Tag Archives: kate spade

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.

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.

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.

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: classic black satchel

{Editor’s Note: I love Thursdays…and not just because I get a day off. Kate always shows me something I haven’t seen before, and gives me all sorts of new wardrobe ideas. But today, she really has me scooped! I didn’t even know about Joy Gryson’s newest line, IIIBeca, until I saw today’s pick. Check out the entire IIIBeca line while you’re at it…Gryson never misses!}

For a girl who has a lot of handbags, it’s a wonder how they don’t show up on the column more often! With fall on the horizon (I’m sorry to all those who are still basking in summer’s glow, but my brain is in full leaf-changing colour mode), thoughts inevitably turn into that “back-to-school” mindset…regardless of your age or association with academics. As per usual, classic polished collegiate lines quietly find their way into fall’s inspiration, particularly with ladylike satchels. Always in the market for that great black bag, new to the scene IIIBeCa’s North Moore Satchel is right on target.

North Moore Satchel, IIIBeCa, $188

With an adjustable shoulder strap, and dual handles it works as both a true “hand”-bag and as a shoulder tote. An additional great feature is the removable nylon pouch. Though available in a variety of other colours, I’m partial to black as it never goes out of style and really suits the understated shape. It’s a substantial enough size to fit your necessities without fearing the entrance into oversized borderline briefcase land.

This bag leans more towards the side of basic, and can be countered with foundations with visual interest. A black and white herringbone sleeveless blouse with a ruffled collar balances out sapphire coloured ankle-length jeans. Working with a basis of primary colours and black, adding a mustard toned sweater either over the top or nonchalantly tied around one’s shoulders would be my solution to any sort of coolness in the air (and I am a sucker for a good elbow patch).

Nicky Herringbone Top, J.Crew, $128 / Coloured Ankle Jean, Talbots, $90 / Elbow Patch Sweater, Banana Republic, $60

Your foundations borderline on colour blocking, the remainder of the details should be clean cut and simple. Black pumps or ballet flats would be a natural fit, but a slim cut oxford plays with the quirky collegiate tone of the look. Layer a couple of oversized bracelets to bring back a little femininity, and simple gold and black studs. Grab a pair of matte black sunglasses, leave your hair with a touch of texture and movement, and sport a bold orange-red toned lip – a subtle nod to the fact that it is still in fact summer.

Lipstick in Chili Flake, Face Stockholm for J.Crew, $24 / Black Studs, Kate Spade, $38 / Joyce Oxfords, Bass, $79 / Breslin Sunglasses, Raen, $142 / Lindsey Bracelet, Loren Hope, $58 / Corrin Bracelet, Loren Hope, $65

Taking a refined school uniform cue from the bag lets you play with ladylike accents and menswear inspirations all in a single outfit. There’s a certain spontaneity with this look and a refined playfulness that one can really only achieve by remembering that it’s all in the details.  ~ Kate

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all in the details: alexis bittar wafer earrings

{Editor’s Note: Kate knows what I like. Those earrings! That tunic! I’m obsessed. Sadly, I better move fast – the earrings are selling out everywhere!}

Understated, but striking if you take a second look. Occasionally this is how I think accessories should best be described. It’s a conclusion that I came to when I was recently chatting about the addition of a couple of Alexis Bittar pieces to my own collection over on AnonymousChic. These  white and gold wafer earrings from Alexis Bittar caught my eye, and certainly fit the bill when it comes to being characterized as light and chic.

Gold Wafer Earring, Alexis Bittar, $150

These earrings are simply stylish, and still stunning – a way to heighten the look of an outfit without going overboard. They tread the line between casual (the colour and hammered gold) and dressy, which gives the impression of having put in a little extra effort.

Given the classic style of the earrings, I would either mimic the simplicity (white button-down and jeans) or use them to counter a print. In this instance, I’ve opted for a neutral printed tie-waist tunic from Tory Burch paired with easy navy shorts. Once autumn arrives, swap the shorts for slim cut navy pants or skinny jeans for a seamless transition. When wearing patterns let the colours influence the remainder of the outfit – picking up on accent tones (navy and white) or the base colour of the print (a deep blush-nude taupe tone).

Hana Tunic, Tory Burch, $295 / Cotton Stretch Shorts, Brooks Brothers, $49

The rest of the details should play into similar tones, colour palettes, and style (both in terms of the pattern of the tunic and the simplicity of the earrings), creating a cohesive theme. When pairing accessories with a longer earring, skip the necklace and use one bold item on the wrists.  Start with oversized sunglasses, and then pair a gold watch with a navy bracelet. Use basic nude flats to ground the outfit, and a structured bag to balance to balance the casual nature. If you’re really feeling like highlighting these excellent earrings, pull your hair up into a messy ponytail, otherwise refined beachy waves will keep the outfit from looking overdone.

Oversized Sunglasses, Michael Kors, $66 / Gramercy Crystal Watch, Kate Spade, $250 / Medium Crystal Detail Bangle, Sequin, $28 / Shirley Flat, Elie Tahari, $195 / Classic Satchel, Cambridge Satchel Company, $120

This tunic would always look great, as it’s a well-designed and interesting piece all on its own. What takes it from being a great top, to being an all-together stylish outfit is how the rest of the pieces complement it. Often with style, it’s all in the details.  ~ Kate

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all in the details: kate spade kalla

{Editor’s Note: Oh, I adore these shoes! And while I have to admit, I’m usually a wee bit skeptical of khakis, I trust Kate implicitly. So, if she says khakis…well, I’ll at least try them on. Any excuse at all to sport those fabulous heels. Nice pick, Kate!}

I’m always partial to a little colour in my world, so thank goodness for colour blocking and summer trends always being in tune with that sentiment.  It looks like the trend is going to be making a subtle transition into fall as well, so even more reason to find a way to work it into one’s wardrobe.  These heels (a new pre-fall release from Kate Spade) definitely follow suit, and provide an excellent source of outfit inspiration.

Kalla Heel, Kate Spade, $328

The colour combination and styling of these shoes is incredibly classic, and yet right on trend. The teal and yellow combination makes them appropriate for late summer cocktails, and yet they’ll feel equally at home as autumn arrives and earthy, leaf-changing tones become apparent. Kate Spade heels are always one of my favourites – despite the height, I never feel like I’m teetering around. They’re sturdy, and surprisingly comfortable (though I’d still recommend breaking these in by throwing a small solo dance party in your living room while wearing thick wool socks in the shoes).

For the foundations, I’d keep it neutral.  Lighter-toned bottoms courtesy of a pencil skirt or khaki cigarette pants won’t compete with the shoes.  Remembering that it’s still summer, I’d go with a relaxed dark blue tank.  Given the style of the shoes, your outfit should aim to maintain a casual but refined nature.

Heritage Ankle Jean, Talbots, $90 / Blue Depths Tank, Trouve, $54 / No.2 Pencil Skirt, J.Crew, $70

The other details are a great place to play with extra colour, so that it becomes a series of surprise accents. Try jeweled earrings that pick up on the tones of the shoes, accented by a simple stack of interesting bangles. On the other hand, bold coloured studs and a coordinating long necklace might be more your style. In either case, if you’re in the mood to tuck in the shirt, I’d add a bright patent skinny belt – because I can’t resist a touch of fuchsia.  Add a small yellow cross-body bag, and you’re set.

Clear Sea Earrings, Anthropologie, $32 / Wire Nugget Bangles, Citrine by the Stones, $287 / New Bond Street Ettie, Kate Spade, $248 / Skinny Patent Belt, J.Crew, $40

Given the shoes, the outfit should really make an effort to string together fun summer colours.  They should inspire you to be playful yet refined…something easy to achieve when it’s all in the details.  ~Kate

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this just in: kate spade surprise sale

I do love a Kate Spade sale…I feel like they’re one of the last brands that *really* knows how to tempt a girl with a bargain. There are some pretty gorgeous goodies to be had, at some pretty incredible prices (up to 75% off) – including that Scout bag we were all fighting for last season. If I was in a shopping mood (curse this hot weather!), I’d be all over it.

1. Bedford Road Leighton, $199 / 2. Sunnies $62 / 3. Scarf, $89 / 4. Japanese Floral Austin dress, $139
5. Selma sweater dress, $98 / 6. Idiom bangle, $69 / 7. Essex Scout, $179 / 8. Big Time Statement necklace, $69

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friday finds (and important information!)

Happy Friday, friends! Though, for me, this won’t be much of a weekend, but rather Phase One of the big move. And to clean out all my piles celebrate, I’m selling off a few excellent pieces on eBay that might be of interest. Feel free to take a look – I’d so love for them to go to a good home!

And speaking of sales, there are some killer ones happening this weekend, both in Portland and farther afield.

* Mabel & Zora, one of my favorite girly Portland boutiques with the sweetest owners you’ll ever meet, is celebrating its 6th anniversary today with a flash sale on their website! Save 20% off all separates (which I think means anything but shoes, jewelry and dresses) from 6 pm to midnight tonight only (4.13) with code 6YEAR.

* My beloved Moulé is having an anniversary too! To celebrate a quarter century in business, you can take 30% off the entire store (that means their amazing jewelry and home collections too, neither of which ever go on sale!). The only catch is that you have to be in PDX – the sale’s in-store only. But if you’re here, it’s not to be missed.

* And on a slightly larger scale, Kate Spade‘s multi-annual friends & family event is going on this weekend. Take 25% off nearly everything (except home, stationery and watches) today and tomorrow with code FFSPR12.

And after all that, phew! We need some pretty pictures, don’t we?

These earrings came across my path as a “Best Bet” on NYMag’s blog a couple of weeks ago, and I’m still thinking about them. Quite possibly the perfect studs, don’t you think? Especially for under $100.

Do you know Hermione de Paula? I didn’t either…but now I’m completely in love. She manages to marry old-school tropical prints with mod digitized formats, and the result is, well, the best Hawaiian shirt you’ll ever find.

I am in a world of trouble. Rachel Comey has finally (finally!) opened an online store. Which means no more obsessive hunting through dozens of online mini-boutiques when I’m desperate for a new pair of ankle boots (hers are the very, very best). They even have my size! It spells danger, my friends…but oh, what lovely danger! Those tan perforated Hitch boots (right) are next on my list.

And speaking of newcomers to the online world, Club Monaco’s online store is finally here! Think Topshop, but a little easier to wear – hems are a little longer, styles are a bit more grown up, and looks aren’t all ripped from some other designer’s atelier. I’m so looking forward to taking advantage – particularly since they’re offering free shipping and free returns through the end of April!

And last but not least, my favorite Pin of the week! What can I say…I have bag storage on the brain. But can you blame me, now that this beauty has come to live with me?

{via design*sponge}

Phew! Okay, that’s it, friends. Have a fantastic weekend…pop by my place if you’re in Portland…and I’ll see you back here next week

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friday finds: updated classics

Happy Friday, friends! I’m so glad you enjoyed my Bobbi Brown outing as much as I did…what a treat to see all of your responses! I’m getting the feeling you’d like a little more beauty news here, so I promise to do my best to deliver.

In the meantime, though, it’s Friday…and I am pretty in love with my list of finds this week. They’re all simple classics, just slightly updated…in other words, precisely my cup of tea. I could buy each and every one, and they’d feel perfectly at home in my closet.

Speaking of beauty buys, this pale gold Giorgio Armani eye pencil (brand spanking new for spring) has risen to the top of my favorite products of late. The subtle shimmer is perfect for day, and the color is light enough that absolutely no precision is required. In fact, I’ve been just drawing a thick-ish line and foregoing shadow altogether. It also does amazing things for green/hazel eyes.

I know, I know…more striped tees. I’m nearing total saturation too. But I’m kind of feeling the jolt of pink in this J.Crew colorblock stripe tee, and I’m envisioning it being every bit as useful as the traditional version, but certainly more interesting. The neon yellow version could be fun too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Linen tees are an old favorite of mine. If you can find one that’s sufficiently nubby, they’re more breathable (and no more wrinkle-prone) than your favorite cotton version, but somehow totally office-appropriate. Madewell just launched a few new solids and this Cloudbreak print, with which I’m smitten.

I made a fatal wardrobe error last year, and purchased a “steal” when I should have gone for the “splurge”. My French Connection trench just isn’t pulling its weight, no matter how hard I try. Burberry was the obvious upgrade…until I spotted this Kate Spade Topliner Trench, from their Florence Broadhurst collection. Check out that lining! Who needs plaid? Most coveted item of spring, my friends.

Sometimes, I think people are shocked when they meet me on the street and hear I’m a fashion writer. My style is far less ambitious in real life than you might hope. These Anniel ballerina flats, for example, are as simple and unassuming as they come, but I have not a doubt I’d wear them to death.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! I’ll be playing around with some Bobbi Brown goodies, indulging in the Sunday New York Times subscription my hubs surprised me with recently, and house-hunting (my least favorite kind of cardio). I hope you have something fun in store.

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trend to try: brights + stripes

A big welcome back to my favorite stylist, Kim of Billede Design. I so look forward to her “Trend to Try” columns – she always manages to make me look at my closet in a new way, which is something I think we can all use. I’m thrilled to say Kim will now be here every second and fourth Friday of the month, so mark your calendars!


If you want to give yourself away as a non-native Pacific Northwesterner (or, for that matter, a non-New Yorker), just wear color. Any bright color. Even though I’ve lived in Portland for over a decade now, I just can’t give up color! And this season, brights are here in a really big way. From color blocking to pattern mixing, it’s everywhere. I especially am fond of brights paired with stripes (and not just because it sort of rhymes!). Because stripes are such an easy staple to wear, they’re a great starting point to help you ease into bolder color.

This Christmas, my hubby got me an item that was at the very top of my wish list.  The Kate Spade Prize Ball Thermos. It takes me forever to finish my morning cup (or 3) of coffee and I am so excited to have this bright thermos to keep it toasty warm!

Image via Kate Spade

Pulling off brights from head to toe can be a bit tricky. The key is to always start with a neutral base and build from there. I especially love using stripes as my neutral, and building from there, but it’s not the only way to go. These looks from Christian Siriano’s Spring 2012 line are a great example.  You can see he used blush as a neutral, as well as coordinating stripes to get the look.

Images via New York Magazine

I’m not a huge fan of the cut of this Jil Sander jacket, but the color combo is another stellar example. To neutralize the tomato, fuschia, and green, the black jacket was layered over the top.

Image via Style

In this look from Loewe, the neutral is the model.  This hot pink and red combo works because the model’s hair and make up are sleek and fuss-free. The short skirt with the nude leg and neutral flat ground the look. If this was paired with a sky high bright heel, heavy make up, and over-styled hair, it would totally loose any aspect of savvy and sophistication.

Image via Style

Of course, any post about brights and stripes just wouldn’t be complete without a look from Kate Spade. In this example, you can see the neutral element is the white cardigan, white purse, and simple flats.

Image via Kate Spade

 J.Crew is another great reference source for both bold color and stripes, so they work the combo as brilliantly as you’d expect. The look at left is certainly one of the boldest we are looking at today – think of it as “brights for the advanced student”. The colors are bit off-kilter from your typical primary brights, which totally makes this look work for me. Contrasting that is a great “beginner’s” option for mixing stripes and brights – you can see that a classic navy stripe is just the thing to neutralize a bright hue.

Images via jcrew

These last three images are some of my favorite street style examples (originally found via Pinterest). Notice how each of these looks are bold, but the hair, make up, and shoe is kept simple and neutral. I especially love that bold mustard mini-dress toned down with the navy blue blazer. And I just can’t say enough about the necessity of a good nude heel – it can tie together even the boldest look seamlessly.


Images via Sterling Style & The Glamourai

What do you think? Are you ready to give bold brights and stripes a try?

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