Hint of Mint

Sherbert and ice cream colors were painted across the fabric palettes of spring 2012 runway collections: pale tangerine and corals, baby blues, aquas, and shades of mint green. These soft and feminine hues pop against the deepest olive skin tones, yet gently flatter the fairest and most delicate skin colors.

Mint (ice cream) green is so delicious. Don’t you agree?

from left, images 1 & 3 – Vera Wang, images 2 & 4, Jenny Packham (image via here)

Pretty, graceful, and elegant, this organic shade is a must in my book for spring.

Tara Jarmon Polka Dot Silk Dress, $630

Topshop pleated skirt, $76 – can’t get enough pleats. The straight, vertical lines are so lengthening and flattering, plus, a pleated skirt drapes in such a way that it flatters a woman’s waist.

Topshop Drape Front Top, $72

D&G Layered Tulle Mini Skirt, $630

Irene Neuwirth mint earrings, $10,680 (ooh, a girl can dream)

Tibi pleated silk chiffon dress, $550
Chloe patent leather clutch, $1,395

Stay chic,

Annie

Ocean of Color

Rich, blue-green jewelry is in abundance for spring – signaling the promise of warm weather, vacations and resort-wear ahead. These ocean-inspired jewelry pieces are organic, natural and earth-inspired.

J. Crew Marina Necklace – wear with white jeans! $125
A Peace Treaty, Tubar Ring, $132
The Serenity Stone Necklace, $198, from Stella & Dot (as seen in People Style Watch). 12 carat gold plated, mix of smooth, faceted glass stones and turquoise & dyed jade. A gorgeous, versatile statement piece for summer!
Diya Chandeliers, Anthropologie, $298
Lust-worthy Irene Neuwirth earrings, $3,370

I love how refreshing these shades are: simple, yet classic and sophisticated. Colors like jade, aquamarine, and ocean-blue will complement your neutral basics and really pop against your black and whites for spring!

Stay chic,

Annie

Wedding Wednesday #2: Mix & Match Bridesmaids

As a wardrobe consultant, it’s my job to steer my clients towards silhouettes and cuts that are figure-flattering. As we all know, there’s no “one dress” style that works for every figure (I’ve yet to see one) – so I would be remiss if I ever forced a singular dress style onto a variety of body shapes and sizes.

A must-see in ACC’s book. Go. rent it. now.

The daunting task comes when choosing a bridesmaids dress that every bridesmaid will love. A shade that flatters one woman’s skin tone may be disastrous against another skin tone: likewise, one skirt style might slenderize one woman’s frame, while overwhelming another.

My solution?

1) Pick a color palette and length (short, long, etc.). Let your maids shop for and pick out their own dress, staying within the defined color scheme. This way, they can dictate the price, cut, silhouette and fabric. The pro? Each dress will reflect each individual bridesmaid’s style personality and preferences, but the group color scheme and length will be harmonious.

flowers & decor – Brocade/Hillary Robson – image via Skip Hopkins – styling & wedding design via A Chic Critique
image via google
image via Stephen Devries

2) Pick one designer – then pick one fabric, color and length. Let each girl choose the actual style & silhouette that she prefers. The result is a unified effect with varying styles.

image via pinterest
image via google – Jose Villa

If you’re the sort of bride who likes uniformity and wants to capture a sense of oneness amongst your maids, this idea might prove a little counter-intuitive or unappealing. Different strokes for different folks – the important thing is to do what makes YOU happy! Having all the maids wear the same matching dress is always a classic and beautiful choice.

Stay chic,

Annie

Wedding Wednesday #1: Film Photography

I’ve long been an avid fan of film photography. What I love about film is how raw and organic it is, and how perfectly it seems to capture natural light. Because my affinity for film has only deepened over time, I knew it was precisely the medium I would choose for our wedding. This girl has entire Pinterest boards dedicated to it!

Here are just a few of my favorite shots from some noted (and much loved) film photographers. How brilliant and exquisite is their work?

S-w-oooo-n. Napa wedding by the one and only Jose Villa – featured on Style Me Pretty.

Look at that sunset peaking through, and notice how “organic” these shots look. Obsessed. (images above courtesy of Jose Villa Photography)

Texas-based Ryan Ray’s (who happens to be one of the more thoughtful, sincere and kind-hearted photographers I’ve come across in this industry) work is equally stunning and beautiful. What an eye!

images above courtesy of Ryan Ray Photography

And our dear Nashville’s own Tec Petaja? As Frank from “Father of the Bride” would say: genius. Sheer Genius.

Sucker for black and white film shots…

the two shots above are courtesy of Tec Petaja

One thing I will guarantee: there will be no “posey-posey” traditional church shots of my family and bridal party at my wedding. Loathe. I’m much more apt to gravitate towards candid, informal “formals,” if that makes sense. Tec’s shot above fits the bill.

Can you see why I love it so? I haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg – there are so many more talented photographers whose work I adore and respect (both film and digital alike).

Stay chic & stay tuned!

Annie

I can’t wait to share the film photographer we decided to go with (after a detailed and thorough search process). His work is beautiful, and I’m anxious to see some of the more tender, candid moments he’ll capture on film.

Baby Blues

One point I’m always stressing with clients is the importance of having at least two pairs of tailored, well-made, fitted jeans: one pair hemmed to wear with flats, and one straight or bootleg dark-wash pair hemmed to wear with heels. Of course, once you have those basics, any supplemental pairs are a welcome addition (skinny, trouser, boyfriend, etc.). Many of you collect jeans like shoes!

I like seeing the seasonal twists designers put on this timeless wardrobe staple. One salient trend the last couple of years has been colored or dyed denim/twill jeans – and fortunately, it’s a trend I can endorse, especially when the color is an electric, cobalt blue. A “blue” jean really acts as a neutral, and although these shades are bolder and brighter than your typical denim wash, they can be just as versatile.

Here are some of my picks for winter, transitioning into spring (any of these would be an excellent choice for early pre-spring in February & March).

Gap 1969 Legging Jeans in Blue, $69.95

Paige Denim “Verdugo” Stretch Denim Leggings, $179

J. Crew Toothpick jean in garment-dyed twill, $108

Blue Essence (Nordstrom) Colored Skinny Jean in Cobalt, $98

Here’s how I would style them:

And:

Two of my clients got a pair this week – a great transitional piece for your winter wardrobe.

Stay chic in those baby blues,

Annie

ACC Favie: Jewel Mint

Have you discovered Jewel Mint? Designed by style icon and actress Kate Bosworth and her stylist, Cher Coulter, Jewel Mint is an exclusive collection of costume jewelry available online on a membership basis.

“Experience an exclusive jewelry collection designed by actress and fashion icon, Kate Bosworth, and her celebrity stylist, Cher Coulter. Inspired by the runway, vintage pieces and places they love, Kate and Cher design a versatile collection each month, so we can recommend the perfect pieces to match your style.” – Jewel Mint

One thing I’m always stressing with my clients is the importance of accessorizing. Invest in basic wardrobe staples (black blazer, neutral knits, a great pair of fitted dark jeans, riding boots, etc.), then express your personal style and taste through your jewelry, handbags, etc. The reason why I post so often on statement necklaces, cocktail rings and the like is because accessories are an easy, affordable way to update your wardrobe, infuse some sophistication and pull an outfit together.

I love how cool and unusual Kate and Cher’s one-of-a-kind designs are. Some of my favorites:

Just got my pair of wing-it earrings the other day – obsessed.

How does it work?

Jewel Mint makes this process simple – sign up to become a member of Jewel Mint, then fill out their personal style profile so they can make specific jewelry recommendations based on your preferences. What’s your style? Bohemian? Glamorous? Classic? Edgy and avant garde? As a member, you get free shipping and members-only pricing. For $29.99 a month, you get one jewelry credit for one piece of jewelry – your choice – from the Jewel Mint collection, a plethora of rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. At such a reasonable price, who can resist? And the great thing is – if you decide you don’t want to pay $29.99 that month, you can opt out and wait until the next month to buy a piece.

If you’re in a bit of a post-holiday funk, some new jewelry might just be the spice you need. In my opinion, it’s worth checking out: a new year’s online shopping trend I’m partial to.

Stay chic,

Annie

all images via Jewel Mint site*

…and a happy NEW YEAR!

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and I’m sure many of you are shopping for a bold, statement top or dress to ring in the new year. If your discretionary budget is a bit lower after shopping for holiday gifts and presents – never fear. I’ve scoured my favorite online shops and stores to find some gorgeous, glittery pieces, all well under $200 (and most are closer to $50!).

Pair any of these with a pair of black skinny pants (or dark straight leg jeans), sky-high heels, a killer clutch, and your best “wow-me” jewelry for a night on the town or soiree. For chilly temperatures, don a simple, black tailored blazer, or a faux fur coat for that extra bit of polish and panache. I’m a jeans and dressy top girl myself, so no cocktail dress this year for me!

A) Sabine Sequin Zigzag Top, $60

B) Ark and Co. Sequin Sheer Top, $59

C) Topshop Sequin Front Tank, $64

D) French Connection Silver Simmons Top, $158

E) Madison Marcus Spectacle Sequin Tunic, $107

F) Rachel Zoe Sequin Dolman Top, $99

Whatever the dress code might be for you January 31st, why not watch the ball drop in style? Cheers to the new year, to good friends and family, to happiness, and of course, to staying chic!

Annie

Happy holidays to all from A Chic Critique! Signing off until I see you in 2012. Stay tuned!

Berry Christmas

One of the winter lipstick shades I’m currently having a love affair with is Mary Kay’s “Berry Kiss.” A friend gave this to me after receiving it as a sample and I couldn’t be more obsessed. A rich berry, I’ve found it’s the perfect holiday choice for my western European coloring (blonde hair, fair skin, and green eyes). Typically, I remain fairly loyal to my standards: glossy bubblegum, raspberry, and strawberry pinks (this color family suits my skin well). However, the yuletide spirit and wintery chill always warms me up to the idea of sporting a deeper red for festive occasions, especially during the holidays.

Amanda Seyfried sporting berry-stained lips. (via here)

And here, Mary Kay’s “Berry Kiss:”

Model wearing “Berry Kiss” by Mary Kay. Another added bonus, in additional to a beautiful pout? This color brightens and whitens your smile! This is my go-to shade for holiday festivities and gatherings. ($13) Images via here

What are your favorite lipstick shades for winter? If you’re looking to make a departure from your norm and spice things up a little, let me make another suggestion: the ever-chic berry (which happens to be red’s sister).

Here are some of my picks:


Lancolm L’Absolu Rouge in Berry Noir, $29 (creamy and rich)

Chantecaille Damask Lip Chic, $32 (balmy, sheer, effortless). Burgundies also look great on darker complexions.

Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Moody, $24 (a gel tint)

Berry emanates warmth, adding just a touch of glamour for the holidays: why not give it a try this season instead of your classic red standard?

Ashley Olsen rockin’ a sumptuous berry pout. (image via here)

Stay chic,

Annie

Shake your Glitter

One of my favorite parts about the advent of the holiday season (in addition to copious amounts of Nat King Cole “Christmas” music, eggnog, present wrapping, and reruns of “Elf,”) is the release of festive nail polish collections. What other time of the year can you get away with wearing virtual disco balls on your fingertips? Since these colors aren’t always “office-appropriate,” (hey, unless you work at a graphic design office or for a fashion magazine), why not don one for a New Year’s soiree, or perhaps that holiday ball or Dirty Santa cocktail party you’re going to in a few days?

Deborah Lippmann’s holiday collection is bright, girly, and bold; I love how she uses teal and magenta instead of traditional red and green.

Deborah Lippmann “Dance Music” Holiday Mini Trio, $29

If you prefer to exercise a little more restraint with your polish choices, stick with a classic, simple gold or deep red. I love this “Butter by London” collection because the shimmer is subtle and minimal – understated, yet sophisticated.

Butter London Holiday Glitter Trio, $36

Since I’m a pink girl at heart, I’m drooling over Essie’s “A Cut Above” (middle, clear pink). It can be layered over a pale, opaque pink, or worn alone as a transparent glitter finish, whichever you prefer.

Essie Luxe Effects Collection, Holiday 2011

Spruce up your nails and get in the holiday spirit – and bring on the glitter parade!

Stay chic,

Annie

ACC Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

Here are some holiday gift options for HER I have my eye on this season:

For lounging in style,

treat her to some beautiful, feminine “loungerie.” Silk Kimono Robe from Plum Pretty Sugar, $124

For your mother or mother-in-law,

Monogrammed Lucite Platter from Etsy (colors / patterns + text are all completely customizable!), about $130. Chic, practical, and a crowd-pleaser.

For your girlfriend or fashion-obsessed friend:

I’ve been obsessed with Inslee Hayne’s fashion-inspired, pretty watercolor prints and stationary for years. Understated, artistic, and sophisticated, all of her work is visually-appealing and cool. Inslee Haynes 2012 Calendar, $30

“The brand new 2012 Calendar is here! Twelve new illustrations that capture the style and spirit of each month of the year. Each month is on a free-standing 8×10″ page of 100 lb bright white cover stock. Frame it, put it on an easel, display it beneath a glass desk cover, poke a hole at the top and loop a colorful ribbon through it for easy hanging – the possibilities are endless. This is a unique piece of functional art that will keep your office or home bright with ever-changing art all year long.” – inslee.net

For your own little top chef,

This classic registry piece is a favorite among foodies and kitchen geniuses. The color options (butter yellow, sage green, purple, royal blue, fire engine red, the list goes on) give it a retro vibe. Those that have them swear by them. KitchenAid Mixer, about$250-500 (depending on size & wattage)

Stocking Stuffer

I’m a huge fan of Bobbi’s pigmented eye shadows, and at $45, this is a great value – for your sister, aunt, or co-worker (or anyone, for that matter!)

Other ideas:

  • A year-long subscription to her favorite leisure/home/cooking/style magazine (Home & Garden, In Style, Cooking Light, etc.)
  • A facial, peel, or massage at a local high-end spa.
  • A print, painting, or photograph by a local artist, matted and/or framed.
  • An annual membership to the local art museum or botanical garden.
  • Membership to a travel club – or better yet – a special getaway or vacation you’ve planned.
  • And last, but not least, a wardrobe edit or personal shopping trip with A Chic Critique!

My own merry little Christmas List:

Calvin Klein Belted Puffer Coat in Titanium (This lightweight quilted coat doesn’t have the dreaded marshmallow/Michelin Man effect, plus, it’s belted for an hourglass silhouette – the perfect winter coat. Love!)
Michael Kors Garret Chronograph & Crystal Watch The silver and gold married together make this an ideal, versatile choice (added bonus: it’s large and in-charge).
J. Crew Invitation Clutch in Leopard. Need. this. clutch.

What’s on your holiday wish-list?

Stay chic,

Annie

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