Monday, April 30, 2007

Three Times Makes it a Trend

There are certain laws of fashion that must be respected and followed. Here is rule number 512 Part C Section 4:

"When you see three different celebrities/starlets wearing a similar style, it is officially a new trend."

A recent trend that I have noticed among the Hollywood elite is the proliferation of red shoes, especially when paired with a gray top or dress. Case in point:

Nicole Richie wears red shoes with a gray v-neck dress and black tights.
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Ashlee Simpson pairs red heels with a gray strapless dress and bare legs.
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Victoria Beckham wears her red sky-high heels with a black dress and matching black tights.
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A bonus look: Lindsay Lohan dons red heels with black thigh-high tights and a gray sweatshirt for a photo shoot.
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If you have an unlimited shoe budget, you can get the red Yves Saint Laurent Tribute Mary Janes (worn by Victoria Beckham and Lindsay Lohan above and selling for over $1,200 on Ebay) which are the current "it" shoes. If you weren't born with a trust fund, check out these more affordable options:

Steve Madden's Brytni for $99.95
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Anne Klein Christa for $82.95

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Dolce Vita Open Toe Buckle Flat $135
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Make it Your Own: Handbags

A few months ago, I took a vacation to the Caribbean with my husband. While doing my early packing, I realized that the new travel rules meant I would need to check my luggage instead of taking it on the plane with me as I usually do. (I have curly hair and without product, it's absolutely massive. The new rules don't allow me to carry styling gel on the plane.) I realized I needed a tote that was large enough to carry my travel essentials (like a pair of flat shoes and a pashmina if I get cold) and preferably with lots of exterior pockets so I could easily access my passport, travel itinerary and Blackberry. After shopping around, I found the perfect traveling tote in the Banana Republic Ashbury Four-Pocket Hobo....

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Except... The top had a single magnetic closure.

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I am a suspicious New Yorker and my first thought when I see a magnetic closure on an open-topped handbag is that someone is going to reach into my purse and steal my wallet. Also, since I planned to use it for travel and would need to be able to dump it on the X-ray security conveyor belts, it would be very easy for important items to fall out of the top. This just wouldn't do. Except I loved everything else about the bag... I decided to do some research and see if any leather repair shops would be able to add a zipper closure to the purse. After doing an online search for leather repair shops in New York City, I found one that had good customer reviews, seemed reputable and would add the zipper for a reasonable cost. I was really happy with the work Superior Leather Restorers (133 Lexington Avenue at 29th Street) did with my purse.

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The added zipper made the bag more secure and exactly what I needed for traveling. Leather restorers can make several types of changes and improvements to your handbags and luggage. They can restore the leather of an old bag, add feet, replace zippers, change closures and upgrade the lining. When you see a handbag that would be perfect if only one little change were made, don't be afraid to go with your instincts and find someone who can make it happen for you. It can mean the difference between a bag you'll love forever or just another purse in the back of your closet.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dream Item of the Day

I am currently obsessed with the recently launched Ella Moss Black Label line. The Black Label line is an extenstion of the designer's already successful Ella Moss brand. The designer behind the line, Pamella Protzel, is a mere 27 years old and has managed to create a collection that is sophisticated yet totally hip and wearable. Here are two dresses that make my heart skip:

Ella Moss Black Label Juliette Dress
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Ella Moss Black Label Sofia Dress
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Style Jack: Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci's simple yet chic outfit is perfect for a casual friday at the office or Sunday brunch with your fabulous girlfriends. Here's how you can jack her look on a budget:

J. Crew Linen Jacket: $138
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Gap Ribbed Tank: $14.50
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Lucky Brand Skinny Stretch Jeans: $99
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Nine West Distressed Green Pumps: $73
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Old Navy Quilted Tote: $17
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Total cost: $341.50
Looking put together without trying too hard: PRICELESS!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Read a Book, Blow Your Rent

I love to read and I love shoes. Why not merge my two loves by reading a book about fashion while wearing fabulous, "blow-the-rent" shoes? Here are two of my favorite books about the fashion industry:

Fashion Victim: Our Love-Hate Relationship with Dressing, Shopping, and the Cost of Style
By: Michelle Lee
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Michelle Lee exposes the seedy underside of fashion and how it has grown into a $200 billion industry. I didn't see my shopping the same way after reading it... but of course, I continued to shop.

Fashion Babylon
By: Imogen Edwards-Jones and Anonymous

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This is a fictional account of a British designer trying to take her small, luxury clothing label to the next level. While it's a work of fiction, there are tons of true anecdotes about designers and models that pepper the story and give you the feeling of being a fashion insider.

While you're reading these great books, blow your rent money on these shoes:

Miu Miu Patent Mary Janes
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Yves Saint Laurent Wedges

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wurk, B*tch!

Unfortunately, while the world has evolved and changed, my slang expressions remain 1990's gay. So I have to give a great big "You betta WURK, bytch!" (with some snaps in a "Z" formation) to Lucy Liu on the set of her new series Cashmere Mafia. I love everything about this outfit, from the top of her beautifully waved hair to the bottom of her Christian Laboutins. That fierce red cape with the fingerless red gloves? Pretty, pretty, pretty perfection!

Clown Clothes or Cutting Edge?

WhoWhatWear Daily has started a new feature where they highlight every day women in risky, cutting-edge outfits and feature them on their email blasts. The blast they sent today made me sit up and ponder the meaning of fashion. While I hate when people are cookie-cutter and dress just like everyone else, I'm not sure if these outfits are so much "cutting-edge" as costumey, clown clothes. What is the line between being fashion-forward and being ridiculous? I am a believer that in the end, all that matters is that the clothes are pretty and aesthetically pleasing. I don't think these girls' outfits are either of those things.

Monday, April 23, 2007

What's Your Signature?

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
- "My Favorite Things," from The Sound of Music

Every fashionista has a few pieces in their wardrobe or accessories collection that they love. These are pieces they often incorporate into different outfits and become their "signature pieces." My clothing choices are where I allow myself to be creative and experimental, but my accessories are my signatures.

1. Sunglasses
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I have a sneaking suspicion that squinting leads to crow's feet and wrinkles. For this reason, whenever I am in the sun, I wear sunglasses. These Marc by Marc Jacobs aviators fit my small face and somehow seem appropriate with every outfit.

2. Beaded necklace
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When I bought this necklace at a street fair in New York a few years ago, I had no idea I was going to wear it as often as I do. I find that it works with turtlenecks, summer dresses and camisole tops and has an ethnic, funky feel without being overwhelming.

3. Large Hoop Earrings
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These are from Old Navy, but I have about five different sets of large silver hoops that I wear repeatedly. Large hoops are a classic look that never goes out of style. They are also versatile and look good with a dress or jeans and a tee.

4. Marc Jacobs Purse

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For many years, I felt like Goldilocks when it came to handbags. "This bag is too small for work but perfect for the weekend... This bag is too big for the weekend but perfect for work." Finally, I found a purse that's "just right" in the Marc Jacobs Large Multi-Pocket. It's big enough to hold all my essentials but not so large that it looks like a suitcase on my shoulder. The leather is as soft as a baby's bottom. While black is a boring color for handbags, it's basically a neutral and will work with most outfits. One of my favorite features of this bag is the feet on the bottom. I am very hard on my purses and often throw them on the floor. The feet protect the bottom from scuffing. Who can ask for more?

5. Tiffany's Bracelets
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I've heard that when wealthy people see women wearing overpriced, silver Tiffany's bracelets, they often think "trashy trying to be classy." I am from Queens so I am definitely allowed to have my trashy moments. These bracelets have sentimental value and I feel naked without them.

What is YOUR signature?

Dream Item of the Day

When I saw this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress on ShopBop, "ethereal" was the first word that came to mind. The ruffle details and color of this dress make it feminine, fresh and light as air. I think if I had this dress on, I couldn't resist the urge to twirl and spin. Unfortunately, with a $458 price tag, it will be staying at ShopBop until it goes on sale.

What Not to Wear

The next time you are standing in front of your closet, filled with indecision and confusion as to what to wear that will miraculously highlight your strengths and camoflauge your flaws, think back to this outfit worn by Britney Spears and pick THE EXACT OPPOSITE. There are so many things going wrong with this outfit that I probably don't need to list them but I will anyway for sh*ts and giggles:

  1. Cowboy hat (Seriously? People are still doing those?)
  2. Wig made of obviously the cheapest and coarsest synthetic hair
  3. Some kind of mangled road kill thrown across her shoulders
  4. The rings and other jewelry look very supermarket gumball machine
  5. The unzipped boots (Why? If the boots don't fit over the jeans, why not just wear shoes??? Is this something someone needs to TELL her?)

There is nothing about this outfit that makes any sense or leads me to believe that Britney has 20/20 vision. The worst part is that I am sure that these clothes are extremely expensive and she has managed to make them look ridiculously cheap. Is this the Britney "come back" that everyone is talking about? Yikes!

The Girl From Ipanema

My good friend Cinnamon is a believer in having a theme when planning his upcoming seasonal clothing purchases. For example, this past Fall, his muse was Kelis. He incorporated her unique and uncoventional style choices into his outfits for the Fall and Winter and it totally gave him a "look" rather than a mix of pieces that don't make sense together. I have been wracking my brain trying to decide what will be my theme/muse/inspiration for the upcoming Summer. Today, my theme whispered itself in my ear as I was walking through the city. Would you like to listen to it?

I've decided my theme will be "The Girl From Ipanema." This bossa nova song was a big hit in the mid-1960's and for me, it evokes an affluent, youthful woman who summers on the French Riviera and has an easy, casual, yet effortlessly chic style. Doesn't she sound fabulous?! That's the look I'm going to go for. Here are some pieces I associate with "The Girl From Ipanema"....

Rachel Pally Caftan
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Twelfth Street By Cynthia Vincent Eyelet Dress
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Banana Republic Woven Tote
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Kenneth Jay Lane Cuff
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Kors by Michael Kors Gladiator Sandal
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Gap Twist Tie Dress
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Banana Republic Leaf Necklace
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Old Navy Skinny Jeans
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Anna Sui Lace Tunic Top
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What will inspire you for the Spring?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spring Shopping at the Gap

It was a beautiful, warm day in NYC today, which inspired me to do a little Spring clothing shopping. I decided to take a run through the Gap since that is one of my favorite stores and they are getting a lot of hype over their Designer Editions Collection. I found lots of great stuff, unfortunately, none on sale. But reasonably priced nonetheless! Here's the rundown:
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This cotton camisole top was only $19.50. It has crochet detailing at the neckline and buttons you can open if you want to be playful and show some cleavage or button to the top if you're feeling conservative.
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This top was $39.50. It's very lightweight and perfect for a shopping day with the girls. The straps are adjustable so if you're petite like me, you don't have to worry about the top part sagging to around your belly button.
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This cotton cardigan was $24.50. It's perfect for the Spring/Summer! If you work in an overly air-conditioned office, this is the perfect cardi to throw over your Summer dress without sweating to death on the way into work. It's also very sheer so while it covers you up, it still has a sexy feel.
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This dress was hard to photograph but you can get a better look at it here. It's an easy, empire waist style that is flattering to most body types. Also, while it's a girly dress, it's as comfortable as your favorite pajamas. Love it!

When I shop, I often have a key piece in mind that I'm building the trip around. In this case, it was these KORS sandals.
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I love them! They're comfortable and they're also perfect to wear when you're getting a pedicure. I like my clothing to serve multiple functions.

While my Fall and Winter trips to the Gap had been pretty disappointing, I am really enjoying their Spring collection. The clothes are feminine, grown-up, trendy but still giving you those basics and staples that the Gap is known for. It's definitely worth a trip.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

There's Nothing Like the First Time

My name is Sabrina and I am an addict. I am addicted to FASHION!

It's a rather benign addiction when you compare it to heroin or cigarettes, per se, but an addiction nonetheless. Here are the key signs of a fashion problem:
  • You NEVER have enough closet space.... even after you've done your annual closet weeding and have thrown out enough clothes and shoes to outfit at least two other people your size for a few seasons.

  • Lucky, Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and Life & Style Weekly are your required reading.

  • Your heart skips a beat when you see the SALE rack at Saks.

  • True story: I saw Michael Kors on the street one day and had to stop myself from acting like a crazed fan.

  • You find yourself assessing and sometimes mentally restyling your friends' and family's outfits.

In addition to my excessive shopping to feed my fashion habit, I also am very OCD in my clothing and accessory choices. I tend to shop certain brands over and over and rarely explore other options. Occasionally, I force myself to break out of my shell of Marc Jacobs, Banana Republic, Gap, Michael Kors, Coach and Rachel Pally but those are my favorites and they are dependable.

Why am I telling you all this? I've decided that this will be my place to discuss fashion and shopping. It will be where I post items that I have purchased that are my love of the moment (since a woman with a fashion problem must be frugal and shop wisely) and where I'll discuss my thoughts on new trends. Come talk fashion with me!

My current favorite sweater is the pink, bibbed Marc Jacobs one pictured above. It shows my clavicle area which is actually pretty toned and skims my stomach area which is not very toned at all. It was in the sale at Eluxury. Check out the sale here. Happy shopping!