April 28, 2011

Here comes the...Accessories!

Royal Wedding Day is officially upon us.  Now that we have covered the Bachelorette party attire and some killer wedding shoes, let's accessorize the beautiful bride!  To be clear, I am not suggesting that we take it to Heidi Montag's level (she could have done without the 10 strand necklace AND rhinestone sash AND diamond cuff), but I do think every bride should "frost" herself in her own style.  Whether it is adding a sash to the dress or wearing your great-grandmother's antique pearls, there are endless ways to accent your gorgeous dress.  As always, I have featured my favorite picks below.  Since there were so many amazing accessories to choose from, I categorized each selection by dress, hair and jewelry.  Oh and don't worry, garter's are included.  Enjoy!

For the Dress:

  1. Personalized Custom Bride's Hanger - $27
  2. Rhinestone Buckle Sash - $165
  3. Pearl Vintage Ivory on Black Bridal Sash - $59
  4. Couture Bridal Sash (available in multiple colors) - $75

For the Hair:

  1. Petite Birdcage Veil and Ostrich Feather Fascinator - $45
  2. Ranunculus Flower with Large Pearl and Crystal Pendant - $27.95
  3. Liz Birdcage Half Veil with Swarovski Crystals - $55
  4. Art Deco Swarovski Crystal Rhinestones Hair Comb - $74
  5. Diamond White Rhinestone Bridal Flower with variety of feathers - $46

Jewelry and More:

  1. Lillian Necklace - $95
  2. White Swarovski Pearl Pendant Necklace - $32
  3. Emerald Earrings - $48
  4. Vintage Inspired Wedding Earrings - $59.95
  5. Vintage Glamour Bridal Earrings - $34
  6. Art Deco Rhinestone and Swarovski Pearl Cuff Bracelet - $112
  7. Five Strands Vintage Style Bridal Bracelet - $105
  8. Custom Shabby chic Rosette Garter set - $43
  9. Garter Layered Black Lace and Cream Ivory Rose and Pearls - $40

ES Note:  all items were selected from www.etsy.com

April 26, 2011

The Something Shoe

As gorgeous as wedding dresses are, they tend to cover up my favorite part of an outfit.  However, I think most brides agree that while visibility may be limited, it is still important to find a wedding shoe that you absolutely love (and can at least make it down the the aisle in).  In a perfect world, a wedding shoe would be as comfortable as UGG slippers but look like a pair of Jimmy Choo Sandals.  While unfortunately this dream shoe is just a fantasy, there are still a plethora of wedding shoe styles for every bride.  What's even better is that more and more brides are shying away from the traditional white shoe and going for bolder colors.  Whatever your preference, it is important that the shoe reflects your own personal style.  I was flattered when a girlfriend recently asked me to help her choose her wedding shoes (#2 is on her wish list).  In our search I have picked out a few of my personal favorites.  Enjoy!

  1. Calvin Klein Oliva - $118
  2. Jimmy Choo Gloss - $875
  3. Nina Eterna - $89
  4. Badgley Mischka Randall - $200
  5. Badgley Mischka Lannah - $215
  6. Badgley Mischka Lissa - $245
  7. Nina Culver-Ys - $79
  8. Guess Amity T-Strap Sandals - $90
  9. Nina Neva - $99
  10. Nina Galiza - $99
  11. Cole Haan Maria Sharapova Air Lalita High Heeled Sandals - $198
  12. Badgley Mischka Lyndee - $215

April 25, 2011

Little Bachelorette Dress

In honor of the Royal Wedding, as well as five of my girlfriends who are getting married this year, Empire Stilettos will have wedding fever this week.   One of my favorite things about a friend getting married (besides celebrating the happy couple of course) is planning the bachelorette party.  Coincidentally, this past weekend kicked off the first of my 5 upcoming bachelorette celebrations.  The festivities were held at my apartment in NYC for one of my best friends from elementary school.  The itinerary was filled with all things girly including mani pedis, shopping, brunches, dinners, dancing and of course some cocktails in between.  The "main event" was Saturday night and the only requirement was that the bridesmaids wore black dresses, while the bachelorette wore anything but black.  While we have all gotten the memo that we should invest in a black dress, I have realized that we don't always own a proper "little bachelorette dress".   Keeping in mind that we never want to outshine the future bride, I have picked a few dresses that could be perfect for your next bachelorette party.  This weekend I actually wore the Forever 21 dress pictured below and it worked perfectly.  Feel free to post pictures of your little bachelorette dress too.  Enjoy!

  1. Zara Leather Dress - $189
  2. Under.Ligne by Doo.Ri - Leather Trim Cutout Dress - $395
  3. Nicole Miller Tucked Jersey Tank Dress - SALE $179.99
  4. M Missoni - Shoulder Jersey Dress - $295
  5. Forever 21 Little Black Bandage Dress - $16
  6. BCBGMAXAZRIA Panel Dress - SALE $99

April 20, 2011

Finding the Yellow Lining

You know when you have those days where you just feel "off" but can't pinpoint why?  Well that was yesterday for me.  I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before, my clients and I were not seeing eye to eye, and frankly the one thing getting me through the day was knowing I had wine and cheese night with friends later in the evening.  However, as I was leaving from work, I received a picture text from a friend that immediately changed my whole day.  To provide you with a brief background on this message, I went to see the show Book of Mormon with friends on Sunday night.  After the show we stopped at Shake Shack and I saw this AWESOME yellow jacket on a random girl in line.  Everyone was telling me I should take a picture, but until Empire Stilettos has a little more street cred, I didn't want to scare the poor girl.  Of course I immediately regretted the decision and even google image searched the coat later that night.  But lucky for me, I have a really nice friend who coincidentally saw the same coat (and potentially the same girl) on his commute to work and he snapped a picture of it for me!  When I saw the picture come through my day was immediately brightened.  I don't know if it was the vibrant yellow of the coat or once again appreciating how lucky I am to have such great people in my life.  Either way, my day was turned around.  The good news is, I can now share with you what the coat looks like.  It is definitely a heavier fall/winter jacket, but in the fashion world we are always thinking ahead 2 seasons right?  Enjoy!

April 19, 2011

You Can Take Me Out To the Ballgame

For girls, Spring means creamy pastel blazers, flowy floral dresses, and our favorite 70's style wedged sandals to finally give our toes some much needed air.  To boys (my boyfriend in particular), Spring means one thing, the start of baseball season.  No matter what team you are cheering for, I think everyone appreciates a day at the ballpark.  Over the years I have attended countless baseball games and the age old question still remains, "What am I going to wear?".  I believe baseball more than any other sport allows us ladies to be a bit more creative and feminine with our outfits. The weather is typically warm (especially compared to say a Pittsburgh Steelers game in the middle of January) so we don't need to worry about layering ourselves in Eskimo gear.  Also, it is fairly common to go to the ballpark with just your girlfriends, which always provides more reason to jazz up your attire.  Last week I went to my first baseball game of the season and I was reminded again of all the relaxed chic styles.  Below I have put together a few outfit suggestions for a game.  For those ladies who like to show off their team pride, I recommend pairing one or two of your favorite accessories with your team's shirt.  My only request is that we leave the pink jerseys at home (we can do better than that).   Enjoy!

  1. Jenn Han Printed Top - $99
  2. Forever 21 Sunglasses - $6
  3. Tinley Road Seed Beed Knot Earrings - $14
  4. Hive and Honey Bangle Bracelets - $32
  5. Anthropologie Holding Horses Cropped Boyfriend Jeans - $88
  6. Elizabeth and James Harp Wedge - $275 

  1.  Monrow Wavy Stripe Raglan Tee - $98
  2. Marc by Marc Jacobs Plastic Square Sunglasses - $98
  3. Tinley Road Flower Stud Earring - $26
  4. Tinley Road Triple Bracelet - $26
  5. Holding Horses 6 Denim Roll Ups - $68
  6. Sam Edleman Ireton - $160
  1. Randy and Melville Rother Sweater - $55
  2. Hive and Honey Chain Rope Woven - $58
  3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Watch - $225
  4. Joe's Kicker Jeans - $152
  5. Calvin Klein Nikole - $98 (select colors on sale for $82)

April 16, 2011

Purse Protector

All winter long I searched for the perfect work tote.  My hunt finally ended in late February with Marc Jacobs spring line of bags where I found the tote of my dreams (click the link to view).  I decided on a cream color, which I thought would transition perfectly for spring and summer.  This was by far the biggest handbag purchase I had ever made and like every other woman, I justified it as "this is something I will use everyday forever and ever".

Now let's fast forward to one month later (approximately 3 weeks ago).  As I was walking out the door for work, I picked up my beautiful bag and practically fainted when I saw a perfectly round blue stain on the FRONT of the bag.  I immediately hoped that I was having some sort of "Black Swan" moment where the blue spot actually did not exist and I was just going crazy.  Unfortunately, I was perfectly sane and just stuck with some bad luck.  A blue ball-point pen had exploded inside of the bag and the ink seeped from the lining into the leather.  While of course this "disaster" is nothing in comparison to some of the real life crisis people have to deal with each day, this still put a black cloud on my morning.  Since I live in New York, I am fortunate enough to have a plethora of leather repair store options.  After being told ink could not be removed from leather by a number of shops, I finally found my savior, Superior Leather.  My mended bag was returned to me yesterday and the shop did an amazing job of fixing the stain.  I highly recommend their services to anyone in need of leather repairs.

The moral of this story (and the reason I am sharing with you) is not to stop carrying pens in our purses, but to be more careful when we do.  I am going to revert back to 3rd grade and put all of my pens and pencils back in cases, where they belong.  If nerdy men can protect their pockets, why can't we protect our purses?  There are so many great pencil cases I have found, that I had to share a few.  Enjoy!

  1. Diane by Diane Von Furstenberg Pencil Case - $37
  2. Forever 21Sparkly Soft Tube Cosmetic Bag - $3.80
  3. Kate Spade Jane Street Creative Becca Pencil Case - $75
  4. Harajuko Lovers Comet Pencil Case - $20
  5. Mulberry Melanie Pencil Case - $125
  6. Kate Spade "Kate" Canvas Pencil Case - $55
  7. Anthropologie Pencils in Pinstripes - $30
  8. Diane by Diane Von Furstenberg Pencil Case - $37

April 13, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away?

Amongst hundreds of other things, living in New York has taught me two of life's very important lessons: always leave the house armed with an umbrella and invest in some serious rain boots.  Convinced that I wear my rain boots more than any other shoe I own, two years ago I buckled down and bought myself a pair of classic black Hunters.  While this was clearly one of my smarter and more practical purchases in life, I have found that in the warm weather, the tall black Hunters can look a bit industrial and frankly cause my legs to overheat!  Not too worry though, designers everywhere are solving this problem for us.  This season there are a variety of stylish summer rain boots to choose from; with today being so dreary in NYC, I thought it was a perfect reason to showcase some of my favorite picks.  A few are so cute, you may go Mary Poppins on us and actually start singing in the rain.  Enjoy!

Sperry Top-Sider Women's Cormarant Rubber Slip On - SALE $59.99
Hunter Original Short Rain Boot in Glossy Red - $115
Hunter Turks Rain Ballet Flats - $95

Hunter Snake-Embossed Rain Boots - $205
Celine Yellow Rubber Leather Trim Rain Boot - SALE $347
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Heron Rubber Slip On - $79

Steve Madden Tsunami Black Rainboot - $79.95 (my sister has these ones)
Ugg Ashdale Rain Shoe - $90
Hunter Women's Original Classic Glossy Rain Boot in Beige - $125
Hunter Lapins Lace-up Knee-High Rain Boot - $225

April 12, 2011

Workin' It Day to Night

Tonight I am looking forward to having a delicious Italian meal with a few girlfriends at my favorite NYC restaurant, Spasso.  Like the rest of New Yorkers, I can't think of a week where there isn't some sort of social event planned after work.  With the incredible number of restaurants, bars, and events to attend, it's impossible to keep your social life limited to the weekend.  Given the long work days, there is rarely ever time to run home and switch outfits before your plans.  So while it is no surprise that we should be investing in versatile pieces that can be worn to both work AND happy hour, the real question is what are the right pieces to purchase.  I always find an outfit to be the most versatile when I wear one or two bold pieces to stand out with an otherwise neutral outfit.. Below I have put together a few suggestions of transitional statement pieces for your closet that will definitely help your outfit go from day to night without having to change a thing.  Remember less is always more so when wearing a bold accessory piece, always pair with a neutral tee or pant.  Same rule applies with clothing.  If you are wearing a bright top, go for a more understated necklace color (you get the picture...).  Cheers!

  1. J.Crew Accordian Dress in Super 120s - $250
  2. J.Crew Horizon Stripe Pencil Skirt - SALE $80
  3. Anthropologie Slouch and Narrow Trousers - $128
  4. J. Crew Silk Twill Pencil Skirt - $325
  5. Anthropologie Midsummer's Bloom Blouse - $228
  6. J.Crew Spangled Stripe Sweater - $128
  7. J.Crew Sequin Mist Cardigan - $298
  8. Zara Tailored Blazer - $99
  9. Anthropologie Isabel Dress - $128

  1. Tom Binns Massai Necklace - $2,175
  2. Hive and Honey Leaf Hinged Bracelet - $24
  3. Kate Spade Gumdrop Stud - $38
  4. Hive and Honey Military Tonal Bracelet - SALE $34.99
  5. Tinley Road Leather Cuff Bracelet - $48
  6. Sequin Crystal Cluster Earring - SALE $34.99
  7. Hive and Honey Mixed Metal Knot Necklace - $45

April 11, 2011

A Clutch of the Mondays...

Not to sound too much like Rebecca Black, but is it Friday yet?  With the much needed warm air outside and my recent weekend travel schedule, I am really looking forward to spending some QT time in the city these next few weeks.  I have a lot of exciting events planned in April and May to look forward to, which immediately made me realize I was in desperate need for a new spring clutch.  Clearly someone else thought this too because this afternoon I received my daily Gilt Groupe e-mail that featured Rebecca Minkoff clutches at almost half price.  It was obviously fate and since I never want to mess with fate, I had to buy at least one right?  I decided on the gorgeous Quilted Rocker Crossbody clutch (pictured below in Almond Tan) that will be the perfect complement to any spring outfit.  The color of this bag will look great with all of the pretty spring floral patterns, yet the studs make it dressy and funky enough to wear with dark solid colors at night as well.  Since we all know we can never have too many evening bag options, I have included my other favorite spring clutches below.  I hope you enjoy!

Rebecca Minkoff Quilter Rocker Crossbody in Almond Tan - $275

Alexis Hudson Brooklyn Crossbody Bag - $195

Anthropologie A Million Sparks Clutch - $248

Zara Buck Skin Clutch - $89

Marc Jacobs Tweed Sequins Debbie Mini Bag - $895

Matt and Nat Hendrix Small Crossbody Bag - $165

Marc by Marc Jacobs Bianca Leather Clutch - $298

Rebecca Minkoff Five Zip Metallic Leather Clutch - $330

Urban Outfitters Cooperative Hold-It-All Hinged Clutch - $20

Rebecca Minkoff Colorblock Mac Clutch - $330

Zara XL Fashion Clutch - $109

April 9, 2011

The Beauty of Nostalgia

In honor of this weekend's trip to my college Alma Mater, Penn State, Empire Stilettos will be decorated in Blue and White all weekend long.  It has been almost 4 years since I have graduated from dear Old State and I still find myself gravitating towards Blue and White color schemes.  While of course these are classic and simple colors that will never go out of style, they will forever remind me of all the amazing times I had at PSU.

Added bonus - With the current nautical stripe trend, Blue and White is EVERYWHERE right now.  Check out some of my favorite blue and white pieces below.  Feel free to share your favorites too!

1. Marc by Marc Jacobs Bella Stripe Dress - $498

2. Patterson J. Kincaid Challis Tunic Dress - SALE $110.99
3. American Apparel Shiny High Waist Legging - $49
4. Aryn K Chain Detailed Boyfriend Blazer - Prices Vary
5. J. Crew Merino Confetti Stripe Sweater - $148
6. Elizabeth and James Bogart Trench - $595
7. Sparkle and Fade Knee Length Skirt - $49
8. Aidan Mattox Beaded Dress with Ruched Skirt - $395
9. Aryn K Stripe Blazer - $94

 **Links will be provided shortly for accessory items!

April 6, 2011

Get Your Nails Did

One of the few things that is more affordable in NYC than anywhere else in America is a mani-pedi.  There is no better feeling than after a long work week or before a big event, to go to your neighborhood nail salon and hand them $25 to get you a fantastic pedicure and manicure in under an hour.  However, for me at least, the longest part of this "treat" can actually be picking out the nail color I want.  Therefore, I thought I would try to make everyone's life a little easier and pick out some gorgeous Spring nail polishes for you.  Since I know most people have a strong preference of Essie vs. OPI, I wanted to please both parties and choose the best options for each brand. I apologize the picture below is not larger (still trying to work out the kinks on blogger).  Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the beautiful color palettes of Spring!

  1. Essie - Shop Till I Drop - $8.00
  2. Essie - Haute as Hello - $8.00
  3. Essie - Lilacism - $8.00
  4. Essie - Sweet Talker - $8.00
  5. OPI - ElePhantastic Pink - $8.50
  6. OPI - Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot! - $8.50
  7. OPI - Lucky Lucky Lavender - $8.50
  8. OPI - No Room for the Blues - $8.50

April 5, 2011

Because Checking Your Cell Phone Is So 2000 and Late...

I will be the first to admit it - I 100% jumped on the boyfriend watch bandwagon.  I only recently started wearing a boyfriend watch (gifted Michael Kors Oversized, #7 pictured below) and have since then become OBSESSED with watches in general.  While I now have my "everyday" watch, I find myself trying to justify reasons to own multiple watches.  Below are my top picks of the watches in stores right now, but believe me it was hard to narrow it down to these.  If I had it my way, I would have a different watch for everyday of the week but then again, who do I think I am, Diddy?

1. D&G Embossed Leather Watch - $215.00
2. Fendi Stainless Steel and Ceramic Strap/Watch - $1,195.00
3. Michael Kors Square Leather Strap Watch - $225.00
4. Michael Kors Tortoise Watch - $250.00
5. Michael Kors Gold Stainless Steel and Horn Acetate Watch - $295.00
6. Marc by Marc Jacobs Black Patent Leather Watch - $200.00
7. Michael Kors Oversized Watch in Gold - $250.00
8. Michael Kors Rose Goldtone Bracelet Watch - $275.00
9. Michele Tahitian Large Jelly Bean Watch in White/Gold - $345.00

April 4, 2011

A Scarf for Any Season!

I am a HUGE fan of scarves (almost as much as shoes) because I firmly believe they can make any outfit you own look chic.  While the Duppata scarf (pictured below and made by the Matta brand) is no new trend, these are my favorite scarves because they can be worn for any occasion.  Duppatas come in a wide variety of colors, which makes them versatile for every season. Added bonus - the likes of Eva Longoria, Rachel Bilson, Jennifer Aniston, and Kim Kardashian have all been pictured wearing these beautiful scarves (not that we all want to be celeb copycats, but it's always refreshing when you see one wearing something you own).  I have featured my favorite spring colors below.  A word of advice - these make for great gifts :)
Duppata in Fiesta
Duppata in Sage
Duppata in Moon

April 3, 2011

Springing for Shoes

Welcome to Empire Stilettos!  After a year of sitting on my blogging ideas, I have finally found some time to start posting.  I look forward to sharing my favorite trends and ideas with everyone who visits the site.  I am of course very open to content suggestions and improvements - so please comment away!  With the never ending cold and rainy weather in NYC, it is hard to imagine putting your foot in anything other than a rain boot.  I thought my first blog could give you something fun to look forward to - Spring shoes!  There are so many great options out right now, which made it tough to narrow down my picks.  Below find some of my favorites - there is one for every occasion.  Enjoy!

Mark and James by Badgley Mischka - $225
True Religion - $165

Vince Camuto - $89
Matt Bernson - $189
Sam Edelman - $130
Boutique 9 - $99
Camper - $180
Joe's Jeans - $185
Mea Shadow - $190
Seychelles - $90
Vera Wang Lavender - $425