Casual Tees for Spring!

First of all, I'd like to make an important announcement (which is so important we decided to reiterate it on our side bar!). As most of you know by now, since forever, we've been blogging from mon-saturday every week (give or take a few hours). But because of upcoming finals and all (HG is having her end of year finals, one of those UK uni ones where they accumulate everything they've taught in the last year into one big exam at the end- *shiver* I'm so glad I follow the US system) our blogging schedule is going to be temporarily changed to tue/thu/sat until the week of June 11th 2007, with a few extra blogs thrown in should time allow. After that, we promise we will be back on schedule with even more of our rantings and observations on fashion and life in general!

So anyways, back onto today's topic. Now that spring has finally arrived, I was digging through my spring/summer wardrobe I have here in Chicago and realised that I had a serious lack in casual tees. Especially those that didn't have "Abercrombie" emblazoned all over it. Now here is one of those times when I ask myself- WHAT was I thinking?

Why, from the whole A&F store, did I not choose something more discreet and versatile like this tank and this henley?
Or even better some pretty tops that don't say Abercrombie at all, but are just casual and cute. If only I can get my money back on those tees and get these instead.
I really can do with more simple but pretty tops this spring/summer, like these two from Express. I was looking for a top to go with my summer skirts this weekend, and these two with their neutral colors and simple but girly designs would've been perfect!
A pretty laced tank with contrasting colors, such as this one (left) from American Eagle would be great too- oh wait, I already have something very similar from Coco and Mimi last year and I wear it all the time. LOL. Or you can go just go with a simple plain tank, like this one from J Crew (right). To make it fun, try layering tanks of fun, bright, summery, neon colors with more neutral colored tanks.

With everything going loose these days, a simple loosely fitted tee, like this one (left) from American Eagle may be all you need. For a bit more style and fit, try this empire waist tee with flirty sleeves from Forever 21(right).

More loosely fitted bubbly tees from FCUK (left) and Urban Outfitters (right). I am LOVING the look of the FCUK one. Oh and these simple scooped neck tees would be the perfect complement to wear those funky loud necklaces HG was talking about the other day.
And just to conclude, we have these classic graphic tees, which I am absolutely LOVING from J Crew. They are cute with graphics on them in such a way that are not overly loud or obscene. You can wear by itself or with a fun jacket/skirt and not have to worry about patterns clashing and such.

I definitely need to go shopping this weekend to check all these out for real!

Body Worlds II

So this week, I finally went to see The Body Worlds II. I've been meaning to see it since January, but it has taken the fact that the exhibit was ending (THIS WEEKEND!) in Chicago to get me to finally book the tickets and go. And to think, its not even that far from where I live, seriously. Anyways, we booked tickets to see the Human Body imax and the exhibition because we thought it was all together. Not so. While the imax wasn't too bad, it wasn't quite what we were expecting- a detailed video of how they plastinate people. It was a video of how the human body works and it was cool in that they actually showed real videos of how a foetus is developed inside it's mother and how food is churned in the stomach and gall bladder splurts out bile in the small intestines. I've learnt in theory all these things, butI've never actually seen it happen. Oh and did you know that our hands were oringally a big blob of cells and the shape was formed as the cells degenerate? Sigh, I wish the cells at the tip of my fingers would've stayed, I'd have liked longer and leaner finger. But yeah, not exactly what we were hyping up for.

Anyway, the actual exhibit was quite fascinating. The bones, the brains, the real organs, the giant camel, the floating nerves and of course- the actual bodies. It was amazing the way they were preserved. You can even see the eyes and the eye lashes! Oh and there were interesting historical displays hanging around too. Like how Da Vinci used to dig up bodies in grave yards and dissected them to get a better sense of the body. And how Frogandard was quite the anatomist himself- and who knew from his gorgeous paintings?
My only slight concern with the exhibit was the artistic displays of the human body, which seemed kind of unneccesary. Its hard to remember sometimes that these were actually human beings. Especially when one see's displays like the drawer man, where chunks were cut and pulled out of the body like drawers and the spiral man, whose body was cut out like spirals. And the ballerina, football and yoga positions. . . I know it says its to show the muscles of the human body in action, but it felt more like they were placed like that for a better display. I'm aware that if they didn't do things like these, I probably wouldn't have found the exhibit quite as fascinating, but then this other part of me remembers that these are real. . . . .
And lastly, here is what your lungs look like if you smoke.

Overall, it was a great experience. The human body is truly amazing. If you haven't already, check out if they're coming to your area next on their site!

Oversized Clutches

On a recent shopping spree, I was bored, waiting outside the changing room, and I started picking up the bags around. After a few bags, I picked up this large Marni clutch, looked into the mirror and got that feeling -that unexpected, novel feeling. After carrying large handbags during daytime for so long, it was SO refreshing to carry this clutch.

OK, so oversized clutches might not be a trend this season, and carrying a bag without the strap is certainly annoying. But it's such a nice feeling to carry a bag with only the things you actually need, instead of the ten million random, useless things you probably have in your bag. Ever since that moment of holding the Marni clutch, I've started to take notice of oversized clutches around me. Zara this season, has very Marni-sh oversized clutches. And I love Ashley's large, red Bottega Veneta one -it's just the right size and adds a touch of colour to her outfit.
J Crew has some classic summer ones, such as this straw clutch.

Here is a canvas one by J Crew that is less beachy.

While the L.A.M.B. Catania clutch isn't 100% my style, but it is very cool.

For something really simple and affordable, these are from Top Shop.

These two are right on trend: (Left) Black patent clutch by Goldenbleu; (Right) Metallic clutch by Lauren Mirkin -great for night time. Both are available at shopbop.

Lastly, one of my favourite ones -the Balenciaga Giant Traveller. It's way out of my budget for a clutch but I'll just continue fantasizing about it.

OK, so I'm probably not going to buy a daytime, oversized clutch anytime soon (unless I happen to see an affordable one,) but it's such a nice alternative to the heavy, huge bags we've been lugging around recently!

Photo credits: Linked above.

Dresses from The Bachelors

Ok, so I watch the Bachelors. Not exactly THE hit show to watch or anything, but in my defense, this season's bachelor is way hot.
He's cute, he's in the navy, he's a doctor, he does the triathalon i.e. he has the body of a god AND he is a humanitarian. But anyway, this post isn't supposed to be about me oogling Andy (well maybe just a little). Its about how amazing it is that these girls always seem to have an endless supply of dresses packed in their little suitcases, wearing a different dress every episode for the cocktail party. Do they get sponsors?

Anyway, so I thought since we're on the topic of prom, it would be fun to look at the types of dresses they wear (since there are such a huge accumulation of them at once on different body types and coloring on the show) and see just see what works and what doesn't.
HITS: I thought these two dresses were sophisticated and elegant. The black dress is classic with just the right amount of sexiness. And the emerald green dress complements perfectly with her dark coloring.
SO SO: While I like the flirty and fun cut of the dress, I thought it looked slightly prom like and too girly.
SO SO: I like the design of the top part of her dress and the cream color. But I thought the additional details at the skirt was just a bit too much.
MISS: Call me traditional, but I just didn't think her dress was very well fitted-esp at the cleavage. Plus the cutting does nothing for her shape and the light blue shade is slightly too pale for her complexion.
SO SO: I like how the vibrant color of her dress contrasts so well with her coloring. But I'm not sure how flattering the cutting of her dress is. . . .
HIT: Personally I hate orange. But surprisingly, I think this orange dress looks good with her blonde and tanned complexion. The cutting is also very simple and flattering.
SO SO: Again red looks good on her, except I think the bias cut of her skirt makes her legs look shorter than they are.

MISSES: Ok, that short short metallic dress (left) is just skanky. I don't think the funny cutting of her her skirt with two strips dangling down (center) is not very complimenting. And the short cutting and that shiny purple color (right) is just WAY too promlike for her.

Sorry the pictures are so small and the selection so few. But they really don't post too many pictures of their cocktail parties and rose ceremony much. I really wanted to show you this gorgeous yellow strapless long dress that Tessa wore on episode 2, but alas, they didn't have a picture of it. She looked great in it! If you have time go check it yourselves on abc.com!

Scarves For Now

Ever since the Balenciaga FW07 show, I've been paying more attention to people's scarves rather than their bags.
OK, it's unfortunate I used Beckham as an example here, but these scarves are pretty unisex.
These look like heavy (warm) scarves, but I like them so I posted them here too. I really like Kirsten's purple and blue one, (but perhaps not the best outfit to match with.)
It is getting a bit warm to wear big, thick scarves, but it may be the perfect time to wear light scarves. Plus scarves are a great and practical way to add some colour to our mostly grey, black and white outfits (at least mines' are.)
These are from Urban Outfitters. They look really similar (or the same?) to the ones Beckham and Kirsten has on. My only question is, how the heck do you style the scarf that way?
A plaid one from Urban Outfitters. At the moment, these are definitely cooler than the Burberry signature scarves. (Although the Burberry ones are really winter rather than spring scarves.)
Here are two light, fun ones from Top Shop. The white one is great if you've got a colourful outfit on, and the printed one is just fun to accessorise with.

SS07 Trend: High-Waisted Wide Leg Trousers

First off, regarding Sat's 'Thoughts On Three CDs' post, I would like to point out that taste is subjective, whether it is of fashion, beauty, music, books and food etc. Everyone should have their own likes and dislikes and be open-minded about those of others. Afterall, what makes your taste superior to someone else's? But anyways, let's move onto today's topic: high-waisted wide leg trousers (such an annoying long name!)

I grew up in the mid-90's to mid-00's, when low-waisted jeans (or pants) dominated, so I must say, it feels very weird for me to see high-waisted trousers (or anything high-waisted for that matter). I've always thought high-waisted trousers as a thing of the past -something that is unmodern and most importantly, something that is unflattering to the majority.
But then when the tide seemed to hint of such trousers and Top Shop made some, I thought it was a good time just to experiment with them. Thus I bought this affordable pair from Top Shop. So now I have to look at different people wearing them to get inspiration and styling yeses and nos.

I was first inspired by MK, whose trousers are from Top Shop. For such a short girl, she sure doesn't make the trousers look unflattering (although it looks like she's got those super high Balenciaga boots underneath.) I really like the business look on the left and the cool look on the right. Unfortunately, it's hard to look as casual cool as she does.

Styling yes: Keep the top simple, mono-colour and deflated (ie. no volume). And tuck the top in. I really love Ashley's trousers on the left -the top of the trousers exactly at the narrowest bit of Ashley's waist. The trousers look clean-cut and stylish, plus they make her body look long.

Keira Knightley shows that even for someone as thin and tall as her, these trousers can look nice or just wide, depending on the angle. And I'm not so sure on the striped top (to go with these trousers.)

Styling no: Make sure there are no puffy pockets on the trousers because it just makes your stomach look bigger than it actually is.

New photos of Mischa seems to say, if you want to try high-waisted wide leg trousers, don't go for denim! Stick to black and grey like MK and Ash. Afterall, if it can make Mischa Barton look wide, then it's bound to make most of us look worse.
My final verdict: High-waisted wide leg trousers are very difficult to wear no matter how you put it. And I still think they don't look young, casual or modern. But hey, that's what high street shops are for -to let us try out trends for a short period of time just for fun!

Prom 2007: Cover Up's

As gorgeous as prom dresses are, a girl still needs some kind of cover up in the event that it becomes too chilly outdoors (or indoors with the a/c and all). During my formals, everyone wore shawls. Sheer gauze-y silvery shawls. Pretty pretty sequinned shawls. Feminine delicate lacey shawls. You name it. But these days, suddenly there seems to be a whole lot more options out there to consider! So here are a few:

The cardigan. There is the effortlessly cool long oversized cardigan look shown here by BCBG that is super trendy. To glam it up a bit for prom, try replacing that tie with a hip belt or a shiny satin bow. And if you are like me and prefer the more feminine and ladylike look after all, try this ultra girly cardigan with the puffy sleeves and bow by Miu Miu!

Then there is the shrug. I must say, I am loving it. Last year I bought a slightly furry black shrug from H&M and its great because it matches everything, it doesn't hide the dress/shirt underneath AND its warm. Its kind of similar to this black shrug here By Malene Birger, see what I mean about not hiding the dress underneath? And for something more dramatic and unique, try this black/white shrug by Moschino Cheap & Chic. It would go perfectly with those simple black strapless dresses I showed before. Talk about adding individuality to an outfit.

Taking inspiration from the Teen Vogue prom spread, there are these gorgeous brocade cropped jackets by Hanii Y and Manoush. I think it adds just the perfect touch of romance and fancy to an outfit. Wow, the more I look at them, the more I really want one of these. . . .
For something a bit more casual, there are these two cropped jackets from Bi La Li (I know, interesting name right?) and Diane von Furstenburg, which because of their relatively classic cropped cut, I think would still look great over a dress. But of course, these last four cover-ups are only appropriate for when you are outdoors.

And the BEST thing about these cover ups? You will most probably be able to wear it again!

Photo Credit: www.net-a-porter.com, www.bcbg.com

In the Jeans:Fashion & Comfort

Fashion & ComfortJeans for all reasons
Keep up at the back, denim is about to move on again. Just as you've found your comfort zone of skinny Baxters and ballerinas, along comes a brace of new cuts to challenge your look. Just how did we get here? One minute jeans were Fashion & Comfortsimply workwear for miners and loggers, the next they're the height of glamour and we're not even blinking at the idea of Ј150 jeans. Actually, hang on a minute, jeans have been around since the '1800s so perhaps its not so inconceivable that fashion has moved on. From cowboys and rebellious screen idols, to the laidback '60s, it wasn't until rule-breaker Yves Saint Laurent used denim as part of his luxurious ready-to-wear collections in 1969 and his denim trouser suits became the sexy choice of the androgynous style set that denim became dressy, paving the way for the designer jeans of Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein. These mixed messages underlined the rebellious cool associated with denim.
in the jeansWhat next?
These days denim is considered acceptable in almost every situation although interestingly some old school institutions use it as a barrier to keep the riff raff out. Nevertheless it's so ingrained in the psyche of every fashion-literate mover and shaker that even dress codes won't put them off.While most of us judge our denim brands by their ability to flatter, there will always be the fashion faithfuls who follow a look because it's new and not necessarily because it looks good. But snigger though we may, they're the ones who help keep fashion afloat - where would the drainpipe jean be if it wasn't for those mavericks who tried it first? In the end there's room for all styles of jeans. Instead of striving for the perfect pair these days it's about aiming for the perfect wardrobe of jeans. So which ones have you got?

in the jeansjeansBright and beautiful
Hands up who lived in black and grey Superfines all winter? Guilty? Then this is the season to store them to make way for new summery shades. With white set to be the colour of summer it makes sense to employ white jeans as the mainstay of your warm-weather wardrobe. Bright white denim comes into its own at Lee, Jane Norman and Notify and it also looks fresh against hot summer brights and natural tan tones. Or why not experiment with the influx of new coloured denim? Think Matthew Williamson-style clashes of red skinny jeans with acid-bright Converse and Lacoste's pastel preppy poloshirts. Elsewhere on the high street you'll find Benetton-bright denim at Sass & Bide and Tsubi and soft pastels at TopShop and H&M.
Fashion jeansHey boyfriend!
It was only a matter of time before the baggy jean reentered the fold. Ultra-wide trousers are set to be key for next autumn so it's not surprising some people are keen to get a head start on the trend now. A primarily relaxed look, these jeans can be dressed up with a heel but only if the jeans are long enough or worn over tall boots. Clumpy sandals like Chloe's wooden-heeled platforms work well as they can be too heavy with narrower jeans. Labels like Oasis, Diesel, Gap and French Connection are backing baggy jeans. French Connection's jeans have been a bestseller for months while Gap's jeans are a timely antidote to the stretch-skinnies so prevalent elsewhere on the high street.

Thoughts on Three New CDs

I've been pretty excited music-wise last month because three new CDs by artists I like were just released.

Hilary Duff ~ Dignity
The first time I heard the album all the songs sounded like one very long song: all the songs were basically disco-ey dance songs. But seeing new photos and watching videos of Hilary Duff busy promoting the CD in fantastic outfits encouraged me to give the CD more chances (-yes, I'm shallow this way). After listening to the CD a few more times, I was in love with most of the songs.
The lyrics are actually well-written and the songs are just so fun without being dumb. I think Hilary described it best in an interview with Girlfriend magazine: 'There are many records on the air that are like, "Shake your ass, blah blah blah." I love that kind of music, but I wanted my record to have some meaning too.' And surprisingly, most music reviews thought the album was better than expected too, so if you like this kind of music, give it a try. Songs I am loving: With Love, Dignity, Happy, Burned
Good Charlotte ~ Good Morning Revival
This CD got loads of bad reviews, but I liked it mostly. Partly because I like pop rock and this album is it; partly because the melodies are easy to the ears and the beat just makes one bob their heads along; and a tiny bit because I think Joel is cute (I actually miss his and Benji's eyeliner-smudged eyes!). Yes it is very different from Good Charlotte's early albums but hey, they grew up. The only thing I didn't like was that it sounded too polished. I liked it better when it sounded like they were a band from the neighbourhood. Songs I am loving: The River, Break Apart Her Heart, Keep Your Hands Off My Girl, Misery
Avril Lavigne ~ The Best Damn Thing
Err, I don't know what to say. I mean, the songs aren't bad, but they're just so... cheerful. I loved her previous albums, Let Go and Under My Skin, but this album felt a bit immature for someone who had made those albums. Yes, Girlfirend is seriously catchy but I just expected more from Avril. On a side note, did anyone else think it was really weird seeing Avril dance in Girlfriend's music video?
Maybe this is part of the reason I don't like her CD that much -pink frilly dress, seriously? And that eye makeup does not look good. I liked her so much more when she wore more black and white clothes and Converse or Vans sneakers. So ya, I just thought The Best Damn Thing was just ok and the slow songs are definitely better than the fast ones.
Obviously I am no music critic, but I thought it would be fun to share and see what everyone thought of the CDs. Anyone else heard these new CDs? Which CDs and songs are your favourite?