Thursday, November 19, 2015

A designer's tips for collecting timeless jewelry

My jewelry game is not subject to trends: I've essentially been wearing the same pieces every day for more than 10 years: a slim yellow gold wedding band strung through a yellow gold box chain, layered over a shorter gold necklace, a classic watch, and a rotating assortment of silver and antique gold rings, bracelets and earrings. Rarely do I find a piece that it earns a spot in my permanent rotation, partly because it is so difficult to find high quality, timeless pieces that are also affordable.

I was recently introduced to Chicago-based designer Lindsay Lewis' amazing line of jewelry that passed my ultimate jewelry investment test: "Would I pass this on to my future daughter?" It was a 'yes' to nearly every item. Lindsay's pieces have an expensive, vintage art deco feel but are made with affordable-yet-quality materials to keep her prices refreshingly affordable. Her work fills the (pretty bare) niche between fine and contemporary jewelry, a great source for unique items that you'll own and wear forever. I've added several pieces from her current collection to my Christmas list (hint, hint to Wes) like these earrings, this set of cuffs and this necklace.

Lindsay was nice enough to take the time for an interview for this little blog - read on for more about how she's grown her business, her advice on building a timeless collection of jewelry, and her design icons

Monday, November 16, 2015

How to add trends to your wannabe-minimalist wardrobe


One of the hardest parts about simplifying my wardrobe was figuring out how to focus on timeless classics while still maintaining unique, authentic style that can evolve over time. Figuring out how to experiment with trends while still honoring my commitment to limiting shopping and investments to things that will last forever has been a huge challenge.

So, I've added an addendum to my minimal wardrobe manifesto: I'm not allowed to spend more than $30 on a single trendy piece, and I need to be able to think of three ways to wear it before buying it. If I end up loving it and wear it for more than a couple of seasons, it's a trend worth investing some real money.

Here is a recent case study in culottes, quite possibly the ugliest trend of the season yet captivated me for unknown reasons. They were on sale for $25 at the Gap of all places, and I've already worn them several times contrary to the constructive criticism of my husband.

Friday, November 6, 2015

How to simplify your life

For a long time, I've been inspired by those who do more with less, live with high style on tight budgets, and are thoughtful and mindful about the items they bring to their lives (like the people in this article from the NYT archives).

It's an ages-old concept that living with less will make you happier, and that you don't need a lot of resources to live (or dress) well. It's amazing what you can do with a little creativity and a few dollars at Goodwill (the oversize denim shirt and perforated leather clutch in the picture above set me back a whopping $8).

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Three fresh ways to style a classic Breton tee shirt

A classic Breton tee is a staple in my wardrobe, and I used to collect them until I finally sprung for the real deal: a classic St. James in navy and cream. I love the thick cotton, boxy fit and boat neck. Over the past few weeks, I've been cleaning out my closet and paring down my wardrobe to just the things I love and can wear many ways. Working with fewer items forced me be more creative about styling my outfits and come up with a few new ways to wear my tried-and-true classics (and curing my desire to shop). If you've got a classic striped tee in your closet, here are some ideas on how to style it using items you likely already own:

Monday, October 19, 2015

How to put together a stylish outfit in one minute

Getting dressed in the morning, for whatever reason, used to be unusually difficult for me. Unless I had picked out my outfit the night before, I usually waste 10 minutes standing in my closet hopelessly willing inspiration to strike. My efforts to simplify my wardrobe has made it much easier to get dressed: there are fewer options in my closet, and (almost) all of them are go-to pieces that fit me perfectly. I also stick to the same everyday fine jewelry, which makes things even more simple.

In addition to limiting my options, I've been following a simple step-by-step decision-making process for getting dressed in the morning that has cut my time down to 60 seconds or less. It's five foolproof steps that give me one less thing to think about in the morning:

Friday, October 16, 2015

The 10 things that Diane Von Furstenberg says you need in your closet

Diane Von Furstenberg's top 10 list is from an interview with she did with GOOP a few years ago, and it inspired me to think about the 10 essentials in my closet (and where I might need some upgrades). I've since collected most of these, and have tested DVF's theory to be true: each one of these items are true staples to have in your closet, and make getting dressed easier. Here's the full list:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How to style a leopard pencil skirt

There is something about a leopard pencil skirt that reminds me of Fran Drescher and New Jersey circa 1990. It's not an easy item to pull off, but done right it can become a staple (just like your leopard pumps, leopard belt, leopard purse, etc.) After many months of hunting eBay for the perfect cheapie, I snapped up this little number for $10. (I never commit to a trend until I first do a trial run with it's cheap, gently used eBay cousin.)