September 28, 2009

Giving Fall the Slip

I wrote a while back about the emerging exposed slip trend and for fall it appears to continue to be relevant. I've seen exposed slips all over! This Dior number is especially lovely.

Thanks to Cc exfrench from BCO's fashion auxilliary for posting the pictures! I especially love the photo on the left because you can see the slip's side slits. It oozes feminine vintage sensibilities and wouldn't be at all difficult to recreate with much less expensive pieces. Just a simple shift paired with any old lace-trimmed slip, layered underneath would offer a similar aesthetic. I love when a trend is democratic and accessible for the simple reason of wearability. Wearable trends that won't break the bank are easier on the closet than flights of fashion fancy (such as harem pants, drop crotch, or other less wearable, short lived silhouettes that ultimately translate in real life as costume, at best and fashion victim, at worst).

I've been wearing a lot of outfits with my growing collection of pretty slips layered underneath.

This salmon pink slip from Anthropologie's sale rack has a pleated ruffle hem, adding femininity to the most simply of old navy cotton dresses. Slips are also practical for reasons of adding length when you might feel too bare.

A steel gray, straight-hemmed slip by Hanky Panky adds a touch more length to my silver lamé Marc by Marc Jacobs Kaleigh dress. I wore it to dinner but found the dress alone to be slightly too short to wear sans hosiery.

What will you pair with your slips and petticoats this fall?

September 17, 2009

Hypothetical Shopping: Anna Sui for Target

I went to Target today to kill some time and I ended up hitting one with the Anna Sui stuff. So I figured I would try it on and consider buying something. After years and years, seeing collection after collection of these "massclusive" designer collaborations, I have become increasingly indifferent to them. They just don't move my mountains. In previous collections I would at least make impulse buys only to return the items within Target's 90 day policy or watch them rot in my closet until they were moved to the donation pile. Therefore, I knew going into it that if I wasn't in love I wasn't going to drop the cash. Especially since this collaboration was more expensive than those previous, with many dresses at $60!

Overall, the quality was better than typical Go! International Target collections. Some of the materials used were natural fabrics (silk, cotton) but a lot of it was polyester. Many of the dresses are sleeveless but made of thick fabrics that make them seasoned for fall or winter. I can easily imagine them styled but if I am paying $60 for a target dress I don't want to have to think about finding the right layered pairings.

Sizing was typical juniors section Target. The dress on the left was an 11, and somewhat snug around my hips without tights or a shaper. The fabric and details on this one were really nice. It would look great with a black turtleneck, opaque tights, and boots. The dress on the right was an XL (the only one left) and it was, as described, XL. I had to gather the dress in the back with the belt to make it look fitted but the sleeves were so billowy that it was clearly too big. The polyester fabric reminded me of the scores of unbreathable vintage dresses I purged from my closet a while back.

The dress on the left had great details and could be dressed up easily for a more formal occasion. That is a size 11. The dress on the right was silk but it made me look quite dumpy. That was also an 11. I wanted to try on the tablecloth dress with the blue bow but they didn't have it.

As much as I love Anna Sui's bohemian goth femininity, I didn't think it was worth the price point for Target. Especially when you can often score real Anna Sui stuff on ebay for around the Target retail. Speaking of ebay, if I find that I really do want something, inevitably it will be available for years, neutralizing the "limited edition" aspect of these massclusive collaborations.

September 03, 2009

Online Purchase Review: The Outnet

I made my first purchase from The Outnet last month. This is a review of my experience.

I decided to bite on some low priced items from their clearance sale.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I found an APC dress and a 3.1 Phillip Lim dress deeply discounted.
The Outnet's periodic Flash Sales and their steady stream of new, past-season-but-seasonally-appropriate arrivals make it well worth a regular visit, in my experience. The detailed fit information, numerous photographs, and fantastic styling of items make it as useful and enjoyable an online research destination as it's fancier sister site, Net-A-Porter.

The only thing that could potentially improve the already detailed information would be customer reviews. That would probably take away from the site's sleekness but because it is already a discount destination, it wouldn't effect the status of the Outnet brand.

I still couldn't see them moving in this direction even though so many websites have opted to allow customers to voice their opinions (Revolve, Anthropologie, etc.). Thanks to online marketplace pioneers that first to permitted consumers to voice their praise and critiques of electronic and entertainment items, sellers of clothing, footwear, and accessories, like Zappos and Amazon (which now owns Zappos), have ushered in a trend that enables customers to weigh in on fit, quality, value, comfort, appearance, etc. I cannot help but expect that more and more websites will follow suit, eventually compelling luxury etailers to cave to demand.

But what Outnet lacks in reviews, it makes up for in customer service. My items arrived swiftly (considering they came from across the pond) and were packaged not in the chic hard black boxes of Net-a-Porter, but in a practical, bright white, amply sized, reusable zip-top shopping bag, emblazoned with their colorful circle logo and slogan, "It's Chic-onomics!" The items inside were wrapped carefully and separately, in white tissue paper. When I opened my package, it hardly felt like discount shopping.

Gilt Groupe and Bluefly before them, had really cornered the market on making discount feel deluxe, with their special packaging and helpful customer service. Alhough I've heard mixed reviews about Gilt, they've always been helpful to me. Bluefly has always been extremely accommodating and still has the best return policy of any of these sites, even though they reduced it from 90 days to 60. Still, The Outnet is worth considering if you can find a good price on something. I haven't used my reusable tote because I have all those Baggus but it will definitely be useful at some point!

September 01, 2009

Buying and Selling to facilitate buying

I got my wisdom teeth out the other week. When I got home, groggy, tired, and confused, I asked Chris for my laptop. He obliged, and I sat on the couch and basically shopped. I decided I needed to finally buy some Baggus for groceries. They were lightweight, brightly colored, and reasonably priced. I bought six of them.

I had also bought APC and 3.1 Phillip Lim dresses from the clearance sale since both were over 85% off.

I had a code that amounted to only paying shipping for these Zoya nail polishes:

I was able to satisfy my desire to try matte finish polish.

And because I was going to Ft. Lauderdale for Labor Day weekend, I decided I needed a bathing suit other than the basic black that I have been wearing.

On sale from, this Triumph bikini has a LOT of support/coverage for larger cup sizes.

I eyed these Giuseppe Zanotti flats for a very long time and was thrilled to find them in my size.

It is telling that these same flats were among the items I posted to juxtapose my diatribe about fiscal austerity a few entries back. As soon as I have the chance to shop under the influence I buy them. But I found them for a very good price.

Technically, these were all reasonably-priced thrills, most of which were relatively practical (dresses notwithstanding). But I felt the guilt of indulgence and decided to purge my closet a bit.

I sold one of my multiple dresses that was still new with tags, in the plastic from when I bought it. And I sold two bags. I was sad to say goodbye to the black patchwork Stam but I really only wore it to fancy occasions where I wouldn't need to carry a lot because it is so ostentatious and already so heavy.

This sale alone more than covered all my new purchases. Though I did love the bag, and think it is gorgeous. It just didn't suit my lifestyle. The Stam Hobo makes way more sense for me.


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