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My favorite fragrances.

Gifting a fragrance seems so cliché but that’s only if you don’t know how to do it right. My first experience with luxury fragrance was Tom Ford’s Black Orchid. I was immediately taken by how deep, pure and sensual it was. It didn’t smell overpowering, super sweet or overly diluted like some other lower level brands can.  When you encounter a luxury fragrance you can tell right away that it was made with love, using the best oils, absolutes and extracts from nature to create a scent that the designer truly desires and isn’t just a quick, easy sell. There’s a lot of passion put into it and you feel it when you wear it.

One of the best parts of my job is getting to try these luxurious scents. It’s hard to get to know a fragrance without wearing it all day. The initial smell will not be the same after a few hours and some don’t stick around at all. With high-end scents you should get a lasting scent that works with your bodies natural oils to enhance the essence.

Here are some of my favorites. Click on the images to purchase or visit one of the amazing fragrance experts at Saks Boston. They’re so knowledgeable and will guide you to exactly what you want.

Santal Blush by Tom Ford. This scent is warm and spicy but with some powdery notes that lighten it up a bit.

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Addictive Arts, new collection by Clive Christian. I’ve really enjoyed the “Hypnotic” scent, it’s has so much depth and is a great choice for winter with it’s warm and spicy notes.

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Vaniglia by Acqua di Parma. I saw this scent all over Italy was I was there this summer. The Italians know how to do a scent right and Acqua di Parma is one of their favorites.

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Dress for the occasion.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always shopping for holiday looks at the very last minute. It might be a little late for the holiday parties but you can still buy a killer outfit for New Years. Here are some ideas…

Mini- Dress by A.L.C. in Bordeaux. Click here or on the image for more details.

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This sequin jumpsuit by ALEXIS is so dope. Click here or the image for details.

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OMG I love this! Winter-white sequins by Bailey 44. Clear here for the image for details.

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Happy shopping and holidays!

XO,

Hilary

 

 

Fall Trend: Statement Coats (literally)

Whatever your thoughts are on the now infamous coat worn by the First Lady, she ignited a trend. Everywhere you look there are jackets making a statement, and I mean that literally. It seems as though you can not find a T-shirt without something written on it these days: Feminist, Love Wins, Rose All Day and the list goes on… Now this is translating to jackets and coats. There is a desire to have our clothes literally say something about who we are, what we are thinking and how we are feeling. And most of all, a way of expressing our fabulousness (is that a word?).

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A message I personally prefer is that of the “love letter” jacket by Cinq a Sept. This is a fun, versatile jacket that would look adorable paired with skinny jeans and Stan Smiths.

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And then you have the very literal brand Off White with the creation of this self-proclaimed “biker” jacket.

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Looking for a lower price point? I have you covered. Fashion Nova just released this “Flawless” denim jacket perfect for this era of women’s empowerment and self-love.

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I love to hear from you guys so let me know your thoughts on this trend, any other fall  trend and Melania. 🙂

Until next time, stay fabulous!

xo,

Hilary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Sales and how to make the most of them.

It’s always a little sad to me when I starting seeing the “back to school” signs and all the summer clothes on the “clearance” racks reminding me that this glorious season won’t last forever … but that’s ok it’s a good time to get in on some great deals on summer clothes.

Here are my tips for shopping the sale racks to make sure you’re getting the most out of your purchases.

  1. Buy items that are versatile, meaning you can wear them in multiple seasons by simply throwing on a sweater or jacket. This dress by Alice + Olivia is a great seasonal option, there are so many ways you can wear this piece and red is great all year round. Image result for Alice + Olivia Lennon Mini Dress
  2. Think long-term, it’s ok to buy a few pieces that you know are trends and won’t be around long but since it’s late in the season anyway I suggest buying clothes that you know will last you a  few seasons. A denim jacket is a constant in my wardrobe, you can wear it year round and there are so many unique styles to choose from so you don’t get bored. I love this one from Generation Love. The ruffles help give it more of a feminine vibe.      Image result for Generation Love Evie Ruffled Distressed Jacket
  3. Buy neutrals. These will last season to season and never go out of style. Image result for Bella Dahl Checked Button-Front Shirt

4. Be careful of trendy patterns. For example, palm print is super on trend right now but in the next few seasons this design will be thought of as a bit “passe”. So think ahead. I love palm print and if you want to rock the trend go for it! But remember it will probably end up at the consignment shop next summer.                                Image result for Sam Edelman Wallpaper Palm Print Sandals

5. Don’t go too crazy! It’s easy to see the amazing mark downs and want to buy everything. Keep in mind that fashion is one of the most wasteful industries. As much as I love fast fashion and believe me, I need to keep myself from buying out Saks when we have super mark downs, but I have to remember it’s extremely wasteful. Especially when much of it might get worn once or never. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

Have you found any great bargains recently?

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Hilary

If everyone likes it, you’re doing something wrong.

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When it comes to fashion or anything creative for that matter, if you want to make your mark and be a “tastemaker” or influencer, you can’t be afraid of criticism. I used to constantly try to please the masses and was really sensitive about the negative comments. Now I realize that it comes with the territory and it’s not only O.K. if some don’t approve of your style, it actually means you’re probably doing something right.

What got me thinking about this was a pair of  Steve Madden slides I recently bought. They have been either loved or hated by my peers. They’ve been compared to an “ugly sweater” and called down right tacky. It hurt my feelings at first and then I thought “it’s not a bad thing if they aren’t liked or loved by everyone, that’s what makes them uniquely me and that’s pretty awesome.”

The best in the style industry are constantly thinking outside of the box and experimenting with different looks. Many of them I have been critical of in the past. I should add that those I’ve been the most critical of have the biggest following! I may not love everything they do, but am inspired by the fact that they are “going against the grain” and not trying to make a statement by looking like everyone else. That’s the point of being a fashion stylist, right? Trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid!!

Here’s a list of some of my favorite fashion stylists and bloggers who aren’t slaves to the cultural norms of style.

Gabi Greg, @gabifresh

As a child of the 90s when being a “waif” was the ultimate fashion statement, there’s not much more groundbreaking to me than a women flaunting the hell out of her curves, with STYLE.

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Susie Lau, @susiebubbleon instagram. This bloggers fresh looks and ability to piece things together in a feminine yet “street” worthy fashion is what makes her so good and keeps people watching.

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Alex Stedman, @thefrugality

This is a wonderfully relatable mom from North London who posts fashionable yet affordable looks that are chic and unexpected.

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Some others I follow… Alexa Chung, Chiara Ferragni, Julia Engel, Danielle Bernstein, Nicolette Mason, Giovanna Engelbert…

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Who are some of your favorite fashion influencers??

Thanks for reading!

XO,

Hil

Alexis Jones: I am that girl.

 

I love writing about strong woman with purpose. And I love listening to what they have to say. Marie Forleo is one of those women. One of her many admirable talents is that she shares her platform of influence with others on Marie TV. She interviews lots of women (and men) with a wonderfully relaxed intimacy and is able to pull something out of them you might not normally see.

I watched an interview she had with Alexis Jones, creator of IAmthatGirl.org. I had no idea who Alexis Jones was until I watched this episode of Marie TV.  Turns out she’s pretty fascinating. Not only does she run the women and girls empowerment organization (I Am That Girl) but she gives talks to athletes about sexual assault and violence against women. Her method of teaching about the subject and ways of combatting these issues is a bit avant-garde.

She is a pioneer in bringing men “into the conversation” about sexual assault instead of making them feel demonized and as though they are the enemy.  Her explanation is that men and people in general, shut down when you ridicule them and talk about how horrible they are when most of these men and boys haven’t done anything wrong. Making blanket statements that portray a group of people in a negative light doesn’t serve anyone. It simply pits groups of people against one another and stops any constructive conversation on how to fix the problem.

What Alexis attempts to do is bring male athletes into that conversation. Talking about sexual assault and violence in a way that is personal to them and makes them feel empowered to “be the hero” in a sense, by trying to change the culture that has enabled these acts to go on for so long.

To find out more about her incredible organization and how you can take part in this positive movement visit her web site: iamthatgirl.org. Oh… and by the book…

I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl

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And of course I have to include a fashion component to this article. I love her laid back, athletic style and signature trucker hat. The best thing about the hat is that it raises money for “Protect Her” a chapter of I Am that Girl.

“ProtectHer, founded by Alexis Jones (who also founded I AM THAT GIRL!), is all about empowering male athletes and young men everywhere to respect the women in their lives. Learn more about ProtectHer here.”

 

 

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Complete the look with the pieces below. Click images to shop.

Blazer Mid Vintage Sneaker: Nike 

 

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Slub Crewneck T by Carlson 

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Zella Midi Leggings in Black

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Thanks for reading! What women are you inspired by?

XO,

Hilary

Advice from the great Iris Apfel and how to wear it.

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I recently read an interview with Iris Apfel in Bazaar where she gives some lovely and wise advice about fashion, the art of style and getting older.  If you don’t know who she is she is a well-known fashion icon from New York who made career in interior design, partaking in such high-profile design restoration project as that of the White House for 9 different presidents including the Kennedys.

  1. Dress your age. “Seventy year olds don’t have eighteen year old bodies and eighteen year olds don’t have seventy year old bucks.” I’m going on Forty and admittedly don’t always “dress my age”, usually when I wear a mini skirt or shorts. But, my feeling is that I’ll only be able to pull them off a few more years before I cash the minis in for good. So… I’m rocking them while I can. That being said, I try to keep it classy. I love good button downs and blazers to dress things up and make an outfit more sophisticated.  Smythe jackets, like the one below, are so well-tailored and worth every penny. I love the puffy sleeves and sleek look of this one. It a nice change from your average black blazer.                                          Image result for Metallic Linen Puff Sleeve Blazer SMYTHE
  2. Dress things up with costume jewelry. “I think jewelry is the most transformative of accessories.” I love Forever 21 for inexpensive accessories that are on trend. I’ve done a lot of shopping there to grab jewels for photo shoots. I want something that’s current but don’t want to spend a ton knowing the item won’t be relevant in a few seasons. Like these tassel earrings. I love the tassle trend but this won’t last, these are great option to rock it and not break the bank.     Image result for Faux Gem Tassel Earrings
  3. Embrace getting older.  She says “Wrinkles are a badge of courage.” and quotes Chanel: “Nothing makes a woman look older than trying so desperately to look young.” I couldn’t agree more! But she also advises to take care of yourself so you look your best at any age. Here’s a great product from Keihls that I’ve been using recently to rejuvenate my skin at night. I tend to break out from heavy creams so a serum works well for me. Image result for Midnight Recovery Concentrate KIEHL'S SINCE 1851
  4. Dress up sometimes!! Give yourself a reason to dress up, whether it’s a date night or an event; make it a priority to have a reason to look your best. This jumpsuit from Boston Proper is a great reason to plan a night out…Image result for CAPE ONE-SHOULDER JUMPSUIT boston proper
  5. Be Yourself. “Learn to be yourself, to develop a sense of curiosity, and to not live vicariously through these characters you follow on social media that have absolutely no personality.” This is my favorite. Being a person who uses social media as a platform to promote my fashion and lifestyle business, it’s interesting to see those that are so popular on different social networks and why. The first that comes to mind is the everlasting Kardashians who have almost a billion followers combined. I’m not a big fan of them but I try to understand what makes them so likable and infectious to the masses. When I see their show I have to say that I kind of get it. You see their personalities come through in a very genuine way and that gets people interested. The point is, they are popular for being themselves so you need to develop your own personality, sense of style and beauty that is true to who you are. If you are copying someone else, and we see so many who try to look exactly like Kim or Kylie etc… it’s so obvious, disingenuous and why do we need a replica of Kim K. in this world!? What makes you different is your strength, so use it!! Image result for be yourself