Showing posts from April, 2008

Art Necklace

I love fashion because I love art, and sometimes I find something that is so over-the-top amazing, I want to frame it and hang it on my wall. This one-of-a-kind necklace by J. W. Anderson certainly deserves a spot in a museum. The three resin orbs are covered in tulle netting and contain jewel tone beetles in mid flight. The tulle is embroidered with pearls, and the flowers are made of burned silk. I hope Vogue picks it up for editorials because it's the only way I'm ever going to see this $600 fantasy on anyone.

Nail Sticks

Several companies have come out with nail polish pens, so Fashion Me Fabulous is giving them a go. The general idea of these pens is that the lacquer is held in the body of the pen that you then click to distribute polish to a brush at the tip of the pen. You can hold it like a pen, which makes the fulcrum of your movement at the base rather than the top like with regular nail polish brushes.

Reviews were mixed. One of our readers loves them, and my mother, who has always had a sloppy time of painting her nails, now refuses to use anything else. I never had the problem my mom had, and while the speediness was impressive, I didn't find the application any easier than a regular brush. I bought a dark blue shade, but I'd like to get a white pen for doing french manicures. becca also loved the speediness of application and drying time, and thought they'd be great for throwing in a purse for on the go touch ups. The paint seemed rather thin and needed two applications. We all us…

Save or Splurge: Hair Products

I think most women either save with drug store discount products or splurge on pricey salon products. I've tried every discount product out there and even many of the salon knock-off products. Some of the work pretty well. However, some salon products just cannot be beat.

My ultimate salon product is Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam (pictured). I've tried every mousse on the market and this one works the best for me. It cost anywhere from $16 to $23 dollars for 16.9 oz. Most good drug store brands cost around $3 to $6 for 2.5 to 4.6 oz. Yes that is a lot cheaper, but you aren't getting nearly as much and the price per ounce isn't that different. I've also found that I have to use more of the drugstore brand than the salon brand so I have ended up spending more money for a lesser mousse.

Hairspray is a whole different story. Tressemme light hold is the best and only $3 for a big can. Many of their products are quite nice.

The rest of my products all come from John Frieda. …

Fashion Across the Web

-- Shoewawa reveals the ugliest shoes ever.

-- Style Bubble envisions a white dress as a painter's canvas with fabulous results.

-- All Lacquered Up looks into nail polishes without harmful chemicals.

-- Consumer Reports examines the comfort of three bras from three price ranges.

-- Dreamecho visits a store that celebrates the history of clothing.

Vintage Shop: Goodwill

I know you've heard of Goodwill. You may have even donated to Goodwill, but how often do you shop at Goodwill?

becca and I hit up one of my Indiana Goodwills this weekend. I found a BCBG dress for $2.50. (Not vintage, I know.) Since becca is the average American size, she was able to stock up with two jackets, two dresses, two tops and two necklaces all for under $25. Over half of her goodies were vintage and fit like they were made for her. She's so excited about her purchases, she'll be posting pictures of her haul later this week.

Searching can take time, so this is one shopping trip that I must do with a girlfriend. It's best to go with a friend who knows your taste but isn't your style or size so you don't fight over the same treasures. While I've walked away empty handed a couple times, more often I have to weed through the pile to decide what I really want. Plus, the prices are so good, I can still afford to have things tailored, something my short sel…

The Horror: Frontless Dress

This dress is missing a front panel. Somehow the piece of fabric for the front got away and no one else seems to have noticed. The page on shopbop where it retails for $306 even thanks designer Geren Ford for creating such a feminine, modern dress. Nothing about this dress even hangs properly on the model, which I'm sure means it would never hang correctly on me or anyone else for that matter.

Macabre Jewelry

I think my style has evolved into classically feminine with a macabre, Tim Burton twist. While I have no problem donning a cotton candy pink skirt, I would prefer to pair it with a skull scarf or snake bangle. A few of my college roommates find this post school style preference macabre and disturbing, but I think part of it is my reaction to the people "in the real world" who keep referring to me as cute, small, and quiet. Anyone else want to get in touch with her dark side?
Top: rib cage, Paraphernalia on Etsy $17
silver skull ring, Fetish Ghost on Etsy $32
ivory skull earrings with bows and rhinestones, Jest Jewels $70
Middle: pave set turquoise snake ring, Kenneth Jay Lane, Vivre $95
red gun earrings, Girl Props $2.99
silver molar, Chain Chain Chained on Etsy $28
razor blade earrings, Girl Props $4.99
Bottom: black skull pendant with gold tone chain, Oh! Said Rose $44.99
sterling knives necklace, Refinery 29 Shops $200
brain necklace, Paraphernalia on Etsy $17
art nouveau style snak…

This Week (and some of last) On Fashion Me Fabulous

-- Duste still loves Converse Chucks.

-- Top off your fab eco shoes with some eco-friendly clothes from Etsy and a vegan purse.

-- How do you feel about toe cleavage and feathers?

-- becca shares her tips for buying pants and panties.

-- Do you have a piece of clothing or accessory that makes you feel great? Do you love it because of some special circumstance attached to it? Share your story and pictures!

-- Striped dresses, magazine clutches, ruffled shoes and burlesque hats set our hearts a flutter.

-- Take some time to love who you are.

Ruffled Shoes


Project Design: Eco Friendly Fashion

Project Design is our own competition where we put together collection of independent designers for you to rate on your very own imaginary runway.

This week's challenge is the search for eco friendly clothing. Each items here is eco friendly in some way. Some are organic cotton or other natural materials; some are made form repurposed materials, and others are made with non-toxic materials. Which green will you choose?

The Butterfly Shirt (organic) by gaiaconceptions

Bamboo Evening Dress (organic) by globalgoddessgoods

Little Red (Repurposed) Riding Hoodie by lorigami

Vistrual Girl tee (non-toxic design) by VIIDRIO

Organic Sequins Tank (organic) by greentrims

more at

Dress Up Your Curves: Belle Avenue

Belle Avenue sells affordable and cute plus size clothings. Many of the departments are not yet available on their website. However they do have a cute collection of tops, jackets, jeans, and a few dresses. Most of the clothing is under $50. If they keep adding things, this could be a great shopping site. Belle Avenue has a brick and mortar store in Downtown Los Angeles.

Layered Blouse $28
Pinstripe Jacket $35

Love or Loathe: Toe Cleavage

I have a few pairs of mary jane flats which come so low as to reveal the little lines of my toes. Different roommates in college declared this cute or gross. Do you care if the tops of your toes peek over your shoes or do you think it makes you shoes look too small?

cream lace ballet flat, ALL BLACK "Lacey Lady", Endless $114.95

You may also be interested in Bright Colorful Shoes for Spring, Love or Loathe: Feathered Sandals.

Magazine Clutches

I adore this Jimmy Choo clutch that looks like a rolled up magazine. But at $595 for the limited edition painting and designer name, it's completely out of my price range.
Melroxx sells clutches made from a variety of West Coast and large city magazines. They're not cheap at $99, but that's a steal compared to the Jimmy Coo version. Plus, repurposing items is one of the most efficient means of recycling. If you'd like a magazine clutch, write or call Melroxx for more information.

Etsy Shop of the Week: Topsy Turvy Design

Jael Paris recently told me about an Etsy shop that has very quickly become one of my favorite Etsy shops, Topsy Turvy Design. This shop creates the most amazing hats. Topsy Turvy's designer has been making hats for 7 years. She learned the craft as an intern in a theatre costume shop and fell in love. She worked in textiles and design for years until starting her own business a year ago. She draws her inspiration from history, both the history from books for the periods for her designs and from forgotten bits of history found in flea markets.

The Topsy Turvy Design hats show amazing detail, care, and craftsmanship. Each piece is truly a work of art. I don't know if I could pick a favorite. The designer's current favorites are her Rhinestone Encrusted Top Hattie in Peacock worn with the Peacock Pin and the Marie Antoinette Tricorn Hat. Her top sellers differ for each of her shops, but her top Etsy sellers are the hair clips.

I was most curious about the materials and process…

Women, Beauty and Brutality

I saw this on Post Secret about a month ago, and have been hanging on to it for a post of my own.
But what can I say? Since I don't even know the gender of the person who made the post card, all I can do is project my own frustrations.

Ladies, could we try for a day to not pick at ourselves let alone others? Can we talk about parts of our bodies we love and possibly start to think of ourselves as good enough? Can we stop worrying what people are whispering and just serenely go about our days? Can we focus on who we are instead of who we think we should be?

Just please don't call them "kicks"

By now, I've fashioned myself (please ignore any unintentional puns, I hate them as much as you do dear reader) a wide selection of shoes.

Especially for a guy.

As I move out of my small college apartment and into the big wide working world, I've had to move that gather and box them all, giving me far too much time to reflect on the pairs I own, and ignore finishing packing the rest of my junk.

I'm of the idea that shoes are as expressive a piece clothing as a yellow pinstripe suit on a bright day. While most guys have on average three shoes for the three things they will ever have to wear:-Formal Brown Shoe or Black Shoe for special events or the office

-Casual Boot for hanging out with the guys

-Sneaker, if not for running or basketball, then usually based on the hugely popular Adidas 'soccer' runner
...Some dudes, and most gals, know the kind of impression a well outfitted pair of shoes can make. Although frighteningly overused by the "emo" crowd, the Chuck …

The Everyday Vegan Purse

I am neither a vegan nor a vegetarian, but my boss is. She was recently expressing her frustration at searching for an everyday bag that is not leather. For such people, Harvey's nylon seatbelt bags are a great option because they don't even give the illusion of being made of animal products. Not only are they sturdy and built to last, but repurposing the seatbelts keeps them out of landfills. Harvey's seatbelt bags are available in a variety of colors, styles and patterns.
multi messenger, Harvey's "Treecycle", Endless $168

If you're looking for a less utilitarian looking non-leather bag, try one of these:
Top: denim look canvas shopper, Sondra Roberts, Endless $55
multi floral canvas tote, Pink "Mali", Vegetarian Shoes and Handbags $55
Middle: orange floral canvas drawstring bag, ECHO "Delphina", Endless $98
tamale large frame bag, Mat and Nat, Luna Boston $160
red and white stripe shopper, Big Buddha "Harbor", Endless $75

Save or Splurge: Nail Polish

I'm torn with this one. I do love nail polish, but I'm too lazy to wear it most of the time. However, I have paid a little more for a great color that I know I'll wear. While it seems like Wet N Wild or NYC should sell almost any color, there are just those amazing shades that seem to come only in the pricier polishes.

Nail polish also doesn't last forever, and I almost never use an entire bottle before throwing it away. I don't mind throwing away $1.49, but throwing away $8 kind of bothers me, even if only about $5 are left.

I am currently coveting this shade from Nicole by OPI. I think it's about $8 at Target (it looks a little different in person). I could see me wearing this color, and none of the cheaper brands have anything remotely close. So I guess I'm a bit stuck because I feel like nail polish should be a save, but I am usually inclined to splurge. Thoughts?

Virtuous Violet from Nicole by OPI

The Horror: Seisure Shoes

To start with, I had heavy heeled platforms with thick straps in eighth grade. They were pretty good shoes for a teen to try heels in, but they certainly weren't stylish. Mine were also white instead of a bright, nausea-inducing paisley like these "Gibson" slides by Zinc. I wonder if they added that neutral ring between the straps to tone things down? If this is how you want to express your love of warm weather, they're $69.99 at Macy's.

Vintage Shop: Bella Umbrella

When I went to China with some of my classmates a few years ago, one of our hosts gave us umbrellas. These wear not really meant for protecting us from the rain so much as protecting us from the sun. Pale skin is still revered in China (pasty girls rejoice!), and many women carry parasols. It also provided relief from the tropical sun that I was sure would melt this Hoosier.

Back in the States, people give you funny looks if you're carrying a parasol, but I'm a big advocate of skin health (and not getting heat stroke). Now that the sun is peaking out, I'm thinking of ways to stay in the shade. Bella Umbrella carries beautiful umbrellas and parasols from the early 1900s to the 1960s. An art deco ruffled parasol with a lucite handle is certainly not the cheapest way to stay pale and cool, but it makes a statement for those who aren't shy. They certainly have more personality than that free purse-sized umbrella you got from your local newspaper. Bella Umbrella also rents f…

Tips for Underwear Shopping

Last week I posted about my adventures in pants shopping. However, before you shop for pants I recommend you look into investing in some new underwear. I know it's an easy thing to save some money on, and I know you keep the old stuff around for those times when you just can't do any more laundry. However, good looking pants require good underpants. This is the key for ensuring you won't have any extra bumps created by too tight waistbands or any lumps created by saggy granny panties.

Since underwear shopping is daunting here are a few tips:

1. Start somewhere simple. I recommend starting your underwear quest where all the panties are laid out well and every style under the sun is available, someplace like Victoria Secret. I do not necessarily suggest you buy from this store (I think Vicki's quality has taken a nose dive in recent years). However this is a good place learn about every style and fabric you'll find in most stores. Look at everything, you may find some…

Four Similar Striped Dresses

This mini dress with vertical stripes will make your legs go on for miles. It has a subtle amount of shimmer for a night out. Unfortunately, this Temperley London dress is going for a heart-stopping $995 on Net-a-Porter.
French Connection has taken the stripe idea and made it more of a day dress in a long sleeved knit. It's available in the black and grey pictured or in cream and black. FCUK is selling it for a much more reasonable but still out of my budget $198.
Forever 21 has copied French Connection's design and opted to only change the sleeves and waist detail. The maroon sleeveless belted version is $24.80. The cap sleeve dress, available in red or yellow, is $22.80. Which of these dresses tickles your striped fancy?

Story of a Dress

I bought this dress at NafNaf in Paris when I was seventeen, and consider it the first piece of real clothing I owned. Until then, I wore the same dingy colored khaki, denim and flannel as my peers. I tried to accessorize with vintage chains and scarves but was often met with ridicule that my timid heart could not take. Then I went to Paris, where the women look fabulous even to buy groceries. They exuded power, sensuality and softness all at once, something I'd never seen from American women. This dress was more than I'd ever spent on a piece of clothing (not too expensive, but more Banana Republic than DEB). It was buttery soft and bright pink, a color neither I nor my peers wore. It fit and felt better than anything I'd ever put on. That's when I learned that skirts make me feel like I can kick the world's ass and leaving it loving me.

Paris set free my inner fashionista, the part of me that finds sneakers impractical and sweatshirts a bore, the part of me that u…

A Few Days Off

becca and I are taking some time off for a writer's conference. (Plus, we haven't seen each other in three months, and that's unbearable in friendship world.) Try not to go into fashion withdrawal while we're learning how to be better poets. Maybe Duste will break free from the beast known as college to stylishly come to your rescue. If not, we've stored up some plump archives of indie stores to browse, questionable fashion to decide on, trends to try, looks to laugh about, and vintage to snag.

(Psst! Every time you leave a comment, becca gets an email, so lets see how full we can get her inbox by the time we return on Saturday afternoon.)

Terra Plana Eco Shoes

Generally when I look at eco shoes, they are the epitome of fug. The tops look too flimsy for heavy use or inclement weather and the chunky hemp soles too hippy dippy. Terra Plana's shoes, however, are sturdy enough to handle Great Lakes weather, and chic enough for even the most professional settings. The company's goal is to create anatomically healthy shoes that are repairable and made of sustainable or recycled materials. The reduced number of chemicals used in the materials and dye is especially beneficial to those with skin allergies.

Terra Plana shoes aren't cheap, running between $125-$200, but that's not any more than you'd expect to pay for a well-made pair of leather shoes. Knowing that these shoes are made eco-consciously, are repairable, are made with an actual human foot in mind, and are fair trade, I'd much rather plop down money for one of these beauties.

pink "Mumbai" flat $125
pale green "Juniper" pump $185

Terra Plana also car…

The Horror: Marc Jersey Dress

Jersey dresses are an easy, breezy gift from God; after all, they feel like a tee shirt but look chic. Athletic inspired dresses aren't my thing, especially since I have no idea where such a monster is supposed to be worn. An athletic inspired mini dress made of jersey rayon selling for $1,565 on Net-a-Porter is just hilarious. Unless the sequins making up the number 9 are made of platinum, all that cost appears to be in the name Marc Jacobs. Does anyone else think this dress look less like a dress and more like an oversized tee shirt you wear to bed?*

*Yes, I'm aware that bedtime and underwear were sort of the theme of that Marc show, but I didn't think this would be one of the pieces to make it into stores.

Vintage Shop: Black Raven Vintage

While she's currently obsessed with Mod and New Look (and it's hard not to be), Black Raven Vintage sells classic pieces from the 1940s through the 1980s. The pieces are well-made with plenty of character, but they aren't dated or trend-centered. Raven is up front about selling things she'd wear, so expect more of what you see. Her Etsy shop is currently stocked with great trenches and dresses for transitional spring weather plus vintage shoes with perfect heels for all-day wear. (As you can see, Raven is also much better with photo collages than I am!) Prices run in the rather reasonable Gap range.
70s maxi sailor dress $69
80s mauve raincoat with contrast piping and removable hood $62

Adventures in Pants Shopping with becca

If there is one item of clothing I have a hard time shopping for it's dress pants. Pants never fit right and usually point out figure flaws that may not even be there.

Also, I'm in between lengths. At 5'7" I'm not tall enough for many talls but not short enough for regulars. The leg on the talls is the right length, but the top of the pant is usually too long and ill fitting. Usually I end up trying on every pair of pants in three sizes and two lengths, but none of them ever fit or even meet requirements for reasonable tailoring.

This means that pants shopping requires a great deal of support. If the pants need to be a specific style or color, then the shopping trip requires support and the promise of chocolate when it's all over. This is exactly the trip I embarked on last week.

Here are my top 10 tips for pants shopping:

1. Find a good friend, one who will be honest enough to say the pants don't fit and kind enough to remind you that it's the pants faul…

Cute Villain

A cute villain is "a person who possesses an insatiable appetite for all that is devilishly adorable and wicked. They have the power to captivate and charm, ultimately dominating all those around them." If that's you, Cute Villain has some devilishly adorable tees and bags for you to express yourself with. Almost all this mischievous cute is less than $30, a charm I'm sure you can't resist.
red owl leather wristlet $22.50
misery sexy sailor tee $26

Be Cheap. Look Like a Million: Sequin Skirt

The system at work is acting crazy, giving me plenty of time to browse Etsy. I thought about buying this vintage Calvin Klein sage green sequin skirt. The seller's suggestion of a tee and flip flops to dress it down or a blouse and heels to dress it up is exactly what I'd do. It's such a flattering green, and those sequins lay nicer than any $20 sequin number you could get at Forever 21. Contact the seller, 5963impala, for more information about size and shipping.

Edit: I fixed the link. Sorry!

Love or Loathe? Feathered Sandals

I'm pro feather. When the fuggers fug someone for wearing feathers, I always think what others consider over-the-top to be high glam fabulousity. (Especially if that someone is Tyra Banks. If her self proclaimed fierce self can't pull off feathers, there is no hope for my obsession.)

Yet, I'm torn on this teal feathered ankle cuff sandal. It feels less fab and more Cherokee as interpreted by Beverly Hills. When I picture it worn with a floaty summer dress, it goes back to fab.

What are your thoughts on this sandal and on feathers on shoes in general?

This Week On Fashion Me Fabulous

-- Elroy Apparel is chic, organic and in need on an online retailer.

-- Explore the pairing of pink and red.

-- Need help buying a suit, a raincoat, or a plus size prom dress?

-- Style an outfit you'd wear to meet your boyfriend's parents in our Target Challenge.

-- We can only dream of Miu Miu's python cutout boots but Bobbi Blu's t-straps are cute and attainable.

-- Would you wear hair jewelry?

Project Design: Purple Necklaces

Project Design is our own competition where we put together collection of independent designers for you to rate on your very own imaginary runway.

This week, I looked for purple necklaces. Which necklace would win a place in your jewelry box?

Purple Rain Simplicity Necklace by beadsss

Your Highness by 1ofmykind

Fluxus Necklace by equilibria

Petals necklace by carrieWdesigns

Purple Lace Choker by Aranwen

Grapevine by gemnorde

more at