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Archive for July, 2012

Some bags for you. All under $150

Because it’s crazy how much a girl has to shell out for a nice handbag.

This bucket bag from Zara looks super-rich, and the zipper details provide the exactly right amount of adornment, and not a touch more—which is nice, because people tend to go nuts with a zipper detail.

When you’re shopping for a shape as stripped-down and super-clean as this envelope clutch, it can be fun to  go somewhere unexpected with the color. I went with green on this one, but it actually comes in a whole host of other—probably more versatile—hues as well.

This clever little single-strap backpack is almost too no-muss-no-fuss.

As a rule, I do not like logos on my bags. But improbably enough, this saddlebag’s Fred Perry logo is precisely what makes it so awesome.

This swingpack from Coach’s Legacy line has its logo moment too, but it’s just underplayed enough not to hog all the attention. Because the bag is  based on a vintage style, I chose it in this retroish shade of blue. Although certainly you wouldn’t have to.

Just take this canvas bag, add a white button-down shirt, topsiders, jeans,  and poof! it’s 1979 and you’re Lauren Hutton.

If done right, combining blue and brown can be totally fancy-girl chic. Doesn’t this Old Navy bag kind of nail it?

I set the bar exceedingly high on animal prints—there are so many awful ones, at any point on the price spectrum—and I have to say, this leopard clutch clears it.

At first I wasn’t too keen on the little chain strap detail on this cross-body bag. But then I decided that’s totally what makes it so cute.

Posted on July 31st, 2012 10 Comments

Etsy keeps on keeping on

My dog is so hard to shop for. But I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed it with this backpack.

Posted on July 31st, 2012 1 Comment

Morning links

  • Even if I were forced to designate one of these water parks as the most spectacularly odd, I don’t think I could. (Flavorwire)
  • Smart man, deeply foolish choice.  (Media Decoder)
  • Molly Ringwald’s New York.
  •  “Heart Shaped Box” will never sound the same again, thanks to a classic Courtney Love overshare. (NME)
  • Jonathan Adler is introducing an accessories line. And I say: why not?
  • Weegee visited the set of Dr. Strangelove. Pictures were taken. (Gothamist)
Posted on July 31st, 2012 3 Comments

First things first

Okay, so the Olympics opening ceremony?  Lunacy, right? At first I was more mystified than anything else. Danny Boyle’s dramatic interpretations of  England’s Agrarian and Industrial periods included moments so spectacularly Monty Python that I understood in a whole new way how brilliantly Monty Python had lampooned their own culture.

Once I stopped trying to make sense of the proceedings, it all just started to feel like outsize, crazyass fun. Like, if I were 17 years old and stoned out of my mind, I can’t imagine anything I’d have found more awesome than dozens of Mary Poppins ladies raining from the sky.

Or as spooky-nuts as the giant inflatable baby who appeared at the conclusion of the National  Health Service segment (not even to mention the light-up hospital bed blankets).

I did like Queen Elizabeth and Daniel Craig’s whole bit..

…but mostly because of the corgis.

The music was pretty fantastic, I have to say (and apparently the soundtrack is already at the top of the charts). I love that Danny Boyle didn’t shy away from including a Sex Pistols moment at an event where Queen Elizabeth was present. And I think it was rather punk rock for Queen Elizabeth to be so sporting about it.

Also and interestingly: I missed this entirely, but during the evening’s tribute to digital Britain, this image, of British television’s first-ever lesbian kiss (from the now-defunct soap opera Brookside) flashed by. Its inclusion on the telecast made it the first lesbian kiss ever to be aired before 9pm in Britain, which is apparently a thing. Which you can read about here.

(Personally I’d have preferred to see a kiss between my favorite  lesbian couple from British TV, Emily and Naomi from the edgy, dark, and quite funny series Skins. For those of you who have never heard of it—or are only familiar with MTV’s dismal version—Skins is maybe the best teen show of all time. And I say this as somebody who is embarrassingly well-versed in the genre.)

The best part of any opening ceremony is, of course, watching the teams arrive in the stadium. And I was so pleased to see that Team America’s Ralph Lauren uniforms  actually kind of worked, because judging by those sneak peek pictures, it really could have gone either way (the fact that Ralph Lauren had the uniforms made in China, though?  Still not so cool). How adorable is this? I love how spectacularly un-jaded and thrilled out of their minds these ladies look.

And on, very briefly, to the games themselves. Don’t you hate it when you think a guy is totally hot?

Until he opens his mouth?

Also: you must read this story about how the Olympic Village is basically an up-all-night  sex fantasia. I always believed that all athletes did the whole abstinence-in-the-name-of-focus thing, but this turns out not to be the case. Not at all.

Posted on July 29th, 2012 17 Comments

Late afternoon off-to-the-beach links

  • Match the outfits to the iconic movie characters. (Flavorwire)
  • Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie have agreed to lay down some serious cash in the name of marriage equality in Washington state, and the story of how that came to pass is impossibly touching. (New York Times)
  • AMC cancelled The Killing, a show that even the people who loved also seemed to hate.  (Vulture)
  • Check out this interview with Robin Givhan—the first fashion critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize and all-around smart lady. (The Cut)
  • Why are Olympic mascots all so uniformly creepy-looking? (EW)
Posted on July 27th, 2012 3 Comments

Savannah and me

I’ve been feeling for Savannah Guthrie ever since I read the Page Six item a week or so ago about how her chronic migraines are getting worse because of stress brought on by her new Today show anchor gig. First off, I feel for her because exploiting a person’s health issues for the purposes of  gossip headlines is awful always, and I do very sincerely hope the unnamed source for that item gets a colossal, head-splitting, puke-inducing migraine of his or her very own, sooner rather than later.

Secondly, I feel quite literally for Savannah, because I’ve also suffered from migrianes. Like hers, mine have been accompanied by excruciating light sensitivity. And I am here to tell you that there is no adequate way to describe what it feels like to have light become your Kryptonite. I played through a lot of pain for a long time when I had a big old stressful job—but not as big and stressful as hers, and not in front of blinding white lights and the bright morning sun. I don’t know how on God’s green earth she’s doing it.

One of the more irksome parts of having migraines—or any serious condition, as I’m sure those of you who’ve been through it can attest—is that everyone’s got an amazing doctor/ homoeopath/accupuncturist/masseuse/book/special diet that totally worked for their aunt/sister/trainer that you totally HAVE to try.  People mean well, but something I learned early on was that no one thing works for everyone. There does seem to be some consensus among the migraine sufferers I know, however, that  lavender can almost always provide at least some degree of comfort. There aren’t many times that it actually got rid of a headache for me, but  it has nipped countless dozens in the bud, and kept many bad ones from getting much worse. I’ve tried too many lavender products to count. This is the stuff I’ve leaned on for years.

My favorite candle  is, alas, also the priciest. What I will say in favor of the splurge is that this Diptique number lasts forever, and is lovely to gaze at as well.

Back when headaches were a daily thing for me, I ordered these Red Flower candles by the case. Their scent runs a very close second to Diptique’s version, and they cost about half as much. In addition to which, the travel size is eeetsy and adorable.

There are about a billion lavender body oils on the market, but this one is so richly scented—and very nice in the bathtub too.

The smell of nail polish remover is so fume-y that it can give a headache to just about anyone. This organic version does take a lot longer to work, but eventually it does, and it’s totally worth it.

There’s no real therapeutic reason to have a lavender hand wash, but when my headaches are bad, that’s the only scent that I can bear (aside from no scent at all, in which case this is a solid option). Plus, it  just looks so great.

There are a lot of sources for good lavender essential oils, and you’ve really just got to go out to your local organic emporium and—quite literally— sniff them out.  My new standby is Enfleurage, a boutique that sells essential oils and pretty much nothing else. They’ve just added e-commerce, but if you’re ever near their store in the West Village—and essential oils are at all up your alley—you must stop by because these people know their stuff. They’ve got three types of lavender: French, English, and Bulgarian organic. I like the French because it’s got a nice touch of green in it, but they’re all fantastic.


Posted on July 27th, 2012 15 Comments

Crazy or cute?

I love a nice, slouchy, zippered v-neck top, and this one is rather lovely, what with the perfectly-cut three-quarter sleeves and all. And the print—so distinctive. Is it a floral? Some sort of paisley, perhaps?

Why it’s dots and tigers! But of course!

Posted on July 26th, 2012 19 Comments

Morning links

  • Target opened the first of its new City Target stores in Chicago yesterday, and of course the event was live-blogged. (Refinery 29 Chicago)
  • Nina Garcia tweets, Wall Street listens. (WWD)
  • Call me predictable, but I do love my Wilco. Here they are last night on Jimmy Fallon. (Death and Taxes)
  • Sorry, Ladies. Kim Jong Un is off the market. (HuffPo)
  • Obama comes out strong against Real Housewives.  (Politico)
Posted on July 26th, 2012 6 Comments

Throw a belt on it

It’s actually kind of amazing—given the amount of  time I’ve spent in close proximity to people with extremely good style—how deeply clueless I manage to look so much of the time. You’d laugh if you saw me yesterday: my outfit started out with a pair of shorts quite similar to these:

…and things proceeded quite rapidly downhill from there. In some ways, I can’t bring myself to care: if there’s any time of year to try and get away with throwing on whatever’s nearest and cleanest, it’s now. Especially given that my current daytime dress code is more about putting together ensembles that work for a wifi cafe/dog run-circuit life than a sleekified office-to-evening work-function-type of situation.

Lately, however, I’ve been having a number of grown-up-style lunches and meetings, and I have felt the need—even the desire—to step things up. I’ve got plenty of nice dresses from when I worked in an office, but none of them feel right anymore. To me, certain articles of clothing are as evocative of a time and a place as some songs or scents can be. And when I put these dresses on, all I can think of are consumer marketing meetings, lunches at my desk, midtown traffic and a life I no longer lead.

I’m hoping I’ll get over it eventually, because a few of those dresses are really nice.  Meanwhile, I have a very simple dream. I want a I lighter-than-anything dark dress in a classic—but interestingly cut—shape. Like this silk shirtdress, perhaps. Shirtdresses are often too preppy for me, but this one has such an excellent slouchiness about it.

Or something like this graceful little tank dress. Or perhaps this somewhat similar, less expensive version.

And then I want to take that classic-but-interestingly-cut dress and throw on a belt on it, the way women have been throwing belts on dresses for decades, but I never have. This is kind of a headline for me, the whole belting dresses thing. Somehow the time feels right.

I like the idea of this Aztec print belt with the shirtdress. Nice and tactile, and a playful contrast to the whole preppy menswear-ish thing.

And this big old classic J Crew belt feels like it would be just the thing if I were ever going to attempt one of those soft/hard looks and pair it with a pretty floral dress or something.

I can’t bear to wear skinny belts: they always make me feel so thick. Something like this makes me feel all feminine and wispy. And it’s not too wide, which is a whole different kind of bummer.

Posted on July 26th, 2012 10 Comments

Bella goes rogue

Gotta work on that poker face, K Stew


Just when the world starts feeling like it’s all too much—what with mass murders and government operatives slowly whittling away at womens’ reproductive freedom—a big old celebrity cheating scandal comes along and really threatens to throw the planet off its axis. Seriously! Educated, adult grown women with good jobs are trolling gossip sites at work for new tidbits regarding Kristen Stewart’s affair with her married Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, and shooting emails to friends with messages that say things like: How could she do this to R-Patz? She never deserved him!

Are these the final days? Or are Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson as close as we’ll ever come again to an old school Liz-and-Dick-style bigger-than-life movie star couple upon whom many can project their fantasies? Meaning: nothing new, so let’s all move along? You tell me.

Posted on July 25th, 2012 17 Comments