Oscar De La Renta—The End of an Era

 Oscar De La Renta Dress, Jimmy Choo Heels, Vintage Necklace.

Oscar De La Renta Dress, Jimmy Choo Heels, Vintage Necklace.

This week, the fashion world lost one of its most creative and legendary heroes, when Oscar de la Renta died at the age of 82. Mr. De La Renta dressed some amazingly glamorous and famous women, most notably one of my beauty and style role models, Jackie Kennedy.

Mr. De La Renta was known for his incredibly warm demeanor and gentle soul. His clothes, however, were dramatic and bold. He made brilliant use of color and texture, volume and embellishment. Mr. De La Renta was an artist in the truest sense of the word, as each of his beautiful dresses and gowns told a story. If you have ever worn one of his designs, you know how glamorous and beautiful it makes you feel.

I had this experience when I purchased my first, (and sadly, my only), Oscar De La Renta dress in 2011. I was doing my cabaret act, “On Broadway,” and looking for a fabulous black dress to wear for the show.  I had an idea of what I wanted, and so I hit the sale racks at all the department stores in January. I was on the third floor at Saks, when my eyes fell upon this wonderful strapless dress that had all of the dramatic flair and embellishment that I had hoped for. It was a kismet moment, given the fact that it looked fabulous and was reduced by 60%!

Below is a video clip of me performing in the dress, as well as some recent photos of me modeling what has become a treasured member of my wardrobe.

Farewell, Mr. De La Renta. Your iconic designs live on in many a woman’s closet.  You have made women everywhere feel beautiful, glamorous and important. I am thrilled to be counted among them. Oscar De La Renta, music to my ears.

Blueprinted

  Cynthia Rowley Leggings ,  Equipment Top , Lanvin Necklace,  Stuart Weitzman Shoes , Lauren Merkin Clutch. 

Cynthia Rowley Leggings, Equipment Top, Lanvin Necklace, Stuart Weitzman Shoes, Lauren Merkin Clutch. 

I was a busy girl at Bloomie’s Friends and Family sale, and one of the items that caught my attention were these whimsical neoprene leggings by Cynthia Rowley. They reminded me of the Versace leggings of the 1980’s. 

What does it say when you are around to witness trends twice? Don’t answer that! Doubtful though I was, I seemed to gather an audience as I exited the dressing room, that gave me lots of thumbs up. I did not expect that reaction, given my age and the loudness of the legging, but somehow, it all seemed to work. On the day of the shoot, when Robert saw me emerge from the car in this outfit, he was overjoyed, because he had just found the perfect location with a blue background!

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 2.54.35 PM.png

I paired it with this comfortable faux leather top by Equipment, and these oh so comfortable platform heels by Stuart Weitzman which I “scooped “ up at the recent Scoop NYC sale going on now and ending on October 20th.

I have had this fabulous necklace by Lanvin for a few years, having purchased it at Savannah for a specific white dress. However, I could not believe how well it matched the outfit and enhanced whimsical theme.

Venia: Fashion's Next Big Hit

A few months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a young couple who are designers of the clothing line Venia, which I later learned is ancient Latin for the word Grace. She thought that I would find the clothing interesting, beautiful and altogether fabulous. The couple, themselves young and beautiful, were utterly charming, gracious and enthusiastic. The woman was wearing one of the dresses she created for the line, a gorgeous silk print flowy dress. My friend thought that if I liked the line, (which they showed me online), I might blog about it. I was genuinely intrigued by what I saw.

 VENIA Dress. Sarah Pacini Belt, Necklace, Bracelet, and Ring. Calleen Cordero Sandals. Zadig and Voltaire Clutch. 

VENIA Dress. Sarah Pacini Belt, Necklace, Bracelet, and Ring. Calleen Cordero Sandals. Zadig and Voltaire Clutch. 

We set up a time for me to come by their studio and interview them. This would also serve as an opportunity to view the clothes for their fall 2015 line in person. My assistant, Lauren, and I, set off for hip and happening downtown Los Angeles.

 Their living quarters, which double as their design studio, are modern and sleek, with a comfortable edginess, much like their clothes. One of the things I loved, was their “Inspiration Board,” surrounded by twine and wood, and filled with fabrics and sketches.

The couple are 22 and 24 years old. They are intelligent and deep thinkers, having designed the line with a purposeful story and contemporary theme. Their youth, drive and ambition coupled with their intelligence and talent, are the perfect recipe for what I am calling “the next big thing to arrive on the fashion scene. “ After trying on the clothes, I was convinced of it. Like Jason Wu, and others who came before him, I am certain that these two designers will find their way to the top of the fashion industry’s A list.

 VENIA Coat and Blouse. Theory Pants. Jimmy Choo Heels. Céline Handbag. Oliver Peoples Shades.

VENIA Coat and Blouse. Theory Pants. Jimmy Choo Heels. Céline Handbag. Oliver Peoples Shades.

They met at FIDM, and describe each other as polar opposites. He describes himself as technical; he was planning to embark on a career in architecture. She describes herself as conceptual;  math phobic, yet drawn to things embodied by technology, such as auto design. On their first date, while watching the movie “How To Train Your Dragon,” in the comfort of her living room, they found themselves spontaneously and symbiotically sketching jackets inspired by the film’s time period. After examining each other’s drawings, they realized that they had much more in common than they originally thought, and decided to team up, (in more ways than one), and attempt to create a collection of women’s ready to wear.

All manufactured in the USA, the pieces are edgy and cozy. Venia uses luxurious Italian leather and the softest of cottons. Once you slip into their perfectly designed black T, you will not want to remove the soft fabric from your body.  These are clothes that would find themselves in high-end luxury boutiques or the designer floors of Bergdorf’s, Neimans, Saks and Barneys.

 VENIA Jacket and T-Shirt. CAbi Faux Leather Leggings. Aquazzura Shoes. Gemma Redux Necklace. Zadig and Voltaire Clutch. Irit Design Earrings. 

VENIA Jacket and T-Shirt. CAbi Faux Leather Leggings. Aquazzura Shoes. Gemma Redux Necklace. Zadig and Voltaire Clutch. Irit Design Earrings. 

I couldn’t wait to model their sample collection! Robert and I hit the streets of Melrose, in the heart of L.A.’s design neighborhood to find the perfect backdrop for these fabulous pieces.

 VENIA Top and Skirt. Jimmy Choo Boots. Sarah Pacini Necklace and Bracelets. Céline Handbag. 

VENIA Top and Skirt. Jimmy Choo Boots. Sarah Pacini Necklace and Bracelets. Céline Handbag. 

 To purchase special orders visit the VENIA website.

Recycling The Bag

Take the inner tube from a tire, decorate it with soda can pull tabs, line it with fabric and what do you get? You get a chic, recycled handbag that can go from casual to dressy in the blink of an eye. When I first heard about these bags, I must admit that I was skeptical. I had seen bags made out of soda can pull tabs years ago when my mother and I were out  shopping at the Palm Desert Swap Meet.  Although we found them to be creative, we decided they weren’t for us, and moved on. Over the years I have seen many versions of this bag. I have remained unimpressed; that is, until I met Linnea Duvall, owner and designer of Glad Rag Bags, a super cool recycled bag that appeals to biker chicks just as easily as to stay at home moms.

 Haute Hippie Jumpsuit, Gianvito Rossi Sandals, also seen  here . Glad Rag Bags Handbag and Cuff, Oliver Peoples Shades.

Haute Hippie Jumpsuit, Gianvito Rossi Sandals, also seen here. Glad Rag Bags Handbag and Cuff, Oliver Peoples Shades.

Linnea’s background is just the opposite of where she landed today. Raised in a religious town in rural Pennsylvania, Linnea says she “grew up in a town where people were intimidated by fashion.” Straight out of college, at the age of 21, Linnea landed a job as an editor at Vogue magazine. As the youngest person on the staff, she eagerly absorbed everything she could about the fashion industry and wound up as one of the Make Over editors at Glamour Magazine. After retiring from the magazine industry, Linnea ran her own make over clinics around the country and moved to Los Angeles, where she now resides.

 Me (in a  CAbi  Top and  WORTH New York  Belt) with Linnea (also in a  CAbi  top).

Me (in a CAbi Top and WORTH New York Belt) with Linnea (also in a CAbi top).

Linnea came across her new career by chance. While vacationing in Mexico a few years ago, she came across a handbag that was made from the inner tube of a tire and soda can tabs. The bag itself was basic, that is to say it did not have lining, pockets, soft materials or any hint of luxury that would appeal to her and her American friends. She approached the owner and asked him if he would agree to make the bag with all the bells and whistles she considered necessary to meet her standards. He agreed, and the Glad Rag Bag was born. These bags are optical illusions. They are decadently decorated in pull tops that make them sparkle and shine, but in a chic and cool sort of way. They come in numerous designs from a large tote to a delicate clutch. You will think that they are made from leather, until you pick them up, when you realize that the rubber makes them as light as air, and their price is a quarter of what you would pay for a designer leather bag!

  James Pearse T-Shirt ,  Rebecca Taylor Faux Leather Skirt ,  Wolford Tights , Jimmy Choo Boots,  Glad Rag Bag  Handbag and Cuff, Oliver Peoples Shades.

James Pearse T-Shirt, Rebecca Taylor Faux Leather Skirt, Wolford Tights, Jimmy Choo Boots, Glad Rag Bag Handbag and Cuff, Oliver Peoples Shades.

In addition, because they are constructed from rubber, they can stretch to accommodate what ever you put inside.

Linnea has designed accessories to go with the bags, such as a cuff and a wrap bracelet that doubles as a boot band!

As a special favor to my readers, Linnea is offering a 25% discount, just because you are so FABULOUS!!

Simply go to her website, Glad Rag Bags and enter the code "neagirl25" and follow the instructions.

Linnea’s Glad Rag Bags are recycled chic, pulling their weight in tabs!

An Outfit Worth Wearing

Worth New York has done it again. It has succeeded in meeting all of my expectations, and even surpassing them! I put this outfit together at the trunk show that I hosted with my friend, Sigal. Since the weather wasn’t particularly cooperative when it came to showing off cold weather clothes, I decided to wait until now to feature it on the blog. Although the temperatures continue to be warm here in Los Angeles,  I have chosen to give Mother Nature the “cold shoulder,” and model this fabulous ensemble.

Last Spring, when Fall 2014 was featured, so was color. It showed up on virtually every designer's palette and was a welcome respite from the muted tones and ever popular black that has floated down many a runway in the past.

This magenta jacket caught my eye on the rack, and beckoned me to try it on. I usually gravitate towards the more rustic colors of autumn, because I think that they compliment my coloring. Yet when I slipped into this jacket, both Sigal and I exclaimed “wow” at the exact same time. She and I knew instantly that this would be a keeper and certainly blog worthy!

The beauty of assembling an outfit from the same line, is that the colors used in one item are bound to appear in another; this warm and comfy pullover top with the paint like splashes of blues and magenta goes perfectly with the jacket.

It is all about details when it comes to the design of these black ponte pants. The leather detailing which outline the sides of the pant as well as the pockets, give an oo là là to what could have been a blasé pant.

I know I am wearing a “hit,” when passers by offer their thumbs up and compliments on my outfit during our photo shoots. That is exactly what happened when Robert and I shot this in Melrose Place.

Once again, Worth has proven its worth! 

 WORTH New York  Jacket ,  Pullover ,  Pants , and  Handbag .  Manolo Blahnik Pumps . Christian Dior Shades. Tous Earrings.  John Hardy Ring .

WORTH New York Jacket, Pullover, Pants, and Handbag. Manolo Blahnik Pumps. Christian Dior Shades. Tous Earrings. John Hardy Ring.

Fringe Benefits

How can a dress be a girl’s best friend; supportive, reliable, and loyal?

It must hide flaws, be incredibly comfortable, beautifully designed, one of a kind, and extremely flattering. This particular dress, by Viviana Uchitel, has not usurped my BFFs of their status, but it has fulfilled all of the above requirements to gain a prominent place in my closet.

It caught my eye on a rack of one of a kind pieces at BOCA, and my friend, Denise, who was wearing the tunic version in black, encouraged me to try it on. At first glance, I was attracted to the color and the fringes at the bottom, but doubtful of the tent like shape. However, once I got it on, I discovered that the fabric and design are not overly voluminous, but allow for free flowing movement. In addition, the overlay is sheer allowing the body hugging fabric underneath to show through. The angle of the sleeveless cut is particularly helpful for the aging skin between the armpit and the breast, of which I am extremely conscious. That in itself, gets the FabuLesley seal of approval!

That same day, Robin Terman happened to be at the store, and was wearing one of her necklaces that seemed as if it was designed specifically for this dress. In true Robin fashion, she took it off and put it on me—perfection!

The sandals, by Calleen Cordero, are worthy of their own blog post. Each of her shoes are handmade, beautifully crafted, and most of all, comfortable. I walked all over Europe in these shoes and my feet remained blister and agony free.

When I was looking for something to wear for the photo shoot, this dress got Jeff’s immediate and strong vote of approval. Not one to voice a fashion opinion with great frequency, whenever he does so, I pay very close attention. Jeff’s vocal thumbs up cast this little number in the leading role!

Viviana Uchitel Dress available at BOCA, Robin Terman Necklace and Bracelets, Old Hippie Handbag, Calleen Cordero Heels

Outfit Nirvana

You know those times in your life when you just get it right? For me, it happened 3 times…1) when I met and married Jeff, 2) when Yale was born , and 3) when Serena was born.

Of course over the years, I have hit the mark with friends and career, but when it comes to fashion, I classify the moment of getting it right as “outfit nirvana.”

Thus it was when I assembled this ensemble. The skirt, by Elizabeth and James, seemed to call out my name immediately, and once I stepped into it and zipped it up, I knew we belonged together. Before I had the chance to wear it out in public, I wanted to model it on the blog.  I realized it would require just the right top to create the perfect tone. As the master of high low dressing, I reached for my tried and true Jason Wu lace and chiffon blouse (circa spring 2013) and a Jason Wu black satin belt that was part of another dress of his, which I sold long ago at my favorite resale boutique, Great Labels; thankfully, I hung onto the belt. As soon as I looked in the mirror, I knew I got it right.

Robert and I shot these photos in this charming West Hollywood neighborhood, amid the elegant glamour of bygone days. When passers by asked me about and complimented me on the ensemble, it was a divine moment... true “outfit nirvana!”

Jason Woo Blouse (also seen here) and Belt, Le Mystere Bra, Elizabeth and James Skirt, Manolo Blahnik Pumps, Tom Ford Clutch. 

Tickled Pink

Labor Day typically marks the end of “summer vacation” and the beginning of the new school year. Although many schools have now adopted the middle of August as the start of their school calendar, I am of the “old school” mind set, and assign Labor Day as the demarcation line between summer and fall.  Thus, as tradition dictates, this famous weekend is spent enjoying last trips to the beach, lazy strolls and barbecues. However, mother nature follows her own set of rules, and often the temperatures continue to be on the warmer side, making fall fashion choices difficult. In light of this, and because this weekend is the unofficial end of summer, I chose to wear this pink themed outfit this weekend when Jeff and I went for dinner in West Hollywood. When I first got into the car, Jeff looked at my pants and said, “Nice outfit, but don’t you think we can afford to get you pants without holes in them?” “Very funny,” I answered, “distressed denim is still trending...'" I replied, and he looked at me knowing not to argue with that!

West Hollywood, or WeHo, as it is commonly referred to, is hip and trendy but not over the top. We love to stroll the streets of this neighborhood, where we once lived when we first arrived in Los Angeles from New York.  Its streets are lined with eclectic and diverse shops, galleries and restaurants, and packed with young people. One feels alive and well in this vibrant part of the city.

 I specifically chose this outfit because I felt that it perfectly suited the area: hip and trendy but not over the top. I added these cool summer sandals with their arty Lucite heel from last summer’s Stuart Weitzman collection, and my new Dior bag and sunglasses, treasured reminders of our trip to France earlier this summer, which now seems like a lifetime ago!

Rebecca Taylor Blouse, Current/Elliott Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Sandals, Christian Dior Tote, Ray-Ban Sunglasses, Nancy Newberg Earrings, Sarah Pachini Bracelet (right), Robin Terman Bracelet (left). 

One Dress, Two Ways

One Dress Two Ways-01.jpg

So you purchased a beautiful dress this season to wear to a wedding, engagement party, graduation or some other special event. You dropped a chunk of change on this item, and now that you have worn it, you think it should wait until the next big event before you wear it again… WRONG! If anyone is a huge believer in wearing the clothes that are in your closet, and getting the most out of your purchase, it is yours truly!

 

I bought this beautiful dress by Elizabeth and James, way back in early spring, when my friend, Venetta Aguilar, showed it to me during a visit to one of my favorite haunts, “Yellow Dog,” the store she manages. I did not have a specific event in mind, but I knew that the instant I zipped it up, I would find somewhere to wear it….and wear it I did-- out to dinner, to a wedding, a party, even just to run around during the day when I dressed it down. In the evening, I added a leather jacket, which really altered the vibe, and kept me warm on those cool Los Angeles summer nights. Versatility is the key to good style, and reinvention is both smart and practical.  I challenge you to think about the pretty dresses in your closet, and be inspired to wear them in ways you wouldn’t necessarily have imagined when  they were first purchased. Try to think outside the box, and get more bang from your buck; you will be glad that you did.

Take One...

Elizabeth and James Dress, on sale here, J Crew Belt, Prada Sandals, Christian Dior Sunglasses. 

Take Two...

Elizabeth and James Dress, on sale here, Sarah Pacini Belt, Necklace and Bracelets, Calleen Cordero Sandals, IRO Leather Jacket, Chanel Sunglasses. 

Worth Its Weight In Worth

This is a long post, but WORTH the read!

 

When my good friend, Sigal Byrnes, announced that she was selling clothes for the Worth New York line, I was quite surprised. Sigal is hip, sexy and fun, just the opposite of my image of the Worth New York woman. However, since Sigal does have fabulous taste and good fashion sense, I agreed to come by and have a look. It takes a big person to admit that she is wrong, and I am proud to say that I am that woman! The collection is hip, sexy, fun and oh so chic!

Needless to say, I bought a few fabulous pieces and seamlessly, (if you will pardon the pun), incorporated them into my outfits. I began receiving compliments both from people with whom I was well acquainted, in addition to complete strangers. I then wore the clothes in several style posts on the blog, and each time, the comments were positive.

Sigal invited me to her Summer 2014 show at which I purchased a few more great pieces, that I thought would serve me well on my summer travels, as they were basic with a touch of “wow,” and packable, which meant that they wouldn’t crease. The clothes, which are mid priced, (think Vince, Theory, Rebecca Taylor or Helmut Lang), are well designed and well made. They are classics with a flair, that will take you from season to season and mix well with just about everything in your closet, both high and low end. As the master of high low fashion mixing, Worth gets the FabuLesley seal of approval!

A couple of weeks ago, my FabuLesley blog post, “Short Sighted,” featured an outfit created with a pair of white shorts topped by a black cotton tunic, both by Worth,  sinched with a Barabara Bui black belt.  I was reluctant to post myself in a pair of shorts, given my age and previous opinion of wearing this precarious length.  Within 2 days of posting a photo of the outfit on Instagram and Facebook, I had picked up a plethora of new followers from Europe and Asia along with comments such as “you look chic”, and “so stylish” “love this look on you.”

 I was stunned and excited; I wanted to share my enthusiasm for this line with someone from the offices of Worth New York. Equally as enthused, Sigal set up meetings, first with Denise Barta, Director of Business Development, followed by Denise’s sister, Marci Valner, Regional Director for Worth West Coast. Their enthusiasm for my blog coupled with our shared passion for fashion, led them to suggest that I host a travel trunk show featuring the Worth New York Fall 2014 collection. When I asked what this would entail, they explained that I could invite women who were not familiar with Worth New York and have Sigal show and sell the line from my home. At first I was reluctant. Although I was quickly becoming a cartwheeling cheerleader for the line, I did not want to “bug” my friends.  However, as one friend put it,  “Lesley you’re the linchpin. ” My ebullient e-mail went out, and enthusiastic responses rolled in. I was overwhelmed. Sigal and I scheduled appointments and I assisted her in styling my friends and watching them transform before my very eyes. Four fun filled days of fashion with friends, both old and new, were the most exhausting yet creatively gratifying days I have had in a long time!  I was so energized by the experience, that I  cannot wait to do it again; it was totally WORTH it!!

Fox Fur StoleWhite DressCocktail Handbag; All by WORTH New York. Manolo Blahnik Heels. 

Photography by Robert Raphael

White Suit Can Jump

Every great once in a while, the fashion gods and the shopping stars are in perfect alignment and a true kismet moment is at play. This was the case a couple of months ago when I found myself barricaded in a dressing room with a whole bunch of clothes at the Bloomingdale’s sale...

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Short Sighted

How many times have you heard the mantra, “you must not wear shorts after 40.” Even I am guilty of uttering those words myself. However, I have recently had a change of heart. First of all, I believe it is an individual choice. Some women feel good about their legs and don’t care if they have a wrinkle in their knee or a little cellulite on their thighs. I applaud these women….they are my inspiration and the reason why I decided to break the “rule.”

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J. Crew… Who Knew?

I didn’t, that’s who!

I won’t say that I was a label snob, but let’s just say that J. Crew was not on my hip and fashion savvy radar. And when it comes to admitting I was wrong about something, I truly step up to the fashion plate. So here it is, folks, guilty as charged.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a good challenge….and so I decided to take the self created,” J. Crew Challenge” and design an outfit using only J. Crew merchandise.

Pleated skirts are everywhere this season, and J.Crew got in on the idea, and designed this darling lightweight navy and cream one that I paired with their simple navy ¾ length fitted t-shirt and popular School Boy Blazer. How cute are these ballet flats with their silver cap toe?  I simply could not get out of “first position!”

Now let’s discuss the J. Crew jewelry line. Beautifully  designed and well priced, these pieces serve as a gift for someone special….like yourself!

I continue to be blown away by the quality, cut, design and above all, affordability of this line. It mixes with just about anything in my closet. J. Crew, you are a Fab Find!

Lanvin Handbag, Gucci Pumps, Oliver People’s Sunglasses.


Mix Master

If there is one thing I will reiterate time and time again, it is that you must master the art of mixing High and Low. That isn’t to say that you should run out and buy a ton of designer pieces. On the contrary, I have a strict philosophy as to how one should build their designer wardrobe, and that is to do it slowly and add only what you need. Eventually you will have fabuolus go-to pieces that will mix perfectly with your lower end clothes.

RULE #1

First, you should only purchase clothes that are within your budget and will remain in your closet as timeless pieces.  Second, you should try to get these pieces for the best price. That means, earn your points and use your gift cards, wait until sale time, or if you simply cannot live without it, then buy it. But make sure you have accounted for it later on, when the credit card bill arrives…ouch! Easier said than done. I will not dive into shallow water here, for I am probably not the best person to offer this type of advice….enough said on that subject!

RULE#2

Do not be a label snob. You can always find well made cute pieces, that, when mixed with high end labels, look perfectly great and on trend.

Here I model exactly what I mean. I found this fabulous coat, shirt and shoes at Zara…..I mixed these items with my very expensive leather leggings by The Row,  a vintage Chanel purse and Chanel sunglasses…..and presto….high meets low.

Zara Coat, The Row Leggings, similar here.

Zara T-Shirt, similar here.

Zara T-Shirt, similar here.

Black and White

Anne Fontaine Blouse, CAbi Belt, Donna Karan Skirt, similar here, Tom Ford Clutch, similar here, Tom Ford Shoes, on sale here, Robin Terman Necklace, Karen Walker Sunglasses, Essie Nail Polish “For the Twill of It”.

Black and white, the most compelling and popular color combination, always makes a bold statement. These two colors are practical, easy to coordinate when traveling, and above all, they are always chic and stylish. In short, you can never go wrong with this duo. And while we are on the subject of white, let’s delve into the endless uses of the white blouse. This is more than an investment piece, it is a must! Every woman needs at least two crisp white blouses in her wardrobe. They pull any outfit together, they can be dressed up or down and always add an element of class to a pair of black pants, blue jeans, or in this case, a long black skirt. Years ago, my chic cousin, Leanne, turned me on to Anne Fontaine blouses, and I have never looked back. They are sort of cult like in their popularity. They last for years, come with a special mesh laundry bag in which you wash them, and they are nipped at the waist so that they give you instant shape and curve. Here I have dressed mine up with a long black skirt and zebra print pony hair shoes. The clutch is an “of the moment bag.” My “foldover clutch” is roomier than a standard clutch, making it chic AND practical.

One more thing…a lot of the designer items in this post were acquired via gift cards at department stores. Due to their regular high ticket price, I have found similar looking items at a much lower price. From here on in, I will always offer my readers this option….you have my word!

It’s All About The Blazer

Dries Van Noten Blazer, The Row Sweater, DL 1961 Jeans, Manolo Blahnik Pumps, Lanvin Handbag

I pined and pined for this Dries Van Noten beaded blazer, from the Fall 2013 line and waited patiently for it to go on sale. I took a gamble, but I had a feeling that not everyone would want to own this blazer because the beading is a little misleading. What I mean by that, is that one often tends to wear a jacket with beading in a dressier way. That coupled with its designer price, makes it a bit unpractical for us practical gals! As I tend to march to the beat of my own drummer, I felt that one way to wear this jacket is to pair it casually with jeans. I added my favorite accessory, the hat, to give it another cool look.

Hat Attack Hat, Robin Terman Earrings

We’re Having a Heat Wave

Max Volmery blouse: now on sale at Yellow Dog, J-Brand Jeans, Michael Kors Handbag, Bottega Veneta Heels

Although the Northeast and Canada were in a deep freeze these past couple of
weeks, it feels like summer here in Southern California. Given the fact that on New
Year’s Eve, the temperature in my birth city of Winnipeg was colder than the surface
temperature on Mars, I welcome 82 degrees in January! However, this drought that
we are experiencing here in California, is no laughing matter, and we are truly in
a terrible predicament with no relief in sight. When I was perusing my closet, I grabbed
this beautiful and airy blouse that my parents got me for my birthday. I decided not
to do a tuck of any kind in order to allow it to flow. If you have a long shirt, throw
it on over skinny jeans. No tucking is sometimes a welcome and comfortable relief!
Check out the beautiful and delicate cuff buttons, an accessory all their own. I love
these lighter jeans by J Brand which remain at the top of my denim pile, for their
color and comfort…ah gotta love those stretch jeans! Don’t be afraid of going with a
bold colored handbag or tote such as this cobalt blue one from Michael Kors (spring
2013). It was and still is my go to tote….I can throw a ton of stuff into it and the bold
color goes with almost anything. These lavender suede platform pumps, by Bottega
Veneta, which were admittedly an impulse buy, found some wear and seem perfect
for toning down the bold colors of the blouse. And lastly, I don’t save my good
jewelry for special occasions. Jeff gave me this strand of black pearls, my favorite, for
our 15th anniversary and I wear them all the time.

My Boyfriend’s Back

In my opinion, Current Elliot makes the best Boyfriend Jean out there. This time around they have returned with an even better design. The new version has a slightly more tapered leg which creates a flattering line, yet retains its level of comfort.  Here I show it with this great color block sweater by Nougat, both of which I picked up on a recent visit to Yellow Dog. I like to pair the jean with pumps to give it a feminine touch, and I love the dichotomy of the look. I added this terrific brown leather jacket by Worth, a clothing line I recently discovered since my friend, Sigal, is a personal sales associate for this company.

My new Celine bag, half off at the semi annual Savannah sale, rounds out the look to give it a sophistication that offsets the casualness of the pant.

Worth Jacket, Nougat Sweater, Michael Stars Camisole, Current/Elliot Jeans, Etro Belt, Givenchy Shoes, Celine Handbag, similar here, Oliver Peoples Sunglasses, Earrings and Necklace by Robin Terman, Saks Fifth Ave Bracelets, Essie Really Red Nail Polish


Diversify Your Vestments

Being married to a business manager can have its advantages and sadly, its disadvantages, especially if you are a shopaholic as I am! However, one thing that has been reiterated during our 26 year marriage, is “diversify your investments.” So, here is MY take on this bit of financial advice.

When I first saw this sweater, I was a bit intimidated by the side ruffle detail that I feared would wear me as opposed to me wearing it. However, after trying it on, I fell in love with its eclectic beauty and found that its versatility only added to its attributes …I can pair it with jeans for a casual fun look, or over a sleek skirt for daytime chic.

Sacai 1869 Sweater (On sale now at Savannah Santa Monica or order online here), Lanvin Skirt and Handbag

The MatHATmatics of Hats

A hat can add instant style to any outfit, or it can subtract from a bad hair day!

Given the fact that I once worked and managed a hat store while I was a student in Boston, I have a strong affinity for this item of clothing.  In my opinion, the hat is a must have item for anyone’s wardrobe.

Rag and Bone Jeans, Laurence Dacade Boots, Hat Attack Hat (available on sale at Intermix, or similar here), Oliver Peoples Sunglasses , Nancy Newberg Earrings

I want to give a special shout out to my wonderful photographer and friend, Robert Raphael.

Dressed Up Sweatshirt

“I like blends of styles that have nothing to do with each other….like surprises.”
–Loulou de la Falaise
Designer and close friend of Yves Saint Laurent

Pucci Scarf, J-Brand Sweatshirt, Rails Chambray Shirt, Current/Elliot Jeans, Laurence Dacade Booties, Balenciaga Handbag

Here is a new take on an old favorite. I found this J Brand sweatshirt with cool shoulder zippers, and wondered how I could retain its comfortable look, but dress it up a bit. I began by layering it with a Chambray shirt, and then adding a Pucci silk scarf. To dress it up even more, I added one of my favorite necklaces, that my mother so generously gave to me after I admired it on her. I paired this top ensemble with simple coated jeans in olive green and added booties in the same color for uniformity and flow. As always, I carry my favorite investment piece, my Balenciaga bag which goes with most everything I own. Why don’t you give it a try and send me pictures of your version!