30 September 2011

In Which I Search for New Glasses

It's time for me to get new glasses. My prescription hasn't changed, but my old frames are all banged up and my lenses are scratched.

I decided to try ordering my frames online, since there are so many online glasses retailers. I hear good things about Bonlook and Spexclub, but I couldn't resist trying out Warby Parker, because of their Home Try-On Program. It's such a good idea - they will send you five frames, free of charge, for five days, so you can try them on and take some time to make up your mind.

I got my frames today. I've narrowed my favorites down to two, and I definitely have a least favorite, but I'm not going to tell you which ones just yet.  I want to get your opinions as well. So here they are (forgive the horrible photos and my husband giving me the side-eye in the background. He thinks I'm crazy).

Which frames do you like best?

pollcode.com free polls 

So tell me what you think, and feel free to elaborate in the comments if you like!

Personal Shopper: Missoni for Target Skirt

Reader Request

I was wondering if you had any styling ideas for the Missoni for Target skirt that I bought. I have some putty-colored suede boots that I think are cute with it, but I can't decide what to put on top. Since the skirt is so busy, I want something simple on top. Every styled photo I've seen of the skirt just has it paired with another piece from the collection. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. 

You can really wear any matching solid color on top, but I really like lightening up the fall outfit with a bit of yellow. Simple gold and taupe accessories top off this versatile outfit.

Shop Now:

1. Top $46
2. Earrings $20
3. Scarf $14
4. Skirt $40
5. Bracelet $11
6. Tights $14
7. Bag $50
8. Boots $53

CONTEST CLOSED: Enter to Win ANOTHER Me Char Suede Tote

I've got another Me Char suede tote to give away!

One What the Frock? reader will win the adorable Sonia Little Tote in olive/brown by Me Char, valued at $260.

The Details:

Body in olive green suede, details in brown leather
Dimensions: 10.5IN. × 3IN. × 10IN

To enter the giveaway, you must:

  1. Be a follower of What the Frock? (you can follow here)
  2. Comment on this post*

You can also an extra entry by doing the following:
  • Tweet this update and post another comment here to tell me about it: "Enter to win a Me Char handbag from @WTFrockBlog http://bit.ly/qAPM7b"

The contest ends at 11:59 EST, Friday, September 30, 2011. A winner will be selected at random. Contest open to residents of the continental U.S. only. This contest is not endorsed by or affiliated with Me Char in any way - I purchased this handbag for the contest myself.

*Be sure to include a way for me to contact you! If you use your Google or Disqus account to comment, I can contact you that way. Otherwise you may want to leave your email address in the following format (to discourage spammers): name AT domain DOT com.

Celebrity Copycat: Zoe Saldana Style

Zoe always looks so effortlessly chic! Get a similar look with items from Bluefly, Delia's, Endless, Zappo's, Macy's, Forever 21 and Juicy Couture.

Shop Now:
1. Glasses $26
3. Top $39
4. Bag $39
5. Scarf $48
6. Jeans $20
7. Boots $45

29 September 2011

Online Sample Sales

Online sample sales are the best way to get your hands on designer items without spending a fortune. Here are some of my favorite sample sale sites, and links to how you can sign up to get the skinny on the best deals. Check them every day, because they're always updating their sales.

Most of them are invite-only, so click through to sign up!

Inspired By: Erica Kane

Last Friday was the final episode of All My Children. I started watching AMC when I was still in high school (when my fellow student Kelly Ripa, who was a senior at my school when I was a freshman, won a role on the show), and I got sucked in for years and years. I taped it every day in high school, watched it almost every day in college, and watched it every afternoon when I bartended and waited tables for a living. I stopped watching about fifteen years ago when I finally got a 9-5 job, and never started back up, but I always had a soft spot for the show, my favorite guilty pleasure.

Of course, even if you've never watched a second of AMC, you've got to be aware of Erica Kane, the grande dame of the show, a mega cultural icon. And today's post is inspired by the flashy fashion of Mrs. Erica Kane Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery.

Here are some of my favorite Erica looks from the past 40+ years:

And here are some pieces that are inspired by La Kane.

Shop Now:
1. Scarf $40
2. Dress $52
3. Turban $30
4. Dress $74
5. Bag $50
6. Earrings $18
7. Shoes $50

Wishlist: Fluorescent

If you've been following all of the Spring 2012 RTW collections like I have (if not, check them out), you'll know that brights are going to be everywhere next year. I love how fluorescent hues look when paired with soft neutrals like ivory, khaki or grey, and I may have to get some into my closet way before next spring.

I already featured neon brights in the Sunday Splurges feature, but here are some neons that are a bit more reasonably priced.

Shop Now:
2. Satchel $110
4. Dress $46
5. Shoes $30
6. Watch $35
7. Belt $11

28 September 2011

My New Obsession: Birchbox

Last month, while reading the lovely Sara Zucker's blog, I found out about Birchbox. And now I'm hooked.

Birchbox is a subscription-based service, where, for a small fee, you receive monthly boxes of beauty samples. With each box, you earn points, and you can use the points to purchase full-size versions of the products. I think that this is an incredible idea, since I'm often reluctant to shell out money on expensive beauty products without testing them first. So I signed up right away.

It's so much fun! Who doesn't like getting packages of goodies in the mail? I got my first box last week and documented it for you.

If you're wondering what's in the box, you can see the contents here. I haven't tried everything yet but my favorite item so far is the Blinc Mascara, which creates little tubes around your lashes to thicken and darken them. I have a lot of problem with smudgy mascara - even waterproof mascara smudges on me - so I really dug Blinc and will buy a full-sized tube when the sample runs out.

I think I'm really going to dig getting a little box full of goodies every month!

Personal Shopper: 90th Birthday Party

Reader Request

My husband and I are going to New York to celebrate his grandmother's 90th birthday in mid-October.  The party will be at a country club, meaning nothing too revealing, and odds are good we'll go out on the town with all of his cousins after the official celebration ends.  I need something warm enough for NY in October, not too racy but definitely cute enough for the New York bar scene.  I adore Diane Kruger's style, but am more bottom-heavy than dear Diane, so I need something that flares!

This look will easily take you from the country club to out on the town, and is perfect for the fall. Best of all, you can wear the dress again for a more formal event and rock the cardigan with jeans!

Shop Now:

1. Dress $46
3. Earrings $20
4. Cardigan $23
5. Hose $3
6. Clutch $48
7. Shoes $40

Celebrity Copycat: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Style

Rosie is one of those rare celebrities who looks just as amazing while running errands as she does on the red carpet - her casual looks are just as inspirational as her formal ones. Get this look for less with items from Need Supply, Nordstrom, Kohl's, Hobo International, Old Navy and Endless.

Shop Now:
2. Watch $20
3. Tee $14
4. Bag $77
5. Sandals $15
6. Skirt $48

27 September 2011

What I'm Wearing: Reasonable Facsimiles

I wore this outfit to work earlier this week. It's made up of pretty old pieces, and most of them are no longer available online, so this collage is made up of reasonable facsimiles - similar pieces to what I actually wore. I highly recommend that everyone get a pair of army green skinny cargos. They seriously go with everything.

Top: H&M (similar here, here)
Pants: Leifsdottir (similar here, here)
Earrings: Urban Outfitters (similar here, here)
Choker: Urban Outfitters (similar here)
Watch: Fossil (similar here)

Fashion Redemption: Demi Lovato

According to her Wiki page, Demi Lovato is 19 years old. So why is she walking around looking like a cougar from the Real Housewives? I don't think that she should be dressing like a six year-old or anything, but she's a young woman - why not try looking fresh instead of tacky?

Here is what I'd consider an improvement to Demi's look.

Shop Now:
1. Dress $33
2. Earrings $23
3. Clutch $22
4. Shoes $50

Girl Crush: Keiko Lynn

Keiko Lynn is one of my favorite fashion bloggers. Her outfits are always creative but accessible, her makeup tips are fabulous, and she's just generally got great style.

Here are some items that remind me of Keiko's fresh, ladylike style:

Shop Now:
1. Glasses $58
3. Dress $41
4. Bag $45
5. Shoes $39

26 September 2011

Our House: Living Room Update

Remember what our sad little living room looked like?

Here's a reminder:


Well, a few bucks later, it looks like this:

It still needs work, but we're both a lot happier with it. The Mister's parents are coming to visit us in a few weeks, which was what inspired us to get off of our asses and make the room look presentable.

I bought the rug on sale from Urban Outfitters a few weeks ago for our bedroom (remember this inspiration board?) but it didn't look as great in real life as it did in theory. So I tried it out in our living room and ended up really liking it. In the words of the Dude, "it really tied the room together."

So then, I went to Ikea to find some stuff to hang on our walls. I found this baroque-inspired mirror for a steal, and bought some simple black frames to hang some black and white photos, collage-style, behind the couch. It's a bit skimpy, so I think I'll pick up a few more of them this week to fill out the wall. The deep orange pillow covers are actually too big for our pillows, but I really like how they pop against the olive-y brown couch, so I'll grab some larger cushions when I pick up the frames.

I rearranged all of the junk on our credenza so now it's actually organized, and although you can't see it on the wall on the right-hand side, I took a piece of vintage burnt-orange print fabric that I had lying around, put it in a black frame (a larger version of the frames behind the sofa) and hung it behind the credenza. It ties in with the orange pillows and the bold black bits all around the room.

The floor lamp behind the sofa is a temporary but necessary solution until we find a lamp we really like. I've had that lamp since college so it's old as hell, but it still works and while it's fairly ugly, at least it's plain ugly and not tacky ugly, right?

Anyway, we're really excited about what less than $200 could do to perk up the room. I can't wait to paint the walls and the credenza and replace the coffee table. Then we'll be cookin' with gas!

(Oh, and the ugly blanket on the couch? A necessary evil because someone likes to lick his paws and leave wet spots all over everything).

Personal Shopper: Mother Daughter Fashion Show

Reader Request

My daughter's school is putting on a Mother Daughter Fashion show, and she and I have signed up. We need to wear coordinating outfits, and the best combo wins a prize. I can't sew worth a damn and it's been hard for me to find matching outfits that aren't just a jeans/sweater combo. My daughter is in kindergarten and really excited to get all dressed up. I want us to really stand out, so there are no restrictions - we'll wear anything (all I ask is nothing strapless for myself)! Do you have any ideas?

I sure do! This look is coordinating without being too matchy-matchy, and your daughter will love her sparkly dress (I hope)! Best of luck in the show.

 Shop Now:

For Her:
2. Dress $84
3. Tights $13
4. Shoes $20

For You:
5. Earrings $19
7. Dress $98
8. Tights $8
9. Shoes $25

Celebrity Copycat: Pippa Middleton Style

 Pippa looks warm, comfy and still stylish in her earth-toned outfit. The best thing about her neutrals is that you can mix and match them super-easily. Get her look for less from Calvin Klein, Alloy, NY&Co and Forever 21.

Shop Now:
1. Dress $100
3. Necklace $2
4. Belt $7
5. Bag $45
6. Boots $20

25 September 2011

Sunday Splurges: Raingear

I actually like the rain, as long as it's not interfering with an outdoor activity that I was looking forward to. On the days when I'm just sitting in my office, or on a weekend when I have no errands, it's always comforting to sit inside and listen to the rain. When I do have to venture outside, there are tons of cute rainy-day items to keep me dry. I don't spend a ton of money on raingear because it's not for every day, but if I had the cash, here are some rainy-day pieces I'd totally splurge on.

Shop Now:
1. Orla Kiely Bag $185
2. Stella McCartney Hat $295
3. Tory Burch Boots $325
4. Celine Boots $440
5. Paul Smith Umbrella $152
6. Burberry Raincoat $750

24 September 2011

What I'm Wearing: Transitional

As much as I love fall, I always have a hard time getting dressed when the weather changes. I'm always too hot or too cold, and I can never figure out what to wear in September. But this is an outfit that I wore to work earlier this week that I really liked. I was perfectly comfortable, which is my #1 priority when getting dressed, and I think it looked pretty cute, too.

Shop Now:
1. Sweater: Topshop (similar here)
2. Bracelets: Ruche (similar here)
3. Necklace: Free People (similar here)
4. Bag: Foley + Corinna (similar here)
5. Skirt: H&M (similar here)
6. Shoes: Sanita (similar here)
7. Earrings: Urban Outfitters (similar here)

23 September 2011

Personal Shopper: Boat Shoes

Reader Request

I'm seeing boat shoes all over the magazines and fashion blogs, and I think I kind of love them. But I can't figure out how to wear them. I see them paired with summery nautical outfits, but since it's not really summer anymore, I'm not sure how to take them into fall. Any suggestions?

I actually just bought my first pair of boat shoes a few weeks ago, and I've been playing around with what to wear them with as well. I've found that I prefer very simple, casual outfits with my boat shoes, so here's something that I think will work for you:

Shop Now:
1. Sweater $50
3. Bag $17
5. Jeans $50
6. Shoes $40

Celebrity Copycat: Sophia Bush Style

It's been a long time since I've featured Sophia here on the blog, but this outfit is so adorable that I can't resist! I'd wear that red blazer over everything. Get her look for less from Bloomingdale's, Forever 21, Old Navy, Aldo, and Nordstrom.

Shop Now:
1. Blazer $88
3. Cami $3
4. Shorts $18
5. Shoes $35
6. Watch $18

22 September 2011

What I'm Wearing: Bright as Yellow

Some of you have written in to ask why I stopped posting my personal outfits after just starting. Well, plain and simple: my photos sucked. Boo. I took a photography class to learn how to use my camera, and I got the hang of it, but taking self-portraits in my poorly lit and ill-decorated bedroom just isn't my forte. I'd ask the Mister to help, but he's honestly (and I say this with all the love in the world) the worst photographer ever. So until I figure out how to take photos that don't look like crap, there won't be any.

But since those who have contacted me are still curious about my personal style (and I'm so flattered that I could cry), I figured that I can still show you what I'm wearing in the same kind of roundups that I do for the other fashion posts here on the blog.

I bought this cardigan in the dead heat of summer after seeing it on my friend Kelsey's blog, and it got chilly enough last week that I could finally wear it, so I jumped at the chance and created an entire outfit around it. I normally wouldn't have carried a red bag with this look but I didn't feel like swapping purses that morning, and I actually ended up kind of liking the color combo. Kind of a ketchup/mustard thing, I suppose.

Cardigan: Tinley Road (similar here)
Top: Thrifted (similar here)
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity (similar here)
Shoes: Missoni for Target (similar here)
Bag: Sabina (similar here)
Earrings: Forever 21

Wishlist: Outerwear

The weather is starting to cool down (yay! yay!) and it's got me thinking about coats and jackets, jackets and coats. Here are some items that I'd love to snag for the upcoming season.

Shop Now:
1. Coat $130
2. Coat $80
3. Jacket $168
4. Vest $135
5. Cape $46
6. Parka $100

21 September 2011

Personal Shopper: Semiformal Work Event

Reader Request

I am SO clueless about what to wear for this upcoming event.  I am an attorney starting a new job in a few weeks, but in the meantime the firm invited me to this big annual 'gala' where I will meet many of my coworkers for the first time.  Its "semi formal" (what does that even mean?) and since it's a work environment I feel like I should be pretty professional looking too.  Obviously, I need to make a good impression.

My favorite celebrities (style-wise) are Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Richie, and Jennifer Aniston kind of a combination of the three). I love dresses and skirts, and am not afraid of heels.  I am not into things that are TOO trendy, and prefer to be classic but fresh with a hint of boho/edginess. Colors I love are reds, burgundies, greens, and black!

Can you help?

I found a lot of cute red dresses that might be appropriate, but I decided that you'd better play it very safe for the first meeting. So I chose a black dress that is demure and professional but still has plenty of flair, and some classic accessories.

Shop Now:
1. Dress $98
2. Earrings $48
3. Necklace $32
4. Shoes $23
5. Clutch $20

Celebrity Copycat: Olivia Palermo Style

Olivia's done it again. Her ladylike blouse is the perfect way to soften up those tough leather shorts. And she really can accessorize, can't she? Get her look for less from ASOS, Planet Blue, DSW and Zappos.

Shop Now:
1. Top $46
2. Clutch $70
3. Shorts $62
5. Shoes $40

20 September 2011

Fashion Redemption: Christina Hendricks

Let's get this out of the way: I think that Christina Hendricks is possibly the most beautiful woman on the planet at this moment. Seriously, she's stunning. Gorgeous. Divine. Etc. But I think she could be even more spectacular if she figured out to dress her body. I get that she wants to show off, ahem, the twins, but the dress doesn't fit them, plain and simple. It's too small. Also: the hem is just sloppy looking. Also: satin is rarely if ever flattering. Also: in my mind, satin shoes + satin dress = bridesmaid.

On the plus side, the color is glorious on her. But here's a look that suits her body much more.

Shop Now:
1. Earrings $14
2. Dress $60
3. Clutch $28
5. Shoes $42

Girl Crush: Anita Pallenberg

The resurgence of 60's and 70's fashion for fall is consistently reminding me of the kick-ass Anita Pallenberg. If you haven't heard of Anita, she was a model and fashion designer who was the lover of not one, but two members of the Rolling Stones: Brian Jones, who she briefly dated, and Keith Richards, with whom she has two children.

But enough about her personal life back then. Check out her style! So chic, so cool! And so influential - I'd be willing to bet that Kate Moss and Nicole Richie both really admire Anita's style.

Here are some current items that I think Anita would still like to rock today.

Shop Now:
2. Hat $46
3. Bag  $79
4. Coat $94
5. Pants $23

19 September 2011

Personal Shopper: Incorporating Leopard

Reader Request

I'm really liking all of the leopard print that I've been seeing, but I'm usually a preppy dresser, and I'm afraid that if I try to wear leopard, I'll just look ridiculous or trashy. Is there any way to incorporate leopard into an outfit and still keep it classy and understated?

Definitely! A cute pair of leopard flats, a skinny leopard belt, or a small leopard bag will add visual interest to any understated outfit, but I wanted to create a look for you that used an actual garment. If you keep the rest of your pieces simple and ladylike, leopard can be classy instead of flashy.

Shop Now:
1. Shirt $20
4. Clutch $20
5. Skirt $35
6. Belt $24
7. Shoes $23

Celebrity Copycat: Kirsten Dunst Style

What a perfect outfit for the transition of seasons. Kiki has really been knocking 'em out of the park lately. My favorite thing about this outfit is that it would be flattering on almost anyone. Get a similar look from 6pm, Express, Amazon and Endless.

Shop Now:
1. Top $30
2. Earrings $44
3. Skirt $40
4. Shoes $27

18 September 2011

Sunday Splurges: Missoni

Since last week was all about Missoni, I figured that I'd share some of my non-Target (read: pricey) pieces from the brand. I'm not the biggest Missoni fan, but I do really dig this stuff, especially the maxi dress. {swoon}

P.S. I also really love the pumps I scored the morning the line went on sale at Tar-zhay.

Shop Now:
1. Dress $1595
2. Shoes $575
3. Top $552
4. Bracelet $455
5. Scarf $490
5. Bag $890

17 September 2011

Inspired By: Michael Kors Spring RTW

I wouldn't say that Michael Kors is one of my favorite designers, but he always puts out consistently good collections. I was especially impressed with the collection he presented at NYFW this week because it stood out from the sea of sherbet flavors and brights (which, don't get me wrong, I love. It was just refreshing to see something else).

So here are some items that remind me of Kors' uptown/safari/jungle collection. Also, now I want to go on safari.

Shop Now:
1. Top $30
2. Necklace $54
3. Dress $28
4. Bag $38
5. Scarf $85
7. Sandals $40

16 September 2011

Personal Shopper: October Wedding

Reader Request

I've been dating my boyfriend for several months now and he invited me to go to a wedding with him.  It's taking place at the end of October in Northern Virginia, so it won't be too cold.  However, the bride has requested that ladies not wear black (which is definitely what I would've tended to go towards).  Also, it's the first time I'll be meeting a lot of his college friends, so I want to make sure I look fantastic. I'm 5'4" and about 165 lbs (so a little on the plus side) with a decently-defined waist.  I float between size 10 to 14 depending on the brand/garment.  I'd love for a dress suggestion.  I'm not afraid of color, but don't want to distract from the bride, and I'd prefer something not strapless.

I think that this outfit will definitely make an impression! Get it from Dillard's, Endless, Macy's and Forever 21.

Shop Now:
1. Dress $77
2. Earrings $24
3. Clutch $40
4. Shoes $50
5. Ring $5

Celebrity Copycat: Keira Knightley Style

Keira wears a lot of looks that may be considered precious or twee, but she always manages to look chic and sophisticated instead. Get a similar look from J. Crew, Zappos, Forever 21, ASOS, and Urban Outfitters. Since I couldn't find a dress with similar buttons, sew some of your own on - it's cheap and easy!

Shop Now:
1. Dress $118
4. Belt $15
5. Shoes $89

15 September 2011

Inspired By: Jason Wu Spring 2012 RTW

This new series, well, it's just what it sounds like - I'll be putting together roundups based on anything that stirs me: designer collections, works of art, movies, etc. For the first "Inspired By" post, I'm very much inspired by Jason Wu's latest collection, which was shown at NY Fashion Week last week.

Here are some of my favorite looks from the collection:

I love it all - the grey palette with pops of bold color, the dramatic dresses, the tailored pants and tops. Swoon. Here are some pieces that remind me of Wu's incredible collection.

Shop Now:
1. Top $22
2. Dress $18
3. Pants $59
4. Top $88
6. Top $52
7. Shoes $48

Wishlist: Zara

Last week, Zara finally, finally opened up an e-commerce site for the U.S., and I couldn't be happier! There's a Zara store in Philly, but I am much more on an online shopping kind of gal. Here are the Zara items that I can't wait to snag.

Shop Now:
1. Dress $80
2. Bag $50
3. Sweater $50
4. Sequin Top $90
5. Blouse $80
6. Shoes $120

14 September 2011

Personal Shopper: Sorority Formal

Reader Request

It's my senior year of college, and my very last fall sorority formal is coming up, so I want to find a great dress. I love Blair Waldorf's style, as well as Kate Middleton's, yet I also have a love for whimsical, hippie type things. I'm very tiny (5' tall, 90 pounds) and would like a dress that is quite short (so it needs to be able to be altered, because things are not made short enough for me haha), but still classy. Also, it cannot be white or red, but any other color is fine. If you could help me look gorgeous this night, it would mean so much to me!

This look is flirty and cute but still sophisticated and romantic. I hope you love it!

Shop Now:
1. Dress $98
2. Headband $38
3. Earrings $19
4. Ring $12
5. Shoes $36
6. Clutch $35

Celebrity Copycat: Solange Knowles Style

Solange usually wears some WACKO stuff, but this outfit is so adorable. The colorblock, the leopard, the yellow... somehow it all works so well! Get this fun, funky outfit for less from Macy's, Karmaloop, DSW, White House Black Market, ASOS and Piperlime.

Shop Now:
1. Earrings $14
2. Bracelet $28
3. Top $40
4. Bag $88
5. Pants $33
6. Shoes $47

13 September 2011

Fashion Redemption: Charlize Theron

So, if you were a stone cold fox with a bangin' bod like Charlize, wouldn't you want to show off your gams instead of hiding them behind miles of frumpy fabric? And if these pants could make Charlize look wide, I wonder how bad they'd look on us mortals?

Here's a much sexier and flattering improvement for Miz Theron. These pieces come from Forever 21, the Gap, Endless, the Limited and Piperlime.

Shop Now:
1. Top $16
2. Earrings $20
3. Clutch $50
4. Pants $40
5. Shoes $44