Friday, December 24, 2010

the trouble with christmas shopping.

BCBG coat, J.Crew dress, belt, and bracelet, Aldo shoes and earrings, vintage clutch

So here is why I shouldn't be allowed to leave my Christmas shopping until the last minute: sales. So many of them. For example? The 30% off sale items at J.Crew. The 80% off at BCBG. Hence my new outfit. To be fair, how was I to resist this gorgeous dress which can switch with ease from a job interview to a family dinner to a holiday party? And this motorcycle-style coat, with its soft, soft wool, strong shoulders, and pretty ruffle, was calling my name from the sale rack. Not a joke. And so perfect for the Christmas Eve gathering which I'll be attending. Rest assured, I managed to finish my Christmas shopping as well.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays. I'll be taking next week off while I'm on vacation but can't wait to be back in the new year!
xo Josie

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

get the look -- over-the-knee boots.

ATTAINABLE: Anthropologie Sparklers Headband; retail $32
I am admittedly not an exciting person when it comes to hair. I've been bringing the same photo of a Season-10-of-Friends era Jennifer Aniston to my stylist for four years. Straightening it and then MAYBE pulling it into a half-pony (exhibit A) is about as nutty as I get. However, I think that even I could handle stretch headbands. Simple, quick, and chic define these pretty hair accessories, and I love this Anthropologie one. Perfect for adding a touch of sparkle and class to any look, elevating it just a bit.

Since I apparently have a deep love of boots which was unknown until quite recently, it's a little surprising that I haven't yet given into the over-the-knee boot trend. Mmmm. Actually, I take that back. It's not surprising at all. My leg shape makes things a bit difficult when selecting boots, and I have this fear of accidentally channeling Vivian Ward. Anyhow, I think I'm finally ready to embrace the trend and have noticed a few keys in the look being classy and chic rather than... Well... Prostitute-esque. A flat heel certainly helps, and a clean shape is a must. With a simple finish and in a neutral shade, this look is most definitely wearable -- even if you're a fashion-risk-wimp like me.

ATTAINABLE: Steve Madden Overrpas boot; retail $109.95
These adorable Steve Madden boots fit the bill perfectly. They're soft and suede-y, and black is a fab neutral to tone down the height a bit. Plus, they have the tiniest bump of a heel that is sure to add a little length to the legs and the slightest hint of slouch. Perfection.

COVETING: Charles David "Regent" Over the Knee Boot; sale (now) $219
Ummmm. Yes, please. I love this gorgeous brown shade -- it's the perfect mix between cognac and chocolate. The little heel is sure to be flattering, and I adore that the front is higher than the back of the boot. But the best parts of this boot are in the details -- the clean little buckle in the back and red-trimmed inside zipper are absolutely fantastic.

ATTAINABLE: Aldo Rechtzigel boot in Gray (also in Dark Brown and Black); sale (now) $129.98
What I love most about these pretty Aldo boots (aside for the super chic gray color) is the very simple shape. These are so reminiscent of a riding boot; they're just cranked up a notch, which I love. Perfect as a transition piece if you're a bit nervous about the trend (hello, Josie).

Dolce Vita Donnie Thigh High Flat Boots
COVETING: Dolce Vita Donnie Thigh High Flat Boots; sale (now) $228.20
These boots are killing me. They're KILLING me. I'm positively in love with them. How gorgeous is this sandy gray color? And I adore the cowboy-style bottom and how the pull-on style is accented by the buckle in the back. How fab would these be with super dark skinnies or denim leggings? Seriously. Must-have.

Are YOU working the over-the-knee boots this season?
xo Josie
Thanks to Anthropologie, Steve Madden, Nordstrom, Aldo, and Shopbop for the photos.

Monday, December 20, 2010

obsessed -- lonny's.

ATTAINABLE: Lonny's Lightweight Textured Eternity Scarf in Black (also in Blue and Cream); retail $34
It took me awhile to get on board with the eternity scarf trend, but I'm such a fan now. They're just long and endless and, when wrapped a few times, SO warm. I love this pretty one from Lonny's; the pattern and texture are so fun. Perfect to toss over a simple tank and jeans or under a thick wool coat -- bringing an unknown level of chicness to staying warm.

I absolutely MUST introduce you all to my new love -- Lonny's. The longtime New York-based retailer recently launched an online store, and I'm legitimately obsessed. Like, call an institution because I've been glued to the site for a week. The store has so many of my favorite designers featured -- remember my posts on Patterson J. Kincaid, Elizabeth and James, and Alice + Olivia? Yep, all there. And, even better, the prices are awesome right now thanks to the Countdown deal that Lonny's is running through the rest of December: every day, there is a different discount on a specific brand or style. That's like a new sale every day -- does it get better? NO.

Alice + Olivia Tessa One Shoulder Dress; retail $396
How adorable is this little black dress? I love the drapey style and single shoulder -- perfect for showing off pretty collarbones. And who better than America Ferrera to show how gorgeous and flattering this dress can be on any shape? I love it.

Foley & Corinna Mid City Tote in Taupe (also in Gunmetal); retail $395
This bag has been at the tippy-top of my wishlist for months. How beautiful is it? Soft and buttery and the perfect neutral shade. Plus, it's big enough to hold the ridiculous amount of stuff that I insist on toting around with me (usually including extra shoes, a camera, and a cardigan, among other things that I may need in the event of, I don't know an apocalypse or something). Can you say "must-have?"

Ella Moss Cherish Cardigan; sale (now) $92.40
I heart Ella Moss -- everything in the line, honestly. It's all so chic and soft. This ruffled cardigan is such a perfect representation of all things Ella. It's comfortable, flattering, chic, and simple but with intricate details that you just can't take your eyes off of. Stunning.

Donna Morgan Belted Strapless Dress; retail $196
I adore just about everything about this dress. The draping is stunning, the chiffon is perfection. The color is gorgeous, and I love the neckline. The gold belt works beautifully to highlight a waist, and the length is appropriate for every holiday party. Seriously, there is just nothing NOT to like about it. Throw on gold heels and a simple clutch and you are SET.

Best part of this post? Visit Lonny's before December 31 and type in code WINKSMILE to get 15% off any item. And keep an eye on the Countdown sales as well... New Year's dresses, anyone? I think YES.
xo Josie
Thanks to Lonny's for the photos.

Friday, December 17, 2010

see the joy.

Cherokee boy's blazer, J. Crew tee and bracelet, Aerie tank, Gap jeans, De Blossom Collection boots, Longchamp bag, Aldo earrings

Meet my new favorite boots. I absolutely adore them and have been literally wearing them everywhere. I love the gray shade, the slightly motorcycle-esque feel that they have, and that they are completely perfect for tucking in my favorite skinny jeans. Paired with a black boy's blazer that I dug out of a vintage shop that is clearly made for an eight-year-old but fits me to perfection. Adding this fun, slouchy, tissue-thin J.Crew tee seemed like a no-brainer because, really, what better message is there to spread these days than "see the joy?"

Wishing you all an AMAZING weekend before the holidays... I may or may not have made it through finals by the time you're reading this, so keep your fingers crossed, my dears!
xo Josie

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

obsessed -- adam.

Leaves of Luck Ring
ATTAINABLE: ThreadSence Leaves of Luck ring; retail $12
I absolutely ADORE rings with leaf and feather themes. Unfortunately, they usually are those multiple-finger rings which I adore the look of but could never wear. I just have zero interest in having my hand constrained that way, I guess. However, ThreadSence has taken the look vertical, and I'm super excited. This piece is delicate but makes a great statement. It's pretty, inexpensive, and, best of all, would make a great stocking stuffer for various amazing friends of mine. I'm sold.

I began to be intrigued by the brand ADAM when I posted this in July (in fact, I vividly remember sitting outside the library using the wireless before they opened, typing feverishly while the nanny kids were at baseball) but have let it slip to the back of my mind. Um. Mistake. Because when I first saw dresses from the holiday collection, I just about died. These pretty, sparkly frocks are positively PHENOMENAL. I love how they seem effortless but are ridiculously chic at the same time. I may have to HOLD a party just for an excuse to obtain one of these...

ADAM Scoop Neck Party Dress
ADAM Scoop Neck Party Dress; retail $445
Gold lame. But done well. Uh, yes, please. Plus, I love the jersey panels on the sides -- they give a super flattering silhouette and look like they add even more comfort to this already-floaty dress. I love the party dress silhouette (can never go wrong with a fitted top and bold, full skirt) and how it's styled with bold black heels. Utter genius, honestly.

Main image - Deep Cherry
ADAM Silk Button-Front Ruffle Dress in Cherry (also in Milk and Night); retail $345
I love this super ladylike chiffon dress. It's floaty, flirty, and the ruffled placket is absolutely genius. And how delectable are these color choices? So perfect for the holidays AND they make me want to bake cookies. I love marketing tactics, I swear.

ADAM Strapless Cascade Ruffle Dress
ADAM Strapless Cascade Ruffle Dress; retail $345
I'm a huge sucker for anything in this color -- it's one of my favorites to wear. This cocktail dress is so chic; I love the ruffled slit and beautifully pleated top. The piece is just so simple and chic but is detailed enough to hold a lot of visual interest.

Pleated Skirt with Embroidered Waistband
ADAM Pleated Skirt with Embroidered Waistband; sale (now) $103.25
Be. Mine. Now. There are very few sizes of this bit of beauty left, and one is mine. Fate? Probably. The color is amazing, the embroidered waistband is gorgeous (and means that I don't need to think about accessorizing as much, always a plus in my book), and I absolutely adore the shape. With a simple tank? Utter perfection.

xo Josie
Thanks to ThreadSence, Shopbop, and ShopADAM for the photos.

Monday, December 13, 2010

inspiration -- festivewear.

ATTAINABLE: Old Navy Embellished Ballet Flats in Navy (also in Pewter and Red); sale (now) $19.99
I must own these immediately. Seriously, who thinks I deserve a treat for making it through finals week? All of us? YES. How adorable would these be with skinny jeans and a cute cardigan? Since I have yet to do my Christmas shopping (I say this so casually), I'm going to need flats to get through the crazy last-minute crowds, and I think that looking down at these would cheer me up when I'm getting crushed.

There's zero denying that I'm in full holiday mode. Truth, I still have four finals to take. But it's vacation time. I need a frosted sugar cookie STAT and a tall glass of milk instead of Diet Coke. But that's enough of my whining. Let's talk about pretty holiday clothes.


Party time, anyone? When you're flitting from your office party to your parents' huge annual Christmas dinner to your bestie's cocktail party, we all know that you want a new outfit for every occasion. Granted, this is hardly what most would call "realistic." But let's pretend just for today. And the best part is that you can easily mix and match the pieces in this pretty set to create whatever look you want.

What's inspiring YOU today?
xo Josie
Thanks to Old Navy, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and WeHeartIt for the photos.

Friday, December 10, 2010

coziest chic.

BCBG sweater dress, Renee du Marr belt, Merona tights, Qupid booties, vintage clutch, Forever21 necklace and ring

Sweater dresses are literally the greatest invention ever. Such a good way to stay warm in the winter but still look chic. I've had this one for months but wasn't quite sure how to put it all together -- but suddenly it's one of my favorite pieces. I love it dressed up with black tights and booties, but it has such cozy daytime appeal when I add boots and an oversized bag. Perfect for dragging myself to the library for hours on end, which incidentally is how I'll be spending my weekend. Who doesn't love finals, after all?

Wishing you all an amazing weekend!
xo Josie

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

simple pleasures -- the holiday season.

COVETING: WISH Lark Silk Dress; retail $149
When the lovely people at WISH sent over a lookbook for me to peruse (dangerous, very dangerous), I fell in love with more or less everything in it. And this dress is one of my absolute FAVORITES. I love the easy shape and stunning purple print. The bustier-style top is fantastic, and I love all of the deep purple lines that split the dress into panels. Absolutely stunning, no? How fab would this be with tights and heels now or with turquoise jewelry and wedges come spring?

I love everything about the holiday season. I know it's so easy to get stressed and bogged down in everything, but it's just GREAT. The colors, the lights, the cheesy ads (and by cheesy, I mean heartwarming -- you KNOW that the Lego ad with the brother and sister makes you tear up as well), and, most of all, the spirit. There's always something to look forward to, whether it's hot chocolate with marshmallows as a treat after a long day or wrapping presents while I watch The Santa Clause and White Christmas. I look forward to even the most mundane errands because there's always a feeling of excitement in the air. Just as soon as finals are over, this is really going to be the most wonderful time of the year.

{driving around looking at pretty holiday lights}

{walking through the snow with special gifts to be wrapped}

{pretty tree ornaments -- and sipping my double tall skinny vanilla latte from a holiday cup}

{watching favorite holiday movies}

What are YOUR favorite things about the holiday season?
xo Josie
Thanks to AlibiOnline and WeHeartIt for the photos.

Monday, December 6, 2010

pretty things -- winter accessories.

ATTAINABLE: Forever21 Bead Trimmed Lace Yoke Top; retail $19.80
Okay, this shirt is officially at the top of my wishlist. I'm adoring all things lace right now, and this pretty top is hardly an exception. How adorable is this shirt? I love the lace yoke and pretty bead detail -- so ladylike and such a great contrast to the ultra-soft, casual cotton bottom of the top. Perfect to wear with jeans and boots or to tuck into a fabulous high-waisted skirt.

Before you could say "brrrrrr," winter hit hard at Notre Dame. Snow began falling in droves, the sky started getting pitch black sometime around four o'clock... I'm not a big fan of winter, not going to lie. It's cold and wet and... Did I mention that it's cold? However, there is one great thing about winter, and that's the accessories. Scarves, gloves, hats... Does it really get more fun than that?

Pencey Chain Fingerless Gloves
Pencey Chain Fingerless Gloves; retail $53
How chic are these little fingerless gloves? I love this style right now and I can say from experience that these cute accessories are much warmer than one would think. I love that these are white and the chains are so chic -- so cute with a black wool coat, no?

Gap Fair Isle Pocket Scarf in Red (also in Camel); retail $29.50
How cute is this scarf? I love the Fair Isle print and the adorable little pockets at each end. Plus, the bright red shade is so cheery and perfect for the holidays -- it would brighten up a gray winter day beautifully as I jet across campus at top speed (it's really hard to get out of bed more than twenty minutes before classes start these days, okay?).

Aerie Slipper Boot
Aerie Slipper Boot in Gray Mauve (also in Chino); retail $39.50
I realize that these are more of an indoor accessory, but my goodness. I bought a pair of these last year and absolutely fell in LOVE with them -- I wear them literally all the time when I'm slouching around the house. They're so soft and ridiculously warm -- does it even get better than that?

Antrhopologie Crisp Gleam Beanie; retail $48
I'm the first to admit that I'm not a hat person. They just look ridiculous on me. But it's really cold out, I'm not going to lie. So if I'm going to wear one, it's darn well going to have something sparkly on it. I love this pretty beaded beanie -- so cute and very chic.

How are YOU staying warm this winter?
xo Josie
Thanks to Forever21, Shopbop, Gap, Aerie, and Anthropologie for the photos.

Friday, December 3, 2010

suitcases and snowflakes.

Splendid cardigan, J.Crew top, J Brand denim leggings, Steve Madden boots, Longchamp bag, Bluebird earrings, Merona watch, Diane von Furstenberg suitcase (gifted), Jonathan Adler luggage tag

Photo sessions officially moved inside when I got back to Minnesota and saw snow on the ground. Not going to happen. Packing tends to be quite the process for me. Seriously. As far as I'm concerned, the more clothes I can toss into a suitcase, the better. Until now, I've blamed my overpacking on the fact that I didn't have a carry-on-sized suitcase at school with me. However, after Luxe by CSN offered to send over this adorable Diane von Furstenberg suitcase, I knew that I was all out of excuses. I fell in love immediately with the pretty orange color (easy to spot on a luggage carousel or in an overhead compartment), the just-big-enough size, and the snakeskin trim and challenged myself to pack it for Thanksgiving, minus my ridiculously soft and comfortable travel clothes. Although I had to leave some things behind when heading back to college (okay, so I did some shopping at home), mission accomplished.

Don't forget about the Lulu's code! Before December 5 (Sunday), you can enter the code WINKSMILE (in all caps) to get 15% off your purchase from the site! I'm using it to get some pretty dresses for holiday parties. Like this one. Or this one. Or maybe this one. Or maybe all three, let's be honest.
xo Josie