About Me

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VA college student struggling to balance dreams of fabulosity with the realities of one's wallet. intoxicated by aesthetics, lover of simplicity, master of the last minute deadline, consistently overcaffeinated and overbooked... but wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Best Dressed: 2009 Emmy Awards

My roommate has a certain taste for award shows that I will never understand. She likes to watch them, like really watch them, all the boring bad jokes and awards for people you'll never care about included. Sometimes exciting things happen, which is good because then she'll scream at me to come look and then I can always say that I saw whatever _____ said/did/about/to ______ at the ______s last night. At any rate, the only part I can sit still to watch with her before falling asleep out of desperate boredom is the red carpet coverage, provided that it is on mute, because Ryan Seacrest really gets to me sometimes. This year's Primetime Emmy Awards were very strange to me--we saw a lot of black gowns, which I think is unusual because the Emmy's usually generate color, and also a lot of the younger girls were jaw-droppingly over-done (cough HaydenBlake cough). The drama was best left this year to the experienced actresses. Here are my picks for best dressed.

all photos credit of fab sugar

Drew Barrymore looked phenomenal in a rosy, blush colored Monique Lhullier gown. Although several girls showed up with a severe red lipstick thing going on, I appreciate that the only thing even noticeable about Drew's makeup is the lip shade. Hayden Panettiere, on the other hand, could have toned it down a notch. Drew's hair was also softly swept back off her face and shoulders in a way that seemed uncomplicated and romantic, which contributed well to the overall atmosphere of her dress, and she kept her jewelry simple so that it wouldn't compete--whoever styles her does a fabulous job. One of my favorite things about Drew Barrymore's sense of style is that she is usually unafraid to take risks, which you can see in this dress because a lot of girls would be wary about the shade---but she pulls it off. Kudos to Drew.

all photos credit of fab sugar

I ADORE this dress; it's probably what I would have worn had I been in Jen's shoes. A very sunny yellow Max Azria, there isn't a thing about it that I don't like. I love the way it fits her so well in the bodice, the way it skims the red carpet gracefully at just the right length, and the way it complements her skin tone. My only complaint about the entire look is her hair. It is so curling iron-y. I mean if she did it herself then mad props to the girl, but I know she's paying someone to do it--if you're paying them what I think you're paying them, it might be nice to have the final product give off the air that you're not paying anyone at all. The whole point of having a beauty team behind you is that when all is said and done, if everything is executed properly you should look amazingly effortless and natural. But those curls? Meh. They look like they took her ten minutes in front of the mirror while her date was waiting downstairs with the corsage, if you know what I'm saying. Other than that, dress well done.

What do you think of Jen and Drew's looks--or was your pick for best dressed different? And how do you feel about Jen's hair??

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best Dressed: MTV VMA's 2009

all photos credit of fabsugar.com

All Kanye-drama and Russel Brandisms aside, last night's VMA's were without any good heat. You know what I'm talking about--the outfits. I mean, I totally understand that it's the MTV Video Music Awards, not the Oscars (although T-Swift could have been at either with her dress), but does that mean EVERYBODY has to go with a short sparkly minidress in black or silver paired with platform pumps? Oh, and a fake tan? I just find myself in a state of shock when my picks for best dressed end up being cast members, previous or present, of The Hills. There must be some kind of stylist conference going on in east Asia or something, so that all of the girls must have had to call a universal replacement styling agency and therefore all ended up in similar ensembles. Shame. First up! Ladies and gentlemen it's Whitney Port.

Amazing! I adore it. Whitney and I generally do not see eye to eye on all things fashion. She has a tendency to go out looking like she forgot half her outfit, but props to the girl for trying to figure out the crop top trend. Her tan looks healthy and normal, her nailpolish is eye-popping, and she is working this cross-trend piece of body con and sheer panels. I like that her hair isn't tightly plastered or hairsprayed and her part is imperfect. Perhaps most importantly, she has the balls to step back and let this dress speak for itself by going small with the jewelry and pulling her hair off her face. I would go with a different pair of shoes, but these aren't terrible. All in all, I appreciate that she stepped outside the box a bit. Next up: Lo Bosworth.

So on The Hills, my impression of Miss Lo Bosworth is that she plays the sweet, humorous friend that says most of what everyone else is thinking but doesn't have the guts to say. Consequence being, she was (is?) my favorite. So maybe I'm prejudiced, but I LOVE this minidress. I love it's vintage inspired feel, the eclectic pattern, the short hemline... I just love it. Most of all, it works for her. If you're going to go along with the crowd (short sparkly black or silver minidress and pumps) do it in a way that makes it seem like you're NOT doing it. Know what I mean?

So what do you think--do you like Whitney/Lo's ensembles? And who was your favorite for best dressed?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NY Fashion Week

GLORY PRAISES BE. It's that time of year again and I am SO GLAD because now that school and work and all kinds of jobs and internships have really started to settle in for most of us, we're starting to feel the heat of that pressure. And what better way to relieve some stress than the Spring Collections?? There really isn't a better way, I don't think.

Today and tomorrow kick off Fashion Week with a few highlights that I'm looking forward to, including BCBG/Max Azria today and Erin Wasson for RVCA and Nicole Miller tomorrow. Updates/Coverage to follow.

Oh Fashion Week. Hallelujah.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Real Life Wear: Gimme a great big, Texas style, YEE-HAW

WHAT: Billabong pumpkin shade sundress, Grandmother's cowboy boots, Aeropostale denim jacket and Charlotte Russe yellow shades.

WHERE: One of my first days of class I had some down time on the Quad, which resulted in me having a little too much fun with my camera. I may or may not have had a few people pointing at me as I took numerous self portraits, but that's the price you pay for style. Haters.

WHY: It's still hot here in VA and we're trying to get the most out of our summer as we can. This means pooling it on the weekends and sunbathing between classes on the Quad, so since I work all weekend and never see anything but the inside of the Roadhouse, I figured I'd take advantage of the sun while I could. These suede cowboy boots I found in my Grandmother's closet, who recently passed away, and every time I wear them they make me smile because of how amazing and fabulous a person she was. I strive to resemble her, and make her proud of me. Even if it means having outfit haters. Haha. =]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Post at CF: How to go without your denim.

Bandeau Bras: Trend in Review

From left to right: Liya Kebede in Balenciaga, Balenciaga Fall 2009 RTW, Givenchy Fall 2009 RTW, Balenciaga Fall 2009 RTW

One of the most wearable trends of late, especially in regards to weekend and evening wear, is the visible bandeau bra. The past few seasons have seen necklines and lingerie grow more revealing, and this season is no exception. The visible bra itself is a trend popularized by several celebrities, like Rihanna, that somehow adds a touch of risque class to any casual outfit, but for this post I wanted to focus on the bandeau bra because of its trend factor.

A bandeau bra, for those who don't know, is a bra that is similar to a strip of fabric and exists without straps, which often contributes to the fact that it is generally found in spandex form. There IS a difference between it and a strapless bra---a strapless bra is merely one without straps, where as a bandeau bra is literally a band of fabric that deviates from the typical bra structure.

The bandeau first made its way into the spotlight as the show stealer at Balenciaga's Fall 2009 RTW show. The sheer lace versions peeking out under otherwise demure blazers and conservative outfits made for a wonderful contrast, and the world was hooked. More industrial, tougher leather looking versions also made an appearance at Givenchy the same season, and the bandeau trend was born. The best part about the bandeau bra trend is its wearability---finally, comfortable lingerie that is designed to be seen instead of covered up.

Given that fact, surprisingly enough it is difficult to find photos of celebrities and models taking part in this trend, with the exception of Liya Kebede. They'd rather go sans bra completely, like Rihanna and her infamous blazer/pasty fourth of July ensemble. The blogging world, however, is a completely different story. The wearability of bandeaus is not lost on the real life fashionistas, which is good because this would be a sad trend to pass up on. For some inspiration on how to wear a bandeau bra, check out Krystal from This Time Tomorrow here and here. Or if you're just looking on how to wear a visible bra in general, check out Rumi from Fashion Toast here; this is a trend she works with often.

So how DOES one wear a bandeau bra, and where can you find some affordable options? I myself am planning on ordering one of the spandex versions because I can't see myself walking around with a see through visible lace bra, despite how beautiful it is. But, I've done some digging, and several affordable options of both are available online at two primary retailers, Charlotte Russe and Urban Outfitters.

Three on model are from Urban Outfitters, top right corner from Charlotte Russe

When you're trying to get this trend to work for you, I think it's important to remember that although this is a trend about visible lingerie, it is NOT an excuse to surrender to the porno-chic of Simon Doonan. You all are classy individuals, there is no need to end up looking like you're about to go work the corner for the night. Try to minimize the amount of skin you show in the rest of your outfit; this trend is about an unexpected dose of sexy that doesn't end up looking trashy, instead it adds to the overall appearance a dash of glamour. Here are my ideas for ways to wear the bandeau trend.

Top and Bra-Charlotte Russe, Bag-Lulus, Shoes-Piperlime, Nailpolish-Chanel, Watch-Urban Outfitters, Bangles-Forever 21, Ring-Lanvin

The bandeau trend, mainly because it centers around visual lingerie, is generally perceived as a casual one, but that doesn't mean you can't polish it up a little. Here I paired the $5.99 bandeau with a $20 shirt from Charlotte Russe; just unbutton that last button and you are good to go. Remember to make sure that the shirt you wear is loose with a more casual vibe so that people won't think it's a tank top. With crisp black accents incorporated into the outfit, the entire ensemble translates easier to evening wear and is polished enough to do so.


Fedora, Ring-Urban Outfitters, Tank-Alexander Wang, Shoes and Bag-Piperlime, Jeans-J brand, Bra-Charlotte Russe

If you are into the casual vibe of the trend, like me, polishing it up isn't necessary and you can run with the whole breezy effect. Choosing an oversize, loose racerback tank like this one by Alexander Wang will not only contribute to a feel of casual luxury but also make you look slimmer with the contrast of the fitted bandeau. Tuck your hair under this straw fedora, pull on the boots by Piperlime and you are good to go for the whole day!

All in all, I personally can't wait to try out this trend myself. What do you think of the bandeau trend, and would you wear it? If so, how? I'd love to hear your take on it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday's Muse: "The Bitch is Back"

First of all, I'd really just like to preface this post by explaining how I am not an avid viewer of The Hills---at least, not anymore. I stopped watching it around a year ago, during my first semester of college, when I found it much harder to find time to keep up with shows and the drama became much less interesting. Lauren, the media tells me, has just left the show this past season to move on to bigger and better things (...?) AND WHO BETTER to fill the void of beloved but boring LC than Kristen Cavallari? At least, that's how MTV is spinning the situation. I kid you not, "The Bitch is Back" is their tagline, not mine.

During Laguna Beach, I must admit, I loved Kristin, and I still do to this day. She may not be nice, but she is funnier, smarter, and often better dressed than all the other girls combined (Heidi contributing a negative factor probably doesn't help). She recently stepped out to an event in this ensemble and I had to give her credit. It takes a unique person to smile at the camera when your comeback to fame is engineered to remind the public how nasty of a person you are. But anyway! On to the much more interesting part: what she wore and how you can make it your own.

A red that saturated is often hard to pull off, but with her signature blond locks and sunkissed tan I think she executes it very well. My favorite part of the outfit (no surprise here) is her shoes. You can see the garish, gold gladiators behind her and they just pale in comparison. What is important to take away from this outfit, I think, is that Kristen is here executing what many of us find difficult: transition dressing. This billowy tunic is still breezy in the sun, but will keep her warmer than a tank top or sun dress when the event carries past sun down. At the same time, she helps keep cool with an unexpected pair of navy shorts, helping distinguish herself from the rest with such a brilliant red and uncharacteristic shorts pairing. I guess you can say there is a reason why she steals everyone's boyfriends... She might be just better at it, like she is with her outfit. I guarantee that no one else at the event was wearing a similar ensemble.

For my spin on Kristin's outfit, I found a brightly colored tunic with a bit of a pattern from stylesforless.com. The best part about this tunic is that the color palette allows it a lot of versatility, letting you work with several different looks. In the first outfit, I recreated Kristen's look, and the second two I made my own. What do you think of my looks, and Kristen's? And how would you wear a brightly colored tunic?

Outfit 1: Shorts-Charlotte Russe, Shoes-Modcloth.com, Clutch-Net-a-porter.com
Outfit 2: Skirt-Forever 21, Boots-Piperlime, Earrings-Modcloth.com
Outfit 3: Boots-Charlotte Russe, Shorts-American Eagle, Bag-Net-a-porter.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Before I Burst...

I am bursting with excitement BECAUSE... of this!!!!!!!!!

Just click it. I can die a happy woman. Sort of. Well, at least today.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trend Experiment: Zippered Bodysuits

Bodysuits and Glamour

A fast flying trend of late that caught on like wildfire in fashion social networking sites like lookbook, weardrobe and chictopia, the zippered body suit is one particular trend that I confess I'm a little wary about. Personally, the idea of a bodysuit in general seems to be something more suited to not only adventurous fashionistas, but girls who also don't mind having a perpetual wedgie (yes, I said it it) issue all day long. Even though I've decided not to invest in such a garment, I still think that the bodysuits themselves are extremely versatile and add interesting detail and edge to an outfit, so I created an example of how I would wear a bodysuit if I was brave enough to purchase one. What do you think of the bodysuit trend---have you tried it? Is it worth it? And how do/would you wear it?

Spotlight On: Lulu's

So I know I haven't been posting too often in the past week or so, but I thought that I would at least take a moment to stop and talk about one of my favorite online obsessions, Lulus.com. Let me just start by saying that online shopping is a perilous world. Sizing is often deceptively depicted, colors are different in person than they are in photos, and SHIPPING... don't even get me started on shipping. There was once a time in my life when I was firmly against any form of online shopping... that was the time before I moved away to a college in the middle of nowhere in terms of shopping. Now, I can easily say that at least half of what I buy on a regular basis is bought online.

Personally, I've bought from Lulu's on two occasions, and on both, I experienced excellent service. The product in person was equally as stunning if not more so than it was online, and the fit was surprisingly accurate. Probably one of my favorite things about Lulu's is that it shows all of its clothes on a real person, which is much more indicative of a garments styling and fit than any mannequin. The models are also photographed against real backgrounds, instead of just a white backdrop, which helps to gauge the true color of a garment. Perhaps even more importantly, they shipped promptly---even though one of my items was backordered, they still shipped and delivered the item at least two days earlier than they said they would.

I love Lulu's, not only because of their excellent customer service and presentation of the clothes, but because they carry lines like BB Dakota, RVCA and Collective Concepts, which aren't often found in your average mall, and all of their clothing is trendy yet tasteful, often with the potential to become any girl's classic closet staple. Also, while many websites specialize in dresses and are lackluster in the outerwear or pants section, Lulu's has great options for anything from dresses to shoes to jewelry. Best of all, most of their stuff is less than $60 an item! I definitely recommend Lulu's to anyone scared to try out online shopping for themselves; I promise, you won't regret it. Here are a few of my favorite things that Lulu has out right now:

Monday, August 17, 2009


Like to let all my readers know that my posting, if at all, will be sporadic at best this week. Starting the semester/moving in/working for my university's orientation program has me going from about 5:15 am to midnight every day. Promise to be back soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Impending Fall 09: Reader Opinion Request

Currently I'm preparing a few articles for next week and they are mainly centered around one thing: the upcoming fall season. As I was doing so, I asked a couple of my closest friends and family what their fashion and wardrobe related goals were for fall 09. Here were some of their answers:

1. My mom-- (who is 50 years old, five feet even and a little less than 120 lbs, very small) "...to find clothing appropriate for women over 40 that doesn't look like a tent but still carries a price tag that the mainstream mom can afford to consider."

2. My sister-- (who is a rising senior in high school) "...to find timeless clothing that makes my old things look new."

3. My friend-- (a rising junior at a well known university in Boston) "...to find a good pair of boots that aren't ugly but can still see me through the Boston winter."

4. My sister's friend-- (also a rising senior) "...to find the perfect, classic, versatile, casual but polished oxford button down."

This got me thinking... everyone has different things that they focus on when it comes to their wardrobe, because everyone's style is constantly evolving with time. Although each season will eventually come to pass, I don't think we will ever achieve that perfect sense of style we've always dreamt of; I don't think it's meant to be achieved. Mistakes in style are what help you learn what it is you want to grow and strive for. What are your goals in style for this fall season, and how do you plan to achieve them? What is inspiring your current wardrobe, and how do you plan to go about channeling that inspiration to create a more fabulous, fashion forward you? I'm going to take this weekend, as I write my fall season preparation articles, to really consider what fashion and style mean to me, and how I plan to make my style evolve this fall. Hope you're inspired to do the same!! Have a wonderful weekend everybody.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Look for Less: Leighton Meester, 2009 Teen Choice Awards

Leighton Meester's outfit this weekend at the teen choice awards was one that turned many heads. Although I personally wasn't a huge fan of the outfit, I do love Leighton's style and I can definitely appreciate that she is never afraid to take a risk or stand out from the crowd with her fashion choices. And really, you've got to hand it to her: despite the risk of looking totally cheesy in those shoes and that dress, Leighton still manages to make the outfit look playful and mature despite the youthfully inspired design of the dress, with the ruffles and bows, and the red patent Mary Janes. In honor of her fearless style, I did a little bit of digging and came up with a very similar look that is undoubtedly cheaper that Meester's ensemble. What do you think? Did you like Leighton's get-up, and how does mine compare??
.Look for less

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Real Life Wear: Fun In Florals

WHAT: Blue floral chiffon skirt from Forever 21, worn with A&F cardigan, white tank top, la mer chain wrap watch and black gladiator sandals.

WHERE: On my way to an optometrist appointment and out afterwards to run errands, I decided that I needed a bit more flair in my life. Considering that the sky was gray and I haven't had a chance to really get the mileage out of my skirts this summer, I decided to brighten things up, this being the result.

WHY: I just ordered this watch from Urban Outfitters about two weeks ago and haven't really gotten around to testing it out. The big peace signs next to the forest green arm band really make me think unique, outdoors inspired thoughts, so I went with the floral skirt to have my own reincarnation of nature in my outfit---sunny yellow cardigan, wildflower skirt, forest green watch. Plus, the breezy nature of the fabric is perfect for those warm summer afternoons when you're popping in and out of your sweltering car while running errands. All in all, a very happy outfit to bring some smile to a not so interesting afternoon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spotlight On: Ashley Tisdale

Is it just me, or are those Disney starlets making giant positive steps towards mainstream media? The opportunities for girls like Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens and Demi Lovato to get noticed outside the Disney channel arena seems to be growing every year. If you think about it, they have a lot easier time translating to the larger world of acting than their male counterparts, with Zac Efron being the ONLY one whose name even comes to mind right off the bat. Personally, I don't think it takes much to see what makes the difference for them; it's the potential to make headlines in the fashion community. Just think about the buzz they get when they step onto the red carpet at, say, Nickelodeon's Teen Choice Awards. Observe, Exhibit A:

How awesome does she look? I've started to respect Ashley's style more and more with every red carpet appearance, specifically starting with when she ditched her ditzy blond locks and went for a more flattering, enviable chestnut shade. As time went on she started to develop her own personal style, which has manifested itself in a couple of her past red carpet looks as a sexy, polished form of rocker chic. For example, this is what she wore to the MTV Movie Awards:

Both instances depict Ashley's style at its best. She pulls off a sleek, feminine look with a short hemline in a color palette that flatters her loose, lovely locks, and then toughens up the look with rock and roll details. Her studded bracelets and belt are a trendy way to accessorize right now, and they look fabulous on her. I think my favorite part of the way Ashley styles this look is that she usually pours on the glamour with her footwear. Like in the first photo---get a glimpse of those fabulous studded Louboutins; they are sheer perfection. And her wrap sandal wedges that she wore to the MTV Movie Awards are not only a more functional but original approach to the typical high heel worn on the red carpet.

All in all, Ashley masters the returning trend of 80's glam while still modernizing the trend and making it her own. I give her a thumbs up and can only hope she manages to navigate her acting career just as flawlessly.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday's Muse: Jessica Alba in Sunny Yellow

Monday's Muse: Sunny Yellow

The other day I was searching the internet for a photo I had seen of Jessica Alba wearing yellow flats (which turned out to be by Marc Jacob, if you're curious), and as I looked I noticed a trend almost immediately while going through her photos. If you do a quick google image search on Jessica Alba, did you know that almost all of her photos on the first two pages include her wearing a yellow piece of clothing?? Like many smart fashionistas before her, Jessica has found her go-to color; yellow complements her tan skin tone and honey colored hair, while adding a pop of unexpected color for a chic and easy alternative to a an otherwise monochromatic outfit. Honestly, the sheer multitude of photos with her wearing yellow was so striking that I had to do a post about it.

Yellow is a color that many people mistake for being hard to pull off---they think that it clashes with their skin tone or is too jarring for every day wear. While this might be true of some pieces, it definitely isn't true of the overall body of yellow clothing. Sometimes, all you need is a subtle element of such a strong color, like said yellow flats (in the photo of her with boyfriend jeans and a turquoise bag), to really make a unique statement.

Personally, my favorite ways that Jessica incorporates yellow are perhaps the most unique, like her yellow trench coat. I can just imagine how on a gray rainy day such a sunny trench would brighten up even the darkest of storm clouds (if only the ones above your own head), and contribute to a mood defiant of even the worst weather. Her yellow scarf, also, is an easy way to change a monochromatic outfit of jeans and a tee into something more coherent and pulled together. Which one is your favorite??

Inspired by Jessica's flirtation with yellow hues, I created two outfits of my own with the spotlight on a yellow piece. Perhaps the best part about this entire discovery of her trademark color is that it has inspired me to try to not only find my own, but to work on including that unexpected pop of color to turn an otherwise ordinary outfit into the extraordinary. How would you work in a pop of color to your wardrobe, and what do you think of these outfits??

Pleasantly Yellow

Urban Chic

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lust List: Friday August 7, 2009

This week's lust-worthy wardrobe items include a healthy dose of florals, some structured jackets to lead you into fall and a couple trends that are just too fantastic to pass up. What items are you coveting right now? Do any of your items coincide with mine??

1. Urban Outfitters Long Party Blazer, $78
2. Urban Outfitters silk jacquard scarf, $28
3. Modcloth Flower box garden duffel, $59.99
4. Tulle Tulip overlay skirt, $26
5. Missguided Ramona dress with zip detail in navy, £25.99
6. American Eagle Sergeant jacket, $69.50
7. Charlotte Russe bandeau bra in black, $5.99
8. Urban Outfitters Floral jumper, $42
9. Charlotte Russe yellow patent flat, $18.99
10. Topshop tapered trouser, $60

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fashionable Read: Eccentric Glamour by Simon Doonan

So as a fashionably interested individual, I'm generally inclined to spend my free time pursuing activities that support my insatiable fashion appetite, which includes my choice of poolside literature. On one trip to Borders for such inspired material, I was examining the vastly understocked image/appearance section (Barne's and Noble is so much better at this) when I stumbled upon this book, Eccentric Glamour, by Simon Doonan. I recognized him almost immediately as many dedicated viewers of VH1's "I love the 80's/90's" would---being the creative director at Barney's, the man is not only fashion fabulous but incredibly funny. At $15.00, the price was right (you won't believe how outrageous fashion books can be) and the name-dropping positive praise of the reviewers was more than enough to convince me (including Diane von Furstenburg, Michael Kors, Donna Karan and Narciso Rodriguez), so I bought the book and headed off to the pool.

The premise of Doonan's book is one that's been tried before: "creating an insanely more fabulous you" is the sort of tagline that might attract the same girl to a Cosmopolitan magazine for a more concise set of instructions in going about the process. But, I promise you, no one could possibly write about this better than Simon. He writes about how the style epidemic paralyzing the states currently is called "porno-chic"... And though we all know how trashy and demeaning those girls look with the fake tans, french manicures, boob jobs and bleached hair, deep down we still want to BE them (crazy phenomenon, but it's true) at least some point in our lives, be it because of the attention they get from that one special guy or the opportunities that seem to come their way. Well, in this book Simon aims to teach you how to "say no to the ho" and, as Harper's Bazaar puts it, coach you as you develop your "signature form of chic."

The key to such a signature is found, according to Simon, by taking your style constants and punctuating them with a spontaneous gesture, which is "life-affirming for you and life-enhancing for others." This, in a nutshell, is eccentric glamour. Simon guides you along through engaging, witty discussions of the three groupings of glamourous eccentrics, which include Gypsies, Socialites and Existentialists, encouraging you not only to find your place amongst the three but even create your own hybrid of style, whichever suits you best. As the narrative moves along through absolutely entertaining anecdotes and personal interviews with modern day eccentrics, including Dita von Teese, Iman, Micky Boardman and Lucy Liu, you as the reader are pulled in not only by Simon's humor but his genuine charm and caring. One gets the sense (especially having heard his voice on TV) that you can actually hear Simon talking to you as if he were telling you the same riveting story as you both meet for a morning coffee.

All in all, Eccentric Glamour was more than a delightful read; it was enlightening on several levels beyond one's personal style. I especially appreciated that Simon related creating your personal style to creating and getting to know who you are as a person----fashion is something inseperable from your personality, and I feel it's often a greater window into a person's inner self than anything else. Simon is not only a humorous writer but a sincere and frank one; he tells it like it is because somehow, he KNOWS exactly what you're thinking/doing concerning your style choices. This is a great book for fashionistas of every level, whether you're just starting to form your personal style or you're already a glamourous eccentric by Simon's standards. I truly enjoyed it and I plan on reading some of his other books. Have you/will you read Eccentric Glamour?? And if so, what did you think of it?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Style Confession: True Life, I'm Addicted to Nailpolish

In an effort to help you guys get to know me better as a person and a fellow fashionably inclined individual, I've decided to start a regular feature post on this blog called Style Confession. My idea is that with each Style Confession, I'll relay to you something about my personal style that you probably wouldn't already know, even if you are a regular reader. Hopefully, the good nature I'm sure you all possess will help you see past my (trust me) oddities and endear me to your hearts. ;) Hahaha. On the flip side, with each post, it would also help preserve my sanity and self-esteem if any of you dear readers would confess to a similar weird stylish tendency, when appropriate. The whole jist of the operation should allow the entire little community here to get to know each other a little bit... So without further delay for my first post, I'd like to say the following.

Hello everyone, my name is Mya, and I am a nailpolish addict. No, maybe a nailpolish whore. In any way you spin it, I have a problem with nailpolish, the problem being primarily that not only do I love it but I need it and I'm very picky. All it takes is the sight of a particularly striking editorial or even an inspiring shade in the sunset to make me suddenly realize that not only do I DESPERATELY want that perfect shade of lilac nailpolish but I NEED IT. Very rarely does the sight of someone's actual painted nails inspire me.

Why is this a problem, you might ask? Because for the wallet/budget-challenged, trying to find the right shade of nailpolish is RIDICULOUSLY difficult, considering that I can't really even consider being able to afford a bottle over $8. I spent more than two months scouring every known mainstream retailer of nailpolish trying to find gray, let alone the right shade of gray, last winter and was only completely successful in early March (violet and navy are also difficult shades to locate, without it turning out too dark and being mistaken for black or drying too metallic on your nails, making you look like you're back in fourth grade).

Needless to say, my nailpolish collection is therefore quite extensive, somewhere around 30 or 40 bottles by now. Although that usually wins me a gaze of longing over my collection of unusual shades, sometimes people take the opposite route and deem my set of shades unpractical. One of my least favorite questions is when people look at me incredulously and say, what could you POSSIBLY do with all that nailpolish?? Obviously, they're for painting my nails at some point. Yes, I paint them seasonally for the holidays (the perfect emerald green for St. Patty's took weeks to find, and I gave up on a Valentine's red so as not to risk looking like everyone else, I paint them white). Yes, I've been known to change my nailpolish three times in one week. Trust me, they do not go to waste.

When I mentioned I was picky about nailpolish, I should have also mentioned that I can be swayed by the superficial. I LOVE nailpolish names, and if I am on the fence about a bottle a good name can sway me in the right direction, especially if they perfectly embody the shade inside (for example, one of my favorite shades of all time is Breaking Curfew by L'Oreal. Try it. You won't be disappointed). Also, I never ever ever paint my toenails and fingernails the same color at the same time. It's too matchy matchy. And why restrict yourself to one color? Twice the color, twice the fun!!

If you don't already think I'm crazy, I'll leave you with this. My current nailpolish obsession runs with Gunmetal by Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear. Like the name, it is the perfect silvery blue gunmetal shade that makes nails look unbelievably chic, and because it's extreme wear it lasts quite a while. I almost had a heart attack in the Rite Aide I was in because, like I said, sometimes I just give up in despair because I can't seem to find a certain shade, and I don't usually purchase Sally Hansen. But this bottle is invaluable---it runs well from day to night, city to beach, and coordinates perfectly with the rebounding trend of 80s punk rock. DEFINITELY recommend. =]

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't Forget About the Sun!

As the lazy days of summer appear to be drawing to a close and the Fall 09 season is looming on the horizon, many of us are starting to look ahead to the impending chill with excitement and anticipation.... not for back to school, but for our wardrobes!! It's just about that time where all the stores release their fall collections, and face it, we're all stunned with the trends we want to make our own. But despite the influx of well cut-blazers and opaque tights to many store's stock lists, the opportunity to wear those fall pieces is still far on the horizon. August is guaranteed to be hot and hazy right on through September, and none of those fabulous fall trends will be going on sale until then. So as much as you want to go buy that phenomenal piece that's going to make your whole fall wardrobe, we all know that in this economy, paying full retail price for it just isn't smart. Resist the temptation to impulse buy and instead, figure out new ways to get the full mileage out of those summer trend pieces while you can. The added time will help you figure out with a level head what trends you REALLY want and need for fall, and you won't be tempted to wear those new items out despite the 90 degree weather. Here are a few outfits I put together to help you think about what you probably already have so you can mix it up while the weather's still sweltering. You'll notice that I used a lot of the same items in each piece, but I tried to make each outfit as different as possible. It's all about working with what you have and making the most of it!!


The floral trend in flowy skirt form was huge in spring and summer, and it's fairly likely that a subdued version will follow into fall to brighten up a cold dreary day. Even though this dress doesn't have jasmine on it, the entire aesthetic is reminiscent of the song Summer Breeze by Jason Mraz, so I took that idea and ran with it. What do you think??

Summer Dreams


Denim cut-offs are truly a seasonal piece and simply don't have the wherewithal to carry on into the chilly weather. Get the most out of them while you can, because the best part about them is that they can be one of the most versatile pieces in your sunny wardrobe.

Casual Class


The shorts for this past warm weather season were vastly differentiated---high waisted versions, tailored cuts, interesting embellishments, you name it they had it. Just like denim cutoffs, these pieces won't carry you into fall, but unlike their denim sisters they might not be wearable next season, so get the most out of them while you can.

Cool and Breezy


Say what you will about them, straw fedoras are an item that emit effortless cool through a touch of androgynous style. Although their more tailored, professional cousins might last you into fall and winter, the fedora itself is a trendy item and could easily not be around next summer. Why not incorporate that into your style while you can??

Effortless Bohemian

Hopefully these outfit ideas will help get the inspiration flowing as you guys struggle to resist that shopping temptation and make the most of your summer wardrobe. Let me know if you have any ideas on my take for wardrobe revitalization, and best of luck making the most of the sun!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Real Life Wear: Maxi-mum Effect

WHAT: Black print maxi dress with chiffon overlay, purchased at Belk (southern department store) for about $45. Worn with black gladiator sandals and my Charlotte Russe sunglasses.

WHERE: Took a brief little runaway vacation to the beach with my good friend, J, and that night after a few luxurious hours in the sun I went with her family to dinner at Philip's seafood house and out to put-put and go-karting. I wouldn't recommend go-karting in a maxi dress... although I still managed to beat J, I may have flashed a couple people on the sideline. Regardless, she kicked my ass at mini-golf.

WHY: The breezy overlay of this dress is perfect for a warm summer night out. It has such a romantic feel to it with the blue flower print, especially when it ruffles in the breeze, and the strapless design is fantastic for showing off your newly acquired summer glow. Also, I love maxi dresses for the minimum amount of effort they require and the maximum amount of style they deliver. I imagine this dress would be perfect for occasions from date night to family dinner to, of course, mini golfing. =] But maybe not go-karting.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Harem Pant: Trend in Review

Over the past two seasons or so, one trend that has surfaced to the near front of the fashion world is harem pants. I first remember spotting harem pants and falling madly in love with them on Ralph Lauren's runway for Spring 09's RTW. The beautiful silks and fabrics swished about the models' legs in such a fantastic way that embodied casual luxury done more successfully than any trend I could remember in a while, and perhaps MOST exciting was how comfortable a trend this promised to be. They are, after all, practically pajama pants!! Naturally, I'd soon realize that in fact, therein lies the danger.

As it turned out, I was tragically disappointed by retail's effort at translating this runway godsend to real life wearability. To this day, I still can't help but be put off by most all harem pants. The slouchy, unkempt appearance of mainstream retail's jersey/cotton versions are nothing compared to runway looks, but who can afford better?? At least for the time being, I put harem pants on a mental trend shelf. I cannot bear to ruin what looks so phenomenal on the models by wearing a tragic version of it myself.

So determined, I did some research on harem pants just to see what I could find. Apparently, the first time the westernized version of this style became popular was in the early 90s by MC Hammer (hm, definitely not looking to channel that era... ) but they actually originate from Turkey. Interesting, but trying to find a flattering version of these pants, especially in the States where we are SO far behind that I'm consistently forced to go online, was near impossible. The rest of the world couldn't wait, obviously---I have it on good authority from a friend who spent a month in Italy this summer and La Petite Fashionista, who's studying abroad, that "everyone" in Europe is taking part in the harem trend, which is evidenced also by the fairly broad selection available at topshop.com.

Well that may be for the Europeans, but I hate wearing anything that "everyone" else has. I had all but given up on this harem trend, thinking to myself that maybe it was one trend that just wasn't meant to be, but then about a week ago these appeared on modcloth.com. I don't know why, but everything just clicked. Their striped pattern is just eclectic enough to be unique from the rest of the harem pants, AND they don't look like I've just rolled out of bed in them (also more affordable at $39.99 than many of topshop's picks). The fashion gods be praised---I put in an order for them last night and can't wait until the mailman rolls up to my door with the find. Until then, I already planned a potential outfit for them and have it for you guys to look at/drool over. Enjoy! Let me know what you think... I'd also love to hear anyone else's thoughts on the harem trend.

Earth Brown

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gray No More

So, remember that pair of sneakers that I told you all I was going to rough up a little?? Well they FINALLY came in the mail yesterday right before I left for work, so this morning I had a little fun with some bleach out on the back deck, these being the results. =] What do you think? I gotta say that I was actually planning on the bleached areas turning white, although I don't know why because they are marketed as overdyed. Nevertheless, I like how fun and interesting they turned out. Now all I have to figure out is what to wear them with, right? Haha. Here's how I went about this quick little D.I.Y. :

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: bleach slightly diluted with water, latex gloves, paint brush, bleach pen, paper towels to control the damage.

Really all it took after I mixed the bleach was a little creativity and some nerve. I must admit, this being my first D.I.Y. I was a bit nervous I might ruin them. But, barring any sudden disasters that involve completely dunking the sneakers in bleach, I don't know how anyone might ruin this kind of project. After the first couple timid flicks of the brush, I experimented it with directional casting, overhead drops and even flicking the bleach off my gloves. Really, just have at it. The best part about this was that less than fifteen minutes later, I had a pair of lovely one-of-a-kind sneakers on my hands. Definitely worth the wait.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday's Muse: Hot Hot Pink

One trend I've definitely been noticing lately is how many starlets are popping out to the red carpet in some seriously enviable hot pink ensembles. Be it Megan Fox at a Transformer's premiere in Russia or Bar Rafaeli at the Model as Muse event, the hot pink trend is an international one that people all over can recognize as a sexy, polished and mature look. Perhaps the most interesting of all these ladies' outfits are the different ways they manage to wear the simple staple of a hot pink dress to make it their own. Amanda Bynes and Megan Fox opt for some gold jewelry, while Bar Rafaeli, Blake Lively and Megan Fox went for some unexpected footwear decisions to shake things up. And though Bar, Amanda and Blake chose to keep it simple with the hair, Megan went retro glam while Victoria Beckham, always the trendsetter, went more severe and edgy with her look with the short dark hair. I also love that Victoria made the look her own by incorporating part of her trademark passion for menswear with the fitted blazer top to her dress, while Megan and Bar make their looks unique with eye-catching embellishments on their dresses. Most importantly, despite such an overwhelming color that can easily overpower your look, each and every one of them pulls it off flawlessly (minus Megan Fox's shoes.... I won't lie, I can't stand such a deep red next to that pink). So, inspired by each of their looks, I kind of took a little bit from each of them and made my own hot hot pink ensemble, a super affordable version I might add.
Hot Hot Pink

What do you think?? And how would you wear this lust-worthy look??

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Application for College Fashion

Hopefully if you're reading this, you're either Zephyr from collegefashion.net or a lovely passerby. In either case, welcome to my blog! Though still in its early stages, I think with some time and a little TLC that it could have potential. Feel free to read on about my top five favorite fashion trends right now and a list of potential topics that I'd enjoy blogging about in the future, and please do stop by from time to time or even get in touch via one of the options listed at your right. Enjoy!! =]


1. FALL 2009 STYLE RESOLUTIONS. The beginning of the new school year is always a good time to start fresh with your life---be it new goals academically, socially or in this case, fashionably. Always wanted to start something new and creative with your wardrobe? Make a promise to yourself at the start of the semester and stick to it!!!

2. HOW TO STAND OUT IN UNIFORM. We all have to wear uniforms at some point in our lives, especially this one, where many of us are spending the time not at the library or in class at part time jobs, internships, team activities or volunteer service. So how does a fashionista stand out amongst a sea of black pantsuits, the same matching t-shirt or even a waitressing uniform, especially when it would benefit her to be memorable?? My post would address this and hopefully answer that for many college girls.

3. D.I.Y.---FABULOUS FASHION ON A BUDGET. College girls often don't have the money to spend on each season's diverse trends, so how can they keep up with it all?? Well, the creative fashionista merely goes about it a different way---she makes it herself. Especially with the recent recurrence of 80's and 90's fashion in the form of acid wash everything, crop tops, destroyed t-shirts and neon colors, there isn't anything a resourceful college fashion reader couldn't make herself with just a pair of scissors, a cup of bleach and a box of dye.

4. THOUGHT PROVOKING JEWELRY. The easiest way for a college fashionista to turn heads can often be done through her jewelry. Often times trends overtake college campuses faster than an epidemic (can you say north face + ugg boots = leggings + vera bradley??), especially in smaller towns where the shopping options are limited. So, it often suits a college girl to keep it simple with the outfit and go crazy with her accessories. She'll be drawing envious stares in no time.

5. PRODUCT (RED). Of course, all the readers at College Fashion love to shop, and no doubt they'd love giving to a good cause. Not only is Product (RED) an excuse to buy that grande latte at Starbucks or that Gap sweater you've been lusting for, but it also donates all its profits to the Global Fund, which works to reduce the spread of AIDs/HIV in Africa. Now thats a trip to the mall that we can all feel good about.

And now, my top five favorite fashion trends that I'm currently obsessing over. Maybe after this you'll join me!!

boyfriend blazers
anything nude
tulip silhouette
return of the shift dress (thanks, mrs. o)
chunky metal hardware accessories

Click on the image to get a lovely up close and personal look at those glam accessories!!

all jewelry, belts and bags courtesy of Urban Outfitters
pink shift dress found at modcloth.com
purple shift dress at lulus.com
chiffon blouse and nude pumps at shopstyle.com
all other images from style.com

Again, thank you so much for taking your time to read my application, even if you do not choose to hire me. Best of luck in the future!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Inspired by Alexander Wang (...who isn't...)

A few weeks ago I recently purchased a tank top from Urban Outfitters that I was madly in love with. At the time I didn't know what, but I knew it reminded me of something---a sort of effortless cool achieved by those lovely sagging cutout sleeves. Last night I was mulling through style.com's archive of RTW Fall 09 shows, looking for some inspiration as I strove to get together a look for my fall wardrobe, and I stumbled across this photo at Alexander Wang and nearly did a double-take. Had I known that the tank top I was so in love with was really just a blatant rip-off of Alexander Wang, I may have been more persuaded to try a more honorable way of achieving the style via DIY, but now that I'm stuck with it I secretly am quite excited with what I can do with it. Possibilities are practically endless:

-Tucked into a grey pencil skirt with some killer black stilettos for the office?
-Paired with acid wash denim for a modern take on the back-to-the-80s trend?
-Incorporated into your rainy day outfit, played up by some bright fire-engine red rainboots for a look sure to brighten up some grey skies?
-Or maybe with your favorite dark skinnies and a pair of booties with some tough hardware, to bring out your inner rock chick?

What do you guys think???

rainboots: target.com $24.99
booties: charlotterusse.com $39.99
acid wash pants: modcloth.com $47.99
pencil skirt: modcloth.com $39.99