Susan Swimmer, Fashion Features Director at More magazine, is one of those names that keeps popping up on our radar. Her valued opinion has been consulted by numerous companies such as American Express, L’Oreal Paris, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and Ann Taylor. She’s also been known to interview big wigs from just about every industry… Hillary Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Carolina Herrera, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gwen Stefani to name a few. In addition to appearing regularly on The Today Show, Swimmer has been seen on Oprah, Good Morning America, and E! We always love Susan’s picks and were thrilled to have her participate in our Style Icon series.

When I was a little girl I spent summer weekends at the beach in Margate, New Jersey, where I built drip castles at the edge of the surf, feasted on red licorice laces and spent evenings on the boardwalk dressed in frocks with coordinating cardigans. Forty years later and not much has changed—I still spend weekends at the Jersey shore, albeit now a bit further north of Margate, in a town called Spring Lake, New Jersey, and I look forward to it as much as I ever did.  I love to swim in the ocean with my kids, sip cocktails on my front porch with friends and, yes, eat red laces by the bagful. My Taigan.com picks include everything you need for your beach weekend—from the perfect tunic and the ideal tote to glamorous bangles and a tropical-hued towel. Enjoy!

El Fleco Crossbody Fringe Bag Silver Leather

This fringe beauty had me at “hello.” I think metallic accessories are neutral wear-with-alls, but never more so than in the summer, when it glints in the sun just so. I love the boho vibe of this bag—it’s a casual departure from all of your structured work bags—and it’s plenty roomy. I’d love it with all-black, I’d love it with all of the summer white shades in your wardrobe, I’d love it with anything denim. Who am I kidding? I’d love it with pajamas. Yes, it’s that good.

The Bella Necklace Sky

I am a lover of accessories, especially jewelry, but somehow in the summer time I try to simplify. This necklace provides all the impact an ensemble needs (Color! Size!), giving a style oomph to everything from jeans and a t-shirt to a strapless dress.

Bicycle Basket

White Black Confetti Clutch With Strap

My mother loved clutch bags, and I have fond memories of pawing through her stash as she readied herself for a Saturday night out. I started using them myself many years ago, and now I use them almost daily. My advice? Size down this summer! This black and white number will hold all you need (lip gloss, phone, mints), and the minimal color scheme is clash-proof.

Raja Cotton Tunic Provence on Black

Tan Towel Half Body Plus Towelettes—10 Pack

I do love the look of a suntan, but I can assure you the real rays never penetrate my skin. Oh yes, I am maniacal about using sunblock all summer long (even though I spend many hours swimming and surfing in the ocean) and I compensate by using self tanner as diligently as I slather on the SPF. Hard to apply, you say? Try these and thank me later.

Horn And Rosecut Diamond Bangles

Basic Bath Terry Lined

A chic towel is one of summer’s loveliest luxuries. Really, is there anything better than a soft, warm wrap after a dip in the ocean? Nope. I’d love to always have a stack of these at the ready for the parade of friends who frequent our beach house.

 

 

Blazer Man Tailored Stripes With Gold or Pumpkin

I love a blazer—it makes me feel instantly pulled together and it provides a bit of warmth in the unavoidable chill of air conditioner—but it’s hard to find versions that aren’t so “work-y.” I saw this and fell hard. Hello, striped lover! The color palette works well with neutrals, looks lovely against sun-kissed skin and will transport the wearer (you, me) to some far-flung exotic bazar. Perfect.

Candle Diptyque “Amber”

Emerald Green Tassel Earrings

A funny thing happens once the humidity index rises: My hair turns into a frazzled mess. Therefore between June and September chances are excellent that my locks are haphazardly piled on top of my head in some sort of bun/knot creation that varies according to the amount of time I devote to it and whether or not I experimented with products. My point, and I do have one, is that it makes for the ideal backdrop for statement earrings, and wearing them is the one real seasonal accessory change I make. I plan to wear these danglers and become the (green) goddess I am destined to be.

Gray Feldspar Tassel Necklace

Fuchsia Robe

A good robe is hard to find, but oh how useful it is. Warmer months beg for bright, tropical hues and this is ideal. Mornings with a mug of coffee will look (and feel) so much better when you’re wrapped up in something so chic, and for weekends at the beach when overnight visitors are almost always in attendance, I will be suitably attired long before I am actually suitably attired.

Ladies Wool Loafer 11 1

Julia Reed Book

I actually know Julia Reed—she has written for me at More Magazine, where I am the Fashion Features Director—and I adore her. She is whip smart and hilarious. She also has a potty mouth, as do I, which I really appreciate. This book is a great read, and would also make a great hostess gift: nestle it in a basket with all the fixings for sangria and everyone wins.

Herbal Jam Gift Pack

Diamancel Genuine Diamond Foot Buffer #11

It’s sandal season, so heed the call to baby your feet. This handy buffer will make sure your tootsies stay in tip toe shape all summer long.

The Standard: Woven Leather Tote In Black

I’m the mother of two, and even though my girls aren’t babies any longer, somehow I’m still, inevitably, carrying their stuff. Hence this tote, which is the perfect car bag for weekends away. And it’s black, a color I love always, because no matter what you can’t take the New York City out of the girl.

Susan Swimmer lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters. Follow her on Instagram, @SusanSwimmer

Mother’s Day giveaway!! Win this awesome Blessings in Disguise necklace set worn by our founder, Mary Catherine McClellan, in Southern Living last year (valued at $495)! It’s as simple as this:
-tag 3 friends on our Instagram photo (@Taigan_online)
-include your email address in your comment
 
The more people you tag, the more times you will be entered into the hat to win. Ready, set, GO!
*This contest is not sponsored by Instagram*
**By participating, you agree to the terms and conditions listed below**
——–
Terms and Conditions:
1. ELIGIBILITY: US Citizens 18 and older, except where prohibited by law, are eligible to win a Blessings in Disguise necklace set. Winners will be announced on May 5, 2015. All employees of Taigan.com are ineligible to enter or win the Sweepstakes. All applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law. Entry in the Sweepstakes constitutes your full and unconditional acceptance of these “Official Rules”.
2. SWEEPSTAKES PERIOD: The Sweepstakes entry period begins on May 4, 2015 and ends at 11:59 p.m. CDT on May 4, 2015. Winner will be selected from entries properly submitted during the Sweepstakes Period randomly.
3. SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS: You may enter the Sweepstakes by tagging three friends on Instagram and including your email address during the Sweepstakes Period. By entering this Sweepstakes, you agree to receive emails from Taigan.com, which can be unsubscribed to at any time with an unsubscribe link embedded in all emails.
4. MEDIA: As a condition of entry into the Sweepstakes, except where prohibited by law, the winner agrees to have their name published online, or in any media entity, announcing their name as the winner of this Sweepstakes.
5. PRIZE: two Blessings in Disguise necklaces
6. WINNER: The winner will be notified via e-mail to the e-mail address provided in the contest entry.
7. GENERAL RULES: By entering or participating in the Sweepstakes, participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules, and by the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects. Sweepstakes Entities are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information or technical failures of any kind, (2) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; or (3) any other computer, network, technical, human or other error, problem or malfunction that may occur in connection with the administration of the Sweepstakes, the processing of entries, or the selection or notification of winners. Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify the entry of any individual found to be (a) tampering or attempting to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or any website operated by the Sweepstakes Entities; (b) using any robotic, macro, automatic, programmed or like entry methods, which will void all such entries; (c) violating these Official Rules or the terms of service, conditions of use, and/or general rules of any Sponsor property or service; or (d) acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person. Sweepstakes Entities are not responsible for claims, injuries, losses or damages of any kind resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the awarding, delivery, acceptance, use, misuse, possession, loss or misdirection of the prize; participation in this Sweepstakes or in any activity or travel related thereto or from any interaction with, or downloading of, computer Sweepstakes information.
8. PARTICIPANT OBLIGATIONS: By entering, each entrant agrees to defend, indemnify, release and hold harmless Sweepstakes Entities from and against any and all losses, demands, damages, rights, claims, actions and liabilities of any kind arising out of or related to entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or entrant’s participation in any prize-related activities (including, without limitation, any property loss, damage, personal injury or death caused to any person(s)). The Winner assumes all liability for any injury, death, or damage caused, or allegedly caused, by participating in this Sweepstakes or use or redemption of the prize. Any disputes that may arise hereunder shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the State of New York without regard to the conflicts of laws principles of any jurisdiction.
9. PERSONAL INFORMATION: The personal information collected through this Sweepstakes is subject to Taigan.com’s privacy policy.

JULEP ALTERNATIVE

Food & Drink April 27th, 2015 — by:

Not feeling a julep for the Derby this year? Not to worry. We’ve got your covered with this easy– but still festive– alternative from Sallie’s Greatest using her delicious Peach + Mint Simple Syrup.

1 oz. gin

¾ oz. lemon juice

½ oz. Peach + Mint syrup

4 oz. Prosecco

Shake all of the ingredients except the Prosecco in a shaker with ice. Strain into a flute, then top with Prosecco. Keep the party festive by serving it in a julep cup and garnish with a peach slice and mint leaf.

Mother’s Day Gifts: Part 2

Shops April 27th, 2015 — by:

Mom’s big day is quickly approaching. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up a few things we would be just thrilled to give or receive!

Flowers are great and all, but the problem is that they die. Show mom that your love for her has no expiration with one of Vieuxtemps‘ lovely porcelain creations.

If your mom has a cheeky side then she’ll love these Tie One On cocktail napkins.

The Goldbug Collection by MINI has the perfect solution for the woman who has everything… a necklace full of cockroaches! This super chic piece will quickly become her go-to necklace.

For the new mom this 1945 classic, “Look Who’s a Mother!” could not be anymore fitting. This first edition is full of stories of sleepless nights and endless messes… sounds about right!

She may wear many hats, but rest assure that she will only want one bag after taking The Izzy out for a spin. This versatile bag comes in several colors and can be worn as a crossbody, handheld or shoulder tote.

For the philanthropist we recommend this gilded steel cuff made with the help of Haitian artisans.

 

We’re thrilled to introduce Shosh New York on Taigan!

Shosh designer, Carol Pratt would describe her aesthetic as being on the masculine side of feminine, an unboyish tomboy. She is drawn to lush fabrics with structural properties that hug the body like a mitten as opposed to a glove. Pratt has found success in designing clothing that she would want to wear… clothing that allows a woman to feel powerful, loved, to participate in community and to show up fully in her best second skin.

Why we chose Shosh:

We were instantly drawn to the lush fabrics with structural properties that hug the body in a more relaxed fashion. Each and every item in the collection allows the wearer to look and feel her very best. Shosh also helps to reform the way clothing is made by participating in the slow fashion movement. Most of the fabrics are up-cycled, reducing waste by using existing surplus luxury fabric; all of the linens are sourced from responsible growers whose processes meet the standards of ecological sustainability. Finally, each garment is born from a small team of dedicated sewers who live and work in New York City.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Shops April 20th, 2015 — by:

As April begins to wind down it’s time to start thinking about showering Mom with gifts and love. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started!

Nothing says I really thought about this gift quite like something personalized. Grace Hayes’ applique monogrammed hand towel would look beautiful in a powder room. The color and style of the monogram are elegant and feminine… just like mom, right?

Mattioli’s Rugiada Chalcedony Rings come in lovely pastel colors. Go really big this year and give her one for each child.

The Pretty in Pink bouquet will be beautiful all year long. Your mother will always think of you when she sees this lovely gem.

For the mom with a sweet tooth we love ice cream sandwiches. The Meyer Lemon and Cardamom flavor from Nye’s Cream Sandwiches is sure to hit the spot.

Few things say “I love you” like cashmere. Mere Basics’ 3/4 sleeve top is a great year ’round option that is available in all the classic hues.

If you cant afford to give mom a trip to the spa then we recommend bringing the spa to her. Chantecaille’s Rosewater is composed of the purest organic extract of the entire Rose de Mai.