STYLE: What to Wear to (Any) Thanksgiving Dinner

Going Out to Eat:

Skirt & Tights
Why it works: Going out can mean a bit of a dressier occasion.  Depending on how dressy the place is, you may even feel obliged to wear something dressier. Pairing a sweater with a skirt in a warmer material like tweed or wool, tights and heeled boots, is a fail-safe ensemble for going out to Thanksgiving dinner.



Long Cardigan
Why it works:  You're among friends who are likely to be around your age who are more "hip" to what's in and what's not.  So why not wear a long, cozy, fabulous, statement of a cardigan that presents an equally fabulous outfit underneath (skinny jeans, loose fitting top with a great statement necklace)?  It's Friendsgiving, you don't have to worry about any elderly-folk questioning your get up.

Hosting Dinner:

Pretty Dress
Why it works: Are you hosting dinner this year?  Is your centerpiece gorgeous? Table settings flawless? Lighting is beautiful? And the house is smelling divine?  Great, now make sure you don't come stumbling out of the kitchen makeup-less and covered in turkey juice and powdered sugar!  You want your outfit to be just as presentable as your home, but not so luxurious that it might make your guests feel underdressed (unless you requested a dressier occasion) - after all you are home.

Boyfriend's Parent's House:

Pretty Blouse
Why it works: Now is not the time to pull out your sexiest heels and your lowest swoop neck sweaters (save that for New Years eve).  If you're going to be with your significant other's family on Thanksgiving, you want to look put together and approachable because you're most likely going to be meeting his aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, and you don't want them to be afraid to strike up a conversation with you, but you also want them to notice just how pretty and fabulous you are!

Low Key Dinner:


Cozy Sweater
Why it works: Spending the holiday alone?  Or just a quiet night with a friend(s) or loved one?  Low key holidays are sometimes the best (or worst depending on your mood), but the best thing to be is comfy and warm. So snuggle up with a thick, oversized sweater, your regular ol' jeans, and a scarf to keep you warm.

Relative's House:

Casual Chic
Why it works: You want to be comfortable but not look it. Look polished with a nice button down, slim fitting pants, a nice pump and sophisticated and subtle accessories. There's no need to be overly dressy but you don't want to look like you don't care.  Be comfortable enough to have seconds, curl up on the couch for small talk and drinks, hold babies and take tons of pictures, but don't look like you've let yourself go.

Multiple-Dinner Plans:


Festive and comfortable
Why it works: Crazy day of long drives and multiple dinners? Try to wear something comfortable but with festive colors; you don't know what the mood of each dinner is going to be, so might as well look festive, if not for your own sanity as well - it'll brighten up the day.  Try to stick with a sensible flat boot. The last thing you want to be worrying about is your aching feet.

Have a great holiday everyone!! xoxo


How to Give Thanks to Everyone You Know

Thanksgiving holds a different meaning to everyone.  Throughout history, Thanksgiving has become more and more mainstreamed: now, we all rush to buy the biggest turkeys, spend way over our budgets for the perfect centerpieces, cause year-long family grudges to those who don't show up to dinner, and are up by the crack of dawn the next day to get our turkey and gravy stuffed butts to the nearest Target for Black Friday. Although the meaning of Thanksgiving has been distorted throughout time, it's supposed to be a day where we reflect our gratitude to everything we have and everyone we know.  This can be difficult to do because it isn't necessarily a gift-giving day - but gratitude doesn't have to be shown in "things." In fact it may be even more meaningful if it was shown through our actions and through our words.  Here is a list of things you can do to show your gratitude to the people that you are thankful for in your everyday lives.

Make a List
Make a list of those you want to acknowledge for this time.  It can be anyone: family, friends, co-workers, boyfriends/girlfriends, the people who make your coffee everyday, your neighbor, the bus driver - anyone.  Think really hard about it too.  Go through your daily routine in your head and think of those who make your life a little easier and a little better on a daily basis - that's who you want to thank.

Thank You Cards
People don't write anymore.  Everything is all digital and so impersonal. Take some time to actually write out how you feel.  You know you get excited when you see your name and address handwritten on an envelope - it's just special.  Get a pack of thank you cards (from basically anywhere) or if you're the crafty kind, make your own. It could be fun!

Pay it Forward
Do some random act of kindness.  Pay for the person's coffee behind you. Share your umbrella with a stranger. Offer your seat to an elderly person on the bus or when your waiting for your dinner reservations.  You'll know the moment when you get to it.

Visit/Call Someone
You know that Aunt that's always telling you that you should come visit her, or that long distance friend that keeps saying "Keep in touch, don't be a stranger!"  You should visit/call them!  They would highly appreciate it.

Help Someone Out
Take the time out of your busy schedule to help someone out.  Help someone put up their Christmas tree, rake someone's leaves,

Instead of taking last season's combat boots to the nearest Buy.Sell. Trade to see how much you can get for them, donate it.  I'm sure someone would love to have them!

Hang Out
Have some friends over.  Cook dinner, play music, and just have a good time - no need to celebrate anything specific, just celebrate your friendship and how much you appreciate it.

If there's been a relationship that has gone sour and it's worth rekindling, then be the bigger person and humbly apologize.  Let them know how much your relationship means to you and that its worth it to you to maintain it.

 Don't Forget Mother Nature
Yeah it's cold.  Let's not forget those thick, hot, humid days of Summer when we were wishing for this time of year - so now enjoy it!  The leaves are turning and light, delicate flurries will be lacing the ground in all it's glittery glory.  Be thankful for everything around you.

And lastly Pittsburgh, I just want to say how thankful I am for you and all those who have supported this blog.  It means the world to me and I couldn't do it without you!



Top 5 Tuesday | 5 Essential Boots for Fall (and Where to Get Them)

It's amazing how much effect the weather has over our everyday lives.  How much thought we put into our daily things just to be prepared for the weather.  We change our tires, insulate our windows, wear more layers; it seems that in colder weather it's always best to think ahead and be prepared for whatever kind of weather may come - at least in the East Coast!

I can remember when I first came to college, I wasn't aware of how much walking I would be doing and therefore never thought to invest in a good pair of boots for the rainy fall days and slushy winter nights.  It didn't take long to realize that my pair of beat up KEDS and ballet flats weren't going to do the trick for the cold days ahead.  Being from the West Coast, boots always felt a little strange to me.  Like I was going to do something very outdoorsy and manly in them.  It took me a while to figure out what looked right on me, because not all boots are made for everyone and everyone (at least living on East Coast) needs their boots for different purposes. 

 So here are 5 boots that make sense for any lifestyle and a few places around the area that you can find your perfect Fall boot...

The Wedge


The wedge boot is the answer to all city walker's prayers.  They're high enough to create a sultry strut and bump you up a few notches, but comfortable and stable enough to be worn all day without the agonizing pain of spike heels. They go with practically anything.  My favorite way to see the wedge boot is with a short skirt and tights.  

PGH Find: I recently found some awesome wedge boots at Target for under $40.  

 The Equestrian

Olivia Palermo in Riding Boots

Nothing says Fall more than the perfect riding boot.  There's something so classic and effortless about they way they look paired with tight fitting jeans and an over sized sweater or coat.  They're comfortable enough as an everyday shoe, yet stylish enough to wear out and about. My personal favorites are the ones that are over the knee and free of any buckles, obvious zippers or any other embellishments. 

PGH Find:  Ten Toes in Shadyside has a great collection of riding boots this year.  

The Rain Boot

Hunter Boots (GBO Fashion)
A good pair of rain boots is one of the best wardrobe investments ever.  They are durable, easy to clean, long lasting and insanely chic.  I would wear these like a pair of riding boots only with rain boots I think you can be more creative with the color and pattern.  It's the one boot that the more creative the color, the more stylish it becomes.  

PGH Find: Little's Shoes in Squirrel Hill carries Hunters. Click HERE for more info. 

The Combat

It's the "bad kid" of the Fall boot must-have list; the combat boot is edgy with a tomboy twist. The most recent styles are the floppy, undone, folded over ones or highly embellished punk ones that slouch or cut off at the ankle.  The combat boot is comfortable and sensible for cold, wet Fall weather and adds instant rock n' roll to any outfit.  

PGH Find: Ten Toes always has the best selection of combat boots every Fall! 


The Sexy

Most of these boots serve a specific purpose: comfort, warmth, dryness, and mobility, but you have to have that one pair of shoes in every season's arsenal whose main purpose is to turn heads. Sky high, sexy, look-at-me boots for those days where you just need to feel hot. There are different heights and widths and inches meant for all body types.  Some like a super tall boot that reaches over the knee, some like a slouchy mid-calf with a chunkier heel, or some go for a buckled, pirate-wench look that's a little more edgy.  Either way, find your perfect "sexy" boots for this season to make any outfit instantly hot.

PGH Find:  Take a look at Primadonna in Shadyside!  


Monday Spotlight | Jazmin Jackson

When I met local designer Jazmin Jackson last year at her Launch Party/ Fashion Show, I was remember being blown away at how wearable and sophisticated her line JAZMEEN was. As each model sashayed across the runway, I thought "I would wear that, and that, and that, oh and that!" Every piece was completely understanding of a woman's physique and could easily be portrayed in a young professional's working wardrobe. JAZMEEN is a line that speaks out as a declaration of chic sophistication with a twist of new age style.
This year, it's no surprise that Jackson has up'ed her game. With a few new bold, head-turning pieces and a finalists position in the ELLE x Byco Design Challenge, nothing can stand in her way. I was able to take a moment and speak to Jazmin about her line, snag some style tips, and talk about the ELLE contest.

Finalist piece: The Carolina Kaleidoscope Fit & Flare Dress by JAZMEEN 

1- Tell me about your line, anything new since we last saw you?
JAZMEEN continues to adorn women with sensible statement pieces. From wedding gowns to a new collection with my very own custom printed fabrics. I recently featured work at the Father Ryan Arts center.
2- How would you describe your personal style?
If it's not comfortable, it's not for me. If I don't feel confident and happy wearing it, it's not for me. I LOVE COLOR! My smile is my greatest accessory.
3- How have you changed/grown as a designer?
I'm featuring my artistic skills more in my designs with my custom printed fabrics and I'm a member of Tech Shop in Bakery Square experimenting with laser cut technology. Super excited!
4- Any style tips for the Fall/Winter season?
My go to item this Fall/Winter are wedge ankle boots! They're versatile, comfortable, and functional. I pair with skirts, skinnies, and wide leg trousers. And best of all, I don't have to sacrifice comfort for style.
5 - Talk about the ELLE contest.
Elle teamed up with Byco.com to create a design competition where Byco will manufacture & sell the winning design and Elle will document the creation process of the design and do a feature story in their January 2014 issue. Over 250 designs were submitted and I'm currently a top 5 finalist!

Be sure to check out and follow JAZMEEN:
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