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Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Skinny...on Skinny Jeans

“Hey, Rob, tell me, does my butt look huge in these jeans?”—Eric MCormack as Will on Will & Grace.

So yesterday I literally almost had a conniption fit because I scored an interview with Clinton Kelly, the co-host of one of my favorite shows, TLC’s ‘What not to Wear.’ I was interviewing him for an article for another mag…I’d actually tried in vain to get an interview with Clinton in ’04, but the show's PR rep wasn’t feeling me. Anyway I got lucky this time, and…long story short, I gave Mr. Kelly a ring on his celly.

That's him with Stacy London, his fabulous co-host. Anyway...HE WAS SO NICE!! I absolutely adore him. But of course I had to ask him about this new trend of ‘skinny’ aka ‘cigarette’ jeans:

Sure they look great on stick thin models…but how would they look on a girl with some thighs (or thigh-ow as Atlantans like to say)???

WELL…Clinton said, “Anything that’s tight on the lower part of the leg is going to emphasize the upper part of the leg. [If you have generous thighs] your best course of action is to look for pants with a nice wide straight leg. That’s the most flattering shape.” The words of a gen-ius. Clinton also said that those with an ‘ample’ bottom half should wear darker colors on the bottom (dark colors are slimming). Write that down somewhere!

So…I tried these jeans on at a store around the corner from my house (which I’m going to review in a few). These ‘Cigarette Leg Dark Stretch’ jeans by Joe's look great even though they’re more tapered than straight-legged jeans.

They’re $158 which isn’t SO BAD for designer jeans these days (does anyone else remember when $120 was the upper price limit for jeans??? Now you’re lucky if you’re not dropping $200+ for some dern jeans!!!!). Anyway yeah, these are cu-ute! I usually run a 30, but I took a 29 in these. And we curvy girls know that the stretch is very necessary. These right herrre are 78% cotton, 2% spandex, 20% lyocell (whatever that is…). Bottom line, they work!

I'm actually barely bootylicious (we’ll save that sob story for later)...but for those whose cups runneth over, you should go for a straight up wide or straight-legged jean as Clinton advised. I think these ‘Socialite’ and ‘Honey Stretch’ jeans by Joe’s are cute, have a nice dark wash, and cost about the same as the other pair ($159).

I found all jeans online at this great website (though I definitely recommend you try jeans on in a store before ordering them online…you never know how jeans’ll fit once you get ‘em home). ShopBop basically has all the bougie brands that we know and love. I’m not even gonna lie and say that they’re cheap or have great sales because…they don’t. BUT they have free ground shipping and don’t charge tax (I don’t think)…so if you can’t find your size at a store near you, you can order them for basically the same price from here.

Hope that was helpful! And if anything, wasn’t it enough to SWOON over Clinton Kelly?!?!? He’s the best!


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Attention to Detail...

"The details of your incompetance don't interest me"--Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada

Although the correct clothes and accessories are important elements of style, small, unexpected details are the cherry on top of a polished look. As Kimora Lee Simmons says in her book Fabulosity (which you should read--really!), "You only have a moment to make an impression these days, and your personal appearance is going to do a lot of talking." At business events of course the overall look is important, but a small detail like a nice business card case'll show you go the extra mile.

This is what I was working with before:

Yeah...I think I got this for free somewhere (and it probably wasn't meant to last very long). It's busted and scratched, and everytime I bring it out, I cringe a little.

I decided to go to this cute store called Extraordinary* around the corner from my house (on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn):

The store has cute lamps, artwork, candles, cards, and other classy gifts:

I thought they'd probably have business card cases, so I checked out their selection:

Every case ranged in price from $15-$50, so it was pretty affordable.

Logic would dictate that I go with the cheapest option, but of course, I fell in love with this mother of pearl case, made in Thailand and on the expensive side ($45):

Cute, huh? Yes, I bought it. My sister made fun of me for spending $45, but that's really nothing compared to the impression it could make when handing out cards in business situations. Every little bit counts!

If you're ever looking for a really cute gift for a coworker (or for yourself!), visit the nice people over at Extraordinary*.

They're located at 195 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn between Berkeley Place and Union Street. If you're in the city, their other location is at 251 East 57th Street between 2nd and 3rd. See pix of their selection and shop online at


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Black Style Now?

"Is it cos' I is black?"--Sasha Cohen as Ali G

One of the great things about living in New York is that there are tons of fashion focused exhibits, forums, and events. This weekend I decided to check out an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York called Black Style Now.

I'd read recent evaluations (and critiques) of the exhibit in articles by Eric Wilson of the New York Times and Robin Givhan of the Washington Post and just had to go to see for myself.

If you haven't heard of it, the exhibit's purpose is to display the evolution of black fashion and style...from the 1920's until present. A few pictures:

Cute, huh?

As well put together as the exhibit was, my overall impression was mixed. On the one hand, it was really interesting to walk down memory lane and remember the days when Cross Colors were the bomb, and when everyone wore shirts and jeans with puffy handwriting on them.

And I enjoyed the tributes to hip-hops finest:

But I, like many others, felt that the exhibit was extremely ambitious. It says it will deliver 'Black Style'...but those Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica windbreakers, jeans, etc we all used to wear in high school were noticeably absent; I didn't see any trace of Starter Jackets or basketball paraphernalia; and I also feel like the exhibit sort of shafted black style of today by putting up designs of House of Dereon (Beyonce's line) and Todd Smith (LL Cool J's line...who knew?) at the end. I'm sorry, who has even seen House of Dereon in stores? I haven't!

In case you were wondering what House of Dereon clothing looks like, this was the outfit on display:


Also, Todd Smith's outfits:

Riiight. Both are fine (I guess), but how is this Black Style if noone (black or other) wears these clothes?? I'm just sayin...

Bottom line, the exhibit would have been better if it were more focused. Ya know how you write a paper and it has a thesis...and then the rest of the paper elaborates on that thesis? The thesis of this could have just been 'Black Design'..and everything could've been about black designers through time. But it was sort of a mixture of everything...the exhibit mentioned black models in the industry (or lack thereof) very briefly, and then there was something about skin bleaching and hair straightening?

Informative, but a little irrelevant.
The best thing about the exhibit is that I learned the names of SO MANY black designers (when up until this point, I thought that there was only Tracy Reese and Stephen Burrows and not many more...). I saw the work/read bios of designers like Irma McLindon, Ruby Bailey, Wesley Tann, Douglas Says, Byron Lars, Bill Smith, Stefan Young, Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes, Cassandra Bromfield, CD Greene, Ann Lowe, Jean Wade, Jon Hagins, Willi Smith, Scott Barrie...I could go on!

If you're interested, the exhibit will be at the museum until February 19th, 2007. Just take the 6 train to 103rd street. The museum is located at 1220 Fifth Avenue at 102nd street. For hours and admissions info, log onto


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hennes and Mauritz (aka H&M)

"I was so upset when Daddy told me I had to get a job that I went shopping to calm down"--Reese Witherspoon as Jill Green on Friends

I was having a bit of a bad day, so I ventured into the sunshine for a bit of retail therapy. I didn’t have time to, say, go to Loehmann’s to search through their racks (or the money to even think about Saks), so I settled for H&M because I knew that I could possibly find something cute and not spend a ton.

I have a dinner and a bachelorette party to attend on Friday, so I wanted to find something tame enough to go to a nice restaurant, but still flashy enough to wear for a night out.

These are a few things I tried on:

Both dresses were $39.90....and they looked it too. I passed on them.

I also tried on this saucy 'fit:

The skirt with suspenders and shirt were $24.90 each. I think this looked better than anything else, but something about it made me feel that I might’ve been skirting the line between fashion forward and fashion faux pas (and skanky v. saucy).

Even with all the great stuff H&M had to offer, I ended up not buying anything (Maybe I had the thought of my winter coat in the back of my head…)

Still there are some great things about H&M:
1. I brought 11 items into the dressing room and nobody raised an eyebrow. They just gave me a little paddle thing with ‘11’ on it and I was on my way.

2. Is it just me or does H&M play the BEST music???? I was jamming to Ne-yo, Chingy, and Beyonce waiting in line for the dressing room.

3. They always have sort of fashion forward look. In a talk during fashion week, Andre Leon Talley said that he’d seen girls in the tents that had jackets from H&M he could’ve mistaken for Fendi or Prada. And this is from the editor at large of Vogue, people.

4. The prices! Dresses for $40 sometimes look like $40...but when they don't you're getting a heck of a bargain.

So basically H&M’s the bomb.
I chit chatted with someone who works there who told me that they get new shipments at 2, 4, and 9 pm everyday (I think stores close around 9pm, so come in the morning as well). Stop in at those times to catch the new stuff!

Find an H&M near you by logging onto


Monday, September 18, 2006

Antique Boutique 1: Angel Street

"Vintage, so adorable"--Rachel McAdams as Regina in Mean Girls

On Saturday my friends and I stumbled upon the most amazing thrift store in Chelsea called Angel Street Thrift Shop (at 118 West 17th Street between 7th and 6th).

A few pics:

Usually when you think of thrift stores, you think of rows and rows and smelly clothes, outdated buys, dusty musty furs. This one was super special. I saw brands like Burberry, Versace, Prada, everything you could dream of.

Anyway, it didn't take me long to find these boots in my size:

This is how they look on:

So let's see: knee high pointy toed deep burgundy stretch boots...and they were only $15!!?!? They were a little snug, but I can't find flip flops for $15! I had to get them.

The great thing about this particular thrift store is that all proceeds benefit people with substance abuse problems, HIV, AIDS, and mental illness. Fashion for a good cause! It's vintage, it's cool, I dug it. Here's their website for more information:

Then walking further on 17th street I ran into the Chelsea Antique Flea Market

...just a plethora of jewelry, vintage t-shirts, knick knacks, etc (I even spotted some old school Guccci shoes!). It's open every Saturday and Sunday.

I tried this necklace on (and don't I look so happy??)

A little much, but this stand full of Turkish jewelry was cute. Everything on there was from $10-$25.

You can find one of a kind, vintage, antique items (i.e. without seeing 5 people at your job/school/wherever wearing the same thing), at Angel's Thrift Shop and the Chelsea Antique Flea Market. You can't go wrong.

Oh and Angel Thrift Shops actually have many locations:
157 East 23rd Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues
2202 East 77th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
306 Columbus Avenue between 74th and 75th Street
209 East 21st STreet between Park and Lexinton Avenues
277 Park Avenue South between 25th and 26th Street
286 3rd Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Street

Get your shop on!