Saturday, February 27, 2010

Etsy Designer Spotlight: Talulabelles

I haven't forgotten about this running feature! I've just been bad about it. :)

And real quick before the post ensues: thanks for the responses yesterday! I'm actually a little shocked that most of you feel you couldn't pull off the look for one reason or another... especially because Oprah herself has deemed it an "easy look" to wear. Hmmm... Shows us how much she knows, huh? :)  I hope a few of you try it at least once, 'cuz lemme tell ya-- it's like wearing pajamas without having to wear the Pajama Jeans. And I swear, if I catch any of you wearing those, I'll be forced to bring out my styling AND psychology skillz on yas.

On to more interesting things: Etsy is known for the myriad of jewelry designers who make spectacular baubles, and Talulabelles is no exception. She hails from the UK, but don't fret, US buyers-- shipping is always free. And that's impressive for a small business! She uses a mixture of new and repourposed materials to make stunning pieces. Let's take a gander, shall we?

Chrysanthe Lace Applique necklace, $54

Baileys Over Ice earrings, $26

Olivia Corsage Necklace, $115

Hedgerow Fairies bracelet, $74

Chrysalis Butterfly earrings, $26

My fave has to be the lace applique necklace in the first picture-- the gold gets me every time. Gimme gimme. Check out her other stuff, too.... it's all worth a look!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring Fling: the Soft Pant.

So, Shopbop  recently featured a blog post on the "Easy Pant," or the "Soft Pant," which is essentially defined by a jodhpur-esque dropped crotch, lighter material and tapered leg. The look really taps into that laissez-faire styling that spring will be seeing this year. I have to admit, I've been quite intrigued by this look since last year when it started becoming popular but held off in suspicion that it wouldn't last long. Would ya look at that, here they are, back in full force for this spring. I'm excited, really, because no matter how "easy" Shopbop makes it seem, I feel they aren't as easy to pull off. A challenge! The blog recommends a loose fitted blouse with a jacket, or a simple tank. Hmmm. I think I have other styling ideas:

1. Keep the colors neutral. This is just a personal thing, really, and the reason I say so is because it is so quintessentially Spring 2010 that it just seems right to pair it with a soft, muted pallate.

2. Pair with a structured jacket. I tried lots of different looks here, lovies, and photographed them all to see what worked. To be honest, the tailored jacket worked best. The boyfriend jacket seemed way too unstructured and maybe even pajama-ey. So here's my example of how to pull it off:

 Jacket: Halogen (Nordstrom) ca. 2007
Top: Express embellished neckline top ca. 2006
Pants: Lulu's At Ease Trousers
Shoes: Steve Madden Tristanos
Necklace: Nordstrom (forget the designer's name but she is super cool...)

3. If you are to do a more loose fitted top, just make sure it doesn't look like you rolled out of bed. I tried to achieve this with the statement necklace, but it could be taken further with a great updo and some bold, fun makeup. I also liked that this cardigan had some depth to it with the fluttering ruffles, so maybe that helped keep it polished and not too loungey.

Sweater: LINE ruffle cardigan

4. Tailor them if they bunch. I haven't done this yet, but I think if the length were more at the ankle instead of bunched at the shoe, it would just look better. (That's on the to-do list.)

And if a jacket or cardigan is not in the books (i.e., when it's way too hot out there to wear more layers), I do think a pretty embellished tee or tank would work, just like was recommended on Shopbop's blog post.  Ground the look with some chunky platforms or wedges. I'll definitely be keeping these comfortable pants in the running through the warmer months and I can't wait.

What do ya'll think? Is this look easy to pull off, or is it on the "Black Diamond" level of fashion?

Note: uhhhh... Please ignore "Answer 5." Damn Polldaddy....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

OOTD: 80's Revival. Righteous.

Every morning, I walk into my closet and see my pretty Rodarte for Target dress and think about how little I wear it and how it shall never, ever EVER see my office. It just sits there... all sad and lonely. And it wants to be casual-ed down, yes it does. So I pulled out my new denim jacket, lace up shoeties and socks and realized...


This is 80's at its finest. Or, if you hated the 80's, its worst. (I happen to love it and think this it's fun, but definitely not a safe outfit!)
 Dress: Rodarte for Target leopard print dress (pretty alternative!)
Jacket: F21 Dean Denim Jacket
Belt: F21 bow belt
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell lace up shoeties (kinda like these, but also kinda not. Hm.)
Socks: ?

A little less acid washed:

Jacket: F21 peplum jacket
Necklace: possibly F21... I really need to stop shopping there, huh?

Happiness is...

... having such a fun blogging community! Thanks to Elanor at Shopping the Closet for my Happy 101 Blogger Award. I thought this would be a nice way to reflect on what makes me happy, even when I am stressed. Max.

(p.s. these are in no particular order...)

1. My husband. Sounds corney, yeahyeah, but he really does!
2. Shopping. Duh! I love new finds, scoring deals and discovering brands and boutiques I've never heard of. I guess it's a little like hunting for me, and that makes it challenging and exciting. Plus, helloooo, clothes are preeeeetty.
3. My career path. Yes... despite the pitfalls, I would never choose any other route or profession.
4. Texas. It's hilarious and kitschy and country-bumpkin and everything really is bigger.
5. PJs. The second I come home from work or wherever I've been, I throw on sweat pants, a tank, a sweater, and slippers. Then I proceed to hide under Brookstone's NAP blanket and pillow, put on reality television, and smile. That's happiness, people!
6. Wine. Ya'll know how much I love me some wine. (in moderation and not while driving. Just a PSA.)
7. Kiddie movies. Some of my faves= Babe, Wall-E, Up, and Pocahontas. Do not judge. I regress easily.
8. Television of all sorts. I rarely discriminate. I love Sci-Fis, drama, action, reality, chick-TV, home renovation, bridal shows...
9. Health. It's something I usually take for granted, but I feel pretty happy that I'm generally a healthy person with no serious conditions. This blogging community has definitely opened my eyes to the blessing of health.
10. Of course, all of you. Seriously. I'm not being sappy. Well... I am being sappy, but it's heartfelt and true.

Yay! Tonight, I'll be back with an OOTD... and I'll set up some posts for this coming weekend so as not to leave ya hangin'. I'll be in CT for 3 days (and ohgod I have to pack still. Ugh.). Then my traveling will be done for a few months. Thank Lordie!

Monday, February 22, 2010


What better way to deal with indecision and stress than to SHOP SHOPPITY SHOPEROO?


I'm thinking about ordering this, but do I need another lacey item? It's sorta like my F21 lace skirt... hmm...

And I tried this on in store and love love LOVED it. Soooo cute. But they didn't have my size...
I did manage to get a F21 striped skirt (similar to this skirt but in grey and white with thinner stripes, and a bit longer), and a light denim jacket (which I've been eyeing to pair with more feminine outfits). Now I just need some spring-ey tops to pair with my fun new skirts...

And I've been eyeing Mink Pink lately-- anyone tried them? I love this dress, even though I have no freekin' clue where I'd wear it. Hmm. Shopping makes a Justine happy. And less headachey. Yep.  :)

OH. Also. Had to share this: I called the F21 today to find out about my hotly desired Silk Bow Dress, which I was told was in shipment and on it's way to the store for invoice this week. And come to find out, they're NOT getting the dress. (wtf, sales associate? Do you know how upset you've made me?! and yes the world DOES revolve around me! Duh!!) So this morning, it was sold out in small online and I was stuck in the same situation as last week and wanted to kick myself in the butt for not just jumping on it when I could. Almost as if it were meant to be, I checked the site again tonight for shits and giggles, and guess what lovies? There it was, in a small, in pink, staring at me in the face. So I wasted NOTIME and clicked purchase, along with this and this. Hey F21, you're like crack. Stop it. Or keep it up, I dunno, but I need more restraint. NO more F21 for me for a while; I need to be buying slightly higher quality from now on. End of story.

Another blah blah post...

So I know these posts are just so darn boring, but hey, you're my captive audience and I want to talk, damnit. So here we are.

First, about my weekend: I had a nice (but hectic) time in Denver for all of 24 hours. The weather wasn't that bad, so I was surprised pleasantly. Interview went well, I think (it's always hard to really say, isn't it?) and the program seems amazing and challenging. Next weekend is a combined interview/family visit in Connecticut, so that should be fun. But I have to say I can't wait until this is all over and I know what my life will be for the foreseeable future. Stressful, this all is!!

But along the same lines, I've been toying with the ideas about my work/my love of fashion. I've had soooo much fun blogging in this past half year and love hearing from my readers (thank you to my 181 fans! So exciting and I'm grateful to all of you! Plus the non-followers, I lurve you too.) However, I also love psychology and will be in school (WILL BE, ya hear?). Which poses the inevitable question: how will I keep both up, especially since the worlds are so different? I guess I'm not sure if I'll be able to do the school thing (and not just school, but a Ph.D. program) and blogging at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I want to! I do! I'm just a little unsure I'll have the time to dedicate like I do now, sans school. The future of my blogging is questionable, but I'm holding out hope.

This calls for a little question of my readers, especially the ones who are in school and blog (or something similar): how do you do it? Do you find the time? Is it a distraction or a welcome outlet from school?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ms. Taylor has arrived.

Oh. My. Garsh.

I love her. She's so pretty and so comfy and so... short.

I've been giving this some thought lately. Here's what I've come up with:
1. You're only young once.
2. If you've got it, flaunt it (within reason).
3. Why the hell not?

These thoughts have spurred from the question: Can I really wear things this short? I prefer short to knee length because I feel it looks best on my legs, which have little shape to the calf. And it seems I've really been eyein' the shorter hems lately (courtesy Spring Runway trends) and adding them to my closet. The stripey tunic is an example. So it's made me think a little:
1. You're only young once. Right? I want to look back at myself in 25 years and say, nice job, younger-Justine! Taking advantage of your youth.
2. If you've got it, flaunt it (within reason). There are a lot of things about my body I don't like, but it's much more fun to talk about what I do like-- my legs are one of them. They may be lanky, but they're pretty long and lean. I remember my mom always saying she loved her legs and she got 'em from her momma. Now I say the same thing! And hey... I should show 'em off once in a while, no?
(And let's get this clear-- I am NOT wearing short hemlines at the office, at church, at buisiness functions or on my interviews. This is the "within reason" part. This skirt, and other one's like it, are reserved for dancing, Vegas (!), dinner with friends and weekend drinks. Maybe a fun shopping/lunch date, but only if I'm headed to Highland Park Village or Northpark, heh.)
3. Why the hell not? I guess this one doesn't really have an explanation. Yup.
So to sum, my lovies: It's (almost) (will be) spring. I like short skirts. I'm doing it while I can. Amen.  :)
And ohmigosh burnout leopard print with ruffles? Die.

Tank: Nordstrom BP's layering camis
Jacket: Charlotte Russe military blazer (long, long time ago)
Skirt: Rebecca Taylor burnout leopard skirt
Shoes: from a boutique in Dallas, don't know the designer (but there's rhinestone studs on 'em! Fun!)
Necklace: Francesca's boutique (not available; similar here)

Friday, February 19, 2010

OOTD: Tea Rose Ruffles

This was a recent purchase from good ole Forever 21 (I hope they love me because I give them more money than I want to think about)... it came in the mail with my awesome striped tunic dress. I was initially drawn to this dress because of none other than the tiers of ruffles floating down the side, but I think I'm keeping it because of the colors. Funny how there's so much bright coral pink but it still seems so neutral and classy.  It may be a simple outfit, but I think it's one of my favorites right now!

Dress: F21 (Love 21) dress (out of stock, but here's a similar blue version)
Shoes: Charles by Charles David "Glad" wedge sandals (here; similar here, almost sold out!)
Necklaces: an amalgamation of god knows what.

This dress sold out in like, one day. I bought it when it popped up on the site, and the next day it seemed to vanish. I suppose I'm not the only one who thought it was pretty.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Spring Topshop wishlist

Gimme gimme gimme... mine mine mine.... I think I could officially become Olivia Palermo if I only shopped at Topshop. (That's an aspiration of mine, p.s... minus the biatchiness.)

All items can be found on!

Also, I've got a few more things up on my eBay site, so take a look HERE!

Justine's take on Stripe Hype!

I was rather excited to see a F21 package sitting on my doorstep yesterday evening! For any of you who follow my Twitter feed, you'll know how fah-reeekin annoyed I was with UPS the past two days. Needless to say, this package shoulda gotten here LAST WEEK and it just came today. Argh. But it's here, and I'm happy. Yay!

One of the items I purchased was part of an effort to amass some striped items for the spring. I had this fabulous idea of a striped dress that could also work cinched up as a tunic. I found the perrrrrfect item to fulfill this wish.

(Warning: lots of leg photos coming up! Yipes short dress!)

Okokokok.... I'll put some clothes on, sheesh.  :)


Tunic dress/top: F21 striped tunic (other colors here)
Belt: F21 bow belt 
Hat: Nordstrom 2009
Shoes: Chinese Laundry (1st pic); Steve Madden (2nd pic)
Necklace: F21 gold chain link oldie

Perfect for Vegas, no?? :)  I feel a little "Lauren Conrad" in the second set of pics. And a little Amber-inspired in the first... maybe it's the use of the hat. Who knows. For review purposes, I had to order this top/dress in a size Med, since the smalls were sold out (and now all sizes in this color are sold out). So it fits a little loosely in my waist, but definitely fits well in the... ahem... buttocks area. As you can tell. I'm almost happy I was forced to get a size up because I'm not sure I could make this a dress with any less material. I'm almost not sure I can make it a dress now! But like I said, for Vegas, definitely fine. Some of ya'll shorter ladies will do OK with this probably. 

And thanks for all the help with the elusive bow dress! Pammy has basically convinced me to buy the blue instead and stop fretting about the pink... but oh that pink....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One more time...

Here's go-around number 2 for those of you who didn't get the original Bold Boutonniere dress from Anthropologie, OR the knock off from Modcloth...

Lulu's now has a version!! And for $41!!

This will be gone fast, so get it if you love it. Hey Chlosters... are we tag-teaming this look for less again? hehe....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Dress that will never be.

EDIT 2/17 @ 8:20 pm:  Thanks for the alerts, everyone!! I actually called my local mall (Northpark) thanks to Tam and luckily, they will be getting this dress in my size in store late this week! Won't have to pay for shipping this way. You made my fuchsia-colored dreams come true, thank you thank you thank you! Mwahh!

This is a sad, sad story, lovies, so please bear with me.


This pretty little dress came up on F21's site last night (I should know-- I stalk).

And in the second it took me to click "wishlist," the size Small was sold out.

And the Medium.

What?! I, of course, called CS today to ask what's going on. Surely a mistake on the site, no? OK well Mr. F21 first led me on, saying it's still available in a small, then after a little hold time said it's GONE. ZIPPO. In less than 24 hours.

I'm currently in denial. However, if this is true... if it's never to come back on the site again, will you keep an eye out for this item in store? If you see this pretty silken bow dress in hot pink in Small, please email me! I'll love you forever. (Not that I already don't, but I'll love you forever plus one.) I kinda think it's a lost cause, but this baby is just so gorgeous and I must have it. I might settle for the blue (which is still in stock, taunting me with it's non-pinkness), but I'm just holding out hope. A hope of all hopes.

On a positive note, the headache and sore throat has improved, so I think I'm getting better. Yay for health and BOOO for stupid F21 selling out their items and never re-stocking.

Spring trend challenge: the Fatigue

As I was perusing old Spring '10 runway shows and flipping through Bazaar mag (which, by the way, you should get this month if you haven't already, because it gives some GREAT inspiration aritcles and pics for the spring!), I was struck by one trend that I'm wary about: The Fatigue.

It seems strange, really, to see fatigue style amidst the pretty neutrals, pastels, laces, silks and ethereal fashion I've been most excited about. And it's definitely different than the military looks we saw in the fall, because this is almost more literal. And it's definitely going beyond a little jacket with brass buttons... it's full on surplice trenches. Oy. I'm no army chick, that's for sure. Dreams of spring do not call to mind cargo pockets, olive green or wrinkled cotton.

But then again, what's the best way to tone down such light and pretty pieces? I mean, we're not trying to be ballerinas around here.

(Right? We're not? Yeah, no... never. Ahem.)

So the fatigue is, I suppose, a fun and edgy way to mix in the unexpected. So my challenge was to find pieces that I think I would wear (and hopefully you'll like too, especially if you're also a bit on the fence). Here are my Fatigue-inspired picks:

Diane von Furstenburg shorts, $225
Maybe cheating here, since it's silken and boudoir-esque, but the cuffed buttoned up sides are very cargo-reminiscent.

F21 Strapless cargo dress, $22.80 
This is cute! I can see it on a relaxing summer day with a cold margarita in hand. Nice.

F21 Leatherette bag, $29.80
A good way to infuse this style in a wardrobe is to do it subtly-- a slouchy pocketed hobo is great.

J Brand skinny cargo pants, $230
I just love these! So cute.

Juicy Couture peplum backed jacket, $198
(Juicy got surprisingly military for the Spring, so there are a lot of selections here!)

L.A.M.B. skirt, $191
Another nice way to cheat the fatigue style: still very femme, but reminiscent of the surplice look.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Twill Dress, $248
This is literal, yet still feminine. I likey!

Nanette Lepore Burning Heart Dress, $268
This just looks damn comfortable. And versatile... imagine with a cute striped cardi and flats. 

Splendid fleece jacket, $148
Maybe best for cooler springs given the material, but it's another literal-yet-feminine take. 

SO many choices out there, my lovies, and so many ways to try the trend. The great thing about this spring's style is that almost anything goes. Just as long as you do it with proportion and smart pieces.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cold when it's cold.

Yipes, lovies. My immune system is usually the best around, but every once in while, it turns on me. That "once in a while is" rightnow, and my head hurts just watching the little letters type across the screen. Ouch.

So, obvi, posting may be scarce in the next day or so. Hopefully this gross cold will pass tomorrow and I can be back to my merry little ways, but I just like a little insurance. So that's that.

To make me feel better, hubsters went to Braums for my fave combo of fries, chicken fingers and a peanut butter and fudge sundae... and the jerks forgot my chix fingers. Oy. (and yes, I said I don't like ice cream, but I'm sick goshdernit and it sounded great. And it WAS.)

And theeeeeenn, the damn UPS man never showed up with my F21 package. Doesn't he know I'm sickly? Doesn't he know that besides reality television and a Braums sundae, this was what I was looking forward to all my pathetic day? Oy again.

Here's a pick me up: Justine's item of the day. Hellloooo Vegas.

(I woulda picked something more realistic but most retailers took the day off and didn't post anything new. Oy times three!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

OOTD: A mighty mix of animal

I really don't recommend mixing animal prints. It can look a little less laissez-faire and a little more like crazy-cat-lady.

However. I was curious.

Honestly, I still don't recommend, even if it was as subtle as I could think of. Yeah. Just a general no.


Sweater: F21 bow neck cardigan
Jeans: AE Super Skinnies
Belt: Rodarte for Target bow belt
Shoes: Steve Madden zebra printies
Earrings: ModCloth drop earrings

When forced to choose which animal print I'd keep, it'd be the shoes. The belt is sorta unnecessary in the outfit, so it went. But I was a little excited to discover that these earrings, which I got free from a past ModCloth order, worked well with the pearlized buttons on this sweater. I hadn't worn them before because they're a little loud (to say the least), but a necklace just wouldn't do with the neckline on this cardigan and it definitely called for some danglies.

I felt like doing a poll (which woulda made more sense in the post from Saturday), so here ya're: Will you mix your animal prints?

Valentine's outfit Revealed!

Happy Valentine's day, bloggies!!

The outfit's really not all that exciting, because it's basically an outfit I've posted before with a few tweaks. Oh well... I am rather excited about wearing this skirt, though, because you Fetching Fashions Frequenters will remember how much I loved this upon spotting it a month or so back. Sigh.

Just can't decide where to wear the socks... higher? lower? I just adjusted them all night. Gotta love thigh-highs...
Top: Free People lace top
Skirt: Anthro's From Monet Skirt
Socks: from Nordies 
Shoes: the beloved Steve Madden Tristanos
Necklace: Baker's mixed metals chain necklace

I'm not sure about this whole pairing-- I couldn't quite decide if I looked trampy or feminine. (I think the socks were what made that a question.) But what's done is done, and what's fashion without risks? hehe... and as you can tell, I decided against buying something new. I really have too many unworn dressy items in my closet to get a whole new outfit that will sit in the closet until another special occasion. A good decision on my part (you know, to make those lots of bad decisions a little less problematic).