Monster Sunglasses

Since it is Halloween I thought I would discuss one of the scariest things to happen this year...

The "Monster" video is so violent and creepy that it kind of leaves you a bit unsettled...and not in a good way.  But in typical CC form, I am able to look past all that and focus on the fashion.  I am haunted by how much I love Jay-Z's sunglasses.

DADDY B Sunglasses by Oliver Peoples
$325 at Oliver Peoples  To Buy

These sunglasses seem like Jay's signature shades.  He wore them on the cover of Rolling Stone and Interview magazine among other places.  Needless to say they are unisex glasses so us ladies can make them our signature shades too.

Last, his suit in the video is pretty impeccable but who cares about boys clothes?


Traveling Neon Stripes

Basically for about a year, I had been obsessed with this carry-on bag.

Gucci bag

You may recognize those interlocking G's as Gucci, which unlike JLO's love, does cost a thing.

If my memory serves me correctly, this carry-on cost a mere $1695.

I think it goes without saying, yours truly had to admire from a'far until one day this bag sold out.

I have been on the hunt for a new carry-on or overnight bag for awhile now.  My old stand-by Vera Bradley is pushing 15 years and is not conducive for the airplane.

Today I found this:

LeSportsac Large Weekender Bag
$108 at Macy's  To Buy

I will admit these bags are not exactly identical.  They are not even replicas.  But I am digging the bright stripes against a neutral fabric.

I appreciate two things about this bag.  First, the black fabric will hide the wear and tear that accompanies travel.  Second, it's $108!  

I love the concept of neon stripes on a weekend travel bag.  They perfectly represent a fun, quick weekend away or overnight trip.  I loved them at $1695 but can actually afford to go away at $108.


Cables and Zippers

I'm not the world's biggest J.Crew shopper.  Too expensive.  Too plain.

But every season I find a few pieces that I covet including this sweater:

Cambridge Cable Zip Crewneck Sweater
$78 at J.Crew  To Buy

I think it is obvious why I love this sweater.  Duh.  Zippers.

Besides the obvious, nothing really compares to a J.Crew sweater.  It feels so authentic and like the right thing to do.  A piece of Americana if you will.

This sweater is available in nine colors but my favorite is the vintage champagne pictured above.  The contrast of the soft cream against the metal zippers feels classic but edgy.  Perfect when paired with all the bottoms in your closet from colored pants to a printed pencil skirt.

Pictured in Pine Bough

I love this sweater with jeans as well.  I think the vintage champagne color, a distressed pair of jeans and the Sam Edelman "Beatrix" flats would be amazing.

When it comes to J.Crew, $78 for a sweater is actually a deal for a classic piece that will last you longer than some trendier items.


Marshmallows & Caramel Apples

I thought I would get through this Halloween season without being tempted to buy any products from philosophy.  Of course, I was wrong.  I don't know why I gave myself any credit in the first place.

philosophy Trick or Treat Set
$20 at Sephora  To Buy

In my defense, marshmallows and caramel apples are pretty wonderful and hard to resist.  I think it has been well-documented that I adore these mini-three-in-one products.  I love them because they are luxurious but affordable. Besides leaving your skin smelling sweet, you also get tons of moisture...ideal now that Fall temps bring dry skin.

Because marshmallows and caramel apples are not just Halloween things, perhaps these will be my November signature scents.

For the record, I'm still loving my B&BW Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin shower gel.


Spiked Splurge

I think I'm on an "S" kick lately between today's "Spiked Splurge" and yesterday's "Stunning Stacks."

Doesn't "Spiked Splurge" sound like a cocktail?  Maybe we should create one?

Anywho, hate to burst any bubbles but, alas, it isn't.

The spiked splurge in question is actually the "Beatrix" flat by Sam Edelman.

Sam Edelman "Beatrix" Flat
$129.95 at Nordstrom  To Buy

I love these flats because they remind me of the iconic Chanel flat with a rock 'n' roll edge.  The bows say "I'm sweet" while the spikes say "Don't mess with me."  I like that combo.  Sort of like Heidi Klum as a Project Runway judge.  Or Tyra standing before the two at-risk contestants at the end of ANTM.

Sam Edelman "Beatrix" Flat
$129.95 at Nordstrom  To Buy

Of all the colors available, the rose is my favorite.  The color is unique and unlike anything else in my closet.  I actually think I would wear these quite a bit, with what else?  My black skinny pants.  Also, leggings and a big, cozy sweater.

Of course, I know leopard print is favorite for most of you.

Sam Edelman "Beatrix" Flat
$129.95 at Nordstrom  To Buy

So here is the thing.  $129.95 is not exactly cheap but it is affordable if you want to make more of a footwear investment.  If you are someone who might only buy 1 or 2 pairs of shoes a season and you want to get your money's worth, I think these are worth a look.

They are fashionable, interesting and best of all, versatile.  Again, a "Compliment Catcher."

I have now moved onto the letter C.

CC Tip:  Don't let flats fool you.  They need to be broken in as well.  Sometimes you have to work through the pain (back of heel) to end up with a comfy pair.  No one said fashion doesn't hurt.


Stunning Stacks

I discovered these rings earlier in the season and I think they are perfection.

A CC Must-Have, if you will.

Ariella Collection Stackable Rings
$68 for set of 5 at Nordstrom

These rings are beautiful.  The jewel tones and intricate details are stunning.  They are eye-catchers and definitely an accessory that will garner many a'comment (and compliment).  Second, they are versatile and pieces that you could dress-up or wear everyday.  Last, the value is insane.  Five lovely rings for $68 is a worthwhile investment.

Ariella Collection Stackable Ring in Yellow Multi/Gold
$68  at Nordstrom  To Buy

Ariella Collection Stackable Ring in Orange Multi/Gold
$68  at Nordstrom  To Buy

Ariella Collection Stackable Ring in Green Multi/Gold
$68  at Nordstrom  To Buy

Ariella Collection Stackable Ring in Blue Multi/Gold
$68  at Nordstrom  To Buy

I know this will make some of you sick but I think it is worth calling-out.  These rings would make an excellent gift.  They are unique and make such an impact.  Your recipient will be truly delighted in this fashion find.  I am confident they will think you spent way more than $68.


Dark Forests and Glitter Critters

This is why I love Betsey Johnson.  She is a little kooky but her free-spirit is charming.

Who else would create a haunted jewelry collection filled with spiders, skulls and black cats?

All embellished in rhinestones, of course!

Black Cats and Baubles

Items included in set:  Betsey Johnson Skull and Spider Stretch Bracelet $55, Betsey Johnson Dark Forest Spider Hinge Cuff $45, Betsey Johnson Dark Forest Skull Stud Earrings $30, Betsey Johnson Glitter Critter Black Cat Chandelier Drop Earrings $45, Betsey Johnson Glitter Critter Black Cat Stud Earrings $25, Betsey Johnson Spider Stud Earrings $30, Betsey Johnson Rose Charm Necklace $55

These are the perfect accessories for those of us who don't want to wear a costume but still want to show some Halloween spirit.

And "Glitter Critter" could be the new CC mascot.

CC Tip:  You can find this jewelry at Zappos.com, Piperlime.com and Macy's.  All ship in time for Halloween.

Gimme S'More

I bet you are thinking "When will this mini candle madness stop?"

Well, the answer is definitely not anytime soon.

The S'Mores scent is delicious and now on sale for $1.75.

Slatkin & Co. 4 oz. Filled Candle in S'Mores
Available in 3 sizes for $1.75, $4.75 and $9.75  
at Bath and Body Works  To Buy

One would think this candle would be overly sweet with layers of marshmallow, dark chocolate and graham cracker as the notes.  It isn't.  Yes, this candle is sweet but in a good way.  You can really smell the chocolate and I love that...like I have a chocolate cake baking in my oven!  I like it so much I am considering picking-up a bigger size now that this scent is on sale.

One other scent I love is Leaves.

Slatkin & Co. 1.6oz Filled Candle in Leaves
$1.75 at Bath and Body Works  To Buy

If you are someone who prefers a more earthy scent or fruity scent than sweet, you will like this candle.  In fact, I think everyone will like this candle because of its note variety: golden nectar, juicy mandarin, red delicious apple, cinnamon, cider spices and red berries.  Perfect for Fall.  I keep this in my entryway and even when it is not burning, it smells great.

I wish I could tell you this would be the last of my raving over these candles, but it will not be...the Holiday collection looks equally awesome!


CC Stands For Citrus Crush

So it shouldn't surprise you that one of my favorite fashion colors is citrus yellow aka neon yellow.

The only problem?  It is not my best color.  But that doesn't mean I am not drawn to all things citrus.

Here are four things that have captured my citrus-loving heart:

Popcorn Sweater-Knit Scarf
$12.50 at Old Navy  To Buy

I love this scarf because it is so chunky.  How awesome would this scarf be with a black coat or sleek leather jacket?  Obviously awesome.  It is also available in hot pink and I have to admit, the hot pink is pretty crushworthy too.  For $25, maybe 2 neon scarves are in my future?

Waffle-Knit Tee in Sunkissed Lime
$14.50 at Old Navy  To Buy

There may or may not have been a specific shopping trip designated to seeing this shirt in-person.  You know I love my Old Navy waffle-knit tees so one in neon yellow is a must-have.  Since I plan on wearing this around the house, I can live with this tee not being my best color.  Hint...these tees run small.  Size up if you want a more comfortable fit.

Cait Stripped Lace Blouse by BCBGMAXAZRIA
$158 at Nordstrom  To Buy

I think this blouse is stunning.  The neon yellow color perfectly balances the inset lace and ruffles.  I could imagine a million different ways to wear this blouse from everything to jeans to a pleated mini skirt.  This blouse is out of my price range but if I had to save for one great piece, this could be it.

Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand & Face Wipes in Citrus Scent
$5.76 at Walmart  To Buy

So just when you thought this fashion could not get anymore elevated, bam, I hit you with some hand wipes. But seriously, these are too die for.  I can't take credit for discovering the Wet Ones as they were gifted to me by a member of the CC community...and I am forever grateful.  The scent is heavenly; although more pina colada than citrus.  These wipes are perfect in the travel size for throwing in your bag when you need to wipe your hands perhaps after eating some cheesy popcorn or messy pizza.  And they moisturize your hands leaving them soft and smooth.  They really do!

So if citrus yellow is your color, you lucky chiquita.  If not, you can settle for some Wet Ones with me.

Except you won't be settling because they are fantastic.


Bird Watching Beauty

Unfortunately I feel like I jumped on this ship right as it sailed.  You see these products are hard to find but I feel like worth the hunt (and mentioning).

L'Oreal has released a limited edition beauty collection inspired by Project Runway.

I never really studied the displays until I noticed the eyeshadow quad in "The Watchful Owl's Gaze" reminded me of my Bobbi Brown Tortoise Shell Palette.  For some reason, the online images for the eyeshadow all picture more pink than they are in-person.

The Watchful Owl Collection
$4.99 - $8.99 at Ulta  To Buy

I have ordered the eyeshadow and blush from "The Charming Cockatoo's Gaze" but I also love the lipstick and dark nail polish from the "Owl" pictured above.

The Charming Cockatoo Collection

I am so-so on the "Audacious Amazon's Gaze" and "Sultry Raven's Gaze" collections because I have a lot similar to both of those already.  However, the Audacious Amazon nail polish looks pretty amazing.

L'Oreal Nail Polish in Amazon's Flare
$4.99 at Ulta  To Buy

I am drawn to these colors because they are interesting and like nothing I own or have seen before.  Quite cutting edge.  Plus Heidi Klum is one of my fashion idols so somehow this connection makes them a must-have for someone as easily influenced as me.

CC Tip:  Because they are so fashionable, these limited edition products are hard to find.  If you feel like you might be interested, my advice would be to start at Walgreens.com and place an online order.  It is worth the price of shipping to not have to hunt.


Peacoat of Secrecy

I felt like I kept a secret from all of you in regards to our peacoat full of sunshine.

I actually bought this peacoat last year in a red plaid similar to the top left coat.

Peacoat Secrets

I know from experience this cropped wool peacoat brings both value and style.

My one word of caution?  This peacoat is not cut-out for harsh Midwest winters.  It is more fashion than function when the temperature hits freezing.  Totally suitable for Fall though.

I didn't, however, want to keep another secret and not let you know that this same coat is available in 6 other colors.  I love the green and black plaid.  Any of these options would add perfect polish to your wardrobe.

I can say this with certainty as a plaid peacoat owner!

CC Tip:  Old Navy outerwear appears to be on sale.


Food Fit For A Monster

I am such a sucker for any of those cookbooks at the grocery store check-out lane.

I think I have about 12.

The newest addition to my collection, however, came from the Barnes and Noble magazine section.

Another awesome cell phone shot.
$10.99 at Barnes & Noble

I love these recipes because they usually involve just a few ingredients, are simple and come out every time.  I can't say I have made any yet but have plans to over the next few weeks.

Halloween Cookie Pizza...Recipe here.

The obvious question is whether or not I am hosting a Halloween party and the answer is no.  But if you are, this magazine is a great choice with festive drinks, apps, sides and desserts.  There is a "Half-Moon Empanadas" recipe that looks pretty gourmet yet easy to execute.  I also have my eye on the "Trick or Treat Tarts."

So if I can't express my festive spirit through decor, why not through food?

Pumpkin Booty

I have never really decorated my home for Halloween.

Instead I incorporate pumpkin-themed products into my existing routines.

For example, here are 3 products I am currently enjoying from Bath & Body Works.

 Slatkin & Co. Creamy Pumpkin
$1.75 - $19.50 at Bath & Body Works  To Buy

In year's past I always bought a Halloween candle from Yankee Candle but since I was on such a Slatkin mini candle kick I decided to just stick with them.  I am glad I did because this candle smells awesome.  Besides pumpkin this candle has vanilla, caramel, ginger and amber notes.  And I think the mini size is on sale for $1.75.  Scary good value.

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Shower Gel
$10.50 at Bath & Body Works  To Buy

I am actually surprised I love this shower gel as much as I do because I typically do not like cinnamon.  As the name implies, the shower gel is based in pumpkin and cinnamon but also has notes of apple and vanilla.  The apple balances the sweet and spicy perfectly.  Although the gel sounds like it would be really warm and heavy, it is actually quite light.  It makes the i love Candy Corn from philosophy that I bought last year seem too sweet.  (Link still works for those that are interested.)

Pumpkin Caramel Latte Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap
$5.50 at Bath & Body Works To Buy

In writing this I am starting to notice a theme to my preferences.  Apparently I like everything and anything that includes pumpkin, caramel and vanilla.  If you can combine those ingredients into my favorite hand soap, then it is for certain I will love this product.  I am not looking for hand soap to exfoliate and moisturize as this soap promises, I just want a scent that smells good enough to eat.  I also kind of like the dark brown color.

Besides these 3 examples, Bath & Body Works has many fall-themed products that are fitting for Halloween as well as into November far after Halloween is over.

CC Tip:  Head into Bath & Body Works for their Fall sale to load up on some mini candles for $1.75 and other fabulous Fall products.


Peacoat Full of Sunshine: Look #3

I am sure you have been waiting on pins and needles to see the dramatic finale of our chirpy yet functional yellow peacoat.  Look #3 if you will.

Well the wait is over!

Look #3 = All the way to the right (rocket science)

I have to say of all the looks, Look #3 best embodies my Couture Cheapskate fashion equation:

Although Looks #1 and #2 are completely realistic for CC wear, Look #3 feels most true to something I wear everyday.  The main call-out being you are more likely to find me in flats than 4" platform heels.

But I will tell you, a staple of my everyday wardrobe is a basic knit. One of my favorites is from Old Navy. I love their long-sleeve waffle knit tees.  Literally I wear them non-stop.  Of course you can never have too many black tees in a CC wardrobe!

Here is Old Navy's most recent version:

Waffle-Knit Tee in Black Jack
$14.50 at Old Navy  To Buy

The second thing I love about this outfit is the shoes.  I stayed true to the InStyle look by choosing the Fall version of the sandal/clog hybrid in black.  Truth be told, this shoe is so much more stunning in the other colors and combos than the black suede pictured.

Nine West Aroundtown
$99 at Endless.com and Nine West
Also available in a beautiful teal suede and teal/grey snake combo

The rest of the outfit is quite simple.  Pull together your best accessories to bring interest to an otherwise basic outfit.  This look combines two necklaces: a chunky gold chain and larger pendant.  A modern handbag with a neutral Missoni-esque pattern adds a polished final touch.

 3337 by Street Level
$68 at Piperlime  To Buy

We all know an outfit is not complete without a pair of sunglasses.  This pair from Marc by Marc Jacobs has been on my wish list for a while because I love the modern oversized cateyes and subtle striped detail.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Striped Oversized Cateye 
$98 at Piperlime  To Buy

One of the things that I find interesting about fashion is how quickly the styles change.  For example, just this Spring it was all about the boyfriend jean.  Now while trying to recreate the look, I could not find any suitable options and had to substitute a pair to coordinate with the shoes.

Look #3 is an example of why a $60 peacoat is a worthwhile investment for your wardrobe.  Its structure adds polish and the fun color adds interest to the basics already in your wardrobe.  A smart purchase because it is not only functional but a pop piece that pulls your ensemble together.


Peacoat Full of Sunshine: Look #2

Our sunshine peacoat appears again today in Look #2.  This look incorporates many of the classics we all probably have in our closet: striped top, olive bottoms and brown shoes. 

Again, I took the liberty of swapping out some pieces to create a more Fall appropriate look.

Look #2 = Middle Outfit

One of my favorite pieces in this set is this top from Old Navy:

Striped and Sequined Tee
$15 at Old Navy To Buy

I think the delicate sequins on the shoulders are sweet and update this classic nautical tee.  Perfect for the ladies who may want a little glitz but nothing over the top.  This simple tee is also available in gray and green...and it is only $15.

Shoulder Sequin Close-up

Because we are creating a Fall look with a wool-blend peacoat, pants are necessary.  I feel like everyone is about "the cord" this season so I used a forest green pair from J.Crew.  I have a pair of their cords and they are worth the investment because they last season after season.

Stretch Vintage Bootcut Cord
$79.50 at J.Crew  To Buy

Last, I switched out the lighter canvas bag for a Southwest chic tote more appropriate for Fall.

Lucky Brand Suzani Embroidered Small Trippin Out Tote
$128 at Zappos.com To Buy

You may also recognize our cowboy booties and go-to metallic geo scarf.  The hidden gem of this set is the earrings.

Betsey Johnson Flower Gem Stud Earring
$35 at Piperlime  To Buy

This look is an example of how spending a little more on a piece that pops, your basics already in your closet can be taken to the next fashion level.

Peacoat Full of Sunshine: Look 2

Items included in set: Old Navy Striped Sweater $30, Old Navy Striped and Sequin Tee $15, Old Navy Woolblend Cropped Peacoat $60, J. Crew Stretch Vintage Bootcut Cord $79.50, Old Navy Cropped Boots $25, Forever21 Rhinestone and Stretch Bracelet $4.80, Forever21 Geo Metallic Scarf $7.80, Old Navy Aviator Sunglasses $9.50, Lucky Brand Suzani Embroidered Small Trippin Out Tote Multi -... $128, Adelson Necklace | ALDO $20, Betsey Johnson Flower Gem Stud | Piperlime $35


3 Looks: Peacoat Full of Sunshine

I have a little ritual I do every so often on my lunch break.  First I run to Ulta and check out their new arrivals and then go next door to Old Navy to see what they have in stock and on sale.

When I spotted this yellow peacoat I was instantly reminded of a look I pulled from InStyle and then shared with you last June.

Cropped Wool-Blend Peacoat
$59.94 $45 at Old Navy To Buy

Image via InStyle via my phone...note the actual tear

I have to say the first outfit is one of my go-to looks for cooler weather: dress, leggings and boots.  (I am aware the model above is not wearing leggings but this is a CC look using a peacoat after all.)  The cropped peacoat is the ideal length for an above the knee hemline and generally flatters all body types.  A masculine peacoat works well with feminine dresses and structured boots because it both matches and contradicts.  The yellow color and boxy shape add a funky element to an otherwise frou frou look.

Here are some pieces you can use to recreate the same look:

Peacoat Full of Sunshine: Look 1

Items included in set:vAccidentally in Love scoop neck dress $59, Old Navy flutter dress $45, Old Navy Peacoat $60, Very Volatile Tall Boots $75, Old Navy antique saddle bag $10, Forever21 Teardrop Necklace $6.80, Old Navy round aviator sunglasses $9.50, Old Navy Girls New Black Jersey Leggings $8.50, Old Navy Women's Beaded Hoops $7.94