Fashion Books We LoveWhile most of us have mile-high stacks of Vogue at our desks (for professional purposes only, of course), we do dive into more substantial reading from time to time. Here are our favorite fashion-forward texts:

Nostalgia in Vogue: This compilation includes a selection of Vogue’s famous “Nostalgia” columns published since 2000.

Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life: This controversial account draws on letters and other records to reveal the less-discussed (and scandalous) chapters of this influential designer’s life.

Grace: A Memoir: Vogue Creative Director, former model, and international icon Grace Coddington gives us a witty, blunt narrative of a life lived fashionably.

The Fashion Book: Aptly named, The Fashion Book is a coffee table book to end all others. This A to Z tome takes a comprehensive look at the most important names in fashion, dating all the way back to the 1860s.

The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman: Penned by the one and only Christian Dior, this indispensable source covers the fashion fundamentals every woman should adhere to.

By Lauryn Paiva, Staff Writer

What are some of your favorite books about fashion? Share in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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February 28, 2013

It’s not easy being a mom, but if you’re London-born designer, actress, and mom-of-three Rosie Pope – you make it look blissfully simple. How does she do it (and look flawless while she’s at it)? We asked her a few questions to find out.

Why did you decide to start Rosie Pope?
Pregnant women deserve the best. I want to be able to provide the highest-quality one-stop shop for pregnant women and mothers, from clothing all the way through to education.

Did you ever dream of becoming a designer? 
I don’t think I dreamt about becoming a designer, but I always wanted to be a mother and to make my career about motherhood. In my opinion, our fashion and style play an integral role in how we feel, and it is imperative that mothers feel good.

Your schedule is, in a word, hectic. How do you juggle being a mother and businesswoman?
Scheduling is key, but I also try to embrace the craziness and be in the moment. Don’t let perfection get in the way of good intention. (Who cares if there is a little syrup on the iPad? At least I sent the e-mail!)

Continue reading “How To Do It All (And Still Look Good): Rosie Pope Spills Her Secrets” »

October 15, 2012

 

Even though in my mid-20s I’ve now swapped story time for browsing through magazines, I still remember nights spent looking forward to bedtime stories (The Giving Tree was a personal fave). So, in honor of Rue’s Story Time: Kids’ Classic Books Boutique, I’ve asked a few fellow Rue associates to reminisce with me and share their cherished childhood reads. Oh, the good old days.

Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
“It satisfied my love of adorable baby animals and my even-early-on attraction to Boston (and look where I wound up – go figure).”
– Jess H., Copyeditor

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
“We had versions in English, Spanish, and French and my dad would rotate which one he would read to us at night.”
– Jackie J., Junior Designer

Yo! Yes? By Chris Raschka
“It’s a book about making a friend. It features two children of color, and I read it to my son who is Korean. My rule for kids’ books has always been to pick ones you love reading. Because you can’t fake it!”
– Rachel S., Associate Creative Director

The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan & Jan Berenstain
“I loved reading it in the fall – it always got me so excited for Halloween! Sister Bear was my fave and I loved how Papa Bear was such a goof! And of course, Mamma Bear always knew best.”
– Tess M., Public Relations Manager

Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day
“While the parents are out on the town, Carl the Rottweiler sneaks Madeleine out of her crib for an adventure. It’s basically a kid’s dream come true.”
– Julia I., Junior Copywriter

The Little Red Hen by Little Golden Books
“The lesson in the book… about reaping what you sow… is one I use all the time as a parent and as a business person.”
– Mike D., VP, Audience Development and Syndication

Our Story Time: Kids’ Classic Books Boutique opens Thursday, October 11, at 11AM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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October 11, 2012

While summer may lay claim to a lion’s share of reading lists, fall, in my opinion, sets the most satisfying stage for curling up with a book that simply can’t be put down. Whether the story of choice features a leafy boarding school (always sure to perpetuate that autumn feel), or is just so good it’s immune to seasonal implications, pair these select tomes with a cup of tea, your favorite knit throw, and a crisp, blustery afternoon. (You won’t be disappointed.)

1. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. A chronicle of the (countless) gastronomical adventures on which this expat writer and his wife embarked in 1920s Paris. No, it doesn’t get any better than that.

2. One Day by David Nicholls. If you saw the film version of this, erase it from your memory. While the movie wasn’t a rotten tomato by any means, this heart-melting love story deserves to be savored as the best-book-I’ve-ever-read-in-my-life experience that it truly is.

3. The Good Life by Jay McInerney. The fact that this was penned by one of the most fantastic authors of our time aside, this emotional look at various lives and relationships in pre- and post-9/11 New York can’t be passed up.

4. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Spanning two decades, this tale of an unlikely (and destructive) friendship boasts an aristocratic family, their grand country estate, Oxford University life, 1920s London society, and World War II. Hello, perfectly satisfying English novel.

5. Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard. Yes, there’s a geographical trend here. But fall has me craving a hop across the pond (with plenty of saucisson waiting on the other side).

6. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely.  A hilariously satirical take on writing one of those much-obsessed-over American novels. Warning: you’ll never look at the “best-sellers” section the same way again.

7. Maynard & Jennica by Rudolph Delson. Looking to live vicariously through someone else’s ideal relationship (fictional or otherwise)? Dive head first into this sweetly addicting tale of how an out-of-nowhere encounter on a Manhattan subway led to once-in-a-lifetime love (of the quirky, off-beat variety).

8. A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Nothing like a book straight off the ninth grade reading list – not to mention, a 1950s New England boarding school component – to get into the fall spirit.

9. The It Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar. Attention all Gossip Girl fans: before the GG books even became a TV reality, Jenny Humphrey’s antics had already spawned a spinoff collection of stories! (Note: Just because summer is over doesn’t mean we’re immune to titillatingly mindless fiction. Plus, a boarding school’s involved here, too.)

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

What’d we miss? Let us know your favorite reads – fall or otherwise – in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

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September 10, 2012

We’re all about structured shapes for fall – especially at the office. But finding that perfectly tailored fit can be a little tricky (even when Spanx are involved). Here’s a cheat sheet for finding a slew of dresses that are just as figure flattering as they are stylish.

For apple shapes
Carry your weight around your midsection? Try a full-coverage dress that nips right under the bust or the smallest part of your waist. Look for V-necks and empire waists – and don’t be afraid to show a little leg!

For pear shapes
Welcome to my world. I’ve learned to shy away from anything too clingy (goodbye, jersey knits and bandage dresses) and rely instead on the magic of an A-line shape. They highlight your smaller upper body and draw attention away from bigger bottoms. Bonus points? Add details at the bust to draw the eyes up.

For straight figures
If you’ve been dying to add some ladylike curves to your figure, all you have to do is create the illusion. (This means lots of fitted, tailored pieces.) This color-blocked number adds interest by splitting up your top and lower half, with the black bottom to keep things slim and shapely, and a polka-dot, ruffled top to highlight your bust.

For hourglass shapes
I’m so glad Christina Hendricks made hourglass figures all the rage (once again), so flaunt your best assets in form-fitting shapes that highlight all the right curves.

Our Anne Klein Boutique opens Monday, September 3 at 11AM ET.

By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

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September 3, 2012

Summer marks the perfect time to frequent local antique shops, markets, and fairs, but there are some lessons to be learned for scooping up the perfect pieces. Below, some essential tips and tricks for navigating these well-worn treasures.

Know before you go.
You don’t want to insult the store owner by low-balling an item, so know your merchandise before you head out. You can check out similar items on Craigslist to get an idea of the true value. But remember – value is only what someone is willing to pay for it.

Look for cherry, mahogany, and walnut pieces.
These furniture items are made with wood that is more than likely to go up in value. So even if you find a piece that’s not a true antique, get it if you love it. A few years down the road, it could be worth way more.

Be wary of consignment.
It’s not the same as a regular antique store. Different vendors place their merchandise and set the price, so you have a lot less negotiating power than if you were to find it at that sweet little antique shop. Still, so long as you observe proper bargaining etiquette, a try at negotiating can’t hurt.

Ask for authenticity.
Very valuable pieces often come with papers to assert their authenticity. Don’t hesitate to ask for verification.

If you love it, buy it.
Just like Rue, these items won’t stick around. And if you’ve walked through the whole store and still can’t get your mind off it, buy it! It might not be around the next time you show up.

By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

Have your own antiquing tips and tricks? Share them in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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August 17, 2012

Somehow it happened – August is here. And that means there’s no better time than now to head to the farmer’s markets to stock up on fresh (and local) fruits and veggies. With a surge in urban farmers markets across the country, you’ll have the pick of the litter (er, produce) when it comes to finding locally sourced fare.

If you’re in Boston…
Head to the SOWA Open Market on Sundays from 10AM–4PM. Whether you’re on the hunt for some prized antiques, looking to stock up on local produce, or simply want to try the city’s best new food truck, this is the best place to be on a summer weekend.

If you’re in San Francisco…
The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is like a who’s who of the food scene. With hundreds of vendors and some of the best chefs in the area camping out three days a week, there’s no shortage of things to see (and eat).

If you’re in New York…
No question: you need to be at the Union Square Greenmarket. Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, it leaves plenty of time for you to take a food shopping lunch break, or snag your groceries over the weekend. My favorite part? The cooking demonstrations. What could be better than watching someone else cook while you shop?

If you’re in Seattle…
Okay, I know Pike Place Market is around all the time, but this might be the best time of year to frequent the market. All through the summer (until September 30), local farmers hawk their wares on the cobblestone streets so you can take advantage of the season’s best fruits and veggies.

By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

What’s your favorite farmer’s market? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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August 3, 2012

My mom likes to entertain. Scratch that – she loves to entertain. Thanksgiving has been held at her house for at least 20 years now and the entire event runs like a well-oiled machine. Add in the countless birthday and cocktail parties and having the family over for dinner… she’s basically a pro. So I’ve stolen (er, borrowed) her tips for making sure the party is always a success.

Prep food in advance.
There’s nothing like trying to whip up a dessert on the day of your soirée, only to find out you’re short one stick of butter. Start preparing the menu – and the actual meals – at least a day ahead of time, for whatever items that can be pre-prepared. My mom’s rockstar banana bread? She bakes it a week ahead and pops it in the freezer until day of, so the only thing she has to worry about it slicing and serving.

Use the good china.
Because when else can you? Set the table with your nicest tableware so guests feel that the event is special. If you’re not quite at the china-owning level, pick up a pretty and patterned set of plates that sets the theme and mood for your party, whether it’s a summer BBQ or a friend’s bridal shower.

Put out napkins and coasters – everywhere!
When you’re hosting at home, the last thing you want is someone spilling cheese that gets stuck to the carpet, or getting crumbs all over your brand new sofa. Water stains on the end tables? Don’t even think about it. Set little cocktail napkins (order your own for a customized touch) and coasters on every table surface, to encourage guests to set their glasses on coasters and use napkins for finger foods and appetizers.

Make party favors out of place cards.
Eliminate the problem of guests asking where to sit by creating place settings that they can take home. Whether it’s a themed piece of candy with their name attached or a labeled glass, they’ll appreciate the decor (and the takeaway).

Don’t forget to have fun.
Somebody dropped and broke a glass? The chicken came out a little more crisp than you intended? Mistakes happen – don’t let them get the best of you (and your guests). Shrug off little mishaps and focus on the positive. Your guests will remember your great attitude and ability to laugh at the slip-ups, not the fact that the cake ended up on the floor. (Although it’s always good to have one extra dessert.)

By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

What are your favorite party-hosting tips? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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August 1, 2012

It’s finally here! Okay, well, the games coverage officially started on Wednesday (when the U.S. women’s soccer team beat France), but I’m talking about the big kickoff – and all the top events to follow. This weekend, make a date with your TV and keep tabs on the following sports.

Women’s Beach Volleyball – Starting July 28 at 3PM ET
Is there anything more exciting than witnessing the incredible duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh compete? I’m going to go with no – and I will be (loudly) cheering them on from my couch as they take on Brazil in the U.S. team’s first game.

Men’s Swimming – Starting July 28 at 8PM ET
I certainly don’t hate the eye candy that comes with men’s swimming, but these guys are good – really good. I’m waiting for Ryan Lochte to give Michael Phelps a run (er, swim?) for his money in the 200m freestyle, and of course, the 4×100 freestyle relay is sure to be a can’t-miss moment.

Women’s Gymnastics – Starting July 29 at 7PM ET
To me, this is the epitome of the summer games. And staring at people do flips, spins, and vaults has me seriously inspired (although not the least bit motivated to try said tricks on my own). Keep an eye out for Jordyn Wieber, who’s one of the favorites on the U.S. team. Her closest competition? Fellow teammate, Gabby Douglas.

Track & Field – Starting August 3 at 4:30PM ET
There is no way I will ever be able to run this fast. Ever. So watching these men and women is pretty remarkable. And while the golds typically go to Jamaican and Kenyan runners, I’m holding out hope that Tyson Gay will hustle his way to gold-medal glory, now that he’s injury-free.

Closing Ceremonies – Starting August 12 at 7PM ET
Let’s be serious. I really want to see this because the Spice Girls are performing. THE SPICE GIRLS! Maybe it’s because I’m partial to the boy/girl-band mania that was the ’90s, but there’s no way I’m missing this reunion (even if I’m only watching from my living room).

By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

What are you looking forward to watching this weekend? Tell us in the comments or tweet us at @ruelala.

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July 27, 2012

The summer season is all about traveling, vacations, and, of course, staying with friends. Whether they have a beach house in the Hamptons or a tiny cottage in the mountains, here’s all the need-to-know etiquette for ensuring a breezy stay (and an invite to come back).

Bring a gift.
This is a must for any visit – and if you don’t believe me, Emily Post says so. A nice bottle of wine is suitable, or a piece of home décor you know your host will love. Staying more than one night? Aim for something a little more elaborate to say a proper, “thanks for letting me crash here.”

Have your own toiletries on hand.
While I love scooping up all the mini shampoos and soaps in hotel bathrooms, don’t assume your host will provide the same. Tote along your own shower products, and don’t  rely on your host for toothpaste.

Continue reading “Etiquette Lesson: Be Your Host’s Favorite Houseguest” »

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July 25, 2012