Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lauren Conrad at Kohl's

This year I'm pioneering a shopping strategy that I'll call "Pre-Black Friday Recon." It involves going a few days ahead of time to those stores that you know will be packed on the day after Thanksgiving. I go on a Monday or Tuesday afternoon, grab anything with the remotest potential to be cute, and go into the deserted dressing rooms to try them on at my leisure. Then, I make note of what is flattering and what is fug, and make plans to return in three days when the price is slashed. Genius, right?

One place I definitely want to hit is Kohls, whose Simply Vera by Vera Wang collection is usually pretty awesome. I have a blue paintbrush-printed skirt from Vera that I get compliments on every single time I wear it--no kidding. And I saw another skirt there that had potential to join those exulted ranks, but sadly, it's not online. If I go back on Friday and buy it, I'll try to take a photo, but let me just say that it's Emma Pillsbury from Glee level of cuteness.

I've been bitching and moaning about needing a good blazer for ages, and I think I've finally found one, courtesy of my Laguna Beach high-schooler turned NYT best-selling author: Lauren Conrad. When I heard that she was folding her higher-priced line and doing something cheaper for Kohl's, I thought it was the best idea I ever heard. I love LC more than I'd like to admit, but there's nothing she could possibly design that would be worth more than $45 bucks. So, happily, this blazer is on sale for $42, hopefully to be marked down even more! It's a nice classic shape, with the fun touch of folded-up cuffs with a contrast lining. A good go-anywhere piece. And you know what? I think I'd rather a good piece of clothing fall apart before it falls out of style, so I'm going to convince myself that a good blazer is something I should be "investing" in.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic, about 9 months late

So this post is pretty belated. Confessions of a Shopaholic came out when, last February? And I rented it last August, which is when I fell in love with the below outfit. And I've always believed that only foolish people think that wearing a past season's style is a sin--most things don't become dated in six months, and sometimes cute is cute forever. I'm not saying this outfit is timeless, but I am saying that I love it and want to recreate it.

I mean, right? Look at how adorable Isla Fisher is! As previously discussed, I have a mad-crazy girl crush on her, and I think she pulled off all the silly outfits in Shopaholic with admirable aplomb. Most weren't doable for real life, but I think this one is.

Start with an adorable plaid dress that's not too cowgirl--from Fred Flare, the Lois dress, $45, has a sexy eye-hook closure in front and an attached belt to tie in the back. Hide that with an oversized corset belt...
...from AMI, for $19.99. As a lover of belts, I have to recommend thick waist belts only in situations when you don't plan to sit down or eat. But if you're planning an evening in which you'll be standing around and looking cute, wear that belt and cinch it tight.
And then finish it with some black thigh-highs, to expose just a little bit of your legs. Those maroon platforms that Rebecca Bloomwood is rocking? Those, you're on your own. I would go with riding boots, since I go with the riding boots in about 80% of all situations.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Neverending Search for the Perfect Everyday Purse

So last Christmas I got this bag from Urban Outfitters, and after some initial whining about how small it is, I learned to love it. I wore it nearly everyday, got many compliments, and had no intention of replacing it. But then, over the summer, the edges of the straps started to fray. I trimmed them, and it looked almost good as new. But the next stage of deterioration is harder to hide--the leather is peeling off the top of the straps (on the parts that are on my shoulder). Underneath is a grody grey fabric, and it looks completely brokedown.

Time for an upgrade! I was at DSW this past weekend (shopping for boots, of course, but no luck), and decided to swing by the bag section just for fun. This Nine West Madeline Shopper, $69.95 at Zappo's, caught my eye:

I love the roomy shape, the simple and classic design, and all the fun inner pockets. My only pause is the color, which isn't very accurately reflected in this photo. It's called "Rust," and it's more of a brownish, orangeish, red--not a color that often appears in my wardrobe. But it would match my green winter coat, and hey, maybe it's time for something new! I just don't want to spend $70 on a bag that I either won't wear a lot, or will fall apart in under a year. This one is synthetic leather, too...

Doesn't anyone have experience with Nine West purses, especially faux-leather ones? Are they built to last or can I expect this purse to be falling apart by next October?