miss usa or prom queen?

miss usa 2009 aired on nbc sunday night and if i were a judge, i would have crowned "my name is earl's" nadine velazquez. yes i know, she wasn't part of the competition, but as the co-host of the event, she blew away the contestants in the evening gown portion! her pearly mauve-colored strapless gown was stunning, and with its silver and gold embellishments isolated at the waist made her stand out among a sea of tacky and over-glittered dresses - a few of which belonged at a 1995 high school prom.

now i know this should come as no surprise as beauty pagents have never been known for their innate fashion sense, but nadine's gorgeous gown (shown above left) seemed to make the others more unbearable than usual.

two dresses i didn't mind so much actually belonged to the crowned winner, miss north carolina kristin dalton, and first-runner up, miss california carrie frejean, both shown below, so i guess the judges agree with me.

miss north carolina's color choice went well with her complexion and bright blonde hair, and she chose a simple, yet flowing design rather than something super sparkly that could have clashed with the color. miss california wore a design that was glitzier with its sequins, but the mermaid-shaped bottom lined in feathers was a daring choice i commend. it flattered her shape (mainly two things up top i suppose!) and in white it did not come across as overdone...if it was hot pink or neon yellow like miss utah's, that would be another story.

though the crowned miss usa does win quite a few amazing prizes in addition to her title, she unfortunatley wins a custom evening wear wardrobe by carlos alberto haute couture, the official designer of the evening gown portion of the competition, and a shoe wardrobe by nina footwear. as arguably the hottest woman in the u.s., shouldn't she be entitled to a year's worth of reem acra and jimmy choo instead of prom-like wear and bridesmaid shoes?!


out of the closet: in my yellow skirt

ok, so i'm a little behind in my posting, but in my last post i talked about my mom's holiday dress, and my easter outfit turned out to have a story too.

i typically wear this forever 21 faux silk skirt to work or out at night, but because of the yellow color, i thought it might work for easter too...which got me thinking (and experimenting!)...there are actually a lot of ways to wear this gold skirt...

on sunday i wore it with a white ruffled shirt and accessorized it with gold coach sandals, a gold bangle from forever 21 and gold hoops (not seen here) from anthropologie. this dressed-up daytime look is good for a brunch or afternoon tea.

this is my favorite because the colors don't really match, but it works anyway. i also love all of the pieces separately, which helps. they include a red ruffled tank from zara, black michael kors gladiator heels and a simple black bangle from forever 21. this look is good for going out to dinner and then wherever the night takes you.

with an intricately patterned, silk bcbg blazer, kenneth cole satin shoes and layered gold chains, this look is good for a dressed-up work event because it takes a simple suit up a notch.

so this is one i was experimenting with...i thought it would be fun to wear the bright blue leggings with the shiny gold skirt. the plaid jessica simpson wedges add the perfect touch for a summer night out, while the white, sleeveless tommy hilfiger top and vintage pendant are just extras to the already color-energized outfit.

if you like lsu, this one's for you! as a former nole, i'm not necessarily a fan of the school myself, but purple and yellow have always been my two favorite colors. i put this look together because i love my purple converse, but it's hard to wear them without looking like a little boy. dressed down with the bright skirt and girly graphic tee though, it's good for a day of shopping, meeting up with friends or even a football game!

this final look is better for fall or winter florida because i was just too hot even modeling it outside! i paired the skirt with a black lace camisole, a pleather bomber jacket i bought online from sears for $9.99, and suede ankle boots from banana republic. i think this look makes you seem a little dangerous, but still feminine.

what do you think? which was your favorite style, or how else would you wear it?


ahoy matey!

i practically grew up on a boat so when nautical pieces start popping up each spring or summer, i'm excited. though anchors, sailor stripes, beach blues, white linens and other navy-inspired pieces don't necessarily ever go out of style, they are definitely in style for spring '09.

this white blazer by dex in the window of rhythm clothiers caught my eye while at cityplace in west palm beach. the navy blue trim and embroidered anchor give it a casual yet classy feel that's great for day or night this time of year. the striped vest, also by dex, and chunky necklace give it the full yacht-appeal without going overboard.

one of my other favs is the dress below, purchased from banana republic, also at cityplace. i had been looking at the dress, which also came in a gray and white striped version, for a few weeks until i noticed it went on sale and then i pounced! unfortunately for me it doesn't come in a petite and was too big for me, but as you can see below, it fit my mom perfectly and looks amazing on her! she wore it for our easter brunch, perfectly paired with her neutral, very palm beach jack rogers sandals and my layered silver and teal style & co. necklace (which i bought on sale for only $6 from macy's at cityplace).

it looks fabulous on my mom, but beware! she is a skinny mini and horizontal stripes unfortunately do not look as good on all people as they do on her. if you are particularly busty or broad in the waist or hips, you may want to try the nautical theme in some other fashion rather than stripes.

another way to dive into the marine theme is by sporting boat shoes or even keds. decked out in a non-traditional plaid and tweed-like pattern, i'm planning on purchasing this pair i found online from forever 21 for only $18.80.

what do you think of the nautical theme, are you embracing it like me, or is it over-played?


peacock print update: katy perry wears them too!

as an update to my first blog, i saw that katy perry likes to sport peacock prints too. according to instyle.com (http://ow.ly/2xMk), katy wore this short feather dress with black tights to paper magazine's "the beautiful people party." the dress is from british designer matthew williamson's collection for h&m.

although i normally admire katy's crazy fashion ensembles, i really don't like this particular use of peacock prints, especially with katy's choice of makeup and hairstyle. too many colors going on for me and the dress is not flattering.


fab find: 30% off ralph lauren rugby line

for girls (and guys) who are feeling sporty but stylish, consumers can receive 30 percent off ralph lauren rugby apparel online or in stores until apr. 14 with this coupon i found on sun-sentinel's shop-o-matic blog: http://tinyurl.com/cwfabp.

i hadn't known too much about this specific line until yesterday, but i am liking it! a lot of the colorful polos and vests remind me of what naomi was wearing on "90210" this week and last, and some of the dresses and blazers remind me of blair's prep school-chic style on "gossip girl" (yes, i'm addicted to the teen dramas on the cw, but in my defense, they have great wardrobes!).

possibly even cooler than the seersucker pinafores, fleece hoodie dresses and ruffled silk jackets is the "make your own" section. though you're not really making your own and there aren't as many options as other brands that offer this feature, it is pretty fun to choose your own victory crest, south african flag or even a hot pink skull to add to your colored tunic.

Try it out: http://www.rugby.com/makeyourown/.


gray is the new black

ok, so i know i'm not really ahead of the game on this one considering i only discovered gray nail polish in january and am just now posting about it, but i am still loving it. gray was a hot color for winter this year, but as a paler and less harsh version of black or silver, i think it can be incorporated into spring and summer fashions too.

my favorite is the above "on the prowl" color from mac's hello kitty line, but it's apparently everyone else's too because it's sold out online and at every store i went to! in the meantime i found a way to get my fix from mac's darker metallic "nightfall" and a bluish-gray l.a. girl polish i got from urban outfitters for only $5 (also sold at forever 21).

i was excited when i first learned of the gray polish trend because i had already been using sephora's wet & dry pale gray eye shadow for a while to line my lids. i had always heard purple tones make green eyes really pop, but since using this product i noticed that gray has the same effect.

gray is also good when i'm stuck in an outfit and neither black or brown quite matches...which is why i purchased this puffy jill stewart handbag that gets me through at least half of the days in a week. there are some great stone-colored chloe handbags on bluefly.com if you'd like to get one of your own, but if you're not sure you want to throw down $1,000 or even a few hundred like me, old navy and target have a few good picks.

lastly, here is a way i found to incorporate gray into my spring outfit. mixed with white checkers and subtle pink lines, this shirtdress from forever 21's new heritage line is perfect by day with gray or pink opaque footless tights and sandals, or by night with my washed out gray jeans (of course!), silver heels and dressed up accessories.

what do you think...can gray be a spring/summer color or is it strictly for winter? how would you wear it?


behind the seams: peace, love & locally grown

with the 40th anniversary of woodstock coming up this year, everyone could use a little peace, love and music in their lives.

from its classic concert art t-shirts and organic cotton onesies, to the original 33lp record coasters and album jacket magnets, the tunes co. can certainly bring all three. the booth caught my eye a few weeks ago at the local palm beach gardens green market and rather than inspecting the fruit of the week or deciding whether i really needed chocolate pasta, i spent most of my time with this vendor picking out my burnout british invasion tee and "le pirate musique" tank.

week after week i found myself going back to see what they had in store and this past weekend i was interested in the background rather than just the designs...

now living in the era of the ipod, the owner of the tunes co. couldn't stand the thought of his albums - and memories - being tossed out the door. after collecting thousands of albums and much trial and error, he found a way to keep the rock alive by using colorful, recycled album labels to make coasters and clocks, authentic album jackets to create magnets, and original concert artwork to inspire t-shirt design.

though most of the products are recycled art and therefore already fit into the "green" category, the tunes co. also offers organic cotton onesies for the kiddies and keeps it home-grown by producing its designs on clothing by american apparel and next level apparel

the tunes co., which is based out of south florida, can be found locally at boutiques and the rest of this season at the abacoa green market in jupiter apr. 11, at the delray affair apr. 17-19 and back at the palm beach gardens green market apr. 26. for everyone not lucky enough to see the merch in person, you can check it out on www.tunescompany.com, and urban outfitters also sells the coasters.


fab find: get your shoe fix

6pm.com is offering a savings of up to 80 percent off of more than 150 styles of nine west shoes this week...meaning shoes are only $14.95! cash in on this fantastic deal until apr. 10, which i learned about from a fellow blogger at http://www.theaveragegirlsguide.blogspot.com/.

this is the pair i have my eye on: http://www.6pm.com/n/p/p/7254093/c/53377.html.

which pair are you cashing in on?


party like a rock star

always wanted to look like blondie, joan jett, gwen stefani, that chick from paramore or gene simmons (teasing on that last one of course)? if so, then today's your lucky day.

the west palm beach dda and fashion management program at lynn university joined forces to present downtown fashion rocks at dr. feelgood's on clematis street, which includes a free fashion show tonight at 8:30 p.m. and a pre-show happy hour fundraiser of rock makeovers from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. besides getting a kick-ass makeover fit for the stage, you'll also receive a free cocktail and a sweet 'i got rocked' shirt - all for only $15.

it's about more than just getting your rock on though. the proceeds from the makeovers and raffle tickets will go to the connor moran children's foundation to benefit children suffering from cancer in palm beach county, including six-year-old max clark, who is battling acute lymphocytic leukemia.

i personally can't wait to see the hardcore makeovers by hot clematis street hair and makeup artists, but the fashion show should be worth watching too. models in clothing from cityplace businesses banana republic, nine west and quiksilver will walk the runway, also wearing pieces by sole estate, pucci, trilogy, lf, luckie street, ginger's and more. here's a pic from last year's event:

be there. i know i will.


no need to hit the gym

i guess i can skip my run for the day if i buy into one of the newest trends in dresses - optical illusion. this futuristic style is slimming and eye-catching and i can't wait until it moves around the rest of the industry so regular people like me can wear it.

i first noticed the illusion patterns when seeing a photo of victoria beckham wearing a black and white alexander mcqueen design, which i heard was a gift from the man himself. usually a fashion from the 80s i prefer to leave out of my wardrobe, mcqueen's degrade dress features angular shoulder pads that add even more curves and become the cherry on top of an already fabulous dress. it sells for $1,595 on the designer's web site and you can check out how it looks here in a photo of victoria from people magazine:

though i love mcqueen's carefully thought-out pattern, in my mind, herve leger by max azria actually perfected the trend in his spring 2009 collection. i would do anything to step into this not-so-dizzying version kristen stewart wore to the adventureland premiere, which i saw on instyle.com:

the coral-colored ombre mini hugs the body creating a perfectly feminine hourglass shape with its out-of-the-ordinary vertical lines. and with a backless cut-out, the dress is just as sexy from behind:

i need one of these asap!

american idol loses its style

american idol lost this season's style when it kicked off megan joy tonight. yes, i liked her voice, but the main reason i'm disappointed that megan was bumped is because i will miss seeing her fashion choices! paula and adam lambert certainly don't do a whole lot for me in that category.

from the long, flowing tie-die dress and matching makeup on country week, to her wacky tropicana-girl outfit for motown, i am sad to see megan's quirky sense of style tuned out so early. i can't say i would have picked most of her ensembles...but some were cute (see above) and it was always fun to see what she'd wear next!

what's your favorite outfit of the season so far? and does anyone know where can i find the red jumper she wore before tonight's exit off the show?!


peacock prints & snakeskin shoes

animal prints have gone in and out and then back in style again over the years. first leopard print, then zebra, then even cow...but all i wanted for years was to find peacock patterns (those of you who know me understand why...). sure there were a few here and there - feather earrings at urban outfitters and a "proud peacock" shirt at hollister, but that was all i could find, just a few lame pieces.

finally this year i got my wish and peacock prints are popping up everywhere! two of my recent favorites include this betsey johnson necklace my boyfriend gave me:

and one of two feather-patterned dresses from francesca's collections, which i scoped out and purchased during the first few weeks of its opening at cityplace in west palm beach. i like the atypical color palette used in this particular dress, which makes the proud peacock in it a little more subtle:

my other current craze is snakeskin. it's a difficult pattern to work with because, like many other animal prints, it can come across as trashy if it's not done right. with just a touch of it here or there though, it can be edgy or sophisticated.

my favorite python piece of the moment is this pair of shoes, which i snaked for less than $30 from nine west. i love the innocent, double-strapped mary jane style mixed with the daring print and they look stunning with an lbd or a high-waisted, red pencil skirt:

and just for good measure, even though it's a little off the topic of "peacock prints and snakeskin shoes," i had to get in one of my favs for leopard print...i am obsessed with this classic a-line, wool and silk skirt that i bought at 70 percent off from bcbg at cityplace: