July 2010

quote from my mom:  “So it sounds like you work in fashion place like “Prada Devil.”  Yes, mom my place is uber-fashionable and the pressure to look good is as intense as it is in that movie, Devil Wears Prada (hint hint, you got the movie title wrong).   To read more about my latest dress to impress pressure click here.

Because of this pressure, I’ve been in the process of a major fashion edit.  I’m ruthlessly snatching clothes off hangers, leaving only what I love behind.  And I’m putting new pressure on myself to upgrade my wardrobe.  Out go the cute, cheap finds that could in anyway be identified as such in hopes of clearing the way for more grown-up upscale pieces.

In the meantime, I’m happy to style my mix ‘n match wardrobe of designer brands, vintage finds and secret deals.  Below is my latest roundup of work clothes.  (I’m an event planning marketer for a major retailer)  What’s your favorite?

I love mixing opposites.  Here I’m mixing frilly feminine (the tulle lined butter yellow Forever 21 dress) with a tougher quilted leather jacket with chain detail (Forever 21 Balmain knockoff) with studded heels from BCBG and a Chanel chain purse.

Speaking of opposites, after having such a full skirt, I longed for a slimmer silhouette the next day.  Here I am wearing a satin skirt, Forever 21 leopard bow tank and H&M cardigan.  Shoes and accessories are designer (Christian Louboutin and Chanel).  If I’m wearing my secret steals i.e. no-name brands, then I make sure to balance them off with some designer duds.

I love when menswear gets a feminine twist.  In the above photo, I’m wearing a menswear inspired suit by BCBG, a satin lace cami from Nicole Miller (gift), lucite and silver necklace, Chanel purse, and satin heels from Ann Taylor Loft.   Devil Wears Prada, here I come!

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As a continuation to my earlier post about how I’ve been obsessively and compulsively decorating ever since my recent move, my latest obsession has been how to make my living room more fab.  Lately I’ve been glued to my Brocade Home catalog and have been ravenously eating up the images on their blog.  Brocade home totally follows my design aesthetic and love of damask prints, with metallic accents, chandeliers and clean modern furniture mixed in with more ornate pieces.  I felt I had walked into heaven on earth when I found their new showroom in NYC.  If you haven’t been there yet, you must check it out.  Limelight (yes, the old church turned nightclub) in Chelsea is now the holiest shopping center in NY with boutiques inside a beautiful cathedral setting.  And best part about it is that it has a Brocade Home showroom!

The foil wallpaper is so glam, isn’t it?  I was thinking about putting a similar one behind my chocolate colored sectional and adding silver cushions.  During my online research, I ran into another fab decor and bedding company called Angelinas Curtains and Beddings. Their bedrooms are boudoir-like, there’s usually a chandelier in the bedroom and always some sparkle in the bedding.  Check these pics from their website out.  I would love any of these rooms!


Though they’re based in the UK, they do deliver worldwide!  What a collection huh?  Ok all this dreaming about fantasy bedrooms at midnight is getting me ve-ry sleeeeepy.  Time for bed so that I can dream about my new living room!

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With this new job in the fashion/retail industry, I’ve sort of been taking special concern over what to wear to work. Work has these rules where you can’t show your shoulders, can’t wear leggings, jeans or sandals and even rules about always having to have a mani-pedi.  (as if dressing well for a fashion job wasn’t pressure enough!)  Plus they blast the air conditioning so you’re also restricted with thoughts of how best to layer.

The first day felt like I was the new kid at school having all eyes on me as I was made to introduce myself to everyone and later wonder who I was going to sit with during lunch.  And just like school, the first day of work’s first outfit is all-important.  I wore a simple gray sheath cowl neck dress with matching metallic belt from Calvin Klein (bought at TJ Maxx), a lace blazer designed by Compagna bought at a Korean boutique, and studded heels from Good Choice (bought at a NY boutique).  And I thought I’d play it safe with this silver chain and pearl long necklace which I get tons of compliments on (bought at a NY boutique).  Overall, the entire outfit cost only about $150 or so (none of it was new, just old finds from my closet though).

After wearing so much neutral, I felt the need for color and what is bolder than red?  I usually shy away from candy apple, primary color red but this Escada sheath dress that I found at a sample sale was just too good of a deal to pass up.  I’m not wearing it in the picture but I tempered it down with a camel cardigan (so the fashion police wouldn’t ticket me for showing my shoulders at work).  And I wore the camel cardigan over the dress and belted with a dark brown rustic belt.  This is me at the end of the day after weathering the suffocating 90plus heat.  I couldn’t be bothered to put back on the cardigan and belt.

The bag was bought at a NY consignment store and is by Emanuel Ungaro.  I love it ‘cuz it is pony haired and has the softest texture.  The shoes are Steve Madden – don’t they look much more expensive?  And the chain necklace that drips down into a v is a statement piece that I bought super cheap – can’t remember where.

During my first couple weeks, I also traded off the cardigans with lightweight blazers being careful to avoid being too suit-y.  I did this by pairing them with fun printed skirts.  See the below outfits.


Here I am trying to pass off a cheap H&M fitted blazer for something a little more luxe by pairing it with a nicer Tracy Reese designer skirt and Chanel purse.  The beaded necklace was a freebie from a NY fashion week goody bag and the shoes are a fun Marc Jacob knockoff with cutout hearts found at one of my secret favorite shops – Forever 21.  I added the ceramic teddy bear to the purse – ‘cuz there’s still a kid in me and my recent trip to Japan helped make me unashamed of loving the cutesy.

I also paired a Tahari printed fuller skirt with a Chanel purse – this time in butter yellow with some similar colored heels with studded flower accent.  And this time I skipped the traditional blazer in favor of a military inspired ruffle blazer.

I did bring out the simpler black blazer (with puff sleeves) later when figuring out how to make my gray tiered dress more work-appropriate.  The blazer is from H&M, the dress from Philosophy, the purse is Prada (brand new with my store discount) and the trendy lucite necklace is from years ago..  Perhaps the best part of this outfit other than my new (bought on sale) Prada is the suede black peeptoes that were a huge find from a MI thrift shop.  It seems that Midwesterners don’t know the worth of Ferragamo ‘cuz I practically stole these slingbacks at a shocking $5!  hmm that cost sort of balances out the cost of my purse, right?

What outfit is your favorite?

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Do you ever stress out over what to wear to work?  At my last workplace, every day looked like casual Friday and made Joe Shmoe in his khaki/button down combo seem like best dressed man of the year next to the tee-shirt and jeans creatives around him.  Fashion very obviously never entered the minds of my co-workers in my last advertising/marketing agency.

I’m in a whole new world now.  My new job in the retail sector has me feeling a curious sense of pressure to look my best and never have a hair out of place.  Usually, I enjoy styling myself so dressing for work is often an excuse to dress up.  Now dressing for work has turned into a test to prove I belong in the fashion industry and prove that I’m worthy.

Suddenly my workforce (where fashion and image is everything especially since I work in the marketing / PR  department) is causing me to be self-conscious.  I’m trying to get used to co-workers readily inspecting and immediately judging my outfits.  Though I suspect I’ve been talked about behind my back (I am the new girl in town after all), I also recall several instances each day when my outfit, accessories and shoes have been the topic of direct conversation.   I’d walk down towards LV and the fine jewelry department and a co-worker would catcall out how she loved my shoes.  I head down the makeup aisle and someone stops me to say hi but really to examine my makeup and hair.  I take the escalators up to the designer floor and I feel the eyes staring down my purse.   As the new girl at work, I’m like a poor science lab animal pinned down, inspected and ready for dissection.  It’s a strange phenomenon.  Never before have I been given the once over so frequently, so obviously, and so shamelessly.  And never before has this happened at work.

Luckily, the overheard comments and direct conversations about “my look” have been complimentary. Let’s hope it stays that way!

Has anyone else gone through similar experiences while working in the fashion industry?

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I should be able to post more frequently soon now that I have finished my move and am almost done sorting through my 10years of accumulated belongings.  The moving in process is sort of cathartic in an OCD sort of way. I’m constantly obsessing about my new decorating plans while I compulsively buy my way through Bed Bath & Beyond, TJMaxx, online wholesalers and Century 21.  I spend my days editing out unwanted items from my past while carefully selecting what to highlight and project into my future.  Because of my love for organization and disdain for clutter I can’t simply dump a box’s contents into a drawer.  I take inventory of my belongings before systematically figuring out an orderly plan and display method.
Right now, my latest project is that shoe closet I once shamelessly revealed on my blog.  I’m painting it fuschia, my color of the moment and I’m literally waiting for the paint to dry before I celebrate by adding my Imelda Marcos-like stiletto collection.  Moving in, settling in and decorating is my labor of love.


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Tonight’s the City episode’s funniest part was when the Japanese attendants at the Elle Magazine event couldn’t get over Olivia Palermo.  Olivia was surprised at how many Japanese fans she had.  I was most surprised by the Japanese fascination with the size of her face.  They were flabbergasted and had to come up for a closer look!  One even exclaimed that she couldn’t bear to take a photo next to her for fear that her her own face would look exponentially larger in comparison.  Olivia tried to laugh the first comment off by dismissing it quickly with “Oh you’re so funny.”  But when faced with continuous shrieks about the smallness of her face everywhere she turned, Olivia finally resorted to a meek “thank you.”  haha

Speaking of Japan, here are some pics of me (and my large face) from my trip to Japan!

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I’ve been neglecting the blog due to a recent vacation, move and preparation for a new job.  But I do have some amazing photos to share from my trip to Japan where the harajuku fashions were as fascinating and eye-popping as I had hoped.  It was crazy.  You walk down this one area of Tokyo and all of a sudden, you’d swear it was Halloween – only it isn’t.  It’s simply a bunch of Japanese teens rebelling from their routine school uniforms and prancing about in the most outlandish fashions.  I couldn’t believe my eyes and I could not get enough.  Check this out.

And if you think the above was wild, check out the two guys I spotted.

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