27 March 2015

Who Else Wants to Own A Yacht? Nautical Chic with J. McLaughlin

Who else wants to be on boat right now, savoring the warm sunny rays and breathing in the salty summer breeze... cocktail anyone? Yep, that's my ultimate Friday fantasy this time of year: when winter gets way too long and spring just can't seem to get ahead of steam, just take me to the beach, plop me on the deck with a glass of wine, and lets set sail.

So in honor of the 30th year celebration of the Palm Beach International Boat Show taking place this weekend in Palm Beach (we're talking mega yachts and all sorts of boys-with-toys eye candy) I teamed up with J. McLaughlin to bring you the best of Nautical Chic so that all of us can at least dress the part while waiting for our ship to come in...

If you build it, or rather dress for it, it will come.

J. McLaughlin's spring/summer collection is ultra fabulous in so many ways. Not only is the clothing classically driven, when it comes to great quality, weight, and color palette, but the cutting and tailoring of their dresses, shirts, sweaters, and shorts have taken on a more youthful slender shape which in my opinion makes this brand one to not only watch, but to stock up on before the word gets out. JMCL is back.

But if that isn't reason enough to get you to head over to the J. McLaughlin site, then let's talk about the amazing accessories line that is sending everyone flying from their Florida stores with giant bags full of stunning sun hats, creative belts, gorgeous dip-dyed pareos, and totes for every big, small, and just fun occasion. It's a total dream collection that will immediate transport you to standing on the shores, sands, and sailboat teak of summer's chicest moments.

All aboard, ladies. See you, and your nautical chic stripes, on the high seas.

Shop the Look:

Reef Stripe Signature T, J. McLaughlin // Whisperweight Modal Paroe, J. McLaughlin // Palm River Hat, J. McLuaghlin // Gold Fluer Round Cateye Shades, Quay // Heels, BCBG // Bracelet, Vintage Hermes // Nails, "Supermodel" by Deborah Lippmann 

Photos by Jason Nuttle, Jason Nuttle Photography
A special thanks to Barton and Gray Mariners Club

23 March 2015

How to Wear A Statement Necklace: 3 Simple Steps to Spring Statement Success

The statement necklace is no stranger to fashion these past few seasons, and in the aftermath of the most recent fashion month shows, it's fair to stay that the trend of bigger bolder brighter accessories is here to stay. So what's the best way to completely reinvent your spring wardrobe with outfits and clothing you already have?

Invest in the newest incarnation of the statement necklace: the handmade Statement NeckPiece by Mignonne Gavigan.

Part necklace, part neck tie, part neck scarf, part collar, these signature neckpieces can make even the most casual look instantly street-style-chic worthy of the flash of paparazzi cameras. With bold color blocking and intricate beading, the Petite Le Marcel necklace pictured above can make your favorite white t-shirt and jeans look brand new and effortlessly glamorous. Pair it with your favorite LWD, little white dress, from last summer and a great tan on any island getaway and you'll suddenly have a completely new outfit in your wardrobe arsenal. I chose to drape this Mignonne Gavigan neckpiece over my sunday sweatshirt crop top, go to white pencil skirt, and printed sneakers to take a minimalist morning look to a girls luncheon, and instantly on to an evening cocktail party with a simple switch out of sneakers for white heels. Adding a lavender lip to highlight the tones in the neckpiece and retro inspired shades meant I was out the door in 5 minutes, looking like I could have stepped out of a spring editorial.

So how did I do it? And how can this look work for you?

Try these 3 simple steps to ensure that you'll achieve statement-making success with a signature neckpiece this spring:

1. Hair Up
Try putting your hair up in a pretty pony tail or back in a bun to keep the focus on your neckpiece. This will also highlight your jawline and collar, instantly elongating your neck and making the necklace look more impactful.

2. Pair With Simple Silhouettes
When it comes to choosing a top or dress, avoid crazy competing necklines, patterns, or overly intricate or detailed tops. You want the neckpiece to stand out and take your eye away from the rest of your outfit, up towards your face. This is also essential when recycling an outfit you may have worn recently: it instantly will look entirely new by adding and highlighting the structured statement piece.

3. Let The Neckpiece Do All The Talking
By this I mean, don't overload your look with other accessories or jewelry, especially earrings! Think like a minimalist in order to maximize the WOW effect of this look. Remember that when it comes to statement pieces, the chic factor lies in the pieces ability to make a splash so don't dilute it with competing adornments.

Shop the Look:

Petite Le Marcel Neck Piece, Mignonne Gavigan // Cropped Sweatshirt with Crochet Hem, Bethany Mota for Aeropostale // White Pencil Skirt, Mango, similar // Printed Sneakers, Aldo // Ikat Clutch, Stella & Dot // Lips, YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in #17 Encre Rose

Photos by Alissa Dragun, South Moon Photography

19 March 2015

The ONLY Item You Need for Spring: The Easter Egg Statement Coat

When it comes to transitioning your wardrobe from this awful winter into spring, I can pretty much guarantee that the ONLY item you need is a serious statement coat. Spring dressing for me is all about great coats, jackets, and blazers. I invest in light, bright, long and short spring outerwear to throw over my winter weight trousers and cashmere turtle necks on cooler days, and use these pieces to cover up summer rompers, city shorts, and summer sleek dresses.

With a statement coat you instantly expand your spring wardrobe out of the clothing you already own. I purchased this great robin's egg blue romper last year wore it throughout the summer months, but on a cool afternoon here in Palm Beach decided that using it as a bright base to a stunning print would completely reinvent the piece and add a little boyish structure to the whimsical pink crane print of the kimono coat. Layering is key throughout the spring, but I know that this piece is a lot of coat, and so it can easily speak for itself over matching cream trousers and a blouse or a simple winter white dress, and of course over sleek skinny jeans and nude pumps. If statement coats intimidate you, just remember these few things when shopping for your Easter Egg shaped/colored/printed coat:

1. Shape
I love the oversized menswear inspired blanket-like coats of the past winter, but carrying that trend into spring it of course impractical. That is why I love the kimono cut, or what I like to call the Easter Egg cut. It has a wonderful structure that can feel blousy and chic, but never like you drowning in fabric, i.e. that woman whose small little head looks like it's popping out of a duvet... But if the kimono is not your cut, try looking for the timeless trench. Look for a nicely weighted collar, well lined inside so that the coat keeps it shape, and make sure the belted mid section hits pretty perfectly at the smallest part of your waist. If it's just a little off though, remember your tailor is that coat's best friend, and those belt loops can be easily adjusted to fit your figure.

2. Color
Think clear colored pastels that make your eyes pop. Rich lavenders, blush pinks, bright yellow, and baby blues are excellent options that work with almost every hair color and skin tone. They also pair extremely well with camels, grays, and neutrals making those winter holdovers feel instantly fresh and flowery. *Tip try switching to tortoiseshell sunglasses when the flowers start to bloom, which will warm up your skin tone and hair color, and tie in your easter-egg colored coat* Having trouble determining if the color is right for you? The easiest way to judge is if when you put the coat up to or next to your face, do you look more awake and clear eyed, or do you see darkness or gray underneath your eyes. If it's the latter, it's just not right, but the former? Check, and checkout.

3. Prints
If you are as excited about the prints and patterns this spring as I am then finding a printed statement coat must be at the top of your spring shopping to do list. Think bold and big when it comes to repeated motifs. These season is all about wide bias stripes, abstracted birds and nature themes, texture invoking prints, and dip dyed or color blocked elements (sleeves, lapels, hems, and cuffs). Rule of thumb: If it looks like it could and should be painted on an easter egg... then your golden.

Happy Hunting!

Outfit Details:
Easter Egg Statement Coat, H&M // Robin's Egg Blue Romper, Topshop, old, similar // Chicken Yellow Belt, ASOS, similar // Metalic Lucite Pumps, Christian Louboutin // 360 Pearl Studs, Baublebar // Bangles, Vintage similar // Nails, "Footloose" by Deborah Lippmann

Photos by Alissa Dragun, South Moon Photography

11 March 2015

You, A Spring Style It Girl? Affordable Editorial Fashion with the H&M Jumpsuit

Yes, the jumpsuit. You've seen it in every magazine, hanging every store, and styled on every It-Girl out there. The ever hot fashion item is now comes in every cut, color, and style for spring, and as you can see above it's not just for evening anymore... Grrreat, your thinking right? Ok, granted this look is not an easy one to pull off, and, even worse, making it look super chic and glamorous (and not like you're ready to paint your bedroom) looks like a nearly impossible feat.

Well, not so fast... here's a little secret, it's really TRULY not that hard, and not expensive to own this look.

Fact: the H&M jumpsuit styled and pictured above costs just $19.95. Yes, thats under $20 for fashion's trendiest spring item. And, be honest, does it look like a cheap piece?

It doesn't, does it? That's because affordable fashion can be just as chic, stunning, and statement making as editorial fashion. But in order to have your style risk pay off successfully, you just need to follow a few rules that crack "the steal" styling code.

So how on earth can you make Affordable Fashion look like Editorial Fashion? Here are my 5 Fail-Proof Guidelines to creating an Affordable Editorial Look:

1. High Low
You've heard it time and time again in every fashion magazine for years, but it really is true that the secret to true consistent style is having a unique and healthy mix of high and low fashion in your wardrobe, and I would argue in almost every outfit you put on. It is really the most obtainable and sustainable way to ensure your daily ensemble is always "one of a kind." So when you splurge on those gorgeous Louboutins, have fun mixing them with a great ready to wear skirt, or an inexpensive romper. Mixing a classic Chanel handbag with cheap denim cutoffs, and statement t shirt wreaks of style and confidence, and it really mixes up an otherwise expected look.

2. Color Choice
Think camels, black, grey, and whites. These are essential neutrals that will look crisp and luxe. If you are looking for a statement color item though, the key is to really hunt for the right color tone. Safe bets are richly hued jewel tones and bright pastels. For summer, remember that neons are so difficult to get right and almost can come off looking cheap, so try popping neon in accessories to avoid this pitfall, and READ THIS article before you attempt to purchase anything in a neon hue.

3. Heavy Weights
Choose materials that are more weighty: thicker and stronger when it comes to denim, a chunky and heavy knit when it comes to sweaters, and coats or blazers that are abundant in fabric, oversized or have longer hem lines. Nothing says "cheap" like a too short skirt or awkwardly cropped jacket. And with these materials feel free to pull back on excessive laundering. Use your dry cleaner when you need to, but in order to keep your clothing looking it's best try avoiding the washer and dryer as much as possible. If you notice a smell, you can always stick the garment in the freezer overnight... and yes this crazy move really does get rid of the smell!

4. Shape and Structure
When it comes to accessories look for defined texture and shape. Choose structured purses with strong lines and shapes, or clutches with a pebbled faux leather look. Avoid shine, as it is very difficult to get right. Another trick to is to actually shop in menswear. I often times purchase the smallest size men's sweaters during fall and spring and end up with the perfect slouchy sweater over skinny jeans and boots, or a perfect pastel to belt and drape over a pencil skirt or shorts in the spring/summer. Menswear also often times is constructed a bit better and so you'll likely have a button down shirt or sweater in good shape for longer.

5. Trimmed Tucked and TAILORED
It is so important to have clothes that truly fit you, and that goes for any price point! A simple and inexpensive hem here or nip there can do wonders for any outfit and really make an inexpensive item look better than any pricier version. Find a good tailor close to home so that you can take whatever you buy directly to there before arriving home. Trust me after a long shopping session this is the last thing you may want to, but it insures that it gets done and you can wear your garment faster and more often because it fits like it was made for you.

Get the Look

Photos by Alissa Dragun, South Moon Photography


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