Read Directions First

This is a PSA to all my readers who follow my method of washing clothes.

Normally I'm a big fan of just throwing all of my clothes into the washing machine on a delicate cycle with some woolite and calling it a day.

I've actually had pretty good success with this method, except that I found out one tag when it says "hand wash" and "dry clean only" they really do mean it.

Cashmere and merino wool.

If these aren't mixed with any other fibers, apparently they become matted by the agitation of the washing machine, and shrink. Kind of like when you felt wool or when you rat your hair to create dreads.

What this means is that I just had a perfectly good sweater that is now about the right size to fit an American Girl doll.


Strange Trends

 Can we talk about two strange trends that I've seen surfacing for spring?
I'm all for fringe trends, I always find them more fascinating than the usual "Hem lines are up! Hem lines are down! Its a season about _____ insert: boobs, waist, legs"

Fringe trends never seem to be about figure flattery or sex appeal, which can be refreshing.


Possibly the least big-foot friendly shoe created. Ever.*
Yet there's something very appealing about the look of these, they make me think of geishas.

High-street designers take note: I'd like a pair like these from Opening Ceremony, aka the altar of cool.

Feather Hair Extensions

These just might be for a style that's more boho than mine. My room-mate who looks like she walked out of a Wildfox Couture catalogue would rock these hard (I'm dropping hints for her to get some ; ) )
However, still very intrigued. I wonder how they would look after a week of washing and blow-drying?

Anyway, I'll keep you guys updated if I see any other interesting fringe trends.

* Except maybe creepers. Those I won't touch with a ten foot pole, my feet are big enough already.

Photos thanks to Style.com and Refinery 29


The Boys of Paris and Milan

Boys of Milan & Paris FW2011 from Justin Wu on Vimeo.

This video shot by Jak & Jil is just too cute not to share.


DKNY Scarf/Vest/Blouse

And this is what we call versatility...
A piece of silk that can be used as a scarf, vest and a blouse, and look good while doing it?
Sign me up.

Also, does this remind anyone of those shirts in the '90s that were glamorized bandannas wrapped around your chest? Or in my case I think I did use an actual bandanna.
Good times.


Bodega Kitties

As anyone who has lived in NYC knows, rats are a HUGE problem. That and monstrous cockroaches.*

So most bodega owners keep a cat around, because as anyone knows, a cat is better than all the exterminators and poisons that money can buy.
Besides, look at the cuteness!
It makes me miss my own two fat tabbies that I left back in Boston so much....
Although, the only things that my cats hunt are bumblebees and shoelaces.

For the article I found on how health inspectors are trying to outlaw cats in bodegas, check it out here. Personally I think it's silly, I think it's much healthier to have a cat than to be spraying poison around food.

*Don't even get me started on the time I had to hunt down three of them that were living in our apartment. Ewww. Those things will not die.

Photos thanks to Buzzfeed


Rag and Bone

I still partially refuse to do these posts on the spring collection, seeing as I can't actually wear any of it right now.
So let's re-acquaint ourselves with the fall runway shall we?

We have Raga and Bone's designs, inspired by "those crazy English guys who climbed Mount Everest in tweed", but I think it can pretty easily be transferred off the runway into real life.


I'd consider this a perfectly cozy ensemble. Maybe strip off the coat and the scarf when indoors though, as I'm sure sweating profusely isn't fashionable. 


Vivian Maier

I just wanted to share this amazing story (and amazing photos) with you all.
Vivian Maier was a nanny by day and in her off hours was a street photographer from 1950's - 1990's. No one had known of her work, until it was discovered recently in an Estate sale in Chicago.
They uncovered 100,000 negatives, thousands of prints, and a ridiculous amount of undeveloped film.

John Maloof  bought the photographs and negatives and is now undertaking the process of developing all of the film and archiving it, and sharing what he finds on his blog.

The images are simply stunning for an amateur photographer.

For the blog and the rest of her discovered work, click here.


Man Pants

You guys have no idea how excited these pants make me.

I know they're old man pants (wide leg, pleated, high waist... yup. Old man pants).
I know they make me look like a bowling pin.
I also know that I don't particularly care.

Sometimes fashion is about knowing all the proper figure-flattery rules and then blatantly breaking them. Just because you can.

The best part is that I totally snagged these (and another close replica, except in a very, very tiny black and white triangle pattern and without the pleats) for about $10 each at a thrift store.
Did I mention that they're vintage Emanuel Ungaro?


Nude Love

Once again, can I just get some love for the shoe brand United Nude?
I know I talked about them last year also, but every time I stumble across their shoes I just loooovvee them.
Come home with me sweeties, I promise, you'll be well loved...

To shop United Nude click here.


Things for Spring (and now too)

I'm starting to compile a "things I would like to find in my closet this spring" list.
Great thing is that a lot of them are already in stores (and already on sale what?!).
Not-so-great thing is that it's still freezing and snowing up in here for the next few months.

And since I never quite got down that whole patience thing, I want to wear my purchases right now!

So here's my spring wish-list, and how I'd wear it now (left) and later (right)

Floaty Maxi-skirt
I love, love maxi skirts. It's taken me a little while for my eye to adjust to the silhouette, but I've decided that it's love. Now if I could only find one long enough to purchase because I hate when they end around your ankles instead of skimming the ground : (


Brown Suede Boots
So I want a pair of suede booties for spring. Brown, soft suede, with laces, a little heel but not too high, and a little western inspired, but no cowboy boots please.
And did I mention these are on sale for $19.99?


High-waist Denim Skirt
I love the girl-next-door vibe of a denim mini skirt but, as I've mentioned, my body does not like a low skirt. Instead, I'd love to track down a flippy little high-waisted a-line denim mini. Much better.


Chambray Shirt
This one is more a classic. I had a great one by Tommy Hilfiger last summer, but due to an unfortunate bleach incident, it had to retire. So I'm on the hunt for a new one this year.

Chambray Shirt


Jaggy Nettle and All Saint's Sales

Just two sales that are much, much too good not to share*:

First, All Saints is having a 70% off sale

$210 $63

$150 $45

and secondly, Jaggy Nettle is having a 40% off sale via Kingdom of Style
Don't know who Jaggy Nettle is?
Well, you're missing out then. Hop on over to their site and check them out.

My favorite sweater from them. How perfect would this be for me? 

*Aka I'm saving up for another trip with my girlfriends, so if I can't shop hopefully I can get others to!

Tips for Buying on Ebay

As promised, here's my few tips and tricks for buying on Ebay.
And let me tell you, I've gotten some fantastic deals and I've also gotten some awful duds.

Many of my friends complain that they don't shop on Ebay because "I can't try it on or return it, I'm stuck with it! What if I don't like it?"

The way I look at it is that if I'm buying five blouses, blazers, tops, whatever, each for about $10, probably four of them will work out and one of them won't.
But mathematically, it just means I paid $50 for four usable pieces, so only $13 for each usable piece (give or take). Still much cheaper than buying at retail, so it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Anyway, on to shopping!

Finding Your Item

Make sure your search term isn't too specific. Type in a word or two (such as a brand and size) and narrow down results using the categories on the left hand side.

Think outside the box when it comes to search terms. Try using similar phrases (such as "denim" and "jeans") and also try misspelling the word to find auctions where the seller made a mistake in the listing.

If you have a favorite brand that you always buy from, start there. Or do you have a designer brand that you wish you could own, but it's too expensive? Try typing them in and see what's out there.

Also make sure to take advantage of the advanced search feature. It allows you to narrow down the search results by how soon the auction is ending, location of the seller, and a bunch of other requirements.

Advanced search also allows you to save your favorite searches and have any new results e-mailed to you on a daily basis. This feature is a god-send, because really, the way to get the best deals is to check in daily. But who has time for that?

Buyer Beware

Just a few things to keep your buying experience pleasant and prevent duds from showing up on your doorstep:

Check measurements. Sizes vary even within a brand, so always check the measurements of the garment to make sure that it fits.

Check seller's ratings. I'm a little hesitant to go below a 99% positive rating, although I'm bidding right now with a seller who has a 96% rating (A Philip Lim skirt! For $11!) because I took a look into her feedback and since she's only sold to 12 people, one negative feedback for slow shipping brought her down to a 96%. So use your judgement.

Check shipping charges. A great deal may not be so great after all of the shipping charges. So make sure to include that in the price so you aren't surprised at the end of the auction.

If there's ever an issue with the item you receive, the seller you are buying from, ect. ect. head right on over to the Ebay conflict resolution center. Ebay is a very buyer-oriented experience, so they will probably resolve the issue in your favor.

And if you ever have any questions at all, message the seller. Most of them are more than happy to provide additional information or pictures.


There are really two ways to deal with bidding. Go the cheap route or the necessities route.

If you're cheap (like moi) definitely snipe auctions.
I know it's a bit low and I know it's a cheap shot. But man,  does it work.
Just hold off bidding until the last few minutes of an auction, then bid your highest amount. It doesn't give the other bidders a time to raise their bid and it keeps the auction low.
Also, there are people out there that you can pay to snipe an auction for you. Not sure if it's worth the price, but they're out there.

However, if you don't have the time or it's something that's necessary in your life, just start off bidding the highest amount you are willing to pay, plus a dollar or two to protect against snipers. Then, sit back and let the Internet gods decide.

Be a Good Buyer

Just a few ways you can help keep the Ebay community running smoothly.

Realize that the sellers are people too. Sometimes they make mistakes.
Also realize that you are buying used clothing (unless otherwise stated). Don't expect for it to have that "brand-new from the store" clothes smell or look.
Always pay what you bid on. There's nothing more frustrating than having to put in a "have not received payment" case. If you are having trouble paying, just message the seller. Communication is key.
If you had an unpleasant experience and are about to leave negative feedback, talk to the seller. See if you can resolve the issue.
Also, read the description, the whole description. Nobody likes surprises.

Anyway, that's my basic beginner's guide to buying from Ebay. Are there any tips that I'm missing?

Dances of Vice

If you're in the New York area, get your calendars ready, because you're going to want to mark this one down.

Last week I stumbled upon/wound up chatting with Shien Lee at a dancing class, and found out she organizes the Dances of Vice events.

Described as "the art of nightlife once again revived... showcasing an exotic melange of art, performance, and music influenced by that special time in history, the 1920s and '30s"
It's more generally known as one of the best parties in town, bringing all of the new romantics and eccentrics out of the wood work for a night of over the top opulence and decadence.
Generally, a smashing good time.

After class she invited me to their next event, a film noir themed party held at the Ace Hotel on January 29th.
If you're interested, check out their website: Dances of Vice, for more information.

Here's one of their past events, the Cursed Circus:



Time for yet another episode of what is lurking around in my inspiration folder (besides "spring, hurry up and get here already!") because winter is really killing my desire to be fabulous.

Photo Credit: Keira Knightley for Vogue Italia January 2011, Kasia Struss by Hugh Lippe, Paris Street Chic at Elle.com, Gemma Booth, Kingdom of Style 


Body Chain Debate ft. Emma Roberts

What's all the fuss?
For some god-knows reason everyone's in a tizzy about Emma Roberts wearing a body chain. My favorite is Lovelyish doesn't even know what to call the damn thing (kinda like they didn't know to put my name on my articles that they syndicated. Hint, you call that ERIN. But I'm not irritated about it or anything).
So here's the picture that has everyone saying "OMG what is she wearing?!"

Yeah, I didn't see the big deal either.
Actually, I think it looks great. That's how I'd wear it.

Also the Queen's at The Kingdom of Style and Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere have been rocking the body chain for a year or so now.

And I believed that I mentioned how much I loved the look (but really can't justify buying one) back in 2009 in this post here.

Anyway, a big YAY to Ms. Roberts for trying something a little different, and a big YAY for personal style. The world would be so boring without it.

P.S. If you want to try out the trend yourself for cheap, check these out:

Shoulder Chain by Nassarius $28

Body Harness by People's Couture $29

My favorite ever is still this one by Peace Images though....

Body Chains vol 4 $42



Much Love to Lands End

I have a serious soft spot for heritage brands, and with a pseudo-preppy style you can imagine my devotion to places like Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, Lilly Pulitzer, Land's End, Sperry and L.L. Bean.

However, I just ordered a Breton striped shirt and cardigan from Land's End (they're having a super sale at their spin-off brand that j'adore: Lands End Canvas) and the little note I received just made me love them a little bit more:

While their sizes are a bit too generous (I had to return two shirts that I had ordered, much too big in the waist) if I ever have something that I don't mind being a bit slouchy, I will definitely order from them.

For the price, the quality is fantastic (with only a dud here or there, but what do you expect?).
The customer service and return policy is helpful and easy.
Their Canvas brand is a younger, trimmer, updated version of their old brand, which is great.

But that they send hand-written notes to thank customers?
It's the little things that count the most to me, and I'll be sure to remember this personal touch if I ever open up my own store.

Oh No She Didn't

I have the unfortunate dilemma that I came back to NYC two weeks before school started, so I'm home but nobody else is.
It gives me a lot of time to wander about the city though, so I'm fine with it.
After strolling downtown, almost falling face first into a pile of slush (those walking skills need a little bit of practice) and finding a bookstore to browse, I perused the fashion section for anything good as usual.

I came across Clinton Kelly's book Oh No She Didn't!: The top 100 style mistakes women make and how to  avoid them.
I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. While the advice is a little DUH?! (it is for the stylishly challenged after all) the tone and the writing style make it worth a read. I actually was laughing out loud in the book store for most of it, and yes I did read it cover to cover.

The tone reminded me a lot of my gay and transexual friends advice to me.

On a random side-note, transexuals give the best fashion/makeup advice ever.
Except for that time one of them advised me to get a nose piercing or a tattoo because "that fresh off the farm look isn't doing anything for you".
But in general, what better person to give advice on how to appear attractive than a man, who dresses like a woman, but still is attracted to women? Makes more sense than a girlfriend giving advice on what a guy will like.
Of course, I tend to dress for myself, but they definitely know what's flattering and sexy and what isn't :)

Photo Credit