Good day, sunshine! You will need shades, these are it…

The Fly, Big Mouth, & Madness, sunglasses by Perverse.
Fly, Big Mouth, & Madness, sunglasses by Perverse.

Spring has finally arrived & I can’t think of a better excuse to treat yourself to new sunglasses; seriously, this purchase is just as functional as it is fun, & that’s not something you can say often. I’m introducing you to one of my favorite new (and socially responsible) companies: meet PERVERSE. They must have been in my head when I asked, “Why can’t there be one great resource for fabulous sunglasses without crazy high prices?!?!” PERVERSE answered just last year in 2015 with “you’re totally right, there should be, & here we are! Yay!!!” There is a vast assortment of styles, so I promise that you will find at least one pair that you love, & with these prices you have my blessing to buy several if you happen to fall in love with two…or three….or, okay I’ll stop myself; I’m trying to be a good influence. Some of my favorites are above: Fly in color Mrs. Grey-Light Grey (Suggested Retail:$45), Big Mouth in color Clara-Brown (Suggested Retail:$35), & Madness in Silver-Black with Silver (Suggested Retail: $65). I’m not the only fan of this truly amazing label; Cara Delevingne, who is a little…okay, fine WAY cooler than I am, has also been spotted wearing these must have shades. Need I say more?

Cara Delevingne wearing PERVERSE sunglasses.
Cara Delevingne wearing PERVERSE sunglasses.
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The Red Carpet: 2016 Golden Globes

2016 Golden Globes best dressed: Jennifer Lawrence,   Taraji Henson, Rachel McAdams, & Alicia Vikander.
2016 Golden Globes best dressed: Jennifer Lawrence, Taraji Henson, Rachel McAdams, & Alicia Vikander.

I’ll whole heartedly admit that at least 50% (okay, fine 90%) of the reason I watch any of the award shows is to see what everyone is wearing. I completely respect all that these talented individuals have accomplished on the silver screen, however, I’m kind of obsessed with fashion, so….my winners for best dressed are the following: Jennifer Lawrence captured old Hollywood in a new & modern way in her Dior gown; she was sexy but classy from her low twist bun & red lips to the Chopard jewelry. Taraji P. Henson looked gorgeous in custom Stella McCartney; the dress & train, combined with her hair & make-up, & her dangling emerald earrings were perfection. Rachel McAdams was stunning in a printed Lanvin gown; wearing a print for a formal occasion can be a little risky, but she pulled off the look effortlessly. The most sophisticated & chic starlet of the night was Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton. There were several celebrities who missed the mark, but at Madison & Mercer we do not believe in publishing negative comments about women. We’re ready for the next red carpet, please!

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Top investments: Isabel Marant

Fabulous fall treats by Isabel Marant, available at Barney's.
Fabulous fall treats by Isabel Marant, available at Barney’s.

When it comes to shopping, I like to make sure that my purchases aren’t based purely on emotion. I do have to be excited by the item(s), but that alone isn’t always enough, especially when the price is above a certain number… So, I often find myself asking the following questions before making an investment: 1- “Do I already have something like this in my closet?” 2- “Is this piece truly special, unique, or different enough to make it worth while?” 3- “Do I have other items in my closet that will go with this or will I then have to buy other items as well? (it’s okay if you have to buy other items to go with it, but you should be aware of this upfront.) 4- “Can I think of at least two different occasions I can wear this to, happening soon? If the stars all align, then I pull the credit card.  This season, the three tops by Isabel Marant (above) fit the bill: the black embroidered organza Vatelle blouse (Barney’s, Suggested Retail: $405), the navy pleated Rauline blouse with black trim (Barney’s, Suggested Retail: $670), & the white Allen top (Barney’s, Suggested Retail: $780). These tops are quite special, so let them be the standout of your look; keep the bottoms simple & tailored. Each one of these would be a good investment, & if you want a diverse portfolio (ahem, closet) you have my blessing to purchase all three!

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Your weekend shopping list: the Adam Lippes collection at Target

Looks from Adam Lippes collection for Target.
Looks from Adam Lippes collection for Target.

This weekend I’m giving you a “to-do” list that you will actually enjoy: go to Target & shop the Adam Lippes collection.  The designs of Adam Lippes are always impeccably tailored & have a relaxed, understated elegance. His brand mixes Americana with a global sophistication, perhaps as a result of Lippes’ impressive resume—having worked at both Ralph Lauren & Oscar de la Renta. The Target-Lippes collection was inspired by his passion for the Berkshires, which perfectly captures the beauty of fall. If you haven’t been, add it to your “to-do” list (the fun one that I’m giving you) & stay at either the Red Lion Inn, or treat yourself to a spa weekend there at Canyon Ranch. The collection launches this Sunday, September 27th, & since these designer collaborations tend to sell-out quickly, get there early with your pumpkin spice latte in hand, or get ready to fill your online shopping cart before you watch Meet the Press. Enjoy completing the best “to-do” list ever (did I mention that most pieces are under $60)!!!

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Tuesday’s with Thakoon: Kohl’s & Thakoon

Looks from Thakoon for Kohl's, DesigNation.
Looks from Thakoon for Kohl’s, DesigNation.

There is no better way to start the month than with affordable “designer” clothes; Thakoon is making that possible via his collaboration with Kohl’s for September’s DesigNation. Thakoon Panichgul is a Thai-American designer esteemed in the fashion world for his talent in merging feminine designs with a modern tomboy edge. This London-inspired collection, which launches this week, September 10th, features pieces ranging from $48-$200, so plan your Thursday accordingly. Happy shopping!

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Statement cuffs

Statement cuffs by Anndra Neen & Rosantica.
Statement cuffs by Anndra Neen & Rosantica.

Mid-August, already? August is one of my favorite months, but there’s something bittersweet about it because we say farewell to summer in just a few short weeks, & with it goes the carefree, relaxed mentality that epitomizes the season. This transitional period also makes shopping a bit challenging, especially when you want something you can enjoy now & also wear into the fall without looking like you forgot what month it is. What’s a girl to do? When in doubt, make a statement with jewelry, preferably one of these statement cuffs. Here are some fabulous pieces that you can wear now & well into the fall. I love Anndra Neen’s horizon gold & silver-tone cuff, Net-a-porter, Suggested Retail: $450. The cut-out details give this cuff a modern twist.  Rosantica’s Coralli gold plated cuff is a chic way to wear artwork inspired by nature, Net-a-porter, Suggested Retail: $325. So enjoy the rest of your summer with fabulous wrist candy that will stay with you long after the tan lines fade.

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Things happening in April: Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Lilly Pulitzer for Target starting April 19th.
Lilly Pulitzer for Target starting April 19th.

April 19th is not a sleeping-in kind of Sunday; instead you will want to be at your nearest Target store, or at the very least, sitting in front of your laptop filling your shopping cart with great finds from Target’s collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer. The label, known for it’s iconic Palm Beach inspired prints & colors, is offering a fabulous collection, which includes footwear & accessories as well, all priced under $40.  You can find accent fabulous pieces for the home too, so mark your calendars now.

Swimwear from Lilly Pulitzer for Target.
Swimwear from Lilly Pulitzer for Target.
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When in Rome…or just anytime this spring & summer

Chloé Lace-Up Tall Gladiator Sandals.
Chloé Lace-Up Tall Gladiator Sandals.

While it might still be cold or even snowing in some parts of the country (ahem, Chicago), it is officially spring so I’m ignoring the weather outside of my window & getting us ready for the well deserved warmer months ahead.  The biggest trend in footwear for spring/summer is inspired by our Roman warrior friends.  You might recall seeing shorter versions of the gladiator sandal in the past, but this season, the sandal is taller & more “authentic” than in the past. If you are able to splurge, the Chloé lace-up tall Gladiator sandal is absolutely fabulous, Barneys, Suggested Retail: $1,370 (above).  I love these sandals with flowy spring dresses; it creates a bohemian, “I’m chic without trying,” look.  If you’re on a budget, Zara’s leather Roman sandal is a great choice, Zara, Suggested Retail:$159.  Now, if we can just get the weather gods to recognize that it’s supposed to be spring, we’ll be all set. 

Looks from the Chloé Spring 2015 Runway.
Looks from the Chloé Spring 2015 Runway.
Zara's Leather Roman Sandals.
Zara’s Leather Roman Sandals.
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On the fringe

Layered Fringe Suede Jacket from Intermix.
Layered Fringe Suede Jacket from Intermix.

This spring one of the more fun trends is fringe. While fringe was initially inspired by Native American fashion, it has made it’s way into the our hearts & minds in several periods throughout history, from the 1920s flapper style dresses, to the 1960s.  It’s the bohemian spirit of the 1960s that is specifically influencing this year’s resurgence of the playful, yet chic detail.  Here are my favorite ways to wear the trend: I love the layered fringe suede jacket (above) with denim or over a long maxi dress with aviator sunglasses, Exclusively at Intermix, Sugested Retail: $698. Make sure you are just choosing one fringed piece at a time. If you don’t want to commit to fringed clothing, Valentino’s pebbled leather tote with fringe trim (in army green, below, or black) is the perfect solution, Intermix, Sugested Retail: $2,995.

Valentino Pebbled Leather Tote at Intermix.
Valentino Pebbled Leather Tote at Intermix.
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Spring on a budget

The Gwenyth bag by Christian Siriano for Payless.
The Gwenyth bag by Christian Siriano for Payless.

March has finally arrived & with it comes the promise, or at least hope, for warmer weather & spring, which officially starts on March 20th.  Most of us have experienced a less than ideal winter, so it’s natural to feel like a little treat, such as a spring accessory or two, will brighten our spirits & help us get through those last 18 days of winter.  For those of us on a budget, Christian Siriano for Payless will allow you to purchase several fabulous treats, starting with the Gwenyth bagSuggested Retail: now $29.99 (was $44.99). This handbag encompasses two spring trends: black & white, & perforation detail. The trend continues with footwear. Choose the perforated Haven pumpSuggested Retail: now $34.99 (was $44.99) or the Emelia side dip flatSuggested Retail: $29.99. Thanks to Christian Siriano’s amazing collection, you can start your spring shopping without any guilt. Must-have Spring shoes from Christian Siriano for Payless.

Must-have Spring shoes from Christian Siriano for Payless.
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