Thursday, August 27, 2009
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?
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
Friday, August 14, 2009
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
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??
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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
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
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??
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
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
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
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??
RELAXED DENIM CUT-OFFS
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.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
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.