Coco Chanel’s legendary vision forever redefined how women dress. And though her name is often used synonymously with femininity, many of her genius designs were actually sparked by menswear. Here’s a peek at some of Mademoiselle Chanel’s most memorable borrowed-from-the-boys looks.

Coco Chanel with piled-on pearl necklace

Styling with Jersey
Knowing it was inexpensive and figure-flattering, Coco purchased a surplus of jersey to use in her first collection. Until then, the fabric had only been used for men’s underwear – très scandalous!

Creating the Jacket
We can thank the staff at the Baron Pantz hotel in Austria for the classic Chanel jacket. Why? The elevator operator’s uniform jacket, with four pockets and braided trim, was the inspiration behind the now-famous 1954 design.

Reimagining Tweed
In the 1920s, Coco took up with the Duke of Westminster, one of the richest men in Britain. After raiding his closet, she was motivated to experiment with tweed, which turned into one of her signatures.

Inventing the Chain-Strap Bag
In 1929, tired of constantly holding her clutch, the on-the-go designer took note of the straps soldiers used to carry their bags. She then added thin metal chains to her own handbag and voilà! – the first Chanel purse was born.

Our Style Icon: Classic Looks Inspired by Coco Chanel Boutique opened Wednesday, August 19, at 11 AM ET.

By Elizabeth Burns, Assistant Fashion Editor

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August 19, 2015

From blogs to mags, the dry brushing trend is everywhere. But scrubbing our skin with hard bristles? Questionable. So we went on the hunt for all the facts.

How to Dry Brush

What It Is:

Dry brushing is an opportunity to give your body’s largest organ the TLC it needs. And believe it or not, this skincare regime has been around for centuries.

Why Do It:

External Benefits:

  • Tightens skin and helps distribute fat deposits (goodbye, cellulite)
  • Helps tone muscles
  • Exfoliates and eliminates dead skin cells
  • Stimulates oil glands (think smoother-than-ever skin)

 
Internal Benefits:

  • Increases circulation
  • Improves your metabolism
  • Helps the body detox (for much less money than a juice cleanse)
  • Stimulates nerve endings to give the nervous system a reboot

 

How to Do It:

  1. Before your morning shower, grab a firm-bristled brush. It is best to use one that is cactus- or vegetable-derived.
  2. Start on the soles of your feet and brush upwards with long, gentle strokes.
  3. Move up through your body, brushing softly towards your heart.
  4. Avoid breast area, but move through abdomen and arms.
  5. Continue up through the back of the neck.
  6. Rinse off and finish with a few sips of hot lemon water.

 
Our conclusion? The beauty movement isn’t nearly as crazy as it sounds – and we’re about to try it.

By Carolyn Bothwell, Staff Writer

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August 18, 2015

Before Lady Gaga, there was Madonna. For 30 years, the songstress has reinvented herself in dramatic fashion. From risqué bridal gowns to matador-inspired looks, her chameleon-like transformations have established her as one of the most influential style icons of our time. Today we celebrate the original Queen of Pop on her 57th birthday with a look back at three of her best looks.

Madonna in bustier and white lace gloves

1. At the First MTV Music Awards in 1984
Singing “Like a Virgin,” Madonna dropped jaws when she crawled around on stage in this skimpy frock – undergarments fully exposed. Her stand accessory? A belt buckle reading “Boy Toy.”

Madonna with long ponytail and cone bra2. On Her Blonde Ambition World Tour in 1990
There may never be a (cone) bra as recognizable as this Jean Paul Gaultier creation. Though first seen on the runways in 1984, it wasn’t made famous until Madonna wore it in stadiums around the globe.

Madonna in glittery dress and fur shawl3. At the 63rd Annual Academy Awards in 1991
Imitation is the finest form of flattery, so we’re going to go out on a limb and say Madonna has a thing for Marilyn Monroe. Designed by Bob Mackie, her dress was paired with a standout date: Michael Jackson.

By Kasey Rowe, Assistant Fashion Editor

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August 16, 2015

It’s already August – sigh – which means we have one month left to check off all of those summer bucket-list items. And it seems there’s no better place to start than creating the ultimate refresher – popsicles. Cue this super-simple (and all-natural) Watermelon Cucumber Popsicle.

Popsicle-Blog-PostIngredients:

  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small watermelon, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

 
Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or a large measuring cup.
  3. Pour the concoction into your popsicle mold, leaving room at the top for the mixture to expand.
  4. Freeze for 1 hour before inserting the popsicle sticks.
  5. Continue to freeze for another 4 – 5 hours. Then enjoy!

 
Want more summer inspiration? Our Pinterest is filled with it.

By Carolyn Bothwell, Staff Writer

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August 12, 2015

Need an extra pick-me-up? Before you reach for that third cup of coffee, try a mantra first. We’ve gathered three of our favorites for you to keep on hand whenever you need a little boost.

I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happinessYou have control over more than just your outfit. Remind yourself that you hold the key to your own happiness, because rumor has it, thinking it can manifest it.

start each day like it's your birthdayOkay, so streamers aren’t exactly necessary, but who doesn’t appreciate a little celebration everyday? (A piece of cake is just an added bonus.)

don't just be good to others be good to yourself tooSometimes in the hustle and bustle of it all we forget to treat ourselves right. While making others happy is important, remembering to take care of yourself is equally essential.

By Ashley Bell, Staff Writer

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August 11, 2015

In search of the perfect print for your friend? Forget raiding racks and racks of frames. Just follow our lead with this art-by-personality guide.

Classic Art PrintFor the lover of classics. A painting with muted tones depicting forever-chic items (e.g. Chanel) will make her walls look as sharp as her closet.

Edgy Art PrintFor the friend with an edge. Choose a design that makes a statement. A bold skull softened by bright flower petals should do the trick.

Travel Art PrintFor the travel junkie. This colorful map bursts away from the ordinary. With its pattern overload, the décor may even serve to inspire her next adventure.

Bold Art PrintFor the powerhouse. Does she do it all – and do it so well? Then a bright style spelling it out will be a welcome addition to her abode.

Of course, you can always just snag a piece to spruce up your own space, too. Our The Oliver Gal Artist Co. Boutique opened Monday, August 10, at 11AM ET.

By Kim Watson, Staff Writer

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August 10, 2015

Watching our favorite celebs trek through the airport has become almost as exciting as seeing them strut the red carpet. Why? Their getaway ensembles. Take note, then give it a try.

Celeb-Athleisure-KateOversized Sunnies
Paparazzi-ready shades are dark, so hiding tired lids from last night’s red-eye is a nonissue. Continue reading “Join the Jet Set: Airport Style Inspired by Celebs” »

August 10, 2015

Wedding season is in full bloom, which means you’re probably an expert at catching bouquets by now. Next time around, consider saving – and drying – those flowers to put on display for more than one day.

How to Dry Flowers with Hairspray
What you’ll need:

  • Twine
  • Bottle of aerosol hairspray

 
How to do it:

  1. Tie twine around the stems to keep them together.
  2. Lightly mist each blossom with hairspray.
  3. Hang them upside down in a cool, dark place (like your basement or closet) for two to five days.
  4. Arrange them in a vase. If you’re careful not to break the petals (this can be tricky), the colors and shapes of the flowers will last.

 
The best part about this centerpiece? It’s an easy upcycle. And, well, free.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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August 8, 2015

Enamored with the shabby-chic aesthetic? We get it. Coined by designer Rachel Ashwell in the 80s, the style brings comfy elegance to a whole new level. Let us show you how to recreate the look.

Shabby-Chic Decor

Mute the Hues. For this decorating scheme, white paint and light colors are essential. Refinish old furniture with these shades, then sand them gently for a worn appearance.

Hit the Antique Store. Shop for crystal fixtures and gold accents. If the perfect old-school treasure isn’t within reach, consider a reproduction with worn patina.

Keep It Feminine. Let a curvy-edged, French-inspired mirror sit pretty above a tufted headboard. Oh, and don’t be afraid of a skirted bed – think simple cotton or linens with pleats.

Bring the Outside In. That white outdoor furniture? It will look just as good indoors. Try a garden table as a desk or a wrought-iron chair at the dining-room table.

Our Shabby Chic: Artfully Distressed Décor Boutique opened Friday, August 7, at 11AM ET.

By Kim Watson, Staff Writer

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August 7, 2015

It’s no secret mules are making a major comeback. After being spotted on nearly every fashion influencer last spring, they’ve officially shed their “grandma shoe” label. Here are three street-style-approved ways to wear them.

How to Style MulesWith Cropped Denim
Pair a chunky-heeled mule with dark, cropped skinny jeans for an effortlessly cool look. Feeling a little too dressy? Try light, distressed denim instead.

How to Style MulesWith a Midi Dress
Not sure how to take your mid-length dress from desk to dinner? Mules will do the trick. No outfit switch necessary.

How to Style MulesWith a Miniskirt
A shorter hemline will show off this style with ease. Try mules in black paired with a leather mini for the ultimate girls’-night look.

By Carolyn Bothwell, Staff Writer

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August 6, 2015