Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, and a sale at Saks!

First and foremost, to all of our readers and friends, Lisa & I wish you a very Merry Christmas!
Image from fashionista.com.
My parents sent along a Saks gift card for Christmas (Thank you very much! I love the 'gift of shopping'!) and I, of course, had to postpone showering and cooking this morning to wander onto Saks.com.  When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a huge Saks sale, online and so near!

You HAVE to check it out.  Up to 70% off on designer items!  Prices go up on 12/27 at 12:01am.  Use the code 'HOLIDAY' for free shipping & returns too!  

Among other things, these Tory Burch cheetah pumps are coming in the mail to me.  $122.50 from $350.  65% off!  Love!
Image from saksfifthavenue.com.
Merry Christmas to me! ~ JH

Thursday, December 20, 2012

...you are hosting the holiday.

This is always tricky.  You have family coming over or staying with you, your kitchen is full of people, the oven(s) is(are) on, and you feel like you are going from one meal to the next.  How can you look stylish and together when your head is in the oven all day?

Here are a couple of tricks I've learned over the years that I thought I'd share with you:
  • Wear short sleeves, regardless of your outfit being a dress, top and skirt, or top and pants.  Do you really want to cook in a heavy sweater or long sleeve blouse?  I don't.
  • If you are going to wear heels, try wedges or stacked heels.  I can't help myself.  I love heels.  I have a couple of good wedges or stacked pairs that work well for being on your feet all day.
  • Beware of 'dangling jewelry' and scarves.  I can't tell you how many times I've almost burned a scarf leaning over the stove.  With the additional frenzy of the holidays, leave the scarf in your dresser.  Ditto with pendant necklaces, etc.  Last thing you need is for your pendant necklace to take a dip in the gravy.
  • Stay away from wool and leather.  Jersey, either cotton and silk, is a great material.  Silk blouses are good, light-weight options.
Finally, from a good friend, don't forget to set up a 'lip stick station' in your nearest bathroom or near a mirror.  At the beginning of the day, put your lip stick or gloss, a pressed powder compact, and brush or powder puff in your 'station'.  Over the course of the day, refresh!  You'll be happy to look refreshed instead of shiny when you sit down for dinner.  My 'station' is always in my 1/2 bath in the drawer under the sink. 

Best of luck over the next week, and all the best to you and yours. ~ LB & JH

W2WW Hosting the Holidays

Diane von Furstenberg wool sweater / Theory / Joie cap sleeve t shirt / Cartier / Michael Kors straight leg pants, $330 / Theory tailored pants / J.Crew twill skirt, $260 / Jimmy Choo wedge shoes / Kate Spade / Ivanka Trump wedge shoes / Tory Burch shoes / J.Crew white pearl necklace / J.Crew j crew jewelry / J.Crew knotted bracelet / Tiffany & Co. jewelry / Stella & Dot gold ball earrings / Bottega Veneta sterling silver bangle bracelet / Morra Designs yellow gold jewelry / Tory Burch belt

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In Search of the Perfect Black Boot.

What is it with our readers and shoes these days?  :-) I know, we love them too.  I was out to dinner with a good friend earlier this month who asked if we could talk about our favorite black riding boots.  Of course we can!

With all of the high-end shoes we talk about, you will be pleasantly surprised at my favorite black riding boot.  It's very affordable, great leather, and comes in wide calf as well as standard.  Right now, it's on sale for $169.90. (They are normally priced at $259.95, still very reasonable for boots.)  Made by Corso Como, the Samual boot is an elegant, comfortable boot at a great price.  
Image from nordstrom.com.
Corso Como makes a version of this boot every year (or, at least Nordstrom carries their boots every year) with slight modifications.  I own both the black and a caramel pair I bought about 3 or 4 years ago and still wear both regularly.  I cannot recommend them enough!

For another choice, Lisa is NUTS about Frye boots.  She bought this amazing pair in NYC a couple of years ago in a fabulous grey that works with both brown and black outfits.  The ones pictured below are similar - the classic Frye Riding Harness boots.  At $348, they still aren't too bad for boots, and the leather on Frye boots is like butter.
Image from bloomingdales.com.
The back story to WHY Lisa had to buy the Frye boots?  She LOST her black J. Crew boots.  I mean really, how do you lose boots?  While she was away 2 summers ago, she realized they were missing, and sent me off to the cobbler to see if she had left them there.  Unfortunately, the cobbler didn't have them.  She thinks her husband might have mistaken the bag they were in for trash.  Ah, the shoe drama!

But that brings me to the next boot we love, the J. Crew Booker boot. Similar to the pair Lisa lost, J. Crew always makes a solid riding boot.  And, if you need it, they too have an extended calf option.  At $298, apparently lots of people like them because some sizes are on back-order until February.  (Right now, everything at J. Crew is 30% off, both online and in stores!)
Image from jcrew.com.
Finally, for a more 'rugged' looking riding boot, I've always loved the Archive boot at Madewell.  I love the texture of these boots and really lust after them in the 'English Saddle' color.  My ONLY problem with these boots is that they are 'pull on'; there is no size zipper.  It's tricky to tuck pants into these without them riding up your leg.  You would have to tuck your pants leg into your socks and then put them on.  That's my only warning; they are really great boots otherwise.
Image from madewell.com.
Let us know what great black riding boots you find out there! ~ JH

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday 2012: The Sales!

We are all bombarded with daily emails advertising all kinds of sales - friends and family, pre-Christmas, post-Christmas, etc, etc, etc.  Like everyone, I love a good deal and it's during this time of year, right before Christmas, that some of the best deals are out there, especially in the chain and department stores.  (Like in J. Crew, starting today, the entire store is 30% off through Monday the 17th!) Yes, there are some fabulous after-Christmas sales, but the quantity of goods in stores is higher now than it will be after Dec. 25th.  

But more important than the sales, is what you should actually BUY.  Just because it's on sale doesn't mean it needs to go home with you.  There are several categories of items that I like to purchase this time of year, and I thought I'd share some of my tricks with you.

First, boots.  Riding or heeled, knee-high or bootie:  these are items you want to pick up now for next winter. Heck, for this winter!  Boots are some of the most expensive footwear out there.  Last winter, I knew I wanted a brown, stacked-heel boot and ended up with a pair of Chloe boots for 60% off the original price.  If you know you'll want a pair of black riding boots next winter, get them now.  Or, stacked heel booties. Like these Vince 'Chase' booties - love them even more at 40% off!
Image from nordstrom.com.
Or, what about these Tod's Rubber Sole tall boots that you can wear all winter!  40% off!
Image from nordstrom.com.
Another 'item' I tend to poke around for during this pre-Christmas time is outerwear.  Good outerwear costs a fortune, so why not give yourself a little 'To me, from me' gift?   Especially if it's more of a 'specialty' jacket/coat rather than an essential one.  I LOVE this capelet at Bloomingdales - 30% off right now, and comes in black, grey, and this delicious orange.
Image from bloomingdales.com.
I love this Mackage, leather-trimmed coat.  If I didn't have something very similar in my closet already, I'd be checking out right now. 25% off at Nordstrom.
Image from nordstrom.com.
While Saks isn't 'blogger friendly' (i.e. I can't pull images off their website), they have over 200 pieces of outerwear on sale right now.  If they would only let me pull pictures from their site!  

Handbags are also good items to purchase now.  I'm a clutch junkie for sure, and can barely contain myself around clutches that are on sale.  This one, by Stella McCartney, is a 'fantasy' item, but I love it so much I had to share it here.  Even though it's 40% off at Nordstroms, at Nordstroms it will stay. (As a note, Neimans has it on sale too, but only 33% off!)
Image from nordstrom.com.
Ok, back to reality.  This Cole Haan tote is lovely with its big tassel (TASSELS!) and braided handles.  It comes in 3 colors and it's about 33% off right now at Bloomingdales.
Image from bloomingdales.com.
Finally, a brief list of items, which, if you see them on sale, buy them!  You will use them.  I promise.
  • leather gloves - how many pairs do you go through in one winter?!
  • knit gloves - see above.
  • a well fitting black cashmere sweater.  Never out of style and a wardrobe stable.
So while you're finishing your holiday shopping, don't forget to take a peek at what's out there for you. You might be pleasantly surprised! ~ JH

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

W2WW Around Town - The Sartorialist was in Wellesley!

On Monday night, I was amongst loads of college students in the Alumni Building Auditorium at Wellesley College.  Scott Schuman, the Sartorialist, was speaking that evening with a book signing after.  Who is Scott?  To say he is a 'blogger' would be selling him short.  Photographer of street fashion, keen eye, artist would be better titles.  One of the first, if not THE first, photographers of street style.  If you haven't checked out his blog, please do.  Lisa and I are fans, maybe not of the street styles for us (some of the outfits of his subjects would raise eyebrows at a PTO meeting), but for inspiration and the beauty in his work.

Things I learned on Monday?  
  • To feel the pressure of having to post on your blog, and yet at the same time, not feel the pressure.  Don't write or blog just because you haven't posted in a while; write about what you feel passionate about.  Actively look for inspiration and write.
  • Be vulnerable in your blogging.  Ok, we're not going to let it all hang out here, but we'll try to continue to be personal.
  • Don't let advertisers influence you.  Not that we have any, but one day, Lisa and I will have a business meeting and discuss.  I'll be sure to keep this in mind. (Lisa and I have NEVER had a business meeting about this blog; it's kind of a joke that we haven't.)
  • Use your voice.  Be the person you are in person, in your blog.  
And, of course, I couldn't help but have a book signed and have a picture taken.  A little star-struck I must admit. 
Image from Jennifer Houston.
Hopefully this brush with greatness rubs off on us here at W2WW. ~ JH

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Search of the Perfect Black Pump.

One of our friends (and a reader!) asked for our opinion of what we think is the perfect black pump.  There are many different kinds of black pumps, round-toe or pointy toe, staggeringly tall or manageable.  We'll go through our personal favorites.  

Disclaimer:  We should start by saying we are shoe addicts.  Years ago, we only dreamed of scoring a high-end designer pump on sale at Saks on the morning after Christmas.  (In fact, one year Lisa DID score the classic Campari Manolo Blanik mary-jane pumps; we have the same shoe size, so it took a lot for me not to rip them out of her hands.)  In more recent years, we've splurged a little more on wardrobe 'staples'; once we find something we LOVE, it might just be worth the designer price tag.  

A perfect black pump is a wardrobe staple.  This spring I finally splurged on getting a classic pointy toe pump - the Manolo Blahnik Newcio Pump in black leather.  
Image from nordstrom.com.
Plain, simple, really comfortable.  I knew I wanted a pointy-toe, black leather pump with a 3 1/2" heel.  Over the course of a year, I tried on many pairs at lower price-points but kept coming back to these.  I know I will have them (and wear them) forever and they will never go out of style.  (And just FYI, my foot is wide in the front with a narrow heel - tough to find perfect-fitting shoes that won't squeeze my toes or, conversely, slip off my heel.)

But that price-point is more painful than a pair of bad stilettos to say the least.  There are other options out there.  Lisa fell in love with this pointed-toe pair Valentina pumps by J. Crew last spring.  She bought them in red and swears they are completely comfortable.  This winter, they are carrying them in a black patent (which works well for inclement weather).  With a 2 3/4" heel, they are a GREAT height that should keep your toes happy through holiday cocktail parties.

Image from jcrew.com.
For round-toe pumps, I have always loved the Kate Spade Karolina pumps. I have them in a black, faux croc leather.  Piperlime is showing them in a black patent this winter.  They are extremely comfortable with a 3" heel.  (They also come in a nude patent, and Bloomingdale's has them in a black grosgrain with a glitter heel.)
Image from piperlime.com.
A few years ago, I went on a shopping mission for a friend who needed a dress pronto.  I purchased 10 dresses, a couple of jackets, and these pumps, after I learned that she had no classic pumps.  She kept 2 (or was it 3?) dresses, a jacket and a cardigan as well as these Calvin Klein simple, classic pumps, which have a 3" heel.  She said they were really comfortable and, at $69, the price is definitely right.  They must be a great seller since they are still on the market and now come in a whopping 22 colors on Zappos!
Image from zappos.com.
Finally, let's take a page from Kate Middleton's book and look at the L.K. Bennett 'Sledge' Pump.  The Duchess of Cambridge wears these day-in-and-day-out, which says something about the comfort and wearability of them.  While the heel is 4", the 1/2" platform brings you down to 3 1/2".  I have a pair of L.K. Bennett pumps from about 6 years ago that I still love and wear.  The shoes run narrow, so if you have a narrow foot, this might be a great choice for you. 
Image from nordstrom.com.
Those are our favorites.  Hope you find a pair you like! ~ JH