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Susan Blanco
I'm an investment banker, but mostly just so I can afford the shoes!!
Interests: shopping, fashion, eating, paris
Recent Activity
The secret to jeans and ankle boots is extremely simple. Here it is: show a little skin between the bottom of your jeans and the top of your boot. This allows the naturally narrow part of your leg to show and has a strangely slimming effect on the entire outfit. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Academie de la Mode
Of particular interest around the Academie these days is track pants and joggers. A super fun way to get out of jeans for a while... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at Academie de la Mode
It is finally summer at the Academie and the abundance of sunshine and flowers has persuaded our editor to part with a closely held Academie secret! Today we will direct you to The Source of the most adorable summer swimwear and the best part is that you can purchase all of these pieces for $14-$20 per piece and try them on in the comfort and privacy of your own home! And The Source is??? Target, of course. You can order from and try it all on at home. Order multiple sizes and colors. Mix and match and send back... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2013 at Academie de la Mode
THE shoe on trend for spring? The pointed-toe, single-sole pump. And forget about black! There are so many gorgeous colors it may be hard to choose just one (or two) (or three)! Maybe Manolo was right all along in his insistence that a single sole makes a woman walk more delicately and look more sexy, because this spring everyone has jumped back on his bandwagon. So here are a few of the choices waiting for you right now... Miu Miu $590 Prada $620 Boutique9 $140 Nicholas Kirkwood $895 Prada $620 Kate Spade $298 Saint Laurent $625 MICHAEL Michael Kors $185... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2013 at Academie de la Mode
A few days ago some friends on Facebook were debating the issue of wedge sneakers. A fashion do? Or a fashion don't? The Academie has put some considerable thought into the issue and believes quite firmly that this urban chic and comfy footwear is definitely a "do", but like many style trends it must be approached with some care. These shoes are supposed to look a little "street" and a little bulky so it is important to pair them with a skinny and clean leg. This can be a legging, a very skinny jean or a bare leg (in short... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2013 at Academie de la Mode
Finally spring is coming! The days are getting sunnier and longer and the grass is growing and the flowers are blooming. But along with spring comes an inevitable "spring thing". Maybe it is an Easter party or a First Communion or a bridal shower or a daytime of those events that is really not easy to find the right outfit for. You have to dress up, but in an appropriately dressy daytime dress. You can't wear cocktail attire or work attire. You can't be sexy or show much skin but you don't want to be too boring or too... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at Academie de la Mode
General Douglas MacArthur looking cool in his Ray Bans Ray Ban created the first aviator sunglasses in 1936 to protect pilots' eyes from bright sun rays and started selling them to the public the following year. When General Douglas MacArthur was photographed wearing them in WWII , they began an ascent to popularity that has never slowed down and 77 years after their creation aviators are cooler than ever. The Academie loves aviators because they are utterly timeless. There are not many accessories that you can look at from the 70s, the 80s or the 90s that look as good... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2013 at Academie de la Mode
At the Academie we have long puzzled over the best way to keep our jeans organized. We have tried folding them in the closet, folding them on shelves, folding them in drawers, hanging them in the closet... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2013 at Academie de la Mode
The Oscar de la Renta Collection for the Outnet. Our favorite American designer creating a classic collection for our favorite online retailer??? Could this dream ever come true? Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2013 at Academie de la Mode
The Academie de La Mode has saved its best piece of fashion advice for last this year: find yourself a great tailor! The Academie relies heavily on our favorite tailor, Nancy. If you don't have a favorite tailor you should put some time into finding a good one immediately. It makes no sense to invest in beautiful clothes that don't fit you perfectly. And there is absolutely no reason that an off-the-rack garment would ever fit you perfectly, which is where the tailor comes in. Think about it: how many women of all shapes and sizes all purchase the same... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
We all have a closet full of Little Black Dresses and it is hard to go wrong with these fashion basics. Everyone needs at least one fall-back dress that can go to any last minute party or cocktail event-- dress it up with a great necklace or dress it down with a pair of boots. But maybe it's time to think about adding a Little Blue Dress to your closet too. Like this gorgeous navy Erdem dress (worn here with ankle boots): Erdem dress with ankle boots Erdem dress Or a brighter royal blue, like this Stella McCartney: Stella McCartney... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
Loft $35 Another idea from the Academie to update your festive holiday look this year. Once you have found the perfect dress and booties (see our idea on wearing booties with your cocktail dress this year instead of pumps), don't reach for a necklace. Instead try a stunning pair of chandelier earrings. You can find gorgeous earrings at all different price points and since these are not exactly lifetime investments, don't be afraid to buy an inexpensive pair (as long as you aren't sensitive to cheap metals). Looks and comfort are the key here and often an inexpensive pair made... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
Let's admit it: we all have days when we just KILL it from a fashion perspective. Everything is right from head to toe-- all the accessories and jewelry are in place with the right belt and the right coat and the right shoes and an outfit is just fashion magic. Strangers compliment us on the street. Coworkers admire our outfits in the elevator. It just happens. Perfect! Burberry Prorsum Perfect! Marni Perfect! Lanvin Perfect! Louboutins And then there are those other days when you are late for work and you just grab what ever is clean and not missing a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
Susan Blanco is now following Kevin Hsu
Dec 9, 2012
In case you hadn't noticed, winter is here and along with winter comes rain and snow and wet, cold feet. The Academie today wants to show you a few stylish ways to keep your feet warm and dry. Because you don't want to sacrifice your entire outfit just to keep your feet cozy. Some of these choices are weatherproof and some are waterproof. The primary difference is that a waterproof boot is completely impervious to water and you can jump around in puddles like a crazed toddler and your feet will stay dry, whereas a weatherproof boot will keep your... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
The Academie has become completely obsessed with fashion newcomer Mary Katrantzou! Mary Katrantzou Born in Athens, she studied at Central Saint Martins and was awarded the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent last year as well as Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards this year. Katrantzou's digital prints have taken the fashion world by storm and the Academie can't get enough! Mary Katrantzou dress Mary Katrantzou skirt Bleeding-edge stockists like Colette and Net-a-Porter have been carrying Katrantzou for a couple of years and you can now find her pieces at more mainstream stores including Neiman Marcus.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
Chanel Les Exclusifs The Academie loves Chanel fragrances, particularly the classic No.5 and the revamped No.5 Eau Premiere as well as the new No.19 with its lovely green freshness. Even more so, the Academie adores Les Exclusifs, the line created to represent the life and history of Coco Chanel. Chanel has intentionally avoided all marketing for this line and it is available excusively at the Chanel boutiques and one or two large department stores worldwide. Some of these fragrances are recreations of Jacques Polges' work from the 1920s -- the Academie's favorites fall into this category including the rich leathery... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
No, the Academie is not suggesting that you have one too many Moscow Mules at the office holiday party this year. Instead we think that when you get dressed tomorrow morning you should think about adding a scarf to your outfit in that incredibly chic Parisian way. Both of the photos below are from the little deck of cards that accompany the purchase of an Hermès scarf and illustrate multiples of different ways to wear your scarf; these are a couple of the Academie's favorites. Hermès scarf A simple scarf can take an outfit from mundane to effortlessly chic and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
A quick update from the Academie today--and it might seem like an obvious one-- but here it is: wear your clothes! Don't save your good stuff. Wear it now. We all have a tendency to save our special things for special occasions but it is time to rethink that strategy. Wear your special things now. This isn't the 1800s and we aren't talking about saving a pair of kidskin gloves for the ball. Wear your things now while they fit and while they still feel special because in 5 or 6 years they will just feel old. Break out your... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
Happy December! The holidays are here and that means parties, parties, parties. As you think about what to wear to the endless series of events, the Academie is here to advise you on a quick and easy update for your holiday party dressing. Our number one holiday update for this year is to swap out your traditional pumps for a pair of booties. You will find that you have instantly changed your look and given new life to an old frock! Cocktail dresses seem much more current with a bootie instead of a pump. Pumps are feeling a bit frumpy... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
Today the Academie is launching a new type of post: The Fashion Snapshot! These posts are just quick little snapshots of inspiration that we love...not quite a full post but something to tide you over when we are so busy that a full post is not forthcoming. Our first Fashion Snapshot is inspired by a lovely girl spotted in the box seats at the San Francisco Opera's presentation of Tosca last night. She was wearing an ivory dress with black tights and it was a perfect way to make an off-white dress seem just right on a rainy winter night... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
In our last post the Academie gave proper instructions on getting to the famous and fabulous flea market in Paris (see our post on Shopping the Paris Flea Market- the Academie Way). Now we are going to reveal to you the secrets of what to look for once you get there! Before you run out of energy and Euros, make a beeline for the Marché Vernaison and head straight for Allée 1, Stand 25 where you will find the enchanting Au Grenier de Lucie. Heidi Ellis and her mother were running the stall the day I popped in. Again, this... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
If you find yourself in dire need of incredible vintage French costume jewelry (at the Academie this happens to us constantly), or a perfectly distressed recamier or a set of antique 18K gold fish forks there is really only one solution: get yourself to Paris and head immediately to the Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt -- the largest and most famous flea market in Paris. To call Clignancourt a flea market is a bit like calling Paris "a little town". The market itself spans 2500-3000 open stalls and shops and you can find anything from a toothbrush to a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
Everyone at the Academie loves, loves, loves our iPads. We use them for games and for movies and for magazines and for Houzz. Our iPads even make it possible to obtain French Vogue and Tattler and House Beautiful UK and Elle Italia, instantly! What we are not loving, however, are the geeky iPad covers from the Apple store. But just because you buy your organic blueberries at Whole Foods does not mean that you would buy a handbag there! There are so many chic iPad covers that not only protect your iPad but accessorize it at the same time. Now... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2012 at Academie de la Mode
The Most Versatile Player in any wardrobe? The jacket! It is the piece that can instantly elevate a t-shirt and jeans to a chic ensemble, or make a dinner-worthy outfit out of a mini-skirt and tank. Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2012 at Academie de la Mode