Caped Crusader

I realize it is August, and that putting on a coat is about the last thing anyone wants to do right now. However, I've been searching for my dream fall wardrobe for about a month, and I've decided that one of my fall must-haves is a cape. And before you think I've gone all crazy, I don't mean a super hero cape. What I'm looking for is a tailored, sharp, stylish cape. I've searched the web high and low, and I've found quite a few capes that meet my requirements, style-wise, even though a lot of the capes I have found have been way out of my college student budget.

This contrast trim cape, $135 at Asos, is the most budget friendly of this bunch. Camel is a huge color trend for this fall, and is such a classic hue.  This version of the cape is basic enough that as capes come in and out of style, you can wear it for years to come. Plus, for those of us that live in a more temperate climate, this may be the only coat you need this winter. I think a fun styling option for this style would be to pair it with elbow length leather gloves.

This ultimate military cape, $190 at Topshop, shows off two Fall trends as well. This military style cape is a great option if you want a little adornment on your cape. The buttons on the shoulders add a really fun touch, and classic black is always a great outerwear choice.


This plaid hooded wool cape $800 by Rag & Bone, is certainly a splurge, but it is a gorgeous piece that would instantly make even the simplest outfit fabulous. The suede edging on the cape adds an edge, and the hood would be perfect for both bad hair days, and sudden snow sprinkles.



So, am I crazy for loving capes? Will you be wearing a cape this fall?

The Life Aquatic

I recently read this article in the New York Times, which is about these insane aquariums people have in their homes. These "water gardens" are far from the standard fishbowl. Colorless fish are specially bred for the tanks so the lights inside the tank can make the fish appear any color. The tanks are suspended, huge, and become the design focus of a home. Click over to the article to see more pictures, but here is my personal favorite (And if you want one for your house, hope you have $200,000 to burn...or sink).

What do you think about these extravagant aquariums?

2010 Emmys Best Dressed

In case you've been lying under a rock for the last 24 hours, the 2010 Primetime Emmys were last night. To be totally honest, I don't really watch the show for the awards, even though I'm a TV addict. I watch the Emmys (and the Academy Awards, and the Globes, and the Grammys) for the red carpet. Last night, Lauren Graham, Kelly Osbourne, and Brooke Burke took home my awards for Best Dressed. Lauren Graham's unique Yigal Azrouel gown was such a departure from the standard strapless. Brooke Burke was channeling an Old Hollywood starlet, and was perfectly accessorized. I think Kelly Osbourne should win an award for being most improved red carpet. She has certainly come  a long way from her punk-rock look of her youth!
Lauren Graham
(Image from Huffington Post)
Brooke Burke
(Image from Huffington Post) 
Kelly Osbourne
(Image from Emmy.com) 

Was your favorite from last night's show on my list?

Weekending

Summer is quickly drawing to a close, and although I don't have any more weekend adventures planned, I think this neon and white duffel from J. Crew would be the perfect bag to toss in some essentials for a weekend away, and at $37, you won't be pained to not bring it out til next summer, either!


Wardrobe Staple: Khaki Trench Coat

I feel a little hypocritical saying that a khaki trench is a wardrobe must-have, when, in fact, my wardrobe does not currently have this item. However, I have a perfect black waterproof version from Michael Kors, as well as a completely impractical sparkling white trench that has only been worn once. Let's just say I'm a little clumsy, and white isn't always a great idea for me to wear.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand. The khaki trench has always been, to me, a very sophisticated item that can instantly pull together a look. This is truly a season less item in most climates, and it looks just as good paired with a floaty dress for springtime storms as it does with chunky knits and boots in the Fall. In addition to being a staple that works for every age, the trench is available at every price point as well. Here are a few of my top picks of the moment:

The original, of course, would be the Burberry double-breasted trench, $795 at Saks. Originally worn by British military members, this style has obtained a cult following over the years, and it is frequently listed in magazines as an "investment piece." Buy it now, and wear it for the next 30 years- it'll pay itself off!


If you are looking for a more economical take on the trench, this Classic Trench, $88 at the Gap, is a great bet. Obviously, it has taken a great deal of "inspiration" from the Burberry version, and this piece is every bit as classic as the original.


For those of us that live in warmer climates, this Ellen Tracy Hooded Trench, $80 (on sale!) at Nordstrom combines the classic style with a lighter approach. The hood on this version would make it perfect for summer storms that come on quickly, and the proportions are very slimming.

Do you have a khaki trench? Are you a trench fan, or do you prefer a less traditional style of outerwear?

Vested Interest

While perusing Style.com one evening, I came across a slide show of fall fur (both real and faux), and began plotting ways to embrace this trend in warm Arizona. After I saw the photo below, from Derek Lam's show, I decided that the most practical way to sport this trend was in the form of a fur vest, instead of a full coat. I searched the web far and wide, and came up with these three options at every price point.


The Graham Faux Fur vest by BB Dakota, $90, at RevolveClothing.com definitely falls in the category of a style steal. This particular vest is very streamlined and basic, but since a fur vest in and of itself is a pretty major statement, I think the design is spot on, and it is easily a style you will turn to again and again throughout this winter.


The (Minus the Fur) embellished vest from Express, $98 is a glitzy take on the fur vest. Perfect for evening, this cozy number is animal friendly, to boot. I feel like this vest just screams, "Look at me!", but not in a bad way.



If you are looking to splurge on real fur, this Rabbit Fur vest from Michael Kors, $399, is a great investment piece. Impeccably constructed, Kors does not disappoint, and chances are, you will reach for this super soft style again and again.



Which vest is your favorite? Will you be sporting fur this fall?

Because you can't always wear heels

School started back up for me last week at Arizona State University, and I had forgotten how far I have to walk between some of classes. I decided that some new flat shoes were necessary in the name of back to school shopping. I think I'll be picking up the basic Cole Haan Air Nike flats--cute flats with tennis shoe support--definitely has my vote. Although a few of these options are way out of my price range, they certainly are drool-worthy, but most of these options are both comfy and chic, and will take me through to my graduation in December(!).
UntitledFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Spirit Fingers

I think one of the fastest ways to look pulled together and polished is to, well, polish your nails. I usually go for dark colors or reds, but for the fall, I'm determined to mix it up a little in the lacquer department. Glitter polishes are a major polish trend for Fall, so I couldn't have picked a better time to go glam.

This teal glitter, by Deborah Lippmann, called Across the Universe (inspired by Lady Gaga), is certainly not for the faint of heart, but, I'm kind of drawn to it. It would be a great way to infuse color into an otherwise black ensemble. $18.


Look Rich, Be Cheap, by Rescue Beauty Lounge, is a mix of gold and purple glitter, and would be more versatile, as far as with what you could wear it with. Super small glitter pieces and the color make this my favorite of the bunch. $18.


If you're looking for a little sparkle over a color you already have, I'd go with OPI for Sephora's Only Gold for Me topcoat. This formula has chunks of glitter suspended in a clear polish, which lets your color peek through from underneath. I would probably layer this over either a rich burgundy or a jet black. $9.


Would you wear polish that pack this much of a punch?



Lace Lovelies

I've been hunting for the perfect lace blouse all summer, to wear with cutoffs and skirts alike, and have not been able to find the one I have a picture of in my head that is also in my price range. I've been searching the web for quite a while, and these are my top contenders. At this point, it's a little late in the summer for how I had originally planned to style this piece, but now, I picture these tops for fall paired with jeans, boots, and a camel colored blazer.

The Let's Lace it Tunic from ModCloth, $72, is a little more than I'd like to spend, but I love the longer style, and the deep burgundy layer that peeks through the lace. I think that the drapey armholes would be particularly flattering, and i think this could easily be dressed up or down.


This All Lace and Forever top, $53, also from ModCloth, is a decidedly more casual option, but I think the nipped waist would work for a variety of body types, and would look even better with a brown belt over the elastic portion. This blouse could be worn now, and would also seem just as fresh next spring.


Finally, this Antique Georgette Lace top from Forever 21, $23, is a style steal. I think this is a really bohemian style that would be harder to transition to fall than the other two. The ultra sheer material would be perfect for late summer, however. The pintucking on the front placket mixes it up a bit, and is a good way to test the lacy waters without going all lace.


Fake False Lashes

The last time I was in Walgreen's, I saw Maybelline's latest mascara, Volum' Express the Falsies, and had read some great reviews, so I decided to pick it up and give it a test drive. I've tried a lot of drugstore mascaras, and I've never been impressed, to be honest. I regularly use Lancome Hypnose, and I've never used a drugstore brand that produced the same type of results.

Well, I'm not sure I'm totally ready to give up on Hypnose, but Falsies comes awfully close to reproducing the look I want, at a much lower price. It perfectly curled my lashes, the "very black" color was inky, and there were no flakes or smears, even after an entire day's wear, which included a short catnap. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. Available at your local drugstore for around $8, which is pretty tough to beat!

What mascara do you use?

Quote of the Day

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you have made peace with the imperfections."
-Unknown


Loving right now: Gray

I realize that gray is not a color that one typically associates with August. Even though August is one of the hottest months of the year, in Arizona, we're in the midst of monsoon season, which means clouds roll across the desert every afternoon, and sometimes we even get rain! These cloudy days have me longing for more gray items to add to my wardrobe, even if gray is more appropriate for colder weather. Here are a few of my latest gray finds:

In the past, I've really viewed wedges as a Summer shoe, but a lot of designers are coming out with winter booties that have wedge heels. This thrills me, because, let's face it: wedges are infinitely more comfortable than stilettos! I love the chunkiness of these Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent wedges, $375 at Shopbop, and the leather straps paired with the inner sock-like part of the shoe seems so fresh and unique. (I know the description says black, but the inner part looks really gray to me, at least).


I recently learned about the Kai-Aakmann line, and I must say, I'm a huge fan already. Each piece seems so architectural and unique, and the Funnel Neck Oversized Jacket, on sale for $186 at Revolve, does not disappoint. It is such a chic take on a fall staple, and would instantly pull together a look, while still being super-comfortable. I love the collar, which is also removable, if you want a different look. I'd pair this with black skinny jeans, since the jacket is so voluminous.



The Morning After Bag, by Rebecca Minkoff, is available for $595 at Revolve in cloud gray. I have been lusting after this classic style for quite a while now, and this gray color seems so versatile. In this photo, you can't tell, but there is a longer strap so you can also put this bag across your body, or use the handles to carry it. This bag is definitely a splurge, but the leather used in all of RM's bags is buttery soft, and super durable, as well.

What's your favorite gray article of clothing? Do you like any of these?

Tick, tock

Here's a random factoid about me: I adore clocks. Yes, as in time-telling devices. Someday, when I have a big-kid place of my own, I want to have a wall with multiple clocks hanging on it. Does that make me strange? I'd like to look at it as more of a...quirk. Anyways, here are my top three favorite clocks of the moment, from around the web.

I'd love to have this Pendulum Clock, $59, from CB2, hanging in my bedroom- it fits my color scheme perfectly, and I love the crisp, modern feel of it.



The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) store is always a great source of design items, and this Ghost Clock, $160, does not disappoint. It is a modern twist on a classic clock design, and I love the almost creepy look of it.



This itty-bitty Cuckoo Clock, $14, at Urban Outfitters, is too cute to not include. About the size of a note card, this clock has a magnetic back, so you could hang it on your fridge, or anywhere else, too!

Which clock is your favorite? Is my clock wall idea quirky, or just plain weird?

Wardrobe Staple: Little Black Dress

If you've been following along, you may have figured out that I love classic clothing with a little bit of a twist. Well, it doesn't get more classic than a little black dress. This wardrobe staple has taken me from dinners out to weddings to nights out on the town. I certainly don't have a need for any more variations on the LBD in my closet at the moment, but if you don't have one, here are five options under $200 for you to check out.

LBDFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore



(Side note: Have you guys ever used Polyvore? This was my first "set". Do you like this format, or the way I've been doing it previously? Thanks for your input!)


Spill: How many LBDs do you own? Have you ever used Polyvore?

On the Hunt

I was looking through a stack of September issues, and saw these boots, the latest in Pierre Hardy's collaboration with the Gap, and decided to investigate. I found this photo via Refinery29, and that was all it took to establish a new shoe crush. I realize these aren't traditionally "pretty" shoes, but I love the wedge stacked heel, and the combo of suede and leather. There is no information available yet (that I've been able to find) for when the shoes hit stores, but you can bet I'll be on the lookout!


Leggings are NOT pants...But are jeggings?

After the temperatures dip a bit, I feel like I am surrounded by girls on my college campus wearing leggings as pants. I personally cannot stand this look- leggings are fine and good, and I even own a pair or two, that I wear under tunics- but they are not meant to be worn with a t-shirt that ends at the waistband. It is simply not flattering on even the best of bodies.

In addition to my very strong feelings against leggings, I'm very particular when it comes to jeans for myself. I like them dark or black rinse, and skinny. However, recently, I'm finding myself inexplicably attracted to the newest style of denim: jeggings. Part legging, part jean, they are supposed to be the skinniest skinny jean paired with the comfort of leggings. Jury is still out on whether or not I will actually be purchasing a pair for my wardrobe, but I've rounded up my top three picks, at various price points for you to check out. I suggest pairing them with wedges or ankle boots, a simple longer top, and a loose, boyfriend style jacket or cardigan.

The Zelda Jean Legging from Express, $59 (but right now, all denim on their site is buy one, get one half off), is a great option that comes in multiple colors. For not a lot of money, you can test out a trend, and the light color definitely is more casual than a darker hue, which would make it a great pick for day. Although light denim is more unforgiving, it is certainly trendy right now.


In the last year or so, Gap revamped their denim collection to include better-fitting, trendy styles in lots of washes, and all pairs are under $100, which is a plus in a designer-jean world. The Legging Jean in black, $70, is a perfect nighttime option.


I've heard lots of great things about J Brand's 901 Legging, $200. They are supposed to be super flattering, and super comfortable as well. They are definitely a splurge, so I would stick with the "Clocker" shade, which is a dark rinse, which guarantees that they will go from day to night, and you could wear them for many seasons to come.



How do you feel about jeggings, and leggings in general?

Red, White and Blue

I work in a very casual office environment, and I wore this outfit to work last week. This button down has become a favorite staple of mine since I purchased it at Uniqlo last summer in New York. The boyfriend fit is perfect, and the material is great for summertime because it is so lightweight.

(Styling note: if you feel like your shirt's buttons either look too buttoned up, or too low cut, use double stick tape between the buttonholes, and voila! Perfect fit. This also works for gaping between buttons.)

I made these cutoffs out of jeans I have had since high school, and the wedges were a $10 find at H&M.

Whenever I keep my outfit this simple, I always try and dress it up a little with accessories. I wore two leather bracelets and a ring from the Marc Jacobs accessories store and my trusty watch. Later, I also put on a chunky silver necklace that my mom found in her jewelry box.

I'm a huge fan of red lipstick. I feel like it is a great way to play with makeup a little bit, and it is great for days that you don't really feel like putting a ton of makeup on the rest of your face. This particular hue is from Lancome.



What are your favorite basics? Do you have a preferred red lipstick? I'm always on the lookout for new shades!

Quote of the Day

"Eventually all the pieces fall into place....until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason."
-Unknown


Coming up Roses

I've recently noticed that rose gold, the softer, pinker version of yellow gold, is making a comeback, and I'm excited! Although I'm decidedly not a "pink" girl, I do love rose gold- it is hard not to! It is so flattering on most skin tones, and is definitely more unexpected. After I saw a friend wearing a rose gold watch to dinner, I've been searching out more ways to wear this precious metal. I picked out three of my finds to share with you:

First, the watch that inspired this obsession: the Michael Kors Chronograph, $250. I've been eyeing this same watch in both gold and silver for a couple of years, but the rose gold is my current favorite. I'm a fan of oversized watches or men's watches on women, but the tinted gold on this particular style makes it known that this is definitely a girl's watch, just in a man's proportions.


Etsy is always a good source for unique jewelry, and the Don't Forget ribbon ring, $35 is no exception. I vividly remember my grandmother telling me to tie a piece of thread around my finger to remind me to do something important, and this ring would do the same trick, but in a much prettier way.



This rose gold bangle, $135, at Overstock.com, is a delicate piece when worn alone, and would lend a bohemian vibe to an ensemble when paired with other bangles. The diamond cut lends a unique texture to this piece, and sets it apart from many other bangles.


How do you feel about rose gold? Do you own any?

White Hot

Growing up in a desert, I've never really adhered to the traditional rule of only wearing white between Memorial Day and Labor Day. My reasoning is that when it is in the 90s in October, rules shouldn't apply. As much as I'm looking forward to being able to wear Fall clothing, I do love the crispness of a white dress. The bonus: many Summer staples are currently on sale, so you can by a little white dress and wear it for the next month or so, or save it for the springtime, and not feel guilty about making a splurge that won't see outside of your closet for months. A white dress never really goes out of style. Here are three of my picks for little white dresses, all under $50:

First, the Sele ruffle-detailed dress from Dillards, $49. This dress would be perfect for both the office and a date, depending on how you chose to accessorize it. I would pair it with nude pumps and a cardigan for work, and a chunky bracelet and fun shoes for the evening. The cotton fabric will keep you cool, and the waistband will flatter almost any body type.


Next, the Gossamer Waves dress from Anthropologie, on sale from $88 to $49.95. If this dress was in my closet, I think I'd wear it nearly every day. It would be perfectly appropriate for both backyard BBQs and brunches. I love the ruffle detailing, and the smocking makes a subtle statement. I'd pair this with my highest wedges and a metallic clutch.


Finally, the Yumi Pearl Collar Lace Dress from ASOS, at an unbelievably low price of $37. This dress is definitely dressier than the first two, and I think it would be a perfect dress for a romantic date or other dress up event (not a wedding, though!), when paired with strappy metallic sandals and pretty jewelry. It is perfectly feminine, but I could also see this dress transitioning well into winter when toughened up with ankle boots, black tights and a leather jacket.


Do you wear white when its not summertime? Do you have a LWD?

Crunching the Numbers (and letters)

I recently found this desk over at Design*Sponge, and swooned over the whimsical printing. While I actually do not have a desk, I'd love to do this to my bedside table, which is currently black. Dear readers, what would your suggestions be for the paint color? I'm leading towards tan or white- everything in my bedroom is tan, white, black, and red. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Do you like this style, or is it a bit much for you?

Book Review: Classy, by Derek Blasberg

I must admit something: I love a good beach read, and not just for the beach. When a friend asked for a book recommendation for her upcoming trip to Hawaii, I knew instantly the book I would send her way. Classy, by Derek Blasberg, is a snarky, sassy book on how to be a "classy" girl in a modern age. It humorously tackles topics that range from how to travel in style, to how to be a courteous dinner guest, to how best to handle communication in a digital world. It is honestly one of the funnier books I've read in a while, and I highly suggest it to any one of my girl friends.



Quote of the Day

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular…it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre.”
-Uta Hagen


Loving right now: Ampersands

I have recently developed a major crush on a typography element: ampersands. Whether in a plain Word document, a clothing label, wedding invitation, or necklaces, to me, the ampersand is so much sweeter than just a plain "and". In my online shopping, I recently turned up five ways to bring ampersands into everyday life.

First up is this sweet vintage letterpress necklace from Etsy seller Gwen Delicous. I love the idea of the real letterpress symbol being worn around your neck. I can't help but wonder what the letterpress symbol was used as before it was turned in to a necklace. Perhaps it played a part in personal notecards, wedding invitations, or other correspondence.



Next, we have this adorable ampersand pillow , also on Etsy, by seller B. Poetic Home. I think that this could be a great addition to any home, and I think it would look great on my bed with black sheets. I love the black and white color pallet- it is so crisp, and the shape of the pillow is fun, too!


I'm at an age where a lot of my friends are getting married, and I love gifting brides-to-be stationary as a shower gift. Brides always have so many thank you notes to write, and new stationary is always fun to have! I love these ampersand notecards by Etsy seller In a Card for newlyweds, or any couple, for that matter - such a simple design, and they would be perfect for any sort of correspondence a couple may have.


I am hoping that this Ampersand ID chart from Keep Calm Gallery is reprinted soon - I'm not one bit surprised that this beauty sold out so quickly! It is based on the Snellen eye chart, and would certainly be a conversation starter in any home! I have terrible vision, but I think even I could ace this eye exam.


This ampersand paperweight would be an adorable addition to a desk or bookshelf of any writer or book enthusiast. It is no surprise that Assouline, the printer of such lovely art books, would create such a stylish decor piece.