Friday, June 29, 2012

Cool Down

It's gonna be a hot one...or three...or 18. There's only one thing we can do. 

by Astrid Munoz via Tumblr 

via Tumblr

All we'll need is this...

And plenty of this...

Wishing you all a wonderful, warm weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday's Look for Less: Not So Basic Black Tee

Welcome to yet another addition of Wednesday's Look for Less. Today's topic? The not-so-basic black tee. I know, it's not exactly something you'd expect right before the 4th of July. You want stars and stripes and bangles and blue, right? All in good time...

For today, check out these two tasty tops. I, being a redhead, used to tremendously fear black, especially in the summertime. But recently I came around to the idea and feel that black is best worn in unexpected textures. In this case, these two tees are extremely lightweight and semi-sheer with just the hint of a geometric tribal pattern on each of them. So which one costs more?

These tees look almost identical but would you believe the tee on the right costs more than $400?? The Madewell tee rings in at $135. Either of these options would be great this summer- a classic shape but nod to trend in the tribal print and perfectly comfortable lightweight material. 


So what do you think? Is black too HAUTE for you this summer or just plain hot?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cocktail Hour

This weekend, we spent two sweltering evenings outside. Yep, summer has officially arrived and the only ways to cool down are laps in the pool and cold cocktails. While daily dips might not always be possible, an adult beverage each evening should be considered perfectly acceptable. For the finest in concocting tips, it's best to look to the pros- Mrs. Lilien and her Cocktail Swatch Book. This little gem is chock full of guzzling goodness and bar brainstorms. Perusing her book made me realize two things- 1) the bar cart I have been debating is necessary and 2) this house seriously lacks sophisticated barware.

Can you tell I'm ready to throw a party now? Chin-Chin! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday's Look For Less: Flower Power Blazers

Dear readers, may this post serve as a reminder never to underestimate the power of the summer jacket. I, for one, believe that a lightweight jacket is an absolute must for warm weather. You never know when you'll encounter an office's chilly blast of a.c., an outfit that feels like it's lacking some pizzazz, an Italian Renaissance basilica where a woman's shoulders absolutely must be covered...sorry, I drifted off there for a second.

For this summer, why not set your blazer ablaze with floral prints? Do you prefer to invest or to save on this piece? 

Which blazer do you think costs less? The blazer on your left is from our favorite budget standby ASOS and will cost you a  little under $100. The second Cynthia Rowley piece rings up at $425. Hmmm...

Cynthia Rowley paraded a myriad of floral pieces down the spring catwalk, some of hers printed on a black background instead of white. I must say that the ASOS piece above looks very similar to Rowley's black floral pieces, like this sleeveless dress, shirtdress and these pants. It's not an exact match but the overall feel is close enough to justify saving a few bucks. 

How about some options to get your mind swirling around summer florals...

Top Left- Madewell Dress/ Anthropologie sandals/ Diane von Furstenberg bag
Top Right- Madewell top/ Madewell skirt/ Rebecca Minkoff bag
Bottom Right- Madewell shirt/ Anthropologie necklace/ J. Crew skirt/ Anthropologie heels
Bottom Left- Madewell top/ Maison Scotch jeans/ Anthropologie wedges
Blazer- Topshop 

Do you have floral blazers? Or could you get into them? I think I the right price.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Room Reveal

I've been waiting a long time to write this post. I'm so happy to finally say that my dining room is finally, officially redecorated and in operable, non-embarrassing shape. Hip hip hooray!

You may recall that I've been looking into dining room inspiration for a loooong time. (See here, here and here.) It took me some discipline and an hour-long design session with Shannon Darrough to get a plan for this room. She helped approve and reject my ideas until we had a realistic plan. My ultimate overall scheme was eventually devised from this Palmer Weiss designed dining room...

via Palmer Weiss

Here are shots of the room pre-redecorate, just to humiliate myself a little and give you a sense of how much has changed. 

(You may not be able to tell but there four different paint colors on the walls...seriously...the result of indecision and lack of clarity.)


My favorite part has got to be the freshly style sideboard. This little vignette makes me smile and, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I photograph it to death. Sorry.  

In case you're wondering, here's what's new:

Paint colors- Benjamin Moore Carrington Beige, HC-93 (above chair rail), and Bavarian Cream, OC-123 (below chair rail)

Perhaps there is still one more piece that needs to be added. And THEN the room will be officially done...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wait, What's She Wearing??

I just love this photo of Rachel Bilson. She is the consumate queen of looking effortlessly chic and it's always fun to see what she's stepping out in. While this picture came to light several weeks ago, her dress only recently hit the market. And why should we expect IT girls to wear things that are available everywhere? How will we know what's cool if we haven't pined away for it after seeing it on our favorite celeb first?!

Don't have Rachel's budget (or stylist)? Don't worry! There are some great options for less...

There are tons of floral dress and color block platform options this summer if you want to pinch a few more pennies. The key is to keep your look effortless and natural.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you! Let me know if you create a look like Rachel's! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Palm Print

Is it just me or has this world famous wallpaper been all over the place lately? Either we all love the history behind the Beverly Hills Hilton's Martinique wallpaper or someone should start gardening! 

Martinique Wallpaper

As I looked more into Martinique wallpaper, I found that Nikki Hilton actually has it hanging in her own breakfast nook at home. How appropriate! Of course, this nook had to become an outfit when the perfect skirt appeared on Anthropologie...

Target also recently debuted its capsule collection of boutique items, including palm prints from The Webster in Miami. These leafy palm prints scream beach vacation. Have you snapped any up already? 

 Flamingo Print Flutter Sleeve Dress

Wallpaper Print Maxi Dress

Wallpaper Beach Bag

Infant Girls Flamingo Print Dress (sorry, couldn't resist!)

Wallpaper Print Tunic

The revival of an old classic is always fun to see. Some things never go out of style.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday's Look For Less: Printed Shorts

Today's Look for Less is really good steal. Or at least I think so. As we've discussed on this blog a time or two, patterned shorts are H-U-G-E this spring and summer and don't even think for one second that you won't be seeing them with booties this fall and maybe even tights in the winter. As we've also discussed on this blog, I happen to be a bit animal print shy. Despite my trepidations, I was still intrigued with the Tibi cheetah print this year but could hardly justify spending $400 on an animal print blazer. Sorry, Kim K. 

Today, I cheerfully present to you two nearly identical pairs of shorts. Tibi's cheetah print on your left. An imposter on your right. Guess who makes them...

J. freaking Crew! I could hardly believe it when I saw them featured on Net-A-Porter! They remind me so much of the Tibi shorts at 70% less- Tibi's pair rings up at $230. J.Crew's are only $65. 

So I did what anyone would do when happening upon a worthy semi-knock-off- I ordered them! The shorts' fabric is so much nicer than I expected and they are incredibly well-made. Major snaps to J.Crew for excellent quality. Unfortunately, I ordered my normal size (usually I go a size up in shorts because I like them baggy) and they were just too tight for my taste. Hopefully I'll receive the- ahem- larger version soon. 

How would you feel about animal print shorts? Is it a sassy twist on an otherwise humble piece of clothing? Or just a tad too club scene for your taste? Remember ladies, it's all in how you style them! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

THE Shirt

Signature Shirt in Python from The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens

There are two pieces of clothing that come to mind when I think of timeless American wardrobe staples- a great pair of jeans and a button down shirt. Ever since we women have been old enough to dress ourselves, these items, cut in different fabrics and fits, have undoubtedly been in out closets. While I'm not sure that any company has mastered the every-woman's perfect pair of jeans, there is a brand that has mastered the perfect button down shirt for women: The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens

Rochelle's success began in her quest to help women find a button down shirt that didn't gape at the bust. To help REAL WOMEN live and work gap-free, Rochelle invented brilliant dual button technology. The Shirt buttons just like any other blouse but in between the usual exterior buttons are interior buttons that fasten together to keep you locked and loaded. This technology also allows you to vary how low you keep your neckline without forcing you into extremes- so you can appear buttoned up in the boardroom and then release a button or two for an apres-work drink with a new flame. (Or if you're me, you don't have to wear a tank every time you wear a shirt that buttons!) 

image via The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens

Luckily, Rochelle's strategy and practicality comes in gorgeous options. The Shirt isn't just a plain white button down. Sleeveless versions, tunic options, patterns and prints are all offered in this savior of a shirt. It's even a favorite of another women's savior, Bobbi Brown

Since discovering the genius of The Shirt, I've done a bit of daydreaming...

Check out The Shirt's site and let me know which piece(s) you're loving. Or if you already have one, let me know which one it is so that I can copy you! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Get the Look: Mad Men-Inspired Giveaway

If you haven't heard of the fabulous Rogue Vintage yet, then I encourage you to head over to their website ASAP. Founders Jennings Lathan and Tricia Downey offer their clients one-of-a-kind finds, scouring vintage markets and estate sales to bring us the best in vintage clothing and accessories. But Trish and Jennings' ability to find pieces that look so modern is what makes Rogue Vintage different from other vintage retailers. Everything from their dresses to the swimwear to the belts and jewelry look perfectly on-trend in 2012, even if they actually debuted in the 1960s. 

This week, Rogue Vintage is offering a great giveaway inspired by everyone's favorite show "Mad Men." Each item pictured below will be granted to one lucky winner. We're talkin' make-up, jewelry AND a hot dress. Get it, girls!

Want to enter? (You should!) Here's how:
  1. LIKE  Rogue Vintage on  Facebook
  2. FOLLOW Rogue Vintage on Twitter and Pinterest
  3. Go to the Rogue Vintage blog and COMMENT on this post with your favorite Mad Men fashion look from Season Five. To further clarify,  "Joan's sexy dress" will not cut it.  We want specifics and why you love that particular look. If you do not currently watch Mad Men, please comment by letting us know what on Earth is wrong with you. Even though we will question your TV viewing choices it will still qualify you to enter.
  4. REFER your friends. For each friend that you refer you will receive an additional Entry into the contest. The friend that you refer must list your name in their entry comment, e.g., "referred by Jane Doe". The referral is not required to qualify but it does give you the opportunity for unlimited entries. The more friends you refer the greater your chances to win!
Head over to enter this giveaway now. It ends on June 14. Even if I don't win any Mad Men goodies, I'm thinking this HALSTON top or turquoise kaftan might have to become mine...

Latest Cravings

Look for Less alert: the clutch above is a dead ringer for these Diane von Furstenberg beauties! I came this close to buying the DVF version back in March...I think I'll get the $70 version instead!