Friday Frocks: Sweater Weather

By |September 19th, 2014|Friday Frocks, Why Did You Wear That?|

fall sweater dressBeing someone who typically favors skin grazing frocks and tops only slightly larger than sportsbras, it may come as quite a surprise that one of my favorite parts of cooler weather has absolutely nothing to do with pumpkin spice anything and a whole lot to do with slipping into a cozy, cuddly, oftentimes oversized sweater dress.

This is not the first time I’ve dedicated a Friday Frocks to sweater dressing and I can promise you, as it’s only mid-September, it won’t be the last.  Knit dresses are the perfect way to transition from chilly fall days to frosty winter evenings.  When the thermostat starts to head below 60, wear your knitwear with over the knee boots and toss on a leather jacket.  As the biting temperatures of winter arrive, layer your frock over patterned tights or a pair of complementary knit leggings (another really big trend for fall).  I may be the only one, but all I want to do is hug myself when wearing a soft cashmere sweater and fortunately, I’m quite flexible, so it’s entirely doable.  But seriously, if you see me in the street wearing a sweater dress, hugs are welcome.

sweater dresses1. Just Female Link Roll Neck Sweater Dress, 2. Red Valentino Long Sleeve Sweater Dress, 3. Matthew Williamson Merino Wool Mini Dress, 4. Rachel Pally Sleeveless Turtleneck Dress, 5. BB Dakota Dakota Collective Lara Sweater Dress, 6. Vince Sweater Dress, 7. T by Alexander Wang Mohair Tunic Dress, 8. Haute Hippie Slouchy Collar Dress, 9. Eternal Sunshine Creations Georgia Mini Dress, 10. Bella Freud Three Way Color Block Wool Mini Dress





Image originally published here.  Photo courtesy of Living The Dream Blog

Why Did You Wear That: Your Fall Fashion Survival Guide

By |September 18th, 2014|Why Did You Wear That?|

fall shopping guideFirst and foremost, you’re welcome…  And I’m sorry.  You’re welcome because I’ve spent a great deal of time finding all of fall’s very best options to ensure that you’ve got each and every one of this fall’s biggest fashion trends at your fingertips.  I’ve basically contracted carpal tunnel from all of the clicking, coding, copying, and pasting of product, but not severe enough that I can’t sip red wine while I write this.

I’m sorry for doing such a thorough job that you’re sure to be able to easily spend a month’s salary or more stocking up on your fall wardrobe refresh.  Just remember, it’s good for the economy.

When I first started seeing stores displaying their autumnal wares, it was still a sweltering 90 degrees and I couldn’t be bothered browsing.  However, as the temperature started to dip and I began to grow bored of baring all my skin, the cozy knits, oversized coats, and overtly luxurious look this fall brings got me wishing for the next polar vortex.

Sure, sweaters are always fall staples, but this season’s are much chunkier, more textured, and come in all lengths from cropped to tunics.  Wear them in fall’s favored colors consisting of gray, scarlet, cobalt, and any shade of candy colored pastel.  These shades carry over to other trends including mid calf length hemlines, long line vests, sixties shaped shifts, and folk inspired frocks.  Men may loathe leopard (as we recently realized), but it’s quite strong this season and if you aren’t feeling bold enough to wear it in a bomber, try it as a statement accessory.  Speaking of fur, this must be the year of the Muppet, but if you can’t stomach the price tag (or the use of) real fur, there are some really beautiful faux options that are both animal and wallet friendly.  Whether you opt for fluffy, colored, fuzzy, or something in shearling to weather the winter, you’ll certainly be warmer for it.  When looking to add a bit of bling, opt for silver as it’s been used as embellishments on coats and knits as well as woven into rich fabrics.  If you’re up for a bit of pattern play, geometric shapes and fairisle intarsias are leading the charge.

Fortunately, this fall’s trends easily translate from one to another and also play off one another seamlessly.  You can effortlessly cover two trends at once by purchasing a pastel vest or a grey faux fur coat.  Be creative.  Be bold.  But be this fall’s all-embracing look of luxe.

Gray Area:

fall fashion trends 2014 grayAlexander Wang Reversible Wool Blend Coat, Theory Ulana Ribbed Stretch Wool Blend Midi Dress, Slim Knit Pencil Skirt, Issa Robin Oversized Wool Blend Coat, Opening Ceremony Zip Detailed Ribbed Wool Sweater Dress

Leopards Don’t Change Their Spots:

fall 2014 leopard printElizabeth and James Leopard Print Boyfriend Cardigan, MICHAEL Michael Kors Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat, Moschino Cheap and Chic Leopard Print Crepe Mini Dress, DKNY Leopard Print Faux Fur Bomber Jacket, Moschino Cheap and Chic Cropped Leopard Print Stretch Cotton Pants

Tangled Up in Blue:

fall 2014 trends fashionDiane von Furstenberg Wrap Effect Satin Jersey Dress, 3.1 Phillip Lim Draped Silk Blend Twill Pants, Kenzo Appliquéd Cotton Jersey and Twill Sweatshirt, Roland Mouret Drymus Wool Crepe Coat, Opening Ceremony Zip Detailed Ribbed Wool Mini Skirt

Silver Baller:

fall 2014 trendsMcQ Alexander McQueen Paillette Embellished Wool Sweater Dress, MSGM Silver Lamé Skirt, Cédric Charlier Silk Blend Lamé Dress, By Malene Birger Zio Sequined Turtleneck Top, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Isolation Metallic Snake Jacquard Skirt

Psychedelic Hotline:

fall 2014 trends printValentino Circle Intarsia Wool Sweater, Lulu & Co Cropped Printed Crepe Slim Leg Pants, Milly Jacquard Mini Dress, J.W. Anderson Floral Merino Wool Sweater, M Missoni Intarsia Crochet Kint Mini Skirt

Long Term In-Vest-ment:

fall fashion trends long vestTopshop Unique Sleeveless Wool Blend Coat, OAK Wool Blend Vest, Shearling Vest, Helmut Lang Textured Cotton Blend Vest, Marissa Webb Celia Long Vest

Scarlet Fever:

fall fashion trends 2014 scarlettTailored Coat, Helmut Lang Turtleneck Tank, Equipment Asher Cashmere Sweater, Altuzarra for Target Embroidered Pleated Georgette Dress, Maison Kisuné New Skinny Mid Rise Jeans

The Shearling:

fall 2014 fashion trendsIsabel Marant Étoile Shearling Collar Leather Benny Moto Jacket, MiH Jeans Larking Reversible Shearling Biker Jacket, Topshop Unique Shearling and Twill Coat, Ravn Shearling Vest, MSGM Faux Shearling Coat

Midi Terms:

midi length fall 2014 trendsNicholas Felted Wool Flare Skirt, Saloni Apsara Printed Satin Jersey Dress, Milly Floral Lace Midi Skirt, Michael Kors Satin Midi Dress, Enzo Costa Ribbed Maxi Dress

Pastel Princess:

A.L.C. Covington Ribbed Cropped Sweater, TOME Crepe Dress, Roksanda Ilincic Cambray Wool Felt Vest, Elizabeth and James Shalene Cut Out Zipper Dress, Tibi Katia Cotton and Silk Blend Faille Skirt

Keep Your Knits About You:

chunky knits fall 2014Thakoon Addition Ribbed Cashmere Poncho, Helmut Lang Honeycomb Knit Sweater, Helmut Lang Venerred Angora Zip Cardi, Acne Studios Mist Leopard Intarsia Knitted Sweater, Timo Weiland Moto Sleeve Cable Knit Sweater

Folk Alluring:

fall 2014 fashion folkAnhha Appliqué Short Jacket, AIMO RICHLY Angora and Wool Blend Sweater Dress, J Brand Kasia Knitted Sweater, Coach Printed Silk Crepe de Chine Mini Dress, Vineet Bahl Lace Embroidered Chiffon and Tulle Tunic,

Fur Sure:

fur fall fashion 2014Adrienne Landau Raccoon Fur/Leather Jacket, Anna Sui Ombré Faux Fur Coat, Yves Salomon Rex Rabbit Car Coat, Barney’s New York Rabbit Fur Chubby, Shrimps Mabel Colorblock Faux Fur Coat




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Setting the Mood: Ski Bunny

By |January 22nd, 2013|Setting the Mood|

sundance ski styleHere’s one for ya: I’ve never been skiing… or snowboarding.  Ever. I am, however, pretty sweet on a pair of ice skates.  But apparently winter sports are a “thing.”  Physical exertion in below freezing temperatures with the risk of bodily injury seems to get some people’s adrenaline going.  I’m not here to judge, but if you’re looking for me, it won’t be on the bunny slopes.  Instead you’ll find me in the lodge sipping a hot toddy getting a foot rub from that cute ski instructor, Steve.  Perhaps that’s why some folks put themselves through all of the swooshing and sliding down the side of a mountain: for the afterparty.  We all know afterparties are where it’s at.  Why else do you think they came up with the name, “apres ski?”  And while I’ve already cut to the chase and am three hot chocolates in, you’re going to need to slip into something cozy chic for your fireside recovery.  The look is cabin casual.

apres ski accessoriesEugenia Kim Wool and Cashmere Beanie, $185, Zoe Karssen Fun Sweatshirt, $95, Plush Fair Isle Trim Leggings, $75, Sorel Tofino Waterproof Boots, $150

To be clear, leggings are still not pants.  Not even on the side of a mountain.



Guest Post: Look to the Stars

By |December 15th, 2011|Guest Blogger|

Celebrities are always a step ahead of the game when it comes to hairstyles and fashion, thanks to free “samples” from designers, so it makes sense to look to those in the spotlight for up and coming trends.  Whether you’re looking for the perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve or just adding a few items to your wardrobe, take a look at these five trends celebs have been seen sporting lately.

1. Jewel Tones

Rich, vibrant, saturated colors have been seen on everything lately – from eyelids  to clothing, and even nail polish.  Need a little inspiration?  Browse through your grandma’s jewelry collection and draw ideas from your favorite pieces.  Does the richness of the ruby catch your attention?  Or perhaps the deep, dark shine of the sapphire?  Find the color that speaks to you and make a bold statement by incorporating it into your apparel.

Jewel-toned eye makeup is making a major comeback as well.  The bold look adds drama to the eye, with a smoky application of the rich, pigmented colors.  Emerald green specifically, has been touted as the season’s “it” eye accent color.  Pair it with a dark crimson lip color and you’ll be the hit of your next holiday party.

2. Animal Prints

Though animal print may be considered “tacky” to some, it’s back with a vengeance.  Leopard print is particularly hot and can be found on anything from apparel, to tights, and even shoes. Celebrities have recently been seen wearing the stylish prints on the red carpet, at parties, and even in their casual everyday wear.  Adding a pop of animal print does wonders for an otherwise drab outfit. Just make sure to use animal print responsibly – overdoing it can take you from fashionista to fashion disaster very quickly.

3. Autumnal Tones

Earthy colors are on the rise this season, inspired by the warm, spicy palette of fall.  Mustard yellow is a current favorite, and celebrities are particularly loving cardigans and other knits in the vintage hue.  Adding a scarf or handbag in the color will instantly put you at the top of the trends.  Embrace the retro vibe the deep shade of yellow brings by trying pin curls on your hair or wearing red lipstick on your pout.  Spicy shades of red, sunset orange, cinnamon, and yellow-greens are all excellent choices.

4. Faux Fur

That’s right, fur is back, but not in the head-to-toe, Cruella DeVille sort of way.  Instead, it’s appearing on vests, coat collars, gloves, and hats.  Fur adds an air of cold-weather charm, while keeping the iconic look of wealth.  Pair a furry accessory with jeans and a simple tee to create an appealing mixture of retro and glam.

5. Fair Isle

This traditional knit stems from a small island north of Scotland.  Once again the trend is nothing new, but rather a resurgence of an age old fashion. We’ve been seeing this type of sweater in ski shops and woodsy towns for years, but only recently did it make its way mainstream. Try layering the rustic sweater over a collared dress shirt. The juxtaposition of contrasting styles works together to create a high-fashion ensemble.  The look works for males, females, children, and even the occasional pooch. Wear this Scandinavian-style sweater with some lace-up snow boots to complete the look.

Follow this five simple trends and you’ll be looking like a star in no time.




About the Author:  Lisa is an avid yoga enthusiast who enjoys writing in her spare time for Usdirect.com.

Why Did You Wear That: Fair Well, My Friend.

By |September 29th, 2010|Why Did You Wear That?|


So, here’s your mini history lesson for the day, fair isle is a knitting technique used to create patterns using different colors. The technique is named after a small island off the coast of Scotland and became popular after the Prince of Wales sported the knitted vests all the way back in 1921. See? So much smarter and you’re only two sentences in!

I remember sitting in a design meeting two years ago discussing fairisle… so I’m happy to see that it eventually caught on to the masses. While this style probably used to remind you of your grandmother, it is so far from frumpy.

haute2053722881_p1_v1_m56577569832049871_254x500Haute Hippie Fairisle Sweater, $495

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 4.44.52 PMTopshop Knitted Fairisle Cardigan, $110

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 4.48.58 PMWhistles Suki Fairisle Knitted Sweater, $143.23

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 5.10.55 PMMarc by Marc Jacobs Buzzy Fairisle Cardigan, $278

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 5.13.40 PMWilster Patterned Cardigan, $242

Screen shot 2010-09-29 at 5.16.06 PMRalph Lauren Wool-Cashmere Cardigan, $465

80355013-01Forever21 Chunky Knit Ski Sweater, $29.80