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Friday, April 30, 2010

Skirting the Issue

Warm weather does strange things to one's perceived athletic ability. At least that's the only way I can rationalize my decision to sign up for a 10 mile race coming up in October. When the idea was raised, the weather had just turned from frigid to balmy, and the thought of running outside all spring/summer to train seemed like quite a lovely proposition. Now I start perusing training schedules and revving up my ipod playlist, my number one concern isn't my pace, or whether I have on sunscreen, or what the best training route is...nope, I'm starting to wonder "What will I wear?"

I'm toying with the idea of trying out a running skirt. I don't own one, and generally I'm not up on the trends in athletic wear. Till now, I've been strictly a running shorts type of gal.

Namely, I'm wondering...if I get a running skirt, do I get these abs too? I used to think running skirts were prissy and not for "real" runners, but this lady looks pretty darn real to me.

This skirt looks comfy, albeit a bit more voluminous than I'd prefer. It's a skirt I'd wear to the pool, not necessarily to run in. But, this photo has me wondering if perhaps I too can rock a sweat band...

So, I'm scouting the market, thinking perhaps I will dip my toe into the wide world of running skirts this summer. Something to help me kick start my training.

Patagonia never disappoints, so I'm interested in checking out their Multi Use Skirt.
Patagonia Women's Multi Use Skirt

I like the cut of the Lululemon Speed Skirt; the slight a-line looks like it would allow for a good range of motion.

I'm tempted to think pink with this New Balance Bonita skirt
New Balance Women's Lace Up Bonita Running Skirt 3.0

I thought I'd come to terms with running skirts till I discovered this little number "Skapris." It's a skirt with built in capris. Am I the only one utterly confused by this concept? Why not just wear a skirt...with capris? And if you wear capris, why do you need to wear a skirt too?

Nike Pacer Running Skapris - Women's

So, I trust our readers' opinions on this one- what do you think of running skirts? Like them? Hate them? Are they silly? Are they adorable? The jury's still out on this one....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why the Long Face?

This weekend's Kentucky Derby has us thinking about all things equine.  My friends who grew up riding have a love for horses that cannot be fathomed by those of us who didn't.  My mom rode as a child, and although I grew up just across the pasture from where she kept her horse as a little girl, my sister and I never got into the sport.  Still, we can't help but be amazed and inspired by the elegance and beauty of horses.

Equestrian chic has long been a favorite of American style, popularized by designers such as Ralph Lauren, Hermes, and Gucci.  In both fashion and interiors, equestrian style is classic.  It can work in small doses such as a single horse painting on a bookshelf or on a much larger scale, as seen in the gorgeous horse country home of Mark Badgley and James Mischka that was featured in Elle Decor not too long ago.

Some inspiration from others...

The perfect green from Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren Home

French chic style with a horseshoe coffee table
Elle Decor

Framed horsey prints in an Amanda Nisbet-designed office
Amanda Nisbet

An antique horse statute shelved in this cozy living room
House Beautiful

Simple chic in Domino

We can't help but be inspired by the home of Mark Badgley and James Mischka!

To bring this inspiration into your own home.... 

Classic horsebit flatware from Hermes

White ceramic mountable horsehead

Classic Hermes checkered wool blankets
Hermes Blanket, $2500

This articulating horse statue is perfect for a masculine desk or study

Regal horse pillow on casual canvas from John Robshaw

This silver hermes ashtray would be perfect for holding keys and change.  Although if you have to ask the price, you probably can't afford it....

The deal of the day- heavy horse coathook from Pottery Barn

This ceramic horsehead is so Kelly Wearstler...

Every stylish man needs a pair of horsebit loafers.

Not sure if we are brave enough to wear this horsey Stella McCartney tank, but we're sure some of our fashion-forward readers could make it work!

And for the little lady, this gold horsebit bracelet is so dainty and elegant.

Gorgeous leather tote with a brass horseshoe from Ralph Lauren

I've always been a big fan of horsebit flats, but other than that, I don't have anything too equestrian-chic in my home or wardrobe.  Do you?  Tell us about it!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fab or Fug: Red Carpet Whites

Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow both showed up for the opening of Iron Man 2 sporting their finest white outfits. Scarlett wore Armani Prive and Gwyneth wore Giorgio Armani. We think that Mr. Armani clearly played some favorites in the style stakes here, don't you think?

Scarlett Johansson arrives for the world premiere of     Gwyneth Paltrow arrives for the world premiere of

Scarlett's dress was sophisticated but youthful; the structured ruffles were eye-catching without overpowering her. Neutral silver shoes and a bejeweled clutch complete the look.

Scarlett Johansson arrives for the world premiere of

As for Gwynnie P, well...we like it from the waist up. We're not against formal shorts per se, but this length short, combined with a jacket with an elongated cut, somehow reminds us of 1991. And we like the shoes on their own, but they look entirely too casual when paired with a white sparkly shorts suit, don't you think? 

 Gwyneth Paltrow arrives for the world premiere of

Who wore their whites best- ScarJo or Gwyneth?

Ahoy! The First Mate Jacket

Popped into the Anthropologie on M Street the other day (alas, they were not participating in JLW's Shop Hop so I had a mental block on buying anything). But while I was there I spotted the snazzy First Mate Blazer (note: this is not on sale online, but it was marked down to $69.99 in the store).

Note the eye catching nautical broaches, which got me thinking...

It would be supremely easy to re-create this look with a blazer or jacket of your own and some inexpensive broaches, preferably vintage. Admittedly, I never buy broaches because I'm afraid of ending up looking a little costumey. While I love the 60's aesthetic of Mad Men, when taken too literally it could look matronly.


But, I think the key to re-recreating this look would be to juxtapose a collection of vintage broaches on a jacket or dress with a decidedly modern cut. Keep a consistent theme with the broaches- nautical, chinoiserie, birds, fish, etc. A few promising options:

Sand dollar pin, Etsy
Vintage Gold Tone Metal Sand Dollar Brooch Pin Retro

Starfish pin, Ebay

Starfish Pin, Ebay

Sea Creature Pin, Ebay

Enamel Fisherman Pin, Ebay

Owl Pin, Etsy;

Elephant Pin; Etsy
EgyptiaN ElephanT Retro Vintage Quality Fashion Glam Jeweled Rhinestones Brooch Pin 1980's 1970's Ruby Red Blue Emerald Green Gold Pearl

Pair your broaches with your own favorite blazer, or if you need a few suggestions...

Chambray Schoolboy Blazer, J Crew

Style Portfolio Knit Jacket, Bloomies
Style Portfolio "Libby" Striped Knit Blazer and "Taylor" Pleated Bubble Shorts

Aqua Boyfriend Blazer, Bloomies
Aqua Boyfriend Blazer with Striped Lining

This might be one of the quickest, easiest Anthro looks to re-create on a shoestring. While we love Anthropologie, a lot of their looks tend to look great in the catalog but a little to vintage-French-bohemian-librarian for real life wear. The vintage broach approach, however, is a style that would fit into most of our day to day loves and office wardrobes. I'm off to hunt for some vintage pins right now...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DIY Turquoise Tole Chandelier

We have posted in the past about our love for vintage tole.  Since then, I've kept my eyes open for tole chandeliers here and there, and I now have them in my breakfast room, baby boy's nursery, and most recently, in my entryway. 

This Ruthie Sommers kitchen is the perfect study of contrasts- black v. white v. turquoise.  Vintage v. modern.  Form v. function.  The solid white tole chandelier is a fun current twist on the classic 1960's style.  It pops perfectly against the black walls, contrasted with the turquoise door.
Ruthie Sommers

Turquoise and tole are a beautiful combination in this Massucco Warner Miller bedroom that has been all over the blogosphere recently.  This isn't the best camera angle to show the detail of the white tole chandelier, but it really stands out against the turquoise wall.
Massucco Warner Miller

Back to my entryway...  Even though I painstakingly painted stripes all over my walls, I have been a little bored with the space.  The first room you see when you enter a home always makes a lasting impression.  Save the storage benches, boot trays, and coat hooks for the back door, if possible. 

I thought a little pop of color, in the form of a tole chandelier, could be just what my entry needed.  You can usually find a good selection of tole chandeliers on eBay and sometimes even on Craigslist. They were popular in the 1960's (check out the fab tole bedroom lamps in our post on Tom Ford's A Single Man). Lucky enough for the tole lovers out there, most people today prefer brushed nickel, so it's possible to find tole fixtures for around $100 or so.

The last time we were at the beach, I stopped by Hungryneck Antique Mall in Mt. Pleasant.  Although I've passed by it a hundred times, I had never stopped in.  I will admit I was expecting Hungryneck to be like Sleepy Poet, and frankly, there is no comparison.  I was hoping that since it was just outside Charleston, it would be full of cast-off fabulous shell mirrors and faux bamboo tables, but that just wasn't the case.  If you are driving by on 17, check it out, but to be completely candid I don't think it's worth a special trip.

That said, while I was there I did spot this tole chandelier hanging next to a pink felt cowboy hat.  It was marked $95, but everything in that booth was 50% off.  Even the cowboy hat.

It was off-white, which is typical of vintage tole chandeliers, but it's not too exciting.

You can see the leafy details here.

It was a rainy day at the beach, and I needed a project, so I decided to paint.

When I was debating what color to paint it, I couldn't get Ruthie's turquoise out of my head.  So I headed to Lowe's and bought some paint.  I decided on Valspar Aqua Rapids.  For a project this small, you only need to buy a $2 sample of paint.  The downside to samples is that they nearly always come in flat finish only, but an easy tip is just spray your object with a coat of clear gloss (found in the spray paint section) after the paint has dried, and you'll have a nice glossy finish!

I used a sponge brush to get the color as even as possible and avoid paint strokes.  As I've said before, spray painting is the easiest way to get an even finish, but your colors are really limited with spray paint.  So the next best thing for a project like this is to use a sponge brush.

My sweet husband helped me hang the chandelier last night after work.  I took his picture, but I guess he's not quite ready for MoS fame yet:).

And the finished product!

I like how it pops against the stripes!

A little more...

The whole look!  You lose a bit of the detail from this far away, but when you come in the door you can really see the leaves and beautiful turned accents.

So what do you think?  Are you ready to trade in that brushed nickel for some vintage tole?
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