Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Dressing: Naughty or Nice?

Will your wardrobe be naughty...

via Tumblr

via ASOS

or nice... 

via Tumblr

this holiday season?

As you're getting dressed for the various parties in December, please keep in mind the occasion and your fellow guests. Should you attend an office function or non-profit's celebration, consider being NICE. That means ladylike proportions, sparkling jewels around the face and polished hair and make-up. However, when New Year's Eve comes around or you're gathering for a night on the town with friends, you're allowed to let your hair down, pull out the lingerie-inspired looks and be a little bolder.

Happy Holiday Parties!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's Look for Less: Tweed Tee

Happy Look for Less day! It's time for your midweek budget blender courtesy of moi. Since this fall is ALL about texture, it's only appropriate that today's focus reflect on a classic fall fabric, tweed. But this cut is not your grandma's skirt suit. The classic tee in tweed is the new, chic way to wear it. 

But can you tell which top costs more? The top on the right comes courtesy of my fall 2012 favorite Tibi. And while it might be on sale right now (at Net-A-Porter so get it while it's hot!), it still costs a good bit more than its counterpart on the left. In fact, it costs nearly $100 more. The Aryn K. top on the left rings up at just $70. Cha-ching!

It's interesting that both Net-A-Porter and Piperlime chose to show this style top with batik and paisley patterned bottoms. If I owned a tweed topper, I'd actually keep up the play on texture with velvet or waxed denim skinnies and a classic flat. It's a bit more 21st century Jackie O. and less Kate offense, K. 

So, in case holiday shopping has just about wiped you out, you still have a great, budget-friendly option for that upcoming party. Alternatively, if Santa has asked you to put a little splurge on your list, then this Tibi top has timeless- and chic and SALE- written all over it. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Palette Cleanser

After all of our feasting, shopping Black Friday through Cyber Monday and gift guiding, I need a little palette cleanser. What about you? 

via Pinterest

via Tumblr

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Real Simple

A fresh start before we get into the Christmas spirit is just what I need right about now. How about you? Is your tree already up or are you relishing these last few days before December begins? 

Off to detox!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turkey Day Style

Thanksgiving. A day of giving thanks for the many blessings we have received, gathering with family and eating our freakin' faces off. Sure, stretchy pants are the knee-jerk reaction to the notion of waistline expansion but in order to curb your ability to compete with Kobayashi, keep yourself in check with your normal jeans or slacks. (If you're like me, you'll need those stretchy pants in a few days anyway.) Perhaps more importantly though, make sure you dress in layers. It's sure to be cold on Thursday but remember that the heat is ON inside. Finally, choose sensible but stylish footwear. I know you have some great boots you have been waiting to pull out of your closet this year. 

In the wake of all this practicality though, make sure you add one glam element, like a sparkly stud. It is the holidays after all. 

***Bonus Alert***
Many of these pieces are from J. Crew Factory. Until midnight tonight, J. Crew Factory is offering 30% off EVERYTHING online with the code SCOREMORE. Go now!

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Purple Rain

It's been raining here. A lot. And during this continuous rain, I've had some time to realize that I have become addicted to the color purple. Not the book or the Oprah Winfrey production. The color purple for real. I think this image has a little something to do with it. 

via Apartment Therapy

Kelly Wearstler is the all-time queen of interesting color combos. (If you don't believe me, read this.) And with so many glorious shades of royalty's favorite color, it's nearly impossible to find one that won't work for you. I've rounded up a few favorites in shades from lavender to magenta to claret. And if you ever got a Clinique makeover as a tween, then you'll recognize a classic below.

Do you use much purple in your home or wardrobe? With the right shades, you too could be queen of the color scheme...or at least a duchess.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Earn Your Stripes

If you're a total Francophile, like moi, then you might be a serious sucker for stripes. Over the weekend, I scored this top from the Gap for under $20 during their 30% off Friends and Family sale. Don't worry if you missed out, though. This tee still only rings up at $23 and I'd be willing to bet their Black Friday sale will be even better...

A striped tee is so easy to wear, it's hard for me not to reach for it every time I go to get dressed. It's natural to want to pull on your favorite blue jeans, a comfy pair of shoes and a puffy vest (om, this might be the exact description of what I wore yesterday) but what about taking that tee a little more Rive Gauche and creating some interesting and unexpected pairings? By mixing in elements like leather accents, studs, sequins and neoprene, your basic tee takes on a whole new, vibrant style. 

Mix and match dressy accessories to make your basics sing as we approach the holidays. When in doubt, you can always throw on your favorite jeans and get going! 

How do you wear your stripes?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday's Look For Less: Leopard Coat

Y'all, it is COLD today. And I'm in the South! I can only imagine how it must feel up North right now. It's easy to get into frump mode when the temps drop, donning oversized Cosby sweaters, puffy jackets and boots with the furrrrrr. But don't let Jack Frost get his grubby little hands on you. Let's take a look at a super chic yet classic option for your winter outerwear this year, the leopard print coat.

via San Francisco Girl by the Bay

via Atlantic-Pacific

via Pinterest

The versatile leopard print coat easily leans from dressy to casual with the change into boyfriend jeans or a pencil skirt. Formerly associated with the bombshell look, leopard has gradually become more of a neutral in this day and age. Since the fashion world is all about mixing prints, feel free to wear it with stripes, polka dots and even florals! 

But the age old question is, do you save or do you splurge? 

If you're in the market for a new jacket and you want to spend spend SPEND, then opt for the choice on the left. This By Malene Birger coat from Shopbop rings up at a whopping $795! There's not doubt you'll get tons of wear out of it this year. But if you're not in the market for an animalistic splurge, then the ASOS jacket on the right will make your bank account happy with a price tag of only $86. In my case, I think I'll save the $700 for a rainy day...or put it toward a bathroom renovation. 

How do you feel about leopard, specifically cut as a coat? Would you save or spend?

Monday, November 12, 2012

eBay Holiday Collective

If you shop anywhere at all in this day and age, you'll notice collaborations are alllll over the place. (Did you happen to catch "Revenge" last night? Those Neiman Marcus + Target secret gift ads totally distracted me from the actual show!) 

At any rate, a(nother) holiday collaboration debuted today and I have to say I'm intrigued! The eBay Holiday Collective includes designs from Billy Reid, Jonathan Adler and Tibi, just to name a few. What's the best part? Everything's under $100! Take a gander, for yourself or for someone else...

Bonus alert: Jonathan Adler is offering 20% off online and in stores until the end of the day today. If you're a fan of his, like I am, you're sure to score some great finds either through eBay or on his site! 

Happy holiday shopping!

Friday, November 9, 2012

What to Wear to Pure Barre

Tomorrow morning, I have the pleasure of attending a complimentary Pure Barre class hosted by lovely ladies of Poplin & Queen. The winners of their giveaway will also be in attendance and, for some of these girls, it will be their first barre class ever. If they're wondering what I was wondering before I went the first time, then we need to talk about what to wear! 

As you'd expect, you wear standard gym clothes except PB requires that you do wear pants to keep your muscles warm throughout class. I also did not know that socks were required, although you do not wear shoes. Thank goodness my pal in Raleigh who had attended a barre class gave me that heads up. Your socks do not have to be Pure Barre socks, the non-slip, grippy kind, but they sure do make a difference. And don't think for one second that your won't sweat. You will. A lot. Make sure your tops are a moisture-wicking or breathable material. 

All that being said, here are my favorite, most flexible barre outfits in case you are considering your first barre class...

Lululemon's activewear happens to be some of the best I've ever owned. I haven't been let down yet by one of their pieces. The tank above is great as it has a tight, midlength fit that allows you to move without slipping or gapping. It also comes with a built-in bra so don't worry if you haven't had a laundry day to clean your sports bras yet! The Lululemon tee is a great, more covered alternative. It is long enough to hide your booty in tight pants. Score! Of course, it's chilly outside so you might want another layer during warm-up. And while the PB grippy socks are more than the usual pair of socks, they are worth'll find out when you slip and slide in plank...

Hope these tips help you in your quest for fitness! Off to take an Advil in expectation of tomorrow's burn!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday's Look For Less: Heart Shaped Blouse

How many bloggers do you know that will reference a little Nirvana the Wednesday after Election Day? Who loves you, baby!

I digress. Today is about looking good for less. Behold the two chic blouses below. Both classic in style but precious in print. Every gal needs a little novelty blouse in her closet. So I put it to you- which top is the splurge and which is the steal? 

These two tops are so incredibly similar. If you guessed that the top on the left is the save, then give yourself a pat on the back! Designed by Ark & Co. and available from Piperlime, this top rings up at only $59. Such a stylish top for a great deal! The top on the right looks lovely but is much more of a splurge. You can pick it up at J. Crew for $135. 

Which one would you choose or do you have one of these tops already? The good news is you can't go wrong. Either way, you'll be able to wear your heart on your sleeve.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All-American Style

On this Election Day, what could be more patriotic than a nod to classic American style? Maybe it's because I've suddenly decided I'm a horse person (see here) that I've started noticing but equestrian inspired pieces appear everywhere this fall. The whole horse "bit" truly embodies timeless Americana. Everyone from the Old West's cowboys to New England jockeys have inspired these looks. And they are equally as chic in your home as they are in your closet. 

1- C. Wonder Blazer
2- Collective Concepts Dress
3- Vintage Trojan Horse Bookends
4- C. Wonder Horse Studs
5- Hermes Scarf
6- Hermes Bracelet
7- Tory Burch Horse Head Necklace (on sale!)

BTW, Tory Burch is offering free shipping today only in honor of Election Day with the code ELECTION2012. Go vote! And then maybe exercise your right to shop. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Chic Setting

Can you believe that it's NOVEMBER?? Thanksgiving lurks just around the corner and then we know it's all down hill from there until 2013. For the decoratin' types, holidays can be a real dream and I am finding myself drawn to place settings of all things. Whether you're hosting a dinner party, Thanksgiving feast or just setting the table for two, it's always fun to get creative with your plates and linens. But what makes sitting at the table so striking? It's time to dissect the chic setting. 

via Lonny Magazine

via Martha Stewart

via I Suwanee

via Martha Stewart

via Ralph Lauren

via Veranda

Now how about we put these tips to use...

Have you thought about your holiday place settings yet? I'd love to know your ideas. The possibilities really are endless!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pure Obsession

It's time I clue you all in to a little addiction I'm facing. Yes, I need to admit that I've been hanging out at the Barre a little too I have recently become obsessed with some serious exercise fun at the new Pure Barre in Wilmington.

Pure Barre just opened here last Friday and you better believe I was there that day. If you've been to a barre class before, then you know the love/hate relationship that can develop from a 55 minute class. Friends of mine who had been to barre class warned me that your legs will burn, your arms will shake, you'll be sore the next day and you'll look amazing with a little commitment. Let me tell you, these ladies who have done it over time look AH-MAZ-ING...sleek, toned, trim, fit.

But here's the really amazing news for my fellow Wilmingtonians... 

My friends Lindsey Cheek and Shannon Darrough of Poplin & Queen are hosting an invitation-only, complimentary class for five gals in Wilmington. You just have to enter on one of their blogs to win! BONUS ALERT: You'll be offered 10% a Pure Barre package if you attend. This opportunity will save you some dough and get you looking great all while having tons of fun with the likes of Lindsey, Shannon and maybe even me!

This giveaway ends on Thursday, Nov. 8 so enter today if you can! I hope to see you there. And make sure you drink tons of water before and after. This workout is LEGIT.