Tag Archives: ll bean

what to where: poolside style

Friends, it is my most fervent hope that, whatever stresses and calendar obligations might befall you this summer, you have at least one day blocked off to do…absolutely nothing. And ideally, you’ll be doing all that nothing poolside, with a cocktail in hand (or at least a glass of wine). poolside style Read on

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get gifting: the perfect host

If you ask me, a Martha Stewart wannabe is the easiest person in the world to buy for. Give them something beautiful to display, something they can use at their next party, or something they can drink at this one, and you’re done.  Trust me: tote along any of these surefire hostess gifts, and you’re guaranteed a repeat invite.

Read on

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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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hot summer sandals from…ll bean?


yeah, can’t believe i’m about to say this, but…check out these darling sandals from ll bean!  in my efforts to be a bit more financially responsible these days, i’ve been finding myself looking for fashion in the most unexpected places, and this just goes to show there’s style everywhere.  

these sweet little t-strap sandals are just what i’m after right now – the colors are perfect for summer, they’re actual leather (including a leather footbed, so no sweaty soles), and they’re only $44!

the only caution i’d give is that a t-strap can be tricky if your feet are on the big side, or if you’re self-conscious about your toes.  just like a horizontal stripe, the wide bar at the base of your toes can accentuate, depending on where it’s placed – which, of course, is hard to tell from a picture.  but i still think these are definitely worth a try – the only question is which color to choose.

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