Archive for June, 2009

Marvelous Monday: ModelMayhem Edition

Light on links this week; heavy on eye candy!

Also, I just found this lovely jewelry at Sugar Mafia. About everything on the website is gorgeous, but these three are my favorites. Oh, the chandelier necklace. *drool

Hope you all had a great weekend and are having a fabulous Monday!

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These are a few of my favorite things…

I was tagged by Leigh at Bitch, Please, who is fabulously snarky and very funny, so go read her blog. But in the meantime, here’s 20 things that I love!

  1. Color. I’m probably going to have to say bright turquoise on this one, although it’s a pretty tough pick between that and hot pink.
  2. Dessert. Um. Does ice cream with a side of chocolate cake and brownies count as one? The Chocolate Macadamia Ben and Jerry’s I just recently tried is AMAZING.
  3. Smell. Oh no. I have no idea what to say. Baking cookies? Lavender? Although slightly sweetened lavender, because it can be a VERY herbal smell which I’m not so much into. Some sort of lavender-rose blend maybe?
  4. Flower. Orange tigerlilies, I’m not sure what the deal is but I’ve loved them since childhood!
  5. Animal. I can’t pick a favorite animal! Anything cute and fuzzy!
  6. Month. September, because it’s my birthday month, and it usually starts to cool down quite a bit, weather wise. In Missouri, it was about the only month of fall we got! (and sometimes, we didn’t even get that…)
  7. Beverage. Like Leigh, probably 90% of what I drink is water. I really dislike pop (yes, I say pop and not soda!) because the high fructose corn syrup is crazy on my blood sugar. Strawberry daiquiris are great too!
  8. Shoes. Oh lord you know I cannot pick a favorite pair of shoes. I wear the Fluevog Pekoe slingbacks a lot and that is all I will say!
  9. Snack. Nothing beats a delicious nectarine! So good. Wish I had one right now.
  10. Song. I love the Clampdown by the Clash. And Tribal Connection by Gogol Bordello. Also Paranoia Cha Cha Cha! by the Soviettes.
  11. Book. I’m going to say a tie between American Gods and the His Dark Materials trilogy.
  12. Fruit. Nectarines, as already mentioned! Strawberries and grapes are a close second.
  13. Hairstyle. Short short short. I like mine wavy crazy and full of body but I love a short haircut on almost everyone!
  14. Piece/s of clothing. I really love my Target dress and the ruffled skirt from there too; and my peacock tank from Old Navy + the navy Elie Tahari skirt. Beyond that I’m not sure; the summer heat is really sucking my ability to dress well.
  15. Stores to shop. Thrift stores! In Joplin the DAV was awesome. I haven’t found anywhere REALLY good here (and haven’t much had the funds to shop yet!) but pretty much thrift stores or hole in the wall, independent boutiques.
  16. Season. Fall and Spring, I love the in between seasons and watching everything change…plus that’s usually when the weather is best! Nice, not too hot or too cold.
  17. Hobby. I’m going to go ahead and go with sewing here. Does it count as a hobby if it’s also a stream of income? If so, then um. Watching Buffy and playing with my cats. Or yoga. Whatever.
  18. Things to collect. I guess you could say I kind of collect shoes?
  19. Movie. Oh my. Three four way tie between Moulin Rouge, Fight Club, Iron Jawed Angels, and Serenity.
  20. Restaurant. I haven’t had a lot of time to try out the restaurant here, but there’s a really fantastic Italian place called Nonna Gina’s on Main. Love me some Italian food. And Mexican. But I haven’t got to try out a lot of Mexican here yet!

So that’s the list. Fascinating stuff, I’m sure. I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you want to repost it, feel free! Hope everyone’ s having a great weekend so far! (and continues to!)

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Links a la Mode

links a la mode

Ice Cold Lemonade

Edited by Clutch 22

Compiling this week’s round up of posts hit closer to home for me. I think we can all relate to the times where stress builds up and blocks inspiration. Reading each of these individually was the exact refreshment I needed (hence “lemonade”), especially with my birthday coming up next week – total outfit planning mode.

So what’s in the mix? Alixrose and Decline Designs offer personal style inspirations, Fasshonaburu teaches us how to get our budget-shopping on at high-end boutique sales, hkShoeGeek talks harnesses and Fashion Consciou$ inspires by reviving the culottes trend (so cute on her).

Links à la Mode : June 25th

  • 39th and Broadway: Ever wonder who really determines how your clothes fit? An interview with a technical designer
  • alixrose: You have the perfect outfit, but whats the one thing that can keep it from becoming fabulous?
  • A Typical Atypical: A deep dive into the reasoning behind shoe obsessions
  • Awakened Aesthetic: Affordable ways to bring urban fashion into your decor without getting tacky
  • Bobbins and Bombshells: Fashionable History – A look into 1920’s swimwear and bathing suits.
  • Bonne Vie: When Bloggers Unite – The Hotel Max Edition
  • Decline Designs: Defining Your Personal Style – Having “Go-To” Outfits
  • Fasshonaburu: Digging through a high end sales to find purchase-worhty pieces, and tips on how to not go over budget
  • Fashion Consciou$: Fashion Flashback – Return of the culottes
  • Fashion Pulse Daily: The evolution of the gladiator to the “mandiator”
  • Freya: A little gown guide for your summer wedding
  • hkShoeGeek: Harnesses – A collection of favorites for every style and price range
  • Idiosyncratic Style: A guide for casual wedding attire
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: You just don’t compare…
  • Retro Chick : Mary Queen of Charity Shops – Now it’s all over, some final thoughts
  • Shoe Daydreams: Are you on board with the latest trend – Over The Knee boots?
  • Tatiana Supports the Arts: Indie Designer Spotlight – ALEX&RA, designed by Alexandra Cipparone
  • The Bare Skinny: Not everything has to be black and white – inspiration for adding color to your wardrobe
  • The Coveted: Shu Uemura’s inspired lashes
  • Unfunded: Respect your elders – Rock the vintage!
  • Work Chic: Chic hosiery options if you still have to wear them in the summer heat!

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Defining Your Personal Style: Finding Your Focus

(a little photo from my new sewing room/work area…I set all of my shoes up on display!)

Everyone has favorites. It’s only natural to like one thing the most out of a group! So here’s where you ask yourself: what’s my favorite part of getting dressed in the morning?

Seems like a silly question, I know. But it actually pays off to think about it. Do you like putting on your makeup the post? Or maybe picking out your shoes?

Whatever your favorite part is, whatever you love to do with a little bit of a flourish, let that become your focus. This doesn’t mean neglecting all other aspects of your look! On the contrary, it can look a little odd when someone walks down the street who obviously put a lot of time and effort into their outfit, but their hair is a total mess. The point here is to recognize what you enjoy the most about your look, and then spend the most time, effort, and money on that.

Example: I, obviously, am a shoes person. Accessories come in a close second. To me, shoes and accessories make the outfit – you can spice up even the most boring outfit ever with the right pair of shoes and some funky jewelry. So I devote most of my wardrobe money (and more importantly, my time/energy spent shopping) into finding really good deals on shoes or accessories that I love. Clothing, on the other hand, I tend to be really cheap when it comes to, because I know I can usually make something similar if I really like it.

Possible focus areas include:

(credit)

  • Hair: I was never much of a hair person; I tend to wear the same style almost every day aside from easy-to-put-in accessories. If you’re a hair person you might be someone with long hair who enjoys styling it a different way every day (one reason I have short hair – FAR too lazy for that nonsense!), or someone who spends a while straightening it every morning. Places to invest are styling products, hair cut and color, hair accessories, etc.

(Photo is from Doe Deere Blogazine, photography by Grenouille)

  • Makeup: You might be a makeup person if you love to spend hours testing out new color combinations, finding the perfect one for your skintone and start planning a makeup scheme for every outfit you wear as soon as you put it on. Place to splurge: makeup and brushes/other utensils, obviously.

(credit)

  • Shoes! If you’re a shoes person, you probably know. No explanation needed!

(credit)

  • Accessories: If you love to own beautiful jewelry, build your outfit around certain accessories, or delight in finding just the right accents to make the rest of the outfit pop, then you’re probably an accessories person. Things to focus on: a good mani/pedi, jewellery (which doesn’t have to mean expensive jewelry, scouring thrift stores or vintage shops for one of a kind pieces is always fun), socks, belts, hats, etc.

(credit)

  • Clothing: If none of the other options excite you terribly but you’re constantly lusting after one clothing item or another, then you’re probably a clothing maven! Obviously, feel free to spend the majority of your time and effort scouting out good clothing deals or splurgeworthy items.

Of course, there will be some overlap. Bargain shoppers (like me) will always be trying to find a good deal when it comes to anything, but if I find a shoe or brand I love, I’ll scout all over (or, you know, just look on Amazon…) to find the best deal on it. And of course, there’s a good chance that everyone reading this will love clothing to some degree – this IS a style blog, after all! The goal is to just find your one or two favorite areas. If you try to have impeccable hair AND makeup AND clothing AND shoes…it can get really tough and it’s a lot easier to just say “fuck it” and stay in your PJs than make any effort at all! By all means, take care of yourself, but don’t try to do it all perfectly all the time!

The best way to go about shopping, in my opinion, is to find the best deals on your favorite things (i.e. high quality items, on sale, or lightly used), and then fill in the gaps with DIY’d items, thrift store finds, new but deeply discounted items, etc. This gives you the focus you need, which will help you develop and maintain a unique personal style and take on things.

So – what’s your focus and how do you express that in your style/outfits?

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Decline Designs Shop Grand Re-Opening!

I am SO excited to announce that today is the grand re-opening of the shop! I have listed all sorts of yummy vintage dresses, all very reasonably priced (there isn’t anything in the shop right now over $50 and I’m going to try and keep it that way!). I have more things on the way and will be updating on a very regular basis, so be sure to watch for future posts about it. BUT! The point of this post is something much more exciting than that!

In celebration of the store’s re-opening, I’m doing a week-long sale! Twenty percent off everything in the store, until next Wednesday. So why don’t you go take a look?

70s Pink/White Lace Dress M

70's Pink/White Lace Dress M

70s Lemon Yellow Draped Dress M

70's Lemon Yellow Draped Dress M

70s Blue/Pink V-Neck Dress M

70's Blue/Pink V-Neck Dress M

Be sure to keep checking back as well, since I’ll be updating regularly!

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10 More Places + Ways to Find Inspiration

After posting in the personal style series about finding inspiration, I thought I’d make another list of wacky and not-so-wacky ways to find inspiration:

  • Books! Pretty obvious, I’ll give you. Coffee table books – maybe one on a subculture? Orrr vintage fashions? Rock posters? Or of course; there’s always fiction. Alice in Wonderland is a terrific example of a fictional work that’s been used countless times for inspiration. Think of your favorite fantasy heroine – what would she wear?
  • Tarot cards. Seriously, check out Aeclectic, the artwork on some of them is fabulous! What would the Queen of Wands wear to a modern dinner party? Lounging around the house?
  • Architecture. What would the Parthenon wear if it was a person? Big Ben? The Eiffel Tower?
  • If you have a child, or a small cousin, let them dress you. Sometimes little kids pick up on things adults miss, and while you might end up looking like cupcake vomit, you might also find some unexpected combinations that look FANTASTIC.
  • Graffiti and street art! You might not have a local Fafi, but I bet there’s some beautiful work near you. Or you can just buy this book and flip through it (which is probably what I, o lazy one, will be doing – I haven’t read it but I’ve heard it’s great!)
  • Study up on art movements! Or maybe just your favorite one. Dress as Cubism for a day. Or Rococo. Or Impressionism.
  • Read about historical figures. What would the Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire wear if she was alive today? Elisabeth of Bavaria? Boudica? Marie Antoinette? Wait, I went ahead and answered that one for you:
If Marie Antoinette lived today…obviously she would love Betsey Johnson and Tarina Tarintino! She carefully dyes her hair a light pink, diluting the dye with conditioner every time and changing into an old vintage slip beforehand, so that she doesn’t stain any of her clothing. She pierced her ears twice so that she can wear studs on top and dangly earrings on bottom! She wears as many hair accessories as she can fit on her head and she loves to artfully arrange her brooches into little scenes. And she always, always carries a box of macaroons in her purse in case she gets hungry while shopping! (Along with her nail polish of the day, so she can do touch-ups if need be.)
  • Look at vintage chinaware and see if you can think of a way to translate it into clothing. One of the most memorable posts that I’ve read on the Corsetmakers community on LJ was a series of corsets done to match a teacup collection.
  • Nature. Check out butterflies, flowers, natural desert rock formations, and anything else you can find for color schemes, textures, and shapes.
  • And once you’re done looking around you, look to the stars! Look at nebulae, the aurora borealis, galaxy shapes, etc.

(those last two ideas were courtesy of a blogging brainstorming session with Ashe Mischief – thank you dear!)What’s inspiring you lately?

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Defining Your Personal Style: Having “Go-To” Outfits

This is more of a project for after you have a good grasp on your personal style, but it is definitely something to think about if you have the time! When I asked other Twitterers (is Tweeters the correct term? hm…another useless thing to ponder) what topics they’d like to see me cover, one of the suggestions was what to do when running low on time, sick, or lazy. Having “go-to” outfits solves this problem very easily!

The requirements for a go-to outfit:

  • Simple and easy to put together! Something that suits your style but is maybe pared down a little bit.
  • As few pieces as possible.
  • COMFORTABLE.

With those in mind, look at your closet and see what fits the bill. I highly suggest something one-piece, like a dress or a romper, that’s not too fancy and made out of a nice basic material (cotton, jersey, etc.). Pick out a base, then go dig through your jewelry or accessories and find one or two that accent it. I have a designated pair of flats to wear in situations like this, since I hate flip-flops (they make me feel dirty!); I highly suggest finding a pair of reasonably priced, go-with-everything, comfortable flats that can be dressed up or dressed down.

What scenario might you need a go-to outfit in, you ask?

  • You’re home sick and miserable, it’s 2 PM and you  haven’t showered yet. In the midst of lounging on your couch and watching Buffy on DVD while eating soup, you realize that you’re out of kitty litter/milk/something equally important. This means you need to brave the outside world, unfortunately!

This is the most desperate of situations and thus requires the quickest, most basic fix. Dress, flats, something to cover your hair (hat or scarf), and sunglasses to cover any eye-circles. I wouldn’t even bother with makeup, just make sure you don’t have soup speckles on your face! This is pretty similar to Gala’s incognito outfit.

  • You have the day off and have been lounging about happily all day, when you get a call from your sweetie asking if you want to go out. He or she will be there in 45 minutes.

This is slightly less dire. Since you’re not sick, I’m going to assume basic hygiene has been observed here, and that your hair looks okay – if it doesn’t, time to pull out the cute hat again. I’m telling you, an adorable hat is a totally worthwhile investment. Put on the dress, match your accessories to your shoes, put on hat if applicable, do your most basic makeup routine (which for me is concealer, loose powder foundation, blush, and mascara). Not uber fancy, but you will look pulled together and going-out-worthy.

Similar situation: your bff calls and wants to go shopping, you can wear the same outfit although of course make sure the shoes are comfy enough to shop in!

These are just two scenarios using the same dress; it helps to have another outfit in mind if say, a potential employer calls and wants you to be at a job interview in an hour. A professional outfit, a bare-bones basics outfit, an embellished version of the basic outfit – these three should get you through just about any situation. My go-to outfit would probably be my black exposed zipper Target dress (which, apparently, they aren’t selling online any more, so no link for you!) and some very, very battered Hot Topic flats with a turqoise and black rose pattern on them. It’s about time for them to pass the torch to another pair of flats and I’ve been searching for some likely candidates. Anyways, this outfit can be easily accessories with silver jewelry, is comfy enough for lounging, and looks good. What’s YOUR go-to outfit?

(might I add, that now I really want that dress? So cute!)

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More (On Sale!) Shoes

I thought I would share the news, for those of you that aren’t following Savvy Circle on Twitter and/or may have missed the announcement yesterday that the promo code SALE can be used until the end of this month on already on sale items at Shoes.Com for an additional 20% off! Pretty neat, no? Here’s what caught my eye:

Dr. Scholls Kitten - originally $71, $39.76 after code

Dr. Scholl's Kitten - originally $71, $39.76 after code

I LOVE these. I’m worried they might look a little cheap in person (faux-patent is always tricky) – but…free returns, right? Dr. Scholl’s has some surprisingly cute stuff; I would have thought most of their designs would be ugly and clunky, for some reason. There are definitely some misses (the Dance looks like the unholy spawn of Crocs and 70’s clogs, amirite?) but there are other cute shoes too; I really like the Diefy. Plus – you know it has to be comfy, look at the maker!

Seychelles Bad Mama Jama - originally $91.99, $59.19 after code

Seychelles Bad Mama Jama - originally $91.99, $59.19 after code

This one is for Elle and her recent “whedgle” obsession!

Naughty Monkey Space Invaders - originally $96.99, $69.59 after code

Naughty Monkey Space Invaders - originally $96.99, $69.59 after code

I keep hearing raves about how comfortable Naughty Monkey is, I’ve been dying to pick up a pair! Also on sale in black.

Naughty Monkey Walk the Talk - originally $91.99, $59.19 after code

Naughty Monkey Walk the Talk - originally $91.99, $59.19 after code

Great pop of color for summer, and I love the hardware accents!

VIA SPIGA Petra - originally $217, $87.68 after code

VIA SPIGA Petra - originally $217, $87.68 after code

One word: Fierce. And check out the savings – about $130 off!

Also, remember the $3 graphic tee sale Old Navy had several weeks ago? Apparently this weekend is a similar sale, only with $2 tank tops. I’ll be searching out my local Old Navy! Who says updating your wardrobe for summer should be expensive, hmm?!

Update: I also just got an email from DSW with the code “SUMMERLUV” for $10 off a $49+ purchase; valid until the 22nd!

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Comfortable Cute Shoes Series: Privo

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually tried these out myself (yet!). But there are rave reviews on almost every pair and an employee at the store I used to work at said they were awesome and had amazing padding; so I’m going ahead!

The Brand: Privo is owned by Clarks, who also makes comfortable shoes (some are cute, some are very schoolmarm-ish). Privo “represents a fashionable alternative to sneakers with a unique mixture of athletic personality, style and of course comfort.”.

The Price Range: As far as I can tell, all of the shoes are under $120; pretty reasonable. Most are in the $70-80 range. Of course, if you look at the sales on Amazon and look on eBay, you can find a pair for a cool $20-40. Not bad!

The Comfort: Although, as stated, I haven’t actually WORN any, judging by the reviews on Zappo I’m going to go with an 8 or a 9 out of 10.

The Look: A lot of the shoes seem to be really going for the sporty look, which isn’t my thing. But there are several winners, too!

Privo Stretch Boots

Privo Stretch Boots

Privo League Mary Janes

Privo League Mary Janes

(a very similar style is available in red/burgundy as well!)

Privo Kristie Flat

Privo Kristie Flat

I LOVE these. Gray or silver and purple is always a winning combination. There’s also some adorable peep-toe flats too!

What do you think about Privo? Yay or nay? I’m sure they won’t be taking up the majority of my shoe stash any time soon, but they seem like a good place to pick up some basics.

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Marvelous Monday

You know the drill! There will probably be a few not-of-the-usual items on this list since I’m not planning on doing a Things I Love Thursday post this week. Without further ado….

  • The Hellz Bellz summer 2009 collection is very droolworthy!
  • Hell yes, lady!
  • This post at Dream Sequins made me feel all sniffly-but-happy.
  • I really love to put the foot-rest up on the recliner and then curl my feet under myself, and use that area as a fuzzy blue desk. Weird, I know. But it’s nice! (until I lean too far forward and tip the chair!)
  • Cult Rock Posters at Foxy Man (maybe not entirely SFW?)
  • These Jeffrey Campbell boots give me a modern-day Marie Antoinette vibe and I am having serious shoe-lust for them!
  • I also want these shoes, which would make me a whopping 5′6″. (Have I mentioned I’m really, really short?)
  • Some wisdom from Miss Piggy, via Wicked Halo.
  • When it was Q&A time she asked “how do you do take care of yourself if you don’t like yourself, your body?” I wanted to walk over and hug the hate right out of her. “But you are God. You are Jesus, Buddha, Elvis, Etc.” from here. I don’t know anything else about that site; really, I skimmed the rest of that entry, but that quote is GOLD.
  • My sewing room is almost entirely set up! I’m just finishing up washing some of the fabrics and I will be ready to start creating!
  • I somehow found myself on the Forever 21 website a few days ago, and found a few cute things…then immediately felt guilty about it. So I took a look around Ruche and they continue to amaze with their consistently cute and well priced clothing; these shorts are going to be a must have for me,I love the cut of this shirt, though not the color of it, but it’s cotton = dyeable, I love the detailing on this organic gray tank, and I keep waffling on these culottes. I’m trying to add more non-skirt bottoms into my wardrobe, but I think they might be too slouchy/casual for me. Anyways, I don’t have the cash for any of this right now (though it has all been wisted!) but I feel much better, ethically, drooling over things from Ruche than F21.
  • Also on my wishlist now: a ton of stuff from E.L.F. And it’s not tested on animals either!
  • I really liked the everything under $100 Lucky magazine. No amazing editorials, for sure, but I found myself folding down almost every other page because there was something covetable (and at least somewhat affordable!) on it.

1. Coraline, 2. PICT0048, 3. black lace and pink cupcakes, 4. i took off my shoes

I have some of that Alice in Wonderland card fabric, in white/pink/red…I’m planning on finally making a skirt from it this week and I am excited to be able to wear it!!

What’s getting your week off to a great start, hmmm?

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