Window-Shopping at Shopbop.

Posted in shopping advice by bluewellesleyblue on October 31, 2008

Though the exchange rate has improved for travelers from the States. British pricing is still a major deterrent to shopping for myself while I’m here. Expensive clothes here are probably going to have an expansionary effect on my shopping in the long run – an unintended consequence – since whenever I see a legitimately forty or fifty dollar top now, part of me is going to think that I would never find anything that good for that kind of price in Britain, so why shouldn’t I get it? I’ll still do my best to be responsible, of course. However, shopping is admittedly a small vice of mine.

In that spirit, I was browsing Shopbop’s selection of 70% off sale products – anything less and I tend not to be able to afford it – and before I’d clicked through even half of it, I’d seen so many things that I would totally consider buying. Here are the best of my picks.

The Karta dress on the left is now $93.60. I love the print and the cut – it hints at the sophistication of something one might wear to an inauguration, yet that floral applique makes it very young and a bit of a statement piece as well. Admittedly, as a final sale piece it is a bit of a risk. Those resin pieces that make up the flower look tasteful on the site, but it might sit differently on a real person? That Nanette Lepore little black dress is now $118.50, which is quite a steal. I can’t help but ooh and ahh over little black dresses, though I have more than enough in my closet. Both dresses are in shapes that should be alright on curvier figures.

Summer has, admittedly, passed, but simple tank tops like these will never be completely out of style. The Juicy tank top at the left is brightly colored and I love the details on the straps and hem. It now retails for $50.40 which is admittedly a bit much for a tank top, but is not that excessive if you go into it knowing it is still a splurge. I’ve only recently discovered that I can, indeed, wear white clothes – I’d avoided them throughout my high school years because white is usually less flattering than dark colors – and so I can’t resist that Ella Moss tank. It now sells for $35.10.

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Shopping in London Part 1.

Posted in london calling by bluewellesleyblue on October 31, 2008

Its Part 1 because it is almost inevitable that there will be a Part 2, whether I post on it or not. For the most part, I’ve kept my indulgences to the weekly espresso-based beverage, but eventually I won’t be able to resist something at Uniqlo or H&M. Or maybe I’ll get a really loud and colorful corset at Primark for costume-ing purposes. There is a certain moderately notorious Wellesley social event that demands such attire, after all.

Bag from New Look, Blue chain headband from Accessorize, Everything else from Markets.

I’m leaving out the clothes because all of those are from places that are hardly London exclusives by any stretch of the imagination. Granted, pashminas and little paisley scarves are available everywhere, as is the cheap-y jewelry that gives me hives if I’m not careful. The bracelet suffers from the natural consequence of “you get what you pay for” and costing a fair bit less than one quid. The necklace can be worn with turtlenecks.

Oh, and New Look is an European high street chain that has pricing a bit below the USD equivalent of Forever 21. I have very mixed feelings about the clothes and accessories there, but for very simple basics, it works out well. I kind of violated my personal “all bags must be worthy, rare splurges” rule, but I needed a small bag for my tourist excursions.

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Yes, it’s Called the “Fuck Truck.”

Posted in miscellaneous by bluewellesleyblue on October 29, 2008

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fond of Jezebel. I check it several times per day, usually when I should be working. That being said, their blogging team does fumble sometimes, and their commentary on a brief New York Times piece about a small group of Wellesley College republicans campaigning for McCain really annoys me. That part about the “Fuck Truck” is just gratuitous.

Yes, guys, it’s called the “Fuck Truck” and us Wellesley ladies use the term as well with a generous eye-roll or a chuckle. During the week, it runs into Boston primarily for students who are cross-registered at MIT. During the weekend it stops at Harvard Square, the MIT student center, and one end of Newbury St. Admittedly, the latter two stops are in close proximity to MIT’s fraternities, but it’s also the most affordable way to get into centrally located parts of the city. Or do you expect all students to spend nearly ten dollars per round trip into the city via a Commuter Rail that stops running around ten on weekend nights if they don’t have a car?

Maybe I sound like someone who takes themselves and their home institution too seriously, but I just hate the way Wellesley and women’s colleges’ social aspects in general are regarded differently. Other suburban schools have city shuttles too, many of them stopping at similarly central locations. Coed schools actually have frats. They also have parties and students who prefer to spend some weekend nights there or in out in the city generally instead of on campus. Naturally, so does Wellesley. It just shouldn’t have to come up especially in discussion somewhere like Jezebel where people are pretty rage-y liberal feminists, which I’m all in favor of.

(Conditional) Free Gifts from Sephora!

Posted in beauty products by bluewellesleyblue on October 29, 2008

If you were already thinking of taking the plunge and splurging on a couple of specific Sephora products, now’s there’s an additional incentive to do it. With certain sets of items, buying them online and using an additional code will net you a pretty nice free gift to enjoy your purchase with. Here are the offers tempting me:  If you’ve been wanting a bottle of Marc Jacobs daisy, they’ll give you a reusable shopping tote. Also, free eyeshadow with a purchase of Smashbox mascara and under-eye concealer! There are a few more, including one with Givenchy samples, Bliss Products, and Frederic Fekkai haircare.

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I Feel Your Pain Guys…

Posted in miscellaneous by bluewellesleyblue on October 28, 2008

To everyone applying early action for college: I am feeling your pain so much. The State Department internship application is due on November 3rd. Only, they will not likely be responding in any way until long after the passing of 2009.

EDIT: Silly me, 2500 characters and not 2500 words, which makes it a fairly conventional sized personal statement. I then had to cut down a fair bit since I was going on 750-800 words rather than the roughly 500 that is then permitted. Haha.

I am writing a personal statement right now, and it is great fun, except that it’s not. It’s also maximum 2500 words, which is odd to me, given that an average personal statement for anything else is one page or roughly 600 words at the absolute most. 2500 words is longer than some of the academic papers you’ll do early in your undergraduate career. Do they actually read every 2500 word opus to an applicant’s qualifications?

Who even knows.

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Smartbargains Splurges.

Posted in shopping advice by bluewellesleyblue on October 28, 2008

Selection is, at times, a little hit and miss on Smartbargains. Still, I’ve had great luck with finding a rare splurge or two through that online equivalent of Loehmann’s. I’ve bought a purse there as well as a black wool peacoat – which was also being carried in Macy’s at the time for full price but for a seasonal coat promotion that still left it a little more expensive – and I adore both of those purchases. Of course, for higher end designer stuff, it’s still going to be pricey, but there are substantial discounts all around. Even if you’ve never shopped there and are not interested in anything they have at the moment, I do think it’s worth signing up for an account there since they frequently do additional discount offers for their members.

Here are two of the things I might consider if only I hadn’t already indulged in my splurge for the semester:

DKNY Asymmetrical Peacoat, $150; Francesco Biasia Satchel, $179.

The DKNY coat looks especially nice. I have a special fondness for wool coats of all sorts, and the asymmetrical front makes it very stylish.

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Halloween Themed: Charlotte Charles.

Posted in inspirations by bluewellesleyblue on October 27, 2008

Pushing Daisies is one of my favorite recently released shows, currently in its second season on ABC. It’s quirky, fun, and tinged with both colorful sweetness and a fair bit of dark humor. It’s very stylized, and I absolutely adore both of the romantic leads: the Piemaker played by Lee Pace and the girl named Chuck, played by Anna Friel. I couldn’t find any very good screenshots of Chuck’s many adorable outfits, but there is a certain irresistible, kind of 50s or 60s style to them. She wears a lot of floral dresses and bright, bright colors – in keeping with the art direction of this wonderful show – and one of my potential ideas for this or next Halloween is Chuck. After all, I have half the makings of this outfit already!

I’d start with my Stepford Wife floral dress, with the bright blue flowers. Unfortunately, I’ll probably never obtain that ridiculous ribbon flower belt in bright yellow from J Crew, but I can probably add a bright yellow ribbon of my own as a belt, and figure out how to tie a fancy, flouncy bow. With that done, I’d put on some bright jewel tone shoes, preferably with bows as well and add a skinny headband in a coordinating color. I’d have to do my hair for once, but all of the components are things I could easily reuse on the less costume-y days of the year.

Dress by Forever 21, Belt by J Crew, Shoes by Via Spiga, Headband also Forever 21.

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