Something fresh, something new?? The Culotte.

It's hard to believe that it has been almost two years since my last post... that's when the morning sickness kicked in and the rest is history. Now my 14-month-old ginger devil-child keeps me quite busy, but I finally feel like I can jump into the world of fashion again... or at least get my toes wet.

I have been online a lot lately trying to find pants. That is probably the hardest piece of clothing to wear post-baby. Somehow comfortable, flattering and won't get ruined when you have snot and/or baby food wiped on you don't go hand in hand.

The jogger style has been my go-to since Charlotte was born last Spring, but I am trying really hard to brake out of that mode. It would be nice to not look like I am wearing the same thing everyday, even though I am... shhhh!

I have been fascinated with culottes lately. Not for any reason other than they aren't skinny, they're not joggers - they just seem new, fresh and perfect for summer. Then it dawned on me the other day... it was like déja vu... 2005 to be exact - GAUCHOS!!! How many of you remember these lovely knit pants that you had in a rainbow of colors? Before athleisurewear and the dawn of Lululemon, we all wore gauchos... all of the time. Gauchos for work, gauchos for leisure, gauchos for going out and most importantly gauchos pre and post baby! When pregnant with my first, that is all I wore and continued to wear for a long time... Omg, how quickly we forget these trends.

Let me give you a visual...

Do these ring a bell? 

Jessica Simpson embraced gauchos. 

The pregnancy look.

I think those days are best forgotten. It's time to take on the culotte of 2015 - definitely a more polished version and a breath of fresh air. Who wants to go out everyday looking the same as everyone else? As though we were all a bunch of style drones... At least the culotte allows us a chance to be different.. more options are definitely a good thing.


The key is how to wear culottes now. 2015's culottes have a different look... as though you were going to wear a pair of wide leg trousers/ball gown/maxi skirt, but the bottom has been cut off above to ankle to keep you cooler. Therefore, what you put on top should complement the style of the pant - for more inspiration think Katherine Hepburn or Grace Kelly. Some culottes are made to be the statement piece, some are very high-waisted and look great with a cropped, boxy top or sweater. Others are more fluid and casual, which look great with a not too large blouse or tee and/or a jacket or blazer.  

The key is to remember proportion. Don't let the culotte overwhelm you. Models may walk down the runway with long flowing tops paired with equally large and fluid culottes. Don't do it. Keep it simple. Keep it pulled together.

Tibi has some fabulous culottes right now... too bad they are so expensive, but great for inspiration.




As far as shoes go, keep them current. Simple sandals, strappy heels, pointy toe pumps or even a fab mule (my favorite right now). Do not wear a round/almond toe heel with these, please. And, if you are wearing a little heel or flat sandal, stick to a slimmer culotte.  A higher heel helps balance out the fullness of the more extreme versions.

Be adventurous, have fun and good luck.

Post pics of culotte success stories or if you have a question...

                                      - Allison
*Photos courtesy of google and tibi.com.


Liberty United: Jewelry With a Purpose

I feel as though I have been one of the biggest fashion ruts in history.  Not sure if it is due to the demands of my family (i.e. a slave to my girls' schedule), the lack of inspiring fashion this past season or simply that I am transitioning my own style... I have been feeling a bit more grown up these days.
Either way, it has been bad.  However, with summer on it's way out and a good dose of September-like weather - my creative juices seem to be flowing again.

Cut to a good friend of mine showing me a very cool bracelet that she just purchased at a trunk show last week.  It's not your typical Stella & Dot or Lia Sophia piece, it is a creative piece with meaning behind it.  So, what else would I do other than share it with you...

I could go on and on, but I am going to give you the cliff notes version.  It began with Peter Thum who founded Ethos water to help fund water sanitization programs in Africa as well as Asia and Latin America.  While working on these projects he was inspired to help reduce firearms in Africa.  This led to the creation of Fonderie 47.

Fonderie 47's mission is to turn reclaimed guns into high end art and jewelry.  Each piece contains the serial number of one of the weapons that has been destroyed.  Thum has worked with various jewelry designers and artists to create very unique and beautiful pieces with the proceeds going back to help take more assault rifles out of circulation.

The success of Fonderie 47 has led to the creation of Liberty United.  The brainchild of Peter's wife Cara, Liberty United is a jewelry company that puts the focus back on gun violence in the United States.  Committed to helping reduce gun violence on our own soil, each piece of jewelry contains the serial number of a gun that has been destroyed and taken out of circulation.  Proceeds from the sale of these pieces then go to various programs that are trying to reduce gun violence.  And, did I mention that all of these pieces are also made in the United States?!

Now for the fun part - Liberty United's first collaboration is with Philip Crangi.  He is none other than the designer behind Giles & Brother - one of my fave jewelry lines.  He has taken his signature railroad spike (a symbolization of the American spirit - to pioneer and build with courage), and made railroad spike necklaces, rings and bracelets made with bullets or gun metal.

Available in brass, steel, sterling silver or a gun metal and gold combo - these pieces are amazing.  While obviously a silver or gold bracelet is going to be quite an investment, a brass or steel bracelet is much more reasonable.  Not to mention they would look great with an arm full of Alex & Ani bracelets.

I can't wait to purchase one... or more.  Which one will look best with my rainbow loom bracelets??

                                                                                                            - Allison
*Photos courtesy of fonderie47.com and libertyunited.com.


Not Just for the Hippies...

There are two things that you may or may not know about me - I adore maxi dresses and I am always cold.  This slight obsession of mine has left me a closet full of dresses and not much else.  I still don't own the essential pair of white jeans, but I have the perfect maxi to wear to the playground, to a concert... even for an elegant evening out.

My biggest problem - what to wear on top.  Unfortunately I don't wear my maxis as much as I should because I am always cold and seriously lacking in the cute topper department.  Yes, I can wear my jean jacket.  Yes, I can wear my shrunken navy blazer or a colorful cardi.  But, I would like to step it up.  I want to give my dresses a little more style and personality.

What I have found is that it might not be as hard as I thought...

Take a peek at my new favorite ensemble...  this dress is from Zara.  I absolutely love it, but it is a wee bit sheer (hence the $90 price tag).

Zara Long Printed Dress

It's perfect for a dinner or possibly a wedding, and I have the perfect jacket...

A&F Libby Jacket

Yes, this is from Abercrombie & Fitch.  This is what happens when both your sister and sister-in-law work for the company.   I have visited the store much more often lately... Anywho, this jacket is super cute and very lightweight.

I am also newly obsessed with this jacket from Zara.  I do not own it, but I would like to...  I love the shape of the jacket and the casual feel would be perfect to dress down a more formal maxi.
Zara Studded Jacket with Pockets

I would wear it with a voluminous maxi to give it more shape - just like this dress from J.Crew.  Yards and yards of silk... the drape is amazing.

J. Crew Silk Maxidress

And speaking of structure, this coat from Club Monaco is gorgeous.  

Club Monaco Erica Jacket

I would pair this with a long slim-fitting maxi.  I love the idea of mixing this chic and sophisticated jacket with a boho tie-dye dress...

Young Fabulous & Broke Aphrodite Maxi

The only thing maxis don't go with... rain.  Too bad it is pouring today.

                                                                                                              - Allison               

*Photos courtesy of zara.com, abercrombie.com, jcrew.com, clubmonaco.com and shopbop.com.