Monday, December 31, 2012

Start the New Year with Style

No matter what plans you have this evening – whether it's sipping bubbles at the fanciest of fetes, a simple gathering with good friends, or cuddling up on the couch – why not welcome the new year with some done-up details? Have a fun finale to the year by swiping on that bold lipstick you've always wanted to try, or donning those long leather gloves you needed an excuse to wear. Whatever it may be, enjoy your evening in style and see you in the new year!  

New Years Eve

Clockwise from top ...
1. grab a swanky bag, like this spiked heart clutch – $27.80, available here
2. pin your hair up to reveal these big ruby sparklers – $4.80, available here
3. even the simplest outfit needs some sparkly sandals  – $50, available here
4. brighten up with some racy red lips, like Chanel's Passion – $34, available here
5. add edge to any ensemble with long leather gloves – $47.49, available here
6. add some jewels to a messy updo – $25, available here
7. draw on a sultry cat eye for a night out (or in!) –tutorial here
8. add a super soft detail with a faux fur scarf – $31.66 available here

... and, finally, ring in the new year with a smile! Happy New Year.


Friday, December 28, 2012

A Tailored End to Twenty Twelve

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• top from Necessary Clothing NY

• skirt from Forever21
• tights by Hue
• jacket from Zara
• vintage gold chain necklace
• booties from DSW

I'm wrapping up this final week of 2012 with a good mix of some favorite pieces ... an affordable find at Forever21, a stylish topper from Zara, compete with some vintage accessories. We're going to spend the weekend with family in town for the holidays and gearing up for the new year. Take advantage of the post-Christmas sales and snag some sparkly pieces for NYE Monday night (even if your plans don't go beyond the couch – end the year on a stylish note!). Have a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Furry Finds

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• shirt and burgundy pants from Forever21

• faux fur vest from Von Maur
• suede and glitter booties from DSW
• bracelets from Banana Republic, J.Crew
• vintage Omega watch

These blustery holidays (complete with our first measurable snow!) leave me wanting to curl up in my coziest pieces ... and it doesn't get much cozier than some soft faux fur. Since the winter weather is in full force, now is as good a time as any to snag a soft piece. I spotted a couple of cute options while doing some post-Christmas shopping: This similar vest is on sale - plus an additional 40% off! And this adorable cropped vest would be great as a warm addition to a winter wardrobe, but also fun paired with skirts and sweaters in early spring.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gift Guide: Last Minute Ideas!

It's only a few days until Christmas and the stockings are hung and all of the gifts are wrapped beautifully and tucked under the tree (right?) ... Well for those of us – I meanyou that may not have all of your holiday shopping done, here are some fun last minute ideas (available in stores since shipping is no longer an option) that would make great gifts for all. Enjoy your Christmas and I'll catch up with you after the holiday! 

gift ideas
A subscription to their favorite mag (purchase a newsstand copy and include a handmade giftcard)

gift ideas
An adorable (and edible) garden kit

gift ideas
A unique and beautiful horn catchall bowl

Personal Style
A classic yet edgy timepiece by La Mer

Personal Style
A beautifully presented DIY gift  –  toffee blondies recipe in a jar

Personal Style
Whimsical redesigns of Penguin Classics

Personal Style
And no holiday is complete without a little bubbly (already wrapped in this too cute mini fridge)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Very Merry Home

Maybe it's the lack of snow, or the busy schedules, but this season hasn't felt very "Christmas-y". Since conjuring up a snowstorm is beyond my range of talents, the next best thing is decorating my home for the holidays. Below are some fun ideas for making a very merry interior ...

Christmas decor
Make your own greenery garland and adorn a mantle or banister with the festive fragrance.

holiday home
Hang some French flair by the chimney with care.

Christmas decor
Fresh, fragrant wreaths aren't just for the front stoop ... hang them inside from a large frame.

Personal Style
Paper cut stars add a joyful touch to any decorative element.

Personal Style
Create your own Advent calendar with vintage ornaments and seasonal foliage.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sugarplum Pants

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• top from Necessary Clothing NYC

• sweater from Club Monaco
• waxed jeans by DL1961
• silver sandals from Lori's Chicago
• pink leather pouch from Forever21
• vintage bracelets

Try as I might to introduce color into my wardrobe, I always default to basic denim or black pants. These purple coated jeans, however, are a welcome change of hue. The plum shade pairs surprisingly well with other colors ... even though I took a baby step and stuck to black on top, adding silver shoes and a pink clutch is a colorful departure.

You can find them – on sale!here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Candy Coated Coach

Coach handbags

I have been a lifelong fan of Coach handbags, with their classic shapes and beautiful soft leather. I can thank my mother – the owner of a gorgeous collection that took years to curate – for this healthy handbag obsession. I'm always drawn to the more classic styles, and this winter they revamped their legacy collection in punchy, candy colors. These bright hues give these simple silhouettes a modern touch ... and I'd gladly accept any and all of these as gifts this holiday season! (... but it's just as fun to give these pretty pieces, like I mentioned here and here). 

Coach handbags

Clockwise from top ...
1. legacy leather candace carryall – $328
2. legacy leather card case – $38
3. legacy leather gloves – $98-$168
4. legacy leather large wristlet – $108
5. legacy leather large duffle – $398
6. legacy leather ipad clutch – $178
7. legacy leather penny shoulder – $198
8. legacy tassel key ring – $38

... see the rest of this colorful collection here!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Into the Dark

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• top from Nordstrom

• jacket from Forever21
• faux leather pants from UO
• ankle booties from Zara
• necklaces from Forever21, Vintage Underground

A black jacket and black leather pants – and black booties ... sounds a little dark and moody. But add some feminine touches like gold and rhinestone jewels and a blush pink top and it's a balanced ensemble, ready for work but also cool enough for any post work festivities. Now, maybe if this gloomy weather would brighten up, my wardrobe would too. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Have A Festive Weekend!

Holiday Drinks

Tis the weekend for parties! Steve and I have quite a few fêtes this weekend, starting with a big holiday party tonight, and some birthday festivities Saturday and Sunday (er ... mine, but by this age I'd rather not draw attention – buuut I'll accept the dinners and get-togethers thrown in my honor - fiiine, let's drink champagne and revel).

Also this weekend ...
• There's an unwritten rule that for every holiday gift you buy a loved one, you buy one for yourself (no? you've not heard of it? well it's true) – which is great, because Christian Louboutin is having. a. sale. Some styles will be 40% off. Yup, I'll see you there!

• The French Market is hosting the Marche de Noel, where visiting artists will sell toys, trinkets, and jewelry (while you're there, be sure to pick up some french macarons from Vanille)

• BHLDN is having a big sale on tons of adorable shoes, dresses, and accessories. Wouldn't these sandals or this dress be perfect for a festive party!? Check out the rest here.

Have a fantastic and festive weekend!      

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Festive Fête

Tis the season for holiday parties! I love the holiday season with all it's gilded glory and necessary shopping trips, but mostly spending time with friends and family (and most definitely over festive glasses of bubbly). Whether it's casual or formal, a little glitz should do the trick at your next event. Below are some fun finds for a festive fête ...

festive attire

Clockwise from top, some festive pieces for the party this weekend ...
1. black and gold dress – $395, available at CakeStyle
2. glitter bow pumps – $100, available at Top Shop
3. platinum leather clutch – $118, available at Coach
4. lace back jumpsuit – $99.90, available at Zara
5. bronze coated denim – $189, available on Piperlime
6. faux leather peplum top – $89, available at Urban Outfitters
7. sequin mosaic skirt – $22.80, available at Forever21
8. puff sleeve dress – $99.90, available at Zara


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Floral and Fringe

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

The goods:
• floral maxi dress by Free People

• turtleneck from H&M
• necklace and bangle from Forever21

There are two extremes when dressing – plain and simple and overdone – and no outfit is finished until it's been properly edited. While I typically opt for solid basics and adding accessories for flair, I couldn't resist adding this gold and leather fringe necklace to this floral dress ... a fun fringed find from Forever21.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gift Guide: Your Best Pal

There's always that one person you have zero problem buying for - your best gal pal. You could come up with five gift ideas at the drop of a hat, mostly because you share the same fabulous taste and you know that pretty much anything you like, she will too. Below are few things you know she'll want, but never buy herself (then again, you do both share that unstoppable shopping bug) ...

gift guide

Some pretty pieces for your best pal ...
1. The Sartorialist – $30, available at Jayson Home & Garden
2. smooch brooch – $30, available on
3. ceramic chevron tray – $98, available on Etsy
4. colorful leather gloves – $138, available at Coach
5. Diptyque candle – $60, available at Diptyque
6. polka dot leather clutch – $84, available on Etsy
7. paper gem coasters – $12, available at Kate Spade
8. Bon Appetit cutting board – $38, available at C. Wonder
9. gold bar necklace – $30, available on Etsy
10. leather iphone case (with free monogram) – $78, available at Coach 


Monday, December 10, 2012

Lady Like Leather

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Stylist

The goods:
• silk top from BCBG

• denim from Forever21
• jacket and pumps from Zara
• necklaces from Stitch and Forever21

The thing I love most about the stud trend is how it adds an instant edge to flowy feminine pieces. There's no need to shy away from it, afraid it's is too sharp of a look - balanced out with delicate fabrics and dainty jewelry, leather and metallic touches creates a classy but cool look. And hey, when I do feel like going for more severity, some black pants and maybe a slick ponytail would do it!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gift Guide: For Him (and him, and him)

I can pick out exactly what my mom would like, which differs from what my sister wants, which is totally different from what I would gift my best friend. But when it comes to the men folk, the gifts I would give to my dad, brother and husband all seem to be cut from the same cloth (which may just be a sign we're all grown ups now, but actually makes shopping for all three a little easier). Below are some "do's" for the dudes.  

NARS Warhol

A smattering of manly things ...
1. The James Bond Archives – $130, available at Barnes & Noble
2. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout – available at Goose Island Brewery
3. Vintage board games – available at Restoration Hardware
4. Stag bottle opener – $15, available at World Market
5. Reclaimed wood 6 pack – $68, available at Terrain
6. Timex leather strap watch – $54, available at Urban Outfitters
7. Happy Socks festive footwear – $12, available at Bloomingdales
8. Pure organic maple syrup – $68, available at Best Made Co.
9. Gramophone iPod system – $249, available at Restoration Hardware

Happy holiday shopping this weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bits of Glitz

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Stylist

The goods:
• silk dress from Aritzia

• leggings by Tart
• boots by Ellen Tracy
• gold bangles from Barneys, IGWT
• vintage Omega watch
• initial necklace from Stitch
• Amour necklace from Forever21

It's no secret I'm a sucker for all things French, so when I passed this Amour coin necklace on a routine scan of accessories at Forever21, I of course snatched it right up (like a reflex). I instantly added it to my "delicate gold necklace" rotation, which I love piling on for just the right mount of shimmer to simple, casual outfits. While this particular piece no longer seems to be available, Emerson Fry has a lovely (though a pinch pricier) alternative here. Really, can you ever have enough of these types of charm necklaces? Answer: No.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

GIft Guide: Your Stylish Mother

I'll admit I'm a little (okay, a lot) behind on my holiday gift buying – must be this trickery weather! There are only three weekends left before the big day, so I've put together a quick guide to gifts for that exceptional woman in everyone's life ... mom. She will of course appreciate anything she gets, but why not make it something that shows how much you appreciate her.  

NARS Warhol

A few fun finds for mommy dearest ...
1. Jeweled gloves – $98, available at Kate Spade
2. Handbag organizer – $35.90, available at Zara Home
3. Faux fur scarf – $29, available at Restoration Hardware
4. Skinny leather bow belt – $38, available at C. Wonder
5. Organic cordials and mixers by Belvoir – available at your local grocer
6. Shea body butter candle – $12, available at Bonnie Lip Gloss
7. Love Me Knot earrings – $28, available at C. Wonder
8. Tocca fragrance sampler – $18, available at Catbird
9. Croc embossed bow clutch – $70, available at Tuckernuck

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Golden Years

Chicago Stylist

Personal Style

Personal Style

Personal Stylist

The goods:
• studded top from Banana Republic

• high-rise jeans by Emerson Fry
• jacket from UO
• vintage tassel necklace and watch
• cocktail ring from Forever21

The thing I love most about my extensive collection of goods (err, borderline clothing/accessories hoarding tendencies) is rediscovering pieces I've had for years. This gold tassel necklace was my grandmothers and I've had it for decades, never exactly sure how I would style it, but loving it nonetheless. Now I love finding ways to incorporate the bright yellow gold into my monochromatic ensembles. When you're drawn to a piece, don't pass it up! Someday you will figure out just how to show it off.