Category Archives: sweaters

Five For Five – Fossil

My mailbox is filling up fast and furious with holiday catalogs and I have a duty to flip through each one. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my brother and I would fight over the huge Sears toy catalog and return it to my mom with dozens of dog-eared pages in hopes she would pass the hint on to Santa. Now, I still dog-ear pages but instead pass them on to my husband in hopes of helping him with his holiday shopping. One such catalog that is is now worse for the wear is the current Fossil catalog. It is full of casual, cozy, rustic-chic pieces that will pair easily with jeans and tees. Great everyday wear that will guide you through the day in laid-back style. Here is the link to the online version of the catalog and each piece is available for purchase online at Fossil.com.

My five favorite pieces:

Better start with the shoes, my achilles heel. Seriously love these rustic boots, can’t you just see them worn with skinny dark jeans and a cozy, chunky marshmallow-colored sweater curled up by a roaring fire sipping hot chocolate.

This charcoal flannel bootie will dress up jeans and tees while running errands as well as look great paired with dark tights and a sweater dress. I love the vintage silhouette, turned up toes and stacked wooden heel.

Ahh The Mackenzie… the perfect cozy, grandpa-inspired chunky cable knit cardy. What else is there to say? A true must-have that you will reach for time and time again. Go ahead buy it in all colors, you will thank yourself later.

The Cameron Jacket is an absolute must-have barn piece, a puffer vest/jacket hybrid that comes off looking feminine and fashionable (two words not usually associated with a puffer vest). Layer over a long turtleneck or striped tee with jeans and boots. It will help keep you warm during changing fall weather.

The piece de resistance! Channel Amelia Earhart with this leather and shearling aviation inspired jacket in crisp, snow white. Rich leather and warm shearling is the perfect combination to combat a chilly day.

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Covetable Collection

Every season I browse through the latest styles from many of the designers I used to carry in my store, imagining which pieces I would have bought for my customers. Nanette Lepore by far is one of my absolute favorite lines and this season is chock full of amazing must-have pieces that look current and modern with a touch of vintage charm that will have true staying power. Each piece is truly an investment that can be worn again and again. This collection seriously has me missing buying at wholesale! All pieces available online at NanetteLepore.com.

Vine Talk Dress: Bohemian flare and elegant ease, pair now with high-heeled loafers and wear later with patterned tights and boots. It can even pitch hit at a casual holiday party.

Tasting Top: If separates are more your speed, try this top with skinny jeans and jeweled flats or skinny black tuxedo pants and dressy booties.

It’s never to early to start thinking about the holidays and these dresses are the cream of the crop, sure to make you the best dressed.

Nanette Lepore’s tailoring is unprecedented making her jackets and coats fit like a glove. The Napa Valley Coat in teal will add a punch when worn with your basic black and brown and the Riesling Coat’s rich tweed and fur collar will glamorize anything, even when worn to the gym over your workout clothes.

An amazing collection of dressy blouses that can be worn with everything from jeans to pencil skirts to tuxedo pants. Wear to work under a suit or out to a party with sparkly jewelry.

Two of the sexiest basic black skirts, wear with anything and everything and look amazing.

The perfect basic black dress, exceptionally made that will last forever. A true elegant workhorse with a chameleon-like quality. Change it’s entire look with a mix of different accessories, go casual with dark tights, booties and a scarf or wear with sky-high stilettos and a big statement necklace. It’s the perfect base to show off a fabulous range of accessories. Plus it looks like something Kate Middleton would have in her closet.

Love the mix of feminine and tough in this military-inspired sweater. I plan on wearing it with leggings and flat boots as well as to the barn with breeches and riding boots to keep me cozy during early morning, chilly riding lessons.

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Unlikely Places

Great fashion items can come from unlikely places. Case in point: On a recent trip to Talbots with my mom, who was on the hunt for something to wear to my brother’s wedding, I took a surprisingly large number of garments into the dressing room to try myself. I was shocked to have found some serious gems to add to my early fall wardrobe.

Talbots has recently stepped up their fashion game, adding more fashion forward yet still classic pieces to their offerings. The quality is superb and the pants can be a bit more forgiving (if you have hips or thighs) than other contemporary brands like J Crew. Just ignore the more mature looking styles and hone in on the fashiony pieces and remember it’s all in how you wear them!

The pieces I bought: (all available at Talbots.com)

This silk diamante top’s slouchy yet sexy silhouette is right on trend to wear with dark skinny jeans and high heel booties or straight black pants and strappy platform heels.

Button-down silk utility shirts are popping up everywhere for fall and look amazing paired with cropped skinny pants and flats or tucked into a glamorous pencil skirt with high-heeled loafers. The open neck is perfect for displaying a chunky statement necklace. If you are busty, this shirt also fits and buttons better over “the girls” than other brands.

I love long cardigans and this is the longest one I have ever seen and it’s amazing on! The perfect go-to piece to throw on over a silky tank and cropped pants.

This lightweight merino wool batwing sweater is super versatile, wear now by itself and later layered over a striped long sleeve tee with jeans for a comfy, casual weekend look.

If you are a fan of the “Minnie” pant from J Crew, then you will love these because they actually fit and wear better. The perfect elegant black ankle pant, so Audrey Hepburn.

A super cute and simple suede high heel booty that will look great with patterned tights and skirts or slouchy rolled boyfriend jeans.

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What To Wear: Casual Family Gathering

Fun family gatherings abound this time of year and this outfit walks the line perfectly between comfy, casual and fashionable. Plus, it also works well for dinner out with friends and is work appropriate.

Take one part slouchy cowl-neck merino sweater add one part stretchy, straight leg cargo pants, throw in leopard kitten heels and mix thoroughly with fun jewelry.

Ann Taylor Merino Drape Neck Tunic

White House Black Market Slim Cargo Pants

Ann Taylor Leopard Kitten Heels

J Crew Earrings

 

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The Perfect Gifts For Gals

Tis the season to shop! I have compiled a list of perfect gifts to give to the women in your life from your mom to your mother-in-law to your best friends and everyone in between.

FYI Click on each gift’s name to link to where the item can be purchased.

Philosophy’s Gingerbread Man Scrub: Yummy scented scrub that heats up as your scrub leaving you with warm, soft amazing smelling skin.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: Available in Clear, Rose or Plum, leaves lip soft and shiny.

Twirl by Kate Spade Perfume: “She had a cocktail in her hand and confetti in her hair.” Surely, you know a girl like that! Twirl by Kate Spade encapsulates the floral fragrance of a garden in bloom, finished with a twist of fresh fruit.

Zoku Quick Pop Maker: An instant popsicle maker for any foodie you know and love.

Chocolate Chocolate Croissants: The most amazing, melt in your mouth pastry you will ever eat! Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma, they are a wonderful way to thank anyone who has been there for you this year.

White House Black Market Ruffle Scarf: This light as air ruffle scarf is reasonably priced to buy in bulk and pass out to all your female friends and family members.

Soma Intimates Pajamas: I have already blogged about how much I love these pajamas but they are worth mentioning again. A fun and easy gift that any woman would love, plus they come in a wide range of sizes.

Ugg Cozy Knit Slippers: They will thank you as they slip their weary feet into these cable knit, sheepskin lined slippers.

Kindle: Amazon’s Kindle is the perfect gift for the reader in your life, pre-fill it with a few of your favorite books and hand them the world of literature.

My favorite cookbooks always make great gifts for married friends, moms or foodies. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond; A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg and Double Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.

Viv and Ingrid Small Gold Rainbow Wrap Hoops: Every woman loves jewelry and these rainbow hoops are dainty but still make a statement and can be worn with all colors and outfits.

Juicy Couture Cocktail Rings: Give a little bling courtesy of Juicy’s delectable selection of cocktail rings.

J Crew Cashmere Sweater: Give someone you love a symbolic hug with a cozy cashmere sweater. J Crew has a great selection of simple styles at good prices, perfect for mom’s and mother-in-laws.

White House Black Market Suede Peeptoe Bow Heels: Buy your best girlfriend a decadent pair of heels she would never buy for herself. This pair is fun and fashionable and will look equally good with skinny pants or skirts and tights. Shoes are a great gift for guys to buy for their significant others, check her shoe size in the closet and buy her a sexy pair of heels.

Magazine Subscriptions: The gift that keeps on giving all year long plus who doesn’t love a good magazine. A few of my faves: Vogue, Lucky, InStyle, Allure, Marie Claire, Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple (perfect for everyone).

 

 

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Cheap Trick ~ Fabulous Finds

A fellow fashionista (thanks Jo) passed along a great cheap trick, Fabulous Finds at Forever 21. Forever 21 has a whole section of basic to trendy pieces that range in price from $5-$20. You can easily fill a few holes in your closet without breaking the bank. There is a wide selection with everything from tees to sweaters to leggings to jeans and much more. Check it out at www.forever21.com.

 

A few of my faves:

An amazing fitted v-neck sweater in basic black, brown and three shades of gray. Goes with everything  and shows off your assortment of statement necklaces. $9.50

This chunky knit tunic sweater will look great worn alone or over a striped long sleeve tee with skinny jeans and leggings. $12.50

A long sleeve fitted tee available in 11 colors at a buy in bulk price of $4.50.

Puffy sleeves and subtle stripes ooze Parisian chic and make the perfect running errands weekend shirt, pair with wide leg denim trousers and flats. $13.50

This basic long cardigan is super soft, perfect for layering and with it’s price at $13.50 you can buy both colors of go with anything black and charcoal.

 

 

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Waiting For Sweater Weather

The leaves on the trees are changing to brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange, pumpkins and mums have appeared on porches, stores are stocking their racks full of chic coats and cozy sweaters and temperatures outside are in the balmy 70’s and 80’s. It seems fall is moving forward without it’s signature cold, crisp air and I am stuck looking forlornly at my new tweed blazer and favorite cashmere cardigans as once again I pull on a short sleeve blouse. So while I am waiting on sweater weather I figured I would share some tips on keeping your sweaters looking new longer, courtesy of Shine from Yahoo.
1. Fold never hang your sweaters.

Gravity is not a friend to sweaters as it can pull apart the fibers and alter the shape of your knits over time. Hangers and hooks can especially misshape the sleeves, shoulders, and necklines. Fold your sweaters and store them in wood, canvas, or cardboard containers so they have access to air but not moths. This way you’ll be able to preserve their shape and fresh smell with fewer washes.

2. Take a de-piller to the fabric regularly.

Nothing takes a sweater from chic to shabby like the appearance of “pills,” or tiny fabric balls, that collect on the garment due to friction. Fortunately they can easily be removed by hand or by using an electric shaver or sweater stone, which basically exfoliates the fabric, making it appear smooth and new again. Don’t have any of those? Try a hairbrush (carefully) or a comb!

3. Protect your sweaters from moths.

Moths love to eat wool, the primary material in most sweaters. Luckily, the aroma of cedar is a natural, sweet-smelling deterrent. To prevent these pests from making meals out of your clothes, line your storage areas with cedar wood or throw cedar balls in your drawers.

4. Never wait to do repairs.

Once a button comes loose or a small tear appears in your woven fabric, the garment is at risk of unraveling, or at least for the hole becoming unmanageably large.  Most sweaters come with extra thread for minor repairs, so be sure to patch any holes as soon as possible.

5. Clean infrequently and with care.

Much like denim, sweaters should not be washed after every wear if you want to keep them looking straight-from-the-store new for longer. To keep your sweater from requiring frequent cleanings, wear a cotton shirt underneath it so your body oils don’t come in direct contact with the garment.  Also, some newer washing machine models have settings for wool and delicates, which are gentle enough for the woven fibers of your sweater. But in order to be absolutely sure you won’t shrink or damage your favorite piece, it’s always better to hand wash it or take it to a dry cleaner. To wash by hand, fill the sink with cold water (hot or warm water increases the potential for shrinkage), add a small amount of detergent formulated for delicates, and let the sweater soak. If you need to remove stains, gently rub the sweater against itself until the stain dissolves. When drying, never hang the sweater. Instead lay it on a towel and change its position frequently to ensure it dries evenly.

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Hello Sailor

It may still be January with it’s chilly, gray days and stores filled to the brim with picked over sale merchandise, but two warmer than normal, sunny days have me looking ahead to spring.

Navy is always a good way to transition to spring and you often see it pop up in many early-spring collections. It less harsh than black but doesn’t scream spring like bright or pastel colors and it works well into your current wardrobe. It’s no wonder that these two items from designer Markus Lupfer caught my attention, they have a springy look but can easily be worn now layered and with denim. Both items available at www.net-a-porter.com.

I love this cute, quirky Hello Sailor extra long t-shirt, it will look great worn with skinny jeans and booties layered under a scarf and light colored cardigan; come spring it will be just as versatile worn with baggy boyfriend jeans and flats or paired with worn chinos and Jack Purcell shoes.

There has been a fair amount of buzzing that stripes will be hot for spring and this double layered cardigan will be perfect to wear now and when spring finally pushes winter away. It provides you an easy way to wear layers and stripes while looking bright and fresh. Pair it now with a crisp white button down and dark denim and wear it later with skinny cropped jeans, a white tank and flats. It will even look cute worn over a gauzy summer dress. The stripes are far apart and separated a bit by the blue under layer so they won’t make you look wider.

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Stay Warm, Look Chic

Baby it’s cold outside, wait let me revise that, Baby it’s DAMN cold outside! Old man winter has most of the country in his firm, wintry grip and does not want to let go. Here at home wind chills were hovering in the single digits and we will be lucky if our high makes it out of the 20’s. So, if you have to drag yourself out of your warm, cozy bed and brave the cold, you might as well do it in style!

The key to looking good while staying warm is to invest in a warm coat and boots and then set about layering soft, warm pieces. Natural fiber/fabrics tend to be warmer than synthetics, mother nature is on to something. Start with a silk under layer (cami, tee or blouse), then add a cashmere/wool sweater and top it all off with a coat, scarf and gloves.

A few of my favorite cold-weather must haves:

These cozy Tory Burch sweaters do double duty by being warm and stylish. All sweaters available at www.toryburch.com.

This cashmere/wool blend sweater comes with its own cable knit scarf attached.

You can never go wrong with an elegant cardigan with stylish buttons, easy to wear, easy to layer.

This cashmere dolman sleeve cardigan has a laid-back cool vibe, wear it over a slim fitted turtleneck for extra warmth.

Add a little bling to a cold day with this beaded cashmere blend tunic, it will easily look as great with jeans as with a pair of skinny black pants for evening events.

I am loving these quirky, colorful scarves from Juicy Couture. They will keep you warm while brightening your day. Available at www.neimanmarcus.com.

Ugg boots work wonders at keeping your toes warm so why not let them keep your hands warm with their sheepskin gloves. Available at www.zappos.com.

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Sweater Weather

Happy November! Cold, crisp and blustery days are on the horizon as well as a slew of holiday events. Be prepared with a selection of great sweaters that can do double duty dressed up or down to keep you warm and chic.

A few of my faves:

I totally love these two sweaters by Velvet, they are warm and cozy but their modern, blousey silhouettes and jeweled details keep them far from ho-hum. PS Buy the black chain necklace sweater a tad smaller than shown on the model, I tried it on and it looks better more fitted than shown, normally I wear a medium in Velvet but the small looked better. Both available at www.shopbop.com.

I pretty much love anything by Vince and it is no wonder that I have my sights set on this cashmere shrug cardigan. It is a luxurious basic that will definitely get worn with everything from jeans and tee combos to dressy halter tops and cocktail dresses. Available at www.net-a-porter.com.

I bought this J Crew cashmere v-neck henley in black last year and wore it all the time. It looked equally as cute with comfy black pants and sneakers for running weekend errands, dressy black pants and heels for work and dinner parties and thrown over any pair of jeans. You can totally change its look by varying what you layer underneath, try a ruffled collar blouse, button down shirt or simple tank, plus the v-neck allows you wear a wide variety of necklaces from short to long, statement making or simple. Available in a variety of colors at www.jcrew.com.

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