Friday, February 25, 2011

Do etiquette rules of 1924 still apply today?

In 1924, Vogue published a Book of Etiquette about how to behave appropriately in public.  I thought this was fascinating.

Some of these rules are published in Buzzfeed,

Here is one that I wish was still common practice - because dinner SHOULD be an event when you go out and dressing up is part of the fun.   

And this article made me go...hmmmm...because I do pronounce some of these words the way Vogue says not to...but maybe it is my Midwestern upbringing?


I said in an earlier blog that good manners were one of my favorite things.  I wonder what the 2011 etiquette rules would be if Vogue did a new book?  I hope many of the rules would still apply.   

Have a Violet Day! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let's start swapping...clothes,accessories and shoes that is...

OK - Am I the last to know about this clever site?

It is a HUGE site to trade things you no longer want or that no longer fit (the worst!) and find amazing replacements (many designer names)and it is easy!  It is also not limited to just clothing...but so far, that is as far as I have gone....but this site can be addicting.

You join for FREE and then you swap with woman around the world.  Currently there are about 45,000 members and the variety of items available to swap is huge!

There is a blog, a style swap link and many other features that made me try it with a pair of Calvin Klein pumps that never fit quite right. 

So have you tried this site?  Let us all know what you think about the do's and don'ts of swapping.

Have a Violet's Day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Love to Travel - Hate to Pack?

If you are like me, you love to travel, but hate to pack.
What to bring, what to wear, how many pairs of shoes will I need, are only a few of the decisions to be made when laying everything out on the bed and hoping and praying it will all fit into my carry-on luggage.

Here is a cute website that has women travelers as its focus:
Their slogan is "Cool travel accessories for the Modern Woman and her Family"

Here are a couple of purchases I have made at this site that I use all the time and think you will too.

Look at these adorable luggage tags.  I put my area code on mine. However, you can choose whatever numbers you like and look at the bright colors - very easy to spot amongst all the black suitcases.

And every woman needs a cashmere wrap for the chilly plane and airport, but mostly to use as a wrap for an evening out when you get to your final destination.  These are lovely and soft and I even went out of my comfort zone and did NOT order the the violet (big surprise).  

I have been looking for a cute and inexpensive leather passport holder and got one for $10 at pd travel. 

It will be hard to miss the bright pink cover amongst all my black accessories - which is exactly what I wanted.

I still love to travel and hate to pack, but these accessories make it a little less painful and a lot more colorful.

Have a Violet's Day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

White feels right for Spring...BCBG Max Azria

Although the rest of the collection is full of vivid color and bright patterns, these white dresses from the Spring 2011 BCBG Max Azria Collection are the ones that caught my eye.  Maybe it is because I am thinking about a trip to the West Coast or Southwest in late Spring, or maybe it is because around Chicago, I have been seeing a lot of white (snow that is).

These dresses have the sheer look that will be popular for Spring and Summer and the simple lines that I like too. 

The grey wedges add a cool touch to the white. Silver accessories make the white look even fresher. 

Notice that the models are carrying small silver clutches.  These structural, hard handbags are on trend for now - but still for me, too small to be practical.

Have a Violet's Day and start thinking white....clothes that is... 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Grammys have some glam...

As awards season winds down, I look forward to my favorite Hollywood fashion event, the Oscars. But last night, I did something totally out of character for me. I actually watched part of the Grammys. 

The reason I usually do not watch is because the fashions are not my taste - too flashy, too over-the-top (and some still were) and too much!

But take a look below at Selena Gomez's J. Mendal gold gown from the event.  This girl is only 18 and knows style, what looks great on her and is not afraid to look sophisticated.  That is my type of girl.

And here was another winner, Julianne Hough, wearing a very romantic feeling dress by Maladrino.

The patterns and muted violet tones (I have a weakness for the color violet after all) looked lovely with her coloring and the draping of the dress was very flattering.

The Grammys fashions were very interesting...lots of  hits, and more misses, and amongst all the flash, feathers, shine and sparkle, there were women who dressed well and looked great. 

But I will say it was a fun night of entertainment - and even Lady Gaga's "egg"citing entrance was fashionable.

Have a Violet Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Mercedes or the Landrover?

Ok, I admit it.  I like nice cars. 
Living near the city and taking the train to work everyday, I usually only need a car for weekend/vacation trips, visits back home or shopping adventures.  But this past week of snow has made me reconsider my automotive  needs and maybe it is the time to break down and buy a vehicle I have long wanted  - The Land Rover.

There were two "signs" yesterday that maybe it is time.

First, this is the tag line for the Land Rover, " Turns Snow Days Into Go Anywhere Days."  I am all for that.

I dislike being stuck anywhere because of the weather and the Land Rover is basically built to leap tall buildings in a single bound - to take on snow drifts (even on Lake Shore Blvd.) and to carry skies and boots for that weekend ski trip to Michigan or Colorado.

Second, the body style for the Land Rover is going to change in 2012 and who knows what may happen to the classic style I have always loved?  Look what happened to BMWs...need I say more? I want practical or do I want sexy/elegant?

I think back to a test drive a friend  and I took several months ago in the Mercedes CLS.  "Infatuation quickly becomes unwavering devotion" is the tag line for this sexy car. 

And it is true....this car is sooooo sexy and sleek.  Sitting inside is like being in a cocoon of luxury and understated elegance. I can envision driving up to The Elysian and stepping out for a weekend a great black dress, just the right shoes....with Mr. Bond of course.

Hmmmm.....Practical beauty (Land Rover) vs. understated elegance (Mercedes) .....

Can't I have both?

It is Chicago - it is winter-and so I think I will wait until Spring has sprung to make a new car decision.

Until then, it my reliable Audi ...and with the money I will save....a new pair of shoes.
A girl has to have some fun....

Have a Violet's Day.



Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Kings Speech - A great movie for Valentine's Day

Yesterday a friend and I went to see The Kings Speech.  The film, based on the true story of King George (Bertie)VI, is about commitment, friendship and love. A perfect movie for Valentine's Day. 

After the death of his father King George V, and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII, Bertie(Colin Firth),  who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue(Geoffery Rush). After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually form an unbreakable bond. With the support of Logue, his family, his government and Winston Churchill, the King overcomes his stammer and delivers a radio-address that inspires his people and unites them in battle.

Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, this movie is the BEST movie I have seen in years. The costumes, setting (preWWII London), screen play and acting are superb, but the love/friendship story aspect of it is what made it so moving for me.

As Bertie struggles to find help for his speech problems, it is his wife, Elizabeth, who never gives up on him, never judges him and consistently supports him with unconditional love and acceptance. Due to their royal position, their relationship is serious, but also playful/fun; in one of the most charming scenes, Elizabeth sits on Bertie's stomach to help him with his breathing, saying "I quite enjoy this."

I will be reading The Queen Mother, by William Shawcross, to learn more about the life of this interesting woman.

The other loving relationship in the film is between The King and Logue; it shows what is possible when you believe in someone and the incredible healing power of friendship.   

And as Valentine's Day approaches, I will remember this movie and its message of what love/friendship can and should be for all of us, royal or not.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Go Red For Women Day

Today is National Go Red for Women Day in the USA. 

February is also American Heart Month (the connection is also to Valentine's Day - hearts and heart health)

Here is the link to today's Wear Red for Women focus and why it is so important for women to know the warning signs.  Heart disease is the number one killer of American men and women.

So I admit that red is not a color I usually wear, but I do have a red dress that will work for today.
This is from David Meister and I got it at Neiman Marcus online.

Since red dresses make such a statement, you cannot really wear the same one over and over and just change accessories as easily as you can with a black dress. I personally do not like to spend as much on dresses that are not black as I would on a black dress. 

So if you are looking for some less expensive alternatives to the red dress try:  Just type in "red dresses" and you will get hundreds of hits with styles and prices starting under $50 and going up into the thousands. This site accesses other sites and gives you the link.    Shown below is a Calvin Klein dress on sale on the site for $51.00

Wear Red for Women today, but do not miss the message and go to the link at the American Heart Association for the warning signs.  This is NOT just a disease for women over 50.

Have a Red Violet's Day.   

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happiness in a Snow Storm

"What did you do for fun when you were ten years old?"  That is the question posed on The Happiness Project website today. 

I have the Happiness Project site as a permanent link on this blog and I get the daily emails to inspire and challenge me about my own happiness. 

Since Chicago is basically closed down today due to the snow storm, it got me thinking about sledding, ice skating and hot chocolate and those days, as a 10 year old kid, when the words, "SNOW DAY" meant no school and lots of fun outside. 

Here is a picture of Lake Michigan from yesterday; the part you cannot see is the lake.  The power of nature is very humbling. 

So today, I am taking a snow day too, like the millions of children and parents across the USA affected by this storm. I am going to try to do several things I did for fun when I was 10 years old and I challenge you to do the same - snow or no snow.

I have my gloves, hats, scarf, boots and just need to find a hill in the very flat Chicago area that is ready for sledding. or maybe I will go to Winnetka, IL (a northern suburb of Chicago) and go ice skating on their town rink.  Hot chocolate is provided.  Or maybe, making a snow angel will just be enough...

Have a Violet's Day today - be a 10 year old.  Share what you did with the rest of we can be inspired by you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Screen Actors Guild Awards- January Jones another hit

Watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards arrivals on Sunday night (with the sound down - just want to see the fashions I admit, not listen to the interviews), my girl January Jones (my best dressed pick at The Golden Globes) hit another homerun with her dress by Carolina Herrera.

I just thought it was elegant (I am partial to Carolina Herrera I admit), although her hair was little too harsh for the dress.  I like that January is not afraid to mix it up and play with her look, dress color and material.  Her strategy is clever; she is always talked about for the risks she takes and that is great PR for her and for her career.  Smart lady.  
Another look I loved for the sheer fun and girly nature of it was Angie Harmon's pink Monique Lhuillier dress.  You could tell she loved it and her simple hair and make-up with minimal jewelry was a perfect compliment to all the feathers and fluff of this dress.

Academy Awards are let's see what the stars and stylists come up with for the most glamorous night in Hollywood. 

It is fun to see the fashions...frivolous and fun... it takes us away from our own closets for a while and today, it took me away from the snow storm here in Chicago.

Have a Violet's Day and make sure you have your snow shovel and warm boots.