Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Royal Proposal at Park Avenue and 50th Street, NYC

A good read!

I recently finished Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier by J. Randy Taraborrelli. I thought it was well done, especially considering I have now read a few books dissecting their marriage. One fact Taraborrelli included that I have not read anywhere else describes where Rainier actually proposed to Grace. I had always thought he proposed to her at her parents’ house in Philadelphia right before Christmas in 1955, when he made a visit to the United States, but Taraborrelli actually has a different story and one that involves New York City!

Rainier had arrived in the U.S. officially claiming he was going to have a physical check up, even though he traveled with his own medical team, including Dr. Donat (who was actually brought along to determine if Grace was capable of having children if she accepted Rainier’s proposal of marriage).

Rainier & Grace on the day their engagement was announced, January 5, 1956.

Rainier and Grace both had (separate) rooms in the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. On December 28, Rainier had intended to propose to Grace at dinner there but when he didn’t find the right time to do it he asked Grace to join him for an evening stroll in Central Park. Here’s how Taraborrelli describes it:

The two descended in the Waldorf elevator. Unfortunately for Rainier, when the elevator reached a lower floor, in walked Dr. Donat and his nurse, Leanne Scott. While making small talk, Grace invited them to join her and Rainer on their stroll through Central Park. Once again, the Prince’s plans were foiled.

Outside of the hotel, Rainier must have known that he couldn’t propose in a caravan of four, because he took drastic measures. As the group waited to cross Park Avenue at 50th Street, the Prince decided to put a bit of distance between the two tagalongs and his would-be fiancée. Just before a long stream of traffic, Rainier grabbed Grace’s wrist and yanked her out into the street. Horns blew, but the two made it safely to a grass-covered median that lay between Park Avenue’s north-and southbound lanes. Through the rush of traffic, Donat and Scott saw Rainier reach into his pocket and present Grace with something. “She let out a small squeal,” says Leanne Scott. “And she said, ‘Yes, yes, yes, I will marry you’ so loudly that the others, who hadn’t crossed, could hear her. At that point, the doctor and his friends crossed over and caught up to them. 

“‘What’s all the fuss about?’” Dr. Donat asked.

“‘Why, the Prince asked me to marry him,’ Grace told him, her face flushed pink with excitement. On her finger, she flashed what would be a temporary ring: a band set with diamonds and rubies. ‘And I said yes,’ Grace continued, ‘I would love to marry him.’”

“He told me that Grace seemed happy, and that the Prince was grinning from ear to ear. They then locked in an embrace and kissed, right there on the sidewalk in front of everyone. He and everyone who observed the kiss did the only thing they could think of to do: They applauded.”

The median where Prince Rainier proposed to Grace Kelly!

The photos above and below show this exact corner and the median Taraborrelli refers to. I took this picture back in April so the beautiful pink tulips were at their height. The Waldorf-Astoria closed this past March for renovations. When it reopens in three years it will have been partially converted into apartments. Imagine saying that you live at the Waldorf-Astoria!

A closer shot.

Below is a rare photo of Grace wearing the ruby and diamond ring Rainier gave her, before she received the 10.47 diamond engagement ring from Cartier that is far more famous.

Grace wearing the first ring Rainier gave her.

If you already knew this story about Grace & Rainier let me know. I have never read about it until now!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Recent Summertime Favorites on Melania

It’s all in the glimpses of the details! AP Images.

After reading an interesting post on Melania Trump over at The Lion’s Den by the ever-observant GSL, I thought I’d highlight some of my recent favorite looks on her. I still can’t believe she is the First Lady (or that her husband is the President of the United States), but she certainly is knocking it out of the park as far as fashion is concerned. I can see how much time she has lived in Manhattan with every one of these choices—to my eye it is a very modern day Upper East Side socialite look (but with a European influence). I’m guessing she has a stylist on call and shoppers at Bergdorf’s, Michael Kors, and, apparently, Dolce & Gabbana, on speed dial.

Love the Dolce & Gabbana lace skirt!

I really loved this look of a Dolce & Gabbana knit top and white lace skirt Melania wore when she stepped off from Air Force One after the G20 Summit. I may have to get my sewing machine back out to make a skirt like this myself since it retails for nearly $1,200 at Net-a-Porter. This was so great with black Manolos and a stunning Hermès Birkin!

Speaking of which, I didn’t realize Melania has such a deep collection of Hermès Birkins, but I have counted four on her so far—her black croc with gold hardware, a white, a gold with white stitching, and a basic black with palladium hardware. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has a few more stashed in her closet. Let me know if you have the details on them—and please do include the size and leather and color and hardware!

Love this fringed Michael Kors dress!

I saw over at The Purse Forum thread dedicated to Melania’s style that at least one person thought this Michael Kors fringed flapper-style dress was inappropriate for the occasion but I disagree and would counter, What should she wear? It was an evening event she was attending and it is July! I loved the way this dress moves and of course I loved how the red carpet turns the bottom half of it to pale pink as she walked. Michael Kors was far more diplomatic than Tom Ford was when asked a few months ago if he would be dressing Mrs. Trump. Kors said something non-committal and to the effect that she had been a client of his New York boutique for years. I wonder if he secretly loves it that she is wearing his clothes so often and so well. I can’t imagine it’s hurting his business.

Reuters photo.

In Dolce & Gabbana in May. AP Images.

I had to laugh, in a good way, at the over-the-top Dolce & Gabbana floral coat, with ivory floral shift dress—the lining of the coat was the same fabric as the dress—with a matching floral clutch. She wore it in Sicily, where Domenico Dolce is from, and the coat sells for $51,500. She really is sticking it to the folks at Vogue with this look!

AP Images.

The clutch matches the bag and the dress matches the coat lining!

Returning to the White House in white crops, May 2017. Getty Images North America.

I really liked the above white cropped pants on her, worn with a pale green cardigan and glittering rhinestone buttons, along with block-heeled shoes. This looks like a comfortable traveling outfit to me!

Leaving for the Germany and Poland, July 2017. AP Images.

I wasn’t sure I liked the outfit above at first but the more I see it the more it grows on me. The check-print cropped pants are by Valentino and I like that she wore them with razor-sharp suede Manolos and carried that beautiful Birkin.

At a children's hospital in Paris. Wow! Reuters photo.

I love the full-skirted suit with nipped in waist she wore to a visit to a children’s hospital in Paris yesterday, along with matching shoes. Hooray for midi length skirts! Of course the ensemble was by Dior.

At the Bastille Day Parade, July 14, 2017. AP photo.

I absolutely love this floral print dress on her with cornflower blue suede Manolos that she wore at the Bastille Day Parade.

I realize there is still a lot of animosity towards Melania but since she is representing this country I have to tip my hat to her and say, Well done! Who knows, maybe she will end up being Trump’s top diplomat and secret weapon.

I think some people are trying to compare her to other First Ladies, particularly Jacqueline Kennedy, but to me there is no comparison! They are different women from different eras with vastly different backgrounds. It is pointless to compare them.

You can let me know what you think, if you want, but I want to remind everyone that I like you no matter who you voted for and this is not a political post!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How I Wear My: Embellishment

Summer is in full swing and it seems like embellishment (especially embroidery) is the season’s top trend, so Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country and I wanted to devote July’s “How I Wear My” to a classic summertime style that is particularly popular right this instant!

Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country.

Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country, my stylish “How I Wear My” partner, writes, “I love embellishments of all kinds, but mostly on others. On me, I prefer to wear embellishments in small doses. This summery blue kaftan from Gap has a colorful little embroidered design throughout in bright green, cobalt blue and red. I like how the embellishment adds a little color and texture to the fabric. I wore my dress recently to dinner at a new restaurant. I added some sandals, a plantation hat, a white leather handbag and I was good to go!”

Lisa of The Sequinist.

Lisa of The Sequinist says, “This sheer mesh dress with sequin evil eyes all over it always gets a lot of attention; it gets more looks and smiles than anything else I own! I like wearing anything that makes people smile, so the over the top embellishment makes me happy too.”

Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb.

Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb writes, “I got this embroidered bomber jacket for an absolute steal—it was reduced by nearly 80% to just £6.80! It’s actually a size too big for me but I guessed it would be worth taking a chance on it (I’m so glad I did). There have been lots of bomber jackets like this in the shops for a year or so now but I love this one for the fact that there’s embroidery all over the back as well as the front and the sleeves... I’d been looking to get one for a while but found myself being quite fussy over the embroidery, this one was perfect.”

Tamera of Tamera Beardsley.

Tamera of Tamera Beardsley says, “Being a huge lover of accessories…my style is all about embellishment! I love finishing off my outfits with jewelry, a bag, a great shoe and headwear of some kind! Whether it be hat, headband or crown…headwear is always my finishing embellishment!”

Shelbee of Shelbee On the Edge.

Shelbee of Shelbee On the Edge says, “Embroidery is my favorite embellishment right now so I paired this black kimono with a white embroidered floral detail over my new green dress from Torrid. I just added this pretty delicate kimono to my Shelbee’s Shoppe inventory and I am finding it to be quite versatile for the season to add a little drama and some extra coverage to my summer outfits.”

Greetje of No Fear of Fashion.

Greetje of No Fear of Fashion says, “Although this is not a very fabulous outfit, rather casual, it is a top with embellishment. By Bob Mackie and a gift from my friend Melanie (of Bag and a Beret). I love it.”

[Editor’s Note: I love that top too and I have to say that anything by Bob Mackie IS fabulous and instantly elevates any outfit to the fabulous category!]

Rosemary of Distinctly Southern Style.

Rosemary of Distinctly Southern Style says, “My outfit is the basic summer all white duo—a white tank top and skirt embellished by wearing three different turquoise necklaces. I added a white hat with a beaded band and dangling turquoise earrings. To finish the embellishment of my outfit, I tied a colorful scarf with turquoise highlights around my bag.”

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living.

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living says, “My large orange earrings were the embellishment for this outfit. My top is a lot of orange too, with orange embroidery on orange fabric. To tone it down (if that could happen!) I wore white flared jeans and fun multicolored mules. A little wicker bag was the finishing touch!”

Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish.

Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish says, “I am sharing my white outfit with touches of pink in a silk floral shell. I wanted to add a bit of embellishment with my pearl block heeled sandals by Betsey Johnson.”

Love these sandals on Jess!

Sheree of It’s Not That Deep.

Sheree of It’s Not That Deep says, “Why haven’t I shopped in a mall for years (other than going to Sephora)? Because they all, for the most part, sell the same things that make me yawn. Filling your closet with fun unique pieces (and great basics) will make you love your wardrobe and make getting dressed in the morning FUN! This skirt for example (one of my faves). You won’t find this on anyone, anywhere! And it’s out of control adorbs! ‘Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.’ Well they can be when you add some fun tassels on the end! Best part of fun pieces? You can go simple with the rest of your look. Win/win!”

[Editor’s Note: This skirt is no longer for sale at Sheree’s site but you can shop more of her great finds here.]


A new participant, Terina, who you can find on Instagram @Over50modelterinaelam, writes, “My jeans are old school bling, when we made it ourselves. Wear them in the winter with a sweater and boots or wear them in the spring with a casual blouse and a pair of wedges.”

Ana of Mrs. American Made.

Ana of Mrs. American Made writes, “I often like to wear a top with an embellished collar—I have quite a few tops and even a sweater that fits in this category. I love it because it adds interest and on a day that I am rushed I don’t even need to think about jewelry. Like this quick and simple #MadeinUSA outfit for running errands and driving my daughter to dance class. Just throw on jeans and a cardigan and this Eight Sixty top steals the show.”

Trina of Tea Time With Trina.

Trina of Tea Time With Trina says, “This photo is showing how you can easily follow the embellishment trend by simply walking into it. Treat yourself to a funky pair of sandals with some tassels or pompoms and you’re set for the season. These little strappy (gladiator type) sandals make any plain outfit become an instant standout and add a touch of playfulness as well.”

Linda of A Labour of Life.

Linda of A Labour of Life says, “A little embroidery and a little bit of tassel is the perfect embellishment for the summer. Not an extreme, just a little bit of fun to embrace the season. This is a fun Lily Morgan Dress from Giant Tiger and my awesome flex appeal sneakers from Skechers.”

Susan of Une femme d’un certain âge.

Susan of Une femme d’un certain âge joins us once again and writes, “This embroidered velvet jacket adds just a touch of Boho. I can’t wait to wear it again come fall and cooler weather!”

She adds, “I love embellished footwear! I spotted these mules on a sale rack during a recent trip to Vancouver. They’re comfortable, and work with both casual and more dressy looks (but I love them best with jeans).”

[Editor’s Note: Oh do I love these shoes on Susan. They look like modern day Versailles court shoes!]

Great embellished mules on Susan!

Diana of A Mother’s Insight.

Diana of A Mother’s Insight says, “This is a custom shirt jacket that I designed and it was also sewn by me!”

Nicole of High Latitude Style.

Nicole of High Latitude Style says, “This outfit consists mainly of menswear pieces, the bomber jacket, the chinos, the T-shirt. I used the scarf as embellishment. It also goes nicely with the bag and pulls the colors of the T-shirt, pants, and bomber together.”


My glamorous good friend Rosie joins us once again and writes, “A very simple Lafayette black silk tee serves as a backdrop. The Stephen Dweck necklace is green agate and brown amber beads, about 10 years old. Kenneth J. Lane large wood round earrings are a recent purchase. The Coach tan shoulder bag has navy metal studs as an embellishment and is two years old. The Gold Piaget watch is 10 years old.”

[Editor’s Note: I love it when the outfit is simple in order to let the jewelry shine and I love that Rosie mixed dramatic pieces with such an elegant and ladylike watch.]

Rena of Fine, Whatever.

Rena of Fine, Whatever writes, “The embellished detailing of the embroidered edging on this peplum top makes even the most casual outfit look a bit special. And when you find the perfect wall to use as a backdrop, you strike a pose.”

Judith of Style Crone.

Judith of Style Crone writes, “Hats and scarves are always a form of embellishment for me. I discovered this feather headpiece in England fourteen years ago when attending the wedding of friends. I purchased the scarf at a flea market years ago. They join together in harmony, creating movement and lifting my spirits in the process.”

Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40.

Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40 joins us once again, wearing an Eileen Fisher Tunic. She says, “This collage is how I embellished it based on the beading on the shoulder of the tunic. The Michael Kors slides were on sale at Dillards. The beaded necklace was an old one I already owned and had kept for years.”

Love this collage of embellishment details on Pam!

Nora of Jacket Society.

Nora of Jacket Society says, “I am wearing our Black and White Kimono Jackets, which both have floral embroidery on them, along with our Scarlet Cold Shoulder Blouse, which is also embroidered in the front. I styled them with my black shorts, black sandals, and Chanel bag.”


Michele, @chele_clark on Instagram, wears an embellished Shein dress, Kendra Scott jewelry and sandals from Target.

Nancy from Jodie’s Touch of Style.

Jodie of Jodie’s Touch of Style sent in a photo of her stepmom, Nancy, wearing her newest pair of embellished capri pants. Jodie says she, Nancy, and her mother, “just styled capri pants on the blog last month because I know many of us aren’t as comfortable wearing shorts anymore! It seems like many articles talk about how these pants are the worst style for women, but I was hoping to showcase them in a different light.”

[Editor’s Note: I love these capris on Nancy and I like that she is wearing them with high heels!]

On the Manhattan Bridge.

A great tunic from Old Navy!

I love this black tunic I picked up from Old Navy that features bright white embroidery and tassel ties. I have been wearing it routinely since it started to get hot here in NYC and my favorite way to wear it is with white denim. My son and I walked across the Manhattan Bridge a few weeks ago so he took my photo halfway across. You can’t see them well in the photo but I am wearing a pair of gold lion earrings that a stylish flight attendant for TWA brought back from Greece for me as a present for my 18th birthday. I wore them so much at the time, then retired them for over two decades. I recently rediscovered them and have been wearing them again. I even had a jewelry specialist at Christie’s admire them during my last visit there! Since the lady who gave them to me is no longer alive I treasure them all the more.

Lion earring from Greece.

I hope you are having a lovely summer and wearing embellishments on every outfit you can!

We would love to see how you are staying stylish in the heat. Are you romping through town in a printed romper? Stepping sleekly in a cool jumpsuit? Swanning around in a ladylike sundress? Then join us in August for “How I Wear My: Sundress, Romper or Jumpsuit.” Send photos to us at by August 7, 2017 and be sure to include a description of your outfit, which we will use directly in our posts.

Do stop by Adrienne’s to see even more fabulous looks featuring embellishments.

And THANK YOU to all the fine foxes who participated this month!