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Fall 2011 Fashion and Accessory Alert: Peter Pan Collars

6 Sep

In versions ranging from oversized, prim, embellished, and even detachable, Peter Pan collars are popping up everywhere this fall. For a precious, good-girl look, style yours peeking out from a cute little cardi. Wear one embellished with beads, sequins, and jewels to go glam. Or, pair with black (see below) to give this darling detail a bit of an edge.

Peter Pan collars turned up all over the Fall 2011 runways. Here, versions from DKNY (right), Giambattista Valli (center), and Louis Vuitton. Source: WireImage

Here are a few of our favorite Peter Pan options available this fall! Hope you enjoy!

What could be more ladylike than this Alice + Olivia blouse, which pairs a Peter Pan collar with a peplum skirt:

We love how the volume of the peplum skirt perfectly balances the on-trend and oversized Peter Pan collar. Both these details make the piece over-the-top feminine. Finish with a metallic skinny belt (the belt is not included with the top) for a decidedly modern yet dainty look. The blouse is available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman for $198.

Replace your go-to black t-shirt with this Oasis top to add some sparkle to your wardrobe this fall:

At $64, this top will cost a little more than your basic black tee, but we think the versatility it will bring to your wardrobe is worth the extra cash. For example, you can wear it with black cigarette jeans for a more casual day-time look, or pair it with a flirty skirt and opaque black tights for a polished evening ensemble; the beaded Peter Pan collar will add that perfect pop of glamor to any look.

Speaking of versatility, a detachable Peter Pan collar is a great way to embrace this trend and incorporate it into your wardrobe without spending a lot of money.There are lots of beautiful and affordable options available on Etsy, including this lovely piece with purple sequined wings, $24, from artist IWillFly:

Another one we love (especially as styled here, with nautical stripes) is this black lace collar, $20 USD, from UK artist luminia:

Now, if you want to go in the opposite direction, and drop a ton of cash for a detachable Peter Pan accessory, Lanvin, Isaac Mizrahi, and Louis Vuitton all sent dazzling versions down the runway–but our favorite was this dreamy diamante style Chanel debuted for Resort 2012:

Sigh…a girl can dream, right?

Finally, we love the pointed Peter Pan collar in this cream and black dress from ASOS:

The sharper collar execution and sexy black mesh panels balance the soft color, pleated skirt and ladylike silhouette very nicely; what you end up with is a very sweet dress with an irresistible edge. Originally $82, this dress is now on sale for $45.

Did Katy Perry Nail It with her new OPI Black Shatter Nail Polish?

22 Jan

Given Katy Perry’s wild nail style (remember her Russel Brand manicure ?) it makes sense that OPI would ask her to collaborate on a new nail polish line.

The highlight of the limited-edition collection is the Black Shatter top coat that’s generating buzz as the next nail trend. Once applied to the dried base coat of any nail polish, the black top coat begins to disappear, leaving behind a crackled, sort of leopard print pattern on each nail and transforming your manicure into nail art, Katy Perry style.

Here's what each color is supposed to look like with the Black Shatter top coat. From L-R the colors are: Last Friday Night, Not Like the Movies, The One that Got Away, and Teenage Dream.

How does it work? Two incompatible solvents in the black shatter top coat cause uneven drying, so as the top coat sets it results in the crackled pattern.

After test-driving the new shatter coat, here are some of our tips:

  • This may seem obvious, but be sure to only apply the Black Shatter top coat over completely dry nail polish–otherwise, there are gloopy consequences.
  • Because the shattering effect is almost instantaneous, you need to apply the top coat fairly quickly–as in, a once over. If you double back for a second coat then you’ll get black shatters on top of black shatters.
  • A thinner coat of Black Shatter will result in a look with smaller shards, while a thicker coat will make the crackled look more chunky.
  • The shatter top coat dries matte–really matte–with the look of old, dried-out asphalt. So, for a more “polished” look, add a top coat for a glossy finish that will make the black look more liquid.

Black Shatter top coat over Not Like the Movies, a silvery metallic shade, with a clear top coat.

What do you think?

Good Deal, Great Deal: Dramatic Blue Party Dresses from Phillip Lim and Poleci

8 Nov

Put either of these two dramatic blue dresses to work during the upcoming holiday season this winter, then pull it out again next summer for weddings or parties. Flattering draping, a classic silhouette and vivid blue hue make both very versatile and perfect for special occasions. Best of all, they’re both on sale–one for $272 and one for $149. Enjoy!

Good Deal: This Phillip Lim dress, originally $680, is now on sale for $272 on The balance of the intense turquoise silk-satin dress  with the delicate, sheer silk-chiffon panel at top gives this dress a lot of allure.  The ruffled bodice and draping through the skirt ensures a flattering fit. Best of all, there are slit pockets hidden at the side of the skirt.

Here's the front...

...and the back.

Great Deal: Poleci offers a more economical version that’s just as glamorous. Right now it’s on sale for $149 (originally $162) on (Join Ruelala for free by clicking here). The draped, pleated skirt and sweetheart neckline gives the dress a real sense of romance, while the semi-sheer mesh neckline adds some edge. We love the deep sapphire color–and the way they’ve styled the model with black tights–together it’s a great look for winter holiday party.

Check Out Designer Consignment Deals at

25 Oct

I’m a big fan of thrifting.  You get the quality of designer clothing at a reasonable price, and by recycling former-owned items, you can celebrate the environment as well as fashion. I can definitely vouch that pre-loved designer items have treated me well.

However, there is perhaps one downside: the thrill of the thrifting hunt requires a measure of patience. Luckily, if you don’t have time to comb through your local Goodwill or flea market, there are tons of online designer consignment stores that will do the digging for you. One of our favorites is Launched just over a year ago by a fashion industry vet and her graphic designer husband, Covet specializes in designer finds from names like Chanel, Zac Posen, and so on and so forth. The store offers pre-loved clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories, including these brand new Burberry plaid gloves (only $105!), which were featured in In Style‘s  November issue.

Here’s a quick run-down on the fine print: First of all, Covet guarantees the authenticity of each item, and offers an easy return policy (notify them of the return within 24 hours of receiving it, and then return it within 14 days). The store also gives each item a Condition Rating–from 5 to 1 stars–that describes how much love the item previously received. 5 stars indicates brand new with no wear (like the Burberry gloves, these items usually have the original tag still attached), while 1 star items are in fair condition (they likely show flaws that may be cleaned or repaired). We didn’t find any 1 star items posted–all the merchandise seemed to be 5, 4, or 3 stars. Finally, the merchandise changes daily, so if you like what you see, consider signing up for their new product email alerts.

So what did we find? We were most impressed with Covet’s dress offerings. For casual to formal occasions, Covet had a great range of dresses.  Here are our top three picks:

  • This Fisherman Sweater Dress from Thread Social is a great pick for fall and winter. The turtleneck knit top and wool skirt will keep you cozy and at $235 (originally $680) you’ll be able to keep more cash tucked away for a rainy (or snowy) day.

  • Looking for something for a special occasion? Check out this Ruched Cocktail Dress from Marc Jacobs for $240 (originally $1,200–that’s almost $1000 off!). The black silk is gathered at the front to form a delicate rose detail, while an exposed zipper in the back gives the dress some edge.


The off-the-shoulder neckline is very flattering.

Whether you visit Covet to shop or window shop, we have the feeling you won’t be disappointed.

5 Amazing Finds Under $50 from Supermarket, the New Etsy

25 Sep

Watch your back, Etsy, there’s another website featuring arts and crafts products by independent designers, and it’s called Supermarket.

While Supermarket doesn’t yet have the range of products or designers using their site that Etsy does, it’s well worth the browsing time. Items are split into three main divisions: “wear + carry” (clothing, accessories, etc.), “space + place” (home goods, etc.), and “paper + prints” (stationary and posters). Unlike Etsy, there isn’t a “Vintage” category, so most products are home-made, though many from recycled materials. You can search by key word or designer, or sort by “Newest,” “Most popular,” or “Most comments.” To purchase anything, you’ll need to set up an account first.

Here are 5 amazing finds under $50 that we found on Supermarket:

Check out Tamé, the design label of a Montreal based craftswoman, for their eclectic leather knot necklaces that have been featured in Real Simple. Their signature design comes in different colors or multi-color combinations, but we like the versatile black option below.  A great deal for only $30 .

We love the life-like detailing of this delicate small hydrangea flower necklace, from Boston-based designer Twigs and Heather. Cast in silver from an actual flower, it has an interesting history behind its design. As the designer explains on Twigs and Heather’s Supermarket page, “My twin Kerry loves these plants. She nurtures them and they grow beautifully. I wanted to cast one for her and I am thrilled with the results.” It’s these unique stories that make Etsy and Supermarket products so meaningful.  For only $45, this sweet and petite necklace would make a great gift or stocking stuffer. The price tag even includes the sterling silver chain, shown below.

Looking for something with minimal, streamlined design? Check out this $32 threaded moonstone necklace, from Austin, Texas designer Anne Kiel.  Hanging from a wire so thin it’s almost invisible, this natural faceted moonstone adds visual interest right at your throat. Bella, I think this necklace is for you.

How about an accessory that’s functional? Look no further than this $38 “Spare Pocket” by Po Campo, based out of Chicago. Designed with bikers in mind, this product is made out of water-resistant fabric and cinches around your ankle, arms, or bike bars to provide you with “just enough room for the necessities, with reflectivity to get you noticed.” We love this product but, Po Campo, we have to point out: no way is anyone going biking in red heels!

Finally, with chilly fall weather around the corner, we love this $32 hand crotched “Smugglers” neck warmer in Spice from Pittsburgh designer Nina Ramone. Made from a mixture of lambs wool and acrylic yarn, Ramone guarantees it’s “always soft, never scratchy.” The warm Spice color feels perfect for autumn, but if you don’t agree you can customize your order in any one of a dozen plus available shades (see below).

Instant Fall Style Updates for under $100

16 Aug

Work Wardrobe

If you need to inject some style into your work wardrobe, I’d recommend a pencil skirt with personality, like this See by Chloé tan wool-blend skirt with a subtle, shimmery copper pinstripe. You can get it on sale at for $78 (originally $260):
The skirt has great tailoring, including some short darts in the front, and a vent at the back of the hem, so you’ll look polished and put together. The copper pinstripe keeps the skirt from being blah; it’s like a classic camel colored pencil skirt with a little bit more style.

As the cool weather approaches, I have the instinct to jump into turtle necks and hoodies. But of course, that won’t really fly at the office. Instead, try this cowl neck top with ruched sleeves, $58 at one of my favorite Etsy stores, Tulle:

I like the texture of the cowl neckline and the ruched sleeves–they add some visual interest to any work outfit. The fabric, which is a spandex/cotton blend, maintains its shape for a more polished knitwear look. If you don’t like the charcoal color, it’s also available in black.

Weekend Wear

In my world, weekends are all about pajamas. So my jeans have to be as pajama-like as possible. If you feel the same way, and are looking to add to your jean line-up, I can highly recommend “jeggings,” or jean leggings, the evolution of the skinny jean. They sound a little silly but because of the comfortable and flattering, streamlined fit they offer they’re certain to stick around as a wardrobe staple.  I like this AG pair in a versatile dark wash, on sale for $99 (originally $175) at Calypso, because the material is thicker–so, it offers the soft, stretchy comfort of a legging with the coverage of a jean:

These are light but warm, making them great for the upcoming summer-fall time of the year. The darker wash lets you dress them up or down so they’re great for a trip to the grocery store or a trip downtown for dinner.

If jeggings aren’t your jam, check out these skinny yet slouchy chino cargos by William Rast for $88:
I like how they’re styled here, with the cuffs casually rolled up–very cute! But, as the weather gets colder, you’ll appreciate the tapered cuff that can be tucked easily under a boot or ankle bootie. This is the “Seagull” grey color–they also come in an “Almond” Khaki and a “Seaweed” Olive.

A light sweater is something I always have with me for the transition to fall. I love this breezy polkas cardigan with the gauzy dotted chiffon on the shoulders that slides into a bow tied on one side. It’s just barely under $100–available at Anthropology for $98:

I’m more likely to wear this on the weekend, but I think you could also incorporate it into your work wardrobe. If you prefer red to navy, it’s just as cute–maybe even cuter–with brown chiffon.


Whether you add earrings, a belt, or a bag, accessories finish a look. As someone who would prefer to be in pajamas, I’m always grateful to the odd accessory that makes me look like I tried.

When it comes to belts, I love a pop of color at the waist. It draws the eye to the narrowest part of your silhouette and adds visual interest to any outfit. This red leather belt from Anna Molinari will do both. The deep burgundy color would look great with a black or camel skirt or dress slacks, or with jeans, and the double buckle detail makes it a unique piece that keeps your attention. You can get it on sale at for $66–a great deal since it was originally $330:
For a pop of color around your neck, check out this beaded bib necklace from Anthropology, $68:

I love the way the strands are twisted and melt into different tones of green. It gives the piece great texture. I think the lady-like feel of the bib shape makes it appropriate for the office, while the unusual character of the beading makes it fun for a Saturday night. If you don’t like the green, it also comes in a brilliant, cheery yellow, as well as a dark and stormy gray.

Grey or Taupe ankle booties are going to be big this fall. If you’re looking for an affordable pair, try these Chinese Laundry Wedge booties for $89 at

The wedge makes them comfortable to wear all day at work or all night out. They’ll look great with taupe tights, or with your new  jeggings.

Fall is a great time to invest in a structured hat. I love this cloche design for $38:

photo credit:

The skinny belt at the crown of the hat is a great touch. If you’re not a fan of the taupe, it comes in five other colors.

Spoiled Rotten at My Sister’s Closet Consignment Stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul

5 Aug

As a grad student on a tight budget, I wear my shoes until they die. Until they choke, foam at the mouth, and, tongue sticking out, die (did you catch that pun in there?–good stuff).

Cruel, you say? Perhaps. It’s true that not many women have the stomach to wear their shoes this seriously. Well, I’m here to tell anyone who can’t finish the job, I’m more than happy to finish it for you. Anyone else with enough guts to join me, head over to My Sister’s Closet Consignment Store (in Minneapolis or St. Paul). There are plenty of high-end designer and vintage shoes–in mint or near-mint condition–who need someone to love them to death. If you need extra motivation, MSC’s Summer Clearance Sale is going on right now (through next Monday), which means that every item in the store is 50% off! That’s what brought my mom, aunt and I into MSC this afternoon where we found some amazing deals on designer shoes.

MSC's St. Paul location, at 1136 Grand Avenue

First, a bit about the store. My Sister’s Closet has two locations in the Twin Cities–one in St. Paul on Grand, and one in Minneapolis on Hennepin. They offer high quality clothing, shoes, and accessories–both vintage clothing and current designer brands–without the expensive prices.

We visited the St. Paul location today and were impressed by their diverse collection and the number of well-dressed, bargain-hunting women looking around the two-story store. Their ground level  is devoted to contemporary clothing–you’ll find lots of items from staple brands like JCrew, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor–as well as discounted high-end designer items. For example, we saw cute designer handbags in great condition (and each for $70 or less) from Coach, Gucci, and Prada.

I love to mix and match vintage and contemporary pieces, like this vintage '60s dress and contemporary Banana Republic cardigan (both items at My Sister's Closet). All you need now is a cute belt and, of course, some shoes!

Look for a spectacular selection of vintage items on MSC’s second floor. We saw several beautiful ’60s dresses, many with recognizable name-brands. One dress had a tag that read “The Dayton Oval Room,” which, as all Twin Cities gals will understand, really took me back (Oh, Daytons. You are dearly missed).  There were also a few wedding gowns, so if you’re a bride on a budget, be sure to check this place out.

Sigh. If only Dayton's was still around...

Now, on to our booty. I may have walked out with far too many items to mention here. But, the highlight of our bargain-hunting was two amazing pairs of designer shoes. The first is a classic pair of Ferragamo “Vara” heels in a deep navy suede:

I love the signature Ferragamo Vara bow and buckle. If you want to put money on one item in your wardrobe that'll still be in style a decade from now, these shoes are a sure bet.

Ferragamo has been issuing versions of the Vara Pump season after season since it was first created by Ferragamo’s eldest daughter, Fiamma, in 1978. As a kid, I remember admiring my grandma’s favorite pair–a vivid cranberry that looked so regal with the brass Ferragamo hardware. In case you’re wondering, the Fall 2010 collection features a black leather version:

Ferragamo's Vara shoes, Fall 2010. Same demure heel, same ladylike bow, same ballet inspired shape.

These shoes retail for $395.  But, at My Sister’s Closet you would have seen them listed for $36–already a steal–then, with an additional 50% off all items for MSC’s Summer Clearance, they were $18. All said and done, that’s 95% off!  And you can’t even tell that this pair has been worn. They look even better on my feet, if I do say so myself:

I'll always think of my Grandma when I wear these iconic shoes, and my wonderful mom, who bought them for me.

The second amazing find of the day were these darling peeptoe slingback demi-wedges (that’s a mouthful!) by Miu Miu:
I think the best feature (if you had to pick only one) might be the demi-wedge:

See the little scoop bridge of the demi-wedge? Love this retro touch.

Miu Miu shoes sell for anywhere from $400-$1000+, but this pair was listed at $148 at My Sister’s Closet. Then, the 50% off for the Summer Clearance brought them down to $74. When I mentioned how much I loved them my bea-u-tiful and generous Aunt Jacqueline insisted on buying them for me (ok, ok, I confess, she didn’t have to insist too much). Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Dear mom and Jacqueline, you’ve made a poor grad student’s fashion dream come true.  The Vara pumps will accompany me on every interview I do this year (and hopefully give me the poise and eloquence of my mom, aunt and grandma!) and the Miu Miu pumps will accompany me every other minute of the day, even to bed. Kidding, kidding. But I do love them that much, and for starters, they will go perfectly with the dress I’ve been planning on wearing to an upcoming Bar Mitzvah on Labor Day weekend.

To the women who gave up these shoes up for consignment–without ever wearing them, it seems–I thank you. May the consignment shopping good karma that you deserve come to you soon!  In the meantime, rest assured that your Ferragamos and  Miu Miu’s have found a happy forever home.

And to the rest of you reading this who live in the Twin Cities, I’m confident there’s a Happily-Ever-After Shoe Story waiting for you, too, at My Sister’s Closet. If you get a chance to check them out, check back with Good Taste and let us know what you find!