Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bravo for Bomo(bob)

I came across these amazing prints on, where else, etsy. These 8x8 photographs are originals of bomobob and are only $30! What a cute, inexpensive way to get some unique art. Carnies not your thing? Bomobob has other subjects.

Above Allen, Above the LES

Where the Style Things Are isn't really into the club/lounge scene, so we were surprised when we found ourselves at the posh, technically "members only" rooftop club, Above Allen at the Thompson LES Hotel. Imagine our surprise even more so when we really enjoyed ourselves, several times last week! The 7th floor rooftop is accessible by key only, but the views are worth all the finagling you'll have to do to get someone to swipe you. The banquets and the lights are low, the drinks and the views are high, and you can't help but just feel super sexy. Surprise that not many know about: the pool level, open soon to members and guests with what will hopefully be a successful weekly party. And, the Shang terrace on the 2nd floor, attached to the restaurant of the same name, has a great almost Nice/Cabanas at the Maritime feel about it, mixed in with a little Asian for cultural diversity. Tres tres cool et tres tres chic.

Not Your Mother's Pearls

Or her chains, gems, flowers, or beads either. My favorite new trend is oversized, beautiful, one of a kind looking (or one of a kind) necklaces. My two favorites to drool over? Lizzie Fortunato Jewels and Subversive Jewelry. That's all I really have to say: commence drooling.



Outing The Outnet

Sometimes I want something super luxurious....something I can't afford. I don't believe that I've ever paid full retail for anything - there is just no reason to! My new favorite addition to round out the trinity of luxury sale spots (Gilt and Ideeli being the other two), theoutnet.com. This is actually the sister site to the world's #1 online luxury retailer, net-a-porter, with all the same caliber of merchandise. It's like an "outlet" (ha, ha, ha) for some of the coolest, best, most-coveted pieces in the fashion world - their version of chic-a-nomics.Take a peek at my faves:

Pedro Garcia flats, were $395, now $158; Tibi congo dress, was $370 now $111; MMJ floral dress was $378 now $189; 3.1 Philip Lim blue rosette dress was $595 now $298. Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Impress with Finesse

Here at Where the Style Things Are, we love all things stylish but especially stylish and Southern. We've put together the best lists of "Ways to Charm Her," by Amy Bickers. Gentlemen - pay attention!

We still expect you to.....

1. Stand up for a lady (not just for chairs!)
2. Know that the SEC has the best football team in the nation (Big 12 fans, keep walking)
3. Kill bugs (because we will not)
4. Hold doors open (highest return on this investment possible!)
5. Fix things or build stuff (while we watch)
6. Wear boots occasionally (the mud-crusted kind, not the kind you buy at Bergdorfs)
7. Take off your hat inside (I mean...)
8. Grill stuff (and grill it well)
9. Call us (pick up the phone! It works!)
10. Stand when we come back to the dinner table (it. will. melt. us.)
11. Pull out our chairs (because we don't want the maitre d' to!)
12. Pay the tab on the first few dates (no matter who asks...it's just simpler.)
13. Don't show up in a wrinkled, untucked shirt (care about your appearance but not too much; don't smell better than us, don't use mousse or gel)
14. Never get in bar fights (they're embarrassing and you look like an idiot)
15. Know how to mix your favorite cocktail just the way we like it (greyhounds, anyone?)

Just saying!

Big kiss

Salty n' Sweet

I know this sounds strange - I surely thought it was when I saw it in this month's Southern Living - but the more I thought about it the better it sounded. I grew up eating Potato Chip Cookies at Christmas, so this isn't that far off. Give it a go, will you?

Salty n' Sweet Ice Cream Truffles

1 pt. vanilla ice cream
parchment paper
2 cups crushed Lays Classic Potato Chips

Let ice cream stand alone at room temperature 15 minutes to soften.

Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place in freezer. Pour crushed potato chips into a shallow dish.

Scoop ice cream into 24 small balls using a scoop, and roll in crushed potato chips. Arrange on prepared pan in freezer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Serve immediately, or freeze in a zip-lock for up to a month.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You're a Grand Old Rag

Nothing to get you ready for the big 4th weekend like a big of nautical inspiration like the below D&G show from Spring 2009. The innovative use of texture and exaggeration provides for a visually interesting show in terms of style, but completely unwearable for the street (although how amazing is that sequined anchor top!?). I've found the greatest pieces from Ralph Lauren Rugby to achieve this look - without the swim cap.

Tips to finding nautical-inspired pieces:

*Look for stripes in red and white or blue and white and possibly even black and white.
*Incorporate navy!!
*To avoid looking like a flag, keep the nautical to a minimum in one aspect, not head to toe.
*Avoid stars with your stripes!
*Try mixing sizes of stripes, flag or chain patterns, etc for visual interest.

Check out great alternatives to the nautical look at Ralph Lauren Rugby.

Flat Hat

Here at Where the Style Things Are, we condone safe sun practices, including spray tan, 50+ SPF, sunglasses, and hats. I have been horrified at the options out there for beach hats - straw cowboys, no thank you! Enter San Diego Hat Company, providing UPF 50+ in most hats. My favorite is the ribbon crusher, available at most department stores or online here.
What makes this hat so fab is not only the safety, but the ability for the hat to be "crushed" up in your bag and still hold shape. And at $45, it's fairly reasonable - although you can't put a price on healthy skin. I think I'm going to purchase the coral, lemon, and black next! Keep in mind they're just as useful for walking around the city as they are lounging on the beach.

Best Cellars

There is an awesome wine shop on the Upper East Side that I love to pop into when I'm up that way - Best Cellars. They have perfected a system of classifying strictly edited wines - all under $15! Here are some of the best in each of their categories:

"Fresh" - San Camillus Pinot Grigio (Italy) - $11
"Soft" - Bradgate Chenin Savingnon Blanc (South Africa) - $10
"Luscious" - Santa Julia Viognier (Argentina) - $11
"Smooth" - Hope Estate 'Wollemi' Shiraz (Australia) $15

They also offer a wine quiz to find out what kind of wine you would most like based on answers to questions like "how do you like your tea" and "what kind of water do you like." There's even a wine diary on the site for you to keep track of what you like and when you had it last.

Can't make it to the UES? If you live in DC, MA, or VA they'll ship to you. They're also now being featured on Jet Blue - look for them on your next flight!

To get started on your Best Cellars wine experience, click here.
Best Cellars is located at 1291 Lexington Ave, at 87th Street. 212.426.4200

Fit to be Tied

How amazing are these Bulldog ties from Vineyard Vines? They come in all different collegiate colors, but obviously the Uga one is the best. If you're going to go there with the animal ties, you might as well make it a good one - the best one. And at $75, you can buy 2 for the price of one of the others (which aren't half bad, either!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Let's Chat about Ikat

Ikat is a woven found in many places around the world - Malaysia, Central America, South America. The prints are distinctively ethnic and bright and the perfect summer statement. And if you're one of the lucky souls with the Tibi print dress (it's sold out everywhere!)...tell me where you got it and if I can buy it off you!

From left to right: (tibi print dress $328, edressme; 3.1 philip lim romper on sale $294, net-a-porter; trina turk bikini $67, bloomingdales; kohl's top, kohls - only $19.99!)

Going, Going, Greyhound (Gone)

I have long been under the suspicion that adults choose their beverage of choice by sheer process of elimination - vodka made them sick in high school, rum reminds them of this one time in the Bahamas that ended less than well, gin makes them thing of Christmas trees, etc. I know for a fact there is a reason I've only had Bailey's and Kaluha (together, gross) once in my life. But finally I have graduated from the give-me-my-4th-vodka-and-soda to the much less stomach-upsetting vodka + grapefruit. Behold, the Greyhound. Delicious and refreshing, here's the recipe:

2oz vodka + 5oz grapefruit over ice

Beyond! The tartness allows you to drink it slower and the sweetness cuts the vodka. And, if you tire of this or want to mix it up, try pineapple juice + vodka. I don't think it has an official name, but either of these with a splash of soda is girlie, refreshing, and interesting.

Big, sweet, vodka kiss!

(image from teamsugar.com)

The Official Preppy Handbook: Lesson 2

I'm on a roll with the guys today - from the Official Preppy Handbook, this gem: "From Desk to Duck Blind, The Look for Men:

1. Go sockless: not worn on sporting or social occasions
2. Most jewelry is taboo: cufflinks must be
small, no tie clips or tacks
3. Careful grooming: clean shaven, no sideburns, beard or moustache
4. Outerwear indoors: fisherman's sweater, hunting shoes, down vest are all ok at cocktails
5. Boxer shorts: Boxer shorts, and only boxers
6. Layering: Adding or subtracting a layer or two can take you from yacht club to boardroom

And for the girls, this: "Mummy Knows Best, The Look for Women:

1. Men's clothes: actual garments or near imitations, blue blazers, khaki skirts, shop in the boys dept at Brooks Brothers (this I actually do)
2. Navy blue: the new neutral, perfect foil for colors that do not exist in nature
3. Don't wear black: unless for evening clothes, they make you look like a fast woman
4. Someone else's clothes: other people's things have inherited charm
5. Underdressing: Always in good taste
6. Layering: often dispense with the crocodile (Lacoste) layer, it will make you look fat

boat shoes by Lanvin, available at soleredemption.com

BIlly Reid's Good for Your Roots

Alright, guys (all 3 of you reading this), I have something for you finally! Introducing Billy Reid, with a new outpost on tres chic Bond Street - serving all kinds of whiskey out of their basement while you shop, naturellment. A Southerner by birth and a CFDA winner by talent, William Reid has reinvented his once floundering brand and stayed true to his mission and roots by taking up shop in an old plantation home in Florence, AL, where he is surrounded by Reid heirlooms and endless pride and inspiration. Oh, and girls - he started a woman's line last year, and it has the same attention to detail (ehem, see Preppy Handbook, below) and sophistication as the men's line. The best part of Billy Reid? Shops in Houston, Dallas, Florence, AL, Charleston, Charlotte, and of course, Manhattan.

On sale now at Billy Reid, left to right: The Monroe, $102, and The Orleans, $88.

Due for Some Shampoo? Try Dry

I'm not entirely sure this works for guys (so if someone wants to check it out and get back to me, that'd be peachy), but dry shampoo has saved my life. What used to be just baby powder (think a 50's woman "setting" her hair - yuck) is now a sophisticated formula that makes hair even healthier and saves you that extra 30 minutes of blow drying and styling in the morning. All you do is shake a bit into the roots at your part and at the temples of your head. Let it sit for a moment, then brush through. The benefits of dry shampoo: not having to wash your hair, for one, but also not washing your hair keeps the natural oils in it, making it healthier. Also, if you want to achieve a perfect Mary-Kate Olsen hairstyle, this is the way to add texture. I get amazing lift and staying volume from a good dose of powder - perfect for my signature side pony.

Recommended brands: Bumble&bumble (for dark hair, especially), Oscar Blandi, Pssst ($5 in drugstores!), Rene Furterer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Words from the Wildly Talented

Interesting quotation from the 80's chic king, Jay McInerney, applicable to....?

"Most of the guys I know have really high-powered jobs and make up for lost time when they're not in the office. The Beserk After Work Club. I seem to attract them in a big way, all these boys in Paul Smith suits with six-figure salaries and hellfire on a dimmer switch in their eyes" - Alison, Story of my Life

Best of Sales: Saks

I've been window shopping online a lot lately, trolling the Internet for the best stuff out there for YOU (because I shop better when not shopping for myself)! I've put together a list of my favorite fantasy shoes on sale at Saks, who have been doing great markdowns - sometimes up to 70%- lately. Hot trend in shoes? Hot colors - purple and pink!

from left to right: miu miu purple suede pumps, $345.90
loeffler randal sandals, $315.90
and...if you have $531.90 laying around, the YSL colorblocked ones are all yours!

An Open Letter to the Menfolk

Dear Boys,

Girls like to receive flowers. They are pretty and fragrant and lovely....most of the time. The act of giving them is the most important thing of all, of course, but if you are lost on what to give, here's the big secret: we really, really, really like peonies. Especially from Belle Fleur.

Especially pink or white. And no lillies! All you have to do is call up the florist, get a low, tight arrangement of peonies, and wham, bam, thank you ma'am - we're smitten.

That is all. Big kiss

The Official Preppy Handbook: Lesson 1

The Official Preppy Handbook (Lisa Birnbach,Workman Publishing), first printed in 1980 and now out of print, is a gem of a book, full of 80's prep wisdom, some of which is completely ludicrous and others which are still applicable. Whether you're horrified by your preppiness or pleasantly pleased you meet the requirements, it's all in good fun!

Lesson: Fashion Fundamentals, the 10 Underlying Principles for Men & Women

1. Conservatism -"Preppies wear clothes for twenty-five years and no one can tell the difference"
2. Neatness - "Preppies shirts should always be tucked in"
3. Attention to Detail - "Everything matches"
4. Practicality - " Layering is a natural response to varying weather conditions"
5. Quality - "Everything in the wardrobe should be well made"
6. Natural Fibers - " Wool, cotton, and the odd bits of silk and cashmere"
7. Anglophilia - "The British have a lot to answer for"
8. Specific Color Blindness - "Primary colors and brilliant pastels are worn indiscriminately by men and women alike, in preposterous combinations"
9. The Sporting Look - " Even if they've never been near a duck blind or gone beagling, Preppies are dressed for it"
10. Androgyny - "Men and women dress as much alike as possible and clothes for either sex should deny specifics of gender"

Brillz on the heavy prep action!

Shop Smart Online

Retailmenot is one of those websites that you wonder how you ever lived without. It has unquestionably saved me a ton of money on my random purchases, everything from pizza to shoes to books to linens. The set-up is simple: type in any website you might be purchasing something off of, and voila, any valid coupons and promo codes will pop up. Some companies have been removed from the database and others only offer exclusive deals available on their website anyway (free shipping, etc), but now and then there are some great finds - I got 20% off a website today randomly by searching for it!

Also, on a personal note, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE if you would go to www.shopforlupus.org when you are online shopping! By clicking through shopforlupus.org portal to Apple, Macy's, Wal-Mart, Old Navy, Amazon.com and hundreds of other retailers, you are donating a portion of your purchase to the Lupus Foundation. Donations range from $ amounts to percentages (Amazon - 8%!)...every little bit helps!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Playlist

Give it to You - Jordan McKnight
Don't Trust Me - 3Oh!3
Shimmer - Fuel
Don't Stop Believin' - cast of Glee
All the Above - Maino
Goodbye to You - The Veronicas
Ce Jeu - Yelle
Cobrastyle - Robyn
Hard to Handle - Black Crowes
Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms
I Said Never Again (But Here We Are) - Rachel Stevens
Just Dance - Lady Gaga
Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads
Rebel Yell - Billy Idol
Love Story - Taylor Swift
American Girl - Tom Petty
You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon
Top of the World - Pussycat Dolls
Shake It - Metrostation
Shame on You - Indigo Girls
Kids - MGMT
Chelsea - Stefy
T-R-O-U-B-L-E - Travis Tritt
Umbrella - Rihanna
Love Machine - Girls Aloud

Just a few to dance around to at the beach!

Big kiss

Monday, June 15, 2009

Electric Essie

This just in: all the rage in nails is neon. I know this brings back thoughts of 8th grade spring break, when you also thought airbrushed tees were cool (I don't own one, thank goodness), but trust me when I say neons are back in a big way.

Scared to try neon? Try it first on your tootsies to see how you like it and stick to pinks. I've always been a Ballet Slippers pink kind of girl, reserved and subtle, but it was time to try something new so I went for it. Admittedly it took a few days for me to warm up to the shocking pink on my toes, but it grew on me and I love it as a new summer classic.

Punchy Pink or Short Shorts from Essie, available at your local nail salon or essie.com

IOU iomoi

Elephants and monkeys aren't exactly the first images that come to mind when thinking about sophisticated stationary, but iomoi makes them completely irresistable. It took me three weeks (no, really) to decide what I wanted to order. (a tray and two coasters, if you're curious.) The really cool thing that they exclusively offer, however, is their custom e-stationary. If you sign up to be a member, they will send your stationary notes via email with a custom design, typeface, or faux "handwritten." New designs come out every month. I have yet to join - it took me long enough to purchase something after having stared at it for weeks; I can't imagine having more choices!

From left: coaster, calling card, lucite custom tray 8.5x11, all available on iomoi.com

How to Shop Your Closet

The true test of a stylish spendthrift is being able to work with what you have. I've come up with some rules on how to "shop" your own closet for maximum style with minimal cost.

To get started:

- take everything out and sort things that are out of season to store.

- assess what you can wear year round, such as blue blazers, chiffon mini skirts, tie front button downs, light weight sweaters, and denim and keep these at the front of your closet where they are easily accessible. This will become your "closet core."

- fold knits, tees, and denim to preserve their shape; hang everything else. Take everything out of dry-cleaning plastic and put tissue on clip hangers if the fabric is delicate to prevent tears.

- look at each item that isn't stored or in your closet core: have you worn it in a year? if you can part with it, do. If you can't just yet, ask yourself if it can be altered. The tailor is your new best friend.

Shorten skirts, take them in so that you can wear them around your waist instead of your hips.

Crop blazers and sweaters to hit at your hip, or have the tailor sew a contrasting fabric into the arms of your jackets for a pop of pattern when you cuff the sleeves.

Monogram your buttondowns like men do in a contrasting color, like lemon on navy or lime green on white.

Add extra holes with a grommetting tool to your belts to give you more versatility in wearing them around your waist and hips.

Try wearing an off-the-shoulder ruffled top or dress around your chest for a strapless option or put one sleeve up for the new silhouette, the one-shoulder.

Layer your skirts for pops of texture and color: a fuller skirt under a cotton one will give it dimension.

- If you want to take it to the next level, put everything on the same hangers, facing the same way, organized by category. If you're lazy like me, though, keep your key pieces in the front and try to rotate what's in the way back to the front every so often.

- Try styling with your closet core - throw that blue blazer over a sundress instead of a white sweater or pair a summer mini skirt (in a year-round fabric like cotton or chiffon) with your black tights.

Big kiss!

Fantasy Florals

Every season, florals pop up as a trend, whether they be small, liberty-like prints or large swirling patterns. The last few reincarnations have been big, 50's style prints sexed up with details like mini-length on the skirt, sleevless, large belts, and low necklines.

The popularity of shows like Mad Men has helped keep the trend going, and it transfers over through the summer season. Check out the above offerings from Forever21, and keep your hair and accessories modern and fresh to avoid looking like you walked off set!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Keen on Assouline

The best gifts to give and receive are books - they are entirely personal and it shows (usually) that you put some thought into tailoring the gift to the recipient. Assouline, the glamorous publishing powerhouse, is a great place to get interesting and stylish books for the loved ones in your life. Check them out for unique, colorful , and relevant books.



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