Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sit Back and Relax

vogueukfeb2011.2 vogueukfeb2011.1 vogueukfeb2011

If only we all looked so chic while waiting for our flights. Hope you aren’t going to get stuck in the huge snowstorm!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Too Cute For Words

Elle Fanning, too cute for words, is going to turn into quite a beautiful girl. The second and third are my favorite, what about you?

{Stephen Pan for Interview Magazine}

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ready, Set, Hiking Boots? A Guide for Guys

I am SO pleased to have Antonio Centeno of A Tailored Suit and frequent guest blogger on The Art of Manliness guest posting for us today! When it comes to a man’s wardrobe, I only have so much to offer – Antonio is a bona fide goldmine of information and style. A true gentleman, Antonio made sure we spoke by phone before agreeing to this post and it does make all the difference. I’ve asked him to solve the common problem for guys of what to wear to a sporting event. Enjoy!

You have a Giants game you’ll be attending tonight; what do you wear?Although this may seem like a no brainer, the answer isn’t as simple as most men would like. How does a man who wears custom suits Monday through Friday dress to a professional sporting event where he is likely to run into his
professional peers? Is it permissible for him to slip back into his college days of jeans and a sweatshirt? How does he dress down without dressing unprofessionally?

The purpose of this article is to give you guidance when confronted with the problem of what to wear to a sporting event. Please note - as much as I would like to give you a simple list of what type of clothing you should wear, I can’t. There are just too many factors playing into this equation. What I do present
however is a series of things to pay attention to; by doing this you’ll narrow down your choices and at least make the final decision easier.

Know Your Personal Style

First and foremost, a man should dress with confidence in clothing he know he looks good in. To do this, you must understand your personal style. At the same game one man will look great in a charcoal suit, white dress shirts, and classic oxford dress shoes while another man is better complimented by a lightly colored dress shirt worn under a soft colored team sweater with denim and loafers. Neither man is wrong; one is dressed for the stands and in colors that compliment light hair and light skin, the other for a luxury booth in a combination that suits dark hair and a medium complexion.


{j crew cashmere v neck sweater $188}

Pay attention to your Environment

Weather & Dressing for a Sporting Event – Is the event indoors at the Astrodome or outside at Lambeau Field in December? Dressing in layers, having a jacket, and if the weather is going to be wet packing a poncho/rain jacket will make the difference between an unforgettable or miserable four
hours. And don’t assume because it’s in a dome you’re going to be fully protected from the weather. Heating systems break down and retractable roofs have been known to malfunction.


{the ubiquitous – but for a good reason!- Barbour jacket, $399, Orvis}

Sporting Event Location – Regional dress codes apply – attending a football game at the University of Wisconsin in Madison calls for sweatshirts and jeans. Attend a game at the University of Georgia in Athens and you’ll fit in perfectly by wearing a sport jacket and dress slacks. The same type of sporting event but two very different expectations of what it means to be a spectator.

Professional Level of the Sporting Event - High school and for the most part college events are more relaxed in their dress; a high school basketball game even in New York City will find most people decked out in the clothing they wore to work. Professional events are more varied, as the factor of where you
will be seated plays into the calculation. Are you in the nosebleed seats or out in left field looking to catch a homerun? Think casual. Is your company treating you to box seats or a luxury seating with VIPs – expect to be at least wearing a sport jacket and possibly dark suit with full on tie if you are going to be conducting business.


{university of georgia pledges}

Pay Attention to with whom you are attending the game.

Your professional peers and boss – If this is a company sponsored event, make no mistake, you are being observed. Just like the company picnic, this is a deceptively dangerous event for the man who thinks it’s alright to cut loose in front of his co-workers and boss. Avoid dressing too casually; depending
on what your company dress code is and your own personal style, you’ll not want to dress in a manner that veers too far from your established image. Are your employees used to seeing you in a suit and tie – then wearing a sport jacket, dress shirt, and odd trousers is a smart decision on a cool fall evening.
Attending a summer baseball game in Milwaukee with your IT office mates and boss – slacks, slip-ons, and a collared sport polo supporting the Brewers is a better choice than a T-shirt, jeans, and running shoes.

A Date – Attending a sporting event with a date is a great way to become closer with another human being. The energy and excitement is contagious, and you can expect to at some point come in contact with your new close friend. For men I always recommend dressing a bit sharper than you normally
would and if you can wear at least a sport jacket. A jacket on a man makes him look taller, leaner, and overall more masculine. Plus, if your date is cold you have something to give her. It goes without saying you should make sure everything, from your breath to your shirt, is clean and crisp.

Casual Acquaintances – Your close friends are bringing friends and friends of friends. The answer here depends a lot on you and your personality. Are you outgoing and in business for yourself – dress to create a solid first impression as you’ll easily be starting off on a good foot. More of an introvert and looking to have an intimate conversation with one or two people you already know…..you can dress down a bit.

Close Friends – You’re attending the game with family or friends who have seen you in ultra-causal environments. Short of dressing in a manner that embarrasses those you’re with, you options are completely open assuming you take into account the professional level of the event.

Final Note

A man should always take pride in his personal appearance, and a sporting event is no exception. The fact of the matter is you never know who you’re going to meet; the person you shake hands tonight may connect you to your dream job, lead you to a sale, or be the woman you marry. We do ourselves no
favors dressing in an unkempt manner. Being overdressed for a sporting event is quickly forgotten once the game starts, but being poorly dressed can set a negative tone that ends a relationship before it even starts.

Written by Antonio Centeno
President, A Tailored Suit
Solid Advice on Men’s Clothing

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Preppy, Please!

Here, via Casa Sugar, a list of the staples of the preppy home:



{williams sonoma home, $150 each}



{via country living}


{source unknown}


{Mary McDonald pink & green room}


desk better homes & gardens via two ellie

{via better homes & gardens}


Mary McDonald 2

{seersucker Mary McDonald room}






{Rayford appliqu├ęd bedding, Leontine Linens, starting at $340 for shams}



{via aria home interiors}


*I prefer to have this hanging in my closet, but a touch won’t hurt an interior!


(Lilly Between the Lines stationary, $12, Traylor Papers}

Looking around my bedroom, I see pink (and lots of green), bamboo, toile, monograms….and I’m pining after a Chinese garden stool in the style of a ginger jar to round out the mix. Sufficiently preppy, I’d say. How about you?

pink and green kisses

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spotlight On: Annie Griffin Collection

Back in the summer of 2004 I studied abroad in Innsbruck, Austria with hundreds of kids from around the South. Included in that group was SMU student Annie Gerber Griffin – who is now designing a beautiful contemporary collection! Below, I spoke with Annie about her designs and her plans for the future!


{from the 2011 Spring photoshoot}

Annie! So great to speak with you! I didn’t even know you were a designer until the power of Facebook told me. How did you start designing? Do you have a design background?

First, I received my BFA at The Meadows School of Art at SMU with a concentration in painting. After graduating, I began working with an in interior designer. I simply loved working with fabrics and couldn’t get my mind off of the exploration of clothing design, so decided to go to SCAD and try my hand at fashion design. A year later, with the help and encouragement of my instructors, I started my venture into fashion.

Where do you get your inspiration? What was inspiration for fall? for spring?

I love color! Whether I'm designing, decorating or painting it all begins with a color scheme. I'm also drawn to art that has a natural, free form.  Spring was a bit more playful than fall, but both have that easy feel I'm inspired by. 


{a sneak peak at the Spring 2011 line!}

Who is an Annie Griffin girl? She seems young, knowledgeable, stylish, and attracted to whimsy.

I often think of Katherine Ross, the beautiful 60's and 70's actress....  She had a fun, flirty quality with a vintage feel that I love.

Where can we buy your awesome designs? I wish there was one in New York I could purchase from.

We're now selling to over 30 stores (predominately in the Southeast) but we are starting to pick up stores in the north and even overseas, which we are really excited about. We are planning to open an online store in February 2011… look out for it at www.anniegriffincollection.com

That’s so great – you’re even selling to my college favorite, Heery’s, and Sea Island shops. What trends should we look forward to for Spring 2011?

I focused a lot on bright colors and bold patterns.  I had my own prints created for the first time… very vibrant, loose watercolor prints.


{model is our mutual friend Alice Callahan!}

Right now, it is a scary time to take risks.  Having simple prints and neutral colors is great for lowering cost, but the fashion industry is all about innovation, so I went with it. The lightweight silks and whimsical colors create a very young, versatile collection.

They look fantastic and I’m glad you took the risk, I know it will pay off! What’s the most versatile piece a girl can have in her wardrobe? 

A silk blouse you can wear all seasons. If you can dress it up with your favorite black pants or dress it down with your favorite jeans, you've got a winner.

You have no idea – it’s been so hard to find a silk blouse that is versatile for all seasons. I am obsessed with them! I can’t wait for the Kirin blouse to be available for Spring 2011.


What's a day like for you when it comes to designing and running a small business?

It's far from glamorous! It's fun and creative when it comes to designing, but from the drafting table to meeting with store owners it can be tedious and hectic. I'm incredibly fortunate to have my sister, Robin as a new partner! She loves to sell, and I love to design! It will allow me to focus on what I love the most… designing!

Any advice for those that want to begin designing?

The absolute, number one thing is to get an internship or work in the field! Learn as much as you can before considering taking the plunge.  My sister wanted to start working with me when she graduated college, but I insisted she work in the industry first.  The fashion industry is so much more than pretty clothes and runways. It's a complicated business that needs constant nurturing.

Aside from getting an internship, I would say my biggest advice to those looking to design is, determination.  No matter what, when starting a new business you will hit roadblocks along the way.  You have to be patient, learn from any mistakes, and keep moving forward!


Where the Style Things Are in the MEG dress with BFF Frankers.

Visit Annie Griffin online!

Monday, January 3, 2011

honey mustard chicken & apples


Looking for a warm, cozy recipe for you and your loved ones over the holiday week? Try this  30 minute from Food Network Kitchens – sounds delicious, filling, and not too bad for you!



  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cooking apples (such as Cortland), cut into chunks
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until golden, about 6 minutes.Flip and cook 2 to 3 more minutes, then transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings.

Add the onion and apples to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Mix the broth with the mustard, then add to the skillet and bring to a boil. Arrange the chicken, skin-side up, in the skillet. Transfer to the oven androast until the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mix the butter and flour to form a paste. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken, apples and onion to plates. Bring the pan juices to a simmer, whisk in about half of the butter-flour mixture and boil to thicken, 2 minutes. Continue to cook, adding more of the butter-flour mixture as needed to make a slightly thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley.




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