13 December 2009

Champagne Flute Roundup

I'm skipping the Festival of Lights and The Birth of Christ to go straight for what I consider to be the best 'holiday' of the season...New Year's Eve.  I don't love it for the idea of a new beginning.  The older I get the scarier the passing of years becomes (I have so little to show for all this time).  I love it for the glitz and sparkle.  Forget all these songs about New England being best for Christmas.  This is a great place to spend a New Year if you can't make it to San Francisco, that is.  I told you I love glitter, did I also say I love champagne?  Well I do, I love champagne and I might even say that champagne bubbles sparkle, like glitter.  So in honor of one of my favorite holidays, I bring you my champagne flute roundup.

 I love the Fairshare Fountain (that's the uninterrupted pour) and the Celebration flutes that have different toasts etched on them.  The dots and swirls are playful.  The simple and classy Efva Attling flute (top left) comes with a ring (and an otherwordly price tag) attached to the stem.  The Aarne Crystal glasses are modern and sleek (what else to expect from MoMA?), and the Waterford are beautiful and classic.  Are we done with kegstands?  Where and from what will you drink your tipple this New Years Eve?

07 December 2009

To buy or not to buy

Argh!  For the last five years or so there's been this whole 'diva on a dime' movement and with the recent recession we've been introduced to the term 'frugal fashionista'  my question becomes, where does frugality fit into my fashion plan?  In my youth, before I realized that I might actually live long enough to retire, I was a bit more 'flossy.'  This term can be loosely interpreted as overtly gaudy.  I'd sport monogrammed Louis Vuitton backpacks and scarves.  Adidas shell toes, very obvious Prada footwear with the tell tale red/orange stripe down the middle of the sole...some of these things I paid for, some others paid for, but let's be clear, none of these things were what would be considered affordable.  As I've gotten older, my taste for quality and fashion haven't changed, my desire to advertise it has though.  I now choose well constructed pieces that advertise themselves (I'm okay with leaving the monograms for the youngsters) it's just that now, with a fiscal conscience, I can't well justify spending $700 on a pair of boots or *GASP* $1200 on a handbag...maybe some day, not now...at least that's what I tell myself in my right mind.

My fashion mind, though, wants fabulous things so  I try to appease her by acquiring quality accessories to spruce up my mostly Levi's and Target wardrobe, it's just that occasionally, I'd like a pair of boots or two, a pair of shoes or a lovely handbag or a necklace or some earrings or something that wasn't on a killer sale.  Why do I have to feel guilty?  Don't I deserve nice things?  As a graduate student friend of mine says 'We do the Lord's work,'  shouldn't I be allowed to reward myself with nice things?  I guess not.

For now I'll keep a close eye on my pocketbook. Despite the fact my that my husband and I footed the cost of a large part of our wedding, my credit card debt is shrinking!  I like that.  Do I like it as much as a pair of new shoes? That's the problem, I like it more, and I guess that as long as I like being close to financial solvency more than I like 'things,' I'll go without.  

19 November 2009

Swatch Check

OPI releases their collections before anyone is truly thinking about wearing them.  Their Holiday Wishes collection debuted in March, I believe.  With the change in leaves, the chill in the air and the promise of mulled wine in the months to come, I can definitely use a reminder of some of the lush colors we're being encouraged to sport this fall and winter.
Like a lot of other outfits, OPI has also released some suede lacquers.  They dry matte and are in some of the company's most popular colors


Left to Right: OPI Ink, Russian Navy, Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees, You Don't Know Jacques!, We'll Always Have Paris, Lincoln Park After Dark



Left to Right: Ginger Bells, Shim-merry Chic, All A-Bordeaux the Sled!, Holiday Glow, Sapphire in the Snow, Merry Midnight, Comet Loves Cupid, Dear Santa, Glove You So Much, Smitten with Mittens, Meet & Jingle, Crimson Carol

Which colors can't you wait to wear?

15 November 2009

A handy fix

Quiet as it's kept, my mother is an erstwhile nail technician. During my early teen years, I filled my Caboodles with nothing but nail polish (I wasn't allowed to wear make-up). I was a bad daughter though, the worst kind for a nail tech. I was a nail biter. I'd hoard all these fabulous and vibrant nail lacquers and I'd use them, but only on my toes. As I got older, I went through bouts of biting, not biting, acrylics, fiberglass wraps, and in my late 20's with the uncertainty of dating subsiding and my life plan a little more in place, my anxiety ebbed, the nail biting stopped and I dug into my stash of nail lacquer with reckless abandon.

Like most girls, I cut my teeth on Wet and Wild but with a nail tech for a mother, that didn't last long. I was introduced to the luxurious pigments of OPI and, later discovered, Essie my alternating drugs of choice. Right now I'm loving Essie's fall collection.

I'm currently rocking the Mink Muffs and dreaming about the real thing.  Before we know it, we'll be into the winter colors.

I have to say, I'm not much for the creme red of the Lollipop.  The Rock Candy is nude and semi innocuous, and the Mint Candy Apple...well, let's just say that green on the fingernails kind of hearkens to fungus.  What do you all think about the fall and winter colors?  What will you be rockin' at the Holiday Party?  Which of these colors can you see poking out from my glittens?

13 November 2009

New England, as a menopausal woman

So, the fall in New England is equal parts beautiful and ridiculous.   New Englanders and NE transplants live in a menopausal environment.  There are those 70 degree F days, beautiful, ripe for hikes, the hot flashes.  We also have days when the mercury doesn't crack 50, the chills.  The latter days are the ones that have had me thinking about my cold mitts lately, which led to my musing over glittens.

The Husband (to be referred to as Ashkenaz Spice from now on) swears by this primitive but warm and utilitarian pair of Thinsulate glittens.  I think they approach hideous and look barbaric but when I wore them, they were magic.  The Thinsulate lined insides and the wool body of the glove had me thinking I stuck my hand in a warm cloud of comfort.  Since then I've been looking for some fashionable and warm glittens.  My criterion are that they not look marmish, gaelic (fair isle is not my style), or wack and that they cover my wrists.  I'm leaning toward glittens for the dexterity they allow*

 There are a couple of questionable things here, like who wears camel toe glittens?  Seriously?  Those are a reminder of what never to put on your hands...unless you're kin to Dr. Zoidberg.   Ashkenaz Spice's glittens are those oatmeal colored ostensible atrocities toward the bottom the others are glittens I'm considering.   How delightful are the cashmere glittens in Crayola colors?  The uber orange Carolina Amato gloves that escape looking like a jack-o-lantern?  I appreciate the understated simplicity of the black 'pop top' glittens and the Steven Alan glittens are pure funk.

I love the idea of a pop of color in the drab winter.  Color carries me a long way through the cold months.  Also, I'm considering the aubergine colored ruffled fleece ones (above right), though I could be persuaded otherwise.   How cute are these?  They're an Etsy find from the Rumstadt shop.  Deb makes fingerless gloves and glittens. They're economical, not cashmere or alpaca, but fleece should be warm right? 
What are you doing to keep your hands warm in the coming months?

*It's *so* gross to pull off my gloves with my teeth when boarding the bus to free my hands for grabbing my bus pass and then have the realization that I probably just got baby poo microbes in my mouth because that mom with the stroller gripped the railing with the death grip.

12 November 2009

Happy Feet

It's no secret that winters in New England can be HARSH.  The first year I spent here, I refused to wear boots or hat, glove, scarf ensembles that didn't at least complement my coat.  Not to coordinate would have been  simply unfashionable.   It took one disabled and delayed bus to change that thinking.  Since I've been knitting things to complement my current wardrobe, I'm heading back into footwear.  Last year I made one of the best purchases ever.  Born Thicket boots in black.  They're the perfect winter boot.  Rubber soles to prevent slippage, lined, warm, leather.  My only regret is that I didn't buy them in brown too.

This winter I'm looking for a fashionable pair of comfortable boots (or two--to the husband's dismay) in punchy, or at least less wintry (read drab, dark), colors.  Comfort is key.  Neckbreaking Loboutin's need not apply, though I'm totally loving these Bloc mini heels... 

from: www.christianlouboutin.fr

I digress.  I went back to Born because the durability, comfort and aesthetic I find in their footwear has made me a disciple.  Aside from the brown Thicket, I'm considering the Audie boot (here in sage green) and the Allegra boot (in grape)  I also just love the Gellar.  It's not a boot but it has enough of a heel to raise me a bit out of the snow.  I love the Gellar's stitching, heel detail and laces. 

Boot Shopping 1
Which shoes should I get? Should I get two pair? Should I get some other heretofore unmentioned comfortable boots that are just as fabulous in the snow as they are on cobbled brick walks (if other, please mention which boots in the comments)? Interwebs, help me out.

10 November 2009

Magnificent Millinery

I've always been one for what I consider to be subtle flair. I'm of the mind that you don't always need to be wearing the highest heels or the most decadent mink to make a statement. Usually, jeans, a tshirt and some fab earrings will be just fine, thank you. But on the days, when I'm itching for that extra snap, when I need an extra pop of drama, I reach for a headpiece.

It's a nearly natural progression, I was raised by church ladies. On Sunday's they'd step out and make Lady A's inaugural hat look like a propeller cap. It wasn't until college that I developed my own millinery tastes. I'll never forget the cover of the Heart and Soul magazine that the ravishing Ms. E. Badu graced, sporting jeans, a t-shirt, a blazer, her afro in full splendor, Converse Chuck Taylor X-Hi sneakers and a beautiful piece from Leah C. Couture Millinery. My appetite for headwear was whet but my budget was all 'Hell-to-the-naw!' Fast fashion boutiques like Forever 21 and H&M got hip to headwear, but the quality of their product was lacking.

Recently and, might I add, serendipitously, I hit up a street fair where I encountered one of the most stylish women in Boston and her uber crafted wares. I was hooked and MasterCard was enabling so I bit. Am I ever glad I did! So far, I've acquired a gossip curl headband (see image: www.galvinizedhats.com), a sweet convertible fascinator veil for my wedding, a feather creation and another cute everyday headband. There's no turning back. I might as well sign my paycheck over to Galvinized Headwear from here on out.

Start at the Beginning

This begins as a place where I muse over fashion and spout about the fashion in which I live my life and comment on the fashion in which others live their lives. As a graduate student in the sciences, I don't have much outlet for my sartorial expressions. No one in lab really cares what you wear, which Walter Steiger shoes you're coveting or which handbag you must have. They don't care about the fabulous milliner you've met or the Vogue September Issue.

This is where I balance opera length gloves with nitrile gloves, lab coats with swing coats, peer reviewed articles with reviews of my peers.

I hope you are able to fashion it into something that works for you.