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by caroline, shoes, street stylebriefs

tennis shoes + fall = super chic???

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i think i might have mentioned my obsession with adidas a time or two before now. and, with this spread in elle denmark, my love is only growing stronger. . . .  could these chicks look any cooler?

my obsession got serious this week.  i finally busted out my adidas and wore them to . . . [wait for it] . . . work.  and, they were so comfortable.  [did i just say that???]  the question remains: can the average gal pull off a sneaker with her work clothes???  you decide.

if you are with me, and you want to get in on the game, try here, here, here, or here for chic options similar to those featured in the elle denmark shoot above and here for my adidas.

xo,
cg

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by martha, exercise, pure barre, things we love...to do

843

that is the number of pure barre classes i’ve taken. my love of pure barre started when  i had a friend recommend it because she thought it would help with my running by strengthening my core. she was right but now it has become a lifestyle. i was a little skeptical at first. i’m a cardio girl but it didn’t take me long to get hooked.

what is pure barre? pure barre is a series of small movements that lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs and arms. it isn’t jumping around. it is small isometric movements that work to change your body. now like every exercise program it doesn’t happen overnight but you will see results, i promise, in 10 classes.

for me, purre barre means that i can lose myself for 55 minutes where the only person that matters is me. the instructors are encouraging and work with you so you can get the most out of each workout.

pure barre isn’t new. it is over a decade old with over a 100 locations throughout the country. whenever i travel i love to check out the local barre and i know that i will be welcomed whether it is my first class there or my 844th at my home studio in birmingham.

so let me encourage you to go check out it. all you need is a pair of leggings or capris, a top that covers your midriff and sticky socks to prevent sliding. it is that easy. for listings of where you can find pure barre, go check out www.purebarre.com

xo

martha

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brand news, by caroline, things we love . . . for the home

brand news . . . elizabeth joyce monograms

i have an obsession for monogrammed sheets and towels that is embedded deep within my dna.  a love that can be scrubbed clean neither through education nor exposure to other cultures or tastes. it’s an instinct.  thoughtless.  an emotional response that cannot be governed.

to understand this, you must have grown up in the south.  right?  we just all have this thing for monograms buried in our medulla oblongata that is as involuntary as breathing or the pumping of our heart.

about a decade ago, jane scott hodges of leontine linens in new orleans took our southern collective obsession to a whole new level, and then she introduced it to the rest of the country.  it is no surprise that the doyennes of the east coast and the free thinking powerhouses of hollywood and silicon valley alike adopted these linens and towels and such as status.  they realized something we have always known: a monogram speaks to place and to longevity and to belonging.  these are themes that run deep in all southern culture.

last year a college friend introduced me to elizabeth joyce monograms . . . she emailed to ask if i had seen our fellow hollins alumna in garden & gun.  it seems elizabeth, who hails from charleston, south carolina, has combined her passion and talent to create a line of monograms that is taking the country by storm.  she got started by working with taste maker and wedding planner tara guérard.  in the short year since she created ejm (she’s been in embroidery for 15+ years) , elizabeth’s products have already been featured several times in house beautiful, martha stewart weddings, and most recently in southern living.

how do you shoot to celeb status so quickly?  what makes elizabeth joyce monograms so crazy good?  it’s not just the vast selections of products, colors, and monograms, or even the completely bespoke monogram options, it’s that you can access all of this luxury at a price that is truly affordable.

stylebriefs is thrilled to partner with buffy york of our favorite lifestyle blog, thestylegathering.com, to host an elizabeth joyce monograms trunk show.  tuesday, november 4 from 6:30 to 8:30, come enjoy buffy’s favorite cocktail and appetizer (check her post out here).  or come the next day, wednesday, november 5, from 9 am to noon and enjoy a cup of starbucks and yummy pastries.  whatever is most convenient for you, right??  but you HAVE to come see for yourself what has captured the attention of the editors of house beautiful, garden & gun, martha stewart weddings, and southern living.  and, oh snap!  your orders will be delivered in time for christmas!!  (omg – would you just die to have just a couple of gifts checked off your list by early november???? L.O.V.E.!!!).

and because we love you (and we really do!!!), and because we want to spread the word (and we really do!!!), everyone who shares this post via email with your besties (copy us on the email – stylebriefs@gmail.com) or who shares our event on facebook will be entered in a drawing to win a gorgeous cotton herringbone throw with your choice of monograms. you don’t need to be present to win. drawing will be at 7pm on Tuesday during the trunk show.  srsly, could life get any better?

below, i have hooked you up with the detes on the trunk show and a couple of picts of ejm’s gorgeous products in action.  for a smaller sampling of her selection, click here.

xo,

cg

Caroline Gidiere and Martha Thompson of
stylebriefs.com
and
Buffy York of
thestylegathering.com

invite you to an Elizabeth Joyce Monograms Fall Trunk Show

Tuesday, November 4
6:30 til 8:30 pm

featuring delicious cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
by Buffy York of thestylegathering.com

and

Wednesday, November 5
9 am to noon

featuring Starbucks coffee and yummy pastries

2932 Fairway Drive
Birmingham, AL 35213

(2-story white house on corner of Fairway and Sterling Road. Parking in front and on the side. Call Caroline at 205-567-1474 if you get lost!!)

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is this the most gorgeous baby blanket you have ever seen?

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a gorgeous herringbone blanket like this one could be yours, customized with your choice of monograms . . .all you have to do is share this post or share the vent on facebook. sweet!

 

 

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elizabeth created this gorgeous monogram to match a client’s hand-engraved silver tray below . . .

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who doesn’t need these acrylic tumblers in their life????

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all saints, by martha, fall 2014, Fall Fashion, fashion trends

when the saints come marching in

i’m honestly not sure how i found the brand, all saints. if i had to make a guess, i would assume that i read about it some magazine but i can’t promise you that is where i found this great line but i can promise you that you won’t be disappointed. just as a little background, so you can sound really smart when someone compliments your new all saints outfit. the fashion line started in 1994 by two british fashion designers. it was initially a menswear line. two years later it expanded into womenswear but it wasn’t until 2009 that all saints crossed the pond and landed in the us. it is sold in stand alone stores, department stores and via the web.

its looks are known for its muted tones, browns, whites, tan. no lemon wedges here. i like to think of it classic with an edge.  the brand has fans in the music industry as well. justin timberlake, jay-z and u2 to name a few. so check out what i’ve posted here and then head on over to the website. did i mention that they are having a huge sale. so go!

 

 

xo

martha

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brand news, by caroline, Fall Fashion

brand news . . . uniqlo + j

i have been a fan of uniqlo for years now.  they are my “go-to” for bargain deals on puffer jackets for my kids and cashmere for myself. uniqlo’s long underwear, heattech, is a staple in my house for my children and myself when the temperatures dip into the 30s.

i first became familiar with uniqlo back in 2009 when they launched the curated collection, uniqlo + j.  one word:  sublime.  i drooled over the collection almost daily but never purchased — i was in the last trimester of pregnancy and did not want to insult my already fragile ego with a killer jacket that was sure to be too small in my regular size.

and then it vanished into thin air.  poof.  gone.  so, i thought i totally missed it.  no second chance.  and i was really sad.

then, when i least expected it – one of those facebook advertisement’s came through my feed.  there she was, the coat i had drooled over with the tag: “best of uniqlo + j – back by popular demand.”  yay! yay! yay!  this is our lucky day!!

who knows when it will ever be back?  this time, i am not waiting around!!  get ‘em while they are hot!

xo,

cg

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uniqlo (+j) down shaped line puffer, $169. this, to me, is perfection. i am so crazy about the lines of this jacket! L.O.V.E!

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uniqlo (+j) premium down light jacket, $149.90. this baby is a rockstar. it is shorter and more tailored than other puffer jackets. i can’t imagine anything cooler with jeans on the soccer field or at the high school football games on weekends.

 

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uniqlo (+j) down short parka, $169.90. for when it gets super cold and you need to look super chic. the three-quarter length sleeve would look rockin’ with some longer leather gloves, a pencil skirt, opaque tights and some booties. practical + stylish in one gorgeous coat.

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uniqlo (+J) slim wool dress, $89.90. this dress may not look like much, but don’t be fooled. the description reads “painstakingly cut to accentuate and flatter curves.” sold! i can’t wait to wear this with my cropped pants and jeans, not to mention my pleated midi-skirts. a real closet workhorse.

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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 ivoryrow.com. 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.

xo
martha

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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.

xo,

cg

 

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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.

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

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

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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.

straight-skinny-shop-redun

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.

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