The weather is shaping up despite a few downpours, and it is time for some spring cleaning and shopping. I am officially out of hibernation and ready to put some pep in my step and new fashion tips and trends to the test. I would like to dedicate this post to Rachel, the one who truly with one plea for help, inspired me to get out of my uggs and into my groove.
Spring fashion is all over the map – literally. Knowing what you love and what looks good on your body is now more important than ever. And I find as I get older, the easiest way to always look good. The trends do not work on everyone and are not appropriate for everyplace. Sort through the magazines, try on many styles and cuts before you buy whether in a store or on-line and shop your own closet for pieces that you can make work now and that finish many different outfits. Remember fashion is fun, and spring and summer are the times to dress to make you feel more youthful and happy.
Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up! For shoes this season, it is either sky-high or flat as a pancake for me. There is NO in-between. I am still loving wedges – added height, comfort and stability. The ones that are hot now are with cork or rope heels or wooden - a modern take on the clog. The idea is to elongate the leg, so wear them with dresses and shorts or with skinny jeans that you can roll and cuff at the ankle. High clogs also look great with a wide leg jean. I have my eye on two pairs from Miu Miu and Bottega Veneta.
I am also loving flat sandals – yes I just said that! Don’t get me wrong, I still adore my heels, but a cool pair of new gladiators, with a zipper closure or an embellished thong can be super hot too. It’s about proportions here, try them on with your outfit – you will know instantly if your leg needs more height or if you can rock the laid back vibe. Sometimes heels with everything make you look like you are trying too hard. Lately for me, running around Boston or NYC has been easier in my favorite distressed riding boots. This look translates well to a great pair of sandals or even my tried and true metallic havaianas. I pack the heels for dinners or events. Some sandals I am considering are , “they were so hot last year they brought them back” snake beaded from Calypso, a suede neutral by Antik Batik and a gorgeous warm brown zip up gladiator from Givenchy. And K. Jacques always has some great leather sandals and wedges at very reasonable price points. Years ago, I bought two pairs at Jeffery NYC, a pair of gold wedges and turquoise suede flip flops, that are still in great shape and style.
There are tons of great heels out there now. The platform is still fresh and anything with numerous straps, cut outs, chain links or zippers are on fire. I avoid the overly ornate or sculptured heel, those will be so last season so fast and not a good ROI. I already bought a pair of LAMB super high, cut out, open toe booties. I have been sporting them with skinny jeans and must admit as soon as I zip these up, I feel like a true rock star. Balenciaga also has a killer pair of heels this season with a soft piece of black leather in the front that looks bad-ass off and I assume does wonders for your leg on. And Prada, one of my favorite brands for style and comfort, has some gorgeous platform pumps for both work and play. The open weave Louboutins look fierce and I am such a fan of that bright red bottom, but I don’t think will be that comfortable after hours on your feet. My advice is buy one or two pairs now that you love and can wear many different way. Then wait until a couple of months for all the summer sales and you can scoop up one or two more!
I am not sure of the socks with sandals look. It never worked on Papa and I am not sure it will work on me either. If you are tempted to venture down this sock path, I would try them with a cropped pant and a bootie or a midcalf dress with a high sandal.
Okay now lets move our way up to pants. Denim is everywhere. Jeans, pants and dresses. And god help us, the jean jacket is back too. And back for another season, the skinny silhouette is the rage. I am still loving my AG Adriano Goldschmied stilts but I got a new, lighter wash. These look great with heels or flats. I would like to try on the J Brand/Duarte jeans for that rocker Balmain look which a part of me will always love. But you will also find some baggier styles out there too. This tomboy look is fab with a tank or oversized button down tucked in with a great belt.
Cargo pants are also all over the streets because of the utilitarian chic trend. I love cargo pants and think you can wear them day or night. I want to try the J Brand – they are super skinny and with a great soft tee and slouchy blazer and the right jewelry make a hip outfit or are “celebrity casual” and perfect with an oversized super soft, lightweight cashmere v-neck sweater on a cool summer night. And I am loving the glitter meets military look. Recently for dinner, I paired an army green pair of fitted Proenza Schouler chinos with an oversized gold sequined Gryphon tank and super high heels. All of which may I add were reinvented by shopping my closet.
Soft pants are current now too. These I have mixed feelings about – I am not a fan of the overly loose, draped or bloused dhoti styles but do like an easy fluid menswear inspired pair in a neutral shade or classic black. I bought some in black silk by Isabel Marant that I plan to wear with a knit or cashmere tank and a great long, bold necklace and be polished enough for work meetings or with a simple cotton tank and wedges for a summer outing. The key with these is to balance the softness with something more tailored like a vest and someting simple on top. Richard Chai also has a great pair and I bet you Banana Republic has a few styles that won’t break the bank.
Who wears short shorts? Honestly if you are somewhere around that jailbait age or got the tan legs to do them justice, go for it for day or night. If not, stick to a tailored pair of trouser shorts with a grown up strappy platform or wedge and a blazer or shirt for dress up daywear or a cute pair of cut offs or low slung short shorts with a great striped top for weekends. I even like the pockets hanging out if paired correctly with a french inspired striped top (can’t go wrong with the St James striped tops at Calypso) and a pair of flips, laceless sneakers or if you dare sneaker wedges. This is not your typical Daisy Duke outfit. I picture this on a ferry or at a picnic.
Today I went shopping with BFF Candy and we tested some of the above advice and targets. I ended up getting another pair of the AG stilt jeans but in white. White jeans are a summer staple. The AG stilts are soft and look great on the leg. . . even in white. And I did splurge and got the J Brand cargos. (I had a gift certificate that was burning a hole in my pocket. . . thank you Di!) I also purchased an adorable pair of G-One short shorts – 100% linen, low slung and super casual. They reek vacation and beach weekends. With a simple navy or white tank and my havaianas, I will be good to go!
Next up dresses, tops, jackets and the accessories to wear with it all. I am out of hibernation and only starting to feel the heat. Stay tuned!
Fashion is all about legs lately. And unless you know how to use them, you could find you and your stems on some fashion faux pas list.
New York excites me for many reasons but since this post and my last post all stemmed (pun intended) from my recent trip to the Big Apple, I have to believe it is my fashion inspiration source. And I don’t like saying that because I feel Bostonians already get a bum rap when it comes to fashion and trend setting even though we have pretty cool stores that know what is in style (Louis Boston for one) before anyone else and some super chic boutiques along Newbury Street and in the South End. Perhaps Gisele will help rectify this stereotype as she starts strutting her mile long legs shooting fashion campaigns here on our streets, but until then it is up to our very own stylish, well-heeled women to run with it. One thing in common and on both streets here and in NYC – leggings.
Leggings are a trend that have been around for many seasons now. Leggings in theory are great. In reality, they do not always work. I commend Gretta Monahan for coming out in a recent article saying she does not like the way she looks in leggings. She is not alone. I see hundreds of women here trying to wear leggings and wearing them all wrong. First, do we really want to relive that God awful 80s style (I mean just add leg warmers and a torn sweatshirt and you could be flash dancing all over again) and second, why are we substituting them for pants? Even our work out wear has changed drastically. Look at the lululemon craze – their Groove pants are on women everywhere. Why - because they hug and hold where they should and then they let go and elongate too. Tight butt and thighs with a long and lean leg - match made in heaven. Leggings have the opposite effect.
I admit I do own a few pairs of leggings. I have basic black (full and cropped lengths) from American Apparel. The full length I never wear. The cropped are fun in the summer with flat gladiators or flip-flops and a long (as in cover your ass long) top. On occasion I have sported these with a chunky high wedge and a dress. The look here is more sophisticated – throw on a thin cardigan and belt it all or add some great chunky necklaces or cuffs. This keeps you hip as opposed to the Hannah Montana inspired tweeners that wear leggings as pants. Be careful with the proportions and “flowiness” – you don’t want to look preggers if you are not.
My other leggings are more formal than your basic pull on lycra. They are Vince and actually have cute defining lines and zip. These I only wear tucked into flat boots with a comfy boyfriend sweater, a long layered cardigan or vest, or a tee and long blazer. I do not wear leggings as pants or with any type of heel.
I have seen many women look great pulling this off – they are either super tall and thin or very petite. I am not quite tall but not petite either. At just over 5′ 5″ in height, I am pretty average and I am athletic. I am not a fan of the more cut leg in full leggings and as I said in the beginning of my legging rant, they have opposite effect on me. Like Gretta, I too do not always like how I look in leggings.
Okay next up in my fabulous two cities is jeans. The latest denim craze – super skinny jeans and jeggings, the denim legging. Both, may I add, are still in style for spring. Skinnys and jeggings in pastel shades too. Um. . . no thanks. For the same reasons as above. But I do love my skinny jeans now and I will also admit I have a pair of jeggings (deep indigo, almost black but not black and not certainly not off- black). I wear them both tucked into flat or slouchy boots, and this spring and summer, I will try my favorite skinny jeans (Current/Elliott studded) with chunky heels. By then, they will be worn just enough so they hug less on the calves and fall just perfectly at my ankles. If you can’t do the skinny, try a super straight or cigarette leg. They are flattering to more body types and give you the same lean look. I prefer these styles with a killer pair of heels or boots. And just about any type of top – classic or trendy works with these cuts.
Something to dress by – put on a pair of skinny jeans or leggings, stand in a normal stance and look in the mirror. Unless you can see clearly through your two thighs, you should not be thinking you look good in them either.
Truth be told, that is actually the long and short of it.
Filed under: Style
Frivolity is not fashion anymore and trendy is not necessarily in. It’s a new year, time to reinvent a new you.
I always love my trips to NYC for the scene, to keep me current and for the people aka fashion watching. I especially took note of a few things to help with my own style update on my trip last week to the city that never sleeps. Two women caught my eye (come on. . .we all check each other out).
The first lady was walking down 57th in mid-town. She was blond, tall and dressed to the nines as my Mom would say. Her hair was pulled back in a sleek ponytail, she wore a gorgeous black, fitted long coat with fur collar and maxi sleeves (large and turned up – not your typical grandma puffs), black round oversized sunglasses and a caramel Hermes birkin bag. She reeked of upper class, but her distressed denim and designer motor cycle boots mixed with all of the above made her cool as opposed to uptight.
The second woman was a true hippie hipster walking down B’way in Soho. She too wore her brown locks in a ponytail (a bit more undone) , a black pea coat with an oversized funnel scarf, a large black leather Prada bucket bag and super skinny dark jeans that were perfectly tucked into suede booties. Laid back cool but with the right pieces to polish her entire look.
Both women probably got dressed that morning in the same manner – they pulled out their staples and both knew they had it going on.
Getting dressed each morning is one of my favorite things to do. What I wear and how I feel defines my entire day. When I get dressed these days for an event or just every day, I no longer look for outfits or to fancy tops or frivolous pieces. This season I bought two new dresses for my various events and functions and depending on the tone of each, I would dress up or scale down the dress with accessories and heels. Other than that, I have been content and having fun with mixing, matching and layering my staples. These days they consist of a few great cardigans (Marni and Inhabit are my favorites), skinny or super straight jeans (Current Elliott studded, J Brand cigarette or leggings and AG dark wash Stilts), James Pearse tanks, Kain, Calypso and Alexander Wang tees, Steven Alan shirts, a killer pair of black skinny trousers, a few black jackets thrown in the mix and of course, boots – flats and heels.
Looking ahead into spring fashion, I was happy to learn that chunky wedge heels, statement necklaces (metals and chain especially), strappy heels, layering, belting, all kinds of dresses and muted palettes are still in style. The super trendy looks I will avoid and you will never see me sporting neon nails.
Play with proportions and layering, do not over accessorize and sport a great attitude. When all else fails, a great coat, bag or shoe will always carry you through. For a new look, try investing in a few good staples or shop your closet for the ones you already own. Get them back into rotation. Keep your make up simple and natural to match.
Effortless chic, investment basics and knowing what works on you is what works now and forever.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I can’t believe it has been over two months since I last blogged. (I did post our Christmas menu though. . . scroll down and take a look.) Well, actually I can believe it. November and December whizzed by – just about as fast if not faster than the entire year.
Why is it that as we get older, time goes by so much quicker? I must admit, I am glad this year is coming to an end. I made this comment the other day to Mike and although he agreed, he was also quick to point out that I had quite the year.
2009 brought me to a few new places and to a place that I thoroughly enjoy, but had not visited in quite some time. I went skiing in Utah, vacationed in St Barths, partied like a rock star in the Hamptons and went on a birth tour with one of my BFFs in Montreal.
Event wise, I produced a TV premiere, launched a national comedy tour, raised hundreds of thousands for charity, conga-ed with the Capitals, worked with the VP Biden camp and the Secret Service and had mother Nature “majorly” crash one of my parties.
Personally, I had quite the year too. . . although none of it as glamorous as my professional life. I persevered my second root canal and then early this fall, went under the knife. I discovered through both that I have quite a high tolerance for pain, but not for worry. All summer I was convinced I was sick. I did have a health issue and tried not to think about it and to stay positive, but at night when you close your eyes there are just some things you can not shut out. Because of this, I learned what a real support system does for you emotionally and physically and as a result, became a better wife, daughter, niece, cousin and friend. I also tried to master not worrying about what I cannot control. I still have much practice to do on that front, but it was a start. And then I also learned first hand what the delivery of good news does to you and everyone around you. It changes your perspective on just about everything.
I watched my husband take on a new project that in the end just let him down. I learn from him just about every day that mistakes are okay and our own personal failures only make us stronger. The combination of the two make us succeed when it matters most. That good things come to those who wait and that money does not buy happiness.
Both of our Christmas cards this year had the same basic message and from the opposite end of the spectrum from last year. Last year reflected the doom and gloom of the economy and was all about slashed prices. This year our personal annual CD was titled “Peace, Love and Good Tunes” and boasted some new fun songs but some classic feel goods too. My work cards read inbright-colored letters “Hope, Peace and Cookies,” and I delivered them with boxes of Barbara Lynch’s home-made cookies. Both frivolous for sure, but the message was loud and clear.
2010 is a day away and I am ready for everything it brings. My New Year’s resolutions are simple and mirror the sentiment of the holiday cards. I watched one of my favorite holiday movies last night, The Holiday, and Jude Law’s character is what really inspired me to write today. It’s the comfort of the things we know, the fantasy of that we don’t and the little things like cookies and great songs that make us who we are. That is how we get from one day to the next.
I wish you lots of those little things and in true Daily Cookie form, I know money does not buy happiness, but it does not exactly fend it off either. So here is more to spend in 2010.
Happy New Year!
Filed under: Feast
HO HO HO and YUM YUM YUM!
This year my commander and chef and I put out quite the Italian spread for our guests. We started our day with some delicious salumi and cheese from our favorite shop Salumeria Italiana in the North End.
Our primi course was Fusili Lunghi Con Pomodorini al Forno compliments of Lidia Bastianich. Translated this is long fusili with roasted tomatoes. This pasta dish requires a lot of prep work and time, but it is absolutely scrumptuous. Simple ingredients (panko crumbs, chopped capers, freshly grated pecorino romano, fresh basil and garlic, dried oregano and EVOO) that make every bite unbelievable. You roast the tomatoes first topped with the bread crumb mixture and then set them aside to cool, slice into quarters and later add to the cooked pasta. The only sauce for the pasta is a garlic infused EVOO that you do yourself earlier in the day. The little grooves and spirals in the long fusili capture it all when mixed – truly genius. We feasted on this for lunch the next day too.
Our second course was a slow roasted tenderloin that can be found in Barbara Lynch’s new book Stir. Cooking classes and this book were two gifts to Mike. Key ingredients here are thyme and time – you need a lot of both to properly cook. We ordered 8.25 pounds of meat from Sulmona – a little butcher shop in the North End. It was by far the biggest and best piece of meat we have ever had. Oh and they only take cash.
With the tenderloin we served sautéed green beans with tomatoes and basil and a butternut squash gratin with pesto – both recipes from one of our favorites to watch and try, Giada de Laurentiis.
An Italian caesar salad (its made with sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts) finished our meal.
We served a champagne punch made with champagne (hence the name), pomegranate juice, simple syrup, white rum and garnished with lemons, cranberries and mint. And then with dinner some Veuve for our holiday toast and two delicious wines – a Forman Cabernet and of course a 2005 Barbaresco.
Tradition in our home calls for a huge dessert buffet that is devoured by our ten and then many more family and friends. This year’s highlights were home-made cookies – my Moms charmelles and pizelles and Ms. Lynch’s assorted chocolate and sea salt, shortbread and sugar cookies, my favorite bow ties and macaroons from Jube’s little hot spot and a few cakes and pies. And much more champagne punch and wine. I think I blew out the candles and cleaned the last glass at around 11:30PM. We started at 2. . .great effort.
Mom, Dad, Jubes, Jodi, Hal, Emery, Lila, Henri, Tom and June – thanks for coming and sharing our full day and to everyone else, hope you too enjoyed a feast like ours.
p.s. – today I went back to pilates and completed day 2 of my cleanse. LOL.
This post is late – one month exactly now. Sorry Candy. But lets hope I can make up for it with my tribute to a wonderful city and an even better friend.
The end of the summer and first half of September were very trying for me. I am the first to admit I was not myself and let my stress surface and take its toll on all of those around me, my family, my friends and even my job. I had surgery; not the kind that is super invasive but enough to make you think.
My surgery was scheduled for the day before we were supposed to go to Montreal for one of my oldest and bestest friends ”special” birthdays. There was really no other time I could schedule my procedure, as I liked to call it, and no other weekend to celebrate with Candy. I had to do both. My procedure was actually pretty quick and complete on Thursday Sept 10 at 3pm. We were on the road bandages in place, bottle of Tylenol by my side on Friday Sept 11 at 10:30 am. The support of Mike, my parents and Aunt Jubes and knowing that I was going to spend a great weekend with my friends got me through the day and motivated to get better real fast. I am big on having something to look forward to.
I had never been to Montreal. –And sorry to say, I did not know one of my best friends in the whole wide world was born there. I thought she had just picked Montreal as a fun destination city to visit. I had no idea that she was going on her birth tour!
We had an amazing weekend. The feline phenomenon took Montreal like no other. The weather, the company, the cuisine, the shopping (now that got me up and on my feet pretty damn fast) and learning something new about a dear friend were exactly what the doctor ordered.
Montreal is beautiful and easy to get to for a long weekend. I highly recommend you make the trip. Stay in Old Montreal in one of the boutique hotels and submerge yourself in the architecture and the culture. You swear you are in Europe. No one seems to be in a hurry to go or do anything and the ease of long days that flow right into a nap and then great late dinner are contagious.
Spending time with family and friends is always the best medicine whether you are sick or not. Make the time to do more of it. I am absolutely fine now and healing quite nicely. The only memories I will have from this experience are good ones - I am lucky for so many reasons and visiting a new place with old friends is definitely one of them.
Montreal: It’s young, it’s old, it’s daring, it’s comfortable, it’s hip and it overflows with tradition. It will always be there. Just like a great friendship.
Happy Birthday Candy. xoxo Coco
Filed under: Events
I do not normally blog about any of my events or clients but it has been a while and this one was just too damn fun to miss.
Yesterday, I spent the day in Washington DC sightseeing with Santa Claus. Yes, you read correctly, Mr. Claus himself. I might add, he was dressed in full Santa garb. Poor thing it was so hot and stinky humid. But unlike me, he did not have the problem of what to wear when it’s not quite fall, but not summer either. Seasonal transitions are tough on us fashion slaves.
Santa (and entourage – he is a celebrity after all) rode the Metro, traveled all over downtown in a pedicab, passed out fun prizes and games at GW University and in front of the White House, and even got to meet and hang with Slapshot at the Kettler Ice Rink (where the Washington Capitals practice – who knew Santa was a hockey fan?!) and sit at the news editor’s desk at WTOP.
I had never “cast” a Santa before. And finding one in September is harder than you think. I researched online and found a couple talent and entertainment sites that had a few good Santas. We picked our Santa because he had gone to Santa School (I swear I am not making that up). Wonder what room and board is up to in the North Pole as it’s insane here in the States.
Our Santa was a true professional – he was a joy on the phone (loved getting the message Mr. Claus is on line one), in emails (signed all of his, merrily,) and most importantly, in person. My colleague and I were discussing how Santa manages to find the kid in everyone and he always produces a smile.
So why was Santa in DC you ask? To announce the 3rd Annual Salute to Our Troops. I know I have blogged about this event before. It is the program I have produced with Microsoft for the troops the past two years. This is the first year we are hosting in DC, the past two have been in the Big Apple. So while producing a series of super fun events with a great client and working for a such a worthy cause, I am also getting the opportunity to explore and conquer a whole new territory.
Santa thanks for being you. Readers for more info on Salute and what I am working on in DC, check out www.Salutetoourtroops.org.
And listen up. . . it is true, he keeps a list. But he is huge on clean slates and redemptions. It’s September, you still have time!
HO HO HO!