Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Champagne Cocktail

2013 is coming to a rapid close. Looking back it was a year filled with a lot- new jobs, internships, relationships, and travel. I soaked up the sun in the French Riviera and indulged in fashion in Milan. In between was filled with lots of cashmere cable knits and chinos, of course. Here's to making 2014 even better!

As we raise our glasses for the last time in 2013, I recommend the below cocktail I found from the "Kitchn". It is a spiced citrus champagne. A twist on my personal favorite, champagne. It is a simple recipe blending a spiced simple syrup, orange juice, and champagne. I know I will be filling my glass with Moet and adding in a spice this evening!

Cheers to 2014!

Spiced Citrus Champagne
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
Zest of 2 lemons, cut into long strips
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 whole star anise
4 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
Champagne, or dry sparkling white wine

 Bring water, honey, lemon zest and juice, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Cool syrup. Serve each glass of champagne with 1 tablespoon spiced syrup and a splash of orange juice, to taste. Garnish with a slice of star fruit or a lemon twist.

P.S. Check out the Kitchn for even more great champagne cocktails perfect for the occasion!

Monday, December 30, 2013

After Christmas Sales

I hope that everyone had a relaxing holiday with their families. After Christmas sales are some of the best of the year, and with all that Christmas money burning a whole in your pocket, it is the perfect opportunity to score some great threads at even better prices. I've curated a small list of a few of my favorite sales currently going on. 

Which sales have you taken advantage of with your holiday money?

Mr. Porter:

This website is hands down my favorite on the web. They offer the best selection of designer merchandise, specifically for men. The current sale offers everything from shoes, clothes, and accessories at up to 50% off. This is a great time of the year to score great outerwear pieces that will last forever. I love this Belstaff trench, currently at 40%. ($2,157)

Jack Wills:

The go-to British brand for casually, preppy attire is currently offering an array of fall and winter merchandise at a discount. There is a great selection of oxfords, sweaters, and chinos. Even better, they are currently offering a contest called "#jackpot" in which you can win back the value of your sale purchases!  I always love a good fairisle sweater for the winter season, and this fairisle crew is a great find at $79 (originally $148).


The all around favorite is currently offering an extra 40% off sale merchandise both in store and online. Take advantage of this to stock up on wardrobe essentials like button-downs, chinos, and v-neck sweaters. I love J.Crew cashmere, and with an extra 40% off, select cabled crewnecks will ring up at only $131.

Ralph Lauren:

We all know my love for the Ralph Lauren brand, featured in almost every outfit post that I write. The current winter sale offers an additional 25% off sale items online and an additional 40% off sale in Ralph Lauren stores. This all adds up for some amazing deals on classic, preppy items. Score iconic Ralph Lauren items such as the American Flag Sweater for just $67 with the additional 25% off. 

Neiman Marcus:

The Neiman's after Christmas sale is also one of my favorites to shop each year. While every category is on sale, I always tend to gravitate towards their footwear sales. Currently, sale is an extra 25-33% off for some great savings on the finest designers. I am loving the items from Hadleighs, and this pair of slippers is no exception. Currently $390.

Happy shopping!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Home for the Holidays

I always love the time leading up to Christmas...the "Christmas Season." Coming home to a decorated house after a stressful semester is always wonderful. My family has traditions for the holidays and, for me, that is what makes the holidays special. 

The house is always fully decorated by my mother as she loves holiday decorating. The hallmark of the house is always the 12-14ft live tree strung with over 1,000 lights. Of course being home for the holidays always means lots of good food and cookies! 

Some of our traditions include gathering on Christmas Eve, dinner at the house on Christmas Day, and even small things such as adding a new Lilly Pulitzer ornament to the tree each year. There is always a little pink and green around the house!

My favorite is waking up to the smell of coffee on Christmas Day, relaxing and opening gifts, and the house smelling of fresh spices and balsam. 

What does being home for the holidays mean for you?

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!
Life Through Preppy Glasses

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Celebrating Steve McQueen at Belstaff

Last week, GQ and Belstaff celebrated actor Steve McQueen at Belstaff's Madison Avenue flagship in New York. I attended with other industry insiders, models such as Tyson Beckford, and fashionable New Yorkers to view the new retrospective by Barry Feinstein, Unseen McQueen.

The store was the perfect backdrop for the viewing of the photos. McQueen's style is quintessentially Belstaff, namely leather motorcycle jackets, leather biker pants, and chunky knits. His style is quite relevant today as distressed denim, biker jackets, and the like have become must-have pieces for that edgy, downtown style. 

The book is filled with photos of McQueen on a motorcycle, a shared passion of both the photographer and McQueen. A hardcover copy can be purchased in-store or online via Mr Porter.

Follow @skimbacofashion on instagram to stay up with latest happens in fashion & events

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcoming Winter: Cashmere & Fur

On Saturday we will officially welcome the winter season. It has been quite cold here the past week in the northeast so dressing warmly has been essential. When I think of winter essentials, I think of chunky sweaters, wool coats, cashmere, and of course fur. I know fur is a debated subject, however, I just love the warmth and sophistication of a real fur. 

Below, I have made an outfit that would be perfect for après-ski slope side, sipping wine by the fire, or a chilly day in the country. I layered a rabbit fur vest with a warm, simple cashmere sweater. A modern edge is added to the look with moto inspired jeans, filled with detail. As always, a loafer adds a classic, preppy touch. 

What is keeping you warm this winter?

Vest- Vintage Rabbit Fur // Sweater- Vintage // Denim- Ralph Lauren Black Label // Drivers- Ralph Lauren

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Season of Celebrations

Tis the season for celebrations! Just one of the many things I love about this time of the year. Whether you are celebrating the end of another semester, a work party, or gift exchange with friends, there is always a reason to pop open a bottle of bubbly. 

I am partial to Moet, and highly recommend the Ice Imperial. Rosé is perfect for a toast at a special gathering. I have been seeing a lot of great recipes involving champagne floating around the internet. I  love a good classic, yet fun cocktail with champagne. 

At your next celebration, grab the Moet, ice cream, and raspberries, and you will have the perfect sweet cocktail in a glass...sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Photo: My own

Friday, December 13, 2013

Holiday Gift Selections for Women

It is hard to believe it is only 12 days until Christmas! A few weeks ago I made some selections for gifts for men, and now I have a few picks for the girls on your list. This list is simple and covers an array of categories, yet includes some classic choices such as fragrance and jewelry. 
Happy shopping!

1. Tory Burch Robinson Triangle Tote- This makes a great gift for the business woman or the college student about to enter the working world, and what girl isn't loving Tory Burch right now? The robinson leather is durable and sophisticated, and this tote will be able to fit all her daily essentials.

2. Kate Spade On the Town Necklace- Give a gift that sparkles with this necklace from Kate Spade. A go-to for good costume jewelry, this necklace will be a hit. Not to mention, it will pair well with upcoming New Year's Eve parties and festivities. 

3. Silver Vines Cuff- Give two gifts with this one, one for your loved one and one to charity. With the purchase of the handmade artisan cuff made in Indian, you purchase will go towards the fight against poverty. This cuff is available from the World Vision Gift Catalog, a non-profit that helps to fight children in poverty. Remember, it is the season of giving and what better way to give?

4. Nest Grapefruit Candle- I cannot get enough of Nest Fragrances recently. They truly do make the perfect holiday gift whether it is for the hostess, a family member, or friend, it will be sure to fill their space with a lovely aroma. I happen to love the grapefruit scent- very vibrant and refreshing.

5. Jo Malone Peony & Blush- English brand Jo Malone is renowned for her perfumes and fragrances. Give this gift, and she will always remember you with the scent. The Peony & Blush scent, featuring hints of peony, red apple, and jasmine with a touch of suede, is very popular. Even more, it comes in a gift box with signature black ribbon, ready to give!

6. Christian Louboutin Simple Pump- What woman does not want a pair of red soles this holiday season? The perfect gift for any fashion loving girl, the pump is a classic that she will be able to wear over and over again. Not to mention she will be eye-catching in them as well. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stylish Luggage: WANT Les Essentiels de La Vie

For the person that loves to travel, luggage is almost as important as the trip. Luggage can say a lot about your personality and your style. There are so many options when it comes to luggage and travel bags these days. WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie caught my eye a few seasons ago with their simple, understated totes and bags. I loved their totes, so when they launched a trolley luggage set, I instantly fell in love.

The company's logo is a running man, suggesting that they are always in motion. I love the simplicity and sleek aesthetic of the new rolling, carry-on luggage made in collaboration for the 4th edition of Le Cabinet de Curiosités of Thomas Erber. The new line of luggage was inspired by the first bag the co-founders created, the Trudeau Briefcase. The DeGaulle S4 Trolley embodies all the same things, namely function, subtle luxury, and sustainability. 

I also loved the inspiration drawn from Paris, as it is one of my favorite cities. The co-founders also described the bag as the perfect carry on for the flight from Charles de Gaulle to JFK....who would not want to be taking that flight? :)

The trolly features an interior card pocket, padded laptop pocket, mesh pocket, and an exterior clip for extra bags, making it perfect for those of us that always tend to pack on the heavier side. The Italian and French calf leather truly give it a sense of luxury. 

I would not mind receiving one of these trolleys as a holiday gift. Luggage makes a great gift option for either men or women...definitely adding to the list! It can be purchased at Maison Kitsuné at the stylish NoMad Hotel in NYC or via online.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Spa Day: Ritz-Carlton Westchester

The Thanksgiving holiday was the perfect opportunity to enjoy for pure relaxation, taking a break from the books for the weekend. Instead of heading to the malls and stores and standing in long lines on Black Friday, myself and a few friends had a spa day at the Ritz-Cartlton in Westchester

Located within a short train ride to the city or the perfect go-to location when in the suburbs, the spa at the Ritz in White Plains offers a space of luxury and serenity to step away from the busy lives we lead.  The day spa features a rooftop indoor pool, multiple massage rooms, salon, shop filled with high-end products. 

The spa offers an array of services including skin, touch therapy, massages, facials, and body treatments. The full menu can be viewed on their website. I received a 60-minute full body massage. From the minute I stepped into the spa, I was in a serene environment from the plush robs, to the scents of lavender, to the relaxation room while I waited for my massage therapist to arrive. 

Swedish massages start at $85 for 30 minutes and range to $200 for 90 minutes. Other options such as stone therapy are also available. I think I found an excellent place to escape the bustle of the city while not going to far from home. 

Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Westerchester
3 Renaissance Square
White Plains, NY 10601

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rustic Pop of Color

It is well known that I love a good sweater during the fall and winter. I also adore color. Adding a pop of color to an outfit brings it to life and makes it more interesting than the sea of blacks, browns, and greys that can be seen all over the sidewalk. 

Use seasonal hues as the basis for the outfit while selecting a shirt, loafer, or pant in a hue that "pops" or contrasts with the rest of the outfit. Below, I centered a look around a chunky cardigan in a dark olive green, perfect for the season. Paired with traditional slim chinos the outfit is classic and simple, however, I added a brighter orange oxford that compliments the dark green well and elevates the outfit. 

Select dateless styles such as the shawl collar cardigan. This one, by Ralph Lauren Black Label, works well as a sweater or as outerwear on a warmer day because the gauge of the knit is quite heavy, similar to this sweater jacket. The slim chinos, by a great New York based designer, Peter Manning, add a modern touch of urban sophistication with the orange pebbled loafers tying the look together. Finish off with a simple accessory such as a timepiece or metal bracelet. 

Color is one of the easiest things to play around with in fashion and can have great payoffs. How are you wearing color this season?

Cardigan- Ralph Lauren Black Label (similar, color) // Chinos- Peter Manning // Oxford-  Polo Ralph Lauren (similar) // Bracelet- Miansai 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Nest Fragrances

Recently, I have been enjoying shopping for home decor and accessories. I have been filling my apartment with great finds, ranging from art to decorating with memories. Part of my recent focus on home has included candles. There is something relaxing about getting home from a long day and having a glass of wine and lighting a candle to make the apartment smell great.

I had heard about Nest Fragrances for quite some time through the likes of the infamous Bergdorf's Instagram account and seeing other industry insiders raving about them. The story behind the brand is quite interesting, launching in 2008 in Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, and serving as a go-to for clients such as Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, NARS, and Ralph Lauren.

I finally got my own Nest candle, and I must say, the scent is amazing! I have the grapefruit scent  which is incredibly fresh and vibrant, yet relaxing at the same time. 

Have you tried or do you use Nest fragrances? I would love to know what your favorite scent is. I know a lot of people rave about the holiday scents, so that may be my next purchase!

Monday, December 2, 2013

5 Random Monday Thoughts

Hard to believe we have left Thanksgiving and the weekend behind and entered into December. Only 23 days until Christmas!

  • I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving, enjoying time with friends and family
  • School is ending earlier than normal which is a plus, however, the next 2 weeks are going to be insane.
  • I enjoyed a massage treatment on Black Friday at the spa at the Ritz Carlton-perhaps more to come on that later!
  • I need to get in the holiday season and start shopping for some gifts...always so hard to pick! Don't forget to check out a few of my selections for men with my gift guide
  • Are you taking advantage of Cyber Monday? Some of my favorite deals of the day include:
30% off your entire order at Jack Spade...including sale!

Spend $200 or more and receive 20% off your order with Vineyard Vines

30% off you order online and in store with J.Crew
Jack Wills is offering 30% off, ending today

Enjoy an additional 50% select reduced styles and discounts with spend at Ralph Lauren

And a little inspiration to get into the season since it is December after all

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