by martha, cashmere, fall 2014, Fall Fashion, fashion trends, ivory row

ivory row

i have a sweater (ok two sweaters) that i love. they are the most comfortable thing i’ve ever owned (besides my dual control electric blanket). here it is. sorry about the picture but you get the idea.

blake lively wearing my grace sun sweater

blake lively wearing my grace sun sweater

i bought them a number of years ago and every year i pull it out because it is like my security blanket. unfortunately it is starting to look like i’ve owned it for a long time so i’ve been on the hunt for a new one.

grace sun, the designer, is no longer making this sweater but in my effort to find something similar i found the designer and her new company,ivory row.

grace Chang is a designer not bound by any medium. As the co-founder of community connect inc., the company launched 3 social networking sites for ethnic communities. recently, chang put her design skills to the limit by switching to one of the most difficult mediums–fashion.

starting from the bottom as an intern for 3.1 phillip lim and rachel roy, chang went on to launch her own line, grace sun (which is where i found my sweaters). you can also find her on her own blog: mamaishaute.

After running grace sun for six successful years and 13 seasons, she started ivory row is an e-commerce site w/o the middle men delivering collection of sweaters, knits and accessories made only with the most luxurious cashmere available.

ivory row’s concept is to bring cashmere directly to its clients without a middle man (or store). the cashmere is to die for. it is scrumptous. i recently ordered this piece and i’m in love. i’ve found my new security blanket.


by caroline, Fall Fashion, jeans, levis 501s

pull ‘em up, girls! jeans are riding high . . .

let’s get down to brass tacks: you are going to have to buy some lighter wash denim with a slightly higher waist.   people keep asking me the same thing:  “what do i buy?” and “where do i buy?”  right.  tricky questions.  there is a huge personal element in this transaction.  your true denim self will have to step up and choose what wash, size, and tailoring is right for you.  but, below, i have hooked you up with some advice on five key elements (brand, sizing, tailoring, wash, and rise) as well as a couple of places to buy to get you started.

brand: first things first, i really think this needs to be a Levi’s 501 or something created to look the same.  yes.  that’s right.  did you just cringe?  well, it is a safe bet.  the denim is going to be rugged, no stretch, good rise, etc.

sizing:  if you are going classic levi’s, you are going to have to size down.  and if you are dedicated to having awesome jeans, you are going to have to manage some discomfort on the front side to produce the right product on the back side.  i sized-down by 2 inches.  i had to lay on the bed to button them up the first few times.  but guess what happened?  they stretched out and feel great now.  and you want them still snug-ish when they have completely stretched.  otherwise, you are headed into full-out boyfriend — which is not a bad look, but has much more limited application and tilts over into sloppy pretty quickly.

tailoring:  if you buy levi’s or any other straight-leg jean, you are going to have to have them tailored.  this is nothing new.  if you were alive in the ’90s you were either begging your mom or your friend’s mom to ruin her sewing machine needle by narrowing the leg of your levi’s.  so, now that you are an adult, you can take them to your tailor.  you probably want them cropped at about 1″ to 2″ above the ankle bone.  also, when your tailor starts pinning the leg to narrow it, tell him you want the fully monty — take it almost all the way to hip-height.  trust me — you don’t want to end up with bulk above the tailoring line.

wash:  i have invested in two pair of levi 501s for fall:  one medium wash and one destroyed.  destroyed pair is mos def for an edgier evening or weekend look to wear with heels and a blazer.  the medium wash is more of a refined and mainstream look that will go with anything.

rise:  a 9 1/2″ rise is a sure bet.  this is standard on levis 501s and 505s.  it is going to hit just above the hip bone, but not all the way to the waist.  do not get skinny jeans with stretch and a really high rise (10 1/2″+).  this is not a good look.  otherwise, your higher-rise jeans need to be accompanied by no stretch, a straight-ish leg esp.  from the knee to ankle.

check out the options posted below and, then, get out there!  but, pull ‘em up, girls!  waists are riding high.





classic levi 501s in vintage indigo, $88. i had these tailored and cropped and bought them 2-sizes too small. i have had them a month and they are turning into pure heaven.


the same thing, classic 501s, in a destroyed wash, $88


urban outfitters offers an updated 501 that incorporates some of the needed tailoring. $88


urban outfitter’s own BDG twig high rise grazer, $49, is a great option that i just ordered for myself while working on this post. these have an 11 1/4″ waist — but no stretch and a narrow, but straight, leg. i can’t wait to see how they turn out. i will report back. at $49, i had to give them a shot.


for those of us who want what we want right now without having to wait and have the money to make magic happen, this option is for you. re-dun is a fantastic company feeding our new, old denim fettish. the deal is that they buy vintage denim and re-work them to absolute perfection. the jeans are pre-shrunk, so you order your regular size. the leg and hips have already been narrowed and major holes have been patched. the inventory is evolving, so check bag often. at about $225 or so a pair, the costs are in-line with regular denim pricing these days.


bobbi brown, by martha, make-up, under eye concealer

i just love a product that makes me look like a million bucks when in reality i only feel like a few pennies

i’m a big fan of bobbi brown. i’ve been using her products for a long time. i almost feel like it is the clinque for grown ups.  it is such a classic look that i’m starting my own daughter on the line. but anyway, i was recently turned on to this concealer product. when it was first applied, i was shocked. i was coming off a night where i had only got a few hours of sleep but after this miracle was applied to under my eyes it looked like that i had just woken up from a wonderful night’s sleep.

here are some helpful pointers that were shared with me. first, always, always use eye cream before applying any under eye product. it makes it go on smoother and you are not pulling at one of the most gentle areas of the skin. second, put the corrector on with a brush. now you may need to use your finger to smooth it in. the third step is to put the under eye concealer with the same brush, again using your finger to gently smooth out any of the rough edges. the next step is to go ahead and put on your foundation or tinted moisturizer whichever you use to make it more blended. the last step is use the under eye powder that comes with the concealer to seal everything in.

i’ve been using this product now for ten days and i’m addicted. it makes me feel better about myself when i’ve had those restless nights and haven’t got much sleep.

by caroline, fall 2014, Fall Fashion, Uncategorized

the slouchy sweater . . .

i’ve said it many times before now: this is the year of the sweater.  of course, the long grey, ribbed sweater is a sure bet.  but, because it is so iconic this season, it is sure to smack of fall 2014 by this time next year.  (don’t get me wrong . . . i am the proud owner of two different versions).  the ideal, really, is to find a classic and cool sweater in this year of sweaters that will be a memento.  a sweater you pull out year after year not because it smacks of 2014 but because it is looks great on you and with your jeans every single time.  if we can find that, we’ve got a winner right?

so, there is one sweater out there that i keep coming back to, that i have my eye on as the winner — the slouchy, off-white, loosely-woven ribbed-knit (ish) sweater.  you know the one!  the chunky, loose weave gives it a casual elegance and ensures that it will not disclose every lump and bump.  the off-white makes it spot on for this fall (and every fall?).  i can see this baby with your jeans (be they skinny or slouchy), a white flair- or circle-hem midi skit and booties, or with your white jeans and boots (swoon!).

below, i have hooked you up with a couple of spot on options that fall heavy on the “luxury” side of “affordable luxury.”  but they are all very solid choices that will assure top quality and great lines.  nlst and isabel marant are regular favorites of mine.  i recently became familiar with nili lotan during #nfw and was blown away by the spring 2015 collection.  i was delighted to see jcrew’s collaboration with nili lotan for a few sweaters for fall.  the jcrew/nili lotan take on the chunky weave white sweater this side of heaven.

for those of us who are really trying to have it all this fall, we, too, can squeeze this baby into the budget by opting for the jcrew brand’s super awesome version that comes in below $100 — a real steal.

i mean, seriously, never has there been a better reason to bust out your white jeans in fall than when this super-chic off-whitey comes into your life!  so, come on!  what are you waiting for?





accessory, by martha, camouflage, cashmere, handbags, shopbop

it’s the most wonderful time of the year

it is the email you’ve been waiting for. shopbops twenty-five percent off sale. whoo hoo. i love when i get this notification because by this time i’ve looked at my closet; identified the deficiences and then able to buy what i need (and maybe a few wants) on sale.
i’ve picked out a few of my favorite items. go check it out but hurry, the sale ends thursday, october 16th.


brand news, by caroline, handbags, jewelry, shoes

brand news . . . kendall conrad

i have been captivated by kendall conrad’s self-named brand for a while now.  i posted a couple of her pieces here earlier in the year and my love just continues to grow with each passing season. let’s just start with the fact that her jewelry is the coolest in the biz if you ask me. and her handbags are everything — such gorgeous colors and luxurious details.  then she added footwear this spring and i just need her to stop because, seriously, it’s just too much to get my head around.  i think i want to be kendall conrad. everything she makes just oozes with “cool girl” chic that i just have to know:  what is the deal?  how could she be this cool??

rip + tan (jenny kayne’s amazing blog (if you arent following, you should)) gave me the detes i was craving. it turns out it is really not surprising that kendall is so cool.  she is the daughter of an artist and an interior decorator, who spent a childhood immersed in art, literature and much travel.  according to the los angeles times, she is a former model who used to split her time between Europe and LA (sigh) before settling in Santa Barbara to raise her children.  what all this means is that her coolness runs so deep that it is literally in her blood.

she started an accessories brand under the name tauro and pulled it back under her own name in 2007.  she couldn’t find a bag that she really liked and so she hooked up with a local saddle maker to design a bag for herself and soon all her friends had to have one, too.  vogue caught wind and quickly put it in their pages and, boom!  best seller.  literally, anything she makes is going to be a wardrobe work-horse and totally up your coolness quotient at the same time.

let me add that i am literally blown away by the level of service that attends a purchase from kendall conrad.  first, there is the matter of this thank you note that arrived with the earrings that i bought this spring.


i was blown away that someone had taken the time to write a handwritten, personal note.  and it made me feel like lauren would really be there for me.  and then i bought my sister some gorgeous stack rings for her birthday but my guess at her ring size was a bust.  when she called to arrange an exchange, she could not get over how extraordinarily nice and accommodating they were.

so, check out.  you won’t be disappointed!



kendall conrad at home. can you get over how cool gorgeous she AND her home is??


i bought my sister several of these stack rings and i have to admit that i covet them for myself.  they are so cool, it kills me.  i wish i had eight or nine of them like this chick does.


islero mirror hoops II. these are the hoops that i bought. they are my go-to, day-in-day out pair of earrings. i love them more with each passing day.


the gitana III clutch in rioja snakeskin is my favorite bag from the fall collection. it would be perfection with all my army green this fall.


i am still crazy for the pacha wrap sandal that i included in my what to wear right now . . .mid-summer edition post.

blazers, by martha, fall 2014, Fall Fashion, fashion trends, jbrand

jbrand is not just for your bottom

i’ve been a long time fan of jbrand jeans. they fit me well and i always feel a little cool wearing them. so when i was surfing the web the other day and saw this jacket i was intrigued. jbrand on top? who would have thought it. this week we are supposed to get a cool snap and i can’t think of a better way of celebrating a tease of fall with breaking out this jacket.

i’m imagining myself wearing this to work with a charcoal gray pencil skirt and them coming home and taking off the skirt and throwing on some black jeans for dinner out with friends. i always want more than one way to wear a piece, especially a piece which has a higher price point. i want to squeeze every single use that i can.


ps caroline and i have got some great treats coming up at the end of the month so stay tuned