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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Dressing

Like it or not, holiday events are upon us. Fine. However I was not prepared for New Year's Eve party invites in my Inbox prior to Thanksgiving.

----- Calm OMMMMMM -----

Ahem.

Now that I have collected myself, the switch has been flipped. I am on the hunt for the perfect attire for NYE (or the zillion events leading up to zero hour).

BB Dakota black lace dress a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If there is a style that I will never tire of, it is super feminine mixed with punk rock, a.k.a., prom queen meets teen angst. So it only makes sense that when I saw this insanely perfect LBD (in a Breakfast at Tiffany's sort of way) I immediately searched for a pair of boots to temper the "perfection" with a little bit of my favorite emotion: pissed.
Yep, pissed: Via Roma 352 motorcycle harness boot in Black
Ding Ding Ding!! These exclusive-to-Lori's Via Roma black butt-kickers plus aforementioned dress are the perfect way to say "I am a lady ... but watch out". I have to be honest. Being the L.A. girl that I now am, I will probably shorten the dress to show some gams. "Watch out" indeed!

Add in this statement ring and this cuff (I will be placing it above the elbow) and you have a holiday event(s) to look forward to.








Of course if you are more of a lady than I, a perfect choice to add a little glam to your tootsies are Michael Antonio's lovely Glitters, in silver or gold.

Happy Holidays!

Kelly Ryan O'Brien

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pick a Trend, Make it Work

—Ashley, Lori's staff and creator of Stiletto Chic

The flood of emerging trends can be overwhelming, especially if you are one to stick to what you know. Fur, suedes, hardware, lace-up boots, sequins and over-the-knee boots are just some of the recurring looks of the season. But the fun thing about fashion is experimentation. You can step a little bit out of your comfort zone while staying true to your own unique preferences.

Not into the boy-meets-girl/menswear-inspired/rebel rocker look? Boho doesn’t do it for you? Unwilling to venture into thigh-high territory? You don't have to own a trend; try to incorporate at least one trend-inspired item into your daily wardrobe. Take it slow and focus on one thing. Commit to finding ways to make that one item work with what you already have in your closet.

Some women, I’ve noticed, seem to be wary of leggings and feel that they are not flattering. If you truly feel uncomfortable in leggings, go for jeggings. They provide more support and the mock demin provides a slimming look, similar to jeans, while the narrow fit is perfect for tucking into boots! I personally love them with a tall boot. Occasionally I'll pair my leggings with an ankle boot like Blowfish’s Willis. You can make this look unorthodox by pairing the unexpected, such as sequin leggings with the Sam Edelman Novato.


Hue sequin legging, Sam Edelman Navato, Pour la Victoire Twiggy bag all available at Lori’s

GIRL ABOUT TOWN
This look is typical girls’ night out attire!  The suede platform Novato slingback is a great way to bring classic style. I love the opening in the front—very retro. In my book, wearing sequined leggings with a boot is a no-no. I feel like you make more of a splash if you don’t distract from the legging. My decision to add a simple crossbody was deliberate; I did not want to add another busy element to the outfit. I love how the blazer “mans up" the look while a bustier keeps it feminine and playful.  

Finding a celebrity or public figure to inspire your wardrobe can also be helpful. If you love the classic look of the first lady, fur would be a faux pas, but you can rock a tall boot as she does below. She is the perfect example of a woman who has a distinct style yet incorporates current items into her established look. What I like most about her style is that it appeals to women of various age groups; her style is sophisticated, but current.



Below are more of my favorite looks inspired by current trends. Go ahead—try one out or make your own!



Sam Edelman, Dixie, Hue legging, Nila Anthony rabbit fur body bag all available at Lori’s
LACE-UP LOVE
This look is easily my favorite for everyday wear.  I love wearing all black! I see it as a blank palette of sorts; it permits you to add colors and items without bordering on excessive. Speaking of excessive, I am absolutely in love with the Nila bag—it’s right on trend at a great price! Shades of olive are everywhere—as is fur—and I love the interesting pop juxtaposed against black. If you have legs for days, Edelman’s Dixie is just perfection paired with a black legging.  

Dolce Vita Tatum, La Vie necklace, B.ella deco tights all available at Lori’s

FUR INFATUATION
This look appeals to my boho obsession. The flowy tunic is simple and muted, which is needed since the Tatum is so wonderfully dominant. I have a longstanding love affair with pattern tights. They make me very happy. I included this particular grey tight in keeping with the idea of neutral colors. To me, greys, blacks, whites and tans are non-interfering colors. The final addition of the La Vie necklace just makes perfect sense.


Sam Edelman Zamara, Hue tights all available at Lori’s
ROCKER CHIC
Edelman’s Zamara is just ridiculous. The girl that wears this boot is absolutely fearless! These über-tall boots put me in a rocker state of mind. They are just asking to be paired with short denim cutoffs and tights. This look is a bit over-indulgent, but hey, that’s the rocker lifestyle.





Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We Got That: Fit-Flop Mukluks


Fit-flop, the ever-inventive collection of casual, sporty shoes bent on getting you in shape as you sally, has released their mukluks ... and we got 'em! We suppose if your personal trainer and the designers of UGG had a lovechild, it would look like this bootie. Sporting a genuine sheepskin upper and shearling lining on a one-inch platform, this mukluk comes in Chestnut and Black. Happy walking!

 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Present Occasion: "Dinner Out" by Poetic Licence

— Kitty of Geisha Pearl


These Poetic Licence shoes have "adorable" written all over them! The black satin is silky soft to the touch and the glitter heel adds the perfect touch of sparkle!

As I grabbed the shoes from their box, I instantly pictured myself prancing around my apartment listening to Christmas music with the warm, yummy smell of sugar cookies in the air. I really could dance around in these shoes all day because there is a hidden platform under the toe that makes walking in them effortless. They are perfect for the holiday party circuit where you tend to spend too much time on your feet in your uncomfortable "special occasion" heels. Not this year!


While the classic black satin qualifies these heels, too, as "special occasion" shoes, you can pair them with jeans and a chunky knit sweater for present shopping or glam them up with a metallic silver tunic dress and sheer black polka dot tights for New Year's Eve. When that special someone takes you out on a romantic date dinner date, pair the booties with a sexy cabernet-colored cocktail dress and statement jewelry. (The name of these shoes, after all, is Dinner Out.)

Personally I'm wishing I had all my Christmas shopping done because I think these are also going to my "present wrapping" shoes!

On Kitty: vintage sweater, H&M shorts, Forever21 tights and vintage hat


The "Skull Boot" Is Here...

The skull boot has arrived fresh off the plane from Italy. This stunner has captured everyone's attention here at Lori's, and for good reason.


Bright silver and pewter studs are intricately beaded into a skull motif for a look that reminds us of Alexander McQueen. McQueen's designs often incorporated skull designs with a uniquely glamorous, couture flare. This boot made us appreciate the brilliance of McQueen's original, risk-taking designs. We still miss him ...

The boot brings a sassy couture style matched with impeccable Italian-made quality. A soft suede upper with smooth leather lining and a rugged rubber and leather sole are pieced together with exceptional craftsmanship. This boot is a unique must-have.







Friday, November 12, 2010

Letter from The Haute Closet: Customer Closet Makeover

Jill, a Lori's customer, wrote in about how to wear a pair of short brown booties that she had just purchased:


I happily agreed to step into her closet and help style an outfit around them.

I had never met Jill so one of my first questions when I met her at her apartment was "Whose style do you admire?" When she said [Gossip Girl's] “Serena van der Woodsen,” she showed me to her closet and I started pulling.

This bootie style is all over the place. Not the easiest to wear with any old pair of jeans. A slouchy, wide-ankle style like this is best teamed up with a pair of tights, socks, super skinny jeans or leggings. My recommendation for Jill is the Hue Solid Skinny Jeanz Legging - Navy Denim.

Jill also wanted help with her latest Lori’s purchase, a super luxe pair of black suede, over-the-knee boots:

Drawing inspiration from what she had told me about herself, the two pairs of shoes and the décor of her apartment, I pulled from her closet a fab white party skirt, a couple of dresses, jeans and a velvet blazer. I gave Jill her first outfit:


The blazer and the top are super-versatile pieces. She could wear the top and jacket with black pants and a pair of pumps and head to the office. With the skirt (which had originally been purchased for a New Years Eve party), she has a super-fun going out look, and the boots make it really kicky for right now.

Recommending that she definitely pick up the Hue denim jegging because they would work perfectly with both of her new boots and a long tunic or sweater, I pulled out a dress I loved and grabbed a belt, something she said she "never would have done" but loved:



If she were to wear this outfit when the weather turns colder, she could add sheer patterned tights, like the Hue Geo Mosaic Tight w/Control Top - Black, throw on a classic wool dress coat and a pair of precious gloves—a perfectly cute cold-weather look.

Winding down and coming back to my original mission, I put together a look for the brown booties inspired by a jacket I had pulled from her closet at the beginning of our session. One of the best purchases you can make is an item that comes with a belt—two looks in one! So, the inspiration for this last outfit came from a black patent belt hijacked from a black and white tweed jacket:


It’s not bad to blend brown and black—actually, it can be just perfect. Jill can play off the earthy colors in the plaid and make the black patent belt softer with a sheer black tight and a soft velvet bag. She should get a lot of wear out of this look. It makes her tall and lean with legs a mile long below an empire waist. With lots of dresses in this style in her closet, these boots will take her a long way; mixing up this look is as easy as switching the color of the tights to a rich purple or raspberry!

Let me know if there’s a pair in your closet that’s calling out for some Haute Closet styling!

-----

Jill reports on the wardrobe makeover:

I contacted Lori's after realizing I bought the cutest shoes with no clue what to wear them with. Lately, this has happened to me frequently. I'm past the point of having time to read through tons of magazines and spend hours in a store. I work hard, and when I'm not working I just want to enjoy life with my friends and family.

Enter April.

April came to my house last night to help solve the two shoe dilemmas I faced: over-the-knee black boots and short brown foldover boots. How I could use what I have to make these stunning beauties shine? First off, April asked my current style and what celebrity style I like. In 20 minutes April had pulled out clothes I forgot I even owned to pair with my adorable shoes and made me feel like one of Serena's BFFs. She pulled together going-out-for-cocktails looks, day looks and effortlessly incorporated my new boots into an office look.

The outfits were perfect! I looked like a better version of myself infused with a little haute styling. I would never have paired some of the clothing pieces together that April did, but when tied together with a little belt or a fun bag—and the shoes—it all worked.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Letter from Los Angeles: THAT girl

We can never have enough fresh eyes on the world fashion stage. Former National Marketing Director of the late GenArt, veteran Chicago personality and perennial style maven Kelly O'Brien joins the Lori's guest blogger roll with reports from L.A. on the West Coast fashion scene.

Kelly Ryan O'Brien and stuff she likes

I have lived in many homes (14 to be exact) but the one constant is that each of these residences has either been on the East Coast or within the Midwest until a recent move to L.A. Imagine the disgust with myself when I returned for a trip back to 8 Mile to see the family in freezing temperatures. I was/am SO COLD that I won’t SHUT UP.  Yes, THAT girl.

ANYWAY...

When Lori’s asked me to join their guest blogger team alongside the likes of April Francis, I was totally psyched. And thanks to this post I now have my motivation: how to buy items that keep me warm in both L.A. and the rest of the country, whilst staying in style.

If there is one thing that I have learned about “cold weather” in L.A., it's that we can wear the same pieces across variable climates – just not as MANY in the more frigid areas. Here are my picks for the LA/Chicago/NYC girl and everyone at places in between for this holiday season. Time to get to shoppin' peoples!


Sorel Sorelli - Saddle
  




A classic twist on the Duck Boot. These evoke cozy memories of Rita (Mom) wearing a very similar boot to the zillions of hockey rinks my sister and I were dragged to watch our supa star brother play. I love the mix of traditional duck shoe with luxury fabric detailing on top.
 

Jeffrey Campbell Ridem


Every single woman needs a pair of boots like these. Strap on with some leggin’s and get yourself to apple and/or pumpkin pickin’ ASAP.




















 







My next choice is a very touchy subject for some people: UGGs! Since their popularity exploded years back, they evoke serious emotion. Are they “cute and functional” or “ugly and lacking in imagination”? I have said it before, and I will say it again: Why fix something if it ain’t broke? Whether it be in L.A. or Chicago, the UGGS are coming with me. In L.A. when it is “cold” out, all it takes is one or two winter pieces over your summer wardrobe and, voila!: You are not freezing. Obviously in the Midwest this is a tad different with the "severe weather" and all.

UGG Australia Classic - Tall



 


My L.A. Staple:
 

The Chestnut color goes with sunny weather, thin patterned green or grey tights and also a sunny floral dress and cozy cardigan.

 












V. Fraays Scarf




This is the scarf that stays on ALL DAY and goes perfectly with any other type of pattern.  Don’t be afraid to mix it up.  It shows confidence : )



 












UGG Australia Classic - Tall



 My Midwest/East Coast staples:

No, you aren’t seeing things, this is the same boot.  Color is everything for the winter months, and black keeps your outfit looking sleek en route to work, as opposed to sticking out like a sore thumb in tennis shoes with nylons on a workin’ woman. Translation: You don’t offend anyone and you look dope.



 













Carolina Amato


And to top it off these circular scarves are impossible to mess up and swoon-worthy no matter what the weather:






 



 
I would love to hear more about what you would like or know about fashion, so please comment below!





Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lori's in the News: CBS Says We're #1.


Well. CBS just brightened our day with a cold-call to customer service telling us we'd placed tops in their "Best Shops for Shoes" ranking. See the list on CBS Chicago.

Lori’s is a Chicago institution! Stop in here to check out a great selection of the latest styles by both new and favorite designers. Be prepared though –- instead of looking at shoes on racks, they’re piled high from the floor up at Lori’s, making it easy to find your size. If you can’t make it to one of Lori’s three Chicago-land locations make sure to check out their impressive online store.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Jeffrey Campbell Showpony: THAT shoe!

—Anjelica Lorenz of Mode Junkie

Jacket, trousers and blouse - H&M
Sometimes it's really only about the shoe.

When I dress up, I usually build the outfit around a certain piece—an outstanding piece. When I received the Jeffrey Campbell SHOWPONY, I knew that they were gonna be that piece.

The details blow my mind. Distressed leather gives the boots an awesome vintage feel as if they've already been used a hundred times over, and I love the rad loafer trim. I quickly thought of a theme! LONDON PREPPY. ;) Perfect, right?

Vintage bag with the Jeffrey Campbell Showpony

At first the two-tone boots made me hesitant. I thought they would be too difficult to dress. As I was picking out the outfit, I realized they go really well with everything, even with girly, floral skirts and dresses.

My vintage teacher's bag and blue schoolboy blazer completed the look! The boy even told me that if the Sartorialist was in town, he would have definitely taken a photo of me! Awww. (Yeah, dream on!) Who knew the boy knows of the Sartorialist? Don't ask me; I am amazed too!

I don't know about you but these shoes are pretty fall/winter—perfect in my book!


Friday, November 05, 2010

A Time For Gifting.

It's never too early to start thinking of gifts. Whether for the holiday season, birthdays, anniversaries, or just to lift a friend's mood, it seems there's always an excuse to buy a little something for a special someone (even if that someone's you). Here are a few new items that we think will make great gifts for the holidays or just because.


Jewelry's always a big winner (and it's hard to lose at $38). This sweet necklace has a small gold-plated wing pendant strung along a short gold chain. Wear it everyday alone or layered with additional necklaces for a "heavenly" look.



What girl wouldn't mind having a leather bag added to her collection? This petite coin purse-cum-sling-across by Hobo has remarkably luxurious glazed leather and superior construction. Unique vintage style makes this compact purse easy to love. Available in sage and black, this bag is a very moderate $58. 


For your stocking-stuffer gifts, try a scarf or a cute pair of socks. A pair of mohair-blend leg-warmers make an unexpected but much-desired gift. Or how about some colorful and soft wool-blend gloves with special fingerpads that will work with any touch-screen phone?






If you're looking for the perfect gift that will make any girl in your life happy, go for the gift card. Available in $25, $50, and $75 denominations, a Lori's gift card is your ace in the hole. It will never expire and won't lose its value over time.








Thursday, November 04, 2010

Finding "The Shoe" that does it all

—Ashley, Lori's staff and creator of Stiletto Chic

Most women come into Lori's looking for the infamous "all-purpose" shoe.  The shoe that dresses it up or down. This is no small feat, but it can be done!

The key is to think outside of the box. Try not to let your current items restrict you. The right shoe can transform your look. Know your wardrobe. What items do you have in your closet? What items do you wear regularly? Are you a skinny jean and oversized top kind of girl or a cardy and wideleg jean woman? What is your idea of dressing "up" or "down" anyway?

When transitioning from day to play, most women are concerned with comfort. This is where platforms shine. They are easy on the feet and always at the top of my list. If you don’t want to go sky-high for daily wear, a chunky heel is perfect for transitioning. If you are not into heels, flats can be a dressy alternative.

And what about the boot? I have never met a Lori's woman who doesn't love boots. They are a necessity. Find the right one and seamless A.M. to P.M. transitioning is a breeze!

I had a woman say "If I had a different life I'd so own that shoe." Who says you can't? Some buys don't always make sense at the moment, but I've never regretted a shoe purchase—they all serve a purpose! Be daring! Here are a few of my fave day to play pairs:

Classic Day to Night look with Le Pepe 147 - Black Napa (Italian Exclusive - only at Lori's)

Glamor Girl Day and Night look with Pour la Victorie - Irina

Industry Chic Day and Night look with Caparros Ole

Boho styling Day and Night look with Lamica Calis (Italian Exclusive - only at Lori's)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Got It: Chooka's Herringbone Rain Boot


Silly People Magazine! They spelled Lori's Shoes "N-O-R-D-S-T-R-O-M." Happens all the time. We don't take offense. We're happy to see Chooka's waterproof rain boot getting some press. We love its tweedy upper in classic gray herringbone. A dual buckle closure keeps errant drops out. The rubber sole is impervious to the nastiest water-filled pothole.



Spot On!

—Carrie of Barestyle


The second I spotted the Jeffrey Campbell Pixie Tie Leopard booties at Lori’s, I knew they would fit flawlessly into my closet. They look so simple and basic from the front, but the back gives way to a much more interesting look that can spice up even a simple pair of black skinnies. I can’t wait to pair them with black vinyl leggings and a sheer black tunic or an over-sized grey sweater dress with tights. The cool weather options are endless!

I’m wearing a thrifted, DIY studded denim vest, asymmetrical tank dress from Express and Seventh Door jewelry.
It’s definitely safe to say that the leopard print trend is holding steady. It made a subtle debut several years ago, but now it’s back with a vengeance. From shoes and bags to coats and tops, it’s an acceptable print to rock in any area of your wardrobe. And the best part? It’s completely neutral! With its mixture of black, chocolate, cream and camel, leopard print is ideal to pair with nearly any shade. However, there are a few simple guidelines to assure that an outfit bearing the leopard’s spots is a success. 

A little leopard goes a long way. Pick one leopard print item and stop there. You don’t want to actually look like a woman in the wild.

Say no to additional prints. Unless you’re a fearless fashion maven, it’s best to stick to only one print and not add any additional prints to your ensemble. For example, pairing floral print and leopard print is typically not a smart combination. Keep it subtle.

Keep it tasteful. Your goal is to keep the look on-trend, not tacky. Avoid tight, skin-bearing leopard print pieces that give way to leopard print's formerly tawdry reputation.

Here are some additional animal print pieces I’m loving right now at Lori’s:






1) La Regale 25467 Leopard Clutch
2) Jeffrey Campbell Foxy-WD-F - Cheetah
3) Franco Sarto Luxe - Tan/Black Leopard
4) 7CHI Leo - Leopard Clutch








Monday, November 01, 2010

Designer Spotlight: Emerging Designer Shervin Arastoozad with Cut n' Paste

Shervin Arastoozad, designer of Cut N Paste handbags, has just settled for lunch and a chat at Au bon Pain. He has been enduring the trade show madness since his arrival from L.A. to Chicago for the StyleMax show in the Merchandise Mart. Despite the frantic pace, this 32-year-old designer takes the time to meet me. He has a heart of gold, passion and an amazing eye for boho-chic handbags.

Lori's picked up Cut N Paste in August with a 22-piece collection at the Accessories show. Nicole, Lori's accessories buyer, was taken by the fringe bag and it has been a favorite ever since. Shervin got his start with Urban Outfitters, designing a few pieces under the retailer's name. Now, he ships the Cut N Paste brand to several other retailers including Nordstrom.






Lori's:  Tell me about Cut N Paste.
Shervin:  If you look at the bags, you will see a lot of raw edge on them—patchwork and how the leathers are put together. When I was younger my dad was very artistic and I believe I picked up some things from him. I would always find all types of stuff—furniture, even clothing. I would cut things off of one and put it on the other. So when I put together this line, I noticed that all the bags had something in common was this raw edge that was actually cut-and-pasted together. It brought me back to my childhood and was kind of ironic of how I could bring it back to my brand now.

I come from a family business background in the industry as well. I was working with the company at the age of 22 and about 8 months ago I wanted to do something that showed me: bohemian, edgy and vintage. I wanted to show that in a bag.

Lori's: What are the inspirations behind the bag designs?
Shervin: I've never really studied fashion from the educational aspect of it, but I have always been a very fashionable person. My inspiration for this line really comes from women. I know that sounds cheesy, but when I see a woman I would like to be able to say "I want her to carry that bag."


I mean, a woman's handbag is how she identifies herself and sets her apart from others. I would say similar to shoes or perfume even. When you see a woman's bag, you start to get a feel of what type of woman she is.

Lori's: So who would be your muse?
Shervin: I love the girl who looks like she just woke up. Well not exactly, but you know, the "day after" look. I would say an earthy hipster—boho with some vintage style. She is definitely a trendsetter and has style. But not a brand follower per say. For instance, this type of bag is not a seasonal bag. It is something you could wear and after a couple of months of wearing it, you could put it away, bring it back after a year and it looks vintage, but it will never be out of style.

Lori's: So these are great investment pieces. Something to keep for years and years to come.
Shervin: Yeah, I would say so. They are not cheap, but not too expensive. They are priced quite modestly and flexible with styling. Basically, the price point is perfect for what you are getting.

Lori's: Who is your favorite shoe designer?
Shervin: I love Sam Edelman and Jeffrey Campbell. I remember seeing Jeffrey Campbell at a trade show a few years back. His display was set up really nice and his shoes were hot. I said to myself, this guy is going to be big. However, I also admire the founder of Tom Shoes, not so much for his designs, but the ethos behind the brand. What he does (giving one pair away with every purchased pair) is really cool.

Lori's: In your line, what is your favorite piece?
Shervin: I would have to say the fringe bag. It was my first and definitely the most popular. It is an all-season bag.

Lori's: What's next for Cut N Paste? 

Shervin: You know, that is a secret. Well, not really but I need time to get it together. But all I can say is it entails a little giving back. Stay tuned.

Shervin Arastoozad, Designer & Owner

 —Interviewed conducted by Shazza with Lori's Shoes

For larger sizes, visit Barefoot Tess Barefoot Tess for larger sizes.