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The New Kit on the Block

To say that Vancouver-based apparel brand Kit and Ace has made an impact in the U.S. is a huge understatement. With the recent opening of its Venice store, the company has set its sights on rounding out 2015 with a total of 50 new store openings and a lofty 30 more planned for 2016.

What’s more impressive is Kit and Ace’s commitment to hiring locally-based designers who make each store a living, breathing, proverbial work of art. It’s not enough to just slap some local art on the walls—the brand has started an initiative in each city, working with designers and artists or who it likes to call “hyper-local partners.” For its Venice shop, Kit and Ace commissioned work by burgeoning artist Allison Kunath, who painted three original pieces. Lighting design was also led by L.A.-based Neptune Glassworks, whose Quadrature Wave Chandelier hangs as the main focal point for the shop.

If the art alone doesn’t draw you in, the clothes certainly will. Founded by Shannon Wilson, the former lead designer for Lululemon, and her stepson JJ Wilson, Kit and Ace uses its patented Technical Cashmere™ as the foundation on which all its clothes are made. Not only is it soft-to-the-touch, but you can literally throw (or nicely place) it in the washer and dryer. The fall line includes basics from sleeveless turtlenecks for her, to lightweight V-neck Technical Cashmere™ for him—both perfect for this indecisive Los Angeles weather.

Shop my picks below, and don’t forget to stop by the Venice shop and stay awhile.

1130 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

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For Kit

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Prevost Sleeveless, $78

Abington Skirt, $118

Meadow Dress, $188

Keton Wrap, $398

Bartlett Trouser, $198

Court Tee, $78

For Ace

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Mayne Tee, $88

Hudson Bomber, $378

Orpheum Trouser, $198

V Tee, $88

Blaine Henley, $128

Bidwell Pant, $158

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Party On: Farfetch for the Holidays

What do you say when one of your favorite shopping sites, Farfetch, challenges you to a “style-off”? Game on.

I mean how much easier can it get – they have more than 300 visionary fashion boutiques making up over 1,000 labels all in one place. My only real problem was choosing just one look that I deemed the perfect party outfit for the holidays. I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to go anywhere without seeing a new fashion trend right now. From new age fringe to the old faithful sequins – my head was virtually spinning trying to narrow down my choices. But like any good stylist (or anyone else who’s rocked the day-long marathon power shopping trip where you go for one dang thing and end up with nothing), I simply went back to the basics.

The key is to pick one statement piece to really set the tone for the look, and the rest will just fall into place. After waffling back and forth over these Alice + Olivia sequined wide leg trousers, I remembered that the holidays call for something you’d typically not wear. So how do you toe the line between fashion forward vs. looking like a bad gift wrapping job? Check out my steadfast rules below that helped me find a look I’m calling “Holiday Party Priss” – minus the Miss Priss attitude😉

The Statement Piece: Skirting the Issue

When I landed on this Giamba brocade flared skirt – I knew it was “the one”. It has the perfect level of holiday glitz with a whole lotta glam to spare. Plus the color keeps you from falling into the typical red & green holiday-dressing trap, where you end up looking more like a Christmas tree skirt (which is not the kind of fashion statement I’m talking about). Not to mention marsala is the color of the year after all.

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Supporting Roles: The Perfect Garnish

I’ve always been a fan of the classic “secretary blouse” which has made quite the resurgence since the 80s. I particularly love it in black since it doesn’t compete with the holiday festiveness of the skirt. But what really sells this look for me, are the skirt + ankle boots – which happens to be my favorite sartorial combo. Top that off with a belted coat and geometric gold & black clutch – done and done.

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Moschino, Pussybow Blouse

2NOIR, Double Breasted Knot Tie Coat

Nicholas Kirkwood, ‘Carnaby’ Boots

Guiseppe Zanotti Design, Geometric Design Clutch

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My Week in Style: Ants Marching

Is it just me or did the month of October march by like ants on an ant hill, or incidentally like the ants that swarmed my feet during this shoot (no seriously, I almost freaked). I don’t know if it’s just because I share my birthday month with my son now (yes, I get a whole month, don’t you?), or if fall in LA is like a glitch in the system. You see it happen, but it doesn’t last long enough to actually believe it happened.

I keep finding myself saying that October isn’t really about me anymore, it’s all about Garrett’s birthday, and I’m ok with that. But like the amazing hubs that he is, Grant treated me to a night of shopping at Zara (oh how I’ve missed you, my love). I had been on the look out for a classic black and white striped tee, and fell in love with the cropped silhouette on this Jacquard Top. But then I saw it, what I’d been “currently coveting” for months – the vest, and I mean THE vest. At the time when I bought these two, I didn’t think of pairing them together, but it just reinforced my investment (no pun intended). I knew I wanted a black one and more structured like a sleeveless overcoat, and so far this one has not let me down. Here I styled it with cropped trousers and classic black pumps, but if you want to really get noticed – try wearing it with leather leggings, et va va voom…

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The perfect swag bag to remember it by

Adventures in Shopping: Tour de Couture LA

It seems like everyday I’m reminded what a small world we live in. Case in point, I was first introduced to Tour de Couture through a colleague of mine at Los Angeles magazine. Not a week goes by, and I get an email from a fellow stylist friend Laurie Brucker of Laurie B Style telling me how I have to meet her friend Ali Kahn (who’s also a personal/celebrity stylist), and hear about her new company.

So Ali and I meet over coffee (who am I kidding, it was mostly us wolfing down desserts and taking two sips of coffee – which led to one of many instant connections). We immediately realize how we are both from Houston and that she went to my husband’s alma mater Texas Tech (this Longhorn agreed to set aside our football rivalry, for now). As if I needed any more reason to like her, she took me through her idea around creating Tour de Couture and I literally said out loud “Man, I wish I’d thought of that!”. Her premise for the tour comes from realizing that so many people (both locals and tourists) are inundated with busy schedules and an overwhelming list of options when trying to navigate the LA shopping scene. Enter TdC – where you can craft your own L.A. shopping experience, from the type of style (vintage, designer, modern, boutique, etc.) to the level of luxury treatment you’re seeking. So naturally it got me thinking – how fun would it be to plan a killer shopping trip the next time all my besties are in town, or finally something unique and fun to do for a bachelorette weekend. She currently offers three types of tours for who she’s calling her “couturists”: Pret-A-Party, Haute Pursuit, and Bespoke.

I was lucky enough to be invited on a VIP tour she designed for me and 5 other editors/bloggers. And let me tell you, it was hands down one of the coolest things I’ve done in LA. We all met up at The Grove where we were greeted with champagne and swag bags in a super swanky Mercedes-Benz sprinter van. Once we hit the road, we were filmed for our intros on a video she plans to use for her site – to which I gave fair warning that when I drink “my country comes out” (so Ali – you have full reign to edit me out😉 ). The minute I stepped foot in the first boutique, I knew it was gonna be a “camera-happy” kinda day – but hey, that’s what I’m here for right? Check out the whole tour below to see some of my favorites at each stop, with a few shameless selfies thrown in – but hey, it wouldn’t be a blogger event without ’em amirite??

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Mom Jean Confessions: HIMYM

I could have written the typical “2nd Birthday Recap” post, showing off the crazy themed party with professional-like photos. Except, we opted out of that this year for an at home low-key celebration with the hubs and GaGa (my mom) – complete with gifts just from family, and a dang good box cake if I do say so myself. So instead I decided to do some reminiscing, and it may have taken me 2 years – but I finally know how I met your mother. Buried under all that flimsy armor, so proud and tough, hiding her emotions at her own expense. I have only one regret – I wish I’d met her sooner.

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Mural Support: Adam Lippes x Target

On Sunday, I coerced the hubs into a City Target run so that I could check out the new Adam Lippes for Target collection. Naturally I’d done my research and already had my eye out for a few key pieces. I halfway expected the store to be ransacked (see Lilly Pulitzer debacle), but apparently plaid doesn’t give off the same drug-induced psychosis as floral-prints-on-crack do. Lucky for me, there was still a healthy selection and I managed to snag the last size mediums in the two garments I wanted most. Lucky for you, there’s also quite a bit still available online – unless of course you’re feeling up to a dumpster dive (as my loving husband so calls it). See my favorite look styled below for some shopping inspo – understanding husband and two year old not included…

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CH2T Covets: Well Vested

I can’t recall exactly when my obsession with vests started, but it’s the real deal. You know when someone tells you something you’ve never heard about or seen before, and then all the sudden you start seeing it e-ver-y-where? Yah, it’s like that.

In fact, I never knew there were so many different styles of vests. My favorite are the structured suit type and long duster, that add a level of sophistication to even the most basic of outfits. Although, I feel like there’s still a stigma when you say “vest”, that invokes images of Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite. So I’m here to set the record straight with my top finds that I’ve been gathering for you fine folks. If you don’t see something you like here – I’ve partnered with the new Donde Fashion app, an icon-based platform that allows you to search more than 6,000 brands by simply selecting the clothing type, color, material, etc. Think of it as Pinterest, but even more addictive for major shopaholics. Check out my Style Council feature on their blog, and download the app for free in the App Store. Search and follow my feed (cammeomurray) to shop my Wishlist of vests, right meow.

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Secrets of the Universe: Streicher Sisters x Bobbi Brown

“And now folks, introducing the 4th member of the Streicher Sisters” (crowd goes wild)…or at least that’s how it went in my dream. For months now, all I kept reading about was how these three sisters, Jenn, Kristie, and Ashley Streicher are taking LA by storm via their insane makeup, brow, and hairstyling skills – check out their monthly column on Violet Grey.

Now I know what you’re thinking – yes they are actually sisters, and no the name is not made up (contrary to my husband’s popular belief). They are just that cool. So when I heard my favorite girl band (seriously, would it not make for a killer band name?) would be hosting an event at Nordstrom at The Grove, introducing the launch of Bobbi Brown’s “Secrets of the Universe” – I sweet talked the hubs into watching the munchkin (aka chasing him around The Grove) while I got my fill of girl time.

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Mom Jean Confessions: Neither Here Nor There

As much as I would love to write a typical fashion post (don’t worry, I’m rounding up my “currently coveting” vest trends as we speak), there’s just something more pressing that’s been weighing on me for a while now. It’s this notion that nothing is ever good enough – and here’s what I mean by that…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with wanting and needing more. So much so, that my dad used to tell me growing up, “don’t try so hard to keep up with the Jones’s (or the Kardashians as it turns out), because you’ll never be satisfied that way.” I literally had no idea what he was talking about, but my dad knew and understood me better than anyone, and even he could tell that I was a restless soul – always wanting, never satisfied with what was right in front of me. With his passing, I definitely gained a new perspective on life that he was so desperately trying to help me find, but I often still find myself longing for that greener grass on the other side of the fence.

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