The Rich Life On a Budget

5 Ways to Dress for Winter in California

Winter is officially arriving next week but we’ve already experienced cold temperatures – by California standards – the last couple of weeks. I love fall and winter clothes and think getting dressed is the most fun this time of year.

Winter weather means hats, boots, coats, scarves and sweaters, which are my favorite items to shop for and to wear.

My lifestyle suits a casual wardrobe. Lately I have been wearing several different styles of outfits – uniforms, if you will – that I find a cinch to put together, easy to vary, appropriate for our somewhat mild climate, and always comfortable.

Here are 5 ways I like to dress for winter in California:

1) Wear a Great Coat and Fun Hat

This is what I wear when I don’t know what to wear and my hair isn’t doing what I want it to. I feel put together in this timeless look and it’s just so simple. A good coat – especially a classic khaki trench or a high-quality wool coat – is well worth the splurge, in my opinion. And hats are a fun way to turn to heads, keep your noggin warm and deal with an unruly or flat ‘do.


Outfit details:

 Sophia Plume by Bigalli from Montecristi Panama Hat Company

Banana Republic trench 

Gap boyfriend jeans

Sam Edelman booties (similar)

 2) Don a Wrap or Poncho

Casey, who owns Mason Street Designs, is a friend of mine. She carries these gorgeous cashmere wraps and sent one me one as a gift recently. I fell in love! I will be telling you more about Casey and her business in Friday’s Women in Business Holiday Gift Guide. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you’d like to get your hands on her Luxe Pullover Wraps at a great price (just $90, marked down for readers from $129!), use the code WOMENINBUSINESS at checkout.

I love how figure-forgiving this Luxe Pullover Wrap is (that is important to me this time of year!) and it’s incredibly soft. I wore this outfit last Sunday, spending the day with my husband in the town of Sonoma. I layered it with a long-sleeved tee by Stella Carakasi for extra warmth and added a hat.

I also like to wear this wrap/poncho with boyfriend jeans, a long sleeved tee and sneakers for a sportier look.


 Outfit details:

Jigsaw twill pants (similar)

Black felt hat from Montecristi Panama Hat Company, no longer available (similar)

Luxe Pullover Wrap from Mason Street Designs

Stella Carakasi Sure Thing Tee in white

Boots from Italy

Bag from Kenneth Cole (very old)

Cuff from Large Leather in Sonoma

 3) Cosy up to Oversized Sweaters

Remember the late 1980s when huge sweaters were so popular? I used to borrow my boyfriend’s sweaters and wear them with stirrup pants and a scrunchie in my hair. Oversized sweaters are back but this time I am skipping the stirrups and scrunchie and wearing them with jeans and sneakers. I also will wear them with skinny pants, boots or booties and a long necklace. I hope this style sticks around for a few more seasons. I love the cozy comfort of a roomy sweater.


Outfit details:

Gap oversized sweater

Gap Always Skinny Jeans

Nike sneakers, no longer available (similar)

Adora bag

4) Layer Your Look with Long Sweater Vests and Cardigans

I have a thing for sweater cardigans and vests that are long. I first started wearing them years ago when Missoni did a line for Target. That particular long cardigan was what gave me and Jill of Everything Just So the idea for our long-running How I Wear My series. Jill has one too.

Since then, I have added long cardigans from Free People and Stella Carakasi and a sweater vest, also from Stella Carakasi.

A few months ago, I bought this fringed vest at Nordstrom. It’s got a boho vibe that I love. I wear it with tees, sweaters and even a denim shirt. Throw on some jeans, add a long necklace and booties and I am set!


 Outfit details:

Fringed sweater vest, no longer available (similar)

Covered Perfectly Simple Comfort top

Gap Always Skinny Jeans

Boden booties

Necklace by Sally Drennon

5) Capes and Shawls with Monochromatic Foundation Outfit

This cape is pure luxury. Made from Royal baby Alpaca fibers, this Gil Cape is from Peru. It’s warm, velvety soft and the color is rich and beautiful. When I wear it, I like to minimize the impact the rest of my outfit makes so the focus is on the material, the color and the drape of the cape. I put on a monochromatic outfit as my foundation, then simply threw the cape on over my shoulders. It can’t get much easier than that!


 Outfit details:

Stella Carakasi Look Sharp Leggings

Alpaca shawl from Montecristi Panama Hats Company

Gap turtleneck 

Vince Camuto tassel necklace (similar)

Louis Vuitton Beverly GM


What’s your favorite season for fashion?

How do you dress for winter where you live?


 Be sure to use your Women in Business codes if shopping this post:

 Montecristi Panama Hats of Napa Valley: Use code WOMENINBIZ to take 10% off

Stella Carakasi: Use code WOMENINBUSINESS to take 10%

Mason Street Designs: Use code WOMENINBUSINESS to take $39 off a Luxe Pullover Wrap

And don’t forget about all the fantastic offers from previous posts:

Women in Business: Holiday Gift Guide 1

Women in Business: Holiday Gift Guide 2

Women in Business: Holiday Gift Guide 3

Look for Holiday Gift Guide 4 coming this Friday!

Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: I was given the Mason Street Designs Luxe Pullover Wrap as a gift. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 

Adora Bags

I don’t own very many handbags, probably because I am so picky about what I like to carry. Handbags, after all, are an everyday accessory that serve an important purpose – carrying our most important personal items daily.

My ideal handbag is one that is classically stylish, made with high quality materials, and expertly crafted because when I purchase a bag, I want to carry it for many, many years – decades, in fact.

To find the quality and style of bag I desire often means purchasing European designer handbags which come with high price tags.

I’ve always thought that if I wanted a luxury European bag, I would have to fork out many hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. But I don’t and you don’t either.

Let me introduce you to my new favorite bag: Adora. This affordbale, super stylish, high quality leather bag line from Tuscany is versatile and so well made, I will carry mine for many years to come. It’s Italian luxury on a budget….right up my alley!


Adora bags are made in the small village of Vinci, just 15 miles outside of Florence. Vinci, named for Leonardo de Vinci, has become the world capital for handcrafted leather. All the major brands rely on Vinci’s craftsmen to produce their quality products.


Adora bags come in three rich colors. I chose the “The Soft”. It’s a vibrant cobalt blue that makes a statement and is so versatile with my mostly neutral wardrobe.


The Adora bag can be worn two ways – open or cinched at the top for extra security by attaching the hook and clasp inside the bag.

To keep your most important items even more secure, a small clutch is attached to the bag by a strap looped around one of the handles. I keep a small wallet, my phone and keys inside the clutch. I don’t have to worry about those items being swiped from my bag and the contents are easy to find when I need them.

I can detach the clutch and carry it separately for night out or a quick trip to the market.


The Adora bag also comes with a darling journal you can carry with you in your bag.


It features the Adora story, plenty of room to jot down your thoughts and your bag’s number. No two Adora bags are the same – made in the classic Tuscan way, each one is unique.

Adora bags are crafted by Pietrantonio Di Ienno, “Peiro” as he likes to be called. He hails from a long line of leather craftsmen – six generations. He has worked with leather in Vinci for over four decades and still retains his passion for his craft after all these years.

Matteo and Matteo, co-founders of Adora who are both from Italy but met in New York City, have collaborated with Piero and his assistant, Renato to create a bag that brings elegance, versatility, luxury, style and expert Italian craftsmanship to the US.


Adora is a comfortable bag to carry, which is an important feature to me. I can carry it by the handles or slung over my shoulder.


The Italian leather is not sanded or corrected to remove natural imperfections, which I find beautiful and which makes each individual bag special.


Interestingly, each color – The Elegant, The Soft and The Natural – goes through different processes and requires different types of leather.


Now is your chance to get an Adora bag of your own at a discount. Matteo and Matteo are offering readers of The Rich Life 10% off. Just use code ENJOY. And get free shipping and returns too!


Adora makes a great gift for the fashion lover in your life – or for yourself. I wouldn’t mind finding the other two colors under the tree this Christmas!


Adora from Italy offers all the style and luxury of European craftsmanship and materials without the sky-high price tag.

“Like” Adora on Facebook to keep up on their latest news.

And visit their website to read more about the Adora story and see all three stunning colors.

I’m linking up with Visible Monday!


Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: I was given “The Soft” Adora bag to review. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 

Photos by my husband, taken at Holman Ranch.

I’m wearing a Gap sweater, Gap jeans, Nikes and Ray-Bans.