Major Metallics

There’s nothing this girls loves like a little pop of metallics. Summer is still here, and we’ve got a few solid months remaining to sport those floral dresses, cut-offs, and bright neon nails. But before we commit to a fall-friendly wardrobe of black tights, great boots, and plenty of hardware-embellished handbags, let’s give an early nod to metallics that work at any time of year.

I like to think of mine as the new neutral. You don’t need to be wearing any particular outfit in order to make a gold-tone or silver-tone detail shine. As you know from previous posts, I’ve been living in these BCBG gold bow-detail sandals for much of the season. They add a bit of polish to a casual look and dress down more formal frocks, making them great for work, play and everything in between.

_6725384I’m also a massive fan of Tory Burch’s cardigans, and all of mine feature pretty gold buttons down the front. These are just slightly dressier than your average buttons and make your cardi more of a statement piece than a throw-on.

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limited edition “Delight” polish by CHANEL. $27, chanel.com

At my glamorous New York City bachelorette party last weekend, we got manicures at an upscale salon. Usually greeted by only OPI and Essie at my salon here in Dallas, I of course opted for Chanel as my polish selection. The gold hue I chose is something I would normally reach for in fall months, but I just absolutely loved the subtle shimmer of the color and knew it would look divine against a tan. Bonus? Gold polish looks great with literally everything in your wardrobe.

Also, don’t shy away from non-jewelry accessories of the metal variety. A shiny clutch brings any black dress to the next level, and Urban sells some fantastic “goddess” headdresses that are sure to turn heads everywhere you go. Embrace metallics and remember that they do not have to “match” in order to work. Avoid heavy metal but drip yourself in silver, gold and copper tones for enviable style that will carry you right from this season into next.

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mandalay flower goddess chain headwrap, $19, urbanoutfitters.com

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A Fashionable Fourth

If you’re like me, you love a theme party. And a Fourth of July barbecue, beach day, or potluck in the AC is a great opportunity to flex your sartorial chops while taking part in the good old, cheesy all-American fun. Get your stars, stripes, reds, whites and blues ready for a fun outfit opportunity no one wants to pass up.

Casual:
Having friends over or headed to a family BBQ? Keep it casual and comfy for maximum running-around-with-kids, dancing-under-the-stars, and munching-on-grilled-meats enjoyment. If you’ve been dying to try denim shorts and a midriff baring top, now’s your chance. Or keep it more girly in an open-back sundress with plenty of room to breathe.

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I ask you: why the hell not? These cheerful, star-spangled denim cutoffs are super-cute and will look great no matter what you pair them with. $17.80, forever21.com

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Kimchi Blue drop-waist white sundress is a no-brainer. Breezy and roomy but still flattering, this pairs well with a blue statement necklace. Add red lips and you’re perfectly on-theme. ON SALE for $19.99, urbanoutfitters.com

One Step Up:
So, your boyfriend’s boss (or grandma!) is throwing the shindig? Whatever the reason you might have to look more polished on the 4th, there are plenty of ways to do that while still feeling cute. Go for a slightly longer hemline or more classic silhouette in your party dress, or reach for red linen shorts instead of star-spangled cut-offs. Ballet flats, skimmers, or platforms are all great options.

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These are great to have, anyway. Treat yourself to a structured pair of bright red shorts and you will live in them all summer long. ON SALE for $35, jcrew.com

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This lovely Crisscross Corded Perf dress from Saturday by Kate Spade is an absolute homerun. Bonus: you can totally wear this to a wedding later in the season. $160, saturday.com

Poolside:
There’s nothing that instills as much fear into the heart of the American woman as the swimsuit. But if you’re headed to a pool party, suck it up and tote one, or you’ll spend the afternoon feeling bored and sorry for yourself while everyone else frolicks around in the water. Word to the wise: there is not a person on earth who loves everything about themselves in a swimsuit, so you’re in good company. Leave your hangups at the door and cool off in something cute.

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Underwire construction and a removable halter strap give you the support you need up top, while an adjustable tie cord on the bottom allows you to loosen things up if you need. $14.99 & $17.99 (sold separately), target.com

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Craving more coverage? One-pieces are so cute these days! I adore the plunging, sexy neckline and ruffle detail on this one from Zinke. ON SALE for $106, asos.com

Fireworks:
Everyone knows that the best part of the day is the night, when the sky lights up in celebration of our beautiful country. But if you’re scantily clad and maybe even a little sunburnt, the change in temp can throw a wrench in your fashion plans. I always like to have a basic white cardi or really cute hoodie on hand for this moment. Then again, there’s nothing so romantic as stealing one off your man. Mine, however, is not big on sharing outerwear… he usually makes me bring my own!

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Absolutely perfection selection, stylish yet laid back. Rag & Bone/JEAN cardigan with v-neck and artful hole detail throughout. $255, shopbop.com

Nails:
Yay! Nail art, nail art, always so much fun. Get your digits decorated in a flag theme or just a fiery red for a fun, spirited look. Or you can board the Jensy train and go nuts doing your own at home. So, my stripes are not perfect and the paper stars I tried to affix fell off, but I’m loving this whacky manicure nonetheless. Have fun!IMG_1537 IMG_1539

Erin Fetherston Sample Sale: NYC

If you are a lover of feminine details, exquisite structure, and clothes that are comfortable and eye-catching at once, it’s time you discover Erin Fetherston. But if your seasonal clothing budget is lacking and you’re in serious need of easy-chic, you’re in luck. The Erin Fetherston sample sale, one of my personal faves, is happening this week in NYC and the pieces are to die for. These incredible designs from recent collections and the archives are priced up to 80% off retail. Your friends will be jealous. Trust.

Examples? How about a stunning ice blue cocktail dress that’s perfect for wedding season, complete with bow-back and pockets. Formerly $375 and now $100…-1 -2I’m also ridiculously excited about this rhinestone encrusted boyfriend cardi, originally $325 and now a mere $50.-3Ladies, that’s just the beginning. Vintage inspiration samples are starting at $30 and there is so much more to gush over and fill up that shopping bag.

Deets:
225 West Broadway between White and Franklin Street, street level entrance.
Thursday June 27th from 12pm-8pm
Friday June 28th from 12pm-8pm
Saturday June 29th 10am-3pm
Transport/Contact:
Take the 1 train to the Franklin Street stop or the A,C,E to Canal Street
Tel. 212-643-7537, http://www.erinfetherston.com

Loomstate Sample Sale: Fashion for Everyone

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Ready to stock up on some great basics for the change of seasons without breaking the bank? I’m about to be your new best friend because I’ve got the info on one of the best sample sales happening in NYC this month. If you haven’t heard of Loomstate, check them out here. From organic tees to reversible dresses, they’ve got everything for guys and girls to achieve casual cool with a conscience. Other brands available at the sale are listed below. Loomstate’s Sample Sale is happening next weekend, so mark your calendars!
Brands Available: Rogan, Loomstate, Surf Bazaar, Ulla Johnson
When: June 12, 13, and 14 from 10AM to 6PM
Where: 54 Bond St (Lower Level)
Discounts: 50-80% off
Have fun and tell them Jensy sent you!
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Layers of Lace

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At Sparkles & Fun HQ, we seriously love lace. My mom once famously responded, “A little white lace peeking through never hurt anyone” when my bra strap was showing and I wondered if the look worked. She put me onto lace as a little girl and I remain obsessed. There might just be a very important dress coming up in my near future that incorporates lace. But, you will have to wait and see about that.

For spring, there’s tons of lace to choose from. Do you plan to cardi-up in a cool lace throw-over that works with all your favorite casual duds? Will you be sporting lace frocks freely, paired with everything from flips to boots? Are you a fan of the lace shorts that have been appearing with greater and greater frequency of late? I’m going for all of it, as always. Here are some ideas:

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bright pink lace is ladylike and fun. consider this kimchi blue dress from urban outfitters for a mere $69

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white lace is timeless and elegant. this burnout tank from top shop is perfect for a day at the office or a night on the town. $45

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black lace is dark glamour at its best. if you’re in for a splurge, swipe that plastic on a dolce & gabbana net lace cocktail dress at barneys. $1,595

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hello, oceanside gorgeous. a lace coverup is divine. $70 at bloomingdales

Dots of the Season

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Everyone loves a good polka dot, right? It’s just one of those timeless things that continues to work as we shift from season to season, year to year. On headbands and shorts, mini-dresses and jeans, high heels and bikinis… and beyond. Whether you go for a classic black-and-white or a more unexpected play of colors, a dot makes you feel so good.

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this 1920’s cocktail dress is fabulously dotted

As a child I started out the spring season with a good dress from each of my grandmothers. My Nana (Dad’s mom) usually designed and sewed these dresses herself or purchased them at Lord & Taylor. My Gaga (Mom’s mom) was no seamstress, but she did have a Saks problem, from which I benefitted quite a bit. These days, I’ve started that tradition with a few special little girls in our lives, one of whom is Josh’s cousin’s daughter, 1 1/2-year-old Harper.

This year, Harper’s spring dress was a divine dotted number from Jason Wu for the Neiman Marcus/Target collaboration. A rich, taupe silken fabric with cheerful white polka dots and a big bow at the back, I was in love with this dress instantly and decided that Harper needed it. I’ve been informed that little Harper already loves dots, and likes to point out each one when she is wearing them: “dot. dot. dot…” My point (at which I am taking entirely too long to arrive) is that dots work on every woman and girl, of every age, for any reason at all.

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is this not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

If you want to freshen things up for spring, consider a polka dot. I have some extremely cute black-and-white polka dot shorts I got last summer on clearance at Target. And on the other hand, my very first pair of important shoes (that thankfully still fit even though I got them fourteen years ago in my freshman year of high school!) are pale pink Moschino pumps with tiny, navy polka dots all over. Go high-low here, girls. When it’s a dot, it will (almost) always work.

nina ricci side ruched cocktail dress, $3,290, neiman marcus.

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blue and white polka dotted sundress, on sale for $29, urban outfitters

Red Pants

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The worst fight I had with a friend in high school was not over a boy or a cancelled shopping date or even a secret revealed. It was over a pair of Guess, poly-blend “going out,” slightly bootcut pants with slits up the front from ankle to below the knee. These pants were purchased from the sale racks of Bloomingdales (some things never change), and they were my ultimate shopping pride of senior year. The way those red pants hugged my seventeen-year-old, perfectly sized-zero bottom half was head-turning and empowering.

But then they were borrowed on a fashion sharing night in which one bag of clothes was brought over to my best friend’s house and emptied onto her bed, to be refilled with items of hers I would borrow for the coming weeks. When the re-swap occurred weeks later, my red pants were missing and I was livid.

I never did find out what happened to those red pants, though I imagine they were either ruined in the wash by her mother or lent, second-hand, to a less reliable friend who chose to keep them for all their 2002-worthy fabulousness. Horrid emails were exchanged, we all went off to college, and though I retain immense fondness for this first-ever best friend, I believe that the cruel words I expelled over the missing red pants were the basis of the dissolution of our friendship.

Three years later, well into my Middlebury career and deep in the throes of a best-friendship with someone new (who would later become my sister-in-law, but you already know that happy ending), I purchased a different pair of red pants. Now we were in the era of the Solo pant, a happy precursor to the yoga pants of today. These stop sign-red stretchy numbers featured a bright white waistband and most importantly, they garnered much-desired attention from one end of campus to the other, especially when I walked out of a room.

And then they were borrowed.

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I don’t remember all the details of Pookie’s taking my red Solo pants. She was probably hungover or tired or late to cheer practice or otherwise excused for needing to borrow them, but whatever the circumstances of their disappearance in late May 2006, I can tell you this much. They did not resurface.

Pookie was home for the summer before senior year when I emailed inquiring about the status and location of my red Solo pants. “Um…” started the reply, which sadly ended with the information that the pants had been tossed into a load of darks and come out with that bright white waistband dyed a dingy gray, and their original cherry-red dulled to a sad and splotchy burgundy.

I was pissed.

The pants discontinued and the excuse to walk around in stretch pants over now that I was pounding the pavements of Manhattan in search of a real job, I gave up. We never spoke of it again, though every time I saw a girl sporting cute red pants I felt a singe of jealousy and angst that couldn’t be ignored. I forgave Pookie but did not give up in my quest for the perfect replacement.

This winter, I was shopping the racks at the Gap while my betrothed hunted for work attire fit for his newly-casual business environment. I stumbled upon a pair of corduroy, straight-leg cropped chinos in a bittersweet red so enticing, I barely cared if they would actually fit or not. But alas, they did!

A quick swipe of the credit card and they were mine. Today’s red pants garner compliments every time I wear them, especially from my fiance who has a particular fondness for my no-longer-size-zero bottom half. By this point in my life, even had they not been borrowed and misplaced and/or destroyed, I would have long-since discarded both the original red pants and their Solo follow-ups. But, I can tell you this much:

I don’t care how much I love you or how cute they look on you, my new red pants are never being lent to anyone…

That is, at least, until I find a pair even more exquisite.

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(Momentary) Man Repeller

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do you LOVE it??

I was a total man repeller on Tuesday. No, don’t give me too much credit. This is not my term. The brilliant concept started here and is now a phenomenon. In short, it’s a style of dressing and makeup-ing oneself in a method that follows important trends, fashion-forward thinking, avant-garde practices, and other aesthetics that men find inherently unsexy. But we ladies know it’s fabulous. And our gays generally back us up.

Case in point: last Friday I found myself with a fresh paycheck in my account and twenty minutes to spare before meeting Josh at Whole Foods for a riveting hour of low-calorie, gluten-free, certified-organic shopping. Snawn. (That is my term. It’s a snore-yawn.)

Luckily for this housewife-in-training, there is a Bloomingdales outlet adjacent to our favorite Whole Foods. So, on a lie related to the wedding “I’m browsing for shoe inspiration!,” I wandered in and directly over to the clearance aisle.

Now, I will preface this next bit by admitting that I am not on the maxi train. I know y’all have been aboard for the past several seasons, and I will wave to you gladly as you roll on by in all your floor-sweeping glory. But they generally are just not for me. I’ve purchased three, and of those three I’ve returned one and given another away. The third hangs anxiously in my closet awaiting its big moment. This moment will likely never come.

But I did see a compelling item in the maxi vein on that fated clearance rack last Friday. It was a long (ankle-sweeping), black chiffon skirt with a red all-over splatter pattern and cinched grosgrain waist. It was also in the desirable size I’ve been hoping to find my way back to for the past several months. Two full sizes below the items that didn’t button at Christmas, I might add.

Off I scurried to the dressing room. It fit! And, um, it kind of looked fabulous. It had pockets! And two subtle pleats on each side. Oooh, I crooned internally. This is chic. But Josh will hate it.

Price check? Original $235 tag intact. Scans in at? 43 bucks, baby. SOLD, to the maxi-hating man repeller in the front row.

Tuesday was a blissful weather day, hovering in the high 70s without a drop of humidity. I shaved the bottom four inches of my legs (hey, why exert yourself when it isn’t necessary?) and donned my fabulous skirt with a cropped Sonia Rykiel long-sleeved wrap tee and my black velvet Tory Burch smoking mocs. Damn, did I look good.

I awoke Josh for my morning once-over. (Please note: there are no women except for me living in this house, and the animals are unreliable. He’s all I’ve got!)

With one eye open, the always-kind Josh whose outfit responses always range from “chic” to “sexy” to at least “you look great,” made a face.

“You look like a nun.”

My response? A shrug, a smile, and a quick photo text to my brother. Who approved with high marks. So, maybe I repelled the most important man on Tuesday, but damn did I feel fly stepping out of my own comfort zone and into something new. Josh knows I’ll always come back to my booty-loving skinnies and those mini skirts he so adores.

The moral? Dig through that clearance rack, girls. And don’t be afraid to break your man’s rules from time to time… at least, when it comes to fashion.

Oh and also? I still kind of hate maxis. But if your newly skinny ankles are showing and you just feel fabulous, I suggest you go for it whether the trend is “you” or not.

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another gem from ADAM, the brand of my major steal skirt.

Fair Weather Fashion

Who’s got spring on the brain? This newly-southern belle does. From lace dresses to chunky platforms and even the oft-dreaded bikini, I’ve been cruising the racks and the online shops for some key pieces that will brighten up the coming season.

Today it’s in the 70s in Dallas and I rocked my favorite Theory cropped jeans (a chic slate blue denim) with black velvet Tory smoking loafers and a red crochet top I nabbed at Urban on what my mother would call “Deep Sale” at the end of last summer. It’s a fun spring outfit for a very temperate day, but just last week it was freezing here as it is in the rest of the country, so I’m sure we aren’t planted in full-on spring style … yet.

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Today’s cute top, though I am wearing it in red (no longer available). If you wear a medium, score it STAT in white, the only color and size combo left. urbanoutfitters.com, $24

I’ve been eying a particularly cute raised floral, high-waist bikini from American Apparel for over a year now and it’s finally inched its way down the sale ladder to a price I was able to swing. I sized up as I always do with them and was delighted when it came in the mail this weekend. Now, as for trying it on, I think I’ll take a few more weeks to make sure I’m feeling swimwear-ready. But from initial glance, it’s everything I expected and it has a cute a detachable string that can be used to turn the bandeau top into a halter on a whim.

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On sale for $15 each piece, americanapparel.net

For the most part, I’m biding my time with the acquisition of new duds for two reasons. First, I have a wedding at the end of this year and I need to save the cash. Second, some of what I’m seeing is still quite reminiscent of last year’s hot-ticket items and I think if I play my cards right, I might be able to nab some key pieces at low prices by digging through the sale racks.

If you’re itching for some instant satisfaction, check out Nanette Lepore’s new collaboration with jcpenney, an ultra-chic juniors collection that’s ready for the picking and bursting with neons, floral prints, high-low details and great skinnies. If you’ve got the dough, nothing says spring like my newest obsession– Miu Miu crystal-heeled ankle-strap pumps. Now, that’s fashion.

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Dream girl, dream. $1,150. Miu Miu stores.

Try Something New: Mix & Match for Spring

January’s Lucky mag is filled with surprising mix-and-match outfit ideas that are utterly to die for. From wild stripes with bright florals to stars and polka dots with a drapey neon cardigan thrown on top, this glitter girl was majorly inspired. It’s definitely still the dead of winter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t brighten things up a little, am I wrong? Today I’m sporting a lot of black: high-waisted BDG leggings from Urban, Ferragamo low-heeled rain boots, and a long cashmere cardi from Juicy Couture. My pop of color is in the form of a bright, ocean-blue lace dress from Free People that I nabbed on sale at Bloomie’s over the holidays. Compliment count: 3 so far. Not bad!
image photoThe blue creates a surprising burst of color and looks great next to my new gray Alexander Wang bag (thanks Joshy!) but now that I’ve braved a cold wintry day in my cheerful spring dress, it’s time for more fun. It’s time for tweeds with flowers and stars with dots and stripes. I’m ready! Are you? Here are some ideas:

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Yes! She’s got it. These minxy striped leggings and black floral tee are perfect. At this time of year, you’d need to add a leather bomber. But yes. This is it!

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Her H&M floral bomber is a surprising addition to the white and black polka-dotted frock. Bobby socks and peeptoe booties round out the look.

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She’s got it all. A bright top, plaid blazer, striped pencil skirt, statement necklace and wild shoes. Too much for you? Try just the top and a plaid blazer. Too cold? Add navy tights! Cute.