Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Mixing Patterns

03/08/2010

(Erika/Mom) An easy costume for Halloween is to dress like a nerd. All you have to do is find startlingly patterned pants, and pair them with an equally startling patterned shirt. Voila–instant comedy.

We all live in dread of wearing an outfit that clashes, but sometimes a bit of pattern mixing results in a really great look. Lizzi and I often look at the wild combos in Teen Vogue and Seventeen–darn it, they always just seem to work! Kristen O’Reilly, in a post last April in Idiosyncratic Style, dares us to mix it up and her examples are really wonderful. It’s like looking at a bowl of mixed candy: sure, the colors and patterns vary wildly, but the big picture is pleasing to the eye.

Yesterday Lizzi and I tested our pattern savvy at the mall. Each of us chose an outfit with lots of pattern (and the rule was, NO picking merchandise already put together by the store!) I chose Macy’s and the two of us perused the racks, starting with a graphic silk skirt with a black border. We tried it with a very loud (but really cool) blouse with a swirly green and white pattern. Even with a complementing black belt, the overall effect is rather bizarre:

So then I went safe, pairing the skirt with an off-white cardigan.
Yeah.
Don’t see fireworks? Neither did we.

Still having green in my mind’s eye, I rounded the corner and both of us spotted this button-front cardigan with just a hint of tie-dye.

“I like it, but too groovy, maybe?” I asked Lizzi.
“Try it on,” said she.

So I did, grabbing a simple white blouse with lots of ruffles to put on underneath. We decided this one’s a winner:

Here is an example of two pieces I never would have thought to wear together, let alone buy together. But we both instantly voted yes on this outfit, as the stodgy skirt got a jolt of color and fun from the top. I probably could have gone a little more adventurous on the belt. Shoes? Well, you could go chartreuse suede with some serious heels, ballet flats, or laceup boots. Lots of choices. This experiement was a lot of fun and what’s more, it pushed me out of my long-held fashion conventions that much more.

Now it’s Lizzi’s turn!

(Lizzi/Daughter) Mixing patterns isn’t as hard as it looks. Polka dots and checkers, plaid and stripes, leopard and floral… it all works. Of course, there are times when an outfit can go way too far when mixing patterns… and after Mom and I visited the mall, we found multiple different ways that an outfit could be safe, sorry, or just right.

As you can see, mixing patterns is big this season so I was excited to look at all the choices Mom and I had to create outfits for ourselves!


DVF SS10


Marc Jacobs SS10

I went to Forever 21 to find my outfits and they had many choices. I went with a gray boat-neck top and an orange and white striped cami for the main pieces.

First, I decided to pair the outfit with a blue and black skirt with an Aztec print.

It obviously doesn’t look good, so I switched to a pair of light pink leggings, to play it safe.

Finally, I tried on the same skirt as before but in black and white…

… and finally! an outfit that works.

This shows that not only patterns can make an outfit clash, but so can color!!!

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Rosana: Our new favorite store!

01/24/2010

(Lizzi/Daughter) A couple of months ago, Mom and I went to a trunk show for our neighbor’s client’s new teen clothing store called Rosana. Since she was just beginning, there was only so much clothing and only a little bit of color. We still loved it though! The other day, I got an email from her and I told Mom that I wanted to go see her new store soon (which opened two months ago). So we headed down to Princeton and met up with Rosana again. She remembered us and was so excited to see us! Her store looked amazing. It was decorated with cute chairs and she had a much bigger variety of clothing! She also told us that she’s getting a lot more shoes in, so I knew that I would definitely be going back for more.

Mom and I grabbed different pieces right and left and I tried everything on. I was glad to find a store where I loved the clothes and most of the clothing fit me! (P.S. Sorry about the bright blue tank top… I happened to wear it and it didn’t exactly go with some of the pieces I tried on!)

First, I tried on a light blue ruffle mini dress and a pair of sequined pewter flats:

After that, I tried on an adorable black cut-out mini dress (cut outs are BIG this spring! Again, as I said before, so sorry about the tank!!!!)

Next was a beautiful orange chiffon dress which I was absolutely CRAZY about! It was a little big on the top (perfect on the bottom half).

Then I tried on a couple of things: a strapless top and a pair of really cute cropped pants! (the cardigan is my own)

Finally, I tried on a basic black cami and it looked pretty cute!

Oh, and by the way, if you happen to visit Rosana boutique in time, remember to sign her wall!

At the end, I bought the pewter flats, the black cami, and the cropped pants! I can’t wait to go back again… hopefully you’ll be able to visit the boutique sometime also!

Our 10 Favorite Fashion Trends for 2009

12/22/2009

Me and Mom in Venice....shopping of course!

(Lizzi/Daughter) Since it is almost the end of the year and 2010 is right around the corner, Mom and I decided to recap our favorite trends from 2009. We each chose five trends that we would love to see continue and flourish in the upcoming year.

Lizzi’s Five Favorite Trends of 2009:

My Favorite Fashion Trends of 2009
My Favorite Fashion Trends of 2009 by ChicLizzi featuring Matthew Williamson
Items in this set:
Discount Balmain Military-style denim jacket | theOutnet.com, 3,394 GBP
Matthew Williamson | Fitted twill blazer | NET-A-PORTER.COM, 745 EUR
See by Chloe Crepe boyfriend-fit blazer, $735
ABS Black Bandleader Jacket with Gold Trim
Jimmy Choo York leather motorcycle boots, $1,195

1. Blazers. This is my favorite trend of 2009. I liked the whole menswear trend and thought blazers were a very chic way of dressing up anything whether it was a button-down and jeans or a frilly floral dress.

2. Motorcycle boots. I love motorcycle boots. They are tough and edgy but feminine and fun. They are especially great for the cold winter weather!

3. Bib necklaces. Any statement necklace is great but bib necklaces always seem to catch my eye more than other necklaces.

4. Lace tights. Lace is one of my favorite fabrics and tights are my favorite bottoms to wear, so when both of them are combined they make something wonderful!

5. Military jackets. I love military jackets because of the structure and the buttons. It always reminds me of the toy soldiers in the Nutcracker, my favorite ballet!

(Erika/Mom)
I have to say, thank God romance is back in fashion! I mean the soft, feminine, flowing kind, not the French maid, bodice-ripper kind. We moms have more to choose from than we have for a decade. Today’s stores are filled with clothing, jewelry and accessories that show a great deal of imagination and an attention to the fabulous techniques and silhouettes of the past. I actually had a hard time narrowing my trends down to five, but they are all generous categories and easily adopted by every taste, budget, and (best of all) figure type. Take a look and get ready to hit the sales after Christmas!

Mom’s Five Favorite Trends

My Favorite Fashion Trends for 2009
My Favorite Fashion Trends for 2009 by EKotite featuring Miss Selfridge
Items in this set:
Milly Ruffle-sleeved merino wool dress, $295
Prep School Dress, $65
Ruffle Tie Blouse, $19
Stella McCartney Wide quilted waist belt, $263
Full Wool Mini Skirt, $245

6. Romantic (styles and fabrics). From sheerest organza to heavyweight velvets, garments of every type are getting a gorgeous lift. Lizzi and I have discovered marvelous tiered skirts in Forever 21; dresses embellished with fabric flowers in gorgeous colors; jackets with lightly puffed sleeves; and of course, shoes with ankle straps and sparkling buckles.

7. Ruffles. Lizzi laughs at my slavish devotion to ruffles. A simple white blouse I bought at White House/Black Market with a ruffled front has been my wardrobe stretcher of the year. A hybrid mom cannot have too many ruffles.

8. Faux Fur. I must admit I have not yet indulged in the fabulous fakes out in the stores this year. But these faux fur makers are really doing something right in their labs. Today’s vests, jackets, coats, and accessories are soft, warm, and oh so stylish.

9. Preppy. When I finally tossed my mid-calf pinwale corduroy pink skirt from college, I never thought I’d see the like of it again. Today’s preppy trend is a bit sexier but super feminine and flexible. You can look like Muffy instead of Skip with these soft fabrics and understated silhouettes.

10. Watches. The amazing, eye-catching array of watches out there drives home an important point: utility definitely shouldn’t look useful. (If you aren’t convinced, take a look at the wonderful tricked-out Steampunk computer we had in a recent post). Insist on pretty whenever possible. That rule, at least for me, has never been easier than now.

10 Ways to Know You (and perhaps your daughter) Are a Shopaholic

11/20/2009

1. You scavenge the recycle bin for catalogs your husband threw away but you haven’t “read” yet.

2. You know all of your 16-digit credit card numbers, as well as the 3- and 4-digit authorization codes, by heart

3. Your grocery cart ratio of impulse buys to necessary staples is 5:1.

4. Confessions of a Shopaholic was not funny. At all.

5. Visiting college campuses means finding the student store for T-shirts.

6. When you tell your daughter that “we are only window-shopping” and she looks at you like “what’s the point?”

7. You save all your shopping bags and stuff them in the corner of your closet or bedroom because you can’t bear to throw them away.

8. When you are just about to leave Macy’s, you pass by the shoe section and spend another two hours there trying on shoes.

9. It doesn’t matter who you’re shopping for, as long as you’re at the mall, you are completely and 100% satisfied.

10. You and your mom plan 2 back-to-school shopping trips. The first is in New York City and the second, one of the biggest malls in America.

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!

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!