Master Class: Fall Layering Techniques


Tips on Master Layering

1.  Limit your Layers, 3 is best

J Crew Sleeveless Ruffle Top, J Crew Leopard Cardigan, Antonio Melani Gray Cashmere Cardigan Sweater, Zara Cigarette Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Black Pumps



2.  Know your Body Type:  Are you an Apple, Pear, Ruler, Inverted Triangle or Hourglass.  Understanding your body type helps with the most flattering layering possibilities.  I suggest layer with caution when it comes to bulky items,  Below I would of removed the denim shirt.

layering 5

Long and Lengthy?  A Ruler body type is great for the look below.  Thin with no curves

layering 1


3.  Pair Light weight pieces under bulk

Ted Baker Fleur Jacket, Vince Camuto Aqua Sleeveless Blouse, Thalian Burgundy Leggings, Nine West Brown Mid Boots, Vintage Silk Chiffon Purple Scarf



4. Balance Layered tops under slim bottoms

Levi Strauss Blue Jacket, Pink Chiffon Buffalo Blouse, Zara Skirt, Vince Camuto Booties




5. Layer the Same Colorwhite


layering color

6. Layer Texture

Zara Grey Metallic Knit Jacket, Elizabeth and James Feathered Vest, J Jill White Cami

028 (3)

Step One:   Max Jeans Grey Vest, Mossimo White Tee, Prabal Gurang Prism Necklace, Zara Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Black Pumps


Step 2.  Add another layer with texture, and repeat the color.  Not overwhelming!  La Fiorentina Fur Vest


7. Summer Dresses can be layered into Fall Style

layering 15

J Crew Sparkle Sheath Dress, Nine West Booties


Added: Zara Black Knit Pullover, J Crew Black Grosgrain Belt,  5 Layer Strand of big Faux  Pearls


Tool Box:  Items needed for  Layering

1. Vests

Lucky Army Vest, Lucy Black Hoody, Banana Republic Graphic Tee, Zara Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Black Pumps


J Crew Print Shell, Antonio Melani Man’s Vest, Premise Black Jacket, Vintage Scarf

034 (3)

2.  Jackets and Tops at various lengthsScan0013

Talbot’s Zebra Long Jacket, Mossimo Grey Sweater, Vince Camuto White Sleeveless Blouse, Zara Black Leggings, Stuart Weitzman Black Boots



Margaret O’Leary Black Knit Sweater, H&M Black Sheer Long Duster, J Jill White Cami, Ann Taylor White Jeans, Vince Camuto Brown Bootie, Italian Black Bag


3. Cascading Hemlines


Mossimo Knit Oatmeal Sweater, Trina Turk Taupe Silk Sleeveless Top, Zara Ivory Midi Skirt, Vince Camuto Booties


4. Sleeveless Blouses , Tees and Turtlenecks

Vince Camuto White Sleeveless Top, H&M Black Man’s Vest, Barneys New York Black Fingerless Leather Gloves, Elevenesse Black Matador Pants, Stuart Weitzman Leopard Pumps



5. Pullovers

layering 11l17

6. Long GlovesScan0010


7. Trimmings: Buy quality, don’t settle for a bad fake fur!  There are good fake furs out there and I personally like Vintage Fur.

Brooks Brothers Ivory Coat, Vintage Fur Trim

095 - Copy


layering 13

8. Layer Jewelry. I enjoy adding layers of jewelry in similar colors and textures with one “off” piece. Vintage Jet Beads, Misc Strands

168 - Copy



9. Scarves  So versatile and add a splash of your favorite colors, patterns ect.

Trina Turk Black Leather Jacket, TeenFlo Vest, J Crew Taupe Chiffon Sleeveless Blouse, Vintage Limited Silk Scarf ( Circa 80″s), Zara Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Black Pumps


Infinity Scarves- Current Trend-  I like it!!


10 Ties

Banana Republic Navy Cardigan, Mossimo Denim Shirt, Vintage Tartan Tie, Zara Black Leggings, Zara Motorcycle Boots


Layering Clothing is fun, looks very chic and stylish and fundamentally can keep you warm this Fall.  Good Luck and remember the tips and work with your tool box!!


A Long Cold December Weekend in Chicago: What I saw, Where I visited, and What I wore!

Chicago currently is my favorite city – no question about it.  Why?

It is a non stop 3 1/2 hour flight from Tucson to Chicago Midway, easy train access into the city, along with transfer trains to get you to your hotel and anywhere else you want to go.062

Chicago is  beautiful! 067The river running thru  the city is gorgeous030 031Large sidewalk promenades for walking, buildings that express so much history, the city is clean, great neighborhoods to visit, great shopping, restaurants, museums, and parks.  Chicago reminds me of Paris and the man who designed the city wanted Chicago to reflect Paris. He did a good job!

I especially enjoy visiting during the Holiday Season because of the festivities and fan fare Chicago has to offer.   Below are some of the highlights of  our long weekend ( Steve my husband joined me)

Day 1

Barneys New York never let’s me down, I would have to say it is my equivalent to the ” Tiffany s” experience as Audrey Hepburn explained in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  For example as I was waiting for the elevator to Fred’s I tried on a $1200.00 fur hat that was electric purple and the quick thrill made me smile!  I also enjoyed thumbing thru books that were the size of door frames, and smelling candles that were so divine I naturally had to take a seat at Fred’s bar to settle down and  absorb all these little luxuries. Within minutes Steve and I were enjoying Martini’s with blue cheese olives and instead of the boring bar nuts and cheese/sesame crinkles that accompanycocktails, we were served Hand Cut fries with Goddess Ranch Dressing.  Cheers!

photo 1

Perhaps I forgot to mention how cold it was:  16 degrees, but that didn’t’ stop us because the Chicago agenda had just begun.  I didn’t care how cold it was:  Next stop Chicago Theater to see if we could get tickets to Seinfeld.  Yes we managed to get the last 2 tickets out of 3,553 seats. SCORE!!!!  We also got lucky with our timing and joined in on a Historic Tour of the Chicago Theater. The organ was quite impressive along with all the rich red velvet (31)photo (24)

Macy’s was right around the corner (former Marshall Fields) so it was only proper we payed a visit to see Santa and see the amazing Christmas (20)

As I said before I love public transportation , so we headed to the subway station and jumped on the red line to go shopping at Buffalo Exchange and dine at a neighborhood restaurant. Steve and I both found some treasures at Buffalo.  I found a pair of J Crew electric blue suede pumps,011 Steve found a Marc Jacobs Black Wool Short Coat.002 We proceeded to celebrate at  Mana Vegetarian Restaurant which  was delicious.  Who needs beef when it is this good!  I have the menu on my fridge to inspire me to eat and cook healthy!003

Day 2

Off to the Chicago Museum of Art via Michigan Avenue.063  Really cold again,but  thanks to heat warmer inserts I can manage being outdoors for short periods of time. Steve is tougher than me- he can do without them.  But hat, gloves, coat, scarf are all mandatory.003

The museum never disappoints, along with the Terzo cafe.  We had a insightful visit and I always  explore a new wing because my nature is  to continually visit the impressionist wing.  I accomplished both on this trip.  A few new sightings and one favorite:017

014019So close to the museum is Millennium Park and the “Bean”  is  the main attraction.029  The ice skating rink was in full swing and  my question is how can people be ice skating when it is 18 degrees??? BRRRRR028

Logan Square  has become the trendy hot spot and was a new destination for us. We stumbled upon Billy Sunday for a cocktail before our dinner at Telegraph Wine Bar.  Billy Sunday was amazingly fun with young stylish hipsters, cool cocktails served in vintage bar ware and the interiors were modern with a classic twist.  This bar was so swank, I loved it!billy sunday 2 billy sunday  Telegraph Wine Bar did not have the same energy or vibe, but the food was delicious.

Day 3

SNOW EVERYWHERE!!!!052  How beautiful it was to see the snow  the moment  we walked out of our hotel, the Talbott which is located in the Gold Coast. 042 We walked in the snow  down Michigan Avenue to the Chicago Architecture Foundation.043048045 Today was the day for the “Loop” history walking tour. To say the least not the best day for an outdoor tour that consisted of  standing on platforms to discuss the History of the L Train, but we did it and froze our fannies off in the process.  I did learn about the history of the library in my opinion a little gaudy.061 Also learned about the man who developed and built the loop. He was a shady character who made friends with the mob, and had only one ulterior motive which was to make $$$$$, rather than be interested in the welfare of the people.  To make a long story short- the L Train (elevated) is still used today and provides cohesiveness to the downtown area .

Bacino’s pizza is a favorite stop.  After the architecture tour we shuffled in the Bacino Bar, took all the layers off and thawed out while enjoying wine and deep dish pizza.   Delicious and so satisfying!photo 4

Bundling ourselves up again after lunch,photo (30) Steve needed a power nap and I needed  Neiman’s!  As I strolled thru the Cosmetics counter some how I got lassoed at the Yves Saint Laurent counter and without much struggle I sat down in “the chair”. An hour later with much needed applications of  extra hydration, eye soothing gel, concealer, eye shadows, eye liner, lipstick in other words the works I walked out beautiful, refreshed and a little bag of new products and goodies.  What a treat, I  enjoyed every minute of it!

Seinfeld!!!!!!photo (16) The night had come for laughter and Jerry Seinfeld made it happen.  What a great comedian/performer.  This is our 3rd time seeing him live and all three performances have been fantastic.  If you ever have the opportunity to see Seinfeld go!  Walking back to the hotel I was in awe over these icicles.073

Day 4

The brunch I had been waiting for!  I am not a huge brunch fan but  it took a month in advance to get in this popular place, and Sunday Brunch was the only reservation  available.  I am talking about RL Bar (Ralph Lauren).  The vibe, totally clubby with rich leather chairs, dark mahogany ceiling and a eclectic display of paintings with Red Sconces to pop and pull it all together. photo (22) The room was beautiful, the patrons were beautiful, the champagne glasses were beautiful and the food was delicious.  I had a Lobster BLT which has ruined me for life!

A visit to Lincoln Park is always a treat because there is so much to see and do. 111079 We first visited the Conservatory with an incredible display of Christmas Poinsettias,  mini train, and the tropical lush plants that just get bigger and better every time I visit.096097  The zoo is free and you can stroll at a leisure pace especially in the winter with hardly anyone else there.  The Giraffes are always my favorite. 102101103 As we continued to stroll in the park on the way to the bus stop – a mini fashion photo shoot seemed in order since I was wearing my vintage beaver fur and the moment of opportunity was perfect.  Strike a pose!081

After a 20 minute power nap we headed back on Michigan Ave to the Chicago Symphony‘s performance of Yule Tide Celebration.113  We had box seats, the view was superb as was the performance.  I wore a black long leather skirt, Satin Red Vest and Lace Jacket. photo (26) I could also be comfortable and warm with my Aqua Italia boots that no one could see under my long skirt.  This is called fashion winter strategy!  I also wore my canadian boots during the day which were totally reliable.019

Our last meal in Chicago was at Le Colonial in the Gold Coast Neighborhood, a block from our hotel.  The cuisine is Vietnamese.  A  delicious dinner  was followed by a nite cap at the Back Room Jazz Bar which proceeded to a spontaneous Ladies Dance Contest in which I decided not to hold back and resulted in ” most applause” for the best dancer!!!119  That was a lot of fun I won’t lie!

What a fantastic winter holiday, I can’t wait to return to Chicago and discover new places while re- visiting my favorites.  The beaver coat is hung up in the closet again, waiting for another cold visit.  Until then—-110

Phoenix Fabulous Weekend

Living in Tucson as wonderful as it is, sometimes I get a little antsy and feel the need to see something besides cactus,  desert homes that are typically built low, and the color  brown, meaning lots of dirt, clay whatever you want to call it.   Phoenix is 100 miles away and whenever I go I am satisfied with “getting away”.  This particular trip my husband and I enjoyed some of our favorite visits along with quite a few new ones too! Here are some hi-lites! We started out on Friday having lunch at Postino’s which is now a regular spot for us. It has a laid back vibe and great service.016 During lunch all wines and champagne are $5.00, great selections.   I love the Bruschetta to accompany the wine and with  so many choices for toppings such as burrata, bacon, arugula and tomatoes, or Warm Artichoke Spread you can’t go wrong. All are  displayed on a plank board like little soldiers waiting to be devoured.017 Later on that day we went on the Westward Ho Hotel Historic Tour which is located downtown Phoenix. 041 This was a famous hotel in the 30’s thru 60’s and the celebrities who visited included John F Kennedy, Del Webb, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and the list goes on.  The hotel currently is Senior Housing.  Our tour guide was Chef Dennis who now lives at the Westward Ho, used to be a chef on the Super Chief Rail Way. 005 He captivated us by telling us stories not only about the heyday of the Westward Ho along with Architecture but also his days on the Super Chief as a chef. 033 He cooked for Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Betty Davis.  Jimmy Carter was considered the kind one of the three. He repeatedly commented on the good ol days of quality, elegance and class on the railway.032  Another interesting story he told us about the Westward Ho was that during prohibition a tunnel was built in the basement that connected to the Judges house across the street, so booze was freely going to and fro and no one got caught.  Speak Easy was running at full capacity underneath the Westward Ho and connected money was funding the hotel and it was the place to be!  Chef Dennis gave us a private tour of his quarters at the end of the tour and to my delight he had the most charming well appointed small space  with tons of memorabilia of the Westward Ho. 045  He also had a green thumb with luscious plants scattered thru out his flat.047 When I revealed I was a Wardrobe Consultant he was proud to show me  his Burberry Coat from 1970 that was in mint condition.  I left the tour with a wealth of information and a respect for Chef Dennis with his rich well lived life.  I think to myself it’s all what we make of our lives– we have the control. Before heading to bed, Steve and I shot a few games of pool in our lobby – we stayed at the Aloft hotel a sister hotel of the W- great location for downtown.072 The next day we headed off to the Phoenix Art Museum which never leaves me disappointed. 009083I wore my Brocade skirt and my Prada Navy Patent 078 Ankle Strap Shoes- I love dressing up when going to the museum. I was particularly excited to view the Modern Spirit  Fashion of the 1920’s Exhibit which displayed early Coco Chanel designs, along with learning what the 1920’s fashion was all about:  Raised Hemlines, Un- Corseted Silhouettes,  Bobbed Hair, and lots of Skin showing. index It was defined as the Modern Spirit!  It was a wonderful day at the museum while we also viewed the Western Gallery and a new Japanese Exhibit. Famished and next on the list was a new restaurant to try – Dick’s Hideaway.  We entered a cave like atmosphere, sat down at the 10 seat bar and watched the chefs prepare New Mexican fair  that soon enough we were chowing down ourselves. dicks hideway It was a cool atmosphere, great food, good prices , I can’t wait to go back! With tummy’s full one of our intentions was to get Steve a new suit so we headed off to My Sister’s Closet Consignment Shop- a huge operation in Phoenix with many locations. header-logo  he scored – that is an understatement. He walked out with 2 Designer Suits $40.00 each,  4 dress shirts- one french cuff, 2 Cashmere Sweaters and a new Watch . Men– this is a great place to shop with a limited budget for designer and quality items. Ladies there is a store for you too, I refrained myself this trip! Victory for Monica! Back to one of our favorites spots  for dinner: the St Francis on Camelback salad  We have always sat at the bar outside and enjoy conversing with the bartenders.  The ambiance is warm and on a wall outside they play an old Julia Child Cooking Show in black and white. Classic! My meal was exceptional and I plan on re-creating it at home.  I had Grilled Salmon over Quinoa with Avocado, French Radishes and Carrots.   I highly recommend this restaurant- two thumbs up!st francis Before heading back to Tucson we made our usual pilgrimage to Ikea stocking up on tea lites, pots for the garden, place mats  and whatever strikes us at Ikea.  Fortunately for Steve no major furniture, redesign projects in the near future. Until our next visit to Phoenix———–  I am home with a Happy New Year ahead of me in Tucson.

Ten things that make me smile during Christmas

1. Dressing Up and the Shoe Possibilities! 

Vintage Tartin Plaid Tie, Weiss Vintage Brooch


Nine West Glitter Platinum Peep Toe Pumps,


Chinese Laundry Red Foil Peep Toe Pumps


Vintage Beaded Top, Theory Jacket


Betty Muller Black Velvet Slingbacks with Vintage Shoe Clips


Target Ballet Pink Glitter Clutch


Vintage Pendelton Plaid Jacket, Ciner Starburst Brooch


2. Classic Christmas Music. I think there is alot of Bad Christmas Music but a few of my favorites include:  Carol of the Bells, Sleigh ride,  Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack with my favorite: Christmas time is Here, and  anything Nat King Cole.

3. It’s A Wonderful LifeMV5BMTMzMzY5NDc4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzc4NjIxNw@@._V1._SY317_

When I lived in Palo Alto my husband and I would go to the Stanford Theatre every Christmas Eve and go to the 9pm showing of Its a Wonderful Life. The Stanford Theater is a Historic Landmark and  features the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. On Christmas Eve the house was packed and we all sang Christmas songs from 8-9 before the movie.


The management also provided free popcorn and refreshments.  It always sold out so we bought our tickets in advance.

With the house so full it was fun to applaud when Jimmy Stewart did something heroic, and hiss at Potter when he was pure evil!  I miss that experience since living in Tucson.

4. Memories of the Bergdorf Goodman Windows in New York.  Nothing beats them.079

They are magnificent.When I can’t travel to New York I rely on seeing them thru the eyes of Bill Cunningham, New York Times.

5.  The Scent of Fresh Pine in the House


6. Decorating the House and Enjoying the Seasonal displays065 064 017 014 012

7. Luncheons,  Parties and Champagne!

8.  Driving up Pontatoc and viewing all the Christmas Lights

077 074 001 078

9. Classic Christmas Cartoons.  I am 47 and I still love them!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas.


Charlie Brown Christmas


Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer


Frosty the Snowman


Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa Claus is Coming To Town

10. My family, Steve, Barolo and Dolci!154  It is small but a bounty of Love!

032 015

Travelling to Denver in my Yves Saint Laurent shoes

I have returned from Denver and the driving force behind the trip was to view the Yves Saint Laurent Retrospect exhibit.  It definitely met my expectations. I started my trip appropriately wearing my Black Satin YSL Loafers and dining my last meal in my Hot Pink Satin Fleur Slingbacks!

The exhibit had over 200 collections on display spanning Yves Saint Laurent’s entire career.  Ladies you can thank him for introducing pants in our wardrobes. In the 1960s the accepted form of attire for women was dresses and skirts and it was YSL who changed “our uniform”

I felt like I was in Disneyland on It’s a  small world ride, as the rooms I entered presented me with a visual fashion fantasy each going thru an era of iconic fashion.

The exhibit started with Yves first collection in 1958 called the Trapeze, which was the “Bubble” dress.  The bubble dress was so well received it launched him into fame and success. Other YSL significant collections included the slightly masculine Tuxedo Jacket also known as Le Smoking Jacket which fitted and molded perfectly to a woman’s body.

Next on display:  The exotic era which comprised of inspirations from Russia, Japan, Morocco, Egypt, Spain, and Africa.I viewed gorgeous vibrant See Thru Blouses with a hint of fantasy, The Peasant Look with big bold jewelry,

Bolero Jackets suggesting a Matador,  and Smocks and Tunics hinting a luxurious lifestyle lounging by the pool.

The finale of the exhibit blew me away! It was the largest room set as a ballroom from the Paris Opera House. As I walked in I saw at least 50 mannequins on the wall reaching to the ceiling in50 variations of the black tuxedo suit. The wall was black, the mannequins were black, and the suits of course were black.   With the exception of little splashes of a white bow,  a peak of a white blouse or white lapel detailing. It was magnificent.

On the other side of the room were 50 mannequins in lavish ball gowns complimenting the tuxedos.   The gowns displayed rich vibrant colors, satins, lace, silks, all so beautiful;   I envied the women who had the opportunity to wear them.  This room summed up and defined YSL’s thoughts about women and how they presented their image.  A woman has the choice to be powerful either in a sexy; intriguing mans suit, or an elegant feminine ball gown expressing femininity, and beauty. I think all women of today can identify with both roles and it was YSL an innovator of fashion, that broke the mold and gave women freedom of expression with our choice of dress. Thank you.

On a side note I got lucky when I was shopping at Buffalo Exchange a fabulous resale store here in Tucson.  I snatched up a Rive Gauche YSL circa 80’s Black Bolero Jacket for $16.50 which I wore to the exhibit.

Unbelievable!  I was happy I could pay homage to the irreplaceable magnificent designer Yves Saint Laurent.