Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Gifts - Part 3: Little Luxuries

Despite the economy nationwide being in the dumps, some of you readers may still be purchasing little luxury items for those on your holiday shopping list. There are plenty of practical ways to spend $150, (feed a family of four, buy a month's worth of gas), but I'm not writing about those today. My first and top suggestion are Burberry earmuffs. These are outrageously priced but absolutely adorable! For $150 at Nordstrom they are surely the warmest earmuffs you can buy.

Another gift you can't go wrong with is this argyle sweater from J.Crew. Argyle comes in and out of prominence in the fashion world, but truly never looks out of style since it is such a basic look. Another idea for a great gift is a luxurious bathrobe. There is no such thing as having too many soft, comfortable bathrobes. You can find great ones at Macy's and at Gap for under $50, but since today's posting is about little luxuries, shown at left is a Juicy Couture robe for $110 at Bloomingdales.
Around the holidays many boyfriends buy jewelry items for their girlfriends. I can't speak for every girl, but lots of girls love Tiffany jewelry. And lots of Tiffany jewelry can be pretty pricey. Fortunately, Tiffany now has an entire page dedicated to items $150 and less.
One final suggestion for gifts under $150: A Longchamp tote bag. I absolutely love the basic look of Longchamp and the bag will last forever. At the Longchamp website, you can create your own tote in whichever colors you choose. The smallest handbags start at $80, and you can get a large sized nylon bag for around $120. Local to Ann Arbor? Head over to YCI on South University to pick up a Longchamp bag, they carry tons of colors and sizes!
Happy shopping! :-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bag of the Week

After writing multiple postings on cocktail dresses - I feel it is only appropriate to advise a great bag to wear with your dress for evenings out. The bag I have selected today is by Elliott Luca and can be found at Nordstrom for $118. I am a big fan of Elliott Luca bags because of the attention to detail and the relatively low prices. The "Tropez" Elliott Luca bag is perfect for nighttime, paired either with a dress or with jeans, heels and a dressy top. I would most likely choose this bag in the Pyrite Foil Metallic color (silver), but the practical side of me recommends sticking with the basic black. Great dress - check, great bag - check - now I just need an evening event to attend!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Gifts - Part 2

Today I am writing Part 2 of my Gifts blog - Gifts Under $25.
This season, many people will no doubt be setting limits around the $25 range. Four of my top choices are pictured below. First is Vera Bradley stationery for $17. I love Vera Bradley bags, but those are over $25 generally. There are plenty of V.B. options under $25, and shown here is the luxe stationery. Vera Bradley can always be purchased at, but there are plenty of Hallmark stores around that carry the designer. If you live near Ann Arbor and want to save on shipping, a favorite of mine is Ge
orgetown Gifts (next to Barnes and Noble). Georgetown Gifts has an immense selection of Vera Bradley, and will order for you what they don't have.
My next suggestion for gifts under $25 is candles! You can never go wrong with candles. For the largest size Yankee Candle, you will spend between $5 - $25, but they come in smaller sizes as well so you can enjoy the scent for as little as $7. Next in line for gift suggestions under $25 are cozy slippers. (Lower left corner). Please don't buy anyone fuzzy, tacky, or animal shaped slippers. I like this sleek grey pair from the Gap for $24.50.
Last but not least, in the bottom right corner, I LOVE this Michael Kors lip gloss/perfume duo from Sephora for $22. No girl can ever have too many lip glosses, especially from a designer brand. It's double sided and on the reverse is a roller ball of Michael Kors perfume. Enjoy shopping for your gifts under $25!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas Gifts - Part 1

A local radio station (100.3) here in Metro Detroit has been playing Christmas music for nearly a month now. Yes - this means the holiday season is fast approaching. Most of us aren't listening to Christmas music quite yet, but it's almost time to start purchasing holiday gifts for loved ones in our lives. Yes "loved ones" at this time of year includes housekeepers, hairdressers, and I suppose even your mailwoman. Today is Part 1 of a three part series of holiday gift suggestions.
I am not "Miss Manners" nor "Dear Abby" so I cannot tell you the appropriate, socially acceptable amount to spend on anyone in particular. What I can offer are my top picks for gifts in any price range. Today I'm starting with an easy amount: Gifts Under $50.

Most girls that I can think of are happy to receive jewelry as gifts. Juicy Couture has a line of relatively inexpensive jewelry including many items under $50. I personally love this simple bangle bracelet (right). The pave heart adds a feminine touch without being overly girly.

For someone who has a passion for fragrances - I am recommending Jessica Simpson Fancy perfume (right). I received this perfume as a birthday gift, and and it elicits countless compliments every time I've worn it. The scent is a warm, sweet vanilla aroma, and the cute bottle and packaging make it a perfect gift. ($49 at Dillards).

For another gift idea, you can't go wrong with mittens or gloves. Everyone has experienced the accidental loss of one half of their pair or mittens or gloves. For this reason, no one can have too many extra pairs. In addition, Michigan girls know difficulty of keeping warm while also looking nice, so finding cute gloves that keep fingers toasty can be a challenge. Shown at left, a pair of warm, durable, (yet also attractive) mittens from Moosejaw. These mittens come in white, blue, or black and are $25 at Moosejaw. If you want to splurge, go ahead and buy the matching hat as well. If your gift recipient prefers a more sleeker look - Target has adorable tweed and leather gloves for only $17.99. Bloomingdales as well has leather driving gloves (below, left) on sale for only $24.

For any girls who love fashion, photography, or even just loved watching Full House - buy the newly published Influence by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. These girls have built an empire around their name, and this book provides their interesting insights to the fashion world.

Good luck searching for the right gifts and stay tuned for Part 2 of my Holiday gift series!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


After begging Michigan Fashionista readers to incorporate color into their holiday outfits this winter - I felt I had neglected a classic staple: the little black dress. I absolutely love the LBD. Buy a quality one and wear it for years to come. You can wear one to multiple events and occasions, just change your accessories up to play with your look. I have found a few adorable (and inexpensive) little black dresses that are perfect for this holiday season.

First, this lace and tulle little black dress (right) on sale at Nordstrom. Originally almost $200 it is now priced at $83. It is a fun and playful take on the LBD, and manages to show just enough skin without being too much.

Three options of little black dresses that I adore:
Left: Nordstrom for $81.90, center: Ann Taylor for $79, right: Gap for $78.

If you aren't ready for lace and frills, I have found three basic LBDs (below). Each of these options can be dressed up or down depending on the layering and accessories you choose.
Left: Victoria's Secret, $75. Middle: American Apparel, $44, Right: Banana Republic, $
Remember, wearing color is fun and generally more attention-grabbing, but you can never go wrong with basic black!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

J. Crew

Congratulations to Barak Obama on this landmark election. His beautiful wife, Michelle, is quite the stylish first wife, and in fact is a fan of a favorite brand of mine - J. Crew. Almost every Midwestern girl I know is a fan of J. Crew, and it's nice to see a famous face wearing J.Crew instead of Dior. For the average girl, J. Crew (although cheaper than Dior) is still very overpriced for certain items - in fact so overpriced that I don't usually recommend even shopping there. But, J. Crew sale items are almost always reasonably priced. This weekend, all J. Crew sale items are an additional 30% off when you use the code EXTRA30 at checkout. The website does this about once a month - they give an extra 30% off all sale items. Most items go on sale - so if you want to dress like Michelle Obama, go ahead, shop at J. Crew, but buy when it's on sale and especially this weekend when the special code gets you 30% off the sale items.

Speaking of sales: Right now is's half-yearly sale. Lacoste polos for $33 - not too shabby! Happy sale-ing! :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day Post

Unless you live under a rock, you are aware that election day is tomorrow. We are so fortunate to live in the United States and have the opportunity to vote. (4 years ago I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't even vote and it was my first time being over 18 for an election). I definitely will not be missing out this year.
Whether you lean left or right, remember that campaigning for a candidate or issue is prohibited within 100 feet of a polling place, however it is acceptable to wear a shirt that says "Vote" to go vote. I'm not a big fan of loud, in-your-face prints on shirts, but on election day I suppose a few visual prints don't hurt. So the following are my choices for Election Day apparel that can be worn at the polls:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Warm Coats (that won't make you look fat!!)

Every winter I face the same problem. The temperature drops, I bring out my warmest daytime coat, and after putting it on I appear about 30 pounds heavier than I truly am. This year I refuse to settle for casual coats that are only capable of keeping me warm by being bulky. There must be stores out there selling coats with plenty of insulation and yet not too insulated that I look like a snowman. A current winter jacket of mine, (exhibit A, left), does an excellent job of keeping me warm; However it does a very poor job of helping me look slim and trim.
After browsing a few local stores and a few online shops, I have come to a conclusion about winter coats: They almost all make you chubbier than you really are.
Key word is almost. I have found that longer, belted coats are the closest I can come to protection from freezing Michigan winter weather and yet somehow slimming my look down. Below, I've found three coats that do the job wonderfully. Below, far left is a long belted coat from Gap. Originally $128 it is currently on sale for $89.50. I love the pink "berry" and the white "stardust", but the practical side of me says to stick with "blue gray" or plain black. In the center, I found a Michael Kors coat at Once again, the cinching in the middle hopefully will slim your look. On the right below, I found a slimming, belted Kenneth Cole jacket for $109 at Nordstrom. Keywords in the description of these jackets: lightweight yet warm. One final note about longer, belted jackets. These are adorable, yet if you are extremely short in stature, these may not be the coat for you. They can keep you warm, but they don't do anything to make you look taller.