The Fur Brigade- BCBG Max Azria F/W 12

We were literally ooh-ing and ahh-ing over every single piece that walked down the runway for BCBG Max Azria yesterday. These are ready to wear pieces that can easily be incorporated into the average girl’s closet, and that’s why we’ll always love BCBG, despite the naysayers.

The collection is an amazing modern take on mid century design with the elements of classic BCBG glamour. The use of color blocking and leather patchwork coupled with the rich hues gives the pieces dimension while still maintaining a simple elegance. Here are our personal favorites:

Sable’s picks

Look 1:

This muted patchwork leather trench is a gorgeous update to the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s trench.

Look 15:

It’s a modern take on a suit, but instantly a classic. The gorgeous deep burgundy trousers paired with a detailed leather jacket and a pop of orange and white underneath make this look a chic day to night option for women of many ages.

Look 25:

The plunging neckline coupled with a longer hemline works to create a subtle sex appeal in this dress. The brighter colors brought together in the center with the black blocking creates a slimming and elongated effect. The fur clutch completes the look for a perfect luxe look for a night out.

Look 31:

This sexy black and navy trench proves non blue and black mixing believers wrong. Everything about this jacket says cool and classic while being cutting edge.

Kiesha’s picks

Look 4:

I love a good shift dress and this one is no exception. Color blocking in neutrals is still very graphic but in a subdued and classy way. The fur really is the star of this look though, it instantly gives the dress that va-va-voom appeal that we all need. Very Valley of the Dolls.

Look 6:

This look is perfect to me, as separates. I love the sheer panel of the blouse, and the wide set in sleeves. The trousers seem to flow beautifully and look luxe (they also look like they’d morph you into a willowy goddess). Together though, the sheer panel and the rise of the trousers look obscene. The model’s belly button is ruining it for me. I’d love to see the blouse paired with higher waisted trousers and the trousers paired with another beautiful silk blouse.

Look 9:

The color palette of this look is what does me in. The muted burgundy and tan of the coat is so incredibly divine with the tangerine dress. The dress would be enough to stave off the seasonal depression I usually sink into come Fall. The sleeves are a no brainer (I love fur if you can’t tell), but I really love how geometric the coat is. The proportions are perfect, and I could see me wearing this all winter long.

Floral Prints….In Winter

Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.

Miranda Priestly would be so proud of me.

I have Spring on the brain.
Winter has only begun and outside it’s something like 20 degrees, but today the only thing getting me through this bleek cold is my floral print heels.

I’m loving floral prints, and yes, in winter. Who says florals can’t transition all the way through the year? There is something fun and joyous about wearing a pretty floral print in the dead of winter. It’s light-hearted and I always get a little twinge of excitement when I break one of my mother’s rigid “fashion rules”. For the tight budgeted, it’s also a good way to get more use out of your Spring/Summer clothes.

Need pointers?

1. Layer- Nothing screams “trying too hard”, like a girl walking around shivering in the dead of winter. A silk dress looks AND feels great in the summer, but to make it work when there is snow on the ground you need layers. Stick with pretty, delicate blouses underneath or top the dress with a cardigan and you can’t go wrong.

Perfect office look from Reyes

2. Tights- Tights are a great way to “winter-ize” a spring print. Thick cable-knits are my favorite because not only are they winter appropriate, they are a perfect, almost masculine pairing to a super feminine print.

The added gloves look great with this Thakoon dress.

3. Floral coats- If you’d like to spice up an otherwise dreary winter outfit, a floral coat is a great way to do that. This season floral prints aren’t hard to find.

Rachel Roy looking amazing as usual.

Definitely my favorite winter trend. I’d die for this dress from Derek Lam.

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And I must give her snaps for her courageous fashion efforts.

With the 90’s trends coming back in full force, I can’t help but think of my all time favorite movie, Clueless. Much to my parent’s encouragement, Cher Horowitz became my fashion icon. I ditched my oversized grunge looks for smaller, tighter and cleaner pieces. The brilliant thing about Clueless was the fact that they were able to take some of the biggest trends of the 90’s and reinvent them for the girls of Beverly Hills High. Yeah, Courtney Love was rockin’ knee highs, mini’s, crop tops, and plaid before Cher Horowitz hit the scene, but Cher made it all her own. No more holes, rips, stains…to me this is pure unadulterated 90’s heaven. My parent’s couldn’t have been more overjoyed…until they saw the price tags (Pretty sure Azzedine Alaia can thank Amy Heckerling for introducing every teen girl in America to his brand).

With spring on it’s way, what better way to celebrate than a short skirt and thigh highs? Only this time around I have my own credit cards.  Crop top sweaters over long chiffon oxfords, peter pan collars, knee highs, mini skirts, blazers…. perfection.

In celebration- My always and forever style icon- Cher Horowitz, revamped for 2012.Clueless 2012


Flared dress
£28 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Crumpet long sleeve cardigan
$395 – net-a-porter.com

Madewell boyfriend shirt
$68 – madewell.com

Chiffon top
£36 – topshop.com

Cream sweater
£15 – axparis.co.uk

Rag bone plaid jacket
$450 – stylebop.com

Toast corduroy skirt
£40 – toast.co.uk

Miu Miu bubble skirt
$1,190 – net-a-porter.com

Woolrich socks
$9 – woolrich.com

Steve Madden over the knee boot socks
$10 – stevemadden.com

Urban outfitter
$18 – urbanoutfitters.com

Checkered tight
$15 – modcloth.com

Miu Miu peep toe high heels
$475 – mytheresa.com

Steve Madden peep toe shoes
$100 – stevemadden.com

ALDO backpack bag
$72 – asos.com

ASOS hair accessory
$14 – asos.com
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Sable, but not the animal or the wrestler.

Ever since I was a little girl I have been told that I am the epitome of a girly girl, and I could not agree more. I love all things luxe (and usually silk) paired with a fabulously classic pair of heels and equally fabulous jewelry. Timeless garb is the name of my game and I’ve never met a wrap dress that I didn’t like. Anything that makes my natural waist look impossibly small for my tall curvy frame is in. Feminine clothing with a chic and subtle sex appeal owns me.

From the drug store to the department store I am a total cosmetics junkie. I used to use my mom’s Estée Lauder  makeup thinking that my covert makeup skills would never give me away. It was at that moment I was forced to give up my six-year-old life dream of becoming the next James Bond and accept that the lilac and emerald hued evidence on my face was in no way doing me any services. That is until I was introduced to MAC at thirteen, then I knew I was committed to try every little pot of powdery color perfection that I could. And I did. Fast forward thirteen years and here I am, still finding myself with the impulsive need to try every possible product I come across, whether it be Gwen Stefani endorsed  L’Oréal  mascara or the new Smashbox Camera Ready Cream.

My motto has always been to be “classy with a healthy dose of fun” which I try to emulate in my appearance as well as my attitude. I think this pertains to everything in life, including beauty, fashion and decor.  Enjoy life while having fun with it, and never take anything (including yourself) too seriously.

Sable

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K is for Kiesha

Let me first just say that I am completely infatuated with shoes. I am almost positive that this was a result of my mother’s love for shoes (though we now have vastly different tastes). I remember trying on a pair of her Louis Vuitton mules at age 5 and thinking, “High heels make you a lady”. I still subscribe to that little piece of advice, shoes definitely make the woman. A great pair of heels can transform a pair of jeans and a worn t-shirt into a sexy “I’m just running errands, no big deal” look.

Outside of my love for shoes, I am also a skin care devotee. I’ve worked in skin care and anti-aging for years now and have become a hardcore advocate for quality ingredients and proper skin care education. My favorite skin care tip: skip the harsh exfoliants, mix a teaspoon full of baking soda into your favorite cleanser. Me? I keep it basic with the tried and true, dermatologist loved, Cetaphil.

As for my style? I would say it’s pretty eclectic. I’m a recovering black-o-holic, and other than accessories I have a hard time really committing to color. I’ve seen the error of my ways and I’m working on it… slowly. Lately though I’m obsessed with 70’s-esque silhouettes, funky platforms, wooden heels, and good ole Americana. Shake that up with the remnants of almost 10 years in head-to-toe black and you have a Kiesha cocktail.

OH and one of the saddest days of my life was when Domino Magazine got the axe. RIP.


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Fashion on a Budget

Most people that know me, know that I have a bit of a thing for shoes. I dream of Imelda Marcos’ closet, and I spend my waking time budgeting and crunching numbers to figure out just how to afford my next purchase. Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I’m suffering from a bad case of “champagne-taste-on-a-beer- budget” syndrome. While I have to skip out on major luxe brands, I’m proud to say that I’ve been able to amass a pretty decent collection without completely breaking the bank.

(Husband would argue that last statement.)

Anyway, from my wallet to yours…..my secret.

Cost Per Wear

Once you understand the concept of Cost Per Wear, you’ll be able to distinguish between necessary purchases, their value and items to skip over. Basically, once I got this down I learned how to buy the things I really wanted and avoid “sale goggles”. There is no reason to purchase low quality items just because of the price.

If you are lucky enough to have a mother who invested in herself during her youth, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. My mother still has her mink coat she splurged on in her early 20’s, a handful of Louis Vuitton handbags from the late 70’s and the most killer vintage Herve Lerger bandage dress (it still fits her).

These items will be passed on to either me or one of my two sisters, and we’ll ensure she gets an even greater return on her initial investment.

Cost Per Wear = Price/Use

The rationalization of Cost per Wear is if I wear a particular pair of $150 jeans 100 times, the jeans are only costing me $1.50 per wear. Yes, my checking account did see the initial hit of $150 but the quality of the jeans allowed me to wear them 100 times, while a $30 pair of jeans from Forever 21 would provide me with 6 wears ($5 CPW).

Here is a real world example straight from my closet:

I work in a corporate environment where I am required to dress business professional. This has me constantly shopping for the perfect stilletto heel to pair with my pencil skirts.

Option 1:

Professional enough for the office, but I can still work them into my regular wardrobe. The heel is high enough that my calves look trimmer but not so high that I’m the talk of the office. A beautiful little black pump complete with a suede upper, leather lining and sole. Breathable, nice materials.

I wear a basic black pump almost every day at work, occasionally switching off for a flat or boots depending on the weather. I will underestimate and say I’d wear these twice a week (in the warmer months it’s more like 3-4 days a week). That’s 104 wears in a year, not including anytime I may wear them outside of work. My work shoes see the most wear of all my shoes, so I’ll give these a shelf life of a year.

$169.95/104 = $1.63 CPW
Not bad- less than the price of a soda.
Option 2:

Standard black pump at Target, I’m pretty sure they have been making these same shoes for years, I see them everywhere. Faux patent leather upper, faux leather insole, lining and a rubber sole. Definitely not the quality of the Dolce Vita Pumps and bound to get really smelly after a couple wears (faux leather DOES NOT breathe). In my experience, regular wearing of this quality of shoe will only last me a month or so. I’ll be generous and say they will last me 6 weeks wearing them twice a week.

$29.99/12 = $2.49 CPW

Not only is the cost per wear higher for the Mossimo Pumps, but the life of the shoe is much, much shorter. According to my logic above (6 week life span) I would need 8 pairs of these cheaper shoes to last me the year that the Dolce Vita pumps will. In essence, I’d be spending a total of $239.92 to keep me in these pretty generic, poorly made pumps.

The better value is obvious, plus the Dolce Vita’s have quite a bit more oomph to them.

Bonus: The extra you paid up front will continue to pay off even past the initial life span of the shoe. No cobbler will waste their time trying to repair a pair of rubber soled faux leather shoes. Genuine Leather on the other hand can easily be repaired and can extend the life of your favorite shoes by years (You smart, thrifty shopper, you!).

Tune in next time when I teach you how to justify your bar tabs! (Just kidding….kind of)

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Dry Shampoo

My ethnic hair tends to be really dry and brittle at the ends but super oily at the roots. It’s frustrating having a greasy head but I don’t want to wash daily and further damage my ends.

Enter dry shampoo.
Since discovering dry shampoo I wash my hair twice a week, and use dry shampoo to refresh it between washes. The powder absorbs any oils and leaves your hair smelling fresh. That is, if it’s a good product. In my search for the perfect dry shampoo, I’ve come across many that leave a dull residue in my hair, make my hair stiff as hell, or that run out with one use.
So….here’s what I like 🙂
Cheapie pick-
Batiste Dry Shampoo; available at most drug stores $5.99-$7.99
I love this dry shampoo for a number of reasons. Not only does it work but it’s cheap! Perfect for the budget conscious. It comes in 3 scents: Original (slightly chemical smelling), Blush (floral/powdery), and Tropical (Coconut). Does exactly what a dry shampoo should do. It leaves my hair smelling good and gives it some extra body. The only con is that it does leave a lot of gray/white residue which wouldn’t be noticeable on lighter hair colors but with my jet black hair I have to spend a little extra time rubbing the product in and brushing it out. For the price, that extra 60 seconds is worth it.
Mid range-
Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo; available at Sephora $11

Make sure you get the bottled powder and not the spray. I’ve tried both and it seems like the spray goes a lot faster. It’s also nice not surrounding yourself in a cloud of aerosol spray and just sprinkling a little powder onto your head. The powder does a great job of absorbing excess oils and leaves your hair with a light lemon-y scent.
Splurge-
Frederic Fekkai Au Naturel Dry Shampoo; available at Sephora $23
My favorite dry shampoo because of the all natural ingredients. Sulfate free, paraben free, dye free, made from cotton fiber, corn starch and rice starch. Like the previous product, this one is a powder you can shake onto your head. The powder is very fine, and doesn’t show up stark white on brunettes. It does a great job of freshening up your hair but at the same time helps to prevent dirt buildup. I find this product I can use even less  than I do most dry shampoos. If I’m going 3 days without a wet wash, Frederic Fekkai’s dry shampoo can get me through day 2-3 with only 1 application. Worth the extra cash.
Besides just saving time, not washing your hair as often has many other benefits. You’re not washing it, so obviously you aren’t blow drying and flat ironing it. Reducing the amount of heat you use on your hair is going to make it softer and result in fewer split ends. You’re also saving your color! Fewer washes is going to keep your color much, much longer. Especially if you’re still using a sulfate based shampoo (bad news, switch asap!).

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Japanese Raw Denim


I am always on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans. While on a recent trip to Arizona I discovered what I think is the perfect denim brand.

Naked & Famous is a Canadian denim company that exclusively uses Japanese raw denim to make an amazing pair of jeans. Their jeans are simple with no extreme washes, jewels or unnecessary stitching. I love the simplicity of their jeans, but my favorite thing is the quality of denim used. They import all the fabric from Japan and the Japanese denim mills are known for offering the finest materials in the world. (Leave it to the Japanese, they are always superior at all things beautiful.) I was instantly in love with Naked & Famous after trying on my first pair. These are the type of jeans I use to dream about and now I own 4 pairs. The quality is superior and the fit is perfect. I am a tall/skinny guy (I wear a 29×34) who has a difficult time finding a skinny cut denim that fits my waist and legs perfectly. Naked & Famous Denim are a new staple in my daily fashion.
Did I mention they are sensibly priced? I expected to pay over $300 a pair but I scored mine at Barney’s New York for under $150. My favorite cut is the “Skinny Guy”(pictured below), but I also have a few pairs of the “Weird Guy”.
My life has forever been changed by the kind Canadians at Naked & Famous.
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Missoni (for Target) Madness

Yesterday morning I thought all my dreams of chevron print sweaters were crushed. I had early morning plans to be at Target by 8 am to pick up my list of “must haves” from Target’s newest Go International collaboration with Missoni. However, real life called and required my attention. My sweet husband saved the day and offered to head to our nearby store to pick everything up for me.

He scored everything he came for, minus the cute little throw. I’m not even a flats type of girl but these are by far my favorite purchase.
They are just the cutest little ballet flats, I expect I’ll be getting quite a bit of mileage out of them this fall. I’m already imagining myself walking the dog in my cute new flats and tunic. Also the packaging is adorable:

When I get a chance I’ll post pictures of the rest of the goods and my reviews. He was smart and bought everything in two sizes, which is lucky since I’ve found it all runs a little big. Even the smaller of the two sizes seems too big with a lot of the knit dresses. Maybe my loss will be someone else’s gain though. I’m also not expecting the knits to hold up, most of them are mainly acrylic. It is Target though.

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