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Monday, September 30, 2013

Must-have Mondays: September 30, 2013

This lovely light heather gray cotton French terry sweatshirt dress has 3/4 sleeves and the hem is short - a couple inches above the knee. I would style this dress with a moto jacket, knee-high boots and opaque black tights. It seems boring but sometimes a nice basic such as this garment helps with an easy fall weekend look. For some reason, I really love wearing gray year-round!

By James Perse, $135 on Net-A-Porter.

Are you a fan of the sweatshirt trend?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Must-have Mondays: September 23, 2013

Remember back in the days of Britney Spears, where showing your whale-tale was almost unavoidable due to the rising popularity of nonexistent waists (technical term, the 'rise') on jeans?

Exhibit A:

I remember those days - as I still have a vintage pair of Se7en jeans aka '7 for all mankind' sitting in a dresser. We called the jeans Se7en back in high school and the early years of college when the brand was all fresh and Hollywood and expensive (ha! Now they are such a steal!). I think that line's denim replaced Abercrombie for a lot of my classmates, while I was always more of a J.Crew, BP (Nordstrom juniors), and H&M fan back then. Looking at the jeans now, it truly seems as though there is no waistband on these pants! I don't wear them anymore, I literally wore holes in them, but now I realize how truly crazy the low-rise trend was back in 2001-2004-ish for women (read this Slate article for more perspective).

Exhibit B: Keira Knightley at the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Photo By Rex Features:

I never showed THIS much skin, but I certainly attended dozens of frat parties with jeans like hers, worn with some kind of top which could not help but end about an inch or two above the 'waist' of my jeans... yikes!

Anyway, I am so thankful that we have real jeans now (again?) where they do not fall off of me and yet they aren't Mom jeans. Here is my must-have Mondays favorite item of the week: Rag & Bone's The High Rise Skinny Jean. Here for sale on ShopBop for $242.00.

Style number: RGJEA40406
Rise: A bottom-covering nine inches.
Celebrity endorsement: Emma Stone and Mila Kunis

Are you a fan of the return of the high-rise jean, regardless of the brand and price point?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Temptation Tuesdays: GiGi New York Maureen tote

As you all know, I love beautiful items. I often do not care about the brand as long as the item is made from quality. This Temptation Tuesday I wanted to share with you all a lovely handbag from a brand many blog readers are familiar with - GiGi New York. The tote is called the Maureen, and while it comes in taupe and black, I think it is most beautiful and autumnal in burgundy.

Like many GiGi New York bags, the Maureen is embossed leather in a snakeskin pattern: more specifically, python. So you get high quality leather with a fun pattern that elevates the bag to a finer level. In case you did not know, the vast majority of items from GiGi New York originate from the Graphic Image factory on Long Island, New York. I believe their website states 'primarily' as the zippers and other finishing items may originate from elsewhere (or it may be some merchandise is not made there at all, I am not positive). Regardless, check out this chic and expensive looking handbag without breaking the bank. Another great investment piece.

Stats, as per the GiGi New York website:
Size: 15" W x 12 1/4" H x 5 3/4" D
Price: $450.00
Interior: zip pocket on one side, contrast color (khaki) lining
Exterior: magnetic closure at top of bag, exterior pockets on either end

Do you like carrying larger totes during the workweek?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Must-have Mondays: September 16, 2013

Happy Monday, all! This post of 'must-have Mondays' is the second of it's kind. To recap, on most Mondays I will include a regular post where I will feature an affordable item (under $250) that I love, why I love it, and where to buy the featured item.

Sold here on Net-A-Porter, these Michael Michael Kors York leather and python-effect boots are a wonderful wardrobe basic, $200.

The heel is five inches with a one inch platform, so they are not for everyone but quite lovely on! A friend of mine has these and likes that they sit just under her ankle bone so she doesn't get that annoying rubbing sensation when breaking them in. If someone is looking for a great basic black bootie from a mid-tier line where you know the quality will be superior to an off-brand, these might be perfect for you! These shoes are perfect with a mini dress or miniskirt with tights, or with bare legs before it gets to be too cool. Another way to style them is with some fine tailored pants.

Where to buy:
-Lord + Taylor

Are you a fan of black ankle boots aka 'booties' ?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday's Fancies: Friday Night Lights

Being a Southern girl, if I attend a football game I dress up. As a high-school freshman I would support my hometown football team in jeans and a cute top, and whenever our team made a touchdown I would do push-ups with the rest of the Cross-Country team. Silly, but a fun tradition for my lone public high school year.

When I started boarding school it was a whole other world. I had heard stories from my parents, and had witnessed it through the W&L community, about dressing up for sporting events - particularly football - but attending my first Woodberry Forest football game changed everything. "The Game," WFS's game against Episcopal High School was the penultimate. The first game I went to between the two schools was "The 100th Game" in 2000. It was announced in the Virginia General Assembly and covered on ESPN, for goodness sake! +/- 15,000 attended the events that weekend, and Woodberry won. It was an awesome moment and such a big deal!

You may be wondering, why Woodberry Forest in particular? Woodberry Forest is Chatham Hall's 'brother school,' so we attend any event that they hold - similar to a fraternity-sorority relationship in college. From my first "Game" on, I have always felt like you are not really supporting the school unless you are dressed to the nines, staying warm (possibly drinking from a friend's flask, as I never was ballsy enough for a fake ID, let alone a flask!), and wearing a six-footer... all of which applied to football games when my Mom was in high school and college as well! (PS a six-footer is a scarf, most often worn in the school's colors).

Friday's Fancies: Friday Night Lights

What do you wear to football games?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday's Fancies: Transition Time

The start of September brings about cooler nights and the need to start your wardrobe transition process. I find that in some climates, you can stretch the traditional seasonal clothing rules by just a little bit! I hope you like what I have dreamed up for this week's Friday's Fancies from Alison of {long distance loving}:

Friday's Fancies: Transition Time

What are your key transition pieces?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: the Ramos Gin Fizz

It really is a week of firsts here on WorthyStyle! I love preparing cocktails, and in remembrance of my oft-used (during my undergrad days) phrase of "Thirsty Thursday" - I thought I would do a weekly post on fun beverages I have tried and enjoy.

This week's feature is the Ramos Gin Fizz:

As per Imbibe magazine: This New Orleans classic was invented in the 1880s by Henry C. Ramos. Original instructions dictated that it be shaken for a good 12 minutes, requiring a bit of a bartender relay.

More depth on the story (legend?) behind the Ramos Gin Fizz from The Cocktail Chronicles blog:
Ramos debuted this drink at his Imperial Cabinet saloon, located on the corner of Fravier and Carondelet streets in New Orleans, but the drink cemented its reputation at the bar Ramos purchased in 1907, The Stag, opposite the Gravier Street entrance to the St. Charles Hotel. At The Stag, the drink quickly become an emblematic New Orleans cocktail, one that gained particular fame during that city’s legendary festivals. In Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em, Stanley Clisby Arthur writes that at The Stag, “the corps of busy shaker boys behind the bar was one of the sights of the town during Carnival, and in the 1915 Mardi Gras, 35 shaker boys nearly shook their arms off, but were still unable to keep up with the demand.” With a following such as this, it’s not surprising that Ramos kept the recipe for his fizz a closely guarded secret. But legend has it that upon the enactment of Prohibition, Ramos decided to freely distribute his recipe. Perhaps, as Charles H. Baker, Jr., speculates in The Gentleman’s Companion, Ramos did this because he was “thinking that the formula, like any history dealing with the dead arts, should be engraved on the tablets of history;” or, as has also been suggested, Ramos released his recipe as an act of civil disobedience in an effort to subvert the Volstead Act, hoping that the curious masses would seek to sidestep the law in order to create this legendary drink for themselves.

Ingredients needed:
-A fine gin (I prefer Bombay Sapphire)
-Heavy cream
-Orange Flower Water
-Simple Syrup
-Club soda

Depending on the number of guests depends on how much you prepare for this drink. Gather up a few egg whites (1 white per drink), juice several lemons and limes, and make the 1:1 simple syrup.

For each beverage, combine the following in a cocktail shaker: 2 oz gin, 1 oz heavy cream, 1 egg white, 1/2 oz lime juice, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 3 drops of orange flower water, 1 Tbsp of simple syrup, 1 drop of vanilla extract. Shake without ice, then add cracked ice and shake until your arms want to fall off. Strain into a glass, and then top off with club soda.

Of course the most traditional way to prepare this drink is by shaking the hell out of it in a cocktail shaker (read the stories above). My Mom used to host boozy brunches in Dunwoody back in the '60s and '70s and she would make the base using a blender and then finish the drink off in a champagne flute or Collins glass. That still works, of course. Also - no garnish. I guess if you wanted to pretty it up, use a sterling silver iced tea spoon and maybe a citrus wheel?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Temptation Tuesdays: Billy Reid for Coach

{Photo: Billy Reid and Coach's Jeffrey Uhi (via WWD/John Aquino)}

Happy Tuesday, y'all! I hope everyone had a restful and pleasant Labor Day holiday long weekend. I know I accomplished a lot and rested quite a bit, so I feel satisfied heading into this short work week! I hope you all are in the same boat as me with that.

I have decided to add another new, regular weekly post into the mix here at WorthyStyle: Temptation Tuesdays. Temptation Tuesdays will cover more expensive items than Must-have Mondays. The Temptation Tuesdays field will include items that are over $250 that are quite tempting for me to purchase (duh). This week I am tempted by the items from the Billy Reid for Coach collaboration. This collaboration starts at $250 and caps off at a surprising (for Coach standards), $20,000... they typically peak at around $800.

I first saw these mentioned in WWD in June, and then was reminded again of the collaboration when I saw a photo of multiple bags in Nylon magazine. I have long been a fan of Billy Reid, who is based out of Florence, Alabama. I know him better for his menswear items - Brad Goreski, GQ magazine, and Esquire magazine have long supported him and sung his praises. He has won three awards from the CFDA - so he clearly knows how to speak to high fashion! My Dad saw items from the Billy Reid/Coach baseball heritage collection this weekend while up in DC and said they were gorgeously constructed - particularly the baseball mitts - and that they were fun and felt luxe.

To make a long story short, I have never shied away from wanting a gentleman's bag if I thought it would serve my purpose... I carry heavy legal files and peer-reviewed journals about, so I need something that is not cheaply assembled. Leather develops a patina, and only grows more beautiful with age - so why not purchase bags that are constructed well? Plus, I have always had a bit of a geeky Tomboy streak, so I am going to love anything that makes me look like a professor. That is a personal win in my book (it's the little things)!

Photos property of Billy Reid and Coach:
Billy Reid x Coach leather day bag, $900:

Unrealistic to own but incredibly beautiful:

Louisiana crocodile skin, ~$20,000 (the black one on the Coach website is $10,000)

To buy:
-Billy Reid website
-Coach website

Media coverage for the collaboration:
-Lucky Magazine
-Nylon magazine

What do you think of the Billy Reid for Coach collaboration?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Must-have Mondays: September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day to all! I am starting a new, regular Monday post this week, called 'must-have Mondays' - where I will feature an affordable item (under $250) that I love, why I love it, and where to buy the featured item:

This French Connection-brand 100% polyester crepe tie-neck sleeveless blouse is a classic. The "Katherine Plains top" comes in navy. I love wearing a blouse like this one with a pencil-skirt or a slim-fitting trouser and a pointed-toe stiletto. A blazer finishes it off nicely, but it might be too warm for many of you to wear that still. This kind of top fits many body types - many of the ones that I own are silk from when my Mom worked in the fashion industry so they drape especially well. If you look for other brands selling it - the style can be called "pussy bow blouse," "secretary blouse," among other names. Jezebel has an interesting write-up on the naming of these shirts from February 2013, here.

The French Connection website states, it "has a concealed button placket at front, cap sleeves and a self-tie bow at neck."

Sold here, $98.

Are you a fan of this must-have Monday item?