Cinderella Inspired


{Cinderella for Grown-ups by gourmetstylegirl

 I’ll be the first to admit it: Cinderella never really did it for me. Not only was she way too passive, but I never bought into the idea that one so confined and brutalized could also remain so charming and positive. On my one free night out, instead of hitting up the ball, I’d have hit up the local constabulary – dress and all! – to see just what could be done about my living situation. Down with stepmothers! Up with minimum wage and keys to my own bedroom!

Plus, as all brunette girls of the late ’90s will attest, Belle is where it’s at. The reading? The sassy attitude? The bravery? YES. Plus, Gaston. Ick. Way to be a model for not succumbing to peer pressure, B.

All that said… and I do totally mean what I said…I’m still utterly, completely swept up in the Cinderella madness that’s everywhere right now. Oh to have worked on that marketing and PR campaign! Swoon. From  Lily James’ premiere dress to the many designer interpretations of the glass slipper, I am like a small child on Christmas waiting for this film to come out. Kudos, Disney PR, because heads up: I’M 30. And I’m STILL REALLY EXCITED.

Have courage

{Cindy’s new motto – I love it!}

There are also ways to embed a little Cindy flair into your daily life, whether you’re 3 or 30 – from a floaty tulle skirt that adds whimsy, to a little sparkle on your nails, to those sunglasses that are just the right amount of retro, in a nod to the original animated feature’s 1950 release date. I’m also swooning over that ear cuff. I’d like to think this updated Cindy might just have enough sass to rock an ear cuff…and if she won’t, then we know Belle definitely would!

Are you going to see the movie?

PS – more Cinderella-inspired looks – and other fun! – on Pinterest!

Collegiate Chic – Style Roundup

Collegiate Chic

September and October always make me long for college. I mean, a lot of things make me long for college – like when I have to take my stretchy pants off in the morning instead of leave them on all day, for example – but Autumn especially. Remember crunching across campus in a fetching new sweater, holding your books to your chest and glancing sidelong at boys like in 1950? Or wearing plaid because it was adorable and collegiate, and not because you were trying to look like you just got back from Coachella? OR freezing your butt off at cold football games, but not putting on a jacket because it clashed with your giant sorority bow? Guilty as charged and I loved it. You haven’t lived until the size of the bow on your head is comparable to the size of your actual head.

If you’re looking to add a little prep school pep in your step, these six pieces are a guaranteed grown-up way to go back, back, back to school again.

1. A gorgeous stadium-cloth jacket to help you stay true to your school – or at least stand out at pep rallies. ($169)

2. Sassy pencils from Wit + Delight that are both note and doodle-worthy. ($3)

3. Tod’s sophisticated new take on the old-school satchel, for those of us with dream budgets! ($1,595)

4. Who needs saddle shoes when you have Everlane’s modern loafer? ($165)

5. Skip to work or class in an adorably retro peter pan collar. ($44.50)

6. Plaid’s not just a fad my friends – and at this price, you can afford to make it a staple. ($16.99)

Pool Side!

Pool Side!

We are fortunate enough to be going on a little wine country weekend in a few days. It’s the perfect chance to swim, read by the pool, eat a gourmet dinner and have a glorious sleep in without those oh-so-special city sounds waking us up in the middle of the night.

We have a neighbor with a blender that sounds very much like Jason and his chainsaw and a trash man who relishes nothing more than waking us all up at 5 a.m. because he’s awake too. Or so I imagine. Maybe the trash man really is just enjoying the hell out of his morning and banging cans brings him great joy? We’ll never know because I will never ask him. Mostly because that conversation would go like this:

Me: grumblegrumbleGRUMBLE! 5AM! Grumblegrumble



My two most important beach bag categories are sun protection and reading material. Pale nerds, unite! As long as I have SPF 45 (aka, liquid snowsuit), lip balm with sunscreen, a hat, and about seven books loaded on my nook, I’m all good. Cute sandals, trashy magazines, and face wipes that keep me looking like a dainty lady are all bonus. Even the swimming suit is a bonus, really. I’m very content to lay about reading in whatever outfit, this is what a bad style blogger I am.

In real life, I’m going to load up my trusty monogrammed L.L. Bean bag with an assortment of things. But in blog life, I thought it would be fun to design a beautiful dream beach bag.

What do you put in your beach bag? 

Wardrobe Update + The Lean Closet Movement

Classic fashion, Jackie style{Jackie Kennedy, the ultimate curator’s inspiration! From oxfords to cigarette pants to classic dresses. Cat not included?}

One of my biggest New Year’s resolutions this year was around shopping. My goal was to curate instead of collect, something we discussed here. I also vowed to floss more, but nobody needs that update, I’m sure.

Despite the lack of outfit posts and personal photos on my blog, I love to shop. The problem is that my love of shopping directly counteracts my love of saving money. Yep, you read that correctly: saving money. My spirit animal is an old Lutheran lady who’s been wearing the same lumpy cardigan since 1976. She also eats a lot of donuts and occasionally bites.

It often feels like bloggers – and random ladies on the streets of San Francisco – LOVE spending money and shop constantly. I mean, I love the rush of it, the thrill of the chase, the conquest when you find that elusive item. I loooovve that feeling. It’s like modern day lady hunting and no cheetahs are harmed in the process, which is awesome. But then I get home, cram that all-hallowed thing into my already full city closet, make apologetic eyes at the person who has the misfortune of sharing said tiny closet with me, then regret and buyer’s remorse set in.

Where so many of us lack the funds to be purchasing big-ticket designer items, we make up for it by spending a lot over time at lower-end chain stores. Those lower-end items end up fraying, losing their shape, breaking, or otherwise just looking bad after a wear or two, and we’re right back where we started: with a closetful of stuff and nothing to wear, then feeling like we need to rush out and buy something – anything! – to look a little better. My goal for this year was to change this mentality by saying no to this cycle.

Chanel quilted bags

I’ve been somewhat successful with these new goals. I’ve added a pair of Michael Kors cheetah flats to the repertoire, an Arcadia handbag that looks similar to this in shape, the new jeans mentioned here, and a white linen sheath dress that will be perfect for summer vacations for decades. And the biggest purchase of all – my wedding dress – was also purchased with this new ethos in mind. I can’t say anything about it yet, but the goal was to find something that looked timeless; as at home in 1960 as well as today and I feel really good about what I’ll be wearing.

As I’ve been on my mission to curate, so has Cuyana, a beautiful shop that creates quality handmade goods built to last. Their Lean Closet Movement series continues to inspire me to take a careful look at what I’ve brought home these last few months and continue on my mission to shop slow, ask the right questions, and really take care of my purchases. The idea of looking and feeling good every day is worth every penny.


More resources to help you shop quality:

Cuyana (for those in SF, the shop is in Union Square)


Sunhee Moon (for those in SF, the shop is on Fillmore)


Purchase list for the next six months or so:

A simple, beautiful tote that can withstand rigorous globe trotting

A classic trench that will last for decades and can handle San Francisco’s notoriously rainy winters

A pair of these wedges. I have them in black and they are the only shoe I can stand in for a full 12 hour day of coaching

Simple, comfortable plain leather ballet flats

A camel colored pashmina

Is this something you subscribe to? How do you shop? I’m so curious – I’d really love to know what you all do!

 PS – this is not a sponsored post! I just really like Cuyana and what they’re all about!

Jeans for Tiny People: The Secret


Why not call it like it is? This post is all about jeans for those of us not quite proportioned like adults. And while I’m not tiny in the sense that some people are – I still have curves and a bust – I am hopelessly short and finding jeans that fit off the rack is like an exercise in withstanding medieval torture. I’m not even being dramatic – jeans shopping makes me want to both run 12 miles and eat my feelings in frozen yogurt simultaneously. Up until two weeks ago, I had ONE PAIR OF JEANS that fit and that I wore regularly. The rest were either outdated and gathering dust or had been given away to Goodwill. Things were getting dire.

When my sister-in-law suggested hitting up a certain ye old high school shopping spot for jeans, I was skeptical. I mean, does anyone still shop at – wait for it – The Buckle? Have we not progressed past this place? Apparently, we have not. And as she pointed out, they basically only sell jeans. If there’s anywhere that’s going to have a multitude of options, it’s them. And so, with bowed head and tears in my eyes, I once again pilgrammaged to The Buckle, feeling every bit the 14 year old girl I was the last time I shopped there.

A lovely casual sales guy gave me the eye as soon as I walked in. “‘Sup,” he said, looking me up and down. Normally I take umbrage at being sized up (taking umbrage is one of my favorite activities) but since I needed this man to size me up and dress me, it seemed only appropriate.

“Hey. I’m 5’ 2” with extra shorty legs, curvy, and really hate jeans shopping. Can you help?”

This man gave me two more seconds of stare, and then pulled a pair of jeans right off the rack. “Try these,” he said. I took them and prepared for the litany of issues that inevitably crop up the minute I wiggle my tiny legs into pants. Only…that didn’t happen. These jeans fit like a glove. They made my butt look good, my legs look normal length, and didn’t make me want to run to the nearest fro-yo establishment.

“Sir! How – HOW – did you do this? These are the first off the rack jeans that fit that I’ve EVER tried on!”

He chuckled, complimented me on my ass (again – going with it) and then said, “Um, that’s because they’re capri pants!”

Indeed, reader. If you look at the inside of my new jeans (two new pairs, thank you very much) it says right on the tag: Lolita Capri.

And you know what? I don’t even care. Because this is the first time ever I have not had to have my jeans tailored, and if that means feeling a little special every time I put these jeans on, then I’m not going to take umbrage – I’m just gonna go with it.


Street Style: Singapore

I returned home from Singapore last week, and I’m still dreaming about the warmth, the amazing food, and the retro-fabulous fashion.

When I was little (and, ahem, still now to this day) I had an obsession with the 1954 romantic film Three Coins in the Fountain. I watched it constantly, noting the gorgeous fit and flare dresses, the powder blue convertibles, and the fact that Italy seemed so rustic and real. And then I went to Rome in high school and was crushed to learn that modern-day Roma didn’t look like that anymore. I said I was obsessed, not smart.

But then, I traveled to Singapore and my 1950s fashion loving heart skipped a beat, because unlike Rome, Singapore seems very much in line with midcentury fashion, and it was a kick in the pants to see.

While I didn’t get to see much during my short stay, a few steal-worthy street trends were clear to me in the first ten minutes:

The Fit and Flare Dress


The Singapore Look: Ladies in Sing are all about skirts and dresses (you would be too – it’s freaking hot there!) and the 1950s silhouette with full pleated circle skirts and a boatneck top are all the rage. I saw most paired with wedge or three inch heels, belted, with cardigans. For modesty, not for warmth. Because again, JUNGLE HEAT. The fit was straight out of Populaire but the modern fabrics kept things looking fresh and not fussy. Modcloth has fabulous fit and flare dresses that would be perfect for summer bridal showers and teas.

Steal it Stateside: if a big flouncy dress isn’t quite your thing – or the thing to wear at your place of employ – you can certainly make it office appropriate by choosing a less boisterous amount of pleats and adding a blazer instead of a cardi, and leather or suede wedges and tights.

Architectural Handbags

Structured bag

The Singapore Look: It may be inspired by Singapore’s incredible architecture, but it may also be part of the whole retro aesthetic. Either way, handbags were streamlined, on the smallish side, and worn daintily over the crook of the arm. No slouchy hobo bags here!

Steal it Stateside: If you’re not quite ready to downsize or switch out bags, looks for transition pieces you might already own. The Longchamp le Pliage bag – a staple that seemingly every SF girl has over her shoulder – is a clean, classic look when not overstuffed (something I’m very guilty of doing) and Charles and Keith has gorgeous architectural bags that are still roomy enough to carry it all.

Coiffed Hair

Kate hair

The Singapore Look: Polished buns, half-back twists, and slicked back pony tails were everywhere. The clean, coiffed aesthetic, combined with the tailored details mentioned above, meant that Singapore women were as chic and stylish as I’ve seen anywhere – including Paris! It especially helps to keep your hair out of your face with all that humidity. Take a page out of Kate’s book from her trip to Singapore and twist it back in a beautiful bun and accent with studded bobby pins.

Steal it Stateside: I’m alllll about the wash ‘n go. My hair is naturally wavy so with a little product and two hours, voila! Beach hair. The only problem is that I don’t live in what I’d call a beachy, laid-back environment, and I need to be able to look polished quickly, whether I’m in DC or SoHo. Find a go-to hairstyle (I like to french braid half my head and pull it all together in a low bun) that can help you look pulled together quickly, or else invest in high quality tools that work quickly and efficiently, like the mini Chi travel straightener.

Would you embrace the full ’50s fashion of Singapore in your hometown?

PS – London Street Style and How to Travel Well

Images Top to Bottom: Social BlissFashion Population, and SocialiteLife.

Street Style: London

What I love most about visiting other countries isn’t the food or the music or the museums – though I do love all of that, as my indulgence in fish and chips, Jamie Cullum, and many, many art museums last week can attest – but the fashion. I love seeing what women all over the world are wearing where they live, and I also love to see what looks and ideas I can steal and get away with back home.

London was rife with great summer fashion this week – especially since their recent heat wave made it impossible to stay covered up in those omnipresent trench coats! Below, some trends worth stealing and savoring for ourselves here in the states.

London loud print pants

Printed Pants

The London Look: The Brits are unashamed about wearing a big, bold printed pant about town. From students to stylish ladies who lunch, everyone was into this trend. I saw big landscapes, tribal prints, florals and ikat, to more subtle prints like stripes or polka dots, all the way down dainty swiss foulard and a light summer Chevron. For those ready to be bold, London-style, Topshop has tons of fun prints, like florals, Aztec, and animal print.

London print pants

Steal it Stateside: Not ready to be so bold? J. Crew has fabulous prints that are a touch more neutral, as in this lighter Liberty floral, or this bright (but not too loud!) Jacquard.

Images via Street Peeper (top) and The Telegraph (bottom)  

London silkscreen top

Photographic Tees

The London Look: Young London is all about photographic tees that represent their worldview, their ethos. Usually paired with distressed denim or high rise jorts. Yes, I just typed the word jorts. Somewhere seriously. That is a trend I still can’t get behind. I’m a square, don’t care. Some of my favorite tees said “wild” or “BE FREE!” or everyone’s seeming favorite (as it was everywhere) “NYC.” Londoners seem to be obsessed with New York.

London rocker tee

Steal it Stateside: To lady-up this trend, which is what I would do, you can find a beautiful floral or rep the homeland and pair it with a classic cardi and only-half-ironic pearl earrings and a delicate purse. And Chuck Taylors. Because always.

Images via Vogue (top) and LDNFashion (bottom)

London peter pan collar

Ladylike Detailing

The London Look: Just because K-Mid is out of sight yet clearly not at the Lindo Wing even though the entire world is waiting for her to get on with it already, including certain Americans who dragged their boyfriends past said Lindo Wing multiple times last week. Harumpf… doesn’t mean her style influence isn’t still being felt and translated to the streets. Small handbags, nude heels and Peter Pan collars on shirts and dresses are still du jour across the city. Even with last week’s heat wave, sundresses were showing fluttering hems similar to Kate’s Alice Templerly tour dress, and many a tiered ruffle dress that were possibly inspired by this Temperly London dress, aka, Kate’s much beloved Wimbledon ensemble from two years ago.

Kate nude pumps

Steal it Stateside: for those of us who live in cold climes, dainty collars are still an adorable choice on sweaters, shirts, and dresses. Dorothy Perkins has some especially beautiful and breezy tops with interesting, ladylike collaring.

For summer weddings when the weather warms up, a great pair of nude heels (and accompanying Dr. Scholl’s inserts) can still always carry you through any number of unfortunate bridesmaid dresses, or until they shut down the dance floor! I’m still loving my pair from Nine West, which look similar to these.

Images via Modastation (top) and PA News wire via (bottom)

Summer Europe Essentials

Last time I went to Europe – and, actually, every time I’ve ever gone to Europe – it’s been either Spring or Fall. I dislike Summer in general (yes, I know, bring out the pitchforks!) and especially for travel because it’s hot and muggy nearly everywhere but San Francisco. Among the many reasons to love San Francisco: ease of bodily temperature regulation.

Also, it’s crowded, and it’s a well documented fact that when I wander around Europe, I prefer to do it sans people in white sneakers and fanny packs.

To help, I thought it would be fun to pull together a summer Europe packing list. Bonus points if you can fit it all into a carry-on, as I intend to! Please note operative word – intend.

Europe Summer Essentials

Curating the Classics


For the last few years, I’ve been making a concerted effort to be more European in my shopping habits. Instead of running to Forever 21 for a quick, cheap trendy item, or eternally scouring the J. Crew sale rack and buying anything I could afford even if I didn’t love it (ahem, orange cashmere turtleneck), I’ve been asking myself a different set of questions before I buy:

Do I love this item?

Is this the best quality?

Will it be dated next season or will it always be on-trend?

Does it look fabulous on me?

If the answer isn’t yes to all of the above, I don’t purchase. Instead of buying, I am finally curating, applying thought and effort into what comes into my closet. Already, this has saved me from several sartorial near-disasters: cat loafers (cute, but overly trendy. Also, I’m not a Japanese teenage girl, so it’s questionable whether or not I could have pulled these off anyway), bensimon sneakers in a bright coral (do I want them because I love them or do I only want them because they’re French? “Because it’s French!” is actually a reason I do way too many things) and yet another cheap scarf (or twelve) while abroad.

This new way of curating has also led to a series of purchases I couldn’t be more excited about: a beautiful, petite pebbled leather cross body bag from Calvin Klein. A small but sturdy umbrella in a classic red. And a fitted black blazer with a whimsical, yet subtle, polka dot lining. I smile every time I turn up the cuffs. And…that’s it. The euphoric highs of finding a bargain, and the accompanying lows when cheap clothing falls apart and I hate everything I own, are slowly being replaced with the knowledge that I will always look polished when I have the right foundations: a classic trench coat, beautifully tailored black pants, dark skinny jeans, ballet flats with a hint of shine, a soft, sky blue pashmina.

There are so many blogs that encourage, subtly or not, the idea that we should always be shopping, buying, consuming and replacing. Not only is this a waste of money, time, and resources, but ultimately, most of us don’t really look that great in the crap that we buy (myself most firmly included).

To help me stay the course (because let’s be honest, those cheap necklaces and sunglasses are tempting and fun) some inspiration and help are below:

Matchbook Magazine’s 50 Closet Classics

Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

Frederic Fekkai’s A Year of Style

What do you consider a “classic” item that you have to have in your closet? I’d love to know!

MAC Master Class


A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to take a master class with MAC Cosmetics director of makeup artistry, Gregory Arlt.

Not only is Gregory rather hilarious and full of one-liners, but I was able to pick up some great tips and tricks for mah face. This is especially great since, if you know me, you know that my face area is typically treated to tinted moisturizer, cherry chapstick and a swipe of whatever drugstore mascara I am recently enamored with due to promises that said mascara will make my eyelashes look like delicate spiders or diamond-encrusted fairy wings or the eyelashes of someone – anyone! – with more awesome eyelashes than the ones I have. I essentially have the eyelashes of a wombat fresh out of hibernation (do wombats hibernate? What even is a wombat?* Things to google…) so I am especially susceptible to the bold claims** of the mascara industry. I am also susceptible to champagne at industry events and trainings. See?


Let’s move away from my wombat face long enough to discuss a couple of Gregory’s best tips, shall we?

1. Skin is canvas, prep accordingly. My skin is nearly as white as a canvas, so this really resonated. MAC Prep + Prime in Radiant Rose banishes the look of jet lag in about two seconds, and helps foundation and concealer stay on longer and better. No one is paying me to say this – I just paid to purchase it. It’s that good. I tested it out on my recent trip to Prague and my coworker exclaimed (really, she actually exclaimed) that I looked incredibly fresh and well-rested for having taken such a long flight. Joke is on everyone because I slept zero and felt like death. Ah, the magic of makeup.

2. Eyeshadow is best applied with the eyes open, like a queen looking down on her subjects. Not only do I love anything associated with royalty, but this makes so much sense. Why do we apply makeup to look awesome whilst our eyes are closed, if we’re going to run around all day with them open? Who here is Sleeping Beauty? No one? Yeah, me neither.

3. Always travel with black eyeliner. Especially because there is a strong likelihood it will travel anyway. Down your face. Reapply often! Enough said.

What are your best makeup tips or tricks?


*I have no intention of  finding out what a wombat is, it’s just a hilarious word. When writing things that are funny, the more funny words you incorporate, the better. Say it with me now…WOM BAT.

**Bold claims. Also known as lies, sweet Don Draper advertising lies.