Wednesday, March 30, 2011

simple pleasures -- winter blahs busters.

Charlotte Ronson Burlap Stripe Raglan SweaterCOVETING: Charlotte Ronson Burlap Stripe Raglan Sweater; retail $175
It isn't getting warmer here in the Midwest. It's just NOT. I can't possibly believe that it's going to be April soon, because the weather has been in the 30s consistently for the past several weeks... And there's just something wrong with that. But it does make me crave chunky knits more and more -- like this Charlotte Ronson sweater. The oversized shape is so cozy-looking, and I love that the raglan style is defined by buttons. Perfect for pairing with jeans and boots (YES, I'm still in BOOTS) now, and denim shorts and fabulous wedges in what I can only hope will be the decidedly near future.

I hate to harp on the weather, but it's become a major source of concern for me. Spring is supposed to be warm and pretty, right? Just checking. There's not a whole lot getting me through these dreary days spent mostly in the library. Luckily, there are some simple things that make me smile despite the gloomy clouds and the fact that I'm still rocking my winter coat.

{Gilmore Girls study breaks}

{breaking out the Easter candy a bit early}

{my pal Trish's cheery and inspiring Tumblr account}

{the new Ben & Jerry's flavor that is in fact as good as Valerie promises}
{this pretty spring hairstyle from A Cup of Jo}

How are YOU beating the winter blahs right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop, WeHeartIt, Pink Preppy Lily Lover, Red Vines for Breakfast, and A Cup of Jo for the photos.

Monday, March 28, 2011

get the look -- perforated shoes.

ATTAINABLE: Zhush Gold Stud Wrap Bracelet in Blue (also in Brown, Green, Orange, Red, and Black); retail $18
I have quite the love of wrap bracelets right now. However, the really pretty ones tend to be quite expensive. Thankfully, Zhush (aka my one-stop for all accessories for the home and my ensambles) came to the rescue. These pretty bracelets come in a bevy of shades, and at such a reasonable price, I kind of want several to ensure that I'll have a color to go with every outfit this spring.

Although I envy Emily's vast shoe collection, I must say that these are my favorites. And since seeing this post a year ago, I've been sufficiently obsessed with perforated shoes. There's something so subtly sexy about showing skin in such a unique way -- even on your feet. And combined with my penchant for nude-toned shoes (so leg-lengthening), this style is nothing short of fabulous for spring.

Quorra sandals
EXTRAVAGANCE: J.Crew Quorra Sandals in Mink (also in Sand Dune and Chalk); retail $150
J.Crew. Stealing my heart every time. What a surprise. I adore this fun, uniquely-shaped sandal -- it's almost more of a bootie, and the cutouts are adorable. The laces in the back are to die for, and I'm picturing these pairing beautifully with crisp white shorts, bright blouses, and loosely waved hair. Clearly, spring needs to come immediately.

DEAL: Forever21 Perforated Leatherette Dress Shoe; retail $25.80
Since hearing raves about Forever21 shoes from other bloggers, I think it may be time to give them a shot. And with a short, chunky heel and adorable peep-toe, these look like the ultimate in comfortable-but-chic footwear. I love the lace-up style and can absolutely picture these with floaty skirts and simple sundresses.

Jeffrey Campbell BE WELL
EXTRAVAGANCE: Jeffrey Campbell Be Well in Taupe (also in Red and Black); retail $159.95
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I had a bit of a heart attack when I spotted these last week. To say the least. I want to get these and wear them with absolutely EVERYTHING. The wedge, the platform, the perforation, the lacing, the trim... Literally, there's just nothing that I don't adore about these sweet little Jeffrey Campbell wedges. Nothing.

DEAL: BCBG Paris Kerriess Bootie; retail $79.95
I. Love. These booties are insanely chic. I love the smooth trim and exaggerated platform, and the nude color is literally the perfect shade. And you all of course know how I feel about the zipper in the back. These would be crazy-chic for dressing up shorts, but they'd pair so elegantly with a cocktail dress for evening. Thank you, BCBG.

And congratulations to the winner of my Chelsea Gwynne jewelry giveaway -- the super-sweet Katie of Fashion's Maven! Send me your contact information, doll, and these pretty earrings will be on their way!

Will YOU be rocking the perforated shoes this spring?
xo Josie
Thanks to Zhush, J.Crew, Forever21, SoleStruck, and DSW for the photos.

Friday, March 25, 2011

worth the wait.

Tucker for Target dress, J. Crew belt, Steve Madden sandals, Longchamp bag, Coach scarf, Mossimo fedora, vintage and Juicy Couture bracelets, gifted Chelsea Gwynne earrings

Seriously, thank GOODNESS Target did that re-release of the most popular GO International dresses of the last five years. It gave me a second chance to snag this sweet little Tucker for Target dress, and I love it as much as I hoped I would. The painted flower print is too pretty, and the details are what make the frock so special -- from the hidden seam pockets to the little "Tucker" buttons, this dress is utterly charming. I've discovered since taking these photos that despite my love of them, I can't fight the fact that I'm simply NOT a hat person -- but this fedora did give me a great excuse to show off the super pretty gold studs that my talented friend Chelsea Gwynne sent over for me!

And speaking of Chelsea Gwynne, don't forget that this weekend is your last chance to enter to win a pair of her delicate handmade hoops!
xo Josie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

pretty things -- printed skirts.

ATTAINABLE: Queen's Wardrobe Lovely Wave Short; retail $72
I have a decidedly volatile relationship with shorts. It's not that I'm opposed to wearing them at all (these are my favorites) -- it's just that finding a flattering pair is nearly impossible. I've been lusting after these for almost a year now and after seeing how ridiculously stunning they look on Emily and Mara, I think that it may be time to spring for a pair this year. They're versatile and chic and are sure to flatter.

I mentioned here that I'm in love with printed skirts for spring -- and I wasn't kidding. After picking up a few over spring break, I can't wait until the sun is shining long enough (read: more than twenty minutes) to wear them frequently. Until then, however, I'll be looking at other pretty printed skirts in a variety of fun shapes and dreaming of warmer days. While florals are the obvious -- and of course brilliant -- choice for spring, I'm also loving bold geometric and tribal prints. Perfect for adding to your favorite V-neck and blazer or military-style jacket on top.

Forever21 Cracked Cement Bubble Skirt; retail $12.80
As if I needed another reason to adore Forever21, the skirt selection this season is positively phenomenal. And this one, brand-new to the site, is one of my favorites. With its flattering high waist and subtle bubble-shaped skirt, this piece is perfection for springtime. I love the neutral colors and fun print, and at a price like this, there is simply no reason not to snap one up. Immediately.

T-Bags Twisted Mini Skirt in Poprocks
T-Bags Twisted Mini Skirt in Pop Rocks; retail $149
I just love this skirt. The colors are bold and perfect for sunny days. The shape is unique and visually interesting. And the print is simply fabulous. How chic would this be with wedges and a crisp white button-down?

Gap Impressionist Print Skirt; retail $49.95
Like I said, florals are the obvious but still brilliant choice in a print for spring. And what I love about this pretty blue Gap skirt is that the floral print is hardly contrived or dull. The Monet-esque flowers are visually interesting without being too sweet, and I love the short, clean shape.

Of Two Minds Ikat Print Mamasita Skirt
Of Two Minds Ikat Print Mamasita Skirt; retail $250
I think I may be in love. The floaty chiffon. The easy shape. The neutral tones. The PERFECT Ikat print. There's nothing about this skirt that doesn't work on its own, and when the elements are combined, they make something truly extraordinary. I'd wear this skirt with anything from a plain tee to a structured jacket for a bit of juxtaposition.

Don't forget to enter my Chelsea Gwynne jewelry giveaway!
xo Josie
Thanks to Queen's Wardrobe, Forever21, Revolve Clothing, Gap, and Shopbop for the photos.

Monday, March 21, 2011

obsessed -- langston's western wear.

Joie Campbell Dress
COVETING: Joie Campbell Dress; sale (now) $180.60
Do you ever see an item while out that just sticks in your head? Welcome to my misery at the current moment -- caused by this charming, hippie-esque dress that's just perfect for spring. I tried it on at Bloomingdale's on superclearance (huge mistake) but eventually decided it was still too much to spend in such a memorable piece. Unfortunately, I'm still hyper-obsessed with this Joie dress. I love the floaty shape and dark colors, and I can say first-hand that it looks fab paired with a wide belt. Oh, Joie, how you tease me so.

Although I'm the first to admit that the idea of saddling up a horse, mucking stables, or (gasp!) getting dusty is highly unappealing to me, I'm kind of loving the western trend for spring. And as I hunted for some fabulous western-inspired pieces that felt authentic but could easily be mixed with less theme-worthy items to create a look that screamed "chic" rather than "cowboy," I found Langston's Western Wear, AKA the best source for all things both fashionable and ranch-esque. And even better, from today until March 27, you can use the code WINKWINK at checkout to get 15% off all orders over $50... I think it may be time to splurge on some new boots, no?

Women's Ariat Heritage Western Boots - Vintage Caramel
Women's Ariat Heritage Western Boots in Vintage Caramel; sale (now) $159.97
Remember when I first posted about these sweet little cowboy boots here? Well, my love for them is apparently undying. The classic colors and shape have truly stolen my heart. I'll be saving up for a pair of cowboy boots for summer to wear with pretty sundresses and skinny jeans, and these are at the top of my wishlist.

Lucky Brand Women's Open Work Earrings - Silver
Lucky Brand Women's Open Work Earrings; sale (now) $27.97
Didn't expect to see such pretty, delicate jewelry on a western wear site? Me either. I'm kind of obsessed with the open, flowing shape of these dangling silver earrings. They would be so perfect for setting of a simple cocktail dress or paired with a chic cardigan-and-pencil-skirt combo for work.

Dingo Women's Adobe Rose 7
Dingo Women's Adobe Rose 7" Boots with Side Zipper in Light Brown; retail $99.97
I'm constantly enthralled with the idea of short cowboy boots -- perfect with bare legs and dresses, but can work easily with jeans as well. Best of all in my opinion is that a pretty pair like this is just subdued enough to pair with denim shorts without channeling Daisy Duke to the fullest.

Lucky Women's Shrunken Military Jacket - Antique Khaki
Lucky Women's Shrunken Military Jacket; retail $79.97
Remember my search for the perfect trench coat? Well, This tan military-style jacket may be giving the classic style a run for its money because I think it's adorable. It toes the line perfectly between military and safari, and is tailored enough to throw over anything from dresses and skirts to jeans... Talk about the ultimate in versatility.

Don't forget to enter my Chelsea Gwynne jewelry giveaway!
xo Josie
Thanks to Shopbop and Langston's Western Wear for the photos. I've been compensated in no way by Langston's beyond the coupon code for this post.

Friday, March 18, 2011

tastes of spring.

Aerie cardigan, Madewell tank, J.Crew skirt and earrings, Merona tights, Banana Republic flats, Aldo bag, Forever21 ring

This is most definitely one of my current favorite outfits. Possibly because I can finally wear it. Yes, that's right -- it's finally warmed up enough in the freezing-cold Midwest to break out the skirts and tights. Honestly, it's about time -- I could hardly wait. I'm adoring this little pleated tank and springy pink cardigan right now. Perfect for adding a touch of springtime cheer to bleak midsemester classrooms.

As a side note, I'd like to encourage everyone to make a donation to the relief effort in Japan if you're able -- you can donate to the Red Cross here or to the Shelterbox project for emergency shelter and supplies here... Every bit helps.
xo Josie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

chelsea gwynne giveaway -- spring into spring.

ATTAINABLE: Forever21 Geometric Woven Skirt; retail $17.80
Though there are many reasons that I'm excited for spring (warm weather, picnics, sunshine, it being socially acceptable to eat ice cream twice a day), pretty printed skirts are at the top of the list. I've become obsessed. They're perfect to pair with a simple tank or V-neck and a sweet cardigan, and match as easily with flat sandals as with wedges and heels. I adore this little Forever21 one -- the draped pockets are too cute and the neutral shades make it perfect for adding a bright pop of color somewhere else in the look to create the perfect spring ensamble.

You know what else is fresh and exciting for spring? Pretty, custom-made jewelry -- like this pretty pair of Chelsea Gwynne earrings that have been made especially for one of my readers!

These pretty dangling hoops are gold-filled and are adorned by a charming pair of aquamarine nuggets and rose quartz -- how perfect to pair with your favorite sundress for evening or a pair of wide-leg jeans and a crisp white top for day! And -- bonus -- NO ONE will have the same ones.

Details to Enter:

This giveaway is open to all of my fabulous "with a wink and a smile" followers -- old and new! Just leave a comment so I know to enter you, and be sure to visit the Chelsea Gwynne site to see all of her other fab jewelry!

All entries MUST be in by 11:59 PM eastern time on Sunday, March 27. will help me select a winner, to be announced on Monday, March 28.

For extra entries (let me know in your comment -- 1 entry each):

Like Chelsea Gwynne on Facebook
Like "with a wink and a smile" on my Facebook page
Follow "with a wink and a smile" (@winksmilestyle) on Twitter

Good luck, all!
xo Josie
Thanks to Forever21 and Chelsea Gwynne for the photos.

Monday, March 14, 2011

get the look -- floral dresses.

ATTAINABLE: Old Navy Women's Faux-Leather Thong Sandals in Tortoise; retail $10.50
It's times like this when I really, really love Old Navy. And I say it without shame. I purchased these inexpensive but super cute sandals in every metallic shade they sold last year and absolutely LIVED in them. So when I popped into Old Navy on a whim the other day, I couldn't resist purchasing a pair in this fun tortoise print. How fantastic will these be with denim shirts and crisp blouses for summer? I can't wait to pick up EVERY color.

Some trends stay in style forever. And the pretty floral dress for spring is most certainly one of those. So regardless of the fact that I did the same post last year (here), I'm completely confident that it's still relevant. There's nothing like slipping into a bright, cheerily printed sundress when the weather finally starts to warm up and sliding on a pair of wedges to match. Perfect for moving from errands to dinner seamlessly.

DEAL: Forever21 Silk Floral Contrast Dress; retail $22.80
I love contrast dresses -- I think they have such a clean, chic look. And this one is so elegant. I love the subtle watercolor print of the skirt, and the bright magenta flowers are so punchy. The colors pair perfectly with the more subdued navy top, but the ruffle manages to spice up the bodice without feeling contrived in the slightest.$detail-item$
EXTRAVAGANCE: Free People Parisian Bouquets Halter Dress; retail $128
I need this dress. Immediately. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for marketing techniques, but this is just ridiculous. The name, combined with the adorable fedora and perfectly-captured movement in this photo, is all I need to sell me on this charming little frock. Best of all, though, is the ladylike neckline and the crossover back -- the perfect surprise when you slip out of your cardigan to let the sun warm your shoulders.

One After the Other Floral Dress
DEAL: Threadsence The One After the Other Floral Dresses; retail $42
How floaty and lightweight does this dress look? I love its utter simplicity. The colors are bright and fun, the shape is flirty, and the print is splashy. It's just right for adding bold, pretty accessories -- I'm thinking chunky wood bangles, an oversized patent leather clutch, and a chic pair of nude wedges.

Parker Strapless Dress
EXTRAVAGANCE: Parker Strapless Dress; retail $242
The dressiest of the bunch, this dark floral strapless Parker dress is nothing if not sophisticated. I'm kind of obsessed with the darting at the waist and perfect sweetheart neckline... How amazing would it look with a sweet side braid and a pair of tall, tall heels for evening?

For more pretty dresses, I've done a guest post over at Sweet Tea and Champagne -- be sure to check it out!
xo Josie
Thanks to Old Navy, Forever21, Free People, Threadsence, and Shopbop for the photos.

Friday, March 11, 2011

brain freeze.

James Perse top, Gap jeans, Mossimo heels, Tory Burch clutch, Forever21 earrings, vintage bracelets

Do you ever have those nights where you literally cannot think of a single thing to wear? No matter what you put together, there's just no way to make it work. Unfortunately, I seem to have been plagued by this recently. I call it fashion brain freeze. Luckily, I've developed a solution: black top, skinny jeans, black heels -- and a plethora of bold jewelry. It's a look that's classic, simple, and chic, and I have yet to go wrong. Of course, it's resulted in me acquiring somewhere around ten black tops for evening... But is that really a BAD thing?

Have a fabulous weekend!
xo Josie

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

constant search -- overnight bag.

COVETING: Madewell Gallery Hop Sequin Shorts; retail $195
Seriously. I mean, it's definitely no secret that I'm a huge fan of anything involving sequins and sparkle, but I've always kept my focus on the upper half of the body, generally tops and dresses. But I think I may have finally been convinced by this adorable little pair of sequined Madewell shorts. I love how they're styled here -- the fitted sweatshirt and little button-down are so perfect for toning these shimmery shorts down a bit. But with a simple tank top tucked in and a pair of heels, these could be so fantastic for going out. Brilliant.

I've been looking for the perfect overnight bag for ages. An actual suitcase feels like such overkill when I'm only planning to be gone for a day or two, but even my trusty Longchamp is too small to fit everything I need (okay, so I overpack anyway). And clearly, using the duffel bag from my competitive cheerleading days is just no longer an option. Thus, I'm at a complete loss. I need something durable, cute, and big enough that I can stuff a ridiculous amount into it...

Rugged twill weekender
J.Crew Men's Rugged Twill Weekender; retail $168
It's the J.Crew men's department to the rescue -- again. And I have to say, I'm loving it. This bag is kind of... Ironically chic? I love how stuffable it is -- perfect for fitting in an insane amount of stuff -- and it just feels rustic in the absolute best way. And it can be carried as a satchel or on your shoulder. Super obsessed.

What are YOU on the hunt for now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Madewell and J.Crew for the photos.

Monday, March 7, 2011

obsessed -- twelfth st. by cynthia vincent.

COVETING: Anthropologie Bespoke Yoke Tee; retail $78
I think that this floaty little white shirt is an absolutely MUST for spring. I love the lace at the top and the easy, flowing shape. This top would be fantastic with a pair of dark skinnies and wedges or tucked into a pretty printed skirt with flat sandals. Plus, it seriously makes me want to break out the Jergens, because wearing white when you're as pale as I am right now is practically unacceptable.

Sometimes I think Cynthia Vincent is actually trying to kill me. Remember my hardcore love of the Luella wedges (which has yet to disappear, by the way)? And her clothes and bags are equally killer. That's just not fair, honestly. I love the pretty, effortless feel of these pieces. Everything is so colorful and playful, and that's exactly what I'm craving right now.

Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Keyhole Cami Romper
Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Keyhole Cami Romper; retail $295
I'm so on board with the romper trend, despite that it took me awhile to get used to it. And this one is so charming. I love the bright print -- the colors are brilliant. And the strappy little shape and tiny keyhole are about as perfect as it gets in my book. I'd love this with flat sandals or even for night with heels... Too cute.

Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Caine Army ToteTwelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Caine Army Tote; retail $305
I want. I want. I want. How ridiculously perfect is this bag? It's big enough for me to lug around my books and laptop and the ridiculous amount of stuff that it takes for me to get through the day. The leather details and hardware are fantastic. And it would go with absolutely EVERYTHING, from flirty sundresses to jeans to printed skirts. Dear me, I think I'm in love.

Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Sunburst Beaded Tunic Dress
Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Sunburst Tunic Dress; retail $405
I love this chic little tunic. I would of course add a belt for a little extra shape, but how amazing would this be with a killer pair of wedges? I love the beaded design -- absolutely stunning -- and I get the vibe that a head full of perfect beachy waves would be perfect with it.

Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Strapless Party Dress; retail $319
I'm obsessed -- not only with this dress, but with the as-always-flawless Planet Blue styling of it. I love the pretty floral print, and the brown braided belt is genius. It's perfect for piling on a stack of super sparkly necklaces, throwing on heels, and being easily the prettiest girl in the room.

What are YOU obsessed with right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Anthropologie, Shopbop, and Planet Blue for the photos.