Friday, August 31, 2012

Girl Crush of the Week: Kendall Herbst

Meet our Girl Crush of the Week, Kendall Herbst! She's a smarty-pants entrepreneur and a total babe! 
We're super excited to introduce you to our Girl Crush of the Week, Kendall Herbst of StyleUp! I am seriously in awe of Kendall. She is currently getting her MBA at MIT's Sloan School of Management (hello, BOSS LADY!), she started the ingenious email style service StyleUp with her classmate Ryan Choi this spring (in her spare time, which I'm guessing students at MIT have toooonnns of...not!), and let's just say what we're all thinking...she has the most beautiful hair I have ever seen. In. My. Life. She recommends a conditioner as her current must-have product in her Q&A below, and you better Belize I'm buying a case of it today and dunking my whole head in it in hopes of duplicating Miss K's gorgeous mane!
I was introduced to the StyleUp (and Kendall) via one of our great guy friends from home (hi Albrecht!!!) - he is one of Kendall's Sloan MBA classmates, and was kind enough to send out the link to all of our girlfriends from home when StyleUp went live with the note "Girls, I thought you might like this...Dolder, I'm looking at you!" There are few things in this world that delight me more than when guy friends give me intel for Tartan & Sequins (or when they scream "HWSI!!" "HWSI!!" at bars and make me take their pictures), so obviously I was a member of StyleUp in about 2 seconds flat.

Here are the (almost too cool to be believed) deets on StyleUp - StyleUp aims to make getting dressed more fun and effortless for women by sending them one email each morning that includes their local weather and a great outfit that suits their sense of style. Whether you're a jeans and tank top girl, a Louboutin and leather pants lady, or anything in between, StyleUp's got amazing looks for you! And the kicker? It's totally free! 

Check it - these are the adorable looks StyleUp sent me this week: 
And, as if it couldn't get better, this week StyleUp just became shoppable! I know - so smart! Kendall clearly didn't go to school to eat her lunch, that's for sure (do your grandparents ever use that expression to convey that someone is smart? I thought I should translate from 1950's jargon just in case). More proof that StyleUp is the They were just nominated for Daily Candy's "Start Small, Go Big" contest in the digital & tech category, which is amazing!

Have so much fun getting to know Kendall, and be sure to sign up for StyleUp's daily emails - they will legit change your life!  I mean, look at Olivia - that's the happiest I've ever seen her!

  • Style icons? I love Sofia Coppola’s understated point of view; she seems to appreciate great clothes without spending all morning getting dressed. 90’s Kate Moss will forever be a personal favorite too – everything the girl wore was right on.
Kendall interviewing Christian Louboutin. I mean have you ever!? Such an awesome pic!
  • Design philosophy? The goal is always elegant and minimal.  The reality is always a bit relaxed and disheveled.
  • Favorite book of all time? Oh gosh, books are the best, huh?  The one that jumps to mind is The Year of Magical Thinking. 
  • Best advice you ever received? Anything Coach Taylor or his wife Tami say on Friday Night Lights.
  • Favorite stores? I can’t go into J.Crew or Madewell without wanting to buy everything. Catbird in Williamsburg, Brooklyn sells lovely, delicate jewelry. I wear their thin anklet every day. Online, I’m crazy for Everlane.
Kendall swinging by the Polyvore a Bo$$.
  • Dream place to live? I love NYC – don’t get me wrong.  But it’s fun to daydream about a couple quiet years up in the Hudson River Valley or in Portland, Maine. Santa Monica would be wonderful to try too.
  • The one product you're obsessed with right now?  L’Oreal’s Absolut Repair conditioner.  My hair would be a disaster without it.
  • Biggest indulgence? Lazy Sundays.  Once in a while, I’ll take a day to do nothing other than read the paper, watch Bravo, think about StyleUp and browse Net-A-Porter.  I can spend the whole glorious day in sweatpants.
"Oh hello, I didn't see you there! Just hard at work on StyleUp!"
  • Girl crush? I adore funny women. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey seem like the coolest ladies in town.
  • Favorite song? I was going to say something by Bon Iver or M83, but I just checked my top 25 most played songs on iTunes and it’s all Rihanna, Beyonce and Taylor Swift. So…I’m not as cool as I think.
  • Prized possession? I started writing a journal the night before I went to college and I’ve continued ever since.  The content is usually mundane, if not totally embarrassing. Nonetheless, I appreciate that I can look back on my life like that.
  • Current hangout? Lately it’s been anywhere that serves oysters.  Mermaid Inn Oyster bar is the closest to my apartment, so I end up there a lot.
  • Motto? Do what you can with what you have. 
  • Best place on earth? Tuscany is tough to top.
  • Favorite drink?  Sancerre in the summer, Cab in the winter, and vodka, tonic and a splash of grapefruit juice when all else fails.
Wearing camel to ride a camel. It's like whatever.
Now that you adore Miss Kendall as much as we do, be sure to sign up for StyleUp's daily emails (they are seriously awesome!), and follow her adventures on her social media handles listed below. Many thanks to the lovely Kendall for being so kind as to let us feature her! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How We Style It: Vintage Tees

Photo Credit: PJ Jannuzzi

I will admit that I have been stealing my mom's style for some time now. From the cigarette pants and loafers I was wearing just yesterday, I'm pretty much a carbon copy. Judging by these pics of Bonni, Allison's mom, I'd say she's in the same boat. So when my mom finally handed down her t-shirt from the bar she worked at in college, you can imagine my joy. See, not only have I been lusting after the t-shirt for years, BUT as my mother also went to Miami and its from a bar that I frequented on many occasions. I may or may not have spent my 21st birthday there.

While I do cherish the t-shirt and rarely wear it as I want to preserve it as long as possible, I can't resist busting it out for special occasions. I can think of no more special occasion than a photoshoot with my long-lost friend PJ Jannuzzi, whose fab photography skills you can see in this post. 

For both looks I paired the t-shirt with bold necklaces and jeans. One more dressy and one more casual, I love the versatility the t-shirt provides. I had hoped Allison would pair hers with a maxi skirt and she did! She looks so cool- especially in the pic on the curb. Check out the full looks below and let us know- how do you style YOUR vintage t-shirts?!

Mom's Vintage T-Shirt from College, J.Crew Blazer (similar), Franchesca Collection (similar
and Rachel Zoe (similar) Necklaces, Hermes, Spike the Punch, and AV Max (similar) Bracelets, 
Banana Republic Clutch (similar), Pour La Victoire Heels
Photo Credit: PJ Jannuzzi

Photo Credit: PJ Jannuzzi

J. Crew Schoolboy Blazer, J. Crew White Jeans (similar), Michael Kors Odin Flats (similar), 
Clare Vivier La Trop├ęzienne Tote, Julie Collection Byzantine Cuff (c/o), Julie Collection Key Bracelet (c/o)
Vintage T from EBay 
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
Mom's Vintage T-Shirt from College, Franchesca Collection (similar) and Julie Collection Jean Necklaces (c/o), 
A&F Boyfriend Jeans (similar), Dooney & Bourke Cross-Body Bag (similar)
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald

Vintage T from Ebay, Everly maxidress from Purre (similar), 
Tory Burch Emmy Sandals, Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
Photo Credit: Ben McDonald
Don't have any vintage tees of your own? No worries, here are a bunch of cute options to help you cheat the look :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fave Fall Nail Polishes

Gwynnie fanning herself with a paw gorgeously manicured in Deborah Lippman's Hit Me With Your Best Shot 
Now, as far as nail polish goes, there are typically two types of people: one will try a different color every time they get a manicure, and feel delighted to have a fun change of pace!!! The other? The other will have one go-to polish that they know they love and that they always get compliments on, and in a frantic, sweaty, Hunger Games type situation at the salon will once in a while opt to try something different. And they will hate it. The second it goes on. And they will feel sad, sad, sad, just waiting for a few days to pass so that they don't feel like a jerk for getting their nails re-done with their standby immediately.

Can you tell which type of person I am? Duh. I wear Essie Waltz like it was formulated just for me. Overly courteous friends (Christina) have asked if I would mind if they got a manicure with it too, like I am Shelby in Steel Magnolias and my signature color is Essie Waltz.
Essie Waltz 
As seen in this "How We Style It" post
But. All that notwithstanding. I just love how a dark, shiny nail with a teeeeny bit of sparkle looks in the fall/winter. I love it. And since Lord knows there is nothing worse than a bout of mani-regret, I'm going to share my intel on what I humbly consider to be the most flattering polishes for fall. I mean, since I put in the man hours and all opening the bottle of every shade of dark polish at CVS, there's no need for all of us to do it at our respective stores. 

Down to brass tacks - I don't really go in for nail polish "trends." I don't wear black nail polish. Personally, I've found that a rich, chocolatey red-brown looks a hundred times better with my skin tone - knowing what works for you is so hot right now. I also love a dark neutral shade, after seeing OPI's "You Don't Know Jacques" on my fabulous friend Katie. 

My absolute favorite winter nail polish was made by Elizabeth Arden, until they stopped making nail polish. Quelle horror. It was the aforementioned perfect rich chocolatey red-brown, and struck envy in the hearts of many a lady on the quad when I discovered it junior year at Miami. That was my first hit of dark nail polish, and I've been excited to find new shades every time August comes to an end ever since - check out some of my faves below!  

2 coats Essie Wicked topped with 1 coat of OPI's Ali's Big Break 
via @doldermcdonald on Instagram
OPI Tease-y Does It 
OPI You Don't Know Jacques! 

Essie Wicked

NARS Bad Influence

Zoya Cheryl
Essie Mocachino 
As seen in this "How We Style It" post

OPI Germanicure
NARS Night Porter
Deborah Lippman Dark Side of the Moon
What are you going to be wearing on your gorgeous little paws this fall? Post your fave fall polish on our Tartan & Sequins Facebook page! And while you're there, like our page too (if ya haven't already) - our entire sense of self is directly tied to how many "likers" we have! ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Work Wardrobe Staples

Image via

Let me just start this post of by admitting that I work in a very casual, creative environment. Could I wear jeans and a t-shirt most every day? Yep. Have I had jobs where I've done that? You bet. But in my current role, I do have to fly down to our client's offices about once a week and unfortunately, the jeans and  t-shirt look doesn't exactly read "I mean business." 

Trying to be chic and comfortable at work is a goal many aim for, few maintain. So when my friend asked me to write a post about workwear staples, I jumped at the chance. Allison and I did a HWSI last month on Not So Boring Business Casual but for this post I'd love to start at the staples. I mean, as much as I'd love to buy new clothes all the time, that just isn't my reality. I'd rather buy versatile pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways. You know, trick people into thinking I have more clothes than I have ;)

Image via

There are tons of options out there for work, but I'm going to focus in on which pieces I think serve as the building blocks for a look. Those pieces are:
  • Heels
  • Trousers
  • Pencil Skirt
  • Sweater
  • Button-Down
  • Blazer/Jacket
Now those seem like 'duh' moments to everyone right? The key here is that the style, cut, fabric and color make a world of difference. I mean, not all heels were created equal were they?

Speaking of heels, lets start with them. The key staple heel here would be a classic black pump. Great because they match with everything, classic black pumps can take you from an interview to happy hour with ease. The key is to get something classic, but not boring and stylish but not slutty. As someone who recently tried to find a pair of black pumps that covered off on all those bases, let me tell you, it's no easy feat. Luckily for you all though, I've done my research, and here are some of my favorite styles (fair warning, I LOVE a high heel).

Up next are trousers. You all obviously know that the J.Crew Minnies are my go-to work pant. They're super comfortable and flattering cigarette pants. But while I've worn them in client meetings and interviews, I understand that my work environment is more casual than most so I think we should stick to trousers for today's discussion. Trousers are a very slimming and flattering cut as well, plus they are more professional. I've picked out some of my favorite classic, but not boring pieces.

Pencil Skirt

Ah the pencil skirt! One of my favorite articles of work clothing. You can do so much with a pencil skirt and always look completely pulled together. Worried about bumps? Buy yourself some Spanx and call it a day! Here are some of my favorite pencil skirts!

Can I just say that I am a sweater fanatic? I don't know if its just me living in chilly San Francisco or what but I have approximately THIRTY sweaters in my closet right now. And you know what? I WANT MORE! Sweaters are a great staple because they can be worn on their own or as a layering piece. Plus, based on the time of year and corresponding thickness of the sweater, sweaters can be worn with pretty much anything. Check out the sweaters I'm ordering tomorrow I'm loving right now.

As you know, Allison and I love a good button down. We have come a long way with button-downs from the stretchy numbers from Express. No, today there are so many chic, flattering options out there! Great patterns and cuts that look great on most everyone. Here are some of my favorite styles!

Judging by the amount of blazers and light jackets in my closet, I'd say I'm a fan. They are such versatile pieces that work in the office and on the weekend. The key here is to break out of the boring boxy blazer club and step into the interesting, colorful, and flattering world of blazers and jackets. I've selected a whole range below of colors, shapes, fabrics, and patterns for you to choose from. Careful, you may want them all (I know I do)!

Xo J

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Art of the Flowy Blouse

Our homegirl LC knows the value of a good flowy blouse.

As yes, the flowy blouse. Concealer of a multitude of sins and the epitome of effortless chic, the flowy blouse is one of my all-time favorite wardrobe staples. Aside from the above benefits, the flowy blouse is great because of its limitless seasonality. Of course in some cases, the materials and colors may dictate which season the blouse only works for (e.g. it would be criminal to rock a white linen blouse in November- that is, unless you were vacationing in St Tropez, in which case it would be tres chic!). However, as a general-rule, they're fabulous year-round!

Tory Burch Riding Boots, J.Brand Dark Denim, Miguel Ases Green Onyx Earrings, Joie Ivory Blouse, Joie Addie B Blouse
Gold Stud EarringsJulie Collection Catherine Bracelet, Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation
It seems as though this season is FULL of amazing flowy blouses that I just simply cannot live without. I've put together a fall look featuring a flowy blouse above, and have two more full looks featured as part of my guest post on Classic Bride today.

But why stop there? I've also picked out my favorite flowy blouses for everyone else obsessed with LC's style looking for one of these bad boys!

This blouse from J.Crew is divine, especially in this color.

Love this jewel-toned number from DVF.

Love the neutral pattern on this blouse from Rory Beca.

This is a great nude option from Chandi and Lia.

Universally flattering option from Equipment.

This blouse from DVF has great texture and dimension.

I'm loving the stripes on this Splendid blouse.

I love the unique cut of this navy blouse from Vince.

This classic black blouse from Joie is a necessity.

Any other fabulous flowy blouses I should add to my shopping list? :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Design Envy: Elegant Cleveland Home

The gorgeous dark silver interior of Brandi and Michael Kokal's Cleveland home.

Much like my last home featured on Design Envy, as soon as I walked into the Cleveland home of Brandi and Michael Kokal, I was overcome with envy. Brandi has great style so it was no surprise that her home was divine, but I guess I just keep thinking of us at 21 years old dancing like lunatics to Ciara's "1, 2 step." You see, Brandi is one of my best friends from college so I always think of us as being in college. When I walked into her home for the first time last year, it was clear, we were grown-ups :) 

One of Brandi and Michael's engagement photos hung above their home bar. 
Photo Credit: Genevieve Nisly Photography

The thing I loved most about Brandi and Michael's home was how complete it felt. From the sophisticated bar right off the entry, to the grand bedroom, their home is so well-appointed. The perfect paint color, the perfect accessories and the perfect furniture tie the look together nicely. Want to see what I'm talking about? Please join me on a tour of Brandi and Michael's Cleveland home!

When did you move into your home?
October 2009

The grand boudoir featuring one of their pet children, Madison.

How did you two approach the design? Was there a vision? Did one of you take the lead?
Brandi: Let me start by saying my husband is very opinionated when it comes to design (not a pain in the A@% at all... I swear :)). His mother is a designer and so he just gets it. We, for the most part, agreed on the look we wanted for our first home but while we have grown together as a couple, so has our design vision.

The modern baroque entryway.

We have lived together in Cleveland for the past five years. We started with a contemporary look in our first loft, then we evolved into a more modern baroque style when we moved into our house. Now we have learned that our style is moving more towards a traditional look - if I could move into Ralph's store on Madison and 72nd, I would be one happy girl!

We have learned a lot in the three years that we have lived in our home and our biggest revelation has been its not so easy (time-wise and wallet-wise) to wake up and change your look. So you will probably notice in our photos, that we have been working with a little bit of everything right now to make the transition. 

A well-dressed corner of the living room.

I would explain our home's current look as monochromatic, sophisticated and well-dressed.

Did you have to undertake any major renovations or was the home move-in ready?

A truly elegant kitchen.

Brandi: The first project was renovating the kitchen. Then from there we made several small changes that made a world of difference such as: replaced carpet with hardwood floors, painted the entire house, added crown moldings, changed the doors and their hardware, hung drapery and installed new light fixtures.

Brandi and Michael in what only can be described as Brandi's worst nightmare- SHARING A SINK!!
Photo Credit: Genevieve Nisly Photography

What were the mandatories?
Brandi: It was mandatory that we had our own dressing spaces. Trying to get ready for an evening in close quarters could end a marriage! We also use separate bathrooms which has worked out very nicely.

Shots from Michael's dressing room. Think Brandi has been in here?!

Michael: Brandi is a bit of a clean freak so there needed to be a place in the house where I was actually allowed to sit on the couch. We turned the office on the 3rd floor into our every day living room. It's still a work in progress but coming along as we find things we love.

Brandi: Correction- Michael is a bit of a tornado so there needed to be a place in the house he was actually allowed to be...

What are your top two favorite things in your home?

What a lush, relaxing space. Love the hanging lights!

Michael: The back courtyard is my favorite part of the home simply because its really what I had the most to do with. It is relaxing and comfortable, yet well-manicured. Its something that I am proud of because we planted most of the plants when we first moved in so we can see the progress they've made. 

I also really like the way our bedroom has started to take shape. For a while it was pretty barren and cold but as time has gone on, we have managed to find the right things to go in the right places.

Beautiful cream and gold scheme. Love the pop of pink.

Brandi: Our bedside table is one of my favorite things- it was actually our cake table from our wedding!


I also love my dressing room. The master bedroom closets were not going to work for the both of us so we turned our second bedroom into my closet. If anyone comes to visit, there is a nice hotel just down the street :)

I know we all want to see more of the shoes!

Any design tips?
Brandi: Have patience. Michael has taught me you cannot assemble your dream home in a day. Its just not going to happen! You have to always keep your eyes open for the perfect pieces everywhere you go and let the rooms eventually come together. Don't be so eager just to throw anything together and call it a day...

Brandi's vanity. Its a 1950's vanity from the Ritz Carlton in Naples. Brandi and Michael had stayed in the same hotel 
just a few months before they came across the vanity and knew they had to have it!

Anything else you'd like to share?
Michael: There is a good chance that you will not agree on everything- you will probably agree on less than 50% of the time. The best advice I can give it to take a chance and let the other person make some decisions based on their judgment and intuition. You may be surprised to find that their taste, though fundamentally different than yours, may be what brings the place together.

The Kokal children- Madison and Valentino. Aren't they adorable?!

Want to see even more of Brandi and Michael's stunning home? Like us on Facebook and check out the album "Design Envy: Elegant Cleveland Home"