Sunday, November 26, 2006

thanksgiving in maine

We stayed at a lovely b&b on Westport Island in the Boothbay Harbor region of central coastal Maine (about 1 hour north of Portland). I am posting these photos in honor of having not bought any clothing in 15 days. This is apparently no mean achievement. If you're somewhat depressed thinking about how pitiable this actually is (I certainly am), let's transfer our attention to the charming African goat and lichen, courtesy of Maine:

new ring

Frank Gehry for Tiffany & Co. Brushed sterling silver, size 7 (you really do have to size up for these wider rings, that finger measures 6)

So I just happened to be in the Tiffany's at the Copley Mall a month ago and was wandering around chatting with the salespeople and admiring the remodeling job, which had doubled the floor space. I ended up trying on a bunch of different diamond rings. The Lucida was a bit of a disappointment size-wise, although the x-prong is really lovely and they nailed the proportions. But anyway, I tried on a ring (the diamond cut is called "Lucida" but is like a modified princess-cut), and thought it was around .75 carats. Wrong. It was actually 1.05 cts. I guess I'm so used to sizing differences in round brilliants and these square cuts are a completely different matter. I also tried on their antique cut solitaire, which was altogether too froo-froo for me, but I guess some people like that histrionic Edwardian stuff. All I can think about is "Titanic" and those heaving bosoms. Yikes. Anyway, I completely fell in love with their three-stone Lucida, which as side bezel-set diamonds, which I think really makes the ring. But, as we all know, Tiffany's is ridiculously overpriced and one could easily pirate the design and have it made elsewhere. Imitation as flattery or what? There are only so many possibilities in ring design, unless one ventures into bizarre territory, and I'm fairly content with mine in terms of style. But if I ever went for the three-stone thing (For your Past, Present, and Future, crappity-crap), I'd want something in the spirit of the Lucida, but maybe even more streamlined.

By the way, if you're in the market for diamonds, check out I've spent too many hours on this site, learning about diamonds that I'll never be able to afford, and pondering the meanings behind this industry. I'm a convert, to be sure, but skeptical because I'm so poor.

Lucida three-stone ring--$40,000
Gehry ring--$240

To hide my shame because people like me shouldn't be trying on rings at places like Tiffany's, I bought the cheaper option. I'm much too easily swayed by stores like these, where the salespeople are extra-friendly and the selling happens without them lifting a finger.

Maybe in 30 years when I'm finally earning $80,000, I'll buy something nicer for myself. Until then, sterling silver designed by an architect is not too shabby.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Dress

In anticipation of dress and tights weather, I am posting many of my winter-appropriate dresses.

Tocca dress, purchased Nov. 2004. I really don't wear this very often, but it's made of the softest wool and has this lovely gold metallic-thread circle embellishment on the waist and mock-turtleneck collar. I keep meaning to have it altered since it is a size 8 and was the last available.

Prada dress, purchased February 2006. I love the variations on purple in this dress and the empire waist. It also makes me look much narrower than I am, which is an interesting to experience. Although I prefer cinching the waist and exaggerating the proportions with a flared skirt, there's something to be said about a sleek look. Oh, and I had to stitch the neck opening closed because it was slit nearly down to the waistline. I figured that I needed to make the dress work-appropriate at any rate.

Yigal Azrouel dress, purchased July 2005. This was my first black dress. It is slinky jersey with a plunging cowl-neck and a gathered tulle-band around the waist. The sleeves are semi-dolman, with ruching on the shoulders. In going with my comments about the Prada, this is another dress that makes me feel like I have a completely different body. The bias cut makes me hyper-aware of every movement. But I like that it has this 1940s silhouette, especially since I usually go for the 50s or 60s look. This dress makes me feel grown-up and chic, which may explain why I can never think of an occasion for wearing it.

Built by Wendy dress, purchased November 2005. Wool jersey U-neck dress with puff sleeves and a flared skirt. Notice the fantastic electric-blue metallic thread pattern on the neckline. Yeah, those are the Great Lakes. I used to love Built by Wendy, but nowadays not so impressed. Too bad cat hair clings to the fabric.

Tocca dress--$300 from Saks Fifth Avenue, Boston
Prada dress--$300 from Easter Wings on Newbury St., on sale from $800
Yigal Azrouel dress--$180 from Saks, marked down from $900 (present from mom)
Built by Wendy dress--$180 from the website


pie-making spectator outfit

We went over to a friend's place to watch her bake pies (7 total). She asked me how many layers I had on. Ever since the Philly trip last week the temperatures seem to have taken a turn for the worse (or better?). Well, if you enjoy layering but put your foot down when it comes to long underwear, this should be your favourite season.

Saint Grace tank top--$40 from Stel's
Ella Moss blouse--$60 on sale from Kuhlman's in Seattle
Cardigan--$128 (present from mom) from Anthropologie's. The label says 'Snak' but I assume it's an in-house design. Crazy old-fashioned embroidery and weird half-sleeve fabric. Love it.
Habitual denim--$189 from Impulse


Wednesday, November 15, 2006


This is what I wear pretty much every day now that I don't have to look presentable and professional-ish.

This outfit stands in for all the outfits I don't photograph because I keep yawning and can't bother to find the camera every time I look at myself. Maybe it's time for the weather to get colder, because right now I refuse to wear skirts and dresses with tights.

marc by marc jacobs short sleeve button down--$80 from Barney's outlet ($180)
j crew cashmere cardigan--$75
a.p.c. low-rise new standards--$140 (from their catalogue. not for the faint of heart)


even my boring outfits are spendy. sometimes i get really fed up with myself.

no more eBay, i mean it this time

aargh! so, I have this eBay problem where I keep buying things that are not fantastic in person. You'd think that trusted labels like Marni, T Luxury, Petro Zillia, Claudie Pierlot, etc., would be worth bidding on without actually trying on the damn thing first. Well, I think I've been proven definitively wrong.

Exhibit A (the last straw):

Ok, so you think, the color is a little weird and the cut is "interesting," but it's Marni and that's kind of the point, no? And I think I can pull off strange olive green-gold hues pretty well.

Exhibit B:

Yikes. What the hell is going on with the back? Some sort of strange bias-cut drapery action that makes me look like I had gastric-bypass surgery without the skin stapling. Maybe I'm just not avant-garde enough to appreciate this top, but really, this is too much. I hope someone else fancies it, because I'm re-selling it on eBay. Oh, and the T-Luxury camisole that I bought is much longer in the torso than I had imagined. I'm so over the extra long cami. Decent coverage is one thing, but really, don't you think clothing designers have gone a bit overboard?

Marni top--$70 including s&h (that's another thing that annoys me: extravagant shipping costs. why charge $10 when the postage is only for $5.50?)

Starting bid on my auction--$19.99

oh my.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Maria Cornejo's online store is up and running. I can't say enough how brilliant I think her designs are. I became obsessed last fall and bought a silk velvet bubble skirt even though many of my friends hate the bubble silhouette. I also bought two pieces from her spring 06 collection, both linen/cotton, a black dress and a v-neck tank that i like to wear as a vest. All her pieces are so well-made and thoughtful, with interesting textures and stitching. Here are my picks for this season:

Tilda dress, silk, $973. If I could do the whole wedding thing again, this is what I would wear. With flats, or sandals. And then I could wear it out rather than stuff it into an archival box under the couch.

Oona dress, silk charmeuse, $442. Maria Cornejo turns her silk matte-side out, so that lovely silky side is next to your skin. Mmm.

Scoop bubble dress, viscose jersey, $325. Bubble skirts, bubble tops, bubble dresses, she does them all and all so well.

Tea Sweater, cashmere, $534

Alpaca and wool parka, $988. Daryl K does cocoon coats on a regular basis, too, but I think Maria does them better. Her entire aesthetic is less punky, more refined.

Funnel Neck Jacket, $955. Wear this with a pencil skirt and channel Blade Runner.

Cossack coat, $1005. I'm iffy on the big buttons, but otherwise, "Molodetz"

Don't be daunted by the prices. Twice a year everything goes on sale about 30-50% off. If you can't make it to either her Nolita or Greenwich Village shop, check her online version, especially sometime around March and July.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

the physics of pencil skirts

(image of Les Prairies des Paris pencil skirt $248 from it comes in blue/black and gold/black, both equally hot)

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I've been working on school things and plotting various purchases. In general I have not been lucky with my eBay purchases. Nothing seems to fit right or look as good as I imagined. Anyway, a few weeks ago I bought a Claudie Pierlot black half-sleeve wool top. When it arrived, it was much much too short in the torso for everyday wear. Now, a good friend of mine just bought a pencil skirt from Lyell. I tried one on also, but it didn't seem to be quite right on me. The main problem was it flattened my behind, which I think is the opposite of what is supposed to happen.

So, last week I went to Filene's Basement in Newton because my adviser keeps telling me I should check it out. He and I spend a lot of time talking about fashion, although we do talk about my dissertation, too. Anyway, I found this black wool Miu Miu pencil skirt with weird paisley shaped embroidered thingies on it. Not too fond of the embellishment, but I figured it could be ok. Plus, there are front pockets, which are very important. But, it was $280 with an additional 30% markdown. I decided to sit on it for awhile. Then, of course, I went online and found the runway version of the skirt on (Fall 05). was also selling it for $250. Hmm.

Today I was in a big stink, so I went to Filene's again. When I was paying, the cashier gave me a coupon for Veterans Day, which knocked the price down an additional 20%. Hooray for nice cashiers! I then decided to buy a v-neck shortish cardigan and a couple white button-downs to complete my look. Do you know how difficult it is to find decently priced white shirts?? Theory has lovely ones for $195. Banana Republic's shirts never fit me properly, and neither do Ann Taylor's. So, I ended up buying two from J Crew (they really are my Gap). I also found this lovely navy cashmere cardigan marked down an additional 25% from a discounted $99. Oh, and I also found my wedding registry dinnerware Table Stories at Anthropologie for way too much off. I bought 4 each of the dinner and salad plates. I really don't understand how the pricing went, but they were $42 and $30 respectively, marked down to $20 and $15. Somehow I ended up paying $88 for them. The girl muttered something about an additional 40% off. So, I basically spent a lot of money today, but I'd prefer to look at the bright side of things. I have two really nice outfits, my wedding registry is half-complete, and I saved quite a bit.(Table Stories by Tord Boontje, image from our registry at

Oh, and did you know the first time I tried on a pencil skirt was at Impulse? It was a beautiful black and navy striped velvet skirt from Les Prairies des Paris. For some reason it didn't fit me properly. Now I know the problem was I need a very high waisted skirt in order to pull the look off. Oh well. The skirt looks great on their model though.

Miu Miu black wool skirt--$154 from Filenes (I suspect its original price was closer to $600)
J Crew white button down--$120 ($60 each)
J Crew navy cashmere v-neck cardigan--$75 (I think the original price was $140)
Claudie Pierlot black sweater--$40 (from eBay, she said it was originally $160 or something)