Thursday, March 31, 2011

Window Shopping

With my Florida vacation a tantalizing 10 days, 10 hours, 49 minutes and 26 seconds away (not like I'm counting down or anything), I've been craving new warm-weather staples: bright colors, chunky jewelry and statement sunglasses. Who else is ready to shed winter's woolen layers?
  1. Orange Top and Lace Shorts, Kendall K., inquire for details
  2. African Bead Necklace, Wendy Mink Jewelry, $320
  3. Altea Cuff, Third Culture Jewelry, $135
  4. Sunglasses, GlassesUSA, $89
A huge thank you to this month's Style Obsession sponsors! And, ladies, don't forget to check the left column for coupon codes!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

{ item of the week } Halogen Dual Tone Tote

Be still my beating heart. A simple leather tote color blocked with orange? You say it's only $98? For leather? Perfection.

As much as I love that little Kate Spade beauty, this tote would be a much wiser investment for upcoming vacations. It's big enough to stash all of my in-flight necessities and road trip treasures without sacrificing an ounce of style.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{ giveaway } Kendall K. Jenika Coat

As you may have gathered from Saturday's post, the sweetly feminine Jenika Coat by Kendall K. will be the epicenter of my spring wardrobe. And I'm thrilled to announce that one reader has the chance to win one of her own!

{ Tell us a little bit about your line. }

Kendall K. is a very feminine clothing line and it definitely represents my own style, which is a mixture of vintage and glamour. Spring was very delicate and flirty whereas fall is more dressy and a tad sexier. I imagine a confident women that doesn't take life too seriously, exactly what I'm striving for.

{ Where do you find inspiration? }

I'm highly inspired by vintage clothing. I love the way things were made back in the day, with intent to last and subtle detailing. I also love trim and fabric shopping, especially in the China markets. Often times, one trim idea can help formulate an entire collection.

{ What was the hardest part of launching your line? }

The hardest part about launching the line has to definitely be keeping the faith. When I was working endlessly on starting up this company and spending a ton of our savings, I had to constantly remind myself why I was doing it, and that the end result would be worth it. Even though I had a huge support network, it was really up to me to keep truckin' forward, even though I had no clue if it was going to be a success or not. It's especially difficult as a clothing manufacturer, since often times you won't see results for six months later, when you ship to the stores. However, when I shipped my first orders a few weeks ago, I knew it was all worth it!

{ How has your line evolved? What's next? }

I believe that my work evolves every time I hear a new comment, or meet a new Kendall K. lady. I take into consideration all the comments made and really fine tune the product while keeping my original thought process in tack. This is a very delicate balance and I believe that it's important while trying to brand yourself as a clothing company, you must listen! For fall, I hope to branch out to the east coast and find a showroom in New York. Also, I will be launching my online store next month!

{ What's your favorite piece - and your most popular? }

My favorite piece would have to be "Grace" or the Jenika! but the most popular style so far has been the "Brandy" top. Almost every boutique that ordered this season has picked up either the ivory or blush colorway. Also every time I wear it out, I get a compliment. It was named after my sister!

Mandatory entry: Complete the two steps below. This counts as one entry.
  1. This giveaway is open to Style Obsession followers - new followers welcome! Sign up at the right via Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin', or by RSS. Just let me know how you follow.


  2. "Like" Kendall K. on Facebook.

Note: Leave a separate comment for each additional entry for it to be eligible.
  1. Browse Kendall K.'s collection on the website and let me know what other items you love.

  2. Follow @style_obsession and @kendallkstyle on Twitter.

  3. Tweet about this giveaway.

  4. Blog about this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment.

The Fine Print: Giveaway open to readers in the United States and Canada. The giveaway period will run through Friday, April 8, 2011. The winner will be announced the following day. Be sure to leave a blog URL or e-mail address so I can contact you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

{ currently coveting }

{ tuxedo blazers mixed with post-event relief }

{ beloved tulips }

{ party shoes & tiled floors }

{ hot pink lip gloss }

{ winner } Third Culture Jewelry Gift Certificate

Thanks to everyone for entering and following Style Obsession. Your support makes these giveaways possible! If you didn't win this round, don't fret. There are plenty of giveaways to come! Pinky swear.

If you'd like to partner on a giveaway or promotion, please e-mail me at

Saturday, March 26, 2011

{ outfitted } Laced Up

Months ago, I started following Kendall K.'s blog, which chronicles the realization of her dream: to launch a clothing line. I've followed along as she secured a trademark, designed a logo, found a manufacturer and now - the most exciting part - revealed the finished garments, including the coat I'm wearing above. As if being an inspiration isn't enough, Kendall is also one of the sweetest girls I've known. I couldn't be prouder of her.

I don't think I've ever featured lace on this blog before - let alone worn it. It's too easy for lace to appear overly feminine and romantic and that's simply not my sartorial preference. That said, I can't get over how much I love the fabric on this coat: lavender satin with a lace overlay. Lending rich texture to the coat, from a distance the lace transforms into an interesting graphic print.

But don't worry, Kendall won't deprive you of your ladylike poise and polish. She has included a detachable chiffon flower for the days you need a little romance - or at least the promise of spring buds. (Yes, those are the coveted Kate Spade shoes. I. Love. Them.)

For those interested, I'm happy to report that the coat runs true to size. I'm a size 6 on top (or an 8 if I've been hitting the Cadbury Creme Eggs a wee bit too hard) and this is perfect with room for something heavier underneath. (You'll need this information for next week's giveaway. Hint. Hint.) For more lust-worthy items, head over to Kendall's site and check out her collection.

Outfit Notes: Jacket - c/o Kendall K.; Dress - J.Crew; Earrings - Kate Spade, Bracelet - belonged to my grandmother; Shoes - Kate Spade

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Finds Under $50

  1. Stripe Scarf, Delia's, $19.50
  2. Sapphire Flame Top, ModCloth, $34.99
  3. Piper Bobby Pins, Kate Spade, $45 $31
  4. Chino Shorts, J.Crew Factory, $34.50

Thursday, March 24, 2011

{ hollywood legend } Elizabeth Taylor

photos via 1, 2

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

{ item of the week } Kate Spade Pineapple Clutch

It seems I can't stop singing praises for Kate Spade. But can you really blame me for loving something as sweet as the Lella Clutch topped with a faceted pineapple? The clutch is impractically small, but who needs to carry a phone, money and keys? I can pare down to just a tube of lip gloss for love!

Do you think I could rationalize this as a pre-Florida purchase? Or maybe I could buy it in Florida as my souvenir? Or maybe Kate Spade could just stop producing such lust-worthy items.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Treats Under $25

  1. Ruffled Shoulder Top, Jem Apparel, $25
  2. Basket Weave Clutch, Target, $12.99
  3. Prato Vase, Crate & Barrel, $17.95
  4. Bead Bracelet, ASOS, $10.76
  5. Rhinestone Earrings, Lori's Shoes, $12

Sunday, March 20, 2011

{ wheels up } Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately and I've been yearning for a vacation filled with sun, sand and plenty of seashells to collect. So when the guy I've been dating found round-trip tickets to Fort Lauderdale for only $208 each, the wheels were in motion. I'm not sure what I'm most looking forward to - spending time with him, exploring a new city, or splashing in the Atlantic - but it's going to be an incredible week away. And what better way to get excited for the vacation than shopping for a few missing items in my summer wardrobe?

  1. Candy-Colored Statement Necklace
  2. Graphic-Print Swimsuit
  3. Neon Pink Accents
  4. Pretty Leather Sandals
So, what should we do in Fort Lauderdale?
image credits: 1, 2

Friday, March 18, 2011

{ winner } Perricone Product

Congratulations, Patti! You've won a Perricone product!

Thanks to everyone for entering and following Style Obsession. Your support makes these giveaways possible! And speaking of which, have you entered to win a gift certificate to Third Culture Jewelry yet? Run along.

If you'd like to partner on a giveaway or promotion, please e-mail me at

{ giveaway } Third Culture Jewelry Gift Certificate

On Wednesday, I introduced you to my latest jewelry fixation: Third Culture Jewelry. Kate, the talented mastermind behind the brand, has generously offered to give one reader a chance to add a bauble to her own jewelry box. The winner will choose between a $50 gift certificate or 50% off one item.

Mandatory entry: Complete the two steps below. This counts as one entry.
  1. This giveaway is open to Style Obsession followers - new followers welcome! Sign up at the right via Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin', or by RSS. Just let me know how you follow.

  2. Visit the Third Culture Jewelry site and let me know which item you'd love to add to your jewelry collection. (This step is required!)

Note: Leave a separate comment for each additional entry for it to be eligible.
  1. Tweet about this giveaway with the following: Win a @Shop3CJ item from @style_obsession! Enter here:

  2. Follow @Shop3CJ on Twitter.

  3. "Like" Third Culture Jewelry on Facebook.

  4. Blog about this giveaway and leave the URL in your comment.
The Fine Print: Giveaway open to readers in the United States. The giveaway period will run through Sunday, March 27, 2011. The winner will be announced the following day. Be sure to leave a blog URL or e-mail address so I can contact you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

A green-tinged ale didn't touch my lips this year. In fact, wearing a green sweater to work was the extent of my Saint Patrick's Day celebration. There wasn't even the annual Guinness meal replacement (let's face it, that stuff is dinner in a pint glass). Are you celebrating the holiday?
  1. PS1 Pochette, Proenza Schouler, $895
  2. "Abagail" Silk Dress, Tory Burch, $350
  3. High-Heel Leather Pump, Sergio Rossi, $550 $199.95
  4. Textured Gold Clover Earrings, Anya Jewels, $59
  5. "Dance Like No One's Watching" Notebook, Smythson, $75

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

{ meet the brand } Third Culture Jewelry

I can't pinpoint a favorite item in my jewelry box, but I can tell you that it has all been neglected since receiving the Chinatown Necklace from Kate at Third Culture Jewelry. In fact, my fixation with the silver and gold lariat hasn't waned since its arrival a couple of weeks ago.

Kate Gray is the talented designer behind the emerging jewelry line - and she has a penchant for oversize statement jewelry. In short, she's a girl after my own heart. I was inextricably drawn to the Chinatown Necklace for its versatility. I've worn it with a simple black turtleneck and with a striped sailor tee as seen here. The necklace can be tied once, twice or looped around the neck.

Like all of Kate's creations, it's a wearable piece of art, illustrating her handiwork and attention to detail. A tassel cascades from the beads at the end of the necklace, creating incredible movement when worn - a testament to her thoughtfulness. Read on to learn more about the lovely lady behind Third Culture Jewelry.

{ Tell us a little bit about yourself and your line. }

I grew up in seven different countries and always considered myself a world traveler. My background explains my eclectic personal style, which comes out loud and clear in my jewelry. I have always been super creative, working with fabrics, clay, knitting, embroidery, you name it! My grandfather was a jeweler, and I got my love for metal and statement jewelry from him. I basically grew up watching him set stones and melting old sterling silver spoons to make stunning cuff bracelets. Seriously! He was the original recycler.

{ What inspires your work? }

Travel and my past experiences play a huge part in my creative process. When it comes to a seasonal collection, I like to pick a theme. San Francisco is the first place that feels like home, so my first collection, SF Love, was inspired by places and buildings in the city. The new Spring/Summer Collection was inspired by the places where I grew up.

The creative process behind my one of a kind pieces is completely different. This will sound silly, but all of the found objects, vintage brooches and chains speak to me. I look at an antique piece and immediately know how to bring it back to life. I feel like a kid at a candy store when going to flea markets and antique stores. Find a new treasure is the most exciting thing ever.

{ What types of materials do you work with? }

Vintage chains, brooches, clips, found objects, antique pocket watch keys, old watch chains make unique jewelry that tells stories and starts conversations. Most of the chains I use are brass or plated, mainly because to keep a statement jewelry piece affordable you have to stay away from precious materials. A statement piece can make your whole outfit. Jeans and a white tee are transformed when you add a large turquoise necklace. I am also embracing color with large semi-precious stones and still keeping all pieces reasonably priced.

{How has your work evolved? What's next? }

I am learning to think more about my customer and not just creating for myself. It’s challenging to not get wrapped up in your own personal style and be critical of your work.

I am loving large and colorful gem pieces, so you will be seeing a lot more of that. I am also working on a line of bridal jewelry, reworking vintage brooches into statement pieces for brides and the bridal party.

{ What's your favorite piece? The most popular? }

My favorite piece is the Avila Necklace (below), and funny enough it’s the most popular.

Love Kate's designs?
Giveaway announcement soon!

Monday, March 14, 2011

{ 5 tips } Frugal Fashionista

If you've been a follower of this blog for any length of time, you know that I painstakingly search for the best deals on luxe items. And it pays off. 2010's piece de resistance was a Carolina Herrera dress (only $119!) purchased from Gilt. While I can't promise deeply discounted dresses all the time, I have a few ways you can shave a few dollars off your next online purchase.

If you haven't been using Ebates for your online shopping, you've been seriously missing out on an easy way to earn cash back. How does it work? Ebates has a directory of popular online stores that offer up to 25% cash back on all orders placed after clicking on the Ebates affiliated link. You'll then receive a quarterly check with your earnings.

And, as if you need a reason to shop, Ebates is currently hosting a promotion for 20% cash back on any purchase made at Gap through March 16, 2011.

Sign up with my referral link and we'll both earn $5 cash - and earn good karma points.

While Ebates is my preferred site when I'm shopping, I also use MyPoints to earn gift cards. The process is similar to Ebates where you follow an affiliated link to a retailer before making a purchase. If you can tolerate a few promotional e-mails every day, there's another way to earn. Click through each e-mail and earn 5 points. It doesn't seem like much, but I've earned a few T.J. Maxx gift cards over the years by simply clicking on an e-mail or two every day.

Before I make any online purchase, I always search to make sure the item isn't on sale elsewhere. Just put in your search terms (color, designer, size, price point, you name it) and hit search. It's how I found the dreamy Kate Spade "Flash" ballet flats on sale at Neiman Marcus for only $83. They were tempting at $125 and now they're downright irresistible with a $43 discount.

Speaking of Kate Spade (I say that a lot lately), if you're a fan of the brand on Facebook, you'll receive 20% off of one full-price item today - including the darling wallet in the header. More and more companies are rewarding loyal fans with Facebook-exclusive promotional codes.

The problem with many coupon sites is that they tend to be overrun with outdated promotions arbitrarily posted or generic free shipping "tips" that are already splashed across a retailer's website ... or they're aesthetically unappealing. But there may be hope for online coupon emporiums.

I was recently introduced to Coupon Chief, an online database of Web coupons. If I were the type to judge a book solely by its cover (and, really, who does that? ... ahem), I would have immediately told you this would be my go-to coupon site. It's laid out well and has a cute logo. That's more than I find at similar sites, so we're on the right track.

As far as usability, it seems tailor-made to online shopping connoisseurs. There are thousands of stores in its online database and - my favorite part - there's a unique way to ensure coupon codes are reliable. They've instituted a "Pays-2-Share" program where users can upload codes. Let's say you upload a promo code for Banana Republic. Whenever someone clicks on and uses the code you uploaded, you'll earn 2% cash back. Just for being a Good Samaritan.

FTC-Required Disclaimer: I'm being compensated by Coupon Chief for its editorial review. But you know me; if I don't love it, I'm not posting it. All opinions stated within are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

{ trend spotting } cap toe flats

At the first hint of spring, I'm the gal who is prematurely wearing open-toed shoes. But this year, I just might keep toes undercover with an on-trend pair of ballet flats. Designers are kicking up heels with two of spring's prominent trends: color blocking and mixing brights with neutrals. Now the hard part: orange, yellow or pink?

Do you plan to wear cap toe flats this season?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

{ outfitted } Ahoy!

Yesterday morning was covered in an unexpected blanket of wet, heavy snow - and the city's snowplow drivers were caught unprepared. It didn't bode well for my dinky Honda Civic (I got stuck at an intersection) or my punctuality to an event that I was hosting on behalf of the magazine. After a few answered prays - and a fair amount of four-letter words - I arrived [un]fashionably late for event preparations. It's safe to say that March rolled in like a lion; let's hope it's gentler on the way out.

I'm crushing hard on this necklace from Kate at Third Culture Jewelry. If you love her work as much as I do, you'll be tickled pink by an upcoming giveaway. Hint. Hint.

And speaking of pink, this photo reminds me of the Barbie logo. You know the one; the profile with the perky ponytail. You totally see the resemblance don't you?

Outfit Notes:
Jacket - Banana Republic; Shirt - Forever21; Skirt - Banana Republic; Bracelet - Forever21; Earrings - Marc by Marc Jacobs; Necklace - c/o Third Culture Jewelry
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