Monday, January 31, 2011

Estate jewelry- Wear it and become part of the past....

I admit to having a thing for estate jewelry.  Maybe because I know that each piece comes with a history, a past and there is something comforting and yet intriguing about wearing something with a hidden story. 

I image the life of the lady who wore the brooch or the bracelet and the parties and events she attended wearing the pieces that I now wear.  In my mind's eye, she looks like Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief or Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.  And now, I am wearing what she wore as she had lunch on the front lawn of her home by the lake, entertaining guests and being the most desirable hostess around.

In Chicago,  a really fun place to shop is Lulu's at the belle kay on Lincoln Ave.
The focus here is on vintage dresses and the jewelry that might go with them, but there are new things all the time to dream about and I am especially taken with the Victorian lockets and Art Deco bracelets.

You can shop online if you do not live in Chicago.

I also HIGHLY recommend the following websites for amazing pieces.; and  

At the Georgian jewelry site, the pieces are especially stunning and there is lots of information about the various eras in jewelry design.  Look at this piece below - more than a little out of my price range, but there are hundreds of other pieces I could buy myself for Valentine's Day.

Look around your city and see what you can find locally first.  If you have a great place to share with all Violet's in the world, send me an email. 

Have a Violet's Day and try a piece of estate jewelry to add a personal touch to your business suit, winter coat or hat..or dress for a night out - make your own style unique.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The dress that got Bond's attention

I would like to think it was just my sparkling personality, charm and wit that made my date with Jack Bond the first of what I hope will be many to come...but I think it might have been the dress.

From Net-A-Porter

It is a James Perse dress - jersey knit and very form fitting and comfortable to wear.  Net-a-Porter had it accessorized with boots and bold jewelry but since I was trying to be softer and more feminine for the date, I just choose dangling silver earrings and high black pumps. I really see myself wearing it to work or out depending on the accessories, which in my mind, make it a great fashion investment.

Dinner went very well.  Mr. Bond was charming, engaging, sweet and very attentive the whole evening. 

The food was amazing and I cannot recommend Bistro Champagne enough.  If you live in the Chicago area, or are visiting, stop by.  The setting is charming, quiet and romantic and you should also go and see the amazing tile work in the restrooms.

Mr. Bond and I will be seeing a lot more of each other, so look forward to more stories, more shopping for just the right thing to wear and hopefully lots more places around Chicago to visit and recommend.

Have a Violet's Day!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My date with Bond - it's tonight!

Date with Mr. Bond tonight...and it is it cold in Chicago today with a high temperature at tonight, it is coat for warmth, dress for heat.

It is Bistro Champagne, then drinks and jazz at The Four Seasons downtown Chicago. 

Here is Bistro Champagne...doesn't it look cozy and intimate..let's hope so..

So stay tuned...
It is time for Violet's night.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

'Tis a Gift to be Simple...

This month's Vogue magazine uses the lyrics to the "Simple Gifts," the Shaker hymn, to support the fashion/scenery in this photo shoot of Arizona Muse (perfect name for a girl from the Southwest).  Here she is in a Calvin Klein dress that I LOVE!

The long sleeves, simple tied front that can be adjusted to fit however you feel comfortable...lovely.

Here is another photo from the same shoot - dress is from net-a-porter.

Simple and classic dresses, simple and classic lines in the architecture and amazing scenery....this photo shoot by Peter Lindberg tells a story and not only makes me want ALL the clothes, but I think I trip to the American Southwest is on my radar.

Have a Violet's Day! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bond connections - he lives next to Mrs. Goldfinger

Maybe you have been wondering about my date with Bond, Jack Bond.  It is on for this weekend.  I have been out of town for business trips this last week and had to reschedule my night out with Bond.

Luckily MY Mr. Bond is as charming as James Bond in the movies and has accommodated my crazy schedule.

But this is a hilarious twist to our ongoing Bond adventure....guess who is a neighbor of MY Mr. Bond....?
Mrs. Goldfinger.  How funny is that?

I wonder what other Bond connections I will discover on our first date...?  I don't want to get too excited and expect a Bond car to be a part of the whole night or that he will wear a perfectly tailored suit (with the perfect shirt)...but I am hopeful.  A girl needs a little fantasy and dreaming after all...

Have a Violet's Day!  We all need a Mr. Bond in our lives.

Monday, January 24, 2011

All important second button - and Daniel Craig

The key to your man's shirt is the all important second button.  Why is that one button so important?
Trust me on this ladies - it is key to a Violet night.  

I admit that I love a man in a well-tailored suit, polished shoes,understated cuff links and the perfect tie, but I especially love a man in that perfect suit, polished shoes, and no tie...but only with the "right" shirt.

See Daniel Craig above...ahh.. James Bond.

In the movies and in the above still photo, did you notice how cool Daniel looks in the dark suit with the crisp white shirt that fit under the suit just so..?
Your eye noticed but your brain wondered...why does that look so great on him?

It is because of the second button.

The second button at just the proper place makes all the difference. It cannot be placed too high to make the shirt look as though it is actually missing having a necktie AND it cannot be too low, so you see too much white undershirt, or hopefully NOT, too much chest (it is NOT the 1970's afterall).

So ladies - get your man to buy for himself (really for you however) the perfect shirt with the perfect placed second button.  As my friend and famous painter Kenton Nelson says says of his painting "The Dresser", "A really well-made buttonhole is the only link between Art and Nature."  Kenton Nelson

I suggest shopping at Charles Tyrwhitt   Charles Tyrwhitt

The proper second button and a beautiful set of cuff links (that you help him pick out) after he picks out your earrings - makes for the details in a perfect Violet's Day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bring on the Spring Collections

Does this dress by Oscar De La Renta just scream Spring 2011 to you? Flowers, crisp white color, classic design, old world glamour with the gloves...fresh and fun.

If you have not had the chance to look at the Spring collections (that were actually shown prior to last Fall), you can see all the major designers from New York, Paris, London, Milan etc. on the Vogue website.  SO FUN to look at what women and men will be wearing this year and choose a couple of pieces to add to the wish list for spring.

If you love fashion, the Vogue site is easy to navigate and the photos are amazing, with each piece in every collection featured on its own. 

Since I just started taking riding lessons, I also HAVE to show you two wish list ensembles from Hermes.

How amazing are these from the Spring 2011 Paris show? 

The Fall 2011 shows are also posted. But if you are like me, let's just focus on Spring 2011 for now and be encouraged that winter will soon be over and these new Spring fashions will soon see the light of day and the warmth of spring.

This weekend is finally my date with Bond, so stay tuned to see what happens...I know I will.

Have a Violet's Day! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What is on your "What I love" list?

Today I am in the mood for a list. 

I like lists - not all the time (especially when they are lists of things I have to do) - but I do like how simple, easy to follow and straight-forward they are, so here is today's list.

Some of these things will change tomorrow and some are on the permanent "best loved" list. 

So here is what I love today - what about you?
-Good manners
-Clothes, accessories, bags and shoes that the woman wears and that do not wear her
-Keeping things until they come back into style
-Beautiful things that are always beautiful - timeless beauty never goes out of fashion
-Long lasting gum flavor
-Ralph Lauren -  clothes, stores, handbags, advertisements...etc..GREAT MARKETING!
-Reading for pleasure and for inspiration
-Lake Michigan
-Myself (some days more than others)
-All types of mentoring and volunteering - LIFE IS ABOUT GIVING after all.... 
-Chautauqua,in upstate New York
-Chicago Architect Lucien Lagrange (more on him in future blog)
-The Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest, Illinois
-Skating in the park
-Late night chats under the covers
-Hot chocolate with lots of small marshmallows
-Saturday Night Live - only the funny episodes

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globes - Dresses to dream about...

The variety of colors and styles at The Golden Globes last night were very refreshing and fun.  It seemed as if every woman who was interviewed said, " I love my dress."  And we all know that the better you like what you are wearing and the more you feel confident about your choice - the better you look automatically.  Here were my favorites.

January Jones dressed for the men at the event and for the men around the world who would be watching...but why not?  She looked beautiful in red with the simple and classic hair style (loved it), minimal make-up and red lips that exactly matched her dress. She made the most of her figure as well and showed just the right amount of skin. 

Love the simple, sleek lines of this dress and it fit her perfectly -from Calvin Klein.  Did not love the color (would love to see it in dark purple or navy blue) but thought her make-up and hair were simple and elegant, just like the dress. 

Another Calvin Klein dress that was simple, elegant and sexy too.  Simple hair, simple jewelry, simple make-up, but very elegant.  Would have loved this dress in another color, maybe yellow (on the right person) or periwinkle or navy blue.

Who were your favorites of the evening and why? 

Good news is that awards season is just starting, so lots more to see over the next two months.

Have a Violet's Day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dressing for Mr. Bond

In preparation for my date with Mr. Bond next week, I wanted to get a couple of new things to add to what I already have.  I purchased a new winter coat in October and with this year's typical Chicago weather, it is getting exposed to the elements every day.  Brrr...

Here is the link to the coat I purchased
and I love it.  It is from Burberry and it was an investment.  But I wear it every day and it goes with my jeans, my suits and my evening wear.  And the Burberry logo is on the that is is there, but not so obvious

And - it from Burberry and who does not love their new focus on modern classic clothing -I am a huge fan of their ads as well!

Marzy Silk-Cashmere Dress - Lauren - RalphLauren.comShopping online is really relaxing for me since I know my size and I like to look around before I buy. Also a first date right after work can be difficult to dress for...the outfit needs to go from the office to the evening with a minimal effort and so I ordered this dress from Ralph Lauren.  It is appropriate for the office with a jacket, but with a change of jewelry and shoes..I think it will be appropriate for Mr. Bond.
And IT IS ON it!

I like the fact that the dress grey also...and clingy, but not too revealing.  I say a little surprise is always sexy and yet, the dress does show a little skin with the arms.I must admit, since the dress was on sale - I got the sweater that goes with the dress.

Marnie Cabled Long Cardigan - Lauren -
Maybe I will wear it, maybe not - depends on the weather next week.

And now to jewelry - more on that and my hair and shoes tomorrow.

Make it a Violet's Day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A date with Bond

You will see a common theme in my posts - I have this thing for Bond.  You know -Bond, James Bond, 007.

Yes, in the older films and throughout the actual Bond book series, women are often little more than tokens or decorations for Bond and the various villains, but there is something elegant in the look and feeling of the films.

In the latest installments, staring Daniel Craig, the elegance of the clothes, the settings and in the details is evident and eye-catching.  The whole look of the recent films makes me want to go to the places where Bond went....and I can and so can you.

Check out this link -

Everything from the clothes, jewelry, cars, and even a night at the various locations where Bond stayed can be yours...just go to the site and see - it is cool.  You can have the Bond dream.

But my own Bond dream is beginning - right here in Chicago.  I have a date with Bond - Jack Bond.

Stay tuned...we are going to Bistro Champaign.  Now I just need to find the perfect thing for a Bond girl to wear....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What is your "violet's day?"

So this is me - Violet Day. I am in Chicago this month and I hope to see you around if you are in town. Look for me in my violet trench coat.

Not terribly warm in the Chicago winter, but a girl sometimes must sacrifice comfort for fashion and I want you to be able to pick me out in the crowd. By the way, all women look good in violet - so if you see a violet trench that you fancy, I would be flattered to be your twin.

Check out this site for the classic trench.

The unexpected discovery in this post is that the London Fog site features an homage to another favorite thing of mine, Mad Men.

More on that later....but don't you love it when websites tell a story?  The London Fog site does and others too I will mention in future blogs.

I love a good story, an adventure, a romance, a thriller, a tear here is the beginning of my story.

I am on a quest like so many others (and we need that number to increase) to matter to the world, to those around me who know me, to those around me who do not know me and to those I have yet to meet.  

I am learning that staying true to my vision of what makes me happy, what gives me joy and what makes me laugh, and by seeing the beauty in the details and in the possibilities  - this is what makes a good day - a "Violet Day."  And I can make these days happen and so can you....

Through sharing my days with you and yours with me, it is my hope for all of us to share the simple gifts that make each day a gift.  Lets share our best days - details, pictures, stories and laugh and learn together.
Lets make today a Violet's (insert your name here) Day....