Gift Guide:: Local Love

Let’s [both] face it:: We’re pretty much out of time when it comes to [most] online shopping at this point. So my sweet New England friends, let’s do our local businesses a favor and shop close to home this weekend as we finish up that Christmas gifting.

Here’s a small selection of my favorite boutiques, gift shops, and brands around town. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to sharing more #locallove, and highlighting more small businesses in the new year!

Where to shop for gifts in Boston

[ read left –> right; row by row ]

Duchess:: Located in Newton, this women’s boutique is owned by the sweetest mother-daughter pair (hey Linds!), so you’ll find gifts for women of all ages on your list. If you’ve visited prior to this year, stop by again– new ownership ;)
Harvard Common Press:: Shameless plug: My day job is in cookbook publishing, and I guarantee we have a book for EVERY kind of cook you know, from the broke college kid in a dorm kitchen to the serious home baker to the hipster bartender. Avoid Amazon and buy them local too, at Trident or Brookline Booksmith!
Follain:: Think soaps and lotions are a cliche gift? Think again. Follain carries only the highest quality, healthiest beauty and skin products. And everything smells SODANGGOOD. Locations in the South End and Wellesley.
Pink Bubbly Shop:: This one is online, so get your orders in STAT! Owner Michelle is a darling local lady though, so we can’t help but include her :) LOVE these Lisi Lerch earrings– hi, glam stocking stuffers all around please.
Farm & Fable:: Vintage cookbooks + kitchenware for all the foodies on your list! Read my full post on this South End gem here.
Boutikey:: It’s an app, it’s an online retailer, it’s now a physical store! Shop goodies for all the ladies on your list at Boutikey’s new pop-up shop in Fenway.
Olives & Grace:: Art, jewelry, paper goods, home goods, and food gifts galore. This is the ultimate in gift shops. Another South End fav.
Mint Julep:: A favorite women’s boutique of mine, and a go-to for gifts of all prices! Locations in Coolidge Corner and Harvard Square.

Where will you be shopping in Boston this weekend?

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All images © their respective businesses, except #2 © Alex Byer

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Tied Up With a Bow

Lauren James Red/Crimson Emerson Dress

Well I’ve just had such fun playing with monochromatic holiday looks [oops I did it again!], but now it’s time to throw in some classic holiday crimson + gold. I picked up this dress earlier this fall for a wedding, knowing that I would get tons of use out of it during the Christmas season. It was obviously love at first sight when this Kate Spade number came across my radar, but the Lauren James version comes at a much prettier price tag! The crimson is way more versatile too– was just perfect for witnessing autumn nuptials in Maine!

Crimson Dress; Polka Dot Tights

Crimson Emerson Dress, Lauren James | Cedar Street Mini Maise Crossbody Bag, Kate Spade | Monogrammed Tassel Bracelet c/o Marklet Lilly | Polka Dot Tights, Kate Spade [similar 1; 2] | Glitter Mary Janes, Steve Madden [similar splurge; similar steal]

Kate Spade Mini Maise Bag

Bow Back Dress

Red Bow Dress

Kate Spade Dotted Tights

And while I’m here, some last-minute sales for you!

Anthropologie:: 20% off select gifts
GAP:: 30% off 2 items // 40% off 3 items // 50% off 4+ items with code GIFT
J.Crew
:: 30% off everything + extra 40% off winter sale styles with code JINGLE
Lands’ End:: 40% off everything with code SNOWMAN + Pin 1714
Madewell:: 30% off everything with code WRAPITUP
Macys:: 20% off OR $10 off
Old Navy:: 30% off with code DASHER
Piperlime
:: 25% off until NOON 12/17 + free shipping
West Elm:: 20% off clearance + free shipping with code GETGIFTING

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Christmas at Tiffany’s

Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

mini tiffany & co bag

If you’ve been reading shell chic’d for a while, I’m sure you’ve noticed I don’t mix it up a ton in the jewelry department. Statement pieces here and there, but for the most part, I wear the same few items ever day, and they are all from a little store called Tiffany’s. DON’T take that the wrong way– not because I’m a picky elitist or one-brand-only kind of gal or THAT obsessed with the movie that I simply can’t wear anything else, but because each of my Tiffany & Co. pieces is so personally significant. The ring my parents gave me on my 16th birthday. A necklace my sister gave me on my 18th birthday. The ring from my college best friends on my 21st birthday. The bracelet from my childhood best friend at our graduation (I gave her the same!). And a pretty special and important ring from my future mister.

Tiffany blue-themed party

Tiffany & Co. has always been about the love story, and while maybe they’re not all of the romantic sense, I think it’s so fitting that I have a little piece of so many people that I love with me everyday. And reminders of the milestones for which they were all gifted. Because I think that’s what Tiffany’s is all about– a celebration, of love and of life.

And now, Tiffany & Co. is even closer to home since they opened a store on one of the most famous strips in America: Newbury Street!

Tiffany & Co. Newbury St

Propped quite fittingly between The Taj Boston and the Public Garden, the new 1,800-square-foot Tiffany’s is prettyyyy postcard-perfect.. While its neighbor in the Copley Mall is nothing short of sparkly, visiting this new location feels like visiting the 5th Avenue flagship, just as a certain Miss Golightly used to. Vintage Tiffany & Co. ads line the walls, an the staff is sweet as can be. I get it now:: nothing very bad could happen to you there.

Tiffany Blue Chairs

Tiffany & Co. Boston polishing

Maybe I won’t be adding any more pieces to my collection anytime soon, but I’m just excited to have polishings as an excuse to stop by for a little breakfast meeting at the happy place that is Tiffany’s :)

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Makin’ a Lyst, Checkin’ it Twice…

Daisy Buchanan Black and White Photo

Confession:: The looks you see on this blog, were—9 times out of 10—not happy accidents that just flawlessly fell together.

Like you didn’t know that.

[Ok actually this one WAS unplanned– I swear!]

But most of the time, I am a serious outfit planner. As in, I have a section in my planner for each season in which I write down outfit ideas as they come to me; ie. Cream knit sweater + green plaid skirt + barley cowl + riding boots + boot cuffs + leather satchel. It’s obsessive, but hey, #TypeA.

Sometimes I own the items in the set already, other times not, and I’ll remember next time there’s a sale at a certain store, I should get a cream vest to layer over all of my plaid, printed button-downs.

ANYWAY, the reason I tell you all this is because I was recently [re]introduced to a site and app that is now allowing me to digitize the process:: Lyst!

Lyst is a totally free interactive shopping site that allows you to put together “lysts”—basically just collections—of products that you would pair together. Can be anything from your Christmas Eve outfit to all of the dresses and shoes you’re thinking about for New Year’s Eve. Example A:: My friends and I are attending a Great Gatsby-themed NYE party, so I put together the following look, featuring a not-too-costume-y flapper-esque dress and some DREAMY [yeah, I can dreamGucci shoes

Great Gatsby New Year's Eve Party

 [ see my interactive Lyst here for details! ]

You can browse by designer, or do a wide-open search for, say, sequin clutches, and then filter from there– by price, designer, color, etc. If you really need inspiration, you can browse the community and see lysts other users have already put together, like your favorite bloggers or stylists.

It’s also such a helpful tool to me as a blogger; if I’m doing a roundup of, say, festive holiday dresses, I can browse thousands of options from hundreds of different stores and designers all in one place–SO much nicer than having to sift through Google search results when I’m on the hunt for really specific pieces in stores now.

Probably my favorite feature of all though is the sale alerts. Once you add an item to one of your lysts, you can choose to be notified if and when that item goes on sale. This is a feature I’ve actually gotten a ton of use out of over the last year or so of using the program– #cha-ching

Ready to make lysts? Sign up now!

emilysignature

Full disclosure: This post was created in collaboration with Lyst. All opinions expressed are my own.
image via

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Christmas Shopping Update

Red Plaid Christmas Dress Sale

[ GUESS watch c/o | similar plaid dress ]

Are you panicking yet? I have not made nearly the dent in my Christmas shopping that I need to, so I certainly am! I do plan to do a lot of local shopping still, but time’s a’ ticking for online orders from major retailers…! Here are some of this week’s sales to give you the push you need ;)

Amazon:: Lots of Green Monday Sales still on the go!
Ann Taylor:: 50% off full-price sweaters and pants with code PARTY50 | Extra 40% off sale
Anthropologie:: 25% off all sweaters
ASOS:: Up to 70% off New Year’s Eve looks
Banana Republic:: 35% off with code BRMOMENT
Forever 21:: Buy one, get one free with code F21BOGO
Gap:: 30% off with code SHOP
J.Crew:: 30% off with code GIVETHIS
J.Crew Factory:: 50% off everything
Jack Rogers:: 12 Days of Christmas deals
Jack Wills:: 30% off party wear, loungewear, accessories, & gifts
Kate Spade:: Extra 25% off sale with code COZYUP
Kate Spade Saturday:: 25% off Party Shop with code RSVP (something for yourself?!)
LOFT: 50% off sale // 50% off sweaters + tops
Lord & Taylor:: 25% off with code FRIENDS
Madewell: 20% off $100 // 30% off $200 with code GOFORIT
Macys:: 20% off + free shipping with code EXTRA
Old Navy:: 25% off with code SAVENOW
Rent the Runway:: 20% off with code HAPPY2015
Sole Society:: 30% off hats, scarves, and jewelry
West Elm:: Up to 30% off gifts

Now is also a good time to start thinking about that New Year’s Eve dress…!

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Monochrome + Monogram

Gray Cowl Neck Sweater

Believe me, I’m normally all green-red-glitter-plaid from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Eve, but lazying about one day over the long weekend recently, this monochromatic look fell together, and it was a refreshing break from all of the holiday brights.

Black Skater Skirt

Waffle Knit Turtleneck Sweater, Forever 21 | Black Fit + Flare Skirt, H&M [similar 1; 2] | Pearl + Gold Necklace, J.Crew [similar] | Monogrammed Scalloped Cross Body Clutch c/o Marley Lilly | Polka Dot Calf Hair Sneakers c/o Keds

Scalloped Clutch

Ribbon Shoelaces

Marley Lilly Monogrammed Clutch

Some black & white details: my monogrammed clutch [only a few more months to rock this monogram y’all, let me have my fun!] is Marley Lilly, and I also adore this metallic gold one– perfect for holiday parties when you do need a little shine.

I’ve wanted polka dot Keds forEVS, and the team there was nice enough to send me a pair from their fall line! They have the lightest bit of fur, so suddenly wearing tennis shoes in December doesn’t sounds that weird ;) Also seriously obsessed with their ribbon shoelaces.

Polka Dot Keds

Black and White Monogrammed

Whatcha think– are you festive all season long, or do you opt for some black-white-gray days too?

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A Day at the Ballet

Boston Opera House Photography

Maybe my favorite of ALL Christmas traditions? Blame it on the dancer in me, but it’s one hundred percent going to see The Nutcracker in Boston. An indulgence that’s a bit difficult to do every year, which makes it even more of a treat when it does happen.

Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker 2014

Photo courtesy of Boston Ballet

This year was a Nutcracker year, and I was so, so grateful for the opportunity to see Boston Ballet’s rendition, under the creative direction of Mikko Nissinen. Set in the early 1800s, his production is based on Alexandre Dumas’s libretto The Tale of the Nutcracker, adapted from E.T.A. Hoffman’s classic tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The Boston Ballet changes it up just enough every year, to keep things fresh, while still perfectly sticking to the story and parts we fell in love with as children.

Boston Ballet Costumes

Photo courtesy of Boston Ballet

The Nutcracker Boston costumes

Photo courtesy of Boston Ballet

The COSTUMES though. Those are what really make this performance magical. Robert Perdziola redesigned all of the costumes that grace the production’s 300+ dancers in 2012 [costumes are only redone every 15-20 years!]. 182 completed costumes appear during each performance, but over 350 were created for multiple casts. This slays me: The Sugar Plums and Dew Drops, alone, have over 3,600 jewels on their tutus and bodices, and over 2,000 yards of net and tulle were used for all of the costumes. Can you say, dream closet?

Robert Perdziola Costume Designer

Photo courtesy of Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet Nutcracker Tutus

Photo courtesy of Boston Ballet

Best ballet costumes

Photo courtesy of Boston Ballet

Which brings me to my day-at-the-ballet look, obviously involving tulle and a bit of sparkle as well. This was the perfect excuse to don some of my girliest, most festive apparel, and to debut a darling LC Lauren Conrad skirt, and sweet new tassel charm bracelet from queen-bee-of-monograms, Marley Lilly.

Christmas outfits

Plaid Shirt, Ralph Lauren [similar] | Tulle Skirt, LC Lauren Conrad | Pearl Cluster Necklace c/o Francesca’s [similar 1; 2] | Monogrammed Tassel Bracelet c/o Marley Lilly | Green Leather Crossbody, Jesslyn Blake [similar 1; 2] | Patent Ballet Flats, Kimchi Blue [similar 1; 2]

Monogrammed Tassel Bracelet

The Nutcracker Outfit

Gold tassel bracelet; love script bracelet

Blue Green Plaid Shirt; Pearl Cluster Necklace

Kelly Green Leather Bag

What to wear to the ballet

The Nutrcracker is playing at the Boston Opera House and runs through December 31st this year, with performances Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30, Sundays at 5:30, and various 1pm matinees.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.bostonballet.org, or over the phone at 617.695.6955. They start at just $29, so give yourself a treat this holiday.

Seriously not convinced yet? Read this:: Top 10 reasons to see the Nutcracker this season!

Mikko Nissien The Nutcracker Review

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Full disclosure:: I was provided with two complimentary tickets to The Nutcracker for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have attended Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker in many years past, unsponsored.

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Gift Guide:: A Handmade Holiday

I’m not sure anyone will appreciate your business this holiday season more than two groups: the small, independent stores and businesses, and the artists, shown here today. Those who forgo their own holiday events to finish your order in time for Christmas delivery, who stay up until the wee hours polishing off projects, barely having time to tend to their sore, busy little hands.

So here’s a gift guide close to my heart, featuring everything handmade [and I’m including art and photography in that category, mmmkay?]. Many of these creative souls have become good friends of mine, though I include them here not out of bias, but because I don’t think there is a person I know who would be disappointed to receive ANYTHING on this list…

handmade easy christmas gifts

one | two | three | four
five:: take 15% off with code shellchicd. This one is incredibly special to me, and I think you’ll be seeing the brand around here quite a bit more in the new year ;)
six | seven (use code SHOPEMILYCOZY for 20% off until 12/10!] | eight
nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen

Best part? Everything is well under $100. Most are under $50!

Do yourself and these darling shop owners a favor and be sure to order very, very soon to ensure delivery by Christmas!

emilysignature

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Christmas Cozy

New England Christmas Outfit

The day after Thanksgiving, we got just the lightest dusting of snow down on the South Shore, so we skipped the madness of Black Friday at the mall and opted for a little nature instead.

[Helps that it warmed up to a practically-summer-day 54 degrees post said snow dusting.]

Still, it was brisk enough to don the Christmas plaid and cozy up with some new goodies from k.m. hutton! Kate makes the sweetest knit scarves, cowls, fingerless gloves, and boot cuffs, plus some darling clutches and handbags. This is not your granny’s knitting work, but totally cute, modern stitchery.

km hutton review

Knit Cowl Scarf; Knit Boot Cuffs

Navy Toggle Coat, American Eagle [similar 1; 2; 3] | Knit Oatmeal Sweater, Forever 21 | Plaid Skirt, J.Crew [similar 1; 2] | Barley Chunky Cowl c/o k.m. hutton | Gold & Pearl Necklace, J.Crew [similar 1; 2] | Riding Boots, Lauren Ralph Lauren [similar] | Almond Cream Reversible Boot Cuffs c/o k.m. hutton | Leather Satchel, Madewell

Green Plaid Christmas Skirt

Cream Boot Cuffs

This brand is everything I want to promote this gift-buying season– handmade and a local, independent business. Maybe scarves are a typical, fail-safe Christmas gift, but we can always use them, so why not embrace it and at least choose attractive ones?

I’m also loving Kate’s button scarves, fingerless gloves [just because it’s below freezing doesn’t mean I’m going to stop live-tweeting], and give me anything in a knit fisherman cream.

Gray Barley Knit Scarf
So if you’re stocking up on gifts, or could use a little treat yourself [I mean it IS winter and winter accessories ARE a necessity], take 20% off your purchase with code SHOPCOZYEMILY. Be sure to use it by next Wednesday, December 10th though– that’s the last day to guarantee Christmas delivery!

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#GiveDifferently

Michelle Willey South End

I touched on this in chatting about Small Business Saturday but am excited to share a bit more about it today! How many of you are already familiar with The Grommet? These are literally the movers and shakers, the hustlers and the makers, and The Grommet team, based in Somerville, curates collections of their totally unique products, sold—until now—online only.

Just in time for the holidays, The Grommet is taking things offline with their first-ever pop-up (pop in!) shop, hosted at the Michelle Willey storefront in Boston’s South End.

The Grommet Boston

Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset

I’ve popped in a couple times now and am so, so impressed with ALLOFTHETHINGS. It’s the ultimate destination for those hard-to-shop-for giftees, or even those girl-who-has-everything gals, just because everything is so unique. A Convertible Wine Box for the office Yankee Swap. Sweet Cotton Tea Towels for your mother-in-law. Handmade crocheted creatures for your what-do-I-get-my-18-month-old niece. Printed wine bags to have on hand as hostess gifts. Craft Bitters for any home bartender on your list.

Bicycle-Print Bow Tie

Everything from apparel to kitchenware fills its corners.

Vintage Sewing Machine

Best gifts for bartenders

I especially love the pre-made gift kits: The Bartender and The Chef will certainly fit for a few on my list!

Best gifts for a chef

Homemade Gin Kit

Glass barware gifts

Crocheted stuffed animals

Cloth Paper Tea Towels

What I love most of all? A good chunk of the makers whose products are displayed are local to New England, and y’all know I love to shop local.

So grab yourself a latte to go, and stop by anytime from now until Christmas to, truly, gift differently. I guarantee you’ll find gifts for folks you didn’t even think of buying for.

NOT in the area this holiday season? You can still shop the Pop-In Collection online here, or browse all Grommet gifts here.

Best Christmas gifts Boston

[ The Grommet @ Michelle Willey ]
[ 8 Union Park Street ]
[ Boston, MA ]
[ November 20-December 24 ]
[ Mon-Sat 11-6 | Sun 12-5 ]

Happy gifting!

emilysignature

Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Grommet; all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support shell chic’d!

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