Monday, January 30, 2012

inspiration -- chandeliers + marc jacobs giveaway winner.,0&layer=comp&op_sharpen=0&resMode=sharp2&op_usm=0.7,1.0,0.5,0&fmt=jpeg
COVETING: Diane von Furstenberg Charlotte Soft Pleat Sequin Shorts; $425
The weather in DC has been absolutely glorious over the past few days, and it has me dreaming of spring wardrobes -- bright colors, floaty shapes, the works. These stunning Diane von Furstenberg shorts are everything that I've been dreaming of. They're flirty and sparkly and would be killer with a pair of nude heels, a simple, tissue-thin tee, and a stack of silver bracelets come warm spring evenings.

One thing that I've loved about my time in Washington has been the opportunity to visit places that are true landmarks in America. On a recent trip to the State Department, I found myself in the diplomatic reception rooms, unable to tear my eyes from the stunning English-made chandeliers. They illuminated full hallways and dripped with shimmering, dangling jewels. They made me dream of sparkle, light, and, most of all, pure decadence.

inspiration -- chandeliers.

Thank you to everyone who entered my Marc Jacobs wallet giveaway! Your support means the world to me. I'm thrilled to announce that the winner is the very sweet and outrageously talented Molliee of Twirly Skirts, who also celebrated a blog anniversary recently! Be sure to check out her blog, where she chronicles a truly fabulous lifestyle.

What's inspiring YOU today?
xo Josie
Thanks to Bloomingdale's for the photos.

Friday, January 27, 2012


J. Crew dress (similar) and cardigan, Hue tights, Tahari booties (similar), vintage earrings and ring, Marc Jacobs bag and bracelet, Essie nails in Wicked

There's something about dressing professionally that has always made me nervous -- see my traumatic suit shopping experience. As I've started interning, however, business casual and I have become good friends -- especially when I'm in one of my favorite dresses, tights, and a charming pair of booties. I love this subtle herringbone print, the seaming, and perfect pleats, and have fallen even more in love with this frock since I started styling it with my favorite bright belts for an unexpected shot of color.

Wishing you all a fab weekend -- and don't forget to enter my Marc Jacobs giveaway!
xo Josie

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

obsessed -- mason by michelle mason.
COVETING: Kate Spade Call to Action Terry; $248
"Mildly obsessed" doesn't even begin to describe my feelings for this bag. From the design to the slogan, everything about it is so perfect for me. The contrasting handles and dipped-style bottom are too pretty. It's big and roomy -- perfect to use as a carry-on -- and I firmly believe that if everyone followed its advice, the world would be a seriously better place.

My serious addiction to pieces that perfectly juxtapose toughness and femininity is well-documented here -- and when I find a designer that does this beautifully, I fall in love immediately. Mason by Michelle Mason is just such a line. The pieces are always tailored to perfection and she combines soft shapes so beautifully with modern details. Is anyone else drooling?

Mason by Michelle Mason Leather Bustier DressMason by Michelle Mason Leather Bustier Dress; $562
There's something about this dress that simply draws me in. Whether it's the perfectly-contrasting neutral bodice and skirt, the sweetheart neckline, or the elastic side splits, it's nothing short of perfection. And the fact that the skirt is twill and bodice is leather -- well, a great textural contrast is icing on the cake, as far as I'm concerned.
Mason by Michelle Mason Dolman Sleeve Dress; $363
The colorblocking on this frock is what really does it for me: the nude and black make for a killer contrast. I'm also in love with the hemline and the fantastic difference between the light, floaty top and fitted skirt. Juxtaposition at its best.

Mason by Michelle Mason Asymmetrical Dress
Mason by Michelle Mason Asymmetrical Dress in Red (also in Yellow); $374
Showing off the line's softer side, this pretty dress is the perfect all-season look. I love that the bare shoulder would make it spring-appropriate while the single long sleeve and bright red shade make it an ideal Valentine's frock. Even better, it works as the perfect blank canvas: changing jewelry and adding different belts would make all the difference.
Mason by Michelle Mason Strappy Dress; $429
There's so much going on with this dress: the neckline, the straps, the peplum, the exposed back zipper -- it could easily start to feel cluttered. However, this isn't the case. Each detail works with the others in harmony to create a look that's clean, chic, and tough without being scary. Brilliant.

What are YOU obsessed with right now? And don't forget to enter my Marc Jacobs giveaway!
xo Josie
Thanks to Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Revolve Clothing for the photos.

Monday, January 23, 2012

anniversary giveaway -- marc jacobs wallet.

In case you missed Friday's post, I celebrated my two-year blog anniversary over the weekend! I can't possibly thank you all enough for your love and support over these years, but I can certainly try my hardest by giving away this pretty brown Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet to one of my fabulous readers!

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.

All entries MUST be in by 11:59 PM eastern time on Sunday, January 31. will help me select a winner, to be announced on Monday, February 1.

For extra entries (let me know in your comment):

Like "with a wink and a smile" on my Facebook page (2 entries)
Follow "with a wink and a smile" (@winksmilestyle) on Twitter (2 entries)
Blog/tweet about this giveaway (1 entry)

Good luck to all who enter -- I can't wait to see who wins!
xo Josie

Friday, January 20, 2012

two years.

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of With a Wink and a Smile. This blog has become such a huge part of my life over the past two years and I've loved sharing them with every single one of my readers and fellow bloggers. I've had such incredible opportunities and met so many fantastic people. But most of all, I can't adequately express how much all of your support and love has meant to me -- so here's to many more. Cheers, my dears.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

get the look -- oxford shirts.
ATTAINABLE: Kimchi Blue Paperbag Trouser in Brown (also in Washed Black, Black Multi, and Green); $59
I love, love paperbag shapes; however, I find that they're often unflattering -- especially in pants. However, this cropped pair by Kimchi Blue may have totally stolen my heart. I love the length, the cuff, and the forgiving pleats, and the waist is truly fantastic. Better, they come in a bevy of shades that would be perfect for work or play this spring.

I'm all about the classics. Whether it's a great pair of trouser jeans or the perfect little black dress, as far as I'm concerned, you can never substitute for a great piece that will last forever. However, that's not to say that I'm not a big fan of new twists on old favorites. Enter: the classic oxford shirt. A simple collared button-down will never go out of style; however, I love the fresh takes on the look that are out there right now -- and there's one for every price range to boot.
DEAL: Gap Polka Dot Shirt in Orange Dot (also in Pink Dot); $49.95
What I love most about this shirt is its deceptive simplicity. The tiny polka-dot pattern is so subtle that it can barely be seen from a distance; however, up close, it's super fun and adorable. Even better, because the print is so soft, it's easy to pair with other prints -- I'm thinking stripes in a similar color palette.

Tory Burch Mora Blouse with Crochet Back
EXTRAVAGANCE: Tory Burch Mora Blouse with Crochet Back; $395
I want. So badly. This chic Tory Burch button-down is such a fun take on the classic oxford. The red print is pretty and the touches of crochet at the placket (love the collarless neckline) and cuffs are fabulous. And, of course, the crochet back is truly to die for. This would be incredible with a pencil skirt and cardigan now (to be taken off when you leave the office, of course) or denim shorts and flat sandals come spring.
DEAL: Blue Bird Floral Print Button Down; $40
As far as I'm concerned, you can never go wrong with a breezy floral button-down. This one is dark enough to be perfect for winter but not so heavy that it will become obsolete come spring. Perfect now with dark denim and trousers, it will pair beautifully with flouncy skirts come warmer weather.
EXTRAVAGANCE: J. Crew Selvedge Chambray Shirt; $98
When it comes to the perfect chambray button-down, J. Crew has it wired. I've searched high and low for the best one, and J. Crew's classic take is by far my favorite. This one is just faded enough, and the sleeves are perfectly rollable. This is the perfect all-season top, as far as I'm concerned.

How are YOU wearing oxford shirts right now?
xo Josie
Thanks to Urban Outfitters, Gap, Shopbop, Alainn Bella, and J. Crew for the photos.

Monday, January 16, 2012

pretty things -- bright blazers.
COVETING: Madewell Something Else by Natalie Wood Dream Dress; $216
I'm obsessed with this Madewell collection. Obsessed. And this dress is just so charming that I find it impossible to resist. The color, to begin with, is simply phenomenal. It's so bright and punchy without feeling intrusive. I love the sweet, ladylike shape (that swingy skirt, the high neck, the short sleeves), and the length is perfection. Best of all, of course, is the surprise in the back. I love leaving an impression as I walk away.

There's little that I love more than a great blazer. Structured and fitted or loose and boyfriend-style, they add instant flair to any outfit. With gray skies and dreary days ahead for the next few months, I've been absolutely adoring bright jackets as a fun way to add a shot of life to any look. Whether with skinny jeans and a simple white tank for days running errands, over a dress with tights and booties for evening, or teamed with a pencil skirt for work, these fun jackets are the perfect way to bring a little extra color into your life this winter.

A.L.C. Jude Blazer
A. L. C. Jude Blazer; $660
Mustard is one of my all-time favorite colors to wear in the wintertime. It's bright without being overwhelming and I absolutely ADORE it paired with dark denim; it's one of my all-time favorite combinations. In a simple, clean shape, this jacket is a perfect staple that will carry beautifully into spring.
Elizabeth and James Sue Blazer in Poppy (also in Navy); $445
When you're already wearing a bright shade, adding too many quirky details can begin to be a bit much. However, this darling Elizabeth and James blazer nails it. The double-breasted detail is perfectly nautical and the buttons on the sleeves are too cute. I love the nipped-in waist that would make for a gorgeous silhouette with skinny jeans and boots.

Rebecca Minkoff Becky Jacket
Rebecca Minkoff Becky Jacket; $328
I think I may have a new favorite color. How amazing is this shade of electric teal? And the jacket itself is phenomenal. I love the drapey shape, and the option to close the single button is brilliant. How fantastic would this be draped over a little black dress, paired with sky-high nude pumps for evening?
J. Crew Vintage Tweed Jacket in Mustard (also in Deep Navy and Burnt Caramel); sale (now) $159.99
I know, I know -- more mustard. But this jacket is seriously the new love of my life. Every detail, from the buttons to the pockets to the cuffs, is pure, J. Crew-esque brilliance. The slightly boxy shape is perfect for pairing with jeans or a pencil skirt, and I think it would look adorable with an oxford shirt layered underneath.

Are YOU wearing bright blazers this winter?
xo Josie
Thanks to Madewell, Shopbop, Neiman Marcus, and J. Crew for the photos.

Friday, January 13, 2012

good enough to eat -- chocolate-covered cherries.

My mom has a total addiction to chocolate-covered cherries. Each Christmas, she receives boxes of cordials. This year, I elected to make a homemade batch (using this recipe) for her in lieu of hitting Walgreen's for her stocking stuffer. I started a bit late: these cherries require one to two weeks of time for the fondant center to liquify in order to achieve the proper consistency. Though I gifted these after only a week, we couldn't wait to dive into a few and they tasted truly amazing. They get even better as they age, though -- my mom recently called to inform me that they're completely liquified now and are the juiciest, tastiest chocolate-covered confections she's ever tasted, making the slightly labor-intensive (though not difficult) process totally worth it.

Wishing you all a weekend full of tasty treats!
xo Josie

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

tips and tricks -- mastering the half-tuck.
ATTAINABLE: Old Navy Women's Wool-Blend Cropped Jacket in Camel (also in Navy); sale (now) $39
Apparently it's time to start thinking about spring -- at least, that's what the retailers would have you believe as coat and jacket prices are slashed. However, I have a solid three months to go before I'll be ready to shed my winter coat, meaning that this is prime time to snap up a new one. I love this chic little cropped version from Old Navy: it's a wool blend and sure to be warm, the color is versatile, and the shape is fun without being too trendy. Brilliant.

Revolutionized by J. Crew, the half-tuck is a trick that I haven't quite mastered. It's a chic way to add a little shape to a slouchy look, show off a great belt, or add some visual interest to an otherwise bland midsection of an outfit and gives off the casual-but-pulled-together vibe that I find myself trying constantly (and in vain) to copy perfectly. And doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose? Regardless, I'm truly smitten with the look and love how it's adaptable to all kinds of different pieces and situations.
This look represents the classic rendition of the half-tuck: a simple button-down with one tail tucked in, layered under a perfectly preppy blazer. I love that this is a little slouchy but still looks clean.
The half-tuck goes professional in a relaxed way here, as a cozy sweater is tucked into a chic, sleek pencil skirt. Without the added attention to tucking the sweater, the proportions in this outfit would undoubtedly raise some eyebrows: the half-tuck pulls it all together beautifully.
Here, the half-tuck serves perfectly to show off the bow-style belt on these gorgeous pants. I can completely picture this looking fantastic with a pair of sky-high heels and piled-on jewelry as a pulled-together evening look.

Have YOU managed to master the half-tuck?
xo Josie
Thanks to Old Navy and J. Crew for the photos.

Monday, January 9, 2012

inspiration -- feathers.

Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Green and Navy - 14"
COVETING: Cambridge Satchel Company Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Green and Navy -- 14"; $184.99
I have a serious satchel addiction. The Cambridge Satchel Company has truly stolen my heart. Although a more neutral shade would undoubtedly be more prudent (I do love this brown-and-cream one), I can't help myself from drooling over the bright pinks, oranges, and yellows -- such a great way to add a shot of color in a fun, preppy way. I love the bold kelly green and navy shades of this two-tone one and am sure that it would hold the ridiculous amount of stuff that I carry around with me every day.

I find feathers to be particularly intriguing in fashion because they can have so many different vibes. They invoke a bohemian sensibility when worn in jewelry and as a print but can look incredibly glamorous when added to the skirt of a cocktail dress. They're pretty and feminine but stop short of feeling overly soft. And, of course, there's a fine line between chic feathers and ones that make you look like a parrot. I find that simple, luxurious feathered details in neutral shades help you to stay on the good side of that particular line.

inspiration -- feathers.

What's inspiring YOU today?
xo Josie
Thanks to Modcloth and Pinterest for the photos.

Friday, January 6, 2012

get the look -- leather-touched dresses.

ATTAINABLE: Gap Bow-Back Ballet Flats; sale (now) $34.99
I'm always a fan of a great pair of flats, and these pretty little Gap ones take the cake. I love the soft-looking leather and perfect dove gray color. And of course the bow on the back is simply adorable. It would be a crime for it to be hidden, so these would be perfect with a pair of rolled-up boyfriend jeans or scrunched-up skinnies, but even better paired with opaque tights and a darling dress.

Dresses have become a true passion of mine only in the past few years -- and I've definitely been making up for lost time. When winter rolls around and luxe fabrics are the best way to stay warm and still look fabulous, I admittedly miss my favorite cotton sundresses -- but the frock fun doesn't have to end when the weather turns dreary. Dresses with touches of leather are seasonally appropriate without being too intimidating (although I desperately wish that I could pull off an all-leather shift like Jennifer Aniston), and even less-expensive options that don't look cheap are available.
EXTRAVAGANCE: Mason by Michelle Mason Leather Tank Dress; sale (now) $370
Everything about this dress is great: the leather tank-style top that fits beautifully, the ladylike miniskirt with a single pleat and perfectly flirty, slightly A-line silhouette, the scoop neckline... Michelle Mason has outdone herself, and I love that this would be perfect with either bare legs or opaque tights.
DEAL: Vero Moda Faux Leather Skirt Dress; sale (now) $32.72
What I think I love most about this dress is that though the skirt is not only fitted but also faux, it doesn't look cheap. When part of a one-piece dress with a blousy black top, the fabric definitely looks luxe. And, even better, the price is most definitely right.

Alice + Olivia Tamira Leather Bustier Dress
EXTRAVAGANCE: Alice + Olivia Tamira Leather Bustier Dress; $596
This dress needs to find its way into my closet immediately. The contrast between the sharp leather bustier and the soft, ladylike mesh pleated skirt is truly stunning, and the bodice is tailored to perfection. The perfect cocktail dress, this frock would be absolutely killer with a pair of bright pumps and chandelier earrings.

Madewell Leather Trim Attache Dress
DEAL: Madewell Leather Trim Attache Dress; $158
Though this dress is only tinged with leather, it totally satisfies my craving for a bit of extra luxury in an everyday frock. The touches of leather on the cuffs and pocket are perfect to make this little wool dress unique, and I'm OBSESSED with the shirttail hem. Such a perfect look for running weekend errands when paired with boots or flats or for work when belted and worn with tights and pumps.

How are YOU wearing leather this winter?
xo Josie
Thanks to Gap, RevolveClothing, ASOS, and Shopbop for the photos.