What to Wear

What to Wear

Designers have created a riotous sartorial garden this spring by splashing floral prints across every imaginable article of clothing and accessory.  The trick to working this trend successfully into your wardrobe (i.e. without appearing too prim or too matronly) is balancing the overt femininity of the print with structured, substantive pieces.  Resisting the urge to coordinate the other components of your outfit with the sweet colors in the print is also key.  Opt instead to pair it with sophisticated neutrals or a stand-out stripe.  And if wearing a floral blouse, denim, or dress is too much print for you, consider incorporating just a touch with a piece of jewelry or a scarf.  Below are some outstanding options for those who want to dip their toes in the garden and those who choose to take the plunge:


Items from image one:

What to Give

Last weekend we had the pleasure of entertaining good friends from out of town, and they arrived with a beautiful basket overflowing with goodies for the whole family.  Their gift reminded me of something cookbook author and consummate hostess Ina Garten once said – that the best gifts are those that can be used and subsequently discarded (tickets, soaps, flowers, candles, for example) or consumed (chocolates, wine, cookies, etc).  The Barefoot Contessa is on to something!  We have enjoyed the basket all week, thinking of our lovely time together each time we’ve dipped in.  Truth be told, I’ve saved the last scrumptious treat for myself.  So if you will please excuse me, I have some chocolate to attend to…

image 1 via theimportanceofsalt.com, image 2 via me, moments before consumption.  How gorgeous is that packaging?!

Designer Spotlight

When designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright started Rag & Bone in 2002, they had no formal training but knew they wanted to make beautifully constructed, impeccably tailored clothes with the highest quality materials.  I fell in love instantly with this small label and it became my go to for relaxed weekend pieces as well as night-on-the-town ensembles.  And then they got big.  Everyone wanted Rag & Bone in their closet so of course many of the top department stores and boutiques began carrying their clothes.  You know that feeling when you stumble across a band that not many people have discovered and then you start hearing them on the radio and become selfishly annoyed because you want them to yourself?  That is how I felt about Rag & Bone.  I was also worried.  How could this Kentucky label that was crafting all of their clothes in the United States “the way they did 50 years ago” keep up with demand and maintain their steadfast quality?  But they did.  Now based in New York City, they continue to turn out pieces with construction, design, and details that amaze me.  And though their clothes are now readily accessible to the masses, I still love them like I did a decade ago.

Rag bone dress, $655
Rag bone dress, $220
Rag bone sweater, $695
Rag bone sweater, $245
Rag bone top, $150
Rag & bone shorts, $290
Rag & bone jeans, $109
Rag & bone sandals, $595
Rag & bone ankle booties, $495
Rag bone wallet, $115
Rag & bone sunglasses, $350
Rag bone belt, $150
Rag bone hat, $56
Rag bone scarve, $115
Rag bone scarve, $48

Can’t Miss

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Antiques and Garden Fair begins today, and if you are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out.  Vendors from the United States and Europe bring their best antique and contemporary garden and interior design wares, and the floral displays are spectacular.  Last year, I found an amazing antique English wrought iron and marble garden table (now an end table in my living room – see below) and I discovered Molly Flavin’s incredible floral designs (see here).

Today at 11AM world renowned interior designer David Easton (he designed the wallpaper in my dressing room – see here) is giving a lecture, “A Design Journey of Past, Present and Future” and he will be signing his new book, Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton.  Another can’t miss lecture is David Howard’s “My Gardening Life,” taking place at 11AM on Saturday morning.  He will discuss his four decades of gardening in England, most notably for the Queen and Prince Charles.

The Antiques and Garden Fair is Friday-Sunday, April 20-22nd, from 10AM-5PM each day.  Located in Glencoe, Illinois.

Image 1 via chicagobotanic.org

What to Wear

April in Paris


During this season of gusty winds and unexpected rain showers, take a fashion cue from Nine d’Urso, the chic young daughter of Parisian style icon and author Ines de la Fressange, and invest in a wear-forever trench.  Rain or shine, a trench works beautifully with everything from denim to dresses and instantly makes you feel pulled together.


French singer and Bob Dylan muse, Francoise Hardy.


American Francophile Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


Style blogger, Ahn, of 9 to 5 Chic.


Emmanuelle Alt, Vogue Paris fashion director.

My absolute sartorial crush, fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia, wearing a gorgeous but wildly impractical green leather Valentino trench. She will definitely need the umbrella should April showers arise!

Collage Items:

The Top Ten (Music Edition)

The following songs are currently in heavy rotation on all of my listening devices.  Some keep me moving and motivated during workouts.  The others I listen to for their great transportive powers, letting them carry me back, forward or away.  Number two has become my favorite song.  Of all time.  It’s THAT good.

Click on each song to have a listen.  Hope you enjoy…

1) Lost In My Mind – The Head and the Heart

2) Shake It Out – Florence + the Machine

3) Wild Ones – Flo Rida featuring Sia

4) Beautiful Day – U2

5) We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe) – Fun.

6) Dog Days Are Over – Florence + the Machine

7) The Boys of Summer – Bree Sharp

8) Changing – The Airborne Toxic Event

9) Lake Michigan – Rogue Wave

10) In Repair (acoustic version) – John Mayer

Image via http://24.media.tumblr.com

Saturday Styling

Saturday Styling

Most women fondly remember the shopping trips we took with our mothers to pick out Easter dresses each spring.  It is still great fun!  Using the Hermes scarf as inspiration for the color palette, I pulled the crocus purple and daffodil yellow as a nod to the beautiful bulbs blooming everywhere this season.  The scarf would be gorgeous as an obi-style sash cinching the waist of the yellow dress or tied around a sleek ponytail in either outfit.  Or my favorite way, knotted nonchalantly around a handle of the bag.

The Finish Line

Some days everything feels tangled in difficulty and discomfort.  Steps heavy, tasks arduous, thoughts exhausting.

My cure is to run it out.  But one day last week even that felt horrible.  I desperately wanted to head home and wait for day to become night so it could hurry up and bring me tomorrow.  I chose a straight path over a circuitous one to prevent myself from looping around and quitting, believing it would eventually feel good.  It never felt good.  The only way I could get through the run was by focusing on a nearby object and willing myself there.  The next stop sign, the next light post, the next tree.  Stop sign, light post, tree.  Over and over until, finally, it was stop sign, light post, tree, home and I sprinted across my driveway finish line.

Climbing into bed that night, I realized that this stop sign/light post/tree theory could be applied elsewhere in life.  When the road feels painfully long and the home stretch dips elusively below the horizon line, it can carry us where we need to go.

image via http://hannahlaw.com.au