5 Ways to Pamper Yourself This Holiday Season

It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are almost upon us.

For most, the season is one of giving, joy and appreciation.But even for those who wait all year for this season, there’s usually at least a bit of stress that goes along with celebrating the holidays.

Between the challenge of getting the perfect gift for every person on your list and worrying about looking your best for all of those holiday parties, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.Elysian Spa

That’s why it’s important that you also find time to take breaks amid the chaos and treat yourself.  After all, you won’t be much good to anyone else if you’re not rested, relaxed and feeling your best.

While Oak Street is the perfect place to do your shopping for friends and family, it’s also the ideal spot for a little “me time.”  Read on for a few suggestions.

1.   A Day at the Spa

What better way to release stress and tension than a tranquil day at the spa?  When stress builds up, it often makes itself known in our appearance and even our health.  You can see those sleepless nights on your skin and feel it in your blood pressure.

So, spending a bit of time with therapeutic treatments at a spa is not so much an indulgence as it is a necessity.  For ladies and gents alike, a massage, facial or body treatment is a great way to de-stress and recharge those depleted batteries.  It’s like a mini vacation for your mind and body.

2.  A New You

Sometimes something as minor as a new hairstyle can rejuvenate your spirit when you’re feeling rundown and stressed.  And because you want to be sure to look fabulous at holiday get-togethers, getting a new look is a great route to boosting your confidence. Try to go for a new color or style that you’ve never tried!

3.  Treat Yourself

Sure, the majority of your shopping efforts this season is focused on others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick yourself up something nice when you need a little lift.  It doesn’t have to be extravagant (but it can be!) to act as a pick-me-up.  Even something like a new pair of earrings or a stylish winter hat can put a smile on your face when you’re tired and stressed.

4.  Eat Well

If you’re like most people, you end up spending a lot of time in the kitchen this time of year – Christmas cookies, holiday meals, potluck dinners…it can get exhausting! Why not take a night off and let someone else prepare you a 5-star meal?  We suggest one of the nation’s top chefs who just happen to cook in the fine restaurants right here on Oak Street.  Just make sure to get a nice bottle of wine and save room for dessert – you deserve it.

5. Take a Stay-Cation

It can be hard to get away during the holidays.  And even if you do, it’s probably for a family visit, which isn’t exactly a vacation.  But it’s not so hard to get away for a night, is it?  Play tourist and book yourself a luxury room in the Gold Coast.  You can enjoy a nice meal, take in some theatre or live music and pretend to be far away from your responsibilities and worries for a night.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as they say.  But if it’s also the most stressful time of the year for you, it’s important that you find ways to keep yourself balanced, happy and healthy.  And we think that indulging in a bit of self-pampering is one of the surest ways to do just that.

 

How to Do Stand-Out Outerwear This Winter

If last winter was any indication, we’ll all be spending the majority of the next 5 months tightly bundled up in our cold weather gear. 

When anything like a Polar Vortex hits, it’s hard to worry about looking good to head outside – you’re probably just hoping you don’t freeze before you make it to the car.

But we know that no matter how cold it gets, you’d like to stay stylish.  And because outerwear’s main purpose is utilitarian, it can be easy to neglect fashion when it comes to bundling up.

So, we came up with some helpful tips for those who want their outwear look to have more “ooh-la la” and less “blah.”

Color

Most people tend to choose neutrals for coats and winter accessories. I guess the thinking is that your coat has to match all of your clothes, so it’s best to pick something like black.  That’s just not the case though.  As long as the coat and accessories looks good with the bottom half of your outfit, which is often neutral itself, you’re golden!

So, skip the lackluster colors and choose a coat in a vibrant color like emerald green, ruby red or royal blue.  And don’t be afraid to pair your bold coat with accessories in a different complimentary shade.  Not only will you stand out from the crowd, but the colors will help you feel a bit more cheery in the dreary winter days when the whole world is white and gray.

Silhouette

When shopping for a new coat or jacket, look for ones with distinctive silhouettes to ensure that you don’t look like every other shivering Chicagoan.  There are gorgeous pieces out there that have asymmetrical hems, oversized collars or a circle skirt bottom.  Most outwear you see is cut straight up and down, so just a small difference in style will set you apart.

Vintage Flair

Sometimes the best place to look for style inspiration is the past.  If you’re after a unique outerwear look, go retro.  For coats, women should search for styles that resemble a 60s swing dress and men can look to the classic navy pea coat.  And don’t forget the all-important hat, which is a great way togive a fun nod to days of yore.  Think Mad Men for chic Fedoras or cloche hats that can keep you
warm and make you look very, very cool.

Keep it Fresh

When winter starts, we might be excited for our cold-weather look, but that gets old pretty fast.  So, to keep your style fresh and interesting, make sure that you have several different accessories that you can pair with your coat. With a few different pairs of gloves, hats and scarves you’ll have tons of combinations to create various looks depending on the occasion and your mood.

This winter, don’t let the weather get you down and beat you into style submission.  Though it might be downright freezing out there, you can still maintain a chic appearance with a little planning and careful shopping.

Spotlight on Tory Burch

Tory Burch is brand that has rocketed to fame in its 10 years of operation and its stylish yet practical designs have brought a breath of fresh air to women’s ready to wear apparel.

But what makes Tory Burch designs so appealing and what is the secret to their success? We explore how this American label has developed and grown in its short but prolific time.

Their Story

Dubbed an “American Lifestyle Brand” Tory Burch was launched in 2004 in Manhattan. Word spread about the small boutique establishment and the timeless style and effortless bohemian beauty of the pieces soon found a willing and enthusiastic market.

The small boutique also launched its huge online store Toryburch.com in that same year and through clever social media management, Tory Blog and Tory Daily they have established a huge brand following. The brand has been featured on Oprah and is the recipient of multiple fashion awards. The Tory Burch website and blog was also nominated for a Webby award for its innovative use of original content.

Who is Tory Burch?Tory Burch 2

Tory Burch is the CEO, creator and inspiration behind the brand, with the collections drawing from her own personal style. She was named one of Forbes’s Most Powerful women in the world and the brand has been recognised for a wide range of fashion awards including the Rising Star Award from Fashion Group International.

Tory Burch Style

The brand is most notable for its use of color and print in collections and pieces combining elements from the Tory’s classically stylish upbringing and her slightly more whimsical and bohemian style. Tory Burch has had many notable brand partnerships over the years, including Luxittica, Fossil and Estee Lauder, which allows customers to not only take advantage of uniquely stylish Tory Burch attire but to also enjoy products from a range of highly reputable brands within the Tory Burch boutiques.

Inspired by art, design, music, travel and culture, the Tory Burch range is a refreshing and enchanting take on more classical fashion that allows the wearer to be both glamorous and carefree at the same time. The brand also has a social responsibility policy that includes the Tory Burch Foundation which focuses on providing microenterprise loans, investment, mentorship and support to female entrepreneurs across the USA. The aim of the foundation is to secure the future of female-owned businesses across the country.

Included in the 2014 look book are such design elements as metallic tones, carefully chosen accents and embellishments, floral patterns and high contrast monochrome motifs. The Tory Burch collections are always tied together by strong threads of color and theme, traits that she has become so noted for that she has released a book documenting her style and lifestyle in relation to color.

Each collection features not just dresses, skirts, trousers and other attire but also the accompanying accessories including shoes, handbags, jewellery, sunglasses, perfume, home decor and even tech related accessories such as phone and tablet covers for a totally inclusive look.

Though in the fashion world Tory Burch brand is a relative newcomer, the brand has already seen amazing success and garnered the respect of both the industry and its loyal customers.  Visit the gorgeous Tory Burch store on Oak Street to get a glimpse of the unique brand firsthand.

Chic Halloween Costumes for Men and Women

Everyone knows that Halloween parties are a time to get creative and wear something a bit different, strange or sinister. But some of us don’t like to compromise our sophisticated style, even for a costume party.

Luckily, there are lots of options for costumes that are just as fashionable as they are festive.  We’ve compiled some of the most fashionable and chic ways to get into the spirit of Halloween without wincing when you look back at the photos in a few months’ time.

Men’s Costumes

There are a few classic Halloween looks for men that resurface every year without fail. Generic 1920s mobster and charmingly scruffy pirate are amongst those staples, but here are a few flattering alternatives you may not have thought of:

Patrick Bateman

Emulate the chillingly ruthless yet handsome and stylish main character of American Psycho with a sharp suit, shirt and tie, then don your Halloween 2see through plastic poncho and splatter around some fake blood. To complete the look, carry a fake axe and comb your hair back just like Christian Bale in the movie.

Doctor Who

Want to go as someone generally dapper and recognisable? The 12 regenerations of British Icon Doctor Who have some excellent attire to
work with. From tweed coats, to bright blazers, bow ties to leather jackets, there is a huge range of looks to choose from and you are likely to find something to suit your style in at least one of The Doctor’s many incarnations.

Disney Princes and Gentlemen

This is not as difficult or farfetched as it sounds. The very individual and historically based costumes such as The Beast from Beauty and the Beast, with his yellow and blue formal attire, to the cockney chimney sweep threads of Bert, you can take these highly recognizable costumes and dress them up or down. For example for Bert, all you need is a button up shirt, suspenders, a flat cap, jacket and trousers. Make them look a bit grimy and kicked around, add a bit of “soot” to your face and you have a costume!

LadiesHalloween 3

You could go as yet another witch or find a skimpy cliché costume, or you can use some of these timeless, flattering or stylish looks based on some of the most elegant or prominent female characters in popular fiction today.

Daenerys Targaryen

She is the simply stunning and somewhat unfortunate Queen of Game of Thrones. Her look of simple and effortless beauty is easy to create
and effective. You need platinum blonde hair, be it a wig or dyed, in soft curls held back by thin braids coming from the temples, a flowing Romanesque gown in soft pastel colours and fantasy-inspired accents, such as a dragon brooch from the bust of the dress, arm bands or a simple necklace.

Daisy Buchanan

Take a trip back to 1920s with the stunning fashions of the Great Gatsby. You will need some vintage inspired threads, think thin sparkly, free waisted dress, a cropped blonde wig or hair and a beautiful ornate
headband with a floral or feathery feature.

Katniss Everdeen

It’s so easy to recreate and perfect for if you want to be able to party all night in comfort and style. The protagonist in the Hunger Games, Katniss, wears attire with a slightly militant feel to it. You will need big black boots, cargo pants, a black top and a black leather jacket. Finish off the look with a fake bow and arrow set and tie back your hair, or if you want to get the color right use a brown or auburn wig.

Put the fake blood and the silly masks away and go for a classy, stylish costume this year.

The Hottest in Fall Fashion Staples

saintlaurentSummer coming to an end is always a little bittersweet.

Yes, we lose long days and nights of light and heat, but we also gain fantastic views of foliage and that little chill in the air that makes it OK to take out our favorite boots and sweaters.

With this soon-to-be change in weather creeping up on us, now is the perfect time to prepare so you don’t get caught in the cold wearing a flimsy cotton shirt and last year’s fall trends.

But just what are the best ways to dress during the fall? Some of that depends on your personal style, but the essentials are the same for everyone who lives in our chilly climate. Here we prescribe the best dose of fall outerwear staples.Continue reading

Spotlight on Spiaggia

spiaggiaIf there’s one thing that Chicago’s never lacking, it’s excellent Italian cuisine, but if you’re looking for a top-notch meal in an unparalleled setting, no place does it like the only 4-star Italian restaurant in Chicago: Spiaggia.

Located right here on Oak Street, Spiaggia offers a dining experience that attracts some of the most sophisticated tasters and tastemakers from Chicago and the world.

Let’s explore just what it is that sets Spiaggia apart from the masses of Italian restaurants in the city.Continue reading