Chic & Cheerful

Fashion. Design. Life. Etc.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Essentials: Wardrobe Staples 6-10

As much as I enjoy buying up every autumn inspired item in sight,  I rely on essential wardrobe staples to tie everything together. I previously discussed the quintessentials including a trench, and a little black dress, (see them here) and today I'd like to share the next 5 in my series...
Bag by Chanel
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6. Black Bag- I always consider my bag to be my car. I lug around every necessity (and every frugality) I can fit. I'd be truly lost without it. While I love my grandmother's vintage clutch bags, and my worn in Michael Kors Astor tote, the one quintessential bag every woman should own is a classic black bag, the Chanel 2.55 being the most classic of all. This is a piece akin to the trench, any woman, any age can carry it, it will never go out of style, and well, just look! It's gorgeous! I think I need to invest in several as I don't want my future grandchildren to argue!
Alexander McQueen jacket.
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7. Leather Jacket- Once reserved for bikers, the leather jacket now looks just as fabulous thrown over a ball gown as it does over jeans. The perfect way to add some edge to your every day, a leather jacket is both at once edgy and classic. It is James Dean and Anne Hathaway all rolled into one!
Chloe t-shirt
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8. White Shirt- Everyone needs a clean canvas to build their outfit on. There is room to play with this item. While I prefer a white tee for its versatility, a white button down is a perfect acceptable and chic substitute-Sharon Stone wore a Gap button down to the Oscars once! Wear it to the grocery store, wear it to a ball, this item is a classic and a staple.
Mimi Holliday by Damaris bra.
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9. The Perfect Undergarment- Undergarments are the foundation of an outfit. Every woman should know her proper cup size. Once you have obtained that information, play to your heart's desire. I recommend doing as the French do and wear the most expensive matching sets you can afford. It will give you that extra boost of confidence, not to mention a sexy secret.
The Row blazer.
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10. Blazer- A blazer is another versatile essential. I would recommend one in blue or black, but there is most certainly room to play. There are many different cuts and styles so it's best to try on a few options before you commit. The perfect blazer will take you from the board room to an evening out and look just as flattering with jeans as it will with a sexy dress. Whether you choose a navy schoolboy blazer or a classic black tuxedo, it's a smart investment that will stand the test of time.
To be continued...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Fever.

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Confession: I don't get spring fever. There's something mildly cringe inducing about the thought of baring my white as a ghost flesh all of a sudden in strappy dresses, and sandals after being confined to cozy sweaters and knee high boots for 6 months. I do however, experience fall fever, and when it hits, it hits hard. I long for the first chill in the air, the first excuse to break out the cashmere, the time of year where dark, rich nail polish colors don't look out of place. I love it. Fall fashion is simply the best from the luxurious fabrics including silk, cashmere, and leather, to the rich palate of colors- deep burgundy, camel, and all shades of black. This year I've been extra attentive with finding my fall fashion inspirations and I want to share a few with you...
I believe the key to fabulous fall dressing is layering textures. Faux fur fits fabulously over chunky knits and wooly leggings. A large leather bag is the perfect finishing touch.
Camel colored leather pairs perfectly with thick cable knits and waxed denim.
Color is a perfect proponent to play with. 
Ignore staid wardrobe dictations and wear winter white.
Animal prints are the new neutrals. Pair them with bold jewel tones.
Lastly, finish off your fabulous fall look with a pop of color and a touch of shine.
Chunky bold jewelry looks luxe next to sumptuous fabrics.
Dress up your look with a feminine heel in a contrasting color.
Happy fall!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What I Want To Wear.

What I Want To Wear.

Fall is officially here and I am elated! Unfortunately, the weather isn't quite cool enough to pull out sweaters and tights, so in order to utilize pieces I've already purchased, I will be relying on layering. I've already purchased this fabulous wine colored Kain dress. Perfect alone, as the weather cools I will be completing my outfit during the day with fabulous sweaters, and at night I will adding a leather jacket. I haven't found the right one yet, but how perfect is this Rick Owens jacket? I'm dying for a leather jacket with draped lapels. I purchased the Rag & Bone Newbury booties back in June in anticipation of fall, but I'd also like to add a boot that is a bit dressier. These Zara booties are versatile and the price is right. I didn't intend to buy anything from Target's collaboration with 3.1 Phillip Lim, but when I saw the mini Pashli in black, I couldn't help myself. I like it better than the original!  I love myself a leopard print, and this leopard scarf from Oasis is the perfect topper to a chic transitional outfit.  Happy fall!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Iconic Image.

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Audrey Hepburn's outtakes from her various Vogue shoots are among my favorite in fashion. This particular shot is from a 1964 shoot, and I adore it. In fact, I love it so much it's my iPhone wallpaper. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013


The Emmy Awards red carpet is always an interesting one. It's not quite as fancy as the Golden Globes, but it's a step up above the SAGs. I am typically completely underwhelmed by what walks the Emmy red carpet, but this year I was pleasantly surprised. 
Claire Danes looked absolutely ethereal in this plunging v-neck Armani Prive gown. I love that she kept the hair simple and the makeup and jewels minimal and was able to avoid looking like an overdone poodle. 
I fear I may be in the minority, but I LOVE Julianne Hough's Jenny Packham gown. She has really snuck her way onto my fashion radar in the last year, and with good reason. My first glimpse of this gown was on her Instagram and I was intrigued from the start. While I would love this dress without the transparent skirt, I think it really gives some edge to an otherwise girly gown. Imagine the Duchess of Cambridge strolling the red carpet in this one!
Padma Lakshmi really shines in this ice blue creation by Kaufman Franco. I simply adore the minimalist cut, as well as the open back. Again, I love that she chose little in the way of accessories; the gold earrings and big bold cuff are the perfect compliments to this stunning look.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Looks I Love.

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This week, my favorite looks favor simple silhouettes, and monochromatic color palettes. I've alway been a big believer that simple is chic! 
In my book, GP does no wrong. I am such an avid admirer of her simplistic and chic style; she can say so much, with so little. When she turned up on the red carpet earlier this week at the premiere for her new movie "Thanks For Sharing," she did not disappoint. Gwyneth donned this gorgeous white dress from the Lanvin Resort 2014 collection. I love the midi length skirt, something we rarely see Gwyneth sport. Pockets also lend a louche casualness to this impeccable gown. She finished off her look with Nicolas Kirkwood sandals, and a bold red lip. Love it from head to toe.
Kate Bosworth certainly has that newlywed glow! She popped up this week in San Francisco at the opening of a Bulgari jewelry retrospective. She looks absolutely elegant in a simple Stella McCartney bodycon dress, complimented flawlessly with Bulgari jewels. Wavy hair and a red lip completed her chic attire. Loves!

The Making Of A Legend.

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The Chanel 2.55 is one of the most iconic handbags available, and without a doubt a chic forever classic. Apparently it takes anywhere from 6 to 15 people a total of 18 hours to create a single bag. If that isn't some serious attention to detail, then I don't know what is!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Essentials: Wardrobe Staples 1-5

     I am constantly editing my wardrobe. Removing items from seasons past to donate or sell on Ebay,  or more frequently, pulling fresh garments from shopping bags and hanging them in my closet. Diane von Furstenberg says one should consider articles of clothing as friends so when you open your closet you are surrounded by friends. Well, it is my personal opinion that one can never have too many friends, but I do believe there are 15 items that should begin as the foundation for every woman's wardrobe. Allow me to introduce your 15 new best friends...
Burberry trench.
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1. Trench Coat- Trench coats are utter perfection in my eyes. You can be Catherine Deneuve or Kate Moss, rock it in October or May, and are always guaranteed to look chic and pulled together. Throw it over jeans and flats and you're good to go, same goes for that perfect little cocktail dress. It will survive rain and snow, take you from day to night, and NEVER go out of style.
Diane von Furstenberg dress.
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2. Black Dress- Little known fact, but Coco Chanel invented the little black dress in 1926 at a time when bright colors and prints were all the rage. She made them in wool for day and different variations of crepe and velvet for evening. Other designers famously mocked her- Elsa Schiaparelli her enemy, made frocks covered with lobsters and splashed her signature pink everywhere, and Paul Poiret called her invention "deluxe poverty." However, not all shared the sentiment. American Vogue nicknamed Chanel's LBD "The Ford" for its potential long lasting success. Every woman should own a black dress in a cut and fabric that flattering to her body and relevant to her lifestyle.
J Brand jeans.
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3. The Perfect Jean- Although jeans have been around since the 18th century, they've only in the past decade become the status symbol they are today. They are one of the most frustrating items to shop for, but if you persevere you will find the magic pair. Every woman should know what cut, wash, size, and length works for her, as jeans are now an essential to any wardrobe. They can worn to work, to play, and everything in between. My best advice is to avoid lighter washes, whiskering, and cuffed jeans as all can add bulk in places unwanted.
Christian Louboutin pumps.
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4. Nude Heels-  This one may be puzzling to some of you. Why not a black heel? Nude heels make your legs look ridiculously long. Because there's no breakup in the color of your skin and the color of your shoe, it makes your legs appear as if they go on forever. They're also a great buy because they're a neutral and they will go with everything. No ankle straps though, as they will cut your legs off and make you look dumpy.
Valentino necklace.
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5. Statement Jewelry- Every woman needs a bold piece of jewelry to pull her outfits together. There's lots of room to play with this item. Fancy a whimsical necklace? Buy the Valentino pictured above and rock it out over a t-shirt and jeans or with your favorite LBD. In the mood for a cocktail ring? Splurge on a YSL Arty ring and it will still pull together any look you choose. The pieces and price points are endless and for you to choose at your discretion. Just think of it as the final frosting to your cake.
To be continued....

Monday, September 16, 2013

Currently Coveting.

All images via shopterrain,com

"There is beauty in simplicity" claims Linda Rodin, founder of luxury skincare line Rodin Olio Lusso. I for one, agree wholeheartedly with her sentiment. As someone who has severe allergies and skin sensitivities, I find that is is easiest for me to rely on products that contain the most basic and natural of ingredients, and forego product lines laden with harsh chemicals. Rodin Olio Lusso, the premiere luxury face oil contains only 11 ingredients, all of them naturally occurring oils. Ms. Rodin fashioned the recipe in coffee cups out of her bathroom, and her genius has resulted in a highly sought after cult beauty product. Along with the namesake product, she also produces a body oil, a hair oil created in partnership with celebrity hairstylist Bob Recine, a body cream, a lipgloss, a candle, a perfume, and a soon to be released facial cleansing powder. I have been lusting after this line for almost 2 years, and it's high time I just bite the bullet and order a bottle of my very own...

Oh, Marilyn...

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How cheeky is this thank you note from the one and only Marilyn Monroe?
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Style.

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Mid September weather can be quite fickle. One moment it's hot and humid, the next minute there's an abrupt chill in the air. Dressing appropriately can be rather frustrating between the yearning to take those white jeans and maxi dresses for one last spin, and the anticipation of donning cable knit sweaters, and riding boots. This outfit marries the 2 extremes flawlessly. The white denim hints at warmer weather- and despite any forewarning you can rock those white jeans past Labor Day, while the camel cape reads cooler temps. The stripes and nude accessories (LOVE the Loeffler Randall Rider bag!)  are year round classic staples that balance out the opposing seasons perfectly, and the gold jewelry is the perfect polish to a chic and seasonably appropriate outfit. Ladies, take note!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Looks I'm Loving.

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We're going back to black (with just a touch of pink) for the looks I'm loving this week. New York Fashion Week concludes today, and while there were plenty of fashionable ladies strutting their stuff, the monotony of Valentino Rockstuds, Celine bags, and pattern mixing has completely lost its appeal. Personally, I believe it is much more fashionable to keep it simple. These ladies did just that.
Ralph Lauren is Jessica Alba's designer. Every time she pops up in one of his spectacular pieces, she looks absolutely incredible, and her appearance at his Spring 2014 runway show this week was no exception. She straddled the changing seasons perfectly by pairing a slightly cropped black knit sweater with a perfectly pink tulle skirt. I LOVE this combination. She looks so modern, yet utterly classic. Audrey Hepburn would be proud!
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Rooney Mara is the epitome of Calvin Klein minimalism in this gorgeous CK dress. Pictured with Francisco Costa at the Calvin Klein after party, the structured simplicity of her LBD, paired with her FABULOUSLY badass booties is such a win for me. She completed her look with minimal makeup and sleek hair. I'm obsessed.
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Rosie Huntington-Whitely celebrated gracing the cover of Elle UK's October issue in London last night, wearing this stellar Stella McCartney jumpsuit. Typically I'm not one to get behind a jumpsuit but this one is too stunning. The cutouts add the perfect amount of visual interest, and her pointed Louboutin pumps only manage to elongate her already lusciously long legs. She is always just the right amount of pulled together.
These ladies are the perfect examples that not every bell and whistle is required for a fabulous outfit. I sincerely wish more ladies would take note!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Falling For Fashion.

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Now that September is in full swing, it's time to get serious about amping up your wardrobe! Although weather can be tricky during this time of year, (stuck in the purgatory of Indian Summer with the odd prematurely cool temp here and there,)  sweater weather will be here before you know it. I've shared some purchases I made during the warmer weather in anticipation of autumn (you can read about them here if you'd like), but here are a few things still on my to buy list...
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I am in DIRE need of a new trench coat. I hastily chose one from Zara last January in a fashion emergency, but it wasn't really the right fit for me. The buckles at the wrist refuse to remain buckled, the buttons are coming loose; it may have only cost me $40 but I feel like it was money wasted. This gorgeous trench from ASOS on the other hand, is perfection. I love the black contrast piping, the wide lapels, and the buckles. Come to mama!
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New boots for fall are a given, but I am thinking I need new flats as well. I love these Zara flats- they are the perfect shade of nude. I also like the idea of a pointy toe flat which seems much edgier than a round toe, not to mention flattering. The ankle strap will be convenient for days spent running around. The clincher? These babies are a mere $39.90. Sold!
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I know, I know, everyone and their mother has this Clare Vivier leopard fold over clutch. But with good reason- it's beautiful, roomy, and the perfect transitional piece. I am all about carrying clutches during the day and this would look fab paired with the above trench coat and riding boots, and would just as easily work well with an LBD and heels. I just need to pull the trigger on this already.
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I am all about scarves, although they are usually a fun animal print or a wild Missoni pattern. However, I came across this classic plaid scarf in Zara at the end of August, and I found myself considering plaid. It's completely timeless, would pair well with everything, and let me tell you, this scarf with ridiculously soft. I may hit the pause button on my animal print collection and start scavengering plaids!

So there you have it, a few more items I need in order to round out my fabulous fall wardrobe. Nothing too crazy, just a lot of classics!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mademoiselle C.

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While I love myself a fashion film every now and then, what I really go mad for are documentaries. Is there anything dreamier than following Grace and Anna while they prepare the much coveted September issue? My heart beats a bit faster knowing that right now Betty is somewhere inside Bergdorf's, rescuing some poor unsuspecting fashion victim from herself. These stories resonate more with me because they are truth, and that makes them all the more fantastical than any version of "The Devil Wears Prada" will ever be, in my book. That being said, I am beyond excited to glimpse the newly released documentary, "Mademoiselle C," chronicling the career of former French Vogue editor, Carine Roitfeld. Forget Anna Wintour, Carine is the epitome of chic. Have a look at the trailer for this fabulous film, and just try to disagree...

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Smile.

Image via Victoria Beckham's Instagram.
I absolutely got a kick out of Anna Wintour's amusement with Harper Beckham. It's nice to see she isn't made of stone. And I simply adore Harper's Chloe dress! Her father isn't looking too bad either...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Vogue Vs. Vogue

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     I truly believe a picture is worth a thousand words, and there is definitely plenty to be said about the above photos. The top photo is the former lineup of editors of Paris Vogue, and the bottom photo depicts editors of Teen Vogue, taken at Paris and New York Fashion Weeks respectively. I find it incredibly fascinating how utterly different these 2 groups of Voguettes look. The Paris bunch are the personification of French style, clad head to toe in black, with unfussy hair and minimal makeup, while the Americans are splashed with color, and appear slightly more groomed as far as cosmetics and blowouts are concerned. Both groups of ladies are equally chic, but in polar opposite ways. So which group would you belong to?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Double C's? Yes Please.

Image copyright abitofglitter.
     It's sights like this that make me sad McDonald's has the most recognized logo in the world.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Why Don't You?

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      "Why don't you wash your blonde child's hair with dead champagne?" This is just one of the many suggestions from major editor Diana Vreeland's "Why Don't You?" column, featured in Harper's Bazaar from 1937 until she absconded to Vogue in 1962, and a feature I shared frequently on the previous incarnation of my blog. Regularly decadent and oftentimes absurd, her suggestions were not for the faint-hearted or persons of little means. Taking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of scotch at her desk each day, she is responsible for discovering Lauren Bacall in the forties, and for telling Manolo Blahnik he should design shoes. She is the original Isabella Blow, grand and outlandish, and always with a sense of humor. Here are some of my suggestions for this week....
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Find a little fashion inspiration in the September issues? I always thank my lucky stars I was born in September, the "January of fashion" as Candy Pratts Price so eloquently dubbed it, as it's when the thickest, fattest, most fantastical issues of my favorite fashion magazines emerge, just in time for NYFW. You'll be able to glean all the upcoming trends and find a few tips and tricks on how to update your wardrobe.
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Try your hand at painting? Nars Cosmetics has just releases Eye Paints, a 10 color collection of gels that can be used as either buildable eye shadows or as liners. I personally adore products like these as you have much better control over the intensity of application, whereas with a powder formula, color is less likely to be adaptable to your intentions.
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Throw a glass of red wine? No, I'm not advocating violence, but I am advocating adding a glass of red wine to your bath water. The resveratrol from the grapes will help improve your skin's firmness and elasticity. Not into wasting any of your beloved vino? Add a 1/4 cup of honey to your bath instead, to aid in moisturizing your skin.
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Step up your fashion education with a film? Learn more about the creator of this column by watching the incredible documentary "The Eye Has To Travel." It chronicles Ms. Vreeland's entire career, from Harper's Bazaar, to Vogue, to the Costume Institute. Bonus points for indulging in "Unzipped," "Seamless," and "The September Issue." My personal favorite is of course, "The September Issue." 
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Enjoy a room with a view? Take advantage of the straddle between seasons by indulging in a rooftop cocktail. If you aren't lucky enough to have friends in high places, (literally) look up local hotels that boast rooftop bars. There's nothing better than a little gin and a little sunset...