Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ella's Picks

Is there any greater, simpler pleasure than discovering a gift card buried deep in the recesses of one's wallet? In the middle of a recession? I don't think so; I was delighted to find a long-forgotten Gap card tucked away in the folds of my Lodis, flanked by my Sephora rewards card and a gym membership ID that expired a year ago. I was even happier when a quick online check revealed a substantial amount of cash on it. So I'm hitting the Gap on Fifth later today, but first, I checked out its offerings online. Here's what I like:

I've already established that swiping your boyfriend's shirt = hot. However, for those of us who are single, we've got to provide for ourselves and buy not only our own dinner but also our own men's-style button downs. Anyway, my ex's shirts hit mid-thigh on me, so investing in a ladies' version is a good idea. I dig this one's blue pinstripes and rolled cuffs.

One of my favorite items of clothing is a little black... H&M blazer. It's seasonless and super-versatile, the perfect topper for everything from skinnies-and-a-t-shirt to my most feminine dresses. This navy version, with its appealingly slim cut, skinny lapel and brass buttons, is similarly destined to become a wardrobe MVP.

I cherish and dutifully dry-clean my cashmere, but there's something so seductively low-maintenance about a cotton sweater. Just toss it in the washing machine and you're good to go. This one's roomy cut and heathered appearance make it casual; a line of buttons on each cuff and flattering rounded neckline elevate it just a little bit beyond ordinary.

A traditional cardigan is a tad too staid for my taste. With this one's slim, structured cut and single hook closure, it's just as versatile but nowhere near as ordinary. I can imagine it pairing just as well with a graphic tee and ripped jeans as with my beloved white J. Crew dress.

Never underestimate the power of a good tank top: boys like them because they highlight your figure in a low-key way; plus, you get to show off the Michelle Obama-arms you've been killing yourself at the gym for. Additionally, this particular tank comes in seven shades, from hunter green to petal pink, and if you buy two or more, they're $10 each. And are you really going to buy just one?

There's an important principle when it comes to making cheap clothes look chic to stick with darker hues, and these flats are a prime example. The four other colors it comes in all feature contrast stitching, which just make them look, well, cheap. But in black? While not a shoe I'll cherish for years to come, they're perfect for stomping around the city this summer.

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