February 25, 2011

Reorganization.

Wooo hooo, Friday!  This is the first weekend in a long time that is actually a break for me.  I am D.O.N.E. with the silly ol' bar exam, and J and I are in New Orleans right now for a mini vacay.  It will be a great way to recharge before I try to tackle my poor neglected to-do list.  

I've got a lot of projects that I want to get to work on, and first on the list is organizing our closet.  The closet in our master bedroom is a decent size, but it's very narrow, and I feel like there is a lot of wasted space with the way the shelves are currently arranged.  But good night, closet organizing systems are expensive, so if y'all have any good (i.e. cheap) tricks or resources, please let me know!  I'm not sure my closet will look as fabulous as these, but a girl can dream, right?

*Images via The Coveteur.


PS- A huge thank you to Tina, Christy, and Dana for guest posting for me this week!  Y'all are the best!

February 24, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Madewell Silky Trouser Shorts

I'm almost afraid to say it for fear of jinxing it, but I think spring is here, y'all.  There are gorgeous pink blossoms all over downtown, and our daytime temperatures have been in the 70s this week.  Y'all know what that means: shorts season.  I've recently come to the conclusion that shorts are just not that cute on me.  (Although maybe with more Crossfit, my calfs won't look quite as puny.)  But even I can't resist these adorable, silky shorts from Madewell. 


{Madewell Silky Trouser Shorts - $78.00}

The only problem is that these babies are selling out fast, so get yourself a pair while the colors and sizes last.

February 23, 2011

Greetings from New Orleans

Hey y'all, Christy here of Slow Southern Style. I'm pretty excited to be doing this guest post on Penny Loves Charlie, mostly because I will be meeting Lindsey for the first time when she comes to visit New Orleans! If there is one thing I love doing it is sharing my hometown with people, especially fellow Southern Fashion Bloggers. So I'll share with y'all a little slice of my life and my beloved NOLA.


In New Orleans it isn't uncommon to see costumes year 'round, and with Mardi Gras right around the corner there are plenty of fabulous mannequins decked out in their Fat Tuesday best, such as this attractive display that I featured on my weekly Mannequin Monday series.




Of course you'll need a proper wig during carnival time, and the best come from Fifi Mahony's. What other time of year can you get away with fuchsia hair? Oh wait it's NOLA, so that means all the time.




Not feeling down with the crazy clothes? I hear ya. If you're just looking for some great everyday outfits Ah-ha on Magazine Street has got you covered.






New Orleans also has some very talented fashion designers. We're no Big Apple but the Big Easy is a breeding ground for creative types.


Lia Molly is a knitwear label that has been featured in Anthropologie.




Another local favorite is Jolie and Elizabeth, celebrate the South with their latest spring seersucker collection.


Jolie and Elizabeth New Orleans




So as y'all can see there are numerous reasons to come to New Orleans. Sure we've got great live music, food, and art but fashion is coming to the forefront as well. Come and visit anytime you want and laissez les bon temps rouler!

February 22, 2011

Just Peachy.

Hi everyone, it’s Day 2 of the bar exam and hopefully we’re all sending Lindsey lots of luck and best wishes!  As one of Penny Loves Charlie’s biggest fans, I was super excited when Linds asked me to do a guest blog today.  Since I’m not anywhere near as stylish or design-oriented as my fabulous friend, I’m going to tell ya’ll about an excellent (and Southern!) recipe I came across last weekend.  It’s the perfect thing to have on hand for a whimsical and delicious, yet incredibly easy, dessert.  

What is this excellent concoction, then?  Three words: BOURBON. SOAKED. PEACHES.  It’s basically just what it sounds like - ripe peaches boiled quickly until their skins slip off, then set to soak in a luxurious bath of Kentucky bourbon, sugar, and salt.  I served this over vanilla ice cream and butter pound cake for a Southern-themed girls’ lunch, and it was fantastic!  All credit must go to the Lee Brothers, whose cookbooks make me want to drop out of school and go on a BBQ-tasting expedition through the South.  This particular recipe comes from their more recent volume, “Simple Fresh Southern”, which is an amazing resource for modern, fresh takes on traditional recipes.  


Enjoy, and let me know what you think! -Dana
Ingredients
2 lbs. ripe peaches (about 8 medium)
2 cups Kentucky bourbon or Tennessee whiskey (use a good one!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring enough water to cover the peaches to a boil.  Cut an X into each peach at the pointed end (opposite the stem end).  Drop the peaches into the boiling water and cook until the skin just loosens, 2-3 minutes (depending on the ripeness of the peaches).  Remove the peaches from the water and set aside until cool enough to handle.  Gently peel off the skins, cut into wedges, and pack the peaches into a quart glass jar or arrange them in a medium bowl.


2. In a large saucepan, bring the bourbon to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat, and add the sugar and salt.  Continue to simmer until the mixture is syrupy, about 6 minutes.  


3. Pour the syrup over the fruit, seal the jar or cover the bowl, and let cool.  Then chill in the refrigerator for at least a few hours before using.  The peaches will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days.  Serve over vanilla ice cream, pound cake, or just enjoy on their own!  


February 21, 2011

A New Orleans Adventure

Well hello ladies and gents of Penny Loves Charlie, Christina here from Sweet On Design! It is with great pleasure that I sit down to write this post today.  I know this year has been all kinds of crazy for Lindsey and I'm sure getting this whole "SITTING FOR THE BAR" item checked off her to-do list will give her the great sense of relief and accomplishment that she deserves. Most of you probably know that Lindsey and J are headed to New Orleans this weekend for a much needed dose of fun and relaxation.. Having gone to school in New Orleans, I am THRILLED that they chose it for their trip. Today I've pulled together a quick list of activities to try and places to see while in the Big Easy.


FOR SOME FUN IN THE FRENCH QUARTER:

Grab a cocktail!


                And take it with you as you stroll around
                the French Quarter! Fear not, this is
                totally legal..

               Make your way to Jackson Square - home to the 
               St. Louis Cathedral, Cafe Du Monde, and a                
               variety of street artists, musicians & 
               tarot card readers!

               From there take a stroll down Royal Street 
               to the Hotel Monteleone where you'll find a
               rotating Carousel Bar and if you're lucky you 
               might even spot Elvis or some other elusive 
               character..


                Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop - this dark &
                mysterious place is New Orleans oldest
                bar and is purported to be the very first 
                bar in the United States. Everyone has a 
                juicy story or a ghost to tell you about 
                so make sure to chat up your bartender. 


FOR A DAY IN THE GARDEN DISTRICT:

                Catch the Uptown streetcar for a relaxing 
                ride into the Garden District. Once again...
                you may want to grab a cocktail for this
                adventure!


               Watch the historic homes of St. Charles  
               Avenue pass by as you ramble along. 


                Hop off the streetcar at Washington Ave
                and walk two blocks towards the river where
                you'll find Commanders Palace - A daytime
                meal here will change your life.  You may
                want to call ahead for reservations & make
                sure to get yourself a couple of their 
                25 cent martinis!! 


               After you've had a delicious meal at Commanders
               hop back on the streetcar and continue Uptown
               towards Tulane, Loyola, Audubon Park & 
               Audubon Zoo. Wandering around any or all
               of these places is a great way to spend
               a beautiful New Orleans afternoon.

And finally here are a few items that I always keep on hand when traveling to NOLA: 

 

1) Big Bows or Bold Hair Accessories - These are a must. You're in New Orleans..so live. it. up.  !!!

2) Day to Night Dress - In case you're having too much fun to get home and change for the night ahead

3) Lightweight Scarf  - An adorable accessory that you can tuck away in your purse when you don't need it.

4) Over The Shoulder Satchel - There's no need to fool with your purse when you've got more important items of business like carrying your Hand-Grenade or Hurricane 

5) Cute, Comfy and Affordable Shoes - Its practically impossible to keep your shoes clean in New Orleans so purchase an affordable pair knowing that you'll most likely be sacrificing them to the party-gods by the end of your trip 

Now like they say in New Orleans.. Laissez les bons temps rouler!!

February 18, 2011

More Cram, Less Glam.

Hey y'all, Happy Friday!  


Personally I am terrified and ecstatic at the prospect of this weekend because on one hand it means I only have 3 days until the Bar Exam starts, and I can not wait to have my life back.  On the other hand... HOLY HECK I ONLY HAVE 3 DAYS UNTIL THE BAR EXAM STARTS!  I  feel ill just thinking about it.  That is why I am currently cramming away at a desk that includes many more randomly scattered note cards, stacks of books, and at least five empty glasses and/or plates.  In short, it looks nothing like this glamourous little office.



Actually, it's a good thing this isn't my office because that bar cart would be in serious jeopardy.  

Anyway, I won't be around next week but have no fear, I have some super cool and talented guest bloggers lined up, so please make sure to come by and check out what they have in store for y'all.

See you on the flip side.

February 17, 2011

Runway/Real Way: Minimalism

I had fun making the 70s collage earlier this week, and y'all seemed to like it so I thought I'd try it again.  


Getting a minimalist look right can be tricky, but it done right it is super chic and sophisticated.  This may sound super obvious, but the first key is keeping it simple.  It's really hard not to get sucked into piling on accessories or adding pattern.  The second big issue is tailoring.  When you're doing something this pared down, fit and workmanship are critical.  You'll be wearing pieces without much (or really, any) embellishment, so you want them to be interesting architecturally.  Think strong shoulders, accordion pleats, and crisp collars, for example.  This doesn't mean that you can only pull this look off if you're working with expensive pieces.  It just means that you want to use items that fit perfectly, without any cinching, safety pinning, or bunching.  You want the overall effect to feel deliberate, not like you were just in a hurry and didn't have time to make your outfit interesting.


1. Coach Rambler's Legacy Bag - $258.00
2. Nars Heat Wave - $24.00
3. Simon Sebbag X Bangle - $183.90 via Nordstrom
4. Nine West Arden Sandal - $69.00
5. By Malene Birger Belted Trench Coat - $274.00 via The Outnet
6. Carolee Gold Pearl Studs - $22.00 via Endless
7. Calvin Klein Collection Bea One Shoulder Jersey Dress - $268.50 via The Outnet

The dress is Calvin Klein because he is a master of minimalism.  (See here and here for examples.)  And you could certainly find a cheaper trench, but this one had a white background, and I wrote this post on a study break and didn't have time to edit pictures.  (Sorry, that's life these days.)  Also, if you haven't checked out the Coach Originals collection, go take a look.  They're amazing, classic bags that are definitely worth the investment if you're looking for a great all-purpose bag.

So, now y'all weigh in.  Will you give minimalism a try?

February 16, 2011

Jazz It Up.

I know I said that I was going to wait and do one big round-up post when all the NYFW shows are over, but I loved the Alice + Olivia presentation on Monday night too much to wait.  It was held at the Plaza, and the collection has an amazing glamorous, Roaring Twenties vibe.  Since the first time I read The Great Gatsby, I have always loved the whole Jazz Age/flapper girl vibe, but it's incredibly hard to find pieces that don't look costumey, so I really never dress this way.  (Although I did wear a really awesome fringed dress to Homecoming one year in high school, and no one liked it except me [and my mom] but I didn't care.)  I said it once, and I'll say it again, Boardwalk Empire is the new Mad Men.  I'm excited that at least one person agrees with me, and I hope more designers will start putting out some Jazz-Age-inspired looks as well.






*All images via Style.com.

Seriously, y'all... how modern-day Jordan Baker is that purple suit?  And that middle dress in the center collage is the grown-up version of my beloved Homecoming dress.  I wish I had an excuse to buy it.  (Don't worry, I can probably come up with one.)

What do y'all think?  Are you as into this as I am, or is it gonna be like high school all over again?

February 15, 2011

Runway/Real Way: 70s

Jill commented on my post yesterday about her issues with wide-leg jeans, and it got me thinking about how I would wear them as well, so I decided I would style up a look for y'all.  


1. Patterson J. Kincaid Linen Slub Tank - $78.00 via Piperlime
2. Steve Madden Bonndd Wedge Sandal - $69.95 via Endless
3. True Religion Carrie Skinny Knee Wide Leg Flare Jean - $172.00 via Piperlime
4. See by Chloe Boyfriend Cardigan - $295.00 via Net-A-Porter
5. Rebecca Minkoff Rocker Crossbody Bag - $195.00 via Bloomingdale's
6. Topshop Semi Precious Necklace - $30.00

The key to pulling off a 70s-inspired pant is to stick with a flared leg instead of a full-on bellbottom or wide leg.  Unless you're really tall or don't mind wearing 4 inch heels all day, a really big bell is going to make you look stocky.  Most of the cuts that say "flare" have a tighter fit through the thighs and a less pronounced flare at the bottom.  They'll be much more flattering, and you still get the 70s vibe.

Obviously, I had to throw some orange in there, and using accessories is the easiest way to add another pop of color.  I love the turquoise with the orange.  Hurry up, Spring!

So what do y'all think?  Would you wear this?

February 14, 2011

Fashion Forward.

Happy Monday and Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!  I hope everyone had a good weekend.  


Have you been keeping up with the NYFW shows as obsessively as I have?  I keep wishing that I was there, and then I remember that no one invited me anyway.  Le sigh.  But that hasn't stopped me from checking out photos and video from here. (Yay for study breaks!)  Timo Weiland, Tory BurchRebecca Minkoff are my favorites so far, and I will probably do a "coming attractions" round up post sometime next week when everything is over.  


But, in case you don't know how it works, the fashion world is always ahead of the real seasons.  So this NYFW is Fall/Winter 2011, and the Spring/Summer shows were held last September.  This is generally because buyers go to the shows and figure out what they want to order, but the designers need time to make and deliver everything.  So, I thought instead of looking at the F/W shows, it makes more sense to go back to the S/S shows to see what's on tap for us in the next few months.  These are just a few of the trends I noticed and that I'm most excited about.


First up, orange.  If you don't yet own anything orange, go buy something.  Seriously.  It was everywhere, across all styles - preppy, sporty, edgy, romantic.  It is by far the hottest color of the season.  And though you can't really tell from the collage, designers were pairing it with other bold colors as well - think deep purple, aqua, neon yellow, and bright pink.  Sadly, orange is only wearable for me for approximately 2 weeks each summer when I reach maximum tannage, so I don't see myself making too much of an investment.  But I really wish I looked better in it because it's such a happy color.  If you can wear it, take advantage.



Kind of related to the orange trend, the 70s will also be big, especially when it comes to pants.  If you're tired of skinny jeans, now is your chance to rock some serious bellbottoms.


If minimalism is more your thing, you're in luck.  There were tons of minimal, unadorned silhouettes on the runways - mostly in white, but a few really pretty sorbet and bright shades too.  I really love this look, especially since I have trouble with jewelry and accessorizing anyway.  With a perfectly tailored white dress, the only things you need to add are a tan, a quick swipe of bright lipstick, and some colorful sandals.  So easy, but so chic.


If someone says metallic is a trend, I would think they were talking about footwear or makeup, but for Spring and Summer, it's all about metallic gold fabric.  I could never pull off those glittery Michael Kors pants, but holy cow they are awesome.  

*All photos are from Style.com.

Will you be wearing any of these trends?  I want to know what you're excited about too.

*Disclaimer: this last paragraph is full of mushy stuff.  (Well, as mushy as I get, anyway.)*


As you all know, because I blog and tweet and Facebook about it incessantly, one week from today I will be sitting down for the first of three days of the bar exam... I am kind of freaking out, to put it mildly.  Luckily, J is super sweet, and he's been cooking dinner for me (even taking absurd requests, like cinnamon rolls), and he cleaned the whole house by himself yesterday.  Today is also our sixth month wedding anniversary, and I am just so thankful for him in my life.  He always teases me that I don't give him shout outs on the blog anymore... well, J, today is your lucky day.  Happy Valentine's Day!  Love you more every day.

February 11, 2011

Copycat: Natalie Portman

After her sartorial fiasco at the Golden Globes, Natalie has really stepped up her game.  How lovely is she in this beautiful silk Lanvin number?  You can't even tell she's pregnant.  If this dress can make a real baby bump disappear, I can only imagine how well it would camouflage a food baby.  Seriously.  I like to eat so I tend to keep these things in mind.  Anyway, I also really love the blue and cranberry color combo.


*Image via People.

A dress like this is a workhorse piece for your closet.  You could wear it for a date night, to a semi-formal wedding, even to the office depending on your dress code; and if you add some tights, it can be worn in at least three seasons.  Because of that, I think it's reasonable to spend more than you would on a super trendy item or one-season piece.  I kept the options below $300, and hey, that's still WAY less than you'd spend on a Lanvin.  (And you can also go cheap on the heels, like these.)


1. See by Chloe Short Dress - $235.00 via Yoox
2. See By Chloe Ruched Shoulder Shirt Dress - $247.50 via La Garconne
3. Vince Dolman Sleeve Dress - $265.00 via Shopbop

If these are still way out of your price range, how about switching it up?  Go for this pink dress and some navy pumps instead.  Same effect, easier on the wallet.


1. Set the Jewel Tone Dress - $50.00 via ModCloth

Happy Friday, y'all! Have a fun weekend, and don't forget to follow me on Google Friend Connect (left side bar) and on Twitter.  

February 10, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Cleobella Hudson Studded Envelope

I guess I'm having a bit of a theme here on Thirsty Thursday.  Last week it was the chevron Rebecca Minkoff heels, this week it's a fun chevron studded clutch.  What can I say?  I like what I like.


{Cleobella Hudson Studden Envelope - $330.00 via Endless}

PS - It also comes in black.

PPS - This is the only post today, y'all.  I was supposed to participate in another group outfit post for this afternoon, but my brain is mush, and I totally blew it.  I hope that y'all will bear with me for just a few more days until after the Bar Exam is over. (Two weeks from today I will be in NOLA, and you better believe I will have an adult beverage in hand.  Probably both hands.  Sorry, Mom, it's true.)  I am trying really hard to keep posting quality content while I'm studying, but this is crunch time, and blogging just has to take a back seat right now.  Thanks for sticking it out!  And please go take a look at the outfits that these other stylish ladies put together.

February 9, 2011

Snappy.

I had a hard time writing this post because I don't want it to sound like an advertisement, but there are so many things that I like about these shoes in particular and the Lindsay Phillips company in general.  First of all, Lindsay is a fellow Florida girl.  Even more importantly, she's 26 years old and running a multimillion dollar company that she started with just her and her mom when she was a barely out of high school.  I think her idea is super cool and creative, and I like supporting her, even if I can only buy one or two things at a time.  Plus, it's just a darn good idea.  So what IS the idea, you say?  


Ok, well, if you're like me you probably have at least two or three pairs of black flats, and two or three pairs of metallic flats, etc.  I am neurotic, and I don't like having big gold hardware on my shoes if I'm wearing all silver jewelry (or vice versa).  So the idea with Lindsay's shoes is that you just buy a single pair, and the embellishment snaps off so you can change the look of the shoe to go with your outfit.  LOVE.  And huge bonuses: they're real leather, and they're actually comfortable.

{Liz Flats - $64.00}

{Snaps - $12.00}

These are just a few of the options available.  Make sure you check out the lookbook to see the new spring colors and styles (like the SUPER cute espadrilles).  And if you're in Columbia, go to Uptown and get yourself a pair!


PS - I just added a box for Google Friend Connect on the left sidebar, so please follow me!  And you can also find me on Bloglovin' and Twitter.

*Legalese: Lindsay Phillips didn't ask me to write this post, and I am not receiving any compensation for doing so.  I just like her shoes.