Friday, January 31, 2014

Spring Preview

One thing I've learned about dealing with the winter weather in NY is that when you have those rare warmer days, you have to take full advantage...because it won't last long.  We took these pictures when it was in the 40's and it honestly felt like spring since we have gotten so used to the single digits.  Even though it wasn't quite warm enough for bare legs, it still wasn't so cold that I needed my heavy coat (thank goodness).  I couldn't wait to throw on these new TopShop pieces that I know I will get a ton of wear out of once the temperatures rise for good.  Check out some more of my favorite affordable picks from their site below (under $75) - right now all their sale items are an extra 30% off + free shipping!

What I'm wearing:
c/o TopShop Jacket, c/o TopShop Tee (similar here or here), c/o TopShop Pencil SkirtMerona tights
Audrey Brooke booties (similar here or here), Forever 21 bag (similar here or here), 
Zara bracelets (similar here and here), Nails: Revlon Fuchsia Fever,
Lips: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm (Elusive) + Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss (Fame)



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Love List

At the request of my husband, I put together a post each year giving him a few gift ideas that I wouldn't mind receiving for Valentine's Day.  After a couple years of buying me gifts that I would inevitably return, we have found that this system works well.  It helps give him an idea of what I'm hoping for & I don't know exactly what he will buy for me from this list.  We skipped giving each other presents for Christmas last year to save money, but we always make it a point to plan a date night out & exchange gifts for this special holiday.  Here are some of the things that I'd be thrilled to open:


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Leather & Leopard

Even though I don't work in the corporate world anymore, I know many of you still have to get dressed for the office each day.  And since I've had a few requests lately for work-appropriate looks, I will be incorporating more of these into my posts to help give you some ideas.  This time of year is always tricky because you want to be layered up enough to stay warm while still looking polished & professional.  One of my favorite ways to get more use out of short-sleeve sweaters, shells & tops is to add a button-down underneath.  This works just as well with a pencil skirt as it does with classic trousers.  Ideally, I would have worn pointy-toe pumps with this look, but it was way to cold for bare ankles!

What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy Coat (or similar here and here), Halogen leather top (similar in burgundyquilted or long-sleeved), 
Old Navy Shirt, New York & Company trousers (similar here or here), c/o JustFab Vita Booties
3.1 Phillip Lim for Target bag (here or here), Bracelets: Forever 21 (herehere and similar), 
Lips: Maybelline Color Elixir Nude Illusion


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How to: Closet Purge

Over the last year, I've made a habit of evaluating my wardrobe at the end of each season.  I think it's important to help determine the things that I'm truly not wearing that are just taking up space and it also identifies any needs I might have for replenishing closet basics.  When I'm finished, I make a list of the pieces I would like to add for the current season and I do my best to stick to it - I've found that creating a "wish list" also helps minimize any impulse purchases.  

A quarterly closet edit is especially helpful if you're like me and are forced to store your out-of-season clothing, due to closet size restraints.  So, since I had a reader request last week for closet purging help (thanks Katie!), I decided to share my favorite way to tackle the process.  I put everything in one image below so you can pin in, print it or save it to your phone for easy access the next time you're ready to do a wardrobe clean-out.  


Monday, January 27, 2014

Playful Plaid

I've decided that I can blame precisely 30% of my new purchases on Marlien Rentmeester.  This plaid poncho is one such example...which I began stalking shortly after she shared it on her site.  So when it went on sale + an extra 40% off a couple weeks ago, I couldn't resist snatching it up.  I love that it's completely different from anything else in my closet - with bright colors, a cozy feel & unique shape.  (Tip: The key to pulling off an oversized topper like this is to balance out proportions with slim pieces on your bottom half, so you don't appear bulky all over.)

What I'm wearing:
Kate Spade Saturday Poncho, Gap turtleneck (similar here or here), c/o Old Navy Jeans (on sale + extra 20% off w/ code TAKE20),  Joe Fresh boots (similar here & here), c/o Angela + Roi bag (similar), Bracelets: Vintage (similar), 
J. Crew (similar here or here), Rings: Forever 21 (similar) & Ann Taylor (similar), Nails: Dior Purple Mix
Lips: Revlon Moon Drops Orange Flip + Revlon ColorBurst Lipgloss Sizzle


Friday, January 24, 2014

Menswear Mood

I know it seems like I'm contradicting myself by wearing an all-neutral look after my commitment earlier this week to embrace more brights.  But, in all fairness, these pictures were taken before I made that declaration and when I was still stuck in my colorless rut.  I have always loved menswear-inspired me, there is no better pairing than boyfriend jeans & oxfords.  This patent pair couldn't be more comfortable or versatile (I'm already dreaming of pairing them with floral print dresses come spring).  I pretty much live in outfits like this on days when I'm running around town with my kids - it's equal parts comfortable & warm while still being stylish.  

What I'm wearing:
c/o Dorothy Perkins Coat (10% off w/ code SALE10),  Anne Klein Sweater, Forever 21 jeans (similar here or here), 
c/o Dorothy Perkins Brogues (10% off w/ code SALE10), NastyGal satchel (similar here or here)
Bracelets: Vintage (similar here and here) & Forever 21 (similar), Lips: L'Oreal Infallible Le Rouge (Red Fatale)


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Perfect Pairings: Pastels

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm making a concerted effort to inject more color into my wardrobe...and with all the new arrivals hitting stores, there is no better time than now to stock up on pretty pastels.  This might be a bit premature, but I can't help but dream of warmer weather & lighter layers - spring is just around the corner, right? I've created two of my favorite looks using these icy hues and I've also rounded up the best affordable pastel finds below (all under $75) so you can shop the trend!

LEFT: Zara Blazer (on sale!) // Mango Floral Print Sweater (under $30!) // ASOS Quilted Clutch



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bright Ideas

Every year when it hits the middle of January, I start to get so discouraged by the seemingly endless winter.  What I previously viewed as fun & exciting layering becomes a daily chore of trying to pair pieces together in new & interesting ways.  But the best remedy I've discovered for pulling myself out of the winter blues is to embrace color. So, I've decided that my goal for the remainder of the season is to wear more brights, jewel-tones & pastels in an effort to lift my spirits on those dark & dreary days.  This outfit is one of my favorite combinations - a balanced mix of preppy pieces (button-down blouse & cable-knit sweater) with edgy accents (a moto jacket & spiked necklace).

What I'm wearing:
BB Dakota Jacket c/o Lily & Violet, DKNYC sweater (similar under $20 or under $25), 
Forever 21 blouse (similar under $20under $30 or under $35), Ann Taylor skirt (similar), 
Target clutch (similar), Merona tights, Audrey Brooke booties (similar here or here), 
ASOS necklace (on sale!)Zara bracelets (similar here and here), 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Best Laid Plans

Part of my routine for making the mornings go as smoothly as possible is planning my outfits the night before.  It's one less thing I have to think about and it really cuts down on the amount of time it takes to get ready when I already know what I'm wearing.  However, it isn't a flawless system - I had originally laid out this shirt, sweater & jacket with faux leather skinnies & heels for the next day.  But by morning, the weather had dropped into the teens & it was furiously snowing.  So, instead of coming up with an all-new outfit, I kept most of pieces the same, but switched to jeans, boots, a cozy hat & leather gloves.  Even though it wasn't the polished look I'd first planned, I stayed warm all day long...which was much more important to me.

What I'm wearing:
H&M coat (similar here or here), Mossimo sweater (similar herehere or here), 
NastyGal satchel (similar here or here), Zara beanie (similar here or here), H&M leather gloves (similar), 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Lilac Bijoux Giveaway

It's been a while since our last giveaway - so with the start of a new year, I decided it was the perfect time to partner with one of my favorite sponsors to offer a $100 gift card for some fabulous jewelry!  If you're new to my site or haven't yet heard of them, Lilac Bijoux is a great source for gorgeous & affordable baubles.  If you happen to live in the Annapolis area, you can stop by their store on Main Street or shop their online site, which is stocked with amazing pieces from designers like Loren Hope, Marlyn Schiff & Betty Carre.  Take a look at a few of my picks below and then read on for how you can enter to win:


1) Follow PPF on at least one of these platforms: BlogLovinFacebook or Instagram
2) Follow Lilac Bijoux on at least two of these: FacebookTwitter or Instagram
3) Leave a comment below

And the winner is...
T Kahn

Congratulations!  Please email me directly to claim your prize.  Thank you to everyone who entered & to Lilac Bijoux for hosting!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Take It Easy

When I'm asked about wardrobe essentials, particularly when it comes to layers, a cargo vest & blazer are always at the top of my list.  I have worn these two pieces in so many different ways - the vest over dresses under cardigans and the blazer with scarves & under fur.  They are like outfit chameleons, easy to dress up or down and literally can be paired with anything.  Surprisingly, though, I had never put them together until this week - it was just the right amount of warmth for our nearly 50-degree weather & ideal for running errands around town.  If you haven't found your perfect black blazer or cargo vest yet, I've included some affordable options below!

What I'm wearing:
Forever 21 vest (also in black), Forever 21 blazer (see options below), Mango blouse (15% off w/code SAVNJAN), Gap turtleneck (similar here or here), c/o Old Navy jeans (on sale!), Joe Fresh boots (or similar here & here)
3.1 Phillip Lim for Target bag (here or here), Michael Kors watch (similar), Bracelets: c/o The Glitter Vault
c/o Stella & Dot & Forever 21Lips: Maybelline Color Elixir Nude Illusion



Thursday, January 16, 2014

20 Under $20

Budget shopping can be a bit of a game: there's the thrill of the hunt and the overwhelming sense of pride you get when you find something for less...but there are also times when you search high & low only to come up empty-handed.  And yet even worse is the feeling you get when you pay full-price for something & then see it hanging on the clearance rack months later (for significantly less than what you spent).  One thing that I have learned throughout the years is that patience & persistence usually pay off.  Sometimes I am truly amazed by the items I can find for just $20 and, as always, it is my joy to share them with you so everyone can score a great deal!   

19) Forever 21 Over-the-Knee Boots (using code EXTRA50) // 20) Dorothy Perkins Belt


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ruffled in Cream

I love finding pieces in my wardrobe that I can pair together to create the effect of something I've really been wanting.  I absolutely fell in love with this sweater and was desperately trying to find something similar for less.  Until one day, I was playing around in my closet and realized that I could simply layer a peplum top (last seen here) under a cropped knit (previously worn here & here) to achieve the same look.  I added a slim belt at the waist to give it further definition and make the ruffle even more pronounced.  It's a great way to reuse pieces I already own instead of buying something new!

As a side note, I wanted to thank everyone for all the sweet comments & encouraging emails I received in response to yesterday's post.  I am overwhelmed by your support & kindness, but I'm starting to realize that my readers are some of the most compassionate & uplifting women on the planet.  My heart is swelling with gratitude and I just want you to know how much I appreciate and am thankful for each one of you.

What I'm wearing:
Zara Sweater (under $16!), H&M peplum top (similar here or here), Ann Taylor belt (similar here or here), 
Paige Denim coated jeans (similar here or here), c/o DMSX pumps (similar here or here), Forever 21 bag (similar), c/o ShopLately Earrings, Bracelets: Vintage & Forever 21 (similar here or here), 
Lips: Maybelline Color Elixir Nude IllusionNails: L'Oreal The Muse's Attitude