Liner Notes | Watkins Family Hour

I was never really into Nickel Creek. I was aware of them, sure, and generally assume that I would like them because I like folky, bluegrassy type-stuff. Although, admittedly during their heyday  I was much more into dance rock and riot grrl so I likely would’ve scoffed at listening to something so…homespun. Music for hippies and people who wear denim shirts. Ehhhhh. These days, I’m older and a little wiser and my musical horizons are a little more open (and not as late night dance party/PBR-fueled). The fact that I’m featuring their superb cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Brokedown Palace” above would have been gag-inducing to my former self (seriously why did I hate hippies so much?).

Fiona Apple on the other hand, has always been a muse of mine and I love her more than words can tell. So, her involvement in Sara and Sean Watkins project was my gateway drug into their warm fiddle-inflected hootenanny music. Based on their long-running residency/open-mic at LA’s Largo, Watkins Family Hour is a covers record filled with ditties perfect for a dusty saloon. Apple’s insistent vocal take on Skeeter Davis’ “Where I Ought to Be” pulls at my guts and keeps my toes a-tapping. The sad lament that is “Not in Nottingham” from Disney’s 1973 Robin Hood  is faithful to the original and downright lovely (I just watched this movie with my 16 month old, and the music is pretty fantastic overall, but just try not to sing this one in your head for days).

Watkins Family Hour

Now all that’s left to do is pull up a bar stool, grab a glass of whiskey with a beer chaser and get to shopping for some pieces that will  help you fit right in to the family:

Bandana Print Kimono

Bandana Kimono

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Liner Notes | Beach House | Depression Cherry


Beach House Depression Cherry Album Art

Music is often what gives me the strongest style inspiration. For me, dressing has always been based first and foremost on how I’m feeling. Do I want comfort? Do I want swagger? Do I want to stand out? Do I want to disappear? And the best music is all about evoking a feeling too. So I thought it would be interesting to approach the feeling of an album or band with a little curated collection, based on what kind of feels it gives me. So with that, welcome to Liner Notes! First up is Beach House and their newest album Depression Cherry.

Beach House is nothing if not ethereal, their music sort of floats and slinks along, sometimes all sparkly and fairy-like sometimes dark and slow like syrup dripping off of spoon. Their sound is like musical bourbon, forcing you to slow down and let a warm buzzy-feeling just wash right over you. You can definitely feel the “trance-like energy” they like to employ when writing a song together.

“Every song is going on this trip: What does it want?” Legrand adds. “It is mystical, but it’s such a part of our existence.”–Victoria Legrand, of Beach House to Pitchfork 

Whether fair or not, they’ve always given me a slightly witch-y gypsy vibe, and maybe a little gothic. It’s probably part the sound of the music, and part Victoria’s long wild hair, and some of her more 70’s sartorial choices, like this one:

Beach House Band Photo

So, if you’re looking to bring the Beach House sound to your closet repertoire, here are a few suggestions:

Soft Dropwaist Jacket

Soft Drop Waist Jacket


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A Guide to Traveling in Style

I hate packing. I hate traveling. And by that I mean, I sometimes have panic attacks or total meltdowns about it. Once I’m in the air, in the car, on the train, etc. I’m generally ok, it’s getting there that’s more than half the battle for me.

I’ve always taken the approach that if you’re feeling bad, you better look good. It’s a simple way to lift your mood. You will never see me slogging to a terminal in sweatpants and UGGS. Not. Gonna. Happen. Part of this is because I long for the days when air travel was elegant and luxurious. Part of it is because I don’t want to make an already fraught situation feel worse because I’m wearing what I would wear when I have a cold and am curled up in bed. It just doesn’t give me that go out and get ’em attitude I so need.

So as I’m about to depart for some conferences in Sunny San Diego I offer you some of my tricks for feeling fabulous while flying:

Your own products. Nothing is worse than stressing about frizzy hair and broken out skin because you don’t have the products you know and love. Look for deals on shipping and free samples and you ‘ll have a trove of mini versions to take in your carry-on:

Origins travel size bottles

My favorite skin care products. All under 3 ounces!

Have a fun, flashy bag big enough to fit a small laptop, small purse, magazines and books. I usually put my liquids baggie in here too so I don’t even touch my suitcase while shuffling through security:

Sparkle Bag for travelWear a cute, comfortable shoe like this wedge, that makes you stand tall and strut your stuff. You’ll feel like a star even though you’re squishing your bum into economy. This also saves space in your suitcase for MORE SHOES. Make sure they’re easy to slide on and off for security:

These are my go to shoes for traveling. They’re hot, comfy and look great with jeans, skirts and dresses.

It’s all about making yourself feel prepared and comfortable without sacrificing your sense of style. And once you get to your destination it’s so worth it! You’re ready to go explore and discover beautiful things with beautiful people, while feeling beautiful too.

From my last trip. NYC:

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Blousey. Bohemian.

I am coveting this top from Anthropologie. I love it in grey too, but I’m trying to defy my neutral nature and go with the pop of color.

Whispered Sortie Blouse Anthropologie

I love the flowing arms and inset pattern detail. Blousey and bohemian indeed. And of course the ruffle. Of course!

Whispered Sortie Top: $68 Anthropologie

This spring, I’ve been really into wide, wide leg jeans, bohemian tops and I even bought these braided beauties at Target over the weekend. Maybe my inner hippie is re-emerging!

Mossimo Wauna Braided Flat Sandal

These come in several shades, but I thought the bluish grey was the most unique. Too bad it's too chilly right now to wear them!

Mossimo Supply Co. Wauna Braided Sandal: $15  Target

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Welcome to the Working Week

In honor of my favorite bespectacled bloke (aside from my husband), one Mr. Elvis Costello, I’m beginning my Welcome to the Working Week feature detailing some of my favorite work-week outfits.

Elvis Costello

While his look has changed over the years, Elvis has always had great personal style. I can't wait to see him at the Taft Theater tomorrow. Photo by Keith Morris from the My Aim is True photo shoot.

Outfit 1: Black, White and Gold

Dress: Cooperative, Urban Outfitters
Blazer: Uniqlo
Belt: Artifacts
Shoes: Sam Edelman
Bracelet: Vintage, Atomic Number Ten
Sunglasses: Betsy Johnson

White Dress

Doing my best Elvis pose.

Belt and Blazer

It's a cinch to pull an outfit together with a great belt and blazer.

bow bracelet

I love the gold bow clasp on this bracelet. I got it for a steal at a fab vintage shop called Atomic Number Ten in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sam Edelman flats

Sam Edelman is one of my favorite shoe designers (even back to the days of the classic Sam&Libby bow flats). These suede pretties are the perfect combination of comfortable, sleek and tough with antiqued gold studs.

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We all get dressed for Bill.

Bill Cunningham New York finally made its way to our fair hamlet and we rushed out to see it this evening.

Bill Cunningham New York at the Esquire Theatre Cincinnati

Even in his cantankerousness there’s a sweetness about Bill that is so heartwarming and endlessly endearing. I found myself really moved throughout the film. His smile is just contagious:

Bill Cunningham at Photography Retrospective 2008

The New York Times and Bergdorf Goodman celebrate a photography retrospective by Bill Cunningham, NYC, September 10, 2008. Photo by Patrick McMullan

Bill has devoted his life to fashion and specifically, style. To those who may think having an interest in fashion is silly and not important in a world where far more serious issues exist Bill has said, “Fashion is the armor people put on to survive the realities of everyday life.” To him, it’s not really about the clothes or the designers, but how real women choose to wear them. While paparazzi snap away at stars wearing dresses donated to them, he would much rather be riding his bike around New York, capturing the trends of the moment on the runways of the streets.

Bill Cunningham New York Poster Esquire Theatre

Poster outside of the Esquire Theatre Cincinnati, Ohio.

Bill is still out there, at the age of 82, fighting the good fight while almost getting run over by taxis on a daily basis. I could only dream of having his energy. You can view slideshows of his On the Street feature from The New York Times Style section, though after watching the painstaking care he takes in laying out the page with his art director, it almost seems a shame to view it this way. Though his adorable voiceover kind of makes up for it.

Fall in love with Bill:

Bill Cunningham New York Trailer from Gavin McWait on Vimeo.

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The Met Ball 2011: Minus the Costume

I get that people like to go all out for the Met Ball. I even get that people may have been going a little extra over-the-top because it was dedicated to the late, ever-so great Alexander McQueen. But this year felt, well, really costume-y. In general, the red-carpeteers ranged from overwrought to pretty safe with very little truly bright spots in-between. I’ve picked my fab five here, but you can see the full mess over at The Cut.

Ginnifer Goodwin at the Met Gala 2011, image by Stephen Lovekin for Getty Images

I love everything about this, the shade of green, the accessories and the fact that the dress is from Top Shop. Image by Stephen Lovekin for Getty Images via the Cut.

Florence Welch at the Met Gala 2011

White! I love Florence and her love for flowing vintage dresses. She looks classic AND unique in this YSL gown. Image by Dimitrios Kambouris for Film Magic via the Cut.

Leelee Sobieski at the Met Gala 2011

White again! I love it paired with the gold belt. All custom Vionnet. Image by Stephen Lovekin for Getty Images via the Cut.

Michelle Williams at the Met Gala 2011

My sweet Michelle decided to put a bird on it! Or really, Miu Miu did, with this lovely, stand-out dress. Black and gold is another favorite combo of mine. Image by Stephen Lovekin for Getty Images via the Cut.

Ashley Greene at the Met Gala 2011

There was a lot of sparkle at the gala this year, and while Ashley Greene's Donna Karan number isn't exactly a groundbreaking look, she does look like a princess going to a ball. Image by Stephen Lovekin for Getty Images via the Cut.

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All Trotted Out

It’s been quite a weekend and I am exhausted. I should’ve named my blog “stylelounging” so I could just shop online in my p-jams only. But that probably wouldn’t be as much fun for me or for you.

Much, much more to come this week, but I wanted to give a quick preview before I get some rest.

We visited the city to our north on Saturday/Sunday to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and do a little styletrotting around Columbus’ Short North.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ the Basement (the most amazing thing ever was that there was a high school prom going on next door. They dedicated the show to everyone who didn’t go to their senior prom):
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at the Basement Columbus OhioOn Sunday we brunched at the always delicious Northstar Cafe (the biscuits, oh the biscuits) and visited some lovely boutiques. Clearly, I was in the mood for accessories:

Columbus Boutique Hop

Items purchased and places visited in Short North.

Some of my favorites of the day:
Collier West

Full boutique guide coming soon, off to bed for now!

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A Rainforest Grows in Cincinnati

I can’t stop looking at this photo. Maybe it’s because of the lush jungle all this rain has created around us:

From Me to You

Photo by Jamie Beck via From Me to You

This image comes from the always gorgeous blog, From Me to You (Thank you Kat, for introducing me!). Check out the photos with motion, they are simply breathtaking.

Here’s to a green, green spring.

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Shellac Fail + Nail Polish Trends

I love knowing about the up-and-coming nail polish color trends and techniques just like the next gal, but I tend to be pretty un-adventureous when it comes to color choice. I recently tried the new(ish) shellac manicure technique and my overall consensus is that it was a fail. Too much time and too much money without the payoff. Less than 5 days in and I already have a chip (it’s supposed to last 2-3 weeks):

Shellac Nail Polish Technique-Chipped Nail

My sad little chipped pointer finger. Maybe I just type too hard.

The color above is a super dark purpley-brown, which is definitely in my comfort zone when it comes to nail color. My all-time favorite color is OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark (which is what my toes are painted as I type this). If I try something different it’s usually a very dark red or a neutral like Essie Jazz . If I’m feeling super saucy I’ll occasionally do a classic red or a red-violet like Big Spender.

I like the way these colors look with my skin tone and the versatility of the darks/neutrals. The darks give me that little touch of rock n’ roll I’m always looking for, too. I feel like every time I splurge on some random color like mermaid green I end up regretting it and it sits in my vanity drawer un-used.

All this said, I think personal style can extend to your nail color, and sometimes it’s better to stick with something that always works rather than following that neon yellow trend.

It’s interesting to me that the two major salon nail polish brands have extremely different takes on the hot nail colors for spring 2011. One drew inspiration from the ever-sophisticed French (a trend that I think is actually closer to the end of its cycle) and the other went deep into the heart of Texas (random!). Not much strikes my fancy here, but there are a couple I may try:


Essie French Affair Collection

From left to right: Kisses and Bises, Nice is Nice, Coat Azure, Sand Tropez, Topless and Barefoot and French Affair. I love Topless and Barefoot which is described as "a barely there soft beige pink."


Now we're talking! But for spring? These feel a little off to me. My faves: Houston We Have a Purple, Suzi Loves Cowboys, San Tan-tonio and It's Totally Fort Worth It.

If I could pick a new job it would be naming nail polish. Please give me this job someone!

Which spring nail polish collection do you like better? Do you have a signature nail color?

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