Today's Shopping List: It Starts with a Parka from Elizabeth & James, and Ends with a Quote on Sailing

Today's Shopping List goes all over the place as far as fashion categories are concerned. From a Michael Kors mary-jane pump, to a Marc by Marc Jacobs electric blue hobo, it's all here and narrowed down to five favorites, served up for you Monday, fashion-viewing pleasure.

1.

Let the shopping begin with an olive-green, military-esque parka from Elizabeth & James that I can't get enough of...

2.

Love this, love a pump-turned-mary-jane that will actually stay on your foot for the entire day and not slide off unexpectedly mid-power walk (ah yes, the power walk, good for making an entrance and the main reason I have a standing delivery at my local cobbler to replace heel caps).

3.

This little hobo from Marc by Marc Jacobs will do all the talking for you. Pair it back with some basics, black or neutral, to allow the bag to not get lost in the mix. Less is more...

4.

This is a dress to get out of the cold in. Love the color, love the hi/lo-ness of it all, and how could you walk away from a good ruffle moment right?

5.

The leather envelope bag is a welcome nod to a more vintage silhouette, and yet, the addition of a little fur embellishment on the strap brings it up to modern speed quickly. I love the bag, but more so, I love the idea of taking a classic and making it new/different with one little addition. It's definitely a possibly fashion DIY scenario, or you could just go the easier route and get your hands Lim's 'Lynus.'

source: 1. Textile Elizabeth And James Kelsey Parka (www.piperlime.gap.com), 2. KORS Michael Kors Galli Suede Mary Jane Pump (www.neimanmarcus.com), 3. Marc By Marc Jacobs Preppy Nylon & Leather Hobo Bag (www.saksfifthavenue.com), 4. Jay Godfrey Exclusive Strapless Ruffle Hi/Lo Dress (www.intermixonline.com), 5. 3.1 Phillip Lim Lynus Leather Envelope Bag (www.blueandcream.com

There's always more coming in, every day, every minute...The shopping is never-ending, and thank god for that. But the new arrivals can inundate and overwhelm, so, I simplify and start with just a few picks to get the ball rolling. See and shop the other hand-picked fashion favorites that can always be found in the StyleShaker virtual closet updated every week:

Time for a quote of course, it is detox-Monday after all, post-turkey feast, or as the retailers call it, Cyber Monday (which to this day, does nothing for me, but I'm warped having spent the last ten years in e-commerce and fashion; very few major promotions catch my eye, especially when they're made up out of thin air).

When you're moving in the 'right' direction in your life, people say it just feels that way, you feel a 'flow,' and in your gut, if you're in tune with your instincts, you know that putting your left foot in front of your right, facing in that particular direction, is exactly where you need to be.

I can't say that my own personal experience with finding said 'flow' feels the same. I know I have taken steps, risky steps, that were right for me, and yes, 50% of me knows that where I'm at this very moment is where I need to be, but I can safely say that the remaining 50% of me has no clue what I'm doing. I've recently concluded that, personally, this is a healthy response, a sign that I've let go (translation: released my ninja-vice grip, juuuust a little) of trying to determine a black & white answer for those bigger, far more 'grey' questions I'm still learning how to ask.

The seas are choppy now, but it's those white-caps that keep me from lulling off into a haze, they keep me present, and blatantly aware of the fact that I have no control over which way the tides will flow. It's annoying and yet, ridiculously liberating.

You don't go through being a child of the eighties and look back at pictures without cringing, it's inevitable. But without those moments, forever captured on polaroid film, I would have never learned that spandex is a completely unacceptable option in any ensemble (amongst other, far more cerebral things, riiiight). We don't learn unless we hit the rough waters and navigate through, not around, them (style examples being: crimping, hammer pants, those little t-shirt thing-ys that gathered your shirts on one corner at the waist, slap bracelets, puffy paint tees, the side-pony with scrunchie, and the list goes on...).

So, come on in, the water is fine, a bit choppy, but in the end, there may be more in it for you than riding along smooth seas.

See more when it comes to what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.

The Shopping List | From a Burberry Bag to Go Ga-Ga to a New Name in Jewelry OOAKjewelz (you will love), It's All Here

I basically couldn't contain myself with this round of the top 10 picks that made today's shopping list. I already sent a couple of sneak peeks out to some loyal fashion friends because I couldn't keep it to myself. I share what I love and nothing really manages to get in the way, even my posting schedule...

Sneaky shopping shares aside, here's the final shopping list, lined up for your viewing (and shopping) pleasure. It all starts with a new find in the land of handbags from Costella, runs through a few other hand-picked favorites from Linda Farrow to Topshop, and Alexander Wang to Burberry (I admit, I got a little designer heavy, but maintained a bit of balance with the addition of some amazing new names added into the mix, thank you very much). Let's begin at number 1, naturally...

1.

Bags are a toughie for me. I spent a couple of years working (slaving would be the more melodramatic term) away in the designer handbags office at Neiman Marcus, so I know quality, but my sense of what's acceptable on price point is completely warped. The bottom line for me is, a bag, a great bag (and you shouldn't be buying any other kind) is most definitely worth the investment. Am I throwing down $1500 for some of the labels out there? Not at the moment, that's what sample sales and designer dashes are for. But will I spend up to $500 for the right bag ('right' equates to original design, i.e. no label screaming for me, doesn't mean a thing if the bag looks like nothing special, AND, quality that will have me wearing it for years)? Yes. That said, it's always nice to find something for less...

Speaking of, check out a bag from a newer name (to me) with a great look. The details are not overdone, but they give the bag some personality taking it from an 'everyday basic,' and adding a little oomph which I'm always a fan of:

2.

Next up on the shopping list, another 'newbie' designer name (again, new to me) I found on Etsy and fell in love with. I'm a massive fan of taking basics, i.e. your favorite crewneck tee and skinny jeans, and throwing in a statement piece like the below vintage necklace, to make things a bit more interesting. It's amazing how one great piece of jewelry can transform an entire look.

3.

This pencil skirt, a classic piece everyone should have in their wardrobe (hop to it if you're missing it; don't just think workday chic, pair this with a tank and you have something for evening to mix and match outside of your L.B.D), is taken to another level by Boy. By Band of Outsiders. There's rubber in this striped skirt, yep, rubber. It's all in the details, and I'm fascinated. The color combinations here are perfection and actually work well back to a few options that you probably have hanging in your closet. You'd be surprised...

4.

5.

6.

I wear my printed blouses to death, SO, I usually tend to go towards a blend when it comes to fabric. Silk is just not my friend, and I'm over the whole dry cleaning situation (when I can avoid it), so, I am all about the poly-blend print below from W118 By Walter. Reds are a favorite of mine, so that doesn't hurt either. Wear this over denim, a pencil skirt, tucked into a skinny pant, or wide-leg trouser for that matter. Seriously, you wouldn't necessarily expect such a bold print to offer up so many styling options, but it really fits into almost any style situation you can throw at it.

7.

8.

I'll tell you what I want to do with this cardigan. Throw it on over a basic white tank paired back to some slouchy boyfriend jeans (rolled up),  and hit the beach early in the morning when there's a chill in the air. That's it, just walk and be in this cozy cardi, wrapped up and taking in the scenery. There's a story (real or fictional) behind every piece, just one more reason to love fashion.

9.

10.

Ok, fine, I can't even take it. I'm dying over this bag. The straw, the leather details, the trifecta of colors that only Burberry can pull off like this, I'm literally swooning, can you tell? This, is a bag. Awhile back, when I was in the buying offices, it's what we called the 'It Bag,' a term which was worn out by the end of 2006, and yet can still be found in several editorial publications (and now here, whoopsie). The only missing link would be that this bag doesn't have a name, or at least, I can't find it and I'm not into digging for the name, it's about the bag. That said, most 'It-Bags,' have a name, they become personified (not creepy at all) such as, 'Paddington,' or, 'Muse,' or even better, 'Coco Cabas.' Yep, I'm bringing it back...

So, I shall fix this style quandary, I'm sure Christopher Bailey will appreciate the resourcefulness. I'll call it the 'Brittany,' tote, which is another way of saying it's mine. And yes, my capacity for subtlety is surpassed only by my brilliant talent with the written word, WHICH, could only surpassed by my unwavering sense of humility, naturally.

Mine all mine.

source: 1. Costella Daniella Onyx Leather Bag (www.boticca.com), 2. OOAKjewelz Vintage Rhinestone Statement Necklace (www.etsy.com), 3. Boy. By Band Of Outsiders Striped 4. Cotton & Rubber Blend Pencil Skirt (www.net-a-porter.com), 5. Linda Farrow Luxe D-Frame Sunglasses (www.net-a-porter.com), 6. Alexander Wang Kamila Bootie (www.alexanderwang.com), 7. W118 By Walter Baker Marisa Chiffon Blouse (www.theutnet.com), 8. Forever 21 Platform Leopard Booties (www.forever21.com), 9. Brochu Walker Toggle Cashmere Cardigan (www.farfetch.com), Diamond Cut Swing Earrings (www.us.topshop.com), 10. Burberry Prorsum Three-Tone Strap Tote (www.farfetch.com

And there you have it. Another top 10 feast of fashion for the eyes. But it never ends with ten, actually, it doesn't begin with ten either. The editing that goes on is endless, and for those favorites that don't make it onto the hit list, like today's, there's always the StyleShaker Closet shelves where they receive their rightful shopping cameo (while still in stock of course):

Here's a moment to take for yourself, or just to indulge me and my love of sharing quotes that resonate  (in hopes that they hit home with you as well). Today it's coming from Bill Cosby:

There's always something to be afraid of, and nine times out of ten, it doesn't exist, it's literally all created in your mind. So in a sense, (deep thoughts for a fashion post, I know) you could very well be afraid of something that's not even there to be afraid of. Actually, that's exactly where  most of my fears reside. They're usually based on nothing real, which is pretty hilarious when you think about it.

I held on to a life that brought me routine, consistently, for days on end. Some people call this 'security.' I did this because I was afraid of leaving, afraid of the unknown, afraid of no longer being associated with a name in the industry that held plenty of well-deserved weight. I stayed because I was afraid of leaving. I saw what could happen that would be a potential 'negative' outcome (totally unsubstantiated of course), as opposed to realizing the good things that could (and have) come from such a change.

So, I jumped, I went for what I want. Actually, I'm currently in the midst of going for what I want, and yes, it's scary but only when I look at the 'what if's,' and guess what, those, aren't real. What's real is this, writing this to you, right now, and loving the hell out of it.

I guess I wanted this more than I feared walking away from what I 'should' be. Know what I'm saying?

I quit my 'job,' to pursue a dream, and guess what, I didn't die, life didn't end, and I'm not spending my days curled up in the fetal position muttering, "what have I done," in-between tear-filled sob-lets (the little sniffley ones that make one completely unable to form a complete sentence; #flashbacktobeingfiveyearsold).

I've actually never felt more alive. I wish the same feeling, oh and the Burberry Prorsum bag (of course), for all of you.

See more when it comes to what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop for it.