Tag Archives: fall 2009

Shades of Fall and Aperol

Miss Mojito was excited to meet a new-to-her aperitif during Richmond Restaurant Week. Aperol is an Italian liqueur that sings strongly with both sweet and bitter notes. In particular, you’ll notice a strong orange flavor that’s tempered by hints of rhubarb and herbs.

I encountered Aperol in a fantastic cocktail called the Hummingbird at IMG_0904Acacia Midtown (check out the fun presentation in the photo at right – I love the mini pitcher that accompanies the glass). Unfortunately, Miss Mojito was not the best reporter this particular evening, and so I’m blanking on ingredients. What I do recall is fresh pineapple juice. I’m thinking a mixture of Aperol, tequila, pineapple and agave might be right on the mark. But if you’re looking for something a bit less experimental, I might steer you in the direction of the Aperol Spritz, which I found over at the fantastic-but-soon-to-be-extinct-Gourmet.com.

Aperol Spritz
Serves one

  • 1 1/2 ounces Aperol
  • 2 ounces Prosecco
  • Sparkling water
  • Lemon twist

Pour Aperol and Prosecco in a champagne flute and top with sparkling water. Garnish with lemon twist and serve.

Aperol is easily recognized by its distinctive, burnt orange color, and since that color is a harbinger of fall, I thought this would be the perfect opportunorange_shoeity to highlight some autumn-inspired shoes.

(Top) Lovely People Ambrose Open-Toe Platform Bootie, $119 at Piperlime.com

(Middle) Samanta T-Strap Q Pump, $96 at Endless.com

orange_shoe2(Bottom) Nine West Elkie Sandal, $89 at NineWest.com

orange3

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Dressing boldly (an update)

About a month ago, Ms. S&C declared that the goal of her fall wardrobe was to dress boldly. In her original blog post, she highlighted a few trends that were catching her eye. Did she follow-through on her own advice? Yes, sort-of.

Below are some of her recent purchases. Obviously, there’s not a lot of bold color and flashy prints in this selection – with the exception of the bright cobalt clutch. She likes this sweet, satin bow clutch because it can brighten up a lot of outfits. She’ll take it out when she’s in distressed denim (or her new black denim), and when wearing the all-occasion black dress.

Biker chic accessories are a popular fall trend. Ms. S&C picked up this studded belt, which she’ll wear high-waisted over her numerous black and gray cardigans, to make them much more exciting.

black-denimclutch_belt

As for shoes – Ms. S&C recently tossed a pair of black, peep-toe pumps from Nine West. She’d had them for at least five years, probably longer, and they showed their years. Replacing them was a necessity. She spotted these Nine West platforms when researching suede shoes for a reader, and she loves them. Her first day wearing them — a lady stopped her in Starbucks to comment.

Ms. S&C has been toying with buying a pair of booties for awhile now. She didn’t want anything too flashy, as she plans to wear them with shorter-length skirts/dresses and colorful tights. And, she didn’t want to spend a lot of money. She thinks she satisfied both requirements with these Report Dylan ankle boots.blk-platform

blk-bootie

While Ms. S&C likes trends, she prefers classic items with a long shelf-life. Not purposely, this mentality has transferred over to cocktail preferences of late. The drink in her hand on Friday’s, after work? It was a Tom Collins over the summer.  For the early fall, it’s been the classic martini — or more specifically, the original-pre-Prohibition martini, which is currently called the Fifty-Fifty Martini. Confused? It’s the martini with equal parts gin and equal parts vermouth. Why the extra vermouth? Read Jason Wilson’s, WaPo columnist, article “Stirrings of a Better Martini,” or this article from NYT’ Shaken and Stirred column. Vermouth is good in cocktails,people. Use it.

Since there are so many variations of the martini, I find it’s easiest just to tell the bartender what I want in it, and how I want it prepared. For example, tonight, I’ll simply say, “Martini with equal parts gin and vermouth, up, with a twist. And, a dash of orange bitters, if you got ‘em.” Please. 

posted by Ms. S&C

S&C advice column — my fall suede shoes

Ms. S&C,

Me again, one of your most loyal followers! … I am seeing suede pumps everywhere now that we’re all in the “fall” mindset. …

Can you help me find a good fall colored suede pump for this season? I need it to go with a LOT of outfits, considering my dehydrated and parched discretionary budget!

Help!

Yours, KG

————————————-

Dear KG,

I’m loving suede shoes right now, including suede boots and booties. Really. I desperately want a pair (or pairs) for myself, and I’m finding too many options. I also need to be budget conscious (overspent at Anthropologie–and sadly, on too few items), so your question is a great one.

I don’t know about you, but I think I prefer suede shoes in warm neutral colors. Not sure why, but dark colored suede doesn’t work for me. Below are a few favorites I’ve come across. I think the tiered ruffled booties in nude  ($69.95) are so adorable. They would look great with skirts and skinny jeans. I also really like the taupe rouched platforms ($69.95). They are both daytime and nighttime appropriate. I know they are open-toe too, but I’m not afraid to go open-toe year round these days. And, not to overdo it on the ruffles, but I like these suede boots in taupe  ($79.95), and for one heck-of-a price.

JS ruffle bootieJS platform pumpsuede ruffle boot

If you are looking for a sexy statement shoe, how about these cut-out booties ($89.95)? They’re edgy, but not too extreme (except for the 4+ inch heel). If you’re looking for something more conservative, here are two other reliable brands with good options. The Ralph Lauren pumps ($98.00) are classic and come in a myriad of colors. The Nine West can’t-go-wrong peep-toe platforms ($89.00) are pretty great (I just wish they came in more colors–I want them in brown!).

NYLA platform bootieRL suede pumpsNW platform

Even if you do not choose any of the above, please report back when you make a decision on your fall suede shoes. I’d love to see them! Thanks so much for reading, and being one of our most loyal followers!

Happy shoe shopping,
Ms. S&C

posted by Ms. S&C

Dress boldly

The goal for Ms. S&C’s fall wardrobe? To dress boldly. That means wearing color. And prints. Ms. S&C plans to brighten up her fall look with richly colored tights, footwear, and lipstick (in red, please). She’ll also add a dash of paisley and polka dots here and there. Read on for what has inspired Ms. S&C this season.

JCrew-fall09

JCrew-fallshoes

J.Crew’s fall collection has some of my favorite looks, including lots of vibrant-colored hosiery and footwear. Verdict is still out on the short neon socks though. Actually, no it is not, I don’t like them.

But, what fall trends are catching Ms. S&C’s eye?

  • Tights — the brighter, the bolder, the better. I have a few pairs leftover from last year: gray, black, and red (purchased originally for a holiday party), but I would like to add another bright color (maybe orange) and a textured or printed pair (like herringbone).
  • Shorter-length skirt — otherwise, what will you wear your tights with? This piece is primarily for weekend wear and travel, so get something that’s versatile, like this wool one I picked up at J.Crew. It goes without saying, it is easier on the wallet to buy one skirt and a few pair of tights, rather than vice versa.
  • Boyfriend/tomboy look — slouchy jeans, blazers, vests, long cardigans, and oxfords are still in. I already have a long, black cardigan and a gray vest (understand why I need color?), so I think I’ll invest in a new blazer. It will be good for work, good for the weekend, good for forever. It’s a classic piece. Now, only thing left to decide: corduroy or wool?
  • Biker chic accessories — this means studs and zippers. You’ll find them on outerwear, bags, belts, and footwear (like the awesome Jessica Simpson pumps shown below).

S&C Style Tip: When you’re talking about trends — less is more. Don’t go all biker or all boyfriend (i.e. don’t pair the studded shoes with the studded belt and the zippered pants.). Wear these things separately. I think you know this, but just in case. Trends, in my opinion, are best utilized sparingly, and when paired with classic pieces.

KS-fall1KS-fall2

Kate Spade’s fall clothing line is funky and fun, but falls in the category of “aspirational-and-quite-possibly-unattainable buy.” However, I may be willing to trade my first born for the polka dot shirt and the quirky owl bag. I feel like I could channel my girl crush, Zooey Deschanel, with those pieces.

As for fall footwear, boots are still e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Ankle boots, suede boots, western boots (I’ve loved red cowboy boots ever since I saw them on Katie Holmes in Wonder BoysLucky Brand are pictured below), biker boots (these tall, and affordable, ones in black from Nine West are great), over-the-knee boots (a trend I plan to ignore by the way). However, we cannot live on boots alone, so  other footwear can be embellished with ruffles and bows, studs, and straps (the Miz Mooz pair below have it all–color, interesting criss-cross straps, perfect rounded toe).

lucky-bootsninewest-boots


JS-studdedmizmooz

Ms. S&C wants to know: What do you think of these fall trends? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Never wear ‘em? Would love to hear what new items you plan on having in your closet this season.

posted by Ms. S&C

S&C alerts–red hot fashion and cocktails

Here are some of Ms. S&C’s favorite finds in the worlds of shoes and cocktails.

New York Fashion Week was last week. I’m always a bit overwhelmed and underwhelmed by fashion weeks. There’s always so much coverage, and I never know what to read. Plus, there’s the whole never-in-my-lifetime-will-I-ever-afford-this-so-why-bother aspect. Well, I’m happy to report two things:

  • Fashion Washington covered fashion week via their FW Runway Report blog. It is a great digestible collection of photos, runway reports, backstage stories and fashion commentary. Note to self: need to tone arms and shoulders — lots of one-shoulder looks and fur coming in the fall.oscar-de-la-renta
  • Footwear News also spotlighted designers shoes. Subscription access prevents us from seeing a lot of the styles, but it appears platforms, booties and exotic prints will be popular in the fall. I particularly like the pointy platform booties from Oscar de la Renta.

And speaking of digestible, in last week’s Washington Post Food Section, Gastronomer columnist Andreas Viestad, shared a very interesting dessert cocktail using chili peppers. The Hot and Cold Whisky cold-whisky-chili-granitaChili Granita is definitely a contender for the S&C test kitchen. You can change the flavor depending on the chili pepper and spirit used. For example–for a smokier flavor, use chipotle peppers and single malt scotch; for something sweeter, use bourbon. The Whisky Chili Granita is described as something that could “wake up” guests after a long dinner. Cheers to that.

posted by Ms. S&C

Recession fierce

The it-is-cool-to-be-cheap revolution continues!

Christian Siriano, winner of Project Runway Season Four, just announced a deal with Payless ShoeSource, reports the New York Post.

“I’m so excited to design and create with such an amazing brand that is all about fashion and trend but, most importantly, is also about affordability,” Christian said in a statement Monday.  He also went on to say, “I can’t wait to see how they will take the high-end shoes and bags I’m designing for the runway and turn them into pieces that everyone can buy.  I’m all about the runway and the sidewalks!”

His line of low-price shoes and handbags will debut at New York Fashion Week in February, and will be available in Payless stores and Payless.com in the Fall of 2009.  The designs are expected to range in price from $25-$45.

christian-siriano