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sugar paper + target

okay, i admit it – i went a little crazy during sugar paper’s holiday gift wrap collaboration with target.  marie kondo would not approve.

i love the whimsical designs and the elegance the collection brings back to the art of gift wrapping.  while i often put a gift in the nearest gift bag and call it a day, sometimes its nice to put in a little more effort to make the experience of receiving the gift even more special.

sugar 1 the pink gift box is surprisingly sturdy and has an adorable polka dot print inside.  i paired it with matching polka dot tissue paper.sugar 2all tied up with a white and gold chevron grosgrain ribbon.sugar 3

 

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cashmere reviews

now that we are officially in the midst of winter here in nyc, i have been relying prettily heavily on my sweater collection to get me through the week.  my skin gets incredibly dry and itchy in the cold, so i need sweaters that are either 100% cotton, 100% wool, or as a luxury, 100% cashmere.

true cashmere freaks swear by a few choice brands (chanel, loro piana, brunnello cucinelli), but those prices are out of the question for me.    i’ve tried a lot of brands that are much cheaper (though some are admittedly not cheap), and i thought i should do a round-up of how they have held up over the years.

cashmerevince (top right):  this sweater is just okay.  even on sale, vince cashmere is pretty expensive.  the softness is okay, but the sweater still pills like crazy.  plus, after a few wears, i don’t feel like this looks as plush or as high-quality as some of my other sweaters.

j.crew factory (middle right):  my j.crew factory cardigan is the best quality cashmere i have gotten from j.crew as of late.  i can’t stand the j.crew featherweight cashmere (just asking for holes), and i haven’t found much of the regular j.crew cashmere to be thick or as soft as i want.  plus, it is regularly over $100 for a sweater. i think this cardigan came in at about $50 on sale, and it is a true workhorse for me in my freezing office.  i would say the pill factor is pretty average, though it still looks as plush as the day i bought it.

demylee for j.crew (bottom right):  this is probably my favorite sweater in terms of quality and price point.  the full price is very expensive, but as j.crew does, it got marked down to about 70% off before i took the plunge.  the cashmere is soft and thick, and i haven’t seen much pilling.  the navy has not bled onto the white, and every time i wear this, it feels like i am wearing a great big cashmere hug.

eric bompard (top and bottom left):  these are the newest to my collection, and also the most expensive.  these sweaters are not as soft as my j.crew cardigans but they feel much thicker and don’t pill as much.  plus i love the various design options that really elevate these sweaters into something fancy enough to wear for dinner or to dress up with a pencil skirt for work.  the fitted gray pointelle pictured above looks great with a gray pencil skirt (ala my style idol rachel zane below), and this navy and lace does just as well with a black skirt.

SUITS -- "Heartburn" Episode 314 -- Pictured: Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane -- (Photo by: Ian Watson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank)

SUITS — “Heartburn” Episode 314 — Pictured: Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane — (Photo by: Ian Watson/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank)

isabel marant (middle left):  although isabel marant is my homegirl, as you can see from my collection, i don’t think her cashmere sweaters are worth the price.  while they are undeniably soft, this sweater is pretty thin and pills like crazy.  plus, i think it has stretched out to a weird shape.

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navy state of mind

happy new year everyone!  i hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are as excited about 2016 as i am.  i’ve sat out most of the holiday sales, trying to save some money and keep my closet as clutter-free as possible.  although perhaps not the most exciting purchases, i did buy the two navy items below to fill some holes in my wardrobe.

the navy pants are by joseph.  they have been on my wishlist forever, and i finally found the perfect pair on sale on yoox.com.

the navy peacoat is billy reid, of course.  i love the shearling trim under the collar.  and the material is so soft i want to sleep in it.

navy 1what, your coats don’t have a leather pocket inside?
billy reid 1 or a silk striped pocket?  billy reid 2

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casablanca b&b – cartagena, colombia

i was very lucky to ring in my 30th birthday earlier this month in beautiful cartagena.  we stayed at the casablanca b&b in the old walled part of the city, and it was something out of my south american dreams.  open air hallways filled with plush vegetation, white washed walls and furniture, and a semi-outdoor shower in the bedroom.  not pictured is the gorgeous rooftop plunge pool, perfect for taking a breather from the colombian heat.

hotel 1 our room door.  i wish i could enter my apartment through a door like this this…hotel 2 hotel 3 sorry for the mess – i forgot to snap pics before we started unpacking/taking over with our clutter.hotel 4 semi-outdoor shower.hotel 5 hotel 6 hotel 7 walkway to the lobby.hotel 8 the hotel surprised me with a cake to celebrate the day.  such a perfect finishing touch.hotel 9

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holiday cards

its looking a lot like christmas in nyc these days.  i spent last weekend writing my holiday cards.  last year, i sent everyone the same card.  after christmas, i hit up the abc carpet christmas sale to stock up on an assortment of cards for this year.

cards 1 it was so fun picking and choosing the right card for the right person.  for example, only my most juvenile friends received the card below (sorry in advance for calling you juvenile if you are reading this and you got this card…).cards 2

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just in: burberry cocktail dress

after i made my fall shopping list, i realized i forgot one important item – another cocktail dress.  i used to have exactly one cocktail dress in my closet, a black lace number that was a workhorse for me last year.  i wore it at every wedding and fancy event, and while it is lovely, i have been on the lookout for one more to add to the rotation.

although i kept an open mind on my search, my only specification for the dress was that it couldn’t be black.  as much as black dresses are a staples for city girls, i wanted something a bit different but just as useful.

i was at nordstorm rack buying a last minute tie for my boyfriend, and i spotted this number on the sale rack.  i tried it on, it fit like a dream without alterations, and i wore it to a wedding upstate that evening.

burberry dress 1 this is definitely one of those pieces that i love looking at in my closet.  the detailing is so lovely (and flattering!), and that shade of purple…burberry dress 2

all about that lace

i have been meaning to post about the lace and cashmere sweater i described in this post from france.  i have been favoring classic items with lace details, and this sweater is a perfect example.  the body is black cashmere, and there is handmade navy lace through the sides.

lace 1 lace 2 the chanel sunglasses from the same post also have a lace detail – handmade lace is pressed into the plastic.  if you run your hands along the edge, you can actually feel it.lace 3

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