12.31.2009

Cozy Up to Shopbop and UGG Boots Giveaway

ugg boots

Attention kitty cats!

Are you a fan of cozy Ugg boots? Because if you are, today may be your lucky chance to get a pair! We’re giving out a $100 Shopbop.com instant gift card to the commenter who leaves the most creative response to this question: which pair of Ugg boots from Shopbop.com is your favorite, and why? Tell us where you would wear them and how you'd put together the rest of your ensemble. The most fashion-inspiring comment wins - so get creative!

What are Ugg boots?

It seems like you see them every day, but how did they get their start? Did you know the term "ugg" or "ug" actually predates the Ugg Australia brand as a generic term for this style of Australian-made sheepskin boots? This type of boot has been around ever since people started raising sheep. Ranchers and farmers used to put every part of the sheep to use, making clothing and, you guessed it, uggs. The cozy wardrobe essentials we know and love today are a form of unisex--that's right, unisex!--boots made of Grade A sheepskin with soft, fleece lining on the inside. Ugg Australia boots are all about accessible luxury. Ugg boots are so cozy they actually feel more like slippers than shoes; they are the epitome of comfortable footwear. "Ugg" wearers include a diverse crowd: everyone from sheep shearers and war pilots, to surfers and celebrities.

ugg boots

How did Ugg boots become so popular?

Uggs were worn by WWI and WWII aviators for long, high altitude flights. In this case, uggs were called "fuggs" for flying uggs. But the Ugg trend didn't officially start until 1978 when Brian Smith, an Australian surfer, came to the U.S. with a bag full of sheepskin boots and introduced them to surfers on the U.S. west coast; Californian surfers started using Ugg boots to keep warm when they got out of the water.

But Ugg boots really came into the spotlight in 2000 when Oprah purchased 350 for her staff and featured the cozy boots on her "Oprah's Favorite Things" show. Soon after, other celebrities, such as Jessica Simpson and Kate Hudson, donned Ugg boots followed suit. Ugg boots have continued in popularity ever since.

How would you wear your Ugg boots?

It's interesting to consider the history of Ugg boots, but let's face it. What really matters today is how you would wear your pair! Because if you win this giveaway, you’ll get a $100 Shopbop.com instant gift card so you can start shopping immediately and give your feet a rest. Will you don your Uggs in front of a cozy fire come New Year's Eve? Pair them with a pretty pullover on New Year's Day? Just tell us which pair of Ugg boots is your favorite, and how you’d wear them. The most creative, fashion-forward comment wins!

ugg boots comment to win

Cozy Up to Shopbop and Ugg Boots Giveaway:

Visit Shopbop, and choose your favorite pair of UGG boots.

For one (1) entry, leave a comment on this post between now and Saturday, January 9, 2010 at midnight PST stating what your favorite pair of UGG boots from Shopbop is, why they're your favorite, where you would wear them, and how you would put them together with the rest of your ensemble.

For two (2) entries, Twitter about this giveaway, and leave a comment on this post stating what your favorite pair of UGG boots from Shopbop is, why they're your favorite, where you would wear them, and how you would put them together with the rest of your ensemble between now and Saturday, January 9, 2010 at midnight PST with your Twitter URL.

For three (3) entries, become a follower of Café Fashionista on Blogger/Google Reader/Google Friend Connect, and leave a comment on this post stating what your favorite pair of UGG boots from Shopbop is, why they're your favorite, where you would wear them, and how you would put them together with the rest of your ensemble between now and Saturday, January 9, 2010 at midnight PST (if you are already a Café Fashionista follower, please say so in your comment).

The one (1) commenter with the best answer to the question wins, and will be announced right here on Sunday, January 10, 2010.

Good luck everyone!

And yes, this Giveaway is open to everyone – U.S. or International residents!


Fashionably yours!
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12.30.2009

Why Don't You...?

…Start the year off right with a luxurious bath bubbling with mark’s Self Sanctuary All That Fizz Scented Bath Balls? Truly give yourself the royal treatment by enlisting the assistance of a twinkling Swarovski-encrusted Tiara like the one worn by Ms. Hepburn in Roman Holiday.

…Slip on a cute apron and get to work on baking scrummy Chocolate Fudge Brownies? Don’t worry if they don’t make it to the oven – the batter is the best part!

…Bid a fond farewell to your comfort zone and do something completely outrageous? It was Neale Donald Walsche who said “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”; therefore, flirt with the bewitching blue-eyed barista at Starbucks; create a come-hither pout personalized just for you via mark’s Glossblossom Ripening Lip Tint; electrify your peepers by casting your black eyeliner aside and perusing Metalliner Hook Up Eye Glam in Quick Silver, Blue Chrome, or Bronze Edge; pack up your bags and make the move to a new location where you can reinvent yourself. As they say, the world is your oyster!

…Temporarily forget the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of your nearest and dearest, and write them true letters signed, sealed, and delivered through the post? Purchase pretty handmade stationary like brooklit’s Marie Loves Fashion or LanaBanana’s Fashionable Friends Card specifically for the occasion.

…Pass on a day spent window-shopping at the mall, and instead devote an afternoon to peeking into used bookstores? Get lost in New York City’s Strand, pop into San Francisco’s Argonaut Book Shop, or pay a visit to Chicago’s The Bookworks. Create a list of books you’d love to locate, and search for them in each location treasure hunt style.


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Tumblr for the picture.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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12.29.2009

Tightwad Tuesday: Juicy Couture Glam Sweater Vest for Less

Darlings if you’d be so kind as to stop laughing, I would be ever so grateful. I know it sounds a bit off the wall, but the cool chill that has virtually cast a cold spell about all of Southern California over the past few days has left me with a desire to do something completely out of the ordinary in terms of fashion. I know it’s a peculiar fact to admit, but I’m just going to do it anyway…I am currently plagued with the urge to channel Mister Rogers in my style of dress. There, mission accomplished!

Now, please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way, shape, or form eager to go so far as to don shoes that look as if they’ve come straight from the bowling alley; nor will you see me wearing the very same kitschy-colored cardigan day in and day out. But I am taking a cue from everyone’s jolly neighbor by embracing sweaters. Juicy Couture’s Glam Sweater Vest, to be exact.

A deep v-neck and vertical ribbing along the wool/cashmere blend heather prestige shade takes geek to chic; while a ruffled embellishment around the collar, so reminiscent of natty women’s fashions of the early-1800s contributes a modernistic, yet romantic aesthetic that flows and flutters freely about the throat, a feminine characteristic that takes one’s look du jour to new heights!

I can see it now…tossing it on over a black long-sleeved v-neck and pairing such an upper with black liquid leggings – a playful juxtaposition between saucy schoolgirl and rebel without a cause; or simply zipping it up over a white tee with a pair of dark wash denim skinnies and cognac-colored riding boots for an equestrian-inspired look that is casually glamorous, and completely unfussy!

But really loves, why should I be making such plans? At $139.99, I’m lucky if I can afford a single ruffle from this pretty, let alone the entire sweater. It’s simply out of my budget; a stylish pipe dream that I should promptly put out of my mind so as not to disappoint myself, let alone my wardrobe! Though maybe such a purchase is not so farfetched! While I may be unable to afford Juicy Couture’s gem of a cozy knit, I am quite capable of affording Shopmamie’s Ruffle Deep-V Vest.

At $38.00, the Ruffle Deep-V Vest – available in either charming Charcoal or posh Purple – is a stunning alternative that sports buttons in place of a zipper, and harbors two petite pockets, perfect for protecting all those love letters penned by cute boys safe from harm!

Spendthrift? Tightwad? Tell me…which one are you?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to ShopStyle and Shopmamie for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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12.28.2009

Cruisin' Cafes: Cambridge, MA

Can you really and truly blame me, kitty cats? As a self-proclaimed college town, it is not at all a surprise that I, a college student myself, would be drawn to Cambridge, Massachusetts’ collegiate ambiance. The hallowed halls proffered by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The towering steeple-inspired buildings like that displayed via Cambridge City Hall and Cambridge Public Library. Even the abundance of street musicians and performers lurking in Harvard Square, eager to entertain anyone and everyone who strolls by. But perhaps the biggest draw of such an old-fashioned yet enchanting location can be attributed to the fact that, as a town riddled with University students, it is without question that it is brimming with quaint cafes just waiting to be discovered for late night study sessions, and catching up with old friends!

Diesel Café Whether you’re attempting to knock some sense into yourself after pulling an all-nighter, or are simply on a quest to indulge in something yummy that will get you through the work day on your way to the office, there is truly no better place to refuel than Diesel Café.

Located in Davis Square, Diesel Café is a hipster hotspot that juxtaposes between comfortable coffee shop and funky industrial stomping ground for a wide array of personalities all on an identical mission…to find a cozy nook that serves up menu items with the ability to get one’s appetite raring to go – no matter how picky or quirky their taste buds are!

Inside there is no shortage of charisma. Each wall is painted in a shade stolen directly from the primary colors palette – a haphazard jumble of hues that could easily be thought of as uncomfortable on the eyes, but is rather quite serene when viewed by visitors; while kitschy gas station and road signs mingle alongside art pieces that change on a monthly basis, a clever way to change the atmosphere for regulars. But it is the pool table and vintage black and white photo booth located within which adds to the brilliance of Diesel, and makes it quite easy for one to take a load off and have a bit of fun in-between deadlines. Come for the Mocha, but do not miss out on the Cider Delux or Little Piston 2.0 sandwich! 257 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144.

Simon’s Coffee Shop There are very few places nowadays that present a side of family with every order; a vibe synonymous with a warm hug from a grandparent. Simon’s Coffee Shop, found within the heart of Porter Square, is such a location.

Like your mother’s refrigerator, adorned with artwork and achievements of her offspring, Simon himself creates a familial environment within the confines of his small, yet sublime space, by scrawling announcements extending congratulations to his employees, many of whom double as students, upon graduation atop a chalkboard – the very same one, in fact, which announces daily soup specials and lists of flavor shots offered for your drink du jour! Tiny tables sit tucked in side by side creating an atmosphere that is more intimate than claustrophobic; yet it is the true independence of the aesthetic mixed with the subtle soundtrack murmuring in the background which transports you to another time and place. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker order the Mocha…it comes with cute designs etched into the milk! 1736 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138.

Crema Café Darlings, if you’re on the hunt for a pinch of European flair with your twice-daily dose of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, by all means, please stop your search now. Crema Café, if you hadn’t already figured it out, is destined to be your new home away from home!

Crema Café is Harvard Square’s answer to the posh patisseries and coffee shops lining the cobblestone streets of Paris; yet requires no Visa or passport to experience such ambrosial qualities. A multi-faceted location; Crema Café is like two places in one, offering an upstairs and downstairs area, both of which cater to a different character. Downstairs is the lounge, a spot conducive with a meeting place established for customers to chat with one another, hang out, and have a good time while nursing Macchiato’s, hot chocolate, and Café Au Lait’s. Upstairs features a loft where students and independent contractors can buckle down and get some work done over Looseleaf Tea, and Chai Lattes. Just don’t miss out on the fresh-baked cupcakes or Nutella and Banana Sandwich – true heaven in edible form! 27 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

Which of these Cambridge cafes would you like to cruise?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to We ♥ It for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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12.27.2009

Style Secrets: The Intern

“Clothes don’t make the man, but clothes have got many a man a good job.”
Herbert Harold Vreeland

Please, by all means, go ahead and whoop for joy! Toss your head back, fist pump the air, and allow girly giggles to escape from your crimson-colored lips. I have no right to stop you. After all, you’ve earned the privilege for such jubilation; you’re entitled to let yourself go wild with excitement. Months of hard work have passed, and you received your prize – the internship of a lifetime. Therefore, let the world know! Outburst over? Good, let’s get down to business!

An internship is synonymous with a coming out party thrown in the honor of a dazzling debutante; it is your chance to be introduced to society – or at least your fellow co-workers in the office where you will be working. More appropriately, it is the venue where you will be judged; and oftentimes judged harshly. But darlings, it is not your personality that will be critiqued; moreover, it is your style.

If we learned anything from The Devil Wears Prada’s Andrea Sachs, it is that society, while quick to deny it, has a tendency to judge a book by its cover; hence the reason why you want your internship style to scream sophistication. In that respect, you don’t want to stifle your own creativity in the wardrobe department; thus, learning what prevails and what doesn’t in the workplace is essential for earning the respect you deserve, both professionally and fashionably!

Black is the New Black You can drop yourself forty years in the future, or flashback sixty years to the past, it doesn’t matter what era you currently find yourself in, black will forever be the new black. Day or night, old or young, it is a classic shade that is both smart and sassy, and will take you from the boardroom to cocktail hour with complete ease, sophistication, and timeless elegance; hence the reason why much of your agency-inspired attire should consist of pieces in noir hues.

That is not to say that you should overhaul all the color in your closet; but ebony colored accoutrements are more acceptable in the working world. They contribute a preemptive neutral palette for bold accessories; while providing a slimming effect that highlights your best features. As an added bonus, no wrong can be done when the color black is in use, so you can spend all that time you would have been devoting to worrying your pretty little head over the power of a pink versus blue frock, and direct it towards completing newly acquired assignments ahead of time to impress your boss!

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Unknown

Cream of the Crop By all means, do not bare your belly in a work environment unless your given title is belly-dancer; the crop top I am referring to is a smart, Jackie O-influenced jacket that hovers between a boucle and blazer in its aesthetic, making it a piece that you will be able to incorporate into your style even after-hours.

You want to ensure that you are investing in a topper that will stand the test of time; therefore I recommend buying black. A navy piece can easily work well in your wardrobe; but it possesses limitations in that it clashes with a black bottom, and will prove to be difficult to work into different ensembles. Something in a midnight shade with bell sleeves that flutter around the elbows; or a tinge of menswear styling a la Madewell’s Cropped Tux Jacket is ideal. On their own pieces like this harbor uniqueness; but with a little creativity, and a lot of accessories, you can truly give them a personality that reflects you and only you!

Skirt the Issue There are no rules, regulations, or restrictions regarding baring your legs in the workplace via saucy bottoms that are slightly smart-alecky in their presentation; yet subdued enough to be acceptable in any working environment. Therefore, when searching for a style staple for your new position, you can’t go wrong with a handful of skirts that are flippy, flouncy, or perfectly pin straight; in addition to a few flirty frocks which cast a refined glow upon your wardrobe that will garner you respect from your peers, whilst giving you the chance to show off your gorgeous gams!

“It is only at the first encounter that a face makes its full impression on us.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

Not to be forgotten is your quest for comfort. Darlings, do not feel the need to confine yourself in heavily-constructed tailored skirts that weigh you down and make you sweat bullets – even when you’re sitting in an air-conditioned environment! Bottoms crafted out of jersey fibers are just as posh as their more professional counterparts, yet ensure that you can move, groove, and get the job done in any situation you encounter. They are also quite a bit more affordable than wool pieces, making it possible to add multiple styles to your wardrobe with minimal expense.

American Apparel is a virtual one-stop shop for skirts of this kind. The Interlock Pencil Skirt creates an hourglass silhouette courtesy of a slimmer about the waist that sucks you in and keeps you looking stylish from the moment you step foot inside the office until the second you depart; while the raw edges of the Fine Jersey Drape Skirt add a playfulness to your look du jour that highlights your youthfulness without concealing your proficiency in your given field.

I myself prefer skirts, as I find that they are more versatile in one’s wardrobe, and are quite easy to dress up or down; but as a working girl it is essential that you keep at least a couple of dresses on hand that you can toss on when the need arises, or simply to break-up the monotony of skirts and pants that can lead us head-on into a rut in terms of attire. Look for effortless pieces that are classy, cosmopolitan, and capable of making a statement at your place of employment or the corner coffee shop. mark’s Ace of Lace Party Dress is an exemplary example. The cinched-in waist and A-line styling of the skirt provide the perfect accoutrement for those quick runs to Starbucks, while the lace yoke about the shoulders and throat add pure elegance that is unfussy yet unstoppable!

“Respect is love in plain clothes.”
Frankie Byrne

Pump It! There is no question that height makes one feel more powerful. When you’re towering over your peers you feel as if you are the leader of the pack, the big cheese, the head honcho; hence the reason why slipping on a pair of stilettos can boost one’s confidence by miles! With a little bit of lift, it is simple to feel like a true sophisticate; even more, however, is that, when faced with a new situation full of unfamiliar faces, such as an internship, you want to exude fearlessness – a pair of killer shoes is capable of creating such assurance.

There is a virtual bevy of heels ripe for the picking – pointed-toe pumps are polished; oxford booties are classically smart; peep-toes are tongue-in-cheek; wedges are blasé yet serendipitous; and cage heels juxtapose rebelliousness with refinement. The key is finding the style, or styles, that work perfectly for both you and your wardrobe. Don’t forget, when it comes to selecting the footwear that will pave your path to the world of professionalism it is up to you to keep one very important thing in mind…be aware of the height of your heels! No one wants to face the embarrassment of falling in front of their co-workers; therefore, choose footwear that you are comfortable walking in to save yourself from potential oops moments!

Ditch the Denim Don your denim with wild abandon on weekends, after you’re released from the daily grind of your internship, or while lounging around the house; but ditch it when you’re on duty. Denim may be your most tried and true comrade, but it is known for being a staple of casual style, and instantly sends the wrong message to the people you are trying to impress now that you’ve snagged such a sweet gig! Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely no problem with wearing pants to an internship – in fact, the aesthetic found in trousers is one of the most fabulous of ways to flatter any figure; the main issue is perusing the appropriate styles so that you attract new friends with your look, as opposed to annoying or antagonizing them.

You want to be fun and flirty in your choice of chaps whilst upholding an urbane vibe that translates from head to toe. I recommend forgoing the skintight look, and embracing a cut that cascades chicly over your curves. Pleated trousers with a slight menswear ambiance like Generra’s Pleated Front Slouch Pants, or tapered pants with a hint of shimmer like Forever 21’s Elastic Trim Satin Pant are quintessential. They’re basic yet blissful in their styling, and will most definitely get two thumbs up in terms of wondrous workplace attire!

“While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence – which, I believe, does make the woman.”
Mary Kay Ashe

For the girl who is, how shall we put this…slightly more daring in her daily style, and is willing to be on the receiving end of curious stares for at least the first few hours of the morning, replace pants completely with a pair of tailored shorts. Once thought of as a piece created solely for the playground, shorts have taken on a more grown-up appearance via pleats, satin and silk crafting like that seen on Diane von Furstenberg’s Ramier Shorts, cuffs like the ones found on Chris Benz’s Camino Shorts, and a multitude of other forms which make them more welcome in the working world. Just be sure to layer them over a pretty pair of tights so that your look isn’t viewed as being too risqué!

Tee Time Please do not forget that workwear does not have to be stuffy. When you’re playing it professional on the bottom, it is ideal to be vivacious on top to balance things out. In any style situation, balance is a must as it keeps your look in check, stopping it from going overboard in any one direction, whilst allowing you to try your hand at various genres of fashion that pique your interest, without forcing you to conform to any one particular style.

Whimsical graphic tees like Heritage 1981’s Union Jack Watercolor Tee, and blouses that feature vibrant embellishments such as Milly’s Gemma Blouse are faultless fashions to embrace. When styled underneath a blazer or tucked into a high-waisted pencil skirt the look is completely unconventional, which instantly showcases your eye for style, while toning down the harshness of pieces so often associated with the corporate world.

Ambrosial Accents Kitty cats, if you weren’t already aware, this is where the true fun begins! When you’re adhering to a dress code, even one that is fairly lax, accessories become the voice of your personality. They provide a peek into the lifestyle that you may be keeping secret from your co-workers. Perhaps the cocktail ring gracing your pointer finger is indicative of a wild and crazy party girl who paints the town red on the weekends; or maybe the wrap bracelet that seems never to leave your waif-like wrist is symbolic of a charity that you hold in high regard. While your peers may never know the true story, your accessories provide a chance to make their minds wander; whilst giving you the opportunity to remain true to yourself and your style!

“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.”
Henry J. Kaiser

Given the fact that you are in the working world, you must be mindful of how far you go in terms of accessories. You want to remain minimal yet magnificent; scanty yet sensational; austere yet ambrosial; and to do so takes planning. Steer clear of clunky or noisy pieces such as oversized cuffs or charm bracelets. Such items, while absolutely stunning to look at, oftentimes interfere with your work, and could, potentially, aggravate those surrounding you. That girl a few desks over who constantly cracks her gum? Do not allow your accessories to lower you to her level! After all, you do not want to become the office nuisance; you simply want to embellish your body with beauteous decorations.

A cocktail ring like mark’s Glisten Up Ring or For Keeps Ring is ideal. The styling of both falls more towards the glamorous spectrum, as opposed to being gaudy; yet still manages to add a dash of vintage glitz to your form – exactly what you’re going for! Pair it with a necklace that harbors a slight edge to its aesthetic like the Peak of Chic Necklace, in addition to a low-key bracelet in the fashion of Alex and Ani’s Tree of Life Expandable Bangle Set for a look that is trendy yet tranquil. Have fun with your accessories. Don’t feel the need to match all gold or all silver in terms of jewelry; sometimes the most spectacular looks are the ones that highlight a little disorganization and anarchy!

Nude Attitude Unfussy. That is your goal when it comes to hair and makeup in the workplace. You want your natural beauty to shine through; therefore leave the drama (all forms of it!) at home. Embrace neutral shades that accentuate your best features, yet come across as subtle enough that people have a hard time telling whether or not you are truly wearing makeup at all, or if you were simply born with that gorgeous glow!

Eyes are one of the most important features of a face, and the very first thing I look at when I meet someone new; hence the reason why one should highlight them to the best of their ability. A thickening mascara like Scanda-Lash Hook Up Mascara in either Blacklash or Brownout is the perfect place to start. It defines lashes by separating, lengthening, and adding volume, yet is natural enough to look commonplace. The next step is eyeliner. Black eyeliners often come across as very “girls’ night out”; whereas a liner in a lighter shade, such as mark’s Get in Line Hook Up Liquid Waterproof Eyeliner in Cocoa Coquette is more understated, yet still effective in making your peepers pop! To finish off the look, steer clear of smoky eyes, or dark shadows, and go for a sophisticated light shimmer, like the one created with mark’s Winkstick Hook Up Eye Shadow Stick in Demure or Innocent. Couple with a nude lip created via a sheer gloss like Belle of the Ball Lip Balm for a complexion that is romantically dewy and completely charming.

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
Mark Twain

While it takes a bit of time to create a makeup look that comes across as natural; the same is not true for a laidback hairstyle. There are three hairstyles that juxtapose between professional and mischievous in their shape:

Ponytail - Resist the lure of the peppy, cheerleader-inspired high ponytail! Keep it polished with a low ponytail that rests at the nape of your neck. The effect is sleek whilst maintained in the sense that it keeps hair out of your face while you’re hard at work!
Down - Free flowing locks will forever be in fashion! Try to steer clear of too many products that weigh your tresses down; simply allow it to spill long and lank over your shoulders for pure sublimity.
Side Braid - The side braid is slightly bohemian in its aesthetic, for it ultimately leaves tiny tendrils and wisps of hair framing your face; two things that come across as angelic yet completely appropriate for the working girl!

Rotating through these three styles for any given work week is a quintessential way for retaining refinement in your daily dress; while keeping things well-proportioned in terms of style.

For Your Listening Pleasure Darlings, you may know how to dress for your internship; but now that you’re a part of the working world, you need a soundtrack made with the working girl in mind. Now you’ve got one!

9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
Work is a Four-Letter Word - The Smiths
Working Class Hero - John Lennon
Bright Future in Sales - Fountains of Wayne
Maggie’s Farm - Bob Dylan
Morning Train - Sheena Easton
Manic Monday - The Bangles
I Can’t Wait to Get Off Work - Tom Waits
A Hard Day’s Night - The Beatles
Jacqueline - Franz Ferdinand

“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson



Fashionably yours!


Thanks to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Shopbop, American Apparel, Forever 21, Meet Mark, and Cinemalogue for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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12.26.2009

Smitten Saturday

Savoring Sparkles I’m truly angry at whomever convinced you that sparkles were nothing more than a bit of arts and crafts supplies handed off to wild and crazy kindergartners to keep them quiet in between nap and snack time. That person was sadly mistaken, loves! The truth of the matter is that sparkles can be either here or there. One moment they can be dancing in your hair, the next they may be outfitting a favored Gryphon frock. But perhaps my absolute favorite format to savor sparkles is via regal refreshments. That’s right, a beverage that beams brilliantly from its position in a first-rate flute sitting pretty in your cocktail ring embellished hand is almost as important as the shoes adorning your feet, or the clutch clasped tightly in your magnificently-manicured fist. After all, one who looks as stunning as you deserves a pretty drink to accompany her as she wows the room with her presence. As such, accessorize with burbling apple cider, complement your Camilla Skovgaard Chain Sandals with a glittering glass of cranberry juice, and cuddle up with a goblet brimming with white grape juice that will make your jewels beam brighter than you ever thought possible! How will you be savoring sparkles come New Year’s Eve, darlings?

Ribbon Dancer Old habits die hard; or rather, in my case, they rarely die at all! Since I was a teeny, tiny toddler traipsing down the stairs precociously a la Kay Thompson’s Eloise, I have found that the wrapping used to conceal the gifts my family had spent hours choosing just for me was oftentimes more interesting than the gift itself. Specifically, the yards of shimmering ribbon tied daintily around each pleasing package. Throughout the course of the morning, as everyone gathered round the tree to exchange presents, I would spend much of my time hoarding the cast-aside pieces of ribbon, intent on using it to accouter myself with in some way at a more appropriate moment. But why on earth should one waste valuable family time hunting for stunning streamers tossed to the wayside, when you can simply buy blissful ensembles already laced with such a dazzling decoration? ASOS Oversized Belted T-Shirt Jersey Dress is a stunning way to wrap yourself up in all sorts of wonderful even on the most casual of days. One can’t help but feel like a life-size present – and a glamorous one at that! – when adorned in Notte by Marchesa’s Ribbon-Trimmed Silk-Chiffon Dress. Charlotte Russe’s Rose Jacquard Corset receives an extremely feminine fix via the addition of a satin ribbon tie about the waist. And please be prepared for jaws to drop when wearing Forever Unique’s Ribbon & Velvet Trim Dress, for it has the power to hypnotize. Ready to become a card-carrying member of the ribbon dancer brigade, loves?

Fairy Tale I thought about waiting for a cute boy to arrive and sweep me off my feet in the hopes of creating a fairy tale with one another; but no. I suppose I’m not the most patient of individuals; therefore I am taking matters into my own hands and creating a fairy tale all my own via petite holiday-influenced fairy cakes that even Peter’s pal Tinkerbell would approve of. Now, I have told you all time and time again that I am not the most handy person in the kitchen. In fact, in the past two years alone I am guilty of having concocted half-baked banana nut bread, hard as rock sugar cookies, and soupy pumpkin pie; hence the reason why I am leaving it up to the professionals to create the fairy cakes of my whimsical imagination a reality. First I’ll visit Fairy Cakes Bakery to scoop up a dozen of their spicy Pumpkin White Chocolate offerings; next I’ll pick up the Holiday Peppermint Twist from Kara’s Cupcakes as a last farewell to the Christmas season; and to round my fairy cake jaunt up I’ll pay a visit to Cupcake Royale for the cake version of Figgy Pudding, Eggnog, and Candy Cane. Who wants to join me on my fairy tale?!

That’s A Wrap! Darlings it wasn’t me who said it, so stop pointing fingers! It was Vaughn Monroe who first stated in 1945 “Oh the weather outside is frightful…” as the opening bars of Let It Snow. All I am doing is reiterating his proclamation, as I absolutely could not agree more – the weather is frightful; combating it, however, is not. As long as you have a cocoon sweater, that is! Why on earth do you think that wriggling caterpillars emerge from cocoons as full-fledged flittering butterflies? I believe it is due to the fact that there is no more cozy location to hibernate for even a short period of time; which is why it is obvious for optimal warmth and worldliness in your wear, a cocoon sweater is your best bet. Skinny jeans will never be the same again when partnered with Paul & Joe’s Cocoon Sweater in Black which drapes in the most dazzling of ways. Silence & Noise’s Stitch Detail Cocoon Cardigan is an affordable way to retain savoir faire in any situation. And Mason’s Cocoon Sweater in Gray is a playful way to protect your form from the cool chill in the air while looking completely posh. Christmas may be over, but Santa baby, do you think that you could pretty please with a cherry on top drop these last few items down the chimney? I’ll be extra good the whole year through!

What were you smitten with this week?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to We ♥ It and ASOS for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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12.25.2009

Why Don't You...?

…Forgo the flannel pajamas and unwrap your gifts in cocktail attire like Madison Marcus’ Tryst Dress or mark’s Ace of Lace Party Dress? Presents are so much more powerful when unwrapped while dressed to the nines!

…Throw a lavish masquerade ball for all of your friends. Don’t forget to put a gilded invitation to yours truly in the mail, kittens; I’ll be the one wearing LaROK’s Left Bank Dress, along with this lovely Angelina Gold mask.

…Allocate an entire afternoon to thrifting – visit Angel Street in New York City; take an hour-long vacation at Seattle’s Value Village; make a stop at Treasure Fair Thrift Shop in Pasadena. It's your time to find something vintage, unique, and mind-blowing!

…Go all-out glamour girl to accomplish even the most menial of tasks – wear big, dark sunglasses to Starbucks; slick on bold red lipstick on your way to Barnes & Noble; don sequins in daylight; cover your fingers in cocktail rings for a simple stop at the grocery store. Errands are far more tolerable when done in high fashion style!

…Spend an entire paycheck on lacy, barely-there La Perla lovelies.

But best of all…

...Have A Very Merry Christmas, kitty cats!



Fashionably yours!


Thanks to We ♥ It for the picture.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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12.24.2009

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

Darling over the past twenty-something years I feel that we have developed quite the strong bond with one another. You’ve seen me through chipped teeth and Barbie obsessions, and I still maintain that, at the ripe old age of seven, I spotted you in our Southern California apartment (though to this day there is not one living soul who believes me). Between you and me, however, we know it’s true; so don’t try to deny it. You wouldn’t want to end up on the Naughty list now would you, Mr. Claus?

And Mrs. Claus! Though I have never corresponded with her directly, I’m sure she has a soft spot for me. After all, I was the one who packed a small suitcase full of chocolate chip cookies and homemade potholders crafted by my first-grade fingers for you to bring back to the North Pole especially for her – which, might I add, was missing when I awoke on Christmas morning; a sure sign that you took it on your way out the door (or rather, up the chimney).

But I digress; this year my letter is slightly different. While there are countless items I would love to call my own (namely the Brooklyn Bridge Double-Finger Ring introduced to me by Mayra), I am not writing to request beaming baubles or flashy frippery; for Christmas 2009 I am asking only for gifts which give back to others, that way there are no losers in terms of prezzies, only winners all around!

Wishingfish “Lucky Beggar Purse” Kitty cats, if you weren’t already aware, though a hunch on my part tells me you were, I am a coffee lover who has never been able to resist the lure of an adorable handbag or home for my spare change. Thus the reason the Lucky Beggar Purse is wholeheartedly calling my name. The brainchild of artist George Skelcher; the Lucky Beggar Purse evolved from inspiration found right on the sidewalks of New York City via homeless panhandlers using decomposing coffee cups as their own personal pocketbooks. Blue, white, and gold in color, and emblazoned with the words “We Are Happy to Serve You,” the Lucky Beggar Purse, which was once exhibited in an NYC art gallery, is a little slice of East Coast history that will make you appreciate the good things, and feel proud of how you helped others, as part of the proceeds from each purse go straight to HELP USA.

DKNY Jeans “‘Believe’ T-Shirt” I truly feel that there is no better way to inspire a little hope in not only oneself, but in the people surrounding you, than by what you wear; and DKNY Jeans’ “Believe” T-Shirt is a preemptive way in doing just that. A part of the DKNY Capsule Collection created just for St. Jude’s Hospital’s Thanks and Giving Campaign, which inflames shopaholics like you and me to “give thanks for the healthy kids in your lives and to give to those who are not”; the black, silvertone stud embellished Believe tee is the perfect topper to a pair of black as night bottoms, like Community Denim’s Low Rise Skinny Jeans with Zip, or a slinky bandage skirt for an urbane look that makes you feel good both inside and out!

LUSH “Charity Pot Lotion” Santa, you know this better than anyone given your job description, but we are in the throes of winter, and that spells absolute disaster for one’s skin. The wind whipping us about to and fro is tyrannical, and downright detrimental to our dermis; therefore, I (and I’m sure all of you are as well) am in need of a moisturizer that will protect and enhance my exterior, and the one I choose is LUSH’s Charity Pot Potion. Not only does it make you smell like a spring garden; but all proceeds go to the LUSH charity of your choice. Would it be too much to ask for two pots? I’d like to support 4 Paws for Ability as well as Reach for the Rainbow, s’il vous plait!

What purchases are you making to give back this holiday season?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Tumblr, Wishingfish, HSN, and LUSH for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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12.23.2009

Sipping in the City

"Given enough coffee, I could rule the world."
Author Unknown

Believe it or not, I was not always the coffee lover that I am today. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, it was just shy of three years ago that I was turning my nose up at the steaming cups of caffeine, refusing to so much as smell the muddy blend let alone allow it to pass my lips. Even at this stage of the game, as much as I adore a kick of java every few hours, I can’t credit myself with being a coffee connoisseur or aficionado in any way, shape, or form; I’m simply a passionate individual with a desire to sip on something warm and cozy – a beverage synonymous with the comforts of a well-loved knit sweater. The fact that it helps me to get through the day…well, that’s just frosting on the cupcake!

But I digress; admittedly I would never survive without a cup of Joe early in the morning, or a calming cappuccino in the afternoon, or even an invigorating mug of hot chocolate right before bed. How I ever survived without such luxurious concoctions is truly unfathomable.

For me, warm beverages are the equivalent of an old friend re-entering one’s world, or a cute boy doing something unexpectedly romantic just to make you smile. They are a part of the simplicities in life that make one’s existence enchanting, charming, and magnificent with a singular sip. Therefore it is truly no surprise that I have my favorites; Toffee Hot Chocolate, White Chocolate Coffee, and Pumpkin Pie Lattes being amongst my most beloved brews. But I’ve learned over time that savoring such delicacies in the privacy of one’s home can often leave a bitter taste in the drinker’s mouth.

"No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils."
Henry Ward Beecher

It may sound silly. Perhaps a whimsical notion, you might say; but it’s the truth. I feel that ambiance and a charming surrounding truly do play roles in how much or how little an individual enjoys ones warm drink du jour. Cobblestoned patios add character; brick walls provide history; and very light jazz music murmuring in the background establishes old-fashion noir and glamour. Thus, when I find myself navigating the concrete jungle that is New York, I do not seek out, or comb various neighborhoods searching for the most commercialized, well-known coffee shops.

In a city as full of life and personality as New York I see these locations as clichéd. When experiencing a new place, it is best to immerse yourself in the culture and aestheticism that you would be unable to experience anywhere else. Therefore I rummage for regal little gems with the ability to tantalize my taste buds and proffer an ambrosial atmosphere. These are just three of my absolute favorites.

"No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness."
Sheikh Abd-al-Kadir

Red Horse Café – Park Slope, Brooklyn. Despite the fact that I think of Park Slope’s Red Horse Café as a blogger’s paradise, I am truly not being biased by stating that this is one of my favorite little places to hide out in whenever I find myself in New York. Located on the corner of 12th Street and 6th Avenue, Red Horse Café is, without a doubt, one of the most darling places I have ever found myself dwelling in. Due to the fact that it’s located in Brooklyn, you have the New York City cultivation and attitude, coupled with the captivating quaintness most often seen in the suburbs – a fact that is pinpointed by the tree-lined streets visible through the windows; hence, you get the best of both worlds.

But outer sights don’t even begin to compare with the beauty found right within Red Horse. The walls are lined with pieces created by the hands of local artists; while overstuffed couches, armchairs, café tables, and window-mounted bars with stools create heavenly seating options for everyone. The true charm of Red Horse, however, comes from the fact that it’s a multifaceted venue that serves yummy iced coffee (with coffee ice cubes as opposed to water-based ones!) and mind-blowing mochas to bloggers, couples, old friends, and families throughout the mornings and afternoons; then transforms into a hipster hangout featuring live musicians, and other special events come nightfall. It’s the type of place one never wants to leave; but since you ultimately have to, don’t do so without grabbing a cupcake or handful of macaroons! 497 6th Ave. (between 11th and 12th St.), Brooklyn, NY 11215.

"I orchestrate my mornings to the tune of coffee."
Harry Mahtar

Financier Patisserie – Stone Street. Please ignore the fact that Brooks Brothers reigns within the four walls of Stone Street’s Financier Patisserie. You really can’t be surprised; after all, it’s located in the heart of the Financial District. At the same time, whenever I so much as glance upon the exterior of this Wall Street wonder, I feel as if I’m transported to picturesque Paris or idyllic Italy. While many cafes embrace dark color schemes, Financier Patisserie sets itself apart by flaunting light and airy hues, outdoor tables, and elegant windows – all of which work as one to create an adorable atmosphere perfect to indulge in two of my favorite things: mochaccinos and madeleines. A word of warning…since Financier Patisserie is known for their scrummy pastries please, please, please do not walk out that door without at least a chocolate croissant or brownie in tow. They are a heavenly complement to any warm drink you happen to order. 62 Stone Street (between Mill Lane and Hanover Square), New York, NY 10004.

B Cup Café – East Village. If given the choice between moving into the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, or residing at the East Village’s B Cup Café for all of eternity, darlings I have no qualms about proclaiming that I would not even hesitate before announcing my decision…the B Cup Café, of course! While the free WiFi, Caramel Café Mocha, White Chocolate Café Mocha, and Hot Chocolate have lured me into the charming hot spot time and time again, these are not the main reasons for my frequent visits. Mais non! The truth of the matter is that I am convinced that one could find love in this enchanting East Village nook.

There’s something about the ambiance found within that makes you feel as if you will meet the cute boy of your dreams while standing in line awaiting your Frozen Vanilla and White Chocolate Café Mocha, or cozily perched upon the olive green couch flipping through the latest issue of ELLE. Perhaps your eyes will lock between sips of splendor, leading the two of you to share a Bagel with Cream Cheese before strolling into the sunset, destined to live happily ever after. It sounds outlandish, but I truly do believe that there is potential for such a tale to take place within the alluring atmosphere. 212 Ave. B. (Corner of E. 13th St.), New York, NY 10009.

"The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

These may be a few of my favorite places to "sip in the city," but there are millions of others out there eagerly awaiting your sip of approval. Find your own or share these saucy little coffee shops with me. Just make sure that you’re getting your twice daily cup of Joe somewhere!


Fashionably yours!


Note: I originally wrote this post for one of my favorite blogs, Olive Writes, back in November 2009; but I loved writing it so much, that I thought I would share it with all of you here, just in case you missed it!


Thanks to We ♥ It, It's Unbeweavable, and vi.sualize for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl.
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12.22.2009

Twenties Girl Giveaway

Kittens if there’s one thing I have told you time and time again, it is that I am in complete and utter adoration of the 1920’s. A point in time marred by flappers, bobbed hair, jazz music, t-strap shoes crafted for dancing the Charleston long into the night alongside dapper boys, and New York City’s Harlem Renaissance. It was the writing of my beloved F. Scott Fitzgerald who turned me on to the era, instilling an obsession within me; but more recently I can place blame upon Sophie Kinsella. Since delving into the pages of her latest bewitching story Twenties Girl, I have come to the conclusion that, in the same fashion as the tale’s fiery protagonist Lara Lington, there is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing a little twenties flair to permeate from your pores even in the year 2009. Which, I presume, is precisely how two (2) of you lovelies will be feeling this time next week when you find out whether or not being a Twenties Girl is in your future. But alas; you’re all curious to know what I’m going on and on about, I’m sure.

In true holiday spirit, and the hope of bringing a bit of old glamour and natty noir-influenced nostalgia to your winter must-reads, Café Fashionista has teamed up with Random House to bring two (2) lucky readers their very own copy of Twenties Girl!

To Enter the Twenties Girl Giveaway:

For one (1) entry, leave a comment on this post between now and Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at midnight PST.

For two (2) entries, Twitter about this giveaway, and leave a comment on this post between now and Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at midnight PST with your Twitter URL.

For three (3) entries, become a follower of Café Fashionista on Blogger/Google Reader/Google Friend Connect, and leave a comment on this post between now and Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at midnight PST (if you are already a Café Fashionista follower, please say so in your comment).

I will randomly pick two (2) names out of a hat (who knows, one of them could be yours!), and announce the winner on Thursday, December 31, 2009.

Good luck everyone!

And yes, this Giveaway is open to everyone – U.S. or International residents!


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Mountains of Books and Happy Go Ducky for the pictures.
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12.21.2009

Cruisin' Cafes: Sydney, Australia

G’day mate! Darlings, is it wrong that my initial reason for wanting to visit Sydney, Australia was for the sheer fact that I have always wanted to rise and shine to the perennial shouts of “G’day mate!” each morning without being looked upon as if I were some sort of loon? That, of course, was before I was treated to a view of the Sydney CBD and Sydney Opera House at dusk. Even through a mere photograph, the twinkling sight alone led me to realize that there was so much more to “the Harbour City” than truly meets the eye. A glamorous locale rich with culture, brimming with beauty, and home to countless shopping Mecca’s which cater to an abundance of personalities and lifestyles. Hence the reason why I simply can’t help but believe that it is obviously a lovely location for canvassing charming cafes!

Bar Coluzzi Pardon the pun, but it can’t be helped – to put it bluntly, Darlinghurst’s Bar Coluzzi will knock you out; and not just because it is the brainchild of a boxer of the fifties who moonlighted as a barista when he wasn’t slinging punches!

A staple of Williams Street since 1957, Bar Coluzzi does not simply attempt to channel a retro vintage vibe in its ambiance; it simply oozes such traits courtesy of the fact that it has been a latte-making landmark since that very era! Opened by Roman-born Luigi Coluzzi during the height of change in the world, Bar Coluzzi was founded with the hopes of bringing a dash of Italia to sunny Sydney via fresh coffee. Decades later, the teeny tiny hole in the wall is still a one-stop shop for revelers looking to rendezvous with elegant espressos, heavenly hot cocoas, tantalizing teas, and dreamy desserts. The pristine white walls are trimmed in red and adorned with boxing memorabilia and photographs snapped ring-side; while Alice in Wonderland-sized chairs spill out onto the Victoria Street sidewalk where Bar Coluzzi rests – an ideal location for soaking up the Sydney sunshine on a lazy Sunday morning. Don’t miss the raisin toast – dip it into your rich espresso for a mind-blowing experience! 322 Victoria St., Darlinghurst NSW 2010.

Bourke Street Bakery There is no need to so much as attempt to deny it; the truth of the matter is that there is no better complement to a piping mug of hot chocolate or steaming cup of coffee than a pastry that is sure to pack on the pounds yet leave you in a state of bliss for at least a few moments. Hence the reason why Surry Hills’ Bourke Street Bakery is destined to make you willingly wait in line for upwards of an hour, if need be, for a pint-sized brush with euphoria.

Inside a trio of small tables sit scrunched side by side, a virtual arm’s length away from patisserie cases holding fresh-baked sourdough bread, chocolate tarts, and croissants drizzled with chocolate sauce, in addition to full-fledged meals of quiches and pies; while out on the footpath a handful of sidewalk seating prime for people watching is proffered to visitors, providing an optimal opportunity for taking a load off after a full day of shopping and shooting the breeze while sipping and savoring a variety of seasonal flavors. Come prepared for both eye and nose candy – the pastries are too pretty to resist, while the scent of chocolate, vanilla, spices, and coffee mingling together will transport you to another time and place…you’ve been warned, kittens! 633 Bourke St., Surry Hills NSW 2010.

Mecca Espresso You know me, never one to ignore a location with a citified, metropolitan environment – and that is precisely what King Street’s Mecca Espresso doles out; in addition to mesmerizing macchiatos, sweet soy lattes, and creamy cappuccinos, of course.

Mecca Espresso is one of those urbane getaways that serve as a staycation for locals, a vacation for out of towners. The moment you step inside you are welcomed by slightly dim lighting, modernistic espresso machines, sleek yet simple hues, and a shiny hardwood floor tinged with red – all of which converge with one another to produce a very jazzy effect; not unlike a place you could imagine finding Ella Fitzgerald crooning within. But soulful sounds are not the musical choice du jour; the harmonies heard inside Mecca Espresso are of the passing cars and traffic – a delightful soundtrack for someone who enjoys the hustle and bustle of the city. Between the amusing banter shared between staff and customers alike, the ambrosial atmosphere, and the stunning designs etched in the foam topping your desired drink, it’s impossible not to think of Mecca Espresso as a home away from home. One that always smells of mouth-watering, fresh-baked chocolate brownies! 67 King Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Which of these Sydney cafes would you like to cruise?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to We ♥ It for the pictures.
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12.20.2009

Style Secrets: Back to Basics

“Only great minds can afford a simple style.”
Stendhal

It may sound farfetched, but it’s the absolute truth. Being fabulous seems to take less time than being simple when it comes to dressing. When you enter shops you are often bombarded with sequins, tulle, lace, leather, and an abundance of other textures which are absolutely stunning, yet veer away from the basic staples one needs in their life to create looks that are downplayed yet domineering; minimal yet menacing; easygoing yet energized.

Basics are the backbone to the well-dressed young woman’s wardrobe. They are there to provide that extra oomph to your look du jour, interjecting a splash of much-needed je ne sais quoi to lighten up a glittering party shirt worn in the wee hours of the morning, or contributing a pinch of plain pulchritude to balance out the bodacious-ness of a faux leather pencil skirt; hence the reason why it is essential for your closet to harbor a fortune of no-frills fashions.

As with so many things in life, however, undertaking such a task is far more easier said than done. But don’t worry darlings; it certainly doesn’t have to be. As long as you know where to start, you’re well on your way to heading back to basics in true fashion-forward style!

Trail Blazer Please cast aside any preconceived notions about the blazer you may have. I am well-aware of the fact that it is most often recognized as the topper of a stuffy three-piece suit, but times have changed; the blazer is no longer only acceptable in the workplace. In fact, it is quite possible that there is no more versatile piece that one can add to their wardrobe than a black blazer. Cropped, boyfriend, either style retains the ability to put a completely new spin on your look, and cast a shadow of change upon the entire effect of your ensemble.

Sophistication and elegance is quickly discovered when Diane von Furstenberg’s slightly boxy, boyfriend-inspired Tuxant Blazer is tossed on over a shimmering minidress; a touch of hipster flair is added to a simple top and denim when coupled with a cropped blazer like the Charmaine Career Jacket; and a plain white tee and flippy skirt easily transform from playful to posh when shrouded with a wool style sporting a notched collar a la Theory’s Ediona Blazer. Remember, a well-crafted blazer will see you through countless ups and downs and millions of milestones; therefore, invest in a creation that you adore!

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.”
Jean Cocteau

The Little Black Skirt Despite its power and potential to literally stop traffic and work wonders in one’s wardrobe, the little black skirt is a piece of attire that is, unlike the little black dress popularized by Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, left out of the loop and virtually ignored when it comes to dressing. Far too many seem to overlook the chic simplicity that it proffers, whether offered via professional Pencil Skirt, flouncy Woven Skirt, or leggy Mini Skirt. Don’t be one of those individuals!

Unlike the LBD, which often relies upon a special occasion for it to be whipped out of your bureau for wear, the little black skirt is a garment that holds fast to the mantra “carpe diem.” It does not lie in wait for a lavish party to arrive; rather, it seizes the day and creates a sassy soiree all its own! Top it with a vintage tee, partner it with lacy tights, slip it on with a slouchy sweatshirt. When it comes to the LBS, styling opportunities are positively endless; and each presentation is more stunning and sophisticated than the last!

Black and White and Fabulous All Over! Mark my words, a person’s closet is utterly incomplete if it does not hold at least two fitted black t-shirts, and two fitted white t-shirts. There is no more essential or inexpensive basic than these pieces, given the fact that they act as a palette for your daily style, and are a necessity when layering. They also retain the ability to tone down exaggerated accessories, like a statement necklace, making them more wearable during the daytime hours.

But do not at all doubt the standalone qualities of the plain black or white t-shirt. It may be a basic, but one does not need to cover-up its simple style, or clean cuts in order to make it glamorous. Pairing a Short-Sleeve V-Neck with skinny jeans and riding boots is a no-fuss aesthetic which juxtaposes between elegant equestrian and laid-back jet-setter; while tucking it into a pair of trendy trousers and adorning your finger with a bulbous cocktail ring establishes an unmatched urbane ambiance that will leave jaws dropping in your wake!

Short Stuff It seems slightly ridiculous to think that shorts are a part of the basics category; a virtual must-have in your wardrobe. But they are. Don’t get me wrong, up until recently I was not a believer of this particular way of thought either. I felt that shorts should remain in summer, and be locked away once the sun gave way to rain, sleet, and snow; but so is not the case. Just as skirts can make the transition from winter to spring, summer, and fall, shorts can as well – as long as you’re working with the correct form.

There is nothing quite as ambrosial and cultivated as a pair of tailored shorts like Forever 21’s Cuffed Tweed Short or Pleated Satin Shorts. They do not have the grunge factor that denim dungarees oftentimes possess; rather they reserve a more sophisticated air courtesy of the single-button closure, and charming cuffed hems which work together to bridge the gap between saucy and sharp. During the warmer months flaunt bare legs by pairing them with cognac-colored riding boots; once the cold sets in style them with black opaque tights and matching ebony-hued shoes for a look that elongates and makes your legs go on for days!

“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”
Plato

Tight Fit Loves, if you thought that hosiery was nothing more than a thing of the past, I am here to prove you wrong…so very wrong! Yes, feel free to steer clear of nude-toned pairs that are meant to look as if your legs are bare when they really aren’t; but please, do me a favor and fully embrace patterned tights, black opaques, and sheer styles that will take you through any season in true glamorous grandeur!

Tights like those crafted by Falke and American Apparel give you the opportunity to wear any attire of your choosing year-round, given their ability to provide a bit of coverage to keep you warm; while ensuring that you look stunning from head to toe. I recommend having at least three pairs on hand at all times; that way, should you encounter a sudden run or rip in the seam, you don’t have to sacrifice style – simply switch out the ruined ones for a pair that is in-tact!

The Bomb It doesn’t matter if you own no other piece of outerwear, as long as you have a bomber jacket in your possession your wardrobe is in good standing. Bomber jackets like Candela’s Leather Bomber Jacket are an amazing garment for the sheer fact that they not only provide warmth to the wearer; but they effortlessly effuse a rebellious aura that is both lively and headstrong, which helps you to migrate from one look to another with ease.

Keep in mind that the color bomber you select is extremely important. A black piece instantly gives off an edgy, rocker-influenced vibe synonymous with the leather-loving biker movement which is perfect for a smoky night out with the girls; while a caramel shade is more subdued and transitions easily not only from day to night, but from season to season, as well. Take inventory of your wardrobe before shopping to see what color would fit in best with your personal style and buy accordingly.

Duds for the Derriere Darlings, denim used to cut it in terms of accoutering ones lower half. And it still does; to a certain extent. One’s wardrobe should never be sans at least a trio of denim pieces that range from light wash, like Current/Elliott’s Super Slouchy Skinny Jeans to dark wash, like J Brand’s Petite 12” Pencil Jeans, all in the cut of the dresser’s desire. These three items of apparel alone will accompany you on everything from first dates to family gatherings; and shopping sprees to school functions. But I digress; denim is only half of what needs to be on hand for embellishing your lower region. The honor of the other half falls upon leggings.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…leggings did not start out as a favorite of mine, but I quickly grew to love them due to their elasticity, resilience, and ability to bring out the chic cosmopolitan sophisticate in anyone simply by slipping them on. Whether tucked into over the knee boots or topped with a bright-colored v-neck that hits at the hip, leggings like American Apparel’s Cotton Spandex Jersey Leggings or Winter Legging, are a must for the modern mademoiselle looking to be comfortable in her style of dress while keeping it completely classy!

“The well-dressed man is he whose clothes you never notice.”
William Somerset Maugham



Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Shopbop, American Apparel, and Forever 21 for the pictures.
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12.19.2009

Smitten Saturday

Card Shark Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, as a creative thinker who peruses the right side of my brain far more than the left, I am utterly incapable of resisting the power of an ambrosial holiday card gussied up with whimsical illustrations coupled with charming season’s greetings that assist in ringing in the New Year right. In fact, since we’re being completely honest here, I might as well just come clean and admit that I adore the greeting cards attached to the gift, almost as much as the gift itself. I am a firm believer in the fact that much more time is put into etching the appropriate sentiments into the folds of a splendrous piece of stationary than is devoted into picking out the perfect present; thus, one must always ensure that the card in question is both memorable and magical.

For the fashionista in your life, Bonnie Marcus’ Fashion Folded Card, announcing Have a fashionable holiday, is something that will be treasured until the end of time; Renee Rivas’ Fashionista Christmas Holiday Greeting Cards are destined to adorn office cubicles year-round and bring to mind get-togethers with the girls; and Olivia A. Myers’ Downtown Christmas Greeting Card is a preemptive way of wishing your BFF the best this holiday season, while reminding her that shopping during the entire month of December is meant to be guilt-free – so scoop up those See by Chloe Lace Tights, splurge on sass & bide’s When You’re Older Dress, and snatch Son of John’s Heidi Sequin Tank with Racer Back sans guilt! What type of card shark are you?

Celebratory Mail Call Darlings, I’m not bragging when I say this, I’m merely speaking the truth…I may be one of the most skilled Online shoppers you will ever meet; but Sidney of Olive Writes recently reawakened my adoration of mail order catalogs, a feat which has literally dragged me away from my laptop, at least for a handful of hours, plopped me smack dab in the middle of the couch bundled up in a plaid throw, and left me flipping through page after page of pleasantry. Blame it upon the Christmas spirit or attribute it to a desire to channel the pre-computer age child within, but there is truly nothing as charming and simplistic as curling up with a cup of hot cocoa in front of a flickering fireplace, and swooning over catalogs depicting fashionably dressed models frolicking in faux snow, or families decking the halls with popcorn-strung garlands in matching pajama sets. It’s an enchanting experience that one absolutely must take the time to savor; especially during the holiday season. Thus, turn on the twinkling fairy lights, turn off the overheads, and snuggle in for the cold winter’s night with J. Crew, Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, and a multitude of others – after all, it’s a celebratory mail call…don’t you want to be a part of it?

Ornamentary, My Dear Watson In the first grade I arrived home for the start of Christmas vacation with a pine cone slathered in peanut butter and rolled in a bird seed medley dangling from the tip of my finger. Such a creation was meant for adorning the shrubbery in the front yard; yet I took it upon myself to hang it from the tree sitting pretty in our over-decorated living room, already crowded with gifts wrapped in paper spotted with illustrations of Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer. Two days later the family awoke to a loud humming sound, only to discover that our beautifully decorated tree was covered in ants jubilantly feasting on the sticky surprise. Despite the merry mishap which resulted in swiftly doing away with the topiary, there was no lapse in happiness around the household. Why? Because the disastrous decoration in question was crafted with my very own pint-sized hands.

Darlings we must simply face the facts; the ornaments in which we use to trim the tree each year harbor an unmatched type of spirit and magic. They dictate our likes and dislikes; the memories we have shared; and the adventures we have experienced over the years. As such, we must ensure that our trees our outfitted in nothing but the best. Hang Henri Bendel’s 2009 Signature Fifth Avenue Ornament from the highest bough while donning a daring design by David Lerner. Showcase your shopaholic side by draping Nordstrom’s 2009 Shopping Bag Ornament over a beatific branch while teetering in a pair of Tory Burch platforms. Or highlight your love of the Big Apple with Kurt Adler’s New York City Glass Ornament while decked out in Bing Bang bling. Just please do us all a favor and steer clear of the peanut butter!

Pretty Maids All in a Bow Lovelies, perhaps I’m only speaking for myself, but I have spent the past week wrapping gifts like crazy, topping each one with a shimmering bow that crinkles when poked, and twinkles like the brightest star when simply gazed upon; but adorning presents with such embellishments is truly not enough. As strange as it may sound, I am feeling an overwhelming desire to, in the very same fashion as Blair Waldorf, accouter myself in bows, bows, and more bows! Really now, why on earth should glorious gifts have all the fun – we deserve a little bow action ourselves; and bow action we shall have! I truly cannot imagine anything looking more lovely when paired with an ambrosial party frock than Felix Rey’s gold Greta Satin Bow Clutch festooned with a bright red ribbon that would make even Santa Claus himself giddy. Turn heads just as much when you leave a room as when you enter it with Anthropologie’s Victorian-inspired Grand Exit Boots – an ideal complement to a wrap tunic and ebony leggings. There’s no doubt that you would easily pave the way of the holiday party if decked out in Foley + Corinna’s Satin Bow Dress. And obviously one is never fully dressed without the playful sophistication of Derek Lam’s Halter Top with Side Bow adorning her upper half. Tell me darlings, are you a pretty maid all in a bow?

Fruit Loop Do you think me absolutely absurd for being ever so slightly obsessed with fruitcake? I have heard the proclamations of how unappetizing each bite is; I’ve gazed upon its somewhat grotesque appearance; I’ve curiously poked its candied coating with a well-manicured fingernail numerous times through the cellophane and plastic wrap embellishing its nutty form in grocery stores all over Southern California. Yet, all this aside, my interest is still piqued. There is something so decadently appealing about a dessert that emerges solely for the holidays, and often takes up to three months to perfect – an aging process that is incredibly bizarre yet enthralling. Given the fact that, just a few days away from Christmas day, I obviously don’t have enough time to so much as attempt to craft my own; I have decided to splurge on a pastry up to the task of adorning the table come the big day (though there are no promises that it will be used for anything more than a pretty decoration).

Cabela’s Grandma’s Famous Fruitcake is a favorite due to the fact that it comes wrapped in a holiday-themed reusable tin and sports the word Grandma in the title, making it sound like a homemade surprise from a beloved relative! ClaxSnax from Claxton Fruit Cake is a kitschy table favor for holiday guests due to the fact that each slice comes individually packaged a la chewy fruit snacks so no difficulty with cutting the nut-filled creation takes place. And it is impossible to think that Harry & David’s Traditional Fruitcake could be anything less than posh, glamorous, and luscious for the sheer fact that everything from Harry & David is pure heaven. Tell it to me straight…what is your experience with fruitcake? I need details darlings!

Red Light District While red, white, and green have always marked the trio of hues that so fully complement the season of peace on earth, goodwill to all men, and season’s greetings; when it comes to accoutering oneself in a singular shade for the holidays, I have always found that red does the trick masterfully. The color itself holds so much symbolism in terms of being seductive, romantic, and rambunctious all at once. It retains the ability to juxtapose between tranquility and rowdiness; yet never fails to come across as sophisticated and haut monde. And, of course, we cannot forget that it turns heads no matter the place or time. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that you don such a dye with wild abandonment! Pair ShopMamie’s One-Shoulder Socialite Dress in Crimson with black leggings and ebony riding boots. Style Unknown Factory’s Biker Skinny Jeans alongside an asymmetrical tank. Top a plain white tee with Rag & Bone’s Honeycomb Cardigan. Or simply perch Bop Basics’ Cashmere Beret atop your head for a touch of French flair. Are you seeing red, kitty cats?

What were you smitten with this week?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Tumblr and Shopbop for the pictures.
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