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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Going The Distance: Seasonal Transition Shopping Tips

The weather and fashion go hand in hand. Every year, they change. And on a daily basis, they both influence each other.

As summer comes to a close, the weather is starting to become cooler. While Fall isn't my favorite season, I do enjoy shopping for clothes and accessories to make my style transition into long sleeves, knits and pants. This summer, I was a dress/skirt gal. But since Hurricane Irene hit NJ, I've been wearing my jeans again.

But what about all your summer clothes? How do you get your monies worth for Fall, without leaving your summer duds behind? 

Here are some tips for investing in seasonal pieces, summer through Fall:

All of these items from H&M can be worn in the summer. But with right right fall wardrobe alternatives, they make the transition effortlessly into cooler weather. 
1. While skirts and dresses can always be donned in colder weather, you won't see many people wearing shorts. Yes, some ladies like to wear tights under em, but I stop buying shorts in August. UNLESS they are on sale and dirt cheap, I say save your pennies for skirts that you can wear year-round.

2. Tanks and tees can always be worn under cardigans, blazers and sweaters. This season, expect to see a lot of chunky, open knit sweaters... Basic tees, camisoles and tanks come in handy here. 

Which leads me to cardigans....

Flirty Cascading Cardigan, available at

3. Cardigans (like the one I found on and button-front shirts are universal weather-wearers. Not only can you throw em on when the summer wind picks up, but you'll be ahead of the game in fall when the weather turns cold.

4. Try not to fall into the summer trend trap too late in the game. If you haven't caught on by July, then wait till next season. I've seen an over abundance of knit short sleeve sweaters this year - even in June and July. Think about it: When it's 90 degrees out, are you really gunna wear layers? Doubt it. Make smart fashion choices that benefit your wallet.

5. Opt for shoes that can be worn throughout multiple seasons. Closed toe shoes, that show a little skin will keep your tootsies warm in the Fall, but keep you looking stylish in the summer. I personally love the Makeelo platform by Sabine... Totally investing in these. Plus, they look sorta like the Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony ones, at half the price!

Available at Piperlime
Happy shopping!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ripe For The Picking

I needed a dress pronto for something that a.) made me nervous and b.) I can't tell you about... yet. When I can tell you, I will - and I'm uber excited about it!!!

Striped Bandage Dress - Robert Rodriquez
Spiked Bag - Zara
Shoes - Mandee
Necklace - Forever 21
Jade Bangle - Chinatown NYC

But back to the dress... I had gone to a couple of stores in search of something that was my style, but yet, put a twist on the kinda of stuff I normally wear. Something fresh for my wardrobe. Of course, nothing in my closet was working, and I went shopping. I feel like that happens a lot - you have something you're going to, and end up buying something new for it. 

Regardless, this Robert Rodriquez dress caught my eye due to the asymmetrical hem. And there's never been a striped dress I didn't like. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Would Tim Gunn Do?

Ever have something in your wardrobe that you don't really wear, but keep it because:
A: It's in good condition.
B. You paid practically nothing for it.
C. You feel bad throwing/donating it because it's still intact and figure you'll find a use for it.

Racerback tank: Madewell
Floral print silk skirt: Urban Outfitters
Pink studded flats - Warehouse sale circa 19??
Studded bag - Primark UK
Cut-out floral necklace: Mandee

Those would be my pink flats. Honestly, the sole of the shoe curves up, making the toe look rather elf like, and... I'll admit it, they're a little fugly. Consider it a "make it work" item (Thanks, Tim Gunn). But, not all fashion is pretty. Sometimes, you get drawn to something that is so ridiculous, you must have it. While my shoes aren't the worse, they aren't my best either.

I've got a slue of clothes classified under the "make it work" category. It's like holding onto pants you know don't fit, or a dress that's definitely out of style, but you think, "Someday, this might be back in style." The reality is: it'll never have the luster it once had. But, if you're going down that path, remember:
If you have an inkling that something looks ugly, and it's older than eight years old... And you're thinking, "Just one more time," please don't. Instead, think "What would Tim Gunn do?" 
Honestly, he'd use some fancy big words to tell you in an eloquent way that your look just isn't cutting it. What would I tell you to do? Put that item down like Old Yeller. Take it out back, have a nice service for it, bury it... and then deny ever wearing it. Trust me, your closet and your embarrassed friends will thank you later.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Technicolor Overload

Button front technicolor printed top - Forever 21
Jersey skirt - Forever 21
Gladiator Sandals - Nine West
New Jersey necklace - Maya Brenner
Leather cuff - Etsy 

As summer winds down, I still have clothing I haven't worn. There's no time better than now than to cut those tags off and wear em because as soon as Fall arrives, I'll probably be donning jeans.

My outfit somewhat loud, but I think I needed a printed top to break up the skirt. A solid top looked dull, and the blue was a tad loud. Oh, and I haven't stopped wearing my New Jersey necklace from Maya Brenner, by the way. NJ pride!

I usually start purchasing seasonal attire two months prior to that season's weather arriving. You know the feeling - seeing a new item hanging in your closet, just waiting for the appropriate weather to arrive so you can finally wear em. Money saving tip: For me, I keep a handful of newly purchased shirts in my closet longer; makes me less prone to shop because a.) Guilt kicks in that I haven't worn these items and b.) You might forget you had em!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Maya Brenner Makes Stately, Fashionable Jewelry

I don't care what anyone says about NJ, it's my home and I love it! Sure, the state may not be as glamorous as others, but it's the only place I've ever known, and I'm proud to be from there (except on Thursdays, when Jersey Shore is on).

That's why I was beyond giddy when Maya Brenner Designs approached me to rock one of Maya's State Necklaces featuring the Garden State! I can't think of a better way to show your stateside pride than with her chic jewelry creations that have been a hit with celebrities, and have been featured in Lucky, People and even "Sex & The City"! Find your state and show off your pride

Here's a sneak peek at my upcoming outfit post featuring the NJ necklace...

Maya's jewelry is a mixture of versatile pieces that are timeless and fashionable. From her signature state pendants, to letters, signs of the zodiac and leaf charms, and not to mention bracelets, rings and earrings, women of all ages will fall in love with her designs.

Check out the interview I did with Maya, and read about how she became Hollywood's go-to gal for jewelry!

House Of Jeffers: Your State Necklaces are a huge hit among celebrities like Katy Perry, Anne Hathaway and Penelope Cruz, to name just a few. When did you know that you achieved what you set out to do?
Maya Brenner: It’s always exciting to open a magazine and see the jewelry on people I admire. Demi Moore was a huge one for me when she wore my jewelry in her first public appearance after her marriage to Ashton Kutcher. And when Eva Longoria placed an order on her own through our website for a Texas necklace.

Demi Moore wearing Maya Brenner Designs

HOJ: I love that your jewelry is so versatile and chic! What's one piece of jewelry you feel every woman should own?
MB: Every woman needs a delicate necklace that hits right below the neckline and can be worn everyday.  Wear it alone or layer it with other delicate pieces. Or, go bold and wear it with a longer chunkier necklace.

Photo courtesy Maya Brenner Designs
HOJ: Did you always set out to be a jewelry designer, or were you on a different career path?
MB: I was a social worker, working with drug-addicted adolescents and started making jewelry at night to calm my nerves. I wore the necklaces and started getting stopped in the street with people asking to buy them and a business was born!
I did both jobs for a while since I was nervous that I would be able to support myself. Luckily or (unluckily) I wasn’t making that much money as a social worker so I didn’t need to sell too many necklaces to match that! Within a year I quit my full-time job and launched MBD.

HOJ: Being that you're a full-fledged jewelry designer, do you ever feel as though the fun of creating your pieces and the fact that you're a business owner, conflicts with each other?
MB: Great Question! Absolutely…that was the hardest thing to get used to.  I used to design with no regard to cost or sourcing.  That doesn’t work anymore when there is a retail price that needs to be affordable or when we are selling thousands of one design.  Sometimes I laugh because everyone thinks that being a jewelry designer is so glamorous-which it is sometimes. But other times-there’s deadlines and stresses just like in every business.

HOJ: What do you think will be a big trend for jewelry this Fall?
MB: Stacks of layering bracelets of all different styles and materials. It’s all about the Arm Party!

HOJ: Who are some of your favorite jewelry designers?
MB: Mizuki and Monique Pean Atelier are doing some very unique stuff right now. And the craftsmanship of Ten Thousand Things is amazing.
HOJ: Can you give us a sneak peek of what you're working on now?
MB: Yes! I’m loving this dainty pod necklace that has some irregular shaped gold pieces soldered into the chain, and am also loving this new long delicate piece with the geometric shape pendant. So far we’ve made them with squares, circles and triangles. So fun to wear, and the length is super sexy.  Should be added to the website sometime in the Fall.
Photo courtesy of Maya Brenner Designs

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vinyl Isn't Just For Wearing...

Whomever thought of using records as artwork, thank you.

I'm not a vinyl collector, but as you know, I'm a huge music junkie. New Jersey does has it's music roots - um, hello, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, My Chemical Romance...

One of the best places for new/used records/cds is the Princeton Record Exchange, located off a hidden side street on South Tulane Street in the college-namesake's town. The store is 30 years old and is recognized as a music staple among vinyl record fanatics... and, not to mention, has new/used CDs priced beyond reasonable. While the university itself is beautiful, the town could be described as quaintly chic due to its streets lined with shops and restaurants, perfect for a day trip.

The store has tables and boxes stuffed full of records. However, some of the boxes aren't alphabetized, so you have to sift them em to find the gems. I don't mind - I love old music photography and artwork.


After an hour of sorting through nine boxes, I found two records, both from 1977 - Saturday Night Fever and Blondie's Plastic Letters. Gotta love a polyester paint suit and of course, Debbie Harry can do no wrong. Total price: a whopping $3!!! While I can't listen to em, they'll sure look good hanging on my wall.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Are Designer/Department Store Collaborations Knocking Off Their Consumers?

Designer/department store collaborations have been a convenient way for people to have accessibility to a brand they may not otherwise be able to afford. Not to mention the obvious perks to the designer working - accessible fashion for us little people who don't have thousands to spend on high end fashion.

Being one of those people, I'm in favor of supporting a designer that I love by purchasing a collaborative, limited edition item from a department store. Hence, Karl Lagerfeld for Macys. Let's face it - I'll never have the money to buy Chanel. But if I can get something that he designed, with the same appeal as the brand I love, at a more economical price, I'm all in.

Photos via Macys

But some people view lower-end pieces being sold in a department stores as cheating. Which leads me to ask:

Is a collaboration between a designer and a department store technically a "knock off"?

Yes and no, but for me, it's a no. So because it's a"guest designer" piece, it's not really a designer piece? Sure, it doesn't have the couture label on it, but in my opinion, it's from the same designer who's pieces you love from their other collections. The idea is there - just in a cheaper form.

I can only speak for myself when I say that if I bought a Karl Lagerfeld piece from Macys, which I plan on doing, that I would feel like I purchased a designer piece.

What are your thoughts on designer collaborations? Is it fooling people into thinking they are buying designer duds?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nail Art On A Whole New Level - Sally Hansen Salon Effects

I make no qualms about my love for nail art, and do most of it on my own because frankly, New Jersey doesn't have any nail salons that offer it.

However, if you're on the quest to make your nails look salon professional without spending more than $9, than thank Sally Hansen now.

The lovely folks at Sally Hansen sent me a couple of boxes of their new Salon Effects nail polish strips that answered my prayers.

I've seen these in stores for a while, but couldn't get my hands on em as they've sold out constantly. Available in a variety of fashion forward colors and designs, the strips will have you hooked once you apply em! The package includes easy to follow instructions and tools you'll need for perfect application. I used Red-y For Trouble and Kitty, Kitty to go with my theme of animal prints this week!


Overall, I'm digging these because:
 - You get the look of nail polish, without the smell of bottled polish
 - Zero drying time
 - Doing a DIY manicure that'll last up to 10 days
The strips looked completely profess - and the fact that I didn't have to hand paint the leopard print on (like I normally do) - score!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Where The Wild Things Are - Bronx Zoo Offers Fashion Inspiration

All right, so you may be thinking I'm pushing it posting about my trip to the Bronx Zoo, but bear with me (and pardon that pun, too).

Fashion by nature has long remained a staple. Evidently, there's longevity to this idea as trend reports continue to include cheetah, zebra, tiger and even giraffe printed anything. Even Gucci's Resort 2012 collection has been applauded for its use of zebra prints in a recent article.

Photo via Women's Wear Daily.

My opinion? There isn't an animal/floral print I don't like. The colors, tones, shapes and textures are magnificently eccentric and beautiful, and I'm all for mimicking Mother Nature's style.

I ended up wearing a recently acquired top to the zoo - and not realizing I might have looked a little too into my outing rocking an animal print. I like to think I looked safari chic. Pink on pink?. I honestly didn't realize it was pink until I threw on the shorts - but didn't mind the "matchy-matchy" ness of my outfit.

Animal Print Top - Forever 21
Pink Shorts - Forever 21
Gold sandals - Zara
Messenger Bag - Macys
Leather cuff - H&M

As far as fashion goes, animal prints are timeless, add dimension to your wardrobe and have endless versatility. Tarzan ain't got nothing on this Tracy Reese number.

Photo via

Create your own Fashion Jungle look! Scope out some photos of my favorite fashionable mammals and insects whose accidental, yet functional camouflaged coats make for lovely print-inspired style!

In the Butterfly Garden exhibit, hundreds of butterfly literally buzz by you in a warm greenhouse filled with monarchs and other species.

Why are zebra's cool? Because they have mohawks. How very punk rock.

Say it with me now... "Awe."

The zoo has a Baboon Reserve that is one of the largest in the U.S. Work that fur, honey.

No joke, this photo is NOT a zoom. The tiger laid right next to the glass as I snapped a few pics.

Flamingos are considered "supermodels" of the bird world.