Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Sales

Tis the season for stores to clear out their initial summer offerings-- and the savings are awesome. Living in the desert means that summer clothes are in my wardrobe rotation virtually year-round, so it's time to stock up!

This week, I checked out Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie for their great deals and then discovered that GAP and Banana Republic are taking an additional 25% off of sale prices, too. Even better, Ann Taylor LOFT is taking an extra 50% (!) off of sale prices. Express also has a big sale going and I have a giftcard that is collecting dust, but even with the amazing deals I couldn't find anything that wasn't so...."Express-looking." Oh well!

Happy Shopping!

Any deals you've discovered recently that are too good to be true?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Turquoise: Not Just for Snowbirds Anymore!

A classic color associated with summer, turquoise is a great option to brighten up any outfit. It can be worn dressy or casual and goes just as well with light colors, (think white or pale neutrals in monochromatic ensembles), as with dark colors, (instant pop against a black backdrop). Sometimes it is the focal point of garrish "native american," (only vaguely inspired by authentic Native American art and then produced on an assembly line in China), art pieces purchased only by dementia-ridden snowbirds. This gives turquoise a bad rap, but in reality, it can be incorporated into a modern wardrobe tastefully and with ease just by adding a great accessory:

**Add color subtly with SIMPLE pieces**

Melissa Joy Manning ring, $465

I love that this isn't the typical, overly-Southwestern turquoise ring seen stacked on the fingers of grizzled retirees. I also love the delicate band and rough-hewn shape of the stone. (Or do I like it because it looks like the "Gushers" snack I used to love as a kid...? hehe).

Ipploita earrings, $395

These earrings show the veining and color gradations of classic turquoise pieces without the bulky, heavy cut. Pair these with a blousy t-shirt or sundress for day or a sleeker ensemble for night.

**Or punch up your look with STATEMENT pieces**

Hunter original short Wellington boots, $105

Who wouldn't want to splish-splash in summer rain storms with these bright and cheery boots? A fun, colorful take on a classic style, these would be perfect for all your outdoor concert-going needs!

YSL "Aco" Stone Ring, $195

The word "crazysauce" came to mind when I saw this ring. And I am pretty sure that is not a real word, so basically this ring is so intense that it requires the creation of new words just to describe it! Gesticulations with this ring on your index will captivate your audience at an unprecedented level! ;)

Are you going "simple" or "statement" for bright accessories this summer? Or do you love cheesy turquoise bolo ties and aren't afraid to flaunt them?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wear Thongs in Public!

...on your feet! (I crack myself up!) I live in a HOT climate, as I have mentioned in an earlier post, and dressing sparingly while maintaining a fashionable appearance is an art. I have taken to wearing flip flops when I am not a work, but I don't want to ruin a great outfit with grungy sandals, (chunky foam=eww). In addition, I am a tall gal, so I like flat sandals for day, but want to capture the more elegant vibe of a heeled sandal. Lots of criteria!, but being picky paid off and I found some fun options to share:

J.Crew leather Capri sandal, $39.50

The go-to sandal. Super thin and basic, this style is not a scene-stealer, but it goes as well with linen shorts as with a floral dress. (And they are on sale right now- yea!)

Vera Wang Lavender Label Nita Sandal, $195 ($136.50 at shopbop)

This is the next generation of the gladiator sandal. Instead of being weighty and chunky, this lil' number balances a sturdy heel with finely sculpted front straps, giving it substance derived from architecture rather than sheer mass. This pair would be great for an adult day-to-night option.

Diane von Furstenberg Jaya sandal, $79

Jelly sandals! These appeal to the grown-up in me, ("greige" color I love in a totally wearable design), as well as the kid in me, (I repeat- jelly sandals!) Also, Zappos has more color options, but they are on sale online at Nordstrom.

Any favorite summer sandals you've spotted? A shoe trend you are dying to try?

Resort Love

I love reading The Cut for fashion coverage that has a sarcastic undertone from time to time. (I appreciate fashion, but seriously, sometimes it is just insane and you need to take a step back and chuckle). I was checking out some of the resort collections they have posted recently and fell in love with the Giambattista Valli collection!

I love the use of animal prints, but not too much animal- restraint is key! If you know me, you know this outfit is basically what I wear to work everyday, but a million times more awesome! Giraffe print is my favorite so this abstract take is a no-brainer.

How cute is this little dress? Love the draping and the minimal, non-glaring use of print (again, yea for editing!). I know it's resort, but I think it would definitely transition into fall with tights/leggings or a blazer.

I am a sucker for draping. That's all I have to say about this Grecian-inspired number with great lines and elegant-yet-easy shape. And who wouldn't look awesome in it?!

Any favorite resort collections? Or are you looking forward to fall?

(Photos are from thecut, but most of the collections are also available for viewing on style.com)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quinoa + Peppers = Food Bliss!

I love having a meal that is as healthy as it is satisfying. That harmonious combo does not occur often, so when it does, I get pretty excited. My friend* blogged about her quinoa-stuffed bell pepper recipe recently and it sounded intriguingly tasty, so I had to try it....

.....the result? It was so tasty that the peppers were gobbled up so quickly that no pictures were taken! I used yellow bell peppers (my favs!), chopped up one medium-sized red potato to replace one of the kinds of beans (she used garbanzo and black beans, I used great northern beans + potato), and layered in a little shredded cheese. Since that variation turned out so well I can't wait to try other kinds in the future!

Any deliciously healthy meals you love? Foods you can't live without? Who are my yellow pepper fans?! Holla!

*check out her blog (she is way better at posting than I am) and her awesome etsy store!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Help Yourself to Help Yourself

I am not highly critical of fashion decisions. I know what does and doesn't work for me and that is not the same for the next girl, so if a certain style genre works for your shape and personality, go for it! Style is a personal choice and type of expression, so being different is the intent... well, and looking attractive, but since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that one is subjective, too...

Having said that, there are a few things that do not work on anyone:

-Crocs: I know they are comfortable, but your foot looks like it is caught in a bear trap make of Smurfs.

-Boyfriend blazers with shoulder pads: Thank you for helping Goodwill's sales, but linebackers belong on the football field and your jacket is swallowing you whole.

-Overplucked eyebrows: Natural is better! Clean up your shape by all means, but too thin makes you look either perpetually surprised or like a mean cat lady.... And less effort required to look good-what isn't awesome about that?!

But not all my thoughts are negative, folks. There are some things that never fail to improve your look:

-The wrap dress: DvF is forever my hero for this uber-flattering creation. Get one of her prints for a statement or try a solid color. The right shoes and jewelry will make it the most versatile piece in your arsenal as well as the most flattering.

-The right bra: Trust me, the girls can make or break your whole outfit and they need some help from time to time. A bra that fits can make all the difference in your silhouette... and make your life more comfortable, too!

-A smile: I think it's a mental reaction we have to people who are mean- they just seem less attractive. Conversely, a smile on your face makes you more agreeable to brain and eyes alike... And a lil teeth-whitening doesn't hurt!

What are your favorite and least favorite trends? Have a picture of yourself in Crocs and football pads that you think is stunning and want to share?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Procrastinating Effectively!

I just got back from vacation and while I should be doing laundry, cleaning, and getting ready for work, I am checking emails instead. Not anything important, mind you, but all the fun stuff I didn't check on vay-cay. If you don't get regular emails from Barneys, click here to see their newest Givenchy bag. I love big bags and simple styling, but I am not sure about the washed leather.... Thoughts? Any new discoveries that you love or hate?

....OK, back to work! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Barneys!!!! (continued)

I may not be a shoe whore....but I sure am a bag lady. A fabulous bag that combines slouchy, supple leather with a bit of regimented structure gets me every time. I have made some random and delightful finds in my shopping career, like a $20 Stella McCartney in a textured neutral, but I am not solely a high-fashion devotee, (my fav's are regulars like Kooba, Botkier, Isabella Fiore, and Tulah Ray), but there are a few bags that make me weak-in-the-knees despite their haute-y status.

Givenchy medium "Pandora" bag, $1,875

It has only one handle originating from the side seam/corner, so the bag hangs at a funny angle when worn. I am not sure how well this design would wear in "real life," but it is a fun concept. I found the purple color on a bag blog, click the pic to check out the other colors!

Proenza Schouler "PS1," starting at $1,995

This bag is a little "It Bag" looking for my taste, but I admit I love the classic, timeless styling. I love the selection and colors at Barney's, but found the version pictured on Net-A-Porter.com. Love the color and texture!

Alexander Wang "Diego Bucket" bag, $825

I have designed a bag in my head that combines super supple leather, structure, and a wanton use of studs on the bottom of the bag. I would have given the studs a crazy pattern or made my company's logo, but I love Wang's use of a common accessory in an uncommon way. His bags are more original than the norm, but totally wearable.

I love the light grey color on Shopbop (pictured). Perfect for summer!

***(I got basic info and prices from Barney's since that's where I found the bags, but if the photos are from another site, I have the picture linked to that site)***

What are your favorite bags? Guilty pleasures or purely practical?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Big Ole Jet Airliner....

That Steve Miller song is playing in my head as I am packing...well, I am taking a break, but I have been making progress! I am leaving for a family wedding in the midwest tomorrow and am super excited(!) BUT, (there is always one of those), it will most likely be storming the entire time I am there. I am glad to get out of the heat, so it's not the weather I am worried about- it's the packing! I have goaled myself at one carry-on bag and a garment bag, but need to fit enough clothes for a long weekend with options for warm and humid days and contrasting cold and rainy nights and mornings. I am sure my outfit selection will need a lot of editing!

Any tips for packing? Anywhere fun to vacation that would seem unlikely but turned out to be awesome?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Barneys!!!! (...NY, not the dinosaur...)

Barneys New York has excellent buyers. They pick great bags, shoes, etc, etc, but my favorite part of a Barneys visit is the jewelry department. On a recent shopping trip with a good friend, a friend with great taste who loves jewelry as much as I do if not more, we had to go in and have a look!

I love both bold and intricate styles, so my panoramic appreciation, (or stubborn lack of refinement of my taste and style), means that I have to look at EVERYTHING :) I love Cathy Waterman's tiny rings with organic shapes, the way Lucifer Vir Honestus' pieces are wildly twisted and daring, (the linked ring reminds me of tiny mushrooms), and they way Sandra Dini balances both rapid movement of vine-like metal with the serenity of a tranquil slab of opal in her ring. For earrings, I love Sharon Khazzam's gold pair with chunky diamond slices. I would love to have that style of stone for an engagement ring because it is so unusual and so simple at the same time. Another simple-yet-stunning pair comes from Dean Harris. I love the stone color and the delicate setting. Judy Geib, (a favorite for obvious reasons), also makes delicate creations out of fun and funky shapes.

In the Co-Op section, I love Etten Eller's use of bolts and other little, chunky materials mixed with delicate chains. The necklaces with tiny webs of watch gears have since disappeared, but I am determined to make my own verison once I find a watch that A) doesn't mind getting busted open and B) isn't digital, so it actually contains watch gears.

More on my visit later, but now I need to hurry up and daydream about what I damage I would do if I win the lottery today........
What is your favorite place to shop? Is your weakness shoes? Jewelry? Bags?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Slice of Heaven

I love adorning myself with a slice of agate when the weather heats up. It feels summery and cool because it is direct from nature without much processing, it's got a boho-chic vibe. I love when it is mounted in jewelry in a sort of rough-hewn manner to give it an organic feel. I spent a little while looking for agate jewelry and for agate slices and pendants to make my own creations and these are the top picks:

"Rock Solid" Agate Cuff at Nordstrom, $68
Check out out this link- how dramatic is this cuff?! Love it in both colors.

Purple Agate Necklace at Target, $39.99

A simple-yet-fun necklace at Target prices? Who can resist?!

I also found a large selection of agate on Ebay. Obviously, the bidding ends quickly, but here's an idea of what's out there:

Ebay blue agate pendant

Giant Agate Ring Ebay

Set of 3 Agate Slices Ebay

Love agate or have you found a stone that speaks summer more loudly to you? More summer accessories to come!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's a Cinch!

It's getting warmer...ok, let's be honest- it's getting darn hot and being hot gets me cranky! Instead of dwelling on the rising temperatures, I will focus on the fun summer clothing and accessory options that this type of weather will allow. On my mind...belts! Over a boyfriend tee or a summer dress, the right belt can finish an outfit and since they can be mixed and matched with many outfits, the versatility is endless! Here are some of my favorites to define your waist:

Looping Lanes Belt at Anthropologie, $44

I loved braided leather and the unusual interlacing.

Skinny Leather Belt at J.Crew, $32.50

Love the sweet, punchy color with light neutrals as well as black.

Wrap Belt by ADA, $75

This is an uber-flattering, classic available in a ton of colors.

I also love the Ecote Studded Belt at Urban Outfitters, but the computer wouldn't allow me to post the image, but it is a cute take on a rock 'n' roll style worth checking out!

Any recent belt purchases you love? Other summer accessories you are excited about?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chronic Sniffles

...my beloved computer still has virus issues, so no posts for a while, but I am using a friend's computer, so I might be able to post sporadically!... Hopefully this gets resolved soon and hopefully everyone is having a great summer!