Southern Chic Style

- Cinderella: Proof a Shoe Really Can Change Your Life -

While the Cinderella costume turned out to be one of my favorites, it really happened by chance. If you follow me on Instagram (@BethanyMarieB) you saw the costume and the shoe loss at midnight picture. My husband’s Halloween costume usually wins contests each year at friends’ parties, so much of the time is spent perfecting his (he was Joanna from Prancercise this year). Not having an idea as I have in years past as to what I wanted to be, I ran into the costume store the day before I needed one for the Arthritis Foundation’s Bone Bash. Immediately Cinderella caught my attention, and I knew I could pull it off as Cinderella has blonde hair and it simply needed to be pulled up.

Perusing the rest of the costumes Cinderella stuck in my head, and it was fate. Remembering these fabulous Stuart Weitzman silver glitter pumps I’d found for a steal at TOOTSIES over a year ago, the costume was complete. Cinderella needed glass slippers and these silver glitter pumps were a fashionable addition to an inexpensive costume store purchase. Plus, the costume was a perfect fit for this girl with a “slight” shoe obsession :) For the fellow shoe addict, Cinderella is a way to show your love for the beauties that adorn your feet and echo our mantra “Cinderella - proof a shoe really can change your life!” No fairy godmother needed :)

If Cinderella is your choice for Halloween or a costume party this weekend (or you just love sparkly things), here’s some sparkly glitter heels that ship super fast from Zappos: http://bit.ly/1f3QJO1

Bippity, Boppity, Boo!

- A Fancy Affair -

A friend’s wedding with a reception at The Houstonian was the perfect occasion to use the dress rental I won from New For The Night at their launch event. The dress borrowing concept is a great idea if you want to wear something fabulous but don’t want to spend the money on a designer dress you’ll only wear once. I set up my appointment to pick out a dress and arrived to a room full of beautiful frocks! The general manager was on hand to assist in my dress search and pulled so many wonderful dresses. The dress that caught my eye from the start was the above photographed Catherine Deane Larue design.

Having tried the Catherine Deane Larue dress first, everything else just didn’t stand out quite as much. I couldn’t get over the lace back. My mind started spinning with thoughts of hair because it had to be done in a way to show off the back. This dress wanted to go home with me :) The seams on the front were slimming, and black pumps and a clutch complimented the black detail in the dress perfectly for a wedding guest ready ensemble. I loved this dress! I was sad knowing it had to return it to New For The Night, but I also found a new designer to love!

The bride was stunning, the reception was beautiful, the sunglasses made for a fun prop for the evening, and we danced until our feet hurt! Wonderfully successful wedding for an amazing couple!

On a random note, I also discovered Marcona almonds with which I am now currently obsessed.

See all of the beautiful dresses New For The Night has to offer and “Borrow something beautiful” for your next event - from backyard BBQ to formal gala! The one I wore above is only one of the many gorgeous options you’ll find. If you’re local (Houston) you can stop in to look, but New For The Night also ships, so shop online & have your gem sent to your front door!

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Dress: Catherine Deane Larue (borrowed from New For the Night)

Pumps: Christian Louboutin Very Prive Leather Pump

Clutch: Bottega Veneta Knot Clutch

- Neon & Polka Dots, Part 2: Lisa Vreeland Book Signing -

"You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody."

- Diana Vreeland, Fashion Editor of Harper’s Bazaar (1936-62)

When Lisa Immordino Vreeland married the grandson of Harper’s Bazaar’s first fashion editor, she joined a family who boasted fond memories of the “High Priestess of Fashion”, Diana Vreeland. Diana Vreeland joined Harper’s Bazaar as the Fashion Editor in 1936 trailblazing and providing the example of a fashionable woman - the original style setter. The controversial visionary has been credited with “making fashion modern”.

"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel" is the result of Lisa’s in-depth research into the life and career of the writer and unconventional thinker who "established herself as a controversial visionary with an astonishing ability to invent and discover fashion ideas, designers, personalities, and photographers." The book outlines 50 years of international fashion and the rich life of Diana Vreeland. "With more than 350 illustrations, including original magazine spreads and many famous photographs, this intensely visual book shows fashion as it was being invented."

Tootsies hosted the author for an evening book signing where I spent some time chatting with Lisa. She actually had questions for me about blogging, which was a flip of the script! :) She was extremely engaging and we had a lovely conversation. Her message in my copy was about the inspiration Diana can provide through the book. The photos and covers included in the book are beautiful! Trend-setters everywhere should take some time to read the book and learn more about the woman who pretty much brought us all where we are today with all things fashion. It’s available on amazon here. Just the photo journey alone is enough to capture any fashion lover’s attention. See for yourself!

"A new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later,"
- Diana Vreeland

My Outfit:

I knew I wanted to wear this Alice + Olivia polka dot skirt again, and I recently bought the neon TopShop tank, so it only made sense that I try the two together. Black Christian Louboutin peep toe pumps coupled with (a Christmas present from my husband) the black Bottega Veneta knot clutch were an easy choice for accessories. I wanted to allow the neon to take front stage. My necklace is a versatile Silpada necklace and my right wrist donned a python Marni Rocks cuff. To allow the back of the tank to really show, I went with a fishtail braid and simple John Hardy studs.

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Tank: TopShop Fluro Strappy Back Vest

Skirt: Alice + Olivia Polka Dot Ruffle Skirt (no longer available)

Shoes: Christian Louboutin Very Prive Platform Pump

Necklace: Silpada

Bracelet: Marnie Rocks Python Cuff

Clutch: Bottega Veneta Nero Satin Knot Clutch

- Neon & Polka Dots, Part 1: New For The Night Launch Party -

If you’ve ever dreamed of a celebrity wardrobe where you are able to never wear the same thing twice, then this is how the “celebrity taste with a blue collar budget” shopper can get as close as possible. Houston born and raised Brittany Sakowitz is the brains behind dress borrowing concept “New For The Night” where members (you can join for free here) can borrow current designs from Tibi, Jay Godrey, Jolie & Elizabeth, Halston Heritage and more at rental prices starting at $35.

The “New For The Night” launch party was held June 5th at St. Genevieve in West Ave (in Houston) which is the occasion for which I chose to pair my neon TopShop tank with a fun ruffle Alice + Olivia polka dot skirt. Cocktails (featuring a specialty cocktail and prosecco) and bites were passed around the young and fashionable crowd that showed up to support the new company, including my dear friends pictured above: Monica of Classy & Fabulous in Issa from New For The Night, Magen of Mmm-Style in an edgy grey leather jacket, Paula in the beautiful white skirt, and my little sister (not pictured here). Swag bags included a handwritten thank you and earrings, among other items.

Sign up at www.newforthenight.com (you can also buy jewelry!) and pick out your perfect frock for summer’s many events… I mean, who can keep up with all of the weddings, showers, etc. over the next few months anyway?!? :)

My Outfit:

I knew I wanted to wear this Alice + Olivia polka dot skirt again, and I recently bought the neon TopShop tank, so it only made sense that I try the two together. Black Christian Louboutin peep toe pumps coupled with (a Christmas present from my husband) the black Bottega Veneta knot clutch were an easy choice for accessories. I wanted to allow the neon to take front stage. My necklace is a versatile Silpada necklace and my right wrist donned a python Marni Rocks cuff. To allow the back of the tank to really show, I went with a fishtail braid and simple John Hardy studs.

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Tank: TopShop Fluro Strappy Back Vest

Skirt: Alice + Olivia Polka Dot Ruffle Skirt (no longer available)

Shoes: Christian Louboutin Very Prive Platform Pump

Necklace: Silpada

Bracelet: Marnie Rocks Python Cuff

Clutch: Bottega Veneta Nero Satin Knot Clutch

- Leather and…. Peplum! -

However, peplum and a little leather is probably more appropriate for the Alice + Olivia black peplum dress I wore for “Dress for Dinner: The Fashion Gene Awards” at Tootsies earlier this month. The dress has a leather panel on one side of the skirt adding just enough toughness to a sweet peplum dress. Since I chose a solid black dress, I went with my Bottega Veneta multi-color strappy heels to add a little pop, silver metallic patent YSL clutch, and J.A.C. Boutique white enamel statement necklace.

See the other beautiful Alice + Olivia peplum tops, dresses, and skirts at www.aliceandolivia.com

When looking for peplum, Alice + Olivia automatically pops into my head. Stacey Bendet does peplum oh so right! With so many variations, try on a few different types from skirts to partial peplums to higher and lower (find where it hits your mid-section best) before giving up on the trend. For a wide range of peplum styles across all price ranges, check out shopstyle.com or visit your local Alice+Olivia retailers like TOOTSIES in Houston.

The Fashion Gene Award post with pictures of the fashion show coming soon.

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Dress: Alice + Olivia

Clutch: YSL silver metallic patent

Shoes: Bottega Veneta

Necklace: J.A.C. Boutique

Coveting Collars

And, by collars I mean the kind on a blouse :) We’ve seen the menswear trend incorporating strong, structured collars, but I’ve fallen in love with the more femanine look of the rounded peter pan collar or the pointed one with embellishments. You can count on Miu Miu to have at least a few tops and dresses with a lovely collar, but other designers have incorporated the style into their collections. Many of these blouses can be tucked in to a high-waisted skirt or worn untucked with a great legging or skinny pant. The right collar on a blouse can make an outfit very “tres chic”. Some tops allow you to remove the collar like the one I’m wearing in the second photo. That particular collar is adorned with freshwater pearls and crystals. And they’re easy to accessorize as the collar leaves no need for a necklace - simple and pretty. I can’t get enough!

Find these looks (From left to right and top to bottom):

Kate Spade New York ‘Francoise’ Rhinestone Collar Sleeveless Top at Nordstrom - $378

French Connection Silk Top with Color Block Collar at Bloomingdales - $82.80 on sale

Lucca Couture Lace-Collar Blouse at Urbanoutfitters.com - $59

Fendi Pocket Top at Barneys.com - $655

Miu Miu Sable Sleeveless Blouse - $1,150

Miu Miu Two-toned Sable Sleeveless Sheathe Dress -  $2,390

Miu Miu Cady Sleeveless Sheathe Drop Waist Dress - $1,950

Trouve Peter Pan Collar Blouse at Nordstrom - $88

Marc Jacobs Jeweled-Placket Blouse ($795) with Marc Jacobs Colorblock Cashmere Cardigan ($995) at Neiman Marcus

Second Photo:

Valentino top with Miu Miu skinny trousers, Valentino Peep-toe bow pumps, and Bottega Veneta clutch

RESORT ON MY RADAR

With New Years Eve only 4 days away, I’ve found myself pouring over sparkly dresses looking for just the right one. As I was perusing Intermix online, I came across their Resort 2012 section. The bright colors grabbed my attention, and the rest of my night was spent looking through Resort collection after collection on Style.com. They were full of yellows, greens, blues, white and black, orange, pink, and fun patterns. Of his collection, Yigal Azrouel was quoted saying “I was inspired by color this season.” I found myself smiling as I clicked through the runway looks from designers like Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Alice + Olivia, Chloe, Jason Wu, Peter Som, and on and on. The vivid colors and patterns just seemed to make me… happy! I guess I was ready for some more color in the wardrobes of people I see on a daily basis and didn’t realize it. To see more of the Resort 2012 looks I loved, click here and log-in to style.com for my lookbook.

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Photos

(Top left) From intermixonline.com

Blouse: Diane von Furstenberg Accordian Pleated Top

Jeans: Rag & Bone Midrise Skinny Leather Jeans

Hat: Rag & Bone Woven Straw Hat

Sandal: Guiseppe Zanotti Snake Print Leather Gladiator Sandal

(Top Right) From intermixonline.com

Romper: Robert Rodriguez

Belt: Maison Boinet

Clutch: Proenza Schouler

Sunglasses: Super

Shoes: Bottega Veneta

Yellow Dress: Dsquared

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Lagniappe (a little something extra)

One of our favorite Houston drinkeries made GQ’s Guide to Cocktails!

For the love of a neutral!
One easy way to get a lot of use out of a neutral shift dress is by adding bold colorful accessories - there’s so many possibilities! With this camel Alice + Olivia dress, I added a blue Lapis and Iolite statement necklace (that can now be found at Last Call by Neiman Marcus with an additional 30% off) as well as a Bottega Veneta t-strap heel (orange, blue, black, and white with small jewels in blue and orange) to coordinate with the necklace and black Adrienne Landau cropped fur coat. The outfit really started with the shoes for me, but there’s nothing wrong with that! For a fabulous outfit with your own basic shift, find a fun statement necklace and pull items from your wardrobe to coordinate - you can get so much use out of one neutral. I wore this outfit to the Alberta Ferretti Fashion Show at Tootsie’s of which I previously wrote, but the dress with the same necklace, a blazer, and pumps would make a work ready ensemble…. oh the endless combinations! You have to love a versatile piece like a neutral shift dress.
For a similar look, I found a ponte pencil shift at TopShop for a little less in camel, white, black, or a periwinkle color. Add fun accessories in bold colors and you’re set!

For the love of a neutral!

One easy way to get a lot of use out of a neutral shift dress is by adding bold colorful accessories - there’s so many possibilities! With this camel Alice + Olivia dress, I added a blue Lapis and Iolite statement necklace (that can now be found at Last Call by Neiman Marcus with an additional 30% off) as well as a Bottega Veneta t-strap heel (orange, blue, black, and white with small jewels in blue and orange) to coordinate with the necklace and black Adrienne Landau cropped fur coat. The outfit really started with the shoes for me, but there’s nothing wrong with that! For a fabulous outfit with your own basic shift, find a fun statement necklace and pull items from your wardrobe to coordinate - you can get so much use out of one neutral. I wore this outfit to the Alberta Ferretti Fashion Show at Tootsie’s of which I previously wrote, but the dress with the same necklace, a blazer, and pumps would make a work ready ensemble…. oh the endless combinations! You have to love a versatile piece like a neutral shift dress.

For a similar look, I found a ponte pencil shift at TopShop for a little less in camel, white, black, or a periwinkle color. Add fun accessories in bold colors and you’re set!