May 31, 2010

Take a Sniff

One of the easiest and fastest ways of determining if purse you have in your hand is genuine leather is the sniff test - if it smells like leather it probably is. So don't be shy - sniff away! If it smells like plastic, it probably is plastic.
Faux leather can look so similar to the real thing and with a designer name can be priced high enough that it's difficult to tell at first glance if it's real or not. While yes, looking for the "Genuine Leather" tag is helpful - if you're trying to quickly sort through goods at outlet stores or even the sale pile usually "chaos" is the way everything is organized. Since digging for the tags on each bag can be time consuming or very difficult to find, I've often gone with the quick sniff test instead. 

Some simple rules of thumb:

1) Soft matte leathers and suede have the most obvious leather smell. Patent leathers can be trickier and may not have as obvious a smell.
2) Expect to pay a good deal more if it's really an exotic leather (crocodile, snake etc) though most items you see in stores are merely leathers with a croc or snake print on them.
3) Some manufacturers will mix leather and faux leather on one handbag to lower the overall price - so inspect carefully!
4) Check that all the edgings are finished - exposed edges are rather similar to seeing raw edges on cloth. It may be part of the "designers vision" but it probably also means it won't last very long.
5) Do a final check on the origin tags before purchasing - Italian, Spanish and Brazilian leathers often tend to be the softest and most well made but will also fetch a price premium.

P.S. I realize some gals out there actually prefer faux or "vegan" leather - and the sniff test works just as well in reverse to filter out real leather.

May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Hope everybody has fun this weekend! I'm not sure I would ever wear these crazy jeans from TopShop below but I thought it was appropriate for the occasion:

May 27, 2010

Anthro Free Summer Shipping Official

Anthropologie officially just sent out an email releasing the fact that there will be Free Shipping now until Sept 
6th for all Anthro card holders.

Here's the details:

Complimentary Shipping offer is valid for domestic shipments only. To take advantage of Complimentary Standard Shipping, you must link your anthro number to a new or existing account. Offer expires 9/6/10.

Hooray! Do you plan to take advantage of the free shipping deal? Or do you plan to scope out stores this Memorial Day weekend?

Inspiration: Pretty Peonies

My favorite flower is the classic Peony (rather a bit like Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl). Whenever they come into season, tis a happy time for me! Fortunately I picked up a very inexpensive but pretty bunch from Trader Joe's...

The inspiration:

Photocredit: Terrain

Some lovely interpretation: 

Photocredit: Victorian Trading Co.

Photocredit: etsy seller Adelaide Homesewn

May 26, 2010

Mizrahi 24.16 - Who do you dress for?

This is the 16th in a series of questions from Isaac Mizrahi's fantastic book How to Have Style with my personal answers below.

How to Have StyleDescribing your Style, Question #16:

When you get dressed, who are you dressing for? Yourself? The community you live in?
I would say I largely dress for myself. While I'm not completely oblivious to the setting/occasion/event, I would say that given how much I love clothes I do tend to be little more on the dressy side. Also I always try on new clothes in front of momma as she is the one person I trust will provide a completely honest opinion of how something looks on me or if it fits me improperly - she has rescued me from some rather unwise purchases before! Ultimately I try to dress with an appreciation for beautiful materials, detailed worksmanship or unique design...and if I'm particularly lucky, all three ;)

May 25, 2010

Spotted Wearing Anthro - Botanical Stroll Dress

Besides my Anthro obsession, I'm a big fan of Pixar. So I was completely in love when I saw this Up-inspired photoshoot that pays tribute to the movie and uses a lovely Anthro dress to boot!

Here's the lovely Anthro dress worn by Lynette, the beautiful bride to be in the shoot:


May 23, 2010

Bye Bye Shu

Shu officially sent it's subscribers an email (below) with the announcement of the closure of its retail locations. As far I know this includes shu counters in stores like Nordstroms as well as retailers like Sephora that carry Shu in stores. The website for ordering online will still remain open. What I thought was interesting is that e-gift certificates will expire after July 1st for some reason:

Although I'm pretty sad about this, I'm hoping retail locations will have a nice little sale for everybody!

May 21, 2010

Inspiration: Dior Haute Couture at Shanghai

J'adore the new Dior Haute Couture Resort 2011 collection presented in Shanghai. I loved the romantic look and all the pretty pinks Galliano used.

Dior Haute Couture Resort 2011
Model: Olga Sherer
Photocredit: Zhong Hai

Dior Haute Couture Resort 2011
Model: Lisanne De Jong
Photo credit: Zhong Hai

Dior Haute Couture Resort 2011
Model: Charlotte di Calypso
Photocredit: Zhong Hai

 Dior Haute Couture Resort 2011
Model: Michaela Kocianova
Photo: Zhong Hai

May 20, 2010

Links a la Mode: Fashion's Bold Step Forward

links a la mode

Fashion’s Bold Step Forward

Edited by Ashe/Mischief Dramatis Personae

To be honest, I’ve been really excited about the content on the web lately…. because each week, it seems that fashion & style bloggers are making a bold step forward. In a niche that was once dominated by runway photographs and personal style posts, we’re evolving to include daring, thoughtful, provocative posts as well. I am continually shocked and amazed by the range of posts… from wearabout’s post on androgynous Indian men and Style Amor’s post on Arab women in fashion to posts about fashion blogging as a career at Style Eyes fashion blog.

Images via The Curvy Fashionista, The Coveted, Hello Beauty, and Wearabout

Links à la Mode : May 20th

  • Awakened Aesthetic – Giveaway! Enter to win a hand-embellished floral top by independent designer Eliza + Axel and take the floral trend in a different direction.
  • CMYKaboom!: – New York Fashion Week Coverage: IFB “Evolving Influence” Conference
  • fete a fete: – Clarins Instant Sun Light summer makeup
  • Guacamole & Toast: – What makes a good fashion blog? How can we avoid turning into one of the minority of superficial fashion bloggers that everyone stereotypes us to be?
  • hello beauty!: – we have a new makeup lesson video with Guerlain’s top makeup artist and a review of the Guerlain Summer 2010 Collection.
  • Holier Than Now: – How to fall in love with last year’s summer essential, all over again.
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – Skills Bloggers Can Use to Get Hired
  • Jewelry Whore: – Designer You Should Know: Elsa Schiaparelli
  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – An exclusive interview with Amanda deLeon, a fabulous avant garde designer from North Carolina, and personal favorite of Kat Von D!
  • M.I.S.S.: – TV: Follow the Leader: A New Style Series Promo! | M.I.S.S.
  • Pretty Shiny Sparkly: – Exploring the trend of resin-coated black denim, with a best of the best roundup!
  • Shoe-a-Day: – How to Shop for Shoes when you’re living ohsofaraway from civilization.
  • Style Amor: – Celebrating the Beauty of Arab Women & Our Diverse Culture
  • Style Eyes Fashion Blog: – A career as a fashion blogger – have you considered a career as a fashion blogger? Here are my experiences.
  • Stylish Thought: – The Dressing Dilemma: Who do women really dress for?
  • The Coveted – Anica boutique is the place to experiment with avant garde
  • The Curvy Fashionista: – Curves in the USA? A Question… The Elite of fashion magazines across the pond are fashioning the most fabulous spreads of full figured fashionista, bloggers, and models, will the US follow suit?
  • The Recessionista: – Jeans: We’re Spending More and Shopping Longer Does anyone recall the moment when jeans became a luxury item?
  • The Thrifty Poet: – “Why Should I Be Ashamed of My Shape” — why I think classifying women into only 4 different body shapes (two of them fruit) isn’t right
  • wearabout: – The luxury of not caring – a look inside an androgynous indian male’s wardrobe.
  • What 2 Wear Where: – After the fab opportunity to preview the Met’s exhibit “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity”, we looked at each of the perfectly portrayed eras and paired them with contemporary looks.

May 19, 2010

Anthro Spring Sale Video!

Hey sweet readers! I managed to stop by my local Anthropologie for a quick dressing room video spree. I know usually I only put 1 item per video but there were just too many that I wanted to show:

Here's a list of the items in the video:

1) My Anthro store - cute isn't it?

2) Bluebells Awaken Cardigan by Tracy Reese - $39.95 - Style #010036 - I wasn't totally wowed by it. Definitely runs on short side and also not exactly happy with the see thru yoke. It just seemed a bit awkward in person.

3) Plaza Cardigan by Moth - $69.95 - Style #913386 - Wayy too big! Overwhelmed my frame. The amount of ruffles was a bit insane...

4) Eva Franco Skirt - offline item - $29.95 - super cute pencil skirt in brown. It is USA made but unfortunately is totally manmade. But I fell for the design and decided to take it home!)

5) Floreat Pulsations Skirt - $39.95 - Style #18213538 - It was okay but didn't completely wow me. Also the back has an exposed zipper in case you don't like that style of zipper...

6) Silk Top by Lil - $19.95 - Seems like a total bargain but a 2 fit so large on me that I couldn't even show it without risking some modesty! Also the tie just wears rather funny. Good for bigger, curvier gals though!

7) Spilling Ruffles Cardigan $49.95 - Style #013236 - Meh, I think the Bougainvillea looks nicer. S worked out better for me than XS.

8) Bougainvillea Cardigan - $69.95 - I'm glad I ordered it online since the in-store S had what seemed to be a small manufacturing defect on it. But nonetheless I thought it fit really well and was very pretty!

Also, I'm 5 ft 1 so you can see most things will run longer and larger on me than taller girls in the video.

May 18, 2010

The Sale is On! My Buys so Far..

I was fairly pleased with the Anthro sale - though also a bit surprised at the items they chose to go on sale versus the ones they didn't. I was also surprised there weren't more 2nd markdowns. Anyhow these are the ones I chose to order online and forked over shipping for. Will see if I can get to a store later today to scoop up any good leftovers!

1) Bougainvillea Cardigan, $69.96 orig $128 (style # 010009) - Have been waiting for this one for AGES to go on sale. Gorgeous gorgeous colours. Ordered the small and xs to check out the sizing. I know S fits but not sure if xs would fit better...

2) Widest Leg Pants, $49.95 orig $88, (style #020007) - Loved these in the catalog. However oddly the reviews had a mix of girls saying they ran large and that they ran small (weird). So I ordered a 0, 2 and 4S to try on for size.

3) Dive and Flow Jacket - $69.95, orig $128 (style #013189) - Such an elegant jacket. I scooped up a 2 while it was still available - though not sure if it'll be too big on me. I'm usually not crazy about grey but we'll see if this works.

4) Maru Sash - $19.95 orig $38, (Style #043274)- This leather japanese obi belt really intrigued me. Especially since many traditional belts are far too large for me. Hope the S/M works out!

5) Trompe L'oeil Tassell Tote, $19.95 orig $28, (Style # 043116) - Really cute design that I've been eyeing for a while as a cute summer tote. Not sure how functional it is though in person. We shall see! I got the one in Neutral..

Also for kicks, I threw in the a
6) From Rothko Sweater ($29.95 orig $128) and
7) Mirasol Wingtips ($49.95, orig $98)

If this online order is like any of my former ones - most likely I'll take at least half the items back to the store :( But I'll let you guys know which ones were worth it and which ones weren't!

Also if you haven't already checked them out Effortless Anthropologie and Anthroholic both have very impressive and comprehensive markdown lists on their blogs.

May 16, 2010

What I love now! - May Fashion Edition

1) Romantic blouses for Spring/Summer

$39.95, orig $148
style #010012

I've been coveting this blouse ever since the catalog release but was waiting for it to go on sale. Sometime over the last weekend it seems to have underwent 2nd cuts to $39.95 (hooray!). I managed to snap one remaining one up (thank you San Francisco!).

Keep in mind that this blouse is not something you can just throw on and run out the door with. The buttons along the side have to be all undone and buttoned up to actually wear it. i.e. there's no hidden zipper to let you cheat. That said, it's very unique, the collar is very flattering, and the leaf work over cotton is just irresistible.

2) Swan Skirt

Twinkle by Wenlan Midnight Cygnus Skirt
$139.95, orig $278
style #923334

This skirt is on my wishlist. The fabric on this skirt just feels amazing - it's a great combination of wool, silk, and cotton and has a beautiful weight and sheen to it. It does pouf out on me which I found rather flattering. I tried on a 4 in store and thought it actually fit quite well, despite usually wearing a 0-2. So, I would say size up!

3) A sassy sweet dress

style #18216101

I tried on a 0 in store and it looked adorable - this is heavy linen/cotton blend. However, for girls looking for something easy to maintain - linen usually tends to wrinkle and requires ironing. I know some have felt this dress was way too precious for their personal style, but since I'm a girly girl at heart, it fits my bill perfectly! On my wishlist -- just waiting for it to go on sale so I can have an excuse to buy another dress.

4) Lip Stain

I've become a bit of an addict to lip stains - they last great and I can pretty much drink whatever I like (tea, milk etc) without worrying much about colour coming off. I previously reviewed the Tokidoki stain, but I would say that Josie Maran is more moisturizing and pigmented. For some reason it sticks better to my upper lip, but that's probably just some genetic wackiness on my part lol... I bought Foxtrot - which is a berry red - but definitely not for a faint of heart. I've also tried Jive, which is described as pink coral but goes on as orange red on me.

May 15, 2010

Wanted: Via Spiga Pandora Flats

When I saw these in the latest Nordstrom catalogue, I completely fell in love with them. Love the combination of embossed snakeskin (basically treating the leather to look like snakeskin) combined with the lacy cutout details. Personally I'm lusting after the Dark Gold (Copper), but the Porcelain (Silver) is quite pretty as well. This is going on my wishlist because Via Spiga actually makes it in a size 5 for petite gals out there (YAY!).

Which colour do you like best?

May 14, 2010

Links a la Mode: Beauty is Truth

links a la mode

Beauty is Truth

Edited by Thom Wong

Beauty is truth and truth is beauty, but what happens when fashion enters the mix? Several of this week’s links tackle this thorny question with gusto, teasing out the various layers of meaning behind the term beauty and what it means to feel or be beautiful. Ethics and the material nature of style emerged as another dominant theme. The Laundry Narrative wonders if she can enjoy fashion blogging without dealing with the BIG ISSUES. Then there are longer form posts where I felt the writers stretched their narrative legs, some new voices in the game who could use your attention, and, since this is still about fashion, some lovely outfit pics of girls on bikes. Finally I’ve included the only two men who bothered to post (seriously, what up men). And meggings – nooooo!!!!!

Collage images via: Brachman’s Sparrow, évoluer, The Sunday Best, and Oranges and Apples

Links à la Mode : May 13

  • 365 Fashion Rehab – Notes from the closet: Day 357! Building better future buying habits by way of a major wardrobe investigation.
  • 39th and Broadway – The Fall of Designer Denim.
  • Bachman's Sparrow – Saturday Advice column: develop your personal style into something amazing by learning how to take risks and not dress for others.
  • Chrissy Styles – I create an outfit inspired by a painting. This time one by Luc Tuymans:
  • D e f i n i n g B e a u t y – Pass it On – What do you do with clothes you don’t want?
  • DailyDivaDish – True Cost of Disposable Fashion: You may be paying more than you realize.
  • Debutante Clothing – Are you Lying? Why Do You Wear Vintage? A response to 5 Lies Women Tell About Vintage Dresses.
  • Emerald Dandy – Meggings: Meant to be?
  • Evoluer – 7 girls : 7 bicycles : 7 unique & adorable outfits
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – Finance & the Fashion Blogger: Ignore-ance
  • Journey to Fashion – From Undergrad Slob to Graduate Fashionista? An introduction to my quest for fashion.
  • Missemmamm – How the internet has changed & woman are now more empowered.
  • Oranges and Apples – On Beauty.
  • Retro Chick – Are you ethically fashionable or fashionably ethical?
  • Return to Sender – What do you do when your old insecurities rear their ugly heads?
  • Shrimp Salad Circus – Ten things to smile about right this very second.
  • Style on a String – The Insatiability for Logos, not Luxury.
  • The Coveted – The Coveted launches a new blog dedicated to real women wearing denim.
  • The Laundry Narrative – Fighting the urge to justify criticism of fashion blogging as superficial, anti-feminist, and materialistic.
  • The Sunday Best – The Best Time of the Year for Menswear
  • The Thrifty Poet – How to Feel Beautiful.

May 12, 2010

Leifsdottir Spring Sale

Leifsdottir just started its Spring Sale - I noticed new items have been added and a few items (like the Trapeze tee and Circuit Cardigan) have already undergone 2nd cuts. Though for my budget I figure I'll have to wait for the bargain bin subsite to launch ;)

Mizrahi 24.15 - Fave Colour

This is the 15th in a series of questions from Isaac Mizrahi's fantastic book How to Have Style with my personal answers below.

How to Have StyleDescribing your Style, Question #15:

If you had to choose one favorite colour, what would it be?
Easy: I always have been and likely will be a pink addict. I know that pink goes through various bouts of being considered an "it" colour to being "too girly"... but pinks really complement my personal colouring and hence I probably own more pink than any neutral in my wardrobe.
What's your favorite colour?

May 11, 2010

EOS Organic Kiss Kiss

My dear cousin gave me one of these cool EOS Organic Lip Balms. The interior is egg-shaped - just like the exterior and surprisingly applies more easily without a mirror compared to a stick balm. I'm currently wearing the sweet summer fruit flavor. Definitely good fun and an interesting design!

Update: My super sensitive lips seemed to have an allergic reaction so no more EOS for me!

May 10, 2010

Review: Honeybird Clutch

$99, orig 198
style #944387

I ordered this online when it was still available and recently received it in the mail. I like clutches and this is a massive one. However, the colours just don't pop in person. The yellow and white are much more muted. This clutch is good if you like the faded vintage look, but I was hoping for something bright and lively. Great concept but poor choice of colours.

Verdict: Pass, wasn't worth spending the money to have this shipped to me.
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