Monday, January 31, 2011

"Something Isn't Right!"

If you have ever seen the animated movie of the Madeline picture books that were oh-so popular when I was younger, you will remember Miss Clavel (the stern but kind-hearted nun) waking up in the middle of the night and saying the title phrase because she could sense something was wrong.

I am not a nun, I don't teach little girls in two straight lines who wear straw hats, and I am not French, but when I read Cheap and Chic Living's link to a Jezebel article on Forever 21's blatant copycat designs, I could have been that nun, storming down the hallway to assess the situation....

A little over-dramatic, but the situation calls for it! ;)

Now, I know that F21 knock-offs aren't big news- heck, I thought it was funny that they got sued by Louboutin for using his copyrighted red soles on their heels. I mean, really, who would be fooled by a cheap pair of shoes when the quality and style of that designer is so iconic?
But what about smaller, less well-known designers? Would anyone even notice if their designs get ripped off?

Apparently, yes, because if you look at this photo, you'll see that the top row of shirts (F21 design) are virtually the same at the lower row of Trovata shirts (they even stole the mismatched buttons on the middle shirt!). The similarity is blatant and inexcusable not only because they are stealing designs, but as they have come under fire repeatedly for labor issues, (read the article for a summary), you can bet whoever sewed the copied apparel is not being paid a fair wage.

This takes the proverbial wind out of my sails because F21 has always been a sort of quick-fix type of place to me that sells super trendy pieces I don't want to sink money into and a great place for costumes. It's just not as fun when you know that the piece of clothing you buy could have been an idea stolen from a cool, niche designer. Where's the fun in discovering something new that is actually not new, but rather, is kinda old...and kinda stolen?

Does the F21 "rip-off stigma" affect whether or not you shop there?

Just to lighten the mood since it's Monday, let me add:
"We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all, we love each other."
Barf if you must, but do you remember this?!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Friday!

Yesterday was my day off and I spent a blissful afternoon reading new books (yea for the library!) and eating mini pecan pies. I hope to continue this relaxing pace into the weekend (hopefully with a cute outfit or two thrown in for good measure).

The cuteness of the mini-pie disappeared quickly. Into my mouth.

You can barely see it in the top right corner, but I just finished The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel, by David Levithan, (half of the duo who concocted Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist). I like the dictionary format coupled with the insightful, brief entries. Not a cutesy book, but thought-provoking, and quick read.

What will you be doing this weekend?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Barkeep! Gimme A Stout Glass of...Well...Stout!

My sister's bf is a big fan of beer. I'm talkin' BIG fan, people. (Well, he is actually has a small frame, but his fanaticism is size of Andre the Giant). So when a local bar/eatery has a Stout and Porter Festival, it's not a question of if we are going, but why aren't we there now?

Naturally I had to come up with an outfit: tailored, yet comfy (especially in the tummy area to accommodate some tasty brews), and I had to wear my "birthday boots" (see my obsessive link here). Not many pictures turned out well, but here's an idea of my look:

I brought the shovel over to use as a fun prop, but then didn't do anything with it. But please enjoy my sister's recent craigslist find- the perfect metal bench. She is obsessed with furniture like I am obsessed with chambray and these crazy boots. If finding the perfect bench sends you into ecstasy, check out her blog here. And maybe see a therapist ;)

GAP linen blazer, Stem v-neck, Nordstrom scarf, Diesel jeans, Kooba bag (on super sale here!), Jeffery Campbell boots, my mom's turquoise ring (from the 70's)

When you go out and about, do you dress for comfort? Or do you have to look amazing, even if you don't get to eat? (I hope it's not the latter, that's no fun!) In any case:

CHEERS! It's almost Friday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things I Should Not Be Doing...

"You can't help it, I think it's just ingrained in you. You're a 'shopper'," by Bf said to me one day. My reaction was somewhat indignant, I mean, I can't help that I am good at shopping, it's like shaking your head at Michelangelo for painting. For goodness' sake!

However, just to prove that I can keep my distance from stores, I have cut back on shopping. (Not cold turkey, that would probably cause me to wig out and my shopping cravings would manifest in crazy ways like eating a gallon of ice cream on the roof). But since I have giftcards to various locations left over from Christmas/my bday, I decided to limit my spending to to giftcard usage for January. And lo and behold, I am fine. Seriously. I will live. (But I am getting my hair cut AGAIN tomorrow, which I think means I am now addicted to getting my hair cut. If only I was a Play-Doh doll with constantly regenerating Play-Doh hair!)

ANYWAY, let's cut this tangent short before it gets epic.

To curb the shopping-in-stores craving, I have been looking at pretty things online. Namely other blogs and websites like Gilt Groupe. (Looking doesn't count, right?) I found the Gryphon sale at Gilt and decided that if I win the lottery in the next 12 hours, I will be totally justified in buying a few pieces:

The knit trench is especially genius! Structure + the cozy factor!

What do you do to curb the shopping impulse? Or are you instead addicted to lattes, US Weekly, or Bieber (that's you, Carrie!)?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fashion Is For The Birds

I was looking through dresses on for perfect "midi-length" inspirations (hemlines ending mid-calf) and came across this Wes Gordon dress from his Spring 2011 collection:

Image from

I don't know why I fixated on the retro inspiration and relatively simple design, but then I realized it reminded me of the famous dress Tippi Hedren wore in The Birds (as modeled by Barbie):

(This is modeled by Barbie because the real images are too creepy to look at for any length of time!)

So no coat, but the green! the length! the pumps! Maybe it's just me?

In any case, I think the old movies I watched as a child influenced my taste in fashion tremendously. I wonder if a lot of my love for simple silhouettes and elegant draping were inspired by Grace Kelly's wardrobe in To Catch A Thief:

Grace is a style icon for SO many other reasons, but I will leave that for a future post ;)

Do you ever find yourself paying more attention to a movie's wardrobe than the plot? Have any movies inspired your style?

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Went To A Lake To Climb A Mountain...

....It doesn't make sense, but it does, trust me ;) This weekend I decided to go hiking. If you know me, you are probably thinking I have gone off my rocker (too late) since my athletic activities usually consist of shopping, extreme naps and training my stomach to expand (by eating large quantities of food). BUT, one of those pesky New Year's goals is to cultivate a more active existence, so I took my skinny legs and tennis shoes off to Canyon Lake.

(Canyon Lake from part-way up the mountain)

My Bf had helped me pick out the location (aka, I nodded like a simpleton at the veteran outdoorsman while he explained my options) and he picked out a trail that would be scenic and that would test my limits without killing me. Seven miles doesn't seem too long, but when those miles involve hiking to the top of a mountain, down into a canyon and then back again, it is a bit intense...

But I loved it and can't wait to do it again!!!

Mountains of Mountains!

We stopped at the bottom of the canyon for a snack and the Bf made me chai tea. He knows how I roll ;)

I prefer my lichen "on the rocks".... hehe.

My favorite view of the canyon. And yes, we hiked up the mountain to this point, down into the riverbed you see below, back up to this point and back down to the car.... Phew!

Wait, isn't this blog usually fashion-oriented? Why, yes, thank you for reminding me:

Zella "Live In" Leggings. These leggings are the best thing ever! I am SO glad I wore these for my hike. Perfectly weighted, long, flattering and super-stretchy, I wish I could wear these everyday with regular clothes. (If you read the reviews, some people do!)

Any favorite athletic apparel that needs sharing? And what did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cuckoo for Krakoff

I have never been a big Coach fan (I am not one for logos and it reminds me of high school!) but I really think Reed Krakoff has turned the brand around and I actually enjoy a perusal of their bags now and again...haven't bought any yet, but still, they are looking better. My opinion of Krakoff's eponymous line of bags, however, are best described as "obsessive" and "in love"...They aren't the most innovative purses, but I love the Boxer series because I focus on the fun little details when choosing a bag. The belt "tied" around the top of the bag is how I have been wearing my belts (cinched and knotted at the natural waist) so it's really a no-brainer that I would fall in love with love these:

The photos are from net-a-porter, purseblog, prettydesignerhandbags, and mymanybags
I love the gray one, the clutch and the taupe/nude with black detailing the best!

I might be in a Reed Krakoff phase considering I liked his shorts so much in this post. Hmmm. What are the little things that are oh-so important to you when choosing a handbag?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why Do We Love YSL?

Why, oh, why! Oh, I know, because it is awesome. I haven't been impressed with the clothing at YSL for some time, but I do like their accessory aesthetic. I am a stalwart admirer of the Muse- I like the Roady, but the Muse is just soooo nice (Cheshire-Cat smile on my face). I love the classic style of the darker pieces and the refreshingly spring-like qualities of the bright pieces that follow:

How cute is this dress? Super polished, but with a fun bow.

Ahh, the Muse. Sigh. I love the structure and the leather is SO soft! I "tried on" a brown one at a store and the leather was so soft I just wanted to snuggle in it and take a nap...

This Arty Flower Ring is awesome- a statement piece balanced with delicate styling:

The Roady. (Another sigh). It might be a second favorite, but I love the slouchy construction and the little hooks that join the handle to to body of this tote. The blue color is surprisingly awesome and very wearable:

I love the subtle animal print of this scarf combined with the light color-- super versatile. How great would this look with a pair of high-waisted flares?

(As always, click on a picture to take you to the original source)

So there you have it, this is what I have been daydreaming about today. Are you a YSL fan, or does the brand seem too matronly and overplayed as of late? And if you own a Muse, tell me how great it is...and maybe let me borrow it? J/K

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mia VS Olay

I just read this article on comparing the Clarisonic Mia to the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing system and although I am not surprised that there is a Clarisonic knock-off out there, I am surprised that it has taken so long for it to happen! I have been using the Mia since August (pick one up at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and you'll pay almost half price) and while it has not made me smarter or more socially adept, but it really does a great job cleaning my skin. I plan on using my Mia until it dies, but I am curious as to whether or not the Olay tool is a viable substitute? Does anyone else have either tool and what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Slouchy Days

I am sorry to those who are still wearing mittens, but yesterday was deliciously balmy. (Don't worry, when it's 115 degrees here in July you will have your revenge). 70 degrees with a very light breeze simply requires finding a patio to sit back and enjoy a tasty beverage, so off I went in my sunny day outfit: Minimalist color palette of white, navy and nude. I love my slouchy crepe pants (Anthro sale!), tissue-weight t-shirt and linen blazer. I was going to wear a heel, but the idea of wearing a sandal made me giddy, so there you have it ;) I know, I know, white after Labor Day is taboo, but I have never taken kindly to restrictions and, did I mention, it was so sunny!

Urban Oufitters blazer and ring, Stem t-shirt, Daughters of the Liberation pants, Steve Madden sandals, Ted Baker purse, Dogeared "Karma" necklace

I would have posted a close-up of the sparkle-encrusted sandals, but my feet were so alarmingly white, I couldn't get over it!

What are your thoughts on white after Labor Day and what item(s) of clothing puts you in a great mood?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Are You There, Spring? It's Me, The Chambray Countess...

Not that it was ever "cold" here this winter (there were a few 20-30 degree temps, but nothing compared to the blizzards everyone else seemed to have...) but I have noticed a slight warming trend, which is getting me excited for spring. My thoughts are best expressed visually by the frothy dresses at Emilio Pucci. I especially love the boots (symbolizing to me the last vestiges of cold weather) in combination with the volume of his dresses-- they just beg for a light breeze to make them billow.... And the hair?! Sigh! I love the length and tousled shine, (probably an indicator of Post-Traumatic-Haircut-Syndrome)..

All pictures from

What weather is inspiring you this week?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Look of the Week: Jennifer Connelly

This past week, Jennifer Connelly ("J-Con" going forward because it imbues more street cred) did the "smile-wave-shuffle" game at the premiere of her new movie, The Dilemma. How awesome does she look?! I bet having access to a Lanvin dress and Fred Leighton jewels is awesome when you are preggers and the selection dresses that fit you is limited... if every pregnant lady could this good if she had Lanvin and Leighton in her maternity arsenal?

Photos from JustJared
Regardless of whether or not you like the dress, don't tell me she isn't glowing...(though it could be a great make-up artist!). In any case, J-Con's thick eyebrows are always a fav.

Happy Friday and have a great time in your premiere-worthy outfit this weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Short Story (continued)

My previous post extolled the virtues of shorts for day (can we call them mini-pants? It makes me smile) but daytime wear seems so safe and expected. Have any of you worn shorts for night with a bare leg and heels? I didn't last summer, and for now I will wear tights under my shorts, but I definitely want to try it when the weather allows. I still love a good sequin short (see below) but there are other nighttime appropriate fabrics to be considered, too:

These Dvf shorts are super cute (I love scalloped hems) and the DvF girl would probably rock these for day, too, no holds barred!

The jacquard fabric of these Thread Social shorts is very regal and there is a bit of an 80's, Dynasty feel to them:

Forever 21 can churn out a trend for pennies on the dollar and I love that these shorts have pockets!

Marc Jacobs' high waisted shorts seem like they would be very fancy, but you could wear them with anything and everything- flats/heels/booties/sequins/wool/spring/summer/fall- you get the idea...

These Valentino lace shorts...sigh... You could wear these to a formal movie premiere and no one would question you. Very lady-who-lunches meets Black Swan with a little... (I'll stop there)...

Are you grabbing your purse to run out the door and snatch up a pair of shorts for your next soiree? Or do you still need a little convincing...?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Short Story

I bought these shorts a few months ago because I thought they were adorable and envisioned outfits with tights and ankle booties. But I haven't worn them yet. I don't know exactly why, but I think my aversion to shorts in the summer (it is commonly thought that AZ denizens are bronze 24/7/365, but a lot of us hide from the sun and are thus pale and pasty) has carried over to the rest of the year. Something must be done to change my mindset! Showing off pale get-away-sticks doesn't seem right, but I know people do it all the time, so I set out to find some cute shorts that would look fresh for spring and wouldn't embarrass my pasty gams:

These Reed Krakoff shorts are easy, simple to wear, and the wide cuff at the bottom is very flattering. I am thinking sandals or brogues would do well....

I think I have made it clear that I love Ikat print anything, (evidence here), and these LOFT shorts are super fun, but might be more statement than I can handle!

These Modcloth shorts are romantic, affordable, and in a color that flatters pretty much every skin tone. What's not to love?

A lady-like prepster and a street-savvy urbanite could both be seen wearing these Stella McCartney lace shorts. They would happily pair with pearls or ankle booties :)

Layers of crochet and lace make these Charlotte Russe shorts super adorable:

OK, so maybe shorts aren't that bad, and with a little self-tanner I would really enjoy wearing some of these. Are you a lace and layers kind of shorts gal or do you steer towards grounded basics?

What about shorts for night? Don't worry about that, just check in tomorrow ;)