Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stunning Spring Sandals

The plethora of absolutely stunning sandals this season has me dreaming of warmer days. Here are my top choices:

1. Chloe Leather Gladiator Sandals, $895 at Net-a-porter: Gladiators are still hot for spring, and these 3" heels are pavement-friendly:

2. Sergio Rossi Python Cut-out Sandals, $995 at Net-a-porter: If it were not for the high heel on this baby, I'd be sold. But for those of you who can stomach it, this is killer:

3. YSL Tribute Platform Sandals, $760 at Saks: I saw a slightly lower-heeled version at my local YSL store, and I'm tempted to buy a pair in a camel-hued version:

4. Christian Louboutin for 3.1 Philip Lim: The combination of python with ruffles is ingenious, and who doesn't love a flat shoe?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

YSL Animal-Effect Belt

(I apologize for the small photo. You can see it better on the YSL website.)

I just bought this gold belt, which is actually a series of metal pieces fastened together. I can't wait to wear it with everything from cream jackets to black dresses. At first, I was slightly annoyed when I heard that it came in only one size, but it's an adjustable piece and can sit high on the waist if you're slender. (If you're above a size 4-6, there will be a gap between the metal pieces and the metal thread. You could still wear it, but it depends if you like the look.) I also tried on the silver belt below, but it came in long metal strips instead of individual pieces, and I felt it was too heavy:

Oddly enough, it sits high on this model's waist, but it doesn't in real life. The salesperson told me it's meant to sit low around the hip. Its lack of adjustability and higher price also made me walk away from it, even though it looks lovely in the photo. I'm also coveting this gorgeous blue dress--I'll have to wait until it goes on sale!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gifts on a Budget

Dear Amol has asked for help finding a fashion-forward but budget-friendly gift for his dear sister about to embark on a medical career. In this economy, it's about quality items for reasonable prices, and here are some of my favorites:

1. From Club Monaco: Their spring collection is totally rocking. This Club Monaco Lauren Croco Clutch for $179 is a perfect reminder that it's important to still go out:

2. Club Monaco Kira Python Hobo, $395: I know this is out of your budget range, but if your parents can help you out, this would be a fantastic choice. Snakeskin is HOT for spring, and I absolutely love this version:
3. Banana Republic is also a stellar choice for gifts. I'm in love with this Luxe Teardrop Bib Necklace for $150: it's elegant and statement-making:

4. This Banana Republic Flatiron Tote for $192.50 (down from $275), also available in black, is perfect for a chic medical student on the run:

5. From Net-a-porter: Yes, their incredible sales make luxuries affordable. I love this sleek and modern Isharya Ebony Square Bangle for $217.50 (down from $435):
6. If she's an earring gal, check out these Isharya Orbit Hoop beauties for $199.50 (down from $285), featuring lovely pastel geodes, another hot jewelry trend for spring:

Best of luck with the shopping, and let me know what you ultimately decide!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hussein Chalayan

Hussein Chalayan Bonded Jersey Gillet, $1,275 at Eluxury

Hussein Chalayan Silk Drape Insert Dress, $940 at Eluxury

For a company that's purportedly going out of business, Eluxury certainly knows how to send mixed signals, starting with showcasing new designers that its clientele is sure to drool over with undeniable lust. Although I'm not too familiar with this British Turk, I'm a quick study, and after perusing some of his previous collections, I'm also in love. These two glorious pieces are soft yet architectural, and they fit completely with the springy Spring mood that's about to descend upon us as soon as we thaw from this deep freeze we're in.
Check out this incredible video highlighting the designer's last fifteen years in the business on

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Draped Leather Jackets

From Left: Elizabeth and James Superfine Leather Jacket, $775 at Eluxury; Helmut Lang Draped Leather Jacket, $1,325 at Saks

I love the idea of softening the leather jacket by using draping, an extension of the Grecian trend that's been going strong for several seasons now. The Elizabeth and James one can be partially unzipped (click on it to see various views of it) for a tres chic look. Follow through with skinny jeans to complete the look or wear it with a pretty little dress.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Call for Comments!

I welcome your comments and suggestions!

YSL Cage Belt

Yves Saint Laurent Leather Cage Belt, for pre-order for $495 at Saks

An avid belt collector, I've come to realize that a single, strategic accent around the waist can do wonders for an otherwise standard outfit. Some of my all-time favorite belts include Burberry Prorsum's medallion-studded belt, Fendi's grayish-brown snakeskin and semi-precious gems belt, and Luca Luca's black stingray one. YSL's current Resort gold (or silver) animal-effect belt (it resembles a snake's scales) and this cage belt are my top two contenders for Spring. Paired with a lighter-hued background, the belt pops. I'm also seriously considering purchasing the bootie or pump version, seen below:

It's fierce!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hi-Rise Jean Heaven

Silence & Noise High-Rise Ankle Zip Twig Jean (available in black, gray, blue, purple, yellow), $58-68 at Urban Outfitters

If you've read my earlier post about the trauma that is jeans shopping, you won't be surprised that after a couple failed attempts at buying a new pair of high-rise skinnies at Barneys, I decided to be more creative with my choices. Fellow blogger Nini recently featured a gorgeous shot of herself wearing Urban Outfitters jeans, an option that would never have occurred to me. I nearly went bonkers when I noticed that they have a plethora of high-rise options (in addition to the typically maddening predominance of low-risers and a good deal of mid-risers too). Dragging my husband with me on a rare joint shopping expedition (I prefer to shop alone, but I needed some moral support), I decided to boldly try on everything high-rise in an assortment of sizes. Armed with my pile of goodies, I tried them on. These Silence & Noise jeans fit me perfectly, unlike some J Brand jeans I tried on recently. The subtle but edgy ankle zip initially worried me, but they fit just right--and I'm 5'4". (Yay! No need to alter them!) I was so thrilled I bought two--one in black and one in gray. Finally--inexpensive jeans that fit well. I've entered jean heaven.

Celine Leather Jacket

Celine Leather Biker Jacket, $3,500 at Net-a-porter

I know, it hurts just looking at the astronomical price tag. But for anyone with exquisite taste and an equally astronomical wallet, this beauty's calling your name.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dear Thumbelina: Black Tie Advice

Vera Wang Lavender Label, Strapless Ruched Gown, $695 at Saks

Dear Thumbelina,

I am going to a black tie reception at the Plaza. It is in the Champagne Bar and hosted by a hedge fund for investors. I am definitely not an investor! Just the date of a lawyer to the fund. I am 27 years old. What do you think-- long or short? I never know what to do with black tie events.



Dear Tied-Up,

While black tie rules are certainly looser these days (women can wear short, cocktail-y dresses), the location and crowd are important additional factors to consider. Since it's at the Plaza, an upscale New York City place, and an event for bankers, I'd choose a long, simple, and elegant gown. Choose one single stand-out accent (a sparkly pair of long earrings, a statement necklace, or a large cuff) and a boxy clutch in a matching or complimentary shade.

As for the dress choice, I'd recommend an asymmetrical design. Here are some options:

1. An inexpensive version that's still glamorous: T-Bags Asymmetric Jersey Gown, $275:

2. A red-carpet worthy version with built-in bling: Marchesa One-Shoulder Long Dress, $4,840:

Don't hesitate to wear color (purple or red are strong options) or metallics:

3. Notte by Marchesa, Silk Strapless Gown, $990:

Have fun, and let me know how it goes!



Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fashionable New Year's Resolutions?

It's quite true that I stopped making New Year's Resolutions after many redundant attempts (exercise was always at the top of that list), but this year, I've fixated on one in particular: to start a diary. My copious beaten-up diaries (I hid them in the crack of a unused door jam for years) were my inexpensive therapist, but now I see them acting as my personal historian. That sounds quite elevated and serious, but the reality is my memory is getting worse with each passing year. Chalk it up to aging or a boring life, but with the advent of a new year and some recent life/death moments--all witnessed, not experienced, by me--, I've decided to retain any measure of my memory while I still have one. (Watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button also helped spark this idea, by the way.)

On a lighter note, this is a fashion blog, so somehow I feel the need to dish out some terse but practical fashion advice in a 10 Commandments-like style. Here's what I can muster up. I hope you don't find them too corny.

1. See Red. Apparently, men are attracted to women who wear red. Seeing as I am already married, I find myself quite fortunate as I rarely wear red. But as I'm starting to realize, it helps to break out of a fashion rut and wear a color you don't normally wear.

2. Rock it. The subtext to this commandment is necessary as it bears some relevance to me: experiment with styles that are not normally yours. I'm more "uptown" than "downtown" in my style, so I'm trying to envision myself with more leather, leggings, and chains. (Those of you who actually know me: stop laughing please.) I may not succeed, especially given that I just unfortunately have had a very traumatic new haircut (a very short bob), which somehow makes me look simultaneously old and young. My husband assures me that it will grow back.

3. Belt it. I apologize for the numerous ambiguous pronouns, but sometimes, you've gotta go there. Ever since I discovered belts (yes, there was a time when yours truly hated them--why, I have no idea looking back [geez, see what I mean about my bad memory?]), I've learned to love them. Belts cover over a multitude of sins, to grossly misuse the Bible. But hey, they do.

4. Shop Your Closet. I've heard a lot about this tip from magazines recently due to the economic recession (*cough* depression) we're in. It makes sense. Most of us have "stuff" in there that hasn't seen the light of day in years. Alter or exchange it with a similarly-shaped friend of yours.

5. Dress Up. It's very easy to look like a shlub. There's something quite tempting about it. (If someone hasn't looked into the psychology behind deliberate bad dressing, he/she should.) But resist the urge. You will feel ten times better in a nicer outfit. And this applies to weekend wear too.

6. Invest wisely. This goes for all kinds of investments: personal (i.e. spending more time with loved ones), financial (duh), and material (the "goods," as my husband calls it). Purchase items with staying power. A quality coat will cost more, but it will last longer.

7. Imitate, then deviate. For those of you who like a style but can never dress like it, I suggest applying a critical eye to photos of celebs/fellow bloggers/friends. As they say in math, reduce the look to its simplest parts. You don't need the exact same garment to create a similar look. Then add your own personal touches to avoid being a total copycat.

8. Mute it. I've heard from a fellow teacher that students who mute the T.V. (and turn on Closed Captioning) can greatly increase their reading level. In fashion terms, however, choosing pale, muted tones (beige, pink, khaki, dove gray) will bring your otherwise boring outfit to life. Or experiment with different--and unexpected--color combinations. You'll be amazed by how many colors actually do "go together."

9. See Double. I say this as I am considering Lasik for my poor vision: shop with two eyes: one for basics, and one for special stand-out items. This will alter your shopping experience greatly. Basics should be cheap and varied (buy camisoles/leggings/tights/underwear in a multitude of colors and styles). Once you like something, it's perfectly fine to stick to it and order things in bulk. But choose special items carefully--a stand-out pair of shoes, a gorgeous blouse, a sequined skirt. You need only ONE stand-out item for an outfit to look chic; everything else can be basic.

10. Accept/Except. Learn to love that permanent flaw of yours this year, and reject that poisoned apple you've allowed yourself to bite into year after year.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Marni Killer Platforms

Marni Double Platform Peep-toe Sandals, $790 at Net-a-porter

After seeing my new-favorite blogger Nini wearing Marni platforms, I admit that a sudden hankering for a pair is working its slow death on me (and my bank account). The double platform is quite appealing in its arch support, but the fierce three-tone color combination is what has me intrigued. They're damn near perfect.

Doin' The Wave?

3.1 Philip Lim Spring 2009

Conceptually, I appreciate the sartorial complexity (the ripples consist of multiple zippers) and ingenuity of this look by Philip Lim; practically, I find it impossible to wear unless you're a sliver-of-a-size triple zero and an Amazon-sky-high height like this model. Even then, the look is not flattering. I much prefer Versace's version of the rippled zipper look--sleek and gorgeous.