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

Posts tagged “formal

Rent The Runway Review

In my MCLV Style: Ballerina post I mentioned that my gold sequined Badgley Mischka gown had been ordered from Rent The Runway but it was such a fun, and easy, experience that I really wanted to devote an entire post to telling you about it.

I’m not going to lie – I was hesitant to try this service since I didn’t know anyone who had tried it, but once I got onto the website and started looking through the selection of dresses there was no turning back.

I picked my date. Chose my dress. And ordered.


{Your dress in two sizes and any accessories you may have ordered will arrive neatly wrapped in bags & boxes, clearly labeled, and with concise directions for how to return them}


{Then you try on the two sizes that you chose, pick one, and start the styling!}


{Selfies – The best way to pick your outerwear & accessories}


{The return process is quick & PAINLESS – All you do is stuff the pieces into the pre-labeled packing envelopes and drop them in a blue mailbox on the street. That’s all!}

I’m definitely going to utilize this service again in the future next time I need a fun gown for a one-time event. Maybe even for the next ballet event I’m hoping to attend in May to celebrate the opening of Cinderella.

Is Rent The Runway a website that you’d consider trying out? And if you have already tried it, was your experience as great as mine was?

MCLV Style: Ballerina

While I’m not a huge proponent of mid-week nighttime outings, every once in a while an event comes up that begs for a later-than-normal curfew and is easily worth the groggy next day at work.


{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Gown – Badgley Mischka via Rent The Runway, Spike Embellished HeelsThe Limited, Jewelry – Sasha Maks Vintage & ClutchDiane Von Furstenburg}


{You can view this outfit on and Pose}


{Check out outtakes from this shoot here – Just log into Facebook to view}

The San Francisco Ballet Opening Night Gala was one such event. I adore the ballet AND dressing up – So it promised to be an amazing evening. Add gold sequins and stunning vintage jewelry and believe me when I say that you’re got yourself a night to remember!

Do you like to get dressed up? Does a formal evening sound like fun to you or does even the mention of a gown stress you out?

Closet Organization

Is there a more intimidating or thankless project than cleaning out your closet? I have to confess that I usually have it on my To Do list for weeks before I get up the courage and fortitude to tackle the project. Don’t get me wrong, I adore a well-organized closet and am somewhat OCD about keeping it clean day-to-day {bf chuckles}, but a full-on cleaning can be intimidating.

I’ve found that approaching the project with a three-fold plan of attack is what works for me. That and spending days hours on Pinterest drooling over beautifully organized closets to get me in the mood… ❤


  1. Love It or Leave It – First you need to go through every single piece in your closet and decide whether you want to keep it. Tears optional.
  2. Share The Love – Once I’ve created a pile of pieces that need a new home I set up a Closet Party with some friends and after that any remaining items will be donated to the Goodwill.
  3. Live The Dream – Finally, when your closet is filled only with the pieces you’ll be holding onto, it’s time to sort, organize, rearrange, and plan for the future.

Need more details? Read on…

Love It or Leave It:

I become somewhat attached to inanimate objects so after years of carrying clothes that still have the tags on them from one apartment to another, I have had to set rules for myself. If I haven’t worn it in the last year – It has to go. End of discussion.

You may have a home with more storage space or larger closets and be able to keep more clothing and accessories, it’ll be dependent on what you have available to you and how much of a “clothes horse” you are. In general, if you can’t remember the last time you wore something, you probably don’t need to hold onto it. If your shoes are falling apart, you can probably let them go. If a piece has needed hemming or tailoring for as long as you can remember and you still haven’t taken it in, you guessed it, you should probably put it in the “out” pile.


Share The Love:

My favorite thing to do once I’ve created a pile of things that I’m not going to keep is to plan a closet party – I invite some friends over for cocktails or champagne and free reign of my closets. It’s been a tradition for a few years now and I love to include new friends, it’s a fun bonding event. And what’s left over after the closet party gets dropped off at the donations center of Goodwill.


Living The Dream:

Now that you know what you’re working with you can figure out how best to approach the cleaning of your closet. I like to tackle the reorganizing process in three steps:

  • First I rearrange by type & color {i.e. pants with pants, solids from black to white, then prints}
  • The second step is to consider the season and organize your closet so that the clothes & accessories that you’re wearing now are most readily available. This can mean deploying under-bed organizing trays or boxes to be stacked on shelves out of reach in your closet if need be.
  • Finally, after all of that work, I like to take stock of what I have and how it’s arranged and implement some changes to make getting dressed run more smoothly – Like adding accessories holders, changing hangers, or separating work clothes from play.


{All photos from MCLV’s Closet Porn… Board on Pinterest}

You can find some other tips and suggestions in Sincerely Jules’s Details or Cupcakes & Cashmere’s Closet Clean-Up or her Operation Organization: Closet Edition.

So tell me, how often do you overhaul your closet(s)? Do you have a specific process whenever you get started on this project?

Styling 101: Holiday Dressing

Whether you’re looking for something to wear for a tree lighting ceremony, a holiday cocktail party, or Christmas Eve dinner – We’ve got some holiday fashion inspiration for every occasion!

{Sasha’s wearingSchiaparelli Rare Watermelon Rhinestone Demi Parure, Convertible Rope Link Necklace and Bracelet Demi-Parure, Monet Rope Bracelet, Vendome Demi-Parure, Rhinestone Flower Motif Ring & Rhinestone Cocktail-Party Ring}

{Caity’s wearing: Faux Pearl Shield Necklace, Faux Pearl Strand Necklace, Flapper Black Glass Tassel Sautoir, Bozart Rhinestone Earrings, Pavé Rhinestone Cocktail Ring & Faux Pearl Rhinestone Cocktail Ring}

{Vintage 80’s dresses on loan from Mystery Mister – A fabulous vintage boutique in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco}

{You can also see this outfit on & Pose}

This Styling 101 post is about how to dress up basic – and not so basic – black this season. The shops are filled with fabulous frocks right now but if you don’t have the time, the interest, or the disposable income to buy a new dress – Why not spice up your favorite little black dress?

Layering beautiful necklaces, piling on eye-catching cocktail rings, adding a cuff or bangles, and finding oversized earrings that suit you are great ways to add a memorable and personal twist to an LBD.

Stay tuned for more exciting looks from the Styling 101 series & be sure to check out our past collaborations:

In addition to being able to shop the Sasha Maks Vintage jewelry on her website, you can always make an appointment for a private viewing session – You’ll learn the history and background of the pieces you look at and be able to try things on to find what you love most.

Jewelery styled by Sasha Maksutenko

MCLV Style: Symphony Gala

I had the honor of attending the San Francisco Symphony Gala last week – A fun event that includes some GREAT people watching, an amazing Symphony performance, and dinner, drinks & dancing.



{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Tiered Black Gown – BCBG Maz Azria, Beaded Clutch – Vintage, Ankle Strap Heels – Fendi, and Turquoise Necklace & Rhinestone Earrings from Sasha Maks Vintage}

{You can HYPE this look on}

Check out more outtakes from this shoot here – just log into Facebook to view

It was a truly great night – I met fun & interesting people, danced my little booty off, and enjoyed some tasty vino. But the best part was, without a doubt, watching all the ladies mingling in their lovely gowns. Sequins, feathers, brights, white, retro, fun prints, florals, basic black… My friend and I were so busy looking around that we barely had time to talk!

A special thank you to Sasha of Sasha Maks Vintage for loaning me the gorgeous jewelry that I wore and to Magdalena of the Joseph Cozza Salon for the fantastic hair and makeup. You really need to love your stylist if you’re going to be sitting in the chair chatting for two hours. 🙂

Can’t wait to go again next year!

If you were going to dress up like Cinderella and go to the ball, what type of dress would you look for? Something bold and daring or more elegant and understated?

Reader Request: Gangnam Style

I have to confess – I’m convinced that I have some of the best readers out there. When I get Reader Requests the questions are always great – topics and issues close to my heart. Definitely no questions about Uggs or tracksuits from this stylish crowd!

If I had to make a list of things that I love to see a man in, formal wear would be right up there at the top of the list so I was thrilled when a reader reached out with the following oh-so-chic request:

I’m sure you have seen the Gangnam Style video by PSY. My question…WHERE DO I FIND HIS CLOTHES?! There is like 1 outfit in there I definitely won’t wear. The rest I’m pretty much in love with. Let’s make this happen!!”

Korean rapper PSY’s style in the Gangnam video is a striking combination of 20’s inspired Great Gatsby pieces and preppy, East Coast country club wear. It’s formal and put together, but filled with unique touches and fun colors.

A man who wants to get creative and expand his horizons sartorially? I figured I should write this post quickly before I wake up realize that it was all just a dream…


Nothing says formal wear  quite like a perfectly fitted tuxedo or suit. The occasions for wearing a tux or suit may seem few and far between, but if you have one at the ready believe me when I say that you can find an excuse to wear it – Formal wedding, benefit or charity event, masquerade ball, attending the symphony, ballet or opera, New Years Eve party, even a Halloween costume a la Bond, James Bond.

In an ideal world all men could have a suit and tuxedo made for them – Pick out the fabric, cut, style, silhouette, and have it tailored perfectly for them. However back here in the real world off-the-rack is the most common, and easiest, way to go about finding a suit. Here are a few reasonably priced recommendations to get you started:

{Left to Right: Tailored black Italian Wool Two-Button Suit – $500 @ Banana Republic, Armani Collezioni ‘Giorgio’ Trim Fit Suit – $2,195 @ Nordstrom & Diagonal Weave Suit – $230 @ Zara}

  • Banana Republic – For your classic, basic suit this is a good choice. You can also stock up on button-downs and ties while you’re there.
  • Nordstrom – The benefit of a department store is that you’ll have a variety of brands to look through – From Ralph Lauren to Hugo Boss to John Varvatos. They’ll also usually throw in a fitting with the on-site tailor.
  • Zara – For a slim suit with fun flares and an overall European vibe. This is going to be best for shorter, smaller boned men who want a slim fitting suit, those of you built like linebackers should stay away. Far, far away.

Which brings me to the most important part about securing yourself a suit or tuxedo that makes all eyes turn to you when you walk into a room – Get. It. Tailored. Hem the pants. Hem the sleeves. Get the pants and jacket fitted. That’s the KEY to making a suit look expensive and made for you even if it isn’t.


If you think that all you have to pick from when it comes to formal mens shoes is matte black or patent leather you’re sorely mistaken. Luckily for us PSY has brought another old school style back in the form of spats and Oxford inspired dress shoes.

Spats are actually an accessory that slips over a shoe – Some Like It Hot, Anyone? – but these black & white wingtips are similar in style and silhouette. Another option that fits the bill are lace-up Oxfords, which come in an array of colors, styles, and materials and which fulfill the desire for an interesting and eye-catching shoe.

So where are some places that you can check out for a fun new dress shoe?

{Top Left to Right: ASOS Brogues With Leather Sole – $65 @ ASOS.comSalvatore Ferragamo Beltramo 2 Loafers – $400 @ Bloomingdale’s, Bottom Left to Right: Florsheim ‘No String’ Wingtip Oxford– $100 @ Nordstrom & Stacy Adams Dayton Wing Tip Lace Up Shoes – $95 @ Macys}

ASOS – Ordering shoes online can be risky but once you’re determined your size and the brands that you like this is a great website with lots of variety and great searching capabilities.

Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom & Macys – All of these department stores will have a wide selection which means if you find a style they’re likely to have it in different colors, fabrics, and sizes which is very convenient.

Colorful slacks:

The pants worn by PSY in the Gangnam Style music video come in a wide variety of colors – From basic black and cream to bright pink and deep purple velvet.

If you’re interested in trying out a pair of brightly colored slacks you should approach choosing them the same way you would with a button-down shirt, you need to work with your coloring. If pastels don’t work with your skin tone, try either a brighter color or a darker jewel tone. After you find a color that works be sure to pick a pair of slacks that suits your frame and – you guessed it – be sure to have them hemmed.

{Left to Right: Levi 511 TWILL Slim Pants – $60 @ Piperlime, Straight Fit Five-Pocket Cord – $70 @ Banana Republic & Jack Spade Classic Dolan Pants – $175 @ Bloomingdale’s}

Piperlime & Banana Republic – These are similar brands (owned by the same parent company) and most of their styles come in multiple colors, fabrics, or textures. They frequently also offer slim and/or athletic cuts.

Bloomingdale’s – They have an excellent selection of chic menswear brands and GREAT sales. I highly recommend signing up to receive emails when there are menswear sales, you’ll be glad that you did.

{Click the Gangnam Style pictures above to be taken to the original source}

In your opinion what’s the best fashion part of PSY’s Gangnam Style video? Is this modern-Gatsby look something that you’d be willing to try?