Packing to meet Rachel Zoe

I am leaving for LA today!  Meeting Rachel Zoe and Ken Downing tomorrow, and the booties are ready to go... 

Animal print, brown and my Chelsea style taupe pair... 

Yes, I am going to be gone for a very short amount of time, but this isn't about packing smart.  It is about having options.  I am not quite sure what my time in LA is going to bring, therefore I must have things to wear for whatever comes my way. Basically I packed maxi's, a tunic for exploring during the day, and layering pieces.  The only thing missing is my gorgeous floral maxi dress, but it is being altered.  I am picking it up two hours before I leave for the airport!  I may be a bit of a procrastinator...

I can't forget my jewelry!  I would have liked to purchase a few new pieces to freshen things up, but I am working on a budget.  All of my go-to pieces must come with me...

Well, I thought I was ready, and then I found out a few details... Wednesday night a cocktail party is being held at the Beverly Hill's Neiman Marcus.  This is to celebrate and promote Rachel Zoe's new clothing line.  The best part is that I get to be a VIP for a day!  My hair and makeup is being done by Neiman's, and (rumor has it) that I am having a private styling session with Rachel and Ken... amazing!!!

This means I might need a few more options since my plans have changed a bit...  white jeans, a white button-down, a striped button-down, wedges and flip flops.  Okay, I think I am packed.

See you in LA...

                                          - Allison


For the Love of Neutrals

Color, color, color!  Everyone has been a bit consumed with color, as have I, but what if you are not a color person?!  I do know they exist... my mom, Patty, is a prime example.  Her closet is full of khaki, grey, brown and black pants... every shade imaginable (although, I am pretty sure she only wears her Minnie's).  Her tops follow in the same manner, whether they are tee's, blouses, sweaters or t-neck sweaters (Patty loves a good t-neck sweater!).  It isn't that she never wears a bright color, but when she does it is strategic. It is done to add some interest here and there... a lavender belt (which I tend to borrow when I visit), a bright green sweater, pinky/persimmon pieces here and there... you get my point, right?!

Since Patty doesn't naturally gravitate to color, she plays with texture, neutral prints, shades of a color and accessories to make her look more interesting.  Python prints, leopard, metallics... all of these are used to add a little umph! to an otherwise ordinary khaki pants & white tee combo.  Patty even bought a pair of animal print oxfords several years ago... impressive!  These little extras that she adds here and there keep her look from feeling stale.  And that, my friends, is the key to playing the neutral game.

If you consider yourself a lover of neutrals, hold your ground this fall.  This is a big year for color, but neutrals will always be the foundation.  Just remember to play with texture (add a little tweed, mohair or sumptuous silk) and pattern (stripes, plaids, animal prints).  Don't be afraid to play with varying shades or tones of the color (mix and match an outfit with different tones of the same color - it makes for a much more interesting look).  For the final touch, make sure your accessories... jewelry, belts, bag and shoes add a little punch too!

I found some street style pics to inspire and clarify...

A little Michael Kors Fall 2011 helps as well...

I could go on for days about neutrals, but I wanted to briefly touch on the basics.  With all of this talk of color, I had to make sure that the neutral people weren't left out!  I will have to revisit this topic another day.

                                           - Allison

*Photos courtesy of whowhatwear.com, waynetippet.com, style.com


What would Jenna wear?

Yesterday afternoon, I happened upon this post about Jenna Lyons (president & creative director of J.Crew) in the Huffington Post.  It is a collection of photos of Jenna and the meaning behind some of the knickknacks in her office.  I love everything about Jenna Lyons, but what really struck me was how she is J.Crew.  She somehow managed to transform a store that had gotten itself into a bit of a rut, into this mecca of affordable cool.  Obviously a very talented and creative person (with quite a vision), Lyons has infused her own funky mix & match style to change the the way women all over the country dress.  Amazing, right?!

Something else struck me as I was oohing and aahing over her office... Jenna's use of color.  Understandably she wears J.Crew (along with other labels), but she wears color in a very realistic way.  I know that for many women out there, life is not as glamourous as it is for the select few who are dictating the trends.  If you are working, you probably aren't dressing like a fashion editor everyday.  If you are working at home with the kids or in a "virtual office", pj's, yoga pants or jeans are more likely your uniform of choice.  Let's just say that I did laugh to myself thinking about how it was pretty ridiculous to think that I was going to sit down at my computer for several hours a day in my lipstick red DVF dress.  Seriously, between writing, playing with the kids, cleaning the pool or constantly vacuuming up the dog hair, the dress would spend more time at the cleaners!  It's not to say that there isn't a place for it, but it would be a special piece that I wear when meeting with clients or attending an event.  Now the dilemma becomes how to infuse a little fashion into my everyday attire.

Therein lies the beauty of J.Crew.  The pieces are just so easy to wear everyday.  Plus, many items have the ability to be dressed up for special events or a night out.  And, it isn't to say that you must wear J.Crew all of the time (I know that it gets expensive), but it is a good place to start.  At the very least, you might buy a colorful sweater to wear with your rolled up cargo's from Old Navy.  Or, maybe you peruse the website for some ideas, and wait for a sale.  Either way, I believe that it is an example of an easy and relaxed way to inject a little color into your life.  Think about it, a pair of bright red flats could be worn with so many things... just look at Jenna's heels!

I am going to stop rambling about my love of J.Crew.  But before I end, I wanted to share a few images of some things that I would love to wear right now...

For special occasions...

Oh, and I can't forget a very important finishing touch!

Let's just say they are on my wishlist... all available online at jcrew.com.

                                            - Allison

*Photos courtesy of huffingtonpost.com and jcrew.com.


"When in doubt, wear red." - Bill Blass

Red is a vibrant and stimulating color.  It screams energy and immediately draws your eye (therefore, only wear it where you want to accentuate your assets).  Red is supposed to increase enthusiasm, encourage action and confidence, while giving us a sense of protection from our fears and anxieties.  I also found out that it is the color of the root chakra.  The base or root chakra is located at the base of the spine. Supposedly, focusing on the color red allows us to ground our "energetic body".  In other words, it helps us to regroup when we find ourselves "spacing out".  And, red represents beauty in many languages.

With all of the praise and good vibes that red brings, why do we always shy away from this color?  Well, it is a bold color. You will draw attention if you wear a brilliant red dress, skirt or blouse, but is this such a bad thing?  Not at all!  So, now is your chance.  Red is back and bigger than ever this fall.  Not just as an accent, but as the main attraction.  This brings me to the point of this post... a perfect way to transition your wardrobe is to bring a little red into your life.

There are so many options that you will most definitely find the piece that is right for you.  It could be a dress, skirt, blouse, pants or shorts... whatever it is that you makes you feel the most comfortable.  Just remember (as I said before), only wear red where you feel it is befitting to draw attention.  For example, if you are a bit bottom heavy, a red pair of pants or pencil skirt, may not be the most flattering option.  Rather,  focus on a red blouse, a-line dress or fuller skirt.  

Let's get on with it, shall we...




MARC by Marc Jacobs


Elie Tahari

Sexy chic courtesy of Victoria's Secret

To make the transition to red even easier, Harper's Bazaar gave some great advice this month... wear red with python print accessories and gold jewelry.  This is the perfect way to wear red now and into the chillier weather.  Happy shopping!

                           - Allison
*Photos courtesy of neimanmarcus.com, asos.com, dvf.com, shopbop.com, victoriassecret.com


Fabulous Color!

At this point in the year (or season), I am completely sick of my clothes.  Don't you get to that point where you feel like you have worn the same outfit so many times that you never want to see it again?!  The only time that this feeling is worse, is when you are pregnant.  Why?  When you are at the end of your pregnancy, the last thing you want to do is buy new clothes.  It is the same way that you feel about buying a summer dress in the middle of August (wouldn't the money be better spent on a new bow blouse for fall?!).  But, I digress.  It is just that at this time of the year, you can't wear many of the fall offerings, but you still have weddings, dinners, or a night out in which you need something to wear.

This post came about as I was assisting a client find a new way to wear a fabulous dress for an upcoming wedding.  Seriously, we all get tired of our nude pumps after awhile (I am sure that Kate Middleton is sick of her's by now!).  It isn't that we don't want to wear them again, it is just that we need a break.  One of the best accessories trends this fall to wear now is saturated color.  Whether it is shoes or handbags, it is time to have fun with color.  This ties into a previous post (True Blue), but I wanted to add a few pieces that will add value to any wardrobe!

First there is the Ivanka Trump Animal Print Pump...

This girl knows how to make a good looking shoe at a decent price (under $150!).

Then there is the absolutely amazing Dolce Vita Suede Pump...

And, it's under $200.  Jackpot!

As far as great clutches in bright colors, plus, a very cool animal print, look no further than Claire Vivier.

There are two versions of CV's clutch of which I am a fan... the flat and the foldover.  The green is the only image that I could get large enough to post, but you must check out her website.  The choice in colors will have you drooling, I promise! 
Two great ways to update your look with color.  Try one, or both, and have fun!
                                                                                                                     - Allison 
*Photos courtesy of bloomingdales.com, heels.com, seevivier.com.


A new found friend... the Tunic

As many of you know, I have been going on and on for months now about how much I love maxi skirts and dresses!  I still do, but for some occasions they don't quite feel appropriate.  In my line of work I don't really have to worry about dress codes.  I can wear maxi's everyday... to run errands, write blog posts, meet with a client... totally acceptable.  But, for the typical working woman, I am fairly certain that she is not as agreeable with me on this topic.  Therefore, I would like to introduce a newer love of mine, the tunic.

DVF' Squaretan Dress - love!!!

Yes, a tunic is the name give to several different types of clothing, those of which are all varying lengths.  Most of us are more familiar with a longer style of shirt that is worn over pants or leggings.  However, some tunics (there seem to be quite a few this fall) that are actually long enough to wear as a dress, yet can also be worn over pants.  Brilliant!  The basic style for the tunic is more of a long and loose silhouette.  Worn as a dress it will be shorter (it really depends on your height), but most styles are not too short for the office.  The breeziness and lack of structure is perfect for the versatility of the tunic.  This shape allows you to wear it loose with long pendants or scarves, belted, layered over long sleeve tee's or t-necks with tights or pants.  The options really are limitless.

Gestuz Blue Marble Print Tunic Dress

I was recently inspired by the tunic after receiving a silk version from one of my favorite brands... Tucker.  The tunic is almost to my knees (I did size up), which is great to add a bit of length and more of a relaxed fit.  The only problem is that it is a tad sheer, but that is easily solved with a neutral color slip (a colorful one could be added for some fun!).  Originally I had been very excited by this being such a good transition piece for the fall.  I wasn't even thinking about the fact that it is a perfect piece to wear all year!

Tucker's Long Silk Tunic... a must-have!!!

As far as the versatility, I recently wore it a networking event as a dress with some cute wedges.  I am also thinking about taking it with me to LA to meet RZ!  I would wear it with some booties and possibly a belt. Then I thought about how great it would look with a waffle knit long sleeve tee underneath and my faux fur vest.  Over skinny jeans it will look great, and I might be able to belt it and wear it over my wide legged jeans as well!  You really can't beat a piece of clothing that is going to take you this far.  I am definitely planning on adding a few more to my collection... you should too!
                                             - Allison

*photos courtesy of dvf.com, asos.com, bergdorfgoodman.com


Music to my ears... Sample Sale!!!

If you are in the mood for some fab shopping at bargain prices, then I have news for you!  Two of my favorite brands... P-THREE (The Bamboo Shirt) and Tucker are having sample sales this week!  Even better news, they are on the same day.  For those of you heading into the city, you can kill two birds with one stone and make a night of it!  I think this calls for a Girl's Night Out... who's with me?!

If you aren't familiar with P-THREE, this is the brand behind the most awesome bamboo shirt!  I wrote about them a while back... check it out.  As you can see below on the invite, this isn't your typical sample sale.  It is being held at the BoConcept store in NY, and there are going to be many fantastic brands represented.  You better put in your calendar now, you don't want to miss it!

I don't have much to say about Tucker other than... love!  It is a beautiful, feminine line of clothing full of colorful prints, perfect dresses, blouses and tunics.  Check out my past post to read more about them.  This is a sale that you don't want to miss!  And, if you are curious what Of a Kind is, you must take a look at their website... very cool!  They deserve a post of their own... soon!

Go shop, have fun and find some perfect transition pieces at unbeatable prices!!!

                                            - Allison


Winter Kate & Isabel Marant... a Winning Combo!

It all started with a boot...

Isabel Marant's Dicker Boot... sigh.  To say that I am in love with this boot is an understatement.  Obsessed might be a better word!  Well, when I found out that I was going to LA to meet Rachel Zoe and Ken Downing, the first thing that popped into my head was how perfect these boots would be on this trip!  With transition season upon us, this is the best style of shoe to get you through this in-between time and beyond.

This shoe obsession is in combination with my slight fixation on maxis (dresses or skirts, it doesn't really matter).  Therefore, the first place I thought to look for a new dress (or two) was Winter Kate.  For those of you not familiar with Winter Kate, it is the fabulous clothing line created by Nicole Richie.  This brand is full of vintage inspired pieces plus a touch of bohemian flair with a touch of rocker edge.  I have been in love with this line from day one, but have not really been able to justify a purchase... until now.

Well, I discovered the Waterwillow Dress (available this fall)...

... and I fell in love.  I swear it is screaming to be worn all year round.  Add a scarf, a lightweight sweater, a chunky knit, maybe a some faux fur down the road... it is just what I have dreaming about!  And, I love the color!  

This is a perfect transition piece for fall.  I can wear it with flip flops in the torturous summer heat, and when the temp dips a bit, I am going to add my Dicker boots and a mohair blend sweater (the one pictured is from Wilt)... 

To finish off my look, I need a necklace or two (and probably a gold chain of mine)... from House of Harlow 1960 (Nicole Richie's accessory line).  First we have the Sunburst Pendant Necklace...

... add to that the Medallion Locket Necklace.  The perfect long necklace for my long & layered look!

This is fabulous!  Very me... something that I would not only wear in LA, but maybe everyday after that as well!  Now that my daytime outfit is figured out (pray for cooler weather!), what am I going to wear to the cocktail party?!

In sticking with my beloved Winter Kate, I happened to find two dresses from the spring that are still available!  I loved them when I first saw them, but did not have a reason to buy them... now I do!

These dresses are not only exactly my style, but they also work perfectly with my newest obsession... fun, colorful booties.  You see, I am slightly infatuated with the idea of wearing a long, flowing dress with a fun bootie (whether it is a bright color or print) peeking out from the hem.  Not to mention the endless possibilities of wearing the maxi and the bootie later on.

The hard part is that I have to pick one... there is the Passenger Dress in Hibiscus Floral...

... paired with the Isabel Marant Cleane Bootie (I adore!).

 But, then there is the Kimono Dress in Grey Floral...

... paired with the Isabel Marant Cleane Bootie (this one makes me feel a little more rock 'n roll!).

Decisions, decisions.  What is a girl to do?! 

                                        - Allison

*photos courtesy of netaporter.com, Winter Kate, shopbop.com, shopthetrendboutique.com, polyvore.com