Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feeling Wild.

Animal print has many interesting characteristics. A small touch can make you feel sexy and flirty. A bold piece screams fashion confidence. The right animal print can often work as a neutral, and it always feels fun! It can also be a chic added detail to your favorite all-black look. However, finding the perfect piece can be a challenge...

After a long search for the perfect animal print pump, I found it in an unexpected place. My favorite boot designer, Loeffler Randall, has an amazing shoe line. (Remember, Loeffler Love?) The cheetah print on this pump is small and understated. The tapered and sophisticated pointy toe make it a tasteful animal print option. Look at how gorgeous these are!

{Loeffler Randall, Zuri Pointy Toe Heel, $525.}

What are my other favorite ways to wear animal print? Try a fitted cardigan, but be sure the print is small. A luxurious animal print scarf looks great on women of all ages. And don't forget my go-to: an animal print silk blouse is to die for (see post here). I also love a glamourous leopard print coat.

Some additional tips on animal print:

1) Be sure you always wear your animal print in a tasteful way. Otherwise, it can look tacky and cheap. Therefore, avoid combining this bold trend with lace or leather details.

2) If you are unsure about your animal print combination, wear only one item of animal print at a time.

3) Pay close attention to the material of the animal print item you choose to wear. Avoid plastic, polyester, satin, and pleather.

4) When it comes to animal print shoes, beware of super high platforms (unless, of course, you are looking for a very sexy night out option), and lots of straps. A delicate animal print peep-toe pump is always a good idea.

Any questions? Ooh la la.

Treat everyday like you are on the runway.

Friday, October 21, 2011

One Face.

Winter is around the corner and this time I'm going to be prepared. I'm researching sun lamps and I will be taking Vitamin D. My winter parka is at the dry cleaners and I already own the small shovel that will soon reside in the trunk of my car. I have a nice supply of hand and feet warmers at my disposal (yes, the kind that skiers carry on a mountain) and I'm hoping that my spring wedding anticipation will be enough to drag me through the dark months ahead. Yesterday, I tended to one more daunting winter task ahead of time: my skincare.

After spending several winters in Florida and California, last year I forgot how brutal the cold weather can be on your face. You only get one, so why not take care of it? Since my skin is on the dry side I decided to be pro-active and change up my regimen.  Which leads me to my favorite things on this Friday afternoon...

1) I can be lazy when it comes to washing my face at night so I've always kept wipes in the top drawer of my nightstand. These are the best I have ever tried. They are gentle and do not sting my eyes, but manage to remove all makeup. My face actually feels clean after each use. No water is required and they have very little scent. Love.

{Philosophy, Purity Facial Cleansing Cloths, $20.}

2) You know when you just need a pick me up? My skin was feeling, and looking, very tired. On my way to purchase another bottle of my usual (my holy grail of products), Estee Lauder Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher, I ran into this little goodie that I've been dying to try. With long term use it's supposed to even your skintone, but in the short term it is already the perfect layering product for my makeup. Ahhhh, I feel illuminated. And my skin is too! So far it is just what the doctor ordered.

{Estee Lauder, Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, $58.}

3) The foundation of the 80's and 90's scared the hell out of me. I saw many of my friends at school  running around with that dreaded orange line of demarcation along their jaw, and I always thought that the finish made women look waxy. I saw countless bottles explode all over the inside of my mother's makeup bag and I vowed never to wear it... It took 30 years to change my mind. Yesterday, I finally bit the bullet and decided to forgo my tinted moisturizer and beautiful Chanel compact in favor of, you guessed it, a foundation. No orange or wax finish here though! Just smooth skin with a slightly dewy, but not shiny, finish. It's actually sheer so you can decide how much or how little to put on depending on the type of coverage you are looking for. Trust me, this is amazing.

{Nars, Sheer Glow Foundation, $42.

My new vow is to avoid dry skin this winter. I'm still not ready for the cold weather but being prepared makes me feel better. New Englanders, do you have any additional winter-ready tips for me? 

Enjoy your weekend.

Treat everyday like you are on the runway.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Destination Portland.

Plaid? Check. Texture? Check. Mustard and red hues? Check. Tribal inspired? Check. Cozy cape? Check. The Portland Collection by Pendleton may be all you need to look your best this fall season. (Look here if you need to read up on your fall 2011 trends.)

Looking to the past to inspire the future is one of my favorite parts of fashion. While designers such as Diane von Furstenberg, Proenza Schouler, and Isabel Marant showed gorgeous tribal patterns on the runway, this featured collection just feels more authentic. The Portland Collection by Pendleton not only embodies the current fall season, but a history as well.  The contemporary design was inspired by the archived Native American-inspired fabrics that are the foundation of the 102 year old Pendleton brand. Many of the versatile pieces are great for all ages and I found several items that would make perfect gifts.

For Dad: The ranch coat with a detachable shearling collar. Why not have the whole family contribute to stepping up his dated L.L. Bean style? Split the cost of this modern classic with your siblings. Be sure to tell him you bought American and supported the struggling economy. The end result will be Dad looking stylish while simultaneously appearing rugged and practical. Not an easy fete.

{Pendleton Portland Collection, Ranch Coat in tan, $599.}

For a new family (or couple): The ceremonial blanket. Take it to the playground, on a picnic, or to the beach! They can leave it in the car when not in use. It's convenient and portable with its leather harness and shoulder strap. What more could you ask for?

{Pendleton Portland Collection, Harding Black and Tan Robe, $248.}

{Pendleton Portland Collection, Ceremonial Blanket, $230.}

For Mom: The reversible cape. It's cowl neck, beautiful pattern (black and tan) or subtle trim (mustard and tan) make it an easy and stylish piece to throw on and wear all day. She will have it for years.

{Pendleton Portland Collection, Harding Black and Tan Cape,  $316.}

{Pendleton Portland Collection, Reversible Cape,  $297.}

Hmm, I think I need this cape too. It looks incredible with dark lipstick (you know I love it, see post here) and leather pants.

For Friend/ Sister/ Brother: The oversized scarf. Yes, it's unisex. Yes, it's also reversible. The pattern doesn't take itself too seriously so the scarf can look masculine or feminine depending on the rest of the outfit.

{Pendleton Portland Collection, Harding Scarf in Black and Tan, $96.}

{Pendleton Portland Collection, Harding Scarf in Squash, $95.}

For You: This classic carpet bag. It's perfect for your weekend and holiday trips!

{Pendleton Portland Collection, Luggage Bag, $348.}

I'm also loving these two wool dresses from the collection, but I can't find them anywhere. The surprise back cutouts are a totally thoughtful and sexy detail for wool.

{All lookbook photos via Chris Hornbecker.}

So, what do you think of this collection? Would you wear it?

Treat everyday like you are on the runway.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Everyday Fashion, Fall 2011.

Fashion can be overwhelming sometimes. With all of the fashion shows, various stores, endless merchandise, and magazine recommendations, it can be hard to figure out what pieces to buy for each new season. I recommend choosing your favorite trend within four key wardrobe categories: Color. Texture. Pattern. Accessories. Of course, not all of the fashion sent down the runways is appropriate for use on your daily errands, at work, or for lounging on the weekend. That's why I have put together this edited list of Fall 2011 trends that you can take from the runways and wear in your everyday.

One of the easiest ways to update your wardrobe each season is to buy a key item in the IT color. This fall season you have a choice: ketchup or mustard? Reds of all shades will provide you with an instant update, but be sure to choose the right one for your skin tone. Wear Heinz-ketchup red or the deep burgundy of your favorite red wine. If you are not into shades of red, mustard is a fabulous and unexpected choice. Mustard also brings some pleasing gold tones to skin as your summer tan fades for the winter. Luckily, the colorblocking trend is still going strong post-summer. Both red and mustard hues work well incorporated into a colorblock look. Still unsure? Look here, here, and here for more ways to wear shades of red and/ or mustard.

{Asos, Oasis Pant, $78.57}

{Cleobella, Cantina Mini Bag, $99.}

{Asos, Whistles Felt Hat, $87.30}

{Bally, Merino Wool and Cashmere Mittens, $175.}

{Alexa Chung for Madewell, Risky Business Shirt, $130.}

{Odylyne, Robin Dress, $198.}

{J Crew, Vintage Tweed Jacket, $198.

One of the easiest ways to add visual interest to an outfit without adding visual clutter is with texture, especially if you've chosen to rock a monochromatic look. This season, there are two trends that will automatically add texture to your fall outfit.
--> Lace.  
Opt for an all lace dress or a delicate blouse. Channel the Victorian-era and look for simple long sleeves and/ or a romantic high neck. Another way to incorporate lace into your wardrobe is through accessories. Choose a vintage glove or carry a pretty clutch. You could also pair a lace pump with your favorite cocktail dress during the holidays.

{Badgley Mischka, Stella Pump, $225.}

{Alexa Chung for Madewell, Alice Dress, $188.}

{Juicy Couture, Cotton Lace Mini, $140.}

--> Leather.
Nothing says luxury like a buttery, soft leather. Plus, it's nice and warm! Choose a leather skirt and pair it with your favorite sweater. Or finally ditch those black leggings and pick up a pair of skinny leather pants. Think outside of the box and look for a color other than black or check out items made in another fabric with leather details like this dress. You could also dig out your old leather jacket and breathe new life into it. Your wallet will thank you.

{APC, A-line Leather Mini Skirt, $405.}

{Royal Underground, Faux Leather Trim Dress, $225.}

{Improvd, Brown Leather Jacket, $680.}

This jacket is a great piece because it covers two fall trends. The color is on trend and the leather is cut in a modern silhouette. Throw it on over your lace or mustard colored dress!

{Plastic Island, Gypsy Suede Jacket, $268.}

The best part about these two textured trends is that they work with a feminine or edgy look depending on what you put together. Just be sure to avoid head-to-toe lace or head-to-toe leather; it's overkill.

There is something so cozy about plaid. The pattern is the unofficial dress code for an autumn trip to the farm or back to school. Flannel, wool, and cashmere varieties make me want to curl up with a hot beverage on a rainy day. You should find ways to reinvent this trend beyond your old flannel shirt. A tartan dress or checked pants are an instant wardrobe update, just make sure the pants are fitted so you avoid looking like you are running around in old pajamas! A tailored blazer in plaid will take you from work to errands effortlessly. I also love this go anywhere plaid scarf at Madewell for an off-duty weekend look.

--> Choker necklace.
After all of the long pendant necklaces we saw ushered in with the breezy 70's style of summer, go short! A gold choker provides an instant update to your go-to little black dress or sweater. And who doesn't need a warm glow near their face when the temperatures drop?
Everyday Runway Shopping List for Fall 2011:
  • Something Red/ Bordeaux.
  • Something Mustard.
  • Lace. 
  • Leather.
  • Plaid.
  • Choker Necklace.

I'm excited to share that you can also see this post up on the blog of my commercial agency, Ennis Inc. Check them out!

Treat everyday like you are on the runway.