Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's Been Going On

When it rains - it seriously pours. I've had to take my laptop into Apple store for repairs (the monitor came off the hinge) and I got 2 gigs.

One, I'm thinking I'm going to have to turn down as my other gig is so time intensive. The one I'm thinking of keeping pays better and has the promise of future work. The former was more of a prestige job, meaning craptastic pay.

What does this mean to you dear readers? I'll only be able to post about twice a week until this project gets finished. So, look for sporadic yet still awesome posts to come until 8/13 when I'm free at last!

I have been working on one for tomorrow and hopefully if all goes well with the client I can finally finish it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'll Be Back

My mouth is still on the fritz and I have some things going on in the background. I should be up and posting on the regular by at the latest: Tuesday.

I'll let you all know real soon what is going on!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Keds vs. Toms: There Can Only Be One

So, I feel like my face has been smacked with a 2 x 4 and I have officially run out of Vicodin. Please, all gods whether you consider yourself real or mythological let my dentist approve my refill.

My computer also had an accident and it looks like the monitor is about to break off. So, I am so not a happy camper right now. Like, I am even ignoring my dog because I seriously do not want to be bothered.

I do, however, have a question for you guys. I have to buy a new pair of knock-a-round shoes since my cat vomited on and ruined my favorite pair. (Seriously, what is up with my luck lately?) It is between a pair of Keds and Toms Shoes this time.

I normally do not wear sneakers. You all know that, but my feet have been killing me since I fell in that pot hole. They need a bit more support, so I have been seeking out sneakers that fit my long list of requirements. These ones somehow managed that. Now, how in the hell am I going to chose between them?

Keds - Champion Spectator ($60.00): I have a serious soft spot for Keds. I always will until the end of time or I die, whichever comes first. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the whole immortality thing via cyborg technology.) My grandmother loved them and wore them all the time when I was young. So, I mean how could I not be a little in love with the brand as well?

The shoes themselves are pretty interesting as they are a hybrid of an Oxford and a Ked. I love the leather accents, but cannot decide whether to go with black or red. I think the black ones look better, but the red ones are more interesting?

Toms - Aira Women's Cordones ($79.00): The reason I love this brand is that it all started with trying to find a way to put shoes the feet of the underprivileged. It works like this: the price of one shoe pays for the construction of two. Simple and effective - right?

I have, unfortunately, never really been a fan of their actual shoes. What can I say? I'm not a fan of the Espadrille. They have though recently introduced a style that has caught my eye - the Cordones. My favorite being the Aira Women's Cordones as I love the way the leather accents offset the shoe.

Trouble is I cannot for the life of me decide between the two styles. Also, I need shoes now! Well, not exactly at this moment as I've been home bound due to my extraction. I need them more so for when I heal up and join the human race once again.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wisdom Tooth Bonanza

My wisdom teeth are finally out. So, yeah no post today guys. Sorry, I know there wasn't one over the weekend either. Hopefully, if my face doesn't feel like I kissed concrete there will be a post tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friend Friday: Wardrobe Mix + Match

Katy Rose of ModlyChic has sent around another round of questions for the Friend Friday project. This week: Wardrobe Mix + Match!
  • What's your most versatile piece of clothing? How do you wear it?
    If I were to be honest - my leggings. I wear them with skirts, dresses, and tunics. Seriously those things see more action than any piece in my wardrobe.

    The one piece that I wear a lot is a dress I picked up in Japan awhile ago. I wear it as a layering piece or on its own. (It is similar to this dress from Romeo + Juliet, except it is black with thin straps.) When I wear it as a layering piece I sometimes pin up the sides a bit so I can channel a bit of Belle into my wardrobe.
  • What one piece should every woman own?
    I know that the summer heat is bearing down pretty strong right now. Still, I'd have to say my one piece every woman should own is a blazer. A tailored fit makes it applicable for everything from a casual night out with the girls to a night on the town.
  • What Summer trends do you love because of their versatility?
- 1 (Size 0 - 12; $59.00) /2 (Size 0 - 10; $180.00) /3 (Size 0 -12; $24.99)
    I love the fact that rompers are back in style! I also love that they have gone beyond casual and there are some gorgeous more dressier options. It is a fun spin on an old childhood standby.
  • What's the most creative combination you've put together from your closet?
    Well, depends how you define creative. When I was younger and in HS I liked to pair plaid shirts, button up shirts, colorful stockings, platform Mary Janes, fairy wings, and a tiara. What can I say? I was a very unusual child.
  • If you had the guts you'd what items would you pair and then wear out in public?

    Right now it would be my bathing suit. Since, I quit my job I've been a bit of a homebody and put on some weight. So, it would take a lot of guts and inner fortitude to get me outside in it these days.
Any tricks to maximize your wardrobe? Leave it in the comments.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Painful Pursuit of Beauty

Jezebel recently ran a post called "Vaseline Crowdsources Racism With New Skin-Whitening App". Essentially, the app lets men see what their lives were like if they use Vaseline's male line of skin lightening products. Not surprising, there have been tons of products for quite some time geared towards Indian women.

I will leave it to someone more qualified to break down the issues of body commentary, racism, and socio-economic mechanisms. This post, however, left me with the question why we as females and consumers do this ourselves?

Putting our health at risk for a manufactured form of beauty is something oft reviled as in the case of Heidi Montag, but in the small scale we let things like this pass. Tanning is just as dangerous as these skin bleaching regimes and yet no one bats an eye. Yet, it is encouraged just the same. (Granted the motivations behind them are as different as apples and oranges.)

The sun can be just as detrimental to the body as the chemicals in skin bleaching creams. "UV radiation from the sun, tanning beds, or sun lamps may cause skin cancer and can have a damaging effect on the immune system. It also can cause premature aging of the skin, giving it a wrinkled, leathery appearance." This is of course in addition to the possibility of weakening of the skin's inner tissues. The main difference being between the two is that side effects of skin lighting creams can be seen more readily.What is even scarier is that these effects have only become an issue because even the untrained eye can identify their impact.

Take Panya, a victim of skin lightening creams gone wrong, featured on Jessica Simpson's The Price of Beauty. As you can see the effects are devastating, especially when you consider how beautiful she was prior to bleaching herself. Tanning in the extreme is no better on the body, I mean look at what it along with time has done to her body.

Fact is even those like me that shy away from plastic surgery as well as the sun are still at risk. Why? I wear as much makeup and probably use as much hair dye as the next woman. Probably, more if I were to be honest. I also have no idea what is in these products, and just assume well if I spend more it has to be better? I mean we are beyond the days of lead in lipstick - right?

Nope. The FDA recently did a test and found trace amounts of lead in all lipsticks tested. These included brands like: Cover Girl, Revlon, Maybelline, Body Shop, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Burt's Bees, Peacekeeper, Dior, MAC, and Avon. So, it looks like ladies that even at higher price points we cannot escape slowly poisoning ourselves.

Oh and even though you may not see your favorite brand listed here it still might be harmful for your health. You might want to check out Skin Deep's Cosmetic Safety Reviews to see if your go to item is less than stellar. At least, the ones I could find that I use are only moderately hazardous. Yay?

It seems that none of us are safe in our pursuit of beauty. The fact that it is this difficult to suss out how hazardous our products are is a huge problem. The reason it is not being addressed with the same force as lets say the organic food movement is that people simply do not want to know. Anything that disrupts their own pursuit of beauty is ignored, because this desire to be attractive is so much more important.

I am sadly no better. You will have to pry my Givenchy Parad'Eyes Fluid Eye Liner out of my cold dead hands, which I guess is the problem. I know it is bad for me, yet I feel like I need it to feel confident and attractive.

Voting for change with my dollar simply will not work as I have no intention to switch products. There is something, however, I know I can do to work towards safety in cosmetics. I can sign this petition to encourage Congress to enact legislation for safer beauty products. And the other thing I can do is attempt to use my products more a bit more sparingly. Wish me luck on that one, I am sure I will need it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wisdom Tooth Explosion

I'm seeing the dentist this morning and if all goes well (meaning they don't have to do anything horrid) I'll post in the afternoon.

If not, if you see a girl on the train sobbing quietly with a swollen face that's me! So, please don't stare - I just have no tolerance for pain whatsoever.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What Not to Wear: The Curious Case of the Romper & Me

Part of being fashionable is knowing what does and does not work for your body. If you are flat chested wearing a dress designed for the likes of Christina Hendricks is not going to flatter your figure. The reverse as well is unfortunately true. So, once again just because they make it in your size doesn't mean you should wear it!

In this particular case, it is the romper that should be avoided if you are on the shorter/heavier side. Before you start lobbing rotten fruit at me, take a moment to hear my argument. I love rompers and am estatic that they are in fashion again. Yet, I'm totally gutted by the fact that I know they will not look good on me unless I drop some weight.

Being petite and plus sized creates this certain type of sihoutte where (if you are like me) you look compacted. Boobs and booty jut out at both ends without the height to balance them out. Factor that in with thighs that are a bit rubenesque and the romper just looks over extended.

I know its hot ladies, and one of the reasons the romper is so popular is that it seems "cooler". There are other ways to accomplish this - by lets say pairing this ASOS CURVE Jersey Bandeau Printed Midi Dress (US Sizes 18 - 24; $47.14) with a pair of stretchy shorts and a black bra with thin straps. The same level of freedom as well as breeziness is accomplished. Also, you get to rock a similiar look but one that flatters your frame better!

It is harsh reality to have my dreams of romper romps dashed, but oh well. I can at least admire them from afar.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stranger at the Party: A Gifting Guide

Despite being terribly ill this weekend I had to attend a birthday party at someone's home in Brooklyn. It was my husband's friend's girlfriend's birthday so I was sort of obligated to attend. In my opinion, these types of events are sort of unusual as far as etiquette is concerned. Especially, as in this case as I only know the girlfriend in passing.

Would bringing a bottle of wine enough I asked myself? Am I supposed to get a gift? If it was one of my ever dwindling set of friends, I would know the right answer right away to these questions. As I was unsure, I went with my default bring a bottle of wine and pick up a gift under $20.

Normally, my go to gift is some type of hair accessory. It fills all of my requirements for the purchase of a gift for a person you do not know well. It is compact, it is one size fits all, and is mostly in good taste. The key here is to try to score something of quality on sale or if you are me pimp that ex-intern discount I have at a certain retailer. (If going the former route shopstyle is your friend - use it!)

Any one of these would be a great item to grab, well if the party you are going to is for a girl that considers herself fashionable.

1. Amanda Pearl - Leaf Headband ($20.40; Originally $68.00): This twisted wire and black sateen leaf headband is sure to please. It is simple and yet has a bit of an edge with the raw hem.

2. - heart ($15.00): I love this piece for reasons beyond it being a sequined heart. It is twofer - a hair clip and a pin! This keeps the options open for the intended, which is great when you are giving a gift to someone you do not exactly know well.

3. TopShop - Flower on Ribbon Headband ($6.25; Originally $25.00): It cannot get more vanilla than this white flower accompanied with a white ribbon. Sure not offend, but stylish enough to please the next one this is a no brainer.

These, however, are not guaranteed to fit the bill if the guest of honor is not female or is not a fashion die hard. What? People might have interests outside of fashion? I know crazy right, but I'm all about being prepared for all occasions. (Take my super detailed zombie outbreak attack plan for example.)

What do you do in this particular case of emergency? Take a tiny fact or something you noticed, and run with it. This will help you find the perfect gift or one close enough to at least peak the interest of the intended.

So, you have heard them mention something that might indicate that they are a greenie? Here are a few products sure to titillate and if they flop are at least conversation pieces.

4. MapTote - New York City ($15.00/$25.00; Natural/Organic): Everyone and their mother has a re-usable grocery bag. But do they have one with a map of NYC on it? I think not!

5. Move Collective - Bobble Filtering Water Bottle ($10.00): Greenies from all ends of the spectrum will instantly fall in love with this piece. It reduces plastic consumption by being a re-usable water bottle, and it actually increases its functionality with a built in filter! It is made of BPA free RPET (recycled plastic), and it along with its packaging can be recycled.

6. Flip & Tumble - Produce Bags ($11.00): One of the hardest ways to be green is at the supermarket. Produce bags are only available in plastic and hence not reusable really. These bags made of polyester are one designer's answer to that problem. Five are included in the pack, and even better you can wash your veggies inside them due their mesh construct.

Or maybe you heard them talking about Top Chef? Then these items are definitely going to intrigue their DIY cooking inclinations.

7. Crate and Barrel - Herb Keeper ($19.95): Not all of us are blessed with backyards or even a windowsill that can support an herb garden. More often than not when I'm forced to buy from the supermarket the leftovers tend to go unused. Then they go bad, but this Herb Keeper would change all that. This is a slam dunk as what cook wouldn't want to prolong the life of their herbs?

8. DIY - S'mores Kits (Price Varies): SHIM + SONS made the one pictured, but step by step instructions can be found here. This is the gift that keeps on giving, especially if you buy gourmet ingredients to kick it up a notch. The leftovers are for you to feast on!

9. Nordic Ware - Microwave Popcorn Popper ($8.99): I know this might not look like much, but this is a powerhouse of culinary potential in a very mundane package. It allows you to cook popcorn without using oil in minutes within the microwave! Also, better yet it allows you to make gourmet popcorn in your very own home! I highly suggest printing out some of gourmet recipes to go along with the gift to make it pop.

Ok maybe all you know about them is that they are we say in my family a "booze hound". Unless you know their poison of choice, I always suggest staying away from buying them alcohol. Accessories are a much safer and often more appreciated route.

10. The Curiosity Shoppe - Cork Screw Driver ($15.00): I am not sure how well this will work in every occasion, but if you are like me and break the cork this will be a lifesaver. Also, it is one hell of a conversation piece. People will be trying to open random things all night with it!

11. artecnica - alia bottle stopper ($12.00): Normally, bottle stoppers are pretty boring constructs of plastic and metal. This one would definitely class up the majority of wines from places like Trader Joes, and probably take a decent bottle down a couple of notches. But who cares - you have a flower growing out of as Micheal K. puts it the "sweet nectar"!

12. Suck UK - Key Bottle Opener ($14.00): This is what dreams are made of when you are trying to brown bag it. Or, are at a party and cannot for the life of you find the bottle opener. Either way the recipient of this lovely key chain is bound to be someone's knight/lady in shining armor sometime in the future.

Or maybe you heard them once locked in heated debate over which is the better New Who Doctor? Then any of these nerdilicous products will be sure to peak their interest.

13. Suck UK - USB Drive "Mix Tape" ($20.00): At 64MB it stores about an hour of music - as much as would be on a cassette back in the day! You can scribble all over it just like when you used make mix tapes. (Yes, I am old enough to have made a mix tape. I was mature for my age - that is it, yeah.) The geeky intended I'm sure will love the fact that their data can kick it old school.

14. Think Geek - App Magnets ($12.99): This can be a bit dicey if the person is not a mac head. But everyone and their brother has an Ipod, so it is a safe bet they will get a modicum about of enjoyment out of it. And if they don't, now they can pretend they do!

15. Fred Flare - Pac-Man Bandages ($9.00): Everyone loves Pac-Man. I mean Google even put it on their splash page for a day! It had every geek's technolust in overdrive, well that I know anyway. (Also, little known fact is that it is still up and playable here.)

Maybe you heard that they have a blog aka meaning they love to write. Then what better way to show tribute to their writing than a gift that encourages it? I mean writers love nothing more than to have their egos stroked - do they not?

16. Moleskine - Mini Notebooks ($6.99): Each of these 3 notebooks come with 64 pages for your intended to fill. Literati have used these for ages to record their ruminations on life, so why not give your giftee a shot?

17. hammer & daisy - mini notebook ($6.50): This notebook allows you to chose the cover! No matter the option you chose, each one will have about 20 pages at its owner's disposal.

18. paperwink - twenty ten lined notebook ($4.50): This one is a bit larger than the others. Its 40 pages are meant for those who have deep thoughts just like Jack Handy, but only relating to 2010.

For everyone else, there is always the iTunes gift card or certificate. That way they can ensure their account isn't being hacked for at least a little bit.

Got any great gift ideas under $20? Leave them in the comments.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sizing Standards in Fashion: Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Find me a match!

Vanity sizing is one of the most horrific things ever to hit the market. It makes online shopping nearly impossible when you are not familiar with the brand. I mean yeah a lot of brands have easy return policies, but what do you do if you are under time and/or finacial constraints?

At times, it even turns in store shopping expierences into a marathon of wardrobe changes as you try to find the right size! I mean is it just me or is it insane that even brands with their own dedicated stores do not have standardized sizing? How is that in any way shape or form contributing to an enjoyable shopping expierence?

I mean it would seem simple enough for brands to make standardized sizes across the board for at least their own items. They own the store and control where it is sold. Unlike, lets say brands that are forced to rely on retailers to sell their wares. And yet, we still have the problem where you can walk into a store that sells only its own wares and wonder what size am I?

Unfortunately, I do know one of the reasons why this occurs and is so hard to prevent. Companies (especially global brands) outsource production to factories all over the world. These factories have different machines and standards of production. As such, the fits are not standard and this is how we find ourselves in a world where even brands lack universal sizing throughout their collections.

The reason I decided to bring this whole sizing issue up even though there really is no ready solution is because it impacts my life every time I shop. Last weekend, my husband and I recently got into an argument in Uniqlo over sizing. I picked up a pair of leggings marked LG and was sure they would fit. He was unsure as it said it was intended for those withe a 32 inch waist. To put it simply, I swoon at the thought of being that slender! Back and forth we went. I told him let's just buy it and see what happens. I got home, put them on, and guess what they fit! He apologized, and said the only reason he argued is that he did not want to me upset if they did not fit as the sizing measurements did not match my own.

As you can see from this example alone, being plus sized has made clothes shopping quite the creative enterprise. I've had to figure out what brands give me breathing rooom and what items can stretch literally and figuratively to meet my needs. I live for those moments when I can feel "normal" and buy something in a fashionable store. So, when brands add vanity as well as lack of standards in sizing into the mix it makes plus size shopping painful.

Why exactly is it worse than what straight sizes have to go through? At least, more often than not, you have the opportunity to try something on in a store. The majority of plus size merchandise has been pushed out of brick and mortar outlets and onto the Internet. Sure more stores have popped up, but it has made sizing so disparate. Like for example, I can be a size 12 in some items and in others a 22. It makes absolutely no sense, but this is the world we live in.

One way to combat it is to know your measurements. As much as it is a groan worthy expierence to assess one's girth, it can also be a really freeing expierence. You can look at size charts and know whether something will fit you! Well, to a point that is really.

What you truly get out of it is knowing that a number on a tag doesn't define your size.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I gots the black lung pop.

Tomorrow, I'll have a pretty good post. Today - sleep. My body decided to take a sabbatical from being awesome to be a petri dish.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What to Drink: Domaine Barnes Buecher - Dry Reisling

Another short post today guys. I thought I was getting over my cold turns out it was just lulling me into a false sense of security. I'm not sure if it is the heat or what, but I feel like insanity.

Though in attempt to feel more human I'd like to share something from better times. Recently, my significant other and I went out to dinner at Frankies 17 (17 Clinton Street; between Houston/Stanton) in downtown NYC. The food was amazing par usual, but what was even more suprising was how good the wine by the glass special tasted.

Rieslings are normally really sweet wines, and do not get me wrong I adore sweet. What sold me on this wine in particular, however, is that it was a dry Riesling. I didn't even know such a thing existed! The taste was nothing short of amazing.

- NOTE: This is the 2004 Label

Light and only ever so slightly sweet, Domanie Barmes Buecher Riesling (2007) is perfect for summer. Especially, on days like today when the heat practically demands you imbibe an ice cold beverage as a distraction. If you would like to find a store near you that sells this fantastic wine try Wine-Searcher, wineaccess, or snooth. It retails for $13.99 - $24.99, or you could save yourself the trouble and just stop by Frankies 17.

Hopefully, I will be better by tomorrow. I just think this heat is taking it out of me. Every time I go outside it gets 10x worse.

Thoughts on this wine or any other that might be perfect for the summer? Leave it in the comments.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What to Wear: Couture for the Everyman

Ah the 4th of July sales in NYC. It is the one time of year that the stores are almost empty and yet you can still nab a good deal. Imagine my surprise as well as intense frustration then when I simply could not find anything to buy.

My first and last stop was Bloomingdales. I excitedly headed straight to the plus size section and nothing fit right! The merchandise assortment was all sorts of terrible - even more so than usual. The Amanda Uprichard pieces they had even manged to disappoint. So, I made my way to the "straight" section as I have been able to make it work for me from time to time. Unfortunately, all of the sale items were for the most part in XS - M thus making it a no go. Feeling overall defeated, I decided to give up shopping for the rest of the day.

I was just so worn out by the fact that I can never seem to find something that fits me in a store. Being plus sized makes it hard enough already, and then throwing being short into the mix just makes it damn near impossible. I was wallowing in the fact that mass fashion let me down, until it hit me - why not have something made just for me. Granted I knew there was no way I could afford couture, but you know what I can afford - ETSY!

So, I hopped on the computer and spent the rest of my July 4th browsing Etsy hardcore. Here is a roundup of the best designs I was able to find. All of these items can be tailored to your measurements for the most part (plus or straight), and more likely than not be altered to suit your needs.

1. Sweet Shirt ($79.90) + (2.) Full Circle Skirt ($169.80): I absolutely love this take on Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe in Roman Holiday. It also has a perfect blend of whimsy and maturity which makes it wearable for a breadth of age ranges. The other plus is that this outfit will look amazing on anyone. Be you: short/tall and plus/straight!

3. Tulip Dress ($199.80): Surprise, another retro inspired piece. Yet, it still manages to be modern with the updates made to the silhouette. Even better, this shape is currently trending! Though this dress will still au courant even when the fad is over due to its superior design.

4. Winter Fashion Vest Dress ($179.80): Just to be clear, I believe what is on sale is just the white dress. It is meant to be worn layered, but as this designer is open to alterations I'm sure you can add some short sleeves to this dress. Either way, it is the collar that makes this dress for me. What can I say - I'm a sucker for a dainty collar?

5. Wool Trench Coat ($199.80): If you are in NYC right now, I know the last thing you want to see is a coat. Still, fall is around the corner and down a really loooooooooooooong hallway. Also, even though I think this coat is amazing - I know it may be not for everyone. Those who do like this sort of blend of modern and vintage styling will find it to die for!

6. Grace Flare Dress (Plus Only, $230.00): Personally, I can really can take or leave JIBRI. They are a company that makes plus sized clothing that sometimes does not justify its price point. I am still actually on the fence about this piece, but I just loved the design so much I had to include it. I know it is once again a retro inspired piece, but seriously if the sleeves did not sell you on it I do not know what will.

7. Chelsea Graduation Dress ($118.00) + (8.) Red Lolita Petticoat (Price Not Available): See I do know that colors other than black, grey, white, and beige exist! The blue material is amazing and pairing it with a red petticoat was a brilliant idea. The belt sadly is not included, but I'm sure you could easily find another one.

9. Mandy Dress ($139.00): You know what else I am a sucker for - tulle! The fact that it is on the outside of this dress makes me swoon. Also, I love the ballerina vibe this piece gives off and it is also a super simple as well as elegant in its design. Overall, this is a fun and youthful piece that is a must for my wardrobe at least.

10. Mambo Dress (Straight, Plus; $85.00, $105.00): I may be in love with vintage inspirations, but that does not mean modern design does not spike my interest every now and again. I love the asymmetrical waist and raw hem of this piece. It gives an edge to the piece that is lacking in the category of "laid back" or "casual" fashion.

A word to the wise, do not fudge your measurements if you decide to purchase any of these pieces. It will result in the garment not fitting right, and that is the whole point of this whole endeavor is it not? Your best bet is to visit a seamstress to get a professional fitting, and you can find one in your local area in this national directory. If you prefer to do it yourself (not recommended), BurdaStyle has a great instructional post.

Know any other places to get items tailor made? Or some amazing Etsy designers? Leave it in the comments.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A reason to get out of bed: Face À Face Eyewear

Today was the worst. Why? I'm hot, hungover, and sick. Worst combination ever.

Though I knew I had to drag myself out to bed to post about these sunglasses by Face À Face (Style Name: Betty2; Style #: 53 23). They are metallic and the most amazing shade of purple in real life. I love the curvature and this is a piece that breaks the mold with the scrolling on the lens. You can search for a place near you that sells this particular pair here on their website.

This French based brand has some amazing eyewear. These just happen to my favorite, so you would be remiss not to check out the rest of their collection here.

Thoughts? Remedies? Leave them in the comments.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sartorial Watermark: Signature Style

Everyone has a signature piece. Something that they always wear all the time, a certain color they claim for their own, or even a certain style they purchase repeatedly. Over time it is something they become known for and it starts to become a bit odd if they don't wear it. I mean, remember the time Posh didn't wear flats?

What's mine? Black leggings. I seriously wear them pretty much every day and refuse to wear them in any other color. My husband once made a joke that if I was given a chance to design a legging collection a la Lohan I'd make them "in every shade of black imaginable".

Though, sometimes I do regret wearing them on days like today when they soak up the sun and crank the heat index up about another 10 degrees for me. I usually just grin and bear it. Now it looks like I no longer have to all thanks to Uniqlo's dry technology! It "combines breathable fibres with cross-woven nylon, removing sweat at the humidity level and keeping the wearer dry and comfortable underneath their clothes, whilst ensuring a smooth and silky feeling next to the skin". They offer wearers "superior drying action with anti-odour and anti-bacterial properties and ensuring dry confidence throughout the day".

I loved their heat tech leggings, so more than likely I will picking them up either today/tomorrow. I absolutely need a pair for the BBQ I am hosting this weekend. After all, nothing is more unfashionable than being a sweaty host!

Do you have a signature piece? Leave it in the comments!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friend Friday: Blogger Narcissism

Katy Rose of ModlyChic has sent around another round of questions for the Friend Friday project. This week: Blogger Narcissism!
  1. Do you think personal fashion blogging is inherently narcissistic?

  2. The reason I write about fashion as I am sure many other people do is that they think they have a P.O.V. and want to share that with others. I think as long as people keep it about that and not themselves you can avoid being labeled narcissistic. It can be tricky though as fashion as a whole is a lot of navel gazing.

  3. I think we can all agree, that certainly some blogs are personal odes to the blogger. In your opinion what makes a blog narcissistic.

  4. In terms of fashion blogs, I think it begins and ends with the blogger's approach to outfit posts. If they are the only focus of the blog and lack any dialogue on the fashion choices behind them then that is most definitely narcissism-ahoy. There is nothing wrong with outfit posts in and of themselves, but when it is just obviously fishing for complements it annoys me. Blogs that do this also have very little posts on fashion itself outside of the clothes on the blogger's back, which is also another red flag for the blog being narcissistic. It is great to have a POV on fashion, but by only using it to explore your wardrobe choices is limiting.

  5. Would you classify your blog as narcissistic? Why?

  6. In all honestly, it is a bit. I have trouble about writing about things that I do not find interesting or match my fashion POV. Like, I refuse to include certain brands that I do not like or have value. I feel like I would be letting my readers down, but it does make for lower page views. I try to find the obscure and stylish, which makes my POV a bit narrow sometimes.

  7. How can we combat the idea that because we share personal style thoughts/pictures we are automatically full of ourselves?

  8. I love to ask people who bring this up: Do you ever talk about fashion with your friends? Have you ever commented on an awesome piece in someone's wardrobe? Someone's haircut? Do you ever admire your outfit in a mirror? Then guess what? You are doing the same exact thing I am doing!

    Fashion in itself is our way of communicating who we are as people. Once you have studied fashion as a true field (meaning: historical, sociological, and craft) you would understand that. Those portraits of people hanging in the museums that people ogle day in and day out were made for the same reasons as outfit posts.

    I do believe that posting about fashion does make you full of yourself in a way. You have a POV and you are secure in it. Enough to share it with the world and open it to criticism. Why should that necessarily be a bad thing?

  9. How do you explain what you do to others in a way that doesn't come across as narcissistic?

  10. It is not narcissistic if you are right.

    Then you just come across as overconfident to some, but secure to others. If you cannot do that then maybe you want to re-consider the position of your blog. I mean I am a complete wuss in social situations in many ways at times, but I defend my blog with a ferocity I have not seen in myself in awhile. I just feel that deep down that my POV is interesting and is useful to people, and if others cannot see that they are not worth my time.
Readers what do you think? Is the blog a bit narcissistic? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What to Expect When You are Expecting: Fashion Edition

A friend of mine recently sent me a barrage of texts of how unhappy she was about her current unfortunate situation. Apparently, the maternity offerings are just not quite up to snuff in her opinion or terribly expensive. She asked me to do a whole post about it, and who am I to turn down a pregnant lady's request?

I did a bit of poking around and unfortunately for the most part time has marched on but maternity fashion has not kept up. I mean take a look at this old pattern piece illustration? Can you tell me the difference between this and some of the items from Destination Maternity or A Pea in the Pod?

I mean yes they do have guest designers like Heidi Klum creating lines like Lavish by Heidi Klum and Loved by Heidi Klum. These, however, are just the best of a bad situation. I knew there had to be something better out there to satisfy those fashion diehards. There just had to be right? I mean after all there are all these pregnant celebrities out there looking fabulous like Amy Poehler, Alicia Keys, and Danielle Lloyds.

So, I began my search and came away almost defeated. 7 for All Mankind Maternity Jeans - expensive/poorly designed. Liz Lange Maternity - boring/stiff designs. It seemed that maternity was plagued with the same issues that bog down plus size offerings - lack of insight. Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you do not want to be fashion forward or overhaul your whole look as you are a mom to be.

Here are a couple of looks that I pulled together for my friend. She is a young school teacher, so what this what I tried to keep in my mind as I was playing virtual stylist. She is also quite thin when not pregnant (it is her second), so I wanted to create looks that were reminiscent what she wears then. Well, improved on a bit by myself of course! The other great thing about the items I pulled is that these items can mixed and matched. Thus, justifying the investment!

Work - Day: This dress from Moody Mamas is something I think anyone would want to wear - pregnant or not. Bright and vibrant this is the perfect dress to wear while working with children! She works in a school that does not allow bare shoulders, so pairing it with this cute sweater makes it work appropriate.

1. Moody Mamas - Sweetheart Dress (Sizes XS - XL; $190.00)

2. Spiegel - Whisper-Weight Cropped Cardigan (Sizes XS: XL; $17.00)

Work - Night: A teacher's work is mostly done during the day, but there is the odd occasion when they have to work the night shift. Namely - Parent/Teacher conferences. This outfit would be perfect for such occasions as it is extremely professional yet fashionable. I absolutely love the color of this top from TopShop and the fit of the pencil skirt by Isabella Oliver. Also, the cropped sweater featured with the day look can be paired with this outfit as well for a more casual look.

2. Spiegel - Whisper-Weight Cropped Cardigan (Sizes XS: XL; $17.00)

3. TopShop - Maternity Boutique Tuck Blouse (US Sizes 4 - 10; $50.00)

4. Isabella Oliver Maternity - Pencil Skirt (Sizes 0 - 14; $100.00)

Date Night - Casual: Being pregnant should prevent you from having a night out on the town! This more casual outfit on the left is still pretty fashion forward and is on trend via the lingerie inspired top. The Garbo Trousers from Isabella Oliver Maternity are also fantastic as they are fitted yet allow for your pregnancy tummy! This trench also from Isabella Oliver is the perfect way to complete the outfit, well that is if it is cold enough for it.

1. TopShop - Maternity Peplum Tunic (US Sizes 4 - 12; $70.00)

2. Isabella Oliver Maternity - Garbo Trousers (Sizes 0 - 14; $126.65)

3. Isabella Oliver Maternity - The Trapeze Trench (Sizes 8 - 14; $223.30)

Date Night - Sexy: Going out on the town with that special someone? This is the dress you should be wearing. It hugs your curves in all the right places and better yet comes in a color that pops! Pair this Isabella Oliver dress with the trench coat featured to avoid making women and men stop in their tracks!

3. Isabella Oliver Maternity - The Trapeze Trench (Sizes 8 - 14; $223.30)

4. Isabella Oliver Maternity - Ruched Tank Dress (Sizes 2 - 10; $148.75)

My friend spends a lot of time at home because 1) she lives down South in a large home and 2) she has 2.5 year old. (Seriously her house is 4 - 5x the size of my apartment at least!) So, I wanted to put together something she could be comfortable running around in as well as fashionable. I looked at tons of jeans for her, but these ones from Isabelle Oliver are the best! They are low cut and the band does not seem intrusive. The fit on the leg is also very fitted, which is very necessary. As I said, she lives in the South and it gets pretty hot down there. No better reason then to wear this adorable tank top! This sweater from Spiegel also does the trick to avoid being frozen when met with ice cold blast from AC indoors.

1. Spiegel - Whisper-Weight Cropped Cardigan (Sizes XS - XL; $17.00)

2. Isabella Oliver Maternity - IO Jeans (Sizes 0 -16; $89.50)

3. Ripe - Twist Tube Top (Size XL; $34.00)

As I was roaming the internet searching for these items for my friend, I came across something quite alarming. The selection of plus size clothes was horrendous. And I thought it was bad just searching for clothes in my size regularly! The maternity clothes in plus sizes should seriously go into the category of Things That Must Not Be Named a la Harry Potter. They are that horrific! Fret not, however, I was able to track down some decent plus size options. It just required a bit of creativity.

This amazing top from the ASOS mama·licious line of maternity clothes goes up to an XL, which according to their size chart is an American size 16. If you are larger than that this item will most likely still fit you as it has an extremely loose fit coupled with enormous armholes. Pair it with a pair of leggings as shown here, and you would not look out of place strolling around the West Village.

1. ASOS mama·licious - Embellished Woven Tunic (UK sizes S - XL; $59.18)

2. duo Maternity - duo 22" Legging (Sizes 2X - 3X; $12.99)

This dress can be worn in a million different ways to accommodate your growing bump. The white/teal combination is truly inspired and will always look fresh! This item also goes upward to a size 3X and due to its dynamic nature can probably be worn on larger frames.

1. Hayley by Hayley Starr Reversible Knit Wrap Dress (Sizes M - 3X; $38.50)

The one thing that my friend stressed to me is that she hated spending money on things she was only going to wear for a limited time. Fact is I am sorry to say that being fashionable takes investment! That does not mean, however, that you have to break the bank to be a pregnant fashionista. There are in fact a couple of options to make this happen!

1. Consignment Shops: Check out the consignment shops in the affluent parts of time. More likely than not you will be able to scoop up some discarded designer maternity duds. Also, there are shops like Belly Bundles that sell their maternity consignment merchandise online.

2. Rent: Yes, believe it or not you can rent maternity clothes by the week.
offers one-week maternity dress rental rates starting at just $35. They carry brands such as: Christian Siriano, Maternal America, and Olian Maternity.

3. Sell Them After You Are Done: Sort of like renting, this options requires you to ditch the clothes after you no longer need them. Ebay is literally teeming with mothers looking for maternity wear, so this may be your best bet to recoup the majority of the cost. Also, this is what will justify you spending more on those transient pieces! The higher the quality - the higher the chance of resale.

Do you have any places or suggestions for my friend? I am also always looking for new ideas for posts. Have any ideas on either - leave them in the comments!