Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Polka Dot Sweater

It's hard to pinpoint, but there's something adorably geek chic about this blue polka dot sweater!! Buy at Madewell for $85.

My Style Challenge: Monochrome

I've had my coveted by many dahlia pink pants for more than a couple of weeks now, but I have yet to feature them in an outfit post! This is tres unacceptable, but I was having trouble pulling together a "blog worthy" outfit. But this week it occurred to me - monochrome!

I admit I'm playing a bit fast and loose with the term. The pants seem to toe the line between pink and purple, so I'm wearing both in my look, which really isn't monochrome! And the black blazer certainly isn't! But I just get a "one-ness" vibe from this look and I'm too lazy to come up with another way to describe it! :P
See above for my patent pending "here is my jewelry and I'm a sleeping vampire" pose!
Monochrome styling can be deceptively tricky. You may think to yourself, "Uh, you've only got one color on, how hard can it be?" But there's a difference between wearing one color and wearing one color well :P

To keep your look from getting too flat, I do recommend wearing different shades of a hue (or is it different hues of a shade? I never remember). It adds depth and interest, though if taken too extreme it can fall into colorblocking territory! For example: Do you consider a red top and pink pants monochrome or colorblocking?

Different textures also add interest and dimension to a monochrome look. Try mixing silk and cashmere or furry and lacy!

Finally, small touches of a neutral like black, gray of white can help emphasize the otherwise one color look of your outfit. I admit the blazer may be too much, but something like a belt or other accessory can look great!
I'm wearing: Wool pants from J. Crew, fei flannel top and blue bowler hat from Anthropologie, pale cami underneath stolen from my sister, blazer from Urban Outfitters, Michael Michael Kors heels from Net-A-Porter, Michael Kors belt from Bluefly. Jewelry is: Betsey Johnson earrings, PAM vampire teeth necklace, tiger and rhinestone bracelets from CUSP, green glass bracelet from street fair, black ring from ShopBop, horizontal glass ring from Banana Republic.

Sequin Collar Dress

Tomorrow I'll be speaking at a conference, then heading to work, then going directly to my company's holiday party! I'm currently leaning towards bringing a dress to change into, but I'd love to simply wear one look all day! I'll be delving into my closet tonight to see if anything fits the bill, wish I could just run out and buy this dress at Pixie Market for $118!

Sidenote: Think that model bills herself as an Alexa Chung look alike?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gaga's Workshop

I'm a fan of Lady Gaga, but I'm beginning to think her branding team has run amok. I mean, last week I saw "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving" on tv - seriously??? And currently Barney's New York is featuring an entire floor of Gaga's Workshop - Lady Gaga's interpretation of Santa's Workshop. They worked with assume vivid astro focus (a.k.a. avaf), defined as "avaf emerged as an art collective in 2000. Pulling inspiration from music, video, and technology, avaf creates their own all-encompassing world through a unique psychedelic pop-nouveau style." I may have to go roll my eyes right now.
Anyhoo, Gaga's workshop features lots of unique items that look especially Gaga-esque and 25% of sales from all items will be donated to the recently established Born This Way Foundation, which fights bullying. I'm certainly against bullying, though I wonder why she didn't join up with the Trevor Project or something similar. You can buy lots of embellished pieces, gloves, jackets, hats, sunglasses, even crazy press-on nails that would definitely wreck havoc on my tights. There are some affordable (under $100) items for her younger fans, but of course I'm only interested in the $400+ items! Alas, those not in NY don't get to experience the workshop in person, but at least we can shop online at!

Washed Chambray Buttondown

With all the clothes I have, I still don't have a great, everyday chambray blouse! I have a denim shirt stolen from my mom that's too thick and a somewhat stiff, oversized chambray blouse that works, but can be annoying worn tucked in sometimes. So I always have my eyes open for an affordable, silky soft one... like so! Buy at Anthropologie for $88.

Tweed Motorcycle Jacket

Since loosing my beloved cropped, boxy blazer, I've been on the lookout for a new one! This tweedy one is super chic, mixing prosh ladylike and badass edge perfectly! Best of all, it's just $88 at Need Supply.

Glacier Ring

Whew, now that all the screaming to buy has died down a touch, I feel comfortable posting things again! Check out this beautiful ring with glacier molding - unique and tres pretty for winter! Buy at FarFetch for $168.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Charitable Gift Receiving Challenge & Guide

As the gift giving holidays come at us like a freight train, I imagine many non-profiteers like myself will be extolling the joys of charitable gift giving. But let's be honest with ourselves for a second - gifts like funding mosquito nets for an impoverished village in someone's name will probably lead to quickly concealed disappointment from the receiver. Realistically, unless your family and friends are those always do-gooders that the rest of us hate for making us look bad, people just want stuff. I'm not saying we shouldn't try to change that about our culture, just that I understand why so many people are hesitant to give charitable gifts instead of one of Oprah's favorite things.
Gee, thanks?
So, instead of crafting an alternative giving guide, I am challenging each and every one of you: swap out one item from your holiday wishlist for a charitable gift. By removing the fear of disappointing the receiver, I'm sure we can all double, triple, bazilpe the amount of charitable giving this season!!

I'm sure many of you can immediately think of a favorite nonprofit or two that you'd like to benefit, but how can I resist writing a gift receiving guide?? So here are a few alternative giving catalogues I'd like to recommend:
  1. The USO Wishbook - I'd be remiss if I didn't highlight my own organization!!! There are hundreds of men and women out there fighting for what they believe is right, thousands of miles away from their families for months at a time. Don't forget our troops are often the first to bring aid to areas hit by natural disasters - my navy doctor friend spent more than a month deployed in Haiti after the earthquake hit treating injuries. So why not ask to help fund a phone call back home ($25) or kickball equipment ($75) for our service members?
  2. The National Wildlife Federation Adoption Center - No secret that I love animals! There are so many cuddlies to symbolically adopt: seals, eagles, panthers, alligators, meercats, and otters! Everything has a base price of $20, but some have add-ons like a plush toy, a calendar, even binoculars! 

  3. UNICEF Inspired Gifts - UNICEF provides care for children all over the world and you can help buy buying measles vaccines for 100 kids ($24) or a child survival food pack ($82). These are actual gifts that will go to one of the 150 UNICEF serves.
  4. CARE Package - CARE fights global poverty, with a focus on empowering women. Wow, you can send a girl to school for a year for just $49? You can also join in other people's CARE Packages, which is neat.

  5. Oxfam America Unwrapped - An international relief and development organization that helps communities fight poverty, I think they're the only charity that let's you give crap... well, manure ($12). Hee hee hee! There's a multitude of options, from art supplies for kids ($15) to a pair of sheep ($90).
Join the challenge and help me spread the word!!! What were you planning on asking for this year and what charitable gift will you ask for instead? Let me know in the comments, or, even better, on your on blog!

Fashion Dogs: Kyoko of Fasshonaburu

I'm launching a new series: Fashion Dogs!!

I've made friends with many fashion bloggers over the years and one thing that's stood out to me is how many of them have a beloved pooch that often makes cameos on their site, and sometimes even have their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts! It's obvious that fashionistas love their doggies and I think it's about time we learned a little more about them!

First up I'll test the waters with my own baby, Kyoko!

I love hats just like my mommy!
What breed are you?
I'm a drop-earred papillon, also known as a phalène. Papillon means "butterfly" in French and the breed was named for the fringy ears. In French, phalène means "moth" - how fabulous is that??? My mommy's imaginary fashion label is named Phalène! We're a toy breed usually under 10 lbs known for being intelligent, gentle and needy!
This will be the perfect Christmas card!
Does your human ever dress you up?
Sometimes when it gets very cold out, she puts me in a sweater my aunt Alex knitted! I also have a leopard print Snuggie, me-ow!

Where do you love to shop?
Online pet boutiques always look so terrible, like they were made in the early '90s and haven't been updated since! I like to shop stores that have pet departments, like Saks Fifth Avenue and ModCloth.
Could you scootch that a bit closer?
What designer do you wish made dog gear?
I would love it if Diane von Furstenberg made pet items, she has great prints that would look lovely on bowls and beds. And I bet Balenciaga would make amazing collar sets with great hardware details and sculptural shapes!

If there was one pair of shoes you wish you could chew on right now, what would it be?
I initially thought maybe the Mui Mui glitter pumps everyone went gaga over in early fall, but now I think I'd rather sink my teeth into these Thakoon ankle boots! Black & white Afrian-inspiraed paisley print?? Nommy in my tummy!!

Let me know if you know of a fashion dog to be featured next!

Pleated Leather Skirt

Leather skirts appropriate for the office are my favorite! This one is pleated but not schoolgirl, and has a great, flattering shape. Buy at CUSP for the sale price of $297.

Curvy Open Knit Sweater

Really like the weave of this sweater! It's on sale at Creatures of Comfort for $248, originally $495! Only a size M/L left but I feel like that's technically two sizes ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Style Challenge: Cold Weather Cowgirl

Funny how for as long as I can remember I've hated all that is western, and suddenly this year I've started getting into the look! You won't see me in straight-up cowgirl costume, but I've gotten attached to some of the accessories, particularly the hats!

In early fall I paired this sweater and skirt together and got lots of compliments - they contrast well and balance each other out nicely! I accessorized with two strong pieces, my fringed scarf and floppy brim fedora, which always makes me think of cowboys and Indiana Jones.
I'm wearing: From high school military-inpired sweater from Delia*s, skirt and hat from Madewell, scarf from Urban Outfitters, my fab Stuart Weitzman 50/50 over the knee boots, a Coach bag my sister gave me, thick cable knit tights and some rings you can't really see.
Our backyard is looking rough, oh my!

Lust for Less: Tiger Print Pumps

You know I'm obsessed with tiger print right now!! It just feels so fresh compared to ho hum leopard.

I came across these Sergio Rossi pumps and totally swooned! But they're a super pricy $795 at Intermix - so not going to happen! So I went on safari for a more affordable pair and...
Whew, that was tough. There is a serious lack of tiger print heels out there! Thiese Dolce Vita ones are snake-embossed and a much more affordable $199 at Nordstrom.

Lace Neckline Top

Love the scoop back / lace neckline combo of this top - a great way to "leave them wanting more" bahah. Buy at a new site I've discovered, High Gloss, for $120.

Fairisle Leggings

I've been feeling quite inspired by knit leggings lately, and this fairisle pair is totally standout, yet oddly wearable. Perhaps that's just my crazy point of view - buy at ASOS for the sale price of $36 if you agree! Also available in petite!

Style Inspiration: Bang Bang

Recently watched the movie "The Brothers Bloom" about some con men in the '30s and their wonderfully eccentric mark, but the character that most caught my eye was "their muscle" - Bang Bang the explosives expert. Played by Rinko Kikuchi, who has three lines in the entire movie, she cooly observes every movment with a cocked eyebrow and blows stuff up. Her style can only be described as androgynous sociopath with an obsession with couture. I'm pretty sure she's my new muse, as she obviously dresses to please herself and screw everyone else!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Faux Leopard Purse

I remember how last fall everyone was carrying a fur purse (insert immature giggle here). You know what, though they've died down, they still feel tres fresh to me and this one at Revolve Clothing is only $66! I'm super tempted, but I think it's a bit too small for an every day purse and I just can't convince myself to buy another going out bag when I rarely go out!

Lace & Feathery Dress

This is such a standout dress! A lace top (great over a nude cami or a fuchsia turtleneck!) and a beautiful feathered bottom with an ombre effect... I'm haing trouble not buying this even though I could not possibly use another cocktail frock! Buy at Free People for $248.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two Winter Accessories to Rock

As the temperatures drop, everyone is digging out their winter gear, but perhaps they don't look very exciting being pulled out of the attic? Time for buying new things, hooray!

First on your list is a a blanket scarf! Definitely look for fair isle or south western prints, throw over your shoulders and belt it for a great twist!

But this is a two for one post! If you're not so into blanket scarves or you want even more to buy, how about a wide brimmed fedora? They remind me of cowboy hats, but slightly jauntier! I just got one and adore it - I call it my Indiana Joes hat!
How are you staying warn yet stylish this winter?

UNICEF Teddy Tee

I saw this tee and was intrigued, though not totally sold on sharing it with all of you. But then I saw that 100% of the proceeds go to UNICEF and was sold! Buy Net-A-Porter for $115.

Samurai Waistcoat

Military Waistcoat
Ooo, I totally adore this most fabulous waistcoat!! Doesn't it remind you of a samurai? I really want it, and so do a lot of other people as it's selling out in sizes, oh noes! Buy at All Saints for $140.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vintage Style Beaded Clutch

With holiday parties upon us, many of my friends are thinking about cocktail frocks! But don't forget to accessorize - loving this vintage style clutch! Buy at ModCloth for an affordable $40!

Project Accessory - Did the Magic Make It?

If you watched this season of Project Runway, you probably saw commercials for Project Accessory. I was immediately intrigued, as we all know I live and breathe for shooooooes! But I was also tres skeptical -remember the awfulness that was Models of the Runway?

Well, we're three episodes in now. I admit, I started off all kinds of "meh." The only person I could remember was the lady who has both a wonky eye and crazy eyes... I'm never usually a straight-up bitch on my blog, but the only accessory she needs is a pair of sunglasses.

But I digress! As the episodes have progressed, I've realized that of course I haven't made any attachments yet.  It usually takes me until episode six at least to start loving on people, though I usually identify one or two early on that I want to keep my eye on. For Project Accessory I'm having a lot of trouble getting a sense of who these people are as designers.

When it comes down to it, I don't think accessory designers are taught to have a strong, cohesive point of view. Especially when some people obviously focus on jewelry, some on leather goods. It always seems like a great pair of earrings and a necklace and then a belt way out from left field.

That and I find the whole runway concept a little stilly for accessories. "Everyone look how different accessories transform the same dress!" Except not really that much.

I still have hope that my attitude will change towards the show, but overall I find the concept that anyone can match the love I know feel for Nina, Michael Kors, Heidi and the most beloved person in fashion, Tim Gunn, impossible.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dressing for the Office Holiday Party

It's time for that familiar crush of holiday gatherings! One of the biggest events you'll probably have this season is your company's official holiday party. But just because it's an after hours event with cocktails doesn't mean it's time to go wild in your favorite bodycon mini. You can balance the fun and turn heads without getting a call from HR the next day. I don't even like the idea of wearing a strapless dress to an office party, though do keep in mind that you can make a piece more conservative by throwing on a chic blazer or cardigan and wearing opaque tights.

Most invites I've received so far call for "festive attire." I've taken this to mean cocktail dressing, so I recommend a dress or skirt, but some dressy pants (NOT black chinos) will work if you pair them with a fancy schmancy top. Just don't skimp on the schmancy, folks! But don't wear a full length gown unless the invite specifies "black tie."

I decided to check out the red carpet for some inspiration:

I was tres inspired by these pics - so much so that I created three different outfits - all perfect for your company's shindig. Go for conservative silhouettes with sparkle and you'll stand out for all the right reasons!

Office Holiday Party Attire