Yes, I was that bride-to-be…one who begins browsing dresses 24 hours after getting engaged. I binge-watched Say Yes to the Dress, created a fantasy Pinterest board, clicked through runway stills on TheKnot.com and ripped out ads in Brides. I found plenty pretty, but without transparent pricing, I was concerned the dresses I flagged were out of my budget. Although I ultimately bought my gown from a bridal boutique, I did toy with purchasing from a less conventional spot. Who wouldn’t want a dress from a top designer priced the same of less than an unknown bridal brand with a less impressive reputation. I imagined wowing my guests in an insert lavish & prolific designer. Why not scour a department store instead of hitting the “I do” specialty shops? Although it sounded ideal, I was concerned about a couple of things: How would alterations turn out (could they create a bustle?) and where was the cache of white (champagne, ivory, pale pink) styles?
Soon-to-be wives struggle everyday with finding a dream dress at an affordable price. For those who were betting on Alfred Angelo, David’s Bridal is one of the few remaining options for designer collections at a fast-fashion price. Which leads me to the exciting discovery I want to share! I have a major pet peeve when companies curate a bridal category on their website only to made up of dresses that have zero notes of bridal with the exception of a white color scheme.
So tired of that! When I was browsing Tadashi and noticed a wedding tab, I assumed it would be their signature lace cocktail dresses but in white. And yes, some of their “bridal” styles are alternatives like jumpsuits and sure enough, those lacy sheaths. However, they also have stunning, totally wedding-ready gowns at under $1000! The styles really impressed me, and I think you’ll love them too! Check out my favorites below.
|| *This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Fall 2017 Gucci RTW – taken by Vogue
I’ve never seen A Christmas Story, but I’ve always been simultaneously fascinated and spooked by the famous leg lamp. So when Gucci showcased a shoe that featured a heeled sandal atop a removable “sex doll-style foot” bootie sock I was intrigued yet a bit freaked. From a practicality standpoint, the shoe is pretty neat. Sold as a boot or bootie, the minimalist stiletto sandal can be worn to work, cocktails or your best friend’s wedding. But when you want to show the world your weirdness (and devotion to couture) you slip into the latex sock with an ankle- or knee-high shaft. In a year of cheeky fashions (see Vetements super-oversize everything, Moschino’s Candy Crush collection and J.W. Anderson’s graphic sweatshirts and phallic keychains) it seems always-proper Gucci is the latest fashion house on board. Alongside polished pussy bow blouses models sashayed in garish colors and clowish prints including feral animals and grandma florals. Zebra tails complete chunky pumps and Rainbow Brite flatforms line store shelves…and we haven’t even broached the menswear collaboration with Disney.
So what to make of all silliness? Well as I was reading somewhere (numerous “somewheres”) the current political climate calls for upbeat dressing. Fashion has always been an outlet for freedom and fun. Why not surprise someone with something to make them smile? I’m still nonplussed about the shoe. Why alabaster latex like a plastic doll? Why does it look so weird without toes?! But if someone has the same reaction that I did to the Moschino paperdoll dresses, (near tears of joy) then I’m willing to embrace this kooky look.
In the ’90s I had shorts, skirts and then there were my “skorts”. Masquerading as a skirt from the front, the rear view revealed its true form, two cropped pant legs that you had to step into separately. At the time I found it to be a girly (and therefore desirable) alternative to my other options for playtime. As the trend became more distant during the turn of the century I decided I never wanted to see this in-between look come back into style. Soon the ambiguous short and skirt combination was exclusively relegated to beaches and tennis courts. But then came the airy “pantaloons”. Billowy, wide-leg shorts that looked like a skirt from the back and even front but again were shorts in their truest form. So it wasn’t a real skort, but it was close enough. Although the style didn’t click with me personally, it was nice to be able to wear a flouncy mini and not have to worry about a little wind or tightly crossing my legs. Now a new short skort is making it’s mark. It’s uber chic and convenient when you want something comfortable yet sexy for the heat. An origami style crossover creates skirt shaped like shorts (with a center “V”) which transform into real shorts in the back. The reinvented style looks great in crisp brights with an embellished blouse and a cross body purse. Get your hands on a pair now with my picks:
Wear the Paint… or win it! How would you like to get this fun and cheeky tee perfect for the warm weather coming your way? Wear the Paint is sponsoring a contest to receive their “Caution” short sleeve shirt. All you have to do is enter using the form below. The contest runs from 5/7/14- 5/25/2014. Be sure to complete any field that is marked as mandatory. Completing any optional fields scores you additional entries.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
News of a package delivery from Couture Apparel on Amazon was a sweet way to start my week. The seller features average priced clothing with something for women of all ages, but almost everything is slashed to about 70% off! They offer attire for a range of functions and activities– from work, to parties, to weekend play. You’ll love the unique designs and shapes of their tops and dresses.
I chose a white sleeveless dress called the Kyra with a visible back zipper and black bordering around the sleeves and hem. The silky material was shapely but not too tight that it became clingy. Two side pockets were accented by gold zippers. Due to the nature of the color I decided it was best to wear a slip underneath, but the dress did come with an attached lining. It’s perfect for work and looks great with any black pumps or colored flats. Check out what else the site has to offer. My picks are below.
Items you will love:
Sequins Solid Print Top- $31
Knit Elegant Short Jacket – $31
Solid Print Tunic- $21
Couture Apparel is also giving 20% off any item! Use the code: FASH0407.
*This offer is valid for one month and starts today 04/08/14.
It had been a long time since I’d seen a hand painted shirt. I did have a blast boasting a homemade t-shirt slathered in puffy paints for Girls Scouts in third grade– if that counts for anything– but I can’t recall any sartorial Pollock or Monet spottings since. All the better for Wear The Paint’s timing. The ladies of the company are determined to bring crafty hand painted tops back to the forefront of fashion. Last week the new company launched their e-commerce site wearthepaint.com where they sell hand painted tees and sweatshirts for men and women. I love the cute branded tote they wrapped the purchase in! The style is laid back and fun, and the truly hand painted products have a personal touch. Due to the nature of the creation there may be subtle differences with each individual item.
The ladies try to keep the concept modern with in-your-face words, masterpiece replicas (I love the starry night tee!) and other fun design like strawberry hued hearts. The background canvas is very simple and draws attention to the design… it also gives the items an arts and crafts feel. I found their Facebook page and learned a bit more about how the ambitious duo work as a power team. The two friends stay up late designing products and even modelling for the site. Support these awesome entrepreneurs by buying one of their reasonably priced shirts or baggy sweatshirts with inspiring pictures or words.
My picks are:
Rose with Polka Dots Tee- $20
Feather Sweatshirt- $50
Here’s how I wear the paint!
Sweatshirt, Wear The Paint
Jeans (cut into shorts) J & Company
7. Jessica Chastain in Givenchy- The black played up her curves with feather style detailing and a feminine flared shape. She completed her look with an exquisite diamond necklace.
6. Julianne Margulies in Andrew Gn- Julianne Margulies isn’t young by Hollywood’s standard, but she owned this black dress with gold branch detailing. She looked just as radiant as any twenty year old. (She even pulled off cap sleeves which can be tricky on formal wear!)
5. Taylor Swift in Caroline Herrera- You can always count on Taylor Swift to get things right. This vibrant color blocked dress looked full and rich on her long and lean body.
4. Emma Roberts in Lavin- So maybe she didn’t take a fashion risk but she appealed to a great fashion lesson: you can’t go wrong in a well cut black dress. I love that she paired it with large turquoise earrings.
3. Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad- She found a way to make beading look original in this saucy silver number. The sexy mermaid shape shined on the red carpet.
2. Kaley Cuoco in Rani Zakhem- She loves full skirted dresses and this floral print one looked lovely per usual. Don’t stare too long though, the unfocused flowers can make you dizzy!
1. Lupita Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren- It’s been an amazing sartorial year for her with her breakthrough performance. She looks stunning in bright colors and the fire engine red was no exception. I’m obsessed with the bold cape.
It may be a bit premature for prom season, but it’s never too early to start dress shopping! Fame and Partners Prom Dresses is an Australian boutique website that features celebrity inspired dresses at great prices. The website is easy to use, and I love everything they offer, like free returns and the opportunity to customize your own dress! You can even take their fun style quiz and receive $20 off your purchase. You’ll find it easy to channel stars like Rihanna and Taylor Swift with gowns resembling their 2013 Grammy choices. Best of all, even though the website is advertised as a prom site, the inventory isn’t childish. The selections work just as well for someone in their 20’s attending a wedding or banquet. To give you some of ideas of what might fit your fancy, I made a few recommendations based on style identity. Check out FameandPartners.com now!
Girlie- Sweet takes the cake on this steal of a deal mini-dress ($99) that is ideal for any cocktail party. A crisscross sweetheart neck has internal boning and fine pleating. The perfect dress for a great twirl.
Sexy- Work this halter dress ($229) with a high side slit. The long skirt and pretty red color scream old Hollywood glamour.
Wild- Try the peplum top ($79) with a cascading high-low hem. Pair it with a column skirt to make a big impact on the dance floor.
Rain, rain, go away. Please come back when I’m in Saint-Tropez! Sadly, I won’t be booking a trip in the near future, and it doesn’t look like the rain is ready to disappear. However, that’s no excuse to be lethargic and stream movies instead of attending a winery tour or the weekend getaway you booked in anticipation of a warm summer. A simple solution to beat weather woes is to dress appropriately. Since we stowed our coats long ago, everyone seems to thinks they need the company of an umbrella. But in my experience umbrellas are just a nuisance with artful structure. They blow inside out during strong winds, they get hooked on someone else’s and knock out strangers’ eyes with the pointy wires. And good luck when the captured rain drips on you and the carpet after you close it! For these reasons I recommend a light, absorbent, hooded raincoat paired with practical footwear like jelly flats which keep toes dry and wick away water. Skip maxi dresses which can drag in puddles. Instead pick up a pair of boyfriend capris, or an A-line skirt…just avoid the color white!
Shopbop.com, Free People, $62
Vince Camuto, $105
If you always end up paying the minimum $50 fee for extra luggage, then you’ll love swim suits that can double as shirts for a poolside brunch. The best way to guarantee you don’t forget your suit is to incorporate it in your getaway wardrobe. Here are my top picks for bathing suits to prance around on land or sea:
Lulus.com, Mink Pink, $133
Shopbop.com, Lisa Marie Fernandez, $390
Bloomingdales, BLEU Rod Beattie, $129
With the start of Mad Men’s Sixth Season, I’ve been inspired to highlight some very chic retro fashions. Just take a peek at Banana Republic’s annual collection featuring boxy shells, geometric print dresses, and gingham capris. Wrap a silk scarf around your head for a easy to manage mod do that keeps all pretty faces intriguing and protected from the sun.
The name might bring to mind the house arrest monitor made famous Martha Stewart, but these shoes have nothing to do with crime. The thick strap acts like an ankle bracelet and provides support so you don’t slip out of your heels. For the trendiest style look for a strap that is at least an inch thick and find the feature on heels and flat sandals. The strap should sprout from the very top of the shoe, if it’s lower it’s just a variation of a Mary Jane.
Vince Camuto- $118
Lamb, Zappos.com- $295
Nine West- $59
Blonde Amibition, Nordstrom, $140
Rachel Zoe, Piperlime.com- $235
The Kardashian’s love fashion– just google their enormous closets, the Dash boutique, and the KK line designed for Sear’s. Kim especially is recognized for her standout choices that hug all her curves and call for attention. It’s no surprise that pregnancy won’t stop her from wearing mustard leather, ruffled satin pants, and graphic black and white dresses all accompanied by high heels. While she should be able to enjoy this time without the fashion police butting in, her style is getting talked about because she hasn’t adjusted her wardrobe to her changing body. When you’re interviewed on late night TV and attending red carpet events you still want to wear expensive labels, and it’s hard to redefine your look for nine months. While shopping her closet and maintaining her sexy style allows her be a glamazon even with a baby on the way, the clothes are not as figure flattering as they could be if she wore real maternity wear. For celebrities it’s tricky because the world of designer maternity wear seems limited. Luckily, for those of us on a tighter budget, we can appreciate that maternity wear is sold all over, including H&M, Old Navy, Asos.com and Target. Below are three outfits that are comfortable and flatter your round tummy.
LOFT Dress $75/ Vince Camuto Handbag $228/ Kate Spade Earrings $48/ BaubleBar Bangle bracelet $36/ Lilly Pulitzer Kat Kitten Heel – Zappos.com $198
Liz Lange for Target Top $28 / LOFT Pants $65/ Old Navy Jacket $25/ Envy DSW Checkered shoes $50/ Nordstrom Cotton scarve $74/ ALDO Hat $25/ Express Sunglasses $18
A Pea in the Pod Shirt $135/ A Pea in the Pot Skirt $60/ Topshop Flats $48/ Anthropologie Pendant jewelry $48/Anthropologie Crystal hair accessory $18/ NARS Cosmetics
Sometimes women fall into the trap of believing we have to suffer to look beautiful. Just last week I read a magazine that included a disconcerting article about what celebrities put up with to look special during a photographed evening. These sacrifices included wearing heels so high the person had to lean on her publicist the whole night, a dress so tight this actress needed to take frequent bathroom breaks to breathe, and neck coils so heavy that the wearer’s upper body was stiff for a week. We get so wrapped up in the complicated and painful aspects of beauty that we forget how easy it is to sparkle and remain comfortable. Rihanna wows us with daring hot pants and ever changing hair colors, but her latest staple is a very approachable one, a girlie baseball cap. No longer are the duck brims reserved for alma mater pride and successful sports teams. I love a studded or bedazzled one with a solid mini skirt or a fun floral print topper to shield your face at the beach.
Charlotte Russe- $8
Free People- $48
My first purchase at Victoria’s Secret was a cerulean satin bomber jacket with a red fleece lining. I’m not sure how it fit into the mix of things since it was in the days before Pink sold sweats and t-shirts, but I was content with my find. I think I eventually relinquished it to Goodwill because the the smooth silky material started to pull, but today I know the jacket would be still be stylish. In fact, silk bomber jackets are the perfect way to add a chic touch to a sporty item. It’s the perfect item to wear with jeans or a skirt because the fabric balances the somewhat masculine cut and fit. Plus, it’s not the traditional jean jacket you’ll see on everyone. Many styles have baseball sleeves (a darker color than the body) but seek Asian inspired embroidery, such as a dragon or cherry blossom. The detail is eye-catching and shows you care about what you wear.
French Connection- $90
Stylebop.com, Emilio Pucci- $2305