So - which ass-kicking boots do I buy?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Work it Out

Once I was listening to the radio and a commercial came on that asked "What three words get your heart pumping?" and in that split second before the answer came I responded "FIFTY PERCENT OFF!" No need to even think that one through. The answer was, of course (of course?), Maria Conchita Alonso. Maria Conchita Alonso? Maybe that works for other, more male folks, but I stick by my answer. Nothing else gets the adrenaline going, the mind racing, the feet padding quite like that phrase. Maybe this response qualifies as a workout?

Loft is having a big sale and look how cute this dress is at 67% off - only $20! Quick go order it and check off "work out" off your to-do list. Walk into the store in-person and maybe it could count as working out twice. Two workouts in one day? Treat yourself to a cupcake!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer, Summer, Summer - You Turn Me Upside Down

Summer's here! Summer's here! Summer's here! The temperature has finally reached the 70's and I rejoice! And, yes, I do realize it is that Memorial Day weekend "marks the unofficial start of summer." Every news program is obligated to say that before they show video (what I hope is stock footage) of people first backed up in an airport and later enjoying a weekend barbecue. Am I the only one that would back a constitutional amendment making Memorial Day weekend the official start of summer? Let's get that online petition started.

And if you wanted to do that petition the old fashioned, stop-me-in-front-of-Zabar's way, then what better dress could you wear to make your point that summer is here and demands official acknowledgement? Look at this beauty for $22.80 from Forever 21! Look at its adorable belt!It's cotton with a hint of spandex - it could accomodate a true brunch, one that comprises both breakfast foods and lunch foods, eaten outdoors in a warm summer breeze.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Woman's Prerogative

This is how fickle I am. I see a new style. I loathe it so much it is disturbing. Within mere days (hours, minutes) I am obsessed with that fashion and must make it my own. It will be mine. Examples include... flowy tops, turquoise jewelry, skinny jeans, my beloved black velvet Stevie Nicks coat. I did a 180 on the color green so quickly I almost got whiplash.

So. When Amanda showed me this dress, I was immediately horrified. The pattern, the hem, the colors, the length. Of course, now I am thinking - the pattern! the hem! the colors! the length! You try it now:

It didn't hurt that I began to see this as something Rhoda Morgenstern would have purchased at her job at Hempel's. Like Amanda, she could shop while she works. If it's good enough for Rhoda, it's good enough for me. I mean, look at her?

Plus, can't you just see these dress with these awesome sunglasses, at only $7.50. I mean, picture these glasses with the dress in a size 00, stick a Good Charlotte member on your arm, and we're talking Nicole Ritchie.

Of course, to hit that 80's Three's Company vibe, though, these are the glasses you should really wear. I just can't bring myself to buy them, they are just so odious. Give me a minute.

Rule Number Sun

Having just mentioned sunglasses in my most recent post, I am reminded of one of my hard-and-fast rules of shopping:

Never spend more than $20 on a pair of sunglasses.
I ardently uphold this spending limit, and, having lived in 2 different Sunshine States (in 2 different hemispheres!) in my lifetime, I like to consider myself something of an expert on the subject.

Why the $20 cap, you ask? The answer is simple. Let's consider the reason you are purchasing these sunglasses.

Now, if your reason for a new pair is that you are an environmental researcher who just got back from a 10-year-post in Antarctica studying the effects of global warming on the polar ice caps, and, having not seen the sun in a decade, have had no use for this important accessory until now, please feel free to disregard my rule and purchase whatever pair of sunglasses will make you happy. Welcome back to civilization and sunshine, and thank you for all you do for our Earth.

But if you're just the average shopper in the market for a new pair of sunglasses, your reason is probably one of the following:
  1. You lost your old pair.
  2. You broke your old pair.
  3. Your old pair went out of style.

And let's be realistic -- without a doubt, before long, one (or more) of those three options is going to happen again. It's pretty much a fact of life. So rather than putting yourself in a position to mourn the loss (either literally or stylistically) of an expensive pair of sunglasses, follow my rule and move seamlessly on to sunnier days.

Stretch those shopping muscles

I'd like to take a moment to discuss the importance of flexibility. And I don't mean in a yoga sort of way. In fact, I hate yoga. This is in part because, as I like to say, I don't like to mix spirituality with sweat, but mostly because every time I've tried a yoga class, I've gotten an instructor with a hilarious accent, who dramatically implores me to try "downvard-fazing dugggg" instead of just sitting on my mat and giggling.

No, I'm talking about a different kind of flexibility. About keeping an open mind, and not getting so caught up in preconceived ideas that you can't consider other options.

For instance, say you've spent the past few months searching for the perfect pair of gold summer sandals to replace the ones you happily wore into the ground the past two years. You've looked everywhere, going so far as to purchase a few pairs, but ultimately ended up returning them because they really weren't quite right. And then, lo and behold, after what seems like endless searching, you find that pair! And as you sit in the shoe store congratulating yourself on not settling, the saleswoman returns with dreadful news: They're out of the gold in your size. How about silver?

What do you do? Do you leave the store sadly, and vow continue on your quest, knowing it may be months again before you come across such a find? Or do you boldly reevaluate your wardrobe needs and think, The perfect silver summer sandal! What I really needed all along!

Expand your fashion horizons, dear reader. Consider other options. Is one metallic really so different from another? You can make the silver work. Think how cute it will look with all your little summer dresses. Gold is so summer of '07, anyway! (Disclaimer: I have no idea if this last part is actually true. But you can embrace it and make it true!)

And, while you're in the store, if you should unexpectedly happen to find that elusive perfect pair of oversized, rhinestone-studded-but-not-tacky, Lindsay-Lohan-with-a-hangover sunglasses, do you think, I was really only in the market for shoes today . . .? Nay, my friend! March straight to the register, sunglasses in hand. After all, you're flexible.

Friday, May 16, 2008

HR Cuffin Stuff

I have just learned that Amanda is accessory-challenged as well. Learning of her affliction this brings up the age-old question of nature vs. nurture, since we are blood relations. Is this illness genetic? And if so, does it mean I must start a foundation to alleviate the suffering? Can I plan a "{Verb} for the Cure" event? Verbs that come to mind are 'eat,' 'watch "How I Met Your Mother,"' and, again, 'eat.' Alas, I cannot fashion any sort variation on the doubled-over ribbon that we can pin on our lapels, as that goes right to the heart of the affliction's symptoms. It does make the illness all the more poignant, does it not?

But, I think I've done pretty well here. This $15 bracelet is perfect for summer. With some peasant-y, flowy top, or a flowy dress. It has a nice chunky, bohemian feel, but I think you could even wear it to work. And with a big bracelet, which I think we call a 'piece', you can take it easy on the rest of your accessories. I think - but that could be the illness talking.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So Hot Right Now

A Florida girl born and raised, I feel most at home in 80-degree weather. But up here in NYC, beautiful, sunny days can be a little harder to come by. So I try to make the most of the wonderful warm weather when it's here by adopting a uniform of summer dresses and flip-flops. For the next 3 months, that's pretty much all I'm going to wear. Building a wardrobe entirely of sundresses can be a challenge, particularly as I have a rare and incurable neurosis regarding same-month repeating of an outfit. Thankfully, Urban Outfitters is here to help me out. Check out all these cute dresses! And they're all on sale now! I think I'm going to need more flip-flops.

You know, we mention Urban Outfitters a lot on here. It's because we like them, not because they're giving us free stuff or anything. But if they wanted to, we would totally accept it. Just so you know, Urban.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why Not "Soot" or "Schmutz"?

So I almost didn't write about this dress, but then I saw the name of the color (OK, Mom, the non-color). It's called "wheelbarrow." I clearly remember our wheelbarrow being painted red, with wooden handles. Whose wheelbarrow do you suppose this color is referring to? I guess I have to say "to whose wheelbarrow is this color referring?" since, it seems, I love grammar.

Anyway, NYC living does not leave much space for a wheelbarrow. What might be the urban equivalent? Maybe those big old lady shopping carts - like the one I threw out yesterday because I didn't have room for even that? Maybe rolling luggage? Acutally threw that out last week. I guess we're saying it's like a purse - got me some of them!

So I really like this wheelbarrow dress for $24.50! It is definitely Greek-inspired. Does that mean you would look adorable if you paired the dress with the gladiator sandals we posted about earlier? Or does that mean you would be a worthy competitor in the Texas-wide Latin contest I seem unable to purge my mind of (and, truthfully, until that post, had not thought of once)? And would that be a bad thing?

Perhaps a pair of flats in, say 'spade' or 'trowel' (really, 'hoe' would have been too easy).

Breaking All The Rules

I love following rules. Seriously, I do. I'm that kind of productive member of society. Don't ever play a board game with me if you're not willing to play it RIGHT. But sometimes, even I break the rules. I'm not proud of it, but it's true. I hope you won't think less of me for it.

Today, as is sometimes the case, I had to leave work during the middle of the day to go to a doctor's appointment. I usually hurry back to the office as soon as I'm done. But just this once, I let myself wander into a nearby store for a few minutes of shopping on my way back.

I knew it was wrong. Shopping during work? It's one thing to shop online from your computer. You're pretty much expected to do that. I think HR departments factor that in to their overhead. But going inside an actual brick-and-mortar store during work hours??? I felt guilty the whole time.

But tell me this: if the universe hadn't been supportive of my little detour, would I have found this fab summer dress on sale for $41?
It's by Akualani, in case you're wondering. And the scene of the crime was a litle boutique in Noho called Zachary's Smile.
Don't judge me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hot Thermal, Summer in the City

What is the difference between someone who is 'stuck in a rut' and someone who has her own style'? I think it's all in the attitude. Go forth proudly wearing that same look every day, striding confidently, and it's a look. It's that kind of attitude that brought back feathered hair and bell bottoms.

So one of my more current 'collections' (what's the difference between a collection and just a bunch of the same thing?) is thermals. And they are not boring or rut-y. Look how they are a single crazy color! Look how they have that wild waffle texture! More importantly look how they can extend usage, via the magic of layering, to a tank, a hoody, a dress, and, yes, I dare to say it, another thermal. Shirts are so much luckier when they do that, aren't they? And let's say you had an embarrassingly sizable colletion of Lucky Brand belts, in all their seventies' glory, you could pair a thermal with some jeans, wrap on a heavy belt, and go forth proudly.

You might think that thermals in all their coziness, are a winter-only item. But commitment to a look means making it work across all the seasons. American Apparel is being supportive by offering this $14 baby here with really a very flattering sleeve. And they sell it in a whole host of non-colors, my favorite kind of color. I have collected Melange Olive. So far.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Year of the Wedge

I have a friend, let's call her Misa, who as long as I have known her has worn only black wedge shoes. Sandals, boots, casual, formal - if they're on her foot there is at least a 3 inch wedge serving in the supporting role. I have spent embarrassingly too much time contemplating where Misa finds these shoes. But, this is her year! It's the year of the wedge. Online stores have departments dedicated to the wedge.

An aside: It is still a mystery to me, how designers light upon a new trend simultaneously. I know we are supposed to believe that there is some logical progression to fashion. But I think it's more a profit-seeking progression than anything else. Once the stores have finally got each and everyone of us, down to our grandmothers doing their shopping mall pre-dawn power walk, wearing a pair of low-rise jeans, well, it's perfectly logical for those same stores to push high waisted pants on us, otherwise we might never, not ever, buy a single new pair of jeans. Even if those high waisted jeans make everyone of us, down to those power-walking octogenarians, look at least one trimester along, they will introduce them as the new, much more flattering silhouette. And this year we are supposed to believe that manufacturers all around the country, from Kohl's to Calvin Klein, woke up in the middle of the night exclaiming, "the WEDGE!" At least the wedge is cute, functional, fun, easier to walk on than pumps.

Just take a look at what Old Navy has to offer. You'll want every pair on this page, and the most expensive pair is $34.50! Even these leather babies - $24.99. I couldn't buy them because I am certain that Samantha wore them to some rooftop barbecue at which she was dressed as an oversexed farmer's daughter. But you may not have that association. Maybe in black?

And look at these

And these:
At these prices, don't deny yourself a pair or two. I know for a fact that Misa is going hogwild. Hurry up before the pendulum is pushed back in the direction of Manolo stilettos.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Ever-Elusive Work to Play Top

I have nothing cute to say about this top. It will win no Latin costume contests and do no smoking, legal or otherwise, in the east parking lot. It inspires no fear of patterns. But isn't this shirt sweet, at $24.99?

Here, take a look at the top close up. Lean in, don't be shy. How awesome would this top look with jeans? And how equally awesome would it be under a suit. And when does that happen? When it does, it's your luckier day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Luckier Belt

I unabashedly love Lucky Brand Jeans. It's not just that I adore the clothing that resembles those of my beloved seventies. I mean they sell those shirts worn by everyone who smoked out in my high school's east parking lot - and while I didn't go to high school in the seventies, that's what they were all still wearing. (Why is that? Did smoking and procuring smokes take up so much of their time that they were unable to go out and purchase new clothing? Did all their purchasing dollars get spent on heavy black eyeliner?)

It is also that the Lucky store resembles the beloved seventies as well. The rugs on the floor. The drapey, fringey decorations. Right down to the music - I mean, what other store plays Richard Thompson and Eric Clapton? So, to paraphrase Janeane Garofalo when she talked about George Clooney playing a pediatrician on ER, "I'm not made of wood people." You got me.

So that brings us to this belt. I just love it . Yes, it has multiple colors, but see how they are corralled into a single 2 inch wide strip, that may even be partly hidden by your shirt? This is a pattern of multiple colors I can live with. And so seventies in its execution - look at the overstitching, the big brass buckle, the hearty leather. This belt would be so at home in the east parking lot, stamping its feet to keep warm in the colder months.

While you would be lucky to find it at Macy's for $38, on sale from $48, how much luckier was I to locate it at my mecca, the Lucky store itself, for a mere $10. What a small price to pay to both hold old up your jeans and pay homage to the greatest decade that ever lived. Now that's luckier.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Stacy London Calling

My well-documented fear of patterns was well documented earlier, but I still love this $28 dollar trench. Well, not for me - I mean that would be insane! It has two colors. What am I - a clown? But for you, my friend, this is the coat for you.

Do you ever watch What Not To Wear? Well, not on Friday night, no, since that might imply that you are not out living large, but are instead home, possibly doing your weekly 10 loads of launtry. But on your DVR, sometime during the week, after your excruciatingly exciting weekend has come sadly to a close. This is exactly the sort of piece the WNTW dyanamic duo is always trying to get the unsuspecting victim to top off her new wardrobe with - and rightly so. Wouldn't it be nice head out to work wearing a smart-looking coat that stands out a bit on the crowded subway, isn't the same old gray or black everyone else has on? It so would.
For you, not me.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Little Bit Country.. A Little Bit Rock and Roll

First, before going any further, I must tell you about a story I saw on Dr. Phil. Wait - don't click away! I imagine it sounds a bit off topic, but let me explain, my stream of consiousness. First thought: the title, a bit from The Donnie and Marie Show. Next thought: Donnie Osmond always wore those purple socks - his completely artificially constructed trademark. And that leads us to the episode of Dr. Phil I just saw, featuring a woman so in love with the raven haired, cap-toothed Donnie, that even after the D&M Show was canceled (proving there is a god) and she fell in love with and married another man, she named her daughter Violet in honor of those very same purple socks. And, oddly, this daughter has grown up a little concerned about the overall state of her mother's mental health.

And, back to the shirt. The shirt is feminine, and yet still rocks - as summed up in the above-mentioned title. As a (way) less than girly girl, it is very hard for me to don any item of clothing with ruffles. But this shirt manages to combine ruffles with a muscle tee shape and a gunmetal gray color. And did I mention that it's Bitten, for only $8.98! $8.98! Thank you, SJP - I do love you, even though, as already stated by Amanda, there is not a chance in hell I will pay one hot red cent to see your upcoming movie.

Wear this top with the Vera Wang gladiators and how awesome are you? You are so awesome.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Et Tu, Cute

You NEED these gladiator sandals. You just do. And not despite their looking like something your sister wore when she entered (and won) the statewide Latin costume contest in high school, but possibly because that's what they look like.

And also, because they are just adorable, wicked cheap at $35.99, and Vera Wang. Be kind to me and don't make me use the 'word' 'masstige' since I have already had to use the term 'gladiator sandals'. Can't you just see these shoes walking at a brisk clip to work, on their way to Tasti-D-Lite (Pinkberry if that works better for you), looking smart with a pair of jeans? You so can. And when the trend looks outdated, just put them away for your next statewide Latin contest.

Update - turns out I really did need them. I managed to get them for $28.79, no shipping, using the promotion codes JUST4YOU & SPECIAL20.

Made it work

I just got this fab Kara Janx (Project Runway, Season II) halter kimono dress for $30! It all happened this weekend, when I was at a super-exclusive sample sale in Ms. Janx's apartment, as that is how I roll. I will admit that $30 is the deal of a century, even at a sample sale, so some divine intervention must have been involved in addition to my usual shopping savvy. And it took a lot of willpower to pass up all of her other adorable dresses and tops, which were marked down but still might have resulted in my inability to purchase food for the week. Truly, she did not get a chance to shine on PR, because all of her stuff is just amazing. And she is so, so nice. And my life would be complete if the temperature would stop hovering around 60 so that I could actually wear it.