Casual Matters

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When it comes to your capsule wardrobe, what are some essentials that are in heavy rotation? A dark pair of skinnies that you resort to, instantaneously making you look 5 pounds lighter? Or a nifty puffer jacket with down-filled inserts that warmly grace you through winter? As for moi, I have a predilection for pieces that are not only perpetually stylish but also appease the “time is of the essence” concern. Especially days when the ticking hand is not on good terms with me.

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Say it’s casual Friday morning and you woke up to your alarm clock setting off, only to realize that you slept through the other two (and they say 3rd time’s the charm…how amusing). With no time to berate yourself for indulging in happy hours (plural) the night before, you’re now battling with the dilemma of “how to prep yourself in 10 minutes”. So what items do you take refuge in? An item that I always seek solace in is a textured shawl.

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And here’s why – not only will it compliment a few of your favorite outfits and stretch your budget further for your Christmas shopping needs, the wearing options are also endless. Say you can 1.) Perch atop your shoulder, 2.) Wind it around your neck to create a natural drape, or 3.) Tie the ends together to create a baggy cardigan. And when you have 2 minutes and counting to pick an add-on that would keep you shiver-free during your commute (option 2) and ward off the chills at the office (option 1), the shawl is a stylish option for all your fashion-conscious folks!

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In my outfit today I brought out a new find, a tri-colored shawl with seamlessly executed textural spots scattered across the board. To stay in tandem with the colors, I wore a pink button-down shirt and black skinnies. A stylish way to add some color to the ensemble? A tribal gold-toned necklace placed under the collar, one whose color scheme is not askew from the main outfit, and a hands-free tote like this Marc Jacobs one. Also my pony hair boots gave all the ease of edge and flair as the buckles and folded texture at the ankle makes it truly a unique pair.

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So tell me, have you jumped on the shawl bandwagon yet, and if so, how do you wear yours? 🙂

XO~ Lena

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Top: Banana Republic // Shawl: H&M// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Via Spiga// Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Photos: Jason J Photography

Sleeveless in Chicago

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Truth be told, it’s easy to ride on the back of a fleeting moment when it comes to fashion. Seasonal trends arrive as swiftly as they go, from the eponymous Burberry poncho on Instagram’s wanderlust-inducing snaps to the duster coat that style mavens with bicoastal sensibilities layer up during the wintry days. Yet the truth of the matter is, there aren’t many styles that’ll shake up my wardrobe with endless pairing options and fluidly transition into the next season. Trendy as some styles may be, I find myself gravitating towards more perpetually versatile items that look good, get the job done right, and friendly from AM to PM across four seasons (okay maybe two).

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Then I met the sleeveless coat and it was love at first sight when I saw a Valentino one online at Neiman Marcus’ 50% off sale! A trend so bold and eye-catching, it exudes a tactically sensible look partial to ladies with a classy taste. And that’s when I imagine my à la mode wardrobe palette gaining a refreshed and livened bolt of energy! With a slight menswear-inspired silhouette, the sleeveless coat can add an extra zest to any ensemble.

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During the week pair it with a crisp button-down shirt and slacks to keep the chills at bay, and throw it on top of a cocktail dress for your evening soirée. Needless to say the choice of whipping up a new look with this coat is boundless! Here I channeled the Parisian sleek and streamlined look by pairing my new Zara find with a classic striped shirt, lace up heels and a small satchel. And of course, my classic cat-eye and red lips. Presto we’re ready to roll.

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What’s your take on this fashionable find, and have you tried this look before? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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–> P.S. Want to win a $350 gift basket with goodies from Marc Jacobs to Kate Spade? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway I’m hosting with other Chicago bloggers! Info HERE!

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Coat: Zara // Sweater: Loft// Pants: Paige// Shoes: Prabal Gurung for Target// Bag: Marc Jacobs

Photos: Jason J Photography

For The Love Of Roscoe

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Renaissance villa houses circa 1850s. Vast array of multi-cultural cuisines. Family-friendly parks and recreational areas. That was my impression of this exuberant Chicago neighborhood when I first set foot upon the four corners of Damen and Roscoe.

Come walk down memory lane with me as I reminisce on one of my favorite outings this summer in the Windy City – right in the heart of Roscoe Village!  

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Located 5 miles north of the Loop and occupied by a population of 7000, this swanky yet demure neighborhood has overseen urban development since the mid-19th century and is amassed with yuppie restaurants, art deco shops, wine tasting rooms, and antique consignment stores.

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After the Fire of 1871 devastated Chicago and wiped out residential homes and commercial buildings within a 3 mile radius, there was an increase in demand for brick structures, which soon the Chicago River’s North Branch (encompassing Roscoe Village and neighborhoods within its vicinity) began filling up with brickyards and clay pits. One of my favorite architectural designs is the Edwardian houses built in the early 1900s.  Similar to the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco, the industrial craft is marked by masculinity-infused frameworks modeled after Italian facades and rooflines. In the residential area off the main street, Queen Anne homes align the sidewalks basking in the glory of intricate details filled with opulent turrets, bay windows, and embellished post frames.

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Though these well-crafted buildings were a sight for my sore eyes, I was even more amused by the multitude of ethnic cuisines offered within that 6-block radius. From Turkish lamb begendi at Turquoise Cafe to the decadent Ropa Vieja (tender shredded beef cooked in salsa criolla) at 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, the sky is the limit when it comes to filling up the growling tummy. Not to mention the pink, yellow, and blue chairs outside Costello’s (namely known for the iconic “Spicy Roscoe” — who wouldn’t want pepper crusted turkey with capicola and pepper jack cheese on an Italian sub coined after the very street it sits on?) Or how about some kung-pao chicken tacos at Si Fu, where you will be greeted with not just “Xie Xie” or “Gracias”, but also a slew of Confucious men with v-line goatees? If you ever do tumble upon there, make sure you specify which hot sauce you want, especially when tabasco sauce is not within your dietary radar 🙂 

A jovial expedition filled with sight-seeing and feasting for this happy camper calls for a colorful outfit right? Which is why I doled out my colorful sheath with quivering wavelength designs and styled it with a wide brimmed straw hat. Turquoise and yellow, the two main vibrant colors on my dress (and  a tad bit on my bandeau), matched the exuberance and joy I felt when I walked down streets filled with exquisite flower shops, alfresco dining spots, and most importantly, gleeful companies. Happy eyes, happy tummy, happy heart. Now ain’t that a win-win situation 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena

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Credits: Jason J Photography http://www.jason-j-photography.com/

 

Sip, Shop, Stroll at Bloomingdale’s

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From haute couture to haute hors d’oeuvres, the lineup of holiday soirées started on a fashionable note for me this year! No there weren’t models in party-themed fashion shoots carrying piles of glossily wrapped presents (as if Christmas came early), but there was a pop up fashion show at Bloomingdale’s on Tuesday. Nothing short of glamorous was the swoon-worthy array of prêt-à-porter and bespoke clothing showcased at the event!

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The fashion show + designer meet and greet was hosted by Mandarin Quarterly, a Chicago-based print and digital media company specializing in branding and outreach endeavors for clients towards the dynamic Chinese market. The attendees were an eclectic mix, ranging from Chinese students in Chicago to young professionals working the 9-5’s to the artsy, creative crowd in the Windy City.

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Now onto the fashion show. As models swanned their way stylishly through the crowd, an eclectic mix of chic, polished and avant-garde pieces were presented in plain sight. A flurry of marabou feathers in platinum foiled jacquard from Kate Spade? Remarkable. Dapper tailored suits from J. Toor? Stunning. Black velvet top with pearl embellishment from Azeeza? Plenty of holiday cheer!

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In my outfit I calibrated with fun and jovial vibe by wearing a heart embroidered dress from Stella McCartney from ShopBop (where new markdowns on designer items are 30-70% off at shopbop.com), a polished purple coat from Milly, and these zipped ankle boots from Zara.

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The appetizers were just as delightful as what pleased the eye, replete with crowd-favorites like garlic and parmesan stuffed mushrooms, lightly seasoned steak wraps, and grilled bread with prosciutto. Paired with the savory white wine and yours truly was a happy camper!

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Fashion. Food. Fun. It sure was a pleasant start to a holly, jolly good time this holiday season! For what it’s worth I’ll toast to that. 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Jacket: Milly// Top: Stella McCartney// Tights: Hue// Clutch: F21// Shoes: Zara

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Image 4 of LEATHER ANKLE BOOT WITH ZIP from Zara

 

Dust It Off

h-6There’s something about a longline camel coat that’s perennially stylish, lending a well-polished flair to coveted snaps on Instagram from street style mavens to runway muses. And no matter what styles you favor – the glossy Wall street look with crisp collars and nifty pant suits, or the androgynous vibe that blurs gender divides with distressed denims and oversized jumpers, there’s a look for everyone.h-2V-21And when it comes to the oversized drapey version (a.k.a The Duster Coat) gracing major headlines from Refinery29 to WhoWhatWear (this one is a major steal!), I knew right off the bat that it’s a fashionable force to be reckoned with. And can you blame the legion of devoted followers from Karlie Kloss to Chiara Ferragni? The perks are endless – perch atop the shoulder for that cool, nonchalant look, or seamlessly execute a work-appropriate ensemble by wearing it over a jersey panelled dress with ruched asymmetrical panels like this Derek Lam number.

Choose longer styles with sneakers if you are tall, or aim for knee length with high-heeled ankle boots if you are petite. Wardrobe staple to augment seasonal pieces? Definitely so. Evolved for the sole purpose of polish and practice? You bet!V-1V-40V-47In my outfit today I channeled the downtown cool girl look by donning this L.A.M.B duster coat with a speck of feline fun (anything gave that away?) Paying homage to Kate Moss, Queen of the minimalistic trend, I turned retro on its ear by choosing an outfit replete with collared shirt, Rag and Bone denims with leather patching (now on sale for 40% off), cat-eyes and red lips. Lastly to add some jazz to this streamlined and clean ensemble I took out these sequined slip-ons for a wanderlust-inducing spin!

V-22V-26It’s no secret that the camel duster coat has taken the fashion world by storm. What’s your favorite way of wearing this highly coveted, loose-fitting number?

Xo~ Lena

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Photos: Jason J Photography

Jacket: L.A.M.B// Top: Banana Republic// Sweater: H&M// Pants: Rag & Bone// Shoes: Sperry// Bag: Steve Madden

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Truly Madly Deeply

h-20What’s an item in your closet that adds an instant speck of coolness to your outfit? A drapey black coat? A pair of figure-flattering skinny jeans? Or perhaps a statement sweater with charming take on an iconic logo (if a Féline Meow or Ballinciaga shirt ever came across your glossy finds). v-40 2h-3v-38-2

Whether your ideal look is inspired by minimalistic Swedish influences or saturated with clashing patterns, there’s always that ONE item adding an extra pep to your outfit no matter what styles you favor. And for somebody that dilly-dallies between monochromatic and color-blocking separates, striped midi skirts to pink leather skinnies, I love pieces that seamlessly transcend beyond the limit of trends. Of course there needs to be no shortage of pairing options! So was my thought when I came across this Charcoal Aubrey Jacket from Mad Style when I stopped by the boutique on Division street. It was love at first sight! I was immediately sold by how chic and versatile it is from drapey waterfall design to the accent zippers to the pleather sleeves. Need I say more?h-25h-5v-6h-11

Nonetheless a timeless addition to my wardrobe, there are so many ways to wrap up in style and ward off the winter chills in this edgy number! Channel that retro vibe with slouchy T’s and 70’s denims for your creative gig, or settle for a subtle look with silk button-downs and slacks for more conservative setting. And when the minute hand passes 5:00 PM, swap into more sultry alternatives like mini skirts and over-the-knee boots for a night on the town. To kick it up a notch, I paired the jacket alongside red jeans with ruffle accents (on sale 30% off!) and a chained envelope clutch also from Mad Style. The end result? An edgy rocker-chic look that transcends from day to night with no need for a moto jacket !v-25 2h-15v-35v-11What’s your street style staple that cameleon ifself into different looks –sophisticated, preppy, normcore, or avant-garde if you may? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

Follow Me on  FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVINh-6v-28 2v-16Photos: Jason J Photography

Jacket: Mad Style// Top: Banana Republic// Pants: Joe’s Jeans// Shoes: Vince Camuto// Bag: MadStyle//

In collaboration with Mad Style; thoughts and opinions are my own

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Houndstooth’s Back With A Bite

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What are a few tenets of minimalistic dressing partial to your Winter wardrobe? Much-touted classic colors of black and white? High octane selection of beige, camel, and golden tan? And if you’re me, being swayed by the equally infectious normcore trend generating sartorial pins from Stockholm to Seoul, you probably have a wide selection of wardrobe staples like drapey coats, button-down flannels, and cult-favorite skinny jeans.1-3311-47

With most trends tested from palazzo pants to leopard print midis (as I’m not stranger to the “life is trying things to see if they work” mantra),  I find myself eschewing the typical in favor of a much edgier look. Make no mistake, I take canny heed in monochromatic colors. Black, white, grey, beige, the entire color spectrum. However, it’s the varied texture, the au courant design, the luxe fabrics, and the crisp detailing that warrants my attention (and shopping galore). And when i came across this Black White Oversize Houndstooth Coat from Sheinside, with its stand collar and vintage style, I immediately envisioned my capsule wardrobe embracing a new gem with a stamp of approval.1-42 42-19

Like a lot of oversized coats in menswear-inspired silhouette, the outfit pairings are endless. To stylishly grace through bone-chilling weather in the Midwest, wear it with a statement sweater and a pair of grey skinnies for a seamlessly executed and polished look. For golden damsels in LA, drape over a warm-weather ensemble to flaunt that perfect transitional outfit. And to the Alexander Wang-clad, fashion month circuit-infused style mavens in New York, be perennially stylish as you always are and top it over your head-to-toe black ensemble à la shaggy mohair loose sweater (this Helmut Lang one is on my wish list) + leather jeans + towering booties.

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With a spawning list of outerwear to try this season, have you found your newfound glory? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

Follow Me on  FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVIN1-271-381-72-7

Photos: Jason J Photography

Top: H&M// Pants: J Brand// Jacket: Sheinside// Boots: Vince Camuto// Bag: MadStyle// Fur Scarf: Bloomingdale’s

In collaboration with Sheinside; thoughts and opinions are my own

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Fifty Shades of Beige

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Whether your newfound glory is sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace or playing up the layering trend, there’s a seasonal change that we’ve recently come to terms with in the Windy City – the nonchalant tonal shrug from crisp autumn breeze towards blistering winter chills.

Long gone were the days where a prismatic array of floral prints, soft pastels, and color mash-ups sprawled over Paris Fashion Week runways and emulated in our daily wares. Though bone-chilling the weather may be, swaying us away from trendy pieces like pleated skirts and crop tops, we have a swoon-worthy selection of luxe fabrics and crisp silhouettes to work into our wardrobe. From Céline’s longline duster coats to Helmut Lang’s shearling biker jacket, we have countless ways to integrate new fashion powerhouse designs into our ensembles while embracing a new season to come. Stylishly. No gritty teeth allowed.Oversized-coatsMuubaa-Aurora-Shearling-Biker-Jacket_1ImageGranted if you follow my blog for a while you’d notice I have an affinity for monochromatic separates (with a hint of colorful accessories), and it’s a given that I admire certain designers for their subtle indications of toned-down colors and classic designs. One of my favorite collections was from Chloé designer Clare Waight Keller sartorially introduced at Gustave Eiffel-Lycée Carno. Her minimalistic choice of colors entailed desert–khaki, camel, sand, blue and white, all of which are minimalistic hues that emphasized clean silhouettes and placid colors (like this biker jacket that exudes cool minimalistic edge).Chloe 2012_FFImage

I enjoyed perusing her collection because I believe classic staples are essential in our wardrobe at any given time, and multiple shades of beige like cream, camel, dessert sand, and unbleached silk are great foundations to build into a full-fledged outfit.

The choice is abundant — pair a caramel fuzzy sweater with distressed denim jeans, or for slightly cooler days experiment with the same color scheme by mixing a heavier fabric like cashmere with a lightweight button down shirt. In my outfit today I paired a baroque-styled cream shirt with a brown and beige wool cape, which I then added on suede boots (reminding me of these Rag & Bone ones I’ve been eyeing), Prada cat-eye shades, Seven jeans scored from a Shopbop sale (currently 30% to 70% OFF Seven and Citizens of Humanity Jeans at shopbop.com!) and a chocolate brown duffel bag in a classic silhouette to complete the streamlined look without going that off-kilter road.

What’s your take on the luxe layering trend, and have you put together an outfit with the simplistic triad of beige, brown and cream? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

Follow Me on  FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVINuntitled31ImageUntitled5Photos: Photos: Jason J Photography

Top: Forever 21// Pants: J Brand// Cape: Club Monaco// Heels: Vince Camuto// Bag: Louis Vuitton// Shades: Prada// Necklace: Thailand

Cape Escape + GIVEAWAY!

Designers love to chaperon luxe layering trends this season and the verdict is in – style hunters can’t get enough of the cape effect! From dressy upper echelon to sartorial street style, the traditional topper got a modern makeover during Fashion Week when British “IT” girls Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse donned the Burberry’s blanket poncho. From high fashion runway to MOD walkway, the cape trend is here to stay!

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Want to jump on the cape bandwagon this season without shelling out major greenbacks? Well here’s the good news – you can win one for free! That’s right lovelies, I’ve teamed up with the LookBook Store to bring you a giveaway for one of its top sellers – the Fringe Hem Knit Cape! Yes you got it, there’s a chance you can own this season’s hottest look with a Rafflecopter giveaway!

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1.) LIKE Feline Creatures on Facebook  

2.) COMMENT here how you would style the knit cape!

3.) VISIT LookBook Store on Facebook  

4.) TRIVIA question on Rafflecopter

5.) TWEET the giveaway! 

 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily (click image below). You can earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with friends on social media. Giveaway runs November 12 to November 26 and is open worldwide

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** Giveaway for the Fringe Hem Knit Cape ends November 26th at 11:59 PM EST. Open worldwide. Winner will be selected by random and be notified by email. Please note that Feline Creatures is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.  I have represented the sponsor of this giveaway with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. The sponsor will be shipping the item to you directly. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Giveaway organized by the LookBook Store.

In Full Swing

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Let the truth be told —  I have a devout dedication to midi skirts. Pastel, bright, leather and striped run the gamut. Though jazz composer J. J. Johnson may have alluded to musical instruments and digital interface when he said “midi is my hobby”, there is in fact no less enthusiasm when parlayed into the fashion realm.

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Despite being a relatively new trend on the scene compared to maxis and minis (its debut appearance in the Spring 2014 collections), the midi trend is no stranger to the fashion industry’s paramount crowd with its demure, ultra-feminine ’50s vibe. Though many claim its origin dates back to the ’60s when the French introduced the “longuette” look in the cusp of Fashion Week Fall 1969, the new midi silhouettes we see this time around are darker and weightier with a look that’s more feminist ’70s than feminine ’50s.2-141-11

So lengthy history and raving aside, what’s an avant-garde style that delivers the chic + comfy look adorned by trendsetters and trend seekers alike? Here’s a clue — it contains an array of prints and patterns in one! Want to recharge your midi skirt with polished not punchy details and keep the vibrant hues in check? Then bring a refined flare to an A-line skirt with a striped pleated skirt like this Red Valentino one!   1-141-26

In my outfit today I chose this perfect knee length skirt with crisp box pleats and paired it with a 3D rose white top from Lookbook. Channeling the effortless elegance of Grace Kelly, who’s signature look is the full 50’s skirt, I kept the look dainty and demure with these strapped heels that I got on sale at Nordstrom, where now you can save up to 40% at the Nordstrom Clearance Sale through November 11! And how versatile can this look go from ladylike chic to “dress for success” business ready with a fitted blazer! Say you need to kill two birds with one stone and make a 9-5 attire become 5-9? Then throw on a blazer and bowl them over in the boardroom and STILL look swoon-worthy without it when you’re en route to your rendezvous!  1-82-2

There are plenty of different ways to wear the midi skirt this season. Tell me, do you like the more demure ladylike look with pleats and vibrant hues, or offbeat dressing with leather and checkered print? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

Follow Me on  FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVIN2-161-301-341-1

Photos: Jason J Photography

Top: LookBook// Skirt: Halogen// Blazer: H&M// Heels: Steve Madden// Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs// Shades: Prada

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