The Battle of the Kate Spade Belt…

Several months ago I bought the perfect belt.  In fact, for me, it was the Holy Grail of belts.  The heavens parted, birds sang and a soft golden glow emanated from its clasp.  And I found it on sale…ahhhAHHHahhhh…

Enter a bright pink, leather bow belt by Kate Spade.  (See, told you it was intimidating).

After I brought my purchase home, I soon realized the sad truth – no outfit was good enough for this belt.  After several failed attempts, where I removed the belt in exasperation as I headed out the door to start my day, I started to feel as if I would never wear this fabulous find.

I tried the belt with everything but to no avail.  Defeated, I hung my head as I hung the belt up in my closet.  Week after week, I stared longingly at the belt, hanging in my closet with its promises of Kate Spade happiness galloping just out of my grasp.

I finally realized the sad and ridiculous truth – this belt had gotten the best of me.  It had psyched me out, intimidated me, said in its snotty little voice “You can’t wear ME with that” and I wasn’t gonna take it anymore!

So last night I resigned myself to stand up like the fasionista that I am and find something suitable for this…this…accessory!

And so I did find a nice neutral black skirt and blouse to pair with it.  I think the outfit works.  I’ve even gotten several compliments on my ensemble today.

One of the hardest fashion battles I’ve faced has come to an end and victory looks divine.

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A Cuff full of Stuff – Wearing Multiple Bracelets & Bangles – A Trend

Believe it or not, I am skeptical of many fashion trends.  Socks with heels, peep-toed shoes with tights, and mix –n-match prints concern me.  However, I am digging a trend I like to call, a “Cuff Full Of Stuff”!

To pull off the “CFOS”, one need only to pile on multiple bangles and bracelets paired with an oversize watch.  The more dangles and baubles, the better!  You can mix and match tones if you like, pairing silver with gold or bronze or staying monochromatic.  I also like to work in pearls whenever possible.  Throw in a friendship bracelet or statement bangle to add some pizzazz.

My only rule would be to limit your bangles and bracelets to the top one fourth of your arm if measuring from wrist to elbow.  You can always get carried away, even with the best of intentions.    I’ve posted some pictures of this trend in action.  I’ve worn “CFOS” with multiple styles and looks and I think it works every time!  Cortneybre…001 collage (1)

Holiday Dresses at Tradesy – A Friday Favorite!

I shop A LOT.  However, most of the items I buy are discounted or have been gently worn.  I purchase a lot of items on eBAY and at consignment stores as well as just catching sales and markdowns.  I try to “buy smart” as often as possible because – let’s face it – this allows me to buy more!  One website I’ve come to love is Tradesy.  Tradesy is essentially an online consignment shop.  They feature gently worn or pre-owned designer women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, purses at heavily discounted rates.

I’ve posted some pics of my favorite holiday looks from Tradesy below.  I particularly love the Ted Baker Epella dress!  It’s so unusual and whimsy and while it’s not a typical Holiday Party look, it’s still a head turner! These dresses are in excellent condition, look like new and the price is heavily discounted.  Check them out at  How could you go wrong!  Happy Friday!  Cortneybre…

Gold and Black Striped Dress - Kate Spade Tory Burch Gold Poly/Rayon Silk Dress

Gold and Black Striped Dress – Kate Spade
Tory Burch Gold Poly/Rayon Silk Dress

Ted Baker Grey Multi Epella Dress BCBG Black Julissa Beaded Silk Dress

Ted Baker Grey Multi Epella Dress
BCBG Black Julissa Beaded Silk Dress

Live Life Colorfully…A Guide to Wearing Bright Colors…

It’s a rainy day here and very drab.  I was thinking about how “ugly” it was outside today when I picked my attire this morning.  I chose a bright (as in, don’t look directly at it for fear of blindness!) yellow jacket with a black and white striped skirt.  Why not wear something bright on a rainy (or in some cases snowy) day?  Bright colors are always so happy and eye catching yet many people shy away from them.  Here’s a little guide I use for choosing and wearing bright colors.

When in doubt choose one bright color:

As you become more comfortable, you can possibly add an accent color but when first adding color to your wardrobe, stick to simple.

Start with a bright blouse or shirt under a dark jacket:

A bright blouse will shine underneath a darker jacket.  This POP of color will brighten your wardrobe and your day! (as will the tons of compliments you receive!)

Be careful when wearing brightly colored jewelry with brightly colored clothes:

I see this very often, especially in summer.  Someone is sporting one color from head to toe and to top it off, a beautiful necklace (and maybe earrings) of the same hue.  Too much of a good thing is…uh… a bad thing.  When you wear too much of one color (bright or not) it appears overwhelming and the outfit loses focus.  Plus you can be identified as “the lady who wore that REALLY “insert bright color worn” outfit that day and caused everyone’s eyes to water”.  No one wants to be that lady.

 Pair a bright color with black and white patterns:

This is an instant hit!  No matter what the black and white pattern, you can typically wear it with ANY bright color and it looks great!  Browns and denims can also be used this way as they are neutrals.  Check out my look for today as I’ve used this rule and paired my yellow jacket with a black and white striped skirt!

If at all possible, wear bright red lipstick:

Ok…this is just my personal mantra but I do SO enjoy red lipstick.  And it often pairs wonderfully with bright colors!  Give it a try!

When you’re ready…add a compatible color:

This can be tricky but if you get it right, the result is a whole lotta awesome!  It may sound silly but you can use a color wheel to pick your wardrobe.  Here are the rules:

Pick colors that:

  • Are directly next to each other (example: yellow and orange or yellow and green)  OR
  • Form a right angle with each other (example: orange-yellow and red or red-orange and violet) OR
  • Directly across from each other (example: yellow and violet or orange and blue)



Live life colorfully, my friends!


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A follow up…Kate Spade Saturday Envelope Clutch…

Lo and Behold!  After my post yesterday regarding my search for Clutch purses, what should I receive today but a notification from Kate Spade Saturday advertising their Envelope Clutches!  I’ve posted a sampling of these below.  Kate Spade’s clutches are truly envelope style and have a more structured design than those made by Falconwright.  Both are stylish and versatile and I really can’t decide which I like best!

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Falconwright Clutch Purses…Oh So Smashing!

I’d been looking for a large leather clutch purse forever.  I’d searched the internet and found a few for sale that were acceptable but not smashing.  I want EVERYTHING I BUY to be smashing.  Why buy small with you can buy BIG?!  If I’m devoting the time and money to searching and purchasing something, I’d like it to be special.  Mediocre doesn’t take extra time, effort or talent.

Mediocre can be bought in multiples.

So I was looking for a smashing clutch!  But, what exactly are these purses called?  Clutch bags? Pouches? Oversized Clutch Purse with Large Zipper?  After multiple days of searching and multiple key word combinations, I stumbled upon a wonderful website called Falconwright.  They offer a wonderful collection of affordable screen printed leather goods which are handmade by the founders of the site, Sandi Falconer and Danielle Wright.  Their collections are quirky and cute and oh! so smashing!

I’ve posted three of my fave clutches as today’s picture post.  Check out more of Falconwright’s collection at!  Cortneybre…


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Faux Fur Vest – Wooly Mammoth or Really Marvelous

Today I have on a faux fur vest.  It is very warm and I’ve paired it with a skirt and boots.  I have a friend who also owns a faux fur vest and looks smashing in it…but do I?

I am not one who typically doubts her fashion choices.  Everyone who knows me or sees me on a regular basis knows I am quirky and a risk taker when it comes to trends.  I like standing out in a crowd and don’t mind pushing the boundaries with my choices.

Today, however, I feel as if I’ve murdered a fluffy stuffed bear and taken its pelt as my prize!

Perhaps it’s the puffiness of the vest or that I can pet it if I’m feeling needy.  Or that when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I thought I could accessorize with a nice Neanderthal-esqe club.  All jokes aside, I find it difficult to wear faux fur.  The first question of the day was, “Is it real”…which is at first flattering but quickly concerning as I’m not one to wear real fur (I’d have some explaining to do to my fluffy cat at home).  The real difficulty lies with the fur look itself, even though it’s faux, looking too riche or upscale for more informal or business settings.

I think I’ll see how the vest is received today.  The looks and comments I receive are usually a good indicator of the outfit’s success or failure.   Or maybe I’ll just wear it with pride regardless of reception.  If someone doesn’t like the look, I might just knock them about with my Neanderthal club and be done with it!


Shirt - Worthington JC Penney Skirt -MNG by Mango  Boots - Nine West Vest - Bedford Cottage Watch - Kate Spade Bracelets: Danish Design

Shirt – Worthington JC Penney
Skirt -MNG by Mango
Boots – Nine West
Vest – Bedford Cottage
Watch – Kate Spade
Bracelets: Danish Design