Thursday, July 30, 2009

Geek chic

I went through this phase in London where I really wanted glasses. I kept trying them on everywhere I went, slowly convincing myself they weren't that ridiculous. I wanted to look cool, like this chick Garance Dore photographed, but with darker, squarer frames:

I spent a lot of Friday mornings at Portobello market. There was one particular sunglass stand owned by this hilarious guy who wore those oversized plastic clown glasses and told you exactly what he thought about each pair you tried on.
I probably tried on 20 different pairs one day. He'd give me a thumbs up or thumbs down and throw suggested shades across the tent. We chatted about the pros and cons of living in the UK and American television. He told me if I ever wanted to move there permanently, he'd sponsor me. I told him I'd get back to him on that one.

I put on a pair with clear lenses and slowly peered into the tiny mirror. I kind of loved them, but heard my new found friend and voice of reason say, "No, no. You look too serious in those. Like my doctor. Try these."
He threw another pair over to me.
I bought them and wore them every day in Paris:
£5. Worth every pence. I still occasionally contemplate buying fake glasses, though. Would you?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Unconscious Obsession: Enamel and Gold Jewelry

I was picking out accessories to wear today and realized I had unknowingly assembled a little pile of enamel and gold jewelry. I love the way these pieces add a dash of preppy polish to an outfit.
The white cuff is from Lilly Pulitzer, the green bracelet is from J. Crew (both birthday gifts), and the ring is from Forever 21.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Knock off of a knock off

I've been infatuated with these Gucci ankle boots for as long as I can remember. The gold studs, gorgeous black leather, cute little zipper. Perfection. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever possess the $995 needed to purchase them, so I tried to push them out of my mind and find a fulfilling replacement.
Luckily, Steve Madden has been ripping off high end designers for his entire career. So imagine my excitement when I saw the Marrvel studded bootie months ago.
My only issue? These came out in the winter and they're still not on sale. Anywhere. And I'm not coughing up $130 for them anytime soon.

But I really want these shoes and I'm not giving up that easy. So today I finally ended my strenuous search. Who came to my heroic rescue? Brace yourself: Alloy. Yeah, that catalog that somehow tracked down your contact information in middle school and still floods your mailbox a few times each season.
I snagged these for less than $50. They're clearly no where near as fabulous as the Gucci ones and I'm a little disappointed the studs aren't gold like the Steve Madden ones. And I'm feeling a little guilty about committing two fashion sins: buying a knockoff and buying cheap heels. But I already have outfits planned so I kind of don't care.


Each year I buy a cotton tote bag to lug my stuff around campus. I'm morally opposed to the use of backpacks (not on other people, just myself. I look ridiculous with them.) and am not all that fond of spending a lot of money on something I throw on the floor 12 times a day.
Here are the ones I've used:
1. Freshman year: Urban Outfitters
2. Sophomore year: Fred Flare
3. Junior year: Marc Jacobs, I'm usually opposed to blatant logos, but I thought this bag was hilarious since it kind of pokes fun of the whole name brand thing.
4. Senior year: ????

I haven't found anything that strikes my fancy yet. I'm thinking I may want to upgrade to something a little nicer, like this quilted number from Urban Outfitters.
I'm a little leery, though, of how well the straps will hold up once I've thrown all my stuff inside. (Since I'm guilty of carrying the entire contents of my life at all times.)

If anyone sees any decent totes anywhere, let me know!

Bibles, conversions, sightings and other religious beauty experiences

This one time when I was a freshman in high school, my mom took me out of school for a day to meet Bobbi Brown. She was doing an appearance at the Neiman Marcus in the King of Prussia Mall, and I was a fan. Her wholesome approach to beauty really appealed to me.
She signed my copy of Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty, which was basically my Bible back then.

One of her makeup artists did me up. He was really adorable and we chatted about Cameron Diaz and eyebrows.
I've remained a fan of her products ever since. Yet for some reason, despite reading rave reviews from every beauty editor under the sun, I had never tried her gel eyeliner. Until yesterday. And now I'm a total convert.
It's the perfect consistency, waaay easier to use than liquid liner (just make sure you use an angled brush), and can do subtle just as well as full on cat eyes. I've always stuck to Covergirl's SmoothWear liner since its cheap and works well, but I think I may have found my new go-to product.

Hosiery Holy Grail

One of the most integral parts of my winter (and fall...and spring...and part of summer, now that I think about it) wardrobe is the perfect pair of opaque black tights. They have to be warm (because Pittsburgh is freezing), they have to be matte (but not too matte), they have to be thick enough that they don't get weird and spotty right above the knee (but not so thick they look like leggings.) And they have to last longer than one or two wearings.
Thank you, Sara Blakely, for answering all my nit-picky prayers.
Aside from all the smoothing goodness you'd expect out of Spanx, these are great because they're reversible. Two sides of color makes them extra opaque--almost like skater tights. They're super durable (I throw mine in the washing machine and still have the same pair I bought over two years ago).
I suggest you dash over to Nordstrom before their Anniversary Sale ends on August 3--this is pretty much the only time you can get these discounted. I buy a new pair every year.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Front row seats

I'm not really a go-see-a-movie-in-the-theater kind of person. I enjoy it, really I do. But $10.50 to see something once when I can buy a dvd for the same price? Nope. Not really into it.

I'm willing to make an exception to this rule, though, for a little something called The September Issue (aka the only movie I've been anticipating this summer. The action flicks just don't do it for me.)

My cinematic karma has resulted in the Tribeca showing on July 31 to already be sold out. Luckily, the dvd comes out a month later. Guess I should just stick to what I know.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sartorialist goes paperback

If only my birthday was in August so I could put this at the top of my wish list. Feel free to pre-order your own copy right now, or dash over to bookstores on August 12 for Scott Schuman's latest endeavor. Because really, we all need a little something sitting on our bookshelves to remind us to never leave the house looking like crap.

I'm really obsessed with the three following things:

1. Planning out how my apartment will look this year. I'm thinking a feminine, lux- bohemian living room. Mostly because that's the only style that will incorporate the random mismatch of furniture my three roommates and I are bringing.
It'll look a little something like this:

2. My new macbook pro. After spending a frustratingly long time dealing with a computer that crashed a few times an hour, I finally took the plunge. Worth every penny.
3. Hair flowers. Worn obnoxiously and daily.
I know, I know. Flowers — for summer? Groundbreaking. Sure, hippies have been rocking this look for decades, but I’m a late bloomer — so to speak — and didn’t start until this year. I’ve been pinning them into my hair on a daily basis, mostly because I’m horrible at seasonal dressing and they give a much-needed dose of summer to my ensembles. Also, it’s really fun when people ask if you’ve recently returned from Hawaii — as if my stark white complexion wasn’t answer enough — and when bees begin to follow you like you were some buzzing Pied Piper.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fashion on the Street: London Edition

Sometimes I'm far more inspired by men's fashion than women's. It's either because:
1. I went through a tomboy phase in elementary school
2. I read too many fashion magazines and get sick of looking at girls clothing
3. Men's wardrobes are based on simple, structured pieces that I completely envy.
(*side note, Alexa Chung wrote a great article about her tomboy style for Vogue UK last month. Get your hands on a copy.)

Meet Leslie Allotey. He was my neighbor over in London and I loved his style. I convinced him to let me snap his picture and we chatted about fashion:
Leslie Allotey, senior at University of Minnesota majoring in Applied Econ
Shot: in northeast London
Sported: sneakers, jeans, shirt, leather jacket all from H+M, chain from market in Soho, glasses from the Dollar Store.
Style Influences: Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, my own imagination
Said: "My style is versatile, I like to mix it up depending on how I feel. Sometimes I like to look hip hop-y or business casual but funky. I like to take fashion risks and stand out. You have to change it up, come up with your own trends--you should be a trendsetter, not a trendsweater. You can't follow people too much.

Music! Free!

In case you don't read NYLON and have gotten to that point in the summer where you're sick of every single song on the radio (personally, if I hear 'Boom Boom Pow' one more time, I may jump off a bridge), allow me to direct you to the magazine's free summer playlist.

It has some pretty good stuff including a remix of my absolute favorite song of the summer- La Roux's 'In for the Kill.' Seriously, it's been stuck in my head for two months. Two months.

This is a problem.

This little morsel of chaos is my closet. The issue? I'm a neat freak and this is clearly not the wardrobe of someone who folds their underwear.
I comb through my closet once over the summer and once over winter break, but I still manage to accumulate so. much. stuff. I don't know how it happens. I swear I don't even shop that much. Really.
This being my last summer before graduating college and entering the work force, (I actually shuddered just typing that) I figure it's the perfect time to really really clean out my room.
Stretched out cardigans? See ya later. Flared jeans? Have fun at Goodwill.

I'm now heading to Plato's Closet (fingers crossed I can score...$10) and Goodwill to say bon voyage to this giant mound once and for all.

Anyone want to go shopping?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fire up the barbecue

I leave London tomorrow. I'm not really ready to accept it, because this has essentially been the best thing of my life.
However, there are definitely some things I'm looking forward to in the states. So in honor of the Fourth of July and all things patriotic, here they are:

1. Functioning appliances and plumping: It'd be really great to wash my clothes without ruining them and shower without turning a weird pump-thing on.
2. Cable tv: No one does tv like America. Bravo marathons and Sex + the City reruns, nice to see you again.
3. Dollahs: I can't wait to not double prices in my head before purchasing...
4. Madewell Store opening in the King of Prussia Mall! So, you know, I can spend all this money I have left in my wallet right now.
5. My family and friends are pretty great too.