Friday, December 11, 2009

Gift Guide #2: Elegant, Polished, and Slightly Retro

This is pretty much the exact opposite of yesterday's gift guide. It's for your friend that loves old Audrey Hepburn, Hitchcock, and Fellini films, pretty much lives at J. Crew, and has a very classic, slightly '50s/'60s-influenced sense of style (Holly, this one's for you!).

Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink, $21 at, Sephora Angled Liner Brush, D & G 10 La Roue De La Fortune EDT, $65 for 3.3 oz. at, Tocca Crema da Sogno body Cream in Stella, $45 for 6 oz. at I know an intense black liner seems out place of for the classic ingenue look, but really, just a thin line of this stuff along the upper lashline is the best no-makeup makeup. It makes your lashes look so full, defines the eye subtly, and you can flick it out at the end for a little extra drama. It's very Audrey Hepburn/Hitchcock heroine/Fellini bombshell-inspired. I love this perfume. It's got pink pepper, pineapple, tuberose, jasmine, gardenia, vanilla, orris, benzoin, and patchouli. Since it's an EDT, it's very light, but all those strong notes make from a warm scent that stays very close to the body with just a hint of sweetness. It's very sexy in a soft, refined, slightly mysterious way, and that bottle would look great on anyone's dresser. The same goes for this Tocca body cream. First off, the packaging is so drop-dead Italian chic, and it just looks expensive (it's not cheap, but that tub has serious heft). The cream itself is extremely luxurious, so it's somewhat practical, and the smell--well, the smell is seriously divine. It's blood oranges, but it's not overwhelmingly sweet. There's a bit of tartness in there that rounds it out and keeps it from being too foody. Aside from using it as a lotion, it would also be great layered under a lot of perfumes for depth and lasting power.

J. Crew Icon Trench, $298 at, J. Crew Cashmere V-Neck Cardigan, $168 at, J. Crew Vintage Pajama Set, $69.50 at This trench doesn't really need any explaining. It's such a versatile, classic piece, and the price is pretty reasonable. You could rock it with a pencil skirt and some heels for a very old-school, polished look, or throw it on over a pair of jeans and a drapey white tee for a chic, modern ensemble. Every Audrey Hepburn/Grace Kelly worshiping girl needs a cashmere cardigan, and J. Crew does them so perfectly. I like this incarnation because it comes in a Skittles-worthy rainbow of colors, and the two pockets and contrast buttons give it a bit of a His Girl Friday vibe. And who doesn't love getting cashmere for Christmas, really? These pajamas are simply fantastic. They're pitch perfect '50s guy pajamas. You could wear them together for a more retro vibe, or separate them (wear the bottoms with a basic tee or tank and the top with a little pair of shorts) for a younger take on the same look.

Anthropologie Peony Pave Posts, $28 at, Tory Burch French Zip-Around Wallet, $155 at, Restoration Hardware Cashmere Souffle Scarf, $78 down from $98 at How adorably chic are these earrings? The glitzyness of them makes them very on-trend, but the sweet peony shape is so Betty Draper (Mad Men!) early '60s amazingness. They would be equally amazing peeking out from loose hair or sparkling with a twist updo. I love this wallet. The square shape is so old-school European, but the patent leather and cutout logo are so of the moment. I think every girl needs a nice wallet. It can double as a clutch in a pinch, and you'll feel infinitely chicer pulling out something like this at Starbucks or Vons than a ratty old wallet you've had since middle school. Those are the kinds of details that really make an outfit. I had no idea Restoration Hardware sold scarves (random much?) but these are fantastic. Aside from the range of colors--I'm loving the ivory--they're a cashmere-silk blend, so they're lightweight but warm, and they're gigantic (about 2.5 by 6.5 feet). $78 is a really great deal here, because you can wear them as a scarf like shown, but they'd also work as a shawl or a blanket on a long plane ride.

Ray-Ban Aviators, $129 at, J. Crew Abbey Top Cap Ballet Flats, $128 at, Mad Men Season 1 on DVD, $26.49 at I can't think of a more classic or iconic pair of sunglasses than these. I know I've posted them 100 times, but I've looked at 1000 sunglasses and really, these are king. They worked 50 years ago, they work now, and their slightly masculine, aviator-pilot vibe makes them even more appealing on a girl, if that makes any sense. These shoes are 100% Audrey. The black and white palette with that toe cap is really similar to the Chanel Ballet flats, but I actually like these better. They're simpler, which I think makes them more versatile, and there's just something so iconic about that look. Plus they're J. Crew, so they're well-made. I know Mad Men is a really obvious gift here, but I'm going to plug it anyways. It's SO GOOD. I resisted watching it for so long because it sounded like just another boring, overrated historical drama, and testosterone-filled ad agencies didn't seem that interesting. Of course, I was wrong. The fashion alone is worth buying it. The girls on this show are FIERCE. And you know, it's well-acted and well-written and all that jazz.

Image Sources:
Bobbi Brown eyeliner:, D & G EDT:, Tocca body cream:, J. Crew trench:, J. Crew sweater:, J. Crew pajamas:, Anthropologie earrings:, Tory Burch wallet:, Restoration Hardware scarf:, Ray-Ban sunglasses:, J. Crew ballet flats:, Mad Men on DVD:

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