Splurge or Steal?

Monday, September 29, 2008

So I read alot of magazines, my favourite being Glamour and Marie Claire, and my most hated being Cosmopolitan. Don't get me wrong, I still buy it, I just get annoying easily. K WE GET IT, YOU LIKE SEX. But really, how many times can you read an article about "New Tricks He'll CRAVE" without it getting a little redundant? Do you hear me Cosmo??? I think you're redundant!! As if they don't already know.

Anyhow, they all in some way or another do the splurge vs. steal articles where they feature a "must have" item and then show it in some ridiculously expensive designer version, and then the lowly budget version for the masses. K, can I first go off on a total tangent about "Must haves"? I don't believe in them. I don't believe in thinking "omg, that's going to be so HOT right now" and running out and buying it. Yes, I take a look at collections for each season, but the thing is, there are only two types of clothes: Those that look good on you, and those that don't. This is completely regardless of the season, or what the celebs are wearing, etc, etc. Because it is just you and the mirror. So if someone tells you that something is so "in style" right now, ask them first "Have you actually tried it on??" Because anyone can look in a magazine and quote it back to you.

K, Rant over. ANYWAYS. Splurge vs Steal. Let's take a look at some essential wardrobe pieces, and I'll let you know if this is something you can skimp on, or something you should spend some cash on. Don't tell my husband, he thinks everything in my closet was a steal. Ha!

Pants/Trousers: You need one pair of tailored trousers that first and foremost, make your derriere look fantastic. They should be long enough to wear with heels, in a neutral (Black, brown, navy etc). Other than that, you can be frugal with your other pants.

Jeans: Steal. I have very expensive Seven jeans and very cheap no-name jeans, and I pretty much wear them all the same. Just try alot on, buy whichever makes you look the best. I don't think you need to spend that much. One of my favourite pairs I literally got for $10 at Macy's while shopping with some friends.

Tops: Steal, steal, steal. Don't spend alot of money on tops. Especially trendy ones, Try Forever 21 or something first, they probably have whatever you was for like $12, and then if you didn't listen to me about the "so hot right now" stuff, you won't feel like an idiot when no one is wearing neon studded tees anymore and can rest easy knowing you didn't pay that much for it. Spend only if it is a special occasion.

Shoes: Splurge. Just on two very good pairs. 1) A GOOD pair of boots. I bought my favourite pair FOUR years ago and they are just classic and perfect season after season. I then found good deals on trendier boots, slouchy ones or python ones that won't be appropriate forever and ever. Then, splurge on one amazing -and I mean amazing- pair of heels. I splurged a while back on these Michael Kors pumps.
They will last forever because of their classic styling and always look good. ANd they are COMFY. Then save when you buy every other little shoe your heart desires. I like http://www.shoeocean.com/ and http://www.gojane.com/ for cute shoes that won't break the bank.

Jackets: Steal. I am easily the worst jacket-addict ever. I have SO many because they are such a good way to finish an outfit. Like, you know when you're standing there in front of the mirror wondering what to do because your outfit isn't quite "there" yet? Add a jacket. I find them all over, you shouldn't have to pay more than say, $40 for a fun one. I got an amazing corduroy bomber from Steve & Barry's for $8. And Ross always has cute ones. I just bought this one over the weekend. $34 for a biker jacket? LOVE. Buy alot.

Accessories: This can be tricky. I love me some expensive jewelry. However, I think it's best to buy up fun pieces for cheap, and then get your most serious pieces as splurges. I am SUPER fickle with jewelry. I have three pieces that I wear constantly, and then my other stuff I tend to forget I have and leave it to get dusty in y jewelry box. I forget my ears are pierced ALLL the time. So I buy stuff for cheap, knowing full well I'll probably lose it. However, I have this watch:

It's a serious piece. My husband bought it for me after secretly working on some overtime stuff. Honestly, if the house was burning down, screw the family albums, I am grabbing my watch. I wanted it for MONTHS before I got it. That's when it's totally okay to splurge. That, and my wedding set, plus my grandmother's wedding set that I had redone, and that is the extent of my expensive jewelry. Anything else was probably under $15.

K, so hopefully that will help you sleep at night. Truth is, you never ever have to spend alot of money to look good. I kid you not, when we were newlyweds, I was restricted to a $22 a month shopping budget. $22!!!!! But I made it work and usually had new clothes. No one will ever know, except you, and then you can just feels smug against all of the fashionista's out there who didn't even have to WORK to get that stuff. Anyone can walk into Saks and buy something that they saw in a magazine, but being creative and doing your homework to find a better deal is so much more satisfying.... in your FACE, 5th Ave!

Apologies, Apologies: Kickin' it Casual

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So you might have noticed the insane lack of post-age around here. This week has been crazy busy and I don't get enough sleep as it is. But my daughter has given me the sweet, sweet gift of her sleeping in late, so I have a spare second to write. But I am sorry for not getting around sooner!

K, so today I want to talk about everyday. I know I post some things on here like the LBD and you're like k, that's great Jae, it really is, but I'm not going to get all dolled up to go to the post office. I'll just wear a t-shirt.

. I know you're not going to wear your cocktail dress to the grocery store, but please, STEP AWAY FROM THE T-SHIRT. I have this vendetta against the tee. Yes, I can understand it's value on say, a Saturday while raking leaves, or even to wear to bed! But too many moms (and women for that matter) totally adopt it as their uniform, and end up looking uninteresting and dowdy.

Now, when I say "t-shirt", I am thinking of this:

BOOOOO. So boring.

So why do you wear a t-shirt? Because it's easy! You don't have to think about it! It matches your mom jeans!

And to that I say shame on you. For one, if you still have mom jeans by now, you should leave this blog immediately. And another thing, their are tons of tops out there that are easy, match NICE jeans and you don't have to think about.

Next time you go shopping, I want you to examine the top you are looking at. THink "why am I buying this? Is there something special about this top that makes me want to buy it? IS it different than the tops I already own?" If the answer is no to these, put it back down and step away. Don't buy a shirt just because you need something to cover up your ta-tas. Buy it because you LOVE it and it makes you feel awesome.

K, so here are some JUST AS EASY alternatives to the nasty old t-shirt. They are just as easy to throw on, but you'll feel a whole lot less shlumpy (All from Venus or Body Central, which is my go-to place for interesting tops)

Check the embellishment, plus the empire seam on this baby.

So ridiculously flattering. Wear it with some worn-in jeans and some comfy flats. You look put together without looking like you've tried too hard.

Love the keyhole on this top. It's super subtle, but still different enough for people to go "OMG< class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_9">you're like "Oh, I have this awesome friend named Jae..."

We're into fall, and I'll focus on sweaters later, but don't you love this one? Love that shawl neckline that wraps.

EVERY mom should own a faux layered sweater. You chuck it on, and instantly look like you mean business. I would do this with dark jeans and a pointier shoe. It is SO put together, and you didn't even do the work.

Vampy, vampy! I loooove this top. The rivets up the side give it some interest, while the ruching hides any flaws (not that you have any) and it is just hotness.

So please, retire your Hanes and try something new. In the words of my daughter's favourite show, Yo Gabba Gabba "Try it! You might like it!"

Freaky Friday Don'ts

Friday, September 19, 2008

So I thought I'd feature some really brutal dresses, but when I went looking for them, I found this site which delighted and appalled me. Mostly appalled. Check out some of my faves from UglyDress.com. Some of the others I just found myself. There really is an abundance of uglies out there.
BE WARNED!! All you young girls. This is what happens when you get knocked up before junior prom. You look like an idiot, with a delicious chocolatey center.
Something tells me that we get different Bride magazines. Clearly, hers is classier. GO SIXERS!!!
I just want to know what this skirt did to her. Because THAT is cruel and unusual punishment. The thong adds a nice touch though.
I'm as patriotic as the next person (That's a lie, I'm not patriotic at all.) But what the heck?? I know you're not supposed to FOLD the flag a certain way, but its totally okay to sew yourself into it and drag it around the floor. Ten dollars says she goes to the shooting range every day.
"But I'm afraid it might be too subtle!!" My main question is, where does she keep her vagina? Because I KNOW that is too short to keep it on her.
Jester red. Because in this dress, you are a Laura Ingalls-based joke.
Stay tuned girlies!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Don't you love that song? I have it on my daughter's car cd - she's a big Butterfly Boucher fan. Just kidding, she just really likes Shrek 2.

K, so I really would like to talk about changes. And not the kind that happen in puberty. I mean, when you've been stuck in a rut for SO long and have looked the same, dressed the same forever. K, don't get me wrong. I don't want you to go schizo on me. One thing I can't stand is when people don't have an identity AT ALL and just kind of wishy wash their way through life. And then there's the other people (And you KNOW who you are) who have literally looked the same since high school, or worse, BEFORE high school. You really have to be careful. After a certain age, you begin to look like a caricature of who you were before, instead of real person now. Not to mention, high school had bad hair. Let it go.

To me, changing something every few months is the equivalent to getting a really awesome haircut at a really posh salon. You know when you walk out and you're just like "oh yeah, look at me and my bad self" and have a little strut because you feel so good about yourself. Anytime you make a little change, you totally get that feeling. Because it's something a little out of the ordinary and maybe even a little out of character, it'll make you feel just a little differently about yourself.

And it doesn't even have to be super drastic. Let me tell you a little story. Whereas I change my hair fairly often as far as cut and colour goes, I never change one thing, and that's where I part it. I always always always do a deep side part. The last time I parted it down the middle was in Grade 10 and I was going to a '70's dance at my best friend's school, and we dressed up as Charlie's Angels. I kid you not, I wore a halter top JUMPSUIT and a gun holster. And I parted my hair down the middle and feathered it like Farrah Fawcett. I don't think I looked particularly great that night. In fact, I was probably the homliest Farrah Fawcett EVER. So I never did it again. Well guess what folks? Believe it or not, my face has changed a little in the last ten years. So the other days I was messing around with my hair and I was like "Oh, what the heck." And changed it back to the middle. And guess what? It looked super hot. lol, if I do say so myself. In fact, I got tons of compliments. And I don't even think anyone was like "Hey, I like her hair" as much as they'd seen something was a bit different. Check it out (Luckily I take obscene amounts of belly pics, so you can see the difference in hair here. )

See? Totally subtle, but I was kicking myself for going the last ten years with the EXACT same hair. WHY Grade 10 '70s dance? WHY?

ANyways, what I'm trying to get across is TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT. I mean, the worst that can happen is you don't like it and try something else. Here are some ideas for you that are teensy tiny changes that can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself.

-Try a new cut of jeans
-Change you hair colour (Darker is always so unexpected yet pretty. Just a few shades)
-Buy a pair of shoes that you normally wouldn't
-Shop in a store you previously thought "wasn't your style"
-Pick up a new, bold piece of jewelry
-Try a new colour of make up that you've always wanted to, but haven't had the guts (Make up washes off, people!)
-Even those new, clear glazes for your hair would be enough for you to walk a little taller with your sumptuous, shiny, flippy hair.

Just do something out of the ordinary, and then thank me later when your confidence hits an all new high. I know if you're a mom, you don't even have time in the day to think about anything new. But give yourself five minutes and see the difference it can make.

BACK! With the LBD

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So I'm finally back from my "vacation". Of course, I'm exhausted. But I couldn't leave you hanging, and I was surfing around and have been seeing the CUTEST Little Black Dresses for Fall, and I felt the need to share.

Make no mistake about it, you should have an LBD in your closet right now. If you don't, shame! Shame on you! What do you do when you need to look awesome on a tight schedule? How do you look consistently awesome at every function you go? I just don't get it.

I was once like you. I did not own a really great LBD. Until I saw her. It was on a trip back to Toronto, shopping with my mom. I even tried it on, yet did not buy it. When I flew back home, I thought about it constantly and kicked myself multiple times for not buying it. Luckily, three months later when I went for another Toronto trip, I scoured the store for it and found ONE. It was a size too big. I bought it anyways, and had it tailored back. It fits me like a glove and I've never been happier. I swear, there is nothing better than getting an invitation to a wedding, having a big work party, etc, and knowing that I have exactly the right thing to wear.

Isn't she beautiful? I put it on and immediately look like Audrey Hepburn. It's fantastic. And it's amazing how many compliments I get on this one LBD.

Your search for the perfect LBD should not be as heartbreaking as mine. When you find one you love, BUY IT. You'll be so happy you did. Check out these beauties.
I love a sheath dress like I love my mother. The silhouette is SO feminine and flattering. Try this especially if you have a boyish figure and want to create some curves.

If you're a wrap dress lovah, try something simple like this, and then dress it up with your jewelry. I'm thinking a big chunky bracelet.

If you don't love your hips, feel free to try an A-line skirt. It'll give you a little more coverage around the hip/thigh area, and make your waist look teensy.
Listen up, plus size girls! This dress is great for you, it'll cinch in the waist while drawing the eyes up to the gorgeous neckline you've got goin' on there.
Same with this one... if you like a short sleeve instead, this is perfect for you.

The LBD should totally accentuate all the best parts of you. Go ahead, right now. Pick a body part you LOVE. Then find a go-to dress that totally shows you off.

The best part about the LBD is that it's a totally blank canvas. You can accessorize like crazy, so that it never looks like the same outfit. My favourite is with the shoes. Check out these from my own collection.

I love the vintage-y rhinestone peep-toes when I want the dress to come off as super classic, and then I do the red when I am going for a little more trendy.
So have an LBD in your closet... or else. It'll solve any wardrobe emergency and you'll look hot no matter what.

Maternity Monday

Monday, September 8, 2008

We haven't done a maternity monday for a while, and now as I sail out of the first trimester and into the blissful second trimester, my disproportionately large belly is needing new clothes. So I went shopping.

Now, can I say that I think maternity clothes are the BIGGEST waste of money ever? The clothes you get from Motherhood, Mimi, whatever are so giant that they will only fit you as you are driving to the hospital to give birth. I bought a couple shirts from there and have been laughing at how ridiculous I look. I don't know what got into me.
Also, my favourite thing about pregnancy, HANDS DOWN is that you never have to be concerned about how your belly looks. Therefore, I wear the tightest clothes I can find. I'm not lying.

But therein lies another challenge. After you have a baby, you don;t necessarily want to wear your tightest shirt in the closet. You feel blobby and unattractive, and if you're like me, weep at the very thought of what you used to look like.

So, I like to buy maternity clothes with two purposes. Some, I buy because I get to wear a tighty shirt and look all pregnant, and some I buy with that transitional period in mind. You know the one, where people want to come visit you and you feel like death warmed over so you slap on some mascara and pull on your husband's scouting shirt and some yoga pants and yet, are still expected to look like instead of spending time pushing a HUMAN out of your VA JAY JAY you were instead, at a lovely health spa.

So I'm bitter.

Anyhow, here's some cute stuff that isn;t really maternity but works all the same, AND will work for post-pregnancy, where if you can't look healthy, then at least you can look cute.

K I love the idea of this... would it not look adorable with a belly poking out? LOVE.

Love this colour, and this will totally hide any jigglies after the baby...

Also, these shirts with bands around the bottom are lovely for maternity shirts. They have this nice little pocket area to place the belly in, and look! no bows! Sorry, I just hate maternity clothes with bows and frills and junk on it. My word, why do maternity companies DO that?

This one would be great post partum. Throw this on with a pair of jeans, some sequiny flats and you are officially the "together" mom on the block, while all the other moms are shuffling around in sweatpants. IN YOUR FACE, OTHER MOMS.

Yeah, I deffo bought this shirt. I like yellow, its flattering, I get really great nursing boobs. Nuff said.

Not sure if a regular shirt will make a good maternity shirt? Check the length... is it longer than your regular t-shirt? then it has plenty of room. Now check, do they carry it one size larger than your pre-preg size? Ding ding ding! We have a winner folks.

Well, I am off to a vacation with the fam for the next week, so you'll have to do without my fashion commentary for a few days. Try not to go outside looking like this, plllllllllllease???

Freaky Friday Don'ts

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm back! I have a sick kid so I have been MIA a little bit. But you know I always have time for making fun of ugly things. Really, it's my passion in life.

Let's do a spotlight on shoes, shall we?

These were called "The Cheerleader." K, I know I'm not from around here, but does Cheerleader mean something different in the US than in Canada? Like, instead of peppy, spirited, gleeful person who shows up at sports events and dates the players, does it mean homely librarian who has four cats?

K, I've stared at these for ten minutes and still can't figure them out. I have come to the conclusion that they are cruisewear for the geriatric, because they would look smashing with support hose.

For the sherpa who has everything.

I. Am. Terrified. Gold....studs...buckles...excess amounts of shoe leather. The person who designed these shoes was going through some internal stuff. And by internal stuff I mean dominatrix tendencies.

K, if you see these and don't automatically think "Kid 'n Play" then I am ashamed of you. Stop reading my blog immediately.
Oh, I'm sorry, I must have missed the "jelly shoes from 1993 are back in style" memo. The worst part? These abominations are by Marc Jacobs and cost $58. FOR JELLIES. I'm pretty sure my mom bought mine at the drug store. Just sayin.

I saw this ad in my Glamour and laughed hysterically. Why YES, it IS hard to believe it's parent's were ugly. About as hard it is to believe his parents were ugly.

Ah yes, it is a lovely thing to end a post with a picture of bat boy. My work here is done.

Tricky, Tricky.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

SO I got an email from a reader who had a particular problem. She, like a lot of us, was stuck in kind of a rut and needed to know how to get out of it. But it wasn't like, "Oh, just go have an extreme makeover and you'll be fine" because of the reason for the rut.

She is nursing and needs some ideas on how to dress up a basic black skirt. Now, we've all bee in a black skirt rut before. When I was pregnant last time I wore the SAME black skirt for weeks and weeks because it had an elastic waist band and was the only skirt I owned that fit in the last couple of months. I still totally wear it not pregnant too. I know, right? But whatever. When something fits, and it practically the only thing that fits and makes you feel good, you're going to wear it regardless. I know the feeling. A regular person is going to have enough of a challenge coming out of that, but when you're nursing, your choices are decidedly limited. If you can't get a baby's head near the girls, you can't wear it. And, you don't want to expose yourself in the process, especially at places where you might be wearing said skirt. AKA, church. Well, there are those people who don't mind exposing themselves, but quite frankly, I think they're weird.

K, so there are three schools for breastfeeding women. The puller uppers, the puller downers, and the push asiders. This, referring of course, to how to get that shirt out of the way so that your babe can nurse. I only nursed for three months, but I totally remember looking in my closet at the start of a day (I went back to work 3 weeks postpartum and just took Addie with me, which meant nursing through meetings, phone calls, and other awkward situations) thinking I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR. Because all of my cute stuff was not conducive to discreetly nursing whilst signing for a FedEx package. Anyhow, I learned the value of a wrap top, so that I could do a push aside thing. I was a slinger, and it was so easy to just wear something that I could push out of the way without flashing the mailman.

So, I found some SUPER cute alternatives to the traditional scary nursing tops, that you can pair with a black skirt and still look hot, even with leaky boobs.

I am slightly obsessed with this shirt from Wet Seal. Corset bottom, great to hold you in, nice wrap top for easy access. And it's so hot! This, black skirt, pointy heels (maybe red??) and you are working it.
Love this too. (Notice that everything is low cut. If you aren't comfortable with something so low, just pick up a handy nursing tank and pop it under, you'll still have super easy access. I like this with come knee high boots. CUTE. (Wet Seal)
This has plenty of wiggle room, and it's adorable. I love that it ties. Black skirt + strappy heels. Express (Can I just say how much I love Express? Love it. Best fitting clothes.)
I lo-huv this shirt. I want to buy it but alas, I shall wait another 7 months until I am back nursing again. Please notice the empire waist to help with hiding any post-pregnancy squish you don't love. (Express)

Also love the crispness of this shirt. And the buckles? Cute. You could totally reach around and loosen them and no one would be any wiser. I like this with your black skirt and some statement pumps. When I say statement pumps, I mean a pair of heels that ARE the outfit. Not just plain black, they need to be the focal point. (Metro Style)
Lastly, can I point out that even yucky old nursewear has come a long way? This would be so easy to throw on and dress up with jewelry, and its nice that its not skin tight. (Gap)
Hopefully that helps. Keep the questions coming!


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