Category Archives: fashion / vanity

What a Deal

Every once in a while I impress even myself with my shopping skills. Behold my latest scores:


Bag / Boots

This would be my second pair of those boots; I wore the first pair for three seasons until the soles were flapping off and the heel was ground down to oblivion. At $150, I made sure I got my money’s worth. I needed a new pair for the upcoming fall (FALL. IT’S ALMOST FALL!) but was hoping they would go on sale. My prayers were answered when a friend at work passed along a 20% off + free shipping coupon, bringing the cost down from $149.95 to $119. But it doesn’t end there, because I used Ebates and got an extra $6 back. Price: $113. Savings: $37.

Having carried a Longchamp Le Pliage tote that my mom bought me for a few months now, I finally understood what all the fuss was about. They’re lightweight, can hold a ton, and go with everything. Mine is brown, and I’d been eyeing one in black. The Les Planetes version is made with a slightly thicker nylon, and unlike the Pliage line, the handles are black. I wouldn’t say I needed another bag, but I did like it and I really wanted it, but was deterred at $160. Luckily, Bloomingdale’s was having a Loyalist sale last week, meaning I got $25 off + free shipping. Yadda yadda yadda, I used Ebates, got an extra $8 back, and the previously $160 bag clocked in at $127. Savings: $33. I win.

Also, and I mean it, I’m done shopping for a while. These two purchases were the only things on my fall (NO BUT SERIOUSLY, IT’S ALMOST FALL) wishlist along with this trench coat, so I’m set!

September 17, 2013 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 17

Fashion Week Favorites



Michael Kors



J. Crew




I’m not one of those people who religiously follows “the shows” every season; mostly my wardrobe consists of black, gray, and navy basics with the occasional scarf, if I’m feeling wild. So it’s no surprise my favorites from the Spring 2014 Fashion Week in New York are mostly within my wheelhouse. Michael Kors’s collection was so spectacular this year: some masculine suiting pieces, tailored pants, lots of tie-neck tops. The looks all seem as though they stepped out of a 1940s London library. I’m in love. I’m anxiously awaiting that “Oui, mon cheri” top from J. Crew to make its way into stores, but the real heart-stealer for me this year absolutely had to be Tocca. I would wear any of the pieces in Emma Fletcher’s collection in a millisecond; that all-black suit number is perfection.

Have a good weekend, kiddos! What are you up to? I’m hopefully painting the living room tomorrow, but I’ve been saying that for months.

September 13, 2013 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 9

The World According to Karl




Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel, sunglass-wearer, and all around fabulous enigma, has a lot to say about a lot of things. On sweatpants: “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.” On Andy Warhol: “I shouldn’t say this, but physically he was quite repulsive.” These bite sized snippets of wisdom are known affectionately as “Karlisms,” and there’s a whole page of them on his website. The above are just a few of my (kinder) favorites.

Because we all need some sassy advice from someone infinitely chicer and judgy-er than us: there’s a book coming out this month of Karl’s greatest hits, appropriately titled, “The World According to Karl.” While he wasn’t involved in the book, he apparently approves.

In case you can’t wait for the release date, might I point you in the direction of this achingly funny faux-Karl blog: Karl Lagerfeld’s Guide to Life, written in a convincingly accurate tone:

I like to spend mornings in bed with a dictionary, of which I cut out all the ugly words with a small golden guillotine I have named Jean Rameu (pronounced John, of course). John Rameu and I do enjoy cutting out such words as “moist” and “spit” and “phlegm” and so on- I think of it as a kind of act of beauty for the world. If one eradicates ugly words, how can one express ugliness?…When I am done I will release the dictionary into the wild and perhaps the tongues of everybody will turn silver. It’s linguistic eugenics, really.

(While I love the Karl Lagerfeld character, I will never support or buy Chanel, since Coco herself was a Nazi sympathizer and documented anti-semite)

September 12, 2013 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 23

Turtleneck Weather


Peter Lindbergh for the Pirelli Calendar 2014

Let the record reflect that today, September 9th, I wore my first turtleneck of the season. Granted, it’s a short sleeved sweater, but it still counts. It was a chilly 60 this morning, going up to 75. I need it to dip another 10-15 degrees so I can bust out the rest of my impressive stack of turtlenecks. I look as good in them as these fine ladies do, obviously.

PS. Thank you all for the kind words on this post. They mean more to me than you know. I love you guys.

September 9, 2013 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 9

Pure Collection

pure1 pure2 pure3

You would think I’d be safe from the shopping bug while reading the Sunday NYTimes, considering it’s purely an intellectual pursuit, and you’d be right…until it comes to T Magazine or the small clothing catalogues they sometimes include, folded in with the rest of the sections. This weekend’s catalogue insert introduced me to Pure Collection, a UK clothing company specializing in cashmere tops and sweaters and even dresses. How did I live before without a cashmere boyfriend sweater? A raw silk dress? Aren’t these photos from their lookbook just stunning? They feel like Grown Up Clothes. I’m holding off on buying everything (heather gray cashmere, why are you so pretty?) because I have yet to go a month without spending money, per my 26 in 26. But you are under no such restrictions! Shop! Shop away! And if you shop through Ebates, you’ll get an extra 5% cash back!

September 3, 2013 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 7

The Perfect Trench

Is it fall yet? Is it fall yet? Is it fall yeeeetttt? Come on, fall! I am looking forward to sleeping with the window open, chilly weather, crunchy leaves, scarves, boots, apple picking, and eventually winter. And now, I’m even more excited because I’ve finally found the perfect trench coat:


I bought a trench coat at Target last May for our trip to Belgium in a pinch of last-minute packing anxiety, and it filled its role fine. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it worked. I should have splurged and spent extra to get one that was waterproof and had a hood, though, and as a result I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for one that fit all of my criteria. It’s worth spending a little more to get a good investment piece that I’ll have for a few years versus one season. So when I saw this Calvin Kelin trench at Nordstrom a few weeks ago, I bought it immediately (after texting my mom for validation; she wrote back in all caps, “DO IT”). Waterproof, removable hood, zip-out fleece lining, mid-thigh length, and the perfect khaki color. I’m really picky, I admit, and this one is about 3x the price of the Target one, but it ticked all the boxes.

Now I just need the weather to dip about 25 degrees and we’ll be all set.

August 23, 2013 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 18

Fall/Winter Basics



Sweater / Scarf / Boots
Sweater / Scarf / Boots
Sweater / ScarfBoots

In case you were curious: yes, I’m still on my winter kick. I cannot wait for boot season (even snow boot season!). Here are three sets of basics to get you through October to January in style. I had a pair of those cognac leather boots for three years before I finally wore them to death. It goes without saying that I’ll be purchasing another pair this fall. And if you live in the northeast like me and need good snow/rain boots, I cannot recommend those duck boots in the middle highly enough. I had to break them out yesterday during a torrential downpour, and I forgot how much I loved them since last winter. What are your winter staples?

August 14, 2013 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 28


One day, not that long ago, I went into Dunkin Donuts after having the biggest donut craving possible. I asked for a strawberry frosted donut, and as the man was bagging it up, I said, “…and maybe a powdered jelly, too.” You know, for later. And as he added that to the bag, I realized I was going to have to wait for the bus and thought it would be prudent to have a snack in case the bus took forever and I got hungry, so I said, “And can I have an extra strawberry frosted, too?” I paid for them with my head hung in shame and proceeded with my three donuts to the bus stop, where I ate one of the two strawberry frosted, and then exhausted every ounce of willpower I had on the bus ride home, repeating,”Don’t eat the other two right now, don’t eat the other two right now.” I succeeded! …And then I walked in the door of my house and inhaled the remaining two donuts. You know, just a simple 900 calorie snack.

My point is that I love donuts more than I should. So when I saw this new Kate Spade line my eyes popped out of my head and my stomach growled audibly. Turns out, there are a lot of donut-themed goodies out there. Because I wasn’t tempted enough already.


1. Sweatshirt / 2. Cushion / 3. Watch / 4. Earrings / 5. Headphones / 6. Coin Purse / 7. Flask / 8. Flats / 9. Inflatable Pool Tube

August 12, 2013 / fashion / vanity / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 24

Two of a Kind

It has been entirely too long since I did one of these (6 months, in fact. yikes!) and my friend Aisling asked specifically, so I couldn’t very well let her down.


1. Rug / 2. Mug / 3. Skirt / 4. Umbrella

Have you guys heard of Kate Spade’s new brand Saturday? That’s where both the mug and skirt came from for this set. They have some of the cutest, funkiest stuff over there. Scarves, notebooks, customizable weekend bags. Patterns galore, which aren’t necessarily my cup of tea (or multi-colored striped mug, in this case), but still totally works for the purposes of this Two of a Kind. See more here.

PS. Have you entered the Shabby Apple giveaway yet?? You only have until midnight tonight to leave a comment on THIS POST to be eligible to win a $50 gift certificate!

July 18, 2013 / fashion / vanity / home design / Two of a Kind / LEAVE A COMMENT / 14

Wedding Dress

If you know me at all, you know I love a good bargain. Also that I’m insane. So it should be no shock to you when I tell you I already bought my wedding dress (…um, before we were engaged) and for under $150.

Allow me to explain. You see, I’d lusted after a specific J.Crew bridesmaid dress for years. Probably close to five, but since I wasn’t close to having a need for a wedding dress, it didn’t make sense to buy it. The dress, the since-discontinued Evie in silk chiffon, was a floor-length beauty, in a pale gray, and was so simple and elegant that it actually brought tears to my eyes every time I looked at it. Which was frequently, since I was (rightfully) panicked about it being discontinued or selling out before I’d ever have a chance to need it. I mean, LOOK AT IT:

jcrew evie

I just can’t even.

So at the end of last summer, on one of my many checks to see if Evie was still on sale in all of her wonderful, flow-y chiffon goodness, I discovered that all that anxiety I’d had about it being discontinued was actually valid and J.Crew had marked it down to get rid of it. It was originally $350, but had been marked down to $249.99, final sale. A small price to pay for perfection. But could I really buy my future wedding dress before I was engaged?

My friends Christine and Maurin, who will forever be my scapegoats when someone invariably tells me I’m crazy for buying a wedding dress before I had a ring (which, duh, I’m aware of my own insanity enough to know), told me to just buy it. Lauren said to buy it. So I bought it. It wasn’t even technically a wedding dress, so I wasn’t breaking any rules. I figured I’d hide it in a dress bag at the back of my closet and never tell Jamal about it, because nothing makes a man want to propose faster than having his girlfriend of two years tell him, “I already have the dress, LET’S DO THIS.”

The day it arrived I got an email from J.Crew announcing a 40% off sale, including already reduced items. After doing the math and realizing if I’d waited a few days I could’ve saved an extra $105, I bitched to Maurin who, god bless her, told me most every store will honor a price reduction on previously purchased merchandise up to 7-14 days. She said I should call and ask them to give me back the additional 40% off. I did. They gave it to me. Which meant my $350 dress ended up costing me $144. I am so proud of myself.

I haven’t tried it on yet because I thought it would be bad luck to do so before we got engaged (even I have limits!). I sized-up when I ordered, opting for a 4, since the dress was final sale and I figured it would be easier to have it taken in than magically create extra fabric if the 2 was too small. I have a year before I have to worry about tailoring, though. I also have a beautiful J.Crew gray silk belt with pale pink, cream, and gray chiffon flowers on it that I’m planning on wearing.

I am in love. Man? Check. Venue? Check. Dress? Check. (But not in that order or anything.)

PS. Have you entered the Shabby Apple Giveaway yet? $50 gift card to the winner! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

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July 15, 2013 / fashion / vanity / wedding / LEAVE A COMMENT / 37