Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Smart Sale shopping.

Labor Day’s weekend is coming and everybody knows that it means SALES! So I slowed down and was trying not to buy way too much stuff, but still found couple of unbelievable deals that just couldn’t miss out. I was so excited about my previous purchases, especially about my new polka dot dress, that was just dreaming about wearing it, imagining myself in new sparkly shoes, nice jewelry and… Yes, there was no “and”, because unfortunately I didn’t own a suitable purse for such outfit. All my bags are way too big and the only clutch is silver, which is not bad, but definitely doesn’t go with all my evening attire. So my “list” got extended with a little black bag that I could pull out of my closet going to cocktail or nice dinner. Luckily “Betsey Johnson” store is having a great sale with an extra 40% off on already reduced merchandise (till Monday 09.06) and I could get a super cute evening bag of original price $118 only for $38 (with taxes). I loved the ruffles, loved the handle with little pearls all over, loved little leopard coin purse – it was definitely what I wanted! Done, one item is out of the list!
“Guess” store on Michigan Ave. is just couple blocks away from my house, so of course I am a very often visitor there and this weekend wasn’t an exclusion. They were also running additional 40% off on sale items among which I found a great denim skirt that as you know I was trying to buy already for a long time but couldn’t find anything that I liked. By the way, skirt was size 23 but it fit great though I usually wear 25. It is totally understandable because sometimes sizes run smaller or bigger, so don’t miss an opportunity when you see on sale all sizes except ones that you need, try some that are closest to your size, who knows maybe it will be just perfect. But again don’t compromise: if something doesn’t fit don’t buy even for $5, you don’t need to waist precious space in your closet for something that you are not going to wear and you definitely don’t need to put on something that doesn’t look good on you. “Damage” in “Guess” was minimal - $29 for $69 skirt!

Of course like all women I love shopping and of course I love shopping on sale, I am almost proud of myself when I could find a great deal. But I want to remind that everything that you buy you should buy only because you really love it but not because it was 50% off. Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to be beautiful and to enjoy yourself how you look.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where is my cigar?

I will start with the news that I finally got my dress that I ordered from ideeli.com while ago. It’s a fitted large polka dot dress with asymmetric boning on the top and you know I usually never buy things like this on-line: it’s not a T-Shirt, who knows how it fits. But I totally fell in love with it and couldn’t resist from getting it. And everything worked out just perfect – dress fits great and looks even nicer than on the web-site! I am actually extremely excited about it – it’s so comfortable and so versatile! Just imagine pairing it with a classic jacket and pair of great shoes – awesome outfit for office or lunch with a client, wear it with biker leather jacket and high heels – fantastic look for daytime errands or even going to the bar with friends. Or simply without any layering pieces this dress can look very different: very summery and light with white purse and white sandals or very sexy and dressy with black clutch and pair of shiny shoes. And again yesterday I bought another accessory that will look great with some outfit options of this dress. You will never guess what it is! It’s a hat – wool fedora!!! Yes, yes, yes, now I just need a cigar for the full picture… As you probably remember I mentioned in my previous post that I was going to go to BCBG event in the store on Damen. Must say it was just fantastic! Lots of champagne, hors d’oeuvres, fun music, goody bags and endless amount of fabulous clothes – what can be better than this?! Sound like women’s paradise and believe me it really was. So this is the place where I found my hat – it’s a big trend this season (to be honest it’s pretty much always in trend), it’s really easy to wear (goes with ton of stuff from jeans with sport coat to outfit with my polka dot dress with leather jacket), so why not to buy?! Price was very reasonable too: $38 for 100% wool. But can you imagine I was walking around it almost for two hours trying to decide if I really have enough charisma to wear it?! And then I said myself that it was ridiculous, that I liked it a lot and I just wanted it! And this is what I am telling you too– throw away this feeling when you like something so much but not sure if you can pull it off! Walk bravely on the runway of life and be proud to have your unique style, be proud to look different! The main goal of fashion is not to blend in everybody in the same pot, but give an opportunity to create something “yours”, something special.

Yesterday brought to me a lot satisfaction and not only because my dress was delivered and I had a great time at BCBG, but also because I could reject my insecurities. Follow your heart, buy what you really love and enjoy wearing it without any fear to pop in the crowd! This is actually should be your goal!

P.S. I want to thank again BCBG for hosting great event and helping in fundraising for “Dress For Succes” and I also want to say thanks to ideeli.com for providing great service and great quality of the product.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do you want to be involved?

I’ve already told you about “Dress For Success” in my post “Fashion Salvation”: it’s a non-profit organization that helps low-income women to get a job, providing them with dress clothes, training for interviews and needed contacts. I actually was very impressed with “Fashion Salvation” event that was entirely organized by members of “Dress For Success” and decided to reach them and find out how I can contribute to this great deal. So couple weeks later I was already sitting on my first meeting. It’s so awesome how these women are dedicated to what they do – they have jobs and families themselves, but any time there is an opportunity to help, they help, spending their free time, using their resources, involving people they know. And it’s a lot of work! I haven’t realize how much they do considering that there is at least one event every month that they are responsible to put together, and this is not counting infinite amount of global events like annual “Bloomingdale’s” charity shopping for which they volunteer too. For example on 25th of this month there will be event at “BCBG” store on Damen with champagne and hors d’oeuvres during which percentage of every purchase will be donated to “Dress For Success”.
I also must say that for these women it’s not just a duty, they really love to be involved in their organization life, they all became good friends and enjoy to hang out together. It’s actually a lot of fun to be part of this team – you meet so many new people, you visit so many events and also know that doing all of this you help women that really need help. What can be better than doing something that you enjoy so much and at the same time realize that it has a great cause?!

BTW, last week I took a membership position that I share with another girl Katelind, so my main goal is to get interested in our organization as many people as I can. We want to grow so much! We really need a new member! And who knows maybe you’ll be the next one!

P.S. If you are interested to become a new member of “Dress For Success” or just want to find out more information, please e-mail me to elenza@bk.ru. I will be happy to answer any questions!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Always shining!

Have you ever had an accessory that was kind of difficult to wear, that seemed too festive or to complicated in color, but you totally loved and wanted to wear as much as possible? I bet almost every one of us can remember about something like this.
Couple month ago my husband and I went to Swarovski store not far from our house and I completely fell in love with one of their cuffs – all over turquoise with iridescent coating crystals looked so amazing. And guess what - my husband bought it for me for our first wedding anniversary! I was extremely happy and pleased but one scary idea crawled into my mind: “What am I going to wear it with???” I checked my closet and though I had 3 turquoise dresses only one was a good match for my new bracelet, the other two were completely clashing in style.So seemed, that just one dress and bright striped jacket were my only options. And that was no good. But later after thinking more carefully and looking through my wardrobe again I realized that I could wear my present as much as I want because I had plenty of options! I didn’t need any special occasion anymore and matchy-matchy outfit! Yes, this cuff is a great compliment to a nice dress and pair of high heels, but it is also an awesome addition to simple jeans-TS outfit! It makes trivial white tank and cut-off skirt shine and pair of shorts with spaghetti-strap top ( photo “Urban not casual” ) elegant and sophisticated. Of course, pairing such accessories like my bracelet with different clothes and other accessories, you should take in consideration color and, what even more important, style, and probably you’ll even have to try several looks before you’ll find successful one, but try to stay open-minded and pull combinations that you would never think before.

Every one of us has our favorite, our special piece, doesn’t matter if it’s a glitzy shoes or sparkly necklace, which we treat like a treasure, opening the box, looking at it and dreaming about wearing it again. But throw away your “fancy event” calendar and don’t wait anymore, enjoy your “treasure” as often as possible and make every day of your life shiny and special!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Urban not casual

Shorts became a symbol of summer, guys and girls wear them with a big pleasure with any chance. They are so comfortable and breathable, great alternative to pants and skirts! BUT, let’s not forget that we still live in the city and not in vacation destination! I am sick of bland outfits of shorts, boring faded T-Shirts and rubber flip-flops! We can do so much better!
Don’t understand me wrong – I love shorts myself and wear them very often especially on the weekends when my husband and I are just strolling around the city doing whatever. But even in this case we need to try to maintain cool urban look with a little bit of lux. We shouldn’t look like we got lost and are trying to find our beach. And this is really not difficult to achieve with putting just a little bit of thought in assembling your weekend outfit. At first, choosing shorts to wear make sure that you chose nice top featuring either great cut, color or some kind of detailing like beading, embroidery or sequins. I would say that pairing shorts with top with shine is the easiest way to jazz up your casual look. If you decide to go with bright but solid color then this would be a great opportunity to play with accessories! Pick fun edgy purse, for example, with animal print, this will add some glamour and totally change a mood of your appearance. And please don’t afraid to wear some bold big jewelry with a lot of sparkly rhinestones! Match it to your clothes or pick contrast colors – this will take you out of casualty. If talk about shoes I would like to notice that wearing shorts doesn’t automatically mean wearing flip-flops or flat sandals, you can also wear nice pair of open shoes on a little heal. Of course sky-high pumps would look ridiculous and very inappropriate, plus it will totally take away all comfort of the weekend wear.

It’s already August but we still have plenty of time to enjoy warm weather and pair of favorite shorts. Show everybody how to be comfortable looking cool, how to become an embodiment of urban fashion!

P.S. And don’t forget to put on your biggest sunglasses!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Do you match your interior?

All people like to make their house nice and cozy, invest a lot of money in it, buying beautiful furniture, expensive pictures, tons of little but important things like candles, vases, flowers and etc., but not that many of them think so carefully about their own look at home, and this is definitely what should be fixed.
Home clothes should be not only comfortable, but nice and clean. And that’s not difficult to accomplish, considering that in United States almost every single store offers some kind of lounge wear, or how we like to call it in mass “sweat suit”. But saying “sweat suit” I don’t mean old oversized fleece shirt with stretched out track pants!!! I mean something cute, with nice fit and good color. Victoria’s Secret , Juicy Couture , Aeropostale (for more budget outfit) – they all have great variety of velour or terry pants and jackets with prints, embroidery, rhinestones and all kinds of beautiful detailing. Women, don’t forget that the most important man for you is your partner, that your main goal is to amaze HIM with your beauty! And doesn’t matter that he is already your husband, never let him forget how pretty you are, even watching TV sitting on the coach on Thursday night, or cooking dinner in the kitchen. BTW, I strongly recommend to buy a cute apron for cooking at home, it will save your lounge wear from dangerous stains and will extend its life. My husband bought really awesome one for me this week, “Little Black Apron”, with lace hem on the bottom and waist band and string of pearls on the neckline. Who knew than guys actually pay attention to such things like apron?! But apparently they do.
But let’s be clear, home clothes is clothes FOR HOME! No matter how cute your “sweats” are, they should be worn only at home! You can throw on your hoodie to walk with your dog in the park by the house, but this would be the first and the last public place where it’s appropriate.
I really love my “pinky” (this is how I call my VS Pink sweat suit) and actually just ordered another one in red velour, love my zebra bathrobe and both of my house dresses. It is all very comfortable and looks good and you know what - I like the fact that my husband thinks that I look pretty at home and I ALSO LIKE TO FEEL PRETTY MYSELF!
Let’s all feel pretty!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It’s not a fruit, but delicious!

As I told you before in Russia I had several brands that I loved especially, which stores I was visiting quite often and pretty much never leaving empty-handed. One of them was Spanish brand MANGO . I really loved their assortment that allowed you to pick up something elegant but very trendy for office, something sexy and fun for night out and something interesting and cute for casual outfit. And absolutely every single thing had some nice special feature, either green pocket lining and stitches on dark denim skirt or juicy pink bow on a salad color sweater. And fits were great too! If you grab right size you pretty much knew that there would be no creasing and bunching up.

MANGO is a fast-fashion retailer, but I can’t say that it’s cheap like H&M for example. Average price of an outfit of a skirt with a jacket is probably somewhere from $100 to $250. But trust me it would be well-spend money. Product, doesn’t matter if it’s clothes, shoes, bags or accessories, is a very good quality – I have some pieces that I bought seven years ago and still wear them quite often. And by the way you would be never able to say that they are so old, look just perfect. Still can’t find better spaghetti strap tops then I bought in MANGO.

It’s really surprising that MANGO has only 12 stores in US, in California, New York,
Nevada and Puerto Rico, and honestly pretty sad for me. I am shocked that there is no one in Chicago, city of shopping paradise. But yesterday my husband sent me an article in Wall Street Journal about new collaboration of MANGO and J.C. Penney . Supposedly already on August 18th you could find exclusive MNG by MANGO in 77 of Penney’s stores. Number of stores carrying MNG will increase to 600 by fall of 2011, so pretty much in every second J.C. Penney you would be able to find MANGO product. I really loved atmosphere of MANGO stores with black walls, mirrors, crystal chandeliers and cool music and of course it’s pity that not a lot of us can enjoy it, but at least we’ll have an opportunity to enjoy their clothes.

I am very-very excited about these last news and hope that this new relationship is going to work out, because honestly there are quite a few moments in it that are kind of doubtful. But let’s give it a shot and let’s enjoy shopping!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Street fashion?

Last week my husband forwarded me an article in Wall Street Journal about one blog BeautifulStrangers.tv . The idea of the blog is really nice and quite interesting – to put fashion focus on regular people. One of the founders of Beautiful Strangers.tv 47-year-old former editor of beauty magazines Ms. Fedor says that celebrities with their numerous stylists and access to expensive designer clothes became our fashion icons but it’s pretty impossible to achieve similar look simply because of the lack of resources. Most people don’t have professional knowledge in fashion and definitely can’t afford to hire army of shoppers to fix this problem. So her idea is to proof that just random people on the streets can become our examples to follow to. If they can look that good, if they can put such outfit together, so most of us could do it too. So Ms. Fedor just goes on the streets of New York City and takes photographs of strangers that she thinks look good, then she publishes them on her blog along with short story about her “models” and detailed description of their outfits.
In my opinion this idea is absolutely could work but in this case I am not really sure. I have several problems with execution. I actually looked at the blog itself and was quite surprised that huge percentage of her “heroes” was models, dancers and etc. One video story was done on the back stage of “Rag & Bone” show!!! Models are not regular people! Even if a lot of them don’t have a ton of money to get expensive wardrobe they are still much more experienced in styling that “non-models”. Common, they see designers, stylists and make-up artist working, they are a part of this creative process, of course they look good, they have to look good! Who else if not them??? The whole idea of shooting in New York seems wrong… Would be much more interesting and much more fare to travel through US to different cities, even just big ones, and pick “beautiful strangers” over there. New York is too different from the rest of the country. It’s one of the fashion capitals of the world! It can’t go under the category of “average”, so as models…
And another thing… I know that people in United States are completely intolerant to smoking, and I agree it’s not a good habit, first of all for the smoker, but how can it effect definition of “stylish”?! When did “Uggs” and “gladiators” become the criteria of being out of style? I am myself not a big fan of either of them but truly believe that if somebody can create great edgy outfit with these pieces then this person is REALLY STYLISH! If “Uggs” work perfectly with some particular look then why not? One item is not a fashion. That’s why I really don’t understand why Ms. Fedor didn’t even take in consideration people with cigarettes or in gladiators, for example… Seems pretty narrow-minded.
And, by the way, celebrities don’t even look that good even with the help of their stylists, a lot of them don’t look good… Don’t copy anybody completely and try to create your own style. Magazines and fashion shows are great to get an idea of what trends are and how to wear them, but all of that should go through prism of your lifestyle, character and of course your physics. Tailor fashion to yourself and be unique in your one own way.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fall list

Do you have your list already? No? That’s not good, now it is definitely time to make your “fall list” and already to start executing it. You are probably thinking what I am talking about, and I am talking about list of “must have” things for the following season that every fashionista should have in her closet.
I don’t recommend buying a whole new wardrobe for every new season, but to purchase just a few things that are very in trend is very important. And trust me you can pick pieces with a very classic feel that you could wear for a long time and still look very classy and stylish. Making your “fall list” you should consider your lifestyle, your character and of course what you already have. Why would you buy another cheetah shoes if you’ve already bought them last year?
I made my list about month ago and planning to accomplish it step by step, without any hurry. Maybe it will take another month, maybe even two, but I definitely want to find things that I’d really love and I could enjoy wearing for a while. Let’s see what I need to find.
1. Leopard print shoes. Yes, yes, I am probably the only woman on this planet that still doesn’t own a pair of leopard shoes! But I am working on it. I want a calf hair pair with a clear sharp colors, high heel, not peep toe (this is actually what make my shopping for cheetah shoes more challenging, 75% of them are peep toe) … At least I know exactly what I want.
2. Fur vest or jacket. And doesn’t matter if it’s going to be real fur or faux (but only good quality!). Fur makes an outfit so much more chic and more glamorous, gives very expensive look. Plus it’s very warm and comfortable, goes together with ton of different clothes, from jeans and classic pants to dresses and pencil skirts with chiffon blouses.
3. High patent leather boots on a little platform. Love high boots and love patent leather! They make legs look mile-long and very slim! I’ve already bought a great pair in Charles David’s , can’t wait to wear them!
4. And of course patent leather purse (that goes with my boots). Pick with bow for feminine look or with exposed zippers and studs for more modern one. I purchased fantastic Michael Kors tote that you can also transform into smaller bag. So convenient – two in one!

This is it for now, but my list will probably grow a bit. If I were you I would also look for full skirts, bright accessories, like bags, gloves and scarves, cargo pants or other items with a military feel and bomber jacket.

Great variety of trends is offered for fall/winter season, so without any doubts you can pick at least few of them to freshen up your wardrobe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Your phone needs style too!

We’ve talked about accessories, how important they are and how we should wear them, not once, but never mentioned cell phones. Oh yes, nowadays phone is not just device that you use to communicate with people, it’s a very important accessory that you always have on you, it is also an indicator of your status and style. Today you will surprise nobody with iPhone and Blackberry any more, and here cool cases are coming on arena.
OMG, how many different cases and skins you can find in stores! Tons and tons and tons, but the most unique ones will be online. In February I found one fantastic web-site that will satisfy needs of any fashionista. Blingcase.com is really awesome, assortment is huge and prices are in a very wide range for a very different income levels. You can order very cute case for $7.95 or spend more money and get Swarovski Crystal case from them, it’s all up to you. But must say that even their cheapest options are very good quality, fit right and look very nice. As I already said amount of designs they offer is enormous, different colors, prints, materials, from very simple ones to very extravagant, and they get new stuff all the time. I tried to order “clothes” for my phone on another web-sites too, but must admit, was always coming back to Blingcase.com . I am really into this thing now. Having several cases I can just change them from time to time, depending on my mood or maybe my outfit. It’s a lot fun and phone is protected too, just don’t forget to use clear film for display. Such films are completely not noticeable on the phone, but save screen from scratches very well.

So go online and find something cool for you, I mean for you phone. Blingcase.com offers cases for phones of variety of brands from HTC to Samsung, it’s definitely paradise for Apple customers – you’ll see cases for iPhone, iPod and even iPad there. Shipping is always free for any order and must notice pretty fast too. And, BTW, they do markdowns up to 50% off quite often…