About Oscar…

I know that everyone has been putting in their two cents on who was the best dressed and best tressed at the Oscars.  I always enjoy reading the red carpet reviews by Habitually Chic and Elements of Style; I tend to agree with their views the majority of the time.  Like Erin of EOS, I agree that many of the ladies looked lovely and had beautiful dresses, but most were lacking the Wow factor.  I would have enjoyed seeing the actresses in something edgier.  And, as Heather of Habitually Chic noted, many of the dresses looked better on screen than they do in photos, mainly Jessica Chastain’s Armani Privé dress, which was one of my favorites.  I really liked Anne Hathaway’s Prada dress, but not the fit.  I liked Jennifer Lawrence’s Dior Couture dress, but I felt that she needed more color.  Amy Adams wore a beautifully constructed Oscar de la Renta dress, but I didn’t love it.  I thought that singers Jennifer Hudson (In Roberto Cavalli and Armani Privé) and Adele (in Jenny Packham) looked gorgeous and they certainly had the vocal performances to match.  Reese Witherspoon, Adele, and Jennifer Hudson get my vote for best hair of the night.  Naomi Watts in Armani Privé gets my best dressed of the night and Jennifer Garner’s plum Gucci dress wins my second prize.


85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Image via Huffington Post.


Jennifer Hudson                                           Image via Hollywood Reporter.

Adele                                                       Image via Shefinds.


85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Image via Huffington Post.


It seems that some of the best dresses were seen only at the Vanity Fair’s Oscar After Party.  Perhaps the stars felt more comfortable wearing edgier ensembles for the after party than for the ceremony?
Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein.  Image via Glamour.


Amy Adams
Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta.  Image via Glamour.


2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals
Kate Bosworth in Giambattista Valli.  Image via Guest of a Guest.


Marisa Tomei
Marisa Tomei made a jumpsuit (Valentino) look good.  I normally can’t stand the sight of jumpsuits.  Image via New York Daily News.


After a couple of days of Oscar red carpet buzz, another Oscar has been garnering attention:  Oscar de la Renta for the Outnet.  Style maven Olivia Palmero models Oscar de la Renta’s special line.  Although the prices are a fraction of ODLR couture prices, they still aren’t cheap.  After less than 24 hours online, most of the items are already sold out!  I’m already looking forward to the next offering.  Here are my favorites from the current collection:
Oscar 1
Did you watch the Oscars?  Who gets your vote for best dressed and best tressed?  Who/what would you wear to the Oscars?  What do you think of the Oscar de la Renta for the Outnet line?


Ruffles Instyle

Ruffles from Gucci, Chloe, Balenciaga, and Givenchy via Instyle.

Ruffles are making a big impact on Spring 2013 fashion.  It has been awhile since the ruffle flounced its way onto multiple runways; the last time that ruffles appeared in such numbers, they were more of the prarie variety than today’s modern, sculptured masterpieces.  It seems like the ruffle is this season’s extension of the still popular peplum trend.  My best advice for buying ruffles that will have staying power is to buy a piece with a smaller dose, perhaps a classic sheath or skirt with a ruffle on the bottom.

Here are some of my favorite ruffled pieces:

Giambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli

Valentino Yoox


Erin Fetherston                                                 Erin by Erin Fetherston

Ralph Lauren Blue

Ralph Lauren Blue

Halston Heritage                                                           Halston Heritage

Zara dress


BCBG skirt


Laundry dress                                                  Laundry by Shelli Segal

Halston Heritage 2                                                        Halston Heritage

Nicholas Kirkwood ruffle

Nicholas Kirkwood

See by Chloe

See by Chloe

What’s your history of wearing ruffles?  What is the likelihood that you’ll don ruffles this spring?

25 Things Challenge Item 1: Brown riding boots

Corso Como


My first purchase of the year was technically purchased in 2012, but it didn’t arrive until 2013 (Important information to know in case I end up going one item over my allotted 25 items for the year!).

For over a year, I’ve been jonesing for a pair of flat brown riding boots.  I have a pair of J.Crew brown heeled riding boots that are about 8 years old and still beautiful, but these boots are not the most comfortable and removing them requires a hard pull with both hands since they don’t have zippers.

Flat brown riding boots are probably the item that I’ve been missing most in my fall and winter closet.  Too often I’ll find myself thinking, “If I only had a pair of flat brown boots to go with this outfit…”  I considered splurging on a pair of gorgeous Ferregamo Fersea boots this fall, but I ultimately decided that the lack of a zipper would drive me crazy once again.  So I settled on a pair of Corso Como boots on sale on Amazon, as pictured above in coffee burnish.  This color is now sold out on Amazon.  Now for a little tangent on my love of Corso Como and Amazon…

I randomly purchased a pair of Corso Como black riding boots 5 years ago at Nordstrom because they A. Looked great and B. Fit comfortably.  I often have difficulty finding shoes that fit well because my feet tend to be long and narrow.  These boots have turned out to be the best pair of shoes I have ever owned.  At the time, the over $300 with tax was the most I had spent on a pair of shoes.  I’ve also invested in the upkeep of the shoes (new heels a few times, insoles, etc.), but the money spent has been worth it.  I’ve worn these boots hundreds of times; I’ve walked all over NYC and Paris in them, worn them in court, and I’m even wearing them as I write a draft of this blog post.  In fact, any time the temperature dips below 65 degrees in September-March, there’s at least an 80% chance I’m wearing these boots.  I’ve received a ton of compliments on them.  The funny thing is, despite their age and wear, everyone thinks my boots are new.  Often, the same person will compliment me on them more than once, believing each time that they’re new boots!  If you’re interested in a similar pair, try the Corso Como Rena boots, available at Amazon.  Before this purchase, I was unaware of the Corso Como brand, but ever since, it has been on my radar.  These days, the prices are even better than the price I paid for my first pair.

I’m a huge fan of the breadth of merchandise on Amazon; we buy homeware items, books, and everything in between from Amazon.  The Amazon Prime Membership is worth the annual fee to receive free 2 day shipping on Super Saver items!  I recently read that by 2023, Amazon will surpass Walmart in sales, but I believe that this will happen even sooner.  Any time my husband and I need anything we head to Amazon first.  We must order items from Amazon at least twice a month.  I did all of my Christmas shopping for my son and husband on Amazon.

Here’s hoping that my purchase of the new brown riding boots proves to be just as successful and enduring as my black riding boot purchase!

Do you wear riding boots?  Are you an Amazon shopper like I am?  What is the best pair of shoes that you have ever owned?

Midweek Inspiration

It seems like just yesterday that I was sharing my Midweek Inspiration from last week.  Between recovering from a sinus infection, celebrating Valentine’s Day with Baby Boy, and taking a long weekend trip to visit family (in addition to all of the regular commitments), the past week has flown by.

Here are some items that have inspired me in the past week:

Photo by Slim Aarons via Pleasurephoto.  The view from the terrace of Il Canile, a villa owned by Umberto Tirelli and Dino Trappetti.

Photo by Slim Aarons (1980) via Pleasurephoto. The view from the terrace of Il Canile, a villa owned by Umberto Tirelli and Dino Trappetti.

This breathtaking photo makes me long for a return to Capri.


Vanessa Bruno 4

If you’re in NYC, don’t forget to drop by French fashion darling Vanessa Bruno’s pop up store before it closes on February 26.  Extra points if you pick up macarons from the store’s Laduree cart along with a Diptyque candle and bouquet of fresh flowers for yours truly.  And while we’re on the subject of French boutiques in New York, you can read about the French boutique invasion in New York here.


K. Jacques sandals

K. Jacques triton sandal in navy.

I’ve had K. Jacques sandals on my list for a couple of years now as a classic item to add to my wardrobe.  Preston of Keep it Chic, a blog that captures my fashion aesthetic, shared that these sandals are now available in navy, causing these babies to skyrocket even higher onto my style priority list.  These would be the perfect shoe for a scene like the one pictured above in Capri.


Interior GOLP

Interior via The Girls of Lincoln Park.  Original source unknown.

I’m always drawn to black and white, but here my eye focuses on the mix of gold, silver, and crystal in this room.  I wouldn’t think to pair the three together, but somehow it works here without looking too staid.  Maybe it’s the orchid that gives the combination a literal fresh touch?  I also love that (probably faux) Hermes coffee table tray.


Domestikatedlife popcorn

If you’re watching the Oscars this weekend or enjoying another screen marathon, you might want to try this tantalizing sea salt and honey butter popcorn recipe from Domestikated Life.


The Sartorialist

Image via The Sartorialist.

I love the casual mix here.  A sleek leather-trimmed coat, motorcycle boots, and Prada tote are softened up by a peek of lace and emerald green (hello Pantone Color of 2013).  This shows that a chic way to wear color and frill is to temper it with basic black.



Image source

“You’re never going to get everything done.  So get the right things done.”  Mike Vardy via The Happiness Project.

“Let’s all decide to no longer hide behind the excuse that  we “don’t have time.”  The  truer response would be “I don’t care enough  to really protect the time.”  A Design so Vast.

I read these compelling quotes in the past week.  Sometimes it takes a restatement of the simplest truth to cause us to more deeply understand something we know to be true.  Time is our most precious resource.

Becoming a mother changes priorities.  It happens both instantly and slowly, over time.  Lately I’ve been reexamining how I spend my time.  All of it is so precious and as a mother with a career, I feel the need to have the time apart from my child be well spent and purposeful.  There are many events I’d enjoy attending or people I would like to see or catch up with over the phone more often, but I don’t.  It comes down to the fact that I have to make sure that the right things get done and that my time with my child is protected.  I’m going to arm myself with these quotes for times when the deluge of opportunities threatens to impede on my time with my child or my other highest priorities.

Sometime in the past year, I read that the greatest skill of our time is the ability to sort through all of the information available and focus on what’s important.  This too is something with which I struggle, particularly when it comes to media and consumer goods (fashion!).  The above quotes have also inspired me to become more mindful of the media I consume and narrow my focus.  One of my great pleasures in life is consuming books, blogs, magazines, and catalogs, and it’s difficult for me to find the time to keep up with all of the media I find deserving of attention.  I also have trouble keeping this blog updated with all of the noteworthy things I’ve encountered (There are so many things!), and that’s one reason why I’ve started this Midweek Inspiration series.

What do you think of my picks?  What has been inspiring you this week?  Have you found any quotes lately to arm yourself with in the face of life’s challenges?  Do you share the same struggles with prioritizing or media consumption?

Midweek Inspiration

Since it’s midweek, I wanted to share some things that are inspiring me this week.

Image via The Sartorialist.

This article, video, and photo shoot of Lee Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy, and a fascinating woman in her own right, has been all over the internet this week.  I’ve found it completely inspiring; you should check it out if you haven’t already.  I especially enjoyed getting glimpses of her chic Parisian apartment.


Post image for Blood Oranges with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt

I tried this simple dessert recipe for blood oranges dipped in chocolate and sprinkled in sea salt.  It was a delight to my tastebuds!

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Meg Braff Interiors.

I appreciate interior designers who can inject color and a bit of unpredictability into rooms with classic foundations.  Meg Braff’s interiors have me excited about creating similar spaces in my own home someday.

The Things That Matter

The final item that has inspired me this week is a quote from Nate Berkus’ interview in Matchbook Magazine’s latest issue, in which he describes his process for selecting rooms to feature in his latest book, The Things that Matter:

“The truth is I had one requirement and that is that the spaces really told the stories of the people who live in them.  I took all the labels off what I thought was ‘good design.’  I wanted to get a collection of beautiful spaces together, but more importantly than that, I wanted to make sure that these people had the capacity to talk about why they chose the things they live with every day.”

This quote really resonates with me.  It sums up what I would like to do in this space:  inspire others to “talk about why they chose the things they live with [and wear] every day.” 

What stylish things are inspiring you this week?

Bow Regard


Kate Spade keeps taunting me with emails about their new bow bedecked collection.  For the past couple of years, Kate Spade has done a “Year of…” series with a theme highlighting a collection of merchandise each month.  Two years ago, it was a color, last year it was a pattern, and this year it is “Things We Love.”  January’s thing is a well-placed bow.  I’m a sucker for bows.  The above pieces are my favorites from Kate Spade’s new collection.  One of my first bow items (circa 2004) was actually a pink leather Kate Spade purse with a subtle bow on the shoulder strap.  I still enjoy wearing this bag in warm weather.  I really should count the number of bow items that I own.  I have bags, shoes, jewelry, jackets, blouses, dresses, skirts, tees, sweaters…  Even my favorite sunglasses have bows on them. 

I have 2 rules about wearing bows:
1. No more than 2 or 3 bow items at one time.
2. The bows can’t be too cheesy.  Cheeky yes, cheesy no.

Here are some current bow items that I love:


Lanvin bow flats

RED Valentino dress

Christopher Kane blouse

Salvatore Ferregamo flats

Miu Miu 

Miu Miu Bandeau Swimsuit

And the pièce de résistance, combining my love of both studs and bows…

Valentino rockstud bow flat sandals.

Of course, I’m always desiring Valentino and Oscar de la Renta bows.  Along with Chanel, these designers are the true bow masters.

Valentino shoes via Pinterest.

Oscar de la Renta gown via Weddings Illustrated.

I spotted this great tutorial for tying the perfect bow on George & Ruby, the blog of Oscar de la Renta Creative Head, Marissa Kraxberger.  I find this blog completely relatable as MK is also a mom with a career living and raising toddlers in NYC.

Lately the bow tie has been popping up on women and was recently highlighted on stylesetter Amanda Brooks’ fabulous blog, I Love Your Style (By the way, her book of the same name is also great).  I adore bow ties on men and I think I might just try one myself, especially if I could look as cool as the girl pictured by The Sartorialist below.


 Are there any motifs that are your weakness?

How do you feel about bow ties on women?

Prabal Gurung, Target Designer Collaborations, and Potential 25 Things Purchases

Last night after perusing Pinterest and noticing Prabal Gurung runway looks, I decided to check and see when the Prabal Gurung Target collaboration would make its debut.   Fortuitously, I learned that the launch was this morning.  So I signed up for Target’s text notification for the sale.  Fortunately, I made it to Target.com around 8:30 a.m. this morning, as the Target notification for the launch didn’t appear in my message inbox until 12:14 p.m.!  I was a bit surprised to see that the 2 items I had chosen the night before weren’t sold out yet since they were both online exclusives. 

I picked two pairs of shoes, the Wedge Sandal with Ankle Strap and the Ankle Strap Pump,which aren’t figured into my current 25 Things list. 
Women's Prabal Gurung for Target® Wedge Sandal with Ankle Strap - Black/Grey Women's Prabal Gurung for Target® Ankle Strap Pump - Black
We’ll see if I keep them.  Thankfully, Target has a 90 day return policy on these items, so if they don’t work out, then I don’t lose money.  I feel a bit odd about making these spur-of-the-moment purchases.  On the positive side, they are reminiscent of much higher priced pairs of shoes that I’ve been eyeing for spring, including the Manolo Blahnik, Alexander Wang and Givenchy sandals pictured above.
On the other hand, these “fast fashion” pieces seem to go against the new clothing acquisition policy that I’m somewhat struggling to implement.  Though these items are “designer” names, at Target prices, I doubt they will be of the quality that I’m trying to sustain in my wardrobe.  But, if I keep a pair or two of these shoes and get a season or more of fairly frequent use out of them, then they will certainly be worth their price.  Still, I suspect I’ll still feel a bit guilty for choosing to put money towards one season items rather than an investment piece, especially since we’re talking about shoes here rather than a t-shirt.  I certainly don’t have anything against Target shopping; I have purchased many items at Target over the years, some part of designer collaborations, some not.  I’ve been happy overall with my Target clothing purchases.  I think that Target is a particularly great place to stock up on plain black Ts, maternity wear, bikinis, and accessories.
My experience with the Target designer collaborations has been a mixed bag. While it’s exciting to see what a high-end designer will do within the constraints of the Target price points, ultimately, few of the items are of high enough quality to purchase.  I’m realizing that, even if Target does a collaboration with a designer I don’t follow, like Prabal Gurung, I still feel the need to check out the merchandise just so I don’t “miss out.”  This speaks volumes of my overall challenge in building a wardrobe.  I aspire to be a woman with a select number of pieces that are all stunning and frequently worn, but I continue to find too many things that I like.  I’m sure that this is an experience that many of my readers share.
The first day feedback on the Prabal Gurung collection at Target is that the response was not as overwhelming as expected.  As with many of the other designer collaborations, there are complaints that many of the items are ill-fitting and cheaply made.  Forbes Magazine recently questioned the relevance of designer collaborations.  And, I was dismayed to learn today that Target had in fact designed most of the pieces from the Missoni collection with the advice of the Missoni family.
I loved Issac Mizrahi’s line for Target, which was the first designer collection to grace Target stores.  Missoni has been the most successful Target designer collaboration.  On the day of the Missoni launch, I was up at 5:30 a.m. to put items in my cart.  Every time I tried to purchase the items, they would disappear.  I later learned about Target’s infamous site crash after the site experienced traffic greater than that of any Black Friday or Cyber Monday.  Thankfully, I enlisted my mother to wait outside a remote Target before it opened.  She was able to procure several great items for me, some of which I actually returned because I decided I didn’t need so many Missoni for Target items.  I ended up keeping a winter scarf, a silk scarf, a cardigan, and a black and white button down blouse, all in the classic Missoni zig zag pattern.  I’ve been pleased with the quality of these items.  In addition to my purchases from the Issac Mizrahi and Missoni Target diffusion lines, I have also purchased items from the Alice Temperly (of the Go International series), Jason Wu and The Webster (part of The Shops at Target) lines.  I would like to see Target bring in another designer with a recognizable print; perhaps Burberry.  I believe that’s where buyers can find real value:  literally taking a design from a recognizable brand and selling the item at a more approachable price point.  
What are your thoughts on Target’s designer collaborations and designer diffusion/collaboration lines in general?  Have you purchased any of these items?  Why/why not? 
In which direction do you see the designer diffusion lines going?
Do you also struggle with trying to limit the number of clothing in your wardrobe because you find too many things you like?