January 31, 2010

Review: Leifsdottir Ruched Neck Jersey Top


Leifsdottir Ruched Neck Jersey Top
(Nordstrom Style# 273605)

I thought this top would be a great layering piece, and usually Leifsdottir uses the best of materials. But the reality is most girls will find that the sleeves are actually huge and the collar is too wide to be flattering. Also the material was very thin, though if that were the only issue I'd probably be willing to just layer a cami underneath to solve it.

Verdict: The clown look wasn't cool. I returned mine. Most likely you will too.

January 29, 2010

Reader Survey and Blog Updates

Hello sweet readers! I'm looking for feedback as to your thoughts on this blog and what you'd like to see more or less of. I've opened up a poll on the right hand side and would appreciate any comments that you may have. I may even take your ideas and create an article series off of it!

I've also made some adjustments to the site:

- Main links are now left of the page right under my header
- I've added an email link if you want to write me directly. (All comments will still forward automatically to my inbox)
- Removed the number of widgets and add-ons to allow the page to load a bit faster.

Hope you like the changes. If not, let me know! I appreciate all comments.

Inspiration: Hand Tied Bouquets

The colours on these hand tied bouquets are just fantastic! And I love the concept of putting fiddleheads with flowers.


Another shot of those adorable fiddleheads:



Info on ordering for your lucky loved one is below if you are so inclined:

January 28, 2010

Links a la Mode: A Touch of Frivolity

links a la mode

A Touch of Frivolity


Edited by Retro Chick

It’s been a long time since pay day and this weeks Links à la Mode brings a touch of much needed frivolity as we crawl into the second month of a new decade. Idiosyncratic Style takes Scooby Doo’s Velma as her style inspiration, Dirty Hems is inspired by dolls houses and Ode to Awe shows off her leopard print nails. Want something for nothing? A few Goody Gumdrops has an Aspinall of London bag to giveaway and Retro Chick (that’s me!) has 2 Valentine goodie bags to giveaway worth over £100 each. We’ve also got some great designer interviews and some practical advice.

On a more sober note there’s some timely tips from Sway, Sway, Sway! on how you can continue to donate to Haiti without getting scammed, Shoe Daydreams discusses Tanya Golds “Why I hate Fashion” article and Ventures of Jenn shares her opinions on the body image debate.

Bring on February!

Note from Editor : Please be sure to check out the IFB Conference at NYFW : Evolving Influence

Links à la Mode: January 28th

  • 39th and broadway – 5 Questions To Ask Before Beginning a Career in Fashion

  • A Few Goody GumDrops – A Few Goody Gumdrops and Aspinal of London are Giving away an ever-so chic and sophisticated beige patterned skin clutch!

  • Analogue Chic – Looking good while doing stuff – braving the weather and the commute with a sense of style.

  • Bonne Vie – Invest in Quality Denim; featuring How-To Tips from Denim Debutante

  • Cafe Fashionista – Style Secrets: Cowboy Boots Made Classy

  • Cindy Whitehead – The Modern Snow Bunny

  • Denim Debutante – Aeropostale Gives Back with Teens for Jeans Campaign

  • dirty hems. – In the Dollhouse – Miniature inspiration and a teeny resulting DIY

  • Dramatis Personae – a feature & interview with the designer behind i am dorkas

  • Fasshonaburu – I challenge myself to follow my own dress code regulations in order to wow up my day to day ensembles.

  • fête à fête – Clarins debuts first certified organic beauty soap

  • Idiosyncratic Style – Inspired by the sartorially underrated Velma Dinkley.

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – IFB Presents : Evolving Influence Conference NYFW 2010

  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS – Interview with Janeane Marie Ceccanti

  • Ode to Awe – I review Minx Nails, plus my glamourous Russian Garnet cocktail ring

  • Oranges and Apples – Vintage teenage hair inspiration

  • Retro Chick – Valentines Day is on it’s way and Retro Chick has 2 goodie bags worth over £100 each to give away to help you celebrate!

  • Shoe Daydreams – Fashion Influences (?)

  • Style Eyes Fashion Blog – I have avoided eco and ethical fashion in the past because of the price but I have just discovered it is affordable and stylish.

  • Style Symmetry – How to Choose Items at a Clothing Swap Party

  • Sway Sway Away! – A passionate plea from a member of the global community to her fashionable brothers and sister: help Haiti!

  • THE COVETED – Suzy Menkes, Facehunter, LeMads & The Coveted talk about fashion blogs

  • ventures of jenn – on body issues

January 27, 2010

Mizrahi 24 Series - Question 1

I have been very much influenced by reading Isaac Mizrahi's fantastic book How to Have Style some time ago. Yes, although I very much have strong likes and dislikes and instincts, I like the notion of developing a a truly defined notion of "personal style"

How to Have StyleBut like with many other books, there's a tendency to skip thru the actual "work" of filling out a questionnaire and truly finding your personal style. In an effort to better define what my personal style is, I have decided to start going through the 24 questions Isaac lays out -- 14 are to describe your own style and 9 are to discover your style.

Describing your Style, Question #1: 
What colors do you wear most frequently?
I wear ALOT of pink and am essentially a pinkaholic. I also like white, ivories, and reds. Essentially my closet looks like a gigantic Valentine's Day card. Grey and black are seldom worn on anything other than pants. I also avoid certain shades of purple and green as they tend to make my fair olive skin look sallow.

Below is a fantastic pink skirt suit from Chanel's Spring 2010 Couture collection:





Photo Credit: Style.com Monica Feudi / Gorunway.com
Clothing: Chanel Spring 2010 Couture
Model: Angelika Kocheva (MARILYN)

January 26, 2010

Tuesday Tips Vol 1 - The Gilda

“I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch.” -- Gilda Radner


Clothing: Spring 2010 Ready-to-wear Giambattista Valli.
Model: Georgie Badiel (ELITE)

I've decided to start a series on fun (and good) fashion tips such as the inspiring one from Gilda Radner above. Let me know in the comments if you have a tip you'd like published!

I have a few other ideas bumping around in my head that I hope you'll enjoy this week as well...as always I love reader feedback!

January 25, 2010

What I Love Now! - January Resolutions Edition

Here are my January favorites with an eye to New Year's Resolutions:

For exercise: Last year, I made a resolution to do yoga 2x per week, which I am glad to report I largely have stuck to thanks to the fantastic (and FUN!) Kundalini Yoga DVD's from Ana Brett and Ravi Singh.

It all started with Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond
and I still enjoy the DVD a year later.

Check out their entire line for more DVDs and their own site RaviAna.





For Wearing:
Of course with that fantastic yoga routine, a girl will need an equally fab pair of yoga pants. My personal favorite is Cotton Spandex Jersey Pants from American Apparel. It's affordable, comes in lots of colours, and has the right cotton to spandex ratio for a smooth stretch. And look! Some are on sale.




For Money Management: Sticking to last year's resolutions in regards to spending less on clothes didn't work out so well for me. However, the good news is Mint.com is such an excellent tracker (free, easy to use, and did I mention, free?) at least I know how far off I fell ;)
For baking: After all that hard work on your resolutions, why not have a (healthy) treat? As much as I love baking from scratch, muffins are not my forte and finding an easy to use mix was incredibly exciting. I'm currently munching on Organic Oatmeal Muffin Mix by Dr. Oetker. For the non-Canadians, Dr. Oetker is a great baking brand and has fantastic products which heck, are darn hard to find in the States.

I found my box at a local Draeger's. I added some raisins to mine to give it my own twist, but these muffins are great on their own and not too sweet either!

January 23, 2010

Links a la Mode: The Heavyweights

links a la mode

The Heavyweights


Edited by Dramatis Personae

Fashion’s getting heavier– and I’m not just talking about the rise of supermodels like Crystal Renn. This week we’ve got meaty posts covering ethical topics like the sustainability of bamboo at Awakened Aesthetic while Bonne-Vie covers the the implications of buying items made in China. We’ve got not 1–not 2, but 3 AMAZING Interviews this week at Alice in Stilettos, kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS, and White Rabbit. Even Gala Darling’s post on her 2010 Style Direction could serve as a paperweight, it’s so chock full of inspiring images, details, and notations.

As usual, there’s a fabulous collection of links in the forums for your continued reading pleasure!

Links à la Mode: January 21st



  • Alice in Stilettos: – Interviewed brilliant 18 year old designer, Nathan Gerard!

  • Awakened Aesthetic: – How Green is Your Bamboo?

  • Bonne Vie: – At Bonne Vie, we talked about the impact of conscious spending on your wardrobe (and one girl’s journey to not buy “Made In China”)

  • Cafe Fashionista: – Style Secrets: Stormy Sophistication. A comprehensive guide for the girl who wants to remain fashionable even in the midst of a monsoon!

  • DailyDivaDish: – Vintage Broaches: 8 Unique ways to wear these treasures & more — includes many pics of different broaches & a DIY idea for reusing those with broken clasps.

  • dramatis personae: – Following Your Instincts…When Meeting New People, When Shopping, When at Work, and When in Love

  • Fashion Pulse Daily: – Ponders the significance of the C. Finley Wallpapered Dumpster Project

  • For Those About to Shop: – nternational runway sensation Stacey McKenzie inspires aspiring models to be themselves.

  • Gala Darling: – 2010 Style Direction: Psychadelic Ladies Who Lunch

  • girl friday : – DIY Ribbon Necklace & Bracelet. tutoirial on how to make your own ribbon necklace.

  • hello beauty! – In my post on Hello Beauty, I wrote about the new Bobbi Brown campaign. She’s using friends – not models.

  • Idee Fixe: – Fashion and the arts charities supporting Haitian Relief on Idee Fixe

  • In Life & In Fashion: – Make a “Most Coveted List” to avoid silly impulse spending! Includes tip on how to create your own list and what is currently on mine!

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: – How to Create Your Media Kit

  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – My exclusive interview with Inbar Spector, an Israeli London-based designer whose renowned avant garde Bjork-inspired designs have been worn by celebrities such as Rihanna.

  • Model Max: – A special report on the history of male modeling – from the 1980s to the present time, with short profiles of selected male models who remain successful even after modeling.

  • Oranges and Apples: – Top tips for organising your wardrobe

  • Retro Chick – The 4 things I’ve always wanted but never owned

  • THE COVETED – Marion Cotillard and Franz Ferdinand team up for Dior

  • the fashionate traveller: – the rock/burlesque/voodoo vibe that is alternative Sydney label Baroque & Roll.

  • White Rabbit: – Introducing Sorcha Gillet, the Irish born textile designer and blogger.

Review: Anthro Brigadier Skirt, Scalloped Leather Jacket, and new markdowns



Odile Brigadier Skirt - Originally $78, just went through 2nd markdowns to $19.95.
I completely fell in love with this skirt. I purchased in a 0 and thought it fit pretty true to size and was very flattering. It's an ultra-slim pinwale cotton corduroy in a red pencil shape with a military feel. Also you can't tell this from the photos, but it has side pockets and is fully lined! Yay! Style #923414
Verdict: Buy now.



Elevenses Scalloped Leather Jacket ($328)
I tried this one on in an XS and it fit like a charm. Very well tailored and not bulky looking like many leather jackets. However, the high price tag was rather too steep given the edges has a bit of an unfinished feel to them. I also agree with reviewers on the Anthro site, the leather isn't a true clean ivory like in the pictures and many seem to have some sort of spotting on them. Style #910318
Verdict: Wait for it to hit the sale rack.

Also, a few new markdowns I tried on:


Moth Puckered and Pleated Cardigan - Originally $128, just went thru 2nd markdowns to $29.95.
Unfortunately, sizes are extremely limited in stores and it's already sold out online unfortunately. Style #913363
Verdict: Would love it if I could find an XS.













Moth Late Afternoon Pullover - This gorgeous pullover meant to emulate a "West Coast sunset" is for the tall girls only. I found it was overwhelming for my 5 ft 1 stature to the point that I felt like I was just swimming in fabric. Style #913855.
Verdict: Pass if you're petite.


-sweetarchivia

Terrain: Lighting Coupon

Terrain is having a lighting sale on all it's cute pin dot lanterns. Use coupon code: LIGHTING to get 25% off.

Also the ad was just too pretty not to re-post:


January 22, 2010

Shopping Guide: Sephora v Beauty.com

Where best to buy your beauty products? I'll review 2 of the biggest sites that I buy from regularly, although I admit many smaller sites such as Dermstore and Skinstore are also great choices that sometimes carry niche brands you can't find elsewhere



Sephora.com

The Good:
- Extremely extensive range of products, mostly in the higher end of the beauty market
- Awesome return policy - 60 days to return via mail or to the stores. They'll even take back opened items (in case you get an allergic reaction)
- Their free Beauty Insider rewards program offers deluxe samples and exclusive products, but even better perks are to be had with their V.I.B. Very Important Beauty Insider program. Occasionally you'll even get a chance at an exclusive lab sample before it even hits the retail market.
- Coupon codes with freebies are easily found via http://www.retailmenot.com/ and additional cashback can be gotten through sites like Ebates.com
- Makeup tutorials and videos are available throughout the site


The Bad:
- Dollar discounts are typically rare so expect to pay full price. Although recently Sephora has emailed more exclusive coupons to its Beauty Insiders. An exception is the annual 20% off Friends and Family sale.
- Despite touting all the special samples going to Beauty Insiders, you never see what they are until you get to checkout.



    Beauty.com

    The Good:
    - No taxes charged on any order so it's an automatic discount
    - If you subscribe to their email list, you'll get continuous offerings of discounts, gifts with purchase, and truly massive sample bags (usually with retail values upwards of $100)
    - Can bulk up with purchases from Drugstore.com to get free shipping
      The bad:
      - More limited selection in terms of brands carried and also typically the site never carries the travel size versions
      - Poor navigation, the left hand menus are extremely tedious to work through
      - Opened products can only be returned, and returned by mail, only if they fall under the 100% Color Guarantee
      - Not much in the way of tutorials or additional "content" on the site. This is solely a shop and leave sort of site.
        And now the summary:

        Comparable features from both sites:
        - Free Shipping: Sephora offers free shipping for $50 and above and Beauty.com offers it for $49
        - 3 free samples: both offer a selection for you to choose from with each order (more if you use various codes/are a member)
        - User reviews: Both sites now post user reviews of their products (though I recommend MakeupAlley for the most unbiased reviews)

        And the final verdict:
        Buy from Sephora if the product is new and you've never tried it before. If it's available and and product you've used and tested before, it can be worthwhile to buy from Beauty.com especially if there's a special promotion.


        -sweetarchivia

          January 21, 2010

          Guest Post for Effortless Anthropologie

          I'm very excited to unveil my very own guest post for Effortless Anthropologie. This is my first time taking actual pictures of myself (trying to) model Anthro outfits with both new and old pieces.

          For those of you not already aware, roxy at Effortless has an awesome guest writer program going on for any of you also interested in contributing. She really knows her Anthro and her blog is such a great resource for us addicts, ahem, fans!

          Hope you enjoy!

          -sweetarchivia

          January 20, 2010

          Inspiration: Anthropologie Spring 2010 Displays

          I went to the Anthropologie in Berkeley over the weekend and took some video of the fantastic displays there. The displays were made out of recycled plastic bottles, which were cut up, painted, and then strung together to create the effect of massive bunches of flowers.

          It appears every local Anthropologie has a slightly different interpretation of this particular theme. How did your local store interpret the eco theme?



          The ending footage is the writing I saw on the dressing room mirrors promoting Anthro's fantastic return policies and customer service.

          UPDATE: This fantastic window display was made by Courtney Cerruti over at Paper Musings - check out her own pictures and the behind the scenes looks from her blog here and here.

          -sweetarchivia

          January 19, 2010

          Terrain - Free Landscape Consultations

          From the same geniuses who brought you Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, Terrain (a home and garden offshoot in Pennsylvania) is now offering free landscape design consulations. Email Eric Leeson eleeson@terrainathome.com for details.

          Offer will run through Feb 21, 2010.



          January 14, 2010

          Review: Daughters of the Liberation Ahoy Trousers

          I love the denim trousers by Daughters of the Liberation, and was excited to see them on the sale rack. But these Ahoy Trousers are not very flattering.


          First, they are very low rise and quite tight through the thigh area. I found a 2 to be too tight for my own liking. However, sizing up to a 4 proved to create a somewhat baggier look than the trousers should have.

          My feeling is the pants could be flattering on girls who are not very curvy and have longer legs to make up for such a low rise. Otherwise, the super low rise tends to make your legs look even shorter and the buttons tend to draw more attention and bulk to your thighs.

          Of the two colour choices, I thought that the red ones were the prettiest and most interesting. The navy seemed too boring for my own tastes.

          Verdict: The ship has sunk. No ship ahoy here!


          Available in Red and Navy

          Links a la Mode: Style: an Instrospective Approach

          links a la mode

          Edited by Fashion Pulse Daily

          This week, some of us looked back at icons of the past, such as // Fade to #c5c5c5's Marchesa Luisa Casati, Fabulous Finds Gal 's Horst photography post, and Cafe Fashionista's take on Diana Vreeland's famous quotes, while others looked at how far we've come, such as The Curvy Fashionista's plus size fashion observations and A Dress & A Bike 's thoughts on what it means to be sexy. Each post brought a unique angle to the subject at hand, and raised important topics of self-expression, style, adaptation, trends, individuality, and acceptance. It's fascinating to examine our own fashion-related introspection, and think about how our inner selves, thoughts and feelings, are reflected through the clothing choices we make, the pairing of certain looks, and of course our writing and blogs.

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

          Links à la Mode: January 14th


          • // Fade to #c5c5c5 - Marchesa Luisa Casati inspire artists, designers and authors till this day, more than 50 years after her death

          • A Dress & A Bike - Discussion of the trends of 'sexy'

          • Alice in Stilettos - Runway Review: The Colors for Spring!

          • Bonnie Vie - Discussing retail hell and how both customers and sales associates can contribute to better shopping experiences for everyone.

          • Cafe Fashionista - Why Don't You...? In the spirit of Diana Vreeland; a post featuring luxurious things one can do to make themselves feel fabulous!

          • 'cause I'd rather waste my life pretending - Bites sized interview with Stephanie J, Editor In Chief of N.E.E.T Magazine

          • Cool Mama Style - Is there an ideal pair of panties?

          • Dedicated- Gets downright nosey with Nadia Izruna of the gorgeous & girly indie label Nadinoo

          • Denim Debutante - teaches you about discrepancies in denim sizing

          • Dramatis Personae - How to Custom Order Goods from Your Indie Friends

          • Fabulous Finds Gal - Horst photography is a study in elegance, style and rarefied glamour that spanned 60 years

          • Fashion Pulse Daily - Finds the Habillees series on the Sundance Channel to be the perfect elixir for another hectic fashion week soon approaching!

          • Fasshionaburu - Reviews an indie label from Australia she discovered called Evil Twin

          • Independent Fashion Bloggers- How to cover fashion week....when you're not there.

          • Le Quaintrelle - A collection of Hermes-inspired outfits from my own closet.

          • M.I.S.S. - She's Crafty - Safety Pin Epaulets & Fringe Lapel Pin

          • odetoawe - Love for the movie Cry-Baby, and how to get Traci Lords' rockabilly look

          • Rags to Reverie - Fantastic plastic to slip on your fingers

          • Skinny Buddha - Sending out some love to the artists creating handmade items

          • Style Symmetry - Interview with Audi of Fashion For Nerds

          • The Coveted - Snow boots? Winter comfort or style?

          • The Curvy Fashionista - Plus size fashion has picked up major steam, inspiring both yeas and nays for the latest in V magazine- stating it just a trend- or is it?

          January 11, 2010

          Shopping Guide: Petite Pants 101

          As a petite 5 ft 1 in gal, I've learned that buying pants with the right fit (not just the right length, can be tricky.

          Some things I've learned

          1) Every retailer sizes differently and the definition of "petites" is rather murky at times. Grab 1 size above and below your typical size. Also you can make a fist and the length from your fist to your elbow should roughly correspond in length with the waist of your pants - a trick I learned from TV ;)

          2) Merely buying a smaller size in regular pants can result in the "saggy butt" look which will not flatter you at all. This is because the pant was cut for a taller woman and there's excess fabric in the upper thigh area.

          3) On the rack, if the waistline of the pant is cut very straight across rather than in a gentle curve, this tends to result in gaps. Visible undies when you bend over is not a look, it's a faux pas.

          4) Believe it or not, petite girls with short legs but long torsos can wear high rise pants. In fact it can actually help balance your proportions out. Obviously, try to pick a higher rise pant that looks retro or classic, not granny or Axis of Evil dictator (who seem to enjoy pulling their pants super high above their belly button).

          5) Stay away from cropped lengths as they just make your legs look shorter. In fact, walk around the mall and just watch what looks more flattering on other women and you will see that cropped pants and pants that "float" above the shoes are not flattering.

          6) Before hemming pants, decide what type of shoes (heels? flats?) you are going to wear with those pants. Then decide how short they need to be hemmed. Ideally, for longer looking legs, they should cover the top part of your shoe.

          7) Wash denim first before hemming because it usually will shrink in length before it stretches out in width with wear. Hem denim longer because it'll shrink up a little bit more with additional washing.

          8) As counterintuitive as it sounds, pants with wide legs do not make your bottom look bigger. Tapered legs do because the biggest thing left on you is your bottom. Try a wide leg, see if you like it.

          9) When you're in the dressing room, move around! Sit down, stand, do a little dance. See if it really is comfortable.

          10) If still in doubt, step outside to the 360 degree mirror in the dressing room to see if the fit is really flattering.

          A few places which carry petite pants (there's many more out there, just ask):
          - Talbots, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, New York and Co. and many other "work wear" oriented stores. 
          - Online versions of bricks and mortar stores such as J.Crew will also have petites. But only online!
          - Nordstrom has a good Petite Shop and the salespeople are always very nice and helpful in helping you find your size.
          - Many Anthropologie pants tend to run on the smaller side which is great for petites!

          Admittedly, even though they don't target my age range, Talbots is my current personal favorite for high quality great fitting trousers (especially in cotton or wool); Anthropologie is my personal favorite for casual pants (like denims and cotton).

          -sweetarchivia

          January 09, 2010

          Review: Anthro Winter Sale Coats and Jackets



          King's Road Coat by Nell Couture, $129 online
          The pictures are a bit misleading as in person you see a electric pink (not as muted as photographed). This is definitely a fun little coat and I'm surprised it was made as an online exclusive item rather than an item standard to the stores. Your local store may have 1 or 2 if someone has returned their online order.

          Verdict: If I didn't have any other coats, this would be a fun choice. But the iffy polyester-wool-acrylic-nylon blend has made me decide to return it.


          Stork Club Jacket by Tabitha, $89 in stores and online
          Really beautiful, well-made mohair blend jacket and beautifully lined in dark green faux satin. Has a truly elegant feel to it and would be perfect for an evening occasion. Hard to wear during the day time though unless you want to look like a granny. My major reservation was the 3/4 sleeves, which have a tendency to make my already petite arms look even shorter.
          Verdict: Waiting for another drop in price 


          Merrymaking Jacket by Elevenses, $39 in stores and online
          Lovely sequin and beading work on a really high quality boiled 100% wool jacket. It's completed lined on the inside in pinstripe cotton. A bit on the boxy/cropped side and 3/4 sleeves make it less versatile than it could be.
          Verdict: A bit hard to wear for petites. Try it on and see if it works for you.


          Cape Coat Cardigan by Sparrow, $89 in stores, no longer available online
          Fantastic olive green boiled 100% wool cardigan that you can wear as a coat for spring/autumn. The adorable cape is fully removable and lined with cotton. The one downside is the cardigan itself is not lined on the inside.
          Verdict: Even without the interior lining, I decided this was a keeper!

          January 08, 2010

          Links a la Mode: Bring it On!

          links a la mode

          Bring It On

          Edited by Dream Sequins

          My job as editor this week was difficult as many bloggers decided to follow the fierce directive of that cult cheerleading movie, Bring It On. It’s a new decade, and the IFB community decided to “bring it” and then some. (Just to clarify, I’m talking about the original movie starring Kirsten Dunst, and not the subsequent, watered down sequels; because as fashion bloggers, we all have original stories to tell!) This week’s links explore topics such as winter trends, vintage fur care, biker chic style revelations and profiles of 70s and 80s style icons and are so good that they make me want to lead the group in a cheer.

          Links à la Mode : January 7th

          • 39th and Broadway – NYC Brings Opportunity to Emerging Designers
          • A Typical Atypical – My style revolution takes me into the realm of the biker chick, and doesn’t look back!
          • amanda lee dot org – Essential sewing skills for wardrobe maintenance
          • Bobbins and Bombshells – Fashionable History – Airline Travel
          • DailyDivaDish – Indie jewelry designer Debra Mitchell’s newest piece: Tibet. Part of the new SALVAGE line, this necklace is convertible and each contains a piece salvaged from Tibet.
          • Darian Darling – The blonde fashion icon of every 80’s Hair Metal skank and rock star’s girlfriend!!
          • denimaniac – Woolrich Woolen Mills S/S 2010 Lookbook
          • Dream Sequins – A studio visit with designer Katie Gallagher
          • Fashion Pulse Daily – We Love Colors will fulfill your legwear fantasy, as Fashion Pulse Daily quickly discovers!
          • ferOHHHsh – Bryce d’Anice Aime S/S 2010 RTW … chic LBD’s, pops of red, and those spiked shoulders Rihanna made famous
          • Gotham Hipster – Once you’ve indulged in Babycakes there’s no going back
          • HiFashion – How to roller set your hair
          • Idiosyncratic Style – The Personal Style of Costume Designer, Melissa Stewart
          • Oranges and Apples – On the importance of critique in fashion blogging
          • Retro Chick – 5 New Years Resolutions you can’t fail to keep
          • sighsandwhispers – A history and analysis of the style of a notorious teenage groupie in the 70s, Lori Maddox
          • Style on a String – An interview with Judy Kou, owner of the fabulous online dress shop – Sunday Brunch Dress
          • Styletastic – We’re finding it hard to adjust to a new year at Styletastic, but here are some things we can all look forward to!
          • The Bargain Hunter Extraordinaire – I already knew I was going to wear a black sequins belt and beret for NYE, but I wanted some fun shoes to add to the mix; I couldn’t find anything I liked though, so I decided “when in doubt, make your own”
          • The door in my wardrobe – How to choose a vintage fur and take care of it – plus DIY repairing & maintenance for the brave of the heart
          • wit & whimsy – The winter trends you should be wearing

          January 04, 2010

          Shopping Guide: Be a Material Girl

          Don't you hate spending money on clothing that ends up falling apart, pilling, or otherwise ending up in the charity donation bin over time because it was made from poor fabrics?

          Below are some pointers on how to avoid this:

          1) Always check the tag so you know what the real content of the fabric is. Many synthetics deceivingly feel like the real thing, and manufacturers will often use blends to cut costs.

          2) Fabrics from nature are often a worthwhile splurge, manmade (blends or otherwise) are usually not.

          3) Check that all the seams are straight and well sewn. 


          Splurge-worthy:

          100% Cashmere - must be amazingly soft and velvety to the touch. Look for 2-ply or more for sturdiness over time. The LA Times has a good in depth article on buying cashmere.

          100% Wool - Rule of thumb: if it feels scratchy do not buy it. Merino Wool tends to be of a higher quality than plain "wool." If you plan to handwash your wool clothing in cold water, you may want to size up as it has a tendency to shrink after washing. The one exception I've found to this rule is Smartwool, which has fantastic wool products and base layers made to withstand machine washing in cold water.

          100% Cotton - Nothing breathes like cotton and has so much versatility. Mercerized or Pima cotton is even better. If you want stretch, get cotton blended with at least 5% Spandex/Lycra.

          Cotton/Cashmere, Cotton/Wool, or Cotton/Silk Blends - usually the blend will contain mostly cotton, but these items tend to wear well and wash easily in the machine.

          100% Silk - Satin silks should feel super smooth to the touch and have a liquid look to them. Chiffon and taffetta silks will have a bit of a sheen to them but with more texture to their touch. Watch for snags before you bring it home. Silk is one of the most faked fabrics I've seen so definitely check the tags.

          100% Leather - the "smell" test is a fast way to determine if it really is leather. PVC or other faux leathers will smell like plastic or have no smell to them at all. Also many faux leather's will feel lighter, rubbery, or lack depth to their colour compared to their true leather counterparts.


          Blends to stay away from:

          Wool/Acrylic Blends - will pill after time with washing and start looking old.

          Angora Blends - A cheap way for manufacturer to create a "fluffy" looking sweater is to add Angora (i.e. Rabbit hair) to it. Bad ones will shed like animal hair on you in the store. Good ones will pill slightly.


          Silk/Nylon Blends - easily pills and snags. Buy 100% silk or silk/cotton blend instead if possible.


          Move on when you see manmade:

          Acrylic - fabric hardens over time with washing. Best to skip.

          Polyester Velvet - True velvet is made ideally out of silk, but most mass market velvets are made of cotton or polyester. Stick with a cotton velvet with a beautiful sheen, and stay away from polyester velvets as they feel and look cheap.

          Polyester/Rayon/I don't even know what this is - not worth buying

          I hope this guide helps you in your future shopping endeavors. Do you have particular materials you like to splurge on? If so, comment!

          -sweetarchivia

          January 03, 2010

          Inspiration: Chris Colfer Photoshoot in H Monthly Magazine

          As I've mentioned previously, I love watching the very funny and adorable Chris Colfer in Glee and the fantastic outfits they put him in. H Monthly has just published an article on Chris, with tidbits on his personal fashion sense (more casual than that of Kurt Hummel), and of course included a photoshoot with everything from vintage to biker inspired looks.

          Fun trivia: Kurt admits that he "has an impressive collection of wristbands, or as he admitted adorably, “I won’t lie, they’re bracelets.”"

          Go check it out. Two of my favorite pics from the shoot are below.





          Photocredits: H Monthly



          -sweetarchivia

          January 01, 2010

          Links a la Mode: Evolve

          links a la mode

          Evolve

          Edited by Sandra/Debutante Clothing

          It’s over kids – 2009 is done. Everyone is probably completing their resolutions list, which we never keep past March. This year, I have no list. I have just promised myself to evolve – learn something new, try new products, evolve in my style. Making yourself better, not different, seems to be on many bloggers’ minds. Fasshonaburu evolves by discovering her style, Fashion Cents helps us shop for designer while feeling great about our budget, and Hello Beauty teaches us how to finally do a smoky eye, quickly and simply. We don’t need to spend a lot, try too hard, or even shop a lot to start anew – we can make 2010 the year we get one year better than the last. Happy New Year – Cheers!

          Links à la Mode : December 31st

          • British Style Bloggers – positive body image campaign for 2010 needs your help!
          • Daily Diva Dish – Urban Decay Giveaway – Book of Shadows, Volume 2
          • Debutante Clothing – ‘Couture’, 1990s – Trends in Vintage To Keep and Say Buh Bye To
          • Dedicated Follower of Fashion – Style Soundtrack: A Winter Wonderland. Plan a pretty outfit, listen to a pretty song
          • El Fashionista – did an illustration for a 2010 Shoe Calendar (and there’s a high-res download!)
          • Fashion Cents – gives you 3 tips for successfully shopping online sample sales
          • Fashion Pulse Daily – snags an interview with the woman behind the lovely Love Rocks NY jewelry line, Limor Ratzabi Zenker
          • fasshonaburu – surprising revelations about her personal style
          • Fine Social – editorial – Color Theory
          • grit and glamour – 2009 Fashion MVP – Which fashionista has transformed herself from LA-skanky to uber-swanky?
          • Hello Beauty – Review of new Urban Decay Smoke Out Kits that make it really easy to do smoky eyes
          • House in Tillford – A look back at the trends of 2009
          • Ideefixemon – styles Rodarte for Target
          • Idiosyncratic Style – Who do you think rocks the leopard spotted coat?
          • Intrinsically Florrie – interviews the talented young fashion illustrator Derek Cardigan
          • Retro Chick – Ethical Design Spotlight – Cruelty free shoes from Beyond Skin
          • Style On a String – The New Age of Sexy
          • the3st – A conversation with Mei Mei Ding of the revived Central European brand Alter & Kiss, about the firm’s rich history and commitment to cultivating top fashion talent globally
          • twentyteneightyfour – ‘One Size Fits All’ editorial in V Magazine – not convinved
          • Unfunded – Christmas Detox, Coset Peekage and Secrets to Successful Thrift Shopping
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