A Look Back At 2011

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What a year! It started out just as I was really settling into life in Mexico, and I think what I remember most about the first half of 2011 is feeling really happy. And what better way to start the year? Of course, like all good things, my time in Mexico came to an end, and the boyfriend, Marley, and our new addition to the family, Sombrita, packed up our house just five minutes from the beach and moved to San Francisco. Dropping everything and moving to Mexico was what many - myself included - would consider a bold move and I admit that there were times when I couldn’t suppress that voice of doubt in the back of my mind. While I told myself everything would work out and that there was no option for failure, part of me feared that might not be true. But, after a stressful week spent living in a hotel while looking for a job and apartment, things started to come together. The boyfriend and I found an apartment despite not having jobs (what was starting to seem like an impossible feat), and I soon landed exactly the kind of job I had hoped for. While it was sad to say goodbye to my lazy beach days, I grow more enamored with San Francisco every day and I look forward to what 2012 has in store.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read Style by Santina. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

(Pssst…don’t forget to enter to win a watch of your choice from Orient!)

On Party Dresses And Twirling

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Dress: BB Dakota (ModCloth)
Jacket: Trouvé (Nordstrom Rack)
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Nine West
Rings: Marc by Marc Jacobs and Surface To Air
Bag: L.A.M.B. (Nordstrom Rack)

Confession time: I had this dress for months (months!) before finally finding an occasion to wear it. Aside from being the subject of countless compliments, this dress put me in a really happy mood from the moment I slipped it on. It also made it hard not to spend the day twirling around the office. Luckily, my coworkers are amazingly tolerant of such behavior. I knew I’d love wearing this dress; what I didn’t expect was its versatility. When it arrived I pegged it as a party dress, but after playing around with it, I was pleased to find it easy to dress down by layering it over a turtleneck or under a chunky sweater.

Since I planned to head to a party straight from the office, I created a look that, while definitely a bit dressier than my usual work attire, still feels appropriate for day without the risk of a walk to the bus stop being mistaken for a walk of shame. I am always cold so unless it’s at least eighty degrees you will not catch me in a sleeveless dress. This jacket is equal parts sophisticated and edgy with a classic shape and heavy chain link trim, and it fits the metallic accents in the dress perfectly. Silver accessories, black tights and platforms finished off this outfit. 

Speaking of party dresses, if you’re in San Francisco and still need a dress for New Year’s Eve – or just can’t resist a good sale (like me) - be sure to check out Mira Mira Friday (noon - 7 pm) and Saturday (noon - 4 pm) for 50% off the entire store (excluding accessories)! 

Win A Watch From Orient!

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Were you secretly wishing for a watch this holiday season? Well, whether you received one and just can’t get enough or you were disappointed when you received everything but the watch on your wish list, here’s your chance to win an Orient watch! The generous folks over at Orient are offering one Style by Santina reader her choice of one of these watches. I certainly wouldn’t mind adding this stainless steel and navy watch to my growing collection!

To enter: leave a comment including a link to the watch of your choice, as well as your name and email address - that's it!

For additional entries:
  • Follow Style by Santina via Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin’.
  • Follow me on Twitter.
  • Tweet about this giveaway. (Example: “Enter to win a watch from @OrientWatchUSA via @stylebysantina” and include a link to this post.)
  • Leave a comment for each additional entry, including your name and email.
The rules:
  • Winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email.
  • Giveaway will close on Friday January 6th at 11:59 PM PST.

Also, if you see something and need it now (no judgment here - I know that feeling!), you can use the code stylebysantina50 for 50% off any purchase on Orientwatchusa.com. Check out Watches for Women for the full selection…or, if you’re like me, you’ll head straight to Mens for a chunkier watch.

The Bag That Matches Everything And Nothing

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Vest and Sweater: Jack by BB Dakota (ModCloth)
Pants: Blank NYC (ModCloth)
Shoes: Ego And Greed (ModCloth)
Necklaces: Marc by Marc Jacobs and ModCloth
Ring: Surface To Air (Shotwell)
Bag: Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom Rack)

My love for this bag is well known by readers of Style by Santina. I’ve professed my love for it more than once and even regaled you all with the tale of how we met and subsequently skipped off into the sunset together. What I don’t think I’ve mentioned is how I turn to this bag whenever I’m at a loss and it never fails me. My immediate thought when choosing a bag was something basic and black. The only problem is that at the time I had only one black bag – a patent one, which often feels dressier than I’d like. That was when I pulled out this one; it matches nothing and everything at the same time – perfect!

And, yes, I said, “at the time I had only one black bag”. It turns out that the boyfriend actually does listen when I whine about my more serious problems in life – like handbags – and bought me a perfect every day black bag as a Christmas present. Photos coming soon!

California Winter

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Sweater: Madewell
Shirt: J. Crew
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Shellys London (ModCloth)
Necklace: Adia Kibur (Gilt)
Bracelets: Marc by Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom) and BCBG Max Azria
Ring: Surface To Air (Shotwell)
Bag: Tressje (Nordstrom)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Saks)

I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised by how much I’m enjoying my first winter in San Francisco. After spending last winter soaking up the sun in Mexico, I thought I’d be bitter when I found myself in cold weather. Of course, one’s perception of what is cold is completely relative, isn’t it? I went to school in Vermont - I froze my ass off for four years! I know that San Francisco winter is mild but in comparison to last year? It’s cold. But it’s also sunny and crisp, and I am absolutely enamored with the fact that in the middle of the day, I can get away with warm layers like these and no jacket. California winter, I love you.

A Little Gift To Myself

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Sweater: Madewell
Dress (worn as skirt): Marc by Marc Jacobs
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Belt: H&M
Necklace: Sloan Boutique (Portland, OR)
Bracelet: c/o LYLIF
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Ring: BCBG Max Azria
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bag: Mercules (ModCloth)

It is with no shame when I say I’m a big fan of to me/from me gifts. I originally planned to buy a new coat as a holiday gift to myself, but then it went on sale and sold out before I knew it. After that, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted…until I saw that there was a sale on shoes in all Marc stores, and then I knew. I had my eye on this pair of stacked heel oxfords for a while, and I was thrilled to find that there was one pair left in my size. I also snagged a pair of silver mouse flats (seen here) while I was at it - happy holidays to me! What about you? Did you pick up something special for yourself this year?

(And, I acknowledge that I’m looking a bit tired in these photos. Truth is: I was. The holidays are a fun but hectic time and I took these photos before work. I was only half awake at best.)

Another Day, Another Sweater Dress

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Dress: United Colors Of Benetton
Tights: Betsey Johnson (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Seal Of The Sutro (Shoe Biz)
Bracelets: Anthropologie
Watch: Michael Kors (Nordstrom)
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom)

After wearing this dress and subsequently professing my love for sweater dresses, I knew it wouldn’t be long until I pulled out another one. This one is definitely a favorite of mine - I bought it on my very first trip to San Francisco! I couldn’t help but smile as I pulled on this dress, recalling how I declared that I would one day live here about four hours after arriving. Emotional attachment aside, I adore the amazingly oversized cowl neck and bold print of the chunky knit. To keep the focus on the dress, I kept accessories to a minimum with mixed metallic bracelets, a black watch and patent bag.

A Week In My Shoes

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Shellys London (ModCloth) // Ego And Greed (ModCloth)
Ego And Greed (ModCloth) // Nine West
Marc by Marc Jacobs // Marc by Marc Jacobs

Colorblock And Spots

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Sweater: Vince (Nordstrom Rack)
Shirt: Alexa Chung for Madewell 
Jeans: Levis (Urban Outfitters)
Shoes: BC Shoes (ModCloth)
Necklace and Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

I can’t even describe how excited I was to see a rack of Vince sweaters on a recent trip to Nordstrom Rack. Vince always feels clean and modern, and better yet every single thing is unbelievably soft. Seriously, how do they do it? As soon as I felt this sweater, I knew it had to be mine. I wore it the very next day…and then for a few more days. The wide neck begged for a button down, and I wanted to add a print to the colorblock. This polka dot silk button down was perfect, even if I had just worn it a few days before. Sometimes I get a little obsessed with clothes and want to wear them for days. Clearly this shirt and sweater fall into that category. Expect to see more of both…lots more!

Holiday Glitter Gradient Manicure

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Sephora by OPI Queen of Everything // OPI Fresh Frog of Bel Air

Confession: I had every intention of hunkering down and trying my luck at a fancy holiday manicure (most likely one of these).  I even went to the beauty supply store to pick up nail art brushes and holiday colors. Luckily for me, I also picked up this green glitter polish from the OPI Muppets collection because after attempting just one Minty Fresh nail, I realized I simply did not have the time for the other nine fingers. Still wanting holiday inspired nails, I pulled out this matte metallic color and used the green glitter polish to create a glitter gradient. That said, I am still determined to have candy swirls on my nails, so stay tuned! Have you seen any fun holiday manicures? Please share them!

Sequins And Skeletal

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Dress: Rodarte for Target
Shirt: H&M
Tights: Hue (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell (ModCloth)
Bag: L.A.M.B. (Nordstrom Rack)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Saks)

I was recently instructed to wear sequins to work - yes, you read that correctly! Normally I can’t stand being told what to wear, but sequins? How could I deny such a fun request? As I looked through my closet, I realized that I don’t really own much sequins. In fact, with the exception of a jersey dress with sequins trim, this dress is the only real sequins in my closet. A sequins ribcage and esophagus for a Friday at work? Hell yes. I didn’t want to look like I was in costume, so I had to find a way to make it look somewhat appropriate for a day at the office. Proving that there’s nothing I won’t pair with a button down, I layered the dress over this sheer pale pink shirt. The way the collar lined up with the esophagus made me giggle, and the soft color toned down the sequins (albeit slightly). Despite the odd glances, I was thrilled to finally wear this dress. I bought it years ago and had yet to find an occasion to wear it. Never did I think it would be to work!

Swooning For Sweater Dresses

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Dress: BCBG Max Azria
Button down: Alexa Chung for Madewell
Tights: Betsey Johnson (Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Rachel Antonoff for Bass
Ring: BCBG Max Azria
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (Nordstrom)

Is there anything more comfortable than a sweater dress? I was convinced that it couldn’t get any better than silky pajama pants and sweaters that feel like blankets until I pulled out this sweater dress. Made of ultra soft cashmere, it is nothing short of a dream to wear, not to mention I absolutely adore the color. For a little extra warmth, I layered the dress over a polka dot button down and thick tights. Keeping the look comfortable, I finished it off with flat oxfords. I definitely need more sweater dresses in my life…

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