mustard and white leopard horizontal

I could fold this laundry that has been on the couch for a week, or I could lay on it…


Mustard shell, Banana Republic.

White leopard pencil skirt, Antonio Melani.

Nude block heel pumps, vintage Bally.

Gold chain, thrifted.


Flight Suit

flight suit.jpg

I’m flying to Belgium today.

It’s a little embarrassing to admit (being 37 and all), but this is the first time I’m traveling to Europe.

Naturally, I have been doing a hefty amount of research on what to wear on the flight (because I can’t take the word of my husband who does this all the time. On the upside, I discovered several delightful blogs in the process).

The travel experiences I’ve had so far have generally allowed me to retain some dose of elegance (I must combat the slew of velour jogging suits at the airport. How is it that Juicy Couture is still cranking those out?!).

Since this is a much longer flight than I’m used to, I’m capitulating to all those battle-scarred jet-setters who insist I keep comfort in front of mind. However, I find myself unable to totally abandon attempts at glamour because, well, have you met me?

I’ll be gallivanting around Brussels for a full day on my own before I can check into the hotel, and so many wildly exotic things could happen—I must be prepared for them, at least sartorially.

Kara Mulder of The Flight Attendant Life recommends a pair of Zella Slim-Fit Live-in leggings (random question: are there any kind of leggings other than slim-fit?). They’re moisture-wicking and reversible, but struck me as being passable for non-athletic clothing, so I ordered a pair.

This silk tunic is loose-fitting but upgrades the outfit a notch above athleisure.

Anyone who’s ever navigated an airport knows the importance one’s shoes play in molding the other passengers’ feelings toward you. Wear shoes whose intricacy requires a 20-minute removal and re-application process, and the people behind you in the TSA line will shoot daggers into your back with their eyes. Wear shoes with no sock/stockings/inner lining, and people will harbor secret misgivings about your hygiene.

To be on the safe side, I am wearing simple polished loafers. I can wear a sock liner with them, so I can easily slip them on and off and still not have to touch the floor in the x-ray booth.

Finally, I am cold. Always. I could be on a tropical beach in 90-degree weather, and I guarantee you, I will be cold. One of the BEST. INVESTMENTS. I ever made was this full-on blarf (blanket scarf)–it’s great for flights and layovers.

Since it’ll be a tad chilly (!) when I disembark, I’m packing my coat in the top layer of my luggage. I’m not-so-secretly hoping to find a killer coat in Belgium, so I picked up a coat at Burlington that looks passable with a few alterations, but I can leave there if I need to.



Zella Live-in Leggings, Nordstrom.com

Silk tunic, Michael Kors.

Black pebbled leather loafers, Coach.

Cashmere Travel Wrap, White + Warren.

Navy Wool Coat, Michael Kors.

Shades, Betsey Johnson via TJ Maxx.

Sheer Fun

I’ve never really cared for midi skirts. I find them really difficult to wear without looking dowdy.

sheer navy and black silk

But when I saw this assymetrically-hemmed silk version with sheer panels by Elie Tahari, I was smitten. It was one of those purchases that you make not having a clue how it will integrate into your closet, but falling so deeply in love with it that you know it. must. be. yours.

sheer navy and black silver pin detail

Turns out (as it usually does with purchases of that nature), that I wear it all the time with everything.

sheer navy and black back

The sheer navy polka dot top is pretty voluminous, so instead of tucking it, I wrapped the front panels around to the back and pinned it with a brooch I bought at a friend’s closet sale.

If the Spring runways were any indication, we’ll be seeing a lot of sheer in a couple of months. It can be tricky to pull off and still retain your membership in the PTA, but we’ll be talking about just how to do that (and wear other Spring ’16 trends) in next month’s Love Your Style workshop. I hope you’ll join us!



Top, $10 find from I-can’t-remember-where.

Skirt, Elie Tahari.

Loafers, Coach.

Brooch, friend’s closet sale.

Earrings, Sorrelli.


Disney Princess Mirror

Closet Voyeur: Jessica’s Closet

Disney Princess Mirror

The stately mirror is from (where else?) Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel.

I would not experience a soupcon of surprise if bluebirds were to fly in the window right now and alight on Jessica Adams’s shoulder. Petite in stature with long, flowing blonde tresses, Jessica is a real-life Disney princess.


ladylike closet greeen dresser

Jessica’s Wedding Rehearsal bouquet complements the vintage dresser, chair, and lamp.

I first met Jessica at a dance class that a mutual friend invited us to attend. She, a longtime dancer, swirled around the room gracefully, executing complicated dance moves as smoothly as a Sicilian putting away a plate of spaghetti. Staggering around the room and twirling in the wrong direction (every time!), I was in awe, and immediately stalked all her social media.


makeup brush storage

A makeup brush holder made from vintage papers? Yes, please.

Fast forward to late last year, when the blonde beauty posted a swoon-inducing photo of the closet she created at her new home. I promptly requested a visit.

vintage vanity

The vanity is restored from its days at the family’s beach house. Jessica’s mother tsujzed up the stool with strips of seafoam silk.


vintage gold chair jewelry storage clothing rack

Open clothing racks keep everything out on display and easily accessible.

Every detail in the closet is carefully arranged, but what really amazes me is the way Jessica has created this paradise from vintage treasures (yet another connection to She of the Pumpkin Carriage?). Her magic wand of creativity spreads a mantle of fairy dust on everything in the room.

pretty calendars

Vintage Doilies and letter holders coexist with modern calendars and an iPad company on the dresser.

“People are always giving my sister and me dress-up clothes,” she says as she produces a fringed,hand-painted chartreuse and yellow silk scarf from a coat rack in the corner.

masquerade mask on coat hooks

Everyone should be properly prepared for a ball.

She picks up a pair of miniscule vintage navy shoes. “These were someone’s actual shoes. Look at how small they are; I can’t even fit into them,” she exclaims as her (also miniscule) foot juts out the back ever so slightly.

I nod, but I’m not too concerned. Everyone knows that the slippers destined for Cinderella’s feet are nothing less than glass.

New Year's Eve outfit

How to Wear Animal Print and Still Look Sophisticated

New Year's Eve outfit

Sofi knows it’s going to be a fun night when I break out the metallic snakeskin mini skirt.

There’s no doubt that animal prints can be one of the most sophisticated and versatile patterns out there. But it’s also a little dangerous—pop on too much zebra and one becomes a walking safari.

But how much is too much? Well, it depends. I’ve seen a couple of people (not many, mind you, but one or two) whose head-to-toe leopard oozed class and daring, but it’s tricky. Here’s a few hints for making animal work for you, whether you prefer a little or a lot.

In clothing:

  1. Keep the cut conservative. Generally, it’s not a fabulous idea to go with a leopard micromini. Animal print is audacious on its own, so wearing it in a revealing cut can quickly veer away from sophistication. If you cannot live without an animal mini, I recommend a snakeskin in neutral hues paired with other neutral hues in conservative cuts to form a monochromatic look (think grey snakeskin mini, slouchy grey turtleneck, grey tights, and grey knee boots—see a pattern here?). Conservative cuts apply to tops as well; choose a crew or boatneck, or keep it buttoned up.
  2. Think twice before going tight…See “conservative cut” remarks above. It’s hazardous territory even if you are quite svelte.
  3. …or bright. Bright animal prints can be done well, but they tend to look less sophisticated. If choosing a bright (like a neon leopard or zebra print) consider limiting it to a belt, bag, or shoe and keep the rest of your duds neutral. If you choose a dress or shirt, its doubly important to keep the cut discreet and the design simple (lest you give the appearance that most of your work is done in the evening hours on the street corner).
  4. Strive for quality… You don’t have to go designer to get a sophisticated animal print (I have a grey leopard scarf I once picked up AT THE DOLLAR STORE), but I’m not gonna lie—it’s your best bet when you want to convey elegance. The old adage, “Buy the best quality you can afford,” is especially true here, and if you’re shopping on the cheap, keep your prints neutral! Bright animal prints cheaply done look it.
  5. …and balance. To maintain an urbane look, try to strike an overall balance with your outfit. Animal print dress? Neutral shoes and bag. Snakeskin camp shirt? Black wide-leg trousers. Let the animal piece be the showstopper and all the other pieces play the role of supporting actors. That doesn’t mean the other pieces can’t be brights—these can play great support roles, too. Try a leopard blouse paired with a fuschia pencil skirt or a neon yellow necklace. Just be aware of the overall  look you’re creating.

Need some photographic assistance? Check out my Animal Instincts or I Love Leopard Pinterest boards for some examples of proper execution.

Change 1 Thing

black skirt black shoes   black skirt brown boots    black skirt metallic silver oxfords   black skirt red shoes


One of my all-time favorite books on sartorial style is The Lucky Shopping Manual, written by the former editors of Lucky Magazine, Kim France and Andrea Linett.

In it, they dispense some “Why didn’t I think of that?” style advice, a portion of which appeared under sections entitled, “Sure…but why not…?” As my style evolves, I’ve taken that on as somewhat of a mantra, and every time I reach for the “safe” option in my closet, I challenge myself to stretch a little farther.

It’s been so instrumental in helping me expand my sense of style, that I’m going to start sharing my adventures with you under posts called “Change 1 Thing.”

Many times, by changing just one aspect of your outfit, you can change the entire vibe of your look. An outfit that you previously found passable but uninspiring can suddenly blossom with possibilities.

Look, I’ll start you off easy–our first foray into changing one thing will use shoes (see? This is going to be completely painless.).

Sure, the black suede pumps on the left are a classic finish to a nearly monochromatic outfit of navy and black.

But why not exchange them for chocolate over-the-knee boots to winterize a floaty skirt? Outfit feels too feminine for you? Slip on a pair of dark silver oxfords for a hit of menswear glam.

All these neutrals leave you feeling a little sleepy? Some red suede stunners will make you want to kick up your heels and dance.

The next time you automatically reach for the easy choice, consider whether your day’s activities will allow you a little space to change one thing. You never know what a little change might bring your way!