothing like drawing out the holidays, right? 

I also have two parties to go to (a wedding and a work-sponsored holiday party - the company I work for likes to do ours in January) over the next three weeks, and while I'll probably wear something I already own, I decided I could just look. "For fun." You know...

I've been nursing a healthy obsession with stripes and striped dresses. This Kate Spade frock hits all the right party-notes with its fitted waist, flared skirt, glossy sheen, and oh gosh, I think I love it.

I don't need a new dress. I don't need a new dress. I don't need a new dress.

Did anyone else notice that if you were to knock the last two letters off its name, it would be the "Carol" dress?


Okay, so in case anyone else is looking for a pretty party dress (oh, lucky, lucky you!) here are some other numbers that have caught my eye in recent days:

1. Diane Von Furstenberg Pandora Dress (Okay, let's talk turkey here. This dress? It's too pricey for me. It's SO fuschia. Those ruffles might eat their wearer. It's polyester, for goodness' sake! And despite all that, I love it. It fills my heart with a brimming-over-with-delight sort of happiness that I can't even begin to describe. It's completely impractical, as it's very strictly a going-out-party-dress and I have no idea how you can turn it into anything else. And still...still...well, if I won the lottery, you'd have to look out. Not that I'd be easy to miss, wearing that.)
2. Madewell Silk Swingdot Strapless Dress (I love the way strapless dresses look, but being as flat as a board as I don't have a lot to hold them up, they're not usually my favorite. Still, this sweet little dress would be perfect paired with basically any color cardigan - something cozy with tights for winter and something light and bare legs for warmer months.)
3. Falling Wing Dress (There's something so delicate and dainty about this dress without being overly precious - I really, really like it. The beaded belt with which its styled on the product page gives it the perfect accent. Super pretty.)
4. J. Crew Jules Dress in Scroll Print (I love the sophisticated silhouette and look-at-me! brightness of this dress. Also, you can probably eat in it comfortably. The Collection botanical print version is also beautiful.)
5. Alice + Olivia Elise Metallic Tweed Dress (I love the cap sleeves, I love the structured cut, and I love the shimmery gold tweed. This is a really playful take on an otherwise very conservative dress.)
6. Tracy Reese "Michelle" Dress (The nation - well, half of it, anyway - took a collective gasp when they first laid eyes on this gorgeous masterpiece by Tracy Reese. If you feel up to rocking some FLOTUS style, then this is the way to go. Beautiful.)
7. Tracy Reese Floral Print Peplum Dress (I've been looking at this dress online for the past month. Something about the print and the colors and the shapes - all kinds of good going on here. And did I mention the strategically placed peplum that's long enough to cover one's tummy, allowing one to eat? And the dress looks like it'd play nicely in an office setting, when paired with a cardigan or a blazer.)

So, are there any more holiday fêtes left on your calendar? What are you wearing?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pretty in Fleece (Chic Sweatshirts)

I admit it - my comfort clothing of choice in cooler weather? Sweatshirts. I have several - mostly college gear - that I tend to live in when the work/public part of the day is over and I'm free to change into my "comfy clothes." But I do like the idea of being able to be supremely comfortable during the day too (who doesn't) without looking sloppy.

Because really, wearing hooded sweatshirts emblazoned with university or sports team logos doesn't really shout, "chic and stylish." Don't get me wrong - they're super comfy. I love 'em. But super stylish? No, not so much.

So, when Neiman Marcus and Target released their collaboration collection that included a sweatshirt from Proenza Schouler, I pounced on it. And then I started to wonder - are there more out there? Sweatshirts that might reasonably be called stylish?

Is there a Santa Claus?

Yes, dear readers. Turns out there are.

Here's what I found:

1. Burberry Brit Studded Sweatshirt (Wow, I love this! But even on super sale, it's cost would be prohibitive.)
2. James Perse 'Vintage' French Terry Sweatshirt (This sweatshirt is super simple but I will attest to the fantastic cut, drape, and fit of James Perse's essential items.)
3. Graphic Print Sweatshirt (The floral print is really pretty and the faux-leather shoulder patches give it a little edge. I also really love this Mango flower print sweatshirt.)
4. Rachel Roy Juliana Sweatshirt (With its stripes and split back, this top has enough interest to keep from feeling like loungewear.)
5. BCBGMaxAzria Lace Front Sweatshirt (So cute! Also take a look at this Lace Sweatshirt from Haute Hippie.) 
6. DVF Paryse Sweatshirt (Sparkly and fun!)
7. Rebecca Taylor Cashmere Sweatshirt (Can you really call it a sweatshirt, when it's probably just a cashmere sweater that looks like a sweatshirt? Am I really going to quibble over this?)

So, what about you? Are you a lover of sweatshirts too? Stay cozy and comfy, everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Blame Anne (Trench Coats)

I blame France too. France with all its chic and coiffed women running about in the striped shirts and trench coats. And of course, England where the darn things were first made. I definitely blame England. I also blame the fact that San Diego has had a fairly overcast and even rainy week or so.

But mostly, I blame Anne:

Oh, and maybe her Grace, the Duchess of Cambridge too:

I've resisted the fascination of trench coats for a long time - mostly because I'm short and small boned, and trench coats always made me feel like a tent on legs. But ever since I saw the photo of Anne's outfit (and then came across this Kate outfit), I've been a little obsessed. I think I might need a trench coat. A proper trench coat. One that fits me well, and doesn't make me feel like I'm a walking tent.

And oh, when I look online at all the possibilities (because there really are quite a few), my eyes keep being riveted by the BBB (Big British Brand) Burberry.  The structured shoulders and well-cut silhouettes keep me thinking that maybe one of these will work for me. The only problem? Some of them cost as much as a mortgage payment! Sheesh.

Anyway, a woman can dream. Here are the ones I'm sighing over:

1. Burberry London Gabardine Trenchcoat (Let's start with a mid-length coat - while this hits at the top of the model's thighs, it's nearly guaranteed to hit me a couple inches above the knee. Very classic. Very pricey.)
2. Burberry Prorsum Belted Twill Trench Coat (I love the trim, neat look of this one. But it's quite a bit more than the first. Wish I could figure out why...)
3. Burberry Brit Honey Cotton Trench Coat (And despite all my talk of wanting something that will fit me well, I can't help but long for...well, the longer version. I mean, it's so super spy! And closer to Anne's version. All of this despite the fact that it would be practically tea-length on me. Sigh.)
4. Lacoste Cropped Mack Trench Jacket (Not at all what I had in mind originally, but oh my goodness, so cute!)
5. Banana Republic Classic Trench (Quite similar to the Burberry versions, and there's a petite version available. Looks promising!)
6. Merona Water Repellant Classic Trench Coat (So cute and on sale, which makes this totally reasonable, price-wise. But also probably too big for me. *sad face*)
7. Club Monaco Harper Trench (Another very classic look, with a bigger collar. Priced in between the BR and lower end Burberry coats.)

Trench coats also come in leather (the palest pink! Oh, I die!), wool, silk, and fur (???). And you can find them in an array of colors, including navy, red, coral, orange, yellow, green, purple, and of course, the ubiquitous black. Not to mention plaids, prints, tweeds, puffers (!!!), and flocked fabrics (omg, so cute!) as well.

So - tell me. Are you part of the trench coat club? What sort do you wear?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Living the High Life (For Maya)

A week or so ago, my friend Maya asked me to offer some recommendations for stylish high top sneakers.

I have to admit, while I'd seen high top sneakers about this past year, I hadn't paid any attention to them. Mostly because as a professional woman and mom-of-two-in-her-late-30s, I just feel...well, too old for them. After all, the last time I wore high top sneakers, I was sporting white Reeboks in middle school paired with layered socks and scrunchies.

I know - it's brutal, right?

But I respect and admire Maya's sense of style - she's always so well put-together (even when she insists she's not) and so, I had to take a closer look. And here's what I found:

Wow, I could so do this. Well, minus the leather leggings (will a ponte knit or denim version do?). Seriously, how fantastic does Anne Hathaway look in this outfit, with those high tops (Isabel Marant Bekett sneakers) anyway? (Note to self: don't forget to carry potted delphiniums as an accent accessory.)

But it gets better - because look at this outfit below:

I love everything about it. So effortless and totally put together, and I have to admit - the outfit would be lovely even without the high tops, but those shoes elevate (haha, no pun intended) the look from conservative to edgy. Bold, even. 

Man, she has come a long way from the Princess Diaries, hasn't she?

To envision how you might wear high top sneakers in the spring, take a look at Miranda Kerr's outfit here:

Again - we all have these elements in our closets - striped tee, skinny jeans, tote bag. The interesting difference? Her shoes! High Top sneakers. Who knew?

So, here are some possible options that I'm totally considering for my next weekend's outfits should you be thinking of getting a pair yourself:

1. Isabel Marant Bekett (These are the pair that Ms. Hathaway is sporting in the photos above - only in white. The black pair seems to have sold out, except on auction sites and other retailers of a more dubious nature. Still - I gotta say, if you can afford them, the lighter shade are just as cute.)
2. Steve Madden Hilight  (Trust good ol' Steve to bring high end designer style to the masses. These are pretty close to Anne's black Isabel Marant pair. There's also the Olympiaa, should you like a velcro/laces combination along with a white sole.)
3. Lemaré Sneaker (I like the gray and blue shades in this one - and I also like that ruffled accent under the tongue.)
4. Prada High Top (The high top sneaker from the house of Miuccia: elegant, refrained, refined. And with the price to reflect it. Economy versions here and here.)
5. Paul Green High Top Wedge Sneaker (I'm loving this camel-colored version of the high top - and the extra 2.5" wedge is always welcome to this shorty.)
6. Lemaré Hi Top Wedge (The muted mauve is so pretty and I kinda love it. Economy version here.) 
7. Tory Burch High Top Sneakers (Super cute, but so bourgeois. I know, I know, who am I to talk?)
8. See by Chloe Lace-Up Wedge Sneaker (So pretty, they're practically a boot.)
9. Marc by Marc Jacobs High Top Sneaker (I feel like I saw the "future" characters from "Back to the Future" wearing shoes like these. Not something I could pull off, but fun.)
10. Converse Chuck Taylor High Top (An oldie but a serious goodie. They're definitely less of a fashion statement/risk, but if you want to play with the trend without really committing to it, this is a good way to dabble.)

So, what do you think? Is this something you'd try or consider? Is there a pair that you've been mulling over? I'm dying to know!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Little Help From My Friends (Reader Poll)

My husband is a lovely, thoughtful, brilliant human being. He's super smart and really one of the nicest people I know. He's so smart, that he's figured out that I should really be left to choose my own gifts.

There are so many things on my wishlist, but I've been wanting a new handbag for a while. So, I have my eye on the Rebecca Minkoff 'Cupid' Satchel. Only, I need some help. I can't decide which color I like better:

Not only is the bag lovely in real life, it's a great size (not overly big but with plenty of room), has tons of pockets to help me stay organized, and has the perfect amount of detail to make it interesting without making it...too interesting (if you get my meaning). 

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, it comes in practically every color in the rainbow. You can check out the Cupid in burgundy (I kinda love this too!), royal blue, navy, red-orange or teal green, smoke, or sand. There are also about a dozen other colors (including black, cognac, light grays, lavender, etc) should you be interested at some of these links. 

But back to my original question - which should I go with? Mint or grape? Grape or mint? I'm really struggling with this one, so would love some feedback. I tried to find a poll...I think this one below will work. 

Thanks! Hope you're all having a great day!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Things Made From Yarn (Wishlist)

There's nothing I love giving as a gift for the holidays like a sweater. For some reason, sweaters just shout, "Wintery-Wonderful-Goodness!" at me, as I walk past them. So, what am I supposed to do? How do you ignore that?

(My current sweater-obsession)

The truth is, as much as I love giving sweaters as holiday gifts, I also love wearing them. Here are a few favorites that I've come across during my holiday gift hunting:

1. 3.1 Phillip Lim Floral Print Sweater (There's something so delicate and pretty about this sweater. I'm not convinced it'll provide much warmth, but I don't think I care...)
2. RED Valentino Ribbon and Bow Cardigan (There are a lot of embellished cardigans out there, and to be honest, lately the vast majority of them have been boring me. But this one - there's something about it that catches my eye. Too bad the price catches my breath.)
3. Free People Flower Power Cardi (I have a feeling that I might look like I'm wearing a rose-patterned blanket in this, but I love it anyway. I can't choose between the mulberry or black color schemes...which one???)
4. Madewell Jackalope Sweater (For a healthy dose of holiday whimsy, take a peak at this sweater. There's something about the antlers that make me think of reindeer. Not that I actually know the difference between reindeer antlers and antelope antlers.)
5. J. Crew Colorblock Wool Turtleneck Sweater (I don't know what it is about this sweater, but every time I'm in the store, I walk up to it and touch it. My eyes seek it out and fix on it from across the room. I never actually convince myself to go farther - I don't try it on. I certainly haven't purchased it yet. But I'm obviously drawn to it. And I rather imagine that before the month is out, this sweater will be mine. It's like we're having a drawn out flirtation with each other. Yes, I did just type that. I am, apparently, have an affaire de coeur with a sweater.)
6. J. Crew Collection Cashmere Ribbed Sweater (I like a nice, substantial cashmere sweater, and too often these days, cashmere feels...flimsy. I've not actually encountered this sweater in person so can't be sure, but it looks sturdy enough, doesn't it? And the ribbed neckline is a lovely added detail. On sale + up to 30% off right now makes it dreadfully tempting...)
7. J. Crew Giant Bow Sweater (I am absolutely in love with J. Crew's sweaters this year. This is another one that was catching my eye every time I came into the store. I actually pulled the trigger on this one. Love it. Love, love, love.)
8. J. Crew Take A Bow Sweater (I saw this one in-store in the grey+black colorway, and it's seriously too cute. I want, I want, I want!)

What about you? Are you a sweater-fiend in the cooler winter months? Which have you been snapping up?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Insert-Very-Clever-Title-Here (OOTD)

I was hoping that I'd have something great to write here. After all, how often does this happen, lately? Fun outfit, time to snap some photos of it, and look! Here I am, actually sitting in front of the computer, writing it up.

Sort of.

I mean, I would be, if I could think of something to say.

Maybe...if I scroll down the page some...

Hmm...yeah, nothing here.

And nope, nothing here either...

Sweater: Madewell Meerkat Sweater (similar here, here, and here)
Pants: Tory Burch Ankle Jeans (similar here, here, and here)
Shoes: Blake Pump, Sole Society (similar here and here)
Necklace: Kate Spade 'Hang in There' Necklace (similar here, here, here, and here)

Oh well. At least there was the fun outfit. I rather enjoyed it, anyway. Nothing like Meerkats, plaid, and coral suede to say, "I knew where I was going with this!"

Yes, well...maybe that was the problem.

Hoping you're all having a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by. ^_-

Monday, December 3, 2012

An Interlude (Family OOTDs)

Kate doing the cha-cha:

Rowan getting another perspective:

Kisses from my sweetie:

Shoes: Hunter 'Original Gloss' Rain Boot (Big Kids' size 6 - grown up sizes here and here)
Necklace: Cara Accessories necklace, Nordstrom (similar herehere, and here)

Holidays mean holiday cards (I've ordered mine from Minted for the past three years and they're always beautiful - I highly recommend them), and I've been lucky enough to have a talented photographer friend, Haseeb Omar, take our family photos for me both this and last year. I love them so much, I just had to share a few with you before they go to print.

Hope you're all having a wonderful day - thanks for stopping by!