Monday, December 26, 2011's December 26th.

Lisa and I wear:
  • Ballet flats.
  • Skinny or straight leg jeans.
  • Long sleeve t-shirt.
  • Scarf for style.

Because every December 26th, at 8:00am, the doors of Saks Fifth Avenue open, and all reduced items are an additional 50% off, until noon only.  And you need to be ready to try on anything at a moment's notice.  Ballet flats can be tossed into your purse as you grab and try on shoes.  A long sleeve t-shirt can have any sweater pulled over it.  Jeans can be tucked into boots.

For years, Lisa and I (along with our friend Heather - who had a tank on under her sweater, for even easier trying on), have been up at the crack of dawn, Starbucks in hand, and at Saks around 7:40am.  Even when I've been in cities other than Boston, I've gone.  Here's what the door looked like at 7:40am at Saks in Boston this morning.

And here's what it looked like at 7:55am.

And here's what the shoe department looked like at 8:15am. Chaos.  Complete and utter chaos.

Why do we endure this chaos?  Because the prices are UNBELIEVABLE.  Here's a sampling of today's purchases:

Sample #1:  Chloe, stack-heeled, chocolate boots.  Original price: $990.  Reduced to $692.99.  50% off that = $346.49!  Lisa picked up a pair too, in black.  

Sample #2:  Prada, grey dress boots.  Original price unknown.  Reduced to $839.99.  50% off that = $419.99

Sample #3: Rivamonte knit fair-isle sweater.  Original price: $550.  Reduced to $335.99.  50% off that = $167.99

Sample #4:  Lisa picked up this gorgeous Philip Lim textured leather pencil skirt in cognac.  Will pair beautifully with a simple black wool sweater or demin shirt.  Orig $695, scooped for $232.50.  (This actually came from Neiman Marcus (stop #2 on our 12/26 journey) - Neiman was also having 50% off reduced prices before noon.)

Photo from

Crazy deals, and lots of fun.  It's not for the light of heart.  We don't recommend trying for purses - there are "professional" shoppers that line up at the door closest to the handbag section, and scoop everything within 2 minutes.  The shoes are more manageable, but it's still nuts.  The line to actually get the match to the shoe in your hand will be 40 people deep.

But, if you have a friend, can divide and conquer, and have patience, the deals are totally worth it. ~ JH & LB

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The little blue dress.

It really was love at first sight.  I remember it well.  It was a snowy evening in December.  Jen and I had just finished nibbling tea sandwiches and drinking champagne (hot cocoa for the littles) at the Teddy Bear Tea.

We had a little extra time on our hands and had to drive down Newbury Street anyway. And look!  Two parking spots right in front of Calypso.  Out we all poured and in we went.  And there it was.  The Navy Twin Set Lace Dress!  I had a wedding, no 2 weddings coming up!, and it was To. Die. For. Mine!

Photo from

Just to know, the little Navy Dress lived up to the challenge!

Merry times to you and yours this holiday season! ~ LB

Default to Parisian Chic

It's no secret in our close circle of friends, that Jen and I are Francophiles.  We would hop on a plane at a moment's notice, if that was at all possible with 5 kids between the two of us, and jet off to Paris.  I love everything about Paris and could happily share all my favorite foods (croissants from Poilane), bistros (Fish La Boissonnerie), walks (anywhere in 6e) and museums (Jacquemart-André Museum).   

But all that for another day.  Today, I share with you our favorite book about dressing like a Parisian that attempts to answer the eternal question:

How is it that Parisian woman always look so put together and effortlessly chic all the time?   

Ines de la Fressange penned one take on the answer earlier this year.   Parisian Chic, a riveting little red book brimming with secrets of shopping and dressing like a mademoiselle, or in my case, a madam.   
Photo from

One dog-eared section in my book epitomizes what is classic, fashionable and easy to wear.  "The Navy Sweater" has become my default wardrobe of choice.   With my own twist, of course :-) 

Photo from

Here is my work horse outfit for this fall/winter season:  Ines was right about Eric Bompard. His perfectly cut navy cashmere v-neck + anything = heaven.  This I will wear for years and years.
Photo from

I got this Design History sweater coat for fall.
Photo from

AG Adriano Goldschmied Stevie cords (as comfortable as sweatpant, I kid you not ) + Navy v neck + Design History jacket = a look I love and wear day in and out.

Photo from

It's a simple formula.  CLASSIC + TWIST = DONE!

Madames and madamoiselles go for a few staple pieces each season and pair them with classics already in the closet.  She might "jujus" it up the look with a scarf or jewelry to keep it fresh.  And out the door she goes, looking put together and feeling good.  Before Parisian Chic, I could be found staring open mouthed at the plethora of choices in my closet.  Now I can be out the door in 15 minutes if I have to, including quick shower and makeup, and looking good and feeling even better.

Jen & I highly recommend the book and its practically chic approach to style.  Available online and in Wellesley at Hudson. ~ LB

Tuesday, November 8, 2011's 70 degrees in November

Fall is my favorite season.  I love the start of school, crisp air, the colored leaves, and warm and cozy clothes!  I'll be the first to turn over my closet, changing out tunics and summer dresses for sweaters, scarves, vests, and suede shoes.

Today is an exception to the fall I know and love.  The leaves are colorful, but the air isn't crisp.  In fact, it's downright hot.  What is a girl to do when it's 40 degrees at 8:25am drop off and 70 degrees when leaving the gym at 10:15am?

One word:  LAYER.  A formula of tank + light top + scarf over jeans = success! personal favorite, the Shimera Seamless Tank at Nordstrom.  Long, doesn't roll up, enough stretch to keep you together.  Comes in TONS of colors - $26 each, or $2 off every one when you buy 2 or more.  I have white, black, brown, plum, and cream in my wardrobe (am wearing white right now).

Photo from

Light weight a J. Crew merino v-neck sweater (navy, gray) or a chambray blouse.

Photo from

Photo from

Scarf - make it colorful - Madewell (a J. Crew company) has TONS of unique and different scarves at great price-points! Plus, you can remove it and tie it on your handbag if it gets too warm in the day.

Photo from

Jeans - I have several favorite jean makers, but my be-all-end-all jean is the AG Adriano Goldschmied Ballad.  Long, lean, and takes 5 pounds off me, they are fantastic (disclaimer - only in dark colors; the white in the summer shows every bump and imperfection!).   They are a slim, bootcut.  Word of caution - do not attempt to hem them.  It breaks the line and a tragedy to ruin a pair, as I did.

Photo from

For jeans you can hem, because we'll all not 6' tall and slender (but if you are, good for you!), I turn to Citizens of Humanity Ava or Elson Jeans.  Both have a  straight leg, a higher rise (which is another blog entry altogether!), and generally, come in 2-3 washes a season.

Photo from

Or, (and clearly, I need to write a whole entry about jeans) how about these newcomers, DL1961 jeans, in the Coco style?  Straight legs, great washes, and talk about keeping you together - great amount of spandex, but not clingy.  Caroline, at The Green Tangerine in Kennebunkport, ME, introduced me to my first pair this summer.  I was NOT in the market for jeans, but they were so good, I couldn't leave them in the store.

Photo from

That, and some ballet flats will get you through the 70 degree pick-up in the afternoon, and take you through your child's ballet class and into dinner.  So, enjoy the weather! ~ JH

Sunday, November 6, 2011

...your watch is 'in the shop'.

I found myself in the Cartier boutique on Newbury Street this Saturday.  My Tank Francaise watch (ahem, 'Timepiece'), a 35th birthday birthday present from Dear Husband, had seen enough and needed a tune up.

Photo from

Too many sweaty spin classes, drops on the floor, and near submersions had damaged it - the metal bracelet was mangled and (unbeknownst to me) the stem was chipped.  I wear this watch EVERYDAY, so giving up for weeks of service was troubling.  Now, I have other watches I could wear in it's absence.  Lovely ones, in fact.  But this one can be pared with everything, any outfit, from jeans to a dress.  It simply works.  Alas, I patted it goodbye, and asked the sales woman to take good care of it.

The sales woman sensed my distress and asked me "Do you want a loaner watch?".  My jaw hit the counter.  Bien sur!  Bring out the 'loaner'!

And she did.  It's the large Tank Francaise timepiece, with a black, rubber bracelet.  She called it ugly, but I thought it was super cool.

Personal Photo

I signed a release, strapped it on, and, with a spring in my step, hit Newbury Street.  Note to self:  When purchasing a watch, ask if loaners are available! ~ JH

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It all begin in a playgroup...

8 women, 8 children under the age of 2, plus some siblings.  All of us were new to our town and looking for friendship, companionship, and play dates.

Lisa and I found each other in these mornings amid toys, Goldfish, and coffee.  We didn't truly connect until we were pregnant again, me with my 2nd child, and her with her 2nd and 3rd.  Lisa was disappointed with local maternity clothing options, and her husband suggested a trip to New York City for a search of maternity clothes.  He suggested taking me along for the ride.

We took that trip.  And as we stood in the Kate Spade sample sale line and hoofed it uptown to see the Liz Lange store (finding an outlet upstairs that made us squeal with delight - and trust me, watching pregnant women jumping up and down with joy isn't a pretty sight) and made last minute spa appointments at Bliss because we just couldn't walk one more foot, we became good friends.

Our friendship has taken us from the local malls (we call them our 'satellite offices') to NYC to Paris in search of great clothing and accessories.  We have shopped until we've dropped, refueled, and pressed on.

Over the years, we've become 'stylists to the moms'.  We've helped many of our friends with closet clean-outs, shopping trips, outfit advice, and even lent our own jewelry when the outfit screamed for a black flower cocktail ring.  We've decided to turn all of these emails/phone calls/lunch conversations into a blog.  We hope you'll enjoy our conversations about and adventures in fashion.  Bonne journee! ~ JH