Tag Archives: talbots

a currently coveting compendium

Lately, it seems my Pinterest boards runneth over with goodies I (at least momentarily) can’t live without. Quite possibly, all of this way-too-early holiday business has seeped into my subconscious and I’m formulating lists for Santa against my will. Whatever the reason, in no particular order, and with zero rhyme and reason, I thought I’d share a few things I can’t get over this week. Read on

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get gifting: valentine’s day gifts…for you!

‘Tis the season, friends…love is in the air! All across the country, couples are fretting over how to prove their romantic prowess, and singles are just fretting. Why must Valentine’s Day be such a colossal ball of stress?

Enough, I say! Skip the high-pressure dinner out, and cook at home instead (even better if you team up with another couple or a group of girlfriends to do this). Lower expectations. Buy a box of chocolates (the ones you actually like), and eat every last one. And if you’re going to be downtrodden if flowers don’t arrive at your office on the 14th, by God, send yourself some! After all, does anyone deserve flowers more than you?

With that, a guide to the Valentine’s Day gifts you should be buying yourself this year. Though of course, feel free to forward this on to a significant other if the mood strikes. An ounce of well-placed hints is worth a pound of bad drugstore chocolate. Read on

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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: 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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friday finds

Is there anything better than a summer weekend? Especially one in which the sun is actually rumored to be making an appearance? I think not. I’m going to do my darnedest to take this weekend off, friends…I suggest you do the same!

I’m sick to death of seeing the same old LemLem scarves everywhere on the web…it’s time for some bright stripes, don’t you think? Plus, it’s been much too long since I showed you a little Epicé eye candy.

Striped linen scarf, Epice, $217

As I’ve mentioned, I’m right in the middle of a home redesign, which means a whole new world of shopping opportunities! This week, my interior designer has me searching for garden stools to use as side tables. I’d forgotten all about Jamali Garden until I started hunting…wouldn’t these be an amazing indoor option?

Ivory Garden Stool, $90

I have the worst time finding shorts to get excited about. They’re never flattering, and they’re either too short, too long or too tight. But, like Goldilocks before me, I may have finally found a pair that’s just right. Bonus…they’re on sale, plus an additional 30% off, so they’re basically free.

Flower canvas shorts, Talbots, $25(ish)

A friend of mine just got back from Disneyland, and just hearing about her trip has me wistful for a ride on the Matterhorn. I’m a Minnie Mouse girl from way back, so when I spied Minnie’s new collection from OPI, I absolutely had to get it. My favorite? I’m All Ears, obviously.

OPI Minnie Mouse Collection, $8 ea, OPI.com for stores or Rush for my UK friends!

And last but not least, this week’s Pinterest Pick. I don’t often think of Drew Barrymore as glamorous, or as someone that could carry off a color like chartreuse. But here she is, doing both…and it’s flawless. This photo is a great reminder to actually try those colors you’re afraid of, don’t you think?

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

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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 Chicbefore, 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!

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.

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…

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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off the rack double feature: cropped pants

Cropped pants. I should probably disclose, before telling you that I’ve just bought two pair, that I really, strongly dislike them. Sure, they’re adorable on Audrey. But then, what isn’t? Not exactly the best measure for success. In general, they tend to be seriously unflattering on women with curves – too loose in the backside, too tight on the calves, too short to create that long, lean line that lends us all a hand every now and then.

And yet. Spring rolls around and suddenly longer trousers just feel out of place. So, I was determined to make these work for me. And I found some options!

First rule of cropped pants: length is key. Subtitle: Capris are terrible. They make your calves look huge, and instantly beg the comparison in size between your calves and thighs, which no one needs. If you’re going cropped, the only way to get that long, slim silhouette you’re after is if the hem hits that flattering spot right around your ankle bone. No part of your calf should be exposed.

Second rule of cropped pants: tailoring. Bubble butt is a huge problem with this style for some reason. But, it’s easily solved by your favorite tailor. A couple of well-placed darts on the backside, and you’ll have a fabulous fit – best $20 you’ll ever spend.

So, my two finds? First, an ankle-length printed pant from Talbots.

The paisley print felt more modern, and a bit more unique than all the florals floating around out there (it also looks an awful lot like something from Stella McCartney’s spring line, but no complaints here). The length is just about perfect on me, so anyone 5’8″ or less is set. They’re also insanely cheap just now – $45, plus an additional 40% off. They do require a little tailoring in the rear department, but you can more than afford it at that price.

Next up is the ubiquitous Minnie pant from J.Crew (which does not photograph well…sorry). They’re surprisingly flattering, but too short. So, semi-genius solution: I ordered them in a Tall size. Perfect! J.Crew is one of those brands with faux-tall sizes – all they do is adjust the length, with no change to the rise or any other measurement. So I often order a tall since I’m right on the cusp – better to hem than to flood. I went with boring black here, as I thought too many of the other colors looked like aerobic leggings once on. Give yourself a little room in this style to prevent that. I could have worn an 8, but went up to a 10 so they looked less legging, more pant.

What are your feelings on the cropped pant? Are you two old friends, or are you phobic like me?

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asked and answered: job interview attire

Friends, last week I asked for reader questions, and boy, did you deliver! I have so many great questions (and hopefully some good answers) ahead…I think it should make for some quality programming.

I hardly knew where to start, but this question from a sweet reader who’s headed off for a job interview got first dibs, just because her interview is tomorrow!

Hi, Becki! I’m a loyal follower of your blog, and I have a wardrobe challenge/question for you. I’m interviewing at an environmental non-profit and meeting with “senior management.” The atmosphere is very different from my current corporate job. I went to my last interview dressed in a suit and was met by the hiring supervisor in jeans and a sweater. I need a professional, non-suit outfit that reflects me. Are you up for the challenge? ~ EB

Oh, you know I am! It’s tricky, to be sure. Unless you’re looking for work at a law firm or a bank, the reality is that most business dress codes have taken a step down in recent years. Personally, I don’t think a great suit ever does you a disservice, but there are definitely interviews for which you’ll want to put a slightly less formal foot forward. The bonus here is that it’s also a great chance to show off a little bit of personality, as well as your ability to embrace a casual dress code with class.

The trick is to still be the best-dressed woman in the office, without looking like you’ll be woefully out of place if they give you the job. My favorite option for a non-suit environment is a classic silk shirt with a great pair of trousers in a straight or wideleg cut (no skinnies, please). I’m always more likely to embrace solid colors for an interview – prints are highly subjective, and you never know what little detail will turn an inteviewer on or off.  To accessorize, skip big earrings and scarves in favor of a necklace that adds a little bit of personality (nothing too long or too bold). Add a great pointed-toe flat or kitten heel and a classic tote, and you’re set.

Madewell silk shirt, $80 / Alberta Ferretti trousers, $300 or Gap trousers, $60 / Dahlia dress belt, $3 /
Madewell necklace
, $33 / Loeffler Randall Quinnie flat, $250 / J.Crew bag, $328

The other way to go, if you’re after a more ladylike look, is a dress. Steer clear of wrap styles (you’re just asking for a wardrobe malfunction), and instead look for a sheath or a classic shirtdress. If the fabric is dressy enough, it’s definitely work-appropriate, but still reads a bit more casual than a suit. Make sure it’s not too body-conscious, at least knee-length, and if you go the shirtdress route, steer clear of shirttail hems. With a dress, keep jewelry minimal, just a simple belt and a classic pump (3.5 inches or under!) will send you straight to the head of the class.

Talbots Sash dress, $160 / Talbots Olivia dress, $150 / Ann Taylor belt, $30 / Graf + Lantz tote, $229 / LK Bennett pumps, $250

So, E, I hope this helps…and I’m crossing my fingers that you get the job!

Got a pressing query of your own? Tell me all about it: editor{at{shoppingsmycardio{dot}com!

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