skirting around

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So, today’s outfit is actually repurposed from this summer look (wow, I miss being tan). I decided to recycle the basic combination – silk maxi skirt + leather – and style it for a different season, since I love this skirt and don’t find many opportunities to wear it. The color is neutral and the silk isn’t really lightweight, so it happens to work for winter/fall. In this case, I was able to swap my usual wool coat for a leather jacket – luckily, the temperature was on the warm side for January.

To further “winterize” the look, I wore these wild Sam Edelman studded booties (the maxi skirt + boot combo vaguely reminds me Stevie Nicks…you know what I mean?), and layered a slouchy oatmeal-colored sweater under my jacket. Plenty of gold accents help to dress up the neutral tones and tie the whole outfit together. I love finding unusual/non-staple items in my closet that can work across seasons – kinda feels like recycling.

Outfit details:

jacket: mackage (here and here) // skirt: zara (from this summer, but similar here) // sweater: j.crew tippi sweater // booties: sam edelman mila bootie // clutch: banana republic envelope clutch (and similar here and here) // rings: EF COLLECTION PAVE ZIG ZAG RING, KC DESIGNS XO RINGS IN ROSE GOLD, ariel gordon heart ring // nails: Essie gel “fashion crowd”, c/o MiniLuxe Boston

red at work

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Photos by Margaux Stunzi

Sometimes, spicing up an unremarkable outfit (for a day of meetings) is as easy as adding a little color. Specifically: red. I work in a creative field where dress codes don’t really apply, but I realize not everyone has the luxury of wearing what they want to work. Even if your office environment is a bit on the restrictive side, you can amp up your sense of personal style just by pulling a few vibrant colors into your wardrobe (when appropriate). The outfit I’m wearing here is about as basic as it gets: neutral linen top, blazer, denim, suede booties. But thanks to those red pants, I felt a little livelier. (And honestly – during a Boston winter, I need all the help I can get when it comes to liveliness.)

Outfit details:

blazer: zara puffed sleeve // shirt: j.crew (old) // denim: rich & skinny legacy jeans // booties: modern vintage allison // scarf: zara (on sale) // bag: 3.1 phillip lim pashli satchel // rings: EF COLLECTION PAVE ZIG ZAG RING, KC DESIGNS XO RINGS IN ROSE GOLD // nails: Essie gel “fashion crowd”, c/o MiniLuxe Boston

essie gel polish review

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When MiniLuxe – an amazing Boston-based nail salon – asked me if I’d like to try the Essie gel polish line, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only do I love a quality manicure (MiniLuxe is top notch), but I’m a huge fan of Essie products and have amassed quite the collection over the years. I used to paint my nails religiously (every two days), but I got my first gel manicure this summer and have been hooked ever since. I even bought an at-home gel kit. Anyways, a few months ago Essie released a collection of 36 gel polishes that are close matches to the brand’s most popular colors. Exciting news for fellow fans.

Overall, I am very happy with how the manicure has held up (I’m on day six now with no peeling), and the color I chose – called Fashion Crowd – is really similar to Mint Candy AppleI thought it would be fun to try something a little different, since I’ve been wearing mostly reds and corals this winter. Doesn’t the minty green look pretty with these Trader Joe’s roses?!

Now, the only downside I’ve found with frequent gel manicures is that they can really damage your nails (mine are definitely prone to splitting). Luckily, Essie gels are formulated with Keratin and vitamins B5 and E to help condition nails. I can’t comment yet on the health of my own nails post-removal, but it’s nice to know that the polish aims to protect and not destroy. As for the manicure experience, MiniLuxe never disappoints – and as a bit of a nail technique snob, I can really appreciate the technicians’ attention to detail. The salons (with eight locations around Boston) are also bright, clean and full of sparkly little items to buy (like bangles, hair accessories, etc.). Plus, the prices are good and they have the best selection of polish brands and colors.

You should probably go and book yourself a little Monday evening treat (you deserve it).

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(complimentary service provided, but all opinions are my own.)