Category Archives: guest posts

trend to try: critter control

Altuzarra, via / Kenzo, via / Burberry Prorsum, via

Erin ~ One of the quirkiest trends to come from the runways this season is the animal print sweater. I personally love this trend since all through middle school I was that girl with the horse sweatshirt. It was purple. It was bedazzled. And yes, it said “I love ponies” in script on the bottom. It was amazing. I’m just glad to see that designers this season apparently have the same fond memories of animal sweaters that I do!

But how do you wear this trend when you’re closer to forty than fourteen?

Read on

Share 'trend to try: critter control' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: critter control' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: critter control' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: critter control' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: critter control' on Email

all in the details: classic beaded bracelet

{Editor’s Note: Top five things I never thought I’d say, but I really want that quilted vest. Like, bad. And those fox earrings. Nice picks, Kate!}

Kate M.W. ~ One of two things ends up happening when I’m thinking about accessories: either I’m naturally inspired by a piece or it falls neatly into one of the various categories that perfectly rounds out my collection, thereby making it a necessity. One of those basic necessities (…yes, I’ve used the correct term) is an understated multicoloured bracelet. A little casual, a little dressy, a little rustic, and a dash of polish. Because it goes with nearly everything, it makes the perfect addition for outfits ranging from work to play and everything in between. An ideal candidate for the job? The Market Bracelet from Jenny Bird. Deep blues, rustic reds, and basic black off-set by gold – this is the grown-up version of that beaded bracelet you inevitably both made and sported as a kid.

Read on

Share 'all in the details: classic beaded bracelet' on Facebook Share 'all in the details: classic beaded bracelet' on Google+ Share 'all in the details: classic beaded bracelet' on Pinterest Share 'all in the details: classic beaded bracelet' on Twitter Share 'all in the details: classic beaded bracelet' on Email

on the cheap: cozy up to sweater season

{Editor’s Note: I don’t find you guys nearly enough bargains these days, do I? So, how about an entire post where everything is $100 or less? Leave it to Kristina, who is a seriously impressive bargain shopper, to bring all this style on the most meager budget. No one will ever, ever suspect what a steal that luxe cardigan was, I can assure you. And the rest of the styling? Spot on.}

Kristina ~ It’s sweater season! I’m a cold weather gal, so I look forward to cooler weather and unpacking my sweaters all summer long. Even if you’re the opposite and you’re already counting the days to spring, you’re sure to appreciate the easy, inviting warmth of this gorgeous faux-fur sweater from John & Jenn, especially when you check out that price tag.

Read on

Share 'on the cheap: cozy up to sweater season' on Facebook Share 'on the cheap: cozy up to sweater season' on Google+ Share 'on the cheap: cozy up to sweater season' on Pinterest Share 'on the cheap: cozy up to sweater season' on Twitter Share 'on the cheap: cozy up to sweater season' on Email

get gifting: cozy fall treats

Jennefer T. ~ Fall is such a cool time of the year, in more ways than one. I no longer have to worry about wearing my burqa-esque swimsuit cover-up, the kids are back in school, and I finally get to begin planning (without guilt or being mocked) the six-week extravaganza I call the holidays.

With fall also comes the urge to stay in, light fires, buy pumpkins and – despite my knowing it will all come home to roost in January when my cholesterol skyrockets and my pants pop open – eat and drink. What better way to kick off this season than with a few edible, drinkable and servable gifts for surprising your loved ones, party hosts or most importantly, treating yourself!

Read on

Share 'get gifting: cozy fall treats' on Facebook Share 'get gifting: cozy fall treats' on Google+ Share 'get gifting: cozy fall treats' on Pinterest Share 'get gifting: cozy fall treats' on Twitter Share 'get gifting: cozy fall treats' on Email

all in the details: grey mixed-media clutch

Kate M.W. ~ Despite my best efforts to maintain a healthy injection of colour, occasionally I quietly nestle back into neutrals, particularly when it’s overcast outside. This week I was inspired by the grey sky outside my window and this oversized clutch from Rachel Roy. Given its size and the presence of multi-function pockets, it’s the clutch’s answer to the small cross body bag. The mix of the midnight dusky blue, two-toned grey, and the subtle stripe of dull mint green is quiet enough not be overbearing but just graphic enough to not get lost in an outfit, setting the parameters as simple, easy, and refined.

Read on

Share 'all in the details: grey mixed-media clutch' on Facebook Share 'all in the details: grey mixed-media clutch' on Google+ Share 'all in the details: grey mixed-media clutch' on Pinterest Share 'all in the details: grey mixed-media clutch' on Twitter Share 'all in the details: grey mixed-media clutch' on Email

sale spy: mastering the mid-season sales

{Editor’s Note: Every year, mid-October rolls around, the fall sales begin, and I’m in a retail panic. Friends & Family is always first…should I go for it, or wait for the first round of markdowns? Is it too soon to be thinking about holiday buys? But this year, I have a secret weapon: SMC’s own Sale Spy, here to lend her expertise to the best sale season of the year!}

Sale Spy’s picks: Painted Ikat dress, Anthropologie, $80 from $158 / Woven silk pencil skirt, Valentino, $239 from $795 / Sandwashed silk tee, J.Crew, $35 from $110

Roxanna K.K. ~ Friends, it’s my favourite time of year: the mid-season sales! (wait – do I say that every sale season? Well, I heartily mean it every sale season. I am always envisioning the unlimited sale possibilities…)

Anyway, I really do love mid-season sales. Now, for a sale devotee, you’d think I’d go crazy for the hard-core post end-of-season sales in January and February, and while I do love finding some crazy bargains at that time, the October/November sales offer so much more possibility. Here’s why:

The selection. At this point, stores have only gone through 1 or 2 rotations of fall merchandise (they typically change every 6-8 weeks,) so there are still plenty of sizes and colours in stock.

The season. You can actually buy something now and wear it from tomorrow to the end of the season. No hoarding clothes for next year or trying to squeeze in the last few wears before the season ends, as I am wont to do after end-of-season season clearance sales.

The trends. This is most important in my book. At the beginning of fall, there are so many trends to shop but you have no idea which will actually last through the season and beyond. At the mid-season sales, you’ve had a chance to see what sticks, and can now pick it up for a significant discount. For example, it’s worth splurging on silk blouses, leather details and colour with a capital C (especially fall staples like oxblood and mustard). However, neon, crazy prints and peplums, while still around, won’t have the same lifespan.

Some tips on shopping these sales:

+ Hang on to those receipts! Many big name stores will reduce merchandise initially and then have an additional markdown on sale merchandise a few weeks later. I get the merchandise at the first markdown for the best selection, but I will then get a price adjustment or buy it again if it is further reduced, returning the original item. This year alone I have saved hundreds of dollars this way (don’t ask how much I’ve spent!)

+ If you had your heart set on specific mid-priced items that are now on sale, go ahead and buy them instead of waiting for them to be reduced further (a lot of merchandise disappears from now until Christmas.) On the other hand, if there are more expensive pieces you have in mind but haven’t found exactly the right one yet, hold off buying them at these sales. There will still be two more rotations of merchandise and much steeper discounts heading into Thanksgiving and Christmas.

+ Investment items like jewelry, bags and fragrances may go on sale closer to the holiday season because they are good gift-giving items, so hold off on these for now as well.

Good luck, and happy sale-hunting!

Share 'sale spy: mastering the mid-season sales' on Facebook Share 'sale spy: mastering the mid-season sales' on Google+ Share 'sale spy: mastering the mid-season sales' on Pinterest Share 'sale spy: mastering the mid-season sales' on Twitter Share 'sale spy: mastering the mid-season sales' on Email

all in the details: embroidered fall scarf

Kate M.W. ~ In an effort to combat the dusky grey chill of fall, I like to make sure that there’s a solid measure of colour in my wardrobe. I’m not advocating for the classic “pop” of colour, but instead a whole ensemble that tries to incorporate it wherever possible. Starting with a multi-tonal embroidered scarf that brings in muted tones from blue to purple, with strains of olive greens and mustard yellows, and set off by poppy reds and oranges, can lead to a world of endless possibility.

Kovdor Embroidered Scarf, Anthropologie, $68

When balancing in a complete outfit of colour, I tend to pick neutral patterns and fabrics. Take a look at a colour wheel and pick tones from opposite sides, or even go back to the scarf and see what colours that sit side-by-side amongst its embroidery really catch your eye. Because it’s fall, I think of my foundations in three pieces: a jacket, a top, and pants. Two out of the three should be colour, and the third a neutral. In this case, a mustard and white striped linen t-shirt brings contrast to deep eggplant toned cords while a classic denim jacket functions as a neutral.

Nolita Jacket, J.Crew, $98 / Straight Leg Cords in Midnight Purple, Talbots, $90 / Linen Jersey Stripe Tee, Eileen Fisher, $69

In putting together the rest of the details, I returned to the scarf to pick out the remainder of the accent colours. While I’ve recently been pondering dusky ankle boots, dark coloured cords can hold up to burnt sienna ankle boots, and the orange colour pairs well with the deep tan accents on a teal bag. To pick up on the whimsy of the embroidery on the scarf, I’d go for a necklace full of quirky charms with offbeat sayings and pictures. A neutral statement ring and a little dash of muted sparkle on the ears rounds out the rest of the jewelry. Keep your makeup simple, a flush of tawny rose colour on the cheeks and a sheer wash of a plummy grape-toned lipstick.

Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed, Tarte, $25 / Lipstick in Damage, NARS, $24 / Necklace charms in Queen of Art, You are Here, and Dot Initial, Pick-Up Sticks, $15-18 / Belted Strap Classic Ellie in Emerald, Gryson, $595 / Smoky Topaz Studs, Bounkit, $75 / Athena Ring, Giles & Brother, $70 / Cassidy Bootie, Cole Haan, $268

With an array of tones and endless opportunities to let your imagination and appetite for colour run wild, take advantage. A scarf such as this really does embody what it means to let your outfit and style speak a bit louder…as always, it’s all in the details.

Share 'all in the details: embroidered fall scarf' on Facebook Share 'all in the details: embroidered fall scarf' on Google+ Share 'all in the details: embroidered fall scarf' on Pinterest Share 'all in the details: embroidered fall scarf' on Twitter Share 'all in the details: embroidered fall scarf' on Email

trend to try: mad for mod

Versace, via / Marni, via / Dsquared², via

Erin ~ I’ll admit it: I’m mad for mod. It’s such a fun, carefree style, and it’s absolutely impossible to be in a bad mood while wearing gogo boots. Originally “mod” just meant an unconventionally modern style of dress during the 1960s in England. Today, mod style is characterized by graphic patterns, primary colors, and clean streamlined shapes as inspired by Twiggy, Andy Warhol and pop art. If you’re loving ’60s mod, I’ve put together a few looks that will help you bring mod into the modern world.

This first look would be perfect for a night out. A graphic striped tunic paired with bright tights for a pop of color. Heeled Chelsea boots are more flattering (and leg-lengthening) than the flat variety, which are a ‘60s staple. Add a little mod shine with a silver clutch and Twiggy’s favorite accessory: long drop earrings. Pixie cut optional.

Opaque Tights, Express, $15 / Ritz Bootie, Kelly & Katie, $80 / Cassie Striped Dress, Lilly Pulitzer, $98 / Crystal Five Ball Drop Earrings, Adriana Orsini, $125 / Glam Clutch, Urban Expressions, $40

To wear a mod style for an afternoon about town or to a casual office, it’s all about color and print. Plaid pants and a short sleeve turtleneck create clean modern lines. White pumps give the vibe of white go-go boots, but the classic shape keeps it from looking like a costume. A ‘60s-style swing coat in a bright color is a great layering piece, and the circle framed sunglasses are a fun nod to the time period in modern lucite.

Eton Plaid Pant, Juicy Couture, $69 / Ruched Short Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater, Ann Taylor, $58 / Round the Bend Sunglasses, Modcloth, $12 / Ponte Knit Swing Jacket, Tahari, $129 / Fravel, Aldo, $49

The first two outfits are mainly neutrals, since I find it easier to pull off mod-influenced styles in a more subdued color palette. However, color-blocking and loud primary colors are major trends from the ‘60s, so feel free to let loose. A fuchsia mini skirt (which screams ’60s), can be swingin’ with an orange silk blouse. Ground the look with black opaque tights and flat riding boots, and add a newsboy cap in herringbone print and a geometric bracelet for a fun finishing touch.

Classic Mini in Felted Wool, J. Crew, $98 / Elsa Top, Lilly Pulitzer, $97 / Arturo Chiang Shadow Riding Boot, DSW, $110 / Helimo Herringbone Newsboy, Rugby, $60 / Jersey Opaque Tights , Calvin Klein, $24 for 2 / On the Dot Scatter Bracelet , Kate Spade, $98

Mod fashion is an easy trend to incorporate into most styles since the pieces are so simple and have clean lines. Also, many pieces that originated during the 1960s are still staples today, such as the Chelsea boot, swing jackets, flat knee-high boots, mini-skirts, peter pan collars, geometric accessories and opaque tights. Even if you aren’t a fan of the bolder looks from the ‘60s, these classics are a great addition to any wardrobe.

Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Facebook Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Google+ Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Pinterest Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Twitter Share 'trend to try: mad for mod' on Email