Posts for September 20th 2006
I'm somewhat obsessive about washing my hands, particularly before eating or after riding the subway. But let's face it: Lots of public restrooms are sorely lacking in soap. That's why I always carry a pack of Crabtree & Evelyn Soap Leaves.
Folded inside a credit card-sized envelope, these thin, sweet-smelling petals work just like soap: You simply hold the leaf in your hands under running water, and it turns into a lathery liquid, then disintegrates as you rub your palms together. Now I never have to worry about being without soap, and this product makes my hands feel much cleaner than when I use those no-wash antibacterial gels. Plus, with the recent liquid ban on planes, you're better off carrying these lightweight soap leaves when you travel than a bottle of gel. You can buy a pack of 20 leaves here for $4; available in lavender and rosewater scents.
You've probably heard that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which always gives fashion and beauty companies an excuse to release a bunch of pink ribbon-inspired products and donate the proceeds to charity. I'll admit: Even as a giver to breast cancer causes, I know it's easy to get burnt out on all of the stuff. However, there are some great products out there that let you buy something fabulous while also contributing to a cause.
One example: The Young Survivor Collection from Robyn Rhodes. The jeweler, who counts celebrities including Jessica Alba and Eva Longoria as fans, came up with the designs after being approached by Gabrielle Union, when one of the actress's close friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a result, 20 percent of the proceeds from the line will go to the Young Survival Coalition nonprofit. The line includes the rose quartz Gabrielle Lariat available here in gold ($95) and silver ($89). To see the matching earrings, read more
When I first read about Camilla Morton's new book, How to Walk in High Heels, I expected it to be little more than a fluffy gift book. But in reality, it's a thick, weighty guide to doing all sorts of things, from walking in high heels to looking fresh after a bender.
As the title suggests, the practical advice focuses mostly on fashion and beauty. Some of my favorite sections include how to get ready in five minutes, how to deal with a bad hair day, and—on a related note—how to wear a hat without looking silly. But Morton, a freelance fashion writer, also covers a lot of ground related to etiquette, leisure, and culture. There's a primer on playing poker and a guide to artists whose names you can drop at gallery openings. The highly readable how-to also contains advice from expert guests such as Manolo Blahnik, who explains how to pick out a shoe. A great gift book, to be sure, but also a highly informative read. Get your copy here for $17.46.
I just couldn't resist buying one of these Trish McEvoy Pretty Face Palettes. The credit card-sized case includes six gorgeous shades for the eyes and face packed inside a shiny black compact. The colors are universal, and the price is unbeatable. No wonder stores can't seem to keep this item in stock. Thankfully, you can buy it here for $21. Here's what's inside:
- Bronze Shimmer Pressed Powder is a lightly iridescent brown that can be used to create a sun-kissed glow.
- Pretty Pink Blush is a medium, neutral blush that should be applied to the high point of your cheeks for an instant wake-up call.
To learn about the other colors, read more
If you think sweater vests are just for prep-school types, think again. From traditional v-neck styles to shrunken lace-up versions, the sweater vest is a must-have for Fall 2006's layered looks. Go conservative by wearing one over a white dress shirt, or mix it up a bit with a flowing blouse or billowy t-shirt underneath. Plus, a sweater vest is warm—but not too warm—so it's a great piece for transitioning into fall. Here are some great sweater-vest styles at both designer and non-designer prices.
J. Crew Dream Argyle Vest, $68, available here.
Beth Bowley Aran Cable Vest, $110, available here.
Robert Rodriguez Crop Cable Vest, $308, available here.
Majorette Sweater Vest, $148, available here.
To see the rest, read more
There's no question that Kate Moss is a fashion trendsetter, but now she's trying her hand at being a fashion designer. In an article in today's Women's Wear Daily confirms the rumor that Kate just inked a deal to design a line of clothing for super-fabulous British retail chain Topshop. (Seriously, if you haven't been to Topshop, you should make a pilgrimage to the retailer's London flagship store ASAP. It is like H&M, but better.) Here are the details from WWD:
The collection, Kate Moss for Topshop, will debut at the company's 308 stores and on its Web site in spring 2007. "We want to build this into a global brand," Sir Philip Green, owner of Topshop's parent, Arcadia Group plc, told WWD in an interview. "She is a fashion icon in terms of the U.K., probably the best-known model, and is what Topshop is all about in terms of fashion. Our customers identify with her."
Green is undoubtedly right: Moss almost single handedly launched the skinny jeans trend (like, over a year ago), and at Topshop's runway show at London Fashion week, she was spotted in these high-waisted jeans that just might be the next big thing.
To see more pics of Kate and her cute pants, read more
If you have a job where you have to dress up every day, it can really put a strain on your budget. I've gotten a number of requests lately for recommendations on affordable office wear, but be warned: If you scrimp too much, your clothes will look cheap. The key is wearing separates that are affordable but look expensive, then changing it up with jewelry, shoes, and other accessories.
I'll start things off with this Bow Pencil Skirt, available for $39.50 here. Now let's all go Fab Finding to complete the outfit. Here's the catch: No item can be more than $50, but it should look like it costs more than $50! Be sure to come back and tell us all what you found. To learn what a Fab Find is and how to make one, click here. To see some of my favorite online stores, read more
I am delighted to announce the grand opening of another great discount retailer online: the SmartBargains Shoe Store. This extensive site has a cool search filter that initiates searches by size, so you don't waste your time falling in love with a shoe that won't fit. It also sorts bargains into "Just In" and "Almost Gone," depending on your preference. Plus, as part of the launch, the site is hosting a Daily Shoe Giveaway, where you can enter to win free shoes for a year. Here are some of the good bargains on the site right now.
DaniBlack Giselle Heeled Boot With Topstitching, $99.99 reduced from $230, available here.
Kate Spade Gift Canvas and Leather Slingback Pump, $149.99 reduced from $240, available here.
Two more, so read more
Warning to all Project Runway fans: If you want to avoid even the smallest season spoiler, stop reading now!!
But if you're intrigued by what the PR designers came up with at New York Fashion Week, keep reading. Those of you who have been following the show probably know that one of the last challenges involves the four finalists (Michael, Uli, Jeffrey, and Laura) showing full collections at Fashion Week in September. Though the first part of the finale doesn't air until tonight, the photos from Fashion Week are online—and quite interesting. To see the lines from the final four designers, read more