Thursday, July 31, 2008

Logoed Nylons: Fashion Flub

Chanel Lycra Tights, $140 at Chanel Boutiques
These tights just go to show that I do NOT love all things Chanel. Despite the fact that nylons have become synonymous with unfashionable old ladies, Karl Lagerfeld decided to send out not only plain nylons down the runway, but two-toned nylons (which sort of remind me of Harvey Two-Face Dent from Batman) with a gauche CC logo to justify the ridiculous look and even more ridiculous price (these are nearly four times the cost of a pair of expensive Wolford stockings). Two tones on bags and shoes look chic, but two tones on your stockings look like you had your legs cut in half. Needless to say, I'll be sticking to my standard one-hued stockings this fall.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When You Have To Walk Away...

Unfortunately, I tortured myself by going to the Proenza Schouler sample sale today. Although I told myself that I'd be good all summer long (a real feat, let me tell you), I went "just in case." The item that caught my eye and tempted me to no end? A black, white, and chocolate brown hand-stitched zebra-print pencil skirt. Okay--you're probably thinking, a zebra skirt? (I'm reading Rhinoceros right now, so maybe that had something to do with it.) I'm not usually a zebra-print kind-of gal. But this piece was impeccably made, beautiful to look at, and easy to wear. But then there was that pesky price tag.

In these cases--shopping emergencies--you need to rely on a friend out there who can talk some sense into you. My good friend asked all the right questions, leading me through my jumbled maze of temptation. Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, I could wear it easily and for day. But could I wear it frequently? No, I admitted. It would be one of those "she's wearing that zebra skirt again" sort of item. And that sealed the deal.

My closet is bursting at the seams, and there's no need to fill it with an expensive skirt that I'll wear once in a blue moon. And I have to face it: the economy isn't looking too good. And so, with a heavy heart and a forced frown, I walked away.

Looking back, I realize that at another time, I would have easily bought that skirt. But while my finances really have not worsened, I am being more cautious, more circumspect about what I buy. I considered my fall must-haves, and I realized that that skirt was not on that list. Zebras will have to wait for another season.

P.S. This has nothing to do with my post, other than the fact that I was annoyed that women brought their boyfriends and gay friends to the sample sale, where women had to undress openly. Women: please be considerate!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bill Blass: Mosaic Skirt

Bill Blass Mosaic Brocade Skirt, $1,700 at Net-a-porter
Other than dresses, I am meticulous about the quality and design of my skirts, mainly because I rarely wear pants, especially in the summer (how women can wear thick, heavy jeans in the height of the summer heat is beyond me). Since Peter Som has laid his magic hand on all things Bill Blass, my heart has gone a-flutter with all of his delicious creations--which is why I think it a grave misfortune that he has resigned from Bill Blass from managerial and production problems. At least I can enjoy his current fall line, and of course, there's always his eponymous label. And as for this particular skirt with its magnificently moody pattern (a cross between feathers and flowers), its easy wearability makes this a winner in any woman's wardrobe.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kara Ross: Jewelry

From Top: Large Oval Lapis Cuff, $380; Small Orange Shirt Cuff (with Lizard Skin), $295; Petal Clip Earrings, $325, all at Saks
I shamelessly lust after Kara Ross' exquisite handbags made of exotic skins and jewels, and her jewelry line is also quite stunning--for the right clientele. It takes a certain kind of bold mentality to don the orange lizard cuff; both masculine and feminine in its design, it requires its wearer to jettison such gender-specific labels in favor of an unusual design. One must be hard-edged yet open-minded; modern yet timeless; fierce yet controlled. Her pieces are transformative in design and effect--one cannot help but stand up straighter.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Look For Less: Roland Mouret

From Left: RM by Roland Mouret Moon Dress, $2,130 at Bergdorf Goodman; ABS by Allen Schwartz Belted Ponte Knit Dress, on sale for $135.90 (down from $228) at Nordstrom

When Victoria Beckham wore Roland Mouret's hot pink Moon dress on the soccer field with a matching hot pink Hermes Birkin, the fashionistas were all astir with envy. I, too, was tempted to purchase this amazingly chic number--and now the wait was worth it. ABS by Allen Schwartz's near-identical version is just as chic, and it comes with a belt and a slightly more forgiving silhouette. The best part? The ridiculously low price.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another Must-Have Shoe For Fall and Forever

My shoe budget for fall is now staring me in the face, and I have to make some very exact, cold calculations. So far we have the Prada ruffle pumps, the Max Kibardin lizard sandals (by the way, they have mysteriously vanished off the Saks website after I posted about them...hmmm....), and these metallic paillette sky-high peep-toe Miu Miu platforms. I admit--they're not very practical, as one cannot run around town in them, but tell that to a bona fide shoe addict. I haven't even considered the other necessary (read: practical) shoe/boot/bootie/wedge purchases one makes every fall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Appealing But Dangerous: Hidden Dry Cleaning Costs

Lela Rose Feather-Trim Dress, $1,395 at Net-a-porter

There are women who purchase only practical clothes: work clothes, sneakers, tee-shirts. And then there are women, like me, who purchase mostly beautiful clothes, regardless of the practical use for them. If you're in the latter category, perhaps you can relate: you see a gorgeously impractical dress, like this one from Lela Rose, and you buy it. You wear it, and then you send it off to the dry cleaners. You get strange looks from them. They frown, they grimace, and then they scold you for your frivolous purchase. And then you pay the price on the dry cleaning bill.

In this day and age when the cost of basic necessities has risen dramatically, people forget to discuss the much-hated but necessary dry cleaning bill. Have you seen it recently? It's as astronomical as the gas prices. But what items jack up the cost?

1. Embellishment: Sequins, Beads, Feathers, Strips of Leather (on non-leather items), fur (on non-fur items): They are prone to melting during the dry cleaning process, so if you have a respectable dry cleaners, they will remove each item manually and resew them on after the cleaning. That accounts for the higher cost.

2. Pleating: Yes, that's right. Any additional folds in your skirt or dress will cost you, because the poor presser has to iron each of those folds. That takes time.

3. Dry-cleaned Cotton: If you don't specify to your dry cleaners, they will often dry clean an item that can also be machine washed, which is why sometimes a cotton shirt can cost more. If you want to save some money, tell them to machine wash and then iron it.

4. Delicate Items: Items that can tear or bleed easily must be carefully handled. Often, they are put into a separate bag or cleaned alone to prevent damage to the item or to other items.

5. Fancy or Loose Buttons: If your jacket has one-of-a-kind vintage buttons, for example, your dry cleaners has to remove each of the buttons before the cleaning and reattach them afterwards.

Be aware of your dry cleaners' price list and ask any questions when the bill looks higher than it should be. If your heart is still set on that feather-trimmed dress, just be mindful that it may cost you more to clean it.

Covering One's Lovehandles (Thighs, Hips, Etc.) In Style

Zac Posen Double Face Silk Faille Dress, $2,450 at Nordstrom

I recently saw this dress at Bergdorf's and then saw the red version on Anne Hathway in some celebrity rag. She was rushing off somewhere important--or at least it seemed so from the photo--and instead of wearing this glamorous dress to a premiere, she was running errands or going to see her agent. That's why we love Hollywood--stars are able to don a stunning dress in a casual manner and not look overdressed.

But I digress. The return of peplum (seen in particular on Prada's runway show) reminds me why some looks are more appealing than others: they serve an actual function. For women with a soft belly, peplum is the exact fashion solution: the strategically-placed ruffle blocks out any bumps from an onlooker's view. Akin to full skirts, which thankfully hide large thighs, peplum both disguises and accentuates the female form. The onlooker is forced to acknowledge that the body is indeed smaller than the exaggerated shape creates--as is the case with hoopskirts (simply think of the poofy skirts in Gone with the Wind). Of course, one could digress yet further and make an argument about distorted female body images and alluring cover-ups, but I'll leave that to the critics.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Work Look

Black Halo Flutter-Sleeve Sheath Dress, $345 at Neiman Marcus

When I found this particular dress, it was categorized as a "party dress"--a title that I will blatantly ignore. This is the exact kind of dress that I would wear to work--it has a conservative shape, neutral color, and surprisingly feminine details. It reminds me of an architecturally beautiful Roland Mouret dress, but at a fraction of the cost.

Since I work in a creative environment (that's how I view teaching), I have more freedom in my outfit choices than say, a banker or a doctor (sorry doctors out there, but I would shudder if I had to wear scrubs every day!). But all in all, I do "dress up" for work--one's clothing is a reflection of the pride one has in her work. What are some of my typical outfits?

1. A tailored dress, either A-lined or sheath
2. A white blouse with a full or A-lined skirt with a notable detail (appliques, cut-outs, brocade, etc.)
3. Plain tailored slacks with a decorative blouse
4. A cashmere sweater or a cropped jacket over a dress

Although I currently do not own a vest (I think there are some fashion flubs from the '80s that I have not fully recovered from), I plan on wearing one a la Maggie Gyllenhaal in the new Batman movie: she glamorously dons a menswear-inspired dark vest over a flouncy white Victorian blouse. The look was perfection.

Monday, July 21, 2008

How To Look Expensive In An Uncertain Economy

When people would compliment me on my clothes, I used to say, "Imagine what I would look like if money were no object." But, of course, I am not one of those billionaires out there who can spend that way--and chances are, you are, too. And unlike most celebrities, who wear designer duds off the runway, we have to be creative to look like a million bucks. But in a Bear market, how does one look the part without spending one's yearly mortgage to do so?

1. THE FOUNDATION: Choose simple shapes and silhouettes in bold colors and substantial fabrics (silk, wool, cotton, thick jersey; avoid linen, which wrinkles easily, and synthetic fabrics like polyester). Banana Republic, JCrew, and Ann Taylor are great stores for simple sheaths, pencil skirts, and white blouses. Take this gorgeous merlot-colored sheath with subtle origami details from Banana Republic--it's a shockingly low $150 for the quality. Avoid anything that is too intricate--when the item is cheaply made, most of the time that comes through in the tailoring.

2. THE JEWELRY: You're in luck--fashion's current craze is with costume jewelry, which means more freedom with one's look. You don't need the latest Van Cleef and Arpels piece to complete your look, but you do need to be choosy. Avoid thinning jewelry--the weak kind with sparse gems and fragile silver strands: that looks cheap. Choose a bold piece, like chunky beads in wood or even glass beads. Crystals are fine, as long as they are NOT trying to look like diamonds (it's obvious that those 3 carat studs are made out of cubic zirconia). Choose crystals that create an interesting shape, like a rosebud. Take this bright yellow starburst necklace ($228) from JCrew--they're refreshingly fun without trying to look like anything else:

Also avoid wearing too much jewelry at a time--one statement piece is all you need.

3. THE SHOES AND BAG: Unfortunately, it's hard to find an inexpensive pair of shoes that doesn't look cheap, unless you buy designer shoes ON SALE. Saks and Bergdorf's have marked down their shoes 70%. And while it may still pain you to spend $150-200 on a pair of Prada's, remember that quality shoes last longer and are worth the investment. As for the bag, choose one that has clean lines and impeccable stitching. If you really want a designer handbag, either a) buy one on sale; b) go to a high-end consignment shop that sells last season's designer bag; c) choose a non-logo, mid-end designer bag brand, like Botkier, Furla, Kate Spade, or Cole Haan. And nothing looks cheaper than a knock-off.

Botkier Gladiator Small Shoulder Bag, on sale for $315 at

4. OTHER ACCESSORIES: Belts can do wonders for your look, and it's easy to find one that is crocodile or python-embossed these days. Choose a thin or medium-width size; most women look awful with oversized ones. As for stockings, they are another inexpensive way to look chic in the colder months. Choose a simple dark hue (brown, black, or navy), and avoid nylons. Nobody will know if your tights are from Wolford or Old Navy.

5. THINGS THAT LOOK CHEAP no matter the cost of the item:

a. Ill-fitting clothes or shoes (too tight, too loose)

b. Too many accessories at once

c. Ill-fitting or visible undergarments

d. Too many fads at once (choose only one item that adheres to the trend)

e. Frowns, slouching, constant picking at one's clothes, too much makeup

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Proenza Schouler: The Return of Origami

Proenza Schouler Origami Dress, $3,695 at Bergdorf Goodman
Sometimes it takes a few seasons for a trend to catch fire, and origami is one such trend whose flammability is about to increase ten-fold, pun intended. Proenza Schouler's two-boy wonder team has yet again produced a "must-have it item" for fall--my only dilemma is choosing between this amber beauty and its purple counterpart (another hot color for fall). Oh, and perhaps cutting back on my daily lattes to afford this investment piece.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Seduction of the Mermaid

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse

The folklore of the mermaid remains ever active in our collective unconscious as a reminder of our deep connection with the sea. From the dangerously seductive (think Sirens) to the innocently beautiful (think Ariel), the iconography of the mermaid arouses in us such powerful emotions, which is why designers continually integrate features of the mermaid in their work.

Example #1: Roland Mouret Spring 2009: This one-shouldered white gown has angled corners reminiscent of fins; the diagonal hem reminds one of a tail:

Example #2: Balenciaga Fall 2008 Booties: The dove-gray shade and the fin-like edges on these hot booties undoubtedly look like Abe Sapien from Hellboy 2:

Abe Sapien from Hellboy 2:

Example 3: Zac Posen Candied Lurex Mermaid Dress, $1,900 at Although the hem is relatively normal, the bust looks like a clam shell:

Tuleste Market: Statement Choker

Tuleste Market Lucite Choker, $185 at

If you're going to buy one piece of jewelry this fall, make it a large, chunky necklace, like this Art Deco choker from Tuleste Market. Unlike some of the exorbitant faux gem pieces from Balenciaga and twisting crystal necklaces from Vera Wang (all close to $2,000), this choker is relatively inexpensive. During my first visit to Miami, I fell in love with Art Deco's clean, architectural lines, and the crisp whiteness of this necklace stands out and adds enough interest for a simple outfit. That's the beauty of the statement necklace--it elevates everything else in its wake.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Max Kibardin: Newest Shoe God

Max Kibardin Lizard T-Strap Sandals, $1, 240 at Saks

Since my last splurge-worthy pair of shoes (those silver Chanel skyscraper platforms I featured some while back; yes, I bought them!), I have seen only one other pair to come close to these stunners from Max Kibardin, a recently new addition to the Saks Shoe Department (those are the ruffled Prada pumps for fall). I see these incredibly mesmerizing sandals and am green with envy: the cut-outs are huge for fall, the colors are divine, and the 3 inch heel height is manageable (usually stunners like these are 4 or 5 inches). These *must* be mine! And I know the perfect outfit to wear them with...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Case for Summer Flats

Oscar de la Renta Ikat Ballerina, $495 at Neiman Marcus

In the hot summer months, I can't be bothered with heels, mainly because the inexorable heat can make feet swell. Unlike fall and winter, when one scurries from place to place to avoid the cold, I like to enjoy a more leisurely walk in my hot, but active, city. While I adore my pewter Giuseppe Zanotti gladiator flats (I receive so many compliments on them!), I know that my ballerina (or closed-toe) flats can have a second life when the trees change color. These Oscar de la Renta Ikat flats are perfect for summer or fall--the rich purple and green on the black background look festive enough for summer and have a depth that makes them versatile enough for fall.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Derek Lam: The Perfect Fall Dress

Derek Lam Taffeta Ruffled Dress, $1,390 at Bergdorf Goodman

Derek Lam's entire fall collection showcased moodily elegant, sophisticated Hitchcock-esque clothing that lends an air of mystery to any woman who wears them. From a gold lace dress to luscious furs, Lam's work is enormously covetable. While I have never been particularly fond of plaid, Lam's taffeta version delights me with its simple but flirty shape, the versatile black and white color combination, and the contrast of plaid, a homely design, with taffeta, an upscale fabric. Wear this to work with a jacket or alone at a party.

The Importance of Being Earnest About Skincare

Ok--I'll divulge my beauty secret: Retin-A. I began using the gel when, in my late twenties, I suffered from mild and occasional (but nevertheless irritating) cystic acne, a nasty problem that I never experienced as a teen. After being enormously dissatisfied with over-the-counter creams, gels, pads, etc., I tried Retin-A.
A friend of mine had used the stuff for twenty years, and her skin was dewy, clear, and wrinkle-and spot-free. She swore by it. And after using it myself for over three years, I've noticed a significant reduction in acne and sun spots (thankfully, I haven't yet earned my wrinkles). I, like many Asians, are prone to sun spots the way white women are prone to wrinkles, and so I fight relentlessly against them with the zealousness of a perfectionist with tweezers.
Sure, many women lack the patience to deal with the initial negative results: the redness, the peeling, the acne (in reality, the gel pushes all of the skin's impurities to the surface, making your skin look worse temporarily). But after becoming inured to the gel's strong effects, most women will only notice a drastic improvement in their skin's clarity.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Importance of Being Earnest About Sunblock

Anybody who knows me knows that after the appearance of a few sunspots (euphemistically known as freckles) and some eye-opening articles about the sun in magazines, I became a zealous convert to sunblock. I immediately withdrew from any sun-worshipping activities and faithfully slathered SPF 75 on my face every day, regardless of season, temperature, or occasion.
Recently, I have decided that those cautionary procedures were not enough. Since I am cursed with dry skin (I can be prone to eczema if I am not careful), I decided to do double duty with my lotion and SPF. Neutrogena creates the most wonderful sunblock: it contains UVA and UVB protection (both are incredibly important; the former type of ray is the cause of burns, and the latter creates wrinkles and sunspots), it's non-comedogenic (it won't create acne), it feels like a body lotion and doesn't leave a greasy afterfeel, and it's cheap. Now my morning ritual includes slathering this stuff on my arms, legs, and feet.
You may scoff at this extreme activity (somehow, this always shocks people--as if I were skydiving or swimming with man-eating sharks and crocodiles!), but trust me: this is the single most important part of your preventative anti-aging routine.

Friday, July 11, 2008

If Batman Wore Heels...

he'd wear these rugged yet sleek Miu Miu Mary Jane sandals (a batty $800) to match the Batmobile.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Attack of the Religious Ugly Bag

Judith Leiber Ganesh Collectors Clutch, $5,595 at Bergdorf Goodman

No, your eyes do not deceive you. This crystal-studded image of Ganesh, the Hindu deity popular in India, is a BAG. Actually, it is a clutch, which means that you must hold it in your hand while the other partygoers strain their necks trying to determine a) what monstrosity you have in your hand, and then b) why you have an elephant in your hand, or better yet, why you have an Indian deity in your hand. After justifying to them that it is, in fact, a "Leiber," you may want to explain that, ironically, Ganesh is the REMOVER of obstacles, and that the exorbitant price tag somehow diminishes the ridiculous appearance of the obstacle that you hold in your hand. But if you stare at it long enough and allow the spirit of Ganesh to fuse with yours, hopefully you'll realize it looks better as a table sculpture than as a bag.

Do You Buy Fall Items Now Or Later?

From Top: Oscar de la Renta Mosaica Bootie, $995; Alberta Ferretti Embroidered Yarn Jacket, $2,895
Most stores have received their pre-fall or fall items already, despite the fact that we are all enjoying the warm summer heat this July. I used to find this timeline somewhat odd, as "spring/summer" items go on sale during the summer, rather than the fall, until I discovered that this timeline was set to appeal to the jet setting rich, who pre-ordered all of their fall clothes before the summer began. When they came back from Europe or whatever exotic locale they were visiting, their entire fall wardrobe would be ready to don when the leaves changed color. While this may still be true for some, for the majority of Americans who work during the summer, the likelihood of buying fall items now is a distant possibility. However, it is somewhat difficult to ignore the winter fur coats, the sumptuous suede boots, and the plush cashmere sweaters that fill the racks at our local department store. How many of us actually cave in and purchase something without the immediate opportunity to wear it? Personally, I find the whole situation akin to forcing a starving man to watch a cooking show--which is why the summer months are my equivalent of a fashion fast. I watch up close and from a distance, but I can not partake. The sale season was Mardi Gras; the summer months are Lent.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Lady is a Vamp: The Return Of Suggestive Footwear

From Left: Versace Patent Shoe Booties, $785; Valentino Graphique Leather Pumps, $695

The elaborate double staircases seen on Southern plantations are an archaic reminder of a time in which the very sight of a woman's ankle was enough to send men into frenzied sexual states (men went up one staircase, women the other). Today, that concept raises a jaded eyebrow, but it reminds women of the enormous erotic capability of the shoe--something Sandra Cisneros discusses in The House on Mango Street (the teenaged girls suddenly transform into women and receive unwanted sexual advances when they are wearing high heels). With the return of buttoned-up, ladylike fashion a la the 1940s, it is inevitable that fashion must counterpoint the conservative with the vampish. The proliferation of cut-outs in shoes for fall is the shoe version of lingerie, which simultaneously conceals and reveals its wearer's assets. However, vampish shoes offer women the freedom of being covered up without the total loss of innuendo.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Attack of the Ugly Bags

Top Row, From Left: Jimmy Choo Fringe Hobo, $1,495; Miu Miu Nappa Patch Tote, $1,240
Bottom Row, From Left: Carlos Falchi Buffalo Anaconda Bag, $2,850; Miu Miu Cutout Bowler, $1,460
The plethora of offensively ugly bags has completely mystified me lately. Everywhere you go, another ugly bag sprouts up--much like the extras in "Gone Baby Gone" (if you haven't seen it yet, be prepared to see an exceptionally ugly group of people). In an attempt to be creative, designers have lost sight of the truly elegant in favor of the most complex and tedious creations possible: a rodeo-gone-bad fringe bag, a flaking cow-hide post-it bag, an alien-meets-woolly-mammoth bag, and a furnace outside a bowler bag--and all from reputable designers! Don't forgot that it'll cost you a pretty penny to look hideous. Complete the look by seeking out Britney Spears' stylist, and you're sure to land a spot on the "Fashion Police" section of any celebrity rag out there.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Catherine Malandrino: It's Easy Being Green

Catherine Malandrino Shift Dress, $595 at

Even though it's the fourth of July, this green wonder has caught my attention. The whimsical rectangles, which increase in size from the top to the bottom of the shift dress, are artfully arresting without being loudly distracting. The black accents also make this dress easy to wear: simply add black accessories, and you're ready for a creative day or night.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Valentino Couture 2008

With each new collection by newbie Alessandra Facchinetti, I am more and more enamored of her work. While theater is, by no means, absent from her Valentino Couture collection, it forgoes the ridiculous in favor of the beautiful.

1. The pattern is like a sheet of sublime music, fit for the gods:

2. This glittery blue evening coat is the adult version of dress-up:

3. The carefully-ornate petals on the bottom of this carefree frock remind me of a water nymph:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wendy Brandes Jewelry

Victoria Buckle Ring, $6,250 at

Since my trip to New Orleans, I've been heavily focused on fine quality jewelry, perhaps because I saw so much of it there (if only I had millions!). I find that most jewelry today lacks a creative touch, and it's mass produced with no individuality in mind. I recently discovered the historically-inspired and intricately-astounding jewelry of Wendy Brandes, who goes against that automation mentality. I'm in love! Here are some of my favorite looks:

1. Sunflower Earrings, $7,500: Inspired by Van Gogh and perfect for everyday or a fancy occasion:
2. Boleyn Necklace, $9,000: I've always been fascinated by the haunting story of Anne Boleyn, whose regal ambitions left her beheaded. And despite the fact that Henry VIII desperately wanted a son, it was Anne's daughter Elizabeth who really carried on his legacy:

3. Acorn Necklace, $6,000: I absolutely love the twist feature that enables this lovely and unique necklace to open. Stash away something valuable in it, like a love note:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Unconnected Tassel Necklace

Vera Wang, Fall 2008 Runway (Detail Shot)

3.1 Philip Lim, Fall 2008 Runway
Large, chunky necklaces are huge for fall, but I'm not so sure of (what I call) the unconnected tassel necklace, which perplexes me. I suppose the weight of the tassels themselves anchor the necklace from falling off with the slightest breeze, but somehow, with the running around that we women do, this necklace would be akin to the stiletto, worn only in a fixed location (there are the brave ones out there, but alas, I am not one of them) with the most trusted of confidantes (remember that party Carrie went to where she had to abandon her Manolos at the door?). The constant worry that my statement piece is waiting to escape at any opportunity would cancel out any pleasure that it would garner. Knowing me, I would constantly be holding onto them, looking ready to ding dong as a bell. While sometimes one must sacrifice for fashion (as Yeats pointed out, women "must labor to be beautiful"), I've long denied that route as long as I can--or as long as a cab ride to a party.