Product Review: Alumni iPad Case

The Alumni case by Cygnett can keep the new iPad or iPad 2 cozy in a pretty case that comes in blue, green, pink, or black. Mine arrived in a fully saturated bright pink. It is made from a durable canvas, and it has vegan leather trim on the left side. The case protects your device when you toss it your bag and ensures it doesn’t get scratched or dirty. In fact, if the Alumni gets a Red Bull spill, the canvas shouldn’t be as tough to wash as other materials, although I haven’t tested that. The folio style the cover opens like a book so you can keep it in the case as you use it, and it fits snugly in a frame on the right side. It is lightweight too, which makes it fine to carry around everywhere. However, I would not count on it acting as a reliable shield during an accidental drop on hardwood flooring. One letdown is when it opens/closes with the magnet it is supposed to activate the wake/sleep function, but the feature didn’t work when I tested it.

If you’re buying the Alumni to take to a corporate job, sticking with the classic black is a safe bet. Otherwise, the other three colors are vibrant and a good looking way to provide a protective shell for your precious new iPad or iPad 2. It retails for $49.99 and you can purchase it here.

* Picture from Cygnett

Fashion Lessons From The Bachelor/Bachelorette

Do style sequins for day and night

Emily Maynard was not shy in the spotlight. For rose ceremonies and strolls in the park alike she dressed to dazzle in sparkles. Some people think sequins are only appropriate during the holiday season, with the last available opportunity being New Year’s Eve. However, they can be a delightful way to shine even during afternoon hours.

Shorts, Topshop- $90

Dress, French Connection- $398

Don’t wear gloves when a man is going to put a ring on it.

In the most recent season of the Bachelor, the last episode left Ben F. with two  anxious ladies awaiting a proposal. That means even if cocky Courtney was less certain he was going to propose there was still about a 50% chance it would happen. The fact that she knew why she was walking on a grassy path to meet her love left me bewildered as to why she wore elbow length leather gloves.  She was  bound to take them off (they were sexy but too rugged for the evening gown anyway) and leave them off. Think of it this way, most women are surprised the very moment  a guy gushes how he wants to spend the rest of his with her in the equation. When its almost a guarantee that a Neil Lane diamond will be slipped on, its smart to show that finger flesh so you don’t have to limply hold your glove in pictures…Although did anyone else notice how there happened to be a rock stand strategically placed?

Do know a tied shirt and cuffed denim is an easy way to do casual chic

Ashley Hebert wore this downtime attire and looked comfortable and refreshing. Shortening a button down with a knot is way to show you care about style but didn’t spend all day rummaging through your closet to find perfection. She had enough to worry about occupying the attention of twenty-five men and still plenty of other occasions to dress to the nines.

Top, Bebe- $50

Shorts, Victoria’s Secret- $40

Do wear a prairie girl dress with cowboy boots even when it’s sunny

There are some contradictions that just feel right, and Courtney knows about this. Even in warm summer weather she wore tall leather boots. Her dainty white dress looked better offset with a pair of brown shoes and a Western style fringed bag.  Throwing on boots is just as effortless as walking in flip-flops but it adds more character. Another reason it worked? It was her outfit choice in the episode where she put together a mock wedding. The boots ensured she didn’t mimic a real bride too closely in her ruffled white dress.

Boots, Nordstrom, Vince Camuto- $169

Dress, Anthropolgie, Vanessa Virginia- $100


The Met Exhibit- Prada and Schiaparelli: Impossible Conversations

If you’ve been a tourist in Washington, D.C. and you love fashion, you have probably seen First Ladies’ dresses, a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History, which now includes Michelle Obama’s inaugural ball gown by Jason Wu. Even for those who closely follow designer fashion there is not always a chance to see the attention to detail on designer garments in person. A majority of collections cater to runway show buyers and skip the department stores. Sure, you can visit the stores that line Rodeo Drive and try on the pieces you can’t afford while sales associates watch you like a hawk, but some of us don’t even have the gumption to touch a Roberto Cavalli sheer ombre tunic without washing our hands three times in a row.

For three more weeks the Prada and Schiaparelli exhibit will be housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. The exhibit is titled “Impossible Conversations” and they do a superb job of drawing parallels between the two Italian designers, despite the fact the two worked decades apart. About five years after Elsa Schiaparelli’s death, Miuccia Prada commenced the takeover of her father’s business.

Last year the museum picked Alexander McQueen as an ode to his successful but all too brief career. This exhibit is different in that they work to find comparisons and mix the designers in an unexpected but conceivable display, with a casing of Schiaparelli blazers and boleros and Prada skirts in the first room. The showcase also features a video dialogue between the living designer and Schiaparelli, played by Judy Davis, to create a conversation that could have taken place based on quotations from interviews and Prada’s true opinions.  While Prada doesn’t consider her pieces products of art, the exhibit is a rare chance to explore contemporary fashion as something more than the dress Jessica Alba wore to a movie premiere. As a highlight, you’ll be wowed by what you remember, such as the canvas rugby striped skirt from 2011, and what you’ve dreamed of, the ethereal dresses from the 1930s.

*Picture from Artnet

Nightie Night

As a personal tribute to Betsey Johnson, who filed for banrapucy and started shutting down her shops this summer, I am dedicating this post to what I loved most about the brand. Believe me, I will miss it all. Sure the necklaces charmed me, the dresses were thrilling, and the shoes made a statement, but the frilly nightwear adorned with rosettes and bows? Perfection. There is a fine line between a cute nightie and sexy lingerie. The ideal nightie is a sweet way to say “good night” and provides a warm wake-up welcome. Best of all, Betsey Johnson nightgowns are actually desirable to sleep in, meaning no garter straps, padded cups, and definitely no boning.

These are my recommendations from some other brands:

Victoria’s Secret- $30 $90

Target- $25

Bare Necessities- $74

*Picture from The Style Cure

Motel Rocks Discount Code For Readers

Check out Motel Rocks and use this discount code to get 20% off your order! Right now they have a huge sale, but the code will be good even once the sale has ended. Just make sure you type in fashionscoop before the final purchase to get your money off. Happy shopping!

These are some of my favorites from the website:

Wine colored skinny jeans (Sale)- $15

White floral bralette (Sale)- $30

Strapless cream bustier dress- $100



How To Pack For A Vacation

Recently I came across a report on Yahoo! News that women reportedly change outfits an average of four times a day when they take a trip. If you’re trying to avoid paying for extra baggage and lugging it around the airport, here are some tips. By following these rules you can support the desire to keep changing and still have room to bolster the destination’s tourism profit by coming home with some souvenirs.

1. Be to sure to pack things you know you’ll need or will definitely come in handy first. You know that cute magenta blouse you’ve been waiting to wear but haven’t decided how it would look best? Hold off on taking it. Instead, focus on the actives and events you have already scheduled. For example, if you know you’re attending a wedding and rehearsal dinner don’t “forget” to bring along two appropriate dresses in hopes you’ll find a cute one there. When you forgo bringing something you need, it induces stress when your mission was to relax. Also, look up the weather beforehand. If it’s scheduled to rain all week long, then you will need a jacket. Try to map out your plans for each day, and find something that would look good and feel comfortable to fit with the itinerary. If you have extra room you can pack something like that magenta top you’ll wear for who knows what. But always start with basic needs first…and don’t forget undergarments!

2. Wear the bulkier things on the plane there and back and make everything else lightweight. I always find that shoes take up too much precious space, but if I’m going away in the winter I know that I will probably be wearing my heavy riding boots every casual day. I will also need a pair of heels and sneakers in case I find the motivation to hit gym during my lazy vacation. It might be tempting to take wedges, flat sandals, keds, glitter platforms, and two pairs of flip flops but you’ll probably end up wearing each one only once and adding 10 pounds to your bag. Instead you can wear the flip-flops full time and the heels for parties. Since weather can be unpredictable, take the chunky knit, just use it as your top layer for the chilly plane ride.

3. Bring things that you can mix and match with. This is the rule you hear most often and the one I’m terrible at staying faithful to. However, if you want to get the most variety out of your travel wardrobe it will behoove you (and your aching back) to pack versatile pieces. Take things like a convertible maxi dress/skirt, neutral colored tank tops, a pastel cardigan, tailored shorts, and a leather jacket.

4. Dresses are always quick and easy. A great tip to looking good in no time…an for providing the opportunity to pack fewer items. Besides, when in doubt of the dress code for an occasion, it’s best to choose the fancier option.

4. Rolling is your friend- Forget folding! Rolling things like jeans and t-shirts will ultimately save more room than folding and probably cause fewer creases in the fabric. If your things do get crinkly most hotels have an iron for your convience.

Extra Tips: Pack bras on top and shoes in the pockets- This way the bras won’t get squashed, and the bulky shoes won’t soil your white dress

Be sure to carefully double wrap all liquids, especially if they have been opened. Stained and smelly clothing is a greater tragedy than lost luggage. Also, bag damp bathing suits that don’t have time to fully dry. Take them out when you get home, and give them time to air out!

*Picture from Las Vegas Cheap Flights

The Vest Dress

Be the best dressed in a vest dress. If you rave about the time saving capabilities of a “throw on and go” shirt dress, let me introduce you to what will become your new favorite apparel. A vest, normally worn as an additional layer, steps up a notch when it becomes lengthened and worn solo. I personally prefer ones with a bit of structure, like a trench coat without the sleeves. However, a baggier fit shows confidence, and when worn with oxfords and a jaunty fedora the look expresses fearless style.

Lord and Taylor, BCBG- $169 $110

*Picture from InStyle

What To Buy For July

1. Hair chalk- Why will this product become popular these season? Chalk it up to being spill-proof and simple to use. The crayons are the perfect non-committal way to get spunky streaks of color to spice up your braid, bun, or ponytail. Remember how Avril Lavigne and Rachel McAdams took Pink’s trademark and toned it down by mixing the unnatural shade (hot pink) with their own hair hue? With easy grip sticks or Kevin Murphy’s half sphere, the application is precise, cheap, temporary, and best of all, doable in your own home without the help of a savvy hairstylist. Forget synthetic clip-in extensions which look like a doll’s locks; hair chalk delivers the perfect amount of your dye with a quick glide. Just be careful not to get the powder on your clothing. Wait until it sets before getting dressed.

Amazon- $25

2. Beauty balm- Product engineers have come up with a face base to beat tinted moisturizer. This new product is hitting shelves everywhere, including your local drugstore  (see Garnier Fructis). Often abbreviated to BB, beauty balm is light, hydrating, and has SPF. It’s supposed to leave your skin with a smooth finish while hiding and healing imperfections. It’s ideal for the summer days when the you want coverage from foundation that won’t melt and clog in the heat.

Sephora- $34

3. Cropped bustier top- Looking to sex up the crop top style even more? If you want to bare your midriff at a club but fear not passing the strict “dress to impress” wardrobe code then try this fancier style with more structure. Pair it with a blazer or a summer jacket, a high-waisted skirt you can swirl around in, and sky-high heels and you will not only feel but look ready to party. $58 $40

4. Wedge sneakers- You know those colorful high top sneakers by Pastry and other hip-hop style brands? Well there is a new pair of kicks in town. While sneakers with a sliver of a  clicking heel can look tacky (like bedazzling your flannel) wedges work with the intended image of the shoe and give you a hidden lift (that works for your butt as well). Be comfortable and still feel powerful and feminine. $250 $75

*Picture from A’GACI