Thursday, May 26, 2011

Special occasion long sleeve dresses

I got a great question from a reader the other day. Where can you get special occasion long sleeve dresses? She wants something to cover up an area that makes her self conscious—her arms. I understand. We can't all have sculpted guns like the First Lady. For toning arms I recommend yoga push ups. Those will seriously cause you pain. In the mean time, I found some great long sleeve dresses all for around $100 or less and not in black. I was surprised to find a lot of great long sleeve dresses that would be extremely flattering. Would you wear any of these dresses to a wedding or special event? Where do you buy your dresses?
Vero Moda Very Cross Over Print Dress, $88.63
I love the dramatic draping of this dress. The plunging neckline makes this long sleeve dress sexy, but not over done.

Asos Shift Dress with Bell Sleeve, $55.40
I love a good shift dress for any occasion. The bell sleeves give this dress such a cool retro vibe. And it is just begging to be accessorized with a great statement necklace.


One by Line & Dot printed dress, $118
This dress would be a nice departure from the typical cocktail dresses usually worn at weddings. With a delicate chain belt, dangly earrings, and a dressy sandal this could easily become wedding appropriate. 

Although the fabric is plain, the unique gathering of this dress kicks it up a notch. The contemporary and sexy fit make it very appropriate for a special occasion. And the purple is such a gorgeous color that you could easily accessorize with sparkly earrings. 

Besides the great pattern, I love the scoop neck, ruching, and cut out in the back.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Everyday glamour

If the location of your whereabouts are even remotely near Cleveland, you probably experienced some shockingly cold days. I am talking 40 degrees and rain spray in your face. Just look at the background of these photos. Lush green trees and me wearing my winter coat with peep toe heels. It's just not right. So even though today is muggy and warm, and I doubt we will be seeing anymore cold weather soon, I thought I'd post this outfit before it just becomes too ridiculous. Inspired by the video I posted last week of Jenna Lyons, I mixed some everyday classics with unexpected touches of girlyness and glamour. I had been looking for some serious hardware for my neck for a while. Think: grill, but for your neck. So when I was at the Charming Charlie event at Legacy Village, I was happy to find this necklace complete with matching earrings. Also take note of the leopard print heels. Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a gift card to Legacy Village for $25. The giveawat ends tonight at 9 P.M.
H&M sweater; NY&Co. blouse; American Eagle jeans; Charming Charlie necklace; Nine West shoes; Silver Mine Jewelry

Monday, May 23, 2011

Style Profile: Olivia Palermo

I have to just quickly share this outfit that Olivia Palermo is wearing because I would copy this look in an instant. I love the light-weight delicate boat neck sweater. It looks so feminine. And instead of pairing it with jeans or even chinos she gets a little creative with us and throws on these J Brand army green leggings. The bag is from Zara but looks like it could be much more expensive. The polka dot scarf completely pushes this look over the edge for me as well as the cat eye Tom Fords. Well done, Ms. Palermo.

(Photo via the Vogue Diaries)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little black dress and a giveaway!

 (Portrait of Madame X, John Singer Sargent, 1884)

The Little Black Dress. It brings to mind images of Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel. It appears in fashion, film, and art. It's oft repeated and recreated. It's timeless. Few pieces in your wardrobe can provide such functionality and style, which is why Legacy Village along with Charming Charlie and White House Black Market hosted an event displaying different ways to accessorize the Little Black Dress. The event took place after hours so we were able to peruse the store uninterrupted. There was chocolate fondue (provided by the Melting Pot) and blogger socializing. I met several local bloggers: Karen At Home, 2wired2tired, CleShopaholic, and RimaRama, and enjoyed taking pictures of some of the displays including these darling derby-inspired hats:

If you have never visited a Charming Charlie, the store is coordinated by color. I love the purples, pinks, and oranges of the display below.

Dina from Dina's Days in her cute spring dress.

Our host from White House Black Market talks about this jersey dress that has been accessorized with neutral earth tones.
The white belt here is removable. To mix it up they used pink necklaces and bracelets.

Here they accessorized with purple jewelry.

This was by far my favorite dress. And I loved the big cocktail ring they used to accessorize.

Our presenters for the night were very nicely dressed as well.

Legacy Village has very generously offered to give one of my readers a $25 gift card to spend at their stores. To enter for a chance to win, tell me how you like to accessorize your little black dress. For an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway, and mention that you did so in a separate comment. The giveaway has been extended until tonight at 9 p.m. Good luck!

Krystina from Cooking through Cleveland is the winner! Congrats! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Outfit post: Stripes and pearls

I have been meaning to turn this J.Crew outlet bracelet into something else for a long time. Finally, I made my way to JoAnn Fabrics, which has quite a selection of chains for jewelry construction. The chain I ended up buying had wide enough holes that I could attach one end to the bracelet using the bracelet clasp. For the other end I bought some brass links and secured one with jewelry pliers to the other end. And voilà! Now I have an awesome new necklace to wear with this striped tunic I picked up at the H&M in Georgetown last summer. These $6 tapered pants have really upped their cool factor with these killer gladiator sandals and brass jewelry.
H&M top; Sears pants; Nine West shoes; J.Crew Outlet bracelet turned into a necklace

Book Club: Bossypants

To those of you reading Bossypants, our first discussion post is up. Please let us know what you thought of the first 55 pages here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jenna Lyons on Today

A long time admirer of retailer J.Crew and Jenna Lyons, I pay attention to every article and news story done on the company's President and Executive Creative Director. She just seems to be in a job that suits her perfectly, and it helps that she seems so down to earth. I would love to just sit and have a cup of coffee with her and have her give me everything from fashion to life advice. See her clip on the Today Show.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fashion Week Cleveland 2011: Black Tie Gala and Runway Show

As we walked up to the two Italianate Renaissance mansions that make up the majority of the Western Reserve Historical Society, it was easy to feel like we were in a different place in our own city. That transformation continued as we opened the doors to the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum for Fashion Week Cleveland's Black Tie Gala and Runway Show. The Cleveland I know, where jeans and a nice top are sufficient for any range of social outings, was Cinderella at the ball for the night, decked out in evening dresses and tuxedos.

Arriving "fashionably late", we were still able to partake in the cocktail drinking, mingling, classic car ogling portion of the night. We were impressed by the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT in the lobby—the same model used in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off".

Guests pose for a picture before the show:

There was also a Pop-Up Boutique Mall, which I wish I had had more time to peruse. Fortunately, I did get in touch with a representative from Crocs, one of the sponsors and outfitters of the event. Models wore footwear from its YOU by crocs and Translucents Collections. From YOU by crocs, models wore the Babasita, which features an ergonomically designed footbed for minimizing muscle fatigue. I am extremely impressed by how stylish they are. Here is Justinea modeling a pair:

(Above): Translucents Collection on display. (Below): Models wearing the Transluscents Collection.

After navigating our way through the crowd and cars, we realized that getting a seat close to the front row would be more difficult than we imagined. The Plain Dealer estimated attendance of 500+. We grabbed a seat in one of the corners hoping to glance at the models right as they walked out.

The show began with comments from event founder Donald Shingler—and some regrets from city officials including comments from the offices of Mayor Frank Jackson and Sen. Sherrod Brown. Performing on the violin was famed Cleveland Institute of Music graduate, Andrew Sords. Of his selections, I really enjoyed Bhrams' Hungarian Dance No. 5.

Despite what seemed like some technical difficulties with the sound system, the event had high energy as the crowd buzzed over the knitwear, swim/cruise wear, men’s fashions, and evening and wedding dresses from designers: Corrine Brothers, Pamela Truemper, Tracey Kiefer, Michael Wilson, and Britini Brocker.

Maybe I just love a good floor-length gown, but the gorgeous evening and bridal dresses from BBG Couture by Britini Brocker really caught my attention. One such dress was a blue evening gown with frilly ruffles flowing around the neckline and cascading down the back of the dress. A graduate from Kent State University, Britini started out as a designer for Abercrombie & Fitch. Her experience definitely showed as I thought she had a great eye for creating designs that women would like.

Models wear Corrine Brothers' unique, funky designs and Crocs' Transluscents Collection:

One of Tracy Kiefer's daring swimsuits. Model is wearing Crocs' Transluscents Collection:

As always, it was nice to see my fellow local bloggers. In the purple is Dina from Dina's Days:

Stacey from Goodwill Huntingg:

The event ended with a quiet after party at the classy L’Albatros. It seemed that many event-goers found alternative after parties due to the limited seating. Had the weather been better, the outdoor patio would have been perfect.

Overall the event seemed like a fun way for recent grads and newer labels to gain experience and exposure. It was a good showing of artistic and creative talents, and a perfect excuse for me and the boy to get all gussied up.

(Photos: A mixture of my own, Crocs, and BBG Couture)

What is Bossypants? Memoir or comedy act

Dear Bookclub,

I would like to start our discussion with the question: What was Tina Fey trying to achieve by writing Bossypants? I hope to make this an ongoing discussion as we read the book. Unless you have finished the book already. You dirty overachievers!

I am asking this question, because a certain reviewer has elevated this book to the status of memoir just to tear it down. They say that a good memoir deals with tough issues that they claim Fey is too timid to deal with. The second criticism is that Fey hides behind the mask of Liz Lemon's voice the whole time afraid to make statements using her own voice. For those of you who are not fans, Liz Lemon is the character Tina Fey plays on 30 Rock. And yes, much of the voice is the same as Liz Lemon throughout the book, but isn't Tina Fey the one who created that character in the first place, and in doing so, injected her own voice?

And the deal about this book being a memoir? Did any of you think of this as a memoir before you started reading? Or did you just assume that it would be Tina Fey making jokes that somehow allude to her life for 275 pages? Because if I thought it would be the former, I probably would have passed on reading this.

In an effort not to ruin the book for anyone who hasn't read it, I am inserting a jump break to discuss the actual content of the book. We will be discussing the first 55 pages after the break.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Festival de Cannes 2011

The 64th annual Cannes Film Festival began yesterday in its namesake French resort town. An iconic photograph of Faye Dunaway exuding all of her 1960s sex appeal graced its poster against a simple gold and black design. If they were trying to allude to the many legendary stars and movies that have attended this event they succeeded. It has been described as the most glamorous film festival for a reason.

"Midnight in Paris" star, Rachel McAdams, looked like an iconic leading lady on the red carpet in a Marchesa gown. I just love the photo of all of the men surrounding her and Woody Allen marveling at her train.
If you are interested in the history and glamor of the Cannes film festival, a new book from Cahiers du cinema, Cannes Cinema, catalogs the Traverso family's photography of the event for more than half a century. 

Grace Kelly met Prince Ranier III at the festival.

Brigitte Bardot at the festival before making the films that made her famous.

Jeanne Moreau sings to diners at a popular restaurant, Mère Terrat.

Sophia Loren

I am excited for the U.S. release dates of a couple movies that will premier at the festival. One such movie, is Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris". Staring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Marion Cotillard, the movie is described as a romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. Festival director, Thierry Fremaux, called it “a wonderful love letter to Paris." Apparently this detail was kept under wraps until the premier, but there is a time travel aspect to the movie in which the main character travels to "..headier times, when the likes of Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Picasso drank, smoked and danced the Charleston in the City of Lights..." says Variety writer Peter Debruge. 
I have already seen previews for "The Tree of Life" with Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain, so hopefully we aren't too far from its release date. The synopsis says the story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.
Sean Penn is once again in character, this time as a retired rock star in "This Must be the Place". In this role, he sets out to find his father's executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S.

If you didn't get an invite to this year's festival, I suggest watching "To Catch a Thief". You get French Riviera, Grace Kelly in beautiful dresses, and an iconic Alfred Hitchcock film all for a rental fee from Blockbuster and less than 2 hours of your time.

(Photos via Cannes Film Festival, The Huffington Post, Vanity Fair)

A Gorgeous Cable-Knit Sweater

Details: Banana Republic Sweater (Similar) / Gap Jeans / Nordstrom Boots / Ten Thousand Villages Necklace Well, it's officially ...