Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What's in the Bag--Zac Posen for Target

There has been a CRAP TON of hype about the Zac Posen for Target line, and I was recently reminded of its launch by a dedicated FleurStyle reader Julie.  Thanks Julie!!  I picked out a few of my favorites, and wanted to share.  The item to top my list is his absolutely gorgeous brocade floral dress complete with a voluminous bow and edgy zipper, and therefore, it deserves the center spot!!  The line was released at Target last Sunday, April 25... and all I keep reading is that it's a mad sell-out at all Target stores!!  So, if you are a die-hard Posen fan, run out now to scope out what's left!!  Also, for those out there who do purchase an item, send me some feedback about what you thought about it... I would love the info.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I dub thee--The "Hello Dot"

One of my closest friends from law school acted as my muse when I named this ensemble, because she always thought that the possibility of calling me "Dot" was the funniest thing in the world (my legal, but rarely used, first name is Dorothy).  The moment my eyes caught this dress on the Asos website, I was hooked.  French Connection brings the classic black and white polka dot pattern to life in the "it" style one-shoulder dress.  I played the the subtle bow at the shoulder of the dress with the gathered bow on the clutch.  The soft lilac suede of the shoe acts as a subtle accompaniment to the bold print dress and bright shine of the teal clutch, but still adds a noticeable statement through its platform shape and girlish ruffle accent.  Last but not least, the glam headband adds the finishing touch to an outfit worthy of any "Gossip Girl" residing on the Upper East Side.  ;)
*Asos - French Connection Polka Dot One Shoulder Dress
*Nordstrom - Steve Madden Regaal Pump in Lilac
*DSW - Sasha Gathered Bow Clutch in Blue
*Kohl's - Candie's Embellished Headband
*Overstock - 14K White Gold Overlay Martini Set CZ Posts

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Buster v. Bargain--Why Miss. Coral, Have You Met... Ms. Coral?

I never thought I would see the day when an item from Anthropologie would represent a "bargain"... but, apparently, that day has arrived.  I was browsing through Belle's latest Capitol Hill Style post, and of course, I ended up drooling over a deliciously striped creation by Thread... and forced Mia to join in on the fun.  Completely awestruck by the design of the striped dress, I clicked through some other dresses in Thread's collection.  I noticed this adorable hot pink ruffle number (to the left), but then realized I had just seen a similar dress on Anthropologie's site.  I also noticed the price difference.  Thread's dress comes in at a whopping $520, and Anthropologie's dress is a modest $98.  Consequently, I was inspired to create my first "Buster v. Bargain" post today... representing comparisons between price-busting outfits and those that are more attainable by the humble masses. 
*Shopbop - Thread Social Ruffle Dress in Melon
*Saks Fifth Avenue - D&G Ayers Platform Sandal in Nude
*Shopbop - Tory Burch Rayna Mini Bag in Branch
*Anthropologie - Leading Lady Dress in Coral
*Amazon - Nine West Elkie Sandal in Grey/Black
*Amazon - Rampage Dry Snake Leather Shoulder Clutch in Grey

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cute Color Combo--Sun Meets Clouds

An unexpected color combination puts me in such a good mood, which inspired me today!  The first cute color combo (which will affectionately be deemed "CCC" hereinafter) to grace our site is a sunny yellow mixed with cloudy greys.  This CCC reminds me of the bipolar weather we have been experiencing lately in DC.  The sweetheart neckline of this lovely number perfectly frames the myriad of grey crystals in this statement necklace.  The demure rosette posts in ivory paired with the edgy platform sandals (with those oh-so-droolworthy pop of red in the traditional Louboutin soles) prevent the arrangement from provoking a "yaaaawn."  The ladylike quilted handbag in creamy leather and gold hardware brings an air of sophistication to the ensemble.
A close friend of mine actually requested some advice from the FleurStyle consulting base for a recent event.  She purchased an adorable strapless dress from Forever21 in a burnished yellow gold, and we utilized this contrasting color palette to complete an outfit worthy of attention.  :)  Photos of her outfit will follow shortly!
*Anthropologie - Bamboo Garden Dress
*Christian Louboutin Grey Leather Peeptoe Sandal
  (This may be a replica--browse and buy with caution.)
*Anthropologie - Binu's Necklace
*Anthropologie - Wee Flower Pot Posts
*Neiman Marcus - Eric Javits Quilted Shoulder Bag
  (Cheapie Option--Asos - Max C London Quilted Clutch Bag)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fashion Over Function--Sky High Heels

Like many people that work in DC, I commute by metro to get to work.  Generally, I try to wear the same shoes during my walk to and from the metro on either end of my journey.  These "same shoes" will generally be a nice pair of pumps, anywhere between 2"-3" high.  However, a lot of the time, function will trump fashion.  I almost always keep a pair of extra flats in my office, and usually in my bag when I need to head somewhere else in the city to meet up with people.  Before you jump to the conclusion that I am one of those people that lace up some sneakers to slip over my tights/nylons/sport socks (brought with said sneakers), STOP.  I am not that gal.  I am the gal that might have some callused heels, but is still constantly aghast at the horrors I see on various commuters' feet for the sake of comfort. 
I love heels.  I love how they make my legs look long.  I love how they bring some proportion to my overly stubby body frame (I am just under 5').  But, on most days, even I, the incredibly short girl with a perpetual desire to be wearing high heels to add fake height, have my limits with the how high I am willing to go.  Today, I walked to the office in a pair of black patent peeptoe flats, but upon arrival to work, I changed into the above pair of black patent cut-out peeptoe pumps (Antonio Melani at Dillard's).  I adore these shoes, but man... they are truly made to walk on one surface--carpet.  I learned this morning that switching from the carpet to any other hard surface in my office is a precarious task.  Granted--heels that are TOO high (above 4") have no reason to show up in the workplace, but there are plenty of options available to spice up an otherwise ho-hum work-appropriate outfit.  Platform peeptoes, especially those with hidden platforms, that stay 3.5" or less are okay in my book.  Just use common sense to balance out the combination.  If you are wearing a louder pair of heels, the more demure the rest of your outfit should be.
This made me think of all those 3 1'2" + heeled shoes in my closet that don't get any face time.  Are they beautiful?  Yes.  Are they worthy of being paired in an outfit and trotted around town?  Yes (with caution).  So??  What's my solution??  Well, I will admit--I have been eyeing a specific shoe line for some time now... my dream shoe line... the Cole Haan Nike Air Collection.  More specifically, I dream of trotting back and forth painlessly in a pair of Cole Haan Carma Almond Toe Pumps, as if agility and high-heeled footwear always went hand-in-hand.  However, at more than $200 a pop... I decided to wait until my career launched me into a position where purchasing such expensive shoes would not possibly preclude my next rent payment from being made (and general cardiac arrest when paying the credit card bill).
So, until Cole Haan's various Air Collection delights come within my grasp, and with "fashion over function" in mind, I told myself that I would pull out all those "sky-high" heels from the depths of my closet... and make sure to give them a chance.  But, I'm not gonna lie--a pair of cushy flats will always be in my bag for emergencies.  :)
KUDOS FOR THESE SHOES GO TO (from L to R starting at top left):
*Endless - Charles by Charles David Primm Platform Pump in Gold
*Endless - Kate Spade Gillian Peeptoe Bow Pump in Violet
*Nordstrom - Linea Paolo Jacadia Platform Sandal in Dark Blue
*Nordstrom - Linea Paolo Jacadia Platform Sandal in Fuschia
*Nordstrom - Linea Paolo Jacadia Platform Sandal in Carbon Grey
*Endless - Kate Spade Candy Pump in Tomato Red/Black Satin
*Zappos - D & G Cipria Pump
*Nordstrom - Vince Camuto Feliciti Peeptoe Platform Pump in Steel
*Nordstrom - Enzo Angiolini Merryann Peeptoe Pump in Bronze Snake
*Endless - Butter Scrabble Peeptoe Pump in Aloe
*Neiman Marcus - Christian Louboutin Floral Print Chiffon Pump

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Love is in Bloom--April Showers Bring May... Weddings

As I typed this post, I realized that... for the first time in a few years... I do not have a wedding to attend this spring.  I do remember vividly, however, the frenzy to get that perfect ensemble together... to make sure all the friends you haven't seen in several years realize how awesome you are doing (even though you might not be) merely based on your outfit!!  "Damn!!  Look at her!!  She looks GREAT in that dress and heels.  Her life must be going swimmingly!!"  (Yeah.  Right.)  While chaos almost always ensues when I try to put together an outfit for a wedding in ANY season (or any event for that matter), it's SPRING!!  Tulips bloom in pretty colors, lush lawns shine in rich greens, all the concrete buildings in DC gleam in the sunlight (rather than emanate a dull grey), and... well... my itchy eyes take on a lovely pink-ish red, bloodshot hue.  Agh.
Well, all debilitating allergies aside, the spring season invokes an immediate reflex to grab all clothing items in lovely shades of... well... ANY bright color in retaliation to the long, harsh winter.
Sooo~ as evidenced by the size of this post, I really had a difficult time narrowing my dress and shoe options into several select outfits... as I usually try to do.  All of the darling dresses from everyone's spring dress lines called out to me--similar to the sweet beckoning of a perfectly chilled dirty martini after a long work day.  Furthermore, dresses are a weakness of mine.  Mia frequently jokes that I could open my own dress boutique... so it's no surprise that I basically went batsh*t in the research for this post.  I, myself, have purchased three spring/summer dresses just in the last week!!  (We won't even get into the pairs of shoes that will steadily arrive from various online retailers on my doorstep soon.  Yikes.)
Also, let's get real.  If I shopped at Nordstrom or Ann Taylor for every item in my closet, I would be a lot worse off financially than I already am!!  The above collection are dresses from "adorable yet affordable" favorites of mine, such as Forever21, JCPenney (hard to believe--but trust me), and ArdenB.  One of my prior posts applauded the affordability of certain items at NY & Co as well.  All of the dresses shown in this selection are $50 or less, except for the ArdenB one shoulder floral ruffle dress in the top row ($69).  I purchased that dress for myself recently at regular price after many phone calls to ArdenB locations and its online customer service.  Why go through that much trouble??  Well... LOOK at it.  It's freakin' cute!!  :)

**I usually add a "Kudos" section containing links to each product, but the item list for this post is so extensive that I skipped that task.  I enjoy giving props to the retailers that carry such lovely things, but I will mainly give a shout-out here: Nordstrom, Endless, Ann Taylor, Amazon (shoes), the "adorable yet affordable" retailers mentioned above, and various online sources for the earrings.  If you see something you like, leave a comment or send me a message through the site!!  I can send you the info in a jiffy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Vent Post--Tourists Here, Tourists There, Tourists Everywhere!!

Every March in DC, one event inevitably occurs in DC--the arrival of the tourists.  I am not talking about just a few additional tourists here and there who might up the potential for a longer wait at your favorite dinner hotspot... I am talking TOURISTS EVERYWHERE.  It is like a massive invasion of middle-aged parents with their children, accompanied by the grandparents, and laden with bag upon bag PLUS a stroller.  They cram into metro cars in their groups of 7-8... crowd the metro doors because they are so afraid to move toward the center of the car... and once they exit the car, they love to gather right in front of the door while waiting for the rest of their large party to make their way out of said car.  They aimlessly walk in any and all locations--whether it is on a metro platform, a sidewalk on the National Mall, or even on their way to a bathroom in a restaurant. 
I swear... there is a point to venting about this in a fashion blog.  During my commute to work today, I laughed loudly during the entire time I was reading the "off the cuffs" column in the Express paper (http://www.expressnightout.com/content/2010/04/tourists-fashion-mistakes-dc.php).  Betsy clearly gets it.  The tourists are annoying.  But, it's not just the tourists' actions that grate on your nerves.  It is what they wear.  Betsy cites some of the more frequent mishaps observed on a simple metro commute: mullets, fanny packs, white tube socks, light-washed denim, foam visors, and scrunchies (I mean really??  SCRUNCHIES??)  I will add some more: neon tie-dyed "DC" caps, pilly fleece jackets, old "insert U.S. city here" t-shirts, and socks with sandals.  The above picture depicts the most frequent sandal culprit that I have observed.  I saw a middle-aged lady walking around with elastic shorts, a pink Las Vegas t-shirt (with the city screened onto the shirt in alternating neon colors), a fleece vest (even though it was 85 degrees that day), faded black socks, and THOSE CLARK'S SANDALS.  I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit during the entire experience.

With Style to Boot--Ode to the Bootie

It is with great pleasure that I bid a hearty GOOD RIDDANCE to frigid temps and that pesky, flaky white stuff.  The DC metro area deals poorly with adverse winter weather, and that certainly does not exclude its metro system (don't even get me started on our metro system).  However, I wave goodbye to my winter wardrobe with a touch of sadness.  Tights were the focus for me during this past winter.  I took great joy in acquiring different patterns and colors... and creating ensembles with dresses for work and play... and keeping my feet warm in boots, booties, and pumps.  As we all bid farewell to our woolly warm friends... and step into spring's breezier, more colorful fabrics... let us pay homage to one of my other favorite fall/winter styles.  Bye Bye Bootie.  :)  (But--don't let the wardrobe transition prevent you from getting great winter gear on sale!!  Some of these items are still in stock.)
KUDOS FOR THESE BEAUTIFUL BOOTIES GO TO (from L to R starting at top left):
*Endless - Chocolate Miz Mooz Tribeca Ankle Boot
*Endless - Grey/Black Pink Studio Jacob Ankle Bootie
*Endless - Purple Mia Seductive Ankle Boot
*Endless - Blue Pink Studio Daily Ankle Bootie
*Amazon - Mahogany Jessica Simpson Meri Bootie
*Jildor Shoes - Grey Vaneli for Jildor Janka Suede Bootie 
*Endless - Wine Lovely People Piper Bootie
*Endless - Black Matiko Zoe Cut-out Bootie
*Dililo - Cream/Black Vintage Bow Bootie
*Endless - Black Steve Madden Jessii Ankle Boot
  Look to these as a worthy alternative:  Endless - Black R2 Warner Bootie
*Endless - Bone Matiko Zoe Cut-out Bootie

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Au Naturel"--How to Go "Nude"

While vibrant colors are popping out everywhere from gardens to apparel as we enter spring, there is a trend that should not go ignored if you want your closet to possess one of the hottest items of all... it's time to go NUDE.  I, myself, have been in a wild search for the perfect pair of nude peeptoe pumps that will fit my pathetically tiny size 4 1/2-5 feet... and let me tell you, it has not been an easy journey thus far.  Every time I lock my eyes on a droolworthy set of shoes encompassing it all--perfect nude shade, perfect material, perfect design--my dream gets cruelly taken away as I frantically scroll the online size menu for a 5.  If they are affordable, they are not in my sizes.  If they are available, they are not in my price range.  Such a merciless world...
In my opinion, dressing head-to-toe in nude is quite difficult and could easily end in disaster.  For most of us, looking like a washed-out mess is quite undesirable.  Therefore, I have paired subtle nude trends with pops of color in coordinating apparel, or some shimmer in the accessories.  I think once you get comfortable adding the "barely there" shades into multiple outfits, you can move on to the more daring pale blush dress and nude pumps combo.  Just make you sure you top that outfit off with some bright red lipstick.  :)
*Banana Republic - Black One Shoulder Bow Top
*Banana Republic - Sleek Suit Skirt
*Zappos - Dolce & Gabbana Cipria Pumps
*The Limited - CZ Small Hoop Earrings
*Anthropologie - Here & Now Tee
*Banana Republic - Drape Skirt
*Saks Fifth Avenue - Prada T-strap Sandal
*The Limited - Twist Metal Hoop Earrings
*Anthropologie - Force Field Corset Top
*Forever21 - TwelvebyTwelve Ruffle Skirt
*Nordstrom - Franco Sarto Value Pump
*Anthropologie - Sea Petal Earrings
*Asos - Asos Washed Georgette Pleated Dress
*Nordstrom - Franco Sarto Napoli Pump
*Anthropologie - Peony Pave Post Earrings
*Miss Selfridge - Gold Alice Dainty Bow Headband
*Forever21 - Violet Pleated Satin Skirt
*The Limited - Ruffle Panel Print Top
*Nordstrom - Franco Sarto Flounce Pump

It really seems like choosing and purchasing a nude shoe takes particular care.  In my many hours of browsing, I often see it done terribly.  However, the above collection is a montage of the items I've come across that look great.  If you see a particular item that you adore, and you want me to tell you where it's from, just give me a holler!  Now, go out... and dare to go "bare!!"

Monday, April 5, 2010

Adorable and Affordable--The NY & Co Sale

I will be the first to admit... I have the tendency to be a snob.  I like non-drug store brand hair care products, skin care products, and I would love me a pair of Christian Louboutins any day of the week.  Alas--I, like many others, have a shopping budget that I already exceed buying the stuff on sale!!  I believe that my plight is similar to the majority of our nation's population and, therefore, I have tried to expand my shopping range to stores that normally make me go "ew."  If you are not restricted by limited funds like me, i HATE you, and by all means... you will look awesome rockin' the latest designers that celebrities covet.
New York & Company (NY & Co) is a chain retailer that caters its moderately-priced casual and career wear in malls nationwide.  It is a store that is hit-or-miss... ranging from the absolutely "adorable and affordable," to the egregiously bedazzled or animal print emblazoned casual wear that could stun any woman with an ounce of taste into sheer epileptic shock.  While you should avoid these items like your life depended on it, I have arranged a collage of apparel that makes me drool with desire... and get excited for SPRING!!
NY & Co. is famous for its blowout "50% off the entire store" sales while simultaneously releasing coupons that can be used on top of the 50% discount.  Today is the "last" day for its Easter blowout sale, but I place last in quotes... because you will likely hear about another similar sale in a week or so.  I will say, sizes go quickly, so if you see an item that you just CANNOT live without... buy it now, or forever hold your peace.  Oh, also, if you are fan of free shipping (who ISN'T??)... use the free shipping code 4162 on any purchase of $65 or more.  :)
*New York & Company

My Bad!! Apologies for the Hiatus!!

As everyone knows, sometimes... life just GETS in the way of all the fun things we'd rather being doing with the time we possess.  The last few weeks of my life reflects this in the utmost manner--I mean, TRUST ME.  I would much rather be developing an intimate relationship with my FleurStyle posts.  :)

I hope that everyone forgives me for my delinquent behavior, and tunes in for the latest and greatest in spring wardrobe development for 2010!!