Racked.com has an interesting update on the Christian Siriano for Payless line ... the shoes in these photos definitely look more wearable than the preview we'd seen months ago. Looks like that was definitely just high drama for the runways.
...I finally went and saw it for myself last night ... and while it was new and shiny and pretty, I walked out empty handed.
Because if I want to pay $140 for a dress, I'll go to J. Crew, or Anthropologie... where they are beautifully made, fit beautifully, and last years. If I want uber trendy pieces that I'm not even sure I'll still be able to wear next year, I'll go to H&M and pay about half of what TopShop is charging.
The quality of the pieces didn't even seem like it was really that great for the price, which you know to a recessionista like myself is a must, esp. if you're going to fork over more moolah for it.
Banana Republic was in my inbox this morning offering what they think are the perfect summer pants-- a recipe that includes lightweight fabrics, tie waists, and wide legs.
(Image courtesy of Banana Republic)
There's a tiny glimmer of hope for redeeming Port Authority in my mind ... aside from the Jamba Juice, there is nothing really good about that pile o' bricks, let's be honest.
Now, Refinery 29 is putting a stop to that with a month-long pop-up shop there called 'Save Fashion' -- it'll have designer duds at 50% off from May 1-28, with new designers and new merch arriving each week.
This has happened to me before --- I would purchase what I thought was going to be a cool summer dress, only to feel later like I'm dying of heat exhaustion every time I wear it.
A shocker? Check the label ... if it's made of polyester or some other "mystery fabric," you're probably going to feel less than fresh after 8 hours of wearing it (or, if you are like me, 10 minutes after you leave the house in it). Duh, no?
I definitely think twice now-- even if it feels like a steal-- and check the label before buying ... I am about 10 times more likely to buy something if it's made out of cotton or some jersey cotton material ... it feels infinitely better during an NYC summer. And you know what, even if you have to fork over slightly more cash for cotton styles, it will probably pay for itself in the comfort & quality factor, and will no doubt last longer.
Anyway, I literally just googled TheFabricOfOurLives.com a few minutes ago for shits 'n' giggles, and it's actually a pretty cool web site. Their Fashion File section is loaded with cotton fashion trends (including Spring 2009), tips to transition your wardrobe, links to online sample sales, etc.
They've even got information on cotton bridal gowns for crying out loud ... and they're gorgeous. Who knew?
...I'm on the boardwalk in Venice Beach for all of 10 minutes late last week, and this is the first exchange I have with the locals-- in this case a crazy old man. How does one answer this question? -- Except to say, "Everyday, Sir... every single day."
We (meaning me and my coworker, Mark) continued along, where a hobo yelled to him, "Hey, Depeche Mode called, he wants his mullet back!" This hobo, FYI, had his cigarette in his poor dog's mouth. Me thinks that wasn't the first time, either. I wish one of our agents could have witnessed that & arrested him right then and there.
PS-- Mark doesn't technically even have a mullet, rather a spiky, rock 'n' roll type haircut :)
Walked a little further, and another scary gentleman, this one holding a kitten in his hands, asked us if we would "touch his p***y." Lovely.
Let's see, there was also the hobo dressed like Santa Claus, whom we affectionately referred to as 'Hobo Santa' all week, the man on stilts dressed like a tree, the man in the animal print loin cloth with snakes around his neck and a stick in his hand, yelling from atop a stool, the man dressed like Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, complete with fake machete covered in fake blood, the beefcake who would hang around Muscle Beach all day in his American flag speedo, and let's not forget the man who would wake us up by playing a didgeridoo right outside our hotel every morning.
And when I had my ASPCA t-shirt on, it was, "can you adopt me?" and "do you have any dog food?"
I shouldn't complain too much about all the crazies we encountered-- we had really great weather, I had avocado on top of like everything haha, and about 300 people came out for our Wag-n-Walk dog walk and festival on Saturday.
I was even able to do a little shopping while I was out there ... mainly an adorable fedora hat (from Bailey of Hollywood, est. 1922) for the sun... puppy not included...
...and a gold-dipped evergreen leaf pendant for $10 on the boardwalk... the picture doesn't even do it justice. I'm going to put it on a really long chain I think.
I can also highly recommend Virgin America airlines ... you walk on, and there's mood lighting and music pumping -- it's like a swank club! And the food is actually really yummy... and you can order right by swiping your card @ your seat, and they bring it right to you! It also didn't hurt that I was able to watch Sleepless in Seattle on my TV on the trip home.
Right now, I am loving this warmer weather ... hello, dresses and sandals! I hope it's here to stay.
There's a great scene the SATC movie when Samantha flies to NYC for Fashion Week, gets red paint dumped on her white fur coat by PETA, and says triumphantly, "God, I missed New York!"
(Image courtesy of FabSugar)
... well, I felt that exact sentiment last night when I found myself caught right smack in the middle of blaring, noisy, obnoxious city traffic leaving JFK airport last night-- almost immediately after coming home from Los Angeles.
Full recap of my West Coast excursion later ...
JCPenney has been running all of these ads lately (which I am guessing are part of their recent re-branding effort) about how they have even greater style to offer at affordable prices, so I wanted to do some digging around on their web site and see what's what.
To be honest, I have not been inside a JCPenney in years-- they are renovating the location here in NYC @ the Manhattan Mall, and to be honest I haven't thought of JCPenney as a "style destination" since I was in Jr. high and that's where my mom would drag me. I bet since the emergence of places like Target, JCPenney has wanted to remind people of the fact that they, too, have style & quality at affordable prices... let's see if that's true.
1) American Living --- I would consider this to be like their idea of Tommy Hilfiger ... an all-American style for that perfect preppy look.
Case in point: this ruffled blouse ... just a gorgeous classic look.
2) Nicole Miller --- A lot of these vibrant prints remind me of Anthropologie... particularly this boatneck dress in a beautiful pattern with shades of pink and chocolate brown.
3) I Heart Ronson --- this probably represented the start of JCPenney doing things differently-- bringing in a hip, young designer collab like this. I absolutely love this cami -- I could live in this over the summer.
4) Allen B --- I don't know where the heck this label came from ... I have never even heard of it before ... but some of the pieces are really cute. I especially like the simplicity of this flutter sleeve dress in this purple-ish blue.
5) Lastly, you know how much I like statement necklaces ... well, this bollywood-esque necklace would make quite a statement.
All in all, there are definitely some good finds @ JCPenney... I will definitely be interested in taking a look in-person when the NYC location re-opens.
(All images courtesy of JCPenney)
Refinery 29's rumor mill is a-churning', and if it turns out to be true, we may see Missoni @ H&M someday. Now wouldn't that be nice.
Gap, Inc. has added a new brand to its family -- Athleta, which is being billed as "feminine, performace-driven apparel."
You can shop by sport, they've got swimwear, footwear, bras & undies, and even a collection of skirts & dresses.
At first glance it seems a little pricey for me, but perhaps they are trying to compete with the high style, high quality athletic apparel from places like Outdoor Divas, Title Nine, and Lululemon Athletica.
What do you think of Athleta?
A coworker and I were just talking about how much we dread swimsuit season, but also how much we love those retro swimsuits that are coming back in style...you know, those 1950s one-pieces that look really sexy but still hide all your "indiscretions" haha ...
Anyways, I think I may have stumbled upon a wallet-friendly version of the great swimsuit that Miranda wears poolside in Mexico in the Sex and the City movie-- you remember this one, right? It was right when the unfortunate "grooming" discussion took place lol.
(Image courtesy of Norma Kamali)
... as you can see, it's a gorgeous red Norma Kamali which retails for $350.
Anyways, I discovered through some online digging that Esther Williams, the legendary swimmer and movie star, actually has an awesome swimwear line aptly named Esther Williams Swimwear.
One of the styles they offer looks incredibly similar, and it's only $65.
(Image courtesy of RetroDress.com)
Plus, it comes in an animal print, a real cute floral, solids like chocolate brown, polka dots, retro cherries, and of course that classic solid red. They're even using her swimsuits in the Broadway version of South Pacific that's playing right now.
I may need to order one of these!
Fashion site Refinery 29 is talking about how everyone was finally breaking out their spring duds in NYC this weekend since the weather was so nice, so I figured I would try and hunt down wallet-friendly versions of some of the trends that were spotted.
Where can you find some shredded denim? The Vintage Slim Jean from J. Crew has a worn-in wash that's perfect for that ripped look without overdoing it too much. And they're less than $100.
(Image courtesy of J. Crew)
How about those little boots everyone's still wearing with cardigans and dresses on those cooler days? I think if you're going to wear a boot during springtime, or even summer, than a motorcycle boot or a western boot like this pair from Delia's would be a great choice to give it that bohemian vibe.
(Image courtesy of Delia's)
If you're looking for cropped pants, there's no shortage of styles out there to choose from. But, keep in mind the silhouette it's going to create -- I know personally that a roll-up cargo style like this pair from Old Navy (for $30) isn't the best choice for my hourglass frame, because it adds extra bulk I'd prefer not to have on my bottom half. However if you are just top heavy, then it may just help to balance everything out!
(Image courtesy of Old Navy)
If you'd rather go for a longer, leaner look on bottom, than a cigarette pant like this pair from Banana Republic will create a nice slimming line. That coal shade is quite a nice change from black, too, and they're on sale right now for $45.
(Image courtesy of Banana Republic)
Floral dresses are just all over the place right now, and I think it's the mini-floral patterns that are really making a big splash. The key is to not make the overall look feel to "little girl" -- especially if you've got a womanly figure. It's a tad pricey for my usual budget but I could completely make excuses to splurge the $168 for the Confetti Whirl Dress from Anthropologie.
(Image courtesy of Anthropologie)
I love blazers over tanks and all, but I think a neat twist on that trend is this long blazer-vest hybrid from Express. For $88 you could layer this over a lot of different things -- dresses and maxi-dresses, tank tops, t-shirts, blouses, etc. A very versatile piece to have.
(Image courtesy of Express)
Y'all already know that I love to bargain shop, that I aspire to have that perfect preppy-bohemian style, and that I live in NYC, but there isn't much else you really know about me. Alas, in an effort to start getting a little more personal on this blog (after all, shopping is just one part of life haha), I thought I'd do one of those corny-but-informative surveys for you.
And away we go with 40 questions ...
Nope ... My mom actually had the name "David" picked out until the day I was born ... no joke. She was convinced that I was going to be a boy, seeing as she already had her girl in the form of my older sister, Elena. When I was born, she asked the doctor to look again, because she had ordered a boy. The doctor laughed it off and plopped me down in my mom's arms. I am pretty sure I had no name for a few days. Then, our next door neighbor's daughter (of all the random people in the world) suggested Alison.
2. When was the last time you cried?
Thursday night. I had gone up to White Plains on the train to see my dad in the hospital. Long story short, he had cancer, which was detected very early and was removed, and his doctor even told him they caught it so early that he wouldn't need radiation treatment ... which is really just the best way this horrible situation could have gone. Anyway, when I stepped off the subway later that evening and was walking across a footbridge to my boyfriend's car, I looked to my left and saw the beautiful skyline of the city at sunset, and it just seemed like I had just been in a different world for the last 4 hours, and there the city was, still moving so fast like it hadn't even skipped a beat. I just felt so overwhelmed, and relieved, that I couldn't hold back the tears any longer (I'd been holding them in since the hospital).
3. Do you like your handwriting?
Honestly, I don't hate it, but it's really loopy and bubbly. Also, I am a lefty, and you cannot help smudging the ink with your hand, which has always frustrated me. My sister, now she's got great handwriting. Must be a teacher thing.
4. What is your favorite lunch meat?
Honey Maple Turkey.
5. Do you have kids?
Nope ... but I have two nieces to spoil. There's Lydia, who is 6, and Abigail, who is going to be 2 next month. They are completely adorable and exhausting! ... I honestly don't know how my sister and her husband do it.
6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
I really feel like I would be!
7. Do you use sarcasm?
Who doesn't? Sarcasm is awesome.
8. Do you still have your tonsils?
9. Would you bungee jump?
I would probably chicken out to be honest. ... but I did do the Daredevil Dive at Six Flags Great Adventure, though. Once. That was enough.
10. What is your favorite cereal?
Honestly, it changes from time to time. Sometimes I find myself in a Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds mood ... and then on other days, it's Lucky Charms.
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Depends on what kind of a rush I am in... usually I just pull them right off.
13. What is your favorite ice cream?
If I weren't lactose intolerant, it would be a close tie between Haagen Dazs Coffee and Ben & Jerry's Cookie Mint. But, usually I have to stick to Lemon Ice ... which I love as well, so long as it's from these guys. I could also eat pretty much every single flavor of these sorbets.
14. What is the first thing you usually notice about people?
Smile, eyes, hands. Then usually what they're wearing (I love clothes and fashion, come on!).
15. Red or Pink?
I have to say, on account of my really pale skin, I have never been drawn to red or pink, especially with clothes. I usually gravitate more towards blue and green.
16. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
That sometimes I focus more on what other people think of me than what I think of myself.
17. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?
I am still in my robe -- it's Saturday morning.
18. What are you listening to right now?
The Food Network is on in the background and there's a city bus rolling by, and planes landing at Laguardia. Oh and the guy who lives upstairs from us, who has tourette's syndrome, is screaming "WHOOO!" over and over again. Just your typical Saturday morning in Jackson Heights.
19. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Cerulean. I like the color AND the name. Cerulean .... sounds so fancy. Reminds me of the scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda goes on that diatribe about the Cerulean belt.
20. Favorite smells?
The cupcakes and icing at Magnolia Bakery, lemons, limes, apples, pears, oranges (are you sensing a fruit theme here?), library books, Kevin's face after he shaves, coffee, autumn air, my niece's head after she's had a bath.
21. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My dad. He was attempting to sit comfortably & watch the Mets game on TV last night after the aforementioned surgery, and was calling us to see where our seats were.
22. Favorite sports to watch?
Baseball, no question. Particularly Mets baseball.
23. Hair color?
Reddish Brown. Going for a trim & color on Monday, now that my hairdresser is back from vacation. I have desperately missed her these last two weeks.
24. Eye color?
Hazel. They're actually green if you look closely, but there's a ring of brown around my pupils. I find this very strange.
25. Do you wear contacts?
Nope, glasses. I actually sort of have an obsession with glasses -- I consider them one of the greatest fashion accessories. Currently, I am sporting a green horn-rimmed pair from Francois Pinton, but I am thinking my next pair may be from Oliver Peoples.
26. Favorite food?
This is a topic I could go on and on about. I love both eating at restaurants AND cooking equally. One of the most simple and best foods in my opinion is a great Bruschetta. But one of the dinners I prepare @ home which I really love consists of simple, old school fried up chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, and garlicy green beans. I also equally love Italian and Puerto Rican food.
27. Scary movies or happy endings?
Definitely happy endings.
28. Last movie you watched?
The Sex and the City Movie. When I was home from work recovering from having all four wisdom teeth pulled a few weeks ago, I was in desperate need of entertainment. Even on Vicodin it was a fantastic movie.
29. What color shirt are you wearing?
Still in my robe.
30. Summer or Winter?
Fall! I love that magical time from September right through December ... hands down the best time of year.
31. Hugs or Kisses?
32. What book are you reading now?
Sadly I am not reading any right now. I am patiently waiting for Mary Kay Andrews' next book to come out in June, though. If you have never read any of her books, they are great -- all set in Savannah, Ga. where she is from, and her characters are just great.
33. What is on your mouse pad?
Don't have one.
34. What did you watch on TV last night?
Didn't watch any TV ... had Field Level seats at the Mets game! Unless you count the game highlights we watched on SNY when we got home.
35. Favorite sounds?
Tough question for me to answer ... but when I lived on the Upper East Side, the constant sound of the cars driving up 3rd Ave. past my apartment was relaxing for some reason. The ambulances flying by on their way to Mt. Sinai on the other hand, was not so relaxing.
36. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Please ... the Beatles.
37. What is the farthest you have been from home?
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. My mom wins these awesome trips from work when she makes her sales numbers, and my dad is petrified of flying. Not only is it the farthest I have traveled, it's the most beautiful place I think I've been so far.
38. Do you have a special talent?
My memory is pretty darn sharp. I remember EVERYTHING -- lines from movies and TV shows, books, song lyrics, phone numbers, dates, entire setlists of concerts I've been to, etc.
39. Where were you born?
Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park, NY. Whenever I tell someone this, they ask if I am Jewish, which I am ironically not. It's just the name of the hospital.
40. How did you meet your spouse/ significant other?
40. How did you meet your spouse/ significant other?
My boyfriend Kevin and I met through work. He's a Graphic Designer for a Minor League Baseball team here in NYC, and I was handling their PR. We had to work together on the ads for the team -- I would write the copy and then he would design the ad.... and the rest, as they say, is history.