Monthly Archives: December 2011

Macrame Argyle Tunic – do we love it?

For what is most likely to be my last post in 2011 I thought I would bring us something to look forward to in 2012 – Spring. Or at least, Spring fashion. Now ordinarily once Christmas is over I have zero tolerance for Winter and long to just fast-forward straight into March and April. But – knock on wood – so far this Winter has been a mild one* and I haven’t yet fallen into my annual seasonal depression.

*I’ve probably just jinxed us all. Apologies in advance for the three feet of snow we’re about to get.

In fact, this Winter has been so mild that I’m actually longing for it to get a little colder. Not because I like the cold, mind you, but because I bought some amazing Winter pieces that I haven’t gotten to wear yet. Like this awesome sweater:

Blanched and Buckled Cardigan from Anthro

And this gorge tweed skirt:

JCrew No.2 Pencil Skirt in Vintage Tweed

So I guess what I’m saying is Dear Winter, Could you please help a sister out by dipping below 50 degrees in Nashville for just long enough for me to wear my super-cute new outfits? That would be a huge help. Love, Shea

In the meantime I”m going to go ahead and start looking at some fashions made for warmer weather. Like this tunic:

Fiets Voor 2 Macrame Argyle Tunic – $248

In theory, I think this tunic is uh-may-zing. In my dream life I would wear this with white linen pants while I strolled through some Grecian bazaar with my hubs Ryan Gosling. In reality, I think this tunic would probably make my hips look ginormous – a suspicion that is strengthened by the fact that Anthro chose to have the model in this tunic pose in a position that obscures her hips which I’m sure are tiny:

image credit

So for now, given the season, the hip-widening potential, and the price of this tunic, I think I’m going to hold off. Especially since I have plenty of other new items in my closet waiting to be worn.*

*Seriously Winter – just like one or two weeks of cooler temps. That’s all I need.

ASOS Knitted Dress in Aztec Pattern – do we love it?

Welcome back kids! I hope everyone enjoyed way too much food, family and general merriment over the Christmas break.

And when you can’t fit into your pants for a few weeks as the result of all of that merriment, the sensible decision is to opt for a forgiving knit dress instead – that way you won’t get any of those pesky, judgmental pink marks on your Christmas belly that even stretchy pants can leave behind.

Here’s the most recent knit dress I’ve been mulling over:

ASOS Knitted Dress in Aztec Pattern – $72.72

Why we love it –  You can never go wrong with a good knit dress. And this one isn’t black, which is a nice break from my current winter-dress wardrobe.The tribal-inspired print is totally in season and the simple shape can be dressed up with heels, or dressed down with boots like so:

ASOS Aztec Print Dress

Why we’re hesitant – The horizontal banding of the pattern might make you appear wider than you are. Also, this dress might be the color of baby poop.

Despite the potential for a poop-tacular failure, I think I’m going to give this dress a try.  If the color and pattern of this dress look as good one me as they do in the picture, then I think this could be a versatile and valuable addition to my winter wardrobe.

But what do you think?



David Yurman DY Tag Collection – do we love it?

Oh holidays. Cheesy movie on Lifetime about girl learning the meaning of Christmas by helping secret millionaire (who of course has secret terminal cancer) be secret Santa to the needy + bottle of wine  = There Will Be Tears. So I’m going to distract myself by looking at jewelry.

Namely these new David Yurman necklaces which I came across in the most recent edition of what I think was Marie Claire:David Yurman Malachite Dog Tag Necklace

David Yurman Malachite Dog Tag Necklace – $675

Now this is ostensibly (fancy word of the day!) a dude necklace. But I’m going to confess what I hope is not a controversial general rule and say that I am anti-dude-jewelry of any kind. Except for wedding rings. And then I am anti-men who are anti-wedding rings.

Because when I think men who wear jewelry, I think of this guy:

image credit (although why anyone would want credit for this I do not know)

And fellas, you do not want your girl thinking of this guy when she looks at you. Trust.But is it wrong that I think this necklace might be TOTALLY wrong for dudes, but maybe kind of right for me? We all know how much I love a good pendant.

However, I do know what is NOT right for me and that is the “girly” version of this necklace:

David Yurman Rhodonite Tag Necklace – $975

Blech. This one looks like something that one of those girls on MTV’s Sweet Sixteen show would wear with her age-inappropriate Herve Leger bandage dress to her Marakesh-themed party where she feigns surprise when her parents give her a brand new white BMW 3-series with a big red bow on top. (Okay – rant over.)

But what do we think of the green one?

BCBG Jerico Striped Dress – do we love it?


*This is me trying to maintain my Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear.**

**But luckily for my co-workers I am only singing loudly in my head.

And it must be working because today, on this dreary Monday, I find myself pining for this tropical red and green striped dress:

BCBG Jerico Striped Dress – $238

This dress makes me long to live somewhere in the southern hemisphere – like Australia – where it would be acceptable to wear something like this on Christmas day. And where Santa delivers presents via flying surfboard pulled by kangaroos:

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But I’m thinking I could make this dress work for the holiday season north of the equator as well – like so:

BCBG dress for now

The what: Layer a black turtleneck and tights under this dress for warmth and then add brown leather  knee boots and belt. For extra fun don’t forget the gorge handbag in a contrasting pattern but similar color scheme.

The why: Sticking with black and brown accents here lets the color and pattern of the dress be the stars of the show. Great way to add summertime colors to your wintertime wardrobe.

Now sometime around January 1st, 2012 I will begin to feel as though Winter is a never-ending plague brought upon humanity to punish us for our consumerism-driven sins during the holiday season. But eventually Winter will be over and we’ll be the envy of all southern-hemispherians everywhere. And when that day comes, here is how I would wear this dress in the Spring:

BCBG dress for later

The what: I am obsessed with the idea of a red trench coat for Spring and it’s a great match for this dress. Keep the jewelry and bag simple so as not to compete with the colors in the dress, coat and shoes.

The why: I know the only real question any of you are going to have about this one is why the yellow flats. And to be honest, I don’t really know why. I just love them with this dress. Probably because I HATE the matchy-matchy-ness of the red and purple pumps the designer paired with the dress and I’ve run screaming in the other direction. Whatever the reason, yellow flats = fab.

So what do we think, kids? Do you love this dress as much as I think I do? How are you maintaining your Christmas cheer? Is Santa cooler on a surfboard? Help me decide.

Things we love – boots on a budget (Part 5): boots just for fun

So now that your stockings are hung by your chimney with care and your closet has been filled with our three essential boots for the season (read about those here, here and here), you may find yourself looking for ways to spend your leftover boot budget on even more boots. Or more likely this time of year, you might be looking for some boots on which other people – i.e. family, friends, Santa – can spend some money for you.

Here are my choices for best ‘just for fun’ boots on a budget.*

*For purposes of this post I considered ‘on a budget’ to be near or below $100.

First up, the Very Volatile Houston Boot:


Why we love it: I think this boot is totally adorbs. It’s western without being a traditional cowboy boot. It has a comfy stacked heel and the cognac color is super-versatile. Wear with a cream-colored sweater dress and gray tights for a great alternative to the all-black winter uniform.

Next, the Sbicca Haylen Knee-High Boot:


Why we love it: I bought a pair of gray, knee-high boots last year and I have worn the heck (yes, I just said heck) out of them. They go with everything. Seriously. Everything. And this particular pair will, too. Wear with a cozy, slouchy navy-blue sweater and either blue or black skinny jeans for instant casual chicness.

Next is the Nine West Peekaboo Ankle Boot:


Why we love it: Confession – I saw a similar pair of booties on a friend’s sister last fall and have been obsessed with them ever since. She was totally rocking them with skinny blue jeans and a black boyfriend blazer over a simple black tank. So cool. I obviously had no choice but to copy her and get a pair of my very own. Wear them like she did or with black opaque tights and skirts like I do.

And finally, the Nine West Fountain Boot:


Why we love it: I don’t currently own any flat ankle boots. I KNOW – I’m shocked, too. I’m loving the light taupe suede and fun buckle detailing on this pair. And because I’m tired of doing actual legal work this afternoon, here’s a visual representation I put together of how I would wear these boots:

Nine West Fountain Boot Outfit

(And by doing so I’ve not only convinced myself that I desperately need these boots, I’ve also convinced myself I desperately need the rest of this outfit, too. Way to go Brakefield. Will your wallet EVER catch a break??)

Here’s hoping your wallet has been luckier than mine this holiday season and you can squeeze one or two more pairs of boots into your budget and closet this year. Merry Shopping!!


Free People Victorian Backseam Tight – do we love it?

I really hope y’all aren’t tired of ‘listening’ to me talk about Christmas and the holiday season yet. Because I hate to tell you – we’ve got eleven days to go and I’m just getting warmed up.

Saturday night marked my second official viewing of Love Actually this holiday season. To me, Love Actually is perfect. For the ladies it has Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant. Colin Firth and that hot guy that Laura Linney’s character refuses to sleep with. For the fellas it has Billy Mack, Keira Knightly and a surprising amount of female nudity.

And while all of the stories make my heart all warm and fuzzy in their own way, I think this one is my favorite:

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Because first she can’t stop saying ‘fuck’ when she meets him and he just happens to be the Prime Minister.

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Then this happens when he verbally kicks slimy President Billy Bob Thornton’s behind after he dares to kiss his girl:

Then after he goes door-to-door to find her, they ride in a limo with an octopus:

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And finally, their big, romantic first kiss is interrupted by a children’s Christmas pageant.

image credit

Who among us can’t relate to that?

Most importantly I think this story is my fave because Natalie, the girl who snags the love and affection of the Prime Minister who happens to look like Hugh Grant, is a normal-sized girl and not a Keira Knightley-sized waif. Kudos to the wardrobe department on this film who did a fab job of highlighting her curves with cardigan sweaters and tulip skirts. It’s totally easy to see how Hugh could succumb to her ‘charms’.

I have always been particularly obsessed with the white cardigan embroidered with black flowers and black tulip skirt she wears to deliver the chocolate biscuits to Hugh in his office. (I couldn’t find a pic of that particular outfit but don’t pretend like you don’t all know the scene I’m talking about.) And I love, love, LOVE the sheer black hose with the visible seam up the back that she wears with them.

And so, it is with my Natalie-inspiration in mind that I present these:

Free People Victorian Backseam Tight - $24

Now I’m not a girl who is afraid of a brightly-colored or patterned pair of tights. But my profession calls for a more conservative look for the courtroom and I’m thinking these would be a great way to add some interest to a suit in a subtle, appropriate way.

But what do you think? And what’s your favorite Love Actually story?*

*Confession: I cry every time the little kid jumps into Liam Neeson’s arms and does the Titanic pose in the airport. Every. Single. Time. Please don’t tell anyone.

Tiffany Twist Bow Ring – do we love it?

I’m gonna make this post a quick one. Here is what I really want:


Tiffany & Co Elsa Peretti Swan ring – $2,800

Why I love it: It’s simple. It’s beautiful. It has a diamond in the middle. It will come in a pretty blue box.

Here is what I am willing to accept instead:


Tiffany & Co Tiffany Twist Bow Ring – $250

Why I love it: It’s simple. It’s sweet. I love the idea that it’s like a really fancy ‘forget me knot’. It’s one-tenth the price of the other ring. It, too, will come in a pretty blue box.

But since it’s the holiday season and I’m pretty much maxed-out on my luxury spending for the year, one of you is going to have to buy this ring for me. And I would never ask you to give me a gift that you yourself do not love (unless for some reason you don’t love that first ring – I would still ask you to get that one for me because you would be wrong). So I’m putting it to a vote. 

Red and Leopard – how to love it

So I have recently boarded a new express train to Time-Wasting-Ville, and that train’s name is Pinterest. For the uninitiated, Pinterest is an online pinboard where you can tag or ‘pin’ various things you love from around the web . If you can find it on the internet, you can pin it to Pinterest. It’s a super-handy place to keep inspirations you find for everything from clothing to recipes to home decor and more.

And to me, one of the neatest things about Pinterest is you can follow the pins of your friends, too. So I know exactly what recipe my friend Holly might be making for dinner this week or what cabinets my friend Emily might like to have in her dream kitchen someday. It’s so cool.

It’s also a great place to find style inspiration. And frustration, too. For example, this outfit has been making the rounds on Pinterest boards o’plenty the past few weeks:

Red Leopard

In theory, I really like the idea of this outfit. In reality, however, it is Way. Too. Much. There’s matching and then there’s Matching with a capital M. And this is the latter. Like the gurus say, ‘It doesn’t have to match. It just has to go.’

But I think there are some good things to work with here. Leopard is this year’s new neutral and red is always a classic. So how would I work red and leopard together? Like so:

My red and leopard

So much better, right?

Here you still get the pop of color and pattern in a much more versatile package. This outfit would work for just about any size, shape or age. And you can totally swap out the skinny jeans and knee-high boots for a pair of black trousers and pumps for an instantly work-appropriate look.

The lesson here: Keep an eye open for inspiration everywhere – including Pinterest. But don’t be afraid to tweak to fit your own fashion needs. And if you’re not sure how – just ask. I live for this stuff. :)

Accordion-pleated skirts – do we love them?

Kids I think I’m experiencing some serious holiday brain this December as I find myself inexplicably loving things that would ordinarily cause me to gasp and recoil in fashion horror. For example, last night at a Christmas concert I confessed to my friend that I was IN LOVE with a guy’s red and green plaid blazer. For a visual it looked kind of like this except the red and green were even more vibrant:

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I mean seriously. There is zero chance that if I saw this guy wearing a bright red and green plaid blazer any other time of year that I would find it to be remotely acceptable. Clearly this is the work of holiday brain making me feel  warm and fuzzy toward all things festive.

And so when I fell in love with this outfit from the Gucci Resort 2012 collection I couldn’t decide if it was true love or holiday brain-induced madness:

image credit

Objectively speaking, this outfit has a giant neck bow and a shiny accordion-pleated skirt – both things that I have previously ranted against here and here. But whether its the holiday brain or just a change of heart, I now find myself thinking I am in desperate need of a pleated skirt like this one (but preferably NOT on a Gucci budget).

So here are the candidates for your consideration:

Elie Tahari Francesca Skirt – $221.99

Pro: Cheaper than, but looks a lot like, the Gucci.

Con: Still a lot of money to pay for a skirt that I am unlikely to wear more than once or twice a year.


Con: Shut up holiday brain you are not helping here.

Ella Moss Debutante Skirt – $148

This color might be the exact opposite of the Gucci gold above. I do obviously like the idea that this color is much more versatile. And I think this skirt has a lovely, light, ethereal quality to it as well. But I’m worried that the combination of the neutral color plus the knee-length hem might read a little dowdy in real life.

Old Navy Micro-Pleat Full Skirt – $24.99

My holiday brain is loving the hot-pink color of this one. It is also loving the budget price tag given that it has already been spending a lot of money on holiday gifts for others (and myself). But my sane, rational fashion brain is worried that the shorter length of this skirt might combine with the pleats to make my hips look way bigger than they are. And if anything is going to make my hips look bigger this Christmas it will be all of the cookies and candy canes I will be eating, not some pleated skirt.

O by Organic Broken Pleats Skirt - $148

From a pure design standpoint I think this skirt is amazing. Love the zig-zag pleats at the bottom. But from a practical standpoint, I think the bold pleats and nipped-in waist could make this skirt hard for non-stick-figure women to pull off.

And now, drumroll please….. the accordion-pleated skirt winner is:

SkirtMod Cloth Bold Flame Skirt – $42.99

Pro: Color is still festive so my holiday brain is satisfied.

Pro: Price is budget-friendly so my holiday wallet is satisfied as well.

Pro: Shape and length are versatile enough to wear with a blazer or turtleneck to work or with a sparkly tank top and cardigan for a night out.

On the whole I think I’m warming up to the idea of the accordion-pleated skirt. It could be a great way to break out of the pencil-skirt rut I fall into every Winter.

Sure, I still have concerns – like will they make my hips look gigantic? Will I look like I’m wearing a lampshade?  And what happens to all of those pleats in the back after a day of being flattened against my desk chair?

So my holiday brain and I turn to you fair readers – do we love accordion-pleated skirts?

House of Harlow Tribal Cuff – do we love it?

Oh Nicole Richie. I bet you are just so, so glad that most of America has forgotten that you used to run around looking like this:

And with that girl, too. (image credit)

Now we all know you as the queen of casual, boho chic:

image credit

But girlfriend, you have also shown you can turn it out in a major way when needed:

And so I say to you, Bravo, Nicole. Bravo indeed.

And extra kudos for managing to further distance yourself from your former self through the births of both your two adorable children and your very own fashion lines. Which brings us to this bracelet from your House of Harlow line:

I am Officially. Ob. Sessed.

This cuff does an amazing job of blending the current trend of Native American influence with a modern shape and color palette. I’m normally hesitant to spend a lot of money on bracelets because I end up taking them off when I’m at work so they don’t bang on my desk all day. But I think this cuff has some serious versatility potential – much like Nicole herself. Here’s how I would wear it to work:

House of Harlow Bracelet Set 1

I’m not usually a huge fan of velvet, but I think the velvet skirt of this dress adds a nice textural element in this case. Plus this outfit could go directly from office to cocktails or even Christmas party this time of year.

I also think this cuff would look fab with this casual outfit I previously posted here:

Minnetonka Thunderbird Moccassin

And so, this Christmas season, let us give thanks for the celebrities of the world – like Nicole – who managed to turn it around and succeed on the interstate of life when they just as easily could have taken the exit to Lindsey Lohan-ville instead.


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