Thursday, May 28, 2009


I will be offline for a couple of days, but don't worry- I will be posting again on Monday!

Handbag of the Day: Satin Evening Clutch

This BCBGMAXAZRIA clutch is $158 and comes in black and champagne.  This is a fabulous evening clutch that I would be ecstatic to carry with everything from dark jeans to a dress.  It has an architchtural aspect that feels modern and clean without being plain or dull in any way. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Handbag of the Day: Double Pocket Bag

This double pocket bag is $175 and comes in a bunch of different colors. The sleek, subtly feminine shape is balanced by a durable saddlebag feel , so the bag has weight without being clunky. This one could work for weekends, travel, or every day. Gotta love a bag with options.

A Mad Hot Mess

I believe this is the very definition of Hot Mess.

This appears to be Helena Bonham Carter and her mom, although it is hard to recognize them with so much, um, weirdness happening.

I am trying to decide if they did this to be funny or if they both woke up and decided to put on as many items of clothing they could find in stuffed into corners of their closets and then determined that the best way to accessorize the whole thing was to grab a handful of costume jewelry, scarves, and bags, toss them into the air, and see what stuck.

First of all, Helena is way too attractive for this ridiculousness. Surely if she applied herself, we could see something just a tiny bit better. As for mom (mum?), that hat looks deliberate, and I find that just a little offensive. You are in public, and I have eyes, people!

Trend Review: Hitched Hem Skirts

Soooo...a skirt whose hem is hitched up in random places so that it looks like it's tucked into your tights and/or underwear...who knew that a skirt could give a girl camel toe?

Here's a cheaper way to look messy, voluminous, and a little bit crazy: hitch up the hem of a skirt you already own, tuck it into your underwear, and be on your merry way.

Seriously, I can't think of a single reason why anyone would PAY to look like she can't dress herself. For god's sake, if you have a skirt that looks like it has just a few too many snags, take it to Goodwill, don't prance around in it like it's a damn fashion statement.

And don't worry, the back is even worse:

I mean, who doesn't love looking like their skirt is tucked into their arse?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Handbag of the Day: Convertible Satchel

The Sak Convertible Satchel is beautiful, functional, comes in 4 colors, and is $200. it has just enough detail to make it interesting and lux, but altogether the bag reads versatile and every day. If I didn't already have my eye on a L.A.M.B bag (to be discussed at a later time), I would put this on my list of fall/winter handbag options...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sale Alert

I discovered the Jalda Sale site and decided I would share it with you, even though I really, really wanted to hog it for myself. We're talking a gorgeous Italian satin leather bag that was originally $460 and is now $138, people! Not to mention the other RIDICULOUSLY good deals. Seriously, if I didn't love you SO MUCH...

Handbag of the Day: White Tote

This is not your mother's tote bag. This Diesel tote is $110 (though today it is $88 on a special sale). There's something about the pristine white leather with the rocker zipper detail that I love. It would be a fabulous, modern, every day bag. And while eBags isn't my first online stop for bags, they have a huge inventory and some awesome sales.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Handbag of the Day: Cross-Body bag

I bought this Tano cross-body bag for weekends and travel. It's $195, the leather is delish, and it is the perfect size for tooling around town on weekends and touring around Boston, Italy, Sonoma, and Chicago this summer and fall. And I have decided that orange is semi-neutral. Beats a nasty backpack, right?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Seeking Stylish Graduation Gifts?

Look no further than the Nordstrom half yearly sale. Note that I am focusing on the female grads in your life- Nordstrom is great for dudes but that's not my specialty.

This Hobo pleated patent leather clutch is only $51.90 (originally $78) and comes in several other colors, including black and sun. I just picked this up for my sis, who is having a bad week and needs a little happy. But this would make a great, affordable graduation gift.

Some other suggestions:

Leather business card holder in a fun color- or an embellished one if that is more her speed. This leather Lodis business card holder is only $32 and comes in 6 colors (and can typically be found at Nordstrom):

Cocktail ring- buying costume jewelry isn't weird if they already like accessories. This candy colored Kate Spade ring is $26.90 (originally $55):

A large scarf or wrap is also a good choice. If your grad is going to Europe for the summer or moving somewhere warm, consider a linen scarf (these are $32.90):

And if she is going somewhere colder? These fabulous cashmere wraps are only $98 and come in a ridiculous number of colors:

And if all else fails: get a gift card- then she can select whatever she wants!

Handbag of the Day: Yellow Slouch Bag

Need a summer bag? This yellow leather slouch bag from Dorothy Perkins could fit the bill. At 50 pounds (around $79), this will take you through late summer into early fall and the buttery yellow is a surprisingly versatile color.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Your Closet Profile: Sandals

I have a lot of opinions about sandals. Most of them are just disgusting, too many people who desperately need pedicures wear them, and a huge number of them are over-priced. Let's review some basics and I will share with you my personal picks for sandals this summer.

1) GET A DAMN PEDICURE. And maintain it. Period.

2) Flip flops and sandals are not the same thing. Flip flops are rubber or plastic and are appropriate for the pool, gym shower, and beach. Consequently, they are worth $15, TOPS.

Sleek leather thongs are not flip flops, and could be worn with shorts, skirts, or sun dresses. Try something modern:

3) I heart platforms. If you are adverse to heels, I recommend trying some platform sandals. I generally advise against anything too delicate, as a platform needs some weight to look balanced on the foot. If you are concerned about the shoe being too chunky, try something neutral, to play down the chunky effect. These are pretty fun:

4) Just a little embellishment is enough. Excessive fringe is weird and too much beading feels Old Woman At The Resort-y. These are cute:

5) A little color will do you good. And wedges are your friend- you get height and some stability. Woo hoo. Consider something like these (don't worry, there are a lot of options with lower heels out there):

6) Avoid platform flip flops at all costs. I shouldn't even have to say this, but I do. They are juvenile and ugly and you can get comfy shoes with some height without advertsing your unwillingness to admit that you are over 16.

7) Summer is a chance to try out the latest or most interesting trends. So remember that sandals are not investment items. Investments pieces are trend-proof (or relatively so) and wearable for many seasons for several years. But sandals are made for 1-2 seasons (spring and summer, in case you didn't know) and if you spend a reasonable amount of money on a couple pairs this season, you get to move on to next spring and summer and experiment again with the newest trends, guilt-free.

So, here's what I'm working with right now:

First, I just got the Camper Bianca heels pictured at the top of the post. They are sleek enough and covered up enough for work, but the rubber heel and orange accent are fun enough for wearing on the weekend with a sun dress.

As a flat(ter) option, I also got these Indigo by Clarks sandals (above) to wear with shorts or skirts on the weekend and to walk around while traveling this summer and fall.

For something a little nicer, I also have these Kenneth Cole sandals for sun dresses and summer evenings:

You may notice that almost all of my selections aren't backless. Backless sandals not only tend to make a vulgar slapping noise as you walk, they also lack support and can look dated. Use with caution.

Happy Summer!

Handbag of the Day

I am trying out a new Handbag of the Day feature. I figure it will a) force me to look at bags every day (which will obviously TOTALLY suck), b) make my fellow handbag lovers happy, and c) possibly encourage non-handbag lovers to like them just a little more. My pledge to you: they will all be under $200.

First up, the Francesco Biasia "Charlotte Shield" for $178 on It is a lovely shape, is one of the most versatile sizes and colors you could find, and the price is a STEAL for the quality of this designer.

The second is a Hobo "Melia" wallet in a color called Sun, on sale at for $79.99 (originally $148). I LOVE my Hobo wallets and clutches, and recommend this as a punchy addition to your summer wardrobe. In fact, I am so obsessed with this at the moment that I could cave and buy it in a moment of weakness, even though I most certainly do not need to buy another purse/handbag/wallet/clutch for a while...Sigh. Won't one of you PLEASE get it so I can at least live vicariously through you?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another UK Clothing Site (this one is awesome!)

This fab dress is $70 (45 pounds) and comes in sizes 6 through 22.  What is not to love about a site like that?  I just discovered Dorothy Perkins ( and I think you should, too.  The clothes are cool, the shoes are sweet, the accessories collection is extensive. And the prices are all within a very reasonable range.  

Lemme know what you think.

Retro Clothes Alert

I love a great retro dress.  I am not a fan of costumes, but Daddy-O ( walks the fine line between costumes and retro clothing pretty well.  The site has men's bowling shirts, some amazing dresses, shoes, and other accessories.  

I find the accessories too kitchy for my taste, and I extend a strong word of caution to those of you brave enough to work the rockabilly/swing/lounge look: a little goes a long way.  Meaning, if you wear a full-on 50s dress, keep it modern and non-Halloweeny with more updated accessories.  If you love a kitchy litte handbag, don't wear your most retro pumps- keep everything else relatively sleek and simple.

That said, I adore this dress and these pumps, so not putting them together might require some willpower...

Another UK Shoe Site

My newest shoe site discovery is Irregular Choice ( Originally, I was annoyed at the shoes I was seeing; so many of them are weird and a few are downright hideous.  But then I found some diamonds in the very rough, um, rough.  The price range appears to be around $50-$150, based on what I found at and

Yes, some of their designs are (ahem) irregular, but some are adorable, and a few are even a bit sexy.

Just for fun, check them out.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Music Festivals, Street Fairs & Outdoor Concerts

As you might imagine, I am not a huge fan of what passes for attire at outdoor summer events. As there is simply not enough time for me to discuss the true costumes so many like to don for street fairs, music festivals, and other outdoor concerts, I am limiting this post to actual, non-costume clothes worn to these events.

1. I see a lot of skin.
Yes, it is warm. Yes, you are outdoors. Yes, it is casual. But people, the same rules for basic bodily coverage still apply. Bras need to be worn, shorts should cover the entire crotch & pelvis area, and, Yep! Showing stomach is still gross.

2. I see a lot of lousy excuses.
Just because it's a casual affair doesn't mean you aren't going to be seen by people with eyes. Do them all- and yourself- a favor, and leave the prairie skirts, tube tops, obnoxious prints, and butt & boob cleavage-baring items at home gathering dust where they belong.

Why on EARTH does half the female population pull out their damn prairie skirts for outdoor events?! Surely she owns a pair of shorts or a skirt or dress in a length and volume considered even remotely flattering? Just because we are outside and there are musicians and artists doesn't mean it's the 70s. They are out and they are ugly. Period.

3. Comfortable does not mean sloppy.
Sometimes I wonder if some people just rolled out of bed after partying like a rock star the night before and cruised onto the scene without even realizing that they look ROUGH. You know who I'm talking about. They look trashy, stinky, and crusty. Given how hot it is likely to be, you might consider showering ahead of time.

4. Flip flops are still inappropriate.
There are a lot of great alternatives to flip flops and their ilk. Try some. This is not the time for your most hideous footwear to come out of hiding. I am a huge fan of flats of all types, low wedges, and sandals.

5. Fit still matters.
Again, just because it's hot and you are outdoors, does not mean that basic rules for dressing don't still apply. Those tiny shorts you can JUST button? Should go to Goodwill. Because truthfully? You don't look any better in them now that I can see you in full sunlight.

6. Don't buy clothes and other crap at festivals and street fairs.
This should be your mantra as you pass each over-priced vendor hawking wares that were DEFINITELY not hand-made by Siberian monks or whatever line they are feeding you. Look, there are some genuinely nice things made by some genuinely local vendors. But most of them are not at most of these events. If you aren't sure, get the seller's card and check them out. You can almost always buy something from them over the phone or online later.

The clothes I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. That $35 tee with the pithy saying on the front? You won't wear it nearly as often as you think you will. The long flowy skirt all the girls at the festival seem to own? Is ugly and unflattering on everyone. That bright orange sun hat that would be PERFECT with some white linen pants? Leave it alone! You've never owned white pants and you sure as hell aren't going to start now.

7. Now that you know what doesn't work, here are some outfit ideas so you can actually get dressed:

Music Festival: Bright tank + dark shorts + low wedges = great for a little wandering with some grass-sitting

Street Fair: White tee + a-line skirt + ballet or other flats = good for lots of wandering and a little sitting, preferably on a chair or bench

Outdoor Concert: Sundress + sandals = perfect for lounging outdoors, listening to some tunes, hopefully with a glass of wine in hand

(All clothes, Old Navy; Shoes, Piperlime)

If there's any risk of a weather change, you could throw a cardigan, light scarf/wrap, or thin sweater in your bag.

8. Jewelry: Less is more.
I advise little, if any, jewelry. One necklace or a pair of earrings is sufficient. You don't want to wear anything that will need any attention while you eat standing up/use the port a potty/lug around your picnic basket & blanket.

What do you think? What do you typically wear to casual outdoor events?

Well-Priced Cute Jewelry Alert!

I just discovered Pretty Little Thing ( a jewelry site with some great pieces at really nice prices. I am into this Single Branch Necklace, and at $40, I don't even have to wait for a reason to buy it! Check out the different collections- I like the Serpents & Rainbows collection for colorful, fun pieces and the Daybreak & Nightfall collection for something a little cheekier.

Shorts + Heels = Hideous Evening Look From Hell

Even during the day, the shorts with heels thing must be handled with care. But at night it's just plain inappropriate, weird, and depending on location, a little offensive.

Let me count the ways that the above look, and those related to it, sucks:

1. Clogs are probably the ugliest shoes known to womankind.

2. Paisley shorts are not cute after age 8, and even then they're on the edge.

3. Shorts that are short enough to see arse (or anything else) while sitting or standing are inappropriate at all times. Maybe the surfer chicks at the beach can SORT OF get away with it, but even then I'm not so sure.

4. Shorts at a bar/club/restaurant at night are weird enough outside the sporadic biker dive, but to hit the club in cuffed shorts and heels is borderline rude. I mean, I put on my nice jeans/dress/mini- why the hell didn't you feel the need to do the same? And just because shorts are in and it's hot outside does not mean they work for every occasion.

5. If you just rolled into said bar/club/restaurant the from the park with your bf/musuem with mom/running errands that is gross. But if you went home, changed into your little "outfit" on purpose, and decided you were ready to go, that is just inexcusable. I swear, I almost told one woman at the bar on Friday to go home and change into her big girl clothes.

6. Celebs do not dictate what you should be wearing. I am sure that we've all seen pictures of a beautiful celebrity-of-the-day in her shorts and heels Look of Season outfit. Lest you be delusional, you are not her. My point? Celebs can be style inspirations, but they are not the end all and be all of YOUR style and what works in real life. A little common sense and a tiny dose of reality will carry you far.

7. Repeat after me: Clogs are hideous. Clogs ARE hideous. Clogs are HIDEOUS.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Outfit of the Day: Happiness is a Warm Day

Details: Top, Anthropologie; pants, Banana Republic; cami, Calson @ Nordstrom; shoes, Vince Camutto; ring, Banana.

Why it works: The floaty silk top in pastels is anchored by the navy trousers.  The off white shoes are a little bit fun, and the (large) ring's colors compliment the top perfectly and lend some weight to the outfit.

What it needs: Just a little smile might make this a happier look...

Dress it up:  Swap slacks for pencil skirt and switch peep toes to pumps.

Dress it down: Swap slacks for jeans, switch peep toes to flats.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't Do This: Dog Backpack

So, I like a dog as much as the next schmoe, but when I saw a women in the Financial District heading for a train wearing this, with a tiny rat-masquerading-as-a-dog creature inside (what, so I'm a cat person), I thought I might scream.

Several possible explanations for this abomination came to mind: 1) she is thinks she is Paris Hilton but can't afford a designer bag in which to carry her precious mutt, 2) she couldn't live without it for 8 hours so had to bring it with her to work, which was probably really freaking fun for the dog, or 3) she thought she was hiking to her campground in the wilderness with her best friend. In downtown San Francisco.

And have you ever SEEN one of these babies in action? The tiny dog-like animal (ok, fine, it was an ACTUAL dog) is skittering around, sloshing from side to side with every step this woman took. The pack isn't exactly stationary when it is on your back and a small yipping animal is balancing precariously inside. The whole scene was pathetic.

So, to sum up: this is freaking RIDICULOUS and I cannot be convinced that anyone with eyes could ever dream of subjecting themselves and others to such a revolting spectacle.

What the HELL is this?!

This is a platform espadrille sneaker.

Platform. Espadrille. Sneaker.

That this is just hideous goes without saying. But the fact that Piperlime carries it is beyond comprehension. We're talking stripes, patent, and a jute wrapped platform here people!

As with creepy bugs and stinky people on the train, I'm going to take a deep breath and pretend this doesn't exist.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Outfit of the Day: Spring has Sprung

Details: Top, Ric Rac @ Anthropologie; Skirt, Nanette Lepore; Necklace, Banana Republic; Shoes, Biala

Why it works:  First of all, I am showing the back view because one of the fabulous details of this skirt is the sassy lacing at the back.  This outfit felt perfect for the sunny weather today.  The printed top is balanced by the neutral skirt.  The subtle pink heels tie everything together.

Next time I will have my photographer take a close-up: the button detail and reverse stitching on the front of the skirt is adorable.

What it needs: Frankly, nothing.  Although, I might wear a tummy slimmer next time...

Dress it up: More jewelry, like a bunch of silver or gold bangles would be fun. And I could switch out the shoes for something sexier.

Dress it down: Untuck the shirt, flats instead if heels, lose the necklace.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Trend Review: Ripped Leggings

What a damn mess this is. In case you were wondering, looking like you were actually attacked by an animal is not ok. Next up, an article in Vogue called "The Mauled Look!"

Not edgy, not rocker, not punk, not goth- not cool. This is like saying to the world: I am trashy and I like it. And people? You can look trashy with that pair of cheap plastic 4 inch heels you keep around for Halloween/raves/weird music festivals, and (bonus!) you won't even look like the cat got you before you left the house.

I saw a dude- yes, you read that right-wearing these today with black short shorts and an over sized purple tee shirt tucked into the whole mess. I think he was trying to channel the 80s and while I admire his chutzpah in allowing the entire freaking world to see his full-fledged identity crisis, there are some things we can just leave for our shrinks, no?

If you have the urge to take scissors to your clothes, cut your old jeans into shorts and call it a day. If you are feeling crafty, sew some ribbons/buttons/sequins onto a simple black top to turn it into something unique. This is beyond ridiculous. And if you happen to find yourself being swayed by a magazine telling you this is the Next! Big! Thing!, remember, that's what trendy fads are about. They are fleeting and usually a little weird. I'm not saying you shouldn't experiment and wear what you love. But use just a little common sense and you will really glad that you didn't let clever marketers tell you that ripped leggings are anything but disgusting.

Wearing these is the equivalent of tattooing Trend Slave to your forehead. Trust me.

Summer Flats Under $100

Summer is in the air and I am breaking out the sundresses and flats. While I may or may not be known for spending more on a pair of flats I adore than any woman should, I am compiling a list here of flats under $100.

Notice I said flats, and not sandals. The sandal discussion is being reserved for a different post, given my (strong) opinions on which ones are are lovely and which are just arse.

All of these are from Nordstrom, with one noted exception:

For a pair of Naturalizer shoes, these Cresson mary janes are sleek and functional for running errands on the weekend.

The second pair is the Sam Edelman Clement, which comes in 6 colors and has a tiny toe snake skin detail that makes these fun. I'd wear to work or with dresses on the weekend.

The third pair are the French Sole Scoop flat in blush pink. Also comes in equally neutral black patent and pewter metallic, and less neutral but really fun animal prints. They look cute without being precious.

The last ones are the DV by Dolce Vita Calvin flat. They are on trend in a snake print, the pointed toe will make them almost as flattering as your leng-lengthening pointy toed pumps, and they are just a little bit edgy.

The first pair are Ruby & Bloom's Grace ballerina flat. They come in 5 colors and I kind of want one of each...They are pretty basic but a little shiny and adorable.

The second are the Sofft Verano flat. I like these in black for work. Corporate and comfy.

Steve by Steve Madden Kleo flats look like perfect fancy/evening flats. I firmly believe that every woman should own evening flats as an alternative to heels. They are modern and chic and you can walk way farther in them than in heels to the bar/restaurant/party/concert.

The last pair are Lovely People Lilly flats. Fun print: check. Cute peep toe to show off pedi: check.

These are a cheeky little pair from Top Shop called VICE Heart front pumps. They come in three color combos, and at $44, I am considering getting two.