Denim Days

There is an ongoing joke from my college days about my love for denim (Rob Johnson). Back in the day, I would wear denim on denim on denim on denim. *Please note that denim on denim is ok, denim on denim on denim is not. 

See, so much denim. 

 

Then the following years after college, I stopped wearing my favorite blue jeans, then tapered off wearing my jean jackets and so on. I am not sure if it was because I had lost an enormous amount of weight and couldn't find the right fit or because I was more comfortable wearing stretchy, but the love affair with denim was put on hold.  

This summer I decided to figure out a way to wear denim that is chic, sophisticated and still comfortable.  And what did I find... a new love affair, chambray, grown up denim!  

So what is chambray... 

A chambray is a plain weave fabric woven with a colored yarn in the warp and a white yarn in the weft. Like chambray, denim is made with a colored yarn in the warp and white in the weft, but is woven in a twill construction.

Essentially, its kind of the same, except how its woven.  The hand though, is so much softer. The colors are usually a bit more muted. 

With my new obsession for chambray and my old love denim, here are some of my favorite ways to wear both!  

What's your favorite denim or chambray piece?  Share your tips and tricks to wearing denim in the comments below.  

Happy Hour at Twilight Gallery & Boutique

I love happy hour.  I especially love happy hour when it is being hosted in a darling gallery with lovely bloggers.  I recently got to spend a evening at Twilight Gallery and Boutique in West Seattle hosted by Anna Luiza from the blog, Northwest Blond.  She graciously put together an evening of art, local jewelry designers, wine and fashion chit chat.  Sometimes, a girl needs to throw on her high wasted pants and some lipstick and get out of the house.   

Located in the heart of the West Seattle Junction, the space is filled with art, handmade jewelry and accessories, music playing from a record player and lots of bones and skulls.  The bohemian decor is what my gypsy dreams are made of.  

I was especially smitten by Silversheep Jewelry.  Designer Silvia Baba, designs the the more spectacular minimalistic modern pieces. 

 "Her work is inspired by the natural, man made, and invisible forces around us and her designs aim to hone in on the core of some of life's big ideas with the use of uncomplicated shapes and unique textures. 

I was able to find the perfect pairing to my simple wedding band with a gold and rose-gold simple stacking rings.  So, excited that I am finally able to wear my wedding band on my ring finger! Check out more about Silversheep Jewelry here

Oh, and I found my dream statement piece from NeonZinn. Seth Damm, designs these unique sculptured rope pieces, to take your outfit to the next level.  Yassssss, girl.  

So, if you haven't had a chance to pop into this little gem, head on over.  Spend the afternoon enjoying all the cuteness West Seattle has to offer like Bakery Nouveau, Easy Street Records, Ma'Ono brunch or Capers.  I seriously love my little hood!

Oh, and I can't forget to give a very special thank you to my wonderful friend Maria for coming with me.  I can't wait to see your new Silversheep Bracelet. 

Things I Have Learned in my 30's

Today, marks my 37th anniversary of life.  As I sit here drinking my latte and eating my favorite breakfast pastry (from Bakery Nouveau) my sweet hubs got for me this morning, I am truly happy to be one year older.  Yes, there are days I wake up and a new little line has popped up on my face, but that line was earned with laughter.  Or a gray hair that was not there the day before, I like to consider this natures highlight.  So yes, I am happy and so grateful for this life.  Now, let me be clear, I am also terrified as all of these changes as they happen, but I am making a promise this year to not be hard on myself and just enjoy aging with grace.   Here are some of the things I have learned in my thirties from life and others... 

Sunday Funday with the Hubs

It's rare that me and the hubs ever get a day off together, so when we do, we try to make the most of it. On these days, I like to keep it pretty casual because the work week tires me out with the fancy clothes.  Now, I am a strong believer that a casual look does not include yoga pants ever, unless you are actually going to yoga.  Instead I try to opt for simple and classic, like this outfit I wore today.  

It was perfect for an afternoon of shopping followed by a trip to the cutest little bakery, Fresh Flours in White Center. Here is my handsome hubs being too serious! 

Let's all enjoy this wonderful weather looking fabulous and chic! Tell me what your favorite thing to do on your days off are? 

JACKET: Target

TOP: Target

SHOES: Matisse

PANTS: City Chic

SUNGLASSES: Ray Bans

Ken Downing Fashion Show at NM Bellevue

Today, as I write this post and reflect on what I was doing 24 hours ago, my body aches from being on my feet for 12 hours, but my heart, yes my heart, is oh-so happy! For a short period of time, I was within arms distance from fashion genius, Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus's Senior Vice President and Fashion Director, like I said, Fashion Genius.  

My whole life, I have loved fashion and when I say this, I truly mean, I LOVE FASHION! I love style. I love clothing.  I love accessories.  I love hair.  I love makeup... pretty much anything that a person puts on to tell the world who they are, how they feel that day, an expression of their personal self. When I see a person who oozes style, I want to go up to them, hug them and thank them for making my day better.  And anyone who knows me, knows I have always prided myself on over-dressing for pretty much any occasion.  This life choice has been reiterated by these words, my life motto: 

"More is more, less is a bore."  - Ken Downing

As I think and ponder these words, I want to go into my bedroom and put on every piece of jewelry I own, because why not!  Now getting back to yesterday, I had the privilege to be one of the artists to do makeup for his show at our store.  At first I was nervous, because I don't do well under pressure and usually fashion show makeup is quick and high energy. Not yesterday though, it was calm and flowed so easily.  The models were perfection with their beautiful faces and flawless skin.  And even when Mr. Downing himself came into the room, there was just joy and ease, just like his fashion.  

After we were done with makeup we headed off backstage for touch ups.  As the girls got ready and I saw the ensembles he had carefully curated the two days prior and I got teary eyed.  He is a master of fashion and I happen to be able to watch him create.  The way he added the last details, the way he wrapped a purse around the neck instead of wearing it the "normal" way, or just added the extra necklace for perfection was like watching an artist put on the final touches on a masterpiece.  There were floral collars, bracelets upon bracelets, layers of necklaces, pattern on pattern and of course jackets worn on the shoulders.  

Once the show started, I was excited to hear the ooo's and ahhh's from the crowd as Ken shared his fashion advice and narrated his fashion vision.  The energy in the room was intoxicating.  

After the runway show, the beautiful items were set up in one of the boutiques, making me imagine the day I will have a room dedicated to my clothing and I WILL set it up this way.  Really how dreamy are these pieces?!?

Ahhhhhhhh, fashion.  I will be forever inspired to look my best and so grateful to work at Neiman Marcus where I am surrounded by couture.  

Now, I want to know, what is your fashion motto... what inspires you? Share your fashion advice in the comments and go into the world wearing your best heels forward.  

Quay Eye Glasses- New Fave Summer Accessory

Yes, these are the sunnies that you see all of the Instagram girls and some of the Kardashian's sporting.  Qauy {pronounced Key}, is an awesome line hailing from Australia and more importantly,  the price is just right. You don't have to spend a fortune to look like your favorite Instagrammer. 

Not only is the quality great, but they are fun!  I have My Girl, On the Prowl and Kitti and get so many compliments on them.  Want to see more, click to check out their website.  

 

Sunglasses really happen to be my favorite summer accessory.  Here is a pic of my amazing collection I plan on rocking this summer.  

LA Days

I just need to take a second to brag... I literally work for the best beauty company a person can work for.  Giorgio Armani not only has more beautiful products, but dang, do they know how to pamper and spoil its team!  Twice a year, the company brings together all of its #armaniacs in  a beautiful hotel to go over all of its newest products and share sucesses.  So yeah, I am one lucky lady.  

This year, I decided to take a few days off before summit, and enjoy LA sun with two of my Armani sisters.  I really needed these few days of laughter and adventures.  We ate great food, had delicious drinks, haggled our way through shopping and really made great memories.  Thank goodness for camera phones to record these awesome times. 

What does a Seattle-living gal wear to the land of sun and models? Well, let me tell you,  I tried to keep it simple with my favorite staple items.  I kept it to one carry-on and of course one bag filled with makeup and hair supplies.  Here are some of my favorite simple travel pieces that are easy to toss in your bag and throw together to look stylish and chic. 

High Waisted Black Maxi Skirt

70's Style Button Up Collar Top 

Black and White Dress

Faux Leather Motorcycle Jacket 

Feather Grey Booties

Quay Sunnies On the Prowl 

Brixton Hat

Of course, there was fancy business clothes for my meetings, but keeping it light and simple on my days off.  What is your must have travel pieces?  How do you keep it to one carry on?  Share your best traveling tips in the comments below.  

Red Lips and Bowties

An oldie but goodie I love is wearing menswear inspired clothing.  Simple, clean, classic and powerful is what I feel as I button up my crisp white shirt and bow tie.  Hollywood and the fashion industry have been obsessed with walking this line since Coco Chanel wore sailor trousers to the beaches of France in an act of modesty which led to changing the course of fashion.  From the classics of Bette Davis to Diane Keaton:  

 

To the bad of it.  Yes, this includes all of 1980-90's.  

 

Menswear will continue to grace the streets of fashion.  So,  if you are feeling like taking a stroll in this look, try these great tips from me and Kris to incorporate this sleekness into your everyday look.  

Here are some easy classic tips from Kris Arushanov, Tom Ford Specialist at Neiman Marcus Bellevue(oh, and her Instagram is awesome @Seattlemens_Selects): 

1.  Take a staple feminine piece like a red lipstick or classic black pump, and mix with staple mens piece like a bow tie or pocket square. 

2.  Stick to a maximum of 3 mens pieces. Too many pieces and you are just wearing menswear.  

3.  Find a balance. For example, try a structured blazer with a pretty mini skirt.  Or trouser pants with a fitted shirt.  

4.  Start with finding a style icon or era to draw inspiration.  James Dean, James bond and the 1960's are my personal favorite. 

Need some more tips, try some of my handy dandy tips: 

1.  Mens accessories are a great way to wear an oversized statement piece. Start with a watch or an oversized mens hat, Tiller hats are my favorite.  

2.  I love wearing a mens blazer thrown over my shoulders.  Think its a little much, try tossing your hubbies jean jacket over your shoulders and work your way into a blazer.  

3.  If you have a big giant head like I do, try on some great mens sunglasses.  I also wear mens eyeglasses.  They fit my big head perfectly.  

4.  Keep it simple.  I believe that is true in all forms of fashion.  Always look at your look with an editorial eye.  Like Kris says, keep it to a couple of pieces.  Just so that you get an idea of a look! 

5.  A mens white button up shirt is the epitome of clean fashion.  Pair it with leather pants and chelsea boots.  Pop the collar and top knot.  Or, button up all the way with a big bulky necklace. 

6.  Try a mens fragrance.  Some of my favorites are Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Himalya and the new Dior Savage.  

 

 

Need more inspiration, check out these amazing looks.  Have a some tips you love, share with us in the comments. Wearing something menswearish, tag us at #mimibloves !  

Aging with Style

Who else feels confused when it comes to aging and still having style?  Hopefully, I am not the only one out there feeling this way.  I have reached an age where I have started asking myself... Mimi, am I too old for this shirt?  Sometimes the answer is no AND sometimes it is yes.

Here is an expensive lesson I had to learn.  Yes that is a tiger hat that cost me over $100 and yes, I am indeed too old to wear that. 

 

How do yo know you are too old to wear something, well in the case of the hat, I actually felt embarrassed to wear it because I felt too old.  What 30-something rocks a tiger hat, as it turns out, not me. So, here I stand the Goldilocks of style, looking for something not too old and not too young, but just right.  

As I have meandered my way through figuring out what an adult dresses like, I have some great tips to help you find your signature style. 

1.  Keywords.  Write down some keyword that describe that look you want.  Here are some of mine: 

2.  Style Inspiration Board.  Now that you have an idea of the style you want to have, start a Pinterest board with looks and people who inspire you.  Mine is called Forever Carrie, yes Carrie Bradshaw is my personal style icon.  

3.  Clean Out Your Closet.  Set a day aside to do this.  Grab a friend if you need someone to keep you on track.  Purge yourself of anything that does not fit your new look.  Now really, do you need that dress that doesn't fit you from 2006?  The answer is NO!  This is also were your good buddy can help.  Three questions you or she should ask you when you are iffy... 

Do you NEED it?

Do you LOVE it?

Have you worn it in the last 6 months?

If you answer NO to any of these questions, TOSS it! 

4.  Shopping List.  Now that you know what you need, make a simple organized shopping list.  Make sure you have plenty of basic pieces.  I call these my buffer pieces, they can really bring an outfit together.  Once you have finalized your list, try not to add to it. 

5.  Give Yourself a Budget.  A small budget doesn't mean you can't get the good stuff.  Helllllo, there are plenty of great items at thrift stores and on clearance.  

6.  Go Shopping! And by, go shopping, I mean take your time finding the perfect pieces to add to your newly carefully curated wardrobe.  Don't go out and do it all in one day.  Shop piece by piece.  Binge shopping usually ends with me getting a bunch of crap.  Trust me, you will be way happier taking the time find the perfect piece. 

7.  Mix and Match.  Don't be afraid of playing with different combinations.  That's when you really work on editing your style.  When I love a look, I usually take a pic of it so I don't forget. There are some really great apps that help organize your looks.  My personal favorite is Closetspace.  

And finally... 

8.  Wear it with Confidence! Once you have gotten through all the other steps, this is the final step to being beautiful and classically put together.  

If you still need help in finding your personal voice in clothing, stylist are a great resource. Sometimes they even offer at home and virtual sessions and do all the hard work for you.  Or ask a friend who has great style, I'd bet she would be happy to help you with some shopping!  

I hope this helps those out there feeling fashionably helpless.  I can't wait to see your favorite outfits, so tag me!  #mimibloves

 

 

Animalistic

One of my favorite prints is a classic animal print.  The secret to wearing it right, is to wear it simply!  I love love love my high wasted leopard print joggers I ordered from Zulily.  These spandex beauties are comfy AND look great on.  I pair them with a simple black top, boots, simple jewelry and a clutch.  I also have thrown a fringe kimono on top to wear to work.  

Here's how I put it together! 

Need more inspiration?  Check out how these celebrities rock the animal print.  

Don't be afraid to be bold!  Just balance with classic simple pieces. Love to see how you wear your favorite animal print pieces, share on the comments or share on Instagram #mimibloves .