Jonas Studio’s pop up market in San Clemente TODAY!

Jonas studio

I love meeting new designers and recently I got to meet the mother-daughter team at Jonas Studios in San Clemente.

Liz and Christine Jonas make jewelry with a story — collecting beads, artifacts and materials from all over the world and fashioning them into statement pieces unlike anything you’ll see elsewhere.

Jonas Studios tusk and bead pendants and assorted styles by Liz Jonas
Jonas Studios tusk and bead pendants and assorted styles by Liz Jonas
Shorter necklaces from Jonas Studios -- the necklaces are meant for layering
Shorter necklaces from Jonas Studios — the necklaces are meant for layering

Their designs are in 20 stores all over the U.S. (including Blue Eyed Girl, Millie and 503 Found here in Orange County) and their jewelry was worn by cover girl Lupita Nyong’o in the July issue of Vogue.

Lupita Nyong'o in Vogue (July 2014) wearing Jonas Studio
Lupita Nyong’o in Vogue (July 2014) wearing Jonas Studio

Today they are holding a pop up market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Casino San Clemente, 140 Ave. Pico (Behind Ellie’s table). They’ll be joined by friends from Rocket & Rosie, Todo a Mano Artistry, and artist Ale Germann (to name a few) and there will be a raffle benefitting the Nick Pasquale Foundation.

Stop by if you’re in the area, you can do good, support local artisans and maybe get a jump on your holiday shopping!

Ciao for now …




The Holy Grail of style: The Perfect Black Pump and Everything by Emerson Fry

Emerson Fry
Emerson Fry

Fashion fiends are like knights on a quest. We’re always searching for our version of the Holy Grail — that one artifact that holds all the mystery, secrets and wonder in our fashion universe.

For me that search for perfection is always summed up in The. Perfect. Black. Pump.

Never mind that I have scores (maybe hundreds; I don’t know, I haven’t counted lately) of pairs of shoes — some of which were dubbed to be “perfect” by me in the not too distant past. But, styles and tastes change and, lately, all I have been dreaming about is a modern-day perfect black pump; one that I can wear with anything, one with a dreamy silhouette but with enough edge that I still maintain my rock&roll style, but also one that looks a little more grown up to match my, ahem, age and one that I can  fit (well, lets say “cram”) into my supposed-to-be tight budget.

See, I while I have always loved a pointed toe pump– and in an inky black said pump is the equivalent of a wardrobe’s core: it holds everything together and looks great — my cache of black pumps could use an update. Some, like my beloved Jimmy Choos, look too much like the year I got them in; others, like my suede d’Orsay Manolos are still wearable style-wise but they have seen better days and others, like my peep-toe Diors are not pointy-toed enough to be basic (in the best sense of the word).

So, for the last year I have been searching for THE ONE.

And I believe I have found it — the D’Orsay heel from Emerson Fry (cue heavenly choir).


D'orsa heel in stealth black, $345
D’orsay heel in stealth black, $345


It is everything I want in a wear-everywhere pump. Updated from stiletto to chunky heel; a lovely toe that’s not too pointy but not round and with a profile to die for.

Figures though, because I want virtually every item on the Emerson Fry website from the awesome coats …

Tailored Coat in Fawn, $475
Tailored Coat in Fawn, $475
See how nicely the pumps go with this drop shoulder wool coat?
See how nicely the pumps go with this drop shoulder wool coat?

to their sweaters and tops …

The Perfect Tee... $78 .. Really I got one and it is perfect.
The Perfect Tee… $78 .. Really I got one and it is perfect.

Drop sleeved shirt, $198

Big Cable Knit sweater, $378.
Big Cable Knit sweater, $378.


to their studded belts ….

Studded belts in chrome and jet, $118
Studded belts in chrome and jet, $118

to their bags …

Overcoat in  variegated tweed,  $548; Luxe Emerson Crewneck   $98, Pencil pant in double-faced Jet, $228, Emerson bag in waxed tactical, $625
Overcoat in variegated tweed, $548; Luxe Emerson Crewneck
$98, Pencil pant in double-faced Jet, $228, Emerson bag in waxed tactical, $625
Emerson-Fry carrier bag, $375; Intrepid Parka, $970; Onitsuka Tigrt By Asics Ultimate 81 trainer,  $75.
Emerson-Fry carrier bag, $375; Intrepid Parka, $970; Onitsuka Tigrt By Asics Ultimate 81 trainer,

to their boots …

Trooper boot, $595

Midi boot, $425

Wrap boot $425
Wrap boot $425

Since I discovered Emerson Fry I cannot stop thinking about it because it is the fashion equivalent of heaven — filled with Holy Grails; it is perfection.

… at least until I start the search for the perfect pair of sandals.

Ciao for now …

Style at any age: Trendsetter clutch bags for under $100

A chic and roomy clutch is an easy (and inexpensive) way to work a trend. All of these cost under $100.
A chic and roomy clutch is an easy (and inexpensive) way to work a trend. All of these cost under $100.


Keeping your personal style, being on trend, as you get older can sometimes be a challenge. It can also be a challenge no matter your age if you are not an heiress to a large fortune or a globe-trotting supermodel whose entire closet of designer duds is “gifted”. (Not bitter, I swear, I am not bitter!)

So the double challenge of being, ahem, under-employed and, let’s face it, a little bit of a trend whore, has forced me to become more strategic in my shopping. Every buck I spend must make a bang stylistically and, because I am well past my 20s, look more expensive than it was.

I have found that the easiest way to amp up your style is with accessories and lately my  style-amping accessory of choice has been the clutch. For me it’s the day clutch. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to rock a beaded clutch or shiny minaudier for evening but to work a big scrunchy, one-of-a-kind looking bag under your arm like a fashion boss? That takes some skill.

So for your edification, I present …

If you love rocker style:

First the age thing. I still like my rock and roll/punk edge but lets be real, I’m too old to be tricked out in leather skinny jeans, fringed scarves and studs everywhere … unless I want to look like an old woman trying too hard (or Steven Tyler, which is really the same thing, ammirite?) But I am not too old to wear this uber soft black be-fringed beauty from Deux Lux with everything from a black sheath and heels to (tasteful) black skinnies, a soft sweater and an oversized wrap coat …

A so soft pouch with just enough fringe on the sides to make it trendy but not too ...Deux Lux faux leather fringed pouch, $75.
A so soft pouch with just enough fringe on the sides to make it trendy but not too …Deux Lux faux leather fringed pouch, $75.

I got mine at Nordstrom, Fashion Island but you can get yours here.

More rocker clutches …

Chic Nova studded clutch, $47.

If you love animal print:

Who doesn’t love leopard or cheetah print? Once relegated to a certain class of overdressed lady, animal prints (for me it’s specifically, leopard print) have crossed into the realm of iconic neutral. But if you’re of a certain age, too much of such a good thing can tip from kicky and fun to tacky and frumpy in less time than it takes to say “I’ll have a chardonnay”. Ladies like us have to be careful not to go overboard, but instead add animal as an accent. Also, just carrying a leopard print bag — or just wearing a very classic leopard pump, but not both — (for the love all things holy, NOT BOTH) is the great way for the style-timid to try something wild.

A minimal silhouette in good materials such as the clutch below (which I got at Chico’s the first and only time I ever shopped there) should do the trick …

In the past few years leopard print has moved from kicky print on the edge of tacky to iconic neutral. Chico's leather and and leopard print pouch, $99.
In the past few years leopard print has moved from kicky print on the edge of tacky to iconic neutral. Chico’s leather and and leopard print pouch, $99.

More animal print clutches …

Zara Printed leather clutch, $99.90 

If you’re a bohemian at heart:

The boho look has much to recommend it: fun, floaty, forgiving silhouettes, a casual chicness perfect for the SoCal climate; it’s a look that says you don’t try too hard, you’re just chill. But … also, the jeans short and floaty kimono with leather booties is tad young for a grown woman (as well as kind of played out here in O.C.).

And, say, you’re boho but you can no longer in all good conscience go out in shorts, opting for a maxi with chunky organic jewelry has it’s own pitfalls. For one, you risk looking like grandmother Tippy Toes (as my mom would say) in voluminous long skirt and flats because no one does boho in heels.   As we get older, or rather, wiser, shouldn’t we aim to also be more sophisticated and not so much Stevie Nicks?


One solution? Wear your fave, worn boyfriend jeans (no holes please, I hate that look. Holes in jeans are fine for struggling, just- getting-started-in-life 20-somethings but by 40 you can afford to buy new jeans before the knees go out) low-heeled booties, a soft-as-you-please v-neck tee, classic-cut blazer and a bag like this  …

Woven and beaded fringed Neli clutch, $56 at Luna B in Huntington Beach.
Woven and beaded fringed Neli clutch, $56 at Luna B in Huntington Beach.

Other Boho options …

H&M Faux fur clutch, $35.95

If your style is quirky gamine:

Being a gamine, pixie dream-girl is only for the young.

Sorry, ladies, but even Zoey Deschanel isn’t trying to pull that off anymore and the original “gamine”, Audrey Hepburn (pause to reflect on the meaning of Audrey’s style) aged out gracefully while maintaining that sparkling look. In fact, if you think about it, her most famous character, Holy Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) wore fairly classic items: LBD, belted trench, kitten heels … It was only her accessories that were quirky: Tiara, eyelashed sleeping mask,  cat eye sunglasses (for modern reference see Karen Walker’s line) and a top-knot bun. (Her home decor was quirkier: suitcases as end tables, a bathtub as a couch, zebra rug).

So if you still grave a bit of wit and whimsy, try a bag that makes a statement (it’s also a good replacement for the ironic graphic t-shirt which really should be reserved for youngsters) …

Bam Forever "Faster Better and Stronger" denim pouch, $25 at Miel in OC Mix, Costa Mesa.
Bam Forever “Faster Better and Stronger” denim pouch, $25 at Miel in OC Mix, Costa Mesa.

Other quirky girl options include these adorable clutches from Rebecca Minkoff and Betsey Johnson at Nordstrom …

Rebecca Minkoff floral "Leo" envelope clutch, $98 at Nordstrom
Rebecca Minkoff floral “Leo” envelope clutch, $98 at Nordstrom
Bestsey Johnson cat clutch, $58 at Nordstrom





Pepper Project: Shop with a purpose this weekend

Pepper Project's new home is stocked with  fun and affordable accessories, jewelry, scarves, home goods and even some toys.
Pepper Project’s new home is stocked with fun and affordable accessories, jewelry, scarves, home goods and even some toys.


The only thing better than shopping is when your purchases give back to someone less fortunate. That’s why I love buying gifts, home goods and even fantastic handmade jewelry and accessories from my friends at Pepper Project (pepper

Continue reading Pepper Project: Shop with a purpose this weekend

Style reads, planning my fall gets and more …

Leopard sneaks


Today I got a chance to put my feet up and catch up on my fashion reading — you know, blogs, trolling Tumbler and Instagram and this lovely pile of fall mags …

My pile of fashion magazines for Fall 2014
My pile of fashion magazines for Fall 2014


I usually go through the magazines and tag articles and shoots for there trends I want and then make a list of the items in my closet that are still on trend. For instance, the year-round bootie; I think I got that covered …

My Booties fall 2014


I’m pretty set on most of this season’s necessaries now that I nabbed a cute easy to walk in pair animal print, bare sandal …


Jeffrey Campbell pony ankle straps, $30 on sale at Anthropologie, Irvine Spectrum
Jeffrey Campbell pony ankle straps, $30 on sale at Anthropologie, Irvine Spectrum

and a bright California weather appropriate 60’s-vibin’ statement coat with 3/4 length sleeves …

Zara funnel coat with three-quarter length sleeves, $30 on sale.
Zara funnel coat with three-quarter length sleeves, $30 on sale.

Now I just need some knits, pieces in gray and green and a backpack!

Continue reading Style reads, planning my fall gets and more …

Altuzarra for Target: All the fall trends in one collection!

Yay! I love Target collaborations even when they aren’t particular to my tastes (hello Missoni!) but on Sept. 14 Target stores and online will get what looks like one of the best designer/Target hookups EVER: Altuzarra for Target.
2014 CFDA designer of the year Joseph Altuzarra (he of the luscious double-faced wrapped coats and dresses) has created a feminine and classic collection that hits all the high notes of Fall 2014 trends:

Animal print (in this case python not leopard)? Check.

BOW BLOUSE and PENCIL SKIRT IN PYTHON PRINT, $34.99 each/Courtesy of Target

Green? Check.

EMBROIDERED PEASANT PYTHON PRINT BLOUSE, $44.99 and FLOUNCE SKIRT IN PYTHON PRINT, $34.99 both on exclusively/Courtesy of Target

Pencil skirts? Check.

PENCIL SKIRT IN PYTHON PRINT, $34.99/Courtesy of Target.
PENCIL SKIRT IN BLACK JACQUARD, $34.99/Courtesy of Target.

Suits? Check.

EMBROIDERED BLOUSE, $44.99; VELVET ANKLE TUXEDO PANT, $39.99//Courtesy of Target.

Statement coat? Check.

$89.99/Courtesy of Target.

Faux fur? Check.

$69.99//Courtesy of Target.

Global Chic/Folk? Check.

$54.99/Courtesy of Target.

Vest/Coat dressing? Check.


Fierce wear-with-everything booties? Check

ANKLE BOOT, $59.99
ANKLE BOOT, $59.99/Courtesy of Target.

Tall Boots? Check.

OVER-THE-KNEE BOOT IN BLACK, $79.99//Courtesy of Target.

Painterly details? Check

MAXI DRESS IN BLACK ORCHID PRINT, $69.99/Courtesy of Target.

Wide belts? Check

$29.99/Courtesy of Target.

and also these perfect-for-the-holidays/cocktail parties/date night dresses …

WRAP DRESS, $39.99
WRAP DRESS, $39.99/Courtesy of Target.

and …

LACE DRESS IN BLACK PONTE, $39.99/Courtesy of Target

The collection is filled with stuff I would totally wear so long as the quality is worth it.  Don’t get me wrong, I know these are rock bottom prices for cool clothes by one of the hottest designers out there (and I know you get what you pay for)  but there’s no point in my spending only $40 on a dress if it doesn’t even come close to fitting me.  That’s why I like to see the clothes in person instead of buy them online. As far as I can tell (and I am checking) the collection will be coming to most if not all Target stores. The best way to find out where to get it is to go the the Target website and check on your ZIP code.

Speaking of “fit” Altuzarra and Target have come under some fire one  blogger because the 50-piece collection does not come in plus-sizes. Read here for more.

Ciao for now …

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OUT Incorporated: Stylish, fierce fitness wear for the gym and street

OUT Fitness tanks
OUT Incorporated One-Night Stand racerback tank, $90.

My friends have heard me whine about seeing other women looking cool and stylish in their gym clothes while they are running their post Body Combat or boot camp errands – (why doesn’t their hair look like a manic cat attacked it the way mine does after a hard workout? And why aren’t their clothes soaked and gamey like mine are after a good sweat? Why?!?!). It’s a conundrum I think I might have solved with //OUT Incorporated — one of the coolest and most sophisticated lines of workout gear I’ve ever seen.

OUT is an O.C./Australian line launched by three women with long resumes in the fashion, fitness and beauty industry (they worked for such companies as Sephora and Lorna Jane) who were basically looking for clothing that would do it all i.e.; take them from the gym to the street to the office and out to drinks if need be. When they couldn’t find it they created it (“Sisters are doing it for themselves!”).

I recently had a chance to meet two of the founders/creators — Leah Hundsness and Libby Amelia (the third founder Lauren Gill was in Australia) — and, here I am gonna go all fangirl, they’re awesome. Their mission and enthusiasm for helping busy women look great while working out and going through their day is contagious. Each piece is consciously designed to look fashion forward but still holds everything in place during a workout or while dropping off the dry-cleaning.   I mean, who doesn’t wish they could look fit, fabulous and fashionable without a ton of effort? No one, that’s who.

I wore the Fiancee sports tights on a lunch date with my hubby (I added a sheer backed  Trouve tee, gold Birkenstocks, a sheer cropped blush windbreaker with gold accents and fringed black clutch to complete the outfit) and also to pilates and they were the most comfortable – yet super stylish – pants I have ever worn. Bonus: I didn’t look fat in them.

The line (which is being snapped up by celebs and is selling out online) of mostly black, gray, gold and white tights, drapey moisture wicking tees, super sexy laser cut swimsuits  you can wear to cocktails as a body suit with a skirt, asymmetric bras designed to keep the bounce factor to a minimum and beautifully constructed jackets is reminiscent of Helmut Lang and Rick Owens (in fact these Rick Owens Adidas would look awesome with their sports tights) but it’s all machine washable and workout friendly.

//OUT Incorporated Starlet coverup, $180 and Femme Fatal body/swimsuit, $250
//OUT Incorporated Starlet coverup, $180 and Femme Fatal body/swimsuit, $250


//OUT Incorporated "Choreographer Defiance" jacket, $240
//OUT Incorporated “Choreographer Defiance” jacket, $240

//OUT Incorporated’s fall line is available now online, at their boutique at 423 31st St. in Newport Beach, at Fred Segal on Melrose and through the end of this month at their summer store at Fashion Island where they recently held a reception in conjunction with Irvine-based cosmetic company Too-Faced (featuring the yummy Chocolate Soleil bronzer) and jewelry from 503 Found in Newport Beach.

Now if only I could do something about my post workout hair …

Ciao for now…



Yay! Time for Fall trends …

Got to spend a lovely time with a great bunch of ladies at Neiman Marcus at Fashion Island drooling over the fall trends. The event was staged by Public Relations Manager Michaele Hall who picked out the most luscious and lust-worthy pieces for  fall. Without further ado here are the fall trends according NM’s List:

Global Chic: As an overall trend this nails it because it encompasses subtrends such as the romantic folk-and-fairy-tale inspired looks from 2014 fall collections to the American Southwest theme that runs through everything.


NM Global Chic


Key elements: Layers, mixed prints, subtle but smashing embellishment (i.e.; a statement clutch in tribal print, textured lizard booties and fringe) …

How to wear it in real life: The graphic elements of the trend also works as a accent to an otherwise classic, minimalist or typical SoCal casual uniform of jeans and Tees. For instance this cute print clutch ($25 at Charming Charlie’s). But don’t avoid getting one of the season’s uber gorgeous print dresses for special occasions (you’ll thank me later).

Knit Dressing: This may seem counter-intuitive for our climate but there are a load of lightweight knits out there perfect for a cool evening dining near the beach. Look for special, oversized and super-soft knit sweaters, pants, jackets and coats — or maybe even a poncho — to work this look.

NM Knit Dressing

Key elements: Artisinal, handmade qualities with texture that is perfect for layering or wearing alone.

How to wear it in real life: Top a pair of boyfriend jeans with a textured cropped sweater over your fave striped button down (let the shirt tail hang out) with edgy booties  and a lively clutch or wear an oversized cable knit (try shopping in the men’s department for one) over this summer’s pleated chiffon skirt with menswear loafers for a comfy, chic, borrowed-from-the-boys look.

Gray Matters: From dove to silver to charcoal gray is this year’s neutral (of course, last year’s neutrals — red, leopard print — are still good this year as are traditional neutrals such as black and tan in case you were wondering) but it’s also this year’s all over palette. The freshest way to wear it? As evening wear.



Key elements: Super versatile and luxe; mixes with brights, pastels or other shades in the same family, for instance, do not be afraid to wear charcoal with metallic silver.

How to wear it in real life: Probably the easiest trend to work. Choose a few pieces as an accent with your LBD or LWD (little white dress) or LRD (little red dress) or  go for the allover look in head to toe gray, just be sure to work the proportions  in a modern way (think wide-legged cropped trousers – or culottes — with a soft knit tunic and booties) to avoid looking like a corporate bore.

Outgoing Outerwear: This one is a little tricky if you live in a climate that is warm all year round like I do, but it can be accomplished pretty easily because it only really requires that you get one stunning, dazzling, print coat and wear it with everything. Any coat with an arty pattern or exotic print will do as well one with embellishment, fur or feathers.

NM Coat


Key elements: Bright, graphic patterns, rounded oversized shoulders, wrap silhouette, embellishment, fur, feathers.

How to wear it in real life: Once the temperature drops wear it to work over a clean cut sheath with sharp pumps, on the weekend with boyfriend jeans, a v-neck sweater and mannish brogues  for a total French gamine vibe or for a girl’s night out over a shimmery mini with boots.

Greens: Fall’s other new black is green – in all shades. Forest. Moss. Apple. Emerald. Mix it and match it and use it as an accent.


Key elements: Organic, deep hues that pair well with neutrals or other greens.

How to wear it in real life: A head to toe green look is picky to pull off. Think of it as a base color and add appropriate neutrals (maybe gray?) and complimentary accent colors to add depth. For instance, a mossy green dress would work well a pair camel pumps and bordeaux clutch.

Trousers: Pants were all over the fall runways and they’re a great alternative to dresses and skirts when you want to look cool and sophisticated. Look for cropped, full and very full cuts to be on trend, but you can still wear your skinnies. It’s all about proportion here.


Key elements:  Voluminous legs,  slim and razor straight, soft and slouchy, high-waisted.

How to wear it in real life: Try a 70’s wide legged  with silky blouse (think Amy Adams in “American Hustle); sharply tailored slim cuts with cropped sweaters and flats or super soft and slouchy with with an equally slouchy sweater and Birkinstocks.

And now for the accessories …

The Clutch: If you’re still carrying a giant tote be sure to stash a cunning clutch – envelope folded, framed, soft or hard sided — in it as your “real” purse or just stash the tote in the back of your closet until it comes back in style. The best ones this fall have texture, pattern, pop art design, fringe, feathers and fur.


Year-round booties: I don’t know about you but I have always worn my booties year round. This year there is a better selection than ever, but if you want one pair to update your wardrobe I’d go with one that has a bit of western flair like this Saint Laurent beauty or this slightly more affordable one from Forever 21.

Statement necklaces: Yes, they are still in and they are still a great way to dress up a simple outfit or add another layer of fabulous to an already amazing outfit.




Ciao for now …









Shopping made easy

I like to get a lot done in a short amount of time … for instance right now I am doing laundry, preparing for a house guest, working on a freelance story and blogging … just a typical day.

That’s why I get very happy when I can go shopping somewhere with a variety of places to hit up. It’s why I am a bonafide, unapologetic mall rat — I mean, really, what could be better than a place that offers a million stores to shop in under one roof?

But sometimes, even I venture out into sun. The last time I did that I happened upon Newport Coast Shopping Center where I found three pretty cute boutiques:

  • Jeanni Champagne – an updated version of the 30-year-old Champagne boutique at Westcliff plaza this gleaming storefront opened about a month ago and stocks everyone from Diane von Furstenberg to Ted Baker; a fully stocked store that includes old favorites from the previous iteration and newer designers like Gillian Julius.

Jeanni Champagne

  • The Passionate Collector — two doors down from Jeanni Champagne is the third version of a well known Orange County boutique. This store, which opened in December, is gorgeous with warm oak floors and individual cases full of one-of-kind jewelry. The walls are lined with unique bags (my favorites were a trio of  Crayon-colored fold-over clutches decorated with graffiti) and other accessories. The most covetable? The jewelry collection by French designer Herve Van Der Straeten … (how awesome are those earrings?)

Passionate Collector IMG_2942

  • Pink Laundry — A nice, slightly younger, casual counterpoint to Jeanni Champagne and Passionate Collector, this long-time O.C. boutique stocks casual chic brands like Chan Luu, Rebecca Taylor, Parker, Haute Hippy, Elizabeth & James and BCBG.

I can think of no better way to spend a beautiful summer day than poking around in these three pretty boutiques for a couple of hours; you should too …

Previously on My Life In Shoes …

Looky what I found

Sometimes life calls for a flat shoe

New Shoes


Check me out on Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest 

New Shoes

There is nothing more exciting than a pair of new shoes — especially if those shoes might take you in a new direction.

The first step is always the scariest (except for the step you take right off a cliff when you leave a beloved career with an uncertain future) because you don’t know if you will be able to follow the path all the way to the end but you have hope. Hope that your new shoes carry you to where you wanna be, hope that you will not stumble and fall along the way (spoiler: YOU WILL), hope that you won’t get lost (Yeah, that’ll probably happen too).

In my case the first step is this website and blog which I will dedicate to my love of fashion, beauty and, well, style.

Check back here for daily fashion fodder, shopping tips and the occasional rant about how much I loathe “Festival Wear”.

Right now I am walking toward an unknown future in a pair of sky-high stilettos that could break my ankle if I fell. Lucky for me I have always been good at walking in heels and I like the view I am walking toward.

The Road Ahead