Friday, October 29, 2010

Vive Le Maxi

The past few days, I've been trying to take advantage of the wonderful weather in Los Angeles. I'm squeezing in those last-minute bare legged and sleeveless outfits.

I wasn't on the maxi-dress bandwagon until this summer, when I stumbled upon an amazing one. Before, I always found them to to either be too short (I can't stand high-water anything) or too long without sky-high heels, which kind of negates the purpose of the maxi: easy, cool, and comfortable, yet high-impact. I also felt that a maxi dress with a large pattern would overwhelm my short frame.

This maxi dress is one of my favorite finds from the past summer. I stumbled upon it when I was at my good friend's dad's warehouse; he owns a clothing company, and this dress was one of the discarded samples. When I was digging through the boxes of these reject samples, I also found a lovely floral romper that I also wear often. This just goes to show that you can find amazing things in totally unexpected places. A great wardrobe, in my opinion, has a comprehensive mix of pieces from all over the place; that way, every look has a creative and original feel.

Forever 21 belt, Michael Kors watch, David Yurman ring, earrings from the Flea Market Girl booth at the Melrose Trading Post flea market, Austin City Limits music festival entry bracelet

What I love about this dress is that it's incredibly simple.The dark gray color is beautiful, and the silver buttons on the top of the dress give just enough detailing. The A-line of the skirt creates a column-shape that is super flattering, and--added plus--I feel super tall in this dress!

J. Crew wedges

I randomly discovered one day that these shoes could not be more perfect for the dress, because the heel height allows for the maxi to just barely graze the ground (my ideal length for a maxi dress). These wedges are also super-comfortable, so it's no problem for me to wear them around all day everywhere--and I do. I also love the greenish-mustard leather straps, because the color is super-versatile, and the cold flecks in the wedge add a fantastically subtle amount of sparkle. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I'm of the opinion that great nail polish can complete an outfit.

One of my favorite things about the changing of the seasons is that the trends for nail polish change, too.

I will admit, I'm a little addicted to Essie's Wicked and Sugar Daddy. I either go with deep, dark red/brown or barely-there pink. I usually just switch off between the two, depending on my mood. But this season, there are some new shades that are just too wonderful to ignore:

Tom Ford, purveyor of all things sexy, is debuting a nail polish this season to go along with his wildly popular Black Orchid perfume and lipstick. This entire collection evokes Old Hollywood glamour; it's stunningly swank. The nail color is deeply lush, and is reminiscent of the Wild Orchid flower that inspired the scent.

Chanel always kills it with their nail colors. The lacquers are beautifully creamy and the colors hit with high impact. Chanel's polishes fly off the shelves faster than stores can stock them; people can't get enough of the unique, trend-setting shades. Last spring, Chanel had an instant hit with their fabulous take on the gray trend. This season, the French house of fashion is offering three military-inspired colors (Khaki Vert, Khaki Brun, and Khaki Rose) that pair perfectly with this fall's favorite color, camel. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Lovely Revival

American Apparel is on the upswing.

Though the company faces imminent bankruptcy, their clothes are looking better than they have in quite some time.

When I experienced love at first sight with this rosette tunic--and was shocked when I found out who makes it--I realized American Apparel is doing something different for the first time in a long time, something I am quite pleased about. Much like the sobering effect that the Great Depression had on the hedonistic attitude of contemporary American culture, American Apparel's bankruptcy has had the same affect on the company--and that's a good thing. American Appparel's clothing as of late has had more of a demure nature than what the brand usually offers.

I've been a fan of American Apparel since they first appeared on my radar; like the majority of AA devotees, I have the zip-up fleece hoodie, the countless deep v-necks, and I am also a fan of their barely-there bras, just for the basics. But, as the items I've just listed suggest, American Apparel often walks a fine line between minimal-chic and just plain boring. Much of their "style" as a brand has been based on their provocative, nearly-naked Terry Richardson ad campaigns and their indie/hipster appeal. While I do enjoy watching the brand push the limits with their sexy ads, and donning some oversized glasses to go with my indie-prep cardigan, American Apparel has gotten a little too predictable.

Until now. The brand is now offering tons of new, on-trend items, including ladylike silhouettes, lace everything, and collegiate-looking plaids and stripes just right for fall.

When I finally got around to visiting an American Apparel store last night, I was overwhelmed with the pretty, classic, and just downright stylish things in the store. 

Of course, American Apparel will never abandon its racy roots. And why would they? It's what put them on the map as a unique retailer. But this season, they're offering some amazing additions to their usual repertoire. 

Kudos to you, AmerAppar.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Here Comes The Sun

Today the sun is finally peeking through the heavy clouds that have been presiding over LA for the past few days. As I reached for my Ray-Bans this morning, I realized it was about time for me to switch things up a bit.

I have been wearing my aviators for as long as I can remember. They're so iconic, and have this magic power of making any outfit a little sharper. And they manage to look good on almost everyone.

But after a long-term relationship with my aviators, I'm kind of thinking of cheating on them with something that's a little more fashion conscious. I'm really loving the vintage trend, especially the cat-eye. These glasses add instant glamour, no matter what you're wearing. 


1. Dior. Pair these with red lipstick for a minx-y look.
2. Alexander McQueen. The flash of yellow is a fun addition to this dramatic pair.
3. Marc By Marc Jacobs. The striping on these is fun, and the round shape is versatile. Plus, at under $100, they're a steal.
4. Tory Burch. I love the tortoise-shell/cat-eye combo. Very classic.
5. Gucci. This squarish shape is a great option if you don't want the full blown kitty look.
6. MDG Madonna for Dolce & Gabanna. This is a supercool mix of an aviator and cat-eye shape. For those of us that can't quite part with our Ray-Bans but love this retro look, this is a really unique alternative.

I'm a smitten kitten.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quick Change

There is a creative art involved with transitioning outfits from day to night. But the fun thing is, you can do in a multitude of different ways. Here's an example.

Day: class and lunch.
Urban Outffitters Blazer, Moda International Shirt, Daughters of The Liberation cargo pants, Austin City Limits wristband.

Night: out to dinner.

For dinner, I swapped my long, pendant necklace for a statement necklace with lots of visual interest. I also changed from metallic flats to camel peeptoe heels.

Tried-and-true J. Crew ballet flats. These have seen better days....but if I could, I would own these shoes in every color.

Gifted J. Crew pendant necklace. So elegant, one of the best presents I've ever gotten.

Zara heels that I picked up in Europe over the summer. They're great because the camel color goes with everything. 

This is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry, ever. From Madewell, of course. It's absolutely perfect for dressing up any casual top.

When you're running around all day with ten million things on your mind that are probably more important than what you'll wear to dinner (or on a date, or out on the town, etc. etc.), it's good to know how easy it can be to re-craft your outfit for nighttime.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Every year, I'm faced with the jacket dilemma. When I lived in Texas, at least I knew that the weather would at some point be chilly enough to necessitate a substantial article of outerwear. But in LA, it's a gamble. With the weather constantly changing, it feels like you need a different type of jacket every day. So which ones do you buy?

Of course, my problem is that each year around this time I go gaga for every piece of outerwear I see, no matter whether it's weather-appropriate. Right now, I'm especially drawn to military-detailed peacoats, oversized anoraks, flanel/plaid anything, capes....oh, and did I mention that I'm also lusting after a Penny Lane-esque furry vest? Yep, I'm all over the map this season. 

J. Crew does peacoats best. I love the big gold buttons on this one. And I can't ever say no to anything navy.

This minimalist cinched anorak is an extremely versatile,  lightweight option.

I've been loving camel everything lately. The wide, easy shape of this cape is undeniably chic.

If only I had gone to NYU...then I would need this coat. Despite its outdoorsy functionality, it manages to retain dramatic appeal. The red flannel print is the perfect pop of color for any winter outfit.

I'm loving the cozy yet statement-making feel of a fur vest. I'd add high-waisted jeans and chunky heels for a 70's feel.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

There's no denying it...

I'm a Madewell addict. The following, as much as I try to contain myself, will probably sound like an advertisement.

I love everything about this company. My closet is filled with their clothing, and I even worked there this past summer.  For the last three years, since they first launched their store in Austin, I have been following the line's every move. Almost everything they produce, I covet.

The brand was founded in 1937 as a workwear company, and its origins have definitely influenced its products today--the clothing is extremely well-made and retains a classic sense of style while incorporating fresh trends. Madewell markets itself primarily as a purveyor of amazing jeans, but their slouchy tees, classic boots, vintage-inspired jewelry, lovely dresses, and elegant tops are also among my favorites. Plus, they recently launched a collaborative collection with the it-girl herself, Alexa Chung, which sold out online in minutes. And why wouldn't it have, with its darling peter pan collars, high waisted jeans, and velveteen frocks? We Madewell devotees clearly just can't get our hands on it fast enough. Even lines like Paige and Earnest Sewn have jumped on the bandwagon, creating jeans just for Madewell.

Alright, enough gushing. Fall is my favorite season for Madewell, because they typically get everything--and I mean everything--right. The most perfect coats and boots, super soft knits, menswear-inspired sweaters, and even adorable socks for your ankle booties or fall sandals (speaking of which, they make a ridiculously chic pair that my roommate has been coveting for months).

That being said, walking into Madewell right now is almost a painful experience, as I want everything in the store, but can't afford more than a few items here and there. Below are a few of my favorites from the current collection:

bohemian yet flirty dress

The fabulous return of the high waisted jean. Now if only they would make a trouser pair....

Anything in this lush olive color is perfect for fall. Especially this effortless dress.

a flouncy skirt with just enough sparkle for the holidays

 These polished, high-waisted jean shorts are amazingly versatile. And the button-down is perfect too.

I've been craving ladylike shorts, especially to wear with tights/high socks for the fall.

An uptown bag with downtown details. I'm in love.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Fair Lady

Feast your eyes on the stunning Anne Hathaway, cover girl of the November issue of Vogue. When I saw these pictures I nearly died.

She's so classically beautiful, and refreshingly real-looking. She reminds me of Old Hollywood (clearly channeling Audrey Hepburn). Or a princess. Or a combination of the two.

The it just me, or are they a bit of a departure for the magazine? The pictures are simple, and it is their simplicty that makes them so breathtaking. They, and Miss Hathaway, look effortless. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Vogue devotee forever and always, but the mag's shoot concepts are often complex, and sometimes result in the accidental obscuring of the model/celebrity and even the clothing. The minimalism of this shoot-- the colors, lighting, and styling--makes it a triumphant success. And the star, of course.

I am in awe.

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Official

Autumn is finally dawning on Los Angeles. Well, at least as autumn-y as it gets here. With the temperatures hovering around 60 degrees, the sun nowhere in sight, and the constant threat of rain, it seems I have two options: lay in bed all day catching up on Mad Men, or force myself to get out of bed and be a productive human being. If I wasn't motivated by sheer glee to break out my fall apparel, I'd probably be hanging with Don Draper, lusting after Joan and Betty's amazing clothing right now. 

Anyway, while I do mourn the recession of my sundresses and crop tops to the back of my closet, I'm so excited about the return of my boots, tights, oversized sweaters, and scarves (now that they're actually functional, not just a great outfit-topper). 

Today, I'm wearing a dress I've had since sophomore year of high school. Despite the fact that it's not exactly on-trend, I can't help but pull it out every year around this time. I love the print and the way it looks when creatively accessorized. This just goes to show how easy it is to recycle your old clothes...especially for those of us on a college budget.

Urban Outfitters dress, Hue knit tights,  Madewell boots, vintage double strand necklace, gifted bangle from South Africa, Michael Kors watch, wishbone necklace, Madewell jacket.