Monday, December 31, 2007

Luxe Under $30

Chanel? No thanks. Not while lovely things are being sold for a mere pittance!

Here I've compiled a myiad of expensive-looking pieves for outrageously cheap prices. They are diamonds in the rough, jewels handpicked by moi from a handful of cheap, not-so-chic stores. You're welcome.

1. Felt bucket hat, $9.99 Kmart
2. Sequin jersey A-line tunic, $14.00 Walmart
3. Ballet flats, $29.99 for two pairs Avon
4. Floral cardigan, $29.50 Old Navy
5. Triple strand beaded necklace, $16 Mark

And for the record, I would never actually say no to Chanel. That was just a snappy opener. I'm a fashionista, not a criminal.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Resolution Mania

Are you making New Year's Resolutions this year? I usually don't, but I have a couple things I plan to work on this year, both style-wise and otherwise. None of them, I fear, are as deliciously ambitious as Miss Couturable's resolution to become a cupcake connoisseur, but I think they'll work out very nicely for me. To be honest, I started working on most of my resolutions a while ago, because I believe in working on self-improvement more than once a year, but I think I'll list them anyway.

So here, without further ado, are my New Year's Resolutions. The fashion-y ones are bolded, because otherwise I fear this post might not belong on a fashion blog. But, well, it's my blog, and I can do what I want to. (insert childish tongue wiggling):

♥ I will start lucid dreaming. I heard about this a while ago, but listening to this podcast has renewed my interest. Seriously, the whole concept may seem crazy to you, but just listen to the podcast and see what you think. I actually started trying to remember my dreams a week or two ago, and I've been gradually remembering more and more. Also, last night I had a lucid dream and managed to fly a bit. I hope I continue on the path of success!

I will broaden my wardrobe. Buh-bye to I-have-nothing-to-wear situations! I am working on collecting versatile, classic pieces that will last me through many occasions, such as the blazer I recently bought. I'd also like to accumilate dramatic pieces, which Nina Garcia, in her Little Black Book of Style, stresses the importance of. Nina says that upon falling in love with a dramatic piece, it may be necessary to drop a lot of cash, but I prefer to find dramatic pieces on the cheap. I think I can do it! I will be scouring Twelve by Twelve, thrift shops, etc.

I will learn to sew. I requested and recieved Wendy Mullin (of Built by Wendy)'s Sew You for Hanukkah this year, and when I find the time, I plan to use it! I hope to garner basic sewing skills that will allow me to create and alter fantastic clothing.

♥ I will figure out a direction for my life. With the end of high school looming, it's time to find something fantastic to do with the year off my Chronic Fatigue has forced me to take before college. I want this year to be productive, rewarding, and potentially life-changing.

♥ I will continue to heal. I have had such a rough time with my illness, and the healing has been very slow. I plan on using positive thought to help myself improve to the point where I can have a normal life again.

On that note, I'm thinking that I might tell the story of my illness to you all at some point. It sounds like a depressing subject, but I think it's important for people to learn more about Chronic Fatigue and dealing with huge roadblocks in life. Would this interest anyone?

And also, do you have any new year's resolutions?

Viva Costa Rica!

Hello, grasshoppers! I'm baaaack! Costa Rica was beautiful, the locals were ultra-friendly, and the ocean was nice and warm. I had a great vacation!

Now, here are the fashion and beauty-related things that I did during my trip:

Got a tan. Yes, darlings, my pasty white winter skin is gone! I am elated! Tanning is a funny thing though, when you think about it. It used to be a sign of the lower class, who were tanned from working in the fields all day. The upper class prized pale white complexions, taking care to shade their faces from the sun with bonnets, parasols, whatever. Then came Coco Chanel, who bravely made a healthy glow desirable for all. And now I'm sitting here feeling thrilled because my winter paleness, which would probably have been considered very attractive in the past, has been traded in for a bit of bronze. Go figure.

Got a facial. I made a trip to the resort spa for my first-ever professional facial. It made my little at-home facial kits seem pitiful, to say the least. I lay in a room filled with soothing music as a woman spent half an hour massaging sweet-smelling ointments onto my face and gently washing them off. It was heaven. And when it was over, my skin was unbelievable soft and glowy. Mmm.

Went shopping in Liberia, Costa Rica. I had the opportunity to see Costa Rican fashion firsthand as I made my way through little clothing boutiques. It was not at all what I expected; bejewelled tops, embellished or metallic jeans, and some beautiful leather purses filled the shelves. Most of the girls on the streets were dressed a lot more casually, in bermuda shorts and plain tank tops, but then again, it was really too hot to wear anything else.

Observed airport fashion. Most people in airports are dressed simply and for comfort, but you'd be surprised how many interesting outfits also show up! My favorite find was this older woman who managed to make velour pants and black toe nail polish look classy. She was wearing black velour capris and black wedge sandals through which you could see her black-painted toe nails. A billowy white Mexican peasant shirt was tucked into her capris, and she had an elegant knot of grey hair screwed on top of her head. Tres chic! I wish I had a picture. I'm thinking of doing a post on airplane fashion, actually, but we'll see...

And...that's it! I spent most of my days sunbathing, drinking pina coladas, and popping in for the occasional swim. Not so fashion-y, but just what the doctor ordered.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hasta Luego, Mis Amores!

Costa Rica tomorrow! I've been packing furiously all afternoon, and I thought I'd share what I'm bringing with me on the plane in my trusty studded Amici tote (center.)

Clockwise from top left:

Cake satin sugar hair and body refreshing powder for darker hues: I am determined to leave the plane without limp, greasy travel hair. This should do the trick! Plus, it smells sweet and amazing.

Smith's Rosebud Salve: For chapped lips, flyaways, and dry winter skin.

LG Chocolate Phone: This was a birthday gift, and I plan to use it to listen to music on the plane, since I don't own an Ipod.

Missbehave Magazine: I've been dying to read this magazine, so I picked up a copy to flip through during my flight. I'll let you know what I think!

Sunglasses: Specifically, JLo brand ones (I know, I know) with rhinestone hearts on the side. I'll need them when I step off the plane into the hot sun!

Orbit Gum: I always carry gum on planes to avoid icky ear-popping. Always.

A Girl Like Moi: The Fashion-forward Adventures of Imogene by Lisa Barham: My fashion obsession often extends to my reading material.

Well, that's pretty much it! I think I'm pretty well prepared. What do you always bring on planes?

Judging by the fact that electricity is spotty where I'm going, I doubt I'll have internet access. So I guess this is goodbye for the week. If you get bored, feel free to look through my archives or read the wonderful blogs that grace my blogroll. Also, I would suggest browsing through one of my latest finds, The Cherry Blossom Girl. It's written in French, but I find the pictures beautiful and inspiring. Plus, Babel Fish always helps me get the gist of it.

Bye everyone! Or should I say (as they no doubt say where I'm going), adios!

Twelve by Twelve

Twelve by Twelve is one of those stores I'm constantly tracking, because every so often they come up with something cheap and fabulous. I love that most of the clothing has a kind of detailing that is usually not available in cheap clothing. And unlike my stuff from Forever 21, my one Twelve by Twelve dress is actually very well made. There's always a whole lot of ugly gracing the website, but also the pretty and the whimsical. Currently, I'm debating the purchase of the below gloves. Aren't they gorgeous?

Oh, and for the curious, my driver's test was cancelled due to snow. Damnit!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Legally an Adult, but Legally a Driver?

Hello, grasshoppers!

Just a quick not-so-fashion-y update:

I'm turning 18 today! I'm about to test for my driver's license (I'm not so well prepared, eep!) and it's snowing outside, which makes it harder. My license would be a nice birthday present, though, so cross your fingers for me!

Ok, time to pick out a responsible-looking outfit. I'm feeling kind of like Cher from Clueless when she is trying to put together the perfect driving test ensemble, only I won't be wearing those ridiculous sheer knee-highs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Feel So Cool

Umm...Nina Garcia just answered my question on FabSugar.

What do you think of how fashion blogging has affected the fashion industry?
I think blogging has made the fashion industry much more accessible. From broadcasting fashion week shows live and insiders posting their thoughts and finds online has not only garnered more interest in fashion and helped answer many misconceptions but is also an excellent platform for new designers to gain exposure. Blogging is also instant gratification and the trend will put pressures on established designers to turn around new products faster than ever.

Yes, that was my question. Woohoo!

Ebay and the Magic Blazer

I just purchased a Luella for Target blazer for 99 cents on Ebay! It arrived yesterday, and I am thrilled with how versatile it is. As demonstrated above I can wear it:

♥ The way I feel it was meant to be worn, over a t-shirt with skinny jeans.

♥ With a sort of menswear-inspired look.

♥ With a sort of schoolgirl-inspired look, a la Gossip Girl.

♥ With a sort of Balenciaga-inspired look.

I'll admit I didn't have a lot of time to take these pictures, hence the less-than-perfect outfits and slight fuzziness, but I'm still awfully pleased with the blazer. And at 99 cents, I'm feeling very proud of my bargain-hunting skills.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Bathing Suit

Remember this picture from Teen Vogue?

Well, through sheer luck, I ended up picking out a similiar bathing suit at Lord & Taylor today. In an ideal world, I'd wear it with my red platform sandals:

I realize it's a bit strange to post a picture of myself clad in a bathing suit, but after all that whining I was doing about finding a bathing suit before my trip to Costa Rica, I figured the least I could do was show you what I came up with.

I do look awful compared to that model, though., and I'm a bit disappointed my hair isn't long enough for a high ponytail. But thanks to Teen Vogue for inspiring my beach look!

"February First, Your Ass is Smaller"

Does anyone else remember Isaac Mizrahi's show on the Style Network? I only saw it maybe three times, but Isaac was hilarious - hamming it up on stage, excitedly sketching dress alterations, and generally being a fashion diva extraordinare. I'm not sure exactly what happened to the show, but it seems to have disappeared.

Anyway, if you never got a chance to see the show, don't fret. Starting February 1st, Mr. Mizrahi will be airing daily episodes of his new show on! Hooray!

Check out the site now for some fun clips.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Shoes Part 2

Look what we have here! Don't these shoes remind you a wee bit of The Shoes I've been lusting over? Sure, they're higher with wingtip detailing, and they're missing that glorious patent, but I still quite like them. And they're much prettier than the Urban Outfitters version.

Okay, so I probably won't buy them. But it's nice to know they're out there, just in case I change my mind...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bold, Black, & Beautiful

Here's a little trick:

Black doesn't have to be boring. And if you pick carefully, bold black accessories can be a lifesaver. They go with everything, so you can throw them on no matter what else you're wearing. If you're running late and don't have time to pull together a look, add a bold black accessory to your boring ensemble and - tadah! - instant style. Of course, any sort of bold accessory can accomplish this, but black is so easy that I think it is essential for bleary-eyed, running-out-the-door mornings.

Here are some of my (mostly) cheap picks:

My personal black items aren't exactly statement pieces, but they have managed to save my outfit from boring-ness many a time. Quilted 80's bags, chunky-heeled combat boots, crocheted berets, patent ballet flats, studded belts - these are the black accessories that have served me well. My bold black accessory collection is forever growing and changing, and I have relied heavily on it throughout the years.

Do you have staple bold black accessories? What are they?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Necklace of Kisses

I just finished reading Necklace of Kisses by Francesca Lia Block. The sequel to the Weetzie Bat series, it is totally magical. Fashion takes more of a front seat in this book, and although a lot of the inspiration can be found from Weetzie's outfits and her "brief history of fashion," there are some style tips/fashion commentary hidden in the pages that I just love. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.

1. Vintage clothing is magical because all the clothes have histories.

"Weetzie loved the old dresses she found and sold, because they had their own secret histories. She always wondered where, when, and how they had been worn. What they had seen. Old dresses were like old ladies."

2. It's all in the details.

"Honey, the details are everything. You know that. A ginger ale on ice. It's really good if you put sushi ginger in the glass. A white trench belted with a studded punk number. I mean, look at the rhinestones on your toenails."

3. A little grooming makes all the difference.

"If her toes and fingers were shiny and cuticle-free, she always felt a bit brighter and lighter, even when her heart had darkened and sunken heavily into her chest."

4. Fashion has power.

"She imagined that each piece of clothing would have little secret spells written into the lining - incantations that would make the wearer feel her beauty and her power. That was what clothing could do . . . It could seduce, soothe, enhance, disguise, protect. It could empower. Like magic."

The Shoes

Readers, meet The Shoes.

I adore them. I want to wear them. They are calling to me in a soft, cooing tone, saying "We belong on your feet!"

It's not necessarily the black patent I love, but the shape. So I went on a search for affordable shoes with a similar shape. All I found were these:

On sale for $19.99 at Urban Outfitters, they are certainly within budget. But the question remains: are they chic or heinous? I can't decide. On first glance, I thought U-u-u-gly, but they have definitely grown on me. I could picture them looking great with black tights and little grey herringbone plaid shorts.

More importantly, are there other, less debatable shoes that will give me a similar look on a budget?

I'll be searching...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tough Gladiators

I'm really liking these studded gladiator sandals from Wet Seal. They would be perfect for toughening up my flirty white sundress. Maybe I should order them and use express shipping to get them before my trip to Costa Rica? I'm not sure...

A Quote from Lacroix Himself

"I don't do it. It would hurt me. I would die from it, I'm afraid." - Christian Lacroix on his exercise habits (found in the December issue of Time)

Well said, Mr. Lacroix. That's exactly how I feel.

Note: I am not endorsing a lack of exercise. I am just extraordinarily lazy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Audrey Hepburn: Staring Me Down

Here's a tip for people who just can't seem to make themselves pull together cute outfits as often as they'd like: Hang a huge poster of someone glamorous on your wall. One of my Hanukkah presents from my family was the above poster of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and it has had the unexpected effect of causing me to want to wear fabulous clothing. I just can't pull on sweats while Holly GoLightly is staring at me from the wall and sparkling with diamonds.

Needless to say, I love the poster. Everyone needs that extra push to dress well when it's freezing outside and you're exhausted.

Hmm, that reminds me. I've been meaning to watch Funny Face for a while now. Maybe I'll rent it this weekend...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

In Which Menswear is My Homeboy

It's no secret that menswear-inspired trends have been catching my eye lately. The obsession started with the Blogging Society Challenge (although I suspect its roots may be in my tomboy childhood) and continued from there with tuxedo chic, Balenciaga-inspired looks, and Karl Lagerfeld's personal style as fashion inspiration. I took Nina Garcia's advice from the Little Black Book of Style to heart when she raved that every woman should have a white button-down shirt in their wardrobe, and I have been searching for the perfect one. Now, the above photos from Hint have my attention. I would fall head-over-heels for any boy in one of those outfits (especially if they looked like the model...yum!), but more than that, I would love to dress like that! I have a sudden desire for a white blazer with dark trim, and I have resolved to some day wear white on white as was done in the first photo. Since my shopping time has currently been sucked up by gift shopping (not that I'm complaining), I decided to satiate my need for menswear-inspired looks with things from my current wardrobe. Here's what I came up with:

The only white button-down in my possession was a huge one that used to be my father's. Oh well. I paired it with a black sweater, straight-leg jeans, and black flats to add femininity. I took a cue from the Teen Vogue tuxedo spread and carried a quilted bag. Also, I used a tie belt from a black tunic as a tie.

To be honest, the look isn't me. It's a bit boring, no? Not enough color!

I untucked the shirt, threw on my Luella pink suede motorcycle jacket, and immediately felt better:

There's still a bit of menswear in the look, due to the tie and white shirt, but it's definitely more me. I might actually wear this out!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sorting Through Etsy Vintage

Kimberly of Beauty & Bangles just asked me how I sorted through the overwhelming amount of Etsy vintage to find the clothing, shoes, and accessories I featured in my recent post. I thought I'd answer her question here, in case anyone else wanted to know.

I'm feeling a little bit like I want to selfishly hold onto my Etsy shopping secrets, but since it is the holiday season (Happy Hanukkah, everyone!), I guess I'll share them with you all.

I'm a bit of a shopping nerd. I spent a couple of days when I was home sick sorting through the Etsy vintage selection to find the best vintage shops. And then I subscribed to them on Google Reader, so that every time the stores add more vintage clothing, I'm notified and can easily locate the new stuff. Every so often I add more shops, so the list of shops I subscribe to is steadily growing.

Here is the current list:
CHERRYPICKVINTAGE (one of my favorites)
Salvage Life

Yes, I am a nerd. But I figure you can sympathize, since I can't imagine anyone who hates shopping would bother to read my blog.

A New Kind of Manicure?

What do you think of this model's nails from the January issue of Glamour?

I'm rather inclined to like it. I think this kind of manicure would only work with a very clean, polished look, as seen in the editorial, because otherwise it would look messy/overly busy. Still, I'm not sure I'm going to be trying it out anytime soon; my nail polish skills leave something to be desired.

Would you rock the look?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Vintage Etsy Fashion

For some reason, my latest obsession is combing Etsy for vintage fashion treasures. At first I searched for designer labels (and yes, there is even a bit of Chanel to be found for fairly good prices), but gradually I grew more interested in the non-designer stuff. Because - believe it or not - there are a lot of amazing vintage pieces that look like couture (or at least they look really cute). And they're cheap!

You wanna see 'em? I'll post 'em!

Clockwise from top right:

Gold ruffle jacket, $42 Cherry Pick Vintage. Okay, so I'm not brave enough to wear this. Maybe you are?

Leather motorcycle jacket, $36 Salvage Life. That's right - a mere $36 for a leather jacket! I had to force myself to share this with you, because I selfishly wanted to add it to my own wardrobe. In my defense, it was only because I kind of want to look like this girl.

Layered cocktail dress, $45 Tres Chic Vintage. Simply gorgeous.

Mod mini tent dress, $60 '80s Diva. Isn't it cute?

And now for shoes:

Blue suede shoes, $54.60 Artinsilk. They may be blue suede, but they're decidedly un-Elvis-y. Look at that ribbon embroidery! And the shape is so this season!

Cream round button ankle boots, $50 Revival House. Oooh!

Black Italian leather boots, $85 Cherry Pick Vintage. Very Chanel! J'adore!

Metallic Pumps, $22 Salvage Life. Patricia Field used metallic faux snakeskin in her Payless collection. And since she can do no wrong, it must mean metallic faux snakeskin is hot!

And now for bags:

Clutch with rare map design, $7.00 Brugmansia. I adore this. It's so charming, and so cheap!

Mesh silver clutch, $25.00 Good Eye. Very glam.

Faux leather purse, $15.00 Revival House. The bow makes it oh-so-sweet.

Cherry brown doctor bag, $24.00 Allen Company, Inc. A deep, rich color in a stylish shape = yum!

Well, that's all for now! If you saw something you liked, remember that these are one-of-a-kind pieces. Don't wait for someone to swoop in and buy your vintage treasure before you can!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Costa Rica!

It is with great jubilation and a lot of excited shrieking that I inform you I will be vacationing in Costa Rica during Christmas break. (My chronic fatigue seems to be slowly improving, and I think I'll be up to a little beach-going.)

You know what this means, don't you? Shopping is in order! I need a new swimsuit, sunglasses, and possibly a new beach-y tote. The search is on!

I know that my swimsuit selection will be limited due to the fact that a) It's the dead of winter and b) My chest refuses to stay covered in itty bitty bikini tops (TMI?), but I think it would be fun to go for a sort of glam swim look.

Of course, the platform heels and belt are totally impractical for the beach. But the cute retro swimsuit, ponytail, and headband? I might be able to do that.

Well, we'll see. Any suggestions as to where to shop for swimwear at this time of year?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tin Man Styling Tips

Here are some fashion tips we can learn from Sci Fi's Tin Man, which I am sadly watching (but only because I have a major love for anything Oz-related and kind of adore Zoe Deschanel.):

1. Faux fur can look fabulous - but not when paired with matching pants.

2. A long, trench-style coat and a fedora added to any outfit causes the wearer to ooze instant style and mystery. Even if underneath that coat they are sporting a hideous leather vest.

3. Wide-leg jeans are awful cute! Pair them with a leather jacket to tone down the toughness of the leather.

4. Military-inspired coats are always better distressed.


What came first, the evil sorceress or the haute couture? I don't know, but Poiret would find a kindred spirit in this one, if only stylistically. Without the tattoos, leather gloves, and odd hairstyle, the jewels and feathers could be quite a stunning red carpet ensemble, don't you think? Although Mary-Kate Olsen might do it more justice...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Good News

I just slipped into Payless for a moment to peak at the newest Abaete and Patricia Field collections. I didn't have time to try them on, but I actually thought they looked pretty good, and nowhere near as cheap as the last couple collections! In fact, I had trouble dragging myself away from the Patricia Field clutches, and I might have to go back and buy one.

Just thought you might wanna know:)