Stay Tuned! We're in the midst of a site redesign. You can still reach me for TV, video series and styling services. We're just a little slow on putting up new blog posts until the new launch.
Some of my besties are the girls I met in college and when I'm back in NYC I sack out on their couches (thank you Haley and Marne) because that's what we girls do for eachother - offer some space. College for me was freeing! I was on my own and while I had the responsibilites of classes, work and extra activities I embraced all of it. Sure there were boyfriends, my first love, access to bars with my fake ID, and plenty of Ramen noodles and the DRAMA of a dorm or apartment full of people your own age all away from home, but there were also some cool teachers, some quirky and talented roommates (Amy, you were my favorite) and the chance to, as corny as it sounds, "spread my wings" and enjoy. If I ever time traveled, I'd surely spruce up my dorm room space with these essentials.
By the time a college student reaches senior year they may have become smart enough to schedule no class earlier than noon. Having a comfortable bed certainly makes it worth figuring it out.
Kate Spade Bedding and Accessories from Bed, Bath and Beyond
Hit The Books
When it's time to actually start studying and typing your first paper then you'll need a place to get down to business. The desk is sleek and inexpensive and the chair is colorful enough to keep you awake. Black Hairpin Desk, $100 World Market and Pagoda Blue Evie Chair, $140 World Market
Carry All and Carry On
Everyone totes a water bottle these days so why not make it a stylish one that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. You know a college student will be drinking plenty of coffee with late night studying and probably should be drinking more water so give them a bottle that's attractive while they drink. You can buy this bottle by S'well for $35 at Joyus.com. It's my new fave. I own two from the LOVE collection (it also comes in a solid shimmering mint color) and it's probably a smart idea for a college student to have two too. One for the dorm room and one to tote in her backpack, which by the way is now considered a huge trend. A backpack is NOW the new trend?! When did it ever go out of trend? For college students and just about any student it's always been a must have. Perhaps we "adults" going to jobs have realized yet again how handy they are to carry work out clothes, sneakers, iPads, cameras, well, just about anything. Oh yeah, and this one is the perfect combo of slouchy and stylish to practical and versatile. And it's in black so why wouldn't you get it? Sondra Roberts Nappa Backpack is $88 and is exclusively available at Joyus.com because they get some cool exclusives.
Let's just face facts, many of us drink coffee. I started years after college thanks to European travel and a farmer in Costa Rica who grew his own beans. For students or someone looking for a stylish look to their morning brew there are these colorful options. Keurig 2.0 K25 Coffee Brewer, $119 at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Geometric Holland Park Porcelain Mugs, set of 2 $14 at World Market
It always helps to have snacks. I'm partial to KIND snacks and particularly the Almond & Coconut and the Dark Chocolate and Sea Sealt bars. Keep one in your backapck and keep a stash on your desk and don't get mad when your roommate helps herself, in fact you should offer her a bar once in a while. Think of it as early preparation to being a good host. Erin Condren creates acrylic boxes plus just about all your stylish needs for taking notes and keeping organized.
Add hot water. Stir. Eat. It's easier than Psych 101 and faster than walking to the commissary. I'm surprised Ramen noodles don't get their own chapter in a college handbook. Now you can elevate the look of your cheap meal with a stylish bowl and chopstick set for $12 from World Market and pick up plenty of packs of Ramen for $4-6 from World Market too. I get lost in the food aisles of World Market with their retro mix of candy and European snacks and chocolate.
Get The Tech
Whether you're listening to music while studying at the library or watching Netflix in your dorm room, quality headphones are a college staple. And sometimes you just don't want to hear your roommate chat with her boyfriend and say that inevitable line at one point, "No, you hang up" and then he says it and then she says it back, etc. etc. etc. Bluetooth and Wireless headphones from Urban Ears, $99
Of course, all your devices need time to juice up. So get a multifunctional piece that gives you some light. Functional Tablet Organizer Desk Lamp, $20 from Bed, Bath and Beyond
Summer. Vacation. These are a few of my favorite things. I just returned from an awesome vacation with my husband. I spent days snorkeling in beautiful blue waters and nights looking up at starry skies from the deck of a catamaran while we sailed around Guadeloupe. As I hold on to the memories of this recent trip I'm also keeping a tight grasp on summer. It's my favorite season. And when it comes to summer travel whether a weekend or a week long trip, I've learned what essentials make the trip easier and more stylish.
There are my top picks for traveling with ease.
Backpacks are back! The Jetsetter Convertible Backpack is a shape-shifting luxury handbag that will put you on the highway to haute. By simply changing the position of its adjustable and detachable strap, you can wear this durable, water resistant nylon dynamo as a chic urban backpack, a classic satchel and a stylish crossbody to meet your designer handbag needs wherever the road may take you. And it seems Taylor Swift likes the bag too, so when you catch yourself singing "Bad Blood" perhaps you'll feel a kinship with her style. Jetsetter Convertible Backpack Henri Bendel, $278
A stylish hat to protect your face is a must have. This wide brim hat is perfect for the beach, a sundress or jeans and a t-shirt. Toreo Wide Brim Straw Hat from Free People, $48
I've caught myself sounding like my mother when it comes to sun protection. She used to always tell my brother and I to put on sunscreen and I'll admit as a teenager I thought anything above 2 SPF was silly. But now I chase after my husband to put on at least 30 SPF and reapply, reapply, reapply. With that said, I now own two of these sun shirts. Both in navy since it matches well with so many of my bikinis. I know that a tan looks good, but I'd prefer smoothing on sunless tanner than the possibility of getting skin cancer so I pull on one of these when I'm snokeling, kayaking or getting a good arm workout on a stand up paddleboard. It's lighter weight and slightly less fitted than a rash guard and it offers UPF 50 sun protection (think of it as sunscreen for fabric). Sun Shirt from J. Crew, $68
This chic clutch does double duty on my vacations or even business trips. It holds my jewelry when I travel and is my evening clutch when I arrive. Clare V. clutch from Shopbop, $142
After my huband unintentially went swimming in the pool with his phone is his pocket I've learned to protect our gear from water hazards. We were given this genius item as a gift (thanks Terri Barnes) and it's ideal for the pool, at the beach or even on a boat. The Travelon waterproof pouch for iPad and tablets protects against water, dust, sand and dirt and fits an iPad 1, 2 and Mini. You have the ability to operate the touch screen as well as take pictures. Plus it's submergible in up to 65ft of water for 30 minutes. So if you fall off your raft in the water while reading Girl on a Train, no problem. Kohl's, $25
I've mentioned F.A.S.T., First Aid Shot Therapy in other posts and recommended them for both travel and entertaining. Reason? Well, it's easy to have on hand to offer guests if they perhaps went back for second or third helpings of BBQ (or maybe that's you I'm talking about) and realize they went overboard and heartburn kicks in. Or when you travel and those pills just don't give you relief fast enough from a headache or even your wee bit of hard partying the night before. So I'm suggesting them again in case you didn't listen the first time. Aches, pains, hangovers - these FAST acting FDA-compliant liquid relievers are small one-dose bottles – and come in Pain, Heart Burn and Hangover Relief – and because they are liquid, the medicine gets absorbed faster into the bloodstream. And they're just easy to carry around in your bag or suitcase since they're small; so they can go through the security check at the airport.
I may have a known traveler number that lets me speed through TSA every time without having to unpack my liquids, but I still have to keep them to 3.4 ounces. So I scooped up my favorite Perricone MD skin care products in smaller sizes and I just refill them when needed. There's no reason to use just any old product or fiddle with cheap travel containers that break. I get my moisturizer, cleanser, eye treatment and anti-aging face treatments in the perfect size.
Sighnature Essentials from Perricone MD from Ulta, $99
Neuropeptide 4-Piece Collection, QVC $109
As a “woman on the go” I loathe those tiny containers for shampoos and conditioner. They usually only hold enough to wash my one hair once. Then I found Super Silk's travel bag. I get 2-3 washings and regardless of location or climate my hair is smooth and soft. This kit includes all smoothing essentials- plus an added heat protectant and silkening oil. Super Silk, $24.95
Outdoor Summer Party
OK, I know it's hot, but summer parties are meant to be outdoors so rub on some sunscreen, grab a bag of ice and get outside! Sure, you’ll likely serve up the standard BBQ fare like burgers, wings and hot dogs, have a beach ball or two in the pool, but you can make it a party to remember by adding a few simple elements.
Food & Drink
Create a "lemonade stand" with multiple drink dispensers; each with a different drink. Offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks just in case there's kiddies attending the party. Serve up your concoctions in mason jars with colorful striped straws for drinking. Give drinks a snazzy look by adding frozen berries or melon balls instead of lots of ice. Or use cupcake tins to fill with water and slices of lemon or lime to make fruit filled ice cubes. The drink will look prettier and add flavor without watering it down. You can find a variety of drink dispensers and mason jar drinking glasses at Cost Plus World Market and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Here's three of my favorite super simple summer cocktails from Pinnacle Vodka:
Pinnacle® Pool Party Punch
1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
2 parts Lemonade
Splash of DeKuyper Blue Curacao
Mix ingredients and serve over ice
Pinnacle® Raspberry Lemonade
1 parts Pinnacle® Raspberry Vodka
2 parts Lemonade
Mix ingredients and serve over ice
Garnish with a lemon wheel or raspberries
Pinnacle® Ruby Sunset
1 Part Pinnacle® Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka
2 Parts Lemon Lime Soda
Splash of Cranberry Juice
Garnish with a Lime Wedge
Offer options for the grill from steaks to burgers to even bratwurst. You can order a "Freedom at the Grill" package from Omaha Steaks (now $77) to feed all your friends.
While you're at it, order the cherry pies too for $15. Yum!
Serve gourmet chips or popcorn without the need of a fancy caterer. Warm up the chips in the oven, pop the popcorn and toss with various seasonings like rosemary or paprika and serve them in brown paper bags. Cut the tops off the bags, fold over, fill with the savory snacks and tie some colored twine around the bags. It’s easy for guests to walk around with them in hand and toss when they're done.
Opt for flowers in mini pots for added décor rather than the expense of cut flowers. You can give your guests the mini pots as gifts to take home and re-plant or you can add them to your garden after the party.
Or use colorful summer vegetables as your centerpieces. Fill vibrant veggies like mini tomatoes, carrots, radishes, green beans in pretty bowls, jars and vases of varying heights.
Make one or two spots the main areas for food and drink whether it be turning your potting table or picnic table into a buffet set up and decorating it with a colorful outdoor tablecloth or brown kraft paper that you decorate with markers or even crayons. Or try adding a strip of wrapping paper down the center like a table runner.
Light Up The Night
When the sun goes down you need good lighting to keep the party going. String white holiday lights, if you don't want to buy new lights, across fences or patios and in trees, add outdoor lanterns and even candles. Otherwise, try stars or vintage looking glass bulbs you can pick up from places like Bed, Bath and Beyond and WorldMarket.com. Add extra decor with party artwork from Minted.com
Let the Games Begin
Small talk can get tedious real fast. A good time in my book include games. And when outside they include games both adults and kids can enjoy. Or just adults acting like children.
Create your own mini-Olympics. Draw names randomly to set up teams.
Want to go the extra mile? Give participants bandanas to signify their teams. You can find then online for about $1 a pop.
Games don’t have to be fancy or require a big set up to be a success:
- A colorful croquet set can be set up in under five minutes.
- Bean bag toss
-Inflatable dart board set
Guests go through various games to get points.
If you don't have some of the equipment then revert back to the games you played during recess like red light/blue light and tag and have relay races with leap frog, crab walk, one legged hop, and even a water balloon toss.
Don’t forget to capture the memories. Create your own photo booth. You don’t need to hire anybody. Instead create a backdrop with something as simple as a large bed sheet or brown kraft paper which is super cheap and draw polka dots or write your guests names on it. Offer your friends props like silly sunglasses. Take photos on each other’s cellphones and share.
If you have any shy friends, opt to do something that I call a Cocktail Selfie, which is just fun a picture of your drink. Offer some fun arm candy and garnishes and snap away. Take photos on each other’s cellphones and share with the hashtag #CocktailSelfie.
Have a bucket or a beach bag nearby with sunscreen, bug spray and even a few small shot bottles of First Aid Shot Therapy (F.A.S.T.) for your guests to avoid a sunburn, a bite and a hangover or headache.
The Best Gifts to Give for Wedded Bliss
Picture it... Your friend in a beautiful white gown, her groom looking dapper in a tuxedo, people crying and balling up tissues in their hands while vows are exchanged. Champagne flutes clink, cakes is consumed and the dance floor gets busy. You hug your newly married friends as they talk excitedly about the honeymoon. When they get back they'll eventually write a thank you note for that gift you gave them. So what will they write you? Thanks for the pots and pans or the silly pot holders and towels they registered for? Why not give them a unique gift that they won't forget. These are the gifts that symbolize their love and marriage, they'll use to entertain guests and savor their time together.
Let Love Bloom
Kate Spade 'Pearl Place' Vase, $75 Bed, Bath and Beyond
Waterford 'Diamond' Vases, $135-250 Bed, Bath and Beyond
Ok, so a vase doesn't sound like an unique gift, but it's the additional step you take that makes it so memorable. Most people stop at the elegant vase, but go the extra step and set up bouquets to arrive a few times over the first year of marriage. Now your vase is awesome!
With names like "Wild About", "That's Hot" and "Darling" and "Devotion" you can brighten up their week by setting up bouquets to arrive at their door several times over the year. What better arrangement for the vase you bought them. $40-60, The Bouqs
Always Find Time For Eachother
Jord Wood Watches, $120-295 Wood Watches
For men, a watch may be the only piece of jewelry he wears, for women – we see them as a statement piece and add other jewelry around it. And while we may check our iPhones regularly, watches have made a strong comeback for their style and aesthetic. Sure the couple exchanged wedding rings, but you can give them an accessory that symbolizes never taking their "time" together for granted. These wood watches are not only conversation pieces, but unlike metal or other surfaces that get dinged and scratched over time, these wood watches develop a rich natural patina over time. The company's name sounds Swedish, but they're not. They just love the Swedish way of life: progressive, creative, modern, without stepping all over the environment in the process. JORD is a Swedish word with multiple meanings, but it stands for: earth, soil, land. The brand said it was a good fit for what they wanted to evoke in their designs and company – an appreciation for nature and natural materials. So besides the ring the couple shares, they'll know they share a watch with symbolism as well. Personally, I found it hard to choose just one as a favorite. I love the minimlist styles with a circle face in both the dark wood and the light wood and switch it up depending on my outfit.
Remember Where It Started
Real Foil Art Prints, $96-106 Minted
Such a simple artistic gift that can hang in plain sight for years. Commemorate where the couple came from, where they live or where they got engaged or hitched.
Keep Celebrating And Toast To Good Times
Three Nights Wine Box, $130 Uncommon Goods
Anniversary Wine Box, $130-180 Uncommon Goods
The toast-worthy moments dont; stop just because they tied the knot. Customize a box for the couple and fill it with the some of their favorite wines for future celebrations whether it be the everyday or the extraordinary.
Add A Little Mystery Into The Mix
Aphrodisia Love Potion Cocktail Kit $42, Uncommon Goods
Lovers have looked to nature for help in producing a potion that could spark a spontaneous, amorous attraction. Well, your friends already nabbed the ring so say it's about keeping love strong. Follow the simple instructions to infuse your favorite neutral spirit with rose hips, elder flowers, paradise seeds, and raw honey for a potion that's potent on its own, or as a secret ingredient in cocktails. Be sure to add in some of their favorite liquors to blend with their potions.
Mickey Hargitay Plants in Hollywood, Mickeysplants.com
Planting a tree to celebrate a marriage is an ancient tradition that is shared by numerous cultures around the world. It's a novel twist to symbolize their newly intertwined lives.
These trees symbolize:
Olive tree - health and well-being and a symbol of peace
Orange - generosity and welcome invitation
Get Back to Basics
Vintage and Vine Slate Cheese Board, $20 Bed, Bath and Beyond
These boards are just the start of the gift. Wait until they're back from the honeymoon and settled into daily life and give them one of the cheese boards PLUS some fancy cheeses, crackers, fig jam, proscuitto and a baquette for a picnic dinner. A reminder that the simple things in life can be good.
The statement necklace is taking a backseat to the newest statement maker for summer - the KIMONO!
Put thoughts of Coachella and music festivals aside and start making the kimono part of your everyday wardrobe. We can't all be as cool as Stevie Nicks circa 1970, but it's an easy way to express our carefree spirit. Whether you choose long or waist skimming, fringe, lace or dip dye treat it as a far more cooler cardigan. Wear it with a jumpsuit to a party - a two trends in one look or pair it with your tank top and jeans when you want to look stylish without putting in much effort for drinks with your girlfriends. One of my faves - fringed long or short versions. Be experimental, a kimono can totally transform a look even as simple as a button down shirt and shorts.
Watch the video I made on wearing some of my favortie kimonos:
Heartloom Kimono, $119 Joyus.com
Heartloom 'Daisy' Wrap Kimono, $128 Joyus.com
Multicolor Print Tassel Fringe Kimono by Roffe Accessories, $33 Nordstrom Rack
Black and White Fringed Swim Suit Kimono Cover-up, $28 Nordstrom
ASOS Dark Red Fringed Kimono, $83 ASOS
Free People 'Salt Spray' Dip Dye Kimono, $53 Free People
Floral fashions are in bloom every time the weather turns warm and sunny. This year I'm skipping floral fit-and-flare dresses that looked plucked from my mom's garden and instead choosing from a range of wardrobe separates with prints inspired from the jungle to Bali to palm fronds from Cali.
It's time to mix it up and wear a cropped top with culottes, a dense printed skirt with a striped top and pair the floral heels with boyfriend jeans and a crisp white shirt.
Pair this top with white jeans or dark denim culottes or add a camisole underneath and a tuck it into a high waisted pencil skirt.
Croppped Silk Popover in Tropical Fern, $98 J. Crew
Perfect dress for your friend's summer wedding.
Eliza J Floral Print Pleat Maxi Dress, $158 Nordstrom
Pair this dress with stripes up top to make a style statement. Hesitating? Then keep it simple with a navy v-neck or white top.
Collection Faux Wrap Skirt In Jungle Print, $228 J. Crew
These work with your skinny jeans. With your cuffed boyfriend jeans. With your knock-out, oh so hot red dress. With your A-line striped or solid midi skirt. With your white sheath dress. Endless options.
Manolo Blahnik 'BB' Floral Print Pump, $695 Nordstrom
This is that simple top that kicks your standard tee to the curb. The top that works both dressy and casual and you'll keep reaching for it all summer long.
Amanda Uprichard Cami Top in Bali Flower Print, $158 Bloomingdale's
I love dresses!! I've devoted half of my closet to dresses and many of them are wrap styles and shirtdresses. I stopped counting at 18 the number of shirtdresses hanging in my closet from sleeveless to short sleeve to long sleeve. So why does the oft-overlooked shirtdress get a big play in my wardrobe? It's stylish simplicity. The dress is effortless and gives me more options than a wrap dress when accessorizing. Recently, while styling a client for her upcoming vacation I came across a simple, intensely colored blue shirtdress from Maggy London. It didn't fit my client so before returning it I tried it on and, well readers, I fell for it. I've worn it three times so far and all three times I've gotten compliments. I even scoured the internet looking for it in other colors, but alas, no luck. So I shopped for other options that fit for work, parties and plenty of play time.
Here are two of my favorites:
Kate Spade 'Tobin' Shirtdress, $321 Nordstrom
Because white in the summer time is a requirement.
Banana Republic Drapey Shirtdress, $110 Banana Republic
This is the ultimate date night dress. Or for you single girls, the dress you wear when you know that attractive guy will be at your friend's birthday party.
IRO 'Oceane' Print Silk Shirtdress, $577 Nordstrom
I aspire to be hip enough to wear this "I'm so cool, I don't care" kind of shirtdress.
Milly Printed Silk Organza Shirtdress, $525 Net-A-Porter
Wedding attire now answered with this dress.
Diane Von Furstenberg 'Scarlet' Mixed Print Cotton Shirtdress, $398 Nordstrom
This rarely goes off duty when it can be worn to work, parties and even just cocktails outside at your favorite cafe.
Band Of Outsiders Sleeveless Striped Shirtdress, $475 Nordstrom
This one is going with me on vacation. Enough said.
A.P.C. 'Riviera' Printed Crepe Shirtdress, $485 Net-A-Porter
This printed shirtdress was made to live in on weekends with your favorite wedge sandals or just your flip-flops. On Monday for work add a fitted blazer.
RED Valentino Taffeta Fit & Flare Shirtdress, $695 Nordstrom
Don't be buttoned up in this look. Wear this for work with sandals and when you pull it out for the party add a thin belt at the waist, strappy heels, and a chunky cocktail ring.
"Those were the days," some say. I attended two proms, one as a junior and one as a senior. First with a friend and the second time with a boyfriend; a college boyfriend--oooh wasn't I cool? Both times I foolishly wore strapless when I barely had anything to hold the dress up. This was before I found good strapless bras and before I actually grew a pair--me the late starter. Both years I chose two tone dresses from a pink and white "candy striper" like confection to a black and white gown (remember Jessica McClintock?) and both years my hair had too much hairspray and a little too much Sun-In creating a strawberry blonde effect. Not the choices I'd make today. Setting aside other choices like white knee socks with brown sandals in 5th grade or my Thomas Sweets t-shirt with red suspenders I look back on my style as a kid and teenager and find that I may have made some quirky choices, but I was sassy and didn't care. Plus, my style choices lead to a career as a stylist directing fashion shoots all over the world. Pretty good, right? So whether you want a flowing "princessy" ball gown or something vintage dress or a cute cocktail dress - just enjoy the party! And if you choose strapless be sure it will stay up when you "swing your hands in the air like you just don't care" because now there are phones that catch nip slips.
This is happy!
Lots to choose from for prom attire these days.
On Connor: Black Slim Fit Notch Lapel Tuxedo by Combatant Gentleman, $200 CombatGent.com
On Katie: 50's Style Black And Teal Tulle Tea Length Party Dress, $130 Blue Velvet Vintage
Black Heels and Clutch, Nina Shoes
On Landen: BLACK by Vera Wang Slim Fit Grey Tuxedo, $799.99 Men's Wearhouse
On Shelby: WHITE by Vera Wang Polka Dot Strapless Ruffle Dress, $198 David's Bridal
Men's shoes by Massimo Matteo, Zappos.com
On Wyatt: Navy Slim Fit Shawl Collar Tuxedo by Combatant Gentleman, $200 CombatGent.com
Step Up Teens : Melissa & Christina
On Melissa: Coronado Princess Dress in Papaya Color by Byer California, $68 Byerca.com
On Christina: 20's Reproduction Silver Beaded Black Fringed "Jazz Baby" Flapper Dress, $210 Blue Velvet Vintage
On Austin: Charcoal Slim Fit Notch Lapel Tuxedo by Combatant Gentleman, $200 CombatGent.com
Men's tuxes from Combatant Gentlemen and shoes by Massimo Matteo from Zappos.com
Clutches, jewelry and heels for the ladies from Ninashoes.com
Hair accessories from Soho Style
- 1 OF 102
- next ›