If the sun won’t shine and the weather won’t cooperate, why not add a little pop of color to your outfit?
According to the calendar, it’s officially spring. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t realized it yet but I’m just glad that I see more than a half hour of daylight every weekday. So, with a positive attitude and a hope for 60+ weather here are a few things that are getting me excited about the change of season:
1. I’m thinking about using this artwork to freshen up my kitchen:
2. There’s nothing like fresh flowers to bring the smell of spring into your home:
3. And, a pastel colored camisole to pair under a lightweight cardigan:
With New York and London Fashion Weeks all over, and as we head into Milan and Paris, excitement for the fall is all a buzz on the internet. Of course it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the fashion fabulousness, so that’s why we’re here to help! This week we have some excellent recaps of NYFW and even a NYFW vs. LFW street style walk-off! It’s pretty hard to choose between the two, both being sooo good. If you’re already burnt out from the fashion week talk, we do have some excellent style posts too, so check them out!
Links à la Mode: February 20th
- A Vintage Covered: Ways to Wear a Maxi Skirt
- Beauty and Sass: Four Fall 2014 Fashion Week Beauty Trends to Try Now
- DressCode:HighFashion: Top 10 SS14 Mens Suits
- Hazel Eye Personality: NYFW FW14 Part One
- Head 2 Heels: 15 Ways to Rock a Heart Print
- Homes & Heels: NYFW Street Style Look for Less
- Hunting in Heels: The Men Behind the Lens
- Inside Out Blog: Understanding Undertones and Ageing
- Lara Lizard: My Annoying Ethnic Features!
- Metallic Paws: Fun Prints for Summer 2014
- Nothing 2 Wear Novello: What The Heck Is Pantone?
- Purushu Arie: Tradition vs. Innovation in Fashion
- Simply Frabulous: Stockholm AW14 Klamborn’s Fashion Tribe
- Style Bizarre: My Love/Hate for Affiliate Programs
- Style Context: A Collection of Contrasts: Noon by Noor Fall 2014
- Style Curated: Fashion In Conversation: Zac Posen
- Style Vanity: 10 DIYs to Re-purpose your Valentine’s Day Flowers
- The Stylist: Fashion Stylist: Making Something Out of Nothing
- Trend Survivor: NYFW vs. LFW Street Style
- We Are Ready Made: The Girls Who Run The World
Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?
Here’s another Fashion Week street style look that caught my eye. I always struggle with wearing pink because it seems too girly-girl for me but I love the way she’s toughened it up with a monochromatic navy ensemble and ultra-modern white heels:
Check back tomorrow for one last Look for Less!
image credit: Harpers Bazaar
These days, Fashion Week is just as much about the style outside of the big tents as what’s walking down the ramps. But for budget-conscious sartorialists, the amazing outfits seen on fashion magazine editors, celebrities and others invited to these shows, will probably seem as out of reach as Stella McCartney’s latest collection.
But never fear! I’m here to break down a few of my favorite street style outfits from New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week and help you find cheaper alternatives to pull the looks together.
Today’s look is all about complementing textures and colors:
Keep checking in all week long for more Looks for Less!
image credit: Harpers Bazaar
Homes & Heels is all about being stylish on a budget so I’m always scouring different sites to make sure I pay the absolute best price for anything that I buy. But to help us all be bargain-savvy shoppers, I put together a round-up of the most stylish (and most affordable) coats that I found during Asos’ mega sale:
1. Oversized Multistitch Coat: I’m obsessed with this rich teal color. The oversized shape is a great contrast to the luxurious color and would look great paired over a midi dress with ankle boots.
2. Striped Ovoid Coat: Who says brown and black can’t be worn together? The color combination will go with everything, making it the perfect everyday staple.
3. Contrast Sleeve Double Breasted Coat: This “borrowed from the boys” coat can be dressed down with a pair of distressed jeans or dressed up with a A-line patterned skirt and crop top underneath.
4. Boyfriend Peacoat: Looking for something more fun on the weekend? This coat is such a fun color and a great frame to showcase a statement necklace.
Still on the lookout for boots? Check out my roundup of Best of Sale: Boots Edition from a couple weeks ago.
Now that all of you are familiar with my vision for my living room, I can’t wait to share my all time favorite DIY project! But before I dive into it, here’s the original TV area that I was working with (sorry for the blurriness, this was pre-good camera):
While trying to figure out what I was going to do to spice this area up, I knew there were a few things that were must-haves:
1. The TV needed to be elevated to be at a more comfortable eye level and to flow with the height of the bookshelves that were against the wall to the right.
2. I wanted to be able to hide all my TV components and wires for a streamlined look.
3. And my golden rule for all my decorating projects – there had to be a punch of color.
I began by scouring Craigslist to find a credenza that would meet this criteria and still be really cheap. It took me weeks to find something that worked since most of the pieces I came across didn’t allow for easy access to the components I wanted to store inside but I finally found an old beat-up dresser for the grand total of $60. Yup, $60.
And, with a few hacks and new touches, here’s what I created:
I decided to use the more saturated blue from my living room color scheme, especially against the soft blue of my walls. To keep it from feeling too cool, I used brass hardware, a combination of sleek drawer pulls from knobs4less and the bohemian look of mother of pearl and gold cabinet knobs from Anthropologie.
With so much surface area, I wanted to add a few accessories on both sides of the TV to keep the big black box from being the primary focus. I already owned the blue vase and black and white jar so to make it feel like more of a collection, I added in the tall antiqued silver cylinder vase from West Elm. I liked the combination of heights and shapes and the eclectic feel of mixing silver with the brass hardware.
On the other side, I wanted to continue to add some warmth to the blue credenza so I chose a wooden lamp with golden tones from World Market. I paired the lamp with a vintage number card I picked up at a local antique store to juxtapose against the crisp newness of the white shade.
When I originally bought the dresser, the middle cabinet had three drawers within it. I decided to leave the top one in there to house all my remotes but I removed the bottom two and replaced them with flat pieces of plywood to put my cable boxes on. I drilled a couple holes into the back of the dresser to keep the wires tidy and voila I had a media set-up that that I’m proud of!
I’m very, very, very excited to share with all of you that Apartment Therapy featured a Homes & Heels project! Click here to read their take on my bookshelves feature…just the inspiration I need to keep on DIYing!
The toughest part about writing this blog is organizing my thoughts. I’m so passionate about decorating and styling (on a budget!) that my ideas become a messy collage. So, in the spirit of decluttering, we’re going to travel back in time to before my bookshelves were complete to the vision I have for my living room.
I started by thinking about what type of mood I wanted the room to have – always ready for a party? as quiet as a library? My life is pretty hectic so I decided I wanted a vibe that felt comfortable and serene and started scoping out living rooms that captured this mood on Pinterest (like what you see? follow me here). These were a few of the images that were similar to what I was going for:
I went with a combination of moody blues as the foundation for the room to give me the calming atmosphere I was looking for. In my experience in decorating, the most important element in making a room look interesting and personalized is the layering of colors. So, I added in the warmth of orange and walnut wood, keeping my color scheme from being too one-dimensional. With these four colors as my base, I plan on layering on metallics – I love mixing gold and silver – to give a collected and personalized look to the room. Have a great weekend everyone!
Have I mentioned that I love post-holiday sales? I’m still reaping the benefits of stores over-estimating how much people will spend on Christmas gifts and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. One of my latest purchases was a cream Rachel by Rachel Roy blouse with billowy sleeves and…feathers! I styled it with my usual approach, toughening up the feminine blouse with a military green vest with leather details. Paired with my latest go-to pair of heels, I love this outfit – a classic color combination with unexpected details.
…Olimpia Zagnoli‘s use of bold color and whimsically funny situations:
Dear polar vortex,
You thought you could kill all sartorial inspiration. Forcing us to wear four pants and ten sweaters in your below freezing temperatures. But we don’t give up that easily. We might take our photo shoots inside and wear a beanie indoors but nothing is going to stop us from wearing a cute royal blue midi skirt with an embellished sweater. Oh, and how can we forget the color blocking action going on with those yellow booties? Yup, we won this round. Your move, polar vortex.
It’s been a looong time since I’ve done any sort of interior design or DIY decor post. In fact, the last time I updated all of you on the progress of my apartment it was before I redesigned this little ol’ blog. For those of you who haven’t been along for the ride, here’s where we had left off in my living room:
I had just finished the “bones” of my custom desk flanked by bookshelves. I’ve lived in many small Chicago apartments over the years so I’ve learned how to maximize the use of every square inch, which is what led me to build this workstation and storage combination. The bookshelves are the Billy bookshelf from Ikea and for the desk area, I had a piece of wood cut to size at my local hardware store and stained it a dark walnut color to contrast against the white bookshelves. I secured the desk to wall with heavy duty brackets to make sure there’s no danger of my laptop coming crashing down. To give the shelves a more customized look, I added some intricately patterned paper to the back of the bookcases.
And then….the half empty shelves sat there. For a really long time. I knew there was something about them that I wasn’t happy with but I couldn’t put my finger on it, until one fine day (okay, it took a lot longer than that) inspiration sparked and I finally finished styling the unit:
I realized that what was bugging me was how cluttered the bookshelves looked (even with very little on them) because of the patterned paper. So, I re-covered the backing with plain black matte paper for a classic look. To keep them from looking like any old Ikea shelves, I used black Washi tape on the front of each shelves to dress them up a bit. When it came to the desk area, the addition of some gorgeous artwork and a lamp sized to fit made that area the perfect place for me to sit down to work.
Like I said, storage, storage, storage is a mantra that I constantly chant whenever completing any major home decor project so I made sure to include several baskets when styling my bookshelves for all those odds and ends that become clutter in the rest of my living room. I picked out a couple accent colors – blue and orange – to pop against the black background and then layered in metallic pieces and a few rustic wood toned pieces to create a more interesting display.
How adorable is that little deer in my succulent garden? It came along with my purchase from this Etsy seller and I’ll definitely be going back for more greenery for my apartment.
I wanted all of the items on these shelves to reflect my personality and be a conversation starter among guests so I included a wide variety of books but also reflected my love for fashion in the artwork I featured. This was actually a page in a notebook that I had, which I ripped out, cut rounded corners to match the other side and then displayed in this floating frame from Muji.
To keep the styling from looking too cluttered, I chose to have a couple shelves be symmetrical on both sides – the baskets and the magazines – and then continued the same color scheme as well.
My absolute favorite piece is this reclining Buddha statue that adds a unique twist but also reminds me to take the time to relax and make time for the passion that began this project in the first place – my love for reading.
What do you guys think? I’m so excited to cross of such a major project off my decorating to do list!
Homes & Heels is all about being stylish on a budget so I’m always scouring different sites to make sure I pay the absolute best price for anything that I buy. But to help us all be bargain-savvy shoppers, I put together a round-up of the most stylish (and most affordable) boots that I found around the web:
1. Shay Boot: What’s better than a pair of boots that can go with all of your ensembles? This black and brown pair is the perfect one-stop shop.
2. Jeno Bootie: I tend to wear a lot of darker colors in the winter so I snagged a pair of these as the perfect pop of color.
3. Clary Bootie: For all of those West Coast and Southern readers, these would look stunning with a chic blazer and a pair of boyfriend jeans rolled up to show this gorgeous pair.
4. Diba Elyse Bootie: Why should people from the Austin Powers era be the only ones who get to wear white boots? Pair this modern interpretation with a colorful coat, skinny jeans and a white manicure.
5. Brit Ankle Boot: When in doubt, you can always go with the timeless black and gold combination. As versatile as they are, this is the easiest pair to dress up or down.
6. Mabel Boot: Navy and black together are so Euro-chic. Complete the look with a black fedora and a sophisticated sweater dress.
A few days before the heavy snowfall in Chicago it almost felt like spring in the city. You could see the brownish grass, a couple birds were chirping – hey, I’ll take what I can get. It was just warm enough to squeeze in a quick photo shoot with one of my favorite color combos – burgundy and navy. I paired my striped cardigan with a bejeweled blouse and to toughen up the look, added faded blue jeans and black leather booties.
Happy New Year everyone! And with the beginning of 2014 comes a fresh round of resolutions and the promise that (hopefully) I’ll be a much better blogger this year…
If you’re from the Chicago area you might have spent the past couple days digging yourself out of the tons of snow we’ve been getting. While I’m usually not thankful for any sort of wintery weather, the snowfall made it easy to come up with my New Year’s Eve plans – stay at home! So, I decided to have a few friends over to ring in 2014.
Whenever I throw a party I like to have a few pre-planned activities for the guests to take part in, as ice breakers for my friends who vary in their interests and backgrounds. This time, I created a “photobooth” by using wrapping paper to create a backdrop:
And, to make it a little more interesting, I created paper flowers (using this tutorial) from scrapbook paper that fit my theme of gold, silver and black. A few feather boas and party hats and you’re good to go!
Of course a party blog post wouldn’t be complete without including my New Year’s Eve party outfit. I decided to weave in the gold and black from my decor colors with a few pops of color from my favorite pencil skirt.
Here’s to a great 2014!
With the Labor Day weekend around the corner, as much as I hate to admit it, the closing credits are beginning to run on summer. I’m trying to push the thoughts of the cloudy days and cooler temperatures out of my head by reminiscing about some of my favorite summer activities – like my weekly trip to Lincoln Park’s Green City Market. It’s the perfect beginning to my Saturdays and usually involves picking up fresh produce and flowers and of course, snacking on some delectable treats. Have a great week everyone!
You’ve heard me talk about how much I love the black and white trend before and I fell even more head over heels with it when I came across this quirky heart printed T-shirt (also worn here). It’s become one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe and seemed the perfect piece to bring back my Day to Night series of style posts.
I’m lucky enough to work in an office environment that has a “jeans & heels” type of dress code so I paired the t-shirt with another funky piece that I picked up from Zara, a green jacket trimmed out in “leather.” To keep the casual vibe, I tucked the t-shirt into a pair of frayed ankle jeans but added long black earrings and pointed toe flats for a touch of glamour.
Jacket: Zara/T-shirt: Zara/Jeans: Forever 21/Earrings: Aldo/Purse: Zara/Flats: Pour la Victoire
For my nighttime look, I styled the t-shirt with a midi length full skirt in a gorgeous royal blue color. The outfit felt very feminine so to toughen it up, I added a pair of rock & roll sandals and chain chandelier earrings.
With Memorial Day weekend travel just around the corner, I’m always on the lookout for cool, unique ways to capture memories. I came across this photographer’s work on Instagram and had to share his way of making each destination even more special by capturing a snapshot of his girlfriend leading him towards it. Have a great weekend everyone!
It’s my favorite time of the year – Nordstrom’s Semi-Annual Sale is here! Okay, so maybe it’s just my wallet’s favorite event but getting great items for a steal is always high on my list. I rounded up a few of my favorites from the sale and can’t wait to grab a pair or two before they’re all snatched up!
1. Jule Sandal – Pair these statement sandals with a breezy sundress to take your look from day to night.
2. Zigi Chapeau Flat – Summer slip-ons get toughened up with the addition of studs and leather, a great contrast to a pair of feminine floral jeans.
3. Dash Flat – My favorite of all these pairs, I’m planning on pairing these with skinny jeans and blazers all summer long.
4. Flawless Bootie – Get a head start on fall fashion by this reinterpretation of the black and white trend for cooler temperatures.
This weekend was all about enjoying the gorgeous, summery Chicago weather! I’ve been obsessed with my chambray jacket ever since my little DIY project and it was a total necessity to transition my day outfit into al fresco dining apparel. I picked up this bright orange midi skirt a couple of months ago at H & M and since the material is similar to neoprene, I wanted to soften its ultra-modern look with some more casual pieces. I added a cute t-shirt from Zara and then finished it off with the chambray jacket, Pour la Victoire flats (bought at the recent Gilt City warehouse sale) and a bold black and white tote. Have a great week everyone!
You know, there’s nothing that I like more than getting stylish decor at a budget-friendly price. Spring colors are still on my mind so I did a quick round-up of the best colorful accents (all on sale!) that can quickly take your house or apartment from winter dull to bright and bold:
2. Acapulco Lounge Chair from CB2 – Again, it’s all about thinking outside the box. This chair is supposed to be placed on a patio but it could work perfectly in a bedroom as a colorful accent.
3. Saal Wood Candleholders from CB2 – Although they’re pictured here with a white candle, a chartreuse green would complement the natural wood in an unexpected way.
4. Regatta Juice Glasses from Anthropologie – The perfect addition to a table set for al fresco dining.
5. Mercury Glass Vase from West Elm – I love the moody, romantic look of mercury glass. Contrast it with some fresh, bright tulips for a great spring floral arrangement.
I came across this chambray jacket at Forever 21 a couple weeks ago and liked the medium blue of the fabric and the softness of the chambray. The added details of the zipper around the collar and the epaulettes kept it from looking too basic so I decided I needed to have it as a spring cover-up. Only problem? The gaudy jewels scattered on the pockets. I decided that it was easily fixable by spending a few extra dollars.
I picked up a cheap white nail polish at the local drugstore and applied thin coats to each one of the colored jewels but left the clear jewels as is for some added visual interest. Once they were dry, I added a top coat just the way you would to your nails for some added shine and now I have a jacket that’s perfectly on-trend with the combination of chambray and white accents!
Whenever I used to come home from a long day at work I would try to ignore my drab, boring entryway by quickly turning to face my homey living area (stay tuned…). So, I decided to fix that by giving my entryway a little more personality. I began with the wall that you see as soon as you come in through the front door. I knew I wanted to go with a bolder color scheme in this area to make a statement but still tie to the blues and oranges that are all over the rest of the apartment. I came across this collection of prints which are photographs taken of grafitti in Paris and thought it was the perfect conversation piece. I bought super cheap black frames from Blick’s to keep the focus on the pops of color in the art.
To complement the warmer tones of the photographs (and tie in the blues of the rest of the apartment) I picked up this gorgeous rug from Joss & Main. I love the graphic pattern of the rug and the rustic look of the natural fibers.
And, since I have ethnic touches throughout my apartment, I added this adorable keys and letter holder from Etsy – aren’t the peacocks so elegant?
Most important of all, for the quick make-up check before heading out the door, I found this mirror at Target. I really like the “leather” strap for a masculine touch to balance out all the feminine elements.
Now, everytime I walk in the door, I can’t help smiling.
I think the floral jeans trend was made for Midwesterners. Forget the fashion capitals of the world, we’ve been craving warmer temperatures and spring blossoms for months now – and if the weather won’t cooperate why not add a dose of spring to your wardrobe?
Floral jeans come in all different varieties of colors and patterns but this pair from Gap immediately caught my eye. I love the mix of colors – perfect for creating a ton of different outfits (and sticking to a budget!) – and the soft, abstract look of the design. I paired it with a soft blue t-shirt and a sleeveless blazer, and added pops of color with my chartreuse sandals and glam jewelry making it a great day to night look.
Clutch: Forever 21/Sandals: Prabal x Target
Searching for affordable high-quality art can feel like a treasure hunt going nowhere. So, when I came across Surface View I knew I had to share it with all of you.
Surface View is a site from across the pond that is bursting with amazing deals on art. I can spend hours perusing the gorgeous variety of photography, archival prints and beautiful vintage fabrics. There are definitely a few other good art sites out there but I love Surface View because of their carefully curated collections (my hands down favorite is the Vintage Photography)
The best part? You can customize the artwork by cropping each piece to the area you want to focus on and to get the exact dimensions you’re looking for. Check out a few of the pieces that are definitely on my “to buy” list: