30 November 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Black bow coat by Tracy Reese

$655 at eluxury.com

Since I don't (yet)

Funnel-neck wool Winter coat by Mossimo
$59.99 at target.com

My favorite six words...

Even though I knew it was coming in the next five to seven days, it was still a pleasant, pleasant surprise to see an e-mail from Mum and Dad with those six magical words in the subject heading:

"Please send us your Christmas wishlist!"

Serious job or not, fully-grown adult living in the city or not, in-the-past-year transition from a wishlist that included a reasonably-priced Coach bucket bag as its top item to an it'll-never-happen McQueen mini or not, there's nothing like those rare moments when you're made to feel as young as a kid who still believes in the story of Santa Claus.

I apologize for the gratuitous when-I-was-wee photograph, but I thought this one better represented how similar my childhood cut was to Miss Katie's. Twinsies, right?

Plus, I also wanted y'all to see that Oklahomans aren't all tree-dwelling Jim Bobs with wheat-stems hanging from their mouths.

See, at the age of four we already know to keep our legs crossed ladylike during high-tea.

Even when it's held in the backyard sandbox.

From me to you

Just a quick note to extend my thanks to all those who showed up last night at the Topaz for DC STYLE's Shopping & Champagne event and endured the crowds, the fast-dwindling alcohol and the hard-to-locate aperitif tables.

Despite the tight shoe-box-iness of the space, I was able to meet and talk at length with many of you, which, contrary to the ice-bitch blog exterior many assume I manifest in real life as well (which is not true, at least according to my Mother), truly made my month.

For the 150 of you who picked up the gift bag, please to let me know honestly how the think5 bars taste. I have one in my bag ready to replace my Cosi salad, but I must say, I'm more than a little wary of something that small that weighs that much that claims to have both watercress powder and chocolate liquor as ingredients.

Have a great weekend, and seriously, if you haven't locked down a dress for your holiday parties, there are amazing sales going on at wishlist stores like Net-a-Porter, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf's, Barney's and eLuxury -- take advantage of the markdowns and invest in a lifetime piece instead of plunking down $150 at Banana Republic for a regular-priced, one, maybe two season stunner.

Just a thought.

see you on Monday,

May-jah Friday (holiday party edition)

If I had a sugar daddy...

Cashmere-blend overcoat by Celine
($1,920 at net-a-porter.com)
Heart & Snake Miniaudiere by Leiber
($1,995 in Judith Leiber boutiques)
Funnel-neck mini by Alexander McQueen
($2,343 at net-a-porter.com)
Patent platform pumps by Dior
($530 at saks.com)

Since I don't (yet)

Sharkskin coat by Tracy Reese
($153.90 at nordstrom.com)
Minaudiere by Banana Republic
Draping knit dress by Galliano
($186 at saks.com)
Josette peep-toe by Jessica Simpson
($82.95 at zappos.com)

29 November 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Open-toed Mary Jane by Luciano Padovan
$495 at intermixonline.com

Since I don't (yet)

Laveda Mary Jane by Steve Madden
$99.95 at stevemadden.com

Passing the torch

Having rocked the Asian-style bob from birth until I was old enough to say, "Yeeeah, I think I'm gonna try something different this time" to my stylist, I'm more than happy to pass the torch onto...

...the lovely Katie so she can now enjoy the more grown-up version thereof.

Go ahead, people, say she looks 45, say she looks suburban, silly or severe -- none of your barbs will change the fact that I think she looks absolutely divine. Deliciously so.

Not that I'm biased or anything.

To see more pics of Katie and the debut of her new like-Mommy-like-daughter 'do last night at the Bambi Awards in Düsseldorf, click here

p.s. bring on the "heavy leg" jokes -- I'm armed and ready with two pockets full of retorts!

JenConn's shoulders and Monte are going to win *every* time

I was out fairly late last night, which meant once I finally did return, I was left with two options:

(1) search online for 10-15 pairs of versatile, under-$200 party shoes to complement the dress collection I posted earlier in the week, write from scratch the accompanying piece, take the pup on his abbreviated four-block walk and go to bed alone around 1:30am


(2) write the excuse piece you're currently reading, spend 90 minutes in the gym working toward my current goal of achieveing JenConn's upper-body (the more ambitious waist-down goal is one I'm saving for after the New Year), take the pup on his preferred 10-block walk and go to bed in you-know-who's loving paws about 45 minutes earlier

As much as I love you guys, you should know by now that JenConn's shoulders and Monte are going to win *every* time.

But don't fret, hopefully you're resting up like the little one to chat me up all night at tonight's DC Style get-together at the Topaz Hotel. If you haven't already done so, please click here to RSVP.

See you there - I'll be the elitist-looking one double-fisting flutes of bubbly!

(Mmmmm...Net-a-Porter's Sale Spectacular...)

28 November 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Phoebe ruffle-V blouse by Karen Zambos
$261 at revolveclothing.com

Since I don't (yet)

Ruffle-front henley tank blouse by Clu
this product is unfortunately no longer available online

A new coat-inspired catwalk-to-sidewalk iMix

As I walked home last night from work, my first enshrouded in The Precious pictured above, I realized I hadn't a single selection in my cache of 22 iMixes befitting such a special, such an inaugural occasion.

Of my existing compilations, one was too workout-y, another too maudlin, 11 others way too maudlin, and the rest, well, either too Britney or too Amy focused.

When I wear my new Hanii Y, I want to feel strong and lovely, maybe even a little coquettish -- certainly not anything reminiscent of bloody spousal fighting, poop-filled pool areas and two pregnancies in two years.

Never one to just "deal," after the dog-walk and just before Brian's sad but justified dismissal from "The Biggest Loser," I sat down Indian-style on the beige wall-to-wall and carefully pieced together the perfect six-song serenade to the new thick-waled, decorative-buttoned love in my life.

And I think I did good. Real good.

If this morning's reaction was any indication - I swear, I could feel her I-can't-stop-thinking-about-you-in-me-edness pulsating in major chorded colors all around my body - I think I chose wisely.

Please to enjoy the following with whatever new purchase (or old favorite) holds a special place in your heart:

"Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac

"Feeling Good" by Nina Simone

"Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison

"Heaven on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle

"Crush" by Jennifer Paige

and one I haven't listened to in years...

"Such Great Heights" by the Postal Service

And because it really is the little things that make me smile, here is a close-up of the oversized buttons on my loverly Hanii Y:

Just 'cause you like it duhn't mean you should wear it

Oh Linds, it's not even your Tang-glow I'm focused on here...
Different day, different shoes, same issue.

Different day, different beverage, still the same issue.
I know I'm not the only one who sees the silhouette of a paint-roller here...
I'm not sure which is more perplexing, that Rihanna chose it or that Zac Posen designed it.
Stretch velvet stretched across your mid-section -- not in theory and definitely not in practice.
My expectations for Beyoncé to wear anything figure-flattering are so low that I almost didn't include her in the bunch. This look is pretty much par for the course for her, after all. My only request is that she please give satin a rest -- it never has been and never will be a "zaftig girl" fabric.
* check back later to see these women on better days. Though I must warn you, I can't promise I'll be able to find one for the hot mess, er House of Dereon above

27 November 2007

If I had a sugar daddy...

Anthracite knot-detail tote by NDC
$595 at shopjake.com

Since I don't (yet)

Leather O-ring front hold-all by Topshop
£45 at topshop.com

Sometimes the stars *do* align

If there was one investment I was determined to make good on this year it was a new black Winter coat.

True, the knee-high almond-toed platform boots, the block-colored work sheath, the patent leather Mary Janes, the high-waisted tulip skirt, the replacement black leather daybag and the funnel-neck swing jacket were all on this same "what'll I do without it?" list, but you must understand, vital as each of these additions were to my poor, barren wardrobe, none of them, neither individually nor in sum, could compare to the need I felt for a suitable, can't-wait-to-put-it-on-every-morning black Winter coat.

Up until this past March (I've been relying on my olive trench since then), I had been wearing the same simple wool-cashmere blend overcoat for four straight years. My steady Betty has always hugged my body perfectly, a feat for which much props should be given considering the upsies and downsies in size my lady lumps have undergone between the point of sale and the present-day. Its collar pops up with a nice stiffness that blocks the wind and encases my neck on those frequent occasions when I absentmindedly leave my scarf at home. Its pockets so worn from the jagged edges of my house keys that unless I placed them just so in one of two back right-hand nooks, they - along with Monte's plastic sandwich bags and sometimes, my iPod or a handful of Ice Breakers Sours - would slip through and travel down, way down, only to be trapped inside the knee-length hem. In addition to lining deterioration, there was also the normal wear-and-tear dry cleaning chemicals and my own behaviors had taken on its of-mediocre-quality fabric and fasteners: some patches were blacker than others, some of the buttons were chipped or partially eroded, and though endearing and reminiscent of my Mother and Oma, the inside of the right hand sleeve was left threadbare from the constant friction against my seven gold bangles.

Until this Summer when I liberated from my coat closet the trusty piece of outerwear that had seen me through my second tour in China and my entire duration in this city and really took notice of its defeated state, the part of me that wanted to side with my Mother's "It'll last one more season" cautioning realized it could not, in fact, make it through one more Winter.

So from that early August day forward, the search for my new black topper has been in full-swing.

My requirements weren't outlandish. Sure, I wanted something a bit more stand-out than the traditional barn, pea and walking coats I see day in and day out at the foot of DC's cityscape, but I wasn't reaching for the Vidler & Nixon stars or anything. Preferably, I was hoping for a modern silhouette and something of the haircut-showcasing variety.

The first of my three disappointments was an impulsively purchased one. Essentially, I saw it, I liked it, and I ordered it. Because it is no longer available online, I'll send you here for a general idea of its aesthetic. I can't point to any one major flaw, but as we ladies are all too familiar with men, with coats there is the same kind of it-works-or-it-duhn't mentality. You know and you know right away. This selection, like so many men whose company I've endured in the past 11 months, was clearly not "the one."

The second disappointment, like the first, can be filed away in the "no shopping late at night while watching QVC's 'Gourmet Holiday' special" category. Against Monte's better judgment - a snubbing that would ultimately earn me three full days of silent treatment - I gave into the lure of 15%-off plus free shipping and "placed order" with this selection. There's no need to really get into the specifics of why the BR and I didn't work out, but let's just say that quality isn't BR's strong suit, especially with their larger ticket-priced items.

The third and final disappointment simply didn't fit, but unfortunately, it was not in an easily remedy-able should've-ordered-a-size-up/down kind of way. Too tight in the upper arms, too tight across the chest and far too loose in the waist, it took me half a twirl in the full-length before I was filling out the return form.

Jaded and sick of waiting in line at the Post Office on Saturday mornings, I just about gave up and gave into Monte's plan to permanently borrow without asking something from Hot Redhead's Lawyer's supersaturated outerwear collection.

But then something happened. Somethings, rather.

During my superficial attempt at cleaning before my trip to Michigan, I uncovered a piece of paper reminding me of a hefty credit at Bop I'd received after returning a pair of trouser jeans a shade - try 40 days - past the 30 day return window.

Then, while in Michigan and doing the research for my dress gloves post, I came across Bop's "getajump" promotional code.

And finally, to complete the tri-per-fecta, I found my dream coat, conveniently, also at Bop.

As Florentino well knows, if you wait long enough, those stars will align:

The lone downside to living a 24/7 sky-high existence

Yesterday, a very persistent reader posed not once but twice the question of to where she should take her heels before they get to the point where they look like this jacked-up mess you see above.*

Given my unwillingness to recognize what the locals here like to call "commuter shoes," the worn-out heel is a wardrobe-limiting annoyance with which I'm frequently faced and one for which I've resigned to pay $2.65/pair every four to six weeks for the rest of my natural born life.

Fortunately for me, that $2.65 buys me one hell of a great patch-up job. Unfortunately for you, that $2.65 is paid to John. Of John's Shoe Repair. In the Frandor Shopping Center. In Lansing, Michigan.

So, as I've done before with tailors, I leave the forum open to you to offer your recommendations for reliable local cobblers. Please include their address or phone number and approximate price range.

Thank you!

*if the thought even crossed your mind that I was referring to the angel-white dollop of perfection on the right, please to flog thyself and then text him - in full sentence form only - a most sincere apology

26 November 2007

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

Lux lace dress by Lida Baday
$1,050 at saks.com

If I had a sugar daddy...

Maya dress by Staerk
$850 at lagarconne.com

Since I don't (yet)

Taffeta with lace-trim dress by Brunya
$278.90 at nordstrom.com

Miley on my mind

I'm not gonna lie, when I was 14 years old - the age 'tween sweetheart Miley Cyrus was in the picture above - I threw this same coy expression at older men in grocery stores, sneaked second-glances at my Father's tweed-'n'-leather-elbow-patched colleagues as I took their coats at our annual holiday party, and of course, then there was the meticulously built Gene Hackman shrine before which I knelt each night to pray to whomever was listening that I might one day have the opportunity to take him in all his Avery-in-"The Firm" glory and...well, yeah.

And as my parents like to remind me on occasion with hung heads and incredulous "how did she come from us?" expressions, there was the incident with my 8th grade volleyball coach, Mr. F., to whom I once responded, "But we just met, didn't we?" when he quite forcefully asked me to remove my shoe after I'd just fractured my left ankle in my first girl-on-girl collision.

Point is, I'm not here to criticize little Miss Hannah Montana for her precociousness. I grew up with ultra-normal parents and an ultra-normal brother in ultra-normal Norman, OK and Okemos, MI, not among the ranks of Nashville and Hollywood celebrities with my own hit TV show and platinum record, and still, my hormones raged hard, fast, early and insatiably. Environmental factors may have something to do with the acceleration of a child's proclivity for (ahem) hormonal exploration, but they certainly aren't the only determinant. That being said, when it comes to the very newly-minted 15 year old MiCy, there's no achy-breaky argument about it, she's firmly in the fast lane to big-girl-dom in her fabulously tacky $690 Louboutins (shoes that ironically smack of a 4th grade art project) whether she likes it, wants it or not.

Where I have an issue - a major one - is when this so-called "sweet," "innocent," "wholesome," celebriteen steps out wearing this:

From a figure-flattering standpoint, she looks great. Absolutely great. The dress flatters her toned legs, highlights her defined shoulders, hugs her just-the-right-size-for-strapless cup-size perfectly -- I could go on and on about how women like Paula Abdul, Tara Reid and Beyoncé could all afford to take a page or two from this one's book. Her Nuj Novakhett mini isn't my favorite dress by any means, and I shake my head in distress at the shoes, but overall, I offer this look some of my highest praise for a young star still nascent in the process of defining her personal style.

And for a pre-show appearance at the American Music Awards, I can't think of a more venue-appropriate color and cut. Definitely an 'A' grade in that category as well.

My disappointment doesn't lie with Miley for wanting to don a dress with such a grown-up neck and hemline - after all, I know with right certainty I would've greeted Jeff S. at my front door in that same get-up for freshman Homecoming if I had the chance - rather it's geared toward the parents who allowed her to make that decision.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, one of the most meaningful lessons my Mother imparted to me, especially during my style-formative teenage years, is one I still carry with me every day as a 27 year old, and that is to dress thoughtfully and with consideration to how those around me will perceive my selection.

If you want to fill the girl-next-door void convincingly, Ms. Cyrus, let's try a little more Mandy and a little less cleavage next time.

And the time after that, too.

Kick off the holiday season this Thursday with some bubbly

What: DC STYLE's Shopping & Champagne event

Where: The Topaz Hotel (1733 N St., NW -- next door to the Tabard Inn)

When: this Thursday, 6 -9pm

Why: *free* Champagne and *free* gift bags for the first 150 attendees

See you there!


Whether you have one, two or twelve parties on your calendar this holiday season...

Whether you have one, two or twelve perfectly pretty party dresses already hanging in your closet...

Whether your bank account bottom line ends with one, two or twelve zeroes...

If you're like I am and given the choice would follow a semi-formal dress code all day, every day, there's no more intoxicating a journey, no more thrilling a transaction and no more anticipatory a feeling than finding, buying and wearing a figure-enhancing, trend-transcending, timeless cocktail dress.

Below, you'll find a 16-strong selection of elegant, subtly sexy, uniquely-detailed party frocks you'll be able to wear from your mid-20s well into your mid-30s without a hint of Dina Lohan/Leslie Panettiere/Teri Hatcher shame.

Provided, of course, you do what is necessary to maintain that mid-20s figure.

For motivation to step away from the leftover pecan pie and to increase your weekly gym visits by x+1, first click here to see 41 year old Cindy Crawford frolicking on the beach bikini-style this past weekend, then check out 40 year old Kate Walsh doing the same, and finally, scroll down and scour these snaps for your favorite under-$300 belle-of-the-ball party dress.


Embellished-belt silk pleat dress by BCBG Max Azria
($208.60 at bloomingdales.com)
Silk crochet-neck dress by AKA New York
Poppy dress by Christopher Deane**
($252 at activeendeavors.com)
Della dress by Elie Tahari
($180.80 at bluefly.com)
Pleated scoopneck dress by Abaete
($199.20 at bluefly.com)

Ruched shimmery goddess dress by Vanessa Bruno Athe
($280 at lagarçonne.com)
Ruffle-neck dress by Mint*
($254.10 at basicboutique.com)
Pintuck bubble dress by Dorothy Lee
Volante wrap dress by Diane von Furstenberg
($297.50 at queenbeegirls.com)
Scalloped shift dress by Tracy Reese
($259 at eluxury.com)
Twill collared pouf-sleeved silk dress by Betsey Johnson**
($245 at betseyjohnson.com)
Sleeveless dress by IRO
($180 at shopbop.com)
Short twist shoulder dress by Rachel Pally
($228 at shopbop.com)
Taffeta with lace dress by Brunya*
($278.90 at nordstrom.com)
Jeweled neck dress by Ellen Tracy
($238.80 at saks.com)
Ruffle silk halter dress by Geren Ford*
($254 at singer22.com OR $119 at intermixonline.com)
*your Editrix's top picks

**unless you're 5'10" like the models in the photos, expect these hemlines to fall two to three inches longer