Decoding the Code

This past Sunday I had a work event to attend
and this coming weekend I have another.

The first thought that went through my mind when I discovered I would be going was
“What should I wear?!”

You are a liar if this has never happened to you.

Thankfully there is a dress code specified on the invitation.

This is helpful, right?
Not exactly…

The title of the first event contained the phrases “casino night” & “pirate ball.”
I was so confused.
The invite said “cocktail attire,” which I take to mean something short & sassy,
but the casino aspect made it sound more glam than your typical party.
And then the pirate part??

I went to my favorite consignment boutique, Revolver, in search of something unique and suitable.
Lucky enough I found the perfect thing (and for only $20!):
I swear, the picture does not do this dress justice.
It is a gold-on-black jersey knit slinky number with a flamenco hem and an open back.
I styled it with simple black suede heels, a low tousled ‘do, & champagne diamonds set in yellow gold.
This is the ideal balance between glamorous, but not too fancy, with a splash of pirate attitude.


Once I arrived, I noticed guests wearing an array of styles
ranging from little sequin dresses appropriate for NYE to full on ball gowns topped off with fur.
This  really was an event where almost anything was acceptable.

Overall, the event was a blast & I was able to spend time with co-workers outside of work!Friends

When in doubt, do your best.
But more importantly, be yourself & feel comfortable in what you’re wearing.
Confidence is more fabulous than any dress, so if you’re not big on dresses wear a sleek pantsuit.
If you’re not the flashy type then go with a classic LBD.
I like to think of the dress code as a general guideline, rather than a set of rules, because dressing up should be fun!

The next event to attend is the Ballet Ball, which I am so excited about.
The invitation stated it was a black tie event, which means ball gowns for the ladies,
but being that it is an artistic crowd I feel I have a little more creative freedom.

When you read “ball gown” or “formal” do not be scared.
This does not automatically imply some beaded, sparkly dress reminiscent of high school prom.
These days you could make a summer maxi dress look formal with the right accessories.

I wanted something that I could wear again, but was undoubtedly beautiful.
I turned to Anthropology in search of a dress with a simple shape, pretty print, & luxurious fabric.
After some online browsing, I came across a silk t-shirt gown with a watercolor floral print.
It was brilliant. It was becoming. It was perfect for the ballet.
After finding the dress,
I was reminded of these amazing beaded Prada mules at Revolver that I had been lusting over for months.
I decided this was the perfect occasion to justify buying them.
The heel height was just right and the delicate details dressed up the silk gown.
Sometimes with a full-length dress you’ll never see the shoes,
but my dress has a slit up the side, allowing a flash of footwear as I walk.

I plan to accessorize with strands of black Tahitian pearls.
The color of black pearls has an iridescent quality that plays off the color scheme of the dress.
Furthermore, black pearls are an updated version of the classic white pearls,
lending an overall understated sophistication to the ensemble.
I’ll also cary a small, black beaded clutch to tie in the embellishments on my heels.

For hair, I’m thinking a soft curl with a center part.
Makeup will be simple; a sleek black liner and plum lipstick.
Lastly, I’ll go from car to event wearing a short, black, beaded cape.

Look out for this ensemble in a few days!
I’ll be sure to post a selfie (or two) to Instagram 🙂


Dressers & Drawers

When it comes to your closet,
there are so many storage options and ways to organize that it can feel a bit overwhelming.
The first thing to remember when revamping your wardrobe space is to relax.
It should be fun, not stressful!

Start with one area at a time,
and as you reorder your garments consider what you want to keep
and what should not be placed back.

If you’re unsure what should go VS what should stay,
enlist a friend to help (or ask me!)
I love to work on wardrobes with a glass of wine & upbeat background music.

This post focuses on my drawer space,
which consists of everything I don’t want to hang up.
Things that don’t need to be hung: sweaters & cardigans (gravity can actually change the shape of knits over time),
leggings, some T-shirts (ones for work I’ll hang, but vintage lazy day shirts get folded), under garments (duh), gym clothes, and swimwear.
All of these things can be found dispersed between my two dressers.

(I scored this amazing 1920’s chest of drawers on Craig’s List! If you keep your eyes open, you can find some real treasures. My MCM Bassett dresser was found & restored by the fabulous Kelly at Retro Modern Furnishings in Raleigh)

You have to do what works best for you.
I group like items together, then organize by color,
so all of my black/grey socks are in one drawer and my colored socks in another.
If you have the space, separating one step further provides easy access to what you need.

As for my sweaters & cardigans, all of these are together by color.
My reason for this is that you could wear a cardigan as a sweater,
so I treat them as one category.
I find it best to store folded clothing like a filing cabinet: from front to back.
Stacking from the bottom up is just asking for a mess when you go digging for sweaters.
By “filing” your garments, you can see everything clearly and nothing is disturbed when you remove one piece.
This method can be done with just about anything: leggings, shirts, sweaters, shorts, and even scarves.


You may have noticed that I display my jewelry on my dresser & chest.
I’m the type of person that has to see things to know they are there.
Hiding my jewelry means I go for the basics (diamond studs and a gold ring)
rather than exploring my plethora of exciting gems.
I wanted a way to organize my jewelry while still being able to see everything.
Laying items out flat takes up too much surface area,
so I turned to Amazon in search of lucite boxes and jewelry drawers!
Mission accomplished:
I was able to order a few boxes, a few stackable drawers, and a tall necklace tree!
There are so many styles of clear jewelry boxes available
and it is great to be able to intermix items for a custom display.


When you make things pretty they become decoration instead of an eye sore.
Think of your room as a mini boutique.
If you are going to have garments and accessories out in the open
make sure they are displayed nicely and neatly.


The same rules apply to jewelry & accessories:
group like items together, by color.
All of my watches are together, all of my broaches in the same place,
and I sorted my go-to pieces into silver & gold.

My final drawer storage unit is the least attractive, but it does the job.
Although I hope to replace it soon, once I find the right piece,
it was an inexpensive option that is still functional.
It is within this glorified tupperware tower that I keep my gloves, belts, and scarves.


I even have adequate surface space to display my favorite summer clutch and vintage velvet purse!
What’s in that blue box, you ask?
More scarves, but of the silk variety.
I found this beautiful old Tiffany&Co. box that is the perfect size to fold these delicate textiles.


What are some of your favorite storage solutions?
Do you have a method to your wardrobe madness?

Need assistance getting your closet into shape?
Ask me anything
or have me over to help!
I love revamping closets to make them more visually appealing & functional.
This is the year to start your spring cleaning with your clothing!


All That Glitters

All that glitters is not always gold.
Sparkle & shine comes in every color of the rainbow
and it’s not only intended for fancy nights out on the town.

Sequins & shimmer can be incorporated into any style, for any occasion.
Gone are the rules that claim beading is for prom dresses
and metallic thread is totally 80’s.

Here are five ways to sparkle day or night, rain or shine:

Let’s shake things up a bit:
everyone knows that sequins are perfect for a sassy evening look,
but who says they have to be in dress form?
I love this Karina Grimaldi romper; perfect for dancing your ass off without the risk of revealing too much.
Rompers may have been at their peek of popularity two years ago,
but I took this piece back to the 70’s for a rocker glam feel.
Styled with fringe boots by Lusso Malena and a skinny metallic scarf á la Mick Jagger,
you’re sure to be the coolest chick at the bar.

When the sun rises on Saturday morning, you don’t have to stop shining.
For an equally intriguing day look, try layering subtle shimmer pieces for a dreamy vibe.
Here we have a sky blue Miu Miu jacket, paired with an iridescent sequin top,
layered over a Missoni knit dress, worn over shimmer silver leggings.
Metallic sneakers and statement jewelry are the finishing touches to this futuristic ensemble.

Some of my favorite pieces are those that include color.
Light reflecting off a synthetic material gives the hue a brilliant glow
which is especially fascinating with prints — sort of a 3D effect.
A T-shirt is transformed into something magical when it’s done in an abstract swirl of teal & indigo sequins,
& it’s a nice contrast to the dull shine of brass hardware on an olive-drab jacket.
(PS: I’m obsessed with these bullet-shell earrings by Good Girls Studio)
Camo pants by J. Crew are a more defined version of this print, tying the whole look together.
Throw on a pair of creepers for a bit of attitude & you’re ready to take on the world.

If you like the challenge of mixing prints, keep the shine refined.
Too much bling on a bright ensemble can get crazy in a bad way.
Stick to a color scheme and incorporate little details of sparkle.
This Catherine Malindrino top has translucent sequins highlighting sections of the appliqué print.
It plays perfectly with the woven Per Se pencil skirt.
This ensemble is so 60’s mod, done in a modern way.
Not only can you wear it to the office, but it looks lovely on a first date or to a wedding.

For those who enjoy menswear-inspired style,
look for rich textiles in neutral colors & glittering accents.
A beaded collar adds polish to a J. Crew herringbone sweater,
while olive satin slacks & pewter Madewell flats create an air of professionalism.
Balance the menswear with unexpected glam accessories,
like smokey crystal earrings and a vintage leopard print coat.
The color pallet is dark enough to wear out for dinner, yet light enough for daytime activities.
It is masculine enough to be taken seriously, but playful enough to not be taken too seriously.
Basically, if you ever doubted the outfit/occasion spectrum for glitter, sequins, and satin,
now you know there really are no exceptions.

Shine on.

Thank you so much to Keisha Louise (Photography & HUM),
Revolver Consignment Boutique (all clothing & accessories),
and Gabby (our beautiful model)!