Brighten up the rainy days...

So these gray, rainy days can really wear on you after awhile, right?  Well, I have a great way to perk yourself up a bit... florals and/or bright colors or prints!  My point being, there is no better way to put yourself in a happy mood than flowers or bright colors.  Life is just so much easier to deal with when you are happy!

With that being said, pair your favorite print with a sweater & a belt, a sweatshirt, t-shirt, black pants... just depends on your destination.  Whether you are taking your kids to school or going to work, it is a sure way to feel happy on a crummy day! :)


Must have Fall accessories...

Albertus Swanepoel Fedora
Rhodie Tote
Mongolian Lamb Vest
If you have learned already, I have a serious obsession with J.Crew!  I guess my obsession stems from the fact that J.Crew is usually a more affordable, but still a very stylish option.  The clothing also fits very well into most women's lifestyles.  I also like the fact that their preppy roots keep the clothing and accessories from going over the top... as an example, the jewelry is flashy & sparkly, but doesn't become too glitzy & Vegas looking.  They maintain some sort of muted/subtle feeling, which I believe is a much more chic choice.

With that being said, J.Crew has started to unveil new Fall arrivals and I am super excited!  Here are just a few of my must haves (although, some will be going on my "must have wish list"!)...
Martinete Feather Jacket

Sequined Jersey Bloomer

Mongolian Lamb Stole

Travel in Style

I don’t know about you, but when I travel (sounds so worldly, right!... in reality, that means driving to the Cape with the car packed to the brim with the kids’ gear) I love to feel like Jackie O!  I love feeling put together in basic pieces (think classic Jackie O look... black t-shirt & white jeans), always have a huge selection of accessories (what better way to spice up & change the personality of your basic pieces), and, of course, I love having classic looking luggage!  
Well, when I discovered John & Mary Luggage... classically designed carryalls that are unbelievably affordable!  The smallest carryall starts at $150 while the largest starts at $250, I got very excited!  Seriously, that is not a great expense to look completely put together and fabulous where ever your travels might take you.  
Then, I found these unbelievably awesome striped boatneck t’s from Chance.  They are $60 and are the creation of Julia Leach, former creative director of Kate Spade.  She completely understands creating a very classic piece... no fancy trims, details or crazy cuts.  You can wear this so many different ways due to the simplicity of the design... simply a classic.

So, no matter where you are going (or your age) these two fab finds are must haves for all of you ladies.  It doesn’t matter how crazy your life is, you are always going to look like a very chic woman with these no fail pieces!
                                                                   - Allison

Definitely not for everyone...

Alright, so let’s talk about the new trend of sweatshirt dressing... hmmm...  Well, it can be very cute and fresh, IF worn the right way.  Otherwise, you are going to look like the frumpy housewife that we all dread becoming one day!

First & most importantly, you must wear pieces that are fitted or at least body-skimming... modern cuts only!  You are not allowed to step out in a pair of old sweatpants & booties, or your favorite old sweatshirt paired with a pair of dressy shorts.  However, if you purchase a new sweatshirt dress with lace (a` la D&G dress above) or maybe a slim cut dress (the Vince dress below) that you could dress up with a belt or jewelry, you will be the talk of the town.  

Beware of a hoody (to the right) or a pair sweatpants (bottom right).  Believe me, they are just not going to translate well to the real world... ie. playing with fire!  So if you dare, stick to a “sweatshirt” like the one from J.Crew (pictured below), or a “sweatdress”.  Then, you dress it up with statement jewelry and fabulous shoes!  
I personally love my J.Crew sweatshirt!  I wear it with my pearls or belted over a cute skirt... so fun! Just think feminine and you should be just fine.

*photos courtesy of shopbop.com, jcrew.com, bergdorfgoodman.com & madewell.com

Oh, what a night!

Tuesday night (8.3.10) I had to most amazing opportunity to attend a Tory Burch event with many well-known bloggers & style editors!  The event was to celebrate the launch of Tory’s new denim line!  I had so much fun perusing the store, looking at the fabulous Fall clothes, jewelry, handbags and most importantly the new denim!  
The new denim line is OOC (out of control) as Rachel Zoe would say!  I was able to look, touch & try on the various styles and I love them all!  There is the legging, the skinny, the straight leg, the tomboy, bootcut & trouser cut... not to mention really fun printed denim (as seen in the picture above).  There are so many options, you are sure to find the one that is right for you.  
Then, if that wasn’t enough, we were all able to style our own look with the denim... so much fun!  My look is pictured above... and I love it!  I would totally rock this outfit!  I would just add a bag like the Louiisa Messenger (if I could just get it in black), or there is this great oversized black foldover clutch that I saw in the store that I LOVE!  Then, of course, you need some shades...
Then to have some fun with all of this, pictures of all of our outfits have been posted on Tory’s facebook page (on “the latest” tab).  You are supposed to vote for your favorite one... so please vote for Style Direction!  I would love to win, but I am up against some stiff competition!
It was a great night and I highly recommend checking out the Tory Burch denim before you buy your new jeans for the Fall!  If you are interested, the links for the pieces I used are below...

                                            - Allison

Something for everyone!

I am not sure how everyone else feels, but this extreme heat and humidity is starting to wear on me!  Although there is no where else that I would rather be than on the beach at the Cape, I have begun to dream about cooler Fall nights, bonfires, beautiful foliage and even (gasp).... football!  
My current mood has kept me busy dreaming about all of the fabulous Fall clothes that have been hitting the stores, but then I remember... I won’t be able to wear this for TWO more months!  My jolt back to reality inspired me to write about this really great shirtdress from Madewell.  It is another wear now, wear later piece of clothing, which is really what the focus should be on at this time of the year.
The greatness of this dress is that you can wear it to run errands, wear it to the beach, wear it over jeans or even dress it up with some jewelry for a casual night out.  In other words, it is a perfect go-to piece of clothing for everyone!
If it were me, I would wear it with a few of my favorite things... pearls, a studded belt & leopard print flats!  Seriously, I am so excited, I have to go buy this dress right now!
                                                - Allison
*photos courtesy of Madewell & J.Crew

Which to choose???

Leopard print is going to be hot this Fall!  Sounds familiar, right?  Yes, it does.  Why, you ask?  Because leopard is declared a must-have every season!  Granted, some seasons it is more of an accent (such as this Fall), and others it is much more of a player... showing up as dresses, blouses, etc (such as this past Spring).   The takeaway... everyone should own some sort of leopard print accessory.  
Now, I do believe that this is an essential print for every wardrobe, but it is better to own it as an accent versus a piece of clothing.  You could start small... a belt or scarf, or be a bit more daring... a handbag or shoes!  You will not be disappointed, I promise.  This print is a great way to add interest to an otherwise monochromatic outfit, or it is a great addition to a fun & colorful bohemian look.  Seriously, however you wear it, you will look fabulous!
Okay, now back to my original point, leopard print pumps.  Since, these really are a must have this fall and beyond, it is important to choose a pair that are going to go the distance season after season.  First, ditch the ultra high platform (the first picture).  They really do look a bit ridiculous, and the older we get so do we when we wear them!  Second, the lace-up bootie.  I love this shoe!  It is a perfect addition for this season & is a great shoe for a more daring girl.  It has a bit of a platform, which is perfect, and this makes it a bit more modern looking.  (*Note to self - any platform over an inch should be seriously considered.)  You can’t go wrong with this shoe!  The last option is the classic pump.  As always this is a great option, especially for the more conservative woman.  This pump is also guaranteed to look chic season after season.
In conclusion, you must purchase a leopard print pump this Fall!  Just base your decision on your lifestyle and wardrobe.  And, hold onto your leopard print flats as well, they are & always will be a must have for every woman!
                                    - Allison

New & Fabulous Bags

Well, it has officially begun... the Fall clothing season, that is.  With that, bring on the deluge of the “new, must-have” coats, shoes, jewelry & of course, handbags!  
However, continuing with the overriding theme of the last several seasons, there really isn’t one “it” bag this Fall.  There are definitely trends, but it is really about you picking the right bag for your style, lifestyle & wardrobe.  
As a mother and stylist, I always lean towards bigger bags, period.  They can be structured or slouchy, it doesn’t matter as long as they are oversized.  With that said, the first bags that I have been drawn to this season are satchels and totes.  Not only are they nice and roomy, but they all come with the longer shoulder strap, so in a pinch you can throw the bag on messenger style and ta da... hands free!  A great feature for women on the go! 
The color is another factor in my attraction to these bags.  I LOVE the bright blue... I keep thinking how it would pop with black, grey, navy, camel...  The green is also a beautiful color for the colder months, and a little different.  The neutral brown bag has a nice rich color that doesn’t strike me as being the typical “brown bag”, and it will go with everything.  In other words, I would like all of these bags, please!
Who makes these bags, you ask... well, none other than my faves... Tory Burch... the blue bag is the Dayton Messenger, the neutral bag is the Norah Satchel, and the green tote is the Exhibitor Mega Tote from J.Crew.  Once again, a great take on classic styling, fairly affordable (as far as designer handbags go), and they are great for everyday wear!
                                   - Allison
*photos are courtesy of Tory Burch & J.Crew

The Essential Transition Piece for Right Now...

Well, I think everyone knows about my obsession with J.Crew, and it is with good reason.  Everytime I start to look around for a specific item that I need to complete a look for myself or a client, J.Crew always seems to have the perfect piece!  
Once again, they did not disappoint!  I was looking for a fairly basic dress.  Something that I could dress up or down... wear with flip flops out and about with my kids, appropriate for the Cape (ie. ability to be preppy/nautical looking) and can be dressed up for a night out in the city.  The other requirement is that I must be able to wear it into the Fall, since it is already the middle of July.  Then, out of the blue, I get an email... enter the Marlie dress...
I got very excited because it is perfect!  A simple shift with a racerback detail (adds interest) and is silk (dresses it up).  This is what I call a fabulous foundation piece... the options are endless!  As an example of some the fun things that you can do with this dress, check out the pictures above (all courtesy of J.Crew)... you can dress it down with a boyfriend style shirt & gold topsiders or dress it up with  a leather jacket and cute heels!
If you are looking for a great transition piece, take a look and remember to have fun with it!
*Update... pictures wouldn’t transfer from my old site... check them out at my Style Blog.
                                        - Allison
*photos courtesy of J.Crew

My oh My... the perfect Clutch!

Not too long ago some friends of mine told me about this great bag that I must see, and guess what... they were right!  My first thought, when I saw one of these fabulous clutches, was... “where have you been all of my life?”...  
Not only are these SNAP handbags the cutest... they are very practical, affordable, eco-friendly, & made in the U.S.... plus the designer/founder, Jennifer Liljegren, is from our very own Bergen County!  She has created a classicly shaped bag available in 10 different colors & patterns.  All are lined with her signature turquoise satin lining, and... the really fun part... is that you choose the color of your magnetic button closure from 4 different color combos (to match your jewelry!).
I know that another major concern about clutches are there size, well, that is perfect as well!  The bag is not oversized, but large enough to hold your keys, phone, lipstick, credit cards... all the necessities! Really, the only problem that you might run into... which one to purchase?  I don’t know about you, but I am loving the animal print as well as the orange print... decisions, decisions. :)
Believe me, you can’t go wrong with any of these bags... just choose one based on your wardrobe.  Use the bag as a way to add a pop of color, some interest, or a bit of elegance.  And, this is very important, these bags can be used all year long... they are seasonless!  It really doesn’t get much better than that, except that these bags are on sale for $84!
Hurry, grab your SNAP bag now... available at snaphandbags.com or possibly a boutique near you (check the website).
P.S.  These would be a great gift... and, totes are coming soon!
            - Allison

Wishing for cooler weather already!?!

Well, these booties are making me wish it were September instead of the first day of Summer!  I instantly fell in love with these Tory Burch booties a few weeks ago when I spied them from across the shoe department.  They are just the perfect blend of clog/bootie/everyday shoe.  Just imagine these shoes with a flirty dress or your favorite pair of boyfriend jeans... really, your options are endless.  And, with a 3 inch heel and a platform, you could actually wear them running around town and not have to worry about twisting an ankle!
They would be a perfect addition to your wardrobe... wear now on cooler days, and then wear them all of the time in the Fall.  The best part about it, these shoes are going to blend in with everything you already own... trust me!  It is time to start saving your pennies!!!
         - Allison
*Photo courtesy of toryburch.com