Monday, October 30, 2006

item of the day: a splash of color

on my afternoon work slump browse through, i stumbled across this little beauty. for the money (under $200), i just love this bag. sapphire blue is quickly becoming a really popular color for accessories, and for good reason: as we enter the season of grey, black and white, if you don't accessorize with color, you're going to look just as blah as the weather will be making you feel.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

holiday gift ideas part 1: slippers

as many of you know, i sometimes use this blog as my version of a "wish list" for those who might want to buy me lovely gifts. might i suggest you do the same? it's worked out quite nicely for me (hello, purple shoes!) ;) so, since it's been such a roaring success in my life, i thought maybe the rest of you could use some help with your gift list...either giving or receiving.

so, let's start with slippers: talk about a traditional gift. but there are quite a few options out there this year that are really fabulous, and certainly deserve to be on your list. i know they're on mine!

first up are these darling little numbers from one of my personal favorites, marc jacobs. not cheap, at $235, but honestly, i think they almost don't qualify as slippers, i mean, really...i know i'd wear these everwhere in the winter. i'm afflicted with permanently freezing feet, so the thought of getting to run around town in shearling is highly attractive to me.

next up are these adorable cashmere slippers from banana republic. yes, i said cashmere. and lined in cashmere, about yum! they come in all sorts of colors, but i really like the grey pinstripe. hmm, or the red.....and the black is great too..... :) and only $68 at your friendly neighborhood banana republic store.

now let me be clear before i even begin this next suggestion. i don't like uggs. for those of you that do, sorry...but they're called "ugg" for a reason. that said....i will admit to some sideways glances and slight covetousness coming over me when i'm completely freezing, and i see someone whose feet are obviously toasty warm inside her large, clunky, unattractive, ugg boots. fortunately for my fashion sense and my cold toes, i've found a solution! these ugg slippers (only cute in the 'coffee' color shown here, thank you) carry all of the yummy warmness, and none of the "ugg" for which i so despise the rest of the line. $85 at the official ugg site, or i'm sure they'll pop up at a retailer near you just in time for the holidays.

so, there's a start for my, er, your holiday wishlist....stay tuned, as i'm sure the list will get longer :)

Saturday, October 28, 2006're it!

okay, okay, i know - i've been a very negligent blogger this week. but i've actually had to work! i know, the nerve. anyway, as penance, i'm finally finishing this blog entry that i started weeks ago, but never got around to completing.

six random facts:

once tagged by this entry, the assignment is to write a blog entry of some kind with six random facts about yourself. then, pick six of your friends and tag them; no tag backs. this explanation should be included.
(and for those of you without blogs, myspace counts)

1. i graduated from high school at 16, college at 19 and law school at 23. wow, that still sounds exhausting!

2. as much as i adore shoes of all shapes and sizes (well, unless they don't come in my size), i'm pretty sure i hate wearing heels. love the way i look in them, about a catch 22 :)

3. i think peanut butter is an absolute necessity when eating french toast or pancakes. but not on waffles....that's gross.

4. i will pay whatever something costs...but i refuse to pay shipping. seriously, it's like an illness. i'll spend hours on the web, searching for a free shipping code, because i'm that opposed to paying for it. i mean, if i want to buy something from you, you should be more than happy to send it to me for free, right?

5. i am the least decisive person i know (okay, besides my friend kim, but she doesn't read this blog). i can almost always narrow a decision down to 2 options, but can almost never decide between those two. chicken or fish can be a 4-hour debate in my house. someday, i hope to be rich enough that i don't have to choose :)

6. before i went to law school, i was actually going to be a writer. then, i realized exactly how much a writer makes when they're getting started (at that time, under $20,000/year), and figured that was never going to finance my expensive taste :) but now, i have a blog, so i still get to feed the writing bug a little.

okay, who's next? feel free to post a link to your response in the 'comments' section.

Monday, October 23, 2006

item of the day: rafe....for target?!

it's has added a handbag maker to their list of "design on a dime" big-name designers.

for those who aren't familiar, rafe (pronounced RAH-fee, if you were wondering) is a designer that has only been around for a few years, but has managed to make quite a splash. his "regular" bags retail in the $400-600 range, and he's known for using a lot of hardware and a lot of fabulous color, while still keeping the bags useful. and, at least this year, he's been pretty much all about patent leather. unfortunately, i'm rarely (if ever) willing to pay a boatload for a patent leather bag, because most of them are coated with plastic to get the 'patent' finish anyway, so i always have a hard time justifying the cost.

but $49.99?? sign me up!!

as with most of their designer collections, the rafe for target collection is a little 'hit and miss'. the hobo style, for example, is quite large, and really fat on the ends, which annoyed me. and the little clutch, while darling, is highly impractical - it closes with 2 snaps, which are not magnetic, which translates to needing 2 empty hands every time you want to close your clutch. not my fave.

however, i loved the cream satchel and the black doctor bag....very impressive! and they're perfect bad-weather bags, since they're PVC. moreover, i have to say, i'm more impressed with the quality of this line than i have been with any other 'designer' line at target. little details really make this bag a bargain - a great lining, exterior pockets and zippers that are functional (not just decorative), well-stitched, padded handles (so they don't look cheap), metal feet to protect the base of the martha would say, it's a good thing.

according to, the bags won't ship for 2-6 weeks. but they're available now at stores...though i had to hit 2 to find the black bag. so, i'd recommend rushing out straight away and nabbing one (or two) while you still can!

happy hunting!

Friday, October 20, 2006

yay or nay: kate spade 'mala'

not sure how i feel about these. part of me wants to applaude kate for returning to her funky, creative roots, as i've been missing the days of her crazy patterns and cheery styles. but another part of me is wondering how the combination of upscale/classic details with such a funky, downtown print (and did you notice, the bags are haircalf??) is going to fly with her devotees.

so, what do you think...yay or nay??

Thursday, October 19, 2006

new site: piperlime

wow, gap inc is really going crazy with launching new stores...first forth and towne, and now this?

piperlime is shoes only, and they're taking after the zappos model with a "free shipping & free returns" policy (which i adore). prices are actually pretty reasonable, though they do run the gamut. they're not selling private label (ie, banana republic or gap brand) shoes - a quick review of the site scored me a few irregular choice selections, a delman, and even an isaac mizrahi.

why i'm excited: i can use my banana republic card, and since we all know about my shoe fetish, this is about to mean rewards galore for moi. plus, another shoe store is always good news, right? and this store is definitely long on options...i searched for my shoe size (a very hard-to-find size 11), and found more than 300 pairs in the 'boots' section alone. impressive.

in all, it's actually a pretty eclectic, hip collection...not at all what i would have expected from stores that generally stick pretty close to the status quo. should make for some interesting browsing, at least :) oh, and if you do decide to do more than browse, you can take 10% off with code "TREAT" through the end of this year. have fun!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

designer of the day: tiffini dooris

i received an email from one of my favorite jewelry designers yesterday, and it reminded me that i hadn't yet shared her with you all. her name is tiffini dooris, and the thing i really love about her is that she does such a great job of straddling the line between elegant and trendy. and, it doesn't hurt that her pieces are actually affordable, generally in the $50-150 range.

some of my favorite pieces right now are the black agate ring and gold circle earrings (which are much smaller than the pic makes them look, at about a 1/2" diameter) - they're just fun, classic pieces that i think would work for anyone. but i'm particularly loving this necklace of rough-cut sapphires...while it's a little outside her normal price range, it's still a steal at $350. also available with emeralds or rubies.

if you fall in love with her as much as i have, you can take 20% off anything on her site through 11/1 with code TDJ1006. happy shopping!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

item of the day: glitter flats

my page turning stopped dead when i spotted these in the october nordstrom catalog. i normally don't go in for the glittery shoes, but i absolutely love the color of's just subtle enough to let the glitter do the talking (unlike, say, red glitter shoes, where you really just don't know where to start). this picture just doesn't do justice - they're a much smokier grey, almost black, in real life. i'm thinking for a holiday party, with some of those black 'audrey' pants from the gap, or maybe even velvet, they'd be pretty darn fabulous.

and i was even more shocked to discover that these are by michael by michael kors, a line i nearly always associate with neutral colors and classic (read: occasionally bland) styles. hurray for michael...he's finally stepping out of his box a little. let's give him a helping hand by picking up a pair of these while they're still here (and only $108 at nordstrom, who is also offering free shipping on all shoes right now). trust me when i tell you the picture doesn't do them justice....they're positively darling in person. they also come in a great chocolate/bronze color....but i just love this gunmetal grey.

happy shopping!

Monday, October 16, 2006

fabulous beauty buys

well, apparently, 'tis the season for some really fabulous gift sets from our favorite dealers in all things beautifying.

at nordstrom, with any $95 beauty purchase, you get a darling croc train case AND all of the goodies shown above (click here for a list of what's included) for free! definitely one of the most substantial gift-with-purchase offers i've seen in quite a while.

and, at sephora , they're offering a pretty fabulous set of deluxe-size samples with any $50+ purchase.
i've been looking for a few new products, now that the dry skin season is on its way, so you can be sure i'll be taking this opportunity to stock up!

i enjoy being a girl

it's true. i love being girly. shopping, martinis, dresses, things! hence, i love october, because it's the one time of year i can not only buy all manner of pink things, but i can also support a good cause (breast cancer research) while i'm at it.

some of my favorites this year:

the rowenta pink iron - now, i despise menial labor, but i think i could even be coerced into ironing my own shirts if i had this cute little pink number :)

since we know i'm not much with the domestic goddess-ness, what better than a little pink robot to do all of the work for me?? snap up this pink roomba, and you can sit on the couch reading your latest issue of vogue, while it does all the dirty work. now that's what i call a good cause!

and of course, what's more girly than sitting on the couch, eating pink chocolates and sipping a lovely rosé from your pink riedel wine glasses?? not much, if you ask me. happy october, everyone!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

item of the day: wallpaper notebooks

so i want about 100 of these, so that i can just keep them lying around and look glamorous and stylish every time i have to jot something down. alas, at $11.50 apiece, i probably can't quite swing 100....but 2 or 3, certainly. and besides, they'd make a completely darling holiday gift :)

(ps...code 'octsh' gets you free shipping on any order over $25 this month. happy shopping!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

item of the day: bond no. 9 perfumes

so, for the last few months, the buzz on the street when it comes to fragrance has been about a company i'd never even heard of - bond no. 9. as we all know, i don't do well being the last person in the loop, so i decided it was high time to investigate.

as it turns out, they have a pretty unique concept: "making scents of new york," as the slogan on their website goes. basically, the idea is that they're bottling scents that they think personify different neighborhoods in manhattan. as i said, unique, right?

i have to admit to some initial misgivings. the thought of quantifying and bottling the scent of a handful of neighborhoods in manhattan had me a little baffled when i first heard the concept. i mean, after all, what would chinatown really smell like if you bottled it? or maybe the bronx? yep, my thoughts exactly.

but never one to turn my back on an idea until i've checked it out, i dropped a line to the nice people over at bond, and they were kind enough to help me with checking out a few of their fragrances. and, as it turns out, i LOVED them. i've been digging jo malone for a while now, but i have to say that i really think bond has won me over. in addition to their normal 'neighborhood scents,' they've also released one called 'the scent of peace' (a post-9/11 thing)....the website says it has notes of blackcurrant and lily of the valley, but i was getting a pretty distinct citrusy kind of vibe as well. regardless, it's way yummy.

another i really liked was 'nuits de noho' - it's definitely an evening scent (hence the name) has a nice scent of vanilla and something heavier (patchouli, according to the website), without going overboard on either. no question, you'd definitely be the hot girl on the dance floor wearing this one.

i have yet to try the rest of the fragrances, but i'm anxious to check out 'chelsea flowers' and 'bleecker street,' both of which sound fabulous on the website. (and aren't the bottles just gorgeous!?)

now, they're not cheap, at about $120/bottle (though you can buy smaller sizes for $40, under the 'bon bon box' section on their website). but the scents are definitely a little goes a long way. and, for me at least, i buy a scent so rarely that i'm willing to invest when i find one i love. or, you could go for broke and pick up their adorable 'bon bon box' for $240, which comes with 18 different scents to try. you can buy online, or check them out at your friendly neighborhood saks store :)

oh and, as it turns out, chinatown actually smells like peach blossom, tuberose and gardenia....quite lovely, in fact.

PS - keep an eye out...the folks at bond and i got along so well that i think we're going to put together some sort of fantastic holiday giveaway, right here on my humble little blog! so stay tuned :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

sorry i'm MIA, guys....

work is nutso (yes, i have to actually but i'll be back in the next day or so, and i'm cooking up something fabulous and exciting, i promise!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

fabulous bronze metallic pumps...on clearance, no less!

okay, so i'm not supposed to be shopping right now. but you, on the other hand, have no earthly reason to keep yourself from buying these darlings . they're just perfect for keeping with the metallic trend that's so incredibly hot right now - i love them even more than silver or gold - they're a great neutral color sure to warm up your entire fall wardrobe. and the stud detail is a great way to bring them up a level from a basic pump. best of all, they're only $62 on sale at kenneth cole....that's more than 60% off, girls.

check out the entire sale here. but don't forget to buy these little beauties :)

item of the day: miss marc umbrella

okay, so you all know my love for marc jacobs, and for miss marc in particular. so, it should come as no surprise that when my travels led me to find this umbrella, i was practically giddy :) i mean really, can you imagine anything cuter to get you through an otherwise gloomy, rainy day? let's face it - with winter coming up, i think the only responsible thing to do is to be prepared for inclement weather :) (note to hubs: yes, this would be a perfect christmas or unbirthday gift)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

item of the day: mary j by vans

so i have to confess that, of all the '80s trends that are out there right now, the one that has finally swayed me is the prevalence of vans. they're everywhere! and darn it, i want a pair! only problem...i'm an almost-30-year-old-attorney, so it's hard to pull off most styles (despite my secret yearning for these ones, which are darling enough to make me wish i were still in law school, back when i could pull off 'funky' a bit better).

but, in my web cruising recently, i stumbled across this darling mary jane/ballet flat version of the vans i so covet. hurrah! i think i can actually wear these without feeling like i'm trying to reclaim my youth :) well, at least i'm not trying too much.....

my parents went to paris, and all i got was this.....

...LV groom collection pochette cles!!!! man, does my mom know how to souvenir shop or what?? (hint: it always helps when you tell someone exactly what to purchase, and where the LV store nearest their hotel is located ;)

now if only i weren't too scared of ruining it to actually use it :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

i just love stop, milan!

according to the BBC (and the bag snob), madrid's fashion week organizers have banned models with a BMI (body mass index) of less than 18. is it possible the world is becoming a bit more civilized??

item of the day: i can't quite believe i'm posting this....

i have to say that if i were going to wear leggings this fall (and that is, by the way, a freaking huge "if"), these would be the ones. by free people, one of my new favorite brands, the ankle detail gives them something to make them look less like, well, leggings. and, it gives people something to direct their eyes toward (other than your backside). they just seem a little more refined to me, somehow. and while i still wouldn't be caught dead (trust me, i'm protecting the public at large, not just being a snob - me in skintight pants is not a good thing), it is, at long last, a leggings purchase i could support if someone did want to partake. plus, they're only $42 which, from what i've seen of the leggings world thus far, is pretty darn reasonable.

skh's turn: work to play, or play to work?

miss skh is a law student...which means she wakes up every morning so completely exhausted that the last thing she wants to think about is how to make herself presentable. it also means she doesn't have money (sorry babe, but i remember those sucks).

so, here was her question:

I need work on getting items that work for suits and for casual. My casual = upper Haight (so, leaning towards the alternative) law student (meaning comfy). And, as you know I have to wear suits to work. So, these are 2 very different ends of the spectrum. I'm having a hard time finding shells/ button ups/ accessories that work well for both. I want to look hip when I wear a suit and maybe a bit more put together (aka, no holes in things) when I'm casual. Can't afford/ don't have the space to have 2 full wardrobes.

well heck, i can do this.

first thing i'd suggest is to play off of the fact that this fall, romantic is in. that means you can wear a frilly, fancy top with jeans, and be completely stylish - and that same top will also go beautifully with a suit. case in point is this gorgeous top on sale at banana republic right now. it would look perfect under a solid or pinstripe suit, but throw a bright color cami underneath (i'm thinking teal or a raspberry color), and it's definitely funky enough for the haight. you can find a similar style here - it's slightly longer in the body, and has short sleeves. still great, just can't wear it with a shorter jacket.

another piece i love for your needs is this half-sleeve turtleneck. it has so much fun and detail at the neck and shoulder, but would easily subdue under a suit jacket. take off the jacket, untuck the hem, and it's perfect with jeans and boots.

here's one other look i think would work beautifully for daytime, and it would be a great 'going out with friends' top as well. the chiffon dresses it up, but the high neck keeps it business-friendly. i'm not positive this would work with a blazer, but i think with a skirt or slacks, on a non-court day, you could easily wear this to the office. plus, i think the blue color would be amazing on you.

one other thing you might consider investing in is a vest - strangely enough, they're everywhere this fall. throw one on over a bright t-shirt or solid white shirt and under a blazer, and you'll definitely be dressed to, when you take the blazer off, a vest will be darling with that pencil skirt :) i love this one by j.crew.

any of those work for you, skh??? :)

one more for angela: holiday dress-up

here's angela's last personal shopping request from her prior post:

I need some moderately dress-up pieces for fall/winter/the holidays (not too dressy). Maybe a dressier jacket or a cute skirt. My wardrobe mostly consists of business wear or casual. I need a bit of dressy spice.

to be honest, i'm not 100% sure of my mission....i can't tell if you want party clothes or work clothes that are a little more dressy. so, i'll give you a couple of options that would go either way.

the first is the raspberry bolero jacket i featured a few weeks ago that will be in the holiday isaac mizrahi collection for target. i think it's the perfect way to jazz up a black dress, or a black skirt with turtleneck would be awesome with it as well. you could even throw on the turtleneck and jacket with jeans, and get a funky chic thing going.

another option that's a little more day-to-evening is velvet. for the money, i think this jacket is a gorgeous option - i love the teal color, and the ribbon does wonders for tailoring it to your waist and making it more feminine. the options here are endless - jeans, tweed skirt, black slacks, sparkly could play with this for ages!

and, i happen to love this swing jacket by banana republic. it embraces just a touch of the cape trend that's so hot this fall, but i think it's much more wearable.

as for skirts, my first two stops are always anthropologie and boutique ooh la la. both have dozens of gorgeous options. for holiday fabulousness, i just think this is as good as it gets.

but if you're looking for something a little more understated, this one strikes me as something you'd love. i also really like this one (perhaps because i own it). lots of options...and you certainly can't complain about the pricing!

so, those are my ideas for you - hopefully you'll find something fabulous there that you love :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

designer of the day: tory burch

it's not every day that a new designer comes along and really impresses me. sure, there was loeffler randall. and before them, nanette lepore. but for the most part, i trend toward the classics. not necessarily because i have a bias, but more because it seems sometimes that new designers on the scene are trying really hard to be edgy, and my style is much more 'classic'....i can't pull off edgy. so, while i admire the newbies for their creativity, i tend to just walk on by.

while tory burch has actually been on the scene for a year or two now, she's really coming into her mainstream-ness this year. and with good reason. tory has figured out a balance between creativity and wearability...a fine line for a lot of designers. she's also managed to create lines that are easily identifiable as something she made, without the piece having to be covered with logos. best of all, she hasn't gone into the land of 'no mere mortal should ever be able to afford to actually purchase something of mine'. all reasons to love her :)

take her diamond print dress, above, as an example. the pattern is so unique, the colors stand out, but the style is eminently classic and would be so universally flattering. i love it.

i also love this cashmere tank. it's probably the best way i've seen to pull off the '80s floppy bow look that seems to be running rampant this fall, and it would be a darling layer under any number of blazers, capes, etc.

and it wouldn't be a blog post from me if it didn't include some shoes. there is something about these that i just love....and they come in a big handful of completely delicious colors.

and, my last reason for loving tory is that she has a website...and a quite fabulous one at that. moreover, said website is currently sporting a pretty darn impressive sale collection. definitely worth a look, as you could score this completely darling little sleeveless dress for just $62, down from an original $250. now that's love!

angela's shopping #2: cover-up for a wedding

angela's second question was about a cover-up to wear over a dress she's in later this fall.
I am wearing a dress in a wedding that's spaghetti straps. I need a shrug/sweater/jacket/something in black that would look cute but not totally ruin the look of the dress. The dress is black with mushroom color swirly/flowery things on it. It's empire style with a v-neck/mock wrap. And it's slightly gathered around the waistline with a tie in the back. (from Max Studio - if you've looked there in the last couple of months)

first things first, i'm going to use this dress as a guide for what we're working with, even though i know it probably isn't exactly right.

i'm assuming for the moment that there's a reason you don't want to go with the simplest option, which would be a black pashmina....either you want your arms covered for the duration of the evening, or you just want to jazz the dress up a little & infuse some of your own style. both great reasons :) but if you hadn't considered th e pashmina, it's a great investment piece that you might as well own anyway, if you don't already :)

okay, first rule: no shrugs. they have gone the way of the project runway other words, they're out. if any remain in your closet, now would be a good time to purge.

okay, now that's out of the way :)

my first choice is something that wouldn't fly for everyone, but i saw it and it just screamed your name. best of all, it's $23 :) from forever21 - check it out here. i love the puffed sleeve - i think it would be darling on you. and the shape is such that it won't take away from the silhouette or the print of the dress.

if it's long sleeves you want, i really like this from la redoute - sheer, but warm, and a great shape.

and if neither of those ring your bell, you can always fall back on this season's version of the shrug: the wrap cardigan. think of it as a super-thin pashmina with sleeves :) personally, i think it's better than the shrug was, and talk about versatile! this one is the most classic version (you'll see several pics of ways to wear it on the website as well), and it would definitely fit the bill :)

angela's personal shopping expedition, part 1

angela asked for a few things, and i think they're best answered in separate posts (must keep the blog organized, after all!). so, first things first:

I need some cute workout (but budget) gear. I'm short (i.e, long pants drag about 4" on me) and hippy, so nothing too clinging on the bottom or revealing on the top (no sports bras alone for me!)

no problem!

while i don't share your vertically challenged-ness, i can definitely agree that clingy bottoms are not my first choice for gym couture...on me or anyone else. hence my decision to join a gym frequented primarily by 65-year-old retirees :) but i digress...

anyway, down to the point - here are some ideas for you. since i know you're already familiar with the wonder that is target, i'm going to set that store aside for now, and lure you into lesser-known spots on the web. first, i have to tell you that i love lucy when it comes to workout gear. regular price, their stuff isn't cheap...but when things go on sale, you can score some great deals.

i'm guessing you're not a fan of the 'short short', but how about these bermuda length numbers? not clingy, a good fabric for wicking moisture, and best of all, they're on clearance!

another one i like for you is this 'knee pant'...i think on you, it would be more like a capri, which should be perfect. these are slim, but not 'tight,' they come in several great colors, and again, on sale :)

as for tops, i'm not sure how 'high performance' you like your workout gear. for me, an old t-shirt will do just fine (and lucy carries a great range of cute options there, too). if you like something that's made specifically for the workout, i like this top - it has all of the fancy tech fabric of the higher-cost models, but you can score it for under $20.

another of my favorite stores for workout wear is athleta - they're not inexpensive, but their items are all excellent quality, which means a pair of $50 workout pants will last much longer than that pair you bought at target :) plus, they carry petite sizes which are pretty hard to come by in the world of workout gear.

last but certainly not least, don't forget about rei. go to their outlet section online, and you can score some pretty good deals, including these shorts for $10, and this quick-drying top for $20.