Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Be furry!

As we talked in earlier posts faux-fur jacket (below will call it FFJ) or vest is a “must have” this season, and if you still haven’t bought it, it is not going to be a problem. Pretty much every designer or brand offers their options of FFJ, assortment of colors, different textures and price range is extremely wide. The cheapest one I was able to find is on : $49 for really cute jacket in grey, brown or black (if you have tight budget, this would be your best bet). The high level of prices goes from $500 and way too far in a 4-digit numbers, so in my case I preferred to stay somewhere in the middle, which would be very comfortable for most of people. Love FFJ that “Express”, “Zara” and “Armani Exchange” offer: nice design, great quality and very affordable prices. My white long hair jacket that I got in “Zara” was $99.
But with all this variety and huge popularity of FFJ I have one concern – is everybody going to look the same? Who wants to be one in a million chickens from the same incubator??? Definitely not me! And not you! The only thing that we can do about is to customize our jacket a little bit. I am not talking about taking it to the tailor and changing thing completely (btw, that would be very challenging to do), but to add some unique twist, and here accessories will be our best friends. Big exaggerated broaches, belts, scarves may easily change focus of the whole outfit. Pick wide elastic or narrow with a lot of hardware belt to accentuate waist line (recommend contrast to your jacket colors), bulky with interesting textures and prints scarves and gloves to complete an ensemble. Wear pattern tights and bright shoes or boots, cool hats with embellishments and bunch of decorations. Such tricks will help to create stylish and unique look, without featuring one strong piece, like FFJ in our case, and even brown fur vest that you’ll see a lot on the streets this fall will look completely different on you. Don’t hesitate to experiment and try the craziest combinations, I guarantee you at least one of them will be fabulous!

Don’t be afraid to buy FFJ, don’t think it’s too much work to wear it, it’s fun, pretty and warm and you’ll definitely enjoy having it in your closet.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who are you?

“What not to wear” on TLC and “How do I look?” on Style are among my favorite shows that I try to watch almost every day. The whole process of fashion transformation is extremely interesting, and proves again how important to look apart. And of course it’s impossible not to become a real fan of guys hosting these programs, even if you don’t agree with them sometimes. They are cool and fun and like an old friends share with you their hour every morning. And on Wednesday I was lucky to see Jeannie Mai from “How do I look?” not just on TV screen. She was a special guest at “Limited” event in Water Tower place. Goodie bags, small bites and wine along with 40% off any regular price merchandise attracted huge amount of people. Head of design of “Limited” and Jeannie were hosting runway show with last fall collection of the brand. And must say they have a lot of cute stuff, definitely good place to go shopping for office attire. But honestly I kind of got concerned with “Limited” price point.
Let’s be straight, “Limited” is not a “status label’, quality is pretty good, but closer to average. But pricing tends to be in a higher segment. And my statement is based not just on a few items, but pretty much on the whole assortment in the store. Dresses start at $79.90, among which nicest and the most trendy are about $118.00, like this strapless one. And ask to notice top is made of FAUX leather (btw, isn’t it annoying that name of the garment on the tag or online says “LEATHER” when it’s FAUX LEATHER which you can figure out only reading fabric description?!). Now let’s look, for example, at MICHAEL Michael Kors . He offers fabulous dresses, stylish, with great structure starting from $89.50. Love this Zipper Dress! Wearing it you will feel and look like you jumped from the cover of a magazine. And it’s $130.00. Personally I’d rather pay $12 more and get better quality and more fashion forward design. Other great examples are scarves: leopard scarf in Limited for $29.90 vs leopard scarf in “Zara “ for $15.99? I pick “Zara”. Similar quality, could be even better, twice cheaper. For me it is no brainer. The same story with everything else: belts in the same price range that in “Guess” (!!!), tights for $19, common!!! Why would you even think to buy tights for $19 when in Macy’s you can grab 2 for $20 from an enormous variety of “Hue” brand?!

I don’t want you to think that I don’t like “Limited”, it would be not true. It’s a good strong brand with big formed customer base, but I am not sure if they really are what they want to look like. “Limited” positions itself as an affordable label, but in reality their prices jump out of this category and the rest (quality, design or simply image) doesn’t. You can find better deals in Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s. At the end of the day it’s up to you where to shop, just don’t be tricked by image of brand or store.