May 26, 2011

ES Goes Beachy: Stunna Shades

Sunglasses are a year-round staple in all of our closets.  Whether we choose to purchase ours at the local drug store (a la Diane Kruger), Bergdorf's or a combination of both, we tend to own multiple styles of sunglasses.  This year's breakout style has been the cateye frame, which I LOVE, because it is bringing something fresh to our faces.  While I will always hold a special place in my heart for huge bug-eyed glasses, I am definitely on the look-out for the perfect cateyes.  Below I have picked out several top designer styles that are oh-so-pretty to look at, as well as some more thrifty versions that won't put you into cardiac arrest when you forget them at happy hour.  Don't forget to check out today's bathing suit picks at the end.   Enjoy!

Sunglasses We Pine For:

Sunglasses That Look Like Sunglasses We Pine For:

  1. Elizabeth and James Lafayette Catseye - $155
  2. Tom Ford Sonja Sunglasses - $360
  3. Ray Ban Cateye Sunglasses - $130
  4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Metal Aviators - $98
  5. Alexander Wang Zipper Motif  - $289
  6. Prada Phantom Sunglasses - $290
  7. Miu Miu Two-Tone Round Frame - $260
  8. H and M Aviators - $9.95
  9. Forever 21 Yellow Sunglasses - $5.80
  10. Topshop Black Studded Flat Top Sunglasses - $32
  11. Forever 21 Sunglasses - $5.80

ES Beach Week Bonus - Daily Bathing Suit Picks!

  1. Anthropologie Yaw-Ways Maillot - $168
  2. Topshop Red Rope Print Bandeau Bikini - $52

May 25, 2011

ES Goes Beachy: Covering Up the Essentials

Coverups are one of the most amazing clothing "inventions" ever created. They have allowed 99% of women (and men in some cases) to feel comfortable lounging poolside, beachside, barside (you get the point) anytime the sun is shining.  I have learned over the years that a lot of my coverups can actually be worn off the beach as well.  With high-end designers to our favorite thrifty shops designing new coverups ever year, it is difficult to go an entire summer without getting at least one.  I tend to purchase most of my coverups at stores like H&M, Topshop and Urban Outfitters (romper central!), but thats not to say I still don't pine for this beautiful Missoni V-Neck Caftan.  Whatever your budget and style, there is certainly a coverup for everyone.  Since I am all about categorizing my collages this week, see below for multiple styles of my coverup picks.  Enjoy!

Tunic Coverups:

Caftan Coverups:

Rompers and Dress Coverups:

  1. J.Crew Beachcomber Tunic - $55
  2. Tibi Lace Tunic - $136.50
  3. Roberta Roller Rabbit Classic Kurta - $77
  4. Topshop Tangerine Square Crochet Edge Cover Up - $34
  5. Topshop Blue Crochet Edge Kaftan Cover Up - $34
  6. Topshop Black Crochet Trim Fringed Cover Up Kaftan - $34
  7. Joie a la Page Holden Gauze Coverup - $198
  8. Tibi Malawi Caftan - $248
  9. Topshop Red Floral Print Bandeau Maxi Cover Up Dress - $30
  10. H and M Racerback Dress - 12.95
  11. Roberta Roller Rabbit Pareo Wrap - $55
  12. H and M Jumpsuit - $19.95
  13. Urban Outfitters Printed Deep V Romper - $49
  14. Pins and Needles Crochet Trim Romper - $59
ES Beach Week Bonus!  Daily Bathing Suit Picks:

  1. Zimmerman Swimwear Ruffle One-Piece Swimsuit - $209 
  2. Anthropologie Pick Your Bath Bikini - $266

May 24, 2011

ES Goes Beachy: Sun Shields

I remember the days (mainly high school) when my friends and I spent all summer break trying to maximize our sun exposure.  I was a lifeguard at the beach, so no matter how often I re-applied my sun block or how long I sat under an umbrella, I always went back to school in September a shade or two darker. At the time it was great; let's face it we all feel a little more confident with a sun kissed face. However, I have since evolved from those days and actually try to protect my skin from the sun when I spend a day at the beach. Spray-on sun block has become my new BFF, but on some sunny days I need even more protection. I have been thrilled with this seasons beach hats because they give your face (and hair) an added sun shield, as well as make you look incredibly chic when lounging on the sand.  I have been on the hunt for that perfectly huge floppy beach hat for my upcoming vacation. The problem isn't that I can't find one, it's that I have found too many! I have four days to make my "big" decision, but until then I have picked out my favorite beach hat styles.  I also threw in a super cute beach umbrella pick for maximum shade time.  Enjoy!

PS: Don't forget to check out today's bathing suits picks at the end!

Floppy Hats

Fedora Hats:

Beach Umbrella:

  1. J.Crew Summer Straw Hat - $34.50
  2. H and M Straw Hat - $12.95
  3. Gap Floppy Stripe Hat - $29.95
  4. Goorin Brothers Macey Floppy Hat - $45
  5. Banana Republic Woven Straw Hat - $45
  6. Forever 21 Speckled Floppy Hat - $12.80
  7. Laundry by Shelli Segal Woven Raffia Sun Hat - $68
  8. Alejandra Sky Floppy Beach Hat - $69
  9. Madewell Two Tone Trilby - $42
  10. Michael Stars Safari Fedora - $34
  11. J.Crew Stripe Brim Fedora - SALE $14.99
  12. Kate Spade Safari Hat - $75
  13. TopShop Straw Corsage Trilby - $25
  14. Eugenia Kim Fedora  - $298
  15. Beach Umbrella - $19.99

ES Beach Week Bonus! Daily Bathing Suit Picks:

  1. J.Crew Italian Jersey Ruffle Tank One Piece - $125
  2. Topshop Multcoloured Paisley Bikini - $26.50

May 23, 2011

ES Goes Beachy: Totes

Welcome to ES Beach Week!  This week's postings will feature all things beachy.  I am optimistically planning to post something new everyday so I can cover all of the essential beach items you will need this summer.  I myself will be heading to a week long beach trip with friends next week, so my shopping focus of late has been making sure I have all of the essentials.  Growing up near the beach has taught me the importance of having a proper beach tote.  Since days at the beach can be somewhat lengthy, you will need a bag that can handle more than just a towel and sunblock.  In addition to these items, my beach packing typically includes magazines, books, an ipod, snacks, drinks, cover ups and maybe even a ball (if my dad or boyfriend are involved).  Since my go-to straw beach bag has seen better days, I bought a canvas cream and black patterned tote at H&M last week (unfortunately I could not find a photo online).  I was thrilled with the purchase since it is not only large enough to carry all of my things, but it is so cute that I might just use it away from the sand too.   Since we all have our own beach style, I have picked a plethora of totes ranging from animal prints to the classic straw bag.  Additionally, a very fashion savvy male friend of mine gave me the idea to feature one bathing suit pick each day of beach week.  You can find these picks at the bottom of each post.  I hope you enjoy!

Edgy Totes:

Printed Totes:

Bright Totes:

Striped Totes:

Classic Totes:

  1. Big Buddha Santorini Tote - $47
  2. Big Buddha Malibu Tote - SALE $67.50
  3. Gap Hand-Knit Chain Tote -$79.95
  4. Michael Kors Marina North/South Tote - $178
  5. H&M Straw Bag - $39.95
  6. Nine West Isola Large Tote - $79
  7. Kate Spade Cabana Stripe Medium Raelin - $325
  8. J.Crew Dipped Sail Bag - $198
  9. Marc by Marc Preppy Straw Rosa Tote - $178
  10. J.Crew Stripe Farmer's Market Tote - $49.50
  11. Michael Stars Calypso Strip Tote - $85
  12. Urban Outfitters Kimchi Striped Straw Tote Bag - $39
  13. J.Crew Farmer's Market Tote - $49.50
  14. Target Beach Tote - $19.99
  15. Banana Republic Sequin Panel Tote - $59.50
ES Beach Week Bonus!  Daily Bathing Suit Picks:

May 20, 2011

The Final Countdown (Part 1)...

T-9 days until we are officially allowed to break out our finest whites.  While I don't necessarily always follow this rule, it is certainly a well known slogan shouted from everyone's closets.  Since I have already featured bright colors here and loud prints here, I certainly cannot ignore the most classic summer "color" of all.  It was a tough job, but I have managed to narrow down my selections to one white piece for each part of your summer outfit (don't worry, white accesories are next).   Enjoy!

Insider Note:  Be sure to check back all next week, where Empire Stilettos will be featuring all things beachy. 

  1. Jeans - J.Crew Ankle Stretch Toothpick Jean - $98
  2. Tanktop - Joie Eniko B Tank - $138
  3. Bikini - H&M Top and Bottom - $9.90
  4. Blazer - Anthropologie Late Seating Blazer - $98
  5. Shorts - H&M Scalloped Shorts - $18
  6. Skirt - Urban Outfitters Coincidence and Chance Eyelet Skirt - $54
  7. Dress - Hive and Honey Crochet Detailed Dress - $59
  8. Short Sleeve Shirt - B.Vintage Dolman Lace Top - $145
  9. Long Sleeve Shirt - Elizabeth and James Paris Blouse - SALE $171.99

May 19, 2011

Samples and the City

This past weekend I went to DC to visit one of my oldest friends and meet her first child, a beautiful baby boy, Xavier.  She and I have spent every stage of life together, which makes it so fun to catch up and reminisce about the great memories we have shared.  During lunch on Saturday we began talking about how much we love and often miss our hometown, Erie, PA.  In talking we realized that while we wouldn't have traded anything for our small city upbringings, there are things we have a certain appreciation for now that we live in major cities.  These include new restaurant openings every week, beer in the grocery store (yes, PA still operates like the Quakers), a plethora of headliner concert and entertainment events, and of course having every clothing store, designer and boutique imaginable (all in walking distance mind you). Within the shopping realm, I have been particularly appreciative of NYC's amazing sample sales.  I will never forget when I moved here and was introduced to my first one (I believe it was for DVF).  The concept that top designers were not only willing to sell their current merchandise at a steep discount, but also share discounts on "samples" that weren't even in stores yet was like finding a small slice of my heaven on earth.  Over the years I have been to many of these sales, but last week I found too much success at the Rebecca Minkoff sale.  The selection was incredible (see pics from PurseBlog below) and the deals were up to 50% off the retail price.   I ended up leaving with 4 bags (2 are for gifts so don't judge!) and mentally moving Ms. Minkoff to the top of my list.  For those readers who live in NYC, I will be sure to mention any future upcoming sample sales worth checking out.  For those living elsewhere, I would love to hear about the things that you appreciate most in your city.

Source: PurseBlog

Source:  PurseBlog

Source: PurseBlog
A blurry snapshot of my purchases!

May 17, 2011

On Tuesdays We Wear Prints.

I apologize for the lack of posts recently - between technical difficulties and traveling, I couldn't seem to find the time to get near my computer.  Nonetheless, I am hoping to get back on track this week.  Today's post topic actually stems from a marathon shopping day I had a month ago.  I was in a mood to update my closet with fresh and unique styles (i.e. no jeans, black tees, or cream blazers).  Throughout the day, no matter what store I went in, I found myself continuously being drawn to anything with a print; more specifically, printed pants.  Whether the style was harem, wide legged, or skinny, I knew these would be the perfect addition to my spring and summer wardrobe.  My first find was an amazing wide legged silky printed pant at Zara (see below).  They were as comfy as pj's but looked as chic as black skinnies.  I immediately tried them on only to sadly realize I would need a 7 inch heel for these pants to fit.  On the bright side, every store I went in thereafter offered a huge selection of printed pants, some of which actually fit the vertically challenged.  I have a feeling throughout summer we will be seeing even more of these printed options in lighter fabrics.  While I will wear these with cropped shirts and wedges (my new go-to options), I think they work well with any simple piece in your wardrobe. Below I have pictured my favorite styles that I saw in my shopping adventures.  These are guaranteed to make you look so FETCH - Enjoy!

  1. Zara Silk Printed Trousers - $59.90
  2. Urban Outfitters Carin Wester Nipon Hammer Pant - $168
  3. Topshop Red Parisian Floal Print Wide Leg Trouses - $45
  4. Topshop Yellow Floral Wide Trousers - $45
  5. Anthropologie Tea Room Harem Pant - $79.95
  6. Forever 21 Splatter Print Harem Pants - $29.90
  7. H&M Pants - $24.95
  8. Zara Silk Printed Trousers - $59.90
  9. Forever 21 High Waisted Tribal Pants - $19.90

May 16, 2011

Neon is the New Black (at least for now)

Warning: you may need sunglasses while viewing this post.  As I mentioned in Tuesday's "Crop it Up" segment, this season has brought us several trends from our earlier years (and in some cases, before our time).  Of course that is what makes fashion so intriguing and why it also often makes it difficult for us to part with the clothes we no longer wear.  The age old reasoning will always exist - "But maybe it will come back in style someday".  Realistically, could we ever have predicted that the neon color rage would have made the comeback that it did this spring?   Had I only kept my electric blue jeans from when I was 5, I would be all set.  My first glimpse of where this trend was headed was last winter when I read an InStyle article featuring neon everything.  Sure enough a few months later, every store carried some form of bright clothing left for us to wonder, "how can I make this work?".   I personally have participated minimally in this trend.  Not because I don't appreciate a bright green miniskirt, but because I am not convinced these colors will take me into next fall.  That being said, I do love walking into all of the stores right now and seeing the bursts of vibrant colors everywhere.  Below I have chosen a variety of bright pieces that can be incorporated into your own wardrobe.  Enjoy!

May 10, 2011

Crop It Up

This spring has put many throwback trends back on the map.  These include neon color-blocking, flared jeans, harem pants and my personal favorite, cropped tops.   Over the past few months, I have purchased a number of cropped shirts ranging from silky tanks to featherweight spring sweaters.  And don't worry if your not quite ready to show off your 6 pack yet.  Since most of us don't get excited about baring our midriff outside of the beach, designers and brands have varied the crop lengths to appease us all.  What's even better is the cropped look pairs well with everything.  For spring you can layer a light leather jacket or sweater over a cropped tank with skinny or light washed flared jeans.  For summer you can lose the layers and wear a cropped tee with high-waisted chiffon skirts (featured here) or denim cut-offs.  No matter what the season, throw on a few bangles and a fedora to finish the look and voila, you are hitting the streets in style .  Below are my favorite cropped tops from this season.  Enjoy!

  1. Cope Cropped Holey Tee - $34
  2. Sparkle and Fade Cropped Slub Tee - $24 
  3. Forever 21 Laura Stripe Top - $15.80
  4. American Apparel Mid Length Pocket Tank - $32
  5. Forever 21 Knit Crop Top - $10.80
  6. Forever 21 Ikat Print Knit Top - $13.80
  7. H and M Top - $12.95
  8. H and M Top - $7.95

May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Special

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day today.  My mom is hands down the most fabulous woman I know.  I am thankful everyday for all that she has taught me and done for me throughout my life.   In honor of her special day, I have centered today's post around her favorite style, boho chic.  This style is reminiscent of her teenage days when she was listening to her favorite musician, James Taylor and going to every concert of his that she could.  Her passion for JT is still going strong as she sees him perform at least once a year.  Coincidentally she will be going to his concert this weekend, so for Mother's Day I bought her an off white gauzy top that she can wear to the show and for many other occasions.  Below I have pictured this shirt (#1), as well as other boho looks that I think my mom and other boho fashionistas would enjoy.  Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing moms out there.  Love you mom!

  1. Gap Asymmetrical Blouse - $59.95
  2. Eze Sur Mer Voile Tunic - $99
  3. Rebecca Taylor Python Print Silk Blouse - $295
  4. Blue Tassel Multi Dots Blouse - $99
  5. Love Sam Embellished Shoulder Top - $183
  6. Jenny Han Printed Top - $99
  7. Desert Print Eternity Scarf - $28
  8. Silence and Noise Abstract Scarf - $24
  9. Anthropologie Tayrona Necklace - $58

May 5, 2011

Margaritas Match Everything

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!  Here in NYC the sun is shining and the temperature is hovering in the mid 60s, which I might add is perfect rooftop margarita drinking weather.  As I mentioned in a previous post, after work occassions call for transitional outfits.  While my ideal Cinco de Mayo happy hour attire would be white skinnies, obnoxiously bright colored top, strappy espadrilles and a large hat of some sort, the business professional dress code at work would disagree.  As a compromise, I have put together an idea for a work friendly Cindo de Mayo outfit (clothing and shoes are from my closet).  As you know, ES loves to hear feedback, so feel free to share your favorite Cinco de Mayo accessory, tradition, etc. (hint: margarita recipes are welcome).  ¡Salud!

  1. Zara Striped Blouse - $39.90
  2. Zara Trouser Pant (Navy) - $39.90
  3. Hive and Honey Leaf Drop Earring - $18
  4. Marc by Marc Logo Blade Watch - $200
  5. Nine West Rocha - SALE $65

May 3, 2011

Because ES Does Not Discriminate!

Today marks a very special day - Empire Stilettos is debuting the first ever MEN'S fashion wear post.  Depending on the response, this could become a monthly feature.  Since my ultimate fashion passion is shoes, I thought it would be appropriate to have men's spring style shoes as the first topic.  I know a man's taste in shoes can vary from extremely casual (aka sneakers only) to business dressy.  Therefore, I did my best to pick a wide variety of spring shoe styles to appeal to every type of shoe guy out there.  And while I understand men don't always want to hear the women in their lives telling them how to dress, act, etc, I simply cannot refrain from just one piece of advice.  If the girl you are seeing/dating/married to is dressed up (i.e. wearing anything with heels), please do not think it is appropriate to put on your gym sneakers and dad jeans.  Not only does it quadruple her chances of getting hit on, it simply does not look good.  If the occasion doesn't call for dress pants and shiny shoes, you can still opt for a cleaner cut pair of jeans (pictured here) and a modern sneaker/boat shoe (pictured below).  Ok I promise I am done (for now at least).  Enjoy boys!
 For the Guy Who Hates Bars That Won't Let Him In Because of His Shoes:

  1. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Slim Ox - $65
  2. Lacoste Lyndon Slip - $65
  3. PUMA California 2 - $65
  4. Banana Republic Prescott Leather Sneaker - $98
  5. Simple Tuba II - $65
For the Guy Who Never Learned How To Tie His Shoes:

  1. Sperry Men's Seaside Slip-On - SALE $64.99
  2. Cole Haan Air Bryce Driver Venetian - SALE $119.99
  3. Kenneth Cole World Hold On - SALE $69.50
  4. Sperry Men's Striper Slip-On - SALE $49.99
  5. Lacoste Brocken XT - $65
 For the Guy Who Loves Going to Country Clubs (or Clubs):

  1. Cole Haan Air Franklin Plain Ox - $168
  2. Sperry Men's Mako 2 Eye Canoe Moc Boat Shoe - $80
  3. Frye James Wingtip - $198
  4. Sperry Boat Oxford - $80
  5. Cole Haan Oswego Plain Oxford - $188

May 2, 2011

Just Flow With It

Now that the NYC weather has finally turned to spring, I have been adorning all things breezy and cool.  This takes me to my newest obsession: midi and maxi length flowy skirts.  These are great pieces to have in your closet because they can be used for spring, summer and well into fall.  You can dress them up for work or go casual for weekend day attire.  What's even better is these skirts look great on every body type since they can be paired with so many different styles.  For someone on the shorter side (aka me) these look perfect with a sky high wedged heel.  For those of you blessed with longer limbs, you too can wear them with wedges, but can also pull off pairing them with a simple flat boho style sandal.  Stores from Forever 21 to Saks are carrying them, so hopefully there is a skirt out there to fit within your budget.  I have purchased most of mine at H&M and Urban Outfitters, all of which have been under $40.  Below are a few of my favorites, as well as a separate collage with some outfit and accessory ideas.  Added bonus: chances are you already own the basic pieces I recommend them to be worn with.  Enjoy!

ES Note:  If something strikes your fancy, you can scroll to the bottom of each collage and click the corresponding item's number link 

  1. H&M Skirt - $19.99
  2. Urban Outfitters Ecote Crinkle Chiffon Skirt - SALE $29.99
  3. Pins and Needles Chiffon Maxi Skirt - $54
  4. American Apparel Mid-Length Accordion Pleat Skirt - $52
  5. Anthropologie Goldfield Skirt - $148
  6. SPLURGE PIECE - Marc by Marc Jacobs Bella Striped High Waisted Skirt - $498

  1. Levi's 70's Trucker Jacket - $79.50
  2. Forever 21 Basic V-Neck Tee - $4.50
  3. Tinley Road Crossover Top - $24
  4. Anthropologie Sky Drop Earrings - $32
  5. Tinley Road Seed Beed Knot Earring - $14
  6. Anthropologie Entwined Necklace - $58
  7. Anthropologie Oceans Wide Bracelet - SALE $29.95
  8. Tinley Road Stone Triple Bracelet - $26
  9. Seychelles Eye to Eye - $110
  10. Mea Shadow Medea - $190
  11. Mia Limited Edition Seville - SALE $139.99