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Body Beautiful

As I was working out the other day, I noticed how the younger women in my group training session had beautiful, unblemished arms and decolletage.(After so many years of chasing a bronzed body via the sun, I am left with mottled arms and a decolletage sprinkled with freckles and other sun damage.) I realized in that moment that not only do we need to take assiduous care of the skin on our face, we should also protect the rest of our body each and every day.

My new regime includes using this SunBum SPF 70 on my arms, top of ears, neck, legs, hands,…basically anywhere the sun’s rays can reach my skin. On top of that, I put my self-bronzing lotion by Vita Liberata. The sunscreen, which leaves a slightly white hue, acts like a primer, covering up some of the damage. The bronzer gives me the glow that I got from the sun for so many years. The best part is the coconut scent that lightly lingers on my skin. People keep telling me how good I smell. Love that!

I wish I would have started this regime years ago. It’s the best way to keep the skin on your body healthy,young-looking, and, hopefully, cancer-free. If you only protect your face, you are providing a huge disconnect between that skin and that of your neck and arms and the rest.

SunBum. $15.99. http://www.macys.com; http://www.amazon.com.

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Hellbent for Leather

I have a confession…I love leather. When the leaves turn and the temps begin to drop, nothing feels more appropriate than a supple pair of leather leggings or leather pants.

And, this season, they are turning up in styles that go well beyond the basic legging. I have spotted them in a very flirty crop flare trouser style–cing a sept and UNRAVEL–thank you very much! This style looks particularly fetching with a strappy heel, an embellished bootie, or, for a more casual vibe, a white trainer–white T-shirt, black blazer a la Balmain–so chic. The other leather look I’m digging is the motor cross style from Spanx, which has the added benefit of sucking everything in and being ultra comfortable.

Now, if you are against actual leather, fear not. There are tons of great faux versions, which, generally speaking, will cost you a lot less. The benefit of faux is that the material will not stretch out and lose its shape the way leather can over time. The downside is that faux leather tends not to breathe all that well, so you may feel a tad sweaty wearing them. I’m not talking about sweat coming out in buckets–gross!–rather a bit of dewy sweat a la Scarlett in Gone with the Wind.

Leather and faux leather leggings/pants should really be a staple in every stylish chick’s wardrobe regardless of age. So if you can splurge, go for a really good pair. You will find yourself wearing them over and over and for years to come.

Here is a curated collection of this year’s best leather trousers and leggings.

cinq a sept Marcelle Cropped Flare Pant. $895.

Spanx Moto Faux-Leather. $110.00.

RtA Ryland Two-Tone Leather Legging. $1,095.

TOM FORD Leather Zip-Cuff Legging.$2,490.

UNRAVEL Leather Up Flare Pant. $2,120.

Alexander McQueen. $6,270.00

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Best Tortoiseshell Fashion Accessories 2018

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Product Review: VITA LIBERATA Luxury Tan Tanning Lotion

If you, like me, shun the sun in favor of a healthy, wrinkle-free epidermis but still love the look of sun-kissed skin, consider VITA LIBERATA Luxury Tan Tanning Lotion. This faux tan is amazeballs. It is probably the closest thing to a real tan that I’ve found and I’ve tried them all.  VITA LIBERATA Luxury Tan. $30.00 www.dermstore.com.

For the application: Be sure you use either the brand’s own separately purchased application mitt or those disposable food preparation gloves you can buy from any drugstore–the ones that come like a 100 to a box. I use the latter because I’m frugal and I don’t like having a stained mitt lying around the bathroom. The plastic gloves work great, and you can just toss them when you’re done.

I would also recommend going to Sephora’s website or the brand’s own website before you apply to watch the brand’s application video. The video provides really good advice on how to best apply the lotion (i.e., where to begin applying, how to apply around  trouble spots like toes, heels, fingers, and elbows). It is actually a very useful video for anyone applying any brand’s self tanner. The tips are really helpful. You never want to walk out of your house with big smears of tanning lotion on your back where you didn’t  rub it in well enough or telltale dark spots on your elbows or heels. Heck, you might want to give your significant other the thrill of applying the lotion for you in hard to reach places such as your back, derriere, back of legs…

This brand is really high quality and if you apply the lotion correctly and carefully, it looks incredibly natural. No one will know if your glow is real or faux.

Word of caution though. I went to bed with the lotion on and my white sheets now have a yellowish hue. I’m pretty sure it will wash out but you might want to shower before going to bed on days you apply the tanner.

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Get Spotted

Leopard spots are all the rage this season and are fast becoming a classic. If you have yet to get spotted, consider this chic leopard-themed blouse from Zara.

Pair it with slim black trousers and leopard print booties for a double dose of fun. So chic, you will be able to wear this little number for years to come.

Animal print blouse. $39.90. http://www.zara.com.

Image 1 of CONTRASTING ANIMAL PRINT TOP from Zara

Image 2 of CONTRASTING ANIMAL PRINT TOP from Zara

 

Image 4 of CONTRASTING ANIMAL PRINT TOP from Zara

Image 3 of CONTRASTING ANIMAL PRINT TOP from Zara

Image 6 of CONTRASTING ANIMAL PRINT TOP from Zara

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Wrap It Up

I love functional clothing. You could argue that all clothing is functional, serving to shelter our bodies from the elements, etc. But, I believe some pieces are more functional/versatile than others. Case in point–the shawl. Not only does a beautiful shawl have the power to add a certain je ne sais quoi to an outfit, it also imparts a layer of warmth on chilly fall nights when you need a soupcon of coverage as opposed to the whole shebang of a coat.

I also believe that most of us would get a lot more wear out of a wrap than a full-length fur coat. Don’t get me started on global warming…But really, I see this type of wrap as my generation’s version of the mink coat. It’s less in your face and a whole lot more practical…unless you live full-time in the North Pole.

If you love the idea of a shawl as much as I do, check out some of the coolest (no pun intended) ones currently in stores.

With its blue fox fur trim and soft cashmere paisley print, the Shaal-Nur Shawl from Etro is a showstopper, an all-eyes-on-me kind of wrap. It reminds me of something one would wear when visiting a storied locale like Moscow. Can’t you picture yourself in it among all those beautiful buildings with their Christmas ornament tops? Wear with leather leggings, as shown here, or with jeans. Dress it up or down. Either way, you’ll stand out. $1,700. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

 

 

Shaal-Nur Poppy Paisley Shawl w/ Fur Trim

 

Shaal-Nur Poppy Paisley Shawl w/ Fur Trim

Shaal-Nur Poppy Paisley Shawl w/ Fur Trim

Oscar de la Renta’s Dyed Silver Fox Fur Stole comes in a rich emerald green and is lined in silk. $3,950. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Silver Fox Stole w/ Tails

Silver Fox Stole w/ Tails

The Sofia Cashmere Shawl features floral embroidery and dyed fox fur trim. $1,395. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Cashmere Floral Embroidered Shawl w/ Fur Trim

 

Also from Sofia, this cashmere blend wrap boasts sequins and a fox fur trim. $1,495. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Cashmere-Blend Sequin Ruana Wrap w/ Fur Trim

 

Gorski’s Cashmere Cape with Fur Trim comes in an array of colors, including magenta. $1,895. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

No image available

 

Cashmere Cape with Fox-Fur Trim

Paisley and Floral Cashmere Stole from Gorski. Love the elegant pompoms. $995. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Paisley & Floral Cashmere Stole w/ Fur Trim

Paisley & Floral Cashmere Stole w/ Fur Trim

Another stole from Gorski–this black fur-trim wool stole sells for $695. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Fur-Trim Wool Stole

Fur-Trim Wool Stole

Fur-Trim Wool Stole

Halston Heritage’s Rabbit Fur Stole is convertible. It can be worn as a sweater, scarf, or shawl, or off the shoulders. $795. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Convertible Fur Wrap

Convertible Fur Wrap

Convertible Fur Wrap

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Trending for Fall 2018: Buckled Ankle Boots

When I was recently in Las Vegas, shopping at the Forum in Caesar’s Palace, I found myself somewhat smitten with the window display at ALLSAINTS…the same window display featured in today’s photo.

What I loved most was the look of buckled ankle boots paired with a dress. But I have to confess, it was really the boots that made the greatest impression. I keep thinking about them.

 

Today’s post is dedicated to those buckled boots: one reasonably priced pair–the ones from ALLSAINTS–and one ultra luxe pair by Chloe. Both have the same cool buckled aesthetic, medium-high heel, and pointed toe. Same look. Different price points. Both equally cool.

I’d wear them with black cropped flare jeans, a midi-length dress, leggings with a long,  over-sized sweater, and more. Highly versatile, these puppies will take you from fall into winter.

ALL SAINTS’ Lucie Boot. $348. http://www.us.allsaints.com.

Womens Lucie Boot (black) - Image 1

Womens Lucie Boot (black) - Image 2

 

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Chloe’s Rylee Boot is shinier, but it’s also a whole lot pricier at $1,390.00. This boot also comes in white. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Rylee Lace-Up Box Calf Boot

Rylee Lace-Up Box Calf Boot

Rylee Lace-Up Box Calf Boot

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Combat Boots Fit for a Queen

Marie Antoinette is famous for her supposed decadence. Before she was subjected to the guillotine on October 16, 1793 (9 months after her husband, King Louis XVI of France), she was accused of being frivolous, lavish, and immoral.

While she was no angel, much of the disparaging stories written about her are untrue. For example, she never said, “Let them eat cake.” What she did do, however, was coat her elaborate wigs in flour while many of the French people were starving from lack of bread.

One of the more interesting tidbits about Marie Antoinette and the Royal Court at the time has to do with their shoes. Versailles, back in the day, was a filthy lodge, brimming with animals and excrement. Instead of cleaning their shoes and re-wearing them, aristocrats would simply throw them out every couple of days. Marie Antoinette’s brother-in-law, Le Comte d’Artois, ordered 365 sets of shoes every year and simply wore a fresh pair each day. His clothing expenditures far outpaced those of the queen.

In memory of misunderstood Marie Antoinette, I offer a smattering of combat boots fit for a queen who had to walk through a lot of … well, gunk. These boots elevate the style to all new levels. Take a look.

Versace Medusa Medallion Boots. 1,595.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Versace Medusa Medallion Lace-Up Combat Boots

Gucci Embroidered Platform Hiking Boot. $1290. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Embroidered Platform Hiking Boot

Embroidered Platform Hiking Boot

Balmain Calamity Cap-Toe Boot. $1750. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

 

Calamity Lace-Up Cap-Toe Boots

Moncler’s Patty Lace-Up Suede Boots. $795. http://www.neiman.marcus.com.

Patty Suede Lace-Up Boots

Patty Suede Lace-Up Boots

Chloe Rylee Boots. $2340. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Rylee Metal-Heel Lace-Up Combat Boot

Roger Vivier Viv Rangers Strass Boots. $1875. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Viv Rangers Strass Lace-Up Booties

Chloe Rylee Boots. $1390. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Rylee Lace-Up Box Calf Boot

Rylee Lace-Up Box Calf Boot

Stuart Weiztman Shackelton Suede Boots. $698. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Shackleton Suede Combat Boots

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On the Fringes

When I was around eight years old, my parents bought me a little girl-sized fringed suede bag. It was a rich hue of butterscotch, and I could wear it across my body. I loved that bag. Where I went, it went. I wore it so much that one of my friends–a girl named Ginger–harassed me at school each day, begging me to give it to her. Not wanting to part with my beloved purse but also reticent to say no to this particular chickadee, I went home and took a Sharpie and wrote my initials all over my beautiful bag. Basically I destroyed it…but also made it much less appealing to Ginger, whose initials were totally different from mine. Part ingenuity,  part stupidity, part lack of courage.

Fast-forward to today, and I remain enamored of all things fringed–fringed purses, leather jackets with fringed sleeves, boots embellished with artful shards of leather. By the way, I have finally learned how to say no when I need to. It’s still hard, but, over time,  I have honed that voice–the one who speaks up for herself when necessary.

Because it’s a bold look, I wear fringes sparingly. I would never recommend wearing a fringed purse while also sporting a fringed jacket and fringed boots. That’s just way too much going on, and I fear I’d be lost among the raw edges. Worn as one accent piece, however, fringed elements conjure a sense of the Wild West, Native American culture, and the desert. It can be a very sophisticated aesthetic when done right.

Here are some of my favorite fringed wares currently available in stores.

Boots in featured image: Izabel Domed Feather Booties with Chain-Shape Heel by Balmain. $2650.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Tory Burch Farrah Crossbody Bag in Navy Suede. $278.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.Farrah Fringe Suede Phone Crossbody Bag

 

Cupcakes and Cashmere’s fringed jacket. $135.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Genesis Shawl-Collar Fringe Jacket

Nour Nammour Leather Jacket. $1760.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Retrograde Leather Fitted Jacket with Draped Fringe

 

Givenchy’s Antigona Suede Satchel. $2990.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Antigona Small Fringed Suede Satchel Bag

Antigona Small Fringed Suede Satchel Bag

Nour Hammour Leather Jacket. $2685.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Vista Studded Fringe Leather Jacket

Here is a similar denim fringed jacket for a fraction of the price. $69.90. http://www.zara.com.

Image 1 of FRINGED DENIM JACKET from Zara

Fringed leather crossbody. $49.99. http://www.zara.com.

Image 1 of SPLIT LEATHER FRINGED CROSSBODY BAG from Zara

Boots with fringed tassels. $199.00. http://www.zara.com.

Image 1 of FRINGED LEATHER HEELED BOOTS from Zara

Givenchy Triple Fringe Crossbody. $1390.00. http://www.neiman.marcus.com.

Triple Fringed Suede Crossbody Bag

Fringed gray jacket. $69.90. http://www.zara.com.

Image 1 of FRINGED JACKET from Zara

Fringed boots by Zadig & Voltaire. $528.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Carla Plus Fringed Western Boots

Etro Embroidered Deerskin Fringe Crossbody Purse. $2505.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Embroidered Deerskin Fringe Shoulder Bag

 

Fringed faux suede jacket. On sale for $25.99. http://www.zara.com.

Image 1 of FRINGED FAUX SUEDE JACKET from Zara

David Yurman Earrings. $2800.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Stax Silver Fringe Earrings with Diamonds

Fringed bootcut pants by Norma Kamali. $695.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

 

Fringed Boot-Cut Pants

Prada Large Raffia Bag. $1850.00. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Large Rafia Tote

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Cowboy Cool

Currently enjoying a sartorial spotlight, boots channeling the Wild West are all the rage. Clad in everything BUT plain black leather (these aren’t your daddy’s cowboy boots), they are turning up in faux snakeskin, sparkling silver glitter, fringed suede, embellished metal toes and studs, and more, they pair effortlessly with flowing skirts, frou-frou maxi dresses, tailored suits and even jumpsuits. Personally, I have always loved the juxtaposition of feminine and masculine elements worn together. Check out my top picks.

Givenchy Studded Booties. $1095. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Givenchy Elegant Studded Western Booties

Zara’s leather heeled ankle booties. $169. http://www.zara.com.

Image 2 of LEATHER HEELED ANKLE BOOTS from Zara

Image 1 of LEATHER HEELED ANKLE BOOTS from Zara

Image 3 of LEATHER HEELED ANKLE BOOTS from Zara

Golden Goose Glitter Booties. $895. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Young Glittered Western Boots

Givenchy Bicolor Booties. $1295. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Bicolor Leather Cowboy Booties

Zara’s embroidered red leather boots. $169. http://www.zara.com.

Image 1 of EMBROIDERED LEATHER COWBOY ANKLE BOOTS from Zara

Image 5 of EMBROIDERED LEATHER COWBOY ANKLE BOOTS from Zara

Isabel Marant. $1350. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Loffen Low-Heel Fringe Boot

Zara’s stacked heel boots. $129. http://www.zara.com.

Image 2 of LEATHER STACKED HEEL ANKLE BOOTS from Zara

Image 1 of LEATHER STACKED HEEL ANKLE BOOTS from Zara

Fendi FF Tall Western Boots. $1490. http://www.neimanmarcus.com

FF Tall Western Boot

Dolce & Gabbana. $6495. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Dolce & Gabbana 30mm Crystal Western Boot

Veronica Beard. $650. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Veronica Beard Tanner Low-Heel Leopard-Print Booties

Rag & Bone. $695. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Westin Leopard-Studded Chelsea Booties

Saint Laurent Lukas Boot. $1695. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Lukas West Wyatt Over-the-Knee Boot

Chloe Rylee 90MM Boots. $2160. http://www.neimanmarcus.com.

Rylee 90MM Booties with Strass Detail

 

 

ME + EM = Major Style

British brand ME+EM was founded by Clare Hornby in 2009 to offer designer quality at lower prices. Frustrated by how hard it was to find flattering, on-trend and beautifully made clothes, Clare made the decision to offer women a solution to this sartorial problem. Employing her extensive consumer insight from 15 years in the advertising industry, along with a lifetime’s love of fashion and an obsession with fit, Clare launched ME+EM.

Today the brand specializes in clothes that “do it all” and that can be worn again and again and again. They take the time to consider the versatility and “wearability” of each piece, ensuring that no matter what you purchase, it will be one of your closet’s go-to items.

Fabrics are chosen for how well they wear and feel. The goal is to produce clothing that makes style look easy and that can be worn in multiple seasons. If you are someone who cares about looking polished regardless of whether you’re traveling by plane or simply running errands in town, ME + EM is a brand you definitely should check out.

The prices are reasonable and the sales are fantastic–you can save up to 50 percent.

The quality of the garments is right up there in the “really well made” category. I recently bought a blazer that has ruffled sleeves. While wearing it, I noticed that those ruffled bits are removable. How cool is that? Thus, the jacket can be feminine and frilly one day and more streamlined and masculine the next. Love that.

I also love their silk jogger pants with side stripes. They are so chic and elegant, taking the jogger to all new heights. Ultra-comfy pants with side stripes are a theme; they come in a variety of styles and colors, one more enticing than the next. Another rockin’ piece is their layering tops with fluted sleeves designed to artfully pop out from sweaters. They so elevate the look.

Note: Prices are in British pounds sterling and sizes are in UK sizes. See the size charts to figure corresponding US sizes.

Take a peek at some of my favorite pieces by ME + EM.

Fluted Sleeve Layering Shirt. £99. http://www.meandem.com.

Stripe Transformer Trouser. £179. http://www.meandem.com.

Side Stripe Satin Cargo Trouser. £169. http://www.meandem.com.

Tailored Crepe Track Pant. £189. http://www.meandem.com.

Houndstooth Slip Crop Trouser. £169. http://www.meandem.com.

Roll Top Pleated Skirt. £79. meandem.com.

Abstract Floral Dip Hem Skirt. £199. http://www.meandem.com.

Mix-and-Match Jumpsuit. On sale for £208. http://www.meandem.com.

Floral Sheer Sleeve Maxi Dress. £299. http://www.meandem.com.

Belted Denim Jacket. £229. http://www.meandem.com.

Icon Leather Jacket in Nappa Leather in Dark Khaki. £699. http://www.meandem.com.

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Stylemaker Alice Temperley

If you have ever admired Kate Middleton’s style, chances are she was wearing a beautiful frock by British designer Alice Temperley of Temperley London. Middleton has long been a fan of the brand and wears the dresses beautifully.

Temperley has been in fashion for more than 15 years and was inspired to become a designer because of her love of craft, textiles, and the art of “putting things together.”

Her designs are the embodiment of femininity and often feature sequins, crystal embroidery, lace, ruffles, and other artful embellishments. But fear not, Temperley knows how to apply these elements judiciously so that things never veer off into a gaudy or over-the-top look. Her styles also conjure a sense of the past…a feeling of old Hollywood glamour from the ’30s and ’40s. There is something very Carole Lombard about Temperley London dresses.

And then there is the cut and shape. Temperley celebrates the female form, gently draping fabrics over all the right curves.

Although she is mostly known for her dresses (including bridal gowns, by the way), Temperley designs suits, knitware, blazers, kimonos and more.

A piece from her collection can run anywhere from $150 to $4,000 and up. These are not items to be worn once and discarded; they are timeless treasures to enjoy over a lifetime and pass on to future fashionistas.

If you ever are in need of a statement gown for a black tie event or wedding, or perhaps a quintessential little black dress, consider wearing something from Temperley London. You will definitely stand out from the crowd in the very best of ways.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from her recent collections.

Embroidered Geometric Dress. 2,663.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

 

Temperley London embroidered geometric dress

Canopy Ruffle Dress. 1,196.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

Odyssey Off-Shoulder Dress. Visit http://www.temperleylondon.com for the price.

Botanist Dress. On sale for $998.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

 

Temperley London Botanist dress

Pardus Kimono. Visit http://www.temperleylondon.com for the price.

Garden Leaf Maxi Skirt. On sale for $498.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

Temperley London Garden Leaf maxi skirt

 

Ray Sequin Gown. 3,395.00. http://www.matchesfashion.com.

Traveller Dress. Visit http://www.temperleylondon.com for the price.

Traveller Kimono. 1,785.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

Odyssey Jumpsuit. 1,406.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

Odyssey Midi Dress.

Safari Printed Tie Dress. 1,725.00.  http://www.farfetch.com.

Pardus Gown. 3,395.00. http://www.mytheresa.com.

Savannah Dress. $2,918.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

Explorer Knit Cardigan and Pants. Cardigan: 786.00. Pants: 599.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

Audrey Long Dress. 1,192.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

Maze Midi Dress. On sale for $898.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

 

Treillage Dress. On sale for $648.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

 

Temperley London Trelliage shirt dress

Maze Flared Skirt. On sale for $698.00. http://www.farfetch.com.

Temperley London Maze flared skirt

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