March 26, 2009

Unlikely Style Icon: Betty Suarez

On TV’s Ugly Betty, the main character, Betty Suarez, is constantly mocked by her co-workers at Mode (a fictional fashion magazine) for her lack of style. Ironically, Betty is arguably the most fashion forward of the show’s characters. She whimsically pairs pieces together with a disregard for conventional style rules or clashing patterns. Betty takes risks, and yet there is something adorably traditional about her vintage-inspired dresses and bow-bedecked blouses.

Inspiration Board:


Embracing Your Inner Betty:
(Is it just me, or does that heading totally sound like the title of a self-help book written by Cher Horowitz ?)

1) Dare to mix patterns
Admittedly, it can be hard for a pattern-mixing virgin to wear florals and argyle together. Yet Betty mixes bold, brash patterns together and it looks amazing. Try pairing different patterns together and shock yourself with how great you look!

2) Add a bit of geek-chic to your life
While Betty is not a stereotypical geek (an abundance of cute purses and a lack of pocket protectors save her from Screech Powers territory), her look is definitely geek-influenced. Try stealing a few signature Betty looks, like a sweater vest over a puffy-sleeved blouse, or a pair of huge (possibly non-prescription) glasses.

3) Resurrect those forgotten souvenirs
In the show’s first episode, Betty is waiting for her job interview at Mode and chats with another candidate , a bitchy model-type in an expensive cream coloured poncho. When Betty gets the job, at a loss for something fashionable to wear to work, she decides to wear a bright red poncho with “Guadalahara” embroidered across it, a souvenir from a vacation that her parents took.
While I’m not advising you to try to bring ponchos back, try putting all of those “Hawaii” or “Camp Pinelake” T-shirts to use. Yes, they looked dorky on your eleven year old self when you wore them with floral leggings, but with the neckline slightly altered (all you need is scissors!) and a cute mini skirt, they could become great.

4) Buy some statement-making dresses
Though Betty wears dresses in nearly every episode, it is rare that you would find her in a navy shift, or a simple T-shirt dress. Her dresses are all bold, whether polka-dotted and retro or sweet and floral. On their own, they are an instant outfit, while, when accessorized with equally bold jewellery, they become part of an attention-getting ensemble.

5) Be nice to your feet.
While the other employees at Mode clomp around in sky-high heels, Betty favours cute flats, or comfortable platform Mary Janes. You don’t need to give up stilettos forever, but make sure that you give your feet a break every now and then. A night out in flats can be fun, especially at the end of the evening when your friends are complaining about their heels and you’re still dancing the night away.

March 18, 2009

futuristic love

I wish that I had access to a copy of Vogue Korea.
The editorials look so, so amazing!

(Picture from foto decadent.)

Gossip Girl Fashion: Oh, S. No More Scarves for You. (S. 2 E.18)

First of all, I am SO VERY HAPPY that Gossip Girl is back.

However, I take issue with this particular ensemble:
My roommate and I spent like 10 minutes debating whether this is a scarf weirdly wrapped around her arms or a sweater that matches the scarf, before deciding on the latter. Either way, not a good look. Now, I know that Serena is busy seducing older men and stressing out about the fact that her mom loves her boyfriend's father and hanging out with the incredibly dull Vanessa, but really? This is the best outfit she could come up with?

Blair only looks like she's bitching at Rachel. She really just caught sight of Serena's outfit.
Blair's outfit, however, is flawless as per usual. The bow and girly blouse are classic B, while the lace and the layers are a nod to current trends. As if we'd expect anything less.
Okay, now see?
See how lovely Serena can look when she just keeps it simple? This is much, much better.
XOXO and all that jazz.
(Photos from

March 17, 2009

Decoding Dress Codes

I don't know how glam your lives are, but the parties I attend rarely specify dress codes on the invitation (or even have invitations other than someone running through the halls of my dorm yelling "PARTYYYYY!``). They're just not very common these days, especially for events hosted by people my age.

However, this can lead to confusion when one recieves an invitation with an actual dress code listed (a wedding, for instance). What is white tie? How casual is too casual? Here, dear readers, is your guide. Don't say I never do anything for you.

White Tie:

What it Means:
Look at you, going to a white tie affair! The most formal of dress codes, white tie calls for a ball gown. This is your chance to go for all out glamour.

What You Should Wear:
Wear a vintage gown. They're unique and have stood the test of time. Don't forget your pearls!
white tie

Black Tie:

What it Means: Black tie can be tricky. Commonly seen on wedding invitations, black tie used to mean a long evening gown. However, a short cocktail dress is now considered just as appropriate. Think of prom in terms of formality (but hopefully not style). If the invitation says "black tie optional" err on the more casual side.

What You Should Wear: Embrace your chance to wear a long dress, and go for something that makes you feel like a princess but is still relatively simple. Pair with heels and some pretty but basic jewellery.

black tie

What it Means:
You're supposed to wear, you guessed it, a cocktail dress! Anything above the mid-calf is generally considered cocktail length.

What You Should Wear:
This is a semi-formal occasion, so you don't need to look like you're heading to the Oscars, but you should look like you put some effort in! This is your chance to have fun, so pair a cute dress in a current shape with high heels and some bold jewellery.


Business Casual:

What it Means:
While you are unlikely to see this dress code on an invitation, you might be advised to wear business casual clothes to a job interview (depending on the company) or an academic awards ceremony. Whatever the case, business casual generally calls for a collared shirt and a skirt or pants made in material other than denim.

What You Should Wear:
Follow the rules with sweet flats, a polo, and a khaki skirt. Now is not the time to try anything too experimental. However, you should let your personality show through in the details (for instance, the cut of the skirt, bows on the shoes, and bright tights below).


March 16, 2009

CFDA Award Nominees Announced

They include Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, and Jason Wu.

Check out the list here.

March 15, 2009

I love vintage...

I went vintage shopping this weekend.
And now I am incredibly happy.

March 14, 2009

Fashion Militia

Choose vintage-inspired pieces to wear classic military style with panache.

March 12, 2009

Party Photo Land: Headdresses and Hair Bows

Time for the first installment in forever of party photo land!

Love, love, love the rhinestone bow. The perfect combination of formality and fun especially when paired with a messy updo.

Doesn't she just look like an 80's it girl? I love the way she accessorized a simple outfit with bangles and a giant ring.

This is a seriously fashionable group of friends! I especially love the black pants and the girl on the far right's cut-out tee.

And last but not least:
Mischa Barton looking lovely while wearing a random headdress.

(First three photos from The Cobra Snake, last one from Skullset.)

March 11, 2009

Drop-Crotch Pants

The drop-crotch pant can definitely be an intimidating style to wear at first. After all, worn incorrectly, they can make you look like a boy in the 1990's. However, they can look amazing (see Chloe Spring/Summer 2009 for proof!)

The Style Classicist:

drop crotch

Get a pair of drop-crotch shorts that don't bunch at the bottom for a less dramatic effect. Wear them with a simple top and some girly but flat shoes to downplay the masculinity of the drop-crotch style.

The Trendspotter:

drop crotch 2

Pair a pair of black drop-crotch pants with simple yet complimentary pieces like a drapey top, ballet flats, and Annie Hall sunglasses.

The Fashion Risk-Taker:

drop crotch

Take the shenanigans a bit further by rocking some crazy patterned harem pants. Wearing it with a sequined top in complimentary colours guarantees a unique yet fashion forward look.

March 10, 2009

Stand Out Show: Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

As much as I can appreciate a lovely Balenciaga gown, or a YSL smoking suit, sometimes fashion just needs to be a little crazy!

Honestly, I'm getting a bit sick of designers responding to the recession by making practical (read: boring), wearable (read: black) clothes, or by taking it literally and doing the whole 1930's thing. I think that in these tough economic times our fashion should be a means of escapism, full of fun and frivolity.

Fun was definitely the operative word in Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's Fall/Winter 2009 collection.

Check it out here:

(My stupid internet connection won't let me upload the photos directly!)

Rock on, JCDC. Rock on.

March 9, 2009

Stand Out Show: Commes Des Garcons

As promised, more of this beauty: CDG's show was absolutely amazing. I love the layering of the same colour but in different fabrics. That is definitely an idea I might steal.

She looks like a little china doll. The shape of the coat/dress/cape kind of makes me realize why the poncho trend happened.

This is how Rei Kawakubo does structure! It's sharp yet flowy.

I adore this dress! It looks like one of those rare amazing vintage finds that people dream of.

Pictures from

March 8, 2009

Oh, Commes Des Garcons

I love this:
More later.

March 7, 2009

Spring/Summer 2009 Wishlist: Tops

As much as I love them, you can't wear dresses everyday. Seperates have their place, too. Here are all the shirts I can't afford but majorly dig.

Floral Silk Tank Top, Rag & Bone, $290

I love the tough/girly vibe this top gives off. The combination of the floral print and floaty fabric and the black trim is awesome. For the sake of my budget, I kind of hope that Forever 21 knocks this off!

Silk Striped Tank Top, D&G Dolce & Gabbana, $345

I love how sailor-chic this top is. And I am a sucker for bows.

Neon Lights Neck-Tie Blouse, Marc by Marc Jacobs $358

My weakness for bows strikes again! I love the plaid and the pastels.

Silk Pocket Tank, Alexander Wang, $235

While I would never endorse spending $300 on a tank top, if I had the means to do so I would definitely opt for one of Alexander Wang's. This particular one comes in a bunch of gorgeous colours, ranging from pastel violet to grey. Its cut is really cool but the silk dresses it up a little.
All photos from Net-a-porter.

March 5, 2009

Spring/Summer 2009 Cheap Picks: The Dresses

For those craving Armani on an American Eagle budget, here are spring and summer 2009's Cheap Picks for dresses.

Under $50:

T-shirt Scarf Dress, Gap, $34.99
How cute is this? I'm normally opposed to one-piece garments that try to create a layered look (read: those annoying sweaters with shirt collars attached) but you'd never guess that this scarf was attached to the dress. And how would you ever find a scarf to coordinate so well with a normal T-shirt dress? (Also: I have a newfound T-shirt dress addiction. I wear my black American Apparel one with everything.)

Tiered Dress, American Eagle, $39.50
I'll admit it, I was a little skeptical about perusing American Eagle's website for dresses. While the store is one of my favorites for stocking up on basics like polos and jeans, I assumed that their dresses would be of the sporty cotton tank dress variety. Who would have guessed that it would have gorgeous cocktail dresses like these? I love it. Very modern-day flapper.

Flirty Striped Dress, American Eagle, $44.50American Eagle strikes again! Although this dress gives off a totally different vibe than the last one, it's absolutely adorable.

Under $100

Colourblock Ponte Dress, Silence & Noise, Urban Outfitters, $58

As much as I love spring dressing, one thing about it that bothers me is that it's not very structured. By the time the end of summer rolls around, you just get sick of wearing floaty, shapeless things all the time (and I love me some floaty, shapeless things). This dress is the perfect combination of structure and fun.

Colourblock Ruffle Dress, Urban Outfitters, $88
Okay, so the top half's a blatant rip-off of that Marc Jacobs dress, but I really like this. The vintage-inspired bottom totally works with it.

Sparrows Tank Dress, MINKPINK, Urban Outfitters, $88
Seriously, this is the perfect dress for lazy, "I have class at 8 am" dressing. Throw it on with some gladiator sandals, toss on a cardigan, and you look completely put-together.

Pictures from store websites.

Spring/Summer 2009 Wishlist: Shorts and Skirts

Oh, the things I would buy with an unlimited budget.

Paper-Bag Waist Shorts, Vanessa Bruno, $370

I love these. They totally remind me of the best parts of Chloe's Spring/Summer 2009 collection. I love all of the details: the waistline, the bow, the subtle pleats. Oh my gosh, I never thought that I would find myself liking pleated shorts.

Ethel Gingham Skirt, Luella, $715

I love this skirt so much! With a navy blue tanktop, it would be divine.

Silk Bubble Skirt, D&G Dolce & Gabanna, $295

This skirt could totally be dressed down with a T-shirt and flats or dressed up with a tank top, jewelry, and heels.

High Waisted Twill Skirt, Chloe, $865

This skirt came to my attention after I used it in like 500 different Polyvores. It's deceptively simple-looking but extremely well-cut.

Crepe Harem Pants, Alexander McQueen, $1085

As much as harem pants get dissed, I kind of want a pair. But I promise I would not wear them with high-heeled, pointy toed, knee high boots, as many do. That would be disgusting.

March 4, 2009

Mystery Solved

The dress from the last post is DKNY. Thanks, Couture Carrie for the tip!
Picture from

March 3, 2009

People You've Never Heard of Wore the Same Dress

Why is this at all important, you ask?

Because, my little cynics, they wore the same dress TO THE SAME EVENT.
Seriously, according to The Daily Mail, singer Haley Westrena and beauty queen/"gladiator" Amy "Siren" Guy showed up to the March 2nd "Marley and Me" British premiere in the same brightly coloured cocktail dress.
Has that ever happened before? The most similar incident I can think of is when Reese Witherspoon wore that dress to the Golden Globes that Kirsten Dunst had worn to the same event years before.

above: Guy; below:Westrena

How awesome would it have been if they'd acknowledged it and posed for a photo together? It would be good PR in a "I can take a joke" kind of way and they'd get a lot more press.

Who do you think wore it best? (My vote's for Haley. She kept her accessories simple and that works with this dress)

And does anyone know who designed it?

(Photos from

Spring/Summer 2009 Wishlist: Dresses

This season's wishlist is going to be split up into segments, because there are just too many gorgeous pieces out there for me to limit myself to a few items!
Whether soft and flowy or architechtural, spring's dresses are gorgeous!

Broderie Anglaise Dress, Moschino Cheap & Chic, $1370

How cute would this be for a summer garden party? Because I would totally throw a garden party as a chance to wear this dress. I think that you would need a nude slip underneath it, though. I can't totally tell how see-through it is.
Embroidered Bustier, Marchesa, $3960

How beautiful is this? The colour palette, the beading, the flowy skirt. I'm in love.
Double-Layered Dress, Chloe, $2150
Winsome yet sophisticated. The perfect look for anyone working a semi-corporate job this summer.

Embroidered Minidress, Balmain, $12 200

No, that's not a typo. This dress does indeed cost as much as the rent on a downtown condo for a year. But, it is extremely pretty. I love the beading, the sleeves, and the caftan-esque neckline.

All dresses available at
Photos from Net-a-porter.

March 2, 2009

I feel old...

Thought Tavi was young? Ava of La Fille, at literally half my age, is already crafting DIY Ann Demeulemeester boots and naming posts after Bob Dylan songs.

At the age of nine, I though multi-coloured braces and Gap Kids logo tees were the height of chic.

No fair?