all wrapped up…………..

Heading in to Fall………we know that it is time to start thinking in terms of layers.  My friend Peggy, at DKNY does an awesome job demonstrating how to wear the Cozy.  DKNY makes the best Cozy Wrap sweaters.  Years ago, I scored one in a big chunky cashmere.  Fabulous! You can get them in silk for summer months, or for Resort travel in the winter.  All imaginable colors!

For this fall,  get the Merino wool cozy.  Charcoal Gray is my favorite. Rich in color, and it goes great with any combination you can imagine.  The black is the easy way out.  Go for the Gray!

Watch Peggy as she makes it so easy for you!  If you already have a similar sweater, try some of these easy tips and see what happens!


This next model shows you how to use 4 different shaped scarves.  It is amazing and she makes it look so easy.  So break out those Hermes scarves you have been storing in their little square boxes and start wearing them!  What in the world are you waiting for?

Don’t have Hermes?  Who cares……..just watch and be inspired.  The video is courtesy of Nordstrom but of course you can get your scarf anywhere……..maybe even right out of your closet!

That’s it for this week.  95 and humid, feeling a bit   s- l- o- w  tonight!

Next week is the holiday and we all know what that means…….Say it ain’t so!!!!

End of summer??? NOOOOOOO!!!!!  Just say NO!

You can eek out another month or two if you just go with the weather and not with the fashion trends……..but who would want to do that?

and….what’s in your closet?

OK……….as promised, let’s see what $10,000 can buy me for a new fall wardrobe!

First stop…….Neiman Marcus…….


I decided that my favorite vendor right now is Philip Lim, so you will see a few key pieces by him.  The snakeskin satchel, my favorite today.  The gunmetal tank top, the silk blouse in that yummy chocolate brown.  All things timeless!





















Pretending that I am still in Chicago for the fall season……..I chose a few jackets that will get me mileage.  A black biker that I can wear with the Chanel boots casually, or with the LBD.  Either works fine.

I had to use over 1/3 of the budget on that gorgeous Burberry Coat.  My friend Wendy recently walked out of Neiman’s sporting that rich gold color, and I loved it!  So why not invest in a 100% Cashmere classic coat?  Delicious!

The DVF Navy tweed jacket will be great with jeans and boots.  I threw in a James Perse t-shirt which can be layered with anything.






















If I had to choose two scarves, these would be the ones.  Both good quality wool and cashmere, with great style and color.

I like to add the prices when I can, but I never shop online.

You can get most of these items at either Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdale’s.  These are the best places in Chicago to shop. (I know, I’m partial).   Theory is always included in promotions, so you can get the basics at Friends and Family or Private Sale at Bloomingdale’s.  Sandro is another new vendor that I love.  They do some great novelty pieces.  T-Shirts and jackets especially.  They only go on sale a few times a year.  So get it when you see it!














OK, I had to have the Jil Sander cable cashmere.  That hurt, but I will have it forever (in my imaginary world that is).  I love the DVF silk blouse over the cami.  So easy with jeans, or the black pants.  Gorgeous!

LLBean classic cardigan……..get a few colors, and buy it in a size too small. I am usually a large, but I would get this in a medium, for a more contemporary fit.  I love a black cardigan over a white t-shirt and jeans, with a pair of comfy loafers!









Another chunky sweater and a timeless silk white top.  Priceless!

oops!  I blew the budget.  And I didn’t get a price on those Chanel boots, so that doesn’t count right?  OK, ok……..I’ll take out the white tshirt!  Sheesh!

I guess I will wait on the Burberry Coat, and hope for a reduction.  In the meantime GIRLS, I JUST WANNA HAVE FUN!

See you next week……..back to reality!  Sigh………



I FALL…….to pieces……..


Up hear in the Northwoods, the leaves are beginning to get dark, and I feel the breeze of fall days trying to sneak in, and get an early start.  It is at this time every year, that I am so torn about my closet.  I mean, I sooooo want to start wearing those new boots still in the box, and that leather jacket I bought in early spring……

But I also want to hang on to my summer just as long as I can.  We wait so long for these precious few days……June through September…..4 months of summer.

My friends in Chicago and New York are wondering “Joyce, it’s August 12….what are you talking about?”……They have been sporting around town in their new fall gear for weeks.  Some of them wear boots all summer.  It can be done in the retail world.  Inside a building, with windows only on the first floor,………you can pretend it’s cold out there! Gotta wear my layers now!

For the next few weeks, I have decided that I will build a fall capsule wardrobe……on a budget!

Just for fun………(I mean, I am in Wisconsin so cut me a break!)

1- Realistic fall budget $1,000

2 – Dream fall budget $10,000

Are you rolling your eyes?  There are many fashionistas out there, that can do it on $100 budget.  Believe me, I see it all the time.  I am a thrift store junkie after all.

But I am usually over in the home section looking for vintage “kitchen” stuff or an heirloom quilt, that some unknowing person dropped off at the back door for a donation.



My sister Pam, the amazing, talented THRIFT STORE stylist, found me this quilt for my cabin for $3…….probably from the 60’s…






Back to my wish list……..let’s start with $1,000 today!

Purses / Boots / Flats / Pants / Jeans / Blouse / Sweater / Dress / Jackets /Scarf



Here is a list of prices and where these items came from, many of them can be found at Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s too!

My total came to $1056 but let’s face it, by the time you place the order there will be an additional markdown ……..happy shopping!

See you next week with the BIG BUDGET!   Heading over to Neiman’s.



































a fresh coat..or two!



I found this video on youtube.  Love it!   It was during Fashion Week, in Paris and was done in 2010!  That seems like forever ago…..but yet, Gance Dure…an adorable style icon and designer, is dressed as I see it, for this fall.  Easy style, leather jacket, pants rolled up, Celine shoes in a brown texture and the gloves are tres chic!

I would also KILL for the Commes des Garcons coat, that the 24 year old was wearing from Tokyo.  Do you  think she might like this designer?  Totally effected!  Love it!

And of course, I love the fashion blogger! Andy Torres, from All H&M, and looking so put together. She is a doll.  That trench coat is just perfect. Light weight and easy to travel in. I have a similar one that I take everywhere from French Connection.

This week I was so ready to get to my blog.  I am in Northern Wisconsin and decided to paint my kitchen cabinets.  They were built in 1950’s and are knotty pine with a heavy lacquer.  Since the cabin is completely built of logs, and there are hardwood floors throughout………well, I needed a bit of color.  So Ivory cabinets were the solution to brighten up the kitchen.

But a fresh coat doesn’t have to pertain to home improvements.  As a coat diva for many years, starting at Saks 5th Ave, I became a collector of them.

Back then the buyers in New York challenged my staff to hit 1 million in the coat department, and though it took every trick in the book…….we rose to the challenge and hit the goal.

My team was trained to tell every client living in the Midwest, that they needed to have at least 7 styles of coats in their closets. 8 if you count the jean jacket!  If they came in owning 4, they left with 3.  Plain and simple………if you wanted to be prepared and stylish in Chicago……7 was the minimum!

Rain Jacket / Rain Coat-Trench / Wool or cashmere Pea Coat or short style wool or cashmere jacket / Wool or Cashmere long coat / Leather Jacket / Shearling-any length / Hooded cold weather Parka

I often assisted in the styling and selection of these important coats.  After all, these were pieces that need to stand the test of time.   I was once told by a dear friend, and Neiman’s Diva, that I found her the one and only favorite coat of all time.  I hope she knows that there are a few in here with her in mind.

Here are some of my favorite styles for this fall.  I love these coats.  I also included a few warm weather jackets, as I need to have something to dream about for Florida.


by Valentino

3ed1498df1c2534b1dc97d163eaacca3by Chloe

56e6ff3a9f840e51be4e77f97ea4bce1by Nina Ricci

















by Sandro

















by Sandro


by Moncler









by Mackage










by Vince

colorblock Wool, reversible wool,

Shearling poncho! I’m obsessed!







by Armani



by Derek Lam




Green Grass Alpaca coat and clutch











by Celine

Well, that’s it for this Monday.  A dreary, rainy day indeed.

Summer is not nearly over my friends……..this was just a little something to get you thinking about the seasons yet to come.  So, get back to whatever you were doing and enjoy the lazy, crazy days of summer!

Until next week……………xo


……cause Red is the color………….










A King is born to England.  King George…….how adorable!

Red is back in style for fall……………Did it ever really go out of style?

Look how amazing Kate looks here in a classic Red Suit.  Add a black turtleneck, some black accessories, and so chic it is!















Speaking of chic…….have you ever seen this photo?

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Diana is absolutely glowing! As you can see, both princesses can easily look fabulous in red. Simple, no jewelry, no bangles………just RED!





Even though I don’t really wear red, I do have many items throughout my cabin that are RED.




























I just don’t wear it.

That said, I have decided that this fall season, I will purchase red sandals, a red scarf, and a red handbag.  That is going to be my contribution…… salute to red.




I am going to start by getting this red tote bag.

Isn’t it fabulous?











I love these shoes… get some bang for your buck, and they are actually pretty comfortable to wear.  With the platform, it makes it a bit easier to strut your stuff!  And the snakeskin is so perfect!  Yes please!









How about a pair of Rain boots in Red?  Love this nautical look and may just have to take it to Florida in the fall.  Why not… let’s see……red cardigan anyone?







This is just perfect.  A splash of color to layer over most anything.  Stripes, plaids or a simple white equipment silk blouse. Done!







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I admit, I would welcome one day a week of chilly weather in Florida, so I could wear this big chunky  Dior scarf.

Love the look……..Perfect for a Chicago gal!




Is that a set of buck horns on the outside of that egg basket?  What?!?!?!?

I need this for Northern Wisconsin…….the guys will go wild!

Love it!!!! Must have it!!!





I know, I am all over the board here, but just take a look at how fabulous Whitney looks here in this lace get up, with the rockin’ red booties!   She was so gorgeous!

And that girl could SING!  Loved her.  Red, and Lace, both a trend this fall……..well, how could I pass up the opportunity to show what a true, classic beauty she was?






When I think of Red Leather, I have several picks………Here are just a few……….

The first one is definitely a bit more forward, the middle of course is a perfect layering piece to wear from desk to dinner.  The third one is cute with shorts, jeans, white, black, you name it!  That would be my choice, just a little red biker, sans the shorts.







Today is July 28.  The middle of summer.  12 noon.  54 degrees.  Here up North in Wisconsin anything goes.  So I think I will break out my favorite red Hudson Jacket, and head out to do some antiquing.





I saw a gorgeous red plaid blanket that I passed on last week. Think I will go back and see if it is still there!




Wherever you are, enjoy the weather! See you next week…..xoxo Joyce




Put some spunk in your punk!


Punk Fashion is making a comeback!!

I figure I’d better get on a feature story in the next few minutes, because that is about how long it is going to last………


















I am not lying to you when I say…….”If I could just get my hair to look like this, I would wear punk fashion everyday.”  Even her short boots look a bit punky, don’t they?

So sorry to my closet clients, who threw away the short pointed booties, after I instructed them to do so…………whoops!

At least you still have the big leather tote in there right????

















This is a look that I would be comfortable in.

A pair of green jeans that I already own from jbrand.  The shoes are adorable, and the blue sweater is yummy.  Pretty sure you can get the sweatert in the Vince section, at bloomingdale’s.  Looks like a denim cashmere!  Love it.

The big black wrap…….well, now you know what to do with yours!  Everyone has it in their closet, so let’s break it out for fall. Don’t forget to sport a pair of black shades, and that cute little stocking cap.

















If you have a troubled past, an old ripped up jean skirt, a cashmere sweater left over from your last walk of shame, and some fishnet stockings (possibly left over from that same night), mix em all together and “et viola!”  You’re Punked out.

I know I had those biker boots in the eighties……now where did I put them…….?

It’s always important to remember;  Punk makeup and Goth makeup are entirely two different looks. The application of them varies tremendously.


































Punk doesn’t have to be so severe.  If you are a grown up Punk, you can just mix up some of your old favorite vintage pieces, and pull them all together for a chic, punked up look.

This fashionista is wearing her boyfriends JCrew striped chunky sweater, an old Naeem Khan skirt, a pair of Betsey Johnson chunky fabric sandals, and she carries a summer striped tote bag from  Easy style.  Add a couple of Gold Metal cuffs and she is all set.


Don’t forget to always take your little dog Bruno with you.  He loves chunky fashion accessories like this cute little collar!  Do you see how some Punk makeup looks like Goth?  Huh, what’s that about????


Now I am confused………….



You know what?????? If you have a biker jacket, wear it out to a Punk bar one night and then when you wake up in it the next morning………go take a look in the mirror…..

Now you’ve got it…….you have put some Spunk in your PUNK!

See you next week………..Joyce



I see a pattern here………….


Who doesn’t love a bouquet of flowers smack dab in the middle of their head?

And Peonies! My absolute favorite.

But, if you don’t fancy wearing them on your head, and hate to see them wither away in a vase…..well, why not pick up something floral to wear the next time you are out shopping?

Or maybe there is something already waiting in your closet?

Mixing patterns is so easy.  I fell in love with this concept while working at Neiman Marcus in Chicago from 2002-2006

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As the designer manager there, I was informed that we were going to get a new vendor known as “Etro”……….and my obsession became this amazing line!

I bought my first Etro jacket in 2004, and then my staff  gave me a gorgeous Etro scarf as a Holiday gift.

I’ll never forget my first trip to Dallas for the Neiman Marcus conclave.  Amazing gifts were waiting for you when you arrived from every vendor!   It was the highlight of the year.  My favorite gift was a yummy Etro towel with swirls, stripes, and flowers everywhere.  It became my travel blanket for years.

Ah, those were the days……Indeed!  But alas, it wasn’t all gifts and fun.

There was a price to pay back then.  Running a 15 million dollar department with the avenue’s REAL and “one of a kind” shop girls, was not a walk in the park by any means! And let’s face it…….I’m no Meryl Streep, even though I had my share of Prada back then.

But it sure did give me the training ground (or should I call it playground) for my last, final, and favorite job ever…..becoming a Personal Shopper at Bloomingdale’s.

Now……what was I talking about???? Oh yes, Etro!



How about this for mixing floral and stripes?  Love the hibiscus sunglasses!




Usually, I don’t like matchy-matchy, but here the handbag and shoes look just perfect with her floral and stripes.

Love the boyfriend jeans too!







Just love this look!

The coach bag is so classic.

Add a Toy watch and a vintage turquoise bracelet and you are set!






I love this girl.  She is adorable.

Her hair is perfect, and the belt really brings the two patterns together.

The sweet little shoes just work so well with the color of the flowers in the shirt.





This is a perfect little clutch to wear with jeans and just a little white t-shirt.  Or wear it with a gorgeous, fuscia dress, and some big girl shoes.

So cute!





Love this whole get up!

The headband and the earrings, the blouse and the shorts, and what about the amazing, whimsical satchel and the fabulous sandals?

Totally a great head to toe look.  Those high waisted shorts are classic and a trend all at the same time.











And finally……….my real obsession now that we are retired…..decorating!



















Hope you got a little inspired today, whether decorating or getting dressed for special occasion!  Have fun, be safe, and see you next week!



Celebrate your Independence…………American style

Up at the crack of dawn, today is July 4th, 2013. 101_5569Every year for the past twenty, my husband Mark and I have been traveling from Chicago to Chetek Wisconsin, to enjoy peaceful relaxation among family, and through the years, a collection of lifetime friends.

It’s six hours away, and most people we know wonder why in the world we would travel that far for one or two weeks every summer.  We had family that did the same thing for 20 years back then, and we just joined in on the fun. We never thought twice about it.

Besides, I like road trips, and traveling with my husband is enjoyable.  Our first sign that tells us all is right with the world, or at least with Chetek is this one: 101_5588 About ten years ago, we decided to buy a little log cabin on the lake.  I felt like it was time for us to set some roots here.   When we took our first walk through with the realtor and our friends, Betty and Jim, they called it a “Diamond in the Rough.”  It was pretty beat up!  But luckily, we were all in agreement that Mark and I should take the plunge and invest in our second home.

The view right here is what sold us.  We knew we could fix up the outside and inside, and we did.  But the view would never need any renovation.  Just sit back and watch the boaters, skiers and the sunset every night like clockwork right before your eyes. 101_5653

Thus began our annual July 4th barbecue, on one of the six lakes known as “Prairie Lake”.

Guests come by cars, motorcylces bicycles and my favorite mode of transport that the Skozeks use………….101_5598

Chetek is a small town surrounded by six lakes.  We are on Prairie lake.  A great fishing town and everything……I mean EVERYTHING revolves around Fourth of July!  I rode my bike to town this morning and brought along my camera. My bike is an old Higgins and rides like a dream.  My sister Pam gave it to me as a housewarming gift, basket and all.  Said it belonged here in Chetek.  I agree! 101_5565 On July 3rd, the whole town begins setting up their chairs for the annual parade that kicks off at noon sharp on the 4th. It is really hard to believe, but this is what you see 24 hours before the Parade even begins!  101_5581

When I returned, my neighbors Denise and her daughter Zoe stopped by to show me Zoe’s new swimsuit.  Here is another example of what Americana looks like to me.


How much more Patriotic can you get??????? Adorable!

My husband Mark loves to cook. Everyone knows that.  He spent 3 days preparing and made the menu simple, but fantastic.  Beef tenderloin, two kinds of Chicken Wings, one spicy and one not, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn on the cob and his mother Charlotte made her awesome Cole Slaw.   It was delicious!


-The Chicken wings were a hit but let’s face it……..

Take a look at this beef tenderloin………


It was gone in about 3 minutes.

Everyone ate and, wow, what a great day!  The weather was awesome!

Luckily the youngest three children, William, Ethan, and Andrew ate things like, mother’s milk and Cheetos, which was okey dokey with the two dads in the family.  More for them!

It is all about the celebration of Americana with people we love and cherish.


If I had Grandkids, they would look just like these kids here.  Cute as could be, and happy to play with rocks, climb through a hole in the fence, and let me nibble on their ears. (Whether they want it or not, I usually get in a little nibble!)

Little J was my helper pretty much most of the day.  It got a bit warm and we decided that perhaps some water would be a good idea. I think I opted for another beer. 101_5614

I soon discovered that she was motivated to get everything moving so we could set up the annual ice cream station at the window!

So………time for dessert!

As you can see, Alex got the first ice cream cone.


The guests got in line, and we served up Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream, with cake or sugar cones.

But the best treat was the home made Brownies and Apple Pie, that guests Julie and Tracey brought.  Some clever people had their cake……and their ice cream too!

Little J and I worked hard at the window filling many orders.  It was great to be back at the ice cream stand with my best pal! 20130704_170748

From 6 months old to 86 years old……..a good time was had by all!


And at the end of the day……….the proof is right here!


I hope you enjoyed the trip to Chetek this Fourth of July.  I know that Mark and I did!

See you Monday!









add a “little cover up!”

Anyone that knows me, KNOWS……….that I have an absolute obsession with textiles.

I also refer to them as “my blanket collection” or my covers.  I am up to about 33 different assorted, little colorful pieces that I consider my art, especially at my cabin in Northern Wisconsin.  A final resting place for my textile collection that spans almost 50 years.


I even have my baby blanket, which was a flannel rose patterned twin size cover withsatin trim all around the edges.  The trim is very frayed and worn, but it is soft and comforting just the same…………but on to the title of this blog……..Cover it UP!

Or Tunics if you will.

This week, I decided to head south to another favorite hang out that I frequented before I became a personal shopper at the B.

Neiman Marcus

I may have unfairly stated that Bloomingdale’s is by far the best place to shop on the avenue.

I mean, what do I really know?  I live in Wisconsin for pete’s sake.  Sheesh!

So, I decided to look to Neiman’s for some amazing tunics………aka…….beach coverups, aka middle aged tops to go over leggings, (what?  It’s the truth and you know it!)………it’s all the same, but like I said…..”what do I know?”

This summer, if you want to be prepared for almost anything……..get a couple of tunics!  You can do so much with them in a pinch.

Most of them have sleeves, for those afternoon events that are air conditioned.

Most of them are forgiving, for those nights you want pasta on top of a bottle of wine and a basket of bread, and most of them add a bit of color, ethnicity, and personality to your lifestyle.

Here are a few of my favorite picks by some old friends that once had me at hello…….

jpgaultier 695Jean Paul Gaultier – $695 This tunic is all grown up but I would wear it with some skinny jeans and Louboutins and walk up and down Michigan Avenue with my hand on my hip! So Chic!

hanro 180Here is a fabulous layering piece by Hanro. Who knew?  $185 and so luxurious to wear with almost anything.  Neiman’s has amazing intimate apparel if you can’t afford the items downstairs.    You could do most of your everyday shopping right in the one section!  Well……..just sayin!

a and o 275Alice and Olivia is really a favorite of mine.  You can throw this on and go to the baby shower and the beach on the same Sunday.  Aren’t all of your bff’s events on every Sunday of your most important summer of your life?

derek lam 890My favorite by far.  This tunic is by Derek Lam.  Incredibly understated and so very sexy and timeless.  $890

donna karan 995What do you mean that is not a tunic?  It is so totally covering her butt!    Donna Karan $995

alex mcqueenAlexander Mcqueen hot pink silk tunic……..Priceless….and a must for your closet.

trina turk malibu gold 140Here is Trina Turk. Color and style.  Wear over white skinny jeans or nothing at all as shown here.  Gorgeous.

tory burch pearl tunic 207I love this Tory Burch.  Don’t love her handbags, but you don’t have to worry about stumbling into Tory Burch handbags at Neiman’s!  However, if you are shopping in handbags at Neiman’s, you’d better have your emotions in tact………

DANGER..WILL ROBINSON!  You don’t know what that means……… you?

The good news?   You will covet your bag from Neiman’s forever.

ted baker 255Let’s wrap this up with a little mellow yellow…….Ted Baker really does a perfect silk blouse that you can wear year after year.  The novelty of the collection is so on target, yet the prices will allow you to ……….you guessed it………pick up the Chloe bag you saw down on the first floor.

I am going to end with another of my favorite cover ups.  A lovely shade of green with a tulip smack dab in the middle!   If you want to place an order, head north 360 miles and get off at the Chetek exit.  You will find me in town at one of the local garage sales scouting for ………..your guessed it…..more cover ups!


This fall, I plan to catch Last Call at Neiman’s, and of course the Labor Day sale at Bloomingdale’s.  For me……I will be shopping for fall clothes which in Chicago, are summer clothes.  What a bargain!  I get my fall wardrobe for Florida at final reductions.

See you next week!   Thanks for coming……..Joyce

Get Shorty!

car crash

Shorts are back in style in a sexy, new and exciting way.  Here in 1937, they made their debut somewhere in the city of Toronto!  A car crashes, the whistles were loud and the twins ………well, they met two brothers (also twins) and lived happily ever after.


way to wearToday, white bermudas are still my favorite shorts.  These are skinny bermudas which are so flattering to all body types.  I love the easy style this model has while adding a loafer and a simple lightweight cashmere vneck.  All by Theory~


marc by marc seersucker stripe knit 148

If you have gorgeous legs like this model……Marc by Marc Jacobs is here for you.  This is a great color, and looks amazing with her nude color block sandals, also by Marc.  I would make it simple on top……a white t shirt of course……or even a crisp white cotton sleeveless shirt.  Timeless.



If you have a lot of patterned tops, by all means wear them!  Here you can grab a neutral pair of drawstring shorts……these by Oneill for under $100.  So easy and comfy too!   Simple on the shoe, or wear a nice woven wedge to dress it up a bit.


shorty 1

Don’t know what to do with your Dad’s varsity jacket?  How bout layering over these Joie flirty shorts and a pair of keds?  Bad hair day?  Throw on a cotton knitted cap.  You’re done~


jbrand rolled bermuda 180

OK, well I wore my Jbrand skinny shorts a bit differently last week and my girlfriend loved the look.  I mean, why not also wear your nude pumps that you bought for your best friends wedding and never wore again?  Way to get some mileage out of those! But please, put a Joie Silk blouse on top  instead of a tank top. A little floral print comes to mind for me.

joes 5 pocket faded

Here is a cute pair of Joe’s 5 pocket jeans. Joe’s really did do some great shorts for this summer.  These are just great with nude sandals and a polo.

Joes jeans multi stripe 128

Yup!  Joe’s again. Sorry but they just have it going on!  If you are narrow on bottom and full on top…….these shorts are for you this summer.  On top you should stay with something dark navy or black.  A sexy low v-neck with a 3/4 sleeve and some sperry top siders would be fun.  Or throw on a sky high sandal.  Either works……wear one and pack one!


tops 2

See you next week!