31 October 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Long metallic leather gloves by Prada
$395 at bergdorfgoodman.com

Since I don't (yet)

Long leather button-up gloves by Asos
£18 at asos.com

Happy Halloween, y'all!

Her life, lips, hair, "figure," wardrobe and skin may be a hot mess, but BritBrit's new album Blackout is surprisingly "off the chain" as the kids on the Metro like to say.

And, in my opinion, the hot cut I've linked you to below - "Get naked (I got a plan)" - is its best offering. Granted, I don't really want to envision the Britney of today breathily "unhhh, unhhh yeeeah"-ing and moaning lyrics of more than questionable veracity such as I'm not ashamed of my beauty/you can see what I got and If I got on top, your gonna lose your mind/The way I put it down boy you know should be up.

But all that aside, the beats are wicked fun and Brit's part machine-generated, part baby-talk songstress-ing has never sounded more polished, packaged, and fingers-crossed, platinum.

So tonight, while I'm at home watching my munchkinbot open his Halloween prezzies and you're out getting your sexy ______ or slutty ______ on at a fantabulous costume bash, let's both be sure to listen to track six off the shaky but still reigning Princess of Pop's new album.

"Get naked (I got a plan)":

There's no strapless in baseball, er, boardroom

Sadie Hawkins Dance? Lah-dee-dah fourth of July rooftop cookout? Cocktail waitress taking a break?

Dream sequence? High-budget porn? Film still from an MSNBC "Dark Heart/Iron Hand" documentary?
Oh no. None of the above. This was the ensemble of choice of The Hills' L.A.-based Whitney Port to deliver the most important professional presentation of her young, well-dressed life. In Manhattan. In September. In the AM.
For this woman.

I gasped out loud every time Whitney, her halter bikini tan lines and Milly 'Filcoupe' dress sashayed on-screen. I gasped when she matter-of-factly told LC as they waited in the Teen Vogue lobby, "I would never wear this to work in L.A. - but this is Manhattan, it's different here." I gasped when, in the middle of her presentation, when Whitney explained - er, tried to explain - where the flower arrangements would be placed in the venue, she inserted both thumbs into her sweetheart bodice and shimmied her cleavage back into place. I gasped when she bent over at the waist to pick up a piece of posterboard and we the viewers, not to mention the entire Teen Vogue senior staff, got to see just how mini her mini actually was. I gasped when, upon Whitney's return to L.A., her relentlessly condescending boss, Ms. Lisa Love, met her with a half-smile, tilted head and a very icily delivered, "So...I heard your dress made quite an impression."

And finally, I let out a last gasp when Whitney nodded, shot a lip-bite and curious look at an equally confused LC, and said, "Oh, did it?"

In the spirit of maintaining equilibrium - a concept I absolutely believe in - for every flower-emblazoned ruched strapless party dress worn to a morning business meeting, there scientifically has to be an outfit of khaki capris, a denim jacket and oxford pooties* having drinks at an upscale hotel bar.

Both, in my opinion, are equally offensive, but I just wish we, the women of DC, didn't always have to be the latter.

*actual outfit sighted last night at Palette in the Madison Hotel
(all photos courtesy of the Vh1 blog)

30 October 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Cendrillon brief by Agent Provocateur
£65 at agentprovocateur.com

Since I don't (yet)

Charm shorty by Ballet Lingerie
$23 at figleaves.com

A frosty temperature is no excuse, pt. II

Rule #1:
Wear clothing that is fitted, fitted, fitted. Not tight, but fitted.

The surest way to lose body heat, I've found, is to either leave certain sensitive bits exposed to the elements (obviously) or to wear clothing with breezy, open hems, cuffs and necklines that allow the cold air to seep in and up your body, drafty-door style. Women who make the mistake of not wearing tights in 40 degree weather know all too intimately what I mean by the term, "ladychute freeze." The most obvious solution is also the most effective -- insulate yourself. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you head to the thermal underwear section of the nearest Eddie Bauer outlet - not at all - but I am recommending at some level within your preferred layering, whether you're a onesie like myself, a twosie like most or a threesie or foursie Olsen-twin type, you must keep at least one slim-to-the-body upper and lower protective layer.

My favorite insulating fabrics are thick, wool-jersey knits, finely-gauged merino wools, heavy tweeds and silk-cashmere blends, all of which are cozily warm, soft to the skin, and when purchased in the correct size, skim the body in an extremely flattering way. The downside, however, is that none of these are likely to be on the right side of the sale-rack before the post-Christmas markdowns. My advice is to invest in a few high-quality basics in neutral colors that can be mixed and matched into several can't-wait-to-wear ensembles. Poly-blend may be $100 cheaper than silk-cashmere, but that savings certainly won't help stop your teeth from chattering as you walk the eight blocks from the Eastern Market Metro to your English basement apartment on East Capitol Street. If you're intern making $25K/year before taxes, fine, do what you have to do, but if you're a young professional making a reasonably good salary, there is no reason not to invest in your wardrobe. In the end, a pair of well-cared-for Theory trousers that makes it through four Winters is going to be a more financially sound purchase than two or three one-season-shots from Filene's Basement.

'Marta' pencil skirt by DvF ($255 at dvf.com)
Merino turtleneck sweater dress by Ann Taylor ($148 at anntaylor.com)
'Romy' tweed trousers by Elie Tahari ($147.90 at saks.com)
Draped turtleneck sweater by Façonnable ($175 at nordstrom.com)

Rule #2:
Wear thick, footless tights (or leggings) under all your trousers and jeans

This is an easy, universally accessible and relatively inexpensive way to insulate yourself from the cold. Other garments, the aforementioned thermals, for example, are much too thick - and for DC weather, much too extreme - for our purposes. An undetectable, under-the-covers opaque tight, on the other hand, is a perfect way to keep wearing your wide-legged trousers without the downside of inviting wind gusts up your stems each time you take a step.

And then, of course, there's the added "slimming" benefit control-top tights afford you...

My preferred footless tights are from Spanx, namely because they last so long and come in so many varieties, but truth be told, to serve the basic insulation function, any brand willl do.

High-Falutin' Footless by Spanx ($28 at spanx.com)
Footless tights by Sparkle & Fade (two for $20 at urbanoutfitters.com)
Footless tights by HUE (two for $17.50 at hue.com)
Velvet leggings by Wolford ($14.90-$38 at saks.com)

*the second installment of this post to come tomorrow...

A frosty temperature is no excuse

Just as a serious job is no excuse to ignore your appearance, neither is a drop in the temperature.

Over the past few weeks, I've received dozens of reader questions that in some way or another touched on the all-important and very timely issue of "how can I stay stylish when I'm freezing my funbags off?"

Before I present to you my own solutions to this fashion/function dilemma, let me first explain why you should trust my judgment on this issue.

Like many women with relatively low body fat, I have a serious circulation problem. The only sets of circumstances when the tip of my nose, my fingers and toes, and those other two aforementioned lady protrusions aren't steely-cold to the touch are when I'm either (1) in the shower (2) in Thailand (3) in the UVA-free tanning bed or (4) as I am right this second, in my apartment in head-to-toe sweats with the windows tightly shut and the thermostat set to 82°.

In short, I get cold quickly and I get cold often.

Despite having spent the better part of my formative years in a state where Summer passes by in the blink of an eye and Spring and Fall are wafer-thin bookends to the fat six months of wretched, biting-cold Winter, I am no more prepared than any of you when the daily high dips below my minimally acceptable 7-0.

So, how do I live with what has been described by those who have shared living quarters with me as a frustrating, selfish, even invented condition?

In addition to replacing those individuals with a four-legged life partner who doesn't have the option of using passive aggressive sarcasm to get his point across that yes, the apartment is too hot and yes, I do realize the curiousness of it being July and I'm wearing wool socks to bed, I have four basic rules that keep me toasty - as toasty as I'm able to get, anyway - during those Fall/Winter walks to and from work and even more important, that allow me to maintain the fashion-over-function lifestyle I so strongly advocate.

Rule #1:
Wear clothing that is high-necked and fitted, fitted, fitted. Not tight, but fitted.

Rule #2:
Wear thick, footless tights under all your trousers and jeans.

Rule #3:
Keep a neutral-colored scarf in every daybag. And no, silly Sally, I don't mean this sort of scarf.

Rule #4:
Only wear topcoats that have deep, lined, front pockets.

More thorough explanations and recommendations for each coming later in the day...

29 October 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Open-back dress by Shelly Steffee
$588 at shopbop.com

Since I don't (yet)

Lola halter dress by Fighting Eel
$124 at activeendeavors.com

November 29th - mark it in your Outlook calendars

Though I'd like nothing more than to claim my post-work plans always include shopping and a neverending flow of Champagne with a boutique hotel backdrop, the truth is, I've never actually gotten my shop on while under the influence.

At least not under that influence and not in a public setting.

And considering I was able to somehow justify using both Bop's and Saks' 20%-off online coupons last week (for serious, I so needed a new black daybag) with nary a sip of the sauce, I think keeping my credit card and my beer bottle separate is in my holiday shopping budget's best interest.

But as we all well know, exceptions must be made, and if you enjoy indulging in some permutation of Champagne imbing, dessert forgoing (it'll be just after Thanksgiving, after all), clothing and accessory purchasing, blue leather furniture lounging, raffle prize winning, and my favorite, DC BFD watching, please to mark your calendars "TAKEN" for the evening of Monday, November 29th and come join the DC Style family and their fashionable friends from 6-9pm at the Topaz Hotel in Dupont Circle.

See you there!

28 October 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Cherise quilted pump by Isabella Fiore
$425 at eluxury.com

Since I don't (yet)

Durant Mary Jane by Max Studio
$137.66 at zappos.com

Because looking at her makes me happy (UPDATED again)

I wish I could send you over to imagebeaver.com to peruse the eight very bare, very NSFW Playboy glossies of KimKar in all her disproportionately-large-ladybits glory, but unfortunately, sometime between last night and this afternoon the upstanding gentlemen who run the site decided to take the leaked photos down.

I know, I know, I'm making a sad face, too.

But be sure to take that disappointment and turn it upside down and inside out by checking out tonight's episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" at 10:30 on the E! Channel. Watching her do a swimsuit shoot certainly isn't the same as watching her make kitten eyes while wearing a triple-strand pearl-necklace "dress," but calm down, there are only a few more days 'til the December issue of Playboy hits a newsstand near you.

UPDATE: these pics now unavailable

27 October 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Josephine blouse by Bellekat Clothing
$304 at couturecandy.com

Since I don't (yet)

Ruffled blouse by BCBG Max Azria
$118 at dillards.com

26 October 2007

If I had a sugar daddy who had a sugar daddy...

Lantern-sleeve jacket by Hanii Y

If I had a sugar daddy...

Pleated knit jacket by Amalialad
$242 at basicboutique.com

Since I don't (yet)

High-collared jacket by Karli Covert
$68 at urbanoutfitters.com

I heart DC Style, pt. IV

There’s no hiding that I’m a heightist when it comes to footwear.

In my opinion, medical conditions aside, a three to five inch boost is always in a woman’s best interest. With legs lengthened, calves defined and confidence boosted, a woman in a pair of sky-high stilettos will walk out her front door feeling her best, ready to do her best.

That is, however, assuming she knows how to walk in them properly.

Like any daunting task, from speaking in public to making the first move on a smartly-dressed man 20 years your senior, learning to walk effortlessly in a skinny-stemmed high heel, especially in busy city environs, is no easy task. And while I applaud the many women in DC who seem to be working toward this goal by wearing what I like to call “training heels” (i.e., the sturdy, one-inch block-heeled pumps pictured above), I’ve come to a point after seeing many of you wear this one-step-away-from-Plymouth-Rock footwear for months, even years on end, where I must ask the question:

Haven’t you figured it out by now?

If your answer is, “yes,” what are you waiting for? Slip on those stilettos - I suggest these to start - and own your sexy, taller self as soon as possible!

If your answer is “yes…I think,” let’s graduate slowly to grown-up pumps with a wide-strapped Mary Jane, like these from Max Studio ($159.99 at heels.com), or a held-in-tight T-strap like these from Dolce Vita ($121 from pinkmascara.com). Either way, if you fall, at least your shoes will still be attached to your feet.

If your answer is “no,” then I suggest continuing to practice in the confines of your home and wearing a more pleasing-to-the-eye flat when you head out the door like this simple ballet flat from Scoop ($121 at scoopnyc.com) that comes in eight beautiful shades of satin-y stylish.

*for the DC Style version of this post, please head on over to their website

'Til Tuesday

Remember that band? Remember how hot and dangerous Aimee's spiky femullet was? I loved me some "Voices Carry" back in the day.

But anyway, I wanted to let you all know I probably won't be posting on Monday, so....

Have a great long weekend, and if you can, for my Mom (who reads these comments every day), try to think of me not as a "harpie" and less as "an awful human being" and more as someone who loves puppies and has no qualms about having one - meet Burtie Spice, he's adorable and smells like a Molton Brown boutique - flush up against her favorite ivory vintage mini.

A woman of the people, if you will.

May-jah Friday (i.e., Poshin' up Casual Friday)

If I had a sugar daddy...

Glace calf handbag by Prada
($2,430 at saks.com)
Lantern-sleeve jacket by Hanii Y
($475 at net-a-porter.com)
Lace Victorian top by Tibi
Super 130s slouchy skinny pants by Helmut Lang*
($345 at barneys.com)
Patent pump by Alejandro Ingelmo
($465 at shopbop.com)

Since I don't (yet)

Etoile satchel by Elliott Lucca
($220 at amazon.com)
Nedia jacket by Diane von Furstenberg
($173 at queenbeegirls.com)
Emma blouse
($70 at jcrew.com) Skinny trousers by Semantiks
($88 at nordstrom.com)
Precious patent pump by Calvin Klein
($90 at zappos.com)

*wink to Hot Redhead Lawyer for showing me these

25 October 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Chalcedony ring by Stephen Dweck
$770 at bergdorfgoodman.com

Since I don't (yet)

Leather button ring by Yarborough Jewelry

$110 at shopbop.com

If it's the only McQueen I ever own, I'll still die happy

As you well know, I don't make a habit of recommending eyeliners, bronzers and other beauty enhancers on ASJiNE, in part because I myself am not a rabid consumer of such items but also because I believe makeup, more so than clothing, is a personal decision over which an outsider who presumably has a different skintype, different set of facial features and a different overall preferred "look" should have minimal influence.

That being said, I couldn't keep mum much longer on just how in love I am with my new Alexander McQueen for M·A·C LipGlass in "Nothingless." Without hesitation, I can say this is far and away the best clear lip gloss I have ever tried.

It's sparkle-free, it sticks hard to your lips (no gooey-ing around), it's perfectly clear, which lends itself as both a clean base-shine (my preference) or as an added "wet" dimension when placed atop an existing color (as the designer opted for during his runway show), and best of all, unlike the limited-edition-ness of it, this gloss lasts -- like, really, really lasts.

And at only $14, it's probably the only chance many of us will ever get to experience the loveliness of Mssr. McQueen.

Stop reaching for a rebound

Whatever the reason, whether it's them, whether it's you, whether it's timing or circumstances out of your control, when you can't have the one you want, the one you really want, the one you know deep down was put on this earth for you and you alone, the standard for what you'll allow to come after them is inextricably tied - and unavoidably lowered due - to the still-fresh memory of the one from which you were forced to walk away.

Put simply, you rebound.

And while this sort of relationship can work and has worked, for the most part, the allure of having something new and of being seen with something new, regardless of its inadequacy, will rapidly lose its lustre and thrust you head and heart first into one of those I'll-never-find-something-better phases.

That's presently where I am.

But it's not exactly what you may be thinking.

My heart is broken, yes, and I have been trying to move on with limited success due to both my unwillingness to accept the so-not-my-choice departure of "the one" and because of the string of vastly inferior replacements with which I've attempted (and patently failed) to fill this gaping void.

But you've got to understand, this one was special. Really special. I mean, how often does one find a perfect condition circa-1956 gold lamé cocktail dress with waist-cinch, pleated pencil skirt, and a gathered front and back deep v-neck plunge?

But the dress is gone. It's done. And I need to move on with the mindset that I'm no longer looking for another version of my perfect dress but rather opening my mind - and heart - to the possibility of falling for something completely different.

Maybe next time it'll be a silk burgundy sheath with cap-sleeves and a drop-waist. Maybe a backless gunmetal column gown. Who knows?

All I do know is that after having received in the mail yesterday my fifth nope-not-good-enough gold lamé vintage cocktail dress (very similar to this), I'm through looking for the perfect replica of the perfect past dress. In fact, I'm gonna stop looking altogether. Two episodes ago on Tell Me You Love Me, therapist May told recently single sex-addict Jamie that only when she stops actively trying to replace her former fiancé will she stop reaching for unhealthy, unsuccessful rebounds.

And they say you don't learn anything on TV...

Here below, exactly 13 months ago this Friday, my last evening with "the one." I can barely stand to look at it. Or my hair.

24 October 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Skull clasp minaudiere by Alexander McQueen

Since I don't (yet)

Satin-lined leather minaudiere
$78 at bananarepublic.com

Lip liner and Lisa Rinna hair, Katie? Really?

You can't even begin to know how excited I get when red carpet photos of these two sneak their way onto the Internet.

Say what you will about them, their height difference, Tom's creepy-crawly control issues we are all more than a little guilty of assuming are true and those pesky rumors of how L. Ron Hubbard has them feeding their precious one an elixir of milk, corn syrup and barley water. Like my haircut and my dog, no matter how many sticks and stones detractors like to throw in their direction, some objects of my affection are such done-deals they're immune to criticism.

Katie and Tom, my absolute favorite celebrity couple, are one of my non-negotiables.

But just because outsiders' judgments of Katie's style and Tom's loony-tune-edness don't affect me, doesn't mean I'm unwilling to proffer a few questions of my own when I see what I see here at the Berlin premiere of Tom's new film, Lions for Lambs, last night.

For once, my attention is not drawn to the dress. Though to be perfectly honest, when I look at this silver strapless cocktail frock with sweetheart neckline, crystal-encrusted bodice and pleated flounce skirt, I'm more torn between "meh" and "not my favorite" than I am inclined to hand down a love-it/hate-it verdict.

My interest here isn't in the shoes, which I adore, which deserve a post in their own rite (despite their matchy-matchiness with the dress) and certainly earn her redemption after last week's shalt-not-be-brought-up-again mistake.

No, what most piques my critical interest here has nothing to do with anything Katie's wearing per se, it's more to do with what's going on upstairs, namely with those puffy, lined lips and that flippy, limp, aging-soap-star hairstyle.

Just a few days ago, we had the pleasure of seeing you look like this. And then this. What gives?

More of Katie looking curiously not herself from the neck-up:

And a couple of close-ups of her newly-slimmed calves (from running, perhaps?) and those to die for sparkly slingback, bow-adorned, five-plus-inch platform peep-toes...