Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Classic Handbags

Hermès Birkin
The History:  When Jane Birkin sat next to Hermès CEO Jean-Louis Dumas on an flight, she complained about her hunt for the perfect bag.  Dumas listened, and Jane received the Birkin bag with a note.  Today, the Birkin has a waiting list that goes for up to four years.
 Louis Vuitton Speedy
The History:  The Speedy was the first handbag that Louis Vuitton debuted in 1930, as a change from their luggage line.  It was originally in a 30cm size (The Speedy 30, as seen above).  A 25cm size was produced for Audrey Hepburn.  Today it also comes in 35cm and 40cm.
Givenchy Antigona
The History:  The Antigona is a bag of the 21st century!  Created in 2010 by Ricardo Tisci to represent a strong female character.
Mulberry Bayswater
The History:  Designed by Nicholas Knightly of Mulberry, the Bayswater is the most recognized style from Mulberry in the world, and has quickly become a classic.
Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag
The History:  Created February, 1955 (hence the name 2.55), Coco Chanel added chain straps to her quilted bag when she became fed up with hand purses and wanted something elegant to carry on her shoulder.
Hermès Kelly
The History:  Made popular by Grace Kelly when she stepped out with her Kelly bag, attempting to cover up her baby bump.  Since then, the Kelly bag has become an iconic and classic handbag.
Coach Willis
The History:  The first bag to use a dowel as a design motif, this is one of the bestselling Coach bags in history.  Classic, streamlined, and not flashy with logos or brand stamps, the Willis is a recognizable but understated handbag.
Tory Burch Robinson
The History:  Named for Tory Burch's parents, Buddy and Reva Robinson.  The Robinson collection is a line of classic, understated chic pieces.  Perhaps the most popular handbag by Tory Burch is the Robinson Square tote, which adds polish to everyday looks.
Cambridge Satchel
The History:  Founded in 2008 by a mother, inspired by classic Oxford/Cambridge school bags for students.  The Cambridge Satchel has quickly become a classic, and a blogger favorite!
Chloe Paddington
The History:  Sold out in days when first released, the Chloe Paddington was and still is a favorite in the fashion world.  Even with the large lock and many varieties released over time, the Paddington is a classic that is here to stay.
Prada Saffiano
The History:  With clean lines, a structured and ladylike shape, and a variety of colors and materials that range from fun to classic, the Prada Saffiano Lux tote is made from beautiful saffiano leather invented by Mario Prada.
Celine Luggage
The History:  Phoebe Philo (who also created the Paddington for Chloe) developed this cult classic with structural silhouettes.  It's quickly become one of the most coveted designer bags!
Longchamp Le Pliage
The History:  Created in 1995, the Le Pliage is a beautiful and practical handbag that cleans easily, folds up in a cinch, and has a classic look.  Read more about it here and here!

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Quick Run // My Favorite Workouts

Jacket: Charles River Apparel ℅     Top: Lululemon    Shorts: Lululemon

Running-  I love taking quick jogs before or after dinner, usually around 6 when the sun is setting.  Nothing is better than watching the sunset while you sit cold water after your run!

Kickboxing-  It's a great stress reliever and a great quick and high intensity workout.  Perfect if you're just having one of those days where nothing goes 100% right.

Steps-  I love this mini stepper from Gaiam!  It's the perfect size to store when you don't need it.  I slide mine into the back of my closet when I'm done with it.

Pilates-  Pilates is my favorite core workout.  I always do at least 10 minutes of Pilates daily, after my yoga.

Yoga-  Every single day, I look forward to my yoga sessions in the afternoon.  My sessions are 30-50 minutes, and they are incredibly easy to do anywhere, even on vacation.  All you need is a tried-and-true routine and some yoga music (I just put on a long Yoga music video on Youtube).  A mat is good too, but optional when on-the-go.   

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bright Navy for the Halibut

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer    Shoes: Tory Burch    Bag: Vintage Coach (similar)
Top: Forever 21 (similar)    Sunglasses: Polette ℅     Watch: Fossil

Friday, April 17, 2015

{Links} April Favorites

via Pinterest

Quick!  Snag a classic J. Crew field jacket before they disappear until fall.

A classic polka-dotted dress that will never get old.  And it's only $18 (seriously!)

Tortoiseshell + rhinestones = perfection from LOFT.

Wear this striped midi skirt all spring long!  Or this gingham midi is perfect.

Splurge or steal: whether you choose Chloe or Lauren Conrad, scallops belong on your toes!

Bring on the brights!  By none other than Loren Hope.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Jacket: Charles River Apparel     Skirt: Lululemon    Top: Lululemon     
Hat: Vineyard Vines    Shoes: Sketchers (similar)     Racquet: Wilson

This Onyx Sweatshirt from Charles River Apparel is my absolute favorite piece of outerwear for any workout, whether it's a quick tennis game or a hike.  Not only is it incredibly soft and warm, but it's also lightweight.  Oh, and purple.  :-)  Instant winner!

While I usually choose Nike's tennis shoes, I LOVE these ones from Sketchers.  They are from the Awareness collection, which benefits the American Breast Cancer Association.  If that's not a purchase to feel great about, I don't know what is.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Interview with Robin Van Crabb

I'm absolutely delighted to bring you this interview today with Robin Van Crabb!  
Robin is the gorgeous blogger behind The Dress Decoded, and she has the most amazing sense of style.  I've been following her on Instagram for a while as well (@robinvancrabb), where she shares more gorgeous snaps of preppy classic and amazing vintage pieces.  

The Dress Decoded is wonderful for garnering outfit inspiration and finding the perfect thing to wear for the perfect occasion.  I visit it regularly for styling tips and ideas!  You can follow along too at thedressdecoded.com.
Not only is Robin absolutely stunning and stylish, she's one of the genuinely sweetest people I've met online and she was so kind to answer a few questions about her style, blog, and life!

What made you decide to start The Dress Decoded?
I started The Dress Decoded because I wanted to give practical style advice to the normal girl on what to wear whether it's for a certain event or an everyday look. I want my readers to get more out of my blog than just what I'm wearing, but on how to style things for themselves. 

Your Instagram bio proclaims that you are "A Life Sized American Girl Doll."  Which American Girl are you?
I loved American Girl dolls growing up, and I had Molly. I would have to say I'm Molly because I love her story and her clothes. I always matched my doll growing up and now I like to think I still dress like a doll. ;)

Where are some of your favorite places to shop?
My favorite brands are Land's End, J Crew, and Ralph Lauren, and some of my most unique items are from Modcloth.com.

Who are some of your favorite Instagrammers?

What do you take your photos with and what do you use to edit?
I use an old Canon camera or my iPhone, and I always use After Light to edit because you can straighten pictures really easily. I really don't do too much to my photos besides brighten them.

What's your favorite quote, and why?
I don't know if I have one favorite quote, but I love many from Henry Ford!

What is your favorite thing in your entire closet?
My pink tweed "skirt suit" hand's down. It's very lady like and I feel wonderful when I'm wearing it. Finding a non-professional skirt suit is very hard, so you rarely see anyone young wearing one. 

Who inspires your style?
That's a tough one! I love Doris Day and she influences me to wear things both classy and confidently.

What are some closet essentials for preppy style that you think are staples in a classic wardrobe?
First and foremost, oxford cloth button downs are essential, along with chinos, cable knit sweaters, and boat shoes.

What was it like getting to meet KJP and Sarah Vickers?  That's such an amazing opportunity!
It was incredible! They are the real deal - completely authentic, kind, and generous. The factory was amazing to see in real life, it's like someone out of a dream. 

When shopping vintage, what are some of the most important things to keep in mind?
Make sure you're buying something that you'll actually wear, not just something you wish you could wear. For example, a crazy print dress from the 60's seems like a fun idea, but you have to think realistically if you'll actually wear it. Always get items dry cleaned and tailored to make sure they fit you best!

What is your favorite kind of event to get dressed up for?
I love attending weddings because the venue and seasons are always different creating a new challenge to find the "perfect outfit". Thankfully I'm in that stage of life where I go to weddings pretty often!

When you think "confident", what is the first thing that comes to mind?
I think confidence comes with knowing your style and owning it. It's hard to figure out exactly what you're style is, but it's very fulfilling once you figure it out and wear what works best for you. Always dress comfortably yet fitted because it will show if you're uncomfortable in your clothes.


Thank you so much for the interview, Robin!
Follow along with Robin on her blog and Instagram.
Shop Robin's style from these photos:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

An Unofficial Guide to Longchamp Totes

To say I've gotten use out of my Longchamp totes is a huge understatement.  I carry my Longchamps to work, use them for traveling, and have probably used them more than any other bags in my collection.  Starting at $95, the price is really quite inexpensive for the amazing quality from an iconic handbag designer!

These totes are perfect for schlepping around pretty much everything.  On a normal day I'll stuff in my laptop, files, notebooks, and maybe a binder.  Sometimes I even throw in my regular purse or a change of shoes.  They are super roomy, and the fact that they can fold up makes them incredibly convenient.

For travel, I use these as my carry on bags.  They stow perfectly under plane seats.  Added bonus: the larger sizes are great alternative to suitcases that you would put in the overhead compartments on the plane.  I am often too short to put my suitcase in the bin by myself (or it's way too heavy for me to manage) so I always have to get help from someone.  But Longchamp totes are super light, so even I can lift them up there by myself!
I love Longchamp totes in all sizes, but I get the most use out of my medium totes, shown above.  The red one is the medium Le Pliage Shopping tote, and the beige one is the Le Pliage Type M tote.  The Shopping has longer handles, which is better for carrying on your shoulder.  Longchamp totes have super sturdy straps, which means you can carry around a ton of stuff and it's durable enough to handle it.  

I also like the small and mini Le Pliage totes for using as an everyday handbag.  The large size totes are perfect for luggage as well!  

How to Store Your Longchamp Tote

Flat and Compact
At my nearest Longchamp store, they display the Le Pliage totes like this hung on the wall and color coordinated.  This is how I like to store mine!  It's easiest to grab and go.

step 1- Start with a flattened and zipped tote, with the flap open and handles out.  
step 2- Fold in the sides of the tote.
step 3- Fold it in half so the back snap is on top.
step 4- Bring down the leather flap and secure it to the snap.    
step 5- Hang it up on a hook and store it!

The Roll-up

This is best for travel, when I am putting the tote in my suitcase to be used when I arrive at my destination.  The rolling method keeps it wrinkle free!

step 1-  Start with a flattened and zipped tote, with the flap open.
step 2-  Tuck in the handles, then fold in the sides of the tote over the handles.
step 3-  Roll up the tote like a burrito, so that the snap from the back is facing up.  
step 4- Bring down the leather flap and secure it to the snap.
step 5- Tuck it away into your luggage or store it on your shelf!

Cleaning Your Tote / Repairs
Your can bring your Longchamp tote into your local Longchamp boutique.  As long as it is 100% authentic (check with my guide right here), they will fix it up for you!  

If your tote is dirty, you can throw it in the washing machine for a quick clean, although this is not by any means a Longchamp-endorsed method.  Yes, it is safe for the leather (it can even make it softer!)  I'd do it without other things in the machine, just to be safe.  Add a mild detergent (preferably natural and organic) and set it to the gentlest cycle possible, with cool water.  Of course, always air dry your bag!

For tips on authenticating your Longchamp bag, read my guide here.

Where to Buy
Longchamp - Nordstrom - Neiman Marcus - Bloomingdales - Saks Fifth Avenue
shop them all below by retailers!

Friday, April 3, 2015

St. Barths in Spring

 Skirt: Vineyard Vines (women's here)   Sweater: Gap (similar)   Bag: Vintage Bally (similar)
 Sandals: Tory Burch   Necklace: Max & Chloe (similar)

If you're short and tiny like me, the girl's section is always a godsend.  I loved the Vineyard Vines St. Barth's print the moment I saw it, and I was overjoyed that they had this skirt available in the girls section!
Bright prints (like Lilly Pulitzer patterns) are so perfect for spring!  I'll be wearing this skirt all season.
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