Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sydney Dress

My goal for August was to reverse this blog's general trend of each month having fewer entries than the month before (except in June). I obviously failed, but August is sort of a dead month in fashion anyway. Stores are trying to get rid of their summer clothes and designers are prepping for fashion week in September, and normal people are just wearing whatever makes them the least sweaty.

But J.Crew never lets me down! I think this dress is great for an Indian Summer, because it has those bright, warm weather colors but the floral print is abstract enough that you won't look like a botanical garden. The Giverny-print Sydney Dress, $209, is also in an almost universally flattering shape, with the fitted bodice and A-line skirt. I covet it greatly and hope that it'll continue to get discounted so I can actually afford it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Post-Olympic Fever

Whenever I'm sad about something, I try to work through it by online shopping. So, for instance, right now I'm super depressed about the Olympics ending and the lack of half-naked athletic gods on my TV screen, so...

First, of course I had to buy the issue of Sports Illustrated with Greatest Olympian Ever Michael Phelps. Everyone knows, of course, that the cover is an homage to the iconic image of Mark Spitz with his seven gold medals, and I can see how SI thought there was no other option for this cover shot. But, first off, Phelps keeps saying he wants to be the first Michael Phelps and not the next Mark Spitz, so why not take a photo that's new and original? And second, it is no secret that Phelps can look sort of awkward from certain angles, especially with his hair so short. Why take a photo that emphasizes his goofy face and hides way too much of his glorious torso? On the other hand, if they had to recreate the Spitz, they should have gone all the way and made him wear a flag print Speedo with a big fake mustache. That would have been hilarious, right? Well, I bought it anyway, and I'm planning on saving it forever and giving it to my grandkids when I'm dead so they can see how awesome Grandpa was back in the day.

There's no bling in the world like Olympic bling, and the "Michael Phelps Wins the Olympics" t-shirt, $18.99, from The Hotness Factory helps those of us who don't have any medals of our own. What they really show have done, I think, is make the women's version of this shirt a halter top. I'm not the only one who thinks Phelps looks like he's wearing a halter top made of ribbons, right? The Hotness Factory made another limited edition Phelps t-shirt that is now sold out, but we can still enjoy the thought of Phelps's little super swimmers.

I loved how, more moments after Phelps won his eight gold medal, NBC ran a commercial hawking their DVD on the "inside story on the Greatest Olympic Champion in history." Way to be prepared, NBC. I rolled my eyes at their transparent desperation for a quick buck... but then I totally bought it. I was planning on waiting until it's been out for long enough to show up for cheap on Ebay, which is what I did with the 2004 Olympic Gymnastics DVD (don't look at me like that! Sometimes, at the end of a tough day, I want to relive Paul Hamm's come-from-behind victory in the All Around competition!). But then I heard that NBC has presold like 20,000 of them, so I worried that they'd sell out and become a rare collector's item. I decided it was worth 20 bucks to secure both a piece of history and my peace of mind. It doesn't come out until mid-September, so I'm looking forward to forgetting about it and then getting a happy surprise in the mail. Then, not only will I get to rewatch all his incredible races, but also Phelps playing Guitar Hero while his freaking adorable bulldog, Herman, looks on!

There are loads of Phelps-related merchandise available, but what about those of us whose hearts were captured by a shaggy-haired, slow-witted, diamond-grilled swimmer named Ryan Lochte? The puff piece NBC ran on "The World According to Ryan Lochte" was, hands down, my favorite moment of the entire Olympics games. I would definitely buy a DVD of Lochte falling off his skateboard and rambling about his love for Lil' Wayne. And if any of his out of this world art was for sale, I would throw down a lot of money to own one. But the imaginary Lochte product I want the most? Jeah Flakes! Phelps can keep his lame Frosted Flakes, I want to eat Lochte cereal. And wear Lochte shoes!

But this blog is not called "OMG, Where did you get that? Photoshop? Oh." So here's a Lochte t-shirt you can buy for reals. From Speedo, the Ryan Lochte Remember Tee, $24, is sort of cheesy and odd. That photo of Lochte is undeniably hot, but it hides both his glorious hair and his killer smile! And his abs! Lame, Speedo. They do sell these generic Team USA jerseys with athletes names on the back, and I would consider the Lochte one if I didn't already have 25 big t-shirts to sleep in. I like how the number on his jersey is 1, because, you know, he's number 1 in my heart.

I'm intrigued by the fact that you can buy a LZR Racer suit online, for just $550. Everyone's talking about how they take a half hour to get into, and only last like 5 swims, and make you feel like a superhero (it was Lochte who said that, while Natalie Coughlin is all "And it's been tested by NASA!"). But what I really want to know is, do those swimmers wear anything under the LZR? They roll the top part down so low that I want to say no, but it also seems the suits are sort of see-through, so... I'm sorry, I just got distracted from the question by the abs on display in this photo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Coming Up Roses

You'll have to excuse us for being so quiet lately--we are but simple college girls, with dorms and apartments to move into, classes to reschedule, and Olympic swimmers to watch.

So, onward!

I'm sitting here, minding my own business when I discover that Forever 21 has launched For Love 21, an official accessories line. Actually, to be completely honest, I'm not sure how it's different from Forever 21's accessories, but that's beside the point. Any cheap crap is good crap in my book.

Let me start off by saying that I have a total love/hate relationship with F21. I go into the shop and find absolutely nothing. I order stuff online and half of the time it doesn't fit or looks incredibly cheap in person. Really, it's like a game of Russian roulette. Oh, and did I mention that you can NEVER FIND WHAT THE MODELS ARE WEARING IN THE PICTURES?!?!?!?

All that aside, as I search desperately for one of the handbags featured in one of the shiny pictures (IT IS NOT ON THE WEBSITE!! STOP TORTURING ME F21!!), I noticed a little trend that they seem to have going on for fall: roses/flowers/pink. It seems a little counterintuitive to have this happy pink flowers headline your fall collection, but, hey, what do I know.

Up first we have the Artisan Wool Beret, which is totally cute if you're the kind of person that can actually pull off wearing a beret:

This little beauty runs for $12.80, comes in four colors and is dry clean only. Just so you know.

I've been inspired by the USA gymnasts to reinvestigate those snappy little hairclips, and, luckily for me, F21 was ready for me:

(Rosy Barrette Set, $4.80)

We also have my personal favorite--the rose ring. And, yet again, we run into the frustrating fact that if you have no idea what size you are, you have to guess. And if you're like me, you guess wrong. The good news? It's only $5.80. The better news? There are at least 7 different kind of rose rings on the site. If I had the mental willpower, I would link them all. But trust me, this one is the prettiest!

Alas, my laptop battery is about to die... but fear not. If you search F21, there are shirts, earrings, rings, necklaces and even purses that are all decorated with dainty little roses. Awfully purdy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fall School Bags

It's barely August, but as many times as I tell myself that classes don't start for another month, I can't help but feel like summer is just about over. There are commercials for Trapper Keepers and school uniforms (I really, really like that Target one with the two roommates who have a dance off while decorating their dorm room), and I'm going to need to buckle down and buy a desk soon. It's depressing that soon I'll have to swap bare legs for tights and sandals for boots, but it also gives me an excuse to do more shopping. My biggest priority: a new bag to carry to class. My current one is looking very much the worse for wear, with the straps all cracked and peeling and patches of faux-leather worn off on the bottom. Time for an upgrade!

What I'd really love is a bag with a separate padded pocket for my laptop, since I almost always bring it to class. I'm lucky because my comp is fairly small (12 inches), although it will definitely get heavy when combined with a textbook or two. Which reminds me, good straps that won't dig into my shoulder are a must. And I'm also hoping to get a bag with a bit of color-- I have no interest in black this fall.

I'm a big fan of the Central Park Bag, $49.99, from Mod Cloth. I love how the classic brown and tan front and back mixes with the leafy green sides-- it's totally fresh and unexpected. I adore the metal rings and buckles, which give this bag an equestrian attitude while not becoming overly trendy. And there's no doubt I'd be able to fit everything I need into this bag, but I worry that its size and its rectangular shape would make it seem more like luggage than a purse. I don't want people to say, "Oh, are you going out of town for the weekend?" when I'm just going to class.

This bag is way, way out of my price range, but damn is this cherry red leather gorgeous. From Antoinette Lee, the Anna Stitch Tote, $598, is also available in tan, black, and a fabulous deep royal purple. This is a legit leather bag, no man-made, synthetic or PVC materials here. The thick braid circling the top is a fun addition to the subtly pleated circular patches on the sides. I also like how thick the straps are, so you'll have plenty of support to carry around your sadly empty wallet. But I do have to say, if I was going to drop hundreds of dollars on a bag, I'd rather it be something from a relatively unknown designer than anything plastered with a designer's initials. I mean, that's why we named our blog "Oh my god, where did you get that?" and not "Oh my god, I love your Prada!" There's a certain rush of joy every girl gets when she has something beautiful that other girls don't know where to get: that smug tickle of being in-the-know and willing to share.

The leather bag I really wanted from this Etsy store (called, simply enough, The Leather Store) sold between when I favorited it yesterday and today, but this simpler version is great too. The Leather Tote Shopper, $120, is simple, well made, and timeless. This is the sort of bag your super smart, extremely sweet grad student TA would bring to recitation, stuffed full of research and undergrad papers covered with thoughtful comments and fair grades. This is a bag for a smart person, is what I'm saying. There's no fussy hardware or labels or extraneous pockets. Just a roomy body with an envelope style flap to keep everything in place.

Elsewhere on Etsy, I want everything from Valhalla Brooklyn, which is full of stylish and fashion-forward leather goods. Let's start with the Middleburgh leather shoulder bag, $149, in dusty purple. This looks like the sort of bag a former hippie living in the suburbs in the 70's trying to convince her husband to try swinging would carry, and her daughter would steal it to carry her anti-Vietnam flyers. It's sort of groovy, right? The loose trapeze shape is complimented by the laid back braided hoop and button that keeps your Quaaludes from falling out in the middle of the supermarket.

This bag, on the other, reminds me of the 80's and its badass female rockers, like Joan Jett. The large zip leather hand bag, $215, is understated in its edginess, with the big brass zippers and clip-off shoulder straps. I like the two different pockets on the front: the tassel next to the zipper adds unexpected interest. And, of course, I effing love this creamy blue color.

But do I love this deep purple more? Tough to say. The four pocket leather travel bag, $249, is the sort of bag you'll carry once and then never want to be without, because it so perfectly walks the line between practical and fabulous. And check out the awesome lining inside! It looks like you have a bag full of M&M's, and what could be better than that? I would also like to point out, if you haven't noticed, how buttery soft the leather looks. Like baby skin! I just want to rub it all over my face.

Alas, that sort of quality comes with a price. I know that I should invest in a great bag sooner rather than later, but I can't help but be tempted by all the fun, trendy, cheap bags available from Target. Sure, they may fall apart in six months, but I won't have to spend those six months eating off-brand saltines for dinner. For instance, this Mossimo Large Satchel Tab is $19.99 but, hopefully, no one will be able to tell it's the cheapest thing on your body. The grown-up shape and timeless color (although, I worry that since it's called "rust" it'll look more red than tan in person) will help any serious-minded woman fit in around the midtown drones and their identical briefcases. It's also available in bright teal and yellow, if you're in the mood to stand out. I just worry that the straps are too short to be worn on the shoulder, since I have a strong dislike for bags worn on the crock of the elbow. First, it's not comfortable to keep your arm bent all day, and second, I feel like wearing it that way is too "LOOK at my bag! It's more expensive than yours!" On the other hand, if I had a Chanel quilted bag I would totally wear it on the crook of my elbow.

The Mossimo 2-Pocket Tote, $24.99, is in a color called "Pacific," and just looking at it gives me an itch to go shopping in LA. The color obviously makes it a great summer bag, but I also think it could be a beacon of bright happiness in the inevitable dreary East Coast winter. I like how well structured it is, and the multiple pockets ensure that everything stays in place. The contrast stitching is also a nice touch, resulting in a tote that's chic enough for any activity.

I'm totally torn as to whether I like the tote or the dome satchel version of this Mossimo woven bag better, but I think the tote, $26.99, is better suited for my laptop-carrying needs. It's the perfect shape for notebooks and whatnot, and the woven top is very fresh. I'm also a fan of the pleated body, which will give it a bit more give if I need to stuff it full of all the crap I think I need on a day-to-day basis.

Wilson's Leather also has come good bags for not too much, such as this square tote in "Sedgwick Blue," $19.99, marked down from $60. It reminds me so much of something Kate Spade would make that you'd probably call this a knock-off, but let's not dwell on that. This genuine leather bag looks like it could get caught in a subway door, get a beer spilled on it, and fall into a puddle without ever showing a mark or smudge of dirt. It like those annoying girls who get caught in the rain but manage to keep their dry, shiny, non-frizzy hair. At 11 inches across, it's a smidge small for my computer, but it's so cute that I want to buy it just to take it to brunch.

I have failed to find cute bags with built-in laptop pockets, so maybe I should just buy a computer sleeve, too. My dream sleeve is the Abby in gold leather from Lauren Merkin, $225. This is easily chic enough to use as an oversized clutch-- those softly scalloped edges are so stylish I could quiver. And I adore this pale shade of gold, which isn't too glitzy for everyday use while still bringing a bit of specialness to the party.

And as long as I'm being impractical ($225 for a computer sleeve? Really?), check out the Pankha tote, $99.95, from Anthropologie. I don't think I could even fit my laptop through the top, but I don't care. It has embroidery that suggests peacock feathers! Plus sequins! This bag is stunning, and that's really all that matters.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Agent Provocateur Lingerie

Everybody knows about the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale, where you can go buy five pairs of sweatpants for $15 a piece. And that's all well and good, but I prefer the Agent Provocateur sale, where almost everything is 50% off. Just, I must admit, that a bra that is $75 after the giant discount isn't much of a deal. But it's Agent Provocateur, makers of the craziest and sexiest lingerie on the planet, so if you can afford it, it's worth it.

My absolute favorite set is the Gangster, $82 for the bra and $62 for the totally necessary suspender brief. This will be the perfect undergarment for my Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde Halloween costume, although this is really not the sort of lingerie to be worn under anything. The satin pleating on the bra would create some odd bumps under your sweater, but the real point is that you don't hide red hot satin knickers under a sweater. That's just criminal.

The Talma range is obviously inspired by vintage pin-ups, and this is a very sweet, playful way of looking sexy. The fuchsia ribbon accents on the dark navy are way more sophisticated than another made by Victoria's Secret, and in the detail photos you can see that there are mini fuchsia polka dots also. This is the sort of lingerie that needs to be rocked with pin curls and deep red lipstick, and don't forget the fuck-me pumps. The corset is (sigh) $157, the bra is $62, the brief is $30 and the suspender is $40. I'm sort of tempted to splurge on the bra, but I know I would regret not getting the matching panties.

It would be a mistake not to include one of the ranges modeled by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who proves that you don't have to be conventionally beautiful to be an exceptional lingerie model. The Frida range is very girly, with the pink lace trim and multiple bows, but the slight sheen of the grey taffeta fabric is more polished. And I like the ridiculously old-fashioned look of the "waspie," the half-corset around her waist. I'm sure it's very uncomfortable, but if you have some issues with your belly, the waspie will take care of it. I'm assuming it got it's name from the phrase "waist like a wasp," which is a compliment any girl would be happy to receive. The bra is $72, the panties are $32, and the waspie is $72.

This Lara range seems very French to me, although it may just be that this photo suggests a girl tied up to her kitchen table (note the smudges of flour on her arm and stomach), which is something only the French would do. But it could also be that the floral embroidery is so delicate and detailed that it reminds me of toile de jouy.
I really like how the panties have an itty bitty skirt attached, for maximum flirtiness. This is the sort of lingerie you should wear under a totally straight-forward pencil skirt and fitted button-down shirt, so when you peel over your clothes at the end of the night, the reaction will be "Wow... I was not expecting this."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Reptile House

Shoes with snake, croc, or other reptile prints are perfect for the summer-into-fall transition, because they incorporate the irreverence and fun you want in a warm weather shoe with a bit of serious that's appropriate for autumn. (Actually, this is sort of bullshit. I just felt obligated to write some sort of intro to this post about snake and croc shoes that I want to buy.)

As always, I want every single shoe Old Navy has produced in the last four months. Sidenote: why is it that Old Navy is knocking it out of the park, footwear-wise, but Gap has nothing but boring old flats and some fugly $70 platforms that they claim are European? These faux-croc slingback sandals, $19.50, have a great minimalist shape but come in really fun colors, like this vibrant turquoise and a non-flashy gold. I also really like how ON adds a baby heel to their flat sandals, which makes them easier to walk in and more comfortable.

J.Crew was making all sorts of two-tone ballet flats last season for like a hundred bucks, and Old Navy is ripping them off for $24.50, with a crocodile print instead of the Crew's suede. The contrast color toe cap on these faux-croc ballet flats add a lot of fun. Ballet flats can be a bit dull, but the embossing and great colors make these very fashion forward. I'm a big fan of the "purple drama," but "homespun" (tan and salmon pink) and "earl grey" (charcoal and mustard) are extremely cute also. My only concern is that in some photos the toe caps look a little haphazardly attached, and if they start to peel off these shoes will go from cute to cheap-looking very fast.

These reptile t-strap heels, $34.50, show how these prints can be fierce as well as cute. You don't fuck with a girl in red croc-embossed t-straps with stacked heels, because she will stomp all over you. Also, the cut-outs across the bottom will help when she feels showing a little toe cleavage will let her get her way.

Here's another shoe that's not for the meek: Colin Stuart Croc-Print Platform Pump, $72, at Victoria's Secret. The 4 and 3/4 inch heel and platform sole will make your legs look about ten miles long, and you'll be able to look down on all your poor short friends in flats. Just make sure you take these for a spin around your home first, to make sure you won't be taking any unplanned tumbles.

If you're looking for something a bit more subdued, Lauren by Ralph Lauren has the perfect shoe: Brinley, $98, a peep-toe Mary Jane with a subtle black snake print. It's a classic shoe in a classic color, but the addition of snakeskin gives it just a touch wild. Only those who looked closely would know that you're secretly a jungle lover in addition to a librarian.

I personally believe that any snakeskin clothing should be a color that does not naturally occur on a snake, like dark red or bright purple. These pointy-toed pumps almost break that rule, but I think they're just gold enough to be acceptable. From Rampage, the Maria pumps, $29.99, are called "tan" but it looks like there's more than a hint of metallic involved. Also, I like how high-quality the snake skin looks--I hope it's smooth when you rub one way and rough when you rub the other, just like on a real snake. But, let me make this clear if I haven't already, I would not approve of having real snake or croc skin on your shoes. That's just tacky. And I could never afford it.

If I were to rank my favorite metallic colors, I would say: Gold, silver, bronze, and pewter last. Pewter reminds me of pipes, but I think these Chinese Laundry Attitude shoes, $39.99, might change my mind. The color is a very grown-up take on metallics, so you don't look like a J.Lo impersonator when you want to be taken seriously. And also, I always dig a hidden platform.

Do you notice how shoes in online stores are usually not modeled by an actual foot? I've also suspected it was a ploy to avoid web traffic from foot fetishists, but who knows. I do know that this shoe makes me want to paint my toenails a nice tangerine color. From Banana Republic, the Genevieve lizard-embossed sandal, $68, has a rather original "V strap," as opposed to the more common T-strap. The snake print is very understated, so it's more like a cherry on top of the sundae that is BR's signature classic design.

Target has a boatload of reptile print shoes right now, for less than $30 bucks and in some great metallic colors. I'm particularly enamored of "wine snake," a sort of silver-y purple that would never occur in nature. The Merona Michelle pumps, $24.99, are rather classy for Target shoes. The pointy toe is just about the perfect size: big enough to hurt if you were to kick someone in the shins, but small enough that you don't look like you're wearing elf shoes.

These Xhilaration Sharon peep-toe pumps, $22.99, are more playful, with the double, oversized Mary Jane straps and thick, stacked heel.

If the wine snake is too muted, Target has you covered with its claret snake color. Your feet will get a remarkable amount of attention when you're wearing the Mossimo Versie peep-toe pumps, $26.99. The crossing straps over the toe are rather flirty, and the mid-height heel is a nice, sensible contrast with the slightly-disco color. I do have to admit, though, that I own a pair of purple heels and I don't wear them as often as I like because they don't really go with anything. Even a basic black dress doesn't look quite right with purple heels.

I realized that when I was ranking my favorite metallics I forgot copper, which is the real color that should remind me of pipes. But I love the color "copper snake" on these Vida Peep-Toe Pumps, $26.99, because it adds touches of purple and gold. And the shape of this shoe? Does not fuck around, to say the least. It's all curves and height, plus an unexpected extra glimpse of skin through the cut-outs at the heels.

I own two pairs of Xhilaration sable ballet flats, a basic black and a light gold with an understated sheen. The soles of the gold ones are starting to peel away from the toes, since I wear them constantly and they were 14 dollars. So I was going to buy another of the same gold pair, but now I'm thinking it's time for an upgrade: gold snake ballet flats, $14.99. The color is a lot deeper, so they might be more difficult to match with any outfit that isn't dark wash jeans and black cardigan. Luckily, like 80% of my outfits are dark jeans and a cardi. If I really wanted to commit to this look, I could buy $195 gold croc London Sole flats. They would last about 8 times as long, and probably wouldn't get that strange smell the Target flats get when I wear them all day. But I could get 8 semi-decent pair of Target shoes for the price of these flats, so it's rather unlikely I'll be investing in London Sole anytime soon.

I'm not positive if I like this fashion-forward take on the wedge. The Verdi wedges, $26.99, are a feat of engineering as well as a shoe, and more power to the women who are edgy enough to pull these off.