Leah's Fabulous Finds
Inspiring women

Kentucky Derby

Posted on: April 25th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

It’s time to dust off your fascinators, floppy hats and fedoras for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7.   The only way to watch the best two minutes in sports is to enjoy it with festive attire, mint juleps and friends.  So it’s time to pick out a hat, plan your most stylish outfit, and decide where to watch it!

Best Dressed Couple Sarah Cizmas and Douglas Mayer at last year's Kentucky Derby party at oo-tray

Best Dressed Couple Sarah Cizmas and Douglas Mayer at last year’s Kentucky Derby party at oo-tray

Kentucky Derby Hat

In fashion, hats can inspire an entire outfit, influencing the color scheme worn as well as the way you wear your hair. For the Kentucky Derby, select your hat first to help you plan and coordinate the rest of your outfit.  Opt for a large sun hat, a fascinator or a vintage hat.  If the hats in your closet aren’t quite cutting it, get creative and make your own.  You’ll need either a hat or a headband for your base, as well as, embellishments such as flowers, feathers, bows and ribbons, and a hot glue gun and safety pins to help you adhere your designs. Styles can range from classy and fashionable to zainy, eye-catching headwear.

Plan Your Outfit

The Kentucky Derby takes on the style of a “Southern belle”.  Sundresses in bright spring hues and fun patterns such as floral or stripes are perfect for this event.  Before finalizing your dress, consider what your headpiece looks like.  If your dress has a lot of pattern or color, you may want to choose a simple design for your hat.  Likewise, if you choose a simple dress, you can opt for a big and bold fascinator!

For men, classic linen, khaki or seersucker suits are the perfect attire for the Kentucky Derby.  If this feels too dressy for your viewing plans, opt for a more casual look with a button down shirt in a fun color or pattern such as pink or gingham.  Keep in mind the preppier the better.   Pair it with shorts, loafers, a bow tie and a fedora and you are all set.

Here I am at last year's Kentucky Derby party at oo-tray getting ready for the Islamorada Derby

Here I am at last year’s Kentucky Derby party at oo-tray getting ready for the Islamorada Derby

Watch the Derby

Join your friends to watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7.  Enjoy the best two minutes in sports while wearing fabulous hats and sipping the infamous mint julep.  If you’re not hosting your own viewing party, join me at oo-tray at 80900 Overseas Highway in Islamorada starting at 5 p.m.  Oo-tray will be serving Kentucky Derby themed food and drinks, and will be giving out prizes for the best dressed and best hat.  In addition, there will be a 50/50 raffle for betting on horses, live music and an Islamorada Derby where our local “Real Housewives of Islamorada” will race with horse sticks for charity benefiting the United Way of the Florida Keys.  Call 305.922.2027 for more information.

See you at the races!

 

The Future’s So Bright…I Gotta Wear Shades

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

In the Florida Keys, sunglasses are a fashion accessory worn daily.   It’s also an accessory that you can never have enough of.  All that wear makes them easy to lose, scratch, and break making sunglasses a purchase made multiple times throughout year.  According to the market research group NPD, women spent 1.85 billion on sunglasses from June 2014 to June 2015.  That’s a lot of eyewear. To help you find the most flattering shades for your summer wardrobe, take a look below at some tips before your next purchase.

Jimmy Choo round sunglasses with small cat eye shape and leather snake skin accent on temple available at Tropical Optical.

Jimmy Choo round sunglasses with small cat eye shape and leather snake skin accent on temple available at Tropical Optical.

Shape

Sunglasses come in many shapes but are not a one-size-fits-all accessory.  The first step in finding your most flattering frames starts with analyzing the shape of your face.

Round: A round face is widest across the cheekbones. Rectangular and geometric shapes will help elongate your face.

Styles to try: oversized, rectangular, cat eye

Square: If your face is square with a strong jaw, wide forehead and wide cheekbones, soften your features with rimless shades or curvier frames.

Styles to try: Aviators, round, cat eye

Heart: If you have a broad brow and narrow chin, try a style that is wider on the top than the bottom.  Shapes that are extend past the width of your face will complement you.

Styles to try: rectangular, aviators, sport, retro square

Oval: Oval shaped faces are longer than they are wide. This face shape allows for more flexibility letting you wear pretty much any style you want.

Styles to try: rectangular, oversized, round

Tint

We all know how important sun protection is for our skin but have you thought about protecting your eyes?  Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory; they are also meant to protect your eyes.  Make sure the pair you wear provide 98 to 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. If the label reads “UV absorbing” or “blocks most UV light”, you are not providing enough sun protection for your eyes.

Gradient – These ombre tinted shades are perfect for combating overhead rays during peek daylight hours.

Mirrored – These lenses boast increased protection by blocking out more light than other tints.

Polarized – If you spend a lot of time on the water or outdoors, these are perfect for you as they reduce glare.

Tinted – Darker hues are best for bright and sunny weather like we have in the Florida Keys.

Color

Whether you are all about classic black or prefer leopard print with gold embellishments, the range of color and patterns available for your shades are endless.  So if you find a pair you love, better buy two. Make that three – one in each color of course.

Look for your next pair of sunglasses at Tropical Optical at 81933 Overseas Highway in Islamorada for the latest selection of designer eyewear.

It’s All About the Shoes

Posted on: April 4th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

The Spring 2016 shoe trends are not for the faint of heart.  They are bold, daring, sexy and strut-worthy.   To help you find your footing this season, I’ve rounded up the top trends for you to add to your shoe closet.  Put your best foot forward this spring with the following must-have trends in footwear.

Western Boot

For all you ladies who love a beautiful cowboy boot, this season offers a plethora of western inspired boots. From basic cowboy boots to vibrant hued boots with kitten heels, the western trend is perfect for spring and summer.  Wear these beauties with everything from shorts and a tank to a feminine flowy dress.

Tribal Sandal

Find your footing in tribal sandals.  Ethnic is not only trending for footwear this season, it is also a popular style in clothing and jewelry. Inspired by many cultures, this look incorporates bold colors, intricate patterns, and drool-worthy designs sure to make even the most obsessed shoe lover swoon.  The tribal trend worn from head to toe will look too costumey.  So instead opt for wearing a tribal inspired sandal with a bohemian frock for a modern look.

Tribal sandals from April Daze Boutique in Tavernier $68

Tribal sandals from April Daze Boutique in Tavernier $68

Statement Heel

Take a bold step forward this spring in statement heels.  A bright hue will put the spotlight on your feet for an effortlessly chic look. Look for styles that wrap up your leg, offer fringe, pom pom, or feather details, or unique futuristic accents.  With a statement heel, you don’t need to coordinate the color of your shoes to your outfit.  Instead, let your shoes shine on their own by pairing it with neutrals or contrasting colors so your heels get all the attention.

 

Block Heel

Step into style this Spring with block heel sandals and pumps. Give your stilettos a break and instead opt for this unique shape that are having their moment in fashion.  These walk-able spring heels are better than their skinnier cousin providing much needed comfort for your feet.  Try something new and discover a pair of strappy sandals with block heels to obsess over.

The Mule

Mules are hot, hot, hot this season and are sauntering onto the fashion scene in a variety of heights and colors.  These easy slip on styles are also the most fashion forward looks for spring.  My favorites are loafer mules otherwise known as the mullets of the shoe world – business in the front, party in the back. Find a style with soft leather for a sleek and comfortable shoe you can wear to the office or pair with a cute pair of slacks for effortless style.

Put a spring in your step this season with these fun footwear trends.  Happy strutting.

Fringe Benefits

Posted on: March 11th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

The resurrection of 70s inspired fashion in 2015 brought on a surge of patchwork patterns, flared pants, and colored suede with the most coveted looks incorporating fringe. From chunky, oversized fringe dangling from sweaters and winter coats to delicate fringe details adorning necklaces and evening wear, the runways for spring and fall were covered with fringe and this swinging trend isn’t going away fast. Below are a few tips on how to wear fringe in a modern way.

Tan Fringe Faux Suede Vest from the Banyan Tree Boutique in Islamorada

Tan Fringe Faux Suede Vest from the Banyan Tree Boutique in Islamorada

Fringe Skirts and Dresses

Skirts and dresses are no exception to the fringe trend with styles incorporating statement full-on fringe reminiscent of the roaring 20s or a sophisticated look with just a touch of fringe along the hem. To embrace this trend, choose a length and style appropriate for the occasion. Knee length or midi length skirts and dresses in colors such as black or metallic are going to look more sophisticated for a wedding or formal event. Whereas a mini skirt or shorts with fringe details in bright hues could be worn for day or night in a more informal capacity.  You can also pair a swaying fringe skirt with a button down denim shirt or tank for a more laid-back feel.   To draw additional attention to your lower half, pair a fringe hemline with standout heels for an eye-catching look.

Fringe Details

This season’s statement trend also is great on tops, jackets and vests.  A touch of fringe adorning the back of a blouse or around the front neckline are the perfect bold statement when worn while shopping with your girlfriends or when attending brunch.  Although most jackets will be too hot for our warm Florida Keys weather, a fringe vest is lightweight and great for layering over a shirt and shorts.  The key is to keep it simple by wearing only one statement piece at a time and then styling the rest of your outfit around it.

Black and Tan Tassel Kaftan from Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada

Black and Tan Tassel Kaftan from Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada

Fringed Accessories

Not quite ready to embrace a full-on fringe outfit?  Try a handbag, shoes, or necklace with fringe details or opt for something with a tassel embellishment to give you a more subdued look.  A tassel or fringe necklace is a great way to add color to your wardrobe as many of these fun neckpieces have tassels in bright hues and bold patterns.  Tassels are a classic embellishment that can provide more than an artful vibe.  A metal necklace with fringe detail can give just enough movement to direct the eye while still remaining chic.

If like me, your craving for fringe has become unquenchable, spring is the perfect time of year to add more of this fun element of surprise to your wardrobe.  It’s actually quite amazing that a trend could feel this sophisticated while also this fun to wear.  Just wait until you try dancing in a fringe enhanced ensemble.  It is sure to make you wish you would have been born in another decade.

Trends to Retire in 2016

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

2015 had some interesting style trends emerge from man buns to ugly shoes.  While some looks are here to stay, there are several style trends that have reached their expiration date.  As we start the new year, here are some trends to retire in 2016.

Man Buns

There are some men where this bohemian look can be absolutely sexy. But this hairstyle is not right for the vast majority. Man buns were big in 2015 prompting a clip-in man bun to be sold to those gents who wanted to wear the look but who’s hair was not long enough. 2016 should see far less of this style. Unless of course you are Jared Leto, he should definitely keep wearing the man bun.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12:  Musician Jared Leto attends the Universal, NBC, Focus Features, E! sponsored by Chrysler viewing and after party with Gold Meets Golden held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for NBCUniversal)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 12: Musician Jared Leto attends the Universal, NBC, Focus Features, E! sponsored by Chrysler viewing and after party with Gold Meets Golden held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for NBCUniversal)

Selfies

While holiday shopping I ran into a woman so obsessed with taking her own selfie she was oblivious to everything else around her. I watched her spend 15 minutes in the parking lot taking her own photo not realizing she was inadvertently blocking traffic. 2015 was the year of being self obsessed with snapping our own photo. Although selfies are likely here to stay (sigh) the self-obsessed selfie is on its way out.  The I-woke-up-like-this selfie and the I-blocked-traffic-to-get-this selfie are over.  A return to being more aware of the world happening around us will return in 2016.

Comfortable Shoes

2015 saw a rise in comfortable shoes, from fashion sneakers to birkenstocks.  Ballet flats, cute sandals and fashion sneakers are here to stay but the year of the ugly platform sandal and manly footwear is over.  This trend was worn with feminine styles to fashion week and the like, but in 2016, comfortable shoes will take on a more feminine look.

Bright Hair

A-listers from Katy Perry to Britney Spears were inspired by rainbow hair in 2015.  From bright pink to purple gray, the look took on a more theatrical look than natural.  Not only is this hairstyle trend difficult to maintain its also very hard on your hair. 2016 will see the return of the days of blondes, brunettes and redheads.

Almost Naked Dresses

2015 was the year of the naked dress.  Worn on the red carpet by Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, they showed it all off in 2015.  These barely there dresses left little to the imagination.  Certainly, showing off your body is no stranger to the red carpet, but the almost naked dress is on its way out for 2016. My dad always said, its better to be noticed than noticeable.  Dressing sexy in 2016 will take on a more subtle approach.

 

Happy New Year!

10 Ways to Sparkle this New Year’s Eve

Posted on: December 31st, 2015 by Leah No Comments

New Year’s Eve is the one time of year when wearing glamorous outfits is expected, if not the norm.  Whether you’ve planned to celebrate with a night on the town or you’ve decided to stay closer to home, New Year’s Eve is the time to embrace your inner and outer sparkle.

Pink Glitter Beards of Instagram

Pink Glitter Beards of Instagram

Below are 10 ways to sparkle this New Year’s Eve.

 

1.     Break out your sequined party dress to help ring in the New Year.  Sequined dresses are the unofficial uniform for women on New Year’s Eve. If a dress seems too formal for your plans, opt for a sequined skirt, jacket or shirt and pair it with denim or all black for a more casual look.

2.     A classic LBD is a party staple.  Add some bling to your dress to glam up your look.  The bigger the bling the better.  Try layering your bling by wearing multiple necklaces and bracelets at the same time.

3.     Regardless of your plans, there is no reason your feet can’t have fun.  Whether you pair your sequin heels with a cute dress or wear them with your PJs while snuggling on the couch, glittery shoes are a must for NYE.

4.     Use shiny accessories to draw attention to your best assets.  A patent leather belt will help emphasize your curves while big glittering earrings or a metallic necklace will draw attention to your face.

5.     Glitter beards are the hot new trend for men this holiday season.  This hipster hair style is helping men get in the festive mood by meshing glitter into their whiskers. For inspiration, google #GlitterBeards for all sorts of ideas on how to apply and wear glitter in your facial hair this New Year’s Eve.

6.     Glitter nail polish is a great way to jazz up your nails.  Opt for multi colored glitter polish or a solid color to match your outfit.

7.     A tiara is the perfect party accessory for every fashionista.  And the best part is all your friends will want to borrow it throughout the night.

8.     A sparkly clutch can add color to your ensemble while also keeping you organized.  Coordinate your bag with your other accessories including your shoes and jewelry by keeping it in the same color tone.

9.     Finish your look by highlighting your best facial features with dramatic make-up.  Try glittery eye shadow in a gold or silver to make your eyes really pop.

10.  Glitter Poop – yes you read that correctly.  Just in case you still don’t have enough sparkle in your life, Etsy.com sells glitter pills to make your poop sparkle.

 

Wishing you a sparkling New Year’s Eve and 2016.

The Perfect Hostess Gift

Posted on: December 12th, 2015 by Leah No Comments

‘Tis the season for holiday parties.  Attending the many fetes’ this time of year can certainly put you in the festive spirit, but it can also provide stress to find the perfect hostess gifts. One look at your event calendar will remind you that your shopping list just got a lot longer and more expensive.  So as not to show up empty-handed, here are a few ideas for you to provide a memorable hostess gift that won’t break the bank.

Key Largo Chocolates

Key Largo Chocolates handmade truffles made the perfect hostess gift.

Champagne

A bottle of wine is always an appreciated hostess gift.  But considering that all the other guests are likely to provide this same gift, opt for something a little different.  Instead, bring a bottle of champagne.  There is nothing like a little bubbly when celebrating the holidays.  Just make sure to bring a nice bottle in the $15+ range so as not to provide her with the dreaded cheap champagne headache the next morning.  This is not the type of “memorable” gift you want to give.

Personalize It

If you’ve known the host for a long time, consider making the gift more personal by having his or her initials added to it.  This provides some planning as you’ll need to order it in advance.  Consider monogrammed stationary, kitchen towels, or champagne flutes that will leave your host thinking of you every time they use them.

Bake it or Fake it

If you don’t have time to make something for your host, there is no reason you can’t fake it.  Pick up some beautiful cupcakes or cookies from the local bakery and put them in a holiday tin.  When she asks for the recipe, you can let her in on the secret!

Something from the Florida Keys

If you’re traveling for the holidays, consider bringing your host something from the Keys.  Key Largo Chocolates are a favorite that hosts always love.  They’ll especially love you when they’re finished cleaning the house after the guests have left and can sit and enjoy a mouthwatering key lime milk chocolate truffle.  Key Largo Chocolates is located at 100470 Overseas Highway or you can order your handmade truffles online at KeyLargoChocolates.com.

Have Gifts on Hand

In an effort never to show up to someone’s house empty-handed, always have a few items tucked away for last minute hostess gifts.  This way, if you don’t have time to run out and pick up a gift you’ll still have something nice and thoughtful to give.  Keep bottles of champagne or wine, candles, and stationary on hand for gifts every host will appreciate.  Simply tie on a cute bow with ribbon on the gift and apply a little red lipstick and now you’re ready for the next party.

Happy Holidays!

Shopping Local

Posted on: November 18th, 2015 by Leah No Comments

With the holidays approaching, it’s important to start thinking about the type of gifts you’ll be giving.  It’s also equally as important to think about where you’ll be purchasing those gifts. Our purchasing decisions affect our community and what better time to be “thoughtful” than around the holidays.

Below are a few reasons why you should shop local this holiday season.

Paper and Wire Ornament made by local artist Boo Kee Sue available at the Sip and Shop Soiree

Paper and Wire Ornament made by local artist Boo Kee Sue available at the Sip and Shop Soiree

Keep Money Local – By shopping local this holiday season, you help support local businesses in Monroe County.  When you shop local, more of your money stays closer to home building stronger communities by creating jobs, funding community services through sales tax, and investing in neighborhood improvement.  Local businesses also support our local services by donating to our Florida Keys not-for-profits through sponsorships, donations, and silent auctions items.  Your dollars really do go farther when you spend them locally.

Discover New Stores and Locally Made Products – The Florida Keys offer a diverse array of boutiques that offer an even more diverse line of products.  If you haven’t explored the stores in the Florida Keys, the holidays are the perfect time to do so.  Some of my favorite items found in these boutiques are those that are locally made.  Consider sending those on your list something to make them think of you and the Florida Keys by giving them a painting or photograph taken by a Florida Keys artist.

Save Time and Money – Shopping local will also save you time and money.  Save yourself a trip to the mainland and gas money while avoiding the long lines, abundance of shoppers, and packed parking lots.  I don’t know about you, but the idea of fighting other shoppers for the items on my list and searching endlessly for sales associates to help you with your purchase instantly turns me into the Grinch.  Lucky for you, we live in the Florida Keys, far far away from those crazy shopping malls packed with overzealous holiday bargain hunters.

If you’re looking to get all your shopping done in one night, join us on Friday, November 20th from 5-9 p.m. for a Holiday Sip & Shop Soiree at Village Square at Trading Post in Islamorada. Enjoy a DJ, complimentary drinks and snacks, and shop your favorite local boutiques, artists and crafters while also supporting your community by shopping local. Happy hunting!

 

Fashionable Costumes Already in Your Closet

Posted on: October 31st, 2015 by Leah No Comments

Halloween is upon us and if like me, you’ve procrastinated on getting a costume together.  Don’t panic.  There are plenty of options still available.  Instead of re-wearing a costume from years past, use this opportunity to put on something fun and fashionable already in your closet.  Below are a few costume ideas for you to enjoy a fun and glamorous night on the town.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys

Miss America

Drag out one of the ball gowns collecting dust in your closet and embrace your inner beauty queen.  All you need to pull this look off is a sash and a tiara all available at the dollar store.

Tickled Pink

With this costume, anything pink goes.  Don the hue from head to toe and carry a pink feather to show everyone just how tickled pink you are.

Self portrait

Put on your cutest outfit and carry a large picture frame without the glass or backing to model your own self portrait.

Tom Cruise in “Risky Business”

Borrow a white button down shirt from your hubby and accessorize with some 80s inspired shades and white socks.

Unicorn

Wear a cute white or pastel dress and roll up a piece of paper to make a horn.  Bedazzle it with sequins and glitter to match your dress and adhere it with bobby pins and tape.

Tourist

This is the opposite of fashionable but allows you to wear all the things you normally shouldn’t.  Sandals with socks, Hawaiian shirts, a fanny pack and camera would make you the perfect tourist for your costume party.

Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Wear your favorite LBD paired with pearls, an updo and black heels. Add a tiara, black gloves and large black sunglasses for extra glamour.

Bridesmaid

Always the bridesmaid never the bride?  Drag out one of those dresses you wore once and be one of the the “27 Dresses” from the movie with Katherine Heigl.

Yoga instructor

If you’re not feeling chic this Halloween, be the most comfortable person at the party. Wear your favorite matching yoga pants and top and accessorize with your yoga mat and water bottle filled with a tasty libation.

Halloween doesn’t have to be expensive.  Instead of paying $100 for a zombie or witch costume that will look like everyone else, wear the most fashionable outfit already in your closet for a chic costume this year.

Fall Trends

Posted on: October 3rd, 2015 by Leah No Comments

Fall is in sight in the Florida Keys making it the perfect time to pull out your fall favorites.   Embracing fall trends can be tricky when you live in a tropical climate.  And this fall is about leather, fur, statement making stockings and brocades which may be a bit too wintery for our weather in the Florida Keys.  But there are many trends that will easily help you transition your summer wardrobe into fall.

Accessories can make or break a look, but nowhere has that been more true than on the Fall 2015 runways.  When trying to figure out how to work a new trend into your wardrobe, it’s always best to start with accessories.  Below is a list of trends that you’ll be seeing, shopping and wearing in the months to come.

Disco Fever

This spring, the ’70s and all things bohemian emerged as the defining trend—and this fall, it’s still groovy as ever. With flowy gowns, flared pants, and boho silhouettes, it’s clear that peace and love have staying power.

Short Hemlines

The hemlines have been raised and thigh-skimming A-line mini skirts and dresses are the shape of the season.  Get ready to bare some leg with this youthful and flattering design that looks great on just about everyone.

90’s Minimalism

Chunky choker necklaces, strapless tops and minimalistic designs void of the excesses of print, color, and embellishment are big for fall.  These restrained pieces in minimalistic looks can create a bold look.

Midi Boots & Lady Loafers

Ankle boots are a wardrobe staple, but this season a new boot has emerged. Chunky heeled boots extended past the ankle mid-calf height.  Wear these striking soles with midi-skirts and cropped pants.   Likewise, designers are giving your feet a break with a stacked kitten heel in a lady-like loafer.  Sky high heels are taking a backseat this season to comfort to make an outfit look effortlessly cool.

Miu Miu Mod Heels

Miu Miu Mod Heels

Sexy Librarian

Four eyes were made to look chic on the catwalk this season.  Retro looking specs and tinted lenses in interesting shapes make for a modern looking sexy librarian.  This is good news for us Florida Keys girls as sunglasses are a wardrobe staple.  Why not collect a pair in a retro shape.

Super Hero Worthy Capes

Ponchos and capes are the jacket of choice for fall.  This voluminous beauty is showing up in looks ranging from dramatic to functional.  If you’ll be traveling to cooler climates this year, a cape will be your perfect accessory.

Bling is Back

Fall 2015 is all about oversized earrings.  These look-at-me studded sensations are meant to be worn with simplistic outfits to keep the attention on your ears for minimal effort and maximum impact.

Celine Statement Earrings

Celine Statement Earrings

Happy Hemlines

Flounce and ruffled hemlines are the happiest and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.  Both flirty and fun, the flounce hem is a versatile piece every woman needs in her wardrobe. Plus the movement these skirts make when walking into a room will be sure to draw the attention to your beautiful stems.

Mary Katrantzou Flounce Skirt

Mary Katrantzou Flounce Skirt

Fashion trends are open to your interpretation, so have fun and break out of your normal style boundaries.  Happy shopping.