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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Daily Covet: Tailored Dress

Having three little boys at home does wonders for your social life… and not in a good way. My husband and I no longer make big plans for NYE, but instead, stay home and play games or watch movies with our brood. Most years, I’m lucky to be up when the clock strikes midnight.

But if I were heading out to overindulge on delicious cocktails or mouth-watering steak frites with bernaise sauce – or more likely all of the above, a new dress I would surely need.

This tailored dress from & Other Stories would be perfect. While it’s not overtly sexy and it’s not covered in sequins like typical NYE ensembles, it wreaks of sophistication and reminds me a little bit of Sally Albright’s dress from the mother of all NYE parties in Harry Met Sally (a party of such proportions that it only happens in the movies!)

I adore the full skirt, the deep v-neck and of course, the stunning emerald color. How could you go wrong?

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Daily Covet: J.Crew Dotted Racerback Dress

I’ve had my eye on this dotted racerback dress from J.Crew since last summer, but it sold out really fast.

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This summer, J.Crew’s factory label featured the same dress at a slightly lower price point.  I bought it and love it!  The shift style is so easy to wear and the v-neck is sexy, but not too showy.

It was my mother’s day lunch dress styled with red patent slingbacks and a black cardigan.

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Daily Covet: Little Red Dress

You know I love dresses.  Cotton dresses.  Little black dresses.  Formal dresses and sundresses too.

And now I’m loving this little red dress from Kate Spade.  It’s a perfectly shaped red shift with great lines, semi-cap sleeves and the best. color. EVER.  Maraschino, if you must know.

I’m a major fan of Kate Spade and her new Paris-inspired line has me wanting more.  And more.  Dress this little frock up with animal print pumps or slip into gold sandals.  And wear it virtually anywhere.

This dress is the cherry on top!

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