The Rich Life On a Budget

Stella Carakasi Trunk Show

Last week I attended the Stella Carakasi trunk show at a lovely boutique in Sonoma called La Brocante


Located just a few steps from the Sonoma Plaza, La Brocante is a charming shop filled with beautiful things. Handbags, gorgeous jewelry, scarves, and lots of gorgeous clothing. Diane, the owner, carries a wide selection of stylish and high-quality items from a variety of designers, including one of my favorite desginers, Stella Carakasi.


The trunk show introduced the Stella Carakasi Fall ’14 line.


Malia of Style by Malia came with me to check out the line for her clients. Malia is always on the look out for places to take her clients to shop and for clothing lines that work with her clients’ lifestyles. Stella Carakasi and La Brocante both fit the bill.

We had a great time and got to meets some lovely people like Sharna who owns Cheveux,a chic and inviting hair salon located behind La Brocante.


No Wine Country event is complete without wine! Acacia Vineyards provided tasty Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


The dazzling and brilliant Stella Carakasi herself was there. Here, she poses with Sharon, an associate at La Brocante. Sharon is wearing the Redefined Jacket in Aubergine.


This radiant silver-haired beauty, also an associate at La Brocante, models the Take Note Vest, also in Aubergine. Such a stunning piece!


The ladies in white and gray show how well Stella Carakasi’s Spring ’14 line works with Fall ’14 pieces.


The coat hanging on the end of the rack is absolutely stunning! It’s the Far and Away Coat in Travertine. The color, the style, the material – all are wonderfully luxurious and chic!


I found my twin at the trunk show – my plastic, headless twin – wearing the same Illusion of Chaos sweater in Woodland with Look Sharp Leggings.

I loved the necklace the mannequin was wearing so much, I ended up buying it and have worn it twice already.


The Illusion of Chaos sweater is unique in its design. Tucks and drapes in both the knit and crinkled georgette make for a romantic and fashion-forward look. It’s a sheer piece that you can wear a bra with or, for more coverage, a camisole.


The back of the sweater also has an asymmetric hemline with plenty of draping.


This sweater is a great fall piece and I love the color.


The pants are my go-to pants of the season. They are made with a thick ponte knit with plenty of support and dare I say, even a little lift in the rear! And what I really love are the elastic bands on the sides of the pants that smooth my waist, allowing me to wear longer sweaters and tunics without worrying about seams, belt-loops, zippers or buttons poking through.

When my husband saw me in these pants for the first time, he jokingly said, “Uh, you’re not wearing those without me.”  You know you’ve got some flattering pants on when your guy says that!


I adore my Stella Carakasi Fall ’14 look. See the fall line and check out the deep Spring ’14 discounts online or at the Stella Studios located in Berkeley.

And if you’re visiting Sonoma, be sure to stop by La Brocante located at 156 E Napa St, to see all their beautiful things!


Monday is the last day to submit your photo for the next How I Wear My!

October’s theme is Favorite Color. Jill of Everything Just So and I can’t wait to see how you style your favorite color.

How I Wear My Badge

Send your photo and a brief description of your look to [email protected] by the end of the day, September 29th.

The post will go live October 1st!

Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: The Illusion of Chaos sweater was given to me by Stella Carakasi. I purchased the Look Sharp Leggings. Once I tried them on, I could not leave the store without them. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own. 

Low Heeled Ankle Boots for Fall

Today is the first full day of fall, my very favorite season for just about everything, including footwear!

Ankle boots are the hottest trend in boots this season. I bet you’ve been seeing them everywhere you shop.

I bought two pairs of ankle boots last year, both with 2.5” heels. Though I still wear them quite often, I sometimes want a lower heel.

A low heel is easier to run around in and it allows me to keep a casual look casual. Plus, there is quite a stylish selection of low heeled ankle boots for fall this year. They are hard to resist! My ideal wardrobe would have both low and higher-heeled ankle boots, suitable for just about every look.

I bought these low-heeled Gap ankle boots (on sale now for $72.00) about a month ago. I didn’t wait for summer and its toasty weather to end before wearing these versatile booties.


Here, I wore them with my new Target for Altuzarra Python shirt ($18.00) and white destroyed boyfriend jeans, also from Gap.


And during a special Sunday Funday event at Starmont Winery in Napa Valley a couple of weekends ago. I walked a mile and a half through their scenic vineyard in comfort.


I wore my Gap booties with Gap Always Skinny jeans a Stella Carakasi Still Got it Top and a Classic Western straw hat from Montecristi Panama Hats of Napa Valley.


During our recent stay in Calistoga, Bill and I had lunch at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena. It was a hot summer day so I opted for shorts with my boots.


I want to add at least one more pair of low heeled ankle boots to my fall wardrobe. I shopped around and found several styles I am considering.

I searched ankle boots for two specifications: A heel height of 1.5″ or less and a price tag under $200.00.

Here are my favorite picks!

Boden’s Chic Ankle Boot ($178.00) in black suede is simple, classic and versatile. I could get a lot of wear from these.


Bartalino Stud Embossed Leather Bootie ($100.00) ups the edginess with zipper detail and embossed heel.


House of Harlow 1960 Blaire in navy suede ($195.00) give off a relaxed, boho vibe that I quite like!


I bought these Sole Society Natasha boots ($80.00) in the gray shade last year. They look great with skinny jeans, shorts and even a pencil skirt.


Sole Society Kemi ($90.00) has a cowgirl feel with fringe, tabs and a pointed toe.


Huggins Booties by Nine West ($119.00) wins in my book for best color. I adore this wine shade and love the covered heel. Very 1960s mod!


Softwalk Rocklin ($145.00)  is enticing for it’s simple structure and gray hue, which is absolutely gorgeous!


Petty Bootie ($130.00) comes in a variety of colors including this metallic shade. They are certainly on-trend but probably too limiting in my wardrobe.


Here is the same Boden style as the first black pair above in a zebra print. Aren’t they cool?


Are you wearing low heeled ankle boots this season?

Which pair is your favorite?


How I Wear My: Favorite Color is right around the corner! If you’d like to be featured, send in a photo of you wearing your favorite color by September 29th to [email protected] Be sure to include a few lines about your look and submit photos no smaller than 600 pix wide for best resolution.

How I Wear My Badge

Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: The Stella Carakasi Still Got it top was given to me as was the Western hat from Montecristi Panama Hats of Napa Valley. All opinions, as always, are my own.