Friday, April 29, 2011

All Things Pantone

The Golden Gate Bridge is PMS 173 also known as International Orange. Is it weird that it's my mission in life to know the PMS (Pantone Matching System) color of like everything? I am a sucker for all things Pantone. I already have the mugs, a peppermill, a coin purse, but I just can't get enough. And now I find out that there is a Pantone Hotel. I have to go! This blog has some terrific photos of the cheerful looking hotel. According to the hotel website guests are given a room to compliment their moods at check-in. The hotel seems to convey the identity of Pantone perfectly without going overboard. I must make a trip to Beligum soon.

In addition to visiting the hotel, the Pantone item I am coveting most at the moment is the Capsure. This hand-held device allows you to capture color inspiration from everyday objects. Now I can finally find the exact PMS color of that little part of a rug I liked or a tote bag I saw. With a library of up to 8,000 colors the possibilities are endless.

The pictures below are some of my other Pantone obsessions. Click on photos for purchasing details.

How cute would these chairs be in an office or den type space? Maybe one day when I have my own studio.

These tins filled with Pantone chip cookies would make the perfect little gift for the design geek in your life.

This DIY project is sort of amazing. Again, on my wishlist for my future design studio.

Owning this bike is reason enough to move to Europe.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday Best

Someone read my blog last week and asked "so, exactly how many coats do you own?" I told her that I was going to plead the fifth on that question. Every spring, I go through my coat closet and try to get rid of one or two things, but it never works. I just love them all way too much to part with.

Have you ever loved something, then sort of hated it and then gone back to loving it even more? That's how I feel about the floral trench that I wore last week. I have noticed that I have this type of cyclical relationship with many of them items in my wardrobe. That's why I have such a hard time getting rid of things and this is especially true of my coats. You just never know when you'll have a yearning for that coat you bought last year or that swimsuit from five years ago. And that's why I am so happy that this trench never moved from the maybe get rid of pile to the definitely pile.

Floral Trench - Forever 21
Black Shift Dress - Banana Republic
Necklace - Ann Taylor
Taupe Mary Janes - Aldo

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Follow-up: H&M Conscious Collection

As mentioned in an earlier post, the H&M Conscious Collection debuted last Thursday. I booked it to the downtown DC location so I could get there right when they were opening and boy am I glad I did. It turns out that they pretty much only had one of each item in my size, so I quickly scooped up all the pieces that I was interested in. Click on the photos to enlarge.

This dress is the reason I really wanted to get to H&M on the morning of the collection debut. They only had one size 2 (fits like a 00) and I grabbed it right away. This dress was even prettier in person than it was online. The mix of the ultra feminine chiffon top and the metallic brocade bottom is just lovely. My only concern is the plunging neckline, there will need to be some serious double-sided tape action going to avoid exposure. I decided to take the plunge, no pun intended, and buy the dress and am leaning towards keeping it.

Beaded Strapless Top

I tried this top on in a size 2 (fits like a 00p) and it was terrible. One of the least flattering things I have ever put on my body. I'll pass, thank you.

Scalloped Shorts

ChloƩ's scalloped shorts were seen all over the place this winter and spring. These knock off pale pink version make a lovely substitute for those of us who don't want to drop a grand on a pair of shorts. Although i went ahead and purchased these, I am not sure if I am going to keep them. I just don't know how much I will actually wear them.

Organic Cotton Peplum Top

They barely had any of these tops in the store, but i did manage to score both of them is a size 2 (fits like a 00p). It's hard to imagine many people being able to wear this top. I have an extremely short torso and it fit me well, but if you are regularly proportioned or have a long torso, this will definitely be a belly shirt on you.  I haven't decided if I am going to keep both yet, but I do love the peplum style and hook and eye closure on these tops.

After seeing the entire Conscious Collection in person, I am sticking to my original opinion. It was pretty disappointing in comparison with the Garden Collection. Many of the items were see through, seemed cheap and just not worth the price.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunday Best

Last summer I searched high and low for a pair of magenta peep toe wedges. Nothing! Not one pair to be found that I didn't absolutely hate. Now mind you, this is probably due to my irrational feelings towards cork bottom wedges. I just can't get behind them. I try not to hate them, but I can't help it.

This leads me to my outfit of the week. After putting this look together, I decided that I definitely need to resume my search for the elusive magenta non cork bottom wedges. I wore magenta flats to walk to work in and the color definitely added something extra to the ensemble. The gray wedges work as well, but I think the pop of color on my feet would have been a nice touch.

Striped Merino Wool Blazer - Ann Taylor Loft
Cotton Green Dress - Boutique in Chicago
Skinny Belt - Banana Republic
Erin Dot Tights - Banana Republic
Peep Toe Wedges - Target

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Vogue: Accessorizing for Men

Most men don't accessorize. Actually, let me rephrase that, most straight men don't accessorize. In my experience most men want to come off as effortlessly cool. I think they fear that accessorizing will make them look like they are trying to hard. They worry, "can i pull this off?" or "is this manly enough?" So imagine my surprise when I walked into happy hour a couple of weeks ago and saw my friend Adam totally rocking an infinity scarf. Now, don't get me wrong, Adam is always pretty stylish, but his scarf totally took it to the next level. And although his purple plaid shirt is completely on trend as well, it's the addition of the scarf that adds an unexpected touch and hip vibe. Which is exactly what the right accessories can do for you! Talk about effortlessly cool.

You may think of accessories strictly as a woman's domain, but as witnessed above, it can really make all the difference. If you are new to the game, think subtle, like a belt in an unexpected hue or funky cuff links. If you want to kick it up a notch, try a fun hat, printed scarf or cool bag. My picks are below, click on the pictures to purchase.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday Best

Mother Nature, what a tease you are. You followed up a gorgeous 80 degree day by slamming us with rain, thunder and temperatures in the 50s. Luckily, I got in the perfect preview of summer outfit on Monday. Although I have had this dress for years, I still feel great every time I put it on. I guess that's the sign of a great purchase. Plus, it has pockets! I love that this coat is an edgy mix of military with soft feminine details. Of all of the coats and jackets I own, which are too numerous to even think about, I would say this one yields the most compliments. I added yellow shoes because nothing says spring like a pop of color, especially on your feet!

After what seemed like a brutal, endless winter, this outfit reminded me just how ready I am for dresses, flip flops, and bikinis.

Rampage Coat - Macy's
Ella Moss Dress - Nordstrom
Peep Toe Mary Janes - J.Crew

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Commentary: H&M Conscious Collection

When I heard that H&M was going to follow up their extremely popular Garden Collection from last spring with another environmentally friendly line I got super excited. Said line is called the Conscious Collection and will be available in stores on Thursday, April 14. Like the Garden Collection, this new line will be made with sustainable materials such as Tencel, recycled polyester and organic cotton. Unlike the Garden Collection, there is no color to be seen. Almost all of the pieces are white or beige. I commend H&M for their efforts, but I am kind of disappointed in the line. Last year's collection was so vibrant and had some seriously edgy pieces. In my opinion, this year's line just seems a little boring. Although I preferred last year's line, I still really like the three pieces below. Nothing says love like a deep v, brocade and a scalloped hem, this dress is totally dreamy. The bustier would have to be a piece that I would need to see on before I could truly give it a thumbs up. As for the shorts, I could totally see myself living in them all summer long. I am hoping I can at least score the dress. Look for pictures soon!

Click here for more information on the materials used and to see the entire collection.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday Best

Last week was super chilly. Cropped sleeve coats and dresses were not in the cards and to top it all off I had forgotten to bring any black heels to work. Le sigh. Although, I am pretty much over pants at this point in the year, I do sort of love these polka dot ones. I tried to show them in as much detail as possible below. And even though I would rather be wearing a spring coat or no coat at all, I do adore the giant collar on this one. A good friend of mine was kind enough to add a snap button to it too so that i could close it up over my face when its super chilly. While I do think that heels would have made this outfit better, I still like it as a transition look from winter to spring.

Frenchi Houndstooth Coat - Nordstrom
Red Cardigan - Ann Taylor Loft
Yellow Blouse - Ann Taylor Loft
Polka Dot Pants - French Connection
Seychelles Ballet Flats - TJ Maxx