Gift Guide: Ten Perfect Gifts for Him...

TEN PERFECT GIFTS FOR HIM (ALL $150 OR LESS)

Like all men, he's a bit difficult to shop for due to his mysterious qualities. Strive for quality over quantity and select thoughtful items that will prove just as useful as they are attractive.

1. Cire Trudon Josephine Scented Candle to make the mood magical // 2. Dents Cashmere-Lined Leather Gloves to protect strong hands // 3. Jasper Brass Cufflinks for more festive affairs // 4. Tom Ford Portofino Shower Gel because... Tom Ford // 5. Engraveable London Brick wooden catchall for watches, keys & what-nots // 6. Cut-Crystal Cocktail Shaker for getting the party started in style // 7. Brass Rollerball Pen for all things business // 8. Tortoiseshell Rake Comb for seriously polished grooming // 9. Tom Dixon Cube Brushed Desk Caddy for keeping it neat // 10. Tom Ford Noir Extreme Eau de Parfum is not to be missed


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Shopping: Reach for the Gold at Tory Burch (and save 30% or more doing so)...

Tory does a great job with her 30% off deals. The holiday sale is kicking off right now, so shop while you enjoy Love Actually & hot cocoa! Don't miss my Black Friday deals page for regular updates.

A FEW PRETTY TORY SELECTIONS

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Shopping: Pro Tips for Navigating Black Friday + Cyber Week Like a Boss...

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Oh, Black Friday. We have turned this day off work into a massive shopping beast, haven't we? Gratefully, retailers have completely caught up with technology and are shifting their efforts into meeting us where we are: on our phones and in our jammies in bed. Still, navigating the onslaught of promotions like a boss takes a bit of skill. Here are my pro tips for keeping your wits abut you while crossing those must-have items off your list in style.

  1. FIRST RULE: RELAX
    In my experience the best sales truly are online and you can enjoy comparison shopping while sipping coffee in your pajamas from your bed. It truly doesn't get much better than that!
  2. PREPARE YOUR LIST
    Ideally, you have a list of things you've been keeping an eye on for yourself, as well as a list of those you need to buy presents for this year. In my case I need a black tote, loafer pumps and winter boots for myself. Girly gifts for my mini-me's and a gift for my husband. Stumped for ideas? I've made the ultimate gift guide for everyone on your list.
  3. PLAN AHEAD
    Know your goals (tackling the above list, staying under XYZ dollars) and stick to them. If you've established a holiday budget, commit to it and make it work. This won't be the last sale in the world, but be prepared to snap up what may very well be an item that sells out for good. By creating a list (see Step 2) your establishing your budget you'll be ready to pounce when you do discover a Saint Laurent bag on sale.
  4. STICK TO WHAT WORKS
    Now is not the time to branch out. I stick to my favorite brands and retailers for quality items and reasonable return policies. Also, this gives me an informed baseline for pricing and allows me to spy a good deal when I see it because I'm familiar with the items and typical (non-sale) pricing. See my one-stop black Friday roundup of retailers & offers to get your started.
  5. CONSIDER STOCKING UP
    Beauty lovers & cashmere sweater devotees should use this as an opportunity to stock up on our favorites. I love using sale seasons to fill in voids in my closet and grab an extra jar of my favorite nighttime moisturizer. Exercise your right to be a savvy shopper and stock up on those luxury basics you adore. Try not to me distracted by the discount racks full of potential wardrobe mishaps.
  6. KNOCK IT OUT ONLINE
    This is a big one for me. I love to buy everything important online (see my go-to list sources). Retailers like Net-a-Porter deliver in luxurious black boxes tied up with a bow (all year long, not just on the holidays) - and free shipping. Need it now? You can buy online and pick up at Nordstrom or Neimans later the same day - OR let them ship it for free. I use this service constantly and it saves me time, money and stress. Nordstrom will even walk your items out to you curbside.

This is how I personally navigate the holidays like a boss. I absolutely love the power of shopping online and can't imagine showing up at 5 am for an early morning "deal" when I can merely fli open my MacBook and click "order" while sipping my morning coffee. I like to peruse the outdoor shopping centers in person for fun once it gets chilly. It's more fun with family and friends while sipping cocoa and enjoying the bustle of the crowds without any personal expectations of having to find that "perfect" gift while battling long lines.

SHOP THE GIFT GUIDES

CURRENT OBSESSIONS

Gift Guide: Ten Glamorous Gifts For Her...

This recipient might not own everything she adores, but she does possess superior taste. Honor that by selecting carefully chosen gifts that appeal to her glamorous feminine preferences. Pro tip: stick to tried and true colors for this this discriminating girl. Black and white are her go-to colors but you can never go wrong with a bit of gold and a bit of blush pink.

1.  Bagatelle de Gabrielle Parfume via Omorovicza to ensure she smells dreamy // 2.  Jimmy Choo Shoes for her dancing feet // 3.  Dyson's impossibly sleek hair dryer (also here in fuchsia) // 4.  Saint Laurent's timeless matelasse monogram shoulder bag takes her from desk to dinner (also here & here & here)  // 5. Saint Laurent Croc Embossed Wallet serves double duty as chic clutch// 6. Dyptique's Baies candle is positively intoxicating & essential// 7.  Burberry's rose-hued lace trench because beige is boring // 8. Diamond stud earrings are timeless (also here & here) // 9. Slip's silk pillowcase in pink to keep her skin & hair fabulous forever (also here & here) // 10. AERIN x The Super Elixir double-up on glam & powdered greens in this limited edition caddy


Feeling Bookish: Two Extremely Stylish Must-Reads for Fashion Lovers...

{image credits, clockwise from top left: Franki Durbin // Coveteur // Coveteur // Coveteur}

This week has brought with it many gifts. Not the least of which are the two very exciting book purchases. Aimee Song's much anticipated "Capture Your Style" and the Coveteur's very intimate look into the closets (and by extension lives) of the famous & fabulous.

One book will school you in the ways of making your Instagram presentation stellar, the other will inspire you to up your fashion game at home and to feel free to expand your views on fashion as decor. Trust me, you will truly enjoy both of these new releases. Fair warning: you'll also be genuinely inspired to live life more stylishly and see the artistry in the possessions of your closet. Love these two new FABULOUS additions to the nightstand!

SHOP THE POST

Foundations: Fashion Investments You'll (Actually) Love Forever...

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By now you might have read dozens of curated closet tales similar to mine. It begins with a desire to put your wardrobe through the rigors of a CrossFit style program. Using a simple yet direct approach, you whip your oversized collection of fashion goods into such fine shape you can't help but stand back and admire your hard work. Sleek, fine-tuned and beautiful, a strong wardrobe is the result of a disciplined approach to shopping and investing. Gone is the excess of items that go unworn. Gone are the weak links in the chain in the form of space-takers bought with great optimism that you never actually wear. Gone are the "what was I thinking?" regrettable items that needed to be discarded. The resulting wardrobe is high-functioning, joy-inducing and packed with beauties that are as pleasurable to wear as they are to admire on the hanger or shelf.

ONCE YOU'VE KON MARI'D YOUR LIFE... WHAT'S NEXT?

Now the fun begins... a lifelong process of carefully adding in new investment pieces you'll (actually) cherish forever. This is a very different approach to fashion. There is no space in your life for "not quite right" items or missteps. There are only a carefully chosen group of "wow" pieces that (at least for me) will be adored for a lifetime and worn over and over again. Why does this matter? These accessories and statement making items are definitely in the line of investment pieces. Think: buy once, cry once - never need to replace because the style is so timeless and the craftsmanship is fantastic. Thus, their "cost per wear" within reason even if their investment price gives you pause.

My belief is that each new acquisition should make your heart sing and your stomach flip. There are no so-so selections. Each and every addition to your newly toned closet (more on that here) is a stunner and worth appreciating for its sheer beauty. Here's what I'm loving right now...

Rather than the staid khaki trench, I love the idea of this Burberry rose-hued lace version with traditional styling details and impeccable tailoring. This offers absolutely timeless sophistication with a fresh spin on tradition. Now, the bag. Saint Laurent is my current love with the Kate bags being the best of the bunch. Easily switching from double-strap shoulder bag to cross body form, these black leather bags go from tourist the city to elegant dinner without missing a step. In black and gold you'll be favoring this bag forever.

In the same vein, diamond stud earrings are never, ever going out of style. Find a pair you adore and cherish them. No accessory is as versatile as a scarf. Worn around the neck, over the shoulders, around the waist - you name it. The right scarf is a colorful pop that "makes" your look. I'm loving this floral silk scarf for the endless options it affords. Finally, shoes. While nude pumps have their moment, a pair of classic black pumps is an absolute must in your life. Manolo makes them perfectly. Worn with a dress, a skirt, jeans, pants, a jumpsuit - there are no limits. Invest in a very high quality pair and take great care of them. 

MY "LOVE FOREVER" FASHION INVESTMENTS

6. Chunky Gold Link Bracelet (similar here & here) // 7. Black Cashmere Sweater (similar here & here).  // 8. Black Bootcut Jeans (similar here & here) // 9. White Bow Blouse (similar here & here) // 10. Prada Saffiano Tote in Blush (similar here & here)


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Feeling Bookish: A Fresh Roundup of Amazing Style & Design Books...

Oh, books. How you delight me so. Instagram friends will have seen my many snaps of these beauties as I dive into them over coffee (guilty as charged). But you amazing blog readers might be missing out on the current hardcovers I'm enjoying these days.

Below, a roundup of some of my favorite recent book finds including a deep dive into the family history of the Gucci brand, a sublime visit into a Modern home basking in the California desert and a handful of other truly important interior design guaranteed to inspire you to focus on higher thoughts, aim for a more beautiful existence and expand your view on this magical life we all live. With that, here we go...


A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY

What happens when a classically-inclined architect and vivacious (and certainly not color-averse) interior designer marry and merge their business interests as well? This book explores their thinking process and reveals how two seemingly diametrically opposed approaches to design (and therefore living) can create absolutely beautiful work. Peter Pennoyer & Katie Ridder will wow you with their house in the country .GET THE BOOK

IN THE NAME OF GUCCI

A glossy look at the brand's fashion through the years, this is not. In the Name of Gucci is an insightful story revealing the wild ups and downs of the family through the eyes of Aldo Gucci's daughter Patricia.

I found the story fascinating and at times shocking to read. A story of love, drama, betrayal, legal issues and - yes, fashion -  in a thoughtfully crafted memoir. GET THE BOOK


FRANCOIS CATROUX

Now here's a book dripping in sexy spaces I can't get enough of. What is it with these French designers? There's clearly something in the Perrier infuses them with an unmatched talent for designing glamorous spaces worthy of his high-end clientele. I'll be featuring Catroux's work at length in an upcoming post, but for now know that this book is the first to celebrate the international designer's work. A must for the luxe-loving design enthusiast. GET THE BOOK

SUNNYLANDS

Craving that bright Palm Springs sunshine and the innovative architectural style native to the area? Me too. That's why Sunnylands was such a treat to read. Dubbed: Versailles for the Space Age, this estate does not disappoint if you're craving golf carts, and sun-drenched modern pools and an ecclectic mix of furnishings. This A. Quincy Jones property hosted politicians, movie stars & moguls making this retrospective a cool look back at famous faces all having a blast in under the California desert sun. GET THE BOOK


WANDERLUST

In this marvelously excessive book, Michelle Nussbaumer brings life to homes and hearts through her worldly & sophisticated creative viewpoint. Never one to create a "just shopped for" space, Michelle's projects celebrate the variety of art, design and cultural elements important to her clients.

Mixing eras, blurring continental divides and serving up her signature style, the designer inspires us to bring a taste of the world into our own homes as well. BUY THE BOOK

INTERIOR DESIGN MASTER CLASS

I've been to design school, and in all honestly this book offers more wisdom and practical insights than I learned in my years in a competitive interiors program. 100 top designers provide the benefit of their combined years of experience (and stunning project photos) to create what truly does read like a master class for designers at every level. This is one book jacket that will never get dusty as you'll be keeping it on the desk and referring to it time and time again. A must-have. BUY THE BOOK

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What to Wear: Dinner in the City of Light...

Whether you're chasing your dream of living in that perfect Paris flat or you're simply in France for the week, appearances matter. Dressing affects how you feel and how you feel impacts your experience. Simply put: plan those outfits ahead of time and invest in classics that you'll wear again and again. 

For this imaginary date night (or night with the girls) in Paris I envision no less than a stunning black embroidered dress, some vintage Chanel (you expected otherwise?) and a few key accessories. 

The dress: hand embroidered in India with layers of tulle. Needle & Thread makes attainably priced pieces you'll love for many years to come. This dress is no exception. 

Shoes: who can resist the siren call of Saint Laurent? Alas, the price tag means they are not in the cards for everyone. Why not explore Ivanka's stunning collection or SJP's that make dressing in style affordable and downright chic. 

Chanel! Yes, yes, yes... there will be some black leather in your life. Why not peruse some vintage options for pieces with a bit of an interesting backstory? They make for great conversations starters, but are also often very special and meaningful investments. 

Scent: Whether you're creating romance or simply out for creating memories of a lovely night on the town, a signature scent will always transport you back to this magical night. Why not pay homage to one of the city's most iconic brands by spritzing on this modernized version of a Chanel fragrance. 

Finishing details matter most. Consider the chic chignon your go-to hairstyle for this memorable night. With so much sparkle elsewhere, keep it simply by dressing up your lobes with Swarovski crystal Ben Amun earrings. Fabulousness that's not overdone (but still stand-out fabulous). 

Your best wardrobe weapon? A attitude of insouciance. You belong at the most marvelous table. Act the part. Dress the part. Feel the part. Soak in the wonder of Paris. Make the night magical and don't even think of going to bed early. The night is young. 

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Foundations: Flared Pants & the Curated Closet...

 {images via  Diego Zuko }

{images via Diego Zuko}

By now it's long overstated that we (the collective we) adore the insouciance of our French counterparts, gifted with making the simplest outfit radiate confidence and genuinely effortless style. Drawing upon Paris Fashion Week for inspiration, I've rounded up a handful of items every wardrobe should possess: feminine blouses, incredible shoes, beautiful bags and terrific top layers. These five pieces all but guarantee your everyday fall/winter look exudes European sophistication and model-off-duty cool.

Today's topic of discussion? Pants. The specific challenge we must ask of ourselves? Do these flared hemlines make the cut in the completely curated closet? I've thought long and hard about this. I've enjoyed the parade of fabulous looks during Fashion Month. And I admit I adore the look

While skinny jeans and jeggings still hold their coveted place in your closet, the idea of pants with a bit of movement is wildly appealing right now. The carefree "oh, this old thing?" look is more believable when your pants have a sensual flow to them. A bit of movement. A fluidity. Smart investment. Eternal style. Of the moment energy. A little bit of ankle showing makes these fun to pair with pretty shoes too.

A WORD ABOUT SHOES

The cropped silhouette allows for almost ANY shoe to look brilliant when worn with these kicky pants. Stilettos, boots, chunky heels, loafers, ballet slippers - they all play well together. Ultimately it's about the statement you're trying to make and the vibe you strive to exude.



STYLIST TIPS

Stick to denim or black pants to give these fun pieces more timeless appeal. I've noticed that my black items and my jeans almost ALL make the cut even during a super deep closet edit. Bonus points for black denim - the best of both worlds! Raw edge looks are having a glorious "moment" but veer towards the trendy side. Still, I adore them and you can cleverly have a tailor hem them up once the "moment" passes.

SHOP MY FAVORITES




Closet Crush: Step Inside Aerin Lauder's Enviable Dressing Room...

Who doesn't love a stroll around someone's private dressing area? A glimpse into their personal space, a taste of the way they live, a glimmer of the person behind the persona. Are they orderly and neat or wild and free? Does their wardrobe brim with frilly frocks or is it an exercise in practical dressing? These are the things I seek to discover when given an opportunity to tour the area where a celebrity does their morning dress up routine.

As expected, the heir to Estee Lauder's beauty empire and bonafide star businesswoman herself has a closet that is everything a girl could hope for.  Outfitted with beautiful bags, shoes and baubles while bathed in sunlight, Aerin Lauder's dressing room (as seen on the Coveteur) is as enviable as her perfectly undone mane. Festive heels, blushy suede bags and enough leopard to make a even the most jaded fashionista rawr, this space gives us all more reasons to aspire to be at the helm of our own lifestyle brand. 

The requisite black Birkin and a classic well-loved Chanel offset an accessories closet brimming with Aerin's own posh designs. What keeps the photos from looking like a brand editorial are the sentimental items complete with their own stories to tell and cherished family photos. That, and Aerin herself who while radiating well-heeled sophistication is convincingly approachable in every interview. I love seeing her in her space (and yes, I've obsessed about her closet and others before). Still, the images are fresh and as always, the divine Mrs. Lauder inspires me to up my style game at home and in my closet.

SHOP THE LOOK




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Current Obsession: Blanco...

Sometimes in order to create a new inner life, we must rethink our exterior. A fresh lease on life can sometimes be ushered in my a new haircut, a wardrobe refresh or a redesigned living space. It's a trick I've played on my mind over and over again when I need an adjustment in my thinking. And so it begins with my (annual) obsession with wearing all white. 

Billowy linen pants, eyelet dresses, embellished tunics... all of these are fashion hallmarks of summer. I'm seeing this season as a time to reinvent, re-imagine and refocus on myself, my goals and my outlook. A monochromatic look simplifies the dressing process and is the physical manifestation of my internal fresh start. 

Think of it as a sartorial clean slate. No complexity, no vagueness, no mystery. Just a pure, clean, straightforward outlook on life. Care to join me? 

ROCK YOUR BEST BLANCO

Current Obsession: The Weekend Wedge...

Oh, shoes. Can a girl ever really have enough? If you're a fan of fabulous footwear ON SALE, now is the time to head to the Neiman Marcus last call sale. These beauties and many others are on extreme clearance. I like my wedges like I like my standards: high! These Sophia Webster espadrilles are a colorful confection for those of you who love shoes with personality. But never fear, neutrals, flats, boots and pumps are all part of the clearance happening. Enjoy the weekend and take advantage of the seasonal discounts. 

What to Wear: Late Night Dinner in Marrakesh...

exotic

In a previous post we explored the exotic La Mamounia in faraway Marrakesh. A hotel with an excess of Moroccan flair and an enchanted atmosphere. Now... onto the serious business of what to wear to dinner under the stars in the open air garden. With neat rows of swaying palms, a warm breeze and the faint sounds of Moroccan life all around, you'll love a look that is bold and sexy while still harboring plenty of mystery.

I found this incredible Norma Kamali gown, which I think would be perfect for drinks on the terrace & a dinner date. Add shimmering shadow on the eyes (Tom Ford does it best), spectacular shoes and a standout bangle (in gold, no less!) and you're out the door for a memorable dinner under the African stars. Don't forget to be a hit heavy-handed with the eyeliner for added glam. Add these beautiful elements to your suitcase to ensure you bring your own exotic charms on your next getaway. 

SHOP THE LOOK

Norma Kamali Floor-sweeping gown // Rene Caovilla crystal jeweled sandals // Kendra Scott Ivy Fringe bracelet // Tom Ford Seductive Rose Eye Quad // YSL Waterproof Gold Eyeliner

Shoe Love: Stocking Up On Summer Stunners...

A girl and her shoes, right? A stylish match made in footwear heaven (because I do believe such a place exists). Summer for me means the pedicure is always on display and wedges are this vertically challenged girl's best friend. Yet I do love a shimmering gold flat sandal in the mix. Here's my summer shoe crush list, most of which are on sale at the moment.

Hold the phone... did someone say SHOE SALE? Yes, I did. Neiman MarcusNet-a-Porter and Nordstrom are all having ridiculously good sales right now on brands high and low. Shoes are discounted deeply (think 40% off) including this season's hottest styles. I do love a good find at a fabulous price. I'm sure you do too! So.. happy shoe shopping, ladies! 

SUMMER SHOES I'M HUNTING RIGHT NOW

Feeling Bookish: A Fresh Look at The Iconic Cindy Crawford...

I consider myself well-versed on supermodels. From today's Gigi Hadid to the memorable Evangelista, Iman, Christy era, I'm a fashionista to the core and adore the evolution of the modeling world.

Knowing this I expected Becoming by Cindy Crawford to feel more like a step back in time to celebrate the divine Ms. Crawford's more memorable photo shoots. What I received instead was a serious education on the Cindy I never knew.

The photos - AMAZING. Really amazing. Many shoots were so radical I could hardly believe it was Cindy's eyes looking back at me. Bold, brazen poses as only a supermodel could serve up. And her confidence - sizzling.  The backstory on how she "became" the model of the moment (and has maintained her space in the spotlight in creative new ways) was even more amazing. I loved this so much I sent a copy to my mom for Mother's Day so we could both think back to those pre-Kaia days.

The Kendalls and Haileys of today are almost overexposed thanks to their high flying social media profiles. Yet Cindy's behind-the-scenes story is largely her own to tell. In Becoming she does tell it beautifully and invites us backstage to sand-covered photo shoots and high-fashion scenes.

Curious to know Kaia's thoughts on being the child of one of the world's most beautiful women? It can't be easy, right? Fortunately, WhoWhatWear sat down with the up-and-coming model - a near twin to her mom - to reveal her thoughts.

If you're a fan of Cindy's, this beautiful book is gift-worthy and makes a spectacular present for anyone. Including yourself. Find yours at Net-a-Porter.

Loving: The Brilliance of Cork Platform Wedges...

Personally, I scoff at any of those in/out lists that claim cork wedges are no longer chic. I'm sorry, have you feet not been blessed by the softly cushioned experience of this magical mix of high-heel-meets-pillowy-cloud experience? Aquazzura agrees with me. As does Jimmy, Jack, Stuart, Tory, Donald, Michael and Christian and pretty much every other designer with feet planted firmly on the ground. Need evidence, take a peek at these beauties. Comfort is chic and cork wedges are brilliant. And so are you for loving them. Be sleek. Be smart. Be kind to your lovely feet. They do so much for you they deserve to be elevated on cushy pillows of fabulousness all season long.

Current Obsession: Brilliant White Beaded Eyelet Dresses...

If I were in the habit of buying $7000 dresses at a moment's notice, this lovely Altuzarra frock would surely be mine. Never fear, trendsetters... Olivia Palermo & Chelsea28 have a similarly styled white dress (not as opulent, but definitely a stand-in for those of you on the hunt for the look) offered for a mere $148. You are welcome. :) 

Current Obsession: The Wedge Sandals Your Feet Have Been Begging For...

Ladies... these are UGGS. They are high heel espadrille wedges. With bows. Big, beautiful bows at the ankles. They are beautiful. The reviews are OUTSTANDING. They are available in two dreamy super neutral colors. You are not dreaming. These are real shoes presently available in pretty much every single size. You are so very welcome. Get your "Jules" espadrilles right here