Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day PJs

I don't care that these Textile Elizabeth and James "Davey" pants ($160) look exactly like pajama bottoms. I bet they're amazingly soft and comfortable. I'd totally wear them.

Is this a sign that the heat has completely fried my brain? Maybe.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seriously Twisted

A new trend that is really, really awesome — twisted shirts.

Why do we love it? Let's count the ways:
• It's fresh; a nice change of pace from ruching
• It's easy to wear with skinny jeans, which are still very, very in
• Most of all, it hides any, shall we say, gutteral imperfections, aka muffin top.

So, c'mon, baby, let's do the twist:

Alexander Wang zipper trim stretch top ($385)
Funktional sweatshirt ($90)
Gypsy 05 "Angelina Twist Tee" ($132)
Thakoon Addition "Wallpaper Bubble Silk Twist Front Jumper" ($375) case you're a jumper girl and incredibly wealthy.
Michael Michael Kors Gathered Twist top ($79.50)

Monday, August 29, 2011

An Open Letter to Summer

Dear Summer,

Well, I don't really know how to put this any other way, so I'm just going to come straight out and say it....You suck.

I am ready to break up with you.

Oh, we had some fun in the beginning. Your toastiness gave me the chance to slip into gladiator sandals and wear all my favorite J Crew shorts, all my easy-breezy summer dresses. But, quite frankly, we've outgrown each other. Actually, I guess it would be more accurate to say that I've outgrown my shorts. Thanks to this heat, I don't feel like exercising. Ever. You're a bastard, Summer.

I am sick of sweat trickling down the the back of my knee pits and feeling it puddle in my bra. Even a quick walk to school in the morning leaves me soaked before I even get into the office.

So, please, let's go our separate ways. I'm sure I'll be ready to get back together in about a year, but for now, we need a break. A loooooong one.

All the September mags are keeeeelllling me. I want to snuggle into cool-weather clothes so badly. What I'd wear*:

Skinny jeans. I miss them so. I really, really am dying to wear them with the killer leopard-print boots I got months ago, but so far have only been able to look at them in the box and stroke them because it's too darn hot to put them on.
•An oversized sweater. This Yigal Azrouel sweater ($580).... Sigh. It's like a classy version of a Snuggie.
•Boots. OK, this Vince Camuto "Silas" boot isn't priced too badly ($169.95). It's this great motorcycle-ish/sh-- kickerish hybrid jazzed up with that skinny strap detailing. Too cool.
•A trench coat. This Alexander Wang trench coat ($262.50) has got all the modern upgrades to make it a must-own: skinny sleeves, a nifty halter-back detail. I actually scored an amazing deal on this trench last year and got to wear it only one time before getting into that abusive relationship with you-know-who (damn your early arrival, Summer!).

*This is all heat-induced delusions. I do not own the crazy-priced clothing. After all, I am not a Kardashian. Yet. Isn't there a brother in that family?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: Risky Business

Some people race cars.
Some people jump out of planes.
I buy final sale.

Shoe n' tell: These House of Harlow 1960 "Samantha" flats had been haunting me for months. I tried to ignore them. Then, slashed the price from more than $100 to $67.50. That's more like it.

The hitch: They were so reduced that they were final sale. No returns — you're stuck, win or lose. I checked the reviews, and the one and only one I saw complained they were narrow. I have wide-ish feet. But there was only one pair left in the pretty tan..... I clicked, I shopped..... I scored. They're perfect. Of course, now that I can chalk one up in the wins column that I'm due for a loss.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More September Reading

As much as fashion continues to move forward, it always circles back. The pictorial proof is in "New York Fashion Week: The Designers, the Models, the Fashions of the Bryant Park Era" by Eila Mell (Running Press, $30).

The new book chronicles the Bryant Park years of New York Fashion Week. Well, it's actually not so much a book book as a picture book, as it should be. The text is light, mostly Q and As with fashion types and highlighting models of the era with their vital stats. This book made me feel very, very short.

It's fun to look at the clothes over those past years and see the trends of the times (and how some are coming back). It's even more fun to look at fashion's favorite faces — and how very little they've changed. There are some good plastic surgeons out there, my friends. Not everyone ends up looking like Kenny Rogers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yay for September!

September's really never done much for me.

I mean, it's still wicked hot (100-plus. Blech.), and school's already underway. There is that nice little Labor Day holiday, but really, it's no great shakes.

Well, that is, until I realized a few years back that it is THE month for fashion mags. Yes, I know, I shouldn't admit I'm that late to the party.

It's been fun getting the mail every day and discovering the 15 pounders crammed into the black box. Of course the traditional fashion favorites are fun to flip through, but they are just not realistic. At least not for this mom who has one private school tuition to pay. If I see those Miu Miu glitter heels one more time......

The magazine I consistently enjoy? People Stylewatch. It's real and features a good mix of high/low. Plus there are usually good discounts and giveaways featured in the back (yes, better than what Lucky offers).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects

As a last hurrah before Oldest Child heads off into rule-heavy private school (collared shirts! no patterned shoes! only clear or pale pink nail polish!), our last bold hurrah was to stick Sally Hansen Salon Effects polish strips onto her nails.

They ain't cheap — $9.99, so whip out the Ulta coupon — but they come in enough wild patterns to make a headmaster blush.

OC opted for a cool, black-and-white floral pattern.

The directions sounded easy enough: Just match one of the assorted size strips to your nail, press it on and use a nail file to get rid of the excess. It proved to be kinda tricky, though. The strips are tough to line up well on the nail, and it's even harder to get a nice, even edge with that file. This is the kind of activity to do with a friend because there is no way I could do my right hand myself.

But, the strips are definitely less pungent than regular nail polish. They're thick and fairly resistant to chipping. And, unless you have polydactyly, you'll have some extra strips to play around with since they come 16 to a package. I used a few to stick on my thumbs to accompany this on-sale mint nail polish.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Cool Guy Trick

On a recent photo shoot, I picked up a cool trick from a model — a male one, no less.

The backstory: It was a back-to-college spread that required the model to bring a pair of white socks.

Him: "I don't have white socks."
Me: "What? Who doesn't have white socks? Then what do you have?"
Him: "Black ones."
Me: "What do you wear to the gym?"
Him: "Black ones."

I still think this is weird. At the shoot, I quizzed him some more about his supporting footwear. He took off his boat shoes and revealed....PEDS! Black, of course.

Instead of my first instinct (to mock him) because no one under 70 usually wears these things, I realized the brilliance of Peds — or, as they are rebranded in the 21st century, shoe liners — it's a way to get that no-sock look with cute, casual sneakers without the swamp foot. Awesome.

Target has a two-pack of Merona cotton shoe liners for $5. They're thin, light and offer a nice barrier between tootise and naked sneaker. The back does slip down a little, but it looks infinitely cooler not to have any sock peeking out from the ankle.

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Stuff Week: The Friday Shoe Haiku

I love a good sale
Especially one this great
Red lines are pretty.

Shoe n' Tell: I've been known to save price tags when things are seriously marked down. I s'pose it's the shopper's equivalent of a deer head mounted above the fireplace — but quite frankly, a red markdown is a much more impressive souvenir.

I was at a local boutique, checking out the regularly-scheduled sale, when a bonus special started: $50 for any and all pairs of shoes. These would be Elizabeth and James wedges, bitches. See the box? They cost more than $400. Oh, snap. Not only do these come with a fancy-schmancy box, they have their very own dustbag. I am not worthy of such Olsenness.

They are paired with an equally cheap ($14 at second-hand store Buffalo Exchange) Calvin Klein denim dress.

Doesn't that last picture seem kind of arty? Yeah, it's really the result of a 6-year-old photographer being unable to handle a heavy SLR camera.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Stuff Week: The Crochet Kimono Cardi

Earlier this summer, I was crushing pretty hard on this Textile Elizabeth and James pullover sweater. Those blasted Olsen twins, though, think everyone has eight-figure trust funds — the price tag was well over $300.

So, I'd visit this sweater on high-end retailers' sites, thinking maybe one day the price might drop, ya know, to, like, $40. A girl can be delusional. Alas, apparently there are a fair amount of trust-funders out there 'cause that sweater ended up selling out at a lot of places.

This ASOS '70s crochet kimono, though, offers the same feel at a fraction of the price (on sale plus there's an extra discount). And, truth be told, it's a lot more wearable than the Textile version for someone who calls the desert home.

Outfit: Along with the cardi, a Victoria's Secret vintage beach tank; Current/Elliott denim skirt; ASOS necklace; Diego Di Lucca wedges.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Stuff Week: The Kimono Dress

Not long ago, I blogged about kimono dresses (See it here). Well, Cusp (Neiman's edgier sister website) dropped the price to $65, with free shipping, on my favorite one, so I bit.

The Patterson J. Kincaid "Vanessa" tunic dress is on the sheer side, but that's how it's meant to be. I love the easy-breezy linen and the drapey sleeves that allow good airflow. The color will be a challenge for me (I spill, my kids are grimy), and I won't wear it out for barbecue, but I'll get at least a few more months of mileage out of it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Stuff Week: A Last Summer Hurrah

An easy-to-wear, silk maxi is a wonderful thing.

No need to shave legs, no material stickin' to ya. And, I'm thinking with a tough, leather jacket and maybe moto boots (or is that overkill with the jacket?), this dress would also transition into cooler weather.

Full disclosure: I really, really, really dislike Nicole Richie. She bugs the crap out of me. (Gwyneth Paltrow, too.) But, the girl's clothing line is awesome. So, despite my extreme annoyance with her, I still bought this Winter Kate "Damian" dress. It was too on sale not to buy. (I take solace in the fact that it was so discounted, she couldn't have possibly made any money off of it.) Of course, the dress did require a little altering. I have no boobs, so the straps had to be lifted, and I'm too clumsy to wear a floor-grazing dress, so it was hemmed higher.

I paired it with a Streets Ahead leather cuff and Stuart Weitzman "Gladio" flats.

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Stuff Week: Fancy Pants

Well, it's not as exciting as "Shark Week" (unless you're me), but I have some new additions to my closet that I'd like to show off.

First up: Silky trousers

In any other fabric, these Monrow drawstring drawers would be lowly sweatpants.

In silk, they are fancy pants.

Dress 'em up (with a tank and blazer and heels), dress 'em down (with a white T-shirt), either way, they are perfection.

Outfit: Theory tank (a screamin' $14.50 deal from Buffalo Exchange); Monrow silk pants; Jeffrey Campbell "Ibiza" sandals; Forever XXI chains.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Shoe Haiku: The Switcheroo

I wanted the white
But instead I got brown sneaks
Hmmm, to keep or not?

Shoe n Tell: So, recently one of my sale alerts had these kickin' Ugg Evera sneakers on sale for $30. They're still the full-price $100 on pretty much every site. I jumped at the shopportunity. I have no white sneakers! They'll be perfect for summer!

When the Bloomies package arrived, though, the shoes were brown, brown, brown. Wha? I immediately checked my invoice — no color mentioned, but the photo was of those pearly whites. I contacted customer service. The upshot of the the store's response (which took FOREVER to arrive): You're stupid. That's what you ordered.

I was all set to repack 'em and send 'em back, just on principle. Bloomies was misleading — it only showed pictures of white and gray sneaks, but the color choices were "chestnut" and "pewter." Well, there were tan accents on the white shoe, with all the wacky color names, who's to know that chestnut referred to a totally different, not shown, color. So there ya go — this is a two-fer: Be careful when you're ordering online.

But, I made the mistake of sliding my feet into the shoes. Nice arch support, wooly inside around the ankle and tongue. Dammit, I might need to keep them after all. Even if I do, I promise to still be bitter at Bloomingdale's.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Symmetry is overrated.

Things don't have to be equal. You don't have to have two bookends flanking your favorite reads. Or two perfectly even ears.

Of course it's taken me years of therapy and psychotropic drugs (and three kids) to adapt my thinking. Just kidding — actually it was last season's asymmetrical hemlines that did the trick.

It's OK if things are slightly askew. This outfit is evidence: The Factory tee has ruching at one shoulder and then opposite along the bottom. The necklace has way more beads on one side than the other. The James Perse fishtail skirt hangs longer in the back. If I left my head on these pictures, you'd see how Picasso-ish my eyes are, too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peppermint-a-licious Lotion

I read somewhere that peppermint is a soothing, calming, lull-you-to-sleep kind of smell.

In the hope that that is true, I have been slathering my children in 100 Percent Pure's Eucalyptus Nourishing Body Cream ($15). Don't let the name fool ya, this stuff is hardcore peppermint. If you can't handle when the red-and-white candy rolls out around the holidays, then stay the heck away.

My little boy is so enamored of the lotion that he'll sit there and just huff his arm, where it's been rubbed in, like a little junkie jonesing for another hit.

I get a charge out of it because it has a lovely cooling effect that almost makes you feel tingly. Definitely refreshing in the heat.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bringing Sexy Back

I could be wrong, but the ruching on the back of this 9-year-old skirt is cool. Dare I even say sexy?

On the other hand, I suppose it could just look like the world's most incredible pantyline.

Outfit: J Crew T-shirt, no-name skirt; Stuart Weitzman sandals; random cheap bangles.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's a Sweatshirt! It's a Bag!

Wonder what happen if you left your fave cuddly sweatshirt alone one night on the bed with your favorite tote?


From MM6 Maison Martin Margiela, the email heralding the sweatshirt bag's arrival came with the most mesmerizing video of a sweatshirt, its arms wriggling and waving up over where a head would be to turn into a bag. Wish I could figure out how to link it.

If you were just wearing the sweatshirt, I would think those people who steal internal organs would be pretty darn excited by the random zipper across the front. Easy access!

So, here's the thing — it costs $240. I'm trying to figure out how to rationalize that price. If you divided by two, that would make a $120 sweatshirt and $120 tote bag, still way too much for either.

Think I'm gonna go watch the vid some more.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Shoe.... Proverb

A gift of shoes
Is a true gift indeed.

Shoe n' Tell: These lovely Stuart Weitzman flats were a gift from a friend. From the looks of 'em, she wore these babies for all of 30 seconds. They are absolutely pristine. And perfect.

Love that sassy hint o' snake print and how the bow sweetens things up. They go with everything.

Thanks, Jess. :) Oh! And, how coincidental, happy birthday.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Great Drape

This email from Saks recently landed in the in box.

Oh, Saks, you know me so well.

I love everything on this page. Everything.

In fact, the Patterson J. Kincaid dress (upper left) should arrive any day now (I ordered it on supersale in white). In particular, I am lusting after the Alexander Wang draped tops. They look crisp and dressy, but not too. You could easily wear to work or an event or even a casual affair, depending on the bottoms you pair with it.

You can't quite make it out in the teeny photo, but both the long and sleeveless tops have this cool zipper detailing, too. My favorite part, though, is the strategically placed knot. Yes, I will have another brownie, thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hostess With the Mostest

No one would ever mistake me for Martha Stewart.

My cakes, while tasty, are typically lopsided and unattractive. My homemade cards look like one of my kids (and not the artistic one) made 'em. No where are my shortcomings more evident than entertaining.

I prefer small gatherings — just a family or two. It gets way too hard with lots of people. It wasn't always this way. BK (Before Kids), it wasn't a big deal to host a bunch of people. Now cleaning the house and doing all the prep work is just debilitating. So you can understand why — with a big Sunday gala looming — I am not so chipper. It's a fundraising event for a good cause and it's smack in the afternoon, so no one really expects much, right?

Which is good. Because I am not a fresh-flowers-on-the-table and cute, custom-made napkin rings kind of girl. In fact, my plates and plasticwear are usually all just mismatched from previous gatherings.

These things are my idea of fun entertaining.
Pick Your Nose Cups ($5.95). These are a hit with kids and adults.
Big Lebowski coasters ($12). Honestly, these don't even really resemble Jeff Bridges, but I can't resist a "Big Lebowski" reference.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


It's hot. I'm bored. Did I mention it's wicked hot?

It is soooo hard to dress when you don't want to sweat in anything really nice or wear something, like say skinny pants, that's tight and will only cling and make you more miserable in the heat. What's a gal to do?

The answer may well be a kimono dress.

The sleeves are wide and loose (good for waving a breeze down into the swampy armpits), and the dresses are mostly short and not tight. Sounds like a summer winner, even though I am officially sick of my hot-weather wardrobe.

Some options (the Patterson J. Kincaid one should be on its way to me):

Winter Kate "Komodo" dress ($269). Personally, I think that Nicole Richie is like school in the summertime...... no class. But the trollop makes some nice clothes.

Elizabeth and James "Anita" dress ($365). This one's my favorite, but that price tag is a downer.

Patterson J. Kincaid "Vanessa" dress ($65, from $188). It's linen, which should be cool, and has an easy-breezy look. In fact, it's almost a ringer for that pricy EJ frock.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Clean Moisturizer

Oh skin. Can't live with you, can't live without you.

I've always had a heck of a time with my complexion. Things finally seemed like they were on the upswing a few years back. Then things took a turn for the pimply. And the dry. Oh, but parts are still oily, too. Who knows what to do?

Complicating things is my new goal to keep cosmetics and cleansers clean and green. If I weren't so stubborn, I probably could even things out — and only poison myself a little bit.

One brand that I've had remarkable success with is 100 Percent Pure. I've used the cosmetics and lotion. After being non-plussed by another clean moisturizer, I gave Argan Oil Hydration Moisturizer SPF 30 ($26 for 2 ounces) a try. Good stuff. It's light, very light. I'd venture to say it's best for oily or combo complexions. Really dry skin might need heavier stuff.

I like that it rubs in well and has argan oil, which is the latest beauty darling. No scent, which is a big bonus for my bloodhoundish self, and it rubs in quite easily. No Casper-ish cast.