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

Posts tagged “LBD

Styling 101: Cocktail Attire

The Little Black Dress is the perfect choice for a cocktail party – Not only is it a timeless style, it’s also easy to personalize your look with bold, eye-catching jewelry and accessories.

Cocktail-Attire-IV

{Jewelry can be shopped online at Sasha Maks Vintage, pieces will be available at The Factory through Summer, or you can contact info@sashamaksvintage.com for additional details & private appointments}

Cocktail-Attire-I

{Caity: Dress – Diane Von Furstenberg, Heels – Giuseppe Zanotti & Clutch – Ted Baker, and Sasha: Top – Chaiken & Capone, Lace Pencil Skirt – Anna Sui & Ankle Boots – Costume National}

Cocktail-Attire-III

{Photos by Jennymay Villarete of J. Villarete Photography – Jewelry & Jewelry Styling by Sasha Maks Vintage}

This dress is one of my favorites – It’s a universally flattering style, a simple silhouette that I can easily accessorize or dress up, and the lace overlay gives it a little boost. But if a cocktail dress isn’t your style then try a two-piece look like Sasha’s, her lace pencil skirt and tiered black top are chic and the textures & fabrics give her a flapper-esque vibe.

What’s your go-to look for a cocktail party?

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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… ❤

Closet

  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.

Closet

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.

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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.

ClosetI

{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?


Welcome To The Red Carpet…

Each Spring we get to witness the fabulous journey from red carpet to red carpet that the celebrities embark on that leads to the Oscars. Have I seen all the movies being nominated for & winning awards? Nope. Not even close. Do you know which gowns & frocks I love and which designers are killing it? Oh. Yes.

Here are some of the highlights of late!

AllisonWilliam

{I like this because it’s a one-of-a-kind take on a standard Little Black Dress and the answer to what to wear to a cocktail party.}

ChloeMoretz

{Cute. Eye-catching. Age appropriate. What more could you ask for from a young starlet?}

People's Choice Awards 2013 - Arrivals

{I adore a man in a suit, but with an endless parade of red carpets during awards season black and grey suit after black and grey suit gets a bit… Dreary. Three cheers for a man who mixing things up and likes to try great colors & textures. Precisely as the face of Burberry should!}

People's Choice Awards 2013 - Arrivals

{Flowy and white can frequently bomb on the red carpet. Too loose, too casual, too flower child… But this one is perfection. It’s all about the belt!}

People's Choice Awards 2013 - Arrivals

{Another black & gold number that killed it on the red carpet. Dramatic. Unique. Flattering. Perfect!}

People's Choice Awards 2013 - Arrivals

{Finding the perfect jewel toned gown isn’t easy and I can’t imagine a more beautifully colored dress than this one. And that silver collar? Swoon!}

People's Choice Awards 2013 - Arrivals

{Prints & patterns are such a breath of fresh air on the red carpet in a sea of princess-y frocks and this metallic black & silver number was especially stunning. And she wisely left the statement jewelry at home.}

Taylor

{Another fabulous white gown curtsey of Ralph Lauren. Lovely silhouette and a flattering hue, but those earrings were what really sold me. Just stunning!}

Kerry

{I LOVE Kerry Washington and she’s had some killer looks during her Django Unchained press tour – But this Giles gown is one of my favorites. It’s totally unique while still looking like it was made for her. Brava!}

And finally… Some Golden Globe goodness:

LucyLiu

{I love this dress! There was lots of back-and-forth on this one from the commentators, but I thought it was fun and a breath of fresh air!}

MichelleDockery

{Striking. Just striking.}

NaomiWattsI

{I love the drama here – The deep oxblood color, the neckline, the train… There’s a lot going on, but it works for her.}

AmyPoehler

{I LOVE pants on the red carpet. And I love women in tuxedos. This is simple but totally chic and timeless. Well done Amy, well done.}

HelenMirren

{Wow. It’s eye-catching and dramatic, but still age appropriate and utterly flattering. Gorgeous dress!, I love the gold embellishments.}

JessicaAlba

{This peach hue suits Miss Jessica to a T. It’s classic but the styling, jewelry & bag take it up a notch.}

JulianneMoore

{I love black & white on the red carpet. It’s sharp and eye-catching. And Julianne Moore knows JUST how to pull off this killer Tom Ford gown.}

TaylorSwiftI

{Flawless. The gown is a stunning color, suits her figure perfectly, and I adore the double straps, low back, and sheer stripe. Perfection!}

KateHudson

{Drama Drama Drama. When you want sophisticated, high fashion drama and glamour you know where to go – Alexander McQueen!}

KerryWashington

{I’m not usually a fan of sheer hemlines but I just love this sparkly Miu Miu number. It really stood out last night – Both on the red carpet and on stage – And it looks great on her.}

NicoleKidman

{And she’s back! I used to love everything that Miss Kidman wore on the red carpet but all the white lately hasn’t been my favorite – This however is killer. It’s busy, but she’s just the woman to pull it off!}

NicoleRichie

{Such a standout dress last night – This is the definitely of an eye-catching look!}

In my humble opinion there was a winning tie here… Jessica Alba in Oscar de la Renta {styled by the fabulous Brad Goreski} and Taylor Swift in Donna Karan Atelier. Both looked utterly striking and were styled to perfection. Well done to everyone though, there were virtually no disasters at this stylish event.

My only complaint? Where was Keira Knightley??? Her Chanel gowns for the Anna Karenina red carpets have been divine – I was dying to see what she was going to wear to the Golden Globes. Sob!

{Images from TLo}

Curious about last year’s stand outs? Check out Golden Girls. And Boys. for the 2012 red carpet looks from the likes of Angelina Jolie, Evan Rachel Wood, Emma Stone, and Rooney Mara.

Which fabulous frock was your favorite?


Styling 101: New Years Eve

After our sharing our tips for spicing up a chic Little Black Dress for a holiday party with fun statement jewelry {Styling 101: Holiday Dressing} we wanted to tackle the oh-so-glamorous topic of what to wear for a fabulous New Years Eve party. From formal wear for a black tie event to a killer cocktail party dress – We have ideas to inspire everyone no matter what your plans are!

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{Sasha – right- is wearing: Scalloped Link Brass Collar Necklace, Toggle Clasp Panther Necklace, Faux Gem Stone Studded Bangle, Tirfari Plaited Link Cuff Bracelet, Faux Jade Cocktail Ring & Florenza Rhinestone Cocktail Ring}

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{Caity – left – is wearing: Accessocraft Cabochon Pendant Necklace, Tasseled Mesh Chain Necklace, KJL Faux Jade Cuff Bracelet, Ribbon Cuff &  Ciner Domed Ring}

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

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{You can also see this outfit on Lookbook.nu & Pose}

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

If you’re attending a party or spending the countdown at a fun bar or restaurant than a cocktail dress, skirt + top combo, or a chic ladypants look are in order. Whether you’re going for dramatic colors & fun prints or basic black you can spice up your look with a bold shoe & tons of eye-catching jewelry.

And if you’re attending a gala, benefit, or other black-tie event you will be ringing in the New Year in a stylish floor or tea-length frock. Be sure to stand out from the other ladies by pairing your gown with layered gold or silver jewelry and statement pieces that’ll make your look 100% you.

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

*Jewelery styled by Sasha Maksutenko, Dresses from Mystery Mister & Makeup by Christina Aguayo of Looks By Aguayo.


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 Lookbook.nu & 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


Style For Hire Interview

Style For Hire is a country-wide network of style experts co-founded by fashion consultant and What Not To Wear co-host Stacy London. Style For Hire offers styling services – in person and online – from experienced stylists who can answer any and all fashion-related questions to might come up with. From what to wear to a specific event to how to build a better wardrobe to shopping suggestions that will save you money in the future.

I recently had the good fortune to interview a member of the Style For Hire team – Nicole Bush – who shared her background & passion for all things fashion-related with me, as well as helping me answer some of the requests and questions that I regularly get during the Fall.

{Another example of a classic handbag – MICHAEL Michael Kors  Hamilton Artisan Tote}

Nicole’s Background:

[1.] Do you have a fashion background or schooling? Did you work in a similar industry prior to joining Style For Hire?

As far back as I can remember I was playing dress up and dressing my friends. I had worked in retail on and off but it wasn’t until I was personal training in Columbus that I realized this was my passion. After training clients and seeing their transformations (yet still dressing the same) I decided I wanted to help. I enrolled in the Style institute once I moved and the rest is history!

[2.] How long have you been working at Style For Hire? What about the company initially drew you to it?

I have been with Style For Hire for about a year and half. What initially drew me to SFH was Stacy London. I wanted to learn from her! I went into it with that mind set- just learn as much as I can. Once I was accepted, it was then that realized what a gem SFH was!

[3.] What is the best part about working at Style For Hire? What is your favorite thing about this company?

The best part of working for SFH I would have to say are all the amazing stylists! Having done a Westfield Mall Tour I was able to work with such talented women that I would have never had the opportunity to do had I not been apart of the network.
My favorite thing about the company is message that SFH stands for. Stacy truly wants to have every woman feel great! Who wouldn’t want to be apart of that!?

[4.] What’s the best part of your job? What’s the most rewarding experience that you’ve had?

The best part of my job is helping women build confidence! To just look at a woman who sees herself full of flaws, and show her the beauty I see- its an indescribable feeling.  The most rewarding experience is when my client then sees their own beauty…it’s priceless!

[5.] Do you see yourself staying in the fashion industry? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Yes I see myself in the fashion industry. I see myself in 5 years starting a clothing line and styling fashion shows.

{Example of a classic piece that Nicole recommends – Michael Kors Hamilton Large Calf-Hair Tote}

Wardrobe & Closet Updating For Fall 2012:

[1.] My first steps at the beginning of a new season are to clean out my wardrobe, rearrange my pieces, take inventory, and make a list of things I’d like to add for the coming season and then start shopping – online & in stores. How would you approach updating your wardrobe for a new season? What are the steps that you think that one should take?

In order to update your wardrobe one must know what they have. Start by editing your wardrobe. Pull anything you haven’t worn and go through that pile. Ask yourself why you haven’t worn it? Are you missing a piece to complete the look, does it not work for your body type or your personality? DON’T hold onto item you haven’t worn based on an emotional tie. That is the number 1 mistake people make. Instead donate to a friend or a charity. Make room for new pieces and KNOW your body and what works for you.

[2.] When the new collections hit stores it’s easy to get swept away by all of the fabulous clothing and accessories out there and end up with buyer’s remorse. I like to plan my investment purchases for the season in advance, after looking through the collections and seeing what the stores are carrying. What are your suggestions when it comes to buying investment pieces for your wardrobe that you plan to wear/carry season-after-season? What are you top recommendations for designers or stores that frequently carry the types of timeless, classic pieces that fit this bill?

First and foremost you have to LOVE what you buy! Investment pieces are just that- an investment. Think longevity. FIT is key here!

Be familiar with sales. When my Style for Hire clients are about to invest in a key piece I schedule shopping dates at store where my clients will benefit. Be it at Nordstrom on triple point’s day or Bloomingdale’s friends and family. They will get extra points and discounts which is always a bonus.

Designers such as Burberry, Michael Kors, and Ralph Lauren are always great for classic timeless pieces.

{A must have is a divine trench coat – Classic Burburry version pictured here} 

[3.] Having an organized closet is important to me because it means being able to easily access things, it reduces the amount of time spent getting dressed in the morning, and it keeps me from forgetting about pieces that are hidden from sight. What are your recommendations when it comes to closet organization? In your opinion what are the best ways for someone to organize and/or display their clothing and accessories to increase function and convenience?

Your closet is prime real estate, especially living in the bay area where space is hard to come by!  Your closet should be FUNCTIONAL everything in it should fit and should be able to be worn that season. Be sure to rotate your clothes each season. Store any clothes that don’t fit in another closet or a storage bin.

An organized closet can be your best friend! The first thing I do with my clients is organize their closet based on their needs. For instance, I had a client who always wore black and gray and typically pants.  When I rearranged her closet I put all of her black clothes in the back so if she wanted to wear black she had to work for it! Working from left to right, I arranged her closet by putting all of her dresses, and colorful blouses in the center and her gray at the other end. Because of this, she had a whole new wardrobe and we hadn’t even gone shopping yet!

Each season, I suggest you rearrange your wardrobe. If you notice you tend to wear the same go to outfits- mix it up. I like to hang as much as I can. If it’s folded in a draw you tend to forget about it. I use drawers for your everyday pieces- think underpinnings, sports bras, workout clothes, layering tanks etc.

I love to hang accessories so I can see them. Be sure to keep all of your jewelry together in one spot. This is usually the last thing you put on but the most important.

I really love how passionate and enthusiastic she is about fashion – There’s no risk of being told you should only buy designer or throw away all the clothes you’ve ever bought – SFH is only interested in helping build your confidence through looking your best. What’s not to love about that?

Thank you to Style For Hire and to Nicole for their time in setting up this interview – I hope that you all enjoyed this! And I have good news for the holidays – You can order a Style For Hire gift certificate online and give a friend or relative the fashion experience they’ve always wanted.


Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Last year’s Gift Giving Guide separated out the types of individuals we tend to shop for – Host & Hostess gifts as well as presents for the fashionistas, health & fitness nerds, and foodies on your holiday gift list. This season so many of the bloggers that I follow have already put together great lists so I thought it would be fun to collect all of their fabulous suggestions and put together a master list.

Enjoy!

Carolines Mode’s Christmas Gift Ideas is the perfect list for an oh-so-stylish sister or girlfriend and includes notepads, designer lingerie, chic jewelry, and perfume.

Feeling extravagant? Moda Operandi’s Gift Guide: Extravagant Gestures isn’t for the faint of heart – believe me – and includes unbelievable gift ideas like custom designed snowboards, couture dresses, jewelry boxes, and one-of-a-kind homewares.

If you’re not sure what to get that special woman in your life – whether it’s your wife, your sister, or your mother – Harper’s Bazaar is here to help. Their Editors’ Choice: The Best Holiday Gifts is a great collection of ideas including clothing, jewelry, accessories, beauty products, flowers, art, and even chic china patterns!

If you have a friend or family member who is a gym rat or health obsessed than check out FitSugar’s list of Best Fitness Gadgets of 2012 which includes great finds like eco-friendly water bottles, new fitness gear, workout DVDs, and high-tech headphones & monitoring systems.

Could I Have That? has put together a great list and her Holiday Gift Guide: Black & White includes pillows, piggy banks, and fabulous moustache adorned coffee mugs – perfect gifts for one and all.

If edible gifts are more your style be sure to look through the list that Teen Vogue put together – 12 Gourmet Gifts for Foodies – and charm your friends with specialty desserts, quirky cooking tools, and creative cookbooks.

Not sure what to get your host or hostess for an upcoming dinner, holiday party, or weekend away? Check out Moda Operandi’s Be Our Guest for a fabulous collection of gifts that will fit the bill perfectly.

For a well-rounded collection of ideas check out The Subtle Statement’s Holiday Gift Guide – This list includes everything from accessories and electronics to pajamas and serving dishes. You’re sure to find something for that special someone!

And fear not, if you’re on a budget, there are still plenty of choices out there that your friends and family will love. Check 0ut Freckles In April’ Gift Guide: $5 and Under! and Cupcakes & Cashmere’s Holiday Gift Guide – Under $25.

What’s on my holiday wish list? To be honest, I did so much shopping over the past week that I cannot think of a single thing that I actually need let alone want. If you’re curious about what I’ve picked out for myself – See below! 🙂

{Top Left: Betsey Johnson Faux Fur Lined Belted Cape from Macys, Top Right: C-Label Elaine 6 from Piperlime, Bottom Left: Shift Dresses from BCBGeneration & Bottom Right: Boxes coming in from ASOS, Saks, Bloomingdale’s…}

Happy shopping everyone!


MCLV Style: Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Okay fine, this top is actually adorned with leopard heads not tigers, but once I got that William Blake poem in my head I was determined to use the line as a post title. My deepest apologies for the  fuzzy animal inaccuracy. 🙂

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Leopard Head TopAsos.comSlim Corduroy Pants – Paige Denim via Bloomingdale’s, Tan Peep-Toe Sandals – Madden-Girl via Nordstrom,  Zippered SatchelOASAPLarge Le Pliage Bag – Longchamp via Saks Fifth Avenue, Retro Gold Watch – Vintage, Geometric Gold Bracelet – BCBG Max Azria, Swarovski Crystal Ring – Gift, Spiked Necklace – H&M & SunglassesOscar de la Renta}

{You can view this outfit on both Lookbook.nu and Pose}

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

I put this look together for last Saturday’s walk down to SOMA for a photo shoot for an upcoming holiday collaboration with Sasha Maks Vintage and Mystery Mister, and that Longchamp bag I’m carrying was completely filled with shoes, handbags, and other accessories for the shoot. Stay tuned for pictures!

Are you a fan of of the animal print & animal head pieces that are all over the streets and in magazines for the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 seasons?


Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving isn’t just about spending time with you family & friends – or food – It’s also a time to be grateful and to give thanks for all of the amazing things in your life.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t say a great big THANK YOU to all of my readers for your continued support – I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without each and every one of you.

And as a token of my appreciation here’s a collection of sales and shopping destinations to check out if you’re interested in celebrating Black Friday or Cyber Monday:

What sales am I most looking forward to? I’ve already placed my ASOS order {as I tweeted Wednesday – 20% off w/ the code ASOSxBLAIR} and I’m hoping for some quality time on the Bloomingdale’s & Piperlime sites – Below are some of my picks!
What sites and/or stores are you planning to check out this year for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Any pieces you’ve been dying to get and are waiting to see if they’ll go on sale?

Voyage To Marrakech

A big Thank You to The Factory and The Evans Group for the unbelievable trip to Marrakech last week – Who knew that in the streets of SOMA you could escape to the market stalls of exotic Morocco?

Voyage To Marrakech is an evening inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s glamorous 1970’s lifestyle in Moroco to showcase their Spring 2013 Collection. An illuminated nighttime Marrakech marketplace, with cocktails, food, and music, and live photoshoot presentation, featuring live vignettes inspired by iconic YSL iconic photographs.

Stylish San Franciscans flocked to our own personal Marrakech last week to celebrate The Factory’s new collection inspired by the love affaire that YSL had with Marrakech.

{The looks that evening ran the gamut from ultra modern to vintage inspired to came-straight-from-the-office}

{Cocktails, mannequins sporting Yves Saint Laurent-inspired frocks, friends reuniting, fortune tellers…}

{And the models showed off a phenomenal Spring 2013 collection filled with sleek, shimmering fabrics, vintage patterns & prints, luxurious metallics, faux fur, relaxed silhouettes, and fun accessories}

{I wore a long-sleeved, high-neck vintage shift dress, Zara ankle strap heels, and a fabulous gold necklace from Sasha Maks Vintage}

{Check out more photographs from this event here – Just log into Facebook to view}

This was the fifth event that I’ve had the honor of attending at The Factory, check out my posts on the previous events below: