Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dresses for Less!

Starting with Halloween tomorrow, the "holiday party season" officially begins. Plenty of girls (myself included) will resort to the classic LBD (Little Black Dress) for the majority of holiday events they plan to attend. After all, the LBD nevers go out of style, is flattering on everyone, and can be dressed up or down depending on how you accessorize. This year is the season to try a color besides black or perhaps even to be daring enough to try a pattern. I'm not suggesting that anyone head over to BCBG for a $350 holiday dress to wear only once. I've found reasonably priced dresses, all on sale, that can be worn to a variety of holiday functions.
Just because none of the dresses are solid black does not make them too wild or bold for the average midwestern girl. So whether you have been invited to a winter wedding, or a Thanksgiving Eve bash, a Red Dress Gala, or any other fun holiday party event, try something besides the black dress. It's worth it!

Nordstrom:$63.90 Victoria's Secret: $69.99 Ann Taylor:$79.99 Dillards: $140

Monday, October 27, 2008

Leather Jackets - too wild? Or cute and fun?

Today I'm writing about an apparel item that generally cannot be purchased inexpensively - the leather jacket. Leather jackets (like the one Ashley Olsen is wearing, left) can run you over $300. Spending that much is highly unnecessary and I have found several equally cute alternatives for far less $$.
But first, why buy one? Because although it sounds funny, wearing one makes you feel cool. Even if you are pretty far from being a rebellion, you will feel like one in a leather jacket. It can give a confidence that comes from looking dangerous.
Please note - leather can be cute - but do not buy a long leather trench, that's not so cute. Also, please don't get a patent leather jacket. Save shiny patent leather for purses and shoes.
Also note - I am not encouraging leather jackets for their capability of keeping you warm this winter. Whether you purchase real leather or faux-leather, the jacket will not be warming you up as if it were a North Face.
So, if you are ready to look like a biker chick, ignore the cold, and purchase one, here are my recomendations:
On the top right, I love this leather jacket from for $79.95 - much cheaper than you almost ever pay for real leather. This site looks weird because it sells all kinds of motorcycle gear - but some of the jackets are really cute even for non-motorcycle gals. In the middle right, I found this black leather jacket at Nordstrom for a steal - down from $298 to $118. (This one looks kind of short, so I would order one size up). Lastly, I found a faux-leather jacket at Target that looks just equally as motorcycle-cool as the other two real leather ones, and yet is on sale for only $24.99.
Enjoy your leather jacket, but stay away from those motorcycles! ;-)

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Love Lace

There is no look that simultaneously is both sexy and classy like a black lace top or dress. Lace is feminine, romantic and adorable on most everyone.
Lace, unlike some trends, is always a fashion staple, and is a perfect way to show just enough skin without showing too much.
Adriana Lima (right) is wearing a form-fitting, revealing version of lace (at Victoria's Secret for $42). Lace tops, paired with dark denim, are perfect for a dinner date, drinks with your girlfriends, or under a cardigan for the office. (Well, the VS top on the right should actually never be worn at the office, but the turtleneck below definitely can be).
Before you head out to purchase any lace items, take note: Lace should be handwashed and cared for gently. In addition, many lace tops out there are completely sheer. Please wear a basic black camisole or tee underneath! Shown below are the following lace tops:(L to R) Forever21: $19.80, Bloomingdale's: $98, and Urban Outfitters: $38.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bag I Want

Today I'm writing about a new chic bag I found at Banana Republic for under $300. I highly recommend this purchase for several reasons. This handbag (named the Cambridge Metallic Zip Satchel) is sturdy and practical while still being polished and sleek. I would choose to wear it as an evening bag, but with the right look it could be pulled off as daytime wear as well. It sells for $295 at Banana. Some of you readers may be thinking: "but I can get a really nice Coach bag for that price!" Yes you can, but do you really want the same "nice Coach bag" every girl in America will also have?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ankle Booties

I've been seeing short black booties on Michigan girls about town lately and they can look fabulous with the right pairing. Ankle boots seem far more intimidating to wear for the first time than they actually are. For beginners, they don't have to be worn with bare legs like Mischa here. The best way to ease into wearing them is to pair with a chic skirt and black tights (far right). Wearing black ankle booties with black tights can make your legs appear super long, promise! Grey tights will do the trick as well. Booties, as with most fashion choices, can be purchased at high prices in most department stores. I searched around to find equally bold and trendy booties for much less than at most department stores. From left to right, Kenneth Cole at Piperlime for $50, Zappos for $64, and Target for $29.99.

Monday, October 20, 2008

UGGS - It has to be said

This posting is not going to say what fashionistas everywhere have been saying for years (Uggs are ug as in ugly). I'm not going to say that they are totally unattractive, (it's been said plenty of times by plenty of people). I will say, however that I am sick of still seeing Uggs as an unfortunate daytime wardrobe staple on otherwise cute girls. I live in Michigan, I understand that it gets cold, snowy, and a little unbearable in the winter here - in winter. Not fall. On a 60° day in October, there is no reason for your Uggs to be worn - even just for class. In fact, there is no reason for your Uggs to be brought out until after Thanksgiving or at least the first snowfall.
I understand that nothing beats the comfort, convenience, and ease of Uggs for a go-to casual look. And plus, if you paid over $150, you don't want that money to go to waste, right? Well wear them if you must, but please not in October.
If you are ready for some new alternatives, I am here to help. If you are stuck on the Ugg brand, there is an adorable new winter '08 style (left) that is equally as comfy and practical, but with more detail (a bow!). At Nordstrom for a steep $179.
A second option: if you are willing to part with the Ugg
brand, take a fashion step forward, and save money, try these suede flat boots from (right). All four colors are cute but I am very partial to the grey. The price? At just $60, these are an ideal replacement for your Uggs. Looking for shoes of any kind, style, or price, definitely try The main reason I use zappos is because the shoes will literally arrive in two days and also because the shipping is free. Fast shipping is always a bonus for me.
My third recommendation of the day (left) are adorable riding-type boots and can be found for $128 at Urban Outfitters. And it goes without saying - all boots mentioned here can be worn with skinny jeans tucked in, or for bolder girls, with a fall skirt or dress.
NOTE: you can wear all boots on this page in winter, but only after you weatherproof!
One final thought: I'm interested in reader's opinions: "boots with the fur..." Will you wear them this winter? Or have you been over them for quite some time now?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Liquid Leggings - To buy or not to try?

Last night I found myself with several friends at a rap concert downtown Detroit. Normally I am not inclined to attend ghetto rap concerts - however upon being invited, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to wear my brand new "liquid" leggings.
For those not so fashionably aware - liquid leggings are hot. Everyone knows cotton leggings came back into style 2 years ago and haven't left. "Liquid" is another way of saying "pleather" or faux-leather. Different brands use different materials - but almost all use polyester and Nylon. A few important facts to note about them - 1.) they are skin tight. 2.) they are shiny. 3.) they must be worn at night only and with tall, sexy heels.
After finding a simple top to wear with my shiny black leggings, I felt confident heading into Detroit knowing I would be the only girl with this awesome look going on. Imagine my thoughts when I counted more than 6 girls with the identical liquid leggings/tight shirt/heels combination as mine. Even the girl rapper on stage was wearing the same leggings and she accentuated the look with tattoos all over her bod. Apparently, I am not the first to notice this trend. Normally, other girls wearing my unique outfit choice would bother me - but these leggings are so tight and so attention-grabbing on everyone wearing them, I didn't mind at all.
If you have a nightclub outing, rap concert, or other such wild evening event to attend in the near future - pick up a pair of these. A bargain at American Apparel for $42.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Plaid for Everyone!

I am dedicating my second blog posting to a trend that began last winter, disappeared over summer (obvi), but has picked up in full force this fall: PLAID. I have not only seen plaid popping up on undergrad girls headed to class - but even more commonly, paired with skinny jeans and heels at bars and nightclubs.
For men, this trend is easy because
they surely have plaid in their closets from 10 years ago. For women, this trend is easy because you don't have to pay a fortune to buy a cute plaid shirt. In fact, you shouldn't pay a fortune because it's not like a black tee that can be worn daily with no one noticing. READ: Wear your plaid too much and people will notice.
Wearing plaid is adorable in fall, especially for activities like carving pumpkins, raking leaves, or bar-hopping. In addition, it's equally adorable in winter layered with dark jeans for a holiday party, under a sweater for casual wear, or like L. Lohan (left), paired with black leggings and heels.
My recommendations for any Michigan Fashionista's first plaid purchases are (from left to right, below): Urban Outfitters: $48., Target: $22.99, Gap: $44, and Gap: $44.

There is one more item I must mention about plaid this season: not only is it showing up on shirts everywhere, but it is showing up on coats everywhere. Yes, these plaid coats are super cute (some of them are super cute). Some are not cute in any way. Cute or ug, they are not practical for a Michigan Fashionista. They will look outdated by fall of 2009. If you truly feel you need a plaid coat to fit in this winter - my advice is to head to Forever 21. They currently have more plaid coats in stock than necessary, and you will spend under $50 no matter what. Happy Sweetest Day!

I'm mad for plaid:

My First Post - Skinny Jeans


Welcome to Michigan Fashionista. While Michigan is not quite a fashion breeding ground like NYC or LA, there are a few nice girls here who like to shop and love making great clothing and accessory purchases (at reasonable prices). This blog is for those girls. This blog is for a place for me to contemplate what trends are worthy of buying and what aren't worth dropping the cash on. I am currently in graduate school at the University of Michigan, and so my budget reflects that of today's economy. All purchases I recommend will be under $200, (except for handbags, which will all be under $300). That's right, you can dress top-notch without paying top-dollar, and I'm here to help.

My first posting is about skinny jeans. A trend started by Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the Olsen twins, I immediately fell for skinny jeans and bought my very first pair two years ago, in fall of 2006. I loved them and have bought several additional pairs since. Skinny jeans can look sexy at night with a pair of heels, and are equally as fabulous worn during the day with ballet flats.

There have been lots of magazine articles on skinny jeans, plenty of which claim misleadingly: "Skinny Jeans for All Body Types". I apologize, but skinny jeans are not for all body types. There are plenty of excellent denim options out there for pear-shaped gals, and 7 For All Mankind makes great jeans for all body types. Skinny jeans, however, are not for All Body Types.

My favorite skinny jeans are J Brand and Rich & Skinny. Equally excellent fits, and after many washings, neither have lost color or shrunk at all. These however, are each over $150. For great quality skinny jeans at a better price, head on over to Urban Outfitters. Free People makes an excellent pair for $68. In addition, Gap has excellent skinny jeans that are next on my to-buy list.

The current questions that arise for me are: how much longer will the skinny leg trend last? Is it a trend worth investing in further (i.e. buying another pair)? Will men in the midwest pick up on this trend for them? And what brands look best on what body types? How long until skinny jeans are suddenly "no longer cool"? That will be a tragic day on UMich's campus because girls here wear our skinny jeans everywhere here.

Come back to Michigan Fashionista again to read more on the latest trends for this season and next, including plaid, liquid leggings, and leather jackets.