Shopping: Lust vs. Must in Neon

Public Service Announcement: Some of you all may not know that I also write a little blog called secondary embarrassment. It’s basically an ode to all the crazies that pop up each week on The Bachelor (ette/Pad). If you share the same awkward embarrassment every time you tune into ABC on Mondays, then you might be interested in checking my recaps out.  Oh and you’ve been warned, they are not full of sugar, spice and everything nice. If that’s not for you then back to your regularly scheduled post.

This weekend one of my very few excursions outside the house was to Target (obviously). I’m holding strong on my goal to stifle the spending in January and make the most of what I have but I couldn’t help but notice a flash of neon as I made my way past the clothes and over to the boring home necessities.

And then on Sunday, I settled in to do a little reading and flipped open the February Lucky Magazine, only to see this:

There it was again. That perfectly fun and flirty neon number. As much as I loved it, I couldn’t help but think “will we all love neon tomorrow?” (sung just like the classic ditty.) But afteronline {window} shopping, it was clear that the bright hue would be popping up this spring. I knew I had to piggy back on Lucky and show just how great of a steal this shift is. But better act fast, I couldn’t find it in green online anymore, so head over to your local Target (where you know you’ll drop $100 and only have one small bag to show for it) ASAP.

the neon dress

 Lust: Alice + Olivia $238 | Must: Target $27.99

p.s. – Just in case you’re wondering, I didn’t buy the dress but you know I wanted to! Still holding strong!

Shopping: Shoes, Sandals and Stilettos from Diana E Kelly

I love shoes. Some may call it an obsession so  I am very excited to showcase the lovely Diane E Kelly and her line.

I heard about Diana’s line through a college friend (Stephanie Hannum –  pictured below) who is now working with Diana down in Sarasota. (Yup – A Wildcat & A Gator can successfully work together.) Diana was gracious enough to answer some questions and give Lou What Wear readers a little special offer … more on that below. I love how her line originally started as a way to provide cute game day wear and evolved into a shoe line.  (I’ve had a little side project in the same vein that I’ve wanted to work on for a while… may need to talk to Diana about it!) Along with a full line of sandals, flats, heels & pumps – she’s expanded to include clutches and scarves. I really love the classic style with a twist that Diana offers and her summer sandals make me dream about a Caribbean vacation.

Check out Diana’s full line here and hear about the inspiration for her line, her favorite trends and more below.

And if you see something you love, head over to her site and enjoy 15% off with the code LouWhatWear15

How did you decide to get into shoes & fashion?

I have always loved design and my mother remembers me doodling and sketching since at least 5 years of age. While attending the University of Florida, I was bored with the game day apparel that was in the marketplace and started designing my own game day dresses.  I started looking for factories overseas and at the time I was applying to graduate school, thus I put this project on a hiatus.  After a year of a Masters of Architecture and Interior Design, I took a leave of absence to re-focus on the game day clothing line.  The consultant that we had hired had actually been in the shoe industry for 40 years and recommended to us (after a 2 hours meeting) that we start with shoes since he knew the industry.  We discussed this, all agreed, and have never looked back!

Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for your shoes?

My inspiration comes from everywhere – mainly trips (to exotic countries and to the beach) and dreams. I also draw inspiration listening to what women are looking for in new shoes.

What has the process been like in starting your own fashion business? What’s been the most fun? Most challenging? Most rewarding?

The process has been extremely tough – challenges have been taking the huge risk of starting a new company in this economy, finding the correct sourcing, distributing,  and all of the details in between.  Despite these challenges, it has been extremely exciting and rewarding this far and I feel extremely blessed to be able to design products people can wear and enjoy! The most rewarding part was actually getting our first shipment into our warehouse – but now, of course, the real work was just beginning.

Which design is your favorite?

Champagne Elizabeth High Heel, Signature Flower Brooch – it’s my goes-with-everything, go-to shoe.

What designers did you look to for inspiration?

Stuart Weitzman because to me he epitomizes classic yet trendy

For handbags, I love the everyday wear of Rebecca Minkoff and the sparkle and sophistication of Judith Leiber.

Other than shoes, what’s your favorite accessory?

Does lip gloss count? I love Chanel’s new lip-gloss levres in Insolence. If not.. our key west summer scarves. They are the perfect addition to every outfit.

Who is the Diana Kelly woman?

Someone who loves life and tries to make the most of every aspect of it in whatever way maximizes her potential, who is classic yet trendy, philanthropic, loving, team-player, fun, and down-to-earth.

You all have a strong commitment to philanthropy – what charities do you all work with and what’s been the most rewarding part of that?

We work with Bradley Angle, Sunny Hills Services, Sacramento Children’s Home, YWCA Tulsa, Second Harvest Food Bank, Seattle Children’s Home, Girls, Inc, Susan G. Komen, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children’s Dream Fund, Forty Carrots Family Center, Children’s Dream Fund, Sarasota County Humane Society, Boys and Girls Club, Kaleida Health Center, Lexington Cancer Foundation and Impact 100. The most rewarding part is just the ability to give back to people that are in need. On the bottom of every shoes box is Luke 12:48 – “To whom much is given, much is required.”

What’s next for Diana Kelly?

We see the sky as the limit but right now we are trying to focus in on our market and continue to generate products that support a lifestyle brand. Most recently we have licensed the Key West Sandal Factory name, which being around for 80 years – is the oldest sandal factory in the US.  Our motto for this new endeavor is “make everyday a getaway.” We are hoping this mindset translates into all of our resort style products at fantastic price points (www.dekpresentskeywest.com).

What trend are you loving for summer?

I am LOVING all of the beautiful fun nail colors that are out right now, aviators, and summer scarves.

My personal favorites are the Black Cork Clutch with a Fleur de Lis brooch and these Black Monica Wedge Sandal with a Starfish brooch.

p.s. – I was not paid or perked to write this post, I just enjoy sharing things I like & great deals with you all. Any opinions shared are my own.

Shopping: Memorial Day Deals Local Round-Up

It’s that time again. Time for me to share some local Louisville shopping deals.

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer and if you’ve got a party, wedding or just a get together with friends planned, you may be looking for a fresh new item to add to your summer wardrobe. Here’s where you can find something cute and on sale.

  • Clodhoppers: Stop by anytime this weekend and check out the Alice & Trixie Trunk Show. They’ll have tons of printed dresses – perfect for summer weddings. As always, they’ll be serving up special libations to make your shopping experience that much more enjoyable.

  • Blink Boutique: Today is the last day of their Pre-Memorial Day Sale. Items will be marked down up to 50% so make sure you get in there early to grab the goodies. Check out all the details below.

  • Diva’s: Diva’s is smack in the middle of their designer handbag sale and today is a good one! All Kate Spade handbags are 30% off. Yup, you read that right. Head on in today (Thursday, May 24) and find a bag sure that you’ll love long after the summer is gone.

I scoured around but this was all I could find as far as local deals. If you know of something or are from a local boutique and would like me to add a special, just drop me a line at danielle @ louwhatwear.com or post it in the comments below.

Happy Shopping!

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