August 31, 2011

Leather Backpack

I am officially a bag lady.  On any given weekday I carry a minimum of 3 bags, which include my gym things, work prep, and the standard girl items.  Between commuting on the crowded subway and walking all over the city, I tend to get frustrated with the extra baggage (see what I did right there).  While I have not owned a backpack since 6th grade, I often wonder why I shunned these bag lady lifesavers for so long.  They give your arms a rest and must be better for your posture since you aren't being bogged down on one side.  I have been seeing some ahhhmazing backpacks around the city this summer, which is what inspired this post.  There are so many different backpack shapes and materials to choose from right now, it actually reminds me of my back to school shopping days.  While I love the cognac leather version from Madewell (#1), I am pretty sure I need the Kimchi Blue Printed Backpack in my life (#8).  With most of the schools just back in session, I think it is the perfect time to buy my adult backpack.  Enjoy!

P.S. Please don't forget to "like" Empire Stilettos on Facebook here - xoxo

  1. Madewell Leather Railway Rucksack - $235 
  2. Lucky Brand Palisades Paisley Backpack - $129
  3. See by Chloe Tomo Backpack - $540
  4. Alexander Wang Sydney Tweed Backpack - SALE $371.25 
  5. Deux Lux Canvas Backpack - $69 
  6. Dannijo Woven Backpack - $370  
  7. Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Backpack - $458 
  8. Kimchi Blue Printed Backpack - $49
  9. Kimchi Blue Canvas Backpack - $68

August 29, 2011

Flood Pants Required

As most of you are aware, Hurricane Irene paid us East Coasters a nice little visit this past weekend.  While minimal damage was done to Manhattan, there was plenty of people in upstate NY, CT, and NJ who experienced or are still experiencing loss of power, flooding, and fallen debris.  Unfortunately my boyfriend's apartment in Hoboken, NJ happens to be on an unlucky block that completely flooded and eventually water streamed into his basement.  Luckily everyone in the apartment was super prepared and took their important belongings upstairs so no major harm was done.  While the city does seem a bit quieter today, for the most part it appears to be business as usual.  Since we were told to stay in our homes for most of the weekend, we definitely tried to make the most of it by watching movies, playing games, and making drink concoctions.  I admit I got a little stir crazy yesterday and was actually looking forward to heading into work today (weird, I know).  All in all thought the weekend was a nice break from the constant go go go routine.  Yesterday I took some pics of my boyfriend's block and happened to be outside when a group of guys floated by on their man-made float (made from a mattress and empty keg barrels).  Oh how some things will never change...


August 24, 2011

Sweater Remedy

Last night as I was thinking about my outfit options for work today (yes, like a 1st grader I pick my clothes out the night before), I knew I wanted to wear something cozy.  With the refreshingly cooler weather in NYC this week, the feeling of fall is everywhere. I decided I would sport my new extra slouchy sweater that I purchased at Zara a few weeks ago.  The sweater is a chocolate brown color with a slight shimmer throughout the knit, which works great for both work and weekend wear.  I like to keep all of my sweaters folded in either a drawer or on a shelf in my wardrobe.  Since my storage/closet space is limited, these spaces can tend to become overstuffed at times.  Low and behold, when I went to pull out my new sweater (which was kept in a drawer), I immediately saw it had been caught on one of the drawer hinges and a large section of the sweater's front had been destroyed (see below "Before" photo).

My saving grace was that no actual holes were made but rather the yarn had been pulled very loosely from the stitch.  While I initially thought the sweater was ruined, for the sake of trying to salvage it, I began threading the loose yarn loops through to the inside of the sweater (see below picture)

I then took two loops apiece and tied them to one another (see below picture).  I noticed that this actually made the sweater look a lot better and decided to go with it to fix the rest of the damage.

 While the sweater is no where near as pretty as when I bought it, it is now at least wearable (see below "After" photo).  If you ever run into a similar dilemma, you can always try out this simple sweater remedy on your own.  And if it doesn't look perfect, there is always something to be said about a piece with a little character. 

PS - Please "like" Empire Stilettos on Facebook here!

August 23, 2011

Pretty Wrists

As I have mentioned before, I have (and love) the Michael Kors Oversized watch (pictured here).  It is large enough to be a statement piece but the muted gold also allows it to be understated when necessary.  While the watch's size certainly allows it to be worn on it's own, I love stacking it with other bracelets, which really dresses it up.  I was originally wearing the watch with similarly gold coated bracelets (like #3 and #6 below) to create a very cohesive look.  I then broadened the style and started wearing the watch with mismatched materials, such as the leather bracelets pictured here.  With fall right around the corner, I am digging the rich brown and olive toned bangles with a touch of gold.  Check out a few of my favorite picks below to stack with your watch.

Also, please become a fan of Empire Stilettos by “liking” it on Facebook here.  Thanks! 

  1. Kenneth Cole Gold Cuff Bracelet - $38
  2. House of Harlow 1960 Crystal and Leather Bangle - $100
  3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Katie Turnlock Bracelet - $98
  4. Rebecaa Minkoff Mini Sling Cuff - $55 
  5. RJ Graziano Set of 3 Link and Pyramid Gold Bangles - $35 
  6. Gretchen Jones for Piperlime Follow the Omens Bracelets - $68
  7.  Marc by Marc Jacobs Concrete Jungle Studded Bangle - $96
  8. Tinley Road Antique Gold Leaf Bracelet - $32

August 18, 2011

Waking Up In Vegas...

Classic "Welcome to Vegas" sign

Today I am headed to Las Vegas for a good friend's bachelorette party.  I have never been so I am uber-excited for the trip.  The maid of honor has done a fab job in organizing different themes for each night, which include a sequin/glitter night, cowgirl night, and a "something you have worn to a wedding night".  Since the weather is supposed to be 110 degrees all weekend (literally) we will be spending our days at the pool lounging and sipping on frozen drinks.  I actually enjoy gambling (blackjack is my fav) so I am hoping to make a stop at a casino or two one of the nights.  I have always had certain ideas and images in my mind of what Vegas is like, so I thought I would share these with you today (some are more obvious than others). I will be back on Sunday for a new week of posting.  Enjoy!
Sparkly Louboutins

Kim Kardashian because she always seem to be there

Palms Resort (mainly because of B. Spears and Real World)

Bottles of Champagne Popping
Fountain at the Bellagio, thanks to Brad and George

August 16, 2011

Because ES Does Not Discrimate: The Murse

Sorry guys, I am way overdue on a men's post. I was inspired to do this topic a few weeks ago when my eyes were drawn to an AWESOME men's leather messenger bag on the train.  I immediately thought of both the classic Seinfeld episode - "it's not a purse, it's European"  and the movie, The Hangover, where Alan carries and then loses his ever important "satchel".  It definitely seems that the man-purse has always been a controversial topic amongst men.  As you can see from the collage below, I am a big fan of the always-classic messenger bag.  Whether it's a simple canvas over-flap or a detailed leather buckle style, I think the this kind of bag serves a real purpose for any guy.  You can throw your laptop, keys, wallet and all your other "personal items" in these bad boys and still look super manly.  Check out my picks below.  Please feel free to voice your opinion on Murses; who knows, maybe my next guy's topic will be featuring "the bro"...

  1. Jack Spade Computer Field: $195 
  2. Fossil Jackson Leather Messenger - $175
  3. Banana Republic Pure Leather Book Bag - $325  
  4. Ben Sherman Messenger Bag - $64
  5. Banana Republic Messenger Bag - $98
  6. Chapman Bags Messenger - $212 
  7. Marc by Marc Jacobs Chestnut - $425

August 14, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

Image From NY Times

While I am not always home on Sundays (at least recently with my travel schedule) whenever I am, there is nothing I look forward to more than reading the Sunday Styles section in the NY Times.  It always inspires me or introduces me to something new in the world of fashion.  This week in particular featured a small preview into of Miu's Miu's fall collection, which are the amazing sparkle sneakers pictured above.  While the price tag is more than quadruple what I have ever paid for any shoe with laces (they run from $450 - $585 a piece), these are not your ordinary sneakers.  I am pretty sure you can sport these with a brown paper bag and you would still be the most stylish person on the street.  Added bonus: I bet they are ACTUALLY comfortable.  Enjoy!

August 11, 2011

One Piece: 24/7 Denim

A new One Piece post is long overdue.  As I mentioned here, one of my favorite and most reliable go to pieces is my Gap denim shirt (don't forget, I got it on sale for $7.99!).  I currently wear it with everything from maxi and mini skirts, to my fav white skinnies.  I also rotate this shirt seasonally in my wardrobe so I feel confident in saying that I have worn it at least once a week in the past year and a half.  I initially wanted to show the shirt with a variety of my go-to outfits but I quickly realized that was going to create at least 10 different photo shoot options.  I decided to narrow it down to my 2 favorite accessories and a summer outfit feature.  I have always been a fan of wearing my chunkiest jewelry over top of this shirt to dress it up a little.  On the flip side, I love knotting the shirt to make it very daytime casual appropriate.  I have put together a collage of these outfit and accessory combinations below.  Enjoy!

Shirt: Gap; Feather Necklace: Limited: Gold/Silver/Black Necklace: Piperlime Hive and Honey; 
White Skinnies: J.Crew; Tanktop: Banana Republic; Belt: Gap

August 9, 2011


Since this summer and upcoming fall is full of traveling for vacations, weddings, bachelorette parties, etc. I have had many opportunities to improve my packing skills.  Over the years I have learned to become a more minimalist traveler, bringing along pieces that will serve multi-purposes (i.e. bringing a Pashmina that can be used as a scarf in an outfit and as a blanket for the plane).  A new lesson I learned this summer from one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere, is to pack all of my accessories into one of the purses I bring along.  While it is clearly a simple concept, I had never thought of it on my own.  For the wedding this past weekend I utilized this idea and it worked out great.  I was able to bring 2 clutch options I had forgotten I owned (see below) and keep all of my accessories in one neat place.  I took a few pictures of the jewelry filled clutch.  Enjoy!

Purses:  Pittsburgh Jean Company; Old Navy

August 5, 2011

Glittery Gold

This weekend I am heading to one of my favorite cities, Pittsburgh, PA, for one of my college roommate's wedding.  I am really looking forward to seeing old friends and celebrating with the bride and groom.  Since my dress is a little less traditional for a wedding, I wanted to make sure I jazzed it up with some really great jewelry.  I stopped at Anthropologie on my way home from work and ended up finding an amazing set of gold AND silver glittery bracelets (which also happened to be on sale!).  Since gold suits my dress much better than silver, I took the 2 Anthropologie gold bracelets and paired them with 4 gold bracelets I already owned to make a nice stack of wrist candy.  I took some photos of the bracelets since they sparkle so pretty in the light.  Enjoy!

From Bottom to Top:  Anthropologie Bracelet; H and M Bangle, 3 Vintage Bracelets; Anthropologie Bracelet

August 4, 2011

I Got to Thinking...

 Not to get all NYC girl cliche on you, but I must admit I will forever have a special place in my heart for Carrie Bradshaw.  And while some may disagree, she will always be a fashion icon in my world.  Throughout college, my girlfriends and I religiously watched the SATC episodes many times over, as if we had never seen them before.  This tendency still holds true with one of my current roommates and me, which is actually what inspired this post.  Last night while we were perusing my favorite fashion/gossip site, we came across a great review of a recent SJP outfit.  Almost simultaneously we both agreed that after Carrie Bradshaw fashioned a belt around her bare midriff and looked AMAZING, she could do no wrong.  I immediately Google searched the image (see right) to recall this inspiring outfit risk.  And while this episode was shot in the early 2000s era, I have to say, I still think it works.  I myself have been rocking the tied oxford look this summer and have also been loving the flouncy skirts, as mentioned here.  Regardless of your opinion, I think we can all agree that SJP as herself and as Carrie Bradshaw has taken some major fashion risks throughout her career.  It is because of this that we all have a little more appreciation for pink tutus.

August 2, 2011

Missing the Bullseye

New York City is known to be one of the greatest shopping cities in America and perhaps even the world.  And while those of us who are lucky to live here have very few things to complain about (at least in terms of shopping) I officially have a complaint.  I miss Target.  Growing up and in college, Target was my mecca.  It was a place where I could pick up my groceries, affordable (and cute) home decor, books, DVDs and clothing all in one-stop.  As Target grew larger, their style kept improving and with each season they were drawing more and more of the fashion world in.  Soon enough well-known designers began creating their own affordable clothing lines for Target (look out for Missoni's Target Collection this fall).  So while it is no big surprise that Target offers great shopping, it is shocking that NYC is still missing this amazing store.  When I was visiting my boyfriend's family in Philadelphia this past weekend, I was so excited to go to Target.  Amongst several other random items, I picked up two new pieces of clothing that I think will become staples in my summer wardrobe.  I have pictured these items, along with the accessories I paired them with on Saturday night.  Enjoy!

     Target Exhila Cropped Tee; Mossimo Denim Bright Vintage; Vintage Necklace from Boyfriend's Grandma;
Michael Kors Oversized Watch; J.Crew Bracelets; Nine West Slide Wedges