White Jeans 101


I've been avoiding white pants for years, for the usual reasons: I'm worried they'd get dirty about five seconds after I put them on, and that they'd make me look bottom-heavy. This spring weather is making me reconsider, though. I love how fresh and crisp they look, and it would be nice to have an alternative to my usual dark-rinse denim. My friend Sam, who worked at a major denim brand for years and is a total jeans expert, says that she keeps her white jeans tight (in a pale hue, the looser the pair, the more frumpy the look, she says) and washes them with every wear to keep them pristine. J Brand's 10" Skinny might be it for me. They're slim and devoid of labels and obvious embroidery. They hit right around the ankle—to avoid stains, I don't want anything that would possibly drag on the ground or catch on my shoe. I'm picturing these with studded sandals and something along the lines of this Built By Wendy chambray shirt.

Plus: Looking for more amazing places to buy denim? Click through our Buying-Denim-Online Sourcebook!

April 28, 2009

Only Because You Asked For It...


Here's a picture from Friday night, snapped just as I was walking into the rehearsal dinner (an hour and a half late! Google Maps' directions totally steered us the wrong way! I still can't believe it). Thank you again for helping me pick a dress! The wedges are Balenciaga (got them at a Neiman Marcus Last Call sale in LA a couple of years ago) and the python clutch is my mom's from the '60s.

April 27, 2009

Found It! The Perfect Summer Tote


It's finally warm in New York, and suddenly the dark leather chain strap handbag I've been carrying daily for the last six months feels a bit structured and heavy for really sunny, cloudless weather—too serious, basically. I'm loving this hobo I just spotted on L.L. Bean's site. There's no hardware, and it's made of soft washed cotton canvas in graphic rugby stripes, with rope handles that give it a playful, maritime feel. I like how casual and completely un-precious it is: it'd make a great day bag, and seems hardy enough to use for carting groceries and to take to the beach too. And at $29, I'm totally sold.


April 27, 2009

Silver Chucks: I Want These Badly


I know by now you guys are well aware of how much I love Converse. Converselowtop But check out this new John Varvatos-designed pair that's done in a sort of distressed gunmetal color. Aren't they amazing? The interiors are lined with pinstripes, like I'd imagine you'd find in a bespoke suit jacket. They come as high-tops and as low-tops, though I might prefer the tall ones, if only because I'm really into the black laces, as much as the ease of a slip-on sneaker is appealing. There's a major downside though: These are technically a guy's shoe, and they start at size 6 men's, which translates to a women's 8. And I'm a 7. Ugh! For the rest of you size 8 plus-ers, I will be living vicariously through you.

April 24, 2009

Help Me Decide What To Wear This Weekend


I'm going to another wedding this weekend—my third in the past month. My brain is kind of fried in terms of outfit planning.Img_0934 This time around, I'll be heading to central Florida. I think I'm set for the actual wedding (floaty floral calf-length DVF dress I picked up on sale in December). But I need something for the rehearsal dinner. The vibe is going to be country club-ish, and Friday's invite said "smart casual" as the dress code—whatever that means! I dug around in my closet and came up with two options, and now I'm really on the fence. Do I go with the navy Beckerman dress I found on clearance at Standard Deviation last year? I like the idea of wearing something sort of subverted preppy/nautical, and the panels are fun and swingy on the dance floor. Or else there's this silk cinched waist Lauren Moffatt dress in an abstract Jackson Pollock-ish print. The hot pink color seems very Florida to me. What do you think?

April 23, 2009

Deal Of The Week: Gap's Striped Summer Tee


My love of stripes is boundless. This tee is an especially great vehicle on which to showcase them, done in supersoft cotton with a little pocket on the front. And it's $15! Picture_1 It's available in a bunch of different colors—I'm torn between the navy and the kelly green.

April 22, 2009

Cool, Design-y Housewares On The Mega-Cheap


2Jane.com is clearing out their inventory of contemporary, European-imported home accessories, and the prices are almost too good to be true. I'm thinking of placing a bulk order, just to have a stockpile of chic, inexpensive gifts. I've long been a fan of this handmade porcelain teapot accented with a miniature bust by designer Polly George, and now it's just $30 (was $110). Pg1014b_lg She also makes this sweet votive holder with a butterfly perched on the rim, discounted from $30 to $5 (these would look so pretty clustered en masse on a dining table). These 2jane_blk_chalice_platterandbowl_lg glossy black footed bowls would be so chic for serving ice cream or soup, and they're just $7 (were $30) apiece. Ko1001a_lg I also like this angular, hypermodern bud vase, marked down from $22 to $10, as well as these lush hand-flocked silk pillows, also $10 (were $92!). Tp1004lg The sale will go for another two weeks, or until they run out of inventory, so hurry if something catches your eye.


April 22, 2009

Just For You: $25 Gift Certificates and An Invitation To Join A New, Amazing Discount Shopping Site!


I'm completely obsessed with the new website One Kings Lane. It's basically a members-only online sample sale for designer housewares—similar to Gilt Groupe (another of my favorite discount shopping destinations), but dedicated to home stuff. Today, they just launched sales for D.L. and Company's gorgeous, lush-smelling candles (like this one with a grapefruit and ginger-infused scent—originally $85, now $39), as well as Ankasa, who makes really knockout, beautifully embellished throw pillows. There are new sales going live everyday, and in the past they've included everyone from John Robshaw to Jonathan Adler.  And, for the first 250 readers of this very column, you can register here and get an instant $25 credit to use at the site!


April 21, 2009

My Five Favorite Travel Pieces

Reader Quilly asked: "I'm about to pack for a trip to Europe and was wondering if you had any suggestions that would be versatile, stylish... and not flag me as a tourist."


I'm totally obsessed with finding the perfect travel pieces myself. Here are some of the things that always make it into my suitcase:


1) Bad sneakers are the ultimate tourist giveaway. You'll need comfy tennis shoes for trekking around during the day, but make them sleek and understated. 6219654620p_2 My favorites are Chuck Taylors (Low-tops are more versatile than high-tops, since they look good with dresses as well as pants. Also: Every time I go to Paris, I notice all the cute French girls are wearing Converse) and classic, Euro Supergas.


2) A pretty, oversize scarf looks infinitely more chic than a raggedy old sweatshirt. I love Virginia Johnson's. I use her gauzy wool shawls year-round (they're especially nice to bring on planes, to use as a blanket), like this one done in an abstract floral. Productcsa006x233x07gr_2 If you think that's too heavy for you, there are also cotton versions, like this one, which doubles as a sarong.


3) Rather than a backpack, go for a low-key tote. I often use this one from L.L. Bean when I travel—it's very rugged; roomy enough to accommodate sunscreen, camera, sunglasses, etc.; goes with pretty much anything; and has a zippered top which is essential for keeping your stuff secure.


4) T-shirt dresses are casual but pulled together, and pack well. I've had my eye on this striped one from Steven Alan, which ties in the back, and would be really easy to dress up at night with strappy metallic sandals.


5) This cropped trench coat is the perfect lightweight jacket, and looks as great with cargo shorts as it does with a floaty silk dress. The material is water-repellent, and holds up well even after it's been crammed into the bottom of my carry-on. It's an investment, but you'll use it year after year. Plus: Right now you can get a 20 percent discount with the coupon code "cookie09".


April 21, 2009

70 Percent Off At Inhabit!


Just in time for spring: Inhabit is offering a bunch of their classic, endlessly wearable cotton pieces at blink-and-you'll-miss-out prices. This slim-fitting cotton cardigan with the label's signature exposed seams comes in a bunch of pretty neutrals (was $178, now $58). The skinny strapped racerback tank isInhabitracerback_2 another one to stock up on (was $128, now $38), as is this tank with wider straps (easier to wear with a bra), also $38.Inhabitwidestrap_2 Click here to see an overview of the sale, which goes on through the 25th.


April 20, 2009

Get 'Em While You Can: Sale At Standard Deviation


Standard Deviation is my go-to for slightly edgy fashion by under-the-radar designers. I always discover new labels when I'm on the site, like JF & Sons, who makes this arty, colorful blouse done in silk crepe de chine. It's a bit out there, but still totally wearable (I'd try it with something simple on the bottom, like a denim mini or skinny black trousers). And it's 70 percent off right now, from $264 to $79.20. Ideeenmeshjacket1 I'm also a fan of Ideeen's Motorcycle Trench—it's really lightweight, making it the perfect spring outer layer (and is marked down from $375 to $150). Futureclassicsstructuredjacket1 Future Classics is doing another great spring jacket, this time with short sleeves in a swirly floral motif (was $505, now $202).


April 20, 2009

This Weekend Only! Saks Friends And Family Discount


Now would be a good time for me to make a move on these snakeskin wedges I've been eyeing for a while. Saks Fifth Avenue is offering up their friends and family discount to all of us. Now through this Sunday, get 25 percent off clothing, 20 percent off jewelry, and 15 percent off cosmetics. The code is "SFAFAM9" and can be used both online and in stores. Some lines are omitted from the sale: check their homepage for more details.


April 17, 2009

Home Happenings From Around The Web: Madonna's New Crib; The Real Grey Gardens; My Favorite New Design Blog


Madonna supposedly just plunked down $40 million for this upper east side townhouse. It's every bit as gorgeous, regal, and massive (12,000 square feet of living space! 3,000 square foot backyard!) as you'd expect for such an unfathomable amount of money. Click here to see a bunch of pictures of her new pad.


I'm with Jen and can't wait for Grey Gardens to debut on HBO tomorrow. Check out this slideshow featuring the East Hampton house where it all went down in real life. The "before" pictures are especially spooky/riveting/amazing.


I don't know what took me so long to get on the Decorno bandwagon, but the commentary is hilarious and it's full of gorgeous, inspiring interiors pics.


April 17, 2009

Pretty, Breezy, and Effortless: I Love This Top


I'd be happy wearing some version of a lacy white blouse every day of the week. They're light and feminine and totally elevate whatever else you have on, even if the whatever else is just old jeans and scuffed up Converse (which is essentially what I live in on the weekends). I just spotted this one by MK2K that I'd really like to add to my rotation. The elaborate crocheted panel on the front gives it a glamorous, exotic feel, like you might have picked it up on holiday in Majorca, and the fit is nice and relaxed, with a nipped in waist to flatter your shape.

April 17, 2009

Ikat Pillows: So Chic, So Cheap


Our fashion director, Hope Greenberg, asked me for help in tracking down ikat pillows that don't cost a fortune. Happily, the best ones I found also happen to be the least expensive. Il_430xn64386734_3 On Etsy right now there's this sophisticated, muted grey and white version in a silk/linen blend for $33, and this one in faded pastels for $30, and for something more vibrant, there's this $35 kelly green option done in hand-dyed cotton.


April 16, 2009

Tax Day Sale!


Basicboutique.com is offering a 30 percent discount on all new spring merchandise today, like this amazing emerald green ruffled silk charmeuse top by Parker ($149). Use code "Refund30" at checkout through midnight EST tonight.

April 15, 2009

Guess How Much This Bag Costs?


I nominate the Isere Hobo I just found on Calypso's site as The Perfect Everyday Bag. It's made of buttery leather in goes-with-anything tan, and the proportions are such that it can fit everything you need to get you through the day (and then some). There are lots of pockets to help keep you organized, plus the fold-over saddle style is so timeless—I can imagine having this for years without getting sick of it. In contrast to the pared down exterior, the lining is done in an elaborate floral motif which makes me love it that much more. What would you pay for something this sophisticated, versatile, and well made? Not sure about you, but I had this pegged for way more than its actual price.

April 15, 2009

More Stationery! This Time $10!


For the next week, Night Owl Paper Goods, purveyor of cute letterpress stationery, is selling their sets of six boxed notecards for $10 (they're regularly $14). 917p Load up now both for yourself and to give as gifts. I love this one with a big retro-looking flower; these cocoa-hued thank-you's with contrasting persimmon-colored envelopes; these with P631w02 an abstract wood grain motif; and these featuring a quartet of red pinwheels.


April 14, 2009

Chic Summer Swimwear, All Majorly On Sale


It's been a couple of years since I got a new bikini, but clicking through our Swimsuit Sourcebook just now I got re-inspired. There are lots of things I'm tempted to buy at CoutureCandy.com, especially since some of my favorite items on the site happen to be half off! From Syla by Sylvie Cachay, there's this bandeau halter and boy shorts that hit the mark between sexy and covered up (was $170, now $85). Sgpatterned_bikini_2 If you're more daring, there's also this skimpy triangle string style with a cool, Art Nouveau-inspired print from the same label (was $160, now $80). Sgnavy_bikinijpg Brette Sandler had a bunch of really great things: this simply cut navy blue bikini embellished with bits of industrial-looking metal hardware (was $158, now $79); Sgwhitetunic this gorgeous, finely detailed cream silk top (it's described as a cover-up, though I would get more use out of it off the beach with a nude camisole underneath—was $246, now $123); and Sgsilkshorts these beaded, embroidered silk shorts (the prospect of a wet bathing suit and silk makes me nervous, but I love the idea of wearing these out and about—were $110, now $55).


April 14, 2009

More For My Fellow Tie-Dye Lovers


My appreciation of all things tie-dye now extends to these new leggings from American Apparel. These would be so good for lounging around the house, or for working out with an oversize V-neck (not that I've been doing very much of the latter, but maybe these would help me motivate?). Order them for $34 here, or you may want to go to the store in person to ensure you get exactly the pattern you want—as reader "seatwo" cautioned earlier, there can be a lot of variation in A.A.'s tie-dye pieces.


April 13, 2009