wearing today

…for some outlet shopping with a friend.  It warmed into the low 50′s today!  Tee is my daughter’s, from the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the Met.  Love the little faux fur Gryphon jacket, but it really sheds – black may not have been a very good choice to go with it!

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 Gryphon jacket, J Brand jeans, Chloe boots, Chan Luu bracelets

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wearing today

…working in my home office, and now heading out to meet a friend for dinner.

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Rag & bone denim and boots, Theory sweater, Elizabeth & James coat

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nyfw fall 2013: j crew

I own a LOT of J Crew – I can almost always find something online or in the store that I wear on a regular basis.  I am particularly drawn to the more expensive J Crew Collection – I have a porcupine-effect beaded top from a few years ago that I am obsessed with.  In general the cashmere sweaters, capri pant, button-up shirts, and sequin tops are among my favorites.  The styling genius of Jenna Lyons cannot be denied, and while I’m not really a patterns person, I love how she puts pieces together that shouldn’t really go together.

The fall 2013 showing at NYFW today did not disappoint.  There are a few outfits and individual pieces that I especially like, below.  The nubby fur-lined coat at the end will be mine!  All photos from Style.com.

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Photos from Style.com

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nyfw fall 2013: alexander wang

I remember the first time I saw a small selection of Alex Wang pieces at Nordstrom.  It was fall 2008, and the collection had oversized knit sweaters, baggy jackets and pants, tanks and tees, and beanies – everything I love to wear.  And a pea coat I coveted but was never able to locate… Do you remember this collection?  All of the dresses, skirts and shorts were shown with ripped tights… I fell for and bought a grey nubby knit vest with a big collar and a pair of distressed boyfriend rolled cut-off shorts.  I live in the shorts (year round), and the knit vest is just right when I want to keep the core super warm!

I have found something perfect for me in nearly every collection since then, and now with the T by Alexander Wang line, I’m a true devotee.  It will be interesting to see what he does at Balenciaga.

As the temperature continues to stay cold where I am, there were items in the Fall 2013 collection shown yesterday in New York that would be perfect for right now!  If only… Here are a few of my favorite pieces, photos from Style.com.

AW F13 fur sweater leather skirt

AW F13 leather cutout

AW F13 long leather coat

AW F13 fur shrug

AW F13 blue black coat

AW F 13 white with grey fur

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All photos from Style.com

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nyfw fall 2013: helmut lang, rag & bone, pierre balmain

Can we just skip spring and summer and jump straight to the fall?  As you might have noticed, I am a huge fan of Rag & Bone and Helmut Lang – when I’m shopping online, I go first to these designers, not only for making a purchase but also to get ideas for pulling outfits from my own closet.  Pierre Balmain has also emerged for me as an exciting addition to my go-to brands.

Here are a few of my favorites from these three brands as shown recently at New York fashion week, courtesy of Style.com:

Rag & Bone:  quilted leather, shearling, the blue leather jacket, that parka…

RB 13 quilted blk leather pants

RB 13 grey shearling coat

RB 13 blue leather

RB 13 blue quilted leather pants

RB 13 overcoat

And a few accessories…I will own those blue loafers!

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Helmut Lang:  Cubist motif, leather, and fur – what else do you need?  I also love the length and cut of the tux jacket, and the all white and cream looks…

HL 13 tux jacket

HL 13 all white leather

HL 13 graphic tee

HL F13 white coat and pants

HL F13fur coat

HL F13black and grey

Pierre Balmain:  love the shearling, navy and black combinations, trench, and the palazzo pant…oh yeah, and the fringe.

PB F13 shearling jacket

PB F 13 palazzo pants

PB F13 blue coat w fur collar

PB F13 fringe jacket

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All photos from Style.com

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j brand love

I have been buying and wearing J Brand jeans since they started over 7 years ago.  When they launched their ready-to-wear line a year ago I was beside myself with excitement.  As much as I loved the leather pieces, they were just a tad out of my budget for daily wear.  But I have added several other pieces to my wardrobe.

I just perused the J Brand Fall 2013 presentation photos on Style.com.  Seriously good.  I love the textures and the silhouettes, and THAT BELT.  I think I might have to have the chunky sweater and the leather track pants, at the very least.

My favorite looks from the collection:

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 All photos from Style.com

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wearing today

After a hard workout at the gym and a little bit of work, I thought I would snap a few photos of my favorite new shoes.  This is my 3rd pair of oxfords, and they are my current favorites.  They are Cole Haan Skylar oxfords and are insanely comfortable.  I purchased these at Nordstrom recently while shopping with a friend, who, when I put them on, said: “Those shoes are magical!”  I couldn’t agree more!  I will live in these this spring.  The photos don’t do them justice – they are a light gray and the finish has an ever-so-slight shimmer…love.

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Etoile Isabel Marant jacket, Hanii Y tee, TAG pants, Cole Haan shoes

And, just for fun…hard work in the gym paying off!  Not bad for a girl-of-a-certain-age…

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cool weather inspiration – Carolines Mode

As the cold days drag on in my part of the country, I’ve been turning to my favorite style inspiration:  Caroline Blomst, a gorgeous Swedish model turned blogger-extraordinaire who never disappoints.  In addition to running Stockholm Streetstyle featuring great street style pics from around the globe, she also maintains a personal style blog called Carolines Mode.   She regularly posts photos of her outfits that often mix brands like Zara and H&M with a few of my personal faves, including Theory, Helmut Lang, Isabel Marant, Chloe, and more.  I’m especially loving her outerwear choices – effortless and cool.  I’ve compiled a selection of cold-ish weather outfits she has posted in the last couple of years.   Enjoy!

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and here is a little hint at spring… casual and comfortable!

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wearing today

…heading out for dinner with friends with the snow falling outside!  I scored this Helmut Lang coat at T. J. Maxx for 70% off – love the knit sleeves and collar and the way it falls in the back.

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Helmut Lang coat, Rag & Bone jeans, J crew sweater, Miu Miu boots, H&M knit hat

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fitness on the road

For my day job I travel for 3-5 days at a time, usually once per month, but it could be more depending on the projects I’m working on.  These days, there seem to be more downsides to being on the road than upsides, and one of the downsides for me is the disruption to my exercise routine.  Of course the world would not end if I didn’t get to exercise for a couple of days, but I prefer to do at least something for most of the days I’m gone if I can.  It’s also tough to eat healthfully when on the road, which makes it even more of a bummer if I can’t keep up with it. Most hotels these days have passable facilities, and in most cities there are health clubs that sell day passes.

If there is a hotel gym, I will try to do some cardio, 30-60 mins depending on how much time I have. If there are weights, I will also try and do at least 30 mins of weights, again, depending on time.  At a local gym, I will do one of my regular workouts, and try to take a class if I can.  If neither of these things are available, I will take a set of bungees with me for strength training in my hotel room, and a plan for  some kind of high intensity interval cardio workout.  These typically are workouts stolen from an instructor at my gym; she calls the class “The Dirty 30.”  Here is an example:

You will need an interval timer – it makes it much easier to stay on track.  There are several free good free apps out there for iPhones and Androids. This workout takes about 30 minutes total, including warm up and some stretching after.

8 exercises, each 50 seconds long, 10 seconds rest.  After you complete the 8, rest 30 seconds, then do it again – 2 more times.  Use a bungee for resistance on the row in exercises 6 & 8.

  1. Straight jump/circle jump 4×4 (this is 4 plyo jumps with feet parallel followed by 4 “I’m a star” jumps, with arms and legs wide, like a star)
  2. Jack pushups (from high plank, lower into a push up at the same time as you jump your feet out, pushup and jump feet back together, repeat)
  3. Curtsy lunge to side crunch w knee up,  L (curtsy lunge with left leg, then pull left knee up to the side)
  4. Dips
  5. Curtsy lunge to side crunch w knee up, R (curtsy lunge with right leg, then pull right knee up to the side)
  6. Bulgarian  row, R (left leg behind on step or chair, squat down and row)
  7. Bulgarian  jump, 8 ea side (alternate left and right leg behind, jump on standing leg)
  8. Bulgarian row, L (right leg behind on step or chair, squat down and row)

I also love a longer workout posted by Bob Harper on the Women’s Health magazine website.  It does require a hand weight, but the two requiring weights could be substituted for different exercises if needed.  I do it three times through with as little rest as possible, which takes about 75 minutes, for me.  It’s a killer!

  • Skater’s hop (30 each side)
  • Single-arm hang snatch (I use a 20 lb. weight, 20 each side)
  • Burpees (50)
  • Prisoner squats (50)
  • Mountain climbers (25 each side)
  • Weighted Turkish get-ups (I use a 15 lb. weight, 15 each side)
  • Lunge jumps (25 each side)
  • T-push ups (15 each side)

If you have bungees, try this routine.  Use the resistance that makes the last few reps tough!  You’ll need the gizmo that anchors it to the door or a high point so you can pull down.

Shoulders

  • Overhead press, one leg forward, switch legs
  • Lateral raise
  • Front scoop

Triceps

  • Close push ups
  • Overhead extension seated
  • Kickback

Biceps

  • Curls
  • Diagonal curls
  • Hammer curl

Back

  • Wide lat pull down 
  • Seated row 
  • Bent over row (bungee under opp. foot of work arm)

Chest

  • Incline press
  • Incline fly
  • Push ups

Legs

  • Basic Squat (bands behind shoulders) 
  • Criss-cross hands, step side-middle-side 
  • Hamstring kick-back 
  • Lunge

There are so many routines out there that can be done in a small hotel gym or a hotel room.  Check www.womenshealthmag.com for more.

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