Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mellow Yellow

Like Danielle, what seems like the neverending greyness of a New York winter is making me ache for bright colors and some corresponding sunshine. More specifically, I want some yellow.

For a long time I believed that, as a blonde, yellow was not for me. It clashed with my hair, washed out my skin tone, was too bright and garish. But then there Nina Ricci created Reese Witherspoon, and it was good.

All post-divorce, pre-Jakey G, Reese showed up at the Oscars looking like sunshine personified, with those hot red shoes and perfect shoulders to give it all a little kick.

But I wasn't truly inspired until Blake Lively showed up in this Michael Kors dress. She's like a Grecian goddess for the Upper East Side! I love this shade because it's a very soft yellow, and instead of making her looked jaundiced she looks tan and glowy (which is the ultimate goal of any outfit, right?).

So the search began to add something yellow to my wardrobe. A quick search on turned up this dress by that evil, misleadingly named company Moschino Cheap and Chic.

This Brocade Corset Halter dress is darling (sweetheart neckline!), fun (pleating in the skirt!) and hopelessly priced at $950.

A simpler and more classic choice is this camisole minidress by Twelfth St by Cynthia Vincent, $234. Very cute and simple... too simple, especially since Old Navy makes the same thing in black for $24.50. On the other hand: black, pah pah.

But I did find a cute yellow alternative to the dress: Alice + Olivia Wide Waist Skinny Pants, $242. For some reason these remind me of something Sandy would wear in Grease-- the color says Good, early movie Sandy, but the fit says Bad, end of movie Sandy.

The next stop on my yellow quest was Banana Republic, which has this cap sleeve silk dress, $150.

It'd be perfect for your dreary office; it'd totally cure your cubicle-mate's seasonal affective disorder! But the catch is that the belt, which so perfectly creates an hourglass figure and nicely breaks up the wall of yellow, is going to cost you another $33. Pretty sneaky, BR.

Gap has a few nice yellow things: this dip-dye scarf, $19.50, will add a fun splash of color to a white jacket or grey sweater, if you're maybe not ready to commit to an entire yellow look. Or if you are, there's this classic Back-tab Mac Jacket, $69.50. Imagine how much more enjoyable rainy days would be if you could stroll around in this?

Next stop is Anthropologie, which is such a pain in the ass because you can't just click and drag the item photo to your desktop. But Anthro is worth the extra work, especially when they make their models wander through perfectly art-directed forests.

This is the Sunny Days Halter Dress, $168, in maize (I love clothing in colors named after esoteric foods. Not that corn is esoteric, but you know what I mean). At the hem there's silk and crochet, and at the empire waist is this really surprising basketweave. The Anthro description says it "inspires daydreams of bike rides and picnics," but I always worry about getting things caught in bicycle spokes and the halter has really long ties that hand down the back... so maybe no on the wheel-based sports.

You know, I always think that yellow doesn't match anything, since with too much black you're like a bumblebee and too much other colors makes you sorbet. But yellow looks incredible with a dark charcoal grey (I don't know why I'm taking all these fashion cues from Little Miss Remember the Titans brat recently, but whatever, the dress is cute). Anthro has a more ladylike take on that color combination: the Dream Hunter dress, $188. I love when Anthro gets all queerbally in its descriptions; not only is this in the color "saffron," but the "hemline embroidery lifts and swirls like billowing wafts of frankincense." Hmm, I don't see it.

So maybe at this point you're thinking, "Yeah, this is all pretty cute, but where is the cheap shit?" As always, the cheap shit is at Forever 21.

A lot of people hate on F21, and for good reason: the quality is poor, the stores are always a mess, they're super trendy leaning towards tacky, and they rip off real designers' work shamelessly. But this dress is $17.80! The gathering in the front and two ties in the back makes this open back babydoll dress worthlowering your standards for. You'll wear it all summer, and if you have to throw it away in September, so be it.

This Kavi Sleeveless Tunic, $22.80, has see-through yoking around the collar, bizarrely, is 100% rayon and dry clean only. Who knew you could buy dry clean only stuff at F21? I would wear this with a dark denim miniskirt, flips, and no jewelry for that "It's too hot to try to look cute, but I do anyway" look.

One last F21 shirt: the Burn Out Floral Top, $15.80, would be good if you maybe had to go to a tea party with old people so you want to look ladylike, but there could be cute waiters so you want to show some skin. In the event of no cute waiters, you could always wear a white cami underneath to class yourself up.

So are you sick of yellow yet? Are your eyes tired like when you stare at the sun for too long? Well that's too damn bad, because I have more and will be bringing it to you tomorrow, in Mellow Yellow: Part J.Crew.

Moschino Cheap and Chic Brocade Corset Halter Dress, $950
Twelfth St by Cynthia Vincent Camisole Minidress, $234
Alice + Olivia Wide Waist Skinny Pants, $242.
Banana Republic Cap sleeve silk dress, $150
Gap dip-dye scarf, $19.50
Gap Back-tab Mac Jacket, $69.50
Anthropologie Sunny Days Halter Dress, $168
Anthropologie Dream Hunter dress, $188
Forever 21 open back babydoll dress, $17.80
Forever 21 Kavi Sleeveless Tunic, $22.80
Forever 21 Burn Out Floral Top, $15.80

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