Styleaholica

You Have GOT to be Kidding Me…

Posted in miscellaneous by bluewellesleyblue on November 15, 2008

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That’s about $150 for a sweater that’s not even cashmere or cashmere blend…

This has to be some kind of mistake on Hollister’s UK website since their down jackets are priced at that price. Anyway, the Abercrombie Co. family of stores always deserve a little moment of snark right? Even if it begs the question of why I was browsing their site, as if I might find something cute and logo-less there… Which rarely, rarely happens.

I shouldn’t knock Hollister too hard though, as they make my favorite skinny jeans. They’re skinny but not too skinny, and I’ve just worn a hole on the derriere of mine. I’m missing it already, and might even brave the hordes of tweeny-boppers, the darkness, and the pounding music to replace it when I go home.

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Alas, Not Cool Enough for Comme des Garcons (for H&M).

Posted in what i wore by bluewellesleyblue on November 15, 2008

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I went shopping at the Oxford Circus H&M yesterday. Of course, since the remnants of the recently released Comme des Garcons for H&M collection were there, I looked at those too. Most of the jackets and bottoms were completely sold out, so all I got was an eyeful of the solid color and then the polka-dotted button downs. All of the very cool, though not my style, deconstructed pieces were gone, understandably enough. It was a little bit of a pity since I would have loved to try on some of them. (Photos of the full collection found on Nitrolicious.)

coolcommesI ended up grabbing one of the button downs since I doubted I was ever going to get a chance to try such a richly colored polka-dot button down ever again. I wonder if the sort of interviewers I might encounter – Wellesley professors and career center types for our Asia program or law school types – would be impressed if I turned up in one. Somehow, I doubt it, especially if I were to pair it with a ruffled skirt quite like that. Both H&M, both not bought, sadly. I was surprised to see that both pieces – the skirt is just plain old H&M – could actually be quite cute together, if a bit much and not within my usual style.

More H&M shopping fun coming up! Namely, a Leanne from Project Runway-ish skirt and a coat that I bought and now have to make a final decision on…

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Back to Basics.

Posted in how i wear by bluewellesleyblue on November 9, 2008

Lately, I’ve been most intrigued by the most basic clothes. I spend most of my shopping time trying on basics like solid or lightly pin-striped button-downs and long, solid-color cardigans. I’m also still on the lookout for the perfect T-shirt. For some reason, the basic T-shirt has always been one of the hardest things for me to find since so many of them fit awkwardly on my frame. High neck crew-neck T shirts, especially if they’re very close fitting, are always a bad idea for me.

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My current favorite T shirt is this one by BDG from Urban Outfitters, pictured at the left. It’s a bit loose, but skims the body pretty closely, which creates a very flattering fit and the V neck isn’t overly low. I’ve heard good things. I’ve heard good things about American Apparel T shirts as well, though I’ll have to try on both the unisex deep V neck (pictured at the right) as well as the regular V neck for women before figuring out if I have a new favorite T shirt.

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It’s odd that I’ve been so into building up my collection of basic items since I usually like to dress fairly girly. Still, I like the effortlessly casual look that comes from pairing a basic T with skinny or straight leg jeans and a cardigan, if it’s cold. I also like the idea of wearing a basic white shirt with a high-waisted skirt, in keeping with the sort of color-blocked dress look that’s all over Forever 21 et al. When it’s with a slightly loose fitting T instead, it feels a little more casual and a little less like one is going clubbing, I guess. This Forever 21 example, however, is also a bit more on the wear in the daytime side, and I quite like it.

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The First Gingerbread Latte of the Season, and Other Things.

Posted in week in review by bluewellesleyblue on November 8, 2008

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1. Even if the first five days of November are far too early to bring out the Christmas decorations, the Christmas treats, and the Christmas drinks to the tunes of constant Christmas carols – standardized Starbucks Christmas marketing – I can’t resist having my first Gingerbread Latte of the season. Yes, it’s a touch overpriced, and even if I can see the flecks of cinnamon and nutmeg, I can’t taste them, but it’s a comfort drink that reminds me of home. To be completely honest, Costa Coffee’s Cinnamon Latte is probably a better slightly spiced espresso drink. Still, it’s a taste of home!

I’m showing off my books as well. My summer research has pretty much directed me to my potential thesis topic.

2. Via Stylebubble, the very day after I turn in all my term evaluation papers, I could potentially celebrate with a jaunt to the Angels Big Vintage Clothing Sale. I’ve never bought anything vintage and am not quite as creative as many of the lovely fashion bloggers I follow, but it should be quite an adventure. At 10 GBP a medium bag, I’m sure I’d be able to find something to bring home and make it all worth it. Maybe this will be just the thing to lift me out of my fashion fatigue.

scaryboot3. I’m in the unenviable position of realizing that all my ballet flats are reaching near unwearable levels of wear and tear. I haven’t seen any cute pairs worth buying recently, but out of necessity, I’ll have to look harder. Of course, between rainy London and soon to be snowy and icy Boston, I won’t actually be wearing my ballet flats much for quite some time. Come the post-Christmas sales, I’ll definitely have my eye out for a good pair of leather boots.

Am I the only one who didn’t – for the longest time – understand the appeal of leather boots at all? I always feel like they make my feet look like boats, and since I’m kind of short and short-legged for my shoe size, they just don’t seem to work that well on me. Also, I find the really high-heeled and pointy-toed boots to be a little scary looking. It’s probably just me.

One Thing Primark Does Right.

Posted in shopping advice by bluewellesleyblue on November 6, 2008

Shopping at Primark is something many Londoners and tourists indulge in, which quickly becomes clear when you walk down and around Oxford Street and see just how many of those plain, flimsy paper bags are around. After all, with 4 GBP bras and 6 GBP jeans and so on so forth, the price is definitely right even if the fit tends not to be. I ate lunch with a friend from Wellesley who is also studying in London and then we popped into Primark since it was still a weekday afternoon, and she introduced me to the joys of Primark lingerie. Admittedly, they carry more than their share of brightly colored and strangely ruched and embellished bras, corsets, and so forth, but sometimes, you just want to buy some campy lingerie for costume purposes.

They carry a fairly limited range of sizes – none in my actual bra size here though I approximated alright by going up a band size and down a cup size – and you’re not actually allowed to try on their bras in the fitting rooms apparently, but it all fits pretty true to size. The nightgowns and non cup-sized corsets are probably a little awkward for… less average sizes, but if the shoe fits, you can’t deny that 6 pounds for a corset (less than 12 dollars) is wonderful.

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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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