Saturday, March 29, 2008

Arden B Discount

If you are a big fan of Arden B and haven't started your spring shopping yet, be sure to visit their Web site. They are offering 25% off to their online shoppers when purchasing three or more items.

Tips to Live By

I know that everyone has read a list in a magazine on tips on how to dress to appear slimmer. I suppose this is to appeal to our vanity. And let's be honest, who doesn't want to look five or ten pounds slimmer. But I feel like we should be beyond that by now. Why not offer up a list that is called "tricks for looking your best" because ultimately that is what we are trying to accomplish...tricking onlookers' eyes of how they perceive us and all of our "flaws".

I have noticed that sometime in the last few years, I accepted what I had to work with in the body department. No, I didn't throw my hands up in frustration and cancel my gym membership, but rather I slowly, but surely began realizing that fabrics are not created equal and that certain types can do awful things to my body and self-esteem in as little as two minutes and I realized that there are certain things that should I want to look good are just not for me. I hate to think that this realization comes with age, but I do think that after 30 years a gal just has some practice at dressing her adult form. I stopped grabbing shirts and sweaters that ended at my waist. The last thing a short-waisted gal needs is to shine a light on the fact that her wider than desired bum could use a little more distance from the chest area. Wow, now that paints a pretty picture. But you get where I am going with this.

I have learned that when I see someone in a great outfit, I no longer lust after their exact look. Especially if that person is five feet three with no curves. I have (almost) stopped shopping for the fantasy me (cut me some slack, I might have purchased a sweater dress or two in the last year and just invested in a few strategically placed belts and spanx to help a sister out) and instead look at aspects of the outfit that may potentially work for me.

So my list of tips for trying to put my best fashionably shoed foot forward are as follows:

1. Fabric choice can make or break you. I recently watched a wedding video and I cringed for one of the guests who was shot from behind in an overly-clingy number that exposed every bulge and line. How dreadful to be captured that way for future generations to see. But it reminded me of how important it is to choose fabrics that drape my body, not magnify my flaws.

2. Dress monochramtically. No, you don’t have to pay homage to Johnny Cash and wear all black all the time. This just means wearing the same solid color, any color, all over. I happen to be a big fan of wearing all white. I know that white has a bad rap, but I swear that it actually looks great when the right fabrics are chosen (hey I am not talking all white spandex, although I have sadly seen that combo on a gentleman at the gym and I still can’t comprehend how he got out of the house thinking it was the right choice for him).

3. Manage your proportions (I heart Tim Gunn), by now you know the hand you were dealt fairly well. This idea is simple….add volume where you don’t have it and keep it sleek where you are voluminous. Top heavy, skip boat necks and ruffles. Bottom heavy, don’t do pleats. Likewise, if you are long on top and short on bottom, work on your illusionists skills. Short-waisted gals should invest in tops and jackets that hit below the “natural” waist and steer clear of high waisted pants/skirts. Long-waisted gals can take advantage of the empire style dresses and tops that are everywhere.

4. Always, always, make sure you purchase the right length pants for your height. Nothing is worse than pants that stop just short of being long enough. And long enough doesn’t mean stops just below your ankle, this can make a gal look dumpy (read: adding poundage and who wants that). Look for pants where the hem almost touches the floor. You will be amazed at what a difference this can make in your overall silhouette and if you care, too short pants are a huge pet peeve of mine.

Good luck my fellow illusionists!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pump Up The Volume

Full skirts are on almost everyone's top trends for the spring list. Even though I have picked up one or two to spruce up my spring wardrobe, this knee-length version from Laredoute is only $16.99. This cotton basic can function for work (as pictured) or fun with a tank or tee and some sandals and La Redoute has it in red, chocolate, ecru, espresso black, and beige (pictured).

Chip & Pepper Olivia Boot Cut Jeans

Boot cut jeans with a 34 inch inseam, what more could a girl ask for? How about half-priced Chip & Pepper boot cut jeans with a 34 inch inseam? Hard for me to pass up, but decide for yourself.

Ralph Lauren Amore Satin Heel

Lately, flower flourishes always peak my interest and regardless of how fashion-foward you consider yourself to be, I think most gals would be willing to take a shot on a pair of delightful pink satin heels with flowers. I know that pink isn't for everyone, so if you want to play it safe, they come in black too. Remember to take advantage of the Ralph Lauren discount I posted earlier if you decide to purchase them.

Elie Tahari Black Peep Toes

I need another pair of black shoes like I need another credit card, BUT these shoes are absolutely gorgeous. The Libby Sculpted Pump isn't just an ordinary-looking patent leather shoe. Check out the details on the heel and the way the italian leather slopes down on the outside. Very sexy and very expensive, $475.

Simpy Vera Peep Toes

These shoes make me a little resentful that I purchased a pair of BCBG yellow heels a few weeks ago. But regardless, the yellow satin is lovely and for your heel-challenged gals, they are less than 2 inches high, so I imagine they will be comfy. Kohl's still has most sizes available and they are marked down from $60 to $40.

Isaac's Citrus Hued Bag

Remember what I said about loving the yellow bags that are everywhere this spring, but not really wanting it for everyday use. That was sorta true. I also have found that I have only been truly moved by bags that were a little more than what I wanted to spend. That was until I saw this Isaac Mizrahi for Target nylon bag in yellow (okay, they have white and black too) for only $30.

Ralph Lauren Exclusive Online Shopping Event

It is the final day of Ralph Lauren's exlusive online shopping event. Get 30% off full price items using this code: RLSP2008. Unfortunately, this discount is short-lived, so hop to it. The code expires today, 03.28.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Black Plaid Cinta Skirt

I am in love with this paint brushed plaid skirt. The length and volume are perfect, not too short and not to voluminous. I am thinking I would pair it with something that drew attention to the faux leather belt waistband.

Max Studio LBD

Any dress with pockets immediately gets a second look from me, but this dress in particular has tons of appeal. I find that sweetheart necklines are very flattering and the length allows it to function for work if needed with a jacket or cardigan, but it can still work for an evening wedding or cocktail hour with the right jewelry. Max Studio has everything but XL left and its less than $100 if you are trying to be "good" with your shopping.

BCBG Quilted Minaudiere

Bag, Borrow or Steal has some cute BCBG mini bags that have been marked down to $45. I personally love yellow bags, but I really don't see myself buying one for everyday use, which is why this minaudiere is fantastic. It's the perfect size for a night out when it works with the rest of your ensemble. But if yellow isn't your thing, there's black, royal blue, and pink.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yellow Summer of Love Top

This makes two paisley posts today, but this top is very cool. I like the boatneck top and banded bottom. If that doesn't catch your eye, check out the unexpected solid tie back. Another surprise is the price, $33 and LuLu's has the same top in lavender too.

Square Neck Tee

I really like Rebecca Beeson for basics with a twist. Check out this square neck tee. I like the ruched top that adds a little volume right where this girl needs it and the fluttering sleeves add femininity and movement. Bluefly has a wide range of sizes left and offers the top in black, white, begonia, buttercup, and water, and navy.

Sheet Ruffle Strap Dress

I guess I have dresses on the brain this afternoon, but here's another great and affordable dress that you can have some fun with. The Sheet Ruffle Strap Dress comes in four prints, the yellow stripe being my favorite (pictured), but the yellow floral, blue floral, and blue stripe are equally as cute. I like it belted, since I need some structure so as not to look like a giant in a sack. The criss-cross ruffled back is unexpected and adds some fun to the rear-view, so hit up Urban Outfitters to check out that twist. And its only $58, what a steal!

Silk Paisley Shirt Dress

I have been really good lately about not spontaneously buying new clothes. If I am shopping online, I (as of late) have been adding stuff to my cart and then mulling it over and hoping it goes on sale or waiting until I can get my hands on a discount code or coupon. That was until this morning, when I was minding my own business and Banana Republic sent me an e-mail with "new arrivals" and I spotted this green and brown paisely dress. It was love at first sight, and I am afraid to admit that I will be adding it to my closet in 4 to 7 business days. Green is my favorite color and I happen to really like shirt dresses, so this was a win-win for me.

White Lace Dress

Check out this adorable white lace dress at Bloomingdale's. The scalloped neckline is sweet, but the hemline is short enough that its not too cutesy and would look perfect with some flat thong sandals. If white isn't your thing, it comes in black too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Short Trench

I believe that trench coats work so effortlessly with so many things, that I have several in different colors. What I don't have is a shorter length option, which I think would work really well for someone of petite stature (since I can imagine that the longer coats could drown a gal). Banana Republic has this short trench in four colors. I really like the parade green, but the lyme bay blue and the rainbow red are on sale for $109.99 (regularly $148).

Velvet LBD

If you are looking for a mod-style little black dress, look no further than Pink Mascara. This Velvet Katlen Ponte Dress is on sale for $121.80. Of course you need to make sure to not skip on your lunges, since its a mini, but its really cute and could become an instant fave. And while you are there, be sure to enter to win a Pink Mascara $3000 shopping spree.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Heart Green

Green is my favorite color, so the fact that its everywhere this spring in nature of course and accessories is fantastic. Check out this patent-leather bowler handbag by Maxx New York at Nordstrom. If green isn't your thing, it comes in yellow and red too. I have to have it!

A New Suit

I tackled my spring cleaning closet project yesterday. Part of it is wishful thinking in that if I pull out my spring clothes that the weather will follow and the other part was my closet was starting to depress me, which doesn't inspire one when I am trying to figure out what to wear. So, in cleaning out my closet (Tim Gunn would be so proud, my bedroom was overrun with "giveaway", "repair", and "goodwill" items), I realized that I don't need any more orange or coral items and I desperately need a new suit.

J. Crew Option

So, I went hunting and this is what I could come up with in a reasonable amount of time for a somewhat reasonable hit to my savings. J. Crew had this jacket and pants on sale for $129 and $99.

Theory Option

Although this could result in me eating light for a month, this Theory Rory Tailor Jacket is fantastic. The jacket is tailored without being too snug, so it won't date itself and you won't beat yourself up over the $365 you spend when you are still wearing it five years from now. And to be honest, the pants are what initially caught my eye. The Theory Max C Tailor Pants are cut slim and have a 34" inseam, which helps for us taller gals and works well with heels (too short pants are a huge pet peeve of mine). Both pieces come in several colors, so its hard not to find what you need.

New York & Company Option

At NY and Company, I found this really inexpensive striped black suit. And I have a thing for pinstripes (maybe its just wishful thinking on my part, but I feel like the stripes are slimming). the pants are only $44.95 and the jacket is $69.95.

Newport News Option

If you are on a budget, this suit at Newport News is a great option. I love the silhouette of these pants and they are only $49. And this boxy jacket is a sweet $59, which means I can shop for a hip-length layered camisole.

BCBG Suit Option

I think this is the one for me. I love the short-sleeved, belted look and I can see getting a lot of versatility out of these pieces together and separately. And its got the pinstripes that I love so much. Check out the jacket and pants at Bloomingdales.