The Woods Fine Jewelry

By Dulnaey Miller

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Photo: The Woods Fine Jewelry

If you like jewelry and all things diamond, click over to The Woods Fine Jewelry for some irresistible online shopping. Sisters Shawn and Samantha founded the brand together in 2005. Their items are on the pricier side, so shop smart! Find one or two pieces that you love and can be worn with everything from your bikini to a bomber jacket to an evening gown.  Pick from among the many beaded bracelets and necklaces with diamond accents or go for the dainty diamond encrusted earrings. Whichever you choose, these pieces will last forever and so will the compliments you receive. I love my brown-based pieces and can’t wait to add something white to my collection for winter!

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The Duo Behind ‘A Piece of Toast’

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Photo via APOT

By Emily Sims

You can put anything on a piece of toast — jam, butter or cream cheese, depending on what you’re craving.  It’s simple enough to eat every day and plain enough to pair with endless possibilities.  This is the idea behind the style and fashion blog A Piece of Toast, written by Sally and Molly Miller.

In November of 2010, the sisters from Kansas City stepped into the world of blogging not knowing what to expect. Now, three years later, A Piece of Toast is a well-known style blog with a following of super-devoted readers. In addition to their talent for styling, the girls’ charm, which shines through both in their writing and in person, has played a key role in their success.

“They have a very authentic and true voice, which is evident in each of their posts,” says Mallory Harrison, owner of Haven Boutique and faithful A Piece of Toast reader. “They were so sweet and genuine in person that it made me enjoy reading their blog more afterward.”

Getting started

The sisters were inspired to start a blog after their friend and fellow Kansas City native, blogger Fallon Elizabeth of A Lovely Being, suggested that their taste would be popular with readers.

A Piece of Toast covers both fashion and beauty on a regular basis.  Molly, who earned a BFA in interior design from Miami University of Ohio, also puts her expertise to use in a home interiors section.

In addition to spending three to five hours each weekday — and more time on the weekends — on their blog, the Millers, who both reside in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood, work full-time. Sally teaches kindergarten and Molly is social media editor for Fossil.

Although running A Piece of Toast is a big time commitment, their work is paying off.  The sisters traveled with other popular Dallas bloggers to take part in New York Fashion Week this fall.

“Being able to travel with two of our best blogger friends in Dallas and spending time with so many other blogger friends around the country was so fun,” says Molly about her favorite Fashion Week memory. “It’s such a good time to see everyone!”

Of the shows they attended, they both agreed their favorite was Mara Hoffman, a designer known for her eclectic prints.

“The colors and prints were out of this world and it was such an energetic show,” says Molly. “The long caftans were the most memorable, especially the ones with rainbow embroidery.”

Focus on Style, not Trends

Despite their interest in the NYFW shows, A Piece of Toast is more style- than trend-driven.

“Our blog is about style, not necessarily fashion or trends, so while we might end up wearing looks inspired or seen on the runway, they will have our own spin and probably hit more on wearability than trendiness,” says Molly.

It is the sisters’ focus on what’s wearable rather than current trends that inspires readers’ devotion. For SMU student Caroline Morehead, however, it’s the sisters’ relatability that makes A Piece of Toast her blog of choice.

“You can just tell that these sisters are real people when you read A Piece of Toast,” says Morehead, who is an avid A Piece of Toast reader. “They give visitors helpful information on sales and discount codes and it never seems like they are trying to promote things or sell things on their blog.”

And it’s true: The sisters aren’t trying to sell anything. For them, their blog is a place to highlight examples of their taste and style pulled from their day-to-day lives.

“We just post what interests us,” says Molly. “Our editorial calendar is pretty flexible and while there are certain posts we know are happening at certain times, the rest is just of-the-moment things we have seen or love, usually both.”

Young women relate to the Millers because they are typical 20-somethings trying to balance their lives with their jobs. And the sisters inspire these women because they both manage to look fabulous while doing it.

“The blog is clever, fabulous and focused on a simple lifestyle, all in good taste,” says Morehead. “Every time I read it, it’s always polished, beautiful and filled with fabulous discoveries and an infinite amount of inspiration.”

All Part of the Job

Like all jobs, fashion blogging has its perks. For Sally and Molly, the friends they’ve made and the companies and brands they’ve worked with remain their favorite part. However, there is always a flip-side.

“It’s like school and every day you have homework due,” says Molly about the responsibility that comes with writing a popular blog.  Another tough part of the job:  the sometimes critical, even hurtful comments.

As the influence of blogging in the fashion community grows, so do the number of aspiring fashion bloggers. As their third anniversary approaches, the sisters have acquired enough wisdom to share with those just getting started:

“Be you, don’t do anyone else.  Have patience.  Success does not come overnight. And do it because you love it and have a unique point of view to share, not because you want to make money and quit your day job.”

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Fashion’s Night Out: “Expensive Street Festival” Canceled for 2013

By Ashley Gross

Image via FNONYC twitter

Image via FNONYC twitter

One of the most well-attended fashion events of the year was canceled this season.  Fashion’s Night Out, a favorite September shopping event for fashionistas around the world, was called off in the U.S., primarily because it didn’t generate revenue for participating stores.

A website dedicated to the event posted this statement: “Fashion’s Night Out will go on hiatus in the United States in 2013 in order to enable retailers to channel their resources toward strategies more in keeping with their current priorities.”

In recent years, the event has also been criticized for creating confusion and noise complaints as well as leading to underage drinking, and, in at least one case, fighting among attendees.


“Hectic crowds in NYC” image via NY Daily News

For the past four years, Fashion’s Night Out has offered a one-night party full of free cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, designer and celebrity appearances, and after-hours shopping.

“Fashion’s Night Out always brings in a . . . crowd,” says Dareth Trenary, who works for the upscale Dallas retailer Forty Five Ten, which has taken part in the citywide event every year.

The event was launched in 2009 in New York at the height of the recession to help generate revenue and publicity for struggling retailers and the next year went nationwide. It was canceled this year when the initial goals set by Anna Wintour and the Council of Fashion Designers of America were not met.

Zack Shumway, who works for the new Tom Ford boutique in Highland Park Village, says he’s disappointed that the event was canceled this year. He considered Fashion’s Night Out a way to get those people who might not otherwise visit through the door.

“I think the point of FNO is to make high-end fashion design accessible to the masses,” he says. “Usually the stores feel intimidating.” Shumway also believes that while the event did not generate revenue that night, it “could be a driver for future revenue.”

He says that the people who normally attend are not regular customers or big revenue generators. The attendees of Fashion’s Night Out are there for the chic environment, the free goodies and the exposure to high society.


Kira Plastinina at Fashion’s Night Out Moscow 2013 via Instagram

Although the U.S. didn’t participate in FNO this year, other countries — from Austria to Japan to Turkey — kept the party going. On Sept. 6, Moscow hosted FNO in many of its high-end stores. Kira Plastinina, an SMU student and Russian clothing designer, attended the event to support her brand. “Fashion’s Night Out is a way for us to support our retail partners and do something special for them,” says Plastinina. “It has proved to be very successful for the past three years.”

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The Price of Affordable Fashion

By Cassie Mlynarek

In mid-November, H&M, the Swedish multinational company famous for its collaborations with both mainstream and lesser-known designers, will release its newest collection.

Everyone from Jimmy Choo to Stella McCartney has teamed up with H&M. This time, Isabel Marant, a French fashion designer noted for bohemian creations, has created a line for the fast-fashion retailer.

Isabel Marant Collection. Ribbed Panel Sweater $1012. Photo via

Isabel Marant Collection. Ribbed Panel Sweater $1012. Photo via

With this newest collaboration, fashion mavens once again may wonder: By creating a low-end alternative, will a popular designer drive away the high-end customer, the loyal fashionistas with their Gucci bags who buy straight off the runway? Probably not, say some store managers and devotees themselves.

Jace Harms, manager of H&M at NorthPark Center, says that collaborations allow designers to make their wares more affordable but still high quality. Harms says that H&M “brings [labels to the] general populous.”

“What Isabel Marant is inadvertently doing is she’s getting the everyday woman to step outside of her comfort zone to wear something that she might not typically wear because it’s fashion forward [or] because it’s a bit more on the eccentric side,” he says.

 A designer collaboration with a retailer like H&M gives people the opportunity to see styles by designers that they may not have heard of, giving brands like Isabel Marant more publicity and, arguably, increasing their value.

However, when purchasing designs from a top brand, there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that your outfit is exclusive. Many women are willing to pay the price to wear one-of-a-kind fashion and believe the prices as well as fabrics give that designer value.

Isabel Marant wearing piece from her H&M Collection. Photo tweeted by H&M via Twitter

Isabel Marant wearing piece from her H&M Collection. Photo tweeted by H&M via Twitter

SMU sophomore Gabi Stillwell, an avid shopper of both designer wear and H&M fashion, believes that this collaboration will not devalue Marant’s brand but unveil her to a whole new audience in a more affordable way.

“I don’t think that having a line at H&M makes [Isabel Marant] any less of a valuable designer. It is just a very different area of her business,” Stilwell says. “Really what she is doing is smart because she’s not only helping H&M but also allowing people who can’t afford her clothing to afford it and [get] her name out there to people who otherwise wouldn’t look for her.”

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Trending for fall: Soft Pants

By Ashley Gross, Jaclyn Castaldo, Melanie Galindo

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Longing for fall weather, students are pushing cut-off shorts to the back of their closets and reaching for clothing fit for cooler weather: soft pants. Recently we’ve seen these pants up and down the Boulevard. They are a great transition piece from summer to fall as they’re lightweight and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Paired with anything from a crop top to a simple tank, these bottoms provide a combination of comfort and style, perfect for any occasion. You can find them at a range of stores, including ZaraUrban Outfitters and Nordstrom.

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Fashion On The Court

By Diana Mansour


Russell Westbrook showing off his unique style on multiple occasions. Image via

Fashion and basketball don’t seem at all related. However, in recent years a number of NBA players have made headlines in the fashion sections.  On the court they have to wear their team uniform, but off the court, it’s a different story.

The No. 1 topic commentators, photographers and basketball bloggers pay attention to now, after a player’s basketball skills, is often his fashion sense.

In past years, before-the-game and after-the-game attire consisted of simple one-piece suits in classic colors. But now all this is out the window.  Players are letting their personalities shine through their clothing choices.

Basketball stars such as Oklahoma City Thunders small forward Kevin Durant, Miami Heat point guard Dwyane Wade and New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler have all developed a reputation for sartorial style.

But basketball’s fashion MVP may be Oklahoma City Thunders point guard Russell Westbrook.  Westbrook never shies away from a colorful print or outrageous color pattern.  Large polka-dotted shirts and leopard-print or neon-colored pants are just some of his regular selections for post-game interviews.

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The Perfect Polish

By Cassie Mlynarek

Alcatrez Rocks via Ulta

Alcatrez Rocks via Ulta

Brace yourself polishaholics! A new line of nail colors will certainly make the right kind of statement this fall: The San Francisco Collection by OPI. This line offers several dark and neutral tones as well as a new formula — “liquid sand.” The combination of color and sparkle in the polish is designed to  reflect the sand on San Francisco’s shorelines.  The liquid sand design for the San Francisco collection — available in shades like Alcatraz Rocks! and WHARF! WHARF! WHARF! – will definitely make everyone ask what your nails are wearing this fall.  You can find OPI products at Ulta.

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The New Chic Truck Yard (if you will)

By Schuyler Mack

Greenville Avenue used to be the stomping grounds of rowdy teenage bar hopping for $2 “Crown and Down” at Stan’s Blue Note. It has since been revamped into a chic downtown indie scene. Greenville is the new Soho of Dallas, and we needed it! All the dive bars have been replaced with spruced-up restaurants and cocktail lounges. Yet, the newest funky addition is the long-anticipated truck yard.

Dallas is becoming a foodie city on wheels, with more and more hot food truck stops spread around the metropolis. The latest Austin-themed truck stop just popped up on the new sizzling Greenville Avenue.  A charming, romantic, café light-stung park with woodchip floors and whimsical picnic benches, an ideal spot to grab a Vietnamese sandwich from NammiTruck and enjoy the casual vibe.  With the website soon to come, you’ll have to trust me on this recommendation. I promise not to lead you astray!

food truck yard


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Le Volume de Chanel

By Brooke Bordelon


image via

I’m no makeup junkie by any means, but Le Volume de Chanel is an absolute must have in my beauty repertoire. It lengthens and thickens my lashes unlike any other mascara I’ve previously tried. I’m a fan of the classic black. However, it also comes in Khaki Bronze, Prune and Bleu for the more adventurous types. Chanel’s website cites an “innovative formula” and an exclusive “snowflakes brush” that uses long and short bristles to deliver an “extreme, eye-opening effect.” Whatever it is, I’m hooked. $30 at

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Prepare to be Beamed Up

By Stacy Radley

TP stacy

What’s one of your biggest fears? Bad skin!

Weathered or blemished skin is one of the first things people notice, both about themselves and others. Now there’s a simple, safe solution to the problem without expensive clinical laser treatments: the ANSR Beam.

The ANSR Beam is a small handheld LED device that you use on your face at least once a day to help create healthy skin.  The beam emits both blue and red light waves.  The blue light phototherapy destroys acne-causing bacteria, while the red light rejuvenates your complexion by improving skin tone, reducing redness and filling in lines.  The device is also easy use.  And manufacturers promise dramatic improvements in a few short weeks.   $175 at The Skin or $300 with charger at

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