As we transition into pre-fall, the new shoe mantra is: go big or go home! Embellished, embroidered, bejeweled, fur, studs, lace-up, the list goes on... We already know a good shoe can make or break an outfit. With all the focus on your feet, you can pair a really simple outfit with an incredible shoe and call it a day. Think classic white button up with jeans and a tasseled lace-up sandal or the cult Gucci Princetown slipper and ta-da!
The part of summer has come where it is just too hot to wear jeans, especially in South Florida. I know I am not the only one who finds it difficult to find nice shorts that can take you from day to night . To be clear, I am not referring to cut-off denim! I was so happy when I spotted these adorable paper-bag waist shorts at Intermix. They are perfect for running around with the kids during the day and polished enough for a casual dinner out with friends. They would even work with high heel sandals or wedges for a more dressed up look. For those who are looking, here are a few other styles that also fit the bill: Alexis high-waist lace shorts, Frame le paperbag shorts, ALC loop-detail shorts, Rag & Bone lace-up denim shorts, and Club Monaco scalloped hem shorts. xo
There is nothing more impactful than the timeless combination of black and white. A perfect palette for transitioning from summer into pre-fall, we've compiled an edit of our favorite styles of the season. From this so chic ivory Alexis off-the-shoulder romper with black satin piping to the most sleek everyday Saint Laurent Shopping Tote and the statement-making sunnies: Illesteva Leonard II in black/white camo, these styles are sure to make a graphic statement. xo
What I love about this top is that it combines two of the things I cannot get enough of right now - stripes and an off-the-shoulder silhouette. It is surprisingly versatile - can be worn with the buttons down the front or back, with hem tied in a knot or worn as a longer tunic, and the sleeves can be cuffed up or down. Here, I wore it knotted with white jeans and kept my accessories simple - flat leather sandals and a straw tote for a casual, beachy look.
It is no secret that I can't get enough of the off-the-shoulder silhouette this season and this top has been in serious rotation in my wardrobe lately. The simplicity of this particular style lends itself to so many different looks, working equally well with jeans or tucked into a high-waisted skirt or shorts. Mine is by Milly but I LOVE these similar versions as well: Alexis, Style Mafia, Free People, Caroline Constas, and Chelsea28.
Truly one of the most classic and versatile pieces you can add to your summer wardrobe, the white dress is an absolute essential. Over the years I have amassed quite a collection, ranging from long and flowing to fitted crocheted styles, intricate lace and crisp button-up shirt dresses; one can never have too many. When I spotted this lightweight cotton Theory dress, I was sold. An understated sheath from the front with a modern cutout detail finished with a bow in the back, this style will be a wardrobe staple for years to come. When it comes to accessorizing, the options are endless. I spent the Fourth of July weekend in Islamorada, Florida and went with a casual island-inspired look for evening - turquoise silk tassel earrings, white chain-trim flat sandals and my monogrammed island bag from Palm Beach-based designer, Amanda Lindroth. How do you accessorize your summer whites?
Who doesn't love stripes? This Milly dress puts a modern spin on the traditional nautical stripes we've seen over and over again, yet is still classic enough to become a wardrobe mainstay.
Prompted by my recent move and inspired by The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I have made serious strides in streamlining my wardrobe. So when it comes to buying a new piece, versatility is key. What I love about this dress is how it can be worn to so many different occasions - a nice day of shopping, a bridal shower, an evening out or a summer barbecue. The pattern and silhouette are simple enough that you can dress it up or down, depending on the accessories.
The off-the-shoulder silhouette is one of the hottest looks of the season, and is, incidentally, one of the easiest pieces you can purchase to update your summer wardrobe. Done in both dresses and blouses in every iteration from menswear shirting to feminine lace, this modern look can be worn with something you already own and still make a bold statement. Maybe it's the subtle sexiness or the fun flirty flair; whatever it is, I personally can not stop buying them. Check back soon for an entire dedicated post.
In the meantime, here is a little outfit inspiration centered around an off-the-shoulder lace blouse (by Alexis, one of my new favorite designers) that I wore recently to celebrate my birthday with my family back in Kansas City. Such a detailed top takes center stage and I kept the rest of my look simple and effortless - my go-to white AG jeans, Castañer espadrille wedges (ever the classic) and Goyard tote.
Friends: it has been months since our last post; but alas, I am back, and with my second son in tow (nearly eight months!) and as a new resident of Palm Beach, Florida! I really can't complain. Michelle, on the other hand, has been (and is still) galavanting around Europe with no date to return to NYC anytime soon. Can you blame her?
Let's get down to business. One of our favorite trends this spring/summer is GINGHAM. In our opinion, nothing says summer like gingham, whether it is in black, red, blue or pink. With busy prints such as this, it is best to start with one statement piece and take it from there. For a little weekend bike ride around our new neighborhood, I wore a flirty gingham ruffled top with skinny white denim and another little splash of gingham done in a knotted slide. For a pop of color, I accessorized with my classic red Hayden Lasher Belgian Bag and my husband's spiffy new Brooklyn Bicicyle. :)
As summer is starting to wind down and fall fashion is everywhere we turn, we are so excited to start working some of the key pieces into our wardrobe! Everything this fall looks so new and fresh and we are especially loving the luxe bohemian looks that have evolved from spring. From silky printed blouses, drapey ponchos and capes, suede everything (skirts, heels, leggings...), chic knits, fringe, and fun updates in fur and shearling. We are also seeing a rich fall color palette - camel, burgandy, and gorgeous prints including paislies and dramatic florals. For accessories, look for wear-with-anything block heel booties, over the knee boots, the nonchalant cross-body bag or ladylike top-handle bag. We seriously can't wait. We will highlight some of the season's key trends in the upcoming months, but for now, here are some great pieces that feel so right, you can start working them into your wardrobe now and continue wearing them through fall. xo, Courtney
VANESSA BRUNO ATHE SLEEVELESS SWEATER // L'AGENCE LEATHER FRINGE SKIRT // SEE BY CHLOE SUEDE BOOTIES // RAG & BONE FELT FEDORA // CHLOE TAUPE DREW BAG // TORY BURCH FRINGE EARRINGS // SHASHI VINE RING // POLO RALPH LAUREN BUCKET BAG // THEORY IVORY KNIT DRESS, IN OLIVE AND BURGANDY HERE // AQUAZZURA BELGRAVIA HEELS
Fringe has taken on a new look and we love it. You can see it this season on everything from shoes to bags to skirts and jackets. It works on the beach to the city streets. It's fun to wear and adds that extra embellishment to an outfit that we are always looking for. Fringe is big for Fall as well, so take a look at some of our favorites and if you haven't already, add some fringe to your wardrobe!
We were so excited to meet up with talented fashion designer, Katie Fong, and visit her beautiful boutique (opened mid-April) on 60 Lewis Street, right off of Greenwich Avenue. Having grown up in Greenwich, CT, after high school, Katie attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and interned for Oscar de la Renta for three years. In 2013 she launched her eponymous label at age 22. While most young designers are trying to determine their target market, Katie knew hers immediately - the women of Greenwich, whose style she describes as effortlessly elegant.
Spring 2015 marks Katie's third ready-to-wear collection and she also does a thriving business in made-to-measure pieces for local women. Apart from her Greenwich store and Manhattan studio, Katie's collection is currently sold exclusively online through the upscale Taigan.com. Her design aesthetic is inspired by the artisan traditions of the great European and American ateliers and highlights of her collection include feminine silhouettes using the finest fabrics and details such as lace and intricate embroidery, all manufactured in New York City. For those who live in the area, a stop by Katie's boutique is a must!
style icons: Olivia Palermo for modern day styling, and Grace Kelly; her style was so timeless and effortlessly elegant.
favorite designers: I’ve always been inspired by Oscar de la Renta (I worked alongside him and his team for 3 years) and Christian Dior in the 50’s.
favorite stores: The Katie Fong Boutique! We just opened in April, and have partnered up with some wonderful accessory vendors to create a unique and inviting shopping experience.
handbag: The Belgian Bag by Hayden Lasher – I take my black one everywhere.
shoes: Manolo Blahnik heels, Chanel Flats… I probably have a dozen Jack Rogers for the summer.
denim: J Brand or Rag and Bone, always a dark wash in a skinny fit.
city day look: I’m constantly on the go, so comfort is key for me. Black J Brand 811 Photoready Denim, Theory Cotton White Top, flats, and a light scarf by A. Barclay
country day look: The Julie Dress, a white lace and chiffon swing dress, from my Spring 2015 Collection. It’s the easiest piece to take from day into night just with a change of shoes.
evening look: Lace and silk anything, and probably from my Collection- accessorized with statement earrings, an evening clutch, and simple pumps.
items you splurge on: Shoes… my biggest weakness!
items you save on: Dresses! I design so many, I usually always wear my own.
beauty essentials: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, Organic Almond Oil (amazing as a moisturizer), Bobbi Brown Bronze Shimmer Brick
signature scent: Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
salon: Christopher Noland in Greenwich
destination: Nantucket, Massachusetts. I’m a New England girl at heart, and I’m most creative when I’m by the water.
hotel: I recently stayed at the Equinox in Manchester, Vermont. It was the perfect low key, relaxing weekend trip, and so beautiful.
restaurant: Le Penguin in Greenwich (and right across from our store!) The most amazing truffle fries….
3 essentials you can't live without: My ivory and white lace dresses (I wear them all year around), my iphone (work consumes my life!) and my moleskin notebooks… I always carry one with me since I’m forgetful if I don’t write something down, plus I never know when I will get an design idea!
Our last night in Paris, we did not have formal dinner reservations and wanted to do something a bit more low-key. We took a recommendation from a local Parisian for the best rooftop views at the Hotel Raphael Terrace (a hidden gem, he said). Rooftop garden with a champagne bar and stunning views of all of Paris, including the nearby Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower - seriously perfect. After drinks, we went for dinner at the classic brasserie/piano bar Closerie des Lilas, and then ended the night listening to the DJ at the scene-y Hotel Costes.
For a more casual evening out, I wore one of my go-to outfits: a solid silk camisole, skinny jeans, heels and Chanel bag. I had been wanting this jacket for awhile and it was sold out at Bergdorf's in black; luckily, I spotted it at the Isabel Marant boutique on Avenue Victor Hugo!
We are so thrilled to be partnering with Go Figure Studio during the month of May. This month, new clients that are referred by Go Figure will receive 10% off all Refined Fashion style consulting services! Go Figure is the premier barre studio in Fairfield County, CT with other locations across Westchester County, Nantucket, Palm Beach and Scottsdale. The Figure Method, developed by owner Cindy Sites, combines the best of ballet, yoga and pilates.
Kate Cutshall is the Darien, CT studio director and one of our favorite instructors. She has such high energy, plays the best playlists, and you feel the burn days after class. Did we mention she sometimes rocks Ryan Gosling leggings in class? Kate was a classically trained ballerina for over 20 years so with Go Figure she has come full circle at the barre. She recently developed the new GLOW class, which is a cardio dance inspired work out designed for the client that is looking to incorporate a little more cardio into their weekly burn. It's a fun, upbeat, high energy class...it's INTENSE. If you live in the area, you must pop into one of Kate's classes!
style icons: Lately, I have been really loving Olivia Palermo. She doesn't have a mis-step! I love her laid back city vibe as much as when she's dolled up - she makes it look effortless! I also adore Lauren Santo Domingo - she's got the brains and beauty! I admire Ivanka Trump - an entrepreneur and a mother!
favorite designers: By Malene Birger, Tibi, Allude Cashmere & Harvey Faircloth has become a staple in my closet from tops to sweaters to day and cocktail dresses - classic American style that always makes you feel and look good.
favorite stores: I grew up down south in North Carolina - fashion was a big part of our every day (we were a lot more formal then!). Needless to say, several friends of mine have their own boutiques and they are kind enough to outfit me - it's great because they have introduced me to some amazing new designers. If you're ever in Raleigh, stop by Fleur Boutique and say hello! I also love 5th floor BG's, Saks, Intermix and Calypso.
handbag: My every day running around with the kids is the Hermes Evelyne bag - it allows me to be hands-free! Otherwise, I am loving my new Celine bag - I feel so chic!
shoes: Last summer I invested in the Valentino Rock Stud Pumps - I'm so glad I did...they go with everything and I wear them all the time! Otherwise, I run around in Chloe flats...they are so comfortable. Pumps: Louboutin, Valentino. Flats: Chloe, Jimmy Choo.
denim: Frame denim are my new favorite - especially the distressed kind. But I still love and wear J Brand and AG - especially the kind with stretch!
city day look: Black and white Iro jacket, white cami from Tibi, Frame denim jeans or black 3.1 Phillip Lim jodhpur pants and Chanel flats
country day look: I'm a busy Mom of 2 pre-schoolers so my style has changed since my days as a working gal in NYC. Right now, I love Frame Denim, breezy tops from Vince accessorized with a Mignonne Gavigan scarf necklace and Valentino flats.
evening look: In the winter, I love black leather leggings with a cashmere sweater with heels or booties. Summertime, I'm all about the white jeans and heels or a jumpsuit!
currently eyeing for your closet: Chloe Drew Bag
items you splurge on: Shoes and bags!
items you save on: Tops, t-shirts, anything that I know can get ruined by a toddler.
beauty essentials: Loving BB cream lately and can't leave the house without bronzer and Chanel cream blush - it lasts all day!
signature scent: Diptyque Eau Moheli
salon: Lea Arpell at Dream Spa is an artiste!
hotel: Viceroy, Anguilla
restaurant: Raoul's, NYC
3 essentials you can't live without: A great pair of sunglasses (right now Ray Ban Flash or Celine), my Van Cleef clover earrings (a birthday gift from my husband), Chanel lip gloss!
A few other healthy lifestyle-specific questions for Kate!
favorite brands for workout clothes? Hands down, Splits59 are my favorite workout clothes. The fit of the leggings are perfect - they pull you in and make your legs look great. I also have a fun pair of Ryan Gosling pants with pictures of his face all over my legs - they are hip and add a little humor to my classes. People always stop me and ask where I got them - Clashist carries them.
most effective exercises for targeting specific areas? My favorite part of class is thigh. One, it allows me to be the most creative with my choreography, but two it's the part of class where you burn the most calories, which will ultimately change the body. Of course it's the part of class where I always hear the most moans and groans, but I just take that as a compliment.
go-to diet to keep you energized and healthy? I like to start my day off with granola, yogurt and berries...I try to add in protein like peanut butter toast if I know I have to teach classes - it fills you up and gives you energy.
The shirtdress is so prevalent this season, and can be found in every iteration from a crisp, cotton sleeveless style to a flowy, silk version with long sleeves. How cute is this fringed style by Derek Lam 10 Crosby or this dainty floral print silk version by Equipment? We love them all, but are especially partial to a classic white style as they are are so versatile and can be taken from day to night, the epitome of summer chic. Check out some more of our top picks below and ideas on how to accessorize!