Five Winter Must Haves

26158904_324272921416548_2330930935391846400_n.jpg

A lot of people forget that even in sunny Los Angeles, winter exists. Sure, I wear shorts or a romper during the day, but at night, summer clothes are a no. Coming from New York, I’ve always had mixed feelings about the cold. On one hand, I hate actually being cold. On the other hand, I really like winter fashion. I love layering and dark colors. It’s a nice change of pace. Even when it dips below 60 here, it’s fun to wear some the same things I used to wear in frosty Manhattan. In fact, even after living here as long as I have, I can’t get rid of my old winter clothes. Winter fashion—I just can’t quit you. Here are five of my favorite essential winter fashion items. And trust me, even if you live on a tropical island, you still need a few of these.

Krankz Audio Wireless Headphones

Krankz Wireless Headphones in Black Image.png

Okay, so not fashion but Krankz Audio Wireless Headphones made my winter essentials list because when layers + wires = nightmare. Let’s say you have your phone in your pocket, but you are wearing a coat, sweater and a scarf over it. Where are the wires supposed to go? Layers of clothing should not mean layers of confusion.

One thing I love about Krankz is that they are super easy to pair with your device. It takes seconds and you don’t even have to google or read the instructions. They are also super chic and available in black, white and red. Plus, wireless headphones are the easiest way to listen to my podcast. Just saying….

They also make a great gift. I know this because my husband stole my pair and won't give them back to me.

Vint & York Sunglasses

Vint and York Fitzgerald.png

It’s winter, but the sun hasn’t gone away, so you still need to protect your eyes. I just got a pair of Fitzgerald sunglasses from Vint & York and I’m obsessed. I have a small face and they are comfortable AF. Even if you don’t have a small face, Vint & York has lots of vintage-style options (hence the Vint). My personal faves are the Fairbanks, Zelda and Copa. I’m also very impressed with the sturdy quality of the frames. I don’t want to accidentally drop them, but I could….

Cashmere

As I always say, friends don’t let friends wear wool blends. I heart cashmere. Also, wool is itchy. Who wants to itch? Life is difficult enough. And contrary to popular belief, cashmere doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some ideas.

Boots

It’s too hot to wear them the rest of the year, so I like to wear boots as much as I can when the temperature drops. That way, I’m completely over them by spring.

Leopard Print

I always associate animal prints with winter. They’re also a great way to not look boring and to add of touch of “I actually thought about this,” to any outfit. Leopard print works with both black and brown everything. Purr!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dresses To Decor: Ralph Lauren (No Relation) Edition

Welcome to Dresses To Decor, the series where I discuss the decor lines of my favorite clothing designers. Ralph Lauren, who I am not related to (because I know you were wondering), is one of the greatest American designers. Known for his sophisticated cable knits, prints, and the ubiquitous polo pony logo, the brand is synonymous with classic looks that are just as stylish today as they will be in fifty years. The same applies to the label's extensive home line with things to enhance every single room. Here are a few of my favorites and must haves. 

Palmer Bath Sheets

Ralph Lauren Palmer Bath Sheets are my favorite towels of all time. At 35 X 72, they’re big, fluffy and fabulous to wrap yourself up in. These towels are kind of magical and will make you feel like a VIP at a spa every time you get out of the shower. Available in 25 different colors (I can’t even think of 25 colors off the top of my head), they will match everything. If you like your towels extra fancy, have them monogrammed. And you should because if couldn't tell from the site's logo, I so heart monograms.

Whitney Cashmere Throw Blanket

Whitney Cashmere Throw Blanket

My personal rule for life is that friends don’t let friends wear wool blends. This applies to both sweaters and throws. There is nothing quite as lux as a cashmere throw sitting on your couch, especially the Whitney Cashmere Throw with its chic ruffled edges. With six colors available and sized at a generous 60 X 60, it’s a great way to upgrade your Netflix and Chill.

Amalfi Coast Diffuser

Designed in the style of a perfume bottle, the Amalfi Coast home fragrance diffuser is a must. With notes of fig leaf, cassis, blonde woods, and galbanum, who wouldn’t their home to smell like the Amalfi Coast of Italy? It also makes a no-brainer hostess gift.

Audrey Dinnerware Collection

If any dinnerware set deserves a #adulting label, the Audrey Collection is it. Rimmed in 24k gold, the pattern is inspired by a hand-painted silk garment. Made in Portugal of porcelain, (so that's where it actually comes from), don’t forget these delicates dishes are not dishwasher safe. But, they're so worth it for special occasions. Teacups with saucers, as well as dinner, bread, and salad plates are available. 

728x90

Spalding Stripe Wallpaper

When wallpaper came back in style, I cheered. It’s such a pretty way to decorate a hallway, dining room or to accent just one wall of your bedroom. Ralph Lauren’s Spalding Stripe is simple, clean and works for a variety of styles.

Cantwell Ice Bucket

cantwell ice bucket

The Cantwell Ice Bucket is absolutely stunning. Handmade of lead crystal in Hungary, it features a brown saddle leather cover. Embossed with a Ralph Lauren logo, it’s a truly unique piece. And yes, the leather comes off so you can wash it without needing to take a valium first.

Preston Bar Tool Set

Preston bar tools

I've already professed my love for the Preston Bar Tool Set in my post about bar cart styling, so if you're already in the know, feel free to skip over the next sentences. Featuring an ice shovel, jigger and bottle opener, Preston is extremely modern and functional.  There’s also a matching martini shaker. And because I personally have this set, let me answer your question right now. Yes, the leather can get wet. No, it doesn’t get ruined. Just be careful and you will be fine.

Ashlyn Bedding

Ashlyn Bedding

Bold floral prints are classic Ralph Lauren style. The Ashlyn bedding line reminds me of a spring day. It also might be the perfect choice for a guest room. You could even skip the duvet or comforter (I’m a total duvet girl, but I understnad how they are completely annoying) and just use the sheets and pillowcases to break up a solid comforter. I also think your in-laws and parents would absolutely love this.

Coffee Table Books

Coffee table books are an easy and affordable way to dress up your coffee table or enhance a bookshelf.  You can also leave a coffee table book out and everyone who comes over will think you actually read. Ralph Lauren has several including Speed Style and Beauty: Cars From The Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren (surprising title, I know), and Vogue On Ralph Lauren.

Big Pony Dog Polo

polo pug

Okay, so this Polo for your pooch isn’t technically decor, but I don’t care because it’s so darn cute. Perhaps they kind of are because we all know that dogs, polos and especially dogs in polos are an instant way to upgrade a room. 

So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time

Happy Sunday! Welcome to So Last Week, all of the things I’ve read in the past seven days that are totally worth your time. Speaking of time, I’ve been spending a lot of it giving It’s Amanda Lauren a makeover. The new site is looking gorgeous and will be more informative, easier to navigate and more shoppable than ever. I’m hoping to go live Monday or Tuesday, at the very latest. I’ve been blogging since July and while the current site is pretty, I’ve just outgrown it in so many ways. And while I’m so not a DIY person, I designed the new site all by myself (so grownup), did lots of backend way beyond my pay grade and I just can’t wait to share it with everyone. In the meantime, enjoy these informative posts written by other people.

Who What Wear: Cashmere At Every Price- What You Need To Know

If you read this blog, you know I believe strongly that friends don’t let friends wear wool blends. Luckily, cashmere is more affordable that ever. Here’s everything you need to know about the different price points of this fabric. 

Brit + Co: Instantly De-Clutter Your Closet With These Easy DIYs

If you liked my post on closet de-cluttering, you will love these great tips and stunning photos from Brit + Co.

WWD: Neiman Marcus To Trial Plus-Size Departments At Last Call

I’m not plus sized, but I definitely feel people in that category get the shaft when it comes to shopping. So, cheers to those who can now look chic and get a deal at any size.  

Harper and Harley: How To Wear A Cropped Jacket

A cropped jacket and maxi dress is one of my favorite looks. Harper and Harley show us how to style these elements together.

Awkward Girl Beauty: Battle of the Beauty Sponges

Makeup sponges are becoming just as necessary as blush brushes. The brilliantly named Awkward Girl Beauty breaks it down by brand and price. Her findings might surprise you. 

Holiday Travel: Carry On Bag Necessities

Welcome to December. Is it really the most wonderful time of the year if you have to go to the airport? In any other situation, a complete stranger yelling at you to take off your clothes and shoes is considered a violation. But, there is one way to try and tame travel stress (other than a valium and a glass of wine), which is to be equipped with a large carry on bag that has everything I need to make my flight more comfortable. 

The Bag

I always travel with my MRKT Martin Travel bag. It has enough room for everything I need and more. I also use it on weekend trips. Made entirely of vegan felt and microsuede, it's stylish and durable enough to be squeezed under the seat.

Snacks Snacks Snacks

I always travel with tons of snacks because Terminal 3 at LAX, which is the only terminal I fly out of, literally has zero healthy food options. (Zero! If don’t believe me, read the Yelp reviews.)

I’m really into Perfect Bars right now. High in protein, they’re packed with superfood, non-gmo, gluten-free ingredients. They’re also filling, so I don’t end up eating junk food on the plane. My favorite flavors are Almond Butter and Maple Almond butter, which taste like spooning actual almond butter out of a jar, but in bar form. The Blueberry Cashew flavor is also pretty delicious. I usually bring extras so I can eat them for breakfast on the go.

I also love Heath Warrior Chia Bars. Between 100 and 110 calories each, these small, but mighty snacks have 1000mg of Omega-3, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of plant-based protein. There are several flavor choices, but my favorites are coconut and dark chocolate. They’re light, but filling, so they're good for before or after working out (which is something I try to do when I travel) or for those times when you know you're going to eat dinner in an hour, but you're starving. 

Purely Elizabeth's Ancient Grain Minis are practically made for travel. Gluten-free, non-gmo and vegan, every bag has 2oz of ancient grain granola. You can mix into yogurt (which is readily available at most airports, even LAX) or pour milk right into the bag. It won’t leak, I promise. 

Cashmere Wrap

When I’m on a plane, I either sweat like I’m taking a spin class or shiver like I’m in a cyrotherapy session. So, I wear a light top and carry a cashmere wrap. It’s a blanket and fashion accessory all rolled into one. The one I'm wearing in the picture is from Vince and I’ve had it so long, it's practically vintage. 

Talbots currently has a beautiful cashmere wrap. While that store isn’t exactly one of my go-tos, there aren't many affordable cashmere wraps available this season. Cashmere doesn’t come cheap, but friends don’t let friends buy wool blends. Treat yourself. Traveling is hard enough. 

Neck Pillow

61Xl1PdMDtL._SL1100_.jpg

I always try and catch a few zzzs on the flight, so a neck pillow is a must. Skip the ones they sell at the airport because they’re overpriced and generally mediocre. Instead prepare early and buy The World’s Best Neck Pillow. It’s comfortable, machine washable, cheap and apparently the world's best.

Decléor Aurabsolu Mist

Nothing makes your face feel gross quite the way re-circulated airplane air can. Decléor Aurabsolu Mist is travel friendly and smells like herbal heaven. You can also spray some on a cotton ball in place of your regular toner.

Thank you to Chin-Chin Hao for the beautiful photos. 

F-IT Fridays: Your Weekly Dose Of Detail Therapy (Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Those 3 Days When Basically Everything Is On Sale Edition)

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and you're having an even happier Black Friday. I rarely shop at brick and mortar stores on Black Friday because I don't want to wake up early and save money on something I didn't want in the first place. I'm also short and fear I'll be killed in a trampling incident. I'd rather shop online and save my sanity. So, whether you are about to kick off your holiday gift shopping or just buy yourself a treat, here are some of my favorite items on sale this weekend, as well as deals I've found at some of my (and probably your) favorite stores.

Neiman Marcus Cashmere Collection Classic Long-Sleeve Cashmere Turtleneck

I love cashmere. It’s so luxurious and when it’s on sale, affordable. Turtlenecks are on every must-have list this season, so check out this fabulous sweater from Neiman Marcus. It is available in several colors as well as a plus size version. 

Bloomingdales C By Angelina Solid Cashmere Scarf

No, you cannot have too much cashmere. This C By Angelina Solid Cashmere Scarf is classic so it will compliment any style outwear. 

J. Crew Campbell Blazer in Crimson Plaid

J. Crew’s Campbell Blazer in Crimson Plaid is winter wonderfab. Wear it to dress up jeans on the weekend or to the office. Be prepared to have everyone annoy you with compliments. Oh, and everything is 40% off at J. Crew this weekend with the code HOLIDAY.

Alice and Olivia Mae Wide-Leg Pants

These Alice and Olivia wide-leg pants are a bold choice that is appropriate for many occasions from a holiday party to your office the next day (but hopefully not to both.) They're on major sale this weekend, as is nearly everything else, at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Splits59 Portia Leggings

If you didn't think activewear could be any sexier (and seriously, we all know it is), just add mesh panels. They're the cherry on top. This weekend, Splits59's Portia Leggings are 25% off (as is everything from Bandier) when you use code BF25.

Fashion Inspired by Slate's Dear Prudence aka Investment(ish) Clothing For Fall

I’m a huge fan of Slate’s Dear Prudence column. While I don’t always agree with Mallory Ortberg's option, I always look forward to reading it. Last week, this question really got me thinking… 

I want to give the letter writer a hug and offer her a cocktail. Not only was her new bag destroyed (seriously the worst), but she also has to be reminded of this awful incident every time she encounters the most inconsiderate coworker in the world.

One argument I noticed came up in the comments was whether $200 was a lot for a handbag. After really thinking about it, I’ve concluded it’s only fair to say that it totally depends on the person and the handbag. $200 might be a steal for some, but a splurge for others.

Sometimes, it’s challenging to write roundups both for this blog and all of the other websites I’ve written for in the past. It’s always been my personal policy to feature products that work for a variety of budgets. There are two reasons for this. The first is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have style. The second reason is that it sucks when nothing is in your reach. I don’t want anyone to read my blog and feel badly about themselves. I’m all about being aspirational, but overly aspirational just isn’t my niche.

However, while fast fashion has it’s place, I am a big proponent of spending a little more to buy quality clothing you’ll want to wear for more than one season aka investment(ish) pieces. Here are some of my favorites for the fall. 

Honkey Tonk Skirt by Draper James

Draper James’ Honky Tonk Striped Skirt is timeless and versatile. Wear it to work with a white button down, a sexy top on date night or with a t-shirt to brunch. At $215, this is one of those bold pieces you can wear just about any place.

I love Draper James. Created by one of my favorite actresses, Reese Witherspoon, the brand is all about curated southern charm that stands out whether you are in Dallas or Detroit.

Chantal Faux Fur Cropped Vest by N:PHILANTHROPY

N:PHILANTHROPY’S Chantal Faux Fur Cropped Vest puts the “vest” in “investment(ish).” . If you’re not a vest person (no judgments here), but like the look, check out the Georgie Faux Fur Cropped Jacket instead. Both are 100% cruelty and guilt free because N:PHILANTHROPY donates 10% of their net proceeds to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the SPCA of Los Angeles.

Alana Cropped Distressed High-Rise Skinny Jeans by J. Brand

For $240, J Brand’s Alana cropped distressed high-rise skinny jeans are the happy medium of being distressed. Finding distressed jeans has been a challenge for me. Jeans that are not distressed enough look I'm wearing something that needs to be thrown out and overly distressed jeans look like I'm trying too hard. 

Luke Lace-Up Blazer by Intermix

For $425 with unique raw edges, Intermix's Luke Lace-Up Blazer is more badass than business. It’s the perfect blazer to wear with your J Brands or with leggings and boots.

Split-Side Wool and Cashmere-Blend Midi Dress by T by Alexander Wang

If you’re missing your summer maxi-dresses, T By Alexander Wang has your fix for fall. Their wool and cashmere blend midi dress is equally comfortable and stylish. For $345, you’ll be able to wear it through the winter with warm leggings.

Meridian Cashmere Wrap by Lilly Pulitzer

This $198 Lilly Pulitzer cashmere poncho does two things. It keeps you warm without being heavy and it adds a fun pop of color to your ensemble. Seriously, if you are one of those people who wears all-black a lot, you need this poncho like water. 

Trista Dress by Trina Turk

If you like Missoni, but also paying your rent, check out Trina Turk’s Trista dress. It’s a really useful fall piece for those of us who live in warmer climates. It’s currently on sale for $283.50 but normally costs $378. 

Adalyn Long Sleeved Blouse by Equipment

If there is one item I think is absolutely essential to spend more money on, it’s a white button down shirt. French label Equipment has built their popularity this type of shirt. While Equipment’s signature style is somewhat menswear inspired, their the Adalyn Long Sleeved blouse has softer lines and is worth every penny of $218.

Laverne Asymmetrical Dress by Alice + Olivia

You need a black dress for forever and the Laverne Asymmetrical Dress from Alice + Olivia is such a keeper. (I seriously want it for myself.) While the asymmetrical look is super trendy right now, this dress is so something you could wear to every wedding and event you ever attend for the rest of your life. I mean you wouldn’t, but you could… 

 

Seasonal FOMO, Wardrobe Anxiety and Getting #OOTD Ready With My Favorite Jewelry From Sterling Forever

One thing I love about Los Angeles is that it’s warm and sunny all year round. This means I can sip coffee on my terrace almost every morning, hike on Thanksgiving, and sit out at the pool pretty much whenever I want. While I can’t say I don’t love the semi-eternal summer of this city, I have a little bit of FOMO when I see pictures of people in their Fall coats and boots. That’s just not going to happen for me, so transitioning to a seasonal wardrobe can be a bit of a challenge. While I’ll rarely look truly Fall, I do what I can by choosing darker clothes, rotating long sleeves back into my repertoire and incorporating new accessories into my ensembles.

One of my favorite accessory brands is Sterling Forever, which I recently discovered through my friend, Ali Levine, who is a celebrity stylist. She designs and curates her own collection for SF.  They have high quality, but affordable pieces (and bonus, there are always promo codes). The styles are always on trend for the season, but you’ll still want to wear them for years to come.

Great accessories do more than just complete an outfit. At least for me, they prevent me from overthinking what I’m wearing and changing approximately 400 times before I leave the house. All I need to do is coordinate an SF bracelet or necklace to the first (okay, maybe second) thing I put on and then I’m #OOTD ready.

Here are my four favorite SF pieces for fall along with how I incorporate them into my wardrobe.

I can’t get enough of this black Layered Bar Bracelet. One feature I love is the toggle clasp. Obviously, it’s beautiful, but it also makes it possible to put on the bracelet without having to ask for help. Have you ever screamed in frustration trying to put on a bracelet when there is no one around to assist? Okay, maybe that’s just me. The toggle makes the entire thing so not an ordeal and just a one-person operation. It also helps the bracelet stay secure, so you don’t have to experience that nagging anxiety about your jewelry falling off. This can be a huge problem among bracelet-wearers. I really think more bracelets in this world need toggle clasps. Designers, are you listening?

I love coordinating my bracelet with a casual dress like the one I’m wearing here or even jeans and a t-shirt. It would really compliment a pair of black leather boots or booties.

I am borderline obsessed with this gold and pink suede tassel necklace. Such a versatile piece, it’s like having at least three necklaces in one because there are so many ways to tie it. The rich-colored suede and gold are warm and sophisticated for fall. If you’re not a pink person, it’s also available in navy, aqua, cream, grey and black. I get so many compliments whenever I wear it, I might have to buy another color. Even my dog, Lulu insisted on borrowing it from me. Who wore it better?

And yes, I know I’m wearing a summer caftan in this picture, but I’m at a pool, are you expecting me to wear cashmere? Hey, at least it’s long sleeved.

Ali told me I had to get this Cobalt Mosaic Necklace. When a celeb stylist gives you advice, you listen. And I am glad I did. The epitome of a statement necklace, it really stands out. I usually wear it with a blue top, but it would also look fab with a freshly ironed white button-down shirt, making the ensemble a little more fun and slightly less conservative.