PRESS: My things

PRESS: My things

Allison Klein Backer at –

Each month, the Southern Marin Mothers’ Club Crier asks stylish mamas and local tastemakers to spill their secrets and share their stuff. Here, local style expert and author Katie Rice Jones, tells us her favorite places to go in her neighborhood, and lets us in on the one thing she can’t live without.

Favorite piece of jewelry:
Engagement ring and any number of hand-crafted beaded pieces my children have fashioned for me

One thing in your wardrobe you can’t live without:
Madewell’s “boyfriend” heather gray v-neck pocket tee

Style Icons:
New School – Alex Chung and Miroslava Duma
Old School – Babe Paley and Grace Kelly

Daily uniform:

Vintage Levi’s 501

Favorite designer:
The late Yves Saint Laurent

Favorite brand:

Favorite accessory:
Vintage gold nugget cuff

Describe your personal style:
A contemporary look mixed with classic and retro pieces

Favorite maternity store:
Mom’s the Word, San Francisco and Palo Alto

Got-to place for pregnancy fashion advice
Fashion Dues & Duen’ts; a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump available on (shameless plug)

Hair cut:
Siren Salon, San Anselmo

Dollface Beauty, San Anselmo

Favorite Bay Area museums:
Oakland Museum of California
de Young Museum

Favorite San Francisco stores:
FLAX Art & Design, Britex Fabrics, Bell’occhio, The Blue Jean Bar, Diptyque and Jeremys Department Store

Favorite consignment
Goodbyes Consignment, San Francisco (adults)
Out Grown, San Rafael (kids)

Favorite domestic travel spot:
Green Lake, Wisconsin

Most beautiful international travel spot:
Shirakawa, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Go-to shopping destination:
Marin Country Market, Larkspur

Sleepy Hollow Pool, Sleepy Hollow (Go Seal Lions!)

Most beloved cities:
Stevens Point, Wisconsin (birthplace)
Madison, Wisconsin (college town)
San Francisco, California

Places you love to go in San Anselmo:
Imagination Park, San Anselmo Coffee Roastery, Flour Craft Bakery, Marinitas, M.H. Bread and Butter, Marin Power Yoga, Hilda’s Coffee Shop, Log Cabin Dug Out Bar and Seminary Playhouse field

Best girls’ weekend:
Solage, Calistoga

Best quick getaway with your partner:
San Francisco (overnight)

Favorite run:
From behind the Ross post office and along the creek to Marin General and back again

Favorite hike:
Baltimore Canyon Preserve, Kentfield at Crown Road trailhead.

Best local resources for mom:,,

Celebrity crush:
Chris Hemsworth (duh!)

Evelyn and Camilla Jones

Constant companion:

Who do you admire:
Too many people to name

Books you’re currently reading:
At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
The Road to Character by David Brooks
The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom (required reading for the “Kate & Brad Book Club”)

All-time favorite books:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Favorite authors:
Charles Dickens, Evelyn Waugh, John Steinbeck, Graham Green and Malcolm Gladwell

Maternal Grandmother

What inspires you:

If I wasn’t a style expert/author of Fashion Dues & Duen’ts; a Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump, I would be a…
Culture and history scholar working for Unesco’s at their World Heritage sites

Item you keep purchasing over and over:
Essential oils from Body Time, San Anselmo. I am a scent junky.

Something most people don’t know about you:
I love beef jerky

Signature drink:
Bourbon on the rocks

Pet peeve:
Snarky people

Favorite ritual:
Grabbing a coffee each morning at the San Anselmo Coffee Roastery

Best thing about your neighborhood:
View of the San Francisco Theological Seminary and its tolling bells

(Piece originally featured on Southern Marin Mothers Club site,

me-150x150Allison Klein Backer is Blog Editor and Content Writer for the SMMC Crier. She is also a freelance editorial director and fashion copywriter. She lives in Mill Valley with her husband and daughter.

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KRJ commentary: Style through the years…Claire Danes

KRJ commentary: Style through the years…Claire Danes

Orignially posted on
written by Christine Bartsch

At age 15, actress Claire Danes won her first Golden Globe for her role in the critically acclaimed television series “My So-Called Life.” On the silver screen, Danes held her own starring opposite A-List celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Lurman’s “Romeo + Juliet” and Meryl Streep in “The Hours.” Danes again gave award-winning television performances in 2010, playing the title role in “Temple Grandin” and in 2011 in the Showtime series, “Homeland.” Throughout her time in the public eye, Danes has developed a personal style that shows off just how comfortable she is in her own skin, whether the ensemble she’s wearing is quirky, sweet or daring.

Attending the MTV party at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2003, Claire Danes manages to look both youthful and mature, wearing a fitted sheath dress that features conservative neck and hemlines, and a funky, sequined optical illusion pattern. “Danes’ personal style has always been edgy and experimental,” says Katie Rice Jones, a nationally known style expert and author of maternity fashion book, “Fashion Dues & Duen’ts: A Stylist’s Guide to Fashionably Embracing Your Baby Bump.” “Unlike most stars, she is willing to take calculated risks with her fashion, as a singleton and as a mom.”…

Read more of my style commentary on (part 1 of a 3-part celebrity series)…Style through the years


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Beating the Karan Clock

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Beating the Karan Clock

Fashion designer, Donna Karan once said something to the effect of, if you spend more than 10 minutes staring into your closet for something to wear; there isn’t something wrong with your clothes, but rather something wrong with you. Her voice rings in my head each time I am confounded by my closet (and its contents). I am not proud to admit, for a variety of reasons, that most Saturdays and Sundays I spend more than the prescribed amount of time noodling over what to wear. To me, a casual weekend look has always proven more elusive than that of a buttoned-up weekday one.

To squelch my closet confusion, sure, I could just throw on something from Lululemon. However, choosing to wear black easy-on, pull-up athletic pants with no plans to sweat at best feels disingenuous and at worst, like a fashion copout. This fall I endeavor to beat the “Karan Clock”. If I can incorporate some of this fall’s most wearable trends into my wardrobe, I just might have a chance of getting dressed in under 10 minutes. Since time is of the essence I decided to shop the one place I know produces slick weekend wear: J.Crew. Here are just a few of their clock-beating pieces.

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Looking nifty under $50: week 14

Looking nifty under $50: week 14

Each week get a nifty head-to-toe maternity look for under $50. FD&D finds you cheap chic and sales items to help you pull off a pregtastic look, inexpensively.



FD&D Style Notes:

  • Top’s faux open drape adds drama and intrigue to look
  • Faux leather maternity leggings are a better choice than you regular-fit leather legging
  • Dark colors elongate and feel urban
  • Shoe with heel makes legging legs super long
  • Dangly earrings elongate


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Hey, Shady Lady

Hey, Shady Lady

A few years ago I did a style segment on a local news program showcasing sunglasses and how to select the right frame for your face shape. After the shoot, the program’s producer posted it on YouTube and within the first few months the video had thousands of views. The video’s popularity wasn’t all that surprising, especially when compared to other sunglass advice pieces trending online. These days, almost everyone wants to know the secrets behind finding the perfect frames—and there’s good reason for this. Quality sunglasses are expensive (a financial investment) and frames are showcased prominently on one’s face (a personal investment). Thus, getting a sunglasses purchase right is paramount. With summer just around the corner, I thought this might be a good time to recap the style tips from my aforementioned video.

If you are in the market for new sunspecs, there are six frame factors to consider:

Frame Factor #1: Shape

Frame shape is the most important factor when choosing sunglasses. As a general rule, the frames that are most flattering “counter-balance” your face shape. For example, a square face shape should seek out round-shaped frames. This method uses visually trickery to make your face appear more balanced or oval-like (considered the most attractive face shape). So to properly counter-balance, you must first determine the shape of your face; then you can shop for a contrasting frame shape.

The six most common face shapes are:

  • Triangle
  • Oblong
  • Heart
  • Round
  • Square
  • Oval


Triangle: Frames that are top-heavy or have a bold upper rim like Christian Dior’s Promesse cat eye visually expand the upper half of the face. Best frame shapes: cat eye, aviator and shield.

Oblong: A wide, square frame like Dior’s My Dior 3N shades stretch out beyond the face visually widening and, at the same time, cutting down on its length. Best frame shapes: pillow, rectangle, cat and wrap.

Heart: Choose deep frames such as Toxic’s Japanese tortoise sunglasses to add volume to the lower half of the face. Best frame shapes: round, pillow, oval and butterfly.

Round: Angular frames that accentuate the cheekbones and chin, like Dior’s Soie 2, make for a nice contrast to a circular face. Best frame shapes: square, rectangle, shield and pillow.

Square: Frames with soft curves like Vera Bradley’s Barbara aviator lessen the structural dimensions of a square face. Best frame shapes: aviator, round, pillow and oval.

Oval: Since most frames suit an oval face, why not choose something au courant like Dior’s Eyes 1.

Frame Factor #2: Protection

There’s little point in buying or wearing sunglasses if they don’t have decent eye protection, as prolonged UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lenses. The best lens protection blocks close to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.

Frame Factor #3: Styling

Invest in sunglasses that are a continuation of your personal style rather than a departure from it. If you are a vintage clothing lover, then select sunglasses that skew retro: perhaps the very trendy cat eye (if shape is appropriate).

Frame Factor #4: Fit

If you are going to spend a lot of money on a pair of sunglasses, they better fit. To get the best fit, shop those stores that specialize in spectacles.

Frame Factor #5: Size

The wrong frame size can mess up an otherwise perfect frame choice. If you have a smaller mug, oversized sunglasses will overpower your face and produce a “bug-eye” effect. Likewise, when someone with a large face wears a smallish frame they appear to be wearing kid-sized shades.

Frame Factor #6: Color

From clear to black to neon to tortoise to gold-toned, these days frames come in a myriad of colors and treatments. With all this choice it is easy to select a frame that compliments your hair and skin coloring. Those who are fairer look better in pale, clear and gold-toned, while those with darker coloring look great in rich, bright and silver-toned frames.

Once you have satisfied all the sunglass factors and found your perfect pair, you can sit back and let your sunnies do the work they are intended for: dressing up an otherwise boring outfit, amping up your cool factor and showing up incognito.

Piece originally featured in Pacific Sun

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