Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Going the Distance

In case you haven't noticed by now, I love dressing up. Whatever the day, whatever the occasion, you will usually find that I'm the most dressed up person in the room. I'm sure in cities like Paris or Manhattan, dressing up is the norm, but here in Atlanta, people tend to be more relaxed about their attire. I usually stick out because of this fact, but if you're going to go all out... GO ALL OUT! Who cares what people think; embrace your style and just be you.

Many of my dresses could work for easily for both the office and a cocktail party, and today's dress is no exception. The sparkly detailing works to make what could have been a typical v-neck fit and flare dress oh so much fun. The print is leopard, too. Mrrroww!

Outfit Details:

Dress: BCBGMaxAzria Hannelli Leopard-Jacquard Dress

You can find the dress at several online retailers, including:

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Memento Tizzy Textured Leather Sandals

I was super excited to see Diane Kruger wearing the sandals in silver to the 2017 Oscars Vanity Fair Party. Other celebs, like Amber Valletta and Thandie Newton, have also been spotted in these sandals.

The sandals are very comfortable for such a high heel. I just love my Jimmy Choos!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Combining Prints

Watching the Oscars, especially the pre-show parade of stars down the red carpet, is always so inspiring. I love spotting trends and ranking my favorite dresses of the night. Chapin calls it my "fashion porn."

That's why I decided to dress up a little more than usual for work today in this fit and flare dress from Badgley Mischka, complete with glittering Jimmy Choo sandals.

Outfit of the Day

Dress: Badgley Mischka Combo Print Fit and Flare Dress 

This dress, which I of course bought on sale, combines two different prints: a striped one up top and a floral one on bottom. I like the uniform use of color, and the different prints helps elevate the overall design. The slash of color at the waist even makes it looks like I'm wearing a belt.

I would say size down for this brand. I am wearing a size four, but the dress is a little big up top. I may end up getting it taken in a bit. In addition to Amazon, you can also find the dress at Neiman Marcus.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Claudet 100 Lamé Sandals

I could have worn a purple or pink shoe, but I went with a neutral color today as a nod to the color scheme of last night's awards show.

Oscars 2017 Fashion Highlights

I was a little disappointed with the lack of color on the red carpet last night; most of the stars dressed in neutral or metallic hues, with some red thrown in every now and then.

One of my favorite dresses was Halle Berry's one-shouldered Versace gown. I'm sure it's even more stunning in person, with the fabric glittering from head to toe. (It did remind me of the gold one-shouldered look she wore in 2003; clearly, she gravitates toward a certain silhouette.)

I was surprised at the number of long-sleeved gowns at the 2017 Academy Awards. The red Valentino that Ruth Negga wore was gorgeous, but so buttoned up and a little too stuffy for me. (And I couldn't help having flashbacks of the Valentino dress Florence Welch wore to the Oscars in 2011. Maybe she was just ahead of her time.)

My other favorites of the night included Nicole Kidman and Emma Roberts, both in Armani Privé.

Overall, I felt like a lot of celebs played it safe this year, which made for a lackluster red carpet. But, still, I enjoyed watching the show, especially the opening dance number (Justin Timberlake helped get people out of their seats and dancing to start the show) and the inclusion of Michael J. Fox and Back to the Future. It was an entertaining show, to be sure!

In other news, today is my sister's due date, but there is no sign of baby just yet. I'll keep you all posted!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Asian Inspired Sheath Dress

Buying this dress was sort of an accident. You've heard of drunk dialing, right? Well, welcome to the age of drunk shopping. I should never be allowed to browse retail sites on my phone when red wine is involved.

It was even more of a surprise, then, to realize how much I love this dress. To be honest, I wasn't sure it would even fit, but it seems made for my body, and I love the see-through cap sleeves, mock turtleneck and overall Asian inspired design. Drunk Michele did well!

Dress: Alice and Olivia Marya Scalloped Hem Black and Gold Lace Sheath Dress

The dress can be purchased online at the Alice and Olivia retail site, Farfetch, and Neiman Marcus. I also found it for sale on eBay.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Bronx Black and Gold Buckle Sandals (sold out)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring Weather in February

Seventy-five degrees in February is a great way to start off another week, and I wanted my happy mood to come through in my clothes. That's why I chose this colorful striped confection from Eva Franco to wear to work today.

Dress: Eva Franco Striped Fit and Flare Dress

The dress is still available at Dillards.com in select sizing, and is on sale for just $47 (marked down from $188).

If you like the stripes ("Finland Stripes"), you can also get the dress in a different silhouette on 6pm.com.

Pumps: Manolo Blahnik BB Pumps in  Raspberry Patent Leather

I just adore how the raspberry color of my shoes perfectly matches the raspberry color in the dress.

Why am I in such a good mood? Well, maybe because my next nephew will be born this week (if he comes on time). My sister, Gail, is pregnant with her first child, a boy due on the 27th. It's an exciting time for our family!

Speaking of family, I enjoyed celebrating the two people who already have February birthdays: my mom and my sister, Laura. My mom made a Mexican food spread for us all to enjoy, and we had cake and cookies for dessert. (I made these hazelnut chocolate chunk cookies, and just swapped out the flour for gluten-free flour so I could eat them, too. I will definitely make them again; they were so yummy.)

The painting in the background is the Ali Leja Designs angel painting that Chapin and I got my mom for Christmas. I gave Ali a photo of my grandmother, and she painted the angel to resemble her, complete with little details like the rose she wore on her lapel.

If you're looking for a local artist, I highly recommend Ali. She is immensely talented, and lives in the Atlanta suburbs. She also did the portrait of George I commissioned over the summer.

With my mom, Laura, and Laura's two sons on 2/18/2017.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

That Velvet Touch

I found today's dress while shopping with my mom over the weekend. We stopped into the Karen Millen store at Lenox Square Mall, and of course there was an awesome sale going on, so I had to buy something. My mom picked out this black and white dress with the sweetheart neckline, and it seems made for me. I just love it. Best of all, it's velvet, so it's incredibly soft to the touch.

Dress: Karen Millen Printed Velvet Fit and Flare Dress

The dress is still available at Karen Millen and Bloomingdales.com. The brand is British, so the sizing is not going to be totally comparable to American sizing. My recommendation is to go up one to two sizes, depending on the cut of the dress. I'm normally a size four, and I'm wearing a size six in this fit and flare dress. If the dress were fitted to the hips, I would probably go up to a size eight.

It was a nice change to actually be in the store trying on a dress, rather than buying it online. I definitely got my steps in that day, too!

Sandals: Sophia Webster Micah Angel Wing Satin Ankle Strap Sandals

I decided to wear these Sophia Webster sandals with the dress, not just because the design on the sandals really complements the pattern on the dress, but because they have angel wings. I think angels will always be synonymous with my mom for me, because she adores them so much, and she truly believes in them.

It's nice to have something to believe in.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Heart Alice and Olivia

Happy Valentine's Day 2017! There are two things I just love about this holiday:

1. Heart-shaped candy. I can't get enough of the Valentine's Day Peppermint Patties in the shiny silver, red and pink wrappers. Fortunately, they are not the worst candy to eat in terms of fat and calories, because I will devour several in one sitting!

2. Sugar-coated fashion. I love seeing people dress up in red or pink, or in any type of Valentine's Day themed outfit. Take my dress today, for example. Wearing this dress on any other day just wouldn't be the same.

Outfit of the Day Details

Dress: Alice and Olivia Amor' Heart Pattern Fit and Flare Dress (no longer available)

There are so many things to love about this dress... the sweet heart pattern, the little cap sleeves, but especially the box pleats. This is a true fit and flare dress, snug at the waist and flaring out into a dramatic full skirt. The box pleats help push the skirt out a little more than in a typical fit and flare dress, giving it a 1950s vibe. (Though the skirt is definitely a little short to be vintage-inspired.)

I don't love the back of the dress -- there is a transparent panel in the back that is thankfully black, so you can still wear a bra -- but the overall effect is still fun and feminine. All in all, the perfect dress for Valentine's Day. Plus, the fabric is wool, so you can stay warm on a chilly February day. (Of course, it was 70 degrees in Atlanta today!)

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Lang Sandals in Flame

I adore these sandals, not just because they're beautiful, but because they are surprisingly comfortable for such a high heel. You can still buy the sandals in a myriad of colors, and if you're going to splurge, they are definitely worth it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Hankie Hem

I was introduced to the "hankie hem" when I purchased today's dress. A hankie hem is basically a fancy way to talk about an uneven hemline with hanging corners. The overall effect resembles a handkerchief... thus, the name!

I will always think of my dad when I think about handkerchiefs, mostly because he almost always had one with him when I was growing up. (He and I both suffer from bad allergies.) I'm not sure when he stopped carrying one... maybe when he realized they were not exactly hygienic. Ha!

Today's dress is also special because it represents another great deal I found on Amazon.com.

  • Retail Value: $138
  • Purchase Price on Amazon: $24.56
That's more than 80% off. Score!

Outfit of the Day Details

DressTaylor Dresses Hankie Hem Lacey Applique Fit and Flare Dress

The dress is still available on Amazon in most sizes, though it's listed at full-price again. It's just a waiting game now. You will have to strike when the price drops again (and it inevitably will).

Sandals: Manolo Blahnik Cellin Double T-Strap Patent Leather Sandals (no longer available)

I love black and white dresses because it allows you to be much more free, color wise, with your accessories. Today, though, I opted just for simple black shoes, though red sandals would have added a nice pop of color.

If you like t-strap sandals, here are some similar Manolos available at Saks.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Selective Color

Today's dress is really simple - just a v-neck fit and flare dress with a floral motif - but I was drawn to the arrangement of the purple flowers against a dark background. The pattern reminds me of selective color photography, where sometimes just a specific element is in color, but everything else is in black and white.

My favorite use of this technique is actually in a film: Schindler's List (1993). The scene with the girl in the red coat is still so vivid in my memory.

Instead of pairing the dress with black pumps, I decided to go with purple (amethyst) jewelry and shoes. It's not so "matchy-matchy" and it still works. Sometimes adding a complimentary color, rather than one that matches your outfit exactly, can make it seem more stylish.

Dress: Erin Fetherston Nadine Fit and Flare Dress

You can still buy the dress on the ErinFetherston.com website and Lord & Taylor. This brand generally runs true to size, and the dress is on sale on both websites.

The dress is made of neoprene so it will travel well (won't wrinkle), and can work in any season. Best of all, it has pockets!

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik BB 105 Suede Ankle Strap Pumps

The pumps are a good investment piece, too. I can't imagine these shoes going out of style.

Monday, February 6, 2017

See-Through Fashion

I'm trying out my first dress from the Belle by Badgley Mischka line today. It's a little dressy for work, but anything goes on this rainy Monday. I scored a great deal on the dress at Dillards.com. If you're patient, you will see that the department store does some heavy discounting on clearance items every few months. I've nabbed dresses from designers like Erin Fetherston and Eva Franco for under $50. The deals are out there -- you just have to know where to look.

I was drawn to this dress not just because of its unique tiered lace design, but because of the mesh fabric in the lower part of the dress. I've been wanting to try a dress with a peek-a-boo element ever since I saw Gwyneth Paltrow in a hot pink Michael Kors with a see-through neckline at the 2013 Met Gala.

I had my nails done over the weekend, and I think it's cool how the deep maroon (CND Vinylux Nail Polish in Dark Dahlia) almost perfectly matches the dress. It's my first time trying out this nail polish brand, and we'll see how long it lasts. I love dark nail polishes in deep colors that are almost black, yet still have some element of color.

Dress: Belle by Badgley Mischka Fit-and-Flare Lace Valencia Dress

Sandals: Stuart Weitzman Soundtrack High Heel Sandals in Currant Suede

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bow Tie Trend

Bow ties in women's fashion are all the rage lately -- everyone from Elle Fanning to Drew Barrymore has been spotted sporting some type of bow tie -- and I am certainly embracing the trend. After wearing a black Alice + Olivia bow tie dress a few weeks ago, here I am in another tie-neck dress, this time via a silk creation by Diane von Furstenberg.

Outfit Details

Dress: Diane von Furstenberg Marisa Silk Tie-Neck Dress (sold out)

Although I normally shy away from silk dresses -- they are so frail and tend to easily wrinkle -- I just fell in love with this sweet silhouette. I love the blue print, and the dress overall is so easy and comfortable to wear. Plus, it looks really professional without being too stuffy.

Sandals: SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker

Celebrity Sighting!
The dress has been worn on two TV shows lately: Once Upon a Time and New Girl. Photos via WornonTV.net, a great website if you're wondering where to get the clothes you see on your favorite TV shows. (My favorites: the women on Pretty Little Liars and whatever Zooey Deschanel is wearing on New Girl.)

Even though it's only Thursday, I am so ready for the weekend. Work has been incredibly busy, and I know I'm not getting enough sleep. I can't wait to curl up with a book, my hubby and two little pugs and just relax. I recently started The Girl Before, by JP Delaney, and I don't want to put it down. I don't get much time to read during the week, and despite some overarching cliches weighing down the narrative, I'm excited to see how the story plays out. It's like nothing I've ever read before, and -- apparently -- Hollywood agrees. Ron Howard is already in line to possibly direct the film version.