Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thank you, Elfster!

      For the second year in a row, my friends and I decided to do a "Secret Santa"-type exchange. It saves us all the stress, and of course, cheaper. LOL. It's great though, because we are a fairly big group and the purchase $$ range is $50-$65. A good amount to get a nice gift, but also not so expensive that most of us can't afford to participate. We call it "Elfster" because we use a particular online program draw names, however, I don't really recommend it. It won't let me delete old exchanges and old wishlists which can make things really confusing and complicated. Unless this is fixed for next year, I'm going to use a different online tool.

      OK, the point of this post is to show everyone what I received from my Elf! It's awesome. My Elf was actually one of my closest friend's GF. Her style is quite different from mine. She does love HE stuff, like I do, but she's funkier, and more "FOB-inspired". If you are from Toronto (or some other Canadian city where there are a lot of Asians, you will know what this means). Also, her style is still somewhat younger, despite us being only about 5 years apart in age. Needless to say, if she was going to get my something other than a gift card, I was a little apprehensive. This is what I received:


      They are by Links of London. Small heart shaped silver stud earrings, but with a [kind of] triangle stud shape! The official name is: Flutter & Wow Silver Stud Earrings. And they are totally me! I love them. But now I have to figure out how I'm going to wear them. I have so many holes in my ears. Three on each lobe plus a helix piercing. I thought I was just going to take out my diamond studs which sit in the last holes, but they heart studs are actually quite bigger than I first realized. Now I'm thinking they need to go into the second holes at the very least.  Maybe even the first holes, but I don't have any studs to replace all the small hoops that are in them now. Aiya. I'll work something out. Here is the official picture from the Links of London website.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Boxing Week Shopping, Again...

     The crowds in the mall drive me absolutely insane during Boxing Week...but I found myself there yet again. I had a good reason this time, however. SO didn't like the Lululemon top I gave him for Christmas (he said that it "wasn't his color"...even though he owns shirts that color? But anyway) so he told me that we could go to the store and pick him out a new one. I also had to return some weightlifting gloves that I bought him on Boxing day because they were too big, and I was on the hunt for a winter coat that I've been dying to buy, for like, three years.

     First stop, the TNA store. For those of you that aren't really that familiar, it is the name one of the house brands of Aritiza that was made into its own B&M store. It was my lucky day. The first coat that I saw hanging on the rack was the grey classic knee length parka in XS. WOOHOO! Yes, every girl in Toronto has this coat (and probably in Vancouver, as well)...but it really doesn't matter to me. My old TNA winter coat is so warm, but also six years old, and, I live in D.C. anyway--no one will have it there. Haha. Here it is:



      It was on sale for $260CA from $275CA. Yes, not much of a sale, but that's Aritzia for ya. This coat is filled with polyster unlike my old coat which is down-filled. I hope that it's just as warm though. It probably isn't, but I suppose that's OK since I don't live in Toronto full-time anymore and D.C. doesn't get as cold. It has zipper and magnetic closures with the fur trim hood and a bunch of extra pockets for iPod and cell phone and my ID. I'm really excited about it. I hope it lasts as long as my older TNA coat. That one still looks great, but it is a bomber style, and I think I'm getting a little too old for its "look" despite how much I still love it.




   
      [EDIT: I've been wearing this out in the bitter cold the last few days, and I have to say, it is a very warm coat. The top half of inside is lined with fur, which really helps keep me insulated from the cold. But despite being a coat down to my knees, it is still quite drafty. Top half much more warmer than my bottom half.]

      Next stop, Lululemon. The store was pretty cramped. Racks everywhere. People everywhere.  I had a huge bag carrying my new coat. AND, I was carrying my full-sized RM purse. I was hitting everything and everyone. SO spent about 15 minutes in the fitting room. He couldn't find anything he liked. Admittedly, there wasn't much selection left for men. Oh well. I told him that I would put money towards the new camera he wants to buy tomorrow instead.

     My mom actually bought me a pair of Lululemon Groove pants for Christmas, which I think are great....but are the wrong size. She got me a 4, which is equivalent to an XS. My other pants are a 4, but I've noticed that I still have the crinkle in the butt area, and according to Lululemon's blog, it shouldn't fit like that and I should go down to a size 2 (XXS). Of course, there were no 2s left in the Groove Pant at all. Oh well. I needed some tops anyway (although I may still go any buy some bottoms online--they offer free shipping now within the US and Canada! A REALLY SMART business move). I ended up with a Cool Racerback Tank in size 4 in Ocean Blue (at least what I think is Ocean Blue), and a black and white striped Flow Y Bra IV also in size 4:



      The Cool Racerback Tank runs for $39 (US and CA) and has a longer length. It pretty much covers all of my butt. It is also made of their light luon fabric. Some of their other tops are made from the heavier material, which tends to cover any "lumps and bumps" you might have. The light luon isn't as forgiving.



   
      The Flow Y Bra IV is $42. It has pockets for their cups (great for extra support and for those of us who don't like to be flattened out by our sports bras) and is perfect for wearing under the Racerback Tank. The interior lining has this cute floral pattern and the back of the bra has a mesh insert, to make it more breathable. Not sure if you can see it the picture there.

       If you have never experienced Lululemon, their products are a little pricey, but definitely worth it. The fit is amazing and it will last forever. Also, if need be, Lululemon also offers free hemming. It's nice that they recognize that we don't all have legs with a 34" inseam.

     The third stop was Jacob. I really wanted to spend the rest of my gift card on a new sweater, but I couldn't find one I liked. I prefer a merino wool or cashmere blend. Cotton sweaters just don't hold up as long as I'd like. I was a little disappointed, but I'm sure when the spring lineup rolls around I will find something nice to spend it on. I love Jacob. I haven't come across an American store/brand with this style of clothing with the same quality and price range and carry pants that FIT. Ann Taylor with their new designer actually comes fairly close to quality and style, but even though they have petites, the fit still sucks. 

     I wanted to make stops at H&M and Club Monaco, but me and SO were meeting a friend for dinner and we were getting hungry. I can't afford anything from CM right now anyway, even with a 20% student discount. The prices there just seem to keep increasing every season. Not sure what is going on there.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

More Boxing Week Shopping

      I really didn't want to leave the house on Tuesday. It is bitterly cold in T.O. right now. So cold, that last night, my car wouldn't start. =( Good thing I was in my friend's driveway, and he gave me a boost to send me on my way. That sucked. Anyway, the point of this story is that I sent my mom out to pick up my NYE dress at the seamstress. When she returned, I tried it on, and of course, annoyingly enough I could see a piece of lining peeking out from the bottom of the hem when I moved around in it. At first I couldn't figure out what it was. It just looked like something shiny or white flashing out at me in mirror. Then I realized it was the lining (*rolls eyes*). Yes, a $200 dress with lining peeking out from the bottom. Nice. So I headed right out to mall to have it fixed. As much as I love to go to Stitch-It for a eurohem (AKA original hem) for my jeans, I really don't like them for much else. I am super-picky, and if I could do alterations myself, I would. The work itself is usually OK--the hems are at least straight for the most part, but I swear, unless they are doing jeans, it seems they never get it right the first time. What I really wanted to do was get it done at "Fashion Center" with Hamza Simrick in D.C.; he's totally amazing, but I wasn't sure if I could get it back in time if something came up right before I was heading home for the holidays. I kind of digress. So I ended up at the mall, and walked by H&M, and saw my puff sleeve sweater in black on the mannequin. I decided that if I could find that sweater in black in my size, then I would get that instead of the grey, even though I'm quite happy with the one that I have. Alas, no XS in black. However, I did find the cutest puff sleeve semi-cropped blazer. And as much as I really cannot afford to buy anything until I'm sure my new project starts this next week, I bought it. Counting my eggs before they are laid, yes, I know. =/ I've been pretty good about resisting purchases until Christmas rolled around. Oh boy. I'm happy to say though that I've only spent about $100 on myself since I got here. Let's hope it stays that way. But here it is:



  
      I purchased it for $59.99CA. It has bracelet length sleeves, the collar is a little shiny like a tuxedo, and the back is a little more cropped than in the front. It's a cute detail, but I'm not sure if that's going to make it more difficult to find something to wear underneath it. Most of my tops are of a longer length so my short torso is balanced out. Wearing something too long might make it look completely unintentional and messy.

       I'm wearing the jacket in black in a size 2. I usually don't go as small as a 2 in H&M since I have somewhat "substantial" shoulders (I wouldn't call them  broad, but they are somewhat developed since I work out a lot). Usually everything feels too tight across the chest in H&M stuff. But the shoulders didn't feel too tight at all, but that could be because the puff shoulder gives it a little extra room in the shoulder area and because of the low one-button stance. I tried on the 4 as well, and it felt the same as the 2 across the shoulders but a lot wider in the waist. It's made of a blend of polyester, elastane, and viscose. Decent quality too (otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it, of course). H&M tends to be very hit and miss with quality, but I do find that some of their pieces, particularly jackets are made pretty well...and small, so if you are in need of a jacket and you are petite, it's definitely a place to consider. Oh, and the lace-trim cami worn underneath is from Smart Set. Nice and stretchy, comes in a ton of different colors, and has adjustable straps (so important for petites!). Goes for $18CA.

     Oh and just for fun, my favorite Christmas Eve photo:


SO and my nephew, Apollo.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Boxing Week Shopping

     I received a gift card to Jacob, one of my favorite stores, from my brother for Christmas.  I was super duper excited, because I DESPERATELY needed some new stuff. I went straight to the mall after getting a cavity filled at the dentist. As much as I hate going to the dentist, I like my dentist. I've been seeing him since I was 4 years old, and he's super nice, and super quick. Twenty minutes. In and out. Anyways, I digress. Before I was able to make it to Jacob, however, I had to walk past an H&M. I'm not really an H&M lover. It really depends on the store and the kind of stock they carry. Plus, I'm kind of a "quality" snob. I prefer to buy good quality classic pieces than spend any money on trendy, cheap quality pieces. I was about to walk right by H&M, when I spotted something in the window. The mannequin was wearing a yellow button down cardigan with extreme puffy and ruched sleeves! I almost died. I totally backtracked and went into the store, looking all over for this sweater and couldn't find it...until I made my way back to the front of the store, and there it was. Yellow, black and bright green. I'm instantly drawn to yellow, but no size. Then the black. No size. So I make my way over to the green. I love green, but the sweater itself is so extreme, I think it's better sometimes to just go with a more neutral and subdued color, so not to look like I'm trying to hard. I picked it up an XS in the green and a S in the black (just for good measure) and headed to the fitting room. Once in the fitting room, I put on the black, way too big. So if I was going to get any color, then it would have to be the green. This is what it looked like:







I thought it was the cutest thing ever, despite having ribbed sleeves. It also looks better with the sleeves pulled up, IMO, but that's OK. In the fitting room, I had the biggest debate with myself trying to figure out where I'm going to wear this and if I was going to wear it again. And was the color OK? After about 5 minutes, I decided that I was just going to buy it and try it on at home and decide later if I was going to keep it. It is H&M after all. The motto when shopping in stores like this is: Buy now, think later. So I headed to the cashier, and as I stood in line, I spotted the sweater in grey hanging from a top rack. I made a bee line for it. And of course,  being on the top rack, I could not reach it. A few minutes of tippy-toe-ing and fidgeting with the hanger, I finally got it down. Then came debate #2. Grey or green? Grey or green? I spent another 5 minutes trying to figure out if I wanted to go with the grey. In the end, the grey was the choice. Here it is!


Seen here with True Religion Billy Jeans in Dark Vintage. An AE deep V Favorite Tank (my fave), and my Eric Michael OTK black leather boots.The sweater also comes in a psychedelic purple color as well as yellow, black, grey, and emerald green. Goes for $29.90CA. Idk. Now that I look at the pictures, maybe the green is better? Green does suit my skin tone more. Ack.

      My other purchase of the day was this Jacob boyfriend cardigan, black with white stripes. On sale for $39.99.


And also these long rope chain-like earrings from H&M to go with my NYE ensemble. I spent forever trying to find the right pair at Le Chateau, just because I love their jewelry for events, but they can be way too expensive.  Instead I ended up with these, which are good enough for my purpose:


I also wanted a grey merino wool v neck sweater, but there were no XS. If I find it again at another B&M store, I'm definitely getting it.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Merry Christmas to Me, Part II

     I don't have many girl friends, but one that I do have has a very similar style to mine. So when I buy her gifts, I want to buy one for myself! I found this great leather wristlet on ebags.com by Sophia Visconti:




It's a little bit on the larger side without being too oversized, and folds over with zipper closure. It also has a few studs on the back. The leather is fairly soft; not super smooshy by any means, which is kind of what I was expecting when I saw it online, and also because someone reviewed it and commented that the leather was super soft (the reviwer obviously didn't know any better). Regular price is $55US and also comes in 5 other colors: white, brown, denim, metallic pearl, and tan. I got one for myself and my friend, but later decided that I would give it to a different friend as it probably wouldn't fit my [first] friend's new lifestyle (she's a new mom). It's totally great though, I'm going to use it to complete my NYE outfit.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Card Fashion

     As I enter the world of networking, I must start to get into the habit of sending holiday cards. Not easy when you are lazy as I am. I actually bought these great ones from Target a few weeks ago:




      You can't really tell from the pic, but the tree has some glitter and is a little sparkly. I thought it looked original, without being OTT.
      Now, being just three days away from Christmas, my Christmas cards are still not sent out. =/ But, today in my inbox, I received a great holiday card from my friend, Roxanne. It comes from a website called Paperlesspost.com and the cards are beautiful. No need to buy stamps, no paper (which in the end usually ends up in the trash anyway), and no need to find a mailbox. Yes, you do have to pay, but for as little as $5 you can get 40 "stamps" and currently they are offering 25 free stamps when you sign up. The best part? The stamps never expire. Effin BRILLIANT! And yes, it's not just limited to holiday cards. They have invitations and Save The Dates and are all customizable. Sure there are other e-card websites out there, most of them kind of cheesy and lame...but these cards are perfectly elegant and professional. Very important when you are trying to make an impression (although, I do have to mention that my favorite e-card characters can be found on Hallmark.com--Hoops&yoyo. SO and the I love them and think they are totally cute and hilarious). Some people are definitely getting some Paperlesspost holiday cards this year.... =)

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A Merry Christmas to Me

      If you are anything like me, you can't help but by yourself some Christmas presents. I bought myself two this year. It was kind of unintentional...it was supposed to be a present for my KK, but I saw it and fell in love with it and decided to keep it for myself. Ha. (TBH, I don't think she would've appreciated the loveliness of this gift, anyway. LOL.)

     Since it was released, I have been in love with the Treesje Turner Studded Satchel. The leather looks so luscious I feel like I could reach through the computer screen and eat it. Treesje has also released some little cosmetic bag versions. Last week Endless.com was having a great sale. 40% off many of their accessories, including sale items PLUS another 20% with Bing cashback. It was an awesome deal. It was a little bit of an ordeal, but to make a long story short, this is what I ended up getting:

 

      Treesje Motley Cosmetic Bag in Chocolate (Retail $85).  It is actually larger than I thought it was going to be. The measurements are 4.75" x 7" x 2.5". It has the cutest gold studs. I actually also order the Mocha as well, and though I thought I was partial to the Mocha as I saw it online, IRL, the leather of the Chocolate was TDF. The inside is lined with twill, and also has a small pocket. The back of bag is also lined with studs. As you can see, I'm not exactly using it as a cosmetic bag, but I'm a little bit paro about any makeup being spilled inside. I'm incredibly pleased with it. It is even large enough to even use as a small clutch as you can see here as I hold it in my hand:



Happy Holidays Everyone!!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

A reason to keep your old clothes...

     So I went digging around in sweater boxes yesterday looking for more sweaters since it's starting to get pretty chilly here in D.C. I "lost" about 3 sweater since last winter, including my favorite merino wool Club Monaco sweater. As much as I'm grateful that the are willing to do my laundry, I really wish they wouldn't. They shrunk THREE of my sweaters...and currently being unemployed, I have no real way of replacing them. However, looking for something "new" to wear...I found an old, old J Crew cowl neck sweater that must be 7+ years old. I tucked it away years ago because the cowl neck look hasn't been too "in" until this season, and also, I wasn't a fan of the fit for a while. I was into the whole fitted sweater look for a few years. Anyways, I went ahead and put it on, because it still looked great...just needed to be de-pilled a little, and voila!! A great "new" sweater and it looks awesome! I'm so glad I kept it, I'm usually pretty anal about purging my closet of things that I don't wear anymore--usually I just donate or give away rather than keeping them and have old things take space in my closet.

    Sorry about the bad photos. I have yet to figure out the best place to take pics and my room is a little small...and super messy ATM.  Old J. Crew sweater worn with my J Brand Lightweight 10" Skinny Jeans in Ink. The boots, if you are wondering are Camper Helix Boot. The circumference of the boot are perfect, about 13.5", no cobbler needed. Here's a close up:



They're very simple and streamlined. Nothing too fancy, almost a bit *too* plain, but they're great for wearing out in the snow and slush (as long as they are protected properly, i.e., with a cream/gel not just a spray!). I wore them out one day in Boston where I was literally walking around in ankle deep slush and puddles and my feet were OK for the most part...maybe just slightly damp/cold when I got home. Warning, they are a bit on the narrow/fitted side. I usually try to put in a winter insole for extra warmth in my boots when I can, but they would not fit in this boot.

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The Latest Shoe Purchase:

...Nine West Abi:



      So I had been contemplating open-toe booties for the last few seasons. At first they seemed overly trendy and I try not to purchase things that won't last more than a season. I prefer to buy quality pieces that will last over time. However, thanks to the economy, and designers' decisions to stretch out trends over multiple seasons, the open-toe bootie trend looks like it's going to stay at least through Spring/Summer '10. Great news for me! The right pair can really give a simple outfit a little edge.

     For months I had been holding on to this $75 Amex pre-paid gift card that I earned on a legal research website during school. I was trying to hold on to it until I found something great and super expensive that I normally could not afford. Well, I held off as long as I could. Being unemployed and not making a really purchase fun in months, I was itching to buy a pair of shoes that were super impractical and just plain hot. I debated a long time as to whether I wanted shoes or splurge on some cosmetics at Sephora. Finally, I decided to buy a pair of shoes that were reasonable in price and would not have to put in any extra cash to cover the balance. I searched for weeks trying to find the perfect shoe. I had an idea in my head about what I want my NYE outfit to look like, and I just needed the right shoe to fit the idea. After much searching, I pretty much narrowed it down to three pairs:


Nine West Abi (image from www.Zappos.com). Regular Price $98.95.This is a great boot. Small platform, which was a pre-requisite, heel is a good height, and a pretty classic shape--not too "stiletto-ish" nor too thick.






Nine West Haldir (image from www.Zappos.com) Regular Price $98.95.


I saw these in the Nine West store and I loved them.  I was actually leaning towards these at first, but the slight awkwardness of the height of the boot at the ankle concerned me. Sure they would look great with skirts or a dress, but how about my skinny jeans? I didn't want my jeans to lay awkwardly over top of them. If they did, my only option would be to wear them with skirts or dresses...and with me, that's a rarity.

Report Signature Reade. (photo from www.bluefly.com). Regular Price 189.95.


I love the Reade sandal. But it was out of my price range. It has been on sale on some sites lately, but OOS in my size. =( I still have my eye on them though. Good amount of platform without being overly high, strappy, and the heel shape is classic. Lovely.

      In the end, yes, I did go with the Abi. The leather on boots are great--thick, and fairly non-creasing. It is a little pebbly, but nothing too distracting. So far, they feel really great. I'm so excited to wear them for NYE.  Here are a few more IRL pictures of them:



Sorry about the filthy mirror. I really should clean it sometime. Worn with a super stretchy cotton-spandex Wilfred skirt (from Aritzia), and an American Eagle deep V favorite T, uh, just because that's the shirt I was wearing at the time and I didn't feel like changing it.






Up close, wearing a F21 silver chain bracelet with magnetic clasp. $7.90.



And here's another look with my favorite pair of J Brand 10" Lightweight (72/28 blend) skinny jeans in Ink. Size 25, if you're wondering. They fit SMALL.



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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Studs, Studs, Studs.

       One of my favorite looks of all time is "rocker chic". I'm ecstatic that this look has been around the last few seasons. My everyday look tends to be very casual and streamlined, but I love a little edge. Whether it be leather, chains, zippers, or one of my most favorite...STUDS. I get all giddy just thinking about it. This post is mostly going to focus on leather cuffs, with of course, studs! I have a few plain leather cuffs, which I love to throw on with a pair of jeans and a plain tee...but I could not contain my excitement when this season they started coming out with studs. Gold, gunmetal, silver, you name it. Here are a few that caught my eye this season:

Rebecca Minkoff. Comes in various colors such as fluorescent pink, fluorescent yellow, pine, black, black patent, dark grey and fluorescent blue, fluorescent pink, fluorescent orange, and crema.
The RM double pyramid bracelet (pictures courtesy of www.lunaboston.com). Prices from $48.

RM Flowerstud Bracelet:


      More favorites? Hayden-Harnett (photos from www.hayden-harnett.com). They're having a sale now, so prices are currently starting at $90 on the HH website. Check it out!
HH Pleasure Slim Cuff in Cognac:



HH Farrow Wide Cuff in Cognac:




    Of course, if you like cuffs without the studs, you can find great ones at H&M in the Men's accessory section. This is the one that I own that I absolutely adore:



   Oddly enough, I've only been able to find it in H&M stores in Canada, not the US. But IIRC, they cost $7.90CA.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Who has an UGG Obsession?

      ME!!! *raises BOTH hands*

      Yes, they are UGG-ly. Their days of being trendy are long gone...(although by the way they predominate kids', tweens', and teens' wardrobes, you would think otherwise). But they are oh so warm, and oh so comfortable. And hey, despite being ugly, they also can look cute in a "I-don't-really-care-what-my feet-look-like-as-long-as-I'm-warm" kind of way. I currently own two pairs of sheepskin boots. My very first pair that I bought 5 years ago, when they entered the fashion world and no one in America quite knew what they were, I pretty much completely destroyed--UGG Classic Tall in Sand. I remember them clearly...I even wore them in August, in the blazing heat..with a little mini jean skirt and blue argyle socks peeking out of them. People thought I was totally insane. All in the name of fashion.

     Five years later, I have a pair of UGG Classic Tall in Chestnut (which I absolutely adore), and a pair of LFA (Love from Australia) Cupid Sheepskin Boots that I love so much that even though I bought them 3+ years ago, I have never worn them outdoors except to maybe doing something equivalent to taking out the trash. Here are my babies (image from www.lfaboots.com):

       The first time I saw them was in a picture of Cameron Diaz. When I saw them, I had to have them. I love them so much, even though I bought them 3+ years ago, I have yet to wear them outdoors for anything much more than something equivalent to taking out the trash. Really expensive house slippers? Yes. Maybe one day soon I will have the courage to actually wear them out...just not yet.

      And my most recent obsession? The Australia Luxe Collective Bedouin Boot in Navy. I couldn't find a picture of them in Navy, but here they are in Chestnut (courtesy of www.singer22.com):



      I've seen this style around for years, but it wasn't until I saw them in Navy did I start obsessing. Oi. Maybe one day soon, my dream will become a reality. Do you have an Sheepskin Boot obsession you'd like to share?

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