Friday, February 22, 2013

Trendabelle Lace Shorts

Lace can connote old-fashioned gowns and old-lady doilies, but clean your contacts and look again: the netted material is new and now for spring.

The fabric is inherently feminine, but its romanticism is tempered and look refreshed when cut into shorts: the result is playful, not prim ‘n proper. The well-formed structure of Trendabelle's pair gives shape to the malleable lace, but slight stretch keeps it comfortable, dawn til dusk. The mid rise is conservative; the dip hem flirty – striking a blameless balance between modest and provocative.

Outfit with beige and gold to create a neutral story, but pick pieces with texture for interest. A silk blouse, cork flats and knotted bangle accentuate the lacy headliner without stealing the spotlight.   

blouse. // bracelet. // shorts. // flats

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Black and White

A black and white color combination is one of spring’s strongest trends. It’s also the easiest to execute. Everyone has a white tee or tank and black denim, shorts or shoes. Marry the light and dark already in your closet to be instantly inside the style circle.

Seeking a step up? Colorblocking, ikat patterning, jailbird stripes and preppy piping elevate the two timeless hues above basic. 

skirt. // jeans. // pumps. // blouse

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NYFW Report: J.Crew Fall 2013

In Minneapolis we’re still fighting the winter freeze, but in the faraway land of New York City, summer has already faded into fall – at least on fashion runways.

A week in, I'm rolling my eyes at the shows' incessant media coverage, but am possibly just bitter that Karlie Kloss’s twit pics are the closest I’ll get to the bright lights, designers, and their drawings come to life. I’m swerving past the majority of couture collections, parking, and fixing the headlights on J.Crew. The Jenna Lyons line is simply more accessible than other high-end offerings. Khakis that made my school dress code tolerable were my gateway into the brand years ago, and it feels like home – ever-evolving and stylish, but unintimidating and familiar.

Below are my favorite Fashion Week looks. All capitalize on current whisperings of trend and shout them loud and proud, while remaining grounded in sophisticated prep. Pencil skirts, ankle trousers and blouses rise to the next level in mixed-pattern pairings and graphic prints. The juxtaposition of weekend casual (leopard cap, drawstring trousers) and work-week polished (pointy-toe pumps, tailored tops) is smart and playful, blurring the lines between two separate environments and fusing one versatile and authentic style aesthetic.


Fun is an essential ingredient in fashion, and J.Crew’s showing infuses a colorful, spirited attitude in clothes you’ll pop out of bed excited to put on.

See the complete presentation here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara

Women wade (often endlessly) through the saturated beauty market in search of a signature scent, exact-match foundation, wear-with-anything lipstick. My investigation into some of these goods is still open, but when it comes to mascara, the tests are done and results read.

There are different lash looks, so let me clarify my priority: volume. Benefit's BADgal Lash Mascara's big brush delivers first-rate fullness to appropriately accent larger, darker features. Though the packaging doesn't call out a curling function, lashes are unmistakably uplifted after a few coats. 

photo courtesy

BADgal creates the same movie-star moment as fashion magazine favorite Diorshow, for $6 less. And if — like me — you're using two tubes to attain the desired effect (Clinique High-Impact to curl and lengthen, Maybelline VOLUM' Express to plush-it-up), you're paying a greater price for what BADgal gives, all-in-one. 

Case closed.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kennedy Women + Rag & Bone Midnight Patrol Pants

I recently read the fascinating story of the Kennedy wives, “Jackie, Ethel, Joan” by J. Randy Taraborrelli. After only a few pages, I developed an admiration for all three women – for their strength, what they endured, and how they persevered – that I’m pocketing and taking with me as I navigate the dawn of adulthood and face the ups and downs common among humanity – American royalty or not.

Jackie stands out for her conviction, independence and poise.
“She wanted everything that was the finest in music, drama, ballet, opera, poetry . . . and set a tone that would encourage culture around this country.”

“She had her own life, she made her own interests, and she created this atmosphere about herself.”

“She was a movie star without ever having made a movie, and the public was more captivated by her than ever.”

Ethel’s embrace of the Kennedy political machine, and enthusiasm for family and fun are unrivaled.
“She really wanted people to be happy. She set a tone for things, and wanted to surround herself and Bobby with a sense of gaiety. She was fun.”

Joan’s eventual triumph over passivity and a dismissive husband is empowering.
“I believe that private time is growth time . . . having a camaraderie and private time is equivalent to having a full life.”

In a time when I’m counting down days and constantly looking ahead to the next thing, Jackie’s holistic perspective on experience resonates with, comforts and encourages me not to wish time away. Good and bad don't occur in isolation; there will never be prolonged existence of one without the other.

She said, “I have been through a lot and have suffered a great deal. But I have had lots of happy moments, as well. The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good and the bad. And perhaps there is no need to do so, either.”

There are profound truths to be taken from the Kennedys, but they were merely mortals. And like all women, Jackie, Ethel and Joan wore clothes. So along with the life lessons, I absorbed a bit on fashion. The context above serves to convey that my respect for the women – and Jackie in particular -- is based in something deeper than a superficial adoration of her signature oversized sunglasses. It is because of this appreciation that I am giving any attention to her manner of dress.

The fact that Jackie wore harem pants made me reconsider slouchy trousers. Rag & Bone’s Midnight Patrol Pants have a loose fit that hints of harem, but aren’t excessively baggy or hoodlumish. Floral silk-georgette feminizes the edgy pair, demonstrating versatility and suggesting that beneath a hard shell is a soft center. Pajama-inspired pants are trending right now, so seize the opportunity to be simultaneously comfortable and cutting-edge. Pulling these off shows confidence worthy of the First Lady and will send your fashion cred soaring.

In the spirit of Jackie and living a well-rounded (level-headed but at times lavish) life, I assembled both dress-down and dress-up looks. No matter the hour, you’ll be photo-ready and regal, just as the Queen of Camelot always was.

dress down.
one. // two. // three

dress up.
one. // two. // three