Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fleur Promo--T-shirt Giveaway

M and I are trying to increase readership of our blog!!  Other sites have been successful in doing so by periodically doing small giveaways and promos, so we are going to test it out.  If you join the site as a follower, send the site's link to three friends, and post the most creative comment to the query below, you can win a free Original Penguin V-neck Tee or a Threadless Tee of your choice!!  Wit, language choice, and creativity do matter.  The winner will be announced on Columbus Day!!

What is the most offensive male fashion faux pas you have witnessed--that has not already been covered by FleurStyle's August 17 post?

Quick Fix--Wearing Clothes that Fit

A few weeks ago, I ranted about guys wearing clothes that fit properly.  However, after ceaseless discussions with several guys, I am now at a stagnant point in my opinion as to how clothes should fit on men.  After a short photo session with some newly acquired items from the Original Penguin sale at Ruelala, I wanted to post my thoughts, and get some feedback from our readers (wherever they may be).

With the advent of designer jeans for women, it's not uncommon to find a pair of 7 for All Mankind or Citizens in the majority of closets today.  Why?  Women who have tried them just cannot go back.  The quality of cut, fabric, and fit is unsurpassed by most middling cheaper brands such as Old Navy or Gap.  The biggest aspect of designer jeans that I love?  The ratio of cotton and spandex that allows for a hugging fit, but not an overly tight one.  While I am not encouraging all men to sprint out to Nordstrom and snap up a pair of jeans for $200, I do think there is something to be said about cuts and fits of men's jeans.  The skinny leg has crossed over from women's fashion into men's fashion, and I certainly am not a fan.  However, I think a guy's frame can really benefit from a properly sized bootcut or straight cut pair of jeans. 
I think the above photos are a good example of how jeans can engulf someone's bottom half.  I will admit... the majority of men have differing objectives as to how they want their legs to look in pants than women.  Women obsess about every minute aspect of any body part looking too big, too small, too lumpy, too short, too long, etc.  One overarching concept that is unflattering on men and women?  Shapelessness.  We aren't looking for a pair of jeans that outline the shape of your package a la Jonah Hill trying on a pair of too tight jeans in Superbad, but throw us a bone here.  We want to know if a guy actually has an ass.
While I argued with my subject that these new jeans are still too big, I have to admit that there is a big improvement just through his choice in a bootcut style... rather than whatever he was wearing before (first picture).  I think if he just sized down from a 34 to a 33... it would make a huge difference.  If he sized down from a 34 to a 32, it would be even better.  However, this might be an uphill battle for me. 
Boom.  I think the above comparison says it all.  Left = bad.  Right = better.  I win.

The picture that I used in my "Buy Sh** that Fits" portion of the Men's clothing post in August demonstrates how pure my hatred is for shirts that fit poorly on guys.  The traditional dress shirt fit is not for every man.  In fact, it really is designed for this mythical American male figure who graduated from high school as a football star and then started working on a farm with a tractor every day.  THAT is how boxy and big these traditional dress shirt fits can be.  I think that a lot of men need to discover the "slim fit" or determine shirt brands or lines that taper off all that extra material, so that shirts aren't billowing like a sail in the wind behind them.  Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, and a lot of modern designers carry this more flattering fit. 
I sometimes wonder if a lot of guys just ensure that said dress shirt can button up over their body... and proceed to grab that shirt and buy it.  I think length, collar, sleeves, and where a shirt's shoulder seams hit on a guy's body really make a difference.  This is Tailoring/Alterations 101, but a lot of guys might not care/notice.  I DO.  Thanks to my subject for making these Original Penguin plaid button-down shirts look so nice!  The above pictures are a great example of how I think a shirt can, not only fit well, but flatter a guy's body frame in a subtle manner.
Same goes for t-shirts.  Baggy. T-shirts. Are. The. Worst.  I can't say that enough.  They are the ultimate offender in making a guy look sloppy and unkempt.  Obviously, no one is going to tailor a t-shirt so that it fits your body perfectly.  However, if it just hangs on you, toss it aside.  So the above statements are my two cents on what I look for in the fit of men's clothing.  I'm at peace.  For now...
*Original Penguin Brand

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cute Color Combo--Tame the Wild

With all this talk about the fall weather, and my excitement at its arrival now that we have officially passed from summer to autumn... my thoughts flickered to last winter.  YES.  The blizzard winter from hell.  While a lot of fashion/style posts have been inspired by the movement from the summer to fall season, the CCC today is almost a fall to winter color composition.  Call me crazy... but I think it's true.  I think it's because I will put off wearing a coat until it becomes absolutely unbearable without one covering my shivering shoulders.  We all know when that moment occurs--you get away with wearing a hoodie... or a thick sweater coat... and then BAM.  You head to work one morning, the knit layers are just not enough, and baaaaah--wool calls your name.
One item that I have been meaning to purchase for... approximately a decade... is a camel-colored winter coat.  WHY I have been unable to pull the trigger on this winter staple is beyond my comprehension.  I don't know if it's because all the available options I have seen were not in my size, outside my price range, or just not in an interesting enough style... I guess it's possible that my timing has been off for the last ten years... i mean let's be real--it wouldn't be the first time in my life that I utterly failed at making life events occur as seamlessly as possible.  In fact, I guess it seems pretty par for the course.
Alright--I guess I'll come clean about some other stuff... I bought those shoes from Endless a few weeks ago, and after staring at that coat all day... I bought that too.  I have some black dresses in my closet that will look pretty smashing in the outfit created above.  The only concern is the necklace... that necklace is quite perfect... hmmmm~ must. not. buy. necklace...
*Etsy - Camel Double-Breasted Velvet Coat
*Nordstrom - Jax Twist Front Black Sheath Dress
*Endless - Vaneli Pouch Animal Print Sandals
*Nordstrom - Cara Accessories Crystal Bib Necklace

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Shopping Bag--Cutie Patootie Booties

Do I really need to spend too much time describing how awesome these Ann Taylor booties are?  I think not.  They are just beautiful.  Thank God they don't come in my midget shoe size.

It's Fashion Week--Clothing as Art

While the clothing from the collections I featured earlier this week were just straight-up items I would wear myself, I think that is generally an exception to the rule.  Often--the clothing draped on runway models during fashion shows are just really weird... similar to the strange, futuristic look that cars have in auto shows. I just came to terms with the idea of clothing as works of art, and there were several examples that actually fit that term to a "t."
Vera Wang's collection was borderline wearable in shape and style, but probably not for anyone who is not 5'9" and weighs 100 lbs.  However, her items were truly works of art in print and fabric choice.  The strapless top on the far right actually invoked Van Gogh's Starry Night for me... for some reason.  I think it was the swirly-ness.
Rodarte's line really encapsulates the idea of clothing as art with their eclectic combination of textures in the fabrics used, as well as the mixing of prints.  I mean, heck, if there was a genre of art that possessed the gilded beauty of the Mulleavy sisters' frocks, I'd visit a museum to view that exhibit.

Courtesy of Jezebel--Is Fashion Smart?

Jezebel's September article discussing the question "Is it really possible to be a smart person and like fashion?" was a very interesting read.  I always wondered this... mainly because I, myself, always discussed my love for fashion and style with a layer of self-consciousness.  I would gush over clothing and shoes with a select number of similar-minded friends, but when my passion came up in conversation to other individuals... I would play it off like it was some mindless form of entertainment--similar to watching a deliciously empty program on TV.  "Oh, yeah, I write a fashion/style blog--just for fun--you  know--just to use as a creative outlet... right..." would be my typical response.
When one thinks about extravagance in clothing, footwear, and accessories, a less than academic fluff socialite (Paris Hilton **cough**) may come to mind for a majority of the population.  It's hard not to make that connection when a lot of these heiresses or socialites make it a game to be wearing the latest and greatest of fashions and get photographed in them.  The following citation from the article is what I found most insightful:
     "Fashion is itself a way of engaging with the ideas that move our culture.  At least it can be--New York's second-largest industry, which is poised to generate some $770 million in economic activity for the town during the next week (Fashion Week) alone, intersects with race and racism, sex and sexism, consumption and consumerism, and it presents all sorts of murky ethical questions about how the garments we dress ourselves in are made, by whom, and under what conditions.  If you can't see those stories are fashion stories, then you're not looking hard enough.  (Or perhaps you're just the kind of "serious" person who would prefer to be engaged by issues of champagne and hemlines.)  A lot of the cultural resistance to seeing fashion as worthy of serious consideration is due to the corrupting influence of advertisers who would rather their glowingly photographed wares not appear opposite reporting on sweatshops or the dearth of women of color within fashion's image machine--but some of it is also doubtless due to the fact that fashion is an industry dominated by women and gay men, and ours is a culture that suffers from some deep, internalized misogyny and homophobia.  (Law professor Susan Scafidi, who decorated her office with pink and purple dresses, states--"Fashion is a pink-and-lavender discipline.  It's associated with women and gay men, and there is an ongoing perception that this is a lighthearted subject.")"
A further click on Susan Scafidi's name sheds light on a subject that I have looked into with fervor and excitement.  Not only does she serve as a role model that fashion can be "smart," she is pioneering an entirely new field of law.  As a budding first-year associate stuck in office doldrums that may or may not be the rest of my life, I read about this niche area of Fashion Law with great hunger, similar to how I research Animal Law topics with a vested interest.  Reading about the IDPPA, the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act, which is pending in Congress as we speak, defies my normal immediate instinct to pass out while reading legal material.  And God only knows that I have never really been interested in any facet of Intellectual Property law. 
Who knows--maybe some day--after I've put in my dues (i.e. years of associate and perhaps partner torture)... I can open up a boutique within a boutique.  Fashion law and animal law expert practices within the... that's right.... the Fleur clothing boutique I have dreamed about for years... hey.  A girl can dream can't she? 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall Shopping Bag--Smoking is Cool

Not that I want to be accused of sending young children the wrong message... but cigarette pants are hot for fall.  I especially love this version by Corey Lynn Calter, which comes with ankle zippers and some fun zipper detailing on the rump.  That being said, I hope no one is able to see your rump while you wear these pants, because I am a big proponent of the arse being covered when wearing leggings, skinny jeans/pants, cigarette pants... unless your body is just so perfect that you can get away with wearing cigarette or skinny pants with a more cropped top.  In my opinion, people wearing leggings should never have their butt hanging out... ever.  BTW--if you are that person with the perfect body, I hate you.  I think that this paired with a breezy feminine tunic would be a great combo.  Add a moto-style vest for a more interesting twist.  Chunky cage sandals or booties would be the perfect footwear for this outfit.

JBrand's cigarette cord pants offer a softer version of the zippered pair above.  I see it paired with a fitted flannel shirt and tucked into riding boots for maximum comfort.

It's Fashion Week--Oh, to Look Deliciously Pretty...

Anyone that knows me is fully aware that I am obsessed with bows.  I have bow belts, bows on headbands, tops with bow accents, skirts with bow ties, and when I graduated from law school... my close gfs bought me a Tiffany bow necklace.  Years before that--M bought me a pair of miniature silver and pave stone bow earrings for my birthday.  Yes.  That's right.  Too many bows?  I think not... I continue to adore them.  The majority of DKNY's fashion week's offerings are adorned with bow sashes (or I just liked all the items that happened to be topped off with a bow), but the pretty doesn't end there.  Flowing scarves, dainty ruffles, floral prints, and girly shapes to the skirts and dresses could bring out the girly in anyone.  I also adored the one streamlined piece in the form of a double breasted v-neck sheath in a classic khaki shade.  I'll take one of each... thanks!
Just so that I can end this post with a bow, I lust after the Freshwater Pearl with Silver Marcasite Bow Necklace above.  I think it would look great with a scoopneck cardigan and tank for work, or a strapless or open neck dress for going out.  I haven't had the chance to watch the Gossip Girl season premiere, but the necklace screams a bit of Blair... don't you think?  While it has nothing specifically to do with the fall season, I might have to add that to my fall shopping bag.  Blair Waldorf is my fashion idol after all... :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Shopping Bag--Fuzzy Wuzzy Had a...

Old Navy's fall items leave me hankering for something cozy to wrap myself in or cover up--despite the fact that the temps are still in mild summer mode during the day--I have the rampant desire to light up a fire and huddle under a blanket with a book, and one or both of my dogs curled up by my feet. 
This longish wrap sweater would be perfect with skinny jeans or cords... or with a pair of dress pants for a more casual look at work.  You can dress it up or down based on what type of shirt you layer underneath.
I've focused on the idea of accumulating variations of the moto jacket trend that is hot for fall.  I love this one, because it will stretch and move with you because of the fleece fabric.
Another hot trend for the upcoming fall--as it has been for a few seasons prior--is military style.  ArdenB's version mixes the structure and sharpness of a military jacket with its cut and brass buttons with a fun and feminine ruffle detail along the edges.  Maybe this fall season will be the one in which I concoct the perfect alcoholic apple cider beverage... :)

It's Fashion Week--Oh, to be a Fairytale Princess...

Lots of girls spend a bulk of time during their youth pretending to be a princess in a fairytale.  You dress up in a princess costume, and wave your magic wand around... hoping that you can replicate the aura you witnessed in cartoons or movies.  (When you grow older, you maintain the dream of being a princess... but for entirely different reasons.  Maybe its a growing cynicism of men after years of disappointment that fuels the desire for Prince Charming to come by and whisk you away to his magnificent castle and... wait.  Sorry... got off on a tangent there.)  I, personally, spent my younger years fishing in ponds, playing with legos, and trying to fit in with the boys in my neighborhood by squishing caterpillars between my fingers... so what do I know about princess dreams anyway?  What I lack in princess memories, I will make up for now by living vicariously through Monique Lhullier's current line.  I always wondered why women were willing to spend thousands of dollars they may not have to wear a lace number from Lhullier's bridal collection--but I ponder this no more. 
The jewel encrusted gold number melds sparkle and body into one.  The gown's cut is classic, but the layers of nude tulle give it romance and sex appeal simultaneously.  Lhullier provokes images of watercolor art through her fluttery creation of varying ocean shades.  The opulent gold bodice and bold siren red skirt create high drama in a timeless strapless shape.  Lhullier decides to implement the bright tomato red in an entire gown, which dares to bare a little bit for the imagination through its cut-out design right above the chest.  Alexis Bledel displays the wearability of Lhullier's designs, as well as her knack for choosing the perfect print, fabric, and cut for the perfect combination.

The sheer romantic fabric of the floor length dress is countered with a bold print, plunging neckline, and a chic but subtle metallic belt.  In the next pink floral number, Lhullier uses a simple, Audrey Hepburn-style structured a-line cut, but softens it with layered fabrics and a satin belt.  The soft, gauzy layers in the next strapless gown maintain its romantic style with petal details and ribbon trims on the tiers, but the rich, chocolate shade exudes through the sheerness.  The dramatic floral ball gown skirt stays subtle through its neutral coloring, but still reflects an air of gorgeous sophistication.  Last but not least, Lhullier's deep red strapless gown just screams, "look at me," and will be a guaranteed head-turner with its rose print and gathered bustle. 
Fawning over such beautiful extravagance does make a girl think--will Prince Charming ever arrive?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Shopping Bag--Lovely Greys

This past weekend was the first time I actually felt the need to throw a cardigan in my bag for the evening.  As if I ever need an excuse to shop, my favorite clothing transition is that of summer to fall.  So--of course--I have been filling up shopping bags on all online retail sites in my excitement.  I've been really excited about the color grey for the upcoming chilly weather, so these shoes were exceedingly droolworthy for me. 
The Nine West Ambitious pumps in grey suede is the perfect addition to your fall wardrobe for work or play.  M fancies them in the Taupe Patent (as our quest for the perfect nude shoe continues), so we might have to just buy both and rotate each pair between the two of us!

It's Fashion Week--Oh, to be a "Young and Casual Heiress"...

It's Fashion Week... which, really... is probably better than Christmas to someone like me.  I get to drool over the upcoming season's offerings... and tally up all the items I want, but cannot afford.  Masochistic?  Maybe.  Loads of fun?  Definitely.  I was in NYC this past weekend for the US Open, and while lamenting my absence from DC and the "Fashion's Night Out" event I rsvp'ed to with some gfs... my idiot brain completely forgot that I WOULD BE IN NYC DURING FASHION WEEK'S KICK-OFF WEEKEND.  I had remained clueless until my friend wanted to take me on a stroll down 5th Avenue just for sh*ts and giggles on our way to dinner.  I didn't get to go into any of the stores' events, but just walking down 5th Avenue was an experience in itself.  :)
Erin Fetherston's collection is entitled, "Pretty, Wearable Clothes for the Young and Casual Heiress"... and is accurately named.  She offers draped styles in breezy and beautiful fabrics, but mixes in structured classics like the trench coat.  Below are my top 10:

The shimmering neutrals exude pretty and girly, but the cuts of each item give them sophisticated flair.  The rich greens and reds were unexpected but welcome splashes of color.  The shorts suit is adorable, and the dress with the dramatic ruffle is to die for.  The mixture of sheer, decadent, and tweed fabrics keep the outfits fresh.  It is rare that I would want every item in any one designer's line, but this EF line takes the cake.  It. is. gorgeous.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Best and Worst Fashions at the U.S. Open

I freakin' love the Grand Slams.  During the two weeks that each one is televised, I really do not do much outside of work other than watch the matches.  While the tennis is riveting, observing all the different outfits is almost equally as entertaining. 
I will not even go through the trouble of re-posting this guy's opinions as to who was best and worst dressed at the U.S. Open.  Click here to see some beauties... and some eyesores.  I love Maria Sharapova's day and night dresses, but I have to disagree with his opinion on Ana Ivanovic.  I found it a gooey pink snore.  Caroline Wozniacki was rockin' the ruched number, but hell--if you are tall, leggy, blonde, and have a sparkling smile--you're always gonna look pretty darn good.  The Fed and Nadal are lookin' smart, as always.  Now, does Djokovic think he's starting an alternative line for Audigier in tennis apparel...???...because he did a pretty damn good job at making his Serbian self look like white trash.  Monfils... well... yeah.  And someone, for the love of god, please hire Nadia Petrova a stylist.  If Ellesse thinks that parading Petrova around in frills, ruffles, and circusy color combinations will sell more apparel, their marketing manager might want to take a second gander at the success rate of that misguided theory.

Trend to Try--Paisley (the non-sperm kind)

I came back to the office this afternoon after some client site meetings, and yet again, I was floored with another fashion catastrophe.  Seriously, why would any designer at Michael Kors find the creation of this men's shirt okay?  Did he/she just have a mental conversation with him or herself... "Gee golly, I think an old lady's hankerchief would make a fabulous dress shirt for a guy."  Yeeeeeah~ big... fat... F-A-I-L.
I have had longstanding arguments with M about my general disdain for paisley.  I have always had a beef with the paisley print.  For the most part, subtlety is lost in the design.  Many paisley prints smack you straight in the face like a fart on a crowded metro car with its garish colors and dizzying swirls.  Other versions of the print give you the feeling that you are observing the journey of a school of sperm.  The monstrosity above makes my argument easier, as does the plethora of horrific paisley items out there (see my August 25 rant about preppy styles). 

That being said, I will admit that I have purchased a few paisley items post-Paisley argument, which reside in my closet today.  But, I still feel that a good paisley find is the exception.  After a quick search, I discovered some paisley options out right now that fall outside of the label..."fugly."  It's hard to go wrong with a black & white clothing item, especially a cream cardi with an interesting black print.  J.Crew's cardigan can be the perfect accompaniment to a bright-colored frock, or paired with a simple pencil skirt for the perfect classic look.  When I saw this Peter Pilotto dress, I simply breathed a sigh of relief upon noticing the ginormous price tag ($1,676), because I would have snapped it up just to stare at its head-turning glory in my closet.  The velvet number by Etro screamed fall weather, which was desirable in itself due to the scorching hot temperatures we have experienced in DC this week.  I do not even come close to having the body to pull off the Aoide Paisley Dress, but I fell in love with the swingy fringe detail used in the side panels.  It can also be winterized with some grey tights and boot(ies).  Finally, I allowed Michael Kors to redeem itself with a cute little tank dress in a pattern that is quite lovely with its orchid and black accents.
Last but not least--I love this Joie Campbell Paisley Shirtdress.  The shape is loose and comfortable, can also be winterized with some layers underneath, tights/leggings, and boot(ies)... but the sheer and flowy nature of its movement gives it a sex appeal that cannot be denied.  Love it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Res Ipsa Loquitur--Serena Williams

Since she is not playing in the U.S. Open right now, I guess she has nothing better to do than burn our retinas with her complete lack of taste.  Gah.  It scares me that she designs a clothing line (Aneres).

Thou Shalt Not--Patron Ed Hardy

After a fun-filled evening overflowing with various types of white wine, I am slouched over in my office with the door closed, my pumps kicked off onto the floor, guzzling water--praying that someone will just come and put me out of my misery.  I took a short break to skim through today's sales on my usual line-up of Gilt Groupe, HauteLook, Ideeli, Ruelala, and various retailers... and I saw the Ed Hardy sale taking place at Ideeli...
Someone must explain to me why the design of these bags would make them a desirable purchase, because I am really having a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept.  According to Wikipedia, "In 2002, Hardy licensed Ku USA, Inc. to produce a line of clothing based on his art. Within two years, the collection had drawn the interest of Saks companies.  Hardy and Ku USA formed Hardy Life LLC, which holds the trademark ownership as well as the copyrights to all his images.  In 2004, Christian Audigier licensed the rights to produce the Ed Hardy clothing line, which is based on Hardy's imagery."  Don't even get me started on how distasteful I find the Audigier line.  I mean really??  Clothing and handbags based on tattoo art just seems like a bad idea... but that's just me.  Apparently, it's doing well enough to stay trendy for now, but I hope it joins the burial ground hosting deceased white trash Von Dutch trucker hats.  Ugh.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pure Lust--DandG...How I Adore Thee

I love hearing about my friend's aspirations to marry a duke (or insert any other title of royalty), live in a castle, never tally another billable hour, and traipse in your magnificent gardens with a Victorian novel.  Okay--let's get real.  She wants to live as a character IN a Victorian novel.  Me?  Sometimes I wander off in thought... and ponder how wonderful it would be to have a limitless credit card provided to me by some rich husband/father/old senile relative, and magically, the bill would be paid off in full after every month.  As I daydream in these late afternoon hours to the soft whirring of my space heater (yes, it's August--but damn, it's freezing) in my office, I think... would I even be an Ideeli member if I had such vast financial opportunities?  No, but Ideeli sale or not, I would covet this dress all the same.  Dolce and Gabbana's Trim Detail Dress is magnificent.  And yes--in this alternate universe--I would be about 20 lbs lighter (and maybe a few inches taller) so that I could properly pull off this silky number.

Buster v. Bargain--Dots are Hot

Dots ARE hot... I will be the first to admit that I have an unhealthy adoration for polka dots.  I like them on tops, skirts, dresses, bags, headbands... you name it.  If I want to enjoy multiple items in this fun little print, I have to get them cheap.  When I opened the Nordstrom site this morning, this ever-so-cute Michael Kors Ruffle Front Silk Blouse beckoned me to splurge, despite the $80 price tag.  Then I remembered--I had a eerily similar looking print on a blouse I threw in my shopping bag the other day.  I logged on to my Forever21 wishlist... and voila!!  While the tops are not identical, you may find that Forever21's Sheer Dotted Top will do the trick in attaining the look of the Michael Kors version.  It is also hard to ignore the $15.80 steal.  If you pair it with a pencil skirt, a pair of peeptoe pumps, and throw on a brightly-colored yellow cardigan for the office, less discerning pairs of eyes may hardly notice the difference.

Fall Friday Preview--Payless Bogo Sale

When I was a little kid, I remember hating it when my mom would drag me to Payless or Kohl's for new shoes.  At the time, it seemed like all the other little kids were donning the latest kicks by Nike or other nicer department stores.  I didn't appreciate the frugality back then, but now I do.  Payless has been doing a great job staying current with its line every season.  To be honest, I have not noticed too much of a quality drop in their products either.  Therefore, I take advantage of its BOGO sale ("Buy One Get One Half Off") quite often.  I have bought numerous pairs of different types of shoes: gladiator sandals, cage heels, dressy platform laser cut sandals, boots, and cute clutches for going out.  My shoes get abused in the various arenas I spend much of my time--during the commute or poking around in bars with dirty floors--and I get many compliments on my footwear despite the smaller price tag!  I'm not sure whether it's because I felt the first cool breeze this morning in several months, or the fact that I just love shoes... but I did pick up a few pairs of the items highlighted below.
Upon sending a link to the Lela Rose Chop-Out Suede Bootie to a dear friend of mine, she purchased them immediately in black.  I don't really blame her.  If they were available in my midget feet size, I would have snapped up a pair too!  The rich red shade of the Lela Rose Chop-Out Flat is perfect for the transition into fall weather.  You can wear them now with your summer whites and brights, but add them on top of tights for a pop of color as the temps cool down.  Again, Ms. Rose seems to discriminate against small feet, because all of her shoes start at size 6.  While I would have loved the hilarious challenge of me trying to patter around in the Fioni Kaput Platform Sandal (bottom left) in its black suede glory, my size was not in stock.  What the store did have in stock, I bought.  The fun purple suede Dexter Lilliana Ruffle Wedge also comes in black suede, and trust me--I was tempted to get both.  I love the regal look of the Fioni Infinity Rosette Pump.  I think they will look great with fall/winter apparel.  Last, but not least, I'm very excited for the arrival of my Fioni Ghillie Slingbacks.  Their design will lend well to many different outfits.  I was a little disturbed to find out that after my recent purchase of the above-mentioned items... I saw this as I was adding the hyperlinks to this post.

Lord have mercy.  They released another version of the Ghillie--the Fioni Jo Ghillie... in all its purple suede glory.  Is it too late to add something to my order?  Pretty please?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trend to Try--Local Designers

As I was perusing the Fashion & Beauty section in the Washington Post the other day, I happened upon an article about rising local talents in the fashion design arena.  Amidst my feelings of longing and envy for the lives of these young style stars, I had some time to admire the men's dress shirts at Hugh and Crye, who recently opened a small brick and mortar in Georgetown.  While most men (and women for that matter) cannot afford the exquisite bespoke tailoring from the likes of Savile Row, a well-fitting dress shirt can take a guy a long way.  Hugh and Crye takes it one step further than standard department store sizing with their wide array of body type choices, and the absence of true custom tailoring keeps the prices reasonable.
My favorites are the Teddy Shirt in its stark white classic glory, the Girlfriend Shirt for its beautiful blue and snappy description for its alternative use, the Cartesia because of its traditional check pattern, and the New Boheme for its purple and blue take on a traditional pinstripe.  Maybe some lucky guy I know will find one in his closet, because the urge to buy a guy's clothing item as I browse Hugh and Crye's stock is surprisingly overwhelming!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Res Ipsa Loquitur--What Kind of Preppy Are You?

So--someone recently called me a preppy dresser--and I didn't take much offense to it because I consider preppy dressing to be smart, snappy, classic, and stylish.  But recently, I started wondering what types of clothes are considered "preppy" by the general masses?  Is it Gap?  Banana Republic?  JCrew?  Ralph Lauren?  Tahari?  If that's the case, by all means, I'm wholly on board.  BUT--if "preppy" means the style of clothing traipsing about in places like Annapolis and Georgetown by the hoards, then dude... I. AM. OUT.  I will admit... designers like Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer can come out with a cute item once in awhile, but I do not want to be associated with that style of preppy.  Why?  If you see below, THAT is why. 
Sooooo~ yeeeeeeeah.  Good.  GOD.  I was innocently browsing Ruelala's Afternoon Fix Sale (okay--maybe not so innocently, because I MAY have come away with a cute LBD--but that's besides the point)... and I came across the Lilly P section.  The women's side was hardly as offensive, so I didn't bother with its own horrible images.  All I can think when I see all five of these clothing items staring back at me is... do people ever wear any of these things... TOGETHER??  I ask because that monstrosity of a tie was located next to the shirt on the site.  These "seafaring" fashion items seriously need to be thrown off a nearby cliff.  Ugh.  I can feel my corneas shriveling back into their sockets trying to hide.
**If you so desire, read about the origins of Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer on good ol' Wikipedia.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buster v. Bargain--Too Cute to Boot

Fall is coming... and we are all praying it comes ASAP thanks to this absolutely miserable summer.  Rather than slogging through another sweaty commute, we can all dream of the autumn beauty ahead--changing leaves, cool temperatures, and that weird smoky smell that is omnipresent in the air (even though you don't see anyone burning any sort of kindle).

The bootie is still hot--thank goodness... because I still have several pairs from last year that I never had the chance to break out.  The B v. B this week isn't very extreme (i.e. the "expensive" pair is still under $100), but hey.  This comparison was just too hard to pass up, especially given the fact that Alloy's version is half the price!  Endless' XOXO Quebec Bootie ($79.99) comes in two luxe suede shades--the black being quintessentially biker chick, and the navy that gives off the vibe of faded denim.  The studded detail and the abstract cone heel add sophistication to something that might tip too far into mullet world.  :)  Alloy's Trinity Bootie ($42.90) feminizes the bootie a bit by adding a more slender cone heel.  I'm really diggin' grey in all varying shades for the upcoming fall season, so of course, I adore the soft light grey suede in Alloy's version.  It's too bad that these adorable little things start at size 5 1/2, otherwise I'd snap up a pair right now!

Monday, August 23, 2010

WTF--You've Got a Mouse Running Around Your House

Okay--so one of my favorite DC fashion blogs was venting about weird animal-oriented clothing awhile back... and, indeed, all the things she posted on her site were hideous (even though they were from Anthropologie).  The above image was an item I encountered while scouring the Marc by Marc Jacobs event at Gilt Groupe... and it really made me say aloud in my office... W. T. F.  and then... proceed to send it to all my friends to join in my private mockery session.  The thing that bugged me the most??  This fugly p.o.s. was sold out in all sizes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Luxe and Less--Second Glance

I saw this dress and I immediately fell head over heels.  I love that you can utilize it in a professional outfit for work... with a structured jacket or cardigan and those peeptoes and simple pearl studs, you're all set!  Want to head out to happy hour afterwards?  Take off the cover-up and throw on a glam pair of earrings.  Another great thing about this ensemble?  You pair some luxe items with a cheaper dress, but no one can tell.  Cheers to that!
*Asos - Printed Frill Sleeve Dress
*Endless - Butter Cleo Tan Patent Peeptoe Pumps
*Nordstrom - Nadri Chandelier Earrings in Gold

Sale Mail--Time Your Online Buys

I had no idea that there were certain days that were more advantageous to buy certain types of apparel or shoes.  Maybe it's cuz--well--I just shop all the time and don't pay attention.  :P
  • Mondays: Best for buying men’s and women’s dress pants. The average sale is about 48 percent off.
  • Mondays: Also great for purchasing sunglasses. The average discount is 55 percent.
  • Tuesdays: Best for buying men’s apparel. The average discount is 42 percent.
  • Wednesdays: Find lowest prices on shoes. The average discount is 38 percent.
  • Wednesdays: Also find best deals on kids’ clothing. The average discount is around 40 percent.
  • Thursdays: Best for buying women’s handbags. The average discount is 36 percent.
  • Fridays: Biggest sales on accessories like jewelry, belts and scarves. The average discount is 42 percent.
  • Saturdays: Best sales on intimates (37 percent off) and jackets/outerwear (51 percent off).
  • Sundays: Buy your swimsuits for an average 52 percent off!
For the full article, click here.  Happy Shopping!!  :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Men--Thou Shalt Not--Dress Poorly

Like any individual who works in D.C. and commutes via metro, I see a healthy share of fashion blunders by men and women alike.  While FleurStyle has spent all of its time harping on female eyesores, I wanted to take a moment to give a shout-out to all the men out there whose style choices drive me batty.  Don't get me wrong--I don't generally expect all men to dress like they stepped out of GQ--but c'mon man.  Some of the sh** I have seen... just. don't. fly.

1.   Buy Sh** that Fits
      Okay, so WHY is it so hard for men to buy clothes that fit them properly?  Is it because they lost weight and just haven't gotten around to buying new clothes?  Is it because they think they look good with baggy apparel?  Is it because they just don't care?  WHAT. IS. IT??  I see this on a daily basis on the metro, and while I'm out and about ANYWHERE in the D.C. area.  It drives me insane.  Shirts (dress and casual) that have shoulder seams that nearly touch elbows, gaping spaces between necks and collars, pants that are creating accordion puddles above shoes, and... just... general shapelessness.  Guys aren't the only people who like to see the female form highlighted by well-tailored clothing.  Girls also enjoy a man who wears sh** that fits.  I don't care if your clothes are from Target or Neimans.
2.   White Socks with Dress Shoes
       Don't do it.  'Nuf said.

3.   Ties that are... Gross
      When you don't take the effort to carefully select ties, it shows.  I hate to break it to you guys, but when you buy ties that are from the bargain bin... well... they look like they are from the bargain bin.  I am not saying that all guys need to rush out to Zegna and spend a cool K on ties, but GEEZ.  My corneas cannot take anymore of ties that look like the ones above.  They are scarily omnipresent in the D.C. commuter crowd.  If you're not sure whether your ties are fugly, ask a girl.  She will tell you.  Better yet, call me.  I'll be happy to accompany you on a shopping jaunt.  But no--we will not be going to Kohl's, which is where the majority of the offending ties below originated.

4.   Pleated Pants
      See those hammer pants?  Remember the 80s?  Do you want khaki pants that automatically cause bystanders to conjure up images of you as a one-hit wonder sliding across the dance floor in an unattractive manner?  No?  Then leave the pleats out of the pants equation.

5.   Mandals
      Our dear President caused some fashion strife when he was spotted outside the White House wandering around in some holy hellacious black synthetic mandals.  To see horror, click here.  Yeeeeeah~ as if the mandals weren't bad enough... this outfit made it in two counts of this list.  ***Sigh***

6.   Jorts
      Why would any guy think it's okay to wear these?  I just... I just... don't get it.

7.   Outdated Jeans
      See #5.

8.   Manpris
      I think the only time I have deemed manpris appropriate is when I went rock and wall climbing with some people in Atlanta.  Did this trend start when Rafa started wearing them for his Nike line?  Or was Rafa jumping on the trend's bandwagon.  Thank GOD he stopped.

9.   Socks with Sandals
      Ew.  Just... ew.

10. Unkempt Tees (or anything else)
      We started with a general rule, so we'll end with one.  Didn't your mom teach you not to leave the house in soiled clothes?  If not, I'm telling you now.  Stains, holes, and nasty smells emanating from your apparel is not right.  Do your laundry, buy new clothes, do whatever you need to do.  This includes guys that sweat like a gorilla on the metro, but somehow find the white undershirt too much of a chore.  Right.  Good luck with that. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Res Ipsa Loquitur--In a Good Way this Time

Holy hotness.  Be still my fluttering heart.  I want it.  I can't have it.  If you can afford it, I hate you.

Buster v. Bargain--Get Your Ruch on the Cheap

I fell in love with ruched sleeves about four years ago when I bought a tissue-thin multicolored striped top from H&M that had the ruched detailing on the sleeves.  Currently, I see ruched sleeves everywhere... and I love it.  I think the detail adds a bit of feminine flair that tops the cute factor of cap sleeves.  Plus, if the tone of your upper arms (or lack thereof) isn't up to snuff, I think this style can act as a camoflauge for the extra flab.  However, I don't know about you, but I have no inclination to spend $175 on a cotton t-shirt... especially when you search through cheaper outlets and find the same thing for a lot less.
The Leelee t-shirt at Delia's (pictured at left and right) boasts six different colors:  black, coral, heather grey, olive, plum, and teal.  The Leelee striped version comes in three different combos:  black/grey, blue/black, and purple/grey.  They also have the Mia brushed top, which comes in charcoal grey and black.  The Mia top looks exactly like the Leelee, except it lacks the spandex portion of the poly-rayon blend.  However, at $29.50 per t-shirt... I still find that a little high for my taste, because I like stocking up on these types of basics.

Now... THIS is more like it.  Ahhhh~ Forever 21, you are always after my heart (and my paycheck).  I mean, when you can get such a similar item on the cheap... why the hell not?
*Ruched Sleeve Knit Top (10 colors) - $4.50
*Fab Ruched Sleeve Top (pink and white) - $6.50
*Polka Dot Knit Top (grey/black dot and cream/black dot) - $9.99
*Ruched Sleeve Knit Top (cream and black) - $13.80
*Lace Shirred V-Neck Top (cream) - $12.80
I mean, c'mon folks.  I, for one, would definitely snag a bunch of these online or at my nearest F21.  The lace version is already in my shopping bag.  If you need even MORE options, check out H&M.  I saw some really soft and cuddly versions of the striped and polka dot (grey/cream dot), as well as some solid colors, for a friendly price of $9.99.  I recently bought the grey/cream dot version for a work wardrobe I'm updating for a friend.  It looked fantastic with a black pencil skirt.
I mean, F21 even provides you with a more relaxed and sporty version, akin to the baggier white top that Rachel Bilson sports up top.  I dunno... $12.64 versus $175??  Could be a brainbuster for sure as to which to choose.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cute Color Combo--Orange You Glad...

After celebrating a friend's final fling this weekend in Atlantic City for her bachelorette party, I realized... I had no idea what to wear to her wedding in two weeks.  It is a daytime ceremony with a cocktail hour and dinner later that evening, so I figured something that fit into both scenes would be ideal.  I also assumed that the ensemble I chose to wear to her bachelorette party was not allowed to make a repeat appearance.  (I guess the "glitter" buck should stop in AC.)  However, we are in the dead of summer, so bright colors remain appropriate.  I have been relishing the idea of obtaining a bright orange or coral dress, so I started the search.  I was browsing on ShopStyle... and my eyes landed on this dress... and I became instantly fixated.  I realize that purchasing a Herve Leger bandage dress is well outside my budget, but leave me be.  A girl can always dream...
I will, however, be purchasing those shoes.  And... maybe that cute little clutch.  I guess I will take what I can get (or afford).
*Far Fetch - Herve Leger V-Neck Bandage Dress
*DSW - Audrey Brooke Melody Sandals in Nude
*Nordstrom - Nadri Chandelier Earrings in Gold
*Forever21 - Petite Glitter Clutch in Gold

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Res Ipsa Loquitur--Calling for Donations

Apparently, Maggie Gyllenhaal has taken on the practice of buddhism... and has banished herself to a monastery.  We should all start a fund in honor of her valiant effort to become one with silk-screened draperies.