Betsey Johnson Serenn Booties

I know that it seems weird that I own a handbag boutique and I post mostly about shoes, but I’ve loved shoes for so much longer than bags. I remember being in middle school and already begging my mom for shoes when we went shopping at Macy’s. The bag obsession didn’t start until college and really it hasn’t become a problem until about 5 years ago.

I’m short, no make that petite. At a whopping 5’1.5″, I love how heels elevate me and give me a different perspective. I feel different when wearing heels, less mommy, more stylin. I have loved the Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots since I first saw them about a year ago, but never took the plunge. Then this last fall, I received a Nordstrom catalogue that had these amazing booties that looked like the Lita’s, but more feminine. I fell in love with these.

See the similarities? The same covered platform bootie style as the JC’s, but different enough. I liked how the scalloped eyelet trim and pointier toe gave it a more daintier flare. I’m also a sucker for grey suede.

I even love how Betsey uses her signature leopard print on the sole of the shoe. A fun way to show everyone that these are indeed, Betsey Johnson. These are major heels with a 5.5″ heel and a 1.5″ platform. Like I said before, I love the added height. You can still find some sizes of the Serenn here SERENN SUEDE BOOTIES WITH SCALLOP ANKLE – Betsey Johnson. Have a great weekend and don’t forget today is the Shop Around the Block event in Salt Lake City, so go out and support your local shops.

Style Crush on Ulyana Sergeenko

I have not watched Mad Men, but am very aware of its impact on the lady like style that has emerged over the past few seasons.  From structured bags, to pointy kitten heel shoes, you cannot underestimate the power of the hit show.  I have a hard time pulling off the prim lady like styles.  My personal style is a bit more edgy, but I do have a crush on a lady who is always put together with her perfect makeup and the amazing clothes she designs.  Ulyana Sergeenko is not a household name in the United States, but in Russia, Ulyana is known for her amazing style and her new clothing line.

A socialite and married to a Russian billionaire, Ulyana is seen on the front row of major fashion shows every season.  Her personal style is classic with bright red lips, cat eye liner, and waist cinching silhouette.  Most of the clothing she is photographed wearing comes from her personal line of clothing that she started a year ago.  Think Russian princess meets old school movie star and you get the look.

This photograph taken by Claudia Fessler during Paris Fashion Week last fall shows her impeccable sense of style.  This dress is from her collection and demonstrates how even large amounts of wool plaid can be amazingly feminine.

Even a simple denim button down paired with a full floral skirt looks amazing on her.

This last look is something most of us can pull off even though we are not married to a Russian billionaires.  Boyfriend jeans rolled up with a funky heel.  Trench coat belted and a great bag.  My style crush shows us how it’s done.

Flakies for Nails

Some of you are getting into the nail polish obsession that I unfortunately have.  This disease can seriously overtake your bathroom drawers, so be careful!

Here to help enable your addictions is another post on my favorite kind of topcoat, the holographic flakies.  There are several kinds out there now, but a few years ago they were hard to come by.  Now you can find them from Essie (Target or Walgreens), Nails Inc.(Sephora), Finger Paints (Sally’s Beauty Supply), and many others through the internet.  These flaky topcoats are great over any color to add texture without being hard to take off, like glitters can be.  My favorite way to show off these holographic beauties are to layer them over darker polishes.

I start with two coats of black.  This one is from Revlon.  I think it was called Knockout.  You don’t need a super expensive brand, but some of the cheaper brands are more sheer, so you might need 3 coats to get a good black base.  You can also use a vampy dark red, dark blue, or purple.  The darker the polish, the more the flakies will stand out.

This is how it looks after one coat of the flaky.  I used Finger Paint Motley, which has green and bluish purple flakes.  I really like  to have the flakes show up, so I add another coat.

You can see how two coats of the flakies really show up on the black base.  I recommend a top coat to make the mani really pop.

I’m glad I took these pictures right after I painted my nails.  I washed some dishes last night and ruined some tips with the hot water and scrubby sponge.  So, my obsessive self wants to re-do them this weekend.  I have issues.  Enjoy the sunny weekend!

Yves Saint Laurent Tribute Sandals

Let me first tell you that if you are ever in the neighborhood of Nordstrom Rack, stop in!  Take a look at the shoe department, and not just the designer section.  I found these YSL Tribute 105 sandals in the normal shoe section without the original box or dustbag.  I almost lost it when I saw this pair sitting in the box.  I knew exactly what style it was and hoped that when I picked it up, it would be my size.  Cause you never know at the Rack.  Shoes get misplaced all over the place.

These iconic sandals were introduced by the fashion house in 2007.  Pretty soon these platform t-strap sandals were on the feet of Lauren Conrad, Beyonce, Olivia Palermo, and the Olsen sisters.  They come in a variety of colors, leather treatments, and embellishments.  They have a 5.5 inch heel with a 1.5 inch platform.  Surprisingly, they are fairly comfortable even at that height.  I really do love the way they elongate the leg and add over 5 inches to my petite frame.

This pair I picked up is in a color that Nordstrom has listed as Nero.  The black leather is pebbled and matte.  The straps are carefully woven to create the intricate vamp of the sandal.  So pretty!

This pair was marked a 36, which in European sizing can be anywhere between a 5.5 and 6 US.  I knew that I needed to try them on to see how this pair would fit.  A trick with Nordstrom Rack is that you should not believe the size on their sticker.  Sometimes I will find a pair that is marked 36 and the store sticker will list the size as 5, and I know that a 36 is more like a 6.

I got lucky with these.  The Tribute style can run a bit small depending on how wide your feet are, so the 36 was only a tiny bit big.  Close enough for me to take home and pad it up a little.  Here’s the kicker – they were $199 and I had $60 worth of Nordstrom notes!  Not bad for sandals that are still up on the Nordstrom website for $795.

May good shoe karma find you too!

LUSH

Many people are excited for City Creek to open in downtown Salt Lake City.  It will be a beautiful place to spend a spring day outside and shop.  Honestly, I’m only excited for one store to finally grace our state with their presence.  It’s not Tiffany’s, Coach, or Michael Kors.  I am most excited for LUSH.

Some of you might know of them, but most probably are going “what is she talking about?”  LUSH started in England in the late 1970’s and was one of the first natural vendors to The Body Shop.  Soon they were creating luscious creations and selling them in their own stores.  They remind me of what The Body Shop was back in the 80’s.  Simple packaging, natural ingredients, still hand made in small batches.  I found LUSH when I lived in Seattle and visited Vancouver often just to stock up on LUSH products.  I started with their bath bombes and shower gels, and soon found some of my holy grails of body products.

The one product from LUSH that I always have in my house is their Dream Cream.  This is an amazing body and hand cream that is not heavy and sticky, but sinks right into your skin and moisturizes brilliantly.  Utah winters can be so harsh with the cold weather and heavily heated interiors, so this cream is a must after every shower to keep me from scratching like I have fleas. It has a light herbal scent that doesn’t clash with any other fragrance I might be wearing.  I really do love this cream.

Another one of my favorites is their scent Karma.  It smells of spicy, citrusy patchouli.  Think Phish show without the B.O. and pot smells.  It is light and not too heavy, which makes it much more wearable than straight patchouli, which sometimes can be overpowering.  This scent also comes in the amazing Karma Cream that moisturizes your skin and leaves a light scent.  Lovely!

Look at this soap!  I could bring it home an put it on display, like a raw cut of turquoise.  LUSH has some of the most unique products like solid shampoo, shower jellies, and henna’s in a large variety of shades that can dye your hair without damaging it.

So, let others bum rush Tiffany’s.  I’m going to grab a blue beauty in the form of soap.

Nail Tip

Here’s a quick post about nails. Recently I have become obsessed with nail polish. I change my polish every 3-5 days depending on my mood. I hate how quickly my tips start to chip, so this is what I do. Oh and excuse the poor quality phone pictures.

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This is how my nails look after 2-3 days. So, instead of changing my mani, I’ll add glitter tips to extend the polish for a few more days.

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Sorry that photo is sideways, but you get the idea. Those of you who have glitter polish know how hard it is to get off, so it is perfect for the tips! You can do a straight line like a French mani or more graduated if you have the skills.

Have fun!

Printed Pants

One of the strongest spring trends this year is the printed bottom.  You will see brightly floral printed skinny denim or a tribal print on a wide silky pajama style pant.  Florals and tribal prints seem to be the preferred prints this year, but we are still seeing the ever popular leopard print from last year.

The selections can be overwhelming, and the prices are sometimes extreme.  These Dolce & Gabbana Cropped Peony Print Skinny Jeans can be found at Net-A-Porter for $745.

Although the print is gorgeous and bright, perfect for spring, the price is out of most of our budgets.

A bit more reasonable is the Current/Elliot Floral Stiletto Jeans found at Shopbop for $214.  I love how the floral print is muted and soft.  These would look great with an open weave sweater and boots right now.  In the warmer months, you could pair them with sandals and a simple tank or tee.

I loved the idea of this trend but did not have the budget to spend over $100 on a trend that might not be around in a year.  I found my pair at Zara for $59.

Now these are a bit brighter, but I loved the oversized tropical feel of these.  I’m not a soft romantic kind of dresser.  Think studs over bows.  For a fraction of the designer prices, I am able to jump on the trend without spending a fortune.  This is how I styled my pair today.

I wanted to tone down the pants a bit, so I wore a olive trench that picks up on some of the darker olive in the print.  And those shoes are getting their own post soon!  I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with this purchase.  I know that they will be worn to bits this summer.

If you are not familiar with Zara, their business model is pretty advanced.  They don’t design their lines a year out like everyone else.  Instead, they wait to see what other designers are doing and copy the trends for the mass market.  Reasonably priced, but in limited supply.  Everything is made in small batches to avoid leftover merchandise, so that makes everything a limited edition.  I would suggest buying something you like, because most likely if you think about it too long, it won’t be there next week.  They offer free shipping and free return shipping, so what do you have to lose?  Don’t forget to jump your clocks ahead this weekend.  Happy Spring!

Wallets

Purse Dreams is having a wallet sale this week.  25% off all wallets and pouches.  If you don’t have a wallet that you love, now is the time to get a new one.  Great wallets and pouches are essential to organizing your purse. Keep items like, earphones, chargers, makeup, or those pesky loyalty cards in small pouches to make it easier to find what you need in your bag.

We have lots of great wallets in several sizes, but my absolute favorite is the 49 Square Miles Clingy Wallet.  49 Sq Mi uses the finest Italian leather and you’ll know it when you touch this amazing wallet.  This is a large wallet, so it will not fit into most small bags.  But the benefit of having it be so large is how easily it can be used for a clutch.  It comes in amazing colors like this one in Sulfur.

  It has 12 card slots, two bill compartments, and two zippered compartments.  I love how it is open on the inside for me to throw in my phone and use it as a clutch.

 This leather will look better with age as it develops a beautiful patina.  I’ve had my wallet for about 10 months and this is how it looks.

So, if large wallets are not your thing, we have many different sizes.  The smallest would be the Moore & Giles card case, which is a great way to bring just a few cards with you and it easily slips into your back pocket for a night out.

Slightly larger would be the Moore & Giles Pocket Clutch wallet which has a great vintage look to it.  Three snapped flaps open to reveal several card sized compartments to keep everything organized.

 

 Another fun way to keep your cards and money together is the Rebecca Minkoff Benjamins wallet.  This flat zippered pouch has a few card slots and plenty of room for your “benjamins”.  This style comes in a variety of colors.  I love the look of this bright coral pebbly leather.

So come in this week and find the perfect wallet for your needs.

Bettye Muller Shoes

My love of shoes almost dwarfs my love of bags.  I’m lucky that my size 5 1/2 feet don’t allow me to purchase all the shoes I want.  So many stores only carry shoes starting at size 6.  My collection varies from practical Dansko clogs and Toms to the high heels and sandals that seem to only get worn for work or date nights.

My favorite places to score shoes are Nordstrom Rack or discount sites.  One of my favorite discount sites is http://www.myhabit.com, which is part of Amazon.  Designers use them to unload previous season’s leftover stock at a huge discount.  Usually 45% – 65% off full retail prices.  I’m sharing this with you in hopes that you don’t have size 5 1/2 feet.

Last week I wore a pair of Bettye Muller black suede peep toe pumps that I found at a screaming price of $107.  The original retail price of these were $425.  I’m not usually fond of peep toes, especially if the peep part is too large and shows too much toe.  These are perfect.  I love the wide ankle strap that gives it a very architectural look.  I wore them with bright blue twill pants from Urban Outfitters, a simple white tank and a black Trina Turk embellished blazer.  The necklace is from Mariemichelle Designs and can be found at Purse Dreams.  Oh, and the bright nail polish is Orly Passion Fruit.  Loving the pop of neon on my toes.Image

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