November 21, 2014

{STYLE} LBDs for the Holidays

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

Ever since I spotted this cape dress, I knew it had to make its way to my wardrobe, and have since worn it to my friends Alyssa & Jon's wedding, to a couple of cocktail parties, and plan to wear it throughout the holiday season. It's the LBD-with-a-twist that I referenced yesterday, and one that makes me want to twirl around and unleash my inner vamp (this, in "Bette," helps) all at once. 

As I stock up on my arsenal of holiday dresses (yes, I need a few in rotation), I'm focusing myself on specific categories: a chic LBD (check), an ultra-glitzy number, and a bright jewel tone stunner. The best part about a great black dress, though, is that it can be completely transformed through your hair, makeup, and accessories. While this iteration of it feels super vampy to me, I also plan on wearing it with a high, polished bun, soft pink lip, and a couple strands of pearls with a box clutch for an Audrey Hepburn inspired feel. Next, all metallic accessories (I'm obsessed with this silver glitter clutch) with a bright red lip. Afterall, with more parties on my schedule than individual outfits to wear, versatility is key. 


Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.
All content and opinions are my own.

November 20, 2014

{STYLE} On The Run

Coat, Top, Jeans, Hat, Sunglasses, "Keep It Real" Necklace & Heart Pendant  c/o Ban.doNaked on The Run c/o Urban Decay, Weekender Bag, Leather Boots, Iced Matcha from the Matchabar
Photos by Lydia Hudgens

The last few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster, going from New Orleans to NYC to San Francisco to LA in fewer than 10-days, (and I'll be adding three more cities to that list by the end of next week). There's been a lot of unpacking and repacking, seeing the inside of too many hospitals (hey, I didn't say this was all fun, festive travel), one instance of puppy-flu on board a plane, and a slightly altered approach to my wardrobe and beauty routine: keep it simple and neutral. Packing for a multi-city trip in a single check-in luggage has never been easy for me, but I'm slowly learning from my mistakes of packing a suitcase full of mismatched statement pieces and arriving at my destination with Absolutely Nothing to Wear. This time, I went simple: easy mix-and-match neutrals with lots of solid, versatile pieces, a goes-with-everything coat, my most easy-to-wear accessories (just my Mansur Gavriel bucket bag and backpack came with me, along with some sleek, minimal jewels), and a chic LBD-with-a-twist for a night out.

My beauty bag took a similarly minimal, pared down approach with the help of Urban Decay's new Naked On The Run palette (I also brought my UD Naked BB cream, which is basically like a great tinted moisturizer with an instagram filter, smoothing over and blurring the little imperfections in my skin.) The palette has everything from a bronzer/blush/highlighter combo (think Flushed - repackaged), 5-neutral eyeshadow colors, mascara, eyeliner, and a neutral gloss - all in a sleek compact kit that's surprisingly sturdy (I know this because I've already dropped it a couple times - and the first time caused a serious panic attack). The palette is limited edition and at $54, is a great indulgence for yourself or as a gift. 

I still dream of being a minimalist in my next life, but maybe my travel patterns will be the first step towards actualization.


November 19, 2014

{STYLE} Play The Wild Card

Sweater, Skirt, Shoes c/o Kate Spade (note: these are SO comfortable!), Necklace (on sale!), Clutch, Handbag (on sale!)
Photos by Lydia Hudgens

A few weeks ago, I received a small brown box in the mail with a roll of paper money: it gave a time, a place, and only a vague hint at what was to come. I love a little bit of mystery! 

For the last few years, I've looked forward to Kate Spade's annual holiday party as the kick-off to the holiday season. Coming up a few weeks before Thanksgiving, it's the first chance to unabashedly pile on head-to-toe sparkle (not that there's ever much shame in that, for me), and imbibe with some of my favorite friends in the industry. This year's party was in the sprawling upstairs lounge of Manhattan's seriously stunning Beauty & Essex.

To celebrate the occasion and the casino night theme, I decided to deck myself out in head-to-toe black with red accents, (and how could I resist this playful clutch?) As much as I love sequin sweaters, they're often a (literal) pain to wear because the stitching can get itchy on the inside, but I'm happy to report that the inside of this sweater is lined with the same super soft wool-and-cashmere blend. (Psst, if you're looking for ridiculously good plus-size cashmere pieces, look no further). And the shoes? They're a pretty predictable pick for me (and one of the pairs I won as part of my year of shoes at last year's holiday party) - and SO comfortable with the thick, stacked heel. 

This may have been the first party of the season, but I'm happy that it's far from the last so that I have another occasion to wear this fun and playful outfit, again! 

{semi-blurry PARTY SNAPS}


November 7, 2014

{STYLE} Greyscale

Photos by Lydia Hudgens 

Though I'm definitely lamenting the shorter days, I can't deny that the arrival of fall temperatures is an exciting time for my wardrobe: I love being able to layer and play with different textures as part of my daily outfits. I love the feeling of wool against leather, of knits and soft cashmeres, and of dark patterns set against the auburns and oranges of the season. IGIGI has been on my radar for a while (and their holiday looks that arrived last week are a lot of glam), and this fall's collection has been their best yet. I instantly fell in love with this black wrap coat, an easy-to-wear piece that instantly pulls together a look; I even worn this coat on my way to the gym over leggings and a tank, and managed to escape the feeling of walking around the city in workout-clothes (a major bonus, since I'm still not sold on the whole "athleisure" trend).

By the way, if you're new to IGIGI, their sizes definitely tend to run large; I got the coat in a 14/16 and there's lots of room for layering thick knits underneath. I also wish I had remembered to snap a pic of the dress without the coat on it (slipped my mind, and plus, it was chilly!), because the cut is ridiculously flattering; "flattering" isn't something that generally matters to me, but when a brand gets their cuts right, it's hard to deny the impact it makes! 

Thank you to IGIGI for sponsoring this post. 
All opinions and content are my own.

October 27, 2014

{STYLE} It's Getting Windy

Photos by Lydia Hudgens

Sometimes the exact moment that you decide to step outside and snap photos of your outfit is also the exact moment that the wind picks up and the world around you starts getting pretty gusty. It happens, and I kind of love the candid moment that came out of it.

I've been wearing this dress from Kelly Osbourne's debut line (available in XS-3X) waaaaay more than I, a Fashion Industry Professional, should admit. As the weather has been changing rapidly, the daylight hours dwindling, and my S.A.D. starting to kick in, I've felt myself defaulting to what feels easy and comfortable - and this combo undoubtedly is. I've been taking extra precautions to keep my mood from falling into a downward spiral, and dressing in a way that makes me happy has definitely been part of that, (alongside extra time at the gym, B12, ample time with friends, a dose-or-two of retail therapy).

I'm getting excited about a busy week ahead with a little bit of adventure scheduled somewhere in there. Wishing you all a happy Monday! 


October 17, 2014

Ready, Set... Shop!

Turns out right now is a really good time to get a head-start on your holiday shopping. Why? Every site I click on seems to have an amazing friends-and-family sale going on that applies to all current, full-price merchandise! I selfishly want to keep these all to myself so I don't have to compete for stock, but some things are too good to keep to oneself. So, check out some of my favorite picks that are perfect to give or to receive... (After all, I'm a full supporter of #treatyoself)

40% off full-price and 30% off sale with SAVE40

30% off site-wide with the code F14FFUS

Loeffler Randall
20% off site-wide with code IMAFRIEND

30% off with code TAKE30

A booming sale section! New pieces added every Sunday.

October 14, 2014

{STYLE} Classic Comfort with NYDJ Originals

Jeans are not exactly the easiest piece of clothing to shop for, especially when you have a little extra junk-in-the-trunk, as I most certainly do. I’ve had a lifetime of wiggling in-and-out of too-tight jeans, or finding a pair that “fits,” only for it to be frumpy and uninspired in the fashion department. At best, I could find an inexpensive pair that looked great for the first couple of hours of wear - but soon stretched out into a baggy mess, only to fall apart at the seams after a handful of wears. But that combination of great fit, quality, and a fashion forward approach? It has seldom occurred in my life - and I’m a girl who isn’t willing to settle for anything less!

That is, of course, until I tried on my first pair of NYDJ denim a few years ago. I remember the moment almost precisely: I was in a department store fitting room, florescent lights flickering, when I pulled up a pair of black, coated skinny jeans over my hips and buttoned the waist. I looked in the mirror and was shocked to see that I looked great, a feeling jeans have never given me for as long as I can remember. I twirled around, looking at myself in the mirror with a sense of admiration that has historically not been part of my dressing-room experiences.

Beyond finding a pair that look and feel great, for a compulsive over-dresser like myself, it has actually taken a serious investment in developing my confidence to the point that I feel comfortable and chic in a pair of jeans - whether I pair them with a tee and flats, or a leather jacket and heels for a night on the town. But to find a pair that I can wear from my morning walks with Frankie, to showroom appointments and styling sessions at the Marie Claire office, to a cocktail party at the end of the day (with a little heel switcheroo)? That is the holy grail - and one I’m relieved to have finally found.

This post was sponsored by NYDJ, as part of their NYDJ Originals Series.
All opinions and content are my own.