Friday, August 22, 2008

New Finds!

I know I have been MIA much of this week, but it is only because I have been scouring the world (wide web) for new stuff for YOU.

Some cool sites to check out:
This style site is all about new stuff and a community of fashion-forward people.

My Style Diary
Post and view pics of people around the world, get tips, see new trends and style experiements in action.

Soma Intimates
Check out the Vanishing Edge panties and other good stuff. I have ordered several pairs and will review them for you in great detail soon.

Melanie Auld Designs
Some of the coolest new and very wearable jewelry I've seen in a while, and pretty decent prices. Delicate necklaces, charming earrings, stackable rings.

Duo Boots
Bootastic. Amazing boots that come in a huge range of sizes and calf widths. Prices aren't cheap, but they aren't super scary either, especially for a beautiful- and beautifully fitting- pair of leather boots.

Plus size clothing and boots that are stylish and well-priced.

Barefoot Tess
Womens' shoes and boots in size 11 and up. Amazing range of designers available.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My photographer is sleeping in, so now we know what happens when I try to take a picture of myself...

Outfit details: Tee, Banana; Pants, Banana; Shoes, Bamboo (they are yellow, in case the blurry image above doesn't convey that); necklace, H&M

Why it works: The colors' tones make it work- since the navy, green, and yellow are of a similar tone, they compliment each other instead of looking messy. This is the way I know how to make several colors work together: make one of them a neutral. The necklace dresses up what is otherwise just a tee.

What it needs: I'm on the hunt for the perfect structured jacket...

Dress it up: Switch out tee for a blouse.

Dress it down: Exchange jeans for the slacks and you have a great weekend look.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Purple lurve...

Outfit details: Top, Paris; Skirt, Ann Taylor; Shoes, Vince Camutto

Why it works: Color on color is a streamlined look for work. It reeks of sophisitication when it is done properly, but can be overkill in the wrong shades. With the cream detailing and shoes, the purple gets broken up enough to be nice, not overwhelming.

What it needs: Jewelry- bracelet, earrings, or ring.

Dress it up: Tuck in the blouse, pointy-toed shoe in more subdued color.

Dress it down: Off-white tee, flats instead of heels.

Purple is IN people- try it!

10 Booties Under $100

At the request of a colleague, I present to you 10 great bootie options, each under $100. All of these shoes can be found on Zappos, so they are easy to find and order.
Bandolino "Instant"

Classic and sleek, these ankle boots are perfect for work and weekend. They come in dark brown and black.

Gabriella Rocha "Carlie"

Another sleek pair with a little more curves, these come in leather and suede.

Tribeca "Better Knot"

These are versatile and really cute; I'd wear these with everything from jeans to skirt and tights. They also come in black and chocolate.

J. Renee "Caden"

A downtown look, perfect with pants. In black and brown.

rsvp "Macey"

Feels uptown to me, especially in this fabulous burgandy patent with suede. Also available in black, brown, and grey.

Jessica Simpson "Fox"

Just plain hot. You could get away with these are work with a simple all-black or grey outfit.
Gabriella Rocha "Anni"

Put a little funk in your heart, people. Black with purple patent is just awesome.

NaNa "Helga"

A little sweet, a little modern, these are just fun. They come in grey, black, and brown.

Not Rated "Social Science"

Aren't these sweet? They also come in two other fab color combos- two tone brown and navy with purple.
Annie "Hannah"

These are a perfect everyday pair in microseude and at their price ($58), you can get one in every color.

What do you think, ladies? Any takers for any of these?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Man Moment

Top Ten Reasons Why All Professional Men Should Own a Suit:
10. Seriously, if you can look this good, why wouldn't you?
9. You never know when you are going to have an interview.
8. Bosses/supervisors/managers like a man who cleans up well, trust me.
7. You can show your signficant other that you CAN TOO look nice if you want.
6. Court appearances. Yes, both professional and personal ones.
5. Suits can be found ON SALE, people.
4. Just the word Armani makes most women happy.
3. Weddings and funerals.
2. They are immensely flattering when they are properly tailored.
1. You know the song about the Sharp Dressed Man? It's true.
P.S. Thank you to my model, Sean, who can pull off Armani like nobody's business.


Sometimes a place a ubiquitous as Banana Republic can come through with pieces for the perfect sexy secretary look.

Outfit details: Tee, Banana. Cardigan, Banana. Skirt, Banana. Shoes, Franco Sarto. Necklace, H&M.

Why it works: The red gets toned down with the off-white cardie. Also, who doesn't adore a skirt with pockets?!
Dress it up: Replace cardigan with a structured jacket, and voila!
Dress it down: Take off the cardigan, untuck the tee, switch out groovy plaid & leather pumps for flats.
What it needs: It's all good today, people. It's all good.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nordie's Ten Things

Seriously, we keep getting bombarded by so many sources telling us what to get for fall, how is a sophisticated professional such as yourself supposed to know what to buy?

Here's what I think about Nordstrom's Ten Things to Evolve Your Style Right Now (that's a direct quote):

1. The Standout Coat
Fall is the time to buy a great coat if you don't already have one. The best coats are versatile and comfortable. And by versatile, I mean not a weird print or fluorescent orange. When you find one you like, make sure it fits over a tee and your favorite sweater.

2. The Feminine Blouse
I'd say go for it if you are into it, but don't get the $319 one Nordstrom is trying to sell you. Get something super affordable so you can get rid of it when this trend inevitably- and quickly- goes the way of the dinosaur. Also remember that too feminine in the office can come across as immature or even flighty when not done properly. Pair your frilly concoction with serious trousers or a sharp skirt.

3. The Pencil Skirt
Since this is something most women already own, I don't see this entry as a great marketing decision, Nordstrom. I love a pencil skirt, I just don't see how this is some sort of style evolution.

4. The Trouser
This seems obvious, given that temperatures will be dropping and bottomless isn't a professional look at most legal places of business. What you are being told, basically, is that the dress no longer reigns supreme and pants are back.

5. The Statement Necklace
I'm totally on board with this. Get a chunky necklace, get a cuff. Just remember that if you look overwhelmed by your accessories, you have made a poor choice.

6. The Sheath
Buy with caution. If a sheath dress doesn't fit PERFECTLY, it looks cheap, even if you bought the $595 Tory Burch number at Nordstrom. Any pulling looks tacky, people.

7. The Short Jacket
Love it. If you didn't buy one during the last 3 seasons you were instructed on this little item, do yourself a favor and get one already. Modern and typically flattering.

8. The Soft Satchel
Don't get hung up on words like "soft" and "satchel." You are being told that a fairly large, fairly expensive handbag made of nice leather would be a good purchase. What a shocker.

9. A Pop of Plaid
Aside from the kitschy as hell title of this entry, I don't have a problem with a little plaid. Just make sure it reads professional and not school girl. A muted color palette will go a long way toward that end.

10. The Bootie
I have booties on my own list for several reasons: they are cute with jeans, slacks, and tights with dresses or skirts; they are a great alternative to the pumps and other heels I've been wearing this season; and they scream fall. Love them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Needless Markup's "Magnificant Seven"

In the words of colleague: suck it, Neiman Marcus.

Neiman's new catalogue lists "Fall's Magnificant Seven" as if they have single-handedly designed and created the fall trends that we've actually been seeing since BEFORE the fall shows.

So, here are Neiman's seven, with my comments, obviously:

1. Berry colors

Wow, what a shocker. If you have eyes, you can see that all shades of berry and purple are everywhere. I do recommend that you get some for fall and beyond- choose a flattering shade that you like, don't buy a color simply because you see three floors of it at Macy's.

If you get a top, try to pair it with something other than boring black. Most shades look amazing with navy, brown, grey and olive.

2. Satin

Do yourself a favor and don't bathe yourself in this. A satin blouse for work or dress for evening is lovely, but unless you like looking shiny, you aren't going to want to wear it every day. One way to participate in this trend without fear is in an accessory, like shoes or a clutch.

3. High-vamp shoes

Look, I love a sexy shoe as much as the next gal, but seriously, this is not office appropriate. Vamp-inspired is one thing, full on S&M is just asking for your manager to chat with you about the dress code.

4. Lace

A little goes a long way. I like the idea of a feminine lace jacket, but I don't like the reality of it on most working women. I think a lace jacket or dress MIGHT work for evening if it is well-made and fits perfectly. Otherwise, I think this is one that could easily end up looking cheap or very young. Try a lace overlay on a pair of shoes or gloves if you must have a some lace in your life.

5. Sleek shapes

This is one that I am totally on board with. For work, when in doubt, tailored is better than shapeless. Slim jackets, a pencil skirt, tailored slacks: love, love, love.

6. Romantic blouses

For me, blouses that both fit and are flattering are hard to find. If this is your thing, go for it. Just remember that this is a trend, probably not a lasting style.

7. Statement Jewlery

I don't see how this is new for fall, people. Haven't we been seeing ornate pieces for a while now. Whatever. The point it, the delicate chain is supposed to be replaced by major bling. This seems slightly over the top for the office and depending on your stature, might not even be flatering. Accessories should be proportionate to your stature, period.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Thursday

So, obviously I need a slimmer under this top...

Anyway, if you are looking at this outfit and wondering how the hell it works, I can explain:

Outfit details: Tee, Banana. Pants, Old Navy. Sweater, Anthropologie. Shoes, from Mexico. Necklace, H&M.

Why it works: The neutral brown pants and the pseudo-neutral tee are basically a blank canvas. The sweater adds a shot of color and a hint of waist (really, I swear), and the floral lace printed shoes add a little pattern in an otherwise all color-blocked outfit.

Dress it up: prettier top or blouse.

Dress it down: Jeans instead of slacks.

What it needs: I'm not a huge fan of this ensemble (yes, I have near-misses some days), and one thought I had was to switch the short-sleeved green tee for a long-sleeved white one to brighten the outfit and also have more contrast between the tee and the sweater.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Top Ten Wednesday

Yeah, yeah, it's a day late.

So, here are my Top Ten Style Resources for Working Women:

10. E-Zine: The Clothing Chronicles
This E-Zine comes out every month or so and is a useful way to get perspective on various style issues and trends.

9. Magazine: Vogue.
THE word on all things style and fashion forward. Except when they not only allow, but heartily endorse, jumpsuits.

8. Book: What You Wear Can Change Your Life, by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine.
The original mavens of BBC's "What Not to Wear" have books that encapsulate their time-honored teachings and this is one of their best.

7. Magazine: In Style:
Accessible where Vogue is not. Offers more realistic style options than Vogue and is fun to look at.

6. Book: The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise from a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Look, by Kendall Farr
This is the easiest little book to throw in your purse on your way to the stores.

5. TV Show: What Not to Wear, the BBC version
Hilarious and real, Trinny and Susannah can teach even the most hopeless slobs look awesome.

4. TV Show: TLC's What Not to Wear, American version
The well-known Stacey & Clinton take on fashion offenders of all types, and you can't help but learn something on every show.

3. Magazine: Lucky.
This is a modern woman's shopping and style guide. I suggest you subscribe immediately.

2. In-Store Fashion Shows: Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Saks have mini and major shows periodically and if you ever get invited to one, go. Usually free or very inexpensive (as a fundraiser for something), you will usually get cocktails and a viewing of the latest shoes/bags/favorite clothing line/etc.

And my number one resource...
1. Other working women.
You can learn a lot about what to wear yourself by paying attention to what others wear. Look at their position in the office (if you know it) and how it corresponds to their wardrobe. Look at how they put their clothes together, what they wear often, what looks best on them. I am not a fan of measuring yourself by others' standards, but I do believe in learning from others. Take a look around, ask someone where they got their new shoes, and see what you can apply to yourself in your own way!

Dress Wednesday

Outfit details: Dress, Nordstrom. Tights, DKNY. Shoes, Franco Sarto. Necklace, made by a friend.

Why it works: It's comfortable & work appropriate- woo hoo. Since the dress is above the knee, the tights keep it more conservative. And a dress with fairly little shape gets sharper with some killer heels.

What it needs: Cocktail ring?

Dress it up: I think this transitions well to something dressier after work, as it is.

Dress it down: Switch the tights and heels for flats. Throw on some bangles.

P.S. Lest your week be diminished by my missing Top Ten Tuesday yesterday (so sue me), this week's top ten list will be coming soon, I swear...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Toe Tirade

It's summer, even in San Francisco (some days, anyway), and that means open-toed shoes on parade.

I am fan of the open toe- it's fresh and free, compared to your pointy toed arse-kickers and your ballet flats. They can dress down any outfit with the greatest of ease, which is why you must beware when approaching the office in them.

The office where I work does not permit open-toed shoes as they are simply too casual in our industry. (We have been known to allow a peep-toe or two, however.)

If you are permitted to wear open toes in the office, then in the name of working women everywhere, please keep the following in mind:


If you wear open toed shoes in public- that is, anywhere people have eyes- you must maintain your feet impeccably. That does not mean clean, people, though that's a lovely start. This also goes for those of you still wearing flip flops outside the designated pool and beach areas.

If I see one more nasty set of feet in the city on a work day, I will be sick. Let's discuss how we can prevent this:

1. Get a pedicure regularly. By pedicure, I mean full soak, scrub, exfoliation, clipping, and polish. And by regularly, I mean as often as necessary to prevent your snaggle toe from peeking out in your new purple gladiators.

2. Wear close-toed shoes. If you cannot do the above due to finances, laziness, or you are just a damn slob, just don't wear an open-toed shoe.

3. Yellow should not be allowed to mellow. Now, I am not a doctor of any kind, but I know nasty when I see it. Get thee to your doctor if you see anything yellow crop up on those toenails.

4. For god's sake, use a loofa. A loofa can come in a variety of shapes, colors, and price points. I use one that cost $5 at my local nail salon. It's not fancy, but it does its job: it removes dead skin cells from my feet. And that what all women wearing any shoes that even come close to showing your heels or the sides of your feet must do in the shower, as often as possible. Trust me, you will see a difference after a couple of uses and sighted people everywhere will thank you (not to mention your significant other who is tired of being scratched by your feet while sleeping).

P.S. This post is dedicated to well-maintained toe enthusiasts everywhere- you know who you are.