Neckwarmers, sort of

Necklaces by J.Crew, Rosantica, & Etro, all available at Net-a-Porter.com.
Necklaces by J.Crew, Rosantica, & Etro, all available at Net-a-Porter.com.

Thankfully, with the holidays (and the great sales), you don’t really need to make excuses for buying yourself or others a fabulous necklace, but just in case, you can say that these are neckwarmers, a must for this time of year.  J.Crew’s gold-tone faux pearl necklace is a flawless choice, Net-a-Porter.com, Suggested Retail: $98, on sale now $49. It’s classy, yet modern, & subtly edgy. Summon the spirit of Cleopatra with Rosantica’s multi-strand gold-plaited onyx necklace, Net-a-Porter.com, Suggested Retail: $695, on sale now $417. A low-cut neckline or even a black turtle-neck will look striking with this addition. Lastly, Etro’s bib-style embroidered necklace provides the perfect finishing touch to your outfit, & will give your look the element of “festive attire,” which is so vaguely stated on most of your holiday party invites, Net-a-Porter.com, Suggested Retail: $660, on sale now $396.  So, don’t forget the importance of keeping your neck, & the necks of your loved ones, warm this winter ;)

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Gift giving, holiday parties, & fantastic sales: shopping is a must, start here

 

Best of Argan Essentials To Go by Josie Maran.
Best of Argan Essentials To Go by Josie Maran.

‘Tis the season for shopping, cyber or the old fashion method of physically visiting a store.  Whichever way you decide to approach purchasing, you might like some guidance to streamline the process & make your shopping experience as stress-free as possible. So, I’m sharing suggestions all month long. I also strongly believe that you shouldn’t be excluded from your wonderful spirit of giving, & I’m officially giving you the green light to get a treat for yourself too.   Let’s start with the first thing people see: your face. Are you sick of worrying about all of the potentially toxic ingredients that might be lurking in your skincare products? Well, I was too until discovering the all-natural, organic skincare line by Josie Maran. Inspired by Argon Oil, which Maran was introduced to by a 70 year old women in France who looked like she was only 40, the line has expanded to include make-up as well as skincare.  Josie Maran’s product line, featuring this hidden fountain of youth, is amazing not just because of the fabulous results it produces, but also because the brand adheres strictly to it’s “Luxury With a Conscience” motto.  They use pure, Fair Trade Argan Oil, responsibly grown and harvested by co-ops of Moroccan women, all of whom are compensated with living wages, & they use eco-friendly packaging.  The Best of Argan Essentials To Go is the perfect gift, Josie Maran, Suggested Retail: $28 (was $49).  It will give your friends a sampling of some of the wonderful products offered, all in travel-friendly size containers. Now it’s your turn to receive a gift. There are so many great options that you cannot make a wrong choice, however, I am totally obsessed with the 100% Pure Argan Oil Light, so if you don’t have it already, I would start here Sephora, Suggested Retail: $48. I know exactly what many of you are thinking; in fact, you might even be horrified at the thought of putting oil directly on your face on purpose, suspecting that it’s a recipe for an acne disaster, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, not only will you see clearer skin, but you will also see a youthful glow; seriously, this is pretty much like magic.  I haven’t tried all of the products Josie Maran offers yet, but I intend to. Happy shopping season!

100 percent Pure Argan Oil Light by Josie Maran.
100 percent Pure Argan Oil Light by Josie Maran.
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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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