Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm feeling random today, so I'm just going to post all the clothes that I'm drooling over as of RIGHT now. I now. It's one of those days.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Wilhelmina Sweater Jacket, $348 at shopbop.com, Catherine Malandrino Strapless Dress, $295 at shopbop.com, DVF Powerstones Runway Bikini, $180 at shopbop.com. If this jacket magically appeared on my doorstep tomorrow morning, I seriously feel like my world would be a better place. It's got all the warm, fuzzy comfiness of a sweater with the tailored perfection of a motorcyle jacket. It's very relaxed, slightly urban chic. I already have a grad dress, but I can't get over how gorgeous this Catherine Malandrino dress is. If you don't have a grad dress already or if you're doing something that requires a short white dress, like getting married at City Hall or something, BUY THIS. It's decently priced, so amazingly chic, and I love love love the subtle detail of the pleating, white belt, and white flowers. So classically girly. And since I'm definitely in the market for a bikini, I'm dying over this DVF version. They do fantastic bikinis, and I crazy about the rope print on this one--plus the purple is such a fun, flattering color.

Now I just need a way to afford all of this stuff. A legal way, that is.

Image Sources:
Marc by Marc jacket: shopbop.com
Catherine Malandrino dress: shopbop.com
DVF bikini: shopbop.com


For some reason, right now I really want pants. Not just any pants. Canvas/linen/cotton cargo or trousery pants. I'm sort of fixating on J. Crew's pant's selection because their pants are well-made, affordable, and on-trend but chic at the same time. I tried on a few pairs of these this weekend, but I was broke (as usual) at the time, so I'm going to be daydreaming about these pairs for the next few days (to get me through the rest of college admit week!).

J. Crew Broken-in Boyfriend Chino, $69.50 at jcrew.com, Ripstop Utility Pant, $69.50 at jcrew.com, and Linen-cotton Seaside Pant, $69.50 at jcrew.com. This first pair taps into the boyfriend pants trend that's been going on but the best part is, if you unroll the hem, they're a regular pair of totally versatile chinos. It's always nice to have such multi-tasking pieces in your closet! I like these cargo-esque pants because the cargo thing is also big right now, and they feel kind of fresh. These are the best kind of comfy chic. I actually tried on the last pair of pants this weekend, and I lurve them. They're the perfect mix of baggy and flattering, the tie at the waist is adorable, and they would look so cute with a fitted top and cropped blazer. Now I really want them...

Image Sources:
Boyfriend chino: jcrew.com
Utility pant: jcrew.com
Seaside pant: jcrew.com

Monday, March 30, 2009

Review: Diorshow Powder Blush

This is a review for Dior's Diorshow Powder Blush in Catwalk Pink 003. I have very mixed feelings about this one--I'll explain below.

First off, this blush ain't cheap. I got mine for free for some reason I can't remember, but it's $43 for a small tangerine-sized container (I can't think of a better way to describe it). Personally, that's more than I spend on tiny blush containers, but that's just me. As for the blush itself, I really like the actual formula. It's extremely finely-milled, so it goes on really smoothly and almost looks airbrushed. It also has lots and lots of teensy silver glitter in it, so if you don't want a glittery blush, don't even look at this. I wouldn't say that the glitter is overwhelming, but it's noticeable. As for the color, I really like it! It's a very blue-based, baby doll light pink, perfect for pale skin or achieving the porcelain doll look (which I love).

I do have a couple of problems with this blush, however. I hate the applicator/container. The built-in puff is cute, but makes it extremely difficult to control how much blush I'm putting on and where it goes, which is kind of the point with blush. I end up with splotchy blush circles on my cheeks. Not cute. So I'm torn with this. On the one hand, I love the color and the formula, and on the other hand, I hate the price and the container. If you have money to spend and puff-applicator skills, I definitely recommend this, but if not, honestly, don't bother.

Dior Diorshow Powder Blush, $43 at sephora.com

Image Sources:
Blush: sephora.com

Travel Envy

I have a confession to make. I travel in...sweatpants. I know. I'm only human. But seriously, who wants to wear a tight skirt or stiff jeans for an 8 hour flight? I start getting all fidgety and annoyed within 10 minutes, so I've regressed to a v-neck, sweats, a sweater, and a gigantic scarf. That's why I'm seriously jealous of people who manage to travel gracefully and stylishly, which is why I have to give Whitney Port some serious props here.

Loves it. It looks comfy and easy to travel in, and I love the riff on preppy menswear, but the cropped jeans balance out the boxy jacket perfectly and the dark belt keeps all the oversized pieces from overwhelming her frame. She's wearing an Opening Ceremony Cropped Cable Crewneck, $200 at openingceremony.us, Current/Elliot's Boyfriend Jean in Natural, $224 at singer22.com, and Minnetonka's Kilty Mocassins, $38.95 at minnetonka.com. I think the shoes really make the outfit. They're totally comfy and cute, but a little unexpected at the same time.

Recreate for the look for (a little) less with these 7 For All Mankind Cropped Straight Leg Jeans at shopbop.com, this American Apparel Striped Fleece Raglan Pullover, $43 at americanapparelstore.com, these TOMS University shoes, $58 at tomsshoes.com, and this Love Quotes scarf in Beach, $85 at shopbop.com. The cropped jeans, striped pullover top is very French girl-chic, but comfy and warm (and affordable). The scarf is lightweight, but keeps the plane A/C from getting too chilly, and the TOMS shoes are not only super-awesomely charitable (they donate a pair to an impoverished child for each pair you buy) but also really cute (and again, comfy).

So it's not that hard to look cute while jetsetting--thank you Whitney Port. Pair some cropped, slim pants with a cute pullover top, and some practical, chic accessories, and you are good to go! I know my travelling ensembles will be getting a little cuter. I just need to have a moment with my beloved sweats first...

Image Sources:
Whitney Port: whowhatweardaily.com
Jeans: shopbop.com
American Apparel top: americanapparelstore.com
TOMS Shoes: tomsshoes.com
Love Quotes scarf: shopbop.com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Surprise, Surprise

I promised I'd update about my dress shopping adventure, and I didn't forget! It's a miracle. While I'm still convinced that SoCal has the worst Nordstroms ever (I can't even explain it, you'd have to see them), I actually only tried on two things and bought one of them. If you knew me you'd know how rare that is.
BCBG Colorblock Dress, $178 at bcbg.com, and BCBG Embroidered Babydoll Dress, $238 at bcbg.com. I ended up buying the dress on the left (of course I spent last night blogging about getting a super-girly, ruffly dress, and I end up with an origami-inspired one. Go figure). This picture doesn't do it justice. It actually looks better on a real person with actual curves. It's hard to see, but the pink and white bits are both pleated, and there are two slash pockets at the hips (that actually lay flat and don't give me bubble hip! FINALLY!). I really like this because it's very flattering on me, since the pink highlights my waist nicely and the dark skirt minimizes my hips. And it would make a cute date/dinner dress. Score! I also tried on this blue dress, which is seriously way cuter in person as the blue is much brighter. This wasn't right for the tea I have to go to, but the cut-out eyelet pattern at the hem and the exposed zipper at the back are very on-trend, and it's just such a cute day dress! Now I want it....
J. Crew Stretch Cotton Sateen Daphne Dress, $128 at jcrew.com. We also went to J. Crew, and I know that this doesn't like very cute but bare with me! It's really flattering and much cuter on a person, and very Michelle Obama. If you want a bit of a younger look, hem the skirt about six inches, and you have the perfect little shift dress. Add some platform heels and top it with a cropped motorcyle jacket, and you have a great, super-chic look! Plus, a shift dress is seriously timeless, and this one is so well-made that you can literally wear it inside out, it's that nicely lined (the only reason I bring that up is because the lining is a gorgeous sateen and there's a cute white band at the belt, it's not completely random I promise). Also, when I was at J. Crew I saw the cutest green pencil skirt with a bow at the waist. I can't find it online, but check out your local J. Crew and look for it! Seriously, I died. On a side note, check out Glamour's preview of J. Crew's Fall collection. They seriously get better and better every year.

Image Sources:
BCBG colorblock dress: BCBG.com
BCBG blue dress: BCBG.com
J. Crew dress: jcrew.com

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why Is Dress Shopping So Difficult?

I need a dress. Sounds simple, right? Well, I need a dress for a charity league graduation luncheon/tea (don't judge me, it's all about the college extracurricular list). That means it needs to be tea-appropriate, so not super-short or tight or sexy, but since I don't have to pay for it (!) I want something that I can take with me to college, so it needs to be actually cute and work for day or night.

Shoshanna Eyelet Dress, $368 at nordstrom.com, Printed Silk Chiffon Short Whitney Dress, $220 at jcrew.com, Porter Grey Short Sleeve Dress, $375 at shopbop.com. This eyelet dress is so fresh and spring-like, and the white-on-white pattern is subtle, but adds so much richness to the overall look (and how cute is that ruffle?!). I love the cut of that J. Crew dress. I wish is was a little shorter, but the drapey chiffon and the ruffle at the waist are the best kind of Grecian girly. It's hard to tell her, but that Porter Grey dress has a sheer, Swiss dot overlay. It's very cute, a little unexpected, and extremely versatile.

Haute Hippie Ruffle Satin Dress, $425 at nordstrom.com, Vena Cava Sphinx Dress, $506 at lagarconne.com, J. Crew Linen Constellations Strapless Dress, $158 at jcrew.com. These first two dresses are completely unrealistic, but so cute. I love the slight ballerina vibe of the first dress, and the combination of what looks like a t-shirt top with the super-ruffly skirt. This second dress is my favorite. I love the shape (very flattering), and how the dove gray shade turns down the blatant girliness of that ruffle top. The print on this last dress is adorable (tiny pink flowers over red), the shape is easy and flattering, and if it wasn't strapless, I would have bought it already.

I'm going shopping tomorrow, and I'll update you guys on how that turns out! Probably not well, but we'll see...

Image Sources:
Shoshanna dress: nordstrom.com
J. Crew Whitney dress: jcrew.com
Porter Grey: shopbop.com
Haute Hippie dress: nordstrom.com
Vena Cava dress: lagarconne.com
J. Crew linen constellations dress: jcrew.com

Trend-spotting for Fall: Lingerie-Inspired

I guess with this economy designers feel like we should trip down to the basics. And I mean the basic basics. As in underwear. The lingerie obsession has been a fixture on the runways for a few seasons now, but I think this year it really blossomed. Now, that doesn't mean that everyone should stop wearing shirts altogether--some versions of this trend are more wearable than others.

Christopher Kane, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta

Miu Miu, Miu Miu, Stella McCartney

I think that there are two iterations of this trend: actual underwear exposure, like the exposed bras at Balenciaga and Miu Miu, and then pieces that are more inspired by lingerie, like the dresses at Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney, and Christopher Kane. While the more literal look works well on the runways, it's not that great of an option for real life. I've seen a few models (Erin Wasson namely, but she can wear anything) rock the whole shirtless-under-my-blazer look, but I think that might be best left to professionals unless you want to look like you forgot your shirt. Go for a dress that's bustier or slip-inspired instead. The bustier-esque dress at Christopher Kane had just enough of a lingerie vibe to be sexy, with the sheer ruffles and bra-detailing, but still manages to come off as totally day-appropriate. The slip dresses at Bottega Veneta and Stella McCartney balance a less-fitted body with a slinky fabric and a sexy detail, like a bra top or sheer lace panels--just enough to be on-trend without crossing the line into slutty.

Image Sources:
Christopher Kane: style.com
Balenciaga: style.com
Bottega Veneta: style.com
Miu Miu: style.com
Stella McCartney: style.com

Shopping Felix Rey

Felix Rey is an adorable, decently affordable and not that well known bag line. Their stuff is party girl friendly, but transitions perfectly to daytime, shopping, the beach, anywhere you want to go. And they currently have a capsule collection at Target. What more could you want?

Felix Rey Emma Zip Top Clutch, $90 at shopbop.com, Antigua Straw Clutch $90 at shopbop.com, Mesi Clutch with Ikat Trim, $190 at shopbop.com. That studded clutch is so. cute. I die. It's nylon, so it's easy to clean, it has that adorable bow on the front, which is mellowed out by the studs, and it's completely affordable! I'm pathetically excited about this. And the wrist strap makes it perfect for parties. The straw clutch would be so perfect for a beach wedding or summer vacation, because it's got a bit of a tropical flavor, but isn't at all cliche. And I love the ikat trim on that last clutch! It's great for people who want to buy into the 'tribal' pattern trend, but the pattern is so subtle and abstract that it doesn't date the clutch at all. Oh, and the first and last clutches have leopard lining. Precious!

Felix Rey for Target Large Canvas Tote, $44.99 at target.com, Canvas Clutch, $19.99 at target.com, Printed Tote, $34.99 at target.com. Felix Rey currently has a bag line at Target. I haven't seen it in stores (presumably it's sold out) but if you can track it down, buy it! The metallic trim on this first tote completely makes the bag when combined with that natural, beigey canvas. It's the perfect size for lugging books around campus, weekend trips, or trips to the beach. That clutch is such a great buy for $20, because it looks so much more expensive! I love the wave pattern (which also lines the tote to the left), the convenient wrist strap, and the curving shape. And how adorably summery is that coral-printed tote with the shell and braided handle? The details make it look not only timeless, but like it costs way more than $35.

Image Sources:
Felix Rey for Target clutch: target.com
Felix Rey for Target metallic tote: target.com
Felix Rey for Target coral tote: target.com
Felix Rey stud clutch: shopbop.com
Felix Rey straw clutch: shopbop.com
Felix Rey metallic clutch: shopbop.com

Friday, March 27, 2009

Trend-spotting for Fall: Magenta

You know how every season there's a new "it color"? It's been cobalt, grey, purple, etc, etc. Well this year it's (drumroll)....magenta! As in fuchsia meets purple, as in very '80s neon fantasticness. zIt cropped up everywhere, dresses, coats, tops, even pants. Enjoy:

Christian Dior, Michael Kors, Versace:

Pucci, Halston, Martin Grant:

Magenta is such a fun, unexpected color that I actually haven't seen a lot of for the last few seasons, so it still feels fresh. Since it's so bright and so high-impact I think it works best in edgier, more architectural, tailored pieces like the asymmetrical drss at Pucci or the shirtdress at Halston and when toned it down with neutral accessories and bits of black or white. The great thing about magenta is that it works in very minimalist looks, like at Martin Grant, but can also be extremely rich and exotic, like in the sari-inspired dresses at Christian Dior. And while it may not seem that way, magenta is actually a really flattering color--don't be scared off by it.

Image Sources:
Christian Dior: style.com
Martin Grant: style.com
Halston: style.com
Pucci: style.com
Versace: style.com
Michael Kors: style.com

Too Adorable for Words

I couldn't resist pointing out this little bundle of cuteness. It's a TGIF thing I guess. Anyways, just look at this Clu dress. It's like a t-shirt combined with a silk, ruffle ballerina skirt (it's a two for one deal!). The ballerina thing is big for spring, and so is the tiered ruffle thing, so this dress is totally on-trend for the next few months. I think you could get some long-term leverage out of this too though, because it really reminds me of that tutu skirt dress that Carrie wore in the Sex and the City intro. Anybody else get that vibe? That was about 10 years ago, so obviously the ballerina trend is sticking around. I think it appeals to the secret fairytale princess in all of us. Take a look.

Clu T-shirt w/ Ruffle Skirt, $210 at francesmay.com. And $210 isn't really that bad for a dress that works for so may occasions. I mean, this is a great day dress, dinner dress, date dress, even cocktail dress if jazzed up with the right accessories.

Image Sources:
Clu Dress: francesmay.com

Review: Burberry Brit EDP

Before I launch into this review, I need to explain my relationship with vanilla. I like to eat vanilla. Vanilla cupcakes, cake, ice cream, lattes, I'm all over it. But I do not like to smell like vanilla (Maud will try to shank me for writing this) because I associate it with food. And when I smell like sugar cookies, I get confused. I feel like all I'm telling the world is that I spent the last two weeks baking very strong cookies, and that's not really the image I want to put off. Plus, vanilla is often super, super sweet smelling, and while I love eating very sugary food, smelling like sugar all day makes me nauseated.

So keep that in mind as I review the Burberry Brit Eau de Parfum.

First off, I love that the bottle is like a Burberry scarf! Just a little kitschy, but still cute. As for the fragrance, Basenotes breaks it down as having top notes of Italian Lime, Icy Pear, and Crisp Green Almond, middle notes of Sugared Almond and White Peony, and base notes of Amber, Mahogany, Vanilla, and Tonka. I don't get any of those top notes, on me it goes straight to heavy, sweet vanilla with a hint of amber and almond. If that sounds extremely sweet, that's because it is.

My main problem with Brit is that it's not very complex. It starts off as saccharine vanilla, and eventually mellows out a little as the amber kicks in, but that's it (the lasting power is fantastic, by the way). It's pretty much an oriental vanilla from start to finish, and much more vanilla than oriental. There are times when that's what I want from a perfume, like on a cold, rainy day where all I want to do is snuggle in a pile of blankets and watch The Notebook. Brit on those days is like a nice, warm cashmere hug. Unfortunately, those days come around about three or four times a year, which is not often enough to justify my paying $68-$88 for Brit. But, if sugary, amber-vanilla is your thing, and your skin doesn't amp vanilla as much as mine does, then by all means, check out Brit on your next trip to Sephora.

Burberry Brit EDP, $88 for 3.3oz at sephora.com

Image Sources:
Burberry Brit: sephora.com

Really Cheap Shoes

I've been really trying to focus on scoring shopping deals lately, because I know the economy is hitting everyone's wallets, and I'm, well, broke. Which is why the idea of super-cheap shoes appeals to me. All of these shoes cost $42.50 and under. That's right. Less than $50 for a pair of on-trend shoes. And you know where I found these? Alloy.com. I know! I had totally written their catalog off as tacky and cheap, but they've stepped it up. Check it out below.

La Villa Sandal, $42.50 at alloy.com, Moroccan Sandal, $34.50 at alloy.com, Shelby Sandal, $39.50 at alloy.com. Those first sandals are a lot like these, except, you know, $150 less. And those two studded sandals are so cute! The first pair is a little edgier, and all the studs are kind of reminding me of last seasons Balmain heels--very in. The second pair is very pared down, Mediterranean chic, and the turquoise/chocolate combo is classic.

Delphine Gladiator, $34.50 at alloy.com, Nolita Heel, $32.50 at alloy.com, Nina Platform, $39.50 at alloy.com. I want those first heels. They are exactly what I've been looking for: gladiator-esque, chunky heeled, platforms, slightly textured. Love. For a more 'tribal' inspired look, big for Spring, these middle heels are perfect without being over the top, and the last pair of heels is a more classic take on the bondage heel trend that's been big this season.

Now, I'm not saying that these are the highest quality shoes on the market, because let's face it, they aren't, but they're well-priced, on-trend shoes, and when is that not completely fantastic?

PS: I'm sorry for the lack of posts today, but today/tomorrow a lot of college admissions decisions are coming in, and it can be a little overwhelming (if anyone cares, I got into Berkeley! Yay!), but I have the next two weeks off, so I'll be back full force.

Image Sources:
Morrocan Sandal: alloy.com
Nolita Heel: alloy.com
Delphine Gladiator: alloy.com
Shelby Sandal: alloy.com
La Villa Sandal: alloy.com
Nina Platform: alloy.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trend-spotting for Fall: Asymmetrical Dresses

Asymmetrical gowns were a big hit on the Fall runways, but the asymmetry didn't stop there. One-shouldered bodices, uneven skirts, and topsy turvy necklines were also out in full force. Check it out below.

Carlos Miele, Jill Stuart, Jill Stuart

Alexander Wang, Lela Rose, Elise Overland

Lanvin, Pucci, Proenza Schouler

Marchesa, Rodarte, Marc by Marc Jacobs

Cynthia Steffe, Acne, Erin Fetherston

Asymmetrical dresses doesn't mean that the traditional one-shouldered options are the only way to where this trend (althought those were all over Erin Fetherston, Marchesa, Lanvin, Elise Overland, and Jill Stuart). Mix it up with one sleeve, like at Acne Carlos Miele, and Rodarte, or try two different types of sleeves/straps on the same dress, like at Cynthia Steffe, Marc by Marc, Pucci, and Alexander Wang, or two different straps on the same side like at Lela Rose. Also popular were the half-gown type skirts, seen at Balmain and Jill Stuart, where the skirt is mini length in the front and knee-length or longer in the back--very simple, but very dramatic. This isn't the most traditional or classic look (I wouldn't recommend a one-shouldered wedding dress) but it's a great wardrobe staple to full out for formal events, cocktail parties, prom, etc, because it's young and fun without being over-the-top.

Image Sources:
Proenza Schouler: style.com
Pucci: style.com
Lanvin: style.com
Marchesa: style.com
Rodarte: style.com
Marc by Marc: style.com
Cynthia Steffe: style.com
Erin Fetherston: style.com
Carlos Miele: style.com
Jill Stuart: style.com
Acne: style.com
Elise Overland: style.com
Alexander Wang: style.com
Lela Rose: style.com


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