Spring Style: The Good, the Bad, and the '....Really?'

What a sad day for Boston publications. The Phoenix is no more. I am waiting to see what this really means, but for now, it is just sad. I remember being a teen in the wilds of Southern NH, PAYING for my copy of the Phoenix, and pouring over it for the best of what was cool and what I should be doing. Times have changed, since my dark ages of teenage angst, but this is not a change for the better in my humble opinion.


And I was excited to be part of the Phoenix Spring Style issue last week, which will be one of their last. They asked, I answered, Spring Style: the Good, the Bad, and the "...Really?' by Renata Certo-Ware (link here for online version, still live).


My picks and pans below, along with tips on where to buy, for every budget.


Best Spring Trend

Love, love, love all the graphic black and white print and stripes, a la Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. So mod, loud, and infinitely "do-able" by everyone, a visual feast for the eye. Seriously doesn't get easier or more classic than black and white. 


Bold black and white geometric print, the most accessible of all the spring trends. Bring on the Twiggy! As Mad Men transitions into the swinging sixties, so shall we.

ASOS Jacquard Print Dress

Moschino Mini Dress

Marc Jacobs Stiped Flats


Worst Spring Trend

Metallic clothes. Keep this trend limited to your footwear, purses, and accessories, please. Shiny silver clothing comes off part astronaut, part Reynold's Wrap. That is not a good thing.

Hardest to pull off

Crop tops! I adore the look of a high waisted, full skirt, with a sweet cropped sweater or top but this is one best left to the pros. Or those with six-packs. I am neither. 


Midi baring, in a classy way of course. Dare to bare in a classic silhouette with some discreet cut outs, or pair a flirty, just barely cropped top with a full skirt a la Audrey Hepburn.  

Suno Cut Out Tank Dress

Suno Cropped Halter

ASOS River Island Crop Top


Most flattering on everyone

I'm quite pleased that the peplum trend has legs. It is a great silhouette that creates curves for miles, cinched in hourglass shaping minus the spanx and figure flattering disguise of a midsection and upper hips. What's not to love?

Where do you usually shop for new spring clothing?

My fashion mantra (well, lifestyle really)  is a mix of high and low. Zara and H&M are fabulous for trendy items on the cheap. Fast fashion is not a bad word! Designer goods at a deep discount are ripe for the picking at TJ Maxx. My preferred hunting ground being the runway section in Freshpond where I have spied everything from Chanel to Pucci....on clearance no less.

I am investing this spring in dresses: DVF is a perennial favourite, Tibi & Milly (Mint Julep stocks both), Flock, for some Lauren Moffatt, Barneys and Alan Bilzerian carry tomboy chic Isabel Marant, and if you need something totally unique and special, look no further than Louis. Debi Greenberg personally selects all women's wear with an impeccable eye. Louis also carries my favourite new designer discovery, Jennifer Chun. Her pieces are fun, timeless, and ring in at a great price point. Last on my list is a visit to Viola Lovely in Concord. I have been following them for a while and can't wait to check out their collection- a local home to the line Veronica Beard, which I discovered in NYC this fall.


Spring shopping list, a few of the must have items for some warmer weather. Local of course....

Veronica Beard Jacket, via Viola Lovely

Veronica Beard, which I fell for hard at NYFW (here), launched their entire collection with 'the jacket'. Figure I might as well start there....

Jennifer Chun Iris Shirtdress, via Louis

One of my favourite designers, her pieces are classic, beautifully cut and are built to stand the test of time and trend. This shirt dress is roomy enough to accommodate an expanding baby bump, and will still work when baby Zervas decides to make an appearance.

Lauren Moffatt Pintuck Top, via Flock

Last fall, Lauren Moffatt was expecting her own bundle of joy and demonstrated herself how perfectly the line transitioned to maternity wear. I can't wait to replicate with some of her pintuck tops.

Do you do a spring cleaning of your wardrobe? What’s the best or worst thing you found?

Spring cleaning is a must. I just completed the annual closet clean out and I am sorting through items to donate, parcel out to friends and sell. This closet purge turned up a Ralph Lauren tartan halter gown from high school, buried in with my snow gear, and forgotten for years. Digging out from Nemo brought about the happy discovery. Can't wait to pair it with a blazer this winter.

What do you have coming up that you need a new outfit for? Vacation, garden party, etc?

I am expecting our first child this fall, so clothing that will transition seamlessly from bump to belted is a must. I'm thinking flowy maxi dress for the shower- DVF, Hatch, Cynthia Rowley all have beautiful options that don't scream baby on board. 

Quick fix for dressing on trend this season - one item, makeup/hair tip, etc that can immediately bring you up to speed without a total wardrobe overhaul.

Bold, matte lip color. Neon pink, classic red, deep plumb. It's the quickest and cheapest means of brightening up your outfit. I prefer NARS matte lip pencils and lipsticks in Train Bleu, Dragon Girl, and Carthage (the best bright pink money can buy!).



Assembly Required: Bookshelf Decorating

 Our 30 lb copy of the Household Physician atop a open book stand. It will cure what ails you!

 The light fixture was original to the room, perfectly suited to the new look after a little TLC and cleaning.

 The abstract painting is a find from Skinner, Window #4 by Edward Armen Stasackas is the card table

where my foo dogs patiently sit (foo dogs via Z Gallerie).

 Final image (directly above): Tess Fine, carpet via Pottery Barn


Our most recent home renovation project? The study. Originally a first floor bedroom, we decided to make it more usable, open space, adjoining the office. 

Armed with rollers, hammers and paint, the Mr. and I made quick work of this room. My handy custom cabinet maker (i.e. my talented father in law) crafted these built in shelves, which we painted with Benjamin Moore Deep Teal and Dinner Party. The wall color is a light neutral, Crisp Khaki.

Husband was deeply concerned by my bold color choices, come to think of it, so was the paint mixer at Ace Hardware, but no matter- I love the final result. The shelves also gave me a chance to practice some creative book stacking and antique mixing.

Most of the books are very vintage, a few a couple of hundred of years old, and all sourced from our farm house attic. I love going through the leather bound titles (very carefully!) and seeing what my grandfather curated for his own collection. From ancient Greek to French and Latin texts, a copy of Milton's Paradise Lost (which belonged to one Caroline B. Warren in 1866), the Dictionary of Quotation circa 1818, to a curious selection of home medicine volumes.  We have a new source of never ending entertainment at the ready. Seriously, you want to get a party started look up old time remedies for colicky babies (i.e. booze) and internal graphics of the human body circa 1890.  It is amazing to see how far we have come in simply charting out our own organs. 

The shelves are also filled with antiques we have collected and again, pulled from the attic of my family farm. Part of a weathervane, a magnifying lens, and miniature paintings mix with candles from Homegoods, a giant brass dragon, and a bust of Alexander the Great, courtesy of husband. As you can tell from my initial photos and the last shot (from the Houzz home tour by Tess Fine), we also added some light fixtures to the shelves. They are LED, battery operated, and a snap to install. They create the perfect mood lighting in the evening and crown the top of the shelves.

My tips for creating a unique and harmonious shelf space? 


-Keep it balanced with books and decorative accents, making sure the eye is drawn across the entire space.

-Stick to a similar color palette for all items.

-Don't be too careful or precious, shelves should look like they are used and functional (which they should be!).

-Open some of the fun books to pages that interest you and display them. My favourite discovery was my grandfather's 3D pop up veterinary guide to horses. 

-Make it personal. We included family portraits, items important to both of us, and a stone Z for our last name.

-Stack, lean, and leave empty space!


I am looking forward to adding to the shelves over the years with books we read, items we find as a family, and books our children read. 


Breton Stripes and Camo

Self portrait, entitled: where is the bump? All I have is junk in the trunk!

Above: TopShop Jacket, H&M Shirt, J Crew Tote (luxe Alexander Wang version here), Stubbs & Wootten Loafers via J Crew, J Brand Maternity Jeans


I put my lessons to the test (from the Camera Ready boot camp I took last weekend! great intro course) and took some indoor outfit shots this weekend.

It took me a few tries to get the tripod up just right, get all my settings in synch, and I still need to work on hiding the remote control a bit better;) But all in all, not terrible. I chose the future baby Zervas nursery as the backdrop, the only empty space in the whole house with good lighting. 

My first outfit post with maternity jeans! I am at the awkward stage where my regular jeans are too tight and the maternity jeans are a little too loose, lots of adjusting and pulling up, though I'm sure to be thankful of the room down the road.  My research on maternity jeans has been extensive, so much so I feel it is deserving of a separate post. Boring? Or something you'll bookmark for future use when you are faced with the same issues? Much to husband's chagrin, I have tried a lot of denim options, from Old Navy to the J Brand. It seems a shame not to share my rigorous scientific method via the internets.

So, the votes shall have it. Yay ou nay for a maternity jean post?


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