Fashion Friday: The Maxi Dress

June 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Pleasures

The Maxi Dress, a staple for the summer wardrobe with its cool and free-flowing billowing shape, long, full-tiered skirt, and ankle-grazing length, is probably one of the more under-appreciated and under-valued members of the season’s essentials. It has certainly had its day of being chucked to the back of the closet and deemed old-fashioned and unfashionable. We of course are thinking of the period where the mini-skirt and the uber high hem lines ruled the summer days and nights. Thankfully, those days are over (we hope) and the dress that offers comfort, freedom, and length is en vogue.

Now, the Maxi dress is the new black. It has moved up the fashion totem poll.  It is no longer relegated to vacation wear or casual lounge wear or lazy days around the house wear (although, that’s perfectly fine to do). Collections from today’s designers are offering the maxi in contemporary styles and shapes,  neutral and eclectic color palettes, and the flexibility to transform the dress from causal to elegant and from work to play with the simple touch of accessories and jewelry. Add a pair of Italian leather sandals, or funky espadrilles, or some heels to create an effect of the sophisticated casual. Throw a light scarf or shawl over your shoulder and you are set for the garden party, the summer evening soirée, or the office reception. Here are some of the favorite trends spicing up the maxi dress.

Add a Belt: A perfect example is from the just released email campaign from Ann Taylor (see below) for their Maxi Dress Collection. Look how they’ve reinvented a simple striped halter version of the maxi by adding a complementary white belt at the waist. This is your mother’s maxi dress—upgraded!

1518-MaxiDress-EMAILImage via anntaylor.com

 

Choose the Color-Blocking Look: This floor-length hemline beauty from BCBG is all about movement. Its dynamic color-blocking and exquisite presentation makes it a sophisticated maxi.

  img-thingBETHANIE-SLEEVELESS-COLOR-BLOCKED-MAXI1                                               …………………….Image via bcbg.com

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Embellish a Little: In this lightweight dress by ASOS, it’s the embellished detailing on the shoulders that steals the attention. Look for a maxi dress with one attention-stealing detail.

image1xxlImage via asos.com

 

Fashion Friday: The Summer Statement Necklace

June 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Pleasures

In this week’s Fashion Friday, we’re sharing with you our best picks for the bold, eye-catching statement summer necklace that adds a splash of color to your outfits, shows a bit of bling, and glams you up for the summer parties. Of course any palette meant to complement the steamy months of June, July, and August should include bright, vibrant colors. So, we’ve included multi-colored gems, turquoise, and lapis as well as the summer staple white.

 

BGY2HS1_mxIppolita|18k Gold Rock Candy Summer Rainbow Multi-Stone Necklace

From the Rock Candy® Collection, this chain necklace by Ippolita features 18-karat yellow gold, peridot, clear quartz/turquoise, orange citrine, orange carnelian, clear quartz/ruby, clear quartz/mother-of-pearl—all the essentials necessary for a summer glow!

 

MH51N007__PRODUCT_01--IMG_1200--LQDCLRWFNCYCUTHWLITETURQ-938384158Alexis Bittar|Jagged Diamond Collar Turquoise Necklace

This modern silhouette by Alexis Bittar features a Howlite Turquoise stone faceted inside a sleek gold tone collar.

 

largeVerdura|Raja Necklace

For this creation, listen to this line up of curated summer goodness: Tahitian cultured pearl, keshi pearl, moonstone and gold.

 

mary-louise-designs-beaded-pendantMary Louise Designs|Lapis Lazuli Pendant Necklace

An elegant Mary Louise Designs necklace, accented with rich lapis lazulis and polished charms.

 

 

 

Gifts for Our Fathers—A Personal Touch

June 12, 2015 by  
Filed under Family & Friends, Fashion

It’s June, and that means that on the third Sunday of the month (this year, the 21st) it will be time to celebrate Fathers. You are likely coming across numerous gift ideas for the fathers and grandfathers in your lives—biological fathers, adoptive fathers, and symbolic fathers. As we did before this past Mother’s Day, we are thinking of gifts that exemplify a personal touch, a thoughtful act, an embrace of the essence of who these men are. And, as you will find, the personal touch doesn’t have to cost a fortune (although we couldn’t resist the cufflinks from Tiffany’s; you’ll forgive us this one indulgence, won’t you?). The thoughtful gifts we’ve all received are among our most priceless possessions. Here are some of our favorite ideas; we hope they inspire your own personal touch.

 

ImageProxy.mvcRustic Engraved Leather Journals by Jenni Bick Bookbinding

Your special dad deserves a special gift. Surprise him this year with a rustic leather journal chosen from one of the many selections offered by Jenni Bick Bookbinding. We adore this simple idea—a rugged leather journal that you can engrave with a name or beautiful message just between a daughter and her father. 

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il_570xN.609719638_6s4pCustom Designed T-Shirt by ebolo

This gift idea is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but that T-shirt speaks a lot of truth, doesn’t it? The best part is that if this particular father has fewer or more than three daughters, the shirt can be customized. So can the color, so get one in his favorite hue or get five different colors! Visit ebolo’s shop on Etsy.com.

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UntitledElsa Peretti® Cabochon Cuff Links by Tiffany & Co.

It wouldn’t be a Father’s Day without that little blue box. Yes, that notion applies to the guys as well. And this exquisite beauty has us wishing we had more shirts that need cufflinks in our own wardrobes. These works of art, in 18k gold with lapis lazuli, are a poignant way to say “I love you” and well suited for the fashionable dad in your life. Visit Tiffany & Co. for more info.

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Untitled2Custom Map Bronze Key Ring by John and Charlotte Guptill

The key ring is handmade in the U.S. by John and Charlotte Guptill, whose company tagline is “Home Is Where the Chart Is.” We love that, and we agree. This is a thoughtful and innovative gift to bridge the miles between you and your dad, or to simply honor the place where he was born or his favorite GPS point.  Customized to the coordinates of your choosing, each map or chart swatch is immortalized in resin and mounted in bronze. International locations are available, but the maps may be less detailed.

 

 

Fashion Friday: When in Rome . . .

For this week’s Fashion Friday, we are taking a page out of the Roman handbook. Summer travel in Italy is the epitome of all vacations. But whether you’re embarking on a Roman holiday or a Miami one, we can all learn from the stylish, runway-ready Italians. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do . . .” From fine cotton shirts, white maxi-dresses, and linen caftans to lace espadrilles, here are some of the classic Italian summer fashion staples that  translate to any culture as a sophisticated and refined aesthetic.

espValentino: Chantilly and Lace Mesh Espadrilles

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4130089546443_011_bAnthropologie: Annabelle Maxi Dress

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dreGiambattista Valli: Floral Garland-Print Cady Dress

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UntitledBanana Republic: Soft-Wash Linen Cotton Shirt

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Fashion Friday: The Summer Sandal

Fashion Friday: That Linen Feeling

May 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Pleasures

It’s time to break out the Linen—at last. This, one of the underappreciated fabrics,  is laborious to manufacture. But because it is an absorbent fiber, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather. It can be dressed down to lounge in or dressed up for a luxurious summer evening. Linen has become many things to modern fashion—a summer tradition, breathable and lustrous, casual yet refined, and cool and chic. And precisely because it’s a summer tradition, our favorite designers and brands are breaking out their Linen Collections. Here are a few of our favorite picks!

 

Ann Taylor Collection: Linen at Last

imageService Blissful Blue Striped Linen Shirtdress (Photo: anntaylor.com)

Breezily cast in lightweight linen, this smartly striped shirtdress is a one-piece wonder that’s up for anything; it sports long sleeves with button tabs, button front, self tie belt, and button cuffs. Blissful indeed. 

 

UntitledStripe Relaxed Ankle Pants (Photo: anntaylor.com)

Since we’re already in a stripe mood, this versatile beauty caught our eye. Sunwashed stripes meet a relaxed, cropped cut to take this stylish pair from 9-to-5 usefulness to weekend escape. 

See more from the Linen at Last Collection at anntaylor.com

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Tommy Bahama: The Linen Collection, a Luxe Love Affair

TW610419_033_main-1Two Palms Linen Embroidered Maxi Dress (Photo: tonybahama.com)

An exquisite choice for a seaside ceremony or any romantic moment, this dress will drape you in beauty. The soft and smooth linen is adorned with captivating embroidery at the bodice, seaming at the waistline, and the gentle A-line skirt.
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See more from the The Linen Collection, A Luxe Love Affair at tonybahama.com.
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Anthropologie: Linen Collection
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4110317998040_049_bBellflower Linen Tunic (Photo: anthropologie.com)
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We love that this gorgeous tunic allows you to breathe with its looseness in the waist. The intricately designed eyelet detail makes it not just a summer top but a work of art. 
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4130315260170_049_bMizuko Linen Dress (Photo: anthropologie.com)
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Wear this a dress with flats or add a belt and wear it as a top—that’s how versatile this linen number is. The design evokes traditional Japanese minimalism with a hint of lighthearted whimsy.
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See more from the Anthropologie Linen Collection at anthropologie.com.

Fashion Friday: Summer White

This Donna Karan Abstract-Print Pleated Skirt marries our favorite things—fashion and art. Brushed with an abstract print, the pleated cotton silhouette is a visual masterpiece, equipped with a waistband, all-over pleating, and yes, cool and breathable cotton.

 

cn9689882The Jeans

We even love the title of these jeans by The Gap: 1969 Perfect Boot Jeans. No need to break the bank for a pair of simple white jeans. And while you’re not breaking the bank, how about bucking the skinny-jean trend and opting for the boot cut! This 1969 number is made of premium stretch denim, and its boot-cut design allows for both flats and a nice pair of nude pumps! 

 

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The Jacket

Inspired by a classic denim jacket, this white-hot Linen Jean Jacket rendition from Eileen Fisher makes the perfect lightweight layer you’ll live in all season long. And with its enviable organic linen, long sleeves, button cuffs, and button flap chest pockets, you’ll savor it for next season as well.

Fashion Friday: Dresses by Tadashi Shoji

May 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion

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Earlier this week, First Lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to Japanese-born designer Tadashi Shoji at the  White House dinner for Japan by wearing a stunning rich purple gown.  The sleeveless dress featured the designer’s signature empire waist, floor-grazing chiffon pleats and delicate applique details in its bodice.

The first lady’s choice is a serendipitous and timely one, since Shoji offers some beautiful options for the mothers in our lives. From dresses that capture a mothering style for a beautiful Mother’s Day brunch to elegant gowns for mothers of the bride, just in time for the upcoming wedding season, to a line focused on the season’s spring florals—Tadashi Shoji seems to have all of our roles, moods, and upcoming occasions covered.  For this week’s Fashion Friday, we select our favorite looks from the Japanese designer whose creations “employ expert techniques in draping, ruching, and shutter pleats” to ensure that “each garment is masterfully tailored to flatter all figures.”

 

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Featured as part of the Tadashi Shoji Mother’s Day Picks is this Blue Stone Cotton Embroidered Tulle Cap Sleeve Dress. Cut from luxurious cotton embroidered tulle, this sheath boasts sheer cutaways at both the neckline and the hemline. The custom motif is inspired by the architectural details of the Ca’ d’Oro, one of the older and most beautiful palaces on the Grand Canal in Venice. The blue stone hue of the embroidery is reminiscent of a pale gray-blue forget-me-not. And, for comfort, it is fully lined in a signature stretch jersey.

 

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If you are an impending mother-of-the-bride, it’s your obligation to bring the elegance to the nuptials and show the room where your daughter got her style!  We love the stylish sophistication of this Lace ¾ Sleeve Dress with Grosgrain Ribbon Belt.  The bodice’s sweetheart neckline peeks through the ivory lace overlay. Scallop lace trims the neckline and the edge of the three-quarater sleeves. A grosgrain sash adorns the waist. For more mother-of-the-bride looks, see the Bridal Collection.

 

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After all, it was the Japanese who gifted the United States with the beautiful cherry blossoms that bring thousands to the nation’s capital. So it makes perfect sense that Tadashi Shoji would honor the beauty of  flowers via its Spring Florals collection. This particular beauty, the Rose Motif Sheath Dress, is chic, modern, and  elegant. The bateau neckline and hem are hand cut to preserve the allover rose motif. In this dress you might just feel as if your life is a bed of roses.

 

Images courtesy of tadashishoji.com

Fashion Friday: Hats for Spring

April 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion

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“A hat is a flag, a shield, a bit of armor and the badge of femininity. A hat is the difference between wearing clothes and wearing a costume; it’s the difference between being dressed and being dressed up; it’s the difference between looking adequate and looking your best. A hat is to be stylish in, to glow under, to flirt beneath, to make all others seem jealous over and to make all men feel masculine about. A piece of magic is a hat.”– Martha Sliter

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LEAD 2Vintage VOGUE coverWhile we all wear multiple hats every day—on the job, at home, in our communities—spring is the perfect moment to move beyond the metaphorical and don an actual, gorgeous hat. The advent of the season carries an invitation to indulge, to experiment, to dramatize, and perhaps even to reinvent. As Martha Sliter’s beautiful quote above reminds us, hats evoke a kind of magic that transforms any ensemble into something exquisite. Inspired by derbies near and far and milliners who delight in creating works of art, hat-revelers can interpret the spring season in a display of fantasy and coquetry.  Whether it’s an outdoor party, wedding, or walk in the park or on the beach, hats are the veritable last bastion in the art of dress-up. And a hat with a brim can serve a more pedestrian need—UV protection!

 

 

10950727_4826028_1000Cherry Blossom Pillbox Hat by Piers Atkinson

This multi-colored silk and straw cherry blossom pillbox hat from Piers Atkinson is simply a work of art. 

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HatsTalitha Hat by Olivia Roat Millinery

Guaranteed to turn heads, this bright-red large wide-brim sinamay hat with stunning silk rose trim is the prettiest red, jazzed up with a shot of white trim.

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_10223866The Wide-Brim Derby Hat by August Hat

This creation, with its broad, romantic brim and its luxurious ivory and teal color, is a head-turning hat finished with a feather-trimmed sinamay flower.

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HatsThe Stripe Dip Brim by Eric Javits

This dramatic hat makes a statement with its bold striping. And it can work for the beach as well the Derby.

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0403542875554_247x329Cecily Sun Hat in Blue Genie by Eugenia Kim

Fall in love with this navy-and-ivory hat.  And it is such a great look for a red, white, and blue ensemble. 

Fashion Friday: The Spring Jacket

April 10, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Pleasures

As we begin (hopefully) to pack away the winter wools and fleeces, it’s time to transition to the spring jacket for warmth (and, at times, shelter from the April showers). As the weather warms and the flowers bloom, bid farewell to the multiple layers we’ve been donning all winter (and the exhaustion that came with taking them on and off) and instead opt for a jacket that is simple, elegant, and refined. This is the season for the lightweights!

 

 

4705561732_1_1_17Leather Cape by Massimo Dutti

This cape, designed with a straight cut, two side pockets, three-quarter sleeves, and decorative stitching, is perfect for both daytime wear and a weekend getaway.

 

bc_C_151_072_mdDeep Vine Matka Drawstring High Collar Jacket by Worth New York

Take this deep spring green statement jacket from casual to dressy. The texture and tones of the silk matka give it a look that reminds us of tweed and adds an intriguing artisan feeling.

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503730_ou_pp Quilted Silk-Satin Jacket by Adam Lippes

This collarless jacket, tailored from lustrous quilted black silk-satin, is fully lined for a smooth drape. Cinch yours at the waist with the removable belt, finishing with skinny pants and point-toe pumps.

 

BGTA9F0_mxMatador Embroidered Zip-Front Coat by Nanette Lepore

Nanette Lepore’s “Matador” cotton-blend knit coat with embroidered trim offers a spacious, relaxed fit and large patch pockets for the casual but eccentric look.

 

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Corded Guipure Lace Peplum Jacket by Oscar de la Renta

It may say “jacket” in the title, but it’s really a work of art—round neckline, long sheer sleeves, peplum waist, scalloped hem dips in front, fitted silhouette.  Simply a masterpiece.

Fashion Friday: Shades of Green

March 27, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion

We couldn’t be happier to see spring. This week we focus on the defining and timeless color of the season—Green. Here are our five must-have statement jewelry pieces for the season. They include a range of shades in the palette of green. Be forewarned, however: These pieces aren’t casual. They also  function as works of wearable art. And the greener, the bolder; the more playful, the better!

 

 

 

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Alexis Bittar: Gilded Muse d’Ore Blue Sponge Bead Necklace

From the Alexis Bittar “Gilded Muse d’Ore” Collection, this blue sponge coral bead necklace will have you dreaming of the ocean. It has spiky Swarovski crystal detail, amazonite smooth round beads, and aqua crackle-tone nuggets.

 

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Lana Jewelry: Envy Cluster Necklace

Envious indeed. The cluster of green leaves of this 14k gold creation from Lana Jewelry is made of green onyx.

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Ippolita: Rock Candy Gelato Single Rectangle Drop Earrings

“Rock Candy” is the perfect name for these treasures, as they are absolutely delectable. Handcrafted and part of the Ippolita Rock Candy® Gelato Collection, this pair features faceted rectangle rutilated quartz and turquoise doublet drops.

 
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Armenta: Chrysoprase Petite Pointed Oval Earrings

These petite oval drop earrings by Armenta are demure but elegant.  They feature a sterling silver with matte finish, chrysoprase/rainbow moonstone doublet center, and champagne diamonds and blue sapphires.

 

UntitledAlexis Bittar: Liquid Metal Hinge Bracelet

Release the artist in you with this cuff—polished golden metal and hand-painted, marbleized aqua Lucite.

Fashion Friday: Spring Florals

March 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Pleasures

Last Friday we showed you how to fight the winter blues by adding pops of beautiful color to your outfit. Continuing the same trend, this week we turn our attention to the ultimate feast of colors—the floral print. For those of us still bracing for winter temperatures and snowstorms (as we must in the Northeast), floral prints are just the right thing to usher in our warm-weather escapism. This season, we don’t want you to just walk into spring, we advise you to strut right into it—with style. Nothing says spring more than being draped in flowers. And no, floral prints don’t convey only notes of  pretty, delicate, and feminine. They are, as Vogue tells us about Spring 2015 collections, quite perfect for the sophisticated fashion palette: “Floral patterns were everywhere, from the blossoms at Simone Rocha to the muted sixties tan florets at Max Mara to metallic blooms at Louis Vuitton.”

As we await (rather impatiently) the new season, we share some serious flower power to inspire your own flourishing wardrobe with pieces that tap into an appreciation for all things blossoming—bouquets, gardens, and new beginnings.

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Manolo Blahnik, Floral-print Watercolor Canvas Pump, bergdorfgoodman.com

bc_C152SC24_lgWorth New York, Purple Moon Floral Chiffon Shawl, worthnewyork.com

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Michael Kors, Floral Print Skirt, farfetch.com

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m-89-411901-2-iFrqPWhiTXXsOscar de la Renta, Floral Print Pleated Dress, modaoperandi.com

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Dolce & Gabbana, Printed Floral-Brocade Coat, net-a-porter.com

Fashion Friday: Winter Have You Down? POP Some Color!

February 27, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Pleasures

Yes, this winter has been a horrible one. Why not fight the winter blues by adding some great pops of beautiful color to your outfit? From a bright pair of pumps to a gorgeous fun coat to a beautiful sweater, there are dozens of ways to invite color into your outfit and liven your day. We’ve gathered some examples, all from Worth New York (www.worthnewyork.com), to give you an idea of how a little color can transform both your outfit and your mood in these remaining cold winter weeks. Try it, it’s sure to make you feel better! 

 

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This blue marine cashmere sweater keeps you warm and cozy, looks beautiful with sweaters or pants, and lets you dream of lazy summers at the beach.

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We love how the azalea hue of this turtleneck adds warmth and color to the muted taupe of this cashmere and knit jacket and the ever stylish leather skirt.

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This simply red faux curly lamb coat is perfect and will brighten up any outfit from day into night. Wear this one over your basic black and you’ll be the talk of the town!

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We love the softness and versatility of this beautiful deep Baltic blue leather topper and can envision it with everything from the rich chocolate-chip=brown and camels of this skirt to black, gray, or white pants. It will carry you right into spring (which isn’t too far away!)

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A bright red is flattering to so many women and is NOT just for the holidays! Pull out your red jackets and sweaters and you will immediately feel the glow!

 

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We defy anyone not to smile, looking at the beautiful blue of this sweater. It is reminiscent of the sky on the sunniest and warmest of days!

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Finally, the simplest of approaches that you can probably pull off without buying a thing! Go into your closet, pull out your brightest and most beautiful pumps or boots, and pair them with a neutral outfit of any hue!

Editor’s Note: For help in ordering any of these items, please contact Nancy Perez ([email protected]).

Fashion Friday: Winter Gear—The Cozy Edition

February 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Pleasures

We were hoping that by now we could stop talking about winter, how cold it is, blizzards, and snowstorms. We were hoping we could start planning for spring. But as single-digit temperatures seem to be the norm these past few weeks, even thinking about packing away our winter gear seems like a far-off dream. Instead, it looks as if we have to replenish said winter gear instead. But the winter accessories here aren’t your typical list of boots and gloves. We’ve gathered some luxurious ideas for winter-weather gear that will provide warmth, style, and lots of cozy comfort in these unusually frigid days.

 

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Fur Vests by La Fiorentina

We couldn’t choose just one! So here’s a sampling of some of La Fiorentina’s gorgeous creations. Cozy up in these long, sumptuous vests styled with both dramatic flare and simple elegance.

 

_9843588Vesterni Faux Fur Vest by Theory

For those of you who prefer faux fur, this plush, warm vest is  minimally styled and can be zipped to a tall stand collar or left open to create a draping shawl collar.

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img9721Oversized Cashmere Scarf by Amanda Wakeley

This soft, hand-spun cashmere scarf is a timeless accent. Drape this generously proportioned style over the shoulders of a tailored coat. It’s also a great piece to have on hand during long flights.

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HatBianca Felt Porkpie Hat by Eugenia Kim

Eugenia Kim believes that fashion and function must coexist. Not only does the soft rabbit felt “Bianca” hat keep you warm, it tops your look with a vintage verve.
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BGT8WH6_mxLeopard-Print Wrap Coat by Diane von Furstenberg

If you are a loyal fan of the iconic wrap dress, you’ll have the opportunity to carry the trend into winter with this wrap coat in leopard-print felt with leather trim.

Go Red: Valentine’s Day Gift to Myself

February 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Pleasures

Who should love you more than you?

Follow your heart this Valentine’s Day and be generous to your truest love—yourself! Women should absolutely gift themselves on this day of  love and the often love-obsessed.  We’ve curated a selection of red-inspired accessories from some trendsetters in luxury and decadence—Verdura, Valentino, Louboutin, and others. Obviously, one does not wear ALL of these beautiful Valentine’s Day luxury items at once! Well, privately, maybe . . . you can always go red and over the top.

 

largeWrapped Ruby Heart Brooch by Verdura.

Cabochon ruby, diamond, and 18k yellow gold—need we say more? 

 

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Italian Leather Opera Length Gloves by Solo Classe

These suave red leather gloves go all the way to the upper arm, between the elbow and the shoulder. They are wonderful with day and night looks.

 

ClutchBrushed Leather Apple Shaped Clutch by Red Valentino

This Italian-made whimsical beauty features a concealable metal chain shoulder strap and an Alcantara lining.

 

christianlouboutin-corafront-1150444_BK78_4_1200x1200“Corafront” Pointy Toe Pump and Flat by Christian Louboutin

This delightful “Corafront” collection features a red heart–accented pointy-toe flat that can be worn with black leggings and a long white starched shirt! Simple and chic. And for its glamorous version, the pumps, in black and red patent leather, will brighten up your daytime and evening looks. Just for fun, you might want to think about the Sweety Charity Valentine Bag too.

 

Red buckle bag[1]Calf Tote with Roller Buckle by Calvin Klein

Now this, says Boss Lady. This tote features a roller buckle with an engraved embossed logo, two interior open compartments, and three interior pockets—for from work to play.