30 January 2012

Cool Hues

Solange Knowles deserves her props as a fashion plate. She takes a trend and makes it her own and it is obvious that she marches to her own beat, and it works! I've come to admire the risks Solange takes and I think she has a great understanding for what really works for her. So, I used her for my celeb style inspired post today.

This outfit shows that just because the weather has cooled (ok, drastically changed), doesn't mean that color can't keep you looking hot. Solange paired pale mixes of sky blue and melon alongside vivid brights like an orange coat and a clutch in a pop of teal to pull this look together.

Cool Colors

Miss Selfridge polyester shirt, £28
ASOS single breasted coat, $90
Knee length skirt, $49
Report high heel shoes, $75
Melie Bianco envelope clutch bag, $48
Gogo Philip cuff jewelry, $27
MARC By Marc Jacobs Enamel Huggie Hoops, $48

27 January 2012

Free Money!

I'm super psyched! After a hectic and stressful week, what better way to start off the weekend than with free money!

I wrote a post about my personal affection for RetailMeNot.com sometime last year (check it out here). Around the holidays I offhandedly entered a sweepstakes they were running, and thank my lucky stars I was recently notified that I had been one of the winners (which never happens to me).

Waiting in my mail today was a $250 Visa gift card!

So needless to say, I've got shopping on my mind - do I buy one big item or hit up one of my fav retailers for a mini shopping spree?? Decisions, decisions.....what's a girl to do??

I'd love to have problems like these more often... I thank you RetailMeNot!

26 January 2012

Fragrance Free?

I love to smell good. I love to have my neck nuzzled and hearing the whisper of how good I smell. I love the idea of having a "signature scent."

So imagine my distress when I recently developed an allergy to fragrance... *sad panda*

But I'm just not the type to forgo a touch of a special scent, I mean I feel naked walking out the door without a spritz of my favorite fragrance. Thus began my search for something natural that wasn't a spray and omitted alcohol from its formulation.

I've only tried a couple brands, and so far I'm satisfied enough that I don't feel like I'm missing something. So for fellow divas in my position, here are my reviews for the two that I've tried so far. I'm still on the hunt for something to now call my "signature." Which will likely be a bit challenging since my prior one was Miss Dior Cherie...

Solid perfumes by Pacifica

Small and portable
Cute lil' tins
Lovely scents
Natural wax base
Variety of options

Minor messy application - wish it came in a chapstick tube
Lasting power

My personal favorites are Tuscan Blood Orange, which is delicious and light, but dissipates extremely quickly. I imagine that it would work fabulously summer scent. I also have the Spanish Amber, which works as my deep and spicy nighttime fragrance and has a lengthier staying power than the Blood Orange, but neither last nearly as long as I'd like. An upside is that since that retail for about $9 each, you can try several without breaking the bank.

LAVANILA Forever Fragrance Oil

Alcohol free!
Essential oils
Long lasting
Reasonable price

Extremely limited fragrance options
Smells more like vanilla than anything else
No sensual scents

I purchased the Forever Fragrance in Vanilla Coconut, but it just smells like vanilla to me. I would love for them to make the secondary scent more robust. It's pretty and though I certainly wouldn't say it lasts forever, it does last at least until after lunch. They currently have a limited edition blackberry vanilla fragrance, but unfortunately they do not offer this in the Forever Fragrance line (fingers crossed that they'll offer it soon). The vial is a rollerball, so application is easy, and even though it's an oil it absorbs quickly and hasn't stained any of my clothing or anything. And for $25 you get a very generous amount, so it will certainly last you a while.

This search hasn't been easy, so if there are any ladies who know of other retailers or brands who offer great alcohol free, natural fragrances I'd love recommendations, please feel free to post them below by clicking the comments link!

The opinions given in this post are purely my own and I received no compensation for them.

23 January 2012

Inspired by Jane

ABC Family premiered it's new show Jane by Design about four weeks ago. The premise is high school social outcast, Jane, played by Erica Dasher, masquerades as an adult to work in the fashion industry. In my opinion, it has the kitsch of Ugly Betty, a dash of The Devil Wears Prada and a smidge of Sex in the City.

It's not bad, but overall, I'm not yet sure how I feel about the show itself, but I've watched purely for the awesome clothes. After catching up, thanks to a mini OnDemand marathon, I was inspired to recreate a couple of my fav looks from the show.

This first look, though void of any bright color, was actually my fav and one I plan to recreate for myself. Also, it was not on one of the show's main characters, which is why I couldn't get a better image...

All About Birdie

Charlotte Russe scoop neck t shirt, $7.99
High waist harem pants, $39
Patent pumps, $47
Braided necklace, $39

There weren't a lot of overall looks on Jane that I loved, though I loved several of the pieces separately. However, this one stood out for me and I feel it could translate easily into real life, depending on your office.

Image courtesy of ABC Family

No Plain Jane

Striped dress, $43
Navy pocketed blazer, $31
Charlotte Russe bow shoes, $33
Turquoise jewelry, $22
ASOS leather flower belt, $18

All of Jane's actual pieces come from retailers such as Zara TRF and Theory, but for both of my inspired looks I managed to keep all of my pieces priced at under $50.

If you checked out the show and were curious about a specific piece, you may be able to find it listed in the Jane style diaries on the ABC Family site:

Jane Quimby's fashion diary

Gray Chandler Murray's fashion diary

India Jourdain's fashion diary

So are you loving the fashion that this new series has to offer?

21 January 2012

Wardrobe Savers - Winter Rescue

No matter where we choose to spend our hard earned dollars - from Bloomingdale's to Marshall's - we all want to get our monies worth out of our purchases. The best way to make sure you get every last dime is to make sure take care of your garments, shoes and accessories.

I've got a couple suggestions for you that I not only advocate, but use and love (which is why I wanted to share it with you all!).

Winter weather and all it's salted sidewalks can totally ravage our beloved boots and booties. I discovered Fiebing's Salt Stain Remover last year and used it to rescue my favorite pair of black riding boots:

After using this it takes a little bit of work with some leather cleaner and a bit of polish and buffing, but if it's a pair you love, it's totally worth it. Trust.

So, after restoring your boots, you have to store them properly. I have this thing about keeping my shoe boxes, however retailer boot boxes for knee high boots aren't quite wardrobe friendly, so I purchased several clear boot boxes:

I crunch up paper and stuff them in the shaft, then store the boxes upright.

To take care of my knits and wool coats I purchased a Remington Fabric Shaver, and let me tell you, it was the the best purchase ever! Made my favorite, five year old wool jacket look like new, and shaved the piling off my lovely thin knit pullovers and cardigans from Express:

Trust me, for around fifty bucks these will be absolutely worth it to extend the life of your favorite items.

19 January 2012

Diva's Desires

I'm trying to curb my shopping impulses in 2012, but these are just a couple of things that I've got my eye on...

Diva's Desires

ASOS fitted dress, $89
Pins and Needles mesh blouse, $59
J.Crew heel pumps, $198

18 January 2012

Can I Get a Wu, Wu!

The fashion world is all abuzz with anticipation of uber designer Jason Wu's fusion line with Target. And I'm no exception! Hey, any designer who's a favorite of First Lady Obama, is a favorite of mine.

Wu appeared on Today's Style section (see it here), showcasing selections from his 53 piece line, where all items are priced under $60.

First Look: Jason Wu for Target

Despite my displeasure with the Target + Missoni fiasco (where I got my hands on nothing!), I am quietly hoping that they learned from that and will provide me and fellow budgetnistas with ample opportunity to snag some pieces of Wu's collection to add to own wardrobes.

If you've somehow managed to miss the snapshots of Wu's dresses and bags, check out the lookbook at Huff Post Style.

10 January 2012

DD's Style File - Pop of Pink

I can't complain really, thus far us Northeasters have had a really awesome "winter." No snow for Christmas, no snow for New Year's Eve, and fifty degree temps that swept in and melted the occasional snow fall we did get. Not bad, not bad at all...

With that being said, I've being trying keep my wardrobe color palette peppy even as the weather threatens to turn dismal. So I was feeling a bit adventurous, so for my casual work day I paired a vivid pink blazer with my favorite leopard pumps, but used a classic color turtleneck to keep the look grounded enough for the office

Hot pink blazer - Forever 21
Cream turtleneck - JCPenney
Denim ankle jeans - Marshall's
Leopard Pumps - Guess
Pearl earrings/necklace - Icing

I will say that I already miss taking photos outdoors, besides the chill and damp, most days it's usually already dark by the time I get off my 9 to 5, so I'm going to try to get creative.

02 January 2012

New Year, New You

As the New Year rolls in it brings with it the sundry of resolutions: vows to exercise more, lose weight, get more "me" time, read more books, and the list goes on. I have those, but I'll be honest...in past years I haven't had the greatest success sticking to them as the months rolled on.

I still do hold some of those privately (if I keep them private, no one will know when they go by the wayside...), but here's my list of "public resolutions" which I think I'll have a much easier time keeping up with:

1. Clean my makeup brushes every two weeks

2. Eat healthier (like adding more fruit and veggies to meals)

3. Change pillowcase every 5 days (for my skin)

4. Sleep on satin whenever possible (for my hair)

5. Increase water intake

6. Add vitamins to my diet

7. Take the stairs

8. Spend more time with girlfriends

9. Use my Kindle Fire to feed my mind (Christmas gift)

10. Get back on the ball with blogging

What resolutions does 2012 hold for you?