Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday Loot

I was not planning on shopping on Black Friday. I had friends in town, so I figured we would hang out, see some sights, maybe do some ice skating. But then we decided to go check out the store windows on Fifth Avenue, and we kept passing stores, and before I knew it I had a haul of cute things, bought on sale.

First, we started outside of Bloomingdale's, so I had to hop across the street and get myself some more Clodhoppers from Dylan's Candy Bar. While we were there, we saw David Beckham! He's rather petite in person, surprisingly, but was pretty good natured about having his photo taken by a bunch of scary paparazzi.

The next place we stopped was H&M, and unsurprisingly, I was unable to stop myself from purchasing a few accessories with $5 price tags. I got a scarf with a cool geometric light green and brown print, which matches my boots but nothing else I wear (excuse the amateur photography). I'm going to have to wait until it gets warmer to wear it, since it definitely doesn't match any of my coats. I also bought a white wool beret, which my friends assured me makes me adorable and Parisian and not ridiculous and pretentious. It's a bit itchy on my forehead, but I'm hoping to get used to it.

The girls I was with couldn't resist the sparkly allure of the Juicy Couture store, but it was one of the boys who bought something. My friend who goes to a super preppy Ivy League school got this 1964 argyle sweater, $126 (but I believe it was more on sale in the store). He looked so cute in this maroon and red cashmere sweater, and it actually made him look more intelligent--quite an achievement for someone who hasn't read a book for fun since high school English class.

If you have friends who enjoy shopping and designer names but are sort of cheap, definitely take them to the Marc by Marc Jacobs accessory store in the West Village. There was a line out the door on Friday, and it's a tiny, claustrophobic space, but it is SO worth the hassle. It's basically a candy store: all sorts of goodies for not a lot of money. Three of my friends bought the faux-leather hobo bag on sale for $10, and stocked up on some presents for their friends and family. I got this cute heart compact, $5 in store but $7.99 on Ebay. It would be the perfect stocking stuffer for the girly girl in your life.

But my favorite thing that I bought was this Quilted Satin Evening Bag Coco Clutch, $35 in stores and $59.99 on Ebay. It is pure loveliness: a subtle gold color (apparently my late 2008 obsessions are gold and plaid) with a quilting reminiscent of Chanel, plenty of pockets and slips inside to put your ID and money, and a heavy silver chain that's detachable. I have a feeling that this is going to become my go-to clutch for special occasions, because it makes me feel effortlessly stylish. It's of-the-moment yet classic, and I am patting myself on the back for deciding to buy it. Hopefully it won't become as popular as the last thing I bought from the Marc store: the navy canvas tote bag with "Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc in collaboration with Marc Jacobs", etc. written all over that. I got mine about two years ago, and was in love with its cheeky style and utilitarian shape (I could fit my humongous Riverside Complete Works of Shakespeare textbook in it, along with a notebook and whatever book I was reading for fun!). But then I started seeing it on the arm of every other girl, and more than a few boys, and then I brought it to Poland and my passport fell out of the top when I was visiting Auschwitz, and I had to retire it. I still grab it to take to the gym or grocery store, but it's just too trendy for everyday use. I do look forward to bringing it back in five to ten years, though!

Across from the Marc store is Olive + Bette's, a cute boutique with brands like Splendid and Seven. In the window was this Cashmere Argyle Rhinestone Cardigan, $297, by Autumn Cashmere. I instantly fell in love, but the price tag... sigh, too much to even bother trying on. But I adore the cropped sleeves and shorter cut--it would look fantastic over a simple navy or white dress. The rhinestones, which comprise the diamond outlines, add a bit of fanciness and fun to the argyle, which can be a bit staid if not done right. O+B had a bunch more cute sweaters from Autumn Cashmere, so imagine my joy when I got home and saw them included in Daily Candy's sample sale email! I plan to check it out this week; if you're interested too, here's the write-up from New York Magazine:

12/2–12/5 and 12/8–12/12 Oversize cashmere ruffle wraps are $150 (originally $330), striped crewnecks are $89 (originally $245), and cashmere toggle coats are $185 (originally $540) at Autumn Cashmere's sample sale, where all other men's and women's fall merchandise is 75 percent off. 231 W. 39th St., nr. Seventh Ave., Ste. 924 (212-398-2244); 12/2–12/5 (9–7), 12/8–12/12 (9:30–6).

I wrapped up Black Friday with a little online shopping (oh, and side note, how crazy is it about the Wal-Mart worker trampled to death in Long Island and the two killed in a shoot-out in a California Toys R' Us? Bad shoppers!) at ModCloth. I got this Old Time Pocket Watch Necklace, $12.99, which I've been eyeing for freaking forever. I've posted about it twice before, I believe, so when I saw that it was on sale (from $24.99), I knew it was time to take the plunge. I'm still planning on asking for a real watch for Christmas, but this'll keep me going until then.

I also bought the Cleopatra flats, $13.00. I have a pair of gold flats from Target that are falling apart because I wear them constantly, so these are a nice upgrade. First, gold flats are the perfect way to finish off an otherwise boring black office outfit. Second, the polka dots (eyelets?) add more depth to the shimmery gold, and the knot over the top is a fun touch. I also like the mini-heel, because completely flat shoes are not good for your arches. Hopefully they'll fit when they arrive!

So that's what I bought for myself. I guess it's time to start thinking about presents for others...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Shopper's Thanksgiving

This year, I'm thankful....
...for the Spearmint Tote from Anthropologie, which just went on sale. Down from $648 to $329.45, it's still not a bargain, but it's mint green leather! With embroidery and a silk lining! I'm also thankful for Anthropologie in general, for giving me reasons to work hard so I can earn money to spend at their store.

...for the fact that I live in New York, where I can wear this Prairie NY Black Herringbone Wool Jacket, $345. If I still lived in Arizona, not only would it never get cold enough to justify this jacket, but it would also look hopelessly out of place among the cacti and Juicy sweat pants.

...that I look really good in the color "wine." This Foley + Corinna Shirred Corset dress is $424, and there's a white version on sale for $298.60.

....that I picked the perfect moment to get obsessed with plaid, because it's everywhere, in all shapes and forms. This Hurley Rock Chic tote is just $32.99.

...for J.Crew, which always has at least one dress that makes me feel weak in the knees. This golden roses dress is $139.99.

...that there's always some pretty little thing being sold for pennies on Etsy. Golden Lotus Hoops, by LuxeDeluxe, $12.80.

And finally, I'm thankful for Black Friday, with all of its economy-boasting, deal-having, packed-crowding glory. Good luck out there shoppers!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Winter Dresses

Those of us who are committed dress wearers blossom like flowers during the summer: wake up each morning, throw on a frock and some sandals, and spend the whole day feeling easy, breezy beautiful. Winter is tougher; there are layers, and coats, and wind chill. But that doesn't mean you need to spend the next four months in long underwear and corduroy pants (although I promise not to judge you if you use cold weather as an excuse not to shave your legs for months at a time). Winter dresses are here to save you from dumpiness and seasonal affective disorder!

Victoria's Secret can always be counted on to add sex appeal to even the most modest-seeming dresses. This Stretch cotton rib henley sweaterdress, $48, ensures that your curves don't get lost in the coziness. I like the combination of two winter classics-- the henley neckline and ribbed fabric--with the hints of skin through the three-quarter sleeves and open neckline. You could even probably wear this into spring, especially in the ivory and navy colors.

The plunging V-back sweater dress, $55, just about guarantees a successful seduction in two out of three cases. You have a perfectly chaste front-- people might think you're a Mennonite or a librarian. But turn around, and the wide expanse of exposed back will convince everyone that you are a force to be reckoned with.

A more appropriate dress for a young college student would be this Kalare Sweater Dress, $59.99. The cardigan could be worn open over a tank dress, or on its own, buttoned up with tights. I love the white piping (very Ivy League chic) and the two sets of pockets. It's also part wool, which is a huge plus for any winter dress.

The next piece from Urban Outfitters, the Hooded Sweater Dress, $54.99, is perfect for the hipster who wants to look good on the L train but doesn't want to freeze her artfully disheveled scarf off. I think this dress if best for waif-y girls, due to its straight cut and high neck-- it might look too baggy on Joan Holloway types, plus, waif-y girls need the extra warmth.

I could see Joan rocking this BDG Turtleneck Dress, $58, with a cone bra pointy enough to put an eye out. The babydoll waist makes this more flattering than normal turtleneck dresses, and the mini length gives it a youthful vibe. I also am obsessed with this deep red color; it could not be more perfect for Christmas. Old Navy also has a nice version for $34.50.

The real reason I like this BDG Flannel Dress, $48, is that it reminds me of Angela Chase reinterpreted for the next generation. The style hints at your boyfriend's oversized button-down that you slipped on the morning after, but the self-tie belt and tailored bust keep it from being overly masculine. Also, flannel: totally cozy in the winter!

I love this Velvet Currant Mora Long Sleeve dress, $124, but I am obsessed with the styling on the model. Killer boots, simple black tights, and check out the close-up of her hair and makeup. The smoky eye makeup and across the head French braid? Totally killer. I want to buy this dress just to recreate the entire look-- and the deep purple color and subtle pleating at the waist don't hurt.

Off the shoulder dresses are so appropriate for holiday ski vacations; they really are best worn by the fire while it softly snows outside. This wool jersey version from C&C California, $148, looks nice and thick, and I want to go to Aspen and bring it with me. I also love how the pink color is called "lush" and the purple color is called "prince."

Along with wool, cashmere is the ultimate fabric for a winter dress. From Banana Republic, this Cashmere T-shirt dress, $175, is simple, refined, and timeless. Perfect for dressing up with oversized accessories like a chunky belt or long necklace.

I would be remiss if I didn't include a dress from J.Crew. The Dream Silvie dress, $138, is made of a sophisticated blend of wool, cashmere, and nylon. Under the belt (unfortunately not included) is a binding at the empire waist, which prevents bagginess and nicely creates an hourglass silhouette. I like the small scoop neck, at all.

Now go throw on some tights, boots, cardigan and a dress, and don't let the weather bring you down.

Cappucino Outfit

I'm not one of those people who can throw together totally disparate clothing items that you would never imagine matching and turn them into an outfit that works. That's why I love clothing websites that have "Look Books" where they combine different pieces into a cohesive, yet surpring, outfit. Anthropologie does it particularly well.

But the other day I was introduced to Polyvore, a site that lets you combine photos from all over the web into a fun collage. Most people use it to put together outfits, and I decided to try my hand at it. It's harder than it looks, you guys: trying to put together different colors, images of different sizes, photos that display the desired item in an awkward way. So this is my first set, which I've titled the Cappuccino Outfit, inspired by the title of the Cala Lily Cafe Sweater Dress, and because this is what I want to wear on a snowy day when I have a lunch date with a sweet yet mysterious man who suggested we meet at a cute neighborhood coffee shop. It's total crap compared to the other sets on Polyvore, but I promise to keep trying and maybe one day I'll put together something truly impressive.

Cappuccino Outfit by Julia York

Mod Cloth Cala Lily Cafe Sweater Dress, $74.99

Mod Cloth Meduza Coat, $84.99

Foley + Corinna Little Treat Bag, $112.50

Unlisted by Kenneth Cole "Hand It To Me" Boot, $75

Vital Tights in Eggplant, $15.99

Ellura Uruguayan Sun God Double Chain Coin Necklace, $210

First Frost Beret, $24

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gold Holiday Heels

I'm in full-on holiday shopping mode, and by that I don't mean going around picking out presents for everyone on my list. No, I save that for December 23rd. What holiday shopping means for me is deciding what I want to wear to all the hypothetical Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year's parties that I hope to be invited to. And if I don't, I'll have to spend all of winter vacation bumming around my house in sequined mini dresses and platform heels.

And those heels? Are definitely going to be gold. Thursday night, I had the toughest time falling asleep, so I got out of bed and decided to do some light internet browsing to calm down. But then I started reading the Ebay Blog on, which linked to these Cynthia Vincent Gold Flower Heels on an Ebay auction that, unfortunately, already ended. The second I saw them, everything else in my mind faded away, leaving only, "MUST. HAVE. GOLD. SHOES." I already have gold ballet flats and gold gladiator sandals, but my life will not be complete until I find gold heels of my own. Since it doesn't appear that Cynthia Vincent is making these (leather, eyelet, adorable, vintage-y, and incredible) shoes anymore, I'm investigating my options elsewhere.

Christmas is the only time I think I'm able to get away with sequins, so I might as well take as advantage of it with something like the Queeny heel, $138, by the nicely named Shoes For Lovely People label. See, during the regular year, I worry too much about being a human disco ball; during the holidays, the human disco ball is the one tearing up the dance floor and putting a lampshade on her head-- exactly what I aim for! It'd be impossible to be a wallflower in these 4 1/4 inch heels. I especially love that the heel is covered in sequins as well; it adds an extra bit of glamour. If you have a basic black dress that you don't think is special enough for your event, these shoes would be the perfect thing to bring your outfit to the next level.

If I were to ever buy something from Jessica Simpson's shoe line, I'd live in fear of someone asking me, "Oh my god, where did you get those?" Admitting that you're helping to fund Simpson's hair extension and attention addiction when she should be fading in obscurity? Humiliating. But these shoes are cute! They're cheaper, and cheaper looking, than the previous sequin shoe, but still a very fun option. The Jossette shoe, on sale for $59.99, features a sexy open toe, and a d'Orsay shape (I just learned from Piperlime that that's the name of when there's a sort of cut-out on the side).

These shoes aren't entirely gold, but they're fierce as hell and I'm cursing the fact that the only size left is a 6.5. The NA NA Tajo shoe, $59.99, combines gold and aqua (or turquoise? I'm not sure of the exact name for this color) in a fashion-forward T-strap design. The pleated satin looks amazing next to the metallic leather, and the pop of color would allow you to wear these shoes well into spring and summer.

I can just image wearing these Nine West shoes in New York and freezing my toes off. But if you're going to drive to a swanky party and spend the whole night indoors, these Hazzel heels, $89, are just right. The criss-cross design and metal accents make these shoes pretty unique, so don't wear just any LBD with these babies. I'm seeing some sort of cream silk shift, with white gold jewelry and a messy-but-classy ponytail, then maybe a brightly colored clutch.

Let's be honest: these are almost stripper shoes. But there's no better time to wear stripper shoes than Yule time! From Steve Madden, the Frenchyy (think that's a Grease reference?) Ankle Strap heels, $69, have a monster heel and a good, thick platform, but Steve considerately provided a sturdy ankle strap to keep your foot from falling out of this shoe (keeping your ass from falling on the floor is your own job). I really like the sparkle on the gold patent-- very festive.

These J.Crew shoes are by far the most classy and understated. The Savoy D'Orsay heels, $185, are pretty expensive for a shoe made mostly of air, but there's something distinctly graceful about the thin sweep of leather across the toe, with the dainty bow on top. Someone like Grace Kelly would wear this shoe; even with jeans, you'll have a regal and refined air.

Pssst: Through Monday you can get 20% off sale items at J.Crew using the code EXTRA20!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gap Holiday Cruiser

On more than one occasion I've considered getting a bike to help navigate these tough city streets, but for every reason in the pro column (get places faster, exercise and fresh air, would look cool) there are two reasons in the con column (theft, helmet hair, would gives myself a panic attack, would get myself killed). But during the summer I would see these beautiful New York women riding their vintage-style bicycles, wearing dresses, looking as fresh as daisies and poised as beauty queens, and I'd start to want a bike again. Here's a classic example, from a photo essay the New York Times did called "A Field Guide to the New York Bicyclist:"

She's gorgeous, of course, but that bike adds an extra bit of charm to make her irresistible.

Gap, of all places, is selling a bike this holiday season that's almost worth risking my neck over.
Designed by the Electra Bike Company, Gap's holiday cruiser is $499. It's pricey, but it's ARGYLE! Before my plaid fixation, I was all about argyle, and I still stalk argyle cardigans on and go nuts for a boy in an argyle sweat vests. I would feel like the most stylish person in the world riding around on this bike. I have only one problem with it: no front basket in which I can put my purse (if I'm being practical) or fresh flowers/baguettes/a puppy. A bike with a basket is the dream, so: close, Gap, but not quite.

If you want to see more cute fashion-y girls on bikes, check out the Sartorialist. I wish this photo (which he took) was of me. You can just barely see the pink ribbon ties on the back of this azure dress, but I bet the front is knock-me-down adorable as well.

Monday, November 17, 2008

So Low Foldover Yoga Pants

Something I don't get about my roommates is that when they wake up, they immediately get into the shower and then they immediately get dressed... and then don't go outside until hours later. What's the point, I wonder? If the only people around have seen you puke in the middle of a power hour before returning to finish three more beers, why are you getting dressed? I stay in pajamas until five minutes before I have to leave, and when I come home, I practically rip off my jeans in an effort to slip into something a little more comfortable.

But lately, I think I've gotten a little too comfortable. See, our apartment is a natural gathering place for your friends. I can plan to spend a low-key Friday night watching movies with the roomies, wearing my ginormous Kafka in Prague t-shirt and stretched-out Old Navy work out pants that I cut into capri's, but then someone will be in the neighborhood, and someone will be willing to pick up beer, and before I know it there's eight tipsy people playing Taboo in my living room. And I love it-- except that I feel like a total schlub hanging out in my pajamas while everyone else is properly dressed. I could just go into my room and grab something from my closet, sure. But I'm not going outside, so why get a good pair of jeans by sitting on the floor and spilling salsa on my lap?

So I've been looking for a good pair of soft, cotton pants: something a little nicer than sweats or pajamas, but still perfectly cozy. And then it occurred to me: yoga pants! Women who take yoga do not fuck around with baggy t-shirts they got for free and sweats bought on sale at Target seven years ago. No, yoga women wear form-fitting (but not tight) workout pants that perfectly show off their toned bootys, because not only does it allow the instructor to better correct their form, but they also look awesome in downward dog position.

I was trying to think of somewhere to get a really cute, quality pair of yoga pants, and I remembered a post from the vintage "Things I've Bought That I Love," in which Mindy Kaling talks about So Low Fold-Over Yoga Pants. I think this is one of the first posts on that blog that I read, and when she wrote, "girls should wear Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls until they're 16 years old, and not be allowed to date until sophomore year in college (freshman year is for figuring out who you really are)," I fell in love with the awesome M.Kal.

The pants are expensive for work out gear, but if Mindy says they're worth it then I won't question it. The website has a really good sale section, too, and when I saw these Jersey Foldover Pants with Printed Plaid Waistband, $58.40, I knew the search for new "being lazy in my apartment" pants was over. They're plaid, you guys! And the foldover top means I can adjust how high on my waist I want to wear them (and I promise I'll never roll them down so low that you can see my thong).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend Shopping Review

It's been particularly blustery in New York lately, and I'm personally suffering from a monster cough that's causing my roommates to call out "Julia, don't die!" across the apartment. So it is little wonder that when I venture out into the drizzle and wind, I want something soft to snuggle up in?

I bought this softest pullover hoodie, $49.50, at the Gap yesterday, which would have made a nice addition to my post on Adult Hoodies. It really is incredibly soft, and the fabric is satisfyingly heavy without being bulky or suffocating. I also love the longer length-- it's almost a tunic, which always makes me feel more luxurious. This is a sweater that'll work anywhere: with pajamas on the couch, over a basic black dress at the office, with jeans and a nice cami for dinner. And the red color couldn't be more ideal for the holiday season. I'll probably wear it on Christmas morning with my favorite red and green plaid flannel pajama bottoms!

Speaking of Christmas, I'm about 80% sure that this reversible robe, $68, will be on my list. One side is light blue jersey (good for throwing on over my pj's when I need a little more coverage or warmth) and the other is super-soft white terry (good for putting on after showering when I don't want to get dressed).

At the Gap I also tried on the black ruffled strapless dress I posted about on Friday-- it was too tight in the chest but too lose in the hips, and I looked a Christmas tree. Poorly played, Gap. However, I did think the blue color it also comes in looks much better in person than it does online, so there's one plus.

I also went to H&M yesterday. Can I just say how much I hate that you can't shop H&M online, because it makes blogging about it so much harder. Photos and links are the funnest part, right? My descriptive powers just don't do clothes justice, but I'll try. I ended up buying a simple navy blue cotton tank dress, empire waist with white stars on the top portion (very patriotic). It was $10, and I think it'll be perfect for when I take a late-afternoon shower and then don't want to get dressed for real (I hate the feel of jeans on freshly lotioned skin), but feel that it's a little early to put on my pajamas. This dress will perfectly fill the position of clean-but-lazy uniform for now, and when spring arrives and I can wear it with metallic sandals and a ponytail and be effortlessly adorable.

But there was another tank dress I tried on, a way nicer one. It was black, empire waist (I realized that the reason I'm so obsessed with empire waist dresses is that my torso is sort of oddly proportioned, and my real waist is higher than any on a wrap dress or belted top. The empire waist is way easier to match to my body, as long as there's room for my chest), with a satin top with three black buttons down the chest and thicker, matte fabric for the skirt. I put it on and immediately knew it was way too small to buy (advice: never go to H&M, where everything is sized cruelly, after going to the Gap, where everything is sized generously. Not only will you take all the wrong sizes into the dressing room, but you'll feel like a heifer). I could zip it up, but I could barely breath and there was no way I'd be able to sit down. And yet... it looked hot. And the fabric on the skirt was so forgiving that you couldn't tell how tight it was; it didn't get all creased and stretched across the hips like most small dresses do. Despite the fact that it made me look surprisingly skinny, I knew I had to go get the next size up. But when I went back into the store, there was a girl (about my size, maybe a little bigger) browsing the same dress, and she took two before moving away. I swooped in, but, of course, my size was gone. Bitch! I considered following her around until she went into the dressing room and then grabbing her rejects, but decided to just come back later.

Our next stop was Victoria's Secret. The friend I was shopping with had both a VS coupon and a new boy toy, so she had way more motivation to buy some lacey new undergarments than I did. I wasn't in the mood to try anything on, but I couldn't resist their Beauty Rush colored mascara, 2 for $12. I got it in purple and blue, and while I don't think they'll replace my everyday green mascara from Almay, it's always have to some new makeup to play around with. I was disappointed that it seems like they stopped making their So Sexy shine serum, a hair product I've run out of. After every Victoria's Secret fashion show, I get the urge to buy all their hair products because those supermodels have incredible tresses (in addition to perfect bodies and faces. Sigh.). If I could get my hair to look like Caroline Trentini's, I would be pretty much ready to die happy.

While I didn't buy any lingerie, this bra and garter set did catch my eye. The balconet push-up bra, $34 and garter skirt, $26, isn't as over the top as some of VS's stuff, but it's undeniably glamorous and sexy. I love the stripes on the cups and the scalloped lace edges, and the garter skirt is irresistibly old-fashioned (question: would you still wear panties under that or is the garter itself count as underwear? Questions like this are why I can't have nice lingerie).

I've been wanting to buy something from the Intimissimi line VS carries (I know, such a cheesy ItLinkalian name), because it seems a bit younger and is definitely a bit cheaper. I'm obsessed with this plaid plunging push-up bra, $29.50 and matching bikini, $14.50. How genius is it to put a print typical for flannel jammies on a hot-as-hell push-up bra? (My obsession with plaid is only growing, you guys. Expect a post including a bitching plaid purse sometime this week.) Imagine unwrapping this on Christmas morning, wink wink, nudge nudge. The other thing I like about the Intimissimmi bras is that they all have a little pocket inside each cup, so you can buy these gel inserts, $12.50, for some extra oomph. While I'm normally very happy with my god-given oomph, I rewatched Casino Royale on Friday with three boys and they were hardcore drooling over Eva Green's decolletage. There's no debate that she has an awe-inspiring body, so I think the gel inserts will help make bring me a little closer to the Bond Girl level.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gap's Friends and Family weekend

I feel like the world is determined to make me get 30% off Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Piperlime, and it doesn't matter that I don't really need any new clothes. First, I saw a link on another shopping blog. Then Gap sent me my own copy. Then my sister forwarded it to me. And then Gap resent it to me. Geez, guys, what if I want to pay full price? And what if I don't want 5% of my purchase to be donated to a worthy charity?

Since I guess I don't have any choice, here's what I'm going to try on this weekend.

I have a feeling that this Gap strapless tiered ruffle dress, $78, is going to inescapable in the next few months. It has that It Dress quality: classic shape with of-the-moment details, in a serious color with frivolous ruffles. It also sounds like it's done in a high-quality silk/cotton blend, so it's a dress that'll last--I could see buying it now, wearing it a few times, and then rocking it way harder three years from now.

This mini is so "Hot Female Lumberjack," and I'm totally into it. Mini-skirts during the winter have sort of been tainted by the pairing with Uggs, but this skirt is made for being hot during cold weather. The wool plaid mini skirt, $48, would look perfect with tights (like the model) and some boots that aren't really strangely designed and unflatteringly chunky. And while I, myself, have never worn a turtleneck because it does uncomplimentary things to my bust and makes me feel like I'm be strangled, I can see this skirt looking especially cute with a black turtleneck.

I've been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls lately, and I'm obsessed with all the pants Lorelai wears to work. Of course, it's easier to look gorgeous and leggy in a pair of khakis when you have Lauren Graham's body; I tend to look stumpy when I try to wear work pants, which is why I'm such a huge proponent of dresses and casual Friday. But before I enter corporate America in earnest, I want to get a pair of Gilmore-worthy pants. The Perfect Plaid Trouser, $64.50, has a subtle check print (can you tell that I'm really into plaid this fall?) that brings something a little more interesting to your everyday cubicle wear, and I'm digging the duffed leg openings. But pants like this are so tough-- they have to be perfectly tailored or you spend all day adjusting the waist to prevent cameltoe or polterwang. So one of these days (maybe tomorrow!) I'm going to go into the Gap and just try on one of every pair of pants they have, and I'm not leaving the dressing room until I find the perfect pair.

Gap is selling a cashmere cardigan? I'm torn, because while $118 is fairly reasonable for cashmere, but my theory of Gap pricing is that Gap customers are used to spending lower prices, and they know stuff will go on sale, so they wait to buy, which forces the Gap to put all its nicer stuff on sale by late December. So I feel pretty confident that even with the 30% off coupon, I'd pay less later. But then I wouldn't get the pleasure of wearing this saturated ruby sweater now.

I adore his long multi-beaded necklace, $29.50. It's pretty understated for a holiday necklace, but it has little bursts of glitz that make it worthy of attention. I'd love this necklace even more if it was long enough to wrap around my neck twice.