glam gift guide #1: hostess with the mostest

certain people can be difficult to shop for during the holidays, so i've put together a few glam gift guides for you to reference when searching for something stylish for those hard-to-buy-for on your list.

first up: you're excited about the holiday party you're going to and have a glimmering dress, satin head band, textured tights, ankle boots and red lipstick ready to go. one problem...you have no idea what to get the perfectly polished hostess who is always spot-on, put together more than anyone else even though she's been cooking and cleaning all day. well here are a few fashionable ideas for you to keep her entertained while she's entertaining:


ladies can cook in style with these chic aprons from anthropologie. from $19.95 to $32 with various styles from several designers, you're sure to find one that suits the personality of your hostess. my sister bought me "extra ingredient" last year, and i had more than one party guest tell me they liked my "dress" last time i wore it!

lilly pulitzer shift dress stationary

these cards from your fave florida fashion queen are ideal for any southern hostess. the shift dress prints are adorable and come in a variety of lilly patterns, but if they're not for you, check out the pink and green sticky notes, tropical coasters, flowered pens, fruity day-timers and message boards and other lilly pulitzer stationary gifts to keep your hostess stylish and organized. buy it all locally at swoozies.

lolita glasses

packed in a cute box with no need for wrapping, wine and martini glasses from lolita always seem to put a smile on a girl's face, which is why they are my go-to gifts of choice. try the shopoholic, little black dress or leopard-tini glasses for your sipping stylista. she won't be able to wait to try the drink recipes located on the bottom of the glass. there are also cute martini ornaments by lolita too for your non-traditional friend to decorate her tree.

50 shoes that changed the world

created by the design museum of london, your hostess will love this vintage design catalog to keep on her coffee table as a conversation starter at her next party. buy the book at urban outfitters locally, where you might also find the 50 dresses, cars or chairs versions also.

little black dress wines

one bottle actually a great gift for almost any female on any occasion, and you can buy it at most publix grocery stores and at total wine. usually priced around $10 or less, these wines are cheap but still tasty and the name makes them a little more exciting than your typical bottle. they come in several different varieties, but my favorite is the pinot noir because it's a little lighter than the merlot and the dark red color makes a pretty backdrop for the logo. make sure to check out the web site too - http://www.littleblackdresswines.com/ - there are fun features, including a way to see what variety is for you, based on the type of lbd you prefer!


fashion line of the day #6

'in my mind, this time of year always triggers thoughts of glitzy soirées, dinner affairs
and most importantly, the excuse to splurge
on party-appropriate attire!"
~ celebrity stylist rachel zoe on the holidays,
from her blog, the zoe report.



braving black friday

while some of you are just getting ready to head out to toys r us at midnight and target at 5 a.m. to get in your first bit of black friday shopping, i'm looking forward to finally taking a day to sleep in. i know, it's weird for someone with a shopping addiction to not want to go out on black friday, but i'd rather wait a day at home rather than in a checkout line for an hour, or shop online so i don't get trampled by someone grabbing the last zhu zhu pet (that's for you jennifer!)

but for those of you who are up for tomorrow's challenge, i thought i'd put together a few of my favorite local black friday specials that i've seen so far:

a/x armani exchange: spend $150 or more and get $50 off your purchase friday through sunday.

apricot lane: buy one, get one 50 percent off (equal or lesser value) deals on everything in the store friday through sunday.

banana republic: buy one cashmere sweater, get one free on friday only.

bcbg: sales up to 50 percent off, friday through sunday.

francesca’s collections: additional 30 percent off clearance merchandise through sunday, plus sales on jewelry.

gap: buy one, get one free on all sweaters on wednesday and friday only.

lucky brand: buy one, get one 50 percent off (equal or lesser value) on all items in the store on friday only.

mayors jewelers: discounts at 20 to 70 percent off this weekend through dec. 25.

nine west: 50 percent off select boots, 30 percent off other select shoe styles, 30 to 50 percent off select handbags and 30 percent off all hosiery friday through sunday.

quiksilver: winter wear including jackets and fleece at 40 percent off, and new clearance items added at 50 percent off friday through sunday.

see eyewear: select sunglasses now $99, originally priced at $200-$350. more than 100 other pieces are 50 percent off this week.

s!r men's wear: 15 percent off of the new collection, and 40 to 50 percent off select items friday through sunday.

solstice: 30 percent off safilo products friday from open until noon. safilo products include gucci, jimmy choo, juicy couture, marc by marc jacobs, giorgio armani, balenciaga and carrera labels.

victoria’s secret: buy one bra, get one 50 percent off (equal or lesser value) on friday.

white house│black market: Store opens at 7 a.m. Friday. Receive 20 percent off purchases from open until noon. Free totes with any purchase all day while supplies last.

spend $500 between 8 a.m. and noon friday and receive a $50 pga national resort and spa gift card, while supplies last.

stuart weitzman: on select items, receive 30 percent off the first item, 40 percent off the second and 50 percent off the third friday through dec. 31.

vera bradley: receive the exclusive holiday tote in blue rhapsody for free with any purchase of $100 or more friday, while supplies last.

zara: sales up to 50 percent off starting friday.

mall doors open at 6 p.m., and the first 500 people who enter through the food court entrance will receive free breakfast-on-the-go.

346 brooks brothers: shop all day nov. 24 to nov. 29 and receive 40 percent off your purchase. take an extra 10 percent off your purchase by shopping until noon friday and saturday.

american eagle outfitters: buy one, get one 50 percent off on sweaters and hoodies until sunday.

bailey banks & biddle: save 50 to 70 percent until sunday.

bebe: save up to 65 percent on select items. save 30 percent on select denim and sportswear.

express: receive additional 25 percent off the entire purchase until noon friday, or additional 20 percent off after noon friday.

lady foot locker: take $15 off your purchase of $75 or more, and $25 off your purchase of $100 or more friday, plus converse and nike shox at two for $79.99.

swarovski: receive 25 percent off jewelry with any $100 in-store purchase friday through sunday.

many of these promotions are also available online. if you're not up for the crowds and don't care much about the sales but still want to take part in the shopping spirit, head to worth avenue. good luck and happy shopping!


fab find: let it snow

with the stint of "cold" weather (60 degrees, if even) we experienced in south florida, i got excited because the change of season means i finally get to tap into that portion of my closet that only gets used about five days a year...or maybe eight if i choose to sweat it out a few times. but being a florida girl, i just can't bring myself to spend a ton of money on a winter wardrobe, which is why my eyes lit up when i stumbled into the sales at gap yesterday.

while searching for a tank to print my twilight slogan on for the opening of new moon last night (you bet your ass i was there!), i got a little distracted. i've been looking for the perfect black coat for a while now, but can never seem to find one that's inexpensive without looking cheap, and gap seemed to know just what i was looking for. all outerwear was 50 percent off, which is huge when you're shopping for jackets or blazers that are usually priced at more than $100.

i actually discovered my treasure in the sale section, in which all marked-down items were another 25 percent off. the shrunken peacoat, originally $110, purchased at $52 in the store or $89.99 online, was a comfortable fit for my petite frame, and i love the dramatic zippers on the pockets and sleeves that add an extra edge to the feminine cut.

if you're looking to take advantage of the 50 percent off rather than the sale though, let me suggest the ribbed sleeve wool jacket, originally priced at $118. it comes in gray or black and can easily be dressed up or worn casually with jeans. i'm not sure how long the discount lasts, so you better get over there soon!

if you can't get into a gap this week, you'll miss out on the in-store discounts, but gap.com also has a tempting offer...25 percent entire purchase of regularly priced items with the code GIFT123 at checkout. the promotion lasts through sunday, nov. 22. so grab your hot chocolate and throw on a pair of boots to get yourself in the mood to start cold weather shopping!


bite me.

in honor of the twilight saga: new moon's local premiere tomorrow night at this time (which i, of course, already have my tickets for), i put together a few things to help you get your twilight fix while keeping in fashion...because for anyone over the age of 14, it's sure as hell difficult to enjoy the story to its fullest without looking like a total dork. so let's take a cue from alice cullen and make sure to dive into something that's still stylish, sexy and vampire chic...

one piece that i've been bloody swooning over for the past few months is the p.a.m. oxidised fangs necklace, which also comes in silver. at a whopping $284 in australian, it's definitely a lot of money to pay to wear vampire teeth around your neck for what's probably a total of five days out of the year, but i just can't seem to get over it. there are a lot of fang necklaces on the market right now, but so many of them are cheesy or cheap looking and i've yet to find one that's as well-designed as this one.

if the price is too steep for you, or you just can't fathom wearing fangs at your neck, be sure to head to the palm beach gardens green market to get your twi on. a jewelry vendor there has some beautiful charm bracelets with simple silver wolf and crystal heart charms inspired by bella's bracelet that are classy and subtle.

thirsting for something more than accessories? nordstrom has a newish twilight-inspired line for juniors, "the twilight saga: new moon for bp." while most of it's a little too high school for anyone my age to be wearing, there are a few tops that are cute and no one would even have to know you were team jacob if you wish. try the 'wolf motif' long sleeve tee, which is really just a yoga-like burnout tee that sports tribal design. only problem, for $34 you could probably snag some better threads in nordstrom as long as you choose to go without the twilight label.

if none of these pieces pique your interest, then just take a closer look around. this season is full of styles that have a dark and mystical feel to help you vamp it up. what used to be considered gothic is now becoming mainstream (at least for the next few months), thanks to twilight, true blood and vampire diaries. with black over-the-knee boots and faux leather leggings, to the return of black lace and leather jackets, and then add in some of alexander mcqueen's freakish fashions and a few studded leather bracelets, you're set for a night of neck sucking.

alexander mcqueen's waisted stripe jersey dress, $2,895

so what are you wearing to the show? i'm making my "team edward (unless jacob is shirtless)" shirt as we speak. not as age-appropriate as the options listed here, but i'll sure fit in with the 16-year-olds as i suck down my pre-movie, blood-red cocktail at blue martini while watching the teenie-boppers wait in line.


one man's trash...

one man's trash is another man's treasure. at least that's the thought behind many consignment and thrift shops, and a thought i've had in my head many times. it started with kids' old little league tees and boy scout button-downs from goodwill when i was in college, and by now i've thankfully moved on to vintage and designer consignment shops.

my latest find is carnaby street at downtown at the gardens. i accidentally stumbled in there after shopping with my cousin and grandmother at sur la table, and am very happy i did. i spent a good amount of time scouring the store and found some interesting items, both new and old. 

newer items included coach wallets, lilly pulitzer dresses and a cashmere kensie sweater (so beautiful, but unfortunately not in my size!), as well as vintage items like ferragamo suits and hand-beaded gowns, some of which were once worth $18,000! and don't forget labels like chanel, prada, valentino and ralph lauren.

i found it to be a personal score though when i saw the section of leather in the corner. i had been looking for the perfect faux leather vest for about a week, so discovering the pieces at carnaby street was pretty exciting. rather than going out and purchasing a fake for close to $30, or spending more than $100 on a new version that will go out of style soon, i was able to walk out with the real thing for only $39! 

that's the great thing about resale shops like these (learn about more in palm beach post fashion editor staci sturrock's blog post on pbpulse.com). if you are willing to spend some time, you can find luxury and trendy pieces in close to mint condition for less than half the original price. plus, some things, like the vest i found, have great stories that are worth reviving on your next night out in your new "treasure."

i uncovered my buried treasure at carnaby street and suggest you do the same. just don't go for the leather mini, that's one thing i'm going back for.


monday morning quarterback meets clothes for bros

this is kind of a double mmq this week since i posted about fsu's white-out game friday in my fashion line of the day, but i noticed a line of men's college sports shirts this weekend that i've never seen before and decided to give our guys a little more love.

football fashion choices for men can be a little boring, unless of course you're one of those guys who chooses to sport themed boat shoes or pastel pants and bow ties to the game. if you're not one of those good ole' boys (or for you girls: your boyfriend is not one of those boys), which i'm assuming most of you aren't, then here's a post for you.

nordstrom carries a line called red jacket clothing, which caters to both men and women in the team t-shirt category. it carries shirts that boast college and professional sports, all of which have vintage flair. the brand's web site says, "as an active sports enthusiast, one should be able to find unique sportswear with a distinctive fashion style. as a fashion concious individual, one should be able to combine progressive fashion with vanguard sports cultures."

my opinion on the brand? from extra-soft, slim-fit crewnecks to retro, faded and distressed tees and hoodies, red jacket makes it easy for men to dress good and still look masculine at the same time. the prices are reasonable too.

i know for sure that nordstrom at the mall at wellington green carries fsu and uf t-shirts by red jacket, but here are a few others for you non gator and nole fans.

remote control miami t-shirt, $45

georgia tech brass tacks arch t-shirt, $35

tar heels brass tacks logo t-shirt, $32
and my favorite, the michigan standback hoodie, $95

if you don't see your team here, no worries. red jacket carries designs for the majority of state and popular private colleges. ladies, red jacket has options for you too, so check them out.


fashion line of the day #5

"we are definitely excited to wear the all-white uniforms. it's historic because fsu has never worn white uniforms at home before, so it's going to be fun to be a part of that. it should be exciting for the fans, and we want to see them in all-white, too.''
~ florida state university's senior free safety jamie robinson,
from the miami herald

photo courtesy of seminoles.com

this proves my point that fashion is important in all aspects of life, even in football. it also shows that it's ok (and encouraged by me!) to wear white after labor day, especially if you live in florida. but if you have a difficult time breaking this old school fashion rule and still need a reason, then here is one for you...wear it to support your seminoles!

so don't want to wear one of fsu's official white-out shirts and need a few ideas for wearing white to the game? shop summer sales first since white is typically not a color included in most fall collections. you might want to start with macy*s fashion+home sale first, and pick up the extra 15 percent off coupon in the main section of the palm beach post or online today.

try this lightweight and playful spring twill tunic by bcbg and pair it with white leggings or wear alone if you're short enough like me. originally $148, this shirt-dress is now only $63 if you use the macy*s coupon.

originally $98,
free people's disco jersey dress is also a good pick for the game now that it's reduced to $62 with the macy*s coupon. the relaxed drapery will keep you cool in all aspects of the game.

sorry to all my tampa readers out there, but you might want to wear black because it's going to be a dark day out there for you saturday!


fashion line of the day #4

"my look is attainable. women can look like audrey hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses, and the little sleeveless dresses."
~ audrey hepburn

forever a fashion icon, this is something many of us (like me!) still try to do today. her classic look is easy to mimic and always in style, so take note!


monday morning quarterback: $30 or less

want to capitalize on the latest trends, but having trouble doing so while sticking to a budget? want a cute and feminine outfit to wear to the game but just can't afford pieces from the leona collection i suggested a few weeks ago? no worries. whether you're in college living off tips from the ale house, a young professional saving up to buy a house, or you just plain can't fathom spending more than you would on dinner for gameday gear, we've got a few options for you.

we've put together four stylish outfits featuring four current crazes for four different college teams - all totaling less than $30 each. tips on how to get the most for your money are also included, and feel free to switch out your school colors as needed.

team: louisiana state university
trend: tunics as dresses/fitted waist
tip: if you're not sure about something, wait for the sale
i found this pleated tunic a few weeks ago at urban outfitters, but didn't feel like spending $38 on something i'd wear as a casual dress when i already have so many stuffed in my closet. in turn, i saved about half the price when i found it for $19.99 during my second trip to shop urban outfitters' sale, which i talked about in a previous post. it's not the typical purple for an lsu game, but that's why it will make you stand out in the crowd - in a good way. plus, i paired it with a string of gold chains i got for $4.50 from macy's jewelry sale, and $5 metallic flip flops from old navy to give it some of that tiger gold.

team: university of alabama
trend: colorblock/high-waisted skirts
tip: stick to staples
a few staple pieces will always come in handy when you can't figure out what to wear. take my red kino sandals, for instance, which cost me $12 during my freshman year of college. these key west flip flops have been in style as long as i can remember and will always be part of my wardrobe ready to spice up any outfit. i paired them with a simple $9 white baggy tank from gap that is also sure to stay in style, and then to keep up with the trends pieced it together with a slimming, high-waisted, colorblocked skirt i got for $8.80 from forever 21. add a swipe of red lipstick and the result is sleek and clean with a few pops of color to remind everyone you're a bama fan...but you can add a houndstooth headband if you're still worried about it.

team: florida atlantic university
trend: layered look/fitted bodice
tip: take advantage of special promotions
not only is this bycorpus dress another item i found for $19.99 at the urban outfitters sale, but old navy's metallic flip flops were a fab find too. typically priced at $6.50, i bought these silver sandals along with a gold pair during a two-for-$10 sale. that was months ago, but similar pricing can still be found on non-metallics. buy two or more pairs for only $2.50 each. they're perfect for a game - cheap rubber sandals you don't mind getting a little dirty while tailgating. back to the dress...it may not exactly match fau's "french blue and silver grey," but the navy blue of the fitted sweetheart-style linen and flowy skirt attached to the ashy grey soft tank will keep you on trend for the game. and the super long silver chain from forever 21 was only $3.50, so you'll have a $1.50 left over to buy a hot dog at the game!

team: university of central florida
trend: vests/leggings
tip: shop forever 21
for newer teams that are just becoming popular like ucf and fau, it's not as easy to find cutesy team tops like those for fsu, um and uf from places like victoria's secret and urban outfitters. you'll have to be a little more creative, which is why forever 21 is great. with a huge color palette and cheaper prices on trendy items that go in and out of style, you're sure to find something fashionable within your budget. grab something people wouldn't expect you to wear to a game: basic v-neck cami for $3.80, a dark grey vest for $9.80 and simple black leggings for $5.80. add old navy's gold flip flops, a $2.80 cuff and a gold belt (ok, so i cheated and wore this one from hollister, but you can pick one up from forever for about $7.80).

to make these even sweeter, all outfits are equally as appealing for a night out as they are for game day...just fling off the sandals and slide on a pair of pumps.


fashion line of the day #3

"i have to keep all the boys off this dress. this is my taser for the night, since they won't let me bring my taser into radio city. so i can just go 'boom, off!'"
~ katy perry talking to adrienne bailon about her outfit on the red carpet of the 2009 mtv vmas. see her full interview on mtv.com.

the "i kissed a girl" singer known for her outrageous fashion choices was looking hot in her glam makeup, spiked and shiny dress by the blonds, and shimmering shoes by none other than christian louboutin.

she says she wore the dress to keep away the boys, but i personally think it was to keep away one in particular, my friend andrew who lives in nyc and could be trying to seek her out :)

fab find: $9.99 at urban outfitters

urban outfitters is one of my favorite retailers, but i don't always (or ever) feel like dishing out $58 for a high-waisted pink cotton mini i'll probably wear two or three times. so when i learned about the recent sales i about jumped out of my seat when the clock turned to 5:30 p.m. tuesday and i could finally scour the local store.

i had done about a minute of pre-shopping online before i left, so i knew i was in for some great $9.99, $14.99, $19.99 and $29.99 deals, but i was ecstatic when i found out the specials in the store were even better than they were online. upon enterting the store i nearly walked into a $9.99 rack full of dresses...there are only about two dresses for this price on the web site. i grabbed a few and headed for the back to check out more.

i ended up leaving the dressing room with a pale peach tunic and a colorful plaid button-up dress for $9.99 each (only problem is a snap button that always wants to pop open due to the elastic band at the waist...not great for the self esteem, but for less than $10, i'll stitch it up!). i'll save pics until later this weekend for another post, but until then, here are a few items you might want to pick up for yourself:

tried this on; better for girls with smaller busts

dark harts hooded moto vest, $19.99 (originally $58)
i need (ok want) this.

bdg knit miniskirt, $19.99 (originally $28)
says online only, but i bought i similar skirt in the store

uo silk fringe necklace, $19.99 (originally $38)

on your way out, don't forget to look at the 2-for-$8 nail lacquer at the front. there are some fun and crazy colors that are typically difficult to find priced at less than $10 anywhere else (like my gray that i searched for forever!). they are named by color and then by number. i bought purple 1 and green 2...can't wait to try them out!


fashion line of the day #2

"i love girl bands, and the plastiscines have a sound and look that represents everything i was feeling as i was designing the collection. i was watching their video and thought, i want my show to look like that."
~ alice + olivia's stacey bendet about my fave girl band as the inspiration behind her spring 2010 collection, taken from style.com.

check out photos from the plastiscines performing at alice + olivia's spring show during new york fashion week at
nylonmag.com. you'll view a faux parisian town full of soft and feminine pinks, purples, grays and creams mixed with edgier blacks, metallics and lace for a line that is both sexy and sweet...and don't forget about the ton of celebs among the crowd, like twilight's ashley greene, gossip girl's kelly rutherford and 90210's annalynne mccord.


fashion line of the day #1

sometimes you need a few kind words to get through the day. some of us have uplifting tear-off calendars, my mom's boss e-mails her teachers inspirational quotes each day, and i think jason from the wild morning show reads off silly thoughts of the day.

me? i need a contstant stream of fashion, which is why i thought i'd combine the two for you by unveiling my "fashion lines." i'll bring you quotes by renowned designers, one-line tips from fashion mags, notes from the red carpet and other general style sayings to add a little glamour to your day.

so here it is, and today's line comes from a sweet gift our fabulous intern bought me:

"i can deal with anything if i have the right shoes."

christian louboutin's lady page velvet-bow pumps in oxblood from bergdorf's
because if i had these shoes, i could rule the world.


monday morning quarterback: t-shirts revamped

due to the nightmare flu i had last week, i could barely stop groaning long enough to open my eyes, much less look at a computer, so i went a little m.i.a. right after the launch of monday morning quarterback. it was not good timing, but here we are today to get you back on track for this upcoming weekend...

our last mmq post showed you where to find classy and feminine gameday dresses, but today we'll show you a few more economical ideas. learn to transform the free extra-large shirt given out at last year's basketball game, that old t-shirt you just can't imagine getting rid of, or even a tee from the zoology department's 1995 social event you picked up at goodwill on a whim. all of the above make good starting-off points for designing your own revamped and one-of-a-kind gameday jerseys.

i created a few of my own with old fsu and uf shirts belonging to my boyfriend, sister and me, and as long as you have a t-shirt, a pair of scissors and an imagination you can do it too.

this first strapless style is the easiest, and one i made a lot in college. just take a t-shirt, large or small, and cut it straight across (or a bit rounded in the front like i did) from the bottom of one sleeve to the other. then cut a small diamond shape in the center of back of the shirt (the sides of the diamond should be about 2-3 inches long). this will leave two points at the top that you can knot together in the back based on how tight you need the shirt to fit. sew or pin a flower or other embellishment to the shirt if you want and you're finished! my sister didn't want to go braless with the shirt, but since it's so low in the back she decided to wear it over an orange tube bathing suit top, which actually looked really cute (even though it was gator colors).

my next two didn't come out as good as i'd hoped, but i thought i'd share anyway in case they inspire other ideas for you. for the fsu shirt, i cut the sleeves completely off at an angle toward the neck line and then cut from one sleeve seam to the other only in the back to make a halter-style top. i left part of the folded neck seam attached so i could string a piece of leather through as a fun seminole-inspired accessory to tie around my neck, and also attached feathers to the end (a string of pearls would work too for you girls in the southern states). unfortunately the original shirt i used was a little big for this style to fit me and i felt myself holding it up with my arms, so make sure you start with a tighter shirt if you make your own.

the next uf style is cute, but mine came out a bit childish-looking. i got the idea from the book generation t: 108 ways to transform a t-shirt, which a co-worker who obviously knows me well bought for me as a secret santa present a couple years back (fyi...it's a great gift for anyone who wishes she could be a designer, but doesn't quite have the artistic background to back the dream). i simply cut the sleeves off in a straight line, and then cut from the top of one shoulder to the other. i poked holes about 1 inch apart along the shoulders and then laced a ribbon (shoe laces and extra t-shirt material also work) through the holes much like you would a shoelace and tied it at the end.

my last idea is my favorite and the only one that required sewing, but fabric glue could also work. to start, i used a tight black tee that had a graphic previously destroyed in the wash. since i liked the fit and didn't want to cut it up or throw it away, i cut and sewed a seminole head from another t-shirt to the bottom of this tee. when making your own, note that it's ok if you see the thread, i think it actually adds to the charm. i then used strips of material from another re-worked shirt that didn't come out so hot, and sewed the pieces together in a way that mimics the folded paper fans you made as a kid. once sewn onto the shirt, the extra fabric gave it a ruffle effect, which is definitely "in" right now.

now your turn. use this as a guide to re-create your own styles, and feel free to comment if you take photos of your own designs that i can post to the blog!


monday morning quarterback: leona gameday

whether you're a stylish college student looking for something feminine to wear to the game, or an alumna wishing to stand out at the football party back home, leona gameday is here for you.
noticing that many of us girls from the south - florida included - like to dress up for football games, the "southern belle with an edge" designer lauren leonard of the leona collection came up with an idea to get ladies into the spirit of the game. leona recently began offering its 60+ national retailers the option of carrying custom gameday dresses made in their choice of school colors, in addition to the ready-to-wear collections they already carry. average retail price points for leona gameday items are $170 to $265, and totally worth it.

whitney blouse in black crepe de chine & kitsy skirt in vermillion silk twill
~ perfect outfit for georgia tech & the skirt also works for seminoles, ucf knights
and many those of you in favor of california schools

lauren told me that there are gameday dresses currently designed for shops in tennessee, south carolina, alabama and georgia. there aren't any in the works for our florida schools just yet, but since one of my favorite boutiques in my old stomping ground of tallahassee - fancy pants - carries the leona line, you know i'm pushing for some florida state fashions.

just because leona might not yet carry dresses specific to your school, there's no reason to fret. leonacollection.com and many of the label's retailers carry other southern-inspired, ready-to-wear pieces that are fun to pair together to create your own gameday outfit. try the jonnie blouse in ivory silk with the fabulous sloan pocket skirt in gold silk shantung (i need to have this!) from the new fall collection if you're a seminole like me, or keep cool in the sarah short dress in berry print silk from the spring line if you're an unfortunate (but at least stylish!) gator like my sister.

kate blouse in lipstick silk shantung
~ a good match for bama and georgia fans. also comes in a glistening gold.

trust me, you defnitely want to sport leona. you might just catch the eye of that sigma chi you've been checking out since last year's tailgates...

monday morning quarterback

with the 2009 college football season kicking off this weekend, fans are gearing up for tons of pre-game preparations. no, i'm not talking about studying stats, purchasing tickets, ordering special channels or even looking for a place to park to tailgate...it's all about figuring out what to wear!

i'll admit, i still love this shirt, but it's time to move on from the witty college tees...

in recent years, especially in the southern states, team t-shirts just don't cut it anymore. we girls (and guys...ever been to a tailgate with the frat boys in themed sperry's or pastel chinos and bow ties?!), put more planning than ever into our outfits, whether its the georgia peaches in their red & black shift dresses with matching ribbons, lsu ladies in their purple ruffled tanks, or alabama belles in their houndstooth skirts.

that's why every monday throughout football season, i'll be offering a playbook of sorts to help you put together your outfit for the weekend. i'll coach you on where to find specially made gameday dresses, create one-of-a-kind outfits, how to dress fresh at each game while sticking to a budget, and more.

check back tomorrow for your first monday morning quarterback post (or wednesday morning for this first one), and then again each monday for follow-ups!


update ~ clothes for bros: nike id

remember my friend who was looking for advice on which color shoes to create and purchase from nikeid.com (because gators always want advice from seminoles, of course!)? well he took our collective advice, with one minor change. he chose the second pair, with more black and less pink, but then added the hot pink laces, which i think was a definite plus. check them out:

and if you're looking for a pair of the hottest kicks for yourself, either check out nike id online like him to create your own, or visit the local nike store at the gardens mall where i lead the nike run club every monday and thursday (free raffle for shoes & gift cards tonight!) for a pre-set pair. everyone who works in the store is awesome and should be able to help you out, but i know from various personal talks with them that brett and steve are the ones to chat with if you're looking for the latest on the stylish sneaker scene, whether or not you're an athlete.

since my hobbies range further than fashion and i'm also a runner, brett, steve and the store manager claudia helped me pick out the newest and best in racing shoes, the
lunarglides. for a flat-footed girl (or guy) like me, this is the only pair of light racing shoes that have not caused an injury...and it doesn't hurt that they are really good lookin'. my fav color palate is the baltic blue - volt - techno blue, but i chose the above metallic summit white/orange pair because i plan to wear them with my dad's old orange & black john i. leonard high school track shorts for the chicago marathon in october...but more details on that topic in a later post...


vintage jewelry: who, what, wear...

vintage is undoubtedly hot right now. all the celebs are wearing it and all the fashion mags talk about it, but it can be a difficult thing to translate into everyday wear for the average person. think about it - pepto-bismol pink 90s bridesmaid dresses from goodwill don't exactly fit the "vintage" category girls want to be seen in (unless you were at my 21st birthday "waltz" in tallahassee several years ago...), and you're better off purchasing something new rather than the raggedy dior handbag filled with old gum wrappers from the local consignment. luckily for us, house of lavande's vanessa nedvins (remember her from a few posts ago?) was nice enough to share the "who, what and wear" for going vintage.

jewelry is a great place to start when testing out vintage, because in my opinion, there are less chances to go wrong and anyone can wear it. age and style savviness are not factors.

vintage jewelry, specifically hol, is seen all over the red carpets and in everyday wear on many celebs. if you're looking for inspiration, take note from ashley tisdale at the mtv movie awards, evan rachel wood at her premiere in paris, emmy rossum out for a walk around the city, or my personal faves rachel mcadams, sophia bush and leighton meester on other stylish outings. nedvins told me she found it especially exciting when nicole richie started wearing hol since she owns her own jewelry line and is such a trendsetter in the industry. when asked about other celebs she'd like to style, she mentioned kate moss or heidi klum since they are both inspirations in the fashion world.

zoe saldana wearing hol
see my "behind the seams" post on hol or visit its web site.

as for what trends are in, nedvins says the "chunky 80s-style, club-kid feel" is and will continue to be popular in accessories for a bit, so vintage is perfect for picking up this trend. stackable bracelets are also in style, as well as layered necklaces (maybe pair one of hols jeweled czech pieces with a few long strands of pearls...), and statement necklaces of course. silver is also being asked about in the store a lot recently, which is interesting since gold had made such a strong comeback for a while.

wear pieces that make you feel special. nedvins believes customers should choose something that a.) brightens their face, and/or b.) induces a memory. she sees both types of purchases in her store: "many women choose specific house of lavande pieces because of an emotional tie - maybe the piece reminds them of something their grandmother wore. the younger set, however, is wearing hol because it is a way to be different and stand out. they can look stunning without wearing something everyone else can buy at the mall."

1960 hattie carnegie ~ $348
the real where:
like most fashions, styles in vintage jewelry varies from one place to another. places like new york, chicago and palm beach all have different ideas and classifications for vintage and trends. nedvins says new yorkers are more fearless and riskier - think lots of plastic bracelets and other bold pieces - and the only other place similar to nyc is l.a. chicago, on the other hand, is classier and higher-end, rather than experimental like new york. think vintage chanel.
and if you're a regular to my blog or live in the area, you probably know that there is no other place like palm beach. according to nedvins, palm beachers either come in already knowing what they want, or they see something that strikes them and they just have to buy it right then. there's no real rhyme or reason to their purchasing habits. palm beachers are also careful not to be too "old" even when wearing vintage, are slightly more reserved in their choices, and have more awareness between what is real and fake.
depending on the style, vintage can be worn anytime, but hol pieces are perfect for adding an extra special touch to spice up an outfit for an event or interview, or changing a day-to-night look just by switching up a few pieces.
ashley tisdale wearing hol at 2009 mtv movie awards

the real question is why not. wearing vintage gives you a tie to the past. vintage jewels are not able to be replicated and can't be found in regular retail stores today. when you're wearing them you have peace of mind that no one else will have the same thing, which can't necessarily be said if you show up to an event wearing harry winston, van cleef & arpels or tiffany's. and my favorite reason why: in my experience, vintage pieces are always fantastic conversation openers.

1960 unsigned multi victorian ring ~ $1,200
if even after nedvins' tips you can't decide how to wear vintage jewelry, hol offers styling services to help choose what's right for you (which i should have put to good use - notice how some of the pieces i was drawn to tended to overwhelm my weirdly tiny arms!). hol stylists use fabric swatches and/or photos of outfits and their owners to put together five or six looks with various ornaments before purchasing. many celebs and their personal stylists go this route, so you'll be in good company!