Holiday Party Dresses Under $200

I have returned.  My last fashion post was about New York Fashion Week (September), and here we are only 10 weeks away from the Fall/Winter Shows in February.  Why the hiatus, you might ask…  I left my stuffy corporate job for something very different.  I’m definitely on the right track now, but getting “situated” takes a little time for this particular role.  Was it the right move?  Absolutely.  No question about it.  So, slowly yet surely I will be able to create my own content again, beginning with this gem from (you guessed it), NYFW.

I thought that this final look was perfect to share right here at the holidays.  Emerald green is one of my favorite colors and although breathing was issue after scoffing down all the pasta in EATLY, this has to be my favorite look of all time.  Velvet is in, again.  Is it even worth me mentioning that?  So, raid your mother’s (or grandmother’s) closet and see what you can find.  This dress was found at Buffalo Exchange consignment store in Atlanta.  My dear friend, @modern.boy.vintage would be so proud.  I think I paid $25 for it.  The shoes are by a brand that I can’t even think of at the moment (they’re currently being re-capped on the bottoms… am I the only one who has to do that constantly?!).  But they were a Christmas gift from my mom last year and really made this look complete.  I mean, jewel tones, for the holidays?? Groundbreaking.

This look was shot in Tribeca.  If you’re not familiar with the neighborhood, perhaps I should dedicate an entire post to my love for New York.  Every corner is begging to be the setting of a fashion shoot.  If only I could master the art of self-portrait (I’m looking at you, Cindy Sherman).  But for now, my new friend and photographer, Alexandria Murray is killin’ it.  We ran back and forth through traffic shooting this dress and then we drank champagne before I headed out to the NYFW opening party.  Can life really get any better?

So, for the month of December, I leave you with this list of a few of my favorite things (holiday party dresses), under $200.  Scroll to the bottom…

Thanks for sticking around and have a Happy Holiday!

Holiday velvet dress

Holiday velvet dress green

 

Holiday Party Dresses (under $200):

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Suiting Up

It’s no surprise that the fashion of the ’90s is back.  That being said, I do not take that 100% literal.  This windowpane plaid suit, when buttoned up could be very reminiscent of Cher Horowitz’s iconic yellow suit from the movie, Clueless.  Yes, I did skip the thigh high stockings and mini backpack purse.  Sorry, Cher.

I purchased this set (sold separately) during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, hoping for it to be a great go-to outfit this Fall.  For work, I will probably pair it with pointy toe pumps, but these strappy lavender heels were perfect for bottomless mimosas at The Oyster Bar at the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca.

September in New York, in my opinion, is the perfect weather scenario.  This year, however was unusually hot.  Not only that, but it drizzled rain the entire weekend.  Hence the location of this shoot – the lobby of the The James Hotel.  Our original plan was to shoot it on the cobblestone streets of Chelsea, near the flower markets, but the weather would not cooperate.  If ya gotta relocate a shoot to indoors, finding a stellar hotel in NYC is cake.

Skirt suits are being seen far outside the boardroom this season.  Coco Chanel made skirt suits a status symbol in the 1950s, following which time they were synonymous with business.  In the ’80s women attending high brow meetings with corporations were often seen in designer skirt suits, in the ’90s they became shorter, louder in color and were suddenly trendy with teens.  Now, they can go from the board room to the street.

Aimee Song pairs skirt suits with Louis Vuitton Archlight Sneakers.  Don’t even get me started on this sneaker trend.  I saw Louis and Balenciaga sneakers everywhere during fashion week, and I just don’t get it.  Sometimes I gotta stand my ground and say “WTF?!”.  The point is, skirt suits are still a power symbol, but times are a changing and so are the office dress codes.  Yes, industry has a lot to do with it, but suits are worn less and less M-F and popping up more and more on the runways.  Is this a sign that avant garde designs are becoming fewer, and more attention is being paid to tailoring and technique?  Only time will tell.

 

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All That Glitters

Sequins, shimmer, glitter… FINALLY I’m not just being “extra”.  Okay, I’m always going to be a little extra, but if ever there’s a time, it’s now.

I styled this skirt to be worn casually during the day.  Traditionally, it could be worn as special occasion evening wear but I think that pairing it with a cotton top makes for a fun juxtaposition.  I would even go so far to say that black combat boots would be killer, but alas I wore mirrored strappy heels – after all, I like to be a fancy pants.  I paired it with an oversized leather tote and tied a silk scarf to the handle.

When one thinks of glitter and sparkle, what designer immediately comes to mind?  For me, it’s Kate Spade.  One phrase that was trending after her unfortunate passing this past June, was that “she left a little bit of sparkle everywhere she went”.  Creative Director, Angela Weiss took that phrase to heart when planning the SS19 show (last week), adding an element of sparkle in many looks, including a stripe of glitter down the runway.  What a lovely sentiment.  Hopefully she will be remembered for who she was in the beginning – what we know Kate Spade NY to be – a bright and joyful brand that embodies women who carpe diem the shit out of this life, being as “extra” as they wish, every step of the way.

But you don’t have to be young, extra, or a trendy influencer to embrace the sparkle craze.  Saks Fifth Avenue SVP Fashion Director, Roopal Patel was asked about the shiny embellishments taking front stage in their department store, and she responded with, “We find that sparkle has no age limit; there is a wide appeal to all of our customers to add sparkle and shine to their wardrobes,” she says. “For so long sequins and embellishment were used for holiday dressing, but now designers are playing sparkle into everyday silhouettes. Through bejeweled necklines, sparkly collars, and rhinestone trims, popular brands like Gucci, Prada and Miu Miu have brought the idea of adornment into daywear.”

Being “extra” is now just being one in a crowd (at least it is at NYFW).  Find your favorite shimmer, mix it up with different prints, colors, and textures or just add a touch with your shoes or bag (I’m looking at you, Kate Spade NY).  Dress it up or dress it down.  Not your thing?  More into linen or lace?  Move along… because after all, knowing your style is the first step to looking and feeling your best (*shameless plug* read my blog post on “Defining Your Style” here).

SHOP THIS LOOK (you can also opt to be alerted if/when something goes on sale!):


Images by Viva Lux Photography

 

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boho in soho

It’s here… New York Fashion Week!  At least for one more day.  I was in NY over the weekend and the weather was crazy.  It went from hot and humid with misty rain to a cold, windy, downpour.  Thanks, Hurricane Florence.  With that said, not even sideways rain can ruin NYFW.  I put on my most waterproof heels – these nude patent leather pumps, and headed out.  September weather is often difficult to predict, which is why I love this boho maxi dress by Free People.

When the temperature drops in Atlanta (Halloween night, no doubt), I’ll pair it with a denim jacket or cardigan and tall boots.  The print is very detailed and contains somewhat of a 1970s vibe, which is perfect given that this season’s trends are heavily inspired by the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.  The material is very light and as you can see, flowy.  It moves with every step.  I actually changed into some light orange/rust colored booties right after this shoot so that I could walk through the city.  It’s very versatile and can be dressed up or down, depending on where you’re headed.  New York Fashion Week, or a fall festival.  I’m ready for you, October.

SHOP THIS LOOK (you can also opt to be alerted if/when something goes on sale!):


photography by Lydia Hudgens

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Jeffrey Fashion Cares

Hello, lovahs!  It’s been too long since I’ve posted and now we’re only two days away from September!  You know what that means; it’s fashion season.  I’ve spoke of this lovely time of year before in my post – Hello, September. Wow, I’ve come a long way since my days of watching the shows online and looking up NY street style on Instagram.  Can I get a hallelujah?!  Today I would like to share with you my experience at Jeffrey Fashion Cares, which took place only a few days ago.

Jeffrey Fashion Cares is the premier fashion event of the season here in Atlanta.  This was their 26th anniversary of the runway show to benefit the Atlanta AIDS Fund, which funds HIV/AIDS projects in the metropolitan area, and Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta which provides grants to grassroots organizations fighting breast cancer. The total amount raised is still being calculated, but this year is predicted to be the most successful yet.  Congratulations to Jeffrey Kalinsky and the event co-chairs Lila Hertz, Jeffrey McQuithy, and Louise Sams for putting on such a memorable (and noble) event.  And a shout-out to Caren West PR for their services in this event as well as their collaboration to provide you this story.

So, let’s talk about the fashion.  If you’ve been paying attention at all, you know that the current trends are a beautiful mix of many decades.  Styles have been revived from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.  Plaid tailored suits reminiscent of Cher Horowitz are back (I may have one on deck for NYFW next weekend- stay tuned!).  ’90s “mom jeans”, shoulder pads, and neon psychedelic prints from the ’70s are everywhere.

So what did I wear? A 1920s inspired hand-beaded dress from my favorite store in San Francisco, Decades of Fashion.  I wrote more about this store in this post.

 

The looks displayed on the runway at Jeffrey Fashion Cares were curated by Jeffrey Kalinsky.  He pulled selections from top designers including Celine, Dior, Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, and Manolo Blahnik.  It was a wonderful display of all the best trends this year has to offer, by of course some of the most popular design houses in the world.

Caren West PR was kind enough to send me Jeffrey’s Fall Trend Report, which I am happy to share with you:

Jeffrey Kalinsky’s Fall Trend Forecast: 

If there is one bold font message from the Fall 2018 shows, it’s that fashion is forever changing. In a world where bothmenswear and womenswear are being presented together, brands are evolving from the notion of seasonal collections.

If we had to choose one word to describe the season, it is #EMPOWERMENT. The expression of femininity came in many differentshapes and sizes. From sharp shoulder outerwear, to an array of shine and iridescent colors, Fall 18 was anything but safe.  

Other notable trends we noticed on the runways:

Sparkle: Traditional sequins just don’t cut it! Your favorite knits, dresses, and coats have been transformed into exploded novelty items. The whirl of paillettes storming down the runway was hard to miss and the most shimmering jumpsuits were sent down the cat walk.

Oversize:
  Enormous fashion, anyone? Don’t be afraid to layer up with 2-in-1 pieces or oversized strong shoulder outerwear reminiscent of the 80’s. Designers are delivering exciting collaborations with this trend. 

Sports: Go team go! Many designers took to the sports culture, each creating their own athletic inspired merchandise.

Neon:  Not afraid of color! Fall 2018 brings you iridescent dresses that can be seen from a mile away.  On the runway, there were eye-popping neons (pink, green, and orange) in every type of fabric imaginable, including florescent infused knits.

Plaid: Plaid looked richer than ever this season. We saw perfect tailoring to strong outerwear, all featuring plaid or plaid prints.

 

Next year, look here to purchase tickets to this event.  In the mean time, you can shop the newest Fall trends at Jeffrey at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta.  And as always, I will continue to post my favorite looks here, inspired by these designers, in a range of affordable prices.  Follow me on Instagram for more on NYFW street style.  I will be arriving next Friday and cannot wait to show you what I’ve picked… as well as what street styles await.  Cheers!

 

Images by Ben Rose Photography

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