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.

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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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Bows on my Toes (and on sale!)

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Ask anyone who knows me: I’m not much of a bow kinda gal. To frilly, to feminine … details that seems to conflict with my sometimes cynical and usually sarcastic nature. But, there’s and exception to every rule I suppose, and these shoes are definitely it. I love them and all their girly glory.

p.s. As if you needed another reason to buy them, they’re now on sale! Shop here.

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Get the look:

Shoes   //  Shirt  //  Skirt  //  Tortoise Bracelet   //   Cuff   //   Purse

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Designer Crush: WHiT

I first stumbled upon NY – based label, WHiT on Gilt a few years ago. Maybe it’s me, but I assume if something is on Gilt, it must be past it’s prime or old news. I am sure that’s wrong, but it’s the way I think. I had forgotten about the label until I saw it popping back up in Anthropologie last season, thereby proving my Gilt theory all wrong! It’s designed in NY by Whitney Pozgay, who got her start at Kate Spade before becoming head women’s designer at Steven Allen and then striking it out on her own in 2010. I think it’s the fresh silhouettes, feminine details and easy cotton fabrics that have m’heart. Here are some of the items on my Whit Wish list:

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That grey one shoulder dress at top right especially makes me swoon!

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Shop the Mall, Rediscover your Closet

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You know that phrase, “Shop your closet?” Well, I’m horrible at it. A complete failure. Whenever I need an outfit for an event or a night out, my first inclination is to buy something new. It’s a problem. So the other day when I was shopping the mall, I kept running across wide leg striped pants in many of the stores I visited. It reminded me that a very similar pair lived in my closet. So instead of pulling out my wallet, I went home and found the pants. And this time, instead of pairing with my usual navy silk blouse, I mixed it up with another stripe on top. Admittedly, stripe on stripe might not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that a vertical stripe on your bottom half elongates even the shortest of legs. Below is Exhibit A:

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Waging War With My Closet

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Seems like I’m fighting with all of my tops lately. I tossed the bodysuit, am annoyed by my off-the-shoulders (remember this?) and now have yet another grievance for my closet. Flared sleeves. Bell sleeves, call them what you will. I call them a huge mess. Literally. Because I find that they gather little bits of everything  they come near: food at dinner, hand soap in the bathroom, even makeup as you’re getting ready. It’s like wearing a gigantic ladle on your wrists.  I think they look adorable and are a fun twist on the basic top, but when that bell gets too big? Buyer beware.

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Have plans Saturday night?

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The work of Angelina Fasano, an artist presenting at Burning Bright

St. Louis readers! Join me Saturday night for the opening of Burning Bright, an art exhibit put on by Living Collective and HEX.  The show features a dozen women artists from the St. Louis area and will be held at Tech Artista, the co-working space in the Central West End. The opening is from 5-8 pm and is free and open to the public. All artwork will be for sale, with 10% of the profits being donated to the artists’ charity of choice.

The collaboration between HEX (a social media marketing company that connects bloggers and social influencers with brands) and Living Collective (the St. Louis based online clothing store) to sponsor this woman-only show is quite a propos. As Katy Noonan, the owner of Living Collective states, “HEX and Living Collective are both female owned businesses and wanted to bring more representation for women artists in our new community at Tech Artista.” Tech artists already has a very artist- centric message in their space, with photo studios and recording studios available for use by it’s members, as well as permanent art flanking it’s walls, like the Pyramid Mural by St. Louis based Screwed Arts Collective, as well as Supper Club, a 24×10 foot mural decorating the third floor workspace.

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