Streets Ahead Handbags at Maiden Lane

The finest Italian hides, completely crafted by hand—that’s the story behind Streets Ahead, a southern California company that specializes in leather accessories. “Streets ahead” is a South African saying that means “ahead of the pack,” which precisely defines the handbag styles created by this company. The line is featured at speciality boutiques across the country and around the world, and the savvy buyers at Maiden Lane in Nevada City, California are among the trendsetters.

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Each component of the pattern is hand-stamped. The leather is refined and lightweight, making it a pleasant alternative to structured bags that already have some heft to them before you even put a cell phone inside. With Streets Ahead, you can toss in all of your essentials and not feel as if you’re carrying a suitcase on your shoulder. As someone whose handbag is always filled with everything I might possibly need under any set of circumstances, this is a very good thing.

To get your Streets Ahead handbags, visit Maiden Lane at 307 Broad Street in Nevada City or call 530.265.9520.

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Clothing as Art

It will surprise no one who reads my blog that I have fallen yet again in love with a dress. I found this Etro paisley panel dress while browsing on the Neiman Marcus website, and I’m enchanted by the bold colors and exquisite lines. When I discovered that the pattern on the back is completely different, I was sold.

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Of course, that doesn’t mean I bought it. My next stop was the price, and as much as I’d love to wear an almost $1900 dress, it’s not a viable option.

I’ll just have to be content with dreaming…and perhaps a bit of drooling.

Tights, tights, and more tights

I’ve been posting a lot about tights lately, so the time seems right to feature a few of my favorites. These three are by DKNY.

Houndstooth:

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Menswear Foulard:

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Lacquer:

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The first two are a great way to spice up the look of a simple dress or skirt. The lacquer ones can add a fun pop of chrome to a dressy LBD, and I promise they look less like The Tin Man in person. Beware the gold version, however, because they bear a grotesque resemblance to suntan pantyhose…made worse by an inordinate amount of shine.

Play with patterns and colors when adding tights to your wardrobe. You’ll find they lend freshness to a favorite item of clothing you’ve been wearing forever, making something old and treasured feel new again.

The Jeans Alternative

For most of us, jeans are part of our everyday wardrobe. Depending on how you accessorize them, they can be casual and funky…sleek and dressy. I recently discovered these velvet skimmers at The Gap, and they manage to take jeans to new heights.

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The fabric is soft and plush, and the zippers add a slightly rocker touch. In addition to being on the front pockets, they also run up the back of the leg:

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I love the ankle length with both heels and flats, since it adds a fashionable edge. Team these jeans with a pretty blouse and simple belt…a tank and a cardigan or blazer. They’re another great staple for the holidays.

‘Tis the Season for Booties

One of my favorite styles for winter is shorter skirts and dresses with tights and booties. The look is crisp and polished, and the tights make it possible to venture into shorter (translation: fun and youthful) lengths without showing any skin.

The ideal footwear for this look is the Netta bootie by Kate Spade. Available at Nordstrom in both black and grey suede, it’s currently on sale for 40% off. The gold trim on the inside of the heel and the tiny gold-studded bow in the back allow it to be dressed up a bit more than a basic bootie. It’s a great choice for the holiday season!

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