Monday, December 28, 2009

So just what is the fashion protocol for going out when there are 2' (+) snow drifts?



So. This past Saturday, I was finally coerced out of my parents' house, where I've spent most of the week staying cozy for the holiday and the 10 inches of snow we got here. It was about time for me to leave, I suppose.  After all, my grandpa had made a break for it  earlier that day, having clearly been antsy where I was merely glued to the fireplace, my dog, and apparently, my pajamas. I'm not exactly a lounge-around-in-sweatpants all the time (at least, not for days at a time) kind of girl, so the transition back to real clothes was a little tough, but it was made tougher by my age old question, what-the-bagpipes-do-I-wear-when-I-go-out-when-the- temperature-is-like, 10. And this was further complicated by the what-the-bagpipes-kind-of-shoes-do-I-wear-with-my-winter-going-out-outfit-when-there-is-lots and-lots-of-snow-on-the-ground?

My obvious instinct was jeans and in winter-time, I often take to wearing leggings under my jeans for warmth. So, check and check. But the top was a little trickier. I'm not sure why, maybe it was my pajamas talking, maybe it was the fact that I get cold, everywhere, but sleeveless arms in the winter seem unnatural to me. Not that I haven't done it, but, well, given the fact that there was nearly a foot of snow on the ground, drifts of several feet, and a sub-zero temperature, it gave me pause Saturday.

I went with my coziest, drapiest, albiet chic and deep V-neck sweater, but the shoes - the shoes! My feet were saying, flannel-lined Wellies. Actually, every part of my body was saying that. But, still doubting myself, I packed a pair of closed-toe pumps in my car and headed out into the cold, cold night.

I ended up wearing the heels. And I'm kind of glad I did. I felt a little less dowdy, not to mention, not as hort. And truth be told, feeling cozy always makes me a little sleepy, so it's always best to make sure I'm not entirely feeling like I'm still in pajamas.

If it hadn't been a Saturday night though, I'm sure I would've worn those boots out. And actually, I might switch up the formula to include those boots for next time (will they go with my tulle ball skirt for NYE?).

But no matter how I feel about the cozy Wellies, here's my biggest wintertime fashion don't: Please, please, please, don't wear a skimpy little cocktail dress and then "forget" to wear a coat.

Seriously! What is that? We walked down to the steps at Tomfooleries Saturday night and as soon as the door opened, out flooded all the girls in their bright cocktail dresses - which normally probably would have been me, had I not been not wanting to get out of cozy mode - and, well, that was it. Some weren't even wearing tights! Yikes! Not a glove, not a scarf, not a jacket in sight!

It's just silly. Yes, it's a hassle to find someplace to put all that outerwear, but, oof! It's a lot worse I think to walk around without a coat. So, lesson learned - lesson one, anyways: Protocol includes a coat. And may I also recommend a hat, gloves, and a scarf?


Thursday, December 17, 2009

We're getting close - can ya feel it? While it was unseasonably warm here in KC for most of the past month and half - and I realized that if I lived in California, I wouldn't know how to get into the Christmas spirit 'cause it just doesn't feel like that time of year without the cold and the snow! - the temperature has officially and dramatically dropped and we've had our first snow. And the holidays are in full swing. Meaning, holiday parties, gatherings, cocktail occasions, and family events are also swingin' in the merriest of fashion. Which may, I don't know, leave some in a lurch when it comes to churning out the looks for all the different goings-on. Well, Beauty Brands and Target are here to help.

Curiously, I've never done a red polish, but I felt like this holiday season was time to bite the bullet. After all, I adore a good bitten lipstick.  So, armed with the $5 coupon I received as a perk of being enrolled in Beauty Brands' Beauty Advisor program (I get a coupon for a free product, or two, at least once a week!), I marched on in to check out their nail polish selection. And what joy - they have several holiday reds on sale!

Find China Glazes' glitzy Ruby Red Slippers polish on sale for $3.98, while OPI has two shades - Pomegranate Me a Wish and Red a la Mode - on sale for $4.98. Generally, OPI's lacquers are a cool $8.50, so for a previously red-shy girl, I couldn't beat the introductory low rate. I chose Pomegranate Me a Wish, a shimmery pink-infused red and am currently wearing it on my pretty nails and haven't been able to stop staring. I'm officially a red convert. Red a la Mode is more a classic red and I packaged the China Glaze polish in with a Secret Santa gift and now that I'm initiated, I'm kind of thinking of going back for a bottle of the bold, glittery red. That is, if they don't run out!

Beauty Brands also has OPI's full collection of 10 holiday shades, from deep plums and burgandies, to dazzling bronzes, all priced at $8.50. At under $10, it's a steal as far as accessories go, and even if it's the only update you make to your holiday wardrobe this year, be assured that all of these polishes are show-stopping statement makers. Which is all I ask of a manicure.

Also right now, receive a free OPI clear top coat with any OPI purchase over $17.

And finally Rodarte for Target has hit stores; I've been waiting for months, I feel like! Alas, no shoes in the line, but lace tights, tulle skirts, a lacy slip dress with bows on the shoulders, and cardigans are among the more covetable items. Key colors are mustard yellow and black, and the overriding print is . . . leopard! There are 55 total items in the collection and it will be in stores until January 31, but, you know, I'd go ahead and hit it up now because the line made its debut December 20 and I wouldn't be surprised if my local Target is already sold out of the best pieces. Darn it all, and I haven't made it yet. I find it hard to shop for myself this time of year, but for Rodarte, mmm, I think I'll make an exception.


Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Make sure you sparkle from eyes to toes, and have a Cool Yule!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Starting next month, just in time for some New Year Optimism, Lilly Lovers can officially wear their favorite green and pink, eyes, lips, and cheeks to tippy toes. In Lilly Pulitzer's latest collaboration, the always perky line has paired up with cosmetics kind of color, M.A.C., to create a line of nail polishes, lip glosses, and eye shadows. New York Mag sneered a little at the idea of the pairing; here, I think it's only natural. Bright, poppy colors are beloved by girls everywhere, by pretty and prim prepsters to Lady Gaga - worthy on-edge trendsetters alike.

Vineyard Vines has some competition on the critter accessory front in homegrown "classically casual" line Tucker Blair, it seems. Tucker Blair specializes in needlepoint accessories, such as flip flops, key fobs, belts, and headbands with lobsters, starfish, American flags, sailing flags, even snowmen. But the special thing about this company is that it is web-based only, so consumers aren't paying "paying a 100% retail markup, so the value is delivered back to (them), not the retailer." There's a 100% guarantee on every product and they'll pay the shippingon any return or exchange. As they say, "at Tucker Blair, we're swimming against the stream to build a web-based lifestyle brand that puts the customer first." And then there's the fact that the entrepenuer toured Asia to source yarn, and uses only "100% wool yarn, tight petit point stitching, and full grain leader."

Now, I happen to think critter accessories are cute: I even had an instant bond with a boy once over the fact that we both had whales (courtesy of Vineyard Vines and J.Crew) on our flip flops. And I do like the hand-made needlepoint look, actually. I'm not going to buy a snowmen belt, but I like the polka dot headands and adore the dog collars. And I like the no mark-up idea. So, in the case that you sometimes err on the side of preppy like me, or just like cute animals adorning your wardrobe, check then out at

And in the realm of all things monogrammed, at, find a digital version of the monogrammed stamp - for Word documents, e-mails, anything your heart should desire, so long as it has pixels! I adore this idea and it's defnitely going on my Christmas list, along with a monogrammed candle, checkbook cover, coozie - I mean, it's my personal belief that you can'thave enough things monogrammed. Check out, for even more monograms.

And in case that's not just me, local company Olympic Engravings does an absolutely beautiful job personalizing any gifts not made of cloth. A friend's boyfriend gave her a set of champagne glasses etched with her initials by this company, last year for her birthday, and, well you definitely could have colored me a little jealous. They're gorgeous. A truly elegant gift.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I think I'm going to have to work backwards here. Which is sometimes necessary, no? There's nothing wrong with planning out an outfit around a killer pair of shoes. Or an undergarment, for that matter.

So what I have here is an article - a practically ancient one at that - written in response to the uprising against the culture of thin which exists, which has existed for at least two decades now, and which will - especially according to the author - continue to exist in fashion. This is Robin Givhan for the Washington Post:

"There's plenty to be said about whether the models on the runway are healthy. Most definitely, some of them are not. But most folks aren't demanding to see a doctor's note. The focus of the concern is aesthetics. And some horribly airbrushed photos notwithstanding, the main focus of the complaints isn't that the look is unpleasant but that it's unattainable for most people.

With that in mind, maybe all of the protesting about deluded designers has been wrongheaded. Maybe all of the demands that editors and photographers just use heavier models have been misguided. Because before fashion models will get any bigger, people in general will just have to get smaller.

Fashion tells us something about ourselves and our culture. It does that by reflecting a heightened or twisted reality. It may be that the only way to change the fashion industry's portrayal of women is not by trying to make sense of the funhouse reflection but reconsidering the original sunject matter."

I'm going to save my editorializing, but I will say that I think Givhan has a point. It may a harsh one, but it certainly has validity. You have to read the article in its entirety to get more than a shocking sound byte, but what she's saying, essentially, is that the super-thin is the ideal because we tend to idealize something as a culture that we are not.

I don't agree with the practice of digitally witling down models - even so far as to say I do wish these practices would be banned - and I certainly think there should be concern with the fact that the ideal thin is no longer a healthy thin, but, well, there's not much health to be had at the opposite end either. And this is an interesting point of view regardless.

Now, Givhan had another point I entirely agree with. Even as a recessionista, budget-conscious-ista, etc., etc., I think it's incredibly frustrating when some folks Just. Don't. Get. It. But then, I don't understand the point of spending money on, say, stamps, so, you know. To each their own. Read on:

"It's alwas a bit discombobulating when people raise their voices in anger because they've gotten wind that designers are making and selling $25,000 dresses. After all, it's not as if the existence of a dress that costs as much as a car negates the availability of cute $25 frocks at Target. And it isn't as though edicts have been issued that all women must now dress like one of the superheroes on Balenciaga's runway.

For personal and sometimes tortured reasons -- I can't have it so no one else can! -- observers declare that they just don't understand the attraction of these strange and expensive clothes. That would be a fair argument if those same complainers lashed out at people who spend thousands of dollars on Redskins season tickets, vintage wines, first-edition books or midlife-crisis cars. But those industries don't stir nearly as much ire from people who are uninterested in them.

Everyone has a passion that is lost on others. And to be fair to the fashion industry: It may be strugging, but so far, no government has had to bail it out."

Some thoughts: yes, thank you. Rodarte for Target starts in just over a week!! Oooh I die. And remember Carrie Bradshaw? "I like my money where I can see it: hanging in my closet." Read Givhan's full article at

And I came to all this via Style Rookie, the 15-year-old fashion toast of the town, Tavi. She's kind of a doll. A vintage-clad, runway-obsessed, got her own, brave style in high school doll. Check her out:

Monday, November 23, 2009

'Tis (Always) the Season for Giving - Please send this little boy his last wish of cheery Christmas cards.

When winter comes around, the days are short and cold, misery seems more pronounced, your sniffles just won't go away, and it seems it's even easier to get sucked into your own vortex of me-ness - stress about work, money, family, health, relationships, anything and everything really. I don't mean to belittle these problems in any way - life can really be rough, on a day to day basis - but I know I at least can be guilty of some self-involvement every now and again.

Consider this quote from William Hazitt: "Fashion is the abortive issue of vain ostentation and exclusive egotism: it is haughty, trifling, affected, servile, despotic, mean and ambitious, precise and fantastical, all in a breath - tied to no rule, and bound to conform to every whim of the minute."

And here I am, writing about myself and about fashion everyday. Now, granted, I don't agree with this assessment entirely, though I acknowledge that fashion and the fashion industry can sometimes take on an air of haughtiness, flash, and exclusivity and when you get right down to it, it is about looks. But, as I wrote the other day, I think it is, or can be, so much more than that and that really is when you get to the difference between style and fashion, I think. As Yves Saint Laurent said, too, "Fashion fades. Style is eternal."

And to possess style I think is to possess an inner quality of beauty. This is not to say that giving should be viewed lightly, or as trendy, but simply that it is a beautiful thing to care for others. And it is something I want to work on being better at for the rest of my life. Life can be heartbreaking.

This season I am particularly reminded of this by an e-mail my mom sent me yesterday, which she received from some of my father's aunts and uncles. They have a friend whose five-year-old son is dying of cancer and doesn't expect to see this Christmas. But what he has asked for is Christmas cards, and no sad or get well cards.

Children never fail to amaze me - I think they have the most incredible way of revealing truth and strength and love - and this little boy, Noah, has simply stunned me. I find myself at a rare loss for words. So please, should you read this, send Noah a Christmas card. Make it funny, make him smile, make him laugh.

Send to: Noah Biorkman
11411 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, Michigan 48178

Much love.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

This article - post, musing - has been quite the long time coming, as has become apparent by all the different possibilities of introductions I find mysef faced with. Always the type of person who might try to pare complicated things down to their simplest form, but yet never the type to leave out any precious morsel of information or whathaveyou out, I'm going to, ahem, attempt to work in all three antidotes. Am I attempting to make too many points, in too brief an article? It's certainly possible. But it's also happening. The poor reader.

The first: ah Vogue. Its arrival in my mailbox yesterday, following my delicious morning pampering my nails and hair at the salon (I had gift cards and was well overdue!), combined with the appearance of the sun to temper the coolness of near-winter on the back of my neck (newly exposed by my Kate Moss-inspired "shattered bob"), well, it was enough to make my day. My weekend even. Anna Wintour may be accused of being outdated, but in what other true fashion publication can you find beautifully written articles about the NEA's new president, Rocco Landesman, one written by a war correspondent who spent three and a half months of her pregnancy on the job in Afghanistan, a head-on piece by Shiva Rose about losing the means to a fabulous wardrobe and dressing for who you want to be, and a touching and revealing memorial of Irving Penn, all juxtaposed with stunning high end fashion? Vanity Fair is marvelous reading, but lacks such high doses of couture, W is fab of course - and so fabulously big! - and I've read many a fascinating article in the fashion-splashed pages of Elle, but, well, there really is just something about Vogue. It's a true testament I think that in order to be truly chic, you must also possess grace, wit, and a passion for the world and for the many different facets of life. And as Carrie Bradshaw (loosely) said, "When I first moved to the city, I would buy Vogue instead of food, because I just felt it nourished me more."

And thumbing throught the glossy pages always causes me to glance towards my closet and wonder at the cunning conundrum of Quality vs. Quantity.

There are those of us in life who are lucky enough they can have both, but currently, anyways, I'm not on of those. Ah the life of a struggling young twenty-something. Character building at it's best, I think, optimistically. But it's also in quiet moments like these that I sit back and appraise my overstuffed closet, and the items in it that are rarely worn. The Thakoon (okay, by Target) bold and bright draped skirt that is perhaps too wrong for my body type but that I couldn't walk away from. The gray, crystalled drop-neck mini-dress that I brought back from Dublin that I rarely find the opportunity to wear, and till haven't quite figured out what to wear underneath. The trendy tops I loved but wore too much, and are quietly resting until I can, if ever, find something new to do with them.

And then there are the sad, discarded items - many a pretty shoe - that simply need some loving, some tailoring, some repairing before they can be shown off again. Take the pairs of boots and shoes I picked up from my shoe repairman yesterday. The poor things had been left at his shop for months (I had overestimated my budget). And as he went over his damage control with me, he glossed over the faux-python snub-toed pumps (another Target buy) that needed their heel tips replaced and then sang sweetly about the new soles on my classic Frye boots. "You'll have these for a very long time," he said. I thanked him and excitedly told him the well-adored pair had been my mother's in the seventies. And he remembered me telling him that, months back, when I briefly stopped by to drop them off. Imagine that! A, the man obvously has a superb memory, but b, those are boots that are both quality and impression making.

Well, then I was spending a sunny Saturday morning taking fly-fishing lessons from my papa, and listening to him wax on about the new boots and waders we'd have to get me; he then looked down at his own classic L.L. Bean boots and said, you know, I think I've had these since college. And this struck up a conversation about a particularly intriguing article in The New York Times about the revival, among hipsters, of Victorian dress - and hobbies. Waistcoats, derbies even top hats and bustles, but also the denim and flannel that was the uniform of the Victorian working man. All of which, combined with a concern for all things local and also, with reviving the economy, have a sparked a new interest in classic All-American clothing companies such as L.L. Bean, Brooks Brothers, Woolrich, and Sperry's Topsiders. Quality classic clothes which are timelessly stylish and have the potential to last you a lifetime.

The argument can also be made in the vein of luxury items such as, say, the Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag. Or the Hermes Kelly bag. My Speedy was passed on to me by my mother which I in turn will pass on to my daughter. The initial sticker shock is now nothing when you consider its longevity and all the uses to be had from it. The stitching on the straps has been repaired once in their lifetime. The leather is still beautiful. And there's a sense of connection with my mother that I have through wearing and using it, with all my daily necessities packed in its lovely entrails, just as she did. Much like the treasured costume jewelry from my grandmother, and great-grandmother. Worn with care, they're a reminder of my matriarchs' own youth, beauty and style, and of an age when everything was made to last.

And all of this harkens back to the midst of October when, besot by a beast of a stomach flu, I was lying feverishly in bed for days, trying to do the most entertaining yet low-energy activity I could think of - watch movies, books were too soporific - without falling asleep. And the movies of my choice were Sabrina, A River Runs Through It, Casablanca, Memoirs of a Geisha. And while I barely made it through these, I remember being struck by the clothes, and struck by the beauty of having but a few stunning, well-made pieces to make up your wardrobe. What a statement. A few well-chosen articles of clothing and accessories to express your personal sense of style with. Audrey Hepburn's black Givenchy dresses in Breakfast at Tiffany's. And all you had to do to accomplish the look of her lifetime, she famously said, was get a pair of slim black pants and big sunglasses. Is it possible in this day and age, in this age of excess and reformed excess, in this world in which celebrities are revered for never wearing the same thing twice, to do such a thing? I wondered.

Austereness is, aside from sculpted futuristic looks, decidedly not in the trend forecasts. The forties may be experiencing a revival, as well as Mad Men-inspired lady-like looks, but the eighties and all their excess are also very back. And, well, I kind of love it. I adore being able to go from simple and sophisticated to piled on necklaces and layers, but this is also the birthright of a twenty-something. Experimentation is key in your twenties and should you never leave a fashion-stone unturned. And therein, for my purposes, lies my solution. If you are, as Shiva Rose says, constantly in your twenties dressing for who you want to be, in that moment, someday, you will be dressing as who you want to be because you are who you want to be. The art of dressing wears, pardon the pun, many hats. As I write this article, tip tapping away on a dreary Saturday morning, I wear my glasses. Why? Because I haven't yet reached the point of wanting to put in my contacts, true, but also because I imagine they make me look more writerly. Pure imagination? Perhaps. But by dressing for one of the persons I want to be - a writer - I have adorned a costume that helps me get into character and by doing this, I am stepping up my motivation and working, and thus one step closer to accomplishing my goals.

Someday I want to be a woman who has nary a useless or unworn item in her wardrobe, who makes thoughtful, elegant purchasing decisions for herself and others, who wears simple, well-made, and beautiful things with touches of embellishment, and who can keep her car from looking as though she's been livng in it. I'm on my way there - I can now wear white (more often than not) without spilling or staining. I can keep a planner and accomplish the items on my to-do list. But I also want to wear a floral, be-ribboned hippie headress with my blazers and my favorite flats are a bright neon yellow pair with oversized buckles. I want to shop at Forever 21. Someday, I want to be a woman who is understated, simple, elegant and chic and lives beautifully in this way in all aspects of her life.

But the someday is key. Some day, after all, could be today, but not tomorrow. Someday, is a long time from right now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MINX Nails - those glam, foiled, femme fatale manicures - are now, FINALLY to be found in Kansas City

Well. I've been waiting at least a year for these to come within my reach and now they're finally here! Below is a list of the salon sites and contacts where a Minx manicure is available on both sides of State Line.


Stories and Dreamz Salon and Spa
Manicurist: Gillian JohnsonE:
A: 411 SW Ward Rd, Lees Summit 64081

Salon Oasis and Day SpaA: 8504 N Church Rd, KCMO 64157

Gina SilvioE:
A: 6802 N Holmes, Gladstone 64118


New Reflections SalonE:
A: 809 S Clairborne Rd, Olathe 66062

The Polished NailE:
A: 205 S Main, Ottawa 66067

That last one I threw in for the Lawrence/Topeka area. For other salon locations, looks, and more information, visit the salon site at

Happy Minxing!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fade It Like the French

It's been quite a frugalista year, I must admit.  Even shopping at Forever 21 can sometimes feel like a splurge (well, really, how can you leave that place without at least 15 items?).  And my poor hair has also been feeling the pinch as well, I'm afraid.  It hasn't been cut or properly deep-conditioned since, well, May. And only recently did I realize what a very, very long time that is.  It has been only made more apparent by the plentiful split-ends I'm finding, the switch to cheap conditioner which fails to temporarily fix - and hide from me, and the world - my dry curls, and the length of my bangs, which are no longer bangs, but are now at my chin (which I actually don't hate, to be honest).  And then there was that moment the other morning, when I was sitting down in front of my mirror in my bedroom, straightening my hair, and the glorious sunlight shining in my window revealed that my carpet is also carpeted in blonde hair (also revealing that it's been too long since I last vacuumed - ha!). Yes, friends, when my hair starts shedding like crazy, it's definitely past due-time for a haircut.

So, I broke down and called my stylist - fabulous Dani, at Bijiin in Prairie Village -and I'm all set for a morning appointment in two weeks, which I absolutely cannot wait for! I add a Keratin treatment to my cuts, which has the effect of me constantly touching my hair, and approaching people and telling them to touch my hair.  Lucky friends.  It is so soft - c'est ce souple.  And, despite wrestling with wistful thoughts of growing my hair out long, I'm gonna reach for the Kate Moss shaggy bob cut I had done back in May because I love love loved it, and my stylist won a forever customer in that one cut (though not exactly the most frequent one. She may not even remember me . . .).  She's amazing.  And this time, I'm going to pay really really close attention to her as she's styling it.  Maybe even have someone record it on video.

But I know when I get there in two weeks, she'll sit me down in the chair, drape the lovely black smock over me, and pull my hair around my shoulders and ask me, "Now you just want the cut today? No highlights to help blend in that new growth?"

And my answer is going to be, once again, a resounding, "No, thank you."  Oh, my hair color.

I was born a platinum blonde.  And I stayed that way for most of my life, thank you very much, but my hair did gradually darken and is now, naturally, a rather dark blonde.  In the summer, of course, when I manage to get lots of sun, my hair highlights quite beautifully and when I'm coloring my hair, I like to mimic that, because, let's face it, I'm a real person now with a job and I no longer have the luxury of lounging about, languishing in the sun all day.  It's tragic, really.

But, every now and then I go through an existential crisis about being a true blonde and nearly a year ago, I tried to solve this by enlisting a friend to help do a full dye-job on my hair.  It wasn't the first time, but, I think - unless I ever fully conquer my need to be blonde and go truly brunette - it will be the last. It's taken some time, but this lovely dye job is now lovely-ly faded, somewhat brassy - though thanks to a beauty school friend, I've enlisted the help of purple shampoo and I think it's helped - and also two-tone.  Noticeably so.

Well.  After discovering Garance Doré's site via Gwyneth Paltrow's blog, GOOP, it appears that I am trés chic et trés french. I mean, I always suspected and truth be told, I really dig my faded hair somewhat often, but it never helps to have some reassurance, no?  Follow the link above to her blog - a Sartorialist-like fashion site (her boyfriend is actually the Sartorialist!) - and discover her tale of her chic friend Daphné and her own faded, two-tone hair.  And actually, her cut is quite like the cut I'm going to be getting, though hers is a little  shaggier.  Merci beacoup, Garance et Daphné!

It will be hard not to see my hair through the winter doldrums without some sunny highlights - and if I'm feeling particularly weak, like I often am when I'm already spending lotsa money, I might break down and get just a few "tennis highlights." But, thanks to this new discovery, I think I might be able to keep the purse strings tied tight!

*I don't know what my deal is about needing to be blonde.  Especially because I sometimes feel like Elle Woods in that nobody takes me seriously.  In fact, before I actually started working in a pre-school, people would ask me my major (English) and automatically say, so you'll be a kindergarten teacher? I don't know why I found this so insulting because I truly love what I do, and it is important, but it was rather like whenever I would say I want to write and people's natural response was, oh, children's books? I can write seriously as well, thank you! And then there was that time I was in an interview for a marketing job, fresh off my marketing internship with the Symphony, and the guy actually looked at me and said, oh, English major? So you want to teach kindergarten? No, dude, I'm in this interview because I want this job.  Don't know why I even bothered to stay after that . . .

Anyways, I think it's because being blonde is just me. Brunette hair may look pretty, and it would be a fresh change, but, well, it's not me and I think I know that.  If one of my best friends point blank said she just couldn't see it, well, that says something, right?!

**Also, whenever I figure out again how the heck I added those sites to that nifty little blogroller thing, I'll add Garance's and Gwyneth's blogs, along with several others.  I really am trying! I need to call the Geek Squad I think.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dapper Don Draper may have proved himself to be a slimy, albeit complex and roguish, figure of a husband and man, but man, doesn't he look good doing it? It's almost painful to watch such a handsomely chiseled, All-American lookin' man become even more charming, more good looking, when wrapped up in a well-cut, well-made suit, with cuff links, trim shoes, coat, and hat to boot.  Then again, it's kind of wonderful.  And those other men at Sterling Cooper don't look so bad themselves either.  'Specially that equally slippery character, Roger Sterling.

Well, modern man of style, don't get your skinny tie in a twist, because classic-maker Brooks Brothers has once again proved their relativity by creating a limited make Mad Men Edition Suit, in their 1818 Fitzgerald line.  Re-tooled for tastes of 2009, the suit is slim of fit and featuring "period details" such as hacking pockets ("a hip-level flap pocket that is slanted or cut on an angle.  Traditionally found on a Hacking or riding jacket, or suggestive of tailored clothing from the British sartorial tradition."), narrow lapels, side vents, and comes in a "static" grey-sharkskin fabric.  The suit is all American made and created by the show's award-winning costume designer, Janie Bryant (and here's a little shout-out to my dad's little hometown of Cleveland, TN: Miss Janie Bryant, LA roommate of my cousin Emma Jane's niece, is originally of Cleveland, TN. Small-town girl makes it big, you might even say, and score one more for Tennessee girls!).

May I take this opportunity to encourage all you would-be mad men and style makers to hurry up and do your shopping, this suiting is Limited Edition, retailing at $998.00, and only in stock while supplies last. I'll even make it easy for you, find the look here: Find the suit here: And if that doesn't work, simply go to, click on suits, 1818 line, Fitzgerald line, and Exclusive Mad Men Edition Suit.  That should find you in the right place.

A thing of beauty, ain't it?

And while you're on the site, check out Black Fleece, the line by Thom Browne, CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year and Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award finalist.  Browne is Brooks Brothers' first guest designer, and has pulled from Golden Fleece classics to create new silhouettes which still ring true with the BB identity.  It may seem unheard of for a traditional menswear company to pair up with the man who strongly tried to bring about uber-cropped, skinny trousers for men, but trust me, it hits a mark.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two shoes in one? I didn't know it was possible.

Shoe find of the holiday season, and it's recession-proof (well, sorta) to boot: it's Badgley Mischka's 4 1/2 inch, peep-toe, concealed platform, sequined pump.  And it's reversible.

You heard me right, reversible.  The shoe comes in black or navy, both of which have sequined upper parts which can be reversed to silver.  Simply amazing. For $200, yes, it may seem like a little bit of a shoe splurge to some, but think of it as getting two shoes for two hundred.  Makes it a little less ouch on the wallet, and you're sure to dazzle at holiday parties and on New Year's.  And, if you're a winter bébé like me, on your birthday.


Buy the dazzler here:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A little weekend update

Good morning and happy Sunday! We're now one week away from Halloween - can ya dig it?

This past weekend marked my first weekend out since having the stomach flu somethin' awful, and here (briefly) is what I noticed:

1. While at a wedding in Chanute, Kansas, I had a Christian Louboutin spotting. Well, I never! Oooh la la - so exciting!

2. Wwoofing - what my sister is taking her gap year and doing in New Zealand and Europe - is officially chic. Spotted in the pages of Vogue, models posed in over-the-knee Wellies and looked their fiercest while working the organic farms. Somehow I don't see little sis farming in Jimmy Choo's though. . .

3. Thanks to the 80's comeback, my mom's "vintage" closet is officially a la mode again. Yay mommy! Sheer tights also make a comeback and I'm loving the look of swiss dot and lined hosiery. So ladylike!

4. Another note to mommy: trench coats will never, ever go out of style. I say this, after she barraged me with texts the night before the wedding, questioning her ensemble, asking to borrow my own raincoat, in case of showers. I said, mother, mine's a trench too, natch.

5. I'm buying my first pair of legwarmers since ballet in the early 90's today, and after I wear them with my awesomely 80's My Little Pony costume, I'm going to spend the winter with them peeking out of my boots. I love the look! And it works perfectly with fall's uber-layered look.

There you have it! Nothing much, but brevity, my dears, is the soul of wit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Digitally Altered Models - the Ralph Lauren ad seen 'round the world sparks talks of warning labels on photos

Ahh fashion photography. Already, it attempts to fool us with ideas of supernatural beauty and, ahem, fitness, thanks to talented teams of makeup artists, lighting specialists, hair stylists, and wardrobe stylists with clips and pins, not to mention the computer airbrush geniuses who swipe away cellulite, blemishes, and makeup lines with the click of a button. And now, though we've seen it before once or twice, for Ralph Lauren, this seems to include erasing a model's hips, indeed, her entire lower half. Now that's some crash diet.

If you haven't seen the photo yet, well, my apologies for the frequent technical difficulties which currently prohibit me from posting a picture, but see for the original ad (you might also read their very interesting article, but don't forget to come back! S'il te plais).

Appalling, no? Search me how the big wigs at Ralph Lauren thought they could pass this off as the body of a real human being. Nobody is made like that, nor should the be; I think it'd be impossible to walk, let alone, hold your torso and head up. But what is the solution? Is it a ban on such doctored photos, as Britain's leaders suggest? Or would warning labels do the trick, as suggested by the French?

It's a tricky area, especially, as the Times points out, what with free speech and freedom of expression and all that whathaveyou we have here, but I wonder too, if I suffered from an eating disorder, or worse than the normal, fleetng concerns of body image, would some words of warning be enough to keep me healthy? Or would the sight of the impossibly tiny woman, along with the thought that there are people out there - people in fashion, Hollywood, people at Ralph Lauren, chic, beautiful people - who think that this is what's beautiful, overcome any well-thought out words to warn me it's not? Quel contradiction.

The well of body image issues runs deep, and though I am fortunate never to have suffered from anorexia or bulemia, or any other such disease, I was a teenage girl once. One who once stood in a dressing room with her own, slender, lithe mother with the legs for days, trying on bikinis, in the midst of puberty, only to hear "oh, dear, I'm afraid you're going to have your father's family's thighs." I was a soccer player. I had strong legs and until that moment had never doubted them.

Luckily, I managed to escape with only occasional worryment as to my size, but I wonder sometimes how I was so lucky, what with the plentiful waifs decorating even the pages of Seventeen. Being petite and active, yet curvy did admittedly garnish me some attention from boys, so I think perhaps this helped - helped me to realize that healthy and thin was one thing, too too skinny another, not necessarily good thing. And being active, fit, and feeling strong helped me find that strength from within.

But to get back to the point, these issues lie well beyond the realm of words. As a writer, I like to believe of course in the immense power of words. But I think that in situations such as these, the idea and the image, which already hold so much power even before an ad such as this, may triumph. You can tell yourself, and others can tell you, what is real and what's not, but the fact remains that even a model's beautiful body is not tiny or perfect enough.

That speaks wonders to me; we have moved beyond holding a model as an ideal - now a literally unattainable body type is being leveraged before us.

Personally, I don't know what the solution is. I understand, from the viewpoint of the desgner, the purpose of models needing a tall, slender frame; they serve as a hanger, for the garments to drape off of. One could always argue that if the clothes are meant to be worn by real women, then they should displayed by real women. But I hate that term, "real women," because models are real women too. There are plenty of women, like my mother, with naturally thin bodies and they shouldn't be discriminated against either. But, and this is old hat now, what should be discouraged are unnaturally thin physiques.

So now we've come full-circle, with no solution still. Much of this is nothing that hasn't been said before, but, well, I suppose we can't stop the outcry until change in the opposite direction occurs. Because right now, Ralph, you're moving us in the wrong way. And, while I'm at it, please think of - if nothing else - the message you're sending to your own beautiful daughter.

The model, by the way, was fired shortly after the original hullabaloo, for failing to meet her contract. As a commenter on the Times post said, yes, she was a size 4 but contractually obligated to remain a size 2. But after seeing the alterations made to her, it seems as though a size 2, even a very tall size 2, was even viewed as too big.

Monday, October 12, 2009

But will it catch on? Not for me. I neither die nor go bananas for the new phrase.

OOC, for all you not-so-into-Zoe, is Out of Control.

As in, Brad, that vintage Dior trench is OOC. Out of Control on you. You have to get it. It's bananas.

Which he did, after the Zoe offered him a raise so he could afford it, because, really, how many vintage Dior trench coats do you find in Paris? That fit you like a glove?

Bless her heart, I wish I had a boss like that.

Other Paris highlights included a personal tour of Mme Chanel's personal apartments.

Some not so Parisian highlights included a typically miffed Taylor seeking advice from her identically black Rayban and leather jacket bearing mother. I die.

Aaaand the season finale wraps it up tonight, with the return to sunny LA, some words from Taylor to Zoe, more fashion fab, and probably some more OOC exclamations.

As Rodger put it, "What, are we text speaking? Omg, OOC?"

Come on, Miss Rachel. You already have Hollywood and the fashion world at your fingertips. The other Zoeisms were cute and all, but you don't need a new one every season. That's just too much to expect from one little Zoe! (especially, as hinted in the finale teaser, if your doctor is urging you to take down the stress level in your life, and hopefully, put on a few pounds.)

But, you know, we love you anyway.

Watch the season finale of the Rachel Zoe Project tonight, on Bravo, at 10 / 9 pm.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

In True Football Fashion

I think I was probably 14 or 15 when I went to the first UT football game, that I remember. The Vols were playing Georgia, and we had driven in that morning from our cousins' farm, amidst a sea of Volunteers, surrounded by Big Orange country - the leaves on the trees had started turning, and they were vivid yellows, reds, mauves, and browns, but they seemed to know where they were, and turned out all the Tennessee Orange they could in support. Fall in the South is nothing to sneeze at, but autumn in the Smokies? Now that's somethin'.

Well, we did it all: tailgated, roared Rocky Top, attended a party on the Little Tennessee River hosted by members of the Vol Navy, and my dad showed us the best of Knoxville that day. And of course, the sound of 103,000 and some odd fans, the famous checkered end-zone, and Smokey stuck in my mind, cementing a love affair with college football, but what really made an impact were the collegiate daughters of my father's friends and their chic tailgating attire.

In fact, one girl's outfit sticks in my mind the most; she had on dark, wide leg jeans, camel leather boots, a gray and orange (natch) sweater, and a fox fur vest for warmth.

It was football perfection.

See, I was standing there in my orange T long-sleeved t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes, bcause, well, I was 14, and that's what people - my mother - wear up here in Jayhawk country.

Well, then I graduated and went to college down south, at a small school where our D-3 football team wasn't too big, but tailgating - now that was a must. And I really think we did it right: boys in seersucker and suit jackets warm weather, crawfish boils and chili cookoffs, and that perfect combination of sundresses, pearls, and cowboy boots.

That's not the way things go up at KU, I quickly came t fnd out. For one thing, the weather's a lot crisper. For another, t-shirts and jeans are still the popular uniform.

Well after a girl's been spoiled by mimosas and sundresses, you understand, it's going to be hard to downgrade (and that old comfort argument doesn't fly with me, because I've always maintained that a well-fitting dress is ten times more comfortable then jeans). And besides that, football games should be just another fun opportunity to be creative, dressing to support your team, while still staying autumnal, casual, and chic (and warm! Later on).

You can still pull off a casual sundress, I think, even amongst the t-shirts, especially when paired with boots and something else to dress it down, even a ponytail or a slouchy cardigan. Or all three.

But, that girl at that UT game really nailed it in my book. Colors to support, the casual yet chic fall uniform of jeans and boots, and, mmm, that yummy fur vest. Mix it up by pairing a white (or black) tee or sweater with an appropriately colored pashmina or scarf (yes, I've got a blue and red one, but not an orange quite yet!). I even saw a girl looking super cute last weekend in black shorts, a Jayhawks tee, and a black blazer to top. And if I'm not going to the game, but I'm out and about on the town, I usually try to accessorize with my little Jayhawk studs with whatever little outfit I happen to be wearing out.

And, in that spirit, Rock Chalk Jayhawk GO KU, and Rocky Top, you know you'll always be Home Sweet Home to me (in case y'all didn't know, I'm the child of a divided household indeed)!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A few weeks ago, I touched on the big nail trends for fall (Pretty and Polished), and included in this my favorite, foiled nails. Specifically, the Minx nails which are so hot with celebreties like Beyonce and Mrs. Posh Beckham. Unfortunately, for me anyhow, there still aren't any salons in the KC area offering this service (yet there are in Wichita . . . f you wanna make that drive). So I sent everyone to the pages of the September issue of InStyle for some killer DIY tips, myself not being much of a mani pro, or even afficiendo.

They advise you to order nail foils from a nail supply store or website and then press them on yourself using nail glue. The technique they showed was pretty fiercel they told you how to start with a gunmetal base, apply the nail glue, and the layer silver and gold foil on top - the result being that your nails look as though someone's done a rubbing on them.

Well, every once in awhile I can actually be pretty clever, and I've figure out an even easier - and cheaper, frugalistas - way to get the look.

Start the same way, with two coats of a dark base - I chose a deep chocolatey red -and let dry completely. This is important! I have a hard time being patient enough, but do it while you're watching tonight's Office and 30 Rock premieres and you'll be distracted enough to let everything dry thoroughly. And then some!

Anyways, you then pull out one of Sally Hansen"s Quick Color Nail Pens in a light, shiny shade - mine was Shimmering Sands w and lightly swipe some stripy, spacy strokes over your dark nails. The goal is to achieve the same patchy, accidently-on-purpose artful look, so don't cover your entire nail, and use a nearly dry nail brush for a better effect.

Et, voila! Foiled nails. You could probably even use two shades, as InStyle did. The only downside is that there aren't currently any gold or silver shade options in Sally Hansen's nail pens (though possibly in other lines!), but rather like the different color I chose. And for those who are a little shy of this trend, or dark polishes in general, audition this look on your toes and then pair it with a classic ballet pink on your fingers. Very office appropriate, and you can even matte them to stay uber-trendy.

This may seem like a no-brainer, and it's certainly not exactly the same as foils, but, it mimics the look pretty well and is simpler to boot. Happy painting!

Monday, September 14, 2009

OMFG. The B**** is back.

It's been a long time, Upper East Siders. Too long. And how, yes, how, we've missed indulging in your excesses, your misbehavior, your shocking lack of manners beneath the well-groomed veneers. But most of all, oh Serena, oh Blair, oh Chuck, we've missed your clothes. Nay, your wardrobe.

The sumptuous silks, daredevil hem and necklines, the purple, the ascots, the unisex neckties, the bright tights, the gowns, the headbands - oh, the headbands. Gossip Girl, we welcome thee back.

And I can't wait to see what this season brings us, especially now that our favorite well-moneyed miscreants are in college, meaning, out of uniform. Will Blair don tea gloves for rush? I'm sure we'll see Serena in some over-the-knee boots. And Blair's sure to rock the 40's revival. Beyond that, well, it's all just wait-and-see eye candy.

Today also marks the day that Anna Sui's Gossip Girl - inspired line for Target officially hits stores. I've only had the chance to sneak peak online, having sadly missed the pop-up shop at Fashion Week last week, but, I can say that there are definite winners in the bunch. Overall, I'm not a huge fan of the Vanessa or Jenny looks, but, then, for me, Blair and Serena have always carried a more sophisticated cache of style as it is (and I'm really not a Vanessa fan, especially since the actress who portrays her stole my man Ed Westwick, aka Chuck, in real life). But no matter whose apparel you aspire to wear, be sure to check out the frocks fast; as highly publicized as the line has been, I'm sure it won't last. I'll be doing some after-work shopping myself, and don't worry, this girl's sure to report back.

That's all for now, fashion insiders. But before I go and slip away, I'll leave you with this. It's been one week since Labor Day. My question is, are you still wearing white? You should be.

You know you love me.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oooh those sharp-dressed men of style. . .

I spend most of my time writing about women here - beauty, fashion, dating, and other girly things - so, in honor of all the men in my life, stylish and not so much, I'd thought I'd write about them for a change. And because, to me, there is nothing sexier than a man with timeless style, who's groomed but not too so, and who carries himself with the kind of confidence and ease only truly stylish men seem to. Or, because, as ZZ Top put it (ironically, really): every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.

Male Style Essentials (in my book)

- a crisp white dress shirt
French cuffs, preferably. This is an essential that should not be bought carelessly, or cheaply. It works wonders, with denim, cuffs rolled up, or with a well-tailored jacket. Or, well, with anything, really. Oh and my heart melts at the sight of French blue, too. T-shirts and henleys have their days, don't get me wrong, but these are the kind of shirts man was made for.

- A tuxedo
When you think about all the weddings you might attend in a lifetime, along with various other events, it's a smart investment to own your own tuxedo. And when these fit a man well, well, man, he's never looked so good.

- Navy sportscoat / blazer
Black's sharp and all, but personally I prefer the softness of navy. The same goes for a good tweed too, you don't see them enough. Two buttons is the way to go these days. Can be dressed up or down, keeps ya warm, and sure looks good on your girl's shoulders too.

- brown leather boots
This girl loves her cowboys, so I love those cowboy boots too, but really, any kind of boot will do. Again, brown's softer than black, ages well, and a pair of boots should be every man's go-to do-anything in 'em shoes.

- loafers
Worn without socks, oooh.

- at least one bow-tie
These seem to have found their niche amongst old men, gay men, and Southerners, but I for one would like to see them more often. I don't know any lady who doesn't have a smile on her face at the sight of one, too.

- RayBans/Aviators
You know that scene in Benjamin Button when's Brad Pitt's driving his motorcycle? And the sun's hitting him just so, he has a burnished look about him?


Every man needs a perfect, well-fitting pair of shades; they just add so much panache. And mystery. These two are the classic styles I just don't ever see going away. For good reason.

- a fedora
I'm not talking about your ironic hipster hat. I mean one of the kind good ol' Bogey and Cary Grant used to wear. I miss the days I never knew, when men wore hats everywhere they went, and women too. And to go along with this,

- a good topper coat
Wool, camel hair, cashmere, tweed - a good, full-length overcoat will get you anywhere and everywhere. And it just looks so classic, sophisticated, and good.

- scarves
I really think these are neglected among today's young men. But they really do look so good, add so much style in one little package, and well, they really do keep you warm! Wear them without your jacket on too, especially on those crisp fall days.

- gloves
I've got my cashemere-lined, red leather pair I couldn't go through winter without and I know men's hands get cold too. I don't know if it's memories of those puffy kid gloves your mom stuffed on you with your snow suit, or what, that steers men away, but this is another area of menswear that seems to get neglected. And who wants cold fingers? And why not make them stylish to boot?

Well, that's that for now. There's more, but let's take things slow for now. The basics - well-fitting jeans, good, soft t-shirts, tennis shoes, a supple pair of flat-front twill pants - I assume every man has. These are the essentials. Take note - there is a difference.

Friday, September 4, 2009

So I'm kinda crazy about my conditioner right now

Oh, my hair. I definitely have a love / hate relationship with it. But, most of the time, I love it and feel blessed to have lots of it, and that I've finally learned how to tame it. And I especially love it when it's well take care of.

That may seem like a big ol' "duh!" but you'd be amazed at how many hair products just do not do what they say they will! My biggest problem? My dry, wavy hair needs to be hyper-moisturized BUT without being weighed down.

Which is why I'm loving my current conditioner (and okay, the shampoo probably helps too). I've been using Amenta, an "aromatherapy hair care" line that's all natural (well, there's that whole controversy over products which claim to be all natural, vs organic, vs certified organic, etc., etc. Amenta has chemicals but really, I'm not that big of a stickler).

Now when I saw aromatherapy hair care, I thought, code for smells really good but doesn't really get the job done. But, lucky for them, two giant bottles were on sale and I'm currently a frugalista, and one who doesn't mind trying new products (I kinda love it). I tried their daily repairing shampoo, and the chamomile maximum volume conditioner.

Now the last thing I need is more volume. Truly. My hair's got it going on in that department, no extra help required. But I have found that volume conditioners are great about moisturizing without weighing hair down. Exactly what I needed.

And oh, does it work. I can go two, even three days without my hair feeling greasy, or dried out. And they weren't kidding about the aromatherapy either. There's the advertised chamomile, of course, but also wheat germ, thyme, lavender, and orange flower included. The end result is that my hair smells kind of nutty wheaty but sweet - a lot like almonds. Which is perfectly light and I can't stop touching or smelling my hair sometimes!

Which can also be attributed to one of those Keratese Keratin conditioning treatments I had done at my last hair appointment. I think it's pretty much worn out by now, so it's time for another, but my hair was the healthiest, softest, and shiniest it has been in years after that treatment. Seriously, if you've been debating it, it's worth it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

You're So Vain (more tales of singledom)

So week or so ago, I told a tale of how, while out one night, I was prevented from quenching my thirst and cornered into polite conversation for an extended period of time (S-s-single in the City). And I touched on how so often, being hit on - especially if done improperly - is more annoyance than flattery or interest.

Well this weekend, some guy did right by me. And he may not have even really been hitting on me, who knows, but I thought what he did was perfect.

I was out and about with a large group of friends and midway through the night, a young man came up to me to say one thing: "I just wanted to tell you that you are very beautiful." I smiled and thanked him and, there are few girls out there who don't like to hear that, especially when done well. Then he introduced himself, said it was a pleasure to meet me, repeated his compliment, and went back to sit down with his friends.


He's done the legwork and left it up to me, all without seeming like a jerk or a cad. And besides that, it could also be taken as simply an innocent compliment and left at that. Absolutely ideal.

On a side note, I thought I'd mention that I was wearing a fresh flower in my hair, as I've been doing a lot recently - my florist does happy hour flowers! - and my florist was just telling me recently how clever she thinks it is, how women don't wear fresh flowers enough, and how simple, sexy, and romantic she thinks it is. She said this too: no matter what you look like, adorn yourself with a flower, and all eyes will be on you. I gotta think now, well, she just may be right.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Makes Perfect Scents

Remember that scene in Legally Blonde, when Elle hands her resumé to her professor? And it's pink.  And scented. "Smells nice," Luke Wilson's character said.  And it certainly made a lasting impression.

So ever since then, from time to time, I've tried spraying perfume on my stationary, but it always seems to leave an unavoidable mark which really takes away from the whole impression.

Michael Kors to the rescue! His new perfume line, Very Hollywood - "Scene-stealing gardenia follows suit with a decadent performance of award-worthy glamour." - features a Limited-Edition Hollywood Signature Pen, with ink scented with Very Hollywood perfume.  Now this, I gotta try.  Pink and gold and pretty too (even kind of reminds you of Miss Woods too!), it'll fill the empty spot in my antique stationary box perfectly.  So gift me something soon, and you'll in turn received a lovely smelling thank-you from me.

I'm also yearning for the Very Hollywood Eau de Parfum Cocktail Ring - ideal since my signature scent always seem to go missing mid-evening.  Oh, clever designers - what won't they think of next?

Pen is $25, Ring, $40.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fall's creeping nearer and nearer (low's gonna be 49 degrees this
weekend!) and while for me that means several wonderful things -
boots, fall jackets, and sweaters, football weather, pretty leaves,
scarves - it also means the approach of one big thing: Halloween.

Ever the fashionista, my costume's got to be stylish, one of a kind,
and requires months of excitement, buildup, and thought. So
naturally, this past weekend, my girls and I put our heads together
and thought up some doozies. My main event: a My Little Pony. An ode
to my childhood spent in the late 80's and early 90's, it's gonna be
totally rad (and glittery, I might add).

And totally fashionable, because, and this is probably not news for
anyone, 80's trends are still, yet again, all over for Fall 2009. In
honor of this often questionable decade in fashion, I've made up a
list of some trends I'm quite happy to see come back around now that
I'm old enough to wear them, and then the ones that just need to stay

Four 80's Trends for Updating

*Big Shoulders and Boyfriend Blazers
as couture as they may be, I'm not a fan of the high, flat, Designing
Women broad shoulder, but I love a slouchy boyfriend blazer with
larger than dainty-size shoulders. Pair with jeans, use to transition
a summer dress, or, for extra credit, pair with a long floaty ball
skirt or dress.

*Big Hair
As someone with thick, wavy hair, humidity makes it often impossible
for me to achieve stick straight styling, so I've never been a huge
fan. For a fun take on all that 80's hair this season, hair shouldn't
be teased or sprayed to oblivion, but well-conditioned and even
hot-rollered will do the trick, for truly tossable, Heather-worthy
hair. I even like the deep side part.

*Pretty Woman Over the Knee Boots
I've already devoted one post to my love for these, and I'll probably
do another, since my search for the perfect pair is on as we speak.
I'm choosing to update these by softening the look with a fresh color
- like those grey Rodarte ones - and wearing them with some floaty
feminine clothes; I'm not a girl to choose a head-to-toe rocker look.
And contrary to the flamboyant opinion of Coco Perez / Perez Hilton, I
think these can be carried off with class. They're not, however, for
the fashion faint of heart.

So, my Halloween costume will be well sequined and BeDazzled, but it
won't be the only thing. Sequined mini's, dresses, even shorts are
items I'd like to see, even in the daytime. And they can be an easy
modify, provided you can pull a needle and thread. I've partially
sequined a simply white t-shirt and I'm thinking of doing some basic
black shorts next. Another way to take shorts into evening, and also,
what former ballerina doesn't love her some sequins?

And some I don't want to see any kind of Thriller-type ressurection from

*Fanny packs
Do you really want to look like your mom did that one summer at Disney
World? And aren't stomach pooches unattractive? Why give yourself one,
without the benefit of indulging in high fat ice cream, or cheese?
This is largely where my beef with American Apparel lies, for trying
to bring these back.

Remember the Sex and the City episode when Carrie gets up on "her
sassy high horse" about scrunchies with Burger? She claims a New York
woman would never wear a scrunchie, he claims, one would. Guess who
was right.

Hair elastics are simpler, barrettes even prettier. No need to match
your scrunchie to your outfit, and no need for them to exist at all.
If you must decorate your hair, like me, from time to time, turn to
this season's beautiful barrettes and headbands, from pretty bows, to
bling, to studs, there's some awesome one's out there. And check out
InStyle's September Issue for some DIY tips.

*Acid Wash
Just say no. Pretty please.

*Leggings and tights as pants
See and for more
details. Save 'em for cleaning house, lounging, and working out. It's
too cold in KC for leggings as pants in the fall and winter anyhow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To Tattoo a Lady?

It's a phrase I heard throughout childhood, and even now, and one that also seems to be a constant theme of many an internal struggle.  "A lady never. . ."

A lady never raises her voice.  A lady never sits with her legs astray.  A lady never over-indulges.  A lady never applies her makeup in public (and especially not at the table, or while in mixed company).  A lady never, ever even considers a tattoo.

Lord, I must have really failed my mother because I've done all of these things (though with the exception of lip balm, I leave makeup application for the powder room).  Now, I do try not to do these things, but at times - especially among close friends - I think there's a limit to propriety.  But still, that inner voice, engraved on my mind, is really on me now because, believe it or not, I'm considering a tattoo.

Two, in fact.  The first I actually dreamt of; in memory of my nana, Lora Lee Eberhart, I would get a tiny script "L" on my left wrist, for the name we both share.  And in the dream, too, the "L" was accompanied by a tiny ribbon bow (so, super hard-core).

The second is an idea I've had recently to have "j'adore," simply, "I love," placed on the back of my neck.  But then, I've also considered changing that to "adorer," to love, but also, "j'écrit," "I write," or "écrire," "to write."  

Clearly, I shouldn't get a tattoo I haven't set my mind on, and I struggle with the necessity of something like it, too (though I'm sure that by being on the back of my neck, not only would I forget about it from time to time, but it would also rarely be seen).

But that little "L" for my grandmother? I can't think that I'd regret a small memory like that.  And truly, being a lady is all about carriage, confidence, and grace.  If society grande dames can tattoo eyeliner on their lids, why can't I have a ribbon on my wrist?

Monday, August 24, 2009

My grandmother's hands were soft and unwrinkled, perfectly manicured.
I used to run my curious fingers over her ornate ones, feeling the
jewels that decorated each, the smooth, glossy polish. My own small,
ragged hands had nails clipped short to serve the violin and piano, my
nail polish always chipped and uneven.

But my nana's manicure was always immaculate; when she came to visit,
I would sit with her and she would close her soft hands over mine.
She had always been a small, birdlike woman - birdlike in that her
eyes, arched by drawn-in brows, had a sharp awareness and, when we
were both younger, her body was so light and dainty she looked as
though she might just up and fly away at any given moment. A bird
without wings.

It was always her manicure that somehow stuck in my mind though; at some point, every
trip to my grandparents' house meant I'd patiently sit still for an
hour while my grandmother buffed her magic onto my hands.

But my patience never lasted and not half an hour later, would I have
smudged or chipped at least one of those dainty creations. Age hasn't
helped me either; I still can't wait for my polish to dry and I still
always have chipped and faded polish on my nails. And, yes, they're
still short - they just seem to have decided to stay that way. What
you know, I suppose . . .

So when pouring through the precious issue de septembre de Vogue the
other day, and I saw the new, trendy polishes for fall, I kind of
sighed a sad sigh in recognition of my manicure impediment.

Matte finishes, gunmetals, more dark colors? So pretty, so chic - but
alas, I will never be a lady with a perfect polish. I can keep white
pants stain-free (most of the time), I can wear silk around kids and
never get mussed, but I cannot keep my nails unfussed. This has
always seemed to me a failure as a lady (my nana had immaculate mani /
pedis, and surely Grace Kelly did), yet it is stubbornly just my

So I've become a fast fan of Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polish and Click,
Color & Go! nail pens, mostly because even professionally applied mani
/ pedi's don't last with me (and they tsk tsk my short nails), but
also because $20 for a Chanel polish is a waste with me, and I need
the insta-dry, insta-touch-up feature in a nail polish. The pen is
awesome, and especially for touch-ups (even the 10-Day no chip
polishes don't work on me!)

The foils, now, are something I've been wanting to give a try - I hear
they don't chip! Check them out at Minx ( for salons
that use these nifty things. And I love the metallic look.

For now though, get your use out of neons before August ends - falls
about the dark, dark, dark and the matte, matte, matte light - nudes
are in too, and even unpolished, yet well behaved, nails. Which is
good news for me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

S-s-single in the City

There's an old manual about how to approach and treat a lady in a
public watering hole. For example, you may have the bartender ask her
if she'd like to let you buy her a drink, and then, after she accepts,
you may approach her. But by all means, should you never make a lady
feel uncomfortable, which includes making her feel obligated to
converse with you.

A few weekends ago, I was out in downtown KC with some girlfriends and
finding myself parched, I sauntered up to the bar to order up another
lavender martini to quench that thirst.

A dry thirty minutes later, I was able to place my order. Here's why:

Upon finding an open space at the bar, I stood there, hand up and out,
waiting for the barmaid's attention. And the young man seated to my
right starts talking to me.

Now I'm not one of those rude girls who will refuse conversation. And
I sincerely enjoy meeting new and interesting people. But sometimes,
as this time, that gets me in trouble.

This guy was interesting, don't get me wrong. He was getting his PhD
in economics, was a teacher (wanted to be a professor) and apparently
loves the ballet - all attractive stuff to me.

But when finally during a lull, I leaned over the bar and waved
frantically, it only then occurred to him that despite the credit card
clue decorating my manicure, I had wandered up there, to the bar, for
a drink (he actually said, "oh, you came up here for a drink).

Pay attention, menfolkds: Yes, I was talking to you, yes I was
intrigued, but, my end goal at the bar almost always happens to be to
buy myself a drink. We don't always want to be talking to you, or if
we do, we don't always want to date you. It's like how when you're
talking to us, you don't always want to to take us out, sometimes, you
just want to get in our pants.

In case you're wondering, while all this was slightly irritating, this
guy's real turnoffs for me were his hipster handlebar moustache and
the tight ladies jeans he was sporting.

Alright, after that last post dogging American Apparel, it may seem
like I'm hating on the hipsters a lot, but, well I mean . . .

I blogged this winter about a guy I went out with once (once was
enough). He seemed kind, and normal enough. He was a musician, which
I have a thing for, and asked me out after hearing my karaoke
rendition of Ike and Tina's "Proud Mary" (now that's pretty

But then he reveals that he curls his eyelashes AND uses a fancier
hair straightener than I do? Now I'm sorry, I know some men these days
like to take care of themselves more than they used to, but I had an
instant flash of us standing at the bathroom mirror, doing our hair
and make-up together, and ladies and gents, that was that.

It may seem superficial, but these are not qualities I find attractive
in a man and chemistry's important! I don't want some unwashed bear,
either, but come on now, there's some middle ground to be found

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hipster Hounding - Seersucker at American Apparel?

Ah American Apparel. Useful, especially for basics, surprising, in
that despite my more classic taste I can usually find something not
too hipster for me, appalling, in that they're trying to bring back
the fanny pack and the scrunchie (please no, please no, please no).

But seersucker? This preppy southern staple used to be something I
could only find at Brooks Brothers or J.Crew here, or the Gap on
occasion. For the most part, it's a fabric that when mentioned to
friends who remain unexposed to Southern culture, is met with confused
stares and turned up noses.

I happen to love it, like I love Swiss dot, but I never thought I'd
see the day that seersucker shorts would be sold alongside gold lamé
suspender one-piece hot pants.

Of course, they had to put their hipster edge on it and the shorts are
unisex, like many other items in the store, but I don't know, I kinda
dig 'em. And AA is advertising them as inspired by Robert Kennedy, a classics icon, so I'm surprised they're so simplisticly chic. American Apparel does do basics chic time and time again. Yet then, AA somehow's found a way to add the Brooklyn
touch to seersucker bloomers too (I'm still not sure how, but by golly
it, they've done it:

Does this mean the prepster and the hipster can now be friends?
There's so many color choices, how can you go wrong?

NYTimes Critical Shopper Cintra Wilson offends nation

A JcPenney shopper I am not. It certainly wouldn't be the first place I'd think of for fashion, but one Critical Shopper has me of the mind to go see what I can find. They certainly have a market, after all, enough to warrant a new flagship in midtown Manhattan.

This would be the market Critical Shopper columnist for the New York Times, Cintra Wilson, has outraged, by snidely reporting that the discount department store has catered to "people of all sizes" through the ends of installing, "the most obese mannequins I have ever seen. They probably need special insulin-based epoxy injections just to make their limbs stay on. It's like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of 'Roseanne.' "

Wilson also complains of being unable to find a size 2, but finding 10's, 16's, etc. in abundance. These few size 2's also being of the "fairly cute" variety too, which she said "each fit nicely and looked good. I didn't buy either because I can do better for $80, but if I were a size 18, I'd have rejoiced." She can do better. Middle America, not so much. See, we don't know fashion here in the Heartland, being so far removed from the edge of the coasts.

Strong words coming from a woman who readily admits that, "New York boutiques tend to cater to the stress-thin, morbidly workaholic, Pilates-tortured Manhattan ectomorph." Which makes me wonder, is Wilson claiming to be a natural size 2, lumping herself in with the "stress-thin" New York populous, or something else entirely? Completely above us all?

Being from Kansas, I know a little bit about what it's like to defend your state, your pride, yes, your fashion sense, and, well, civility. Even in the farmlands of Ireland, even in Mississippi, poor Kansas can't seem to shake its Dorothy and tornadoes, prairie and Indians reputation (making me grateful growing up, that my parents moved out of Prairie Village to a neighboring suburb when I was still just out of diapers).

I also know a little bit, admittedly, about being a fashion snob - though I'm no label fanatic, not by a long shot. I just appreciate good design and quality fabric and craftmanship. That's not to say I don't often find myself at knockoff giant Forever 21, either though. In fact, I love and appreciate the place. I can understand Miss Wilson's frustration with shotty design, but I think it's the attitude that did her in.

And, well, as New York Mag's blog the Cut noticed, we here in Middle America also read the New York Times. Yes, even the fashion section. Wilson's now on her third attempt at a apologyn this time emphasizing her faith as a Buddhist and her deep regret for any abuse. Hmmmm. Better, I suppose, then "now go spread your virulent misery elsewhere, darlings," or, proclaiming her love for the generously sized: "I'm an unregenerate chubby chaser." But since apologies don't seem to be neither her strength nor sincere, as one commenter on her blog said, "why apologize for being a bitch?" We all know who put her up to the apology attempts. And also, that ignorance is still ignorance when one pretends to be more informed, and simply isn't.

Find the original article at And her apologies on her blog,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Penny pinchers, meet Louboutin

A week or so ago, my lovely friend Andrea said to me, "Don't go into Banana Republic right now. Everything's super-cute and super on-sale, plus they have some buy one, get one free promotion."

I told her she should have just stopped at, "Don't go in." The other details only served to sell me on the opposite idea.

Well, now I've really met my match. TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 18th, The Outnet (, Net-a-porter's outlet site, is having a one-day sale with 50% off more than 50 styles of Christian Louboutin shoes.

Let me repeat that. FIFTY PERCENT OFF Christian Louboutin shoes. More than fifty kinds of those delicious red-soled delicacies, selling for half off. For one day though, and one day only (sale goes through the 18th).

This is the time to make a shoe investment, ladies. It'll be well worth your money, especially if you've been saving and pining for a quality pair, and I do mean quality. These are shoes to own for life.

Make those credit cards really swish though, I have a feeling these hushpuppies won't last.

Oh, and should shoes not be your thing, or even if, don't miss the next Outnet 72-hour flash sale, starting on the 19th. This one's dedicated to the dress, my super fashion weakness, and features discounts of 75% to 85%. Budget smudget.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Well, I'm a little late on the trend alert, as far as reporting goes, but let's not call this reporting. We all know thigh-high boots were all over the runways this spring, but now that fall's around the corner, I'm remembering in heated anticipation.

See, me being on a budget and all, I've decided I'm only allowed to purchase one completely unneccessary clothing item a month. And the catch(a catch-22 of sorts)? It must be necessary and multi-functional.

Now my definiton of necessary, especially when it comes to fashion, I'm sure differs from that of a lot of people, but for September I've deemed a new pair of boots to be necessary, while I will also be getting my other pairs re-soled and re-heeled (I do a lot of boot tromping in chilly weather). And - to bring this full-circle - I'm contemplating some thigh-high Pretty Woman boots. Except a lot less on the Eighties and patent Pleather.

There's just one problem. I live in Kansas City, the Midwest, you know, where to dress like a hooker, well, a hooker that doth make.

Of course Rhianna's all over this trend and those New York girls I'm sure, which is all fine and good, but doesn't solve my dilemna of how to wear such a staggering pair and then of course, where. Certainly not to brunch at Classic Cup (I wonder, though, if this is what they'll wear at the Jones once the air is crisp?).

I think Rodarte's got it right when it comes to this trend. Neutral, soft colors, buttery soft leather, monochromatic pallete; I think the key to taking this look to the streets - without looking like you're walking them - is staying soft, and treating these power heels like you would statement jewelry. Everything else simple - you don't need a whole lot going on, these shoes have got some big mouths, a la their Pretty Woman spokeslady, and a lot to say.

And I'd love to wear a pair like I do my riding boots, with dark jeans tucked in (or maybe grey or white) and a loose menswear-inspired blouse. In fact, I'm inventing a look in my head right now and I must have this patent leader grey pair ( or I won't be able to live in autumn in peace. . .

Of course, I'm also leaning towards ankle boots for September, which could leave the thigh boots for some post-Christmas shopping, say, when Rodarte's line for Target hits stores. No word yet as to if they're including some powerhouse shoes, but I'll keep an ear open and fingers crossed. Because wouldn't that be fabulous.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Potty Party, or, how to make some cash while in your party pants

Happy Weekend!I hope everyone's had a good week; myself, I've been in the never-ending process of moving and trying not to hate all my clothes right now.  Yes, those are related.  All because of a little thing I'm calling a budget.

See, what with all the household expenses and all, my shopping habits are going to have to be pushed into early retirement (but don't worry, it'll be like when teachers retire.  A few months later, they're working for another district).  And when I don't shop for awhile, I get anxious and completely forget about any garment I ever loved.

It doesn't help that I'm practically aching to move into fall clothes and football weather right now.  But anyhow, I'll survive, and I'm sure I'll come up with something I like to wear out tonight (or borrow something!).

Which brings me to a new way I've discovered to save money - or even make a little - while out and about.  Y'all ready for this? Here it is: stand in line for the ladies' room.

Yeah, you heard me right.  Let me explain.  Twice now, I've been patiently doing my time in line, when a Desperate Drunk Girl (hereafter known as a DDG) has approached me and the other line leader and thrown $20 at us - each - in order to cut us.

Now, I've found these DDG's to be very willing to negotiate and throw money down for anything in order to relieve their little beer-soaked bladders. The first time, I was second in line and the DDG in question offered the Line Leader $20, but nothing to me.  Well, LL and I had been chatting and making nice, so she turned to me and said to DDG, "what about her?" Good question.  And DDG paid the both of us and we kindly obliged to let her take her turn first.

And then there was that time on Cinco de Mayo, when, I wasn't paid per say, but, standing in line and the girl in front of me turned and said, "I need a beer, do you need one? I'll buy if you hold my spot in line." A beer for standing in line, doing what I was already doing? Sign me up!

So what do y'all think? Should I not be taking these girls' money? The thing is, if they weren't offering, I'd probably let a DDG cut if she looked like she was going to lose it right then and there. But. . . if they're offering . . . well, I guess that's where my morals are a little slippery.

What say all y'all? And has anyone ever been in this situation? Or on the other side? Do tell! And in any case, there you have it.  Need some cash or a drink tonight? Head to the bathroom. And don't forget to carry change (or maybe do . . .).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Would you Pay to intern at Vogue? Or W?


So, I was trolling (Vogue and W's web affiliate), like I do, in search of inspiration, drinking in all the delicious fashion, when I spotted a new blog post: win an internship at Vogue.  Now, I may be gainfully employed and love my job and all, but, win an internship at I'd live in my Chanel shoebox, with my Marchesa garment bag for a tent, if I had to, to live in NYC - the backstage access, designer meet-and-greets, and sheer closeness to all that hand-stitched beauty would be enough to sustain me.  They could pay me in glances into their accessories closet, probably. I'd be one happy lady.

So I click on the link thinking it's going to be some kind of contest, you know, essay contest, photo / video essay contest, create a look-book, that sort of thing.  


Uh, no. Only at Vogue and W are they having people bid to work for free.  

Well, the auction is run through, which boasts auctions like, appear on screen with Johnny Depp (final bid $91,000 and totally worth it, i'm sure), or play tennis with Andre Agassi ($100,000).  I'm not entirely sure what non-profit this particular auction benefits, however - I'll post it once I find out.

But, anyways, this begs the question: how many of us out there would be so willing to work for a top fashion site that we'd be willing to pay, in order to be a lowly intern? 

Right now, there have been two bids since the auction opened August 6, with the bidding up to $600.  Bidding goes in $100 increments with an estimated value of $2,500 and the auction officially closes August 25.  So, apparently, so far, not too many. 

The number of contacts and experiences one could obtain with an internship of this kind would be priceless. Especially for students, who are the only people this auction is open to, undergrad or grad.  But, I have to ask - what's the value in the eyes of future contacts and employers of an internship you paid to get, rather than earned?

Now, I say this, and feel I have to come clean about my internship at an arts magazine in Dublin i had a few summers back.  I paid to be part of a program which helped set me up with my internship over there.  But (as I try to make myself feel better) I had to apply and interview for the program and even then, I wasn't guaranteed my internship - it was up to my employer, not the program.  

So, I want to hear the verdict.  Is this just a ridiculous ploy by Wintour and company to maintain the elitism of Vogue? Is it a worthless job, seeing how it's bought and paid for? Or is the chance to participate in Fashion Week, meet designers, assist photoshoots, and possibly contribute to web stories totally worth it?

I'm on the fence, personally.  It's worth it to get a chance to see and do all these amazing things and such an elite level, but, I'm not sure the worth would translate to my resume, or to others, and definitely, to myself.  

Check out the option for yourself, at

  • Wintour can take her stiletto and shove it, 'cause I won't pay to work for free. (3 votes)
  • It'd be worth it to breathe the air of the fashion closet. (1 vote)
  • It'd be worth it, but I'd lose all pride and self-worth the same way I would if I wore Uggs to the Met. (5 votes)

Where have all the gentleman gone?

Ahhh manners. I'm afraid I have many occasion to wonder where they've run off too (and can be guilty of social faux-pas myself), but one that really irks me is a small problem, with tall annoyances.

I went downtown to the Power and Light District last night for the FREE Blues Traveler concert, which was incredible, thank you for asking. Now, my friend and I probably, definitely underestimated the number of people who were going to show up, but we were still an hour early and finding it difficult to a spot to stand and see.

Or, well, I was, being tiny-sized and all. We finally found a great spot and lived happily ever after, but I noticed an appalling number of men standing tall in prime spots, leaning over the railing (we ventured up above, as the pit in front of the stage was too packed), and completely igoring my 5' 2" self straining to see through holes.

Now is it too much to ask for the tall people to let the shorties stand in front? Obviously, you're going to be able to see over them. I realize they shouldn't have to let everyone who's shorter than them stand in front, but come on. One person or two and you're what, a foot further away? I think that's do-able.

Tell me, am I wrong? Demanding? Spoiled, even, by the good men of the South who open doors and make a girl feel welcome?

Also, I think this could even apply for taller women, and also, shorter men. Everyone's just there to have fun, and if everyone can see, well, doesn't that sound like fun?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new (and something borrowed, and something blue)

Whew! It's been more than awhile, and if there's anybody out there who remembers and missed me - especially with the venue change - my most sincere apoligies and regrets.  I would beg out with the excuse of a summer hiatus, but, well, that would connote purpose and intention.

No, the sad truth is (or perhaps not so sad - I've certainly been having fun!) is that I've been busy.  Always a good thing, in my opinion, except when you're not as productive (or fiscally responsible) as you might have been without the busy bustle of the summer social season.  Not that I've been all play, and no work, mind you.

Anyhow, it's Back to School Season, leaving me lusting for school supply shopping and the forthcoming crisp fall weather that seems to pair so nicely with new pencils and clean notebooks.  And boots and jeans and scarves (oh my!) - but I musn't leap into fall just quite yet.

I thought I'd re-open this blog with a subject that comes at the tail end of the season, so, a bit of dovetailing, if you will.  That's right, with the close of summer also comes the end of wedding season.  There will always be the autumn and winter brides (and, yes, I've thought this through, and yes, I include myself in this bunch. Waaaaaay into the future), but summer is the offical season, after all.

And last weekend, in the presence of my best friend and her boyfriend, I found myself in the middle of an estrogen-heavy dialogue about my fascination with J.Crew's Wedding Shop.

Now let me make this very clear.  I'm not getting married, not dating anyone (yep, that's right, men - though no boys need apply - this girl's single), and not crazy (I swear!).  I'm just a girl.  A very girly girl, at times.  And I mean, don't try to tell me there aren't a lot of you out there who haven't thought these things through a few times.  Maybe enacted the scene with your Barbie and American Girl dolls once upon a time.

So, I've made the decision that J.Crew (should they continue to produce quality garments as they do now and always have) will be my one-stop wedding shop.  Their dresses are simple and elegant, well-made and designed in what I trust to be quality fabrics, and reasonably priced.  And then, I plan on choosing a color or two for bridesmaids gowns and allowing my maids to pick the dress most well-suited for them.  Everyone looks good and nobody hates me for having to buy some hideous dress they'll never have to wear again, and there's that who reasonably priced thinga again.

This is when my friend's boyfriend started rolling his eyes and asking me, so, when is this imaginary wedding again? by the way.  Which, well, I get. . .

But here's my query: J.Crew stores don't carry wedding dresses.  And what's the point in wedding dress shopping -even if you know exactly what you want - if you can't have the fun of trying them on?  I know dresses are almost always altered, but still . . . where's the fun in that?

Now I do live in Kansas City and our J.Crew stores are probably smaller than, say, the New York or Chicago stores.  So, possibly, there are wedding shops in other cities and I  haven't properly researched this entry.  But, while I take my time in finding out, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on online wedding dress shopping (anyone ever tried eBay, or vintage dress sites?) and on J.Crew's wedding selection.

My dear friend offered to fly up with me for a weekend in New York to try on dresses in this now-assumed existing wedding shop.  Her boyfriend raised his eyes to the heavens and requested a save-the-date.  Girls . . . ya gotta love us!


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