Monday, November 30, 2009

Etsy Spotlight- BBBellezza

I've found another Etsy seller to share with all of you- BBBellezza. I stumbled across her blog as I was searching for other Lancaster, PA bloggers. I ended up purchasing a couple of cute pieces as gifts for a friend. My first choice was this lovely bracelet:

And the second fun purchase was this cute little ring:

Both were gifts for the same friend- the bracelet I thought was so pretty and the ring just cracked me up! It's made using the "Tab" key from an antique typewriter. The recipient is a freelance writer, so I thought it was fitting. I also got a scrabble tile ring for myself:

Mine has an "R" on it, of course. It seemed like a fun, quirky accessory and I got a lot of compliments on it throughout the day. What I love about this particular Etsy shop is that Kim (the designer behind all these cute accessories) uses a lot of found objects and recycled or upcycled materials. The scrabble tiles and typewriter keys are just the beginning. There are pieces with antique keys, chandelier crystals, cancelled stamps, even a few nuts & bolts. If you live in or around Lancaster, PA, you can actually see her pieces in person at Building Character on the 300 block of North Queen street. If you haven't already visited Building Character, then you should- if not for Kim's work, then for all the other fabulous artisans featured there. Check out the website for more information.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And the winner is...

...Natalya! Congratulations! Email me by clicking here and let me know where you would like me to ship the shrug. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to participate- it is always appreciated!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

eShakti Review

I've been talking about it for a couple of weeks, and now the day has arrived- my eShakti order came in the mail and I've put together an outfit to show you. First a couple of things about the experience:

I received an email from eShakti offering me some samples to review- I'm pretty sure I'm required to disclose that the clothing samples were free of charge. I sent my measurements via the form provided on their website and in less than 2 weeks, my custom clothes had arrived. I had selected the "romantic scallop blouse" in black and plum:

And here is my outfit with mine that was custom made to my measurements:

Top: eShakti, free for me this time, online sells for $49.95
Jeans: Old Navy, $19
Boots: Tommy Hilfiger, $79 (from 6 years ago!)
Earrings: H&M, I don't remember what I paid for them

I'm totally in love with my new top and it fits perfectly! I have received more than half a dozen compliments on it already today, so I know I made a good choice and eShakti did a good job making it fit. It's a top that comes in several color choices, so I might even order another in a different color at some point. The quality is good- the shirt is lined and the embroidered edges are solid. I've purchased tops with an embroidered edge and they can be uneven, or have remnants of the interfacing hanging off. Not the case with this top. It's exactly as I expected it and I'm completely in love.

What do you think of it? Would you purchase something like this? What do you think of shopping for clothes online? Do you do it often? Or do you prefer shopping in stores? Leave a comment with your thoughts! And have a great day!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lady in Red... continued....

Remember how I said I want a retro-inspired red dress with a fitted bodice and full skirt? Well, I couldn't wait any longer, so today I made this:

It's far from finished- the hem and sleeve edges are raw and the shoulders need to be fitted a little better, but this is the beginning of my red dress. The fabric is a cotton sateen with a bit of stretch to it, so it's going to be an incredibly comfortable dress. I wanted the neckline to be a little more open, but it's actually not terrible and there's fine line between open and obscene, so I'm going to err on the side of caution. Also, I'm still undecided on the sleeves. They started as 3/4, then I trimmed them down to where they are in the picture. I think cap sleeves will make it too summery, so I think to dress up the sleeves now, I'm going to add a little cuff detail with a notch at the center. They're also a little too big, so I need to fit them properly.

Also, I originally planned to have a lot of sculptural detail starting at the left shoulder and flowing down to the right side of the waistline and continuing on to the back-  basically little tiny pleats that gradually get larger until the back is very dramatic- but I think that idea may be a little too much for Lancaster to handle. I do plan to wear this dress to the company Christmas party which isn't exactly wild & crazy. It's hard to see in the picture, but the skirt is actually pleated. I need to press the entire dress- the fabric is really wrinkled, too. I'm also toying with the idea of wearing a small crinoline underneath to add volume to the skirt. I like drama in my clothes, can you tell?

Feel free to chime in on what you think of my latest creation in the comments section (click on "comments" below the post). I welcome feedback on the following:

1.) Sleeve length & style
2.) Pleating detail on bodice as described above
3.) More open neckline
4.) Styling options for various occasions, but particularly my company Christmas party
5.) Crinoline or no crinoline
6.) Overall feedback- what do you think of the dress overall?

Rate My Look- Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Yesterday when I said I wouldn't do a Rate My Look post because it would involve stretchy pants, I was totally lying. As much as stretchy pants are great for big meals, a comfy dress is even better:

Dress: Max Studio, bought at Marshalls, $19.99
Tights: Target, $6
Sweater: Bandolino, thrifted, $6
Earrings: Aldo, free
Ring: Festoon, $42
Shoes: Fabulous Footwear, $22

I think you guys have all seen these various pieces as part of different outfits before. The earrings may be the exception- they are the ones I got for free at Aldo a couple of weeks ago. I love how the turquoise of the earrings and the cocktail ring play against the deep, dark red dress. I actually took this picture AFTER I got home from Thanksgiving dinner, which, by the way, was spectacular. I didn't overeat, but I almost wish I had because the food was so amazing. Oh, well. There's always next year.

And now for the Black Friday outfit- it's the exact same dress in black! This is my "LBD" that is so comfortable that I treat it more like a sweatsuit than an LBD.

Dress: Max Studio, bought at Marshalls, $29.99
Tights: Target, I forget how much
Shoes: Burlington Coat Factory, $19.99
Brooch: Made by ME!
Hat: I have NO idea- it's so old!

Here's a close-up of the brooch that I know you are all SO impressed with- haha!

I thought it was fitting to wear all black on Black Friday. I'm going to avoid shopping centers like the plague today. I've done the Black Friday thing before and it's really not that spectacular, if you ask me. I've done the midnight shopping, the 5:00 AM shopping- it's all really exhausting and I'd much rather spend my time elsewhere to be honest. My family has really scaled back on the Christmas purchases, choosing instead to focus on spending time together rather than shopping for each other. I prefer it that way- it takes all the pressure off and allows us to actually enjoy the holiday. And my mom tends to go crazy with all her cooking, which is always nice, too.

Over the holiday, I got some feedback and fashion questions that I'll try to answer over the next few days. In the meantime, feel free to stop by Monday's Giveaway post to enter the drawing. Leave up to 3 comments to be considered for the handmade shrug I made. Click here to be taken to that post.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm taking a break from posting today- I've got me a lot o' turkey to eat! (And let's be honest, today's "Rate My Look" would probably involve a pair of stretchy pants.) But while you're visiting, why don't you hop over to this week's Giveaway post and leave up to three comments to be entered in the drawing. Click here to be taken to that post.

I'll be back tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More belated Shoesday Tuesday

Hey everyone- In an effort to make up for my lack of Shoesday Tuesday posts the last 2 weeks, here's another post dedicated entirely to making your feet fashionable.

I'm a personal fan of Zappos because, much like Endless, they have free shipping almost all the time. It's also kind of amazing how fast Zappos can ship, which, in my opinion, is the one advantage they have over Endless. I've placed an order with Zappos at 9 or 10 PM and received it the next morning by 10 or 11 AM. No joke! I don't understand how they do it- it's pretty magical, actually. It makes me wonder what's wrong with other companies that they can't work as quickly as Zappos. When a company tells me that it will take them 2-4 weeks just to bother to get my product packaged and ready to be shipped, then charge me upwards of $20-$30 to "expedite" shipping, I get a little peeved. But Zappos is good for more than just fast shipping. They also have some pretty amazing shoes. Like these Charles by Charles David super gorgeous red pumps:

I'm in love with the red pleated ruffle detail. So flirty and feminine! At $114.95, they are WAAAAY out of my price range, but I can still appreciate their beauty. And who knows? Maybe they'll go on sale someday for 90% off. Wouldn't that be amazing?

One of my favorite shoe labels is Nina. They are expensive, but I often find them super cheap at BonTon and sometimes even Burlington Coat Factory. (Side story: I bought a pair of Nina's for the girls at work for $14.99 at the BCF not to long ago. Sweet deal, huh? ) They can also be found at Zappos, in surpus. A few years ago I was on the hunt for a pair of retro-inspired kelly green pumps. It may have taken a few years, but here they are on Zappos- a lovely pair of satin peep toe Nina's with a fabulous bow detail:

They're not discounted enough for my wallet- they're a hefty $89.95, but like I said before, I can still appreciate the aesthetic value. I suppose if I felt like spending upwards of $100 on a pair of shoes, I'd most likely go somewhere like Zappos or Endless where my $100 can have the most bang for its buck, you know? That much might buy a pair of last season's Vivienne Westwood's or Calvin Klein, and let's be honest, who wouldn't want a beautiful pair of designer shoes in her closet? Until I have that kind of money to throw around, it's Payless and Target and BCF for me. Where do you like to shop for shoes? Leave a comment and tell me about your best shoe bargain store.

Also, feel free to stop by this week's giveaway post to leave up to three comments and be entered to win the handmade cardigan. Click here to be taken to that post.

Slacker, party of one....

I know, I know- I totally missed Shoesday Tuesday TWO weeks in a row. I'm a slacker. And the funny thing is, that's pretty much the only type of post I've been really consistent with. So, I'll do my best to make it up to you with some fabulous finds on the cheap. As you know, I love shoes that make a statement and these Giuseppe Zanotti zipper ankle booties do exactly that:

I personally prefer option #2, but the layered zipper look is definitely cool, too. I like how it adds a tough edge without being a total biker-chick look. It's more of a fun, edgy detail to layer onto your look. Now, boot #1 above retails for over $1400. No, I did not forget the decimal point. And boot #2? Almost $1000 for the pair. So, in honor of my missed Shoesday Tuesdays of the last two weeks, I offer you these versions on the cheap:

1.) Target, $149.99

3. Newport News, $44.00 (on Sale)

4.) Jeffrey Campbell Legal at Lori's Shoes, $186.00

What do you think? Would you wear these trendy boots? They aren't really my style, but I think the use of the zippers is pretty unique. Remember when Jeffrey Sebelia used zippers in his final collection on Season 3 of Project Runway? Here's the dress from that collection:

Who knew how groundbreaking his idea would be? It seems zippers are used more and more as funky trims. In fact, I saw a cool idea for a zipper rosette and loved it so much that I made one for myself. It's kind of like the one on this headband from Forever 21:

But I'll wait to show that to you another day. (Perhaps on a giveaway day? Hint, hint!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Giveaway

This week's giveaway was inspired by all of the drape-y style cardigans that are so hip right now. I don't love the super long, bulky ones, so I decided to make one that fit the criteria that made it work for me:

1.) Short overall, but with drape-y front
2.) Bright color
3.) Light-weight fabric
4.) Some sort of interesting detail

Here's what I came up with:

It's a simple, light-weight, turquoise blue cardigan made with a jersey fabric that has a sort of waffle-like texture to it. It is not lined.

It can also be wrapped around and tied as opposed to open and flowy:

The back detail is a simple rosette made with the same jersey as the cardigan, but with an added layer of organza for a little extra fun detail:

It's made to fit about a size 4-6. The sleeves are rather narrow, otherwise it could fit a slightly larger size. To win the cardigan, leave up to three comments on this post.

Monday, November 23, 2009

And the winner is...

ERIN!!! Congratulations, Erin on winning your $20 gift certificate generously donated from Eshakti! Email me so that I can get it to you. And everyone else keep an eye out for more giveaways as well as a personal review of Eshakti's clothing line later this week. Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Last day to enter for the GIVEAWAY

This is your last day to comment on Monday's Giveaway Post for the $20 gift certificate from Eshakti. Click here to go to the post. Scroll down to the comments. You may leave up to three comments total which increases your odds of winning. Good luck! I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

I'll also be posting a new Giveaway tomorrow. Same rules apply. 3 comments. 1 winner.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lady in Red

Lately I'm dying for a red dress. Red cotton sateen with a full skirt and fitted bodice. Maybe little cap sleeves? Or not. I dunno. These dresses make me happy:

I especially like #2- the skirt kind of makes my heart ache (in a good way). I can't seem to find a red dress that is exactly what I want in the price range I'm willing to pay. I'm toying with the idea of making one for myself. Why am I obsessed with red? I don't know exactly. There's something so jubilant and joyous about the color. It makes me happy when I see it. What do you think? Does every girl need a stunning red dress in her wardrobe? Or am I totally bonkers? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's knitwear time...

QUICK REMINDER: Don't forget to leave up to three comments on Monday's Giveaway Post! I'm extending the comment deadline through Sunday and I'll announce the winner on Monday.

Ok, I can deny it no longer- fall has arrived. Today I was chilled to the bone in the thin dress I wore. I believed the weather reports that it would be a warm day. It was sunny, yes, but warm? Not quite. I've been doing a bit of knitting lately and that is pretty much the one deciding indicator of the cold seasons arrival. First was this knit stocking for my friend Brance:

He loved it and I have to admit, it did come out pretty nicely. The pattern was for a single color, but I decided to add the contrast color and the pom-pom to make it all a little more fun and Christmas-y. It was a big hit. Of course, it may have been the bag of mini snickers bars that I dumped into it that caused the squeal of joy.

As for more wearable pieces, I've knit dozens of things for as many people. The first garment I ever knit was my senior year in college with a friend. We were so silly back then and decided to knit a sweater for one of our professors. She knit the front, I knit the back and we each knit a sleeve. Did I mention we knew absolutely NOTHING about knitting when we started the project? It was the most lop-sided, poorly constructed sweater I've ever seen. But our professor was a trooper and he wore it dutifully every week or so for the rest of our final winter of college. The following year, we heard he'd purchased some new sweaters. Anyway, every since then I've loved knitting things for people- sweaters, mittens, hats, scarves- I love it all. If I see a pattern that just works for someone, I have to make it for them. Other times I just want to try out a new pattern and someone gets to benefit from my experiment. This past week I made this "scarflet" for my friend Jen. Why? Just because.

You all saw a little sneak peek of the finished product a few posts ago with this picture:

I'll bet you didn't expect a scarf to come out of that image, right? Well, what you see is the making of the mahogany stake that holds the scarflet in place. I'm calling it a scarflet (mini-scarf, if you will), for lack of a better term. I thought a pretty little piece of wood to poke through the stitches would hold the scarflet in place nicely. What do you think?

The knitting pattern itself it really quite easy. It would be pretty simple to make the scarf full length as well. For all of you knitters out there, here is the basic pattern:

2 balls chunky yarn in whatever color you prefer
1 pair size 11 needles
Cable needle
Crochet hook (to weave in ends)
2 stitch markers

Stitch abbreviations:
SS-Seed stitch (K1,P1 alternately)
CF- Cable to front
CB- Cable to back

Cast on 6 sts. Place marker. Continue casting on 28 more sts. Place 2nd marker. Cast on 6 more sts. Total cast on sts should be 40.
Row 1 (odd rows): SS6, P4, K8, P4, K8, P4, SS6  
Row 2 (even rows): SS6, K4, P8, K4, P8, K4, SS6
Rows 3 & 4: repeat rows 1 & 2
Row 5: CABLE ROW- SS6, P4, CF8, P4, CB8, P4, SS6
Rows 6-8: repeat rows 2-4

Repeat rows 1-8 until the scarf measures your desired length. My scarflet measures about 38 inches. A full length scarf should measure the same as your fingertip to fingertip or about 60+ inches, depending on how tall you are. Bind off and weave in/trim ends. Voila! Simple, right?

If you prefer a scarf that is not quite as bulky, simply use thinner yarn like worsted or fingering and smaller needles, for example size 6. The pattern will remain the same, but the scarf will be narrower and have smaller stitches.

Leave a comment and tell me about your home knitting, crocheting, sewing or crafting projects. And don't forget to comment on Monday's Giveaway Post. I'm extending the comment deadline to Sunday and I'll announce the winner on Monday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Project Runway- SEASON FINALE!!!

Isn't the season finale so bittersweet? I love seeing the designers' final collections, but then it's all over until the next season. First of all, I feel terrible for Carol Hannah, I think Irina is as mean as ever aand Althea is as sweet as ever, and HOLY COW Tim Gunn was MAD! I thought he was going to have a nervous breakdown when they weren't lining up the models on time. Also, I just want to get a "woot-woot" for the first ever all-female Project Runway finale! Woot-woot!

My initial thoughts on each collection prior to hearing the judges opinions:

Althea: Considering when this was filmed, Althea's was very fashion forward. Her pieces had many 80's inspired details, which at the time was a trend that had yet to take off. I personally would not wear many of her pieces because they seem to be most flattering on the tall skinny supermodel type. Her 13th look seemed to have very little to do with the rest of the collection, but other than that, there seemed to be decent cohesion.

Carol Hannah: First of all, I LOVE the outfit she wore. As for the collection, it was spectacular! I gasped- literally- at nearly every piece. I am completely in love with every single look!!! I would die to wear SO many of those pieces- the grey tulle skirt, the first look, the 13th look, the finale gown and everything in between. The detail was amazing, completely breathtaking and so feminine. When she described her inspiration as "gothic architecture and fairies," I was a little nervous for her, but the collection was sophisticated, mature, fashion forward and truly, truly breathtaking.

Irina: Overall, it was very cohesive, but that was due in large part to the extremely limited color pallete. I don't like the fact that nearly the entire collection is black. There were only a few pieces that were any other color and those colors were grey and beige. To me, it felt too dark, too heavy. Also, I think that the detail she put into it did not translate through the small screen. I'm sure the audience viewing it live saw a lot more than the viewers at home did. I also feel that since the background of the tent interior was black, it made it more difficult for me to see the garments.

Feedback on the feedback:

  • Spot on, Michael Kors, that Irina's "warrior woman" has been done before. Also, I'm happy she was acknowledged for doing so much casual clothing and knitwear. 
  • I agree that Carol Hannah's collection did not have a clear "connective thread." I also don't care. 
  • I totally disagree with the remark about Althea's beige sort of harem pants- the 13th look. I do NOT think that lots of women would want to wear them. Especially me. 

It must be SO hard to be a judge. Each designer clearly had a strength- Althea's street sense, Carol Hannah's editorial appeal, Irina's showmanship and ability to layer. How do you really weigh all of those against each other and decide who should win? I freely admit that I would choose Carol Hannah primarily because I want to wear those pieces, and it must be hard to keep personal taste to a minimum and judge on how fashion forward and photographic the pieces are. I have to think that in order to possibly understand how on earth the judges did not choose Carol Hannah as the winner. And even more so, how they could choose Irina as the winner?!?!? I suppose I'm just upset that Meana-Irina won when I wanted sweetheart Carol Hannah to win, but to be perfectly honest, all three of the final designers were completely deserving of the win. This was perhaps the strongest group of finalists in the history of the show. What do you think of the final outcome? Agree? Disagree? Happy? Sad? Leave a comment! 

Also, don't forget to leave a comment on the Giveaway post from Monday- you only have two more days!

Cloudy with a chance of suede

Today was the first cloudy day to end the stretch of beautiful, warm, sunny weather we've been having here in central PA for the last couple of weeks. It's still not warm enough (for me) to need a jacket, at least not during the day, but I did feel it was time to stop wearing the summer sundresses (even if they're paired with a cardigan sweater). But I'm still a risk-taker- after all, I wore a suede hat and carried a leather and suede bag, despite the ominous clouds. Only time will tell if I'll end up regretting this risk:

Jeans: Old Navy, $19
Sweater: Target, $13.48
Hat: Nine West, gift
Bag: Coach, $100ish- not sure of the exact amount
Shoes: Fabulous Footwear, $22
Earrings: Musette (on Etsy), $16

The bag was a splurge and a treat to myself a couple of years ago. As you all know, I'm a big fan of the faux-designer bags, but the truth is that I really just love handbags. Whether they are real or fake, what draws me in is the look of the bag itself. This bag made me drool. The light lavender suede is so soft and luxurious and the accent of the dark purple suede and leather is just a gorgeous combination. I remember clearly that it was December of 2007, and I had made the final payment on my car (whoo-hoo!) the previous month. Apparently, the final balance due was grossly out-of-whack and the bank sent me a check for the nearly $400 I'd overpaid. Bonus! As if it wasn't good enough that I finally owned my car free and clear, I got what was basically free money about a month later. Exciting, right? Well, I'd been drooling over the bag for weeks- it was the kind of situation where I'd go to the store just to look at it and dream about how it would feel walking down the street with it. On this particular day, I figured that since the money was a totally unexpected windfall, it would be ok to spend a little of it on something pretty and frivolous. The last time I'd looked at the bag, it was discounted down to around $160, so that's what I was prepared to spend when I went in to buy it. Turns out it was on sale for even less and I ended up getting a small Coach purse for a friend as well as my bag for just a little more than the $160 I'd planned to spend. I think mine ended up being around $100, and the small one around $55, so after taxes, it was just a little more than the $160. What great luck, right? And my friend got a Coach bag out of my good fortune, too. Sometimes you have to pay it forward- it just feels right.

As for the rest of the outfit, I admit I was dressing for comfort more than style today. I have a couple of really fun people at work who make a point of taking note of my outfit each day. It adds more than a little pressure to deliver fabulousness day in and day out, but fortunately for me, I love a challenge. Also fortunately for me, they both approved of my casual attire today- I'm talking about you, Jen & Tabby!

I hope that the weather improves again, but knowing what point we're at in the year, I can hardly expect it to continue to be sunny and warm until the spring. Oh, well. I guess it's going to be time for some serious layering outfits- lots of sweaters, turtlenecks, jackets, scarves- at least dressing for winter can be interesting with all the pieces you have to wear!

One more reminder to visit this week's Giveaway post and leave a comment to win a $20 gift certificate from Eshakti. A winner will be randomly selected from the comments. Each person is allowed to leave up to three comments. If you only leave one comment, your chances aren't quite as good, so go ahead and leave all three allotted comments- you never know what might happen!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rate My Look- mixing plaids

Shoes: Bakers, gift
Ring: Festoon, $42
Cardigan: Marshalls, gift
Earings: Ann Taylor Loft, $7

Sorry the photo is so blurry today- I didn't have a lot of time to get a shot, so I was sort of stuck with this one. Anyway, I'm wearing a plaid strapless sundress that I've "winterized" with a fabulous cardigan. What makes this outfit fun for me is the mixing of plaids- in the dress and on the shoes. People say not to mix prints, but I don't buy that rule. Mix away, friends! I wish the sleeves on the cardigan were more visible because they are so fun- they sort of balloon out at the elbow and then gather back in at the hem. I love the sweater for this reason, but also because of the way it creates a v-neck AND a sort of inverted-v from the waist down. It's incredibly flattering and makes my waist seem oh-so-tiny.

In other news... I hope all of you have not forgotten to post a comment on Monday's Giveaway post. It's the only way to be entered into the drawing for the $20 gift certificate from Eshakti. I'm SO excited to get my pants & top from them- hopefully it will arrive this week and I'll be able to do a complete review for you. But, even if you aren't interested in their clothes (and I can't understand why you wouldn't be!), they have lots of fun accessories, too.

And finally, here is a little sneak peek of some DIY fashions I've been working on. Can you figure out what they are?

 (Why won't this picture center for me? Weird.)

Intrigued? Especially by the first one, right? Well you'll have to wait a few more days to find out about them, but I think you're going to enjoy these future posts! Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The oh-so versatile LBD

I mentioned a few posts ago that I didn't have an LBD for the longest time. Now I have three, but one is decidedly "dressy" and one is so casual, it's practically a sweatsuit. The third is perfect- it's comfortable and versatile. I can dress it up or down, layer it with a cami, sweater and tights or wear it alone, and of course the possibilities are endless where accessories are concerned. So today I present to you, the LBD Five Ways. All I did was change out the accessories for different looks to demonstrate a fraction of the versatility of this (and most) LBD's. I tried to use accessories most of us would have in our closets and also to keep it pretty simple so that you can see how different an outfit can be with only a slight change.

A little about the LBD itself: I got it at Festoon, an adorable boutique in downtown Lancaster. Originally $129, I got it at a steal for 40% off. It's a faux-wrap, meaning it appears to be a wrap dress, but it's actually completely sewn together and slips on rather than wraps. It's better on windy days than a wrap dress- no risk of flashing anyone with a big gust of wind! Wrap and faux-wrap dresses are flattering on literally any body type. They accentuate the smallest part of a woman's body- the waist. Also, the v-neck helps to draw the eye upward to the face.

Option 1: Super casual, perfect for running errands or hanging around the house. I love the mix of brighter jewel tones because they pop so nicely off the black. It's not super clear in the picture, but the shoes are a deep emerald green.  

Scarf: Old Navy, $10
Shoes: Fabulous Footwear, $22

Option #2: Over-the-top accessories- lots of layered necklaces plus a "bracelet" and bright mustard-yellow patent shoes. I would wear this out to dinner with friends for sure, or maybe to a dinner party. I like the combination of accessories because I feel they are very "me."

A closer look at the accessories:

Shoes: Deb Shops, not sure of price, but I'm thinking around $10
Bracelet: (Actually a necklace repurposed) H&M, gift from Beth
Gold link necklace: Target, $5.48
Black beaded necklace: Aldo, $9.98
Beaded pendant necklace: Vintage

Option #3: "Latin flair" LBD with a bright red rosette at the waist. I kept the gold chain link necklace on as well. This is a fun option because of the pop of color, It draws the eye to the smallest part of my body- my waist- so it actually helps the shape of the dress to flatter me even more. I kept the shoes a basic black to keep the eye from having to jump around. If the shoes were a bright color, too, the accessories could cancel each other out by forcing the eye to two different places.

Rosette: Ann Taylor Loft, $3
Shoes: Kenneth Cole, $14.97

Option #4: This time the bright red is at my feet- a classic pairing- the LBD and the red shoes. You can see how despite being the same color as the rosette, they would not have worked together. This is my "vintage" LBD version- the shoes have a very retro feel to them, and the earrings are actual vintage clip-ons. You may remember them from this post.

Shoes: Target, $22.98
Earrings: Vintage

Option #5: Last, but certainly not least is the Va-va-voom LBD. An LBD is often great by itself, but you know I can't just wear plain black pumps with the LBD all by itself- I need shoes with a little "oomf," hence the leopard print. 

Shoes: Target, $5.48 (I'm SO not kidding!)

They're hard to see above, so here are the shoes alone:

No explanation necessary, right? They sort of speak for themselves. The figure-hugging dress, the neckline, the shoes- all of them together say "Va-va-voom!" Right? I think so.

Leave a comment to tell me about your LBD. And don't forget to leave a comment on yesterday's Giveaway post in order to be entered for the $20 Eshakti Gift Certificate drawing at the end of the week!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giveaway Today!

This post's sole purpose is to announce this week's giveaway prize- a $20 gift certificate from Eshakti. I mentioned this webstore the other day as a great place for custom clothing- and not the beaucoup bucks kind of custom clothing, but the totally reasonable kind. For example, let's say you're kind of short and have trouble finding pants that don't need to be taken to the tailor and hemmed 3 inches shorter than they were sold. Well, at Eshakti, you can actually specify your inseam and they'll make the pants the proper length for YOU! Or let's say you're one of those curvy girls who measures a different size from her bust to her waist to her hips- let's be honest, there are a lot of women out there like that! Once again, you can give Eshakti your measurements and they'll tailor the top or the dress or the jacket to fit your body. But wait! It gets better! Let's say you LOVE a dress on their website, but it has long sleeves and you'd really rather a dress with cap sleeves. They'll do that, too! Amazing, right? And the prices for these clothes are very reasonable. I'll be receiving two pieces from them soon which I'll photograph for the blog and review for your information.

Here's what you need to do: Visit Eshakti, browse the products and leave a comment HERE (on this post) about what you think of the site in order to be entered in the giveaway. You may leave up to three comments to be considered for the drawing. Good luck!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rate My Look- it's summer again!

Today was ANOTHER beautiful fall day that felt like summer- the sun was shining, my thermometer read 68 degrees, and the wind was just breezy enough to feel good without really cooling things down too much. I of course took this opportunity to wear another "summer" dress to work. You've seen it before, but I've paired it with different accessories this time:

The picture has actually done the blue color justice this time. Maybe I had the timing just right with where the sun was or something. Anyway, it's so comfortable, but also so gorgeous. I paired it with fall-color accessories- my yellow and orange baubles ring, my mustard yellow patent pumps and an orange and green vintage enamel flower pin:

It may seem like a lot of colors to put together, but they all work together flawlessly (in my humble opinion). What do you think? It's certainly not an outfit typical of a mid-November day, but that's sort of what I love about it.

Wedding Fantasy

Do you ever watch that show on TLC "Say Yes to the Dress" about the NYC bridal shop Kleinfeld's? I absolutely LOVE it. I think that wedding dress shopping has got to be so surreal. There is no other single garment that has as much impact on our lives as a wedding dress. As little girls, we grow up dreaming of what ours will look like. Why am I posting about wedding gowns? I have no idea- I think maybe subconsciously I'm trying to make sure I have a girl post to counteract the last one about menswear. Anyway, I love the Pnina Tornai line they always have on "Say Yes." It's the ultimate in fantasy wedding dresses. Pnina truly designs the most spectacular, ethereal, feminine wedding dresses I've ever seen. Some of my favorites:

I don't necessarily love these because I'd wear them- I'm more in love with them simply for their sheer beauty and artistry. I love how much detail Pnina incorporates into each dress- making each one truly special. When the time comes for me to shop for my wedding dress, I think a Pnina might be a little too much design for me, but it's fun to imagine how it would feel to wear one of her dresses, don't you think?
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