October 31, 2011

A Classy Spook

Photo Credit:  Martha Stewart Magazine from Room for Dessert Blog

Happy Halloween everyone!  It seems that Halloween is a holiday that people either love or hate (typically based on whether or not a person enjoys to dress up in costume); I am definitely on the LOVE team.  Growing up my mom would always dress our house in the perfect cozy fall decor without going overboard or looking tacky.   While unfortunately I had no time to decorate my own apartment for Halloween this year, I did find time to look on my favorite site, Pintrest, to find inspiration on how to make Halloween a classy holiday.  It amazes me how creative people can be with pumpkins (like the metallic painted gems pictured above) and how these sometimes awkward looking orange vegetables can turn out to be some of the most gorgeous decorations in the house.  I have selected a few of my favorite finds to share with you, as well as a delicious cocktail recipe one of my roommates will be brewing up for us tonight (I will be sure to report back on how it is).  What is everyone dressing up as this year?  Would love to hear!

Stocking Pumpkin from Better Homes and Garden

Gold Thumbtack Pumpkin from Madigan Made

Blingy Pumpkins from Chemically Inclined

Pumpkin Vase from my favorite blog Cupcakes and Cashmere

Mod Podge Pumpkins from The Other White House

Sparkle Pumpkins from My Little Happy Place

Nutty Pumpkin Martini - Recipe Here

October 28, 2011

Fall Favorites

As I mentioned here,  I have been searching for a better collage program for my outfit posts.  I was on the verge of purchasing Photoshop (which of course I would then need to figure out how to use) until a friend reminded me about the clothing website, Polyvore.  She had sent me a great suggestion for an upcoming holiday post idea (more to come on that later) and mentioned that I could use Polyvore's collage program for the post.  While I had discovered the site about a year ago, I could not figure out how to sign up for it at the time.  Seeing how easy it was on the second go around,  I am actually kind of embarrassed I had to admit that...

ANYWAYS, now that I do know how to use Polyvore I am absolutely OBSESSED.  It is not only going to save so much time creating outfit collage posts, but it offers such an amazing selection of must-have pieces.  From gorgeous outerwear to stunning shoes, hundreds upon hundreds of outfits can be created.  Additionally if something you want to include is not on Polyvore, you can import it from the site you found it on.  While the below collage was definitely a "test run" to play around on the site, I thought it was a great way to showcase a versatile fall outfit.  I started with neutral accessories and skinnies that can be paired with a wide variety of sweater styles.  All of these pieces shown can be worn on their own or under the amazing printed cape, which has the "grandpa sweater" look I am obsessed with this season.  The selected jeans are an absolute steal and look killer with all the Zara sheepskin ankle booties for fall.  Since the earrings are muted colors, I would probably add some leather and gold wrist candy to this look to jazz it up a little (especially at night).  As always you can find where to purchase these pieces at the below links. Enjoy!

October 24, 2011

Charitable Trends

Gold Metallic Woven Toms - $54

While I try my darndest to stay ahead (or at least in line) with trends, I certainly have been late to join the game on more than one occasion.  A very recent "miss" of mine was realizing the awesomeness that is Toms shoes.  I started hearing about and seeing Toms a little over a year ago when a few friends of mine wore them as their "weekend day shoe".  While I thought they were cute, I already had a pair of gold Sperry's along with several ballet flat options and therefore didn't think Toms would fit into my life (or my closet).  It eventually turned into boot season, which at that point seemed silly to purchase canvas shoes.  Then in April the sun came back out and by Cinco de Mayo I knew I needed a pair of Toms.  However, throughout the summer I kept searching for the perfect print (there are so many great options to choose from), thus continuing the delay in purchase.  Soon enough a full year had passed and I still had not made my Toms purchase.  Lucky for me, during my trip to Wisconsin, we had several hours to waste in the small town of Eagle River.  We stumbled upon a specialty clothing store, which happened to carry every type of Toms you could imagine.  I tried on a few different metallic varieties and ended up landing on the gold metallic version (pictured above).  I was so excited that I wore them home on the plane and pretty much haven't taken them off since.  Not only are these the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned (seriously, like walking slippers) but every purchase of Toms shoes donates a pair of shoes to a child in need.  I wore them this past weekend while walking the Brooklyn Bridge and decided to snap a quick picture with all the cars buzzing below me.  If you want to learn more about the charity and/or browse the different styles, you can check them out here.  Rumor has it they have eyewear now too - maybe I can get ahead of the trend on this one.


October 20, 2011

ES Additions

Depending on how avid of an ES reader you are, you may have noticed something a little different about the blog recently.  Since I am constantly working to improve ES (believe me, it has a looooong way to go), I decided it was finally time to add another page to the lineup.  While the page itself isn't anything too fancy, it does feature something unique - ME!  As I have mentioned before, I am not quite ready (and don't know if I ever will be) to feature myself in outfits all over the blog.  However, I thought it would be kind of fun to start small and show case my two of my favorite fall purchases, J.Crew cords (in matchstick flame) and the B Brian Atwood Liese metallic booties.  My boyfriend and I had fun doing a mini photo-shoot, which ended up with me standing on top of a bar-stool chair in my "kitchen".  I originally wasn't going to include the chair in the photo but then decided I liked how the picture looked as a whole (vs. cropped).  While I still need to learn how to make pretty page icons, social media links, etc, this is a start.  Below are a few outtakes from the photo shoot.  Enjoy!

October 18, 2011

Manolo Class

Manolo Blahnik Campy Mary Jane - $645

Since I've been away a lot of weekends this fall, I have missed out on one of my favorite Sunday rituals of reading the NY Times Style section.  Thankfully last night I had some time to catch up on this past weekend's editorials and came across a great article entitled, "In His Shoes" (online link here).  While naturally any article that discusses shoes is going to catch my attention, this one was extra interesting because it discussed the rise, fall (gasp) and comeback of the ever classic shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik.  For better or worse I will always associate the brand with Carrie Bradshaw (which the article references as well) and this is a big part of what made Manolo a "mainstream" luxury designer.  However, as the times changed, Manolo stayed true to his roots of a classic and comfortable luxury shoe, whereas the "other guys" (aka: Christian Louboutin, Brian Atwood, Nicholas Kirkwood, etc) went all funky crazy on us and created shoes that were more pieces of art than functional footwear (disclaimer: NOT complaining).  While this hurt Mr. Manolo for a few years, I am happy to report that the ever-classic shoe brand is not going anywhere as their styles were seen all over the Spring 2012 runway shows.  In honor of this fantastic news, I could not resist showcasing their signature shoe, The Campy Mary Jane Pump.  Long live classic style.

October 16, 2011

A Touch of Leopard

My sister was always the leopard girl.  Whether it was her adorable little ballet flats or a picture frame in her room, she always had something leopard in her life.  I on the other hand always admired her love for leopard but never got as excited about the print.  Now, 20 some years later, I am finally catching on to my sister's trendsetting pattern.  I cannot get enough of all of the stylish leopard flats that are out this fall so I am obviously on the hunt for the perfect pair.  While I have been loving all of the smoker shoe styles (like #1 and #4), there is something so stylish about a simple classic leopard ballet flat (like #5).  The gold-toe Betsey Johnson's (#3) are unique and in polling a few friends the Topshop loafers (#2) have been the fan favorite.  I will most likely get a pair sometime this week so I have narrowed it down to the 5 options below.   Which are your favorites?

October 13, 2011

Mad for Madewell

Throughout my shopping "career", I have gone through many different store obsessions.  In 3rd grade it was all about Gap Kids, then in 7th grade I moved onto Abercrombie and Fitch, then in college it was...(you get the idea).  While certain stores will never leave my shopping rotation, I am always happy to introduce new ones to the mix.  Which leads me to my newest introduction.  Meet Madewell, my current BFF.  This wonderful store is a sister company to J. Crew and brings all kinds of dream pieces to your wardrobe.  First off, they have Alexa Chung designing lines for them and the prices aren't outrageous.  Not to mention they have KILLER shoe options.  This isn't necessarily where to find your spiked heeled stiletto footware, but rather along the lines of rich leathery boots and uber-creative flats, which is plenty enough to keep me satisfied all fall and winter long.  They have a wide variety of jean and corduroy pant options (which is how you know they are related to J.Crew).  Yet on the other hand, their tops and dresses have a much more downtown urban style, while still holding true to their quirky prepster vibe.  With the new Alexa Chung collection in stores now, I was inspired to pick a few favorites from the current Madewell line-up.  I hope you enjoy!

  1. Alexa Chung for Madewell Gold Patrice Top - $155
  2. Alexa Chung for Madewell Graham Crewneck Sweater - $98
  3. The Backdrop Buckle Boot - $268
  4. Bead Collector Necklace - $78
  5. Golden Dash Bracelet - $32
  6. Alexa Chung for Madewell Carine Dress - $265
  7. Skinny Skinny Cords - $89.50
  8. Alexa Chung for Madewell Hamish Wrap Scarf - $78
  9. Arrowdrop Bracelet - $28
  10. Cogworks Chain Necklace - $45
  11. The Letterwriter Pump - $198
  12. Alexa Chung for Madewell Bin Man Coat - $325
  13. Contrast Ex-Boyfriend Sweater - $69.50 
  14. Belle by Sigerson Morrison Suede Flats - $195

October 11, 2011

Wisconsin Autumn

I spent the past weekend in Eagle River, WI at a rustic fall wedding celebrating a close friend I met during my Pittsburgh days.  While I had only ever been to Madison, WI previously, I was excited to see a much more woodsy area of the state.  Eagle River could not be more opposite of NYC (i.e the the population alone is only 1,512, which is equivalent to the amount of people who work on 4 floors in my office building).  While I can't say that I would be content living in a town this size all year round, it was an incredibly refreshing and relaxing break from everyday life.  Thankfully for my friend, the weather was absolutely perfect with highs in the mid 70s each day.  Since we stayed at the lodge where the wedding was held, I couldn't help but take some pictures of our gorgeous surroundings.  Between the vibrant foliage and beautiful lake, the photo opportunities were limitless.  Not to mention that every restaurant, bar, and store in town was like entering a 1950s time warp, also making for some fantastic snapshots.  While I unfortunately don't have any great images of cheese curds to share, I was able to capture a picture of Wisconsin's finest ice cream creation, Superhero, as well as a classic cheesehead wine stopper (see last 2 images below).  The best part is, both of these items cost under $2.00.  All hail the midwest - enjoy!

October 6, 2011

Vintage Sparkle

Earrings: Vintage Dior; All Bracelets: J. Crew (on SALE)

I have many distinct memories of playing dress up at my grandma's.  Some of my favorite flashbacks (and pictures) are trying on her fabulous costume jewelry.  Whether it was a 12 strand pearl bauble necklace or the chunkiest clip on earrings you had ever seen, I was fascinated by it all.  As I got older, I began to play real "dress up" with these jewels and developed an appreciation for vintage jewelry.  Since I no longer live close enough to go through my grandmother's beautiful jewels every weekend, the next best thing is visiting the various vintage stores in my neighborhood.  The two shops I frequent the most are Cure Thrift Shop and ElEven.  I have had some pretty decent finds at both, but I think my latest treasure hunt beats the rest.  I walked into Cure after the gym (they are used to seeing me at my finest) in search of a pair of earrings for a wedding this weekend.  While I was perusing, I spotted a gorgeous pair of circle onyx clip on earrings with a small layer of frost (name that movie!) at the top.  I immediately asked to see them and was then told that these earrings weren't just any vintage find, they were vintage Dior.  The even better news was that they were ticketed for only $35, making them that much more covetable. I have been on a recent kick of buying crystal accented jewels so I knew these would fit right in.  Since all of my new sparkly jewelry pieces looked so pretty together, I had to share a few pics.  Enjoy!

October 2, 2011

Autumn Occasions

Since I am now at the age where it is not uncommon to be invited to 8 weddings in a 6 month span, I have had my fair share of experience in shopping for wedding guest dress attire this year.  Coincidentally, a friend has asked me to do a post on dresses that are appropriate for fall weddings.   One of the greatest things about the fall styles this year is that a lot of the pieces are versatile for all seasons.  I have seen several dresses in deep jewel tones or jacquard metallics that could easily be rotated into winter and spring.  As for my picks, you can never go wrong with a classic neutral dress such as #13.  These are great for those of us that love to accessorize since they can be dressed up with a statement necklace or a big stack of sparkly bracelets.  You can also go more bold in color, such as #2 and #6 and pair with a killer pair of black stilettos and simple jewels.  The beaded and metallic numbers, like #7, #10, and #14 bring a lot to the table on their own.  This makes packing much easier since you won't want to over-accessorize these already flashy numbers.  Lastly, and probably one of my favorite styles right now, are the lace pieces (#3, #5, and #11).  While of course I don't recommend wearing a white lace dress, a grey, navy or olive option is absolutely perfect for a crisp fall wedding.  At the end of the day, you should always wear whatever you will feel most comfortable in (and will be able to dance for severals hours in).  Hope you enjoy!

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