I recently had a conversation with my mom about her pants. These conversations are never easy. In fact, they’re usually quite painful. You see, a few years back, I convinced my mom to make the switch from bad jeans to good jeans. It took a lot of coaxing, some tears and a bit of introspective but at the end of our jean journey she walked away with newfound confidence and some worthwhile knowledge:
:: A lower rise will be more universally flattering than a higher rise
:: Baggy does not make me look thinner
:: A flared leg does not mean I’m living in the 70’s
:: Stretch can be a good thing
Now that I think about it, that conversation may have taken place eight to 10 years ago. Which at this point seems like a century behind me. But as we set to usher in a new decade, I figured a jean conversation was something that needed to take place. The damage was nothing near what it was years ago before any conversation took place. The weekend’s conversation was just more of a “maintenance” conversation. After all, my mother had lived by my denim rules and advice for years now—rarely breaking from the style she liked (and I approved of).
In fact, one of my favorite Christmases of all time was when I got my mother, grandma and aunt to wear decent jeans. The difference a good pair of jeans made was unbelievable to them. Just a change in denim made them feel as if they’d spent days being nipped and tucked. The right pair of jeans highlighted what they loved about their bodies and made them feel confident and sexy!
So as you look to 2011, I want you to ask yourself, “Do I wear good jeans?” Think about the style you always buy (that very well might work great for you) and then think about how you could mix it up. Extreme flair? Boyfriend? Skinny? Straight?
We live in a time when nearly any style of jean is acceptable if it fits you with precision and flatters your figure. We haven’t been able to say that for most decades. So get out there and have fun with jeans. Yeah, you’ll have to try on 9,000 pairs to find one or two that fit perfectly, but it’s worth it! The PPW of jeans is generally low, so you can feel good about your purchase.
Get out and play!
Play with multiple styles of jeans from a low to mid price range at The Gap. I buy lots of trendier denim here because I can justify it!
For many designer and premium styles, check out Macy’s or Bloomingdales. Choose from brands like True Religion, Joes, Hudson and Seven For All Mankind. A great play to buy updated versions of your tried and true fit. (My go-to jean is Joe’s The Rocker. I know I’ll wear them tons and they’ll look great, so I have no problem shelling out the cash.)
And PS: Don’t ever think about buying The Pajama Jean. Don’t even play.
Every year on Christmas Eve my family eats oyster stew. My guess is that your family probably doesn’t do this. It’s okay, we’ve embraced that we’re different. Oyster stew really isn’t a stew at all—it’s a relatively thin, cream-based soup with nothing but oysters in it. It’s completely delicious, but if you don’t like oysters, it might not be your thing.
I was very excited for the oyster stew. It really is one of my favorite foods. I grabbed a giant oyster in my oversized soupspoon and shoveled it into my mouth. The first bite did not yield the rich taste of oyster, it instead involved a loud, sharp crunching noise and nothing but the taste of sheer pain. But instead of crying or freaking out, I began to jump for joy.
I quickly grabbed my napkin and spit the contents of my mouth into it. My brothers, age 13 and 20, acted like it was the grossest thing they’d ever seen. Which is funny, considering they show me their butts at least once a week. Then, if that wasn’t gross enough, I started to sift through the half-chewed oyster with my finger.
Cries of disgust echoed from across the table. I attempted to hide my half-chewed seefood in my lap but people still looked at me like I was insane. I was like a holiday vision of Yukon Cornelius digging for gold. I had won the oyster lottery.
And that’s when I found it. A little white speck of magic. A pearl.
The universe was saying Merry Christmas by giving me my very own Christmas pearl. Granted, I would have preferred to find a diamond in my oyster, but we all know that can’t happen (scientifically). But finding a natural pearl in an oyster is actually quite rare—some statistics say one in 12,000!
Once my brothers saw what I was searching for, they thought I was pretty cool, and they chewed slowly. I was the envy of the dinner table.
The next time you’re scanning a menu debating what to have, opt for the oysters. Who knows? A good dinner could help you expand your jewelry collection.
I am a horrible gift giver. This is probably because I’m constantly thinking of things to buy myself—certainly not things to buy others. Some might call this selfish, but I like to think of it as my own sick and twisted version of “survival of the fittest.” If I can’t count on myself for a good gift, who can I count on? I certainly haven’t found the perfect sugar daddy yet. (I can barely rope a man into buying me dinner.) But maybe when that happens I’ll actually learn how to put others first.
Eh, doubt it.
So here we are. Three days before the gift-giving climax of the year and I’ve got nothing to show for it. Granted, I only have to find one gift this season. (Sidenote: I suggested that my family draw names for the holidays this year. This was mostly for selfish reasons—for only having to buy one gift instead of many. Apparently everyone else was feeling selfish, too. They bought right into my scheme.) So perhaps I’ll be able to buckle down and come up with a decent holiday gift. At this point, it could go either way.
In the past, several people have actually told me that I’m good at thinking of gift ideas. People probably think this is a nice compliment, or they think I’m just really in tune to the wants of the world. And let’s face it, wants are WAY better than needs. If anyone ever tries to convince you otherwise, slap them.
I want Louboutins.
I need toilet paper.
See the difference?
The past several years have been marked by the recession—chatter regarding “getting back to the basics” and “living within your means.” All of those concepts are sound ideals that you shouldn’t ignore. But as the holidays approach, don’t forget that sometimes the best gift you can receive is the gift you give yourself. Whether you want new shoes, a great new haircut, Botox or a bucket of diamonds, gift yourself something that makes you happy. And don’t you dare regret it! It’s okay to reward yourself just for being you.
In a meeting this morning, my love of wearing animals was brought up. Somehow, we got on the topic of fur. Before I knew it, someone looked at my textured shoes and said, “I suppose those are made from some helpless little creature, too?”
Duh. Some helpless little creature that makes a really great looking pair of stilettos.
This winter, the coats of those helpless little creatures I speak of are making a splash in the fashion world. Fur is hot right now. And as temperatures continue to drop (I’m bracing a balmy 15 degrees today), you’ll want to look into the season’s most fabulous, furbulous additions to keep you warm.
I’m loving Theory’s fox-fur jacket. Partly because fox is my favorite of all furs. It has the most amazing texture—it’s light and never looks matted down—and it has volume. But I also love this coat because the elongated shape creates a tall, thin sihouette. All too often, you see people wearing fur and think, “Oh goodness, is that a person or the animal itself?” Stick to something with tailoring to avoid any mishaps.
If you’re adventurous and want a statement piece, this jacket by Royal Underground has just the right amount of fur—plus leather and lace detailing. Who could ask for more? Created by former Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx and former CEO and creative director of St. John, Kelly Gray, this jacket is a true blend of lady luxe and rocker chic.
And if you’re really not into wearing fur—for animal rights reasons or the price tag—there’s a number of pretty good lookin’ faux options for you this season.
I love how casual and cool this faux fur bomber jacket from Juicy Couture looks with jeans and an easy-going top. Due to it’s versatility, lower price tag (it’s not as much as real fur) and stylish design, this piece could garner a low PPW. At $398.00, if you wear it 40 times this season, you’re looking at roughly $10 per wear. While that seems high, you have to consider the fur alternative. If you wear the jackets above 40 times per season you’re still looking at nearly $38 per wear. Lucky for you, fur should surpass seasonal boundaries—meaning you should be able to wear your designs for several seasons (if not several decades).
For another faux fur option to glam up your look, try this Rebecca Taylor faux fur chubby coat. Its cute trim and feminine cut make it a great addition to a ladylike wardrobe.
Lastly, a great place to shop for fur is in vintage and consignment shops—especially if you want the look without the sticker shock. Some vintage pieces that were hip and happening thirty years ago embody the essence of today’s trends. However, you have to be careful and inspect the fur very carefully. Check to make sure it’s not damaged. Look for things like holes, rips, tears or giant stains. Remember, cleaning or repairing a fur isn’t cheap either! So don’t buy a fur that smells or looks like its been infested.
Go dominate winter, and the fashion scene, in the season's hottest fur!
Friendships can be weird. People can be surprising. And life is, often times, a little dramatic. And that's why this quote is so perfect.
"If you're gonna' be two-faced at least make one of them pretty."
~Marilyn Monroe, who takes a lighthearted, realistic approach to dealing with people who are deceiving and false. But I say, why not make both of those faces pretty? Ugly is never is style.
It’s the week of Thanksgiving and it’s around this time every year that I start thinking about my favorite Thanksgiving. It was in second grade and I was seven. I dressed like a pilgrim out of my own free will—I wore a vintage layered brown dress with cream-colored mini-polka-dots and ruffles. And dare I mention the large cream-colored collar that wrapped around my neck? Or the French braid in my hair (because that’s how pilgrims do their hair, duh). The only thing I was missing was a petticoat. And trust me, if I would have had one, I would have certainly wore it.
But my perfect pilgrims-landing-at-Plymouth-Rock Thanksgiving celebration was far from picturesque (despite the outfit). That was the year my father decided to roast a goose for dinner. Over-achievement runs in the family. While I expressed my extra effort that Thanksgiving through my carefully planned outfit, my dad decide to showcase his culinary chops.
We never really got a chance to eat the goose. But the whole world got to see my outfit. You see, the goosey-goose shot up in flamey-flames. And my father’s arm was caught in the crossfire. I was whisked away to a family friend’s house while my mother and father went to the emergency room. Somehow, in all of this hustle and bustle, I ended up at McDonalds eating chicken McNuggets, dressed like a pilgrim on Thanksgiving.
My mother and father arrived back from the hospital later that night. We did not eat goose. But somehow, buttered parsnips were on the menu. They survived the whole day of chaos. And quite frankly, I would have rather eaten my own fingernails for dinner than buttered parsnips. (To this day, I think parsnips are the most fowl food known to man. They taste like carrots soaked in cheap cologne.)
And that was the great Thanksgiving of ’92. The ironic thing is that my mother still uses the Gourmet magazine from November 1992 to base all of our Thanksgiving dinners on—even today. The only differences? I don’t dress like a pilgrim anymore, we stick to turkey (no goose) and buttered parsnips are never on the menu.
Every time I think of a wrap dresses, I think of Madonna’s song “Wrap You Up.” Gonna’ wrap you up in my love, in my love. All over your body. Ironically, that’s what a wrap dress does. It wraps you up in figure-flattering love. All over your body.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what a wrap dress is. It’s simple a dress that wraps around the body and ties together (usually at the side). It actually looks like it wraps around the body—it’s supposed to appear that way. So while the bottom of the dress may be cut on an A-line or tailored closer to the body, a wrap dress will always have the element of wrapped fabric going across the front of the body. Sometimes it will wrap tightly and other times the fabric will wrap more loosely. Here, take a look at these wrap dresses to see what they all have in common.
The wrap effect actually helps accentuate the hourglass figure and waistline. So whether you’re a size 2 or a size 12, you’re set. Plus, a true wrap dress contours to your body—meaning it will always have a custom-tailored look. With no buttons and no zippers it wraps right around your shape.
Wrap dresses can come in a variety of fabrics. However, the jersey wrap dress is a classic. Diane von Furstenberg does the wrap dress better than anyone—she’s been making them for years. In my opinion, any working girl should have at least a few Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses in her closet. They’re chic. Always appropriate and always flattering. Check out this dress by DVF.
And that’s a wrap.
The letter A. It’s at the beginning of the alphabet. It’s the first letter of words like Armani, Anna (as in Anna Wintour) and Adorable. And it just so happens to describe one of the most coveted fashion fits of all time: the A-line dress.
The A-line dress is called that because A-line dresses are actually shaped like the letter A. Here, take a good look: A. It’s small up top. Big on the bottom. It’s really that simple.
A-line dresses are fitted on the top and flared on the bottom. They resemble the shape of a capital letter A. The top of an A-line dress is often fitted to the form of a female, while the bottom has more fabric—sometimes it can flare out in the form of pleats or folds, or it can flare out in a more loose and flowy manner. Take a look at these A-line dresses.
A-line dresses work on a lot of body shapes and types. They’re especially fantastic if you want to conceal or downplay your hips or backside. That’s because the top shows off the upper half of your body in an elegant, fitted way. The fabric that forms the wide part of the A-shape simply drapes over the bottom half of your body. No lumps. No insecurities.
If you don’t have a booty (or aren’t very curvy), the A-line dress can actually create the illusion of a backside. The extra fabric at the bottom, once again, conceals anything that might (or might not) be hiding below the dress. That means your booty (or lack thereof) is up to the imagination of your onlookers. Abracadabra—it’s fashion magic.
I like to suggest A-line dresses to shape-conscious people because they help create the illusion of an hourglass shape. An A-line dress should generally make the smallest part of your figure your waist. So even if you don’t have that Coke-bottle figure, you can come pretty damn close with the right A-line dress. And if you’re figure’s perfect, then chances are an A-line dress will look pretty cute on you, too. The appeal of this dress is that it’s classically feminine.
One designer who always delivers an A+ promise is Oscar de la Renta. He uses the A-line shape season after season because he knows how fab it is for a woman’s body. I’d say he’s the master of the A-line dress. Here's one of his current ready-to-wear designs. Check out his website for even more A-line amusement.
A-line dresses can be worn in a number of situations for work or play. They’re great for social events, like weddings and fundraisers, and equally as appealing paired with a cardigan for a day of work. And if you’re a lady who lunches, this style will suit you well.
Let’s shift this dress discussion into high gear with a lesson on the shift dress. When I began writing this post, I knew how to describe a shift dress—the way it fits, the way it’s cut. But I didn’t know how to describe why it’s called a shift dress in the first place.
According to an article by Sarah York, a contributor to eHow, the term “shift” signifies a shift in culture. She explains that when the dress became popular in the late 1950s, American youth culture was at its height. The dress represented the youthful, free and revolutionary attitudes of the time.
Believe it or not, more than 50 years after the dress got it’s start, the style still embodies a sort of youthful, vibrant essence.
Shift dresses are straight cut dresses with little-to-no shaping. Yesterday we learned about the sheath dress—which is perfectly curved to woman’s body through tailoring. Today’s dress, the shift dress, doesn’t have the type of tailoring it takes to contour it to a woman’s curves. Instead, the shift dress hangs from body in a straight, loose and free fashion.
To help you understand the commonalities of the shift dress, check out these dresses.
The tightest part of any shift dress should be the top—around the chest. From there, the line should be relatively straight. The dress can have minimal shaping but should hang straight down.
The shift dress is another one of my go-to dress styles. Because they’re reminiscent of the 1950’s and 60’s, I naturally love them. But they can be a tricky style for some to master. If you’re top heavy, finding the right shift dress can be difficult because the right proportion is hard to master—you don’t want the top too tight and the bottom too loose. Finding a dress that lightly skims your top half and gracefully hangs is key. And when a top-heavy girl finds the right shift, the straight fit can greatly balance her body. The same goes for those ladies with a little junk in the trunk, the “pear shapes.” Sometimes, a shift isn’t the best shape because it can fit tightest in the butt. When that happens, the straight line is suddenly interrupted and the dress appears to be ill-fitting. Plus, if the shift dress is too big on top and tighter on the bottom, it can end up drawing more attention to your bottom half. Ladies with booties, beware.
However, if you’ve got a tummy you’re conscious of, the shift is great for concealing any bothersome bumps. Remember, it should hang from the top half of your body. When done correctly, it will hang straight over any tummy troubles.
And for you ladies with a straight body shape, a shift dress can be very chic, a la legendary model Twiggy.
While the sheath dress we talked about yesterday has a more polished, professional look, the shift dress definitely has a more fun, youthful spirit. And shift dresses look great moving and shaking on a dance floor. Try one for your next wedding, social event or night out with the girls.
We’re going to start at the beginning with one of the most fundamental, classic dress shapes. Meet the sheath dress. A sheath dress is a dress that fits a woman’s body much like a sheath: closely and curved to all the right lines.
To remember this, think of the sheath of a knife. It covers and fits the blade just right. A sheath dress should cover the body as if it was perfectly tailored to one’s shape. In most cases, women want that perfect hour glass figure, and most sheath dresses cater to that shape or seek to create that illusion (more on that later).
The sheath dress embodies the timeless style of Audrey Hepburn—it’s that classic black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s that makes everyone’s style meter start dinging. It’s fitted, flawless, and fits in all the right places. Here are some modern-day interpretations of this always-in-style number.
In my personal opinion, the sheath dress looks good on just about everyone. If you have curves, it's a great way to show them off in a classy way. No curves? The right structured sheath can give the appearance of a curvier figure. This shape is the perfect style for helping to create a waistline where there isn't one. If you have a pear shaped bod, opt for a sheath dress that has design or detailing (like ruffles or a collar) up top. This will help create the illusion of a perfect, balanced hourglass figure.
Sheath dresses make getting dressed easy because of their classic, timeless essence. They're perfect for work, weddings, charity events, job interviews (with a jacket, of course) and a whole host of other occasions.
It has recently been brought to my attention that not every female is familiar with dress shapes and types. While I’ve posted several articles about dress education in the past, I think it’s time to revisit this topic. Dresses are an important part of every woman’s wardrobe. Knowing dress shapes (and what each shape can assist with) is crucial to dressing like a pro. For the rest of the week, I’ll be explaining dress shapes and styles! I’ll also be talking about which styles work right for your body type. So get ready to get dressed!
My favorite new trend in eyewear is the resurrection of cat eye sunglasses. After buying a new pair of Prada cat eye sunglasses in NYC, I can’t get enough of the super sassy shape. In fact, stars like Jessica Alba and Katy Perry can’t either—they were recently spotted with the exact same glasses I purchased.
I’ve always loved the look that cat eye sunglasses embody. They’re a little vintage, a little playful and have the right amount of sophistication. Plus, the lines of just the right pair can lift the cheekbones and work wonders for the face. Nothing looks more chic than a great pair of cat eye sunglasses with polished red lips—it’s vintage sass meets modern sophistication.
Want to pounce on the cat eye trend yourself? Here two of my picks for the purrrfect pair of peepers.
This pair of Prada sunglasses is for the fashionista who wants to commit to a pair of cat eyes. This is the pair of glasses I purchased in NYC. The reviews are in: I love them.
The Cat’s Pajamas
I’m also loving this pair of Dior cat eyes. A bit rounder than the Prada glasses above, this pair would look right at home on the face of a movie star…or the face of you.
And for those of you who won’t spend over $10 on a pair sunglasses, well, you’re on your own. You know how I feel about nice sunglasses. And when it comes to cat eyes, I just won’t compromise. But if I were you, I’d check vintage stores first.
Guess who got their Starbucks Gold Card in the mail last week? Yup. You guessed it. I am now the very proud owner of a Starbucks Gold Card. It’s like I have the coffee world at my fingertips.
Free drinks. Free syrup. Free soymilk. The VIP treatment is mine--all mine. I worked hard for this. Now onto bigger things, like landing myself an American Express Black Card.
If you still don’t participate in the Starbucks rewards program, I highly suggest you check yourself and head on over to the Starbucks website to find out what it’s all about.
I wanted to post a picture of my outfit today for two reasons.
1) To encourage you to go vote tomorrow.
2) To show you how vintage pieces can be incorporated into various looks.
Here's my outfit. (Great computer taken photo, huh?) Read the details of its significance below.
Go Vote Tomorrow: November 2nd
Let's start at the beginning. This week, I'm dressing in what I like to call "presidential chic." This look encapsulates all the elements of tailored, timeless looks made famous by American Presidents and their first lady friends. Even though tomorrow's nationwide election is not a presidential election, it's still very important. The leaders Americans will be voting on tomorrow will help shape government on the local, state and national level. The leaders elected tomorrow could impact things such as the amount of taxes you pay (taxes shmaxes, I'd rather spend money on clothes), the social programs available in your state and how the economic recession will play out (let's get over this already, I've got shopping to do).
Sometimes I think, "Wow, I'm so lucky to live in a land where I can wake up and pick out whatever I want to wear each morning." It's because of freedoms like this (some even as seemingly insignificant as clothing choice), that I always exercise my right to vote. You should, too.
Old is the New "New"
My outfit is half vintage today, which may surprise a lot of people. My adorable ruffled collar shirt was found at a thrift store. The detailing is impeccable; delicate, subtle ruffles always add a feminine touch to any outfit. My earrings were also purchased at a vintage store. They're clip-on pearl clusters (they scream "Barbara Bush.") My polka dot scarf came straight from my vintage scarf collection, and again, was purchased at a second-hand store. When paired with modern pieces—in this case Joe's Jeans and a striped suit jacket—they give my outfit a one-of-a-kind presidential flair.
Historians often say, "history repeats itself." In the case of national history and politics, we see patterns emerge. The same is true in the fashion world. History will almost always repeat itself. (I've lived long enough to see stirrup pants be considered fashionable a whopping two times.) That's why I think vintage and thrift-store shopping is so fulfilling: it's finding the old and making it cool again. It's like wearing a little piece of history.
So tomorrow, travel to the polls in something a little historical. Find the old and make it young again. Go influence America's future while wearing something that reminds you of the past.
One of the things I love most about having a blog is getting email from adoring fans. (Like how I just gave myself a major ego boost there?) I get several emails each week from ladies I’ve never even met. And that’s the greatest part. Sometimes a woman stumbles upon Pretty and Poor and finds that she’s able to relate to me and my frivolous ramblings. Here’s one of the latest emails I received from a young woman we’ll call “Beautiful and Bootieless.” I’m pretty sure she’s the quintessential Pretty and Poor gal—and to that, friends, I raise my martini glass.
A Letter From Beautiful and Bootieless
I am not a serious blog reader. In fact, I never read blogs. I'm so opinionated myself, I feel hearing others ideas will just knock me out of my Choos. However, on a recent Google search for "leopard print booties" (my 12th one this month), I came across your blog. Apparently, the powers that be at Google think you have exactly what I'm looking for. And they are right. Can I just say…a-ma-zing (in my best Rachel Zoe impression). I totally feel your frustration with the lack of bootie going on. Of course my #1, over the top, need to have them or I will have a heart attack, is the Christian Louboutin Leopard-Print Lace-Up Bootie. It's breathtaking. Stunning. All that and a bag of chips. No other words to describe it. I have been looking for stand-ins until I can save enough change from my daily Starbucks intake, to afford such a gorgeous pair of heels. My savings so far, you ask? A Ziplock baggie full of pennies, quarters and lots of hope. It's a gallon size bag, so that's a lot of change. Or lattes. Whichever way you want to look at it.
Anywho, this email is just to inform you that you are not alone sister. There are other girls just like you, running around the city trying to find the perfect purring bootie. But until that day, the newest Jimmy Choo scarves and Burberry bags will have to do.
~Beautiful & Bootieless in Jersey
Need to talk fashion? Release your frustrations with the retail world? Talk to someone who has had to choose between a Hermes scarf and food for the month? Send me an email. Click on the “Contact Me” section from the menu bar.
And seriously, I hope to hear from you!
With all the black, gray and neutral colors of the season, how’s a girl who loves color supposed to spice up her hip and trendy look? Elementary, my darlings. Pile on all the black you want. Layer your bod in charcoals and slates. Relish in the reasonable neutrals of this season. When it comes to color, opt for a bright and bold lip color!
My favorite thing to wear right now is bright red lips. Statement lips provide a confident pop of color. They speak loudly—sometimes even more loudly than anything you could incorporate into your outfit. But if red’s not your thing, no worries—go for a bold berry, poppin’ pink or cool cranberry. Your perfect color will depend on your skin tone and hair color. And you’ll need to try a few on to find the perfect hue.
(Here I am rocking bright red lips. While I wish I had a more perfect picture, this one has serious character. In this shot, I'm in the back of a NYC cab after a a couple dirty martinis. And don't worry, my lips don't normally look that big. I'm puckering. Try not to judge.)
Right now, I’m totally in love with Dior’s lip-gloss—the Rouge Dior Crème de Gloss is awesome. It’s highly pigmented so the color looks like a lipstick with a creamy, smooth moisturizing texture. It’s one of the only lip-glosses I’ve ever used that goes on true to color (generally, lip glosses turn out to be rather sheer). I also love Dior’s Addict Ultra-Gloss, too. Dior does not shy away from color. And if you’re trying to achieve a statement lip, they’re your go-to color source.
Remember to pick up a lip-liner, too! When you wear bright, bold lip color a lip liner can be your best friend. It helps prevent bleeding and, in my very intelligent opinion, keeps your bold lip looking even better. Again, Dior’s lip liner pencil rocks. One end is the actual liner, and the other end is super-soft brush so you can blend your lip color perfectly every time.
Pucker up, ladies. Slather on that richly colored lacquer and watch the compliments start rolling in. Oh, and have fun turning heads.
Over the weekend, I took a pole dancing, lap dancing and striptease class as part of a bachelorette party I attended. On Sunday evening, I called my grandma.
I said, “Grandma, guess what? I took a pole dancing class yesterday!”
“Pole dancing?” She replied. “I took a pole dancing class once, too! We wrapped all these beautiful ribbons around a pole and did a dance around it.”
“Oh.” I answered, a little disappointed. “Are you talking about a MAY pole?”
“Yes! A May pole dance,” she replied with excitement.
Alas, my grandma didn’t quite take the same kind of pole dancing class that I took over the weekend. But I have to tell you, ladies: this pole dancing class really opened my eyes to a whole new world of thinking.
Not only did I learn to walk like a stripper (which will undoubtedly come in handy at some point in my life) and spin on a pole, I learned how to think of myself really seductively. And let’s be honest, it can be hard to think of yourself as a seductress when you spend hour after hour each day stuck in the business world (or the mommy world, or the "insert your life here" world). This was a great eye opener because it forced me to think of myself, and my body, differently.
It seems that every week, new body image controversy emerges in the media. Someone’s getting plastic surgery, someone’s too fat, someone’s too skinny—it never ends. But pole dancing class was different: pole dancing class was all about loving your body and working what you have. And that’s a lesson I think every woman can benefit from.
I’m not encouraging any of you to quit your day job. I’ll be the first to admit that performing a decent striptease is actually a lot harder than it looks. But any exercise class where the instructor suggests you wear heels is amazing—and kind of a dream come true for me (I’m addicted to heels).
Pole dancing class helped me feel like a savvy seductress (whether I actually am or not). I felt super sexy and desirable—and left feeling like I had spent days at a self-esteem retreat with Oprah. So the next time you need a pick-me-up, don’t change the color of your hair, join the latest crash diet fad or think about getting Botox. Just sign up for a pole dancing or striptease class. You’ll be uncomfortable beyond belief at first, but leave with a confident smirk on your face and a newfound sense of self-confidence.
(PS: If you’re in the Milwaukee area, call Blush. That’s the studio where I took my class. The instructor, Maureen, was amazingly talented and patient! I would go every week if I lived there.)
Saturday was a day of exploring the city in the very fashionable shoes of a 20-something New York fashionista. First stop: SoHo. This meant I, once again, got the pleasure of riding the subway.
SoHo was a great place to shop: filled with boutiques and great stores. It started out pleasant and slow in the morning. But by 1pm, the streets were teeming with shoppers. We hit up Wink, a small but charming boutique, and also spent time roaming mega-stores Chanel and Burberry.
At Burberry, I fell in love with a bag. It’s great. I want it for work, traveling and weekend trips. But, let’s be honest, it wasn’t something I could splurge for on the spot. (Unless of course I didn’t eat for a month or two—new diet idea? Maybe.)
I love the studs. The size. The shape. The fact that it weighs 20 pounds totally empty (due to all the metal hardware). This bag is great. Click here to learn more about it. And really, the entire Burberry Prorsum collection was even better in store than on the web. Just divine. Great job, Christopher Bailey.
Chanel was great, too. Lots of razzle-dazzle. But one of their huge, show-stopping bib necklaces in a display case was missing THREE stones. The shock. The horror. The absolute tackiness. Chanel makes mistakes? Apparently so. And this, my friends, proves that nothing is perfect (except for maybe my ability to judge). After reading an article a couple months ago about Chanel’s strict protection and policing of their brand image, I was shocked to see such a poor portrayal of Chanel design, craftsmanship and standards in a busy store. Does this portray the brand in a favorable light? The marketing guru in me says “not so much.”
The quest for leopard print booties also went down in New York. And while I love the leopard bootie, I’m struggling to find a pair that I love on my feet. At TopShop, I tried on this pair of leopard print wedge booties.
Cute? Yes. The only downside was that I felt like I had giant clubfeet. There’s no denying these leopard boots are cute, but the fact that my feet felt so large and clunky was enough to keep me from buying these sassy shoes. In seventh grade I had a pair of Doc Martens that were oh-so trendy at the time, but they felt like moon shoes. Looking back at pictures, they actually looked like moon shoes, too. And that taught me a lesson worth taking with me my whole life. Something may seem really cool at the time, but if it feels awkward, chances are it looks awkward, too.
Something that wasn’t so awkward, though, was the Prada Cat Eye glasses I found at Bloomingdales the day before. My friend Jules and I darted into the SoHo Bloomie’s and found the glasses. I tried them on. And it was unanimous. I had to buy them. Check out a picture of these great glasses, below.
My favorite store in SoHo was Kate Spade. The boutique had so much charm it was almost disgusting. The store was every prim and proper lady’s dream. I can imagine buying all my clothes there. I’d also host tea every day, lunch often and plan extravagant charity fundraisers. My whole world would sparkle, glitter and shine. That would be the life.
After Kate Spade, my friend and I hopped a cab to the West Village for a couple more shopping destinations. Then we found a cozy Starbucks, got some Chai, and sat outside on a bench for about an hour talking, laughing and goofing around. Oh, and I tried on my new sunglasses. Here’s are the first paparazzi shots ever taken.
The rest of the day was spent walking through the West Village and Chelsea taking in all the surroundings. The evening was completed with some fantastic Thai food and then a late-night stint at The Rusty Knot (which is my new favorite bar). Pretzel dogs, anyone?
You guys are probably wondering all about my New York City trip. What did I buy? Where did I go? What celebrities did I mingle with?
Behold. In this post (and some others I’ll post later), you will find the answers to those questions and so much more.
(I hit the streets of NYC with Dunkin' Donuts in tow. Here I am doing my very favorite thing: riding the subway. Hopefully, you've picked up on my sarcasm.)
New York was filled with lots of shopping and fashion-finding. On Friday, after I posted about my morning adventures, I found myself roaming Fifth Avenue in search of a new wallet. And while the Fendi store had some real contenders, I never actually made a wallet purchase. Too much pressure. A wallet is one of those things I use every day. So there was a looming need to make sure my wallet choice was as fabulous and unique as me.
After wandering the designer collections at Saks and Bergdorf’s, I found myself pretty satisfied with the stuff I already have in my closet. Amazing, I know. I may live in Minneapolis, but I’m up on the haute looks. I regularly get emails from all my favorite stores. And let’s be honest, I’m a fashion blogger. I don’t live in the dark ages. I'm constantly shopping (in my head). The fact that I didn’t need to buy any major clothing purchases validated my very existence and fashion sense.
(Oh, at Saks, I mistook some lady for an employee in the purse department. But she was wearing all black and standing freakishly close to the Marc Jacob’s bags with her hands folded behind her back. What was I supposed to think?)
After grabbing a sandwich at Tom Collichio’s ‘Wichcraft and swinging by Magnolia for a sweet treat, I hopped in a cab and headed to Bloomingdales. At this point, it was nearing 3:00 pm and I had not one bag in tow. Depressing.
I walked in to Bloomingdales, and as is typical of a NYC Bloomingdales, the energy was through the roof. I once again, made a beeline to the clothes. On the way, I was accosted by an Yves Saint Laurent perfume lady who looked like Lady Gaga at age 70. She was really cute; I could barely stop talking to her.
Once again, the clothes disappointed. And proved to be a total circus. I do not like competitive shopping. That’s when the accessories started sounding better and better. I headed down to the sunglasses department. And that’s where I fell in love.
A pair of Prada cat eyes caught my eyes. And I just had to try them on. And they looked fabulous. Amazing. Like they were made for me and my dazzling personality. But instead of buying them, I agreed to bring my friend Jules back with me later so she could offer her opinion.
I had almost given up on my day of shopping. And Dylan’s Candy Bar was sounding better and better. I pictured Jules calling me after work saying, “Hey, where are you?” And then I’d have to reply, “I can’t move. I’m in a sugar coma at Dylan’s Candy Bar. After a sugar-mocha-sweet-a-cino with a dollop of whip cream and a pound of gummy bears I’m spent.”
But that never happened. Because moments later, fate led me to Dior. The Dior make-up counter to be exact. I was just walking by when a fabulous man in adorable white glasses began complementing my complexion. I am a sucker for compliments. And within seconds I was sitting in a studio chair letting Joseph dab my face with bright reds, glowing porcelains and va-va-voom mascaras. I had nothing better to do…so I blew a fat wad of cash on Dior cosmetics that basically made me look like a super model on the cover of Vogue. (Side note: this was money well spent. All weekend my face looked flawless. Joseph, if you’re reading this, I think I’m in love.)
Following my fix-up, I talked myself down from a Dylan’s Candy Bar binge and instead opted for a coffee at Starbucks. I gave my feet a rest and listened to the guy sitting next to me talk to himself for 30 minutes. Ah, New Yorkers.
And once Julie returned from her post at a big fashion magazine, we hailed a cab to head home. But I should mention that I basically stepped on a rat while hopping into the cab. Traumatic? You bet. Rats are the worst. Thankfully, I made a quick recovery and enjoyed a few hours of primping and relaxation before our dinner at celebrity hot spot Abe and Arthur’s.
And that was just Friday. Stay tuned for stories from Saturday and Sunday!
Today, fashionistas and friends, I am in New York City. And while I wait for most of the shops on Fifth Avenue to open their doors, I’ll fill you in on my morning so far.
Dunkin Donuts: Immediately after stepping outside, I hit up the Dunkin Donuts in Chelsea for an early morning pick-me-up! I have a mild obsession with Dunkin Donuts (mostly because in my current city we don’t have any). An iced coffee later, I’m as hyper as I’ve ever been.
Subway: I’m a city girl. But in my native territory, I don’t embrace a lot of public transportation. I have a car and I use it multiple times every day. Diva? Perhaps. I even opted to take a town car into Manhattan from the airport last night when I arrived in the city. Maybe that’s why the subway was such an out of body experience for me. The metal bars, the fast-moving trains zipping around underground…it was all a little overwhelming.
The Fashion Closet: My dear friend, mentioned more in this post, works for a major fashion magazine. This morning, I got to go check out their digs and snoop around. It’s pretty much your typical office, aside from a couple “extra” rooms where they house the goodies. Upon arriving in the accessories closet, I was greeted with heels by Jimmy Choo and stacks and stacks of fabulous hats. And the fashion closet was even better—adorable threads by Chloe and Anna Sui called out to me from the racks and racks of samples from all my favorite designers.
So where does one go from here? Bergdorf Goodman? Saks? Bloomingdales? Ah, life is full of hard choices. Luckily, I’ve got all day to pick and choose.
Want more of my travels? Follow me on Twitter to keep up!
I’m constantly paying attention to the fashion industry. Chances are, as one of my readers, you’re pretty in touch with it too. That’s why I’m always really intrigued when issues surrounding body image come up in fashion.
Today I got an email from one of my favorite department stores and I was really shocked by the thinness of the model they used in the email. Not only was the model extremely thin, the lighting added to her thinness. I hesitated posting something about this at first. For starters, I love this department store and wouldn’t really want to offend them. Secondly, I have a hard time telling people they’re too skinny, too fat, too tall, too much of anything. In my head, calling someone “too skinny” seems just as painful as calling them “too fat.” But on the flip side, I’ve watched too many fantastic girls struggle with eating disorders and go through really dark times in their life. All because being thin meant so much. So in that sense, pushing aspirational images like this into the minds of young women just doesn’t seem healthy or socially responsible.
Luckily, I can look at an image like this and think, “She’s very thin. And the lighting makes her look even thinner. And chances are photo retouching was involved.”
But how many young women look at this and think, “That’s how I want to look.” How many young adults think this image represents how you need to look to wear this dress?
Images like this make me frown upon the fashion industry. And they don’t make me (an average woman) want to wear that dress.
Sure, I get the whole “fashion is art” and “fashion is fantasy” argument. But art and fantasy shouldn’t conjure up images of girls with unhealthy body weights. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to see an attractive woman wearing that dress—but that doesn’t mean the attractive woman has to be underweight. I want to see someone who looks put-together, groomed and inviting modeling. I also want to see someone who looks healthy. And we know, as a society, that major health risks are associated with both being overweight and underweight. It's a balance.
It’s a delicate balance. One the fashion industry has struggled with for years. And while situations like Glamour Magazine’s use of untouched models make me think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, images like this make me think much differently.
Personally, I’d be interested in knowing if this photo was retouched. But what’s your take on this? What do you think?
(Disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting that the model in this picture is unhealthy or has an eating disorder. I am merely demonstrating that the fashion industry’s focus on using images of very thin females is often distracting and can be alarming to mass audiences of average women (i.e. the people who buy the clothes).)
In case you forgot, I just wanted to remind you that it’s my birthday week. Bust out your Kim Zolciak and “don’t be tardy for the party.” This year, I’m going all out in true fashion blogger style.
I’m fully expecting that this will be the year I get a bucket of diamonds. (Are you listening, fine Gentleman suitors?) Think about what a great blog post that would be. I can see it now…Today’s post is about the bucket of diamonds Harry (as in Harry Winston) dropped off earlier, with help from his friend Tiffany. Check it out…
But in case the bucket doesn’t work out, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After all, when you hit 18 years old and your extended family stops sending cards filled with cash, life gets sad. You have to start making your own birthday fun. That’s why I decided to spend some time in New York City this weekend. What better place for a fashion blogger to celebrate her birthday than a fashion- and vodka-fueled playground?
I’m going to do my best to keep the P&P updates coming while I’m in New York. But until I touch down in the Big Apple, read my birthday entries from years passed to learn more about how I celebrate this momentous occasion (and to get some gift ideas, of course).
Read about how I almost ruined last year’s birthday here.
Find out about my birthdays through the years here.
A soft serve machine is the gift that keeps on giving, but so is a Rolex. More here.
As I prepare for a trip to New York City at the end of the week, I’ve found myself wildly reminiscent of my first time. Ah, my very first time…I was so young, impressionable and unfashionable. I’m not just referring to my first time in NYC, I’m talking about the very first time I laid eyes on Bergdorf Goodman. I knew it was a place I belonged—a place I could find other people just like me.
Flashback to age 13. I might have been 14. (I’m trying to do the math in my head now but let’s face it, I’m a writer, not a mathematician.) Anyway, my high school did a class trip to the big city of New York. (If you just did some math, you probably realize that 13 is young for a high schooler. I skipped a grade. Don’t judge.) On this trip, my high school companions and I were given a relatively liberal amount of freedom. We’d visit an area and have our pick of places to roam and explore. On the Sunday of the trip, we visited Fifth Avenue.
This was my favorite day.
I remember taking off down Fifth Avenue to explore all the stores and sights with my friend. While most of my freshman companions opted to shop in FAO Schwartz, I had a different agenda. I ventured across the street and down the block to a store that stood stately and noble amidst all the others. In mid March, the window displays spoke to whimsical spring awakenings in lively hues of yellow and green. They danced with all the vibrancy of Chanel and Prada. I could tell just by looking at the store that it would hold great significance in my life. Bergdorf Goodman, I read as I headed toward the door. Then, as I grasped the large door handle to go inside I was met with the most crushing feeling a blossoming fashionista could encounter: the feeling of a latched door.
It was Sunday. We were shopping on a flipping Sunday. What sick and twisted person decided to visit Fifth Avenue on a Sunday? Who’s genius idea was that? Probably, the same person who told me I had a five-minute time limit in Bloomingdales earlier. I’m guessing a man orchestrated the timing of this trip. Because only a man would plan to visit a shopping district on a Sunday when some of the best stores are actually CLOSED.
To fight back the tears I slowly walked the perimeter of the store, looked at all the dazzling window displays, and dreamt of a time in my life when I could actually seize Bergdorfs and swoop up the Dior of my dreams. Then I looked at my watch and snapped back to reality.I ventured across the street, to a building marked “Trump,” to meet up with the group and look at the Legos and candy the other chumps bought.
When I got back to my mundane life in Wisconsin, I used this brand new tool called Google to search for any information I could find about Bergdorf Goodman. And the obsession quickly started. People would ask, “What’s your favorite store?” And I would say, without a flinch, “Bergdorf Goodman.” (Remember, I’d never actually set foot in the store. It was quite simply love at first site.)
Looking back, that may have been one of those milestones that helped make the madness that is my fashion-obsessed life. A store that grand definitely made an impact on my young, impressionable soul. And as with all things nostalgic, I can’t wait to visit my old friend this weekend.
Think I have a glamorous life? Maybe only about 85% of the time. But I should remind you that I’m actually a very balanced individual. And by “balanced” I mean that my life often sways far from the glamorous.
I spent last weekend in Fargo, North Dakota. My family and I went to visit my college-aged brother, watch his football game and hang out with him for the weekend. It really doesn’t get any better than that. I mean, any town that has more hardware stores than clothing stores is bound to be super fun. (Although the mall in Fargo has a great mirrored diamond that’s perfect for super-touristy photo ops like this one.)
Here are some things I learned in the great city of Fargo.
:: She doesn’t think your tractor’s sexy (and neither do I). I don’t think I would make a good farmer. I spent eight hours gazing at America’s farmland over the course of the trip and that was enough for a few years. I’d hate to think I had to wake up in the mornings and harvest 900 tons of sugar beets. (But seriously, props to the farmers of the world who do! Farmers probably think fashion is for losers. They’re probably thinking, “A fashion blog? Give me a break!”) Oh, and FYI: I didn’t even know what a sugar beet was until Saturday.
:: I can go drink-for-drink with a linebacker and still dance better to Bad Romance. I decided to venture out on the town with my brother’s college football team later in the evening after their game. I had a blast—and realized that I’m still able to party with the best of them. How’s that for a confidence booster?
:: I am basically old. I still think Nelly’s “Hot in Here” is a hot jam that’s like a year or so old. My brother and his friends, however, reminded me that it was a classic. To me, the classics are like Journey and maybe Cher. I was corrected.
:: I should have my own show on Food Network. Maybe I’d call it “Hey, Good Lookin!” (as in, “Hey good lookin! Whatcha’ got cookin?”) It’d be all about fixing fashionable food and doing it in style. I’ll let you know if the producers bite. I can just see it now…Tune in to “Hey Good Lookin’: Fixings for the Modern Day Fashionista….” In the meantime, I still get a little thrill out of eating at any restaurant that’s been featured on Food Network. Sunday, I had breakfast at Kroll’s Diner. It was comfort food at it’s finest. And now I feel like someone should strap me to an elliptical for at least 3 days.
Thinking about planning your own weekend in Fargo? Take my advice, and don’t. Unless you're into farming, flat land and strip malls (which very well might do it for you).
I’ll leave you with this: a picture of one of the best mullets I’ve ever seen. And to think I saw it en route to Fargo. Who would have thought?
Oh, and PS: Try not to judge my outfit in the pictures I posted. I forgot my winter coat and the down vest was appropriate in the 40-degree temperatures...as were the Fendi sunglasses.
Sometimes I become obsessed with certain things. Case and point: If I don’t get a pair of leopard print booties soon, my soul might shrivel up and die.
I’m already wild for animal prints. I believe that the right animal print can instantly add excitement to any outfit. And when done correctly, a strategically placed animal print can add a certain level of class to any look. That’s exactly what a pair of leopard print booties would do to several outfits I own: add sass, sophistication and a dynamic sense of class to my look.
Just take a look at how a pair of leopard print booties (these by Tory Burch) make these neutral wardrobe options pop!
For weeks now, I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect pair of leopard print booties. It all started on a routine trip to Nordstrom. (Isn’t it weird how lots of my stories begin this way?) I was going in for one specific item and decided to take a last-minute detour through shoes. As I rounded a table of Chanel heels, I spied the most adorable shoes I’ve ever seen (they at least rank in the top ten): Balenciaga booties made of black and white leopard print.
I gasped and immediately grabbed them from the shelf to make sure they were real. I wasn’t dreaming. These booties actually existed. I started thinking of how versatile they would be—about how many outfits I could wear them with. They were like the winter-friendly cousin of my black and white leopard print heels.
Since that fateful night at Nordstrom, I’ve been trying to find these shoes online. But the closest I’ve come is locating their sister bootie at Barney’s. This bootie, identical in shape, height and style, is only different because it features a traditional leopard print instead of the black and white version. But I still love it—and I’d still make it work!
But Balenciaga doesn’t always work with my balenci-bank-account. Needless to say, I’ve been looking for options that would make less of an economical impact on my life. Making choices is overrated. And even though I can’t get those Balenciaga beauties out of my head, I’ve found some nice alternatives.
The Tory Burch booties featured in the picture, above, aren’t the exact same style, but they’re a great lace-up bootie. And lace-up is hot right now. Fashion trendsetters and “it” girls will be seen in lace up booties this fall and winter (mark my word). Amazingly enough, these booties clock in around the half the price of the Balenciaga pair, making them a more appealing alternative for those of us without unlimited funding.
And to play without making a huge financial commitment, this Jessica Simpson pair retails for around $110 bucks. Personally, I think this is a great mainstream interpretation of the designer booties above. (Nice job, Jess!)
As for me, I’m still trying to find the perfect pair (for both my feet and my bank account). When I do finally make my decision, I'll let you know about all the bootiefull outfits I come up with!
Today's Pretty Proclamation comes from the September 30th episode of Project Runway. It always seems like there are several quote-worthy moments in each and every episode of this fantastic show. But this quote was so relevant, I just had to make it today's Pretty Proclamation.
"Fashion is not for sissies."
~Michael Kors, who tells it like it is. Because fashion really isn't for sissies. If you can't take the attention, possible criticism or feedback that comes from sporting a fashion-forward look, then you might want to step off the runway. Fashion is subjective. It's art and expression at its best. There's always going to be someone who doesn't really "get" what you're wearing. But that's okay. Because if you feel confident, then work it.
Fashion's notable figures are not people who take "no" for an answer or buckle beneath feedback. Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Coco Chanel-- not exactly sissies. So here's to you Mr. Kors (another non-sissy)! For a quotable quote I'll be saying for years.
Picture two girls laying poolside in ninety-degree heat sipping Diet Cokes and doing their best to avoid sunburns. You might think their conversation revolved around shopping, guy drama or the latest celebrity gossip. But the conversation was far from the mundane and typical. Those two girls spent the next two hours talking about the oh-so interesting Meghan McCain.
One of those poolside beauties was me. The other was a good friend of mine. And the fact of the matter is, we’re both severely enamored with Miss McCain for a plethora of reasons. When someone’s as intriguing as Meghan, it’s easy to get lost in the conversation.
I first started following Meghan when she blogged about life on the 2008 presidential campaign trail with her father, Senator John McCain. Since then, I’ve kept up with her on Twitter, tuned into several of her television appearances and read a number of her columns for The Daily Beast. What’s next on my list? I’ve just gotta read her book, Dirty Sexy Politics!
Whether you lean right, skew left or proudly take your place in the middle of the political road, you can’t deny that Meghan McCain is a sharp breath of fresh air for young politics. She’s dynamic. She’s honest. And she’s never afraid to speak her mind. That’s exactly the kind of role model we need for aspiring politicians and quite frankly, young women everywhere.
During her few years in the spotlight, Meghan has developed a very healthy view on body image. Her stance is something I respect and admire. It’s the kind of view that America needs more of—normal, healthy, happy women telling the world that they’re AOK with how they look. She has her own style, and she rocks it with confidence. Here at Pretty and Poor, that’s just the kind of style icon we like.
(It shouldn’t surprise you that Meghan was recently selected as one of Elle Magazine’s favorite 25-somethings. Check out their fantastic piece on her by clicking here. Photo by Carter Smith.)
I’ve been told I resemble Meghan McCain more than once in my life. And to me, that’s a huge compliment. I mean, we’re both Libras…the same age… writers… blonde...have a similar physique…share nearly identical political views...we love playing roulette…I clearly haven’t spent any time thinking about this.
Fierce, fresh and fashionable—Meghan is a female force to be reckoned with! And that’s why I like her style.
One of the things I’m really digging right now is the look of an oversized cardigan. I love how it pairs with tons of outfits, as well as how it has long, slimming lines. It’s a great alternative to the preppy, mini-cardigans that normally populate the cardigan scene.
The oversized cardigan might even be this season’s most versatile style staple. Big statement, I know. But with nearly endless styling options, the oversized cardigan coordinates with everything from dresses and skirts to jeans. And that means the PPW of your average oversized cardigan can be low and lovely.
Last week, I purchased two oversized cardigans—one in black and the other in gray. Both of them, together, totaled under $50. I knew these would be smart purchases as I’d pair them with everything. Even over the weekend, their PPW potential proved to pay off. Here’s how I wore them.
For The Day
For this look I wore a white tee with skinny jeans, an oversized black cardigan and boots. This look is easy and effortless without saying, “I’m a slob.” It’s perfect for a casual Friday or Saturday’s shopping trip with friends. Jazz it up with your own accessories for a unique style that’s all your own. It's really that simple.
For The Night
My look for the evening was made up of a black cotton dress, oversized gray cardigan and over the knee boots. You'll notice that this look utilizes the same boots and cardigan from our first look-- I'm trying to help you stretch your dollar, ladies. I replicated this look for a night out with friends and it was a great look for sitting around, drinking cocktails and having a great conversation. I felt a little dressy without being overdone, which is exactly what I normally try to accomplish when I hit the town. It was urban, hip and cool.
Are there seven million other ways to rock an oversized cardigan? You bet. So I encourage you to find your own way to wear it.
Find a cardigan similar to the one pictured above at local retailers like JC Penney. Click here to go look now. (I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Emily, seriously? Did you just advise me to go to JC Penney to buy something?" The answer is that yes, I did. That's because I believe style has no boundaries. I have everything in my closet from Diane Von Furstenberg, Chanel and Givenchy to stuff I bought at Kohls. It's a basic sweater. Don't judge. Get over it.)
The next time you reach for something to warm you up, cover you up or just spruce up your outfit, reach for the oversized cardi. It’s an easy way to update many of your looks.
I've got shoe fever! Maybe it was that post about the two essential shoes for fall 2010 that did it. But lately, all I can think about is shoes. That's why today's Pretty Proclamation is all about those fancy little things we put on our feet.
“I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!”
~Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City when she realizes her total shoe purchases could add up to a mortgage. One day, that will be me. But let's face it: is moving back in with Mom and Dad really that bad if you've got a gorgeous wardrobe and lots of diamonds to do it with? The jury's still out on that.
I should tell you about my latest spending obsession. (Because there’s always at least one.) It’s a little something I like to call “competitive coffee consumption.” What is it, you ask? Well, as if my caffeine addiction wasn’t enough to keep me barreling through the Starbucks drive-thru every morning, I am now in a race with myself to see how long it will take me to achieve “gold status” at Starbucks. Yes. I understand that this sounds a bit absurd. But competition actually keeps me going. I love it. And once I achieve “gold status” at Starbucks my life with change for the better.
I will receive:
:: A free beverage on my birthday
:: Free beverage customization
:: Free brewed coffee or tea refills with each visit
:: A free tall beverage with whole bean purchase
:: Free trial offers
:: A free drink with every 15 stars
:: A personalized Gold Card
:: Coupons and offers
Really, it doesn’t get any better than that. Status and prestige at one of my favorite places: Starbucks. I imagine that getting that gold card in the mail carries the same type of emotional reaction that receiving an American Express Black Card does. In that regard, this is similar to a gateway drug—paving the way for more frivolity through bigger and better cards of privilege.
If you’re not familiar with the Starbucks rewards program, you should definitely go check it out. If you’re a coffee drinker, it’s worth the effort (because you actually end up getting free drinks and rewards for doing what you already do). It's as simple as registering a Starbucks card. Click here to find out more.
And if you think that I’m legitimately psychotic and need to cut back on the caffeine, you’re probably right.
If you’re looking to razzle-dazzle your feet this fall and winter, skip the pedicure. Instead, run right out and invest in two styles of shoe that will carry you through to spring with a major style quotient.
Let’s start this discussion by getting the image of Birkenstocks (the ugliest shoe ever fathomed) out of your head. Is it gone yet? Have you denounced Birkenstocks, yet? Good.
Now think of a clog with shape—a curvy, feminine shape! That’s the kind of clog that will do you good this season. With jeans, the clog is the quintessential casual shoe for fall and winter. Plus, if you’re not a fan of heels, a clog will give you a bit of height and sex appeal without the pain and agony (drama queen) of a platform heel.
My mother hates wearing heels and I recently got her in a pair of super-sassy clogs for this season. She loves them. They turned out to be a great idea for her! Here are some hot clogs for you to look into.
My ultimate pick for clogs this season is this pair by Coach. A great print, complete with all the right hardware…including a TASSLE. It doesn’t get any better than the curvy, voluptuous lines of this sophisticated shoe. Need to know more about them? Click here.
These sassy, street-smart black clogs by Loeffler Randall have an urban vibe with modern appeal! A totally different look than the Coach clogs (pictured above), but a savvy way to sport the clog. Want them for yourself? Click here.
And for the woman on a budget this fall, head to your local DSW to find a great pair of clogs for well under $100. These clogs, at around $50, have the style factor needed to make you look current and cool this season (without sticker shock). Click here for all the deets.
2) Over-the-knee Boots
I will admit, I resisted this style all last year for multiple reasons. I convinced myself that my knees were much too chubby for this look. I also told myself that over-the-knee boots carried a sort of skank stigma. Both of these things are false. When done correctly, over-the-knee boots are not skanky at all. And believe it or not, there are so many styles out right now, you’re sure to find one that fits your kneeds!
Over-the-knee boots may be hip and trendy, but that’s not the sole reason you should invest in a pair. Over-the-knee boots work great with today’s skinny jeans, pants and leggings. Plus, they keep your legs extremely warm. And as an added bonus, these boots can extend your wardrobe of dresses and skirts long into winter. I tend to look at them as a budget stretcher. Here are some over-the-knee boot styles to consider this season.
This cute pair of over-the-knee boots from Aldo is reminiscent of riding boots. I love their sophistication. A great look paired with skinny jeans, leggings or a sweater dress, these boots work with everything in your wardrobe to let people know you’re a real style maven. But if you have “thick calves” like me, beware. These boots are cut very narrow through the legs. (Go ahead and picture me sitting in Aldo, wearing a dress, and trying to force these suckers over my mid-calf region. No success. But a great option for ladies with a less curvaceous calf region!) For more on these boots, click here.
I love these Cole Haan over-the-knee boots because they look so comfy and casual. Plus, they’re Cole Haan. So if quality is your thing, you can count on these being around for a while. They’re available in black, brown and this enchanting gray. Get more on these boots by clicking here.
And if you just want to tip your toe in theoretical water that is this trend, head to DSW where they actually have over-the-knee styles at under $100. These boots, by Audrey Brooke, are super cute and clock in under $100. They’d look great with casual looks or slightly dressier options. A great boot for the season, click here to get more info.
And here’s a note to the ladies with the curvier calves: don’t get discouraged. This season’s boots are roomier than ever. And over-the-knee styles are surprisingly forgiving because they don’t cut your calf off at its widest point (like throngs of other boots you’ve tried on).
So that’s it. Drop everything and go shoe shopping. Now!
If only you could see me now. I just realized how sad I must look to any outsider. You see, tonight was a big night. I found myself with two hours of free time. I decided to combat my “exhaustion” with some fun, quality at-home activities. (Sidenote: I am a firm believer that exhaustion actually exists. So when pop stars like Britney Spears and Lady Gaga have to cancel shows due to “exhaustion,” I’ll be the first to jump to their defense. It’s really difficult to be fabulous.)
Anywho, the prospect of two free hours was two much to handle. Like a little kid in a big-ass candy store, I went nuts. I made dinner. Macaroni and cheese. Don’t judge me. I didn’t want to spend those entire two hours in the kitchen.
Then, I put on my black stretchy pants. I often joke around with my mother about wanting to throw my hands up, move to the suburbs, pop out a couple kids and wear my black stretchy pants every day. Then I remember that the only part of that equation that genuinely interests me is the part about the black stretchy pants. Lycra makes me delusional.
Finally, after a five star dinner and the ultimate in lounge attire, I decided to toast to my free time with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s fudge brownie ice cream. As I was two bites in, and licking the last drops of fudgetastic goodness off my spoon, I noticed the creamy texture had developed a sort of crunch. At first I thought I had stumbled upon a particularly crispy piece of brownie, then I realized that crunchy stuff was actually just a part of my tooth.
No big deal.
(Sidenote: This is probably where it’s relevant to know that I am a freak about my teeth. My dentist and dental hygienist were both at my high school graduation party. I have dreams about my teeth cracking out of my mouth. I wake up horrified and speechless. )
So I chipped my tooth eating ice cream. Perfect. That makes sense. After realizing the magnitude of what had happened, I walked to the mirror to assess the cosmetic damage. Luckily the area of the tooth that broke off was on the back of my tooth. My smile still appeared to be in tact. But that little area now missing from my tooth made my tongue feel bizarre.
I put the ice cream away and decided the whole tooth debacle was a sign I was having too much fun. It was time to head to bed.
I took off my make-up and applied my eye cream. Yes, I wear eye cream. No, I don’t want wrinkles. I figured I’d lie in bed with a good book or my laptop to finish enjoying my last few moments of bliss. But then I felt a tickle and prickle in my eye. And suddenly my eye started watering. And then I spent the next 15 minutes trying to flush out my eye while remnants of eye cream ran down my face.
So now I lie in bed typing a blog post for the day. I’ve got one eye open and one eye closed (the closed eye is also gushing with tears). Oh, and I’m also sporting a chipped tooth and a real mean pair of stretchy pants. And I have to say, this is the last time (for a long time) I try to get some peace and quiet at home. This is not what I had imagined for an uneventful evening.
I should have headed out for a martini and a couple bad decisions.
I recently decided I needed to purchase a pair of nude heels to wear this fall. I expressed this out loud one day. To which someone said, “Really? You would wear nude heels after Labor Day?”
Damn straight I would wear nude heels after Labor Day.
For some odd reason, there is a stigma around wearing all things light-colored after Labor Day. I’m here to help you decode this age-old myth and help you interpret when it’s okay to wear light colors after the temperature falls. Amazingly enough, this belief that white after Labor Day is a fashion faux pas is passé.
I think this rule started with good intentions (like most things always do).
Because summer clothing is traditionally made with lighter fabrics in lighter colors, this rule was probably a good standard to live by years ago. Imagine how cold it would be to wear white linen on a chilly October night. Or how unpractical seersucker would be for the month of December. I have a feeling this original rule kept the old timers (who didn’t have the convenience of online shopping or 9000 Macy’s stores) informed and warm.
But today, everything is different.
Innovation has lead to numerous fabric and textile choices. And if a cold front sets in, we can order a new coat today and have it tomorrow. So in today’s age, instead of getting hung up on whether something is white, it makes more sense to get hung up on the fabric. Light, loose and flowy typically means it’s meant for warmer weather, so avoid it once the weather changes. Thick, tailored and textured means it may be suitable for a cooler climate—perfect for the winter months.
White wool is just as warm as black wool. And a light, nude color leather is just as effective as a dark brown leather.
Base your decision to wear something on style and fabric, not necessarily color!
When it comes to the right clothing choice after Labor Day, get more hung up on the style than the color. When it comes to shoes, forget about wearing toe-revealing shoes in cold weather (although a peep toe is just fine for milder temps). If it’s too strappy, toes get cold. And in the winter, you’re less apt to keep those toes perfectly manicured. Avoid open toe shoes if it’s cold where you live. Don’t wear halter-tops in the winter. Duh. Wear sweaters, scarves, and shirts with sleeves. Don’t wear white linen pants. Instead, opt for lined wool styles or a hearty pair of denim.
Still need some help convincing yourself that white after Labor Day can be done? Check out Denim Debutante where Denim Expert Jaime will help you get even more comfortable with the idea. She pairs her white, wide leg denim jeans with clogs and a practical shirt. Cute for fall? You bet.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
White has essentially been framed. It’s not the bad guy—and it doesn’t have to be banned after Labor Day. Just wear your light colors (like white, nude and bone) in the right fabrics and cuts to keep your look completely classy.
While throngs of fashionistas are traveling to New York for Fashion Week, I’m about to embark on a trip of a different kind. This weekend I am traveling to Milwaukee. See how those two things are very different? Milwaukee….New York…Milwaukee…New York…Milwaukee…yeah, I think you’re picking up what I’m putting down.
Now, I realize I have oodles of fashionistas from the Milwaukee area that read this blog. That’s why I’m going to apologize in advance for the things I am about to say. I’m sorry. But the fact of the matter is that Milwaukee is one of the least stylish cities in the nation.
Before you get your panties in a bunch, let me explain myself. I have lived in many cities and states. Florida, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin to be exact. A few of those states wouldn’t necessarily make my “most stylish” list. But Wisconsin probably falls to the bottom of the pile. This state simply conjures up images of girls wearing Green Bay Packers jerseys with miniature cheese-head earrings. No, I couldn’t make that up.
And Wisconsin’s lack of reasonable shopping adds to my “beef” with this state. There is no Neiman Marcus. No Bloomingdales. No Nordstrom. In fact, I can’t even think of a high-end shopping center in the state. When I lived there, the only reasonable place to shop was one lonely Marshall Fields that has since been closed. It was the main place to buy brands like French Connection and Juicy Couture (I was in high school). At age 16, I started driving to Chicago, Illinois (two hours away) to do my shopping. There, at least I could visit a Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom Rack in the same day. And it never hurt to stop by the Bloomingdale’s on Michigan Avenue (900 North Michigan Avenue, to be exact).
And despite a completely fashion-deprived atmosphere, the town I grew up in produced some fairly fashionable individuals (that don’t wear football jerseys on the regular). My old high school friends wear super hip clothes and always manage to look pulled together. And look at me—I came out quite all right! And Gossip Girl star Jessica Szhor, who went to high school with me and grew up in the same town, has achieved high style status for her cutting edge looks. I guess a few of us turned out alright!
(Jessica Szohr, known for her fashionable threads and willingness to have fun with fashion, grew up in the same town as me! We even graduated from the same high school. This just proves that Wisconsin can yield some fashionably gifted females.)
So here’s to a fashion week of a different kind—two days of being immersed in a style I would (personally) never adopt. Here’s to those women donned in hooded sweatshirts and cheese-head earrings that think Bergdorf Goodman is some sort of financial company. Here’s to you, Wisconsin.
(Disclaimer: I actually know many fabulously stylish women from Wisconsin. You know who you are. I still admire and respect your fashion sense. But together, we can have a good giggle at our friendly neighbors who choose to dance to a different beat. Because until this day, I have never lived in another place where so many women wear football garb with confidence. And I know you Wisconsin fashionistas relate to my frustrations with the lack of shopping in the state—any style maven would.)
I'm going khaki crazy for Chanel's new trio of nail polishes that are strikingly on trend for fall. I love all three colors (for the right people and occasion), but I'm particularly taken by the Khaki Vert, the shade on the far right with the green undertones. In fact, I can wait to try this edgy, new color.
What do you think? Would you wear it?
For the full scoop or to order your favorite color, click here.
This morning I woke up to the sound of wind howling violently outside and a thermometer that read 40-some degrees. “Oh, hello fall,” I thought sarcastically. “How nice of you to arrive so promptly after Labor Day.”
Apparently, fall doesn’t get the whole fashionably late rule. Maybe if fall remembered that, I would have been able to start my day a little more fashionably. A quick glance at my closet revealed that I was in no way ready for any degree of arctic blast. It’s time to find my sweaters, break out my jackets and scour through my scarves. We may have a couple warm days left here and there, but this morning served as a rude reminder that those days are numbered.
As I transition to fall and winter, there are a few things I need to accomplish. Here’s my fall checklist! Let this serve as inspiration to you as you transition to fall.
My Fall Checklist
____ Make boots a big part of my life (and not break the bank). I need a super-dressy black pair, a casual black pair and brown pair. I’m still trying to figure out how to make this one happen. I’ll get back to you when I find the perfect solution.
____ Add one key leather piece to my wardrobe. I’m thinking it’s a nice, tailored leather skirt.
____ Find my scarves (my Burberry one is still my favorite, after all these years). Scarves are key to fall transitions because they can help keep you warm without adding bulky, unnecessary layers.
____Pick up a couple pairs of tights! I can wear many of my practical, daily dresses right through winter with the right tights. And I love wearing Betsey Johnson’s tights for a comfy, stylish fit.
____ Clogs! I love clogs (little known fact about me). But don’t confuse me for one of those hippy types. The clogs I like are high style (not Birkenstocks). This year I’d like a pair with a high heel and a little platform, preferably in brown or tan suede.
____ Go mad for hats. I live in a cold place where hats are just as necessity as they are fashion statement. My plan? Stock up on fashionable hats to jazz up my look and keep my top toasty.
____ Stock up on lotions and sunless tanning creams. It’s not my goal to look like a ripe orange all winter long, but it lifts my spirits to carry a little color over to the long winter months. For an all seasons glow, try Beautisol (one of my favorite beauty products).
It may seem like a lot, but when the winter lasts until May the PPW of all the above items turns out to be delightfully low. And that’s enough to make me go a little squirrelly.
Runways are great. They’re full of drama, fantasy and frivolous fun. But runways can be difficult to interpret for the average girl. Out of all those styles and fabulous designs parading down the runway, how do you know which ones will work for you? Which styles are on target and current? Which styles can you wear without being laughed at?
After talking about fall colors and fabrics, it’s time to talk about finding those colors and fabrics in looks on the runway—looks that you could create from things in your own closet (or a piece or two you could invest in for fall). It’s now time to talk about how the bits and pieces come together to create your fall looks. Here’s what I love from the runway, and how you can make it happen for fall 2010.
Layers of Black
When we talked about colors, I mentioned that black is back in a very big way. The runways from fall 2010 didn’t hesitate to let that theme shine through. These two looks represent ways you can pile on black for a chic, sophisticated look.
This first look, from Versace, is modern and almost a little “matrix.” This is very current because it combines layers of black in different fabrics—most notably leather! For a hot look that turns heads and shows your style prowess, throw tasteful, intelligently-placed black leather into the mix.
The second look from Chanel says girly, fun and almost whimsical. Here, Chanel has created a modern-day ice queen by layering blacks and dark grays of various textures. The boots (once again on trend of fall) coupled with the luxe-looking fabrics make this a look you could easily pull off for fall with pieces from your own closet. And a great statement necklace never hurt, either!
Military is a haute look this fall. But that doesn’t mean you should leave the house coated in khaki green with a few strategically placed straps and buckles. Making the military look work subtly takes some skill.
This look, form Dries Van Norton, is the epitome of military chic. One military-inspired skirt anchors the entire outfit and is complemented with a luxe fur vest and elegant platform heels. Below I’ve featured a variation on the look, also from Dries Van Norton. Their execution of this trend for fall 2010 was nothing short of military magic.
When wearing military, a good rule to remember is to keep the military at a minimum. Pick one key piece with military influences (like this skirt, featured in both pictures in different colors) and pair it with more feminine threads. The juxtaposition will keep people intrigued and keep you feeling like you’re not wearing a costume.
A Red Revival
I’m starting realize that red is color that just doesn’t get enough credit—especially when it comes to clothing. I think many people shy away from red because of its bold implications. I say, “Who cares?” Wear your red and wear it proud. After all red’s going to be loud this season—it will tell everyone you meet that you’re a true style maven.
Chanel does red right with this sweater dress trimmed in fur. Fur, another big trend this fall, pairs perfectly with this look to create a regal, stately look. Add red to your wardrobe this fall to warm up any room.
Shades Of The Season
Layering subtle shades in the same color family will be a big deal this season. Pick one color family—be in brown, black, red, tan or green—and layer on threads of similar hues for a hip, urban and updated look.
Burberry knows how to do this right. They’ve taken the very hip military-inspired green and paired that with other shades right in the same family. From the skirt to the adorable boots, this look is a real winner.
So there you have it! Some interpretations of fall trends straight from the runway; simple, not-too-crazy looks you can recreate to show everyone your grasp of fall fashion. Tell me what you're excited for this fall in the comments section.
I rarely blog about sports…for good reason. But I just heard the most heart-wrenching story about the Miami Dolphins. No, seriously. Apparently at practice yesterday, Miami Dolphins defensive end Kendall Langford lost his $50,000 diamond earring while running around the field.
As girls, we’ve all been there: losing one of our favorite little baubles. I lost a nice diamond earring (albeit, not a $50,0000 one) while tubing on a lake in Canada. Someday, a lucky fisherman will find that sucker, take it home and make his old lady real happy.
If I’m ever in the shower and realize that I’ve forgotten to take my earrings out, I calmly stop lathering my hair and step out of the shower to lay my earrings in a happy (safe) place. Losing something down the drain would be the worst!
So the truth is, I feel for Mr. Langford. Mostly because $50,000 is a pretty nice size diamond. But perhaps this unfortunate incident will teach him a valuable lesson that many of us ladies already know: don’t ever take advantage of your diamonds.
And let’s be honest, it’s WAY more difficult to lose a whole bucket of them.
Share your story! Have you lost a piece of jewelry and felt sick about losing it? Share your story in the comments section. The best story will get a free diamond valued at $50,000—just kidding.
For the full story, click here.
I understand that most of the world is currently obsessed with Lady Gaga. I get it. That doesn’t mean that I’m any different. I saw her show on Monday night in St. Paul and it was nothing short of faboo! The outfits, the theatrics, the jazzy pop music with an almost-sinister twist—Lady Gaga’s show was just too much fun for words. The entire evening was enchanted, intriguing and made me wonder, “What would happen if Lady Gaga was president?”
:: A leotard with ripped fishnets would be the national uniform of choice. On special occasions, we could spice things up with wands and festive hats.
:: The wig industry would grow to over one million times its current size.
:: “Alejandro” would become the most popular baby name. (Move over, Emily! So passé.)
:: The constitution would read, “We the Little Monsters of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Dance Party…”
Ahhh….a girl can dream (with all the glitter, hairspray and fake eyelashes she’s got). And while it might seem so fantastical to imagine Gaga as president for a minute or two, she’s well placed exactly where she is right now—as the best entertainer of the decade.
Here's a photo I took of Gaga as she sat at the piano and sang. Her slower songs at the piano, while very different than the upbeat craziness of the rest of the show, was one of my favorite parts.
Hats (and wigs) off to Gaga for a great show in Minnesota!
My outfit this Thursday made me really happy! I woke up, stood at my closet and asked myself, "What would Samantha from Sex and the City wear?"
In case you don't know, Samantha from Sex and the City is one of my style icons. We share a love for clean lines, bold colors and all things modern. And that's how I threw this outfit together. I focused on bold colors, clean lines and modern details.
I'm wearing a red top from Bailey 44 that has a very hip, modern wrap to it. It wraps over one shoulder and has a small strap across the other. I've paired that with a white pencil skirt and topped the whole thing off with a black, studded patent-leather belt. And my own personal element of crazy was the shoes: snow-leopard print pumps.
What do you think?
(Oh, and in case you can't tell, I thoroughly enjoy overly posing for pictures. The term "hamming it up" comes to mind.)
Yesterday, we talked about the colors of fall 2010. Today, it’s all about the FABrics. Notice the emphasis on the FAB. That’s because the fabrics showing up for fall will be nothing short of fabulous. There are really a lot of textiles to choose from, and since layering will be big, you’re in luck! Pile these fabric favorites on in luxe layers of love.
Viva la Velvet: There’s a wrong way to do velvet (an oh-so wrong way). But if you stick to plush, supple velvets in the colors we talked about yesterday (rich tans, deep greens, ruby reds or blacks), you’ll look like you walked right off a runway this fall. If you can’t get that awful vision of a full-length velvet dress from 1992 out of your head, try harder. This season’s velvets are anything but tacky. They’re made to look sophisticated, elegant and like old money.
This regal Prada handbag has a charm all it's own. It's simple, elegant and carries all the punch of Prada in that "old money" way.
Leather: I’m always a huge fan of leather. The right leather piece (like a jacket or blazer), when incorporated into your wardrobe, can speak volumes about your style quotient. This season, stick to leathers in the colors we touched on yesterday. Take a look at yesterday’s post. That red, leather jacket was a hip and happening piece that could stick around for years. And the best news? It’s hot right now. This fall, find the leather that works for you. It might be a leather jacket or blazer. You might even branch out (if you can handle it) and find the perfect leather skirt (there were several on the runway this year) or skinny pants.
Fur: I love fur. Real fur. I know, I know. I’m basically a murderer who has no love and compassion for the creatures we share our Earth with. But I think fur is great. And so does the rest of the fashion world this season. Now, I’m not saying you need to leave the house in a full-length mink coat (please don’t). Fur will be fab this season sprinkled into your outfit. Perhaps you invest in a sweater or jacket with a nice fox fur collar? Or grab a handbag with fur detailing for the winter? Or, everyone’s favorite furry execution: boots with the fur. You know, to go with those Apple Bottom Jeans (no, please don’t, Nelly isn’t really a fashion designer).
This dress has a personality all it's own. Made by Gucci, it combines a rich, tan leather will just the right amount of fur near the collar. It's fierce and definitely not for the fashionably faint of heart.
Wool, Cashmere and More: Besides the more exotic fabrics I’ve mentioned above, this fall is all about the classics done right. Invest in jackets or coats made from a high-quality wool that curves in all the right places. Pile on loose cashmere layers to give the look of unrivaled luxury. And if you’re really feeling adventurous? Try something with texture and warmth, like mohair.
A sweater just like this one pairs great with skirts, leather, denim and more. It's a basic piece that can be layered and love all winter long.
I’m not saying you should throw cotton and denim to the wind—you should continue to wear your favorite fabrics. These are the simply the hot fabrics of the moment. So if you’re looking to turn heads this fall, turn yourself on to luxe fabrics like velvet, leather, fur, cashmere and fine wools.
Interested in any of the above looks? Check out Neiman Marcus for more.
Fall’s color palette is nothing bright, sunny and new. But the new take on neutrals is something to get excited about! Here’s what you should know.
(Check this awesome graphic I made for you visual learners. Read more about each color trend below.)
Black is back. If you’re someone with layers of black in your closet, rejoice. Black (especially in layers) is back this fall. If you’re lost for a style look, it’s never been more okay to pile on this slimming, urban color. To show that you’ve got a real hold on style, throw black textures or patterns into your outfit.
Time to Tan: Rich hues of warm beiges and tans go a long way to achieving an in-style look this fall. Leather looks in glowing tan colors (with gold undertones) will be a showstopper this autumn, as will accompanying shades of brown and bronze.
Going For Green: When in doubt, opt for green this season. Green will be all over the place—from military inspired jackets to slouchy bags—and will make a style statement as the military trend (more on this later) continues to gain momentum. Pick rich, dirty greens to fit in seamlessly. Opt for non-bright hues of green to be really glam.
Rad in Red: The jaw dropping color of the season will be red. Rich, ravishing reds. If you’re looking for a great dress or a fabulous coat in a creative color, try red. Mix red with the neutrals of the season for an understated look. Red will be rockin’ this fall!
Sure, there are other colors in the fall 2010 spectrum. But these colors will be easy to attain, and somewhat simple to incorporate into any wardrobe. Plus, showing mastery of these four color trends will help you prove your knowledge of fall fashion.
Stay tuned for more great fall 2010 fashion tips this week!
Interpreting trends is always tricky. Sure, everyone comes out with their list of what will be hot for the upcoming season. But that doesn’t always translate to real looks the everyday woman can insert into her wardrobe seamlessly. That’s where I come in. This fall, my goal is to help you understand how you can translate the trends and make them work for you. You’ll be a vision of fall 2010 in no time.
This week I’ll be blogging about everything fall so you can get a head start on perfecting your seasonal wardrobe. I’ll be starting with the basics (colors) and finishing with more specific trends. My hope is that you get some great ideas for transitioning to fall in style.
Tonight’s the night. Come 7 p.m. I’ll find out if I actually have friends. It’s the moment of truth.
If you ever chuckle while reading this blog, look at stuff I’ve posted and say, “Ah, that’s really cute,” or just ever dream of meeting me then tonight’s the night to celebrate your prettiness and maybe (just maybe) your poorness, too!
Join me at Il Vostro Boutique in Edina anytime between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. for 20% off the entire store! I’ll also have a couple surprises, like champagne cupcakes, to sweeten the evening!
You’ll love shopping fun looks from designers like:
Come check it out! Shopping’s always more fun together.
When: TONIGHT! From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Il Vostro Boutique
5045 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
To have fun, shop together, and get a great deal on adorable clothes!
Email me from the links in the "Contact Me" section.
Last night I had a dream in which Brett Favre came to me, gave me fashion advice and also mentioned that he was going to return to the Minnesota Vikings this season. I should mention that Adrian Peterson was also there, but I didn’t get to talk to him because he was running around in circles the entire time while clutching a football for dear life.
Gosh. I just have to stop eating ice cream before bed.
But if for some reason my premonition is spot on, I expect a call from ESPN and every other major media outlet for that matter. I’ll be coined, “The Favre Fashionista!” And everyone will come to me for input on the latest sports-related news, and fashion. Take that, Erin Andrews.
Who knows, maybe this dream was a sign that Brett Favre’s wife and daughter will show up to shop with me on Thursday night at my Private Shopping Event. (You know, to hook it up with some cute clothes for the upcoming season?)
Oh well. Even if Brett Favre doesn’t return to the Minnesota Vikings for the season of all seasons, and if his family doesn’t show up to my event, I sure hope you’ll be there on Thursday night! Click here for details.
Our first ever private shopping event is next Thursday, August 19th at Il Vostro Boutique in Edina, Minnesota! I can't wait. And I certainly hope you (and your stylish, sophisticated self) can join me for this fun evening! To help you find some adorable, stylish duds, Il Vostro is taking 20% off the entire store.
At the first ever Pretty and Poor Private Shopping Event, you'll get 20% off the entire store!
That's why it's so important you show up! We'll share some laughs, some cupcakes, and naturally, some great deals!
Can't wait! Email me with any questions. Or see previous posts about the event for even more details!
Do you ever see anyone in public who causes a noticeably adverse reaction from most people they pass? For some bizarre reason, I’ve been coming across a lot of these folks lately. They make my jaw drop and my eyebrows lift. And usually, they leave me (someone who always has the right thing to say) absolutely lost for words. These people are trashy. And if you don’t want to look like them, I’d suggest you read up—knowledge is power in the fight against trashiness.
Here are several things that make the average girl look instantly trashier.
Naval Rings. Sure, belly button rings were really cool in 2001. But dare to show that sucker off now and you’ll be committing fashion suicide. Mid-riff tops with belly-baring properties are not stylish. Nor is your oversized, rhinestone, butterfly hanging belly button body art.
Hickeys. Go ahead, let your nasty boyfriend suck on your neck for 15 minutes. I know the Twilight trend is kinda' big right now, but vampires are not that great. And purple does not go with everything. Plus, turtlenecks are only in season a few months out of the year. In short, no one wants to see what you really did last night. Thanks. (There is nothing worse than seeing a girl ringing me up at a store with giant, purple marks all over her neck. Seriously. Does her boyfriend need an instruction manual?)
Pleather. Some fake leathers really aren’t half bad in today’s age (thanks to a rise in eco-consciousness and veganism). Then there’s the other 90% of pleathers. Careful, careful! If you’re wearing anything that resembles a tailored tarp, take it off (and maybe even consider using it as one).
Booty Shorts. Show a little cheek. And maybe even some chuncky, pale thigh. Everyone will gawk in horror and think, “Wow. That looks so uncomfortable.” And as you strut off into the distance, mothers will cover the eyes of their children and the song “Hoochie Momma” will start to crescendo all over the universe.
Hair Gel. A sure way to de-class your look is to put copious amounts of gel in your hair. Use it to give a playful ponytail the greasy, glazed look. Or, spread it through your perfectly bouncy curls to weigh them down and crunch them up. If you’re lucky, people will actually mistake this for grease in your hair. But only if you’re lucky. (Seriously, people. Have you never seen a Pantene commercial? Hair should be loose. Flowy. Shiny. Bouncy.)
Lots o’ Liner. I love dramatic make-up as much as the next girl. But there is a limit. And there is such a thing as too much. Too much lip liner will make you look like a clown. And too much eyeliner will actually make your eyes look beady and small. Too much of both liners on the same face? Hope you don’t get mistaken for Marilyn Manson circa 2000. When in doubt, stick to the basics and remember that sometimes, less is more.
Muffin top. If someone tells you that you resemble a muffin, they don’t mean you look sweet. They mean that your muffin cup is a little tight for the surprise that’s popping out of it. There’s an easy solution to this problem: get pants that fit. Nothing says “I’m a train wreck” more than trying to squeeze into the clothes you sported at age 17. And no, muffin top doesn’t mean you’re chubby. It just means your clothes don’t fit. Ill fitting clothes are never classy. For more information on muffin top, check out the Wikipedia entry about it.
Find yourself committing one (or more) of the above fashion sins and you, my friend, might just become trashier than the cast of Jersey Shore in my book.
What do you think? What screams "trashy" to you? What's the trashiest look you've seen lately? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!
I just made a big announcement. If you're on the Pretty and Poor email list, you already know the details. If you're not, then I'm about to TELL you the details.
You're invited to come shop with me!
Pretty and Poor is hosting a private shopping event at Il Vostro Boutique in Edina, MN. This shindig is going down on Thursday, August 19th from 7pm-9pm. Not only will there be great deals on adorable clothing, I'll make sure to have lots of fun things for you there! And yes, there will be cupcakes!
What could be better than an evening spent shopping with me and all my friends? Well, I did think about what could make this better...Lady Gaga showing up...a "bucket of diamonds" raffle...you get the idea!
Ladies of Minnesota, mark your calendars and join me for a fun night of shopping! It will be the ultimate retail therapy.
Pretty and Poor's Private Shopping Event
Thursday, August 19th
Il Vostro Boutique
50th and France
Shopping. Me. Sweet treats. Surprises.
Stay tuned for more details as the night approaches! I'm still saving some secrets for the sake of suspense!
Today I saw a train wreck. It was awful. Horrible. I couldn't stop looking. No, two trains did not collide, nor did any derail. The train wreck I saw was a girl (around my age) who was wearing a pleather ostrich leather pencil skirt with sparkly zebra print stilettos. I really like fashion risks. And I have a knack for the exotic and rare. But this look was so wrong I nearly fell off my five-inch platforms. If I could have taken a picture inconspicuously, I would have.
This awful outfit reminded me of a quote, which happens to be today's Pretty Proclamation.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
~Leonardo DaVinci, who knew that an ostrich pleather skirt with sparkly zebra heels was not at all sophisticated...even hundreds of years ago. This quote reminds us that sometimes the prettiest look is the simplest. Take it or leave it, but always check your ostrich pleather skirt at the door.
Pretty and Poor will be up to some fun in the coming months! And some of this "fun" might even include exclusive invites and offers for our favorite readers. Sign-up to receive emails from Pretty and Poor! It's all the P&P you love, delivered straight to your inbox!
Check out our Facebook page to submit your email address! Click on the "Email Sign-Up" tab!
And for the record, I will not solicit you or your precious email address. This will be used for internal Pretty and Poor purposes only. You'll be receiving VIP offers, invites to parties and more. Never will you be spammed.
I will never share, sell, or rent your personal information with anyone without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Information submitted to me is only available to me with the purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information regarding Pretty and Poor.
If you don’t love Bethenny Frankel for the unbelievable string of witty cynicisms that flow from her mouth, then you should at least love her for her great sense of style. The girl always looks good in simple, stately style pieces that radiate chic elegance. She knows what cuts and colors flatter her, and she rocks them. Here are some style tips you can learn from Bethenny.
Flaunt Your Figure
Bethenny has a great bod. She should—she’s the author of Naturally Thin and the creator of the Skinny Girl Margarita. She’s essentially built an empire helping women healthfully manage their weight. One thing Bethenny knows (I can tell by the way she dresses) is that you should play up your best assets. Because of her lean, fit figure, Bethenny can easily rock figure-skimming looks—some of her favorites are by Herve Leger.
So while you may not have Bethenny’s bod (I don’t, trust me), you can learn to wear styles and silhouettes that make you look and feel your best. If you have great legs wear shorter hemlines. If your chest is rockin’, show a little cleav every once in a while! Got amazing arms? Why not opt for sleeveless and strapless styles to play them up? If you’re fishing for compliments, buy clothes that play up your best parts!
Color The Classics
You never see Bethenny sporting tons of crazy patterns or doing lots of sloppy layering. This is one way she keeps her look clean and classic. Sometimes, patterns work for people. But if you’re trying to be practical about your wardrobe and make sophisticated style statements, solid colors can be an amazing addition. Bethenny often rocks red (a color she knows she looks good wearing), black, and an array of other bold, solid colors. Then, when she goes to a big event or awards show, she’ll mix up her look with playful prints, sassy sequins or stripes.
Imagine the possibilities of a solid color dress! If you want to make your wardrobe work hard, pick key pieces in solid colors that work well with your skin tone—ranging from blacks to brights. The right colors will make you glow! And the solid color will make you look like a master of style.
Add An Accessory (or two)
Sometimes the best way to look pulled-together is to wear simple, understated accessories that can easily transition from day to night. Bethenny is a master of this. She’s often seen rocking a pair of basic diamond studs (with a not so basic sparkle). The right accessories should be versatile enough to take you from day to night. They should be adaptable. And most of all, they should look high quality (i.e. expensive). The right accessories will elevate your style potential.
The chunky (yet very simple) earrings Bethenny sports (like in the above picture) always manage to keep her look classy. Paired with a coordinating ring, Frankel is the epitome of ladylike. Take a page from her playbook: sometimes less is more when it comes to accessorizing.
Sometimes when I get dressed in the morning, I find myself saying, "Hmmm...what would Bethenny wear?" And by following some of her fashion guidelines, I feel as if I'll always leave the house looking prim, proper and fashionably educated. By keeping her style sense in mind, I don't think I'll ever hear a passerby say, "Holy inappropriateness!" when looking at my outfit.
I love those nights when I walk into the mall to make a return and end up coming out with something new and expensive. It’s a real testament to my amazing self-control.
Last week I went into the mall to make a small exchange. I parked at Nordstrom—which is a fairly normal thing for me to do. Within moments of setting foot in the door, I was bombarded with Stuart Weitzman, Manolo Blahnik and Tory Burch screaming at me, “Try me on! Buy me! You know you want me!”. The shoe department was screaming at me—testing my ability to walk on by. And it was the Anniversary sale, so all of these screams were coming to me at the lowest prices of the season. Still, I pushed on through the madness and made my return out in the mall.
But let’s not forget I had to walk back through Nordstrom on the way to my car. And this time I wasn’t as strong. I purposely avoided the shoe department and made my way through accessories instead. And there before me was a table of designer sunglasses a mile long. Burberry. Gucci. Chanel. And Fendi. I stopped to look around. I picked some up. I tried some on. And I attracted the attention of the sales associates (who could obviously tell I was a fashion-obsessed sucker). From designs only Lady Gaga could pull off, to the prim and proper, the sales associates had me trying on designs for 20 minutes. And one of those designs came home with me: a pair of black, oversized Fendi shades with glittery insides and simple, elegant outsides.
“Well,” I thought as I folded the receipt up and stuffed it into my handbag, “at least the PPW will be low.”
I've decided I'm going to be more disciplined about posting some of my very own outfits. I mean, c'mon...I have good taste! If I can inspire you to create looks and come up with stellar outfits, I'll be able to sleep a little better at night.
This morning I woke up thinking, "Today, my look will be 'First Lady Fab!' I'll dress just like Jackie O in a diplomatic sheath dress." So that's exactly what I did. Today's look is none other than First Lady Fabulous. I'm wearing a black sheath dress with black platform pumps. I'm carrying a black and gray leopard print cardigan (in case it gets chilly). My simple accessories consist of vintage clip-on earrings and my Toy Watch. It's easy. It's chic. And it's sophisticated. Perfect for a busy day at the office.
What does it mean to be high maintenance? Based on looks alone, 99 out of 100 men surveyed on the street would say that I (yes, little old me) appear to be high maintenance. (It could be the giant heels, huge Marc Jacobs bag, blinged-out watch and oversized sunglasses. But judge me based on looks alone? How dare they!) I have high expectations for a lot of things in my life—but does that necessarily make me high maintenance? Absolutely not. To me, high maintenance is defined my incessant nagging, annoying and time-consuming habits and unrealistic demands. Doesn’t even sound like me for a second. And if you don’t think so, here are some things that might make you side with me.
I can shower, get dressed in an adorable outfit, put on full make-up, dry my hair and accessorize in 45 minutes.
I know people who can’t seem to pull themselves together given two hours. They have to go through an entire ritual-like process. My philosophy? Don’t waste your time getting ready. Make that quick so you can spend more time having fun AFTER you’re ready! Plus, if it takes you three hours to get ready, it probably means you’re ugly.
Last weekend, I didn’t wear any make-up for four days. I only showered two out of those four days.
Confidence goes a long way, people. When you don’t have glitz and glam at your fingertips, put on a smile and an attitude and no one will notice your lack of dazzle. And make sure you take care of your skin, too.
I rarely ask people to do things for me. Normally, I do stuff myself.
Other people do things wrong. That’s why I don’t ask. I don’t feel like I need to elaborate any more on this. In the event I ask you for help with something, it must mean I really respect you.
I rarely ask people to buy things for me. If I want something, I buy it myself.
Other people are too cheap. If I ask for Chanel, I want Chanel. Not a pleather bag with two interlocking C’s on it. If I buy it for myself, I’ll never be disappointed. At least that’s the theory….
I don’t believe in emotions. Life’s just easier this way. I don’t do that, “Can we talk about our feelings?” stuff.
Feelings are high maintenance. They require a lot of pampering and a lot of attention. The only thing I like to pamper is my body—in the form of manicures, pedicures, salon treatments and expensive highlights. And as far as attention is concerned, my ego has called dibs on that.
See? I’m not high maintenance. At least according to my standards. What about you? What things make you a high maintenance princess? Or are you just as easy-to-please and go with the flow as yours truly? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!
I am a sunglasses snob. Dior. Chanel. Versace. Fendi. Gucci. You name the brand, and chances are I’ve got two pairs of each. Really, I just like the way they look. Most designer sunglasses tend to be a little over-the-top. They’re generally adorned with extra bling, interesting design elements or exotic materials. Sometimes they even have unique shapes and rare colors. And did I mention the bling? You can throw on a pair of designer shades with the most boring t-shirt in your wardrobe and still manage to look like a movie star. They’re a style statement.
I’ve always taken a lot of slack for my love of designer shades. I’ve got friends that call a particular pair of Dior’s my “welding glasses.” And when others see the rhinestone designs on the side of my Versace shades they chuckle and say, “you would.” And I’ve even encountered people who laugh that I would “pay so much money for a piece of plastic.”
Adelle, who wrote a guest post for me this week (see it below) is probably rolling her eyes and thinking the same thing as my friends. After all, sunglasses are small. Why would anyone splurge for those? I must admit, even I thought there was some merit in Adelle's point. But alas, a personal experience has made me stick true to my designer roots.
So recently, in a desperate attempt to be more normal and more frugal, I ventured to the sunglasses department of Target, where I tried on shade after shade to no avail. Everything was so plain. And boring. Then, one day at the mall as I was breezing through a chain retailer, I saw a pair of black, oversized sunglasses that were actually pretty cute. And they were only five dollars. Nothing special. But they could give me a different look for the nearly laughable price of five bucks. So I bought them, and put them into my normal sunglasses rotation.
And now, nearly three weeks later, those five-dollar sunglasses have broken. But when I reached into my purse to find them missing a vital piece, my Fendi glasses were sitting right next to them, ready to be worn. The cheap sunglasses had mysteriously broken, while the expensive ones were sitting pretty in the pocket of my purse. Coincidence? I think not.
This just proves that it’s okay to buy expensive designer shades. And if you don’t believe me, let’s consult the good ole’ PPW for this situation.
Worn approximately 12 times
$90.00 on sale at Bloomingdales
Worn 190 times over a 3-year period
And just for kicks, we’ll PPW my Chanel glasses, too. I had these glasses forever and wore them almost every day in college.
$350.00 at Neiman Marcus
Worn 500 times over a 5-year period
*Approximately 20 cents more per wear, but it’s Chanel. So duh.
In my eyes, the PPW difference is too small to matter. And, the designer sunglasses bring years of amusement (and they're still kicking), whereas the cheap sunglasses only brought a few weeks of sun protection (and definitely NOT as many compliments). While the price tags may be very different, the PPW is nearly the same. So bring on the Gucci, Prada and Oliver Peoples! Because that, my friends, is a win for label whores everywhere.
I love my Twitter friends. I know, half of you are shaking your heads thinking, "Twitter is for nerds." Or maybe you're laughing because I referred to a select group of people as my "Twitter friends." But let's be honest, in the world of fashion blogging, I've made some solid connections that can be largely attributed to Twitter. Today's post is from one of my Twitter friends, Adelle. We're two kindred style mavens who found each other by means of microblogging. Adelle's blog, The Fashionista Lab, is a trove of great outfits, fashion advice and rock star style (and she's always got great things to tweet about, too). But today, Adelle dishes on one of her personal theories about splurging.
Long before I had a fashion blog I had a critical inner fashionista, and she manifested herself in my now-longstanding fabric-to-price ratio. From the time that my mother began dropping my sister and I off at the mall when we were in middle school, I simply decided that some items were not big enough to pay big money for.
My two basic tenets:
Synthetic fabric – such as polyester or acrylic – should not be expensive. Conversely, it’s ok to pay more for great textiles, such as cashmere, jersey (wool, silk or cotton), or linen. (I’m a textile snob.)
Small things – such as sunglasses or bathing suits – should not cost hundreds of dollars. If it can fit in the palm of my hand and it’s NOT jewelry or a piece of expensive technology, there should not be more than 2 digits in the price.
But the older I get, the more I develop my personal style, and the more money I have to spend, I do come across situations that challenge my ratio. Just today I encountered two beautiful tops I dearly wanted but that gave me serious pause:
The top on the left is just downright Gorgeous. Beautiful. Classy. Satin is a “great textile” and it’s the kind of blouse you can dress up or down and always look fabulous. And did I mention that blouse was originally $395? It’s expensive, but feels like it would be a great investment.
The top on the left is fun and original. How about that print?! It’s the kind of t-shirt you need in your closet because you can throw it on with jeans, make zero effort, and still look cool. We all need t-shirts like that! It was originally $495, so $123.75 is quite a discount. But still, $123.75 for a t-shirt??? But again, this is the t-shirt you want to have in your closet when you just can’t be bothered to think about clothes, but still want to turn heads.
Tough call. I’ve thought about it for hours and still can’t decide what I would do (the black top is sold out – probably for the best), but whatever the outcome, it will certainly be a defining moment for my fabric-to-price ratio.
Remember to go check out Adelle's blog here for more sassy fashion advice and to find out more about her theories on spending!
Today's guest blog post is from a lovely young lady who apparently just can't stop writing for me. During my senior year of college, I was the Editor-In-Chief for a little niche publication on the University of Missouri's campus. The paper highlighted Greek life and all the happenings of sorority and fraternity days. Claire, today's guest blogger, was on my staff. It should be noted that her stories involved virtually little to no editing. And they were always in on time. Now chasing a career in magazine journalism, Claire finds herself living life in New York City-- an experience that has helped her hone her writing skills and her ability to judge. In today's post, Claire points out that sometimes a pair of supposedly stylish jorts can be much more of a joke.
It's hot and humid here in New York and there's no better time for airy dresses, bare arms and light, breathable fabrics. This weather also signals that touchy time of year when women must decide just what to put on their legs. Some choose skirts -- mini, flowing, patterned or plain -- while others opt for the all too slippery slope of shorts.
Sure, shorts are the practical option. Who wants to worry about flashing your lady parts on the subway? But when they don't fit perfectly (which is all too often the case) they're dangerously unflattering. The most offensive culprit? Denim shorts.
These jean mini-pants range from knee-length to non-existent, and come in an array of washes and rippage. Rippage? See photo. Yes, someone out there is paid to rip holes in your jeans just so you can pull off the Olsen twins' trademarked look: sloppy chic.
New Yorkers have embraced the jean short spectrum, but what are most disturbing are the shorts' hideous half-sister: the high-waisted jean shorts. These are the thorns of the fashion world and should go the way of their cousin, acid washed denim. To anyone considering a high-waisted purchase, please reconsider.
In fact, the lines created by these pants (think: a deep V outlining your pelvic region in front and nearly the same image in back) are so distracting that I often find myself openly gawking. More plainly, there is absolutely NO body that can make this fashion tragedy work. And I've done the leg work (Ha! Punny!). Living across from Union Square means I'm privy to a catwalk of all sorts of hipsters, model wannabes, and the fashionably adventurous-- which is fine. But this also means that I see about 20 offending pairs of jorts a day traipsing about the streets, forcing everyone's eyes to the fact that their inseam is measured in millimeters.
So, when choosing a pair of shorts, try for something with an inseam of at least three inches and in a dark wash. And leave the high-waisted version in the closet, or better yet, the trash can.
Want to read more about Claire's life? Check out her blog here.
Dear Pretty and Poor Readers,
Shop It To Me is essentially like an online personal shopper. It's a free service that scours the web looking for only the styles and designers you like. Every week (or whenever you'd like) you get an email that contains all the items on sale that you might be interested in purchasing. Mine usually has tons of great shoes, clothes and accessories from the likes of Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren and Diane Von Furstenberg. And it's all on sale.
So head on over to Shop It To Me and sign yourself up. It's free. There's no commitment. They'll just ask for your email and have you answer questions about your favorite designers and looks. It's just a service that helps you do what you do best: shop.
Oh, and Shop It To Me decided to add Pretty and Poor to its list of Trendsetters this week. Don't they have great taste over there?
Check out all the fun over on Shop It To Me now! It's the ultimate service for the Pretty and the Poor.
When I decided to feature guest bloggers, I got a lot of inquiries from old friends and new friends. This next post is from a new friend and fellow blogger named Sarah, who dishes up sassy stories on a blog she calls, "That's What She Said." I should also mention that she has a blog paying homage to Steve Perry. It's hilarious. Although I've never met Sarah in real life, her musings and hilarious tales make me think we'd be instant friends. In this guest post for Pretty and Poor, Sarah describes a disastrous date (something I can relate to)! Enjoy the awkwardness!
It’s been a fantasy of mine for some time now to have a hot, sexy, romantic summer fling. Whenever summer rolls around, my thoughts conjure up all sorts of scenarios in which I go to the beach, looking for nothing more than a little sun and a dip in the waves, and wind up meeting a guy who looks like a younger version of Mike Rowe, complete with the nice arms and pecks. He’s also Southern, which has nothing to do with anything except for the fact that I like the accent and down-home values that most Southern boys seem to have. Oh, and he’s also a fireman, because, well, I love me some firemen.
Anyway, after that fateful meeting at the beach, my Southern Mike Rowe fireman and I spend the rest of the summer making out, wining and dining, dancing, and making out some more until the end of the season, where we part amicably, him going back to wherever he’s from (I never get around to fleshing out his back story) while I’m left with fond memories and perhaps a photo to put in my locket which will be found in a long-forgotten memory box by my grandchildren along with my diary from that summer.
Last summer, however, life, like it usually tends to do, kicked me in the metaphorical nuts and gave me a sick, twisted perversion of my fantasy. I was at Starbucks, enjoying a Vivanno smoothie and reading, when I was approached by a guy who looked like Paul Shaffer. He asked me about the book I was reading, which led to a conversation, which ended with me giving him my number. Now I know what you’re thinking: I just finished describing to you my dream guy, who is a Southern Mike Rowe look-alike and a fireman to boot. Why, then, would I waste my time on a guy who looks like Paul Shaffer?
It’s because I’m too frigging nice, as you’ll see later. The conversation was normal and pleasant enough, and I figured if a guy was willing to put himself out there, chat me up and ask for my number, the least I could do was give him a chance and see if it went anywhere. Sure, he looked like Paul Shaffer. And he looked to be in his mid-thirties, which was a bit older than I would have liked (I’m 26), but I ignored those things and went with my “don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it” mentality.
A few days later, Paul called to set a date. He suggested we meet at Starbucks, and from there go to a Thai restaurant downtown. Now the Starbucks where we met is about five miles (give or take) away from the Thai restaurant he was talking about, which meant we would have to meet up and then drive downtown. This being the first date, coupled with the fact that I didn’t know him from Adam meant that I sure as hell would not be riding in the same car as him, and if that’s what he had in mind, there would be an awkward conversation in our near future (I mean, let’s face it, there really is no nice way to tell a guy you won’t ride with him because he might be an ax murder or a rapist). So I suggested we just meet at the restaurant, to which he replied, “I’d rather meet at Starbucks. It’s a good place for me.”
I wasn’t sure how to interpret his odd response, so I just chalked it up to the fact that a) he really liked Starbucks, and b) meeting someone new and going on a first date with him or her is a nerve-wracking experience, and this can cause people to say weird things out of sheer nervousness. What it turned out to be was the tip of an iceberg of disaster.
On the day of our date, I met Paul at his beloved Starbucks, and was relieved when he changed the location of dinner to a Thai restaurant within walking distance. The conversation started out great--I learned that he had a career in publishing and he played the drums in his spare time. It got weird when he attempted to pay me a compliment by saying, “It’s so nice to be with someone who can carry on a conversation. The last date I went on, the girl went to college for 8 years, and I just wanted to ask her, ‘What did you go to school for?’ because she couldn’t carry on a conversation. I was in Special Ed and I could carry on a conversation better than she could.”
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, and in my defense, Paul did not originally come off as lacking any mental capacities. He even mentioned something about having ADHD or something along those lines, but I didn’t pay close attention to that part because my brain was too busy screaming, “OMG, did he really just say that?” Since I didn’t know how to respond to that bit of information, I just continued to smile politely and eat my dinner.
After dinner we walked over to a bar known for its relaxed atmosphere and live music. At this point in the date, I wasn’t feeling any chemistry at all, but I felt I should still give Paul the old college try and stick it out awhile longer (see what I mean about being too nice?). We grabbed a spot outside on the deck, and while the band was setting up, we got to talking about what types of music we liked. I told him I really liked classic rock and 80s music, and he asked if I’d ever heard of a band called The Cult. I told him I hadn’t, and the following exchange went a little something like this:
Him: Oh, come on! You had to have heard of them!
Me: Nope, I’ve never heard of them.
Him: Oh, come on! You’ve never heard of Fire Woman?
Him (in what I think--I think--was supposed to be a high-pitched classic rock singing voice but sounded like anything but): FIYAH WOMAAAAN!
Me (not sure how to react): Nope, never heard of it.
Him: FIYAH WOMAAAAN!
Me: Um…nope, not ringing any bells.
Him: FIYAH WOMAAAAAN!
At random intervals for the rest of the night, Paul would lean into me (even after the band took the stage) and go, “FIYAH WOMAAAAN!” I don’t know why he was so adamant at trying to “jog my memory,” since apparently he’d convinced himself I had heard it before and just forgot; all I know was when midnight rolled around, I was ready to go home. It had been five hours. The chemistry wasn’t there. I knew it. He probably would have known it too had he not been so preoccupied with FIYAH WOMAAAAN! I told him I was heading out, and he got up to walk me to my car.
On the walk back, I was praying he wouldn’t ask to go out again, because that would mean I would awkwardly have to tell him no. But a few minutes after we’d started walking, he said he’d had a great time and that he would love to see me again. I politely explained to him that while I thought he was nice, I just wasn’t feeling any chemistry. And just like that, he turned and started on the most negative, nonsensical diatribe I’d ever heard:
“Maybe I should just stop dating because apparently I don’t got it. I think girls just want fake guys. I see people who are married and I want to ask them, ‘What are you married for?’ because everybody is so fake. Maybe I should just stop.”
The most awkward part about the whole thing was that while he was rambling, he kept looking at me, expecting me to verify everything he was saying. Thankfully, we arrived at our cars shortly thereafter, and I wasted no time in getting the hell out of there.
Needless to say, there was no summer romance in the cards for me last summer. Not by a long shot. But this summer? Who knows. The season is still young, and I’ve got a girls’ beach weekend coming up. There’s still time to meet my Southern Mike Rowe fireman look-alike.
Today I bit into a delicious, juicy pear and it tasted like it was infused with vodka. At first this caught me off guard…then I ate the whole thing. It reminded me of Grey Goose La Poire, which in turn reminded me of Vegas. Which made me think, “What things would actually be better with vodka?”
Things That Would Be Better With Vodka:
Pears. I experienced this so it’s a fact. Pears that taste like vodka would make eating fruit more fun.
Exercise. I’m not one of those people that enjoy exercising. I’m not going to feed you that, “running on the treadmill for an hour makes me feel so energized” crap. It makes me feel tired and sluggish. But, if vodka and exercise were combined I could see my opinion changing.
Swimsuit shopping. If martinis were mixed with swimsuit shopping, the female population would be a little less uptight about that extra five pounds.
Beer. A cold brew just doesn’t really do it for me any more (my college days are definitely over). But maybe with a little vodka in it, I could rekindle the flame between me and a nice, cold pint.
Some people. I won’t mention any names. But you know who I’m talking about—they’re not fun unless they’re buzzed.
Doctors appointments. Sure, your vitals might be off. But who cares? Knock off the edge and relax a little bit. Suddenly, “You’re gonna’ stick that WHERE?” doesn’t sound quite as bad.
Tests. I use really big words after a few cocktails. I would love to go back and take the SAT after a couple martinis.
When you really think about it, a lot of things could be better with vodka. Maybe even this blog.
PS: I realize that this post is ridiculous. Sometimes this is just how my mind works. I am by no means addicted to vodka, nor do I endorse binge drinking. Vodka just happens to be something I enjoy occasionally (and by occasionally I mean most weekends). Drink responsibly. And make sure you’re 21.
For some strange reason, I can’t get enough of the trashy pregnancy shows that are on television right now. “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” and “16 and Pregnant” are two of my absolute favorites. I could watch them for hours. I laugh. I cry. They move me.
Last night I found myself as I do most nights: sitting at home with work to get done, needing some background noise. I turned on the TV and after viewing the guide, noticed I had two viable options for background shows: “Property Virgins” or “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant.” I chose the latter. There comes a point when watching newlyweds buy starter homes loses its sparkle.
I’ve watched “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” several times before. But for some reason, last night’s episodes stood out amidst all the others. There were so many supposedly normal women who didn’t know they were pregnant until one fine day they got a stomach ache, bent down and a baby popped out. Give me a break. You carried a seven-pound child in your stomach for nine months and didn’t suspect a thing? I can tell when I eat French fries twice in one week: my jeans don’t fit. A baby, however, would be an entirely different story.
But maybe these women secretly did know they were preggers. Maybe they were just in denial. Maybe, they just didn’t want to admit to themselves or anyone else what they actually knew all along, that they had a baby on board. This prompted me to think about all the things I “didn’t know.”
“I didn’t know that was an expensive purchase.”
“I didn’t know this martini had vodka in it.”
“I didn’t know I had to pay my credit cards back.”
“I didn’t know I was being a huge bitch.”
“I didn’t know $1400 was considered pricey for a handbag.”
And don’t even get me started on “16 and Pregnant.” My all time favorite quote from that show was a pregnant girls’ friend saying to her, “Well, there’s really no way you could have prevented this.” Oh really? You couldn’t have prevented getting preggers at age 16? Fail.
Really, these two shows just set out to prove what a beautiful thing naivety is. When in doubt, just say you didn’t know.
When I was thinking of guest bloggers, one of the first people that came to mind was my friend Tyler. I met Tyler several years ago when he started dating my friend Kasey. The two have since gotten married, built an adorable house and started a life together. I get to see this fun-loving couple every time I’m back in Missouri for weddings, parties and social events. And trust me, the phrase “fun-loving” doesn’t do them justice. They truly are a blast to be around. Recently, Tyler started his own blog. In typical Tyler fashion, his trove of hilarious commentary is called Sorry For Partyin’. I asked Tyler to write a little diddy for Pretty and Poor and he came up with some very manly perspectives on fashion. I think you’ll find them enlightening, entertaining and very, very different from my own!
Let me start by saying that I'm not a fashionista. I'm the same guy that until recently found out jean shorts and socks with sandals is socially unacceptable. If it's not camo or doesn't have an elastic waistband then guys won't wear it.
The main reason we men get married is because we don't want to have to worry about style or fashion anymore. We are tired of it…we don't enjoy trying to squeeze into a shirt that looks like it was bought at Baby Gap at the poor attempt to try and impress a woman. So we get married. We are grown men who need to be treated like young children. Women lay out our clothes to make sure we’re not wearing a black shirt with brown shoes. This bothers them at first (laying out our clothes), however, they are actually fist-pumping on the inside because this means that they get to go shopping for their man while at the same time meandering thru Forever 21, Banana Republic or Nordstrom.
That leads me to my next point...shopping. For women, it's a lifestyle, a pastime and a downright obsession. Whether it's shoes, clothes, body lotions or for a new boyfriend or spouse, women can never get enough shopping. The only time you will ever hear a man utter the word "shopping" is, "I have to go shopping to pick up some chips and booze for the game tonight."
The only time you will ever hear a man utter the word "shopping" is, "I have to go shopping to pick up some chips and booze for the game tonight."
It's not embedded in our DNA like women. And you can always spot the married guy in the mall because he has that "I want to kill myself look" on his face and resembles a Sherpa holding 19 bags from various stores. I guess you can look at it as us men have our sports and women have their shopping. The only difference, sports won't bankrupt us.
Writing this has caused my blood pressure to rise...so...I'm going to go shopping for some booze.
Sorry 4 Partyin.
Want more of Tyler's antics? Check out his blog, here.
I just hate talking about how busy I am. But really, I’ve been busy. That little thing called “my real job” has been keeping my brain working 24-hours a day. And in my free time, I’ve been trying to maintain a somewhat respectable social life. Yeah. It’s hard to be me.
But, to help bring you all the Pretty and Poor you need for the month of June, I’ll be writing some original posts (the ones you know and love) and leaning on my network for others. That’s right. This June I’ll be featuring some guest blogs by a host of great people. Make sure you check back often for some fun commentary by this hand-selected group. And if you’d like to write a guest blog, make sure you send me an email by clicking on the "Contact Me" section above. I’d love to hear your ideas!
I’ll also be revisiting some of the things I’ve written in the past couple years—from the helpful to the hilarious. After all, Pretty and Poor’s second birthday is less than two months away! There’s no better time to reflect than now.
So stay tuned for great, new original posts, guest posts from fun people and some Pretty and Poor throwbacks. Happy June!
PS: I am aware that the comments currently do not work! I making a few slight adjustments to the site right now and will have things back to normal in no time!
I make fun of hippies a lot. But it’s just because I don’t understand them. I’ve never been intrigued by recycling. Trees are cool, but they’re everywhere...so hugging them has never really made me happy. And a hippie’s desired dress code? That’s never really worked with me, either. Loose and flowy clothing sometimes only ends up making people look misshapen. And let’s be honest, hippies aren’t really into shiny things (which I love).
Here’s a list of things hippies wear:
Shirts with trees on them
Birkenstocks (gag me)
Cropped cargo pants
Awkwardly fitted denim skirts
Doesn’t exactly rival the wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn, huh?
Here’s a list of things I wear:
Sheath, Shirt and Shift dresses
Stilettos or platform pumps
Zebra print accessories
But occasionally, I shock everyone around me and wear an outfit that has some sort of hippie-cool undertone. That’s exactly what I did this week when I showed up to work wearing a blue cargo shirtdress with wooden bangles and giant peace sign necklace. It was chic, in an understated hippie way.
Who says two different things can’t co-mingle? Sometimes, oil and water don’t exactly mix—but it sure looks cool to swish the two around for a while. And that’s what I do when I mix up my style a little bit. I throw in a bit of modern, sophisticated cool with a little hippie-chick and the results are easy, stylish and worthy of a few compliments. It’s the harmonious integration of two styles. Proving that sometimes, it actually pays to give peace a chance.
I am fairly certain that I saw two people making fun of my outfit yesterday. I think they were just jealous because they knew they couldn’t pull off a leopard print shirtdress. They were sneering, looking and pointing through a window (that I believe they thought was tinted). Instead of casually pretending that I didn’t see them, I tilted my sunglasses down on my nose, smiled and gave them a little wave. And they stopped. I’m kind of a bitch like that.
I may have accepted their criticism had they been rocking frocks by the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, but they were wearing the hot, sophisticated looks of Old Navy (I sincerely hope you pick up on my sarcasm). I mean, is there anything wrong with dressing like a character from Sex and the City every day? I like shiny things, big earrings, bright colors, bold patterns and funky dresses. It could be worse. I could be into velour.
Today’s occurrence reminded me of a quote I posted a few weeks back by E. Jean.
"Fashion is ART. If you don't occasionally shock a fellow human on your walk to work, you're missing one of the joys of life."
I think that’s the beauty of having great style. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. And in the process you find your favorite looks and go on to win more than you lose. But if you’re not bold, you just blend in with everybody else.
And then there’s that pesky saying that any publicity is good publicity. Let’s just say yesterday was a day for publicity.
Yesterday I dropped my computer on my foot. And this started a logical sequence of thinking in which I pondered how we treat our feet. I understand that most people don’t randomly drop laptops on their feet (but this was actually a blessing in disguise, because if the computer hadn’t hit my foot it would have hit the floor and probably broken, so even though my foot is purple and has a giant knot on it, my computer is still very much in tact).
As girls, we wear some pretty badass shoes. I’d say I get at least one comment every day regarding my fancy footwear. Lots of people actually say, “I can’t believe you’re wearing those shoes! You’re destroying your feet.” Well, let me ask you this. Have you ever seen a 70 year old in stilettos? (Think about it.) See? The answer is no. So that’s how I justify my shoe choices. One day, I’ll be forced to wear orthopedic support shoes because they’ll be all the rage among my old maids club. So, until then, I’m rocking the stilettos while I can (when I’m 70, the shoes I wear now won’t even be cool).
And just the other day I saw an entire group of women wearing tennis shoes. They might have been doing something weird, like exercising, but nonetheless, they were all wearing the most boring, basic shoes I’d ever seen. And that made me tremendously sad. The tennis shoes ruined their outfits, made them all look kinda’ frumpy and added no amount of fun to their lives. And they weren’t pushing 70. So in my eyes, they had plenty of time.
So why not have a little fun while you still can? I’m not saying you should go out and buy shoes you can’t walk in. There’s nothing worse than a girl whose entire look is ruined because she can’t walk in her shoes. But look for shoes that have fun colors, cuts, heels and maybe even some funky hardware! Here are some great ideas to get you started.
These Fendi Zucca-Medallion slingbacks are all luxe! The gold logo coupled with the high platforms make them a force to be reckoned with.
Like something from a fairy tale, these Christian Louboutin Candy Lace and Patent Spike pumps scream whimsy and sass.
Now, get out there and wear those completely impractical shoes with pride!
Let me tell you a story. Today I was telling some friends how excited I was about the sunless tanning offer Beautisol is extending to Pretty and Poor readers—the one where you get a FREE BACK APPLICATOR (see the post before this to get yours). To me, this is very exciting. And to me, a back applicator is a very helpful tool.
That’s when one of my friends said, “I already have a back applicator. His name is Josh.” Then, some of the other happily coupled people began chiming in with giggles and mentions of their personified “back applicators.” That’s when I responded.
“Well, I actually don’t have a back applicator named Tom or Bill or Rico, so the back applicator tool actually comes in pretty handy for me,” I said with a sassy demeanor. “And I also don’t have anyone to help me zip my dresses up in the morning, either! So most days I arrive at work with a half unzipped dress and ask a coworker to finish zipping it up! So, if they made a self-zipping tool, I’d probably get that, too.”
In fact, I’m thinking of trying that trick from 30 Rock. You know, the one where a string is tied to the zipper for easy zip-up? Plus, zipping up my own dresses? Applying sunless tanner to my own back? These will obviously be skills I’ll carry with me my whole life through—so I best teach myself how to do them perfectly (and all by myself, at that).
At the end of the day, however, this conversation just confirmed what I already knew: the world can sometimes be a cold, cold place for the single girl.
When I was on vacation, I got quite a bit of sun—even through my SPF 50. Now that I’m back in the frozen tundra I actually call home, I’m all about keeping my post-vacation glow. But I’m not down with premature aging, the risks of skin cancer or that beef jerky look women in their 60s develop after a lifetime of tanning. That said, I won’t be lying under any sort of bulbs. Instead, I’ll be using a great line of sunless tanning products I recently discovered.
Beautisol makes a line of self-tanning products that keep you tan all year long—without any of the risks of being in the sun. My favorite Beautisol product is the All Seasons Glow gradual to medium self-tanning lotion. This miracle tanner gave me the glow I needed to fit in down south. Plus, the gradual tanning lotion is something I can wear every day because it’s lightweight, moisturizing and (the best news of all) it doesn’t smell (I’m serious). It actually smells like flowers. Quite pleasant, really.
Beautisol also makes a ton of other terrific tanning products, including a dark self-tanning lotion, exfoliators to prep your skin for the perfect tan and kits that contain everything you need. (As a side note, Beautisol’s wedding packages are fantastic. It’s safe tanning for the bride and bridesmaids.) Check out their entire line here.
To help you gear up for summer, Beautisol is offering Pretty and Poor readers a special deal (because you are, after all, very special ladies…and gentlemen)! When you place an order on the Beautisol website, you can get a FREE back applicator! Perfect for ensuring your tan looks natural and even.
To get your FREE back applicator, put the back applicator in your cart along with your self-tanner choice, then apply the following code when you check out: PPBACKAP
Let me break that down for you.
Step 1: Head to the Beautisol website.
Step 2: Select the sunless tanner that works best for you (I highly recommend the All Season Glow gradual to medium self-tanning lotion). Also add the back applicator to your cart.
Step 3: Go to your shopping bag, enter your information and on the right side, enter the promotion code PPBACKAP.
Step 4: Complete your order. The back applicator will be FREE with the promo code!
Step 5: Receive your lotion and FREE back applicator, then use them to get that bronze goddess glow!
Go get that healthy, hot summer tan now! And let me know what you think of Beautisol. Happy tanning!
No. This is not a post about drugs. This, like so many of my posts, highlights my new favorite trend (and no, it’s not drugs).
My new favorite trend for spring and summer is the LSD. Not the kind popular with rock stars in the seventies. I’m talking about the Little Striped Dress.
As girls, we’re constantly adding to our collection of LBD’s—you know, those little black dresses that are safe, flattering and seem to go with everything. But if you’re looking for a summer piece that’s current, versatile and fun to wear, look no further than the LSD. I recently bought an LSD. (Even though my good judgment kept saying, “Emily, remember the last time you wore horizontal stripes? You were mistaken for a cruise ship in family photos.” Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But horizontal stripes are not the most flattering pattern on everyone.) The truth is, I love my LSD. It is flattering (no double-wide effect). It is extremely versatile (I wore mine at least four times on vacation). And it made me feel like a sexy, summer wonder.
Here’s me, hamming it up in my LSD. (Please note: I'm probably talking to someone super-important in this picture, such as my boyfriend or the president.)
Here are some options you can purchase, too! And the best news? There are literally tons of LSD options available for well under $100! Both of these come in way under that mark.
Click here for more information about the little striped dress above, from Bloomingdale's, and more options like it.
Click here to check out this option and see others like it!
I've given you the scoop, now get out there find yourself the perfect LSD! Happy shopping!
Texas really inspired me…to spend. I fell in love with the notion of buying a ranch. Sounds frivolous, I know. But in all practicality, a ranch could technically produce income. (I have a business plan, and if you’re interested in seeing it for investment purposes, lemme’ know.)
I can just picture myself riding a horse around my ranch wearing a giant rhinestone-studded belt with an adorable pair of ostrich cowboy boots. I’d tip my hat (a Stetson, of course) to all the cowboys that’d come my way. And after a hard day’s work, I’d have my hired help pour me a tall glass of lemonade and I’d sit on my patio and drink it. Ah…to live the life.
Truth be told, living is just bigger in Texas. Sure, the ranches are big. But Texas even has bigger cupcakes (shout out to Hey Cupcake! in Austin for some of the best cupcakes I’ve come across), bigger gentlemen (we met some real charmers in the Lone Star state) and bigger orders of fries at Dairy Queen (don’t judge me, I was on vacation).
A glimpse of the chocolate-on-chocolate cupcake (filled and topped with whipped cream) I devoured at Austin's Hey Cupcake! It might have been 102 degrees outside, but I braved the heat for a sugar fix!
In Texas, don't ask for large or super size. Ask for Texasize.
So here’s a big “thank you” to the state of Texas! I’ve still got a lot to learn about the place, and I intend on going back. But my common sense tells me that the diamonds are bigger in Texas, too!
It’s rare that I come across someone who is a bigger diva than me. But that’s just what happened last weekend as I lounged poolside in Texas. It was a lazy afternoon after a night of staying out late and dancing for hours. I was sitting in a chair with my black, oversized floppy hat, Jackie O sunglasses, sheer leopard print cover-up and St. John bikini on, but as I scanned the landscape, I realized that I was not the biggest fashionista at the pool.
Towards the deep end of the pool, I spied a guy who could nearly trump my seriously understated style. His getup? A headscarf adorned with a giant Chanel logo and those glasses from Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi video. You know, the ones that make her look like Mickey Mouse? I was in the company of a serious style maven. But nothing prepared me for the divalicious bag he was toting: an oversized, white Chanel beach bag.
I was overcome with emotion—a little admiration, a touch of jealously (where DID he find those Lady Gaga glasses) and a bit of wonder. Who was this stylish gent? Should I introduce myself? Would we be instant best friends or would I just grab his bag and run off? I just did what anyone would do in the company of a seriously intimidating diva: stare. Oh, and I (obviously) took a couple Pretty & Poor Paparazzi pictures.
His poolside style was fierce and eccentric. I loved it. And who am I kidding? We would have been great friends.
Last week, Pretty and Poor was featured on Denim Debutante, a fabulous blog about all things denim! Check out my interview by clicking here! And make sure to leave the fabulous Jaime at Denim Debutante some love!
Enjoy reading my interview!
Within the first hour of my trip I was laying poolside in a bikini. No problem. After my polish rendezvous, I went inside my hotel room to wash away my airport germs and freshen up for an evening out on the San Antonio Riverwalk. While I waited for my pals to arrive, I drank vodka, watched wedding shows and played with my beauty products (including this gradual tan lotion by Beautisol that has literally saved my pale little life—but more on that later). Since Friday at 10pm, the fun hasn’t stopped. Here are some highlights.
An eight-block cab ride that cost me $20. The driver’s name was Pepe and I don’t think he liked me any more than I liked him. But hey, at least he made some easy money.
High school people. While I was sitting at a bar on Friday night, I noticed a couple kids that looked familiar. But familiar in an “I’m not sure if I know them or not” kind of way. After awkwardly pulling a chair up to their table, I determined that we actually all went to high school together in Milwaukee. This confirmed that the world is, indeed, a small place. (And, that you should always risk awkwardly approaching people for the sake of possibly knowing them.)
Patron Margaritas. Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon doing a little something I like to call “overindulging.” The combination of Patron Margaritas, chips, salsa, guacamole and queso made for an interesting (and extremely bloated) afternoon.
I can’t wait to tell you all about the wedding because it was one of the best I’ve been to! It had all the elements of a successful evening: alcohol, dancing, new friends, laughter, suspense and adventure. But the wedding deserves its very own post—so more on that later! I’m off to explore the Alamo and take Texas by storm!
I am currently chilling at the Denver airport, waiting on my flight to my final destination (at least for a few days), San Antonio, Texas. That’s right, I’m fixing to mess with Texas.
This morning, I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t start consuming cocktails until at least 10am. That sounds reasonable—right? Well, I didn’t take time zones into consideration. So when I arrived in Denver, the time was one hour earlier than anticipated. And just to uphold my word (with myself), I’m watching others drink until the clock says it’s my turn. I’ve also not had breakfast yet—this means that a bloody mary is the sensible solution to all my problems.
My travel companion, my friend Jules who works at a big, fancy fashion magazine (you may remember her from a previous blog post), will be joining me tomorrow morning. Until several moments ago, Jules didn’t even realize that our hotel had a pool. She almost hit the floor when I told her there were real, live toucans in the lobby.
Stay updated on my travels this week on Pretty and Poor—I have a feeling there will be plenty of stories to tell! I’ll make sure to keep you updated on any purchases I make, too! And follow me on Twitter for more quick snippets of Pretty and Poor reality.
You’re probably wondering, “Where the hell have you been?” That’s a pretty legitimate question. Today I told someone that there was a definite possibility I could have a stress-related heart attack this week. That, my friends, is an understatement. But you probably just want to know what’s been going on in my life since I’ve been neglecting my blog for nearly two weeks. Here’s a brief sampling of the madness.
1) My Recurring Dream! Every night the past week I’ve dreamt that I was pregnant. For some women, this is a dream come true. For me, it’s an effing nightmare. I start my day stressed, thinking about stretch marks, labor pains and baby daddy drama. Because let’s face it, if I got preggo anytime in the near future it would be far from a sweet dream. (Part of the reason I think I may be having this dream is that my best friend is pregnant right now—happily pregnant at that! But she actually has her life figured out. For now, I’ll just stick to being a great auntie to her little bundle of joy.)
Just to be nosey, I looked this pregnancy dream up on dreammoods.com. It says, “to dream that you are pregnant symbolizes an aspect of yourself or some aspect of your personal life that is growing and developing. You may not be ready to talk about it or act on it. This may also represent the birth of a new idea, direction, project or goal.” Awesome. Just what I needed. Some new idea or goal. Can't wait. Maybe a baby would actually be easier than another one of my big ideas...
2) Moving On Up! I moved last weekend! Don’t worry, I didn’t go far—I literally scooted down the street six or seven blocks. It was a whirlwind couple of days filled with contractors, boxes and a realization that I should really get rid of some of my clothes. I’m thankful that the move is over, but not so thankful for all the accessories I have to organize.
3) Wedding Season is Here. On Friday I take off for San Antonio, Texas for my first wedding of the season. And that’s just the beginning. After that, I’m in Saint Louis for the next one. So starting Friday, Pretty and Poor will be LIVE from Texas for the beginning of the week, then coming to you straight from Saint Louis for the later part of the week. If anyone has any great shopping suggestions in Texas, email me or leave some love in the comments section! I’d be happy to take your suggestions.
So here’s to a week of travels, hilarious blog posts (I promise to be more diligent) and dreams about adorable boys, puppies and shopping. Hope you’re all doing faboo!
Tonight I enjoyed one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I went through the Culver’s drive-thru and got a chocolate malt. It had been a long day and I was in serious need of some delicious frozen creaminess. Plus, I haven’t been eating ice cream that much because the average temperature for the last six months has probably been somewhere around 10 degrees (this has a tendency to suck all the fun out of ice cream). So I figured it was time to ring in spring by making a malt run.
I pulled up to the menu board, ordered my malt and pulled around to the window, where a very fresh-faced teenage boy wearing a blue apron greeted me.
“Good evening ma’am, that’ll be $3.66,” he said as he extended his hand.
I gave him my card. He swiped it. He looked puzzled. “Ma’am, it says you have an unknown card.”
“Um…an unknown card?” I replied with a confused look on my face. “Are you sure? I mean, did you swipe it right?”
“Ma’am, it didn’t say your card was declined. Just that it was unknown, Ma’am,” the boy replied.
“Well I hope it’s not declined…we’d have a real issue if I didn’t even have three dollars in the bank,” I said. “Why don’t you just try swiping it again?”
He just stared at me for about 10 awkward seconds, then finally lifted his hand and swiped the card again. Sure enough, just like clock work, the card swiped and receipt began to print.
“Ma’am, it looks like it went through that time. Here’s your card back, Ma’am.”
Then, sonny boy reach me my chocolate malt and said, “Have a great night Ma’am.”
Call me Ma’am one more time and you’re gonna’ be wearing my malt kiddo, I thought through a big, closed-lip smile. What is it with kids these days? I mean, I might be eight years older than him, maximum. And that does not constitute a ma’am after every sentence. And last time I checked, I wasn’t wearing a big, fat rock on my left hand nor did I have car seats in the back of my ride. I’m clearly young, fabulous and free…an adorable working girl in her twenties…
And then I stopped. Because that’s when it hit me. No ring. No cute boy riding shotgun. No car seats. Just my eccentrically dressed, heavily-jeweled self accompanied by a giant tote bag with legal pads and a laptop in it. He clearly thought I was an old spinster. Probably some old hag of a lady who was married to her work and had to buy herself ice cream every night just to experience happiness. And if that’s what he was thinking, it definitely gave him grounds to call me a ma’am.
But we all know that’s not true. At all. I mean, I’m definitely not old. And I would definitely buy something a hell of a lot nicer than ice cream if I needed to create my own sense of happiness.
So I smiled and put my car into drive. “Thanks kid,” I said, and pulled off into the night.
I love when I read some fashion websites that report on trends and I see something like, “Hot Pants are a Do.” Here’s the thing. For 99% of the population, hot pants are actually a big, blatant don’t. This is for various reasons, some of which include cellulite, workplace dress codes and a little thing called dignity. So here’s three of my favorite spring and summer trends that you can incorporate into your wardrobe right now (without pretending that your underwear actually looks adorable with a belt and flats).
1. Sassy Skirts
Skirts are a big deal right now—but forget loose, flowy and long. The look of the moment is a shorter, sassier silhouette. You can achieve this trend-worthy look in a couple of different ways. First, skirts with a higher, banded waist are a real hot item right now. (Think about the sequence skirt that I posted myself wearing a couple weeks ago.) And if you’re not down with a banded skirt—because I’ll admit, sometimes they can be a tricky look to pull off—then stick to a skirt with a straighter silhouette. Embellishments are big this season. So opt for a skirt with some sass: sequins, floral prints, ruffles and patterns are the way to go.
Check out ShopBop.Com for the skirts pictured here and hundreds of other sassy options.
2. Nice Neutrals
Nudes, grays, khakis and light colors are really big right now! Douse yourself in neutrals this season to let everyone know you’re serious about style. You could combine two hot trends and get a neutral colored skirt or opt for a top or dress of a lighter hue.
The neutrals pictured above are from Banana Republic. They have a great selection of the seasons hottest hues (or lack thereof). Club Monaco also has a fantastic selection of neutrals right now!
3. Devilish Dresses
One thing that will be hot for spring and summer are dresses that are a little bit bad-girl. The bandage dress will be big, as will dresses with cut out shapes and embellishments like zippers! Make a few jaws drop.
The dresses pictured here are from Bloomingdales—they have an awesome variety of this seasons smokin’ hot frocks!
So, without telling you how you can make hot pants work for you (because they won’t), I’ve given you three great trends that you can rock right now! Get out there and shop!
Neiman Marcus is carrying Spanx for men! That's right, the secret weapon traditionally worn by women to keep things looking tight under sexy clothing is now extending to the men folk in the form of compression undershirts and tanks.
This line of Spanx for men was the subject of one of Neiman's Facebook updates this morning and it sparked quite the discussion! From people making manboob jokes to snarky comments like, "remember how men used to go to the gym," the chit-chat about Spanx for men is heated! Click here to see the whole conversation.
And if you're interested in checking out the Spanx line for men, click here.
Let me hear your thoughts in the comments section! What do you think? Are body shapers a long time coming for men? Or does this just confuse you? What would you do if the man in your life decided to go buy some Spanx?
*Photo is from the Neiman Marcus retail site.
I am just so smitten with my MAC Viva Glam Gaga lip color that I just had to show you how fierce it is! I'm loving the pink color! What do you think?
It should be no surprise to you that I recently bought Lady Gaga’s Viva Glam lip color from MAC. I mean, I reference Gaga often. I just bought tickets to her upcoming show. Six of my “Top 25 Most Played” songs on my iTunes are Lady Gaga. Oh, and there was that one time I dressed up as her for Halloween. So when I headed to MAC to buy a foundation this week, you can imagine the delight I experienced when I saw pictures of Gaga hanging everywhere—and to top it off, they were playing her songs!
So, naturally, I bought my foundation as well as the color Miss Gaga is endorsing for MAC’s current Viva Glam campaign. It’s called Viva Glam Gaga and it’s a real beauty—a light, matte pink that only someone as bold as Gaga (or me) could rock! And the best part about my purchase was that 100% of the proceeds from the Viva Glam color go to the MAC Aids fund to help find a cure for Aids. And if you buy two lip colors, it’s technically a tax write-off. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Lipstick? Lady Gaga? Helping find a cure for Aids? Getting a tax write-off for giving back to charity?
That sounds like a win-win-win-win-win situation to me. To get your own tube (or two, or seven) click here.
I’m glad I never got into ponchos. I think they’re ugly and shapeless. They do absolutely nothing to flatter the figure—unless of course you think that looking like a tent is flattering. Yesterday, I saw someone make a sad attempt to bring back the poncho trend and I wanted to go give this woman $40.00 to buy a new shirt. It was that bad.
Fashions come and fashions go, but just because something is stylish or trendy doesn’t mean it should be embraced. Fashion designers are people, too. They make mistakes. Whoever sat around in a design studio and thought, “Hey, it would be a great idea to make stylish ponchos,” was obviously an idiot, but we’ll cut them some slack: after all, they put their pants on like everybody else.
So please, I beg you, avoid this fashion faux pas. If you have a poncho hanging in your closet throw it away. Burn it. Make it into a baby blanket. But never, ever, put it over your head and attempt to pass it as a shirt again.
I do not run a celebrity blog. There’s no late-breaking Brangelina gossip here. However, I get a little excited about the occasional run in with a movie star—notable people do fascinate me. Just a couple weeks ago I was eating lunch with my roommate at a bakery near our house when we spied Josh Hartnett at a nearby table. It was pretty cool to see the leading man from Pearl Harbor just a few chairs away, but we refrained from being those obnoxious, overbearing girls. We maintained composure and kept it classy. And on his way out of the bakery, Mr. Hartnett was accosted by a girl who practically threw herself at him. My roomie and I were glad we took the road less traveled.
But we did snap a picture of him walking out to his car (no one noticed, thanks to camera phone technology). I know, posting this picture basically puts me on the same level as the scumbag paparazzi. But this picture was essentially for proof. You know, so that people would believe us when we told them we had lunch sitting near Josh Hartnett.
And then I found out that he actually lives in my neighborhood—which is a somewhat small area. He could be my neighbor. He could be right next door. Or a few houses down. Maybe his backyard actually backs up to mine. Maybe, he’s sitting at home thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe I saw the girl from that awesome blog called Pretty and Poor in a bakery. Maybe she lives in my neighborhood. Maybe her backyard backs right up to mine.”
I mean, there’s always the possibility that next week one of my posts could read, “So, today I was at the dog park and this guy came up to me and started talking. I said, ‘So what do you do for a living?’ and he replied, ‘Ever seen Pearl Harbor?’”
Burberry has some adorable shoes out right now! Just take a look at these two pairs!
This adorable Burberry platform sandal made from natural leather is sexy and sophisticated, while still being playful, for spring and summer dresses!
This sassy, metallic platform sandal would look great paired with spring's sexy skirts! Check out all of Burberry's shoes by clicking here.
But what do you think? Would you wear them? Which one is your pick? Leave your comments in the comments section!
Every spring, the weather gets warmer and I become a little more in tune to the ways of the world. (I also have the uncontrollable urge to shop, shop, shop. But I try to hinder that as much as possible.)
Anyway, this spring is no different. As the sunshine spends a little more time in my life from day-to-day, the vitamin D seeps into my brain and infuses it with major intelligence vibes! The result? A lot of learnings. Here are some of my “Spring Awakenings” for 2010.
My next car will be a two-seater. I actually came to this conclusion months ago, but I really decided this would be a good decision of recent. Here’s the thing, I’m only one person. All I need is enough room for myself and a giant handbag. Plus, when people say, “Oh, can you drive us?” I’ll say, “Oh, remember how I actually just have a Porsche and there’s only room for one? Sorry.” Plus, having a two-seater would up my intimidation factor by about 3000%...and then maybe men would just stop approaching me altogether. Or, this plan could backfire and I could attract total d-bags who come up to me and say, “So, what kind of an engine you got in that thing?” And I would scrunch up my brown, look at them intently and say, “Engine? What’s that?”
Taylor Swift is seriously jaded. She’s adorable. And sweet. And nice. And looks great in sparkles. But this girl seriously needs to wake up! Love Story? Today Was a Fairytale? How about, “Today made me want to puke because I found out yet another guy sucked at life?” Taylor’s last album was much more realistic. I mean, what girl can’t relate to the songs, “Picture to Burn,” and “Should’ve said no?” Seriously though, I love Taylor Swift. But I haven’t been able to stomach the last couple hits!
Calories Count. No, I’m certainly not going to tell you how to eat healthy. But I recently went to Panera for lunch and was shocked upon glancing upward to the menu boards. The calories of EVERY item were listed right next them. There was my beloved broccoli cheddar, all spelled out at over 300 calories a cup. Add a bread bowl? Might as well start building my coffin. And don’t even think about having a Panini. Those were fairly high-ticket items. What I ate for lunch? A salad. 400 calories total. This made me think, “If every item on a menu had calories listed next to it, would it change my ordering behavior?” You better believe it would—especially in the company of others. This new diet trend could be coined the “Embarrassment Diet…” And if Dairy Queen ever thinks it's appropriate to follow suit, then there's the possibility I will die. Ice cream, after all, is supposed to be a treat. What kind of sick person would ruin that for the world?
So there you have it: Spring Awakenings from yours truly! Make sure to stay tuned for more great posts this week about spring fashions, new outfit ideas and more!
I am a jack-of-all-trades. I enjoy fashion. I love shopping. I live for lattes in the sun and manicures, gossip magazines and trips to the salon. But when it comes to having fun—and getting dirty—I like it just as much as the next 8-year-old boy.
The weather is warming up. And while that means I can keep my tights in the drawer and sport the occasional pair of pee-toes with no shame, it also means I can get outside and have a little fun. In fact, part of my weekend involved soaking up the sunshine in something other than a Burberry bikini.
At my parents house my inner-nerd decided to check out pond life after a kayak trip around the lake. (PS: I found snails and several interesting shrimp-like objects.)
So, happy spring! Whether you like to celebrate with bright colors, lightweight fabrics or a romp in the wilderness, get out there and have fun! Life’s too short to sit inside!
Today I feel scandalous. Free. Like a total wild child. And it’s all because I’m not wearing any tights. I love when spring finally rolls around and I can ditch the hosiery. Walking into the brisk, spring air without anything on my legs is complete exhilaration!
Now don’t get me wrong, tights have their place in the world. They keep my legs warm and help me look stylish all winter long. But by March every year, I’m yearning for a more free-spirited approach to fashion. Plus, tights have their downfalls. Let me take this opportunity to highlight everything I hate about tights.
1) Waistband Bunch-Up: I hate it when the waistband inconveniently moves to a place you don’t want it to and sits there—bothering you—until you go to the ladies room and hike those suckers up again.
2) Getting The Runs: Your outfit looks great until you bump up against the wrong piece of furniture and get a giant run in your tights. Amazing how one wrong move can ruin an entire outfit in minutes. Nothing’s skankier than tights with a giant run in them.
3) Toe Squish: I hate when I put cute shoes on with tights and extra fabric around the toes bunches up in or around my shoes. It looks awful and it’s uncomfortable.
But today I don’t have to worry about any of that because I’m free from the oppression of hosiery. And maybe, just maybe, if I keep my fingers crossed, I won’t have to think about putting another pair of tights on until next October! (But who am I kidding? I bet I’ll have another pair of tights on by next week when the temperatures dip back down.)
Several months ago I bought a sequins mini skirt. You know, because it was such a practical purchase. Here's the thing: I love sequins. And as long as something doused in sequins is hanging in my closet, I want to wear it every day. Yesterday I went on a mission to create the perfect outfit with my sequins mini-skirt (so I could wear it even more). I reached out to some fashionistas on Twitter, got a few ideas, and then hit my closet (and the mall). I came up with a couple ways to rock my mini, but this look took the cake.
Let me break this outfit down for you. The sequins mini skirt is paired with a plain white t-shirt and a relaxed-fitting boyfriend blazer. Then, I put a studded patent leather belt around the waist and threw on some black patent heels. The perfect accessory for the whole look was my new watch (and of course a rock star smile and a few good friends).
Would you wear it?
The other day someone made a comment to me. They said something like, "You would never shop at Target. You're way more of a Neimans girl." False. The truth is, I've got clothes and baubles from all over the place. I might be wearing Chanel paired with something from Target, but most people don't know the difference. When an awesome reader of mine sent me this quote, I knew she understood my style.
"Even on a budget, you can afford to get that look of drama. The idea is to convey glamour. It is not what you wear but how you wear it. When you mix treasures with things that aren't, then no one can tell the difference. They think it's all real!"
~Rachel Zoe, who clearly understands that the best style is well-mixed and nicely balanced style. I have a lot of really expensive clothing...and a lot of clothing I found on clearance racks for around 10 bucks. But when I mix those things together, everyone just seems to think it all looks really, really expensive. Cha-ching.
There are lots of ways to ruin a perfectly good outfit. You could neglect accessories. Wear pants two sizes too small. Show too much skin. Or, you could puke all over yourself in the middle of the day.
I rarely ruin an outfit. But last week I ruined one in the worst way possible. On this particular day I was feeling a little nervous for several reasons. I had lots of stuff to do and not enough time to do it. I needed to solidify my social calendar for the evening. I got a little carsick on the ride back from lunch. And I started drinking a Diet Coke with rum in it around 2:00 p.m (hey, it’s always five o’clock somewhere, right?). Around 2:30 I started to feel a little strange. So I stopped drinking my adult beverage. Then, fifteen minutes later I got an intense hot flash that only a woman going through menopause could sympathize with. My stomach started to churn and I slowly got up from my desk and made a graceful, completely incognito exit to the ladies’ room.
I went into the bathroom and there was no one there. Thank goodness. I went into the “big stall” and stood against the wall for a minute. Get a hold of yourself. You’re not going to puke. I breathed slowly and methodically. After five minutes I felt much better, I opened my eyes and turned to walk out of the stall when all of a sudden a lump in my stomach made a sudden jerk and barf flew out of my mouth. I doubled-over and raised my hand to try to block the damage, but it was too late. I had successfully puked all over my skinny jeans.
The smell was revolting and I quickly rolled 90 feet of toilet paper off the roll to help me clean up the mess on the floor and try to disguise the damage. I didn’t want anyone to see the mess I had created. Then, I snuck out into the main part of the bathroom to grab paper towels. I snuck back into the stall, locked the door and attempted to clean my pants. But there were at least 20 giant gobs of puke running down the front of my pants.
I stood in the restroom trying to keep myself from crying. And eventually I threw away all of the evidence, put a smile on my face and marched back into the office and stood in my bosses doorway.
“Hi.” I said, with a half-smile on my face.
“What happened to you?” She said, eyeing up the wet, slightly chunky splotches all over my pants.
“I just puked all over myself in the bathroom and I need to go home.”
“Ohhhhmygosh. Go get your stuff and leave right now. Just go,” she said, with calmness that only a mother of two boys could possess.
So I went home. And that’s how I ruined a perfectly good outfit last week. It’s pretty well known that I have a weak stomach and puke whenever I get overly nervous, worked up or experience motion sickness. But normally, the evidence isn’t spewed all over my pants.
When people see my bedroom their jaw drops a little bit lot. Then they normally say, “Wow, for someone who is so perfectly put together in every other area of their life, your room is an organizational nightmare.” I can’t deny it. Organization has never been my strong suit. In fact, I hate organizing. For years I’ve attempted to keep my closet color-coded to no avail. A week after the organization has been performed, it’s back to its jumbled mess of a wardrobe.
My room isn’t dirty—there’s no crusty old food lying around or anything like that. There’s simply shoes, clothing, handbags, belts, scarves and jewelry covering ever square inch. It could be worse. I could hoard an antique taxidermy collection in my room, or leave last months’ dinners lying around, but I don’t. In all honestly, my room is comparable to a dressing room at a high-end department store that no one has cleared out in months. It’s a culmination of designer clothing and cutesy, girly stuff with no rhyme, reason or order. And no, it’s not unusual to find a big, fake diamond lying on the floor.
A few weeks ago, a gal pal of mine came over to our house for drinks and then we went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. After an evening of many cocktails, she decided to crash at our place. Not wanting to sleep all alone on the sofa, she decided to bunk-up with yours truly. While I explained my room was very, very messy, it didn’t keep her from hopping into bed with me. (I can’t blame her, my bed is ridiculously comfortable: Ralph Lauren Rodeo Drive sheets, a feather bed, two down comforters, mountains of pillows.) And she seemed relatively unfazed by my mess and free of judgment. Just today I told her that I actually cleaned my room. She responded by saying, “Why? It was kind of fun waking up to a pile of neon bras.”
“Why? It was kind of fun waking up to a pile of neon bras.”
So there you have it, I have a ridiculously messy room. It’s actually pretty clean at the given moment, but give it a another couple weeks and there will be scarves, jewels and maybe even some neon bras scattered from wall to wall.
It seems I can always justify a purchase. Last night I showed my roommate a pair of shoes I recently acquired. She looked at me and chuckled, then made a comment about how many furry pairs of animal print shoes I own. I, naturally, had the perfect response.
"I have many pairs of leopard print shoes. But I don't have any snow-leopard print shoes."
~Me, who can always seem to come up with the right excuse for the perfect pair of kicks! And just because I know you're dying to see the shoes in question, I've included a picture below (taken straight from my feet, today).
My Dad and I are kind of in a Facebook fight. I never really thought my life would come to this. And I definitely never thought I’d hear myself utter those words. My Dad and I are in a Facebook fight. But I have reason to be agitated.
Here’s some background. A lot of girls really hate being seen in swimsuits. It’s always a tricky situation. I don’t mind being seen in a swimsuit, but certain things have to align:
1) I have to be ready for it. No surprise attacks or people looking at me that I didn’t expect. I’m comfortable hanging out with minimal clothing, as long as I know who’s around and what they’ll be doing.
2) The swimsuit has to be awesome. I prefer to be photographed or seen in my St. John bikini because it looks the best on me—not only is it slimming, the colors were made for my hair and complexion.
3) Pictures must be posed. Cellulite happens when your fat gets smooshed against a raft or inner-tube. And when you’re in your swimsuit, there’s no fabric there to cover-up or conceal any imperfections. If you have to snap a picture at pool day, you better hope I’m standing up (and at an angle), sucking in and smiling big. Or I’ll throw your camera in the pool.
I think you can see where this is going. On Saturday morning I was busy getting stuff done. My phone started flashing, indicating that I’d received an email, and I ignored it for a few minutes. Then, finally, I picked up my phone to check my alerts. They were from Facebook. My dad tagged me in three pictures.
It should be noted that earlier this year my father tagged a picture of me sleeping on Christmas Eve. I’m wrapped up in a satiny blanket with the dog, wearing leopard print pajamas by Ralph Lauren. All of my friends found this picture hilarious. You see, I have an “image” to maintain and this picture didn’t quite fit the image. (Since this picture now seems like kid stuff compared to what I'm about to divulge, I've included the photo below.)
But on Saturday, the pictures were much worse. As I clicked-through the alert to see what photos my father tagged me in, a picture started to load that made my stomach drop. There, for all of Facebook to see, was a picture of me on the family boat wearing a white and red nautical bikini. I’m not really sucking in. I’m not really looking all that great. And I’m definitely not wearing any make-up.
My dad is friends with all of my friends. There’s just too many common connections. And by 2:00 p.m. I’m fairly certain that everyone in my extended network (business contacts, secret lovers and ex-boyfriends included) saw my sunburned body, circa 2006, in a nautical bikini at the top of their newsfeed. My Dad argued that the picture was adorable. Then he argued that the picture was taken in public and if I didn’t want to be seen in public like that I should reconsider my swimsuit choices. But when you’re on floating hunk of fiberglass off the coast of Florida, things are different.
I have been on Facebook since 2004. And during some of that time I was in college. And amazingly enough I managed to keep most incriminating pictures at bay. But the minute my dad joins Facebook, the stuff that ruins political careers starts seeping through the woodwork.
I love when a male tells me he doesn't like my outfit. It's funny. Because at the root of it all, I don't care whether he likes my outfit or not. I rarely ever dress for guys. And this quote is the perfect summary of my feelings.
“Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.”
~Betsey Johnson, whose sassy designs are made for the feminine, sassy chick in all of us! So when you get dressed, dress to impress no one but yourself. The confidence you radiate from wearing something you love will be more likely to attract a man than the flowered dress or skinny jeans that are "so in" this season!
Being pretty can be time-consuming and expensive. And let’s face it, in a world where everyone needs more time and more money, us fashionistas sometimes go to desperate measures to get more pretty for what’s in our pockets. Just yesterday I was reminded of a story that taught me a lesson about do-it-yourself beauty procedures.
Two years ago I was fresh out of college and busy getting acclimated to being a working girl. Between long hours at the office and a social calendar that would give the Hilton sisters a run for their money, I was busy juggling work and play (to be honest, not much as changed since then). With all I had to do, I barely had the time (nor the resources) to take care of myself. One night I remember getting in my car, looking at my hair and thinking, “Nice roots.” My bright, summer blonde hair was being seriously interrupted by a dark cloud of dirty blonde forming around my roots and slowly creepy its way down my part.
(At this point in the post, you're probably thinking, "Why is she posting a picture of herself dressed up like Lady Gaga?" Well. Let me answer that. As you can see from the photo, Lady Gaga and I have very similar hair colors. This proves that when my roots get bad, it can be a tricky situation.)
Without the prospect of a salon trip I decided to take matters into my own hands. I headed to Walgreens (never a good decision) and bought a highlighting and bleaching kit for blondes. Easy enough. Right? I headed home, slipped into sweats, opened the box and followed the instructions—smearing the bleach in all the right places. Then I settled into a chair with a book to wait the 20 minutes.
Except I didn’t wait 20 minutes. Or 30 minutes. Or 90 minutes. I fell asleep and woke up four hours later in the middle of the night…with bleach still processing on my hair. I immediately ran to the shower (still groggy from my accidental slumber) and began rinsing my hair. The bleach was caked in. I shampooed. I conditioned. And I started to cry as my hair fell out in clumps.
When I finally jumped out of the shower, I began touching my hair and looking at it in the mirror. My hair strands had been turned to a rubbery substance that stretched and pulled as I ran my hands through it. In desperation, I tried to brush it, but my nearly white hair twisted around the bristles like spider webs. It was bad.
At 2:00 a.m. my salon definitely wasn’t open. So I did the only logical thing there was to do. I emailed my boss to tell her I wouldn’t be in the following morning. I explained my mistake and explained the need for an early morning trip to my hair stylist. And while I never went totally bald, I did rock a very short, very platinum hair style that summer. (Luckily, my stylist was able to fix almost everything and take care of any dead hair by giving me a short, sassy style.)
And I learned that a trip to the salon (with my pride still intact) would have been a lot less painful and less expensive than a trip to the salon without my pride. And, I probably wouldn’t have had to purchase a complete set of Bumble and Bumble therapeutic hair treatments (they work wonders, by the way).
So if you find yourself a bit more poor than pretty, don’t rely on those do-it-yourself treatments. Save up for the professional procedure you need or find a less high maintenance way to glow—take it from someone who almost spent a summer without hair.
I literally cannot move today. I feel like I’m 80 years old. My back is completely out of whack. I can’t turn my head. It’s painful to change lanes when driving. I can’t make any sudden movements. Today, as I was filling up my coffee cup at the office, a coworker came up behind me and said, “Boo!” And guess what? They have no idea the impact that actually had on my tense, sore body.
I don’t actually know why my back is so completely jacked up today. But I started asking myself questions about all the things I could have done to put myself in this condition.
Did you perform any manual labor (like heavy lifting or moving)? Not a chance.
Did you overdo it on the vodka (again) and try to do a cartwheel in the living room? Don’t think so. I’d likely have broken bones, too. And no one has tried to blackmail me with pictures yet.
Did you slip on ice wearing unreasonable shoes? Five-inch platform sling backs are not unreasonable. And there's no ice in sight, I’ve had my sunroof open the past two days.
Did you wear one of those "statement necklaces" again that weighs 12 pounds? Eh, could have. But I’m used to the pain that comes with being fashionable.
I was completely lost as to why I was approaching paralysis when suddenly I remembered what I did last night from the hours of 8:00-10:00pm. I watched Lady Gaga’s Telephone video three times (followed by every other video she’s released) and attempted to copy the dance moves. That. Probably. Did. It.
They say that practice makes perfect. So until I master the monsteresque moves of Lady Gaga’s music videos without having to rub myself down in Icy Hot, I’ll just pay tribute to her with flashy clothing, make-up and maybe a wig or two.
Two years ago, I dropped my big, swanky watch into a toilet full of pee (my own pee, thankfully) at a sushi restaurant. Since then, I’ve been on a quest for a sparkly new timepiece for my wrist. With so many watch options and so many styles available, choosing a bauble has been a difficult task for me. And alas, I’ve kept putting it off.
Let’s be honest, most of the watches I really like aren’t really within my budget. (They’ll totally be within my budget in 10 years, but for now they’re more aspirational goals than anything.) The Chanel J12? Love it. The Rolex Yachtmaster? Dig it. Anything big and chunky with lots of diamonds or flashy metallics? Sign me up.
Over the weekend I found myself at the mall with my best friend. While sucking down an iced latte and doing some shopping in Nordstrom, something caught my eye in the jewelry department. It was the case of Toy Watches. They were big, blinged-out, colorful, dazzling. And there was one that stood out from the rest. Well, actually there were two very similar watches that stood out from the rest: white, blinged-out Plasteramic watches with big faces. One had about 90% more bling than the other. I tried them on. They both looked great on my wrist. And since I’d been having a challenging couple of weeks, I decided that I needed to add one of these lovely watches to my life. (It should be noted that jewelry is so much more agreeable than people.)
Surprisingly, I actually had trouble deciding between the watch with reasonable bling and the one with out-of-control bling. But in the end I went with my roots and picked the watch that looked like it should belong to a rapper’s girlfriend. As I was wearing it out of the store, a couple of ladies stopped me to comment me on my watch. That’s when I knew I'd made a good decision.
This blinged-out Plasteramic by Toy Watch is now adorning my wrist! Since Sandra Bullock made this watch famous in The Blind Side it has been a hot commodity and sold out online and in stores throughout the country. Guess it was my lucky day! Let’s see if I can keep it out of the toilet...
Yeah. I bought a watch to make myself feel good. And you know what? It worked.
I absolutely fell in love with today's Pretty Proclamation. Partly because it's authored by one of my favorite people and partly because it's absolutely true.
"Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you're wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn't love you anymore."
~Lady Gaga, who has fantastic views on fashion as well as men, relationships and living the life you want to live. I can't really follow-up a great quote like that with much of an explanation, expect, "Touche, Gaga. Touche."
Today, as I was browsing my Twitter feed, I saw this quote that caught my eye. I completely agree. In fact, I could not agree more with this. It's really brilliant.
"Fashion is ART. If you don't occasionally shock a fellow human on your walk to work, you're missing one of the joys of life."
~E. Jean, the witty, tell-it-like-is advice columnist for Elle Magazine, who clearly understands a thing or two about what it really feels like to get dressed! Tomorrow, when you get dressed, put something on that makes someone pause (in a good way, of course). And if they pause in a bad way, well, that's a fashion fall taken-- pick yourself up, dust off those Manolos and try again!
I’m always yakking about this elusive bucket of diamonds that I’m looking for. And while it sounds very appealing, I feel like I should clarify why I want a bucket of diamonds for all you cynics out there. I have my reasons, and I feel as if they’re pretty darn good ones.
1) It’s the ultimate status symbol. Anyone can buy a luxury car or a mansion, but a bucket of diamonds? That doesn’t seem so easy to come by, now does it? I’ll know I’ve made it when I have a bucket of diamonds sitting on my dresser.
2) I’ll know it’s love. Everyone buys their significant other a ring. Think of how many rings are sold every day in the world. And then think of how many of those rings end up at the local pawn shop after a fiery divorce. Rings are sub-par. I’ll know it’s serious when loverboy shows up with a bucket of shiny rocks.
3) I’d dazzle the world. I won’t be selfish with my bucket. Think of the things I could accomplish with all those diamonds just sitting around at my disposal. There are so many situations where a fat rock could come in handy. My good friend goes through a break-up? Here, have a diamond. It’ll make you feel better. A relative has surgery? Nothing says, “get well soon” like a sparkling hunk of carbon. Graduation gift? Who needs money for college when they could have a diamond?
As a joke, the folks at my office got me a bucket of fake diamonds to sit on my desk at work. It’s more of a reminder than anything. Last week, a coworker brought their 4-year-old daughter into the office and she became enamored with my bucket of diamonds. And just like I’ve always promised I’d do, I shared one with her. And then I apologized to her mother profusely for helping promote a life of unrealistic expectations and materialism. But hey, start ‘em young.
Oh, and PS: I would totally buy this car. There’s definitely a buckets worth of rocks covering this bad boy. And apparently those really are diamonds.
And PPS: Now that you've finished reading this, you should head over to Harry Winston (the jeweler behind that adorable drop earring pictured above) to scout out your own diamond baubles.
Patterns are a playful way to play up nearly any outfit. Why wear solids when you can turn yourself into a canvas for artistic expression? Don’t get me wrong, solids are great—and absolutely essential to maintaining balance in your outfits—but there are several patterns I depend on year after year to add a splash of texture, color and fun to many of my favorite basics. Here are my three favorite patterns!
1) Plaid: Ever since I discovered the amazing world of Burberry I’ve been mad for plaid (the right kind, of course). But take that Burberry nova check pattern, for example. It’s timeless. It’s basically neutral. It’s a symbol of classic style. Plaid, when done right, can add a whole new dimension to your look. Perhaps that’s why Burberry has been lining its classic trenches in plaid for decades.
This Burberry trench coat is a modern take on the classic plaid!
2) Polka Dots: Nothing says, “Hi, I’m a lady” like a polka dot frock. From a feminine dress to a silk scarf adorned with polka dots, it’s a playful, girly way to soften up a look.
This Michael Kors dress, covered in dots, manages to be feminine without forgetting the fun!
3) Zebra Print: The cougar in me naturally gravitates to sassy animal prints. And while some animal prints get a reputation for being trashy and unappealing, zebra (when done correctly) is something that always makes me smile. A pair of zebra print heels paired with the right outfit is surprising and unexpected. While a zebra print pencil skirt adds a safari-inspired elegance to a look. Michael Kors is known for making zebra a classy, all-American look. And when done right, a little zebra in an outfit can get you a lot of chic points.
Never experience a lack of sass with these fantastic Michael Kors pumps!
Those are my three favorites. You might be surprised that stripes didn’t make the list…but I’ve seen stripes done wrong too many times to be in love with them. And as for Paisley? I love myself a Lilly Pullitzer paisley for the beach, but simply see too many unflattering paisley patterns done wrong. Argyle? I’m a big prep at heart and have a lot of love for Argyle, but sometimes find argyle unflattering (especially on girls).
What are your favorite patterns and how do you wear them?
It’s a good thing I can shop this month, because retail therapy was definitely in order over the weekend. It’s funny how a pile of designer clothes can make me smile on even the most depressing of days. (There’s no doubt a bucket of diamonds would have had a much more desirable and lasting effect, just saying.) Anyway, to give you a sneak peek into my sick and twisted world, here’s what I bought this weekend:
:: Tory Burch Blouse
:: Diane Von Furstenberg Blouse
:: BCBG Dress
:: Max Studio Dress
:: Joe’s Jeans
So while I may be eating ramen and drinking Karkov (instead of Ketel) for the next month, I’ve got some fashionable duds to dress myself up in. And in my head, that’s a sacrifice well worth the price. Shop on!
Any good retail therapy for you over the weekend? Share your purchases in the comments section!
My great aunt Truby passed away on Wednesday night. She was very old and had been sick for quite some time. And while this was a very sad happening, my great aunt Truby was truly someone to be celebrated for her pleasant demeanor and sassy sense of style (with a name like Truby, you've gotta' be sassy).
You see, my great aunt Truby was someone I spent a great deal of time with until I was around six years old. She was a complete firecracker—always sporting sassy red lipstick, driving a cute little car and wearing completely accessorized outfits. She was the epitome of a sassy lady. She was always bubbly, always entertaining and always (always) put together.
In fact, aunt Truby gave me my very first pair of heels. She could be credited as the one who started it all. She wore a very small size shoe (I believe a size five), which means that around fifth grade she started giving me her hand-me-down heels to play around in. It was around that time when I realized flat shoes were so not my thing.
She liked shopping and took me on several trips “to town” with her when I was a child. On one of those trips she accidentally locked me in the backseat of her car and frantically ran up and down the street telling people she’d locked a child in the car. One cool, calm and collected man simply looked at her and asked, “Did you ask the child to open the door?” Within seconds, I had flipped the switch and saved the day.
On another occasion, we went on a picnic and she ended up running over a stump that marked a parking spot in a park (probably because she was checking out her make-up in the mirror). That stump stayed knocked over for years after that. She wasn’t the best driver…and I guess that rubbed off on me, too.
I got to see my great aunt Truby last summer. She was very ill and barely recognized me. But she did one thing I’ll never forget. Lying in her hospital bed, barely able to move or speak, she reached into her pocket, pulled out a tube of lipstick and proceeded to apply it. What can I say? She taught me everything I know.
So this weekend, I’ll be lifting a nice, cold glass of Tang to my great aunt Truby (who always had Tang). After all, I think she’s one of the people who taught me what it was like to have your own individual style and to carry yourself with grace, elegance and class no matter what the world throws your way. But most importantly, aunt Truby taught me never to leave home without lipstick.
I finally reclaimed my title as a shopper last night. After work yesterday I decided to venture to a place I hadn’t been in a while: the mall. On the way, I was giddy with excitement. My heart was pounding. I couldn’t breathe. I broke out into a cold sweat and started shaking all over. Just the prospect of going to Macy’s was enough to make me channel a 16-year old on prom night.
After browsing the contemporary apparel and talking myself out of the most gorgeous Trina Turk color block dress I’ve ever seen, I ended up with a modern, hip and trendy BCBG number that (if I must say so myself) makes me look like a supermodel and a Herve Leger-inspired bandage dress (because it made me feel like Bethenny Frankel…just not as “naturally skinny”). And then I topped it all off with a pair of leopard-print heels I found on the clearance rack. Because let’s be honest, if you find a pair of leopard print heels that look like the other 15 pairs you’ve worn out in the past 3 years, and they just so happen to be 75% off, then you just have to buy them. (Leopard print heels actually go with just about anything. And if you don’t believe me, read this.)
So, world, I’m back in the game! My shopping abstinence was a good exercise to go through. But at the end of the day, it’s just not me. I’m good at shopping. And I like it. And it gives me stuff to blog about (and you stuff to read about). Shopping inspires me and keeps me on my toes—it helps me be me.
Will I ever take a month off shopping again? Perhaps. If I’m broke. But let’s not assume the worst.
Hi. I’m Emily, and I’m a shopaholic. And I’m totally okay with that.
Today I was cleaning out my email box and I came across an email I sent to my Dad on December 19, 2006. I was on winter break before going back to my last semester in college. This is a classic.
Guess what I got in Accounting? A "B!"
And it's not even a low B, it's a HIGH B! I scored an 87 on the final
I went out more than ANY OTHER SEMESTER and I'm making TERRIFIC GRADES!
Especially given the fact that this was ACCOUNTING class.
Just thought I'd share that with you!
Emily, Your Daughter
The truth is, this email was probably an assurance to good ole' pops that his checks were being put to good use. Also, for those of you questioning my intelligence and my priorities, let's clarify something. First, I always got A's in all of my classes...except for math classes. Math just stumped me (but I'd love to see what some of my former teachers think of the PPW theory, now that's relevant math in action). Plus, I partied like a rock star my last year of college. So I think I have reason to be proud of this achievement!
You've gotta' love coming across a paper trail highlighting one of your finer moments.
I spend a latte on lattes. There’s no denying that $4.00 here and there certainly adds up (for more on that, click here). However, I recently discovered a lower-cost alternative to my afternoon desire for an iced latte. The solution? Starbucks Via (instant coffee) dissolved into cold water with ice and a splash of milk or cream.
The coffee flavor is rich and robust, plus, a 3- or 6-pack of Starbucks Via is a small fraction of the cost of a latte. I can get a 3-pack for $2.95. That equates to around $1.00 a beverage! That’s quite a PPD (Price Per Drink). The good news? I don’t even have to leave my office. Click here to check out more information about Starbucks Via or check out your local Starbucks to grab a pack of Via and try this penny-pinching trick yourself!
Here’s to my girls who are to be pretty, poor and packed with caffeine!
This is just not fun. I don’t need to shop, but I sure like doing it! I’m going nuts. It’s like I’ve hit rock bottom. And I’m certainly not saving any money. The money I’m saving on shoes, purses and clothing is going towards expensive cocktails and elaborate dinners. So is this little experiment saving me money? Not at all.
Yesterday, I picked up three books so I could use some of my spare time to read. Plus, I find that reading’s a good escape for me…but not as good of an escape as spending money. Right now, I find that if I’ve learned anything from this little experiment, it’s that shopping isn’t all that bad. It’s a habit…but it’s not the worst habit I could have. And I’m responsible in my shopping: sometimes I splurge, sometimes I shop on sale, sometimes I shop vintage. It all evens out. And I give stuff to charity. I’m not a hoarder or anything.
March 1st can’t come soon enough! This week is packed with fun activities to keep me busy so it’s sure to breeze by! But when the new month of March comes rolling in, I’ll be rolling out to Nordstrom.
This weekend I sat down at a bar (I wasn’t alone, I was with friends). Within a few moments a guy came over and asked if he could sit next to me. I naturally told him that he most certainly could, then we proceeded to have a friendly conversation. Within a couple minutes into the conversation I had lost interest and I could tell that he, too, had no interest in talking to me. He looked at me and said, somewhat offensively, “You’re a strong female aren’t you?”
I said, “I’m sorry, what?”
He shook his head and replied, “You’re a really, really strong female, I can just tell….”
Then he got up and walked away. Because apparently, something about being a strong female is not attractive. (PS: Neither was his face. But I try not to judge people right away.)
So I guess I should take this opportunity to apologize to all the single men who may initially show interest in me (only to lose interest after finding out that I’ve got purpose and direction in life). I’m sorry for being fabulous. I’m sorry for having a job that’s more important than yours. I’m sorry for supporting myself. I’m sorry for not being clingy. I’m sorry for looking pretty and put-together. Sorry for being strong. And most of all, sorry for not really needing a weak guy to justify my existence.
So ladies, raise your glass to being “a strong female.” And gentlemen, if you can’t stand the heat, then I strongly suggest you get out of the kitchen.
One of the things keeping me busy during my Month Of No Shopping is the Winter Olympics. Good timing, huh? I go home every night dreaming of all the fun Olympic activity that will take place in Vancouver. I personally think the Olympics are one of the most exciting times in the world. For some reason, the Olympics make me feel like the worlds is a very small place. And that’s warm, cozy and comforting in times when not everything is certain. Here are 10 reasons I love the Olympics!
10) I get to hear Morgan Freeman’s voice at least 10 times an hour. Those Visa commercials are pretty unbelievable! (Are they not?) They capture the Olympic spirit—the triumphs, the tribulations, the wins and the losses. And I cry in at least 75% of them. For someone who usually doesn’t show emotion, this is a significant achievement.
9) I enjoy scoping out hot athletes. For example, Dale Begg Smith who represented Australia in men’s moguls was hot in a mysterious way.
8) My family gets bigger. For two weeks every two years, I feel like my family expands significantly. I basically feel like every member of Team USA is connected to me in a very real way. We laugh together. Cry together. I’m there when they win. I’m there when they lose. And at the end of the day, I kind of love them unconditionally.
7) Bob Costas. Who is this guy? And who turned him loose with a microphone? Sometimes the guy can be such a downer I find myself gasping or laughing at his commentary. At the end of the day, he’s a talented newscaster. But there are times when I sure wish he’d pop some happy pills.
6) Judgment. Who likes to judge people? Okay, now you can put your hand down. The Olympics is the one of the few times when it’s perfectly okay to judge people. “Eh, I’ll give it a six. It was subpar. The landing on that triple Salchow really could have been better.”
5) Two words: Johnny Weir. He’s like the Lady Gaga of figure skating. The costumes. The glitz. The hint of diva. Oh, and he’s talented. I can’t get enough of this guy and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.
4) The McDonalds Commercials. I probably eat more Chicken McNuggets during the Olympic games than at any other time in a two-year interval. The sight of Olympic heroes dipping crispy, fried pieces of chicken into limited edition sweet chili sauce always makes me hungry for nuggs.
3) Hope. Sometimes you hear a story of someone who was born with something terrible, told they couldn’t do something and then, low and behold, they’re on the podium getting gold. As cheesy as it sounds, the Olympics make me believe that anything is possible. And it’s that kid of hope that keeps me going everyday.
2) Ralph Lauren. Nothing says classic American style like Ralph Lauren. I’m so glad he designs the official apparel of Team USA. I always love checking out what the team is wearing on opening ceremony night and throughout the games. Leave it to a preppy-girl-at-heart to appreciate a good polo, the big pony logo or a cable-knit sweater.
1) Total patriotism. Call me lame, but there’s something very powerful behind the act of an entire country rallying around a few people. The flags. The anthems. The sprit. It makes me happy when people stand behind something and every two years, people have a very real reason to stand behind their country. It’s cute.
I love the Olympics for a lot of reasons! What are yours?
I’m at a point where I just need to get over the whole not shopping thing. It’s been 16 days! That’s more than half a month. And yeah, I’m pretty much over it! And in 13 sweet days I’ll be able to hit the mall a happy woman. So far, the most surprising thing to come out of this whole experiment is the fact that I’ve been able to entertain myself for days…weekends, even… without shopping. And I haven’t really missed it. I’ve replaced most instances of shopping with purely social activities such as eating out and drinking out. But I’ve also managed to contribute a large part of my weekends to helping with some community-based activities (such as helping a high school speech team at their weekend tournaments) and using my social media knowledge to help not-for-profit organizations reach their fundraising goals. As long as I’m keeping my brain busy, I don’t miss the retail therapy.
But I know that Godiva missed my business last Sunday.
Here’s to another two weeks of abstaining from my shopping habits!
So what’s new with me? Absolutely nothing. I’ve bought nothing. Shopped for nothing. My life has been reduced to a pile full of nothing.
That’s quite the exaggeration—I’ve actually got a lot going for me. But I’m finding that shopping really helps me channel my creative energy. I like the constant discovery that I embark on when I shop. I like learning about new things. I like exploring. Shopping inspires me! And right about now, I’m feeling terribly uninspired.
I’ve made it over a week without buying shoes, clothing, beauty products or an accessory. For some that might be protocol, but for me it’s a real testament to self-control. Now, you might think I cheated when I bought that pair of tights at Walgreens last week. But even then, one measly pair of tights is nothing for me.
So as I roll into the weekend I have some obvious concerns.
#1: Valentine’s Day. This holiday is usually marked by me visiting the Godiva store, loading up on high-end chocolates, and buying myself some shoes and maybe some new lip-gloss. This year, however, I’ll be buying no such things. I guess I’ll be making my own fun. Or keeping my fingers crossed for a really nice gift from someone else.
#2: Valentine’s Day. The perpetually single girl celebrates this holiday by buying herself stuff. If I can’t buy anything, this could be the most agonizing Valentine’s Day ever.
#3: Valentine’s Day. I’m sure that 90% of my friends will post things on Facebook that say, “Just received the most beautiful flowers from my wonderful boyfriend/husband/fiancé/secret lover.” While I would like to post something along the lines of, “Just received the most beautiful Prada clutch from my wonderful self,” I guess I’ll be biting the bullet and selecting the “like” button when I see their status updates this year.
Here’s to a month with no shopping. And absolutely no fun!
Monday and Tuesday of this week were interesting. And its days like Monday and Tuesday that lead me to believe this shopping thing could get interesting. Monday was fine: I worked, went home and watched The Bachelor. But I passed a Target on my drive home and thought to myself, “Gosh, how much fun would it be to go to Target and buy some random stuff I don’t need?” I got giddy at the thought of it, but since it was snowing and the roads were in shambles, I maintained a straight course and arrived home without breaking my vow to not shop.
Then there was yesterday. I was seriously under the weather and not feeling so hot. I rested and worked from home to help preserve energy (maybe my soul is withering and dying because it can’t do what it was meant to do: shop). At one point I called my mom and had the following conversation.
“Mom. Hi. It’s Emily. I just thought of something that I might need your help with.”
“Okay,” my mom replied. “What’s up?”
“Well, you know how I’m not shopping for the month…” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said.
“Well, I’m going on a ski trip at the end of the month and I just remembered that I need new snow pants. But I can’t necessarily just go buy new snow pants. So maybe you could go do the act of buying me a pair and I’ll pay you back and stuff but I won’t actually be shopping…it will be like an exchange of money for snow pants.”
“Emily,” she snapped back in her sharp southern accent. “You are unbelievable! Surely you don’t think I have time to go find you a pair of snow pants.”
“Oh come on, mother. You’re always going to places that sell snow pants. Just buy me a pair for snowboarding. Please. I need help.”
You would have thought I’d asked my own mother to get me a bag of cocaine. By the end of the conversation I had at least convinced her to keep her eyes open. I’m currently deciding how to solve this dilemma in my head. I can’t just go snowboarding without snow pants. And I’m not canceling a ski trip just because I decided I wasn’t shopping for the month. But maybe, just maybe I can slip my little brother a nice, crisp Benjamin Franklin and see if he can smuggle me some snow pants…after all, he’s young and impressionable.
It was the weekend. And what do I normally do on the weekend? I shop. Like it’s my job. But this weekend was oh-so different.
First, I’d like to reveal the shocking conclusion to the black tights dilemma I posted about on Friday. I ended up going to Walgreens after work to pick up a prescription (FYI: buying medicine is so not shopping). However, Walgreens just so happened to have black tights. So I picked up a pair. It was medicine and tights. Simple purchase. Not shopping. Here’s why: the tights were a necessary purchase that I bought at a drug store. I didn’t get to sift through racks of fabulous designer tights. These were $2.99. And did I enjoy buying them? Don’t think so. I don’t think this is cheating. Let me remind you again that the goal here is not to purge spending from my life—the goal is to see if I can go a month without any frivolous shopping (i.e. those after work trips to Neiman Marcus).
My roomie was very concerned about my tights, though. When I arrived home and started getting ready to go out on Friday night, she said, “Oh, Emily, I see that you found some black tights. What did you end up doing?”
“Well,” I replied. “I had to go to Walgreens for meds. While I was there, I just bought a pair of black tights.”
“Yeah,” she said. “I was gonna’ say they look absolutely fine.”
“Well they’re no Betsey Johnsons!” I dramatically screamed as I tugged at the waistline.
But I can’t complain, because my problem was solved. Thanks to everyone who suggested I mend my tights—that was funny. Mend is practically my middle name. Not. Me + Needle + Thread = Disaster. But, it was a worthwhile, very thrifty suggestion and I appreciate all the comments.
On Saturday I went to the grocery store with my mom, then I went out for margaritas and Mexican food. I passed out around 10. No shopping—just tequila.
Then, on Sunday I decided to drive to Iowa to keep from shopping. And it worked. I actually went to Iowa on a mini road trip with my family. But nonetheless, if you want to get away from consumerism you might as well just drive to Iowa (sorry to all my Iowa readers…but I think we can both admit that your state isn’t the forerunner in shopping).
In this race against shopping I think I’m winning. It isn’t fun. And I really want a new pair of jeans. But I’m being tough, I’m being brave and I’m bringing it.
Coin purses, wallets and wristlets are very handy-- especially if you're a girl on the go. So if you're looking for the perfect gift for your best girlfriend, your hip mom or someone special, this adorable Rebecca Minkoff coin purse has Valentine's Day written all over it. While it's perfect for the fast-approaching holiday, it would be something stylish and sassy to whip out at any time of the year.
Because the sad reality is, money really can't buy you love! But it can buy you lots of shoes, purses, clothes and make-up to fill the void.
It’s Friday. And I went an entire workweek without shopping, which is pretty astonishing. However, today I am faced with a dilemma. Here it goes.
Tonight I am going out. I have the perfect accessories, shoes, dress—everything I need is right there in my closet. The thing is, I have successfully ripped all of my black tights (I’m very uncoordinated, we have established this). I have to wear tights. Going without them is not an option—I live in Minnesota. It’s snowing here today and my skin would literally peel off my legs if I wandered into the night without tights on my legs. So, would it be considered shopping if I wandered into Target, bought myself a two-pack of tights and left? I promise I wouldn’t look at anything else. And this purchase isn’t necessarily a fun purchase, it’s a purchase that’s needed to survive the temperatures. Or am I completely delusional?
I don’t want anyone thinking I’ve broken the rules or buckled—I just want to make sure my legs don’t freeze off. This is quite the conundrum. I don’t know what to do! I play by the rules. So I’m asking you, what’s a girl to do? What are your thoughts?
Here's Valentine idea that costs NO MONEY and could really brighten someone's day! In fact, it could brighten a lot of lives. Avenues for Homeless Youth, a Minnneapolis-based organization that provides support and housing options to homeless youth, partnered with Target to do a Valentine's Day promotion. It's easy. All you have to do is send a Valentine to a friend from their website. When you do, Target will donate $1 to Avenues (up to $10,000). You'll make a friend smile and help enhance a young person's life.
Go send some Valentine's! It's cute. It's fun. It's free. And it WILL make a difference! And hey, giving back is always in style.
My Mom and Dad used to buy me really cool Valentine’s Day gifts when I was a kid. I guess they knew I was headed for years of single Valentine’s days so they were just trying to cushion the blow and amp up my self-esteem at an early age.
These days, I’m probably too old to receive legitimate Valentine’s Day gifts from my parents. But I’d happily accept them. (Mom, if you’d like to send a Burberry bucket hat like the one you sent me on Valentine’s Day at age 18, I’d happily accept one. Or anything Burberry for that matter. Those were the good ole’ days.)
But these days the Valentine’s Gifts are few and far in between. As a matter of fact…I don’t think I actually receive Valentine’s Day gifts…unless of course they’re sweet somethings from my wonderful girlfriends.
But if I were actually expecting some Valentine’s Day Gifts, I’ve decided to share with you all the things I might want. I’ve also included my thoughts on what the sentiment behind them may mean! I’ll feature new ideas every day until Valentine’s Day.
Wrap You Up In My Love
This lightweight Burberry wrap is the perfect transitional accessory as we move to spring. Plus, it’s pink (Valentine’s Day, duh). And Burberry is an established brand that’s been around for ages—which can only mean that your love is classic and lasting, too. This is a scarf any girl will have around for years to come. And hopefully, she’ll think of the handsome hunk who bought it for her each time she drapes it around her neck.
I almost messed up today. While driving home this evening I thought to myself, “Hmm, what will I wear for all my social activities this weekend?” I immediately started thinking of my wardrobe. Then I thought, “I should stop and pick up a cool new necklace or some standout earrings to jazz up some of my favorite dresses. There’s a great jewelry boutique on my way home.” Then, I turned up my radio and carried on. It wasn’t until ten minutes later that I realized what I was thinking was totally off limits. And then, for the first time since I banned shopping from my life, I felt a pang of anger shoot through my body.
I drove home instead of going to get myself a cool new necklace or pair of earrings. And that was the end of that. We’re four days in and I’m starting to believe that this could get genuinely interesting.
I’ve found the perfect alternative to shopping: working. It fills the void, keeps me busy and gives me puzzle after puzzle to solve. Since I’ve given up shopping (all three days of it), I’ve found myself working pretty long hours. But that might actually be a coincidence. I don’t really know. Anywho, I’ve barely had time to shop because I’ve been tied up solving the worlds marketing problems (which is actually very fun to me. Nerd, I know).
So day numero tres has been easy-trapeezy. We’ll see what surprises the rest of the week brings.
I am dominating this no shopping thing. I mean, it’s only the second day but I’m doing fine. No problems here. Last night I immersed myself in work and The Bachelor. I didn’t even have time to think about making frivolous purchases when I was busy analyzing the most sick and twisted television show of all time.
I did, however, overhear a conversation between my roommate and her boyfriend in which she told him all about my vow of no shopping. Their conversation went a little something like this.
Roomie said: “Well, Emily is giving up shopping for the entire month of February.”
BF said something like: “Oh, that’s not hard. I go months without shopping all the time.”
Roomie said: “Yeah, but this is Emily we’re talking about. She stops at Macy’s on the way home from work and treats herself to stuff all the time.”
I got a kick out of it. It was pretty cute. And it made me realize that shopping was pretty much embedded into my normal daily activities. Which is fine…I think. And then someone else harassed me last night about my shopping abstinence. He pointed out that I had a ski trip planned this month and that I’m still planning on buying alcohol this month. I kindly explained to him that a ski trip was not shopping (not at all)…and that alcohol is one of my main food groups. And I decided yesterday that I’d keep buying groceries . So I’m keeping vodka on the list. After all, I’ll need it more than ever during this difficult month of no frivolities. I'm not necessarily trying to save money...just not shop!
So. There you have it. All is well in the land of no shopping!
I'm all about standing out in a crowd-- individuality is definitely something I value. Maybe that's why I wear such flashy clothing. Maybe that's why I love diamonds. Anyway, this quote from a classically sassy lady hits on just how I feel.
"It is better to be looked over than overlooked."
~Mae West, who probably got a look over or two in her life. So with that, I encourage you to live your life doing (and wearing) things that encourage looks (but let's aim for good ones)!
Let’s be honest, I watch most awards shows for one reason: the clothes. The Grammys boasted some good looks and some not so good looks. But in the spirit of focusing on the positive, here are the five Grammy looks I love and what you can learn from them.
This was my absolute favorite look of the evening (I would wear this every day). It was dressed-up, yet playful. The embellished Emilio Pucci shift dress was the perfect way for Heidi to show off her toned legs and lovely ladies up top. Take note, readers: shift dresses can be extremely flattering and forgiving. Read more on those, here.
After popping out a baby, J-Hud is eager to get back into shape. She picked just the right look to convey confidence and show off her best assets in this Victoria Beckham dress. The fun cut and couture lines make this a great look. And we can all take a lesson from J-Hud, too. Play up your best assets and pick pieces that strategically conceal the “problem areas” you might have. She looks great!
While I didn’t like her performance (enough with the trapeze moves already), I can say, with confidence, that this was one of the best gowns of the evening. The detailing is amazing. The color scheme is fantastic. The crystals? Sign me up. Great choice, Pink. Lesson to be learned: sometimes going with something more traditional can pay off in a great way.
This look is classy and sassy, which is always a fabulous combination. In this feathered Romona Keveza dress, Lea Michelle demonstrates that you can have fun when you wear something (that might be a little wild) with the right attitude and a simplified arsenal of accessories. I love the look. It’s playful while serious—a fun mix in the fashion world!
Of course I had to include my favorite leading pop princess on this list. She constantly outdoes herself, and even though this is something I couldn’t wear to work every day, it reminds me of a bucket of diamonds…and for that I commend her. Sparkly, glittery, cool and complete eye candy, Gaga’s Armani number reminds us that when you take risks and wear things suited to your very individual style, it pays off.
Which one is your favorite look, and why? Share you Grammy fashion rants and raves in the comments section!
It’s February. And I’ve decided to ban shopping from my life this month. One of my friends pointed out that picking February was kind of cheating since February was the shortest month. That’s not cheating. I planned that. Duh. Still, 28 days without shopping? Cut a girl some slack. I’ve been toying with this decision for quite sometime and I’ve decided to act upon it. Here are the rules.
:: I can buy things like toilet paper and deodorant. That’s technically shopping, but it’s not fun and let’s be honest, you wouldn’t want me to smell.
:: I thought about banning shopping for food—kind of like a new diet I could try—but then I thought that’d be sending the wrong message (kind of like my post about getting the stomach flu last year). So I’ve decided that I can purchase groceries. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be so depressed after weeks of no shopping that I’ll lose the will to eat.
:: I can’t stop by Macy’s after work. I can’t randomly decide that I need new shoes. I can’t buy myself a present for “doing a good job at work” (like I did last week). I can’t splurge on Chanel lip-gloss because it’s a great color on me. No shoes. No clothing. No accessories. No beauty things. No trips to the salon. None of this “diamonds will make you feel better” mentality. Everything I purchase must be an item I need to live. This month is about getting in touch with the thousands of outfits I already have.
So ladies, and gents, let’s give this experiment a go! I’ll be chronicling my challenges, my victories and my borderline psychotic behavior (because I have a feeling that will happen). And for those of you who’d like to throw a pity party for me, I’ll be accepting presents.
I had 31 entries in total on the TANtalizer giveaway! Thanks for leaving your comment for a chance to win! Unfortunately, only one of you can be tan (but you're all still fabulous). I selected a comment at random (using the handy dandy random number generator) and the comment selected was lucky comment number 23. That comment just so happens to belong to Pretty and Poor reader Nikki Tran. Nikki, I'll be in touch!
For those of you that didn't win the TANtalizer, head on out and try a bottle for yourself! And stay tuned for the next giveaway on Pretty and Poor!
If any of you read the blog Meagan Gets Her MRS, you probably recognized a very familiar face in the latest post. Meagan is a sorority sister of mine from college who recently started a blog about wedding planning! She has some great ideas and fabulous insight. So if you're planning a wedding, head on over for some uber-classy inspiration.
Her latest post was all about the beauty of the bouquet toss. And, low and behold, I made several of the pictures. Look for me wearing a flashy red dress!
Thanks for the paparazzi shots, Meagan! And I actually blogged about catching the bouquet after this wedding. Click here to read the original post.
I'm loving this feminine take on the classic Burberry trench. The ruffled detailing paired with the whimsical pink color make it a splendid little spring jacket. But would you wear it? Leave your answer in the comments section.
As for me, I would definitely wear this adorable ruffled trench, pending the ruffles didn't emphasize the size of my hips. Kind of makes you want to skip around with an umbrella singing show tunes, doesn't it?
It was recently brought to my attention that people think I’m a snob. That’s funny. Someone told me that when they think of me and my wardrobe, they think of Neimans, Saks, Nordstrom and Burberry. They told me that I’d probably never buy clothes at Target or step foot in a Wal-Mart. While I do buy some key pieces from the more affluent stores of the world, there are a host of very unsnobby stores that I shop at. For example:
Wal-Mart: I love Wal-Mart. (I have a feeling that everyone is going to lash out irrationally, but hear me out.) I grew up in the south and Wal-Mart is a way of life there. And guess what? Everything is so cheap at Wal-Mart. When I pay the bare minimum for boring stuff like toilet paper, I have more money left over for things like handbags and cashmere. Don’t you dare judge me.
Target: I actually find a lot of cute clothes at Target from time to time. My friend Maggie is the queen of finding cute purchases at Target, but for me it’s more hit or miss. Some notable purchases include an adorable burgundy sweater dress, brown riding boots and a hound’s-tooth skirt.
K-Mart: They sell Martha Stewart stuff, so of course they’re cool. Martha Stewart’s Christmas décor is some of the most adorable around during the holidays. Last year she had a fabulous assortment of sequined birds and pastel bulbs that made my tree look adorable.
Dollar Tree: This might be the biggest shocker of the group, but I love Dollar Tree. It’s my guilty pleasure. They have so much candy that’s only $1. So many little do-dads that no person would ever need—and those are only $1, too. And one time I found Banana Boat Sunless Tanner at Dollar Tree. It was only $1. The best Dollar Tree finds, however, are the seasonal ones: the Halloween decorations, Christmas flair and Easter finds.
And you know what? I might occasionally even be spotted in a thrift store. So yes, I can rock a Trina Turk dress paired with Coach shoes one day, and a dress from Target the next. Good fashion isn’t necessarily about where you shop, it’s about wearing things with confidence and making them your very own.
I'm not gonna' lie, if I had these unbelievably chic Chanel skis (or even a Chanel snowboard) I would be the ultimate snow bunny! Would you rock these on the slopes? Aside from the fact that they're Chanel (duh) they are amazingly sleek and minimalist! Sign me up.
Chanel Skis? Now that's money.
I have a strange obsession with glasses. I love them. I think it’s because I view them as another accessory (and you know how much I love accessories). But here’s the thing, I don’t wear glasses. In fact, I think part of my obsession stems from the fact that every time I go to the eye doctor, I secretly wish that he would say, “Well, looks like you’re gonna’ need glasses little lady.” But I usually only get a, “Well, looks like you’ve got 20/20 vision.”
I know I’m very lucky to have good eyesight. It’s hard being so perfect. (Sorry for those of you who just threw up in your mouth, I had to say it...I set myself up.)
This has been going on for a while now. In college, my friend and I were watching the movie Grease. She started to see parallels between our own group of friends and the cast of Grease. One of our friends was Sandy, another Rizzo and I just happened to be compared to the Marty Maraschino of the group…because one time I said, “Gosh, I wish I had glasses. I’d look so much smarter.” And in the movie Grease, Marty puts on a pair of glasses and says a very similar phrase.
Glasses are just awesome. I actually have a couple pairs lurking around my bedroom that have the lenses punched out. I use them for themed parties—the only time it’s really acceptable for someone who doesn’t wear glasses to wear glasses. Maybe someday I’ll stride into the optical, buy a sick pair of shades, get lenses without any prescription put into them and wear them around. And I’ll just tell everyone I’ve always worn glasses…like it’s no big deal.
I have a friend who supposedly wears glasses. Only thing is, I’ve never seen the glasses. For all I know, they don’t exist. I’m starting to believe it’s all a bluff and that like me, this person views glasses as an enviable perfect accessory.
So, what’s your take on glasses? Got ‘em? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Wish you had ‘em? Sport a really cute Dolce and Gabbana pair like a girl I work with? Or an adorable Chanel pair like my best friend wears?
If you see me rocking a pair of intelligent looking Versace frames next week, chances are my eyesight is still fine…I just felt the need to accessorize my life even further.
Situations are always what you make of them. Take Saturday afternoon, for example. I finally decided to leave the comfort of my sofa around 4:30 p.m. to venture out on a shopping trip and to get Chinese food. It was a rainy, cold, dreary day. After getting in my car and venturing outside of the neighborhood, I turned on to the main drag only to think , “Wow, there’s so many potholes on this street. Someone should really get on that.” Little did I know that about three miles down the road I’d run straight into the biggest pothole in America (that was strategically covered up by a puddle).
I was cruising along, minding my own business when BAM! I ran into a huge hole. My tire immediately busted and I scrambled to get off the road. Good thing I was right next to a strip mall. I pulled over into a parking lot, called roadside assistance and hung out for a while. I walked to a coffee shop, grabbed a mocha and by the time I arrived back at my car, a nice mechanic was there to switch my tire. So I hung out in my car, listened to Lady Gaga, drank coffee and read a magazine while the world’s coolest mechanic changed my tire.
“Hey, any chance you’d know where the rim key is?” Asked the mechanic.
“Um. I don’t even know what that is,” I replied. “Does it look like my regular key?”
“No, it’s like a special cylindrical thing for taking the rims off,” he said.
“Oh yeah, I know exactly where that is. I hang out in my garage and take the rims off my ride all the time.” I replied with a smart-ass grin. “Kidding. I have no clue what you’re talking about.”
Luckily, homeboy and I found the rim key (it was in a far reaching corner of the glove box). And why do they call it a glove box? Should I be keeping an assortment of stylish driving gloves in there? Is that the intent? I guess I could do that…but I’d need more adorable driving gloves.
So yeah, changing your own tire is overrated. Especially if you’re a girl wearing an adorable outfit. But as unfortunate as this ordeal was, it still didn’t manage to ruin my day! I curtailed my shopping trip (after all, looks like I’ll be buying a nice, new tire) but I got the Chinese food I’d been craving. So start your week off right: don't let anything rain on your parade!
I have some of the world’s sassiest readers, which I love. And to show you how much I love you, I’m giving one very lucky reader a bottle of Lorac’s TANtalizer. I blogged about it last week (read about it here) and giving a bottle away seems like the perfect way for me to help you add sunshine to your winter.
At $30 a bottle, winning Lorac’s TANtalizer is a nice surprise that helps leave your wallet a little fatter and your skin a little bronzer. So enter—because it’s easy. Here’s what you need to do.
How To Enter:
You must leave a comment on this blog post telling me why you want the TANtalizer! Make sure that when you comment, you leave a valid email address (when prompted) so I can contact you if you win. It’s that simple. Just comment, tell me why you need sultry, glowing skin and I’ll pick a random winner from the responses on January 30th. You can leave as many comments as you want, up to 10! So go for it!
I’ll contact the winner and send them a brand spankin’ new bottle of TANtalizer on January 30th! Good luck—I can’t wait to read the comments, and brighten up your winter! Comment now for a chance to win!
One of my favorite rainy Saturday activities is watching TLC's What Not To Wear. Stacy and Clinton are fantastic at dishing out style advice to people with no style-- even if they do sometimes have to deal with the most unpleasant, curmudgeony people. On an episode today, one woman refused to acknowledge that she was pretty. It made them mad. And it made me even angrier. Then, they finally laid down the law and Clinton said some words that I completely agree with.
"Get used to looking in the mirror and admiring your own beauty.”
~Clinton, from What Not To Wear, who knows that it's okay to throw modesty to the wind for the sake of good self-esteem. All too often we're bombarded with pictures of supermodels and the latest thing to make us better. But just for minute, today, stop, look yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself how hot you are. There's absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that you're pretty!
It probably doesn’t surprise you that I love pink. Especially hot pink. In fact, a couple weeks ago when I had a record amount of traffic to my website, I demanded that a bartender make me hot pink shots out at a bar. It was a challenge, but luckily this particular bartender rose to the occasion and made me a host of tasty, vibrant pink shots. Click here to see the shots on the Pretty & Poor Facebook Fans Page.
So when I saw that Club Monaco was playing up pink hues in the best way this January, I just had to share! Check out these adorable outfits from one of my favorite stores. Then, think about how you can take the pink plunge yourself.
I love the slouchiness of this hot pink sweater, especially paired with layered jewelry. It’s modern elegance with a pop of pizzazz. Plus, you could easily substitute the skirt for a great pair of jeans for an easy-going, weekend look that’s luxurious.
If you’ve been looking for a way to embrace leggings, look no further than this perfectly proportioned (and pink) shirt from Club Monaco. Belt it, bling it and pair it with leggings and you’ve got the look down.
So paint the town pink! Hot, vibrant, electrifying pink! You’ll be a little bit prettier, a smidge poorer and whole lot pinker!
Last night my roommates and I had a quick girl talk session before we went to bed. Somehow we ended up landing on a funny subject.
"You will marry a guy who either has a Ferrari, a Lamborghini or a Porsche. Mark my word. I guarantee it."
~My roommate, who seems to think I have pretty high standards when it comes to automobiles. That, or I just attract a particular type of individual. Now, does that exclude anyone? Take notes, gentlemen.
PS: I'd be more than satisfied with a Bentley. Kidding!
It’s rare that I discover a miracle product (or maybe I just don’t like to tell all my secrets). That’s because I believe that most beauty comes from confidence and an inner energy that some possess (it’s true…just take a look at some of the “beautiful people” you know). But occasionally, I discover a product that makes me believe in all things superficial. My latest obsession is Lorac TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer. It. Is. Simply. Amazing. It completely changed my beliefs about body shimmer lotions and bronzers. When I rub down in this silky-smooth serum, I instantly look tanned, toned and (yes) like a celebrity.
My boss has been recommending this product for months now and I’ve been reluctant to try it because there’s really no use in trying to fake a tan during Minnesota Januarys. But during the weekend I broke down, went to Sephora and shelled out $30 for a bottle of this bronzy goodness. Good call. Before heading out on Saturday night I rubbed it on my arms and chest. I was surprised by how well it blended into my skin without streaking or smuding. Plus, it barely took a smidge! At this rate, the PPW on the Lorac TANtalizer would be much much cheaper than trips to the tanning salon (and a lot healthier). And when I’d finished rubbing this all over the top half of my body, I couldn’t stop myself—I did my legs (even though I’d be wearing tights) and my stomach (even though I wasn’t necessarily flaunting that) and the results were just as pleasing. And the semi-sparkly color didn’t rub off throughout the night or in bed. It stayed right where it belonged—on me.
So whether I’m pasty (like I am right now) or have a sun-kissed glow (like I normally have in the summer) this product will make my skin look ravishing and, to be honest, quite tantalizing. I’ve never been able to fake an instant, glowing tan so well. And with the TANtalizer in my beauty arsenal, I don’t think I’ll ever need to.
I am not a graceful person. In fact, I have a severe lack of coordination. That’s why it’s unfortunate that I live in a place where the landscape resembles the last ice age. So imagine me, in a pair of boots and a pencil skirt, with 18 bags of stuff, losing control of my feet and landing on my face. Now that’s a great way to start a Monday morning. Yes, I fell in the parking lot on the way into the office this morning. Yes, some guy saw the whole thing from his truck. And Yes. It hurt (my knee is, in fact, swollen and bleeding). But my pride and my fashion sense paid the biggest price. You see, I ripped a pair of those Betsey Johnson tights I love so much. And if I find so much as a hint of scuff on my new black boots there will be a hissy fit in order.
(Aside from the big, trashy looking snags in my tights, my Monday morning outfit would be rather adorable. A zebra print pencil skirt paired with black tights, boots and a black turtleneck are just what a girl needs to get the week off to a great start-- not a parking lot tumble.)
And just when I start feeling really bad for myself, I think to myself, "At least I'm not THIS girl." (Click the link to watch one of my favorite YouTube finds of all time.) So, here’s to getting the week off to a good start-- with as few tumbles as possible! Happy Monday, everyone!
Head on over to Denim Debutante to read my guest post about Juicy Couture denim. Jaime, who's in charge over at Denim Debutante, is arguably my favorite denim blogger. There's hardly a thing this girl doesn't know about jeans. Enjoy the post and make sure to leave some comments for Jaime to read!
Everyone has fears—some are rational, some aren’t quite that rational. I’m not sure where this fear falls on the spectrum, but it’s horrifying, nonetheless.
One of my biggest beauty fears is the growth of unnecessary hair.
Seriously. There’s really nothing less attractive that a girl with a mustache. (And apparently, there’s a whole cult of people who agree with me…just see for yourself.) Yikes. Just thinking about it gives me the chills.
But here’s the thing: mustaches aren’t even good-looking on guys. So why, oh WHY would they be acceptable on a woman? I know that if I ever spotted so much as a hint of a mustache on my upper lip I would stop, drop and wax. I wouldn’t even give myself time to blink. But then I have this completely unrealistic fear that I’m so used to looking at myself I might not even notice the excessive growth of hair on my upper lip! Gosh, I hope my friends would buck up and tell me. I know this is out-of-control. I know this is obsessive. But who wants a mustache (unless of course you’re one of the special people who might actually be trying to grow one)? A mustache would constitute total beauty panic mode.
And just when I really start to get all jammed up, I settle, and remember that a good esthetician is just a phone call away.
So what's your biggest beauty fear? Hair? Wrinkles? Sagging skin? Yellow teeth? (Clearly I've given this a lot of thought.) Share yours in the comments section!
My black riding boots have saved my life on more than one occasion this winter. These suckers are the perfect alternative to snow boots in cold, slushy weather. They’re sleek and stylish without being awful and ugly. They protect my feet, keep my legs warm and look good with a host of skirts and pants. I’ve had mine for about three years and I’ve definitely got my PPW out of them. If you don’t have a pair, I’d make an investment now.
These Frye riding boots are an “investment” to say the least. At around $400, they have the large price tag. But if you’re familiar with Frye, you know you’ll have these boots for years. The quality is high…and so is the style. When looking for a riding boot, look for one cut like this with rounded toes and with delicate hardware.
At about half the price, these Franco Sarto boots are sleek and fashionable with a hint of practicality. They’d look great pair with a pencil skirt, or over a hit pair of skinny jeans.
Last week, I wore my black riding boots with a couple things. My favorite outfit was when I paired them with a black pencil skirt, black v-neck sweater and chunky pearls. Someone described it as “emo chic,” while another described it as “preppy goth.” I would have described it as, “cute.” So go out and find some riding boots. And don’t be afraid if they make your feet look long and skinny when you slip them on—my feet look gargantuan in my riding boots. But the good news is, no one really notices.
I like fairy tales. Here’s why. Reality really isn’t that fun. It’s actually really unfortunate sometimes. You could watch the news and hear about things like bombings, genocide and financial crises, or you could surround yourself with ongoing beacons of false hope where everyone is fabulously wealthy and winds up living happily ever after. I prefer the latter. That’s because reality is all too unkind sometimes.
So when I watch movies (especially love stories) I prefer them to be littered with lies and uncommon happenings. Magic. Fireworks. Miracles. The stuff that fairy tales are made of. Not the stuff that all-to closely depicts the horrors of everyday life. If you live through that stuff every day, then why on earth would you want to pay to watch it? Here are three movies that are on my permanent “Do Not Watch” list. I’ve seen them once, and that’s enough.
My Best Friends Wedding: What’s to like about this movie (besides the scene when Cameron Diaz does karaoke)? I remember watching this for the first time in college, I bawled. Bawled. There’s awkward tension the entire time. Julia Roberts’ character doesn’t get the guy. And at the end of the movie you think she’s happy, but really, she’s just numb and trying to hold it together because she’s a classy broad (can’t relate to that. Oh wait…).
And I’d like to think that there’s a sequel to this movie called “My Best Friend’s Divorce” where D-Bag McGee realizes (in his late 40’s, of course) that he isn’t happy and he and his much-younger wife have grown apart. Then one day he wakes up and realizes that Julia Roberts’ character was right all along. But it’s too late. Her character lives on an island in Dubai with the love of her life. Serves him right.
500 Days Of Summer: This movie was not at all what I expected. And at the end of the movie, I wanted to slap Summer into a different universe. Maybe that’s because I am Summer (which my friends so kindly pointed out). We have a lot in common. But that doesn’t mean I think she’s a good person. Anyway, I don’t like the ending one bit. This sort of thing happens every day: boy meets girl, boy falls head over heels while the girl is wishy-washy, you don’t know what’s going on then BAM! one day somebody shows up engaged. Then heartache ensues, someone wonders what “could have been.” Yuck. I’m over it. I’d rather spend the rest of my life alone, surrounded by shoes and cats than have to sit through another showing of this movie—probably because I’ve lived this movie. So why on Earth would I need to watch it set to the scene of emo music? Just makes it all the more depressing.
The Break Up: Worst movie ever. Sure, people break up…I get it. But if I wanted to watch two hours of non-stop arguing and awkwardness I’d flashback to a former relationship. I’ve always loved Vince Vaughn, but this painted him in an all-to-realistic light. I’ll stick to Wedding Crashers (the movie where two best friend fall in love with two hot sisters who just so happen to be daughters of the Finance Secretary and they all spend the weekend in their plantation home on the Chesapeake).
So yes, I do think glass slippers exist. And I’m going to keep holding out for my bucket of diamonds. And while I’m waiting on that bucket to arrive, I’ll watch movies like Sex and the City, Something’s Gotta’ Give and Grumpier Old Men (where even a crotchety old man can snag the hotness that is Sophia Loren). I might live in a fairy tale, but I guarantee it’s a lot more fun on this side.
The weekend always reminds me of martinis. After all, that is my drink of choice this year. Last year was the year of the greyhound. This year, it’s the dirty martini. My friends say I make a pretty mean dirty martini—and I guess I’ve become the go-to girl for a good dirty. So how do I make the perfect dirty martini?
(Seriously, the flowers are great...but the martini makes the night!)
The Nine Step Martini (because ten steps would have been one too many)
Step 1: Cut a whole in the box. Just kidding. Start with good olive juice. (Every time I hear the words “olive juice” I flash back to sixth grade when my friends and I would look at people and mouth the words “olive juice” in a seductive manner. Try it. Looks just like “I love you.”) The best olive juice, and my personal favorite is called Dirty Sue. If you try to use the stuff from the jar, you’ll only wound up with an inconsistent, disappointing martini. And since olive juice is the key element to a dirty martini, you don’t want to shortchange yourself. Dirty Sue makes a perfectly proportioned dirty martini any time. Click here to order yourself a couple bottles online. This is all I use these days.
Step 2: Pick your favorite vodka. You know my thoughts on this: I’m a Ketel One girl through and through.
Step 3: Grab a shaker. You’ll need a shaker to get your martini cold and properly mixed.
Step 4: Ice ice baby. Throw some ice in that shaker. The more the merrier.
Step 5: Add two shots of vodka for every one shot of olive juice. Put this carefully measured ratio into the shaker with your ice. If you want, you can add a splash (and when I say splash, I mean just a smidge) of vermouth. But this totally isn’t necessary. It’s just if you want a little something extra.
Step 6: Shake it up! Make sure you put the lid on your shaker first, then let the moving begin. I suggest turning on a sweet techno beat to help you get into the grove. Shake it up for approximately 20-30 seconds.
Step 7: Olive time. Get two olives, thread them on a decorative drink sword (a toothpick will work, too) and place them into a nice martini glass.
Step 8: Pour it in the glass. Open your shaker so that the martini concoction will pour through the shaker, then tilt and pour into the glass. When it’s almost full, stop. You won’t want any spillage running out of those sometimes tough-to-control martini glasses.
Step 9: Lift, drink and love. Enjoy your martini by slowly sipping the salty, sophisticated mixture. Eat one olive when you’re halfway through your beverage and the last olive with your last drink.
And who says talking dirty can't be fun?
Today's Pretty Proclamation consists of eight little words of wisdom that every Pretty and Poor girl should live her life by.
"Slap on a little lipstick...you'll be fine."
~Jodi Hills, from her book bearing the same title. She reminds us that a bright shade of lipstick for ten bucks a tube can help heal a broken heart, boost confidence or maybe even get you the compliment you deserve. Now that's a smart PPW. So open that tube, twist up and slap on a little love.
One of the things us ladies do to keep our legs warm in winter and look pulled together during the cold season is to wear tights. Yes, I know they’re a huge pain in the ass (they can literally give you a monster wedgie or bunch up so peculiarly that they actually become a pain in your rump, not kidding). But, for the last year I’ve embarked on a love affair with a brand of tights that I just can’t get enough of. Betsey Johnson’s fabulous line of tights and leg wear is great. It’s comfortable, it moves with your body, it’s not binding and I guarantee there’s a sassy solid or playful pattern just for you. The best part? It’s a surprisingly affordable fix for the fashionista on a budget!
You can snag a two-pack of these adorable tights (one pair patterned and one pair solid) for around $36.00. But I guarantee you’ll wear them again. Plus, the last time I was in my local TJ Maxx, they had tons of these tights available for about 60 percent off the retail price. So it’s worth a look.
(In the above picture, I'm rocking my favorite Betsey Johnson tights. Every time I wear these I get 9000 compliments. And yes, as a matter of fact those are magenta suede heels I'm wearing.)
Betsey Johnson tights hit at just the right location on the waist, they’re not to thick and not too thin, and the blend of fabric is stretchy and comfortable. Fashionable? Check. Fierce? You got it. That’s why they’re the official tights of Pretty and Poor. (Okay, that might be overboard…but if there were an official pair of tights for Pretty and Poor, my Betsey Johnson fleur-de-lis patterned tights would so take the cake.)
I like to think of myself as the primary breadwinner in my household of one. That’s because I am. I work all day, I come home, and I put dinner on the table for myself. I buy myself gifts. I take myself out to dinner. I put clothes on my own back. And these things make me very proud. In fact, having a good job that I enjoy is something that is a huge priority in my life—and this mentality has been hardwired into me from childhood. In fact, I remember my very first job fondly…
When I was in 4th grade I got my first job: a paper route. And the only reason I wanted it was because I had a huge crush on the full time paper boy (an older, more mature sixth grader with spiky hair). He was a dreamboat—athletic, family-oriented, good teeth. And I was a nerd—cool bangs, straight A’s and obsessed with horses.
It all started one day when I got a flier in the mailbox. The headline read, “Assistant Paper Boy Needed!” Naturally, I was outraged that it didn’t say “Paper Girl” (I’m a lil’ bit of a feminist). So I decided to step up to the challenge and prove the world wrong one neighborhood paper route at a time. Before I knew it, I was chucking papers at the front doors of my community from the back tailgate of my Dad’s Tahoe (bikes were so 10-minutes ago on those suburban paper routes). Naturally, things never really worked out between me and the full time paper boy (if I had it to do over again I’d probably just slip on my ruffled two-piece and ride my bike around his cul-de-sac), but my paper route enabled me to earn some sick spending money (that I likely spent on Pogs) that made me feel like a real contributing member of society. Even if I was stimulating the Tomodatchi market, that money was going somewhere. And the thrill of spending it was too much to bear.
I eventually retired from the paper delivery business. And in the late 90’s, I built a babysitting empire that kept me in Banana Republic clothing through high school (sometimes I think about going back to this business model since it was so effective and profitable, but then I remember I don’t have that much patience with children).
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of making your own money and then spending that money. That little wad of cash can burn quite a hole in your pocket. Money makes the world go round…even to someone as wide-eyed and naïve as a fourth grader!
So what was your first job? How did that spending money feel? And what in the world did ya' spend it on? Tell me in the comments section!
I’ve always thought New Year’s resolutions were fairly foolish. I mean, for about two weeks out of the year everyone gets super-fixated on accomplishing goals that aren’t quite realistic. And everyone always has the same New Year’s resolutions, like working out more or losing weight. Of course you want to drop 10 pounds, you just spent the last two weeks of the year eating cookies, sucking down gravy and pouring hot toddies down your throat.
When people ask me if I’m setting New Year’s Resolutions I usually say yes because I don’t want to offend them. And when they ask me what my resolutions are, I come up with some of the most random goals I can think of. These resolutions add spice to my life rather than make me a better person. So, to put your curiosity at bay and to go along with the status quo, here are my slightly warped resolutions for 2010.
1) Dress more like Lady Gaga. (Several of my closest friends are choking right now, or rolling their eyes thinking, “we need to schedule an intervention.’) This doesn’t mean I’m going to start rocking leotards. Relax. This simply means I’m going to be open to pushing boundaries and trying to new things fashionably (or maybe I’ll start wearing my Halloween costume out on the weekends).
(Okay, so this Gaga getup might be a little much...that's actually me in the middle, with two of my besties. However, Gaga's spirited approach to fashion is something we can take to heart every day.)
2) Wear heels whenever I want. I often find myself censoring my shoe selection because of others. I slip on a pair of heels and people say, “Oh, you’re dressing up?” Instead of throwing on loafers and going with the crowd, I’m going to keep the heels on and answer, “Damn right I’m dressing up.”
(Life is way too short to wear boring shoes! And yes, you can quote me on that.)
3) Try more restaurants and bars. I have to maintain my status as a go-to girl (or the “girl about town,” as a coworker referred to me.) But there’s still so much out there that I’ve yet to try. Dinner and Drinks? Cheers to that!
(Keep the martinis flowing and the sushi rolling-- I'm hitting the city in full force this year.)
4) Find my Sugar Daddy. I’m kidding. But did you know there are actually people out there that think I’m dead-set on a finding a rich old man to settle down with? Most of my Sugar Daddy talk is complete nonsense—in fact, it’s more likely that I’ll end up someone’s Sugar Momma someday (Stay At Home Hubbies, inquire within).
(He looks like a Sugar Daddy...but he's actually a Ken doll. That's right-- Barbie and I might be competing for a boyfriend this year.)
5) Challenge myself to a month with no shopping. I’m sure lots of people don’t go on shopping trips weekly (like yours truly). But this year, it’s my goal to pick a month where I don’t shop at all (except for groceries…you know, so I don’t starve). But no shoes, clothes or random trips to Target. I’m thinking February might be the right time to roll this out. After all, the gifts I get from the throngs of men in my life around Valentine’s Day might help make up for my lack of self-gifting.
So there you have it—my “resolutions” if you will. And none of them revolve around silly norms like eating right. Leave your resolutions in the comments section…but if they’re boring, don’t bother.
Tonight I was watching Jay Leno and Kim Kardashian was a guest. I was reminded of how much I loved her when she deep fried Oreos while wearing a shift dress made entirely of sequins. So I decided to drum up a Kim Kardashian quote for the latest Pretty Proclamation.
"If Paris Hilton thinks my butt looks gross I really don't care. At least I have a butt."
~Kim Kardashian, who reminds us all to love what we've got (even in the face of adversity)!
For some reason I live in a place where it can’t even be 0 degrees on any given day. It has to be less than 0 degrees…like 25 degrees less than 0. That’s right, when I arrived home from my weekend getaway on Saturday night it was -25. This is terribly impractical, let’s be honest. When it’s that cold, it becomes hard to balance function with fashion. On one hand, you don’t want to freeze to death. On the other hand, you don’t want to look like a fat kid in a snow suit (or resort to this).
So how does one look good when it’s -25? Relax, and let me enlighten you.
1) Don’t go outside. Temperatures that cold do weird, highly unattractive things to the human body. Hair could get dry and static-infused. Skin gets scaly and all that stuff up your nose starts to freeze. Geeeew. I get grossed out just thinking about it. If you don’t have to go outside, then don’t do it! Make yourself a pot of coffee, throw on your long underwear and have a movie day.
2) Buy more fur. It sounds expensive and that’s because it is. It also sounds harmful to animals…and it might be. But where do animals go when it’s -25? They don’t have gas fireplaces to snuggle up next to. No, they brave the elements and you don’t see them dropping over dead or complaining. Get a fur coat and roll like an animal.
3) Wrap you up. Never leave home without a scarf, or seven. These big, long layers of wool and cashmere will feel like a hug embracing your body throughout the day. Whether you wrap it around your head, your neck or get really creative, you’ll always want one of these suckers nearby. And if coordinated correctly, a scarf could add a splash of pizzazz to your outfit.
4) Nurture your noggin. A lot of statistics suggest that humans release lots of body heat through their heads. Keep that heat where it belongs by rocking a hat. And no, I’m not talking about a baseball cap. I’m talking about something sassy—with a lot of attitude and possibly a big fuzzy ball on top.
5) Get a cuddle buddy who’s just as stylish as you. We all know that two bodies produce more heat than one. So grab a down comforter and a stylish friend and let the snuggle party begin!
To answer questions that you probably have, yes, I do feel a little bit crazy for living in such a cold place. And yes, I have considered moving many times. But sometimes we do crazy things to work at jobs we love and be around people we enjoy. And hey, not everyone has a good excuse to buy fur.