Friday, July 31, 2009

After awhile, crocodile

Well, we're heading out on "vacation" tomorrow.
I use the quotes because when you travel with children, you're never on vacation. It's more like taking the show on the road.
So, we'll drive to San Diego, and the trip will be great because we drive — shudder — a mini van, and it's pimped out with a DVD player.
Hopefully I will be able to do some shopping outside the Legoland gift shop. Hopefully, when I return, I'll have glorious tales of Cali fashion and food and beach wear that makes you look 10 pounds thinner.

International eBay

I've long been a buyer on eBay, and recently I just discovered the joys of selling.
You end up getting more money than at resale shops, and it's kinda fun — in a weird way.
Lately, the clothing I've been hawking (to pay off my naughtiness last month) has attracted buyers far and wide — Singapore, Germany, France, Brazil. I love their e-mails.
My favorite: "Do you ship to Brazil? How much? Please how is the waist? I wear 27 and want to know if this jeans can wear me."
Because really, don't we all feel that way when we're buying jeans? We are not in control — the jeans are.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Honey! They shrunk the sizes!

Has anyone else noticed they're shrinking?
I say this because I haven't changed appreciably in size in at least four years (when I had my last baby). I've lost the baby weight (three times, thankyouverymuch) and have discovered that while my weight holds steady, the size clothing I wear is shrinking.
I'm not complaining, mind you. It's just interesting.
Take J Crew, for instance. The Crack den just added a 00 to its sizing. So, what does that mean? According to employees, a 00 fits like a 0. A size 12 fits like a 14. Which is why I'm a 2. Or, an XS. All the sizes are being cut larger, so you can feel smaller.
I'll take it! Even though I know I'm not truly that small, I am just that delusional.
So, while we complain about everything else that goes with this crazy economy - the poor job climate, high prices - apparently the one thing we have to be thankful for is extreme vanity sizing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crewlicious offerings

So much for my strike.
Damn you, J Crew.... Why do I love you so?
I've chronicled my whole love-hate thing with the fashion juggernaut (see previous posting "Unrequited Love"), and I was bound and determined not to have a balance on the Crack card out of sheer bitterness over the Return of the Final Sale and the exorbitant shipping rates.
Then the new catalog came.
Picture me shaking my fist in the air like a grumpy old man. Nearly every page in the catalog is dog-eared. I'm like a moth drawn to the light. The very expensive light.
I mean, the Crack is pulling out all the stops to lure me back. A slouchy tee with ruching at the shoulders? That is not yet in my bottomless jersey collection. There's even camel hair in the Pointelle Twilight-Stripe V-neck cardigan. That's just playing dirty.
Actually, I don't even know if camel hair is sumptuous or not, but it sure is a cute sweater.
I already own two versions of the sherpa hoodie, but now it comes in BUFF PINK. Not BABY but BUFF. How can I not have that?
The Herringbone Field pant is totally me.
Look what this store does! My heart-rate is up, my breathing is shallow. Where is that damn Crew card?!

Another Tale from the Bad Mommy* File

So, we're getting ready to go on vacation. I hired 13-year-old neighbor boy to keep an eye on the home front, bring in the mail, make sure the guinea pigs don't go belly up (not that there would be anything wrong with that).
I'm running through the small list of what I'd like him to do, and this sweet, well-behaved kid is looking around the family room as I'm talking. Strewn from one end of the couch to the other — a pair of size 12 sneakers, pink and white socks, a backpack, a painted hat (that is most likely still wet and getting yellow, purple and red on the leather upholstery), a drawing of assorted Star Wars characters and some sand. Actually, a fair amount of sand. Across the room on the floor is a Hot Wheels blimp (I don't know why they made a blimp) and a small, purple dinosaur. Dog hair from our dear departed Aussie who's been gone a year clings to the bottom of the couch.
"Yeah," says neighbor boy, "and maybe I can even clean up for you."
Ahhh, when a teenage boy acknowledges your house is messy, there's just no hope.

*Well, at the very least, a tale from the Bad Housekeeper file.

Monday, July 27, 2009

So blue

It's every kid's favorite color.
It's the sky, the ocean.
We're talking blue.
And while it can mean that you're feeling sad and mopey, isn't it better to think of such a lovely shade as the way to pop an outfit? Pairing a blue jacket or cardi with, say, a black-and-white dress is less expected than red and more inviting, too.
Here are some things I'm pining for....
Young, Fabulous & Broke Zipper Coat: Aside from the amazing shade of this coat, it's lined in silk with a cool bird print. The only hesitation (aside from the $220 price tag) is it's a little prize fighter looking. Still, that color and lining are amazing.
Silence & Noise Moto Jacket: The perfect blue, at least according to my computer screen, this cotton moto jacket is also edgy cool.
Coincidence & Chance cardi: A lighter hue, this cardi looks gentle, approachable. The funny part is the shade is called "trailer." As in trailer trash? It doesn't really look like something you'd pull on to wear around the mobile-home park.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Give B Mak a Chance

When it comes to handbags, there are some pretty big guns out there — Kooba, Gryson, Treesje, Kate Spade.
Allow to introduce you — in case you haven't already met — to someone who deserves to be as revered as those brands, even placed on a higher pedestal because these purses cost no where near as much.
I'm talking about B. Makowsky bags. And, if you'd believe it, the B stands for Bruce. Never in a billion years would I have thought that a dude would understand how to make the perfect purse.
Now, I own a Kooba. It was quite a score — more than 60 percent off and as cute as can be. I'd lusted for it FOREVER. The fact that the lovely blonde was still around and on sale was amazing. But I have to say, I own two B Maks, and the leather on those is infinitely more buttery. They make the Kooba seem like Promise margarine. Seriously.
So, what is it exactly about a Mak bag? Well, the smooth, supple leather is a huge selling point. So is the great color range. And, they're classy. This is pretty amazing considering Bruce is married to Kathy Van Zeeland. Typically her bags are almost cute, but they always have some overdone detail that makes me back away. B Maks might have an oversized zipper or some studs, but they're tasteful and not too much.
The bags usually have a middle zippered pouch, which is handy when you cram a ton of stuff into your bag and like to try and keep things organized. My only beef is that the brown-and-black nylon leopard lining is just a little dark to really see well in the bag's nether regions.
You can find Makowsky bags at Dillard's and Or, stalk your local TJ Maxx, where they pop up regularly and at a steeply discounted (under $200) price.

Shutting It Down

Just five days into the new credit card billing cycle, and I have to shut it down.
My closet is happy, but I can't, can't, can't look at anything online or in a store for weeks. I wonder if freezing the credit card in ice really works?
Fashion-minded ladies, if you wouldn't mind excusing me for a second for a very important message. Joe, my dear, sweet husband, if you are reading this post, I just want to let you know that I'm exaggerating, that's what chicks do with their shopping exploits. It's similar to what you dudes do with sports, sex, and other boring stuff. Wait! What was that about Albert Pujols getting traded?!?!?
OK, I'm sure he's gone now.
So, yes, I've done some damage to the wallet this week. Blame it on the weather.
While Tucson in the summer sucks for so many reasons — mostly the seventh-circle of hell heat — it is amazing for one thing and one thing alone: the sales.
Local stores slash prices and reward the diehards with fabulous deals. In a way, I feel bad — like I'm stealing from them. But, I get over it.
So, allow me to gush. These pants are just so gorgeous and unlike the jeans and J Crew chinos populating my closet. I got 'em at Sigi's at 75 PERCENT OFF ($265 the price tag read. I paid $65.). I couldn't not buy them, you know?
From Bishop of Seventh, they're this whispery fabric and shaped like boot-cut jeans. You just style 'em like denim, too. I'm crazy for the visible stitching and twisted seams on the legs.
Knowing I needed something tall and pointy to go with, I stopped into Stems-A Shoe Boutique and got another amazing deal — these $19 Carlos Santana pumps. $19, people.
Life is good. But, don't tell me about any more amazing sales, OK? At least not until Aug. 20.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gettin' Jiggy Wit Mascara

Mascara and I have a love-hate relationship.
I love how it adds that extra bit of dimension and really makes my eyes pop. But, as a product, I kind of....hate it.
I have tried so many brands — drugstore cheapies, high-end boutique labels and pretty much everything in-between. For a while, I thought that tube lash stuff was going to change my life. Now, I've turned on that. The more I use it, the more I think it's not for me. Too clumpy, too lacking in definition.
When Lancome introduced its oscillating mascara, I was intrigued. One of my beauty gurus — Jean Godfrey-June of Lucky magazine — gushed so much over it that you'd have thought she owned stock. But, at $34, I wasn't going to take a chance. I mean, if you believe all those beauty peeps, you should only keep mascara around for three months! I figured soon enough, the knockoffs would arrive.
And so they have.
Maybelline's Pulse Perfection vibrating mascara is significantly cheaper than that Lancome stuff ($13), and it's got the cool alliterative name going for it. (Oscillation just sounds so stuffy anyway.)
So I've been test-driving the PP mascara, and it's not bad. You press a small button in the cap and the wand vibrates and hums ever so gently. As you run it through your lashes, it tickles a little. Reminds me of when you get a teeth-cleaning, and the dentist uses that tooth polishing brush with the gritty paste.
The mascara doesn't clump, but it is fairly light-weight. I'd say it's good for a natural look. When I layered base coat underneath it, the mascara had more oomph. The PP is buildable, and multiple coats are definitely the way to go.
Mascara wearers should give it a try.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A grown-up dress

I just discovered "What Not to Wear."
I know, I know, I'm late to the party. In my defense, though, parenting really cuts into the TV time. So anyway, "WNTW." As Rachel Zoe would say, "Love."
I just love it.
I get a kick out of watching these frumpy chicks (and my God, how many crazy women are there in the world who profess they hate to shop???!) get turned into goddesses. It's made me reevaluate my own wardrobe. Which, if I must categorize it, is very preschool teacher. Maybe early elementary, but still, pretty basic nonetheless. We're talking lots of solid-color jersey tops, jeans, easy T-shirt dresses, nothing that requires dry cleaning and definitely nothing that calls for ironing. Blech.
As I've listened to Clinton and Stacy chide women for assorted fashion indiscretions, I've sheepishly wondered what they might say to me. My guess is they'd hate all my T-shirts, probably even the one that says "Power to the Peeps," with a group of the marshmallow-like treats, their little fists pumped in the air. They'd flinch at all the hoodies. But today, today, I made a purchase they'd approve of: my very first DVF.
I was prowling Tucson's W Boutique, which has killer summer sales, and I got this black-and-white Diane von Furstenberg "Penna," silk wrap dress. When I slipped it on, I felt elegant and sophisticated — like a grownup who could tackle the world. Or, at the very least, if she lost her job in the current dismal economic climate, have a dress suitable for job interviews.
It was one of those transformative fashion moments, the kind you can only see on a cable channel fashion show.
And yet, as happy as I am to have this dress, and as much as I see the value of buying something that's timeless and well-fitted, I am still drawn to crazy crap like this Lady Gaga outfit. An Animal skirt? That's too cool.
Perhaps I will content myself with Muppet underwear* that I can wear under the DVF.

*True, I really do own Muppet underwear. My sister-in-law bought it for her daughter, but turns out those factory workers must've been sniffing glue because the size 5 was actually more like an adult size 5. So, I got 'em. And I wear 'em.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I *heart* Daftbird

Of all the many fashion trends that I've loved over the years, the one I adore most is T-shirts.
Graphic, plain, loose-fitting — I love them all. And, I pretty much own them all.
While different fashion mags have anointed brands like Kain and Neal Sperling as the ultimate, my all-time favorite is Daftbird.
Designer Joshua Christopher created his line, which primarily focuses on shirts, to recreate that cuddly, broken-in feel of wearing a boyfriend's shirt. You can find v-necks, spaghetti-strap tanks, henleys and loose-fitting scoopnecks that feel just downright incredible. By stockpiling from and, I've compiled an arsenal of Daftbird that includes 100-percent cotton, a snuggly cotton-modal blend and an amazing menage a trois of 50 percent poly-37.5 percent cotton-12.5 percent rayon. Honestly, I think I've started to cause pilling on a few shirts because they're so darn soft that I just pat the tummy area, marveling at the Charminlike softness.
Some people collect Louis Vuitton bags, I hoard anything made of that fabric holy trinity. It's that great.
My latest acquisition is this soft vest that crosses a sweet grandpa-ish cardigan front with a rock-n-roll short hem in the back. Thanks, Swayandcake!
The best part is, you can find screaming deals on Daftbird right now. So, what are you waiting for — check it out.

Scary tag

Something you really don't want to see on the new item you just bought — Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Even funnier, this warning came attached to a cute, Hostess cupcake coin purse I just bought.
The manufacturers do realize it's not edible, right?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Germs be gone!

My phobias could give Howard Hughes's phobias a run for their money.
I won't go into too much detail because I don't really want anyone to know the depths of my insanity, but I will cop to latex gloves beneath my sink because I can't bear the thought of touching raw meat.
Seriously, if someone made a home autoclave, I would buy it. In a heartbeat.
Knowing this, you can imagine how traumatic it is for me to have young children.
They have no — absolutely no — concept of germs. If it's true that everyone has a purpose in life, then theirs is to gross me out enough to cause a stroke.
Why oh why must my 4-year-old drop trou and strip from the waist down — socks, shoes and all — to go to the bathroom EVERY TIME we go to a store?
Why can't any of them understand you don't ever, ever sit bare-butted on a public potty?! It must first be swathed in toilet paper. Or, you hover.
And why is it that at 7 years old, middle child still doesn't grasp that you wash your hands after you go to the bathroom?
Why is it that I will make a perfectly tasty not to mention incredibly sanitary dinner — no chance of raw meat contamination — that is deemed "dirty" by the same child who happily fished out a dried cranberry from the greasy mini van door rails?
Why must I be the mom who gets tapped on the shoulder at school and told, "Um, your daughter is licking the hand rails."
Sigh. My kids are skeevy.
Despite my anti-germ stance, though, I don't really do the hand sanitizer thing. It smells icky and worse, it's so drying. Burt's Bees does make a product that's not too shabby. The sanitizing spray has aloe and witch hazel, so the smell's still funky but at least your hands don't feel as thought you've skipped lotion for a year.
I'm thinking Frais hand sanitizer is the one that's going to travel with me.
It's Australian and has essential oils like ginger and tangerine and basil. The smell is a little spicy and citrusy and not the least bit unpleasant. So far, it's not as drying as the other sanitizers on the market.
At $3.50 for a nearly non-existent size (only 0.2 of an ounce), it isn't the cheapest. But, I only use this as a last resort anyway. Good, old-fashioned hand washing is still the best. But on those occasions when you're at the park — away from soap and water — and your kid's picked up something dead, Frais'll do. And do nicely.

Some bang for 5 bucks

In honor of our economy, which continues to be crappier than an outhouse in Appalachia, Some Hot Dishes presents: Stuff you can get for $5:
— Fab basic scoop-neck tee ($4.50) from Forever 21. In this case, the hyperbole is true — this shirt really is fab. And it's a good two quarters away from $5! It's easy-fitting, so no worries about muffin top with the skinny jeans, and is made of uber-soft cotton. The color range is awesome. This T-shirt is so fabulous that we should change this posting name to "Some bang for $20." So, you have our permission — go crazy.
— Lip plumping glaze ($1) from ELF cosmetics. Don't worry, if you slick this on your lips you won't look like you should be schlepping a sleigh. ELF actually stands for Eyes, Lips, Face. Pretty much everything in this line is a buck. And right now, shipping is $2. You'll find a good range of colors, and while this isn't Bobbi Brown, it only costs a dollar, people. One single dollar. How many things can you say that about that don't come from the 99-cent store and contain melamine?
— Tie-dye headbands at Target. Hollywood Intuition's new line includes these nifty elastic headbands (that's them in the lower right-hand corner of the pic of all those bags, shades, etc.). They're cute, easy on the hair AND can double as bracelets. A pack of three will set you back only $3. You have to get them in-store, though. There's no sign of 'em on the Web site.
— Harry and David Moose Munch bar. I think I need a minute just after typing that. OK. I've got it under control. Imagine a soft, nearly mousselike but just a smidge firmer truffle-ish center studded with crunchy toffee bits and soft, chewy popcorn. Coating the whole soft, chewy, crunchy middle is a thin layer of chocolate, either milk or dark. Now this is perfection in a foil wrapper. You'll find the bar at most Targets at the checkout aisles. It costs $2. Yes, pricey for a chocolate bar, but you won't regret it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Target Collection

The latest designer collaboration for Target is in da house — Hollywood Intuition.
This collection of accessories comes from Jaye Hersh, she of the wildly popular Intuition and If you believe the Web site — and really, we have no reason not to — celebs love Intuition.
My in box is regularly filled with e-mails showing fashionable, if talentless, starlets dressed in stuff from Intuition or toting bags from the store. It offers lots of basics plus fun accessory-type things. I was quite excited at the prospect of wallet-friendly Target offerings.
Stuff hit Sunday, and I tracked down a Target that had a smattering of items. As often happens with the Target-designer collaborations, I hyperventilate and rush out to my neighborhood Target only to be disappointed. Often the items shout "discount." As cute as things look online, sadly that often doesn't translate to real life. Fabrics are stiff and scratchy. Craftsmanship is lacking.
I had high hopes for Hollywood Intuition. It's a very small line — just a few bags, a few scarves, a bit of jewelry and a hat — and much of it is underwhelming. The standouts are the PVC studded bracelets, which let you enjoy the popular rough 'n' tough look but at a fraction of the price ($10 for four) and the reversible hat ($17). The small belt bags are cute, too, but the bigger bags have that el cheapo look.
Definitely shop this in person rather than online. That way, you can see exactly what you're getting.

Unrequited love — J Crew and me

It started off innocently enough.
I'd be in the neighborhood and just pop in to say "hello." I'd never paid too much attention before, but suddenly I was completely infatuated. Some might say obsessed. The occasional visit turned into a weekly thing. Sometimes, more often. Oh, I was always welcomed but never with the same enthusiasm that I felt.
It wasn't long before I was dropping a fair amount of money to keep this relationship going. Not that it ever went the other way. Yes, this was — actually still is, — an unhealthy situation.
But, I just can't help it. I can't quit Crew.
Loving J Crew is a lot like being in a dysfunctional relationship. You know, the one where you're the giver and the other party is the taker. It's not like you don't get something in return, but it just never seems to equal the amount of emotional adoration that you sink in.
Now, I am a card-carrying Crewhard. That said, it still takes me forever to rack up enough points to get a $25 reward. I rarely buy full-price, always sale. I'm a good customer — I prowl the wonky Web site (which sometimes works, sometimes doesn't and doesn't always ship the merchandise it promises) on a nearly daily basis and pay regular visits to the bricks-and-mortar store. So, why is it that I feel so used?
I mean, as cute as Crew clothes are, they're mass-produced pieces. They're everywhere — you can see yourself coming and going. And, what's with the bullshit final sale business, where the retailer finally deigns to lower prices but then customers can't return anything?
That's just plain mean.
Even meaner are the crazy shipping prices. So what if the three-quarter sleeve, ruffled cardi goes down to $20, if you still have to pay $7 in shipping? I understand fuel prices are high, blah, blah, blah, but still. I do a fair amount of online shopping, and plenty of sites offer free shipping or reduced shipping. J Crew's idea of a break is free shipping.... if you order $175 worth of stuff.
Gee, thanks.
Yet, I can't think of any brand that's shaped my fashion sense more than the Crack, as it's known in its crazy fan circles. The drug reference is quite spot-on. Just look at all the Web sites devoted to the clothes, from sales code alerts to critiques of new pieces. On ebay, I've seen $20 sale items go for close to $100.
And this lovely tiered top you see here? That would be an $800 lace camisole top. It's already sold out in at least one size. Sheer madness, I tell you.
Yet, we fans of J Crew just can't help ourselves. My guess is that there's some sort of addictive pheromone in those clothing tags you're supposed to cut off after buying.
Perhaps that's what makes this whole situation so cult-like. If the stores start offering complimentary Kool-Aid, I'm not going to drink it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cool time-suck

I love those sale mails, you know, the e-mails that tell you all the neat, cheap stuff. I already get "Shop it to me" alerts, but the latest discovery is
This site first lets you define your style profile (I would be edgy California casual), and then you get to select a bunch of stuff you like, clothes, tops, dresses, pants. Covet sees what you like and sends tailored sale e-mails.
Your personalized e-mails then allow you to click onto a heart — meaning you like it — or broken heart (hate it!). It's fun, but can easily turn time-consuming with alllll the merchandise it picks out for ya.
For the most part, Covet has done a good job, although it did include a pair of Birkenstocks on its first e-mail to me. Yeah, I set the site straight. Never, not even with all my podiatric surgeries.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What's in a name

Clothing lines I would never wear because the names are so icky:
Sag Harbor. I don't care if it is a real place — no woman wants to look inside her shirt and see the word "sag."
Obesity and speed. The clothes are edgy, kinda cute, but the name evokes an image of a fat dude racing in his car to Taco Bell.
On the flip side, this brand name just makes me laugh: Han Cholo. It's what you'd expect — gawdy jewelry like brass knuckle pendants and a pendant showing fingers spelling "LA." I wouldn't wear either, but at least it's a clever name.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Confessions of this Shopaholic

So, we Netflixed "Confessions of a Shopaholic" the other night. It was bouncy, enjoyable, but as I sat an arm's length away from the spousal unit, I couldn't help but feel....uncomfortable.
Exposed even.
Some of that stuff hit a little close to home. I've done the "Here's $50, and if you could put the rest on this Visa card...."
I've never racked up $16,000 in charges, but I once spent enough to cause my husband to create a spreadsheet titled "Kristen's Shopping Shame." I had to suffer through the indignity of him critiquing my expenses, line by line. I'll admit I went a little overboard that month. In my defense, though, a ton of that charging was done in the name of Christmas — for my family and his, for which he buys, oh, nothing.
So there, Joe. Pbbbbblt.
Still, that was the day that I opened up my very own "spending" account. I have no one to answer to but myself when I go on a shoe bender. Ah, the sweet taste of financial freedom.
But, since I work part time and have kids (they are such a money suck), I don't get to funnel as much money as I'd like into my fun fund. Consequently, 20 is my new favorite number. And by that I mean the 20th of the month, as in the start date for the new credit card cycle.
Is it bad that I'll blow through my allotment in about a week and then spend the rest of the month daydreaming about what I'll spend the following month?
My wish list when that glorious date rolls around.....
— Love this Harvey's tote. The print is crazy happy and just makes me smile.
— The red on this scarf pops so much. — have I professed my love of this site recently? — has an affordable private label that includes these great cotton scarves. I've accumulated a ton of scarves in the past year, but I don't have any that are floral.
— I just came to the sad realization that my snakeskin flats, which I dearly loved and had to have four months ago, are too small. I've always bought Me Too flats, and they've always stretched and softened into the most lovely, comfortable kicks. Not this time.
I think these Sam Edelman ivory snakeskin flats will be the replacement. And, if you haven't heard the buzz yet, pointy flats are supposed to be the It shoe of the fall. That's what my sources tell me. Trust me, they know.
— And then there are these Candela perforated flats. They'd toughen up casual cut-offs, but are the perforations too '80s? I don't know. They're not on sale enough yet anyway. Luckily, I have a some time to decide.

Cool makeup

I'm fiercely loyal.
To family, friends, stores, clothing lines. I'm basically the human equivalent of a collie.
But for some reason, I just can't commit to a makeup foundation.
Now, you'd have to pry my MAC eyeshadows out of my cold, dead hands, but when it comes to what I put all over my face, I constantly flip-flop. One minute I love MAC studio fix; the next I'm all about Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer. Then I tried MAC's loose Mineralize powder and thought that was The One. Then it was Benefit's Some Kind-a Gorgeous.
I'm a makeup ho.
Maybe MAC's new Studio Sculpt foundation will make me a changed woman.
I had a MAC-over at the Park Place MAC counter last week, and my favorite FAVORITE makeup artist EVER, Maria, used this stuff on me. (If you ever want to experiment with new looks, Maria's your girl. She's fab. I never see anyone else. Remember — Park Place Mac counter.)
Studio Sculpt is light and oil-free, so good for people like me who could be Penzoil's poster child. The trick is to warm up the liquid in your hands and then smooth it onto your face. I use my trusty MAC foundation brush, too, to make sure everything's blended in. The Studio Sculpt provides a flawless finish without feeling like your makeup was done by Sherwin Williams.
Love it.
For now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dresses, dresses, dresses

Just aimlessly casting about the World Wide Web today. What I keep seeking out — dresses. Any dress, any form. Is there anything better in the summertime than an easy-to-wear, soft dress? I think not.
My fave right now is this Banana Republic silk dress. Love the purple, love the silver, love the ikat-ish print. It's gorgeous.
A little more edgy is this Riller & Fount halter dress. Normally this line is a little too Lohan for me, but the drapey style just seems so appealing and so....starlet and vacation-worthy. It screams, "Take me out to dinner."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Up to some shoenanigans

Hi, name is Kristen and I'm a shoeaholic.
What's prompting this confession is that I just realized I've purchased four pairs in the past month.
I love shoes. Adore them. And, I have a lot. I haven't actually counted because I don't want to have a number attached. If there's some mystery and no set amount, then perhaps I don't really have a problem.
Over the weekend, I snapped up a pair of these cute Simple peep-toe flats. They were just under $30 (free shipping), and I'd wish-listed them weeks ago. It was a must-buy situation.
So, now here's my dilemma: I'm officially out of space.
Earlier this year, we paid someone to redo the master closet, and while it's still not the one of my dreams (that would probably be Fergie's, which I saw featured in one of my many fashion porn mags), it's quite functional. The lovely Scottish woman who designed it warned me that even with the seemingly endless shoe shelves, she could probably only get 100 pairs into the closet.
In some cases, my shoes — mostly flip flops - are double-stacked. I've had to start an auxiliary shoe stash in the guest closet. There are a fair number of boxes in there. I'm not going to count them up. You can't make me.
So, I don't know what to do. We're out of room, and I can't bear to part with any pairs — I weeded out earlier this year and there's no more riff-raff. It'll be years before the kids move out and I can take over a room.
So as I consider my past month's shoenanigans, my question is, if evolution is true, how come women don't have more feet for more shoes? Hmmmmm?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Major scoopage

This just in....H & M - the inexpensive clothing powerhouse and one of my all-time favorite, favorite stores - is coming to Tucson.
Huge news. HUGE.
We've been waiting for a year for the chain to finally open in Scottsdale. You know how it goes with construction, delays, delays. Originally set to open in spring of this year, the opening - near Kierland Commons - is set for fall now.
H & M is supposed to open at the Tucson Mall. No word yet exactly where or when, but it should be soon. Here's to hoping it's well before the November debut of Jimmy Choo's special H & M line.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tales from the scary fashion files

Just two words in the fashion world strike terror into my multiple-child-bearing gut more than any other: cropped top.
This might be the worst of the '80s worming its way back onto the scene.
Free People — which is perpetually too young, too tight and too all-around wrong for me yet I'm still drawn to the site —  is touting cropped tops in many incarnations. Though many of 'em are meant to be layered, the look is still wrong, wrong, wrong. At least in my book.
Can we please move on from the bad '80s fashion trends? Please?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hanging in my closet

So, a recent Lucky mag issue featured this gorgeous DVF peach jacket. I fell head over heels. Loved how it was styled and decided I must have it. Must.
Well after sleuthing around the Internet, come to find out that the jacket wasn't even in production (that's one of the things I despise about fashion mags — they feature things that may or may not be available). Eventually, DVF did put a silver jacket into production. It's hideous. This looks more like foil and space age-y while the peach jacket was soft and feminine and not so avant-garde.
Being the obsessive type, I hunted and hunted and hunted and actually found a very similar jacket to the peach, shimmery jacket. By Ideeen, it's a nude-gold trench and very soft. I found it completely by accident on a random New York-based Web site. Because I had to have it, I ordered it. Two months ago. The jacket is still hanging in the closet, waiting to be worn. I'm a little scared.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting my Lohan on

Personal style changes, evolves.
What you love and wear in your teens isn't what you'll throw on 20 years later. And if you do, that's how you end up on "What Not To Wear."
Lately, pieces with edge are incredibly appealing — a peep-toe bootie with buckles, a leather bracelet punked out with chains and metal.
This isn't like me. I gravitate toward ruffles and feminine touches, very Anthropologie.
I'm not sure why my inner bitch is threatening to bust free. Perhaps it's pent-up frustration over being a shut-in?
Well, I've decided to embrace the biker chick within. Because done appropriately (see Carrie Bradshaw in her studded Dior gladiators and tough black belt in the "Sex and The City" movie), it's a good look.
I'd been obsessing for weeks — WEEKS — over the Sweet Life by Dolce Vita boots and leather-metal bracelet at Urban Outfitters. After getting the Who What Wear e-mail showing actress Jessica Szohr in the same boots, I knew I did need them. And that cool, tribal-looking skirt she's wearing, too.
I'm excited — Fed Ex tracking says my prizes arrive in a few days.
Maybe by just looking a little tougher, it'll keep me from going all Tyra and acting tougher.