Friday, February 26, 2010

I'll be shopping this weekend...

I'm about to finish packing some things and then I'll be heading out to New York City for the weekend. I've altered my travel plans to include buses and trains so that I can avoid having to drive and worse yet, park in this terrible weather. In case you live in a bubble, the entire northeastern US is getting hit with all sorts of crazy precipitation and intense winds, making for a less than ideal weekend away. But since I have plans to meet up with some good friends, I'm braving the bad weather and heading to the city. What am I looking forward to the most? The shopping, of course. I love to shop, but I love shopping with friends even more. And Saturday afternoon is going to be devoted entirely to girl time spent shopping. I dig it. So you may be wondering where I like to shop, right? Of course!

It's actually quite rare that I end up in the city shopping without an agenda for work. Of course, if I see something work related that I can't pass up, I'll probably get it, but right now there isn't exactly a plan to shop for work. Anyway, that being said, whether I'm shopping for life or shopping for work, I still tend to go to a lot of the same places.

For starters, I could spend days in the garment district. I wrote a post a couple of months ago - a sort of beginner's guide to the shops there. Click here to be taken to that post. It's a pretty decent summary of where to go for what. I love to browse the fabric stores because they offer an endless supply of inspiration for me. They also offer an endless means to drain my checking account, but that's ok.

Next, when looking for the BEST in bargain clothing, I head to Daffy's. It's less expensive than Marshalls or TJ Maxx, but with even more interesting, unique, European clothing. It's super-cool menswear HEAVEN at Daffy's, but there are plenty of great clothes for women as well. The Daffy's in Herald Square is my favorite because it's the largest, but there's one in SoHo, and a few in and around mid-town.

Canal Street is a lot of fun, especially if you are looking for a bargain knock-off. I always go to the city thinking I don't want one, and somehow I almost always end up getting one anyway. If you've never experienced Canal Street and Chinatown in NYC, I strongly recommend you do it- even if it's just to do it. There's a whole lot of junk in that area, but the hustle and bustle of the environment is infectious. Also, there are a few cute stores down there like Amsterdam, Necessary Clothing, American Apparel, and of course plenty of Starbucks. And if you're interested in the knock-off experience, it's actually really fun. Since it's so sketchy, a lot of the sellers have gone "underground" so you'll be taken into a back room or basement area where you'll find all the faux-designer bags you could ever want. It's fun to do it, even if you don't buy anything. Also, haggling on prices with them is really fun. I got my faux-Birkin for half the asking price.

Finally, when in the city, it's important to keep your eyes peeled for new and interesting stores. They pop up all over the place and you never know when you'll stumble across the showroom of an obscure but budding fashion designer hosting a sample sale. Score!

Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite NYC shopping destinations, or your faves outside of the city, too- I'd love to hear about them all!  

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rate My Look- Elongating Effects

Today I have two outfits to share with you that will demonstrate a couple of slimming/elongating effects our clothes can have on us. I've often talked about nude shoes or monochromatic tights and shoes combinations as ways of elongating the leg line. Another great method is to wear a dress or top with an empire waistline. If you ever watch the TLC show "What Not to Wear" Stacey and Clinton repeatedly offer this advice to basically everyone on their show. And they are right. I tend to wear heels with dresses for the obvious reason that they make my legs more shapely and of course add an extra 3-4 inches to their length. However, there are days when heels are just not practical. For example, yesterday at work AMT hosted Foreigner on our stage. It was pretty exciting, but the day was looooooong. I knew when I got dressed in the morning that I would be on my feet most of the day doing a lot of running around. Not exactly a jeans & sneakers kind of girl, I opted for the next best thing: a jersey dress with flat boots and tights:
I know what you're thinking: you've seen me in this dress before and you're right. But I normally wear it with high-heeled boots or my favorite black wedge heels. Often wearing flats just makes my legs stumpy, but because this dress has a clear empire waistline, I not only pull off the look in flats, but my legs look just about as long as when I wear heels. Everyone consciously knows that legs don't start right under the bustline, but this illusion isn't necessarily meant to be conscious. All it's meant to do is to emphasize the smallest part of me- my waistline- and then draw the eye in a vertical direction from that point.

If you're curious, here are some other aspects of this outfit that help my cause:
1.) Cap sleeves: Cap sleeves broaden the shoulder line which in turn emphasizes a narrower waist that much further. In addition, since my hips are naturally wider than my waist (as are most women's), the cap sleeves help create a more dramatic hour-glass shape since it extends beyond the bustline up to the shoulder line.
2.) Monochromatic boots and tights combination: I've talked about this before and I'm sure I'll mention it again, but if I'd worn light grey, cream or any other color tights, even nude, then my legs would have been chopped up into horizontal sections. By wearing all black, the line is extended.

Next, here's my outfit for today:

Can you guess what I'm going to say about this? This time, it's the shape of the jacket doing the work. It has vertical seaming that shapes it close to my body. In addition, the closure is directly below my bustline once again emphasizing the smallest part of me. The shoulder seams of the jacket fall almost exactly at the edge of my natural shoulder line for a very fitted effect that avoids the whole line-backer look that sometimes happens in jackets and blazers. Do you see the hourglass shape again?
And note how the narrowest part of the hourglass does not divide my body in half, but rather makes the top half actually appear shorter than the bottom half. The eye sees this image, and sends the message to the brain that the bottom half of me is much longer than the top half. It's all subconscious, but totally effective nonetheless.

Other outfit details that help my cause:
1.) Boot cut, dark denim- dark denim washes minimize wide thighs and trust me when I tell you that my thighs are exactly that- wide. Light wash denim, particularly distressed light wash, has the opposite effect- it draws the eye to the thighs, particularly if they are fitted. The boot cut of these jeans is also flattering because they balance the lower half of my legs with the top half. Wide leg jeans and trousers have the same effect.
2.) Dark shoes- If I had added a pop of color at my feet, it might have been fun, but it would have minimized the lengthening effect that happens with dark on dark- not exactly monochromatic as the jeans are blue and the shoes are black, but still effective.
3.) V-neckline and necklace- V-necks are always good for elongating shape- I talked about that a couple of days ago here- and they also help emphasize an hourglass shape. The jacket neckline coupled with my long beaded necklace is even more effective simply because the necklace mirrors the shape of the jacket neckline. The effect is essentially doubled, but without added bulk. Also, do you notice how the charms at the end of the necklace are basically drawing attention to the narrowest part of me- the center of the hourglass shape? I may as well have an arrow pointing there!

***A note on the styling of outfit #2- sometimes 3/4 sleeves on blazers and jackets help to "lighten up" an outfit. Long sleeves on petite bodies can actually be somewhat overpowering. Roll your sleeves up like I have to show some more skin and you'll avoid this common style mistake.***

I hope this post has been informative and helpful. Feel free to leave a comment to tell me what you think or to ask a question about how to dress your body type in the most flattering way. Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Style Collage for (Real) Men

Shirt: Gap, $44.50
Jeans: Levis 527, $59.50
Hat: Target, $14.99
Sunglasses: Sunglass Shack, $19.99
Belt: Old Navy, $15
Watch: Fossil, $85

It's true- it takes a real man to be confident enough to wear pink. To pull it off, keep the rest of the outfit masculine. I paired this pink button-front from the Gap with cool jeans and some hipster-esque accessories. If the hat and shades are too much for you, skip 'em. If you'd feel better with a black rocker t-shirt under the shirt, go for it! Make it your own, but trust me, guys, you need to try pink.

2/25/1020 UPDATE: A couple of days after this post, my coworker Ken wore this to work:
Notice not only the use of pink, but the mixing of brown and black (the cuff and shoes, respectively). I believe he also had a belt on, but I'm not sure of its color. The point is, mixing black and brown is perfectly fine. In fact, had he worn brown leather shoes, that would have been a little too matchy-matchy with the leather cuff.
Obviously the cuff and the denim help keep this look masculine, but the rolled sleeves and open buttons at the top and bottom of the shirt also help keep it casual and easy. Nice job, Ken!  

Shoesday Tuesday- Olympic Skating Fashions

I've been watching the Olympic ice dancing competition tonight- all the figure skating and ice dancing competitions are my favorites to watch because they offer not only amazing athleticism, but incredible artistry as well. For as long as I can remember I've loved watching figure skaters- Olympic or otherwise. I'll always vividly remember the days of Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding, and Oksana Baiul, not to mention Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano. Ice dancing is something I've only recently gotten into, but I adore it. There's something exciting about figure skating and ice dancing- maybe it's the sheer velocity of the athletes, or the fearlessness with which they fling themselves and their partners through the air and onto the ice. Whatever it is, I'm addicted. Bring it on.

"What does all of this have to do with Shoesday Tuesday?" you ask? At some point, I'm sure you expected me to chime in on the costumes of the figure skaters, or the uniforms of various countries, particularly since both have been featured challenges on my favorite show Project Runway, but the shoes? Well, I'm not even really commenting on the shoes, except to say that one of the major things I've noticed is the womens' choice of skate color. Basically, there are two predominant choices: white or beige. It seems to me that unless you are making a conscious color choice based on your costume, that you'd go with beige, but so many of these athletes/performers choose white. I just don't understand it. First of, all, what they have on their feet is bulky and incredibly stiff. Dancers off the ice are able to wear sleek dance shoes that bend and allow the performer to point his or her toes, creating a long leg line. Since ice dancers and figure skaters are immediately at a disadvantage visually due to the bulk and stiffness of ice skates, you'd think they would ALL choose beige or nude color skates, or wear those ice skating tights that go over the boot. If anyone out there knows a professional figure skater who can explain this to me, I'd love to hear the logic behind wearing a clunky white boot while you seem to soar and glide with the greatest elegance and grace imaginable.

How does this relate to fashion and this blog in particular? Well, I thought it was worth reminding all of you  of the importance of having a great pair of nude shoes in your closet, particularly since spring is approaching and soon we'll be able to rid ourselves of the thick, dark tights we've been donning all winter. For a reminder as to why nude shoes are so essential, click here for my original post on the subject.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Why You Should Wear Dangling Earrings

I don't have a particularly long, swan-like neck, although I certainly wouldn't mind if genetics had dealt me that hand. Unfortunately, you can't change what you're born with. Well, you can, thanks to modern plastic surgery techniques, but even those amazing developments can only take you so far. Even if there was a surgery that could make my neck as long and lean as Nicole Kidman's or Victoria Beckham's, I certainly couldn't afford it. So instead, I stick to the tried and true style methods that help me minimize the stump-effect. No one wants to look like her head is growing directly out of her shoulders, but all too often, women with less than elegant necks dress them to their detriment. How can you avoid looking like Stumpy-neck McStumperson? It's easy! I present to you: Three Steps to a Longer-Looking Neck.

Step 1.) Wear v-neck tops. The open-ness, combined with the depth of the "v" does two things. First, it provides an uninterrupted vertical line and second is offers maximum exposure, both of which create the illusion of length. A deep scoop neckline will also work, but the point at the bottom of the "v" is more effective. Necklines to avoid? Turtlenecks, high scoops, nehru collars and rounded or jewel necklines. None of these will do you any favors.  

Step 2.) Wear a lariat necklace. A thin chain with a small pendant will draw the eye to your neck while still allowing the maximum neck exposure, so even though there is ornamentation, it doesn't look like your neck is being smothered. A lariat necklace is the best choice because of how the chain drapes down from the noose-like closure, once again drawing the eye in a vertical direction. Avoid chokers because they do the opposite- they chop the line of your neck horizontally, especially if they are thick or much darker thank your skin tone.

Infinity Lariat, Etsy, $37.50

Step 3.) Wear long, dangling earrings. Long earrings once again draw the eye in a vertical direction- are you noticing a theme with these three steps? (If not, here's a hint: it starts with "v" and rhymes with.... umm... "her tickle.") In addition, a dangling earring will draw the eye upward, not just along your neck, but as far up as your earlobe, lengthening the line that much further.

To sum up: deep v-necks, delicate lariat necklaces and long, dangling earrings will make even the stumpiest of necks look positively swan-like. Simple, right? And just remember: Any "problem" area you may have, be it a short neck, wide hips, a large tummy, thick arms, big breasts and butt, no breasts or butt, and anything else you can think of can all be dressed in a flattering manner. It's the same principle magicians use- misdirection, or to put it more nicely, simply forcing the eye where you want it to go and keeping it from looking where you don't want it to go.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rate My Look- Casual Sunday Afternoon

Today was another day for comfort- I threw on my most comfortable dress, a pair of warm leggings, my "f-Uggs" and some fun accessories- arm warmers, a belt, a cocktail ring and earrings. And I bothered to curl my hair, but it really was not cooperating. The time for a trim is apparently overdue. I went to Barnes & Noble where I picked up my reserved copy of "Couture Sewing Techniques" by Claire B. Shaeffer. I'm excited to read this book and I really hope it's not way over my head. I have decent sewing skills, but Ive always been fascinated by the whole idea of haute couture construction. Who doesn't love clothing that is custom-made, but couturiers take it to a whole other level. I'll be sure to share what I learn here, provided it's not too over my head.

Outfit Collage

So I have FINALLY decided to learn how to make collages- it seems so much more effective in terms of demonstrating how to put outfits together. And so I present to you: My First Outfit Collage. Enjoy!

Lecture Series Dress: Modcloth, $54.99
Loukor Tote: Nine West, $79.99
Umaa Pump: Madden Girl, $39.95
Rings Around Necklace: Forever 21, $6.80
Galinda Rhinestone Ring: Forever 21, $4.80

This is a perfectly office-appropriate outfit. If your office is chilly, you could always layer a long sleeve top underneath the dress, or toss a cardigan over it. The tights are a fun way to be a little bit trendy and the accessories add a little punch of personality and style without being too over-the-top. If the lace tights are not warm enough for you in these cold winter months, then simply layer them over a pair of opaque tights. If you want to be really crazy, layer them over a pair of bright jewel-tone tights. And yes, it's perfectly fine to wear a brown dress with black tights and shoes- the rule about not mixing black and brown (and navy) is actually very dated. Since black, brown and navy are all considered "neutrals" that means they go with everything-including each other!

Let me know what you think of my collage outfit and if you'd like to see more like it. If you have an outfit conundrum-maybe a piece you love but you aren't sure how to style it, email me a picture of the piece, along with a brief explanation of where you'd like to wear it and what you're having trouble with. I'll create a collage (or 2 or 3) to solve your style dilemma.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Purse Pursuits

My dearest friend Beth is forever on the lookout for a fabulous bag. She owns several, but that doesn't stop the hunt for her. Plus we all know that the need for great bags is never satiated. Personally, I'm more of a shoe person- I'll shop for shoes for days and never grow tired of it. She's like that with bags. And she has some requirements for her bags, too. Mostly, she needs it to be able to hold a notebook and a laptop, among other things. So, I thought I'd post some bags that meet those requirements while also being fabulously stylish. After all, I'm positive she's not the only lady out there in pursuit of a functional, yet stylish bag. In fact, I'm sure there are thousands of women out there looking. So here are some great bag options in a variety of price ranges. Enjoy!

In Hot Purse-uit, ModCloth, $57.99

Angie & Lola Satchel, Target, $13.98

Broady, Steve Madden, $88

Popicon Tote, Nine West, $109.99

Based on the dimensions provided on each website, I think all of these bags are big enough for a laptop and a full-size notebook as well as all the typical accoutrements found in a ladies handbag- wallet, make-up, keys, cell phone, etc. And I personally think they are all stylish, attractive handbags to boot. What do you think? Leave a comment- tell me about your bag requirements. If you're having trouble finding a bag that meets your needs, let me know- I'm sure I can help.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Vintage Style

I am in love with these vintage sewing patterns- the silhouettes, the colors, the hairstyles- I love it all! I can just see them in all sorts of vintage frames, hanging on my walls:

Don't these make you want to sew and sew and sew all day? They make me feel that way! I want to go buy tons and tons of fabric and then spend the rest of the weekend cutting and sewing. Ah, if only I had the time to do nothing but create beautiful, vintage-inspired clothes. Well, at least I can do it some of the time, if not all of the time. What about you? What inspires you to create? What's your preferred medium? Leave a comment and tell me all about it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rate My Look- Casual Friday

I wanted to be comfortable today and it worked out perfectly. The jeans are the same jeans I always wear- Old Navy's "Sweetheart" boot cut in dark blue wash. The top and boots are from the Gap, the scarf is Wet Seal and the arm warmers are H&M. The brooch is by Tina Tarnoff, an Etsy seller. For a closer look at the brooch, check out this post from earlier this week. And you can't see it, but I have bright royal blue socks on under my boots. It's fun to wear something quirky that no one can see, whether it's brightly colored or patterned socks, or a leopard print bra or cami. Try it out!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Project Runway: Season Seven, Episode 6

WIN: Seth Aaron
AUF'd: Janeane

This challenge was hilarious! I love love loved it! Seeing the designers dealing with those crazy kids was highly entertaining. And the challenge was interesting to boot! I don't think there has been a children's-wear challenge in the show before, but I think it was a great idea. After all, Suri Cruise is all over the fashion magazines, so it's smart for designers to consider the children of the women for whom they are designing. It's a whole other niche.

As the designers were working, I was really looking forward to the runway show because there were some strange ideas and remarks floating around the workroom. Who was it that said that when you turn 8, you start wearing more sophisticated clothes? Really? Since when? And a bolero for a little kid? Not exactly my first inclination.

There were SO many outfits that looked good in this episode and I really had no idea who the judges would choose to be in the top and bottom. Seth Aaron's model-mom look was one of my favorites and he was also pretty brilliant with the little girl outfit, too. The color was youthful, but the design was innovative and he was a genius to make a purse. Every smart designer knows that a girl loves her accessories! Of course, it didn't hurt that he actually has a young daughter!

As for the bottoms, I respected Amy's bold choice, even if I didn't like it and I agree that the model-mom pants were absolutely bonkers. I feel bad that she made such a strong choice and it didn't pay off. I am happy, however, that she survived to sew another day. Janeane has been in the bottom a lot recently, so I definitely feel it was her time to go. Boring is almost always worse than bold-gone-wrong on a show like Project Runway. At least bold is a choice. Who chooses to be boring? Apparently Janeane. But this time I again agree with the judges decision.

What do you think? Did you like the challenge? Whose design was your favorite? Leave a comment and tell me all about it!

Rate My Look- Two outfits

After my rant the other day about simplifying, I decided to take my own advice. I wore my new brooch and I think it was great as the focal point of the outfit:

Here's a better shot of the AMAZING new brooch from Tina Tarnoff (Etsy seller):
Isn't it romantic? I adore it. I kind of wish I could wear it every day. But that might make it less special, so I won't.

Today I glammed it up a little more and layered on some faux-pearls:

I also went a little nuts with the teal tights, but they're so fun! I am normally not the type to wear open or peep toe shoes with tights, but because it's such a bold color choice, I thought I'd try it out. Also, I love when I actually take the time to do my hair. In the first picture, I pretty much stepped out of the shower, threw my hair up in a clip and was done. In the second one, I've bothered to try to give it a little style. It's really starting to get long, so I'm going to have to go to the hair dresser at some point, even if it's only for a little trim. My hair hasn't been this long in over a year, so I'm tempted to keep on growing it. There's a fine line between long enough to style in interesting ways, and so long that it just lies limp and flat against my head like droopy drapes or something. For example, when it was about and inch and a half shorter, it curled much better than it does now. But, when it was an inch and a half shorter, pulling it half back like in the second outfit above was close to impossible. It's amazing what an inch and a half will do.

Well, have a fabulous day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Accessories Anonymous: Simplify

In a time when more is better, bold is the new black and over-the-top knows no boundaries, it's often nice to go back to the simple things- they keep us grounded, focused, reigned in, if you will. Statement jewelry is all the rage right now- huge bib necklaces covered in glittering rhinestones and beads, chandelier earrings so long they complete with even the most open necklines, bracelets piled onto forearms, practically rendering sleeves unnecessary in the midwinter, to name a few. While all these things are well and good and even fun to wear, sometimes it can be easy to lose perspective. Jewelry (and clothing and other accessories) don't have to be over-the-top to be special. In fact, a small, but beautiful or interesting piece can be just as impactful, if not more so. I'd like to show you some examples of simple pieces that make a quieter statement, but a statement nonetheless.

A bit of whimsy, Etsy, $22

Glitz Lariat, Etsy, $20

Soft Petals, Etsy, $18

Dangling Pearl Earrings, Ten Thousand Villages, $25.50

Metal Looped Cuff, Forever 21, $3.80

Avalon Earrings, Etsy, $18

The key to any successful outfit is finding a focal point. These days, new fashion trends go over the top on a daily basis. Have you ever seen a woman walking down the street (or down a runway) and felt like she had so much going on her outfit that you didn't know where to look? I've seen beautiful statement jewelry on women and then realized that the jewelry was so overpowering that I had no recollection of the rest of the outfit, or worse yet, of the woman actually wearing the jewelry. Always keep that in mind when trends like the current ones are so in vogue. It may be fun to wear huge, over-the-top pieces whether they be shoes, jewelry, a dress, whatever. But look in the mirror with an objective eye and be certain that whatever the focal point of your outfit, it always remains clear to anyone walking by that the true focal point is YOU.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hot Air Balloon Dress

I adore this dress from ModCloth:

Hot Air Ballooning Dress, ModCloth, $47.99

 I love the shape, the print, the yellow detailing, the neckline- everything about it is so romantic and light, perfect for a beautiful spring day, and according to the name of the dress, for a hot air balloon ride as well. I've heard that hot air balloon rides in the spring and summer are easy on the take-off and landing. I have been on 2 hot air balloon rides, both in mid-fall and I'll be honest: I could never have worn this dress on either of those rides. (That won't stop me from buying it, though!)

The first ride, I went with my mom. It was an incredibly windy day and as the balloon inflated, it blew more violently across the field. Once it was nearly full, our pilot instructed us to jump in the basket. The ground crew made sure we were in and then they finished filling up the balloon, firing the gas, all while the balloon dragged our tiny basket across the field- it was exhilarating, and some might have considered it terrifying. As soon as the ties were cut and we lifted off the ground, the balloon ride was instantly serene. Since a hot air balloon moves with the wind, there is no feeling of wind or breeze once the balloon is in flight.

Our pilot (right in red), ground crew (center in white) and my mom (left in blue) while our balloon is inflated

Me- immediately after take-off

The view from the basket

The landing of my first hot air balloon ride was equally exciting (or terrifying, depending on your perspective and sense of adventure). We landed in a cornfield that had been cleared and I remember seeing the ground zoom by as we approached. It's hard to realize how fast you're going until the ground is right underneath you. Anyway, we had what I'll call a "crash" landing, meaning no one was hurt, but we bumped up off the ground a few times before the basket skidded to a halt and then tipped over. It was as fun as a ride at an amusement park. The point is, this dress would NOT have been appropriate for the experience. 

My second hot air balloon was this past October with my friend Brance. We were in a basket with about 6 other people, not counting our pilot. It was a similar experience in terms of bumpy take off and landing, the main difference being they had us all get into the basket while the balloon was inflated. Other than that, it was a very similar experience to the first ride. If you've never done it, I strongly recommend you add it to your "bucket list." It's worth it. Here are some more photos from my second trip:

Brance in the basket while the balloon is inflated

Inside the balloon while it's being fired

Me with Brance (and a Mexican tourist apparently taking a photo of our pilot taking a picture of us- she was actually quite a sweetheart)

Proof we went over a mile up

Both trips were with the US Hot Air Balloon Team. They're an incredibly professional group of people who make the experience unforgettable. If you haven't tried this before, do it! But wear pants.

From my flight certificate:

Balloonist Prayer
The wind has welcomed you with softness,
The sun has kissed you with her warm lips,
You've flown so high and so well,
That God joins you in laughter and
Has set you gently back again
Into the loving arms of Mother Earth.
- Soft Landings -

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yesterday was productive....

I had planned to go to New York City this weekend to visit some friends, but after the snow storm of this past week, so many things were reschedule that I had to cancel my trip. Suddenly, I found myself with a free Saturday. I ended up having a productive day and it was actually quite relaxing to run errands without a time frame. I dressed for comfort because I knew I'd be running around town a bit:
This outfit isn't exactly brand new- I've worn the dress and sweater plenty of times for the blog, but this time I matched it with a pair of dark grey tights with pink over-the-knee-socks from Target and my new Gap boots. Since I always need to have a little sparkle and glam, I threw on my pink and grey Forever 21 beaded necklace and some bright lipstick. The socks are folded down so that they only hit at my knee- the thigh-high look isn't exactly me, but I like the layered tights and socks for warmth and a little bit of quirkiness, not to mention the pop of color in an otherwise all black and white outfit.

While out running errands today, I stopped by Sephora for some of my favorite lip plumper and while I was there I also got to pick up my birthday present from them. If you join the "Beauty Insider" club with Sephora, then every year you'll get a little present from them around your birthday. Last year, I got a trio of lip glosses that I loved. This year was a gift set for the eyes- mascara, liner and shadow. I'm looking forward to trying them out tomorrow. Anyway, the point of this story is to remind you that joining the free "clubs" for your favorite stores will pay off more than you think. I have the club/discount card for SO many stores because I shop so frequently for my job and eventually I learned to start getting them for myself as well. For the stores I personally like, anyway. Yes, I have a Hot Topic "Frequen Shopper Discount Card" for work, but I didn't feel compelled to get one for myself. I  however get one for Wet Seal, Gold Toe, AC Moore, and plenty of others. Not only do I always get extra discounts at the register, but I'm always receiving extra coupons and freebies as a result of the memberships. I got a free scarf from Wet Seal, free socks from Gold Toe, and in addition to my birthday eye make-up gift, my Sephora Beauty Insider card also got me a bottle of hand cream with my lip gloss purchase. So sign up for those free discounts- your bank account will thank you!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

In celebration of love...

I've never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day- the cynic in me feels like you shouldn't need a holiday to tell someone you love them. I've often thought, "How silly to put so much pressure on yourself and your loved one for what? A holiday?" You can look at it that way, or you can see it as an opportunity rather than an obligation. And so this year, I'd like to celebrate the holiday that stands for love. Enjoy these Valentine-inspired fashions- I find them all romantic in some way or another:

Long Sleeve Rib-Knit Tee, Newport News, $19

Tagua Bracelet, Fair Indigo, $24

Fuchsia Floral Evening Bag, Sung Boutique, $32

Steve Madden Toppazz Pump, Nordstrom, $99.95

Grand Flower Headband, Forever 21, $5.80

What do you think of these gorgeous pieces? Obviously, I was a little heavy-handed on the red, but it's appropriate, don't you think? Leave a comment and tell me how you're spending Valentine's Day this year. I'll be at church in the morning, followed by a costume parade for a show I've designed and then dinner and girl time with one of my close friends.

Happy Valentine's Day (weekend)!

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