The Jacket You Need In Your Rotation, According To This Local Designer

I hate to admit it but summer is almost over. I can always tell because, like clockwork, major retailers are clearing out their summer stock and making room for fall. I also saw a Halloween ad recently (gasp) and it isn’t even Labor Day! In any event, this is also the time when there are lots of tips and tricks (no pun intended) about how to transition your wardrobe from summer to fall. 

My “go-to” item is the classic black blazer! (I can hear the gasps now.) Contrary to widely held belief (including my mother’s), the black blazer is not dead. In fact, even the hottest celebs are wearing this basic. Check out the ever-trendy Kim Kardashian wearing hers on IG (on July 16th). The secret is to get this “go-to” item to fit into the occasion and the season. 

For The Office

September can be a tricky month in terms of weather, mornings can be freezing and by the afternoon it can be sweltering. Pairing your blazer with a summer dress, a pencil skirt or white jeans/pants will get you into fall with style. Adding a sandal and keeping your legs bare (if you are wearing a skirt) will keep this look season-appropriate and you won’t be accused of pushing the wintry weather. Whether you work in a corporate office or in a more laid-back setting, this look will pass any dress code.

For The Weekend

Layered over a graphic tee with your favorite pair of jeans and your blazer can go from work-to-weekend seamlessly. Not into the retro look? Layer over a classic white shirt or summer dress and you are ready for shopping with the girls or brunch on Sunday.

Date Night

I love the menswear tuxedo look. Not much to say here other than, keep those killer heels ready.  This will keep the look feminine. Not into that much skin? Drape your blazer over your shoulders with your favorite off-the-shoulder dress or blouse. I promise, you will be happy to have this wardrobe staple as the sun goes down.

For deets about this blazer, go to: Also, if you enjoyed these tips, check out 5 essentials for every professional women’s wardrobe on Robin’s blog.


Credits: Photos by Sean McNulty Photography, @seanmcphotori on IG. Models wearing robin b. designs Sets created on Polyvore.

3 Outstanding Menu Items You're Probably Missing Out On This Summer

Sometimes I drink tea.

Don't get me wrong, (I) cannot live without those 1-2 cups of coffee first thing in the am, but over the last few years, yours truly went from ugh to actually enjoying some chamomile or even the occassional detox brew. For reals. And one of the best places in my book - in terms of tons of menu options and zen cool atmosphere - has gotta be Schastea, Pawtuxet Village.

But wait, because if you're confused, Schastea basically (If Judge Judy were here, she'd be screeching about how basically is a filler word, but whatevs. She needs to take a chill pill.) = The Elephant Room on Broad St. Since expanding to a 2nd location on Broadway in PVD, there's the new name. With all that in mind, here a few menu *secrets* for your next breakfast, lunch or snack break at their original (and my fav) location in The Village:

1. Most Photogenic Tea: Order their Halo (or "Blooming") Tea. It combines a Chinese white, fruity blend, with a ring of flowers that bloom right before your eyes as everything steeps.

*Definitely a drink tailor made for the Boomerang app and social media, but I personally have yet to see a lot of posts attempting to capture. Kind of a shocker.

2. Most Goop-y Tea (In other words, I think GP herself would approve.): It's a tie between their Cleanse (under Ayurveda blends), which is fantastic if you've over-indulged in too many and too much (Highly recommending! I am a fan.), or a pot of their Endurance, which has a whole host of restorative benefits for any body. They also used to have a secret iced tea that wasn't listed anywhere, but ppl in the neighborhood were in the know about. It was a blend of the Endurance and another anti-inflammatory tea that the regulars absolutely adored. Might be worth asking about.

*It also helps if you turn off the ringer on your phone and stop reading texts from ppl asking you to pick up their dog from doggie daycare or pick them up from work downtown during peak rush hour.

3. Closest To Coffee: If you're a newbie to the tea house-ish scene, then ease into it with a Brewed Awakening which combines an intense tea blend mixed back to (You guessed it!) coffee beans. It's got a lot more of kick than any of the others we've chatted about. Since we're on the subject of #coffee tho, I must admit that their French press is also truly outstanding, if and when you find yourself needing to continue to ramp up the java after all. 

*If you want something sweet with your coffee, tea or cocktail (Yassss, they do have tea-infused ones!), consider the crepe in the pic above - a Nutella and banana combo. It's yummy.


Photo Credits: All photos above by Stacey Doyle Photography









The Holistic Beauty Treatment You Haven't Tried Yet But Should

The alluring empresses and concubines in ancient China held many beauty secrets. From beautiful floral waters to herbal masks, to facial massage and steams, skin care was a way of life. We still use many of these time tested techniques today.

One facial massage technique (that you may have never heard of) is on the verge of becoming mainstream. Known as Gua Sha (literally skin scraping), it's gaining huge popularity with celebrity facialists in the green beauty movement and for good reason.

The benefits of facial Gua Sha include relaxing muscle tension, smoothing the connective tissue, reducing wrinkles, and improving lymphatic flow to decrease puffiness. In 2007, a German study found that Gua Sha improves blood circulation to the skin by over 400%! It instantly rejuvenates the skin cells for a healthy glow.

Do you want to know the best part? You can learn to do it yourself! Facial gua sha uses a flat jade tool to apply a gentle, cooling massage. With the proper technique, you can spend 5-10 minutes after cleansing your skin at night, and you'll see some incredible benefits over time. You can check out tutorials online or attend a live workshop at Emerging Energy Acupuncture in Providence this fall! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to be notified when this exclusive class is announced.


Mary Claire Dilks, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, opened Emerging Energy Acupuncture in Providence in 2004 and has been named Best Of RI "Best Inner Healing" by RI Monthly magazine. A licensed and board certified Chinese Herbalist, Dr. Dilks has advanced training in Dermatology from a world renowned expert from the UK and is developing a line of skin care and essential oil products - Pearl Apothecary - using the wisdom of ancient China with modern science.