A Refreshing New Addition to My Boutique Circuit

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:
MS-Vena Cava Dress
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:

MS-Peach Esley Dress2
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.

MS-Yellow Esley Dress
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.

MS-Gold Leaf Earring
8 bucks for these gems!  How sweet is that?  Flower cutout on hammered matte gold leaf dangling from one “diamond”.  Lately I’m loving the look of long, dramatic earrings with my super short hairstyle.

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!

The Empire Stripes Back!

Spring Fashion Trend: STRIPES

The origin of this trend stems way back to the 1800’s in the French Province of Brittany.  What we commonly refer to as “nautical stripes” (navy and white) are actually called Breton stripes.  The 1858 Act of France made the Breton shirt part of the official uniform for French Navy seamen.  There were 21 stripes- one for each of Napoleon’s victories.  The stripes were also thought to help locate men who fell overboard.

Sailor Stripes

In the 1930’s CoCo Chanel launched Breton stripes into the fashion mainstream after becoming inspired by a visit to the French Coast.  She designed and wore a simple striped tee with palazzo pants and, well… the rest is history!

CocoChanel Breton Stripes

I pulled a few striped pieces from my closet and decided to take some pics of my favorite ensembles.  I have several Breton pieces, but wanted to play with the other striped goodies for this shoot.  Forgive the poor quality of these shots, as I am on the hunt for a better camera.

MS-REDWhiteStripeDress
This red and white striped mini dress is by Soprano from Nordstrom.  I love the simplicity of this cut and the cotton blend is super comfy!  What drew me in (besides the $38 price tag) is the ruching detail on the sleeves.  There’s a small pocket on the top left side that I could do without, but it’s barely noticeable.  I accessorized with a long, silver necklace (which is actually a vintage purse strap), a turquoise cocktail ring, and a sexy pair of nude Gianni Bini heels.  This look is perfect for date night!

MS-Stripes and Flowers
This look combines stripes and a floral print to create an unexpected twist… which I like to do on occasion.  The floral blouse is DmBm from Nordstrom … very inexpensive!  The striped crop jacket is Ett Taia and the white jeans are Joe’s, both from local designer consigner Fresh Threads.  The jacket is a bit boxy, so it calls for a flowy and feminine blouse underneath to balance the look.  Paired with a nude peep toe pump, this look is great for lunching with friends.

MS-Stripe Vest Maxi
Here’s my bohemian side begging to be set free!  The maxi dress is Color Me Red and the striped vest is Project E Vintage, both from Keys Country.  I like this ensemble because it’s super comfy and makes me feel like Mother Earth.  I’ve paired it with a fabulous necklace made by local jewelry designer Marianne Homsy and grecian Bandolino sandals.  I could lounge around town all day in this one!