Monday, June 29, 2009

Built by Wendy Boatneck Eyelet Minidress

The sun has finally come out of hiding. Here's how I want to welcome the end of June Gloom:

Boatneck Eyelet Minidress by Built By Wendy, $240. Accessorize with a light tan and a girlish smile, and you're good to go.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Silk Checkered Jewelry Roll

Sometimes people ask us to do reviews of a product or online store, and I typically say no. That's not what this blog is about, and usually the item is something I have no interest in. But when I moved a couple weeks ago, the best way I could figure how to transport all my jewelry was in ziplock bags, thrown into a regular paper bag. I felt like a hobo, or a bank robber.

Enter the jewelry roll, $14.99, from Available in vibrant and playful colors (I got the blue checkered, which feeds my mania for plaid while also being way more classy), this roll is a chic way to transport your jewelry when traveling. Inside, there are two zippered pockets, one larger pouch that spans the whole length of the roll, and a strap to slide your rings on. I wish there were a few more pockets, since I have a ton of necklaces and nothing is worse than when they get tangled together, but it's an elegantly designed item and practical nonetheless. The material is padded, so you don't have to worry about your rings getting crushed, and the silk looks way more expensive than 15 bucks.

I think this would be a fantastic gift (especially if you slipped a bracelet or something inside), especially for an event where you're giving a group of people the same gift, like bridesmaids. It's classy and useful, and you can mix it up with the different colors. Beyond the checkered print, there are a ton of different prints available on the website. They all sort of remind me of kimonos, with the silk and print motif, but I really love the unique color of the Madrid Maize roll, $14.99.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Topshop Halter Sundress

After all the hype has died down and the lines faded away, I decided it was time to check out Topshop for myself. To be honest, besides the rapturous ravings of fashion insiders, I've heard nothing but bad things from my flesh-and-blood friends who checked out the store in person. So I went in there with pretty low expectations, but I still left disappointed. I don't know, the clothes are cute enough but they're way overpriced for the quality level. I didn't even like the vibe of the store--it was too loud and hectic, too generic Euro-trash.

I did really like this one dress, and I would totally have bought it if it were appropriately priced at around $20. But since it's "designed" by Kate Moss, it's $90 for a halter sundress that's just a bolt of cotton and a piece of robe. Boo. Don't get me wrong: it's an adorable dress, and it's perfect for muggy summer days when just the thought of putting in pants makes you start sweating. But it's more than a little see-through and the fabric is scratchy in an obviously cheap way, and I'd bet that within three washings that robe halter would start fraying. I'd rather get my cheap-ass dresses from Forever 21, so when they fall apart I can shrug and say, "You get what you pay for."

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Prom Queen's Dream

Okay, this is kind of embarrassing, but I've recently joined the Church of BumpIt.  I'm not really sure how I was converted, because by all means the scary trannylicious beauty queen hairstyles in the infomerical should have had me burning every teasing comb in my house.  They're like hair zombies who have had their brains eaten by the little teeth of the BumpIt.

I have to start off by saying that I have very strange hair.  Strange in that it's very fine, but I have a lot of it.  Great for curling and straightening, but not so much for maintaining any kind of volume.  I originally sent my mom a link to the website as a joke (she loves doing the bangs bump, but has a hard time getting it right), and last week we finally broke down and bought the set after spotting it in Walgreens.  One of our more adventurous moments, I'd say. 

Let me just say that the BumpIts deserve some credibility because Leighton Meester's hairdresser on Gossip Girl uses them all the time in her hair.  And, really, after I used the medium sized one (I'm pretty sure the largest one should be reserved for those of you that want to be Amy Winehouse for Halloween...), I could see why.  They really do stay in your hair with little help, but if you're worried about the insert falling out, use it when your hair is half up or with a ponytail.  They come in all colors, but I've only ever seen the dark brunette/black sets in stores.  What that potentially says about blondes and brunettes, I don't know.  All I know is, I like my little BumpIt boost, and if worse comes to worse, you can use it as a weapon and head-butt your attacker like Kiefer.  

Friday, June 5, 2009

Marais USA Sandals

Growing up in Arizona, I believed that summer should be spent in sandals. From May to September, my sock drawer gathered dust as I wore a neverending parade of flip-flops, flip-flops, and more flip-flops. Maybe I would throw on some sneakers for a trip to the gym, but why bother when you can splash around in the backyard pool?

But then I came to New York and realized that, sometimes, summer means unexpected afternoon rain storms and cloudy, muggy days. But does that mean I'm going to be wearing rain boots all the time, just to be safe? Of course not! I'm going to wear cute, impractical sandals, weather be damned.

Few fabrics are more impractical than suede, which makes them that much more attractive on shoes. I first heard of Marais USA on the Lucky Magazines Shopgirl blog, and quickly fell in love with their color-saturated shoes. The Crosby T-strap in eggplant, $68, is definitely my favorite. To the left, you can see the orange version on a model (while I question the background of a forest for suede open-toed sandals, I appreciate that Marais shows you both what their shoes look like on their own and what they look like on a foot. I think a lot of shoe sites avoid the latter because they don't want to attract foot fetishists, but I firmly believe that you need to see a shoe being worn before knowing if its actually cute). I like how this shoes has a little more coverage; with the panel on top and covering on the back of the heel, you could take these shoes to a fairly nice restaurant without feeling like a bum.

So, in case you've never been to Paris (and what are you waiting for? Go! It really is all it's cracked up to be), Le Marais is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the whole city. Historically, it's a center of Jewish life, and it also has a reputation for attracting the bourgeois. When I visited a friend who was studying abroad in Paris, I wandered around to all the cool vintage shops and bought a real army jacket and an incredibly cool belt, and then she showed me where to get the best falafel in the world.

I think, since I was living out of a backpack at the time, I wore jeans and sneakers and looked horribly American. If I could do it again, I would wear these Prince Wedges, $72, also from Marais USA. The low heel and ankle strap ensures that you won't be hobbling over cobblestones after a few hours of sightseeing, but the fabulous suede ensures that you won't stand out from the preternaturally fabulous citizens of Le Marais. While the black is undeniably classic, and looks incredibly chic on the model below, I think I prefer the cobalt blue version. What can I say? I'm a sucker for those blue suede shoes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Badgley Mischka Silk Tie Neck Dress

I really try not to write about things that are sold out, or only have a size 00 left or something, because what's the point? I also try not to post about things on Rue La La that often, because it's invitation-only and you can't buy the piece until you're a member. (I've mentioned before, but in case you haven't heard of it: it's a discount shopping site that has two-day boutiques of a certain brand or designer, marked heavily down. If you want an invitation, just leave your email address in the comments and I'll hook you up.)

But I'm making an exception for this dress, because I'm more than a little in love with it. Made by Badgley Mischka, who is so far out of my price range it isn't even funny, this Fuchsia Silk Tie Neck Dress is $249, originally $680. I'm hugely into bright floral prints this summer, and this dress ups the ante by mixing in a bit of the current color-blocking trend. I love the flattering high waist and the silver O-ring at the halter, but I'm absolutely gaga for the sequins on the top.

I love how it's fun and glitzy but not Vegas Showgirl--you could easily wear this dress during the day, which isn't true of most sequined clothes. Sure, it's a little over the top; I can see the trophy wife of some Hollywood bigwig wearing this to a late lunch with her fellow cougers, but I can also see (a fantasy version of) me wearing this to a rocking rooftop party. Although I'd probably spent half the time yelling, "If you get Jell-O shots on my Badgley Mischka dress, I will push you off this roof!" The other half would be spent graciously accepting compliments and juggling my beaus (because in my fantasy, this party is held on the roof of Tara).

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Big Girl" clothes

I'm so confused at what's currently happening on the MTV Movie Awards.  Actually, I'm just trying to figure out if there are animals living in KStew's hair, or if it's naturally that... sticky.  Is sticky the right word? 

Anyway, so like Miss Julia, I also have the pleasure of buying some "Big Girl" clothes as I enter the real world (and, hopefully, the same industry as Julia)!  My dad is very traditional about the whole suit thing.  Very traditional.  I guess I'm lucky that he thinks it's a rite of passage for a father to buy his daughter a nice business suit, but I ended up with two jacket/skirt/pants combos (gray and black).  

I'm very tall (about 5'10"), so I have problems finding pants that are long enough (I suppose I shouldn't complain since I don't have to get things tailored, but the flood pants look doesn't really work with suits...).  I have an even harder time trying to find jackets and t-shirts long enough for my arms... and, well, that makes suit shopping very special as you can imagine.  We looked around in the BCBG section of Dillards*, but we only found suits that worked across the way in the Antonio Melani section.

*Dillards, if you don't have it where you are, is a huge department store much like Macy's... only Macy's seems so much brighter and happier.  And they have FAO Schwartz in their toy departments, so suck on that Dillards!

I'd never heard of Antonio Melani before, but I'm definitely a fan now.  These are the "Maxine" pants, which retail for $129.  I felt bad about the price, but the quality more than makes up for it.  I really like the fact that the fabric is wrinkle-resistant, it's obvious to me that the pants were cut with an average woman's body in mind.  Very, very flattering--and, like Julia, I'm really not a pants person, but I'm looking forward to wearing these with a pretty blouse and the matching jacket.  

I also bought the matching "Charlie" skirt in both black and dark gray.  I liked the simple cut of the skirt and the length (again because I am on the "Amazonian" side of the height chart).  When we first started looking at skirts, I was immediately drawn all of the A-lines with bright, big patterns.  While I think those skirts can be appropriate for work (depending on your industry or the day of the week), my Dad pointed out that I'd get more wear out of a solid-colored pencil skirt with several different nice blouses, blazers and cardigans.  Ah, the wisdom of Dads.  I'm going to have to agree with him.  I think one of the best things you can do for yourself as a young woman is find yourself a pencil skirt that is 

1. Not a "Naughty Secretary" skirt (too tight)
2. Not a "Babushka" skirt (too baggy and/or too long)
3. Not a mini-skirt

I wish I could post a link to the matching blazers, but I honestly can't find them online.  We actually had to order the gray blazer because they no longer had it in my size.  So here ends my little plug for Antonio Melani--I definitely recommend the brand if you're looking for quality fabric that's not going to shrivel up on you after sitting on it for a few hours.  Definitely check it out if you're long-limbed, too!

Okay, moving on to the aforementioned pretty blouses:  I knew that I wanted to look in JCrew, if only because they're having their summer sale right now.  Here's the frustrating thing about posting JCrew products on this blog: half of the stuff that's in the store isn't on the website and vice versa.  For example, I found this very pretty knit-mix work skirt for $40 and a beautiful navy jersey dress... and they are nowhere on  I am perplexed.

Anyway, in exchange for my dad buying my suits, I told him that I would buy my work blouses, cardigans, and shoes.  (This is obviously not a fair trade...)  I really liked two of the blouses I tried on at JCrew (and I mean REALLY liked them), but I only walked out with one. 

I tried on the cotton ruffle tank in the color "stone" first.  The picture really doesn't do the shirt or its color justice.  It's very lightweight, but unlike 89% of JCrew's other products, it's not sheer and you won't need to wear a cami beneath it.  The color stone has a lot of blue in it--it's not quite as gray as this picture would lead you to believe.  It's a beautiful color for spring, and the shirt is extremely well made.  The only problem?  It costs $70.  I'm willing to wait to see if I can get it on sale, thank you very much!

The shirt that I actually bought was the short-sleeve stretch broadcloth shirt.  It's price isn't much better at $60, but you get more shirt for less money!  I know, I know my logic is impeccable.

All kidding aside, this shirt strikes me as being A LOT more versatile than the ruffle tank--I can at least wear it in all seasons, as opposed to just spring and summer.  And, if nothing else, it's a little more "classic" than the other tank, and it definitely appeals to the prep in me.  I love that there's a stretch in the fabric, and though you can't really tell from the picture, the collar and the sleeve both have ruffle details.  And did I mention the cut is very flattering?

As you can see, I wasn't very creative with my work blouses!  I would love to find some with bright colors and patterns, but I'm not sure where to look--help a girl out and give me some recommendations!  What are your favorite stores for "work" clothes?