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Friday, January 28, 2011

New Favorites at Lori's Shoes

Spring is coming - and we have everything you'll need to step out in style. Here are a few new favorites that you just have to see...

Jeffrey Campbell's Register is a newbie that we've already fallen in love with. Available in both beige patent and burgundy patent, we love the prominent lace-up detailing and the chunky wedge heel. The peeptoe and dainty ankle strap keep it light and playful.

We love Matisse's Peachy sandal for its fun vintage style. The soft aqua leather has an antiqued crackled finish brushed with gold,  reminiscent of an antique paint finish that's been weathered from the elements. Sunshine... Flowers... Gardening... It feels like spring already.

Perhaps one of the most beloved (and affordable) accessories is the scarf. Tie it around your neck in a million different ways, tie it to your purse strap, or belt it around your waist. There's a scarf for every season and every occasion. This light gauzy scarf has a colorful tye-dye pattern that's sure to add a fresh look to your spring/summer wardrobe.

Lighten things up with this flirty ballerina skirt from BB Dakota. What's more fun than wrapping yourself in pink tulle? A matching pink ribbon trims the bottom to complete the look.

This bib necklace is an absolute stunner. Its large size and mixed metal beads add an ancient tribal feel while still being easy to wear. Wear it with a long maxi dress and sandals for an effortlessly chic summer look.

The spring/summer season is always a celebration of color, and this season is certainly no exception. We'll find any excuse to add fun vibrant colors to day and evening wear. This cuff makes the transition seamless. Brightly colored velvet ribbons are braided together over metal mesh chains for a perfect mix of urban style and elegance.

Pssst! If you like the jewelry you see, hurry and check out our selection of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings to take advantage of our 20% off jewelry sale through Sunday, January 30th - online only. Ready, set, click!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spring Bags (and some Fall Holdovers)

Aren't you tired of fashion's conventional wisdom?

Don't wear black with brown. No white after Labor Day. Stick to one texture. Your belt must match your shoes. Flannel is for lumberjacks.

These fashion "don'ts" are now the biggest DOs of the season!

When shopping for bags this spring remember that the old rules no longer apply. A lot of women pigeonhole themselves when looking for spring bags. Some think that their bag must be light colored, bright colored, no greys or browns. Says who? Yes, generally, as the seasons change the fashions do brighten up, but you can still integrate some of your favorite fall bags into your spring wardrobe.

Here are my favorite Lori's spring pieces as well as those from fall that may continue on active duty:

Will Leather Goods Lancaster Messenger available at Loris
The Lancaster bag is definitely ready for spring. The olive canvas and brown leather look great together and won’t clash with your wardrobe The mixed textures and rustic look give this bag a functional Americana vibe that we love. Tote your laptop or get kitted out for fieldwork!

Mushroom by Oryany

Oryany bags have exceptional quality and the hardware is sturdy and unique. The two-tone color of the Mushroom is neutral and right on trend.

Melie Bianco

Grey was huge this fall. This Melie Bianco bag is a great example of one that can easily transition into spring. Note the tassels—another huge trend this season.

Chocolate by Oryany
Another Oryany bag, I love the shape and the carrying options provided. Use the top handles to carry i like a tote or fold it in half for a floppy under-shoulder clutch, or simply leave the hands out of it with a cross-body strap.

Pink by Sondra Roberts
This Sondra Roberts clutch is the definition of femininity.  It has been one of my favorite bags for a long time!  The pink has spring written all over it!  It is also available in purple, black, ivory and taupe.
Whiting & Davis

The white shimmer in this gorgeous clutch makes it a perfect companion to just about any outfit!
Ricky Designs
This ethnic piece by Ricky Designs is one of kind and sure to cause a stir! Wear it with a brightly colored dress or go neutral and add it for a pop of color.

—Ashley Lacey, Armitage staff and creator of Stiletto Chic


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hemming and Fawning: Wearing the '70s Trend

It may be January, but spring trends are surfacing everywhere! My favorite spring style is heavily influenced by the seventies. And guess what?! Bell bottoms are back! It has been several years since I wriggled my way into flared jeans. I had become so accustomed to seeing my tapered ankle silhouette in the mirror that the wider shape seemed really awkward at first. Don't worry; you'll get back into your bell bottom groove by the end of the day!

Here are a couple tips when styling your bell bottoms:
  • If you are on the shorter side, look for a high-waisted cut and slightly smaller flare.
  • Avoid long tunic tops. They will make your look heavy and throw off your proportions.
  • Do strap on a pair of heels—especially a platform like the Litas—for a true seventies look
  • Experiment with different washes. Everything from pale blue to deep indigo will be on the stroll this spring!

—Kitty of Geisha Pearl


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

April's Observations: Winter to Spring

1. The capsule collection for now
I was thinking about trends recently. Spring may be on the way, but Chicago is cold and windy. And icy. Snowy. And gray. Trends are all well and good, but what, I wondered, would be the best shoes for right now? The set above came to mind: Jeffrey Campbell stacked-heel penny loafers, black lace mini-wedge House of Harlows, killer Sorels and a new color of my favorite boot this season, the Vancouver.

A capsule set! The stack heels are for client meetings; the tennies are for of-the-second Factory inspiration; Sorels are for all the time (yes, you can be happy when it’s crappy); and a great pair of all-the-time, super sleek, platform laceup booties. Yes.

2. Spring/Summer 2011

Onward! SS11 is full of great surprises and a lot of help for those who hate heels: the platforms are all flats and the flats are outrageous (and so are all of the heels). Here’s a round up of some favorites 

for the upcoming season:

LOOK FOR: platform flats / textured stilettos / fantastic colors / disco shoes

3. Honor thy Sorel
Confession: as a little girl, I often found myself tromping around in the Northern Michigan snow. Getting a new pair of Sorels was, like, a heavenly moment. The whole process was a cool sensation: going to the old-time outfitter and dipping my arms up to the shoulders in fishermen's waders, then walking up the soggy old boards to the boot room. You could get a pink and white pair. A red pair. A blue and purple pair. Sorels were cool back then and I am so happy to say they are off the charts for this season of very wet, cold snow. Of course, you can always make a cute outfit based on them that’s bar appropriate.

—April Francis of Haute Closet


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trend Report: Handbags 2011

Handbags. At least they have no sizing issues. Will they they always fit your lifestyle? Do you desire quality pieces that transcend the seasons? Are you a slave to trends, constantly searching for your "it" bag? Either way keep an eye out for the following looks when shopping for arm candy this spring.

Burberry Prorsum spring 2011 runway finale

Multi- & bi-tonal colors against neutral backdrops
Tassels and feminine embellishments
Structured shapes
Geometric prints
Bronzed metallics

Diane von Furstenberg.  Her bold use of bi-tonal color is right on trend.

Elly Clay. Here's another focus on bi-tonal color but in a low-contrast palette. Note the nod to the tassel trend.

This piece by Gucci is one of my favorites. Metallics are still in. The tassel makes another appearance.

This ultra-feminine, structured piece by Chloe is adorable!

Black is being shown on the runways for spring. In most cases, it is mixed with brighter colors, but Chanel goes classically dark. 

This Chloe piece is probably my favorite. I love the beadwork and the chain!

This adorned clutch by Marchesa is absolutely adorable! Very originial. Perfection. 

The neutral tote is here to stay! You can never go wrong with this type of bag. Every girl needs one! Alexander Wang.

Wang does it again, with this ah-mazing bag! I want. I think we all do.

McQueen. I mean, yeah, of course this is awesome.

—Ashley Lacey, Armitage staff and creator of Stiletto Chic


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sneak-Peek: New Apparel Finds in New York

Lori and the buyers are busy in NYC scouting out new trends and styles for our spring lineup of clothing and accessories. Apparel, a new addition to our repertoire just last year, it growing bigger. A big trend we're buying this season is the drapey and diaphanous Greek goddess look—lots of wraps and gathers in tunic lengths, one-shoulder tops and silky rompers. The look is easy, yet effortlessly chic.

We temper our enthusiasm for the ancients with more structured, modern pieces like a wool-and-leather panel skirt, a cowled shift dress and, why not?, black leather hot pants. Vrooom!

Color blocking and sailor stripes are emergent looks for early spring. While we would normal run shrieking from horizontal stripes, we think these picks have a jaunty, fresh vibe that really luffs our sails.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cut to the Paste: Our Fave Bag Maker

Lori and Nicole, our handbag buyer, are in New York on a buying trip. They ran into Shervyn, designer of Cut N Paste bags. This is a relatively new line for us. We became love slaves the instant we saw them. The quality is impeccable and the leather so buttery soft we'd slather it on toast if we could. Cut N Paste bags have that je ne sais quoi weight to them that is so satisfying. It comes from using quality leathers and hardware. We're super excited to see what comes in for spring!


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Latest Resort: Spring 2011

For many, ‘tis the season for planning winter cruises and destination trips. My, what to wear? Even if you are not traveling, plan to freshen up your wardrobe in preparation for spring. Take a cue from Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Dior and Scognamiglio and go fluorescently retro. The runways are alive with prints—gingham, nautical, feminine florals, pretty pastels and other decorated extras. The "return of the stewardess" has inspired clean lines and daring hems.

Left to Right: Jil Sander, Nina Ricci, Sportmax
Left to Right: Burberry Prorsum, Christian Dior, Proenza Schouler

I love the colors here. Although some of these items may be a bit much for everyday wear (such as the Sander skirt), we can still glean a couple tips from these designers:
  1. Show a little leg. The majority of these looks are above the knee, so go tastefully short. 
  2. Color is your new BFF. If neon is not your thing, stick to shades that appeal to you ... but lighten up! If hot pink is a bit much, opt for a softer baby blue or green. Mix a vibrant color with a jean or dark bottom to balance your palette. And don’t be afraid of the colored slinky shoe!
DVF is everything that I love about fashion. Her designs are wearable and invigorating. Her use of print is notoriously awesome. Take a gander at my favorite looks from her Resort 2011 collection:

What's not to love about this effortlessly chic look?
This shade of blue-purple is just heavenly.
Love it paired with the white and a bit of black in the top.

I am in love with this print.
The neutral tones mixed with pale blue is amazing.
When picking your own prints make sure
they are complimentary to the undertones in your skin.

The lesson here? Super-short shorts are in!
Go with a lightweight, patterned fabric for pop
or settle on a solid, brightly colored romper for spring.
Safe to say the wrap sandal has made a comeback. 

This darling mini shift dress is great
especially when paired with shades & white gladiators. 

—Ashley Lacey, Armitage staff and editor of Stiletto-Chic


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