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Add some “BLING” to that Holiday Wardrobe!

OK,  I’m back!  Like most of us, this Cincinnista got caught up in the pre-Thanksgiving craze…and got off the blogging train!  But I’m back even more to share!

With Thanksgiving over,  and us Cincinnistas in full shopping mode,  I must talk about another Cincinnati based fashion source,  “Bling!”, owned by my friend Rachel Hamilton.   After years in the fashion industry, Rachel founded Bling in 2005 inspired by her love of outfitting women with easy “no brainer” clothing and accessories at an affordable price.  Her clothing is fashion forward, yet classy.  Her accessories and costume style jewelry add a creativeAYI_LADIES NIGHT OUT 2015 INVITE_v4-01 “bling”  to any wardrobe.  Not to mention, her faux furs are the nicest I’ve ever experienced at a fraction of the real thing!

Bling will be one of our featured Vendor’s at our Ladies Night Out at Amy Youngblood Interiors on Wednesday, December 9th!  You can also view Rachael’s products on her web-site.

Black rich goat fans fur inspires fashion daydreams. Collarless with simple full-length sleeves and a closer, body skimming shape. Perfect with jeans and boots or with heels for a dressy night out!
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Winter Blahs Coming? Inject some color in to you Wardrobe!

Ok, I realize it’s not the middle(quite!) of January yet…but it’s a forecast of mid 40’s tomorrow!  Ugh…really?!  I’ve talked a lot about neutrals and the trend of gray this season,  but let’s face it…we all need a pop of color with the cooler, graying weather.

Here’s my thought on how to add some color to an otherwise dark winter wardrobe:

Add a sold colorful sweater to mix with a large scale neutral print.  Check out this tangerine-orange sweater I mixed with a black and cream damask knit skirt (from Bling!).  The great classic pattern of the skirt mixes perfectly with the simplicity of the bold, bright sweater. Add a coordinating, artistic looking necklace to compliment the outfit.

Yes,  I wore this on Friday myself. I had two new client meetings where I wanted to look stylish, yet approachable and comfortable. Sorry, was too lazy and didn’t feel “Cincinnista” enough to take a selfie!  I paired it with classic black riding boots and gold hoop FullSizeRenderearrings to finish it off.  Chic yet comfy!



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Introducing CQ LUXE!

Well I already thought Alex Quintaba was a Cincinnista genius with her amazing children’s clothing store, The Spotted Goose, she was part of in Oakley.  Then I saw her new luxury handbag and belt line!   Married to  a native Italian,  Alex grew to love and appreciate the craftsman ship of the Marche region in Italy when traveling with her husband back to his homeland.  Over a year ago, she collaborated with Italian craftsmen to bring a high quality, functional, yet beautiful line of handbags and belts to the U.S. market.  Every handbag and belt is exclusively made in Italy, of only Italian materials.  All hardware, buckles, leather and exotic skins come from small Italian companies.  The belts and handbags are a limited edition, so each client knows she is one of a few women who will have that exact bag or belt.


Yes, I realize I’ve become a “fringaholic” but these bags are 70’s hip yet classic in shape and practical. Not to mention a fraction of the cost of your Louis Vuitton!
Love that winter white and so chic. Perfect for higher wasted flair jeans!

I have personally seen and felt CQ Luxe’s products in person and they are amazing.  You can check out the line at  How amazing to have this product line based in Cincinnati. Watch out Prada and Gucci!

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The Beauty of Flowing Fabric

Whether it be a chiffon style top or dress,  the fit of flowing, lightweight fabrics are perfect for both summer and winter.  While I feel I’ve focused my winter wardrobe on chill warding sweaters,  it’s good to vary things up.  I mean, who wants to go out on that big “date night”  wearing a thick, wool turtleneck?  Not that it’s not practical for the day…just spice it up for nighttime.  Not to mention, once you get out at a warm restaurant or bar,  the atmosphere is always warmer! Still worried about being cold?   Layer your top or dress with a cashmere wrap or cropped fur/faux fur jacket.  The other upside to a flowing outfit?  Us Cincinnista’s can mask those perhaps “not so forgiving” areas that I tight knit outfit may not!

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Sara Benjamin’s boutique: Welcome Emily Jackson!

Nestled in the heart of quaint downtown Mariemont,  Sara Benjamin’s has always been a staple of sophisticated, yet hip fashion that appeals to both the young…and yes, us Cincinnista’s!

Well it gets even better…Sara Benjamin’s has a new owner,  Emily Jackson,  whom I fortuitously met my last visit in to one of my favorite Cincinnati stores.  Emily recently took ownership of the premiere women’s boutique about 1 month ago.  With both a strong business background and love for fashion, Emily plans to maintain the strong brands (such as their amazing jeans selection!) while integrating some new lines in a range of styles and prices.

A native of the the midwest and recent Chicago resident  (I can totally relate!),  Emily has always been the go-to-girl for fashion expertise with friends and family, coordinating outfits for various events and weddings, or even just dinner out on the town.

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Emily Jackson at home in her beautiful, inviting store.
Emily SB Website
Emily Jackson modeling just one of Sara Benjamin’s many hip fall fashions.

Well,  I’m certainly grateful that this Cincinnista has another source for great fashion and style!   Sara Benamin’s is located at 6810 Wooster Pike in Mariemont.  Hours:  M-F 10-6,  Saturday 10-5 and now in December Noon-5!

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Happy Halloween! Not a costume kind of girl? What to wear this weekend.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 4.49.56 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-30 at 5.08.58 PMSo I admit it,  despite being a creative person,  the most I can handle  in terms of costumes is those for my kids.  I guess you could say this Cincinnista isn’t the first pick for the big Halloween Party.  However,  for those of us at home handing out candy with a cocktail in hand…the fashion code is way different.  While orange and black are definitely the Halloween standards,  you can still look “Halloweeny”  without looking like the Great Pumpkin. I mean,  don’t we all have tons of black?  Pair that simple great black top with a pop orange like this classic logo scarf from Gucci…stylish AND warm.  Or check out this nature inspired burnt orange flowing top from Free People:  Sophisticated with a bit of hippie.  Still cold?  Just throw on that fringy black cardigan with studded biker boots and you are good to go!

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Winter White: A Staple of Your Wardrobe

Call it oatmeal, swan or ecru:  that off-white color or reeaallly light tan is classic in fashion and design.  Paired with a stronger graphic pattern or your favorite black pants,  a solid winter white top, sweater, or jacket add both contrast and style to an otherwise dark wardrobe for the winter.  While I’ll always be a “black” fan,  the use of winter white lightens your look during these upcoming drab days!


This “oatmeal” fringe sweater by Haute Hippe is warm and looks great with patterned pants.
Black and cream are a classic combination! My “ecru” top is the simple background to this damask style skirt I just bought from Rachel Hamilton of Bling. Notice the ecru booties:)
Another amazing piece by Haute Hippe! I couldn’t resist the bohemian chic look of this sweater jacket. Again, looks great with black and color….not to mention, funky, bold jewelry!














So why winter white vs. “white white?”  Well I have many philosophies on this,  but the first is that in the winter our brighter complexions fade (and no-Cincinnistas do not sun bathe in the summer, just get a healthy glow!) hence that crisp white shirt just isn’t as contrasting and flattering.  Not that a great white shirt won’t work,  it just looks better layered under cardigan for example. The softness of winter white is simply more seasonal. In addition,  winter white works better with the darker, richer colors of fall.   Think about it.  What looks better paired with your jewel toned skinny jeans?  “White white” or cream?  The answer is obvious.  I mean who wants to match that big embankment of snow we have coming in a month or so?

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What’s New for Fall?

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 9.45.22 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 6.05.15 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 4.09.21 PM As most of us know,  fashion design often mimics interior design and many other types of design.  As one of my stylish Star Designers, Hillary Randall, recently blogged,  “Gray is the new Neutral”.  Not only are we seeing that direction in flooring,  fabrics and wallpaper: gray has replaced tan as the “in” neutral.  From dresses, to jeans,  to accessories,  the coolness of gray transcends us in to the coolness of fall.  Paired with rich jewel tones such as mulberry or emerald green,  gray is the perfect backdrop to a versatile wardrobe.


Here are some other Hot Trends for the Fall:


-Anything 70’s!  Don’t throw out those skinny jeans as they are still classic,  but flared higher waisted jeans are back with a vengence.  And flared jeans with a worn vintage look are especially hip.  Pair them with a more dressy, slightly cropped top (no belly buttons please) for an even more chic look.  And speaking of tops….those 70’s style tie neck blouses under a fitted blazer speak professionalism but style.  I’m proud to say I bought my Alice and Olivia tie neck chevron patterned top two years ago….supposedly before it was in!


-Cold Shouldered Tops:  So okay,  I also thought this was a cool look last season,  but its the newest sexy and stay warm combo this season.  The open shoulder cut-out of blouses have now morphed in to sweaters and dresses that are actually warm,  yet provocative in a non-cleavage way.


-Fringe is in!  Again,  under the Anything 70’s category,  but fringe is everywhere from a practical black cardigan, to a fun evening dress, to booties.  However,  FRINGE ALERT!  Don’t be a confused hippie.   Do not mix different fringe items in the same outfit!  You will look like you OD’d on the fringe memo and didn’t have enough creativity to make the outfit unique.  Mix fringe with cleaner lined pieces to vary things up and add interest.

That’s it for now…more trends to come!


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