Not free.

I saw a saying the other day that rang true for a sale lover like myself: “It’s free if you don’t buy it.” Well. NOT. THIS. BLOG!  These things are all on sale and an extra 25% off thru tonight.  I especially love those earrings (available in 2 colors) and that Ulla Johnson chambray tassel dress. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Shopbop Sale Final

Dress //   Striped Tank //  Swimsuit //  Maxi Dress //  Earrings

Espadrilles //  Black Sandal  //  Lace Dress //  Chambray Dress // Ruffle Skirt

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LA DoubleJ, you have m’heart

Thought I’d make a public declaration of my newest brand obsession: LA DoubleJ. With vintage feeling prints and head to toe pattern, it seemed like the epitome of chic. Then I read their story and it became even chic-er. Hear me out:

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“One Love” off the shoulder cotton dress

The brand was started by J.J. Martin, a journalist covering fashion for the NY Times, Harper’s Bazaar and The Wall Street Journal. Although an LA native, she was stationed in Milan and fell in love with the vintage pieces worn by the uber-stylish European women she was covering for her stories. As such, Martin also became quite good at curating these vintage, designer pieces favored by the European elite.

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I Photo-Tested This Outfit

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Here’s one thing I’ve learned from the narcissistic practice of photographing myself in outfits: sometimes a camera tells you what the mirror won’t. Take, for example, this dress. My mom sent it to me while she was shopping last month because she thought it looked like my style (stripes, below the knee, ruffles…she knows me well). But I tried it on in front of my full length mirror and immediately thought I’d take it back because a) I have an odd obsession for returning things and b) I also thought the dress made me look like I had saddlebags.

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Caradise Found, Come on Down!

The impetus for this post was that Zara has some killer slides in store right now and … The Price is Right!  Like these, these and those orange ones pictured down below (for $29.90 get them in both colors!) . In fact, I was so inspired by the budget friendly slides that I got a wild and crazy idea to create an entire outfit for under $100. Here’s what I came up with.

… the book is extra ($9.52 on Amazon to be exact) but I just finished it and loved it – LOVED IT! – so had to share.

under 100 final

 

Tee  //  Earrings  //  Book

Skirt  //  Slides  //   Tote

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Outfit or costume? A study in tonality.

My Senior year of college some friends threw a “Color Party.”  They invited a bunch of apartments to get together and every group had to come dressed in the color they were assigned. The group that drew the yellow card came dressed as Jaundice patients, complete with painted yellow skin, hospital gowns and arrived in a yellow cab. My apartment was pink. We donned dip-dyed cotton batting worn over white jeans in an attempt to resemble cotton candy. You get the gist. Soo, not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that the outfit below brought back memories of that party.

I’ve had this pink pleated skirt in my closet for a while now and always struggle with what to wear on top.  Black seems to harsh, chambray too casual, and white seems like a cop out.  Until one day I was reaching past said skirt for the pink vest you see pictured below. It was an ah-ha moment, as I realized I’d been overthinking it all along. Why not match? Blush on blush. Here’s proof that monotone need not be boring or make you feel like your visiting the Capitol dressed as Effie Trinket.

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Statement Earrings Under $50

There are so many great statement earrings out there this season. Bonus points if they don’t weigh down my ear lobes.  And am doing the happy dance all the way to the checkout if they’re under $50. Well, better get my dancing shoes on because all of these fit the bill. Light, bright and (best of all) won’t break the bank.

Earring Under $50 Final

1  //  2  //  3  //  4

5 //  6  //  7  //  8

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Blog Reading 101

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I’ve had a few people come up to me after reading my blog and ask the craziest questions: Where was that shirt from that you were wearing in your post yesterday? How much did those dresses cost that you had on your blog last week? I thought it was intuitive that you can shop my looks by clicking on the labels below my photos, but I guess I was wrong. So I’m telling you now …. you can! This is a one stop blog. To help you less-advanced blog readers, I’m going to try typing links in a different color to let you know what words lead to products and/or other sites. Sound good?

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Be a Parent, Not a Friend

There are signs littering our neighborhood that read, “Be a Parent, not a Friend.” It’s all part of a campaign to make safe the High School Spring, specifically Prom and Graduation, which is usually accompanied by a party or twenty. I thought the signs were great but I’m not here to tell you how to raise your kids. They did, however, get me thinking about prom and (natch) what I wore. So yesterday, as I passed said sign, I texted my mom and asked her to send me a photo.

I still remember making the hour long trek to Cleveland to shop for this dress. To a mall that not only had a Saks, but also a Limited Too and Benetton, which in my teenage world was basically as good as Rodeo Drive. Given Benetton didn’t stock dressy dresses, Saks it was. I recall trying on a few other frocks, admittedly pulled down the lace and rhinestone path for which many of my friends had opted, before settling on this strapless floral number.

As I stepped out of the dressing room and twirled for my mom, I asked, “Are you sure its not too garden party? And it’s not long. Everyone wears a floor length dress to prom.” To which she said, “No, it’s a Spring dance, not the Oscars. You look great.” But lets face it, she probably would have bribed me with cold hard cash not to wear the long, aqua sparkly number that I was deciding between.

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(I have no idea how to rotate this picture. But maybe just as well that you can’t get a good look.)

Indeed, at prom I was the only gal in a short dress and the only one who had not gotten shoes dyed to match their gown (hopefully a practice that never made it out of Ohio?). But mushroom blow out, braces and what appears to be early onset of my Freshman fifteen aside,  I have #noregrets twenty years later.  How many people can say that? And I’m pretty sure I have only my mom to thank, who’s fashion advice definitely aligned with the “Be a Parent, not a Friend” mantra.

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Artist Spotlight – Lauren Marx

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Marx at work in her Cherokee Street studio.

Lauren Marx grew up wanting to be a zoologist. When she realized that profession also came with a lot of biology labs and science classes, admittedly not her strong suit, she had to regroup. Which is how she ended up with a B.F.A. from Webster University. This fine arts background, coupled with her love of animals, are partially responsible for her successful career as an artist, one who specializes in self-described “gory animal prettiness” to be exact.

The other part responsible for this burgeoning art career? Her family. For one, Marx comes from a long line of artists, a great-grandfather who was a painter, a grandfather who was a printmaker, a mother who was an artist. Said grandfather not only gave Marx the artistic gene, he also influenced Marx’s subject matter – whether he knew it or not- because his dining room was adorned in the work of John James Audubon. Marx would stare at these prints as a child and file them away for future use.

Audubon, in case you aren’t familiar, was an American naturalist and painter and the first person to create an illustrated natural history book, specifically known for it’s detailed illustrations of birds in their natural habitat. This gained him fame and notoriety in the late 19th century and is why his is the name behind the Audubon Society, an organization dedicated to wildlife conservation that was incorporated in 1905.

Audubon’s work still plays a role in Marx’s art. Some vintage Audubon prints that she found in an antique store on Cherokee Street are stacked neatly on her desk, serving as inspiration. Evidence of his style is apparent in the composition, details and color palette of Marx’s work too. Like Audubon, her work is very intricate and anatomically accurate, but instead of birds being perched on a branch somewhat wholesomely, as Audubon painted them, Marx depicts her animal subjects eating their prey, blood and guts also shown in all their natural glory.

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Inspiration abounds on Marx’s desk.

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Not Your Momma’s Mister Guy

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If you live in St. Louis, you’ve heard of Mister Guy and their fashionable women’s sidekick, Mister Guy Women’s. For you non- St. Louis readers, it’s an upscale boutique in an affluent suburb of St. Louis, which (confession) I had never shopped because it seemed more like a place my mom would go to buy conservative mom clothes (sorry, Mom). But after crossing the threshold last week to shop their spring and summer collections, I realized all my assumptions could not have been more off base.

They carry a ton of brands that I love. Michael Stars, Milly, and Autumn Cashmere to name only a few. There’s jewelry, shoes, bags, dressy clothes, casual outfits … truly a one stop shop! While I was there, they were also having an Elie Tahari trunk show, which, if you haven’t seen his stuff lately you are missing out. It’s got great lace detail and wonderful silhouettes, that run the gamut from crops to mini skirts to palazzo pants. There really was something for everyone!

While the Elie Tahari Trunk show ended last week, trunk shows are a staple at Mister Guy, with new brands always stopping in to show their new wares. In fact, later this week (May 4, 5, and 6th to be exact) they’re hosting a trunk show for the Italian luxury brand, Peserico. Details are here.

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Here are a few of the items I found and styled. That black and white striped Milly midi skirt I’ve been evening for ages (above). It didn’t disappoint! Perfect for a summer wedding. I also love Milly’s striped cropped sweater (below). It has a vintage-y vibe with those muted colors and is great with high rise denim and ankle boots.

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