Holiday party season is upon us once again, and it’s time to get that wardrobe ready for a whirlwind of schmoozing and boozing with all those relatives you’re only happy to see once a year.

While you may not be able to control how many times your grandmother makes an off-hand comment, with these picks, you will be sure to have full reign over how good you look. Whether you’re feeling a little loose with your wallet or not, the key to nailing down the perfect holiday look is to mix, match and layer (your most glitzy to your most basic pieces), crafting awe-inspiring and unique looks that will stave away passing thoughts like, Didn’t she wear that last week? Most importantly, be sure to stock up on statement jewelry and plenty of festive tights to pull together even your most run-of-the-mill outfits.

Happy Holidays!

The Black Velvet Dress
SaveTopshop Glitter Spot Velvet Dress, $92
SpendNevenka Easy Come Easy Go Velvet Dress, $145

The Red Dress
SaveOasis Crepe Fit & Flare Dress, $75
SpendNeiman Marcus Swingy Pont Dress, $250

The Black Slack
SaveNew York & Company Slim Satin Pant, $23
SpendTadashi Shoji Straight Leg Pant, $148

The Sequined Party Dress
Save: Modcloth Sparkling Toast Dress, $92
Spend: Sonia by Sonia Rykel Dress, $700
Extra CreditLipsy Shift Dress, $137+ French Connection Reflectra Sequin Dress, $268

The Patent Leather Pump
SaveN.Y.L.A. Lettis Pump, $80
SpendStuart Weitzman Bowright Pump, $187

The Gold Flat
SaveKimchi Blue Metallic Skimmer, $29
SpendMarc by Marc Jacobs Love Glitter Flats, $230

The White Lace Top
SaveB. Vintage Dolman Lace Top, $58
SpendFree People Porcelain Lace Off-the-Shoulder Top, $198

The Embellished Blazer
SaveBKE Embellished Blazer, $65
SpendSteffen Schraut Black Feather Blazer, $283

The Fun Black Skirt
SaveBuilt by Wendy Satin Peplum Skirt, $63
SpendRed Valentino Lace & Taffeta Mini Skirt, $177




It’s been five years since the ‘Father of Weird,’ Tom Waits, released the epic collection of music that is Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards. While there was enough music material on there to last us for quite a while, I know that I speak for all of his fans when I say that his newest release, Bad As Me, really couldn’t have dropped in on us at a better time. After taking advantage of the free, week-long album preview that Waits offered on his website, I am proud to report that his sound is as raucous and wonderful as ever. You see, what has always impressed me about Waits is the fact that he can have a rowdy title track like Bad As Me and a softer ballad like Back in the Crowd all rolled up together in one album. And, of course, the entirety of the album is sung in his signature, irresistable, whiskey-soaked voice.

With Halloween quickly approaching and Bad As Me released just in time to offer the upcoming holiday an eerily awesome soundtrack, why not celebrate to the fullest and sport your best Tom Waits-inspired look for a day? You may not be able to sing like him, but channeling the rock ‘n roll hobo won’t be terribly difficult. ‘Sides, we’ve done the footwork for you with a few key pieces to get you started out:

1. Frye Veronica Boot, $268
2. Quiksilver Open Road Plaid Shirt, $50
3. ASOS Rich Vintage Boyfriend Jeans, $63
4. Mark Totally Suitable Blazer, $52
5. A.OK Black Wool Felt Fedora, $58
6. Fable & Fury Tom Waits Tribute Portrait Necklace, $26

Photo of Tom provided courtesy of


Thought L.L.Bean was only good for gear suited for the great outdoors (and the middle-aged)? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, the only reason I’ve ever even stepped foot inside an L.L.Bean store was to purchase my future father-in-law a birthday present—and to peruse through the brand’s adorable, puppy-filled catalogs.

However, in light of some recent discoveries, my tune might be a changin’. When the always lovely Kelly Framel of The Glamourai posted a sneak preview of her styling for L.L.Bean’s S/S 2012 Signature collection, my interests were piqued. In fact, a quick glance over the store’s fall 2011 lookbook will probably leave you pleasantly surprised, as it is chock-full of beautiful, classic pieces with a fun middle-of-the-woods flair. The choice of fabrics, patterns and color palette all exude an appealing autumn/winter weather vibe and might even give you the urge to head to the hills… to the nearest log cabin.

Paging through the lookbook and watching the collection video, both of which include younger, ‘hipper’ models, will give you the impression that L.L.Bean is trying to turn over a new leaf–or at least branch out from its typical target market. You tell us: Are you buyin’ it?

Ducktrap Boot, $179; Brushed Lambswool Crewneck, $99; Payson Pant, $119

Downeaster Sport Wool Plaid Bag, $95; Beacon Poplin Jacket, $169; Jacquard Skirt, $149

Bow Kitten Heel, $149; Camp Shirt Dress, $189; Sateen Sleeveless Dress, $179



How do the manufacturing of tires for aircraft and designing footwear relate? For most people, it doesn’t, but for shoe label Palladium, these two things go hand-in-hand–or should I say, foot-in-foot?

The French company got its start in the 1920s, when airplanes were young and the company’s tires were so advanced that it put Palladium’s goods in very high demand. Production kept up well into WWII, but once the war was over, the need for aircraft production–and thus for Palladium’s tires– dropped significantly. But that did not stop the brand from taking what it knew best and applying it somewhere else in the marketplace, though. Palladium decided to apply its industrial knowledge to… the realm of boots. The French Foreign Legion then took up a liking to these boots, carrying them as far as the deserts of North Africa, where they were tested for their durability and functionality. Needless to say, they passed the test and continue to maintain a well-regarded name for themselves over 60 years later.

Adding in even more to the cool factor of this line of shoes is the label’s Exploration series, which puts a pair of Palladiums on the feet of an artist, musician, etc., who are then sent out to explore a certain location. Palladium’s latest explorer? Pharrell Williams. His location? Tokyo. Take a look around the official website for video clips.

Men, women and children can rejoice in the wide variety of color and style variations, as well as in the reasonable price points. Sure, you may not be traipsing through rugged climates regularly, but these boots are sure to keep your feet comfortable and protected when it comes to rain, snow and mud. Might we remind you, too, that winter is right around the corner.

Clockwise from top-left:
1. Women’s Baggy Leather Gusset, $120
2. Men’s Baggy Leather, $85
3. Women’s Pampa Hi II, $65
4. Men’s Pampa Hi Leather S, $95
5. Men’s Baggy Leather Gusset, $120 (introduction photo, pictured at top of post)



It’s that time of year: the time when boots quickly make their way into our everyday wardrobes. Oh sure, we’ve all got our old faithfuls (Docs + pirate boots, for example) but this season, you may want to branch out and add a few newbies into your winter-weather footwear rotation. Lucky for us, the fall 2011 runway shows introduced some super fierce choices, all of which can be easily emulated for under $100.

So, put those sandals away because it’s time for these boots to start walkin’!

Suede à la Diane Von Furstenberg & Isabel Marant: Report Enid Boot, $90; GAP Slouchy Suede Boot $98

Patent leather à la Viktor & Rolf: ZARA Patent Leather Boot, $90; ASOS Anna Boot, $88

Buckled-in à la Etro: Topshop Miffin Black Biker Boot, $76; Call It Spring Deppert Boot, $70

Laced up à la Christian Dior: Wanted Shoes Akira Lace-Up Boot, $90; Aldo Mcdade Boot, $90

Wedges à la Marc by Marc Jacobs: BC Alamo Boot, $100; Deena & Ozzy Sweater Cuff Wedge, $80



Even though it hasn’t really dropped below 50 degrees over the course of the past few weeks, my brain can’t seem to get off of the coat caravan.

Admit it: I’m not the only one looking forward to cozying up in something super cute and warm as we start the transition from hot to cold… to colder. Last spring’s runways offered up three great possibilities for trend-worthy coverings: faux fur (in numerous color options), dusters, and parkas. Let’s dig in a bit deeper, shall we?

Talk about psychedelic! No more boring, normal colors as far as fur is concerned. These choices are all a ‘horse’ of a different color. And don’t you worry, no animals were harmed in the making of the following coats:

Topshop Faux Fur Pom Pom Duffle Coat, $190
Blackheart Epic Colored Faux Fur Coat, $293*
Evil Twin In For The Kill Coat, $162

You may remember duster sweaters making an appearance in the early to mid 2000s. This time around, they went the full distance and turned into coats. Worried about something too long literally dusting the floor? Go with these slightly more practical options inspired by the runway.

Elizabeth & James Duster Coat, $329*
New York & Company Long Wool Trench Coat, $78
Creenstone Long Faux Shearling Coat, $415
Uscari Forbidden Lullaby Wool Knit Coat, $355

A go-to classic that never gets old, this year, the parka went through more than a few variations. From printed to puffy to the olive green standby, these babies will keep you warm for years to come.

Ralph Lauren x Denim & Supply Navajo Print Snorkel Canyon Coat, $439
Anthropologie Flounced Pintuck Parka, $198
Patagonia Women’s Lidia Parka, $199
ZARA Parka with Buttons, $90*

*Items pictured


Karen Elson’s got a lot of things going for her. She’s a unique beauty, a talented musician, was married to rock star Jack White of The White Stripes, and to top all of that off, has some insanely awesome vintage style. And now, she can add designer to her already impressive CV. Elson has introduced a very small line of shoes, purses, and jewelry as part of the aptly named ‘Vintage America’ division of Nine West.

The items are exactly what you would expect from a supermodel extraordinaire like Elson but with the Nine West buyer in mind (Read: This collection is not as goth-y Victorian as we might have hoped). Still, the things that she did have a hand in creating vastly outshine those that are already part of the Vintage America collection–particularly the Inthedirt boots and those knockout Theghost wedges in either deep blue or wine. This lady has some great designing potential, but does that really come as such a surprise?

Pictured top to bottom: Inthedirt Boot, $249; Key Charm Bangle, $32; Moonlight Boot, $189; Theghost, $149; Sorrownwoe Crossbody, $69

Pictured top to bottom: Guitar Pendant Necklace, $36; Multi-Strand Necklace, $44; Midnightsun, $269; Theghost, $149; Hundredyrs Satchel, $99