Saturday, March 28, 2009

New to You and to Me

My friend Christie told me about an upscale consignment shop in downtown Rogers called New 2 You (109 West Elm, 479-616-8384), so we went to check it out this afternoon. A lot of times I think consignment shops are over priced and lack articles I would be willing to buy new, let alone used. But New 2 You's unique pieces from all around the world left me wanting more. While the variety includes classic skirts, jeans, and dress pants, I found very different shoes, dresses, purses, and accessories that feel like one of a kind. Much of the stock has original tags, including my exciting purchase, a Bottega Veneta small, saddlebag-like handbag. I paid $22 for it. I found a similar one on eBay with a starting price of $75. While some of the prices aren't that big of a steal, it is definitely worth checking out to see if you can find your own personal treasure.

I also got this fun navy scarf with white stars and swirls. Who's ready for the 4th of July?

Swimming While It Snows

In my desperate attempts to will the warm weather to come and to stay, I bought my swimsuit for the summer. Just like jeans, swim suit prices seem to double every year. This makes the horrible act of finding a suitable suit that adequately covers the rear and makes the belly look flat much more torturing. Since I refuse to pay over a $100 for a couple tiny pieces of fabric, I rely on my trusty TJ Maxx for affordable swimwear. And they always deliver. With modern cuts, different prints and high end brand names, TJ's selection matches most department store's variety. I found this Perry Ellis suit for $25 with an original price of $116. Unfortunately, the act of purchasing did not help the weather ... It is snowing!

The Good, The Bad, and The Really Ugly

I don't even remember when and how I discovered this store, but it's definitely a good one. However, be forewarned, if you struggle with TJ Maxx, you might have a nervous breakdown in Name Brand Clothing in Springdale (5320 W Sunset Ave, (479) 927-0999). But for me, a nervous breakdown is a small price to pay for the jackpot that is just waiting to be found. NBC gets its merchandise from department store close outs. And some of it is damaged and stained and all it is wrinkled. But if you are in need of a dress or super soft basic tees and tanks, I recommend it. Since the offerings can be a hit or miss, don't make it a last resort. Avoid Tuesday nights because they are closed for stocking and look over your potential purchases very carefully to ensure there is no damage.

Here are some things that I found during my last visit. And to make my husband proud, I didn't buy any of them, so they are ready and waiting for you to discover.

Marc by Marc Jacobs silk cocktail dress; original price was $330, NBC's price is $69.

Laundry shift dress. I love this print. This one didn't have an original price tag, but the NBC's price is $39.

Signette dusty pink cocktail dress that makes me crave cotton candy; original price tag said $316, NBC's price is $59.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


With the frustrating, unpredictable weather in Arkansas, one day it's skirts and sandals and the next is sweaters and scarves. This is especially true with the change from winter to spring. While I am itching to get out my short shorts and gladiator sandals, I don't want to preempt the weather. Katie seems to be making the transition functionally and fashionably. Her printed, jersey knit dress feels light and airy, but offset with the chunky knit sweater, it turns cozy. My favorite part is the bare legs with the hidden ankles and toes. I am loving these short, flat boots, and according to Who What Wear Daily, so are some of Hollywood's iconic fashionistas.

(Sweater – Old Navy, dress – Anthropology, boots – Aldo; I love Aldo for boots, necklace – Forever 21)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Perfect Proportions

I saw Maureen from afar the other day, and her outfit immediately struck me. When I asked to shoot her for the blog, I realized the stem of my attraction. It is the proportions of this outfit that make it utterly perfect. I like the slightly shorter skirt with the slightly longer blazer, making her legs look enviously long. And then to finish it off, she choose flat peep toe slingbacks. Her outfit just keeps getting better the closer you look. The folded details of the dress and the delicate features of the blazer (exaggerated collar, large buttons, and 3/4 sleeves) offset the more traditional color pallet, all together creating a polished yet completely effortless look.

(Dress - BCBG, jacket - Forever 21, shoes - Nine West)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Print Me Happy

Large prints, small prints, prints, prints, prints!

A must for me this spring that can go totally right or dramatically wrong. I will look to how Tineke pulls her print off to ensure I don't look like wallpaper or my grandmother's couch. Her large print isn't overwhelming because of the muted colors and the cardigan cover-up (go for a short sleeve cardigan this spring). When picking out prints, I am going to stick to florals and abstracts. Then I am going to think and rethink to ensure the prints are not reminiscent of any well known era (e.g., 60s or 70s). Instead, I want to find very modern ones in yummy, fresh colors (moving from the jewel tones of this winter).

Outfit tip: I love a belt cinched at the natural waist, especially with a cardigan. And then, just like Tineke has done, undo the last couple of buttons to help flare out around the hips, exaggerating your hourglass curves.

(Dress: Harvé Bernard from Ross, Belt: Vintage, Shoes: Steven from TJ Maxx. I love these cut-out booties ... I think TJ might still have some!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Foot Loose

So today I finally did it ... I bared the legs and the feet for the first time this year. While my purple painted toes were enjoying the spring breeze as I walked into work, I contemplated the office-appropriateness of platform shoes. Platforms are all over Hollywood and all over the runway for both Spring and Fall '09. But have I been jaded by my unconditional love for all shoes that are beautiful, and am I not being realistic on how middle America percieves me in them? Before I go and buy the 10 pairs I am pining for, I thought I would see what you think. Are platforms completely acceptable to wear as a daily shoe choice or do they have a tendancy to symbolize an unbecoming night job?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Simple Sophistication

Someone recently asked me how I would describe my own style, and I realized I have no concrete vision for what I want to consistently express. While I have experimented with the eclectic Bohemian and the edgy rock 'n' roll, I tend to gravitate to the looks that are simply sophisticated with delicate feminine details. I find inspiration in this easy navy dress (a color that I am obsessed with) with the soft yet structured ruffles. I love the way she elevates the outfit with the unexpected patterned tights and cream platform shoes. This is a look I wouldn't mind sporting everyday, so what do you think ... how does "simple sophistication" fit for the trend that Arkansas can realistically and successfully live by?

BTW, the dress is from Target and the shoes are Simply Vera from Kohl's. Sophisticated and attainable!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Little Accessories that Could

Amanda might not be ready to rock the harem pants (and I haven't seen anyone rock them off the runway). But Amanda knows how to rock her accessories. Keeping her outfit simple, she defines her style with unique details that really make a statement.

BTW, Amanda has a fashion mantra I could completely get behind: "When in doubt, go 80s!"

Dear Fashion Friend ...

... I have a light denim blazer that I have been dying to wear. But nothing looks quite right!! Help!

Denimed and Confused

Dear Denimed and Confused,

I think this totally works. I love the juxtaposition of the edgy, structured denim blazer with the soft, feminine, colorful dress.

Your Fashion Friend

Special Note:

In this digital and mobile world, you never have to style solo. Confused? Not confident? Insecure? ... send a picture text to a friend whose opinion you trust and get instant fashion feedback!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dressed to Impress

Some might say Andy is successfully dressed to impress corporate America but not the fashion passionate. While I may not completely be digging the traditional business casual, I am crazy about this color combo. I love the neutral backdrop the olive green provides the orange creamsicle; a pairing that has me totally craving spring. Thanks to Andy I have added an olive green skirt to my spring must-haves. I picture a nylon material with an A-line shape that gives an outfit a sporty but polished look. It's a refreshing alternative to a boring denim, khaki, or black skirt that I can't wait to wear with my spring colorful coordinates.

Just goes to show you that inspiration can come from anywhere. I challenge you to look for materials, designs, shapes, and colors all around you, and I think you will be surprised at what you find.
(Note: The picture doesn't accurately portray the rich olive green color ... but trust me, it was so fantastic.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Goodwill Hunting

In my quest to find fashion in the unexpected state of Arkansas, I thought I would take a trip to a less than expected place. It just so happens it is extremely easy on the wallet and has a one-of-a-kind feel to every discovered piece. Thrift store shopping! During our lunch break, my friend Becky and I did some "vintage" scouting at the Springdale Goodwill (1860 W Sunset Ave, Springdale, (479) 927-2023).

I love, LOVE this silk dress Becky found for so many reasons. First, the goldy, nude color. What a great canvas for pops of colorful jewelry or scarves or platform heels. (Not with me on the nude color? Check out Who, What, Wear.) Then, I love the cut for the retro quality of the pronounced shoulders. She found this great belt to help nip in the dress to show off her wonderful feminine figure.

We hit the belt jackpot...I am talking real snakeskin belts for a $1!!!

While thrift store shopping takes patience, the reward is finding the holy grail through the hundreds of useless pieces. All in all, this trip was quite successful. I found a high waisted leather skirt (after staring at it for 10 minutes I finally decided it is actually REALLY good pleather), a MaxMara stretch tee, and Kenneth Cole green suede pumps.

Goodwill Hunting Recos: I usually find the most success with blazers (especially with the trend of slightly oversized, "boyfriend" blazers), cardigans, pencil skirts, clutch purses, belts, shoes, and wool or leather coats. Be sure and check the cut and materials carefully. My new fashion mantra is just because I don't pay a lot doesn't mean I shouldn't invest in quality with every dollar I spend. Look for silk, wool, and cotton. Finally, make sure your piece doesn't have any holes or stains. When you get home, launder or dryclean your clothes and wipe out your shoes with a Clorox wipe.

I want to hear your thrifting stories. What is your best vintage find? Don't have any? Well, what are you waiting for? Go out and get one!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Adornments to be Admired

Big, statement necklaces ... They were everywhere on the Oscar's red carpet and already they are everywhere in everyday life here in Arkansas. I think it is safe to say Arkansas is keeping pace with the best of them.

I love how Angela wore her statement necklace. She pulled her hair back and kept her top simple, allowing the necklace to do all the style talking. She got this necklace many years ago so I could argue that Arkansas proceeded the trend, proving middle America street style is what sets the style...but I won't push my point. With a quick trip to Forever 21, Mason's (1350 E Joyce Blvd, Fayetteville), or Francesca's Collections (Pinnacle Hills Mall, 2203 Promenade Blvd, Ste #2112, Rogers), we all can have a big, statement necklace that let's us transform our look for not a lot of money.

My Debutante

I didn't have to go far to find someone with covetable fashion in Arkansas. Actually I just had to look a couple cubes down. Alexis has always caught my attention with her ability to make smart, streamlined choices that are reminiscent of style eras from many decades ago. But with her not so subtle surprises she produces extremely feminine yet modern executions of style.

I always appreciate the curve appeal of a good pencil skirt, but they can sometimes seem too uptight and too professional. With the playful rouching and brocade patterned details, Alexis's pencil skirt is not only office appropriate but it also fits her fun personality. Keeping in a monochromatic color scheme her simple capped sleeve top provides the perfect contrast for her colorful, patterned scarf (a must for my spring 2009 wardrobe). Her cream, t-strapped heels complete the outfit with flirty, sophistication.

Where Alexis Shopped:

Skirt - TJ Maxx
Top - Old Navy
Scarf - Maude (704 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR)
Shoes - Shoe Carnival