Every summer, I rent a house on Fire Island with a bunch of friends, and it's one of my favorite things ever. If you've never been to Fire Island—we rent in the mellower western part of the island, not the party-party Pines—it's one of the most relaxing places on earth. There are no cars and there's not much to do (other than go to the beach, go to the grocery store, or take a bike ride), which makes it perfect for overstimulated, stressed-out New Yorkers such as myself who need to chill the eff out. Of course, the best part is being able to spend quality time with my friends, and I love checking out the ladies' vacation-wear. Last weekend, my friend JO broke out a fabulous caftan that she bought in Thailand, and all of a sudden, my go-to Calypso cover-up started looking like a has-been. So before I head back out for a full week of pure laziness, I'm vowing to outfit myself with a fabulous caftan. Here are some of the contenders.
I've been meaning to write about Show Me Your Mumu for awhile—the line was created by two former New Yorkers who sound like the most kooky, fun girls ever. They make easy, breezy printed pieces from tank tops to pants, but of course they excel at their namesake, the Hana TruMu. It's packable and wrinkle-free, and if that print doesn't make you think beach, then I don't know what will.
L'attitude is one of my favorite sites for jewelry and accessories; everything they carry is very "Oh yes, I picked this up in Goa," except you don't actually have to go anywhere. Yay Internet! Anyway, they have all manner of fabulous coverups, but this mermaid caftan from Beach Candy is one of my favorites because the print looks like fish scales and thus fulfills my Ariel the Little Mermaid fantasies.
I rave about Mara Hoffman's prints every Fashion Week, and if you think they look great on a runway, imagine how mind-blowingly cool they'll look on the beach. Cool kaleidoscope prints like the one in her Pow printed coverup are practically made for caftans, aren't they? Pass the umbrella drinks.
And speaking of ladies who know how to vacation, would you expect anything less than this Tofino long caftan from Tory Burch? She really stepped up the game with this one—it's silk, and it looks like something you'd see in an old Slim Aarons photo. It's also dry-clean only, which means you might not be able to actually wear it on the beach, but it's so chic, you could get away with wearing it pretty much everywhere else.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Even though I work in fashion, my coworkers seem endlessly fascinated by the fact that I wear heels to work every day. "Even when it's raining!" one of my work friends once exclaimed. Much like my tactic for staying above the dirty summer sidewalks, big platform heels actually come in handy on rainy days because they keep you elevated over the puddles. Of course, you don't want to wear suede or leather or fabric in adverse conditions, but patent and synthetic leather withstand the conditions quite nicely. A great source for the latter is ShoeDazzle, which is one of those sites that makes you take a quiz, then "curates" a selection of product for you. (More on that later.) Nearly everything on the site is under $100, with the majority under $50, and many styles for even less than that. What makes ShoeDazzle stand out is the sheer variety of styles—this is where the quiz comes in handy to help narrow things down for you, although you can easily shop by style, new arrivals, or trend—and the fact that they have uber-stylist Rachel Zoe lending a hand. (Another bonus: ShoeDazzle has done away with that annoying monthly-commitment thing that similar sites still do.) The Gally wedge sandals (a Rachel Zoe pick) turned up in my shop, and at $39.95, I mean, how could I not buy them? Minimal and geometric, with a comfy wedge heel, they manage to be both neutral and interesting. I can also report they're incredibly comfortable, with a well-padded insole, and they withstood even the torrential downpour that was happening at lunchtime today. I got no fewer than eight compliments on them, including from one incredulous friend who made me take a shoe off to prove where they were from (she thought they were Céline!). And while it would be truly extravagant (and possibly stupid) to wear $1,000 shoes in the rain, isn't it better to spend just a fraction of that...and save the rest to spend on even more shoes?
Bonus: Now through Wednesday 6/12, you can enter to win a trip to L.A. here!
Bonus: Now through Wednesday 6/12, you can enter to win a trip to L.A. here!
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Almost exactly two years ago, I was heading out to Montauk to get married. (Coincidentally, it was also an unseasonably cold, rainy weekend.) While my wedding was fantastic and magical, the months leading up to it were, to put it mildly, one of the most stressful periods of my life. I was one of those people who read too many wedding blogs and became obsessed with art-directing every last detail of my wedding; I nearly had a nervous breakdown over tablecloths. But although it seemed a bit loopy at the time, one of my best ideas was wearing all white dresses for the entire weekend of my wedding. Not only did everyone know I WAS THE BRIDE, GODDAMMIT, I ended up with a bunch of cute summer dresses, all of which are still in regular rotation in my closet, with the exception of my after-party dress, which suffered an untimely death via whiskey-and-pizza stains. (Hey, I hadn't eaten carbs in a month—give a girl a break!) I'm of the mind that one can never have too many little white dresses—they're the summer cousin of that perennial wardrobe classic, the little black dress—so here are a bunch of this year's favorites, all under $100.
1. Okay, so this Nasty Gal Summer Dreams dress is technically cream, not white, but close enough. It has subtle lace insets for built-in ventilation, and the babydoll cut means you can drink as many margaritas as you want and not have to worry about your stomach sticking out. It's also 100% cotton, which is key for breathability.
2. I like this Topshop lace shift dress because it looks like something Twiggy would've worn in the '60s, but you'd almost never find a vintage dress in such pristine condition. I won't tell if you won't.
3. Speaking of vintage, ModCloth totally leverages that aesthetic for its Zooey Deschanel-loving, social-media-savvy, twentysomething clientele. In fact, I could picture the New Girl herself wearing this sweet Coconuts for the Coast dress.
4. This Dorothy Perkins maxi dress is like a unicorn: it's white, it's long, and it's beyond fabulous. It's also 100% cotton and, at $55, a total steal, so, yes, I've already ordered one. Warning to my friends: You're going to see a lot of this one this summer.
5. Miss Selfridge always seemed like the UK's version of Wet Seal to me, but judging by the number of groovy boho-chic dresses on their website, perhaps they're repositioning themselves. This pom-pom lace dress is finished with such lovely details, it looks far more expensive than it is—a straight-up bargain at $80.
No matter how busy you get, it's always important to spare a little time in your hectic schedule for some serious TLC. After all, what's the point of working hard if you can't make up for it in some pampering time at the end of the week? Marimekko and Melbourne-based beauty company Aesop have joined forces to create a handy little spa-inspired duo, dubbed the Sauna Duet, perfect for sloughing and buffing stresses away in the comfort of your own tub or shower. Not all of us can afford pricey professional spa treatments – especially not on a regular basis – but this luxurious scrub and moisturizer pair proves that you don't need to seek the help of a professional just to "treat yo'self"! The scrub exfoliates for smoother, healthier skin that glows, while the balm restores moisture and hydrates skin for the perfect polished, pampered finish. Forget your fancy spa – turn your own home bathroom into a relaxing retreat with the help of this sexy Sauna Duet! - Alexandra Gambardella
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