Monday, April 14, 2014

Coachella Inspired

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held every year over the second and third weekends in April in Indio, California.  This popular event is not only known for its music, but also for its eclectic fashion and all eyes are on festival attendees to scope out the best outfits.  Since we are in between Coachella weekends, I decided that this week would be the perfect time to post an outfit that I would wear if I were attending the festival this year.  I put together an outfit using pieces provided by Conversation Pieces, a boutique stocked full of carefully selected, cool, effortless items that are all made in the USA and perfect for music festivals (as well as pretty much any occasion where you want to look good).  I started with this breezy floral maxi dress and paired it with a straw hat for shade, delicate gold jewelry for a feminine touch, a crossbody bag just big enough to hold the essentials, neutral heeled sandals, and a denim jacket to ward off the evening chill.  I know I will be reaching for these pieces over and over again this summer and beyond.

 Dress c/o Conversation Pieces: "Abstract Floral Pattern Maxi Dress," $48 here
Hat c/o Conversation Pieces: "Havana Cool Straw Hat" in tan (no longer available), see similar "Sunny Staple Panana Hat, $22 here
Bracelets c/o Conversation Pieces: "Hammered Bracelet set, $18 here
Necklace c/o Conversation Pieces: "Travel Charm Necklace" (no longer available), check out the "House Charm Layering Necklace," $12 here
Denim Jacket: "The Jean Jacket" in sea glass, $118 at Madewell here
Sandals: Zara (old), similar Nine West "Ventana Leather Sandal" in birch/carne, $78.95 at Nordstrom here
Bag: Tory Burch (old), similar Tory Burch "Amanda Mini Crossbody" in royal tan, $275 at Bloomingdale's here

Conversation Pieces Boutique has been selling their carefully selected lineup of easy-wearing go-to pieces since 2002, and they just recently launched their first storefront in Long Beach.  Check out more of my favorite items available online below:

Left: "Add Some Aloha Maxi Dress" in azure, $54 here
Middle: "Lace and Lemonade Crop Top," $27 here
Right: "Blushing Summer Tote," $54 here

If you are attending Coachella, what pieces did you choose for your perfect outfit(s)?  If you didn't attend but would like to, what outfit would you put together for the occasion?  Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a great week!

Financial compensation was not received for this post. Products were provided free of charge from Conversation Pieces Boutique, but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Style Remix: Neon Yellow

I love that Seattle is starting to feel like spring!  We're seeing more sunshine this week and temperatures in the 60's in the afternoons.  This weekend, we are even supposed to hit 70 degrees in the city.  I am enjoying the ability to wear lighter layers with brighter colors, and today's outfit is a great example of a spring combo.  I unpacked my neon yellow clutch and sweater with neon yellow trim for the season, and paired them with a light cotton oxford shirt, jeans, and pumps.  I love the little ship steering wheel print on this shirt, and that it shows through the sheer sweater!  I also added a light trench coat in the last two photos, because around here you never know when it's going to start raining and having a light jacket is always a good idea.

Sweater: Caslon via Nordstrom (no longer available)
Clutch: Purchased in Hong Kong
Necklace: "Crystal Neon Dot Necklace" in neon yellow, $16 (on sale) at T+J Designs here
 Trench: Banana Republic (old), similar "Julie Trench" in smog/white, $249 at Club Monaco here
Shirt: "Soft-Wash Nautical Print Shirt" in white (available in petite!), $59.99 (on sale!) at Banana Republic here
Denim: Joe's Jeans (old), similar Joe's Jeans "Skinny Ankle Stretch Jean" in bridget, $139.40 (on sale!) at Amazon here
Pumps: Tahari "Livvy Pump" (no longer available), similar BCBG Paris "Dromka Pump" in beige, $74.95 at DSW here
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Henry" in gold, $250 at Piperlime here

A pop of neon is a great way to add spring color to your outfit, even if the weather isn't cooperating quite yet.  Accessories like sunglasses, belts, and clutches are an inexpensive and easy way to add that bright color.  Check out my picks for spring neon accessories below, all under $40:

Left: Steve Madden "S5322" Aviator Sunglasses in neon pink, $35.99 at Zappos here
Middle:  Banana Republic "Patent Skinny Belt" in deep neon yellow, $17.99 (on sale!) at Banana Republic here
Right: "Neon Hard Clutch" in orange (also available in pink and black), $24.90 at Delia's here

How would you style neon pieces for spring?  Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you are having a great week so far!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mixed Stripe Fit-and-Flare Dress

If you know me, you know I love a good sale at Banana Republic.  Over the last couple of weeks, BR has been offering stacked discounts on sale items.  While browsing the petite section, I found this "Mixed Stripe Fit-and-Flare" dress with a size 0P online for me to snap up at an additional 25% off sale price plus an additional 10% off for BR Luxe card members.  The sale price minus discounts brought the dress down from $140 to $76--score!  The poly/cotton blend fabric has just the right amount of stretch, and the coverage makes it perfect for the office.  I also love the color--and any excuse to break out my cobalt suede pumps.  I know I will get a ton of wear out of this dress this spring and beyond.

 Dress: Banana Republic (no longer available online)
Tights: Forever 21 (no longer available online), similar Jessica Simpson "Fishnet Bow Tights" in jet black, $8.99 at Macy's here
Pumps: Chinese Laundry "Area" Pump in cobalt suede, $59 at Macy's here
Clutch: Hobo International (old), similar Hobo "Lauren" Clutch in black, $110 at Zappos here
Necklace: Baublebar (old), check out the "Lucilla Shield Collar Necklace" in black, $52 at Baublebar here
Watch: Karl Lagerfeld "7 Faceted Bezel Bracelet Watch, 44mm x 53mm" in black, $250 at Nordstrom here
 Ring: "Silver Classic Cigar Band," $36 at Baublebar here

A fit-and-flare dress is a tremendously versatile spring piece.  You can dress one up with jewelry and heels for a special occasion like I did here (spring weddings, anyone?), add a blazer and pumps for the office, or simply add flats and a cardigan for a casual lunch date.  I'm partial to stripes, as you all know, so I picked out my favorite striped fit-and-flare dresses for today's featured items.  All three dresses are currently priced under $80!

Left: Allen B "Sleeveless Striped Fit-and-Flare Dress" in black/silver birch, $49.99 (on sale!) at JC Penney here
Middle: Ivy & Blu "Three-Quarter Sleeve Lace with Velvet Flocking Fit-and-Flare Dress" in black/blush (love that it comes with a bow belt!), $56.68 (64% off!) at Amazon here
Right: Maggy London "Printed Cotton Sateen Fit-and-Flare Dress" in blue multi, $76.99 (on sale!) at Amazon here

Linking up with the lovely Agi over at Vodka Infused Lemonade
for her Tres Chic Fashion Thursday series!

How would you style a striped fit-and-flare dress for spring?  Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a great rest of your week!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Flared Denim

Hello and happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I reserved this weekend for much-needed rest and catch-up tasks after a busy month of travel.  My catch-up tasks included doing laundry, cleaning the house, restocking some essential household items, and some retail therapy.  I wore this outfit Saturday afternoon for my shopping rounds, and felt like the retro vibe of this look channeled my inner Farrah Fawcett.  The casual, effortless combo of flared denim, a silk blouse, a long cardigan, and comfy heels was perfect for an afternoon of shopping.  All I was missing was those perfect Farrah Fawcett feathered curls!  Next time...

Denim: J Brand "Lovestory" Jeans (old), check out the current "aura" color, $185 at Barneys New York here
Blouse: "Zip-Pocket Top" in white, $69.99 (on sale!) at Banana Republic here
Sweater: Kersh (old), similar "Classic Merino Long Cardigan" in heather sandstone, $89.50 at J Crew here 
Pumps: Tahari (no longer available online), similar BCBG Max Azria "Dromka" Pump in beige, $74.95 at DSW here 
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Henry" in gold, $250 at Piperlime here
Rings & Necklaces: Baublebar & Forever 21 (old)
Tote: Prada "Saffiano Lux Small Tote" in navy, see available colors at Saks Fifth Avenue here

These J Brand "Lovestory" flares are a closet staple for me, and I humbly believe that a good fitting pair of flared jeans are closet staple for any fashionista.  I love how this style makes legs look super long!  I have a high-waisted lighter wash pair of flared denim on my spring shopping list for more of a 70's summery look.  Check out my picks for flared denim below:

Left: "Georgia Flare Jean" in bright light broken twill (loving this high-waist style!), $225 at 7 For All Mankind here
Middle: "1969 Long & Lean Jeans" in medium wash (such a great pricepoint!), $69.95 at Gap here
Right: Paige Denim "Skyline Bootcut Jean" in alexis (this deep blue color is my fav), $169 at Nordstrom here

What is your favorite way to style flared denim for spring?  Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Long Blazer

I know I'm a few days late in saying this, but happy first days of spring!  I just returned Monday night from a week of skiing in the Austrian Alps with a fantastic group of friends, and I have the "goggle tan" to prove it, ha!  While I love winter and skiing, I am so ready for spring.  The weather may not be cooperating right now, but I am looking forward to longer days, warmer temperatures, and more sunny days.  Spring also means outfit transitions to lighter layers, cooler fabrics, and a refreshed set of pantone colors.  I found this long turquoise blue blazer on my first trip to Shanghai, and was immediately drawn to both the color and streamlined shape.  The lightweight crepe fabric is perfect for spring, and I am excited to finally style this standout piece.  For today's outfit, I decided to keep it casual by pairing this long blazer with a white oxford shirt, boyfriend jeans, and booties. I think the only thing I would like to add to this outfit would be maybe a wide-brimmed hat?

Blazer: Only (purchased in Shanghai)
Blouse: BCBG (old), similar "Fitted Boyfriend Oxford Shirt" in optic white, $49.95 at Gap here
Denim: Joe's Jeans (old), check out the "1969 Sexy Boyfriend Jeans" in calvind wash (available in petite and tall!), $69.95 at Gap here
Belt: Calvin Klein (old), similar Calvin Klein "Jeans Belt" in black, $30 at Amazon here
Booties: Halogen "Katrina" bootie in black, $99.95 at Nordstrom here
Purse: Pour La Victoire "Butler" tote in black, $395 at Nordstrom here
Rings: "Silver Classic Cigar Band," $36 at Baublebar here, "Double Cone Ring" in silver, $24 at Baublebar here, and "Silver Ice Midi Ring Trio" in silver, $32 at Baublebar here

I think this long blazer will also look great styled over a slim dress for a night out, or paired with another bright color like coral or yellow for some punchy colorblocking.  Check out the long blazers I found online below, all under $200:

Left: Cameo "Lost at Heart Long Blazer" in ivory, $196 at Nieman Marcus here
Middle: "Blazer with Contrast Detail" in white, $103.50 at ASOS here
Right: "Stratospheric Blazer" in black, $58 at Nasty Gal here

It's been too long since I last linked up with the lovely Agi over at Vodka Infused Lemonade - but I'm back this week!
In addition, I'm linking up with Lauren over at Style Elixir for her Friday's Fab Favorites!
Style Elixir
Would you wear a long blazer?  If so, how would you style it?  Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a great rest of your week!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Traveling the World: Shanghai in March

As many of you know, I have traveled to Shanghai repeatedly over the last year as part of a project team for work.  My first trip was last June, and my fourth trip spanned two weeks during the end of February and beginning of March.  I have very much enjoyed visiting this exciting, fast-paced, and ever-growing city and also love to share my photos and travel experiences here on the blog.  Please read on for photos and details of this visit.

Scarf: Burberry, similar "Burberry Check Merino Wool Scarf" in ivory check, $295 at Nordstrom here
Long-sleeved tee: H&M Long-Sleeved Jersey Top, similar "Vintage Cotton Long-Sleeve Tee" in black, $34.50 at J Crew here

February is typically cold and wet in Shanghai, but that weather makes a perfect opportunity for hot pot with a group.  We went to a restaurant called Faigo Hot Pot inside of the Cloud Nine Mall one of those rainy evenings, where we each had our own individual pot of broth plus plates of meat, tofu, and vegetables to share.  I think this is a great way to do hot pot, because everyone can add chili sauce to their desired level of spiciness.

The weekend was more clear, so we took the opportunity to visit the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower (Dōngfāng Míngzhūtǎ) in the financial district of Lujiazui on the Pudong side. We opted to purchase tickets that allowed us to have lunch in the rotating restaurant and also visit the observation decks.

View of the Bund from the rotating restaurant.  The windows are tinted, so it looks gloomier than it really was.

View of the Shanghai World Financial Center (left, looks like a bottle opener), Jin Mao tower (middle, shorter building with tiered exterior), and the Shanghai Tower (right, tallest building of the three and still under construction but it will be 121 stories when complete).

Standing on the glass-bottomed skywalk 263 meters (863 feet) above the ground.

My colleague Colby and I on the glass-bottomed skywalk!

This guy has a terrifying job, in my opinion.  He was standing on a tiny ledge washing the exterior of the observation deck windows, tethered with just a rope.  Eeep.

Another view from the glass-bottomed skywalk, looking at the river with the Bund on the other side.  Everyone else was sitting on the deck taking pictures, so it seemed like the thing to do.  =)

Roasted pig neck with lemon at a Cantonese restaurant called Charme.  Delicious!

Baked eggplant stuffed with pork and a delicious sweet sauce, also at Charme.  This and the pork neck were my favorite dishes from this restaurant, but everything we had was very good.

My last night in Shanghai was beautiful and clear, so our group decided to go out to a French restaurant called the Cathay Room in the Fairmont Hotel on the Bund.  We had a fantastic meal, and were also able to go out on the deck to take some amazing photos.  Check out the details below!

These bread baskets were different types of white/wheat bread roll dough baked together in the same pan, so you could pull apart the rolls and have whichever type you preferred.  Genius!

My poached lobster both looked and tasted incredible!  I definitely recommend this upscale restaurant for a fancy meal.

Several of my colleagues had this tender lamb - and of course I sampled.  It was also amazingly good.

This is the view from the Cathay Room's outdoor patio.  Their location is perfect for photos of the Pudong skyline!

The view of the Bund from the Cathay Room's outdoor patio - the Fairmont Hotel is at one end of the Bund, also perfect for looking down at the busy evening scene.

Colby and I enjoying the view!  We just met each other this trip, because we work in two separate groups within the company, and I am so thankful for her sweet and cheerful attitude!  We had so much fun together as the two girls of the group.

Of course I had to include a photo of the entire team, with the boys!  We had such a great group of people and I truly enjoyed working with each and every person on this project.  This trip was supposed to be my last to close out the project, but now there is talk of one more follow-up trip for me in April.  Of course, I won't object to another visit to Shanghai (especially because the weather should be warmer and sunnier in April) and look forward to sharing even more views and meals from this fabulous city during different seasons of the year.  Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great week!
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