Have you seen? Iris & Ink.

How did I miss the The Outnet’s private lable “Iris & Ink?”

Launched in 2012, Iris & Ink combines trendier pieces with wardrobe staples.

Overcoats, body-con dresses and a fab midi-length leather dress are stand outs in this ultra-cool collection that is really versatile style-wise and age-wise too.

I love that it’s designed with sophisticated lines and grown-up details, but still features edgier fabrics and prints for both the young and young-at-heart sets.

Here are some of my absolute faves…but really I’ll take one of each!

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THE_OUTNET _ Iris_and_Ink

THE_OUTNET _ Iris_and_Ink

Daily Covet: Céline Box Bag

A Céline box bag.

What better bag than this structured, but unfussy, handbag in too many awesome colors to count?

I love the simplicity and the elegance of Céline’s simple crossbody bag. I also love that the shoulder strap can be tucked in so you have a dual-duty clutch.

The biggest problem (besides the hefty $2800 price tag) is how do you choose just one?

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Daily Covet: Retro jean skirt

All my cleaning out and purging this past week has left me wanting a bit of nostalgia.

Retro for me generally brings me back to what I wore in high school. The dress code in Southern California was casual, to say the least. In fact, many days I looked like I rolled out of bed into athletic shorts (volleyball-style Mossimos and Quicksilver shorts were our go-tos at the time) and a “matching” t-shirt.

But some days, we’d really go all out and slip into a Guess jean skirt – mini, of course.

It occurred to me recently how versatile denim skirts really are. Back in the day, they were ideal for showing off our year-round tan, but these days they are likely to show off my every-day-is-a-casual-day life.

Obviously, there is no shortage of cute, denim skirts in an array of styles and washes. Leave it to Guess to have a very similar version to the one I wore more than 20 years ago.

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       Guess, Guess.com

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        See by Chloé, zappos.com

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Madewell, madewell.com

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                      Current Elliott, House of Fraser

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                    rag & bone, intermixonline.com

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      Jeweled denim skirt, LOFT

Valentine’s Day: the holiday most people hate

Most people I know absolutely detest Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s the ridiculous excuse to demand another gift from your SO or the fact that you seem to be uncannily S-O-less every time Valentine’s Day rolls around, this holiday ranks right up there with a root canal or digging sharpened pencils into your palms.

BUT, why not love the colors of love?

Red, fuchsia, pink, merlot…. there are so many gorgeous shades of Valentine-worthy dresses out there to choose from.

Wear them with your Valentine. Wear them to find a Valentine. Or wear them to swear off any more Valentines with your best gal pals instead.

But don’t skip an opportunity to show off your bad self in one of these AB FAB colors for a night!

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JOSEPH Milano Skater Dress

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Amanda Uprichard Elle Dress

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Missguided Dayana Ball Dress

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Catching Cap Sleeve Dress

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Tart Marine Gathered Mini

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Iris & Ink Olivia Leather Dress

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Zac Posen Crepe dress

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Love Moschino wrap-effect dress

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Halston Heritage stretch-jersey dress

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Matthew Williamson Crepe Dress

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Thakoon Silk Wrap Dress

Purging: Not for the faint of heart

Over the last few weeks, I have spent much of my weekend (and some school days too) trying to purge the 20+ year collection of gorgeous clothes, shoes, accessories and plain old stuff – some expensive, some not so much so – from all of the closets I have monopolized for almost nine years.

Deep down I always knew it, but I forced myself to really confront the fact that I have a deep emotional connection to clothing and shoes.

While not being quite on the level that some might call “hoarding,” I have saved a lot of items that I knew I’d never wear again simply because it brought me joy knowing they were still mine.

I’d get such a sense of nostalgia when I travel down memory lane to a time when I’d wore them, remembered fondly who I was with and/or perhaps what the special occasion was when I wore them last.

Take for instance these square-toed, strappy, satin sandals. These great sandals went on a serious wedding world tour the summer of 1999. I think I attended nine weddings just that summer and perhaps 13 for the calendar year. These go-to satin sandals were the perfect way to show off my summer tan and manicured toenails, not to mention they went with every one of my LBDs!

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Another pair of black shoes I’ve had a problem parting with are these super cool patent platform slingbacks. Seriously, look at those cool heels! I bought these specifically for a girls’ trip to Vegas. I wore them to dinner at Michael Mina, in the front row of Cirque de Soleil’s “Love” show and for bottle service at Tryst. This was such a fun (and dare I say glamorous) weekend with one of my absolute favorite traveing companions, I just can’t help reminiscing every time I lay eyes on them.

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This little black (do you see a pattern here?!) Ralph Lauren number is NOT going anywhere. This is probably my all-time favorite dress. You wanna know why? Because I don’t have to wear a stitch of clothing underneath it, and you can’t even tell. That’s not to say I don’t, but going bra-less these days is a hard-to-come-by thrill in my middle age. And I have worn it at every size. It shows and hides all the right parts simultaneously. Definitely a keeper.

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This jean jacket is also tough for me. There’s not so much sentimental value as much as I just like certain things about it that would be hard to replace. The cut is perfect – cinches in for a great shape. The color is perfect – it’s the ideal shade of washed-out dark-ish denim. The style is perfect – not too western, not too glam. The sleeves and collar fold up and stand up perfectly – probably because… there is no stretch. This is the downside. It’s not super comfortable when you can’t really bend your arms! I haven’t made an executive decision on this one yet. Thoughts?

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I wanted a cotton, lace blouse my whole life… O-kay, maybe just for a few years. I chose this one with a matching snap-in cami underneath thinking I’d dress it down with nude sandals and jeans, but it just doesn’t fit right. I even had it altered once, and I don’t think the new tailor got my drift because it still doesn’t fit right in the shoulder seams. So that has thrown off the rest of the blouse altogether. I may take a risky stab at fixing this myself, but the chances are likely that it won’t be good for anyone when I’m done with it.

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These little totes are just cute. And personalized. My oldest son was just nine months old when we met some friends off the coast of South Carolina for a lovely week on Kiawah Island. My dear friend had these made for my son and I and packed them with snacks, sunscreen, lip balm, toys and more. While they have proven too small for my now three sons and myself to tote along all of the stuff (read junk!) we lug to and from the pool, I haven’t been able to part with them. If you know of an “Amy” and a “Jackson” that would make better use of them, hit me up!

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Some other items in my rather large to-go pile were a black, satin formal from BCBG that I wore to a black-tie wedding in D.C., a white and silver mod-ish dress, a crazy-expensive black sateen suit that I splurged on and only wore to funerals, a champagne-colored Calvin Klein skirt and some duchess satin pants that were so hard to put in my donate or consign piles. Anyone else have an emotional connection with something (or seemingly everything) like I do?

Daily Covet: 3.1 Phillip Lim Collection

Years ago, I stopped in to this little boutique while on a girls’ trip. I ran across the most gorgeous fuchsia 3.1 Phillip Lim dress with hand-beaded crystal trim around the collar.

That was the day I fell in love with Phillip Lim.

So here I am today perusing old Phil’s totally gorge spring collection and feeling overwhelmed at the thought of choosing just one piece (or even one outfit) for the “Daily Covet.”

I mean, look at this amazing lineup of just a few of my absolute objets de désir!

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Daily Covet: French Connection Lolo Dress

I’m absolutely one for collecting little black dresses (and sweats ironically.)

Try as I might, most times the black one in my “try on” stack just looks the best. DUH!

Truth be told, I’ve been purging a lot lately and have donated much of my LBD collection.

So when I happened upon this French Connection Lolo dress, I was hooked immediately. I dig the cute cap sleeves that are more like petals and the deep V, which is the most flattering neckline for me. The slightly higher waistline is a major plus too for this vertically challenged girl. This is just the dress for my collection!

I don’t have anywhere particularly special to wear this now, but I know it won’t be long until this is just the right frock for something… er other.

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