Style Secrets: Symbol of Style

“Create your own visual style…let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”
Orson Welles

Darlings, I’m not one for beating around the bush so lets guilelessly get down to business here. Admit it, there is nothing more simple than spotting a style that mesmerizes you and immediately copying it. Perhaps you adore Blair Waldorf’s wide array of sensational oversized headbands; or maybe you can’t get enough of Bettie Page’s bangs, or Olivia Palermo’s constant incorporation of statement necklaces into her daily look. As we all know, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but it can also work against us in making us lose all semblance of personal style.

Don’t get me wrong my loves; there is absolutely no harm in drawing inspiration from our style icons in terms of the way we dress, but establishing our own distinct form of personal style seems far more fabulous. After all, you are not the only one imitating Serena van der Woodsen’s tousled tresses or Dree Hemingway’s slightly rebellious tomboy chic; there are millions of you out there, making it quite easy to find yourself lost in the crowd. Allowing your personal style to wind up on a missing person’s poster hanging haphazardly upon the sliding glass doors of a supermarket is an absolute no-no; therefore, the time has come to personalize your look.

Incorporating a symbol that is all yours into your wardrobe is the easiest way to stand out from the followers; to shout to the world that you are a true individual, without so much as opening your Peek-A-Boo glossed pout; to create an emblem that instantly makes people think of you, and only you. Who knows; by this time next week someone could, very likely, be mimicking your newly-developed trademark style!

Skin Deep There is no question that creating a signature style can be quite the intimidating task – especially in the beginning stages. One very rarely knows where to start, and needs time to evaluate what they want their look to say about them. While you’re hemming and hawing over this particular predicament, weighing the options of effusing sophistication or playfulness, ruggedness or romantics in your daily look du jour, turning to beauty is oftentimes the most accessible way to begin your foray into finding your symbol of style.

Beauty is synonymous with the presence of a lifelong best friend. It is always there to boost your confidence or cheer you up after a bad day with the simple application of a bit of Just Pinched Instant Blush Tint adorning the apples of your cheeks or a mere swipe of Make It Big Lash Plumping Mascara about your lashes to make your eyes truly pop. When it comes to perusing a beauty ritual as your trademark, however, it is essential that you keep the mantra “Go big or go home” in mind.

“An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.”
Daniel J. Boorstin

A trademark built around beauty must be over the top, ostentatious, and, if you’re truly bold, slightly outlandish. Sticking to neutral tones or subtle shades is easily forgettable; your dazzling logo must be anything but! You want something that people will remember; an image which will stay emblazoned in the minds of everyone – from old acquaintances to new friends and foes alike. Hence the reason why dramatics are in order!

Use beauty looks from eras past as your muse. Think pixie hairstyles like Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby or Edie Sedgwick in Poor Little Rich Girl; embrace dramatic eye makeup like spider-lashes and heavy kohl liner of the sixties; mix and match bright colors to create depth and smoldering seduction; or have a little fun with hair color to reinvent yourself. One thing to remember is not to get caught up in wanting to shock people with your beauty regimen. The key to being satisfied with your signature is being comfortable. If your personality is lost beneath layers of bright shadows, and pounds of hairspray that scream someone else you’ll be disappointed in the results. Adhere to your personal likes and dislikes to put your best beauty tricks forward and truly tantalize with your trademark!

Taste the Rainbow Dolls, even if you are amongst the class of people who feel a desire to dabble in a variety of styles, changing your look on a daily basis in a fashion akin to a chameleon switching his shade to blend in with his surroundings, do not fret…you are still able to create a trademark that represents who you are; you merely have to build it around something other than a fervor for frilly skirts or cravings for cute crop tops. It is times like these when we must willingly regress back to childhood, and ask ourselves the age old question… “What’s your favorite color?”

“It’s beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.”
Roy R. Gilson

It’s completely true; one of the simplest forms of satisfying your desire for a signature style is by tasting the rainbow and selecting one shade that embodies everything about who you are. In grade school we bickered with one another over what color was the absolute best, the crème de la crème of Crayola offerings that worked wonders in any piece of art we put down on paper (I was partial to Sea Foam Green myself); now, in young adulthood, we must do precisely the same thing, only instead of being used to decorate a doodle drawn in the margins of our Lisa Frank notebook during history class, we are adorning our bodies in such a hue!

When selecting a color as your trademark you must be able to distinguish between what you love, and what you look good in. Refrain from choosing green, even if you adore it, if it makes your pallor look pasty; at the same time, do not pick yellow simply because it looks good on you. Look for a color that flatters your figure, and makes you happy all at once. Bottom line…you cannot have one without the other; therefore, search until you find perfection. And once you have chosen your signature shade? Oh please, that’s easy darlings; never walk out the door without at least a smidgen of that color accoutering your body – it is your trademark, after all!

The Power of the Accessory If you have resisted the lure of the accessory for this long I truly commend you; ‘tis not an easy task. Accessories are to fashion what miniature marshmallows and whipped cream are to hot chocolate…a complete and utter necessity. They have the ability to instantly add personality, volume, and dimension to your style; essentially breathing life into your look du jour. For this reason alone, they are one of the most powerful staples for creating a trademark all your own.

“Style is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style.”
John Fairchild

It was Coco Chanel who said “It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” Truer words have never been spoken. Choosing an accessory as the piece de resistance of your personal style is a fabulous, fashion-forward way to celebrate individuality, as they are widely available in a multitude of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures; and, the true icing on the cake, are oftentimes quite inexpensive so you can indulge in a few pieces to keep your look fresh and fun, never boring or mundane!

Seek out an accessory that is completely comfortable, and can be worn year-round; but don’t lose sight of the fact that, as a trademark, it must be clearly visible to people. Wearing barely there stud earrings on a daily basis easily create a hint of sparkle, but completely lack the ability to make a big enough impression on someone where they would instantly attribute earrings to you as an individual. Be more audacious and cheeky in your selection. If you want rings to be your signature, forgo thin bands and instead embrace cocktail rings that are large and in charge like House of Harlow 1960’s Peacock Cocktail Ring or Noir Jewelry’s Disco Deco Cocktail Ring. If scarves are more your style, choose ones with memorable aesthetics like Eugenia Kim’s Angela Chunky Braided Scarf, or pretty designs like Deepa Gurnani’s Rainbow Scarf. Remember darlings, it is your responsibility to choose an accessory that will keep people talking long after you’ve vacated the room!

“A great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive, memorable and unique.”
Primo Angeli

Fancy Feet Never underestimate the power of the shoe. Many believe that, given the fact that they are strapped upon your feet, the lowest possible region of your body, fabulous shoes go unnoticed. Darlings, this estimation could not be further from the truth. Take it from someone who surveys a person’s ensemble from the bottom up; shoes are of the utmost importance, and, as sad as it may sound, are oftentimes more memorable than one’s face. Hence the reason why they are a wondrous form of fashion to curl up with when creating your claim to style fame!

An important thing to remember when electing to make a form of shoe your signature style is the itty bitty fact that you must choose something that retains the versatility to operate in any given situation you encounter – be it a first date, job interview, or cocktail party; whilst being available in a multitude of designs and aesthetics so that you can stay true to your desired logo at all times without tiring of it.

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
Yves Saint Laurent

Boots, as much as I adore them, may work with leggings, jeans, dresses, and skirts, but they honestly don’t make the cut in terms of establishing themselves as a trademark, for cocktail parties and evening affairs are remiss about welcoming them with open arms (though, truth be told, I have attempted to wiggle my way around this unwritten rule countless times – all to disastrous results, mind you). No, when seeking signature style of the shoe, it is best to look towards ballerinas like Antik Batik’s Kiwi Cotton Ballet Flats with Beads or Pour La Victoire’s Juliet Stud Flats, and pumps such as Luxury Rebel’s Jenny Haircalf Booties or Pelle Moda’s Wren Peep Toe Pumps on Double Platform. These two styles proffer the ability to don a different color, texture, or aesthetic 365 days a year; and are the ideal item to build entire ensembles around!

Adored Accoutrements Kittens, who on earth led you to believe that you had to select a hue or particular add-on to represent you as your very own trademark? A signature is what you make it; thus it is your decision what form it takes on and how you translate it to the world. And one of the very best ways of communicating your personal style, if you hadn’t already guessed, is by embracing a type of clothing that you would be incapable of living without!

Like shoes, selecting a style of dress that screams “your name here,” is one of the most multifaceted ways to clinch your autobiographical attire. Infatuated with dresses? Make flirty frocks such as Tibi’s Long Sleeve Dress your moniker. Incapable of resisting tights? Allocate pretty legwear like SPANX’s Swiss Dot Tights as your style namesake. Constantly tempted by tunics? Don’t be frightened to wear one like Kite and Butterfly’s Ruffle Caftan everyday! A trademark is specific to you and you only; therefore, selecting a well-loved piece to represent your charming character is a foolproof way of establishing pure bliss.

“Style is a magic wand, and turns everything to gold that it touches.”
Logan Pearsall Smith

Tricks of the Trade Now, I am most certainly not one for being a downer or ruining anyone’s fun – especially when it comes to fashion; but I feel that it is my duty as the style-loving femme fatale that I consider myself to be to arm you with a few tips to ensure that your quest for sensational signature style comes off without a hitch!

24/7 Style It is your trademark, your signature, the thing that makes you recognizable to others; therefore you must ensure that you display your stylish symbol as often as possible!
Just Say No to Trends! Trends are fleeting; here today gone tomorrow. Avoid designating one as your trademark as, chances are, you will tire of it the moment the fashion world casts it aside.
Seasons of Change Be mindful of the fact that your moniker must be flexible; it must retain the ability to work in any and all types of weather. As such, select something that will survive and satisfy your wardrobe winter, spring, summer, or fall.
Metamorphosis Just as trends are fleeting, so are our likes and dislikes of the moment; thus, do not be afraid to modify your trademark, even once it has been established. Style is synonymous with a butterfly emerging from her cocoon, allow it to metamorphosize and flourish as you see fit.
Interlocking C’s At times the interlocking C’s are representative of Coco Chanel; currently, they represent two very important ideas when establishing signature style…confidence and comfort. If both of these prerequisites are not met, find a different look to allocate as your trademark. It is your responsibility as the temptress that you are to effuse fabulousness at all times; a task which is downright impossible if you don’t feel confident or comfortable in your style of dress!

“Style is the hallmark of a temperament stamped upon the material at hand.”
Andre Maurois

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to Polyvore, We ♥ It, World Fashion, Shopbop, ibt Blogs, Coco Lee, and Nicole’s Guide to Style for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Ring Leader Giveaway for your chance to win a Dort Crystal Toni Ring from JBandMe.com.


Smitten Saturday

Minnie Me I have forever been enchanted by the designs of Minnie Mortimer for the sheer fact that she does not merely create clothes; rather she crafts an entire ambiance within her collection which transports one to another time and place. Her rustic aesthetics, sophisticated stylings, and use of militant colors feminized with the addition of pleats, ruffles, and Victorian influences almost instantly invoke thoughts of affluence; afternoons spent strolling through lush gardens hand-in-hand with a handsome beau; and costumes speckling the posh and poetic prose of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works. Fall 2009 had me in complete adoration of the vintage androgyny proffered by the Peter Blazer, the effortless sophistication of the Rachel Dress, and the trench coat inspired cut of the Betsy Dress; but it is the promise of the Spring/Summer 2010 collection which has me downright giddy!

Pastels mingle side-by-side with showstopping colors harboring the ability to turn heads in seconds; slinky silhouettes and mini dresses pal out with flouncy skirts embellishing khaki twills and slouchy shirt dresses that make one look magnificently mussed; and barely-there bloomers flirt alongside high-waisted sailor pants – a duo of designs which make one think of dreamy, endless summers spent frolicking by the shore during adolescence. I find myself coveting the Zoe Dress in Solid Red Jersey Knit, the Gardenia Bloomers, the Suzanne Long Sleeve Tee in Apple Cotton Knit, and the Betsy Military Dress in Navy Twill. Tell me darlings, which Minnie marvel mesmerizes you?

Lucy in the Sky with Sparkles I am truly beginning to think that I have been far too influenced by the glittering garb seen upon the Spring 2010 runways coupled with the brilliant words of Ralph Waldo Emerson proclaiming "To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light"; for no longer do I find myself seeking out lackluster offerings with the inability to make one gleam in terms of cosmetics – rather I am on the hunt for varnish with vivacity; sheens with shimmer; and glazes that glimmer!

Darlings I am an individual who can’t help but to believe that everything in life is more spectacular when accompanied by a tantalizing twinkle; hence the reason why my mattes have been cast to the wayside, only to be substituted with Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Sparked and Kaleidoscope, N.Y.C. New York Color’s Starry Silver Glitter, and OPI’s Mad as a Hatter and Absolutely Alice – a collection of hues with just enough spirit to satiate my fervor for scintillation. And seeing as how we’re already on the subject of glitz, I see no harm in replacing my standard black liner with mark’s Metalliner Hook Up Eye Glam in Quick Silver, or passing up a pout dripping with panache via a petite tube of Pro Glimmer Hook Up Lip Powder. After all, a little sparkle is good for the soul! Ready to get sparkly my loves?

Star-Crossed Lovers Dolls how I managed to resist them for so long, I don’t think I’ll ever know; but now that I have been exposed to necklaces boasting oversized decorative crosses dripping from their petite chains I feel that there is no turning back. There is an element of gothic glamour effused from such pieces; an air of Victorian aristocracy with the ability to create curiosity in the eye of the beholder; whilst adding a touch of personality to your very person. The cream-colored link of faceted beads, so reminiscent of pearls, adds a touch of pretty to the powerful architecture of Forever 21’s Rosary Style Necklace; the incorporation of a polished feather and a haphazard miscellany of charms provide a touch of whimsy to the Layered Charms Necklace; and the differentiating lengths presented by the Rhinestone Cross Necklace contribute a dash of dimension to the dazzling draping. Are crosses calling your name kitty cats?

What were you smitten with this week?

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to We ♥ It and Minnie Mortimer for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Ring Leader Giveaway for your chance to win a Dort Crystal Toni Ring from JBandMe.com.


Ring Leader Giveaway

Kitty cats, by now I’m sure that you’re completely sick and tired of hearing me gush over big beautiful baubles that shine, twinkle, and sparkle from their resting place upon your magnificently manicured fingers; but I honestly cannot bring myself to apologize for such proclamations. I am of the belief that one is never fully dressed without at least one ring shimmering from her dainty digits; after all, such a scintillating accessory is not a maybe, it’s an absolute must!

Not to worry darlings; Café Fashionista has teamed up with JBandMe.com to bring one (1) lucky reader the chance to take home a brand new tantalizing trinket in the form of a Crystal Toni Ring handmade by JBandMe.com’s exclusive jewelry designer Dort.

To Enter the Ring Leader Giveaway:

For one (1) entry, leave a comment on this post stating why you should win between now and Thursday, February 4, 2010 at midnight PST.

For two (2) entries, follow @cafefashionista and @jbandme.com on Twitter, Tweeting Contest - Follow @cafefashionista and @shopjbandme to be entered to win a Dort Crystal Ring, and leave a comment on this post stating why you should win between now and Thursday, February 4, 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 why you should win between now and Thursday, February 4, 2010 at midnight PST (if you are already a Café Fashionista follower, please say so in your comment).

I will randomly pick one (1) name out of a hat (who knows, it could be yours!), and announce the winner on Friday, February 5, 2010.

Good luck everyone!

This Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents! Winner will be able to choose their ring size.

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to JBandMe.com for the pictures.

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

links a la mode

A Touch of Frivolity

Edited by Retro Chick

It’s been a long time since pay day and this weeks Links à la Mode brings a touch of much needed frivolity as we crawl into the second month of a new decade. Idiosyncratic Style takes Scooby Doo’s Velma as her style inspiration, Dirty Hems is inspired by dolls houses and Ode to Awe shows off her leopard print nails. Want something for nothing? A few Goody Gumdrops has an Aspinall of London bag to giveaway and Retro Chick (that’s me!) has 2 Valentine goodie bags to giveaway worth over £100 each. We’ve also got some great designer interviews and some practical advice.

On a more sober note there’s some timely tips from Sway, Sway, Sway! on how you can continue to donate to Haiti without getting scammed, Shoe Daydreams discusses Tanya Golds “Why I hate Fashion” article and Ventures of Jenn shares her opinions on the body image debate.

Bring on February!

Note from Editor : Please be sure to check out the IFB Conference at NYFW : Evolving Influence

Links à la Mode: January 28th

  • 39th and broadway – 5 Questions To Ask Before Beginning a Career in Fashion

  • A Few Goody GumDrops – A Few Goody Gumdrops and Aspinal of London are Giving away an ever-so chic and sophisticated beige patterned skin clutch!

  • Analogue Chic – Looking good while doing stuff – braving the weather and the commute with a sense of style.

  • Bonne Vie – Invest in Quality Denim; featuring How-To Tips from Denim Debutante

  • Cafe Fashionista – Style Secrets: Cowboy Boots Made Classy

  • Cindy Whitehead – The Modern Snow Bunny

  • Denim Debutante – Aeropostale Gives Back with Teens for Jeans Campaign

  • dirty hems. – In the Dollhouse – Miniature inspiration and a teeny resulting DIY

  • Dramatis Personae – a feature & interview with the designer behind i am dorkas

  • Fasshonaburu – I challenge myself to follow my own dress code regulations in order to wow up my day to day ensembles.

  • fête à fête – Clarins debuts first certified organic beauty soap

  • Idiosyncratic Style – Inspired by the sartorially underrated Velma Dinkley.

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – IFB Presents : Evolving Influence Conference NYFW 2010

  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS – Interview with Janeane Marie Ceccanti

  • Ode to Awe – I review Minx Nails, plus my glamourous Russian Garnet cocktail ring

  • Oranges and Apples – Vintage teenage hair inspiration

  • Retro Chick – Valentines Day is on it’s way and Retro Chick has 2 goodie bags worth over £100 each to give away to help you celebrate!

  • Shoe Daydreams – Fashion Influences (?)

  • Style Eyes Fashion Blog – I have avoided eco and ethical fashion in the past because of the price but I have just discovered it is affordable and stylish.

  • Style Symmetry – How to Choose Items at a Clothing Swap Party

  • Sway Sway Away! – A passionate plea from a member of the global community to her fashionable brothers and sister: help Haiti!

  • THE COVETED – Suzy Menkes, Facehunter, LeMads & The Coveted talk about fashion blogs

  • ventures of jenn – on body issues



Thrifty Thursday: Victoria Beckham Carmontelle Cashmere-Blend Dress for Less

Kitty cats, regardless of the type of standard style we embrace on a daily basis, there are those moments – however scant they may be – when we feel tormented with the urge to cast everything aside and be one with sophistication. To drop our denim for houndstooth; turn up our noses at slouchy, relaxed designs and seek out form-fitting frocks that showcase our feminine shapes; to make playful, childish prints a thing of the past and streamline our color palette in a way that is elegant and enticing to both our own senses and that of our many admirers. At times like these, it is our duty to turn to an individual who knows the true tricks of the trade for effusing posh, high class cosmopolitanism twenty-four/seven – that person, if you hadn’t already guessed my loves, is Victoria Beckham; or rather, her Carmontelle Cashmere-Blend Dress.

Darlings, Jackie O had her oversized sunglasses and petite pillbox hats as her claim to fame; whereas Victoria Beckham has the peplum dress – a cut which is universally flattering on an abundance of shapes and sizes, and is proffered so eloquently via the Carmontelle Cashmere-Blend Dress.

A round neck cinched with a self-tie at the nape streams daintily down one’s back concealing the zip fastening which ends right above the derriere – an elegant, yet enchanting embellishment which makes one look as if they were born in the painted-on style, as opposed to having slipped it on mere hours before; while ever so slight padding about the shoulders coupled with the stitch and vent detailing ornamenting the bodice add a kick of dimension to the design, displaying a cutting-edge aesthetic. Nevertheless, it is the dainty asymmetric bustle and peplum detailing adorning the waist which asserts itself as the honest to goodness piece de resistance of this flirty frock.

Even so, it is quite useless for one to spend little more than a handful of minutes gazing upon such grandness; for all it takes is one itty-bitty gander upon the $2,201.50 expense, and it is fairly obvious that such an expense is quite out of the league of the budget fashionista. That certainly does not mean that you must forgo such a fabulous style dolls; you simply have to scoop it up in a more affordable fashion – like that of Forever 21’s Peplum Knit Dress.

While a funky fuchsia as opposed to a far more muted gray tone, at $19.80, Forever 21’s Peplum Knit Dress extends the same type of savoir faire as the Beckham bit, with the inclusion of a few saucy augmentations, such as a contrasting zipper ornamenting the back and a shorter hemline – a duo of daring characteristics that keep your social grace intact whilst allowing you to be a little sassy!

What’s your bank account telling you to do, kittens? Will you be a big spender with Carmontelle, or play the role of the thrifty fashionista?

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to Net-A-Porter and Forever 21 for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Girl in Pearls Giveaway for your chance to win a freshwater pearl necklace from premiere Pittsburgh Jeweler Louis Anthony.


Why Don't You...?

…order a balloon bouquet in a variety of colors, and permit them to float to the ceiling in your bedroom upon arrival? Cast open the curtains to allow sun to spill in, and spend the afternoon watching their pretty hues cast prism-like designs upon the walls.

…begin a savings account consisting of money made specifically for spending? Your first purchase? A Rebecca Minkoff pouch emblazoned with the words Trust Fund or Mine to set you on the right track!

…stuff your feet into a pair of bright red Hunter Boots, find a cute boy, and lose track of time kissing and dancing in the rain?

…drape yourself in jewelry – of the costume variety? A little sparkle never hurt anyone!

…complete your household chores in haute couture? There’s something so dreamy about washing the dishes in Derek Lam; walking the dog in DSQUARED2; taking out the trash in Thakoon. Mundane household chores seem so much more glamorous when you’re dressed to the nines!

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to We ♥ It for the picture.

Don't forget to enter the Girl in Pearls Giveaway for your chance to win a freshwater pearl necklace from premiere Pittsburgh Jeweler Louis Anthony.


Tightwad Tuesday: Nanette Lepore Whip It! Top for Less

Let’s face it darlings, embellishments are to fashion what fluffy pink frosting is to a standard vanilla cupcake – the true piece de resistance for taking something that is ordinary and making it blissfully extraordinary! Please don’t get me wrong here my loves; there is certainly something to say for a precocious plain white tee, or a simple pair of skinnies. But for those days when you want to sparkle without having to turn to ostentatious baubles that may stand in the way of you and the task at hand, the easiest course of action is to enlist the assistance of a design which dazzles on it’s very own; quite like Nanette Lepore’s Whip It! Top.

Studding may float coquettishly in and out of fashion; one day adored by all, the next cast aside as if the only place it belonged was hanging from a sales rack at an outlet mall in the middle of nowhere. Yet the Whip It! Top stands tall as its very own entity. It does not fall into the category of studding; rather it diversifies itself via its alabaster hue, which flirts between cream and white shades, and the antiqued paillettes covering the wide scoop neck and crisscrossing over the body – two contributions which create a juxtaposition between regal and romantic and rough and tumble.

Multifaceted in its aesthetic; the Whip It! Top features a design that is slightly confused in its crafting in the sense that it does not cater to one personality, instead choosing to embrace them all. One moment it is posh as it mingles with a pretty pencil skirt; the next it is rebellious, topped with a rugged motorcycle jacket. Yet in all situations it receives a standing ovation, being crowned the crème de la crème of any given style.

But really kittens, what is the point of going completely gaga over such a delicious design? No matter how you look at it, the Whip It! Top is nothing more than a piece of frippery to dream of during my moments of slumber, as the $248.00 price tag viciously reminds me over and over again. Forever 21’s Embellished Trapeze Top, on the other hand, is a beauty I actually have the funds for to make a reality.

While slightly less showy than it’s more expensive designer BFF, at $29.80, the Embellished Trapeze Top proffers an undeniable saucy bit of attitude that is sure to turn heads; whilst providing you with the chance to gloat about your incredible savings!

It’s up to you darlings…will you bite the bullet and splurge on Whip It!, or play the role of stingy seductress by saving with the Embellished Trapeze Top?

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to Shopbop and Forever 21 for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Girl in Pearls Giveaway for your chance to win a freshwater pearl necklace from premiere Pittsburgh Jeweler Louis Anthony.


Cruisin' Cafes: Los Angeles, CA

As the aptly-titled Golden State, far too many underestimate the true appeal and ability of uncovering captivating cafes teeming with history, and indulging in piping hot potations rich with chocolate, vanilla, and caramel flavors mingling with luscious layers of alabaster-hued whipped cream reminiscent of plush white clouds floating carelessly in the clear blue sky when traversing the sultry soils of Southern California – specifically Los Angeles. It’s a true tragedy if you ask me; an odium of sorts brought about by the unwavering, steady sunshine which makes everyday beach ready, coupled with the lyrical musings of Albert Hammond’s It Never Rains in Southern California. When it all comes down to it, however, so is not the case.

Dolls, regardless of the slew of beaches ripe for one’s picking, or the omnipresence of teeny tiny bikinis, flip flops, and cutoff denim shorts, Los Angeles is a luxurious location for hopping from one café hot spot to another. As the home of the culture-infused Little Tokyo, celebrity-spotting Hollywood, shopper’s paradise known as Olvera Street, and countless other can’t-miss landmarks; The City of Angels proffers a virtual plethora of pulchritudinous places perfect for reacquainting oneself with Americano’s, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and Green Tea – all it takes is a bit of browsing to find complete bliss!

Lost Souls Café To put it in simple terms, Lost Souls Café is that exclusive social circle you begged admittance to during your high school years; only instead of being turned away by the head cheerleader or cute boy playing the role of Rebel Without a Cause with a severe tongue-lashing and a villainous laugh heard round the world, Lost Souls welcomes you with open arms – as long as you’re able to find it, that is.

Camouflaged from prying eyes within a tiny alleyway draped with singular lines of fairy lights crisscrossing overhead, your only indication of its presence a small sign boasting the words Lost Souls Café spotted on the street; Lost Souls is, from external presentation, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene. Nevertheless, once you find your way inside, you can’t help but fall under the enchanting spell effused by its sights, sounds, and scents alone.

Exposed pipes on the ceiling, and a roomy setup create a slightly grungy, warehouse vibe, which juxtaposes with a modernistic, artist’s loft aesthetic when the large metal tables – perfect for big groups – pristine white walls, and various pieces of kitschy art decorating the interior are taken into account. Yet, even through all this, Lost Souls extends a cozy charm to customers which give it a homey, hole in the wall atmosphere that is nearly impossible to tear yourself away from. The hush-hush high society structure will lure you in; the crepes, chocolate banana shakes, and cappuccinos will keep you coming back for more! Harlem Place Alley, 124 W. 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa Darlings, while the name will make you think otherwise, there is no admittance process one must go through to achieve entry into The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa; nor is there an enforced dress code prohibiting those not decked out in plaid from passing through the sole front door flanked by tiny tables topped with umbrellas to shield visitors with a desire to sit out of doors from the scorching sun.

Though the moniker will fill your mind with thoughts of pretentious prep schoolers, The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa serves up some of the finest latte art imaginable from its cushy Culver City cubbyhole, as opposed to presenting patrons with scholars seeking to further their artistic endeavors. Situated mere steps from Sony Studios, The Conservatory is a family-owned paragon which opened its doors back in 1995, and has remained a fabulous fixture in the community ever since.

Feed bags full of coffee beans from all over the world greet you upon arrival; while a stout tree sporting full branches, leaves, and even a little hidey hole with stuffed animals popping out from within stands tall front and center making one feel as if they are sipping right in the middle of the rainforest. Even better than the décor, however, is the ambiance, which makes you feel as if you’re amongst friends even when simply chatting with the baristas whipping up your requested beverage. Don’t depart without savoring the Vanilla Latte; you’ll never taste something as explosive! 10117 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.

Which of these Los Angeles cafes would you like to cruise?

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to Tumblr for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Girl in Pearls Giveaway for your chance to win a freshwater pearl necklace from premiere Pittsburgh Jeweler Louis Anthony.


Style Secrets: Tall Drink of Water

“Being tall is an advantage, especially in business. People will always remember you. And if you’re in a crowd, you’ll always have some clean air to breathe.”
Julia Child

Dolls I am convinced that the taller mademoiselle’s teetering about this good green earth in L.A.M.B.’s Valisa Lace Up Pumps on Hidden Platform have been bestowed with an unfair rap. We shorter girls have misconstrued their covetable height as a blessing; a characteristic which makes them more enticing to cute boys given their mile-long legs, and seductive strut. The plain and simple truth, however, is that, while we petite pretties are gazing up in adoration at our taller counterparts, those very same individuals are often in complete envy of our tiny statures.

But I digress; it is a known fact that, in any given situation, the grass is often greener on the other side. Even so, as the fashion-forward femme fatales we are, it is our duty to embrace our height – no matter how many inches or lack thereof are present – and stun with our style; taunt with our tempting good looks; and wow with our wardrobes. Yet we must do so in a way that is proper for our given elevation point. While limitations enshroud the closets of the petite, such restrictions are rarely encountered by the lofty ladies amongst us.

When it comes to height and the world of fashion, anything goes! Tall allows you to don almost any piece of frippery that catches your eye; the key is to be aware of your body shape, embrace the length of your form, and do everything in your power to accentuate your sensational stature. A task, kitty cats, which is far easier to accomplish than it actually sounds!

Solid Sophisticate Whether you’re on the brink of breaking through that pesky half-inch line marked upon a ruler from your elementary school days to prove to the world that you are, in fact, a proud member of the “five feet and over crowd,” or you’re simply a willowy vision eager to highlight your desirable sylphlike silhouette, there is no more powerful way to bring attention to your long, lean, lithesome frame than by perusing solid colors, and creating ensembles which stick to a monochromatic palette.

Solid colors retain the ability to create the illusion that one is more svelte than they truly are; they provide a false appearance of added length which serves to make one’s form more fluid and flowing – a trick of the eye which works to make the tall girl look even more runway ready than patterns or bold prints would. Such a streamlining of style makes you effuse confidence and aplomb in any situation; whilst subtly bragging to the world that you couldn’t be more proud of your prominent height.

“It was only when I moved to New York that I realized tall is good.”
Kristen Johnston

To the Max The maxi dress, like over the knee boots, is one of those fundamentals in life that can be downright intimidating in the beginning stages. There is something quite domineering and frightening about the extreme length which it proffers so eloquently that leads one to take a step back and mull over the winsomeness and capabilities of such a style. Do me a favor, darlings and halt contemplation of all kinds; as a skyscraping siren, owning a maxi dress is not an option for you, it is an absolute matter of necessity.

There is no more dazzling way to spotlight one’s height than via a sweeping, floor-length frock that pools around your feet in a fashion which makes your presence and appearance seem everlasting; quite a bit like the immortal Grecian goddesses you will be mistaken for when donning such a look. While shorter girls must search high and low for form-fitting maxis, as someone harboring unstoppable tallness, you do not have to worry about being swallowed whole by such a design; therefore seek out cuts that ebb and flow with the movements of your body like A.L.C.’s Strapless Maxi Dress with Belt or Karina Grimaldi’s Antonella Maxi Dress. Such a skimming construction partnered with your height works to ensconce you in effortless elegance which makes you come off as ethereal, enchanting, and empyreal – almost like a glamorous mythical being. Weave your hair into an Alexander Wang side braid, slip a pair of Elizabeth and James’ Blair Jewel Thong Sandals upon your feet, slide a bulbous vintage cocktail ring like mark’s For Keeps Ring upon your finger, and clasp tuleste market’s Half Circle Chain Necklace around your throat to complete the look. From here on out, we’ll just call you Aphrodite.

Waisting Away Regardless of what anyone may or may not tell you, a high waist will forever be in style. There is truly no more classy and sophisticated way to make yourself look slimmer and taller than with the assistance of a pair of high waisted anything accoutering your lower half – be it Alice + Olivia’s Pinstripe Pleated Shorts with High Waist or So Low’s High Waist Leggings.

“Love thy neighbor – and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.”
Mae West

A high waist is the universal way for all women to add inches to their stature. Given the fact that you are already a tall drink of water, of course, this may sound completely unappealing; but such a look truly has its benefits – even for a lady of length, like yourself. Tagging inches onto your already boisterous height via a high waistline elongates your figure in its entirety making one appear more genteel and opulent; whilst slimming the body all at once – an array of elements which serve to make you more effectual in your appearance, and contribute a splash of authoritative audaciousness to your entire demeanor.

Long and Luxurious Darlings you are towering, you are tantalizing, and as a proud member of the statuesque and sassy club, I cannot stress enough that you, as the gorgeous glamazons that you are, should use your grace, poise, and chic caliber in the height department to enhance your true beauty; one of the best ways to do so is with the assistance of long, luxurious tops gracing your upper half.

We pint-sized firecrackers often find ourselves the victim of looking short, stumpy, and stocky when styled in sweaters, t-shirts, cardigans, tunics, or typical t-shirts that fall anywhere below the hip; but you have the height for such a design. You possess the tallness required to do justice to these particular pieces; therefore, embrace them!

“Censorship is the height of vanity.”
Martha Graham

Pieces like Splendid’s Distressed Fleece V Neck Tunic, mark’s Cold Shoulder Top, and Rachel Pally’s Oversized Swing Tank harbor the ability to lengthen your torso and shorten your legs ever so slightly; a look that would be fairly unflattering on someone shorter, but which only serves to make you more glamorous. Do keep in mind that long tops have the potential to stunt the growth even of the tallest temptress; so use them wisely. But please, do use them – you will not be sorry my loves!

Mod Squad A constant worry for tall girls, I kid you not, is that of showing too much skin. One wants to be ravishing, regal, and resplendent in their look du jour, not risqué; yet for those with legs that go on for miles, sticking to this tabulation can be quite a challenge. The Diane von Furstenberg Kawa Sequin Skirt that fell to the knees of your petite flaxen-haired pal hovers just below the derriere when worn by you; the Young Fabulous & Broke Caroline Skirt that ruffled romantically about the thighs of your little sis hardly graces your upper legs. Let’s face it, there’s nothing you can do about these things; yet given the fact that “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” you want to ensure that you are putting your best frock forward!

“You can’t reason yourself into happiness any more than you can reason yourself into an extra six inches in height.”
Stephen Fry

Dolls don’t you dare lock those mini dresses or bandage skirts away! Yes, you are tall, but that is no reason to stifle your style and steer clear of particular designs simply to please others; the secret is to guilelessly be mindful of the length of your more flirty, feminine bottom half bliss. Skirts and dresses will undoubtedly look shorter on you than they will on someone not as blessed in the height department; therefore, retain modesty in your wardrobe by using your fingertips as a guide for length, or merely incorporate longer looks, like pencil skirts, into your everyday style. They may effuse professionalism, but with the right accessories, their playful side comes out making them even more cheeky than their shorter sidekicks!

Ruler of the Empire The way I see it loves, the fashion world is like a fairy godmother of sorts; whereas the empire waist acts in the place of the magic wand, casting a bit of alluring enchantment upon anyone with the good sense to accouter themselves in such a design.

“To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegance.”
Jean Genet

While empire waist dresses and tops retain the ability to be universally flattering on women of all shapes and sizes; when worn by the taller ladies there is a tad more elegance proffered which is imposing and monarchical, making the wearer radiate the same sort of stately presence as that synonymous with the members of the British Royal Family. Empire waists, like that seen upon Juicy Couture’s Shirred Empire Paisley Dress or Wilt’s Empire Tunic, bring a hoity-toity hint of haute couture to the high-reaching beauty’s wardrobe, making one appear more willowy and elongated than a fitted piece would allow; whilst permitting the pretty in question to retain complete comfort from day to night!

Flat Foot Don’t worry darlings, no one will hold it against you, or consider you a traitor in any way, shape, or form for wanting to forgo the extra boost of height created by the addition of heels in place of fancy flats that will keep you closer to the ground. Girls short in stature may feel the desire to peruse heels whenever given the chance; but as someone brimming with tallness, flats are the most fabulous way to downplay your height, without forsaking sassy style!

I know better than many that heels oftentimes make one feel more grown-up in their style; but flats have the ability to be just as sophisticated, feminine, and polished as a pump, as long as one knows well enough to search for perfection. Many times typical ballerinas grow boring in their aesthetic, and begin to lose their identity, making the wearer feel as if they have fallen into a footwear rut, and leading them to pursue something a little more fabulous, which often arises in the form of a stiletto. The key to sublimity is to think outside the box. Seek out pieces with personality that veers away from the ordinary silhouette of the ballerina. Show your spirit fingers with Steven’s Jezebel Jazz Shoes; wrap your mind, and wardrobe, around the model of menswear via Elizabeth and James’ Wicked Suede Oxford Flats; pay tribute to retro architecture’s like that seen on Alexander Wang’s Ines Suede Oxfords. Adorning your tootsies in savvy, slightly offbeat styles is the number one way to feel both mature and magnificent!

“Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length.”
Robert Frost

Of course, should you feel plagued with the desire to pump it up, do not at all allow your height to stand in the way. Wear your Tory Burch Julianne Open Toe Logo Wedges with wild abandonment; don your Dolce Vita Trinity Leopard Platform Pumps to make your silhouette more daring; and flaunt your Paul & Joe Sister Perine Zip Front Pumps with your finest frippery. Just make sure to pop a pair of CitySlips in your purse should you encounter a wardrobe malfunction of the footwear variety, or simply want to soothe your pained, yet perkily pedicured paws after trotting around town styled in stilettos!

Maximum Measures Capris are cute and pants that hit right at the ankle can be ambrosial, yet both lack the ability to do anything spectacular for one’s body – even the flowing form of the tall girl. Lengths that fall within the “in-between” category, hovering in the midst of long and short styles, quite often ruin the look that one is going for, and stumps one’s silhouette; making you appear shorter than you actually are. Whether you’re ten feet or two feet tall, one looks their absolute best when going to the maximum in either direction of measurement. Slip on a pair of tailored shorts like Forever 21’s Nautical Twill Short, which give you the ability to serve up a splash of sophistication at the very same time that you are baring your legs in the most flattering and blissful of ways; or style your bottom half in Grid Woven Trousers which flit flirtily around your feet in the most cosmopolitan of fashions. The ideal way for one to show off their glorious gams is to fully embrace the sentiment that going to the max will forever keep you looking like a superstar!

“The height of cleverness is being able to conceal it.”
Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Looks for the Leggy Lady Darlings, I truly hope that you’re not overwhelmed at the thought of trying to accentuate your covetable height; but just in case you’re feeling slightly numb by everything that you have learned, here are a few complete ensembles created with you and only you in mind to get you started!

A plain white tee tucked into Alice + Olivia’s Pinstripe Pleated Shorts with High Waist, paired with Boutique 9’s Ronnie Jazz Oxford Flats, and topped off with House of Harlow 1960’s Chain & Leather Corset Necklace.
Plush Faux Leather Liquid Leggings topped with Mike & Chris’ Hunter Tunic in Heather Red, and worn with Jeffrey Campbell’s Lubbock Suede Over the Knee Boots in Black.
Juicy Couture’s Shirred Empire Paisley Dress coupled with Frye’s Rider Pull On Boots, and tuleste market’s Croc Bangle Set.

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.”
Jean Houston

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to We ♥ It and Shopbop for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Girl in Pearls Giveaway for your chance to win a freshwater pearl necklace from premiere Pittsburgh Jeweler Louis Anthony.


Smitten Saturday

Scribbles from the Shower As a writer I have absolutely no say in when inspiration will or will not hit me; it seems to simply arise at the most impromptu moments leaving me in a true tizzy as I scramble for the closest writing utensil before all vision vacates my brain, oftentimes not to be seen again for a handful of days. I cannot even begin to tell you how many wondrous ideas I’ve lost over the years for the sheer fact of poor planning, or having been motivated in the middle of the night while half-asleep, or in the midst of a luxurious bath. Thus the reason I adore the idea of Aqua Notes – a notepad that is completely waterproof! Suction cups hold the tablet in place upon the shower stall wall, while water-resistant paper allows beads of H2O to easily ball up and slide off the environmentally-friendly parchment leaving your scribbles intact. Forget writing notes at your desk; scribbles from the shower are far more fun!

Welcome Home Dolls the last week has seen me through many moments of being short of breath, and, at times, completely overwhelmed with the feeling that the room was spinning. No, I am not suffering from panic attacks, nor am I reeling from the beginning stages of puppy love; rather I have become, in the words of Santigold, Starstruck. Contrary to what may be running through your mind at this very moment, darlings, the object of my affection, I’ll have you know, is not of the celebrity variety; instead my admiration can be attributed solely to the new creations proffered by Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow 1960 Collection.

As an avid fancier of all things that fall into the category of frippery, with the ability to sniff out pretty baubles in a fashion synonymous with that of a bloodhound uncovering contraband at the airport, it is very rare for me to become fully and completely hypnotized by a singular line; yet I suppose there is a first time for everything, for that is exactly what has happened in this particular case. The Key Cocktail Ring which presents a design reminiscent of the Tiffany Key Pendant Necklaces leaves me breathless; the necklaces and rings displaying abalone shell inlays are gasp-inducing; and the juxtaposition between glamour and grunge showcased via the chain and leather pretties are spellbinding. Be honest kittens, can you imagine being welcomed home by anything more stunning than a House of Harlow 1960 original?

1, 2, Cha, Cha, Cha! I truly wish that I had the ability, the sheer willpower to prevent myself from falling in love with a new form of handbag on an almost daily basis. Sadly, I do not; a fact which I have simply come to accept as a kitschy quirk in which I will be forced to suffer from for all of eternity. But I digress; I suppose there are far worse ailments to find oneself plagued with, and given the fact that a handbag is a special circumstance, an extension of one’s personality, I see nothing wrong with simply embracing it. Hence the reason why I am allowing myself to go completely gaga over Cha Cha.

I’m not going to feed you mistruths my loves; in fact, I have absolutely no qualms about admitting that my infatuation with Cha Cha Handbags began simply by hearing their moniker, a title which makes me want to get up and dance. Upon further inspection, however, I fell in love with their wares. The array of covetable aesthetics and colors paired with whimsical titles such as Patience and Sweet Affair lured me in within moments, and has refused to allow me to escape from its clutches ever since. At present I feel a strong connection to the multifaceted design of the Stella 3-in-1 Leather Shopper, and the playfulness of the Cinnamon Hearts Clutch – two pieces simply screaming to take up residence in my handbag collection. What about you…ready to Cha Cha, kitty cats?

What were you smitten with this week?

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to We ♥ It and MAMA’S A ROLLING STONE for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Girl in Pearls Giveaway for your chance to win a freshwater pearl necklace from premiere Pittsburgh Jeweler Louis Anthony.


Girl in Pearls Giveaway

Darlings if we learned anything, anything at all, from Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s it is that all girls should be in possession of two very important things: a little black dress that drapes decadently over her form, and a singular strand of pearls to clasp around the nape of her neck – two timeless, sophisticated necessities that one is simply powerless without. By now I imagine many of you are already armed with the former; now, however, you have the chance to claim the latter as your very own.

You’ve surmised correctly, kitty cats! Café Fashionista has teamed up with Louis Anthony, a premiere Pittsburgh Jeweler, to bring one (1) of you fortunate femme fatales a pearl necklace valued at approximately $300.00. A bedazzling bauble made up of 9.5mm freshwater pearls hanging 18-inches in length, and adorned with a 14k gold French hook-style clasp destined to sprinkle your style with a chic touch of classic appeal.

To Enter the Girl in Pearls Giveaway:

For one (1) entry, leave a comment on this post between now and Thursday, January 28, 2010 at midnight PST.

For two (2) entries, Twitter about this giveaway, and leave a comment on this post between now and Thursday, January 28, 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 between now and Thursday, January 28, 2010 at midnight PST (if you are already a Café Fashionista follower, please say so in your comment).

I will randomly pick one (1) name out of a hat (who knows, it could be yours!), and announce the winner on Friday, January 29, 2010.

Good luck everyone!

This Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents!

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to Pittsburgh Jeweler for the picture.

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

links a la mode

The Heavyweights

Edited by Dramatis Personae

Fashion’s getting heavier– and I’m not just talking about the rise of supermodels like Crystal Renn. This week we’ve got meaty posts covering ethical topics like the sustainability of bamboo at Awakened Aesthetic while Bonne-Vie covers the the implications of buying items made in China. We’ve got not 1–not 2, but 3 AMAZING Interviews this week at Alice in Stilettos, kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS, and White Rabbit. Even Gala Darling’s post on her 2010 Style Direction could serve as a paperweight, it’s so chock full of inspiring images, details, and notations.

As usual, there’s a fabulous collection of links in the forums for your continued reading pleasure!

Links à la Mode: January 21st

  • Alice in Stilettos: – Interviewed brilliant 18 year old designer, Nathan Gerard!

  • Awakened Aesthetic: – How Green is Your Bamboo?

  • Bonne Vie: – At Bonne Vie, we talked about the impact of conscious spending on your wardrobe (and one girl’s journey to not buy “Made In China”)

  • Cafe Fashionista: – Style Secrets: Stormy Sophistication. A comprehensive guide for the girl who wants to remain fashionable even in the midst of a monsoon!

  • DailyDivaDish: – Vintage Broaches: 8 Unique ways to wear these treasures & more — includes many pics of different broaches & a DIY idea for reusing those with broken clasps.

  • dramatis personae: – Following Your Instincts…When Meeting New People, When Shopping, When at Work, and When in Love

  • Fashion Pulse Daily: – Ponders the significance of the C. Finley Wallpapered Dumpster Project

  • For Those About to Shop: – nternational runway sensation Stacey McKenzie inspires aspiring models to be themselves.

  • Gala Darling: – 2010 Style Direction: Psychadelic Ladies Who Lunch

  • girl friday : – DIY Ribbon Necklace & Bracelet. tutoirial on how to make your own ribbon necklace.

  • hello beauty! – In my post on Hello Beauty, I wrote about the new Bobbi Brown campaign. She’s using friends – not models.

  • Idee Fixe: – Fashion and the arts charities supporting Haitian Relief on Idee Fixe

  • In Life & In Fashion: – Make a “Most Coveted List” to avoid silly impulse spending! Includes tip on how to create your own list and what is currently on mine!

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: – How to Create Your Media Kit

  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – My exclusive interview with Inbar Spector, an Israeli London-based designer whose renowned avant garde Bjork-inspired designs have been worn by celebrities such as Rihanna.

  • Model Max: – A special report on the history of male modeling – from the 1980s to the present time, with short profiles of selected male models who remain successful even after modeling.

  • Oranges and Apples: – Top tips for organising your wardrobe

  • Retro Chick – The 4 things I’ve always wanted but never owned

  • THE COVETED – Marion Cotillard and Franz Ferdinand team up for Dior

  • the fashionate traveller: – the rock/burlesque/voodoo vibe that is alternative Sydney label Baroque & Roll.

  • White Rabbit: – Introducing Sorcha Gillet, the Irish born textile designer and blogger.

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