This Leather Clutch with Removable Strap is $178 and comes in chocolate and olive. This bag would be fun with or without the strap- just look at the diamond and stud details! I like it for a casual or dressy evening outfit, and it's big enough for everything you'd need for a night out.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I really like this Tilled Expanse Hobo. It's $159 and the color reminds me of corn fields in the fall. The patchwork detail gives the bag some interest and the handle drop looks long enough to go over a winter jacket. Could be a good way to add color to your wardrobe this season...
Time to start thinking about fall, people! I'm a big fan of pants when the weather gets cold. I love the boots + tights combo with a dress, but I feel warmest in pants. When it turns cold/rainy/snowy/sleet-y, you just want to feel snuggly.
But you are not to LOOK snuggly at the office! Instead, you can wear some fab trousers/pants/slacks...
It's a good idea to have a number of pairs in a variety of neutral colors and subtle patterns. I recommend having at least one pair of each of the basic dark neutrals (black, charcoal, navy, and chocolate) and at least one lighter pair for warmer, sunnier days (khaki, light gray, light blue, etc.)
I am huge fan of these British Tweed Widelegs:
Just add heels and a sweater.
These Smart Uptown Trousers are also great for work:
Could wear with flats or heeled boots and a fun top.
I am not a fan of cropped pants for work, even the tailored ones. But if you don't work at a conservative office, you might be able to wear some Ankle Skimmers with ballet flats:
Shorter women (under 5'6"ish), beware! These cut off your leg line and will make you look shorter.
Tailored Sailor Trousers are always a classic and perfect for work:
Best with a heavier heel or boots and slimmer top.
Notice there isn't a single pair of capris, other significantly cropped pants, or their ilk anywhere to be found in this post. This is because I think it's time for everyone to start weening themselves off this ridiculous- and pervasive- pant length that doesn't do anyone any favors.
Monday, August 24, 2009
One of my fab friends just got this Hobo International flap tab wallet. It's only $58 and is not only cute, but extremely useful. She loves it, and I love that it replaces her on-its-last-legs-throw-it-away-already wallet that is now in a better place (read: all handbags go to heaven).
Anyhoo, this color is called yam, but is really a warm orange that looks amazing with her new blue handbag. The wallet also comes in black, mogano (looks deep brown to me), and wine.
Purple and gray, THE key colors last fall and winter are BACK this season. So, if you didn't jump on the gray bandwagon last time around, now is your chance. And purple lovers everywhere can rest easy that their beloved color of royalty is still in full force.
Gray is a neutral that works with literally everything. And as a softer version of black, isn't as harsh as black can be.
Purple is fab in many different shades, from raspberry and lavender to deep plum and eggplant.
This has already been taken into account in my capsule wardrobe planning. Has it been taken account into yours?
Capsule Wardrobe Part 2 is on its way...
Saturday, August 22, 2009
You are being told, at every turn, that the new jeans are so hot right now, you'd be a fool not to try some. While I think sticking to your trusty dark rinse straight legs/boot cuts/trouser jeans is a fabulous way to go, I also don't think it will kill you to try a couple of new styles every so often. Here are my thoughts on going off your own beaten path when it comes to jeans styles:
1. Distressed Denim
This is not new, as anyone who lived through, or has seen pictures of, the 80s can attest.
As a general rule, I do not purchase anything that looks like it has been worn before me/mauled by animals. That said, a small amount of distressing, far, far away from the crotch area, could be a fun way to mix it up once in a while. I'm not talking the I-Just-Got-Attacked-By-Jack-The-Ripper rips, but a little worn in on a couple of spots? Doesn't worry me.
2. The Boyfriend Jean
Also not new, since women everywhere have long known the value of a comfy pair of worn in jeans lifted straight from their boyfriend/husband/gay bf's closet. The fashion industry has merely co-opted this for purposes of telling you what you already know and cashing in on it.
This is a style I have gone back and forth on. On one hand, they are SO DAMN COMFORTABLE. On the other, you run of risk of looking sloppy, over-sized, and masculine yourself. And then there's the little issue of paying money for what you could arguably just steal/borrow.
I succumbed this week and bought a pair of boyfriend jeans that look much more like a relaxed feminine fit that a sloppy masculine one. As always, fit is key. Meaning, if you look odd/huge/dumpy/male, they aren't the right jeans for you. But if they fit slimmer in the waist and legs than this teeny picture above might have you believe, you can throw them on with ballet flats or fun heels, and look pretty cute.
Bottom line: if they don't look like you ACTUALLY took them from your boyfriend, these could work for you.
3. Skinny Jeans
Not only are these not new, they have sneaked their way into the regular jeans rotation. They aren't a fad anymore, they are a true jeans staple. This means two things: 1) if you don't like them, get over it, and 2) there are more styles and cuts out there than ever, so you might want to consider trying them, if you don't already wear them.
I am not going to lie to you, they will be tapered. They will be pretty tight. And they might make you wish for sweatpants at first. But I think there are a lot of people, with many different body types, who look great in these. Even if you aren't model thin, you might at least try on a couple of pairs. You just never know.
This is such an old fad that keeps coming back so often, I am beyond bored with it. I don't think bleaching does anyone any favors. But if it is your thing, make sure the jeans at fit really well, so the bleaching can't make things TOO hideous.
5. Denim Leggings
A) not pants, they are leggings, so cover your ass and don't forget to WEAR ACTUAL PANTS; and
B) totally unnecessary.
Let me know if you think I missed one. I am happy to dissect/hate on/gush over it with you.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I am not normally a fan of tiny purses. They typically look totally out of proportion on an adult.
I think I am going to bend my rule for this little number. It's the Marc by Marc Jacobs Petal to the Metal Pouchette. It's $198, but this tiny bag is freaking adorable. The bird hardware is right up my bird-loving alley. (Just so we're clear, I am obsessed with bird accessories, not real birds.) The long strap means it can be worn as a cross body, and the size looks perfect for some cash, an ID, keys, and a cell phone. Just big enough to use when running around on the weekends!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I want these studded pumps. I love, love, L-O-V-E them. But they are $225. And trendy. And really, really high.
So, I am going to stalk them, as any shopper worth her salt would. I will check on them almost daily until they go on sale. And only then will I pounce.
The risks are high (my size could be sold out! the color I want could be gone!), but the rewards will be sweet (expensive hot pumps at a discount!). Any other shoe/bag stalkers out there?
Jeez, you can't possibly imagine this would be anything else, right?
People, this Olio Scarf Bag is $298! WTF?! And do yourselves a favor and check out the reverse side of the bag, too. It's a real gem.
I just cannot WAIT to see the unfortunate woman who thought she was getting a fab bag because it's from Anthro and is almost $300 (!!!) walking around garnering pity from everyone with eyes.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Check out Must Have Shoes, which bills itself as "customizable shoe boutique." You can enter a brief description of what you are looking for, and it comes up with a list of shoes for you. You can also narrow the search by size and price. Especially intriguing are the Clubs, or Cliques, you can join for discounts.
Right now, I am in love with Rachel Leigh jewelry. Her pieces are fun and a bit different from the usual run of accessories. They are pretty well-priced, too. A lot of pieces are under $100 and I don't think I saw anything over $200. I really like the Millie cuffs, and not JUST because Oprah does...
Monday, August 17, 2009
Over the knee boots are another "must-have" for fall. I have to say, I am not convinced that I cannot live without these. I like the way they look, for the most part- most of the ones I've seen so far are pretty sleek, and basically a taller version of boots I would definitely consider. But I question their practicality- can I really wear these to work? To the mall? To dinner? They seem hard to walk in and hard to wear without looking like a trend slave.
Maybe I need to see them on some real people and try them on myself before I can completely decide. My guess is that compared to my knee-length boots, these aren't going to go the distance in terms of longevity (they are SUPER trendy), they are somewhat uncomfortable (don't know if I need leather touching my thighs, or even my knees), and they aren't entirely appropriate for work (shouldn't be wearing a skirt short enough to see space between the tops of the boots and the bottom of the skirt; FOR SURE should not be wearing skirt that covers tops of the boots).
For $80, this Pink Studio Lupe Convertable Cross-Body is a steal. It comes in navy, gray, and chocolate brown. The shape is sleek and looks easy to carry on your shoulder, as a cross-body, or in your hand as a satchel. I love the outside pocket and the hardware detail.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Open toed booties are all the rage. Literally. They are everywhere, and are being touted as must-haves for fall and winter.
Except, in the fall and winter, I can't- and won't- wear open toed shoes, much less open toed BOOTS.
So, even though they are The!Biggest!Thing!Ever!, I hate them, and here is why:
1. They are boots.
Boots are for inclimate weather. I'm not saying that I don't wear boots in nicer weather, but should the skies open, I don't want to worry about my toes are exposed unnecessarily.
2. They are weird-looking.
There is something off about a perfectly lovely shoe or boot that just happens to have an open toe. The open toe looks like an after-thought, or a mistake.
3. Tights are mandatory.
I don't want my shoe choice to dictate whether I have to cover my legs. These shoes require covered legs- and more importantly- toes in the fall and winter. If I catch you bare toed in these after Labor Day, I WILL say something snarky. Actually, if I catch you bare toed in these period, I will be snarky. And annoyed.
4. They are BOOTS.
Granted, the booties aren't nearly as hideous as open toed knee boots (yes, they exist; no, they are not acceptable under any circumstances), but being relatively less ugly than something else does not a nice shoe make. An ankle boot is just that- a boot. And cutting off the toe defeats the very purpose of boots, which is to cover your feet and make you ready for anything.
Whatever your definition of boot is, I bet it involves a closed toe.
If you disagree with me, don't worry- you can buy these all over the damn place. But I think they mark you as a trend slave, not a savvy fashionista.
As you may have noticed, I really like animals. As in, I like to eat and wear them. But I respect those who want to be animal-free, whatever the reason. Matt & Nat makes some pretty fab vegan bags. Many of their bags are made from Japenese paper and their linings are often made from recycled plastic bottles. Pretty earth-friendly, and still really stylish.
This Bauhaus Grey Satchel is $139.99 on Smart Bargains. Check out that site a bunch of other Matt & Nat bags, all of which are cool, interesting, and extremely well-priced.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It's mid-August, and you know what that means...the kids are back in school. It puts me in the mood for new notebooks and a new school, um, I mean, work, bag. This Melie Bianco School Boy Tote fits the mood perfectly and is only $99. It comes in navy and olive. On the navy one the contrasting trim really stands out. A little preppy, a touch nautical, and very wearable right now. Looks really roomy and easy to carry, and lining is even fun!
Monday, August 10, 2009
If you watch What Not to Wear, this little rant should not surprise you. Some of these people are so ungrateful, so unwilling to accept Stacey and Clinton's help and advice, so unable to change (which is, of course, what the whole show is about), they just don't deserve to have the attention, the free trip to NYC, or the $5,000 shopping spree. The most recent contributor (that's what they call the people selected for the make over) is the most current example of this, but certainly not the only one.
Honestly, if you don't think you need to change, why did you accept the money? Do you live in a cave? Do you think that Stacey and Clinton are going to see your point of view on your weird sock addiction or that crazy dog purse after your lame attempts to justify them? Did you think that when they said "what we say goes, goes, and you have to shop by our rules" somehow didn't apply to you?
Don't even give me the BS about how it's hard to change, blah blah blah- listen up! You accepted the money and free trip, now you either have to embrace it or go home. Every time a contributor cries on TV about how they just don't know which jeans will work, I die a little inside. I mean, seriously people?! TRY THEM ON. It's worth it- they just took all of your crap and now are paying for your new stuff. If it were me, I'd try on every damn thing in the store.
And I get that none of the women with ridiculously long hair (this isn't the 70s are you aren't Cher, btw) want it super short. I don't know about you, but I have never seen anyone walk off that show not looking 100 times better than they did when they started. And a huge part of that is hair. And it's not like they are shaving your scalp. To borrow a phrase, chillax, people, chillax.
When I see a contributor get pouty/scowly/weepy every goddamn step of the way, I am surprised that Stacey and Clinton don't totally lose their shit. I mean, the last one literally pouted the entire show. As in "I guess I will go along with this, since you are making me, but I don't see why my old way of dressing wasn't fly, even though you have given me 256 reasons why it sucked." Like SHE is doing THEM the favor! I noticed she had no qualms accepting the free clothes, hair cut, make up session, and trip.
Here's the bottom line: When you accepted the money, you accepted the help and the change. You knew damn well that when you arrived in NY, you were going to have to start changing. If you are adverse to change, don't accept the money. If you think the way you dress is just fine, don't accept the money. If you hate shopping, don't accept the freaking money.
Some of these people act like they are doing everyone a huge favor by being there. Others act like they are about to have a limb amputated. Put this in perspective, kids. Your image is important. Your self-confidence is important. You are there to learn from experts. And if you don't like it, go home.
The Nordstrom Chain Strap Leather Hobo is $198 and comes in deep teal, black, and camel. I think the camel is the best investment for the season, but the deep teal is appealing and would work for fall and winter, too. Nordstrom bags are made of good quality leather, too. What do ya think?
Friday, August 7, 2009
After the shit I took for the last two handbags of the day, let's see if my adoring fans will like what they see here. It's a dove gray Industry Drawstring Messenger for $159.99. I think it looks sleek and architecturally insteresting. And the leather looks delish.
You know who you. You're the one on the crowded train with two purses, a canvas tote, a briefcase, a gym bag, and some weird insulated thing with your lunch. You schlep all of your crap with you (are you moving IN to your office?!), squeeze yourself between two people who are already sharing the last three inches of space, and then look around to see whether some kind soul will give up their seat for you. When no one does, you look confused and even a little annoyed that not a single person would let you, Professional Woman With Way Too Much Crap, sit down.
I have news for you, lady. You are a menace.
First of all, why on EARTH do you need that much crap? Second, even if for some reason it turns out that you do need 400 more items than anyone else during the work day, why the HELL can't you consolidate it? Third, and listen closely now: do you think you are the only person on the train/bus/cable car during rush hour? Do you REALLY think that because you are you, that other people who only need a normal amount of crap with them or know how to consolidate it should give up their seat because you are disrespectful and possibly a little bit crazy?
If you need to have with you the amount of stuff that would fill a minivan, here's a tip: DRIVE TO WORK.
We live in a city where space is at a premium. You don't have the right to more than your fair share. And you insult me when you try to catch my eye on the train to make me feel guilty for sitting. Um, hello? I can keep my crap from hitting every third person I walk by.
Also? Your purses are hideous, that canvas tote smells funny, and no one under 50 carries actual briefcases anymore. Get a damn clue.
I'll gladly give my seat to a pregnant woman or someone older or disabled. But at you I will just scowl and then go back to enjoying my comfy ride.