Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Our Christmas celebrations are still ongoing, but it’s been an awesome holiday so far. Santa and his elves have been very good to us, delivering maternity clothes, prenatal massage certificates, an I.O.U. for a new couch for the new house (!!) and other goodies. I’ve added a few new pairs of shoes to my collection as well:
Aah, New Year’s Eve, the most over-hyped night of the year. Whether you’re a NYE lover or hater, chances are you may have plans that will involve you wanting to look hot. I’ve put together a few outfits to inspire you, whether you’re headed to a black tie gala or to your local bar.
This outfit would be great for going out to dinner and drinks with friends. It’s New Year’s, so don’t be afraid to step it up with sequins and killer heels! Sequins are EVERYWHERE this year, but some of my favorite pieces are from Alice + Olivia.
I’ve always wanted to go to a fancy schmancy ball on New Year’s Eve that involves me wearing a gown and drinking champagne that costs more than $9 a bottle (Andre, anyone?). It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe one year. If you are going that route, I like choosing a classic dress and then playing with your accessories. A navy gown is a bit unexpected in a crowd of black, and sparkly jewels make a big impact. I’ve had really good luck with finding long dresses at Nordstrom and Macy’s.
Somewhere in between dinner and drinks and the black tie gala is the all night open bar event. These parties usually involve girls in cocktail dresses and lots of cocktails being imbibed. Have you noticed I’m stuck on clutches? This one is, unsurprisingly, a Lauren Merkin. I have an almost identical one that’s my go-to for fancier outfits.
Last but not least, here’s one for you ladies that will be spending your night at a house party with friends. You might notice that I own a few of the pieces in this set, and that’s for a reason. This is the type of outfit that most of you can build from your closet — a nice dark wash pair of jeans, a cute top, some comfy but fun flats and whatever accessories you have to spice it up!
Time to start outfit planning — I hope this helped. Feel free to leave a comment sharing your NYE plans!
In case you missed the memo, Christmas is THIS WEEK! But if you’re still in need of gifts, you’re not out of luck. I’m going to format this gift guide a bit differently, focusing on categories of items you can hopefully find at local stores.
Do you need scarves in every color of the rainbow? Probably not. But scarves are always a good thing to have handy this time of year. Whether they’re being worn with a coat, by itself to top off a jacket, or as a wrap, it’s a great extra layer.
If you’ve got a hefty budget, this purple leopard scarf from Diane von Furstenberg is a great option for the fashionistas out there.
GAP’s Ikat version is super chic, at a much more attainable price point. It’s also lightweight, so great for wearing as part of an outfit, and well into the spring.
I got an infinity scarf at the end of last winter, and it’s getting more wears this year than any of my (many) other scarves. This one from Nordstrom is chunky, comes in fun colors, and looks extremely cozy.
Buying clothes for other people is tough. Even if you know their style, it’s so hard to know how things will fit. But the beauty of the open cardigan is that they fit almost any body type. Styles vary, from chunkier knits cuts like a typical cardigan, to longer draped styles.
The Splendid Chunky Stitch Open Cardigan would be a great gift for someone with more classic style. The material flies away from the body in a very flattering way, without being too voluminous.
Hopefully you’re well on your way to crossing people off of your gift list. But don’t forget to pick up some fun stocking stuffers! While the usual toiletries, etc. are great, it’s always nice to have something that goes a little bit above and beyond the usual stocking finds.
The gift: Tory Burch Saffiano Tiny Jewelry Zip Case Why: I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for the TB medallion. So sue me. I think this little case is adorable and perfect for throwing in a carry on bag, or even your purse. Great gift for the stylish girl who has everything. Buy for: Your jet-setting sister-in-law Price: $65
The gift:Bling Hangit Unique Jewelry Storage Why: There are few things more annoying than reaching for your favorite necklace, only to find it tangled with six other chains. And with the increasing popularity of long necklaces, this problem isn’t getting any better. The Bling Hangit lets you display your beautiful jewelry on a wall hook, or hang it discreetly in the closet (that’s where I have mine). It’s a great solution, especially if you don’t have much space. Buy for: Your city-dwelling friend who lives in the fabulously tiny apartment. Price: $9.99
The gift:Booty Shapers Inflatable Boot Supports Why: We spend a lot of money on our boots, so why not keep them in good condition? Like many of you, I’m sure, my boots spend most of their time folded up in a box, or slumped against the wall in the closet. I tried these in my heaviest pair of leather boots and they work like a charm, keeping them upright and unwrinkled. I’ll definitely be investing in more. Buy for: Play the one for you, one for me game. Price: $34.45 for 3 pairs
The gift:Echo Gloves, Touchscreen Compatible Why: You’re walking the dog and your Droid buzzes…but you’re wearing gloves, so you have to take them off in order to work the touchscreen. A major issue of the smartphone user, let’s be honest. Well, several companies have now created gloves that allow you to work a touchscreen without freezing your hands. Don’t ask me how they work, but they do (I had fun testing them out in Macys). Buy for: Anyone with a Droid or iPhone. Price: $21.99 (currently on sale)
I don’t know about you, but the men in my life are some of the hardest to shop for. Hopefully one of these suggestions will spark your interest!
The gift: Ralph Lauren fragrance gift set Why: Ralph Lauren has some great classic fragrances for men. This gift set includes a 1.3 ounce Polo Blue Eau de Toilette, and 1 ounce each of Polo Black and Polo Classic Spray. Buy for: Your dad. Price: Valued at $92, and priced at $45.
The gift: Blacksocks Merino Wool Socks Why: Men’s clothes are boring, there’s no question about it. But one thing it seems men always need more of, is socks. Well, a company called Blacksocks has invented the fantastic idea of “sockscriptions.” You can set up the men in your life with socks to be delivered throughout the year — brilliant! Blacksocks sent me a pair of the new merino wool socks that are super luxurious and warm. I intended to give them to my husband, but I think I’m keeping them for myself. Buy for: Every guy on your list. Price: Varies, depending on the sockscription you go for.
The gift: Brew City Beverage Pouch Hoody Why: It’s a sweatshirt. With a beer pouch. Need I say more? Buy for: Your little brother. Price: $28.99
The gift: Banana Republic Reversible long-sleeve half-zip Why: I love this shirt — guys can dress it up with pants for work, or throw on a pair of jeans and sneakers for the weekend. It’s that perfect in between style. The fabric is super soft, and it’s reversible! Buy for: Your husband Price: $44.99
If you missed it, check out Part One of my gift guide series from earlier this week!
Disclosure: Products provided by Blacksocks for editorial consideration.
I’ve been going back and forth in my head about how to organize my holiday gift guides. By recipient? By category? By price range? But then I decided I was overthinking it, so I’m just going to throw a bunch of stuff in a few posts, and hope they’re helpful. The two exceptions will be a post dedicated to the men in your life, and one for stocking stuffers. I’ll be rolling these out over the next week or two. Feel free to leave a comment with any fantastic gift ideas you’d like to share with the crowd!
The gift: Big Buddha Eva Quilted Convertible Clutch Why: The quilting and chain strap of this bag is evocative of Chanel styling, at about 1% of the cost. I love the bright red shade — great for punching up an outfit. Buy for: Your stylish girlfriend. Price: $46
The gift: Borghese FANGO Active Mud Why: There is something so indulgent about face masks. And as I’ve mentioned, I love mud masks. Borghese’s version is sourced from Tuscany’s volcanic hills. It promises to energize and nourish skin cells on the face and body. Special “absorbing action” unclogs pores, eliminates dead skin cells and detoxifies impurities. I had a chance to try the mask out myself, and it not only feels good going on your skin, but it smells fantastic! Buy for: Your mom or favorite aunt, who could use a little indulgence. Price: $61.00
The gift: An ornament from the heART HSN 2010 Designer Ornament Collection Why: HSN worked with dozens of celebrities this year (like Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwen Stefani, Reem Acra and Martha Stewart) who designed Christmas tree ornaments whose sale benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. And if the idea of helping sick children around the holidays isn’t enough to sway you — these ornaments are gorgeous! Check out the full collection and pick out your favorites. Mine is this funky one from SJP. Buy for: Anyone (including yourself)! Price: $19.90-$49.90
The gift: InStyle: Ultimate Beauty Secrets Why: As you can imagine, InStyle magazine has access to a bevy of beauty tips from experts, editors and celebrities. Their new book shares tips, tricks and shortcuts, “amassed from top makeup artists, dermatologists, aestheticians and celebrities, including red-carpet regulars like Rachel Bilson, Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow.” I’ve been reading through the book, and there’s some great stuff in there — maybe not a book for the most knowledgeable of makeup-addicts, but there are a lot of tidbits in there that the average woman probably doesn’t know. Buy for: Your younger sister, or beauty-clueless friend. Price: $13.50
The gift: LeSportsac All Gold Cosmetic Bag Why: We all love our makeup, so why not carry it around in something fabulous? LeSportsac, generally known for their durable nylon bags, has stepped it up in the style department with this adorable sequined number! Buy for: Your work BFF. Price: $28.00
Disclosure: Products provided by InStyle and Borghese for editorial consideration.
It’s getting to be that time of year where the invites for holiday parties start rolling in, and we all get to freak out about what to wear. Whether it’s a Christmas party with friends, your company’s holiday event, or a New Year’s Eve soiree, it’s definitely cocktail dress season. Here are a few great dresses (all under $200) I’ve spotted that might give you some shopping inspiration.
I’m not into Halloween. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel the need to dress as “Slutty Fairy” or “Slutty Little Bo Peep” or “Slutty Librarian.” Maybe it’s because the Phillies have made it to the World Series the past two years, so my focus has been solely on baseball. Maybe it’s because if I eat one more mini Snickers bar, I’m going to burst a button on my jeans.
Regardless of the reason, I don’t get excited about dressing up. However, I figured some of you might be struggling to come up with a costume idea that doesn’t expose your lady bits, and won’t cost an arm and a leg at one of those pop up costume stores that are everywhere this time of year.
You have a pair of jeans. You have a pair of sneakers. You probably have a knit cap (even if it’s not the ideal red/white stripe). You can find the glasses at Hot Topic, and that shirt is totally wearable in real life.
If I were dressing up this year (which I’m probably not), this would definitely be my costume. What about you — any brilliant Halloween ideas this year?
Going to a 4th of July party this year but don’t want to wear that Abercrombie & Fitch flag tee shirt you’ve had since high school? Here are a few ideas for how to be patriotic without sacrificing style. My overall tip: focus on the color palette without being too literal. Of course, if you manage to work in some stars and stripes, that’s okay too