An ongoing love affaire with all things fashionable, tasty and fun

Posts tagged “California fashion

Looks of the Week

After a relaxing t-shirt & shorts weekend I was looking forward to a fun, fashionable Looks of the Week post to get me back in the fashion mind-set for this week. So enjoy some of the great looks I found and get inspired!

Chic Chic Chic!

I love how from a distance this outfit looks low-key, but the individual pieces are all really beautiful and unique. The animal print ankle strap heels, gorgeous lace shorts (DIY!!!), and two-tone envelope clutch are all the perfect touches.

This is a great combination of pieces. The floral peplum top is really cute & summery, those cropped black pants are totally classic, and I love both the strappy glitter sandals and the Kelly green clutch. Well done!

Summery florals have been all the rage lately and this is a fun, fresh take on that trend. The minty green slim pants and neon yellow heels make the look interesting and keep it from being sugary-sweet.

This is such a classic, fashionable menswear look. Cuffed jeans paired with a plaid shirt is a great, traditional style, and those lace-up boots are totally covetible.

Light & breezy at it’s finest! This bubble-silhouette white midi skirt is a great focal point for this look, while the ankle strap platforms, yellow quilted iPad case, and retro sunglasses add the perfect about of individuality and quirk.

Nothing says “Summer” to me quite like a printed, flowing maxi dress. This color and silhouette couldn’t look better on her, which is the key when finding the right dress. I also like that she chose neutral hued, low-key accessories rather than picking up one of the brighter colors in the dress.

This is such a relax, French look. From the vintage bicycle to the printed pants to the chic blouse with a Peter Pan collar, this is a completely unique photo. Makes me want to rent bikes and ride over the Golden Gate Bridge for a picnic in the Marin Headlands! 🙂

Summer style is really an art. With hot weather making you want to wear nothing but shorts & tanks, coming up with a stylish outfit can be a challenge. White cropped pants are a great alternative to shorts and these bright, sunny extras are the perfect way to keep things interesting.

This is a great look from head-to-toe. Slim cropped pants, a sheer ankle length cover up, and a rouched blazer, all paired with a Balenciaga motorcycle bag and a killer silver collar. Model street style at its finest!

{Click on images above to visit the original source}

Do you wear different styles of clothing during the week than you do on the weekends? Is your vacation style more relaxed than your day-to-day personal style?


Sasha Maks Vintage Jewelry Trunk Show

You had me at vintage jewelry…

Amirite?

I’ve mentioned The Factory in the past, I attended an opening last spring where I purchased one of my all time favorite coats, and I also joined them to celebrated the April Howard Capsule Collection this past December.

The setting is great – an airy, brick-walled loft space in SOMA, and this past Thursday it was once again crammed to the rafters with beautiful clothes. And swoon worthy jewelry.

{Oh, there were people there too. I think. I was busy.}

A special trunk show featuring Sasha Maks Vintage jewelry and all designs featured June 24th in Dior: A Life in Pictures. Shop the unique vintage costume jewelry collection that includes the best of 20th century designs by Dior, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Lanvin and a myriad of unsigned statement pieces.

Unfortunately I had been unable to attend the June 24th Christian Dior exhibit so this was a great chance to catch up on a few of the designs that I missed out on earlier. Beautiful clothing, vintage magazines and photographs, and a phenomenal layout.

I walked down to SOMA to photograph the event and browse the trunk show. And what does a girl wear to a trunk show?

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Striped Pocket Sweater – Everyly via the seriously adorable North Beach boutique Annabella’s, Pleated Black Mini – Zara & Studded Peep-Toe BootiesVince Camuto}

{Black & white + vintage jewelry, of course!}

After admiring the eye-candy and taking pictures, I dove head-first into the gorgeous collection of jewelry. I tried on Chanel charm bracelets, costume jewelry earrings, animal cuffs, giant enamel pendants… And then I was lucky enough to stumble upon a phenomenal tassel adorned lariat necklace designed by Jean Vendome.

It was love at first sight!

I couldn’t wait to take it for a spin so I threw together an outfit on Friday so that I would have an excuse to wear it immediately. I wanted something simple so that the drama of the necklace would be the central part of the look.

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Maxi Dress – BCBGeneration, Nude Sandals – Vintage, Wrap Ring – JewelMint, Gold Wrap Bracelet – Forever 21 & Necklace – Vendome}

You can even check out my new necklace in this Elle Girl Japan editorial below.

Do you like to wear vintage jewelry? What’s your favorite vintage piece that you’ve collected over the years?


Looks of the Week

Happy Monday!

What better way to start a week off than some great sartorial inspiration? It always gives me a little lift when I see well-put together outfits, it also motivates me to put in some added effort when it comes to my personal style choices.

What about you? If you see some great looks does it motivate you to be more creative when you’re putting together and styling your daily outfits?

 

This is a great example of on of my favorite ways of putting together an outfit – Camille Over The Rainbow is a master of high-low dressing. Zara, Asos, and H&M pieces paired seamlessly with a gorgeous Celine handbag.

Source

This is just stunning. I love the unique combination of dramatic animal prints, reptilian leggings, and the sheer fabric of the blouse. It is certainly eye-catching!

She’s also carrying the Celine bag that seems to be the It Bag for Spring/Summer 2012 and which I’ve been drooling over for months. It’s a great choice because it’s large enough to tote around your must have’s but not so big that you’re carrying around all of your belongings. I’ve also been seeing it mostly in versatile neutral colors – white, tan, brown, and deep wine red – and this is such a classic style and shape that you know a neutral in this bag will be useable every season until the end of time!

Source

I love everything about this look – From the cute black & white patterned day dress to the fringed cross-body bag to the adorable black framed glasses. The perfect outfit for a low-key day when you still want to look cute.

Source

I’ve always admired Eva’s street style, she’s got a look that’s very much her own – ladylike with a unique twist, like her blue sunglasses here. This is a really cute sundress in a flattering pattern and length, a great look for warm Summer days.

Source

If you’re going to go for an all-black outfit take a cue from model Daiane and keep your look interesting with a statement necklace and a great bag. Accessories can do wonders!

Source

A standout jacket is a great way to finish off a look. Even in summer you can throw on a lightweight coat, like this gorgeous Kenzo version, and you’re ready for anything!

Source

Could this look scream Summer more? It’s bright, fun, and a little bit sassy. I’m a sucker for shirtdresses and I really love her choice of accessories, that large envelope clutch is divine.

Source

If hippie’s not your style but you’re planning to head to music festivals this is a great look to aspire to – ladylike chic. A trench will still be classic whether you choose pale pink or powder blue, so you can choose whatever color suits you best. P.S. LOVE those cat flats.

Source

Sexy Summer whites! Whites are a great way to stay cool in the Summer, night or day. Throw on some great separates and grab a sleek clutch like this gorgeous patent leather version and you’re good to go.

Source

I really like both of these dresses. Some actresses promoting a movie with a younger co-star would feel pressure to wear clothing that’s too “young” for them, but like Elizabeth Banks did at all of the Hunger Games premieres, Charlize Theron kept it classy and age-appropriate. And I love Kristen’s belted BCBG dress!

Source

So tell me, what has been your favorite trend this Spring? What have you not been able to stop wearing or daydreaming about lately?


Hippie 2012 Breakdown

Coachella 2012 is days away and it has been the topic de jour online the past few weeks. What should you pack, what should you wear, which shows should you see, where should you stay… Well, with all of this hippie-lovin’ going on I thought I’d share some inspiration and suggestions for those of you lucky enough to be heading to Southern California for the festivities.

Jacket Boots Isabel Marant Hat Rag & Bone Bag Alexander Wang Rosie Huntington-Whiteley New York City

Whether you’re shopping for accessories, trying to put together a new and interesting boho inspired look, or trying to style a long weekend’s worth of daily outfits, MCLV’s got you covered for 2012.

Inspiration:

Not sure where to start? Winter Kate’s Spring 2012 lookbook shoot is a great place to get some ideas.

Who’s your favorite hippie to take inspiration from? Do you love old school hippies like musicians Janis Joplin and Aerosmith? Fashion icons like Bianca Jaggar, Ziggy Stardust and Iman? Or modern hippies like Nicole Richie, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Johnny Depp?

{This is such a phenomenal photo I had absolutely had to include it. Flowy vintage maxi, faux fur, felt hat, polka dots AND the Alexander Wang Rocco bag I’m obsessed with? Absolute hippie perfection from Gary Pepper Vintage!}

You can also take inspiration from street style and fashion blogs:

Clothes & Brands:

Whether you’re in the market for flowy skirts, maxi dresses, draping cardigans, faux fur vests, beautiful embroidery, tie-dye, harem pants or anything else, the brands and stores below can meet your every need.

Some great brands/stores/websites to check out are: Free People, Akiko at Revolve Clothing, Urban Outfitters, Haute Hippie/Haute Hoodie (personally, I’m MAD for this dress – swoon), Of Two Minds can be found at Revolve Clothing, and of course, ShopBop.

Handbags:

Not only are crossbody bags are all the rage this Spring, they’ll keep your hands free AND you can leave your giant, back aching bag at home! Mama’s a Rolling Stone recommends the tooled leather crossbody bag by Free People that’s pictured below.

Hot Buy: Free People Studded Moroccan Crossbody

Zappos carries the Linea Pelle collection filled with fringe-adorned hobos and clutches, Piperlime has crossbody bags galore,  and Macy’s has a fun selection of patchwork Fossil bags and boho-style Lucky Brand bags. Or you can also check out Etsy for a collection of one-of-a-kind, handmade, and vintage handbags to fulfill all your needs.

Hats:

Are you a fan of the floppy boho-style hats that fashion insiders and celebrities, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Lea Michele, have been sporting since the Fall of 2011?

Me too.

 

{Top Left: 70’s Floppy Felt Hat – $45 @ Asos.com, Top Right: Camel Felt Hat – $50 @ TopShop, Center: Lauren by Ralph Lauren Floppy Wool Hat – $80 @ Lord & Taylor, Bottom Left: Jessica Simpson Solid Knot Floppy Hat – $30 (sale price) @ Dillard’s & Bottom Right: Staring at Stars Cross-Tie Floppy Felt Hat – $10 (sale price) @ Urban Outfitters}

Mama’s A Rolling Stone tracks the felt hat trend here – Following the likes of Vanessa Hudgens and Jessica Szohr. Or you can check out the always fabulous OnTheRacks, who gives us the perfect California Hippie Chick look here. Her boyfriend even took the pictures in Haight-Ashbury, the San Francisco hippie epicenter – How authentic! 🙂

Accessories:

Vintage and hippie-inspired accessories have always been my favorite part of this type of style, from headbands and feathered earrings to scarves, layered necklaces, and fringe fringe fringe.

If you needa little bit of jewelry inspiration than look no further than The Sartorialist, who captured a gorgeous pair of wrap around fringed earrings on the streets of Paris. You don’t even need to have your ears pierced to rock these bad boys.

Low Luv Jewelry, created by model Erin Wasson, includes pendants, rings, and bracelets. Or you can shop Nicole Richie’s jewelry line, House of Harlow 1960, which is well-known and adored by those who admire the starlet’s personal style. And if you like a certain celebrity’s hippie-inspired style, for example Nicole Richie or Alessandra Ambrosio, you can shop “closets” inspired by them on the website Boutique To You.

Shoes:

Shoes are incredibly important when you’re pulling together a look. The perfect finishing touch. The cherry on top. Whether you want to go a little Western, keep them casual and comfortable, or go for full on glamour, there’s the perfect shoe or boot for EVERY occasion.

 

{Top left: Caballero Ankle Boots – $330 @ Free People, Center: Braden New Charcoal – $110 (sale price) @ Vince Camuto, Top Right: Slouchy Ankle Boots – $33 @ Forever21, Bottom Left: Hunter Lace-Up Heeled Rain Boot & Fringed Lace-Up Bootie – $340 & $150 @ Neiman Marcus, Right Center: Takohoe Moccasin – $70 @ Steve Madden & Bottom Right: Koolaburra Women’s Kythira Feather Dip Dyed Flat – $125 @ Endless.com}

Since its expected to be warm and there’s lots of standing, walking, and dancing involved in a Coachella weekend choices like sandals, moccasins, and flat boots are both comfortable and fun.

Still not sure what you should pack? See what the writers at FabSugar, Refinery29, Modelinia, and Harper’s Bazaar are bringing for their weekends of fun in the sun.

Need some more? Check out last year’s Hippie Chic and Hippie Love for more options and ideas.


The Factory Presents April Howard

Have you ever seen the bolts of fabric that are used to make the clothes that you love? Or gotten a chance to look through the black & white sketches that become your favorite pieces? Or sorted through the jars  of buttons that will be sewn onto your favorite coat? A dear friend has given me the unique opportunity to witness this initial stage of the clothes making process as he works with the talented Jennifer Evans of the The Evans Group.

But, what do you do when the clothes are made? You celebrate of course! And to celebrate The Factory and CODE Salon hosted a cocktail party to show off their new collection in collaboration with April Howard.

Debuting in 2010 during New York Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center, April Howard earned praise from national press including WWD, Seventeen, and The Bristol Observer.

“My organic shapes and details are representative of discarded items, melting plastic, and rubber found around us in these urban wastelands we find ourselves in,” Howard says of her aesthetic.

So what’s a girl who loves fashion to do when she receives an invitation like this one? She gets all dressed up, finds a taxi, and drags her extremely accommodating  boyfriend to SOMA for some eye candy.

Oh, and she takes LOTS of pictures.

{I mean… Gorgeous clothes, a chic salon, beautiful models and vino? I’m there!}

The clothes from April Howard’s collection of original pieces under The Factory label were phenomenal {seen above in sketches & photographs} and the young ladies modeling them were stunning. The Factory is on the ground floor and filled to the brim with sewing machines, dressmaking mannequins, and rack upon rack of clothing. While the second floor of the building is occupied by CODE Salon, a cool SOMA loft space that last night was filled with models, make up artists, hairdressers, photographers, patrons, and one hardworking DJ.

Overall it was quite an evening. As a fashion lover I can say that I was not disappointed by my first chance to get up close and personal with the photographing of a collection. A big thank you to The Factory and CODE Salon for including me last night!

{You can see my initial post about The Factory here if you’d like any additional background}


Real Girls Need Real Closets – Accessories Edition

While every girl needs to get her hands on the basics (Real Girls Need Real Closets), sometimes its the extras that really make an outfit pop.

Case in point – Eva has a stunning figure and looked sublime in this white Dior gown, but she would not have been the talk of the town without all of her gorgeous turquoise jewelry

 

And while, tragically, the Golden Globes isn’t on the docket for most of us, a girl can always use some standout accessories so she makes a splash on her own personal red carpet. Jewelry 

 As much as I love those little blue bags at Tiffany’s, I have to confess that I’m a huge devotee of vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry. Must be the romantic in me. I like that the pieces have history, that someone has loved them, that they’re unique and one of a kind. Gold, silver, real, costume… You name it, I love it! I have some gorgeous pieces handed down to me from my mom’s side of the family, mostly gold, and I’ve been scouring vintage shops in San Francisco for years. 

  Scarves/Pashminas 

 If you’ve spent any time in San Francisco you know that the weather is schizophrenic to say the least. In a city where it can go from foggy to sunny to pouring rain in the span of three hours, a pashmina is a girl’s best friend. I usually have one in my purse, one at my desk, and I never travel without one (perfect if you want to avoid scratchy airplane blankets when you fly!) 

 I picked up this habit living in Italy, and like French women, Italians adore their scarves. You can wear them draped over your shoulders, looped multiple times around your neck, across your neck and hanging down in back, even twisted around the handle of your purse. Gloves 

 My glove obsession is probably the result of my mother raising me on Hitchcock movies. I’ve loved Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and the rest of their contemporaries as long as I can remember. In fact, for my fifth grade wax museum I dressed up as Grace Kelly. What can I say, why would I want to be Amelia Earhart when I can wear a tiara? Driving gloves, opera length, (faux) leather, cropped, mittens, animal prints… One of my favorite and oh-so-Hitchockian ways to wear long gloves is with a boxy jacket that has 3/4 length sleeves so you can see a good portion of the glove. Add a bracelet over the glove and ta-da! 

 Hats While I’m not personally much of a hat wearer, I do believe that a hat can add an extra kick to an outfit. Finding the perfect hat to suit your face shape and your outfit may be a bit of a challenge, but worth the effort if you can get it right. 

 Showing us just how to pull one off, even if you’re enjoying balmy Southern California weather, I present one of my best friends, Jacqueline Koob. Unique clutch In addition to the compulsory black clutch that can be paired with anything, it’s a good idea to have a stand-out clutch to spice up an all black ensemble. 

 This one is a no-name vintage clutch that my grandmother gave me. I carried it last year when I went to the San Francisco Symphony Gala and it was the perfect final touch for a sleek, classic look. 

My friend Nathaniel and I in grown-up prom mode. 🙂 The look would have been very simplistic without the fun clutch and earrings, so keep that in mind when you’re putting together a monochromatic ensemble, accessories can take it from ho-hum to wow. 

 Happy hunting!


Hippie Chic

With the Coachella weekends swiftly approaching and people planning their trips out to Southern California, I thought that I’d show a little hippie love with some bohemian-inspired outfits to get you in inspired and in the mood.

Rule #1:

Don’t forget your boots! As the reigning queen of music festival-chic, Her Highness Kate Moss never forgets to bring her boots. They’re key for tramping around between sets, especially given the erratic weather patterns this time of year and the random, unannounced Spring showers.

And in honor of The Queen, here’s outfit suggestion numero un – You’ll need  some flattering, tiny shorts, a loose tunic, low slung belt, Hunters, a cross-body bag and hippie accessories like feathers and chains

Rule #2:

Whether you’re a fan of aviators or Wayfarers, don’t forget to pack a couple of pairs of sunglasses for your trip. Choosing a pair of shades that suits your face can be a challenge, but once you settle on your favorite style you can spice up your look by trying out everything from black & white zebra prints to classic black to tortoiseshell.

The lovely Kate Bosworth is always at the top of the Best Dressed lists after a music festival weekend and here’s yet another example of just how she makes her hippilicious outfits work. This outfit illustrates just how important sunglasses are, both to complete your look and to keep your eyes healthy and safe in the sun!

To put together similar look you should keep it simple and try a summery romper that’s spiced up with lace-up sandals, hoop earrings, a saddle bag and your favorite sunglasses!

Rule #3:

The extras are incredibly important when you’re putting together a fun boho look – You can try adding anything from the handbags and jewelry to headbands and hats.  So when in doubt, pile on the hippie accessories!

Celebrities really know how to do the hippie chic look right by complementing their outfits with colorful headscarves, floral headbands, fringed pieces, hobo bags, braids, draped vests, and oversized vintage sunglasses.

For this kind of outfit you can’t go wrong with faded or distressed skinnies, a basic tank, flat Peter Pan-inspired booties, and then pile on all the hippie accessories that you can get your hands on.

Rule #4:

Why not be an undercover stunner on this trip? Avoid sunburn and disastrous fading and bleaching of your hair by adding an oh-so-chic hat to your ensemble. A floppy, oversized felt hat like below goes really well with a floaty, low-key look like a maxi, while a brimmed fedora will complement a more structured separates look better.

Vanessa Hudgens {anyone seen Sucker Punch?} definitely knows how to stay cool in the summer heat. Believe me when I say that the Southern California sun can be pretty punishing, so please be sure to pack both your hat and sunglasses!

Try mixing up your hippie chic look by pairing a flowy, ethereal maxi dress or maxi skirt with strappy flat sandals, vintage gold chains, and a fedora or wide-brimmed hat.

Now run off and enjoy the music loves, and don’t forget your sunscreen!


Real Girls Need Real Closets

I don’t know about you, but I adore closets. Adore. I’ve been keeping scrapbooks filled with magazine clippings for years {Fashion Inspiration} – Clothing, home decor, art, handbags, accessories & jewelry, hairstyles, fabulous photography, hotels & vacation destinations… And closets. So many beautiful closets. I may be alone in this, but I genuinely get the chills when I look at a well-organized closet.

And on that note, today I want to discuss closet basics with you. The building blocks – if you will – to a creating your very own, chill-inducing closet.

I’ve read countless books, blog posts, newspaper pieces, and magazine articles on what the essentials of a woman’s wardrobe should be. And while I adore Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Rachel Zoe’s Style A to Zoe and the like, their recommendations can seem like they’re geared towards a fantasy jet-setting lifestyle or an heiresses’ allowance.

Neither of which I have.

Below is the real girl’s guide to picking out the key elements to incorporate into your wardrobe, including suggestions for where to look for these items, hopefully everyone can find something that appeals to both their personal style and their pocketbook!

Button-down:

A white button down is quite versatile and a great piece to have in your closet. It can be worn tucked into slacks or a pencil skirt for work, or you can wear it with a pair of shorts or slim pants on weekends. This is an especially key piece given all of the menswear inspired collections the last few seasons.

{I love the pristine formality of this tuxedo-style button down, it makes me feel like Fred Astaire when I wear it!}

The key to the right button down is a combination of fabric and cut. You want to make sure that the fabric isn’t too thin or overly see-through – unless that’s your goal, you little minx – and that the buttons don’t gap when it’s done up. I would suggest trying a few on in stores to ensure the fit. Great places to find a good, basic button down? In the past I’ve had success finding good versions at Gap, Banana Republic, and Zara {the version above is Zara}.

Trench Coat:

No matter how frumpy I’m feeling all I need to do is throw on a trench and I feel like Audrey Hepburn.  Tan, black and navy are all good choices for your closet, or red if you’re feeling daring.

The trench above is one of my favorites, I especially adore the polka-dotted lining. I got it at H&M in London YEARS ago and am still wearing it to death. Trench coats can really run the gamut price wise. You can find a decent one for under $150 at Nordstrom or online at bluefly.com, while the Ferrari of trench coats, Burberry, will cost you closer to $1,500. I recommend keeping an eye out for sales at department stores like Bloomingdale, Neiman Marcus, Saks, and even Macys, since they’ll have a larger selection and you can find exactly what you’re looking for (double-breasted, wool, knit, flared, cropped, ankle-length etc).

Jeans:

If you’ve been following MCLV for a while you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m not much of a jeans girl by now. That being said, I do believe that everyone should have, at the very least, a pair or two of nice jeans in their repertoire.

Just in case.

My current favorites are these cropped black Juicy denim pants – They’re cute with pumps or flats, can be dressed up or down with ease, and fit like a dream. Jeans are another article of clothing that I believe must be tried on rather than ordered online. Fit, length, snugness… All these aspects are crucial to finding the right pair. Stores like Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom are great because they have large denim departments so you can try on various pairs and have your very own Goldilocks moment. Too big. Too tight. Juuust right!

Pearls:

A pearl necklace is a must and instantly adds a touch of Breakfast At Tiffany’s to any ensemble. Don’t panic though, there’s plenty of costume jewelry on the market that will perfectly suit your needs and wont break the bank. Macy’s, Ann Taylor and J.Crew have great classic versions and Lord & Taylor, Kenneth Jay Lane and Max & Cleo have some funkier versions if you’re looking for something with a modern edge. And don’t worry if a single strand, a la grandma, isn’t your style. Try multiple twisted strands, versions with metal and stones intertwined with the pearls or even a drop pendant.

{Kenneth Jay Lane for Bergdorf Goodman}

LBD:

Originated by Coco Chanel in the 1920’s, the Little Black Dress became an overnight sensation and an instant classic. Whatever your personal style, there’s a LBD with your name on it out there. Strapless, long-sleeved, knee-length, mid-thigh, lace insets, sheer panels, cutouts, interesting fabrics and textures… So many choices, only 7 nights in a week! I love a little lace for nighttime, so I was thrilled when I found the Jill Stuart dress above, which fulfilled all of my current loves: flattering cut, eye-catching details and a design that is just a little bit naughty. The nude panels and lace make a relatively conservative cut younger and more fun. Paired with booties and a fitted blazer, parfait for a night out on the town! You can find a LBD at most stores, but my recommendation would be to keep an eye on websites like shopbop.com, theoutnet.com, bluefly.com and Zappos Couture for steals on designer frocks.

Blazer:

A well-made, fitted blazer in black or navy is crucial to a girl’s wardrobe. Paired with slacks or a skirt, or worn over a dress for work, over jeans or a cocktail dress during your off-hours. I love the juxtaposition of silhouettes when a cropped blazer tops off a short, flirty frock. As with trenches, a blazer come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Boyfriend length, shrunken, ruffled, embellished, linen, knit, tuxedo-inspired. The options are unlimited.

If you get a quality piece and stick with a more classic cut, a blazer can truly last. The one above was purchased during my first mom-sponsored work shopping trip before I started the interview circuit my senior year of college and in the last six weeks I’ve worn it with black slacks and a sweater to work, and over cropped, slim black pants and a tunic on a weekend. This one is from Banana Republic, I would also check out Zara, Anne Taylor and J.Crew for other classic versions.

Handbag:

I should probably preface this section by confessing that I have a slight purse problem. Don’t worry though. I’m looking for a 12 step program.

Every girl needs a good, basic handbag. Something that will go with virtually any outfit, during any season. It’s fun to switch up your bag as seasons and trends come and go, but having a well-made bag that you can always count on is a must.

The first picture is the love of my life, found on super-sale at Barney’s New York. There are many shapes and sizes out there, so heading into a store to see how a new design looks on your arm is a good idea (you wouldn’t take your arm candy out for a night on the town without seeing how he looks in the mirror, would you?) I recommend keeping an eye on the handbag sales at Bloomingdale, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue for great deals.

Clutch:

The perfect way to accessorize your LBD is a clutch. There are many choices out there, crystal and stone embellished satin, jeweled, envelope, metal box clutches, classic black snake-skin… There’s something for everyone! The black beaded clutch above was handed down to me from my grandmother and I love the old-fashioned glamour it evokes.

And luckily for all the purse-lovers out there, clutches aren’t just for nighttime anymore. Day clutches have been making appearances over the last few seasons, especially in lighter colors and fun patterns. And as much as I love my giant carryalls, it’ll probably be good for my posture, shoulders and neck if I stop carrying around half of my apartment with me each day. The Asos Portfolio Clutch pictured above is currently en route to my apartment and I plan to love the lining out of it all Spring!

Black pumps:

The right shoe can change your life! {At this point my mother is reading this and shaking her head sadly, wondering where she went wrong with me}

But really. It can.

There was a time when I did not believe this and *gasp* wore cheap shoes. But I have seen the light! It is worth the time, effort and money to find shoes that genuinely fit your feet and are well made. Always try on shoes before buying them to make sure. My favorite brands for work heels are Franco Sarto, Cole Haan, BCBG, BCBGirl, Max Studio, Fendi and Calvin Klein.

My number one tip for picking the right shoe? Know your limits! Have you ever seen a woman shuffle-strutting down the street with tiny, delicate steps? Her heels are too high. Don’t be that woman! Stay in your comfort zone so that you can walk easily and naturally.

Boots:

I think that a woman should have a few different types of boots in her closet. Booties to wear with pants or a cocktail dress, knee-high black boots for dresses and skirts, a neutral colored boot that can be worn during non-boot seasons and, if necessary for your region, rainboots.

{As a semi-aquatic resident of the lake formerly known as San Francisco, rain boots are a must. I tested my new Hunters out a few weekends ago in Sonoma, splashing and wading through puddles and generally making a nuisance of myself. And I’m happy to report that they are, in fact, waterproof.}

{The booties below are my current favorites, I always feel a little rock n’ roll when I throw them on}

{This is a Spring look that I put together with the help of Shopstyle to show lighter colored boots worn in a non-Wintery way}

Flats

From Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe to Michelle Obama and Carla Buni-Sarkozy, everyone loves a good pair of flats. My personal favorites are Ruby & Bloom, J.Crew, H&M, and, yes, Jessica Simpson. For me, breaking in flats results in drastically more blisters and uncomfortable moments than heels, so the key for me is to find flats that are soft. Below are my not initially soft, but finally broken in sparkly Dorothy flats from the Vera Wang for Kohl’s collection.

And with these tips, I leave you. Go forth and conquer your closets!

Veni, vidi, vici!

{Photographs are mine unless otherwise cited – Click on the images from other sites and you will be taken to the original source}