November 30, 2007

I Dream of a Lifestyle Involving Many Cocktail Dresses I: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Since the SS06 season, I haven't really been loving Marc's collections. The colours were sort of murky and unflattering, and some of the pieces looked more fit for a country bumpkin than a chic city girl. But this FW and Resort season, the Marc dresses seem to have really hit all the right notes.

This tiered hemline dress was the first dress that caught my eye this season. I love the hemline layers. The design combines 60's style (mini dress) with a hint of 20's style (the details concentrated at the bottom). It's cute and very modern -perfect for events like dresses-up house parties.
These two dresses are so cute and classy. Imagine yourself going out to a fancy dinner in winter, wearing stockings with platform heels. Fabulous scene huh?

While these two dresses won't flatter short people at all, I like how the designs are good to go from day to night.

For day, you can layer a long-sleeve t-shirt/ sweater and leggings underneath the dress. And for night, wear the dress by itself (in a hopefully warm venue.)

For office parties, this long-sleeve silk dress can take you from the office to the party without looking inappropriate but still chic.

Contrast these two dresses -the black dress is another office party dress choice, while the vibrant pink dress is great for any holiday/ beachy parties if you're spending your holidays at some beach resort.

For something very party-perfect, this black sequined dress and silver dress is sparkly and oh-so-trendy.

If you want a dramatic flair to your dresses, these two dresses are 'omg, so cute!' (As overheard by two girls exclaiming at Neiman Marcus in LA last August.) I'm not sure how practical they are though. They look like dresses that can only be worn to events once or twice.

The Nix Check Halter dress looks versatile enought for many occasions, (think from bars and clubs to restaurants and house parties), and can be worn many times. I'm definitely keeping my eye out for this dress.

These dresses are the other two I'm looking out for. I love how chic, classy and cute the sleeveless dress (left) looks. And the red dress has a nice flattering A-line silhouette with the purple silk tie high up the waist. Plus it's nice to be in a colourful dress that doesn't look like it's from the 80's.

November 28, 2007

Classic Cropped Jackets

One of the investments I am looking to do this season is in a classic cropped jacket that I can wear all the time this fall/winter. As my mom loves to point out, jackets are the best investment because they are the first thing people see you in on the streets and you will probably wear it more than whatever you are wearing inside. So I figured that a smart classic cropped jacket would be a good choice- they are versatile and very chic.
The volume and shape of it goes perfectly with this season's silhouettes as witness here on the Alice Ritter(left) and 3.1 Phillip Lim (right) runway.
Some of the more classic choices out there are these two from Rachel Pally (left) and Sunner (right). The v-neck blazer-like neckline keeps it classic and the cropped style gives it an extra oomph. Another option are these two jackets with the more enclosed neckline thats more coatlike from Ella Moss (left) and Milly (right). The play on the buttons are so cute!

Grey is also a great color this season that is easy to wear but not too black. These two cropped jackets from FCUK are so adorable. I especially like the high neckline and the bell sleeve of the jacket on the left, which gives it more shape.Something a little more edgy, we have this very stylishly tailored cropped jacket by Helmut Lang (who else?, left) and this printed jacket by Milly (right). I LOVE this jacket. This is my favourite cropped jacket of all because the bold print is still versatile being black and white and the feminine cut of the neckline brings edgy and girly together. It makes a statement and is still very wearable. I can totally see myself living and breathing this cropped jacket this season!

Image Source: Elle, Shopbop and FCUK

The Very Thin Line

When I shop, I usually like to shop with a partner, (and preferably exactly one partner, who has some sense of style and could give helpful opinions.) This is because with clothes, there is sometimes a very thin line between good style and bad style, and it's nice to have an extra input. And sure, an outfit looks really cool when it's worn by a model in an editorial, but most of the time, those artistic background, makeup and lighting just don't echo real life. Take these two as examples:

When I first saw this Kate Moss Top Shop dress I thought, 'Oooh, I really, really like it.' I liked how only the top had sequins (instead of the whole dress,) and that the dress had a bit of an A-line shape to it instead of a huge T-shirt shape (which a lot of sequined dresses seemed have.) It was a glamorous with an edge, but without being too sparkly. I like the chiffon skirt bit because it meant it will swirl around with you when you walk and dance. And so I thought the dress had a good balance of style and trend. But the more I stare at the design, the more I thought of one thing: showgirls. For some reason, the dress really reminded me of dresses that showgirls in cheesy movies would wear in bars, dancing around poles and entertaining sleezy guys.

This is another dress that I was thinking of awhile back (from Top Shop). It's a 50's style dress and it has a slit-like hole at the back. I've never tried or owned such vintage-looking dress before, and was thinking that I lacked stylish, unique dresses. The dress fit well, and the length was just right. But one thing I was debating about was whether the dress was unique in an old-fashioned way, or in a fashion-foward way.

You will notice that the shoulders of the Top Shop dress is really wide and the waist part fits well. Doesn't it just remind you of the Balenciaga SS08 shape? I mean, obviously it's not as structured as Balenciaga's, but it looks like a more casual design of Balenciaga's, doesn't it? But I was also concerned with the print. It's not the most modern print around and could easily be seen as a print that's too 'old' and 'grandmother-y'. On the other hand, if you can carry it off and accessorise well, then you can pull a really fashion-foward outfit together. Thus, the line between fashion-backward and fashion-foward is really really thin.

At the end of the day, I always think the most important thing is what you think of the item yourself. But in my typical shopping mindset, I just can't help thinking of the pros and cons. So anyways, what do you think of the two Top Shop dresses?

Image credits:,

November 27, 2007

Midnight Madness

This Thanksgiving I had the quintessential crazy Black Friday experience. In the last few years, I always thought it was a bit of a hoax to get people into the shopping spirit, because having been to Saks and Macy's etc during Black Friday previously, I did not find anything on crazy sale. Turns out I just wasn't shopping at the right place.
This year after Thanksgiving dinner, we went online to check the hours of the nearby outlet in San Diego, Carlsbad Premium Outlets, so we can go the next day- only to find that it was already opened in at Midnight Madness sale that went from 12am-10am! Excited, we quickly hopped onto the car and made our way there at 2am. Once there, we were delighted to find that the place was packed with happy holiday shoppers. It really put us in the holiday spirit!
And the beauty was that things were actually cheap! Things were on sales on top of sales- I bought a Puma cap for only $6! But anyway, some of the highlights of the night: The BCBG store: The sale was crazy. There were dresses for $39! I've never even heard of that. But alas, I didn't find any my size. Two that I was especially interested was these two dresses (above). I thought the plaid one would be a fun dress to wear for Christmas. It was only about $120. But alas, I decided I didn't really have an occasion to wear it anyway and it was a bit too long and poofy for casual wear. I almost bought the lacey one for $200. It fit perfectly and it felt really Blair from Gossip Girl like. I was actually standing in line to buy it (a huge line at that), until I decided that $200 was still kind of expensive and that the dress was a very thin line between being old fashion and Blair-like.
Turns out, it was a good thing I didn't spend that $200, because the money was better spent elsewhere. To be more specific, on a suit from Theory. Yes, you read right. This gorgeous black suit with white stripes above was only $200!!! Since a normal suit from Theory usually costs over $600, I was (still am actually) thrilled over this bargain. It fits really well too! My best buy all day! I wish I had more time at Theory.... everything was an additional 30% off!! In additional, I also got a really cute pajama set from Ralph Lauren, sportswear from Adidas and some presents for family. Overall it was a very productive trip! And yes, as you can see from the pictures, we shopped from 2am to sunrise.

Hmm.... though come to think of it Black Friday is still probably a hoax. Since this is the first time I've been to this outlet, I don't know if the prices really are this cheap only for these few hours or if Black Friday just means the start of the sales season. Oh well. I'm happy with my bargains :)

November 25, 2007

FW07 Trend: Ethnic-Looking Scarves

A large comfortable scarf has always been a staple to one's winter outfits. In the past few years, the trend seemed to be of plain, mono-coloured scarves. But ever since Balanciaga's FW07 show, ethnic-looking scarves have become more and more popular. Walk in to any high street store, Zara in particular, and you would notice that they have been selling a lot of Balenciaga-inspired scarves. Think tie-dyed, or coin/ round metal pieces-embellished scarves. I actaully bought a tie-dyed silk scarf from Zara when I was in a runway-fashion haze, but I returned it later becuase I decided it just wasn't practical. Speaking of Balenciaga, if you haven't seen one of the Balenciaga scarves in real life, go see it and feel it! Your brain might just irrationally equate the quality to the huge price tag.
Anyways, I usually buy myself one to two scarves per FW season. This season, one of my scarves is this green printed scarf. (Excuse the crappy styling and photography.) It's half silk and half wool, so it's not the thickest, warmest scarf around, but it's good for those not-too-chilly days. I especially like the purple and green blocks of colour at the ends of the scarf.
Did you buy an ethnic-looking scarf in the spirit of the FW07 season?
Image credit:

November 24, 2007

A Random Black Friday Post

OK, so I don't celebrate Thanksgiving at all, but how I wish the UK did. I am extremely jealous of all the sales the Americans are enjoying over there, although I certainly don't envy the crowds and lines of crazy shoppers that I've read about in the news. Friday's a tiring day for me so this post is going to be a bunch of my completely random observations:
  • In accounting class last week, I looked around. Three out of seven girls had earrings on. And out of those three, two pairs were Chanel costume jewelry. One pair's design was the big Chanel logo in silver with crystals, (which I thought the girl carried them on nicely); the other pair's design was a pink 'quilted' square that had a black logo on it, (which I thought was bulky and way too toy-like.)
  • In an attempt to warm myself up and keep me awake during my two-hour Finance lecture, I stopped by Starbucks first. While attempting to walk to my lecture, the bubbles from the coffee kept coming oozing out from the little hole on top and the coffee kept threatening to spill out. I had to walk snail-pace and channel my inner princess (much like Anne Hathaway did in Princess Diaries). I never thought much about it before, but how does anyone walk around with a paper cup full of coffee in their hands?
  • Apart from the fabulous sales, I am so jealous of the short trips people are on this Thanksgiving weekend. My sister is visiting relatives in San Francisco (mostly for good food I'm sure,) and Barneys Girl has left the windy city to visit friends in San Diego. As for me, I'll be hiding inside my flat from the low temperatures this weekend, maybe except for tomorrow, when I'll brave the cold for a Belgian-style dinner.

  • If you're bored this long weekend (or you simply want to procrastinate from work), and you loved Sex & the City as much as I did, go read the original column, which is being republished each week over at the Observer. Remember the phrase, 'Welcome to the Age of Un-Innocence'?

November 22, 2007

Winter Getaway

Now that the weather is getting cold (its cold, windy and raining in Chicago today....) and the holiday season is officially upon us, its time to plan our winter getaway wardrobe! This holiday I am going to San Diego- I heard its not actually that warm over there, but I have my fingers crossed anyway!

Now for wardrobe ideas. The first thing that pops up in mind- DRESSES. Cute summery dresses! And lucky for us, this is also the season for the Resort Collections, so there are plenty out there. Here are a few that I wish I had:

Bold dresses by Catherine Maladrino. As the guy at Saks told me- Catherine is smokin' hot this season!

Bold PRINTED dresses. I love these ones from Karen Zambos (incidentally Karen Zambos seems to be the queen of winter getaway wear on shopbop- so check her out!).

Printed dresses by T Bag (i.e. above left). And to be VERY this season- ethnic inspired dresses like this one by Tibi (right).

Shiny dresses for the evenings. I am loving these two from Ingwa Melero (left) and Mara Hoffman (right). The colors are just so rich and bold and pretty!
Cropped jackets/cardis to keep warm. These two from Catherine Maladrino (left) and What comes around goes around (right) are so cute. The sparkly one is also great for adding a glam factor to your outfit.
Platform sandals to look pretty in and cute flats to walk around in. These two from Marc by Marc Jacobs (left) and Report Signature (right) are just the thing!

Have a nice holiday/thanksgiving everyone!

Image Source: Shop Bop

November 20, 2007

NYC- Festive Displays

Another thing I love about NYC this time of the year is the window displays. They are just sooo classy, pretty and festive! None of those over the top multicolored flashing light bulbs in the shape on Santa pasted onto a building thing we see in some places....
Walking down midtown on Fifth Ave, there is this (recently lighted this weekend) star hanging in the middle of the street, which I thought was really really cool.
Right next to it, we have THE Tiffany store looking all pretty lighted up.
And my favourite- the Cartier store. Passing by, I initially thought it was under renovation with lights there to make it pretty. But looking at it from afar, I realized that it was in fact in the design of a gift. How cute! Oh and if you happen by at night (when there aren't hoards of people), take a picture under the arches in the lights. Its soo very very pretty.
Onto more subtle displays, we have these very abstract displays from Bendels (Oooo and Bendels reminds me of Gossip Girl!).
And these very artsy looking displays at Bergdorf Goodmans (these are one of my favourites). One would think Saks would be included, but I didn't find the recent displays very inspiring... maybe its not up yet?
And here is turkey made of utensils on display which I thought was really neat!
Onto Madison Avenue, I loved the Ralph Lauren display, its just soo......Ralph Lauren- which is perfect for the festive mood, with its all American family style.Not really festive, but just wanted to throw in the Issey Miyake display because I think that the leaves with the leafy looking costumes are just so neat.

Too bad the Christmas tree at Rockfeller was not up yet. I would've loved to see that. Thanksgiving I heard. Hmm... maybe that means I should go again! :P

What do you think of ASOS?

A few weeks ago, I had a party to go to and no new dress to wear. My friend told me to check out, which if you don't know, is a site famous for selling clothes that are 'in the style of x celebrity' and also clothes from a few UK high street brands (like Oasis, French Connection and Mina).
So after spending some time on it, I didn't know what to think about it. Because
a) ASOS has no physical store and you never know how the clothing item is like in real life until you've actually felt it.
b) The prices are high-street prices, meaning very affordable. This again, makes me very suspicious of how the clothes would look and fit.
c) I've heard mix reviews from friends. A few of my friends said the clothes were decent, and one wasn't a fan of the quality.
d) If I wanted to return the clothes, I would have to mail them back. Talk about inconvenient and the extra cost involved!

These two black dresses are classy and stylish. The quality looks decent too. I especially like the sequinned one.

The red dress is quite cute, and the silver, sequinned dress is perfect for this party season!
Now these are examples of what I think are poor quality and design. The black dress's material looks cheap and the gems a bit too plastic-y. OK, I know the dress doesn't actaully cost a lot (38 pounds), but I have no desire to wear that material. As for the cream-coloured sequined dress, the design is just not very flattering.
This is the dress that has got me seriously thinking to give ASOS a go. I really like this dress. It's stylish, pretty and very youthful.
And on a closer look, even the beads and sequins look ok in quality. So should I dive in and get this dress?
Another dress I'm liking is this waistcoat dress. It's cute and cool. It's made of all polyester though, so I'm not sure how it'll look in real life.
So I need your opinion: If you've ever bought anything (or seen your friend's purchases) from ASOS, let me know what you think of them! Oh, and what do you think of the last two dresses?
Image credits:

November 19, 2007

A Cute White Coat

Back in September, I was suddenly very determined to find a casual white coat to have fun with because I was bored of my other coats, which were all black. (Also I'm guessing it was a photo of Ashley Olsen in a white coat from around four years ago that triggered this sudden 'want'. Kind of strange right?)

When it comes to shopping under time constraint, I do target-shopping. Which meant that I headed straight to Zara, where I know would have somewhat stylish, basic and very affordable coats. Zara didn't let me down and I ended up buying this:
OK, so I have recently seen a LOT of girls in the streets here in London wearing basic coats from Zara, either exactly this one or similar ones. But since I get cold easily, I have already started wearing this in late September, so almost no one was wearing it yet. Oh, and I know the coat looks really not-pretty like that, but it looks really cool with the collar up and the top part wide open (the lapel part.)

Oops, rambling off my point. So the white coat did prove out to be really fun. It brightened up my casual outfits and I found it especially fun to wear it with dresses. Unfortunately, the white coat got dirty really easily. I stopped wearing it to lectures after only one lecture because my sitting around in random seats was just too much dirt for my coat to take.

My point is, while I wouldn't spend a huge amount of money on a white coat, I think it's worth trying out a white coat from affordable shops. Think of it as a youthful, cute thing to cheer you and your outfit up on those grey days!

November 18, 2007

Shorts For Winter

The whole shorts + tights + ankle boots thing is a huge trend this season (a follow-up of the super-mini-shorts trend from the summer.) Some magazines even claim it's the new mini-skirt, which I'm not too sure about but I'm a fan of mini-skirts much more than of shorts. Anyways, so I've seen a lot of girls in London wear this trend -at school, in the supermarket, shopping... While I can totally understand it's a huge trend, I'm still amazed by how many ppl are wearing this combination. Why? Becuase dude, it's cold out there. Like seriously cold. And with this look, it's a very thin line between fashion victim and cute/ cool.
But if you really like this trend, then make sure you wear 'dressy' shorts. And you might want to stick to basic colours. Here are some that I like from Top Shop:

Checkered shorts -They're casual and preppy. Plus I've always thought checked things look better in winter than summer.

Silky-like shorts -Silky-looking things always make the item look classy, expensive and perfect for a night out.
Velvet shorts -These are also very wintery feeling and give off that going-out vibe. They're very girly so they're probably not suitable for everyone's taste but if you're a girly girl...

High-waisted shorts -While I could never pull off anything high-waisted, I've seen some Londoners try them on at Top Shop and they look really cool. Imagine these shorts with something as simple as a white T-shirt (tucked in) and platforms. Cool huh? (Although I think they'll look better without tights.)

What are your thoughts on this trend? Have you been wearing it?

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