luxury · style

Affordable Cashmere? Yes Please!

Happy Monday, friends! It’s feeling more and more like winter with each passing day. As much as I hate to let summer go, I realized that I needed to put away my lightweight blouses and bring out my cozy sweaters and scarves. I must admit, I was excited to bring out my cashmere sweaters: I love the colors (deep raspberry and lime green) and feel of my sweaters. Not to mention, using Dryel has kept them looking incredible.

 (This is great for keeping your cashmere in tiptop shape)

I’ve had these sweaters since last year, when I decided it was time to invest in some nicer wardrobe pieces. I found a great place for getting cashmere for less than $50 a sweater (feel free to double check the prices: I was hard pressed to find cashmere sweaters in the $70 range). I purchased my sweaters from Stein Mart, which had lots of different colors and cuts, starting at less than $40 per sweater. If you have an eBates account, you can even get cashback on your purchase, bringing your cost down even more.

(Boatneck and v-neck are just two of the necklines offered in Stein Mart’s cashmere sweaters)

This season has different shades from last year, but there is still a good variety to choose from. If I wasn’t saving my coins, I’d definitely buy a couple more sweaters: the prices are spectacular! You can check out the sweaters here. If you know any other places that have affordable cashmere, let me know in the comments below!

luxury · style

Dreaming of Jewelry

I wanted a light and fun post because I’m still enjoying the remnants of snow from yesterday. Here are some of my favorite Instagram accounts that feature all sorts of glamorous jewelry:

Champagne Gem: All manner of gorgeous jewelry, especially diamonds. Check out this 110-ct. diamond featured on their Instagram page:

Christie’s Jewels: Heirloom quality jewelry offered by Christie’s, the famous auction house. Here’s a link to one of my favorite pieces that was recently featured on their Instagram page:

Frank Everett: SVP of Sotheby’s Luxury Division, connoisseur of all things expensive and swoonworthy. The sapphire bracelet recently shown on Frank’s page is the kind of thing art deco dreams are made of:

Josh Levkoff Jewelry: Custom made jewelry with flawless stones and timeless settings. What more could you want?

style

I Finally Found the Perfect Earring

I’m an August baby, and it’s taken me a long time to learn to love my birthstone. For years, I hated peridot, the bright green, “semi” precious gemstone assigned to my month.

But something changed when I became an adult. I realized how beautiful this bright green is, and how unusual it is to see people wearing it. I loved the uniqueness, so I started liking – and eventually loving – peridot.

So I started my hunt for the perfect peridot earring. I already have peridot rings and necklaces, but I don’t wear those items daily. However, I do wear earrings every day, so it only made sense that I would want a pair in peridot.

Finding my dream earring, however, proved to be a challenge.

I was pretty specific: I wanted peridot hoop earrings, similar to diamond hoops. I wanted a medium-to-large hoop, with lots of tiny peridot outlining the outer edge, preferably in the “inside out” style (where the inside of the hoop is also lined with gemstones). I wanted them in silver or white gold, and under $150.

I initially looked for earrings on Amazon, because Amazon has everything (normally). But, after looking high and low through their offerings, I realized my dream earrings weren’t there. I then took my search to Google. And I found a picture with my dream earrings, clicked on it, and was led to the godsend that it Overstock.

Here is the pair I selected:

peridotearring

(photo courtesy of Overstock)

This beautiful pair of earrings was less than $30. I’m so excited! They should arrive in the next couple of weeks: I can’t wait to share them with you all!

art · style

Barbie Has Come a Long Way

I’ve collected Barbie dolls since I was a child, mainly because I couldn’t get enough of the glamour and fantasy that the Barbie brand epitomized. As an adult, I purchase both for nostalgia and for the beauty of the dolls. I don’t care if I ever get a financial ROI (by selling them at a later date); I enjoy them NOW, and every purchase gives me an immediate emotional ROI.

It doesn’t seem like this would qualify as an art post BUT the skill and artistry involved with creating Barbie is undeniable.

Check out some of the Barbies that will be available in Spring 2018. I’m drooling: I can’t wait to buy some of these!

 

 

 

(all photos courtesy of Mattel)

 

life curation · style

On Becoming More Elegant

Elegance is Refusal

(from one of my favorite blogs, The Vivienne Files)

I’m unclear who said it first – Coco Chanel (the person that is more often credited) or Diana Vreeland – but it’s noteworthy that this simple quote has been attributed to two of the most stylish women in history. I often heed these words when I’m inclined to pile on jewelry, or add an extra-frilly accessory, or even opt for a print that outshines my personality.

I stop. I think about it. I refuse it. I am instantly more elegant.

Even my writing style has undergone some changes and leans more towards elegance nowadays. Sure, I still occasionally indulge in wordiness, but chances are, I’ve done some heavy editing before even the “wordy” stuff reaches your eyes.

I love words. But elegance is refusal, so I opt for simplicity more times than not.

The only place I don’t apply this particular stance is cooking. I believe that “just enough is enough”, and that doesn’t always mean refusal. I don’t oversimplify my seasonings, my effort or the number of courses for a fancy meal. I seek perfection. And yes, that can mean using less. But it must be perfect, or it won’t work. I’m picky like that.

Refusal: it is elegant. It’s also liberating. It’s simultaneously classic and modern, the perfect blend of seemingly opposing sides.

 Refuse, and be free.

style

My Favorite Boohoo Dress

I mentioned my Boohoo hauls in two previous posts (this one and this one). I’ll be doing an update on how those pieces are holding up in a few weeks. However, this post is all about my favorite piece from one of those hauls.

I was surprised that this one was my favorite: after all, I got a LOT of dresses, and each one was adorable. I also tend to favor bright colors that really make my complexion POP: a neutral dress isn’t normally my first choice.

So, this was an unlikely winner, but just look at it:

 

IMG_1936 - Edited

The Eloise Dress by Boohoo has stolen my heart! Now, I know you’re thinking: it’s navy, and it’s cute, but WHY is it your favorite?

Uhm, are you all seeing the CURVES this dress creates?!?! Putting this dress on is like slipping into an instantly hourglass-y body. It looks chic, classy and still a bit sexy. I wore it with a tan shawl and I looked like I belonged in a different tax bracket!

Also, there are gathers in the dress’s waist, which helps disguise any bloat or poochy tummy issues. The dress hits right at the knee, and the slightly flared sleeves are a godsend for those of us that aren’t enslaved to tricep-toning exercies.

Here’s a link to the dress for your convenience: Eloise Dress. Right now, the dress is only $10, but it’s selling out fast. I bought another one in black, and I barely even wear solid black dresses. That’s JUST how much I love this design.

Go ahead and get your Eloise dress. You deserve it.

style

Tracee Ellis Ross’s New Clothing Line

During one of my marathon chat sessions with a friend, I found out that one of my favorite actresses, Tracee Ellis Ross, is coming out out with her first fashion line. Tracee has been one of my favorite actresses for many years: I love her sweet, silly but fiercely loyal personality. She seems just as delightful offscreen as she does in front of the camera. That kind of genuine demeanor quickly endeared her to me.

tracee-ellis-ross-jcpenney-glow-tee-dress-gold

She is collaborating with JCPenney to offer some limited edition statement piece that are bold, unique, and distinctly Tracee. Funny enough, I like the pieces but I’m still undecided about whether I will purchase any of them. I love how Tracee is styled for the red carpet and her day-to-day life, but I’m not sure how I feel about the pieces in her line. Each item looks well-suited for her taste, but not like the fashions I usually gravitate toward.

But then again, who knows? Maybe the pieces are the kind that “come alive” when you actually put them on your body. The Glorious dress (see the photo below) is my most likely purchase, especially if it looks good on my body. I do like the colors and pattern, so I may give it a try.

tracee-ellis-ross-jcpenney-glorious-dress-jihan

 

The pieces will be available starting November 12, so check them out and see if there’s anything that interests you. If you like Tracee’s quirky but cute style, you may find your next favorite signature piece within her line.