Back-to-School Inspired Style

So your days of putting together a binder, loading up your backpack and hopping on the school bus are over. That doesn’t mean your style can’t still be inspired by the back-to-school time frame! September is an excellent time to re-evaluate your closet, as fall approaches, so that you can assess what you’ll need for the new season.

An Apple for the Teacher

Give yourself a gold star for being smart enough to snag this gorgeous apple pendant encrusted with sparkly red crystals from the Jill Zarin Jewelry Collection.

Crayola Colors

Colored denim hasn’t gone away now that fall is approaching; it has just gotten an update in rustic autumnal colors. Try this pair from H&M in mustard yellow.

Gym Class Hero

The sweatshirt gets a mega update in this Karl by Karl Lagerfeld PVC-sleeved jersey sweatshirt. Casual wear never looked so chic.

Highlight the Important Things…

Like your gorgeous wrist. In a statement bracelet from the T+J Designs highlighter collection.

The Carryall

Book bags are way in your rear view mirror. Slip your laptop and important adult papers into this classic satchel with top handle from Cambridge Satchel Company.


Thank goodness Oxford shoes aren’t just the finishing footwear for school uniforms anymore--and that there are pairs with glitter, like this one by Vince Camuto.

Style Inspiration: European Ease

In just under 60 days, I will be boarding a plane headed to Europe and embarking on adventures in Paris, Milan and Rome (insert squeal here). I’m so elated and definitely wanting to plan travel appropriate outfits that are both functional, and have the easy, chic vibe of European style.

Here’s what I’m currently inspired by:

The classic trench {straight up or with a twist}

Structured blazers

Comfy flats and cozy layers

Are you planning a fall vacation? What's inspiring your travel style?

*All photos via Pinterest

Denim and Stripes | Style Savvy Weekend Rewind

This weekend was fairly laid back and super casual. On Saturday during the day I ran lots of errands with The Kid in preparation for back-to-school. As of today he is officially an 8th grader!

on the move with my young man, prepping for back-to-school
maxi dress: Soprano via Marshalls / necklace: Francesca's

on the football field
fedora: Target / denim blazer: GAP / tank: Forever 21 / necklace: Tiffany 

I slipped on the comfy maxi dress above (also seen here) for daytime errands. The Kid's first football game of the season was Saturday night, so I changed into jeans and a tank, adding the summer fedora I snagged from Target (also seen here) to protect my hair from the rainy mist and wind that kicked up.

On Sunday I got much needed rest! This week will be filled with T's schoolwork and football, my work and writing, and preparation for my girlfriend's wedding this weekend. So excited for her nuptials and looking forward the long holiday weekend (both, for which, The Honey will be here too)!

Beauty Quickie: Brow Shaping Lessons

After waxing and plucking sessions over the last few months, I've noticed that my eyebrows have thinned considerably. I like to have a nice full brow, so I decided to let them grow out so I can start over. However, over the past couple of weeks, they have begun to look pretty spotty and just generally awful. 

So last Saturday I made a quick stop into Sephora for a little lesson on filling them in properly. 

Gina, the awesome makeup artist who helped me, suggested 3 products and gave me the following tips for using them:

1. Start with a brow pencil that's close to the natural color of your brows (she used Anastasia Beverly Hills brow wiz pencil in 'Brunette') and lightly begin to fill them in with upward strokes, starting at the thickest part of the brow and moving outward until it looks full. It's important not to draw out a heavy line if you want your eyebrows to look natural. 

2. For a finished look use concealer to outline the shape of the brow, and camouflage any errant hairs. Squeeze concealer onto a sponge, then dip an angled liner brush and use it to draw a light outline both underneath and above the brow. Then use the brush to gently blend the concealer into your skin. 

Two steps! So simple, right? And quick, which is important for me because I generally only have time for "makeup light" when I'm getting ready in the morning.

I came home with three new products: The Anastasia brow wiz, a Sephora Classic Angled Liner/Eyeliner Brush #15 (which has sold out since this post was published), and (since I was due for a new concealer anyway) Makeup Forever Full Cover Camouflage Cream in #14.

What's in your eyebrow shaping arsenal?  

Posh Event: Shea Radiance for Target Launch Party Recap

On Sunday I attended Shea Radiance's Shea Radiance for Target Launch Party at the Historic Oakland Manor in Columbia, Maryland. The event, sponsored by Ginger + Liz Nail Colour, Divine Chocolates and Voss Water, was in honor of Shea Radiance products lining Target shelves as of Thursday August 16th. 

Shea Radiance for hair. Which product is your favorite?

Guests of honor for the evening included Korto Momolu of Project Runway fame (one of my favorite Project Runway designers out of all the seasons!), as well as Myliek Teele, owner of the natural hair monthly service, Curlbox (who has an amazing Instagram. Seriously, follow it). Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails were courtesy of Fragoli Liqueur and Passionne Di Fiore; and the food, Catered by Tropical Fusion Fine Cuisine, as well as the signature strawberry Bellini of the evening, were both amazing. I won’t even speak of the number of yummy mini tartlets I consumed (seriously, you don’t want to know). 

Funlayo Alabi, President and Creative Director of Shea Radiance, looking well...radiant

Cozy and subtle decor made it appear that the company has taken up residence here for years. 

beauty bar

My new favorite sparkling water. Seriously, so good. 

There was plenty of entertainment for guests, including: Beauty, Indulge and Experience lounges that featured hair consultations; a nail bar; a beauty/makeup bar; and a massage area—all staffed by Maisie Dunbar Spa Lounge and Na'Klectic. There was even an afternoon tea station, featuring both hot and cold tea. 

The Shea radiance team hosted with poise, but there was an underlying hum of excitement that created a really great energy. And they have every right to be excited about this milestone. The locally-owned company began with a small skin care line created in the owners’ home, and has now grown to include hair, and to receive major retail distribution in stores like Target and Whole Foods--as well as several salons. All Shea Radiance products are all natural and made using pure unrefined shea butter, as well as other fairly traded, high-quality products. They are also a socially conscious company, contributing 10% of net profit to women shea producers and supporting eight co-ops in Nigeria. 

with Korto Momolu

It was a fun celebration and a great night for Team Shea Radiance! I can’t wait to dig into the delicious goodie bag full of Shea Radiance treats!

Well-Organized Day: Use a Timeline

I’ve been trying a new method for organizing my day lately: the timeline. I don’t know about you, but I am very easily distracted these days. Not in a “I’m not getting anything done because I keep losing focus” kind of way; but in an “I have so many things to do that I keep moving from project to project in an attempt to multi-task” kind of way. I’ll be in the middle of a project, and remember a note about another project, then pause to write it down. Or reading a site and remember to do “that other thing” and immediately open a new browser tab before I can forget again. Or pause in the middle of writing an essay to fire off that email “really quickly”. There’s just so much switching back and forth between tasks that I have to wonder how effective I am being when I’m not giving each thing my full attention (and I actually did a test awhile ago that proved that I work better when I focus on one task at a time. You can read more about that on Peace Love and Pretty Things). Do you go through this? Is it just me? 

Since I’m fairly certain we all experience this to some degree or another, I thought I might suggest the timeline method to you as well since it’s really super easy to do. You just segment your day into pockets of time, dedicating specific times of the day to specific projects. Simple, right? 

Designating an hour in the morning for checking email, an hour to your latest writing project, two hours to working out etc, will aid you in being really productive without that feeling of wondering “what did I do all day?” I’ve found that it’s been effective at not only keeping me on task, but in helping me to work ahead. The key, though, is that you have to adhere to your self-imposed schedule; going off the timeline will ultimately result in your being behind as opposed to ahead—and then, what’s the point, right? Right. 

The other great thing about your timeline is that you can write it anywhere—in your journal, in your planner, on your calendar, as a typed note in your phone—as long as it’s easily accessible and you’ll have it with you all day. 

Have you ever tried the timeline method to schedule your day? 
Did it work well for you?

Pussybow and Purple Stripes | Style Savvy Weekend Rewind

dress: The Limited / shoes: Sam Edelman / clutch: Valerie Stevens / bracelets: Ralph Lauren, Cruzan hook / rings: GLITTERRINGS, Target / snakeskin earrings: NY&Co

This weekend was super busy--but in a fun way--as I got to attend two local events. On Saturday, I attended Baltimore Fashion Week; and on Sunday, I partied with Team Shea Radiance at their Shea Radiance for Target launch event (I was also featured as one of their SR for Target Tastemakers in July. You can read my Q&A here!)

dress: Romeo & Juliet / pumps: Shoe Dazzle / clutch: Poppie via DSW / bracelets: H&M, Forever 21 / rings: Forever 21, GLITTERRINGS, Target / earrings: Forever 21

I had a great time at the Shea Radiance event (the food was delish!), and will be posting a full recap later this week. 

I'm heading into this week with a full "to do" list (as usual) but am looking forward to being productive and continuing to improve at working ahead of myself in order to better balance my priorities. I'll be posting about that later this week as well. Sending you positive energy for the week ahead!

3 Awesome Moisturizing Products for Natural Hair

I’ve recently found a combo of three awesome products that help my natural hair to stay moisturized and shiny all day. There are tons and tons of natural hair products on the market now (thank goodness!), and for certified hair junkies, it’s easy to sample and review every single one of them. There’s so much information out there that it can be overwhelming for me at times. I like a simple routine when it comes to hair, and once I find a product that works, I tend to stick with it until it doesn’t work anymore. Here’s what’s currently working: 

Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding 

Targeted at varying hair textures, this pudding moisturizes—but also adds shine, defies frizz and elongates curls! It’s the best combination product I’ve tried in a long time and I’m able to get a huge ponytail and a curly bun with my wash ‘n go hair--something I hadn’t been able to achieve with other products. 

Curls Crème Brulee

This certified organic product is sulfate free, paraben free and great at re-moisturizing and defining curl. It’s perfect for day 2+ natural hair, when you don’t want to wash ‘n go. I generally squeeze a small amount into my hand with a scoop of the Beautiful Textures pudding and mix the two. 

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Great at hydrating and strengthening your hair, I find that this smoothie is best used after a co-wash and in tandem with other products. I usually comb it through with a leave-in condish. The “hype” about this product kind of died down after last summer, but I find it’s still worth keeping in the rotation. 

Are you a ‘keep it simple’ kind of girl when it comes to your natural hair? Which products are working best for you?


5 Ways to Refresh Your Environment and Your Soul

This post was originally published at Peace, Love and Pretty Things (the blog I write with GG), but I felt it was applicable here as well. Because, after all, part of living a posh lifestyle is having the peace-of-mind and the wherewithal to continue pursuing those fabulous goals and dreams; and creating an inviting space in which to do so. 

I don’t know about you, but serenity in my surroundings is very often equivalent to peace of mind. I feel more relaxed, productive and healthy when I am in a clean, open, organized space—and a little bit of pretty doesn’t hurt either. When I start to feel out of control, a quick de-clutter in my space (home, office, car) can de-clutter my mind as well. Perhaps it isn’t even as much about the visual end result as it is about the process of stilling my mind, setting about a task, and creating room for positive energy to flow. Whatever the case, I highly recommend these ways of refreshing your environment that can perhaps also refresh your soul. 

Straighten up/organize. Ever heard the phrase “she couldn’t see the forest for the trees”? The jist of that turn of phrase is that we often miss things that are right in front of us; it’s even easier to do so when there is clutter covering them up. So why not take a moment to get organized? Move dirty clothing to the hamper, make up the bed, clear your products out of the bathroom, wash the dishes, make a to-do list. Perhaps you’ll find that you can see much more clearly with those minor chores out of the way. 

Bring in fresh flowers. Fresh flowers bring life into your space. And certain plants also bring along their enticing scents and vibrant colors. Who can be sad while staring at a gorgeous center piece? I like to update my dining table with a fresh vase of flowers each week. 

Open a window. If you can’t take a break and head outside, why not open a window? It might get a little warm in the summer, but ultimately fresh air is healthy for our lungs and our minds; breathe in deeply the air from outside and allow yourself to reconnect with nature and with your Self. 

Release calming scents. Scents like Jasmine and Lavender are known to have calming properties, but we also sometimes have emotional links to particular smells that incite pleasant memories or feelings. Light a candle, or incense in your favorite scent and let it permeate your space. 

Infuse color. Color is also said to be linked to mood. Bright colors like yellow and orange have been linked to making people feel happy, and green is rumored to elicit calm. Find a way to infuse color into the room even via something small like a throw pillow or a candy dish. Infusing color into your wardrobe and donning it as opposed to neutrals will help to brighten your mood as well. 

What other things can you do in your environment to help refresh both your surroundings and your soul?

* All photos via Pinterest

Style Savvy Bachelorette Night

dress and earrings: Forever 21 / shoes and belt: White House Black Market

Accessories - clutch: Felix Rey / bangle and black ring: Forever 21 / silver ring: GLITTERRINGS

my best accessory: my besties

Saturday and Sunday, 11 of my girlfriends and I celebrated the countdown to our friend TS's wedding with a bachelorette/bridal weekend. Obviously, I can't tell you what happened on bachelorette night, but I can share my outfit ;-). 

I was kind of tired after a long day and feeling a little subdued; so I decided to go for a more muted look and left out the bright accessories that I had planned (in this post). I think it still ended up being a cute summer night out look, though. 

3 Healthy Summer Snacks to Try This Weekend | Health Savvy Life | Posh Kitchen

I’m always looking for healthy snack ideas that will both make me feel full, and tickle my taste buds. I love to eat well, but don’t feel like it should have to always taste like sacrifice. I found these dessert-like options in Family Circle magazine a while ago, and can’t wait to try them! 

If you’re planning some time hanging out around the house this weekend, why not make it a plan to try them too? They’re easy, fun and you’ll feel great about eating them! 

Try this tasty treat as a late night snack: have a small bowl of strawberries, dipped in chocolate sauce. We don’t tend to think of chocolate as healthy, but everything in moderation, right? 

Serving: small bowl of strawberries, 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce 

Replace heavy bagels and cream cheese with something lighter, like graham crackers smeared with skim ricotta cheese and sprinkled with lemon zest. Sounds utterly delightful! 

Serving: 2 graham cracker sheets, ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese 

Channel the childhood delight of carnival caramel apples with this light and easy option. Did you know that you actually burn calories while you’re consuming an apple? 

Serving: one apple—sliced, 2 tablespoons caramel sauce 

Savvy Style Chat {Bethany Winters, Wardrobe Stylist}

I love to "talk style" with friends and e-friends alike--sharing photos, shopping tips and sartorial perspectives. So I thought, why not bring that to the blog? And so I shall, in a new monthly Savvy Style Chat, featuring ridiculously stylish, savvy women with great stories to tell. For our August Chat I present...

Bethany Winters / Wardrobe Stylist / bethanywinters.com

What is your full time gig?

I've been a freelance production and celebrity wardrobe stylist in Los Angeles for the past 15 years.

Do you have children, and if so--how does being a mom affect your personal style?

I have two boys, ages 8 and 5. Becoming a mother was probably the singular defining event in the devolution of my personal style. I was so overwhelmed after the birth of my first son, that it was a banner day if I managed to brush my teeth. I was several months into my new mommy gig, when I realized that I had literally begun to wipe my hands on my shirt. That's when I knew it was time for a serious overhaul. It was a while before I was able to balance looking a modicum of decent with having baby barf in my hair. I feel like now I'm much better at putting together kid-friendly yet somewhat fashionable outfits. It seems counter-intuitive being that I'm a stylist, but I've always said that my most challenging client is myself. It's true.

I took a quick snapshot of my living room, since I think it best illustrates my eclectic style. I found the couch at a vintage prop shop in L.A, originally covered in heavy teal vinyl. The books on some of our favorite artists, musicians and photographers are not only pretty but well used. The black finger painting is an early work from my son, and the pink vase and floral pillow were wedding gifts from Zipper. I found the driftwood on a family trip to the beach in Santa Barbara.

What other endeavors do you participate in (on a part time, freelance, volunteer or charitable basis) and how do you transition your wardrobe throughout the day to meet the needs of these various roles? 

As all working mothers do, I wear a lot of different hats throughout the course of a day. I'm not big on transitioning outfits, at least for myself, so I'll try to sort of plan out my day the night before and choose the outfit that works best for the tasks at hand. Often times I'll go directly from a client meeting or on-camera to my kids' school; embarassingly enough, it's usually then that people don't recognize me, since I'm dressed up with makeup on. A friend once told me "Always dress like you're going somewhere better, later." That stuck with me, not to mention I'd rather show up to basketball practice in heels than to a meeting in flip flops. 

What three words would you use to describe your personal style?

Eclectic, comfortable, evolving 

The pink leather jacket is a favorite thrift find and the Rachel Roy suede booties were on second markdown. I found the credenza at a local flea market, while the Elvis poster (dated for a concert that never actually happened due to his death) was my husband's before we were married. The embracing statuette was a wedding gift from a dear family friend.

What is your favorite color or accent to incorporate into your wardrobe and how do you style it?

I wear a lot of black, which goes not only against my coloring (hair, eyes, skin - I look much better in pastels) but also my city. I tend to think of black as a very NYC color, in contrast to the pop-y brights and Pepto Bismol pinks of LA - which don't get me wrong, I wear a ton of that too. I'll create sort of a 'base' when getting dressed, that can be punched up with accessories. I'm a huge fan of a basic black outfit, with statement jewelry, jackets, bags and shoes as a focal point. It's also a no-brainer when getting dressed. People think I have a ton of clothes - I actually don't, just a lot of great accessories.

Let’s talk about your beauty routine. How do you keep it simple, while making sure you’re put together?

It's going to sound so L.A. but I get my eyelashes dyed. I'm blond with super light lashes and I don't wear a ton of makeup. I also have oily skin and mascara always smudges on me, even the waterproof. For a 1/2 hour and $30 every six weeks I get black lashes that won't wash off and it is genius. All I do then is curl them with the Sonia Kashuk eyelash curler from Target. I swear by Cle de Peau concealer (worth every cent) with a little NARS creme blush (I like The Multiples sticks) and Fresh Sugar lip balm. My hair is colored, so I only wash it a couple times a week, slick it into a ponytail to air dry and flat iron or curl for special events. I use Neutrogena Age Defying products on my face. Now that I think of it, I'm kind of lazy.

The Pucci aviators were a gift from my mother, that she scored atLoehmann's in Baltimore. My 8 year old son helped me choose the white sequin clutch on a trip to ZARA, and the Chanel belt was a gift from a client.

What beauty product can you not live without right now?

The aforementioned Cle de Peau concealer.

Where do you go to get inspired?

My biggest source of inspiration is the past. I could spend literally hours online surfing what I call 'Real Estate Porn.' I live in an historic neighborhood in Hollywood and it's become kind of an obsession to research the old Spanish Mediterranean architecture; when things were built, who owned what when. My husband bought me a book called Hollywood Then and Now, that juxtaposes photos of locations in the past, with what they look like now. It's kind of mind-blowing. The same goes for fashion - I will never be able to get enough of the sixties and seventies.

I studied painting in college and my older son and I love to look at art books; our current fave is a huge coffee-table book on Jean-Michel Basquiat. We go through it together and talk about each piece; what we think it's about, it's significance and beauty. Not only is it some of my favorite time spent, his work always blows me away.

Our dining room is small so I tried to keep it simple. The mid-century light fixture was original to a house up the street that was getting an overhaul - I jumped at the offer to take it. The chairs and table are both CB2, and the gold branch was a yard sale find that I spray painted. I saw the vase at an art show in the earliest stages of dating my husband; it was the first gift he ever gave me, on our very first Christmas together.

I'm a huge, huge, huge music person as is my husband. We see tons of shows. I like to think of it as the one thing I will always indulge in - live music. It's an enormous part of our lives, and that of our kids. For me, it's a great equalizer and constant source of inspiration. I'm currently listening to a lot of Jack White, Neil Young, Dan Auerbach and Jessie Baylin. 

I'm usually not online a ton (unless I'm shopping for a client) since I enjoy more tangible sources of influence. When I am, I love Instagram (for visually keeping up with friends, since I'm not on Facebook), The Coveteur, Closet Visit, The Selby, Take Sunset, Style, and my friend Rebecca's blog, Girl's Gone Child. 

I bought the gold skull cuff online at Alibi NYC. The Hermes scarf is seventies vintage; a treasured gift from my mother brought back from a Paris flea market. I love the dichotomy of edgy and luxe.

{Just for fun} Are leggings okay to wear as pants (meaning not wearing a shirt that covers the rear)?

Never, ever, ever, ever. Ever. Never.

Stylish Summer Night Out

With the impending bachelorette weekend of one of my good girlfriends, I've got 'summer night out' style ideas on the brain.

Black one shoulder dress – T by Alexander Wang / Pink triangle necklace – T+J Designs / T-strap pump - Steve Madden / Clutch – Felix Rey (from my closet) / gold ball stud earring – Piperlime / ring set – GLITTERRINGS

While I plan to recycle something that's already in my closet, I definitely have a case of the 'I want something new' blues. So, I'm still looking for inspiration this week for ways to wear an oldie but goodie in a fresh, stylish way.

I was thinking of something similar to the outfit above, but I wonder if color isn’t a better option for a summer night out...

What do you think? Should I go for the LBD with color and sparkle via accessories; or should I wear something in a brighter hue?