Fashion

it’s time

yep, the shop bop sale has now started and i’m giving you permission to spend because the more you spend the more you save. so right now, go look in your closet, see what your needs (or wants) are and fill your shopping cart because we all know that this sale does not come along that often.

i’ve picked out a few of my favorites:

i love pedro garcia. yes, you are going to spend more but like almost everything that i’ve bought where i spent more money for the quality i still have in my closet and this goes for my pedro garcia heels too. plus this off white suede heel is beautiful.

how much fun is this bag. i couldn’t help myself. plus it has gotten great reviews on the site.

ok so i know this leather vest is a little impractible but isn’t it beautiful. a girl can dream can’t she

bb dakota faux leather jacket

bb dakota faux leather jacket

i know we are so done with winter and the last thing you want to see is a jacket, but i promise you will throw this on every day in april and the first part of may when the nights are still cool and at this price point you can’t go wrong. size up for maximum benefit.

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Fashion

spring shoe essential: the platform slide

smell that?  inhale deeply enough and you can.  it’s subtle, but it’s there.  spring.  spring is in the air.

and what does that really mean?  mainly, it means it’s time to start scurrying around and gathering those essential pieces that will carry you from now (or three weeks from now) through september (it can literally be october here in alabama).  i like to get my “go-to” shoe nailed down first before i start branching out to other wardrobe essentials.

without hesitation, i am heading back to the cork wedge that served me so well last year. i have literally worn out three pair of the sam edelman/chloé knock-offs i purchased last spring.  i wore them with almost everything and certainly everyday last summer.  and, this time, i pre-ordered the chloé version so as not to miss out like i did last year (read the saga here).  what did i learn about this shoe that makes it my first and strongest shoe recommendation for spring-fall?  for starters, it is perfect.  comfortable.  flattering.  versatile. modern.  fresh.  word.

the style first hit the chloé spring 2014 runway last year (read about it here) and only chloé and sam edleman brought the shoe to retail. this year many designers are doing a riff on chloé’s best seller so there are a plethora of options to choose from.  because the chloé pre-orders are already almost sold-out, i feel confident this will be a strong shoe for at least one more season, if not more.  because of its many positive attributes, i say ride the wave, baby, ride the wave. . .

slide on a pair in tan belting leather and grab a mansur gavriel bucket bag and you will literally shut. it. down.

to help you get your shopping started, i hooked you up with some great options in a variety of price ranges.   and, to help you feel me, i’ve created a mood board.  good luck!

xo,
cg

 1.  børn tilda platform wedge sandal, $109.95

2.  tory burch bleeker slingback wedge, $295

3.  see by chloé kenna woven cotton wedge sandal, $365

4.  miu miu suede espadrille sandals, $450

5.  salvatore ferragamo maimei leather wedge sandals, $670

6. chloé cork-wedge leather slide sandals in sienna rust, $870

7.  chloé cork-wedge leather sandals in navy, $825

stylebriefs-caroline-chloé-cork-wedge-sandal-mood-board1.  chloé cork wedge leather slide sandals in sienna rust, $870

2.  mansur gavriel brandy bucket bag, $425

3. giles & brother brass railroad spike cuff, $95 (also available via amazon here (although the quality is poor on the amazon site, it is the same bracelet.  if you are a prime member, you can save and few bucks plus shipping)).

4.  eddie borgo gold ear cuffs, $65 each

5.  eddie borgo gold spike studs, $65

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Design

we are at it again…

west elm this thursday

west elm this thursday

we just can’t help ourselves. we love hanging out with buffy york of the style gathering and thanks to west elm at the summit here in birmingham we get that opportunity. this thursday all three of us will be at west elm each styling our own space  with things from our home as well as some fabulous items from west elm.

spring is in the air (i promise it’s coming just hang on a little while longer) and i don’t know about y’all but when that little hint of spring comes i want to surround myself with that feeling all the time including bringing it home. so this thursday we will show what we’ve found and offer ideas of how easy it is to incorporate items from your home and west elm to freshen up your home just in time for spring.

i’m really excited about my area.  my space is the dining room and as you will see thursday night, i’ve taken my grandmother’s china and given it a new twist. we don’t have the fancy dinner parties that our parents and grandparents had so my “good” china has just been sitting in my closet gathering dust so when i saw an opportunity to dust it off and really use it everyday i was thrilled.

now i don’t want to give too much away but caroline and buffy are bringing it. of course what’s a blogger gathering without food and beverages and the ladies from nourish will be there with some snacks and we will have a little something sparkly as well. so come see us this thursday at 7 and bring something from home that you’ve been wanting to use but just weren’t sure how. when you see all the great things at west elm, i know you will be inspired just like us.

check out the facebook page for the 411. we can’t wait to see you.

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Fashion

always pack a party dress . . .

i was so excited to learn that amanda brooks has a new book coming out, always pack a party dress: and other lessons i learned from a (half) life in fashion.  (pre-order here).  in it she shares her personal stories, and sartorial highs and lows, from a life in fashion, with beautiful, eclectic, and inspired photographs throughout.

i have had a major girl crush on amanda cutter brooks since she was merely a socialite with a closet of major proportions.  then she wrote her best-selling hand book of style, i love your style: how to define and refine your personal style.  (buy here).  my well-worn copy of i love your style stays in my closet and helps me get myself centered and focused on what pieces will serve me best over time and helps inspire me when pulling a look together.

then she became creative director at tuleh, and then she was fashion director at barney’s and then, she bagged the whole scene, packed her family up, and left the country for a year sabbatical in oxfordshire, england, where her husband, christopher brooks, has a farm. (all to much cluck-clucking in the industry, according to the new york times.  read the article here).

then i started following her blog, iloveyourstyle.com, and got to know the intricacies of her life on a working farm in england as well as her distant review of the fashion scene.

and then . . . nothing.  she went totally radio silent.  until now. . .

yay!  she’s back!  the book is only pre-order right now.  i cannot wait for mine to arrive!!! below, i have hooked you up with just a few of amanda’s best sartorial looks. enjoy!

xo,
cg

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Design

design friday | new orleans cottage perfection

from the super slo-mo mimes of the french quarter to the streets dotted with james beard award winning restaurants, from the fantastic libations and amazing live music scene to the horribly bumpy roads, new orleans holds a certain, captivating magic.

and one of the most captivating elements is surely the architecture of uptown and the garden district.  while the mansions of st. charles are amazing, it’s creole cottages, shotguns, townhouses, and classic centerhall houses that hold the allure for me.

i took my camera along on a recent trip to visit my oldest sister, a resident of new orleans, and i think i drove her half-way insane getting her to drive around and then pull over and stop on the side of the road while i grabbed another photo of yet another jaw-droppingly gorgeous cottage.

while the facades of these cottages are frequently endowed with amazingly elaborate classical architectural elements, the cottages i love best are those that have treated their wildly decorative ornamentation with understatement and modesty – a modesty that equally belies the often expansive and insanely decadent interiors.  i suppose it is all about the balance.

below, i have hooked you up with just a few of the best i came across. . . but the job is long from done.  next time you are in new orleans, take a moment to get lost in the grid of streets between magazine, st. charles, and tchoupitoulas.  there are million amazing little gems. . .

xo,
cg

let’s get the new orleans mood right before we scroll . . .

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Fashion

i love a camel

but i also love other colors as well. caroline told us yesterday about the camel handbag and particularly the camel clutch.  caroline and i usually go over what we are going to talk about in our blog during our morning exercise but we haven’t seen each other this week due to the snow/no snow event here in alabama.

i’ve been thinking about the clutch as well. i have to admit that i’ve been carrying my camel clutch everywhere but after being stranded out of town because we thought it was going to snow i needed a little color and a little va va voom. look at this purse from rebecca minkoff. i love everything about it; the color, the fringe, the studs. it simply just rocks. ok but i have to say the price is a little prohibitive and while i would love to justify a snow/no snow event purchase i’m going to have to meditate on it. so in the meantime i found a few other alternatives at a lower price point.

xo

martha

 

fringe clutch

fringe clutch

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by caroline, handbags

the basics: the camel handbag

there can be no argument that a camel leather handbag is a basic in any well developed closet.  so, you have one?  me either.  i know, i know.  what are we thinking?  the perfect daytime companion for anything you are wearing.  seasonless.  makes you looks 10 times chicer just in carrying it.  again, why don’t we have one?

here’s my reason and it is not a good one:  i’ve been waiting until i can buy a really good one.  and, that kind of makes me sad.  so, i have decided to invest in the best camel bag i can afford right now. in doing so, i am foregoing all the trendy other bags of the moment and all the other bags that will catch my eye when i walk into any store between now and august.  this will take strength and determination.  i will not fall prey.  i will be strong.

so, what are we talking about exactly??  how do you buy a classic bag (or one that’s sure to be a classic in your closet)?  for starters, take a chill pill.  just get comfortable with the fact that handbags, like shoes, are the most vulnerable to trends.  it is impossible to evade the possibility that a bag will eventually roll out of style.  but if you are judicious, you can have a long ride on the first wave and also catch the second wave when it comes back around.

to do this, my second tip is to avoid conspicuous branding.  to be sure, branding from the oldest and the best houses (hermes, ysl, chanel, etc.) will not quickly render the bag out of style, but descretion is still advised.  branding can really cheapen and date a bag.

my third tip is to buy a camel bag with the shape/size/handles that are most comfortable for you.  what do you carry when you shop??  strap length and size are so personal they cannot be generalized.  so, you are going to have to trust your gut on that.  don’t try something new when investing.  go with what you know in size, shape, handles, straps and you are more likely to end up with a bag you reach for day after day.  (i.e., don’t buy a tote if you abhor the arm-hang while shopping).

fourth, watch out for weight — reject out of hand any bag that is so heavy you feel like all you can put in it is a credit card and a feather because otherwise it breaks your arm off.  you will avoid carrying this bag forever.  so don’t waste your money.

finally, buy the best bag you can.  if you want to rely on it day after day, year after year, you are going to have pony-up and get out of your comfort zone a bit.  because you get what you pay for in this sitch.

great.  so now what??

here are some great looking options to get your shopping started in a variety of price ranges.

1.  zara braided leather bag, $159

2.  tory burch robinson textured-leather shoulder bag, $445

3.  mansur gavriel cammello bucket bag, $495 (available in march)

4.  mulberry tessie textured leather shoulder bag, $990

5.  mulberry bayswater textured-leather bag, $1500

6.  saint laurent hobo medium monogram bag, $1990

7.  valentino to be cool leather tote, $2275

8.  saint laurent sac du jour small leather tote, $3790

and, below are just a few picts to help you feel it in the streets. enjoy!

xo,
cg

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