Nordstrom “Dare to Pair”: Downtown Chic

Two weeks ago, I received an email with an invitation to collaborate with Nordstrom for their “Dare to Pair” trend story. Nordstrom stylists coordinated bags with shoes for this trend story, making it easy for customers to stay vogue for the fall season. I have been shopping at Nordstrom for over a decade — from BP. as a teen to scrounging sales at Nordstrom Rack in college — so I was beyond thrilled about this opportunity!

I was gifted the Rebecca Minkoff “Darcy” bag to style with a pair of shoes of my choice.  Last week, I had a “meeting” at Nordstrom in downtown Seattle, where we discussed the trend story and went shopping! Can all meetings be this fun? I picked out tons of shoes, but we gasped when I slipped on these Vince “Claire” d’Orsay pumps and I knew they were the ones! See below for how I styled the trend story.

Shipley & Halmos mesh back blazer
Helmut Lang cutout tank top
Rebecca Minkoff “Darcy” bag c/o Nordstrom
Forever 21 wool hat + rings

Photography by Miguel Marino

To wear a black ensemble, varying textures is key. The calf hair pointy toe makes the Vince “Claire” pumps intriguing, and they transition well from the office to happy hour. The Rebecca Minkoff “Darcy” bag is sleek yet modern, with zipper details and gold hardware. I love that the shoulder strap can be worn when on-the-go. For fall, keep heads warm with a wool hat, or a knit beanie for a casual look.

Since Nordstrom was founded in downtown Seattle, I wanted the backdrop of this photoshoot to have the city behind me. I am so thankful to Nordstrom for this opportunity, and I’m humbled by your support as readers of this blog. Thank you all!

Out of the the six “Dare to Pair” trends, which one is your favorite?

Shop the trend story:


  1. August 26, 2013 / 3:29 pm

    Yes to the Vince pumps!!! I knew those would be so perfect on you. What a wonderful opportunity, Carolyn! They really couldn't have picked anyone better for this! You are beautiful and Seattle in the background is just amazing! xoxo

  2. August 26, 2013 / 3:47 pm

    love love LOVE the shoes. must have! hehe.
    LOVE the entire ensemble carolyn!!! always gorgeous as usual.

  3. August 26, 2013 / 3:51 pm

    omg! love the way you styled it! and what an exciting opportunity! congrats! backdrop of the city is a great touch to these photos!

  4. August 26, 2013 / 4:21 pm

    You look so pretty!

  5. Yeji
    August 26, 2013 / 5:13 pm

    Those shoes!! That purse!! Your outfit!!! The pictures!! YOUR FACE! Everything is beautiful!!

    • August 26, 2013 / 9:04 pm

      Hi Amber! So far I've been loving the Darcy bag. I was looking for a medium-sized black bag so this came at a perfect time. It's made with real leather and the gold hardware looks quality. The bag is roomy and the interior is fully lined. I like the shoulder strap option for more casual looks and the handle for carrying to work or dinner.

  6. August 26, 2013 / 6:06 pm

    What a fun challenge! I'm pretty jealous that you got to style this Rebecca Minkoff bag as she's one of my favorite designers when talking bags 🙂 I loved the D'Orsay flats that dominated blogger feet this summer and like that you did it a little different by going for a pump! ^^ Lovely outfit 🙂 xo

  7. August 26, 2013 / 6:35 pm

    Such a pretty outfit. I love the 'all black look' it really suits you!


  8. August 26, 2013 / 7:41 pm

    Wow! What a cool opportunity and I love what you did with it! The bag is so gorgeous and looks much more luxe and expensive than your average Rebecca Minkoff bag! I'm now eyeing it in burgundy O_O. Love the shoes you picked and the outfit you styled is perfect–especially the hat!



    • August 26, 2013 / 9:04 pm

      Hi Tania! Yesss the burgundy one looks gorgeous… <3_<3

  9. August 26, 2013 / 10:20 pm

    What an amazing opportunity. I'm a little envious over here 🙂

    Loveee those shoes and Rebecca Minkoff bags are always amazing. You're rockin' the black. This is all soooo good!

  10. August 27, 2013 / 12:01 am

    Love the way you styled it! I have to say though my favorite part is the hat (I am a bit obsessed with my hats these days)

    -Alecia with

  11. August 27, 2013 / 12:55 am

    Wow and what an outfit – you look absolutely stunning, and I mean… those shoes! You lucky girl x

  12. August 27, 2013 / 1:58 am

    I'm absolutely amazed by this outfit! I LOVE it, seriously… haha. Love your blog and I'm actually sooooo happy I've found it! Can't wait for more posts!


  13. August 27, 2013 / 2:08 am

    just a little bit obsessed with that mesh blazer & those Vince pumps. oh and that f21 hat! looking lovely as always! 🙂

  14. August 27, 2013 / 6:35 am

    you look amazing. cute hat! =)

  15. August 27, 2013 / 1:25 pm

    Oh, those heels are amazingly gorgeous. I love them. xx

  16. August 27, 2013 / 2:36 pm

    In love with your look and the pictures are gorgeous!

  17. August 27, 2013 / 3:22 pm

    Omg love the outfit!

    Those heels are gorgeous!

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Of course we can follow each other! I'd love to keep in touch!

    And what about other social media? That way I won't miss a thing!

    Facebook / Instagram /Twitter / Chicisimo

     – Hannah's Heels

  18. August 27, 2013 / 9:32 pm

    A perfectly put together attire, you look so stunning in this edgy chic all black look! Love the hat, perfect finishing touch!

    Cee. ♥
    Code Overdressed

    • August 28, 2013 / 7:32 am

      Hi Stephanie! The flat versions look so cute. They are true to size as in I'm an 8 and I perfectly fit the 8, but the European sizing says 39 whereas I'm a 38 typically so that can be confusing. However, the online measurements are based on US sizes, so just choose your usual US size. Hope that information helps!

  19. August 28, 2013 / 8:21 am

    Just a gorgeous outfit all around, I love how the hat and the minimal pumps finish the whole look off nicely!

  20. August 28, 2013 / 5:49 pm

    Wow, that sounds like an amazing opportunity with Nordstrom! Love the outfit you created for the bag. I love the black color palette. So chic. The wool hat adds a lot of personality to the outfit. I love that I recognize a lot of your back drops : ) Just started following on BL!


  21. August 28, 2013 / 7:05 pm

    You are so pretty!
    i love your look, super cute.

  22. August 28, 2013 / 8:06 pm

    Hi Carolyn! I just found your blog through the feature on IFB and I wanted to let you know how much I admire your classic and clean style!!

    The Weekend Diary

  23. August 28, 2013 / 9:50 pm

    all black and so chic! loving your accessories.

  24. August 28, 2013 / 11:37 pm

    Thanks for the tip on varying texture! I've never quite figured that out. I love the outfit you put together!

  25. August 29, 2013 / 12:21 am

    Wow, that bag needs to be in my life! New follower 🙂

  26. August 29, 2013 / 1:11 am

    Your classic, yet edgy & trendy, outfit is perfect! Lov the unexpected back detail on your blazer. Very cool. 🙂

    xo Ashley

  27. August 29, 2013 / 2:18 am

    Such an amazing outfit, head to toe!!

  28. August 29, 2013 / 11:38 am

    in love with this post, and your whole entire blog in general.

    lots of love from the casper&pearl girls – a little Aussie fashion brand
    casper&pearl blog

  29. August 29, 2013 / 2:31 pm

    Hey, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment on my Lisa Ling story. I've been having fun seeing all the great pix on your website here. Maybe you can help me with my fashion sense (or lack thereof!). 😉

    Jae (

  30. August 29, 2013 / 3:51 pm

    Such an amazing outfit! I love that you went all black for this one, but the different textures and materials keep it from looking 'gothic.' Great choice in shoes!

  31. August 29, 2013 / 4:21 pm

    you look so pretty and i absolutely adore your style! you've just got a new follower!


  32. August 29, 2013 / 10:55 pm

    Perfectly styled here! I love the sexy surprise the D'orsay heel provides and that Darcy bag manages to be both edgy and a classic structured piece.

  33. August 30, 2013 / 2:58 am

    Wow your blog is amazinngg, im absolutely loving all your looks! i tried to follow you on but for some reason it wasnt working 🙁 ill deff be returning though so i can do it when it starts working for me again 🙂 xx AtYourHeels

  34. September 6, 2013 / 11:02 am

    That sounds like a fun collab!!!! You really nice!!! and totally agree,gotta play with different textures when doing all black.hahha…yes, i wish all meetings were that fun too,especially when involved with shopping;)

    I also really like your Helmut Lang top! Great match with the all black look. I been seeing a lot and hearing a lot about the brand, Rebecca Minkoff the past few years. I really LOVE their bags!!!

    Great outfit post Carolyn!!! and i love how you chose to have your city as the backdrop:)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Something?