Archives for category: Shoes

Summer is the perfect moment for fast fashion. The season of beach and barbecues will scent your clothes with that distinctive sweaty, sloshed drink smell anyway, so why not spend your cash on new margarita glasses instead of clothes that will be one season wonders?

In this spirit, here’s our challenge:  to assemble a complete outfit–from head to toe–for under or around $50.  And to save time and energy (it’s hot outside, and there’s fun to be had), these picks are from just three stores.

♣Perfect ForSaturday Afternoon Errands (add your own jeans under the dress for a completely new outfit).  Dress:  Forever 21, $18.90; Shoes:  Payless, $24.99; Bracelets:  Forever 21, $6.80.  Total:  $50.69



♣Perfect ForHot Nights Out.  No accessories necessary:  this outfit is tough enough as is.  Dress: Forever 21, $36; Shoes:  Target, $26.99.  Total:  $62.99



♣Perfect ForLadies Who Brunch.  The combo of high waist shorts + platform heels = long and lean = requests for your trainer’s number.  Shirt:  Forever 21, $19.80; Shorts: Forever 21, $24.00;  Shoes:  Target, $19.99.  Total:  $63.79



♣Perfect ForSummer Wedding/Baby Shower.  Shirt:  Target, $8.99; Necklace:  Forever 21, $7.80; Skirt:  Forever 21, $15.80; Shoes:  Target, $19.99.  Total:  $52.58



Last week, I went to the local drugstore to get a few cleaning supplies. I bought paper towels, two different types of cleaner – and a face mask.
“You freaking out about swine flu?” the cashier asked me, disdain oozing from every pore.

“No, I have a dust allergy,” I said curtly, and shoved my cash across the counter as quickly as possible.

Americans associate face masks with weirdos like Michael Jackson or Howard Hughes, but in Japan, they’ve been in fashion for years.

In a recent article by the AFP, Naoya Fujita (head of the Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association) explained the Japanese fascination with facemasks thusly:

“I think it’s part of the Japanese psyche to want to protect yourself at all cost from outside diseases. That feeling is stronger than the feeling of social embarrassment at wearing a mask.”

On the flip side, many Japanese wear masks when they feel a cold coming on in order to be polite. (This amazes Americans. Our attitude is, if we have to suffer, so does everyone else.)

Whatever the reason, face masks are widely available in Japan, with 1.96 million manufactured in 2007 alone.* You can buy them at almost any drugstore, and no one will look at you the least bit strangely.

If the swine flu panic continues to grow in the US, we may find ourselves joining them.

* Face masks part of Japan fashion chic for decades

Photo courtesy of tokyostargirl.

As of this weekend, I was the only person on the planet who had yet to view the film Twilight.

But now that I’ve moved out of the proverbial darkness and into the light (shouldn’t that be the other way around?), I’m high-school movie crushing on Twilight‘s soundtrack and storyline.  And after my husband turned to me halfway through the film and said, “I like Edward’s coat,” I figured the film’s costumes were a phenomenon too.

twilight-kristen-stewart-robert-pattinsonSearching for “Twilight fashion” yields approximately 27.5 million results; if you’re interested in tracking down exactly what the characters are wearing, imitating their style, or fan-girling yourself out in Twilight gear, here are the best of the bunch.

In Style magazine presents a slideshow of Twilight looks, interspersed with commentary from the film’s costume designer Wendy Chuck.  (That coat my husband admired?  Custom-made.  But if you’re in the market for other pieces from the character’s wardrobes, most of the clothing was sourced from affordable discount fashion and thrift stores.)  For a interview detailing the wardrobe challenges presented by the Oregon weather, click here.

The Cullen Closet links to exactly what the characters are wearing–including some reasonable facsimiles–so you can purchase your very own collection of Edward’s brooding gray tees.

Or, you can just turn the Cullens into paper dolls:  members of the fashion community Polyvore have assembled over 450 collages of what the vampire family would be caught dead wearing.

If you’re hardcore, you might consider getting a Twilight tattoo; I think I’ll just wear a Twilight t-shirt to New Moon opening night.

But as anyone who’s seen the film already knows, it’s all about the coats.

Photo credit:  InStyle, via Deana Newcomb/Summit Entertainment

New wardrobe?  Check.

New roommate?  Um, check.

New decor for your dorm room?  Let’s go shopping.

While your room will probably be furnished with the basics–bed, desk, chair, dresser–you still want to dress up your dorm in your own personal style.  Otherwise, your new abode will seem like it belongs in a subdivision filled with houses that look. like. every. other. house. on. the. block.  Snooze.

Some easy, affordable basics will set your room apart from the crowd.  (I should know; back in the day, my roommate and I plastered our walls floor to ceiling with photos, posters, and cutouts from magazines.  We also put our dresser smack in the center of the room, and hung beads from both our doorways.  People used to stop by just to see if the rumors about our room were true.)

lusy-kloss-ikea-bedding1.  Soft, colorful bedding.  A duvet with a bright cover is perfect; toss and shake the duvet, and voila!  Your bed’s instantly made.  Also think about buying an extra set of extra-long sheets, for those weeks when you just can’t make it to the laundry room.

2.  A comfy reading chair (ie, not the same lumpy wooden behemoth that sits at your desk), preferably with storage in its base.  This will make your back happy, especially when it’s movie or XBox night.

3.  A strong lamp, and its corollary, a clip-on book light.  The former will help you stay awake in cram-time situations; the latter will let your roommate sleep when you’re, well, still finishing up tomorrow’s reading at 4 am.

4.  Bins for organizing your Post-its, highlighters, socks, and shot glasses.  Keeping everything in its place will save time and sanity.

all-posters-drink-coffee-tin-sign5.  Something funny.  Could be a poster or a sign; could be a clock.  Think of it as an instant icebreaker.

norma-luisa-for-kartell-jelly-flatsThe daily e-mail from one of my favorite shopping blogs, the venerable Best Bets Daily, pointed us in the direction of design house Kartell’s new Glue Cinderella jelly flats.  First things first:  the shoes are adorable.  They lead with an adorable snub toe, and the heel is shaped like a star, so theoretically you could load up your shoes with paint and turn a night of dancing into performance art.  (Because the shoes are rubber, they would be easy to sponge off.)  Plus, the cheerful Crayola colors are like fruit punch for your feet.

So far, so good.  But:  flashbacks from my painful preteen days remind me that jelly shoes weren’t exactly, well, comfortable.   While the Kartell version doesn’t have quite the strappy complications that 80’s jellies did, they’re still rubber, which could be sticky in the summer.  So inquiring minds want to know:  would you be willing to take a risk–$101 USD plus shipping from Europe, to be exact–on these one-season wonders?

pierre-hardy-for-gap-three-strap-platform-sandalsAnother iconic designer producing an unexpected collection is Pierre Hardy designing for Gap.  Hardy’s designs are usually priced in the stratosphere, so a pair of his shoes ringing in at under $100 USD is news indeed.  These Heidi-goes-disco platform sandals have been much discussed on the internet, so I’ll sum up the reaction with a quote from Grechen of Grechen’s Closet:  “I’m only just a little wary of the white sole. I mean, white?”  I’m in agreement with Grechen (on whose site you can actually vote yay or nay); especially paired with the green suede straps, the white sole is just so…white.  Are you intrigued, or just fatigued?

big-blue-dots-toms1Nothing sings spring quite like exposing your toes.  When the weather finally gives you the opportunity to wear mandals, flip-flops, or canvas slips, your feet are thrilled to shed the thick, woolen socks of winter.  But unlike heavy winter boots, which are made to withstand a forceful 6 months of snow, sleet, and ice, warm-weather shoes are made to soak up summer sweat.

Which, by my calculations, just means that you need to have more summer shoes in your rotation.

TOMS shoes are one of my go-to footwear choices for sunny days.  Each pair of TOMS is created from a canvas upper and leather footbed, and sits on a textured EVA sole.  The styles are unisex, and the variations are many:  tie-dye, glitter, sailor, plaid, burlap, graffitti, fleece-lined and utilitarian brights.  If you get caught in a summer rainstorm, just leave them on the front porch to dry; step in mud puddle, and you can gently wash your TOMS in cold water to remove the dirt.  And if you’re wondering how to style them, TOMS look fantastic with wide-legged jeans, tiny skirts, and cargo shorts.

Best of all, TOMS is founded on the principle of one for one:  for each pair of TOMS purchased, the company gives a pair of shoes to a child in need.  TOMS shoe drops have distributed over 140,000 pairs of shoes around the globe.

The more you buy, the more you give.  Didn’t I tell you that you needed more than one pair?

For a limited time, enter SpringTOMS for 10% off at checkout.