Friday, April 30, 2010

Working Girls

Did you actually think you had seen the last of me? I have a ton of respect and awe for Julia - she's so consistent in keeping OMGWDYGT up and running, while I'm totally unreliable. However, I've recently undergone a sartorial revolution on the heels of my new job, and I find myself once again bitten by the fashion-blogging bug.

So, I'll be honest. When I received the news that I had secured my first "real" job upon graduating from college, what I was most excited about was building my work wardrobe.

I envisioned my closet containing a tightly-edited selection of clothing that was both age-appropriate and professional. I figured the best antidote for fluorescent lighting and bitter coffee was a wardrobe that was anchored with reliable basics and then injected with some quirk from a few carefully chosen statement pieces.

The task was more daunting than I had imagined. What has emerged as the most important criteria for finding work clothes is that they're wearable when I'm on and off the clock. After all, if I wouldn't choose to wear something when I'm, say, grabbing a late sushi dinner with my boyfriend on a Saturday night or hanging out at my friends' apartment watching Gossip Girl, why would I want to spend eight hours in it on a Tuesday? Luckily, I've found some pieces that are both office- and life-appropriate, and they can be dressed up or down with a few choice counterparts.


As much as I appreciate a good, body-conscious pencil skirt (hello, Joan Holloway), there's something so appealingly breezy about this Factory Floral Skirt, $98, with its vivid print and A-line cut. A plain white button-down and basic black pumps look crisp and smart against its colorful palette:

Perfect Elle Pump, $155 $99.99

On the weekend, dress it down with an androgynous racerback tank and strappy sandals.


Being a petite girl, my figure looks swallowed whole by pants that have an at all voluminous cut. A streamlined silhouette, like the one provided by these Martin skinny cropped pants, $89.50, is much more flattering. During office hours, this standby pairs well with a frilly cami and, to keep it work-appropriate, brightly colored cardigan:

Versatile slingbacks round out the look:

Off-hours, these pants work just as well with a nautical-inspired striped shirt and espadrilles:

Girlee espadrilles, $59 $39.99


The polka-dot print is sweet and a little bit retro; the fluttery sleeves and deep v-neck cut - which draw focus to your shoulders and collarbone - make it sexy. At work, this Dotsalota chiffon cami, $138, goes perfectly with an all-business blazer and pencil skirt:

As for shoes - those standby black pumps, you're thinking? What about these instead?

I've yet to invest in brightly colored shoes that are also work-appropriate, but they're on my shopping list; they're a pretty harmless way to add some interest to an otherwise conservative look. I'm such a whore for Stuart Weitzman shoes - you have to love that juxtaposition of a classic shape and sexy but not-quite-garish cherry red patent leather.

On the weekend, channel Jean Seberg and wear the top with a pair of skinny jeans and black leather ballet flats:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Amanda Seyfriend and Zac Posen

Amanda Seyfried has officially replaced Rachel McAdams as the celebrity I most wish I looked like. Sorry Rachel--you're still gorgeous, and you made a real run at regaining your title in that sublime Oscar dress.......which reminded me of a Barbie I had with a dress inspired by Monet's waterlilies (I used to be really into collecting the fancy Barbies, and would get a new one every Christmas. My favorite was the one with Eliza Doolittle's white racetrack dress from My Fair Lady, because it had a ginormous hat that reminded me of Kate Winslet in the opening of Titanic). On Oscar night, Rachel McAdams completed topped Amanda Seyfried's cake-icing gown, but besides that, it's been a while since anything Rachel McAdams wore made me go, "Ugh, why is she so perfect? (I hear she does car commercials in Japan. One time she punched me in the face. It was awesome.)

Amanda Seyfried, on the other hand, makes me react like that every time I see her, and I can pretty much guarantee that I will go see Letters to Juliet just so I can ogle her shiny, shiny hair (I'm also interested to see her stick her whole fist in her mouth and predict the weather with her breasts, two things that I don't think she does in that movie). And I've had an old issue of Vogue sitting on my desk for a week, open to this page, just to remind myself that perfection is possible:
So gorgeous, right? She's perfectly walking the line between classic and fresh--she has the loose screen siren girls and curvy figure, but looks clean-faced and wholesome. It's like when you see photos of Dita von Teese and think, "She looks amazing, but not quite human..." but here Amanda took that over-the-top look and translated it into an everyday, just hanging at Coney Island outfit. I adored it even more when I saw photos of the dress online. On Amanda, it looks like a staple of your fantasy wardrobe. On this model, it looks like something you'd see at a thrift store and think, "Oh man, if only this were a little less weird..."
Those sleeves! Why are those sleeves ripped open?! It ruins everything for me, because it's one of those really unnecessary designer-y things. It doesn't help that the model has very strange proportions--her neck, in particular, is freaking me out. I should mention that this dress is from Zac Posen's new lower-priced collection, Z Spoke. Of course, "lower-priced" is relative, as this Silk Polka Dot Flared Dress is $495, and then it'll be an extra $15 bucks or so to get your tailor to fix those god awful sleeves. The solid version is a little less offensive to my eyes, since it's in a gorgeous merlot red.

In the Vogue article that the Amanda Seyfried photo is from, Zac Posen does a lot of patting himself on the back for having this new "affordable" line. But it's such a joke, just like every "Steal of the Month" feature. A 500 dollar dress is not affordable! It's not a steal! In New York, it's half a month's rent; in Phoenix, it's 2 months rent. I know that complaining about how Vogue is out of touch with the real world is as old as complaining about bad weather, but I still see red when I read, "Posen is keen to come up with prices that won't break the bank ($78 to a bit over $600). 'T-shirts at T-shirt prices' is how he puts it." Zac Posen obviously hasn't been to a Gap ever in his life, because T-shirt prices should be somewhere between $20 and $30 (if you're too impatient to wait for that v-neck to go on sale). This Z spoke t-shirt--cotton, jersey, and ugly as sin--is $98.

But hey, Zac Posen is doing a collection for Target that comes out on April 25th, and hope springs eternal! Sure, his pieces seem to be at a higher price point that previous Target collaborations, but maybe that'll translate into higher quality. I'm intrigued in a few dresses, but as always, I won't know until I see them in person if they're hideous or awesome. This first dress is so weird that it just might work--it's like sailor meets punk:
And this dress is just pure glam fun:

Wow, this post meandered a bit. Shall we bring it all back with a final appreciation of the late Lily Cane's perfect hair?

Have I been wrong about rompers?

I'm 100% positive that if I went to Coachella, I would spend the entire time nudging my friends and saying, "Did you see that girl's fugly ass outfit? She looks like she fell on the tracks of a Brooklyn bound L train." It'd be like the one time I tried to see Vampire Weekend in Central Park, and while in line tried surreptitiously to photograph a girl with a raccoon tail on her purse. The hipster style is not for me, but I have to admit, this outfit is sort of really cute (via Refinery 29):Between the leather belt and the old-fashioned halter and the sweet white shoes, this hipster girl has managed to make the romper retro-classy. Miracle! And I'll admit, a romper might be a good choice at a music festival, when you'll be sweating a lot but also sitting on the ground (making a dress a bad choice). My only misgiving--besides that all rompers should be burned in a fire--is that you would have to get totally naked while using the Port-a-Potty, which seems very dangerous.

My resistance must be wearing down, because I got an email from Urban Outfitters today and thought, "What a cute wait, it's a romper...and it's still cute?"
I'm just a sucker for white eyelet fabric and a waist sash.

There's another UO romper that I'm almost too embarrassed to admit I like, because it's very self-consciously hipster.
Samantha Pleet Run Amok Romper, $178
First, let's all acknowledge that this model looks hideously malnourished--her face is screaming, "I haven't eaten in so long that I've completely lost the will to live, and thus am unable to take this ridiculous hat off." That said, look at that super fun fruity print! Don't you want to wear it on a picnic, after going to your local farmer's market for fresh mangoes? The print reminds me of something Betty would wear on Mad Men, in between yelling at Sally and pretending her marriage isn't a nightmare. Of course, she'd wear it as a dress with a full skirt and actual undergarments, and look all the more glamorous. But she wouldn't be able to sit Indian-style on the ground in a dress.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Le Chapeau

$5 sale at Urban Outfitters makes me think...
...maybe I do need a straw bowler hat!

There was a feature in Vogue last year that featured all these fabulous hats, and ever since I've wanted a menswear-inspired chapeau of my own.

Although it seems like Common Sense 101 that you shouldn't wear a fancy hat on a boat, because will you lose it in approximately 7 seconds.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Betsey Johnson and My Dream Dress

I'm always impressed by how accurate the ads on Facebook are. It's always Modcloth ad, book ad, dating ad. Congratulations, Facebook, you've got me completely figured out. Anyway, this dress was in the most recent Modcloth ad, and I thought, "How adorable! And since it's Mod, it will probably be affordable!"

Alas! This dress is by Betsey Johnson, and the Iona Dress costs a cool $485. But oh, it is so fun! Betsey Johnson is not known for her restraint, which I identify with--when I was a kid, my mom felt compelled to make an extra large donation to the class arts and crafts supplies, because she knew I would cover any project with glitter, glue, markers, stickers, and dried macaroni. This dress is the equivalent of my early artwork, with the embroidery, lace, tulle, and big old sash with a bow in the back. It's totally over-the-top, but sometimes a girl needs a dress like that. Just ask Miley!

Alex and I went to see The Last Song... for the lulz, I swear! We spent the whole movie making snarky comments about Miley's "acting" and Nicholas Sparks's "writing," but we both agreed that this dress was a winner. It's a tea length, around the shins, and it looks so fresh and young that I can't help but be jealous of Miley for getting to wear it (and also for getting to hang out in Tybee Island, Georgia, which looks absolutely gorgeous). It reminds me of that giant poofy dress (Oscar de la Renta?) that Carrie wore when she went to Paris with Aleksandr. And so, while I will not be buying the Betsey Johnson dress, I will continue to dream of the frilly confection of a dress of my dreams.