Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fashion Fixation: Lauren Merkin Snakeskin Embossed Louise Clutch

    Generally every fashion season, handbags go through their own trends as much as clothes and shoes. Handbags are a great accessory that can really complete an outfit. Oddly enough however, the handbag this fall/winter season has been somewhat neglected. Most of what we are seeing are clutches and hand-held bags. Very minimalistic, with no little danglies or extra embellishments. Need bigger? Go with a practical satchel. Nothing exciting, huh? I don't mind. I love clutches, especially the huge oversized ones. There's something about them that appeals to my tomboy tendencies. 

     One clutch that has caught my eye this season is the Lauren Merkin Snakeskin embossed Louise Clutch. From

      How gorgeous is this? It's not real python (I can't even imagine how difficult it would be to care for if it was!), but this classic "print" is just perfect and goes with everything. Retails for $200. I've always had an attraction to Lauren Merkin's Louise and Eve clutches (the Eve being smaller in size). Such a classic shape and she makes them in dozens of different textures and colors each season making it too easy to want to collect them like an old coin collection.

     I have also been obsessed with the Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Clutch for years now. Although I would be perfectly happy with black, flat iron grey, or wine, this one in Sea Green eludes me:

     Kind of plain, you say? I thought so too, at first. Until I realized that the detachable chain can be worn in several different ways. Then I was sold! RM handbags have actually gone down in price this season (unlike Chanel, which has gone up 25%), making this just a little more within my reach. The perfect day-to-night clutch.

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Monday, September 27, 2010


    I admit it. I'm kind of obsessed with these pants right now:

Top: H&M Belted Silk Top (bronze, size 4).
Pants: GAP Really Skinny Pants (black, size 00P).
Shoes: Lauren by Ralph Lauren Zabrina Pumps (black, size 6).
Purse: Sophia Visconti clutch (black).

     Actually I would like this outfit even better with one of these:

(pic from Shopbop)

     Or, one of these:
(pic from

     Unfortunately, both not within my budget right now. Though the RM MAC with gunmetal hardware is *almost* within my reach!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Street wear EOTD

Jacket: BB Dakota Hinsdale Trench (Mushroom, size S).
Scarf: Love Quotes (in Mallard).
Sunglasses: Ray Ban Aviators (RB 3293).
Shoes: Converse (grey, size M4/W6).
Denim: Paige Hollywood Hills Las Palmas (Tuscan, size 25).
Ring: Aldo (size 6).
Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs Flash Slingdoodle (black).

    Back in T.O. for a conference and going to grab a coffee with the SO before he headed off to work. A little bit of a cool day with some glare from the sun (hence my squinting). A typical outfit for me when I'm out and about in the city. Yes, SO made me stand up on the ledge for pictures.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

EOTD: The Go-To

     A short while back, Kelly from had a post that talked her "go-to" outfit (see here). Hers consisted of a cute top, with a button-down cardigan, dark jeans, and heels. Mine? A simple top, dark jeans, a jacket, and a great pair of shoes or boots:

Blazer: Jacob (Black, size 0).
Top: Club Monaco (Grey, size XS).
Denim: J Brand 10" skinnies (Ink, size 24).
Shoes: Eric Michael Vogue OTK Boot (Black, size 37).
Handbag: Olivia Harris Hobo Bag (Teal patent).
Necklace: Long String of fake pearls.

     I'm generally not big on pearls. I associate them with a snobby, southern, conservative, upper class woman. I know this isn't necessarily true, I too much TV? LOL. In this case, however, I think the pearls are a great feminine touch to this menswear-inspired ensemble.  I actually bought this string of fake pearls when I was a young teen when I saw a photo of Alyssa Milano (who I just loved on Who's the Boss? as a child) wearing a very long strand of pearls around her wrist. After laying my eyes on that photo I was determined to get a similar pair. I don't think I've ever been brave enough to wear them until now.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Starting a New Trend?

     I saw something interesting when I was perusing the website the other night (you may click to enlarge):

     I'm not one to complain about how magazines airbrush models and celebrities. I already know that it is unachievable "perfection" that they are showing on those magazine covers. I am also not one of those women who complain that designers don't use "real" women in their shows or ads. Heck, I like thin models because I *am* thin! I like to see how clothes would fit on a thin frame, though I can see the opposite side; I probably would have a different view of the matter if I had a different body shape. But having seen this blurb on the Jacob website, I think what they are doing is a wonderful idea. Even myself, being in my 30s, though I am much more comfortable with my body than I was in during my younger years, I admit that I am still sometimes influenced by those heavily touched up photos by aspiring to be the the perfectly toned model on the right. But let's be honest, most women don't look like that, even models (OK, Gisele Bundchen doesn't count). Number one, we should all aspire to be strong and healthy on the inside. It is OK to have physical goals (mine: flat abs! LOL), as long as they are realistic and attainable--we need to recognize that we can't fight genetics. Even if we are all perfectly healthy and strong in the inside, does that necessarily mean we will look like Gisele? No. Because we are all different (and she is a freak of nature). But we are all still beautiful despite not having the body of a supermodel. I applaud Jacob for taking the steps to help change the public mindset and promote the idea that we should not only be accepting, but proud of the body we were born with, and we shouldn't feel bad about not being spitting images of what is in the fashion magazines because what we see isn't real. We all need to be reminded of that every so often.

     Please remember: You *are* perfection!

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

EOTD: The Slouchy Sweater

Sweater: Jacob (charcoal grey, size XS).
Top: Jacob Outlet L/S crew neck (dark olive green, size XS).
Denim: J Brand 10" Skinnies (Ink, size 24).
Handbag: Rebecca Minkoff MAB (dark brown).
Shoes: Charles David Nexus Boot (black, size 6.5).
Necklace: Forever21.

    The belt really helps prevent a slouchy sweater from overwhelming a small frame.

    Up close, the pendant, which is the big jewelry trend for fall:

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Zara Fitting Room Finds

     I have mixed feelings about Zara. I actually love its style. It's so me. Classic, minimalistic, clean lines, and yet, still extremely modern. However, there are two things that stand in my way when I see something that I like. One, the fit. Two, the quality. 

    If any petites have ever tried Zara, you know that at times it can fit fairly small. Not as small as H&M, but it gets there. I do fine with skirts, they usually fit pretty well on me. The pants? I'm not sure what it is, but they just fit a little bit awkward. Too much bunching and folding and it doesn't feel/look very flattering. Tops and jackets? I love the look of Zara jackets, but the fit tends not to work on my body at all. My shoulders cannot be accommodated in the XS, which means I have to move up to the S, which of course, means the top/jacket will be too big in the waist. Sometimes I can get away with it, sometimes it definitely needs to be altered and a lot of the time I just dont think it's worth the time or the money. 

   As for the quality, Zara can just really drive me insane. It is definitely hit or miss (much like H&M), but I really wish Zara would use better quality fabrics with their jackets. I'm also turned off by the fact that I see buttons falling off and seams coming apart while they are sitting on the rack waiting to be sold. I mean, seriously? It hasn't even been worn yet and it's already falling apart? At that point I don't even bother to pick up the item and I just walk away.

   Now having said all of that, Zara still intrigues me, so I will take a peek every so often to see what I can come up with. I had an unexpected day off from work this week so I decided to see what was going on in my local Zara. 

    I thought I'd try these skinny pants. Every time I walk into Zara I feel drawn to their skinny pants, but they never fit properly:

     As you can see it causes the pancake-butt syndrome, and overall, just unflattering. If I could tell somebody to fix the fit, I'm not even sure I would know what exactly is wrong with it. It also has a little fold at the bottom of the leg that I'm not crazy about. It comes in other colors such as black and navy in case you are interested and Zara pants happen to fit you well. I am wearing them in a size 34 (US size 2). Price is $39.90US.

   I've been on a hunt for a black non-pencil skirt for the last little while. I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for, but I think I will know it when I see it. I tried this pleated skirt that I found:

They didn't have an XS, so I tried it in a S. It was a touch big, but the fit wasn't terrible. It was OK, but I wasn't crazy about it either. The pleats remind me of my school uniform in high school. Retails for $39.90US.

     I also tried on this black pencil skirt in size XS:

     There was a little pulling right across the front, but overall it fit pretty well. It has a side-zip which is generally a bad idea for me, but it made me look like I actually had some hips. I forgot to take a picture of the tag, but if I had to guess it was probably $39.90US.

     Now, this skirt I fell in love with:

     I first saw this skirt at Zara in Toronto. I held it and stared at it for a few minutes, but I didn't try it on. When I saw it again in D.C., I thought, why not? The belt is a little long and it could a little bit of hemming at the knee, but overall it was extremely flattering. If you can't tell in the picture, it has a small checkered pattern to it. I'm wearing it in size XS, and its price is $39.90. I thought about buying this skirt for a long time before I left the store, but in the end I decided against it even though I could already think up a ton of outfits I could put together with this.  I'm thinking I may have to go back for this tomorrow.

     I saw a few great blazers in the store. I walked by most of them, but I did pick up a couple to try on in the fitting room. I saw this khaki colored one-button:

     As expected, it fit too small in the shoulders (I tried it on in XS). I could barely lift my arms. The material was very soft, almost like a microfiber material. The construction seemed to be fine, but I really like to lift my arms throughout the day. Price is $39.90US.

     I was also somewhat drawn to this jacket on the rack. It also came in a camel color that was also very pretty:

     Very utilitarian-inspired. I am wearing it here in a size S because XS wasn't on the rack. It fit well in the shoulders, but as you can see, overall it was quite big. I really like the wide collar, which is probably part of the reason why I was drawn to it in the first place. I've always wanted a jacket with a large funnel neck. But the fabric was awful. Very rough, itchy, and not as thick as you would expect by looking at it. I forgot to check out the fabric content. I really wanted to know what exactly they were using. If you live somewhere with a harsh winter, this jacket would not get you far into the season--mid-November, if you're lucky. The price for this is $79.90US. Not worth the price tag, IMO.

    I'm still really thinking about that high-waisted mini-checkered skirt. Should I go back for it??

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

EOTD: To belt or not to belt?

    It's been getting a bit cooler in D.C. this past week. And since I am working for the next short while, I thought I'd take the opportunity to wear my new GAP Really Skinny Pant. They are on sale in the store, BTW. $35 in the US for all their black pants. However, if you are petite, you might be pressing your luck for a size. Apparently any petite sizes we see in stores are a result of returns. Argh. So what does that mean? We petites, have to pay full price for our black pants? Boo. 

   Anyway, I had a bit of a dilemma as to how I was going to wear these Really Skinny Pants. I already had the idea of a tank under a cardigan with a pair of flats. But the question was, can/should I belt it? I've mentioned in previous posts, I generally don't like to belt things because I feel like it emphasizes my boy-ish figure, but I was tossing the idea back and forth in my head because belting cardigans and jackets is such a big styling trend right now. In the end, I went without the belt, but what do you ladies think? Should I have kept it? (Ack, noisy pics. Sorry, I was playing with the settings of my camera and the end result was noiser than I thought it was going to be).

Pants: GAP Really Skinny Pants (black, 00P).
Shoes: Matt Bernson Waverly Flats (Gunmetal Snake, size 6.5).
Top: Smart Set lace-trimmed cami (white, size XS).
Sweater: Ann Taylor Crewneck Cardigan (royal blue, size XS).
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Bag (dark brown)
Belt: GAP Skinny Belt (flint grey, size S).

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Review: Cole Haan Air Astrid Flat

     Got such a good deal on some Cole Haan Air Astrid Flats that I had to try them out:

     Dust bag!

    They retail for ~$148, but found them (or my friend found them) for a mere $48 from Neiman Marcus! I had no idea how these were going to fit, but I went with a 6.5 since I'm starting to find that these shoes with the elastic mouth tend to run a bit small. When I slipped them on, length-wise they felt good, width-wise, not so great. As you can see it was pretty roomy around my foot. And there certainly wasn't as much padding in the shoe as the Air Bandon both around the elastic and in the sole for support.  If I had to choose between the Astrid and Bandon, then Bandon would definitely be my choice. The Astrid is still fairly comfortable, the Bandon just more so.  Compare the look with Cole Haan Air Bandon Flat:

     They look, well, exactly the same! LOL. If you can get the Astrid at a good price, they are worth checking out (but the Bandon is better!).

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

H&M Fitting Room Finds

     It was the last long weekend of the summer, and I went home to Toronto for a little R&R (to my project manager's dismay). I made a couple of trips to the mall and tried on a few things and I want to share what I least on my first trip. During my second trip I found quite a few more things (bigger mall), but it was also the weekend, and the stores were crowded and messy and I just didn't feel like dealing with the craziness. Of course, one of the stores I had to check out was H&M. I wasn't really too impressed with what they had to offer compared to other days, but I did bring in some pieces into the fitting room that I was excited about.

     Initially, I thought that this jacket had some potential. A little military inspired (it also comes in grey) and the belt actually comes with it. I brought a size 4 into the fitting room, but it is a little bit too big in the sleeves and little too big in the waist. I think I might have been able to fit a size 2 without too much shoulder restriction. It probably would have looked better overall in a smaller size. I believe the price for this is $39.95 or $49.95 (I forgot to take a picture of the price tag). It also seemed to come with a matching skirt, but then it seemed a little too matchy-matchy. I would prefer the jacket with a great pair of jeans, anyway.

     I saw this dress in a few colors including a very pretty blue metallic. It's a little bit too A-lined for me, and probably a little too long. I feel a little bit overwhelmed by the skirt. I normally wouldn't have picked this up, but I'm trying to branch out just a little bit and see if make my style slightly more feminine than my typical tomboy-inspired look. I'm wearing it in a size 4. I had a heck of a time trying to get this off over my shoulders since there was no zipper. That was annoying. Maybe I would have tried it in a size 2 if I wasn't so scared of not being able to take it off! This retails for $39.95.

     I don't know what it is about this nude colored dress, but I love it. It's not even my's a little bit too frilly and girly, but i still think it's adorable. I am wearing it in a size 4 and it fits perfectly! The price is $39.95. I decided against buying this, but now I'm having second thoughts. I can picture it looking totally hot with a great pair of platform heels. I thought that maybe I wouldn't like the little ruffle going down the front, but it is actually a beautiful detail. I didn't even feel like I needed a belt to make this work.

     Camel and nude are huge colors this fall and I just love it.  It can also be a somewhat difficult color to pull off if you wear it close to the face. This is not quite caramel or nude, but more of a bronze color so it is just enough contrast against my skin without washing it out. Although it doesn't look too special in the pictures I took, I actually saw some potential in this and decided to buy it. How cute will it be with my GAP Really Skinny pants? I also saw this in a metallic dusty rose color. It's pure silk and I'm wearing it in a size 34 (equivalent to 4). It's price tag said $34.95. So pretty!

     As I mentioned a few posts ago, I am starting a new project with lots of OT hours, so I apologize in advance if this blog slows down a little bit over the next little while. I will try to keep posting as best I can!

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

EOTD: The Final Days of Summer

     After much thought, I realized that I haven't posted many casual summer EOTDs over the last few months, and I'm already starting to post Fall/Winter EOTDs! To make up for a it just a little bit, here is an outfit I wore to a cook-out at a friend's house a few weekends ago:

Top: Le Chateau eyelet corset top, (white, size XXS).
Denim: Hudson Wide-Leg jeans (Abyss, size 24)
Shoes: Mea Shadow Camelia Shooties (camel, size 6).

     I love the little feminine top with these jeans.  I bought it years and years ago and I had forgotten all about it until just recently. It's pretty tight (definitely not for the busty), but it just looks so darn cute, especially with the little flower pin it came with. 

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