Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pure Lust--The Great Manolo

Manolo Blahnik Clausado d'Orsay Pump
You come in beautiful royal blue and bright fuschia--the perfect colors to show off that satin gleam.  Your classic d'Orsay shape is timeless.  Your flirty bows don't detract from your overall elegance.  You also play hard-to-get with your $775 price tag--allowing only the well-funded elite to enjoy your company.  Curses.

Following Up--The Ditty on the Midi

M made a good point about my post on the midi skirt trend.  First, People StyleWatch's example of the midi skirt was not a good one.  Second, the skirt style that Kate Bosworth wore in that photo reflected the worst kind of midi skirt.  Third, her entire outfit lacked any color and was just so blah.  I should have just done my due diligence, and researched further into the runway world for better examples.  While the midi trend is still not for my short and stumpy frame, the Prabal Gurung Spring 2011 ready-to-wear collection made it clear that there are some body types out there that can pull it off (i.e. listen up you Heidi Klum types--whom I hate). 
Compare the above outfit with the supposed "sex appeal" of Kate Bosworth's outfit on People StyleWatch.  Exactly.  This black and white combination is the epitome of sex appeal.  Come on PSW.  You can do better than that.
I just want to wrap myself in this luxurious nude silk.  It looks incredibly comfy, yet incredibly sophisticated.  I love the shoe choice too.  Nude ankle wrap heeled sandals are so perfect!!
The fresh and colorful orange and aqua make me incredibly envious of this model's ability to wear the midi trend.  The tapered midi skirt gives the model great shape (unlike the frumpy hippie skirt Kate Bosworth chose), and the tailored lines from top to bottom do her long and lean frame great justice.  There are those great nude ankle wrap heeled sandals again!!
So, I guess I sort of eat my words.  Midi skirts can be done.  Just follow Prabal Gurung's example. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yay or Nay--Boo on "Midi" Skirts

I am short.  This has been a fact of my life since I was, ohhh, in the fifth grade and started to wonder why everyone was growing and I wasn't.  As I grew more fashion-conscious, the importance of choosing the right hemlines became more apparent.  I am super finicky about where my pant hems end.  I prefer them to almost touch the ground.  If skirts or dresses end more than two inches below my knees, it irks me because I feel frumpified.  Unfortunately, I spend a lot of cash altering almost everything I buy, because petite sizing is still a bit off on my 4'11" frame.  If only the beings above had taken a couple inches away from my brother (who is a bit over 6 feet)... and blessed me with the ability to be above 5 feet... I think my life would be a lot easier on the tailoring front.
Anyways--enough whining from me.  The whole point of that vent was to put my dislike of the "midi" skirt trend on record.  In theory, it's a trend that women should enjoy because it embraces a more effortless and comfortable style.  However--imho--it just doesn't work.
Image Courtesy of People StyleWatch
The blurb alongside of this photo of Kate Bosworth reads:  "A mid-calf skirt might be practical – but this season's spin is anything but prim. Kate Bosworth shows how to counterbalance the longer look with a sexy, arm-baring tank."  Okay--I'm sorry, but how does the black tank top counterbalance this skirt with any amount of sex appeal?  If a rail-thin blonde with a flawless milky complexion can't make it look non-frumpified, the rest of us are doomed.  Especially those, like me, who are challenged in the growth department.  What are your thoughts?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Trend to Try--Ikat, You Kat, We All Kat for...

A print that has emerged as an "it" print lately is ikat.  Frankly, I really didn't like it, and I am still not convinced to invest in the trend.  However, I know that I have exhibited stubbornness in accepting other prints in my life (yes, M is very aware of my longstanding hatred against paisley), so I decided to try and maintain an open mind.  After seeing icky iterations of way TOO much South American "flair" for my taste, Nordstrom recently rewarded my patience with the lovely piece below:
Maggy London Ikat Cotton Sateen Sheath Dress
I really love the combination of colors.  I think when I had observed ikat prints in the past... it was usually a muddled variation of one color with a few stripes of white mixed in between.  This color palette is exciting, and it really shows off the intricate pattern.  Orange is one of the most adored colors this spring, so I love the small bits of orange punch within the dress.  Grey has lately been my most adored neutral, so that adds a lot of appeal to me.  The white keeps it light, and the touches of black make it eye-catching.  You can add a pair of soft grey suede cutout heels, some blingy metallic peeptoe pumps, or simple black peeptoe pumps suitable for any work environment.  My recommendation on jewelry?  Keep it simple--no need to add more fuss to a busy print.  Add an understated gold link bracelet and diamond posts for the office, or prim it up with some pearl studs and necklace.  Taking the dress out on a dinner date?  Layer different gold-toned bracelets, a sparkly cocktail ring, and some fun chandelier earrings.  If you prefer necklaces, layer a few gold-toned necklaces for some subtle gleam.  Regardless of what you choose, it will be hard not to notice your lovely ensemble!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Buster v. Bargain - Oooh...Shiny

I've been catching up on my People StyleWatch mags, and the Michael Kors pump below was listed as "worth the money."  I respectfully disagree.  While metallic pumps are a bold accent to any outfit, I don't think I'd shell out $200 for such a shoe.  However, I surely would pay $49 for such a shoe.  :)
Victoria's Secret Colin Stuart Pewter Metallic Foil Almond Toe Pumps, KORS Michael Kors Glitter Pump
I personally am a bigger fan of the Colin Stuart Pump anyways.  I love the subtle floral design captured in the metallic foil.  However, I think J might just murder me in my sleep if any more shoes get delivered to the house.  Therefore, I must refrain.  ;)

Sale Mail--Erin Condren Stationery at Plum District

Last year, I was taken with one of Erin Condren's stationery offerings that I posted about her notecards.  Plum District is featuring 50% off with their $25 for $50 plum deal.  Enjoy!!

My favorite by far is the "Candy Stripe" in lime from her Colorpress Giclee line.  It is tree-friendly as it is 100% cotton cardstock.  :)  Those little circle address labels are adorable!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sale Mail--AT Loft Extra 50% Off Sale Items

Ann Taylor Loft is one of my all-time favorite stores for clothing pieces capable of taking me from the office to happy hour to casual weekend errands.  I have purchased very few items from the Loft that are not super versatile.  I'm currently trying to resist the sale... we'll see how long I can hold out.

Cloudy/Rainy Spring Day
Stripe Knit Pullover Sweater, Three-Tier Ruffle Windbreaker, Marisa Sailor Pants, Cole Haan Air Bacara Ballet Flat
Sunny Spring Weekend
Stripe Cardigan, Marisa Slouchy Straight Twill Pants, Embellished Tunic, Nine West Ambitious Pumps, Nine West Avagh Flat

Spring Evening Date
Faux Wrap Shirtdress, Franco Sarto Luxe Platform Pumps
Other Desirables

Sequin Shoulder Cardi, Striped Boatneck Sweater, Sequin Front Top, Flower Pin

Friday, March 18, 2011

M's Spring Shopping Bag - Gotta Have Them Shoes

"Oh my God!  Do you know what these are? Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes!  I thought these were an urban shoe myth!"  --Carrie

Enzo Angiolini Mezzo Peeptoe Bow Pumps
Enzo Angiolini Martini Pumps with Bow Heel
Jessica Simpson Lepolia Flat
I LOVE that M has the same shoe size as me.  Watching her shoe purchases are just as exciting as my own, because I know these shoes will rotate through my own closet at some point.  That reminds me, I really do need to return her Cole Haan Almond Toe Pumps in gold with black trim/platform... maybe she'll forget I have them...

Happy Day-after St. Patrick's Day!!

I'm happy to report that I am not hung over and, therefore, am (thankfully) not curled under my desk wishing death upon myself.  I was able to enjoy a couple Hoegaardens last night and call it quits before anything got out of hand.  GO.  ME.  Hey, it's the little things in life that you can try and use to feel good about yourself.  ;)
Nine West Protoe Peeptoe Wedge
I recommended these shoes in a burnished yellow last spring/summer to a friend whose wardrobe I was redoing on the cheap.  I still love them... and the kelly green shade is quite fitting for the post.  Hopefully, whether you're feeling a bit groggy or not, they will brighten your day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Buster v. Bargain - The Skinny on Skinnies

Skinny pants are here... and they are here to stay for as much as I can tell.  Skinny jeans, cigarette pants, tapered ankle pants, cropped chinos, ankle capris, capris... WHATEVER you want to call them... it looks like this style of pant is a fairly worthwhile investment.  I avoided the style, because for some reason I assumed, as many capri pants have done to me in the past, tapered ankle pants would make me look stumpy and fat.  However, after observing so many pictures of adorable outfits consisting of skinny pants and heels, I had to try them out.  I didn't want to invest too much money in a style that could totally wreak havoc on my self-esteem, so I chose to purchase a pair of tapered ankle pants in a soft sueded chino material from a clearance sale at Lands End last year.  I was so pleasantly surprised at the slimming effect and my ability to utilize the pants in my business casual work environment and transition them into casual and comfortable weekend outfits... that I purchased a few more.  The pants have worked great with flats or heels.
Now that Spring is steadfastly approaching, I am seeing skinny pants pop up everywhere.  And, as much as I adore JCrew's style, I am often aghast at the price of many simple items in their collection, e.g. ankle chino pants.
My suggestion?  Head over to the Lands End website and snap up a pair of their 4-way Stretch Twill Pants offered in Regular, Petite, or Plus sizes for a bargain price of $19.99.  The pants come in black, stone, or chocolate brown.  Compared to JCrew's New Cafe Capri at $79.50, I think it's a no-brainer, unless you have a particular sizing issue with either retailer.  Last year, I bought several pairs of the Modern Slim Leg Stretch Sueded Cotton Pants from Lands End in Golden Yellow, Hunter Green, and Black in the petite version, and wear them a lot with heels or flats.  I am still kicking myself for not buying the Khaki and Ivory colors, because they were such a great price.  I also purchased a pair of the Modern Ponte Snap Leg Cropped Pants in black (also the petite version), and am really considering the purchase of one or two more of the exact same pant... JUST BECAUSE they are so comfortable, but no one would ever know.  They look dressy when you dress the pant up, and perfect in a casual outfit when dressed down.  And at $14.97 a pair, why not??  The quality of Lands End is pretty superb, and despite buying from the "Overstocks" section, I have had no issues.  They frequently offer free shipping deals, and I just received an email today that you can manually enter the promotion code "NICESHOES" and the pin 1010 at the billing information page's promotion code section.  This will give you free shipping for any order over $50.  I'm currently tempted to purchase all of the 4-way stretch twill pants available on the website, as well as the extra pairs of black ponte snap pants... SIGH... darn you clothing purchase hiatus!!  Oh well.  While I only own the pants and flats below, I have created similar outfits with stuff I already have at home.  I say this with a twitch of annoyance, because I have been searching high and low for a pair of grey suede peeptoe pumps in that EXACT style, and i adore that stripe blazer.
At Work: Debenhems Orange Sheer Tie Blouse, PiperLime Aryn K Stripe Blazer, Lands End Modern Ponte Snap Leg Cropped Pants, and Nine West Grey Suede Peeptoe PumpOn Weekends: F21 Heather Grey V-neck Tee, JCrew Cotton Dobby Scarf, Lands End Modern Ponte Snap Leg Cropped Pants, and Payless AE Chime Teal Flower Flats

Get Thee to Target's Go International Collective Pronto

So, everyone knows that Target has featured luxe designers for less in shifts over the last few years.  Well, as of yesterday, Target is celebrating the last five years' worth of designers by placing the "best of" in its Go International Collective.  34 dresses from 17 designers--and almost all of them are under $50.  Below are some of my favorites... and by some I mean... a lot of them... but I managed not to include all of them. 

While I wish I could knock those clogs right off the first model's feet, I guess you just have to go with the photos you find online.  Those nasty a** clogs take away from the flowy shape and the fun polka dot print of the cute chiffon Jovovich-Hawk dress.  That also goes for the rosette affixed to the Behnaz Sarafpour lace tiered sheath.  What you cannot see from the photo above of the Tucker Ruffle Back dress is the flirty u-shaped ruffle dip in the back.  While the Rodarte peach slip dress is grunged out in the styling above, I think I'd probably take a more girlish approach to the outfit.  I think you can add an edge with a studded bracelet or clutch, but imho, the dress screams for some high heels.  I think the choices above can be dressed up or down, but I think I like most of them in the "dressed up" context.  Except maybe the teal/bright blue Thakoon colorblock dress... I may like that dress better if it was set up casually with a pair of neutral or metallic gladiator flats and a white cardi.
I think any of these pieces are great for the office.  From left to right, the Libertine crepe dress, Thakoon printed tie-waist dress [SOLD OUT], and the Rodarte lace print sheath [SOLD OUT].
These are the most casual dresses out of my favorites.  While you could dress up the Jovovich-Hawk floral ruffle hem dress with a pair of cage sandals, I do love the idea of keeping it sort of slouchy and comfortable with a simple belt and flats.  The same goes for the Jovovich-Hawk Lurex mini-dress, but that mini-dress would look very cute with a pair of nude peeptoes or metallic high heeled sandals due to subtle metallic thread details that work its way through the fabric.  I, myself, would wander around in that sporty striped Libertine t-shirt dress with a pair of flippies and a casual crossbody purse for on-the-fly weekend or errand wear--I'm not big on the picture's set up with those super high wedge sandals.  If I were to add a wedge to that t-shirt dress, they would be very subtle wedges.  I love the print and the pleat details of the Thakoon woven pleat stripe dress!!  I would belt it, and add a pair of gold reptile textured cage or gladiator flats.
As you can see, some popular pieces are already selling out!!  So hurry to your Target website or store and grab your favorite(s).  If I do choose to purchase any (which would be a violation of my current clothing purchase hiatus)... I may post a few items complete with my preference for shoes and accessories.  For those that get their hands on any of the items in the Go International Collective, please post comments with your feedback on them!!  I would love to hear from youWho knows... you may be rewarded with a surprise from FleurStyle... ;)

Friday, March 4, 2011

FleurStyle Gets a Face Lift--Inside and Out

Good Morning Everyone!!  Happy Friday (it's been a long week)!!  So, as I was playing around on the blog yesterday, the black background was driving my eyes crazy for the first time.  I thought--maybe it was time for FS to get a makeover.  I hope everyone enjoys the new look. 
We will focus on the same concept here on the blog, but I hope to interject a few posts about a new topic of interest that I want to learn more about--GREEN fashion.  The desire to be friendlier to our planet has always been an interest of M's, but I also learn new things about how to reduce our carbon footprint regularly from J.  Therefore, I want it to be a part of the FS world.  I will continue to add more links to the "Green" Fashion section on the right as I discover them.  While it has nothing to do with fashion or style, I will post about the small container garden(s) I want to cultivate at the house (if I actually follow through).  If we join the local CSA like we plan on doing, I'll let y'all know how that turns out.
Another goal of mine is to try my hand at jewelry-making.  I'll post my DIY triumphs (or disasters) as they occur, so that everyone can revel in my success, or mock my failure. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Buster v. Bargain - Orange Pop

Ever since Belle from her Capitol Hill Style blog posted this Anthropologie Washi Wrap Skirt, I've been obsessed.  It's been awhile since we did B v. B on a Tuesday, so here y'all go!!  Granted, not much of a difference... but every dollar helps. 
The version from the Limited is a bit different, but I do love both!!  It would be wrong for me to buy both... wouldn't it??  Right??  **SIGH***