American Girl In Paris

american_girl_in_paris

Last week I went to Paris for the first time and fell madly in love. It was pure magic from the moment I stepped off of the plane.

Prior to my spontaneous trip to the city of lights; however, I gently panicked over what to wear. The weather was a brisk 54 degrees (quite chilly for this Southern California girl) and I knew I’d need to pack layers.

Not wanting to break the bank, I opted for affordable basics: a t-shirt from Old Navy and a hat and booties from the Gap. When it came to denim I turned to old faithful: a distressed pair of Frame Denim jeans which I cuffed to show a bit of ankle. I’d been jonesing for an over-sized coat and found a reasonably priced option on Shopbop (please ignore the fact that my coat is wrinkled from being shoved in my carry on bag). For the accessories I opted for a few of my staple pieces: Club Master Ray-Bans, Hermes enamel bracelets and my cross-body Rebecca Minkoff. All-in-all the look was a pinch of Annie Hall and perfect for exploring Paris.

Show me your autumn looks on Twitter using #videndae.

american_girl_in_paris

Outfit details: Hat, Coat, T-Shirt, Sunglasses, Purse, Jeans, Shoes, Thin Enamel Bracelet (similar), Thick Enamel Bracelet, String Bracelet, Nailpolish: Essie Ballet Slippers

 

The Zara Edit: Three Cities, Three Styles

It’s nearly Summertime, can you believe it?! The daylight hours now stretch into the late evening, we’re upping the SPF on our faces and dreaming of our soon-to-come beachside getaways.   In the midst of all this glorious transition, we’ve hit a little wall in the getting-dressed department.  No more staring blankly into the void of our closets each morning – it’s time to add a few key pieces to our wardrobes! We thought it would be interesting to choose a super affordable brand that all three of us has access to, shop the current collection, and see what each of us comes up with.   We like the Spanish brand Zara for their price point, their focus on both basics and trends, and better quality relative to other “fast-fashion” retailers.  We also appreciate that Zara has resisted transferring production to low-cost countries and has recently banned harmful toxins from their clothing production.

Our three edits are completely varied and it was fun to see what each other chose!  Hallie came up with a romantic, colorful, Cali-boho ensemble that nods to the current 70’s trend in fashion that we are so on board with.  Over in NYC, Jenna went for an unexpected pattern play, but kept it refined and tailored for a look that is both work and cocktail apropos.  Brooke found the perfect denim she’d been searching all around London for and paired it with a white linen button down, a summer staple that will double as a beach coverup.  What would you have chosen?  We’d love to hear how you’re planning to update your summer wardrobe – please share your ideas in the comments below!

Hallie’s Picks

Zara Items: top // jeans // shoes
Other Items: necklace

Zara Haul - Hallie Stephens - Spring

Zara Haul - Hallie Stephens - Spring

Zara Haul - Hallie Stephens - Spring

Jenna’s Picks
Zara Items: Top // Skirt // Shoes (Similar)
Other Items: Sunglasses // Watch

Zara Haul - Jenna Bunnell

Zara Haul - Jenna Bunnell

Zara Haul - Jenna Bunnell

Brooke’s Picks
Zara Items: top // jeans
Other Items: shoes // scarf // jacket

Zara-Haul-Brooke-Spring-Outfit-Videndae-5

Zara-Haul-Brooke-Spring-Outfit-Videndae-8

Zara-Haul-Brooke-Spring-Outfit-Videndae-16

Videndaessential: The White Shirtdress

White Shirt Dresses

Nothing says effortless style like a crisp, menswear-inspired shirtdress. Extremely versatile, it can be worn alone, belted, layered with bold accessories, dressed up or even worn as a beach cover up. There are so many different styles out there to choose from, so finding the right one for You is key. We are loving all eight of these variations – any of which would be a perfect addition to your summer wardrobe!

1. Maud Heline – Aziristik Shirtdress – $395

2. Bailey 44 – Court Shirt Dress – $200

3. Crippen – Circular Shirdress – $575

4. Eileen Fisher – Linen Hi-Lo Shirtdress – $248

5. Madewell – Courtyard Shirtdress – $98.00 (currently on sale $74.50)

6. MCQ Alexander McQueen – Drape Shirt Dress – $595  

7. Current Elliot – The Long Shirt Dress – $268

8. Acne Studios – Lash Long Shirt Dress – $480

Outfit: Transitioning into Spring

Rainy Sunday Style Oversized Sweater London-2

I find the early Spring to be one of the most wonderful and challenging seasons to dress for.  Some days are full of sun and I become giddy with warmth and the sight of flower buds, so I might risk to venture outdoors with a bare leg.  Other days, the last remnants of winter still linger in the air and we are pummeled with rain or even snow.  Transitions like this teach us to practice patience, no doubt!  This weekend was rainy and chilly, so I donned my massive oatmeal-colored wool sweater for beer at a pub followed by a walk with the dogs.  I adore this oversized knit but I always hesitate to stuff it into a coat lest I feel like a sausage.  It’s really better worn as an in-between-seasons piece.  However when the wind and rain picked up, the sweater alone didn’t cut it, and I threw a poncho over top to stave off the chill. It’s London after all, so I layer up, keep the palette neutral and always finish with a leather boot.

sweater (similar styles here, here

and at jcrew 25-50% off with code HAPPYSPRING)

denim (similar here) / boots (similar here)

poncho found in peru (similar here) / spectacles (similar here)

Rainy Sunday Style Oversized Sweater London-1

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Rainy Sunday Style Oversized Sweater London-3

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Rainy Sunday Style Oversized Sweater London-5

Rainy Sunday Style Oversized Sweater London-6

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Style Guide: Coachella

style guide coachella

Tis the season for dancing around the desert and taking fashion risks. Coachella may be a music festival, but to me it is entirely sartorially centered. I often find that my summer style inspiration is influenced by the festival crowd. The integration of high and low designers, mixed patterns, bohème chic accessories, and Woodstock inspired garb – it’s enough to prove the dusty earth of Indio a runway. Check out my style guide for rockin’ three days in the desert and let me know what you’ll be wearing in the comment section below.

1. The Who Concert Tee
2. Vintage Chanel Necklace
3. Fringe Bag
4. Cut Off Dagger Cuff
5. Cut Off Shorts
6. Stuart Weitzman Sparta Sandals
7. Aviator Sunglasses
8. Floppy-Brim Fedora

style guide: coachella

1. Headband
2. Clubmaster Sunglasses
3. White Hand Crocheted Bralette
4. Deconstructed Denim Shorts
5. Fringe Sandals
6. Crossbody Bag
7. Stackable Rings

style guide: coachella

1. Embossed Faux Leather Crossbody bag
2. Statement Ring
3. Gladiator Sandals
4. Sunglasses
5. Maxi Dress
6. Goddess Necklace

Building a Timeless Jewelry Collection

Jewelry

After many years of buying cheap, novelty jewelry that turned my skin green and disintegrated after 3-4 wears, I decided I wanted to start taking my jewelry collection seriously! Soon after I graduated college and got a job in the real world, I began saving my money and investing in classic, essential jewelry pieces that I knew would never go out of style. Not only did I want to get more use out of my jewelry collection, I wanted to be able to pass down treasured keepsakes to my future children one day – just as my mother had passed down her diamond studs to me!

To get started on my jewelry collection overhaul, I first took an inventory of everything I already had and donated all of my inexpensive or dated pieces I didn’t like, or hadn’t worn in over a year. Then I made a list of all the items I felt were essential to my future collection and began acquiring them slowly but surely. I am still working towards my ideal collection of classic jewelry and one day I hope it will include all of the following essential items:

1. Statement Necklace: one (pictured) / two / three

2. Gold Bangle(s): one (pictured) / two / three

3. Diamond Studs: one (pictured) / two / three

4. Pendant Necklace: one (pictured) / two / three / four

5. Classic Watch: one (pictured) / two / three

7. Statement Cuff: one (pictured) / two / three

4. Statement Ring: one (pictured) / two / three

2. Stacking Rings: one (pictured) / two / three

Outfit: Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather - Videndae

How much do I love wearing a warm, cozy sweater on a cold winters day? Even more than I love sipping cold, salted margaritas, which is a lot! Pair that sweater with leather leggings (faux in my case) and you can quickly make cozy look effortlessly classic and chic. This is my go-to winter outfit for weekend brunch with friends that can easily transition from day to night!

Outfit details: Hermes Sweater (similar, or similar), M Missoni Faux Leather Leggings (similar, or similar), Hermes Booties (similar, or similar), Rhie Coat (similar), Celine Trio Bag, Catbird Rings, Nailpolish: Essie Wicked.

Sweater Weather - Videndae

Sweater Weather - Videndae

Sweater Weather - Videndae

Sweater Weather - Videndae

Sweater Weather - Videndae

Sweater Weather - Videndae

 

Best Dressed at the 2015 Golden Globes

best dressed golden globes

On Sunday, for the first time since moving to Los Angeles, I got to experience the Golden Globes from the comfort of my own living room. While I absolutely love covering the red carpet it was a welcomed break. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of interviews and celebrity wrangling, it can be difficult to fully appreciate the sea of gorgeous couture swarming in to the Beverly Hilton. But while stationed on the couch I was better able to absorb the good, the bad and the ugly. Here are my picks for the best dressed at the 2015 Golden Globe Awards (in no particular order).

Chrissy Teigen
Talk about sex appeal! The Sports Illustrated cover girl owned the night in this blush pink, long sleeve, beaded Spring 2015 Zuhair Murad. Chrissy paired the look with a silver Tyler Alexandra clutch, Harry Kotlar jewels and a messy ponytail. But perhaps her best accessory was her husband, John Legend. Swoon.

Reese Witherspoon
Rarely does Reese ever miss a beat on the red carpet and her Globes look was no exception. This form fitting, strapless Calvin Klein dress is the epitome of Hollywood glam and paired with Tiffany & Co jewels and a side swept do’ she looks every bit the movie star she is.

Kate Hudson
Kate has been my fashion icon since she won our hearts in Almost Famous. She oozes hippie glam and with style powerhouse Rachel Zoe in her corner, she nails it every time. Last night the Glee star showed off her amazing figure in a Versace gown that even had Jennifer Aniston reaching to touch her killer booty.

Naomi Watts
As if the St. Vincent actress’ yellow Gucci dress wasn’t everything you could ever hope to see on a red carpet, paired with that Bulgari snake necklace.. fork… me… done.

Holiday Pajamas: For Her

Holiday Pajamas: For Her

Of all of the holiday traditions in my family, my favorite is gifting each other pajamas on Christmas Eve. We wear them to bed and all wake up on Christmas morning in (sometimes matching) cozy flannel pajama sets. Whether you have a similar tradition or not, pajamas are always a nice gift to give and receive (wink wink) around the holidays! I love cuddling up in mine all winter long! Here are a few options for the women in your family- perfect for a Christmas morning family photo around the tree… our top picks for men are coming soon!

1. Victoria’s Secret – The Fireside Long Jane Pajama – $39.50 (on sale)

2. L.L. Bean – Pima Cotton Flannel Pajama Set – $59.95

3. Ralph Lauren – Brushed Twill Pajama Set – $68.00

4. Journelle – Garbo Pajama Set – $225

5. J.Crew – Plaid Flannel Pajama Set – $95

6. J.Crew – Whisper Night Shirt ($55) and Whisper Shorts ($39.50)

7. Topshop – Checked Pajama Set – $65

8. Eberjay – Gisele Pajama Set – $116

9. Maison du Soir – Barcelona Pajama Set – $145

Thrift Shopping 101 with ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ Star Rachel Melvin

Thrift Shopping 101

Meet my friend Rachel Melvin. Not only does she star alongside Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in “Dumb and Dumber To” but she has an amazing blog, The Spotted Owl, and is an all around awesome human being (we first bonded because she wanted to feed the homeless men and women on skid row with me, she isn’t afraid to scold strangers for littering, and she saved a puppy from being killed by the breeder. Seriously people, awesome human being).

When I first met Rachel, I found myself admiring her killer style and thinking that she surely spent a fortune building her amazing wardrobe. But my assumptions were shot down time and time again when her answer to, “Where did you get that?!” was almost always, “Goodwill!”

I had never even considered shopping at a second hand store and became increasingly curious to learn her tricks for finding such incredible gems. As it turns out, she has a ton of helpful tips and after spending 45 minutes together in our local Goodwill, we both left with bags full of awesome loot. Rachel scored a beautiful Rachel Zoe sweater and black skinny jeans (pictured above) and I found this chic, cream coat for only $9!! Check out Rachel’s guide to thrift shopping below and let me know what you find!

Thrift Shopping 101

THRIFTING 101 With Rachel Melvin

How many times have you asked someone where they got their incredible something you just had to have, only to be told it’s one of a kind and was found for a bargain at a second hand retailer? It’s the worst! Primarily because most of us think thrift shopping is reserved for an incredible talented few who seem able to do it so frequently, with such ease. The best items of their outfit or apartment are most often revealed to be vintage aka. a thrift store – other times they’re just from Urban Outfitters. While it may seem you’ll never be able to master the art of thrift shopping for yourself, I’m about to show you how easy it is, and how anyone can learn a skill most people fear.

Ask anyone why they stay away from thrift stores like Goodwill, and you’ll get the same few answers:

  • They find it stressful (it’s too overwhelming for them)
  • They don’t find it hygienic (they don’t understand the items or how they end up there)
  • They never find anything good (they aren’t skilled at it)
  • They get too embarrassed (they’ve yet to get over themselves in life)

When your budget forces you to rely solely on these stores, however, your eyes are opened to a whole new world, and you rarely go back to the old one.

In practically every outfit I wear, there’s at least one item purchased from a thrift store. By mixing your inexpensive finds with investments pieces, you’ll have a polished look people will love, inquire about, and rarely suspect involved a second hand store.

The first step to thrift shopping like a pro is having the knowledge of what the stores carry and why. Knowing how the items end up there makes sifting through what seems like endless racks, a quick, simple, and efficient process.

STEP ONE: UNDERSTANDING HOW THE ITEMS END UP THERE
Avoiding judgment and getting acquainted

Where did this come from? Why is it here?

1. People donate items they don’t want: 

  • Bad gifts
  • Items one already has in excess
  • Items that no longer fit
  • A style one no longer cares for
  • Items bestowed upon someone through a death in their family
  • Items they deem “ugly”
  • Items they’ve replaced with newer versions

Most of the time it’s good stuff, in great or even new condition. One time I found a brand new, never used fondue set from Pier One Imports for six dollars. Some people simply think it’s easier and more worthwhile to get a write off for tax time than to take the time to post something on eBay that may or may not sell.

TIP: A lot of the time people donate items without thinking about what they’re donating. Their loss could be your financial gain with some quick research from your smart phone, or general knowledge.

2. People donate items that are broken, stained, defective, etc.

  • Broken Zipper
  • Hole in fabric
  • Missing button
  • Knot in a shoe string
  • Missing parts
  • Stain
  • Crack
  • Ugly color
  • Doesn’t work

Those are just a few examples of the reasons I’ve found things discarded at Goodwill. It never ceases to amaze me how someone could throw away or donate an item they deem useless, when a simple, inexpensive, and small repair can revive it. Just make sure you factor in the cost of the repair into how much the item is. Is it still less expensive than buying a similar item, new? Also, what is the true value of the item? Perhaps the cost of the repair is relatively minor compared to its overall value after.

NOTE: Truly broken items likely WILL NOT make it past the donation center into the retail space. However, you should ALWAYS double check that electronics are in working condition before you purchase them.

3. Unsold items from department stores.
Ever wonder what happens to merchandise that doesn’t sell even after a final sale? Companies often donate the remainder of their stock to second hand stores for shelf space. That’s why you’ll often see items with their original price pages still attached.

Now that you have an understanding of how items arrive at second hand stores, you should be excited and ready to find the good stuff.

Like any successful shopping trip, it’s best to have an idea of what you’re going in looking to find. This will help keep you focused and make your experience less time consuming, stressful, and overwhelming. I call this process “seeing with your blinders on.”

STEP TWO: SEEING WITH YOUR BLINDERS ON
Eliminating “stress,” “anxiety,” and feeling “overwhelmed” 

How can you go to Goodwill without losing your mind?

1. Making a shopping “grocery” list
A shopping “grocery” list consists of items missing from your home or wardrobe collection that you are either looking to add, replace, or that you actually need. This can be anything from household knick-knacks to kitchen appliances to pieces in your wardrobe.

2. Visualizing what you want to find
Have a very clear idea or vision of each item on your list, almost as if you’ve seen them in a catalogue and are trying to find something similar. Know the shade, fit, style, and size that you want or need of each item you’re looking for. The more specific you are, the more narrowed down your search, resulting in less stress and feeling less overwhelmed by all the options.

3. Knowing what you like
Personally, I’m always going for horizontal stripes, polka dots, soft textiles and greys. The fabrics, patterns, colors, and even designers you tend to lean toward most often, will jump out if there’s awareness. This generates more success because it encourages you to keep going if you feel you’re constantly noticing things you like, versus blindly sifting through things you don’t, trying to find something you might.

4. Knowing the layout of the stores
Once you know what you are out to find, it’s time to understand how the store is arranged so you know exactly where to look. “Departments” often include Men’s, Children’s, Household, Electronics, Furniture, and Women’s. Racks are organized first by article type (skirt, jeans, shirts, sweaters, jackets, dresses, etc.) and then by color.

STEP THREE: THRIFT SHOPPING LIKE A PRO
Making your shopping excursion as quick and successful as possible

How can I find the good stuff in good time?

So you’ve made it to the store and you’re ready to get in, get out, and get great stuff for a great price. Here’s how it’s done.

1. Refer to your list and head to the corresponding area of the store. Begin “seeing with your blinders on,” looking only for the colors, patterns, and/or textures you’re shopping for.

2. Look at the size after you’ve found something you like. I first look to see if the item looks like it will fit before looking at its actual labeled size. I do this because sometimes a SM or an XL might be a junior’s or a men’s thrown into the wrong section. If it looks like it will fit, off to the dressing room.

3. Try the item on that you’re considering to purchase for three reasons: 1) It gives you the opportunity to see how the item fits and feels and if it’s worth it to make any alterations. 2) It gives you the opportunity to discover any defects. Sometimes you’ll see a hole, find a stain or missing button, or notice a broken zipper. Then you can decide if it’s worth it to repair. 3) It gives you the opportunity to see what other people have tried on and left behind. A lot of times, these dressing rooms aren’t cleaned out between fittings and you can find a ton of great options hiding behind these doors or under the piles.

4. Stalk the items you like that are not yet in your possession. As mentioned, people leave things in the dressing room or put them back on a hanger if they have a change of heart or if it didn’t fit correctly.

5. Do a final swoop when you’re done shopping, to see if there’s anything you might be able to make a buck on. A lot of times, especially in LA, you’ll come across designer items on the racks. Sometimes there’s money to be made if you’re willing to resell the item online. Other times you may find a unique piece that wasn’t originally on your list that you love and simply have to have. Or, you may discover a great gift for an upcoming occasion.

NOTEAlso look for ugly things you can make cute with an instant face lift using metallic spray paint. An ugly owl figurine can turn into a chic home accent for under $5.

6. Ask for the sales of the day as most second hand stores have a rotating tag sale. On any given day a different colored tag will be marked half off. Also inquire about discounts for senior citizens, war vets, military, students, etc.

7. Know the store’s policy. At Goodwill, you are able to return items unwashed and unworn (ironically) up to seven days after purchase with your receipt for a full refund.

Check out The Spotted Owl to see more of Rachel’s Goodwill finds!