Friday, May 20, 2016

Chic of the Week :: A Ruby Pop-Up

Avra Myers, the Parisian-inspired fashion designer known for her women’s collection of chic essentials, will pop-up at Derby Street Shopppes (just south of Boston in Hingham) with her famed A Ruby collection. Get ready to see some beautiful ponte leggings, crisp white shirts, classic sweaters and funky graphic tees. Trust me when I tell you, you'll LOVE it! The Boston-based entrepreneur will also showcase her new performance line, AV-RA. This fresh collection of ultra-sleek pieces includes capri moto leggings, yoga tanks, quilted jersey hoodies, sports bras and bomber jackets.

I've been looking forward to seeing AV-RA in its entirety since interviewing the magnetic artist earlier this year for a piece in South Shore Living magazine. To learn more about what inspires Myers and sparks the creativity found in her fluid designs, read my piece titled: Trés Chic.

Don't forget to shop A Ruby up close and personal through June 30 (Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Monday, May 9, 2016

Wedding Gown Cleaning by Clevergreen Dry Cleaners

When I married Mr. Chat in 2014, I knew I wanted to savor as many details from that opulent October day in Newport, Rhode Island as possible. I had fallen in love with a silk trumpet-style gown months earlier and felt even more drawn to the eye-catching dress with plunging back and rhinestone waistband when I slipped it on for my ceremonial walk down the aisle.

I was adamant about cleaning and preserving my wedding gown immediately after the big day, but with my new role as Mrs. Chat and a busy newlywed year filled with travel and social events, my beloved frock found itself buried deep in my closet. Shame on me!

Earlier this year, as I was reorganizing my closet, I came face-to-face with my wedding gown once again and decided it was time to give it a little TLC. But with the harsh chemicals used by many professional dry cleaners (especially if you’ve had a long night of partying in your garment), I was skeptical about who I would trust to breath new life into my bridal best.

After doing my due diligence about green dry cleaning, I chose Clevergreen Dry Cleaners and spoke with owner Farshad Sayan to learn more about his eco-friendly business. Sayan is a veteran in the world of professional dry cleaning who holds more than three decades of experience cleaning and preserving a wide variety of garments from modern formalwear to vintage frocks.

In 2006, Sayan established Clevergreen with the first storefront perched along Charles Street in Boston’s tony Beacon Hill neighborhood. Today, he has five locations in the greater Boston area including a massive headquarters and plant on North Street in Medford. Sayan has even cleaned costumes for movies filmed in the Bay State including Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, a 2009 comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner.

Sayan explained that the environmentally-friendly solvents he uses on garments today are not as aggressive as the products that he had used before going green. Because of that, he admits he took a refresher course in the art of stain removal, so he could achieve the same or better cleaning results while keeping within the green parameters.

The two pieces of advice Sayan has for brides are:

1. Clean your wedding gown as soon as possible to prevent stains from settling into the fabric. Don't neglect your dress for months because stains that sit in garments for that amount of time will cause serious damage.

2. Be sure the business you choose to work with knows what they're doing and knows their limitations when it comes to removing stains safely.

My wedding gown took roughly 10 weeks to clean and the end result was gorgeous - even for a garment that I sadly neglected for 16 months. I completely agree with Sayan that a bride should send her wedding gown to a professional soon after her wedding day. I know if I had been more cognizant about the time my dress sat stained in my closet, I would have had an even better and brighter result on the bottom interior fabric - the area my dress had the worst soiling. Sayan and his team, however, did an incredible job tackling all the hard to remove stains. Here are a few before and after photos...



My wedding gown cleaning was complements of Clevergreen Dry Cleaners.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Spring into Style with The Paper Store

Spring is in the air and what better way to usher in the vibrant colors and serene textures of the year's most anticipated season and than with The Paper Store. Since 1964, the Massachusetts-based business has been the premiere shopping destination in New England for specialty gifts. Originally a purveyor of all things paper, the lifestyle retailer has expanded its reach through the decades to sell more than just stationary. Today, you'll find popular brands such as Alex and Ani, Mantraband and Vera Bradley.

I partnered with The Paper Store to bring Boston Bloggers together for an evening of spring style, refreshing libations and sweet treats at their expansive Legacy Place location in Dedham. Merchandise buyers kicked-off the event with a few of the season's hottest styles while attendees shopped aisles of breezy maxi dresses, vibrant Moroccan-style caftans, nautical-chic accessories and on-trend jewelry.

Scarves and Wraps

Drape yourself in luxury with a lush wrap from the likes of Elegant Essence, Noelle and Lava Accessories. The right kind of scarf can add excitement to any ensemble and you don't have to limit yourself to wearing it just around your décolletage - fasten the fabric as a headband, waistband or loop it around the handle of your favorite handbag for an elegant look and feel.

Seaside Stripes

From anchor prints to striped motifs, nautical designs are highly celebrated this season and coastal-chic is cooler than ever. Seaside styles are just so clean and carefree that it's almost impossible not be anchored away with love. To achieve your boating best, look beyond the traditional landscape of white, navy and red and ignite your style with a woven fedora and canvas tote accentuated with sturdy rope handles. Oh, and slip into a pair of white and navy espadrilles for good measure.

To fuel our shopping experience, Whole Foods was on hand with a selection of fine refreshments from Mocktails and a mouthwatering batch of cupcakes fresh from their onsite bakery. Thank you to The Paper Store for showering us with a generous gift bag worth up to $400, Whole Foods for serving up sweets and the fashionable Boston Bloggers who made the event extra special.


Amanda of Prim and Propah, Jess of Styled by Jess, Rue Le Chat and Elizabeth Crane Swartz