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

Posts tagged “San Francisco shopping

Celebratory Weekend

This past weekend was a once in a life time celebration for my family – My baby brother, who happens to be the only male cousin, celebrated his recent engagement. He and his adorable fiance drove (drove!!!) up from Albuquerque for a week in California which ended with three days of non-stop celebrating in San Francisco.

The festivities began Friday night with our longtime tradition, dinner at our favorite North Beach spot, Don Pistos. The chips & salsa are amazing and we always gorge ourselves on them long before the food ever arrives, the tacos and seafood specials never disappoint, and their sangria is top-notch. Which is very important in a restaurant.

Ceviche tacos, carne asada, fried calamari, fish tacos, wine & sangria, and unpictured (eaten too quickly…) veggie tacos for me.

Why do boys never tire of trying to scare you?

After leaving dinner, totally stuffed as always, we walked past Washington Square Park and headed to another fun North Beach spot, the always lively brewery Rogue which has great outdoor tables and a huge beer list.

How cute is my future sister? 🙂

I’m always exhausted on Friday nights, the week always seems to come crashing down on me riiight around 7pm, so I made my life easier and just threw on a little black dress and some killer gold jewelry for our Friday night out.

V-Neck Dress – Mink (from the North Beach boutique Annabella’s), Heeled Sandals – Ralph Lauren, Lariat Necklace – Vendome (from the Sasha Maks Vintage Jewelry Trunk Show), Bracelets – JewelMint & Vintage, and Ring – BCBG {Click on the hyperlinks above to visit sites where you can find similar pieces}

For the main event on Saturday the rest of our family joined us for brunch and bottomless mimosas at a little hole in the wall bar/restaurant in North Beach called Tiernan’s Irish Pub.

And yes, I ate sweet potato fries for brunch. Completely worth it.

Comparing bling with fabulous friends – An important part of any good outing

Most of our extended family departed after brunch wrapped up, so those of us who remained walked over to the beach at Ghirardelli Square for some celebratory bubbly and a toast with a killer view.

Fashion highlight? Realizing Sean had been wearing my little pink running socks from Victoria’s Secret with his new Banana Republic dress shoes all day…

And what did I wear for this fabulous event you ask?

Zara Zara Zara

Striped Blouse – Zara,  Royal Blue Shorts – Zara, Shoes – MaddenGirl, and Zebra Print AviatorsPiperlime {You can shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or click on the hyperlinks above to visit websites where you can find similar pieces}

In conclusion, it was an amazing, sentimental, crazy fun weekend, and now I feel like I need to sleep for a week to recover. 🙂

How was your weekend?


MCLV Style: Pleats & Peplums

Happy – it’s almost the end of the week – Thursday! To celebrate I’d like to share some of my recent looks so that I can show how hard I’m working to meet my June fashion goals.

I have to confess, one of my favorite parts about having a stand-up desk at work is that I can wear pleated skirts to the office without having to worry about the pleats getting squished by sitting on them all day!

It’s the little things in life. 🙂

SkirtVince Camuto from Bloomingdale’s, Wide-strap tank – Zara, Cardigan – H&M, Mary Jane’s – Merona from Target, Rings – JewelMint, Vintage & Juicy Couture, and Watch – Vintage

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu or shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or by clicking the hyperlinks in the outfit breakdown above.

When I saw this skirt I knew that it was going to be mine, I loved both the stripes and the pleats. It’s also a fun length, almost like a cheerleader skirt (which I’ve never worn.,I swear). This whole look was inspired by the brightly colored, stripe-filled Jason Wu for Target Collection. And my love of stripes, of course.

Source

I also recently made my first peplum attempt of the season. I’ve seen so many cute variations of this trend lately – from simple peplum tops to fun & wild peplum dresses – and I wanted to give it a try as well.

Source

Liz from Late Afternoon has a fabulous and one-of-a-kind style, she frequently appears in my Looks of the Week posts, and I took her peplum outfit above as the inspiration for the look that I put together below.

Floral Dress – Vintage from Belle Cose, Peplum top – Zara, Patent (faux) Leather Oxford Booties – Wild Diva, Necklace – Express, Rings – JewelMint, Vintage & Juicy Couture, and Bracelets – JewelMint & Forever 21

In these photos is doesn’t appear that my body type is ideal for the peplum trend, but I decided that it was just the silhouette of the dress I’d chosen to wear under the peplum top. Besides, as far as I’m concerned the highlight of this look is the jewelry anyway. The finger-length floral ring is a recent acquisition from JewelMint and I’m madly madly in love.

Peplum Attempt Take II

Peplum Top – Zara, Pencil Skirt – Zara, Black & White Jacket – Zara, Round Toe Pumps – Very Volatile, Tweed Handbag – Kate Spade, Necklace – Asos, and Rings & Bracelets – JewelMint, Vintage, Forever 21 & BCBG

You can HYPE these looks on Lookbook.nu or shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or by clicking the hyperlinks in the outfit breakdown above.

“I’m a Zara girl, in a Zara world…” I was definitely singing Barbie Girl in my head all morning. 🙂 The pencil skirt did a much better job of complementing the volume of the peplum top than the floral dress that I chose the first day. I’m glad that I gave this another try and didn’t give up after the first attempt was a disappointment!

What do you guys think? Are you willing to try interesting new trends each season? Or do you prefer to stick to your tried-and-true personal style?

A special thank you to my friend Liz for her help with these pictures, I’m an awful subject because I’m so uncomfortable in front of the camera, and I appreciate her never-ending patience with me!


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?


Fashion Inspiration

Fashion isn’t just about what you wear, what goes on your body. It’s truly an expression of yourself that extends far beyond your clothes.

“Fashion is everything. Art, music, furniture design, graphic design, hair, makeup, architecture, the way cars look – all those things go together to make a moment in time.”  – Tom Ford

And just as fashion isn’t limited to the cloth that we wrap ourselves in, inspiration can also be found in many forms.

I began clipping pictures from magazines as a pre-adolescent, not so much fashion photos, just pictures that caught my eye, things that I found eye-catching or memorable or mesmerizing.

As I became interested in fashion however, my clipping habits became more focused. And while I don’t confine myself to photographs of clothing and accessories, I’ve found that my love of fashion gives this activity more direction and purpose. I’ve found that even without context, pictures can serve a creative function. 

They excite. They encourage. They inspire. 

The beauty and artistry captured by a photographer can be moving, regardless of the medium. Advertisements, promotional materials, editorials, art, home decor…

 

 I’ve found that by keeping these images available to myself I can stay out of a fashion rut. They provide new ideas and inspiration, get my creative juices flowing, and motivate me to grow and evolved. I highly recommend creating and maintaining a Look Book, a collection of images that make you smile, that invigorate you, that make you push your boundaries.

Whether it’s a physical book filled with clippings like mine are, or Boards on Pinterest, this is a great creative and inspirational outlet. Keeping pictures of looks that you like, styles that call to you, photos that take your breath away, can all be great tools to keep your approach to fashion fresh and interesting.

What’s your favorite way to get inspired?


The Factory

No, I’m not talking about Edie Sedgewick and Andy Warhol.

This Factory that I’m talking about is a retail and design space located in the SOMA district of San Francisco {Here’s a brief summary from the website}

The Factory is an unrestricted retail space in San Francisco, featuring collaborations with The Evans Group’s clientele of independent designers, made to keep its seamstresses working year-round. The Factory label is sold in the retail space and throughout the wholesale accounts.

The Factory is recognized locally and nationally, for preserving domestic work, and providing an exception work environment, The Evans Group Inc. is acclaimed for restoring the humanity and quality behind manufacturing clothes, while promoting design and craftsmanship.

In plain words, in addition to selling clothing under an eponymous label, The Factory offers clothing produced by up-and-coming and local designers, tailoring and design services, all the while employing local seamstresses (rather than outsourcing cheap foreign labor).

{Beautiful clothing. Amazing, rustic SOMA space. Talented and enthusiastic employees. Ethical practices.}

{Totally sold!}

{And speaking of sold… Meet the new love of my life! One of a kind and tailored just for me. Sigh. When will it get cold again?}

If you’re a Bay Area resident or visiting San Francisco I highly recommend stopping by The Factory and taking a look at these beautiful clothes. They’re located at 370 4th street (between Harrison and Folsom) behind Pete’s Coffee and across the street from Whole Foods!


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}