Monday, December 19, 2011

winter warm-ups

This winter has definitely been more bearable than most in NYC weather-wise ... but the temp is finally dropping and I find myself looking for accessories that will do double-duty: both dress + warm me up this season.

Scarves are my go-to accessory year-round, but I especially love to switch them up--kind of like a pick me up over my (same old) go-to winter coat. Etsy is absolutely amazing for hand-made and one-of-a-kind scarves and wraps - the kind you will want to leave on long after you've shed your gloves and hat.

This EcoShag "super chunky" infinity is my most recent favorite find . . .
. . . while these wool + leather combo snoods from RunSystem63 are perfect for adding a touch of style to an otherwise drab look. Plus they're made out of 100% soft wool and can be unsnapped, wrapped once or twice (as they are shown in all the photos here).  

I love the ingeneous designs and amazing textures, and (with winter knits, it's actually true) the bigger, the better.

Speaking of which, I cannot get over these giant handknit scarves by Tallulah G. She had me at "100% super soft chunky merino wool," but what really made me fall in love is the leather buckle detail.  

This one is ten feet long and hand made to order, with a real leather clasp that makes the whole look totally customizable. The neutral yarn and leather color combinations mean there is definitely one ready to complete your winter ensemble.

If you love the look but not the price tag, or are just looking for a cool + practical DYI this winter, you need to get your hands on a knit kit from Wool and the Gang - the coolest thing to happen to knitting like, maybe, ever. They have everything you need - and need to know - in order to knit yourself everything from sweaters to scarves to headbands and every thing in between. Check it out:

It sounds like such a good idea, and judging by the success of WATG, it definitely is.  Just don't get too carried away ... and, of course, have fun! Grandma would be proud.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

adorable (+ work appropriate) add-ons

At my office, the “business casual” dress code is definitely open to interpretation, and more times than not I am guilty of going way too heavy on the “casual” while being much too modest with the “business.”

As much as I love toeing the line with booties and oversize knits, for the most part at the office I stick to showing off with easily removable + adorable accents.  During my 9-to-5, accessories are definitely the perfect platform for showing off my personal style without crossing over from professional to party girl. As you may have gathered from my first post, I love to choose pieces that have big impact without all the bulk--which also makes them perfect for pushing the envelope at work. 

My tried-and-true favorite is these Alex and Ani expandable bangles, which add flair to everything from answering the phone to typing an e-mail. They come in different variations of silver and gold, with dangling charms, beautiful beads, metal pieces and other adorable add-ons that I literally love to pile on.

Here are some of their newer bangle sets I cannot wait to get my hands on...

Alex and Ani is a fixture on Gilt Groupe as well, which is where I find especially unique sets (like my latest score, here on the right) that are usually left off of the website and out of most stores. On those days, you will find me locked and loaded at 11:59 AM, mouse in hand and ready to grab the best ones when the clock strikes noon.

Basically, I can’t get enough of layering and stacking them on my wrist, usually in some mixed-up mess of gold and silver with spikes and colored beads or other funky baubles that I've collected over the years.

Usually, I just run out the door with a thick wrist-full of whichever ones I am feeling in the morning.  Then, if my day changes and suddenly there is a client to meet or a conference to attend, I can simply slip off the bolder bracelets and leave on a few simple, sleek bangles.

It starts off looking like this . . .

Then, when I run to happy hour I just add on a few more of these . . .

 . . . + I end up with a seriously eye-catching look:

If your day-to-day allows, I say go for it with a stack of mismatched bangles.  If not, try to sneak in your chic a few bracelets at a time. Why not mix some pleasure into all that business?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

cushion cues

A simple message with a not-so-subtle delivery system, these ingenious pillows are my latest decor obsession.  The self-proclaimed "sassy little pillow company" is the brainchild of Alexandra Ferguson, who doesn't beat around the bush with these plush reminders.  Somehow I don't think it will feel right to grab a snack and settle in for a long night in front of the TV next to this:

If the gym isn't really your thing, or you don't need a reminder (good for you!), I am pretty sure you can find a more appropriate option in some of Alexandra's other pillow prompts.  Here are some "house rules" and a bit of "good advice" that's too cute to be tossed aside:

Bonus: even if you didn't call Mom or swap your brownies for broccoli, you can still feel good about the fact that these adorable pillows are handmade in NYC from 100% post-consumer recycled felt (the equivalent to removing four plastic bottles from a landfill!) And who knows--you might even find yourself acting a little nicer...or getting a bit more action.

[All photos via Alexandra Ferguson's Etsy page as well as her blog.]

Thursday, November 24, 2011

tiny treasures: irresistible finds from catbird

My most favorite accessories are those that are modest in size but unexpectedly bold when it comes to shape and style.  Even though I don’t do fur, I cannot get enough of jewelry that takes the form of animal silhouettes—particularly the ones with scales, tails and fangs.  I love taking a closer look at a darling little ring only to find that it's actually a coiled snake and I live for those pieces that marry fragility and ferocity.

That is exactly what I find every time I stop by the super adorable boutique "catbird." This Brooklyn favorite proves that even the daintiest duds shouldn't lack detail, and their selection of jewelry, home goods, fragrances, cold weather accessories and other tiny gifts make me especially thankful that this sought-after shop is located a few blocks from me in Williamsburg. The place itself is so tiny, but every time I'm there I find a million more lovely little things that I didn't know I wanted but suddenly cannot live without.  Their irresistible selection of quirky greeting cards are the kind that make you want to invent holidays just for an excuse to buy them. (Happy Start-of-the-Barney's-Warehouse-Sale Day! Congratulations on your amazing new thrift store find!) All in all, the entire selection is a perfect mash-up of new items and old favorites, almost all of which are on my wish-list this year.

As hard as it was to narrow it down, here are the three little treasures I would be most grateful to unwrap this season:



(one) These Jezebel Ant Studs effortlessly toe the line between rebellious and refined. They can be easily taken from day to night, and their size makes them equally easy to pull off at work.  Where ever I am headed this fall--for work or play--is for the perfect occasion to sweep my hair into a high bun to show off this pair. 

(two) A serious incentive to RSVP "yes" to a couple more holiday parties than usual this season, this dashing Fourteen-Point Buck Ring is sure to add the perfect flash of holiday cheer every time I raise my glass.

(three) No need to wait for Cupid--I am already love struck by this Bluejay Arrow Necklace. The arrow is super sleek but still edgy enough to make a serious statement and the feather just makes the whole thing totally irresistible. It's even more beautiful in person.


So after you've given thanks for the numerous blessings that I hope are yours this time of year, take a few minutes to share the tiny finds that you think deserve some thanks-giving (and hopefully some getting!) this holiday season... Enjoy!