Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Style Inspiration: Downton Abbey

I fell in love with the show Downton Abbey during Hurricane Sandy . It made my few days trapped in the house fly by. The costumes are unbelievable! I want to watch the episodes again just to take pictures of all my favorite outfits. 

The show’s fashion has received so much attention that its fashion designer, Susannah Buxton, was nominated for an Emmy Award this year. Anna Wintour has given the show her seal of approval; and even Pippa Middleton is a fan, visiting the set with her parents last season for a guided tour. “I explained to her that the costume tries to reflect personality and class of each character, and she was really interested,” Buxton says.

xoxo Betsy

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Batten Down the Hatches

This week is shaping up to be a messy one--so when you're stuck inside with no where to go since the whole city is practically shut down, whip up some comfort food while the rain falls and the wind blows.

Here are some of my favorites for those days when staying in is your only option:

Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pickled Onions

I use rye bread here, but really any bread will do. Just make sure it is sturdy enough to hold up to the ingredients.

  • 2 slices of rye bread
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter
  • 3-4 slices of turkey
  • 2-3 slices Monterey jack cheese
  • 2-3 pieces of arugula (optional)
  • A handful of sweet pickled onions or another sweet pickle

1. Heat a frying pan, preferably a cast iron one, over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. While the pan is heating, assemble the sandwich, starting with a layer of bread, then cheese, then turkey, arugula, pickles, and another slice of bread. Butter the side closest to the cheese and place the sandwich butter-side down on to the hot pan to cook.
2.Once the bottom of the sandwich is browned, about 2-3 minutes, butter the top of the sandwich and carefully flip the sandwich over in the pan. Toast for another minute, then turn the heat to its lowest setting and cover the pan. Watch the cheese, and when it melts you're done. Eat immediately.

Baked Ziti

If you don't have Italian seasoning, use 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.

  • 1 pound ziti (can sub penne) pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage or ground beef or pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary (or basil), minced
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large jar of marinara sauce (about 32 ounces) or make your own tomato sauce
  • 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 heaping cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a strong boil. Add about a tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water. Add the pasta and boil, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente—edible but still a little firm. Drain the pasta through a colander. Toss with a little olive oil so the pasta does not stick together while you make the sauce.
2. Pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a large sauté pan on medium-high to heat. When the oil is hot, add the bulk sausage or ground meat. Do not crowd the pan (work in batches if needed). Break up any large chunks of sausage as it cooks. Brown well. Don't stir that often or it will be more difficult for the meat to brown. If you are using ground beef or pork instead of sausage, add a little salt.
3. When the meat is mostly browned, add the onions and stir well to combine. Sauté everything until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary or basil, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cook 1 minute, then add the tomato sauce and stir well. Bring to a simmer.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole pan, then dot the surface with half the ricotta cheese. Ladle in some sauce with the pasta, mix it well and add the pasta into the casserole.
5. Pour the rest of the sauce over the pasta, dot the remaining ricotta cheese over the pasta, and sprinkle on top both the mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven until the top is nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

Serves at least 8 

And nothing says comfort more than these babies:

Baked Apples

  • 4 large good baking apples, such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash apples. Remove cores to 1/2 inch of the bottom of the apples. It helps if you have an apple corer, but if not, you can use a paring knife to cut out first the stem area, and then the core. Use a spoon to dig out the seeds. Make the holes about 3/4-inch to an inch wide.
2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, currants/raisins, and pecans. Place apples in a 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Stuff each apple with this mixture. Top with a dot of butter (1/4 of the Tbps).
3. Add boiling water to the baking pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until tender, but not mushy. Remove from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on the side.

 Makes 4 servings.




Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dressing for Hurricane Sandy!

Prairie Underground Long Rain Cloak

Dolce Vita Lujan Leather Riding Boot

As Hurricane Sandy approaches Philadelphia, be sure to pick up a few last minute items from Arcadia to complete your rainy day wardrobe! This Prairie Underground rain cloak and these black Dolce Vita riding boots will look awesome paired with a fun umbrella and a pair of your favorite skinny jeans. You can find both of these items at our Rittenhouse and our Northern Liberties store locations!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend - try to stay dry!

xo Alex

New In Seven Blooms!

Gwen Stefani Style

Gwen Stefani dressed down in a leather jacket and chucks. Sitting next to her best accessory her husband Gavin Rossdale!

I wore my ruffled Lamb blazer today and it had me thinking about how much I love Gwen Stefani's style. Her signatures always stay the same platnum blonde locks, and bold red lips. How does she always look so effortlessly cool?  She is one hot mamma and she just turned 43 October 3rd! Happy Birthday Gwen :)

xoxo Betsy

Friday, October 26, 2012

Meet The Designer: Dress Reform

We are lucky enough to now carry Brooklyn based designer Krystal Hoffackers line Dress Reform at both our Northern Liberties and Rittenhouse locations. Krystals collections are produced entirely In NYC and she is committed to using all Eco friendly fabrics. Krystals inspired designs have that perfect balance of comfort and unique style that we all want in our closet. Since Dress Reform is new to Arcadia and new to Philadelphia in general we decided to ask Krystal a few questions to learn more about her and her wonderful brand. 

Arcadia:  What made you decide to become a designer? 
Krystal: I will never forget sitting with my grandmother, at her industrial singer machine in the basement of her home.  She was very precise and particular and would never finish a project unless it was perfect. I was amazed by her passion and exacting hand, and practiced with her on various projects.  We never got too much into pattern making, so I went to design school and learned the skills I needed to become a designer. As I dived into creating my own brand, I learned much much more :)

Arcadia: Where do you draw most of your inspiration from when designing?
Krystal: My inspiration comes from various places,but mostly from particular personalities. Clothing and psychology are very much connected, and I believe that what you choose to wear can reflect your mood and so forth. I'm motivated by strong,creative,free spirits, but so far, when designing Dress Reform, a lot of my inspiration comes from a particular friend/muse, who loves to dress up and down, sometimes simultaneously.  I design with that in mind.  Each garment can go either way, and i strive to create timeless clothing with a touch of the androgynous, that embodies functionality, comfort, and a subtle sexiness.

Arcadia: What drew you to Eco conscious design when creating your lines?
Krystal:  Going back to my very first collection, I remember sourcing through many different fabrics, and only being drawn to the natural fibers.  I liked the neutral color palette, mostly, and their durability.  It was then an innate process after that, where I decided to only source natural and most often organic fabrics to develop my line.  Not only are natural fabrics, better for the environment because they are 100% biodegradable, so they don't deplete the earth of its natural resources, they are far more comfortable to wear than synthetics and wear in nicely with each wash. 

Arcadia: What makes Dress Reform unique and what can we expect from the line in the future?
Krystal: I will sometimes incorporate an original print into each collection, or collaborate with other artists to come up with something cool, to add texture and depth to an otherwise solid color.  For spring/summer 2013, which isn't out yet, but will be ready to show in November, we were inspired by the rust on garage doors and have an exciting all over print on bamboo/cotton jersey If anyone is interested in receiving a look book, please email:

                                                                  Mocknet Jumpsuit

                                                                Drop Shoulder Shirtdress

Come into the store to see these amazing pieces in person, they would be the perfect addition to any Fall wardrobe!

Rittenhouse Row Halloween Celebration!

Come out Saturday, October 27th from 10 am - 12 pm for an afternoon of Halloween fun at the Radisson Plaza Warwick Hotel! Food, crafts, and other activities will be included and costumes are highly encouraged! Further details are listed on the Facebook event page below:

Get EXCITED for Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fit and Flare!

The forever flattering fit and flare silhouette never fails! It adds feminine curves to a straight figure with the perfect balance of drama and glamour!

A must-have!  Flattering flared skirt that sits at your natural waist.  Square pockets keep it interesting.  Hem at the knee.  Wear with a bow-tie blouse for the office or mix in textured tights for a modern look.    

Philadelphia-native Lauren Moffatt uses her graphic design background to combine modern aesthetics with a vintage flair to create dynamic pieces whose quality and clean designs stand the test of time. The Esther Snap Dress mixes graphic striped graphics with bold navy accents and gold snap buttons - a perfectly sweet and sleeveless piece!
Dress up in romantic vintage-inspired style with this elegant cotton lace dress in navy by Mata Traders. Completed with sheer three-quarter length sleeves, hidden side pockets, and a hidden side zipper closure. Fully lined.
Named after Cher Horowitz from Clueless, this adorable dress is sooo cozy.  Sweetness meets edgy in the Mary Meyer Cher dress. Flannel never looked so good!        

New Designer: Pearl in Crown

Pearl in Crown is the handcrafted jewelry line of Polish designer Ella Kolanowska. When creating her pieces Ella uses handmade techniques such as crocheting, knitting and hand beading while using stones, pearls and multiple chains, to give her jewelry a unique and interesting feel. Ella uses the combination of hard and soft elements to bring out the natural aesthetic of her pieces. She is inspired by bold and vintage pieces that cross between a simple and casual feel but with an unconventional and eclectic taste.We are excited to say that we now carry some of her amazing pieces here at Arcadia. Pearl in Crown jewelery is that last touch that will bring that one of a kind look to any outfit, check out a couple of her pieces that we have below! 

Crochet Strings with Crystals Necklace 

Frill Necklace 

Scarf Necklace

Ivory Net Cuff

Round Rhinestone Earrings

Tassel Earrings 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Skai Blue Style Off!

Come out this Friday, October 26th from 7 pm - 9 pm for a night of fashion and fun at Skai Blue & Bel Esprit's Style Off! Hosted at Skai Blue's showroom, this competition will feature five awesomely talented stylists from the Philadelphia area, including Kiley Brown of SHOPHOUSE, Craig Arthur Von Schroeder of Commonwealth Proper, Currant J. Swint of Kings Rule Together, Amanda Liptock of Amanda Liptock, and Angelique Hunter. Judging the event is our very own manager, Christina, among others. To top it all off, the winner of the Style Off competition will partner up with Arcadia Boutique to create a fall window display at our Rittenhouse store! I hope to see you all there, it's going to be a great night!

xo Alex

Color Crush: Chianti

                                               Stewart and Brown Fit and Flare High Low Skirt
                                   This skirt is so comfortable and feminine! 96% Hemp 4% Spandex

The Vanderbilt Coat has a tonal Southwestern pattern and an asymmetrical collar. It cinches at the waist with a leatherette tie belt , cutting a chic, artful silhouette.

Kim White
Wish Bone Belt

This suede leather belt features a wishbone metal buckle. It would look great with a pair of high waisted jeans and over the knee boots! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LBD Redux

The Little Black Dress is seasonless, pair it with boots and tights in Fall and Winter, or with some strappy heels in the warmer months--either way you can't go wrong with a classic!

Lois Ruffle Sleeve Frock

The Penelope Dress from Curator
Lena Lace Dress from To Be Adored
The Marisma Dress from Skunkfunk
The Emma Sweetheart Dress from Seven Blooms
Long Black Dress from Kai-aakmann
The Rylan Dress from BB Dakota
The Cher Dress from Mary Meyer
The Shoulder Fringe Bodycon Dress from Greylin