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

Posts tagged “Piperlime

MCLV Style: Embellish Me

Fun accessories and embellished pieces are a great way to take a basic look to a new level. So next time you’re putting together a nighttime look be creative and layer on the extras!

One

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Pleated Leather SkirtThe Limited, Embellished Top – Zara, Oxblood Knit Tights – DKNY via Bloomingdales, Spike Embellished HeelsThe LimitedBlack Patent Clutch – MICHAEL Michael Kors via NordstromRing – BCBG Max Azria & Bracelet – Forever 21}

Two

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

Three

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

This outfit could have just been black skirt + black top but with the addition of brightly colored tights, an embellished collar, fun jewelry, and spiked heels it’s a more one-of-a-kind look. But I did discover that the downside of this too-cute pleated faux leather skirt from The Limited is that it wrinkles sooooo easily. And quickly. Thus the absence of straight-on shots!

What’s your favorite fun extra this Winter or the piece you’re most excited to try out?


MCLV Style: Lazy Stripes

Sometimes what a girl needs is layers. And lots of them. This was a look that I threw together for a CrossFit competition a few weeks ago – The keys for that kind of day are :(1) Comfortable, (2) Easy to move in, and (3) Warm! The third ended up being especially important as the venue had a huge open door and it started raining when we first got there!

One

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Striped Sweater Tunic – H&M, Leggings – Forever 21, Cropped BlazerBanana Republic, Studded Ankle Boots – C Label via Piperlime, Patent Satchel Express, Skull Pendant Asos, and Bracelets – H&M, Asos & JewelMint}

Two

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

Three

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

I have a confession to make. This blazer is one of the oldest {non-heirloom} pieces in my closet. My mother bought it for me SEVEN years ago when she took me on a shopping trip to equip me for interviewing and starting my first post-collegiate job. When people say “classic” or “investment piece” this, my friends, is what they’re referring to!

Do you have any classic, it’ll-always-be-in-style pieces in your wardrobe? What’s your favorite investment piece that you’ve bought over the years?


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:


Website Review – FootCandy Shoes

Due to long hours, lots of time spent in front of a computer on a daily basis, and a general dislike of crowded stores – I’ve become quite the connoisseur of the “art” of online shopping. Recently I was thinking about what I like, what I don’t like, which sites I frequent, and what qualities I look for when I’m shopping online and wanted to share some of the wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years.

What makes a good online retailer?

  1. Great selection of pieces so I’ll always find something that I like
  2. Carries brands that I know & love (and which I already know my size in…)
  3. Acceptable pricing & great and/or frequent sales
  4. Shipments arrive in good time
  5. Quick, easy & hassle-free returns

My favorite places to shop online?

  1. ASOS
  2. Bloomingdale’s
  3. Piperlime
  4. BCBG
  5. Nordstrom

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Shopstyle.com – Even though you don’t order directly from the website itself, this is the best place to find something that you’re looking for since they’ll search ALL online retailers for you. Ridiculously helpful.

Now that we’ve talked about online shopping in general, let’s discuss shoe shopping. As I’m sure you’ve picked up, I like shoes {Real Girls Need Real Closets & Real Girls Need Real Closets – Accessories Edition} so today I want to share a new website that I recently discovered called FootCandy Shoes – An independent, high-end retailer that has put together a great website that carries a pretty spectacular selection of shoes.

Pros:

  • Free shipping on orders over $100
  • Great sale section & “Bargain Basement” tabs with shoes under $50, $100, $150…
  • Carries designer shoes as well as the more common, less expensive brands
  • They also carry handbags and other small accessories

Cons:

  • There are some PRICEY pieces on this site so be prepared

And the most fun part of reviewing a shoe site, here are my loves, must haves, and recommendations for Fall!

{Left to Right: Kate Spade Bison Booties – $120, Moschino White & Black Pumps – $150, Pollini Striped Oxfords – $190 & Tory Burch Buckled Ankle Boots – $215}

And as an added bonus FootCandy Shoes would like to share a couple great shoe-related articles with us – Since they know how much we all love our shoes!

{The following was written by Foot Candy Shoes for MCLV}

Top 4 Ways to spot a fake Christian Louboutin Shoe

Today, it seems as though there are many individuals that are trying to mimic the iconic designer shoes of Christian Louboutin. With his eye for incredible design, texture, fabric, and of course his infamous red sole, who wouldn’t want to be the next Christian Louboutin? Well… there is a difference between inspiration and plagiarism. He is a mogul that he himself created. Since day one he has put everything he had into his shoes. From dreams to scribbles, Louboutin is a trendsetter that no other person other than the glorious man himself can replicate. He truly is a one of a kind designer and this is clearly why every fashionista across the globe is obsessed with his label. Unfortunately, there are many people out there that want a piece of his opulence and they themselves have started to counterfeit his designs.

Here are four tips that will help every fashionista out there distinguish between Authentic Christian Louboutin’s and Imitations:

1. The Box: Some may find this tip silly but its close attention to detail that will differentiate genuine Louboutin’s from the fake ones. When looking closely at the box it is important to note the word “Paris.” It should be located near the edge of right side of the box. It should not be underneath the Christian Louboutin logo. In addition, the item description sticker should be on the box. It should clearly state the European size, name of the shoe, and have a sku bar and number all located on this one sticker. Lastly, the Christian Louboutin logo should be written in white lettering.

2. The Dust Bags: An authentic dust bag should be a bright red color made of a cotton fabric with the Christian Louboutin logo noticeably written straight across the bag. Fake dust bags tend to look almost sun faded or pink in tone. In addition, the fake dust bags have the Christian Louboutin logo that is written diagonally. Lastly, the fake dust bags usually are made of a fake silky material.

3. The Red Sole: A genuine Christian Louboutin red sole is always a bright red hue with a high gloss finish. Fake red soles are a deeper red hue and tend to have a matte looking finish rather than glossy one. Pay close attention to the lettering inscribed on the red sole. An authentic Christian Louboutin will clearly have “Christian Louboutin,” “Made in Italy,” and the European size located on it. Many times the fake shoes will have the word “MadeInItaly” as one word with no spaces. Lastly, the loop on the “L” located on an authentic Christian Louboutin shoe will appear almost touching the rest of the “L.” In the replica the “L” will not touch and there is a notable space in-between.

 4. The Authenticity Card: An enormous clue that will distinguish if the shoe you are purchasing is genuine or not has to do with the authenticity card. Fake shoes will come with a red PLASTIC authenticity card. However, genuine Christian Louboutin shoes do not send out any booklets or authenticity cards!

We hope these tips help! Happy Christian Louboutin Hunting!!

This article was written by Foot Candy Shoes, online retailers for Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and more.


MCLV Style File: Flower Power

Welcome to another Style File post – Our last outfit breakdown was a killer patterned black & white dress that Poppy Delevingne wore to Berlin Fashion Week and this time we’re going to check out a bright, fun outfit that’s a great way to transition to colder weather now that Fall 2012 is upon us.

{Lovely Pepa}

Throwing a floral blazer over a skirt & top combo is a great idea, it takes this from a basic Summer look to an eye-catching, colder-weather appropriate outfit that can easily be adapted to suit your style and the pieces that you have available in your closet.

The extras for this look are especially great – The long, layered necklaces, chunky bracelets, and oversized gold mens watch are lovely but that handbag is what really stole my heart.

{Indulgence to Savvy Shopper – Left to Right: Lc Lauren Conrad Floral Blazer – $50 (sale) @ Kohl’s, ASOS Premium Floral Print Blazer – $55 @ Asos.comTall Co-ord Floral Blazer – $130 @ TopShop}

The key to this look is the floral blazer, finding one that suits your coloring and shape may take some time, but it’ll be worth it since this is such a great piece for Fall.

{Indulgence to Savvy Shopper – Left to Right: Rachel Roy Quilted Wrap Skirt – $175 @ Zappos.com, Vince Camuto V-Neck Wrap Dress – $100 @ Shop The Shoe Box & BCBGMAXAZRIA Silk Ruffle Flounce Draped Skirt – $60 @ 6pm}

You could try a sweet blue wrap skirt for this look or you could opt for a cobalt dress and achieve a similar silhouette. It’s the bright colors and eye-catching accessories that make this look work so you don’t need to stress about copying it piece-for-piece.

{Indulgence to Savvy Shopper – Marmen Cross Necklace – $250 @ Urban Outfitters, House of Harlow Diamond Cross Necklace – $60 @ Designs By Stephene & Multi Row Cross Necklace – $20 @ Asos.com}

Whether you’re a fan of delicate necklaces or chunky, gold jewelry or silver, wearing a single chain or layering multiple pieces – There’s something fun in this style to suit your personal taste!

{Indulgence to Savvy Shopper – Vince Camuto Gold Boyfriend Watch – $175 @ Dillard’s, Gold and White Links Boyfriend Watch – $55 @ Asos.com & Merona Silver Tone Extra Large Boyfriend Watch – $20 @ Target}

A boyfriend watch is a funky alternative to a cuff or bangle, it adds a masculine touch without taking your look straight to made-for-the-boys territory. Gold or silver, embellished or plain, there are tons of options out there.

Curious how I would interpret this look using pieces that I have in my wardrobe? Tuesday’s MCLV Style: Factory Girl post was actually inspired by this look from Lovely Pepa!

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Floral Blazer – Pim + Larkin from Piperlime, Pleated Black Mini – Zara (one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe, true story), Ankle Booties – Rebecca Minkoff from Shopbop.comFloral Top – Anthropologie, and Jewelry – All from Sasha Maks Vintage

As you can see, you can mix this look up, change colors, and adjust the jewelry to create something fresh and unique, a look that is all yours!

You can also check out past MCLV Style File looks below:


Fall On A Budget

At the beginning of October I shared my Fall 2012 Must Haves, which included eye-catching patterns & prints, faux leather, fun pants, tweed pieces, asymmetrical details, and the color de jour for Fall – Oxblood.

It’s easy to see pictures from the Fall 2012 collections and put together a mental list of all the things you want, and then give up in frustration because you can’t afford straight-from-the-runway pieces. But I’m here to tell you that we can very easily update your wardrobe for Fall without having to dip into your 401k. I promise!

I like to get one or two great new investment pieces each season – something like an updated but classic Little Black Dress, a chic new handbag, or a timeless trench – but I’ll also collect a handful of fun, on-trend pieces from less expensive stores that quickly update my looks for the season. There are great stores like Zara, ASOS, H&M, and TopShop were you can find trendy, well-made pieces each season for a steal. Read on for some of my personal suggestions & recommendations as well as a collection of great articles that’ll steer you in the right direction for all of your Fall 2012 needs.

I have to confess that some of my favorite places to shop are the Spanish retailers that I was first introduced to when I lived in Italy at the age of 21 – H&M, Mango, and Zara. The clothing is stylish and well-made, but doesn’t cost a fortune and the collections are updated frequently so there’s always something new in stores and online.
{Lace Trousers – $90 @ Zara, Blouse – $60 @ H&M & Contrast Panelled Dress – $30 @ Mango}
  • Where Do Editors Really Shop from Refinery 29 is just the sort of article that I love to read – Knowing where the most fashionable and stylish women in the fashion world shop is like being handed the keys to the kingdom! And wouldn’t you know it, along with the high-end designers that you’d expect them to mention, they also list great inexpensive shopping destinations like E-bay, Target, Zara, Amazon, Madewell, J.Crew, TopShop, JewelMint, ShoeMint, and even The Salvation Army. Great news, isn’t it?

Another lucky break for us fashion obsessed is that more and more high-end designers have been coming out with reasonably priced collections for retailer giants like Payless, Target, and Macys.

{Long-sleeve Shirt Dress in Red Geometric Print – $40 @ Kirna Zabete for Target, Long-Sleeve Satin Blazer – $60 (on sale) @ Nicole Richie for Impulse & Racquel Side Zip Bootine – $50 @ Christian Siriano for Payless}

  • Lucky Magazine’s 100 Cheap Fall Finds is a trove of fun Fall pieces from printed pants and embellished collars to chic dresses and leather trimmed jackets. In addition to featuring clothing from Luckymag.com, they included other retail websites like Romwe.com, Pixiemarket.com, Urban1972.com, Levis.com, and Ulta.com.
  • Two of the trends that I’m most excited for this Fall are printed pants and leather-trimmed pieces and luckily for all of us the fun website The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style featured fabulous recommendations for both trends –  Geometry Class & Just The Sleeves Please. So no matter what type of fashion you’re in the mood for this site has what you’re looking for!

The less expensive secondary lines created by designers and sold at department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macys, Nordstrom, and Kolh’s are great pieces to keep an eye out for.

{Left to Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Jac’ Denim Leggings – $140 @ Nordstrom, MICHAEL Michael Kors Sleeveless Cowl Neck Banded Bottom Dress – $45 (on sale) @ Bloomingdale’s, and LC Lauren Conrad Embellished Ruffle Tee – $40 @ Kohl’s}

  • Not quite sure how to approach stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, or Ross? Refinery 29 took it upon themselves to teach us how in their piece Discount Shopping – How To Shop At Marshalls where they had three different editors put together 6 cute looks under $50. Wow!
  • Waiting for stores to have announce a big sale is a great way to find the pieces you’re craving without paying full-price. Not sure just how to make this tactic work for you? Check out Sales Rack Skinny: The Subtle Statement’s Sale Shop Tactics for tips that’ll help you find just what you’re looking for in stores or even online.

Are you still in the mood for more tips, recommendations, and suggestions for updating your wardrobe, Fall dressing, and online shopping? Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Style For Hire and a series of informative posts all about online shopping.


MCLV Style: Factory Girl

This outfit is an oldie, but a goodie!

Things have been so hectic and non-stop since the beginning of September that I never got a chance to share with you the outfit that I put together for the pre-Fashion Week Fashion Mixer at The Factory in lovely SOMA.

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Floral Blazer – Pim + Larkin from Piperlime, Pleated Black Mini – Zara (one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe, true story), Ankle Booties – Rebecca Minkoff from Shopbop.comFloral Top – Anthropologie, and Jewelry – All from Sasha Maks Vintage

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

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

Despite the fact that I put this outfit together over a month ago it actually looks pretty Fall-ready with the black accents and these too cute Rebecca Minkoff booties. I love wearing skirts and dresses during the Fall with layers on top and cute tights on the bottom. I’ve got a pair of black & grey skull-print tights that are in my closet begging to be worn!

Do you like printed or colorful blazers? Are you strictly a pants person once the weather turns colder or do you like to wear skirts & dresses in the Fall?


Factory Fashion Mixer

Before heading to New York at the beginning of September I was lucky enough to start fashion month out right with a trip to The Factory for a Fashion Mixer with the lovely Sasha of Sasha Maks Vintage.

I was beyond thrilled to wear some more amazing vintage jewelry courtesy of Sasha Maks Vintage – Oversized pearls,  thick gem encrusted golden strands, and animal head bangles {see other phenomenal pieces from this shop in the collaboration series Styling 101}.

{Check out the MCLV Style: Factory Girl post for more on this look!}

The evening was fun and festive with a DJ, open bar, photographers, and a group of people ready to enjoy themselves and learn a little something about The Evans Group’s Collection Developement Packages.

My favorite part was, per usual, the oh-so-cool atmosphere of The Factory – I love the exposed brick and being surrounded by racks and racks of gorgeous clothes while I’m socializing.

Such a great start to Fashion Month!


Skull Candy

And by candy I mean fabulous things that I want – Jewelry, clothes, nail art, and accessories galore. All with fabulous skull designs.

So… I have a thing for skulls. Not a creepy morbid type of thing or a Halloween-only thing, just a deep and enduring love of all things skull adorned.

I think perhaps because I’m born on Dia De Los Muertos

Skull Nail Art Tutorial

I mean, how cute is that???

So in celebration of my skull love I’d like to share some adorable pieces and pictures and inspiration that I’ve found, and hopefully convert you all!

How killer are these leggings? I love the idea of a fun printed piece like this one taking center stage in an otherwise minimally styled look, but Fashion Coolture proves you can take things a step further and add another printed piece like this striped top. It’s busy but it works.

Why not wear a swimsuit with your pants? Why not wear a skull adorned swimsuit with your pants?

{Top Left: Nemesis Women’s Punk Rock Collection Skull Leather Cuff Band Watch – $40 @ Endless.com, Top Right: Dogeared Skull Charm – $35 @ CUSP, Bottom Left: Alexander McQueen Swarovski Skull Ring – $200 @ Net-A-Porter, and Bottom Right: Cherry Skull Double Wrap Bracelet – $250 @ Alexander McQueen}

Clearly Lee McQueen and I had something in common…

And just in case you were worried that skulls were too serious for your style, Betsey Johnson gave them a colorful new makeover!

{ Left: Betsey Johnson “Rio” Skull and Cherry Mismatch Earrings – $50 @ Endless.com & Right: Betsey Johnson Skull Fruit Stud Earring – $30 @ Piperlime}

And the new piece that I just ordered online in celebration of this post?

Image 1 of Peoples Market Skull Blouse

Skull Candy by MoiContreLaVie

{You can shop similarly adorable Skull Candy pieces over at ASOS Fashion Finder}

Come on, tell me the truth, are you a convert now? 🙂


MCLV Style: Kisses!

How was your mid-week 4th of July holiday? Have you been dating everything Monday instead of Thursday all day today like I have?

{Top – Zara, Jeans – J Brand, Shoes – MaddenGirl, Bowling Bag – Zara, and Zebra Print AviatorsPiperlime}

{You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu, shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder, or click the hyperlinks above to shop comparable pieces and visit store websites}

Check out more outtakes from this shoot here (just log into Facebook to view).

Hope you like this cute new Zara top, I saw the little kisses and knew that it had to be mine! Are you a fan of lipstick kisses too?

I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends since college visit a few weeks ago and after delicious food, wine, and some much-needed catching up, we headed outside for a photo shoot. Her enthusiasm and energy were great and I had a phenomenal time taking these photos. It’s amazing how much visibly better a photograph turns out when the subject is genuinely enjoying themselves, that’s one of the reasons you pay the big bucks for a shoot with a good photographer.

Have a great Thursday.


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?


MCLV Style File: Olivia Palermo

Welcome back to MCLV’s Style File, today I’ll be breaking the great Spring look from Olivia Palermo below and give you some ideas on where to find the pieces like these ones.

She wore this look at the Men’s Fashion Week shows in Milan in the Fall of 2011. Can you picture a more chic, menswear- inspired look for those shows?

The building blocks of this outfit can be broken down to three basic parts – The chic cropped trousers, the absolutely gorgeous double-breasted sweater coat, and the fierce leopard print heels. Each of these pieces can be adapted as you see fit and paired with a basic white T to finish it off.

{Top: (Left) Vince Camuto ‘Abstract Leaf’ Crop Pants = $100 @ Nordstrom & (Right) Café Capri in harvest tweed – $150 @ J.Crew and Bottom: (Left) Café Capri in wool check – $70 (sale price) @ J.Crew & (Right) Exact Stretch Capri Pant – $55 @ The Limited}

Depending on your personal style you can really change-up the basics of this look, or you can stay true to Miss Olivia’s style choices. With all the floral pants being shown for this Spring you could really spice a pair of cropped pants up if you’re in a daring, fashion-forward mood. As for the fit, you could go for s slim cut, something looser, or a more structured, menswear-inspired style.

{Left: CLOSED Anthracite Double Breasted Knitted Cardigan – $135 @ Stylebop, Center: Loose-fit double-breasted cardigan – $40 (sale price) @ Mango, and Right: FUNKTIONAL Comfort Cardi – $90 (sale price) @ Revolve Clothing}

Depending on the color-scheme that you settled on for your look, the sweater color and style can vary quite a bit. If you go for a bright pant, I would recommend balancing them out with a neutral toned sweater. On the other side hand, if you went with a simple black, white, or neutral colored pant, you could either stick with a monochrome look or go for a contrasting color or patterned sweater.

{Top: (Left) Stella McCartney leopard-print satin wedge pumps – $190 (sale price) @ The Outnet & Sam Edelman Sophie Two-Tone Wedge Sandal – $120 @ Neiman Marcus, Bottom: (Left) Diane Von Furstenberg April pumps – $180 @ Bluefly & (Right) Nine West Flax pump – $75 @ Piperlime}

Obviously floral pants and leopard print heels are a challenge to pull off in combination, so depending on your pant and sweater choices you’ll want to adjust the vibrancy of the pattern in the shoes you wear. Traditionally you’ll want to have a single piece be the stand-out part of a look, rather than having attention bounce from one thing to another and back. So if your pants are going to be bright or eye-catching, try for a more neutral-toned heel.

I promise I wont leave such a long gap between Style File posts going forward, I already have a couple in mind that I know you’ll love. In the meantime, you can look through some of the previous MCLV Style File looks below:

 

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.


St. Patty’s Day & Green For Spring

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

I’ve loved this holiday since I was a kid. I still remember my “Kiss Me I’m Irish” pin that I wore in Elementary school and gleefully pinching my unsuspecting classmates who forgot to wear their green. Those innocent traditions may have been replaced with green cocktails and pub-crawls, but my love of the holiday hasn’t diminished any over the years.

And since green is my favorite color AND brights, colorblocking, and neons are right on trend for Spring 2012, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite green picks for this upcoming season.

A green dress, either in a solid or a colorful print, is a great, versatile piece for Spring. Pair with tights & a cropped jacket when it’s nippy out or with sandals, a 70’s inspired hat, and huge sunnies.

Midi Dress with Embellished Bugs - $135 @ Asos.com

Donna Morgan Colorblock Crêpe de Chine Dress - $140 @ Nordstrom

DVF Karin Printed Tie Waist Dress - $400 @ Bloomingdale's

A green top or jacket is a chic way to add some green to your look without being overwhelmed. Jeans with a cute blouse or a pair of Capri pants with a t-shirt and a green jacket are both great, low-key styles for Spring.

Shrunken Boyfriend Blazer - $90 @ Asos.com

Embroidered Blouse With Peter Pan Collar - $55 @ Asos.com

Fantasy Blazer - $130 @ Zara

Colorful accessories are a great way to inject some color into your look without venturing into all-over-color territory. Subtle and easy! You can also pair multiple hues in a single look if you’re sure to keep the rest of the outfit neutral.

Retro Style Sunglasses - $35 ($20 on sale) @ Mango

Kate Spade New York Shopper - $180 @ Bloomingdale's

Printed Crochet scarf by Echo - $50 @ Piperlime

Sperry Top-Sider® 'Montauk' Leather Boat Shoe - $90 @ Nordstrom

Sabine Beaded Statement Necklace - $25 @ Piperlime

Are you liking the green for Spring trend? Which piece is your favorite?


Reader Request: Heels For Spring

MCLV reader Hayley is a girl who knows just what she wants:

Caity. Where, oh WHERE can I get some of those strappy heels that are ALL over your blog? You know… The ones with just one strap across the toe and a buckle strap around the ankle. I’ve looked high and far throughout Arizona and I am losing my shoe-lovin’ mind!

I know just want you mean! It can be incredibly frustrating when you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, especially when you seem to be able to find pictures all over the place of people wearing them. And just so that we’re all on the same page, this is an example of the style shoe she had in mind:

Source

While the Tibi sandal above is gorgeous, almost $400 for a pair of sandals is quite a bit of dedication to a colorful style that may or may not be back next season. Here are some similar styles as the one above in a variety of price ranges, so hopefully everyone can find something that they like and that suits their plans for the warm weather ahead.

Enjoy!

Boutique 9 Linya T Strap Wedges - $140 @ Bloomingdale's

For some Spring & Summer activities a high heel is ill-advised – boats, walks, picnics, any activities that include grass… In those instances a wedge is a great alternative since it’s more stable to walk in, though I still advise that you try them on first so you can see if the height works for you in advance. Wedges are also a great choice to wear with a maxi dress or skirt, as heels can get caught in the hem.

HAYDEN Heeled Sandals with Ankle Strap - $90 @ Asos.com

A thicker heel like in the two examples above can also give you more support than a stiletto heel, but these retain more of the classic high heel shape than the wedge sandals do. I love these thicker heels with cropped or Capri pants, they balance out a trouser leg really well.

Lookglobal - $90 @ Nine West

Judith by Luxury Rebel - $125 @ Piperlime

However, if you have hot summer nights ahead of you and you’re in the mood for a sexy heel, the three shoes above are just the way I’d go. They’re fun and flirtatious but retain the laid back feel of a classic warm weather sandal. Pair them with a pleated skirt, basic T and cropped blazer or cardigan and you’re ready for a night on the town!

So tell me, which pair do you like best?

P.S. Check out Hayley’s blog – ArmyPaisley.


Links You’ll Love

Health/Fitness:

Are you a fan of quinoa? Here are some great recipes to try out if you’d like some new & creative way to enjoy this protein-rich pseudo-cereal:

dinner casserole

18 Tips for Improving Food Disciplinefrom The Primal Parent, Jillian Michaels shares her favorite snacks with Fitness Magazine, what vitamins do you really need to take vs what nutrients you should be getting in your food from health.com and an exclusive interview with Jesse Brune from FitCeleb.

image

Would you like to learn more about some of the supplements out there? Gena at Choosing Raw can educate you on the benefits of Chlorella and Martin Berkhan has the low down on Fish Oil supplements.

Personally I like celebrity trainer David Kirsch’s no-nonsense approach to staying healthy, he doesn’t mince words – to lose weight and get in shape there’s nothing you can do other than eat healthy and workout. No short cuts. Here’s his Lazy Girl’s Guide to Getting Fit.

Fashion:

Banana Republic Announces Second Mad Men Collection

Do you love the retro fashion of Mad Men? Did you adore Banana Republic’s Mad Men inspired capsule collection? You’re in luck because Banana Republic has announced that their second collection with hit stores and online in March!

Still shopping for the perfect dress for your Valentine’s Day date? The Budget Fashionista has narrowed down their five favorite dresses from Piperlime under $50 and WhoWhatWear has all the best heart-printed clothes and accessories for you here.

Now that Jason Wu has virtually sold out at Target the only thing that we can do is start getting excited that Marni for H&M will hit on March 8th.

Source, Source & Source

Are you expecting and not sure how to stay stylish and cope with your changing body? Alessandra Ambrosio walked the runway at Sao Paulo while 5 months pregnant, proving that pregnancy doesn’t have to mean shapeless dresses and sweats! FabSugar posted great pictures of Kristin Cavallari in flowy button-down top with stretchy pants. Don’t want to wear sky-high heels through your pregnancy like Rachel Zoe & Victoria Beckham did, but want to keep it fashionable? Try riding boots a la The DayBook.


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}


MCLV’s Style File – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley & Miranda Kerr

Recently Victoria’s Secret models Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Miranda Kerr both stepped out in slim black pants, a loose, hippie-licious cream blouse and pointy-toed heels. What’s great about this outfit is that its chic and put together, but simple and easy to recreate on your own.
Enjoy a breakdown of the two similar outfits, both parfait pour this fall!
{Miss Rosie Huntington-Whitely}
{Mrs. Orlando Bloom}
Whether you want to go for a relaxed, bohemian silhouette, an eye-catching patterned fabric, or keep your top casual you can find a way to get this look to work for your own personal style.
{Top Left: Ruffle Collar Blouse – $55 @ Asos.com, Top Center: Silk charmeuse blouse – $70 (on sale) @ J Jill & Top Right: Haute Hippie Bib Blouse – $300 @ Shopbop.com. Bottom Left: D&G Cream Butterfly Print Silk Chiffon blouse – $150 @ Bluefly & Bottom Right: Ruched Back Pussybow Blouse – $55 @ Asos.com}
For pants that are a similar styles to those pictured above you could either go for nighttime glam like Rosie and try out some faux leather pants, or daytime chic like Miranda and try out some ankle-length leggings or slim denim pants.

{Left to Right: Bright Denim Skinny Jean – $60 @ NY&Co, Shiny Faux Leather Skinny Trousers – $70 @ TopShop, Current/Elliott Skinny Twill Cargo Pants – $90 (on sale) @ Neiman Marcus & 901 Legging – $170 @ JBrand}

And what brings both of these looks together? The sleek and dramatic patent leather pointy-toe pumps that both ladies chose when they put together their outfits.

{Top Left: AK Anne Klien 7Crista in Red Patent – $50 @ 6pm.com, Top Right: Dina Snake-embossed Pumps – $75 (on sale) @ Talbots.com, Bottom Left: Tahari Seude Pointy-Toe Pumps – $55 (on sale) @ Lord & Taylor & Bottom Right: Roberto Festa Lizzie Patent Slingback – $110 (on sale) @ footnotesonline.com}
Depending on what time of day you’re rocking this look or where you’re headed, I would adjust the accessories accordingly. To mimic Miranda’s relaxed and low-key style for a day of errands you could try adding a pashmina (large scarf) and some killer shades to the basics that you already put together above.
{Top Left: Woven Fringe Scarf – $40 @ Ralph Lauren, Top Right: Cream Fluffy Snood – $25 @ TopShop, Bottom Left: Ray-Ban Large Classic Wayfarer – $145 @ Piperlime & Bottom Right: Fantas-Eyes Women’s Old School Resin Sunglasses – $30 @ Endless.com}
If you’re planning a night out on the town or have a girls night out coming up you can channel Rosie’s bombshell take on this look and dress your outfit up with a flashy clutch, blingy cocktail ring, and bright red lips.
{Top Left: BCBGeneration Devan Convertible Clutch – $60 @ Dillards, Top Right: Felix Rey Superstar Wristlet – $110 @ Endless.com, Center: Rouge Coco Lipshine – $35 @ Cusp, Bottom Left: RACHEL Rachel Roy Cluster Cocktail Ring – $45 @ Macy’s & Bottom Right: Lisa Stewart Oval Cocktail Ring – $55 @ Pink Mascara}
What do you think of these looks? Do you enjoy the well-chosen basics that these ladies picked out and the individual way that they each made the look their own?
You can also check out past MCLV Style File looks below:
 
If you have a look that you’d like to get a breakdown for feel free to email me.

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}