Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I have a semi-unhealthy addiction to perfume. It is one of the great pleasures of my life, and for people like me, perfume is an art form to be appreciated in the same way beautiful music is.

Please take a moment to read Elena Vosnacki's article on this hideously misguided piece of legislation. In it you will find links to petitions, as well as a link to Robert Tisserand's excellent and more in-depth explanation of the legislation and why it is ridiculous and threatening. And then pass this information on to as many people as you think will listen.

Don't let the name of this act fool you -- this is not about making things safe for you, this is about driving small companies out of business and leaving only the leviathans who will be able to afford the egregious strictures this law would impose.


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Friday, September 3, 2010

Eeenie, Meenie...

Just a little eye candy for your weekend, courtesy of Scott Schuman at The Sartorialist. Enjoy!

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some Rules Are Made To Be Broken

Well, hello, there! Remember me?

Yes. I've been MIA. AWOL. Call it what you will. I'm sorry about that.

Here's the thing... There are some changes going on in my life. They are good, happy, productive changes that I'm really excited about, but they're taking a lot of my time. And the blog posts also take a lot of time. So they're taking a back seat.

I never wanted this blog to be All About Amy, one of those blogs that's just pictures of the blogger that seem to exist solely to say, ooh, look how cool I am and how rockin' my wardrobe is. I've been guilty of this more often than I like, but the truth is that those posts are easier -- they take less research and time. Right now I don't feel like I have a couple of hours a day to spend looking at fashion shows and websites and blogs hunting down information and photos and links. So I haven't been posting. But... recently I added something to my wardrobe that it seemed worthwhile to share.

The rule lately has been No More Shopping, because really, I'm set. There's not anything I need. I'm always on the lookout for tops with interesting patterns (SO bored with the solid colors) and the truth is, I am a stone sucker for a throw & go knit summer dress. An ongoing rule is No More Black Dresses. I have plenty of black dresses (don't we all). And I'm not a big fan of black -- I much prefer to wear color. I have black dresses, because they're unavoidable, but I typically don't even really look at them on the hangers in stores.


I found this great black knit dress at the Barney's CoOp here in Austin. They had an extra 25% off all their sale goods, so this wound up being quite the bargain. It's a rayon/viscose jersey knit tank dress -- super-easy, a wide enough skirt that VPLs aren't an issue but still slim, straps plenty wide to accommodate a bra, no fastenings...basically it's perfect. It has the added niftiness of a cunning little slit for the belt to go through so it has just enough detail and architecture to be interesting. I just love it, and I bought it even though it's black. It came with a black belt; I'm wearing it here with a little leopard-print cowhair numbah, because I thought the black belt was booooooor-ing. Also featured are my fantastico tobacco leather Cole Haan sandals from the previous post and a truly darling & perfect vintage gentleman's straw hat. If you click on the photo it'll get bigger and you can see it a little better.

The thing I love most about the dress, of course, is that I can change out the belt. For example,

(Sorry about the Marie Antoinette thing; but I'd had that hat on all day and when I took it off, it was Not Good up there and I just didn't want to deal with it. The downside of the curly is pretty serious hat head.)

this great little red patent double-wrap one, paired up with some darling Gucci sandals I bought a couple of years ago & still wear like crazy because they are still wonderful. (I get more compliments on these shoes, you would not believe.)

The dress also... dresses up quite well.

Gold belt, faboo strappy black sandals with gold stars. Not to get too matchy-matchy, but I do kinda love it.

When it gets a little cooler (IF it ever gets a little cooler -- in the middle of August around here it seems like time & the thermometer both stop moving. It's hot. It's always been hot. It's always going to be hot. Is it October yet?) I think some fun boots

and throw on a little jacket.

I'm doing some traveling at the end of the month, and this is definitely going to be my airplane dress. Comfycomfycomfy and still chic. (If I play my cards right, I'm going to have a suitcase filled with nothing but knits. Clothing nirvana.) This little piece of the Fabulous is by A.L.C, which is a clothing line designed by well-known stylist Andrea Leiberman. I highly recommend checking out her website. The clothes are fantastic -- lots of cool, easy, lean basics that are modeled by teenaged shinbones with heads but many of which could be worn by anyone of any age. The colors leave a little to be desired (for me) -- it's all black, gray, and beige with the very occasional pop of red, but if you're going to make basics, that's the usual palette.

(Update: here are some links to the dress at Matches, Barney's, Madison, and Zoe. I'm also pretty enamored of this one.)

So there ya have it. Just a little reminder to stay open to breaking your rules every now and again, especially when you stumble across a great multi-tasking piece that you love to slip over your head.

As for me, well, I'll be around. I'm not making any promises about how often I'll post, but I'm not going to disappear completely. If you've stayed with me this long, thank you. I do really enjoy the connection to and interaction with the people who read my natterings, so I appreciate your patience. Hope you're having a great summer, and I hope you've had a few great fashion finds of late. I'd love to hear about them if you have!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Happiest Feet in Texas

Happy feet. I haz 'em.

Because of these babies right here:
Cole Haan FLX Air Vernonia

(All photos in this post are links -- click to see details about the shoes.)

This past Saturday, I was doing a little shopping. (Actually, I was doing a little returning, so theoretically I went up to the Domain to make some money. Best laid plans & all that.) As I strode purposefully past the Cole Haan store, I did a double-take/pull-up-short maneuver worthy of Charlie Chaplin when I saw the sign for these sandals in the window of the store. I marched in, I tried them on, I bought them, and I left with them on my hooves, all within the space of about 20 minutes.

Because they are jee-nee-uss. Light as air, comfortably padded, and constructed with no seams. The soles are completely flexible and grippy. I've worn them pretty close to non-stop for a few days now and I am completely besotted. If you go here, you can see a little video from Cole Haan about the line and its "technology." As I've mentioned before, Nike bought Cole Haan several years ago and it was one of the happiest things to happen to my feet in the history of the shoe business. It so happens that I had been girding my shoe-shopping loins in anticipation of looking for some good, comfy summer shoes. I'm going to Boston at the end of August and there will be quite a bit of stomping around on the cobblestones & sidewalks, I imagine, so I've been thinking about shoes to take with me. Problem solved.

The company calls the color silver, but it really seems more like an antiqued gold to me -- I never wear silver, and I have no problem with these. If it's silver, it's a warm silver, if such a thing exists. This shoe also comes in black, but I think the metallic is a great summer neutral.

I almost walked out of the store with two pairs -- the only reason I didn't was because they didn't have the other pair in my size/color combination, so Cole Haan is very kindly shipping them to me free of charge. What's on its way? These right here:

Cole Haan FLX Women's Air Veneta T-Strap Sandal

A slightly-less gladiatorial sandal, but still with a good t-strap so that it comfortably stays on my foot. This one is also available in Ivory and Black.

There was yet another one in the line that I tried but didn't buy -- these:

Cole Haan FLX Women's Air Gearhart Aysmetrical Sandal
It's another great-looking sandal, but I didn't like it as much on my foot. When I was browsing the shoes on the shelf, my lovely SA Emily (Hi, Emily!) came over to demonstrate for me that these guys have a reversible insole. You can pop the insole out and flip it over -- one side is brown and the other is black. My slightly-baffled response was, "Um, why?" Apparently the company thinks this makes the shoe more versatile. What I think it actually does is make the shoe more rigid, because the footbed of the shoe has to provide a slot for that insole to pop in & out of, so it's less flexible that the other models. Which is not to say it's uncomfortable, just not as bedroom-slipper bendy as the other ones.

The other great thing about these shoes is the price. They are very reasonable, even for Cole Haan, which I have said many times is a brand that I think already gives outstanding quality for the price. I can confidently say at this point I have more Cole Haan shoes in my wardrobe than any other brand, and I have no regrets about any of them.

So. Looking for good summer sandals? Here's some. Two big thumbs up from Style Spy. Go getcha some.

But first, just a small interjection to head off a few things at the pass. Whenever I tout a pair of shoes as comfortable, I get all kinds of questions about arch support and podiatric needs. Now let's just think about this for a moment, shall we? "How's the arch suppport in these shoes?" you ask. Well, pretty good for a pair of mass-produced, flat sandals. But. If you are a person who absolutely needs an orthotic arch support, do you really think these shoes are going to provide it for you? Take a look at those shoes. Do you really think it's possible that they are going to provide the sort of support you might find in, say, a good running shoe? Of course not. It's not possible. Let us please be realistic, people. Looking at a sandal like any of the above and bitching that they don't cradle your delicate little footsies in exquisite, perfectly-designed orthopedic comfort is like bitching that your cat doesn't bark when strangers come to the door. It's a totally different animal. It's not going to do that, it's not supposed to do that, it's not capable of doing that. So, please. Realistic expectations. That being said, I think these are a fantastic solution for the chic-yet-comfy dilemma, and I proclaim my summer shoe shopping finished and complete. If anyone takes me up on this recommendation, please let me know how they work out for you.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Perspective Plus

I am informed this morning by that model Alyona Osmanova, who has appeared on some Big Name Runways previously, has been moved to Ford Models' "plus size" division. Here's one of her cards:


Lovely girl. Do please note her measurements. They actually got me pretty stoked -- they're almost exactly the same as mine! Apparently, I have a future as a plus-size model!!! SO!!! EXCITED!!!!

(You didn't seriously expect a photo of me in my underwear, did you?)

Ford Models!! Call me!!! I'm plus-sized!!

In all seriousness, now. Truly, this is not a post about me being not-plus-sized. But the fact is, I am not plus-sized. I typically wear a size 4. Ms. Osmanova's hips & bust are a very little bigger than mine, and she is half a foot taller than I am. Size 10? I don't think so. Also, since when is size 10 a plus size? WTF kind of math are these people using??

If you, like me, read a lot of fashion magazines & fashion blogs, you know there has been an awful lot of yappita-yappita lately about how "plus-size" models are gaining ground in the fashion world, how magazines are being oh-so-very-inclusive and actually showing "curvy" girls in editorials (I'm not EVEN going to get into how much I hate that as a euphemism, my Words-With-No-Meaning Rant ™ requires more alcohol than I'm willing to take in at nine in the a.m. on a Friday), and blah blah freetobeyouandmefishcakes blah.

Do not get me wrong -- I'm all about women other than Stick-Figure Goddesses being photographed in pretty clothes. Hoo and ray. What's killing me is the sickening, self-congratulatory tone of the industry as they pat themselves on their bony backs. Andre Leon Talley actually referred to Crystal Renn's appearance on the Chanel runway last week as "groundbreaking."

Groundbreaking? This?


What a cow, huh? I cannot believe they squeeeeeeeezed her into something from Chanel.

If this is groundbreaking, it's some pretty shallow ground.

Yay for more inclusive. Yay for more-reality-based depictions of women. Yay for more acceptance for all sorts of shapes & sizes & colors & hairstyles & whatnot. But groundbreaking? Let's not get carried away. Do not, as we say in Texas, piss on my boot and tell me it's raining.

You want groundbreaking? Here:

lena horne

That's you some groundbreaking, right there. Thank you, Ms. Horne. You are greatly missed.

Photos:, Style Spy,, AP

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Idea/Execution Gap

The idea makes sense, and I understand the inspiration behind it. A woman puts together a nice outfit to go to work every day, but often in the course of said day she needs two types of shoe -- a flat and a heel -- and wouldn't it be cool if you could find shoes you love that had both components. Well, sure, theoretically, I guess. Although not so much if what you end up with is this:

Ruthie Davis Women's Edamame/Sashimi Pump And Ballet Flat Combo

It's not just the colors, which are awful. (And the set comes in a few other color combos, all of which are equally awful, if not worse.) It's not just that they manage to look cheap even on a computer screen, which they do. It's this: usually, when I buy heels, I buy a size 9, sometimes even a 9 1/2, depending on the brand and the shape and other factors. Usually when I buy a flat, I buy an 8 1/2. I think this is true for many of us. Actually, I'd go so far as to say most of us should be more flexible about our shoe sizes and there would be many feet that were happier in their shoes if we were. So. Even if the above shoes weren't some of the butt-ugliest things I've seen in a while, I'd still think this was a bad idea.

Hey. I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

I discovered these because I was poking around on where they have lots of flats & pumps on sale. Personally, I need more high heels like I need a proverbial hole in my curly little head, but a gal can always use good flats. They have a LOT, and a lot of good ones. Click photos for links.
Stuart Weitzman Women's Lolly Flat

These are Cole Haan, one of my favorite brands. They come in narrow AND wide widths and they are on sale.
ras Women's RA31-615FA1G Pointy Toe Flat
All about this color, as you might have guessed.

Pour La Victoire Women's Camille Flat Lace-Up Sandals

I know these are desperately trendy, but I like the looks of them. Plus, they actually have a zipper on the back, so putting them on is not a 45-minute process.

farylrobin Women's Fido Wedge

Again -- not your basic flat and I kinda like 'em. Woman cannot live on ballerina flats alone, ya know. Just because your shoe doesn't have a heel does not mean it should be devoid of personality.

There's lots more on the website, go check 'em out!

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Pretty for Friday -- Something Different

I totally ganked this photo from Scott Schuman. This isn't my usual Pretty for Friday kinda thing, but I just love lovety loveloveLOVE the way this man looks. He is not only dapper, he is jaunty.

This is what the best kind of dressing can do -- it not only tells you something about his closet, it tells you something about him. Something good. I'd be shocked to talk to this man and discover that he didn't have a terrific sense of humor. Obviously, he has a highly-developed appreciation for aesthetics, which must certainly apply to all areas of his life -- this is a guy I could talk about art with. And self-confidence: this is a Japanese man wearing pink socks. That's not the M.O. of a shrinking violet. What this man is wearing makes me want to meet him and know him.

You know who I didn't want to meet? The schlubby, wrinkled, unshaven, bed-headed (and not in a hipster, on-purpose sort of way), flipflop-and-unpressed-cargo-shorts-wearing young man sciffscuffing across a parking lot wearing, in what could be some sort of genius statement of irony if it had been intentional but I assure you was not, a t-shirt that read, "GROOM." What his clothes said to me were: lazy, slovenly, probably has dirty dishes on the floor next to his couch (or did until he found some desperate girl to wear the "BRIDE" t-shirt), plays a LOT of video games, inarticulate, will indulge in overgrown frat-boy behavior well into his 50s and beyond. Might he be writing the next Great American Novel at home? Maybe. I will never know. Because his appearance repelled me like a force field.

I'm done apologizing for caring about the way things look. Appearances are important. If they weren't, we wouldn't have peacocks or hibiscus flowers. I freely admit that I fall further on the edge of this bell curve than most people, but I'm okay with that. I am going to keep beating this drum. I'm determined to be a Fashion Johnny Appleseed -- spreading seeds of style wherever I go.

Spread a little style this weekend, and have a great one!


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