Monday, April 30, 2012

Ruby Slippers

Chicago Style

Chicago Style

Beth Nelson

Beth Nelson style

Chicago Style

The goods:
• shirt, jacket, and denim from Forever21

• bangles from Banana Republic
• vintage Omega watch and choker
• Charles Jourdan shoes from Very Best Vintage

While perusing a couple neighborhood vintage shops, I spotted these suede red peep toes. As if fashion fate had brought us together, I slipped them on to find they fit perfectly, looking just as stellar as I had hoped. Red being my very favorite color [and, of course, my healthy obsession with shoes] I couldn't pass up these ruby slippers. Remember these pretty pumps I snagged back in January? I know better than to pass up a fantastic, and affordable vintage find like these.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lovely Locks

I'm well overdue for a haircut (er ... since I only get three per year, I guess I'm perpetually overdue), so I've been looking for ways to keep my mane from looking like a mangled mess. Since my hair is long enough to attempt some more creative do's, I pulled a few looks I've been wanting to try ...

Natalie's hair in the Miss Dior perfume ads is sweet and sexy at the same time. Tease the crown with some day-old curls, top it off with a pretty bow and voilà! Très chic.

messy braid
With ultra long locks, start a braid at an angle, bringing it around over one shoulder. Running your fingers through the finished braid loosens pieces, the messier the better! (also a great way to extend the life of a shampoo if you don't wash often).

side ponytail
Swipe this summery look from Louis Vuitton by pulling silky soft locks into a low, side ponytail. Curl the face framing pieces away from the face and tie it off with a delicate vintage scarf. (definitely looks best when standing somewhere on the Amalfi Coast with lovely big shades on ... sigh).

images from Pinterest

Come Undone

Chicago Style

Chicago Style

Beth Nelson

Beth Nelson style

Chicago Style

The goods:
• sweater with leather elbow patches, borrowed from Steve

• pants from Forever21
• pumps from Zara
• cocktail ring from Target
• vintage gold earrings from Modern Vintage sale
• bag from Gap

All I wanted to wear on this cold Friday was a big cozy sweater, so I got creative with my hair instead of my outfit. Last week, my hairdresser friend tried this messy braid look on me after seeing it on the bridal runways in NYC. I loved the undone, easy look and decided to try it for myself. To polish off the no nonsense do, I wrapped my black La Mer watch band (minus the timepiece) around the end. An effortless and comfortable start to the weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Summer Stripes

There's just something about summer that calls for playful striped pieces – whether it's a flowy striped sweater over shorts for an al fresco dinner, or a cute pinstriped dress for a summer wedding – stripes make easy, but stylish pieces. Below are some effortless garments, perfect for the upcoming warm weather days ...

The striped goods, clockwise from top right:
• linen swing sweater – $98, available at JCrew

• seersucker bandeau top – $19.94, available at Old Navy
• strapless chambray dress – $42.99, available at Macys

• stripe maxi dress – $96.60, available on Shopbop

• anchor dress – $98, available at JCrew

• multi stripe crop top – $15.80, available at Forever21

• stripe clutch – $48, available at Ann Taylor

• french terry pullover – $14.80, available at Forever21

• french-terry shift dress – $26.99, available at Old Navy

Cool and Cropped

Chicago Style

Beth Nelson

Beth Nelson style

Chicago Style

The goods:
• sweater from H&M

• denim from Emerson Fry
• wedges from Von Maur
• earrings from Temptation
• cocktail ring from Topshop

I know it's an unseasonably cool spring week, but May is just around the corner so I'm pulling out this summery striped sweater. Paired with these bright yellow wedges that just peek out from under my bell bottoms, the look is spring season appropriate ... even though mother nature is sleeping on the job.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Casual Canvas

Chicago Style

Beth Nelson

Beth Nelson style

Chicago Style

The goods:
• jacket, denim and bangles from Forever21

• vintage blouse and belt from Salvation Army
• sandals and necklace from Lori's Shoes
• wrap watch by La Mer

You can't go wrong with a simple blouse and jeans, but adding a casual jacket and a few accessories can pull it all together into a polished look. This canvas piece is a year-round staple, adding a layer of warmth in cool weather with it's fur collar, and doubling an outer shell in spring. The best part? It was only $22 at Forever21 ... proving once again it's always worth checking there before paying top dollar for any trend.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dicing a Mango

mango cutting

Juicy, tropical mangoes are in season right now, and while there's no wrong way to consume the tasty treats, there is a super easy method for creating those perfect cubes of mango-y goodness.


Stand the mango upright, so you're looking at one of the sides. Slice both of the large, flatter sides off, leaving the disk-like pit in the center. 


Take each of the halves and slice into but not through it, crosswise and lengthwise (like you would an avocado). 


Flip each diced half inside out and cut off the cubes, enjoy! 


Don't forget to cut or nibble whatever juicy meat you can off the pit.

Dressed for Spring

Chicago Style

Beth Nelson

Beth Nelson style

Chicago Style

The goods:
• dress from Forever21

• vintage denim jacket from McShane's Exchange
• vintage belt from rummage sale
• bangles from IGWT, J.Crew, Forever21
• vintage earrings from Modern Vintage sale
• flats from UO

One of my favorite items to wear in hot weather is the maxi dress, it's effortless, breezy and can be styled so many different ways. Just because this spring weather can't seem to get it's act together, doesn't mean I have to hold off on wearing these summery garments. Paired with a denim jacket and some heavier accessories (and probably a pashmina or trench for my walk), this dress can make an early appearance on this cool spring day.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gold Case Files

vintage clutches

I'm always on the lookout for lovely vintage accessories, but lately I've been focusing on unique items I can style into bridal looks. One pretty piece I've been seeing a lot of on my hunts is the metal hard case clutch (I spotted the lovely lot above at the Modern Vintage sale over the weekend). I love the mix of delicate curves with the hard metal. These petite hand held boxes add a bold edge to even the most feminine frock ... even a wedding gown! Below are some vintage finds to hold your valuables ...

The cool clutches: 
1. brushed gold case – $48, available on Etsy

2. gold/silver box clutch – $40, available on Etsy

3. brushed silver with leaf detail – $89, available on Etsy

4. gold seashell clutch – $80, available on Etsy

5. gold basketweave design  – $47, available on Etsy 

6. linear gold case – $48, available on Etsy 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Sales

vintage jewelry

Vintage scavengers rejoice! This weekend is the Modern Vintage sale at Plumbers Hall. Dozens of vendors will have their treasure troves on hand, so get aggressive and get hunting! (I'll be on the lookout for vintage baubles, and – you know – anything else that catches my eye).

Also, the lovely shop, BHLDN, opened their sale section online. Even if you're not engaged to be wed, the sweet dresses, vintage jewels, and pretty pairs of shoes are enough to make any girl swoon.


Finally, Little Brown Pen (which I posted about here) is now the appropriately titled "Paris Print Shop". Through April 22, take 25% off your order with code APRIL2012. So make room on your wall and check out all of the Parisian splendor here.


Have a lovely weekend!

images from Pinterest, BHLDN, Paris Print Shop

Taylor Made

Chicago Style

Beth Nelson

Beth Nelson style

Chicago Style

The goods:
• dress from Ann Taylor

• HUE tights from Nordstrom Rack
• Report booties from DSW
• wrap watch by La Mer
• bangles from Forever21
• cocktail ring from Lori's Shoes

A few weeks back, I stopped into Ann Taylor to see if these flats were on sale yet. Well, turns out Ann Taylor is my new favorite store! I felt like a contestant on a game show and the challenge was to grab as many garments in 5 minutes as possible. I came away with a few amazing dresses from the sale rack, including this bright blue number for $30. It's super soft and comfortable and perfect paired with tights on this downright cold, spring Friday.

By the way, I never did check on those flats when I was there (though they are on sale), but I will definitely go back for this summer cover up, which I would wear with these sandals and this large clutch!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crowning Glory

I've been seeing delicate floral crowns a lot lately. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I understand the trend or how (or where) to wear one, but they're lovely nonetheless! I applaud the ladies brave enough to don a wreath of bold blooms, so I've rounded up some pretty petal pieces. Heck, maybe I can figure out a way to fit one into a bridal look??

The floral goods, clockwise from top right:
• green velvet garland – $300, by

• chiffon bloom headband – $48, by Untamed Petals
• ribbon flower headband – $48, available on Free People

• floral bridal crown – $128, available on Etsy

• floral crown headwrap – $16, available on Urban Outfitters

• peach rose crown – $75, by Cult Gaia

• heavenly halo – $280, available on Bhldn

• ivory cherry blossom garland – $100, available on Etsy

Silver Lining

Chicago Style

Beth Nelson

Beth Nelson style

Chicago Style

The goods:
• striped top from Gap

• jeans from American Eagle
• jacket from Zara
• slingbacks from Lori's Shoes
• men's watch
• bangles from Barneys and Nine West

I'm drawing a little inspiration from the gray skies today. But instead of going for dark and gloomy, I'm focusing on the silver lining, accessorizing with shiny bangles and my favorite metallic slingbacks. I remember finding these silver slippers at Lori's Shoes, initially thinking they may be a bit much. Turns out, a metallic shoe goes with nearly everything, and can brighten an otherwise gloomy day.  

When summer rolls around, I can't wait to wear these sandals in metallic rose gold, or these which come in the perfect mix of nude and silver.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Swing

Chicago Style

Beth Nelson

Beth Nelson style

Chicago Style

The goods:
• sweater from Gap

• jacket from Banana Republic
• pants and wedges from Forever21
• vintage LV Speedy
• men's watch
• bracelets from IGWT, Temptation, Forever21

The forecast calls for a spring-like 70 degrees today, so I'm busting out one of my favorite little warm weather jackets. I snagged this vintage-inspired piece off the Banana Republic sale racks, marked down at end of season to $40. The classic swing shape is balanced by slim pants and high wedges – an effortless look that will be comfortable all day (including my occasional step outside to enjoy the nice day!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Birthday, Brushes, and Bubbly

birthday table

Over the weekend, my good friend Alexis celebrated her 30th birthday. Drawing inspiration from one of her favorite vacation spots, Provence, I gathered some French-inspired decorations to wish her a bon anniversaire! Also, Bottle & Bottega came in and taught our group to paint a "masterpiece," step by step. I wish all of my art classes had been BYOB!

birthday table
Fragrant lavender and French macarons from Vanille Patisserie

birthday table
Her sis picked up some chic (and cheap!) pink and white flowers from Jewel

birthday table
Personalized wine labels display a photo from her travels and a birthday message

birthday table
A vintage French "Bon Anniversaire" etched glass makes a perfect vase

birthday table
Since it was a painting party, pastel shades of polish made the perfect favors

birthday table
The ladies putting their finishing touches on their floral fine art