Tuesday, August 12, 2014

asymmetrical earrings

I spent a quick couple of days this weekend in Minnesota for a beautiful outdoor wedding. It was one of the more casual ceremonies I've attended and I loved that the bride defied tradition in favor of what fit her personality (and if that personality manifests in giving guests Champagne to sip through the readings and vows, more power to her!). I wore an orange-red halter maxi for the farmhouse nuptials. Because the color was so bold, I kept my jewelry simple: petite pave hoops, a few twisted gold bangles and a tiny gold ear cuff I've been wearing constantly since last week. Asymmetrical earrings (or even wearing just one show-stopping piece) are catching on, and I really like the unbalanced look. Long & dangly or oversized clusters of stones make the "I'm only wearing one earring" effect most obvious, but if you prefer delicate rocks like me, cuffing a simple hoop (like I did) on one ear or snaking unusual shapes (like thisthese or these, or even mixing and matching) up your lobe sends the same message. The diamond-studded cuff I bought is no longer available, but here are a few others I love:

images via Harper's Bazaar

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

the shorts suit

Until this week, I kind of had a block against wearing shorts to work. Something about showing leg and advancing career didn't seem to jive. And, in an ice box of an office, what's the point, right? But sometimes, jeans and a blouse are just too boring. Such was my mood on Monday. I only have a few pairs of shorts with the clean tailoring and inseam to cut it at Corporate, so I worked my way from the bottom up. I pulled out classic cobalt Chinos, threw on a simple white tee and finished with a navy schoolboy blazer. I love this combination's ability to be two things at once: smart (hello, blazer) and breezy (thank you, shorts). Shorts suits have been pretty popular this season, and my spur-of-the-moment ensemble is a way to get the look without investing in new pieces. If you're still reluctant to hit the cubicle in cut-offs, try doing a "shorts suit" (loosely interpreted since you don't have to be truly matchy matchy) for brunch this weekend or cocktails at a swankier bar. Love and love.

a little more polished

a little more casual


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

in defense of "beach reads"

I've had a couple of uncharacteristically lazy weekends in a row (which I think summer requires). Last Sunday that meant pajamas from sunrise to sunset and a paperback on my balcony for an engrossing five-or-so hours. I was hesitant to pick up The Vacationers because of all the "beach read" buzz it's amassed, and I'd just come off an unpleasant experience with the seemingly similar Nantucket Sisters (I received it free at a promotional event, but found it unbearably cliche and elementary and not worth the thriftiness). After laboring through Devil in the White City for six months and striking out with the Nantucket novel, I was craving a light but satisfying (slightly salacious?) read. Emma Straub's fictional tale of a family vacationing in Spain during a particularly tumultuous time was all of the above. Despite having an "easy" plot, it was well-written and dimensional with strong characters I wanted to know, and I finished it in three sittings (read more here). And now, propelled, I'm back on the bookworm bandwagon with gusto, a few pages deep into Crazy Rich Asians (which I can tell is going to be fun) and the Zelda Fitzgerald novel (I love the biographical concept) on deck. So. Moral of the story:  

Not all beach reads are bad (some are).
It's OK to like the light stuff. 
Sometimes it just takes a beach read to get your groove back.

Friday, August 1, 2014

giving in: birkenstocks

Wednesday afternoon I took a twenty-mile road trip to Spring Green to peek in on our Home winter/holiday catalog shoot. I'd never been to the small town and almost went off the road more than a few times peering at the Frank Lloyd Wright-style homes tucked into hillsides and vine-covered Norman Rockwell farmhouses half-hidden in shallow valleys. It was a bright, warm, quiet day and getting away from my desk for a few hours was a welcome break in the week. (As a writer, it's hard to maintain a consistent creative drive when faced with sometimes-uninterrupted days of line drawings and product dims. Seeing actual samples and some camera action is crucial to keeping me engaged and remembering there's a human connection at the heart of the work.) The shoot was to-die—stay tuned!—but I found myself watching one of the prop assistants (who stood in as a slipper model) almost as much as the sparkly set. She was the kind of person who wears clothes in a very salient way—with a style that conveys a clear personality. And that she was clearly unencumbered by any kind of corporate dress code or motivation to make a certain impression was part of the allure. While I only saw her for a few hours, I got the strong sense that she sticks pretty close to that uniform every day. What she wore wasn't groundbreaking—black tank, black denim, black Birks, black hat—in fact, it seemed quite cliche for an aspiring photographer/stylist, but it was her attitude. I don't think anything I wear ever gives off that kind of attitude. The floppy hat is too much for me and I'm set on jeans and tanks, but Birkenstocks are suddenly conspicuously missing from my closet. A maligned symbol of Normcore, the wide double-strap Arizona sandals are such an obvious trend (and MUCH blogged about), but their effortless ability to pair with trousers, skirts, joggers and jeans alike makes me think I might give in. That assistant really sold me. Shop the rainbow here.

via Stylecaster


via WhoWhatWear

via Manrepeller