Sunday, December 29, 2013

Casual Outfit of the Day

Earrings: Giles & Brother
Pajamas: Eberjey
Foot Treatment: Clarisonic
Bath Gel: Crabtree & Evelyn
Hot Chocolate Set: Williams Sonoma

If you are like me, you are looking forward to nothing more on New Year's Eve then settling in with some hot chocolate, watching a few movies, taking a nice hot bath, and enjoying a few beauty treatments.  It's been a little bit of a stressful few months, so I'm hoping to start the New Year off with some rest and relaxation.  Here's hoping your New Year's is everything you are hoping for.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Dress: Malene Birger
Pumps: Shutz
Lip Crayons: Bite Beauty

I'm seeing lace dresses everywhere for holiday parties, but if you have a few excess pounds to hide away like I do this season, I think this option is much more flattering while still getting in the look off lace.  The bag is a total splurge/dream purchase, but isn't it just beautiful?  The Shutz shoes are a more affordable but still luxury version of the stud trend, and of course you need a happy and bright lip for all your holiday parties.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fashion in Real Life

                                                                                  Hat: Forever21
Coat: BCBG (No longer available but this jacket is amazing)        Jacket: Dorothy Perkins
Sweater: Marc Jacobs (Check out this colorblock)           Sweater: J Crew
                                                                                          Skirt: Miss Selfridge
                                                                                            Necklace: Bauble Bar
                                                                                                        Ring Stack: Banana Republic
                                                                                     Ring: Bauble Bar
                                                                            Bag: ASOS

Last year when oxblood was the color everywhere, I was all for it because I've always been drawn to shades of wine.  As all things come and go, I truly expected that once the fall was over, oxblood would disappear and something would replace it this year.  I'm happy to see so much oxblood out there again this cold weather season.  Yes, it's not everywhere like last year, but at least I can pull out all my favorite pieces and not feel like I'm wearing last year.  This outfit was pulled from the pages of the August issue of Lucky, and even as styled in the magazine, it's not the most expensive one that's ever been featured, which always makes me happy.  But I have found some alternatives to the pieces featured at much more affordable prices.  I shortened the length of the coat and increased the length of the sweater, I mean it's not that much midriff but still...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Casual Outfit of the Day

Tank: Duffy
Pants: Etro
Watch: Kate Spade
Sunglasses: Tory Burch
Leopard Jacket: Emilio Pucci
Black Jacket: Rebecca Taylor
Flats: Club Monaco

I have never liked red pants because I always felt they make me look bigger than I actually am, and I have personally never wanted my lower half to be exaggerated.  But there is just something about the wine shade of these that I find so beautiful for the holidays.  I have also never been one of those people who buys a Christmas sweater or wears red or green specifically for the holiday.  I feel this color is unique but still festive.  It can be a little hectic around this time of the year, and if you still have holiday shopping to finish up like I do, it can be quite stressful to be going into the shops right now.  This is the perfect outfit for comfortably shopping.  I always struggle with overheating while getting my shopping done at this time of the year.  It's cold, so you must wear a jacket, but when you are inside, you don't want to take your jacket off because you need your hands for browsing, but then you get overheated.  By simply wearing this slim, cashmere-blend tank layered underneath, you won't ever be too warm.  The watch will remind you just how long you've been standing in line to pay, the bag is the perfect size for easily getting out your wallet and draping over your arm as you shop without being too big or heavy, and the flats will keep your feet comfortable for all that standing and walking.  Now I have to admit that the Pucci jacket is just a fantasy.  I probably should have done a splurge vs. steal post on these two jackets, but they were just too good to hold off on.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Product of the Day - NARS Guy Bourdin Nail Polish

Over the years, I really liked the NARS products I've tried, but I have to admit that when I went to buy makeup, NARS was never really high on my list.  It wasn't until about two months ago that I finally gave in and bought Orgasm blush.  I have never met a person who didn't find it universally flattering, but I always thought it would be too orange/peachy for me.  Once I tried it, I gave in.  It really is flattering.  I've discovered that I need to wear more blush as I'm aging, and I've been experimenting with a wider range of shades than I ever have before.  Now more aware of the brand, I started exploring more of the product line.  Next I grabbed up the Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection Lip Pencil collection.  I am absolutely obsessed with those chubby lip pencil balms like Revlon's Just Bitten Balms even keeping them in a cup on my desk to apply throughout the day.  The NARS Velvet Matte pencils are such a step above the drugstore version, I became even more obsessed with the brand.

Now I've moved on to the nail polish, and I'm happy to report the two Guy Bourdin shades are still available as of today although the Lip Pencil Collection is sold out, so the pencils have to be bought individually again.  I've made a deal with myself that I can't buy anymore polish unless I do my nails at least once a week through the new year.  So far so good, so guess what my first purchase will probably be?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Dress: A.L.C.
Necklace: Bauble Bar
Bag: Kate Spade
Shoes: See by Chloe
Nails: Formula X

It's hard to believe we've been back from France for almost a week now, but with jet lag and Thanksgiving, it's been just as crazy as the week before we left.  And now we are hitting the high season of parties and get togethers.  I know that I won't have any chance of whittling away the extra few pounds I put on indulging in cheese and croissants every day, so I'm looking for stylish dresses to take me out for cocktails and eye-catching accessories to draw the eye away from my mid-section.  I've heard amazing things about the new Formula X polishes at Sephora, and I'm hoping that I can at least fit in polishing my nails in the next day or two.  Wow, I really do need a vacation to recover from my vacation.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Splurge vs Steal - Knuckle Box Clutch

Alexander McQueen $2295                                   Aldo at ASOS $71.19

I admit it; I've been lusting after this Alexander McQueen Knuckle Box Clutch for at least a year, but since I'll never have a justification for spending this much on a bag, I went in search of a substitute.  Lucky for all of us, ASOS has a version by Aldo that is fit for any occasion.  You do the math, but I think this one is a clear no-brainer even if the McQueen is leather and the Aldo is man-made.  For this much of a savings, I'm willing to compromise.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Bite Lip Layers in Bold
Jeans:  Paige
Ring: MintStyle

As we head into fall, I always think of it as the beginning of the party season.  First up is Halloween.  Since I've far surpassed the age where wearing a costume seems like a fun thing to do, I like to have the chance to celebrate in a casual but funky way.  Here in Southern California, we are still hitting days in the 80s, so a tank, jeans, and a pair of heels are always the way to go.  You can always add a cardigan or cropped jacket if it cools off in the evening.  I saved the heavy embellishment for the shoes, but the tank has great chain around the neck and sleeves, which means you don't have to worry about any excess jewelry.  The bold ring carries on the chunky vibe.  And never scrimp on a bold lip as we head towards the holidays.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Earrings: Bauble Bar
Sandals: Dolce Vita

I very rarely recommend pattern mixing.  I know you see it everywhere these days, but so few people, in my opinion, can really pull it off.  Somehow it never looks quite right, and usually that's because the number one rule of pattern mixing is to match your colors.  If you really like the look of mixed patterns, choosing a palette of black and white is one way to not go astray.  Another is to let the clothes do the work for you.  Instead of finding two separates to match yourself, find a dress like this one that has the patterns built in.  That way all you have to do is figure out what you are going to wear with it.  I would wear this one on a night out because the dress is a little short for office wear.  Teamed with strappy sandals and the trend of bright, white nails, it's the perfect outfit for meeting a friend for a drink on the weekend.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fashion in Real Life

This page from June's Marie Claire is proof that you don't need to wear a lot of color o have a lot going on in your outfit.  Black and white will always be my personal preferred outfit (except when I'm wearing all black).  Nothing is as flattering, classic, or compelling as a black and white patterned coat layered over a turtleneck and pencil skirt, but the options laid out on the page here are not really in the realm of affordable work wear.  

Sweater: J Crew
Skirt: Hugo
Shoes: Kurt Geiger

These alternatives are going to let you still eat and gel back your hair to look as sharp and edgy as the model.  The coat even has a leather collar just like the Reed Krakoff coat she's wearing above.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Office Outfit of the Day

Pants: MSGM

As we head into fall, I'm feeling more and more monochromatic, but before it gets too cold, we should rely on floaty tops and sandals for a few more days.  These sandals are appropriate for work with a sturdy heel and wide straps.  They'd also transition well into cooler weather paired with colored tights and plaid skirts.  Keeping up with the monochromatic theme, go nude with the makeup as well.  Dior is one of my favorite brands because the shadows don't crease and the lipstick is long-lasting, creamy, and moisturizing.  The 3-Couleurs Glow palettes are complete eyes in one package containing an eyeshadow base, shadow, and liner all in one.  The Rouge Dior Lip Blush is a highly pigmented balm and treatment in one making it ideal for women over 40 who need extra moisture on their lips.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Product of the Day - Nail Buffer

Having just suffered through the process of removing a gel manicure, I now have one of these goodies permanently housed next to my computer keyboard.  If you've never gone through the gel manicure process, it is as incredibly lasting and glossy as they claim.  However, nothing really prepared me for trying to get it off.  I had heard rumblings from bloggers and people on Twitter and Instragram that it was a damaging process, but I never put a lot of thought into it before going and getting my first manicure.  What should have keyed me in was when all the people who worked at the nail salon kept asking me, "Do you have gel on now?"  At least three people asked.  I kept saying no, wondering what difference it makes.  Now, looking back, it seems completely logical that something that is basically boat lacquer would be difficult to get off once it has bonded with your nail base.  Um...what do they have to do to get lacquer off the deck of a boat?  They have to sand it.  What happens when you sand something?  It gets thinner.  Thankfully I have really thick, hard nails otherwise I don't know what I would have been left with, but for the people who are doing this routinely, I don't want to think about what your nails are going to be like in a few years.

This little tool has helped me get rid of the ridges left from basically sanding down and picking off the gel.  It has a coarser side than any buffer I've used in the past, but it's really effective at getting rid of ridges.  And for $5.00, what a quick fix when you don't have time for a full manicure or letting polish dry.  Just rub on some nail oil after, and you are good to go.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Sweatshirt: Splendid
Shoes: Henry & Henry

One of the things I love about fashion is how sometimes it's okay to wear things you never dreamed of pairing together.  I know a few very athletic people who always tell me they never know what to wear when they go out.  I thought about starting an outfit with a piece that would make them feel very comfortable, just like they are wearing their everyday clothes.  Realizing that yoga pants would probably not be the thing to build upon, I settled on a sweatshirt and remembered seeing one paired with a pencil skirt that looked amazing.  On the hunt for the perfect pencil skirt, I found this sequined one.  The contrast is just amazing; it's so dressy but so casual at the same time.  The sweatshirt perfectly turns the over-the-top sparkle into this casual, laid-back thing.  I tried to do the same with the jewelry, pairing a feminine drop earring with a chunkier bracelet, and the shoes bring it home with a little bit of edge.  They will be deceptively comfortable for the girl who doesn't like heels because they are built on a wider rubber sole.  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to Beautiful Workshop

Kim Acedo, Jeanette Chasworth, and I will be hosting a free workshop on September 25 at Brookside Golf Club to kick off our new Back to Beautiful Program.  If you join us that evening, you will receive the first module of the program as well as information on the rest of the amazing two week program, which is kicking off on October 6.  Seating is limited to 50 for the workshop on Sept. 25 and only 10 for the program, so if you are interested, please click on the link to register or call as soon as possible.  We had a full house the last time we did this over the summer.  If you'd like further details, please leave a comment below or send me an email.  I'd love to see you there.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Steal vs. Splurge - Studded Flats

If you follow fashion blogs, you've probably seen every successful blogger wearing some variation of the Rockstud, so I knew it was only a matter of time before we would be able to find something similar at a better price point.  Placed side-by-side, there are quite a few differences between these shoes from the color of the nude trim to the color of the studs and the shape of the toe, but if you are going for a sense of the look, these are quite good.  I think the Valentino does hit at a better spot above the ankle, which would keep your leg from looking cut off by the step; however, with this much of a price difference, I think we all might be willing to compromise.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Dress: Tibi
Coat: Kaos
Necklace: Mint Style
Hair CC Cream: Alterna

I think the look of a slip dress is sexy yet somehow classic, but let's face it, over 40 we need a little more support than what you can slip under a slip dress (ha, a pun), and they can be a little too clingy in the wrong places.  This Tibi dress has thicker straps and pointelle knit material that let's you keep the look but make the right modifications.  Paired with this boucle coat, which is one of my all-time favorite fabrics, you have a perfect vintage look for a night out.  The pumps are multi-textured in nude to elongate the leg, and the necklace hangs in just the right spot at the collarbone to draw attention to the neckline.  If you really want to go vintage on your look and try a victory roll with your hair, use this leave-in conditioner that's not sticky or hard.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Office Outfit of the Day

Faux Leather Jacket: W118 by Walter Baker
Skirt: Vanessa Bruno
Watch: Kate Spade
Bag: Burberry
Sandals: Francesco Milano

I feel like this is a back-to-school outfit.  I loved planning for that first day when I was a kid.  Since my daughter has always worn uniforms to school, she's never had the experience of putting together her first day outfit.  When she was pulling together her school supplies and picking her new backpack this year, we talked about creating your own new beginnings.  I love the fall, making New Year's resolutions, and the beginning of spring because all of those times of the year seem like an opportunity for fresh starts and auto-correcting the things in your life you might want to make a little different.  You don't have to wait for those times of the year though; you can celebrate new starts any day of the week, so why not do it with an outfit like this?  I really like the monochromatic color blocking of this outfit and how it's carried out in almost every piece.  The jacket, the skirt, and the bag all carry out the colors in a mix of fabrics and textures.  The entire outfit is made up of soft fabrics, but they have a certain edginess.  To add more edge, you could wear some booties instead of the sandals, or if you need a pump for work, go ahead and switch the shoes out.  Speaking of switching, the sleeves zip off of the jacket.  I'm always excited to find pieces that have some built in conversion factor allowing you to modify the piece and get even more ways of wearing it.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fashion in Real Life

So simple, so comfortable looking, but so pulled together for the office - minus the tennis shoes.  This outfit out of the June/July issue of Harper's Bazaar  has an astronomical price tag but is so easy to recreate with more budget friendly pieces and a shoe that has the same sporty character but won't have the boss looking at you like you forgot something.

Turtleneck: J Crew
Pants: Reiss
Initial Necklace: Bauble Bar
Dagger Necklace: Pamela Love
Belt: Nicholas

Don't skip wearing the belt; for something monochromatic and layered like this, if you don't add the belt, it could come off as too boxy.  You won't be wearing the coat all day in the office, so you want to have some visual contrast to set off the blue.  Another good shoe choice would be spectators giving the outfit another shot of color blocking.  If you would like to buy the ring, you can use the link to contact me directly or use the Buy Now button to the left.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Casual Outfit of the Day

Tee: Joie
Necklace: Kenneth Jay Lane
Wedges: Via Spiga

I recently got in something of a funk thinking that my days to wear a strapless dress were over.  I was in this funk because I saw the daughters both wearing casual strapless dresses, and I could not remember ever having one in-my-whole-entire-life.  How did I miss out on this?  A few days later I was cleaning out my closet and found an old Bebe blouse that had a faux cummerbund front over a long-sleeve white blouse.  Hmmmm, could I do the same thing myself for a strapless?  So off I went to hunt down the perfect strapless dress for layering.  I originally thought of black but decided I didn't want it to come off as a formal dress with a tee underneath.  This beige dress is the perfect daytime weight when paired with one of my all-time favorite tees from Joie.  I know this tee is something of an investment, but Joie's tees are simply the softest, best tees you will ever own.  The huge Kenneth Jay Lane statement necklace adds color and texture, and I love that the butterfly on the belt seems to be an extension of the necklace hitting at tassel level.  The wedges keep it on the casual side.  Any other shoe might be too dressy ruining the look, but you could wear it with a short brown boot to give it more edge.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Product of the Day

I was recently chatting with a potential client who really had a well-established sense of her personal style.  She kept expressing that she liked her clothes, she felt she was organized, but that something was missing and she just couldn't put her finger on it.  Often when I'm talking to someone who feels this way, I make recommendations on accessories and talk about how adding a statement necklace or a belt to an outfit can refresh everything, but she was already really well accessorized.  I was sitting back in my chair just looking at her trying to figure out what she could be struggling with when it dawned on me.  If you also read my personal style blog or have watched any of my YouTube videos, you know that I've been looking for new ways to personally wear eyeshadow since I have drooping eyes.  Because of that you would think the lightbulb would have gone on a lot sooner than it did, but at least it finally happened.

"How long have you been wearing your eyeliner like that?" I asked.  It turned out she has been applying makeup using the same techniques she learned in high school.  I let her know that I didn't think she needed me, but if she wanted to go over the Bare Minerals store in the mall with me, we could have them show her some new techniques.  She didn't have the time to do it at that moment, but she was so excited and vowed to go over the weekend.

Realizing that other women over 40 may not be choosing the right formulas or application techniques for their makeup was stunning to me, and I feel like I'm falling down on the job not to have seen this.  Because of that I'm going to occasionally share a product that I think addresses the special concerns we may be having and any tips for application I think would help.

This is a tube of Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm in Crystal Mandarin.  I've been visiting the Clarins website on an almost weekly basis since May trying to choose between Crystal Berry and Crystal Rose, but I guess I missed a few weeks because now those two shades appear to be completely sold out, and only the Crystal Mandarin remains.  So many women over 40 don't like to wear shiny lipgloss, but lipstick can be less than perfect when you have a lot of lines around your mouth, and I've found that lipstick shades which used to look great on me when I was younger are just too harsh now.  Hopefully you can see in the photo that this is a slender shaft of color encased in a clear balm for extra moisturizing benefits.  The results are a sheer wash of moisturizing color that won't fall into lines and will add a good wash of color without being overwhelming.  If your coloring lends to wearing peachy tones, please give this one a try.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Casual Outfit of the Day

Jeans: James Jeans
Top: J. Crew
Necklace: MintStyle

I know I've been trying to bid goodbye to summer for a long time now.  I don't mean for my dread of hot weather to rub off on you.  Because I'm feeling kind of guilty, I wanted to throw in one more casual outfit for warm weather, but I have to admit that I cheated a little bit.  Although these white jeans are the perfect summer pant, I'm pairing them with a longer sleeve top that's perfect for a cool evening.  The jeans are a mid-rise with some stretch and a flared fit with extra leg room perfect for women over 40.  The bright pink stripes add some vividness to keep the white from being boring.  These rubber soled sandals are super comfortable, great for walking around a beach area.  The bag will see you into fall, blending here with the pink stripes but able to pair with your gray and black basics when the weather changes.  This delicate chain is the perfect day to night transition piece, and you can order it by sending me an email or using the Buy Now to the left.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New MintStyle Catalog

The new comprehensive MintStyle catalog has finally arrived, and I only just realized that even though I was really excited for new pieces, I would have been really upset if some of my favorites were sold out.  I was so happy to see two of my favorites, the Coquette Collar necklace and the Caspian cuff on the cover as well as the Baroque Bloom necklace inside.  My other favorites, the Lantern Tassel, Victoria Cameo, and Heirloom Tassel pendants are back as well.  Everyone who has purchased a piece or attended a showcase has commented on what great quality the pieces are for the price.  My new favorites are the Chombard earrings and the Honeycomb bangle.  If you'd like to see samples, arrange a showcase, or place an order please contact me.  If you book a showcase, you will receive credit from any purchased made toward your own purchase of jewelry.  I hope you enjoy the new catalog, and I'd love to hear what your favorite pieces are.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Splurge vs. Steal - Leather Dress

Black leather dress: Alexander Wang $315
Blue leather dress: Mango $249.99

This version of Splurge vs. Steal actually started with me hunting for a substitution for this perforated leather Oscar de la Renta dress, but I failed in tracking down a substitute.  Ironically, the price point between these two dresses isn't remarkably different since the Alexander Wang is down to only being available in a size 10.  Although the two dresses have a similar look, the cuts are noticeably different, and of course, there is the minor detail about them being different colors.  The black dress is a racer back, great for those who have an inverted triangle body and like to show off their shoulders.  It's also actually longer in length than the Mango dress, but both are quite short.  If you are daring enough to try this edgy style, the length probably won't be a factor to you.  The Mango dress has a very 80's vibe to me with the high collar and strong shoulders.  I do think only a rectangle could truly pull this one off.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Top: Jason Wu
Skirt: J Crew
Bag: Miu Miu
Bangle: Lulu Frost
Earrings: Vivienne Westwood

How about a little bit of lace on lace?  It would be easy to pair another black lace top with this skirt, but the contrast cream keeps it from being overly formal.  It's still a feminine and ornate outfit without being too sweet.  Also keeping it from being too sweet, the edgy cracked leather bag.  The bangle and earrings are delicate with the bangle adding an antique, vintage look.  This outfit doesn't stray into the overly young outfit that some lace pairings do making it completely appropriate for a woman over 40.  The pencil skirt is so good for an hourglass figure, and the top has enough fabric to keep it from clingy around areas we don't want it to.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Office Outfit of the Day

Bag: Nina Ricci
Night Treatment: Kate Somerville
Dress: Paul Smith
Necklace: Wouters & Hendrix

I've been drawn to the Dolce & Gabbana ads lately; you know the ones that look they've been shot in an Italian fishing village.  The beautiful models are seated among the townspeople making it appear that everyone here is born beautiful and ages gracefully into the housedress wearing elders seated in the chairs.  There is a 40s, housedress-y vibe about the dresses the models wear, too, but it's really appealing to me.  I love the cut of the dresses and decided to hunt for one a little more reasonably priced.  This Paul Smith dress has the same sheath cut, length, and 3/4 sleeve as a lot of the Dolce & Gabbana dresses.  Paired with a small straw bag, a slingback that mirrors the retro vibe, and a delicate but edgy necklace, I think I've got it.  I'll be posting a video soon on my personal style blog and my YouTube channel about my first experience with a Kate Sommerville product.  I loved the scrub I tried and now I'm excited to try even more of her products including this retinol night cream.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fashion in Real Life

This look from May's British Vogue is actually quite tame and easy to replicate.  Now, I know the hair and lipstick may be pushing it over for you, but if you were to look away from the face and at the outfit, how great could that be for a creative work environment?

It's actually a very simple outfit with a lot of heavy silver jewelry.  If you are feeling it, by all means spike your hair and go for it.

Pants: J. Crew
Socks: Forever 21
Loafers: Dolce Vita
Necklace: Bauble Bar
Bracelet: Ligia dias

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dr. Dean and Wink Readers by ICU Eyewear Giveaway

If you have ever watched one of my YouTube videos you know that I can't go more than a few minutes without having to put on a pair of reading glasses.  Now I luckily have pretty good insurance and have been able to buy a few pairs of really nice glasses at reasonable prices, but I was definitely suffering because where do I need to wear my glasses most often?  In front of the computer or when I'm reading in bed.  But what about when I'm cooking in the kitchen, and I need to read directions?  Or when I'm in the bathroom trying to read how much cold medicine I'm supposed to take?  Or when I go out to get the mail and drop it off in the living room and try to sort it between everyone who lives here?  And I could go on and on.

Leave it to my wonderful husband to supply me with the obvious solution: put a pair of readers in every room not to mention the car and my purse.  And his car.   The one problem: readers at the drugstore are kind of...ugly.

I was thrilled when ICU Eyewear reached out to me recently offering to sponsor this post about their products.  They make styles for men and women that suit every fashion, and they have some really cute things at reasonable prices.

Right now they are asking for your help in picking your favorite style.  Just pick one from either line to vote for and be entered to win one (1) free pair of the reading glasses you voted for.  There are so many great styles to choose from including these:

ICU Eyewear is giving away 1,000 pairs of Dr. Dean and Wink glasses or 40% off one order of readers.

To enter:

1. Go to the Read In Style Giveaway page to enter your email address and gender.
- Your gender determines if you vote for the Dr. Dean or Wink readers.

2. Based on which gender you selected, vote for your favorite pair.

3. You will then either be selected instantly as a winner and asked to fill out your shipping and Diopter details OR receive a 40% off coupon for all readers on the ICU Eyewear site.

The giveaway is active from August 14th 2013 at 12am PST and ends on August 27th, 2013 at 11:59pm PST.

The 40% coupon code is valid until October 1st, 2013 on reading glasses only.

One entry per email address. Winners will receive their free pair of reading glasses via First Class Mail and will be delivered 4-6 weeks after the giveaway ends.

This post is sponsored by ICU Eyewear.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Dress: Wallis
Bracelets: Forever 21
Sandals: Tahari
Necklace: MintStyle JMN0371 

Summer's coming to a close, and although I'm happy about that because I don't like the hot weather, some people are really sad to see it go.  Of course, here in Southern California, it will be warm for a few more months, but if you are someplace with more distinct seasons, and the kids are already going back to school, you might want to fit in one more casual outfit for an evening spent outside.  Sitting on a patio or at a concert in a loose, comfortable, classic dress is perfect, and this tribal print has colors that are great for the fall, too.  You could easily transition this dress with brown tights and flat boots for the next season.  You can channel a little bit of Kate Middleton with this clutch from the Issa Collection at Banana Republic.  Use it here for your date night and then carry it inside of your tote to the office to use during your lunch hour.  I always love an envelope clutch, and this one has a good size, so your wallet will actually fit in it.  With such a bold print, go for more delicate jewelry, but you can still have an arm party with this stack of bangles from Forever 21.  I always pick up inexpensive pieces to stack from Forever 21 and H&M.  The MintStyle necklace has a very Egyptian feel to me.  I think it will look great in the neckline of this dress, and you can always use the Buy Now button to the left to order it.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Blazer: Warehouse
Belt: Ann Taylor

This started as a work day to evening outfit, but then I got carried away with embellishment.  I've recently been obsessed thinking about how to style something cropped for a woman over 40.  I think we are all probably at the age where we remember wearing the cropped trend the first time around.  Since we really don't want to baring our midriffs now, how about layering with cropped pieces?  I would like it if this blazer was a little shorter, more along the lines of a bolero or shrug, but this length is great for someone who has an apple body type.  The embellishment of the neckline and the belt mean no additional jewelry, and the nude of the shoe makes the legs look long.  The pencil fit of the dress is perfect for anyone with an hourglass figure, and the cutout on the back of the dress is great for the inverted triangle who wants to take the jacket off to dance.  This Urban Decay lipstick is more of a lip butter.  It's moisturizing but has great color and wearability.  I find it so much more flattering than a matte lipstick.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Splurge vs. Steal - Sleeping Kitty Flats

I am usually the first person in the world to say that you should spend a little more on your shoes than other things in your wardrobe, but for shoes like this...How often after this fall are you going to be wearing a pair of velvet smoking shoes with a cat on them?  Yes, there is the real velvet vs whatever man-made material the less expensive shoe is made of argument, and yes, you want flats to be comfortable and sometimes less expensive flats are the worst on your feet.  Try buying them half a size larger, putting friction block and/or Dr. Scholls tape on before you wear them, even wear them with trouser socks  with pants or with tights and a skirt, but there are so many other things to invest your wardrobe money on.  This is a trend.  Buy carefully.  If you have to, have to buy the Charlotte Olympia, comparison shop.  They are $30 more at Neiman Marcus than at Nordstrom.  But then if you are spending $625 on a cat flat, the extra $30 probably doesn't matter.  Happy cat feet!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Office Outfit of the Day

Blazer: Rebecca Taylor
Pants: Vanessa Bruno
Sweater: Clements Ribeiro
Pumps: Kate Spade
Bracelet: MintStyle
Handbag: Kate Spade

I recently had an important meeting with a potential corporate client, and just like everyone else, I couldn't figure out what to wear.  Should I wear an all-business black suit with a white blouse paired with sensible black pumps and briefcase?  If I wore that would they think that I'm too boring and plain for a stylist?  Should I wow them with bright colors and something avant-garde?  If I did that, would they think I was too over the top for their professional business?  I decided to go with something tailored, feminine, but edgy and to make sure that I had a least a little bit of color to be eye-catching.  The blazer's leather trim provides some edge but maintains a traditional tailored cut.  The pumps and handbag are traditional too, but the chains on the bracelet are bold as are the stripes on the cashmere sweater.  Remember that important meetings or job interviews are not the time to scrimp on budget clothes.  You want to show that you are investing in your best asset: you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Office Outfit of the Day

Sweater: Dorothy Perkins
Blouse: MANGO
Bracelet: JewelMint
Skirt: J Crew
Pumps: Boutique 9 
Blazer: Reiss

It's around this time of the year, every year, that I'm really tired of the summer and warm weather, and my thoughts turn to fall dressing and layering.  The key to layering is to keep everything fitted; if you layer big bulky things, they are going to make you look big and bulky, too.  J. Crew makes absolutely the best pencil skirts.  If you have an hourglass figure, pencil skirts are something you should build around because they are universally flattering on you.  I always like to add a collar beneath a crew neck especially if you are trying to wear one that builds on colors that aren't necessarily in your color pallet.  I really shouldn't wear beige, but when I add a white collar under a beige-toned sweater, I can get away with it.  Shoes are finally losing their excessive platforms and going back to more feminine structures.  These are a beautiful ballet pink, but if you like to be more match, they also come in crimson to match the sweater, or you can get them in black for an even edgier feel.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Pumps: C Wonder
Lip Gloss: Marc Jacobs
Necklace: JewelMint

I used to struggle with all white outfits feeling that they always came out looking too much like a nurse or an ice cream man.  Then I discovered a few tricks: always use bold accessories and makeup and make sure there is texture.  These pieces all of have really neat details that might not be noticeable on a quick glance.  The top is actually a baseball tee made of crepe so that it's all grown up, and it's a great transition piece to go from the office to an evening out.  From a distance, the skirt looks as though it is sequined, but the diamonds are actually patent leather, providing the texture to the outfit and a new take on the traditional leather skirt.  The bright accessories start with the blue satin pumps, the red lip from the new Marc Jacobs' beauty line, and the bright floral statement necklace.  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Casual Outfit of the Day

Tee: Iris & Ink
Jeans: MANGO
Boots: Madewell
Bracelets: Mint Style
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Jacket: 2nd Day
Perfume: Jimmy Choo

I never felt that I could pull off the jeans tucked into boots look.  Somehow I always felt it looked dated as though I had never stepped out of the 70s.  Last fall, I bought a pair of Hunter boots, and started wearing them with leggings and long sweaters.  I loved the look so much, this fall I've vowed to give the jeans and boots thing another try.  I think the key to it working for me this time was the fact that I stuck to a flat riding boot.  It gives the look a much more modern casual look than a stacked heel.  This is an ideal outfit for someone with an apply body type.  Keep the top loose and flowing with a loose-fitting tee and super soft, draped leather jacket while keeping the bottom more fitted with these dark wash mid-rise jeans.  If you are on the shorter side, though, you won't want to tuck the jeans in, so go for a boot cut and wear them outside of the boot.  As usual, there is a Buy Now button to the left if you'd like to order the bracelets.  I'm intrigued by the description of Flash by Jimmy Choo, which contains pink pepper and is described as sophisticated, provocative, and magnetic.  Who doesn't need a little of that?  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Casual Outfit of the Day

I've spent the summer watching everyone walk around in these cute, shrunken minidresses, and it's actually made me quite grumpy.  I would really like to wear one but know that I can't.  I'm not one of those people with hard and fast rules, "You are over 40, so you shouldn't wear a minidress."  I'm much more realistic.  I, personally, should not wear a minidress.  Not because I'm over 40, but because my knees are.  You see, the skin around my knees is droopy and wrinkly.  Some people might say who cares?  They are your knees; if you want to expose them, go ahead.  But I won't, and here is why.  I won't feel confident about how they look.  I will be worried about how they look to other people even if other people don't notice them.  It will distract me.

So many times we don't realize that it's the little things like this that are shutting us down.  I wouldn't enjoy a precious day out with my husband if I was worried about something like this.  An even bigger problem though are those of us who don't worry about things like this.  I know a lot of people who say that they don't care what other people think.  "I'm going to wear what I want to wear."  I hear this most vehemently from people who aren't dressing for their best features.  When we sit down to talk about why, it usually has an emotional component.  Nine out of ten people don't have an actual attachment to these particular clothes.  They know they aren't following "the rules" or dressing for success.  But they want to believe that appearance doesn't matter, that it shouldn't matter.  I'm sorry, but in the world we live in, it does matter.

In response to my grumpiness about minidresses, I put together this outfit as a compromise that I could live with.  What are you thinking about compromising on?

Dress: J. Crew
Pumps: Nine West
Cardigan: Dorothy Perkins
Bag: Coach
Earrings: Bauble Bar

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fashion in Real Life

Today starts a new kind of feature on The Bespoke Stylist.  So often people tell me that the looks they see in magazines are just not realistic for a variety of reasons.  Some are so trendy or out there.  Others don't seem appropriate for the women who are the majority of my clients either because they are too revealing or are never shown on women with average size bodies, and the majority of the time, they are just too expensive.  These new posts will try to take some looks out of the magazines that can be recreated and fit into everyday life.  I hope you enjoy them, and if you find something in a magazine and would like help recreating it, just let me know by leaving a comment below or sending me an email.
It might come as a surprise that one of my style icons is Grace Kelly, but why not?  She must have been doing something right; she was a movie star, and she married a prince.  As a dark brunette growing up in Southern California, maybe it was a case of the grass is greener on the other side, but I really wanted to have that cool, blond, East-coast look.  I absolutely loved the layout in the April issue of Vogue with Carolyn Murphy in the role of Grace Kelly and Toby Maguire as Jimmy Stewart from Rear Window especially this outfit. 

via Vogue
Shirt and Skirt: Oscar de la Renta
Belt: J Crew

If you don't have the budget for the Oscar de la Renta pieces try these budget friendly substitutes.

Skirt: ASOS
Blouse: Dorothy Perkins

Monday, August 5, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Dress: Helmut
Bracelet: Bauble Bar
Clutch: ASOS
Pumps: Shoe Mint

Recently someone asked me to help her put together a outfit to wear to a wedding.  It was an outdoor, evening, black-tie dinner.  She knew it was going to be really warm that day, and she had waited until the last minute to try to pull something together because she knew she'd have to wear a dress, and she didn't want to.  We talked about it being okay for her to wear pants, but she really felt she had to go in a dress.  I found this silky racer back dress that could be dressed or up down.  She has an athletic, inverted triangle body, so this cut works really well on her.  She incorporated chunky jewelry like the pieces here and let the neckline of the dress speak for itself.  This clutch is huge and squeezable, which makes it the perfect clutch for carrying an envelope for the couple as well as a pair of foldable flats to wear while dancing.  

August Mint Style Lookbook

The Mint Style August lookbook is out, and they just keep continuing to create great pieces.  The rings are my favorites this month.  This edition is full of colorful stones and statement pieces that you can wear for the end of summer and into fall.  You really need to see these pieces in person to appreciate how substantial they are at such a great price, so if you'd like to see any of the pieces prior to ordering, please contact me to set up an appointment.

If you are interested in purchasing or would like to schedule a showcase, just let me know.  Showcase hostesses do earn credit for jewelry, so if there are pieces you would like to order, consider hosting as a way to make your purchases.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Office Outfit of the Day

Clutch: Elaine Turner
Blazer: Rebecca Taylor
Watch: Kate Spade
Necklace: MintStyle Gilded Points Necklace JMN0374 $29.99

Building a wardrobe of separates will stretch the number of outfits you can make.  It also allows you to mix pieces for usage in different ways.  This dress is in a classic flattering pattern with a cut that's good for hourglass and apple bodies.  It's appropriate for both the office or a morning wedding or weekend brunch.  Carrying a clutch inside a bigger tote for lunches out during the day is a practical way to multitask.  The back of jacket has a pleat for a feminine touch but the leather trim adds some edge and so does the Gilded Points necklace.  

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Office Outfit of the Day

Blouse: Rebecca Taylor
Pants: J Crew
Cuff: Mint Style JMB0165 $44.00
Shoes: Shoe Mint

If you work in a casual or artistic environment, it can become really easy to get sucked into wearing paired down outfits of jeans and tee shirts.  It doesn't take much more effort than putting on these old staples to pull together an outfit like this one.  The shoes and large cuff add most of the drama here, but the unexpected pairing of colors adds dimension.  If you'd like to order the cuff, please use the link to email me or look for they Buy Now button to the left.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Date Night Outfit of the Day

Eyeshadow: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Pink

The busy season of weddings and graduations is over, but there are still a few weekends committed to special occasions over the rest of the summer.  This late in the season, most events are occurring in the evenings to avoid the heat of the day.  Evening weddings make it perfectly acceptable to wear black, but this dress with a pink underlay is lighter than something that's all black.  Keep your accessories and makeup on the pink side to keep it from being too dramatic.  If you are interested in purchasing the Mint Style earrings, you can you the Buy Now option to the left, or send me an email at