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franco sarto

nights out

nights out

Hey, long time, no blog. Things got so hectic around here that my mom actually came into town to help with childcare. One added bonus of that is that all of a sudden, we had a babysitter and were able to have some nights out! 

equipment silk dress mindful closet

This dress was a gift from my husband for our anniversary last year (fourth anniversary = silk/linen). And yes, I do pick out my own gifts. ;) I love that it's a simple base for cool jewelry, (like this necklace from Blush Boutique), but I will probably eventually get it hemmed evenly to make it a more classic look. 

mindful closet: african mud cloth dress

The weather this spring has been cooler than usual, which has been nice. I wore this when we met some friends at Old Standard (great vibe, decent food). I'll be honest, this dress/tunic/thingie is always on the chopping block for me. I last wore it here (and loved it), but for non-fashion-crowd events, it always seems like a little much. Maybe I'll chop it down even more and make a top? Thoughts?

Anyway, I have been taking outfit photos and saving ideas for posts, so hopefully I can get back to regularly scheduled programming soon!

 

cos stores review

cos stores review

Finding clothes that are casual, comfortable, and still a bit cool is hard. Some days I actually miss my office job (the grass is always greener, right?) because it gave me a chance to dress up. Not that I couldn't wear a belted pencil skirt and heels to Target or to dig around in a client's closet if I really wanted to, but, well, I don't want to quite that badly. But I still want to look cute, and not just in tee shirts!

During a conversation with one of my good friends who I've never met in person (what, you don't have those? thanks, internet), she recommended that I check out COS. I'd heard about this Swedish store (part of the same company as H&M) and remembered that they'd recently opened a store in NYC and started shipping to the US. Laura had visited the store and thought the clothes were decent quality, so I decided to check it out online. I really loved what I saw - clean lines, minimalist shapes, moderate prices. I ordered a truckload of things (when shopping online, always order a lot - multiple sizes, colors, etc, - you never know what's going to work) and ended up with two tops that go with my current uniform of top/skinny jeans/ankle boots. 

This winter, I'd been looking for things that are nursing-friendly, somewhat warm, and aren't too form fitting (thanks to my non-existent baby weight loss fitness regime). Even though I didn't want attention on my midsection, I still wanted something that fit in the shoulders and chest. Most of the tops I'd been finding were loose all over, with dropped shoulder seams that just made me look wider. By coincidence, these both have interesting back details - at top, a split back, and above, pleating. Also coincidentally, it seems I chose the same (Madewell) necklace to wear with them on different days. What can I say, it's a fave. I'm really happy with both tops, have worn them multiple times in the last few weeks, and got lots of people asking me where they were from. Here's the grey top above (on sale for a great price!). Unfortunately the charcoal top at the start of the post seems to no longer be available. As for sizing, one top is a S and one is a 6, and I'd say that's pretty true to American sizes for me right now, I'm usually between a S and M. You have to make a decision quickly, as you can only return items within 14 days, and unfortunately, the return shipping isn't included.

What do you guys think? Will you check out COS?

Edit: When I looked closely at my account info, it seems that I paid $6 shipping for my COS order and wasn't charged for return shipping, so I might be reading their policy incorrectly. Also, the jeans in the first pic are
great for moms or anyone else who doesn't want to show their tushie to the world - they're Old Navy Rockstar High Rise Super Skinny Jeans. And with that link, I now have to tell you there are affiliate links in this post. If you're not a blogger and are wondering what that means, it means that I make 5 cents anytime anyone clicks on the link. I've made $18.86 to date. Raking it in, I tell ya.

 

lucky find

lucky find

Sometimes, even when you're sticking to your list of needs, you still stumble across something that you can't pass up. For me, it was this Lizzie Fortunato necklace I spotted out of the corner of my eye at Byrd. I've been a fan of her designs since I blogged about them back in 2013, but wouldn't have been able to afford a piece unless it was on consignment.

Whenever I buy something new, I always want to show it off when I first wear it, and later will get more creative with remixing it. For this necklace, I went all black, and just changed it up a bit with a pair of flared black denim.

(Forever 21 top, ooold Old Navy jeans, old Franco Sarto booties, Lizzie Fortunato necklace via Byrd Designer Consignment)

I'm looking forward to wearing more short sleeves this weekend as it warms up here in St. Louis!

What would you make an exception for if you found a great deal?

 

real life

real life

It feels like it's been a while since an outfit post. It's hard enough getting out the door these days (baby, dog, winter gear) without snapping pics, but then I realized I've only posted outfits on those occasions when I get dressed up all fancy. That's not real life, so here are a few real life outfits - snow, rain, overexposures, and all.

st louis personal stylist

Neiman Marcus poncho (similar), Gap jeans, Madewell necklace (no longer available), Sam Edelman booties. As an aside, this poncho is a silk cashmere blend, but I've managed to continue wearing it even with a grabby 7-month old - maybe because it lifts over his head while nursing?

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Forever 21 top, H&M scarf, Old Navy jeans, Sam Edelman booties

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Neiman Marcus poncho, James Jeans, Blush necklace (have you been to Blush? it's the cutest boutique in downtown Kirkwood - you should go!), Sam Edelman booties

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Old Ann Taylor LOFT cardigan, old Gap tee, Gap jeans, flea market necklace, Franco Sarto booties. I'm realizing that all the booties I'm wearing in this post are suede! People always tell me they don't want to buy suede because they won't be able to wear them in the rain, but clearly, I don't let that stop me. I just use a basic spray suede protector and don't splash in any puddles!

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Old Zara cardigan (similar), H&M scarf, Gap jeans, Sam Edelman booties. I bought a couple of cheap scarves this fall to change things up a bit - it's a bummer this one isn't available online in the camel color anymore - I love it!

mindful closet - st louis personal stylist shopper

Eddie Bauer parka, Paige jeans, Sam Edelman booties

Whew, that's a lot of outfits! I'm going to go ahead and wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - I hope everyone has a calm and restful holiday! Keep in touch on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

(this post contains affiliate links)

winter staycation

winter staycation

Attempting to ignore the fact that the dead of winter seems to have arrived several months earlier than scheduled, my husband and I decided to make last weekend a St. Louis staycation, which basically means we ate our way around town. We hit places that had been on our list to try (Patisserie Chouquette, Salume Beddu, and the Habanero Chicken at Amigo Joe's.) and revisited our favorites (Pho Grand, Pasteria, Kim Cheese).

(via my  instagram )

(via my instagram)

Heavy sweaters are back in the rotation. I will also say that these wedge booties have been such an all-star in my wardrobe. They can easily be dressed up for an event, but the wedge means that they're comfortable enough for everyday.

st louis personal stylist - mindful closet

(Vince sweater, old Target scarf, James jeans, Franco Sarto wedge booties)

I would still like to try Peacemaker, Juniper, and Old Standard, but those will have to wait until the next time mr. mindful closet has a weekend off.
Any other restaurants we should add to our list?

 

(This post contains affiliate links)

what i wore: saint louis fashion week emerging designer competition

what i wore: saint louis fashion week emerging designer competition

The past month has been crazy but awesome, covering Saint Louis Fashion week for ALIVE Magazine on top of my usual client schedule and taking care of our now-five-month-old. For most events, I didn't even have a chance to take photos before handing off the baby and running out of the door, but I'm glad I did for this outfit.

This dress cost a whopping 34 cents. Well, I'm guesstimating, since I got it at the St. Louis Goodwill Outlet, where everything is 79 cents per pound. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my guide to St. Louis thrift stores. I love the graphic nature of this traditional African mudcloth fabric. As I seem to do frequently, I cut off most of the length and hemmed it. I added a metallic gold belt from H&M, old Franco Sarto booties from Marshall's, a thrifted clutch, and black tights.  There's always a little extra pressure when going to an event where you know people will be making an extra effort to look chic, and I was really happy with my outfit. You know what that means - I'll be wearing it again soon!