Designer Crush: Caroline Constas

What could be more fun to wear in the summer than ruffles?  I have been fawning over Caroline Constas' designs for the last few seasons... stripes and layers and ruffles galore!  All that's missing is the guacamole and a pair of maracas

I love the candy stripes against the black background of this bustier gown.  Here's the short version of that dress.  So strong!

If you got gams, this skirt on this dress is so fab, or this one.

I think this tropical number is my favorite.

And in case you were wondering how the pressure washing went yesterday, I did have a little fun writing the Precious Peanuts' initials on the wall.  Once I retired I found myself not haveing a clue what to do with myself (see picture 2).  Generic cinnamon toast crunch + wine + NBA Wives.  Who knew?  Wow, there is a show for everything.  Even though I am not a baller wife I totally should have been cast for this one.  I'd have all the girls dressed in ruffles while they are bleeped dropping the F bomb every 3.5 seconds.  Wow.

Shop all the ruffles below, and shake. Shake. 

Summer Trend: Seaside Stripes + How Have You Been?

Hello World!  It's been almost a month since I've been here.  Where does the time go?  The Jimmie Johnson Fit Fest was an absolute blast.  I won the women's division of the 8K trail race! It was challenging but felt great.  My beast mode spartan race competitor friend, Janet, won the 5K.  The entire day was so much fun.  There was a four hour bike challenge and kid spartan races that went on throughout the entire day.  It was adorable seeing tiny tots so happily covered in mud from head to toe.  After the races we enjoyed live music along with delicious local craft brew and food trucks galore topped off by the most delightful retirement over house made margaritas and grilled Cobia at a friend's house.

I've just returned from five days at the beach with my family.  We had pretty much perfect weather, and it was so much fun playing in the ocean and pool all day with the Precious Peanuts.  Of course, no vacation would be complete without almost unbelievable insane amounts of fighting, fussing, whining and more fun of such sorts, but all in all it was more enjoyable to be in the midst of it all down by the coast than anywhere else.

The Peanuts have gone to visit their other Grandparents for a week, and I am working hard to make the very most of it... work, sleep, house chores, running, cleaning, housekeeping, emails, etc!  Any other working mamas feel like they can never get caught up?!  This is pretty much like race week for me... As much as I would love to relax, how much can I possibly get done?  I am particularly excited that my stepfather has lent me a pressure washer.  I am going to go crazy town on the patio and brick wall.  I might even squiggle love notes in the layers of mildew and moss.  Look out.

In the meantime, it's BACK TO THE FASHION!  Since I've just returned from the beach, highlighting this season's Seaside Stripes trend seems totally apropos.  Below, are a few of my top picks on the timeless classic design.  Click HERE if you are unable to see the images.

I ADORE the stripes on this bikini, but I can tell you from trying it for myself that it is best fitting for a size 0 with no curves.

So I nabbed this J.Crew version for myself in red and white.  Eagerly waiting by the mail slot!

I sourced this versatile striped dress for a client... perfect for the office paired with a cardigan, or dress it down topped off with your favorite denim jacket; mine is Gap 1969 always!

This cheerful umbrella will keep you shaded cool on the beach.

Shop for Seaside Stripes HERE...

Memorial Day Sales For The Taking + Jimmie Johnson Fit Fest

Memorial Day brings lots of great things our way... the start of summer, vacation trips, hot dogs and beverages and, you got it, SALES!  Here are a few of my favorite on line sites are holding Memorial Day sales, along with the codes to shop and take advantage of savings.  I just nabbed my first bathing suit in five years or Lord knows I would have been all over this first one! And then, there's two of my all time FAVORITES: Furbish and Intermix // Free kimono with every purchase

DATE: 5/29

// 20% off sitewide

DATE: 5/29

Furbish Studio // 20% Off Sitewide


DATE: 5/26-5/29

Intermix // Almost summer sale, 40% off hundreds of new markdowns

DATE: 5/23-5/30

J.Crew // Use code SWEET, 30% off entire purchase 

DATE: Starting 5/25

Parker // 25% off EVERYTHING


DATE: 5/25-5/29

Serena & Lily // 20% off Sitewide


DATE: 5/24-5/30

Tibi // End of Season Sale — Markdowns up to 50% off

DATE: 5/24-7/31

For those of you local running friends, fellow active families or folks who simply love the great outdoors, I just signed up for the Jimmie Johnson Fit Fest at the Anne Springs Close Greenway just over the border in Fort Mill, SC on Memorial Day.  This is my #1 favorite place to run in our area.  There's a 5K, 8K, Spartan Kids Race and lots of games, live bands, food trucks and more for all!  Click HERE to register or find out more.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale: Now Is The Time

Hello Friends!  It's a great day for sale shopping.  In fact, it's going to continue to be great for the next two weeks because Nordstrom started their Half-Yearly Sale today, which will run through June 4th!  During the sale, you can take up to 40% off on purchases across all categories. 

Here are a few dresses and jumpers I'm liking for work or play.  Click HERE if you are not able to see the below images.


In particular, I am loving everything DVF.  Last year Diane von Furstenberg hired a new creative director.  It's the first time in the history of her iconic brand that she's hired someone other than herself to be in charge across the board.  I could see the change in the designs while at the same time feeling these clothes are SOOOO good.  I'm always drawn to some fab pattern mixing, as witnessed in this outfit from one of my earlier days of fashion blogging.  I think I need to get back on it!

This short dress is, what do they say?  On fleek?

This long maxi is crying out for a garden party or backyard wedding. 

And finally, here's the fun design in a top. 

Last Week's Top Hits

Hi Everyone!  So many fun and cool things have happened over the last couple of weeks, but I've been too busy living in the moment to write about it beyond the Instagram and IRL.  I'm gonna take a stab at recapping some of it now.  The main thing is that my boys' spring and summer activities overlapped.  All of those, combined with various child related (non emergency and emergency) doctors appointments last week about sent me into orbit. Precious Peanut #1 ran his first 5K via the AMAZING boys running program, Let Me Run, and Precious Peanut #2, to his dismay, is stuck wearing an eye patch two hours a day for some time to come... hopeful nonsurgical preventative measures hard at work here!

Precious Peanut #2 will graduate from Kindergarten at our church preschool where my boys have been for the last nine years combined.  This will mean a much needed increased ability for me to work but also that my daily demands and time commitments as a Mom will lessen.  It is bittersweet. I will be shedding a lot of tears on Thursday. On a fun note, Paper Twist sent me this GORGEOUS monogrammed planner last week!  You'll never believe what I left off my calendar on my phone... perhaps this new planner will be just the answer!

I ordered my first bathing suit in FIVE YEARS.  I absolutely loathe bathing suit shopping, but I lost my stretched out top and bottom one too many times jumping off the diving board last year.  I've always had great success with J.Crew, and you can't beat the price.  Use code SALESTYLE to take 30% off all J.Crew Sale items now.

I had the pleasure of attending The First Tee Ladies luncheon last week at Charlotte Country Club.  We heard touching stories from two high school students who have been long time participants in the program, and North Carolina ranked #1 golf instructor, Dana Rader, was on hand to share with us some of her great coaching practices.   She explained the nature of her relationship with the students and the importance of unconditional affection for them.. "I am there for you in the good times AND the bad times."  She told us that she encourages the students to journal and the confidence building effects keeping a journal can have for all.   The many great character building components reminded me of Let Me Run.

I noticed my friend Heather donning her chic bamboo handbag at a couple of events lately. They wood color will pair nicely with everything during the warm spring and summer months. I'd really like to have this green acrylic version, but in the mean time it took me about 2.6 seconds to press the order button on this equally attractive knock off version at a fraction of the cost. 

One last thing on that note.  It was super cool last week to open up my in box and see my all time favorite fashion blogger, Blair Eadie, wearing the long version of the very dress I styled one of my beautiful clients in for the Kentucky Derby.  Blair even approves of the bag!

Here is the shorter Alexis dress my client wore, and the longer one Blair wore.

Barbara Tfank at Capitol

This Wednesday, May 7th, American fashion designer Barbara Tfank will be visiting the Queen City at Capitol from 10am-6pm. Known for her elegant designs using exquisite textiles, Ms. Tfank holds a background of experience in costume design.  More recently, her designs have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, singer Adele and actress Nicole Kidman, to name a few.

I first learned of Barbara Fank's designs via Capitol.  I quickly found myself repeatedly gravitating toward her dresses and suits because of the amazing quality and unique patterns and designs of her fabrics.  To me, many of them seem to have a high quality vintage type character similar to my earliest influences; clothing that belonged to my Grandmother and Great Grandmother.  It was an exciting experience to style and see one of her designs from Capitol used for a cover of Carolina Bride last summer.  Not your traditional white, cream or ivory wedding dress, the editorial was a nod to encourage brides to wear whatever makes them feel prettiest...

If you love gorgeous fashion, I encourage you to pop into Capitol tomorrow to meet Barbara Tfank.  It is because of this one of a kind store right in our backyard that all of these amazing designers want to come to Charlotte!   Hope to see you there!

Summer Trend: White Shirt Dress

The simple white shirt dress does it all.  Wear it to church for Sunday's Best, to Mother's Day brunch or shopping with the girls. Wear it to any golf tourney all summer long. Pair your white shirt dress with a straw bag and nude or light brown platform heels or strappy flats and you'll be instantly on point.  Perhaps not the most exciting of all this season's hottest summer trends, the white shirt dress certainly is the smartest.  Shop my favorites below, or click HERE if you are not able to see the below image.

Here's your no fuss go anywhere version, and this one.

I love the embroidery on this one for just a hint of color.

I would put one of my boss lady attorney clients in this one for a day not in the courtroom.

And I LOVE the sweet lace detail on this dressier version by Zimmerman.

My very stylish friend was carrying this perfect hollowed out bamboo handbag at an event last week.  SO chic!

Dress To Room Pairings That Will WOW + This And That

If you love interior design, great fashion and style, hopefully you are already following Holly Phillips' blog named after her interior design business, The English Room.  I'll never forget when Holly asked little ole me to lunch when she was thinking about starting a blog.  I still chuckle at the notion... Holly is a FORCE and at about 54K Instagram followers, it appears the social media world agrees!  But seriously, sign up for her blog HERE.  The English Room is one of my favorite reads and of her posts, I particularly enjoy her Dress To Room Pairings that follow any major fashion/awards event.  Here's a glimpse...

  • The Fanny Pack is BACK... Say What?!  But seriously, it's totally functional people.  Especially as a mom... at the park, or Disney World, or whatever.  I've knocked it Buuuuuut..... Check It.
  • Does anyone listen to Pastor Rick Warren?  He was the one that wrote The Purpose Driven Life back in 2002.  Whenever I'm in the car for any length of time, albeit not often, I am listening to Rick Warren's radio broadcast.  God's Mercy and My Failures, Part 3 was especially impacting for me.  He speaks about the noteworthiness of having small groups in your life, especially during difficult times and the importance of networks of loyal supportive friends.  I am so grateful for those friends in my life!
  • ast week I worked with a great team on a photo shoot at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. The wardrobe maintained the floral theme... It was so hard narrowing down this rack of beautiful threads!  I cannot wait to see the pictures!
  • I am happily sending off in style one sweet beautiful client to next weekend's Kentucky Derby thanks to some amazing custom design help for my client's hat for Saturday's race, as well as for her fascinator for Friday. If you are ever in need of a great headpiece, I highly recommend both The Hat Girls and Jill Courtemanche Millinery!  Both of these designers did an amazing job custom designing headpieces for me to pair with my client's dresses.

Summer Camp For Your Fur

Ima keep this short and sweet.  If you cherish your hand-me-down (or new!) furs as much as I do, it is absolutely imperative that you store them properly during the hot summer months in order to properly maintain and prolong the life of your fur.  Have you ever noticed any rips or tears in the skins of your inherited and older furs?  If so, it is likely because they have not been stored in the proper temps or the skins (like your own skin) have not been conditioned over time.  I highly suggest you have your furs cleaned, reconditioned and stored with Douglas Hertzberg Montaldo furs during the summer months.  Here are the deets...

Repair your valued heirlooms that, like mine did, may look like this...

I had my Great-Grandmother's fur cleaned, conditioned, restyled and custom fit for me like new.  Here it is now!

The fine folks over at Douglas Hertzberg Montaldo Furs have been in the business longer than anyone in this area and do impeccable work!

Shop the FOUND Collection

Hello Everyone!  I am very excited to share this one with you today... you know how I love one of a kind... the curated capsule collection of FOUND treasures is just that. Operated by sisters Tracy Dart + Christi Pringle, each collection is sourced and edited with limited quantities available providing clients with the opportunity to be an individual.  Jewelry, bags, home accessories and more, this show includes fab finds from 43+ designers from all over the world!

Grab your friends and join Christi and Tracy at the home of their gracious host Tuesday, May 2 and Wednesday, May 3, from 9am-7pm, 2131 Sedley Road.

Catch an Instagram sneak peak of some of their treasures HERE.  

I WANT this necklace!!!

Frances Schultz's Bee Cottage

Earlier this month I got to hear fellow St. Mary's Girl Frances Schultz speak about her book, Bee Cottage, as well share other mementos from her stylish, albeit often less than glamorous journey through life: her work, her personal relationships, successes, failures, struggles and all. Frances is delightful in all ways, highly entertaining and wickedly clever; her stories all told with the most magnificently rich Eastern North Carolina drawl.

Captivated immediately by her opening remarks, I took copious notes throughout her talk.  She said so many things that made me feel, well, normal.  The byline of the title of her book, "How I Made A Muddle Of Things And Decorated My Way Back To Happiness" said it all.  Literally. It's as if she was speaking through me to my soul.  I know that sounds maybe a little inappropriately romantic, perhaps hokey, but it was a relevant, still in motion parallel to my own story.  A few take-aways for you... 

Her story includes a broken engagement followed by an ill-fated romance, a not well suited career change and the purchase of a dilapidated old cottage.  She referred to buying Bee Cottage as her "Tale of Redemption" as a follow up to her ineffective life strategy.  Frances needed to get her life and house back together, and so she made a personal decision to honor her spirit and her own integrity.  In doing so, perhaps her most poignant statement of truth that left us all rolling; "The truth will set you free, but honey it will wring your ass out first!" 

When she made this decision, Frances was inspired and found herself in the midst of experiencing "divine synchronicity." She began transforming her new cottage and as the house came together, so did she.  She encouraged us all to do the same.  "Whatever it is that interests you, even those that may not lead to a cure for cancer, do what is YOUR truth.  Our natural gifts and talents are part of the blue print of our souls. Get rid of that old Ikea couch or the toxic friend or family member in your life, and embrace the joy that inspires you.  When you pursue life this way, it radiates to everyone around us.  It is for the good of the world."

Following yesterday's post on the summer trend yellow, I thought it appropriate to share this photo of my yellow House of Landor vintage dress taken with Frances' very lovely sister Duvall. It was such a splendid day!  You can purchase a copy of Frances' Book about Bee Cottage and her story HERE.

Summer Trend: Yellow

Most of us in the Queen City are on the back side of Spring Break now, and I for one cannot wait until the warm summer sun and break are here for an entire season!  With that, bring on the 2017 summer trends that are as HOT as ever!  I think I'll start with my favorite summer trend: YELLOW!  This bold shade screams hot and happy.  Shop below some of my favorite picks to keep you looking hot, hot hot.  Click HERE if you cannot see the below image.

These Oscar de la Renta Impatiens earrings are ALL the rage for this Spring/Summer season.

Wear this caged sandal for your next Miami dance party. 

My client recently styled this TDF silk Edwardian Tibi dress in a photo shoot.  Tibi is on fire this season!  Also love the sleeves on this one.

The perfect summer umbrella!

Charlotte Observer Coverage: Day Of Style And Fun!

Last week we hosted our Day of Style and Fun, and oh what fun we had!  We sold some of the most gorgeous one of a count vintage gowns and jewels to some lucky ladies. It was fantastic to see several of those ladies wearing their new gems at yesterday's Mint Museum Auxiliary Room To Bloom Spring Symposium with guest speaker Frances Schultz at Charlotte Country Club.  This is the only picture I took, but was the fashion on fire!  Charlotte ladies all dressed to play and WIN.

More to come on that amazing event, but in the meantime I was thrilled to read a lovely article about our event in this past Sunday's Style section of The Charlotte Observer. See the entire article HERE.  Below are some shots from our Day of Style and Fun.  Our amazing partners surprised me with the most delicious WRENNHOUSE birthday cake and song! 


When Only One Of A Kind For Your Party Will Do...

With Gala season officially starting this weekend, in addition to weddings, parties and summer festivities galore, back by popular demand, I am thrilled to share again the following designers and vendors for one day, in one space with you!  

Kindly join me in experiencing Southern charm at it's finest, this Thursday, March 30, anytime between 12-8pm at the home of my gracious co-host, Pam Stowe, for what I consider to be the fashion MAIN EVENT of the year. We will be showcasing one of a kind designs brought in by my vintage dress dealer, House of Landor, in addition to a small grouping of other one of a kind suppliers. If you previously shopped at ChezElle boutique, owner Laryn Adams will be on site with her unparalleled jewelry collection.  We also have joining us the delight of Piet Jac Designs organic and handcrafted necklaces and, when only the finest will do, Arzberger Stationery so you have just the papers upon which to write your notes! 

Please come and bring any friends you would like!  I promise you will not be disappointed.

Spring's Palette At Ballanytne Magazine

If you find yourself in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte be sure to grab a copy of the neighborhood's namesake publication.  Our team had a fun time capturing on camera the Work, Live, Play, Stay essence of this city within a city as I like to call it.  Looks were curated from all Ballantyne neighborhood stores, mixing hi + lo with new + consigned.  Styling relaxed looks of muted tones by day and glam brights for a night on the town, one thing's for sure, Ballantyne local mega model Olivia Pires shines around town!  Catch the entire story HERE, including outfit credits. Can you guess which outfit I would wear first? 

Monday Musings

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week!  A few musings from my corner of the world...

Precious Peanut #2 turned 6 this past Thursday! I mean look at him with his glasses and front tooth missing since he knocked it out running at the age of 2.  I know we all feel this way about our children, but I can't handle how much I want to eat him up!

Yellow, yellow, yellow!  Get ready to see this not so mellow color everywhere for summer.  I love the pleats and commanding power of this Tibi short silk dress I recommended for a client's upcoming photo shoot.  I saw this image Chloe campaign ad yesterday while on the stair climber at the Y.  Fashion lends itself in such magnificent ways! I say bring on the sunshine!

Speaking of Tibi, this Gothic Floral Edwardian dress is AMAZEballs and reminds me of a fab chinoiserie mural I'd love to have slathered across the back wall of a room.

While we're on the topic of all over print, I also LOVE this Ulla Johnson Vashti jacket. Unfortunately and fortunately (for my wallet) I've seen the print on two people in the last week (my clothing kiss of death), so I'll keep enjoying seeing it on other people!

The couple that dresses together stays together?  37 years strong of matching outfits.  

How the rich get stoned, as told in Town & Country, including a run down of the chicest weed accessories like this 80's Greek hand painted ashtray and lighter holder.

I so terribly badly would like to have these earrings.  I marvel over having seen them worn by a beautiful gal my age whose stepping out style is always on point.

My girl Ashley at Sweet Southern Prep looks so good with her cocktail in Charleston.  Think I might have to spring for these J.Crew sailorific trousers for summer!

My best friend's daughters are AMAZING in their rendition of Taylor Swift's Wildest Dreams. I mean if I had girls, I'd be doing this every day all day long, which I'm pretty sure they are. Click HERE to catch the Oscar performance for yourself.

And to round it out... Fab fashion, hot couples and great interior design... Jimmie and Chandra Johnson's Charlotte home featured in Garden & Gun by designer fav Barrie Benson is picture proof that dreams (and walls lacquered with more than twenty coats... at least for some) really do come true! 

Get The Look: My Foyer

Earlier this week I posted about my fab new foyer thanks to a little help from my friends over at Dressing Room Interiors and Deep Branch/K. Interiors!  As promised, here's a resource guide for the pieces in my foyer, as well as a design board with links to purchase.  I hope everyone is having a great week!

Foyer Restyle With Dressing Room Interiors + Permission And Perspective

Often times in my work I meet new clients who already have a clear sense of their own personal style.  Or perhaps they think something but simply struggle in closing their deal.  They WANT to wear this skirt with this top, but they just are not completely confident it would look right.  So here lies within the reason for my almost forty year old selfies Outfit Of The Day posts.  I feel quite silly at times, but then someone from the street or grocery aisle stops to say I inspired them to go for it... Be confident in themselves, put it together, and do it!  And my Wimmicks dots of insecurity gently fall to the ground or turn to stars.  

Sometimes all we need is permission.  And sometimes we need perspective that is not our own.  Isn't this the only way we learn more and grow and get better?  I am constantly looking to others' talent and inspiration when it comes to interior design, and whenever I get stuck, I want to know how someone else would do it.  I was forever calling my talented friend Katherine to come over and style my bookshelves and table tops before she moved to sunny Charleston. 

I went straight to BlackHawk Hardware for a can of paint after falling in love with Charlotte Lucas' choice of Lichen Green for the mill work in client's library.

My always #1 choice for vignette styling and accessories is Jamie Meares and Furbish Studio (see below Elephant figurine in images). I also nabbed a paper mache crane for my loo.

Lately I have been slightly obsessed with all the girls and their fab finds over at Deep Branch/K. Interiors and Dressing Room Interiors.  I mean I basically mashed together this image I saw on the K. Interiors inspiration board with THIS room at their studio to arrive at my own family room (Stay Tuned).  

I am a bargain gal, but who doesn't love high impact at an accessible cost?  Upon a recent Dressing Room Interiors Instagram stalk, I saw THIS sideboard and made a mad dash straight for their front door.  

I got the piece home and made a good start at it in my foyer but fell into one of those design ruts. That is when I reached out to Ariene for some help getting me back on my feet.  Ariene knows I love color, and she's got a killer eye not only for great pieces but for styling them.  Here is the piece in my foyer now...

And here is how Ariene helped me (over text!) get it to a place that I love...

And this is foyer now.  I walk in the door to this pretty space at the end of every day, and I walk down the steps every morning to see it!  Thanks to Ariene's beezneez eye, I am so happy with it!  

I'll be back soon with a resource guide of you like this look.  In the meantime, here's a look at some of the details up close, complete with a photo from a best friends wedding 10 years ago.  These girls have been my closest for over 30 years.  I was postpartum four weeks... the picture says it all!  Now, I recommend you run, not walk, and check out the Deep Branch and Dressing Room Interiors studio on 8th Street in Elizabeth.  It is filled with some of the most amazing consigned, refurbished and vintage pieces imaginable!

Jewelry Crush: Lele Sadoughi + Melinda Maria

It's been a while since I've fallen in love with a jewelry designer's entire collection or majority thereof.  A few factors usually come into play when this happens.

  1. I'm drawn in by a single showstopper piece.
  2. This single piece draws me in more to look up the designer and take a look at the entire collection.
  3. The price allows me to move from #1 to #2.

Prior to Lele Sadoughi, it happened with Melinda Maria when I laid eyes on this now discontinued Grecian Ring in Charleston and purchased it on the spot.  

Sadly, I misplaced the ring a couple of years ago and have been pining the loss ever since.  I tried to replace it with a couple of other show-stoppers.  I got close with one, but it is still not my first love.  I wore then ring with every outfit.  Isn't it a beaut?

My back ups were the black version of this one and another similar to this which I wear all the time and do love. In the meantime, I have fallen completely in love with designer Lele Sadoughi.  

I first discovered the designs when they were featured at Brandshop a few months ago in Charlotte.  Since then I have accessorized several clients with the creative, artful designs, and I have drooled over each and every piece for myself.  

I want these amazing (light weight!) earrings in both the blue and brown color options, as well as the coordinating ring

This square abalone ring somewhat reminds me of my Melinda Maria design favorites.

Who doesn't love a golden pagoda?!

And talk about the perfect summer statement necklace!

Shop my favorites below, or click HERE if you are unable to see the below images.

House Of Landor + ChezElle Jewelry + Piet Jac Designs + Arzberger Stationers

As promised.... We're Baaaaccckkkk!  Grab your most fashionable girlfriends, and please join us for what I proclaim with equal parts bias and confidence to be the most stylish day the Queen City has to offer.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at, however let this blog post serve as your personal invitation. House of Landor is my modern day representation for my Grandmother's and Great Grandmother's clothing, and my friend Pam's style is the human representation of this.  Therein lies my reason for the season.  We all hope to see you there!

Follow all the vendors in Instagram:

House of Landor...