Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Belated Shoesday Tuesday

So after that total cop-out yesterday, I decided to try and redeem myself with a belated attempt at a Shoesday Tuesday. I was perusing the shoes on the Nordstrom website the other day, which normally makes me drool. After I find the most fabulous shoes, then I scour the internet looking for the $30-version of whatever designer shoe caught my eye. Well, this time, I was stopped dead in my tracks and made a mental note that I absolutely HAD to share these shoes with you:

Honestly, these shoes have rendered me nearly speechless. Nearly. What is going on here? Can someone explain these shoes to me? It's like whoever designed them said, "You know, I'm such a huge fan of Minnie Mouse, I want to design a pair of sandals in her honor. Maybe I'll put a giant BOW right at the ankle!" And then someone else was all, "Oh, that's not high fashion enough. You have to make the bow out of feathers and rhinestones." Is it me, or do these shoes belong on Go Fug Yourself? I love feathers on shoes when they are placed appropriately, but these are just awful! It's not even a very artistic use of the feathers, am I right? Back me up here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shoesday Tuesday- Out of Time!

So I just realized that I promised you all a Shoesday Tuesday later today, but I totally forgot about my plans for the evening with my friend Amy. So, the point I'm trying to make is that I don't have time to put together a thoughtful and interesting Shoesday Tuesday post, so I'm totally copping out and giving you photos from opening night of the fiercest shoes in the show- I have 2 favorites. Enjoy!

Honestly- if ever there were rock star shoes, these are it!

In case you're having trouble seeing these crazy shoes, here's a close-up:

Even though they aren't my favorites, I sort of love that there are black-on-black Converse chucks in the show. You can barely see them, but  I promise they're there:

There's something really cool and hipster-esque about black-on-black Converse chucks, don't you think? Love 'em.

And since I feel guilty about this cop-out post, I'll finish with a photo of the black-light dance costumes I showed you a while back:

Super cool, right? Ok, once again I'm sorry for the cop out. I hope you enjoyed the costume photos instead!

Breaking News...

Project Runway, Season 8, which airs July 29th (so soon! yippee!!!) will be a 90-minute show from now on. Apparently, a lot of the feedback on the show is that viewers want to see more, so they're giving it to us! Whoo-hoo!!! Check out the full story on Entertainment Weekly here.

I can't wait! It feels like ages since Season 7 wrapped up! I need me some Gunn (who once said I'm fabulous, by the way)!

What to wear to the company picnic

Yesterday afternoon was AMT's annual company picnic. This event is always a lot of fun. There's delicious catered BBQ, games like croquet, horse shoes, softball, and even Bingo! We eat and drink and socialize and it's a lot of fun for everyone. It's a family event, so a lot of people bring their children, and overall it's just a fun way to kick off the summer. Since we opened California Soul on Friday, it was also a nice way to relax and enjoy celebrating the newest show on our stage. It did get me thinking, though, because the subject came up about what would be an appropriate outfit to wear. Since it's not actually work but still a work-related event, what is the protocal on dressing for this type of event? Since this was not my first AMT company picnic, I had a good idea of what to expect- a casual dinner at picnic tables at a local public park, followed by games out in the sun- definitely a very casual affair. But some companies host their company outings at country clubs or fancier venues than a local park. What do you wear in that type of situation?

Just as in dressing for work, when dressing for a company event, whether it's a casual picnic, or an important function, look to the higher-ups and model your attire after them. Because even though the event is not technically at work, you are still there representing yourself to your company and if the HR director is there seeing you in dirty cut-off jeans and an old "Budweiser" t-shirt, it's definitely NOT a good thing. So, that being said, the first step to dressing for a company event is to find out what to expect. Where is it located? What will be happening there? Ask your coworkers how people tend to dress for the event. It's okay to ask- it's far better to feel a little embarrassed about asking that question than it is to show up dressed completely wrong and sticking out like a sore thumb. Once you know a little about the event, you can make an informed sartorial decision.

AMT's company picnic is very casual as you can see from some of these candids I snapped yesterday:

The most important thing for nearly everyone in attendance was that we wore sunglasses and comfortable clothes that would keep us cool in the hot summer sun. Dressing up was not a necessity for this event. However, if you work somewhere that hosts a little more formal summer event, such as a boating trip, or even if the event is simply held at a country club or resort-type venue, then you need to be more concerned with your attire. You can still wear jeans and a t-shirt, but make sure they are clean and wrinkle-free, not to mention stain-free. An even better choice for guys would be a pair of khaki or seersucker shorts with a polo shirt. "Mandals" (Man sandals) are a great choice to finish off the look. They almost always look better than sneakers, but I'm certainly not completely opposed to sneakers, especially if they are low-top Chuck Taylors. Ladies, as always you have far more choices for your attire for a company function, so just be careful to choose something that is tasteful and doesn't show too much skin. If you wear your favorite cut-off short shorts, then avoid the crop top. And if you choose to wear a sundress, particularly a strapless one, keep the hemline at or around the knee. This season, rompers are very "in" but if you choose to wear one, pair it with flat sandals, flip flops or even fabric oxfords to keep the look appropriate.

I think a summer event for your company is a good opportunity to show your personal style a little bit, especially if the corporate side of things has a strict dress code. It's just important to keep it appropriate and professional even if it is a casual event.

Here I am with my friend and co-worker Julie, who really nailed the perfect AMT picnic outfit. She balanced the short short with a cute button-up shirt that was long enough that she never showed her belly. Also, she added a pop of fun and quirkiness to the outfit with those amazing pink cowboy boots. Not only do they show her personal style, but they even managed to reduce the amount of leg she was showing so that those cut-offs were not the least bit questionable.

Bethany (left) and Missy (right) also put together great outfits for the event. Bethany sported an adorable dark chambray romper, in a loose, comfortable fit. Missy paired a simple white top with cute denim shorts and a wide belt. Both ladies donned gladiator sandals and aviator sunglasses and they also kept the accessories simple and casual.

This picture just cracks me up! We kept saying these guys were having a "Dude-Off." Whatever that is. They were being "dudes." Most of them did a pretty good job, but I'd say Jacob (in the yellow) really nailed the right look. Khaki cargo shorts and a bright polo shirt, topped off with a worn-out baseball cap and finished with a pair of flip flops. Mike and Chris, the guys in black t-shirt and jeans, were probably really hot all afternoon. It was a sweltering day, so they probably would have been a lot more comfortable if they'd chosen shorts instead of jeans and worn a lighter-color t-shirt. But they're musicians, used to wearing head-to-toe black nearly all the time, so we can hardly blame the for not stepping out of their comfort zone. (P.S. I love how the three guys are posing with their horse-shoes as Chris- in front- is about to toss his. Hilarious!)

I hope this has been helpful to you for any future company events you may have to attend. Have a fabulous week! I'll be back later today with a Shoesday Tuesday post, so stay tuned!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Delicate and Dainty Pendants

At a time when statement jewelry is all the rage, I keep finding myself drawn to subtler, daintier, more delicate pieces. I tend to dress by the "more is more" philosophy, but there are times when all I want is a simple accessory to embellish my outfit, rather than a bold piece to be the star of it. In that case, a simple chain with a metal pendant fits the bill just right. I'm generally drawn to images of things found in nature:




Hummingbird Pendant, Etsy, $5.99

Trees and vines:

Vine Pendant, Etsy, $26.50

Of course, trees and flowers aren't for everyone. My friend Amy often wears beautiful pieces that are abstract,linear, or geometric in their inspiration. Many of her pieces come from a local jewelry maker, Jude Sharp. If you live near Lancaster, and you are looking for a beautiful and unique piece of jewelry, Jude's shop on Queen Street is a great place to start. If you are not in the area, there's always Etsy!

Squares Necklace, Etsy, $27.50

And then of course there are millions of charm pendants to choose from. Some like to choose a pendant based on interests or hobbies or profession. These would work for me:

Scissor Necklace, Etsy, $26

Thimble Pendant, Etsy, $14

Many of these pieces are one-of-a-kind on Etsy, which makes them even more special, if you ask me. In any case, I'm always impressed with artisans who can take a shapeless piece of metal and turn it into something delicate and beautiful like these necklaces and pendants. Maybe someday I'll take a class to learn a little about how to do it myself...

In terms of putting together an outfit with a delicate necklace like these, just be sure to have a plain backdrop for it. An open neckline like a scoop or deep-v are both appropriate choices, but a high necked top like a turtleneck top or boat neck can also be appropriate, especially in the cooler months. Good luck finding the perfect pendant!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Fashionary Sketch

Here it is! I have christened my fabulous fashionary. Let me tell you, this sketch book is amazing. I absolutely love it and I am so glad I bought it. It is worth every penny and then some. As for the sketch itself, I've been thinking about this dress for a few days. I know that I want to make it with a black cotton sateen and that I want a large floral detail painted on the side. The problem for me is that I am not a painter, so it might be quite a challenge. Will it be black with white just like the sketch? I don't know yet. I'm also considering a more colorful flower. For now it's just a drawing, a little nugget of an idea. Isn't that why we have sketch books? For our ideas, whether we follow through on them or not.

It's Wedding Season!

There must have been about a million people getting married yesterday. It felt like the official beginning to the summer wedding season. I knew at least a dozen people who were attending a wedding yesterday, one of which was my roommate. We ran into each other at Target a couple of weeks ago and she was searching for a dress by Zac Posen. He recently did a diffusion line for Target. Anyway, she was waiting for this dress to go on sale 50% offf and as luck would have it, there was one left and it was her size. She debuted the dress at the wedding yesterday and I think she looked pretty A-MA-ZING:

Call me jealous, but I am craving this dress! It's so FIERCE! I love the brocade fabric, the metallic finish, the bow across the front, the silhouette, the zipper detail on the bodice- I love it all! And of course the fact that she got it on sale is even better. It's a perfect choice for a summer wedding for a lot of reasos. Nicely done, Meg!

Some of my other favorite pieces from the Zac Posen for Target line:

I love the ribbon detailing and the belt at the waist. SO fabulous. I personally do not have the legs to pull off the socks look that this model is sporting, but I would absolutely rock this dress in a heartbeat.

Again with the socks? Anyway, I think this dress is fabulous, too. Andrea and I were shopping right before I got my romper and she actually tried this dress on. It was complicated and confusing, but in the end she felt a different size would have been better. (Side note: it is MUCH longer in real life than it is on the model. Andrea is a few inches taller than me and the dress came all the way to her knees.) The strange thing was that it had no label, so we couldn't figure out where to find it in the store. She didn't end up getting it, but it's good to know that if she changes her mind about it soon, she can search online and actually know what to look for. What I love about it is the print. The fabric is a flowy poly-chiffon with a gorgeous print and a flattering cut. It's super fun. While neither of these last two picks would be ideal for a summer wedding, they are ideal for just about any other summer outing. And the best part about them is that they are all on sale now. I may have to hop on over to Target to see what treasures I can find on the sale racks!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rate My Look- I'm Back to Blogging!

Once again I'd like to apologize for my lack of posting this past week. The show took a lot out of all of us- as most shows do. Sometimes when I'm heading into tech week, I'll write a bunch of posts ahead of time and publish them throughout the week, but my schedule leading up to this show was pretty hectic and I just didn't have time to get several posts ready.

Anyway, during the week I ended up at the Burlington Coat Factory near where I live (I can literally walk there) and saw it had not only been recently renovated, but there were about a million new sundresses for me to check out. I tried a few on- they were all in the $20-$30 range- but in the end, I decided on this lovely lace and crochet dress for $19.99 (plus tax):

I barely got this photo done in time. I'm sure you can see it's a little grainy, and I look really shiny in it, not to mention the dark background. It was twilight when I started taking pictures, racing the sun as it set. As you can see, I lost that race! Also, there were hundreds of fire flies all over the place while I was taking pictures, but I guess they are all camera shy because none of them showed up in any of the photos I took. My flash could have washed them out, too. Side note: did you know that fire flies (lightning bugs) light up to attract a mate? I wonder if that would make dating harder or easier- having a light-up booty that tells the world you're single and looking...

Anyway, I absolutely adore this dress- it's pretty, feminine, flattering, comfortable and stylish. The lace is so light and delicate and it literally just floats around my body. The crochet detail at the neckline helps keep it a little more modest without it feeling uptight. Also, crochet is very trendy right now and a lot of pieces have crochet incorporated in a youthful, fresh way, not at all like antique table cloths. I kept the accessories simple in an effort to let the dress be the star of the outfit, or rather, me in the dress. I love wearing striking clothing, and I'm sure there are plenty of you out there who do as well. It's important for us outlandish dressers to always be sure the fit and proportion are right in order to keep the clothes from wearng us. As YSL said, what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. Anyway, I paired the lace dress with turquoise chandelier earrings and a pair of floral wedges I bought at Target for $5 last year. Gotta love a bargain! Here's a close-up of these beauties:

How fun are they? They actually remind me of the new diffusion line at Target- Liberty of London. They have bright floral patterns just like Liberty. I mostly love that they only cost $5. That's my favorite kind of shoe- the cheap kind. Sometimes my feet suffer but I like to say I have feet of steel that can handle even the worst torture-device-shoes. Beauty hurts sometimes. It's a fact.

I'll try to write some bonus posts this weekend to make up for last week. Is there anything in particular you'd like to read about? As always, the best way to tell me is to leave a comment!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sorry I've been M.I.A...

... but I'm in the last couple of days before we open California Soul, so I'm pretty busy. You know I want nothing more than to be able to blog all day, but this week it just doesn't seem to be in the cards. I even missed Shoesday Tuesday yesterday!

But I figured the least I could do was to check in and give you a little preview of what I'm working on. There is a section in the show with lots of 60's style hippies. We had a photo shoot last week and here are some pictures from it:

They did the photo shoot without the set, so this really is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how it will all look, but I think they're pretty fun pictures anyway. Have a great Wednesday and hopefully I'll be back to blogging by the end of the week!

P.S. All pictures are courtesy of American Music Theatre.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NCL Closing

Hello everyone and Happy Saturday! Today is the closing day of Nashville City Limits, the show at AMT that has been running since early May. I'm sad to see this show close because it was not only a lot of fun to work on, but it's also a blast to watch. And I'm not a country music fan! The costumes were fun to work on- there was a lot of plaid and denim, even a "denim tuxedo" if you know what that means.

Anyway, since it's the last day, I don't suppose there will be any harm done in posting a few videos from YouTube of the show. Some are official- posted by AMT and others are videos taken by fans, etc. Enjoy!

It's always bittersweet when a show ends (unless you've hated it the whole time- haha), but there's something really special about live theatre and knowing that the same show will never be performed again the way it has been these last six weeks. I am very proud of the work that not only was done in the wardrobe department on this show, but I'm also proud of the work everyone on the production staff did on it. From the scenic design, to the complex lighting and video combinations (there are over 15 video screens and TV's on the set, not to mention dozens and dozens of lights), to the cast and band with their incredible musicianship and performance quality- this was a great show and I'm proud to have been a part of it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

400th Post!

I love posting about my blogging milestones for some reason. It feels like I've accomplished something somehow. This is my 400th post- not the most amazing milestone, but I am more proud that I've published 400 posts in less than a year- I like the idea of being prolific, but don't worry, I'm more concerned with quality. I really enjoying writing this blog- from the Rate My Look posts to the inspiring fashions I see around the world, and also the other types of blogs I've discovered along the way. And reading all of those blogs somehow makes any of my milestones feel somehow small and unimportant- not in a bad way, just in terms of the vast number of people blogging out there. When I see all of the creativity out there and how much people are doing- creating, sewing, cooking, designing, painting, filming, decorating, or just doing good for other people, it puts it all in perspective.

Of course I read other fashion blogs like Glamour and Lucky but I also enjoy seeing what other women like myself post on their fashion and style blogs. I've discovered a handful of unique women- all different backgrounds, ages, body types, professions and style points of view. A few of my daily every-woman fashion reads include:

Refashion, Recycle, Reuse
Kendi Everyday
Natalya's Closet
Mrs. Hall in Training
Lux vita et iocus
Daddy Likey

Some of these women are humorous in their writing. Others are simply heartfelt and open about their lives and how fashion fits in, but all are unique and I suppose that's why I'm drawn to this particular mix. In addition to fashion blogs, I love all sorts of other types of blogs, too. if it's interesting, I'll read it! Some are very well known like Go Fug Yourself, Jennsylvania and Sleep Talkin' Man (R-rated!). Others are just friends of mine who over the years have gotten into blogging for one reason or another. My friend Tim has a great blog called Three-Second Goldfish and he writes about whatever strikes his fancy on that particular day. Another friend- Kate- is a professional photographer and I love looking at her work on her studio's blog, Studio Nouveau. Other's I've started reading because they were named "Blog of Note." (Fingers crossed that someday my name is pulled out of THAT hat!) F8hasit is particularly eloquent and touching. Her tone is that of a talented writer and I love reading her posts. (Although, for the record, I stumbed upon her blog before it was named Blog of Note, and I feel especially cool about that.) Life on the Green Line is a Boston-based Blog of Note, so reading it makes me feel closer to home.

And then there are the food blogs. I could read food blogs until the end of time, taking breaks only to eat. Mrs. Humble is a personaly fave because she focuses mostly on sweets. She did an entire series on a particular cookie. What's not to love about that? And then there's One Hungry Chef whose culinary pursuits leave me open-mouthed and drooling and also baffled at how accomplished and knowledgeable he is.

Lots of the bloggers whose blogs I read are also Etsy shop artisans. The Cat and the CowRuth Parker Jewelry, B.B. Bellezza and Tina Tarnoff all have unique Etsy shops and I've purchased from most of them at some point in the last year. I love when an Etsy artisan also has a blog because they often post about what inspires them, how they work, what mediums they prefer and what influenced them in the journey to become an artist. I find all of this very fascinating.

I guess my point, ultimately, is that there is a lot out there to read- a lot of people doing a lot of interesting and amazing things and writing about it for the world to see. I love the idea of being a part of that kind of community. I've met so many great people as a result of starting to blog, some of whom are my faithful readers. And it's to the readers that I am most grateful. I know first hand exactly how much is out there for you to read, so I genuinely appreciate when you choose to come here as often as you do. I love hearing from you, whether it is through comments or emails, so please don't hesitate to say what's on your mind. I love criticism and feedback, but I don't allow every bit of it to influence what I'm doing here. I know I can't make everyone happy all of the time. I can only hope that what I post here will keep my readers coming back for as long as I stay at it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rate My Look: Please Be Kind...

For the first time since I was a toddler, I am donning a romper for the day. Much like a bandaid that must be pulled off swiftly, I am diving into my recent romper purchase ASAP- I figure the sooner I do it, the sooner the (potential) pain will be over. Although, I must admit, I am seriously diggin' my romper outfit:

If you disagree that this is a cute outfit, that's fine, but limit your comment critiques to issues with that as opposed to saying something like, "Your legs just aren't svelte enough to pull off a romper." In other words, please be kind in your comments today. I'm taking what amounts to a serious fashion risk for me, so let's live today by the old adage, "If you don't have something nice to say..." My fragile ego may not be able to handle too much. Now, if I start posting myself in rompers more frequently, I'll be happy to take all sorts of constructive criticism, but not today. Thank you for your cooperation. (P.S. Yes, I KNOW I need a tan on those gams. I'm working on it.)

Actually, the funny thing is that I feel great in this outfit and for me, in my head, feeling great equals looking great. So I'm sort of back and forth between feeling incredibly confident and fabulous to feeling insecure and uncertain. I even sent a text to Andrea prepping her for my romper outfit today, so I know I'll have at least one person supporting my style choice of the day.

Now, deluded or not, here are the reasons I think this romper and this outfit work on me.
First, the length of the shorts are perfect for my legs. My legs are at once my favorite and most hated part of my body. From about mid-thigh down to my toes, I'm happy. I like the shape of my legs and when I'm in heels, they look rather toned. From mid-thigh upward, it's a different story. That's why you very rarely see me in a mini-skirt and also why I'll never post a bathing suit edition of RML. So not only is the length of this romper just right for my legs, so is the shape of the shorts. They sort of "bubble" loosely around my thighs, but then the band of fabric at the hem, tapers them in at just the right place. The smocking at the top allows for a snug, fitted look while still remaining incredibly comfortable. And did I mention there are pockets? I love anything with pockets.

The back isn't as flattering- I'm thinking of maybe taking it in in the back so that my butt looks a little better. (Sorry, there are no pictures from behind. Actually, I shouldn't be apologizing for that.)

Anyway, due to the fact that I'm feeling a tad insecure about wearing a romper out of the house today, I layered on what feels like a million accessories: belt, shrug, bracelet, earrings, high heels, even a flower in my hair. My logic: Maybe if it's not everyone's favorite look on me, they'll be distracted by all the other elements in the outfit. (Honestly, I'm laughing out loud at myself as I type this post.) I didn't want to wear the sequin shrug, but it was the only one in my closet that worked in terms of shape. Like I mentioned yesterday, I think a crochet shrug would be a better choice. Maybe I'll shop around for one. But you should also know that this shrug is much more shiny in pictures than it is in real life. It's not nearly as glittery as it looks in these pictures.

Ok, let the comments commence. I've braced myself. (Amy N., I expect FULL romper support from you!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I did it

Y'all, I bought a romper!!! For. Myself. Check it out:

Smocked Floral Romper, Target, $19.99

Ok, I have personally been of the opinion that rompers are ONLY for skinny women with long, beautiful, svelte legs. Until now. I tried this romper on at Target tonight and Ihad to buy it. Something about the way the shape of the shorts tapers in is actually flattering even on MY thighs. I'm looking forward to making an outfit with this romper because I am not nearly brave enough to wear one by itself. I'm thinking some fabulous heels (to help lengthen my oh-so-short legs), a wide belt to make sure my waist is cinched in and maybe a bolero crochet shrug for a little more coverage up top. Long, drapey necklaces and maybe some fun bangle bracelets will complete the look. In my head, this outfit will be fierce. You'll know when I post a picture, I suppose.

Breaking News: Shoe Dazzle has HANDBAGS!!!

I wish I could have that fast beeping sound that heralds the arrival of some type of incredible breaking news. You know what I'm talking about, right?

Well, my breaking news is that Shoe Dazzle has added handbags and jewelry to their product lines. No joke. In my showroom this month:

I'm not sure I think any of the jewelry options are worth the $39.95, but the bags- I could get into some of those bags.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shoesday Tuesday- Fancy Flip-Flops

I have a ratty, gross pair of purple flip flops. They are hideous and old and I should probably throw them in the trash. I can't bring myself to do it, though. They are SO comfortable. I just love them because they are probably the only pair of shoes in my closet that have never done a single thing to hurt my feet. And I love that they are flip-flops becaue they are open and my feet can actually breathe in them. I have other flip flops that are in better shape and a lot prettier, but I rarely wear them because they just aren't as comfortable. My advice with flip flops is that once you find the perfect, comfortable pair, stick with them. Take care of them and they will take care of you. Until then, wear pretty ones like these:

Molano, Aldo Shoes, $19.98-$30

Vacchiano, Aldo Shoes, $60

Gemma, Target, $12.99

Rhosolyn, Nine West, $49

Because if you can't be comfortable, at least be pretty.

Crochet Chic

Do you ever find yourself in summer, putting on a cute strapless or spaghetti strap sundress and for whatever reason, you wish there was just a little more coverage? It may be a modesty thing, or maybe you just prefer a layered look, even in summer. Unfortunately, in 80 degree, humid weather, a cardigan- even the lightest cotton or jersey type- is too much.

Whatever the situation or reason for needing another light-weight layer, I have the solution for you. And it's actually quite a popular trend right now: crochet. Yup. Bet you never thought you'd hear that word in a sentence without"grandma" right nearby. Well, the thing about crochet, is that when it's done with a delicate pattern and light-weight yarn, it's actually almost like lace. Very cool, chic lace. Next time you're shopping, grab a cardi, shrug or vest in a cool, open crochet pattern and you'll find you've made a great investment. Because although you may be purchasing it for summer, you'll find that it will be a great layering piece for all four seasons. Stick with a neutral color and you can't go wrong.

A few options:

Crochet Vest, Victoria's Secret, $29.99 (Sale price)

Oversize Crochet Vest, Free People, $81 (Sale price)

Crochet Shrug Cardigan, JC Penney, $24.99 (Sale price)

Lacey Crochet Cardigan, Spiegel, $20 (Sale price)

I actually think the final option from Spiegel would be a great top layer if you had a more formal event to go to. I hate trying to find a top layer that is dressy. I've never been a fan of wraps and pashminas- I think they tend to look matronly and awkward most of the time. This long, lacey crochet cardigan is a great alternative.

So what do you think? Would you wear a crochet piece? What about learning to crochet and making one yourself? I've been a pretty decent knitter for a few years now, but crochet has always baffled me. Maybe I'll give it another shot one of these days.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Prada B.Y.O. Bags

Have you all heard about the new Prada B.Y.O. Bag line? They are cotton tote bags bearing the Prada logo and made using archived Prada prints and they will be retailing for $295.

I don't know about you guys and gals, but my canvas and cotton tote bags are mostly the free or $1 type that you get at the grocery store or at community events. They work just fine when I go to the Farmer's Market and I hardly mind if a strawberry gets squished and stains the bag. I'd be incensed if I stained my $300 Prada bag with fruit juice! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a beautiful designer handbag, but all the ads are touting this line as "the cheaper" version of a Prada handbag. It's supposedly the more financially accessible bag for those of us who can't afford a real Prada handbag at Neiman's or Barney's. Somehow, I find that a tad insulting. If I can't afford a real Prada handbag (which I can't), what on earth makes you think I'm going to shell out nearly $300 for a glorified shopping bag just because it says "Prada" on it? For that price, I could get a real, leather handbag from a designer like Michael Kors or Coach, or maybe even two designer handbags for that price if I shop at Marshalls or SYMS.

I admit the archived prints used on the bags is a pretty cool idea, but I'd rather see a great diffusion line of skirts or dresses made with vintage Prada prints, or maybe they could price these particular bags a little more afforably but only make a limited number of each print. Or better yet, actually handbags, not tote bags, made with these prints. The archived prints they selected certainly are beautiful. I'm particularly fond of the ones in the 2nd picture. But I don't love them enough to buy a cotton tote bag for $295. $295!!!

Even $50 per bag is way too excessive for a cotton tote that will likely be best used carrying asparagus and tomatoes from the farmer's market or a towel and sunscreen for a trip to the beach. But at $50, I'm slightly less insulted by the "cheaper version of a Prada handbag" advertising spin. And I'll be honest, even if they were $50 instead of $295, I still think I'd pass.

What about you? What do you think of Prada's B.Y.O. Bag line? Frivolous or fabulous?
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