More or Less


Blue shirt2 edited

When I can’t decide whether less is more or more is more, I do less and more. The silhouette and muted colors of this outfit are less, and my rings are more.

Blue rings



Leggings, Zella.

Unravelled tee, Ranemade.

Boots, Brako.

Hat, Brixton.

Necklace, Polk Museum of Art Gift Shop.

Brushed silver ring, Silpada.

Seahorse ring, Mayfair art festival (unfortunately, I have lost the paperwork of the artist).

80s ring, vintage.

Silver bubble ring, Silpada.

Fingerprint charm bracelet, my design.





We Celebrate No Pants Fridays



Some clothes create amazing stories, and others come packaged with them.

My best friend (who I rarely get to shop with, which is probably a good thing, because we know how to enable the heck out of each other), came to town recently and met me at a new local boutique I had been wanting to show her for quite some time.

We were immediately drawn to this dress, and I picked it up to try on. As we explored the store, in walked a local stylist acquaintance who was putting together an upcoming fashion show in which I was scheduled to walk.

Seeing the dress in my hand, she exclaimed, “I was going to pull that for you to wear in the show!” (clearly, she has exquisite taste).



Some of us have taken Man Repeller’s decree of “No Pants Friday” to heart!

I tried on the dress, and the rest, as they say, is history. Because of the experience, I always think of my friends when I wear it.

I love a dress that picks one feature to accentuate, and with a dress this tight (as you can see from the pictures, I look 2 months pregnant if I wear it without Spanx after eating anything within the prior week), the length and high neckline keep it from veering out of daytime territory. And the exposed zipper is just sheer fun.


This dress is also a great reminder that perfect clothes off the rack are rarely  made, they’re tailored. The slit in the back was a little higher than I preferred, but my tailor sewed it partially shut for a nominal fee (I think it was $10).

Tailoring is such a small price to pay for feeling perfectly comfortable in your clothes, which can affect someone’s “look” even more than the exact articles of clothing they’re wearing.

I highly advise creating a line item for tailoring in your annual wardrobe budget (I probably spend about $500 annually, but nearly everything I own is tailored–even if it’s something as simple as getting that perfect-length hem or a sleeve taken in just so–so you may have different needs). It will make a monumental difference in how much you love your clothes!


Sheer black fishnet dress, 5th and Hall.

Cut-out heels, Cole Haan.

Handcuff bracelet–apologies, I have forgotten where I found it.

Prest-o Change-o: Professional to Party

I think one of the biggest wardrobe mistakes women make is to have too many party dresses. Once upon a time, I had more party dresses in my closet than tops. Now I have 2. It’s not that I’ve stopped going to parties (although I’ll admit that my clubbing experiences look more like a scene from “Neighbors”’ these days), but that I’ve learned the value of being able to mix, match, and accessorize pieces in my functioning wardrobe.

Maybe it’s my skill in rationalization coming into play (on some days I believe it’s my superpower), but it doesn’t hurt so badly to invest in quality everyday pieces when I know that with a flick of the wrist, I can remix them into formidable party outfits.

Here are my keys for turning office wear into party all-stars:

  1. Invest in staples with special details. Impeccable cut, intriguing fabrics, extraordinary details-these are what make a piece easy to take to the next level.
  2. Have a few anachronistic, luxe, or just plain weird accessories on hand. The last thing I want to see at a party is someone looking perfectly respectable. I want to see your personality ringing through loud and clear.
  3. Make use of your skin. I don’t want to see your skin at the office, but once the party starts, show me your neck or arms or legs (just remember-pick ONE. The idea is to live on the edge, not to fall off it).

How to do it:


For work, this spade scarf adds drama to a sweater and textured scuba skirt (see #1) combo. Black boots and tights create a long, lean leg in the absence of skin.


In a matter of minutes, I’m ready for the party with a printed shoe (leopard is my favorite), a “maximalist” bow belt (#2), tsujzed-up sleeves, a vintage brooch from my grandmother’s closet, and fishnets (#3).

Now show me yours!


Black Bubble-Textured Scuba Skirt, Bitte Kai Rand.

Mustard Sweater, The Limited.

Black Tights, Spanx Assets, Target.

Black Booties, Calvin Klein.

Dotted Spade Scarf, Kate Spade.

Party Accessories

Fishnet hosiery, Victoria’s Secret (in stores only).

Leopard Calf-Hair Pumps, RALPH Ralph Lauren, via TJ Maxx.

Poufy Bow Belt, Bitte Kai Rand.

Antique Brooch, inherited from Grandmother.


Don’t Make Me Pull a Katherine Hepburn


black pants white tux jacket floral scarf

I want to look like Audrey Hepburn, but I want to behave like Katherine Hepburn. Why?

I don’t understand women who don’t like to wear pants. I’m the kind of woman who completely empathizes with Katherine’s legendary pantless protests.

As the story goes, when Katherine was working at RKO, the rule was that women had to wear dresses. Katherine merrily disregarded that idiocy and sported pants anyway, presumably because she was KATHERINE FREAKING HEPBURN.

The execs were so furious they had all of her pants removed from her trailer while she was filming. Dauntless, Katherine sauntered around set in her skivvies until her beloved slacks were returned.

Can you blame her? Have you seen that woman in a pair of wide-leg trousers?!

black pants white tux jacket floral scarf 2

A good pair of pants not only makes your tush look good, but also generously plays a myriad of roles in your closet. Pair it with a jacket to make an office-worthy suit, and with a silky camisole for dinner after work.

black pants white tux jacket floral scarf 3

By the way, we haven’t stolen Corsten’s pants, but he frequently pulls a Hepburn and walks around without them anyway.

You know they say you have to pick your battles? Well, I have a lot more important stuff to worry about than 50s movie execs, apparently; this is not one of mine.


Black trousers, The Limited.

White tee, Mossimo via Target.

Ivory and black tuxedo jacket,

Black leather belt, Everlane.

Burgundy suede pumps, Nine West.

Dark floral silk scarf, Yuki Torii.

The Ultimate Guide to Designing Your Dream Bag {with Boondock Studios}


Image credit @boondock_studios

Have you heard the style authorities wax poetic about that legendary bag that is everything one could ever want or need?

This mythical creature stands up next to your most polished work attire, but looks right at home with your casual weekend clothes. It’s a classic, but one that makes a statement. I’ve even heard that it can give you a fashion pass on the days when the rest of your outfit veers toward the schlumpy.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen designer logo bags proferred as the end-all-be-all answer to the legendary bag search, although I never quite figured out why–perhaps directly advertising “I am willing to pay good money for a bag hundreds of other people carry” equals style for some? There are very few “It” bags that will cause me to assign style points (although, I will admit, I’ll endure a tiny twinge of benign jealousy upon encountering a real Birkin).

What will cause me an outright pang of jealousy (sometimes even accompanied by downright swooning)? When I see a bag so perfectly, so lusciously designed and crafted that it seems to be an extension of the wearer herself. With this bag, you notice the style, the luxurious craftsmanship, and the sheer beauty of the bag, but you might have to sheepishly inquire as to the designer, because the bag isn’t a name dropper.

After spotting a few of these beauties in the wild, I decided to hunt down my very own trophy. I was ready to spend a bit more to capture my prey because I planned on having this bag FOREVER (also, you all know my life philosophy–buy less, buy better).

Alas, after a couple of years (yes, years) of looking, I lost hope. I had already formed quite a picture of what I wanted in my head, and couldn’t find a bag that exactly matched it.

Finally, I had a stroke of genius and contacted local leather artisan Boondock Studios about helping me craft a bag that met all my needs and wants. If I was going to invest the amount of a rent payment, I wanted it to be designed precisely to my specifications.

Well, I can’t say my dream was realized, because my dream was too dang small, people! I brought my hieroglyphic design sketches to a meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Boondock (not their real names, but seriously-nothing is sexier than a husband and wife artist duo), who I first met at our local farmer’s market when they were new designers churning out the most fantastical leather masks. Now they make the leather, knitting, and woven dreams of people all over the place come true.

The discussion became very animated as we excitedly bantered about leathers, seams, linings, and studs, while Mr. & Mrs. B threw out design suggestions I hadn’t even dreamed of. I knew they “got me.”

I’ve had this bag for a week now, and I am over the moon. It has exceeded my wildest expectations, and the more I use it, the more I love it, because I’ve realized just how much of my life is spent on the go (and therefore lived out of my bag), and how much easier and enjoyable having one designed just for me has made my life.

I have been plied with so many compliments on it, that I decided to write a post about it and give you:

The Ultimate Guide to

Designing Your Very Own Dream Bag

with Boondock Studios



Think about your REAL life.

Being a mom to a small child is a huge part of my life now. If you have a small child, might feel, like me, that there’s never enough time with your child. I want to BE WITH my family when I’m with them, which meant designing a bag that not only looked amazing, but had all the practical amenities that would make my life easier.

A few design factors that emerged from that reflection:

  • Backpack style-great for Farmer’s Market, cycling, or errands.
  • Drawstring opening-To have a bag that I could easily get in and out of, I asked Boondock to create mine with a drawstring opening so that I can get into it without taking it off my shoulder (without a flap–who has the coordination for that?).
  • Deep interior pockets-I was so tired of my sunglasses and lip liners falling out into the main portion of my bag. With deep pockets, where I put things is where they stay (including sippy cups and bags of cheerios!).
  • Exterior pocket against my back-When I travel, I wanted a place I could keep my phone and wallet that couldn’t be pickpocketed.


backpack back

Be open to new ideas.

If you’re collaborating with an artisan to design your bag, they will have ideas that are born out of working with materials that are familiar to them. They know how the leather or fabric will behave in certain situations, so it’s best to listen to their ideas. They also have resources you may be unaware of, so they may be able to create things you couldn’t anticipate.

Ideas from Boondock Studios that made my bag SO MUCH BETTER than I could have dreamed include a curved base (it’s like a backpack hug), exquisitely knotted leather rope drawstring, high-quality features like saddle stitching and heavy-duty rivets and screws so that my bag could take the constant beating of being drug around by a child, and using custom-printed fabric for the lining (how cool is THAT?!)


Remember what you love.

Being a mom didn’t cause my style personality to change. Designing a bag with rock n’ roll details like studs, fringe, and skulls expresses my style and makes me smile every time I look at it (and really, that’s what a phenomenal bag is all about, right?).

backpack skull


Image credit @boondock_studios

Don’t punk out.

You want to create a quality bag that you’ll adore for years to come. It’s worth the discipline of saving up for (and totally worth forgoing those 5 H&M shirts you’ll only wear once).

Don’t cheap out and forgo craftsmanship that will make your bag stand apart from the crowd and bring you joy.

Let everyone else carry a Speedy. You have a {insert YOUR name here}.


Image credit @boondock_studios


How to Put Together a Outfit in Black That Stands Out

blue top black pencil skirt 2

Confession: I love black.

I think it started in high school when my 21-year-old drummer boyfriend told me that brunettes didn’t look good in black. My rebellious heart said, “Oh, yeah?” and promptly considered changing my name to Jet (I did, at least, get wise and dump him).

blue top black pencil skirt

I definitely don’t have the stomach for the multiple-piercings-Hot Topic-angstiness or the corporate mausoleum look that often accompanies black, so I’ve learned to get creative with wearing head-to-toe black.

Mixing different textures and cuts (I adore black sequins at any hour of the day), adding analogous colors like charcoal or navy, or injecting a shot of bold color like the cobalt here adds dimensionality to black and keeps the look refined but intentional and  creative.

To add a finishing touch, rock nearly any shade of lipstick you damn well please (I have yet to see one that doesn’t pair well with black) and give a mischevious wink to your ex.


Cobalt Silk blouse, Elie Tahari.

Black (leopard-lined!) pencil skirt, Express.

Sequined jacket, Banana Republic Heritage Collection.

Heels, Cole Haan.

Black pearl necklace, T.J. Maxx.

Shades, The Loft.



How to Get Rid of the Back-to-Work Blues

When I’ve had a particularly lovely long weekend with my family and friends, it can be difficult to head back into the office (and consequently, part with the men in my life). To ease the pain, I like to wear the pieces in my wardrobe that make the day feel a little more special and fun.

black with taupe blouse

I bought this skirt in Belgium earlier this year and have nearly worn it out already! I don’t know how such a voluminous skirt can look slimming, but it somehow manages to make me feel sleek every time I put it on. The ballet pink silk lining doesn’t hurt, either.

Also, there’s something about a V-neck blouse that falls at just the right point. This one has enough beading and bejeweling that it renders further bedecking unnecessary (but not necessarily unwelcome, depending on your taste). I couldn’t resist adding my two currently favorite bracelets to the sentimental wristlet I always wear (with charms bearing my family’s fingerprints).

black skirt with taupe blouse2

I don’t know why moms even try to buy groceries for themselves. I hardly ever get to eat all of my own food anymore; I’m such a sucker for the eyes this kid makes at me.



Bubble-stamped Scuba Skirt, Bitte Kai Rand.

Satin Jewel-encrusted top, Banana Republic Heritage Collection.

Waxed Denim moto jacket, Mango.

Berry pumps, Cole Haan.

Stainless steel chain bracelet, Kohl’s.

Leather and metal square bracelet, Boondock Studios.

Shades, The Loft.