Wednesday, November 30, 2011

filoli - part 3...

my tour of filoli...most known as the carrington mansion in "dynasty"...ended in the beautiful grand ballroom...of course i envisioned all the fabulous parties that must have taken place at one time...truly truly magnificent...

and with no shortage of christmas trees...the sparkle & shine of the decor could not help but get everyone in the mood for the holidays...















and the icing on top...being serenaded by the all men's choir...pure bliss...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

filoli - part 2...

my tour of filoli continues...known to many as the carrington mansion in the show dynasty...

looks like my obsession with mannequins continues as well...



the dining roon was one of my favorites...with the beautiful piano being played in the background...to the lovely animal in its holiday tux...gotta love it...right?
the table was amazing...






beautiful doves that live on the grounds year round...don't you love the bird cage?



the massive fire places were extraordinary...decorated just right...although i would have loved to see it all lit up with a crackling fire...curled up with a good book...



upstairs were off limits...but the child in me wanted to sneak on up...just to take a peak at some of the massive bedrooms...but i refrained... =)






tomorrow...the last of the tour...the best room in the mansion by far...the grand ballroom...

Monday, November 28, 2011

filoli - part 1...

yesterday...i was able to go and see the beautiful filoli...located in woodside, ca...it is the official site of the "carrington mansion" that what used in the filming of the show...dynasty...

during this time of year...the mansion is decorated in holiday decor...and this year's theme featured the wise old owl...it is a great way to get into the holiday spirit...and what i love...is to always pick up a new decorating idea or two...

i often get asked where i draw from for inspiration...sometimes a magazine...sometimes an outfit someone has so beautifully put together...but most times...i see colors in nature that so incredibly go together...such as the fall leaves...is it any wonder this is my favorite time of year?



although we here in lovely northern california get excited about our 1 in every 10 trees that turns colors...i will take it where i can find it...as in these lovely pics...






front of the mansion entering in...love the bears...and signs...



i always get a kick out of mannequins being dressed in unique ways...this was the entrance to the kitchen...black & white always works...although i think i was more thrilled with the "pail" in place of a head...ok...truth be told...it was the message...my motto...for sure...



stay tuned...tomorrow i will post more pics of some of the rooms...and how beautifully decorated they were...

Friday, November 25, 2011

fashion funnies: turkey fashion...

in the spirit of thanksgiving weekend...



enjoy the weekend...


**friend sent this to me...but have no source for it...if you know...please let me know so that i may give credit where credit is due...**

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

happy thanksgiving...

as i sit here on the eve of thanksgiving day...anticipating taking a few days off to spend with family and friends...i wanted to take a moment and let you know...my dear readers...how thankful i am for you...

from every comment...every email...every little encouragement that i have received from you...my readers...and even those that have never commented...but keep coming back to read some more...i am thankful for all of you...

social media has been an interesting ride...from this blog...to my facebook business page...to twitter...i have had some incredible interactions with some pretty wonderful people...and most surprisingly...some that have become good friends...who would have thunk it?

wishing for all of you...an incredible thanksgiving...may you be surrounded by family...friends...and love this year...and may it be nothing short of stylish...

photo source

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

tips for thrifting and vintage shopping...

yesterday i blogged about shopping for the best of what's old...and as i had mentioned...shopping in vintage or thrift stores takes on a whole new strategy...so i thought i would share some tips...

- buy quality...educate yourself on sniffing out top quality as well as spotting poor quality....always look at labels...for words like "hand-made" or "hand-woven"...for designer or brand names...for fabric content (cashmere, silk...etc...) check to see how seams are finished...how hems are sewn...how linings are made...all clues to quality...value...and durability...

- know what you can fix/what you can't...don't expect to wash or dry-clean stains out of vintage clothing...it may come out...most-likely...it won't...you are taking a chance there...on the other hand...don't reject something you love just because it's got a defect...buttons can be replaced...pockets can be relined...beads can be resewn...

- check for trouble...always examine fabrics closely for moth holes...small tears...wear at the collar or cuffs...and pulling or shredding at the seams or in the lining...check buttons and buttonholes...look for stains...especially on cuffs and lapels...instead of assuming the garment is perfect...as you would when buying something new...assume it's not...and then decide...depending on price and how often you'll wear it...whether you can live with its flaws...

- reconsider fit...when buying vintage clothing...try everything on...size standards have changed throughout the years...so you can't count on wearing a size 8 in a 1940's dress...even if you always wear a size 8 in modern clothes...if you love something that doesn't fit quite right...consider alterations...they may cost more than the item itself...but can make a thrift store special look like an expensive hand-tailored prize...side note...even if the garment is not vintage...get in the habit of trying it on...you never know if the previous owner had it altered...

- reconsider price...you have to readjust the way you think about prices at most vintage clothing stores...at expensive...top-quality ones...don't compare value to other used clothing but to what a similar piece would cost new...while $150 might seem steep for a fifty-year-old evening dress...for example...consider that you couldn't buy anything like it new...a great quality piece would easily be triple that price...and the fact that the piece would truly be a one-of-a-kind...and at thrift stores...beware of lowering your price standards too far...when most things are priced for a few dollars...an item for $20 can start to seem outrageous...remind yourself...what the item is...and how much it would cost you at the department store...

- don't skip the men's section...men tend to hang on to clothing longer...so items are apt to be older...more classic or appealingly funky...and better quality...great finds would be anything from great tweed sports coats...raincoats...and slouchy cardigans straight from "father knows best..."

although this isn't everything...these tips are a great way to get started...if you are a thrifter...please feel free to share your tips in the comments section...

photo source

Monday, November 21, 2011

shopping for the best of what's old...

you love bargains...you love quality...you love distinctive clothes...even if you hate anything retro...even if you've always turned up your nose at secondhand clothes...vintage clothing or thrift stores may be worth exploring on your next shopping trip...

vintage clothing stores are the tonier half of this category...often...they're set up like sophisticated boutiques...offering the most interesting styles of old clothing and accessories...the owners of these shops usually have a passion for vintage clothing and an educated eye...which is passed on to you in the form of a well-edited group of merchandise as well as higher prices...

thrift stores...on the other hand...make no pretentions to style or quality...they're simply places that sell..usually for charity...anything that anybody gives them...thrift stores offer the ultimate shopping adventure and the ultimate payoff...if you know your stuff and paw assiduously through the racks...you can come up with some pretty sweet "quality" pieces...at $2 to $10 a piece...

if you've never shopped at a vintage clothing store...don't reject them out of hand...you can find pieces there that work perfectly well with a modern wardrobe...but you also have to have a good eye...you don't want to walk out looking like a picture of your mother in 1949...head-to-toe vintage "costumes" don't work...but mixing a few interesting old pieces with your new clothes can be a sensible way to dress and shop...

at thrift stores...you can find items that no one would ever guess were old...never mind that they cost little to nothing..but it takes a lot more work and a much keener eye...they can be great fun...however...as well as an educational experience...and if you buy somthing that's a mistake...you're out only a few bucks...

keep in mind...thrift stores are always best in those out-of-the-way places...thrift stores in bigger and trendier cities have usually been picked through by those in the know...who snap up all the "good" stuff the minute it hits the racks...

any vintage or thrift store shopping has to be approached from the viewpoint of fun...you're not going to buy your winter wardrobe or complete an outfit...but you might chance on one wonderful something that will make you feel great whenever you wear it...and remember how little you spent for it...

and...because the nature of the clothing and the stores themselves differ so markedly from any kind of store selling new clothing...your shopping strategy has to be different...too...tomorrow i will post some tips...

so...are you a thrifter? if so...share one or two of your treasures that you've found...

photo source

Saturday, November 19, 2011

fashion funnies: too high...and too low...

...both can be just so so wrong...

jason love


enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

birthdays & tiaras...

november is my birthday month...and i make it a point to celebrate all month...with time-off for thanksgiving...as my actual day is slowly approaching (sunday) i've already had some fun birthday adventure...

last nite was no exception...about every three months or so...a group of high school friends get together to catch up with each other...some of these wonderful friends i have known since grade school...so we are talking 30 and 40 years...

it just so happens that three of my friends and i have our birthdays within a week of each other...so last nite...we received a delish birthday cake...and our very own tiaras...and of course...the beautiful singing of about 30 friends...

can't wait for the next celebration...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

seeing dots...

who doesn't love a bit of polka dots in their life? whether you go all out...all over dots in a dress perhaps...or go for something a bit demure...like swiss dot stockings...

and if you opt for the demure look of stockings...can you imagine the combination of swiss dots with spanx? no imagining needed...here they are!

so you get the sheer leg with intricate design...but along with that...

the panty slims the tummy, hips and thighs...who wouldn't want that? and...non-binding waistband allows for comfort all day...plus plus!

just a little bit of chicness to your outfit...

sheer fashion pantyhose - swiss dot
spanx

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

have you been lately?

...to the fabulous finds consignment boutique? i received an email from a customer the other day...

"i swear it was only 2 weeks that i didn't check your boutique...i can't believe all the new items"

well...believe it...i am usually adding items daily...so for those who have forgotten...for those who never knew...for those who haven't taken a peak in a while...

we carry new or almost new items...and currently have approximately 600 items in the boutique...yep...600! there is something for everyone...from shoes...to accessories...to ladies clothing...we even have a plus size section...and a men's corner...and of course...no boutique of mine would be complete without a smattering of vintage pieces...

so...what are you waiting for? shop shop shop...and go green!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

men's corner: why settle for just a black scarf?

while helping a friend shop for some winter basics...he turned to me and said he wanted more then just a black plain scarf...aahhh...music to my ears...since he tends to wear solids most of the time...we decided to go for a patterned cashmere number...and here were the top contenders...he decided on two...so i got him to go with one patterned...and one solid...but in a beautiful hunter green...simply fabulous...

burberry check print cashmere scarf
nordstrom


color block border stripe scarf
brooks brothers


burberry check print cashmere scarf
nordstrom


if you tend to wear basic neutral colors...this is a great way to incoporate some color into your wardrobe...and pattern as well...and best of all...sure to brighten up any old grey day...

Monday, November 14, 2011

hello clutch...

"how about clutching it?" was one of my posts back in 2010...click on the link if you'd like to see my top clutch purses...that i use quite frequently...

seems they haven't gone away yet...and although i will never be completely ready to say goodbye to my purse...clutches are they way to go...when you don't want the bulk or worrying about the extra weight...what i love is that the newer ones are definately made big enough to actually hold your things...

when you've got a busy day...and carrying alot...sometimes a clutch is just what you need...especially when you are already carrying a briefcase or laptop case...a clutch can nicely fit in...and save you some shoulder pain as well...

the key is knowing what your essentials are...when finding the perfect clutch...make sure those essentials fit..be it your favorite lipstick, phone, car keys...

and then as always...have fun with color...texture...and size...see if you can stop at just one...

diane von furstenberg 'tonda' printed cotton clutch
nordstrom

Saturday, November 12, 2011

fashion funnies: ready for the holidays...

maxine by john wagner


hope your weekend is fabulous...

Friday, November 11, 2011

you had me at hello: i'm feelin' kinda blue...

my name is elena...and i have a coat addiction...but i'm wondering...is it an addiction or just a love of beautiful coats? hmmm...

while i was flipping through a bloomingdales catalog...my eyes feasted on this lovely...i've never really gravitated towards blue...but this sweet maxi coat...had me at hello...a blue double -breasted maxi coat by nanette lepore...doesn't every coat collector need a blue one as well?

did you notice i went from having an addiction to being a collector of coats? has a nicer ring to it...either way...i'm not ashamed...the only problem is...i don't see this on the bloomingdales website...maybe i'm too late...

i wonder what started my love for blue?

the maxi coat by nanette lepore
scanned by moi

Thursday, November 10, 2011

beadjoux at the triton museum of art...

the fabulous shelley bond of beadjoux will be showing her one-of-a-kind pieces at the triton museum of art...so if you are a local...get thee over there...this weekend...

i last wrote about shelley back in december 2009...when i had attended a reception in her honor...baubles and art...shelley and i go way back...i don't quite remember when we first met...but we instantly bonded...over our love of unique jewelry...handbags and shoes...

what i love about the pieces that shelley makes...is that there are no two alike...so i know that when i purchase one of them...no one else will have it...which is a pretty big deal for me...

feel free to stop by this weekend...i'm excited as i've never been to the triton museum of art either...and there will be other vendors to view...hopefully i can get some christmas shopping done...

Triton Museum of Art's 3rd Annual Holiday Gift Fair
Saturday & Sunday - October 12 & 13
10am to 5pm

1505 Warburton Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95050


this is a small and very beautiful museum in santa clara and the vendor tables will be set up right in the galleries...they happen to have a current exhibition by heather wilcoxon...it's being held in the main gallery, just as you walk into the museum...there will be vendors showing and selling ceramics, glass, miniatures, jewelry and more...

you can read more about her work on www.shelleybond.com...also...feel free to follow her on her new facebook page as well...i'm still trying to talk her into selling her pieces online...for those of you that are not near...know that i'll keep suggesting that... =)


here are some of her great pieces...














Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the high heeled loafer...

when i first saw pictures of the high heeled loafer with trends for fall...my first thought was...ok...that was my staple shoe in the late 80's...early 90's...during my corporate america days...truth be told...they were probably the most comfortable style...for me...as i was constantly traveling...or heading off to client appointments...basically my feet were not aching...

so...with that in mind...i didn't really gravitate to this "new" old trend...quickly...but now that i've seen it around a bit...i'm seeing some that i actually want...who knew? of course...my corporate america days are far behind me...but i could easily see these working in my current wardrobe...

like this perfect pair...swoon!

stuart weitzman "tassup" moc pumps
bloomingdales


i've even got a beautiful pair in the fabulous finds consignment boutique...if they were only my size...if you are a size 8 and love green...these are pretty fabulous...

via spiga green suede high heeled loafers
fabulous finds consignment boutique

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

men's corner: spruce up the sweater...

fall is definately the start of the season where we pull out the cozy sweaters...and for men...well...this should be no exception...but...if you are one who always falls back on the solid black, grey or navy blue sweater...come on...let's spruce it up a bit this year...

stripes are always fun...as in this lovely piece...still grey...but with some interest...


dolce & gabbana turtleneck sweater
nordstrom


if you see those stripes...and think...a bit too much for me...go for a smaller version of stripes...still with some great interest...don't you think?

cashmere v-neck sweater in jetty stripe
j. crew


they say "it's all in the details..." as this lovely sweater (cardigan) shows...not your old boring sweater...how easily put together this sweater looks...

toggle shawl-collar cardigan
j. crew


and if all these stripes & toggles make you dizzy...then at least go for one or two sweaters in this years lovely jewel tones...plenty to choose from...

merino v-neck sweater
gap

Monday, November 7, 2011

the keep pile...

about a month ago...i was going through the closet of one of my new clients...once we were done...she told me that she was surprised at some of the items that i told her to hold on to...

i don't know if it is the whole "what not to wear" fear...that a wardrobe stylist will come in and get rid of every stitch of clothing one owns...or just not understanding the difference between style & trends...but most importantly...fit...

i do talk alot in this blog about cleaning out the closets...purging...getting rid of the items that don't serve a purpose anymore...but there are definately pieces that i will tell my clients to hold on to...

so...what, when you are weeding through your closet...should you absolutely...positively save...even if you haven't worn it recently? here are some definates...

- the item that makes you look ten pounds thinner...even if it's out of style...say for example...you have that skirt (insert whatever the item may be)...a supremely flattering item is always a keeper...even if it looks strange or dowdy for a season or two...you never know...fashions do change...and then again...so may your body...the key here..is the fit of that item...

- classic evening wear...silk pants...an embroidered kimono...a charmeuse tunic...anything that still fits and is in good shape...even if you had a baby two years ago and haven't been out after midnite since...the next time you have to attend a once-every-five-years formal event (and believe me...they do come up when you least expect it) you may not have to buy new clothes...

- high quality classics in good condition...what i'm thinking of are things like tweed blazers and cashmere sweaters...that one year may fit a little too tight for the style...or may have a cowl neckline when everyone's wearing turtlenecks...or may have collars that are a little too wide or too narrow...for a short time...these so-called classics may look out of place to you...but if they're in good shape...hang on to them...because the style standing of these sorts of details always changes...and they'll look good again someday...

- the skirt or pants that fit last year...but now are a little too snug...or a little too big...some of my clients...whenever they gain or lose ten pounds...tend to think this is it forever...and out with everything that reminds them of their former shape...but if your weight fluctuation is recent...and if you tend to go up or down a size consistently over time...it's smart to keep items that fit in your normal range...even if they don't fit right now...

and sometimes...items that are in your closet are kept but changed...perhaps a skirt is shortened...or the sleeves are changed on an item...a good tailor truly can perform miracles on items that don't serve their purpose in the current state...but tiny tweaks...can make an old un-used item...a new improved item...



photo source

Saturday, November 5, 2011

fashion funnies: the signs of "fall"

...and the importance of wearing a belt...

scott hilburn, comic


may your weekend be fabulous

Friday, November 4, 2011

difficult items...

...what's difficult will vary from person to person...but almost universally traumatic and hard to find are a good pair of jeans...a bathing suit...and for some...shoes (although the only problem i have with shoes is just buying one pair)...but i digress...

for those difficult pieces...you want a low-stress shopping experience...so...first...shop for only one difficult item per shopping trip...no matter how much you hate the mall...stick to that one item...in other words...focus only on that item...and if you find one version of any of the above items that you like...that fits...and that you could afford in a single shopping trip...you can consider that trip a success...

and if you can swing it...buy two...

photo source

Thursday, November 3, 2011

leopard & floral...

i've kind of been on a mixing of patterns kick...inspired by so many gorgeous editorials...i've posted some along the way...for me...it is a great way to "funk" up an outfit...and really make it unique...

so...of course...the best place to start is always always always in your own closet...i truly believe...as in decorating...when you buy pieces you love...they will work together...

so...i started with this cotton shirt that i haven't worn in forever...truth be told...i hadn't worn it for a while...cause i had gotten a little bored with it...as i write that...i'm thinking...me...get bored with leopard? say it isn't so...

...uh yeah...that'll never happen...i was just bored with the shirt worn as a basic shirt...



so i ventured into my closet...and knew i needed something to keep me warm...as the nippy fall air has arrived...perused my blazers...but nothing was jumping out at me...and then i saw it...my floral sweater...how perfect!



and while i know this for some is a little out there...but for me...just a perfect combo of mixing patterns...and here is the end result...



is this something you would try? let us know your perfect combination of pattern & color...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

mixing patterns in same color palette...

yes...i'm still perusing through my september issues...les sigh...and yesterday i got through the last of them...and my eyes ventured onto marie claire with this fabulous display of mixing patterns...same color palette...

ok...i know this is not for everyone...but the fun thing about is...is you can choose to what degrees you mix patterns...you can be bold...or take baby steps...

this got my brain churning as to new ways i could mix patterns...and actually produced my outfit for today...which i have no time to take a pic of for this post...so wait till tomorrow!

until then...do these pics inspire you? or may you run the other way?






photos scanned by moi: marie claire ~ september issue
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