Sunday, November 30, 2008

Isn't She Glove-ly

One of the most popular gifts to give around the holidays is a cute pair of gloves or mittens. This is actually a popular gift that I give out, just because it's fun personalizing peoples' handwarmers in ways that fit their personality, but you know that a cute pair of gloves is an indispensable item. So, for those of you trying to find quick gifts for people, here are some glove-ly picks from Urban Outfitters.

Also, I have a lot of posts that I was going to do for November, but's about to be December. Sorry guys! I'll try and get them all up tonight.

Striped Crochet Convertible Glove, $14.99

Lady Button Gloves, $14.99

Rugby Striped Glove, $9.99

Promenade Attire, Part Four

The theme for today's post is classic black. Though I promised myself many years ago that I would not wear black, and do not plan to do so at this prom, I love perusing the simple, black styles that may not be the most daring but are always very slimming and classic.

This pretty Tadashi strapless dress has a classic and flattering sweetheart neckline. There isn't much to say about this dress; the flowy, simple style is very expected of evening gowns, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good choice. Though I don't like ankle-length gowns myself, because I'm somewhat of a shortie this would probably be floor-length.

This one-strap dress from Amsale Party has a little extra detail to move it away from typical black column dresses. The little flutter of chiffon on the shoulder makes this dress a little bit high fashion. I would suggest wearing one's hair up with this dress, which is unfortunate for me as I would much rather wear mine down.

Though this velvet gown from David Meister is not exactly black, I felt that it was close enough that it could be featured in this post. It reminds me of nail polish, the kind that looks black normally but then is revealed to be navy blue in direct sunlight. I love this gown; I remember seeing Beyonce in a black velvet sweetheart gown much like this one and loving the plain, classic style of the gown. This gown deserves a beautiful set of earrings and a classic up-do or pretty waves.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cut it Out, Oxford!

While cutouts and oxford may not seem like they would be a good pair...

...perhaps one ought to reconsider?

I, for one, am in love. Perhaps I'll splash out on these instead of a new pair of boots...after all, these can be worn year-round and I can only wear boots when it's really cold outside.

Are U Talking Back?

A while back, I signed up for a service called It seemed a tad gimmicky, but I decided to take a leap, especially since the companies associated with it were tried-and-true (and because at the time, I was lusting after some particularly lovely American Eagle sweaters.

For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's an organization that is based on surveys. You sign up for an account and identify areas which you are interested in (fashion, shopping, etc.). Then, you receive e-mail alerts when surveys about your selected topics become "available," and give you the option of taking them. In return for taking these surveys, you receive points for your account, which later can be redeemed for prizes.

I initially signed up because I looked at the prize list. Towards the bottom was a $50 gift certificate to American Eagle (this was if you received something like 400 points). I joined the service, promising myself I wouldn't redeem my credits until I had earned enough to gain the gift certificate.

So here I am, with 242 credits, some of which will expire this coming May. My conclusion? This site may not be gimmicky, but they surely have no intention of giving you points beyond 300. Recently, every time I try to take a survey I am notified that the intended number of participants has been reached -- even if I just got the notification e-mail five minutes ago. But all is not lost. I plan to wait until May, and if I still have my 242 points, I'll redeem them for a subscription to Seventeen. Hardly a gimmick, in my opinion.

Project Revamp

Well, in case you hadn't noticed I've decided to give my blog a second makeover! I promise this will be the last one; I had the idea to start another blog but then I decided to merge the two into this one. Besides, this layout and theme allows me to deviate a little from being recessionably chic all the time.

I'm also considering a career in economics or business, so I felt that this title really represented me more.

In return for the confusion caused by this change, I'm going to be posting a huge amount of times today, so be sure to visit often!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Many, Many Thanks

I hope all of your Thanksgivings were filled with...

blotting papers, to keep you shine-free in every family photo

sweet floral scents, to help you survive the fifteen thousandth hug from that aunt whose name you can never remember

yummy holiday treats, both savory and sweet

and of course, a quality long-wear lipcolour that lasts you through every last bite of turkey and stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving from Recessionably Chic!

More Heels, Pay Less

While I try and stray away from very obvious bargain spots in my coverage of "fashion for those with sensitive wallets", I decided to include Payless in this post for two reasons.

First, in terms of bargain shoes, Payless knows its (their?) stuff. Sure, they're not as durable as you can get, but I bought a pair of bargain Target flats and a pair of bargain Payless flats and the Payless ones outlasted the Target ones many, many years. I've worn boots from Payless for two years and they still look good. Perhaps it's because it's a specialty store, but whatever the reason, Payless provides sturdy shoes at good prices.

Second, they're having an awesome sale on heels. 'Tis the party season, and you're going to want a cute pair of dark heels to take you through your soirées. Then again, feel free to splash out on a pair of glitzy heels...I try to keep my interesting details up top, as party situations are generally not conducive to people looking at your feet.

These black suede T-straps also come in purple satin, but I think that the black shoes (which I've tried on) are incredibly comfortable for 4-inch heels and look far more expensive than the $22.99 that they are.

These studded heels, both $21.99, are trendy without being over-the-top. You could wear these to a party even when studs aren't in fashion, as they seem like small details. I love the pleating on the open-toe pump, but find that closed-toe pumps are more popular with me because I can wear them to a multitude of occasions (in a multitude of weather situations).

These pumps are a sweet way to go from office to party for only $22.99. The little plastic detail adds a little bit of detail, but is far from over-the-top. I love how at first glance, these pumps appear black, but actually are dark green. The heels on these are only 3.5", so they're better for situations where you may need to stand for long periods of time.

These adorable pumps, like the ones above, are $22.99 and have a 3.5" heel. I love love love the silk bow on the back of these, as it echoes many of the high-fashion trends of having bold details on shoes. Sadly, this is only available in very limited sizes, so if you want to get a pair of these I'd suggest checking the site pronto!

An added bonus to all of this? The second and third pairs of pumps are both from Abaeate for Payless, and the fourth and fifth pairs are from Lela Rose for Payless.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gift Ideas, Part 1

For the girl to whom you only owe a small token of gratitude, a sweet pair of socks are fun, cozy, and cheap. The J. Crew argyle ones are a complete steal -- you might even want to get some for yourself!

J. Crew Argyle Knee-Highs, $6.99

Gap Soft Sherpa Socks, $6.99

For a closer friend that doesn't necessarily need a larger gift, try this beautiful headband or this gorgeous J. Crew cardigan. Though I usually try to not get people clothes, a cardigan is a pretty universal thing.

J. Crew Braided Metal Headband, $22.00

J. Crew Tartine Cardigan, $29.99

For someone special to you, a Coach wristlet is a budget-friendly way to share the holiday cheer. Pick a colour that you think your friend would truly love -- but don't forget to include a gift receipt in case she isn't a fan!

Coach Soho Leather Wristlet, $58

Coach Madison Leather Wristlet, $68

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Even many years ago, when I was a normal height for my age, I had this strange obsession with small things. I wrote in incredibly small handwriting and would always subject my poor LEGO people to the smallest houses imaginable. To this day, I still love small charms and pendants, and little details on everything.

Speaking of small things, how unbelievably adorable is this little coin purse? Yes, it's not-so-adorably priced at $177, but I suppose that's what you get when your coin purse is from Gucci. But still! I'm dying of cuteness overload...


Just a random thing...

I just got my January 2009 issue of NYLON magazine, and was thrilled to see Rihanna on the cover...

...until I realized it was Lily Allen. Not that there's anything wrong with Lily Allen! In fact, I'm unbelievably psyched for her "comeback." But doesn't she look eerily similar to "old" Rihanna here? By old, I mean pre-mohawk hairdo. Maybe it's just a sign that the smudgy-smokey eyes + shaggy, choppy hair combo is here to stay.

Personally, I'm a fan of the look. It makes me slightly more confident in my own boring old black hair...

P.S. If you subscribe now, you get this awesome NYLON t-shirt that I would totally buy if they were sold individually. Click on the picture to subscribe!

Makes Me Blush

Though I do not consider myself to be "above" reality TV, I do find myself unhappy with the direction it is taking. Shows that have the potential to provide certain types of content sometimes go down the drain because of their sole focus on catfights and drama.

Blush, a Lifetime reality contest similar to Project Runway except with makeup artists, was a show I had heard about through the beauty blogger grapevine (because I kind of bridge the gap between fashion and beauty blogging), and while I didn't feel the need to catch the first episode on TV, I was able to watch the latest two episodes on Lifetime, as they are posted in their entirety online.

My thoughts? First of all, the entire thing is very clearly a gigantic promotion for Max Factor products. It's not like I'm that surprised, it's just sometimes humorous how obvious they get. Then again, Max Factor seems like a product that has some good stuff (mascara mascara mascara!!!) but just doesn't quite have the naming power that other brands have. Once upon a time it may have, and hopefully this show will, at the very least, bring Max Factor some exposure.

As for the show itself, it's for some and not for others. Personally, I watch reality TV shows like Project Runway for the great design and not for the designer catfights. For example, I loved Leanne to death on the last season, but cringed every time the producers played up the Leanne-Kenley battles. While I do enjoy limited sidetracking from the pure content of the show, I feel like the sideshows should be just that, sideshows. If designer drama was the basis of Project Runway, I'd have a hard time watching the show and, quite frankly, taking the designers seriously after the show was over.

This is the main problem with Blush. The contestants are such characters (this one guy named Maxi is a teensy bit unbearable) but you never really know whether it's editing, them trying to stay in the competition due to personalities, or just them. While I like watching the show in the background while doing something else (so I can tune in when they actually talk about makeup), it definitely isn't a must for me.

But, as always, TV is a very subjective thing...check out the episodes here!

Gravitating Towards Gucci

Check out Gucci Westman work her magic with Revlon's Beyond Natural Collection with this five-minute face.

I'm not going to lie, not all of us have strong features and completely clear skin like this model, so the five minutes may need to be augmented, but I thought she did a nice job on the eyes and just showing general techniques. I wish I could contour that easily!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Leanimal Waves, On The Cheap

As you already know, I am a huge fan of Leanne Marshall's work on Project Runway, and I am eagerly counting down the days until her collection drops. Until then, I've noticed that her ideas are either very on trend or very inspiring, as many retailers have been embracing the structured, slightly waves-centric trend in their own clothes. These pieces are often the most expensive, as they are the most trendy, but I was able to find a shirt at Target for $8.99 in the clearance section that echoes the pleats and structure of a Leanne Marshall top without infringing too far into your bank account.

I actually just bought the grey one, along with a whole slew of other clearance items so I could get the "Free Shipping over $50" deal. You'd be surprised how fast cheap clearance items can add up to $50!

Another item I got was this simple grey T-shirt, which can be worn with a black high-waisted skirt for a very on-trend look. It can also be paired with dark skinnies and boots and some additional accessory (vest, scarf, blazer, statement jewelry, headband) for a clean-cut, casual look. Plus, it's a miniscule $3.99.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Not So Little J

As far as our littlest Gossip Girl is concerned, there's been quite a buzz about her sartorial choices. First of all, Taylor Momsen's character Jenny is going through quite a fashion transformation of her own. I find it quite interesting to follow, with events like her "guerrilla fashion show" being completely mesmerizing, but I do think she needs to tone down the makeup a tad.

The main reason Taylor Momsen's been receiving so many comments about her fashion is cause she's only 15! And while it's amazing that a 15 year old gets to have an amazing experience like this at such a young age, it also probably sucks that she's quite a bit younger than her castmates. Granted, she's a gorgeous, old-looking 15-year-old, but I'd imagine that it stinks to be younger than everyone around you. Everyone keeps talking about how what she's wearing is "too mature" or that she should be wearing "more youthful" styles, but I can kind of see why she's dressing older for her age. She's always seen around with her castmates, and I know that I wouldn't want to be wearing floral sundresses when I'm surrounded by a bunch of hot young things dressed in fashion-forward, exposed outfits. She probably wants to look just as good as the people around her, and I completely don't blame her for that. So while I'm sure many moms would like to stick her in outfits like this one from Design History all the time...

...I'm sure T. Momsen would reserve that dress for a daytime lunch event, if that. If I were her stylist, I'd try for something like this dress from Dolce Vita:

It's cute and short, but the poufy hem isn't too slinky. Plus, I absolutely adore the colour. I don't know if Taylor's like Natalie in that she doesn't like asymmetric hemlines, but I happen to love them and I hope she does as well.

However, if even that is too youthful for Taylor (and I wouldn't blame her if she felt that way,) then I would suggest this Alexander Wang dress. I like the vest detail and think that it's really modern and hip. Plus, the outfit has enough rocker to satisfy our slightly punky Momsen.

The Fashion Meester

While many choose to focus on Blake Lively, I often find myself attracted to Leighton Meester's fashion choices. Recently, like Blake's they've taken somewhat of a negative turn, so I'm going to try my best to play stylist for Leighton and get her on the right track.

The theme for tonight is gold and black. My inspiration for this outfit and the center of it is this drop dead gorgeous Vera Wang top. Doesn't it look like it could be a Grecian sculpture or something? While I've usually equated Vera Wang with more classic styles, this piece is an example of how something can be both classic and fashionable.

I would pair this with a totally plain high-waisted black skirt. Unlike usual fashionistas, I wouldn't have Leighton tuck in this shirt, because that would completely ruin the structural way the fabric is draped. The reason I'd have her wear a high-waisted skirt is to make sure that the outfit looks almost like a dress. The left side (right to us looking at it) of the top is relatively high, so a high waisted skirt would ensure that no skin is shown.

As for shoes, I would deviate away from the traditional uberfierce-studded-huge platform-strappy-intense shoes and go for these gold studded Pedro Garcia pumps. The studs add some edge and make the shoe not a typical Louboutin (not that there's anything wrong with that, we just want something with more pizazz). But, the shoe isn't over-the-top, which directs all attention to the beautiful shirt.

I would then add this Bottega Veneta clutch in black. It's black, so it doesn't really draw much attention, but it's still unbelievably classy. The textured fabric keeps it interesting and deviates from a typical black clutch, but the gold clasp and black colour make it sync with the outfit.

As for jewelry, I'd go for a statement ring on one hand and a gold cuff on the other. Simple and stylish, but not too gaudy.

This Net-A-Porter styling shot is pretty similar to what I've got, so it will give you a vague idea of what the outfit would look like as a whole. Ironically, I picked out that clutch before I saw the picture (honest!), but the picture makes me love that choice even more. Just keep in mind that the shoes I picked are really different!

A Lively Return

Many people have noticed Blake Lively's "I'm too hot to care" attitude towards sartorial matters. I have, and while I don't blame her for trying to carry off the "effortless" look, I think that it would benefit her as well as those who admire her if she tried to be a tad bit more fashion forward with her ensembles. I am in no way degrading her current look, and I think she looks gorgeous as is. However, if I were Blake's stylist...

First, I'd ease slowly into the prospects of fashion forward design. Blake usually goes with no-mess styles, so I wouldn't try to pull anything crazy. She seems to enjoy the neutral palette, just like myself, so I'd start her off with an outfit that echoes that set of hues.

First, this simple tiered/pleated skirt from Bamford is reminiscent of the bandage-style outfits that have become so popular lately. This is something that Blake would probably wear right now, with a plain top and some heels.

I'd pair it with this Celine top, whose structural details are right on trend. The top itself would be very flattering, as well as moving Blake in a fashion-forward direction.

I'd then go with a killer pair of heels, like these Emanuel Ungaro whoppers. They're not in a crazy colour, but the strappy detail would draw attention to Blake's gorgeous set of gams. It's great because she's one of the few people who could pull off such a crazy and high-strapped set of shoes.

Finally, I'd top it off with a jewel coloured clutch. The petal detail is slightly reminiscent of the flowy wave details on the grey top. Plus, the purple tone adds a punch of colour without becoming the focus on the outfit.

What do you guys think? Too dull? Not Blake's type?


No, no, this isn't a post about Blake Lively and her Blackberry. Remember, it's a fashion blog! This is about Blake and her Burberry.

A while back, at some event, Blake Lively arrived in a head-t0-toe Burberry ensemble, seen here. Needless to say, it wasn't her best night.

I'd imagine that she was "dressed" by Burberry, which might have entailed putting on some sort of pre-ordained ensemble. So at the very least, I would have suggested that she wear something of this sort:

I realize it's a tad blah, but at least it looks more polished than what she had on that night. She's a pretty girl, but somehow that outfit looked really earthy crossed with witchy...all gone wrong.

If she had the choice of what to wear, then I would pick an outfit that brought out her gorgeous features. I'd pick something clean-cut and effortless, just to give an easy-breezy vibe to her looks.

First, I would keep the booties that she wore, because those are just plain fierce. I'd also keep the black tights -- I'm guessing it was a bit chilly.

Then, I'd have the main focus of her outfit be this gorgeous bronze trench. I love the look of a simple trench with loose, cascading waves of hair. I would have her hair the way she usually wears it, as over-styled hair would look too uptight with this jacket.

In case she had to take off her coat, I'd put this simple black dress underneath. It may be a bit boring, but it's a little more reserved and would highlight her great figure. However, if I were her I'd just keep the coat on the entire night.