Thursday, September 30, 2010

Into the Wild

Perhaps one of the more unexpected parts of this weekend's zoo adventure was the wardrobe inspiration in each of the exhibits. No, I'm not talking about this fall's fur trend. Instead, I'm referring to Mother Nature's impeccable patterns - and no one does a pattern better than she, except for maybe Diane von Furstenberg. However, I'll be the first to admit that linking buffalo to buffalo plaid (above) may be a bit of stretch.

Stand Tall

Dress: Sass & Bide ($160.08); Pillow: Barneys New York ($165); Bracelet: Just Cavalli ($175); Bag: Cappelli ($32)

Show Your Stripes

Shoes: Michael by Michael Kors ($280.50); Watch: Michael Kors ($195); Dress: Diane von Furstenberg ($385); Belt: Raina ($210)

Formal Affair

Blazer: 3.1 Phillip Lim ($725); Dress: Tibi ($172.50); Ring: ($30); Pillow: Thomas Paul ($70)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wild America

{I have an affinity for badgers thanks to my alma mater: University of Wisconsin-Madison.}

After waking up to 37 degree temperatures this week, I think it's safe to say that summer has flown the coop - or at least migrated to California. In a desperate attempt to salvage the season, we went on an outing to my favorite part of Madison: the Henry Vilas Zoo. I hadn't intended to don a coat, but the crisp air made wearing a mere sweater dress impossible. To be fair, however, the coat is one of my favorite sartorial items - especially when it causes men to fondly reminisce about vintage hunting jackets.

Outfit Notes: Coat-Gap; Dress-H&M; Necklace-Forever21; Tights-Simply Vera Vera Wang; Shoes-Banana Republic; Bag-Rebecca Minkoff

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise starting from upper left)

J.Crew, Bettina Cami, $19.99 (on sale)
ASOS, Organic-Shaped Stone Studs, $13.48
ModCloth, Your Nature Necklace, $16.99
Forever21, Sequined Tote Bag, $10.50
Anthropologie, Peacock Dinnerware, $14-20

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Seasonal Transition

Last week was an absolute whirlwind at work. However, as an event manager, I certainly can't complain when my late nights are filled with name tags, guest lists and floral arrangements! Wednesday's executive-level networking event had record attendance - and, honestly, I couldn't have been more relieved when it was over. I celebrated the success by picking up a sartorial item that's well-suited for my fantasy life. You know, the one where I jet set to exotic locations donned in a bikini, oversize sunglasses, and a silk caftan fluttering in the breeze. Of course, Wisconsin's autumnal wind is there to snap me back to harsh reality. So, I did the only think I could think of: channel Rachel Zoe's 1970s aesthetic to make the piece seasonally appropriate.

Outfit Notes: Michael by Michael Kors Caftan; Joe's Jeans Denim; House of Harlow Bangle; Banana Republic Bracelet; Vintage Necklace from my grandmother; Ring courtesy of Shop the Look; Guess Shoes

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Modcloth, Plum Role Dress, $49.99
Kate Spade, Queen Bee Hairgrips, $27 (on sale)
Banana Republic, Cabernet Ring, $49.50
Bumper, Urban Peep-Toe Pump, $39.99
Hive and Honey, Gold Stud Earrings, $22
Michael by Michael Kors, Leather Coin Purse, $26.10 (on sale)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Giveaway: Acanthus Necklace

I know, it was a little unfair for me to taunt you with the promise of a giveaway in the previous post, but good things come to those who wait ... right? One Style Obsession reader will win a Gemma Necklace or a Large Gemma Necklace, courtesy of Acanthus in the color of her choice.

The Details
Open to readers with a United States mailing address. The entry period runs through Friday, October 1. The winner will be announced the following day.

For One Entry
Visit Acanthus and let me know what your favorite piece is. You must leave your e-mail address or blog URL so I can get in touch with you if you win.

For Additional Entries
Leave a separate comment for each of the following:
  • Follow Style Obsession via Google Friend Connect (leave a separate comment saying you "follow")
  • Blog about this giveaway (please provide link in a separate comment)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (please provide link in a separate comment)
20% off for Style Obsession readers: If you fall in love with another piece of Nichole's work, she has generously offered to give Style Obsession readers 20% off! Just enter the code "OBSESS" at checkout to apply the discount. (And get some early holiday shopping taken care of at the same time!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Three Times a Lady

When Nichole of Acanthus offered to send me one of her signature Gemma necklaces, it was the perfect inspiration to transform J.Crew's ikat bustier dress from an edgy cocktail look into ladylike daytime attire.

Each piece of Acanthus' jewelry is handmade with natural, semi-precious stones and 14k gold fill wire, chain and beads. Choosing gold accentuates the color of the gemstones and lends an old-world opulence to the collection.

I chose the necklace in smoky quartz to coordinate with vintage pieces I adore, but it wasn't an easy choice. There's a rainbow of stones to choose from and each Gemma necklace either comes with a 16", 18" or 20" chain, ensuring that you find the perfect fit for your style.

It's refreshing to abandon heavy statement jewelry in favor of a delicate, feminine piece. While Nate doesn't normally comment on my jewelry, he did pause to tell me this necklace was "pretty" - high praise from the man who cringes at my cocktail ring collection. (Though, I have a feeling this necklace will layer wonderfully with other pieces, so he might be disappointed later.)

The clasp even deserves accolades with hammered links, a bead in the brand's signature blue, and a trefoil twist. Unexpected details like this really make a piece special.

20% off for Style Obsession readers: Acanthus has generously offered 20% off to Style Obsession readers! Just enter in the code "OBSESS" at checkout to apply the discount.

Love the Gemma necklace? Come back Thursday for details on how to win one of your own!

Outfit Notes:
J.Crew Ikat Bustier Dress; Banana Republic Cardigan; Acanthus Gemma Necklace; Grandmother's Bracelet; Guess Shoes

FTC-Required Disclaimer: Acanthus provided product free of charge for editorial review. All opinions stated within are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

J.Crew, Sequin-Strip Tank, $19.99
Aldo, Leopard-Print Scarf, $18
ASOS, Ring Detail Across Body Duffle Bag, $18.54
Full Tilt, Multi Chain Bracelet, $6.99
Urban Outfitters, Pyramid Stone Post Earrings, $14

Blog Award

It was such a sweet surprise to see that Amy of Amy Shops the Web tagged me for the A Blog with Substance award yesterday. I know each of us have made countless friends through our blogs - and Amy is one of the most genuine people I've virtually met! Her blog has become a daily must-read that features the best sartorial finds from across the Web, saving you the time of logging in to those sample sale sites.

Here are the award rules:

1. Thank the person who gave it to me.
Like Amy specified on her blog, this step is definitely not necessary. That said ... thanks, Amy!

2. Sum up my blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five words.
Always seeking beautiful sartorial finds!

3. Pass it on to 5 other blogs that I feel have real substance.
Choosing only five blogs is more difficult than I could have possibly imagined (I hate excluding people!), but here are a few that I've recently added to my daily reads:

Monday, September 20, 2010

On Target

I was looking forward to Target's collaboration with Tucker, but I was also bracing myself for disappointment. After all, would the mass retailer be able to translate Gabby Basora's luxurious silk prints into a polyester alternative? As many of you already know, the answer is a resounding yes. Better yet, there's an alluring 1970s vibe to many of the pieces - especially when the mosaic-print blouse is paired with flared denim. Now I just need to find that elusive faux fur vest.

Outfit Notes: Tucker for Target Blouse; Joe's Jeans Denim; CC Skye Bag; Amrita Singh Earrings via Gilt; Banana Republic Bracelet; House of Harlow Bracelet; Guess Shoes

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Window Shopping

No one can deny the elegance of saturated green gemstones - and this month's sponsors make it far too easy to indulge. Wendy Mink's Malachite Beaded Tassel necklace ($150) is a standout in my jewelry box that receives a bevvy of compliments whenever I wear it. If you'd rather make a subtle statement, consider Wendy Mink's Green Adventurine necklace ($59) or Acanthus' Gemma Green Onyx Earrings ($60).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Delia's, Keegan Plaid Coat, $39.99 (on sale)
DKNY Jeans, Sequin Tank, $39
Forever21, Black Hole Necklace, $8.80
Rachel Rachel Roy, Crown Ring, $40
Forever 21,
Suedette Platform Booties, $26.80

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Killing Me Softly

There's an edgy undertone to some of my favorite outfits, like pairing provocative stilettos with a 1950s full-skirted silhouette. It's this type of playful irreverence that makes J.Crew's silk motorcycle jacket so attractive. Choosing a soft, feminine fabric to create a piece of clothing that's traditionally well-structured was an unexpected - and brilliant - move by Jenna Lyons. While I may not be able to wear the jacket in the rain, it'll definitely be my preferred layer for this year's autumnal chill.

Outfit Notes: J.Crew Silk Motorcycle Jacket; Banana Republic Silk Tee Shirt; Banana Republic Jeans; Guess Shoes; Forever21 Ring; Forever21 Earrings; Vintage Dior Clutch; Revlon Steel-Her Heart Nail Polish

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Kirra, Cinch Clutch, $16.50
Forever21, Mesh Knit Top, $15.80
ASOS, Vintage Style Military Stud Earrings, $10.11

ModCloth, Sheer-yl Crow Scarf, $15.99
ModCloth, Earn Your Wing Ring, $17.99

Monday, September 13, 2010

Military Dress

I didn't exactly need a new frock for a wedding reception last weekend, but I changed my tune once I tried on J.Crew's ikat bustier dress . The print is best described as a camouflage-watercolor-floral motif. In short, it's perfect for autumn's military trend without being quite so stuffy.

Outfit Notes: J.Crew Ikat Bustier Dress; Banana Republic Clutch; Forever21 Ring; Forever21 Earrings; Vintage Bracelet; Jeffrey Campbell Shoes; Revlon Steel-Her Heart Nail Polish

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

ModCloth, Side by Side Dress, $47.99
ASOS, Enameled Tiger Brooch, $16.85
Newport News, Cape-Style Jacket, $29.99 (on sale)
ASOS, Leather Fingerless Gloves, $30.33
Juicy Couture, Vintage Linear Earrings, $43 (on sale)
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