Tuesday, July 17, 2018

End of an Era

It's a bittersweet day. We closed on our loft today, finally letting it go after owning it for 16 years. I know it was time, but I can't help feeling sad. It was our home for 11 of those years. We weren't even married when we bought it back in 2002. I was 24 years old, and buying the loft made both me and Chapin homeowners for the first time in our lives.

The first week, before we even moved in, we painted. Chapin and his dad did the hard part (the ceiling), but I helped after work and on the weekend. We had to bring in light, because we had no light fixtures yet, and it would get so dark we could barely see.

Later, we added hardwood floors and brought in new kitchen appliances. Chapin painted the column silver. He updated the bathroom floor.

There were so many good times. We had our rehearsal dinner there, and after our wedding Chapin hung my dress from the ceiling for months until I had the dress professionally stored.

A Photo from the Rehearsal Dinner at the Loft: October 31, 2003.

I threw Chapin a surprise party for his 30th party there. I hosted a bridal shower for my friend, Erin; bachelorette party for my friend, Katie; numerous parties and get togethers over the years.

We brought George home to the loft, and Izzie as well.  I got my MBA while we lived in the loft, and I remember being home alone, trying to study but procrastinating. I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and danced with George and Izzie as we watched Enchanted.

I knew it would be a tough day for me, so I decided to wear something pretty to make myself feel better. Enter this Shoshanna floral dress!

Dress: Shoshanna Basilica Dress

The dress is still available for purchase on the Shoshanna website, Amazon and Saks.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Fearne Glitter Criss-Cross Wedges

I know nothing can last forever, and that I have so many wonderful memories from the loft. I just hope the new owner appreciates it, and makes it a true home in this busy, hot, crowded city. It was not just a place to live for us -- it was a haven, and I will miss it.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Electric Blue

This French Connection dress is one I picked up at Belk during its store closing sale at Phipps Plaza, so I got it at a huge discount. I didn't love the dress when I first tried it on, but the color and the way it hugs my body are really flattering, so it's growing on me.

The dress is very tight fitting, and the material is not forgiving, so I have a few tips for wearing it:

First, make sure your strapless bra is seamless. If it has any sort of special design, it most likely will show through the crepe material.

Second, even though the dress has a fit and flare design, wear Spanx underneath, preferably a version that goes up below your breasts. You don't want any lines or lumps showing at your waist.

Outfit Details:

Dress: French Connection Rose Mesh-Inset Crepe Fit and Flare Dress

The exact dress and a few other variations are available now at Amazon, and you don't have to pay full retail price. This dress in a beautiful magenta is on sale at Amazon for just $26, for example. (For reference, I'm wearing the Cobalt color in a size four.)

You can also find the dress in red, magenta, white and black on the French Connection website. There is also a sleeveless version.

This sleeveless version is also available in white only on Bloomingdales.com.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Nude Tallow Sandals

Somehow, we're already midway through July, and I feel like the summer is just flying by so fast. I'm trying to enjoy it while I can, though I'm working more than ever. I'll leave you with the song that inspired the name of my post today: the 1987 hit, Electric Blue.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Polka Perfect

July is my favorite time to shop. The sales during the beginning half of the month are the best of the year. For example, I recently bought a pair of Christian Loubouin shoes for just $350. That's a steal if you know fashion.

So, it's no surprise that my husband is not happy with me of late. Will men ever understand the allure of a new dress, pair of shoes or handbag? I think not! There is a reason the #sorrynotsorry hashtag was invented! ;)

Today's dress is one I scored in a recent sale on the Alice + Olivia website. I adore everything about this dress, from the flutter sleeves to the polka dot print, so I just had to have it. 

I was worried it would not fit -- I'm wearing a size four for reference -- but I think I have lost the extra pounds I put on during our trip to Europe in May, so it's a little snug, but fits fine.

Dress: Alice + Olivia Farah Polka Dot Flutter Sleeve Dress

The dress is no longer on the Alice + Olivia site, but you can find it at a few other retailers, including Neiman Marcus (in blue/white polka dots) and Saks. (If you're wondering where I scored those discounted Louboutins, it was Saks. It's my favorite place to be in July.)

Shoes: Sophia Webster Mika Polka Dot Leather Pumps (no longer available)

A Piece of Nostalgia...
Am I the only one who thinks about the movie Big Business, starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin, whenever I wear black and white polka dots? My sisters and I loved (still love) this 80s movie, and can quote pretty much every line.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dressing for the Fourth

I know July Fourth is technically still a day away, but that doesn't mean I can't get my red, white and blue out! This dress from BCBGeneration is the perfect dress to show my patriotism. The chevron print boasts a variety of red hues, offset by black, white and royal blue.

Best of all, I nabbed the dress for just $13 at the Belk at Phipps Plaza. The store is closing at the end of the month, so everything is 40-60% off.

Outfit Details:

Dress: BCBGeneration Textured Knit Chevron Print Fit and Flare Dress

I almost didn't even try this dress on, since it's a size two, but I figured at such a low price, I had to give it a go... and then it fit me! It was a nice little pick-me-up to know I could squeeze into this size two dress.

You can still buy the dress online at Belk or Bluefly.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Lang Sandals

The shoes look more orange in the photo, but actually compliment the subtler shades of red in the dress extremely well.

I'm trying to hydrate today to get ready for the Peachtree Road Race tomorrow. I'm not anticipating a good run time, since it will be so hot and humid, but hopefully the fun atmosphere at the race will more than make up for the intense heat.

Happy Fourth!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Easy Summer Dress From CeCe

Dressing in summer should be light, breezy and easy, and that's why I love this gingham dress from CeCe. It's perfect for enduring the heat and humidity in Atlanta, and little details like the flutter sleeves and tailored fit mean it works equally well for both a day at work or a weekend adventure.

Best of all, this dress is very reasonably priced; I think I scored mine for about $35 from Lord & Taylor during a clearance sale. The store may still have a few sizes left!

Remember that the CeCe brand runs a bit large; I'm wearing a size two for reference.

Outfit Details:

Dress: CeCe by Cynthia Steff Flutter Sleeve Gingham Summer Dress

Find the exact dress at Dillard's or Nordstrom Rack, or a similar CeCe dress (in light blue with frayed flutter sleeves) at Macy's or Lord & Taylor.

Sandals: Schutz Hara Heeled Sandals

My husband even said I looked pretty today... and that's saying a lot!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Open Knit for Summer

With its rich pink color, open knit design, lacy sleeves and scallop edges, this Shoshanna dress is such a delicate beauty.

Open knit is usually more seen in the springtime, but I think you can easily wear it into summer, especially on days like today, when it's rainy, overcast and below 90 degrees.

Dress: Shoshanna Mori Open Knit Dress in Cerise

Find the dress at Amazon and Saks, as well as the Shoshanna website.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Nude Tallow Sandals

Earrings: Kendra Scott

Monday, June 25, 2018

Black in Summer

Black can be a difficult color to wear in summer, simply because it is just so damn hot out. The heat and humidity have been awful the past few weeks here in Atlanta, and summer has just started!

Anyway, today's dress may be black, but it's also an extremely breezy and simple dress to wear any time of year. I love the way the dress moves around me when I walk, and the leg slit is subtle but still sexy.

Chapin called today's pose my Angelina Jolie look.

Dress: Nanette Lepore First Mate Midi Dress in Black

The dress is available at just a few retailers right now: Amazon, Saks Off 5th and Bluefly.com. The dress is also available in red from RueLaLa.com.

The brand has started running big -- I'm wearing a size 2 for reference -- so just beware if you've never bought Nanette Lepore before.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Bronx Black and Gold Buckle Sandals

Monday, June 18, 2018

Setting the Right Tone

Atlanta is not a town that really likes to dress up. Even when going out to dinner with my husband on a Saturday night -- to a nice restaurant! -- I'm still probably going to be the most dressed up person in the room.

But that's fine with me.

I like dressing up because it makes me feel good. So today, on just an ordinary Monday, I chose to wear this beautiful white silver Shoshanna dress. I've been really stressed at work lately, and the right dress helps me set a positive tone for the day ahead.

Dress: Shoshanna Midnight Floral Beaded White Silver Fit and Flare Dress

The dress, although a few years old, is still available at RueLaLa (message me for an invite) and Bluefly.com. I love the metallic color and the pastel floral beading on the chest.

Shoes: Casadei Croc-Embossed Leather Slingback Pumps

I'm not sure how much time I'm going to have to blog in the upcoming weeks, but I'll do my best. Work is just crazy busy right now. If you are out shopping, there's some really good sales going on right now. For example, it's the best time of year to shop Saks Fifth Avenue -- the deals are amazing -- and you will find me at the Belk Phipps Plaza store hunting for bargains until the store closes at the end of July.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Summer of Color

It may not officially be Summer yet, but it's already in the 90s here in Atlanta, so it definitely feels like Summer. One of my favorite things about the "S" seasons: color. You can wear more color, eat more color and enjoy more colors everywhere you turn. 

Take today's outfit: I'm wearing a coral-colored dress, multi-colored shoes and purple Amethyst earrings. 

Dress: CeCe Criss-Cross Halter Dress in Coral

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Max 120 Multicolor Suede & Metallic Leather Ankle-Strap Platform Sandals

Monday, June 11, 2018

Frilly, Flirty Pink

My little sister, Laura, gave me this dress for my birthday this year, and it's like wearing cotton candy. It's fun and feminine and oh so sweet!

Dress: Trina Trina Turk Mysterious Lavish Floral Lace Dress

I love that the color of this dress is called "Pink Champagne" -- it's the perfect way to describe this bubbly pastel shade.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Nude Tallow Sandals

If I could clone these shoes, I would. They are chic and comfortable and so easy to wear with everything. Unfortunately, these shoes are no longer available, but here's a similar style: the Jimmy Choo Sheila 85. It has a fabulous name, too! (That's my mother-in-law's first name.)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Draper James Girl

Am I Draper James Girl?

The brainchild of Reese Witherspoon, Draper James is a brand catering to the classic Southern woman, someone who puts family first, is a regular at church, and wants to be pretty (and pretty perfect) at all times. (I often think a Draper James Girl would wear makeup to the gym, and that's so not me.) The dresses are designed to be flattering on a variety of body types, and most come in classic colors and cutesy prints. There was an even a bunny-print dress this past Easter.

But I am a Southern lady (of a certain age) who loves dresses  -- and dressing up -- so maybe I am a #DraperJamesGirl after all.

Dress: Draper James Magnolia Love Circle Dress -- On sale now for just $85.

Wedges: Jimmy Choo Fearne Glitter Criss-Cross Wedges

The dress runs a little big, so I'm in a size two. I was really drawn to the bright blue color and the comfortable design; it's perfect for a crazy day in the office. I've been having issues with my Outlook today and the power was out in our whole building for about 30 minutes. Ugh -- I'm so ready for the weekend.

Fortunately, I am starting things off right: with a trip to the movies tonight. I'm going with my Book Club to see Ocean's 8.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

I'm Back, Baby!

Hello! I took a little hiatus from my blog and Instagram for a few weeks, but I missed my fashion updates, so here I am.

Initially, my break was necessitated by the fact that I was away on vacation -- in Paris and London for ten days on an amazing birthday trip. Here are just a few photos:

After we came back from Europe, work and weather prevented me from posting an update. I was either too busy or it was too rainy to take a photo. Today, I made the time! (Fortunately, humidity is also low in Atlanta, so I'm having a very good hair day.)

Dress: Likely Carolyn Dress

This dress is my first from the relatively new Likely brand, which seems focused on getting classic styles out in a lot of different colors -- for a cheap price. It reminds me a lot of the Black Halo brand, as many dresses are form-fitting but still professional.

What you don't get here is the high-quality you see with other designer brands -- but you're also not paying for it. This dress, for example, is not lined at all, and the material is a little on the thin side, but I also spent just $75 on the dress. For someone like me who wears a lot of dresses, and doesn't like to pay a lot for each one, this brand is perfect. It gives you the room to experiment with different looks at a much cheaper price.

Most major retailers are carrying Likely, including Amazon, Saks and Bloomingdale's.

Shoes: Sophia Webster Boss Lady Pumps

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

This is 40

Well, it's here: I'm officially 40 years old!

I know today is just another day, but adding a new number to the front of my age really makes me feel old. Hopefully my 40s will the best decade yet.

I chose a Shoshanna dress to wear on this special day. Shoshanna continues to be one of my favorite designers, and the print on this dress is just too cute: it's made up of tiny little lipsticks!

Outfit Details:

Dress: Shoshanna Elvira Lipstick Fit and Flare Dress

You can find the exact dress at Saks and on the Shoshanna website, or -- if you like the print but are tired of the fit and flare style -- check out the halter version on Neiman Marcus.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Henna 100 Leather Open-Toe Ankle-Wrap Pumps

My staff threw me a little birthday party at the office today, complete with new company shirts for everyone. I'm so thankful to have such an amazing team.

Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Last Day of My 30s

Well, here we are: It's the last day of my 30s. Tomorrow, I enter a new decade.

I decided to wear something a little different for this special day: a jumpsuit!

Outfit Details:

Jumpsuit: Trina Turk Contessa Jumpsuit in Loganberry

I love the vivid color and the juxtaposition of the high neck with the open keyhole neckline. It lends a sort of reserved sexy aspect to the outfit as a whole.

I bought the jumpsuit months ago, but had to have it altered, as I was too short to wear it! With the pants, the hemline needs to fall just right, or the whole look may be spoiled.

I did worry about the monotone color making me look a little bottom heavy, but I'm pleased with the overall effect, and I got quite a few compliments today.

You can still buy the jumpsuit on 6pm and RueLaLa, or rent it via Rent the Runway. (If you want an invite to RueLaLa, message me or leave a comment.)

Shoes: Stuart Weitzman Strutting Platform Sandals (no longer available -- I've had them for years!)

As Seen On TV!

Petra on Jane the Virgin wore the jumpsuit earlier this season. (Image courtesy of WornonTV.net.) It's still one of my favorite sudsy shows on television.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Milestone Birthday Celebration

In less than 48 hours, I will enter a new decade: my 40s! My husband -- with some help from my parents -- threw me a very festive 40th Birthday Party this past Saturday night to help me celebrate with friends and family. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the celebration.

Here are just a few highlights:

Michele's Birthday Extravaganza
May 5th, 2018

The Food: As it was Cinco de Mayo, guests feasted on Mexican food from one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants: Zama. From chips, salsa and guacamole to shrimp and chicken fajitas, there was plenty to eat all evening long.

The Desserts: Since everyone knows I have a major sweet tooth, there were desserts a plenty at the party, including:

  • Strawberry and caramel cupcakes from Piece of Cake.
  • Macaroons and custom created cookies -- in the shapes of dresses, shoes and purses -- from Henri's Bakery.
  • A custom created cake, complete with a little pug on top, from Sugar Benders Bakery.

The Decor: We didn't go crazy with the decor, and just kept it simple. We had flowers from Petals a Florist and pink balloons inside and out. We also had custom created napkins reading:

Forty & Fabulous
Happy Birthday, Michele

With my sisters, Laura (far left) and Gail (far right).

The Music: Guests listened to 1980s music throughout the night, and left with Back to the Future (my favorite movie) goodie bags filled with candy and little tokens like Garbage Pail Kids (a staple of my childhood), mini Funko Pop toys from movies I love (Guardians of the Galaxy, Wall-E, etc.) and even tiny OPI nail polishes.

The Outfit: I searched and searched for the perfect dress to wear to the party, and finally settled on this pink Alice + Olivia lace dress. (I definitely wanted pink to match the overall color of the night.) I paired the dress with Christian Louboutin peep-toe pumps, which perfectly matched the exact shade of the dress, and Kendra Scott earrings.

Dress: Alice + Olivia Zula Lace V-Neck Party Dress

Buy the dress at these retailers:

The dress runs a little large; I'm wearing a size two for reference.

Here are a few other photos from the party. It's definitely a night I will remember forever!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Mad for Milly

My favorite brands are not always consistent when it comes to designing clothes that strike my fancy. I may want everything from one season's collection and then nothing from the next. As Heidi says on Project Runway, "One day you're in, the next day you're out."

Lately, I am having a love affair with the Milly brand. I want every new dress I see, including this black and white polka dot silk dress. I love the way the dress moves when I walk, which is a credit to both the cut and the fabric choice: silk. The end result is a dress that is comfortable but still fashionable and chic -- the best of both worlds.

Dress: Milly Lydia Silk Black and White Polka Dot Dress

Shoes: Jimmy Choo Lang Sandals in Flame

The tie at the neck reminds me so much of the red Balenciaga dress Nicole Kidman wore to the 2007 Oscar. I feel so high fashion.

Happy shopping!

Monday, April 30, 2018

A for A-Line

This Pink and Black A-Line Dress from Milly is a fun way to start a new week. It's finally feeling like Spring in Atlanta!

Dress: Milly Pink and Black Floral Print Mini Dress

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik Patent Leather T-Strap Sandals

I had a great weekend, attending a baby shower for a friend on Saturday and the CURE Childhood Cancer Lauren's Run 5K on Sunday. I won the bronze medal for my age group (women in their 30s), and got to spend some quality time with my parents. Now when I see pictures of us together, it's so clear I'm their daughter. I love you, Mom and Dad!