August 30, 2009

Product Review: Bumpits

Bumpits in Dark Brown/Black

Rating: 7/10 head bumps

You've probably seen the tacky Bumpits infomercials. If not take a look here. But essentially Bumpits are inserts for your hair if you want to create any sort of volumized, pompadour, beehive, whatever you want to call it...look for your hair.

At the risk of looking like a tacky sorority girl, I bought these on a whim from Walgreens for $9.99 rather than ponying up 19.99 + shipping & handling via the official site for a double set.

- faster way to get a volume rather than doing a full blow out
- comes in 3 sizes so you can decide if you want a little extra volume or want to look more like Amy Winehouse; since I have bangs already, I found the medium bumpit to be the most appealing/natural looking
- comes in various colours to match your hair colour. I chose dark brown/black
- fairly lightweight to wear

- curvature of the bumpit itself will not conform to your head; this is hard plastic, girls
- infomercial implies you do not need product, but instruction manual actually tells you to use hairspray to keep it in place (which I immediately balked at)
- without hair spray, I found that you do need to secure your hair with some sort of tie/clip to keep the bumpit where it belongs
- it's a bit difficult to make sure you diguise the bumpit completely; so keep in mind the grooves may show slightly no matter what you do.
- probably won't work well with really short hair, as I couldn't manage to use the small bumpit with my bangs

I probably wouldn't wear a bumpit every day, but it is fun/easy enough to use if you want to have big hair really quickly. Also, if I wanted a pompadour for an evening event, I would definitely use the large bumpit.

The one thing I'm pondering is if blowdrying your hair with a bumpit on will provide a good deal of volume...still have yet to try this. Will update further if this works.

Have you tried the Bumpit? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments...

August 27, 2009

Links a la Mode: Playing Dress Up


Playing Dress Up

Edited by Jordana

I’m in the process of moving to New York City, just in time for Fashion Week, which kicks off in two weeks. In browsing through all the link submissions this week, I couldn’t help but tie it all back to one very important question lingering on my mind – what the heck am I going to wear? This week’s round-up speaks to the art of ”getting dressed.” We have inspiration posts from Cake not Coke and Style on the Street, style how-to’s from Denim Debutante (she was also quoted in the WSJ this week, here!) and The Coveted, and a variety of interviews. One of my favorites was Prom Mafia’s DIY for converting your boyfriend’s tee into a tunic – love it!

For those plannig to attend fashion week, make sure you RSVP for the IFB Dress Up Soiree and panel discussion on evolving influence! Special thanks to Moxsie and Microsoft Windows phones for their support!

Links à la Mode : August 27th

  • 39th and Broadway: Are You a Fashion Sellout?

  • Brick My Lane: Interview with Fee Doran, aka Mrs Jones – the woman behind Oxfam DIY and that famous white catsuit.

  • Cake not Coke: Vanity Fair Setpember ‘09 Toujours Couture - A Stitch in Time.

  • Chicago Style: Interview with Monica Dimperio, of the Chicago street style blog The MidWasteland

  • Clutch 22: Exclusive scoop on Seattle indie greentrepreneurs – Sara Seumae of SPUN Clothing collaborates with Tara Smith of Revival Ink (plus a contest)

  • Denim Debutante: The reasons you should love Rich & Skinny denim, along with tips for the three best cuts and how to wear them

  • Dramatis Personae: Unveiling the feminine fashion stylings of independent designer Claire la Faye…

  • Dream Sequins: Shoptalk with Cherie of online vintage marketplace Shrimpton Couture, which collaborates with emerging designers

  • Fashion Pulse: Check out the new trend in leggings, by way of geometric prints and loads of grey!

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers : Dress UP for NYFW

  • Prom Mafia: Raid your boyfriend’s closet: How to turn his t-shirts into cute girly tunics

  • Retro Chick: What happens at a Burlesque Lesson?

  • Saved for Best: Girls on Film – A celebration and run down of the best-dressed films

  • Shop Fair: Top 5 obstacles fair trade and “green” fashion labels have to overcome to be more successful

  • Style on the Street: Three photoshoots inspiring trends for the next season

  • Style Symmetry: The Symmetry Seven with Rhiannon of Liebemarlene Vintage

  • Sweet Fuzz: Rustic Elegance - independent fashion designer Dace’s beautiful Fall line

  • The Coveted: Charlotte Russe Review – Mixing in Fast Fashion

  • The Demoiselles: Shopping for your body type is hard enough without a recession; shopping on the cheap is even harder

August 24, 2009

Wanted: Anna Sui's Gossip Girl Collection for Target

I'm very excited for Gossip Girl inspired collection from Anna Sui that will launch Sept 13 thru Oct 13 at Target.

The Cut leaked images of the various collections. My favorites until I actually see the collection in person:

From the Blair subcollection.
It's entirely possible I would rip off the blue ribbon, but love the lace like pattern on the dress.

From the Jenny subcollection.
Not sure if Jenny would actually wear this, but the dress is adorable. The start necklace is a little too Avril Lavigne for my tastes though.

From the Jenny subcollection
This is something I could picture Jenny wearing. It's a fantastic little dress.

August 23, 2009

High Low Style: Headbands

High Low Style is defined by Second City Style as mixing inexpensive with expensive items and pulling it off with aplomb.

For a celeb example, Kate Moss is well known for her ability to mix and pull it off. (Try it for yourself, just wouldn't recommend trying cocaine or chain smoking while you are at it). I will note that everybody's "high" and "low" will differ. For some it will be mixing couture with ready to wear, for others it will be stuff from higher end stores with items from places like Zara or Tar-jay.

In any case, my humble strategy with regards to high-low is 1) pay more and invest in the classics and well made clothing and occasionally 2) throw in a few trendy bargains for fun, but don't expect them to last forever. Shake 'em up for a look all your own.

I bought the following on a trip to Nordstrom's in San Francisco:

France Luxe Wavy Ultracomfort Headband in Tokyo, $27

Since I already own a classic tortoise headband from J.Crew, I went with the wavy headband in a Tokya pattern as you see above. The Tokyo pattern is a more intensified version of classic Tortoise. Also the great thing is France Luxe accessories are all actually made in France. No fake advertising here.

See more options here.


On a whim, decided I might as well see if Forever 21 or H&M had any cheap, but good Gossip Girl Blair headband knockoffs that were a bit trendier. After all... not sure if the headband trend will stick over time.

Much to my surprise Forever 21 won:

Oversized Double Bow Headband from Forever 21, $4.80
I bought the headband above in faux black satin with cute origami pleat flowers.

See more options here.

General Tips:
1) If you're trying to buy lifelike floral headpieces, don't buy the cheap versions. The colours are very obviously fake. It's like buying faux flowers from Walmart vs Michael's. It's too obvious. For cheapo versions, stick with single colours, bows, or more abstract floral motifs.

2) For comfort, look for thin headbands. Thicker headbands will have a monster grip on your head and while you will look fabulous, you will get a headache (trust me, I've tried)

3) I've noticed a pattern in all my best hair accessories. They were all made in France.. just sayin'.

4) Consider your own hair colour when selecting. Will it contrast or blend in?

5) Try try try. Try on everything on in store in front of a mirror (preferably a big one so you can see how your entire look changes) until you are 100% happy, or the salesperson kicks you out.

August 20, 2009

Links à la Mode: Beauty, Style, & the Blogosphere

links a la mode

Beauty, Style, & the Blogosphere

Edited by Ashe Mischief

Beauty and Style come in many forms, and this weeks Links á la Mode choices showcase the many discussions entering the world of fashion blogging at the moment: excessive judgments, the value of personalities, and cultivating your inner beauty as well as your outer beauty. Bonne-Vie challenges the values of the show “More to Love” and Fivve Blog shares model sensation Lara Stone. Newcomer Jaka’s Tea Party calls to action with the Wholestyle Manifesto and Betsey J asks “Are we too judgmental as fashion bloggers?”

Not to overshadow this weeks Links á la Mode with too heavy of discussions, we’ve also go a great roundup of make-up tutorials & inspiration, along with great DIY projects & giveaways in the forums!

Links à la Mode : August 20th

  • Ask ThinkThru: – What Can You Wear From the Office To an Event?

  • Betsey J: – Have we become too judgemental when it comes to fashion & style?

  • Bonne Vie: – Fox is doin’ it wrong with new reality show “More to Love”

  • BRICK MY LANE: – 3-in-1 DIYs: Ripping, slashing andd patching everything, rock’n'roll style

  • Broke & Beautiful – International Indie Designers can be found with Novica, plus an opportunity to REALLY make a difference by shopping.

  • Confessions of a Fashion Editor – Fed up of emails from big fashion brands demanding interviews, I decided to speak to a young, bright and new designer instead.

  • Denim Debutante: – How to Clean & Care for Your Premium Denim

  • fivve blog: – If you have a fashion mag addiction, then you probably have seen who W Magazine is calling the “fashion it-girl” Lara Stone.

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: What's so great about Gravatars?

  • Jaka's Tea Party – A mission statement for a new movement that believes style isn’t about the clothes you wear, it’s about being a whole person.

  • Little Miss Makeup: – Pretty makeup is an evergreen fashion trend. Get the low-down on how to get the look!

  • Meilily: – Highlights the debut collection of Project Runway phenom Christian Siriano for VS Makeup.

  • pie wacket: – yesterday I worked with Kiehl’s to create a wonderful late summer giveaway and shot an original beauty story to demo the products.

  • Rags to Reverie: – 2 days ago Space 15 Twenty’s Pangaea Pop-Up makes deka ray’s architectural jewelry available for the masses

  • Retro Chick: – Why we buy – One woman’s journey in fashion and the decisions we make every day.

  • sweet archivia: – Anthropologie’s Secret Code – In-House Brand Guide

  • THE COVETED – The Coveted: Make that a double: Take Off Your Clothes Double T-Shirt Dress

  • The Demoiselles – Jennifer Nicole uncovers the secrets behind the new PETA ad, which degrades women based on weight.

  • The Fashion Planner: – The Fashion Planner’s Guide to Chicago offers great places to eat, shop, and more.

  • The Midnight Feast: – Did I really just put on black lipstick? How to tackle this trend: a guide for those who would prefer to leave the gothic look in the 90s.

  • Unfunded – Unfunded: White Rabbit Inspired Baubles

  • Wit & Whimsy: – First Look: Michael Kors Goes Hollywood Glam with the launch of

August 18, 2009

Shopping Review: Edition by Banana Republic

Edition Banana Republic - Westfield San Francisco

Edition is an exclusive accessories-only offshoot by Banana Republic, which features limited edition handbags and many accessories under $100. So far there is only one store in the entire world in San Francisco.

See Banana Republic site for previews of the collections.


- Enthusiastic sales associates
- Gorgeous, clean store layout
- Too much harping on how "exclusive" the handbags are. Frankly they may be created in limited quantities, but I didn't find them to be particularly special in terms of design, colouring or material to make them feel truly exclusive.
- Jewelry was indeed quite beautiful and some of the designs were quite interesting, though likely costume jewelry for the most part.

August 16, 2009

Anthropologie's Secret Code - In-House Brand Guide

Shopping Anthropologie can confusing at times, as the store mixes in-house brands (all of which have different sizing) and external brands like Anna Sui and Ella Moss, with very little fanfare to tell you which is which.

While doing some research online, I came upon an excellent guide to figuring out Anthropologie's in-house brands. The general principle is in the store you should look for an RN Number on the garment label. Specificially RN # 66170, denotes the garment was made by Urban Outfitters (Anthropologie's parent company). In other words, it's an in-house brand.

Example photo is below:

While this is useful to help differentiate between the in-house and external brands, I've noted only a few exceptions in my closet where a known in-house brand, fei, did not seem to have an RN # printed anywhere on the tags, despite my having purchased directly from an Anthropologie store...

For the Hermione-types like me who love to know everything about what they are coveting/holding/taking out their credit card to purchase right now, below is a my own list of in-house Anthropologie brands I've seen and bought. For reference I am 5 ft 1 and typically wear a 0-2 petite -- though my general feeling I don't care if the size tag says 0 or 14; if it fits me and looks great, I'm wearing it, damnit.

Cartonnier - Label: dark green with Cartonnier in yellow cursive. Remaining labels will also look vintage inspired. Refined with suiting/military/navy type details. Lately seeing alot of pieces that are wholly synthetic which makes me want to cry...

Elevenses - Label: Spool of thread with needle. Great cotton pieces that can fit petites. Always comes with extra buttons!

Fei - Label: vine/fern motif. Really great silk pieces, a bit on the dressier side.

Guinevere - Fairly affordable. Tops tend to run on the smaller side

Idra - Label: Very fancy cursive (see below). Jackets, pants, and skirts. Can run a bit small.

Photo credit: Idra tag by Grayhood

Knitted and Knotted - Label: Very distinctive little metal tag. As you can guess, lots of knitwear to keep you cozy.

Maeve - Label: bright yellow flowers with "she who is beautiful" on the back. Dresses tend to be fitted quite close to the body. Usually inexpensive. Good for those petites with tiny waists!

Photo credit: Maeve tag by Grayhood

Moth - Label: 1 red dot. Fits a bit larger, good choice for taller girls. Usually seen on casual tops.

Moulinette Soeurs - Label: White tags read MOULINETTE SOEURS vêtements (French for clothing). Only have seen this brand on higher end dresses. Very well-made line that has a French chic feel to it.

Odille - Label: "odille" in cursive and offset to the right. Rather similar to Moth. Usually casual pieces. Runs a bit large, good choice for taller girls.. UPDATE: Per the comments Odille tops run short but skirts run true to size.

Leifsdottir - A high-end line owned by Anthropologie's parent company. This is the best of the best: silks, cashmeres, beautiful designs. Pretty much any piece you'll encounter is 3 figures... I bought 1 cotton summer dress from this line on sale (hooray!). Sizing appears to be true.

There is also an exclusive Leifsdottir site now up, though the brand is also sold in high end department stores like Nordstrom's, and is not exclusive only to Anthropologie stores.

Pinkerton - Label: "pinkerton" in cursive on a little ribbon. Mainly loungewear line from Anthropologie, but some items can actually be quite wearable as casual dresses. Also a way to get silk Anthro items for a cheaper price, but keep in mind that because it's loungewear you may need to restyle or add a slip underneath for modesty.

Others I am less familiar with:

Sparrow - Per comments this brands fits true to size. Seems to offer many cardigans/sweaters.

What do you think of the in-house Anthro brands and their sizing? Feel free to comment.

I also have a guide on External Brands that Anthro carries.

August 14, 2009

Links a la Mode Aug 13th

A Stylish New World

Edited by Jennine

Here we go with this week’s round of stylish links. Editing this week was quite difficult as there were so many great links to choose from and everyone had some fantastic news on the fashion front. One of the great things about the internet is that we can all find out what the smaller labels are doing and thinking. This week we have great interviews from 39th and Broadway, Fabulous Finds Gal, Style Gourmand and A Typical Atypical. We also have a brilliant DIY project on what to do with your fabric scraps on Brick My Lane.

Links à la Mode : August 13th

  • 39th and Broadway – Designer Interview; Delirius

  • A Typical Atypical – The wonderful Every Little Counts! With 15% off for readers!

  • Bobbins and Bombshells – Vintage Finds of the Week: Mad Men Secretary Accessories

  • Breakfast at Saks – Enter to win accessories from the eryn brinié Fall 2009 collection!

  • BRICK MY LANE – DIY: putting scraps of fabric to good use by turning it into a ruffled neckpiece

  • ClandestineChic – Interview: Patricia Valery of Evil Needles

  • Denimaniac – Wood Wood’s S/S 2010 collection – a bit of street, a dash of fash and a whole lotta style!

  • dramatis personae – Quality vs. Vegan/Environmentally Sustainable

  • Fabulous Finds Gal – “Gardens in Grey” By Fashion Photographer Julia Pogodina And An Inspiring Interview

  • Fashion Pulse Daily – What was Your Favorite Summer 2009 Trend?

  • Fasshonaburu – A review on the now purchase-able Under.Ligne, the diffusion line by Doo.Ri.

  • Fete a Fete – Dancing all night and your 5-inch stilettos killing you? Bring some Rollasole emergency ballet flats with you!

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – NYFW SS10 Schedule + tips on getting in

  • Market Publique – Art Class: Vintage Abstract Prints

  • midnight feast – The Jean Genie

  • Retro Chick – Win – Reese Witherspoons first fragrance for Avon

  • Sterling Style – New York’s Rachel Antonoff Holiday 2010 Collection

  • Style Gourmand – Ag Kij of Net-a-Porter discusses Net-a-Porter’s new iPhone app and how technology and fashion co-mingle.

  • Style Mom – STYLEMOM holds it down for fashion bloggers as one of the only IFB members at Blogher 2009 in Chicago

  • Stylish Thought – Cats with Style: Boxing Kitten

  • THE COVETED – Mummy Dearest: Iris Van Herpen taking inspiration from the macabre

  • Unfunded – Vintage sequins, sparkles and sprinkles

August 11, 2009

Wanted: Argentinian Leather

I am not a big fan of the current trend of oversized + heavy hardware purses as being petite carrying 5 lbs of purse along with you is no easy task. Frankly we might as well consider carrying clay jars on our heads at some point.

Thus, I've been looking for lightweight purses and came across ADA handbags, which sources it's super soft lightweight leather from Argentina and has design headquarters in California. Currently I'm coveting their Knots handbag (above) in gold which is relaxed enough to be a day bag, but versatile enough for evening.

August 09, 2009

Upcoming Launch: Gilt Fuse

Gilt Fuse - an offshoot of the Gilt online sample sale website is to open August 12 that based on the pic above and according to Shop Diary sounds like it's targeted to a younger audience and potentially at a lower price point. Personally I was rather underwhelmed by my experience with RueLaLa (a competing flash sale site) as either 1) things sold out too soon or 2) the deals weren't good enough.

August 05, 2009

LBDs for those who hate LBDs

As much as I love fashion, I'm often bored by the LBD (Little Black Dress) that is considered the "staple" of so many wardrobes. Frankly black can just be too boring, matronly, or waiterly. However, the Fall 2009 Couture collections have many LBDs which grabbed my attention:

Alexis Mabille Fall 2009 Couture

The bows are fun and the side cutouts gives the illusion of a very small waist. Sidenote: perhaps the model needs some spray tan on her thighs and stomach? Or maybe it's just the lighting...

Christian Lacroix Fall 2009 Couture

Lacroix is an absolute genius and I love the layering of organza above the sequins, creating a combo mini + a-line dress.

Valentino Fall 2009 Couture

The huge, fairytale fantastical bow and mask just add so much drama to a basic black tube.

Valentino Fall 2009 Couture

I love the organic, leafy bits all over this dress and neckline.

Valentino Fall 2009 Couture

This LBD takes feather and lacework to a beautiful, bird-like extreme.

August 03, 2009

Designers behind Anthropologie

If you love the stuff coming out of Anthropologie as much as I do, you'll love the personal websites of the designers who work there as well:

Grayhood - owned by Dan Gneiding, apparently a senior graphic designer at Urban Outfitters (parent company of Anthropologie). His blog features the work he's done, alot of it along apparel branding and packaging lines.

Lizania Cruz - owned by Lizania Cruz, a graphic designer at Anthropologie. Her page has a few of the selected works showcasing storefront designs and special event invites.

ebond - Anthropologie designer who has worked on the catalogs and also is creator of roughdrAftbooks. Talk about a gorgeous, artistic site!

Custom notebook by roughdraAft books

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