Saturday, May 31, 2008

what i want today: ekobo kitchenware

i'm in the process of decorating an entire house (in fact, stay tuned for a design week coming up soon!). let me tell you - it's not as fun as it sounds. there are so many choices out there, and i find something new i want every single day. i think decorating doesn't mesh with someone who spends her days shopping online, as you really need to have made a final decision when you order a $3,000 custom couch.

so, i'm reveling in the indecision and overbuying that comes with the territory in the "home accessories" world. items like these stunning (and, might i add, environmentally sound) kitchen accessories by ekobo, rock my design world without stripping my wallet.

the gorgeous bright lacquers make these the perfect showstopper for any dining table, but also make them incredibly functional. i love the teardrop-shaped "tempo" platter ($48), which is a perfect design for passing appetizers - not enough platters have edging, to save your perfect mini-quiches from the dreaded plate slide. or the gorgeous "sumo" bowl ($125), that has a fabulous, modern shape, but retains those thoughtful details, like the highly useful handles.

check out the entire line at ekobo's website, but hit up the conran shop to buy a few selected items. you might even be able to order in your favorite - it's always worth asking!

Friday, May 30, 2008

oh, and happy SATC premiere day!

the hubs surprised me with tickets to the movie that's love! so, in honor of carrie and the gang, here's a worthy friday splurge for you!

i know those dior extreme gladiators have been absolutely everywhere lately, because of their notable appearance in the movie. but, well, as O would say..."me no likey" (and if you got that, you should definitely challenge your friends to a game of SATC trivia). i much prefer these gorgeous sandals from master manolo's spring runway collection. truly the ultimate "strappy sandal," they have that gladiator vibe, but aren't going to scream last season by the time the movie makes it to DVD.

if you're looking for a real SATC-worthy splurge, i highly recommend these bordeaux beauties...if you have one of those lifestyles in which you don't actually have to walk anywhere, you'll look absolutely stunning just standing still.

(PS...just a little tip from me to you: if you have any interest in seeing the movie, i'd do it this weekend...much as i despise crowds (and opening weekend, for that matter), the internet is going to positively ruin the movie by monday. so, see it before it's picked apart, overanalyzed and "spoiler alert"-ed to death.)

what i want today: menswear-inspired wrist watch

i don't normally go for the menswear-style least not for myself. love them on others, but i always feel the styling is off for me. but i ran into this max bill version over at velocity art and design, and it was love at first sight. the size is right for that menswear look, but the styling is so understated that it could easily be interpreted as feminine. plus, it has just the right touch of antique detailing - it looks exactly like something you picked up from your grandfather's dresser. i do so love to see classic pieces done exactly right, and this is a perfect example.

$580 at velocity, but lucky magazine was kind enough to score a 25% off coupon, sitewide (which, i'll be honest, i'm going a little crazy with). use code luckybreaks11 at checkout.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

what i want today: fantastic art posters

every single one of these is better than the last. i don't think i can resist that toilet paper picture on the right for a bathroom i'm decorating. hard to read from here, but the scribble at the top says "always check". fitting that the site is called advice to sink in slowly.

some are funny, some are sweet, and some are just plain true. all are $10 - now that's taking "affordable art" to a whole new level!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

deal of the day: shopbop designer sale wallet is positively groaning. neiman, saks, bergdorf, nordstrom - everyone has started their spring sales, and my restraint is wearing thin. but i was doing pretty well until shopbop's designer sale started.

now, those gorgeous anya hindmarch silver woven d'orsay pumps (wow, that's a long description for a pair of shoes) i wanted a month ago have made their way from a worthy splurge down to a very responsible buy. same goes for that stunning chocolate brown woven elrod. and her stunningly beautiful grey studded shoulder bag.

and these fantastic gatsby pants by peter som do, in fact, remind me of an afternoon soiree circa f. scott fitzgerald. they were just featured in the june vogue, so it's a wonder they've already hit the sale rack. marked down to just under $500, they're still a splurge, but if you have the bod to carry off the volume (read: long and lean), they're a classic style that is well worth your next bonus. while you're at it, check out som's luscious take on the classic cardigan - long, lean and oh-so-stylish, it would definitely be a worthy addition to your wardrobe.

loads of other unmissable options to peruse, so head over and get your shop on!

what i want today: alexis bittar necklace

this necklace by alexis bittar would be a fantastic addition to just about any jewelry box. i'm hard-pressed to think of any work wardrobe that wouldn't be beautifully accented by this piece. it would work with nearly any neckline, and every ensemble from a suit to a gorgeous wrap dress.

the colors are perfect - a great mix of neutral tones, with just enough color to stand out. best of all, it's a pretty remarkable deal, especially considering that it's sold by saks. pick it up for $185, or check out my other favorite, another steal under $200. both are just dripping with style and attention to detail. and while you're at it, check out the rest of alexis bittar's designs, particularly her lucite pieces - they're all gorgeous, unique, and impossibly stylish.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

shoppingsmycardio interviews: le train bleu

dear readers, today i'd like to introduce one of the true stylemakers: bria of le train bleu. her store (both the online site and the "real" version, located in portland, oregon) is positively notorious in the world of fashion for epitomizing that rare talent of mixing the best of upcoming trends with timeless, unique pieces. any true fashion addict has bria's gorgeous finds for le train bleu at the forefront of her fashion radar. bria was kind enough to offer to guide us through some of her favorite styles, trends, and advice, and i'm thrilled to share it with you.

shoppingsmycardio: i have to start by gushing a little – i just love le train bleu. you do such a great job of picking really wearable pieces that are still so unique, and i love that you manage to mix in vintage and a few key home accessories as well, without making the store feel disorganized at all. how did you come up with the concept for the store?

le train bleu:
Ah, thanks - that totally makes my day. The homewares, apothecary, and vintage selections are fairly new and just stages in a long evolution. It’s a little known fact but Le Train Bleu actually started as an activewear store, albeit a very eclectic and eccentric one. I started out selling activewear as fashion. We had a lot of dancewear - high-fashion legwarmers (there was a terrific company called Dosty that we couldn’t keep in stock), cool dancewear imported from a company in Italy called Dimensione Danza. You can see a vestige of these roots on the site now if you look closely: we still sell leotards!

SMC: you have a knack for finding designs (and designers, for that matter) that really are “up and coming” – your shoppers get the high fashion look without necessarily the high fashion price tag. how do you decide what pieces and designers to stock?

It’s very instinctual—I buy whatever makes my heart race. I’ve gotten smarter about it though as I’ve gone along. I do make a concerted effort to have a range of prices. There are some surprises in regards to price though: my core customer is not very hampered by price and it’s not because they’re rolling in dough. It’s a very small niche market of people who are hard-core fashion collectors. They are the trendsetters and will scrimp and save and blow half their paycheck on a pair of high-waist jeans from Australia, because they just have to have them. This means that I can just as easily sell a $600 dress as a $60 pair of boots. It just has to be the right dress. The right boots too, for that matter.

SMC: tell me what trends you’re most excited about for fall ’08.

Midi hemlengths! I am shocked by how hard it is to find a skirt or dress that falls anywhere below the knee right now but for Fall we’ll have some more options: I’m very excited by the Tibi collection. And the color red—I can’t get enough.

SMC: what trends from last year are you counting on to stick around, and which pieces should we send to goodwill?

I guess I think more in terms of moods and stories than trends. I would be heartbroken to know that my customers were casting off things they had purchased one season earlier from Le Train Bleu—that runs totally contrary to what I feel about clothes. For me, clothes become dear friends and we might have periods in our lives where we fall in and out of each other’s lives (I do have some things in boxes that I’m not wearing right now, but I know in a year or two they’ll be back in my closet).

SMC: if a woman wanted to choose one special piece to update her wardrobe right now, what would you point her toward?

A trench coat is timeless and ageless and there’s one for everyone. I think a little structured tailoring is always cool and flattering.

SMC: what are your 3 favorite pieces in store right now?

On my shopping list right now would be the Speak Easy candle (vapors of gin, pipe tobacco and wood), The Vera Blouse from the Australian line Fleur Wood (very me - a slightly 1970s style via the 1940s in an amazing print and color), and the Bianca Dress from Heidi Merrick (her dresses are so well tailored).

SMC: what is your favorite piece of clothing (or accessory) that you’re wearing today?

Well, it’s morning and I’m still at home in my ritual of answering emails and drinking my coffee. I’m wearing my beloved cotton Thai fisherman’s trousers.

SMC: tell us about your favorite, never-fail outfit.

A wrap-around skirt, a very slim cut printed blouse (I love the 70s cut again, lean through the torso and cut high in the armhole) and a pair of heeled boots. If it’s cold, a really tailored great wool coat.

SMC: what one style secret do you wish you could teach every woman out there?

Relish the choices we have and when the marketplace offers up a style that is perfectly you, stock up. I haven’t worn a babydoll dress or a pair of skinny jeans in my life because they don’t suit me at all but I have been taking full advantage of the high-waist styles that have been offered in the last few years, because that style works well for my body type and my personal style, being a lover of the '70s silhouette.
bria, thank you so much! i know you've given me loads of new ideas for my wardrobe, and can't tell you how much i appreciate your taking the time to share your advice with all of us!

oh, and for those who are now lusting after everything on the le train bleu website, you might recall from my last le train bleu post that they currently have a lucky mag discount code for 25% off, good through june 1. use code luckybreaks1 at checkout!

Friday, May 23, 2008

deal of the day: loeffler randall dorritt sandal, 40% off

i admit - i wasn't in love with these loeffler randall sandals at first. but i recently saw them in person, and dear readers, they are fa-bu-lous. truly. that rose gold color is just the right blend of spark and sophistication. and the styling gives a deferential nod to the current gladiator trend, but these will be wearable long after those roman sandals have gone the way of caesar.

score them from our dear friends over at barefoot tess for 40% off their retail of $395, taking them down to less than $250 - just use code 40OFF. but this deal is only good through monday, so move fast!

(ps...if the loefflers aren't singing your song, it's also worth a look at their french sole selection...they're all 40% off too, with that same 40OFF code!)

designer 101: rozae nichols

i got an email from the lovely kate boutique yesterday, showcasing the newest brand into their fantastic boutique: rozae nichols. nicols is an LA native, but her pieces have such a worldly, ethnic vibe - i love the drape, the unique cuts and styling, and the fabrics, which might just be the best part of her collections.

this gorgeous dress ($488) is a perfect example - the cut is fantastic, and the styling is inherently flattering for just about every shape. but that fabric and sash really steal the show.

this yellow halter dress ($518) is the perfect summer addition. the styling is fantastic - i think halter dresses are tough to get right, but nichols has nailed it. the details are effortless (literally - the belt and gorgeous wooden button mean no accessorizing necessary). and that ikat-inspired fabric is incredibly of-the-moment, yet the rest of the dress doesn't scream trendy.

the dresses are perfection - but i even love her basics. take this jersey tank ($250), for example. proof that names can be deceiving - i would have no trouble wearing this simple "tank" to a dinner party, but it makes a perfect weekday work option, and a perfect denim companion as well.

ditto for this beautiful, seemingly classic black sweater. but take a closer look at those details - the neck tie makes this piece instantly sophisticated and effortlessly styled, and the chic neckline and contrast trim keep this piece unique, and well worth its $160 sale price (see that? you knew i'd have a sale piece in there somewhere...).

check out the full rozae nichols lines at kate boutique or over at shopjake - i've definitely found a new designer to love. hope i'm not the only one!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

deal of the day, part II: shopjake spring sale

i know, i know....a lot of sale posts this week. but the shopjake sale is one of the best, and i'd never forgive myself for failing to share.

the deal is this: 40% off just about everything from spring. and i'm not talking about just the stuff that didn't sell. they've marked down darn near everything on the site! including that stunning barbara bui handbag i've been wanting for no longer relegated to the "if only" pile.

or that gorgeous rebecca minkoff steady bag, which isn't on sale anywhere, down to $405 for my favorite stone/tangerine color combo.

i'm really struggling to resist this beautiful missoni wrap dress, down to $410 - my fave is this lovely aqua color, above. or, for a more practical option, this riser goodwyn sheath dress is down from $1100 to $295 (i know!), and it's a classic you'll keep for decades.

coats...well, there's the 3.1 philip lim red trench, down to $375. and there's the ultra-ladylike hanii y jacket, down to $385...

you get the idea. shopjake is just about the only retailer i know that does a sale this well...let's all get out our credit cards and show our gratitude, shall we?

SMC must read: eccentric glamour!

say no to ho! talk about a mantra in the making. simon doonan's new book, eccentric glamour, is a veritable parade of mantras, and i couldn't put it down. every page bears timeless advice that all of us glamorous gals should have in our back pocket, delivered in the way only a true fashion diva could.

in between the digs at the paris hilton-style tartlets that parade as fashionistas, doonan (creative director at barney's new york - not to mention stylish spouse to the most fabulous jonathan adler) offers timeless tips on creating not just a perfect look, but a style that's unique, with just a touch of eccentricity. or, maybe more than a touch. interviewing icons of eccentricity like iman, kelly wearstler, and lucy liu,doonan uses their unique style to teach by example.

doonan can be comically brutal, relating a tale in which he cautioned america's next top model contestants against "letting their clothes write checks that their personalities cannot cash."

but he can also be brilliant, suggesting we approach our personal style like an objective third party. rather than allowing fashion to become a source of stress and confusion, as it often can, doonan advises us to "[a]bandon the role of insecure, sweaty, nervous ingenue, you are dressing an important star who has her own iconic look. yourself!" he adds, "[e]ach and every blouse and pocketbook has the potential to communicate something horribly fatal or utterly fabulous about you."

this book is a must-read for any die-hard fashion addict - doonan is sharp, witty, and unfailingly fashionable. between his advice and the amazing fashion icons he's interviewed, you're sure to pick up a slew of fashion confidence, as well as a few tips and tricks. but more than that, it's the perfect gift for a teenage girl who's just learning about fashion and developing her style. and it's also on my list for that woman we all know who's relying too much on short skirts and tight tops as a substitute for true "fashion."

grab your copy today, and when you're done reading, pass it on to a friend who's in dire need of some sound style counsel.

deal of the day: jonathan adler warehouse sale

this is almost enough to make me fly to manhattan for the day. if only they'd let me squish that new sofa i'd be buying into the overhead compartment.

click the pic for a bigger and better view of the details. and if you're in NYC, well, don't rub it in.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

what i want today: new goodies from dejarnette nola

i am positively addicted to dejarnette's goods - everything she makes has that quirky, antique-but-chic look i just adore.

this darling little sausage dog ($44) would be such a cute statement piece to accent an otherwise-average ensemble.

i'm normally of the opinion that shoe accents are a little cheesy, and rarely stylish, but i have to admit these vintage embroidered poppies ($28/set) would be pretty darling on my white canvas ballet flats...especially in that lovely yellow color.

this emerald quartz necklace ($60) is a gorgeous alternative to turquoise, which can be a little too hippie chic for my taste. my mom's birthday is drawing near, and i'm thinking she'd adore this. and i'd have something fabulous to about a win/win!

ooh, and in celebration of the site's second birthday, they're running a fantastic promotion. through the end of the month, buy any two pieces, and the third piece is free (fine print: equal or lesser value, of course, and the refund for item #3 will come back to you through paypal, no code required)! check out all of the goods from dejarnette - you're sure to find something perfect for mom...or for you!

deal of the day: 20% off all j.crew purchases

note that's not only on sale purchases, peeps. guess that slow economy has some fringe benefits after all.

maybe now i can justify nabbing that yellow handbag i've been eyeing. and if i go in and order it from the store, i can snag free shipping too! just a little tip from me to you - happy wednesday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

deals of the day: shopbop, nordstrom sales

what are these retailers doing to me??

new markdowns from shopbop - a couple of my favorites:

this foley & corinna dressis just begging for holiday parties - $250 down from $500. or, check out the hot pink version, surprisingly chic even with the crazy color and sparkles. this one will see you through your summer parties too...if you can carry off the fabulous flapper-inspired styling.

talk about the perfect warm-weather jacket, this all-silk piece by alice+olivia even comes with a matching tote. i love the white with the yellow hood, but i could see the black being slightly more practical. either way, not bad for less than $250.

and, some old favorites are finally on sale over at nordstrom:

that juicy couture jacket i loved is now 50% off over at nordstrom.

and those stuart weitzman shoes i was (and still am) incredibly in love with are now down 40% to $170.

happy hunting!

Monday, May 19, 2008

random aside: active endeavors, anyone??

so, despite the fact that i can find something to buy just about anywhere, i've been sitting on a store credit at active endeavors since december and just can't seem to spend it. if anyone out there in blog land does see something at AE they can't live without (perhaps those lovely tibi dresses pictured above), drop me an email (shoppingsmycardio at - i'll give you a sweet deal!


deal of the day: lux markdowns at eluxury and NAP

wow...the summer sale season is upon us. so many choices, so little time...especially considering how quickly sale styles tend to sell out.

from our dear friends over at eluxury, i've been craving these gloves by carolina amato since i first spied them. true, it's so not glove season. but when the weather turns cold again (and, believe me, it will), you'll be the ultimate fashion diva in these opera-length beauties. i love the classic style of the terra, but the funky yellow is tough to pass up.

and these python d'orsay buckle flats from hollywould are just dripping with style, all for about $130 (down from $330, i might add).

and, i love that elux isn't afraid to give us a shot at some true classics on sale. there are some lovely paige denim styles marked down to about $120, including my favorite fit, hollywood hills, which you can score for about 30% off.

ooh, and free shipping sitewide...i do love eluxury!

over at net-a-porter, this ultra-luxe tote by miu miu is the ultimate weekday accessory. use it to tote files to the office in the most stylish way possible. then, dress it down for the weekend by carrying it messenger-style. two bags for one price...and that price happens to be 50% off of the original. prada style for under $600 is tough to pass up, don't you think?

and this'll be gone before i even finish this post, but $200 for the teri tote by marc jacobs is just enough to make this monday fabulous.

if i hit the lottery in the next few hours, my first stop is going to be this stunning missoni coat - at $1,500, it's still a serious splurge, but talk about a timeless statement piece. your grandkids will be arm-wrestling at your funeral over who scores this stunner.

what i want today: marc jacobs turnlock clutch

this clutch is giving me fond memories of a certain oh-so-beautiful MJ zip clutch i briefly owned. it was the most stunning emerald green color, and i adored it so...and babied it so...and consequently, i was seriously wallet-paranoid, which is an annoying person to be. so, i sold it. but i still miss it every day.

this marc by MJ version would make me much less nervous, at half the price, and i think it has nearly all the style of the original.

probably not the same fabulous suede and satin linings, though...

Friday, May 16, 2008

etsy of the day: photography by jennifer squires

i'm pretty particular when it comes to art photography, since my hubs is a pro photographer. but when jennifer squires sent her work over for me to check out, i instantly loved her work. jennifer says her work presents "simplicty and meaning in the beauty of the everyday," and that says it better than i ever could. she does a great job of taking everyday subjects and using unique perspectives to make you take a second (or a third) look.

her nature photos make me instantly relaxed and peaceful - a tough thing to do this week. i especially love the tree in winter and february blues prints.

and i love the kitchen-themed photos...particularly for an inexplicable reason, the portrait of a sandwich, which i think would be adorable framed in a kitchen. or perhaps a triptych of beans, rice and peppercorns, or something along those lines.

her work is incredibly affordable - signed prints will run you about $45 for an 8x8 to 8x10 size. even better, for my lovely SMC readers, jennifer is offering an exclusive 25% discount with code CARDIO, but only through the end of this month. so, pick your faves, and snap them up via jennifer's etsy shop. just quote the code in the "comments to seller" section when you order, and she'll refund the difference once you've submitted payment.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

what i want today: juicy couture chiffon trim dress

this feels like the perfect conservative option for summer months, for those of us who aren't loving the spaghetti-strap/oh-so-short hem options out there. this one is perfect for the office, but still hip enough for evenings out. i love the detailing on the sleeve, which is right on trend this year. and the accessorizing options on this are endless - i'd love to see it with a bright belt and flats, or dressed up with a chunky necklace and mary jane heels.

best of all, it's on sale - $78 at saks, but not for long.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

an updated classic: gallagher cardigan

there's nothing that makes me quite as happy as when a designer takes a wardrobe basic, like a cardigan, to new heights. my rationale is that it's much more reasonable to splurge on a classic piece, rather than picking up the most au courant piece out there.

these gallagher cardigans by chris benz are the ultimate classic splurge. the colors are rich and versatile, the styling is perfect for layering over or under, and the details, as with all design classics, are impeccable. glass buttons, perfect length, ribbed styling, and a flattering v-neck silhouette. i also love that it's cotton, not cashmere, as sometimes you want to layer during the warmer months, and a cashmere cardigan, while lovely, is just not the thing in july.

pick up one (or all three) at for $325 each.

what i want today: coach ergo tote (no, really!)

i've been relatively anti-coach for a while now. i've just felt like they're trying too hard to be luxury for the masses, or something. and the price points have become ridiculously high in recent years.

so, imagine my surprise when i saw a bag in april's real simple that i just loved...and when i checked the credits, it was by coach! i marched straight down to my friendly neighborhood boutique to check it out, and they had no idea what i was talking about.

more than a month later, the ergo leather convertible tote is finally in stock - and it's as cute as it looked in the magazine, maybe better. the price point is still high, but it compares with the vastly more recognizable (read: over-exposed) anna corinna city tote, and the corinna version is not as well-constructed (the leather they use, in my opinion, just isn't what it should be for a $500 bag).

the coach bag, on the other hand, uses thick-enough leather to double as a work/laptop tote, or a weekend messenger bag when doubled over. plus, it has the added touch (why no one else has thought of this is beyond me) of being able to attach the shoulder strap either at the mid-point or at the top, so you can use the shoulder strap whether you're carrying it folded or tote-style. none of the other incarnations of this bag style have this feature, as far as i've seen.

so, bravo to coach for finally pulling their design team off of sabbatical and showing us some new, updated options. i might actually use the friends & family coupon they send me this year...

(ps...check nordstrom for a color that isn't offering - a lovely burnt orange that is just perfect for this time of year.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

summer dress roundup

(again, a great big thanks to connie at the daily obsession for giving us her take on the best summer dresses out there!) the weather warms up, I just crave dresses. That means I'll be keeping my eye out for new frocks and pulling out the credit cards so I can add them to my closet!

To start, I need to find some work-appropriate dresses. Hanii Y has this fabulous black dress embroidered with white circles, which are totally classic but fun. I adore the feminine puff sleeves, yet structured shape. I also know that I won't be sweating bullets at a client meeting when it's 90 degrees out, since it's totally lightweight. Linen is also never a bad path to go down. This Thurley dress feels very organic, but the black embroidery adds sophistication. All I would need is are a pair of simple black round toe pumps to finish the look.

For the weekend, I'm all over lightweight sundresses like this one by Maeve. The bright color is cheery, but what really captured my attention was the neckline. It has a lovely pleated design over the decollete area, which I think is so fun. Another option is this fantastic silk halter dress by Vanitas of California. How can you not love the beautiful dripping blue, green and white print? Plus, you could wear this on a variety of occasions - from the annual family picnic to a friend's engagement party.

Lastly, I have to talk about my favorite go-to store, J. Crew. I can always count on them for some great, reasonably priced pieces - and lately, they've been knocking it out of the park. For a easy day dress, my pick is this cherry blossom button-front dress. I'd belt it and wear it to work with a structured tote and heels. I also adore this colorblock shift; the vibrant pairing of orange and magenta is so bold and fun, making it perfect for the season. Plus, the texture and shape of the dress is a bit of a throwback to the '60s that is flattering on most body types.

Have any other suggestions? Drop a comment and let us know!

Monday, May 12, 2008

hey, check us out!!

we've even convinced the fashionistas over at coutorture that the bling-ed out gold watch look is do-able!

major thanks to them for featuring us, and don't miss the other lovely must-reads from last week!

deal of the day: 20% off at shopbop!

i do so love a shopbop code. so many sites hand out discounts so often that i just know they're jacking up their prices to cover the discount. but shopbop only offers them a handful of times throughout the year. so, seize this opportunity to stock up on everything you're dying to pick up for the summer ahead - all at 20% off! happy after-mother's day!

make sure to share your'll be like a day of SMC community shopping!

what i want today: alexandra cassaniti tote bag

i'll admit that i'm starting to tire of the tote bag trend. they're just everywhere right now, so i feel like i could write about a different one every day. and every one seems to be cuter than the last, so i can never choose the one(s) for me. but at the end of the day, they're all just tote bags, suitable for grocery store outings, and maybe the occasional weekend errand-outing.

that's what i love about this version by alexandra cassaniti. it's so much more than just a tote. the leather handles and subtle buckle hardware dress this one up for weekday wear, the high-quality canvas keeps it from looking tired, and the hand-painted detail really makes this tote a show-stopper. plus, after rifling through my tote like a mad woman to find my ringing cell phone every single time, that well-designed zip pocket is feeling like sheer genius.

pick it up for $220 at shopbop, and your summer bag search is at an end.

plus, today only, use code MYDAY08 at checkout to save 20% on regular-price merchandise at

Friday, May 09, 2008

what our guest wants today: bangles!

(i'm so excited to present the lovely editor of the daily obsession as your guest writer on this fabulous friday - let's all give her a great big virtual high five, shall we?)

Bangles are making a comeback! (Were they out? At least for me, they were...but they're definitely back in for the season, though.) I'm seeing them everywhere - from my favorite little boutiques to big department stores. They are easy and simple to wear, but make a style statement. Here are my tips on how to choose and wear bangles, en vogue:

* Bangles are a fantastic way to inject color into your outfit. Wearing a simple black shift and heels? Slip on a vivid bangle such as this resin version by Lee Angel - and a boring outfit will immediately be brought to life!

* If you're into no-muss, no-fuss dressing, then more than likely, you feel the same way about your jewelry. No problem! Many designers offer bangle sets such as this bold red set by Blu. You won't have to think twice about looking fabulous.

* If you are fond of more delicate adornments, I suggest layering 2-3 tiny, thin bangles on a wrist. This is also a great way to find experiment and wear various designers altogether! Try these from Giles & Brother, ginette_ny and Poupette. If you prefer not to search for complementary bangles, you can always buy a set like these by Iosselliani. Either way, they'll add a subtly elegant touch to your outfit.

* This is also a perfect opportunity to test out more artsy looks and venture out of your comfort zone, so take advantage. It's just on your wrist, so you can wear something unexpected without it taking center stage. This beautiful abstract knotted bangle set by Jennifer Rose is exactly what I mean. You'll add an instant dose of flair and style!

* Believe it or not, but you can also add pattern to an outfit with bangles as well! J. Crew offers some ideal options every season for this purpose. This
enamel bracelet
is topped off with a chic zebra print; the gorgeous summer shades help make it a soft introduction of pattern.

* Along the same lines, why not add some texture or sparkle? Glam it up by choosing a bangle with embedded stones. Try this dazzling version by J. Crew. Czech crystals are combined with colored resin cabochons - this just says vintage resort to me!

Do you have any tips to add? We'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

what i want today: alexis hudson clutch

gorgeous, no? this just screams parisian chic to me. it has that perfect blend of au courant trendiness meets timeless style...and that art deco clasp had me at hello. i can't put my finger on it, but i'm more smitten by this beauty every time i see it. i think that's the sign of a must-buy piece.

and best of all, you can score it for 53% off (aka, a paltry $185). you do have to join ideeli to do it, but the membership is free, and the goods are occasionally fantastic. the site is invite-only, so just drop a comment on this post with your email addy (or just email me at shoppingsmycardio at if you're shy), and i'll send you an invite. but starts at 10 AM (pacific time).

asked and answered: the gold watch

yay, reader mail!

Dear SMC,
Sometimes I like to wear gold jewelry for fun (like Carrie said on Sex in the City). While I don't want a gold engagement ring, I like to play with the gold trends. Problem is, my watches are all silver toned. Can you recommend a gold toned watch that a. won't break the bank and more importantly b. won't make me look like an extra on Snoop Dog's tv show.
The girl without a matching watch
wow. didn't even know snoop dog had a TV show, so that shows you where i'm coming from. but i digress.

the gold watch is a little tricky, but i think it can be done very tastefully (ie, in a way that does not make you scream with terror, like this D&G watch did when i spotted it).

the easiest way, of course, is a leather band on a watch with gold trim. it's probably wrong to start with my favorite pick, but this one's it. this version is incredibly classic, incredibly chic, and looks infinitely more expensive than its $170 pricetag. i can completely envision audrey hepburn sporting this beauty. (a little tip: this has a reversible face, but i'd just ignore that feature - the white face is so much more feminine!)

a variation on that theme would be this lovely tortoise version by michael kors. the gold trim on the face is just enough to tie it in with your yellow gold jewelry, and if you like your watches oversized, this is a great way to pull off that look in style. if the color is too dark for you, check out this horn version, which is equally gorgeous.

i normally run screaming from two-tone jewelry, but somehow, i think it works on this juicy couture watch. the fact that the gold band is leather softens the look, and the silver-tone face will make you feel better about mixing white and yellow gold jewelry.

last, but not least, if you're set on a gold bracelet for your watch, just make sure you keep it delicate. you want it to look like a piece of jewelry, not necessarily a timepiece. so, look at the band that way - would you wear it as a bracelet? if so, go for it...if it's too big/bold/bright, just say no.

one trick with yellow gold is to look for vintage pieces (or at least, vintage styles). the older styles seem to soften the overall look, and keep it from being too "bling". on this version by bulova, i also love the slight rose tint this piece has - you'll have no trouble mixing white gold with this one, if you want to.

this bulova is pretty without being overly girly, and has just a hint of art deco style to make the yellow gold really work. plus, the shape stays slim enough that the gold doesn't take over your look.

ditto for this gorgeous burberry version - though it's definitely the priciest of the bunch, it has amazing style potential. i love the pocket watch styling, and the subtle check print on the face is just the right amount of brand ID.

i hope this gives you some fantastic ideas - let us know what you end up with!