The Little Black Dress, Five Ways

Everlane LBDLeave it up to Coco Chanel. In the 1920s, she took a look, traditionally linked to servants or people in mourning, and made it a fashion staple for decades to come. The LITTLE BLACK DRESS. We all have one that’s been hanging in our closets for years. The one that we turn to when we get a last-minute invitation. Or when the dress that arrived for the wedding just isn’t cutting it. Or the one we grab when we’ve gained a few extra winter pounds. The best part of all? That same dress can be styled SO many different ways.

This week, the Junior League of Albany launched their Little Black Dress Initiative.  The LBDI was first launched in 2014 by the Junior League of London during London Fashion Week. Members of our local League have committed to wearing the same black dress for five consecutive days to raise awareness of poverty levels in Albany and New York State.  Details about the program, local poverty levels, and how to donate can be found here.

In honor of our lovely ladies who are participating in this fashion-focused fundraiser, I thought I’d share five ways to style the same little black dress (link to the super versatile dress shown above).  Maybe you’ll be inspired to pull out your “go-to” LBD… and wear it very differently than before.

1B634337-04FE-4B2C-BB20-FF4C4EFF1C1E

LADYLIKE LUXE

  1.  ZARA Embroidered Collar Blazer
  2. Chanel Classic Caviar Black Wallet from Lola Saratoga
  3. Cole Haan “Tali” Ballet Bow Flat

 

D11C3152-C98E-4574-99BD-4ADF5BB8B736GOLDEN GIRL

  1. Ted Baker Glitter Bow Clutch
  2. Schutz Cady-Lee Shoe in Metallic and Rose Gold
  3. Givenchy Pearl and Crystal Chandelier Earrings

 

FC9FEDDD-A59D-4703-B56C-DA2B1C87001FSTREET STYLED

  1.  H&M Moto Jacket
  2. Eye Buy Direct Ivory Tortoise “Havana” Sunnies
  3. Adidas Stan Smith Original in Colored Graffiti
  4. Henri Bendel Jet-Setter Mini Convertible Backpack

702A91ED-181C-4C75-9926-5ADB81F3801C

CORPORATE CHIC

  1. ZARA Long Blazer in Nude Pink
  2. Everlane Day Market Tote in Pale Blush
  3. Schutz Caiolea Pump in Nude Suede
  4. Tory Burch Crystal Pearl Earrings in Ivory and Gold

ac5143b4-9358-4562-bd73-4089463d69d8.jpeg

SAFARI-READY

  1. H&M Cotton Cargo Jacket 
  2. Elise M. Woodland Stitched Leather and Elastic Belt
  3. “Laurel” Peeptoe Bootie by Kristen Cavallari
  4. Leather and Hemp Boho Bracelet by BohoHippieShop

 

Go ahead… try something you’ve never tried before.  I dare you.

Ally

Pretty In Pink

February brings many things… longer days, dreams of warmer places, and that dreaded Hallmark holiday.   Few people in my life have expressed their love for Valentine’s Day.  Maybe you use it as an excuse to get a sitter and enjoy dinner with your partner?  Or it’s yet another reason for a girls’ night out?  Or maybe you consider it just another day.  No matter how you celebrate this “holiday”, why not use it as an excuse to buy a little something pretty for yourself!?   Something pretty… and PINK.

Move over Molly Ringwald… and make room for some of my favorite pretty, pink things (links below photo).

collagefinal

  1. BR Heritage Moto Jacket : A limited edition, and perfect transition piece.
  2. Kate Spade Bow “Lottie” : So sweet!  Wear it cross-body or use the top handle.
  3. Elie Tahari Feathered Top :  The gorgeous mesh design and feather trim is perfect for a special night out.
  4. RayBan Pink/Gold Customizable Aviator  : Choose your shape, metal and lens color.  Even engrave a personal message inside!  How great is that?
  5. New Balance 520 “70s”:  Old-school meets modern with a pink and gold twist, and the prettiest floral liner!
  6. MAC “Patisserie” : This has been my “go-to” nude for years.  Just a hint of sheer color.
  7. Sam Edelman “Hazel” Pump : J’ADORE this pale pink suede.

Anything inspire you?  You deserve it, Valentine.

XOXO, Ally

 

Freshen Up Your Coat Closet!

It’s only natural that I kick off my blog this winter writing about boots and coats.  I always tell people… if you have great boots and a coat, no one has to know if you look terrible underneath!  The winter coat is that one thing we wear EVERY day and night.  It doesn’t have to be boring!  Push aside that black puffer and check out three coat styles that I’m LOVING this season!

Boden "Lady Coat"

THE LADY COAT : The “Lady Coat” is a well-tailored a-line shape that hits at the knee, often with a rounded collar or with none at all.  (Think Kate Middleton.)  This leopard mohair version shown is from Boden.  (I’ll post a lot about Boden since it’s my GO-TO for ultra-feminine, detailed pieces at reasonable prices.)  The tasteful leopard print brings a little “edge” to the coat without sacrificing its “lady-like” look.

 

Andrew Marc

FAUX FUR : You’ll see a TON of faux fur coats this season, in a variety of colors, shapes and textures.  As fun as they are, many “furs” have the tendency to look cheap, either right off the rack or from the pilling that comes after just a few wears.  Fur collars or cuffs are a great way to take advantage of the look. This quilted faux leather jacket with furry collar by (Andrew) Marc New York is great for a night out and super-reasonably priced!

Ted Baker Belted Coat

THE BELTED WRAP :  I love the simplicity of a wrap coat.  You’ll often see these with minimal detailing and a monochromatic belt.  I fell in love with this belted coat by Ted Baker.  I’m partial to the timeless camel color, while the stand-up collar and small gold details make it unique without taking away from its simple design.  I also like the structure of this one, versus the unstructured designs which are popular this season.

Although you can find some amazing deals this late in the coat season, inventory continues to dwindle.  If you love something, snatch it up!

Stay fresh.. and stay warm!

 

The Duck Boot: A Northeast Essential

IMG_4452I never thought I’d say that there was something considered stylish in the 1980’s that is equally as stylish in 2018.  The duck boot is what comes to mind.  Not only is it a prep cult classic but I consider this boot an absolute essential in the cold, slushy mess that upstate New York brings in winter.  It’s also an investment that can comfortably be worn in three of our four seasons.  As a mother of young children who walk to school daily, I consider these the most utilized shoes in my wardrobe.

What used to be a basic design made famous by L.L.Bean has transformed into a boot with a variety of cold-weather liners, colors, designs and heights.  Here are a few of my favorites this season, with links below photos:

The first one is by Bass and Co. from their factory outlet.  I love this combination of hunter green base, herringbone liner and great price.  The second boot shown is by Kamik.  I’m sure it won’t be the last piece of fashion made famous by the “royal-to-be” Meghan Markle (as spotted on her way back from the yoga studio).  Kamik has several quilted designs as well as a variety of more heavy-duty snow boots.  The third boot shown here is by Sperry.  As they did with their classic top-sider, Sperry spruced things up by introducing some more fashion-forward designs, including this breton stripe, wool ombres and very cool artistic prints.  The last boot shown is my IMG_4475favorite LL. Bean classic duck boot, originally called the “Maine Hunting Shoe”. This one has a shearling lining and taller 10″ shaft, which I prefer.  Although I love the monochromatic brown, L.L.Bean offers the best variety of warmth levels and shaft heights in varying colors.  Considering their quality and lifetime warranty, you just can’t go wrong investing in the classic “Bean Boot”!

PS … a ragg wool sock peeking out the top with the “old school prep” method of tying is the perfect way to complete the look!

Happy duck hunting in Maine… or not!