Thursday, January 19, 2006

And now, a word about shawpin

OK, enough about the Olsen Twins. Let's talk shopping!

At the moment, I'm going crazy looking at spring stuff because it's 48 degrees. In Chicago. In January. I'm craving cotton clothes and regular pedicures. I'm compulsively checking out the resort wear on And flipping through every catalog that comes in the mail.

1. Check out Thrifty Chick's directory of sales and special deals. Big fun! Be sure to scroll all the way down.

2. Those of you who have daughters should know that the Growing Up Garnet Hill catalog is selling Lilly Pulitzer dresses and such along with the usual organic cotton/natural fibers stuff. Also, the girls' shoes are mega-cute. Talk about one stop shopping! If only they carried this stuff in grown-up lady sizes. I mean, would anyone dress like an Olsen twin if she had the option of dressing like an eight year old? No. So Garnet Hill needs to make this cute stuff in grown-up sizes. The big meanies.

3. In the Pink sent me an email with the news that some vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress styles were being resurrected in vintage prints. I just love the fact that Lilly has brought back that great cotton lace. I'm totally jonesing for this one, to be accessorized with a retro attitude, some cute sandals, and a slushy rum drink.

My wallet needs a cold snap to come around, and soon.


Put another Lemur on the Barbie

Did you know that the Olsen twins are going to premier their two new fashion lines in Australia? I can only assume that the Olsen twins think that their bizarre black-rimmed eyes, little fuzzy furry heads, and strangely tanned skin make them look like unusually attractive marsupials. Maybe they feel a strange kinship with the duck-billed platypus.

Mary-Kate and Ashley, I hate to burst your bubble, but actually, you look much more like lemurs. You see, lemurs tend to wear lots and lots and lots of black eye makeup:

Also, lemurs just can't get enough of each other. They are so totally touchy-feely, it borders on incestuous:

You're seeing the resemblance, right? I mean, I'm totally not making this up. But Mary-Kate? Ashley, honey? Lemurs belong in Madagascar. Not Australia. Where, you know, there are laws against the way you two behave.

First of all, there is the little matter of your private lives.

OK, in this picture, you're trying to make it look like you're Just Good Friends:

But in this picture, Mary-Kate is about to announce that she is carrying Ashley's baby. Or the other way around. Do you think the Australians are going to stand for this? I don't think so.

Then there are the fashion crimes, to which I have already alluded.

Fashion Cop: "OK, Mary-Kate (or Ashley--sorry, honey; I can't tell you girls apart) this time I'll let you off with a warning. Now put the blue curtains back on your mother's living room windows. And take a shower, missy!"

So here is a question for my readers: do the Olsen Twats Twins seriously think people in Oz want to look or act like them?

Maybe it would fly in Madagascar, where the other lemurs would probably dig it, but I'm sure the Australians won't stand for it. After all, everyone knows that kangaroos are famous for their exquisite taste in boomerangs.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What Came in the Mail Today

Wow, a lot of packages showed up on my doorstep today. I was opening and putting things away for quite a while. And I haven't even finished opening all the boxes. To misquote Coleridge's Ancient Mariner: "Cardboard boxes everywhere / And not a drop to drink."

So here's what showed up:

1. From Delia's: the purple Puma Speedcats. I. Love. Them. They are incredibly comfortable. This is a YMMV thing, though, because they have zero arch support. But I have a high arch, and support isn't one of my issues. And they're wide enough. If you have a narrow foot, these might not work for you, but for me? They are fabulous. I can wiggle my little toes--or at least I would be able to, if I were able to (does that even make sense? I don't think so.)

All of the above can be said of the Reebok Motor Lace sneakers, too. I don't love them quite as much because they're not quite as fabulous. After all, they aren't purple suede. But they are very nice--light, sleek, and comfy.

I also received the three rocker t-shirts I bought my daughter, but they're for her birthday. And two lamps for her bedroom, also not opened yet.

Oh--and if you wear a size 8.5, like Top-Siders, and want them in the cute pastel blue, they're on sale.

2. From Garnet Hill: two sets of pajamas, both cotton knit with an Asian-inspired patterns, and a blue cotton bathrobe with white terry lining. I'd give these an A- because the colors weren't exactly what I was expecting, and let's face it, whereas the right shade of pink does wonders, the wrong shade can make a grown up girl look recently exhumed. These aren't that bad, but they don't do wonders for my make-upless, first-thing-in-the-morning face. On the other hand, they're generously cut, cute, and the cotton is of high quality. And the black kid gloves with the hot pink roses are just as pretty as they looked.

3. From PBTeen: a light blue yoga mat.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Some Thoughts on Spending and Saving

OK, right away, my husband is cracking up. He would tell you my shopping philosophy is "why pay less?" And yet even I, a self-confessed extravagant wretch, realize that there are areas where I tend to spend, and areas where I tend to save. And they're not the ones you hear about in every magazine, so I thought I'd share.


Here I put my money into the stuff I wear the most. Or stuff I'm obsessed with. Whatever qualifies as a basic deserves a large percentage of your clothes money. (Even if your idea of "basic" is Lilly Pulitzer skirts.) I spend on: coats, shoes, wool separates, cashmere, sweaters, gloves, scarves, bras, and hose (remember when pantyhose were out, out, out? Thank heavens they're coming back. I was really tired of seeing pasty white legs with road map veins all over them. Even if they did get me where I wanted to go.)

I save on: cotton t-shirts, anything made out of polyester, bags, anything ridiculously trendy, (remember satin cargo pants? Was there ever a question that buying them at Neiman Marcus might not be such a good idea, when they were also being sold at Target?) costume jewelry, evening bags, evening dresses, underpants, and socks.


Spend on anything that gives you a glamorous thrill and anything that uses innovative packaging or application techniques (like YSL Touche Eclat, Guerlain's Les Meteorites, or Nars Multiples.)

Save on: lipstick (Revlon and Rimmel are my favorites) lip and eye pencils (I like Prestige) eye shadow (Jane shadows are dirt cheap and great) nail polish (I like Sally Hansen) and mascara--all of which you can get at the drugstore. Except stay away from Maybelline Great Lash. Sure, I have a picture of it here, but that's to see if you're paying attention. It's the only drugstore mascara I've ever truly hated. Totally smudged and gave me Tammy Faye spider lashes. Run away! But other L'Oreal/Maybelline/Max Factor mascaras have been fine.

Hair stuff

If you have normal, virgin, healthy, problem-free hair, you can probably get away with Suave shampoo and conditioner. (But if that's you, what are you doing reading this blog? Shouldn't you be letting down your hair so what's-his-name can climb that golden stair? And by the way? I hate you.)

But if you're normal, just spend money on your hair. Especially the machinery. I guarantee that if you plunk down the extra money for the Babyliss ionic hair dryer or the Mason Pearson brush, you will fall in love. Once Badger had turned me on to ionic dryers, I never looked back. My dryer and a cheap--but absolutely perfect--styling brush are two tools I can't live without.

Still, barring unusual problems, you can save on: de-frizzing serum, styling gel, hairspray, combs, and blow-dry brushes--the drugstore or a beauty supply store will have lots of cheap brushes, and it might take you three or four tries to find the brush that works perfectly, so go low-end here.

Skin care

Spend on: incredible serums, the exfoliator that polishes your skin to perfection without irritating it, eye cream that moisturizes without producing milia, sunscreen that doesn't break you out. Basically any Holy Grail product is worth the money.

Save on: eye makeup remover (I use some random blue stuff) cold cream (I like Pond's), cleanser (I'm using a Neutrogena product with salicylic acid and scrubby beads, and it's great) toner, masks (Queen Helene Masques are amazing and dirt cheap) sunscreen for your body, body lotion, hand cream, and lip balm.

As for anti-aging products, I've used high-end (Creme de la Mer and Cle de Peau) and low-end (Oil of Olay, Dove, Ponds) and guess what? No matter what I buy, I find that as the years pass, I continue to look older.

Fashionable Chaos Theory

If you aren't reading Penny Press's fabulous and totally "in" blog, Fashionable Chaos, you are really missing out. I learn so much there.

Today I learned that it's time to take up arms against lurkers. Check out what she recently posted:

Before I get to the pictures, in case you haven't heard, Sheryl has proclaimed it--ta da!--National Delurking Week. Now I don't get all bent out of shape over lurkers because I am a huge one. So I wasn't going to say anything, until I saw this:

So, you heard it here first. (Or maybe 547th--who the hell knows how many people are reading Penny's fine, fine blog?)

But just so you know, comments are encouraged.
Around here, that is.
Look! a Haiku.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Target is now the Love Boat of department stores

What's with the parade of has-beens?

First there was Mossimo. But I'd never heard of him because I was never a cool California kid.

Then there was Isaac Mizrahi, who even after Unzipped and The Adventures of Sandee the Supermodel couldn't manage to sell enough clothes at places like Neiman Marcus, and had to reinvent himself as a low-priced designer.

Oh, and I almost forgot--Stephen Sprouse.

And now it's Fiorucci.

What's next--Perry Ellis? Willi Smith? Halston? I mean, do you have to be a living designer, or can the name of a deceased fashion crash-and-burner be licensed?

There's nothing wrong with coming out with a lower-priced line. If it weren't for jeans, accessories, fragrances and bridge lines, I wouldn't have any designer crappe in my closet.

But I think my life is starting to pass before my eyes. And it's riding in a big red plastic cart.

There's gold in them thar malls.

I might be the only person who is thoroughly sick of white gold this and platinum that. A couple of years ago it reached the point where the default metal color for everything--handbag hardware, shoe buckles, jewelry, and watches--was white gold. I've managed to accumulate a lot of yellow gold jewelry, and I was irritated that all of a sudden, I had to either mix metals (ew) or start from scratch with white gold.

The good news is that yellow gold appears to be roaring back into style.

Although Neiman Marcus is still only showing a sprinkling of yellow gold pieces, check out the jewelry on is definitely listing yellow gold-wards.

This makes all kinds of sense, as there are women out there in their 30s who have never, in their entire lives, worn a piece of yellow gold jewelry.

Of course, this also means that in five years time, I should be as sick of yellow gold as I am of white gold. After all, it happened before. Remember in the 70s and 80s it was all about yellow gold, even if you weren't Mr. T? Well, yellow gold neck chains are back, as seen in the Saks website and as pictured in this month's Sucky Lucky magazine. Big ones a la the "big bold gold" thing the magazines were forcing down our craws last year (or was it the year before?) but also the little dinky ones people wore in the 1970s to Studio 54. Oh my gosh ... disco wear ... I'm getting all nostalgic now. Danskin body suits and side wrap skirts ... Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dresses ... all accessorized with skinny gold chains and maybe, if you were rich, Elsa Peretti-style diamonds-by-the-yard.

I guess with the resurgence of the DVF brand, disco jewelry had to come back into style. This should bother me, I suppose. But for the moment, I'm happy.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

It's official.

Gold hardware is finally back in style.

After all, nobody would argue with Marc Jacobs.

And I say, about time. I've had it with the ubiquity of white gold jewelry and silver-colored hardware on bags, shoes, and belts.

Ideally we'd have both silvery and gold hardware, of course. But I'm guessing the pendulum will swing completely over to gold now that Marc Jacobs is producing it.

Isn't this a gorgeous bag? Usually I don't like Marc Jacobs bags very much. Let me rephrase that. Usually I think they're fugly. But this is a far more dressed up looking bag, what with the quilting and the gold hardware. This is not a bag that says "Anorexic starlet schlepping her personal stylist to a shoot for the cover of Lucky magazine." No, this is a real purse. Dare I say it? A pocketbook. Meant to be carried by real grown-up ladies who won't carry it while dressed in an outfit suitable for dumpster-diving.

It really is a beauty, isn't it. Well worth taking the $1,200 plunge and ditching all that silvery metal and starting over with yellow gold, isn't it?


My after-Christmas sale catalog binge

I've only made it through three catalogs, and I couldn't be feeling more smug.

From Delia*s (I know. I'm too old for this stuff. I was looking for stuff for my daughter. OK?) I scored three silly "ooh, I'm such a rocker" t-shirts. Also two excellent lamps, both mid-century modern and feminine, for her room. $29.99 marked down to $9.99. And, uh ... two pairs of sneakers for me. Puma Speedcats in purple with orange trim, and Reebok Motor Laces, black with cream colored trim.

Wow, Reeboks make your feet look huge. I never noticed that before.

At Hanna Andersson things didn't go as smoothly. Hanna makes great, colorful, durable outerwear for fashion-conscious little girls, but while their website is very slick and easy to navigate, their emailing sucks. I placed an order and waited for the confirmation email to show up. And waited. And finally re-placed the order. And still didn't get an email confirmation.

Two days later, just as I was thinking "Gee, I'd better head over to Hanna Andersson and see what's up," I came home to two big-ass boxes from Hanna. With both orders. So now I have to return stuff.

And last but not least, Garnet Hill. I loves me some Garnet Hill. Not only do they make excellent sheets and pillows and such, they have super cute clothes, shoes, and OMG the accessories.

So today I ordered some shoes for my daughter, because her "new school" shoes from September are now a size too small. And some pajamas for me, because I'm getting tired of the big-oversized-Red Sox t-shirt look. Well, for one thing, you can't bend over in one, not with the other gender in the room, anyway. So two pairs of jammies, a bathrobe, and oh, dear, I discovered that these awesome gloves were on sale.

I'm a glove ho. You know, anyone can be a shoe ho, but frankly, I think that's been done to death. No, for me it's coats, bags, and gloves. When I spot something totally cute and/or retro, I'm helpless. So I saw these super gorgeous four button numbers (i.e., they go up well over the wrist and keep you warm--no drafts!) and saw that they were marked down from an extravagant $118 to $68 ... Well, I had to have them.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Stuff this.

I'm just about finished putting away all the new Christmas crappe, which means I need to start thinking about buying all the stuff I wanted to get but didn't.

I've decided this kind of discussion really doesn't belong on my regular blog. Not even on a "Choosey Tuesday" regular kind of weekly post. You know, like Show and Tell Friday, Half Naked Tuesday, or Get to Know Me! Thursday. Although I debated that idea for a while. But I decided my blog is already too damned random and all over the place.

So what the hell--why not start another blog? Four blogs can't be considered excessive, not when I have five squillion pairs of shoes, four squillion handbags, two train cases stuffed with makeup, 80 some bottles of fragrance--not to mention the partridge in a pear tree some asshole regifted me with. Right?