Showing posts from July, 2008

Fashion Find: Marshall's "The Cube"

Not too long ago, I reviewed Marshall's Shoe Mega Shop. Now, Marshall's has more exciting shopping with "The Cube"– an in-store boutique area. The Cube collects all of the major juniors labels in one area of the store and brings in some additional young and juniors clothing. Not only does The Cube make it easier to find the trendier clothing, it has some amazing prices. Most of the tops cost between $10 and $20. Most dresses and pants cost between $10 and $40. The bags were more expensive, but still a lot less than you'd pay at the mall.

The Cube carries BCBGirls, Roxy, Guess, Free People, DKNY, Necessary Objects, Seven7 For all Mankind and some other, lower-end juniors brands. The selection is pretty good, and it's organized so the clothes are easier to look through. The Cube carries clothes, bags and even discount hair products. Every Marshall's has a slightly different selection.

You will have better luck finding a great deal if you wear a small. Mediums…

Buttons, Babe

I've heard it said that the easiest way to determine the quality of a shirt or jacket is by the button holes. But with most people not knowing much about sewing, how easy is it to identify sloppy work? Below are pictures of some of my jackets and tops. Can you guess purely by the button holes what their original retail price was? (Being the devoted Goodwill shopper that I am, this is thankfully not what I paid for these items. Brand research or the original tags lead me to these prices.)

A. $20
B. $34
C. $44
D. $88
E. $300
F. $450

If Only I Could Sew

I frequently wish I could sew, but without a sewing machine all such dream tasks turn into long pains in the fingers. I currently wish I could make a copy of this vintage Victor Costa dress out of ribbons. If I had the money, I'd find a local seamstress or one on Etsy who would be willing to undertake the project. Alas, being between jobs just leaves me in a lusty, dreamy state.

Project Runway: Episode 3

Tonight the designers were challenged to take photos of New York City at night. They had to choose one photo as inspiration for their "night out" outfit. Overall, this was a great challenge with a lot of potential. I don't think the designers lived up to the potential overall. A lot of the looks weren't anything new or interesting. Sandra Bernhard was the guest judge. As always, this post has spoilers.

Suede continued to use the third person. Suede loves the third person. Suede is still annoying. Suede's dress this week was fine, but boring. The judges put him through with the group that was neither in the bottom or the top.

Stella, the all-leather all the time designer, is becoming increasingly helpless and annoying. Her constant cries for help regarding everything from operating a digital camera to shopping for fabric do not give me confidence that she knows what's she doing or how to do it by herself. She seems to be good with leather, but I didn't think…

Etsy Find of the Week: Sara Schalliol Jewelry Display

I have several jewelry boxes, but my jewelry rarely finds its way into them. I tend to leave my necklaces everywhere, which is why I love these cool jewelry displays. If I had something like this, I would use it because it takes the same amount of energy and thought as leaving a necklace on my dresser.

Besides being convenient, the jewelry displays are cute, colorful and a fun way show off your jewelry. The simple design makes these little trees any easy fit almost any decor. They would make great gifts for your jewelry loving friends too.

The displays come in a few styles and a ton of colors. Check out Sara Schalliol's Wildernest on Etsy to see all the styles.

Pictured: Sappling Jewelry Display $46

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

Details:Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finaly was published in 2003. The author focuses on popular pigments and dyes of the pre-synthetic era. In addition to covering art history, the book is part travelogue.

If you're curious about the history of colors or want to know more about making organic dyes, this is a must read.

Pros: I'd never thought before what goes into making a dye and how frustrating it would be to see a color in nature and not be able to reproduce it anywhere else. It's amazing how many people died in the pursuit and trade of color.

I'd also never thought about the difference between pigments and dyes. For example, in Jan van Eyck's The Arnolfini Portrait, it would have been impossible for anyone to have that color of green cloth at that time; thus the choice of color for the wife's dress must be seen as purely symbolic.

Cons: Finlay frequently veers into speculation, but at least she's clear about it when she does.

The chap…

Save or Splurge: Comfy Shoes

I love shoes, but even the cutest shoes in the world have to be comfortable or I just won't wear them more than once.

I recently purchase two pairs of super cute, super cheap shoes. I got really excited by the low price tags and fun colors. My foot fit in the shoes so I bought them. Both pairs are packed up and ready to return to the store. They fit, but when I tried them on at home, I realized that they were sitting shoes. Sitting shoes don't work for walking, standing or even driving. They pinch or blister. I find this to be true of most cheap shoes.

Comfort seems to come at a price. Especially if you hope to pair comfort with style. I love all of my Naturalizer shoes because they are both comfortable and cute. I also love them because I buy them on sale. Most of the shoes cost around $70 to $80 new, this is a splurge on my budget. However, they tend to go on great sales. If you wait for clearance, you can turn a splurge into a save at $20 to $40. (That's a good save!)

If I…

Ballyhoo Vintage

Ballyhoo Vintage was another shop mentioned repeatedly in the best vintage shopping books I consulted, but they've been selling online as well for over ten years. They sell women's and men's clothing from the 1930s-1970s with a concentration on the 1950s. If you love vintage clothing but have a hard time finding something for your curves, Ballyhoo Vintage has some deals for you too. In addition to clothes, they sell jewelry, shoes, bags, hats, lingerie, swimsuits and accessories. Girly retro dresses sell out fast, but I'm loving their 1960s and 70s collection (and it's cheaper!). Prices generally range from $35-$150 depending on the piece. Their current stock includes several unworn pieces still bearing their original tags.
black silky dress 1970s $49
abstract floral early 1960s cocktail dress $65
black and white ruffle mini dress 1960s $49
gold mules 1960s (Never worn!) $49


The ladies of Fashion Me Fabulous dream big, but frequently don't have the know how to makes those clothing ideas a wearable reality. If you crave some do-it-yourself inspiration, here are some bloggers with much craftier fingers.

-- I'm particularly fond of Kingdom of Style's shower poof skirt, but her blog is full of great ideas for tailoring vintage finds from Grandma-land to Chicville.

-- The Flicker group DIY Clothes has plenty of forums and photos.

-- Designer do-it-yourselves are my favorite part of Fashionista.

-- Crafty Crafty can teach you how to make cool accessories and more.

-- Follow A Dress A Day on her sewing adventures. She also has lots of great tips and links for you seamstresses out there.

-- Garbage of Eden has a new D.I.Y. every week.

Vested Interest

Recently, I have purchased three vests – a fitted denim vest, a black menswear vest and a slouchy button-front, light-weight sweater vest. I love how these can change an outfit. The menswear vest adds structure to my girly skirts and dresses, the denim vest adds edge to feminine tops and the slouchy vest adds a relaxed feel to some of my super structured pieces.

Vests make a great addition if you have a limited wardrobe or you want to bring new life to what you have. They're everywhere for summer and fall so you should be able to find vests pretty easily. Here are some in a variety of styles:

Top Row:
Adam khaki crochet wrap vest, $123.24
Lucinda Vest, Anthropologie $118
Satin Back Waistcoat, Forever 21 $17.80
Palm Vest, Anthropologie $148
Women's Linen Vest, Old Navy $11.99
Bottom Row:
Robert Rodriguez notch lapel vest, $186.99
Candie's® Ruffle Denim Vest, Kohls $19
Vanessa Bruno Wool sleeveless blazer, Net-A-Porter $406.80

Top Row:
Silence & Noise Drapey C…

The Horror: Gladiator Thong Sneakers

Fitflop, the company that tries to make walking more work, is responsible for this mess. With the laces and that padded top, I can't help but think "sneaker." But then it's a thong sandal. For some reason, they call them gladiators. Because they thought snake skin meant Roman fighter?

Sunscreen For Your Lips

I went to the fair this weekend and learned the hard way how important it is to wear sunscreen on your lips. I always worry about my lips chapping in the winter, but here I am in July nursing a flaky pucker.

If you constantly loose chapsticks, you may want to go with the cheapest option. Sally Hansen makes a lip balm with sunscreen and comes in several flavors for about $1 at most drugstores.
If you're really worried about your pout chapping and burning in the sun, try Kiss My Face Hot Spots with SPF 30. It's certified organic, which is great for those of us with fragrance allergies. Best of all, it's formulated for use on your lips, ears, and face. For about $9, that's not a bad deal.

Project Design: Super Simple Earrings

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

I have super sensitive ears so don't I have many earrings I can wear. When I do buy them I like to fing simple earrings that will have more than one function. Designers on Etsy offer a variety of super simple earrings that are elegant and can be worn for pretty much any occasion from everyday wear to an evening out. I found so many I had a hard time narrowing down the list.

Which pair would you choose for anytime wear?

Triangle earrings by Tangle

Simple Hoops by catherine chandler

Roxy by kusu

Ginkgo Hoops by growLively

split into by april kawaoka

Modern Leaf Earrings by Ashley Akers Jewelry

poll by

Dream Shopping at Net-a-Porter

I'm in between jobs right now, and no money means no shopping. Of course, I still want to shop. I'll avoid spending any money by window shopping at Net-a-Porter's new fall stock.

I guess I'm not over ruffles, a trend which is extending to this next season, because I'm in love with these ruffled blouses by Bill Blass and Lela Rose.

In the relm of divine dresses, RM by Roland Mouret has this lovely number that would be perfect for going from the office to a party. For a cocktail party, Aquascutum made this "divine bodice dress." It's like they knew I was fantasy shopping! That green would be amazing on most people.

The jewelry from Alexander McQueen's gothic India show is hitting stores. Let's all take a moment to drool over these earrings.
I have a bit of a button fetish, so I've looked at these black Fendi boots at least three times. Since this is fantasy shopping, I want Alexander McQueen's sexed up Victorian boots. Yum.Fantasy shopping h…

Beauty Buy: John Frieda's Secret Weapon

I swear by many John Frieda products. They work great and are kind to my sensitive skin. The products are pretty affordable too.

Recently, John Frieda came out with Secret Weapon from the Frizz-Ease line. It's a finishing creme to smooth out frizzies and soften dry hair. I bought some and found that it's great for those days I over blow dry the ends of my hair. It's also amazing for second day frizz.

I usually use John Frieda's Satin Shine finishing creme from the Brilliant Brunette line, which is great for added shine and a little smoothing. However, I've found that Secret Weapon is better for getting frizz to work with a style.

Also, if you are suffering from split or dry ends, Secret Weapon can help get you through to your next hair cut. A little goes a long way so the $6 tube will last a long time. Best of all, if used properly and not too close to the root it doesn't make the hair really oily.

To battle with frizzies, quench dry hair or just add a little mor…

High Necked Halters At Work


Project Runway: Episode 2

Tonight the designers were challenged to create a cocktail dress, and the models were their clients. Overall, the challenge sounded pretty simple, but they threw in a twist (of course). The models were sent shopping so the designers had no say in what materials or colors they were working with. Also, the fabrics all had to be green so the designers were working with natural fibers.

Many of the models chose the same fabrics as others, and many did not purchase enough material. However, the designers created a lot of great looks.

The top two looks were very different, but used the same material. Kenley created a chic, sophisticated evening look. I love the ruffled collar and sleek styling. I would love to wear this.

Suede created the winning look with the crazy, fun, flirty dress. Natalie Portman was the guest judge, and she loved it. Suede also gets his look sold on If you love it as much as Natalie did, watch for the dress to show up there.

While I like Suede's creation, …