Honestly… it’s surprising it has taken me this long to write about Alexis, as this designer pretty much tops my list time and time again. When I can afford her, I basically do everything I can to snap up all of her pieces.
There is an incredibly unique sense of sophisticated-meets-sensual-meets completely and utterly feminine that only this mother-daughter duo can. The modern, yet vintage feel of the pieces, and effortlessly chic silhouettes create a powerful feel for all women who dare to wear their looks. From work to weddings to happy hour to date nights – I love the way these pieces transition for occasions yet always have me feeling like I’m the best-dressed in the room.
I cannot wait to see what the pair comes up with next… though I know my bank could use a break… ;P
When asked to speak at this year’s Dreamforce conference, I knew I had to take the opportunity. It would be a great experience, great exposure for my #dayjob (#realjob… #onlyjobthatpaysme…), and overall a good idea professionally speaking. So I immediately said yes.
… I also then immediately basically sh*t myself because public speaking is one of my biggest fears. (Outside of planes, and ironically I also had to fly to this conference sooooo there’s that). But I think it’s important, every now and again, to challenge yourself, make yourself try something new, that makes you uncomfortable… because when you come out on the other side (as you always do) then one way or the other, you’ll have learned something new about yourself, and you’ll prove yet again there’s something else you can do.
I also firmly believe (no surprise here) that what you wear for such an occasion is important. Not because of what other people might think about what you look like, but about how what you wear can make you feel powerful and in control. At least that’s true for me.
I chose Alexis, as I often do, because this designer knows how to design to make a women feel in control and on top of the world. It’s important though, when dressing for a public-speaking engagement to also be thoughtful about what will make you feel good, while still being appropriate for the situation.
Many women in this situation would wear all black, but I am not many women, and I rarely wear all black (not that that is bad at all – it’s just not me). I like to stand out and where something that is always a little different – but I had to be careful not to go over the top and distract my audience.
I chose these pants because they were statement in silhouette, but simple enough in pattern and color (all neutrals). I chose a simple top and comfortable heels to keep the look overall looking clean and easy. That way, I got to keep my “me” intact, but still looked professionally appropriate.
The speech went much better than I ever could have thought it would – AND I got so many compliments on these pants soooooo double win 🙂
It’s important to think about how you can continuously modify your style – so that you always stay true to you, while still being able to transition for multiple occasions.
Alice McCall is another Australian designer (I tend to have a thing for them) that I’ve LONG been a fan of. I think I originally discovered Alice via NastyGal back before the company changed ownership. I still remember (and still have) the first dress I discovered – the Angel on Wheels dress and was so impressed by the unique quality of the Alice McCall designs. (And wished I’d discovered the label even sooner!)
Alice McCalls designs are all distinctly whimsical and unusual (in the best way). Her looks are hyper feminine but playful with the use of bold textiles and patterns and fashion-forward silhouettes. All her pieces are also instantly recognizable due to their vibrant and exaggerated nature from the brand’s focus on a “craft”-based approach to design and appreciation for “the graphic use of space and color.”
I love the new “spring/summer” line Alice just released (remember the designer is in Australia but who says you can’t take bright colors into winter too? When paired accordingly it’s possible to make many of these year round pieces). Some of my favorite pieces are the “Tumeric” designs – the “Tiny Dancer playsuit” (above) is also gorgeous in the Oh Oh Oh Maxi dress style (I LOVE the black in this one!) I’m additionally obsessed with the print and textile used for the “Frida Floral” pieces – I’m currently debating between the jumpsuit and midi dress myself.
Alice McCall truly can’t go wrong – and I can’t wait to see what wonderland of innovative and creative designs she comes up with next!
Top | Skirt | Bag(sold out – similar here)| Shoes (sold out – similar here)
As fall fast approaches, one of my favorite ways to transition into cooler months is to pair some of my softer, more summery pieces with edgier fall-ready accessories (I think a bag is the easiest way to accomplish this trend). For this look I took this lovely polka dot set by Alexis (also feeling like polka dots is the new gingham so be on the look out for more of this print to pop up) – and paired it with this edgy Valentino bag (that I’ve been lusting over forEVER and finally found on sale).
A few of my other favorite combos for the trend are listed below:
I often get asked “how do you do it?” and what people really want to know is… how do I manage to get the closet I do on the budget I have? (I mean, I do decently well, but I’m certainly no Kardashian and the vast majority of my wardrobe is self-funded)
The truth is I spend too much. 😉 BUT the second truth is, I find a LOT of items that I love for less. Way less. Often half or less…less. There are many different components to this, and I’ll get ya more #protips in the future, but the first one is how to find and spot a good deal on designer duds (specifically bags) on eBay.
The first thing I HAVE to warn you is this can be a VERY daunting task. It’s very important that you have some idea how to spot a fake. Now, this isn’t going to be an article on all of the specific things to look for because there’s a ton of specifics by brand and style BUT generally speaking I look for a few things:
1. Compare the photo against a catalog
Ask for several photos of the bag – front, back, inside, under, hardware, serial numbers, lining, etc. Be confident that these look the same way they do in a retailer’s catalog photo, and try to look at several examples of authentic bags.
2. Collect information about the seller
Find out their rating, have they sold other designer bags? If so, what is their feedback? If they are selling a lot of designer goods, try to figure out where the come from (i.e. NOT a counterfeit factory).
Personally I like to get lightly used bags that come from another non-career seller with all or most original packaging and sometimes a receipt OR a verified consignment store with an online presence (this one came from a consignment store who authenticate prior to listing).
3. When in doubt, ask for authentication
You can always get a bag authenticated. There are certain forums that will look at photos for you online (like the Purse Forum [note I am not a member and cannot verify the quality of the site, but know it is a popular one for authentication]). There are also certain brick and mortar locations you can take an item once purchased for authentication. Call any of your local retailers or designer stores to inquire.
Alright, now that the not fun part is out of the way – there are just a FEW simple easy tips for getting the bag of your dreams!
1. Know the brand you want AND the style name
It is MUCH harder to find a bag under generic terms (Gucci embroidered bag, or YSL chain clutch, etc) – there are so many similar or varied types of these bags, you really want to know the proper name of the bag – i.e. “Gucci Sylvie Medium” or “Saint Laurent Kate” bag.
2. Start a search for the bag by style name
I usually start with resellers and see what comes up! You may find what you’re looking for right away. If not, each of the following resellers are great to try depending on your needs:
Pros – you can save your search! Search by style name and then click “Follow search” – you can opt in for both alerts via phone and email so that the bag of your dreams comes to YOU! (Which is actually how I ended up with this one!) You can also return almost anything to the site (so if you are worried something is fake, send it back right away and eBay generally makes sure you’re refunded regardless of whether you can prove it’s fake – also a con for sellers).
Cons – there are a LOT of fakes to sift through and the site itself doesn’t offer any authentication services.
Pros – free authentication provided if you’re worried after getting something (even outside of return window if they find it’s actually inauthentic they will refund you as long as it’s not too far out).
Cons – Higher prices generally, more limited selection.
This last weekend I celebrated my upcoming nuptials with some of my favorite women in the world… and I’ve never felt so loved. Outside of the obvious “Despacito” (I spent my weekend in Miami), one of my favorite songs of the weekend was “Most Girls” by Hailee Steinfeld.
When I first heard this song, I instantly fell in love. Mind you, I’m not usually the bubble gum pop type (at least not primarily – I admit I have a few Justin Bieber songs in my spotify…), but I love what this song is trying to teach young women. Raise your hand if you’ve ever said “well I’m different from most girls because…” Raise your hand higher if you said this to a man, and then smack yourself lightly on the head … (I know I’m guilty).
This song, to me, is about turning that sentiment around – and conveys that, while we’re all different – some of us “feel best in a tiny dress”, some of us feel like queens in “nothing but sweatpants” (we all know I’m the former), we should appreciate those things about each other and remember that the vast majority of us are “strong and smart and beautiful” and we are all trying to “work hard, go far [and be] unstoppable.” We should support each other in these endeavors, instead of trying to push each other out of the way while we all simply “[try] to win at life.”
So frequently in my life I’ve encountered women who, instead of building each other up, insist on competing with each other, on doing whatever it takes to ensure they’re at the top, and it’s this behavior that makes us our own worst enemies.
I believe this behavior comes from the sense that women feel there can “only be one” – for some reason, over time we’ve been socialized to live in a world of “-ests”. You need to be the smart-EST girl in class, the hard-EST working for the job, the sweet-EST of all your friends, the classi-EST host, and of course my favorite, the pretti-EST girl in the room. This is because of course, women seem to think in a binary manner about the qualities they pride themselves on. Either you’re the best or you’re nothing.
I admit, I do this to myself all the time – I leave the house feeling FLY AF and then I walk into a bar and I’m like damn that girl is prettier, or better dressed, or funnier, yada yada and the list goes on. I have to actively stop myself and say – she’s gorgeous and that’s awesome for her and so are you in your own way and WHO CARES EVEN. I actually started doing something new last year – whenever I meet a girl that right off the bat rubs me the wrong way, or I find myself wanting to compete with, I try to become they’re closest friend. Because 9 times out of 10 these are JUST the bad@$$ babes that I should be friends with. They’re hard-working, smart, funny, and honestly value a lot of the same things I do. It’s worked wonders and I have many new amazing and inspiring female friends as a result.
I know this post is a bit of an off-core-topic to my usual fashion focus – but as I’m going through my “wedding year”, one of the most telling and transitional of a women’s life, I am not just amazed by the love I have for my fiance, but for the love and support that has resonated from so many amazing women around me. Shout out to all you strong, intelligent, powerful women who make me wanna be like… most girls….
The first thing we did, as most do, is go and see the many sights of Paris. We’d both been before, but I wanted to revisit Montmartre with one of the most spectacular views of the city. Because we wanted to both be able to hike up to the famous Sacre Couer as well – I wanted to be able to wear sneakers. I did NOT, however want to give up looking Par-ee-chic so I decided to embrace what I’m calling the “sneakers and sweet” trend and pair my favorite Supergas with a tulle skirt and off the shoulder Keepsake crop blouse. Both were lightweight which also made it easy to move around despite the heat!
The weather was warm and I wanted something that could transition from day to night but still felt consistent with the essence of Paris. This dress by Privacy Please in its classic blue and white stripe print was perfect to mirror the spirt of Paris (perfect for a boat ride on the cruise line we selected – the Yacht de Paris). I happen to be someone who is bustier, but was able to pair the dress with a bralette that complimented the dress but still kept me secure (pro tip for you bustier ladies with these trendy low cut necklines). I also wanted shoes that were dressy (the attire was semi-formal on the boat) but still comfortable and these Raye heels I just purchased were PERFECT – not to mention the suede strappy ties make them so comfortable on feet that have been put to the test through the streets of Paris! The hat also made for the perfect accessory – it tied the whole look together while still lending to the Parisienne feel of the look (even the captain complimented me ;P).
I knew heading to Versailles that my favorite part of the estate is the gardens which was where I would spend most of my day. I wanted to wear flats while still echoing the regal and floral feel of the large gardens, so I chose this incredible tiered maxi by Reformation. I grabbed the same hat I wore to dinner (clever packing on my part) to keep the sun off my face during the day (which has become ever more important in my thirties #sadface). This amazing box clutch was also light enough to take me through the day easily, while still holding all of my necessary pieces (including my shades).
Saving the best for last. One of my favorite things about Paris… you can never be overdressed. I have been dying for a reason to wear this beautiful gown by Lurelly. On top of being beautiful, red roses are my favorite symbol of feminine beauty and strength and have been a recurring theme in my life (Beauty and the Beast is still my favorite movie – the original – and what a coincidence since Belle was French…;)). I wore this outfit to date night which started with a tour-of-THE-tour-Eiffel followed by night at Epicure restaurant at Le Bristol. The meal was amazing by the way – a true example of the service and food you’d expect from a three Michelin star, and the perfect way to wrap an amazing three days in Paris.
Unfortunately I now have to get back to reality, but hopefully this transported you to Paris… even if only briefly… au revoir!
Well I wanted to get this piece up for you all sooner, but due to limited Wifi, traveling to three different cities and working like crazy, I couldn’t get this out until now. Nevertheless, I wanted to share how I styled three different looks that translated my style into the London scene effortlessly in three completely separate scenarios. (I even got quite a few compliments from real Londoners – which convinces me I wasn’t totally off!)
The first look I styled was a work look. I had brought both of these pieces separately and after running out of complete outfits I combined two pieces typically only appropriate for weekend wear into one work-appropriate dress. The top is by The Reformation and the dress is Lovers + Friends.
My fiance had gotten me this bag to take with me as a present just before the trip (quite unlike him – but he wanted me to have something new to blog about… I know, I know – I’m so lucky!). I love navy accessories – and when worn correctly, they can make a great neutral. Here, the bag worked perfectly with the neutral rust of the dress and ivory of the top. My Proenza PS1 (tiny) is from a previous season but this navy one is similar, and if you’re looking for something more truly neutral it also comes in this beige color.
Next, for day-time weekend activities – I chose this splurge Alexis dress. This dress took me from the Kensington gardens, to tea at the Goring and was even appropriate for the Chesterton’s polo match (which was a surprise bonus event we discovered during the weekend).
Because we were bopping about to so many places, I chose these comfortable superga white sneaks. Because my shoes were so casual, I was able to balance the look with Dannijo earrings and my favorite Prada bag of the season. I also wore my new favorite pair of Krewe sunglasses (which go with everything – love!)
My last look took me out on the town. Luckily for me, one of my good girlfriends also works with me AND also happened to be traveling for work to our London office at the same time as me. While the week kept us busy, the weekend gave us some time to get out and about and enjoy London nightlife.
We both noticed wide leg pants as one of the noticeable trends currently hitting the streets in London. I decided to do a spin on that look with these wide leg split pants by Cleobella. These pants are lightweight and at first sight I imagined them to be better beach wear than club wear, but paired with these edgier Zhivago top, they made the perfect girls night out-fit.
I wanted shoes that were dressy enough to pair with the outfit, but also manageable over cobblestones so I brought these Raye heels with me. They are some of the most comfortable shoes I own – the suede straps are soft and stretchy and so comfortable on my feet. Not too much the combination of the black of the black suede and casual rope detailing make them perfect for a multitude of occasions. I topped off this look with my go to Saint Laurent blogger bag (how apropos) and headed out for my night out in Chelsea… (the rest… well you’ll just have to ask me if you want those details…;) ).
Well that’s a wrap on London until next time…. see you in Paris!
… was my response when I decided to completely cover an entire pair of shoes in rhinestones (see DIY Strass post here; linked to the un-studded shoe here). I got a lot of questions when I did this – “but how could you spend that much time and money when you can never wear these?!?!” Um – never? Not sure what fashion-world you’re living in, but in mine – there are NO rules, and if I want to feel fancy AF in my glittery-modern-day-ruby-red-slippers, then I WILL!
It is true – that when wearing shoes that rival the shine of the sun, you have to be thoughtful about the rest of the outfit. If I’m heading out to a nice dinner, or girls night out dancing then its no problem to pair these as usual with something dressier, however, when I wanted to wear these to happy hour, I had to tone the look down.
To do this, I styled the shoes with these ripped jeans by Lovers + Friends LA (I literally cannot wear these without getting compliments and they are so comfortable! I also snagged this Chaser tank (featuring a Longhorn no less – I am so texas now).I balanced the casual feel of the tee shirt and jeans combo – not just with the shoes, but also with these amazing Dannijo earrings I snagged on sale, and full finger ring from House of Harlow (this ring I got years ago, but similar versions by the designer still available here, here and here). I also picked up this clutch by St Xavier (I don’t care how basic I am – who doesn’t love repping their #team).This outfit, while “fashion-forward” is still perfectly appropriate for a “casual” night out with your #squad.
This dress makes me want to do the red emoji dance. Which, by the way, will definitely be a theme with me over the next few months. Bright cherry red is my absolute favorite color and it seems to be everywhere this season. There’s actually nothing that could make me happier (which should probably make me question my priorities, but meh… another time…)
I wore this Parker dress at date night at Mastro’s steakhouse where I treated my bae-thang to dinner (I know he’s a lucky dude, but so am I 😉 ).
I love this fun Parker piece (more sizes here) – the tiered layers are super on trend this season and so flattering on the legs. A simple heel is best for something like this – and these Tamara Mellon frontline heels are my go-to shoe of late (side-note, they have the best most personal customer service EVER, I can’t wait to go back for more).