January 31, 2011

Look for Less: Shoulder Bag

If you are looking for a smart everyday bag with a modern and sophisticated feel, I have found the bag for you.

A cream shoulder bag is the perfect bag for the stylish girl paired with a jeans and top outfit or a more casual sun dress when it gets warmer in the next few months.

Proenza Schouler PS1 Medium Suede Satchel is completely luxurious and yet conveys a sense of restraint and practicability at the same time. The one pictured on the left is in the large size, but the medium is more manageable and better in my opinion.

Get the this stylish bag in the feminine and fresh rose suede or if you prefer leather, look at the PS1 medium leather satchel in beautiful brown leather.

If you are on a budget, you are going to LOVE this cheap & chic pick from ZARA.

You are going to get the same fabulous look as the PS1 for a fraction of the price. And, who doesn't love a handbag for less than $50 - that price alone makes you want to snatch one up as soon as possible.

Mrs. Press Giveaway

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mrs. Press

Time for another giveaway~

This time 3 lucky winners will be selected!

Winners will receive shower gel, body lotion, hand cream & soap (AUD $105, retail price) from the beautiful dressing table line from Australian fashion line,
Mrs. Press.

Mrs. Press Giveaway

1. Follow @MrsPress and @Y_Sophisticates on Twitter. Also, tweet this:

RT & Follow @MrsPress and @Y_sophisticates for a chance to win Mrs. Press #giveaway! Complete info on how to enter: http://bit.ly/gYEhq5

2. Follow Young Sophisticates and Mrs. Press on Facebook.

3. Follow Young Sophisticates on Bloglovin.

4. Leave one comment below. Make sure to leave your email address if you sign in as "anonymous."


Question: I don't have Twitter or Facebook, can I still enter?
Answer: Yes! Follow on Bloglovin (step 3) and leave a comment (step 4).
It takes just a minute to sign up and follow on Bloglovin & they won't send you any emails or anything. The Bloglovin button is on the top right of the YS homepage or click the link on #3.
[question added 2/13/11]

Question: I don't have a Twitter account, but I have Facebook. Can I still enter?
Answer: Yes. Follow steps 2-4 above and you will be entered in the giveaway.

Question: I don't have a Facebook account, but I have Twitter. Can I still enter?
Answer: Yes. Follow steps 1 & 3 & 4 above and you will be entered in the giveaway.

Question: I live outside of Australia. Can I still enter?
Answer: No. This giveaway is limited to Australia residents only.

If you have any other questions, ask it along with your comment and I'll try to answer it as soon as possible.

Giveaway entries close on March 1, 2011.


This giveaway is specifically for all of our Australian readers. American and all other international readers, fear not - there will be many more giveaways to come that you can enter!

3 winners will be randomly selected to win a beautiful gift pack from Mrs. Press Dressing Table Collection. This gift pack includes a shower gel, body lotion, hand cream & soap.

Read more about Mrs. Press. Visit Mrs. Press flagship boutique in Sydney, Australia or buy their beautiful clothing and dressing table collection on their website. This line is extremely beautiful and glamorous!! See more of the dressing table collection.

*Mrs. Press giveaway is limited to Australia residents only*

Leave your comment below to enter Mrs. Press Giveaway.

January 28, 2011

The EmersonMade Giveaway Winner is...

Congratulations, Kate!

You are the lucky winner of the $200 gift card to EmersonMade.

The winning entry is blogger name "britpoppa" - if you want to read Kate's comment below, it's towards the end of the comments.

*Winner was randomly selected.*

The next giveaway begins this coming Monday.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of EmersonMade

A big thank you to EmersonMade!!!

You can order new spring items, including the ones shown in this post, now at EmersonMade. There may be a short wait on some items - check with EmersonMade
for more information about a particular EmersonMade item you have seen on these posts.

I really enjoyed reading all of your comments!

January 27, 2011


Photo Credit: via decorare.tumblr

This French inspired interior exudes luxury and refinement.

Tomorrow the giveaway winner of the $200 EmersonMade gift card will be selected and then announced in the afternoon- you can still enter up until tomorrow at noon. Giveaway information is here.

January 25, 2011

Get the Look: Brights

Brights are back in a big way this spring. Rainbow brights were seen all over the runway as part of the Spring 2011 collections. And, you have probably seen plenty of brights coming into stores as spring merchandise arrives at stores all over the country right now. This tangerine colored dress from Fendi hits all the right style notes on the runway.

Let's turn this runway look into your reality with some hot style picks to help you get the look.

The best thing about brights being totally "on trend" for spring is that you probably already own a few pieces in bright colors, so pull all of those items out from the back of your closet, and get ready to pair those pieces in fresh new ways for spring.

It's time for you to stand out in bright colors!

If you don't have any bright colored pieces in your closet, it may be time to go shopping. Here is your guide to getting "the look."

For those of you willing to splurge on a premier designer item, this Marc Jacobs hot pink silky pocket tee is extremely cool and effortless.

Implement a pop of bright color into your outfit with this Anthropologie shirt in orange.

There is also an amazing Marc Jacobs dress that looks like it is straight out of a fashion magazine - absolutely to die for! It's very similar to one of the looks Nicole Kidman is wearing in this middle picture from a previous post. The bright color paired with the flower belt will make you certainly "of the moment" this spring.

And now, if you are wanting this look for less, here are the picks for you - hot pink skirt, maybe a striped bright yellow top, and cardigan in aqua sparkle.

(Photo Credit: Fendi Spring 2011 collection via style.com)

Will you be rocking this trend come spring?

January 24, 2011

How Romantic {Chanel Iman by David Vasiljevic for Elle UK, February 2011}

Photo Credit: Elle UK via fgr

Chanel Iman looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL wearing Dolce and Gabanna, and Chloe. These Spring looks are positively pretty.

January 23, 2011

Windsor Smith ROOM IN A BOX {exclusive interview}

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Windsor Smith Room In A Box

Windsor Smith is an award winning interior designer whose work has been featured in House Beautiful, Rue and many other design magazines. She is known for elegant interiors that are infused with modern sensibility. Windsor's latest concept, Room In A Box, allows a much larger audience access to her design expertise through this new online interior design service.

More about Windsor Smith Room In A Box:

To begin the process, you are required to fill out an online lifestyle questionnaire and send in photos and dimensions of the room(s), along with photos of interiors that inspire. After Windsor and her team create a design for the room(s), you will receive a gorgeous peacock blue box filled with the design including a scaled floor plan, room rendering and storyboard. You will also receive recommended furnishing and fabric selections. Room In A Box clients will then be able to access these recommended merchants online and shop directly with the merchants carefully selected by Windsor or opt to "get the look" using the provided materials and information as a guide. The design process takes approximately 6 weeks and the process is done entirely over the internet, although you do receive the blue box through the mail. Design fees are based, of course, on the room size and type; prices range from $900 - $4,800 per room. Learn more about how it works.

The California-based interior designer agreed to answer our questions and give us the inside scoop about her innovative online interior design service, Room In A Box.

Read the exclusive interview below.

Exclusive Interview with Windsor Smith

How would you describe your style?

Somewhere between "Sophisticated Traditional" and "Eclectic Classicism." Our lives and tastes are multifaceted so our rooms need to support that sensibility. In a catch phrase? Elegant living for the modern family.

How has your design aesthetic changed during your career?

It is blooming as we speak! As your toolbox of resources grow, you expand as a designer. We should always be filling our toolbox while simultaneously honing our minds eye. I would say my work is more closely edited, better scaled and more organic in feeling than before. I definitely make fewer arbitrary design choices…. I think a room should be poetic and balanced in nature with a layering of meaningful elements we draw energy and inspiration from. The foundation should always be a spatially smart and inviting furniture plan made up of graceful shapes.

A great room embraces you, draws you into it. It shouldn't muscle you. It just lures you into taking your calls there or curling up and reading the paper in a perfectly comfortable chair there. I believe in beautiful "living" rooms. I think that was the best coined title for a room. It's ironic that the "living" room evolved into the fancy "hands off the furniture" room no one dare venture into! (henceforth nearly two decades of plastic furniture covers!!!) I think I would most want to be remembered for putting the "living" back into living rooms. I would feel that I contributed to humanity in a big way if that became my legacy!

"I think I would most want to be remembered for putting the 'living' back into living rooms." - Windsor Smith

Who or what inspires you?

Possibility inspires me, that’s why a career in interior design is so alluring. Its all about seeing possibility in a blank space. My sons inspire me…. Palladio inspires me. The human experience and triumph over adversity inspires me. The Taj and the work of Ando inspires me, Eden Rock inspires me, Allesandro Safini's voice inspires me…. Beyonce's version of the National Anthem for the Super Bowl inspired me!!! Innovation and innovators inspire me, those who make us rethink status quo….

In the aesthetic world, Past visionaries like Coco Chanel, Syrie Maugham, Elsie De Wolfe, David Hicks, Charles and Ray Eames do the trick of inspiring….. Present day innovators like Ralph Lauren, Donald Kaufman, Fortuny, George Smith, Waterworks, Resource innovators and connectors like Michael Bruno for 1stdibs, Apple, Google, Ask Jeeves, the inventors of Basecamp software; whoever invented the digital camera for Kodak? That guy inspires me!

Who has been your biggest style influence/mentor?

Not to be redundant but Ralph Lauren for lifestyle as a whole, I subscribe to all of his vision. I am influenced greatly by design concepts…… Coco Chanel for making black a fashion color and creating "the little black dress"…. Design within reach as a concept influences me in business..

For personal style Slim Keith (she discovered Lauren Bacall - leave it to a beauty to recognize one), Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Babe Paley, Donna Karan, Holly Golightly [Audrey Hepburn's character from the film Breakfast at Tiffany's], a gal from Charleston who rented my guest house for a few years, she had the most incredible personal style, so it has absolutely nothing to do with fame or wealth, though they are often connected.

What is your favorite part of the design process?

The daydreaming and gathering of inspiration.

What are your top 5 items that you cannot live without?

down pillows, ted.com, an ipad, 1stdibs, and Argentinian riding boots

For girls on a budget, what are the best design resources available right now?

Design blogs, Benjamin Moore paint, The Stark outlet, 1stdibs Saturday Sale, One Kings Lane, Overstock.com

What advice to you have for women who are just starting out in the interior design business?

Get experience in an active design firm and volunteer to help with every aspect of the business. Look for upcoming trends in the marketplace and create a niche market for yourself. Talented designers have failed because they don’t embrace the business side of things. Always deliver excellence, on time and on budget. Take every opportunity to fill your creative well of inspiration. Read, travel, research, play whenever possible. Don't forgo time with your family. Be proactive about working with people you admire. Approach them until you get the job.

What has been your favorite moment in your career thus far?

Launching my furniture line, Windsor Smith Home Collection, and also launching WSROOMINABOX.COM. They were all very hard work and labors of love. There is something about building upwards from an idea written on a napkin that I find exhilerating!

Does fashion ever influence your interior design choices?

Always! The girls in my office have noticed that when I am introducing a color story for a client I subconsciously dress in those colors. When I am in the design process, I am fully in rapture. I like many styles in fashion as I do interiors. I like the simple unstructured flow of Donna Karan, the tailoring of Carolina Herarra, the glamour of Gucci, the intricacy of Badgley Mischka and the comfort of Marni.

"I like the simple unstructured flow of Donna Karan, the tailoring of Carolina Herarra, the glamour of Gucci, the intricacy of Badgley Mischka and the comfort of Marni." - Windsor Smith

How did you come up with the Room In A Box concept?

I have had a desire for some time to connect beautiful design and resources to a wider audience. I truly believe that everyone should have beautiful, well thought through rooms. They can truly be life transforming. Better rooms equal a better world.

What are the advantages of Room In A Box over traditional interior design?

1. You can receive a unique and well conceived room design by a top shelf designer and then run with it for your own value engineering.

{read Windsor's step 1, step 2 and step 3 instruction pages here}

2. You can receive a unique and well conceived room design from same top shelf designer and click through to carefully culled resources for purchasing with exact specifications in hand.

3. You receive "finished" publication worthy rooms from your desktop.

4. You have significant savings from the conventional client/designer relationship by foregoing costly commissions over each purchase, no hourlies and no pressure to buy on a timeline. You buy as you can afford putting you in control of the finances of the design and the timeline.

WS Room In A Box is about offering the very best for less, not offering less for less. It would be criminal to dumb down or cheapen our design aesthetic and resources from what has elevated us in the design world. We are reaching a broader market of those seeking the best...

"For those looking for the real deal, [Room In A Box] is the new luxury interior design model." - Windsor Smith

Are you still working with clients outside of Room In A Box?

Absolutely. I will never stop designing for my private clients. I am currently building and decorating 4 houses, an equestrian estate, renovating film studio offices, curating a Lloyd Wright remodel, restoring a yacht and designing a private dressage riding ring and vinyard simultaneously reaching out to a new demographic of super chic and sophisticated DIWAE-ers (that's short for "Do It With An Expert-ers").

Where do you see your company in five years?

We will be a Global enterprise; wsroominabox.com is being viewed by 59 countries today with only a month under its belt. We are a contemporary idea and seemingly expensive at first glance but in the world of design with all of the mistaken purchases and the time drain of the process in our increasingly busy lives, it will prove to be the best deal in design. It's getting top shelf aesthetic in an interactive experience, with links to all that you see, all, without ever leaving your desk. That’s the new design paradigm. My advice, commit and embrace it and don’t sell yourself short. 90% of our client conversations for Room In A Box start with, "I tried a cheaper online design service and got bamboozled." This is real design with real value add, marrying top level product with focused buyers, all the while avoiding the ongoing commission structure. For those looking for the real deal, it’s the new luxury interior design model.

What has been your favorite room that you have designed thus far?

That's hard… They are like my children, I cant name just one…..A ball room with pale pink Terrazzo floors. A silver garden room that shimmers copper when the sun [shines]… My midnight blue kitchen with tall bookcases and walls of white honed marble…. and a certain mega agent's St. Andrews clubhouse meets Warhol, lounge and screening room, but then there's my powder room clad in trelliage, that slays me every time I walk in there!

What do you think: would you try Windsor Smith Room In A Box?

January 21, 2011

Princess Moment

Photo Credit: Harper's Bazaar Espanol by Karl Lagerfeld, via LPH.

Who wouldn't want to wear these gorgeous dresses... Gisele looks amazing. So happy it's Friday!

January 20, 2011

Reinvent Your Wardrobe

Photo Credit: Katie Lee's Dressing Room via La Dolce Vita

After the Holidays, I began the long and arduous process of cleaning out my closet. Actually, I am exaggerating... it wasn't really that tough.

I wanted to start off 2011 without the clutter. I finished bagging up the things I haven't worn in a really long time and donated the stuff to Goodwill.

I once heard the expression, "when in doubt, throw it out", suggested as a mantra for closet-cleaning. Well, I finally threw out items that had been sitting there for a long, long time - allowing me to reinvent my wardrobe. I must say now that I can actually see what I have, it is so much easier to get dressed in the morning. It allows me to create a lovely new outfit on a whim - love that!

Once you get your closet in order, create your own "dressing room" ~ maybe by adding some fresh flowers in a simple glass vase come spring to your bathroom. And, display your perfume in a pretty way - maybe by displaying it on a gorgeous vanity tray. Like this soft, romantic one from Juliska or if you want something more boho-chic try this one Crate & Barrel; or you may prefer this more expensive tray from Labrazel.

I also have some exciting news to share...

I am now a contributor for the blog CheapChicas where I will be writing a monthly LOOK FOR LESS column. I am super excited about it, and my first column comes out today - you can read it here.

Tell me what you think! I hope you like it. CheapChicas has been one of my favorite blogs for a while and it's all about looking fabulous on a budget. Young Sophisticates will continue on, of course, as a place for all things feminine, chic & sophisticated.

Thanks for your support & comments.

January 18, 2011

Get the Look: Nautical Stripes

Photo Credit: Coco Before Chanel via Skirmish of Wit

Nautical stripes are on display at so many different stores for spring right now. This is a timeless and classic look, but it's so fresh and on trend for spring. The best thing about this look is that you can buy a horizontal striped t-shirt for a steal and look like Coco Chanel herself.

To get the classic nautical shirt, try these options for a whole lot less. Pair with a pair of dark wash wide leg jeans (or boot cut) and a pair of wedges and you'll be styling come spring. This Ann Taylor striped tee is sure to be adored by preppy types everywhere and it's only $38! Or, try this classic nautical striped shirt for less than $20 from Forever 21.

If you are looking for modern take on the nautical stripe, this Calypso Breton Tank is perfect. Also, J. Crew has a variation of the nautical trend, with the sailor sweater.

And last but certainly not least, high end designer Jason Wu has designed a stunning and unique top incorporating the trend.

Do any of these picks strike your fancy?

Garden Party {Nicole Kidman for Harper's Bazaar US by Alexi Lubomirski}

Photo Credit: Nicole Kidman for Harper's Bazaar US February 2011, by Alexi Lubomirski via fgr

Nicole Kidman is a timeless beauty. This spring fashion editorial is absolutely stunning.

January 17, 2011

Golden Globes Best Dressed

Photo Credit: see more Golden Globes photos via Just Jared

And the best dressed at the Golden Globes is...

Emma Stone

The fashion from the Golden Globes blew me away last night! So many gorgeous gowns, it was hard to pick a winner. However, talented young actress Emma Stone gets my vote for best dressed. Simple elegance reigns supreme in this look. Emma wore a minimalist Calvin Klein collection dress, with an open back. The newly blonde actress made her mark in the fashion world last night wearing this peachy coral colored dress.

The big color trend of the night was blush as starlets wore all shades of pink (Claire Danes, Lea Michele). Another big color trend was green with Angelina wearing a very modern emerald green sequined dress, Catherine Zeta-Jones wearing a strapless green dress and Mila Kunis wearing a beautiful asymmetrical green gown. And, of course, many stars went for black - my favorite black dress was Julia Stiles' ruffled asymmetrical gown. I also loved the glamorous gowns worn by Olivia Wilde (Marchesa) and Scarlett Johannson (Elie Saab) - but wasn't crazy about their hair styles. I especially loved Scarlett's dress as I have been obsessed with for quite a while - pictured on left in the picture.

If you loved Emma Stone's look, try a more casual dress (at an accessible price). If you want to mimic the minimalist red carpet look, this Calvin Klein dress (majorly marked down right now) oozes minimalist chic.

Who, in your opinion, was the best dressed at the Golden Globes?

January 15, 2011

Nominate YS for a Bloggie

If you enjoy reading this blog, please take a minute to nominate YS for a Bloggie award. Please nominate YS in the category "Best New Weblog" along with 2 other new blogs of your choice (aka, created in 2010). Voting closes tomorrow 1/16/11 at 10 pm EST - so hurry and cast your vote now. Thanks in advance for your help!

1. Go to the Bloggie site: http://2011.bloggi.es/
2. Enter in the category "Best New Weblog" (it's green and towards the bottom of the page):


{note: you must nominate 3 blogs for this category for your vote to count; so I have listed 2 other great new blogs to make it easier for you to vote; I Love That! is a fantastic fashion/beauty/design blog by a YS reader; and K Bakes is an adorable baking blog that I stumbled across recently.}

3. Click, "Submit your nomination" and then confirm your vote through the verification email.

January 14, 2011

Flower Girl

Photo Credit: Devon Aokiby Carter Smith for Elle via fgr

Flowers make life much better in my opinion. In the middle of winter, now is the perfect time to add some fresh flowers to your home. Take inspiration from a particular popular flower, the rose, in making a girly cocktail - the perfect thing to serve at your upcoming Golden Globes party. And, take the inspiration to your wardrobe with this precious floral print sweater in preparation for Spring.

January 13, 2011

Spotlight on Emmadime

Photo Credit: Emmadime Knitted

Cheery. Fun. Adorable. Emmadime accessories stand out in all the right ways - they are affordable and totally fantastic. You may notice that all of the selections are cute knitted bows - headband, scarf, and there are many more things to wish for at Emmadime.

These knitted pieces are so special and lovely.

Prices range from $4.50 to $25.oo.

Add a whimsical Emmadime accessory to your wardrobe and put a little pep in your step.

What do you think?

January 12, 2011

Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2011

Photo Credit: Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2011, via style.com.

Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2011 is beyond beautiful. Love all of it, especially the first dress. A girl can dream...

Which look is your favorite?

January 11, 2011

School Days

This is the week that many students return to school. Whether you are a college student, grad student, or been out of school for many years & working (or in another life phase altogether), these style picks will apply to you and translate well to your lifestyle.

These looks translate to any age, making you look like the Young Sophisticate that you are!

I threw in the picture of the office at the bottom because it was just too cute and inspired me to get organized. Whether you are working or in school, an organized work space will get you off to a good fresh start for the new year!

{For a date/night out/dinner with friends}

If you are a girly girl, try this super feminine floral top and skirt from ASOS.

If you are looking for something pretty but still sophisticated, try this top from Modcloth paired with a pair of jeans in a dark wash and heels.

{For casual moments}

Take inspiration from Parisian chic - look at this red striped shirt from Anthropologie.

{For class/weekend}

This relaxed t-shirt from Madewell is still cool and modern. Pair with jeans and a pair of flats and perhaps a chunky black cardigan if you live somewhere cold.

Photo Credits: via ASOS; via LonnyMag.

January 10, 2011

Stay Curious

Photo Credit: Vogue Italia, photos by Ellen von Unwerth via fgr

Keira Knightley looks beautiful in these photos, but she also conveys a sense of playfulness, curiosity and adventure at the same time. Stay curious! Happy Monday!

January 7, 2011

Fashionable Finds

CARRY: Reiter8 Recycled Sail Tote, $75

Photo Credits: Rifle Paper Co., Reiter8

The weekend is almost here! Hope you enjoy these fashionable finds. I just bought this Contents makeup bag yesterday at Target and it is so cute in real life. Especially considering how affordable it is! The stationary is so feminine and personalized at the same time. Fabulous! The tote is so nautical - perfect purchase, thinking ahead to when it gets a little bit warmer.

January 6, 2011

Spot On

Ok, so you might be thinking that you don't really like polka dots or they look too childish. When done in a chic and restrained way, polka dots can lead to style perfection. So, give it a try, start by adding one polka dot piece, like a skirt or a fabulous polka dot pair of shoes, to your outfit. Or, pick out a cute polka dot dress using the guide below!

Photo Credit: via Patterson Maker; via If I had my own World.


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