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How to Style Suede Booties

Sam Edelman Petty Bootie

I recently had a reader send me an email with a styling question, and let me tell you, I was deeee-lighted. Helping people with their styling conundrums is one of my favorite things to do. I encourage you all to send me an email with any and all of your style questions and I will do my best to respond and highlight an answer in a blog post.

So, the lovely Rachel purchased this pair of Sam Edelman Petty Booties at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this summer. These low-profile suede booties with a slight Western flair to them and a stacked heel are super popular this fall, and she wanted some advice on how to wear them. So, I knew off the top of my head that these boots look great with cute little flippy skirts, but being that its not exactly skirt weather, I had to dig a little deeper.

Not that you can’t still wear these with skirts during the fall—just add a great pair of tights, or even layer the tights with a pair of heavier weight scrunched socks for a great layered look. Or, be daring at night and pair them with bare legs and an attitude for a cool evening wear look.

But, for something more fall and winter appropriate, let’s talk pants…

Booties

Now, I suppose you could wear these boots with a pair of boot cut or flare jeans, but then no one would get to see their full glory. I think the best pants to pair with these booties are skinny jeans—especially those of the ankle length variety. They allow you to see the whole shoe and showcase them as an integral part of the outfit. Plus, the skinny leg helps balance out the heavier shoe and the stacked heel gives some height to your casual wear. If your skinny pants are longer, you could roll them up above the ankle or tuck them into the boots, but I love the cropped skinny jeans look with them best of all.

If you want to go all out, try pairing this suede Western bootie with a pair of leather leggings – colored or not – for a trendy and bold fall look.

I hope that helps you figure out how to best wear your booties this fall, Rachel!

xoxo

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Posted: 31st October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
 

Fashion Inspiration: Baroque Black and Gold

Brocade Baroque Black and GoldDolce and Gabbana, Fall 2012 

This fall and winter, ornate details and extravagant brocade details are super hot! The sumptuous look of baroque style is back with rich golds, plums, blacks—and all of it, over the top. It’s all about going overboard with the details to get that ultra-luxe royalty look. My favorite way to do this trend is with a black and gold color scheme. It seems to make it look that much more regal and royal.

Brocade Baroque Black and GoldLeighton Meester on Gossip Girl|Caroline’s Mode|Vanessa White|21 Arrondisement

The look is popping up all over the place—from dresses and skirts to pants and tops. I think a baroque-looking brocade pant would be a great piece for the holiday season and all of the events and cocktail parties that come with it. Something a little different but equally dressy and luxurious to boot!

black and gold baroque, brocadeBlazer|Clutch|Hair Comb|Heels|Tank|Pencil Skirt|Earrings

I am dying over the black blazer from Rag and Bone with the gold collar. And the brocade pencil skirt from Gucci? To. Die. For. Sexy.

Which piece is your favorite?

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Posted: 29th October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Now Trending | 17 Comments
 

Fall Sweater Styles

Gwyneth Paltrow

As hard as I fight the end of summer and the onslaught of wintery wet weather, if I admit it, I am a little excited for the coziness that comes with fall and winter weather. I am a sucker for a roaring fire, a hot cup of tea, a warm blanket and a good book. Big, comfy, cozy sweaters are a part of that too. I hate being cold, so bundling up is necessary during this time of year when even my office gets cold and drafty.

There are two sweater styles I am loving for this season.

The first is the Fisherman Sweater. This style is a classic that has been around for ages. It’s usually a bulky and heavy knit with cable patterns and it usually comes in a cream color, but there are a lot of variations on the old classic these days. To keep it looking stylish and not too frumpy, pair it with skinny jeans or even a sparkly sequined skirt. I love the unexpected combination of a chunky sweater with a sparkly skirt. You could even do a cropped one with a fuller skirt. Point is, either way, I am loving sweaters with skirts this fall.

Fisherman SweaterAll the Pretty Birds|A Well Traveled Woman|The Sartorialist 

I think I would get a cream one for its versatility and classic look, but the pink one, below, from Acne, is pretty amazing. It would be such a bright pop of color and light in the gray winter months.

Fisherman SweatersAcne|A.P.C.|Isabel Marant

The other sweater style I am all about right now is the Navajo print sweater. This one caught me by surprise because in the past, I haven’t been a big fan of the print and found it too loud for my tastes. This fall it’s different—in the right amounts and colors, it’s fab.

Navajo SweatersRouge Fox|The Street Styled|Cupcakes and Cashmere

 I really love the sweater coats, or blanket coats, in the Navajo print, but I have yet to find a version I really love. There are some really cute pullover versions though. And maybe, I might have my eye on my grandmother’s vintage navajo sweater coat that currently lives at my mom’s house. 

Navajo SweatersJoie|Etoile Isabel Marant|Haute Hippie

 What is your favorite sweater style for fall and winter?

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Posted: 25th October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Now Trending | 1 Comment
 

Nieman Marcus X Target Holiday Collection

Alice + Olivia Bike from Target X Neiman Marcus

Target has been all over the designer collaborations and capsule collections over the past couple of years, but nothing like this before. Target has partnered with Neiman Marcus to unveil an entire holiday collection and the entire Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection look book has finally arrived. Featuring 24 CFDA designers, the products range from pet supplies to home wares, accessories, and of course, clothing. Plus. designers were given the chance to design things outside of their usual products— Rag & Bone did flasks and shot glasses, and Jason Wu did kid’s dresses.

There are more than 50 gorgeous gifts ranging in price from $7.99 to $499.99—some great deals for pieces from big name designers like Jason Wu, Diane Von Furstenberg, Joseph Altuzarra, Marc Jacobs, Robert Rodriguez, Brian Atwood and more. Truly something for everyone—and more than that in my case. There are many  somethings here I would like to add to my own collection…check it out!

Target and Neiman Marcus Holiday CFDA Collection

All images courtesy of Target

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Posted: 17th October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Gift Guides | 2 Comments
 

Fall Beauty and Hair Trends

fall treesDeviant Art

One of my favorite things about entering a new season is changing a little something in my beauty routine. For example, in summer I am more likely to wear brighter pinks on my lips and wilder colors on my eyes. In the fall and winter, my looks are darker and more subdued. Just like there are new fashions and clothing styles each season, there are also new makeup and hair trends. This fall, there are a few hair and makeup trends that I am really excited about.

The first is the brown smoky eye. There are a few reasons I love this look. Mainly because I wear shades of brown everyday as a great neutral, go-to shadow. So, a brown smoky eye is easy to achieve by just touching up a more subtle day look when you’re running straight from work to cocktails. You already have the foundation, you just have to add a bit more. Also, its a little more romantic and soft than the typical black or charcoal gray smoky eye look. And of course, changing it up from the normal night-out smoky eye, is always nice.

Brown Smoky Eye MakeupBlanco|Burberry Runway Show via Allure

To get a brown smoky eye, just follow these easy steps…which, I am a firm believer, are always easier if you buy a eye-color palette. This one from Dior is a great choice.

1. Dip the tip of a dampened eye-liner brush into the darkest brown shadow and fill in a line across your upper and lower lashes.

2. On the lid and the crease, you’ll want to apply a medium brown shadow. Not as dark as the liner.

3. The softest brown color in the palette should go from your crease up to the brow bone. This is meant to be a highlighter, so don’t go too dark here.

4. If you have a light, pearly shade available, this is a great spot to dab a little in the corners of your eyes and and little bit under your lashes to brighten your eye area and decrease the look of dark circles.

5. Trace on  the darkest color along your lash line one more time and the smudge it with your finger or a q-tip for that perfectly messed-up, slept in my makeup look.

6. Finish by curling lashes and applying a nice thick coat of dark black mascara.

Brown Smoky Eye MakeupElle|Stila Smudge Pot Gel Liner|Bobbi Brown Eye Smudge Brush|Clinique Brush On Cream Liner|Dior Holiday Eye Palette

So, now the hair. I have to admit, this is one of my favorites simply because I already do it all the time. Twists. Twisting sections of your hair was big on the fall runways—not braiding, but just twisting pieces back away from the face. I love this look because it’s so simple and easy. When the long layers around my face are being unruly, when I am bored with just wearing it down, when I want to get it out of my face, this is a great go-to look. Again it’s also a really romantic look – a great one for a date! Clearly, I am into the romantic looks this fall…

Twisty Twisted HairGetty Images|Refinery 29|Pinterest

The other hairstyle trend that I am loving this fall isn’t even really a trend, per se. I feel like it’s a classic look that is always around and never goes out of style. We’re talking about the sleek and smooth ponytail. Okay, so this might sound a little gross, but this is a great look for when your hair is already a little dirty. You are going to need to slick it back anyway, so it works—if you know what I mean.

Low or high, this is a fun way to switch up your basic ponytail. And it’s kind of a must to have in your hairstyle arsenal because it’s versatile and pulled together. Not all ponytails get those credentials. Not to mention, it would look great with a…wait for it…brown smoky eye! A ponytail give you a chance to really bring the focus to your eyes and make them pop, because all the attention is off your hair and on your face.

Again, this look  is relatively easy to achieve—something I’m a huge fan of.

1. First, blow dry hair straight and then flat iron it to get out any wave or curls you might have. This is when it’s good to have invested in a nice straightening iron that will get it super straight and smooth.

2. Apply a shine or smoothing serum to hair and brush hair back until it is totally smooth without lumps or bumps.

3. Secure with a rubber band and then apply a light layer of hairspray to tame down any fly-aways.

4. Now, here is the part I always struggle with getting just perfect. Take a quarter of the hair in the ponytail and wrap it around the elastic band, securing it with a pin tucked underneath the ponytail where it won’t be seen.

5. Finally, the pomade. Applying this to hair is what will give you that very sleek, modern, minimalistic, slicked back look. At this point, you can also touch up your ponytail with the straightener to make sure it hangs down perfectly straight.

Smooth Sleek Ponytail

What beauty trends are you loving this fall?

xoxo

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Posted: 14th October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Hair & Beauty | 3 Comments
 

The Shoes of New York Fashion Week

The Shoes of NYFW from John Jannuzzi on Vimeo.

As I was perusing some of my favorite blogs this evening, I ran across this video from John Jannuzzi on his blog, Textbook. He filmed the shoes of New York Fashion Week for Lucky magazine a few weeks ago, and it’s just a fun little tidbit for your day. There are some fierce, amazing shoes in there!

Enjoy, lovelies!

xoxo

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Posted: 10th October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
 

Hopscotch Design from Chloe Fleury

Hopscotch Design by Chloe FleuryHopscotch Designs for Blog Inc., by Oh Joy!

You. Guys. I don’t know how it is that I am just finding out about Hopscotch Design and Chloe Fleury, but she and her artwork are amazing. She’s an illustrator but she works with paper and transforms these flat one-dimensional sheets of paper into 3D masterpieces that I am just crazy for. A lot of the designs she eventually brings to life with stop motion animation. Can you believe she makes these works of art from paper? I am in awe of her talent. And, let’s be honest. I would love to step into the little worlds she creates in her pieces—they are utterly enchanting. Tiny bags that look like the ones from Chanel or Proenza Schouler, colorful vespas, Miu Miu booties, Moleskin notebooks and iMacs.

Hopscotch Design by Chloe Fleury

She sells prints of some of her work on her site, but I hope one day I can see one of her works in person. Or better yet, watch her create one. Add it to the bucket list folks. I think it would be such a cool process to witness. I mean, constructing these little worlds out of paper? No easy task, my friend.

Are you as charmed as I am by these stylish, fashionable and unique works of art?

xoxo

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Posted: 9th October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Pretty Things, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
 

Leave it Untucked

Atlantic Pacific

Okay, so this is nothing new or novel, but I am really loving the half tucked-in, half untucked look I’ve been seeing styled this fall. I am not sure why this hasn’t occurred to me recently as a great way to style a button down (or any other shirt for that matter) — especially since I was all about leaving the back of my shirt untucked for all of 7th and 8th grade. I used to rock the grunge flannel and tshirts only tucked in in the front, every day of the week. When I saw it popping up again recently, it was kind of a “DUH” moment. Like, how could I have forgotten!?

So, this fall I am returning to my roots. Button down shirts that are untucked in the back and tucked in in the front. It’s a stylish way to make what can be such a conservative, buttoned-up or reserved look, appear just a little bit more styled and laid back. I say, just a dash of dishevelment is good. Keeps it casual and draws more attention to the waist instead of billowing, which I think slims the figure.

Hanneli|Champagne Culture|Classy in the City|Bianca Brandolini|Daily Crushes

 Since I am absolutely obsessed with Equipment shirts, those are the first blouses I am going for in my closet. They have the perfect drape to them and come in a million colors and prints. Plus, the silk and chiffon material is sophisticated and looks great with a little slouch from tucking in the front. Seriously, they are  simply the best blouses out there. I can’t get enough of them.

Equipment BlousesEquipment

Do you do it half-tucked?

xoxo

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Posted: 7th October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration | 2 Comments
 

Fashion Inspiration: A Full Skirt

Full SkirtNext

I am so into the shape and flounce of a full skirt for fall. Whether its short, knee length or mid-calf length, it’s so fresh and feminine and fun. It’s nice to see so many full skirts out there this fall instead of just the usual pencil skirts and A-line skirts. I also love the retro feel – keeps things feminine and ladylike, which means it’s also perfect for work.

Full SkirtSidewalk Ready|Wendy’s Lookbook|Vanessa Jackman|Fellt|Wendy’s Lookbook|Olivia Palermo

The only danger? I might not get anything done and instead spend the entire day spinning around and twirling in my new flouncy, flirty, full skirt. Here are some of my favorites right now…

Full Skirts

 Is it going to be a pencil skirt or a full skirt for you this fall?

xoxo

Alexander McQueen|Kenzo|Roksanda Ilincic 

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Posted: 3rd October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration | 23 Comments
 

Color Chalking for Your Hair

Color Chalking Service for Hair

As readers of this blog will know, I am a huge fan of Swink Style Bar –  a styling and blow-dry bar in Seattle. Whenever I need a perfect blowout or cute hair style for a party or event, off I head to Swink. Last Friday Swink was kind enough to treat me to their latest service—color chalking, using Kevin Murphy’s Color Bug. This instant wash out hair color is one of the hottest hair trends out there right now. Just ask Lauren Conrad—she did pink on her hair.

The color bugs are a chalky material that hair can be pulled through to distribute the color. You can use it on random chunks of hair (which I did) or all over for a more ombre look, as well. From the three color, pink, purple and orange, I went with pink and purple. It was such a fun look to try out—great for a party or night out. I loved the wild, rocker-edge it gave my hair. Just make sure to style hair first—applying heat to the color can cause it to bond to your hair a little more permanently. Better yet, just let a professional at Swink handle it. They do such a lovely job. Right now, you can add color chalking onto any dry style for just $15. Here’s how mine turned out…

Just a fun pop of color to change things up for a night out!

xoxo

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Posted: 2nd October 2012 | by: ashley | in: Hair & Beauty, My Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment