Tag Archives: gorjana

four perfect spring dresses (and how to style them)

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I’m not much of a dress person. I buy them, mind you. I buy them in bushels, in every color and fabric, convinced they’ll be a snap to throw on when I’m feeling uninspired, and keep me stylish all summer with zero effort.

But in truth, sometimes dresses feel like a lot more work. Better undergarments, more accessories, uncomfortable belts (because we can never wear the belt it came with, of course), more fussing over length and covering up to hide my pasty white arms. In the end, more often than not, I spend 20 minutes frowning into the mirror, then give up and go back to my jeans-and-silk-shirt routine.

This year, I’m going to master dresses, friends. If it’s the last thing I do. So today, I’ll show off a few of my favorites so far this season. And then, we’ll talk styling. Read on

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all in the details: brahmin bryn clutch

{Editor’s Note: Sometimes Brahmin can be a little too much for me, but Kate’s found the exception to the rule. The clean lines and the fresh navy keep this from going too “mature”, as some of their styles do, and I love the size (and the crossbody/clutch versatility). Mostly though, I love the shirtdress she found (esp. the price!), and I’m pretty sure it’s headed for my closet. Enjoy!}

Kate ~ There are few things more versatile than a mid-sized handbag; however, there are often times few things more boring than a mid-sized handbag. This is why I’m always on the lookout for options to keep what I cart around in check but still maintain some visual interest. With a crocodile print and a navy blue colour, this bag from Brahmin is reminiscent of the shape of others that I swoon over (a little Celine or Hermes per chance?), and a great size for day, but is a much more reasonable purchase that builds on that “transition” mindset that we’re all still thinking of.

BrahminBryn 13 all in the details: brahmin bryn clutchBryn Clutch, Brahmin, $225

Shirtdresses always find their way into regular rotation come this time of year, and when presented in a pattern they can be an outfit all on their own. The navy tone of the bag inspired the base colour of the pattern, while light blue, yellow, and taupe keep the dress from appearing too heavy at this point in the year. Whether to make the dress work for work, or just to combat autumn’s cool evenings, I’ll always be a fan of a good navy blazer. Considering polka dots are all the rage, the lining of this one (…always thinking details!) makes it a great find.

foundations 13 all in the details: brahmin bryn clutch

Blouson Shirtdress, Vince Camuto, $128 / Lambswool Blazer, Brooks Brothers, $348

The advantage of a classic bag and printed dress is that you have an endless supply of options to bring the rest of the outfit together. Navy and taupe make a great early autumn combination, and benefit from mixed metal accents. Add gold bent feather hoops, a delicate necklace, and a stack of thin gold and silver rings. A cozy neutral scarf is also such a wardrobe staple that I nearly should have listed it with the foundations! But where this outfit also shines is the shoes. Nude embossed smoking slippers with a metal toe-cap are phenomenally on trend, helping to ground a fairly flirty dress and echoing the embossed leather of the bag. Or, if you’re already in the mood for boots, these tonal colour-blocked boots with zipper detailing from Cole Haan are positively stunning but not too heavy for the look – a small dash of edge for a feminine bag and dress.

details 13 all in the details: brahmin bryn clutch

Hollis Boot, Cole Haan, $398 / London Two Charm Necklace, Gorjana, $97 / Stackable Band Rings, Stella & Dot, $39 / Aster Flats, Sam Edelman, $150 / Bent Feather Hoops, Erica Weiner, $50 / Monogram Plush Wrap, Banana Republic, $90

The mantra for this week: classic in shape but interesting in detail. As always, from the embossed bag to the polka dot lining of the blazer, it’s all in the details.

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all in the details: shimmering sailor knot necklace

Kate ~ Transition, transition, transition. Every blog, every magazine, everyone discussing fashion for this upcoming season is mentioning transition pieces (…myself included). While the natural thought pattern for transitional accessories normally just turns to the addition of hats and scarves, or swapping neon for deep jewel tones, there’s always the option of allowing the dazzle and sparkle to play double duty as well.

Case in point? This necklace from Ranna Gill pays homage to to the nautical knots trends of spring and summer, while also feeling readily at home with deep golds and subtle colour for fall (cobalt, maroon and pale pink). It’s substantial enough to pair with a cardigan or sweater, but also not too overwhelming for a t-shirt and jeans.

 all in the details: shimmering sailor knot necklace

Shimmering Sailor Knot Necklace, Anthropologie, $118

A necklace like this presents a unique opportunity to pair casual with dressy. A simple navy sweater that borders on loungewear adds ease to a multi-toned patterned pencil skirt with metallic thread. Because the necklace and skirt have similar colour palettes they complement as opposed to compete with one another. The sweater keeps things from being overly fancy and lends a daytime essence to the outfit.

foundations 12 all in the details: shimmering sailor knot necklace

Studio Sweater, Gap, $40 / Floral Brocade Pencil Skirt, J.Crew, $168

Since there’s a lot going on balancing the necklace and the skirt, your details need to be crisp and unfussy to tone down the overall look. Tiny hammered studs are the only other jewelry I’d suggest, aside from an understated brown leather band watch and perhaps some dainty gold rings. Instead of extra jewels, have fun with a warm medium burgundy nail polish – metallic or creme, you choose! A structured ladylike handbag maintains the feminine tone alongside simple brown ballet loafers. Furthermore all of these pieces will move seamlessly between the seasons as hardwearing staples.

details 12 all in the details: shimmering sailor knot necklaceWallace Watch, Fossil, $85 / Tramp Stamp or Shag, butter London, $14 / Stackable Band Rings, Stella & Dot, $39 / Willis Bag in British Tan, Coach, $298 / Carmel Tiny Hammered Studs, Gorjana, $22 / Calfskin Ballet Loafers, Brooks Brothers, $118

Picking pieces that transition from late summer to fall is crucial at this point in the year.. Mixing transition with bold balance (metallic thread pencil skirts and sparkling necklaces) is a fun way to bring the light of summer into a refined fall. Statement and staples, it’s all in the details.

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all in the details: threadbare bracelet

Kate ~ Occasionally I come across a detail that strikes me as the kind of piece that would work no matter your style. The Threadbare bracelet from RockLove is an example of that, from preppy (nautical knots and primary colours) to the indie chic rockers (refined leather and hardware), and with all the colours available, odds are there’s a version for you.

Comprised of an intricate leather knot, gold chain, and an anchor-and-eye clasp, this bracelet is chunky enough to be a statement on its own, yet refined enough that it could withstand a little extra arm candy. I’ve opted for the Oxblood Red, as it’s the kind of colour that could really be rocked year round.

ThreadbareBracelet 11 all in the details: threadbare bracelet

Oxblood Threadbare Bracelet, RockLove, $115

When I first came across this, I was sitting in black cigarette pants, a khaki blazer, and that Tory Burch Scarf from a few weeks ago…quietly thinking that the Oxblood would both pick up the colours of the scarf and balance out an oversized gold watch on the opposing wrist. Nonetheless, while I have nothing against outfit repeats, this column is about being inspired by details and creative.

For the foundations, I’m reaching for end of summer staples: a cotton oxford button down (crisp and polished in shape, but soft in material), and dark denim shorts or jeans (either classic indigo or black will do). I’ve opted for neutral basics so that you’re welcome to weave in your own aesthetic in the rest of the details, whether it be rocker chic or downtown prep.

foundations 11 all in the details: threadbare bracelet

Broome Street Jeans, Kate Spade, $198 / Shrunken Oxford, Madewell, $60 / Boyfriend Shorts, Paige, $139

Playing up the arm candy of the Threadbare bracelet, I’d add a thin silk and chain wrap bracelet and bold gold studs to start out the details. Adding a patterned scarf with a touch of red ensures that the outfit doesn’t stray into monotone (eg. all bold solid colours/accents), and softens the look when just hanging casually around your neck. The bag, shoes, and belt should all pick up on either the red/gold of the bracelet, or the other tones of the scarf. Red ballet flats add a touch of fun, a thin yellow belt ties in the scarf, and a semi-structured tan bag keeps things in the light, late summer category. Now just add your favourite shades and keep your makeup fresh and minimal with extra flirty lashes.

details 11 all in the details: threadbare bracelet

Fish Print Scarf, J.Crew, $48 / Gold Chloe Studs, Gorjana, $40 / Silk & Chain Wrap Bracelet, Chan Luu, $98 / Yellow Belt, Gap, $30 / Regina Ballet, Frye, $128 / Biennial Satchel, J.Crew, $348

A bracelet like this allows your look to multitask, whether your style is classic or contemporary on any given morning. In addition, neutral statement pieces allow you to draw on inspiration from other accessories as well. A dash of coordination and a pinch of edge means keeps everything interesting, all in the details.

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all in the details: bendel’s classic bangle

{Editor’s Note: I’m thrilled to introduce the first of a few new faces you’ll be seeing here over the summer! You’ve met Kate, of the fantastic blog Anonymous Chic, before, but now she’s here to stay with a weekly column showing off her favorite accessory du jour and how to make it work in your closet. Also, she’s Canadian, so she gets to do lovely things like spell “color” with a U. Give her a warm welcome, won’t you?}

Hi, I’m Kate! Like many of the readers of Shopping’s My Cardio, I’m a bit of an accessories junkie. Handbags, shoes, jewelry – my outfits more often than not revolve around the details as opposed to the actual fashion. But incorporating a new piece into your routine can throw any of us for a loop. So, every week I’ll be here to give you the how-to on making those little details the star of the show. I hope to leave you with plenty of inspiration!

In a summer full of stacked bracelets, rocking a wrist full of bling has become common practice. It’s a trend that I’m glad has become all the rage – as someone who’s been stacking bracelets since her mid-teens, the vast selection that’s now readily available adds a little extra glee to my shopping excursions. Which is why I was surprised to be drawn to this classic enamel bangle from Henri Bendel – it makes such a statement, the rest of the arm party is almost unnecessary!

bangle 1 all in the details: bendels classic bangle

Henri Bendel Rivet Enamel Hinge Bangle, $88

With its basic white enamel and gold patterned printing, its size makes it the kind of piece that can handle being a statement all on its own. It’s also an excellent multi-purpose piece that would be equally at home with a classic button down and slacks for work, or worn casually with a white tee and jeans for the weekends, when you need something to give that errand outfit a little extra oomph. The white and gold combination means that while still being relatively subtle, it transcends fundamental colour palettes and will work well with matching or mixed-metal jewellery. And darlings, it’s also hinged – which makes it a winner as you’re not required to dislocate the bones in your hands trying to slide it onto your wrist (especially if you’re like me and suffer from a disproportionate palm-to-wrist size ratio).

Now while it’s easy to pair with those aforementioned basics, where this bangle would really make an impact is with a trend that every store from Target to Neiman’s has picked up: brightly coloured pants. Whether it’s red denim or dusty yellow chinos, coloured pants can often prove to be the focal point in an outfit – which is why the details can often be a little tricky to balance. That’s where this bangle from Bendel’s does just the trick: enough of an accessory statement to stand up to bold bottoms, but not too busy to be distracting.

For the foundations of this outfit genre I’d go with great poppy-red cropped jeans (or whichever colour you’ve chosen to rock), a black or navy t-shirt, and a washed-out denim jacket.

foundations 1hbbangle all in the details: bendels classic bangle

Denim Jacket, Eddie Bauer, $80 / Piper denim in Flame, Talbots, $80 / Navy tee, Old Navy, $9

For the rest of the details? Counter the sweet bangle with a chunky gold watch, and a long pendant or a fine embellished chain-link necklace. Hair up? Go with some basic gold studs. Hair down? Some small to mid-sized gold hoops. Add a simple dark toned bag (coordinate with your tee) and nude-toned flats so as not to distract from the pants…

details 1hbbangle all in the details: bendels classic bangle

Fairytale Hoops, Gorjana, $40 / Forget Me Knot Earrings, Juliet & Co, $25 /
Pyramid Pendant, House of Harlow $65 / Layton Watch, Michael Kors, $250

Whether sporting a bold style trend or just adding a little oomph to classic staples, I always stick to the philosophy that with any outfit it’s all in the details. Looking forward to spending some time with you! ~ Kate

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friday finds: my arm party

Do you know about the “arm party” phenom? Of course you do…stacked bangles haven’t been this big since Madonna. But I’m a little too, um, something, to rock the full arm of plastic bracelets like I did when I was 12. Plus, most of us have jobs now, that necessitate both typing and not looking like we just came from an all-night dance club, which means the full-fledged arm party just isn’t practical for most of us.

But that doesn’t mean you have to sit this one out. No, I’ve honed my arm party to a carefully-calculated science, friends – it’s the perfect balance between fashion and practicality, and I promise – totally, utterly wearable.

Here’s my formula:

P1000784 2 friday finds: my arm party

{First my feet, now my arm…what’s next? Full body shot? Imagine!}

Yep, that’s my very own arm. See? It’s like arm-party-lite. It still makes the statement, while keeping your wrist free to conduct business as usual. Want the details on all that beautiful bling? Of course you do.

Those delicious gem-studded bangles are from Kara Ackerman – the green prehnite at the top is my favorite, with the rose quartz running a very close second. If you love them, you are going to loooooove the party Kara and I have cooked up for Black Friday (that’s what we like to call a “teaser.” You’re on the edge of your seat, right?).

The studded bangles, and that gorgeous rose gold leather wrap bracelet are all from Gorjana, a perennial favorite of mine for making luxe, on-trend pieces you can actually afford. That leather wrap is especially wonderful because it fits trim to your wrist. Layer it closest to your hand, and it will keep everything else from sliding down (and from banging on the desk while you type).

There are a few vintage bangles mixed in there, which you can find for about $1 at just about any thrift shop. And the sparkly crystal ones are from J.Crew, though I don’t recommend them as they’ve snagged about 800 of my sweaters.

Last but not least is the big chunky watch. Mine was my grandfather’s, so you can’t possibly get that cool, I think. But Michael Kors makes my absolute favorite menswear-inspired watches – if you don’t already have one, it’s a must. The big watch really anchors this look, and takes it from Material Girl to Thoroughly Modern Millie. Or something like that. Just make sure you put fitted bracelets on either side of the watch to protect it, or the watch will clunk around and end up getting scratched. Lesson learned the hard way, friends.

What do you think about the arm party? Are you ready to give it a try? Be bold, my friends…and mighty bracelets will come to your aid.

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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.

EM1034 001 000.medium 7 styled alternatives: the tuxedo jacketEM1034 001 000.medium 2 styled alternatives: the tuxedo jacket

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.

emersonmade 1 styled alternatives: the tuxedo jacket

{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.

emersonmade 2 styled alternatives: the tuxedo jacket

{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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get gifting: the globetrotter

for the girl who’s racked up enough frequent flier miles to take a trip around the world (if only she could find time between layovers), this list is packed with presents guaranteed to make it into her coveted carry-on space.

but why stop there? so many of these travel-friendly finds would be genius picks for a friend who’s always on the go, even if her travel is mostly of the afternoon-commute variety.  or for the girl who doesn’t often travel far from home, but is forever daydreaming about her next exotic vacation.  in other words, whether it’s wanderlust or wander-must, there’s something here that’s perfect for any traveler on your list.

M Stripes Enlarge get gifting: the globetrotterpacifica get gifting: the globetrotter

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left to right, from top: baggu zip travel bags, $8-12 for sets; pacifica roll-on perfumes, $12; blow to go hair travel kit, $28; cz falconer barbarella cashmere zip tunic, $395; lily & lionel london cityscape scarf in sepia, $272; day-timer malibu leather refillable notebook, $59; lesportsac large zip travel wallet, $48; cityslips foldable flats, $25; ghd dazzle styler travel set with flat iron, hair dryer and heat-resistant storage bag, $240; gorjana thomspson jewelry case, $106.

{FTC disclaimer: some product samples were provided to help me compile this guide, but as usual, there’s no pay-for-play here.}

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