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Fashion Inspiration: Peplum Skirts, Dresses and Jackets

Peplum Dress - Blake Lively, Chanel

Blake Lively in Chanel, via InStyle

Welcome to the beginning of the spring trends – yes, already! Winter is being cleared from the racks at your local boutiques as we speak, and making way for the clothes of spring and summer. You may think its a bit too early to start thinking about what you’re going to be wearing this spring and summer – what trends you’ll try and which looks you’re going to experiment with, but its not! Especially with all the gray gloom of winter – its time to look towards brighter (and sunnier) days.

One of the biggest trends coming down the Spring and Summer 2012 runways was peplum. I know what you are thinking – what the heck is peplum?! And truth be told, I didn’t know what it was either at first. I knew the style and the cut – I just didn’t know that it was called peplum. Peplum is like a short little over-skirt almost, that is often attached to skirts, dresses and jackets and blouses. I love it for its old-fashioned feeling – like something you would have seen on a smart little skirt suit in the 1940’s. It’s demure, ladylike and such a fun detail that adds a little something extra – something architectural, sculptural and a little fashion forward, too.

Peplum Style Spring and Summer 2012 Trends

Giorgio Armani, Jason Wu, Jason Wu, Nina Ricci, Stella McCartney, Stella McCartney 

It may seem to be a little bit of a daunting trend to try, but I think it is totally do-able – especially if you keep the rest of the outfit simple and understated – let the peplum – if its a particularly large overskirt especially – do all the talking. This isn’t a style that only the skinny girls can wear – properly fit, it looks good on anyone – and personally, I think the curves and ruffles are especially flattering on an hour-glass figure.

Make sure the rest of the dress, skirt or blazer is fit to perfection – sleek and snug – this is one trend that you want to make sure is perfectly tailored. Tailoring will balance out the bulk of the peplum ruffle. Lastly, try wearing this look with a pair of heels to elongate your frame so the peplum skirt doesn’t overwhelm you. Not to mention, heels will make this look all the more ladylike and chic.

Theses are the peplum looks I want to add to my closet…

Peplum Dresses and Jacket, Spring and Summer 2012 Style and Trends

Moschino Cheap and Chic, Alice and Olivia and Stella McCartney

 What do you think? Are you willing to give this ruffly trend a try?


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Posted: 8th January 2012 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration | Leave a comment

Designer Spotlight: Shourouk

Shourouk Jewelry

Thanks to the wonder that is Pinterest, I just recently discovered this amazing jewelry line, called Shourouk. I am not sure what rock I have been living under, but the line has been around since 2007. The pieces are so unique and bright and unlike anything I have ever seen before – I am completely enamored.

Shourouk, the namesake behind the brand’s name, is the Parisian designer behind this edgy line, and has honed her skills in famous fashion houses like Chloe, Galliano and Roberto Cavalli. I love that her pieces have so many contrasting materials. Some of the pieces combine Swarovski crystals and climbing rope, other have metal sequins, silk and even industrial elements.

These are definitely haute couture pieces. They are so bold and the embellishments make such a (fashion forward) statement – I must add some to my jewelry box immediately. So fun and girly! It might even inspire me to really go all out and wear a headpiece…


Are you as charmed by this innovative line as I am?


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Posted: 5th January 2012 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Fashion Inspiration | Leave a comment

Three Cheers For: Tangerine Tango – Pantone’s Color of 2012

Tangerine Tango, Pantone Color of 2012

Via Diet Coke And a Smoke

A new year, a new Pantone color. Honeysuckle is out and Tangerine Tango is in as Pantone’s official Color of 2012. It’s already been seen all over the runways for Spring and Summer – and I am loving it! Its bright, bold, juicy and vibrant – all of the things spring and summer colors should be. I feel like just looking at this color makes me feel brighter, happier and more energized. Well done, Pantone.

Just looking at the designs on the runways is getting me excited to wear this color already – pretty sure that the big tulle ball gown is my favorite.

Tangerine Tango, Spring and Summer 2012, Pantone, Runway Looks

Christian Siriano, Amanda Wakely, Acne, Roland Mouret, Osacar de la Renta

I think Tangerine looks especially great with tan, cream and white shades that really contrast and set off the brilliance of this rich orange. I’m not sure I would go as bold as Jessica Biel, below, but I do love the little Tangerine dress idea that Gwyneth is sporting.

Tangerine Tango, Pantone 2012

Hanneli, Go Fug Yourself, Fashion Telegraph

I’ve already chosen a few pieces for my wardrobe in this year’s hottest and most popular color, and as great of a spring and summer shade as it is, I don’t think I am going to be able to wait that long to wear it. You can start rocking this trend right away with a glossy lip or bright nail polish. If it’t not your shade, or you don’t do bright colors, you can always do a lacy bra underneath a scoop neck tank, a pop of color on espadrilles or my personal favorite, an amazing saddle bag!

Tangerine Tango, Pantone 2012

Tunic – Diane von Furstenberg, Lip Gloss – Estee Lauder, Nail Polish – Essie in Capri, Bra – Deborah Marquit, Dress – Halston Heritage, Bag – Proenza Schouler, Espadrille Wedges – Paloma Barcelo

Are you going to wear 2012’s color of the year?

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Posted: 3rd January 2012 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Now Trending, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Well Said: Glitter

I know I was.


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Posted: 30th December 2011 | by: ashley | in: Well Said | Leave a comment

Pretty Things: The Celine Boston Bag

Red Celine Boston Bag

Starlight Blog

I’m not the type of girl that usually falls for each new season’s “It Bag”, but this year, I fell hard for the Celine Boston Bag – a bag that has been seen just about everywhere, on every fashionista’s arm recently. It’s big and roomy – one of my favorite traits in a bag – since I like to carry my life around with me wherever I go. I also love the structured look and unique shape that comes from the side panels that fold out. It comes in so many prints, patterns, colors and materials, I don’t know how I would ever be able to choose one.

The Celine Boston Bag

Long Island Prep, 9 to 5 Chic, Pretty City Life, Atlantic Pacific, Source Unknown, Atlantic PacificVon Brachner   

It’s just so perfectly ladylike and classy. I think it would stand the test of time – kind of like a Birkin. Which, by the way, might be one of the only other purses out there right now with a waiting list longer than this one. Mark my words, this one is going to be a classic someday!


Celine Boston Bag

Do you think the Boston Bag is worthy of “It Bag” status? Which color is your favorite?



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Posted: 28th December 2011 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Pretty Things, Retail Therapy | 3 Comments

Designer Spotlight: Katie Ermilio – Spring 2012

Katie Ermilio Spring 2012 Collection

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, I am head over heels in love with designer Katie Ermilio and her ladylike line of dresses, skirts, pants and jackets. The Spring 2012 collection is her second  and the granddaughter of Grace Kelley’s personal clothier has once again created perfectly tailored slacks and blazers, romantic dresses and classic skirts and pieces with just a hint of a fashion forward edge. These are only a few of her designs, but feast your eyes on her stunning collection, lovelies!

Katie Ermilio Spring 2012 Collection - Bright and Bold Colors

The color schemes ranged from a few bright jewel-tones in bold colors like a mustard yellow, cobalt blue and magenta, to a bunch of pieces in pale pastel shades like dusty pink and minty green. The magenta skort, below, absolutely takes my breath away – and it accomplishes the impossible – it makes me actually want to wear a skort. The origami-like bow in the back is to die for.


Katie Ermilio Spring 2012 Collecton, Pale and Pastel Colors

The floaty and feminine white dresses would be perfect for a casual spring wedding with a vintage feel to it. In the meantime, I would like to order the white suit, above. Its so classy, but also super sexy – the sheer top underneath the blazer definitely helps with that. Unfortunately, I can’t keep white clean for more than 5 minutes to save my life, so I might have to find something else. Shouldn’t be too difficult…


Katie Ermilio Spring 2012 Collection, Pink

Because she has plenty of PINK options that I would die for. The oversized blazer-dress on the bottom is my favorite – its a touch fashion forward, but with a nod to the 80’s too. Or the pink dress next to it – now, that’s what I would call the perfect twirling skirt. And doesn’t every girl need a pair of pink high-waisted shorts? At the very least, this one does.

I could go on and on, but I will let you explore the rest of her glorious collection on your own. I will say this, though, she’s got me ready for spring and the oncoming pastel trend, already!

Which color palette is your favorite?


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Posted: 28th December 2011 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays from The Style Umbrella

Christmas Cheer and Happy Holidays

Source Unknown

Happy Holidays from The Style Umbrella! I am about to take a few days off for the holidays and try my best to unplug, but before I go, I had to wish you all a very happy holiday season. I cannot wait to have a long relaxing weekend with family, cozy fires, good food and plenty of luxurious naps. I am also dying to give my loved ones the presents I’ve picked out – I’m not the best at having patience once I have a gift for someone – I want to give it to them right away, so I am anxious for the 25th to arrive already!

Last, but not least, I’ve put together a little example of what I want to Santa to bring me so that I can be festive and sparkly on Christmas day – plenty of red, green, gold, and of course, sequins!

Happy Holidays, Christmas and Holiday Evening Outfit and Fashion

Green Dress – Haute Hippie, Red Lip Gloss – YSL, Nail Polish – Deborah Lippmann, Red Clutch – Anya Hindmarch, Makeup Compact – Bobbi Brown, Bracelet – Lulu Frost, Earrings – Nordstrom

Wishing you all a very blessed and happy holiday!


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Posted: 24th December 2011 | by: ashley | in: Fashion Inspiration, Pretty Things, Retail Therapy | Leave a comment

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers for Him

We’ve finally reached the end of my Holiday Gift Guide series – Stocking Stuffers for Him. Shopping for the men in my life is always the hardest for me – I don’t know if its just me, or if its the guys I know, but they are all so difficult to shop for! And I pride myself on my shopping abilities. Seriously, I am a professional at shopping and choosing gifts for the people in my life. So, it took me awhile but I came up with what I think is an excellent guide to stocking stuffers for any kind of man. Take a look!

Holiday and Christmas Gift Guide, Stocking Stuffers For Him

Moisturizer – Jack Black, Dude Pouch – Pamela Barksy, Tech Gloves – Saks Fifth Avenue, Flask – Disposable Flasks, Shaving Kit – The Art of Shaving, Scarf – Burberry, Great American Sports Writing Book – Jane Leavy, Branch USB Sticks – Oooms, Portable Speaker – Audio Cubes

The Gift Guide fun might be over, but I am always here for shopping and gift advice. If you need any help with gift ideas – for any occasion – email me at and I will happily help you figure it out!

Happy Holidays lovelies!


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Posted: 21st December 2011 | by: ashley | in: Gift Guides, Pretty Things | 3 Comments

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers For Her

With Christmas just days away, its about that time to wrap up your holiday shopping and start the wrapping – hopefully, anyway. I just need to get a few stocking stuffers and I will be pretty much done – whew! If you need any last minute gift ideas, little treats for friends or stocking stuffer ideas for the ladies in your life, look no further…these are fabulous!

Stocking Stuffers For Her, Christmas Holiday Gift Guide

 Mini Emergency Kits – Ms and Mrs, Bracelets – Lulu Frost for J. Crew, Nail Polish – OPI, Gift Bow Ring – Kate Spade, Heart Clips –, Macarons – Lette, Retractable Nail File – Tweezerman, Reed Scent Diffuser – Antica Farmacista, Polka Dot Duct Tape – Fortis Designs, Coin Purse – Anya Hindmarch, Makeup Palette – Dior, Headphones – Marc by Marc Jacobs, Earrings – Shamila

Stay tuned for the last gift guide of the season tomorrow! Stocking Stuffers for Him.


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Posted: 20th December 2011 | by: ashley | in: Gift Guides, Pretty Things | 1 Comment

Holiday Gift Guide: For Dog Lovers

In case you haven’t seen my Pinterest account, or the pictures of my pug that pop on my Twitter occasionally, I should probably tell you, I am a huge dog person. In fact, I have a small fear that someday I will become the weird dog lady instead of the weird cat lady. I could easily see myself adopting a dozen dogs and living with them all under one roof. Full disclosure: I am one of those people that buys my dog a Christmas present, and yes, I am a little embarrassed by that, but I own it! So, if you know someone like me – a dog lover – or someone that needs an idea of what to buy their dog this holiday season, take a look below!

Dog Lover Holiday Christmas Gift Guide

Dog BluePrint – Uncommon Goods, Dog Bowl – Digs, Dog Candle – Sniff, Dog Tag – Etsy, Tennis Balls – Harry Barker, Dog Toy Gift Basket – Harry Barker     

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Posted: 19th December 2011 | by: ashley | in: Gift Guides, Pretty Things | 1 Comment
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