Christmas Shopping: The Untold Story

A few days before Christmas my husband took the kids out to a few stores so they could do some shopping of their own.  They were heavy into the Christmas spirit this year and really wanted to GIVE (At last!!  A glimmer of hope that that they will turn into thoughtful people someday!)  To prepare, they thought long and hard about each person they were buying for and became determined to nail their selections.  Apparently my 5 year old was feeling a little indecisive about what to get me.  She cycled through a few ideas but wasn't satisfied.  Lip gloss? Nah.  Headbands? Good but not perfect.  Until they stopped at Barnes and Nobles and, as it was reported to me, the decision made itself.  Apparently her eyes alighted on a book cover (featured above) at which point she swiped it off the shelf, handed it to her father with full confidence stating, "Here daddy.  THIS is PERFECT for mommy."

I'm hoping she felt this way because, in her eyes, I'm as glamorous as Beyonce and not because she feels I'd like to wear a sequins body suit with hip extenders sewn into it.  Either way I love it and can't wait to tear into it.  I'll be sure to report back on any and all pearls (diamonds?) of wisdom.  There's no doubt they will be boundless.  Sorta like the platforms on those heels she's sporting.


Brim Witted

goorin-brothers-fedoraSome weeks I have the same conversation all week long but with each of my clients individually.  The good news is that I'm equipped for this since I have a 6 and a 4 year old and have the same conversation with each of them pretty much every hour. This past week it was about hats (with my clients, not my kids).  The collective answer to the number one asked question of last week is YES there is a hat out there that suits your face shape.  It takes some trial and error but the people at a good hat shop like Goorin Brothers are willing to assist.  If you don't want to go hat shopping with me (WHY don't you want to go with me?!? I'm so much fun!!!! Whatever.  It's your loss.) and you don't even want to go into the store, you can educate yourself with this helpful guide about finding the proper style hat for your face shape.  Then browse around and see what you like.  My suggestion in terms of color is that if you have a black or any neutral solid coat, go for a hat with some color.  If your coat is printed or bright, go with a neutral hat.

It's not for everyone but I recently picked up the plum colored wide-brimmed fedora with ombre band (featured above).  It is so pretty I felt my heart ache when I put it on.  A few other favorites for women:




A few of my favorites for men:




Ensconced in Velvet

velvet_vintagerose_angle I admit to having a lot of weaknesses so try not to be too judgey.  Let's narrow things down by focusing on my fashion weaknesses since, frankly, they are easier to classify.  These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  1. Polka dots
  2. Patterned shoes (hell - patterns in general)
  3. Anything that is "mixed media" (i.e. a piece that incorporates more than one medium)
  5. Did I mention VELVET?

To quote Oasis: I don't believe there's anybody who feels the way I do about you now.

To quote George Costanza: I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.

I'm having trouble restraining myself over all of the velvet options presently available.  As long as we are talking about weaknesses, I have an especially severe weakness for this antique rose colored velvet that I'm seeing everywhere.  Witness the Hachiro Velvet Bootie by Joie pictured above.  To hell with the fact that the mere suggestion of rain will ruin these lovelies! I will throw caution to the wind! (Dear God, please only send wind.  No rain.  Or anything else wet.  Thank you.)

Some other options in this dusty pink shade:

Steve Madden Dainna V for less than $100

Oscar de la Renta Gata Velvet Mary Jane Pumps for much more than $100

Valentino Ballet Fever Velvet Sandals (velvet sandals make NO sense but who is going to argue with Valentino?)

Recently I was called a "temptress" by one of my clients and it delighted me to no end.  Perhaps this was because in my role as temptress I can focus on YOUR weaknesses instead of mine.  And that's about as deep as the Wardrobe Whisperer will ever get with you.  The end.

Here's What You Gift the Man Who Can't Dress

IMG_4053 Have a guy in your life who doesn't know how to dress?  Business Insider's gift guide will give you some ideas.  And some of those ideas are mine, of course (the no fail To Boot dress shoes, the Brathwait watch, and the Saks reversible belt).  Don't miss the very best gift idea of all - at the end in the bonus section.  Check it out:

15 perfect gifts for guys who can't dress

Hello, Hermes, It's Me


hermes apple

I've not had much of a chance to think about blog topics considering all of my surplus time has been spent listening to Hello by Adele and weeping like an infant.  Luckily I've only been called upon to complete one actual piece of work today which was to consult on my strap preference from the Hermes Apple Watch collection.  So let's talk about that because right now I have nothing else for you except for some deep longing and sorrow conjured by Adele.

I'm not sure if it's because I follow Hodinkee on Instagram or because there have been a rash of cool watches released this year, but I've been looking at men's and women's watches pretty much non-stop.  Therefore I feel qualified to declare my love for the Hermes version for Apple.  Its appearance is simple yet elegant and sports two of my favorite visual features in a watch - a solid black face, and a leather strap.  As to the style and color of strap, I'm smitten with the "double tour," as they call it, in all colors but lust openly for the capucine (reddish) and the fauve (cognac).  If you're going to get a smart watch, and if you have $1250 laying around, this is my pick.

Now, if you'll excuse me, Adele awaits.

How to Stand Out this Spring Wedding Season

Brackish_product_shots_082613-22_1024x1024Due to the flurry of countless national/international Fashion Weeks and an epic awards season, I've reviewed a ton of men's formal wear.  And when I think back on all that I've seen, I'm searching to identify what defines fresh for THIS MOMENT.  But with the exception of interesting lapel pins, I'm at a loss.  (Red D&G tux with vest, you are NOT my answer. And further, you may be the secret second reason for Elton John's D&G boycott.)  Then I stumbled upon the quirky and ingenious company called Brackish Bow Ties and instantly wished that someone would have shown up with one of these on.  They feel very au courant to me and could have been that defining factor.  This may be because Brooklyn, the land of the urban outdoorsman, remains the epicenter of all that is cool or it may just be because these handmade beauties are different:  a monumental feat in menswear which moves by millimeters.  In any case, I endorse them, particularly with spring wedding season approaching.  Incidentally, they're killing it with the lapel pins too.  Pick one or the other and gift your groomsmen and yourself.  They will provide instant conversation, and maybe even forgiveness, for when your drunk best man is on minute 23 of his toast.

Finally: A Burst of Sun!

AB Sunburst RingI don't think I'm alone in saying that this has been one flipping COLD and brutal winter.  God finally took mercy upon us and gave us yesterday as a gift.  It was uber delightful to be out shopping in the city with a client and enjoying unabashed sunshine!  I swear to you that I passed a man (seemingly not crazy nor homeless) who was singing "It's Spring!" at the top of his lungs to a friend across West Broadway - all this as he was scaling the curb-side snow mounds that still exist in SoHo.  I was with him in spirit even as the melting snow dripped off some scaffolding and onto my head.  And as I walked around in this state of bliss, the immortal words (and song) of Parks and Recreation's Tom Haverford kept ringing in my ears:  Treat Yo Self!  And I did just that.  I decided to commemorate the sunshine outside with some sunshine for my finger (middle right to be exact) in the form of this gorgeous 3-in-1 convertible piece by Alexis Bittar:  The Royal Marquis Sunburst Ring.  This way, even if it snows again (GOD FORBID!) I can consult my hand and receive affirmation that Spring is just around the corner!

Calling a Spade Two Spades

  DvF +Gap Kids

I have a 3.5 year old boy and a 1.5 year old girl and I don't think I'll be blowing anyone's mind by saying that it's way more fun to dress my little lady, Lilli.  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of companies making cute, on-trend boys clothes (Marie Chantal and H&M to name two) but even still, the themes are narrow.  Suffice it to say, we have a lot of skull and crossbones happening around here.

Today I learned that city prepster husband and wife, Kate and Jack Spade, will be collaborating with The Gap to create a capsule collection for kids due November! Um - yipee!!  Hopefully Kate will bring her cheeky, cheery, and colorful ideas to the table and Jack will balance her with his minimalism, clean lines, and modern aesthetic. I was a huge fan of the DvF/Gap collab (because, who among you, did not find it prudent to buy your baby girl a turban?) so, come November, I hope to snag some sweet pieces for both of my minis.

Tease Ts

playboy-kate-moss-t-shirtRooting around in some storage boxes recently (trying to find a photo of me at my first  Goldman Sachs desk which featured an unobstructed view of the Twin Towers) I stumbled upon a 1964 copy of Playboy whose highlights included an interview with Salvador Dali (hilarious!!) and some gorgeous photos of Brigitte Bardot.  And, I must admit, I read it cover to cover...for the articles of course. It's Playboy's 60th anniversary this year and they wisely shot the Bardot-like Kate Moss for this pivotal, though chaste, cover (and for some stunning artsy nude shots inside -the second pic is my absolute fave.)  Unsurprisingly, Marc Jacobs (the opportunist that he is) has created a $35 t shirt to commemorate this iconic edition.  I will give credit where credit is due, the t is adorable.   I will be rocking mine with black waxed jeans, sexy booties, a draped cardigan, and of course some Prada bunny ears. OK, maybe not the ears.

Happy Harlow-een

sound-waves-cuffCelebrity fashion lines do not always work (Malibu Dave by David Hasselhoff), but sometimes they do (The Row, Elizabeth and James, Olsenboye, and now BeachMint by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson).  I place Nicole Richie in the latter category (ahhhh - sweet redemption from The Simple Life!).  Her House of Harlow 1960 line, especially the jewelry, is fresh and edgy and inexpensive.  Take the Sound Waves Cuff pictured above.  I love that she creates interest with the shape while also keeping on trend by using rose gold and, perfect for Halloween, black diamonds!  Pair with this black dress and these sexy shoes and you'll look so good no one will realize you didn't don a costume this year.

Proenza Schouler x MAC

proenzaformac-cropAs crazy in love as I am with fashion and style, I am not much of a "product" person.  The only thing I use on my skin is Ponds (why am I a 90 year old?) and sunscreen of an average variety.  However, I confess to loving all things MAC.  Witness: macTherefore it thrills me that in April cosmetics and fashion will intersect when Proenza Schouler releases a line for MAC.  The Proenza Schouler woman is uber cool and fairly no nonsense so it will be interesting to see what their offerings will include.  I predict a fairly neutral palette with pops of intense color (as the photo above suggests).

The only problem now is, how do I create space in my make-up drawer for a new collection?

A Classic Case

j crew edieMy clients are forever asking me my opinion of J Crew.  My standard answer is that I think Jenna Lyons (Executive Creative Director and President) is beyond brilliant.  She took a run-of-the-mill prepster brand and made it a force to be reckoned with.  I see the contents of a LOT of closets and I don't think I've ever been in one that does not contain at least something from the ubiquitous brand.  Having given props where props are due, the problem that I have with J Crew is two-fold.  First, the quality of the items is sometimes dubious and, second and almost more importantly, if you've seen it in J Crew, so has everyone else.  Case closed. Case re-opened.  Or at least I hope to open this Edie python case.  For it is a thing of beauty.  And this is the area where I think that J Crew can add some significant value.  Granted $1500 is a lot to pay for anything from J Crew BUT this is ACTUAL python (settle down SPCA) and from any other designer would hover around $4000.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say the quality of this piece is probably pretty solid (I viewed the mini and it looked fabulous) AND not everyone is going to buy it (although they will covet it) because the price point is high enough.  So my suggestion is that if you don't have a J Crew credit card already, open one (for the 25% discount of course!) and buy this bag.  Guys, this means you too.  Scoring your girl a python bag for around $1125 is a heck of a lot better than having to spring for this one.

Un-VALE-ing My New Go-To Jewelry

Vale_TinyPaveBarLike my grammie always says, please stop me if I'm repeating myself but I'M OVER statement jewelry.  Can we all just acknowledge that it had a moment and that moment was wonderful but now it's time for all of us to consider other things?  And by other things I mean Vale Jewelry specifically.  It's feminine and delicate but modern and even a little edgy.  It's as refreshing as, well, the gin and tonic I'm enjoying at this very moment.  (Waiter, another please! And by waiter, I mean my husband.) Let's inspect the two gorgeous pieces I've featured above and below:

Vale_pavestarNot only gorgeous but excellent value propositions considering you should never remove them but instead layer around them.  And rest assured when you're running late and don't have time to style your outfit to the max, any of these singular delicate pieces can create a stir all on their own.  Just like the girl who's wearing them.

Hey, NY Fashion Week, I'm still enjoying Fall 2012!

chloeAs you are blissfully aware, Fashion Nation, it is currently the second day of NY Fashion Week (welcome back, old friend!).  While perusing tons of Fall 2013 looks this morning I found myself rewinding to Fall 2012 to order the above Chloe boots for 3 different clients  (40% off anyone?!).  And guess what??   I realized I'm still not over Fall 2012 looks!!  These boots continue to slay me and at less than $1000, who is going to blame me for my hesitancy to move on?  To that I say, in with the old AND in with the new!

Side note, Gents: these babies have a redish hue which is perfection for Valentine's Day.  Yes, check your calendars.  It is next Thursday.  You're welcome.

In It to Win(ston) It

WinstonMy philosophy on gift giving has always been to choose something that the recipient would not purchase for his/herself.  (Note:  This is NOT permission to buy your wife a four-wheeler because you always wanted one.)  What this boils down to for me:  LUXURY.  Take, for instance, this gorgeous Harry Winston white gold and diamond watch on a black satin strap.  Pure, unadulterated luxury (6.9 carats, anyone??).  This functional piece can be worn as a watch, a pendant on a chain, or as a brooch.  It's practically a 3 for 1 bargain! So as you're sifting through one gift giving guide after another this season, remember:  if you want to go big, go Winston!

Greece Lightning

You thought (ok, I thought) the day would never come but, alas, Wardrobe Whisperer finally had her second baby.  And two weeks early to boot!  Lillian Harper (AKA Lilli) is a precious little princess.

Speaking of royalty and babies, here is my shout-out to both: say hello to Marie Chantal children's clothing line by the (real) princess of Greece.  Why wonder what to buy for that upcoming baby shower when instead you can struggle over limiting yourself to just one or two items? (Although I suspect your pocketbook will help you there).

Full disclosure - I'm feeling like a junkie who has just discovered a new drug and this one is called girl's baby clothing.  "Hello, my name is Wardrobe Whisperer and I'm a fashion addict..."

Rad Pit

Part of my job is to scour my clients' closets and assess every garment they own.  This ensures that all items are not only relevant and flattering, but also in good shape.  Among other factors, this means NO STAINS.  Witness a typical heartbreaking conversation:

Me:  I love this shirt and I can tell you love it too.  [Said while suspiciously eying yellow underarm stains.]

Client:  Yes!  That's my favorite shirt.  I wear it everywhere.

Me:  I can see why it's your favorite, the fit is perfect.  Unfortunately, though, the armpits are yellowed beyond repair.

Client:  [Crestfallen]  No!  You don't mean I have to...I mean, I couldn't...I LOVE that shirt.

Me:  [Commence firm yet sympathetic speech.]

New York's The Laundress promises to make such conversations a thing of the past.  They have created  a line of products that are said to rid your favorite shirt of its pit stains in three easy steps:

Tools:  Stain Solution, Stain Brush (using a clean toothbrush should also do the trick)

Optional: All-Purpose Bleach Alternative, Scented Vinegar

Step 1:  Pre-treat

• Apply Stain Solution to the stain.

• Work solution into stained area with soft brush.

• Pour hot water from a height (weird but supposedly more effective) and soak.*

• If stain has faded, but isn’t completely gone, repeat the process until satisfied.

• To remove odors: pre-soak with The Laundress Scented Vinegar. Apply vinegar directly on odor areas and work stain solution into the fabric. Soak well.

-Launder as normal.

*This process is recommended on durable fibers such as cotton, linen and some synthetic materials.

*For stain removal on delicate fabrics such as silk and cashmere, use tepid water. Do not soak silk longer than 30 minutes at a time.

Step 2:  Machine wash

• Pre-soak for super dingy whites. Make a bath of hot water and All-Purpose Bleach Alternative. Apply Stain Solution directly on stained areas. Soak items for 1-12 hours depending on intensity of stain. You may also rinse dirty water and repeat.

• Launder with hot water and The Laundress Whites or Signature Detergent which combines color guard and enzymes optical brightener.  Add All-Purpose Bleach Alternative directly to the drum of the washing machine.

Step 3:  Dry/Finish:

• Do not dry any items that still have stains.

• Hang to dry on a line in the sun for energy efficiency, natural whitening and that awesome fresh line experience…or use the dryer.

The Laundress products have been tested at Cornell University.  In my experience, Ivys sweat a lot (Competition!  Competition!  Competition!).  So, if they say it works, I am inclined to believe.

Wu Do You Love

I know, I've been on a shoe kick lately (for once no pun intended).  But what was I to do in the face/sole of these "Dovima" pumps from Jason Wu's first accessories collection?  Surrender to the delicate genius, of course!  Behold the seemingly disparate elements (wooden platform, gray "wolf fish" and black lambskin) and how well they work together to create an incredibly versatile shoe.  For some, the challenge will be walking in 5" heels, for others it will be waiting until month's end when the collection debuts.  Wu Wu!

Bow Down

Like everyone else this time of year, I've been wrapping presents endlessly.  Confession:  my favorite part is always topping the gift with the perfect ribbon or bow.   After tying on so many (ribbons AND drinks!) I'm ready to add a bit of the gifting glamour to my own wardrobe.  The best way to do this you ask?  Try this red patent Vernice Bow-Waist belt from Prada over a fitted, lady-like sweater, circle skirt, and killer pumps.   So demure, "Ho Ho Ho!" will never apply to you.