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September 23, 2013

Pretty Pearls
Pearls


I love mixing a classic look with a bit of edge. That's exactly what you get with Lulu Pearls. Even if you don't think you a pearls kind of girl, you'll want to check out the jewelry here. This pearl bracelet is on a soft black backing, which takes away any prissy-ness associated with pearls. It's easy to layer with other bracelets but I kind of like it all by its lonesome. 

Coco Chanel Pearls

Coco Chanel made pearls look incredibly modern back in her day by piling them on in different lengths and sizes. What a trailblazer. Pearls are going to be a big look for resort so get a leg up on the trend.

 

   
June 27, 2013

Colorfully Lux Tote
Sample Image
Anya Hindmarch Nevis Leather Trimmed Tote

Toting the perfect warm weather handbag.

Either out of practicality or a need for change, I’ve been into tote bags lately. The satchel has always been my go-to bag but I think summer is a good time to try something new. I have very casual, inexpensive tote bags for things like picnics and park days. It would be nice to step up the whole look with a slightly more lux take on the tote.

I really like this Anya Hindmarch Nevis canvas tote. It has leather handles, colorful geometric print side panels and infinitely practical outside pockets. Plus the size is just big enough. What’s not to love
 

   
May 7, 2013

Wallet Friendly
Chantilly Wallet
Lauren Ralph Lauren Chantilly Slim Wallet 

It took me months to find the right wallet to replace one that was literally falling apart at the seams. Ultimately, I went for wallet purse, which gives me versatility but hasn’t helped me minimize what I’m carrying. 

I really do like my Mark Jacobs Quilting Ginger wallet on chain. It’s a tiny bag, but it’s a big ass wallet. Sometimes I want something smaller and streamlined to go inside my handbag. 

Enter the Chantilly Slim wallet by Lauren Ralph Lauren. It totally fits the bill (see what I did there?). First off, I love the laser cut detail. It reminds me of the beautiful Azzedine Alaïa bags that are totally out of my price range. Second, I love the price. At $88, you could almost justify having more than one color.

 

   
April 29, 2013

Flirty Flats
J Crew Flats
My J. Crew Cherry Print Ballet Flats

Sometimes what you already have in your closet provides much needed inspiration when getting dressed. That was how I felt this morning when I decided to wear these shoes. I’ve had these J. Crew ballet flats for seven years I think. That’s a long time for fairly delicate shoes with thin-ish soles and a non-leather exterior. But these are really well made and I haven’t beat them up too badly. 

For a while, I didn’t pull them out of the closet much because they seemed a little too precious with its cherry print and little bow. But I’m glad I never gave them away because once in a while, I feel a bit girly. Shoes are the perfect way to express that without going overboard. In fact, I’m also wearing a lace skirt, which is a rare thing for me, because it just felt right. Of course, I’ll be back in my jeans and boots (the weather is gorgeous right now in Portland but won’t last forever since it’s only April after all) soon enough. For now, something light and cheery feels just right.

 

   
April 19, 2013

iWant Ė Kate Spade iPad Bag
IPad Bag by Kate Spade
Kate Spade Grove Court Jordan iPad Crossbody Bag

How cute is this little bag? The Kate Spade Grove Court Jordan iPad bag is a fun and functional addition to any handbag collection. After spending all winter with black or neutral colored purses, it’s time for a serious dose of color. When it comes to cheer Kate Spade has it  – sorry, I have to do this – in spades.

The Grove Court Jordan features a zip around iPad pocket, which makes life so much easier than pulling out your device every time you need it. Plus the bright green color, called Shamrock, is like a pep talk in the form of a handbag. It also comes in bright orange and a stone color with yellow trim for those of you who need to do color in small doses.

I also like the simplicity of the shape and the luxurious but durable pebbled leather. The clincher is the cross body strap, which makes carrying it all day an easy proposition. The Grove Court Jordan has the makings of a long-term favorite. Even if you don’t own an iPad, the two main compartments are useful anyway.

 

   
April 17, 2013

Genius Boyfriend Jeans
Skinny Boyfriend Jeans by Paige Denim
Paige Denim Jimmy Jimmy Skinny Boyfriend Jeans

Why did I resist boyfriend jeans for so long?

Can a pair of jeans feel like your favorite pajama pants? Why yes, yes they can! I bought a pair of Paige Denim Jimmy Jimmy boyfriend jeans a few months ago after a salesperson at Nordstrom convinced me to try them on. She was so right on. These jeans are as soft and comfy as PJ bottom, but much more appropriate for being seen out and about. It looks slouchy and lived-in without being sloppy. I just can't with sloppy.  

I’ve worn skinnies almost exclusively - my favorites being Acne, rag and bone, and J. Crew (for real, the Ankle Toothpick jeans are excellent). I had doubts that boyfriend jeans could be figure flattering. But change is good and finding the right fit is worth the effort. 

Paige’s Jimmy Jimmy style fits looser in the leg but tapers down to a flattering narrow but not too narrow leg opening. The waist runs big so sizing down and even wearing a good belt is a must. This is why trying them on is key. The best part is the denim feels like you’ve taken ages to break them in just the way you want them, without actually doing any of the work.

The jeans I have are a bit distressed, but not too much since I am not a fan of jeans that look like you wrestled three cats and lost. As for footwear, they look just as good with my Isabel Marant Dicker boots as they do with my Vintage Nike sneakers. I thought about getting another pair, but I think just wearing the same ones over and over will continue to make them softer and more broken-in. Playing favorites never felt so comfortable.

 

   
April 8, 2013

Parisienne Glamour
Parisienne Sandals
Charlotte Olympia Parisienne Sandals

Flat Out Fabulous

Maybe it’s because I will be in Paris this summer. Or maybe it’s because stylish flat sandals should always be a part of everyone’s capsule closet. Whatever it is, I love these sandals by Charlotte Olympia. 

The delicate straps and the Eiffel Tower motif are the perfect mix of whimsical and elegant. It’s nice to see more ideas from this label. The sky-high platform heels and the kitty flats I associate with Charlotte Olympia certainly offer novelty. The Parisienne sandals stay true to the statement shoe aesthetic but with a bit more subtlety. Besides, what fashion-lover can resist the lure of Paris even in shoe form? Certainly not me.

 

   
April 5, 2013

Size Matters
Sample Image
Hauling a lighter load in the Alexander Wang Rockie?

I’ve wanted a duffle style handbag for quite some time now. The Alexander Wang Rocco bag was always something I had my eye on. The thing is, as much as I like the thick leather and studded bottom, the bag weighs a TON. For some bag-addicts it’s not an issue because the inconvenience of lugging a heavy load doesn’t outweigh the need for a beloved bag.

I beg to differ. I can’t imagine accepting a sore neck or back pain as the cost of carrying a handbag. I don’t carry a whole lot around in my bag – wallet, iPhone, sunglasses, a tiny make-up bag, and mints are the usual contents – but it all adds up, especially inside an already heavy handbag. Still, I’d gravitate toward the Rocco duffle wishing it could just work out.Rockie Bag

But maybe it can. The Rockie, the smaller version of the Rocco, is growing on me! At first I wasn’t sure of the proportions but it actually works better for people with a smaller frame, like me. Besides being heavy, the Rocco is quite spacious. I like the idea of a duffle bag but I don’t actually need anything that big. The Rockie has all the same details plus a round zip top, which makes the opening on the small bag nice and wide. The longer shoulder strap makes it possible to go cross-body and the bright spring colors are hard to resist.

The Rockie still isn’t a lightweight bag but the compactness makes it a bit more manageable. What do you think?  

 

   
February 4, 2013

Color Crush
Zara Cape Sleeve Dress
Zara Cape Sleeve Dress

Resisting temptation at Zara is never easy.

Zara’s ecommerce site got a slick new makeover. And while the descriptions of the merchandise are still not very descriptive (if only I could figure out how their pants and jeans fit!) the pictures on a white background does help see things a bit more clearly.

This lemon yellow dress with cape sleeves is exactly why Zara is one of my favorite places to shop. I normally try to avoid fast fashion chains, but Zara does their thing so well. Too well. I find myself checking the site almost daily for the latest looks. It’s a good thing I don’t live near a Zara store because there would be no “cheap” chic about it. I would be dropping dollars like an A-list WAG.

So, back to the dress. This is the perfect colorful little number to chase the winter blues away. And for the price, you can spring for the shoes so you can take your new outfit out for a spin properly.

 

   
January 30, 2013

Thinking Pink
Sample Image
Acne Oxide Nappa Fuchsia Clutch

A little bit of color goes a long way.

Okay, so I jumped the gun when I mentioned in my last blog post that Nordstrom wasn’t carrying the Saint Laurent Duffle handbag because I’ve now seen it in person and I’ve seen it on their website. The Duffle bag is a stunner in the most low-key way. In fact, I’m really embracing simplicity in everything lately. What really makes up for simple design is quality materials, attention to detail, and gorgeous color.

Speaking of color, I really like this Acne leather clutch. For some reason the color pink is speaking to me lately, and I am not normally drawn to pink. Must be my need for spring weather. This has a metal frame that pops open so there are no real details to speak of other than the bubble gum color and what appears to be super-soft goat leather. It might even make a great organizer bag for a large tote. You could stow your essentials in this and use it as a night out clutch. I only have experience with Acne denim but I’m curious about the accessories. If they bags as well as their jeans, then I’m sold.

 

   
January 8, 2013

Simple Statement
YSL Classic Duffle Purse
Saint Laurent Paris Classic Duffle 12

Must have this bag! Must save now.

I recently browsed the designer handbag section at my favorite Nordstrom just to see what’s out now. While the store has a fairly good selection, it does not carry Yves Saint Laurent – or Saint Laurent Paris as it’s now called. I have been eyeing the Classic Duffle online and was curious if Nordstrom would carry it. The sales person tried her best to track the bag down in their system but it doesn’t look like Nordstrom will carry this model. I wonder if the bag is a Saint Laurent website exclusive. 

In case you haven’t figured out by now, I am obsessed with this bag. I’ve wanted this duffle shape for a long time now (see Clare Vivier version I’ve blogged about below). I’ve been style stalking the Sofia Coppola designed Vuitton bag, but at over $4,600, the price tag is seriously over the top. The Vuitton Speedy (especially in Damier or Monogram canvas) would be a less expensive choice, but I am not a fan, not even in the less ubiquitous Epi leather. 

I know this isn’t the most exciting new handbag offering but it’s a classic shape made in what appears to be gorgeous leather. The Saint Laurent version has an outside slip pocket, which I think is the perfect detail. I don’t believe it will be the new It Bag for the masses. It’s too pricey for so little flash. It’s under-the-radar luxury and I’m smitten. So, saving up for this little beauty won’t be too difficult. At least I hope not!

 

   
January 3, 2013

Clear Cut Winner
Stuart Weitzman Sandals
Stuart Weitzman TheOne Sandals

These minimal but playful Lucite heeled are a clear cut winner!

Besides the usual efforts to exercise more, write more, and be more organized for the new year, the first major organizing effort in my life needs to be in my closet. I have been taking stock of my shoes to make the best use of my favorites and let go of things that don’t get worn.

So it’s no surprise that I am looking forward to spring footwear. It will be so liberating to get the sandals out when the weather warms up! I saw these Stuart Weitzman sandals online and I’m eager to take a closer look. I love the nude patent leather and the chunky sculptural Lucite heel. Lucite is normally not my style, but in this case, it comes off as playfully sophisticated. I imagine the possibilities are endless when it comes to pairing these shoes with outfits. Who could ask for anything more from a kicky new pair of sandals? 

 

   
December 26, 2012

Spring Fever
Sample Image
Isabel Marant Shayne Top

Can’t wait to shed the winter woolens for something airy like this.

Winter is just getting started and already I’m seeing the first peek of spring… in stores that is. As much as I’d love to embrace lighter fabrics and bold patterns, warm weather isn’t a reality right now.

So thank goodness for the internet. I can browse in the comfort of a cozy sweater by my fireplace and dream of the day I can wear something as gauzy as this Isabel Marant top. I wasn’t crazy about her Spring 2013 collection, but the runway shoes are going to sell faster than you can say, “Get in my closet!” Individual pieces which are easy to mix in with your wardrobe, like this silk top, will probably sell out fast as well. You’ve got to hand it to Isabel Marant. Many of us are buying what she’s selling. 

 

   
December 12, 2012

Hats On
Sample Image
J. Crew Fair Isle Hat

Winter’s most overlooked accessory? The perfect topper.

I’m a bit of a craft addict. I love learning new things, so whether I have an affinity for something (knitting) or not (Japanese masking tape) it’s often about trying something out. Believe me, I have the leftover craft paraphernalia to prove it!

Knitting is by far my favorite and most rewarding crafty activity, but there’s rarely instant gratification from it. Most projects take time, even the simplest ones. That’s why knitting hats is so satisfying. I’m far enough along in my knitting that I don’t have to follow any pattern to make a basic beanie. As long as I make a swatch, I can knit something up in two or three days if I really spend time on it each night. I recently found this pattern from a yarn store blog right here in Portland and it’s a winner. The pattern is easy and my hat turned out perfectly slouchy. 

So you aren’t a knitter? Not to worry. Finding a cute knitted hat isn’t hard. J. Crew has great prices on basic cashmere hats and I really like the men’s version best. The novelty hats are fun too. Check out the sale before everything good is gone for the holidays. 

 

   
November 28, 2012

Check? Please!
Checked Plaid by Zara
Zara Checked Trousers

Looking at new ways to wear a trusted silhouette

I’ve come to a conclusion that makes getting dressed so much easier. Making a uniform built around skinny jeans is what I feel best in. It also fits my desire to look put-together while remaining casual. I do realize that I can mix up things up without veering too far off the slim silhouette that feels most comfortable. Zara has so many possibilities and my current favorite is the cropped checked trousers. I love a good plaid.

If there’s one person who’s closet I’d love to raid, it’s French Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt. She makes uniform dressing incredibly chic and infinitely interesting without adding any flash, although an occasional fur is involved. If Emmanuelle Alt could share her wardrobe and the secret to perfectly tousled hair, I’d be in fashion heaven.

 

   
November 12, 2012

Easy Does It
Sweater by Helmut Lang
Helmut Lang Shawl Cardigan

An outfit maker in just one step.

I have been admiring this chunky knit Helmut Lang cardigan for a while now. Not only am I a big fan of knits, I can’t get enough of any one piece of clothing that can elevate an outfit so easily. It’s easy to imagine the possibilities with this sweater. Everything from printed jeans, slouchy trousers and even a prim pencil skirt could look edgy with this on. 

 

   
November 7, 2012

Hands On
Phillip Lim Quilted Clutch
3.1 Phillip Lim Quilted Clutch

Iíd like to get my hands on this little number

It has taken me a long time to come around to the clutch idea. It’s perfect for a night out, but for everyday? Now that clutches come in all shapes and sizes, colors and fabrications, it is the perfect accessory to liven up an outfit. 

This one by 3.1 Phillip Lim is ideal. It’s not too big as some day clutches can be. The fun bubble quilting adds interesting and unexpected texture to a black bag. The other side is plain calf leather so you could even hold it showing that side if you wanted a more minimal look. It’s a winner! Oh, and I’ll take the drapey Helmut Lang dress while we’re at it!

 

   
November 6, 2012

Votes for Women
Women Voting


Like many other Americans, I have officially reached election fatigue. However, seeing as how the future direction of our country depends on this particular presidential race, I can’t complain too much. We can all do our part by voting (and helping to get out the vote as some of my friends have done) and not losing hope no matter what the outcome.

I read NY Magazine online every day. Today’s slide show on Nintey-Two Years of Women Voting is a powerful reminder of how everyone, especially us ladies, should never take our right to vote for granted. Take a look at the pictures for a look at fashion through the decades and definitely think about how lucky we are to live in a country that isn’t perfect, but is pretty damned great. 

 

   
October 31, 2012

Candy Time
Margiela Bracelet
Maison Martin Margiela Gold Tone Bracelet

Trick or treat? I choose arm candy.

I know it’s been a thing to stack bracelets on your arm until they practically reach your elbows. It’s fun to go a little OTT when it comes to jewelry, but I often like to wear one statement piece. It’s a lot less fussy and definitely reduces the chances of snagging your clothes with a sharp piece of metal. 

Vintage Bracelet

Right now I’m wearing a chunky gold bracelet I found at in an antique store. My guess it’s more 80’s than it is an antique. It’s a bit heavy but perfectly comfortable. In fact I like some heft when it comes to bracelets. It reminds me of this Martin Margiela chain embellished cuff I had my eye on. My bracelet was a $28 find so it’s probably the more practical treat for me.

 

   
October 25, 2012

Clean Lines
Vince Coat
Vince Shirttail Coat

A simply sleek coat thatís anything but boring.

How rad is this leather sleeve coat by Vince? I don’t normally go for brown, but this shade has a bit of a moss green undertone that I like. I also love the shirttail hem, which gives the coat a little more interest without taking away from the minimalist design. In fact, I love the entire outfit. It looks so effortless. I’d like a bit more of that in my life.

 

   
October 18, 2012

Wrapped Up
Checkered Scarf
My checked scarf from Alder & Co.

Scarves are the easiest way to elevate any outfit.

There’s no denying Portland has a fair amount of awesome locally owned stores, but I have to deny myself the desire to shop at these places every chance I get. However, I did treat myself to a colorful Lovat & Green scarf at Alder & Co. I am a sucker for checks and plaids so there was no avoiding this one. 

Alder & Co. is one of those places where you look around and realize what you’ve been missing. There are beautifully handcrafted objects for your house, shoes and clothes from under-the-radar designers, and coffee table books you wish you could spend a lazy morning paging through. The experience is only made better by the friendly atmosphere.

It didn’t take much to convince myself I needed a new scarf. My collection has been growing steadily over the years. I don’t go into an office any more so I stick to a uniform of sweaters or long sleeve t-shirts in neutral colors, jeans, and boots. I bet I could essentially wear the same thing every day while switching out my scarf to make my outfit feel new every time. This is an experiment I need to try. Stay tuned!

 

   
October 16, 2012

Spring In Your Step
Tibi Shoes
Tibi Shoes

Is it possible for shoes to make you happy?

I love a good shoe, but who knows how it affects my total wellbeing. However, if I had a pair of special edition Tibi sneakers, I think they’d put a smile on my face. 

These sneakers are less a collaboration with Vans and Converse than it is a blogger inspired love-fest for the feet. Whatever it is, I like the results. The floral and leopard print Vans are my favorite but only by a hair over the Converse Hi-Top floral with the racing stripe along the back. You can even get your shoe of choice with customized monogram. Color me impressed. I’ve appreciated Tibi for putting out fashion forward but not flashy separates.  Now there’s a whole new reason to pay attention to this line.

The special edition sneakers are from the Spring 2013 collection but you can order them now at Tibi. But do it fast since the sale ends October 18.   

 

   
October 5, 2012

Making a Statement
Emerson Fry Wingtip Coat in Leopard
Emerson Fry Wingtip Coat in Leopard

Statement coats are making their way into my heart.

It’s not quite coat weather, since Portland is having one of the driest, sunniest fall seasons that I can remember, but I know we can’t put off the cold for long. I have a friend who really has a thing for coats. She loves a dramatic coat. I’ve always treated coats like the utilitarian item they normally are, but now statement coats are catching my eye. And you know what? They’re kind of a big deal.

Take this linen leopard print coat by Emerson Fry. What’s not to love? In fact, you’ll want all of the coats in Emerson Fry’s collection. This one just has that extra wow factor. I’m interested to know what the linen feels like, since it’s not normally a material you’d pick for winter. It may work best for chilly days instead of full on bundle your ass up winter weather. In any case, I love.

 

   
October 3, 2012

My New Favorite T-Shirt
Everlane Ryan Tank-top
Everlane Ryan Tank Tops

The $20 t-shirt: An offer you canít refuse.

You know what’s getting heavy rotation in my wardrobe right now? A couple of loose cut tank tops by Everlane. These tops are pure genius wrapped up in awesome. First of all, they cost $20 each. Twenty bucks! Second, as someone who’s spent too much on Alexander Wang, Vince, and Theory looking for the perfectly cut, quality t-shirt, Everlane was a revelation.

The idea behind the brand is simple. They offer great looking t-shirts (made in the USA) and sell online only to keep the products at affordable prices. The Ryan line is my favorite, but you can also choose from their Classic and Box Cut lines. Nothing is over $30. Everlane also offers accessories like bags and belts and a men’s line of tees.

What I appreciate most about my Everlane tanks is that they are wash and wear. The label says hand wash and line dry, but I have thrown them in the washing machine on gentle cycle without any ill effects. They keep their shape and softness even when I’ve accidentally put them in the drier. I’ve never had a $20 t-shirt last very long, but I think this wardrobe workhorse is going to go the distance. 

 

   
September 27, 2012

Balenciagaís Brand New Bag
Balenciaga Tube S Shoulder Bag
Balenciaga Tube S Shoulder Bag

A simple bag in a vibrant color works with almost everything.

I know, I know, another handbag. What can I say? I’m a total bag lady. Besides, when I see something exciting I have to share and this is another orange handbag to admire. Balenciaga may be known for their motorcycle bags, but the new line of "Tube" bags should become a new classic. 

The grain calfskin leather looks to die for. The agneau leathers of the motorcycle bags are beautifully saturated in color, but feel thin. The leather on the Tube bags offers a hardy contrast. Don't get me wrong, the Bal motorcycle bag leathers have that lived-in look and the bags are lightweight. Still, there’s something about thick-feeling leather that lets you know it will age beautifully.

I also like the Tube Round satchels, which come in the M or L size, but I prefer the Tube S. Shoulder bags ensure I carry less. It feels so much more streamlined. 

Speaking of which, the simple, unfussy silver tone hardware works perfectly with this bag. It makes the cylinder shaped lock, which I assume is where the Tube got its name, really stand out. Imagine the Tube S on your shoulder with a black leather jacket or a navy pea coat – so chic.

Sadly, the Tube S is sold out on the Balenciaga website. Hopefully it will be restocked, especially before the holidays. I think someone has been a very good girl this year.

 

   
September 26, 2012

Perfection Is In the Bag
Red Purse
Clare Vivier Duffel Bag

Duffel or duffle: Still spells chic when it comes to this bag.

This Clare Vivier bag needs to get in my greedy clutches (and speaking of, have you seen her clutches?). I’ve been on the hunt for a duffle shaped bag and this one is perfect. Not too big, not too small. The rich red makes it the perfect accent for my mainly neutral fall wardrobe. If you like your bags to make more of a statement, it comes in leopard too! 

Check out Claire Vivier’s delightful blog. You can find more pictures of her beautiful bags and the fashionable women who carry them. 

 

   
September 17, 2012

Zara TRF Quilted Bomber Jacket
Jara Quilted Bomber Jacket
Zara TRF Quilted Bomber Jacket

Bombs away for a new look.

Is it just me or is this Zara floral quilted jacket rad rad?  It’s a fun alternative to a black blazer and the print comes off as sophisticated while the quilting gives it a subtle texture. It’s from the TRF line, which is supposed to be the youthful younger sister to Zara Woman. I rarely look at TRF because I like to leave destroyed denim and camo print t-shirts to the “youngters” but I think I jacket is a winner at any stage in the fashion game.     

 

   
September 10, 2012

Pristine Pumps


Givenchy Calf Hair Pumps



Givenchy Calf Hair Pumps

Admiring from afar is about as close as Iíll get to these shoes!

I’m staring at a pair of cream pumps on my computer screen thinking how much I love them. Cream. Pumps. Is there anything more impractical than that? Oh yes, cream calf hair pumps. These would get destroyed in a Portland puddle faster than you can say Riccardo Tisci. I guess someone with a fabulous life and a driver at her beck and call will enjoy these immensely. I will enjoy them from the safe distance of my MacBook Air.

 

   
September 3, 2012

Spotted
Rebecca Taylor Leo Sweater
Rebecca Taylor Leo Sweater

Hereís a different take on leopard print.

 

This is seriously cute. For anyone who’s a bit unsure of animal print, something like this Rebecca Taylor sweater could make you less hesitant. I saw this at Nordstrom and I was drawn to it right away. The sweater is a wool blend, but has a bit of cashmere to soften the feel. It’s all about softness when it comes to sweaters! The little details are what make it though, like the zipper on the shoulder and the rounded hem.  This would look awesome oversized, paired with leather leggings or super slim black trousers. Because the leopard print is grey and blue, it is feels a bit more low key than traditional animal print. What do you think?
 

   
August 29, 2012

Fall For Orange
Proenza Schouler PS11 Tote
Proenza Schouler PS11 Tote

Orange you glad IÖ okay enough with this bad joke.

I experienced a keen feeling a bag envy last weekend when I saw a woman at the grocery store carrying an orange Celine Phantom Luggage tote. I’m actually not sure exactly how I feel about the Luggage totes in general, but the orange leather of the bag was freaking awesome.

So now that I’ve seen this Proenza Schouler orange PS11 tote on the Kirna Zabete website, I find myself obsessing over it. The PS1 in orange is nice as well. If I hadn’t seen the orange Celine handbag on the woman at the grocery store, I would have written off orange completely. It’s a surprisingly versatile color for a bag.

I wear a lot of black, grey, and navy – all colors that provide a neutral background for a bright orange bag. All of my winter boots would work well with an orange bag. Sold! Orange is my new black.

 

   
August 27, 2012

Instant Outfit Maker
IRO Molly Jacket
IRO Molly Jacket

Here's a jacket to make dressing up a breeze.

One thing I’ve gotten a ton of use out of is my Etoile Isabel Marant knit jacket. I wasn’t sure how much I’d wear it when I saw it last fall, but I bought it anyway. I’m so glad I did because it makes putting together an outfit for dinner or meeting friends a slam-dunk. I just throw it on over a t-shirt, jeans, and a necklace and I’m instantly dressed up.

That’s why I like this jacket by IRO. It reminds me of my Isabel Marant jacket but with a bit of sparkle to step it up a notch. IRO is a French contemporary brand that offers plenty of shrunken jackets, slouchy slim pants, and gauzy tops to give Isabel Marant a run for her money. IRO also offers a line for men. You know, in case the man in your life could use a Euro-tinged makeover.

 

   
August 24, 2012

Little Indulgence
Diane von Furstenburg Clutch
DVF Lytton Lace Clutch

An inspired little clutch for those rare nights out.

There’s no doubt Bottega Veneta makes beautiful little clutches. The Knot clutch comes in so many colorful skins and embellishments that they are true collectibles… for ladies who can drop anywhere from $1300 to well over $3000 for a tiny handbag.

I am not one of those women. I totally support paying for good craftsmanship and quality materials, but I can’t justify a big expense for something I would carry infrequently. I guess I need to get out more! After a recent, much needed date night with my husband I realized I could use a small but functional bag for the rare night out.

While I work on that, I can consider another pretty little purse. This lace offering by Diane von Furstenberg is very much inspired by the Bottega Veneta version, but at a much lower price. The lace over metallic leather is a classic contrast. It comes with a detachable chain, which is a huge bonus. The Lytton clutch still not cheap, but at $325 even I could do the whole cost-per-wear calculation in my head and still come out on top. 

 

   
August 21, 2012

Ode To Style
Molly Ringwald on NPR

Pretty In Pink

A new chapter for my teen idol.


Over the weekend I happened to come across an interview with Molly Ringwald on NPR’s Weekend Edition. She talked about her new book of short stories When it Happens to You. She also talked about her experiences as an actor informing her work as a writer. Boy, am I glad I turned on the radio! I love me some Molly Ringwald.

Ringwald was the thinking girl’s role model during her heyday in the mid to late 80’s. She’s had many movie roles, but her characters in the John Hughes films are how she is how she is best remembered. For an angst-y 13 year-old like me, she was the pretty girl who wasn’t inaccessible, the cool girl who wasn’t a bitch, and the stylish girl who always remained an individual. Dude, she made a prom dress out of vintage while brooding over a break-up and while New Order played in the background! I can only imagine how many girls were inspired to do the same after watching Pretty In Pink.

Now that I think about it, Molly Ringwald was my first style icon for that DIY dress scene alone. She’s also my badass icon for being the good girl who runs amok with a group of misfits during detention in The Breakfast Club. And she’s also heart-of-gold icon for lending her panties to a geek in Sixteen Candles. Her roles dug into emotions that you felt you knew all too well. Because being a teenager is just so hard. 

I am looking forward to reading her book. Now that I’m an adult, I’m sure she has plenty to say about where I am right now.

 

   
August 17, 2012

In Plain Sight: Camo is Everywhere!
Sample Image
Zara Camouflage Studded Jacket

Taking the military look a step too far?

I’m not going to lie. I have no idea if I can pull this off. I’m not even sure if I should try, but for some reason I really dig this Zara camouflage jacket. I think my lack of confidence in being able to rock camo probably means I should leave this to the pros. 

It seems like fashion is having a camo moment. I recently stood in line at a bakery behind a woman who had on an oversized camouflage jacket and it worked perfectly with her cropped black pants and flat platform sandals. I’m not that cool, but I can still admire a job well done.  Or in this case an outfit well put together.

 

   
August 13, 2012

Weaving a New Look
Proenza Schouler Satchel
Proenza Schouler Kiri Woven Satchel.

A new bag shape takes hold at Proenza Schouler.

So what do you think? Proenza Schouler has introduced a structured satchel into their bag lineup and I’m definitely intrigued. I love the slouchy casualness of the PS1 and the polished look of the PS11 shoulder bag. So a structured hand-held bag seems to be a natural progression. 

The woven texture is perfect for fall. The Kiri would create the perfect juxtaposition to a sleek black outfit. Navy and black is such a chic combination. I am going to wear the colors together a lot this fall. I also like that the Kiri bag has metal bars as feet. If you’re going to invest in an expensive bag, it helps to have protection on the underside. I would love to check this out in person to see how the weight compares to similar bags. Regardless, I think this bag is a lovely addition to the PS bag family.

 

   
August 8, 2012

Seeing Red
Red Lace Bag
Valentino Girello Red Leather Handbag

Red lace bag? Yes, please!

Let me be the first to say I was wrong. I was sure I wanted a black bag this fall. Then I saw this little beauty in the Nordstrom Fall Collectors catalogue. Valentino makes beautiful clothes, but I’ve never been enthusiastic about the bags… until now. 

I am completely won over by this red lace bag! It’s just the right sizes for carrying the bare essentials. The bag is split in two compartments, which doesn’t make up for the fact that it doesn’t have an inner zip pocket but it isn’t a deal breaker. The convertible chain is a practical detail that I wish more handbag designers would utilize.

This bag is so unabashedly girly. Not the sort of look I go for, but I love the idea of juxtaposing such a lady-like handbag with masculine clothes, like a boxy blazer or a leather jacket. This would even work with a white t-shirt and jeans. You need many options when your bag costs a bundle!    

You can stalk it online at Nordstrom and be sure to check out the pictures from the catalogue. It’s beautifully shot and features some of the best designer looks of the season. 

 

   
August 6, 2012

A Tote for All Seasons and Good Reasons
Portland Farmers Market
Floral bounty at the Portland Farmers Market

A weekend outing has me considering a new handbag shape.

It’s been a while since we’ve visited the Portland Farmers Market so this weekend my family got an early start on Saturday to get there before it got too hot and crowded. We ate a delicious breakfast of ripe berries, cinnamon rolls, (my five-year old) and egg sandwiches (my husband and me). 

I made sure to bring a canvas tote to carry around my farmers market finds, which ended up being mainly cut flowers. It got me thinking how I love the practicality and ease of a good tote. I’ve always been more of a satchel gal, but now I’m considering a new tote for fall. I need something that isn’t too large and overwhelming. I also want to avoid heavy hardware to keep the bag’s weight down. Oh, and a luxurious feeling leather is a must.

This tote by Maiyet is in the running. If you haven’t heard of this up and coming brand, you should definitely pay attention. The emphasis is on using artisans in developing countries not only to create beautiful products, but also to provide economic opportunity.  With a mission like that, it’s hard to feel bad about a Maiyet purchase. This picture is from the upcoming 2013 Resort collection but there are pre-fall bags at Barneys. I’m looking forward to the Maiyet online store to open soon.   

Maiyet Tote

Maiyet Resort 2013

 

   
August 3, 2012

See Spots
Zara Animal Print Pants
Zara Animal Print Trousers

Iím going to say these are wildly practical. Really.

I’m tempted… really, really tempted. Animal prints are as tricky as they come, but the challenge is a worthy one. These pants have an elasticized drawstring waist so it could be even trickier to pull it off. But I think I can. And the possibilities are endless when it comes to tops and shoes to put together outfits, whether you want to get noticed or go neutral. Minus the pants of course. 

I am all over Zara’s fall collection right now, especially the well priced, on-trend coats. Even if trends aren’t you’re thing, like me, it’s still fun to indulge sometimes.  

 

   
August 2, 2012

Tried and True
Minnetonka Mocs
Minnetonka Thunderbird Moccasins.

Iíve walked many miles in these shoes.

I took my son to the zoo yesterday to soak in some gorgeous weather and see the animals. My son calls them aminals, which is weird since that's ten times harder to say than animal. But I'm not five years old so what do I know?

When I go anywhere where there are crowds, I cannot wear open-toed shoes no matter how warm the day is. There's something about exposing my feet to all the dirtiness that I just can't do. How do people wear sandals in New York City? Obviously, I have issues.

So I wore my trusty Minnetonka Thunderbird moccasins. These are comfy as they come without being actual comfort shoes. I've had them for years and have worn them touring the Central American rainforest to souks in Morocco. In fact, I'm due for another pair this year. I'm waiting for the special edition mocs by Wren X Minnetonka. I think sometimes these collaborations are getting to be a bit much, but this is a joining of fashion forces that I can really get behind. 

 

   
July 30, 2012

Fall for Something New
Fall for Something New

Fall Shopping Guide on style.com



Get a peek at what's new for fall at some of my favorite retailers.

Looking for fall wardrobe inspiration? Check out style.com’s fall shopping guide for looks sure to capture your imagination, if not your wallet. Even if you don’t have the budget for a closet full of Stella McCartney, Givenchy, or Proenza Schouler (hey, not many of us do), you can get tons of ideas for where to splurge, ways to save, and even ways to use your DIY skills. 

I love the pictures from Bird. I’ve been to the store in Williamsburg and it’s hard to focus because I walked in there and didn’t know where to start! I walked out with the perfect pair of earrings. I can’t wait to go back. Meanwhile, do check out the beautiful pictures on style.com that will have you falling for fall.  

 

 

   
July 27, 2012

The Perfect Print 
Mother Jeans
Mother The Looker Floral Print Jeans

These are seriously fly floral jeans.

I love these Mother jeans. So what if it’s late July and black printed jeans should be the last thing on my mind? I. Want. 

Sometimes floral print jeans can look too girly or twee, but these are just right for those of us who like a bit more edge to our look. I’m not claiming to be edgy. Just saying I’m more Margot Tennenbaum than Elle Woods. Anyway, Mother jeans = perfection. 

 

   
July 25, 2012

Clutch Player
Scout & Catalogue Sunrise Clutch at Of A Kind.
Scout & Catalogue Sunrise Clutch at Of A Kind

A colorful clutch like this is an attention-getter.

If there is one place where I always find the latest, coolest, most covetable fashion finds it’s Of a Kind. I check out their blog daily to feel like I am in the know. And of course I check out every new one-of-a-kind edition. The bold Sunrise hand-dyed clutch is the perfect example of a wardrobe item that goes the distance. It can be a daily carry all or an after-hours bag. I’m not particularly a clutch person but I would definitely change my tune with this little bag. It also seems like the type of thing strangers would stop you to ask about. 

I also love how every picture on the site is styled. I am wearing this exact same striped Saint James shirt today and it never occurred to me to roll the sleeves like that. Next time, I’ll pair it with my own faded high-waist jeans. If only I could look so effortless. 

 

   
July 23, 2012

Rethinking a Classic
Sample Image
Proenza Schouler PS11 Classic Shoulder Bag.

This navy bag tops my fall wish list.

While I love Proenza Schouler’s PS1 bag, I haven’t felt the love for the PS11… until now. I have a medium PS1 and it’s the best bag I’ve owned. It’s infinitely practical with all of the pockets and the leather ages beautifully. The school satchel style itself isn’t particularly original, but the bag is executed well.  

I like the idea of a structured shoulder bag that doesn't feel too formal like the PS11, but there’s always been something about the hardware that bothered me. The buckle straps overlap in the front and so it leaves a tiny gap between the buckle plate and stud hardware on one side. I’ve always wondered why they don’t leave a slight gap on the other side to even it out. Am I being too exacting?

Despite preferring the PS1, I’ve changed made room in my heart for the PS11 in textured navy leather. What is there not to love with the combination of rich navy leather and black hardware. I thought I wanted a black bag for fall, but now I think navy is the way to go. Navy and black make such a modern combination and it’s a look I love. I guess it pays to take a second look at a classic.

 

   
July 17, 2012

Dicker Madness
Isabel Marant Dicker Boots
Isabel Marant Dicker boots.

My elusive boot obsession is now back Ė in leather!

Allow me to take you on a journey if you will. Last year I relented when my desire for Isabel Marant’s Dicker boots reached new heights. To be fair, it was a mental tug-of-war. Did I want the Dicker boots because they were something I loved and could truly get good use out of, or was I joining the clamoring masses because of the hype surrounding this label? I bought a pair of leather Dicker boots three years ago on eBay (brand new at a ridiculously low price) but they were too small so I resold them (at a ridiculously high price).

Last year I preordered the Dicker boots in taupe at my favorite Portland boutique. Long story short (Yes, I know… too late) there was a mix-up at the boutique and my size was already sold out. I tried on the next size up, but it was much too big. However, I liked the heel height and the boots felt super comfortable. So I ordered them in black on net-a-porter this winter when I saw it in my size online. When the box came, I was so excited. Finally, I had my boots! But when I tried them on, boots were too big! What is up with the sizing??? It is so frustratingly inconsistent.

Despite my bad luck, I’m going to try for the Dickers one last time. La Garçonne has several options including leather versions in Bronze and Black. I’m going to rely on my local boutique again since I really need to try these on before taking the plunge. But if they don’t work out, it’s time to move on! If you don’t have the luxury of trying them on in person, nab the Dicker boots online before they sell out. The leather ones look awfully tempting. 

 

   
July 13, 2012

Fall Flavor
Alexander Wang Emily Bag
Alexander Wang Emile Bag.

It’s never too early to think about fall handbags!

Most of us are still basking in the summer sun while retailers are now rolling out fall merchandise. It’s difficult to even think about pulling out sweaters and boots again, but I get sucked back into that mode when I see some of the exciting offerings for the next season.

I am still on the hunt for a black bag – not very exciting exactly but very necessary. I am curious about the Alexander Wang Emile bag. I like the shape and the textured leather. The rose gold hard wear is so pretty and not at all overdone. The only problem is that Alexander Wang bags tend to be on the heavy side. I just can’t do heavy bags. I had a medium Chloe Paraty a few years ago and while the leather was gorgeous, I just couldn’t handle the weight for such a relatively small bag.

I need to check out the Emile again. I held it briefly at Barneys in Seattle but was in a hurry (and distracted by the memory of the Celine bags downstairs in the designer handbags section). Maybe the second time will make a bigger impression? Or maybe I need to keep saving for the bag of my dreams?

 

   
July 11, 2012

Hello, Old Friend
Beaded Sandals
My DV by Dolce Vita Beaded Sandals

Sometimes shopping your closet is your best bet.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a good shoe. This summer though, I haven’t shopped for shoes at all. There are plenty of shoes that have caught my eye, but when I think about all the things I want to buy for fall (my favorite season!) it makes me want to wait to spend.

Besides, I am wearing the crap out of these Dolce Vita beaded sandals. I bought them at Nordstrom last year and I’m so glad I did. Strangers compliment them all the time and ask me where I bought them. Today my two-year-old niece said she loved my shoes. That’s high praise coming from a fashion conscious toddler. I better make these last!

 

   
July 9, 2012

Heat Wave
Sample Image
James Perse Striped Jersey Dress.

Getting dressed for a heat wave requires simplicity... and a margarita.

After a scorching stay in Minnesota over the past week for a family get-together, I’m so happy to leave the heat behind. The worst of the heat wave is over, but I’m still relieved to be back home in Portland. I don’t think I could have lasted another muggy day.

One thing that makes dressing for the heat a bit easier is the throw-it-on cotton jersey dress. The last thing you want to do is think too hard when it’s 90 degrees in the shade. I wore a dress similar to this one by James Perse and it was a relief to have such a no brainer for my trip. Now I think I’m going to get this James Perse dress too because you can never have too many cool summer dresses. Bring on the cold drinks! 

 

   
June 26, 2012

Hooked on a Little Bag
Crochet Bag by Tory Burch
Tory Burch Claire Bucket Bag

Tory Burch offers a sophisticated spin on the crocheted bag.

Crochet handbags can go either way: super cute accessory for the warm months or they can be, well, a bit retro in the worst way. This Tory Burch crocheted bucket bag is a win for the cute category. Seriously, it’s Tory Burch. I normally think of polished sportswear and classically shaped handbags when I hear the name. But there is a strong element of vintage prints and styling too. I just didn’t expect Tory Burch to veer into straight boho luxe. Anyway, it’s a winner.

 

   
June 25, 2012

Know When to Fold ĎEm
Claire Vivier Foldover Clutch
Clare Vivier/Wren foldover clutch in faux leather..

Loving the fold over clutch right now.

You know what really seems to be having a moment right now? The fold over clutch. And I can see why. They are sleek, sophisticated, and perfect for the gal on the go. Here are some of my favorites:

Poppy Pink Clutch

Clare Vivier Foldover Clutch – These come in a slew of colors. I especially like this poppy pink. Heck, start a collection to really make the most of these simple but rich looking bags. 


Slim Profile Clutch

Alexander Wang textured fold-over clutch – For those of us who like a chewy, textured leather clutch with a slim profile.

 

 

Alexander McQueen Floral Clutch

Alexander McQueen De-Manta floral clutch – I am a sucker for an edgy take on the floral print. This McQueen print on satin is not only gorgeous, the fold over edges are genius.  

 

   
June 22, 2012

Slip Dress Nostalgia
Slip Dress
Acne Lori Silk Slip Dress.

Living in the 90ís never looked so good.

Oh man, this dress just screams the 90’s. And I love it! I was just thinking the other day how it’s a bit depressing that looks from the 90’s are now considered vintage. I wonder how Courtney Love would feel to be called vintage?  On second thought… that could earn a punch in the face.

But I digress. If you are a gal that spent any part of your youth in the 1990’s, you probably owned a slip dress (mine was a rayon floral number). You get extra points if you wore your dress with combat boots.

I still appreciate a layered slip dress look, like this Acne dress. My Calvin Klein jeans wearing, Nirvana listening, club going self would have been in love with this dress. I especially like the open hem detail. Gives it an especially grunge-ified feel. If you just can’t swallow the $630 price tag, you can easily recreate this look with a black silk slip and a tank top. My 90’s self would never have been able to afford the Acne version and my current self is way too practical to not try my own interpretation.

 

   
June 20, 2012

Bikini Overkill
Patagonia Bikini
Patagonia Bikini

Bikini shopping doesnít have to be so bad, does it?

A task I’ve been dodging has become unavoidable. I really need to buy a new swimsuit and with a vacation coming up, there’s no getting around it. The thought of going to a store to try on bikini after bikini to find the right one sounds about as fun as cleaning my bathroom. With a toothbrush. It’s not even the idea of scrutinizing myself in front of a badly lit three-way mirror that puts me off. I just don’t get excited about spending money on swimwear.

Well, it has to be done. I think for my needs (I actually want to swim) I will head over to Patagonia. I want the performance of a Speedo with a bit more style. And as much as I appreciate the one-piece, bikinis are just more practical for all day waterside outings. I like the Print Boucau halter top and the Print Sunamee bottoms. This is reminiscent of a Pucci print, no? It almost makes me look forward to shopping. 

 

   
June 18, 2012

Twirling Skirt
Vintage Blue Skirt
Rag & bone Sofia skirt

Is my search for the perfect chambray skirt over?

How cute is this rag & bone skirt? I’ve been looking for the perfect chambray skirt for ages. You know the kind I mean? Something my mom would have worn in the 70’s: hits right at the knee, shapes your waist to perfection, colored just the right shade of vintage blue. Yeah, I’ve never been able to track it down.

I did not consider a short chambray skirt. Then I saw this and think I need to change my focus. This skirt makes me want to put it on and twirl like a preschool girl at a dance recital. Somehow wearing it with boots makes up for the lack of length. Yes, that sounds silly to me too, but trust me on this. Somehow you feel less exposed. Besides, shouldn’t the focus be on the joy of wearing something fun?

 

   
June 15, 2012

Youíve Got a Friend
Friendship Bracelets
Bold color via friendship bracelets and poppies..

The friendliest craft is so easy to make.

Before the whole crafty lifestyle was an actual scene, many of us remember making friendship bracelets. I cranked these babies out in junior high school like a one girl bracelet sweatshop. And here I am making them again.

Friendship bracelets are so easy to make and the materials are as inexpensive as they come. I bought embroidery thread for 35 cents each (embroidery is another craft I’m getting into again. I need more hands!). You can do the math on how affordable this is. Besides, friendship bracelets are so easy to make. Even if you don’t consider yourself crafty at all, you can do this!

The instructions at Honestly… WTF will have you knotting away in no time. You can even take it to the next level by using metal fasteners or embellishing with chains. I happen to like them plain and simple. Thinking of the best color combinations is challenge. Now if I can just manage to actually give these away to my friends!

 

   
June 12, 2012

Hanging By a Chain
Marc Jacobs Ginger Bag

My new pared down carry-all: Marc Jacobs Ginger wallet-on-chain.

.

Iíve never felt lighter!

Marc Jacobs Ginger HandbagMini bags serve the same purpoThere’s something about summer that makes me want to lighten my handbag load. Right now I’m giving my beloved Proenza Schouler medium PS1 some time off so I can carry my Marc Jacobs wallet-on-chain. I love this little bag. It has just enough room to carry the bare minimum: money, cards, keys, phone, and lipstick. I even dump out my change into a jar so I don’t have to carry the extra weight.se but I prefer the wallet with a strap so I don’t actually need a separate wallet. It just seems redundant when you can have everything in one place. Also, you can slip a wallet on chain in a bigger bag for work or travel and use it as a clutch for nights out.

When I started searching for wallet bags, I was surprised by the limited selection at any price point. Chanel and Nancy Gonzales offer ultra luxe versions, but I couldn’t justify spending upwards of $1,600 for a tiny bag. My Marc Jacobs Ginger serves the same purpose at a third of the price. Of course, that’s not exactly cheap either.

Rebecca Minkoff makes an envelope style wallet on chain for just under $200. It comes in a variety of colors and there’s even a studded version for $225. I really like the orange one for summer.

Minkoff Purse in Orange

 

 

   

June 6, 2012

Well Heeled
Sample Image
Zara Shiny Heel Strappy Sandal.

Zara Review: Fast Fashion I Can Get Behind.

If I had to pick my favorite mass market shopping spot, it has to be Zara. As I’ve mentioned before, Portland doesn’t have a Zara but I’m on the e-commerce site all the time. Right now I am eyeing these strappy numbers even though I don’t need another pair of high heel sandals. But I guess that’s the point of fast fashion. It almost takes the “guilty” out of guilty pleasures.

Sample Image

I first encountered Zara eight years ago when my husband and I were on a road trip around Spain and Portugal. We packed ultra light and after wearing the same clothes for almost two weeks, we were both ready to burn them. We were conveniently staying at a Lisbon hotel just a short walk from a Zara. Relieved of our dusty travel clothes, we splurged on a nice dinner later that night. 

I give Zara much credit for executing its runway inspirations (or knockoffs if you prefer) better than competitors like H&M, Forever 21 and even Top Shop. Last month I visited two Zara stores in Manhattan. At a midtown store, the line for the registers snaked around a corner. The line to the dressing rooms wasn’t any better. The staff was friendly though, which is a real feat in a busy store. They worked like drones to tidy displays and racks. 

Zara clothing seems to a bit run small, but some styles are true to size. I would have tried some things on if the line wasn’t so long. If you order online, you have to use your best judgement and take a chance. The shoes are displayed everywhere so it’s easy to slip them on. They ran true to size, which will help with future online shoe purchases. Blazers, jackets, and dresses were generally well made. T-shirts and some of the tops weren’t anything special.

Bottom line: Whether I’m spending $30 or $300 what I buy needs to be worth the price I pay. I think Zara delivers. Now excuse me while I check out the cropped leopard trousers that could be magic with a sleeveless white silk shirt.  

 

 

   
June 4, 2012

Got My Back
Theory Bag, Backpack
Theyskenís Theory Ando Backpack.

Is it possible to find a sophisticated backpack?

When I was in college in the 90’s, I bought a gorgeous Bree leather backpack that I could not afford. I was so smitten with the natural colored leather that would age to perfection over time. It was the most expensive thing I owned and I proudly wore I everywhere, treating it like my first designer bag. I think that’s when my love for bags took hold. 

Just before my last trip to NYC I thought a backpack just like the one I had in college would make the perfect carry-on and urban explorer bag. But I wasn’t sure if I could pull off backpacks any more. I’m long out of school and I don’t want to look twee or, god forbid, achingly hipster. I need something polished. 

Enter the Theysken’s Theory black leather backpack. It is the perfect urbanite-on-the-go bag. The dimensions are perfect, not to small and not too big. The Theysken’s Theory line is pure genius. I want everything in the collection, especially the fine knit sweaters and wear-forever jackets. Now the accessories have my full attention. Bring on the backpack!

 

   
June 1, 2012

Show Stopping Floral
Sample Image
Everythingís coming up peonies..

I cannot get enough of cut flowers.

What do you wear when spectacular, showy peonies inspire you sartorially? (Okay I promise no more alliteration.)

Hector Shirt
Etoile Isabel Marant Hector Top

I had to wear this Isabel Marant floral top today after pink peonies showed me who’s boss. I had to take them out of my bedroom because the scent was so strong. They are pretty though!

I got the top a couple of months ago, before the weather started improving so I’ve only worn it one other time. But it’s going to get a whole lot of play this season.

Happy weekend! I for one will definitely take time to smell the flowers… just no while I’m sleeping. 

 

   
May 30, 2012

Sales are Good
Proenza Shouler Floral Tote Bag
Proenza Schouler Floral Tote.

Sale time! Hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your wallet. 

I just spent way too much time browsing net-a-porter’s spring sale. In fact, before the long Memorial Day weekend, I kept checking to see if the sale had started yet. This is the time to spring for that long wished-for item since a good portion of the site, including some much-coveted spring merch, is on sale.

Of course I checked out the handbag section first. It’s my guiltiest pleasure after all. There are some “lazy summer stroll” type (I’m talking brunch, walk around farmer’s market, drinks on a patio kind of activities) totes in the sale section, including the yellow floral print Proenza Schouler tote. I love that the back has a different pattern. 

Alexander Wang Bag
Alexander Wang Iris Shoulder Bag

The Alexander Wang Iris bag is among my favorite sale handbags. It’s not very summer-y but it’s infinitely practical. I checked it out at Barneys the last time I was in Seattle. The leather is nice and thick, not stiff and unlike the Rocco duffle bags, the Iris doesn’t weigh a ton. The lack of hardware is a big plus. I know the studs on the Rocco make for a tough chick look but I wouldn’t feel so badass after hauling a ten-pound bag for a few hours. I’d just feel old and who needs that?

 

   
May 23, 2012

Sun Day, Fun Day
Super Future Lucia Sunglasses
Retro Super Future Lucia Sunglasses.

Searching for fun in the sun.

You know what I am really into lately? Sunglasses. I’ve been wearing the same sunnies for a couple of years now and it would be nice to mix things up and try something new. It’s not easy shopping for frames since I have very specific needs – very small nose bridge and fairly small face. Often sunglasses for more petite features aren’t anything to get excited about and the more interesting designs (like Karen Walker eyewear) just don’t work for me. Boo!

Now I’m wondering if I can pull off these vintage-inspired sunglasses by Retro Super Future. I found them on the Steven Alan website and have been visiting them every single day. These really appeal to me. Pink frames and round lenses are not two things I would have been drawn to before, but I’m really feeling these. Yep, I’m definitely ready to mix it up.

 

   
May 21, 2012

Being Quirky
Sample Image
A head to toe look from Marni..

Can I pull this off?

There are some fashion labels that I appreciate aesthetically, but would probably never wear. Rodarte comes to mind. It’s ideal when aesthetics and wearability two come together, but that’s not always how a wardrobe is built and that’s definitely not why women buy what they buy.

One label that I love, but have never figured out in real life is Marni. You know what I think of when I see looks by Marni? That Saturday Night Live “Bein’ quirky with Zooey Deschanel.”  

Marni makes incredibly covetable clothes. I would love to own a Marni coat. The prints are stellar and the details are always on the right side of wack-a-doodle. Even things that could look dowdy, like chunky heeled loafers or knee-length tiered ruffle skirts, are anything but. This leather and wool-blend sweater is so up my alley in terms of being a classic piece with a twist. But as much as I like what I see season after season, I just can’t see myself pulling off the quirky cool looks. I’m not a quirky cool girl.  

For now, I’m looking for vintage finds that fit the Marni aesthetic, but come with a much more do-able price tag. I love you Marni, but some guilty pleasures have to be practical. 

 

   
May 19, 2012

A Boot Named Susan
Studded Boots
Chloť Susan Boots.

Why am I so crazed for these studded boots?

Here’s a little confession. I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with a pair of shoes right now. A pair of studded ankle boots to be exact. A pair of expensive studded ankle boots. What bothers me is that I hate to follow the herd of fashion sheep on this. After all the Chloé Susan boots have been seen on starlets and street style photos everywhere. But I really, really dig these boots.

Not to sound uppity, but trends definitely are not my thing (and I’m not alone). So I have no idea why several seasons after first seeing these boots I am gaga for them. All of a sudden, I’m stalking them on eBay. Seriously! I’m so exasperated with myself.

The thing is, I think I can wear the shit out of these boots. I had been contemplating what the black Susan boots would add to my wardrobe. Then I see the off-white version on the Barney’s website and I’m in the grips of a desire so strong that I have to close my laptop and step away. I keep searching for more pictures and fit advice just… in… case…

Truth be told, I just can’t pull the trigger right now. There are more important things to spend money on (and to save for). I can’t justify these right now. Boy, do I want to though! For now I’ll just have to satisfy myself with internet stalking and hoping I can someday get my feet in these. Or maybe I’ll move on. That’s been known to happen too.

 

   
May 17, 2012

Work That Bag
New York Pretzel
My delicious pretzel before I devoured it..

Noticing a trend on the streets of New York City.

I’m back to reality after spending a fun-filled weekend in NYC visiting a dear friend. The timing could not have been more perfect. The weather was insanely gorgeous and I was incredibly lucky to have been able to see the Met’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibit and MoMA’s Cindy Sherman exhibit. Mix in shopping, good food and drink, and a whole lot of walking to make for an ideal weekend in the city. I even bought a tasty salted pretzel in front of the Met and wondered why I’ve never indulged before.  

Neverfull by Louis Vuitton
Just one example of the Vuitton Neverfull.

One thing I noticed in New York was the ubiquity of the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM bag. (I’m a bit bag crazy so I always notice these things.) Whether in Damier Ebene or the Monogram canvas, I saw the Neverfull everywhere. Sometimes I saw two on the same corner while waiting for the crosswalk light.

As a workbag, I can see the practicality of the Neverfull since it’s essentially a big tote bag, but it’s not very original. So that got me thinking. If I had to commute by bus, subway, train or any combination of those things, what would be the ideal bag for me?

Want Les Essentiels De La Vie O’Hare bag from Ten Over Six.
Want Les Essentiels De La Vie OíHare bag from Ten Over Six.

What do you think of this? This may technically be a man bag, but the Want Les Essentiels De La Vie O’Hare bag has that streamlined look that works for anyone. I like the option of having top handles and a shoulder strap. There are several inside pockets for easy access to things like your phone or keys which makes it infinitely practical. This olive green color is my favorite. Mr. Porter also carries the O’Hare bag, where you can find it in other colors. 

 

   
May 9, 2012

Flight Essential
Silk and Cashmere Scarf from Nordstrom
Nordstrom Silk Cashmere Wrap.

Never fly without an extra layer.

I’m traveling to NYC this weekend. I AM STOKED! I’m already thinking about what to pack, although I am notoriously last minute about it. This drives my husband crazy, but it helps me remember all the important things.

One thing I will definitely not forget to pack is a scarf. One of my worst airline experiences was flying back from the Dominican Republic at night and feeling like I was stuck in a meat locker. I didn’t have an extra layer – I had just been on a warm weather vacation after all – and there was not one blanket on the flight. Cheap-ass bastards.

So lesson learned. I never forget to bring an extra layer, no matter when or where I am flying. My preferred extra layer is a lightweight wrap that works as a scarf. This silk/cashmere scarf from Nordstrom guarantees warmth and takes up minimal space if I need to pack in my carry-on bag. I’ve used it as a blanket for my four-year old who often falls asleep on flights. Despite being light, it’s plenty warm. It also works as a soft security blanket – for him, not me. Although sometimes I could use a lovey and a glass of champagne. 

 

   
May 4, 2012

Walking Tall
Zara Basic Sandals
Zara Basic Sandals.

Walking in high heels is hard!

You know what I discovered lately? I can’t walk in high heels any more. It’s a bit embarrassing especially since I literally ran around in 4-inch heels in a hectic newsroom. Those were the days. Actually, I don’t miss that at all. But it would be nice to step out in heels again without looking like a wobbly newborn giraffe.

I recently bought these Zara Basic sandals. I rarely buy shoes online, but there’s no Zara in Portland and I love the color combination on this sandal. Besides, the price made it easy to give it a try. Seriously, is it possible to find decent shoes for fifty bucks?

I’m happy to say these are surprisingly well made. It looks like suede but is actually a polyester microfiber, which works out just fine since living in a rainy climate makes suede shoes a bit high maintenance. As for comfort, I can’t say these shoes fit the bill, but that’s only because I’m used to wearing flat boots or sneakers. 

Now I just need to practice walking in them so I don’t look like a fool. Or take a header down a flight of stairs. Wish me luck!

 

   
May 2, 2012

Top It All Off
Helmut Lang Jacket
Helmut Lang Fitted Leather Jacket.

Creating the perfect capsule wardrobe isn't easy.

When I read about people who whittle down their closet to just a few key items, I’m inspired by their desire to keep it simple and their ability to actually commit. I’m acquisitional by nature. And while I’m not a shopaholic, I do love finding something that really speaks to me and actually buying it. Yes, handbags speak to me.

For my capsule wardrobe, I’d really love to add a moto-style leather jacket. See how I went from talking about editing down to adding something new? I’m hopeless. Anyway, I do think this Helmut Lang number would go the distance. I’ve always wanted a black jacket, but this greige color would be great for all seasons. And think of the possibilities: dresses, jeans, casual, formal, the choices are endless.

Maybe that whole argument about cost per wear would justify its purchase?

 

   
April 30, 2012

Just Spotted
Sample Image
Rachel Rose Isabella Spotted Top.

Finally, polka dots I can get into.

Even though polka dots seem to be everywhere lately, it’s a look that’s timeless and always fashionable. Check out Natalie Portman’s vintage Oscar dress as the perfect example. While I like the look, I’ve never really found anything in polka dots that I’ve wanted to wear. Many spotted looks have a bit of a retro vibe or are super-feminine and that’s just not me. In fact, it’s one of my mom’s favorite looks. I love my mom. She definitely instilled in me an interest in fashion and the desire to always look my best. However, I don’t want to dress like her.

Then I saw this silk top and exclaimed “Hallelujah!” No, I didn’t but I am pretty excited about it. In fact, I’m excited that I found the site Of a Kind. If you are constantly looking for something that feels personal and not mass-produced, this is the place for you. It’s a site filled with limited production items from under-the-radar designers. I could spend all day looking at the goodies and reading about the artists who make them.

So back to this polka dot top… the painterly feel and the mint green color is a fresh take on spots. There are only 29 available to I need to jump on this fast. Seeing spots never looked so good.

 

   
April 27, 2012

Star Bright
Loeffler Randall Starla Sandals
Loeffler Randall Starla Plank Sandals.

Iíll find any excuse to add stars to my wardrobe mix.

Boy, am I a sucker for stars and stripes. I’ve already written about stripes and now here’s where I go on about my love of stars. It all started when I read Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Just kidding. I actually did read part of that book and saw the PBS series in high school, but I’m not even going to pretend to know anything about stars. I can find a few constellations on a clear night. That about covers my astronomy skills.

What was I talking about? Oh yes, stars. I don’t care if the star motif is a bit twee or gimmicky. When I see stars, I gravitate toward them. Case in point: I love Loeffler Randall’s Starla sandals. I would paint my toes with Chanel Le Vernis nail polish in Peridot for all out metallic glam feet. These shoes are so fun. It’s going to be hard to resist them.

 

   
April 25, 2012

Delicate Balance
Saskia Diez Ring
Saskia Diez Paillette Ring

Fine jewelry that's anything but flashy.

Jewelry is always a tricky thing for me. I am a minimalist when it comes to adornment, preferring under the radar simplicity to over the top flash. Not that there’s anything wrong with a bit of bling. Sparkle always catches my eye and it can be so fun. But when keeping in mind my overall aesthetic – not to mention lifestyle – minimal wins out.

I really like jewelry that’s a bit delicate, but isn’t too sweet. This ring by German designer Saskia Diez fits that description. It’s part of the Paillettes collection and I like the notion of having light-catching shimmer in the form of an understated oval ring. The rest of the collection is perfect for adding a little extra detail to an outfit without trying too hard. That’s the right balance in my book.

 

   
April 23, 2012

Walking on Sunshine
Wren Sundress
Peek-a-boo. Wren Sun Dress.

Wishing for the perfect sundress for fun in the sun.

Talk about a glorious weekend! We had sunshine like it was going out of style! Okay, that didn’t make any sense at all but I get giddy when it’s this gorgeous. You know what else makes me giddy?  The perfect sundress for warm weather fun. I love this one by Wren. Even the midsection cutout, which would normally make me nervous, seems like the perfect detail.  

Knowing the weather would be amazing, we planned maximum outside time and eating at one of our favorite places in Portland. I was so happy that I took a picture of my lunch at the Cheese Bar. This deli/gourmet food store has a mind-boggling selection of cheeses and cured meats, and it also stocks unique craft beers to wash it all down. My four-year old son loves the cheese board and asks for this place by name. 

Lunch at Cheese Bar
My lunch at the cheese bar. That’s sunshine in a bottle right there.

I’ve decided I’m going to wear more dresses this summer. Oh, and eat more cheese. Two things that I will somehow bring together.

 

   
April 20, 2012

Put a Bag In It
Sample Image
Neon ostrich print bag by Baggu.

Earth Day is every day... especially in Portland.

It took me a while, but now I have fully embraced the absurd hilarity of Portlandia. The show magnifies the stereotypes about Portland, then twists it into something completely wack-a-doodle.  But we are in on the joke. Please laugh at our quirky stores, love of bicycles, and our very real cast of kooky characters. Besides, Eddie Vedder makes a cameo

I did have my own Portlandia moment this week when I was grocery shopping. I usually keep bags in my car, but forgot them at home. So as I’m checking out with a small basket of groceries, the cashier asks me if I had a bag. I meekly say that I forgot my bag. The cashier game me one of those pursed lipped mmm-hmm looks. Oh snap. Why do I shame so easily? I FORGOT! 

I have attempted to carry everything in my hands before. It isn’t pretty. An easy solution would be to just carry a lightweight nylon bag in my purse. There are so many choices and cute designs to ensure you will find something that meets your functional and aesthetic needs. I like the ones by Envirosax because you get so many design options. Baggu also makes colorful bags that pack down to practically nothing. And just because I’m talking about handbags here, I’d love to carry my environmentally friendly reusable bag in this Balenciaga tote.

Balenciaga Papier A4
Balenciaga Papier A4

I love yellow accessories and a colorful tote is a great wardrobe update for spring. I’ve been curious about these Balenciaga Papier bags since they first came out. The calf leather makes the colors appear especially vibrant. How did I make a post about inexpensive reusable bags into one about a Balenciaga bag? Not only am I easily shamed, I’m easily distracted.

 

   
April 18, 2012

My Diamond Denim
Sample Image
Etoile Isabel Marant Luana denim shirt. .

Denim shirt, you were worth every penny.

If there’s one thing in my wardrobe that gets worn a lot, it’s my denim shirt. It took me a while to find exactly the right one and now it’s like an old, reliable friend. I bought this Etoile Isabel Marant denim shirt two years ago. I like that the fabric is a cotton/linen mix, so it has a bit drape to it even though the design is more structured. It has a western vibe with the pearlescent snap buttons and back yoke, which is not normally a look I go for, but I love this shirt so much I will wear it to pieces. 

At first, I didn’t get the hype about Isabel Marant. I am not a six feet tall Estonian model who can pull off patchwork jeans and a slouchy tank top. I’m also not an insouciantly cool French girl. Somehow though, I have found myself adding a few pieces each season.  

I’ve justified my love of this label because Marant has perfected a way of dressing that looks pitch-perfectly thrown on, yet somehow put together. So even though Isabel Marant sizing can be all over the map (a topic I’m going to cover later) and some items can give even the most devoted follower sticker shock, I’m always excited to see what’s offered each season. Many of the things I’ve bought are pieces I’ll wear for years. Finding a good sale helps too. 

 

   
April 16, 2012

Cheer Up
Sample Image
March 2011, Abaco, Bahamas.

Improving my mood with color.

I went from basking in the glow of glorious sunshine while on a ski weekend in Bend, OR to stuffing my frizzy hair inside the hood of my rain jacket this morning. I love you Portland, but I’m officially over this rain.

You know where I’d really like to be right now? The beach. One of my favorite beaches is on Abaco Island, Bahamas. I took this picture on a vacation last year. This area is perfect for those of us wanting a super mellow spot to swim, read, and take an afternoon nap – all things that are a luxury in everyday life. I’m not one to lie on a beach towel all day, but I am down for reading a book while my husband and son look for shells and build sand castles. 

Sample Image
T by Alexander Wang Waffle Knit Top.

So what’s a girl to do on a dreary day? I pulled out a bright color to wear. I recently bought this T by Alexander Wang knit top. The color is called cantaloupe and it’s just the thing to brighten my mood. It’s definitely more vibrant than this picture lets on. I’m trying to experiment with color and it’s a big step to try something outside of gray and black, although I’m giving myself a pass on navy. Still need my navy. Baby steps.

 

   

April 12, 2012 

Barred from Stripes
Sample Image
A.P.C. Striped Sweater

Can you ever have too many sweaters?

Why oh why do I fall for the same look over and over again? I’m talking to you striped shirt. Yeah, you. I know the Breton top will always be a classic, but there’s no need for one woman to own so many stripes, right? Well… maybe.

When something really works I tend to go balls out. Thin stripes, wide stripes, blue stripes, red stripes. I love stripes because the options are limitless and the results are just right. Plus, it’s a no brainer. With jeans, your favorite shoes, and one piece of simple jewelry you can have a polished look with minimal fuss. I could use more of those.

So now that I’ve justified the over abundance of striped shirts in my closet, I think I need to add just one more. Double stripes! I don’t have something like this one by A.P.C. Simple, but always stylish. I like the sound of that. 

 

   
April 9, 2012

Shorts Story
Sample Image
Madewell Lyric Lace Shorts

Are shorts always appropriate?

We had such awesome weather over the weekend that I entertained the idea of wearing shorts. Unfortunately, I don’t really own many shorts, at least ones that I should be seen wearing in public. The shorts I have are more for vacations (beat up denim cutoffs for the beach and practical fast-drying nylon shorts for hikes in the tropics). 

What’s really caught my eye are lace or embroidered shorts. I like the blatant girly-ness of them. These Madewell Lyric lace shorts are tempting. What’s holding me back is that I’m having an existential crisis about shorts. Should “fashion” shorts be left to those on the fresher side of 30-years old?  Not be ageist about something as inconsequential as an item of clothing, but this is something I think about more now that I’m closing in on 40. Crap! Who knew it would come so fast?

Obviously there are those who can wear anything, age be damned. But most are glamorous women with jobs in fashion. I am just a fashion nerd (I think this is a real thing!). 

I didn’t mean for this to be some confessional on my shorts dilemma. I do think there are no rules when it comes to dressing for your age because so many women look too good to dress “age appropriately.” Okay, so I draw the line at booty shorts, but in that case pretty much no one should wear those. 

Now back to the lace shorts. Maybe if I wear them with a well-cut slouchy jacket, it would feel perfectly right for a lady of a certain age. Or maybe I just do what I want because I’ve earned it. 

 

   
April 9, 2012

To the Point
JCrew Viv Ballet Flats

J. Crew Viv Flats

Searching for point-toe perfection.

What my closet really needs right now is a fun pair of flat shoes. I already have a couple of ballet flats that are perfectly fine, but right now I’m feeling the pointed toe look. J. Crew Viv flats may satisfy my craving. They come in punchy spring colors so it will be hard to choose. Happy feet are here again!

 

   
April 4, 2012

Getting Knitty
Cashmere Sweater

Sonia Rykiel Striped Sweater..

Knit crazy.

I’ve said it here before on this blog and I’ll say it again. If there’s one thing I am crazy about, it’s knitwear. I can’t get enough. Seriously. I am a little bit over the top. Besides trying to acquire the dopest sweater collection possible, I am constantly knitting cowls, scarves and hats to further accessorize with knitwear. It doesn’t even matter if it’s 88 degrees in July (don’t laugh if you live in Phoenix and that sounds downright spring-like because in Portland that's about right) I will rub a cashmere sweater against my cheek and look forward to the day when I can wear it again.

Thankfully, knitwear isn’t only about warmth and coziness. In warmer weather, it can be airy, drapey, and bold. To me, lighter knits can be less about the functional – keeping you toasty – and more about the fun. Last year I knit a white drop stitch vest because I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for in a store. Does anyone really need a white knitted vest? Not really, but it was a joy to make and a surprisingly versatile addition to my spring/summer wardrobe.

So this year I’m excited about building up the lighter side of my knitwear collection. I have my eye on this pastel striped Sonia Rykiel sweater. The black shoulder, neckline, and cuff detail keeps it from being too sweet and the metallic stripes give it a 70’s sportswear vibe that I love. I’d wear this fitted sweater with something loose and swingy on the bottom, just like they styled it for the runway. Tres chic! 

 
x

 

             
 

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