Accessories are the Unsung Heroes of the Holidays

Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom

The holiday season begins this week with Thanksgiving. Remember this: do not overlook the one thing that can be the difference between an almost-perfect outfit, and perfection. The way I see it – an accessory is the unsung hero of the holidays. Subtle yet essential. It has that x-factor; that special touch that elevates any outfit to another level. When we think about dressing for a holiday we spend so much time choosing the major pieces that we may miss the smaller things: a bag, a statement pin, a necklace, a ring, a dressy stocking – all, accessories. I love to mix high and low – dressy with casual. There is nothing wrong with wearing a sparkly earring with a casual jean. Or, on the other hand, wearing that same earring with an elegant dress because more is always good, too. During the holidays, It’s about giving yourself options, elevating the ordinary, and feeling your most glamorous self. Yes, accessories are the unsung heroes!

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Before you Hit the Stores, Accessorize!

One of the best ways to extend your wardrobe and keep from over-shopping is to add new accessories to the classic pieces you already own. Each variation creates a new look and extends the life of the clothes you own. Not to mention having the chance to appreciate clothes that you may have overlooked. Before you hit the stores, accessorize!

Blouse, Michael Kors, assorted accessories

Photos by Kendra Olson

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Fall is the Time to Accessorize

Fall is time to accessorize!

Fall is the time to accessorize!

Fall is the time to accessorize and elevate your look. Seasonal outfits look better with plush accessories and heavier fabrics of the season like fringe and suede work well as added touches. I like to pull out my chocolate brown bead necklace in the fall for added texture to any and all of my outfits – from jeans and a sweater to a printed dress or skirt. I found this at my favorite consignment shop, where I often find one-of-a-kind treasures. Pull out your accessories and add lift to whatever you are wearing this fall.

Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom

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Today I have the luck of the Irish

IMG_5635IMG_5647Today I feel the luck of the Irish; enjoying a sunny day in my favorite New York City neighborhood. It doesn’t get any better than this. I wish us all the luck of the Irish.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Photos by Lisa Reznik

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The best gifts are the ones made by hand

Optimized-IMGP0256No question that the best gifts are the ones made by hand. My friend Alexandra made me a knit scarf for the holidays. She was very sneaky about it; asking me first, what colors I like to wear around my face. My answer, by the way, is red – always – bright, cherry red! And I have been wearing it ever since. Especially wonderful, since I and most of the country got blasted this week by a wave of arctic air. What did they call it? A Polar Vortex? OMG! A homemade knit scarf, sweater, hat or gloves are always the warmest. My homemade scarf kept the sub-zero temps away from my face and looked oh-so-chic at the same time.

Photos and scarf by Alexandra

My cherry-red handmade scarf

My cherry-red handmade scarf

 

 

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Men in Red Pants

The man in the heather purple suit, Fifth Avenue

The man in the heather-purple suit, Fifth Avenue

A few months ago, Kevyn at Prada, told me that, for the first time, more men than women are coming in to shop. He told me “they are looking for something new and are not afraid to try new things and experiment. It used to be the opposite …” ~ Kevyn

Ingrid Steffensen has been keeping an eye on the New York City streets and is seeing exactly what Kevyn is seeing. I am grateful to Ingrid for being my eyes and ears in the city. Here is Ingrid’s story about: The Men in Red Pants (and Green, and Orange, and Purple, and …)

With our daughter studying abroad for a year, my husband and I are trying out a year of living in New York City. We have temporarily left our charming three-bedroom suburban house in New Jersey and we’re renting a tiny Manhattan apartment in the Flatiron District. Is this as fun as it sounds? I’m sorry to have to say – yes, yes it is. After sixteen years in New Jersey, I’m having the time of my life soaking up the city – so much to see, so much to do! One of the most fun things is keeping an eye out for what everybody is wearing. And do you know my conclusion? Right now it’s the boys who are more interesting to watch! Continue reading

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Back in black

IMGP1191Autumn’s here and what do I do? Return to my basic black. This is not to say that I don’t love wearing color, but usually the color pops against black. And there is nothing quite like black when the weather cools and the crisp autumn air rolls in. Today I am wearing black faux leather pants and coat, both by Calvin Klein, a black v-neck sweater and black pumps (Kate Young for Target). My pop of color: a leopard bag that I found at my favorite consignment shop.

It feels good to be back in black.

Photos by Alexandra

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Loving leopard

ROAR! Wearing my G by Giuliana Rancic Leopard Ponte dress

ROAR! Wearing my G by Giuliana Rancic Leopard Ponte dress

A simple black heel downplays the fitted fit of the dress

A simple black heel downplays the fitted silhouette of the dress

Does it seem to you, too, that leopard is a huge fashion presence this fall? Animal prints have always been a staple in the transition season but this year we are ROARING with animal magnetism. Just ask Katy Perry! The key to wearing animal prints successfully is to do it sparingly as touches to your outfits and not overwhelm yourself with too much print at one time. Think of accessorizing with animal prints: shoes, clutches, blouses, jewelry … or perhaps this exquisite dress from G by Giuliana Rancic for HSN (which happens to be on sale!).

I love leopard prints. When I saw Giuliana Rancic recently on HSN I was mesmerized not only by her personality but by her design sense. She spoke so charmingly about her Italian father, Eduardo DePandi, who happens to be a master tailor. Continue reading

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Five days of denim: Day One

Day One - wearing my Mavi jeans

Day One – wearing my Mavi jeans

I love denim. It is by far my favorite way to dress – a pair of jeans with a tee or a blazer or  sweater feels most like me. Considering how much joy I experience when I try on a cowboy hat or cowboy boots I would have to say that in my heart I am a cowboy. I own five pairs of jeans. Crazy? Well, yes. But I rationalize it by telling myself that I wear different styles for my lifestyle and wardrobe needs. One pair for every day of the week, in fact. So I decided it was time for me to do an experiment: five days of denim. Over the next five days I will wear a different pair of my jeans – and if you pick up a styling tip or two during the week my efforts will have been worth it.

Day One: My favorite jeans are my Mavi distressed boot-leg jean for their ease, comfort and fit. I think boot-leg are the most flattering. Continue reading

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My Italian Scarf

My Italian scarf

My Italian scarf

Clothes tell a story and are part of our collective history and culture. You may think a scarf is just a scarf, but if that scarf is from Italy it represents so much more. A scarf is a piece of Italian thousand-year history that carries tremendous meaning. Because in Italy, a country whom many consider to be the home of Catholicism, it is a traditional element worn in church as a symbol of humility in front of God. And it’s not just Catholicism: all religions share a scarf tradition. The scarf is worn in churches and temples and mosques.

What many tourists don’t understand is that a church is not a museum or just any building: it is a sanctuary and a place of worship with a dress code that should be followed.

Scarves are everywhere in modern-day Italy. This tradition has evolved into a fashion statement while at the same time never losing its original intention. My friend Myriam just returned from Italy and brought back a scarf for me from Milan. This one simple accessory is telling a huge story …

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