Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back to business with a blast from the past

For some reason, this theme song has been on loop and playing in my head for several days now, lol. Now before you say any single thing, I am not showing my age with that clip. Retro channels on cable television are making all the old shows new again and it just so happens that I like reruns. So whatcha got to say now smarty pants, lol? At any rate, welcome back! I've been going through my archives and found goo gobs of things that I've never shared...so guess what? Over the next few weeks as "2011" winds down, I'm going to mix in some old with the new. Cool? Cool.

So I recently ran across my first ever OOTN pictures from a Valentine's Day GNO (girls night out) from "2010". I have to say that I'm right proud of myself for once again stepping out of my rigid little Virgo "everything must match" safebox. Don't get me wrong, the outfit is still tame compared to some of the awesome 'fits I've seen around the blogosphere, but I'm still patting myself on the back for stepping out of my comfort zone. Enough blabbing though, on to the 'fit...

I was very nice in this picture after having had one of the best cocktails I'd ever had. It was sweet and fruity concoction called a Ruby Relaxer and it was yummmmay!

Sometimes I get extra with it, lol. Can you tell I like to read? I know you're looking extra hard at that bookshelf in the background, lol.

One of my favorite aspects of this skirt is the draping. It gives the illusion that I'm draggin' a wagon back there but really...I'm not, lol.

This China Glaze holographic nail polish gave me everything that night, how I loved it so!

I was so sad that I couldn't find a pair of footed tights that were long enough for me because it was friggin' COLD that night. Being a woman of a particular height (5'10) with a 36 inch inseam (long ass legs) can be difficult. But long legs have their advantages, heh heh ;-)

It was a pretty good loc and makeup night. I don't really remember what I was wearing on my face though, probably an assortment of Mabelline products (my fave drugstore brand).

Appetizer, drink and dessert. I can't find the picture of the entree, but it was a Porterhouse steak with grilled veggies. Oh, and it was yummmmay!

Me between courses and then me and my cousin Shara at the after dinner movie. I can't remember what we saw but it was good, lol.

The OOTN deets:

Top = Target
Skirt = Alloy or Delia's (I can't remember which)
Belt = See above
Booties = Macy's
Tights = Target
Earrings = Kohls
Rings = African Festival, Wet Seal and Sterling District
Watch = Fossil
Nail polish = China Glaze OMG collection (don't remember the exact name)

That does it. What do you think? I color blocked before it was trendy, tee hee. As the clock winds down, do you find yourself reflecting on style choices gone by? Let a sistah know!

Bonus! Here's a vlog from that night...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wish List Wednesday: A little of this and that

Been a while since I've posted one of these...

I'm still loving the color blocking trend and this dress (coupled with a mustard bag/clutch) would make a great addition to my closet.

I really love this tee because of the contrasting front and back...the stripes make it a win/win.

This cute little dress reminds me of Missoni...only less colorful. Not sure I'd wear it as a dress though, it's a micro-mini and I like more coverage. This could be tucked into pants, jeans, a skirt or worn over black or brightly colored leggings. With some cute but tough looking boots...like the beauties below...

I absolutely must have these, they are D E L I C I O U S ! ! !

And these? Don't even get me started! They are super sexy and just all around want worthy! These with some skinny faux leather trousers or a (reasonable) mini skirt, with a bright high/low blouse and a fringe bag would make my day! Speaking of faux leather...

These faux leather pieces (though kinda shiny and fake looking) make my heart pound a kinda way. I'm loving the strapless peplum number and the sheath has "bad gal" written all over it...it's the zippers me thinks. Due to the shape/length, the skirt can go from the boardroom to the club if you ask me. Blazer and pussybow blouse for the day and crop top for the night with some spike heels....yowzers! I can see it, lol. 

No outfit is complete without a statement necklace, and these grabbed my eyes immediately. Want so bad!

Unfortunately, no handbags caught my eye this Wednesday so I've nothing to share. What are you wishing for this Wednesday? Let a sistah know!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Monday...here's something new!

This is both a greeting and a declaration ;-)

Greetings my marvelous readers! How was your weekend? Mine was juuuuust fine. Today I'm introducing a new segment called "In the Spotlight" where I feature up and coming designers, crafters, entrepreneurs, etc. Though I won't always do this on Mondays, I will try to showcase someone/something new at least twice per month. Is that cool with you? Cool ;-)

I recently had the chance to get acquainted with up and coming accessories designer, Kristena Witherspoon of Kristena Witherspoon Designs. Kristena is a Little Rock transplant now residing in Chicago (Chi-Town stand up!). Check out our Q & A and some of her work...

Click to purchase the "Sugah" reversible Hobo

OELI: Have you received any formal training in fashion/design?

KWD: Yes, I studied fashion design and business at Syracuse University.

OELI: Ahh, New York, great place to study fashion and business. What made you decide to create your own accessories line?

KWD: I enjoy accessories because they can easily change up an outfit.

OELI: Yes, a good accessory can really spice up an outfit. How long have you been designing/creating?

KWD: Wow…about 12 years now. I began designing and selling handbags in junior high and high school.

Click to purchase similar bag (now on sale!)

OELI: So the fashion bug bit you early. What was the first piece you ever created?

KWD: The first piece that I created was a denim tote out of some yardage that my aunt gave me. That was the style that caught on at school. I’d do the exterior in dark denim and the interior in different fabrics. The different interior is what made each bag one of a kind.

OELI: I love bold interiors on a bag or lining jackets/coats. How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?

KWD: Smaller pieces take 30-60 min and bigger ones take 2-3 hours.

OELI: Not nearly as long as I thought. Do you hand sew or use a machine for your bag line?

KWD: I machine sew.

"I Love Life" earrings currently on sale, click for deets/to purchase

OELI: Machine sewin
g certainly saves you time...and pricked fingers, lol.  From where/whom do you draw some of your inspiration?

KWD: Most of my inspiration comes from different cultures and subcultures as well as architecture. I’m highly influenced by the Diaspora and street fashion as well. Recently, the Chicago art and music scene has been a big influence.

OELI: The gorgeous Kente prints and Ankara are certainly indicative of your love for the Diaspora. I like the different shapes of the totes and hobo bags as well, they're very architectural. Do you have plans to expand your line, will we see clothing in the future?

KWD: Yes! I hope to add a line of skirts by summer 2012. I love a nice skirt with a nipped waist and full skirt.

OELI: I hope there'll be pencil skirts too, I'm beginning to love them. Do you take custom orders?

KWD: I currently no longer take custom orders.

Click to purchase

OELI: Awww, sad face. What is the best perk in designing your own line?

KWD: I would say that the best thing is being able to create art that is functional.

OELI: What is the most difficult aspect of designing and creating your own

KWD: I would say that the most difficult aspect is balancing an item’s marketability with the artistic aspect.

OELI: Who are some of your favorite designers? 

Duro Olowu - bold prints and great tailoring

Korto Momolu - project runway alum and represents my hometown-Little Rock J

Doo Ri - great draping skills

Alexander McQueen - his tailoring skills were amazing and he constantly thought outside of the box

Squasht by Les - Chicago independent designer

NaKimuli - Brooklyn independent designer

Click to purchase this fabulous reversible Hobo!

OELI: I love Alexander McQueen! He pushed every conceivable boundary and his designs really were wearable art...masterpieces!
I hope his protege can keep his house alive and well. I'll have to check out the others you mentioned. How would you define your personal style?

KWD: I’d define my style as urban comfy.

OELI: Urban comfy, that's a new one for me, lol. What are some of your favorite stores/websites/catalogs for shopping?

KWD: Secondhand shops are great...DLR is one of my favorite neighborhood stores…Nordstrom Rack is a great place for nice discounted pieces that are staples. TOPSHOP as well...we finally have one in Chicago now!

OELI: I am becoming a thrift master, lol. You can score some great one of a kind pieces as well as some of the more current pieces (at a huge discount of course) at thrift stores. I love TopShop too but their prices make me ill sometimes, bleh. Name your top 3 fashion magazines.

KWD: Some of my favorite ones are no longer published unfortunately. MissBehave and Honey were hot magazines. I read Vogue and Elle sometimes…just to see who some of the new designers are.
I prefer the street fashion blogs and natural hair sites. I love seeing how people develop their own personal style.

Click to purchase "Delight" coin purse (now on sale!)

OELI: Yeah, I love street style and personal style blogs too, lol. Do you have any advice for other designers?

KWD: My advice would be to know what your point of view and market is as a designer.

OELI: Great, thanks Kristena!
KWD: You're welcome, anytime.

To see more of Kristena's wonderful wares, check out her online store. She's got some awesome hoods to "protect ya necks" from the Windy City winds (for the Chi-Towners). You can also like Kristena's Facebook page and follow her on Twitter for updates and special sales/promos. With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, Kristena Witherspoon Designs can take the guesswork out of your gift giving ;-)

What do you think of the new feature? Are you loving KWD? Let a sistah know! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Eye Spy a shopportunity!

If you're like me, the only time you like shopping is when there's a sale or discount coupon/code involved. I try my best to never ever pay full retail for ANYTHING...it just isn't my way, lol. I've always been a comparison shopping, review reading, coupon clipping, deal hunting, best bang for the buck kinda girl...the current economic depression has intensified that. Because I love a deal and I love passing them along, I've compiled a list of shopportunities for you, my awesome readers :-)

Don't say I never did anything for you!

First up, we have these gorgeous sequined shorts from Lulu's. They'll be perfect for your upcoming holiday parties...and with a $19.25 discount brought to you by Lucky Magazine, they'll be easier on your wallet.
Click here to buy and when you're ready to check out, enter code "lucky3" when prompted. Valid from November 1, 2011, through January 2, 2012, or while supplies last. Not keen on the shorts? Click here for a gold sequined skirt which is $8.75 less than the shorts. You can't use the discount code on the skirt...but then, you don't need to. As a bonus, Lulu's offers free shipping with a $75 or more purchase (to Continental US only). By the way, you can only use one discount code at a time.

One of the best things about shopping online is that you can comparison shop to get the best bang for your hard earned bucks. Another great thing about online shopping is Ebates.com. Ebates is a virtual mall featuring many of your favorite retailers and cash back shopping. If you aren't already a member (and you should be since it's free and they'll give you $5 just for signing up) you're missing out on today's daily double from Yves Rocher France. YRF has been in the botanical beauty business for 50 years and now you can get a whopping 30% cash back when you shop with them via Ebates. YRF also offers free shipping when you spend $40 or more. Hurry, this offer ends today, November 12, 2011! You'll also appreciate all the goo gobs of coupons, double cash back deals and the fact that you can get your cash back via PayPal. So stop procrastinating and join Ebates already!

Click image to purchase your Whoogas!

With the onset of winter (at least where I dwell) you're gonna want something to keep your feet warm and toasty and Whooga ugg boots will do just that. Love the way they look or hate the way they look, ugg boots are suede and sheepskin heaven for severely anemic folks like me. Although I own a pair of UGG brand ugg boots, I see a pair of Whooga brand ugg boots in my very near future. As shown in a side by side comparison picture on the Whooga website, Whooga brand ugg boots have a thicker sheepskin lining than those other ugg boots and as a bonus, they're less expensive. Want an even bigger bonus? Per the above picture, all Whoogas are 40% off. Need more incentive? Shipping is free, all Whoogas have a 1 year warranty and if there's a problem with your Whoogas, return shipping is free! No, I don't work for Whooga...but I wish I did :-)

Click the pic to shop!

Delia's is probably one of my favorite places to shop (they're on Ebates too) because they cater to women of a certain height (I'm 5'10 with a 36 inch inseam, pow!). Their jeans/pants are cute and inexpensive and they always have some sale or promotion going on. Some of their items are kinda pricey IMO, but I primarily buy jeans/pants from them. At any rate, from now until Monday, November 14, 2011, Delia's is offering free shipping on everything with the code "GETFREE". You should also know that Delia's is running a sale on all coats and boots up to 30% off.

That's it for now my little bargain hunters, I'll be back with more another day. Have you spied with your little eye a deal too good to pass up? Let a sistah know!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: The Unique Edition

Another Thursday, another thrift store :-)

So on Monday of this week, my homegirl and I hit up Unique Thrift Store for their half off Monday special. I'd been to this thrift store a time or two before, but I never really thought much of it. This time however, I went with a more open mind and a goal. I had my heart set on some cute chunky sweaters, a vintage jumpsuit and maybe some blouses. I soooo scored some really cute pieces! First of all, I was up in the place acting like a mini June Ambrose styling people on the spot and giving advice and I squealed with delight every time I found a great piece. It was really quite hilarious, lol. Sadly, I didn't find my vintage jumpsuit but I did find these beauties...

Casa Maclia knit sweater - $2.50

This cute little number is a black knit with washed gold thread and mesh embroidered cocktail glasses. My homegirl hated it upon first glance, but was converted when I tried it on. I knew it was a keeper the moment I laid my eyes on it :-) 

Jones Wear tweed blazer - $4.25

I looooove this beautiful fuchsia/multi Chanel-esque blazer! I mean LOVE! The collar, lapels and sleeves have a frayed/unfinished hem and the fuchsia satin inner lining pleases me greatly...greatly I say! And even though it's a petite (le sigh) there's no way I couldn't take it home with me. 

New York & Co Argyle sweater - $3.50

I will always love Argyle print everything, it is a classic preppy look that will never go out of style (for me anyway). Though the lighting is horrid, this cream sweater is fab.

Tally-Ho plaid cardi - $2.50

Another picture with bad lighting, but don't be fooled, this Scottish-esque plaid cardi is sooo fantastic! It has beautiful gold buttons with a lion crest that just makes it look so rich to me. Not money rich, but culture rich. 

Eddie Bauer crochet sweater - $2.50

At first, I wasn't sure about this horizontal striped sweater because sometimes certain stripes make me look wider than I am. I stuck this baby in my cart anyway so I could try it on and guess what? It looks awesome on me! Oh, it feels good on too, nice and soft.

Nancy Bolen for City Girl vintage denim vest - $1.50

This cute little vintage denim vest gave me sooo much life! When I saw it on the hanger I knew right away it was mine. Everything about it is AMAZING! The buttons are white plastic with silvertone and rhinestone accents, the collar is trimmed in a silver and white snake print, the embroidery work is done in a beautiful silver thread and it has silvertone plastic studs and rhinestones. FABULOUS I tell you!

R (that's all the tag says) tweed blazer - $3.50

Again with the Chanel-esque tweed blazers. I tell you I just can't get enough of them, I just can't, lol. Though the light washes it out, this beauty is black and oatmeal with a gorgeous lace trim all over. It even has the spare button still attached to it. I'm probably going to swap out the plain plastic buttons for something more fabulous though.

Allison Taylor Woman 100% silk leopard print blouse - $1.50

There was no way I was leaving that store without this light as air 100% SILK LEOPARD PRINT BLOUSE. This blouse is some of everything I live for, I mean come on! 100% silk and leopard print for $1.50? You already know, lol. 

Christopher & Banks knit cardi - $2.50

Now I know this is a bold piece that not everyone will like but I don't care if no one else likes it, I freaking love it! This cardi fits like a dream and it is seriously cute on me. 

Sole' (tag says handmade) crochet sweater - $3

This is another piece my homegirl hated on the hanger but wound up liking when I tried it on. I had no doubts about this sweater's potential when I found it on the rack, I knew it was going to be a winner...and it is. It looks great on me. It'll look even better with some skinny jeans and boots or loafers. Or even a black leather mini skirt. Or black leather pants. Yep.

Maggy London 100% silk cropped blazer - $1.50

I'm still smiling about this little number. I am becoming a grade A thrifter, just stupid good, lol. This 100% silk, cropped, 3/4 sleeve, multi-print gorgeous piece of goodness was one of the highlights of my thrift haul at an unbelievable $1.50. I mean, look at it. You probably can't tell from the picture, but it is dreamy. Loves it!

Unknown designer blouse - $1.50

This blouse caught my eye because it reminded me of mudcloth prints for some reason. Though it's a few sizes too big for me and has horrid shoulder pads, I love it dearly. I'm thinking this is handmade because it has no type of tag whatsoever. It could be satin, silk or polyester...I really don't know as I'm not a textile expert. All I know is I love it.

Summit Hill crochet cardi - $2

Here's another button front cardi I just couldn't say no to. This one also has beautiful gold buttons done in an intricate twist pattern. The cardi sports faux pockets and is a tight crochet with dark blue trim all around.

Mossimo modern trench coat (not sure if that's what it is but that's what I'm calling it) - $4.50

Oh how I struggled with my decision about this coat! When I saw the color I wanted it bad. Unforyunately, it was a little big on me and I noticed a missing button...so I put it down. But since it was half off I thought, why not. Then I noticed a stain on the sleeve...so I put it down again. Then I realized that I have no Cobalt blue in my closet since I returned those beautiful Cobalt blue Chinese Laundry pumps seen here. So I picked it back up, put it back in my cart and the rest...you already know. I plan to switch out the buttons and have the coat tailored to fit. A bit much for a $4.50 coat probably, but you do things when you're in love...with Cobalt blue. 

Brass and black bead earrings  - $5

Last but certainly not least, I present the cuter than cute brass and black bead stud/elongated arrowhead earrings. Just look at the engraving on these babies, don't you just love it? I certainly do! These caught my eye after I'd already checked out and was ready to leave...but I had to have them!

This was an EPIC thrift haul IMO, I did soooo well despite not finding my vintage jumpsuit. Good thing I'm going thrifting again next week :-)

Have you been thrifting lately? Find anything good? Let a sistah know!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Eye Spy: Shoe news and shoe porn!

Do you like Rachel Bilson? Do you like shoes? Well get a load of this...

My Shop Suey bag looks a lot like this here bag Rachel is carrying

The word on the style blog streets is that Rachel Bilson is the latest celeb to hop on the "Mint" monthly club trend. What will she be selling us? SHOES!

This is supposed to be the first selection for Shoe Mint. Would you buy it? *Image via ShoeMint.com

Yep, Rachel is teaming up with her celeb stylist friend Nicole Chavez and none other than Steve Madden to bring us a monthly shoe club called Shoe Mint. Slated to launch this month, Shoe Mint will bring us a new shoe every month for $79.99. So what do you think? Interested? I am, I already signed up, lol. If there's one thing I like, it's shoes! Speaking of which...

I LOOOOOVE this video...and shoes of course, lol! Use discretion when viewing because the vid contains strong language. Now moving on to the shoe porn.

I love shoes (and blush) so much that a while back when I had some extra cash on hand, I treated myself to a bunch of both. All of the shoes were absolutely gorgeous! Here are the wedges:

Dolce Vita for Target on the left and DV by Dolce Vita on the right.


Unfortunately, I only kept the brown Dolce Vita for target wedges. I’d actually bought two pairs of the Dolce Vita for Target wedges, but I returned the nude pair because they were very cheap looking and feeling. Instead, I bought the tan leather DV for Dolce Vita wedges online. I wound up returning them also because they were too big in the ankle area. I did score this pair of nude suede DV by Dolce Vita wedges though:

DV Toni by Dolce Vita

They were a near perfect fit and absolutely gorgeous! I wore them with this dress that I bought from GoJane.com:

And here I am wearing the dress: 


Unfortunately, better pictures of me wearing the dress aren't available :-(

On to the other shoes...

All of these gorgeous Chinese Laundry pumps also went back because they wouldn’t stay on my feet when I walked (no matter what kind of inserts I used). I really really loved all of these pumps but alas, it was not meant to be. Here are more pics of them:

Nude suede with leopard print interior!?! Looooove! Too bad they didn't work out :-(

This color gave me sooo much life! Again, so sad they didn't work out :-(

You just can't go wrong with a basic black suede pump...unless they refuse to stay on your feet when you walk :-(

Now about the blushes…*sigh*

As lovely as these La Femme blushes looked in the pan and as many great things as I’d heard about them via beauty bloggers and Youtube gurus, they had to go back. Why you ask? Well, because they contain mineral oil and parabens. Yes indeed they do. With my sensitive seriously acne prone skin, I wasn’t taking any chances. And may I just say that I will NEVER EVER in life spend money with MakeupMania.com again. They didn’t have a problem taking my money but they certainly had a problem giving it back. It took several phone calls and e-mail complaints to get a refund despite me being well within my rights to a full refund. I was not a happy camper. 

That does it for me. Have you bought anything new? Let a sistah know!