Monday, August 31, 2009

Fashonista Files: The Sartorialist

Hi guys! So we've actually gained some new readers since the last time I posted so I'll reintroduce myself. My name's Maud in case any of you have forgotten. The reason for my epic delay in my share of the posting can be easily summed up in one word: college. I've been away now for awhile and things are finally (finally!) starting to cool down a bit. Between all the lectures (aka watching True Blood) and all the required meetings (aka hanging out with other kiddies) I've been swamped by all there is to do. It's crazy!

Anyways, back to business: something we don't usually (if ever) talk about - books. I don't know if you've noticed (or maybe it's just me?) that there has been an influx of fashion books lately. Maybe it has something to do with the steady decline of the magazine industry? I don't know. But seriously. This whole fashion bloggers etc. publishing books is not working for my poor little bank account. However, considering my need for fashion, I thought I'd give everyone the info on these babies. Let's start with someone both Megan and I enjoy: Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist.

The cover is slightly unconventional, but of course cool none the less. Even though it's paperback, it still has a cover on it. How sweet is that? And underneath it's got this really sweet fluorescent orange color. Very fashionable yet classic at the same time. Now, nothing even slightly bad can be said about the photos. They're smart and capture the fashion world in a very effortless manner. My only beef with the book, and not that it's a big one, is that it's not laid out as well as I think it could have been. There are random stories that just kind of pop up out of nowhere every couple of pages. And while they add to what Scott wants to say, they kind of feel lackluster at certain moments. Not that most people actually read books like this anyway. I just like to give credit where it's do. So go buy the book on Amazon or head over to the blog: today.

And I'll be coming back for the next few days with a new review, so don't miss out!

Image Sources:

Party Dress Shopping: Budget #2

So here's part tw0 of my party shopping series, with the total look for just under $750. I know that's still a lot of money, but when you add the price of a party dress on top of the price of a basic, well-made clutch and pair of heels stuff can start to get expensive. Which just means that it's time to start shopping your closet for those wardrobe staples you can add to whatever new party dress you get for the season for a chic, polished look.

Shoshanna Strapless Twist Dress, $374 at The dress would be a good investment because the shape is classic, just a sweetheart strapless with a flowy, a-line skirt and a nice, fitted band at the waist. That's a very flattering, very versatile shape. And then you get to all the little details that really make this dress. The gathered, woven pleating at the bodice has a bit of a Grecian vibe, and is tactile and soft and gorgeous, but so subtle that it's not overpowering. The same goes for the tiny print. It has so many different colors that it could totally take over the dress, but since the print is so tiny the fabric looks rich and interesting, not crazy and in your face. Plus, with all those different colors in the print it makes this dress really easy to accessorize because you have so many colors to pull from. You could channel a bunch of different trends with this dress by styling it with different belts, different necklaces, different shoes, and that's what makes it worth the price tag.

Citrine by the Stones Single Stone Pendant Necklace, on sale for $98 down from $140 at, Lauren Merkin Eve Ostrich Clutch in Orchid, $225 at, Pelle Moda Wrigley Peep Toe Pumps on Double Platform, $145 at I love this necklace and this clutch together. Yes, the hues are similar, but they aren't exactly the same, and they both pull from the fuschia in the dress. Because of that, you can work two very standout accessories that will still pull your look together. The necklace would dangle perfectly over the sweetheart neckline, and it's sort of unexpected and fun. The clutch is like the dress. It has a subtle texture, and looks very chic and rich, and the classic shape works perfectly with the vibrant hue. I think a black shoe would be too heavy with all those lovely colors, so I'd do a simple grey platform. The grey is a neutral, so it doesn't compete with the rest of the outfit, but it's softer and less expected than black.

This is such a young, fun look. The colors are girly and festive, but not at all cheesy or overwhelming. I could see this working for spring, summer, fall, or winter, and looking chic year-round. With a simple, maybe braided updo and a grey, smokey eye this would be a total knockout.

Image Sources:
Shoshanna dress:, Lauren Merkin clutch:, Citrine by the Stones necklace:, Pelle Moda pumps:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Party Dress Shopping: Budget #1

Since I'm going to be kinda AWOL for the next couple of days, I lined up a little three part series on party shopping at three different budgets. The first budget is about under $350, the second is under $750, and the third is unlimited. All of this just made me realize that I can put together some ridiculously expensive outfits in less than 5 minutes. It's a tragic skill.

LaROK Socialite Dress, $198 at I like this dress because it's affordable, it's versatile, and it's not boring. The faux tank-skirt combo could be dressed down to be really casual, but you can also accessorize it up and make it cocktail appropriate. The fact that the top is pink instead of the expected white is really fun, and makes the overall dress a little more on-trend (pink and black is so '80s). And that silhouette is spot on, which the drapier top and fitted skirt--it's flattering and comfortable.

Forever 21 Krista Rhinestone Satin Necklace, $8.80 at, Boutique 9 Uzuri 7 Heels, on sale from $89.99 down from $160 at, Fred Flare Purple Passion Faux Croc Clutch, $24 at I love this necklace. It's less than $10 (!), but it has the baroque drama of a much more expensive piece. The mixing of the shiny beads and tactile ribbon is very Lanvin, and the silhouette would be striking against the pink top. The heel on these pumps is so darn cute. They're the right mix of edgy, with the woven black straps, and sweet, with the vintagey heel. The black ties in with the necklace and skirt, but the brown softens the look. The purple in this clutch complements the pink in the dress without being matchy-matchy, and the embossed croc pattern adds visual interest without detracting from the effect of the necklace.

I think this outfit could take you a lot of places. I mean, it's great for going out or going to a cocktail party, but throw on a jacket and you can go shopping or out to lunch with the girls.

Image Sources:
LaROK dress:, Forever 21 necklace:, Boutique 9 shoes:, Fred Flare clutch:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Transitional Shopping

I tried to be focused this time guys, I swear. It's very difficult for me. My brain hurts right now. But, I managed to track down a few pieces that would make the awkward transition between summer and fall a little bit easier, things that work for summer or fall depending on how you style them.

Le Shack by Tracy Feith, African Bomb Strapless Dress, $365 at, J. Crew Tissue Beaded Necklace Tee, $49.50 at, J. Crew Andi Hobo, $225 at This dress is an easy one. The print is fun and summery all on it's own, with a bit of a tribal meets biology class amoeba drawing vibe, and the strapless cut is great for hot summer nights. Throw on a black boyfriend blazer or motorcycle jacket, and you've got enough warmth for an October night, and the vibrant colors of the dress brighten up the typical winter palette. Layering is a big part of transitional dressing for me. The weather is all over the place, so you need a cute foundation to pile light layers on top of. The grey hue of this tee makes it very fall appropriate, since it's a tee it works perfectly for summer, and the attached necklace would be adorable peeking out from under a cardigan. The ribbon 'string' ties at the back of the collar, so it looks like a real necklace! So cute. I freaking love this bag. It's less than $250 (epic win), and even though it's J. Crew it has a serious Proenza Schouler vibe. The grey suede would anchor lighter summer outfits and brighten up darker fall outfits, the suede looks so fun and tactile, and the shape is the perfect mix of practical and trendily slouchy.

Novella Royale Hudson Studded Clutch, $395 at, House of Holland for Pretty Polly tights, about $14: I'm a sucker for an oversize clutch, and an oversize clutch with tone-on-tone oversize studs? I mean, come on. It's just not fair. The envelope shape is classic and chic, the giant size is practical, and the black studs add a subtle edge to it. Did I mention that it's made out of recycled leather? I died when I saw these House of Holland tights on the runway, but I never thought I'd be able to afford them. Wrong, wrong, wrong. They're $14! They're not for sale online yet, but seriously, $14! And they come in a House of Holland style Starbucks cup--so cheeky. The top section is opaque, the middle is slightly transparent, and the bottom is almost see-through. That way, even if you buy them in a dark hue (although they come in lilac, green, and blue too), they don't look heavy. And there's something so alluring about how the lines are placed at knee-high sock and thigh-high sock level, if that makes any sense. Oh, and they're making alphabet tights too. I'm less excited about those.

Current/Elliott The Boyfriend Jeans, one sale for $160.30 down form $229 at I heart these jeans. I've made no secret of it. The cut is the perfect balance between masculine and feminine, and I love anything that seems like you aren't trying that hard, even if you are. These work for summer and fall because they're just a pair of jeans. The cropped length works with the heat now, the baggy fit works with cooler temperatures later, and the faded hue is the ideal shade of baby blue. Did I mention that they're on sale?

Image Sources:
Tracy Feith dress:, J. Crew tee:, J. Crew bag:, Novella Royale clutch:, House of Holland tights:, Current/Elliott jeans:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Live from New York" and beauty freebies!

I love free things. Everything is better when you don't have to pay for it (and no, I'm not encouraging shoplifting, but you know what I mean). Allure's Daily Reporter tipped me off to the fact that eos is giving away 50,000 free Smooth Speres. Free shipping and everything, just go to, and put in your info for a free Sweet Mint sphere.
I'm all jazzed about this because the lip balm is certified organic, and knowing how much lippie a girl eats in a lifetime, that's a serious plus. Also, the twist off cap and circular shape means you don't need to use your fingers to apply it, so the balm stays clean. Plus, from what I've heard, the balm is actually really good. It retails for $3-$4 in store.

V Magazine is awesome enough to email us a lot of their spreads before they hit newsstands. Our inbox has been hit with a bunch in the last few days, but this spread, "Live from New York" (love the SNL reference), shot by Mario Sorrenti, is by far my favorite. All the looks are contorted, dramatic, and architectural, and I love the juxtaposition of the skyline and Freida and Sasha's animalistic poses. Very urban jungle.

I'm seeing a lot of high-heeled, aggressive boots, strong, exaggerated shoulders, dramatic pleating, and lots and lots of leather. It's a bit '80s, a bit '40s, and very modern. To make this look work for real life, I'd stick with a strong shoe, maybe an edgy platform heel or a tough boot, something with architectural pleating or strong shoulders, and then basic pieces for the rest of the outfit. Personally, I'd love to do a patent platform with a pleated leather tulip skirt and a drapey white tee, or maybe a Balmain-esque exaggerated shoulder jacket with a tee, jeans, and some eye-catching boots.

Image Sources:
Eos Lip Balm:, V Magazine images:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Project Runway Episode 1 Round-up

I'm not even going to try to hide it. I missed Project Runway. A lot. If you catch me in a super-decisive moment, I'll even call it my favorite reality show (those moments happen about twice a year, sadly). It's the perfect mix of trashy drama and actual fashion credibility, so it's entertaining, but believable--unlike shows like ANTM, where winning means absolutely nothing. I cried a little inside when it took that yearish long break and moved to Lifetime, but it doesn't seem to have done the show any harm. In fact, it pretty much looks exactly the same as it did back when it was on Bravo. Which I think is a good thing. I don't want Project Runway to change. It's like reality show comfort food, it's consistent and satisfying. But I'm obsessing again, so here are the looks from last week's episode, divided into the categories Good, Bad, and Fixable. Oh, and this was the Red Carpet challenge. Which is WAY too easy/conventional for the first week, but whatever.

Bad: This first look screams trashy tranny diva that got attacked by a flesh-eating jungle virus. The ruched fabric inset on the right is just all kinds of terrible. The print looks like something cooked up on Paint, and the ruching is not only terribly unflattering, but just gross looking. For this second look, I'd like to remind you that this was the red carpet challenge. Formal shorts are not acceptable on the red carpet, especially when paired with a halter top that looks like it was sewn by a blind alien with a creepy super hero collar thrown in for kicks. In case you were wondering, this girl got voted off. Shocker. The last look is basically just a smocked, high collar with a panty hose improvised dress. That poor model is basically naked. I think the idea of a flowing, nude dress isn't a bad one, but with a smocked collar like that in nude, it just looks like wrinkly skin. Gross, gross, gross. Not to mention that it's totally shapeless.

Fixable: Most of these are just boring. I mean, I know fashion risks don't always work with the red carpet, but sometimes being boring is just as bad as being a train wreck. The first look is just too casual, too plain, and not all that flattering (and what's going on with the hair). The red dress draped very nicely in the back, but any starlet who wore that would be torn to pieces for how unflattering the front is. Can you say pregnancy rumors? Without the capelet/jacket and with some nice beading, this third dress could work in a very Ralph Lauren-esque way.

I like this nude dress from the black waist up, but I think since it's so nude and in such a clingy fabric, a simpler bottom without the split skirt would have been a much better choice. I'd take off the scarf like thing and axe the split skirt on this black dress, and it would be boring, but not totally odd like it is now. This silver dress needs more of a different embellishment. The shape is very simple, so it needs beading or detailing in a color with more contrast to keep it from being just a bunch of washed out satin.

I get where this yellow dress was going, it just didn't quite get there. I think with the detail on the top, the similar pleated detail on the skirt is overkill. If that bodice flowed in a simple, maybe multi-layered chiffon skirt the overall look would be much more chic and focused. If this grey dress had fit better, and the cutaway panel had been heavily embellished a la Balmain, it would have been edgy and interesting instead of boring and blah.

Good: I like that this black dress is red carpet appropriate, but it's still fun and modern. The one strap/sleeve combo is on-trend and the pleated detailing in the bodice adds visual interest, but when done in basic black the overall effect is still chic and glamorous. This blue dress would work for maybe a premiere, or a less formal red carpet. It's just such an adorable little cocktail dress. The blue on blue palette is soft and feminine, but not boring, and the balance of the abstracted pleating at the neckline and the slim body is perfect. You get the effect of origami folds with the flattering lines of a body-con mini. Love. This dress dress was actually the winning design. It's fun, and young, and the right mix of sweet and rebellious, and it would be so much more perfect if the bottom was lighter and a little less ruffly.

The draping on this gold dress is insanely gorgeous. Yes, it would only work if you had absolutely no hips, but the upper half of the dress is so flattering, and the shoulder detail is organic and polished. I think this is one of the most fashion forward ensembles from this episode (draped, pleated skirts a la Balenciaga are so in). This little black dress has a bit of a Balmain vibe, since it's uber body-con and uber-mini. The hint of sheen with the grey ribbon adds just enough of an edge to keep it young and fun. Just imagine it with sky-high Louboutins and some serious bling. I die.

Image Sources:
all from

Burt's Bees and J. Crew

Going through my closet and packing, I've realized that I'm big on the voluminous top, fitted bottoms silhouette. I know I should already know stuff like that about myself, but I'm not very observant at all. For reals. I like it because I have decently thin legs and relatively curvy hips, so it's a comfy but flattering look. The only trick with it is that the bottoms need to be very clean and very fitted for this to work. I have the jeans portion down, but sometimes you need to show a bit of leg (especially when you have that end of summer tan!), and that calls for a chic, fitted short. Which isn't something you can pick up at Forever21. I'm trying to save my cash, so I've resisted selling out for a good pair of shorts for literally months. But...I finally caved. Shocker, I know. I wanted a nice, neutral color that wasn't navy, grey, or black, because so many of my tops are those colors that similarly colored shorts wouldn't work.

J. Crew 3" Chino Shorts, on sale for $29.50 at, American Apparel Tri-blend Light Weight Raglan Pullover, $36 at, J. Crew Tissue Boyfriend V-neck Tee, $9.99 at So I went with these J. Crew shorts in khaki. I used to passionately hate khaki (bad school uniform memories), but I realized that it looks good with white, navy, black, grey, and basically anything. I got the 3-inch inseam because it's short enough to balance out a slouchy tee, but not too short. I mean, $30 is pretty good for a pair of J. Crew shorts, and they're just so classic and chic and clean and adorable. If you can't tell, I'm in a happy place. The only thing is that they definitely run at least a size small. I want to wear them with my new grey American Apparel raglan, because it hits at the perfect place on the hip to go with a tailored short, and with my J. Crew boyfriend tee, for the perfect slightly menswear-inspired weekend look.

Valentino Studded Cage Sandals, $795 at, Christian Louboutin Lolo Ballerina Pumps, $795 at And I just want both these shoes. Because they pretty. The Valentinos are the cheaper version of an Alaia pair that I can't find online, but they're still freaking awesome. I generally hate red, but somehow here with the shiny black studs and the big platforms the red is working for me. Don't get me wrong, these aren't staple, investment shoes. But they are HOT, and they would kill with a little grey dress (black and red is just too aggressive for me). I'm not sure if the ballerina toe on these heels would actually work in real life, but in my head it's amazing. You've got the sweetness of a ballet flat balanced by the sexiness of a platform and a stiletto heel--the perfect contrast.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Watermelon, $4.99 at As part of my saving money kick, I'm trying to get away from the MAC Tendertones as my signature lip balms and towards a cheaper, but still awesome lip balm. I was wandering around Target and happened upon a rack of these, so I just grabbed Watermelon, a medium pink, and headed to the cash register. It's less than $5, how could it go that wrong?

Overall, I really like it. The minty scent and menthol feel aren't my favorite, but I can deal with them. The texture is very buttery and smooth, a mix between a lipstick and a Tendertone-esque lip balm. I like that it's a little firmer, because I feel like it stays on my lips longer and doesn't melt away. It's decently moisturizing, maybe a little less than my Tendertones but it's still doable. The thing I'm most intrigued by is the color. Watermelon has nothing to do with watermelons. It's a medium, slightly frosty, blue-based pink with a lot of shimmer. It gives my lips a hint of sheen and that baby-doll, pale pink hue that I love. The thin tube is easy to work with (and easier to lose), and the twist-up format seems to work pretty well. I'd give it a 7.5/10, which is pretty good for something that cost a third of the cost of my old Tendertones. I'm interested in trying other, possibly more natural looking shades, and at this price point, I can actually do it.

Image Sources:
J. Crew shorts:, American Apparel Pullover:, J. Crew tee:, Valentino Pumps:, Christian Louboutin Pumps:, Burt's Bees Lip Balm:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Christopher Kane for Topshop

Christoper Kane for Topshop. I don't think I need to explain that in much detail. It's just epic amazingness. It drops next month, it's all under $310, and it's freaking Christopher Kane. I die. Here are my top six picks (but to be honest, I like all of it. It's surprisingly wearable for Christopher Kane).

Lace Eyelet Cutout Dress, $310, One-shoulder Lace Dress, $160, Bust Cup Dress, $260: This first dress mixes soft and hard so perfectly. The taffeta is sweet and girly, but the cutouts and grommets (?) are both sexy and on-trend. This one-shouldered dress is a great take on the asymmetrical cocktail dress trend that's going on right now, but it's also a chic little LBD, so it will work long after this fall. Without the sparkly leggings. Please. I know the skirt on this blue dress is questionably cut with that split skirt, but the cobalt blue is so lovely, I love the subtle sparkle and corset vibe of the bust, and it's just such a young, fun look. You could wear this dress so many places that it justifies its price tag.

Bandage Dress, $100, this black dress is mislabeled as Mirrored Hoodie, but it's $210 so I think it's a dress, Croc Dress, $125: This yellow, lace cutout dress is a great way to do '80s neon, and in that cute little package of that streamlined mini dress, it looks modern instead of retro. The sparkles on this black dress are insane. The top is so sharp and dominatrixy, and the bottom is so soft and feminine--it has a fantastic, almost uneasy tension that I love. And I heart Christopher Kane for making a cheap version of his gorilla tees. I mean, yes, it's a crocodile, but it's a similar thing going on. It's not all that wearable or versatile, but on the right person with the right styling it could be adorable.

All Images from


Related Posts with Thumbnails