IT’S ALL IN THE BLOCK HEEL

The shoe gods have spoken and block heel booties are this Fall and Winter season’s “It Shoe”! Now, when you get the notion to go out and look for a pair, adopt this mantra, “The blockier the better”!

This is going to be a particularly easy trend for most people to adapt to (if you haven’t already) simply because block heels are a hell of a lot easier to walk in than stilettos, especially if you have to navigate over an icy parking lot. The only drawback for me with block heels is that they usually tend to be inelegant. I love my sleek, pointy toe stiletto boots! This season however, designers have completely broken that mold and come up with several options that will fit anyone’s style. This year the block heel can be elegant, and whatever else you want it to be!

HOW TO STYLE BLOCK HEEL BOOTIES

Tory Burch Sydney Ankle Boots $425Prada Sunglasses $380Michael Kors Silvertone Hoop Earrings $65YSL  Monogram Quilted Fringe Suede Shoulder Bag $1,900SEE BY CHlOÉ Flowing Blouse $280BooHoo Boutique Harriet Leather Biker Jacket $123Plein SudLlether Leggings $995

Tory Burch went with some very simplistic details with the hardware on these boots, which I love. The flowy top is what gives this look its feminine flair. Add sleek accessories and you are good to go. This is edgy street style at its chicest! Cuir avec cuir et plus de cuir!

HOW TO STYLE BLOCK HEEL BOOTIES (GOLD)

Topshop Maria Chealsea Block Heel Boot $150/ Chloé Small Drew Bag $1930/ 14K White Gold Black CZ Earrings $30/ Nikoleta Long Sleeve Mesh and Bandage Dress

You will very soon find out that in addition to block heels, gold EVERYTHING is what’s in! Nothing goes better with gold than black. If you are going to wear such a bold boot, accent with gold stud or chain details on your outfits or handbags, but keep your jewelry minimal. In this case, your boots are your jewelry.HOW TO STYLE BLOCK HEEL BOOTIES (EMBELLISHED)

Saint Laurent Crystal Heel Booties $995/ Witchery Cable Poncho $61/ Max& Co by MaxMara Wool Blend and Silk Dress $95/ Stella McCartney Falabella Clutch $650/ Pre-owned Tiffany and Co Elsa Peretti Small Open Heart Necklace $100/ Charlotte Russe Basic 40 Denier Tights $5.99/ Roberto Cavalli Jeweled Aviator Sunglasses $315

I am seeing quite a few embellished heels, and these ones from YSL are my absolute favorite so far. The silver tones on the heels pair lovely with navy, grays, and whites. I love the cable knit poncho with the boots, and you can also dress them down with just jeans and a gray sweater.HOW TO STYLE BLOCK HEEL BOOTIES (EMBELLISHED)

Valentino Astro Couture Ankle Boots $2,145/ Woolford Opaque Tights $55/ Edun Draped Wool Wrap Dress $590/ Valentino Rockstud Lock small metallic shoulder bag $1,645/ Linda Farrow Square Monochromatic Sunglasses $570/ Portolano Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves $40

Black is my favorite thing to wear for so many reasons, but one of them is that you can effortlessly accent with the boldest pops of color. I love how the Valentimo Rockstud bags seem to match all of the new embellished Valentino boots. With all of these details, you don’t even need any jewelry.

HOW TO STYLE BLOCK HEEL BOOTIES

Alexander Wang Kenze Boot $725/ Le Vian Genuine Brown Quartz and Citrine Ring $2,100/ Burberry Bag $1,155/ J Brand Midrise Skinny Jean $190/ Nina Ricci Cotton Turtleneck Sweater $545/ Victoria Beckham Supra Round Sunglasses $495/ Camel Sleeveless Coat $69

These booties from Alexander Wang look incredibly comfortable. If I was a tourist in London, this is exactly what I would want to be wearing! Burgundy is another “IT” color for the Fall and Winter, and it is becoming the new neutral to have in your closet. It really pairs with so much. You can always be sure it will go with a Burberry bag!

HOW TO STYLE BLOCK HEEL BOOTIES

Jeffrey Campbell Gershon Block Heel Bootie $165/ Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Melton State Coat $380/ Shaping Skinny Jeans $50/ Equipment Cecile Cashmere Dots V-Neck Jumper $145/ Balenciage Metallic Edge Nickel City Bag $2,220/ Tom Ford Anastasia Sunglasses $149/ R.J. Graziano Goldtone Mesh Bib Necklace $45

The nice thing about block heels as I mentioned before, is that they give you more sturdy traction when you are walking. These have a platform in the front which will make them even more wearable. If you love high heels then these will be a great option for you. I think that the boots pair particularly well with an animal print. Do not shy away from animal prints! You can absolutely make them look sophisticated and chic.

HOW TO STYLE BLOCK HEEL BOOTIES

Tory Burch Blossom Block Heel Bootie $450/ Diane Von Furstenberg Libby Coat $350/ Fogal Corvina Pantyhose $59/ Maison Margiela 4 Short Dress $750/ Maria Dorai Raj Silver Cuff Bracelet $305/ Burberry Black Round Sunglasses $245/ Jon Hardy Dot Silver Ball Station Bib Necklace $995

Tory Burch is definitely on a flared block heel kick! If you read one of my last articles about her new Gigi Pumps, then you know what I mean. The flared block heel is very mod, and I expect other designers will veer that way for the upcoming seasons. One of my favorite combos in terms of color is black, white, and bright blue. It makes for the perfect foundation to color block.

So, do you think you could walk a mile in my block heels?

THE VELVET GOLDMINE

I cannot think of a more sumptuous cold weather fabric than velvet. It can however, be somewhat of a challenge to wear. Velvet clothing certainly has a tendency to exude a dated look, but this year designers are doing it well and proper with  jackets, tailored dresses and pants, and elegant accessories. This season, velvet has never been so chic!

Rachel Pally Velvet Nori Skirt and Laila Top $81.60-$120.60
Rachel Pally Velvet Nori Skirt and Laila Top $81.60-$120.60

We might as well start out with this gorgeous plum top and skirt from Rachel Pally. I love that most velvet pieces I am seeing are jewel tones and rich colours.

GIgi Burris Hyacinth Velvet Headband $385
GIgi Burris Hyacinth Velvet Headband $385

Headbands are starting to become popular again. I am not sure what you would wear this with, but it is certainly unique.

Badgley Mischka Velvet Ruched Gown $556
Badgley Mischka Velvet Ruched Gown $556

Imagine wearing this to a formal Christmas party. This is one of the most gorgeous dresses I have ever seen. I love understated elegance!

Gianvito Rossi Velvet High-Heel Pump $950
Gianvito Rossi Velvet High-Heel Pump $950

Black velvet shoes are usually the standard, but this year there are so many different shades from neutrals to jewel tones, to metallic shades.

Nanette Lepore Long Sleeve Velvet Paisley Dress $358.40
Nanette Lepore Long Sleeve Velvet Paisley Dress $358.40

This is such a gorgeous myriad of colours!

Tory Burch Hallandale Flat $295
Tory Burch Hallandale Flat $295

Classic black velvet flats.

Altuzarra Paneled Velvet Devore Peplum Dress $2,306
Altuzarra
Paneled Velvet Devore Peplum Dress $2,306

I actually thought this was two separate pieces at first, but it is a lovely tailored dress. Just enough ruffle detail.

Eileen Fisher Washable Velvet Wrap Scarf $198
Eileen Fisher Washable Velvet Wrap Scarf $198

Very good quality velvet most of the time requires dry cleaning, but Eileen Fisher has come up with this washable velvet fabrics; which makes it so much easier to wear the pieces throughout the season.

Eileen Fisher Stretch Velvet Ankle Leggings $138
Eileen Fisher Stretch Velvet Ankle Leggings $138

Velvet leggings are everywhere! I am loving these by Eileen Fisher the most, however. Her pieces last forever.

TOM FORD TF Velvet Ankle Bootie $819
Tom Ford TF Velvet Ankle Bootie $819

Always add Tom Ford into the mix! These booties are gorgeous and simple.

Burberry London Peak Lapel Velvet Evening Jacket $1,595
Burberry London Peak Lapel Velvet Evening Jacket $1,595

It takes a certain type of man to pull off a velvet jacket. I say Tom Ford and Sherlock Holmes are some of the very few men who can, but why not be bold?

Free People Dreams Lace Trim Tunic Dress $168

This is so feminine, simple, and elegant!

For Love & Lemons Heather Minidress $216

This sheer piece can easily be worn during all seasons in my opinion, it is just too beautiful to only wear during Winter.

Free People Slouchy Velvet Blazer $168
Free People Slouchy Velvet Blazer $168

Keeping up with the slouchy jackets of this past season, this velvet jacket is a versatile piece.

Marc By Marc Jacobs Semona Velvet Biker Bomber Jacket $263

If you are a bomber jacket kind of gal, this is one of the better tailored ones I have seen.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Domo Biker Velvet Backpack $498
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Domo Biker Velvet Backpack $498

Three of this years trends come together, zippered detailing, velvet, backpack!

Charlotte Olympia Velvet Bouquet Clutch Bag $580
Charlotte Olympia Velvet Bouquet Clutch Bag $580

This would be an evening bag that you could use year round. I love Charlotte Olympia!

Jonquil Moonlight Velvet Long Wrap Robe $140
Jonquil Moonlight Velvet Long Wrap Robe $140

I love cozy robes! This is going on my Christmas list! So sumptuous.

Kate Spade Scarlett Slippers $78
Kate Spade Scarlett Slippers $78

If you are going to get a velvet robe, you might as well get slippers too!

Manolo Blahnik Gorina Velvet Polka-Dot Pump $825
Manolo Blahnik Gorina Velvet Polka-Dot Pump $825

These pumps would look lovely with any of this seasons black velvet dresses. Carrie Bradshaw approved!

If reading all of this has not convinces you to love velvet, I do not know what will! Have you picked up any velvet additions to your wardrobe?

FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE

The notion that men are easier to shop for than women is confounding. If you are anything like me, you are always stumped when it comes to finding the perfect gift for a man. With Father’s Day fast approaching, I though it would be advisable to do a gift guide to take out the guesswork.

The Hunting Party, Alexander F. Rolfe
The Hunting Party-Alexander F. Rolfe

For the outdoor adventurer:

The North Face Wasatch 20 Degree Sleeping Bag $89-99
The North Face Wasatch 20 Degree Sleeping Bag $89-99 

I have actually been inside one of these, and I can say with certainty that they are amazing! The mummy style keeps you warm and cozy. These have the added bonus of being easy to pack. Perfect for that camper in your life!

Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 Binoculars $299.99
Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars $299.99 

Nikon makes some of the best binoculars. This pair got amazing reviews. They are lightweight, and O-ring sealed for water-proof and fog-proof performance.

Cabela's Gift Card
Cabela’s Gift Card 

Sometimes you just need to get him a gift card. Getting one from Cabelas’ however, ensures that he will be able to get exactly what he wants.

Parasailing lessons
Parasailing lessons

If you are near the water this might be a fun idea for your guy. I do not know what man would not want to go parasailing, and it could be a fun thing for you to do together as well.

GoPro Hero4 Black $499.99
GoPro Hero4 Black $499.99

If your man is the outdoorsy type, at some point in his life he is going to want a GoPro! Why not surprise him for Father’s Day?

Cow-pocalypse Crate $109.99
Cow-pocalypse Crate $109.99 

It is a right of passage that when men are camping, they eat beef jerky. This is a particularly awesome gift idea from mancrates.com. It is stuffed to the brim with all kinds of premium beef jerky. They also have several other crates to choose from for every type of guy in mind, check out their awesome gifts for men page! The crates are sealed shut with no gift wrap or anything. It has to be opened with a crowbar! You can’t get anymore manlier than that. How much would he love this? I am thinking this would be something I would most likely purchase myself.

Fitbit Surge $249.95
Fitbit Surge $249.95 

This is more than just a watch, and it does so much more than the regular Fitbit bands. If your guy is an exercise fanatic he will love it!

A Game of Chess, Jules Jacquet
A Game of Chess-Jules Jacquet

For the steadfast gamer:

Gamefly Giftcard
Gamefly subscription 

This is pretty much self-explanatory no? What else could he want for?

Xbox One $389.99
Xbox One $389.99 

Of course he will need a game console to play all of his Gamefly games on. If this is indeed something you are considering, make sure you shop around because you can usually find some great deals on bundles. Gamestop or Best Buy are usually the best places to find the better deals.

Oskar Media Tower $128.65
Oskar Media Tower $128.65 

He will of course also need a cabinet to store all of those said games!

X Rocker II Wireless Video Game Chair $198.90
X Rocker II Wireless Video Game Chair $198.90 

I do not play video games, but if I did, I would definitely want this chair! This chair got great reviews and is compatible with most gaming systems. It is equipped with side speakers!

Portrait of a Man Reading, Gerard Terborch
Portrait of a Man Reading-Gerard Terborch

For the learned reader:

Kindle Voyage $199
Kindle Voyage $199 

This is something I would like to have myself. This is the thinnest Kindle model to date. It features a high-resolution 300 ppi display, an adaptive front light, and an unprecedented battery life. This got outstanding reviews as well.

Audible Subscription
Audible Subscription 

If he is on the go most of the time, he might like to listen to audiobooks. My husband particularly enjoys it. He has to travel for work frequently and always has all of his devices with him so that he can listen to his latest download.

Carpenter-Thomas Rogers
Carpenter-Thomas Rogers

For the DIYer:

The Home Depot Gift Card
The Home Depot Gift Card

Think of this as a win win scenario for the both of you. He might use it to buy the tile for that new backsplash you have been wanting!

Craftsman 15
Craftsman 15″ Drill Press with Laser and LED Light $419.98 

If your husband is anything like mine, then he reads reviews before he buys. This is one of the best reviewed drill presses I have been able to find. My husband loves his!

Mechanix Wear Cg Heavy Duty Glove $41.10
Mechanix Wear Cg Heavy Duty Glove $41.10 

These leather work gloves feature a  multi-zone padded palm, flexible molded rubber ribbing, and a low profile wrist cuff.

Kazbek Polarized Safety Glasses with Copper Lens $24.99
Kazbek Polarized Safety Glasses with Copper Lens $24.99 

These polarized safety glasses would be good for transitioning from inside projects to yard work.

Portrait of George Vernables Vernon, 2nd Lord Vernon-Thomas Gainsborough
Portrait of George Vernables Vernon, 2nd Lord Vernon-Thomas Gainsborough

For the metro man:

Burberry Brit Henry Trim Fit Stretch Cotton Sport Shirt $250
Burberry Brit Henry Trim Fit Stretch Cotton Sport Shirt $250 

This shirt is so undeniably suave. I love the classic Burberry print cuffs!

Tom Ford Noir Extreme $100
Tom Ford Noir Extreme $100 

I do not care what type of man you are, you will smell like a million dollars wearing this impeccable new fragrance from the impeccable man himself, Tom Ford. I love men’s fragrances that include a leather accord in their makeup. The leather gives it that soft distinctive depth. Love this fragrance for men!

Cole Haan Grant Canoe Penny Loafer $168
Cole Haan Grant Canoe Penny Loafer $168 

Cole Haan makes some very comfortable and durable shoes. These are very nice loafers. They are casual, yet are still simplistically elegant. The added extra treading would make these ideal for walking for a good part of the day.

Ted Baker London Multi-function Leather Strap Watch $165
Ted Baker London Multi-function Leather Strap Watch $165 

I love these watches from Ted Baker. They are classy with a modern edge.

Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton-Godfrey Kneller
Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton-Godfrey Kneller 

For the gadget lover:

Logitech Harmony 650 * Device Universal Remote $59.99
Logitech Harmony 650 8 Device Universal Remote $59.99 

According to my husband, every man would love one of these; and if he doesn’t, he will once he knows what it’s like to have one. It does exactly what it says by controlling 8 different devices.

Beats by Dre Powerbeats 2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $199.99
Beats by Dre Powerbeats 2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $199.99 

Also according to my husband, you apparently cannot beat the sound quality of these headphones. The bluetooth feature makes them very ideal for a runner or someone who is on the go and finds wires cumbersome.

The Court of Chancery Durung The Reign of George I
The Court of Chancery During The Reign of George I-Benjamin Ferrers

For the business professional:

Jack Spade Grant Briefcase $398
Jack Spade Grant Briefcase $398 

This leather briefcase is sleek and practical. It features so much space and organization. As a brother company to Kate Spade, you can rest assured that the quality will be amazing.

MONTBLANC E-Starwalker $525
MONTBLANC E-Starwalker $525 

Montblanc is certainly a luxury item, but it is that special kind of one that will last a lifetime. When I think of Montblanc, I think of Don Draper signing loan documents or something.

Hermes Tarmac PM Passport Holder $240
Hermes Tarmac PM Passport Holder $240 

Does your guy do a lot of travelling that requires him to whip out his passport? If so, imagine how suave he will look doing it with a passport cover from Hermès!

Well I think that about covers it. What do you think are some great gift ideas for Father’s Day?