Fall 2011 Fashion Forecast

Posted in Fall Fashion by cabinetdenvie on September 9, 2011

Tis the season for chic simplicity and modern, yet lady-like style, and here are 5 of my favorite trends worth investing in to create an updated look this fall.

  1. Pants. The reinstatement of a classic higher wasted, leg-lengthening, tailored pant is a welcome change this season. Dressing with a bit of androgyny is also encouraged, so consider buying deep in this category and choosing this elegant silhouette, (topped with a short blazer and tie at the neck blouse), when dressing for your next night out.
  2. Skirts. One of my favorite looks on women is back in full-force this season with hemlines are at a length that’s designed to flatter. There’s almost nothing that showcases the beauty of the female figure better than a pencil skirt and this fall you’ll have your pick in almost every color, texture and fabric you could dream of.
  3. Coats.  Choose your poison as far as cut goes, but don’t skimp on the statement making potential of this piece. The choices are vast this season, between the many shearling options, the array of brightly colored toppers and the rich camel trenches  – it’s going to be hard to pick just one (and why would you?)
  4. Scarlet Red. You’ll see this color is everywhere and in every shape and size this season. And because this is THE color that looks great on every woman, delivering a message of both strength and sexiness, whatever item you choose in this hue will be an investment you won’t regret.
  5. Camel + Black or Grey. The classic camel color that we love to wear every fall and winter season is making an even bigger comeback in clever combinations with black and grey. One of my favorite looks I saw in a magazine this season was a leather camel skirt, topped with a chunky grey cowl-neck sweater. The options on how to wear this trend are endless and the colors are timeless, so feel free to spend a little more on the combination you choose.

Photo Credits & Where to Purchase: Pants, Coat, Sweater and Leather Skirt are sold on www.netaporter.com,
Red Dress is sold on anntaylor.com and the navy tweed skirt is sold on jcrew.com.

Advertisements

The best and the worst of it: Golden Globes 2011

Posted in Fashion Times by cabinetdenvie on January 17, 2011

 

Another Golden Globes has passed and I have to say this year’s show was a bit lackluster for me. I don’t know if this was because of Ricky Gervais’ caustic repertoire, Robert Deniro’s bizarre acceptance speech, Angelina’s disinterested and haughty looks, or simply because this year I’m putting two of my favorite ladies on my worst dress list. I’ll go with the latter as my reason for the show falling flat, and will continue to focus this article on who I think got it right and wrong in this year’s Globes’ fashion.

There do seem to be some themes that prevail in my selection of the best and worst dressed. The best on my list all graced the red carpet with sophistication, donning dresses that were not only showstoppers but looked like they were constructed specifically for their bodies and their personalities alone. The winners all also had incredible hair and make-up; we’re talking old-school glamour with lots of liquid liner, lavish lashes, RED lips, classic chignons and/or sleek, sculpted curls. They all also deserve praise for their carefully edited selection of jewels and accessories that they paired with their dresses; not a one was overdone. Unfortunately many on the “worst” portion of my list looked like they knew they would be featured in articles like this one, as the theme that was consistent among them was simply “too much” and this “too” applied to everything from the dress to the hair; see details below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Five Best (plus some honorable mentions):

  1. Olivia Wilde. This Marchesa gown was truly perfection with its chocolaty degrade and absolutely stunning cascade of jeweled beading.
  2. Emma Stone. Calvin Klein Collection got it right more than once last night (see honorable mentions) with this incredibly simple yet elegant long and lean look.
  3. Anne Hathaway. This Armani Privé dress not only screamed modern elegance but also had the perfect amount of sex appeal, built for a back like Anne’s.
  4. Catherine Zeta Jones. Regal comes to mind when looking for the words to describe the stunning emerald green gown by Monique Lhuillier. And don’t even get me started on those incredible jewels by Van Cleef…
  5. Nicole Kidman. This beaded creamy white dress by Prada fit Nicole like a glove both in body and in spirit, while being both appropriate and breathtaking at the same time.

Honorable mentions, because keeping this list to 5 forced me to leave out some stunners: Eva Longoria in Zac Posen, Clare Danes in Calvin Klein, Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad, Halle Berry in Nina Ricci, Scarlett Johansson in Elie Saab and Melissa Leo.

Top Five Worst:

  1. January Jones. Dear Versace, loved the color and the fringe. Dear January, your reputation is hanging on by a thread so let’s leave a little to the imagination next time.
  2. Michelle Williams. I expected more from you Valentino, as this look on Michelle is just SO SAD. I hardly know where I would begin…
  3. Natalie Portman. I get it and I wish it worked Viktor & Rolf but it just fell short, as the rose is too big – a third breast if you will. And Natalie, next time ask a stylist (a good one) before you leave the house with the absolute wrong and most unnecessary necklace around your neck.
  4. Sandra Bullock. Just simply TOO, too much – all of it. As much as it pains me to write this about Sandy, the dress by Jenny Peckham had a ton of excess tulle and beading. And will someone please give her bangs a proper haircut?
  5. Julianne Moore. This ill-fitting Lanvin dress was truly my biggest disappointment as I am one of this beauty’s biggest fans. Whoever thought this gigantic shoulder suspended by necklace was at all flattering should most definitely be fired – period.

 

‘Tis the season for thoughtful gift giving

Posted in Gift Giving by cabinetdenvie on December 15, 2010

Although it’s the middle of December I know that there are still many of us that have a lot of last minute gift shopping to do, which is why I chose this topic for my article. As you may be scrambling to find that perfect gift in the final shopping days of the holiday season, I have some thoughts on things to keep in mind as you’re doing so.

 

Remember that “perfect” gifts come in all shapes and sizes and that one person’s version of what may be perfect is most likely vastly different the other 3 people on your list. Doing your best to really listen and observe what makes the person you’re buying for happy (maybe it’s cooking – so look into buying them a cooking class), or taking note of what they’ve been pining for over the year (an expensive piece of jewelry perhaps?), will give you the guidance you need to get them something they will truly love. I learned many years ago that paying attention to what my friends, husband, parents are oohing and ahhing over when we’re shopping together or even within conversation and making a mental or written note to buy it when great sales are happening, even if it is the month after Christmas; has saved me a lot of last minute panic and has made a lot of people very happy.

 

Keep in mind that gift cards are always a fabulous gift solution and are not a gift-givers cop-out. Giving a gift card is gives the receiver of your gift the freedom to buy something that they really want and allows them to buy it when they want to. For example I’m a person that’s hard to buy for because I have very particular tastes and I have a lot of stuff. So I’ve asked for a gift card for Christmas as I would love a new pair of designer boots but know they’re way too expensive of a gift to ask for, and I want to be a smart shopper by holding out for a killer sale. Receiving a gift card will allow me to be a savvy shopper and also to get the gift I really want without feeling quite as guilty about it.

 

Another piece of advice to keep in mind when shopping for that special someone is to make sure that the gift you’re buying is truly something for them and that it’s not something for the both of you, or even for the family. This advice reminds me of the classic, “it’s not a romantic gift if it has a cord attached”. Well, times have changed but the sentiment stays the same, the holidays are not a time for practicality, unless that practical gift has been requested. And, buying a gift for a person that you’re equally excited about getting use out of should cause you to stop and think: is this the gift he or she really wants?

 

And one last thing to add before you start making your final purchases is to remember it truly is the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or any money actually, to make someone feel that they’re incredibly special this holiday. Making the time to tell someone how much they mean to you and how much they bring to your life, could very well be the perfect gift and what they’re really wishing for.

 

Where to find the best deals and the best gifts this holiday

Posted in Gift Giving by cabinetdenvie on December 6, 2010

It’s official; the best shopping experience and the largest selection of holiday gifts cannot be found in Union Square (or whatever mall, outdoor center or boutique you usually shop in), but can be found within your very own home.  Shopping online is the best option for holiday shopping again this year as the online specials are bigger and better than ever and the chaos of shopping among the masses can be happily avoided.

Here are some suggestions on how to make the most out of shopping online this year:

  1. Sign up on all of your favorite retailer’s sites for their email blasts about online specials, promotions, coupons, shipping deals, etc. and have those emails sent to a second email account that you create specifically for promotional emails like these.  Now prepare to be bombarded with amazing deals without the frustration of these messages clogging up your primary account’s inbox.
  2. Dig for an even better deal than the one that is offered to you by the retailer. One of my all-time favorite sites to get this done is retailmenot.com. I go to this site every time I’m placing an order online to see if there’s an additional discount that I can get on shipping or the item itself and I’m telling you 8 out of 10 times, there is.
  3. Make sure you’re choosing the best discount or savings combination based on the individual purchase you’re making. Most retailers have more than one special going on at a time, so make sure you’re utilizing the one that can give you the most money off your total purchase. It’s takes some quick (but easy) math, but it’s worth it, as there are times I’ve gotten double the savings by choosing wisely the discount(s) I apply at checkout.
  4. When you’re at a loss as to where to find a particular item or if you simply don’t have the time to go to 10 different sites to see what all the options are, may I strongly suggest using my second favorite go-to site: shopstyle.com. Just type in a description of any item you’re looking for, press the “go” button, and it searches and finds that item on sometimes hundreds of different websites in a matter of seconds.

Add a little flair this holiday

Posted in Uncategorized by cabinetdenvie on November 24, 2010

For many of us the holiday doesn’t bring a bevy of opportunities to dress to the nines, but it brings many opportunities to dress to the “sixes”, (a made-up term, but I think you know what I mean). So with the average holiday festivities in mind, I would like to suggest some pieces to wear this season that will give you enough holiday flair to feel in the spirit and still appropriate for gatherings office parties or any family soiree.

This year there is renewed love of the color red. It’s one of those colors that looks great on nearly everyone, is extremely versatile, and it’s also guaranteed to get you noticed so I say invest in this hue this season. There are dozens of ways to integrate red into your closet, but a couple of my suggestions would be to buy a sexy red pump or a classic red sheath dress.

Another easy way to amp up your look is to add a little (or a lot) of sparkle with layered bracelets, cuffs and bangles, or by adding a fabulous cocktail ring and earrings.

A blazer is always a great solution for day and night and one of my favorite cuts again this season is tuxedo. This blazer can be paired as easily with denim as it can with a pair of leggings or a LBD.

Lastly, another way to add a chic cold-weather look to your wardrobe is to introduce a little faux fur. There are so many options out there right now – some that are amazing and some that are awful, so choose wisely. I recommend going with a cleanly designed vest or a practical yet stylish, puffer coat with fur accents.

Boots, glorious boots

Posted in Fall Fashion by cabinetdenvie on November 3, 2010

There’s nothing better than pulling your favorite pair of boots out of summer storage and wearing them for the first time, paired with a chunky sweater and maybe some skinny jeans on a brisk fall day. Boots are the must-have, wear-with-just-about-anything shoe of the season and as with nearly every fall, the selection of new styles is seemingly endless. So if you’re in the market for a new pair of boots (or three) this season, here are some suggestions on what and how to buy.

Some of my favorite trends in boots that are worth investing in this fall are: booties or ankleover-the-knee (make it a low heel as you want to look chic and not cheap); biker or ridingtall or knee (with a kitten or high-heel); and any one of these styles in a lace-up. Within all of these looks you’ll find huge variety of ‘artistic’ interpretations by designers as well as a huge variance in price. A few tips on how to choose the best pair for you:

1. Consider boots an investment piece so spend as much as you can on you pair(s) of choice. Don’t buy boots that are cheap because if they are really inexpensive (Barney’s warehouse sale deal-of-the-century aside), then they’re most likely not well made and are not going to stand the test of time when it comes to wearablity and/or comfort.
2. Avoid an impulse buy and choose your boots wisely. Think about what style of boot is best for you before you make your purchase. Look at your existing wardrobe and figure out where the holes are in your footwear, and also what boot will work best with the clothing that you already have. Spending hundreds more on items that will work with your new purchase makes no sense, and as these boots should be an investment, you want to make sure that you buy a style of boot you could see wearing for years to come.
3. Make sure you buy your boot in the right size. This last tip is really critical and may seem like a no-brainer, but when a simple mistake like purchasing a boot that is a too small and even too big there’s not much you can do to make it right. Keep in mind that although leather stretches, it will only give a little in the width – not the length, and also not enough around your ankle in a fitted boot to make them comfortable enough to wear all day. Also a boot that is a bit too big will only get bigger and even if you wear thicker socks or use insoles, you’re going to have a sloppy looking fit in the end.

 

This just in: All Saints Spitalfields

Posted in Fall Fashion, Trends by cabinetdenvie on October 20, 2010

Get ready San Francisco; the British are coming and this time in the form of the retailer AllSaints Spitalfields. This UK brand gives a custom-made feel to all of its “chic rock’n’roll” designs like no other competitor in this price point can deliver, so get ready to find it hard to stick to a budget when you pay this store a visit.



Although this brand is from the UK and the European influence in the design of the clothing is evident, there are also many elements within this label’s selection that feel very American cowboy or biker, which is part of what makes the label so unique. Other points of differentiation are that much of the clothing can be worn in multiple ways and have very interesting cuts with asymmetrical or uneven finishes, with seams in unexpected places so I suggest trying the pieces on for size before you buy. If you’re on a budget the leather goods: shoes, jackets, bags, may be your safest bet and also the items where you’ll feel you’re getting the most for your dollar as the design (deconstruction and stitching by hand) and material (incredibly soft sheep, goat and lambskin) looks and feels incredibly high-end. 



The other reason you’ll love shopping at AllSaints is the experience you’ll have taking in the details of the store design itself. This store’s aesthetic is the perfect mix of modern and vintage, in what feels like a gigantic (7,800 square feet to be exact) exposed brick warehouse apartment that you’d probably want to move right into. Between the vintage Singer sewing machines stacked floor to ceiling, to the wall of shoe molds encased in glass as a backdrop to the shoe display, the design is beyond interesting and it too is one of a kind. Also if you’re so inspired to learn more about the way your new favorite pieces were constructed and/or are looking for inspiration on how to wear, I encourage you to strike up a conversation with one of the oh-so-fashionable and knowledgeable employees as all of them seem just as excited as we are to be a part of the brand’s experience.

For a preview of their fall collection for women check out www.us.allsaints.com/lookbook/womens/ and then check it out in person the end of this month at the 140 Geary Street location.

 

Crazy for Camel

Posted in Fall Fashion by cabinetdenvie on October 7, 2010

One of this season’s hottest colors in fashion is camel. So make this your year to buy the investment piece that’s right for you, as the choices are more abundant than ever. The reason to truly invest (i.e. choose wisely and spend more) is because you’ll be able to wear just about anything in this hue for a lifetime. Camel is a glamorous yet classic color that you can wear anywhere and at any time of day as it can be dressed-up and dressed-down so easily.

To wear this color during the day, pair pieces like the ones below with shades of grey or denim. At night dress them up with black or go monochromatic by adding shades of cream. Also keep in mind that you can wear the color camel year-round, so don’t feel that you have to store a lightweight pant or sweater during warmer months, instead lighten up your look with shades of pink or white.

Here are a handful of go-to staples in camel that you’ll wear for years to come:

This double-breasted cashmere coat is perfectly tailored and will make every woman’s body look as long and lean. The belted detail hitting at an empire waist is a truly genius way to give shape to what can be a very boxy topper.

A fall wardrobe would not be complete without separates like this cowl neck sweater and trouser pant. These two pieces perfectly define two of the most timeless and wearable shapes for this time of year.

The combination of two hot trends works beautifully in the design of this camel-toned leather skirt. This skirt’s feminine details perfectly compliment the edginess of the leather material and when styled correctly this piece is as appropriate for work as it is for a night on the town.

A shoe that makes an appearance year after year but is still well worth mentioning is this classic patent pump. This design and heel-height is not only one of Mr. Louboutin’s most wearable, but this particular color is one of the most distinctive as the signature red bottom and camel is a show-stopping combination.

 

Tagged with: ,

The Great Outdoors for Father’s Day This Year

Posted in Uncategorized by cabinetdenvie on June 16, 2010

Summer is finally upon us, which can mean different things to different people; beaches, pools, backyard BBQs (the list is endless). But, for my Father’s Day Gift Guide this year, I’m going to focus on one of the most classic summer activities – “camping”. Why is the word in quotation marks, you ask? Simply because I use the word loosely. Truth be told, I’m a terrible camper. It’s not that I don’t like it; I’m just not good at it. To me, “camping” is enjoying a few days at a secluded lake while staying in a rustic cabin (with running water). But, no matter what your definition is of camping, every guy needs a few basic items.

For my list of gift ides, I’m highlighting two designers that hit this genre right on the head, Billy Reid and Alex Carleton (creative director for LL Bean Signature). Billy Reid is one of the hottest designers in America and recently won the 2010 GQ/CFDA Best New Menswear Designer in America award. And, Alex Carleton (best known for his own clothing line, Rogues Gallery) is now the creative director for the LL Bean Signature line, which focuses on a select number of classic LL Bean items, but gives them a trimmer, more polished look.

LL Bean Signature Waxed Canvas Maine Hunting Shoe: $129
http://www.llbeansignature.com

This classic boot (also referred to as the “Duck Boot” or “Bean Boot”) put LL Bean on the map way back in 1912. I grew up loving these boots because they were perfect for any of my outdoor needs (and much more practical than tall rain boots). You can easily get any of the classic LL Bean versions of this boot, but I love the update Alex made to these specific boots with the waxed canvas upper – perfect for year-round wear.

LL Bean Signature Corduroy Short: $49
http://www.llbeansignature.com

I’m absolutely in love with these shorts! They’re the perfect cut (slightly fitted and shorter than most shorts) and have a classic outdoors/camping look to them.

LL Bean Hunter’s Tote Bag: $25-$35
www.llbean.com

Let’s be honest, whenever you go camping (or do anything outdoors for that matter) there’s a lot of “stuff” to bring with you. LL Bean tote bags are the perfect solutions for all those loose items. Of the many tote bags they make, the Hunter’s tote is by far my favorite. It comes in black, olive drab, and camouflage (my personal preference). Technically, it’s not part of the LL Bean Signature line, but why would anyone even try to improve the best tote on the market?

Billy Reid Willie Chambray Shirt: $198
www.billyreid.com

It seems like every menswear company has their version of the chambray shirt. There are many good ones out there but my personal favorite is the Billy Reid Willie. It’s an incredible classically designed utility shirt that’s perfect down to every last detail (like the buffalo bone buttons). It may seem like a lot for a chambray shirt, but you can rest assured that your dad/husband will wear this indestructible shirt for years.

Billy Reid Field Hat: $38
www.billyreid.com

Every guy needs his go-to hat for his outdoor activities. To me, there’s a time and place for your favorite MLB team hat and “in the wilderness” is not the time or place. I had the luxury of raiding my dads hunting cap collection the last time I was home in Wisconsin. But, if your dad/husband doesn’t have that option, I’d instantly recommend getting him the Billy Reid Field Hat. It’s a great relaxed, worn-in hat that will look even better after years of wear.

For any other gift ideas (either for the outdoors or just in general), feel free to check out some of my past articles at cabinetdenvie.wordpress.com. You can even search for the following tags for quick reference: Father’s, Quoddy, Yuketen, Gift.

Saddle Up

Posted in Uncategorized by cabinetdenvie on May 9, 2010

Saddle shoes hold a special place in my heart simply because they’re one of the few “All-American” shoes. They were originally designed by Spalding in 1906 for athletic activities such tennis and squash. The additional leather (the “saddle” if you will) in the middle of the shoe was there to help support the foot when the athlete moved laterally. As the years went by, athletes were shying away from the saddle shoe and going with other more athletic shoes – saved only by golfers and teenagers of the 1950’s.

For years (at least when I was growing up), you could barely even find a good pair of saddle shoes without golf cleats on the bottom. Therefore, I settled for sporting my suede bucks to go along with my overly-preppy, Americana look that I continue to wear during the summer months…until now. I’m thrilled that saddle shoes have made a very strong comeback. Sure, many companies have continued to make a version of the saddle shoe over the years, but they have always been fairly drab and boring. I really began to notice the comeback last year when Paul Smith made a beautiful saddle shoe in white/orange. And this year, many designers have come out with beautiful versions of the All-American classic. Following are a few of my favorites.

-Josh

Crockett & Jones - Barneys $550

http://www.barneys.com/Princeton/500397075,default,pd.html

Barneys Co-Op Brand - Barneys $175

http://www.barneys.com/Saddle%20Shoe/500451752,default,pd.html

Cole Haan Air Colton

Cole Haan Air Colton $198

-You’ll see me sporting the Air Colton in the white/blue with red trim this summer.

http://www.colehaan.com/colehaan/catalog/product.jsp?catId=100&productId=333440&productGroup=314988

Florsheim By Duckie Brown (Grey/Stone) - Saks Fifth Avenue $295

http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446254801&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=282574492716032&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395222441&bmUID=1272846979702&ev19=1:13

Florsheim By Duckie Brown (Gray/Turquoise) - Florsheim $295

http://www.florsheim.com/shop-fl/shoes/florsheimbyduckiebrown/the-saddle/prod19005.html