Next Level Neutrals

Every few seasons,  you’ll hear “X is the new black” where X is the latest and greatest color that everyone clamors to don. I think we all know, however, that black never loses its top status as a go-to hue. Black makes a strong statement, but can be equally feminine. That’s one thing I love about the Grace Adele collection. By offering black as one of the signature colors, my clients have a chance to stick with something they know (because if you are fashion nervous at all, you have a TON of black in your closet) and take it in new directions.

The very first Grace Adele bag I owned was the Sarah bag in black. Consultants received that bag in Vegas at our annual convention. I soon added the Jane and Lou clutches. Individually, this trio would run $160, but by using the Fun & Fabulous Combine and Save option, you can choose a bag and two clutches for $130. I would never have thought of combining the Jane in sand clutch with this bag if it weren’t for the Build a Look function on the website. You can try and bag/clutch combo and see what it will look like put together BEFORE you buy. Brilliant!

Toss in a Daisy necklace in black (I have seen this necklace on everything from a black cocktail dress to a black t-shirt worn with jeans and it works) and some jewel drop earrings and you’re good to go.

The beauty part is when customers order through their Grace Adele consultants, they receive savings on the combo featured in this set. Not only would customers receive free shipping, but once they purchase the bag/clutch trio and the Daisy necklace, they can select the jewel drop earrings for FREE (because they have $16 in free credit) and one 1/2 priced item. I do so love a deal!

Why Let Winter Wear Be Boring?

I spent all Saturday and most of Sunday at an outdoor soccer tourney for my youngest. As I sat there in the whipping, biting wind being pelted by sleet and praying for even a glimpse of the sun, I reconsidered my answer to the proverbial, “Would you rather be hot or cold?” question. I always pick cold, but this was beyond cold. This was ridiculous.
This was the first time I hadn’t worn flip flops all year. Last year, I made it into November before I gave up ship on them. Thank goodness also took my entire 3-in-1 Columbia jacket, some blankets and a large cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee or I may still be on the sidelines as a permanent fixture until spring thaw.
It amazes me that it was 80 degrees this past week and they are talking about snow in the forecast for later this week. That’s Ohio for you, though, you just need to stand around for a few minutes and wait for the weather to change. At least we aren’t in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy.
Although I find the gray skies a little depressing after awhile, I think it’s good if we can take some inspiration for our wardrobe. Aside from the awesomeness that is teal & gray , you can’t beat purple/plum and gray.
Some of my dearest friends are fanatically devoted to purple–it can be worked into even the most professional of settings. With Grace Adele’s purple jewelry, bags and accessories, the colors are coordinated and matched without the need to compare swatches. LOVE taking the guesswork from looking amazing!
Grace Adele Plum & Gray

L K Bennett double breasted wool coat
$475 – lkbennett.com

Black pants
$155 – johnlewis.com

Nars cosmetic
narscosmetics.com

Opi nail polish
$26 – nelly.com

Fun and Fierce Spectator

I attend a ton of sporting events, not the least of which are my daughter’s soccer games. Many times, these game days start somewhere less ‘sporty’ or end in a restaurant for a post-game meal. It’s important to be comfortable, but also to put a best foot forward. Let’s not pretend that kids can’t be embarrassed by Mom’s cheering (I’ve been told). I like to think if Mom looks good doing it, though, it might embarrass little redheads a bit less.

Again, we come back to a denim jacket…love. A pair of comfortable, non-Mom jeans plus the staple item that is a white, long-sleeved t-shirt and you have the basics of your set. If I have to give up flip-flops (that time of the year is coming!), I will put Keds in the closet. All the colors and textures and fond memories of Keds–you can’t go wrong with a pair or four.

Once again, Grace Adele takes the ensemble to the next level. My favorite Mary bag, this time in red, anchor the accents. From the Daisy jewelry to the Jewel Drop earrings and the Zebra Print fringed scarf, it truly is style made easy. What I loathe about red in general, I love about Grace Adele’s red items. Because this company has signature colors and their items come in each of those feature colors, you can bet your red earrings will match your red necklace will match your red bag–without batting an eye. You can mix and match with confidence when you’re dealing with a company whose main concern is helping you pull together a look without expending effort.

Just one more reason to add that denim jacket I’ve been coveting to my wardrobe!

Sassy Librarians Unite

I first worked in a library when I was in junior high. Volunteering at my school library led to a high school job at our local Carnegie Library. When I moved to Dayton, I ended up working in the Archives and behind the circulation desk at my university’s library. I also spent time working for a nearby local library plus worked at my law library during law school. I think it’s safe to say I love me some books! I also love the idea of the sexy, sassy librarian.

Being a librarian is like being a superhero for the bookish. Although librarians may shun wearing a cape (they flap too loudly as you walk through the stacks), you can always tell when you’re in the presence of this unlikely member of the Halls of Justice–it’s the glasses.

Regardless of whether she’s wearing a buttoned up suit or is headed downtown to shake off the difficulties of a long week, a sexy librarian will need her specs to clearly see the book list or the wine list. But, librarians don’t always think of themselves as fashionable or as having a “style.”

It’s easy enough to figure it all out, though, thanks to Grace Adele. From the Tess clutch in black to the unassuming scarf, to the Jewel three-strand bracelet and Bauble stud earrings, any librarian worth her salt would uncover the ease during her research. Thanks to my past in the library field, I know a good deal when I see one!

Sweater Lust

I spend downtime on Polyvore and Pinterest. Not that I have copious amounts of downtime, but those two places easily fit into a few minutes of downtime here and there. Apparently, as the weather turns cooler, my lust for sweaters increases. This year, it’s not just any sweater either. I seem to be drawn to sweaters with dramatic necklines. And, all my choices revolve around Grace Adele pieces I own or covet.

Sweaters and boots seem to be the way I picture myself going this fall and winter. I’d like to add a couple more pairs of boots to my closet for variety’s sake. The Mary Bag in Chocolate has become a staple already. I schlep that bag everywhere and routinely look good doing it.

I am also a huge fan of the Unchained Hoop Earrings from Grace Adele.

Normally, I am a diamond stud earring kind of girl. Occasionally, I mix it up with diamond hoop earrings my husband gave me as a law school graduation gift. If I’m feeling saucy, I may pull out some earrings from days gone by and wear them for the evening.

I purchased these earrings on a whim because I had some leftover hostess credit from a Grace Adele party and wanted to spend it wisely.

When these arrived, I didn’t know how I felt about them size-wise. But, once I put them in, they were light and didn’t weigh down my ears. They also caught the light and looked terrific with the outfit I’d chosen.

I think with big dramatic sweaters, my dainty diamond studs could be lost (note to self: look into larger studs for yourself!) and that’s a fashion foul, I’m sure. Having earrings like this in my arsenal provides versatility for not a lot of dough. I like that. Already inexpensive at $20, hostess credit took these to FREE for me. I’ve had some hostesses pick them as a half-priced item as well–that’s a definite perk!

The eye makeup colors of fall fit my face perfectly. The Caviar Palette from Bobbi Brown ($47.50) is pricey for me on the surface, but makes a case for itself by providing so many options. You can’t go wrong with the six neutral colors that could easily be dimmed for day and dialed up for night.

I don’t want to carry a 9-pound make-up bag, so products that are useful all day, every day make the cut. This particular palette is neutral, but with texture interest. Tons of my winter wardrobe relies on neutral make-up, so this particular product might make a great early stocking stuffer for yours truly.

Plus, if you’re a Mom with a teenage daughter who needs light make-up options, you can almost justify this purchase without even blinking on the off chance that your budding fashionista will want to use the lightest, neutral shades to adorn her wrinkle-less eyelids.

If snow must pile on the ground, at least we have all this fun layering to look forward to, right?

Fall Fashion Finally

Plenty of people I know prefer the fun and flirty fashion of summer. For me? I love the patterns, textures and palette of fall. Hands down fall is my favorite season and my favorite section in my closet. I am totally in love with the shape of the Mary bag from Grace Adele. I own the chocolate one already, but am thinking the teal will be worth adding to my collection especially given that I love gray and teal together.

Although I loathe ice and snow, I am looking forward to leaves crunching underneath my feet soon. Fall passes entirely too fast, so I’m going to try and enjoy it while it lasts!

Fashion From Day to Night

One of the things we lawyerly types deal with is the fact that dark suits, white shirts and dark shoes are the norm. Sure, there are variations and some envelope pushing, but depending upon where you practice, your agenda for the day and the expectations of the occasion, your closet is full of made-for-court clothing. I’m sure we aren’t alone.

Given the impending season of holiday revelry and social obligations, there is something to be said for becoming a quick change artist. Keeping things in one’s arsenal that allow for easy transition from a work day to a social evening can make all the difference in the “face time” necessary to be a team player.

Just another reason why I am so loving the Grace Adele line. I wondered if I could put together a grouping where the foundational items were the same, but if I were to pack a small bag, I could make a quick change at the office and head to the after hours party. And, I could! I could even skip the funky shoe switch up if I wanted to, but I added them for flavor.

Here the trousers remain the same from day to night. Many professionals keep a dark suit jacket (or a full suit for that matter) hanging on the back of their office doors. A white shirt is an industry staple. Again, the black shoes could easily transition to an evening gather such that you would only be changing your top apparel-wise.

Here, for the daytime look, the Laney leather handbag is paired with the Rue leather clutch, both in black. For the nighttime, the Rue clutch is pulled from the ensemble, the accompanying strap is attached & the bag easily takes you into any social event with confidence.

For jewelry, the simple pearl-cream drop earrings from Grace Adele make the business look a little less harsh, but no less classic. For nighttime, however, the make-up boost is accompanied by an increased volume in the jewelry department. Black jewel drop earrings paired with the bauble bangle bracelet and unchained ring in silver add just the right amount of bling for a night out with the ladies, your gent or the office.

I also love the once an order (or a collection of orders) reaches $150 in subtotal sales that not only will those orders be shipped free, but the “host” of those orders will receive a 1/2 priced item and 10% of the order’s subtotal in free credit. The benefits only go up from there. I love that because in this economy, professional women who want to be pulled together don’t have to decide between a new bracelet and a tank of gas. New graduates and those staring down interviews followed by social networking events could really benefit from this type of arrangement! Super excited to see Grace Adele making it easier for us!

 

 

Do You Remember Wearing Garanimals?

When I was in elementary school, I loved my Garanimals. In looking at the website, Garanimals was born the same year I was and they are one of my fond childhood memoires. My mom used to take me shopping at JCPenney and I could mix and match the different animal tags to find the perfect outfit. It was a bummer when some of my favorite colors didn’t coordinate with my favorite animals, but I managed.

I distinctly remember in very early elementary school that I fell on the playground and put a hole in the knee of a pair of maroon Garanimals twill pants. I had probably worn them all of once and I remember distinctly my mom telling me to “be careful” when I put them on for school. This was kind of funny, looking back, because I was far from a daredevil and everything I did was careful. But the one time I’m wearing something other than jeans and I put a hole in my pants.

My mom was off work at that time (she worked somewhere that had a seasonal shutdown during a month or two during the year) and was waiting for me when I arrived home on the bus. I honestly thought I could “cover” the knee of my pants and my mom wouldn’t notice. Rather than nonchalantly trying to sashay into the house, I put my hand over my knee and, doubled over, proceeded up the driveway. Yeah. I wasn’t very slick.

When I had my own daughters, I found Garanimals again when they were in infant/toddler sizes. Very fun to let my mom know I was carrying on the Garanimals tradition. I often joked that i wished there were Garanimals for adults. Because, although I had no problem dressing my girls so well with and without Garanimals help, I still am not always all that swift when it comes to my own clothing.

It was so funny when Grace Adele was launched at Convention in Vegas, I immediately thought, “GARANIMALS.” It struck a similar chord with a male consultant who called them “Transformers for Chicks.” HA!

Just one more reason for me to love this concept!

Paint the Town RED

I TOLD you I wouldn’t be able to resist playing with Polyvore now that more and more Grace Adele items are being loaded into the item pool for set and creation building.

I could do this all day, but alas, I am only working GA part-time. The other part I’m doing my day job and that does NOT involve inventing complete outfits online.

I have this Sarah bag in both black and teal. I like it because it is a classic shape, but catchy in its shiny patent look. I also like the contrasting straps that match the Jane clutch in sand perfectly. It made the purchase of the clutch a no-brainer and I need that certainty in my purchase choices.

Tan pants with a red top are standard in many wardrobes (and not just at Target) plus who doesn’t want a reason to own a pair of shiny red ballet slippers?! With the different choices in bag colors, you could keep the Jane clutch and swap out the top & shoes & jewelry and have other completely pulled together looks.

The Grace Adele jewelry collection can be mixed and matched (here you see a bauble necklace with a jewel three-strand bracelet and jewel long-drop earrings.

I love, love, love coming up with ways to wear pieces from the Grace Adele collection (if you come up with any on Polyvore, make sure to include a link in comments! You can find Grace Adele items by typing Grace Adele in the search box on Polyvore’s create a set item box). The fact that you can mix-and-match and combine and save makes the idea of being a Grace Adele Consultant even more appealing. I love saving people money when they are building a style of their own.

Build Your Look

One of the best features of the Consultant’s websites through Grace Adele is the Build Your Look feature. By clicking the “Shop” tab and selecting the option to build your look, the site makes it every so easy to put together an entire new you in a matter of moments.

First, you start by selecting your color of handbag. In the fall/winter 2012 inaugural catalog, Grace Adele offers red, teal, purple, black, brown/natural, zebra and leopard print.

The colors are rich and deep. GA features a full-line of faux leather as well as a line of fine leather bags from which to choose.

Once you have a chance to look at each of the bags, you’ll see why settling on one can be a difficult task. The nice thing about the Build My Style feature is that with the click of a button, you can immediately swap out any selected items (foundational handbag included) without having to start the entire process over again.

Once you select your color, you are presented with the choice of handbag shapes. Each bag carries a lovely girl’s name and features an interior with a very high IQ.

No more losing your things INSIDE your handbag. The handbag offers your a place for everything so you can keep everything in its place.

The pattern inside each bag is shiny and a little lighter than the exterior of the bag. It offers some reflective properties as you open it and search for your keys, phone, etc. in the specially designed pockets. There is even a clear plastic, TSA friendly bag for travel purposes included in each handbag. This interior makes the handbag even more of a value.

Once you select a handbag shape, you move on to the clutch. All GA clutches are interchangeable with any GA handbag. You can mix and match to your heart’s content which is value added to the conscientious shopper. The bags also look great standing alone. So, with one bag and one clutch, you’ll have three possible looks (bag alone, clutch alone, bag-clutch combo). Each clutch comes with a detachable strap so that you can carry it alone as a clutch or use it as a smaller shoulder type bag.

After making those two major decisions, the routinely overwhelming task of selecting accessories is broken down into tinier steps. You start with styling your bag. You can add a wallet, if you’d like. Then, you move into the make-up bag & notebook category. Finally, you add some fun & function to your bag with clip-ons from decorative to functional.

Once you’ve styled your bag, it’s time to style YOURSELF. Jewelry & scarves round out your look.

The finished product may look something like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or, you may go for something more like this:

Whatever your choices, you can’t go wrong. Everything is meant to be mixed, matched and remixed for tons of fun and fresh looks. The best part is, there are ways to combine products into money-saving bundles. Plus, by sharing Grace Adele with friends, you can take your selections home for half-price or even free. That’s why I love what I do!