Tag Archives: michael stars

stylish steals: going native

i always love this time of year for bargains.  casual shoppers are worn out by the holidays, and the after-christmas crowds are gone, but this is prime time for my favorite local boutiques to induce mega markdowns in advance of spring arrivals.  fall’s pieces are always more versatile and, typically, more expensive than spring styles, so i really relish the winter sales.  i thought i’d share a few of my favorite sale finds of late, both online and off.

i picked up the minidress version of this utterly wonderful cowl neck tank from t by alexander wang (isn’t that blue gorgeous?) from frances may, a local boutique that gets loads of love from the fashion world (check out their feature in lucky this month!).  if i hadn’t been set on a tunic-length, i’d have picked up this tank version instead, as i’d probably wear it more.  $62 is as close to a steal as this line gets, and i can tell you, the cut is *un*believable.  divinely drapey, flowing, but curve-skimming…it’s sheer layering perfection, and can you imagine it with shorts this spring?  (sizing note: i’d say it runs a smidge big…i think going down a size would be totally appropriate here.)

sadly, my latest completely awesome bargain find – a military-style jacket at anthropologie yesterday for $9.95(!) – isn’t online.  but i will say in general, their (in-store) selection of coats is excellent right now – i fell hard for a buttery leather cropped moto jacket in burnt caramel, for $124.  as for online finds, this striped michael stars tee is right on trend for spring, and definitely a steal at $29.  i was utterly shocked by the flattering styling of these joe’s knit chelsea leggings (leggings, not jeans…don’t let the pockets fool you), and they’re maybe the most comfortable thing i’ve ever worn. they’re $78 for now…i’m holding out for one more markdown.

those of you on the east coast are lucky enough to be near one of my favorite shops.  CUSP is a spinoff from neiman marcus, and they’re one of my must-shops when i hit the east coast.  but don’t fret – if you’re not nearby, there are some serious steals at their online sale right now, especially in the “under $100” section.  the fillmore moto jacket ($81) is maybe the best version i’ve seen of the classic moto – the asymmetrical styling makes it infinitely more hip, and infinitely more wearable for those of us over the age of 25. plus, that bright indigo shade will be fabulous layered over your spring floral dresses (or that striped michael stars top!).  and, if you’ve been wanting to try the sequin trend, i love their version from MK2K (i have a feeling this one’s more sleek than it appears – those microsequins never photog well).

have you been braving the weather to hit up the winter sales in your ‘hood?  i’d love to know what steals you’re scoring these days!

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spring translations: safe stripes


so, i was going to write about another spring trend that’s annoying me this week, perhaps neon, or boyfriend blazers, or…you see where i’m headed.  but i decided instead to be a bit more positive.  to find the silver lining on this sad spring fashion cloud, if you will.  and i’ve done it!  

stripes!  they’re absolutely everywhere right now, and while i’ve run screaming from them in the past, they’re a trend i’m totally willing to reconsider.  i was terrified at first – the whole concept of the stripe adding width, etc.  but, there are ways around this!  diagonal stripes, mixed-width stripes, thin stripes…basically anything other than the thick stripes we all remember from those gap rugby shirts we were all wearing in the ’90s, or anything with stripes only around your midsection.  yeah, those ones will add a little heft to your hips, it’s true.

but if you’re smart about them, stripes are such a fun way to add pattern to your life, particularly for those of you who are anti-floral.  the big rule of thumb is to break up the stripe somehow, so that you’re never left with a clean horizontal line.  so, with a striped tee, add a jacket – this cardigan/vest combo is another great, easy way to try stripes.  with a striped jacket or cardi, leave it unbuttoned to reveal a solid or other pattern beneath.  i also love taking a long-sleeved striped tee and layering a solid tee over it.

one of my favorite buys this spring was a striped jersey scarf from michael stars, a relative steal at $38.  i’m annoyed that i can’t find my color combo online (heather grey and purple), but the one above is awfully close.  you can also check out michael stars’ site and banana moon for other color options, or call one of my favorite local boutiques to see if they still have one to spare.  this is a great way to add a little stripe without fear, and even try mixing patterns a bit.  if you’re living in fear of stripes, this is a great first step.

while i was at the same lovely local boutique (yes, i get into some trouble there), i also picked up that sweet lamade striped cardigan above.  my general cardigan addiction notwithstanding, i love that the stripes on this one are subtle and neutral – i can pair them with literally everything, and mix patterns to my heart’s content.  the fabric is lightweight and supersoft for spring, and, unless i make the critical error of wearing this one buttoned up, it’s risk-free in the bulk department.  grab it at revolve, or add it to your order when you’re calling covet about the scarf.  i’m definitely in favor of keeping my fave indy stores in business.

one last rule of thumb:  keep your striped pieces trim, but not skin-tight.  too tight is just never flattering.  too loose, and well…this is what happens.  it’s not every day that even a shopbop model looks fat.

what do you think?  will you be adding stripes to your closet this spring?

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what i want today: travel chic

editor’s note:  i am thrilled to introduce the lovely and talented jessie, of prior shoppingsmycardio fame, as our newest contributing writer!  let’s send her some welcoming warm fuzzies, shall we?


jessica simpson aer large satchelcitizens of humanity faye jean

once upon a time, flying was glamorous. ladies would dress up in a suit with hosiery and a hat to fly. lately when i travel, i feel like the coach cabin is the equivalent of a greyhound bus. gone are the smart suits and chic hats – these days, you are more likely to see travelers in their pajamas.

i am not advocating that we all step out in pillbox hats to fly, but who doesn’t want to feel chic after a day of travel?  fortunately, it is possible to look great and be comfortable.

let’s start with a fabulous carry on.  it needs to be large enough to hold your essentials but not so big you are cursing the weight of it when your flight is delayed. keeping in mind that said bag is going to slip under the seat and the plane floor is not the cleanliest place, don’t carry a bag that you will be devastated when it gets gum or whatever else is lurking under your seat on it.  with that in mind, for $118 you can’t go wrong with this aer satchel (even if it is by jessica simpson).

i like to wear jeans when i travel: a wide legged pair in a dark wash looks put together yet effortless. the faye jeans from citizens of humanity ($194) are perfect for travel.  they have stretch in them so they will hold their shape, and they are really soft for your comfort. best part, the darts on the back do wonders for your posterior!

travel days can be long, so wearing a fabric that won’t wrinkle is key, you never know when you will be late and have to run straight to dinner.  a solid tee is perfect travel wear, you can always accessorize to dress it up. michael star’s tees wear beautifully; they have great lines and come in fun colors. i love the cotton scoop neck long sleeve in eggplant ($52), one of my favorite colors for fall. if you are more of a neutral girl, go with the java color. the longer length is perfect when bending down, so you aren’t showing anything you don’t want to. 

i heard someone say once that animal prints are either fifth avenue or call girl (and not the fabulous call girl, belle de jour, on showtime). this gorgeous leopard wrap by kashmere is definitely uptown chic, and you can pick it up at bluefly for the bargain price of $90 (marked down from $195). wearing a scarf when traveling is key, if you are cold you can use it as a blanket, or in a real crunch as a pillow.

airplanes can be chilly, so layer a chic blazer like this cotton blazer from banana republic ($125). in khaki, it will work with most anything you have packed for your trip, and is sure to become a classic in your wardrobe.

finally, footwear.  who are we kidding…it always come back to the shoe!  i am going to suggest wearing a classic heeled boot like the classic campus boot from frye ($398).  this boot will look amazing under your wide leg jeans or over your skinny jeans. i have been coveting frye boots, ever since i was in high school and i would wear my mom’s vintage pair. i recommend a boot over flats because when you are enduring the humiliation of security and you have to take your shoes off, don’t add insult to injury by having your bare feet touch the floor! boots = socks!  wearing your boots will also save room in your luggage for all your other shoes!

now that you are gorgeously dressed for your travel, enjoy your trip!  and don’t worry…all that staring is only because your fellow passengers wish they looked that chic!

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