Professional, Smart & Chic – Etched Glass iPhone 5 Case

A work-appropriate look you can get excited about. 

Today is a Very Important Day – for me, at least. I finally found the iPhone 5 case of my dreams - and it only took a little under two years!

Etched Glass iPhone 5 Case

I would describe this Etched Glass iPhone 5 Case by Rifle Paper Co. ($38 from Anthropologie) as a work of “Enlightened Minimalism” – which seems particularly suiting for a tech gadget.

The clear case allows you to appreciate the iPhone’s design (as well as the color that you picked out so very carefully – in my case, gold) while enhancing the iPhone’s good looks with a decorative floral design. The case is sturdy, but not bulky.


And on the topic of Anthropologie, today is a great day to browse their sale selection - everything is an extra 20% off!

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Anthropologie. 

Professional, Smart & Chic – Under $100 – Vince Camuto Trumpet Skirt

A work-appropriate look you can get excited about. 

Here’s a flattering, versatile, affordable and washable skirt in a “new” silhouette to freshen up your work wardrobe.

Vince Camuto Trumpet Skirt

This Vince Camuto Trumpet Skirt ($89 in Regular and Petite sizes from Nordstrom) features a fitted waist with feminine flounces at the knee. The flounces add shape and interest below the hips, which creates a long and lean look rather than too much volume.

It’s an easy to wear style that flatters most figures and looks good with a lot of different tops – tucked or untucked.

Nordstrom also carries a similar (the same?) washable skirt in Navy – the Vince Camuto Sculpted Side Zip Skirt ($89).

Vince Camuto Sculpted Side Zip Skirt

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Nordstrom. 

Rest Your Eyes on This – MZ Wallace Butterfly Tote Bag & Cosmetics Case

In “Rest Your Eyes on This,” Commandress takes a mini-vacation to spotlight something that is lovely and delightful – regardless of its practicality or its price.

This is the year that I may be driven absolutely mad by Valentino.

He’s designed the most gorgeous butterfly print – and he knows it’s amazing. It seems like every week he releases a stunning new gown, dress, coat, skirt, sweatshirt, handbag, pumps, etc. – and I’m star-struck by every single piece.

Valentino Pre-Fall 2014 - Butterfly Print Gown

(Image of Valentino Pre-Fall 2014 courtesy of

Just look at how this Valentino Patchwork Butterfly Easy Tote Bag - which features darling leather butterfly cutouts layered on a butterfly patchwork canvas and a price that is effectively irrelevant – is being dangled like an irresistible toy just out of reach. 

Valentino Patchwork Butterfly Easy Tote

To paraphrase my daughter, I love it too much!!!

*      *      *

But thankfully Nordstrom may have finally come to my rescue with an affordable alternative: this lovely MZ Wallace Chelsea Bedford Nylon Tote ($295; small zippered pouch included) and MZ Wallace Large Ines Bedford Nylon Cosmetics Case ($85).

MZ Wallace Chelsea Bedford Nylon Tote


MZ Wallace Large Ines Bedford Nylon Cosmetics Case

They are both quite beautiful – and so much more practical too!

Here’s a picture of the tote bag looking sharp with an otherwise understated outfit. I think it’s a winner!

MZ Wallace Chelsea Bedford Nylon Tote - Butterfly

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

Business Casual Makeover – Under $100 – Splendid Ashbury Blooms Pullover

How to add more color, interest & style to your business casual wardrobe.

Here’s a pretty floral print top to update your fall wardrobe for work and play.

Splendid Ashbury Blooms Pullover

The Splendid Ashbury Blooms Pullover ($98) is Made in the USA and available in Navy from Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Saks.

The top is lightweight rayon, so it would not have the bulk of a sweatshirt. It pairs well with jeans and would also look great with a fitted skirt or pants. Reviewers have noted that the top runs small.

Shopbop carries the Splendid Ashbury Blooms Pullover in Navy and White (shown below). The white is very pretty, but looks more casual than the navy. You could dress it up for work with a blazer or structured cardigan.

Splendid Ashbury Blooms Woven Top

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Shopbop and Saks. 

Professional, Smart & Chic – Milly Chain Link Cardigan

A work-appropriate look you can get excited about.

It’s not too often that office-friendly clothing triggers the reaction “Oh, that’s cool!” – but that was my first thought when admiring this Milly Chain Trim Cardigan.

Milly Chain Link Cardigan - Charcoal

I love this posh but modern update of a favorite jacket style from the Mad Men era. It’s a perfect piece for layering at work and after hours. The jacket’s blend of cotton (85%) and wool (15%) is nearly seasonless.

The Milly Chain Link Jacket ($325) is available in Charcoal from Saks and Bloomingdale’s and in Black from Nordstrom and Milly (where you can save 15% if you sign up for email).

Milly Chain Link Cardigan - Black Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Bloomingdale’s, Milly, Nordstrom and Saks.

Fresh Fashion Finds – Top Picks from Tory Burch’s Fall Collection

Tis the season for fall fashion debuts and Tory Burch has delivered another collection of ogle-worthy clothes and accessories. Tory Burch is a perennial favorite, but this season adds an extra element that speaks to me directly – subtle references to medieval art and design.

Best in Show

This year my favorite item is a practical one. If you have not invested in a Fitbit to track your steps, the collaboration between Tory Burch and Fitbit will motivate you to jump in. I just love Tory Burch’s Fitbit Fret Pendant Necklace ($175). It turns your tracker into a fashionable accessory. Made of solid brass, the pendant is suspended from a thin link chain.

Tory Burch Fitbit Fret Pendant Necklace

If you prefer to wear your Fitbit as a Bracelet, Tory Burch has also designed a Fitbit Metal Hinged Bracelet to hold the tracker ($195).

Tory Burch for Fitbit Metal Hinged Bracelet

Best Skirt

The Tory Burch Juliana Skirt has a terrific wrap-effect hemline, but the best aspect of this skirt is its rich pattern of dragons ($295).

Tory Burch Juliana Skirt

Best Coat

Tory Burch’s Bettina Coat fulfills my on-going desire for all things bouclé. Metallic yarns lend a hint of shine – making it hard to get the wintertime blues ($595).

Tory Burch Bettina Coat

Best Dress

I love everything about the Tory Burch Mavis Dress ($425).  Its print, shape, fabric, and neckline all come together in a distinctive, refined, and fresh look.

Tory Burch Mavis Dress


I can’t resist giving an honorable mention to the black and white Monique fit and flare cotton sweater dress ($375 from Tory Burch or Nordstrom).

Best Shoes

If you want your feet to make the statement, check out Tory Burch’s Regina Calf Hair Booties ($425). The leopard print is fantastic, but don’t miss the splendid hexagonal gold heels.

Tory Burch Regina Booties

Best Bag

There are several incredibly beautiful bags in this collection, but my favorite is the Embellished Bria Clutch ($395). Its combination of hand-embroidered floral appliqués and dimensional metallic thread details is très chic.

Tory Burch Embellished Bria Clutch

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links from Nordstrom and Tory Burch.

Professional, Smart & Chic – Tassel Necklaces

A work-appropriate look you can get excited about. 

Given the high quality and reasonable prices of Ivanka Trump’s shoe collection, I assumed that this gorgeous Ivanka Trump Seed Pearl Tassel Necklace was an incredible find – until I saw the $13,500.00 price tag and realized that Ms. Trump has entered the world of extraordinarily fine jewelry.

Ivanka Trump Seed Pearl Tassel Necklace

Wow. I love a great tassel necklace, so you can imagine my delight when I spotted this lovely – and very versatile - Panacea Golden Double Chain & Tassel Necklace – also available from Neiman Marcus, but for a very reasonable $40.

Panacea Golden Double Chain & Tassel Necklace

If you like the delicate design of the first necklace, but prefer the price tag of the second, you might love this Eddie Borgo Small Chain Tassel Pendant Necklace in Rose Gold, which is $125 from Shopbop and Made in the USA. This necklace is also available in Silver from Shopbop and Nordstrom.

Eddie Borgo Small Tassel Pendant Necklace in Rose Gold

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Shopbop.

Smart, Chic & Made in the USA – ABS Emerald Lace Cocktail Dress

“Smart, Chic & Made in the USA” spotlights American-made clothing for professional women & their families.

If I needed a new cocktail dress right now, this gorgeous ABS Emerald Lace Sheath Dress is the one I would try on first!

ABS Emerald Lace Sheath Dress

Saks previously carried the same dress in Garnet and it received rave reviews for quality, fit and elegance. The dress is so feminine, charming and chic!

The ABS Emerald Lace Sheath Dress is Made in the USA and available in regular sizes from Saks ($240) and Zappos ($265).

The ABS Emerald Lace Sheath Dress is also available in Plus Sizes from Saks for $310.

ABS Plus Emerald Lace Sheath Dress

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Saks and Zappos.

Professional, Smart & Chic – Cole Haan Purple Pointy Toe Flats on Sale

A work-appropriate look you can get excited about. 

I’ve had my eye on these Cole Haan Magnolia Skimmer Flats in Elderberry Saffiano Patent Leather for a while, and now they are finally on sale!

Cole Haan Magnolia Skimmer - Elderberry Saffiano Patent

The Magnolia Skimmer is a perfectly professional pointy toe flat in one of my favorite alternatives to black: dark purple.

The flat is marked down from $198 to $118.80 from Nordstrom, $129.99 from Zappos (which has several other colors on sale) and $129.95 from Cole Haan.

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Cole Haan, Nordstrom and Zappos. 

Commandress Must-Have – Gaiam Restore Strong Core & Back Kit

We’ve talked about some very chic activewear on Commandress, but today is the first time that I’m recommending an actual piece of exercise equipment.

This Gaiam Restore Strong Core & Back Kit is the type of thing that I’m eager to share with friends, readers and desk workers everywhere.

I bought the kit a few months ago, and only wish that I hadn’t waited until I strained my lower back to finally start using it.

Gaiam Restore Strong Core & Back Kit

This peanut-shaped therapy ball comes with a pump and two twenty minute core workouts that are easy to follow. You’ve probably done most of the moves before (squats, planks, bridges, stretches, etc.), but they all feel soooo much better when your core muscles are fully engaged thanks to this therapy ball.

In fact, I usually keep using the ball after I’ve finished the DVD and even return to it again to stretch in the evening. It’s the best $15 I’ve spent in a very long time.

The Gaiam Restore Strong Core & Back Kit is $14.99 from Target and

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Target and