Friday, January 31, 2014

Dots on Dots

Yay for Friday! There's something about the start to the weekend that just makes me want to celebrate, and what better way than to celebrate with lots of polka dots and glitter? I am always struggling for ways to wear this light pink Equipment sweater, and I finally decided to just get crazy and wear it with my polka dotted JCrew button up. Paired with super casual JBrand jeans and my glittery Kate Spade for Keds tennies, I'm pretty sure the 5 year in my is proud :) 

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Put Your Face On

Sweater: Alice and Olivia; Shirt: Madewell; Pants: Alice and Olivia; Shoes: Stubbs and Wootton for Brooks Brothers; Bracelet: Kate Spade; Watch: Kate Spade

Ugh, hump day! The week is almost over! With the dreary weather here in the North West (and the downright scary weather in the South! Hope all my loves down there are staying safe!) I needed a little somethin' somethin' to brighten my day.  So naturally I brought out this Lanvin inspired cardigan from Alice and Olivia, along with these great navy blue pants, also from Alice and Olivia. They're actually the same pants from my earlier post Pink and Leopard! I wasn't kidding when I said I loved them! I buttoned my Madewell shirt all the way to the top, I think I was inspired by Beyonce in her "Flawless" video. And, of course, I added a few bows here and there with my accessories. 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How To: Create a Collage Wall

Since Matt and I moved into our new house, I've been painting and organizing non-stop, and am only now just getting to decorate rooms rather than just throwing furniture into them. For my guest room, I was inspired by a trip to Morocco I had the great fortune to take last year.  So, on top of Moroccan inspired bedding from Charisma and a lamp I bought on my trip, I also decided to use some of my photographs from the trip.  But there were so many! So, I purchased a "gallery in a box" from Pottery Barn and got to work. 

To create my collage wall, I started by gathering my supplies.  Aside from picking photographs and putting them in the appropriate frames, I needed kraft paper, a pen, scissors, and scotch tape. 

Then, I traced each frame onto the rolled out kraft paper. 

Next, I cut out the said tracings and continued until I had a doppleganger of each frame. 

I then used the scotch tape to hang each kraft paper cutout on the wall until I had found an arrangement that I liked. 

Then, you can either measure or eye where you will place the appropriate hanging implement.  After, carefully remove the kraft paper and hang the frames. 

And voila! 

Until next time, 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Blues Cure

Mondays tend to be the worst... it's hard to wake up, and it's equally difficult to find motivation to get going on the first day after the weekend. 

Blouse: Kate Spade; Pants: Rag and Bone
This monday was dreary, let me tell you. The fog didn't burn off all day! So I decided to wear my new Kate Spade blouse, which was bright and cheerful enough to distract me from the weather. Paired with my black rag and bone skinnies and hair inspired by Taylor Swift last night at the Grammies, I felt a little bit like a blast from the past. 

The top is from their January collection, which was inspired by the British seaside town of Brighton Beach.  I love the candy colored jewels that adorn the front - they add a nice pop of cheer to the dull January weather! Plus, the black trim contrasting the white silk blouse mellows it enough so that it doesn't scream spring and seem out of place in the dead of winter. 

Shoes: Miu Miu
I decided to go with the whole retro carnival theme that the Kate Spade collection had going on, and wore these Miu Miu flats that I've had for years. They're Mary Jane styling and cute cut-outs along the toe made them feel appropriately old school.  

Until next time, 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Daytime Leather Leggings

Sunglasses: Karen Walker; Sweater: Vince; Pants: Club Monaco; Shoes: Target
So, leather leggings can be a little bit hard to pull off, especially for the daytime. For this look, I paired the Club Monaco leggings from yesterday's post with this Breton stripe sweater that I have been living in lately.  I think it's an interesting juxtaposition between the edginess of the pants and the classic sweater. My favorite leopard print smoking flats, a top knot and my new can't-live-without sunglasses finished off the look for a comfortable yet cool weekend outfit. 

Until next time, 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Nighttime Leather Leggings

Today was not my day.  I got stuck in horrible traffic (due to an accident - I hope everyone was ok!) that kept me from going to my barre class because I was *so* late, and then on my drive home I was yelled at my some road rage guy because I pulled into his lane too slowly. Whatever. Clearly, my natural inclination was to get a cheeseburger and go home and watch the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family. Then I went upstairs to my bedroom and decided to play dress up, which always puts me in a better mood :)

Top: Milly; Leggings: Club Monaco
This lace Milly top and my Club Monaco leather leggings were the perfect antidote to feeling crummy - I instantly felt glamorous and cool, even though I was just feeling bummed from getting yelled at! 

The almost leopard-print lace of the top meets the satin bodice in a sweetheart neckline - which I'm always such a sucker for. 

It also buttons up the side, which I think is such a cool, feminine and retro twist. 

Leggings: Club Monaco; Shoes: Joie
Given the girly-ness of the top, I toughened it up with my leather leggings and can't-live-without Joie booties. 

Earrings: Chanel
Finally, to add a pop of color, I wore these cute pink heart shaped Chanel earrings that my mom brought back from Europe for me when I was a teenager (I miss the days when there was a favorable exchange rate). I rarely get to wear them because I'm more of a stud-earring girl, but when you're wearing all black a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do :)
Hope you have a fun Saturday night out! 

Until next time, 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Leopard and Pink

Sometimes, you just have to have to get a little glam. 

Top: Equipment; Pants: Alice and Olivia; Heels: Pour la Victoire
And Fridays (especially when your boyfriend is out of town for training in 29 Palms) are the perfect time to get girly and fun. 

Jacket: Kenna T
This cream leather jacket is something that I bought years ago, and I hardly ever wear. I absolutely love it, though, it's just hard to figure out what to pair it with. This leopard Equipment top and bright pink Alice and Olivia pants seemed like a good mix, though, since it was wild enough to need something neutral and cool to tone it down.
Shoes: Pour la Victoire
My mom got me these awesome pumps from Gilt a year ago or so, and they are great. They're super tall, though, so my poor feet definitely feel it after wearing them for a while!

Honestly, if I could only ever buy clothes from Equipment and Alice and Olivia, I would be totally fine. Their designs are classic but trendy and fun at the same time, and always girly. Just throw in some Kate Spade and JCrew to round things out and you're done. 

Sunglasses: Karen Walker; Bangles: Kate Spade

My "No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn" bangle was a gift from Matt a few years ago, and it's one of my favorites, partly because I love the Beastie Boys and also partly because it's the perfect color combo (gold and black) to go with almost everything. These Karen Walker sunglasses were a recent post-Christmas purchase.  I had been searching for them *forever* and recently found them at Barney's, where I finally got to try them on rather than just ogling them on the internet. So glad I bought them! I've been wearing them constantly and feel like Jackie O. every time I put them on. 
Until next time, 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Work Week Chic

Dressing for the work week can sometimes be a little bit boring. There are only so many days that a girl can wear black JCrew Minnie pants with a button up and sweater before getting bored.

Today I wore a tweed and crepe Shoshanna dress with a JCrew Jackie pullover underneath for some added winter warmth.  

Dress: Shoshanna; Sweater: JCrew; Belt: Kate Spade; Watch: Kate Spade
This cute bow belt added the perfect touch (even if it is a little off-center here). 

Shoes: Kate Spade; Stockings: Wolford
These gold and black Kate Spade heels complemented the belt nicely.  They were a birthday present from my mom a few years ago and I wear them all the time! They're perfect for jazzing up a simple outfit. 

Happy because it's almost Friday? I am! 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Good Girl Tips: How to Care for Winter Clothes

Winter clothing often means hard-to-care-for clothing: whether it's a nice silk cocktail dress or a cozy cashmere sweater, they're hardly the cotton shorts and sundresses that make up our summer wardrobes. However, the luxe fabrics that we break out during the winter months usually need special care. 

I have *too many* silk blouses and dresses, and even pants! Usually I just dry clean these items after every 3-4 wears. However, you can wash them at home if you're on a budget or don't want to make a trip to the dry cleaner. According to the Laundress, pre-treat any stain with a stain solution specially formulated for delicate fabrics.  To hand wash, soak the garment in cool water with the appropriate amount of delicate only detergent for about a half hour. To machine wash, place the garment in a mesh laundry bag and wash on the delicate cycle with delicate detergent. After either method of washing, hang the garment on a drying rack or hanger - never put silk in the dryer though! Steam (don't iron) any wrinkles out, and you're good to go! 

Cashmere & Wool: 
I used to always dry clean my sweaters, but I've come to realize how easy they are to take care of at home, especially with the right tools.  Pilling is the bane of my sweater obsession, but a sweater comb like this one from JCrew will change your life! It seriously cuts down on the need for laundering *so much.* When you have a stain, pre-treat with a stain solution like Shout (my personal favorite) because it comes with a brush to rub into the stain. Then, to launder, turn the sweater inside out and either soak in a cool water bath with the recommended amount of detergent for about a half hour and then rinse until water runs soapless, or wash on the delicate cycle in a mesh bag. Then, lay the garment flat on a towel and roll up to squeeze out any extra water. Once dry, you can always steam it to give the perfect finish!

Since it's been so trendy lately, I have added a lot of leather to my closet. Between skirts, leggings and jackets, it can be hard to figure out how to treat them. Personally, I never clean them. I think of my skirts and leggings like a pair of boots or a handbag - I try to keep them as pristine as possible.  In the event that I need to spot clean, though, dab with a damp cloth - but make sure not to rub because it might abrade the texture of the leather. If you're like my friend Nikki, though, and you wear your leather jacket *nonstop* you should take it to a leather specialist about once a year to have it professionally cleaned according to

Until next time, 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Walk on the Wild Side

Matt and I have had a bucket list of things to get done around our new neighborhood before he deploys again, and today we crossed off one adventure: we checked out our local zoo, the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

Jacket: JCrew; Sweater: Joie; Ring: Jennifer Zeuner; Hat: Eugenia Kim; Skinnies: Rag and Bone
Since it's January and the zoo is outside, I definitely had to layer.  So, I paired my chevron pattern Joie sweater with the JCrew field jacket that I've had for years. 

My black rag and bone skinnies went well, and so did my furry Isabel Marant booties. 

Shoes: Isabel Marant
I mean, how could I not wear these to the zoo? They're also nice and warm, and since the weather has actually been kind of dry lately I didn't have to worry about messing up the calf hair. 

Beanie: Eugenia Kim; Sweater: Joie
I have also been bitten by the pattern mixing bug lately, too. This grey leopard beret that I got on sale last winter went well with the greys of the sweater, and it seemed fitting for a zoo trip. I guess dressing for a theme is something the sorority girl in me can't resist... 

I just love this beanie so much! It's fun to wear during the winter, when all of your other accessories can end up black and boring. It always adds a little wild style to my winter wardrobe! 

Until next time, 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ready for the Weekend

There is something about January that makes the work week so hard to get through. It's right after taking time off for the holidays, so adjusting to full time work again is hard! 

Jacket: Alice and Olivia; Shirt: Alice and Olivia; Pants: Rag and Bone; Shoes: Chanel; Bag: Kate Spade

Shirt: Alice and Olivia
So, needless to say, I am happy that Friday night finally rolled around! This outfit is a good example of a day to night look. Black rag and bone skinnies and a white Peter Pan collar shirt from Alice and Olivia are a good foundation. For nighttime, I just switched out a cardigan for this Alice and Olivia grey tweed jacket. It's longer length is so Chanel-esque, and it has a little bit of lurex thread throughout, giving it a nice shimmer for a night out. 

Shoes: Chanel
Basic flats like these from Chanel are also great. They are a great investment and good to wear from the office to dinner. Sometimes I might switch into heals, but I have to be pretty committed because around midnight I'll be contemplating taking them off and walking home barefoot, and no one wants to be that girl! 

Until next time, 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pattern Play

I really like mixing patterns. It can be a little intimidating though! It's easy to go from chic to crazy cat lady in a heart beat, and I'm pretty sure that I might end up in that territory sometimes... 

Glasses: Chanel; Sweater: Vince; Skirt: JCrew; Stockings: DKNY
The biggest key that I've found when it comes to mixing your patterns, the key is to stay in the same color family. Today, I picked navy blue, which was a color in both the stripes of my sweater and the plaid of my skirt. 

It's also important to keep the patterns roughly the same size, although that's not always the case. For example, I think that rugby stripes with a ditzy floral print could be cute! 

Shoes: Target
I also decided to channel Jenna Lyons (the creative director of JCrew) and use leopard print as a neutral - my leopard print smoking flats might be a little aggressive when paired with the other two patterns, but I decided to take the risk! That's what fashion is all about, right? 

Until next time, 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rain, rain, go away!

Growing up in Northern California, I thought that I lived in one of the rainiest places in the world. This was especially the case after I went to college in LA and all of my Orange County and San Diego friends would shudder at the thought of it dropping below 60, much less raining. Of course I had always heard about how drizzly and rainy Seattle is, but I wasn't really prepared for it until I moved here! I am getting used to it, though, and it's giving me ample opportunity to experiment with my outfits!

Sweater: JCrew, Shirt: Jcrew; Skirt: Theory; Stockings: Wolford; Boots: Hunter
Curling my hair is pretty much out of the question any more, as there is so much moisture in the air that my fine strands refuse to do anything except stay straight most days. But my bangs are finally growing out enough that I can pin my hair back in more ways, which is definitely a relief! 

The Theory skirt came out again (surprise, surprise) and I paired it with the bow cardigan from an older post, as well as a cotton button up from JCrew. I have been really into skirts lately, even with rain boots. I just wear a longer rain coat and it works perfectly, especially because when it's rainy out it's also usually not that cold. 

Matt got me these cherry red Hunter boots for Christmas. They are a more practical color than the baby pink pair that I have, but they're still bright and cheerful enough for dreary Northwest days. 

Until next time, 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Good Girl Tips: How to Budget

Budgeting is one of those things that I think no one really enjoys doing, but it has such a big pay off in the end.  I am firm believer that all of us young women, whether attached or single, should be in control of and knowledgeable about our finances. And budgeting is the number one way to achieve that. 

There are many different approaches to making a budget, but I personally like to use the 50/20/30 approach, predominately because it is the easiest.  
It breaks down like this: 

50% of your monthly income after taxes goes to "Essentials." "Essentials" are things that you literally cannot live without, such as rent, groceries, utility and car payments, car maintenance, etc. Each of these should take up only a fraction of the 50%.  For example, your rent should never be more than 30% of half your take home pay, groceries should come out to about 10%, etc. Things like cable and internet, though, do not fall into your Essentials category, because you can actually live without them, as much as that seems to not be the case. 

20% of you monthly income should go towards savings. Whether that is a savings account or a mutual fund or a retirement account such as a 401k, this amount is non-negotiable. This amount will build over time, and will help you deal with unexpected expenses, such as hospital bills or car repairs. Eventually, you can use these savings to put towards a house, higher education, or retirement. I would also suggest not putting away more than 20%, because that can be a big chunk out of your paycheck, which can leave you feeling like all you're doing is saving for the future rather than living in the moment. After you've put the money away, though, don't touch it! The only time to use the money is when you are spending it on the goal you were saving for in the first place, or an emergency. The shoe sale at Saks does not count as an emergency, though :)

Finally, 30% of your money is fun money. This is what you spend on the fancy cable package, a night out on the town with your girlfriends, that really expensive pair of shoes that you have been eyeing, or your monthly haircut/wax/manicure. When you think about it, 30% is a hefty amount of money to spend on realistically whatever you want. However, knowing the amount that you have to spend in a month/pay period can make you wiser about how you spend. Do you want to buy the $500 leather jacket, or get a mani/pedi once a week? Are the three different shirts worth it, or would you rather save that money up for something more expensive? Now, I am all for shopping, but I do think that one pair of $400 shoes, that will last you a lifetime, are definitely a better investment that 4 pairs of $100 shoes that will fall apart with trends and time. 

If you're looking for a more in depth look at personal finances, check out the book Financially Fearless, by Alexa von Tobel.  

Until next time, 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Inspo of the Week: Golden Globes Style

I kind of hate awards shows.  They tend to be boring, people can't make speeches without rambling... you get the gist. However, I do love the red carpet. Everyone looks so gorgeous, and it makes me feel like I'm watching the Barbies I played with as a little girl come to life, parading around in fancy dresses! 

Source: US Weekly

So, in light of me saying that I find awards shows boring, let me say that that was not the case last night.  Tina Fey and Amy Poehler absolutely *killed* it while they were hosting.  They had me cracking up from start to finish. If you haven't watched they're opening monologue, go and youtube that right now. But Tina Fey's red carpet look rivaled her performance in awesomeness. I mean, black and fuchsia floral print Carolina Herrerra? Yes, please. The graphic print was so daring, and it is nice to see actresses take a risk on the red carpet. 
Source: PopSugar
First of all, I hope that I look half as good as Julianne Margulies when I am her age - the Good Wife is lookin' good! Her porcelain skin was nicely complemented by the rich black silk of this Andrew Gn dress, and the plunging neckline added a daring element to gown's traditional a-line skirt and cap sleeves.  The intricate, coral-like embroidered design along the hem and shoulders was icing on the cake, making a sumptuous and simple statement. 

Source: Perez Hilton
So, apparently Sandra Bullock's gown was a little "disappointing" to some people. Sure, color blocking has been around for a few seasons now, but I for one hope it's not going anywhere. And this dress is breaking hearts and taking names in the color blocking department. I love the contrast of the bubblegum pink, black, and ice blue.  The plunging neckline and high-low hem (two trends that ran rampant on the red carpet at the Globes) might compete a little with all of the colors, but I think it works. 

Of course my girl Kerry made my list. There were several pregnant ladies walking the red carpet this year, and while Olivia Wilde is a close second for best dressed, this is completely what I would wear - if I were ever walking the red carpet while several months pregnant. The custom Balenciaga gown was somehow simultaneously edgy and simple, the sleek white column shape accentuated by a sort of peplum around her baby belly. The plunging neck (again) was adorned by a glam broach, and she kept the rest of her accessories relatively simple, letting her baby radiance be the focal point. 

Source: The Daily Mail
Michelle Dockery looked every bit as regal as Lady Mary last night. White gowns and high-low hems were certainly on trend last night, and this richly embellished Oscar de la Renta gown is interesting and chic, but also lady-like and royal.  Accented with simple pumps and hair and makeup, this was definitely one of my favorites from the night.  It doesn't hurt that I can't stop watching Downton Abbey, though! 

Source: Perez Hilton
Last, but certainly not least, my favorite look of the night was without a doubt Taylor Swift.  I died when I first saw her. With the black bustier contrasted against the red bodice and skirt of this Carolina Hererra gown, I don't think she could have looked prettier. I love the old Hollywood glamor of it all, especially when combined with her retro hair and bold red lip, that was somehow modernized by the gown's bold color-blocking. I have a feeling that this dress will be something that 30 or 50 years from now will be dug up out of the archives and worn again by another gorgeous star. 

Until next time,