Archive for the ‘What to Wear?’ Category

Fashioning Interiors with Spring Dresses from Tobi

February 20, 2009

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One of my most-missed Domino columns will be their ‘Outfit to Room‘ transformations. So when I saw the fabulous patterns on these new spring arrivals from Tobi—some of which are 20% off until Monday!—I couldn’t resist pairing them with a few of my favourite interiors. The swinging ’60’s London vibe of this See by Chloe dress perfectly reflects the boho granny appeal of a vermillion velvet settee.

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Baby pink gets an edgy update with a graphic black and white print in this piece from Alexander Wang. I love the look reinterpreted as a bold wallpaper and a sweet, curvy chair!

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If grown-ups went to preschool, we’d definitely hit the playground in clothes like this button-up jumper by Insight. Storytime would find us gathered on a very familiar looking rug, and then we’d all retire for a nap beneath a vibrant rainbow of flowers.

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This striped textured dress by Aussie label ‘Something’ is so fierce it hurts. Channel glam rock cool by contrasting clean-lined antiques in black and gold with a pebbly, washed out rug.

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The temptation to pair this maxi-dress from Velvet with a hippy-inspired room was strong. But I’d rather see it dressed up with a cropped leather jacket in cream and a pair of delicate lace-up sandals–much more classy continental than crunchy granola!

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Leave it to Juicy to throw us a curveball with this Jackie-O style dress. The prints say ‘See you at the PTA meeting’, but the gold details—the buttons on the bodice, a swing-arm lamp in the room—ask ‘Which way to St. Tropez?’

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Finally, a soft jersey sundress from Velvet is translated into the serene pinks and mauves of a casual mid-century seating arrangement. Tie-dyed swirls speak to a relaxed beach locale—makes a vacation sound pretty good right about now!

All fashion credits courtesy of Tobi.com. Interiors credits: 1. William Waldron 2. Vogue Living Australia
3. Living Etc. 4. Domino 5. Annie Schlecter 6. Source Unknown 7. Carlu Seaver

Can’t Get Enough: JessLC Jewelry

February 19, 2009

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I am so thrilled to introduce you to Jessica Constable, the designer and driving force behind
Jess LC Jewelry. Jess has been creating jewelry since she was 15, and now at the tender age of 24 she is running her own design studio and producing some of the most exquisite handmade pieces I have ever seen. Fresh from her launch of a brand new collection of must-have bracelets, Jess chatted with me about her design approach, her inspiration, and her passion for jewelry!

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I first asked Jess to describe the overall ethos of her line. “My design philosophy centers around the idea of being “naturally graceful.” When I began the line a few years ago, my perspective was very functional- the jewelry needed to compliment the customer’s outfit. The items were everyday pieces that could become chameleons- working with every outfit in a closet. The best example of this is our State St. Collection.”

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Always staying true to her mantra of ‘naturally graceful’, Jess has grown her line considerably. “As I have evolved the collections, I have added more “statement pieces” which can actually take basic clothing, like jeans and a tee shirt, and transform it into something special. The most distinctive examples of standout jewelry in my line are the Elm St. Feather Earrings and the Rush St. Swarovski crystal necklaces. I really like how the line now has these complementary “staple” and “statement” pieces.”

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Above all, Jess focuses on creating pieces that are at once on-trend and timeless. “Inspiration for my jewelry can come from something abstract, like a texture, color, or shape I see repeated in clothing trends. Right now I like to keep an eye on what J. Crew is doing with their colors for each season, since it’s a good gauge of what women buying my jewelry will have in their closets. I also like looking at vintage jewelry for silhoutette ideas and then mixing it up by adding a more contemporary material.”

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Jess is not only a talented designer, she’s also a thoughtful and savvy businesswoman. “Listening to customers is very helpful. My newest collection, Addison, launched this week and is entirely bracelets. We got so many requests at jewelry shows for more bracelets that we pulled inspiration from our other Chicago collections and repeated those themes- which not only makes the overall Jess LC collection more distinct, but customers can collect pieces from the line that will relate to one another nicely.”

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Of course Jess loves all her pieces, but even designers play favorites! “The most personally satisfying pieces in my collection would have to be the Elm St. Feather Earrings, the Rush St. Horizontal Swarovski Crystal necklace in silver and gray, and the Rush St. Layering necklace in silver. I love these pieces and wear them throughout the week. Then there is the new Addison collection, which has the Three Strand Bracelet with Links. This bracelet complements my other favorite pieces beautifully and is perfect as a standout piece on it’s own.”

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Not only is JessLC jewelry gorgeous, it’s incredibly affordable; Jess believes that everyone should have access to jewelry that makes them feel special. Plus she has devoted a portion of her line to raising funds for social causes. Activist, designer and business brain behind a line sold in over 95 stores nationwide: is there anything this gal doesn’t do? Oh yeah, she has an awesome blog as well!

Tune in next week for tips from Jess on how to build your jewelry wardrobe!

Dream the Impossible Dream: Philip Lim Cropped Trench

February 12, 2009

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Okay, so I promised only to invest in sensible, timeless classics this year. But that doesn’t stop me from craving this completely frivolous of-the-moment trench from Philip Lim! I’m loving the abbreviated length, the shoulder details, the casual drape. And that tiered ruffle cape has sent me into convulsions of ecstasy! I’d wear it with my new favourite jeans, a clean lined yet brightly colored shopper, and a pair of punky studded flats to offset the avant-garde girliness of the trench.

Tell me: what is your most impractical desire this season?

The New Style Rules: Mason by Michelle Mason

February 6, 2009

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The Spring 2009 collection from Mason by Michelle Mason could inspire an entire encyclopedia of style rules—it is Just That Good. The Top Ten? Rule #1. Basic white will always look right. Rule #2. A pair of zippered leggings renders even the granniest sweater coat truly badass.

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Rule #3. A racerback is infinitely sexier than any other style of tank. Rule #4. It’s okay to look like your toddler spilled ketchup on you, so long as it’s artfully applied.

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Rule #5. Coral and white has successfully shed its preppy reputation. Throw in some glam gold and you’re, um, golden. Rule #6. A silk anorak might not protect against actual weather, but it does protect against raincoat fashion faux pas.

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Rule #7. The adult onesie is socially acceptable, for this year at least. Accessorize with a cardigan and an intense regimen of crunches, squats and lunges. Rule #8. For the fastest and easiest update of the tee shirts you already own, tuck them in and then blouse them out just a smidge. Add a ribbon belt if you’re feeling body confident (see Rule #7).

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Rule #9. Shorts are officially formalwear. But please, use this rule sparingly. Rule #10. A black leather jacket is the single best investment you will ever make. Period.

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Tell me, what are your style rules for spring?

UPDATE: After reading some of this morning’s comments, I must address the (very valid) concerns that have been raised about the adult onesie–or ‘romper’ as it is officially known. I think they are cute in theory, hard to pull off in practice, and frankly a little frivolous in these economic times. However, I must admit to having sported an adult onesie myself only very recently. Because we are all friends here, and because friends love each other unconditionally, I will show you the photos of me in the onesie. Click through at your own risk.

Shopping Trip: Vintage Fashion from Nikita Jade

February 5, 2009

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While I love the idea of a day spent combing vintage shops for that perfect one-of-a-kind find, the reality of shopping vintage—funny smells, endless piles of junk—usually stops me in my tracks. So I’m overjoyed to have recently discovered the hidden depths of Etsy as a terrific resource for vintage shopping! One of my favourites lately is seller Nikita Jade (you may know her from her fabulous blog, Pretty.Little.World.). She offers a broad yet carefully edited collection of clothing and accessories from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. I love the thought of adding color to my spring wardrobe with these bright, flirty sundress. Throw on a pair of peep-toed flats and you’re good to go!

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Such adorable skirts! They cry out for a simple white tee (tucked in of course) and some saltwater sandals…very Debra Winger circa ‘Terms of Endearment’. And when the huz and I finally take our honeymoon (now accepting suggestions for the ultimate tropical getaway!) this fun romper or a Mrs. Roper-style caftan will make a great beach coverup.

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I’ve also started to think ahead to wedding season. With the nuptials of several friends on my radar, I don’t want to buy a new outfit for each wedding but also don’t want to appear in all those photos wearing the same thing! Vintage is a creative, economical solution to the problem. Sweet day dresses in bright colors look smashing for a morning ceremony…

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…and for a formal evening reception a tiered and ruffled dress or a fabulous sequin jacket are super sophisticated yet not too serious.

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Finally, be sure to check out Nikita Jade’s amazing selection of coats and jackets, now on sale. I’m a sucker for swingy shapes with big round buttons up the front–very Hitchcock heroine! Now tell me: what’s your all-time greatest vintage find?

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All images courtesy of Nikita Jade.

Shopping Trip: Vintage Fashion from Nikita Jade

February 5, 2009

nikita jade etsy city sage.jpg

While I love the idea of a day spent combing vintage shops for that perfect one-of-a-kind find, the reality of shopping vintage—funny smells, endless piles of junk—usually stops me in my tracks. So I’m overjoyed to have recently discovered the hidden depths of Etsy as a terrific resource for vintage shopping! One of my favourites lately is seller Nikita Jade (you may know her from her fabulous blog, Pretty.Little.World.). She offers a broad yet carefully edited collection of clothing and accessories from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. I love the thought of adding color to my spring wardrobe with these bright, flirty sundress. Throw on a pair of peep-toed flats and you’re good to go!

nikita jade etsy city sage5.jpg

Such adorable skirts! They cry out for a simple white tee (tucked in of course) and some saltwater sandals…very Debra Winger circa ‘Terms of Endearment’. And when the huz and I finally take our honeymoon (now accepting suggestions for the ultimate tropical getaway!) this fun romper or a Mrs. Roper-style caftan will make a great beach coverup.

nikita jade etsy city sage2.jpg

I’ve also started to think ahead to wedding season. With the nuptials of several friends on my radar, I don’t want to buy a new outfit for each wedding but also don’t want to appear in all those photos wearing the same thing! Vintage is a creative, economical solution to the problem. Sweet day dresses in bright colors look smashing for a morning ceremony…

nikita jade etsy city sage4.jpg

…and for a formal evening reception a tiered and ruffled dress or a fabulous sequin jacket are super sophisticated yet not too serious.

nikita jade etsy city sage3.jpg

Finally, be sure to check out Nikita Jade’s amazing selection of coats and jackets, now on sale. I’m a sucker for swingy shapes with big round buttons up the front–very Hitchcock heroine! Now tell me: what’s your all-time greatest vintage find?

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All images courtesy of Nikita Jade.

Gee You Smell Great: Tom Ford White Patchouli

January 27, 2009

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Have you ever caught a whiff of something so enchanting that you sniffed around madly to determine the source, only to discover that the smell was emanating from you? No, me neither. In fact I generally have the opposite problem, especially since I switched to an all-natural deodorant.

But on Saturday I was at Bloomingdale's and—like a magpie attracted to a shiny object—I was inexplicably drawn to the glowing white bottle of Tom Ford White Patchouli. I doused myself quite generously, and the huz and I commented all day on how terrific I smelled. Then I showered and all was forgotten. Or so I thought.

This morning in the car, the sun warmed my leather jacket and caused the residual White Patchouli molecules to drift upwards. I spent the rest of the drive burying my nose into my sleeve to catch the scent. I didn't just smell good; I smelled (and felt!) like a sexy cool girl. I have never in my life felt like a sexy cool girl.

Long story short, I gotta get me some. Tell me, do you have a sexy cool girl scent?

What’s Better than Pink?

January 27, 2009

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Pink Ombre! Whether it’s a subtle color fade on a wall or a bold splash of sunset-inspired silk,
ombre is one of my favourite trends for Spring 2009. And seeing it in pink makes me happy as a cat in cream.

Painting a color gradient on your walls is a bit of commitment, but it could be fun to try your hand at some dip-dyed throw pillows. Although that box of RIT dye does inspire visions of a) failed childhood tie-dye projects and b) 1960’s commune living. So what’s your opinion on ombre: cutting edge or crunchy granola?

Just Bought: Armitage Earrings from Jess L.C.

January 22, 2009

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I am obsessed with simple, spare jewelry. So I’m loving these earrings from Jess L.C. They strike
the perfect balance between delicate and feminine yet modern and sculptural—I had to make
them mine!

All of Jess’ creations are phenomenal. You may have seen her Lucky in Bed necklace featured recently on A Cup of Jo. As soon as I’m out of the doghouse for buying the earrings (sorry, huz!)
I’ll add this long layering necklace to my collection! Oh, and Jess just started a new blog too,
so stop by and check it out!

Inaugural Denim: Current Elliot

January 20, 2009

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What better way to celebrate an exciting new era in American history than with these fresh looks featuring that most American of textiles, denim? I’ve been on a bit of a jeans hiatus lately— partly because I’ve been working from home and have been living in my pajamas, but also because it’s been a while since anything caught my attention in the denim department…

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But then I tried on a pair of Current Elliot Boyfriend Jeans last weekend and let me tell you, they are awesome! Incredibly soft, fit like a glove, utterly wearable. And a trip to the Current Elliot website reveals an entire wardrobe of hot denim styles beyond that celeb favourite style.

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One thing I am loving about denim at the moment is the sense that there is no ‘one’ silhouette that everyone must conform to. Wide or skinny, bootcut or bell: everything is fair game and mixing it up is half the fun! And while I’ll always stick close to my classic dark washes, some of these distressed finishes are appealing to me as well.

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The most recent J. Crew catalogue hailed the return of the jean jacket, and if they’re all as cool as this one then sign me up! I adore it styled with a turned up collar for a twist on the classic shape.

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Finally, in the spirit of new historical horizons, how about pushing the denim envelope with a funky fresh vest? I love it paired with a flirty dress and tough boots; it’s that one-of-a-kind blend of playful and spirited, rugged and independent, that characterizes American style.

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On a serious note, as I sit here watching the opening words of the inauguration, I feel very proud of my country. May we all remember where we were, who we were with, and what we were thinking on this historic day. Welcome President Obama!