Did you know that it’s perfectly acceptable in fashion to wear velvet during the spring and summer months? Just the word “velvet” makes me feel warm… why would I want to wear velvet when it’s hot outside? Because burnout velvet can be paper thin and super soft… it breathes, drapes and wears well, whereas velvets of yore tended to be thick, heavy and stiff. I just bought this lovely gold and grey striped burnout velvet dress for a steal at The Poppy Boutique. I added a gold wide leather tie belt and bohemian statement necklace and wore this ensemble to my Junior League’s annual dinner… otherwise known as a cocktail dress competition where we all win!!!
Simone Rocha, Nanette Lepore & Versace were just a few of the designers who showed bold pops of neon and fluorescent hues on the runways this spring. This trend is a bit tricky because it’s easy to go overboard and find yourself looking like a fashion victim of the 1980’s. If you’re brave enough to go for a bright yellow dress like the looks above be sure to soften the glow with a complimentary shade of turquoise or pink… even black tends to dial down the bright factor a bit.
1. Prabal Gurung for Target Ruffle Dress, $19.98, target.com
2. Lionette Designs by Noa Samba Earrings, $137, shopambience.com
3. Camilla Large Zip Clutch, $190, shopbop.com
4. Lolly Metal Heel Sandals, $170, topshop.com
How refreshing! With splashes of blues, greens & whites on flowy fabrics this runway trend makes me thirsty for more. A sea of designers like Proenza Schouler, Charlotte Ronson, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Tracy Reese, and many more seemed to draw upon the ocean for their inspiration this Spring. Having several upcoming evening events on my horizon, I took this as my cue to dive right in and find my own mermaid-worthy ensemble. I can’t wait to feel like a tall drink of water in this look (too much?)…
1. Phase Eight Dip-dye Maxi Dress, $140, houseoffraser.com
2. Janna Conner Rock Crystal Fringe Necklace, $85, saksfifthavenue.com
3. Steve Madden Too Sweet Clutch, $48, zappos.com
4. Jeffrey Campbell Holiday Sandal, $128.95, lorisshoes.com
The benefits of having stylish friends are endless! First of all, they are my fashion plates, constantly serving as inspiration for my own personal style. It’s fun to hang out with like-minded gals who truly appreciate the art of dressing. My dear friend Denise Schultz recently posted this pic on her Facebook page and I was instantly drawn to the look… casual, yet elegant… comfortable, yet super chic! Though she appears to be wearing separates, it’s actually a gorgeous striped and cobalt blue maxi-dress she discovered at Nordstrom Rack in Tampa (one of my favorite spots to score designer duds at discounted prices). I found some great pieces online and put together my amped up evening version of this fabulous Spring/Summer look below…
1. Stripes and Lace Top, $28, dorothyperkins.com
2. Mango Satin Maxi Skirt, $46, houseoffraser.co.uk
3. Fornash Rosey Earring, $19, simplysoles.com
4. French Connection Cropped Cardigan, $99, usa.frenchconnection.com
5. French Connection Wide Belt, $49.90, asos.com
6. Melissa Optical Sandal, $70, jildorshoes.com
Okay, so I adore this leopard print ensemble by Alice + Olivia. The dress, the bag, the shoes… perfection! The price… a bit out of my league. These three designer pieces total nearly $1,200 and I just can’t go there. So, like any determined fashion stalker, I found a few amazing alternatives that convey this same look for a fraction of the price (13/100 actually)! I’ve posted both looks below… the real thing for those with deeper wallets, and the ‘close-enough’ version for gals like me…
Sheer, lightweight fabrics graced the runways of Roberto Cavalli, Akris, Donna Karan, Tom Ford, Rick Owens, and many other talented designers. And what better way to represent the Spring season than to show some skin? But if being scantily clad is not your style, try pairing a semi-sheer dress with a jacket and you’ll still turn heads…
1. Helmet Lang Asymmetric Sheer Dress, $160, theoutnet.com
2. Warehouse Biker Jacket, $88, houseoffraser.co.uk
3. Blu Bijoux Beaded Hoop Earrings, $17, maxandchleo.com
4. Apple Crinkle Clutch, $74, Debenhams.com
5. Asos Holland Leather Heeled Sandal, $127, us.asos.com
I recently scored four designer dresses at a local thrift store for $4.95 each!!! This Catherine Malandrino citron silk dress ($200-$400 retail value) is one of them. I was so excited to photograph it that I haven’t yet dry cleaned the dress… which is my #1 THRIFTING RULE: ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR FINDS! Anyway, I love the look of a girly dress layered with a blazer or jacket and paired with great shoes and accessories. Here are four ways to wear this very versatile dress, one for each possible phase of my day…
PHASE ONE: Kid drop, coffee shop and dry cleaner…
PHASE TWO: Meeting with a potential retail partner…
PHASE THREE: Date Night with the Hubs (2 options)…
With St. Patrick’s day just at the end of my rainbow this week, I am dreaming
of the perfect evening look for a swanky weekend wedding. Gold accessories are my lucky charm…
1. Issa backless gown, $412, shoplesnouvelles.com
2. Clagett Designs gold clover earrings, $18, etsy.com
3. Nina Majesta Art Deco Frame Clutch, $85, dillards.com
4. Chinese Laundry gold high heels, $26.99, ebay.com
…for dinner with a girlfriend:
London Times dress from Marshalls
Orange beaded gold necklace from Deborah Kent’s (long, but wrapped)
Black crochet & leather belt borrowed from another dress
Tried and true gold braided leather sandals from Bandolino
…for a lunch meeting with a fellow volunteer:
Tribal silk top and cotton skirt from Banana Republic
Military belt from Salvation Army
Necklace by local jewelry designer Pour Toi
Bronze cork wedges by Mia
I recently attended a fabulous shopping party at JC’s Boutique & Alterations. The store has actually been open since October of 2010, but for me it’s a brand new discovery. Cat Showalter and her mother Josie Martinez opened the shop when Cat became layed off from her job in insurance mediation. Well, her loss was definitely our gain. I can’t decide what I liked more, the pieces or the price-points. It almost felt like I was getting away with something naughty at the cash wrap. It can be a slippery slope for a buyer to find amazingly affordable designers without sacrificing either quality craftsmanship or style, or both. Cat travels to markets on the West Coast like Vegas and San Fran to find designers… and she’s got a great eye! That’s what keeps the store from looking too young, which is the risk you take when offering such low price-points. There’s a level of sophistication that you certainly won’t find at most shops that offer budget-friendly frocks!
What I wore there:
This is a great Vena Cava dress I found in the sale room of Deborah Kent’s a while back. It’s a lightweight silk with navy blue pleated ribbon trim around the neckline. There are many interesting stitching details that are impossible for my awful camera to convey, but trust me when I tell you this dress is special and very unique in it’s cut.
What I bought at JC’s:
One of my newest treasures is this Esley dress I scored for a mere $64. No, that’s not a typo. I love this soft peach with the taupe ribbon detail. Fabulous neckline… so fem! Of course I have a pair of heels for that! I got these Joey pointy toe pumps ages ago from Dillards. I’m thinking of doing something a little different with the belt fabric… definitely going to remove the belt loops I’m covering with my hands. Luckily, JC’s co-owner Josie handles all of the alterations in-house.
Another new addition to my Spring/ Summer dress collection. Love this bold yellow linen number by Esley. Only $49 for this one. The graphic detail rocks! I upped the glam factor a few notches with my Sigerson Morrison gold wedge heels from Deborah Kent’s.
Looking forward to going back for more fashion finds. I think JC’s Boutique & Alterations now has it’s own stop along my local shopping route!