There is nothing I like more than showcasing Israeli fashion. This coat, by Mors, caught my eye for all the right reasons. Add this fabulous Dior saddle bag and we have an outfit that is sweet and stylish!Read More
Problem: It’s the end of September and it’s as hot as Hades outside. You want to look chic and cool, but not summery.
Solution: Opt for a lightweight white blouse and a dark trouser that will carry you over from summer into fall.
This particular blouse from Worth New York is semi sheer but the French knots add texture and style. It is light enough that I don’t feel too warm outside and the neckline is feminine and sexy so you don't feel like you're wearing a man's white shirt.
The polka dots on the trousers, also by Worth, are fun. The stretch of the fabric make this a travel staple since they will emerge from your suitcase crease free!
This coat by Cabi is a sweet deal. At $169.00, it is worth every penny. First off, is it easy to wear either dressed up with a pair of tailored pants, or casually with a pair of jeans. A dressy coat over a pair of pants does double duty as a pantsuit, but with even more versatility. In my opinion, it is a far better investment than a blazer.
In addition, you can wear it over a skirt or dress for a more polished look. Either way, you cannot lose. These days, when the temperatures have been mild on both coasts, it is a balmy 64 degrees in NYC today, you can wear this coat now and then again in the spring. Here in southern California, you can layer a sweater underneath for added warmth.
I want to reiterate that navy and black pair beautifully. I have many friends who ask me what they can wear with navy, and when I tell them, “black,” they look at me quizzically. Black and navy go together like salt and pepper. They don’t appear to be likely partners, but they compliment each other in just the right way. This coat would look great over a pair of black pants, skirt or dress.
A dressy coat over a pair of pants does double duty as a pantsuit, but with even more versatility. In my opinion, it is a far better investment than a blazer.
Whenever I receive an invitation that calls for dressy or festive attire, I immediately go to my cocktail dress collection and choose one that says “party.” However, I am out to break that habit and venture into wearing fancy pants, dressy pantsuits or even a tuxedo with a fabulous blouse or top underneath.
This outfit is a mash up of different designers, working in perfect harmony. These lace pants by True Royal had me at hello. I loved everything about them right down to the scalloped bottom. The same goes for this chic knit tunic by Worth New York. The slit is too high to be worn alone, but topped over fancy pants or even denim, the versatility of this piece is endless. I added this chain belt for a little edgy definition at the waist and love the way it drops over the abdomen. Adding these suede and lace pumps by Sandro, completes the look. With an outfit as busy as this one, jewelry should be kept to minimum, but still make a statement. These large but thin hoop earrings by Calypso St. Barth are my new go to and my beloved vintage YSL cuff is simultaneously a simple and bold statement piece.
Let’s talk about the benefits of a small but expandable purse that can take you from day to night with a removable shoulder strap. This is a must have for every woman. I love this one by Balenciaga, but there are many lower priced versions for you to consider and I have provided a couple of them here in this post.
So, Miss Fancy Pants, next time your invitation calls for “festive attire,” think outside the cocktail dress box and create an outfit from pieces you already have in your closet!
What is it about a man’s shirt? Why is this masculine item so suddenly sexy and feminine? Without going into a host of symbolic and esoteric explanations, suffice to say that this woman loves the look of this dress, which is a definite take on a man’s tailored dress shirt. The whimsy that lies in the design of this dress, by none other than Worth New York, is the center twist. It is as if you are twisting the oversize of it in a feminine way to create shape at the waist. It is lightweight, while offering just the right amount of coverage and perfect to wear right now. In the winter, I will add boots and a heavier jacket to ensure that this remains a true fall/winter wardrobe staple in my closet. Thank you Worth, you have done it again!
Now let’s talk about my handbag. It was one of the purchases I made in Buenos Aires this past summer. In case you didn’t know, Argentina is known for its leather goods, and they are about 1/3 of the price that their competitors are in Europe and North America. The combination of great quality is outstanding price, makes for perfect shopping weather conditions!
I bought this dress in the early summer, at Yellow Dog, and had to be talked into trying it on because it had absolutely no hanger appeal whatsoever! Since it really doesn’t take all that much effort to twist my arm, my friend, Venetta, who manages the boutique, easily convinced me to slip it on. Lo and behold, the dress changed entirely, once it was on the body, in this case, mine. It reminded me of a chic Greek toga, if such a thing ever existed, and I thought these gladiator-like sandals, by Stuart Weitzman, completed the look in the right way.
The moral of this fable, is “never judge a dress by its look on a hanger,” and “going Greek never felt so good!”
This is a play on the expression, “hardly worth the effort,” but it turns the expression on its head with a positive message. This outfit, outside of the shoes, is comprised of two design houses, Worth New York and John Hardy. I am a fan of both, and was pleased that they complimented each other in this way.
Navy and white is so easy to wear and adding a pop of red, whether it be on the lips, shoes or bracelet is always a winning decision. Here, I decided to do all three!
Worth has always been my go to for chic and classic clothes. The blouse and pants are as comfortable with the just the right amount of dressiness. I added the belt for some definition. This is a great lunch or dinner outfit for a warm spring or summer day.
Classic meets modern when you add John Hardy to Worth. I have always been attracted to John Hardy’s jewelry because it is edgy and cool. He uses the themes of dragonheads and bamboo with mixed metals. I embrace it all and wear them together. The added bonus is that his jewelry is sold at most fine department stress….which means if you are a points and gift card person, you can purchase these as gifts for yourself or others.
I am a sucker for polka dots…always have been and I expect that I always will be. I put this little ensemble together because it is bright, cheerful and easy to wear. All of the clothes are by none other than Worth New York. What can I say? Their clothes and designs speak for themselves; stylish, flattering and well made. I paired this adorable polka dot skirt, which I shortened into a mini, with this oh-so-easy to wear sleeveless knit top. My red suede flats seem to give it the perfect ease for a daytime run-around look, and my tried and true red handbag by Myriam Schaefer seemed to complete the look with a chic and edgy bend.
Adding heels, switching out the bag for a clutch, a swipe of red lipstick, and this cotton jacket (from their Spring 2014 collection), transitions the outfit from day to night. Wearer beware…adding heels to a mini skirt, shortens it considerably, so either commit or quit!
As you can see, I am committing to Worth…we are enjoying a major love affair!!
If you are looking for a beautiful floral print, look no further than to Roberto Cavalli, who used it throughout his Fall and Spring collections. He is an artist in the truest sense of the word, and he really “gets” it when it comes to dressing a woman.
These lightweight pants, that I found during the Scoop NYC sale this past January, are from his Fall collection. Flattering, flowy and featherweight, the triple alliteration does these pants justice. Add a sheer black top, chic heels and a vibrant necklace and you’ve got a fashion happening.
And now a word about my bracelet: This vintage YSL cuff, a gift from a close friend, with its musical notes and JAZZ embossed letters is a true reflection of me. It is one of my all time favorite pieces.
A fan of CAbi for 7 years, I have never been as enthusiastic about a season’s collection as I am about Spring 2015. The CAbi design team has hit this one out of the park. Each season, friends new and old, gather in my home to see and shop the collection. It never ceases to amaze me how the clothes appeal to everyone; the low price point is an added appeal.
Case in point, is this “Leaf Print”dress for only $118.00
I chose to wear it short and sweet, adding this platinum belt by J Crew and these oldie but goodie sandals by Gianvito Rossi.
Several of my friends loved the leaf print but were skeptical about the short length. If you find the dress too short for you, just add skinny white jeans as I did, and it becomes an adorable tunic.
No matter how you choose to wear it, this dress is a winner.
One thing that we are often told is that black is a basic. While this is true, black is anything but basic. It is classic, quiet, edgy and cool all at the same time. I happen to own a lot of black. I seem to accumulate a lot of black t-shirts, blouses, sweaters, skirts and jackets. Black is season-less, so it transitions just as perfectly from winter to spring as it does from summer to fall. It also goes with everything and acts as the perfect backdrop for any color or pattern. Black is the most packable color because its neutrality is perfect for any occasion, even a wedding. Black is a must for everyone.
This outfit, all by Elizabeth and James, has all the edgy cool of its designers, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. I have had the skirt for several years, and this jacket, with the blouse insert, caught my attention immediately. It has the illusion of being a jacket within a jacket, and I think that is what makes it so cool. I choose to wear a lace camisole underneath in order to maintain the beauty of the sheer blouse. When glancing at these photos, I am keenly aware of the shortness of this skirt, and that I may have committed the over 50 fashion faux pas, so I apologize in advance! I just love the skirt and its little “flirty bounce.” Is that where the word flounce comes from?
As you have gathered by now, I have a love affair with shoes; I have for as long as I can remember. These spat like shoes, by Manolo Blahnik, seemed to elevate the spirit of this outfit. They bring a smile to my face every time I glance at them in my closet.
I realize that living in Los Angeles, where the lowest daytime temperatures average around 65 degrees and at night, might dip into the 50’s, leaves me with very little to complain about. Growing up in Winnipeg, Canada, I know about cold, and I assure you that my friends back home will not be donning an outfit like this until the end of April, or beginning of May! Vests have become my mainstay for keeping my body warm and remaining loyal to the trends. I got this vest over 5 years ago, and remains one of my favorites. I cannot tell a lie, it is suede and fox, and very warm. I paired it with my new favorite winter white jeans by Current Elliott that in all honesty are perfect for Southern California winters, but too light for winter out east or up north; yet they will be perfect for the spring. I love the French designer, Carven, and was immediately attracted to this print, which works well with black and white.
To my Canadian and East Coast friends and family, I say 2 things: come visit me in California, and hang in there, Spring is on its way!
When I look at this outfit, I can’t help but smile. To me it is a very happy outfit for a number of reasons. The pattern and cut of the skirt is beautiful and bouncy. It hits me at just the right point of my leg; admittedly, perhaps it is a little on the short side, but as you know I have already broken my own rule, several times now!
The busy pattern of the skirt demands simplicity on top, so I paired it with this soft cashmere sweater by Scoop NYC. It is a tad thin and therefore see through, so I decided to go for it and opted for a black bra.
I cannot say enough good things about these Vince heels, starting with the fact that they were purchased on sale at Bloomies this December. They are chic and comfortable, high enough to flatter the leg, but low enough to wear all day long. This design is a classic of theirs and it will be featured in their spring and summer collection.
My black handbag, by the company, Ashneil, is one of my favorites. It is both dressy and casual, classic and modern. You may recall that I have featured the Ashneil company in previous posts. They do not “knock off;” instead, they do their take on a classic. Ashneil’s bags and belts, of which I own several, are incredibly well made and well priced. Family owned and run out of North Carolina, they travel to several cities throughout the year and sell their merchandise through trunk shows. My mother and I discovered them a number of years ago, when they held a trunk show in Palm Desert. We have been loyal fans ever since, as has my sister in law and now a few of my friends. You can visit their website for more information.
I love it when an outfit is as easy to create as it is to wear. Sometimes you have to break your own rules, and enjoy the sweetness of doing so!
Tonight marks the start of awards season here in Los Angeles, beginning with The Golden Globes. The city is abuzz with glitz and glamour and everyone has film and television on their minds. Soon the Oscar nominations will be announced, followed by the race to see all the movies in time for the biggest award show in Hollywood. All the department stores are stocked with award season gowns, and the stylists have rolled out racks and racks of spectacular clothes to be worn to the “before,” “during” and “after” parties. Jeff and I will be attending a few parties and I have begun to tear through my closet to put together some winners of my own!
This sheer skirt by Sandro is a perfect example of a one of a kind piece that is so French, it just screams “oo la la!” I found this multi-tasking top by Ramy Brook that can be tied in various ways. I chose to wear it tied over one shoulder to enhance the glamour of the outfit. I was immediately attracted to its dark eggplant hue. I love matching navy (or in this case deep egglplant) with black. Many women I know always ask “can I wear black and navy together? ” Yes you can; in fact, you must. It is trés elegante et chic! This silk and dressy black belt by Lanvin, defines the waistline and pulls the ensemble together. My tried and true sparkly heels by Dior, have seen me through many a dressy affair, and this little silk evening bag with the rhinestone snap closure by Badgley Mishka, that I have owned forever, completes the look. Don’t be afraid to mix and match items that already exist in your closet. If you are creative and imaginative, you too will come up with a sheer winner!
Although I have an aversion to the green olive, I love the color olive green. I think it was engrained in me at an early age. My mother suffused our house in the color. Our front door was painted olive green; in fact that was how we identified the house “it’s the house with the “olive” green door.” I was immediately attracted to this olive green quilted skirt by Worth New York. Not only is it adorable, because of the quilting, and the front zipper, but it is oh so comfortable. Since I love the color so much, I just happened to have an olive green leather vest by Vince. Adding black to the olive green is always a rich pairing and accenting it with gold accessories gives it polish and finesse, like this chunky gold chained black bag by Lanvin that I scored when it went on sale at Savannah. This is a great travel bag, because it packs flat and is chic. I added this colorful scarf by Gucci to bring the outfit to life.
One of the amazing things that has come out of this blog, is the incredible people whom I have had the opportunity to interview. One such woman is the awesomely talented and lovely Cynthia Vincent.
I met Cynthia at an event at Bloomingdales to which I was invited by favorite Bloomie’s associate, Natasha Cecere, whom I highly recommend to you. I have been a huge fan of Cynthia Vincent for several years. I own many of her dresses, tops and shoes; the fact that these black strappy sandals are still a FabuLesley closet staple, attest to the fact her designs, are timeless, well made and comfortable!
Born and raised in Claremont, California, Cynthia received her fashion education at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in NYC.
In the late 1980’s she decided that she wanted to be a part of the London Fashion scene, and got a job working for London designer, Jane Ong. Living in the chic London neighborhood of Hampstead Heath, Cynthia ran Ong’s Bond Street store.
In the mid 90’s she relocated to Los Angeles and worked for the designer, Harriet Selwin.
After strong encouragement by John Eshaya, who owned and ran Fred Segal, she launched her first line, St. Vincent.
Because the merchandisers wanted to dictate how and what she should design, she left and formed her own company, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent. Twelfth Street is a street in Claremont, her home town.
I am certain that her travel and living experiences have both influenced and inspired many of her designs. I would describe her design look as Boho Chic. The amazing thing about her pieces, however, are that they suit everyone. There is a Cynthia Vincent dress or top for every age and body type. While shopping at Bloomies, I gravitated to this black fringe dress. Even though I do not think of myself as a rock and roll girl, I had to try it on. I will admit that this frock is a little on the short side for us older gals, but adding leggings or tights and boots is a good option.
About 18 months ago, my dear friend, Orna, and I met for our weekly coffee clatch. I was lamenting over what I would do to fill my days once my youngest, Serena, then 16, goes off to College. Yes I would continue with my community service work and my music, but I was craving something else that would be creatively satisfying. Orna, who had just certified as a life coach, suggested that I write a blog. As she put it, “you are a source of information for all of us; from diagnosing ailments and referring to physicians, to who gives the best and cheapest blow dry in Beverly Hills, to what to eat when you want to lose weight, to what moisturizer and makeup work the best. People want to know these things, and you can supplement the posts with your love of fashion, food, culture, health and beauty.”
At the time, I didn’t really know what writing a blog entailed, so I began to do my research. I combed through many fashion, food, and lifestyle blogs. There were multitudes of these blogs, mostly written by 20-30 year olds. Rarely did I come across any blogs that were written by 45 plus year old women who weren’t already famous, that actually appealed to me.
That is when it dawned on me that maybe my market wasn’t saturated; maybe there was room for a 45 plus year old fashion, food, culture, beauty and health obsessed Jewish woman in the “Blogosphere.”
To that end, FabuLesley was born. What Orna and my other close friends find remarkable, is the vocabulary that this blog has spawned. There have been "Fabuluncheons" in honor of people’s birthdays, as well as accolades for “Fabulicious” food. People write to me adding “Fabu” as a prefix to theirs as well as their spouse’s names! It is truly hilarious and fun.
I have no idea what will come of this blog, but right now I am having a great time creating each week’s posts. There is nothing I like more than to write about things that bring so much joy, significance and inspiration to my life.
I am both shocked and delighted to have gained so many followers on the web, and I continue to be overwhelmed by your support and encouragement.
To that end, I am celebrating in a Fabu-way. The wonderful store, Calypso St Barth has generously offered to host a party for me as way of marking this milestone. Everything in the store will be at least 20% off. Calypso has a well curated collection of beautiful cashmere sweaters, jackets and vests, dresses, skirts and jeans, as well as fabulous shoes, boots and bags. Their jewelry collection is off the hook.
Please join me on Monday, December 15 from 7:00 PM- 9:00 PM at the Westfield Mall in Century City. It will be a fabulous evening of food, fashion and fun!
I am tying this event to the SOVA food pantry, which provides food for homeless people in the Los Angeles area. Please bring at least one non-perishable food item to be donated to this wonderful and important organization.
A skirt with pant holes is called a “skort.” But what do you call a pant with a skirt on one side? A “skirpant?” No matter the title, this particular fashion hybrid caught my eye and I find it to be very chic in a sophisticated bohemian way, much like its design house, Haute Hippie.
Being that red is one of my favorite fashion colors, I decided to dress up the pant with this Haute Hippie red blouse, a great wide belt and these fabulous strappy heels by Aquazzura. I think it is transformingly elegant. I would just as easily pair it with a simple white tee, booties and a leather jacket, as a dressed down casual look. I will feature this look in a future post. These pants are going places and will not sit in this closet!
Spring has sprung and that means that color is here with a vengeance. I was on my way out of Savannah (the store in Santa Monica, not the city in Georgia), and literally, with my hand on the door, like a magnet, this dress drew my eyes toward it. From afar, I couldn’t name the designer, as it didn’t resemble a Dries, Lanvin or Balenciaga, or the other usual array of fabulous designers that Savannah carries. However, my friend, Susan Stone, who owns Savannah, does, as I am happy to report to you, carry a whole host of lesser known, up and coming designers who are much lower priced but equally as fabulous as Jason Wu or Alber Elbaz! This dress did not need to get down on its knees and beg me to try it on. No, I went ready, willing and able. I was looking for something bright and happy to wear to my Passover Seder, and this would fit the bill—no pun intended. Animal print in hot pink and blue, sounds a little wild on paper, but this dress is tame in all the right places. Everyone needs a “go-to” dress, and this one is mine.
Armed with a gift card during the recent friends and family week at Saks Fifth Ave., (which happens every year in both October and April), significantly reduced the price of this adorable fucshia bag by Nancy Gonzales, which is my first by the designer. A pair of Dior pumps in the same color complete the outfit. My friend and photographer, Robert Raphael chose the perfect spot to photograph the outfit, utilizing the bold colors of the Los Angeles Design Center’s Blue, Red and Green Whales. I love the results, and I hope you do as well.