Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Lust List: Spring Has Sprung

Technically, it's not quite yet spring, but it sure is in the air. Once Daylights Savings Time happens (did you remember to turn your clock one hour ahead today?), winter is all but over.

The warmer weather, the sun staying out just a little bit later, and the promise of fresh flowers, brunch on the patio and wearing sundresses - it all has me itching for all things spring. I'm thinking brights, patterns, florals... The list goes on. Nothing like a weather change to reawaken the sleeping shopping beast.

Agrigento Pearls and Nest Ring: $330

1. Tory Burch Robinson Satchel in Sake Gold: $550
2. Jack and Lulu Yellow Lattice Folding Note: $50 for 25
3. Madewell Silky Trouser Shorts: $78 (only in size 0 and 10... boo)

1. ALC Kate Linen Jersey Stripe Dress: $394
2. Jenni Kayne A Line Long Dress: $450
3. Diane von Furstenberg Reina Silk Jersey Shift Dress: $298

What tops your spring shopping list? I'll share my picks later this week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From the back of Grandma's couch to your closet

Crochet and macrame - it sounds more like crafts at summer camp than something you'd want to buy at Bergdorfs.

But, of course, designers have found a way to bring this look from the back of Grandma's couch to the closets of fashionistas everywhere.

The idea of wear something more kitschy than silk or jersey first appealed to me when I saw Olivia Palermo in this DVF number at Fashion's Night Out last September. The dress was actually available - and on discount - when OP wore it (which I love... We can't all get pieces right off the runway).

Credit: Celebrity Fashion

Even though the dress was old, the look was very fresh. Olivia was wearing what had just been seen all over the New York runways for Spring 2011. Just look at the wide range of designers that featured the knit look:

Jen Kao, Christian Dior, Catherine Malandrino, Gucci

And now that it's actually Spring 2011, crochet and macrame looks are available to the masses.

For instance, I really adore this dress from - proving you can wear the style and still look edgy and modern. (The dress is sadly sold out).


So can you wear crochet without looking like a blanket?

I think yes. Here are some great starter pieces.

Edun dress, $238; Sass & Bide vest, $117

Ecote Belt, $38; Vasia by Ulla Johnson sweater, $79

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Black: From blah to beautiful

So, I'm not the only one with a new job. My friend Claire got a fantastic new gig in NYC - an awesome upgrade from being a banker. But with a new job comes a new dress code - she's required to wear mostly black.

This is both a blessing and a curse. Black is universally flattering and slimming, and it's easy to find almost any item of clothing in the dark hue. Black goes with anything.

But it can be easy to get into a rut when your 9-5 look is the same shade 24/7 (or 24/5 as it were). How can you keep one color from become one-note?

Here are my tips to take your black from basic to bold.

(Note: This is intended to be inspiration... I don't actually expect Claire to go out and buy a $1k pencil skirt! Also, I've bolded what I consider to be wardrobe staples - must haves for every woman!)

1. Belt it. Start with a black sheath dress - a wardrobe staple - and change it up by adding a fabulous, unique belt. Studs, sequins, or floral details add texture and depth to your look.
Tibi sheath dress: $214
Matthew Williamson belt: $140
Anita Ko dagger earrings: $2,840
House of Harlow ring: $78
Nine West Madeup pump: $52.90

2. Grab a bold accessory. A fun statement necklace can make an old dress or shirt look like something new and different. Fill your wardrobe with fabulous jewelry. It will be the first thing people notice on black canvas (in fact, they might not notice you totally wore that dress last Tuesday).
3. Play with texture. A shirt with a peplum or a unique necklace (like above) will totally elevate the interesting level of a look. The technical twill of this shirt gives a fabulous sheen.

Antonio Berardi crepe pencil skirt: $1,115 (or check out this more reasonable priced one from J. Crew)
Stella+Dot pearl bib necklace
DKNY technical twill peplum top: $275.55
Kate Spade Halle wedges: $298
Gold ball studs: $29.99
Lodis Audrey portfolio: $150

3. Change up the fabric. Wool and cotton are great for the office, but when you are in an artier field, you have the luxury of exploring fabrics beyond the suiting standards. I love this pleated leather skirt from Vince. It also adds some volume on bottom to change up your silhouette (and avoids the borderline-skanky look of fitted leather).

James Perse stretch-cotton turtleneck top: $85
Vince pleated leather skirt: $495
Spanx tight-end tights: $34
Kelsi Dagger Moxie boots: $39.97
Michael Kors chronograph watch: $250
Kate Spade bow studs: $45

4. Play dress-up. This rule can be a little tricky because there is a fine line between costume and couture.  Dress with a theme - it will force you to put things together you might not otherwise, and maybe push the boundaries of the banality of your normal outfits. But be careful - you don't want to take it too far or too seriously or you'll become a parody of your outfit. For instance, I call this look the 'saucy secretary.' But make sure to keep your hair loose - don't dress the look to a T.

PS A black blouse with a feminine detail is such a wardrobe necessity. You can wear this with skinny jeans and a leather jacket at night to edge it out or dress it up for work... Just love it.

Blouse By Malene Birger: No longer available (sorry) but here are some other options from Joseph and ASOS
Antonio Berardi crepe pencil skirt: $1,115
Kate Spade bow studs: $45
Cutler and Gross cat eye glasses
Manolo Blahnik Campy mary janes: $645
Black jade and pearl ring from Nature's Jewelry: $79.98
YSL patent leather belt: $295
5. Trend is your friend. Black+the latest trendy piece = instant chic. I love these wide-legged pants for the workplace, and they are so much more fun than your standard black trousers. Keep the rest of the outfit simple, classic and clean. Invest in a basic black tank made with a stretchy fabric (looks nicer than plain jersey) to wear with the pants (or really anything!).

Tibi wool crop jacket: $306.90
T by Alexander Wang layering tank: $87
Elizabeth and James Jake wide-legged trousers: $403
Nine West Madeup pump: $52.90
Diamond studs
Silver and enamel ring
6. Get inspired by the classics. The reason why they are classic is because they work - they've worked for many years, and they will continue to work. Mix your trendy pieces with your classic pieces, and your wardrobe will seem infinite. I love these straight-legged pants from Gap - Very Audrey Hepburn without being a drain on your wallet.
7. Comfort is key. It's so hard to wake up in the morning and want to put on that uncomfortable dress when all you want to do is wear those half-size too big but oh so comfy pants - even though you wore them twice last week. So make sure ALL of your clothes fit well and this won't be an issue. And remember: Some days, you'll just need the easy comfortable outfit. 

Guess shirt: $98
Gap true straight pant: $34.50
Pour la Victoire flat: $112.99
Botkier Venice crossbody clutch: $295
David Yurman chunky chain: $1750

8. A word about shoes: Claire didn't let me know if her shoes had to be black, but I guessed conservatively. I have tons of black shoes, and honestly, I rarely think my shoe wardrobe is missing anything. A good pair of black pumps, boots and flats will get you far. Also, wedges are my new favorite thing; the Kate Spade wedges above are classic, stylish and comfortable.

So, Claire, does this help? Are you inspired? More importantly, are you so excited? (especially for me to come visit you ASAP!)

(And now I need help: The YSL belt from above is my dream patent leather belt. I really need a new one, and this is the only one I can find that I like. If you have seen a similar one for under $50, let me know!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stripes stripes stripes

Hi, my name is Marta, and I'm a stripeaholic.

If there's one thing I cannot get enough of in my wardrobe, it's stripes. To count the number of striped shirts, you'd need more than one hand. And if the fiance gets anything navy+white striped? Forget about it, that's going in my side of the closet. The last time I went shopping with my mom, I was like a puppy on a leash - she had to yank me away from chasing every striped item of clothing I saw.

But, really, what's not to love? It's so classic and simple - and it goes with everything (Just the other day, I paired a navy striped shirt with my printed Hermes scarf... Perfect). And right now, stripes are ubiquitous, so your options are endless. But because it's so versatile, you can customize the look to your personal style.

Not sold yet? Check out Francoise Hardy and this great Splendid ad that Shopbop found.

What my closet is missing is a striped dress. (OK, we can be honest that my closet isn't really missing that much - except maybe a Chanel 2.55, a Burberry trench and some Louboutins - but let's go with it).

Dresses, left to right: J. Crew Maritime dress, $78; Ali Ro belted stripe dress, $298; Milly Anais Hostess dress, $450

I do strongly believe that a striped shirt is a wardrobe staple. I'd argue for the classic boatneck style, but, as I said before, to each her own. Here are some great options in a variety of (similar) styles.

Shirts, left to right: Lands End Canvas, $29.50; LOFT watercolor striped T, $34.99; BCBGeneration top, $58; Tsumori Chisato paw striped tee, $176

Got the staples? Try a trendy look for spring: a striped jacket.

Blazers, left to right: Torn by Ronny Kobo Kat blazer, $396; Alice + Olivia Sage blazer, $368; Banana Republic striped jacket, $169.99

I could go on and on, but I'll save some for another day.

Just remember: Stripes. Go. With. Everything.

Striped curtains on the window, a striped sash on a wedding dress, and stripes on the F/W 2011 DKNY runway.

In conclusion, if there is a 12 step program for an addiction to stripes, I'd be a perfect candidate. But if loving stripes this much is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm back...

Hello! I hope you all didn't miss me too too much.

I was thrown right into it at my new job. I completely love it, but free time has been somewhat limited. I also wanted to be sure that maintaining the blog was acceptable while working at my job. Since this blog is completely personal, I decided that it's A-OK.

The best part about my self-imposed vacance from blogging is I've returned a fount of inspiration and ideas. The next several weeks of blogs are going to be great - I promise. I'm going to mix up some product reviews with my latest fashion picks, and, since my wedding is just over a year away, nuptial style is going to start being a little bit more of a focal point of the blog. Hope that's good by you.

In my time away, I've hung out with a bunch of DC fashion and beauty bloggers, tried a BluePrint Cleanse (more on that later), got into the throes of wedding planning (we have a band!), been working at up my provisional member requirements for Junior League, kept up training for the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler and planned for fun-filled spring (St. Thomas in a few weeks!). Hopefully, you've been following me on Twitter in the meantime.

But I love keeping up this little blog, even if it's a silly vanity project... And I've missed you guys. And so I'm back.