Toting style

Leather totes by Cuyana.
Leather totes by Cuyana.

I have to confess that although I advocate a look that’s polished, or at least complete in the style that one is trying to achieve, when it comes to keeping all of my paperwork together as I’m going to & fro appointments, there is room for improvement…perhaps a lot of room. Folders, envelopes, & sometimes even sheets of paper are sticking out of the top of my handbag, which doesn’t exactly convey a professional, polished, or stylish look.  However, until now I hadn’t found a handbag that was functional, fashionable, & in my budget.  Thankfully, my stylish & savvy friend Kate introduced me to Cuyana. The brand’s mission is to provide high quality, simple, timeless products that support & empower local craftsman around the globe.  Cofounders, Karla Gallardo & Shilpa Shah, have mastered the “less is more concept” & are committed to offering these wonderful products at affordable prices too. While there are many great pieces to choose from, the Leather tote (above) is an absolute must, Suggested Retail: $150. It will keep you organized while looking effortlessly chic & polished. At this price, you can treat yourself to two different colors & the monograming, & I can say goodbye to the mess of papers embarrassingly sticking out of my handbags.

Treat yourself to monograming your new Cuyana tote.
Treat yourself to monograming your new Cuyana tote.
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INTER-PRET your look

The fabulous INTER-PRET.us Scuba Coat.
The fabulous INTER-PRET.us Scuba Coat.

Sometimes when shopping, one can get déjà vu. Often times it looks like every store is selling the exact same thing & it can be challenging to choose something that sets you apart, in a good way, of course. Thankfully, the talented Derek Guillemette, Creative Director of INTER-PRET.us, has arrived to satisfy the need to look at fashion from a unique point of view.  His impressive resume includes launching Rent the Runway, & working as a Designer Buyer for Bloomingdale’s. These experiences have taken Guillemette around the world, from Paris, London, & Milan, to Marrakesh, giving him an advanced education in luxury fabrics & the importance of fit.  INTER-PRET.us expresses Guillemette’s belief that fashion should empower, not discriminate. Every piece in the collection reflects clean lines & classic design principles that are reinterpreted with cutting-edge unisex fabrics & details. Some of my favorite pieces from the Autum/Winter 2014 collection include: the Scuba Coat, which embodies style & function, Suggested Retail, $595 (above), the Scuba Shirt, made of ultra soft Japanese scuba knit described as a modern interpretation of cashmere—enough said, Suggested Retail, $225 (below), & the Scuba Jacket, featuring zip-off sleeves so you’re getting two fabulous looks in one, Suggested Retail, $425 (below). The collection is only available online & offers free shipping in addition to 10% off your first offer; it’s the perfect place for you & your sweetheart to shop together! So start filling your shopping cart with INTER-PRET.us ASAP!

The Scuba Shirt by INTER-PRET.us (think modern cashmere).
The Scuba Shirt by INTER-PRET.us (think modern cashmere).
The Scuba Jacket with zip-off sleeves; a favorite of mine from INTER-PRET.us.
The Scuba Jacket with zip-off sleeves; a favorite of mine from INTER-PRET.us.
The man behind the genius, Derek Guillemette Creative Director of INTER-PRET.us.
The man behind the genius, Derek Guillemette Creative Director of INTER-PRET.us.
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Support the fight against breast cancer, even if pink isn’t your color

Rag & Bone's Key to the Cure tee.
Rag & Bone’s Key to the Cure tee.

Far too many women (and even some men) have to face breast cancer everyday of the year, but October is the designated month for breast cancer awareness.  As such, this is the month to do something extra to show your support for the fight.  While there are lots of companies with products that give a portion of their product to breast cancer research (BCR) & related charities, only a handful actually give 100% of their net proceeds to the cause. I have two favorites this year. The Key to the Cure tee by Rag & Bone allows you to show your support without being decked out in pink, & it’s unisex, so men can sport this great shirt too, Exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue, Suggested Retail: $35.00. Philosphy’s shower for the cure has an amazing fragrance & makes a wonderful gift, Philosophy online, Suggested Retail: $20.00. So, if you want to show your support, go with these fabulous choices instead of the ones that are only giving a small percentage to the cause.

Philosophy's shower for the cure.
Philosophy’s shower for the cure.
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Shoes, a series: episode 3, favorite under $40

My favorite shoes under $40 this fall, by Christian Siriano for Payless.
My favorite shoes under $40 this fall, by Christian Siriano for Payless.

When it comes to shoes, in general, you expect to pay something with 3 digits. That’s why I cherish the unexpected moments when I discover a pair that looks like it would have 3 figures, but only has 2. So here are my exciting finds for this fall; we’ll keep the fabulous price tag our little secret.   All of these are by one of my favorite designers, Christian Siriano (yes, he won Project Runway back in the day). His collections are featured in high-end luxury retailers like Neiman Marcus, but thankfully he still designs a collection for Payless.  The Malia block heel bootie (top left) will add a little edge to your look; wear them with skinny pants tucked into them, or with dresses & skirts, Payless, Suggested Retail: $34.99 (on sale now, hurry!).  I love, love the pointed bow flat in grey, (top right); it adds a sophisticated, chic touch to any casual outfit, Payless, Suggested Retail: $29.99.  The doble 2 pc point flat in both pewter & leopard (bottom row, both shoes) is the perfect party shoe for those “in-between”/”not-too-dressy” occasions, Payless, Suggested Retail: $29.99 (on sale now, so don’t wait!). So, head to your closest Payless or start clicking away online. And remember, this is OUR little secret!

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Shoes, a series: episode 2, singing in the rain

Hunter rain boots for every style & mood.
Hunter rain boots for every style & mood.

Generally, I don’t find anything to sing about when it comes to rainy weather. It limits my clothing options, dictates which kind of coat I have to wear, & wreaks havoc on my hair (hello, frizz central). However, Hunter has given us a silver lining, & since we can’t stop the rain, we might as well put our best foot forward. If you’re feeling creative, the original nightfall rain boot is a great choice, Nordstrom, Suggested Retail: $180 (on sale now), above.  The original clear waterproof rain boot in midnight has a chic futuristic look; you can even get away with wearing it all day to the office on a rainy day, Nordstrom, Suggested Retail: $250, above. I love the tall contrast rain boot in midnight/chocolate/burgundy for a look that has a subtle twist, Nordstrom, Suggested Retail: $160, below.  One of the great things about ALL of these boots is that they’re super easy to clean & made of very durable rubber, so they last for years! Also, for those of you who, like me, have to suffer through winters with snow, these rain boots can easily translate into snow boots with the help of the fleece liners/socks that keep your toes toasty. My favorites are the cable knit cuff welly sock in griege &  the cardigan knit cuff welly sock in slate Nordstrom, Suggested Retail: $45, & $36 respectively, below. Last, but not least, the chelsea short boot is perfect for spring/summer rain storms, or for those of you who are lucky enough to live in warm weather climates year round, Nordstrom, Suggested Retail: $125, last photo below. So, if the weather is stormy, don’t let it rain on your fashion parade.

From rain storms to snow storms with Hunter.
From rain storms to snow storms with Hunter.

 

The perfect choice for warm weather rain storms.
The perfect choice for warm weather rain storms.
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Shoes, a series: episode 1, sneakers

Vans classic slip-ons in snake print are a must this fall.
Vans classic slip-ons in snake print are a must this fall.

In honor of the official start of fall, we’re doing a special series on shoes so you’ll be set for the season.  Since many of us grew accustomed to the fabulously comfortable options that summer provided us with (sigh, sandals), we’re kicking off (pun intended) the series with the sneaker to ease you back into closed toe shoes with as little pain as possible.  We’ll start with one of my favorites, the vans classic slip-ons in snake print, Madewell, Suggested Retail: $55.00 (above). It’s basically fall’s answer to summer’s resurgence of the birkenstock, thank goodness! Wear them with everything from denim to dresses.  Other sneakers also making a come-back are the converse Chuck Taylor & the Superga; if this is stirring up memories about the 1990s, you’re not alone. My picks are the Missioni Chuck Taylor All Star high top, & the Superga Cotu slip-on sneaker in cornflower blue, Nordstrom, Suggested Retail: $99.95, & $64.95 respectively (below).  Last, but certainly not least, I’m loving the more athletic sneakers in bright colors to give your look a pop. The Nike Lunaracer + 3  & the Nike Flyknit iD are two of my favorite, & they get extra credit if you walk to work; Nike, Suggested Retail: $89.97 (on sale) & $160.00, respectively (below).

Chuck Taylor & Superga are back!
Chuck Taylor & Superga are back!
Stylish kicks like these Nikes give you the option to wear sneakers even when you have no intention of going for a run.
Stylish kicks like these Nikes give you the option to wear sneakers even when you have no intention of going for a run.
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Sunday morning at Target

Looks from Altuzarra for Target.
Looks from Altuzarra for Target.

The long anticipated collaboration between Altuzarra & Target is just days away! Get ready to spend your Sunday morning at Target. Doors open at most locations by 8am, so you’ll be finished shopping in plenty of time to meet your friends for brunch, & with prices from $17.99-$89.99, you’ll be happy to get up early on a Sunday. Joseph Altuzarra launched his namesake luxury women’s ready-to-wear brand in New York in 2008 after having worked for many impressive labels, ranging from Proenza Schouler to Givenchy.  Altuzarra’s goal is to make woman feel seductive, strong and confident in his designs by combining French sophistication, inspired by his Parisian upbringing, with American pragmatism.  So, where will you find me on Sunday morning? At Target with a cappuccino in one hand & an Altuzarra sweater in the other.  The collection will also be sold online at Target & Net-a-Porter, but you’ll have to do some fast clicking; these collaborations have a tendency to sell-out VERY QUICKLY.

Pieces from the Altuzarra collection for Target.
Pieces from the Altuzarra collection for Target.
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A red, red carpet

The best dressed of the 2014 Emmys.
The best dressed of the 2014 Emmys.

Last night’s 66th Emmy Awards had all the earmarks of Hollywood’s new age of glamour.  The red carpet delivered elegance, shine, & an understated spirit of fabulous. My picks for best dressed are: Kerry Washington in Prada, Gwen Stefani in Atelier Verace, & Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Carolina Herrera. Kerry made the strapless silhouette look modern with the sequin piping & peekaboo sequin panel, while Gwen made a look inspired by the Golden Age look futuristic in her sleek, almost liquid looking top & skirt. Julia was polished & sophisticated, & her hair style gave her the perfect balance, making the look seem effortless & unfussy.  The color or the night was indisputably red, in all of its glorious shades. In addition to Julia, Uzo Aduba, in Christian Siriano & Claire Danes, in Givenchy Haute Couture, with Lorraine Schwartz jewels did the vibrant color justice. Let the award season begin!

50 shades of red at the 2014 Emmys.
50 shades of red at the 2014 Emmys.
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Saturday’s with Kate

Shift dress & initial necklace by Kate Spade Saturday.
Shift dress & initial necklace by Kate Spade Saturday.

One of my favorite things in life is when designers give us their fabulous works of art at slightly lower prices, often referred to as diffusion lines.  So naturally, I am a fan of Kate Spade Saturday, which offers everything from clothing, shoes, accessories, & jewelry to home & travel, all at prices that are about 50% less than the main line, Kate Spade New York.  Yes, there is a slightly more casual vibe to the collection, which you might have anticipated from the weekend name in the title. However, if you work someplace with a business casual dress code, you will definitely find pieces that can take you from Monday to Friday as well.  The color block shift dress in peacock/white is perfectly polished for Wednesday’s production meeting & Sunday’s brunch with the girls, Suggested Retail: $150.  For the perfect understated necklace, which also makes a great gift, go with the gold plated initial necklace, Suggested Retail: $40. If you hurry, there are also some great pieces on sale now too! The split print color burst scarf will add pizazz to a solid top, Suggested Retail: $32.50 (was $65). And if you’re looking for a top with a little something extra, the reversible trapeze top is the one, Suggested Retail: $22.50 (was $45).  Enjoy your Saturday’s with Kate!

Colorburst scarf & Reversible trapeze by Kate Spade Saturday.
Colorburst scarf & Reversible trapeze by Kate Spade Saturday.
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From your soles to your toes

Christian Louboutin's Rouge polish.
Christian Louboutin’s Rouge polish.

The designer, whose attention to detail makes sure that even the soles of your shoes don’t go unnoticed, has developed a nail polish that will make you just as excited as the stilettos with his name on it.  Christian Louboutin has perfected a timeless shade of red with his Rouge polish that somehow looks radiant on every skin tone.  This highly pigmented, chip-proof polish (of course) has an extra glossy finish, making your nails looks like they have been painted with a luxurious patent leather.  True to form, Louboutin has designed every element of the polish. The cap is inspired by the heel of the Ballerina Ultima, the highest heel in Louboutin’s collection, & it’s weighted to maximize the user’s comfort & control while painting.  The triangle-bristle construction of the brush prevents air bubbles & provides a smooth, flawless application of color.  Last but not least, especially with perfectionist Louboutin, is the architectural bottle that possess a clever hint of whimsy. It’s molded from cut glass & reflects classical balustrades of European buildings. Louboutin would certainly create nothing less than a product that can be displayed with pride on your shelf & on yourself. Stay tuned, as a total of 30 shades are expected, but order Rouge ASAP. Nordstrom, Suggested Retail: $50.

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