Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January's Obsession - Big Knits

Image from etsy.com (Ohhio)
You know when you’re out and about living your life, and all of a sudden, you spot a fabulous look that just stops you in your tracks?  It could be an outfit or the wearer that inspires you or that perfect cream chunky sweater you’ve been searching for the past 3 years?  Said sweater was spotted on a harried mom at the car dealership one afternoon.  Her style was perfection though it wasn’t intentional.  I could tell by the ease of her look that It was her day-in-day-out wardrobe.    Jeans tucked into worn boots, chunky cream turtleneck sweater, baseball cap, stacked bracelets that looked like a little Sisco and Berluti sprinkled in there. THIS is the sweater I want!  I could pull off this look!  As I was trying to commit the whole look to memory without gawking, the thought of actually asking where she got it did cross my mind.  But I didn’t.  Should have, but didn’t.  

Instead, as I do when I’m on the hunt for something - I took it to the internet.  What DID we do before we could click click?! 

What I did learn is that “big knit” is a big trend.  I could outfit myself and my home in this comfy chunkiness.  Somebody hold me back.  Starting with, where else, Etsy. 

There are so many amazing handknit options on Etsy.  First up, this giant super chunky knit blanket from Knit Couture Co. Looks so soft and yummy!  I just want to curl up with it on the couch with a book.  
Image from knitcoutureco.com.
Handmade in the Ukraine of 100% Australian merino wool and available in dozens of colors. Why Australian merino? "The secret to Australian merino's softness is its exceptionally fine fibers.  This makes merino wool feel soft and luxuriously gentle next to your skin.  Merino fibers can absorb large quantities of moisture vapor them move it away to evaporate into the air.  It's also odor resistant.  The merino wool blanket is extremely breathable, regulates body tempurature and heart rate too so that this actually improves sleep."  Who knew?

If you’re feeling crafty and want to make it yourself, there’s Loopy Mango’s Nantucket Throw.
Image from loopymango.com.
If knitting isn’t your thing, then there are plenty of options for you.  This giant knit blanket is handmade to order from merino wool in 70 different colors by Ohhio in the Ukraine.
Image from etsy.com.
How about this fabulous Italian-made hand-knitted wool throw or hat  from Bloisem? Choose from over 70+ colors and 10 sizes.  GASP!
Images from etsy.com.
Love the colored pom pom of the Pokomoke hat from Peony Knits.  In a Rainbow of color combinations.
Images from etsy.com.
RK Hats and Knits has a super selection of hats with fur pom poms like this one.  All handmade in the USA and available in a multitude of colored yarns and pom poms. Totally cute and unique, right?!
Images from etsy.com.
You can get your chunky knit on with a pouf, too.  
Image from wayfair.com.
I never did find that sweater (new rule...always ask).  But I do have some great ideas for where to put some chunky in my life and some design inspiration for decorating my home with big knits.  Check it out! ~ LB

Images from designtoinspire.com.
Image from glitterinc.com.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ode to the Perfect Black Pant

Happy New Year everyone!

Yes, I think I've finally found the holy grail!  In fact, maybe I've found 2!  With the help of personal shopper Claudine Eaton Lewis at Saks this fall, I have found some favorite pants that I just had to share with you!

It was a normal day of shopping with Claudine - she pulled several things that I HAD to try on.  As I was following her to the dressing room, we walked through the small (but well-curated) Rag & Bone section of clothing.    She stopped, turned to me and asked if I had any Rag & Bone pants.  "No", I said.  She shook her head in disgust, grabbed two pairs, and off we went.

Honestly, I thought the last thing I needed were more black pants.  I have a ton.  Jeans, both long and short, tailored dress pants, waxed jeans, black leather pants even.  

But then I tried them on.  Holy cow were they good.  

Item #1 - The Simone Skinny Pant.  A legging-alternative with trouser seaming.  Higher rise than most pants (great for those of us with a higher rise!).  Zip in the back for a completely smooth front.  Stretch cotton material. Wear with heels, flats, tucked seamlessly into boots. Not a pant for tucking your top in; definitely for sweaters, blouses and tops that are meant to be worn untucked.  I swear, I have worn them at least 20 times. Maybe 30.  They are "flawlessly tailored, second-skin pants".   They also come in navy!
Image from saksfifthavenue.com.
Item #2:  The Sullivan Stretch Cotton Pant.  Has pockets and a front zip.  Definitely a trouser, into which you can tuck tops and shirts.   They really looked cropped on the model, but she's probably 6' tall and wearing a size 0.  For us normal people, they are perfect.
Image from saksfifthavenue.com.
Neither are cheap, but using sales like 'Friends and Family', you just might get lucky!  The cost-per-wear is low in my house.  And yes, I'm wearing the Sullivan pant as I type this right now. ~ JH

Thursday, December 17, 2015

From NYC, could the latest trend in beauty bars be headed our way?

The family took a four day getaway to NYC to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy the sights - Christmas Tree at Rock Plaza, windows at Saks, the Rockettes (actually excellent and tacky, as anticipated), Bradley Cooper (we rode together in an elevator and yes, I talked to him and yes, he is as spectacular as all get out).  A little early Merry Merry for me.  

The girls and I headed to one of our favorite spots for a manicure in the beauty playground that is underground at the le Parker Meridien.  Tenoverten is a cool spot for some pampering with an unrivaled selection of colors and brands of nail polish to choose from.  We love our local Miniluxe, but when in NYC, a nail care at Tenoverten is a treat not to be missed.
Image from Lisa Bida.
Image from leparkermeridian.com.
Apres nail care, we walked around a bit and saw some familiar and new additions to the beauty wonderland. 

Drybar, founded in 2009 and now a chain of 43 stores, offers blow outs only.  No cuts.  No color.  I’m familiar with the concept and frequent competitor BeStyled for a quick fix. Check.
Image from Lisa Bida.
Next was Blushington, a new concept makeup and beauty bar.  Whoa!  Ok, this is kind of cool.  Professional makeup applications at reasonable prices. I like it!  I once had my makeup professionally done for a big birthday party and it truly looked awesome.  They offer great brands like Becca, Kevyn Aucoin, Eve Lom and all natural Ilia, plus air-brushing.  Not sure how that works as I’m clearly a makeup novice.   Pick your “look” from the menu and off you go.    Full face is $45, TV ready $75.  LOL.  They also offer faux lash application and maintenance services like waxing, and lessons so you can try to recreate the look at home.  Blushington has 5 locations and this is its first NYC location.
Images from Lisa Bida.
Moving along the beauty underground, we encounter "coming soon”  - Skin Laundry, that is aiming to take laser and light therapy out of the doctor’s office for fast, affordable service.  Treatments claim to leave skin deep cleaned and toned, and with frequency, improved acne, decreased redness, dullness, hyper-pigmentation and photoaging, leaving skin smooth, even and firm.  I’m in.  Treatments start at $50.  Apparently, $40-$50 seems to be the magic range in which we feel comfortable parting with cash for a beauty indulgence.    This will be their 10th location, with other outposts in CA and Hong Kong.
Image from Lisa Bida.

Images from skinlaundry.com.
All brilliant right?  So as our beauty repetoire extends beyond hair to skin, WW2W predicts we’ll see these chains or their competitors opening up shop in Boston and potentially, Wellesley by 2017.  You heard it here first! ~ LB

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday gifties!

Here are some of the things I'm craving and giving this holiday season.

Image from mccreascandies.com.
McCrea’s caramels are not only delish and corn syrup free, they’re made right here Boston.  Sold at Barney’s, Boston Public Market and on-line.
Image from food52.com.
Hot Cocoa on a stick. Just swirl and go!  Hello stocking stuffer! And thank you Jennifer for comparing lists.
Image from urbanoutfitters.com.
The Fuji instant camera will be fun for my daughter to click, shoot and print.  There are all sort of fun frames and photo albums for displaying pics, old school. (Camera is on sale at Urban Outfitters for $80 right now!)

If you haven’t wandered into Urban Outfitters lately, you’re missing one of the latest and greatest collections of chemical free, all-natural products out there.  Oh, and everything is very reasonably priced.  There’s a super selection too, for men who groom.    I’m hoping Santa will slip a single use mask, or bath soak in my stocking this year.

Image from megcohendesign.com.
Meg Cohen’s luxuriously soft and yummy arm sox.  I got this gray one and it’s so awesome to be able to use my fingers and still have warm hands.  Not to mention, a tres chic look.
Image from amazon.com.
For curling up in front of the fire, a good book is a must. I’m pining for City on Fire, Garth Risk Hallberg’s debut novel about life in NYC in the 1970s.  The thousand pages took 7 years to write and ten publishing houses battled it out for the right to publish it.   
Image from bedbathandbeyond.com.
Finally, this pocket sized version of the beloved old Simon game will stash nicely in carry on baggage for some wait-at-the-gate fun.

Apres holiday madness, I’m going to throw on a face mask, swirl up some hot cocoa and settle in.

Happy Holidays!  xoxo ~ LB

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My November Obsession - Fur Pom Pom Hats

Shearling and fur, whether real or faux, are showing up in head-to-toe fall styles, with pumps with fur details to headwear. I am on the hunt for a little fur love this season, sprinkling it throughout my wardrobe - but not at the same time! - this fall and winter.  Current obsession: a fur pom pom hat.  
Image from saksfifthavenue.com.
There are lots of choices out there at numerous price points depending on what you are looking for.  I love a big, fat pile of fun atop my hat, like a cherry on a sundae.  Go big or go home! ~ LB
W2WW Fur Pom Pom Hats

Monday, November 9, 2015

...it's Fall 2015: Fall Trends a la Saks

One of our barometers of fall seasonal trends, the Key to the Cure Fashion Show, is a fun and fashionable event that gets the creative juices going.  Saks Fifth Avenue partnered with the Friends of Dana-Farber to present the annual, nationwide "Key to the Cure" initiative to fight women's cancers.  In October this fall, we munched canapes and sipped champs while Saks' top stylists put together some covetable looks.

Jen and I always leave inspired with ideas for a new piece or two and pairings to bring new life to things already hanging in our closets. There are V-E-R-Y aspirational looks that I like to translate to my lifestyle and wardrobe.

I’ve been on the hunt for a WOW vest this season and this lovely by Nellie Partow fits the bill.  A vest is such a versatile piece that can be a warm enough layer for early fall and then layered under a wool coat as the temperature drops.  Put a vest over a column of black, wear with jeans, boots and a turtleneck or silk blouse for a casual look.  I like a vest over a long dress and boots.  The bell sleeved sweater pumps up the drama.   Said vest may or may not have come home with me. 
Image from Lisa Bida.

Try this faux version from Velvet by Graham and Spencer over, well, just about any outfit and you’ll feel like a million dollars.
Image from bloomingdales.com.
Ok this vest from Ellie Tahari is brilliant!  The bottom zips off for two completely different looks.  We all rushed over to try it on after the show and gave it a big thumbs up for versatility.
Images from Lisa Bida.

Images from elietahari.com.
Colored outerwear brings a much needed pop of color to the winter uniform, while the fur collar and lace blouse add textural interest.  
Image from Lisa Bida.
The J.Crew Stadium-cloth cocoon coat is available in a rainbow of colors so I can find one that works with my style.
Image from jcrew.com.
Worn together, this whimsical wildcat top and tiger scarf from Stella McCartney were pretty awesome.  Animal prints are still as hot as ever.  Why?  Because the pattern is so wearable and fun colors like this blue, transcend a basic black uniform.  
Image from Lisa Bida.
For a slightly less expensive version of the scarf, I’d go to this one from Echo.
Images from bloomingdales.com.
Next up…more fur, more layers and a little flounce. If I had to shop exclusively with Brunello Cucinelli, I would be a content and well-dressed woman.  Witness, this stunning fur hood sweater and layered pencil skirt with flounce.   Pretty freaking awesome.  Perfectly layerable and chic.  If you can find a cheap and cheerful version, please email me.    

Images from Lisa Bida.
Ruffles, flounces and pussy bow neck ties are back from the 70s this season.  I have to say I do love the flounce when paired with some structure like this double breasted blazer in a textured wool.   
Image from Lisa Bida.
Take the sweet out of this Kate Spade dress with an edgy bootie and leather jacket.  Bam!    
Image from shop.nordstrom.com.
That's the round-up!  It's still a mild fall, and you have plenty of time to put these looks to work for you! ~ LB