Fashion Bit Archives

Flare Ups

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In an effort to make the most out of the clothes that I have before shelling out cash on maternity clothes that will not yet fit, I have decided to take every pair of jeans that I own out for one last hurrah before my belly rejects them.

Making the rotation today is a pair of old favorites, a sweet pair of Lucky flares that have reminded me just how slimming the flared effect can be, even when I'm just shy of 5 months pregnant. The distinct flare at the bottom gives the illusion of a longer leg for shorties like me, and the slim fit through the leg shows off the fact that I still have thighs of steel...well, titanium maybe, or whatever metal that is lighter and less toned than steel. Where's Walt White when you need him?

Here are a few of my other Flarey favorites, all under $80 bucks:

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These button/zipless FP Pull On on Kick Flares seen above are comfy as comfy can be and available in 9 colors to boot. My favorite? - black sand. Free People, $78.

Looking for flares that are tailored and sleek? The Gold Label Lennon Flared Jeans from Lee get the gold label for their flattering close fit that can be dresses up or dressed down for work days or weekend nights, $42.99.

The five-pocket Bailey Low Rise Flare Jeans are the stretchy jeans you'll want to live, play and lounge in, from dELiA*s and on sale for $19.99.


Fall Wish List

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Fall doesn't officially start until September 22nd, but, as always, I am already fully immersed in all of the autumnal styles and trends that I hope to be sporting in the upcoming season.

Here, in no particular order are a few of the items that are topping my Wish List.

The coziest Baby Alpaca and Wool Tribeca Jacket that will take any look up a level with it's cool graphic knit and hot exaggerated shawl collar. Peruvian Connection, $289.

Boho is here to stay, and this vintage inspired floppy brimmed Autumn Felt Hat will add a romantic touch to every outing. Favorite part? I can rock it year round. Roxy, $34.

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Goodbye coral lips and mango manis, hello blackberry. Make the transition into fall from your lips right down to your fingertips and toes with Deborah Lippman's Forsaken Lip and Duo Collection inspired by the hit HBO series, True Blood. The two piece set comes with a Let it Bleed Nail Lacquer and Bite Me Lip Color so you're guaranteed to look bloody hot. Vamp it up, from Beauty Bridge, $38

My lightweight roomy summer totes have got to go in order to make room for this neutral structured Vivian Dome Satchel that will add elegance to my day and the perfect trio of fall hues to my life with a gorgeous combo of cognac, fawn and caviar. Brahmin, $325

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Every summer I have a basic uniform. Last season it was cutoffs and crop tops, the season before it was flirty sundresses in mini to maxi lengths. This summer I have been living in lightweight, pretty patterned pencil skirts for work, textured shorts and chiffon blouses for play.

Oh how I love me a feminine skirt. As a separate, you get more use out of it and can easily get away with wearing it every week paired with a different tee/tank/cardi or blazer on top. The best skirts are ones that do double duty, designs that work for work or for play.

My high fashion friends over at Shabby Apple, my go to online boutique for the prettiest vintage clothing, is offering one very lucky LetsTalkStyler the chance to win the perfect summer skirt to rock Monday through Sunday -- the Newcomb Skirt from their Ferris Wheel Collection.

If there ever was a skirt to bring out your inner twirl, this is it. A $48 value, and yours for the winning.

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Here's what you do:

1.Follow LetsTalkStyle on Twitter (@letstalkstyle)

2. Email yours truly here with:

- Your name and Twitter name
- Shipping address
- Desired size (0/2 to 14/16)

3. Leave a comment to this post specifying your favorite summer staple

You have until Wednesday August 14th to enter. One lucky winner will be notified on Thursday, August 15th.

Rules and Regs:

*No purchase necessary
*Contest open to US residents only
*Winner must wear said skirt to at least one romantic picnic in the park and/or state fair


Here Comes the Pac Sun

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Hi there Let'sTalkStylers. I hope your week has gotten off to a splendid start and that you have even more splendidness to look forward to this coming weekend.

We've been experiencing a bit of bad weather here in South Florida, but fortunately for me, the clouds are starting to part. In a little over 48 hours my weekend will be starting early as I will be heading to South Beach come rain or come shine to celebrate the first day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim.

I just love getting a first peek at all of the swim trends that are bound to make a splash next season and predicting the exact styles that I will see strutting on the sand in spades. On my last surprise birthday beach resort getaway I had a full view of all of my favorite predictions spotted last year -- including twisted bandeaus, fringe one pieces, and the reversible bikinis that allow you to get two looks out of one bottom, a godsend for beach bunnies who love to pack light. They've got 'em all at Pac Sun.

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Shop it while it's hot:
Rip Curl Tropic Tribe Tank, $22.12
Volcom Tropical Tiny Reversible Bottom, $31.46

Tomorrow we celebrate one of my most favorite federal holidays, Independence Day. Odds are, you're either hosting or attending a star-spangled soiree seething with homemade apple pies, tri-color popsicles, American craft brewed beer, and various barbecued foods on sticks.

If you're looking for a last minute independence day outfit, try to resist the urge to run out and buy anything with a flag on it. My declaration is that you most likely already own something cute in your closet that will be the perfect salute to Uncle Sam.

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Feast your eyes on anything that follows the red white and blue color code, i.e. a blue and white or red and white striped top or maxi dress, a flirty solid colored sundress in pure white, bold red or navy, and you can never go wrong with a good ol' pair of American blue jeans or cut-offs paired with a plain white tee. Just add a simple red or blue accent, be it a bangle, sunnies, a bright red lip or bandana, and you're good to go.

Or you can always resort to that pair of flag imprinted platforms you just have lying around.

El Carmen Platforms, Nasty Gal

My significant other made a simple, stoic statement over lunch and cocktails yesterday. "Shopping for you is hard". I second that emotion. Shopping for myself is hard. I often suffer from an eternal case of buyer's remorse, spending more time and energy returning my purchases than keeping them and giving them a good, loving home.

Lately, I have been enforcing a new technique. I add something to my Universal wish list, and if I still love it-want it-need it-have to have it one month later, then it shall be.

We are now 6 weeks shy of my next birthday, and one of the beautiful things about penning my own fashion blog is that I can fill it with subliminal hints, i.e. I want one or more of these pretty little above the knuckle rings that are made of real gold and won't turn my fingers black/green. It's been a month and I still love them-want them-need them-have to have them, so hopefully, then it shall be. A Catbird and/or Etsy gift card will do.

That wasn't so hard, was it?

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Hello there friendly followers. It's taken me almost 2 weeks, but I'm finally getting over the fact that I had to rsvp "no" to 5, count 'em 5 fashion shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The only thing worse than not getting invited to MB Fashion Week shows is getting invited to MB Fashion Week shows that you cannot afford to fly to New York for.

Alas, I soothed my unsatisfied soul by what else... shopping. For V-Day, my handsome husbster treated me to a gift voucher in pounds to one of my favorite Brit fashion spots (to score warm sweaters for our imminent overseas honeymoon), and I treated myself to a new outfit from the Prabal Gurung Collection for Target.

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I waited too long after the February 10th launch and figured that I prabaly missed the boat on this newest capsule collection, but I was pleasantly pleased to find my favorite pieces online in an xs and size 2, just waiting to be added to my shopping cart.

The collection is bursting with a rainbow of colors, bright neons and bold reds, but I opted for the safe and pretty Meet the Parents patterned skirt and matching top that I can create dozens of different combos with. My second and third choices were long gone, so if you'd like a piece of Prabal, consider this your invitation.

And I would definitely rsvp "yes".

Love Me Do

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In honor of Valentine's Day, here is a compilation of a few random things that make my heart sing.


A cute Love Me Tee that works whether you have a Valentine or not. At Mango, $19.99.

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This adorable V-Day inspired video by Novus Shoes makes me want to buy every red and hot pink pair of wedges they've got. p.s. Code shoelover20 gets you 20% off all regular priced pairs.



Philosophy's Love Sweet Love Eau de Toilette smells eau so lovely. Available at Beauty Bridge, $44.

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This pretty ceramic ring dish from Etsy will ensure that you don't misplace your bling. Etsy, $15

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Love doodles, hand drawn by yours truly.


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I Missed the Boatneck

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Tip: If you're looking for a sweater that will keep you warm while showing off a cute clavicle, the boatneck is a surefire way to sexify your winter wardrobe. It's a no brainer way to ward off the chills while showing off a little skin.

I recently took an old college boatneck top out for a sail and received numerous compliments, my favorite - "You look so Audrey Hepburnish today". Aww, shucks. {blush} Be a good girl and wear it centered or be bad and slip it off the shoulder accessorized with your best come hither look.

On my winter wardrobe wishlist is a dreamy soft boatneck pullover in cream, the perfect seasonal sweater that is equal parts ladylike, cozy and edgified. It'll go a long way in your winter repertoire - a look that pairs well with skinny jeans and booties for date night or a sleek pencil skirt and pumps for the holiday office party.

Get yourself one and you'll be totally rocking the boat.

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Guess who just found her new go-to shoes for Fall? [Hint: Starts with an S, ends with an anchez].

Chinese Laundry just released their newest arrivals for the Autumn season and I am seriously crushing hard on these black multi-colored Last Night Booties, and not just because they pay homage to one of my favorite Strokes' songs.

These beautiful brocade babies are basic black but have a cool smattering of rainbow sprinkles that give them just enough pop to make them interesting, and just enough height to make me tall (5 1/2 inch heels, thank you very much). I'll wear them with my skinny jeans, dress/tight combos, and maybe a new pair of leather pants if I'm feeling Olivia Newton John'ish at the end of Grease'ish.

At $89.95, I'll wear these morning, noon and last night.

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Ever since I learned to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the tender age of five, I have been proud to be an American. I never took my pledge lightly, vowing to honor the great flag that honored our great nation with every fiber of my five year old being... and not just because my kindergarten teacher Miss Kostyra forced us to say it every morning in scattered ADHD inspired unison.

I recognized even at that young age that I was lucky to live in a republic that offered liberty and justice for all, a country that celebrated the birth of our nation every year with fireworks, sparklers, hot dogs and homemade apple pie. A nation that Bruce Springsteen and Neil Diamond wrote motivational songs about. A nation represented by a super cool flag motif, courtesy of that colonial wonder woman with a needle and thread, Betsy Ross.

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It isn't quite Independence Day for me unless I'm rocking a starry and striped theme like these Denim American Shorts paired with a red, white and blue top like the American Flag Heart Tank or cropped Watercolor Flag Short Sleeve Top, all from dELiA*s.

If you're looking for even more freedom tees and tanks, Maurice's has a hot-blooded All-American collection of patriotic tops on sale for $9.90 each, while supplies last.

Happy 4th Let'sTalkStyler's, and as Miley Cyrus would say,

Yeah-Eh-Yeah-Eh-Yeah-Eh, it's a party in the USA.

Sometimes you just wake up, and you know its going to be a good day. The sun is shining bright, you have air in your lungs, delicious coffee in your thermos, and a beautiful bag on your arm that will elicit a symphony of oohs, ahhs, and at least a dozen heartfelt compliments before lunch.

Unfortunately, this scenario isn't how I spent my early AM hours, but it is what I dreamed about last night... a welcome departure from zombies eating my waffles, cutting off all of my hair and then kidnapping my dog. I digress.

I have just found my new must-have "it" bag of the summer. A handbag that personifies everything chic, stylish and on trend this season. A bag that I will save and scrub floors for, a bag that I will fondly call "Viv", a bag that I will refuse to put down on any women's restroom floor when faced with an absence of door hooks and/or counter space. It is the Vivian Chevron Stripe Dome Satchel by Brahmin.
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If you haven't heard of Brahmin Handbags you either 1. must not live in Boston, or 2. must not love polished, refined, beautiful bags that redefine timeless style. Borrowing their name from a term used in Boston circa the 1800's, a brahmin is, in laymen's terms, a cultured person from an established upper-class family. A Brahmin bag is, in laymen's terms, a hot, luxurious bag that will make other women jealous.

How adorable are these mid-size structured satchels? Posh yet youthful, classy yet sassy thanks to the hot punch of neon pink and citron chevron stripes. Right now, chevron is like the Zooey Deschanel of prints, widely popular with even the biggest haters struggling to admit that it makes them feel happy and warm inside.

If my beloved dome satchel shape isn't your cup of Boston tea, go forth and explore the entire Chevron Stripe Collection, featuring roomy totes, ladylike laptop cases, pouches, wallets and swank tablet clutches that make me want to upgrade to an iPad 3...

One zombieless dream at a time, Sammy.


Every summer I have two simple missions - to reduce the circumference of my thighs, and to find the perfect coverup.

Usually proceeding my failed attempt at mission one, I swiftly move on to mission two, searching for the perfect beach caftan or coverup that will conveniently camouflage and conceal my aforementioned unrelenting abductor muscles.

Any beach girl knows what I'm looking for, an easy and effortless throw on dress, skirt or tunic that will take her from pool to patio, beach to boardwalk and sea to street, in style. A coverup that is more mod, less mumu. One that you can get wet and sandy without fretting over the five hundred clams you spent on it.

No, I want a coverup that is just as hot as the bikini I'm rocking underneath. Something that will still show a little leg without showing a lot of cellulite. And by george, I think I've got it.

I'm hot and bothered over this Beach Blanket Coverup from Roxy. It's oversized but still shows off a sexy bit of shoulder and stems, looks as lightweight and comfy as a favorite tee, and showcases a colorful tribal-like trim on the sleeves and hem.

I can wear it with flipflops or wedges, bikini bottoms or shorts, and no one will have to know that my first mission was impossible (should I be willing to accept it).

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Under Coveralls

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I was feeling nostalgic this past weekend, reminiscing about my 8th grade days of summer. I had my first job that summer break, as an ice cream scooper at Häagen-Dazs. I made a mean banana split back in the day, not to mention my shakes. My milkshakes brought all the boys to the yard. They were in a word - spectacular.

From May until August, I proudly lived in my Häagen-Dazs uniform tee, matching cap, name tag and apron. As for my better bottom half, I sported a cool, supersoft pair of denim shortalls, a shorts/overall hybrid also known as jumpers, coveralls, overall shorts, etc. Suddenly, I missed those shortalls, something awful.

I spent a good hour sifting through piles and piles of haven't-yet-gotten-around-to-donating Goodwill bags filled with clothes that are too old or too big (Thanks Reebok Challenge workout!). I couldn't find them, so I set out on a cyber shortall search.

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Luckily, my search took less time than serving up a double scoop of butter pecan because my beloved shortalls are back in style and all over the web. I found them on my very first stop at Maurices where I scooped up this adorable Silver Jeans Anna Jumper that had elements of my old outfit, but with updated modern details like a bib front and open back.

While hanging out at Maurices, I discovered a whole lotta cute summer wear in the form of comfy rompers, sorbet colored shorts and sweet summer dresses that I simply had to have.

I shopped, shopped, and shopped some more. A dozen outfits later, I probably spent every penny that I earned that summer while scooping ice cream for the masses (inflation), but just like my 700 calorie milkshakes, it was worth it.

Howdy ho Let's Talk Stylers, I just wanted to check in with a quickie fashion bit detailing a hot-to-trot trend that swept the runways last February. If you want to be on trend this spring and summer, it's all about the peplum.

pep·lum (p p l m). n. pl. pep·lums. 1. A short overskirt or ruffle attached at the waistline of a jacket, blouse, or dress. 2. A flared ruffle attached to the waist of a jacket, bodice, etc. 3. See peplos - The tunic like garments Greek women wore back when they rocked the Parthenon.

Depending on your birth date and/or knowledge of vintage fashion, you might remember this trend back in the 80's/90's, Delta Burke Designing Women days. Unfortunately, the peplums of yesteryear were paired with shoulder pads. Not my favorite look.

Today, peplums are back with a vengeance and the new shape for spring, with retro-inspired ruffles and overskirts attached to everything from dresses and tops to swimsuits and playsuits.

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To me, peplum is a slight fluttery feminine detail that can be both ladylike and sexy simultaneously. I opt for mini fitted peplums that can totally enhance an hourglass figure rather than larger than life flared peplums that cover up too much. Just check out this sweet Peplum Scuba Pencil Dress in Peach and the Ribbed Peplum BodyCon Skirt from Topshop.

It's a perfect look to add a little edge to your Easter Sunday ensemble, that is if you're tired of floral dresses and looking as sweet as a marshmallow peep.

Keep in mind, a little peplum goes a long way. One peplumed piece per outfit, please.

Every now and then a seasonal trend comes along that I just don't get and/or care for. This spring's case in point - the pocket exposed cutoff shorts.

Back in the day when I would craft my own denim cutoffs, if the pockets were hanging out past the hem it meant oops, my bad, I cut them too short. Today if you see a pocket hanging out of a pair of daisy dukes, it's totally purposeful.

Exhibit A:

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Don't get me wrong, I love the look of a good pair of distressed denim shorts, but this looks straight up awkward to me, like this chick has a couple of accidental streams of toilet paper sticking out both sides of her pants. And what if you carry lots of stuff in your pockets? Talk about bulky. Not to mention it's a huge welcome sign for pickpockets: Hey dude, want a free iPhone4? Just rip out my visible quad sacks!

Maybe I'm too old. Maybe I'm too square, but I honestly wouldn't be caught dead sporting this style gimmick that seems like the female equivalent of those dudes who wear low rider jeans that bare their entire boxer'ed behind.

I don't want to see your undies fellas and I don't want to see your pockets ladies, so sorry Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens. To me, this trend is a complete out of pocket expense.

I've got one hand in my covered pocket and the other one is giving a peace sign.

Fit to Be Flared

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Hi Sammy,

I want to get a new pair of jeans but dont like skinny jeans or the bright color jeans that are in right now. What jeans r in style that would be good for me, I'm 5 ft 4 and 130 lbs.

Thank u,
Anna

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Hi Anna ( and fellow LTS's),

I've been on blogging time out for the past week, over burdened with work and not nearly enough play, and you my dear readers have suffered for it. So sorry for being off the fashion radar for so long, but I promise I was wishing I was here with you during every minute of my hiatus.

Now for Anna's query. Thanks for your candid honesty, Anna, and for following your inner to-trend or not-to-trend instincts. Yes, colored jeans are in right now in a major way with a Skittle hued sensation of rainbow colored denim showing up on spring fashion billboards and ad campaigns everywhere, from the Gap to Calvin Klein, and then some.

My take on the colored jeans craze? It's cool. It's colorful. It won't last. If you're under the legal drinking age and/or have beanpole-like stems, go for it, you can get away with it. But don't be surprised when you're laughing at photos of your younger self twenty years from now sporting orange and pink popsicle sticks in lieu of legs.

My friend Anna, however, is sticking to her guns and opting not to drink the colored jeans Kool-Aid, so I will clue her in to my latest denim obsession that is - the flare.

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I confess, I have been having an affair with flare since December, when I treated myself to a chic pair of Lucky Brand flares that made my short stacked legs look long and lean, my thighs trimmer and my butt better than Beyonce's. Okay, 60 to 68 percent AS bootylicious as Beyonce's. Quote me on that.

They were big in the 70's and now they're back with modern twists and turns, accents and embellishments that make them work for the new millennium. Luckily, this a trend that works for everyone, the wider leg openings balance proportions and flatter even the curviest silhouettes, unlike those skinny jeans that have been ruling the denim world. As with all jean styles, dress 'em up or dress 'em down. Flare jeans are like dinner at Outback, no rules, just right.

If you're still not sold, check out Ashley Greene sporting them above for DKNY Jean's latest ad campaign.

Yeah, totally worth all the fanflare.

xoxo,

sammy


Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!


Cream of the Crop Tops

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Hey Sammy,

What are some trends for the spring/summer? I don't have alot of $ but want to look cool and in style.

Annie

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Hi Annie,

Although I am a style blogger with a responsibility to uphold my reputation as a chic cyber trendsetter for the fashion community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I'm the first to admit that I'm always most comfortable in a simple jeans and tank combo. To me, there isn't anything cozier than a perfectly broken in pair of boyfriend jeans and a supersoft tank or tee that has accrued just the right amount of washes in the gentle cycle.

This is why I'm pleased as rum punch to report that other than your token sundresses, crop tops are still all the rage this summer. They first cropped up a couple of summers ago, but now you'll see them everywhere, and they're so cheap you can stock up on them by the bushel. Wear them as coverups to the beach over your bikinis, to brunch, bar dates and bistros, but don't wear them to work. Unless you want to find yourself on the cropping block for not following office dress code regulations.

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I've been eyeing a fresh crop of crops from deLiA*s, including this sweet lacey ivory Hi/Lo Tank, this hip black and white ethnic tank, and this bright crop that will help me embrace the neon trend which is also going to be hot hot hot this summer.

What else will be hot as we spring forward into 2012? Floral prints and stripes are always on trend for spring, then I'll be gravitating towards tribal and safari chic prints and cooling fringe hems as the weather heats up.

I'll be pairing my crops with denim cutoffs during the day, skinny jeans by night. If you have a long torso and aren't feeling the belly pride, layer your crop over a full length tank, dress or long sleeved top for extra coverage. The options are endless.

As an even cheaper option Annie, crop 'em if you got 'em. Take your old, tired, begging to be revamped tees, a pair of scissors, and crop them to your desired length.

xoxo,

sammy


Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

Oh Wu is Me

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So, the Jason Wu for Target Collection dropped in stores yesterday, and I dropped the ball. I had been anxiously awaiting the release of Jason's "Gamine Chic" collection ever since I caught wind of the news in late December. While other people were preparing for the Superbowl, I was mentally preparing to virtually tackle any online shopper who got in my way on my sprint to the end zone.

But on Saturday, sometime around midnight, instead of constantly hitting refresh on Target.com until I was able to browse and throw gamine garments into my shopping cart, I fell asleep.

I Wu the day I fell asleep.

Out of all the Target designer collaborations, this one was the most up my alley. Inspired by French new-wave films and the queen of gamine, actress Jean Seberg, Jason Wooed me with a versatile range of girlie pieces and accessories, from pleated skirts and floral dresses to flowy scarves and structured totes, with every item priced under $60.

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I had my eye on a demure straw clutch and a ladylike navy poplin A-line dress that were both sold out online way before my eyelids fluttered open come Sunday morning at 8am. A quick trip to my local Target left me feeling wuzy, sad, and staring at a few practically empty racks housing only a few stray L and XL dresses and tops.

If you ended up scoring some pretty things, I'm not bitter. Wu hoo for you.

Oh yeah, and go Giants.

It's a new year...Time for new resolutions, a new calendar, a new outlook on life, and a new change of a dress.

As far as resolutions go, I may not be able to help you quit smoking, exercise more or always see your proverbial glass as half full, but I can most def help with the dress part.

My generous galpals over at Shabby Apple, my fav online boutique for chic women's dresses, is offering one very lucky LetsTalkStyler the chance to win the ever so sweet Waimea Dress from their South Pacific Collection (an $86 value ladies).

Wear it with a coat, cardigan and tights for the rest of the winter, or solo this spring and summer. It's ladylike, flattering, versatile, retro, and not too shabby if I do say so myself.

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Here's what you do:

1. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook and follow LetsTalkStyle on Twitter (@letstalkstyle)

2. Email yours truly here (fashiongal625@yahoo.com) with:

- Your name & Twitter name
- Shipping Address & Contact Phone
- Desired size (XXS to XL - Shabby Apple suggests ordering a size down)
- A comment to this post specifying your most favoritest dress on the Shabby Apple site

It is now time. May the blogging contest force be with you. You have until Saturday January 21st to enter Sammy's Win a Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway. One lucky winner will be announced on Monday, January 23rd.

We like them Shabby Apples.

Rules and Regs:

*No purchase necessary.
*Contest only open to US residents.
*Liking Shabby Apple on Facebook is an absolute eligibility requirement.
*Winner must wear the dress to really posh bars and out on hot dates.
*Women and men are equally eligible. Man can give dress to female significant other and/or wear himself, if that's how he rolls.

I love sweater season. Who doesn't love feeling all bundled up under the coziest of cashmere, with a chill in the air, a blush in the cheeks and a Christmas carol in the heart?

There is, however, one obstacle that always threatens to rain on my sweater season parade. When my sweaters suffer from a bad case of the pills.

I'm not ashamed, it happens to us all. You remove your most beloved turtlenecks, pullovers, cardis and cablenits from storage, only to find that they've been plagued with jagged little pills - those totally stupid little fiber ball build ups that multiply on your warm and wooly wearables. I destroyed many a sweater with my unsuccessful do-it-yourself razor pill removal techniques, and eventually came to terms with the fact that pilling was the herpes of winterwear. No matter what you did, those bumps would keep coming back. Until now.

The Hollywood Sweater Saver is a simple and cost-efficient solution to get rid of those pesky pill monster flare ups for good. Simply skim the sweater saving stone across your infected fabric, and watch those pathetic pills disappear with a poof. Use it on sweaters, coats, blankets, fleece and virtually any place where those pills pop up.

And it's only $5.99, which is not a tough pill to swallow at all.
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This Earbuds For You

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Ladies and gentlemen, lend me your ears.

If you live anywhere other than Miami and you're cool, this checklist probably pertains to you.

It's cold. Check.
It will be getting colder. Check.
You like to listen to music. Check.
You like to listen to music outside. Check
Your ears get cold. Check.
You like to listen to music and look cute while keeping your ears warm. Check. Check. Check.

Rock out in a chill way while keeping your lobes lukewarm with these AE Earbud Earmuffs for $19.50. They're multi-functional and multi-fabulous available in a wide range of styles, colors and patterns. Choose from solid colored cableknits, intarsia knit, fair isle or furry.

Oh yeah, they have un-pink and un-girlie techsessories for dudes too.

Just don't listen to Ice, Ice Baby, Ice Cube or LL Cool J while wearing them, that would be so cliché.

p.s. I like to listen to music outside while looking cute also, despite being from Miami. It just isn't cold all up in here.

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Eat Your Amelia Earhart Out

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Long before the new series Pan Am premiered this Fall, (the Christina Ricci driven ABC flight of fancy exploring the fun, frolic and intrigue that sexy single stewardesses experienced while flying the friendly skies during the sixties) the fashion world has been obsessed with aviation-themed adornments. At least my fashion world has been.

I'm not talking little blue hats, seamed stockings and structured ladylike polyester suits. We modern gals don't dress to impress sleazy businessmen and international spies while serving them coffee, tea or milk. Today, we take the yoke into our own hands with edgy menswear and pilot worthy pieces that welcome adventure, reflecting our inner Spirit of St Louis.

It's a trend that I really dig, but only under one condition: pair the tough with the soft. The masculine with the girlie. If not, you'll just look like you're 2 weeks late for Halloween. Think leather and lace. Flowy dresses and boots. Think Amelia Earhart. The real one, not Hilary Swank.
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Make your next outfit ultra aerodynamic with Amelia Earhart inspired pieces like this First in Flight Vest from ModCloth for $69.99 paired with a pretty frock, or these Raeven Synthetic Leather Pilot Boots from Chinese Laundry, for $89.95.

If you want to throw in a kitschy accessory, this Vintage Style Pan Am Travel Bag from Brookstone will fit all of your TSA approved travel sized toiletries for $89.

Don't forget the sexy silk scarf and goggle combo that is so Red Baron Snoopy ($21.99 and $39.99 from Sporty's Wright Bros.) and a pair of sleek leather gloves to tie it all together.

Just don't be surprised if random wingmen ask to show you their cockpits.

Have a nice flight.

Josie Natori for Target

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Lately, I have been spending more time, more effort, and more precision in choosing the outfits that I wear to bed as opposed to the outfits I wear out the door.

It wasn't always like this.

Back in the day, I would gravitate towards the same tired Gilly Hicks sleep pants/tank ensemble and call it a night, then proceed to spend 20 minutes every morning standing in front of my closet in a sad state of depression because I had nothing. to. wear. What factors attributed to this major shift in sleep styling?

1. Filling my closet with basic, easy to mix and match separates has made my workwear choices practically foolproof, even in the dark and/or hungover.

2. I realized that wearing soft and silky chemises to bed made me feel more like a luxurious and saucy minx à la Sophia Loren, less like a college student puttering around the women's dorm, à la Gilmore Girls.

3. I have a boyfriend who gives my rotation of nighties and negligees the same undivided attention and focus that he normally reserves for Detroit Lions' and Playstation 3 games.

As women we know, pretty underpinnings can get pretty pricey, which is why I can't wait to embrace the Far East Movement in lingerie with the Josie Natori for Target Collection.

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Released on October 30th, Target's newest limited-edition designer collection brings a touch of Asian influence into our boudoirs with Josie Natori's Eastern-inspired patterns and playful, flirty details displayed on pretty demi bras and panties, three piece printed pj sets, colorfully coy racerback chemises and sexy as all Shanghai Embroidered Dragon robes.

The best part? Everything is under $35 bucks (2,727.98 Japanese yen). The 2nd best part? This is only part one of the collection, keep your eye out for Cherry Blossoms dropping this spring.

My favorites? The Two Piece Printed Cami Set and the anything but tame Teddy, both for $24.99.

I'm pretty sure everybody is Kung Fu fighting over Natori's nightwear, so grab your favorites now before they say Sayonara. I'll be shopping for a new rotation of skivvies to keep my guy's undivided attention this weekend. Uncharted 3, Drake's Deception was just released.

Lard Eyes

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Let's Talk Style Quick Tip of the Week - 10 words or less.

Run out of eye makeup remover? Don't cry, use Crisco.


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Let's Talk Style Quick Tip of the Week - How to, for Hot Hawaiian Hair. 10 words or less.

Kosher salt + water drops + Leave-in conditioner = Beachy waves.

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Kosher Salt - cheap, grocery store.
A few drops of water - free, from faucet.
Macadamia Natural Oil Nourishing Leave In Conditioner - $28, from folica.

Quickie summer beauty tip, 10 words or less.

Bronzers make skin tanner, teeth whiter, legs longer, and Jersey Shore guys look stupid, minus cancer.

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NARS Body Glow - $59
A Tan for All Seasons by Bliss Beauty - $36
Jergen's Natural Glow - $8.79

Summer style tip, ten words or less...

Old Jeans + Scissors + Cheese Grater = DIY Distressed Cutoffs!

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Abbie Cornish, the pretty Australian import (and the girl who allegedly wrecked Reese Witherspoon's first marriage), is having a pretty decent month.

Even though her ex (and Reese's), Ryan Phillipe, is reportedly off gallivanting around town with chicks like Rihanna and Amanda Seyfried, Abbie is spending her time lucratively, gallivanting down the red carpet with two big blockbuster films opening back to back. This week I found her in my mailbox twice, promoting her flicks on the covers of two of my favorite fashion mags.

As well as sharing the April cover of Marie Claire with her Limitless co-star Bradley Cooper, Abbie also rocks one of the 5 alternate covers of this month's Nylon, along with some mad 80's styling, a pompadour, and a mean pair of hot Hide and Seek Heels that pack quite a Sucker Punch.

Seek and score your own bad girl Chiffon & Satin bootie-pumps in black or red for $89.95 from Chinese Laundry, with free shipping on all orders over $100.

I'm Sucker Punch drunk in love.

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Some things are just better the second time around. Homemade chili, sex, the movie Inception, Brad Womack's experience on The Bachelor.

Attention Target shoppers. If you haven't already heard through the fashion rag grapevine, Target's Go International Designer Collective is giving the luxe ladies who shop Targét a second chance to score the killer collaborative looks that have kept this program go-go-going strong for five years and counting. Best of all, they're under $50 each.

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I repeat, Go International is honoring their 5th Anniversary by re-releasing 34 of their most beloved dresses designed by rulers of the runway like Zac Posen, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Alice Temperley, Erin Fetherston and others.

Whether they sold out of your size the first-time around or you thought Go International was just a hot new indie band, consider this a greatest hits album of gowns. The second coming will be available in stores March 13th until April 10th or until they're sold out again, whichever comes first.

I will most certainly be at my local Target this Sunday for a go see. What dresses will I be go-ing for? The sexy sheaths pictured above by Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Thakoon and Luella Bartley. If you get there before I do, save me all of them in a size 2.

Happy Birthday Target, and thank you for giving me access to designer clothes without having to sell a kidney to buy them.


Straw Hats Off To You

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I observed my Presidents' Day off yesterday by thumbing through the stacks and stacks of magazines and catalogs that have accumulated in my foyer, searching for some speck of springtime inspiration. I found it. In every fashion themed rag I devoured, there was one common denominator that is a must have for the next two seasons -- the straw hat.

I love Jane March's style in The Lover (L'amant), the 1992 provocative predecessor to An Education where a young French girl returning home from boarding school ends up getting schooled in the subject of romance by a handsome and wealthy Chinese businessman.

The film is set in French Colonial Vietnam circa 1929, and Jane radiantly rocks this effortless belted neutral shift with a pair of braids and a classic straw boater hat for a classic combination that is both timeless and Lolitaesque without being for lack of a better word, hobaggish.

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If you like the look, Urban Outfitters tosses their straw hats in the ring with your choice of the Shallow Crown Fedora or the Cooperative Straw Boater featured at $29 each. If you want a more luxe look, Eugenia Kim offers her posh Max Toyo Fedora for $285.

Most chicks will be sporting their straw millinery with bikinis and cutoff shorts this spring/summer, but I will be marching to the beat of Jane March's drum, pairing my straw headwear with understated, ladylike dresses to create looks that are simple, chic and totally old hat.

The Eye Glass Was Half Pink

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I don't know what it is, but the closer it gets to Valentine's Day, the more I want everything to be pink.

Somewhere around the 8th of February I find myself seriously craving pink frosted heart-shaped donuts, pink lemonade, strawberry fro-yo, Bazooka bubble gum and honey smoked ham... and I don't even like ham.

The same thing applies to my wardrobe. One day I'm wearing my go-to neutral tones, the next I'm all Molly Ringwald circa 1986 reaching for pink minis, skinnies, watches and whatever pink prom dress I can find at the thrift store to revamp Project Runway style.

The pink craze is even filtering into my eyewear, as I recently found myself obsessed with these Pink Chloris 3.1 Phillip Lim Eyeglasses, as featured in the new February issue of Nylon magazine.

The top half is sugar and spice and everything nice in a ladylike shade of cotton candy pink while the bottom half is chic, understated and crystal clear. I want them. So much more than that honey smoked ham.

I'm off. I suddenly have an urge to create a Pink Floyd station on Pandora.

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A Tilly's Change of A Dress

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Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow last Wenesday, thus predicting an early spring.

This pleases me. Not only in sympathy for my northern friends who have been battling snowstorm after snowstorm, but because along with the change of seasons comes the inevitable change of a dress.

Most folks live in beach houses and tikki huts over the summer. I live in maxi dresses. I love how versatile they are, paired with flip flops and a tote for an easy, breezy beach look; accessorized with high wedges and chunky jewelry for a tropical date night ensemble. They can also camouflage the unfortunate remnants of winter: Casper white, dry and/or unshaven legs.

I pre-purchased my first new maxi dress of the season from Tilly's this past weekend. I couldn't resist the Angie Scarf Maxi Dress with its flowery/paisley print, smock top and floor skimming length. It was only $24.99, and it wasn't even on sale.

Thanks Phil. I was this close to wanting to destroy my sweater dresses.

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Good things come in small packages. Hershey's kisses, 5'3" style blogging brunettes, and anything that arrives in a robin egg blue box from Tiffany's.

While online shopping at Nordstrom yesterday, I saw a feature on the new "Spring It Thing" in accessories - the Mini Crossbody.

I love miniatures. They make me feel like a big girl in a small world. Plus, they give my aching shoulders and back a break from carrying around so much excess baggage. These mini crossbodys call for only the essentials - cash, credit cards, cell, ID, lipgloss, elastic hair bands, Midol, mini flask, dog treats, forever stamps, Tide-To-Go stick, Emergen-C, mini stapler, contact solution and keys. Like I said, only the essentials.

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My upscale fave featured at Nordstrom is handbags down, Juicy Couture's Hot Pink Mini Perforated Crossbody for $148 that will add a precious pop of Spring color to every outfit.

As for the more budget-friendly bags, I'm loving the severe Suede Mini Chain Turnlock Crossbody from Fossil, the latte hued Alex Mini Lambskin Leather Crossbody from Hype for $82.90 and you can't get any more handbag bang for your buck than with this adorably affordable Faux Leather Crossbody for $8.97 from Tilly's.

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Twin Sets - Then and Now

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When it comes to my fashion sense and sensibility, I will always covet classic pieces over trends.

I have held this stance ever since I became the object of ridicule at my eighth grade school dance for showing up in a bra and suspenders with jeans à la Kelly Kapowski of Saved By the Bell.

I will, on occasion experiment with a new trend when the price is right, but if I am spending a considerable amount of fash cash (fashion currency), I want it to last in my wardrobe rotation for more than a week.

One classic combination that will never go out of style - The Twinset.

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According to Wikipedia, A twinset, twin set or sweater-set is a matching set of a cardigan and a (usually) short-sleeved jumper or pullover. The twinset first appeared in the 1940s, but is now considered a classic wardrobe staple.

Our Moms and Nanas both adhered to the twinset trend that also graced the closets of style icons like Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. It's easy to embrace this vintage combo with confidence, a look that is flattering on women of all ages and body shapes. Although the popularity of the twinset will never die, there are a few key rules to keep the look more Modern vs. Mad Men, more chic than secretarial. Take this adorable page pictured above from the January JCrew catalog for consideration:

Twinset Tops

Then: A lady matched her twinset top with her cardigan
Now: Colors can be monochromatic or mixed up offering more color combinations for your buck

Twinset Accessories

Then: The classic string of pearls
Now: The chunky, sparkly cocktail necklace

Twinset Bottoms

Then: Skirts of the full or pencil variety, and/or khaki capris
Now: Short shorts, dress slacks or jeans

Today's thoroughly moden Millies can score twinsets from virtually any women's retailer, but I'd hit JCrew, Leon Levin (the home of the World's finest polo shirt) and Land's End first.

Another reason to love twinsets?

They make the "twins" look fabulous, and by "the twins", I mean breasts.

I have received twelve+ Ask Sammy queries begging me for new looks for New Year's Eve, so I decided to tackle them all in one champagne cork pop. There is a classic dress code for women on New Year's Eve: either something black, something sequiny, or both.

I'm sticking to the sequins, but instead of going the traditional black, gold or silver sequin color route, I'm going to be an advocate for the unexpected with colorful sequins that haven't made an appearance in your house since your big sis or mom hit their proms back in the 80's.

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Instead of blending in in a sea of sequential sequins, stand out in cool pops of light catching colors that beg to be noticed.

This Blue, Hot Pink Striped or Purply Sequin Knit Mini from Forever 21 will fit the bill, and they're all $29 or under, so you can blow all your Christmas cash on multiple champagne refills instead. Add some black/gray/silver tights for warmth, a band tee and some clunky booties for edge and you'll look hot enough to burn the midnight oil when the clock strikes twelve.

I'm really into skirts this year, but you can incorporate the rainbow Skittle sequin trend with any piece, from a sparkle tee or sweatshirt to a clutch or raspberry beret.

Have a Shiny, Happy New Year people.

When it comes to Superstores, Target is a girl's best friend. Especially come Christmastime. Target used to be my go-to stop for odds and ends from mascara and mp3 players to bleach and bathmats. Now I go there for the clothes.

Designer collaborations are the best thing to happen to Target since they got the green light to sell alcohol and this month, they do not disappoint.

Hold your horses cowboys, cowgirls and folks who want to bring sexy back into their wardrobe for 2011. Target's newest designer collaboration is with William Rast, Justin Timberlake’s LA based label with fellow designer, Trace Ayala.

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Named after JT's and Ayala's grandpas, William Rast is not for the elderly. Known for their premium denim and branded by their signature slashed V embroidery on the back pockets, William Rast is a little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll and their new collection for Target represents their unique blend of tomboy street style with flawless feminine tailoring.

Unlike other Target collaborations, William Rast hits the bullseye with pieces not only for dames, but for the dudes as well with effortless pieces that range from studded chambray western shirts to plaid button down basics and faux leather shorts (not for dudes... at least not for the straight dudes).

If Lyle Lovett, Fergie and Snoop Dogg had a love child from a threesome, William Rast would be that sexy bastard.

The William Rast for Target collection hits stores December 19th. Count on looks that range from $16.99 to $199.99 and act fast, these looks will only be available through January 22.

Hi guys,

Sorry it's taken me awhile to get out a post Thanksgiving post. In my defense, Let's Talk Style has been undergoing some routine maintenance which has kept me away. That combined with the fact that this past Thanksgiving weekend left me feeling bloated, comatose and rather unstylish are the main reasons why your Ask Sammy questions about disguising an ever-expanding turkey gut remained unanswered. My bad. Next year try an oversized off-the shoulder sweatshirt and some maternity jeans.

Now I'm back from my holiday hiatus. I've banished the bloat (cantaloupe and cucumbers people, not together) and I have a new fashion fixation to blab about. The object of my obsession? The cargo pant/skinny jean hybrid, better known in the fashion world as the cargo skinnies.

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They've been cropping up in stores since late summer/early fall but I'm only now beginning to embrace the trend as I tend to do at times, particularly with new threads and indie bands. Now I am won over.

Here's the skinny scoop: The thing that makes these bottoms a must have for your winter wardrobe is that besides being ultra flattering for almost any body type, they are also a chic alternative to your overworn skinny jeans while giving off an edgy military vibe with their desert storm color palette, strategically placed zippers and slim side pockets that are ideal for stashing lipgloss, cash/credit cards or Tums.

Another pro? They. Go. With. Everything. Superfine tees to lacy tops, chunky sweaters to structured blazers, ballet flats to boots and pumps. I can't afford the $3,811.50 price tag on the Balmain Leather Cargo Skinnies featured at Net-A-Porter, which is just fine and dandy since I prefer the stretchy twill variety like these Stretch Skinny Cargos on sale from Alloy for $31.92, the Femme Slim Cargo Pants for just under $40 from Newport News and Swell's Olive Skinny Pants that are more than swell.

I'll be investing in several pairs, as soon as my stuffing gut returns to its previous state.


Fossil Finds for the Holidays

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I am having a love affair with a catalog.

I can't stop looking at it. I can't stop thinking about it. My passion is so intense, I have the paper cut battlescars on every finger to prove it.

I just received the new holiday catalog from Fossil in my mailbox and am crushing hard on it, and not just because the chick on the cover is sporting my signature haircut that I decided to keep.

I remember a time when I just shopped at Fossil whenever it was time to buy a new watch, but Fossil has everything my heart desires this Christmas season and more, from handbags to statement bling, chic coats to caps and cozy sweaters, plus a hot selection of watches to boot.

Did I mention Fossil has boots?

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Not only is Fossil's Jingle-Merry-Cheer issue visually stunning to look at {totally dig the vintage train/coming home for the holidays backstory}, but I have almost every page dogeared with items that I want need.

I'm not alone, four of the hottest fashion bloggers from Sterling Style, Refinery 29, FrouFrouu and Song of Style were invited to style and model their favorite Fossil finds from their holiday lookbook. I had a prior engagement with Versace, so I could not contribute.

My top three favorite items are as follows:

The Modern Cargo Convertible Tote
The Two Tone Drama Necklace
The Riley Tunic.

So if any of my loved ones claim that they have no idea what to get me for Christmas, they obviously don't read my blog.

Busted.

Lovin' Lanvin for H&M

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I just caught the new Lanvin for H&M video and am giddy.

Not only am I thrilled that the House of Lanvin is partnering with H&M on a killer collaboration with designer Alber Elbaz, but I am at peace because I will finally be able to be there for the release since a new H&M just opened a mere hour away from my fashion house.

H&M has dazzled us in the past with collaborations with A-list fashion designers along the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli and Stella McCartney, but every lady wants Lanvin.

Take a sneak peek at the collection in this video that is part The Shining, part comic book, part George Michael's Freedom video, set in a hotel where ladies in Lanvin frolic in every room wearing dresses, skirts and separates that are lavish to the nth degree.

Come play with us Danny.

The Lanvin line for H&M launches November 20.

If you're into the whole Circle Scarf craze (aka Infinity scarves, Eternity Scarves, etc), I have a DIY tip that you will both love me for and hate me for simply because I thought of it and you didn't.

Instead of spending twenty+ bucks on a new infinity/circular scarf for the season, breathe new life into your old scarf by tying the ends together and double looping it around your neck.

No one will be any wiser, and you'll be twenty+ dollars richer.

You're welcome.

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Get Nailed by Justin Beiber

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Leave it to Beiber.

If the 16 year old singer/Ellen Degeneres lookalike hasn't gotten under your skin and nails yet, he's about to get on them.

Justin Bieber has partnered with Nicole by OPI to design a collection of nail polishes inspired by his hit songs. I'm serious.

*News flash to the People of WalMart: The first six shades of the One Less Lonely Girl collection will hit WalMart stores in December featuring a series of primary colored junior prom perfect polishes with names inspired by Bieber hits like One Less Lonely Glitter (lavender), Prized Possession Purple (grape), Give Me The First Dance (silver), Me + Blue (dark blue), OMB! (bright red), and Step 2 the Beat of My Heart (heart-shaped glitter). Eight other Beiber fever shades will debut in January.

In other news, WalMart will also be selling iPads. Like anyone really cares about iPads when there's Justin Beiber nail polish and beef jerky available in the same store.

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It happened. This morning at 6:47am, on a quiet residential street corner nestled somewhere in Broward County, I officially declared it sweater weather.

The Autumn season kicked off nearly two weeks ago, but to a Floridian like me, this carries as much significance as informing me that it was National Meerkat Day. I puttered outside to walk my dog in my thin sleep cami and Gilly Hicks pj pants, still rubbing the sleep from my groggy eyes and was suddenly greeted by a friendly chill in the air. I needed a sweater. My dog needed to tinkle more though, so her peeing took precedence over my declining body temperature and overall discomfort. I hugged myself for three reasons.

1 - In order to keep myself warm.

2 - I love myself.

3 - Because my fashion rotation was now open to a whole new world of outfit possibilities.

Lately, whenever I pass a shop window I find myself stealing longing looks at the cozy sweaters draped over the mannequins in the displays. Cozy fisherman and granny sweaters that I want to curl up in, accessorized with heaping mugs of Swiss Miss, thick textured knee highs and equestrian style weathered boots.

My sweaters from last season are all but destroyed from unsightly pilling to permanent Starbucks stains, and my Weather Channel app is promising me lows in the 70's all week long which ultimately means that Sammy needs a new pair of sweaters.

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Thanks to a recent trip to Urban Outfitters I have my eye on the Ecote Intarsia Cardigan and the byCORPUS Popcorn Sweater that are both wicked cool in a vintage/Sherlock Holmes on the weekend/herding sheep in the British countryside kind of way.

I get goosebumps just thinking about wearing them.

Enjoy your sweater weather, wherever you are.

p.s. I also want a new puffer jacket.

Not Your Baby's Onesie

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In the past five years, I have bought more than my fair share of onesies. The majority of them are small and sassy, reveal a lot of leg, have ample room in the rear to accommodate mega junk in the trunk (i.e. super absorbent diapers) and three convenient snaps in the crotch for easy changing.

Well folks, the fashion times they are a-changing. Feast your eyes on these big girl onesies from Asos. The Levi's Double Denim Onesie is a jean/shirt hybrid that features an oversized light wash shirt attached to straight cut zip fly jeans for $193.78.

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Cool idea and honestly, they don't even look like the two pieces are attached. It also manages to put an end to unfortunate coin slot reveals while saving precious time, shaving off a good 15 minutes to half hour every morning normally reserved for trying to pick out what-top-to-wear-with-what-jeans.

My main problem with this look? Unlike your baby's onesies, these aren't peepee and poopie friendly.

If you're up for the adult onesie challenge, do yourself a favor and go the the bathroom first...

...and don't have Mexican for lunch.

Alexa Chung for Madewell

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I was disappointed to hear that It's Off With Alexa Chung. My favorite Brit It Girl might have had her MTV talk show axed, but she has been keeping herself busy nevertheless with a blossoming partnership with J. Crew’s Madewell denim line, featuring her own collection of fab fashions for fall.

The Alexa Chung for Madewell collection is comprised of basic bits and pieces with an edge, reminiscent of everything that we love about Lexi, with dresses, outerwear and separates that elicit a sexy tomboy meets sixties girl band vibe.

I'm craving the cuter than cute coveralls and tea party dresses, high-waisted jeans, oversized wool jackets, short shorts and more spectacular pieces that are signature Chung.

All's Well that's Madewell for Alexa.

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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We all have fashion fetishes that may or may not make sense to the general public. Socks with mandals (men's sandals), oversized shoulder pads, suspenders, skinny ties... paisley.

My thing? I have a moustache fetish. The new man in my life doesn't understand this and keeps asking me if I'd like him to grow one. I say no. I am only drawn to staches that are not originally attached to the face, you see. Moustaches not fashioned from facial hair. For instance, my favorite unhairy handlebar hardware is a moustache shaped keychain that doubles as a mirror that I scored for pennies in the clearance section at Urban Outfitters. I adore it because it tickles me every time I lock or unlock a door and I always have a last minute disguise on hand in case I run into the Feds.

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Clearly I am not the only one who takes a shine to staches, I found a whole crop of upper lip loot from this Beards are Sexy Tote Bag from Etsy to a Haute Handlebar Ring and Bark Reynolds Fetch Toy for the clean shaven pooch who needs to go incognito, both from Modcloth.

But my all-time favorite has to be the Toddland Moustache Wallet from Urban, because everyone needs a little stache to carry their cash.

*Added bonus for underaged boys - The vinyl adhesive moustache adds years to your license photo, ideal for when you get carded buying beer.

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Totally tubular

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I'm all for taking the occasional fashion risk, but when considering the styling of this particular model, I can't help but remember the "One of These Things is Not Like the Other" sketch from Sesame Street.

You know the one, where kids and campers were shown a group of four items, one of which was vastly different from the other three. If you have no recollection of this, you are young and I am old, whoopee for you.

I was always a master at identifying the incompatible item and am still at the top of my game, as I shall now demonstrate.

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1. Dresses, check.
2. Shoes, cute.
3. Hairstyle, nice waves.
4. Tube socks, Dude, no.

Okay. I am all for the retro tube sock sensation, but not with a skimpy cocktail dress and slinky slip on heels. If you want to look totally tubular, stick with basic tees or rock the sporty vibe and pair your Unisex Striped Tube Socks [à la American Apparel] with the following unobtrusive items:

1. A hoodie.
2. Old school shorts/cutoffs.
3. Denim mini.
4. Cool kicks.

Because the last thing you want is old people like me being reminded of Big Bird when we take in your outfit.

If you are too young to remember the original A-team, this post may not be of interest to you. I don't really know anyone who caught the recent feature length 20th Century Fox remake starring Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson and Jessica Biel, but I pity the fools who thought it was better than the original series.

If you were or still are a fan of Sergeant First Class Bosco Albert B.A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus, stop your jibber jabber and order this Mr. T Shirt from Alloy while it's on sale for $14.99.

And remember kids, drink your school, stay in drugs, and don't do milk.

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I'm With the Silly Bandz

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A silly fashion craze is sweeping the nation.

A few months ago, I began to notice colorful collections of arm candy gracing the wrists of all of the prepubescent children in my neighborhood. That's interesting I thought, while I endured an unsettling flashback of my Madonna/Lucky Star phase when I wore black rubber bracelets piled up to my elbows.

A few weeks later I was surprised to catch glimpses of Tinseltown starlets along the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Ritchie and Mary-Kate Olsen sporting the very same cheap silicone wristlets. What was going on here? Was I trapped in an episode of the Twilight Zone where A-list actresses and celebrities were now retiring their Tiffany, Juicy Couture and Kitson bangles in favor of the basic equivalent of pastel hued rubber bands?

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Fast forward another month to the afternoon of a Couples Baby Shower barbecue where the adorable niece of one of my best, very pregnant friends finally explained it all to me. I spotted a wrist full and I made my move.

"I dig your bracelets" I said, pointing to her tiny tanned arm.

"Thanks" she replied, beaming. Then she removed a couple and I noticed her rubber band bracelets return to their original shapes. Like magic. Sea Monkey-like magic.

"What's up with that?" I asked inconspicuously, wondering if I was about to gain invaluable intel on some deep underground cult.

"Everyone in my school wears Silly Bandz. We trade them." Then, she went on to explain the Silly Bandz basics. 24 to a pack for $5.99 with 6 different designs ranging from sports and dinosaur themes to fantasy, western and beach motifs. Most of her BFFs wore them as bracelets, but she occasionally stepped out of the Silly Band box to fashion them as sleek ponytail holders and braid ties.

"Wanna trade?" She inquired, as she held out a pair of mouse and moon shaped manacles.

I looked down at my solid wood bangle she was eyeing, a beloved trinket that I had acquired while vacationing in Puerto Rico.

"Not so much," I replied and walked away, secretly wishing she had offered the high-heeled and tiara shaped ones.

Another month has passed, my friend's beautiful baby was born and Silly Bandz are still as popular as ever.

I am ashamed to admit this, but I'm seriously considering ordering the Silly Rock Bandz pack on sale for half price at Amazon...mere seconds away from jumping on the Silly Bandzwagon.

My friend's niece will totally wanna trade these.

This morning I had a visit from my friendly neighborhood plumber.

To make a long plumbing story short, my 2nd floor shower was leaking through the lighting fixture of my first floor dining room. I made a quick service call and spent the remaining 24 hours pre-plumber arrival feeling terrified that I might ultimately end up with a hole in my ceiling the size of Texas.

In an effort to protect the innocent, I shall refer to my designated plumber as Eduardo. While Eduardo was working hard and leaning over my temperamental tub, I couldn't help but catch an accidental glimpse of clichéd crack. My cheeks reddened as the tops of his cheeks became more and more exposed. I turned away, embarrassed, but it got me thinking that this was no longer strictly a plumber's problem.

These days I have been catching more and more glances of revealed coin slots on men, women, adolescent boys, and even babies who don't have the decency, balance or upper body strength to pull up their droopy diapers. Thanks to the increasing popularity of Low-Rise jeans, the dreaded plumber's crack is now a universal issue that is affecting everyone without discriminating against age, sex, ethnicity or religious preference. From a fashion standpoint, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

This is why I am here and this is why out of all of the guest bathrooms in the world, Eduardo walked into mine. Eduardo was put on this earth to fix leaks. I was put on this earth to fix the occasional fashion faux pas.

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After a little research I discovered that one talented designer had cracked the code on unconcealed crack. Kimberly Brewer is the mastermind behind the Backtacular Gluteal Cleft Shield, an ingenious stick-on patch that will cover up any remnants of inappropriate bum cleavage. Easy to use, this little denim savior is hypoallergenic and sticks right onto your skin. Available in a variety of colors and patterns from butterflies to peace signs, this little patch from heaven will keep your ass covered while also doubling as a rad tramp stamp/lower back tattoo cover up.

Thankfully, all is well in my plumbing world. Eduardo patched up the leak with plumber's putty and left my ceiling it tact. I was warned to keep a close eye on it and if it continues to leak, Ed will have to come back and make my piping and drainage nightmares a reality.

Pre-plumber departure, Eduardo handed me his business card in case I should ever find myself in desperate need of his plumbing services again. I, in return gave him my business card with my easy to read Let's Talk Style url on it, in case he should ever find himself in desperate need of any Ask Sammy advice.

Hopefully Eduardo is reading right now and ordering some Backtacular Shields for his next service call, and hopefully my ceiling doesn't collapse. That would be bad crack karma.


Now that I'm back in Miami where the temperature has been sunny, stable and consistent at a low of 80 degrees, I've been taking notice of the spring staples that Miami gals are showing off, compared to the essential pieces I saw walking the historic streets of Boston.

In Boston, the style uniform was basic, classic and weather appropriate for the friendly skies could be clear one moment, pouring down heavy droplets of rain the next. Variations of cute trenches (black and tan), light jeans, sweet flats and wellies for the rain were heavy on the scene, creating a comfortable median between winter and spring.

In Miami, we might as well skip the season of spring altogether and just pretend that we're in the middle of yet another long, hot summer. We're sticking to our mini and maxi dresses, tanks, tunics, short shorts and a few key accessories that say "it's hot" and "we're hotter".

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Nothing says spring/summer like straw, and we Miami girls know just how to pull it off. From a sassy Stella Fedora or Straw Women's Fedora to shade your face from harmful UV rays to Fossil's Farrah Straw Hobo to tote around your SPF and darling Donna Karan Straw Wedges that will put some spring/summer in your step, there are endless options to choose from.

A little straw goes a long way, so one piece is all you need. Too much and you'll run the risk of breaking the camel's back.

I have a love/hate relationship with the rain.

When I was little, I loved the rain. I loved sloshing about in puddles and since I grew up in Florida, (normally the Sunshine State) I realized that catching big rain droplets in my mouth was the closest I'd ever come to catching snowflakes on my tongue.

Once I grew up, began wearing mascara and actually cared about the frizz factor of my hair, I began to hate the rain. I came to terms that contrary to what my favorite downcast day nursery rhyme had taught me, the rain, rain would not go away and come again some other day. The Rain was here to stay and I was going to have to deal with it.

Here's how.

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Step one - Get a cute raincoat. I decided that my first step towards making peace with rainy days was to treat myself to a rainjacket that not only protected my cute outfit underneath, but looked cute on its own. Be prepared come rain or come shine with a non-bulky rain jacket that you can store in your purse or glove compartment. I adore my yellow Jacket in a Packet raincoat from OldNavy. It folds up into a tiny lightweight bag and is steps above your basic poncho. {Sorry no link guys, they're all sold out.}

Step two - Get a cute umbrella, ella ella like this Big Fish Umbrella from Modcloth. Seriously, who can feel unhappy looking up at these little fishies getting wet?

Step three - Get a cute pair of Rainboots. These Chooka Womens Rainboots from Online Shoes are tall and waterproof with a cotton knit lining that absorbs moisture and a heavy-treaded rubber sole for klutzos like me who are prone to slips and falls even on dry ground. Plus, the print is downright Geishadorable.

Go ahead, rain on my parade.


Cloghorn Leghorn

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I say I say I say, are clogs back in style?

According to my favorite Brit It girl, Alexa Chung, they are. Here she is, featured on the cover of UK Vogue’s March issue proudly showing off her Chanel clog-clad-feet.

I've always associated clogs with wooden footwear meant for folksy heavy footed clog-like dancing, but in today's fashion world clogs are basically a hip and easy to wear style of slip on shoes that are making trend list after trend list.

Want to get in on the clogging action? Score a pair of international clogs inspired by Alexa and imported from the UK with these Promise Leather Studded Clogs from Asos for $143.73 or Topshop's Prima Sling Clogs for $160 (£85 and £75 in British pounds mate).

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If you'd rather keep the clogging all American style, you have several options... Steve Madden doubles your clogging pleasure with the Bresi and the dayntyer version, the Daynty Open Toed Clogs, or you can try on Seychelles Care to Dance Clogs for $99.95 from OnlineShoes.com.

Not fully convinced you want to give over to the clogging trend? Ease yourself into the clog with Aldo's weird but cool Mule/Clog/Wedge hybrid - the Dillenburgs on sale for $59.98.

If the clog fits, wear it.


Cagney and Lacey

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This morning while getting dressed, I had a frantic urge to wear something frilly and feminine. My work uniform as of late has consisted mainly of skinny jeans paired with plaid button downs and tank tops. The weather channel app on my iPod informed me that the temperature outside was a delightful seventy-two degrees with no chance of showers. Perfect Spring dress weather.

This past Sunday I saw dozens of little girls decked out in their Easter best, looking sweeter than a pack of peeps. I wore my favorite flirty dress as well and received compliments on it all day long. There's something about slipping on a dress with a full skirt, pretty print or delicate fabric that makes you feel like a lady through and through... like you should be sipping high tea at noon with your pinkie in the air, eating teenie weenie watercress sandwiches with the crusts cut off (But only two or three. Consuming any more than that would be unladylike for real ladies do not eat, nor do they poop).

So I put on my second favorite dress and am feeling girlish and dainty, lacy and lovely. On my drive to work I was serenaded with Billy Joel's Uptown Girl and cursed myself for forgetting to wear my pearls.

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If you're longing to bring out your inner lady, there is a fresh crop of lacy pieces for the new season that won't make you look like a doily. This Metallic Lace Bolero from Spiegel adds an ultra feminine touch to any ensemble, whether you're wearing a simple sheath or your favorite jeans. It's also ideal for covering up bared shoulders in church or on a trip to grandma's house, for $59.

The Reformed Wilder Dress from Urban Outfitters is the perfect dress to reform me of my tee shirt and jean loving ways. This floral cotton voile dress has the sweetest silhouette and the exposed zipper closure down the front adds the perfect edge at $78.

If lace dresses are a little too here-comes-the-bride for you, you can still incorporate a lick of lace with a simple accessory like these Fingerless Lace Gloves from Forever 21. They're pretty in pink for only $2.80 and the pastel hue makes it more Springlike than Madonna like.

I enjoy being a girl.

All About Jeggings

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Normally, I dig hybrids.

Hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius ones that actually stop when you step on the brakes.
S'mores.
Monstrous Mozzarella Stick Goldfish Crackers.
Napoleon Dynamite's beloved liger.

But in my book, some hybrids simply do not work.
Milk and Pepsi (sorry Laverne).
The Snuggie.
Spidey.

There is something magical that happens when you combine two relatively awesome things to create something that is even awesomer. Case in point - the jegging.

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The jean + legging hybrid - [aka jeggings] take skinny jeans a slimming step further. Comfy as leggings, but with a bit more substance and stretch. They look like skinny jeans, but give you an even slicker silhouette, without the pinching and the pain.

Although I am not a fan of the cutesy name and the effort of fashion marketers to create a new one-word frenzy, I still like the look, the style and the ease that they provide. I prefer the term denim leggings like these BDG Denim Leggings pictured above from Urban Outfitters for $39.

I also prefer wearing them when I have a bit more volume on top, i.e. a flowy dress, tunic or boyfriend blazer.

Some will think this trend works, while others will classify them as a hotter mess than Spidey.

One warning for those who dig it...

Beware of the dreaded jeggamel toe.

This weekend I decided that it was my patriotic duty to visit the White House. The White House Black Market that is. In honor of the new Health Care Bill being passed, I decided to treat myself to a new outfit. Normally I will find any excuse to treat myself to a new outfit (i.e. it's Wednesday) and truthfully, I probably would have treated myself to the same new outfit if the bill had not been passed in an effort to console myself. Either way, I scored some fab new fashions for spring.

It was a healthy decision.

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What's black, white and stylish all over? Anything from White House Black Market.

I have always associated the White House Black Market as a source for upscale black and white fashions. The perfect classic LBD (little black dress), gorgeous and crisp white gowns and a market filled with endless options for black tie affairs. Little did I know that they featured a stunning variety of sexy spring ensembles for any occasion, whether it be a junior prom, a first or second wedding or a picnic date in the park.

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Oddly enough, I didn't end up purchasing one black or white piece (although I had my eye on several).

What did I score?

A flattering, Easter appropriate Pink Tiered Top, the Noir Sparkle Girlfriend Capris (on sale for almost half off, woo hoo!) and an adorable Flower Pin for a perfect pop of pearl dust anytime, anywhere.

To our health.

It's finally starting to warm up and I'm aching to swap my skinny jeans and turtleneck winter combos for cute spring dresses and sandals that will make me feel youthful, sweet and reborn.

Next week is St. Paddy's Day and then Easter is just a bunny hop, skip and a jump away, so I'm starting my dress shopping early. Where am I finding the cutest Spring dresses ever? All in the pages of the Tilly's catalog.

Whether your Spring fling dress style leans towards halter necks or strapless, floral, striped, solid colored, ruffled or tiered, Tilly's has your back with dresses that will show off your back...both of 'em. Here are a handful of my favorites from Roxy:

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Get up and go anywhere in this Roxy Get Up Dress that will quickly become your go-to staple for Spring. Tilly's has it in Magenta, featuring a black bodice and colorful geometric patterns on the skirt, with halter straps that tie behind the neck. For $38.99, I say get up and buy it.

I'm a sucker for a flowery print. Explore your girlie side this season in the Roxy Newland Dress that has two very feminine ruffle tiers at top and an easy fit elastic waist. Adjustable and removable spaghetti straps give it even more flower power and versatility for $37.99.

For beach or bistro, this Roxy Sand Knit Dress is a sandy steal at $31.99. It's a casual no-fuss frock that can be dressed up or dressed down with a few key accessories. You can't get any comfier with the elastic empire waist and a sexy plunge v-neck. And the strappy knotty back...very naughty indeed.

You likey? Get 20% off your favorite dress or any single item at Tilly's and wait, there's more. Score Free Shipping on orders of $99 or more. Just use the promo code CATALOGS20 at checkout.

Somebody get me the self-tanner.

I want this Sammy Shirt from dELiA*s...and not just because it's named after me.

It's a light and airy Spring/Summer top that is just aching to be taken out on a picnic, plus it'll look great twirling a sparkler on the 4th of July.

Wear me.

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I recently came upon my old Strawberry Shortcake watch from my youth. It brought back fond memories of playing with Huckleberry Pie, Blueberry Muffin, Escargot and the entire fruity gang, but I faintly remember swapping my beloved Strawberry Shortcake timepiece every now and then for my brother's old oversized waterproof digital wristwatch that weighed my hand down like I was wearing an albatross around my wrist. I didn't care that it was a boy's watch. I liked it...and the boys liked it too.

Even though my personal style has always gravitated towards the feminine and flirty side of the fashion spectrum, i.e. - pretty sundresses, pink tanks, frilly skirts and delicate camis, I have always been a sucker for boy stuff.

There is no doubt about it, menswear pieces look hot on chicks. Just wear your guy's work dress shirt to bed and he'll let you know just how hot it is. From tuxedo jackets to boxy boyfriend blazers, sharp vests to old school fedoras and Hanes wifebeaters for boys, all it takes is one single piece to show men that we have an edge and can be soft and hard at the same time. Yes, we can wear the boyfriend cut pants in the family. Yes we can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and polish off a triple-decker BLT just as well as they can.

We also look cuter in their stuff.

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If you're a girlie girl who is yearning to go where the boys are, ease into the menswear world with a small accessory, like this chunky metal Nixon Watch from Tilly's. It's made for a guy, but looks sexy as all get out on a dainty woman's wrist.

It's $399, but you can score 10% off all women's and men's fashion watches for a limited time when you use code catalogs10 at the Tilly's checkout. The code is only good until February 14th, so time isn't on your side.

Ditch the Strawberry Shortcake watch and try it on for size. Pair it with a sweet frock or frilly tank to keep your girlie identity and if it's too manly for you, you can always pass it on to your sweetie for Valentine's Day.

I'll never tell.


Eyeglass Party in the USA

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As Americans, we the people are entitled to certain inalienable rights...

1. The right to exercise our freedom of speech
2. The right to bear arms
3. The right to a trial by jury
4. The right to bear chic eyeglasses.

We are living in hard times my fellow Americans, but Oh say we still need to see. As my vision continues to deteriorate month by month, I have grown tired of digging in the bargain bins at my local drugstore for affordable frames, but thankfully I found a new go-to site for specs and it is my patriotic duty to pass it on - GlassesUSA.com

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At first glance, I was beyond impressed with the prices of these haute glasses and found myself nodding my head like yeah, moving my mouse like yeah! From rimless to retro and fashion forward frames, I was more thrilled than a child twirling a sparkler on the 4th of July to finally find a selection of affordable eyeglasses that didn't look like they belonged on Mr. Magoo. When placing my order I was tickled to find that the cost included not only my stylish frames but my prescription glasses in their entirety, lenses as well.

Mine eyes have seen the glory!

Which eyeglass frames did I choose? The Independence Browns won my popular vote, making me feel like the independent woman that I am with a nice bit of added bling at the temples, but the Hilarie Reds and the Lady Liberty glasses would surely make me the life of any political party.

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Besides featuring top quality lenses in the hottest frames available (starting at hello, $18) Glasses USA has also done their part to ensure that we all have access to the proper vision care. Instead of restocking their returned prescription glasses (as is the case with most optical stores) GlassesUSA recycles them, donating them to various organizations around the US who then sanitize and redistribute them with the correct prescription to people all over the world who can’t afford them. It's their American way.

Shop with coupon code Mommy5 for 5% off of your final order.

God bless America and God bless GlassesUSA.

Paris, je t'aime... (The city in France, not the Hilton.)

I'm longing for a Parisian getaway this winter but my I've exceeded my holiday gift budget by a few extra dollar signs, so the closest I'll get to gay Paree this holiday season is eating a très buttery french croissant and spraying myself with a sample of some fancy eau de toilette at the fragrance counter of Nordstroms.

I may not be able to shop on the home turf of Chanel, Dior, Gaultier, Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent, but I can still add a taste of french flavor to my wardrobe with the meager francs left in the emergency pocket of my baguette.

deLiA*s captures all the charm of the young Parisian mademoiselle with an adorable pair of French tees for $26.50 each. I can't choose between the Say Cheese Tee and the Bonjour Tee, but I'll save $10 if I buy two, so I'll probably go for the deux.

Add a hint of Parisian bling by wearing the Eiffel Tower on your ears and neck with this enchanting Paris Night Jewelry Set from Forever21. I'm also digging these Lily Allenish Paris hoops for $2.80.

If anyone needs me I'll be enjoying a cup of General Foods International Coffee in French Vanilla and french kissing under the mistletoe.

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Built by Wendy's effervescent indie designer Wendy Mullin has built a fashionable enterprise by presenting a fresh, hip and modern take on traditional attire. With fans like Sofia Coppola, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams and Zooey Deschanel under her handcrafted belt, Ms. Mullin has built herself quite a legacy.

Yeah yeah yeah, you're bummed because you don't have the cash to splurge on Wendy's newest collection. Sew what?

Now Wendy is offering you a chance to build your own outfits that can be cut from the same cloth with these fab Built By You patterns that will help you update your wardrobe for a mere $14.95 (needle, thread, fabric and handiwork provided by you).

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The Built By You collection features a dozen patterns comprised of tempting tunic, mini dress, pretty pant, top and jacket pattern combinations, with up to three patterns included per package for sizes 4-12 or 12-20.

Follow the pattern exactly, or make it your own.

If Wendy can sew it, sew can you.


I have an obsession with things that are clear. Clear peppermint lipgloss, clear nail polish, clear Louis Ghost chairs that make small apartment spaces seem not as teeny, clear skies, days when I have a clear conscience... these are a few of my favorite clear things.

My latest obsession is clear eyeglasses.

They first made an appearance on the eyewear scene a year or so ago, and at first I thought they were odd and strangely bizarre, like who are you trying to kid? Hello, those glasses aren't invisible, I still see you and am aware of the fact that you have four eyes.

Now that I've had some time to let the trend sink in, I'm kind of intrigued and am thinking of splurging on a pair. Thankfully, there are a few spec choices that fit a wide range of price points.

Topping my list are these Selima Optique Clear Eyeglasses from JCrew for $325. They're a bit pricey, especially considering they're made of plastic but you gotta admit, they're clearly chic.

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I see London, I see France with these Prism New York Clear Eyeglass Frames that are available for £205 which comes out to $338.31 US dollars (thank you Currency Converter iPhone app.)

Next stop on the Clear Eye Crusade? These super studious HUNTERREG Hunter Eyeglasses from American Apparel are a little more affordable at $75 and are totally unisex. They come with non-prescription clear lenses for 20/20 visionaries who just dig the look of spectacles and can also be filled with your own prescription if you're a step away from being diagnosed as legally blind, like me.

For those who don't have a penny to their name, ask Santa for these Clear Bottom Plastic Readers from Urban Outfitters. They're only clear on the bottom, so you can get a feel for the clearness without going all out. These guys are only ten bucks and make an ideal stocking stuffer for folks who are cool with being hip to be square.

Have I made myself clear?


You always want what you can't have.

I live in Miami and am fortunate to have access to hundreds and hundreds of amazing shops, luxury boutiques and high end department stores, but in terms of South Florida shopping...there is something major missing in my life.

That something is H&M.

H&M is considered a trusted friend to fashionistas all over the world, operating in 34 countries with approximately 1,800 stores spread across the globe. Featuring trendy styles for women, men and children, lingerie, accessories and more stylish spoils, H&M is a brand based on a simple philosophy: to bring you fashion and quality at the best price. The only H&M hitch? You can't order online. So unless you have one in your zip code, you're plumb out of luck.

My love affair with H&M began years ago during a trip to New York, and ever since then I have found myself flocking to my style sanctuary every time I visit the Big Apple, where H&M's seem to sprout up on every corner.

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They finally set up shop in Florida, with two stores enjoying their grand opening in Orlando last month and I finally had the chance to use up a neglected gift card that had been collecting dust.

Oh what joy! Although the H&M housed in the Florida Mall is considerably smaller than my beloved NY flagship store, I was still a kid with a Ziploc bag full of pennies in a penny candy store. It took me 5 minutes before hitting the fitting rooms with an armload of fresh Fall fashions. Scarves, sweaters, cowl necks, V necks, I wanted everything and briskly maxed out my gift card on my new favorite pieces.

Scratch that, I didn't want everything. I tried on the mammoth scarf seen above that made me vaguely resemble an Ewok and/or a resident of Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine. [I don't know whether to be proud or embarrassed that I know where Luke Skywalker is from]. Kudos to gals who can pull it off.

Oh! Did I mention that starting November 14th, Jimmy Choo will bring its international glamour and covetable shoes and bags to 200 select H&M stores around the world?

Even more reason for me to pout over Miami being an H&Mless city.

The Uniform Project

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For the past few months I've been religiously following one brave girl's quest to get the most out of her wardrobe. If you haven't already stumbled across The Uniform Project, you've been missing out on an experiment that is more innovative than any challenge Tim Gunn and the Project Runway producers could ever dole out.

In short, The Uniform Project features one chick who proudly travels the road less fashionably traveled, by pledging to go one full year without a single change of a dress. Some fashionistas may consider her challenge pure insanity. I consider it pure genius.

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We've all fallen in love with a certain article of clothing, flocking to it a few days or so a week, but committing to one single piece for an entire year? Now that's devotion.

Before you start wondering about how our Uniform Project guinea pig, Sheena Matheiken, manages to keep that dress from getting funky in a bad way, don't fret. Sheena's brilliant designer pal, Eliza Starbuck, created 7 versions of the same simple A-line dress (one for every day of the week) that can be worn both front and back or as an open tunic. Sheena is more than halfway there with over six months going strong since the birth of the Project in May of 2009, and she has the entire fashion world rooting for her, engrossed and captivated by her inspiring exercise in sustainable fashion.

Accessorizing her forever frock with colorful tights, layers, millinery, vests, footwear and envious bling, Sheena incorporates pieces that are mostly vintage finds a la Ebay, as well as hand-made, recycled or donated items from loyal Uniform Project devotees. Sheena is no stranger to making simple looks stand out, growing up in India where she flaunted her personal style as a teen day after day, making her school uniform something to be admired, imitated and envied, much like the Gossip Girls who decked out their Constance Billard prep school uniforms with headbands, multi-colored tights, jewels, designer baggage and other luxe accoutrements.

What's the ultimate goal? The Uniform Project will donate all contributions to a charity that is near and dear to Sheena's heart, the Akanksha Foundation’s School Project, that will help pay for uniforms and other educational expenses for underprivileged kids in India.

She's already up to $28,060 and still has a lot of looks left, so thank Sheena for her daring fashion exhibition by making a donation, or donate some of your old accessories or a new creation that might be featured in a daily ensemble.

One hundred and seventy-six days to go for the year of dressing dangerously.


I have a new girl crush.

She's a fashion model, party DJ, contributing editor at British Vogue, host of her own MTV Show, girlfriend of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and that's not all she wrote. She's quick-witted, half Asian, the new face of DKNY Jeans and my favorite British import trumping both Prince William and Earl Grey tea (also beating out punchy pop star Lily Allen who comes in at a close second).

Who is this Brit It girl you ask?

She's Alexa Chung, one of the only chicks I've ever known who could pull off short overalls and granny heels without looking like a daft punk.

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She's the host of MTV's It's On with Alexa Chung, a weekday talk show that I never had the chance to see until recently since it airs Monday through Friday at noon while I'm busy working my pen over at the salt mines. I just downloaded the It's On iPhone app and have been catching up on everything Alexa considers on while eating up her dry wit, unkempt hairstyle and those quirky yet effortless ensembles.

She's replaced ex British veejay Downtown Julie Brown as MTV's most fashionable female, and I'm guessing she'll be holding the title for a good long while.

If you fancy Alexa's looks, take a trip to Topshop and French Connection where you'll find a kick arse selection of the looks Ms. Chung covets.

Everybody have fun tonight,
everybody Alexa Chung tonight.

Fashion epiphany

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fashion_epiphany.JPG I came to a fashion epiphany today.

While casually sitting at my desk at 9:09am, pondering over what fabulous topic to blog about, a 60 watt fashion lightbulb popped up over my head. I came to the realization that no matter how crappy your life is, how much money you owe or how many powdered donuts you regret consuming the day before, if you're wearing a cute outfit, your day will be better.

It doesn't have to be an expensive ensemble, it doesn't have to be new. The only prerequisites are that:

1 - it fits well
2 - it doesn't ride up your butt/reveal visible panty lines
3 - it makes you feel pretty damn good while wearing it.

A perfectly worn out pair of jeans...a supersoft sweater that brings out the color in your eyes...a dangling pair of sassy earrings. It may be a big piece, it may be a small accessory, it may be both combined. I, for example, am wearing a navy cardigan, a lacy cami, gray hip slung wide leg trousers, my favorite Fossil watch and leather peep toe heels.

My life may be crappy, but I don't look crappy.

I just saved myself a few years worth of therapy.

I bought a skull ring last week that I absolutely adore.

It makes me feel cool. Cool and dangerous. Like I could quite possibly have a Harley parked outside instead of my Black Cherry Toyota Scion. I wore it last weekend when I went to see a limited release screening of Paranormal Activity. While enjoying pre-show spirits at T.G.I. Fridays, my brother noticed my chunky cranial cocktail ring and asked -

"Oh, is that for Halloween?"

I nodded, feeling a little embarrassed that my prize ring was mistaken for one of those kitschy plastic spider rings that I used to wear in kindergarten. A few days later I did a little skull scavvy research and discovered that a few of my favorite designers had the brains to create skull rings and accessories of their own that will rock long after All Hallow's Eve.

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At the core of my list of sensational skull accessories is this Lauren Moshi Skull Racerback Tank from Bloomingdales. It has a rocker edge and a flattering shape. Just don't wear it paired with any of your skull rings or you'll come off looking a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs - like a bone collector who has a pile of skulls hidden in their basement.

This Betsey Johnson Black Skull ring from Nordstroms is only $55 and has a cute little pink bow that sofens up the look while adding a little feminity... although everyone knows that skulls don't wear bows because skulls don't have hair. Duh.

Vivienne Westwood's New Skull Swarovski crystal ring ain't cheap at $350, but it's two parts chic and one part dark that will add a little drama to any ensemble.

All hail the King of Skull Rings! This Crown Skull Ring is a bold brass ring designed by Jessica Kagan Cushman from Vivre. My skull ring has a little crown too and I totally dig that my accessory has it's own accessory.

Alexander McQueen brings you a double dose of mad skull love with his Studded SKull Ring with a bumble bee on it for $310 and a Silver Skull Ring for $250 that has a piercing swarovski crystal stare.

Rock any of these skully pieces this month or whenever you need a little boner.

Boo!

Confession.

I am a Fashion blogger, and I don't know what to wear to New York Fashion Week.

I just battled this very same obstacle during Miami Fashion Week, and what I thought was a difficult chore then seems like a mojito and a walk on the beach now. I'm a Miami girl, born and raised, so deep down I instinctively knew what to wear and what was appropriate - maxi dresses, short and flowy dresses, wedges and sandals that wouldn't make my feet sweat... but New York Fashion Week is another fashion beast entirely.

I've been reading up and getting some primo wardrobe advice from the Fug Girls who tell me not to sweat it (and bring flip-flops), but I'm still trying to put my pieces together and pack my suitcase with confidence while avoiding a fashion meltdown.

Life would be so much easier if I could just wear this tank, skinny jeans, Converse and call it a day...

but I wouldn't want to end up on the Fug List.

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If you have an iPhone or iTouch, odds are you spend a good hour or so a day searching for and downloading new applications. *If you do not, please disregard this blog post. It was written by an obvious loser who is going to have to face it, she's addicted to apps.

Apple tempts us more than Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden with iPhone ads glorifying easy to use apps for the gamer, the traveler, the sportsfan, the penny saver, the clubber, the chef, the health nut and more Apple treats that serve as fodder for the iPhone appaholic.

Whatever you're into, whether it's dining al fresco or expelling gas... Apple has an app for that.

Good news my fellow fashionistas, Apple even has apps for us. We may not be featured in our very own Apple spot just yet, but we're only a four inch stiletto away... best of all, most of them are free.

Here are a few of my favorite apps that are totally what's 'appening on the style scene.

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1. Lucky at Your Service - If you've ever wanted your own personal digital shopping concierge, Lucky is at your service. The magazine about Fashion and Style has brought us an app about Fashion and Style, allowing us to browse their must have shoes, bags and jeans of the season, featured in the pages of Lucky magazine. Then they'll find the nearest store that carries our favorites, check to see if they're in stock and availble in our size.

If it's a must have app for The New York Times, it's a must have app for me... and it's free. I don't even have to leave a tip.

2. ShopStyle - I need the perfect red cropped cardigan. I don't have the time to search dozens of stores and rifle through rack after rack in search of perfect red cropped cardigan. Nor do I have the time to Google "red cropped cardigan" and sift through hundreds of listings, most of which are not cute. ShopStyle shows me all of the perfect red cropped cardigans available from the stores I love, all in one place.

Perfect red cropped cardigan is mine.

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3. Style.com - I can't get enough of watching models do their little thing on the catwalk, especially after Miami Fashion Week. Get front row status and take in all the latest looks from the runway shows from Paris, Milan and New York. All in the palm of your hand. Oh yeah, it's free.

I'm also digging Carrie's Closet, DKNY and iShoes

If you heart fashion apps, trust me. These are the app-les of my eye.

Happy downloading.

Mad About Style

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I was trotting along through my favorite mall the other day, and did a complete double take as I passed the often khaki themed Banana Republic window. There, behind the glass was the handsome and debonair Creative Director of Sterling Cooper, Don Draper, staring at me in his crisp, impeccably tailored suit. Hello gorgeous.

It's no secret that I'm madder than a hatter about Mad Men, so I think this new Mad About Style campaign from Banana Republic is sheer genius. BR has gone mad, but in a good way, introducing their new Mad Men Style Guide that gives you the 60's moxy to put together your own Mad Men and Mad Women inspired ensembles with various pieces from their very own Fall collection.

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Whether you're into Don's suits, Pete Campbell's shirts, Joan Holloway's chic pencil skirts or Peggy Olson's sophisticated sheath dresses, the looks are all put together and laid out better than if Betty Draper had laid them out for you the night before herself. What a great way to celebrate the beginning of a new season that returns to AMC on August 16th by the way.

Now the world won't only be watching Sunday nights, but they'll also be properly outfitted in wool plaid fedoras and classy corporate attire for Monday morning, inspired by all of their favorite characters. Oh, and did I mention that if you upload a photo of your best Mad Men look, you'll be entered for a chance to join the cast with a walk-on role on the Emmy and Golden Globe winning drama?... Scotch and cigarettes not included.

Cheers to AMC's 3rd season of Mad Men, and cheers to Banana Republic for hopping on the mad bandwagon.

The ad men at Sterling Cooper couldn't have come up with a better campaign.

Tonight, as the clock strikes twelve, millions of fans from eight to eighty-five will be flying into theatres on their Nimbus 2000's to check out the second to last installment of the JK Rowlings trillion dollar book series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The Hogwarts Express will soon be making it's last stop with only one more film in the queue, so young stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson need to start thinking about their post Harry Potter prospects. While Daniel experimented in the buff on the London stage and Broadway in Equus, our lovely lady of the Harry Potter trio, actress Emma Watson, has been earning an extra paycheck while keeping her clothes on. The stunning 19 year old was unveiled last month as the new face of the British fashion house of Burberry.

Watson looks Oxford bound in her Burberry trench from the autumn/winter collection in a campaign that was shot by Mario Testino. This is the first major advertising campaign that Emma has landed, but I'll bet you a mug of butterbeer that it won't be her last.

Better start networking Ron Weasley.

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Sammy,

Tattoos. Are they IN or are they OUT?

-Gina

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Thanks for your short but sweet question G. I gave myself a giggle by reading it aloud a few times in a German Heidi Klum accent. I wish my response could be equally as short and sweet, but the answer isn't in black or white ink. I personally believe that tattoos are sexy as sin, and I'm all for the freedom of expression, so yes, tattoos are still in (providing you aren't on Medicaid yet), but my answer doesn't end there...

I, myself, am tattooless...mostly because unlike a trendy fringed scarf, I cannot alternate tattoos on a daily basis. I can with cool temporary tattoos I suppose, but not with a real, honest to God tat inked by Moe from Sal's Tattoo Shack. I go through moments when I'm crazy about an accessory, and then a month later I don't want to see it ever again. And honestly, that's what tattoos are, aren't they? Permanent accessories.

There are moments in life when tattoos are so in (new club openings, Megadeth concerts, etc.), but there are also times when my tatted friends have wished their suggestive tattoos would go bye bye (during job interviews, meetings with a new boyfriend's conservative parents, etc.)

Now my tattooed pals can take pride in their tits and tats while saying bye bye to regret with this breakthrough Tattoo Concealer created by L.A. Ink star and tattoo artiste Kat Von D.

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This little magic tube (exclusively from Sephora) is filled with a heavyduty, paraben and oil-free multitasking concealer that makes your tattoos erasable, minus the pain of laser surgery. This creamy and blendable godsend creates a fresh palette with instant, customizable coverage. The long-wearing formula is ideal for tattoos but also makes blemishes, dark circles, and other unsightly imperfections disappear. Check out Kitty Kat's entire limited-edition line of pin-up perfect makeup (I'm especially in love with her makeup brushes and tattools).

*Warning: If you have as many tats as Kat, you're gonna need more than one tube.

Now I can be a tattoo taker too.

Any suggestions?

xoxo,
sammy

Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

I'm always on the lookout for studs.

I was totally intrigued one day in college when my roommate and I were hanging a heavy mirror in our new bachelorette pad and she asked if I had a studfinder handy.

"A studfinder?!" I exclaimed!

"You mean to tell me that there is actually an invention out there that helps women locate studs? Glory, glory hallelujah!"

She just shook her head, handing me the hammer.

Oh. She meant those other, less interesting wall studs.

I now have a very studly boyfriend at home who hangs all of my heavy things for me, but that doesn't mean I'm still not on the lookout for the perfect stud. Here are a few studworthy pieces that help me out whenever I want to feel 100% rock star studded.

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This cutesy Colorblock Stud Tube Dress from Wet Seal may look like it just stepped out of a clip from The Wedding Singer, but if you didn't already know, the 80's are back jack. And don'tcha just adore the fem/rock contrast with the flirty bubble skirt paired with that rockin' disco ball waistline?

There's always time for studs. When it comes to accessories, the first studded piece that comes to mind is the classic studded belt. Been there, done that. Go for the unexpected and make a statement of the times with this Burberry Studded Timepiece that doubles as a functional watch and as a tough cuff bracelet.

Not all studded styles involve black leather. Add a pop of color with these sophisticated lavender Masha Croc Slides from Forzieri . Highlighted by silver studs and an elegant buckle detail, your stems will look like they go on for days and then some.

Last but not least, challenge Bo and Luke Duke to a game of Stud poker in these short short Daisy Duke Studded Shorts from Kitson, or wear them the next time you wash your car with a studded bikini top to match.

You'll probably find some studs along the way... and I'm not talking wall studs.

Mad Women Redux

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I received a pretty sweet response from a blog I wrote a couple of months ago about January Jones and her mod Mad Men wardrobe. The Plaid Posies Dress I madly adored was apparently so popular, it's no longer in stock. Therefore, I have decided to have a little more fun playing dress up with the Mad Women behind the Mad Men with indie fabulous frocks, all courtesy of my favorite retro headquarters - ModCloth.

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1. Peggy Olson. Secretary turned copywriter. She's a chick who has balls, and an office secret she wouldn't want HR to find out about (wait, did they have Human Resource departments in the 60's?)

This Nantucket Weekender Dress has Peggy's name written all over it, especially considering her trademark long collar tie at the neck.

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2. Betty Draper. She's the model housewife who always dresses the part. This Kenley Dress works for a Tupperware party (wait, did they have Tupperware parties in the 60's?), seducing door to door salesmen, or for shooting birds in her backyard.

It's a simple vintage look inspired by Kenley Collins, the third runner up in last season's Project Runway who was arrested for throwing a cat at her fiance's head FYI. I swear I don't make this crap up.

3. Joan Holloway. The Office Manager and woman behind the Mad Men, Joan is always dressed to kill in bold, clingy sheaths that complement her fire engine red lips and her voluptuous Jessica Rabbitlike hourglass curves.

This belted Torch Song Dress is smokin' office appropriate attire but watch out Red, you might just set off the Sterling Cooper smoke alarms.

Wait, were there smoke alarms in the 60's?

I need a better research department.


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There are two Choles in my life.

One is the fourteen month old baby doll daughter of one of my bestest girlfriends, the other is the younger sibling of the House of Chloe.

The first Chloe has taught me a lot about effortless style and how to crawl on the floor in the perfect sundress without revealing my Pampers/undies. I spent Easter with her, searching for Cadbury Cream Filled Eggs. It was a time.

The second Chloe taught me that I can treat myself to a wider selection of fashion styles that are a little hipper, younger and fresher than what's in her big predecessor sis's closet. See by Chloe burst on the scene in 2001 with rock 'n' roll worthy flair and items that are just as pretty as the house's main line, but with a little less luxe and a little more affordability for working gals like me.

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I wish I could wake up tomorrow to See this See By Chloe Floral Print Strapless Dress hanging in my closet and this matching Daytripper Large Tote hanging on my purse tree.

Don't worry little Chloe, you'll inherit all of my stylish goodies once you fit into a size 2...for grown up girls.


Tina Fey has forever changed the way we look at four-eyed chicks.

It is now fashionable to wear even the most atrocious lenses and still come off looking cooler than a cucumber. I've even heard from the grapevine that teens have taken to wearing eyeglass frames sans lenses in the halls at school. Once upon a time I would've been shoved into a locker after AP Physics for that.

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If you've always loved the look of corrective eyewear but suffer from perfect 20/20 vision, there are plenty of glass houses filled with non-prescription specs out there for you to try on. I'm digging these Vintage style glasses from Forever 21...they're only $5.80 and they come in mint green. Sweet.

If you already wear glasses but are looking for frames with more of a retro pop, try these fun, flirty and fashionable reading glasses from Debby Burk Optical.

I see stylish glasses in your future.

Retro Romper Room

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I don't know about you guys, but down here in the southern hemisphere I'm already sweating bullets. I've bid a fond farewell to my multi-colored tights, leggings and long sleevies, and am more than ready for some Spring and Summer short shorts and easy, breezy, beautiful sweat-resistant looks.

Pantsuits were big this past year, so keep the trend alive with a cooler, more ventilated version with a hip selection of rockin' rompers (tweet, tweet tweet). I've found a few rompers that are cool enough for the hottest of Spring days and have a retro indie vibe that Let's Talk Stylers are known for.

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Pictured left is a flirtatious Denim Romper from Forever 21 for only $29.80. That's a price that's right, leaving you with a little something left over for a straw fedora and bling bling bangles.

You can shell out a little more for a Front Zip Denim Romper from Arden B for $58, but I'm going with the Berry Sweet Romper from ModCloth pictured next to fedora romper girl up there. This romper from independent designer Imonni Clothing is Berry Sweet indeed with adorable strawberry buttons, apron pockets and a pin-up inspired silhouette. I would wear it out on a date with Huckleberry Pie anytime.

And just to cover my bases, I must point out that these rompers do not fall in the same category as the onesies I shot down last year. No my pretties, onesie rompers resemble something you'd sleep in, these rompers are totally reminiscent of the jumpsuits you would've seen on Foxy Brown circa 1974 or Austin Powers' saucy minx Felicity Shagwell .

Oh behave.

Dear Sammy,

I am really into the look and feel of eco friendly clothing but it's super expensive! Do you have any eco friendly options that are also budget friendly?

Thanks Sammy! Glad to hear you're still with us!

Joanie
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Thank YOU Joanie, and all of my other loyal blog followers who have been inundating my inbox with fashion query after query! Apparently my little April Fool's Day hoax yesterday was good for blogging business. You don't know what you've got until it's almost gone and I've had so many Ask Sammy emails come flooding in, I'm posting two this week because I can't stand leaving the fashion forlorn hanging all weekend long.

Now for Joanie's question.

As as matter of fact Joanie, I do have some down to earth, eco-friendly choices that are also economically-friendly. Check out 3Clothing and their organic line of fashionable eco-conscious tees that are the perfect choice for Earth Day (which is right around the corner, FYI).

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Earth Day is April 22nd, so what better way to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment than with sexy and fashionable artistic organic shirts for guys and gals that fit your shape, your personality and your lifestyle? With cool original graphic designs that all feature their captivating 3 Clothing logo, you'll get down with nature without spending a bundle. The looks above are only $21 each.

And since I'm feeling totally earthy, I'm offering you and my entire blogging entourage 10% off of a $50 purchase and 20% off of a purchase over $50, just because I love you. Use coupon code 10cat09 or 20cat09 depending on how much you spend, and get ready to be a stylin' organic earth goddess.

xoxox,
Sammy

p.s. Tell Chachi I said hi.


Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

Ablaze with Boyfriend blazers

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The Boyfriend Blazer.

Cut for a man, but made for a woman. If you haven't noticed, there is a surplus of boyfriend themed apparel hanging on department store racks nowadays. The boyfriend jean, the boyfriend vest, the boyfriend cardigan, the boyfriend shirt. I'm waiting for the day when they have a rack specially reserved for boyfriends...period. How cool would that be? We'd be able to conveniently take boyfriends into the dressing room to try on one at a time and have salespeople bring us alternate styles and versions until we found the perfect fit ("Excuse me Miss, do you have any green-eyed brown haired boyfriends in a medium?") And if they didn't work out once we got them home, we could return them for store credit.

Menswear chic is a trend that will never go out of style, ever since Diane Keaton rocked that vintage tie-vest-trouser combo in Annie Hall. Try on a classically tailored oversized boyfriend blazer to add a cool, androgynous vibe to an otherwise girly outfit. Wear it with fitted pieces like skinny jeans or a pencil skirt and avoid blazers that are too oversized....unless you're making an appearance on I Love the 80's.

...and tell your boyfriend to back off. He can get his own damn blazer.

It's 2009 and you want a bold new look that says I'm rock star fabulous...You can't get any more rock star than when you're sporting a fine tight pair of leather pants.

Stella Zotis from last seasons Project Runway loved her leath-ah. If you love leath-ah as much as Stella, but you also have a soft spot for cattle, you're in luck. There's a lot of leath-ah fashions cruising down the runways including these leather inspired PVC Leggings from Les Chiffoniers that look even cooler than the ones Olivia Newton-John parades in at the end of Grease.

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Both Kate Moss and Juliette and the Licks frontwoman Juliette Lewis have been seen around town wearing the leggings from this hot new label. For a look with an edge, you simply cannot lose.

If you're not PETA-friendly, go for the real thing with these Leather leggings for $955.

Grease is the word.

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Twilight Style.

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If you haven't yet caught wind of the pop culture phenomenon that is Twilight, Stephenie Meyer's ode to young vampire love, it's only a matter of time before you're bitten. The first installment of the four book series enjoys it's big screen debut this Friday, and the lines are forming as I type.

If you thought Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were bloody hot in Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire", you haven't met Edward Cullen. The haunted seventeen year old going on one hundred and eight is God's gift to women, tween girls and quite a few homosexual dudes.

A coven of fans will be out to enjoy the Twilight this weekend. This blog's for them.

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Edward Cullen and his lady love Isabella Swan keep each other warm in the cold, wet town of Forks Washington, but I'm outfitting them with some his and her outerwear all the same. A Batman Leather Jacket from Leather Coats etc. for Mr. Cullen (tee hee) and a Solid Toggle Jacket from Alloy for Ms. Swan. I'm throwing in some Extra Strength Whitening Gum to keep Bella's smile as dazzling as Edward's, and Waterproof SPF 30 Sunscreen because Ed has rather sensitive skin...

I'm also gifting Bella with special edition sets of The Lost Boys and Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Columbia House DVD Club...just in case the Cullens get crazy.

To fur or not to fur.

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I have this picture of me when I was three, bundled up in an Eskimo coat smiling like a crazy kid with my baby teeth chattering, a toddler Nanook of the North if you will. I often wonder if that fur circling my face was real or faux. If that fur had been real, would my three year old self be doused with red paint today by extreme animal rights activists?

I'm guessing it wasn't real. Why would Mom waste money on a real fur lined coat for a three year old girl who would ever so stylishly grow out of it in a month or two? Not to mention all the snot I'd probably get on it.

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As the weather continues to cool, loads and loads of fur coats are coming out to brave the harsh winter and the even harsher folks from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization, better known as PETA.

Fur coats used to serve as symbols of status and decadence in days of old. There was no better way to show off and tell your neighbors "Hey, I'm so rich I wear animals". Then it was diamonds and furs, today it's sunglasses, shoes and handbags that relay images of wealth. Interesting how times have changed, although diamonds are still pretty schnazzy.

Personally, I don't get the real fur thing. Besides adding lots of bulk, why would you want to wear the fur of a helpless creature when there are just as many amazing faux fur designs that feel and look just as luxurious? If you don't believe me, check out Fabulous-Furs- the authorities on guilt free fur. You'll be bound to find a cool fur accented piece of outerwear, fur sure.

Before I get any comments requesting I post that three year old Eskimo photo, don't bother.

It ain't happening.

Alright, it's more rust than raspberry, but then I'd lose my hook.

You don't have to be a French mademoiselle to say Oui Oui to beret fashion. Celebs have rocked the beret casbah all summer long in the sweltering heat. With the weather starting to chill up a bit, I think now is the perfect time to rely on these old Parisian accessories to bring a dash of international glamour and appeal to your Fall wardrobe.

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Just check out some of the star studded heads these berets have been topping lately: Lauren Conrad, Selma Blair, Hilary Duff, Rihanna, Fergie, Rachel Bilson and lest we forget the political devil in a blue dress Monica Lewinsky.

Since Faye Dunaway wore her cream colored cap in Bonnie and Clyde back in 1967, berets have been synonymous with chic, an American staple when it comes to fashionable head wear. Pick up one of these hip Wide Rimmed Berets for yourself this Autumn. It's not the kind you'd find in a secondhand store...unless you consider Urban Outfitters a secondhand store.

Hip, hip beret!

DisMembers Only

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dis·mem·ber /dɪsˈmɛmbər/
–verb (used with object)
1. to reduce, reorganize, or discontinue the services or parts of (a company, government agency, etc.): Our business was dismembered by the conglomerate that bought it.

My dad used to have a Members Only jacket. So did my mom. My brother and I were Members too. Mine was a pink one. Or was it gray? Come to think of it, I might have had two. Back then I thought my family was part of some exclusive underground clothing club. We could get into VIP rooms everywhere, all thanks to that little black tag on our front left pockets. Membership had it's privileges. We were unstoppable. A secret ring of jacket sporting superstars. Then all of a sudden the 90's came along and alas...our Membership was no good.

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Members Only was dismembered and put to rest in exchange for grungy flannel jackets that didn't hold a candle to the Members Only sleek standard of sex appeal.

Then, like a gift from the heavens above, Members Only was licensed in 2004 by Kirtie Regan, who resurrected the brand and developed a new, even sexier line of apparel.

Dismemberment clearly works for some. Members Only is back with a vengeance, with a new line of Classic Bomber jackets that are in a word...the bomb. Making appearances in fashion rags everywhere, be prepared to catch glimpses of shiny metallic gold, silver, pewter, and traditional black Members Only Jackets that are more than a step above their 80's counterparts.

Membership is still exclusive. These jackets retail for $685.

My dad would not approve. He wouldn't buy one for himself, much less pay for Membership dues for the entire family...and I definitely wouldn't own two.

Should've held onto that pink one.

The sequel to the tween hit The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants has been delighting women young and old this summer, reuniting the four best friends of various shapes and sizes who share a magical pair of jeans that miraculously fits each girl to perfection. A Gossip Girl, a Gilmore Girl, an Ugly Betty and a Joan of Arcadia pass around this pair of secondhand wonder jeans while they're apart to help them stay connected as their lives catapult in different directions.

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I haven't seen the sequel, but this theme made me wonder if other such sisterhoods exist. Imagine girls and women of all ages, shapes and sizes sharing their bottoms... It's a novel idea really, with financial advantages as well as nostalgic, bonding ones. If you can't afford a sweet pair of True Religion or Seven jeans, grab your girls and split the cost of a pair with the understanding that whoever has the hottest date planned on a Friday night gets sole custody of said jeans.

And why stop at pants? I say let's give birth to sisterhoods all over the nation. Personally, I'd love to initiate a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits starting with this hot Denim Halter Number from Bebe. It's $228, but split amongst my four best girls...that only comes out to $45 bucks and some change each. And just like the pants in the movie, they'd magically fit every one of us! Brilliant!

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If you think I'm onto something, check out some other swell pantsuits at Metrostyle.com. Or be creative and branch out with your own Sisterhood of the Traveling Hot Pants, a Sisterhood of the Traveling Trouser Pants, a Sisterhood of the Traveling Yoga Pants, the options are endless...

I'd draw the line at a Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties though, that would be less than sanitary.

The Joker's on you.

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It's summertime, and you're wearing the same boring jeans and tank top every day.

Why so serious?

You're never fully dressed without a smile, so forget this Batman curse rubbish and take a clue from the Joker from this summer's blockbuster hit Batman: The Dark Knight. Go for a look that says "Hey World, I'm no joke."

A cropped Purple Vest like this one from American Apparel will get you started, and if the purple doesn't make you smile anymore, flip it around and a red vest suddenly appears. Mix and match them with a pair of Lean Mean and Green Skinny Jeans and Holy outfit Batman! You have a look that's WHAM! POW! SMACK! Fantastic.

*Don't forget the red lips and smoky eyes.

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Invested.

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It's a new season, and there are certain clothing investments we must make. A good investment is one that will take us through the current season, creating a plethora of different, versatile looks. An even better investment is one that gets us through this season and next season with just a tiny bit of flair and creativity.

There are a few pieces I'll be investing in without question this season that I'm willing to share. Why? Because I like you. First on my list- cool jewelry. Something that makes a good conversation piece, like this Rectangular pendant from Forever 21. It's cool enough to wear for a night out on the town, or to dress up a neutral tube top during the day. I'm all for cheap bling.

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Forever 21 offers another fine investment that you'll find in stores everywhere this summer, in the form of a racerback Denim Vest. I love vests. They give a sleek menswear vibe to any outfit, plus they let you get away with a no bra day. Layer your vests with tanks and sundresses during the summer, then over a turtleneck or form fitting hoodie next fall and winter. You can't lose, especially with the Forever 21 price tag.

Finally, you can't ever go wrong with an unexpected burst of color. This hot mustard Clutch from, you guessed it -Forever 21, is big enough to hold all the essentials- id, cell, lip gloss...bail.

Invest wisely, and you'll be earning dividends left and right.

You'll be more money than Eddie Money.

Horsing around.

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Dear Caprilee,

Owls were super big last year when it came to accessories. I want a heads up. What animals are going to be big this year?

Thanx,

Julianne

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Dear Julianne,

Yes, last year the fashion industry was oversaturated with owls. From necklaces to organic totes, even scarf cowls had owls. The trend is just about over for our fine feathered friends, but I don't give a hoot, because there's a new hip animal, just ready to be let out of it's cage.

The winged horse.

Break out the Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering cards because you can't get any more magical that a Pegasus tee from Urban Outfitters. Hey, if flying horses were good enough for Rainbow Brite and She-Ra: Princess of Power to ride on, they're good enough for me to wear...plus their tears have magical healing powers, don't they?

If you aren't a believer, there are plenty of unwinged horses to choose from. Get your hoof on with this equestrian scarf, an equestrian luck necklace or some dandy horse icon aviators.

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...and if you're still attached to the owls, here's a hoodie or two to help you let go. By the by...hippos are always big.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course.

All things Twiggy.

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When you think Mod, one name comes to mind...

No, not your Great Aunt Maude. You think Twiggy.

You know Lesley Hornsby (aka The Twigster) by those gigantic Bambi eyes, that adorable pixie haircut, and those pencil thin twiglike stems. Twiggy is, and always will be the glorious Mistress of Mod. She took the 60's by storm and is regarded as one of the most famous supermodels ever...as well as guest judge on America's Next Top Model (who rocked compared to last season's replacement Paulina Porizkova- in my humble opinion).

Her look evokes innocence, whimsy, Euro cool and has never really gone out of style.

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Wanna go Mod this summer and follow in Twiggy's footsteps?

Here are all the essentials you need to complete your Twiggy inspired look. 1. They'll call you Mello Yellow in BB Dakota's Sunshine Dress 2. You can't get any more British Invasion-slash-Factory Girl than this tuxedo inspired Chelsea Girl Dress from Lulu Via 3. And to complete the look- These 4 inch Banana Split heels of course. Throw on one or more of these mod pieces and as Posh Spice/Victoria Beckham would say...you'll be looking pretty "Major".

*Looks found at Modcloth...except for the eyelashes 4. You can score those at Sephora.


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Rainbow Connection.

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You want to taste the Rainbow, but you're all out of skittles. What to do, what to do...

Try adding one of these juicy multi-colored Nine West clutches to your accessory closet. Bags, and bangles, and bright strappy sandals, oh my!...What more could a girl planning her new summer wardrobe ask for?...Besides this.

Any plans for the 4th Jake?


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And if rainbow colored accessories aren't enough, try on this Taste the Rainbow Dress on sale from Free People.

Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat have nothing on us.

Free the rainbow...and the rest will follow.

*Keepin' it colorful,

sammy

I heart earth.

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I've noticed a trend in stores lately that makes me happier than Charlie Bucket after he snagged that last Golden Ticket to hang with Willy Wonka. Everyone and their mother is offering recyclable bags and totes this season. Designers have finally gotten an earth conscious clue and are showing the world recyclable bags are good and trendy enough to wear outside of the grocery store. It's like you aren't cool if you don't have one. That double negative makes a positive in my book.

I'm loving this cute, fun, 100% renewable resource AE Burlap Love Tote from American Eagle Outfitters. It's $19.50, eco friendly, and roomy enough to tote around all your stuff. Fill it with sandcastle making supplies and spf 30 for your next beach trip, goodies from your next shopping spree, or better yet- use it to drop off some plastic bottles at the nearest recycling station. My favorite part? It features a double sided LOVE screenprint that totally fills me with warm fuzzies.

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Both Oliver Twist and the Black Eyed Peas have pondered where is the love? in song. I say, it's in this tote.

*Keepin' the earth healthy,

sammy

Under cover.

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It happens to us all.

We go to the beach and jump into the ocean. We emerge from the waves, thinking we're the Birth of Venus and then some. We head back to our towels, shaking the saltwater out of our hair with more slow motion sensuality than Bo Derek in 10. Not once does it ever occur to us that our bikini bottoms are shamelessly sagging, showing more crack than that alleged Amy Winehouse video.

Beach tip: We could all use a little coverup, and I'm not just talking concealer. Go from sun, sand, and surf to mojito's on South Beach with some beach coverups caliente from JCrew.

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Even though you're covering up your bikini, the guys'll still be drooling. Disregard the dudes in the speedos.


Obsession confession.

I have an obsession with shoes I can't walk in.

Call me an overachiever, or just a plain dumbass...Ever since I set my sights on marrying the Karate Kid, I've loved a challenge, which is why I'm setting my sights on Steve Madden's Champyun Sandals. I'll be feeling like Flo Jo if I can make it through one full day in these kicks without busting my patellas.

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I didn't have much luck with my last Olympic challenge, but I'll keep on fighting 'til the end...

Once the leg brace comes off, these babies are mine.

No time for losers, 'cause we are the champyuns...of the shoes.

*sammy

Summer lovin'.

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Summer lovin', had me a blast...
Summer lovin', my Neiman's credit card I maxed...
I bought a sundress, cute as can be
Some Prada wedges, now the look's complete.
Summer fun, something's begun
but ah oh those summer nights.

Oh well-a, well-a, well-a, uh!

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Tell me more,

*sammy


Alexandra Dillon is officially on my designers I'd like to go clubbing with. Her dresses are more short, fun, and flirty than Marissa Janet Winokur from Dancing with the Stars. I just love me a perky dress.

If you're not afraid of bold prints and/or the color green, slip Alexandra's Babydoll mini dress on for size. It makes a great spring statement, not to mention the hey, check out my boobs in this plunging neckline statement. I'm especially digging the three-quarter lantern sleeves. It makes me feel very Twiggy/ Rosemary's Babyish, and $98 isn't bad compared to the $1095 I spent on a Stella Mccartney dress with my fake Lotto money.

Too bad I didn't find it by St. Patrick's Day. Would've saved me some mega pinching.

*Keepin' it mod,

sammy

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Summer brings along so many choices...kite surfing or boogie boarding? Spf 15 or 30? Frozen margarita or rum runner?...Bikini or one-piece? For all of you girls stuck between a bikini and a hard place, i've got just the piece for you to suit up in. Enjoy the best of both worlds with the Insight Robot Monokini.

This seventies inspired swimsuit has all the sexiness of a bikini, with a bit of extra fabric for the more conservative beachgoer. You may have some funky tan lines, but it'll come in handy in covering up your innie if your navel ring ever gets infected.

*Keepin' it interesting,

sammy

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Fanny Pack Got Back.

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You love to travel. The in-flight movies, the tiny pillows that make you feel like mini-me...Calling the flight attendants stewardesses just to piss them off. What you don't like, is losing your stuff.

You- "But my passport was just here a second ago, I swear!!"

Snooty flight Nazi- "Sorry ma'am, Paris will just have to wait."

Yakety yak, you need a fanny pack.

Before you hit airline security on the red eye back to LA, strap on this Hands-Free Travel Belt from the folks at pb travel.
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To be honest, it's not so much a fanny pack...the concept is the same, but it's much more fashion forward...I'd call it a utility belt with an edge . It'll keep all your valuables safe and stylish while leaving your hands free to grip your venti macchiato, UsWeekly, and other jetsetting accoutrements. And at $17 each, you can buy a coordinating eye mask so you don't have to entertain Milton in 4A for the entire flight.

Have Hands-Free Belt will travel.

*Keepin' it in the friendly skies,

sammy

Jamba Juicy.

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I'm torn. More torn that Natalie Imbruglia circa 1997.

Juicy Couture rocks. From their Real Housewives of Orange County velour track suits, to their stylin' bags and bling...You aren't really a celebrity It girl, if you don't have some Juicy in your walk-in California closet. Which leads me to their latest ad campaign.

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I always love Juicy ads. They're fun, original, colorful, and boy do they take risks. But much like the Posh Spice Marc Jacobs ad that bewildered me last week, I'm missin' something. First thing's first. Not to be beeotchy, but I hate the bow. Seriously kids, Christian from Project Runway could fashion me an entire dress out of that bow, and you know it'd be fierce.

Now the image itself is cute and sweet in a sodashop, Lady and the Tramp spaghetti dinner kinda way...but c'mon now. One- Is this what models are resorting to now to stay thin? Drinking fragrances instead of wheatgrass? Two- that Giant Parfum Atomizer Bottle is $3,000 bucks. I kid you not. If that's how you roll, pocket the cash and drink a bottle of Love's Baby Soft or Coty's Wild Musk from Walgreens.

I'm just sayin'.

*Keepin' it juicy.

sammy

Free Panty Party.

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Nothing makes me happier than going to my mailbox and receiving a free panty coupon from Victoria's Secret....although George Bush's economic stimulus payment is looking pretty sweet right about now. Thanks for the $600 smackers Dubya, but I still don't forgive you for the past eight years.

Back to panties. I love panties, and I love getting them for free. My beloved free panty coupons come along ever couple of months or so, one of the perks of being an Angel Card member. That and the big pair of wings they send me every year...

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But sadly, my free panty offer isn't as heavenly as their Dream Angels eau de parfum. They entice me with their catalogs and very sexy store displays featuring the creme of the panty crop...the starlet panty, cheeky hiphuggers, eyelet bloomers, side-tie thongs...Then I whip out my coupon with the excitement of a toddler in a Build-a-Bear Workshop, only to read the 3 point font explaining my free panty is limited to the VS Cotton. The VS Cotton is the vanilla of panties people, two bikini strings away from being grandma panties. Not even a print can save the day, you have to choose between black, white, whisper pink, ivory, or nude.

Oh well. I guess panty beggars can't be choosers.

*Keepin' it real.

sammy

Art for Dress's Sake.

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Because sometimes, you just want a dress that's easy like Sunday morning...

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This simply sweet Matte Jersey Dress by BCBG will make you feel like you just walked off the wall of the MOMA. Put it on and paint the town fantastic. Hopefully you won't be accosted by tortured artists with one ear.

Plus, you can afford it on a starving artist income...well, as long as you don't eat for a week.

*Keepin' it arty.

sammy

I could've sworn I saw plus-sized princess Whitney from America's Next Top Model rocking this Belted-Floral Print dress a couple of weeks ago when the girls went on their castings. Will I take her sloppy seconds? You betcha.

It was designed by Shoshana, Jerry Seinfeld's ex. I'm guessing her fashion sense didn't rub off on him. I've got news for you Shoshana...I sho wanna that dress. Man, that was weak.

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It's perfect for a day of shopping or high tea....and you can keep cookies in the pockets...or other delicious pastries.

If you want it, you can have it...Go ahead, treat yourself.

*Keepin' it flowery.

sammy

Samara Sanchez

About Sammy

Sammy Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer, greeting card designer, and self-professed USWeeklyholic. Sammy loves tall coffee light frappuccinos, vino not from a box, and Mark Ruffalo...not necessarily in that order.
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