Category Archives: Wwaw

CSM has a new look!

I seriously can’t believe that the day has finally arrived and I can finally unveil CSM’s new grown and sexy makeover!  When CSM first launched back in April 2011 it was because I needed a pure, raw and tangible outlet for all of the fashion ramblings and opinions I had about the industry.  Over the years you the CSM community have helped me to truely mold and define who and what CSM is and should be.  My initial outlet has become so much more than I would have ever expected and so to have undergone such an extensive and much needed makeover was truly empowering.

The first and major change is CSM’s defining logo!  I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I literally agonized over what the logo would be visually for the first 2 months of this 6 month makeover journey.  Thank goodness for creative design guru and web genius, Laura Granlund of inTIMIDnation for taking all of the feedback you all have given me over the years (and yes, I had it all stored up in my brain).  To now have an actual visual representation of CSM is legit incredible.  So if you are in need of anything graphic/web design related I would highly recommend reaching out to her (literally kept my sanity for these last few months-trust me ask my husband).

CSM's New Logo

Okay I digress, let me get back to CSM’s amah-zing transformation.  The next major change and is the more obvious one, I’M NOT ON BLOGGER ANYMORE!  Yup, CSM needed to put on her big girl panties on and step into the real world of blogging and that required a new handy URL and so naturally it’s  Now, you all can update your favorites with the new link and what’s even more handy is that the name is in the new URL so you’ll never forget it right?

These next few changes were all about me keeping you all in mind.  One big important change for you is that I wanted to make it as navigationally friendly as possible.  With that in mind  it was really important for me to have a ‘Categories’ tab front and center so that you all would know exactly what the content of CSM is plus you could drill directly into whichever specific category you were looking for and/or wanting to delve deeper in to.

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Another great addition is that you can see I still have all of the old categories you all love like “Pasifika Fashion Series”;  “Shop Local”; “Fashionable Dining” plus a few new ones like “WWAW” (What Would Ana Wear) and “Splurge vs. Save.

Now, peruse and make yourself at home because I’m looking forward to seeing more of you and for a longer time.  Next time, cocktails are a must! xo


[Personal Style] Forward thinking about Clear Blue skies…

*Photo Credit: Net-a-porter
Like everyone else in the city of Chicago, the moment the clock stroke 12:01 am on March 20th last week I’ve been intensely yearning for spring temps (even more so once you stepped foot outside your door and were smacked in the face by the high teen degree temps).
While mother nature is still teasing us today with gloomy, cloudy skies and forecasted flurries on the horizon stay warm and inspired for spring with 2 of this season’s biggest trends and join me in day dreaming about Clear Blue skies:
3.1 Phillip Lim

Burberry Prorsum

Cambridge Satchel Co.

Charlotte Olympia

Gianvito Rossi


Jimmy Choo

MM6 Maison Martin Marigela

[Personal Style] #CSM NYFW Photo Diary F/W 2013 Shows!

My Fall/Winter 2013 New York Fashion Week agenda was scheduled to be a busy whirlwind with a total of 7 fashion shows and 2 showroom visits to be completed in a matter of 2 days.  But alas, thanks to Nemo shows and visits were missed and my 2 day trip turned into 1 day.  Only saving grace?  Snapping pics on my handy iPhone.

Although I was attending the Fall/Winter 2013 fashion presentations and knowing that I would be there during the aftermath of a snowy blizzard, my brain would not turn off my spring obsessions & inspirations.  So for my NYFW ensemble I incorporated two spring trends I just couldn’t wait to do now: Art of Contrast and Statement Jewelry.

What I’m wearing: Carhartt Beanie/ Concert Sweatshirt (Similar)/ Rag & Bone Grandpa Sweater/ ASOS Mono Stripe Jeans/ Rebecca Minkoff Heels/ASOS Book Clutch (similar)/ Vivenne Westwood Leather Gloves/ BaubleBar Necklaces/ VT Luxe Faux Fur Infinity Scarf

Catch up on the rest of my whirlwind NYFW journey via my photo diary:

[Personal Style] Spring Obsessions & Inspirations!

The first day of Spring is about 2 months away and all I can do is daydream about what I’ll be wearing once the temps become a little more stable here in Chicago.  The only warmth I need?  A little art of contrast by Jason Wu & Balmain, collaged prints by Givenchy, and statement making jewelry by Shourouk. 
Enjoy perusing my spring obsessions and inspirations! xo

Items pictured above: 1. Givenchy Top 2. Illesteva Sunnies 3. Repossi Earrings 4. Shourouk Necklace (similar) 5. Jason Wu Heels 6. Sang A ‘V-Clutch’ (similar) 7. Current/Elliott Jeans 8. Shourouk Bracelet 9. Balmain Skirt 10. Stubbs & Wootton Dress Slippers

[Personal Style] It’s a Bright Winter!

Every year when January rolls around I usher in the new year, which in turn manifests this need for me to make a list of new resolutions I hope to achieve in the new year, but most importantly transition into a new color palette.  With Spring being right around the corner I begin to crave brighter, bolder and more vibrant colors.  The temps in Chicago during January are usually in single digits or negative double digits, so to help get into a warmer state of mind I’ve decided to make January a bright winter.

The Spring 2013 catwalks were filled with a bright, bold, vibrant color palette.  One designer in particular that just made my heart swoon with how effortless they presented this new trend is Tracy Reese. While many looks were head to toe color one definite reinterpretation of the color trend emerged.  The new take on the color trend for 2013 is the mixing of  bright, vibrant tones with neutrals.  Pairing my bright green sheen denim with a mix of neutral tones helps to highlight the brilliance of the hue while at the same time showcasing that bright, bold, vibrant colors are the new “black” for Spring 2013.

What I’m wearing: Andrew Marc Shearling Moto Jacket (Similar)/ Paper Denim & Cloth Button Down Top/ASOS Bright Colored Denim (Similar)/ 80%20 Boots-50% Off now!/ Alexander McQueen Clutch/DSQUARED2 (Similar)

CSM’s Photo Review of 2012 in 12 Photos!

As the year is drawing to a close, reflection is all that one can do and inevitably will do today on NYE.  Today I’m looking back at all of the great CSM moments that have happened and in doing so all the amazing memories filled with laughter, love, and of course fashionable style come flooding back.

So many exciting things have happened for me this year and it’s all thanks to my phenomenal CSM readers & community.  This year I’ve traveled to a few pretty amazing locales, played ‘hostess with the mostess’ for some stellar fashion/style events & brand collaborations, wore some kick ass ensembles, and attended a number of fashion shows.  All while still channeling my style mantra: Edgy, Comfy, Chic.

As you peruse through my top 12 photos from 2012, I hope it encourages you to reflect back and pick your personal top 12 moments from 2012 as well.  Enjoy!

[Personal Style] Baroque’in it until the wheels fall off!

When I laid my eyes on the ultra luxe rich brocades and intricate embellishments that defined the baroque opulence of Balmain’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection my heart skipped a beat.   Exquisite detailing, elaborate patterns, and lush fabrics just beckoned to me to jump behind this trend.

To emphasize the defining details of this trend I chose  pieces that showcase fine detailing and elaborate patterns so that they would be the main points of interests in my ensemble.  Keeping the palette in monochrome tones with just a pop color of red updates this trend, while also giving it the right amount of edge to keep true to my style mantra: Edgy, Comfy, Chic.

What I’m wearing: ASOS Baroque Caviar Beaded Tunic/ Laundry by Shelli Segal Wool Cape (Similar)/ J Brand Skinny Jeans/ Chloe Susanna Boots/ Chloe Paddington Tote (Similar)

[Personal Style] Floor Length Skirt + Tee = Edgy, Comfy, Chic!

I’m officially another year older, another year wiser and naturally another year closer to refining my style. Over the years I’ve gone through a number of what I call style evolution’s.  Through each style evolution that has happened I’ve always maintained my style mantra “Edgy, Comfy, Chic”.  My love and adoration for fashion and style stemmed from my fascination with fashion as an art form.

The idea of drawing inspiration from inanimate objects and giving it life in movement & shape through a beautifully constructed garment is the epitome of euphoria.  This year I partnered with one of my favorite Chicago fashion designers, Arianna Green of ASSATA Designs to create a color-blocked floor length skirt for me to wear for my birthday festivities.  I have been fascinated by the beautiful shapes and silhouettes of Balenciaga’s Spring 2012 Collection of big brimmed hats that were inspired by Irving Penn’s iconic images, “Hat Women”.  

From the moment I seen the dome shaped hat being balanced by tiny models strutting down the runway, the rest of the world admired these beautiful hats & visors but I seen an amazing shape for a skirt.  This next chapter in my style diary continues to grow with the expansion of my signature “Edgy, Comfy, Chic” style mantra by re-defining casual elegance.

What I’m Wearing: ASOS Leather Jacket/ASSATA Designs Custom Skirt/Comme des Garcons PLAY Tee/Dolce Vita Pumps/LINKS of London Bracelets/River Island Friendship Braclets/Spiked Gem Drop Earrings

Love my look? Re-create it now:

[Personal Style] Leather + Sequins!

Trends can be a very tricky thing to incorporate into your wardrobe especially if done in excess.  For this fall season two key trends that immediately come to mind that fit into this category are leather and sequins.  If styled or worn incorrectly you run the risk of being a contender on a worst dressed list, but if styled properly you will immediately channel edgy, effortless, chic.

My trick to incorporating trends is through classic silhouettes.  So for this look I decided to incorporate both trends into one styled outfit that will allow both of them to play off of one another rather than make one trend the focal point.  The trench coat is a modern update with the leather paneling and the pencil skirt silhouette is given a pop with the gold sequins.  My final touches were a beaded collar necklace and polished up-do that compliment the overall ensemble.

Love my look? Re-create it with my following suggestions:

[Personal Style] Pencil Skirt + Bow-tie…

Menswear seems like it can be a pretty easy trend to incorporate but the reality is that if you don’t keep in mind the words “Menswear Inspired” you could be heading down the road of Frumpy at the intersection of Sloppy.

My trick to mastering this trend is always pairing menswear inspired pieces with feminine silhouettes.  I’ve paired an over-sized button down collar shirt with a pencil skirt.  The pencil skirt is a slim-fitting skirt with a straight and narrow cut.  This tailored shape adds that key element of femininity while at the same time elevating your look to a polished ensemble that can  be an instant night out with or brunchin’ with the girls.

As I’ve always mentioned with all of my previous style posts, accessories are key.  Accessories set the tone for your look.  I chose my custom made ASSATA Designs bow-tie as the defining piece for my look.  Edgy, Comfy, Chic define my signature style and this bow-tie adds those key touches to this otherwise polished ensemble.

Love my look? Re-create it with my suggestions below: