Friday, September 29, 2006

wardrobe basics for J

so, here's what J said she wanted:

I need a list of 'basics' that I need in my closet, from there, I will do an inventory, and determine what I'm missing. THEN I would like a list of 3-4 trendy 'must haves' to keep the wardrobe fresh and cute.

your wish is my command, my dear. a couple of caveats: one, this is going to be my general list for everyone - i'll note differences that would apply for you where necessary. two, this is a basic list...a starting point that is in no means intended to hinder shopping for other things. this is just kind of a framework within which you should be able to put together a look for just about any occasion.

wow, what a task! goes. first, the basics:

3 pairs of jeans: one boot cut, one straight leg, and one trouser jean. darker washes are better (i love the black straight leg jeans i linked above), and the different cuts will allow you to pair with just about anything. the straight leg will be in style much longer than a skinny jean would, IMHO, so if you're going for classic pieces with longevity, i'd go for a straight cut. the boot cut will always work, so it's a great classic. and the trouser is perfect for when you want to wear denim, but you want it to look more polished.
3 pairs of dress trousers
3 pairs of casual khakis/chinos: i'd go with a tan, a black, and maybe a fun neutral like green. (note for J: i'd probably do 4 casual and 2 dressy for you, given your day job)
3 skirts: one black pencil skirt, one tan, and one spring-type skirt (white eyelet, chiffon/flowy material, something along these lines). you could easily add a wool or flannel a-line skirt here as a #4, especially given the trend for skirts with tights this fall.

3 sweaters: solid colors, fine knits (body skimming, not chunky). something like these or these. i'd invest in at least one good cashmere sweater, if you can swing it. if you buy smart, you'll have it for years.
2 cardigans: i'd go with one chunky and one tailored.
1 white button-down shirt: spend time finding the right fit, and this will go with anything. i'd stay away from trendy details like ruffles, and go with a classic like this one.
1 turtleneck: whether it's a sweater or just knit, make sure it fits close to your body. it'll go with anything.
5 miscellaneous solid-color t-shirts/tank tops: for layering, think neutral colors.
1 great blazer: classic style that you can mix and match to dress up any outfit. i also like this one and this one.
1 great dress: my choice, if there will only be one, is the LBD. it should be a classic style that can be dressed up or down, and will always make you feel fabulous :) i love this one, and you certainly can't go wrong here.

i can't possibly go each their own. for shoes, i think as long as you have 1 pair of fabulous black pumps, 1 pair of strappy sandals, a couple of classic flats, and some trainers, the rest is entirely up to you!

and of course, handbags, coats, jewelry....that's an another post entirely :)

trendy additions:
if you want to bring your wardrobe au courant, here are a few key items that should do it:
1 pair of tights or leggings: i'll be reaching for tights, personally...but one or the other is a definite must for fall.
1 tunic top: for the leggings, for the straight leg jeans...these are everywhere.
kimono-inspired pieces: i think these are so flattering, and very current. basic, patterned, or as a dress, you can't go wrong.
last but not least, i'd tack on an oversized handbag (this one in patent also gets you in on another trend for fall) and a pair of platform pumps...and you'll be set for fall!

one final tip regarding adding all of these new items to your wardrobe. i'm not quite of the school that everything has to match everything else...but i do think there's some virtue to sticking with a neutral palette, and adding in a few prints/colors here and there. it will make your new pieces more classic and timeless, and you're less likely to get tired of them. plus, when you can't figure out what to wear, it's tough to go wrong if things are well-coordinated.

whew! i'm exhausted :)

and speaking of shoewawa...

i'm pretty much floored by this. part of me wants to shake the hand of whoever pulled this off so flawlessly, and part of me wants to call marc jacobs and offer to help with the design copyright infringement lawsuit.

and another part of me (clearly not the part that's on a shopping hiatus) wants to hurry up and buy a pair (okay, maybe 2 pairs - how could i choose between the red and the black??) before they're gone.

item of the day: october means pink

these adorable pink ballet flats would certainly be my chosen way to embrace the 'i support breast cancer research' trend that will be rampant next month. only $49, and a portion of the proceeds goes to fund BC research. i have a pair of these in silver and, while they certainly aren't my most durable pair of shoes, they're mighty comfy, and i love how easy they make it to throw an extra pair of shoes into a suitcase when traveling :)

(PS - this IOTD is shamelessly stolen from shoewawa, whose blog i worship and visit daily)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

okay, time for a shopping resolution...

i keep picking out all of these cute things to blog about, and then i end up buying them! no good. the solution, i have decided, is that i need to start blogging things that YOU guys want. so, any personal shopping requests?? accessorizing dilemmas? closet crises?? it's time to start channeling my shopping energy toward good instead of evil :)

who's first? post a comment and i'm on the task :)

i am sooooo bad......

what can i fingers slipped on the keyboard. i hate when that happens!

it's okay...i don't need to eat. i can carry a beautiful bag, and coerce people into buying me food :)

item of the day: patent bags from j.crew

well, i am officially impressed! j.crew has managed, for under $100, to make 2 bags that i think are just fabulous! they're embracing the patent trend that's so hot for fall, as well as the big bag trend (in the case of one of the bags, not both)...and they've really done an amazingly good job on the design. now, they're not leather...but to be honest, when it's patent, that doesn't really bother me - the coating on patent is so thick anyway that i think it's pretty hard to tell what's leather and what's not. plus, these are going to be virtually waterproof - fabulous for the upcoming rainy season.

all 4 colors are great, but i love the eggplant and navy best.

snap one up now...i predict they'll be gone before you know it!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

what i did today

so, i decided to play hooky this afternoon and head into the city to meet my friend A for a preview of the new bloomingdale's in downtown SF. it is SO pretty! i'm in love. it has all of the high end lines (much more so than other locations), but also has lower end, including an in-store brand called 'aqua' that is definitely on my list for future shopping trips :)

and....while i was there, i picked up a couple of presents for myself. first, i finally picked a black handbag (i know, thank god, right?) - what do you think of it?

PS - my brilliant hubs has taught me how to make it so that you can click on the pictures of stuff that i put in here and actually get to the place to buy the stuff, instead of just getting a bigger picture of the same thing. so, i'll try to use that new skill from now on :)

if anyone's headed to the UK any time soon....

...let me know. while i was there this spring, i ended up with a tube of 'sheer temptation' lip gloss from boots' no. 7 line...and i'm in love! seriously, i haven't fallen this hard for a lip product since clinique's black honey (still, i believe, the perfect color for literally everyone) and burt's bee's lip balm.

now i realize for most of you, it's torture you can do nothing about, since it's sold in the UK only. though you never know if target will add this product to their boots line (hmm...i feel a petition in the works). but if you do make it across the pond, this stuff is pure genius. just the right amount of color (i love the 'excite' shade), loads of moisture, just enough glimmer, and light as a feather when it's on.

if only i'd bought more than one...

look! it's not a shoe OR a bag....'s a shirt! and a really darling one at that :) shocking for me, i know. while i normally head for ella moss before laROK when looking for jersey cotton pieces, this top really caught my eye. it has that tunic look, without making you look pregnant AND without forcing you into wearing leggings. the neckline is crazy flattering, as are the thingies hanging at the tummy area (great for hiding imperfections. and, i love the color - very rich. plus, at $128, it's about $50 cheaper than most of ella's tops these days. so, it's kind of like you're buying it on sale :)

order it here - they even offer free shipping, all the time!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

be still my heart

i cannot buy a green handbag. i need a black handbag. even if the green handbag is one that i have coveted for at least six months, because it is impossibly perfect and gorgeous, and is now 50% off.

i cannot buy a green handbag.

PS - how is it already time for fall sales?? it's still too warm for fall clothes!

Monday, September 25, 2006

coach 65th anniversary collection

well, it's here...the 2006 crop of 'legacy' (ie, very limited edition) bags are in at coach....and i have to say, i'm very impressed.

first is the 'flagship' model - the legacy satchel, priced right around $700 (yes, coach bags are getting more expensive every time i look). quite pretty, and i'm sure it's fabulous in person. a little too much going on for my taste, but i know some will love it.

up next is my personal fave (the main pic above, and below in suede), the mandy leather courier, which will set you back about $800. it looks an awful lot like the crazy popular daphne satchel from last year, sans the braided handles. at 15"x10", it's a great size, and the leather on the legacy models is possibly even thicker than traditional coach bags, so it will definitely 'take a licking.....'. i love the asymmetrical shoulder strap, and the dog leash closure - it's just very nicely done, in my humble opinion. also comes in this gorgeous plum suede.

and, last but not least, the one that i suspect will have my friend A drooling is the legacy suede shoulder bag. slightly smaller, at 11" x 8", but still packs all the punch of the bigger bag.

if any of them strike you, my advice is to buy quickly. last year's legacy bags are still so hot on ebay that one is about to sell for over $400...used.

Friday, September 22, 2006

am i the only one who thinks this is cute??

green is big for is haircalf. but what do we think of green haircalf? discuss....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

i am so buying one of these

if you want one too, buy it here!

another 'which would you buy' post...

as i continue my indecisive search for a relatively inexpensive black bag for the fall, here are a couple i've been debating between. which do you prefer? (brands omitted to encourage honesty, though i suspect some of my readers will know these on the spot!) or do you prefer the one from yesterday, in black?

decisions, decisions! but you all were so helpful on the shoe debate, i thought i'd leave this one to you as well :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

item of the day - bridle satchel

something in me just adores this bag. the suede looks so rich, and the bag has such a great style...just trendy enough to be a hot look for fall, but certainly has the character to survive many seasons ahead.

i'm not sure whether i love it more in the cocoa (much richer chocolate color than this photo shows) or in the black. truth be told, i aDORed it in the ruby red it used to be available in, but it's since sold out virtually everywhere - i was too slow! anyway, i think it's a fabulous bag in any color. and nearly large enough (at 17" x 13") to be a travel carry-on as well.

the best part? it's by maxximum, and it's under $200. the first time i saw it, i thought it was a new take on the muse bag by YSL. the second time i saw it, i thought the same thing...until i read the price in the fine print (and i had to do a double-take). at that price, it's mighty hard for this fashionista to pass up...and something tells me i won't be passing it up for much longer. if you agree, it's sold out at lord & taylor and at maxx new york. the only place i can still find it online is here. happy shopping!

louis vuitton 'groom' collection

so first, i have to admit....i've never been a huge fan of the classic LV monogram bags. i mean, i know they're a symbol, and they're classic, and they last forever, and yadayadayada....but seriously, i just don't see it. the colors are kind of blah, and i just don't like having the same bag that everyone else has.

but....then they introduced the perfo line, and for the first time, i started to get a little interested. what's this? color on an LV bag?

and now, they're getting ready to roll out the 'groom' line - a very limited collection of these darling little accessories (a round coin purse, a pochette cles and an agenda), with this cute little doorman on the front. and now, all of a sudden, i really want one!

now, am i willing to pay $500 for a coin purse? probably not. but i feel like it's a step of personal progress for me, from a fashion perspective, that i find myself drawn to any LV product.

anyhoo, according to the LV store i visited, the line is due out october 1, and is very limited. so, if you love 'em like i do, and have some cash burning a hole in your pocket, get on the list now :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

to wedge or not to wedge, that is the question....

which do you like better? the flat (which also comes in this gorgeous forest green color) or the wedge? i'm torn....i was all set to buy the wedge, when i met the flat. tough call.

advice? input? help!

isaac mizrahi for target - holiday preview

so one of my favorite shopping mags, shop etc (which i hear is going under, which sucks), has an exclusive preview and pre-purchase of a few items from the isaac for target holiday line. and i'm actually intrigued....though most of his pieces for target really haven't done it for me (case in point). i love the raspberry brocade jacket - it really would be the perfect piece to jazz up your LBD. and while i'm not 100% sold on the fact that the fur-trimmed coat only has a 3/4 sleeve (makes it kind of limited utility in my book), it would be just the thing to cover that holiday party dress.

anyway, you can get them now from shop etc.'s website, or you can wait until the holidays are upon us. since i boycott target from about mid-november through year end (i am so not into high-impact shopping), i'll probably scoop up that raspberry jacket now :) at $39.99, it's hard to say no.

a shoe puzzle

how is it that these shoes are $650....

and these are $29.99.....

strange, no? i mean, i'm not saying i can't see a difference....i'm just saying, i guess, that if tan shoes with weird pink and green flowers on them are the shoes of your dreams...well now you can buy 20 pairs for the price of 1.

Friday, September 15, 2006

item of the day - polka dots

okay, i ran across these somewhere else today, and i'm seriously in love. since they only come up to a size 9.5, i can't have them....but someone else needs to buy them, so that i can be insanely jealous. such a great summer-to-fall shoe...they're still fun and light, but closed toe. i love that they're black and white, so that they'll go with darn near anything, but will still be the star of the show.

plus, who can resist that darling pink floral lining??

pick up a pair here for about $150, and then take me out for a martini while wearing them....i'll try not to drool on your fabulous new shoes :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

the birthday recap

okay, sorry for the delay...i'm a bad, bad blogger. all i can say is that if you take 3 days off of work, be prepared to pay for it for your first 3 days back...i've been working my tail off.

birthday was great - the hubs did an awesome job. i got the purple patent leather ballet flats i wanted, and they're completely darling. i also got speakers for my iPod...not very fashion-y, but i'd been wanting them forever and refuse to buy myself tech stuff for some reason. plus, the hubs loves buying me high tech gifts, so we all won :) and, of course, i got spoiled rotten all day, which is also a good thing!

no bling to report....but christmas is just around the corner (as is our 2nd anniversary), so i'm holding out hope (can you hear me, honey?)!

the other notable gift was from my father....let's just say he has some interesting ideas as to what makes a good gift for his offspring.

just what i wanted...pancake mix.

other than that, though, a lovely weekend. spent the first couple of days in monterey, where my hubs bought me a really fabulous dinner here (if you're in the 'hood, i can not recommend it enough), where i had an heirloom tomato salad, shrimp and white corn chowder, yellowtail ahi poke, black cod, a truly amazing cheese plate, and a glass of schramsburg blanc de blancs (menu recap specifically for j and a). then, we headed off to portland for the wedding of the hubs' best friend. it was actually really cool to be back in PDX....for those that don't know, i lived there for a year many moons ago (and actually imported my hubs to the bay area from portland as well), so it will always have a special place in my heart. plus, no sales tax...really, need i say more??

today is the last official birthday treat - a dear friend is taking me for a massage and glass of bubbly at a really super duper fabulous spa in the city. so, right around 1 pm today, think of me sitting right here, in a plush terry robe, drinking champagne and being called in for my hour-long massage treatment :) i don't feel so bad about the pancake mix now!
i know, i know.....don't cry for me, argentina :) but did you see that gift basket??? i think i've earned an afternoon at the spa.

oh yeah, and post-massage, i think i might head over to union square to pick up a bottle of my new favorite perfume...and thereby get this fabulous free gift. happy birthday to me!

Friday, September 08, 2006

signing off for the weekend...

sorry all, but i'm off for a fabulous birthday weekend with the hubs (mine this time, not his). have a great weekend, and i'll be back next week :)

i'll leave you with this darling little number that i'm still trying to decide if i can pull off. if you think you can, buy it here!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

and speaking of sigerson....

their fall line is finally up on their website, and trickling out to retailers (though no belle boots on their official website yet). still, some definite darlings to be had! pick them up here or here :)

come to mama!

i'm loving these boots by theory. they look suspiciously like the sigerson morrison boots i've been coveting, with the notable differences that (a), i can actually locate them online, and (b) in my size!

anyone have any experience with theory shoes?? love their clothes, but i'm sooo picky about quality on shoes.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

more "cheap chic" designer collections

so, it looks like this design-on-a-dime trend is here to stay, at least for the near future. target has recently announced its next designer for their crazy successful "go international" line. and now, euro designer abaete is pairing up with payless shoes to produce some styles that are surprisingly non-payless. though, while target has definitely clawed its way to the top of the "cheap chic" pile, i think payless has a long way to go.

the new target collection is by Behnaz Sarafpour, who's a genius when it comes to making simple things spectacular. the full preview of her target collection can be viewed here, - unfortunately, the mini-pics are too small to post. at any rate, the collection is due for a pre-holiday release, which seems divine timing, considering the party-ready nature of nearly everything in the line.

as for the new payless collection (the first in a long line, i predict), i'm actually pretty impressed. a couple of my favorites:

you can read about the entire collection here or here. it's not my favorite of the cheap chic lines, to be sure, but payless had to start somewhere. i never really loved the luella or tara jarmon lines at target either, but they hit the ball out of the park with the paul & joe line, so i think perhaps it just takes a little warm-up. and i have to say, those faux suede boots (which you can also see here) are pretty hot, considering they're 1/10 the price of other styles i've been eyeing this fall.

countown to grey's anatomy

god, i love that show! seriously, it's a little upsetting to me how much i'm looking forward to the season premiere.

fortunately, at least there's a preview floating around on youtube (aka, the greatest website ever), so i can sate my craze for now!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

hot or not - king arthur boots

i have such mixed feelings about these boots. i love the style, love the color, love the embroidery.....until i looked closer, and realized the embroidery actually depicts "make-believe Arthurian scenes." hmm. now i'm not so sure. is it fun and kitschy, or just weird? i'm not 100% sold, but anna sui frequently has that effect on me.

what do you think - hot or not?

item of the day - haywire handbags

so, i have to admit that i have a penchant for relatively impractical handbags and shoes. classics are great, but i really go crazy for the styles that i know will stand out in a crowd. enter the 'fairways' tote, from anthropologie. there's something about this crazy bag that i just adore! it's so unique, definitely not something you'd see every fashionista on the block carrying. and the colors are so perfect for a summer-to-fall transition, and then for the really grey days in winter, when you really need something colorful to perk up your spirits.

sadly, it doesn't come cheap. i'd probably have a hard time dropping over $400 for this tote, but i'll continue to admire it from afar. but if you can swing it, buy it here - and send me a picture!

but, if you like the vibe, but not the pricetag, here's another darling "haywire" style that's much, much more reasonable. however, it's been seen being toted by enough people who set the style that i predict it will be on the arm of many a lovely gal this fall. i still love it, though, and for $35, it's hard to go wrong. out of stock online, but your local target just might have one left.

Friday, September 01, 2006

happy birthday, hubs!

let's all join in a chorus for my darling hubs, whose birthday is today. yay for virgos!

i love you sweetie :) thanks for putting up with me for a whole extra year!


i love everything about these shoes. love the color (i'm always amazed how many things colors like purple and green go with beautifully), love the patent leather, love the bow, love that they're flat (so they're nice & comfy), love the crinkle to the leather (so they're less shiny than some patent shoes), and love that jcrew always seems to have a talent for making shoes i just can't resist :) if you can't resist either, buy them here.

since we're having a shoe week...

...i have to say that, as rubber wellies go, i'm really impressed by these! only $58, and i honestly think you'd have to do a double-take to find out if they were patent leather or rubber. nicely done, jcrew! i think i just might need a pair of these for the rainy san francisco winter that's approaching. and at this price, i don't even think my husband would complain! you can buy your own here.