Monthly Archives: June 2016

Giving the bold shoulder

Giving the bold shoulder

Giving the bold shoulder

As corny as it might sound, I really did leave my heart in San Francisco – well, Napa Valley, to be exact. Seriously, since I’ve been back, not a single day has gone by that I haven’t thought about it at least once. It really was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. For the first time in a long time, I had a chance to get my “adult” on; wine tasting, checking out the local foodie scene (which is ahh-mazing, BTW) and museum hopping … you know, doing all the things that sophisticated adults in the movies do.

Anyway, I did quite a bit of wardrobe planning in advance. My goal was to pack light, but also give myself as many options as possible. If you’re the least bit familiar with northern California, then you know it can quickly go from 80 degrees during the day to 40 degrees at night. So, having pieces that I could mix, match, layer, then repeat was definitely top of mind for me.

One of the most versatile pieces I took was this little off-the-shoulder number. It’s a style that’s been trending for the past two years. Not surprising because it’s one of those items that looks good on just about anybody — tall, short, thick, slim, young or young at heart.

The cotton fabric meant it was light and airy during the day, and at night, I put on a cardigan to keep me warm. This top really came through for me. In addition to the outfit pictured in this post, I was able to pair it with jeans and a maxi skirt for a total of three outfits using this one shirt!

It was such a great find that I bought two similar pieces in different colors when I returned home. Remember those options I talked about earlier? A girl’s got to keep hers open, ya know?

So what about you? Any secrets you have for how to pack tight ‘n light? Do tell in the comments below.

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Reflections from San Francisco

Reflections from San Francisco

Reflections from San Francisco

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been back from my vacation in San Francisco, and I can’t stop thinking about the great time I had. It was unlike any other city I’ve ever visited. I’ve never been any place where I’ve awakened in a valley, was in the forest by noon and on the pier for dinner.

When I tell you there’s something for everyone there, it’s not an exaggeration. I remember thinking that the diversity of the city’s people, its culture and activities, even the climate, was nothing short of astounding.  It is just about impossible to have an average day.

One of my favorite parts of the entire trip was our stop at the de Young Museum at Golden Gate Park. “Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective” was the featured exhibit, with about 130 of his most celebrated ensembles.

I’ll admit that going in, my knowledge of Mr. de la Renta — who passed away in 2014 — was fairly limited. I knew that he was a fashion icon responsible for some of the most infamous looks of our time. And, I knew that he was a go-to fashion designer for actress Sara Jessica Parker, a fashion icon in her own right. Simply put, I knew he was a genius.

But, that’s not all Oscar was. After walking through the amazing exhibit and soaking in all the beauty I could possibly stand, I learned that he was a dedicated philanthropist, a doting father, a savvy businessman and a loyal friend.

The exhibit was so inspiring! So of course, I took lots of photos and I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. Take a look at some of Oscar de la Renta’s  most famous creations and let me know in the comments if you’re as inspired by them as I was.

Enjoy!

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Stuck in a style rut? Here are 5 easy things you can do right now to break free

Stuck in a style rut? Here are 5 easy things you can do right now to break free

Stuck in a style rut? Here are 5 easy things you can do right now to break free

I have a confession to make. I watch ratchet T.V. and I like it! In fact, one of my favorite guilty pleasures is the Real Housewives of Atlanta. This past season was especially fun for me because former child star Kim Fields was added to the cast.

Okay … soooo … I have another confession. When I was a kid, I was a Tootie groupie! I even wrote a fan letter (my first and only) telling her how great I thought she was.  Do you know she never wrote back?!! I admit it. My little pre-pubescent feelings were hurt.  But I’ll save the details of that confession for another day.

Anyway, during one of the season’s early episodes, Kim and co-star Phaedra Parks met for a play date with their kids. While chatting, Kim revealed that she sometimes struggled with the demands of being a full-time working professional, mom and wife. She talked about how she had “lost Kim.”

Kim went on to say that so much of her time and energy had been spent on being a “superwoman,” that she no longer knew how to feel good about the way she looked. She had become stuck in a style rut.

Now, I know the majority of situations we see on “reality” television are actually scripted, but this particular scene really resonated with me because Kim’s confession sounded so very familiar. It seems whenever I post about personal style, I get the inevitable comments from women who tell me that it’s just not a priority for them because they’re so busy living life.

No judgment here, but I’m a huge believer in the notion that people make time for the things that are important to them. So, I have to wonder if those ladies who say they’re too busy to think about anything beyond a t-shirt and jeans aren’t actually using it as an excuse because they really don’t understand the true meaning of personal style.

Regardless of which category you find yourself in, you may be surprised to learn that developing a style that’s all your own really isn’t all that hard. In fact, a great sense of style starts with something each and every person on the planet already has. It’s called an imagination. And, the only requirement is a higher degree of open-mindedness.

Depending on where you fall on the style spectrum, getting started may be easier for some than it is for others. So, to help, I’ve put together a list of five easy things you can do right now to help you break free if you’re stuck in a style rut:

  1. Pay more attention to your surroundings. From the colors in the sky, to the leaves on the ground, and everything in between; inspiration – quite literally – is all around you. Ask yourself what resonates with you the most: colors, textures, shapes, etc. Use this knowledge to trigger your creativity.
  1. The next time you see someone with a great sense of style, ask yourself what it is about their look you like so much and what elements you might be able to replicate or incorporate into your own wardrobe.
  1. Take note of the things that “speak” to you. Your inspiration might be an image from a blog, your favorite magazine or social media site. Use this as an opportunity to free your mind and think beyond the boundaries of your normal “comfort zone.”
  1. Make a list of every outfit you wore last week. What elements of each ensemble would you change or tweak to upgrade the look?

5.  If all of your clothes were lost as a result of a fire, flood, tornado  or   whatever, what 10 items would you replace first?

See what I mean about using your imagination? Let me know what you think about my short list by leaving a comment below.