Archive for September, 2009

Fashion Profile: One Vintage

09/25/2009

One Vintage

(Lizzi/Daughter) The other day, I was browsing http://www.net-a-porter.com and found a gorgeous dusty green dress:

Now this is what I call love at first sight!

Now this is what I call love at first sight!

Beautiful Vintage
Beautiful Vintage by ChicLizzi featuring Christian Louboutin shoes

Unfortunately, the dress was taken off the site because it was sold out and no longer available. (Although I couldn’t have afforded it anyway… $935 is a bit too much)

Anyway, after falling in love with this dress, I looked at the collection and found myself wanting every single (expensive yet amazing) piece.

one vintage necklaceone vintage halter topone vintage lace top

this is one of my favorites so far

this is one of my favorites so far

one vintage black gownA little bit of info: The designer Marcelle Symons has a love for all things vintage and her clothing is inspired by vintage pieces from the late 19th century to the 1970s. She was a former partner in Paul & Joe UK Boutiques and used her knowledge of fashion and love for everything vintage to launch this wonderful collection.

What do you think of One Vintage? Love it, hate it? I want to hear what you have to say!

Mutton Dressed as Lamb

09/18/2009

Sharon Tate in miniskirt(Erika/Mom) Anyone who understands this sheepish phrase is most likely over 40. They are also going to understand the agony that plays out in the closet, as they finger their favorite miniskirt and wonder if they can “get away” with wearing it one more season. Not because it’s torn or out of fashion or has a baby spit-up stain right in front…but simply because they’re too old.

Since the Twiggy era, miniskirts have remained a surprisingly strong trend; waning maybe a bit in the late 70s as the romantic, flowy sheer-dress-over-lining reached its zenith (although I could have been seriously out of touch). But always, the miniskirt has been understood as the domain of the very young. Although we’ve done away with corsets, bustles, and neck-to-ankle swimsuits, women are still expected to cover their knees after 40.

My friend Mary Beth Williams, in a recent Salon.com article, ponders the age-old question of “how old is too old for short skirts?” She points to a survey in the Daily Mail, which says that the accepted maximum age for wearing a miniskirt has climbed from 36 in 2000 to 40 today. “There’s a vast expanse of leg between throw-in-the-towel midcalf and hello-sailor butt grazing — surely there’s a place for everyone,” says Mary Beth.

Vast expanse–too much real estate perhaps? Personally, I think my legs have aged well and my husband thinks so, too. But I find it harder and harder to feel right in a miniskirt as time goes on. My body is thicker–there is less definition between waist and hips. Mary Beth and many others in my age group are still very slim and of course they could wear Shop Rite market bags with tube tops and still look fantastic. So there’s the critical issue of weight and body shape.

Am I nuthin but mutton?

Am I nuthin but mutton?

Sadly, there’s another part of our anatomy that you would think was completely irrelevant to a miniskirt, but isn’t: our faces. I may look in the mirror on a good day and see the exact features of myself at 20. (Other days not so much.) But it is impossible to completely disguise an aging face and while many observe that middle-aged women attempting to “dress” young will look okay from the legs to the neck, their aging faces will reveal all. With the exception of Jane Seymour, Sophia Loren and my eternally youthful cousin Laila (who’s 70), the human face is an unyielding age barometer. Miniskirts and timeworn faces are very difficult to blend successfully.

Searching for opinions and images for this post, I came across a blog called Jess in the City. The blogger (Jessica De Vault with the Fayetteville Observer) was discussing clubwear for women over 40 and how often a woman comes across even older than she is by dressing too young. Her summary at the end was pretty good:

“Wearing a mini-skirt (or any other super-revealing, teen-inspired garment) over the age of 40 looks like you’re trying too hard, even if you do have a great body. But embracing your age always looks sexy.”

I think I can embrace my age okay. Hell, I’ve advertised it to the world in our blog name. So I’ll keep on keepin on, wearing an occasional miniskirt when I feel like it, especially with a stupendous pair of tights and some amazing boots. And I’ll embrace my age with whatever outfit matches it best.

Fashion’s Night Out

09/12/2009

Fashion's Night Out tag

(Erika/Mom) Thursday night, Lizzi and I participated in fashion history. Despite it being the first week of school we made the bold decision to attend New York City’s first-ever Fashion’s Night Out. The way it’s been publicized online and through all the sites we like to surf (like Polyvore, other fashion bloggers, and of course retailers) you’d think the whole world was going to be on the train with us. But in reality it was an ordinary day for most people. We were the only ones wiggling with excitement on that late-afternoon train. We were the only ones smiling in anticipation as we ascended the steps of Penn Station. Everyone else seemed to be going the other way, anxious to get home after another stellar day at the office.

And as most first-time ventures go, we learned a lot that will really help us with the second one. Remember that planning a travel route on paper is completely different from executing it…especially in Manhattan. We ultimately wanted to cruise Bleecker St. with the editors at Teen Vogue, to meet Marc Jacobs and perhaps Vera Wang. But first we wanted Mary Kate and Ashley to serve us some drinks at Bergdorf’s.

And they might have brought us some Perrier…if they had actually been there. Or if we could have made it through the revolving door. Instead, a mushroom cloud of line-cutters began pushing so that Lizzi and I kept getting further from the door. Besides losing oxygen we began to worry that our entire evening would be spent like uncool clubgoers waiting to get into Area in 1986 (not me of course). Angry and disappointed, we retreated.

Crazy mob scene trying to get in to staid Bergdorf Goodman's. Very surreal, and really unfun.

Crazy mob scene trying to get in to staid Bergdorf Goodman's. Very surreal, and really unfun.

So now, besides lacking oxygen I was riding towards a serious sugar crash. We stopped at Prada and had a good time checking out their wonderful display of Little Red Riding Hood and men with wolf heads (had to be there). Let me see if we got a picture of this. Lizzi was probably one of the youngest attendees this night, and being petite she had a hard time seeing anything above the crowd. I lifted her up so she could see Vogue’s Creative Director Grace Coddington. I noted that her wonderful thick, long hair looks a tiny bit like mine!

grace coddington

No cabs to be had on 5th Avenue, we impulsively jumped on a bus that said “East Village.” The driver took pity on me fumbling for bus fare and gave us a free ride. We ate some pasta and salad at a cozy little deli and then looked for the Teen Vogue party. And looked. And looked. Turns out it was in the WEST Village. Crap. This time we found a cab and finally got to the right place at around 9 pm.

Now I find the Village fun no matter what time it is, or whether Teen Vogue editors are there or not. While Lizzi scanned the well-dressed crowds for signs of celebrity, I enjoyed the warmly lit shops and watching people sip their wine and cappuccinos in the tiny restaurants. Yet our quest was not yet complete–we HAD to get T-shirts. And nearly every shop had already sold out.

live mannequin at Brooks Bros

These live mannequins at Brooks Brothers were a delight to watch and just one of many live tableaux that night. We checked in with Ralph Lauren and luckily found our first Tshirt in my size. Then we stumbled upon Tommy Hilfiger and had a great time listening to Tim Brantley singing. He’s really good. Listen to Damage. But I digress.

While enjoying Hilfiger’s hospitality we found what was a nearly-extinct small size of the coveted T-shirt for Lizzi. So this was a very good stop for us. We checked out a few more stores but it seemed the party was wrapping up. And we were pooped. We hailed a cab back to Penn Station and slipped in the quiet house about midnight.

(Lizzi/Daughter) I expected Fashion’s Night Out to be all over the streets of New York City, with performances everywhere and celebrities walking along the streets. I also thought I would be able to get into Bergdorf Goodman, meet the Olsen twins then head on over to Ralph Lauren to get a t-shirt and meet Blake Lively. And right after that, arrive at the Teen Vogue block party and seeing Taylor Momsen’s whole performance plus the back-to-school fashion show. Oh, and let’s not forget meeting designers like Isaac Mizrahi, Vera Wang, and Donna Karan and watching a cook-off between designers like Cynthia Rowley and Peter Som. The winner ended up being Lela Rose, I found out with her corn crepe topped with lobster and cilantro salsa.

Anyway, Fashion’s Night Out wasn’t what I dreamed it would be. Although, I guess most things don’t turn out how anybody wants them to. To be honest, I’m still really upset about Bergdorf Goodman and missing most of the Teen Vogue Block Party, other than that I had a fun time walking around NYC, on a school night, with just my mom, experiencing something new.

I’m so glad I got a t-shirt also because mine can be worn as a t-shirt dress (it’s very large on me) or a t-shirt (tucked in loosely into jeans) and I’ll have the t-shirt for a very long time because of how large it is, even though it’s a size Small. Mom’s looks great also. I loved the way she wore it yesterday with her lacey black pencil skirt and she cinched at the waist with a big black patent leather belt.

mom and lizzi in our fno t-shirts(My face is the only face in the picture because my mom didn’t feel like putting on make-up)

Fashion’s Night Out for us wasn’t the disappointment that I’ve made it sound like (I can be very negative sometimes) Note from Mom: Noooooo, never!

Actually, I had a lot of fun looking around in Prada because of the cool mannequin displays which were wearing really cool wolf masks as Mom said before.

Lions and tigers and bears and... wolves? Oh my!

Lions and tigers and bears and... wolves? Oh my!

As you can see, this is not a very good image because it was taken on my cell phone, but you can see the wolves pretty well in their black Prada suits.

In conclusion, Mom and I had an awesome time at the very first ever Fashion’s Night Out in New York City. I will always remember this day and we know for next time not to wait in a long line to get into Bergdorf Goodman, no matter how much we want to get in!

What Lizzi Wore…

09/09/2009

Lizzi's First Day of School outfit

(Erika/Mom) Lizzi went back to school today like most other East Coast students. It was a strange morning, very cloudy and just mildly warm. I think Lizzi’s outfit was just right. And how about that book bag? 🙂

Ruffled top on Lizzi

Ruffled top from Macys/Brushed denim shorts in olive from Abercrombie/Beaded sandals from Macys/bag from Target

Have a great day Lizzi!

My Book Bag… is it the right one?

09/05/2009

(Lizzi/Daughter) Most of you remember the post we recently did on what bag I should get for school. Well, I finally found a bag that is close to perfect! We went to Target a few days ago to get a couple of basics like gym clothes for myself and a new pair of denim shorts for my sister, Caroline. We also decided that while we were there, we should check out the purses and bags they had. It didn’t take long for us to find a decent-sized and roomy Hollywood Intuition for Target bag in an awesome purple color that could be used as both a tote or a messenger!

hollywood intuition purple bagWe found the bag without any tags and we couldn’t find a similar bag. So for about fifteen minutes, people were searching everywhere for the tag or a similar bag. We also found out that this bag was part of Hollywood Intuition’s Fall Favorites which I thought was kind of cool. Even though we had to wait a while for the price to be found, it was worth it! Because now I have a totally cute and inexpensive bag for school.

purple target bag

purple target bag

I just have one teensy-weensy problem. I’ve had my eye on this hot pink Marc Jacobs tote for a long time and now I’m having bag remorse because I don’t know if I chose the right bag!

hot pink marc jacobs toteIt’s a little bit expensive ($190) and I don’t know if I should buy it because it would take away money from more back-to-school shopping at King of Prussia. Also, if I got this bag ruined or lost, I would hate myself.

They’re both awesome bags, but I don’t know if I should keep the one I have, which is a perfectly good bag… or go for my dream tote by my favorite designer Marc Jacobs? What do you think, Mom?

(Erika/Mom) Hmmmm. Let’s see, if it’s between what my own mother would call “a PERFECTLY GOOD bag” for $26 and a $190 designer bag that will be dragged through the unsavory detritus of a middle school’s hallways, going from bright pink to the color of a well-used pencil eraser in a matter of weeks–do I really have a choice? It just doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do. I immediately said “No” when Lizzi asked me about it. Then an hour later I felt bad and decided to make her an offer–if she wanted to spend her own money she could get it.

Quite frankly I was delighted with the Hollywood Intuition bag. It had everything going for it–generous size, sturdy construction, awesome color, front pockets for cell phone, and a good price. It is also somewhat unique–as much as anything can be unique these days. But Lizzi hears people talking disparagingly about Target–that it’s not cool to shop there. I won’t get on any soapbox here–I have my own list of stores that I will only enter if the world is ending and I need a hurricane lamp (Walmart, all warehouse grocery stores). But isn’t being fashionable about choosing the unexpected, the one that not everybody has? Not everyone has a Marc Jacobs bag mostly because they can’t afford it. but I consider that the more predictable choice. And being predictable will never get you anywhere in fashion.

Lizzi you have remarkable nonconformity at an age when it is almost irresistible to follow the crowd. My hat’s off to you and hey, can I borrow your bag sometime? 🙂

Back-to-School Shopping in NYC

09/03/2009

Back-to-School shopping in NYC

(Erika/Mom) One of the best parts about moving to NJ from CA a few years ago was the proximity to my favorite city: Manhattan! This is our third summer on the East Coast and as of last Thursday, our third trek (mother and two daughters Lizzi and Caroline) into NYC for back-to-school shopping. We’ve already learned a few things to improve our performance:

1. Get an early start.

2. Choose one or two quadrants of the city. Our first year we went down to Soho then up to the Upper West Side, and nearly killed ourselves.

3. Make a list and check addresses. Lizzi did this and it helped us stay on track and cover more ground.

4. Be open to serendipity. We found an amazing shop on Columbus Ave. called…oh crap, can’t remember the name. Something like Very Best Gowns. Look for it a block or two from Betsey Johnson somewhere in the 70s. We weren’t in the market for gowns but wish we were. Lizzi bonded with the owner’s 12-year-old niece who was hanging out there.

5. Grom sorbet and a park bench.

Of course we had to check out the new JCP on 33rd St. and Avenue of the Americas. Talk about sinking serious amounts of money into your brand! We’ve been inundated with TV and print ads and finally decided to see if there really WAS something new going on at JCP.

The verdict? Very nice. It helps when you have a brand new building and large, pink-papered dressing rooms. We loved the dressing rooms. Both Caroline and Lizzi found a few things they liked, including this cute diamond-pattern tunic top:

JCP finds

Next stop: Macys. We can’t ever shop in New York without stopping at Macys. And after a trip up to the 7th floor on the wonderful clackety original wooden escalator, we found a wonderland of merchandise that both girls loved.

(Lizzi/Daughter) Macy’s was probably one of my favorite places we stopped at. I got half of my back-to-school clothes there! I thought I wouldn’t find anything in the girls department in Macy’s because our local Macy’s has all this cutesy-little girl stuff in the 7-16 section. But when we got to the right section, I found myself piling clothes of all types on one arm and then we finally decided to try everything on once my pile of clothes weighed about ten pounds. My favorite buys were a cool leather (or pleather… plastic leather or fake leather) jacket by Baby Phat and a pair of deep red acid wash jeans. The jacket had a cool metallic tint to it that Mom says makes it look like metal which is really cool. It also had studs lining the pockets and zipper. I loved it so much, I had to buy it and it will be great for cool weather in fall and winter.

Baby Phat leather jacket and Hurley graphic t-shirt... both great pieces I bought at Macys!

Baby Phat leather jacket and Hurley graphic t-shirt... both great pieces I bought at Macys!

I spotted the acid wash jeans in the Guess section of Macy’s and I thought they were so cool because I had never seen that pretty a red on jeans before. Also, what was amazing was that they fit perfectly and jeans almost never fit me well in either the waist or the length.

After trying on a couple more things and heading to a few other shops, we finally ended up at Urban Outfitters, my favorite store in the whole universe. Again, I grabbed everything in sight that looked like it would fit and finally ended up in the fitting room. I randomly pulled out a bright floral dress that I thought looked cute on a mannequin. I thought it wouldn’t fit, but when I had tried it on, it “fit like a glove,” as Mom said.

floral dress from urban outfitters
I also bought a nice floral skirt and a cute jacket:

my skirt

my skirt

my jacket

my jacket

Aren’t these both the cutest?

In conclusion, Mom, my sister Caroline, and I had an awesome day in New York City! We may hit a mall later on but Manhattan is the place to start your engines. Seventh grade, here I come.

caroline and i eating lunch in nyc

Even though Caroline isn't as into fashion and shopping as I am, she still had a great time!