Tag Archives: brooklyn industries

the how-to: bundle up in style

When one of you (hi, Amy!) suggested that I talk a little about bundling up for winter, I got pretty excited. The truth is, winter is my season! While I hate the cold, I absolutely adore cold weather style. So, today I thought I’d dispense a few of my favorite tips for staying chic no matter the weather. Read on

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smc leap day giveaway: brooklyn industries

{Editor’s Note: Sorry, this contest is closed, friends…but head over here to catch up on the latest SMC fun!}

Happy Leap Day, friends! It’s a day for seizing the moment, for doing something unexpected and exciting, for…getting a free dress!

Yep, my friends at Brooklyn Industries reached out to see if you’d be interested in winning one of the pretty, pretty dresses from their new spring line…now how could I turn that down? In the end, though, since spring is still a distant light on my horizon, I picked a style that will wear just as well now as it will when I finally, finally turn off the Dyson space heater in my living room.

My pick? The Aeigis – a classic shirtdress made of lighter-than-air cotton. Trust me when I tell you that the photos don’t do this versatile beauty justice. It’s as easy and carefree as they come, but with just enough structure to keep you feeling pulled together. Plus, it’s a virtual blank canvas when it comes to styling.

Brooklyn Industries Aeigis Dress / Jacket / Sweater / Boots / Bag / Sandals / Sunglasses

Right now, with the weather being so gross in my part of the world, I’d probably add a tank dress underneath (for warmth and length), as well as a pair of grey tights. Then, I’d top it with a chunky Aran wool sweater and my trusty Loeffler Randall rain booties. Of course, you could always swap a chic leather moto jacket for the sweater, and add a slightly badder boot.

And when spring finally gets here? It’ll be just you and this sweet, breezy dress, bare-legged, with only a pair of K.Jacques sandals and a tiny little shoulder bag to weigh you down.

To win your very own Aeigis (yes, any color, any size), just leave a comment here sometime between now and Friday, 3/2. I’ll announce the winner Friday afternoon, so they can spend the weekend being excited about their score! As always, share on Facebook, Twitter, or heck, just about anywhere, and score a bonus entry for each share. Just come back and leave an extra comment letting me know where you spilled the beans!

Good luck, everyone!

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asked and answered: icelandic adventure

Oh, how I adore reader mail….

Dear Shopping’s My Cardio:
I have a fabulous trip to Iceland planned for February (yes, February) and I will be spending a few days in Reykjavik.  I have heard that Icelanders are very fashion-forward and I don’t won’t to look like an American tourist in New Balance sneakers and a Helly Hansen fleece while I am there. Any suggestions for winter chic in a cold cold land? And no, I also don’t want to look like Lisbeth from Dragon Tattoo….
 ~ A Loyal Reader

While I question the timing (brr!), Iceland has become the hot new destination (pun sort of intended) for adventurous jetsetters. A few months back, Iceland’s tourism board ran some amazing travel specials, and several of my friends jumped at the chance to be exotic on a budget.

But then, there’s also a fair contingent of SMC friends who reside in the Great White North, so I thought perhaps they wouldn’t mind a little primer on staying warm in style.

To start, spend some time on Google Images looking at celeb style at Sundance. Sure, it’s aspirational, but it’s also a great starting point for chic cold-weather wear. For the most part, it consists of skinny jeans tucked into Sorel boots, down parkas or shearling, great chunky scarves and a fabulous pair of sunnies to shield your eyes from all that sunlight bouncing off the snow.

{Images c/o Marie Claire, PopSugar and Ralph Lauren}

Pack your bags with staples like denim (I’d take one boot-cut and one skinny/jegging) and a couple of great sweaters (one pullover, one cardigan). Add a few classic layering pieces, like a plaid flannel shirt in a modern color combo or a perfect long-sleeved tee (my favorites are from LA Made). Take a pair of Sorels – I love the aprés ski vibe of this grey flannel version – and a second weather-friendly pair (thick-soled Fryes would be perfect, or a biker-style rain boot is a fun upgrade). For good measure, toss in a long-sleeved sweater dress that can double as a tunic during the day and a dinner dress at night.

To top it all off, you’ll need a couple of knockout scarves, a great pair of sunnies (aviators are my current favorite), and the perfect down parka to keep you warm – just be sure it has enough shape to keep your curves intact. I love the idea of opting for a white parka over the usual black – it instantly adds a hefty dose of style to your look. Brooklyn Industries is genius at making a puffer that flatters – the waistline on this version is unbelievably slimming, and the super sale price doesn’t hurt.

Brooklyn Industries Zermatt puffer coat ($139) / Pendleton cardigan ($100) / Sorel Norquay ($150) / Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody ($138) / LL Bean flannel ($40) / Cashmere henley sweater ($107) / Juicy Couture rain boot ($125) / Guess aviators ($50) / Muk Luks convertible gloves ($21)

A few bonus tips:

  • Layer – after all, you’ll be inside a fair bit too, and you’ll want to regulate that temperature. And make sure the coat you pack is lightweight, so you can tote it through indoor venues without breaking a sweat.
  • Take a tiny crossbody bag like this one from Marc by Marc Jacobs ($138), so that when you’re carrying that down coat around, you won’t lose feeling in your arms
  • Warm socks are key. Do yourself one better and pick up a pair of fleece-lined tights (I found mine at Nordstrom Rack for under $10). Use them at night to keep your legs warm in that dinner dress, but you can also layer them under denim if the cold is too much to take.
  • Don’t be afraid of prints. A bold pattern on a cardigan will make repeat wears more pleasant – just steer away from trite Nordic themes. Go with tribal, stripes or mod, and you’ll be ahead of the tourist pack. (Plus, you’ll want to score a Fair Isle knit as a souvenir, no?)
  • Skip the jewels. Pick a favorite simple pendant and a stud earring, and leave the rest home. Chunky bangles are a mess with gloves, and statement earrings will only get caught on your scarf.

Do any of you frozen tundra-dwellers have any words of wisdom to add for our stylish friend?

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florals and pleats: the how-to


this skirt from brooklyn industries manages the impossible – it’s as frilly as can be, but work the look the right way, and this is the ultimate hip spring floral.  and it’s on sale for $58.

no question, florals are tricky – and in the spring, you risk looking more laura ashley than kate moss if you play them wrong.  but, done right, they’re ideal for the season, and end up looking oh-so-stylish, with that “i just threw this on and look amazing” perfection we’re all seeking.

so, the how to:  first, drop the girly quotient from the rest of the ensemble.  instead of pearls, think heavy chains.  bare legs will work with a bold shoe, but black tights are even better (with the blue, that is – stay bare with the black skirt).  for footwear, my choice is an edgy heel, but heel or flat, stick to black or a bold, bright and non-matching color.  red or hot pink with these cool floral skirts, for example, would be fantastic.  layer a couple of tanks or tees, and pair the whole thing with a blazer or a menswear vest (not a cardigan, unless it’s very oversized and a neutral shade) – maybe even a plaid or striped scarf to top things off.  let your inner tomboy/rocker chick come out to play when you don flowers, and the end result will be stunning.

check out this fantastic piece from whowhatwear with even more ideas for updating a floral.  incidentally, these ideas are also a great way to do the old “shop your closet” bit – you should be able to unearth a floral skirt or two from the ’90s, no?

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getting fleeced…


there’s a possibility i’ve been living in the land of fleece and birkenstocks too long, but i have to confess:  the fashion world wants me wearing blazers and shoulder pads, but all i want is a cozy, easy-to-wear fleece to throw on when an evening chill sets in.

now, before you get all worried that i’ve lost my mind, and remove me from your reading list, i’m not talking your standard zip hoodie…i’m guessing none of us need much advice on those (although this one is pretty damn cute).  i’m talking about a fleece that manages to stay at least moderately stylish, and maybe even completely hip.

that fleece biker jacket, for example – i love it so much more than the leather versions that are resurfacing (i clearly remember a frightening denim version i had in the ’80s…yikes).  it’s fitted, streamlined, light as a feather…all qualities that sound pretty fantastic when i remember the bulk and sheer weight of the real version.  whether you use it for your weekend lounging or get bold and mix it with a graphic tee and trousers for day (which, by the way, i think would be fantastic – i might even add a small silk scarf at the neck), i’m convinced this would be your go-to all spring.  grab it from adidas, of all places, for $160…steep for fleece, but it’s such a great update on a classic that i’m willing to consider it.


for a more relaxed look, this short-sleeved pullover from brooklyn industries is marked down to $35, but i have even more reasons to love it.  those big, pleated sleeves are almost dolman in their slouch, and are sure to result in a flattering silhouette – as does anything with wider shoulders that narrows at the waist.  the high pocket placement just emphasizes that look – it’s pretty perfect, actually.  the side drawstrings give it interest, and make it easy to style it your own way.  plus, they’ll be perfect to turn it into a swim coverup later this summer.

in both cases, i thought it was worth showing you the final, styled look…it just goes to show that even fleece can be hip if you spend a little time making the style work (and because the photos of the pieces alone were just not good).  these definitely fall under the category of higher maintenance, as you’ll have to work to show these are more style than slouch.  but i know you’re up to the task!

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cheap thrills: brooklyn industries

if you’re looking for a few pieces to up the ante on your fall wardrobe, the answer is simple:  head to brooklyn.  i honestly can’t remember where i first came across brooklyn industries, but lately, it’s become my favorite stop for hip, trendy digs that don’t break the bank – nearly every piece is under $100.

this fab peacoat jacket ($88) is actually a fleece – and comes with a detachable hood.  trust me – this is a piece that’s going to be in constant rotation in my closet this fall.  they also make a wool version, but i actually prefer the way this one drapes, and it’s $90 cheaper, so this one is an easy choice. 

speaking of easy, this gorgeous printed silk swing top ($98) is an ideal transition piece for those of you that aren’t ready to give up those figure-hiding styles just yet.  it’s a bit more tailored than a babydoll, and the silk fabric and mod graphics make it a very on-trend take on a style my tummy is having a hard time bidding farewell.

i’m also loving this berry-hued tailored blazer, which is a perfect go-to piece for fall’s trends.  the contrast trim makes this piece look much more expensive than its $128 pricetag, and the styling will be perfect for everything from work to weekend.

unlike my esteemed colleague, jessie, i’m not entirely sure about the plaid trend this fall.  however, i think i’m going to buy into it just enough to pick up this fun buffalo check scarf ($48). with that bright violet hue and trendy checkerboard styling, it will be the perfect perk-me-up for fall.

and lately, i never miss if i head to brooklyn for my basics.  they add seriously thoughtful details, like ruching at the neckline, and a just-right v-neck, to their basic tees – and they’re marked down to $10 (or the long-sleeved version, marked down to $29).  and even at full price, the sailor-inspired denim trousers are a perfect choice that’s still half the price of your fave designer denim.  they have a great, laid-back chic that i just love.

if you’re ready for a shopping detour to brooklyn, consider signing up for their e-newsletter.  discount codes roll in pretty frequently (including $5 off your first order for signing up), and you’ll get first dibs on sale items.  as with all of my favorite bargain sources, markdown season at brooklyn industries is a beautiful thing.



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