Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Imitation = Flattery?

You all remember the lovely elegant Prada peep-toe flower heels.

Gorgeous, right?

I was looking at the new site and stumbled upon these peep-toe pumps from Stella Blu. Okay, so far not that bad not sure about that Pucci-esque fabric but they're okay.

Then I saw the back.

Oh, hell no! They are not trying to rip-off Prada's flower heels.

> : (

Tacky! Tacky! Tacky!

They look like injection molded plastic. Ick!

Hey look, they come in blue too. Whoopie!

Clothing Swap

I know I mentioned this before but if you have never done a clothing swap, you so have to! Just get a group of ladies (work, family, friends, dorms, etc.) and tell them to go through their stuff - not just clothes. Pick and date, make some cupcakes (not needed but so yummy) and watch the fun free-for-all begin.

We just did ours in the office and it was great. Even though we're all different sizes and styles people found tons of stuff and had a wonderful time. In my opinion the best time to do this is right around the change of seasons. You're going to be going through your stuff anyways, right?

What's great is you know there are things in your closet you are just tired with or that you bought and forgot about or may not have liked after the first wearing. Sometimes you feel stuff is just too good to give away but you don't want it. This is perfect for all those things.

Everything goes a first-come-first-served basis. Looks like my friend, Miss M here, found a skirt and top of mine that she liked!

What girly fun isn't enhanced by Lavender-Chocolate cupcakes????

I wouldn't say I took a lot of things but I did get a nice camel window pane skirt, a blue button down with front ruching, a light teal brocade bracelet-length jacket, a sweater-shirt combo in bright blue, a pair of yoga-y pants for wearing around the house and some cute faux snakeskin slingbacks. Not bad, huh?

I think this is even better than thrifting. It's free and you know where the clothes came from. Plus its a fun bonding experience. All the guys in the office thought we were a little silly, but who cares? At the end, all the clothes that are unclaimed get taken off to Goodwill, so we can do a donation too.

Go. Swap.

Ensemble du Jour

Yesterday I was at a photoshoot all day for my client. We were on location so that meant I would be running around and basically standing all day as we set up the shots and then took a million versions.

So, comfortable and simple were the rules of the day. I've been trying to wear red all this week. No, I don't know why or have a reason. Just because I guess. On Monday the weather sucked so I just wore a black skirt and a grey cashmere sweater with my red Target jelly flats. Not really inspiring. At least yesterday I felt somewhat presentable.

I wanted to add a bit of contrasting color, so I wore this little necklace from Target. I finally realized what it reminded me of. It is very "inspired" by Van Cleef & Arpels' Alhambra collection - although, obviously, not as finely done.

I decided to wear these Xhilaration flats. They worked out pretty well for being on my feet all day. A word of warning - these have no support at all, they don't breathe that great and the plastic-y edging was, by the end of the day, starting to rub a bit. They didn't cause a blister but I don't think I would wear them for that long at a time again.

They were cute enough but the fabric pattern is not as vibrant as I hoped. These may go into the "maybe" pile. I really, given that I'm maxing out my closet space, should only keep those shoes I am totally in love with. Which is why I pulled about 12 pairs to go for the clothing swap today.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ruffled Silver and Framed Croc

I did end up getting some cute things at the antiques festival...

Check it out!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ensemble du Jour

The Outfit
Friday was a pretty low-kew day. I was getting back my energy from working on a proposal so I just kind of grabbed something simple from my closet. Just a pleated denim-y skirt and a short-sleeved top with a knotted neckline. I didn't even really wear any jewelry.

The Focal Point
I'm still reorganizing my closet and I get caught up trying on shoes that I haven't worn in a while. A part of my haul from when I had my Nine West outlet store shoe luck, I decided to wear these Nine West black and white fabric flats edged in pink.

They're not anything overly fancy or special but, as I don't have a huge amount of flats I like having a cute pair in basic black and white.

The heels are cute. Kitten heels but they're kind of rounded so they have a little piggy snout shape. So Babe-like.

Designer Focus - Daniel Green

I was sifting through the vintage shoes on eBay the other day and saw these amazingly decadent boudoir slippers that rivaled anything coming from Agent Provocateur or Victoria's Secret. The shape was a retro heeled slipper and they were the perfect accompaniment for the vintage slips that I am loving.

I love the almost cupcake swirly-ness of this rosette.

The Daniel Green brand has a history that goes back to 1881, when he saw factory workers wearing shoes made of leftover scraps of piano felt to keep their feet warm on the cold floors. From those humble beginnings, the company grew. It started with Daniel and his brother creating shoes in a room over their kitchen to selling over 75,000 in their 3rd year of business. Pretty impressive!

In my opinion though, the company must have been in their heyday with the styles from the 40's - 60's, which are most of the ones you see here. The colors were rich and I'm just in love with the ruffles. They almost look like shoes from the French court of Louis the XVI.

Here's a peek at some of the gorgeous pairs I found on eBay. Can't you see someone like Lana Turner or Marilyn Monroe swanning around in these and a negligee?

I got a pair of red ones like the ones just above - with the tulle and button - and a pair with the stain ruffle rosette.

You can even see the decadence in these more house slipper styles. The shape is more conservative but still with sumptuous details and fabric.

The sad thing is that the styles of the Daniel Green shoes have seemed to age as their early clientele has. The company is still around but they are much less sexy than they used to be. Maybe in the 1960's and 1970's it wasn't cool to wear feminine boudoir slippers so they had to adapt to keep going.

But now is the time to reclaim them. And eBay has some great pairs, many of which are pristine. And the cost is cheap. Usually around $15 or so. Maybe if they become big sellers again we'll see a return to the glamorous styles. If anything, you can have a lovely satiny girl-y slipper to pair with your seduction ensemble.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Time to Buckle Down

Nine West is continuing to impress me with their latest crop of styles.

I'm very much smitten with these new strappy safari-esque heels. I know I'm a sucker for white heels but these have a tougher element to them unlike some of the others I fancy.

They didn't go overboard with the straps, they look just right. And I think the leather has a Coach texture to them so they seem to have a good quality.

Do I need another pair of white heels? No. Do I think I want them? Yes.

I also like that they have a substantial stacked heel but that it isn't too chunky. They also come in brown leather, but I much prefer the white.

Well done, Nine West!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

All Tied Up... With Indecision

It's sunny today!

I actually felt like I could pull out items that are suited for warmer weather. Finally.

I've been rummaging in the back of my closets the past few days. We're planning on having a Clothing Swap at work, so I've been going through all my stuff for clothes and shoes to give away. Have you ever done a clothing swap? It's great. What were doing is - all of the ladies in the office are going through their stuff as well. We'll bring it all in one day and it's just a big free for all. Everyone just sifts through all the stuff and you take what you want. Then anything that's left over will go for donation. Since most people are just bored with their stuff, it's a great way to "recycle". We're going to have cupcakes and make an event out of it.

Anyways, I've been going though all my shoes too and have been evaluating those shoes that haven't received much wear and attention. Some are vintage but some are new ones that were great in concept but then not-so-great in reality - either because of fit or some style detail. I'm trying to be ruthless!

Anyway, there were a few pairs of shoes that are in the "maybe" pile right now. Today's pair being one of them.

The shoes in question are black satin ballet style heels. I wanted to give them a shot so I paired them up with an outfit in black and white with a flippy graphic skirt from Target and a new cross-bodice jersey top I got on sale at Ann Taylor. The skirt hits me above the knee so it goes well with the ankle ties on the shoes.

Okay, here they are.

They're not a fancy brand or anything. They're Colin Stuart and I probably ordered them from Victoria's Secret (before they got totally trashy) about a million years ago.

The "ribbons" are not actually satin ribbons but actually made of fabric so the bows are a little stiff. The reason these are up for debate is bacause of the shape of the shoe. What I look at them by themselves I'm not sure they thrill me. But when I see them on I kind of dig them.

The heel is pretty awesome and they are easy to wear. I don't get a ton of use out of them but when has that ever been a concern. They already have a home in the closet so that isn't an issue.

I do like them with this skirt.

I'm pretty sure they were inspired by of a pair of Chanel or Gucci heels if my memory serves. The remind me of the shoes that Carrie wore for the cover of her book in SATC (I need to find a picture of those to compare.)

What do you think? Stay or go?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ensemble du Jour

The Outfit
I'm trying to pull some pinks in here but somehow the greys just keep invading. Maybe this weekend will improve the mood of my clothes - I'm going to a really great antiques fair. Last year I got a vintage bubblegum necklace in aqua and my vintage lizard bag. I wonder what treasures will be there this time. Maybe some vintage linens and feathers!

I'm wearing my new denim pencil skirt from the Gap and a creme top with a vintage Barbie illustration from Target. The cropped cable-knit cardigan is from the Proenza Schouler line for Target. My feet were cold, so I'm wearing striped wellie socks under my black and white polka-dot rain boots.

I did bring my vintage grey peep-toes to work with me but I ended up wearing my boots most of the day. I was working on a big presentation all day (and should be finishing it now) so I hardly got up.

The Focal Point
My Barbie shirt. I love the colors in this and it's very comfy. The illustration isn't noticeably Barbie but I think is quite elegant.

I hope I have good things to share on Sunday after the antiques show!

This photo was modified from the original. I need to track down the source to give credit.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I think I'm SAD

I think my wardrobe has Sesonal Affective Disorder and it's making me have it too.

It's no wonder April has been called the cruelest month. I feel like the weather has been trying to trick me. The lovely spring and summer clothes and shoes have been in for a while but they just sit there, unworn, while the chilly skies and dreary rain comes down. The flowers are leaves are out but we can't go out and enjoy them.

Instead I'm still wearing dark greens and browns and dark grey cardigans and tights.

I tried to rebel yesterday by wearing my gladiator-esqu sandals, since I didn't wear them with my dress for the bridal shower. But today I'm wearing black patent flat mocs since it's rainy again.

What I want to wear are cute bright pinks and whites and greens. I think, as the description of the SAD symptoms says, I'm craving sweets.

So what better cure than to look at all the girly shoes from Sugar. I love the bright pink plaid fabric.

They're ever so Irregular Choice but I still like them. Especially the stripe-y ones.

These are my favorites though. They look like lollipops!

Maybe if I had these I would be able to perk up a bit.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Showers and Flowers

On Saturday I went to a bridal shower of a good friend of mine. I didn't know any other attendees, other than the bride of course. It's always a bit apprehensive when you are planning what to wear to an event like this. I think the big challenge is that there aren't as many rules any more.

In the past you would know what to wear to events depending on what they were. But nowadays, it could be anything along the range of very casual to somewhat dressy. And given that I didn't know the group very well, I didn't have a gague on the types of folks the would be.

So I erred on the slightly dressier side. Given that it was a bit warmer and Spring, I decided to wear one of my new dresses. It was also a good comfort test run with the dress before I wore it to work for a full day. I have to say, I liked it a lot. I brought along a cardigan just in case it was chilly, but ended up not needing it.

I had been planning on pairing this dress with the new Franco Sarto gladiator-esque heeled sandals I had bought, but when I tried them on together, I just wasn't feeling it. So I ended up contrasting it with green because I was already using my green Dooney bag and I didn't have time (or interest, frankly) to change it.

So I ended up wearing my dark green Jimmy Choo Thunder slingbacks. The color went really well with the dress - both have muted shades.

I have a feeling that this will be a great dress for summer.

One thing I do want to do is get a good brown belt to go with it. I'm not usually a belt person so I don't have a lot of options. I think this dress calls for a good bold belt to break up the pattern and tie it back to the shoes. The fabric tie that came with it is in the same fabric and gets lost, plus it's a bit wimpy for the dress.

The bride-to-be was wearing a great dress. She got the sleeveless beach dress from JCrew but in a cute brown and white pattern they don't have on their site. It looked great on her and she also had some cute heeled thong sandals with some bit-looking hardware on it. She looked just smashing.

I had to return a shirt to Ann Taylor yesterday so I also popped into JCrew myself. I have been looking for a simple khaki pencil skirt and haven't really found one I liked. JCrew didn't have any but the did have a big sale going on with marked down items getting an additional 25% off. I ended up getting 3 dresses, including this swiss dot wrap dress in white, and a pair of patterned shorts. I'll have to take pictures because I can't find the rest online. But all of that came to well under $200.

I'm trying to get over my "fear" of dresses. I think they can be so pretty, I just feel like I need to be very selective about fit but still give them a chance.