Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pixel Pieces

Retro is in. It's always in. The question isn't whether or not it's in, but which decade is currently the hottest. The 80's and 90's are all the rage right now. It's all those 20 and 30-somethings who are fueling the trend, basking in the nostalgia of their childhoods. Since tight-rolled jeans and scrunchy socks will never be attractive, what can you wear to look 80's-retro, but also cute and chic? Try something pixellated!

Before high-definition, we had 8-bit, but now that over-pixellated look is permeating fashion accessories and I think it's kind of cute!

Pixel Heart Brooch, Topshop, $18

8-Bit Sleeve (for iPad, or just a cute clutch!), Big Big Pixel, $29.95

8-Bit Sunglasses, Sunglass Hut, $6.49

Pixel Heart Earrings, Topshop, $20

I can't go so far as to endorse the idea of wearing Mario and Luigi 8-bit printed clothing, at least not for anyone over the age of 11. But I do think these accessories are quirky and cute and a subtle way to show off your nerd side without being too over-the-top about it. 

So what do you think of this trend? Leave a comment if you have an opinion. You know I'd love to hear it! Have a great day, everyone and as always, THANK YOU for reading! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Minty Mint: How to Wear It

On Sunday, a reader left a comment asking about how to wear the new color trend, mint. It's true that it's a little tricky. And what good is loving a trend if you're not sure how to make it work? Choosing the right neutral is key. I recommend grey, navy or cream and here are a couple of outfits demonstrating how that would work:

Mint & Grey:
Mint & Grey

Think of the mint as a version of lime which always looks great with just about any shade of grey. It's a little creamier, but it still works with the coolness and the season-less nature of the grey.

Mint & Navy:

Mint & Navy

Whether a preppy, buttoned-up look, or a casual afternoon-downtown look, navy is a lighter, easier dark neutral to pair with this color. While the combination of black and mint may be a little too "mint oreo cookie," the navy is a softer approach.

Mint & Cream:
Mint & Cream

Since the mint is already so creamy, it's natural to pair it with CREAM! Obviously this works much better in the spring or summer, where the other two options are a little more versatile, but either way it's lovely.

I hope this is helpful to those of you trying to figure out how to make the mint trend work for you. Feel free to leave a comment if you have more questions! And as always THANK YOU for reading!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shoesday Tuesday: Seychelles Boots

Last week on Shoesday Tuesday, all I could think about was bright, open-toe summery shoes that I couldn't possibly wear amidst all the inches and feet of snow that has been dumped on New England these last few weeks. Today, I'm a little more grounded in reality and I've decided to feature an awesome pair of boots on this Shoesday Tuesday! But the connection is this: they're also from Seychelles and they're a fabulous bright color that will brighten even the gloomiest of winter days:

Can you even handle how fabulous these are? The red is to die for! I love how simple and flattering they are and the color just can't be beat. They are available in three other colors, but the red wins every time. 

Happy Shoesday Tuesday, folks! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Favorite Oscars Gowns

I admit it... I didn't watch the Oscars last night. I heard Anne Hathaway won for Les Miz- no surprise there, right? Anyway, I admit that I just wasn't that into finding out who won which awards this year. But I was definitely interested in seeing all the red carpet looks. I had quite a few top looks this year, but number 1 head-to-toe look was hands down Jennifer Lawrence:

The gown (Dior Haute Couture), the hair, the make-up, the jewelry (note how she wore the necklace hanging in the back- love it!!!), everything was flawless. She's a superstar and this is a superstar red carpet look. Now when is the next Hunger Games movie?

Number two (and it's a very, very close second) was Anne Hathaway:

Her look was flawless no matter what the angle. Her Prada gown in the most beautiful shade of blush satin was perfection. Her short hair looked precious with the feminine pink dress and the back! Holy cow! Gorgeous! 

Third place is the stunning Reese Witherspoon in royal blue Louis Vuitton: 

Her dress has that super slimming illusion with the black details on the side of the bodice that are just so magical. And I'm in love with the bow on the bust. It's sexy, it's sweet, it's bold, but not over-the-top. I love it all. I even like her hair and make-up which isn't overdone, either. I appreciate a bold color, especially on a blonde.

Other than Helena Bonham Carter, I didn't see too many train wrecks, at least not enough that they would be worth creating a "worst dressed" post. Anyway, I'd love to know who you think rocked it last night and who could have used a make-over. Leave a comment if you like. And as always, thanks for reading! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Minty Mint

Are you guys in love with the mint color trend? I'm on the fence. I prefer bold jewel tones most of the time, but this pretty pastel is a refreshing departure for me:

Patent Skinny Belt, Banana Republic, $29.50

Hanalei Bay Top, Modcloth, $37.99

Rochas Foldover Clutch, Barneys, $650

Chloe Madeleine Bag, Barney's, $I have no idea

I love how creamy the hue is this season. It's not too bright, not too pastel, it's like Goldilocks- it's just right. I think I may have to find a way to work this color into my wardrobe pretty soon, before it's gone! What do you think of this color trend? Love it? Hate it? Already wearing it? It's so yesterday? Leave a comment and as always thank you for reading! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

This Post is for you, Beth!

Last night, I took a drive over to Manchester to meet up with some friends I haven't seen in a while. They are all performing in the Palace Theatre's current production Divas Through the Decades (which, by the way is a super fun production). Anyway, after catching up at dinner, they went off to get their hair and make-up on for the show and I spent some time strolling through the streets of downtown Manchester, popping into shops I didn't know existed because it's been so long since I was in that part of the state! Anyway, in the course of my hour shopping, I saw more than one store carrying the line of Harvey's bags. I had never heard of them, but I learned about them last night and I was wondering what all of you thought about them. Do you already know about these bags? Am I way behind on the trend? If so, please let me know and I'll try to be more up-to-date with my fashion. I guess a girl can't keep up with everything all the time, right?

Anyway, these bags are made entirely out of recycled seat belts. You read that right- seat belts. They come in clutches, totes, shoulder bags, satchels, messengers- you name it! And they all are pretty much made with a pattern of woven seat belts. Check 'em out:

According to their website, the Harvey's are a husband and wife team who decided to make a handbag out of  seat belts. It garnered such praise that they started a business. Apparently, they've done well. I say "Good for them!" I love the ingenuity of the product. I love the idea of products made in the USA. I even like the overall design of a lot of them. I just don't know if I love the look of them enough to want to own one. 

What do all of you think? Please leave a comment and tell me your thoughts on these bags. It's an interesting concept, at the very least, right? 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Transitioning Your Style

Mastering the art of Day-to-Night outfit design is no small task. Going from the office straight to a dinner date and looking appropriate for both? What about a day spent in client meetings followed by a dinner party? Difficult at best. Day and evening wear are each designed to serve their own unique functions, but not everyone has time to run home between work and an evening event to completely change her outfit. So how do you make daytime outfits transition easily into evening looks? The key is in layering and accessories.

Let's start with this leather skirt and blousy top combination:

Day to Night

Day to Night by rtboo featuring hammered metal jewelry

For the office, keep the look monochromatic and buttoned-up. Close-toed shoes over tights, a fitted blazer and conservative accessories make it completely work appropriate. Remove the jacket and switch out the accessories for pieces that a little more dressy and you're ready for a romantic dinner date. Removing the tights and jacket exposes a little more skin without being too provocative. It's far too much skin for work, but just right for a dinner out. 

The leather skirt and flowy top are both very "evening," so covering them up a little and using accessories to keep them more conservative helps them to transition from day to night. Removing the extra layers (blazer, tights, close-toed shoes) and adding more evening accessories allows them to function with their true intention. 

The same concept can work with a cocktail dress. Imagine it's spring and you're a real estate agent. You have to show a house to a client in the early afternoon and then immediately head over to a bridal shower for one of your girlfriends. There's no time for a full outfit change, so what you wear has to work for both:

Day to Night- Bridal Shower

In both of these outfits, the accessories as very neutral and even though I've chosen two different shoes, it would actually be fine to wear the close-toed shoe for both if you wanted to. Simply tuck the smaller clutch bag into the larger tote and when it's time for the costume change, simply remove the jacket, pull out the clutch and switch your shoes. Done! 

Of course, transitioning an outfit isn't always about going from day to evening or casual to formal. Ultimately, it's all about looking appropriate no matter where you are coming from or where you are going. Look at the pieces in your closet in terms of how versatile they are- what items are appropriate for multiple situations? Can you wear that circle skirt to volunteer in your grade-schooler's classroom as well as to the office? What pieces can you layer together to either dress an outfit up or down? What simple accessories can you change out to make a dress look completely different? 

Here's some more inspiration for you:

Running errands before a casual date:

Transition outfit

From a business lunch to a PTA Meeting:

Transition Style 2

Another work life to personal life transition:

Transition Style 3

I hope this post has inspired you to look at your clothes and accessories in a new way. Leave a comment and tell me what you think and as always, thank you for reading! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm Not Waiting Until Shoesday Tuesday

Over a year ago, I lusted after Sadie's Fergilicious boots in the loviest tan suede. The boots were so beautiful and flattering, not to mention well-made. The heel was short enough that she wore them to work all the time. Lindsay, our front desk person AND a current fashion school student, loved them, and owned them too. Then, just a few weeks ago, Juhree showed up to work in them! She'd found them on sale at a huge bargain, PLUS they were a really dark shade of grey- almost black. They once again caught my eye and even though I'd seen Sadie and Lindsay wear them over and over, they were still so striking that I couldn't stop staring.

Of course, now that I absolutely MUST have these boots, they're basically sold out everywhere. I was in Famous Faootwear last night with a couple other gals and I saw the non-leather version of them and of course fell in love! I would prefer the real suede version, but even the faux leather is fabulous.

The faux-leather isn't as shiny in real life as it is in this photo, but that's also part of the reason why I'd rather the real leather- it's more of a suede finish, and the dark grey is almost black. I really missed the boat on these and now I wish I'd bought them when they were still available. Anyone out there a size 8.5 who wants to sell me theirs? I'll be forever grateful. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tim Gunn's Style

We're all so familiar with Tum Gunn's fabulous, tailored suit look, but over the last few years, he's branched out a bit. On the most recent episode of Project Runway, he sported a look that was more playful and even youthful. Rather than wear his standard suit with a patterned shirt and tie, he wore dark wash, fitted jeans with the hem rolled into cuffs, kind of reminiscent of the 50's. He was still polished and professional, not to mention impeccably tailored, but I just adore how he played with the whimsical feeling and added just a touch of nostalgia to an otherwise basic look.

I created a polyvore set inspired by this outfit. I hope my gentlemen readers will consider this look at some point:

Tim Gunn Style

If not, maybe just the tailored jeans and blazer look? I'm a fan.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shoesday Tuesday: Seychelles Awesome-ness

In case you didn't know, New England has been getting covered in snow the last couple of weeks. Last Friday and Saturday, most people were covered under anywhere from 24-36 inches. Since then, we've had two more storms and another 6-10 inches, depending on where you are. So of course the only thing on my mind is springtime and beautiful open sandals, wedges and heels. You know, the kind of shoe that you wear with a cute little floral sundress or a pair of shorts and a fun, colorful top. I think that dreaming of shoes like these is what will get me through the winter. And no one does colorful, fun shoes better than Seychelles:

Freesia, $90

For those of you a little more grounded in reality and who may have wanted to see some cute winter boots this week, I wish I could say, "I'm sorry for disappointing you." But I can't. Happy Shoesday Tuesday! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Andy's Outfits: The Devil Wears Prada

Last night was cold, snowy and windy, so instead of driving back home, I decided to crash at Juhree's apartment for the night since we both have to be into work bright and early this morning. We immediately changed into comfortable PJ's and settled in on the couch to watch a movie. Despite there being plenty of new movies neither of us has seen available On Demand, we couldn't resist watching an old favorite: The Devil Wears Prada. It's a great movie, with a stellar cast, wonderful performances and dozens of fabulous outfits.

Of course, Anne Hathaway's transformation is the most notable, so why not focus on some of the best outfits she wears in the movie? Here are my top three outfits:

This outfit is one of my favorites from the "Vogue" outfit montage. She has a lot of fabulous outerwear looks in the beginning of it, but this one takes the cake. The gloves, the shoes, the hat, and of course the crisp white overcoat. It's so simple and clean- there's not even a single button to clutter up the look. It's perfection. 

This outfit from one of the final moments in the film is another favorite because it shows the character's true transformation. She may have quit her job in a heated moment in Paris, but the style she picked up while working for "Runway" didn't get left behind. I also love that this is an accessible outfit- something anyone out there can put together easily and inexpensively, and still look polished stylish.

Finally, my all-time favorite outfit from the movie is impossible to find a photo of! I love the whole thing from head to toe, but I could only find a photo of the top half: 

I love everything about this look and I think it may become my personal mission to re-create a version of it for myself. It is actually very classic-looking and not trendy at all. It shows a great sense of style without being too narrow. Looking at this outfit, you would not be able to easily determine what decade the movie was set in. I also love the simplicity of basic black and white. It works SO well.

What are your favorite outfits from The Devil Wears Prada? While Anne Hathaway's character is the central focus, there are loads of fabulous outfits on just about every other character no matter how minor the role. Leave a comment and tell me about your faves. And as always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I Know There Must Be a Clever Title for This Post, But It's Escaping Me For the Moment

I never thought this would be the case, but I'm actually really into the whole contrast-sleeve trend that's been going on lately. I saw it first several months ago, and thought, "hmm... that's interesting." The more I see it, the more I like it. I haven't actually purchased anything yet, but that's not to say I won't. Not sure what I'm talking about? Here are some fabulous examples:

Aryn K Sequin Sleeve Blazer, Bluefly, $44.09

It's not just for the ladies, either! Check out this fabulous mens' shirt:

And if you need any more evidence at all that this is a cute trend, just check out my girl Zooey Deschanel on a recent episode of New Girl: 


So, what do you guys think of this look? Love it or hate it? Leave a comment and let me know. And as always, thank you for reading! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beauty Product Review: Essie "Beyond Cozy"

This time last week, I was snuggled at home, waiting out the superstorm "Nemo" and watching multiple episodes of "Mad Men" on Netflix. There's something about spending two days straight in sweat pants and slippers that just doesn't feel glamorous in the slightest. Indulgent, yes.

If you've ever watched the show, you know that it is meticulously researched for everything from scenic design to costumes to hair, make-up, even the style of beer can that was used in that time. It's amazing, actually. The drama is a bonus; for me the excitement of that show is in the details of the design. One detail that always drives me crazy is all the ladies fingernails. I'm so happy that shorter, more squared-off nails are what's "in" for my generation. The long, pointed look in saccharin shades of red and pink is something I'll never love.

Anyway, in thinking about the nail design of the women on the show, I of course began to consider my own, which 90% of the time is non-existent. The girls at work are always coming in with fresh, fun colors on their nails, but it's just not something I get that into most of the time. Maybe it was all those years playing the piano and getting chips in the polish almost immediately after applying. I hate even the tiniest chip, so when I do paint my nails, it's usually a pale color or french manicure.

But recently, I've been thinking of getting a little more creative with my nail color and style choices. I was stocking up on beauty supplies at CVS not too long ago and I picked up a fun bottle of nail polish that I had yet to try. So, during an episode of "Mad Men" while the snow continued to fall outside, I painted my nails with it. And I have to say, I kind of like it:

You can even see a bit of Don Draper on my laptop in the background of the photo. I am not usually one for glitter nail polish, but this one has super tiny pieces and it's not nearly as thick and clunky as most other glitter polishes. It's still a little rough to the touch, but a couple of coats of clear topcoat helped smooth it out a bit. 

I like that it's different and a little glamorous. It really dressed up my sweatpants. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Accessories Anonymous: What I'm NOT Buying

In this economy, we often find ourselves counting our pennies and making sacrifices here and there to keep our budgets balanced, or just to make ends meet. If we find ourselves with a bit of a windfall, it's easy to run right out and spend it on something we've been coveting. But as much as I'd love to have new duds constantly streaming into my closet, I know that's unrealistic. It's those times that I decide to window shop either in person or on the interwebs. It's the most fun to do online because you don't even have to use any gas or bother putting on make-up.

So, in the spirit of not spending, here are the awesome accessories that I will not be buying anytime soon:

What About Bauble? Necklace, Modcloth, $21.99

I love this necklace. I love the color, I love how it's ENORMOUS and I love its price. Juhree and Sadie both have this exact same necklace in other colors, but this peachy mauve is practically irresistible to me. I will, however, resist. 

White Bloom Studs, Bauble Bar, $24

I love these earrings for the opposite reasons I love that necklace. They are dainty and cute and a little understated. They would work with just about anything from jeans and a cute top to a cocktail dress, they'd be great at work, on a date or out with the girls. Also, they remind me of the giant flower on Carrie Bradshaw's white dress.

Foliroli, Aldo Shoes, $40

You all know how much I love a cute brogue, but when it's also in a luxurious peach suede that's just oh-so feminine, I start to drool uncontrollably. I just stuffed a hunk of bread in my mouth to sop up the saliva. Sorry if that was an over-share. 

O.M.G. I have no words for this bag. That's not true. I have loads of words for it: precious, feminine, lush, delicious, soft, gorgeous, supple, flawless and swoon-worthy to name a few. Too bad my birthday has passed already this year. 

I know this post is focused on accessories, but I can actually picture all of the items above working so harmoniously with this adorable dress from Modcloth: 

In Sage You Will Dress, Modcloth, $74.99

Don't believe me? Look at them all together and you will: 

What I'm NOT Buying

So there you have it: an adorable outfit complete with amazing accessories that I will most definitely NOT be purchasing anytime soon. That, my friends, is self restraint. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Project Runway: Season 11

So... I'm a little behind the 8-ball on this season of Project Runway. Since I completely avoided the most recent "All Stars" season, I was not aware that the newest season had begun! Fortunately, the seamstresses at work are major fans and they keep me up to date on all of it.

Anyway, I will (obviously) not be blogging every episode, but I figured I'd put in my two cents about the changes this season, since there were quite a few.

First the bad:
- No Michael Kors! I miss his oompa-loompa-esque complexion and his amazing, snarky one-liners delivered in a perfect nasal deadpan. Zac Posen is fine in terms of his taste and judging skills, but no one will replace the incomparable MK when it comes to creative insults.

- Teams! I know that Tim Gunn and Heidi are all, "This is the REAL WORLD!" I just don't buy it. So far, we're three episodes in and the team method has some horrifically bad designs getting through because the rest of the team is stellar, and some other great designs that could be winners that are not being recognized because the rest of the team is so terrible. Also, watching the "Dream Team" crash and burn for three weeks in a row is just painful. Put them out of their misery already, producers!

And now the good:
- Redecorated workrooms! Parsons looks so fresh and new. I love the new workrooms, sewing rooms, and the stew room. All of it is fresh and fun. Last year, the stew room was especially stark, making Tim's entrance at the end to ask the losing contestant to "go upstairs and clean up your space" that much more difficult to watch.
- Fun challenges! I was particularly fond of the Spin uniform challenge- now that's what I consider "real world" stuff. Working with clients to create something stylish and functional is not always easy and the winning team really nailed it.

And just for fun, here are some of favorite designs (so far), by my favorite designers (so far).

Patricia- Episode 1 "NYC Inspiration"

Patricia- Episode 3 "Surprise"

Patricia is definitely a very talented lady. I love how quirky she is. So often there will be someone on the show with a unique background and an even more unique personality and all too often they are eliminated early on. It's as if they were selected more for the TV appeal than their design ability. Patricia seems to be the exception to that and at this point, I truly hope to see her make it to the finals. 

Michelle- Episode 1 "NYC Inspiration"

Michelle Episode 2 "Spin"

Michelle- Episode 3 "Surprise!" 

Michelle is the best example of someone who is currently being overlooked because she is on the losing team. Every singe runway show, she has sent something down that is original, true to her design aesthetic and fashion forward. Had her team won the "Surprise" challenge, I have no doubt Heidi would have chosen her as one of the winners. And for the "Spin" challenge, I felt heartbroken for her. It was a complete waste of a fabulous design. 

Daniel- Episode 1 "NYC Inspiration"

Daniel- Episode 3 "Surprise!" 

Daniel, much like Michelle has shown consistency each week with his design aesthetic and his workmanship. He's earned two wins in three episodes, and in episode 2, it was his design that won as well, but he quite gallantly gave the win to his design partner, Layana. He is obviously one of the most talented individuals we've ever seen on the show and I hope he continues to prove a strong contestant because I would love to see his runway show in the finale.

All in all, this season is off to a great start. I'm looking forward to seeing how the team aspect plays out in the long run. 

Are you watching this season of PR? What do you think of the changes? Of the designers? Of the judges? Leave a comment and as always, thanks for reading! 
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