December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's!

Happy New Year's to all my readers! It's been a fantastic year. Thank you to all the 7000+ visits that you've made to my blog. I'm really honored and hope to keep churning out articles that you'll find interesting.

I made a little video (my first!) to share what I've been doing during the holidays and hope you enjoy it.

During a shopping trip with a dear friend to San Francisco, we went to lunch at the Nordstrom Cafe Bistro which has gorgeous view of the city and is a favorite of mine for the yummy, yet affordable, fresh food and friendly waitstaff. In other words, it's an ideal pit stop during a San Francisco shopping trip to relax and regroup. I whipped out my little nano and hoped for a decent video despite the cloudy weather.

Given that I was at a Bistro, of course the important question is "What did you eat?" No, I am not the sort of fashion lover who drinks only water or nibbles on a tiny salad. I don't plan on going on some crazy diet as my New Year's resolution. I believe in eating healthy daily, yoga (does wonders!), and having a good hearty meal whenever you are pounding the pavement looking for a steal:

Drink: Sipped on girly Seaside Lemonade (made pink with raspberries and comes in a sugar rimmed glass, no less!)
Entree: Since Dungeness crab is in season in San Francisco, I ordered the San Francisco Cioppino and was quite delighted. Other great entrees I've had before are the refreshing Blue Cheese and Pear Salad and rich Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto.
Dessert: Profiteroles with vanilla gelato centers drizzled with dark chocolate sauce (pretty much wolfed these down while mentally scoffing at the "no dessert" table next to me)

Portions of the menu are available online here and here.

Next time I'll try to remember to take video of the yummy food before eating it all ;)

Happy New Years everybody! Celebrate, have fun, and look forward to a great 2010!

December 29, 2009

Inspiration: Emma Pillsbury from Glee

If you ever wanted to sport the sweet librarian look, Emma Pillsbury from Glee is a fantastic inspiration for looks which combine vintage shapes with modern pops of color into a delectable parade of prim, proper, yet never boring looks.

Major anchors to her look are:
1) The cardigan - in every colour under the sun, often with embellishment details
2) The white shirt - both classic and ascot styles; bows are also great!
3) The pencil skirt - goes well with retro heels
4) Pops of bright colour - usually matched head to toe
5) Great vintage looking jewelry: brooches, sweater clips, necklaces, you name it!

Emma from Glee
Emma from Glee
Image credit: Fox Broadcasting, several screenshots from Emma Pillsbury's Box of Baubles 

I was very much delighted to find 2 already very comprehensive blogs with screenshots and info on replicating Emma's fantastic style. Great resources to have:

What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear? - shows you wear to buy Emma's fantastic clothes

Emma Pillsbury's Box of Baubles - focuses on Emma's gorgeous jewelry collection

December 27, 2009

Links a La Mode: Happy Holidays Edition

links a la mode

The Happy Holidays Edition

Edited by Retrochick

Well, I suppose I shall start this weeks Links à la Mode with this:


It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sure visions of sugar plums are dancing in everyone’s heads as they trim the tree and sup mulled wine in preparation for tomorrows frivolities. All too soon it’ll all be over and brain power sapped from too many TV Christmas Specials you’ll be wanting some mental sustenance, and that’s where we come in.

Essentially that’s a long winded way of me saying that what follows are some lovely links to keep you busy over the Christmas period.

M.I.S.S and JeweleryWhore have D.IY ideas to keep your mind and body occupied, ID Style and Little Miss Make Up show you how to ramp up the glamour in your make up bag, whilst Daily Diva Dish and The Working Wardrobe will help you plan what to wear for New Years Eve and that dreaded day you return to work.

If you run out of entertainment here then you should always check out the full Links à la Mode thread for more yummy fashion goodness.

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday and that Santa brings you everything you asked for!

Links à la Mode : December 24th

  • Alice in Stilettos – Don’t Be Victimized By Fashion
  • a
  • DailyDivaDish – New Year’s Eve Fashion: Make an entrance without breaking the bank. Includes 2 looks + DIY ideas.
  • Fashion X K8 – Bringing attention to an essay of literary criticism that provides the proper vocabulary with which we can converse about a new fashion paradigm.
  • Fasshonaburu – An interview with Liu Wen, the first Asian model to strut her stuff on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show catwalk.
  • Idiosyncratic Style – Wham GLAM Thank You Ma’am – Indulge in a little glamour for the holidays.
  • Jewelry Whore – HUGE Roundup of DIY Christmas Present Ideas! It’s not too late to make some fabulous jewelry for Christmas presents!
  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS – You’re only a couple clicks and a few stitches away from owning your own one-of-a-kind designer piece with free patterns from SHOWstudio
  • La Société de Mode – A scream of an interview with stylist Brett Bailey
  • Little Miss Makeup – Bold lips: This season’s hottest makeup trend.
  • M.I.S.S. – Another simple yet attractive necklace by Pandora from Acessory Source in this week’s She’s Crafty.
  • Previously Owned – To celebrate the [almost there] opening of the ONLINE store Previously Owned BLOG is giving away a Royal Blue hobo!
  • Retro Chick – Vintage Hair Styling with Flamingo Amy
  • Style on a String – Harem Pants: Yay or Nay? And some quick tips on how to buy and wear them.
  • Sugar and spice and all things nice – 10 things I like…. no, LOVE… about FANTASY SHOPPING!!
  • sweetarchivia – Review of the much anticipated launch of the Rodarte for Target line by the Mulleavy sisters.
  • THE COVETED – Versace Pre-Fall returns to color
  • The Demoiselles – Wing Tips: Your First Time…at the Tailor
  • The Fashion Planner – The Fashion Planner is excited to announce the publication of The Fashion Planner’s Guide!
  • The Style PA – I review the comfy, Cable Cosy by Isabella Oliver
  • The Working Wardrobe – Learning the art of layering that is both fashion-forward and office-appropriate

December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays everybody!

Best wishes to all my readers!

Image credit: Anthropologie

December 22, 2009

Anthro Holiday Sale

Without much fanfare, Anthropologie appears to be doing a Holiday Sale starting tomorrow, Wednesday Dec 23 at its Danville, CA location (see image above). I'm not sure how widespread it'll be, but I'm guessing all San Francisco Bay Area stores will have similar sales. My understanding from the email I received is there will be markdowns on new home and apparel. My suggestion would be to check the website tomorrow to see if your favorites are on sale and then head to the stores!

For guesses for the East Coast as to what will go on sale see Effortless Anthropologie's list here.

December 20, 2009

Review: Rodarte for Target

After having spent the past couple months drooling over various images from the Rodarte for Target limited edition line, it finally has launched at Target stores today. The full line is also available online here for your viewing pleasure.

I got up early and hit my local Tar-jay to avoid the crowds. Unlike the rather limited Anna Sui and Alexander McQueen lines, this one is actually available in surburbia. Hooray!

On to the reviews!

The Good:

Believe it or not, I found that the Mesh Lace with Bow Top was actually one of the most versatile pieces in the entire collection. You could easily use this to dress up a camisole or long sleeve tee in your closet. I thought the navy version was more high fashion looking than the orchid purple. I much appreciated the Rodarte sisters decided to add darting to this top to make it more flattering to the female figure.

This top could go "Gothic Lolita" at any moment, despite the rather cheery looking photo on Target's website.

Verdict: Buy

The second surprise was that of all the dresses on the rack, I found the most well constructed and expensive looking was one that hasn't been given as much press. The Lace Halter Floral Dress in Pink (not Black) ended up being my favorite.

Up close, the printed cotton blend lacework was truly very pretty and unique, prompting many Oos and Ahhs from the salesgirls. I will note compared to the photo, the dress has more volume. So, if you love the poufy miniskirt looks that Jenny Humphrey wears on Gossip girl, you will love this dress.

Thank you Rodarte for create an adjustable halter collar (smart!). I would suggest gals size up though as this dress has been cut very close to the body. I ended up buying one size larger than normal.

Verdict: Buy

The Okay:
Despite the much publicized Crepe Slip Dress (even seen on the ever-so-fashionable Tavi), I didn't find this dress to be as flattering. First, the bustline was cut in a saggy baggy way (hardly pretty). I think petite girls will particularly struggle with it. Second, the material was very sheer. Ultimately the entire dress is cut out of nylon and if not for the 2 shoulder bows, you look like you're wearing your nightie out in broad daylight.

Verdict: Skip it or at least wait for it to go on sale...

As for the Tulle Crepe Lace Skirt, I would say it was ho hum.. nothing that was so special you wouldn't find something similar at say, Forever 21. Again the material was a bit thin. This skirt is cut pretty small, so you may want to size up if you have a less than perfect waistline or just want to eat that holiday ham...

Verdict: Skip it.

The Bad:
I felt truly disappointed by the Trompe-L'oeil dress looked so cheap on the rack, I didn't even want to bother trying it on. Not to mention it was rendered in polyester (EEEEK!)...

Verdict: Have a moment of silence and move on


In the End:
Overall, I think the Rodarte sisters made a pretty good showing given the pricing constraints of Target. Personally, I would've liked to have seen more cottons and silks used, even with higher prices, as I think they would've made the pieces that much more special to own. I am glad that the line has been made widely available, as for me, the point of such designer collaborations is to truly make high fashion and unique design accessible to the masses.

December 19, 2009

Inspiration: Black Lace Spring 2010

I was very much inspired after seeing the gorgeous MAC Love Lace Ad campaign photo:

The fantastic blue and black dramatic eye was a perfect complement to the model's icy stare and intricate black lace of her dress.

I also love that Spring 2010 runway shows are including more ruffles and lace. (Yes! back to girlishness I say! Let this horrible 80s shoulder pad revival end now).

Some more black lace inspiration:

The feathers are a great finishing touch to the fantastic black lace on top.

Galliano is just genius when it comes to making underwear look like outerwear (lol!)

Love the tiers on the minidress.

December 18, 2009

I won an Anthro Tokyomilk Art Mirror!

Big thanks to A Loopy Life for putting on a giveaway. I won a beautiful Tokyomilk Pocket Mirror from Anthropologie from her. It's such a pretty thing!


For those wanting one of their own, this exact one is available at Beauty Encounter online (or you can check your local Anthro store).

For slightly different mirror patterns, there is a Small Wonder Pocket Mirror also from Tokyomilk available at Anthropologie:

There's also several sold by Beautyhabit on Amazon. I think the Stamped Blue Birds Flat Pocket Mirror is also very pretty.

Links a la Mode: The Countdown Begins

links a la mode

The Countdown Begins

Edited by Dramatis Personae

The countdown has begun–not only until the end of the year–but until the end of the first decade in the 21st century. That’s kind of amazing to think about. Styletastic and Sway, Sway, Away! both look at fashion from the Oughts with two distinctly different visions. [the3st] interviews the founder of ModCloth, while Wicked & Whimsy reviews Closet Confidential (by the hilarious Winona of DaddyLikey fame!).

Since this will be my last edit of links a la mode for this year, see you all in 2010!

Links à la Mode : December 17th

  • – How Brands Get Burned By Celebs
  • A Typical Atypical: – Suffering from Buyers Remorse: The Real Deal
  • Brunette and Pink: – Makeup Tutorial: Leighton Meester Inspired Winged-out Smoky Eye Look
  • DailyDivaDish – Create a sparkling New Year’s look with the Tarte Treasure Chest Giveaway. Enter to this limited edition kit.
  • Friend in Fashion – Sugar and spice and all things nice – Unearthing the unique designs of the fabulous, Arizona based designer Monique Martinez, through the captive lense of Galaxie Andrews.
  • Grit and Glamour: – The Trend Conundrum–rends are a tricky thing; what makes some women look so pulled together is not a wardrobe full of the latest styles and trends, but the ability to know which ones to avoid.
  • i'm the it girl: – My Love Affair With Hermes and the Great Debate: Kelly or Birkin?
  • Idiosyncratic Style: – 12 Great Holiday DIY Projects – give something special this year (even if you are short on time and money)
  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – My most amazing (and green!) find this year: Denim Therapy, a company who will restore your tattered favorite jeans to like-new condition. Seriously.
  • La Société de Mode | The Fashion Society: – Combats are stomping their way back into style
  • Pursed Lips: – Thoughts/quotes on Lady Gaga as a powerful tool, if a difficult one to reach, for designers.
  • Style on a String – Getting down to the wire: Gifts for the Stylish Geek who is kind of Girly too
  • Styletastic: – As the 00’s are coming to en end, we look back at the fashion memories that will define the decade. Ah the memories!
  • Sway Sway Away!: – Sway Sway Away! presents Caitie’s bitching and moaning on the worst trends of the Aughts.
  • THE COVETED – Love it or Leave it : Rodarte for Target
  • The Fashion Planner: – The Fashion Planner shows you how to make a jaunty beret.
  • The Working Wardrobe: – Beware of “business casual” being too casual for the workplace.
  • tick tick heart: – A focus on the varying fashions of some of our quirkier leading ladies in film.
  • White Rabbit: – Pros and Contras of Artificial Nails
  • Wicked Whimsy: – Closet Confidential: A Review
  • [the3st]: – Success & Getting There: Interview with Susan of

December 13, 2009

White Christmas Gift Guide

Living in California means no snow. Hence, the only way to make a White Christmas happen with gifts! Hope you enjoy my list ... ho ho ho

For the Luxe girls in your life (if you can afford it)
Jil Sander Deauville Scuba Jersey Coat, $2,342 - very modernist lines and impeccable tailoring

Valextra Hobo, $3,270 - the iconic brand for white leather

For the Fashionista: 
Badgley Mischka Carlo White Pump, $215 - nothing says evening glam like Badgley Mischka

Marc by MARC JACOBS Daisy Watch, $175 - a sweet leather bow adds a touch of whimsy

For the Gadget Hound:

Fujiilm Instax MINI 7s White Instant Film Camera, $111 - who wants digital when you can have instant photos?

For the Vintage Glam Gal:

Modcloth Parasol, $50 - as a parasol owner I can attest that every vintage-loving girl should have one

For the Beauty Queen:

Kenzo KenzoAmour Florale 1.3 oz Eau de Toilette Spray, $55 - Kenzo's scents are always interesting and never overpowering. I'm already a fan of the original KenzoAmour and can't wait to smell this new version!

For the Kitchen Goddess:

Bubby's Matryoshkas Measuring Cups, $15 - These are so cute, they are worthy of being displayed on the kitchen counter!

And finally, a fun stocking stuffer for all your friends:

Anthropologie Full Bouquet Clip, $18 - A versatile clip you can put in your hair or pin on to your clothing.

December 11, 2009

Links a la Mode: Choices, Choices!

links a la mode

Choices, Choices!

Edited by Dream Sequins

At this time of year, even the smallest decision can feel like the biggest burden. As holiday shopping season swings into full and relentless motion this month, the choices we make as consumers can often feel overwhelming. This week’s compelling roundup of reading explores these choices from every possible angle and makes it clear that as bloggers, we should feel empowered, not overwhelmed. Whether it’s writing about a specialty gift guide for a geek chic girl, choosing the perfect red lip color or even exploring the nuanced difference in quality between designer and mid-priced items, these choices are what make us unique and connect us as an independent fashion blogging community.

Links à la Mode : December 10th

  • A Typical Atypical – Get into vintage 50’s housewife mode for the Christmas season!
  • Bobbins and Bombshells – Fashionable History: L’Officiel de la Mode Archives
  • Brunette and Pink – Holiday Makeup Inspired by the Sephora 2009 Holiday Sephora Catalog using Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II
  • dramatis personae – High Fashion & High Art… Two Worlds Apart? Thoughts, Arguments, & Solutions for the Knock-off Debate
  • Dream Sequins – A bling-tastic evening at jewelers, Doyle and Doyle.
  • Fashion Pulse Daily – Fashion Pulse Daily finally finds a handbag that meets her very particular requirements.
  • Fashion X K8 – Spotlighting the stylishly subtantial Desirée Rogers and challenging the press’s idea that those who fill jobs seeped in tradition should not only maintain the “tradition” but refrain from being eye-catching.
  • Fasshonaburu – Shopping for the Geek Chic Girl: Holiday shopping advice for the girl who loves fashion as much as video games, gadgets and Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
  • M.I.S.S. – She’s Crafty: DIY Ruffled Suspenders
  • Oranges and Apples – The Sapeurs: vibrant and elegant street style from the Congo.
  • Rags to Reverie – A Fab Four Fanatic’s review of the Comme des Garçons x The Beatles collaboration.
  • Retro Chick – Fashion Economics – Are low cost retailers forcing us to be wasteful?
  • Sophisticated Insanity – Take a look at the lady behind Rare bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel
  • Style on a String – Leggings vs. Tights: The difference, how to buy them and what to wear (and not wear) with them.
  • Style Symmetry – Christmas Gift Ideas for Him, For Her and Secret Santa…
  • The Bargain Hunter Extraordinaire – Two days ago, it was 36 degrees out…today, I didn’t even have to a jacket- that’s New England!
  • THE COVETED – Love bold red lips? Check out the Ultimate Red holiday collection.
  • TheWorkingWardrobe – Here are some tips on how men can work jewelry at the office without any raised eyebrows.
  • Thrift Eye – Dreaming of Shearling: Save up for the nice stuff and be warm or go with the cheap and be cold?
  • ventures of jenn. – A spotlight on Berlin label Reality Studio.
  • Wicked Whimsy – Practical Quality: Looking into what the difference, if any, is between a mid-range item & a designer item.

December 08, 2009

Urban Outfitters Home and Garden Concept: Terrain - Holiday Discounts

For those of you not familiar with Terrain, it is a home and garden concept store owned by Urban Outfitters (parent company of Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Anthropologie). So far there's only 1 retail location in Glen Mills, PA, which features a cafe, landscaping services (how cool would it be to get your garden designed by them?), and Garden center. However, the online store does ship within the US.

A selection of some really pretty cool items they carry:

Striped Armchair
The black and white design just makes this chair pop.

Farmaesthetics Midnight Honey Body Buzz
Yep, they carry Farmaesthetics skincare products too.

This has to be the coolest marshmallow roaster I've ever seen.

On to the coupon code goodies:

HOLIDAY for complimentary shipping on orders 150+
GARDEN for 20% off all gifts for the gardener

December 07, 2009

What I Love Now! - Winter Edition

Sorry everybody for the lack of posts recently....but work + Thanksgiving has been keeping me busy! Alright, let's get to it:

Kurt from Glee

For Watching: Kurt Hummel (as played by the fabulous Chris Colfer) from Glee is currently my fashion hero. Yes I realize he is a boy, but whatever, so is Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. Above are some inspirational looks he has managed to pull off perfectly. Also watch him totally work it in the Single Ladies musical number. Jonas Brothers have nothing on him!

For Wearing:

Frankie Flats by B.P Nordstrom in Red (a Black Friday score at Nordstrom Rack for only $25)

Fernie Flat by BCBGirls in Black (found at Loehmann's).

For Volunteering: Project Gutenberg is a non profit organization to help put books on the public domain in the form of ebooks. It has been keeping me busy as I decided to rack up some virtual community service hours by doing proofreading (yes, I'm a literary dork). Lest you mock me now; it has been good fun seeing all sorts of scans of old books and interesting to learn about how the project goes thru the process. While I have joined the Distributed Proofreaders team, there is also Librivox, which helps put public domain books on audio.

December 05, 2009

Links a la Mode: Stocking Stuffers

links a la mode

Links à la Stocking Stuffers

Edited by Fashion Pulse Daily

This week, as I've been getting geared up for the holiday season's shopping ( both loving and dreading it) via Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I couldn't help but compare the posts to stocking stuffers. Why? Because it felt like a nice, sentimental hodge podge of little items that although different, still fit together into the the bigger equation, hence my new phrase, "Links a la Stocking Stuffers!" Although I jest, I love the variety of posts this week, from how to style and what to wear including Retro Chick's guide to '40s hair for holiday parties,'s tuxedo jacket, The Coveted's adventures in Century 21 and What to Wear's Art Basel fashionable looks, to Prom Mafia's run in with Black Friday and SwaySwaySway's blissful tactics to keep your computer off on Cyber Monday.

As expected, there was a fabulous round-up of links in the forum as well, all worthy of your eyeballs!

Links à la Mode : December 3rd

  • 39th and Broadway - How zoning may save the fashion industry
  • Bonne Vie - talking about Knockoffs and why making accessible fashion isn't a bad thing
  • Confessions of a Fashion Editor - Interview with Katie Mackay of What Katie Wore, as she reaches the end of her year-longstyle challenge, to wear something different every day!
  • - Binge or Bargain: Black Tuxedo Jacket
  • Fashion Pulse Daily - Saks Fifth Avenue & Windows 7; an unlikely pairing for the holidays!
  • Fashion XK8 - Explores Fashion through local anthropology
  • Girl Friday - Mad About the Tote
  • Little Miss Makeup: Smoky Eyeshadow: A Timeless Makeup Trend
  • Oranges and Apples - Fashioning the Future: my favourites from the 2009 sustainable fashion awards
  • Painfully Hip - Edie Sedgwick takes San Francisco (she was born a California Girl, after all)!
  • Prom Mafia - Surviving Old Navy's Black Friday Sales
  • Rags to Reverie - How Essie got me to embrace nail color once again
  • Retro Chick - A Step by Step Guide to Easy 40s Style Party Hair
  • Style Symmetry - Blog to Watch ~ My Mom, The Style Icon
  • SwaySwaySway -A short and humorous guide to beating those seductive Cyber Monday urges
  • [the 3st] - Interview with Hungarian Designer Dora Mojzes, recently featured at the Marie Claire Fashion Show,
  • The Art of Accessories - helps you find a gift for everyone on your list with the 2009 Winter Gift Guide
  • The Coveted - Finds designers at an old favorite discount department store, Century 21
  • The Door in My Wardrobe - A lengthy post about fabric weaves and fibers, helpful for vintage hunter
  • The Working Wardrobe - Check out these eco-friendly ties that work with your outfit and your office dress code.
  • What to Wear -Art Basel Miami Beach--the most important art show in the United States
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