Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Animal Instinct

I love trends that pack a punch, are easy to interpret and can live in your closet for more than just the season. One of my favorite trends for the fall is animal print. It's sexy, applicable to all age groups AND body types. You can interpret the look as boldly or as minimally as it suits you and your sense of personal style.

If you are feeling bold and love the impact of leopard or zebra print, try a tunic or dress that makes an immediate statement about your bold and stylish flare. If you are looking for a more subtle interpretation, add a leopard print belt to an your outfit for a little pop.

Look for animal prints when buying shoes this season. It's an easy way to add instant style to a simple black dress. Add printed shoes with denim and a crisp tshirt and have a casual/cool look that can take you from day with animal print flats to night with some sexy animal print heels or booties.

If you love the look and want to incorporate it on a daily basis, try an animal print/animal skin handbag that will surely add a sophistication to your everyday outfits.

For those of you that are scared of the look but are intrigued, start with a simple scarf -- it's an easy and inexpensive way to try it out.

This is a great trend that will definitely be a look that you will enjoy having in your closet for seasons to come. Even more exciting -- it's a trend that designers and stores are offering at a variety of price points that easily fits everyone's trend budget.

As for me, I'm going to rock the look in as many options as possible. I'm starting with shoes -- all I need now is a little black dress and some red toe nail polish.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Tips

Remember that Sex in the City episode where Carrie goes to the horse stables with Charlotte? Carrie, as only Carrie would, showed up in her brand new Manolos. Nothing like horse manure and brand new shoes.

I know that we have all attended an outdoor wedding or a BBQ at the park (what's wrong with wearing heels to the park?) that was definitely not conducive to wearing heels.

Check out for an ingenious slip cover that slides over your heel to keep you grounded on all kinds of soft surfaces. It's discreet, "will protect your heel and and any unsightly falls when walking on sidewalk grates or cobblestone roads". It comes in clear and black and retails for $10.

I'm curious...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Is It Cold Yet?

I grew up in Houston and don't think I ever owned a winter coat. Sure I had some zip up jackets for the occasional cold day BUT nothing that I would have categorized as a real coat much less something fashionable.

Then, on a whim, I decided to move to San Francisco and there began my love and obsession for coats. I couldn't have picked a better city to basque in the frigid air with my (upcoming) long oatmeal colored coat by Transit. Call me crazy but every time I think about it, I hear angels singing.

My love for coats is not just in the obvious beauty of it being well made with impeccable detail, it's that it can actually be your entire outfit. You can wear jeans and a simple, clean tshirt and once you throw on your coat of choice, you are dressed and ready to go. I'm ashamed to admit that there have been many times I've have confidently shopped at the grocery store, IN MY PAJAMAS, because my coat (plus heels) was the perfect camouflage to what could have been a fashion disaster.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when coat shopping:
1. A trench is a trench is a trench. Need I say more? It's the most timeless, versatile piece of outerwear a girl can own. Sure it's great to stick to a classic khaki trench OR switch it and buy a trench in charcoal gray, cobalt blue or even fuschia pink -- I love the pictured Elizabeth and James trench in white.
2. Look for a coat that allows you to be bold. Try a 3/4 length sleeve -- add long leather gloves for a chic look.
3. Add accessories to your coat: Add some originality to your coat by pinning a vintage broach or a family heirloom to your lapel.
4. If wearing a clean classic coat, add a silk scarf around your neck for color pop and instant style. If you are feeling bold enough try a fur (or faux fur) scarf.
5. Try a sweater coat. For a more casual look or if the climate you allows, a sweater coat is a great option.
5. Be bold. Color is in! As I said, coats aren't just for warmth. If you want your primary coat to be basic then try a peacoat or swing jacket in a bright bold color.

I know it seems crazy to be talking about coats, but the reality is that fall is around the corner and a girl needs to be prepared to shop. Think of a coat as an investment that will stay a part of your wardrobe for seasons to come.

I want for you to hear angels sing too!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fashion Friday

It's fashion's what I am currently dreaming about:

Must have bag: Lanvin Happy Partage Metallic Lamé Bag
Must have dress: Banana Republic Silk Ruffle Dress
Must have kaftan: Roberto Cavalli Asymmetric Silk Maxi Kaftan
Must have flat: Kate Spade "felice" Flat
Must have boot: Valentino Couture Half d'Orsay
Must have necklace: BCBG Multistrand Bow Pendant Necklace
Must have furniture: Swedish Gustavian Tub Chair

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh Padma

We watch a lot of tv at my place. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I actually have days where the only thing that seems to pull me through is knowing that I get to watch the bachelorette at night. I'm so lame!

I watch everything from the Brooke Hogan show to Grey's Anatomy. Don't get me started on the Bravo of my continued favorites on Bravo is Top Chef. Maybe it's the show, the food, the competition or maybe it's just Padma Lakshmi? If being a model, a tv host and an author is not enough, Padma has recently launched a beauiful jewelry line.

Food, jewels and tv? What more can a girl ask for?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Sartorialist

As you know I spend quite a bit of my time surfing the net for one thing or the other. It's my quiet escape each day. I recently stumbled on this hilarious flowchart! If the laugh wasn't enough, it led me to a great blog -- The Sartorialist. It's the premiere street style blog that has been selected as one of Time Magazine's Top 100 design influencers. That's a nice feather to put in your cap! The author, Scott Schuman, started The Sartorialist to share photos of people on the streets of New York he thought looked great. That was just the beginning...

There is even a coffee table book available -- makes for a great house warming gift.

The blog is primarily picture based with minimal text when applicable. I love to see fashion in real life. I'm so used to seeing "put together" fashion for runways, magazines and the like. No doubt it's fabulous and I do admire it all. BUT, The Sartorialist showcases real people in everyday life who are fashionable and subsequently, inspiring. I love it. Add to me to following -- and what a following it is!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Suit Up

It's Monday and as we head back into the work week it's tough enough trying to get back in the weekly grind muchless worry about what to wear. My tip for this work week and frankly any work week is -- wear a suit. I'm sure many of you have corporate work environments as well as non traditional work environments. I realize that a suit may seem daunting, conservative or even boring, but it really is the most versatile and complete outfit you can have in your closet. There are so many ways to make use of your suit. The the upfront investment for a good quality suit gets paid off in no time at all. Here are a few suggestions on how to continually reinvent a suit to fit your lifestyle:

1. Wear a suit with a tshirt. Change the look of your suit from uber predictable to fun and funky. You don't have to wear a blouse. Instead try a screen print tshirt and tennis shoes. It's and edgy twist on a classic look.
2. Hem your suit pants so you can wear it with flats. These days with the many fantastic flat options, why torture your toes with heels when you can look equally chic with flats.
3. Separate your suit. Use your suit bottoms to with any of the many great blouses you already have in your wardrobe. The jacket can we paired back with a simple vneck tshirt and denim for a more hip and causual look. Add some layered necklaces or a scarf and heels and presto you are ready for anything.
4.Add accessories. Add a colorful hand bag, a patent belt, a colored shoe to jazz up your look. If you opt for a skirt suit, don't be afraid to add textured hoisery to give the suit a pop.
5. Wear your suit through the seasons. You can wear your suit with anything from a silk tank or thsirt in the spring/summer to a light cashmere sweater on turtleneck for the fall/winter.
6. For a sexier look add a sheer blouse under your jacket.

Don't think of your suit as a single unit. Change it up, split it apart and accessorize it in a way that really sets it apart. These days you can find a suit in a price range that fits your budget. You can find great options at Banana Republic, Jcrew, Theory and Armani. Whatever your budget, you can find great suits in colors and cuts that fit you and your lifestyle.

Friday, July 17, 2009

What I Want Now

It's fun's what I am currently dreaming about:

Must have bag: Be and D Kan Kan Tote
Must have clutch: JCrew Fuschia Satin Jeweled Clutch
Must have dress: Roberto Cavalli One Shoulder Dress
Must have shoes: Rupert Sanderson Mary Jane Heel
Must have jewelry: Rings by Ringseclectic (pictured ring and many more available at iniam!!)
Must have hair accessory: Banana Republic Jeweled Hair Clip
Must have Designer: Haute Hippie
Must Have Home: Ankasa Pillows and Bedding

Have a great week-end!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just In

There are many fabulous trends to jump on this fall. One of them being tanks/blouses that have a built in necklace. You'll see everything from chain necklaces to jeweled ones -- many of them removable! It's like you get two tops for the price of one.

We just received the first of several of these tops. It's a black razorback Vince tank and the chains look fantastic. You can layer under a blazer or sweater or wear it over a tank. With skinny pants, jeans, or trousers the tank is a perfect match. Talk about a top that saves you time...your accessories are built in!

We also received several other great Vince items including a versatile grommet dress that can be dressed up or dressed down.

All the pieces can easily be reinvented to fit your mood or particular occasion.

This is just the beginning of all things spectacular erupting at iniam!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Little to Lose a Lot to Gain

I recently joined boot camp. What was I thinking? Let me just say there is NOTHING glamorous about walking like a duck -- For the first time in my life I had to take advil to relieve my sore muscles. I am sooooo out of shape.

I'm on a mission. I have never been "skinny", but I was happy with my shape and size. Post babies, my opinion has changed. Maybe it's because I have a suitcase full of beautiful clothes that no longer fit. I've started giving up hope on being able to wear those things again. With all the new things to be bought, I guess I can be talked into starting over. Here is where the problem arises. I'm not exactly where I want to be. I spent a good nine months shoving everything from chocolate bars to chicken pot pie in my mouth. It's going to take little work to get it off. I know I can carve out time to workout, but it's hard to make that commitment and get started. I've just completed my first week of boot camp and I love it. I feel like Sheera! And as insane is this sounds, I am craving exercise. Who am I?

The reality is that I have made time for 3 days a week, and that's it. BUT I found something that adds a little extra someTHINg, someTHINg, to my work out schedule. Reebok has introduced a tennis shoe that actually tones key leg muscles like your glutes, hamstrings, and calf muscles just by wearing the shoes. The EasyTone shoe uses balance pods to create natural instability similar to walking on a sandy beach which promotes toning in your legs and booty.

I know we aren't talking about sexy heels or to die for dresses, but we are talking about something that will either help you get into shape or then maintain perfection. If you ask me, that's the best fashion tip I can give. You can buy well made designer clothing, but it's YOU that makes the pieces you buy look Fabulous.

I'm not the girl that usually wears tennis shoes to run errands, but I will be. Especially if its going to help me get into my blue silk Tibi gown coming in next month!

Friday, July 10, 2009

JOIE de Vivre

(Is it just me, or is the model's facial expression making it hard to admire the blouse?)

Joie is finally here! We've received several great tops -- plaid button down, silk print blouse and silk printed razor back tank. All of them easy to understand and a pleasure to wear. Add any of the new Joie tops to the cigarette leg Earnest Sewn jeans that just arrived and presto your stylish and ready for the week-end!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dolce, Dolce, Dolce

I know this is not the best picture. I've tried my hardest to find one that would really do this piece the justice it so deserves. For now, I've scanned it in so that I can share what has been making my heart go pitter patter. Ever since I saw this necklace in the March issue of Harper's Bazaar, I have been obsessed. When I flipped to the page that showcased this work of art, I immediately tore it out and archived it. That tear out may very well be the closest I get to it. You'd think that March obsessions would have long be replaced by April, May and June obsessions. I've added new things to dream about, but I'm still hopelessly devoted to this Dolce & Gabbana beauty. I love the full layered chains mixed with pearls -- feminine and edgy all at the same time. I've come to terms with knowing it won't be mine but I've been scouring stores and websites to see if I can come close. This look is a show stopper and is available at many different price points. Here are a few suggestions of other necklaces that I am very fond of.

Tom Binns necklaces are all fantastic. Celebrities and the first lady are all rockin' his jazzy jewels. His pieces are pricey but completely worth it.

A more affordable version is currently available at Banana Republic. It's not as full but uses a great mix of chain and pearls. Add a broach from your own jewerly collection and make the necklace even more interesting.

I've seen "look-a-likes" everywhere from BCBG to Barneys. There are many great pieces out there that encompass this style. Whatever your choice for necklace, add it to an open neckline and transform whatever you are wearing from great to spectacular!

As for me -- if anyone bumps into my Dolce, christmas is less than 6 months away...I can wait.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sell Something, Buy Something

If you've been reading the blog, you know we've started our clearance sale. Frankly, so has everyone else. Stores from Old Navy to Bergdorfs, are offering deals on this seasons hits and misses. Though the main reason for end of season sales is to make room for the upcoming season's goodies, it's also when buyers come to terms with the fact that sometimes things we think will sell, clearly do not. Whatever the reason for mark down, it's all about getting something you want for less.

But what about us the consumer? We've all had spectacular purchases in our past -- everything from sequin vests (what was I thinking?) to things we've lied to our husbands about. In our defense, we wore those things and loved them and took care of them and now several seasons later, it's time to part ways. Perhaps you just want to make some much needed room in your closet. It can be overwhelming to look at a closet full of "inactive" clothing and try to put together something you feel good in.

But what does that mean for us? How can we "clearance" our own closets? We spent good money on those things. Why shouldn't we be able to salvage some of that initial investment?

Here are a few tips on how to recoup some money:

1. Consignment/Trading Store: Everyone should have a trading store in their neighborhood. Take your unwanted clothing, shoes, accessories over so that the staff can examine your goods and then offer you a price for items they feel will sell at their store. It can be a little time consuming but easy nonetheless! Crossroads and Bufflo Exchange are two great options. Otherwise you can visit your local consignment store. Unlike the trading stores, consignment stores will take your clothing and pay you out as it sells. Either way you are in the money!
2. Use or I recommend this for some of your more designer clothing and shoes. Just post your items and get ready to be amazed by how easy it can be to make money.
3. Throw a SWAP party: Simply invite your girlfriends over for an afternoon/evening of tasty treats and some easy shopping. Ask your friends to bring clothes they are ready to part way with. Set up mini boutiques with each friend being the "store owner". Then, 1-2-3...start shopping! Attendees can charge money for items or simply trade. The more friends you invite the more variety and sizes you will have. Feel free to add maternity or kids clothing if you like. Add some bubbly and hors d'oeuvres and presto the evening is a hit and everyone goes home with something they love!
4. Donate: Lastly, if you're done with your clothing and simply want to get rid of it without much thought or preparation, you can donate the clothing to a variety of charitable organizations in your local area. You may not make any money but you will help someone out that may not have otherwise been able purchase that clothing.

Hmmmm...sounds like it's time to go shopping again!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun Friday

It's no secret that I often use the web as my escape from the work that is piling up on my desk. I'm notorious about procrastinating. I'm one of those people that just works better under pressure. If there is any wiggle room on due dates then I'm either catching up on my favorite blogs or checking to see if my jeweled d'orsay Valentino heels have been marked down. At $995 a pair, I can hear my husband saying "it's either me or the shoes!"

My latest online find are these GORGEOUS earrings --the picture does NOT do them justice. I love antiques, mostly furniture but I am also very partial to antique jewelry. These earrings are by no means antique, but they do look like something you would buy at the estate sale of someone with a fabulous social calendar.

I didn't buy them online at first, but when I saw them in person, I just couldn't resist. The only downside is they're a bit heavy and I imagine that after an evening of compliments, my little ears will be sore. Small price to pay for looking fabulous, no?

Want to know the best part? That's right ladies...$79 and available at Jcrew!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fashion That Never Dies

I didn't know Michael personally, but it feels like I grew up with him. Clearly I wasn't on his emergency contact list, but with all the success and media frenzy over the years -- hit singles, molestation allegations, plastic surgery, dangling babies, Neverland, Pepsi commercials...he's always been a part of the background. With the resurgence of MJ's accomplishments, I have been reminded of what a musical genius he was. Of course there is no denying he was a bit weird, but whatever, the man could sing and dance. And if that wasn't enough, he's also had quite an impact on fashion as well.

There’s the red leather motorcycle jacket he rocked in the “Beat It” video, the white ankle socks and black loafers he wore when he moonwalked, the military-style jacket and aviator sunglasses he toured in during the “Thriller” era, the white vneck tshirt that he always tore open and then there was that legendary glove he first wore during a performance of “Billie Jean” in '83.

Apparently Michael was collaborating with Christian Audigier to launch his own clothing line. The line was supposed to debut this fall and would have been sold exclusively through L.A. Boutique Kitson. There aren't any details on what it would have consisted of nor is there any information on the status of the line. If it comes to fruition, I'm thinking it's gonna sell!

Michael set trends in the 80's and now almost two decades later he is still doing it. Most noticeably, Balmain's military jacket (or "michealesque" jacket) came down runways for Spring '09. The jacket has been a hot item for the who's who in the celebrity world. For those of you that love the look but don't have $11,000 laying around for a jacket, Alice and Olivia will put out an affordable version of the jacket that will cost about $400 to $500. You just can't "beat it" -- I know, I know... I couldn't resist.

We'll miss ya Michael.