Wednesday, May 30, 2012 want orange sandals.

We love comments and questions from readers, and we received one this morning:

"Love the cute orange Michael Kors espadrille you recommended for spring! They wear like slippers but hold up for a full day of shopping and sight-seeing. Any recommendations for an orange summer sandal?!? I don't want to go too high with the heel."

Happy to help with your sandal query.  I hit a couple of my online 'hot spots', and here is  what I would purchase for myself if I was on the hunt for orange sandals.  I started with flatter sandals, and loved this pair of DV by Dolce Vita - solid brand that produces fashionable shoes at a lower price.  These Doris sandals are a steal at $59.
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Another cute flat sandal that caught my eye was this pair by Corso Como at Nordstrom.  I love Corso Como shoes - they are decently priced and usually very comfortable.  (They make a great, basic riding boot each fall, priced around $200 - a steal!)  These 'Fountain' sandals are a little more than the DV ones, at $118.95. 
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These cuties are on sale right now, and if my foot wasn't so wide, I might scoop them up myself.  By Pour la Victoire, these Farida sandals, in orange suede, are so lovely and summery.  I can see them peeking out of a long, flowing skirt or maxi dress, with shorts, or with rolled up white jeans.
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Onto higher heels.  I can't believe I am actually writing about the next sandal.  Lisa, another friend, and I have this sandal in another color, and love it.  So hip for this summer - 2 1/4" wedge, ankle strap, and so comfortable.  This Sam Edelman Sophie sandal is a great find, especially at $119.  You might have to let us know if you purchase these so we don't all show up at the same event wearing them. :-)
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Mid-height heels are SO hard to find, so I looked for a some higher heels with a platform in the front.  These aren't as much 'sandal' as they are 'wedge', but I loved them just the same.  The 'Jill' wedge by Dolce Vita are lovely.  And, I'm a sucker for suede. The heel looks to be really high, and at 5", it is!  But the 2" (or, 1 7/8" to be exact) platform really puts you at a 3" pitch in the heel.  Not too bad.
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Finally, I really love these See by Chloe Wedge sandals at Nordstrom.  They are on sale, down to $200-ish from a whopping $350, they are elegant and can be dressed both up and down.  And, because of the 'rust' finish rather than bright orange, I can see these going into September and maybe early October too.  The heel height is listed at 3 1/2", but the front platform takes about an inch off that pitch.
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Hope that helps!  We love to answer reader questions so don't hesitate to leave comment or questions.  ~ JH

Monday, May 28, 2012

W2WW News Flash - W by Worth Sample Sale

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W2WW loves a good sample sale!  This week, W by Worth Spring and Summer 2012 clothing and accessory 'samples' will be on sale up to 50% off at the home of Heather Steele, One Orchard Street, Wellesley.  Lisa and I love to hit this sample sale when it happens - stock up on basics, like their great tanks or Nona pants (personal fav), or better yet, grab a great jacket at 50% off!

On Tuesday, May 29th, the sample sale will run from 11am to 2pm.  Wednesday, May 30th, hours are 9am to 2pm.  Thursday, May 31st, from 11am to 2pm.  (Late afternoon & evenings by appointment).  Shoot Heather an email if you need directions or want an appointment.  Our advice, go early. ~ JH

Friday, May 25, 2012 are tired of plain old t-shirts.

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They beckon to you from colorful tables.  Stacks of multi-hued, solid color t-shirts.  And you are drawn in to purchase a couple. They aren't expensive and they are fresh and fun!  Right?!
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I always get sucked in at J. Crew or Madewell or the Gap, only to find I have the same 'tissue', 'v-neck', 'perfect fit', 'boat neck' t-shirt right at home already.  Yes, the lighter colored ones need to be replaced annually (especially the white ones), but really, do I need anymore plain t-shirts?!

On Tuesday, I started my annual hunt-for-the-non-t-shirt-t-shirt.  It's a sport that starts in May each year, as I comb my favorite retailers for something different, fresh, easy, a little more stylish, something that I can wear JUST LIKE A T-SHIRT over shorts and cropped denim, but THAT IS NOT A PLAIN T-SHIRT.  And it might be a t-shirt, with a twist in the cut of it, the fabric, the print.  Just something that's a little unique.  (I've been hot on tunics in the recent past as my go-to, so I'm trying to circumvent that habit too.)

It's tough out there.  I went back-to-basics at Nordstrom with Amy Swartz, our fabulous personal shopper.  Here were a couple of my finds.

I started with a top that a friend had purchased and I coveted.  (I'll apply the rules of what to do when your friend has the same piece of clothing.)  This Majestic t-shirt is simply fabulous, the croc print completely fresh and I had to have it.  You can dress this up and down.  Very versatile.
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Next up, a knit tank (under which I'll be wearing a white tank - the double layer looks great!) from Joie, in a fabulous color-block.  Looks great with white shorts.
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This Splendid 'sweatshirt' sure feels like a sweatshirt, and will look great over orange, white, or navy shorts, with a bunch of bracelets on one arm OR a pendant necklace.  I won't be wearing this 'out', but I'll certainly be wearing it to run errands.
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I had seen this 10 Crosby Derek Lam sweater online, and Amy informed me it was on sale, so I'll be expecting it soon.  Thought it would be great with a pair of black espadrilles I just picked up.  Oh, and it has 'fringe' and I'm a sucker for texture.
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And finally, this Soft Joie ikat t-shirt.  Apologies to my friend (same one with the croc t-shirt) who purchased this a month ago, but it was on sale.  And I love it.  And it goes really well with these linen, skinny cargo Theory pants I picked up on Tuesday too.  I know, excuses, excuses.
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That's it for round 1, and I think I did pretty well.  I'll probably hit Calypso this weekend to see what they have, and then onto the Green Tangerine in Kennebunk, Maine, as the summer kicks off in June.  Stay tuned... ~ JH

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

...attending a college reunion.

With my husband's 25th college reunion in just a few days, my attention is turning to my closet and what to wear.  This isn't just a one night affair, slam-dunked with a LBD (translation:  little black dress).  Oh no, this is a 5-Day event during the course of which, the pendulum will swing from commencement exercises, cocktail receptions and garden party to a reception with the University President and Dean, a Family Field day, a dance party, and a concert with the Psychedelic Furs and English Beat.  Might as well just pack up the whole closet and call it a day.

If you've got a reunion, graduation or wedding coming up, here's a sampling of what I'll be doing:

Do get a mani/pedi!  For manicure, I like nude nails so when they chip during your stay, it won't be so noticable. My fave is OPI Bubble Bath which also comes in gel. I'm partial to red toes right now before we get into summer, but anything goes on the toes!
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Because I am a person who like CHOICES, to dress on whatever whim I'm feeling or change with the weather that is blowing through Cambridge at the moment, I'm going to bring lots of OPTIONS.

For cocktail reception, enter LBD. This Rachel Zoe silhouette is really is divine, with just the right amount of drape across the tummy to make it all work.  With a white blazer if it's cool.  Add these gorgeous Jimmy Choo snakeskins and all done!
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Next up, the garden party.  Picked up this very cute dress at Sara Campbell in Wellesley the other day.  It'll be perfect in the 80 degree heat we're expecting.   I'll pair it with navy wedge espadrilles and a navy sweater or white blazer. 
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Just in case, I will also pack this J.Crew pink lace top and Alice and Olivia white pants which will be a good back up for any occasion for the warm weather this week.
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Concert night?  The Psychedelic Furs/English Beat concert is begging for jeans and a t.  'nuf said.

Top it off with a great purse.  The chain and tassel detail on this Rebecca Minkoff bag will be perfect to hold lipstick, cell, $, and license (though I don't suppose they'll be carding at a 25th reunion) for all reunion activities.
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And off I go on Wednesday!  I hope to report back with pics of fabulous fashions from the forty-something set in attendance! ~ LB

W2WW News Flash - Half Yearly Sale at Nordstrom begins today!

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That's right!  We're not even wearing shorts yet and you can get them on sale right now at Nordstrom, in store and online at  Like these Caslon, basic bermuda shorts, 35% off now, down to $29.90.
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There are lots of summer items on sale.  And if you use your Nordstrom card for your purchase on May 23rd or 24th, you receive double points!  Happy shopping! ~ JH

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

...the shoes you love are just slightly too big.

At my monthly book club/dinner last Sunday evening (more dinner than book discussion), a friend asked me what to do about a pair of shoes she had just ordered.  She loved a pair of Tory Burch wedges she had purchased this past fall, and found a version of them for spring, the Amanda demi-wedge in orange, that she HAD to have.
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They were a bit steep for her at the original price of $275, so my friend waited and watched.  Then, BINGO.  On sale!  $192.50.  Only one problem:  they were out of her size.  So she ordered them a 1/2 size larger and crossed her fingers.

They arrived and she tried them on.  There were slightly big.  Big enough for her husband to tell her to return them.  But we know, when it's a shoe you really, really want, you have to make it work.

So, at book club, she asked for my advice.  Should she send them back?  Keep them?  What to do?  I recommended that she purchase some shoe inserts - Foot Petals.  These are GREAT products and I usually have a couple hanging around just in case.  My favorite are the Tip-Toes ($6.95 for one pair).
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A pair of these for under the ball of your foot in your shoe gives your feet soft cushions while taking up that extra space in the slightly large shoe.  They have adhesive on one side so they won't slide around in your shoe.
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Another product by Foot Petals that I love are the Heavenly Heelz ($6.95 for one pair).  These little guys wrap around the inside of the heel of your shoe (also with adhesive), fixing any heel slippage you might have.  And don't be afraid to double-up on them (2 in one shoe) if the situation calls for it.

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So, after book club at 10:30pm, she drove by my house to pick up a spare pair of shoe cushions and Heavenly Heelz.  And at school pick-up on Monday, she gave me the thumbs up that they worked.  If you find yourself in need, visit Foot Petals or Nordstroms (they carry Foot Petals in the sock department) and make those shoes work. ~ JH

W2WW News Flash - our personal shopper in the news!

Our favorite stylist extraordinaire at Nordstrom Natick Mall, Amy Swartz, was selected from all Nordstrom stylists nationwide to be featured on the Stylist Page on their website!  Congratulations Amy!  ~ LB & JH

Monday, May 21, 2012

W2WW News Flash - dress Boston store 'closing'.

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Bad news first.  One of my favorite places, dress, is closing their Newbury Street location.  From their website:
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Good news is that it seems that they will be re-opening in another Boston location in the near future.  I'll look forward to that!  In the meantime, there are some deals to be had.  If you find yourself walking by, do stop in and check them out.  Love their collection of Vanessa Bruno, Adam t-shirts (where will I get them now?!), and funky great jewelry.  All the best dress! ~ JH

Friday, May 18, 2012

A neighbor's makeover.

Let me set the scene.

Time: 4:00pm on Tuesday
Where: My house
What: A knock at the door
Who: A neighbor, headed to an event, needing outfit advice

This happens more frequently than you would think.  In comes one of my neighbors, a friend and reader of W2WW, and she is heading to an event honoring another neighbor of ours.  This is what she was wearing when she came in, asking for styling help.
Outfit details:  Black, bat-wing sweater, an embroidered white on black skirt, funky espadrilles, a long necklace, stockings.

The first change, take off the stockings.  Never wear stockings with open toe shoes, and really, don't ever wear them unless you have an appointment with the Queen of England.  (Royal protocol seemingly requires women to wear stockings, according to US Magazine.)  Even in the dead of winter.  White legs are much better than stockings.  Trust me.

Now, this neighbor is a yogi, and under that sweater hides a great figure, so the second thing I did was to change out her top.  First, we tried a simple, sleeveless, cream wrap blouse. (And yes, these are all of my clothes.)
Better, but we are not there yet.  Next, we tried the same cut of blouse, in an orange.
A little too casual in the jersey.  Then, I remember.  A thin black, scoop sweater that ties at the neck in the back.  Perfect!  And I swapped out those espadrilles for a dressier, conservative Kate Spade black pump.
Much better, don't you think?  And then, just for fun because I haven't worn them yet myself, swapped out the shoes for a turquoise blue Miu Miu pump to give the outfit a little kick. (And, because I haven't worn them yet, they might be in the 'to return' pile.)
Finally, onto accessories!  The long necklace was gone, but the outfit needed a silver cuff, and some silver long earrings.

(Yes, those are the earrings that made the final cut!)  Feeling confident in the look, my neighbor returned the cuff and earrings (she had similar at home), and with the sweater on, ran out the door to attend her event.  She later emailed me that she had a top very similar to the loaned sweater, and wore that instead.  She also decided to go shopping the very next day to fill a gap in her wardrobe.  And, when you are in the flurry of a makeover, sometimes you forget your earrings at your neighbor's house. ~ JH

All images from Jennifer Houston.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Changing over your wardrobe.

It's that time of year!  If you haven't started already, it's time to move your winter wardrobe to the back of your closet, to storage or to another closet and bring out the spring/summer clothing.  I have piles of clothing on my bed, in the guest room, and winter shoes stacked on the floor as I pull out my t-shirts, white pants, and sandals.  But, before I put them 'away' (which in my house, means the guest room closet), there are a few things I recommend doing:

Bring your less-than-fresh boots & shoes to a cobbler.

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Time to take the boots, booties and winter heels to the shoemaker and get them cleaned up before they go 'away'.  I just dropped off 2 pairs of boots in need of new heels and a pair of riding boots needing a shine at the cobbler.  Trust me; there is nothing better than pulling out your refreshed boots on the first cool fall day.  Pop them on and you are ready to go!

Put winter clothes in storage.
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Find a dry cleaner to store your heavier winter garments.  Have tight storage space in your house?!  Some drycleaners will store, for free, your winter clothing.  My dry cleaner will - here's how it works:  I take all of my sweaters, winter pants and coats that require drycleaning and bring them in for storage.  The dry cleaner will usually clean them first and then store them over the summer.  In the early fall, I call a week ahead of when I need the clothes to tell them when I would like to pick them up.  They will retrieve them from storage, press them, and have them ready for you.    All for the cost of normal dry cleaning.  Brilliant!

Put your accessories in those cute storage bags and box up your shoes.

Your purse came with the little soft storage bag for a reason - to keep it dust free when it's unused.  My winter clutches are tucked away, and I loved this image I saw on Pinterest for storing clutches, in their little bags, of course.  
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Same for your shoes - all of my boot boxes are under my bed, and the guest closet has 'off season' shoe boxes stacked high.  You can get fancy, like this:
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Or, you can simply be realistic and store your shoes in the boxes in which they came.  I'd rather save my money for the next pair of shoes, rather than spend it on cardboard or plastic boxes.  Just saying.  Isn't that green of me? :-)

Off to move around some piles.  ~ JH

Thursday, May 10, 2012 are crazy for beach tunics!

A couple of weekends ago I had a hair appointment, which always means a quick pop into my favorite Newbury Street stores either before or after my appointment (at Safar salon on Newbury).  After quick scans of dress and Reiss (time was ticking), I hurried into Calypso St. Barth to see what was new.

Whenever I enter Calypso, I am immediately transported to a Caribbean beach and I start to relax immediately.  However, when I walked in this weekend, my pulse quickened.  Tunics?!  Beach tunics?!  They are back!!!!

For the past few years, Calypso has been producing great sarongs, of which I have one and have gifted 2 to friends.  Kind of like the Bazo Printed Sarong below, they are great to tie around you while at the beach or pool.
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However, when walking back from the beach after a long day, I kind of like my arms protected from the sun and just a little more coverage if I don't feel like changing before heading to store to pick up something for dinner.

I have a couple of tunics that I've picked up here and there over the years (and one, in particular, is about 12 years old) so I've been looking for new ones.  You can imagine my joy when I saw piles of them at Calypso.  The right cut, the perfect weight.  I talked to the sales ladies, and they said that Calypso was producing more of their classics this spring/summer.  I picked up this Lulu Tijuana Print tunic and knew it would be perfect for my darker bathing suits.
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The Oiseau print one was pretty fabulous too.
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And this Toluca print one was so vibrant with a hint of tribal print.
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Throw a tank under any one of these with skinny white shorts or jeans and you have a great apres-beach outfit too!  There are 11 prints to choose from.  And, in case you have little girls, some of the prints came in girls sizes too, like the Oiseau Print.  Crazy cute!
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Shoppers were scooping them up! The sizing is generous, so if ordering, order a size down.  Oh yes, and I scooped one up too.

Fast forward to today:  I was talking about this post with a friend at the gym this morning, and she alerted me to the fact that Piperlime is now selling Roberta Roller Rabbit tunics online!  These are another favorite of mine: lightweight, classic tunics.  RRR tunics are tough to find; I purchased my one years ago at a store called Trappings in Wellesley center (which closed a while back).  You can find them sometimes at boutiques in beach-y communities (think East Hampton). These run smaller, so if ordering, think about going up a size.  Here are a couple of my favorite prints of the classic kurta with border I found on Piperlime.
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Both the Calypso and Roberta Roller Rabbit tunics run in the $90 range, but at least for me, the cost-per-use of a good tunic over a couple summers is about 10¢ a wear if not less. All the beach talk is making me excited for summer, if it would just warm up! ~ JH