Monday, February 28, 2011

I Majored in Art History, In Case You Didn't Know

Despite what seems like evidence to the contrary, I really do want to make my blog something that people will check everyday, or at least of their own volition and not because I'm bombarding them with links on Facebook, Google Chat, Twitter, and Adium. I hope that I eventually will have a group of followers who are genuinely interested to see what I write next. This means I need to stick to my plan of continuous posting, as well as providing useful and relevant information.

I spent this past weekend with my parents who were in town visiting from D.C. While I try to be as interesting and cultured as I can, these two adjectives usually get trumped by home manicures, running (when I'm not injured), SeamlessWeb, TV/DVR, or long wandering walks around the city. So, when my parents come up, it is an excuse to forgo my usual weekend activities and do the things that my parents like to do in the city such as eat nicer meals, patronize museums, and see Broadway shows. I always have a great time, and I wanted to share what I learned during a few of my weekend outings:

- The MoMa is really great. Yes, it is one of the pricier museums ($20 admission), but it is worth it for the special exhibitions coupled with the great permanent collection. Right now is Picasso's Guitars and I highly recommend it. Also, for the cash strapped, it is free on Friday evenings, so brave the lines and get to it!

Photo credit

- Van Cleef & Arpels has some sick jewels. 350 amazing pieces are now on display at the Cooper Hewitt and you if you like sparkly things as much as I do, you need to go. It is $15 general admission but the estate is gorgeous and after the show you can walk the beautiful Central Park reservoir or take a nice stroll down museum mile.

Photo credit

- $18 Bloody Mary pitchers at Octavia's Porch on 3rd Street and Avenue B. I love a good bloody and Liz and I are always on the search for the next great one (preferably included in the meal). The $18 is an additional charge, but they are quite tasty, and it was an overall delicious brunch.

While this post may not seem to have anything to do with fashion, it does have to do with New York, which happens to not only be the city where I reside, but the city I love and which provides me with continuous inspiration. I will also add that museums, as well as the East Village, are great places to see amazing fashion; I saw so many creative minded people wearing imitation worthy outfits. If you keep your eyes open, you can spot many things that may spark your fashimagintion no matter where you go. (I'm like Faulkner, I make up words. Yeah...okay I got nothing on Faulker.)

Now get outside and enjoy your city!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Happen to Love Trigonometry, But Fashion Math is Much More Fun.

I would like to begin this post with a personal thank you to all of my coworkers who complimented my outfit on February 10th (I meant to post this the same week so I apologize for my lapse in blogging). Not only did it tug at my little stylist-at-heartstrings, but it is now archived in the "go-to outfit" section of the fashion reference library known as my closet. And, since my blog is dedicated to individual style on a budget, it is quite fitting that both pieces I wore that day are from H&M.

The boots are Lanvin Fall 2009, purchased at Loehmann's for about 85% off, and I extend an apology to the woman who was following me around hoping I wouldn't buy them, because she is missing out on a lot of shoe admiration.

Note: This outfit contains black and navy. I have learned that this is a viable color combination despite initial reservations, and now I kinda dig it. So you have my seal of approval to wear it too, not that you need it.
And now onto some other ensembles that give great style at a great price:

GAP open cardigan + American Apparel braided belt = DVF-inspired wrap worthy of a street style snapshot. I like to pair mine with gray over-the-knee socks from H&M and a more fitted bottom, mostly because I spend too much free time stalking Lookbook.

White burnout tee + H&M spandex mini = simple East Village Evening outfit.

Worn specifically with Hue Super Opaque black tights and sample sale Giuseppe Zanotti booties. (Best $15 I ever spent! And no that's not a typo.) Other footwear alternatives: $35 H&M wedge booties or $28 Forever21 Workman Lace Up Booties. I just like to write the word "booty."

Forever21 floral chiffon dress + J. Crew Outlet argyle cardigan + Buffalo Exchange Vintage GAP belt = a lesson in layering, a tutorial in textures, and a play on pattern mixing. I'm all about the Jenna Lyons J. Crew styling aesthetic of mashing up lengths and textures and patterns, then cinching it all together with a belt. I'm still perfecting my own version, but this is a pretty decent replication for my body type.

Express Tuxedo boyfriend blazer + gray American Apparel Tri-Blend v-neck + Hue black leggings + multiple Trash & Vaudeville studded bracelets = Kate Lanphear Rock Chic. I have made clear my obsession for Kate, so this equation needs no explanation.

If you can't tell, I have a mild case of fashion schizophrenia. I don't think I have one distinctive style, but rather I dress for my mood, which can change every day or every minute.
Now it is your turn to come up with a style equation that multiplies the contents of your closet! Let me know what you come up with!

I would also like to apologize for the crap quality of my pictures, as I rely solely on my BlackBerry and Photo Booth for iMac. One day, I promise to upgrade. If I can just stop buying nail polish and shoes...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

If You Weren't Aware...

...I kind of have a "thing" for nail polish. Lucky for you, this obsession has lead to some pretty awesome manicures. I have included a photo gallery of my favorites because looking at pictures is fun, and maybe you'll even get a little inspiration for your next paint job. Your manicure will thank me. (My blog says you're welcome, because it's polite like that.)

Chanel Blue Satin + Sally Hansen DVD, American Apparel Factory Grey + Cover Girl City Lights, Illamasqua Phallic + OPI Catch Me In Your Net

Nfu-Oh 65, Essie Bright Tights, American Apparel Mount Royal

OPI Blue My Mind + Sally Hansen Laser, Essie Lilacism + Milani Hi-Res + Color Club Wild At Heart, Essie Chinchilly + Nicole by OPI You're A Star

Sinful Black + Wet 'n Wild Kaleidoscope, Sally Hansen Blue Me Away, Illamasqua Phallic + Sally Hansen Laser

Orly Luxe + Sinful Colors Black On Black + Essie Matte About You topcoat (Ruffian inspired), Chanel Khaki Vert

Maybe one day I'll do a YouTube tutorial of some of the more complex combinations, but there really is not much to any of it other than practice, practice, practice! Not to mention that DIY manicures are my excuse to spend more money on nail polish. Okay, one of many excuses.

What are your favorite brands and/or colors? (I'm asking because, who knows, maybe my collection is missing something.) I'm really not trying to be sarcastic.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

(Tr)Endorsement Time!

Despite my blog's name, I never really liked the word trend. A trend, to me, implies the ephemeral, the fleeting, that an end is inevitable. If an item of clothing or a certain style keeps finding its way back into our fashion vocabulary, how can it ever really be "over"? (Fashion makes me deep, okay?) I think a trend is like that tree that falls in the empty forest: If you keep wearing a once "trendy" item, doesn't that mean it never went out of style? Or rather that it has become a new wardrobe staple?

I don't like to think that just because I still ache to feel hip by wearing my Dr. Marten's (sure they are "in" now, but the resurrection of 90's grunge won't last forever), or plan to wear leggings long after their return to being "so 80's", that I will all of a sudden be incredibly démodé. I wholeheartedly believe that one should wear what suits one, what looks good on her body type, not what the fashion magazines deem appropriate and of the moment. So, from trendsetting to trendorsing, here are some currently stylish items I will appreciate long beyond their shelf life:

- Motorcycle ankle boots
- Studs (particularly on belts, shoes, and bracelets)
- Neon lips
- Leggings (not as pants)
- Oversized sweaters
- Over-the-Knee socks
- Fur/Faux Fur Jackets
- Skinny jeans (preferably in black or gray)

image credits: Boots,, Belt,, Socks,

Wow, there's an incredible 198o's theme running through that list. Betcha can't tell which decade I was born in.
And now for the list of items that, despite numerous magazine or blog features, will never find their way into my already overstuffed closet:

- Clogs
- Harem pants
- Maxi Skirts (I bought a maxi dress once, wore it a few times. Then I grew a brain and realized I'm too short to pretend that I'm tall)
- Leggings (as pants). This also includes the topic of jeggings.
- The Jeffrey Campbell "Lita" boot. I understand this is more blogger fashion than fashion fashion (Is there a difference? I don't know), but if I see this shoe in any more street style shots I might die. I read they are coming out with a shag version. I'm hoping this is an early April Fool's joke.
- High waisted pants
- Open toe booties. They look cute in random fashion snaps, but to me, showing a little toe cleave in a shoe that is meant for winter wear seems oddly counter-intuitive.
- Sweats as anything but lounge wear (From Alex Wang to the Pajama Jean, I just can't support this look)

image credits: Jeffrey Campbell Clogs,, Harem pants,, Jeffrey Campbell Lita boot,, T by Alexander Wang jersey sweat pants,

Disclaimer: My list of "just say no" trends is of course entirely personal opinion, whether based on my inability to find them aesthetically pleasing, or knowing that they are not the right clothes for my body type. I am in no way condemning anyone for wearing what they love, even if I happen to loathe it. It is my own "golden rule" of fashion. You may not like something I'm wearing, but I would prefer it if you would keep that to yourself. Compliments, however, are always welcome.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Choose My Shoes!

Because I can never get enough of a good rhyme and a great pair of shoes, I have created this post so that my readers (how many of you are there anyway?) can give me advice on what to buy instead of the other way around. Now doesn't that sound fun?!

If you are a Bloomingdale's Insider then you know that five pairs of shoes on your Bloomies card gets you 25% off a sixth pair at regular price, and I have gone through a lot of shoe cards in my day. I happen to have one burning a hole in my wallet right now, and yet another one on its way. I tend to use them for either every day basics that need frequent replacing, or for those special, one-of-a-kind, statement shoes that you'd never pay full price for. As of now I can't seem to find either of these types of shoes, but have been eying the following:

Boat shoes! I had Top-Siders in the 4th grade and have been craving bringing back that preppy casual look since last summer. I think it might be time to cave, but which color? Gold, Bronze, or the scrumptious Plum?

Wedges are Aytch-Oh-Tee HOT for Spring/Summer and super comfortable . I have a ton already and they are my go-tos for a summer night out so I can walk/dance/stand posing painlessly at the bar all evening. These leather neutrals are kind of my thing this time around.

And if they have these in store? There was another Michael Kors pair I saw in Lucky Mag, but they seem to be MIA on the Internet right now...

Now, let's say you don't like any of the above options (I'm not really sold on a particular pair either, except the Sperrys, and I do have two shoe clubs cards...), you're in luck! There also happen to be two other pairs of shoes I've been stalking online.

Bass Hearts Rachel Antonoff. I'm dying over these. Frankly I'm going to buy them whether you like them or not...if I can ever figure out when they are going to be available for me to get my clammy little palms on them.

These sassy cheetah platform pumps are only $68...and currently unavailable on the Victoria Secret website in anything but bronze metallic despite being featured in this month's Lucky magazine. These are now the third pair of shoes I've seen in Lucky that I can't buy (the Bass loafers were in there too), I'm starting to feel like a little child being mocked relentlessly on the playground. Not cool Lucky, not cool.

Any favorites of the bunch? Do you hate all of them? I'm desperate for your feedback. Frankly I'm desperate to know if anyone reads my blog. Anyone? Bueller?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spin Dry

Laziness is a recurring theme in my blog. There are just certain things I don't like to spend a lot of time on, and my haircare routine is one of them. I present you with the following evidence:

Exhibit A: I get my hair cut and colored twice a year.
Exhibit B: I don't use any product (No spray, no mouse, no serum. Sometimes a little gel --currently in my purse is Dep -- for uncontrollable flyaways).
Exhibit C: Up until about 4 years ago, I didn't own a hair dryer (I still rarely use it).
Exhibit D: I shower at night, I comb my hair (otherwise comb or brush usage is infrequent), sleep, wake up, flat iron.
Exhibit E: Any product I do use, comes straight from the drug store (or its cheaper alternative/my favorite place ever: the beauty section of Bed Bath & Beyond).

Now that I have made my case, let's start with some recent hair product discoveries (look Ma, I made a legal pun!) turned obsessions.

1) Dry Shampoo
2) The Goody Spin Pin

Dry shampoo has been around forever. Really, since the 70s! And while I haven't been around that long, I am certainly baffled by the amount of time it has taken me to test drive this amazing invention. It is the lazy girl's DREAM. I can't tell you how much money in countless headbands to cover up greasy roots I could have saved had I known the true wonder of this product. When I first took a foray in to the realm of waterless cleansing, I bought a more expensive brand (Klorane) from Ricky's. After that ran out, I turned to the cheapo, original brand Psssssst! from Bed Bath and have been just as happy. So now how do I feel if I am not able to wash my hair? Not Guilty.

Next on the docket we have the Spin Pin. It. Is. Amazing. Hi, have we met? I have fine hair. I have tried for YEARS to perfect the art of the bun, but have failed miserably every time. Bobby pins fall out, layers jump out, pony tails holders can not contain it. Then I saw this television ad-- it was like the "hair thing" (what does everyone else call this product genre?) equivalent of a Kindle commercial. (If you haven't seen the commercial, this comment makes no sense at all, so, translation: it was cute and whimsical, I liked it!) I scoured the Duanes, CVSs, Rite Aides, and Walgreens of Manhattan but seemed to have trouble spotting this elusive device. Then one day, magically in Duane Reade, it appeared, and I have been a convert ever since. Bobby pin what? The double helix shaped pins hold your hair in place, and it stays in place. I recommend. 5 out of 5 stars!

Objection! You have never used the star rating before, so it holds no validity. (Sustained)

And there you have it: the lazy woman's haircare routine. Case closed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Year. New Blog. Sort Of.

I promised myself in 2011 that I'd write more. In my blog, in my book, in general. But due to my perfectionist nature, I'm my own worst editor and it takes me forever to crank out a post. So in the spirit of writing more, I will probably write less in each post, but post more frequently. Let's kick it off with:

Five Things That Are Getting Me Through This Crappy Winter:
1) Hot pink lipstick
2) Over The Knee/Thigh High Socks
3) Edgy Nail Polish
4) Moto Ankle Boots
5) Tights - sweater, opaque, patterned...

Featured in pic: Nars Semi-Matte lipstick in Schiap. Nars Zulu and Chanel Black Pearl nail polish. Madewell boots (over 50% off!)

Five Things That Are Getting Me Excited For Spring:
1) Hot pink lipstick (fun for all seasons!)
2) Rachel Antonoff for Bass Loafers (Already envisioning these with my pleated skirt, rocking the school girl look)
3) Nearly Neon Nail Polish
4) Wedge Sandals (Would I dare attempt to wear with socks? I'm probably not cool enough)
5) My leather moto jacket as sufficient outwear (Hands down, Best. Fall. Purchase. Ever.)

Featured in pics: Old Navy wedges. Theory pleated skirt. Premise leather jacket. China Glaze Sky High Tops and Zoya Kiki nail polish.

Everyone knows how bad the weather has been this winter, and in order to combat the days on end of rain boots and snow shoes, we all have to find those little things that make the season (and our outfits!) brighter. I'm of the philosophy that all you need is one awesome* accessory to complete an ensemble, and I tend to lean towards bright lipstick, unexpected nail polish, or a kick ass shoe to pull a look together. Now, if it would just stop precipitating so that my hair could look put together...

*Awesome does not have to mean expensive. While my favorite items may range in price, some of my most complimented pieces were super affordable. Note the Old Navy wedges...$25!!!