Tag Archives: burberry

styled alternatives: the tuxedo jacket

I love a good tuxedo jacket. Love them every single time I see someone wearing one, whether casually on the street or all dolled up on the red carpet. I love them in black, in white, in blush…just love.

So, are you surprised to learn I don’t actually own one? Me too. As much as I love them, I had two problems. First, I wasn’t entirely sure what a casual girl like me would do with one once I had it in my hot little hands. And two, I hadn’t found perfection. Until I spied this version from EmersonMade, that is.

I fell hard for this beauty, friends. Can you blame me? Yet even through the haze of retail lust, I hesitated – I just wasn’t convinced I could make it work. But fashion is the mother of invention (or something like that), and EmersonMade kindly offered to let me take my best shot. I’m always up for a challenge – especially one this fun!

Friends, this is the tuxedo jacket to end all tuxedo jackets. First, the white is perfect – so much cooler than black, I think. Only it’s not really white. It’s a deep, warm cream that’s utterly perfect for fall/winter. It’s also linen, which scared me a little. But it turns out that rough, nubby texture is exactly what this jacket needs to keep it grounded, and to give it maximum style portability from casual to dressy. Plus, the construction is that of a jacket far pricier than this $238 price tag. Fully lined, sharp shoulders, fabric-covered buttons – definitely structured enough to be a serious closet workhorse.

And it’s proven to be a workhorse indeed. As it turns out, this beautiful jacket is the easiest thing to style since the grey cardigan – but infinitely hotter. I’ve been wearing it with everything (and I do mean everything) from a silk shell (this emerald version from Zara is my current fave) and dark denim (I’m partial to J.Crew’s Matchstick) to a men’s-style grey tee and busted-up boyfriend jeans.

{Let’s see…top by Topshop, but I prefer the Zara version I mentioned (and which I actually own), jeans by J.Crew, earrings by Gorjana, bag by Olivia Harris – love! – and scarf by Pucci.}

I even tried it with my favorite tuxedo pants – and it’s flawless, thanks to the luscious cream color (trying to match blacks being nearly impossible, of course). But the best transformation of all was what it did for my LBD (remember the one from LK Bennett?). It took that dress from sexy to structured without missing a beat, making it instantly perfect for a work holiday party/theatre evening/red carpet. This beauty is definitely earning its keep.

{Since I know you’re dying to know: Sequined top by Vince, black tuxedo pants by Burberry, emerald earrings from Gerard Yosca, velvet clutch from Marc by Marc Jacobs, and shoes by Vince Camuto}.

If you have holiday events ahead (and really, who doesn’t?), this is an absolute must. Nab it now and save yourself a holiday season full of wardrobe stress – the answer will nearly always be this jacket, no matter the occasion. Just be sure to do a good job checking the measurements on this piece (thank god for websites that post product measurements, don’t you agree?) – I ended up going down a size.

And PS – if you want one, order it by Thursday, 11/9, and get as much as 20% off by being EmersonMade’s Facebook buddy. What, you weren’t already?

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the F&F motherlode: shopbop and saks!

Friends, I have two very exciting things to say to you.

First, drumroll please…it’s Friends & Family time at Shopbop!

And if that isn’t enough excitement…it’s also Friends & Family time at Saks! (Granted, there’s a monster list of brand exclusions, but it’s still a steal unless you’re in the market for Prada or Hermes.)

I hardly know where to start with all the fantasy shopping I’m conducting in my head right now. But a few pieces that may well make their way onto my credit card:

From Shopbop: Yarnz Chic scarf, $130; LNA knit pencil skirt, $95; Elizabeth & James booties, $350.

From Saks: Vince sweater coat, $395; Burberry shearling jacket, $1,195; Michael Kors cropped tweed jacket, $195.

I know, I know. The Burberry jacket is a long shot. But hey, a girl’s got to have dreams!

What’s on your shopping list? Whether it’s fantasy or reality, I’m dying to know!

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splurge vs. steal: the camel coat

i’ve decided my big splurge this fall/winter will be a new camel coat.  it’s a classic that’s never, ever out of style, and since it’s particularly on-trend this year, i should have dozens of options to choose from.  the trouble, of course, is finding “the one”…that perfect choice that’s sufficiently timeless, on-trend and with that little something extra that makes them really special.

i’m trying my best to track down a stylish, less-pricey option, and have come up with a few choices, but none that i’m head-over-heels in love with.

on paper, this version from j.crew ($325) is exactly what i thought i wanted: a wool-cashmere camel trench.  and the price is definitely right.  but it’s lacking that luxe factor i was hoping to find.  it’s just a little more all-purpose “utilitarian” chic than i wanted.

for a similar price point, i could pick up this version from talbots ($329).  i love that it feels a bit more dressed up, but i’m not sure it’s love.

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the color on this version from theory ($645) isn’t quite right (it’s a little dark), nor is the style (i like a belted waist).  but i do like the sharp tailoring, and for some reason, camel under $800 is a hard find this season.

or, for a considerably larger investment, i could get the one i really love.  color’s perfect, styling is divine, and it’s actual camel hair, which explains the price tag.  this one is $1195 from burberry.

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it’s a worthy splurge, to be sure – a camel coat really is forever.  but i couldn’t help weighing whether the splurgiest version (burberry, naturally) is, you know, proportionately more wonderful than the others.  and then there’s always the potential that something even more wonderful could come along later, and i’ll wish i had waited.  agh, the agony of the splurge!

this little exercise has helped…i think i’ve made up my mind.  but before i confess, i’m curious to know what you think.  be honest!

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our annual guide to the nordstrom anniversary sale

{editor’s note: don’t forget to enter our fab summer giveaway – a whole year’s worth of gorgeous stationery from hi, friend design, and all you have to do is leave a comment!}

it’s time to resurrect our annual guide to the nordstrom anniversary sale, after requests from a few of our dear readers.  i was lucky enough to shop the preview of the sale a couple of weeks ago, so i’ll be able to give much more guidance on fit and choices this year, which is fabulous.

for those that don’t freakishly stalk the nordstrom anniversary sale, it actually doesn’t start until tomorrow…but it’s best to check out the sale catalog in advance and order on day 1, before all of the best pieces are gone.  since nothing’s actually available for purchase until tomorrow morning (midnight EDT PDT, technically), we’ll be using the online catalog as our hymnal for today, which you can access here.  i’ll post page numbers of every item, where possible, so you can read along with me in your book.

now, on to the show!  in general, i was overwhelmed by the great apparel choices, and thoroughly underwhelmed by shoes, bags and accessories…so we’ll be spending more time on what to wear than on what to wear with it.

outerwear: for me, the best buy of the sale was a DKNY trench, down to under $100 (check it out at left, or on page 8 of the preview catalog).  i tried on the same style in a classic black burberry trench (also on sale, for $549), and the DKNY was actually a better fit for me.  so, at 1/6 the price, i didn’t have to think long.  but if you are in the market for the tried-and-true classic, this is definitely the perfect time to nab that burberry trench (right, page 15b, $549)!

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jackets: blazers were another amazing find at the sale this year.  my picks are the black rag & bone knit blazer (left, page 9), which fits beautifully (though beware – there are leather elbow patches that don’t suit everyone’s style…mine included), and two by elizabeth and james, which aren’t online yet – one in a grey flannel with beautiful pleating on the placket and shoulders (see crap iphone pic below, right), and the other is a classic black boyfriend blazer with ruched 3/4 sleeves.  both are instant classics.  all three ring in right around the $300 mark, but these are workhorse blazers you’ll pair with everything from suits to jeans, so they’re definitely worthy investment pieces.

Picture 13e&j blazer

the best bargain blazer is this red tweed cropped version from hinge (page 13, $89), which is just begging to be layered for fall.  but i would warn that this needs more than just a tee and jeans to work – you’ll want to add more texture in the way of necklaces, scarves, and maybe a contrasting tank over the tee, or you’ll look more barbara bush than kate moss.

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if it’s a leather blazer you’re after, i like the two black options from kenna-t (page 15f, $299).  the military style (at left) is impeccably on-trend, but there’s something about that asymmetrical version (right) that’s just a little more offbeat, and original, making it my personal favorite.

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cardigans: the ruby autumn cashmere ribbed cardi (left, page 9a, $159) felt like a no-brainer initially – it’s one of my favorite cashmere lines, and the price is a steal.  but the fit across the back wasn’t perfect…i felt like it bunched at the shoulder seam.  but if you have narrower shoulder than i (not a hard bar to clear), the lines of this one are really beautiful on, and the color is a great foil for both grey and camel, which will be huge this fall.  but the classic i’m buying in at least two colors (grey and nude) is this long-ish halogen cardigan with just a bit of sheer fabric at the lapel (pages 28-29, $49).  i’m a little worried i’m not the only one who will stock up on it, but it’s just a perfectly classic cardigan, and i’m due for a few new staples.

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denim: it’s all so subjective, of course, when it comes to denim.  but i’m steering clear of skinnies for fall – i have a feeling wider legs are the future.  so, my favorite was the hudson straight-leg (page 21g, $119) – a great fit, just a bit lower rise than i typically go for.  if your waist isn’t absurdly high (like mine), these would be a great addition to your closet.

shoes: the only shoes i really fell for in the sale were the vera wang lavender rhinestone ballerina flats, in blue nubuck (page 10, $189) – but only if you’re a size 9 or smaller (in larger sizes, the rhinestone accent doesn’t cover enough of the top of the shoe).  it’s tempting to recommend the steven by steve madden covered wedge boots (page 40), but trust me, you’re going to be seeing those on every third girl you pass on the street for the next year.

accessories: all i’m after on this front is the michael kors men’s style chronograph watch, in silver (pages 16-17, $149).  still a bit of an investment, but one you’ll definitely get years of mileage out of.

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cosmetics: we all have our favorite brands, of course, and nearly all have stellar offerings for this sale, if you like buying pre-packaged sets.  i’m not a huge fan as a rule, but i will say that if you haven’t tried kate somerville’s exfolikate yet, pick up the set on page 57b – you’ll never look back.

so, that’s my take.  but i’m even more interested to hear what you’re excited to nab tomorrow.  share your favorite finds in the comments, won’t you?

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what i want today: luxe knits from james jeans

when a much beloved clothing line branches out, i’m always a little nervous.  the potential for greatness is there, clearly, but sometimes it’s best to stick with what you know.

fortunately, james jeans’ foray into knitwear is definitely in keeping with its stellar reputation in the designer denim world.  the pieces are well thought out, beautifully designed and actually unique – a triple-threat that’s hard to come by in a world often overpopulated by gorgeous knits.

a very dear, and highly fashionable friend of mine (hi, H) has a jacket strikingly similar to this, which i always assume to be chanel.  i’ve seen her wear it with jeans and with a cocktail dress, and look fabulous each and every time.   to me, it exemplifies the reality that buying a truly classic piece is worth the investment – H has most definitely gotten her money back from that gorgeous jacket, no matter what she paid.  this style from james comes in cream and navy, and is just $350 – a fraction of what the chanel version would set you back.  it also comes in a longer version and, while i love both, the cropped style is more chic, more young, and certainly more timeless.  coco would be proud.

one of the biggest potential pitfalls of a classic trench is that the fabric can be a little bulky, and therefore not all that flattering.  james has taken on the classic silhouette, but updated it in a gorgeous, heavy knit available in either navy or red ($462).  the result is incredibly flattering,  and the ultimate jacket for spring and fall.  the detail on this piece is fantastic, and taken straight from the best trenches out there.  the hook closures at the neck, the foldover flap at the breast, and even the front slash pockets – all are a perfect recreation of the classic trench.  this one also comes in a cropped version, which has been slightly retooled to give it a stronger military vibe (front patch pockets, and a wider top placket) – it’s a fantastic way to add a little structure to your style this fall.

check out the entire line at james jeans’ website, and pick up your favorite now – i’m guessing this collection will be gone in a flash.

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