London Calling

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Hello and Happy New Year to all! I hope that each of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, love and laughter. As we are thrust into 2014, I can’t help but feel a sense of disbelief (and slight panic) at another year gone.

Since we aren’t getting any younger and there’s so much to see in the world, the hubby and I decided to take a mini Euro trip right before the holidays. Our itinerary included 10 days split between London, Paris and Amsterdam.

First, some highlights from the fascinating, charming, historically-rich city of London…enjoy!

Chapter 1: Buckingham Palace & Changing of the Guard

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Chapter 2: Westminster Abbey (no cameras inside), Parliament & Big Ben

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Chapter 3: South Bank with London Eye & Tate Modern

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Chapter 4: The Tower of London

This royal palace and fortress held the executions of many a famous Englanders including King Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Guarded over by Yeoman Warders (also known as Beefeaters – where the gin got its name), the Tower is the home of The Crown Jewels and served as the residence to Kings and Queens for nearly 500 years. Its brutal yet fascinating history is superceded only by its impressive architecture and still-fully-functioning role in the modern British monarchy.

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A Yeoman Warder aka Beefeater. Guards of the tower/amazing tour guides

london4  london5  london6 Unfortunately no cameras allowed inside. But take my word for it, they’re STUNNING.

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Winter Wish List

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Winter Wish List

Toast yellow sweater
$160 – toast.co.uk

AllSaints high waisted skirt
$320 – allsaints.com

Ray-Ban ray ban sunglasses
$290 – nelly.com

Suspenders – Delicate
$47 – modekungen.se

Forever 21 glove
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Long & Short

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Please accept my apologies for my hiatus the past few weeks. Busy weeks fed into busier weekends and before I knew it September had come and gone (and then half of October!).

While I was away from blog land, I decided to go even shorter with my hair. I can’t get enough of this messy long bob look. With celebs like Jennifer Lawrence and Heidi Klum also going for the chop this year, I can’t help but think I started a trend. Ok, I might be reaching, but it’s a fun thought. This cut makes me feel confident, in vogue and refreshed—I’ll be keeping it around for a while.

To debut my shorter ‘do, I chose a long flowing skirt to create a stylish juxtaposition. I kept the look simple by pairing the skirt with a vintage cami and sky-high platforms, and added a textured skinny belt to break it up a bit. The result? Effortless chic for day or night.

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longshort2edited longshort3edited Top: vintage. Skirt: BCBGMAXAZRIA. Belt: Karen Zambos. Shoes: Zara.

Casual Friday

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Everyone deserves a dress-down day once in a while. There’s no better way to ease into the weekend than with casual jeans and a tee. The key to looking fab when you do it? As always, it’s in the details.

Insider Tips:
1. Opt for an embellished tee or add a statement necklace to a plain one.
2. Instead of flats, try a pair of (reasonably) comfortable heels.
3. Lipstick. Always wear lipstick. Even if you skip everything else in the makeup department, you can always count on lipstick to make you look and feel glamorous.

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teeandjeans2 teeandjeans3 Top: GUESS. Jeans: Joe’s Jeans. Sunglasses: Balmain. Bag: Rebecca Minkoff. Shoes: BCBGMAXAZRIA.

Master Class

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With all the back to school buzz that’s been in the air, I couldn’t help but put together my own school-girl inspired look. While it’s not a plaid skirt and knee-high stockings, there’s something very prep-school-meets-street-style about the final product. Gold studs and leather shorts put my own personal spin on the trend and take it from elementary school to master class. Let’s just say if we were on the Upper East Side, I’d be giving Miss Queen B, Blair Waldorf, a run for her reign on the steps of the Met. Studs beat headbands every time.

Feeling the back to school trend? Style your own look and share with me on Twitter/Instagram @herwritemind. Can’t wait to see!

MasterClass1 MasterClass2 MasterClass3Vest: BCBGMAXAZRIA. Top: GUESS. Shorts: BB Dakota. Sunglasses: Gucci. Bag: Rebecca Minkoff. Shoes: Zara.

Laser Cut Leather

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If there’s one thing that I dislike about summer, it’s that the warm temperatures can hinder my affinity for leather. We’ve all seen the Friends episode where Ross sweats in his leather pants – it doesn’t end well for him and it was enough to teach me to proceed with caution on the leather situation (see, you CAN learn from TV!).

Alas, laser cut leather is here to save the sartorial day. With its intricate patterns and built-in breathability, it’s a current trend of choice for this leather-lover. A sheer draped back makes this style especially warm-weather-ready.

Teamed with black skinnies, wedge sandals and a mini arm party, this easy top gives me a defined look and keeps the heat stroke at bay.

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lasercutleather4 Top: English Rose. Pants: rag & bone jean. Shoes: Zara.

A Sheer Summer

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Sheer blouses with cutoffs has become my unofficial summer uniform. I love how flowy, diaphanous fabric can transform a traditionally preppy button-down into a subtly sexy shirt that’s perfect for sunny days. On weekends, I usually slip one on with a bralette or bandeau to get the most out of the laid-back look.

This top by Free People has a casual oversized fit and the pattern begs to be worn with denim. These Car Mar cutoffs from LF are easily my favorite because they aren’t too short, too tight and are just the right amount of distressed. When I’m in cutoffs, I want to be comfortable, and an inseam that rides up is less than ideal. Also, I’m older than 16 so booty shorts are out of the question. Let’s be honest…no one wants to see that.

All in all this look keeps me cool, comfortable and, even though the top is sheer, I don’t feel overexposed. It’s just right for warm LA days!

What’s your go-to summer look? Send me a pic on Twitter or Instagram, @herwritemind.

summersheer1 summersheer2 summersheer3Shirt: Free People. Shorts: Car Mar. Shoes: Topshop. Sunglasses: Gucci.

On Balancing a Mini

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One of my most important styling rules is balance. If you’re wearing something short and fitted on the bottom, opt for more coverage and a relaxed fit on top. Finding the right balance is key in creating looks that aren’t overly sexy or, on the other end of the spectrum, overly conservative.

When I pulled this studded mini out of my closet, I knew that I needed long sleeves to get the right look. I landed on this butterscotch-colored knit to bring out the golden tones in the embellishment and add a laid-back contrast to the skirt. My new (old) Marni wedges that I picked up from the designer resale mecca, Decades, finished the look with sharp lines and a touch of shine.

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DSC_0271 DSC_0279Sweater: Marciano. Skirt: English Rose. Clutch: BCBGMAXAZRIA. Shoes: Marni.

Santa Monica Ride

One of my favorite LA activities is renting beach cruisers and riding along the boardwalk from colorful Venice Beach to the bustling Santa Monica pier. Up-close views of the Pacific mixed with always-entertaining people watching guarantees an experience to remember (and out-of-town visitors will have a blast).

Stopping for lunch and a drink on Main Street gives you a chance to refuel before you head back down. Beautiful way to spend a summer day!

Style tip: wear shorts (or a romper) and non-flip-flop sandals for riding ease

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Fresh Crop

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It’s official: the crop top is back. And this time it’s not just for tees and tanks. Chic, polished crops are gracing the pages of fashion mags and have won over the front-row fashion crowd. This time it’s all about crops with high-waisted pencil skirts or wide-leg pants. A classic silhouette on the bottom tones down the bold top and reveals just a hint of skin.

As with any big trend, getting the look right is about balance. When trying something more daring, keep the rest of the look simple. Mixing trends on trends on trends rarely works out to your advantage, and it pays to find the right pieces.

When I came across this faux-leather crop at a boutique in my neighborhood, I knew it was the one that would lead my journey into the intimidating bare-midriff territory. While it took a while to find the right skirt to pair it with, this color-blocked black and white pencil style eventually made its way into my life (via a Zara blowout sale – go now!) and the final outcome makes it clear that it was worth the wait.

What do you think of my cropped look? Are you willing to give it a try?

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Top: Olivaceous. Skirt: Zara. Sunglasses: Gucci. Bag: Zara. Shoes: Alexander Wang.