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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Real Talk: Shopping for Fashion Week

Hello my lovelies!
So as you probably know, New York Fashion Week starts tomorrow!

Fashionistas from all over the country will convene to view the Fall 2008 collections of designers from Diane von Furstenberg to Herve Leger. It's an exciting time for the Fashion Bomb, as I'll be in the house delivering Real Style, pictures, and interviews.
Even though I swore to temper shopping in the New Year, I knew I just had to get a few special somethings for the occasion.
Keeping my budgetary concerns in mind, I figured $200 was a low, yet reasonable amount to go shopping. I told myself I'd try to find items below $100 each (per my New Years resolution), and truly be a budget fashionista.
With my vision of how fashion week attendees should look....
...I set out last Saturday to find a few diamonds in the rough.
I started local, walking down Flatbush Avenue until I hit one of my favorite boutiques, Harriet's Alter Ego (293 Flatbush Avenue between St. Marks and Prospect Place)...
I was informed that the rack in the back...
...held items for $30.
My eyes immediately settled on this vintage Chanel inspired tweed jacket...
...with a great stand up collar and a short style that was mildly reminiscent of Victoria Beckham's jacket from the Roland Mouret show.
I tried it on...
...and it was a little tight, but for $30, it was definitely a steal! I reasoned I could perhaps get it let out at my trusty tailor. If anything, I'd wear it unbuttoned over a sleeveless dress for shows, then gift it to one of my grubby sisters!
Running tally: $30.
I had a meeting in the city, so I raced off to the East Village where I wandered into a French Connection (700 Broadway at West 4th Street)...
...I was lured in by their promise of 60% off their fashionable wares.
I grabbed *way* too much stuff, and made my way into the dressing room. Turns out all the items were an extra 50% off their sale prices, so dresses normally $200 were marked down to $60-$70--definitely within my budget!
I tried on this wine colored number...
...and though I thought it could maybe work with tights, I felt it was too short and night clubby for an aspiring fashion editor like myself.
This sweater dress was only $70 (marked down from $200)...
...and with a white collared shirt underneath, it could look smart, professional and appropriate. I liked it a lot, but still wasn't convinced.
Then I tried on a wild card, a winter white coat with a stunning fur collar ( I thought for sure it was misplaced on the sale rack). Still, I tried it on.....and was sold! As a sidenote, a little bit of fur is the rule, not the exception for editors. Take Andre Leon Talley, par example...
...fur is just an accent, but it's there. I looked at the tag on my winter white wonder and realized it was only $140 (marked down from $378). Not under $100, but a deal nonetheless, and within my overall $200 budget. It was mine.
Running tally: $170.
With only $30 left, I figured I couldn't really get much. Shoes of quality were out of the option, as were most bags. Walking around 5th Avenue the following day, I came upon Zara (659 Fifth Avenue at 54th street)...
... the perfect place to find affordable yet chic clothes. They advertised a 50% off sale, so I stopped in...
...and it turns out they, too, were slashing everything. I quickly found a rack full of editor-esque dresses for only $30!
I tried on a few...
...but was unimpressed until I tried this one on...
... a slate gray cowl neck sheath, also reminiscent of Madame Beckham. The dress was a little big, but with a belt...
... it worked! And if anything, I could get it tailored in time for the big week!
I ran to the register with my $30, and that's all she wrote!
Total: $200.
So let's review: I purchased a tweed jacket, sheath dress, and a knee-length wool coat for only $200. And the colors are neutral, so they'll fit seamlessly into my wardrobe.
Here's to fashion on a budget!
Now, on to the tents...
Fashion, News, and What Nots
*FYI: I visited my tailor, and it turns out the jacket could not be let out, but the dress could be taken in...for $35! Ok so tailoring costs more than the dress, but I'm sure that that $65 will probably look like $300! And lesson learned: it's easier to take things in than to let them out. If you must buy the wrong size, make sure it's too big, not too small.
*On my fashion plate tomorrow: BCBG Max Azria, Erin Fetherston and Baby Phat! Stay tuned for updates:)
*Fashion Bomb Friend Tia Williams...
... is featured in a New York Times article on Beauty Bloggers! If you haven't yet, check out her dope blog, Shake your Beauty. It's all about makeup for brown skinned babes! Think 'The Beauty Bomb.'
*Another newspaper looks at the absence of color on the runway. [Newsday]
*According to Ruth La Ferla, fashion will harken back to the 50’s and 60’s in Fall shows:
A quote, “Fashion is supposed to be about change,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst with NPD Group, a market research firm, “[Once a standard bearer of the vanguard], fashion has become the most conservative of all industries.” [NYTimes]

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Trend Talk: Marigold

Happy Wednesday!
So as you may know, I love the color yellow!
And while pale yellow is the perfect summer go to--complementing many skin tones and brightening up any look--the winter calls for a richer, deeper shade that I'll call marigold.
The color--a mixture of yellow, gold, and mustard--has been popping up on celebrities of late, whether on the red carpet or out and about.
Let's take a look:
Beauties Vanessa Williams and Rachel Roy both literally light up formal events in strapless deep yellow frocks....

Celeb party girls Nicole Richie...
and Kim Kardashian....
...make the look club ready in thigh skimming, body clinging dresses.
The look can be adapted for work by throwing on a fitted jacket like Vanessa Simmons...
...or winterized with a long wool jacket, a la Meagan Good...'s a good look.
Brighten up your winter wardrobe with the following 'Marigold' items:
Click to Enlarge
Top Row: Diane von Furstenberg Quincy Knit Shirtdress, $365,; Gryphon Tank Dress, $128,; City Suede Ballet Flats, $125,
MIddle Row: Malene Berger Sloane Pleated Top, $141,
Bottom Row: Lady Jacket, $37.80,; J.Crew Cherbourg Coat, $275, 1-800-562-0258; AKA New York Pintucked Dress, $200,
Fashion, News, and What Nots
*Tip: Marigold Looks Great with Plum. Use the following high brow accessories as inspiration:
*Deal of the Day:

...Burberry Kate drop-waist dress, $626 from $895, Not much of a 'deal', but hey, it's on sale!
*Fashion Blogs highlight Real Style. Why didn't they feature the Fashion Bomb?!?! [Newsweek]
*I love this stuff...
Miss Jessies is offering a two for one deal on all their fabulous hair products for Valentine's Day (Feb 1-14)! Now that's a deal. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pregnant & Chic: Halle Berry

So for most women, pregnancy is a time when they feel less than their best. Their waistline has expanded wildly, everything is a bit swollen, and let's be honest: it's usually not prime time for cuteness. The ever beautiful Halle Berry, however...

...bunks tradition and manages to make pregnancy look chic by wearing outfits that complement her body while maintaining her sexy.
Let's take a look:
For casual outings, Halle opts for empire waist tops that hug her bosom while skimming over her belly...
..worn with jeans in a dark rinse and sunglasses that hide weary eyes.
When she dresses up a bit, she goes with jersey wrap dresses that highlight her ample curves....
...accessorized with simple necklaces and no nonsense flats.
For red carpet events, she doesn't hide, wearing everything from dresses with plunging necklines and draped bodices... more understated short dresses in black that conceal while still showing off her legs...
...accented with stiletto's or boots in black leather.
Dowdiness is not the rule for expecting moms! Channel Halle and step out in dresses in bold prints, and shirts that flaunt your body. And don't spend a ton: it's only 9 months! A few affordable outfit options:
Click to Enlarge
Top Row:Notice Maternity Cap Sleeve Wrap Dress, $52,; Marc by Marc Jacobs Two Toned Sunglasses, $95,
Empire Waist Tank Dress, $49.50,
Here's to Momma and Baby!
Fashion, News, and What Nots
*The blog Fashionising wonders... the Sex and the City movie trying too hard?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Real Styling: Unvogue

Happy Monday!
So last week, I went to a 'Behind the Scenes' shoot for a new online magazine, UnVogue (
It was created by stylist Tyson P....
...and is self professedly 'not your grandma's magazine.' An excerpt from the Editor's Letter, "[UNVOGUE] is a magazine that realizes that its readers are of many races, sizes, colors, religions, economic backgrounds, and that they too would LOVE to see themselves represented in the pages they dash out to was created to put the fun back into fashion...and never take fashion too seriously!" Sign me up!
The shoot was definitely fun, and tons of cute accessories and racks were everywhere.... was a shopahaulic's heaven brimming with items both high and low, and from designers ranging from Dolce & Gabbana and Tracy Reese to Isaac for Target and Old Navy.
I had to take a picture of one of the models present, who was artfully styled by Tyson...
...I loved the bold colors, and the way her bright green clutch played off the hot pink in the belt; her pale yellow turtleneck nicely complemented her skin tone. Her crisp twill jacket made me yearn for the warm temps of spring.
So tell me...what do you think of Unvogue's style?

Fashion, News, and What Nots
*So...after over 50 submissions, we have a winner for the Fashion Bomb's first contest of the year!!!!!
It is....drumroll....
Najah from Washington DC...
....who correctly found that Gabby's green dress...
...was none other than this very affordable $120 Sky Mini Rock Rope Halter...
And that Beyonce's Bag is in the same collection as this Fendi Large Selleria bag..
...available for $2,130 at (also at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, etc).
About her win, Najah says, "Oh wow, yay! I never win anything! Those are great prizes. And now I’ve got an excuse to plan another trip to NY!"
And I must give a special shout out to everyone who participated! Y'all pulled out all the stops...from saying that your birthday was coming up to actually contacting Gabrielle Union's publicist (the publicist had no idea. She was probably like, "The Fashion Bomb, what?"). Anyway, you're great! Looks like I'll need to have these contests more often...
*Deal of the Day:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Reader Day!

Hi Guys!
So today will be Reader Day on the Fashion Bomb!
You might be saying, “Claire, isn’t every day a reader day?”
Well, in theory it is. And in practice.

Today I’m going to tap reader knowledge to leave a bit of the ‘question answering’ up to you! But don't worry, it won't be all hard work: I’m supplying a couple cool prizes to a special Fashion Bomber with great sleuthing skills.
Don't fret, I solved a few mail bombs for ya:
Reader Gina says, "I've been loving Queen Latifah's style lately..."
"...How can I recreate her look from the Mad Money premiere -- especially those gorgeous leopard print d'orsays?"
The Queen is indeed fierce! Get her look for less with the following:

Left to Right: Lotta Stensson black lace dress, $153,; Nina Calhoun d'Orsay Sandal, $79,
Next, reader Gabrielle from Little Rock, Arkansas loved Rihanna's boots in this picture...
...she says, "I was surfing the web (at work...shame, shame) and saw none other than Rihanna rocking a pair of all black boots that tie up behind the knee. I definitely don't have her budget but I would love to see some alternatives to what she is sportin."
We all know Rihanna invests in her wardrobe, so it's no surprise she's wearing these Manolo Blahnik Toppers....
...on sale for $725 at
If you want a few affordable alternatives, I've got you covered! Try the following:
Left to Right: BCBGirls 'Chill' Boot, $229,; Nine West Voot Boot, $220,
Next, Shari says, "Can you please help me find this leather jacket Kim Porter is wearing..."
"...or something similar?!?"
Hey Shari. You've got great taste! Bomber Jackets are indeed cute, and Kim's version pops in a bold, glossy color. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the exact match (chances are she used some Diddy money to get hers custom made), but you can go with these to get the look:
Top Row: D&G Dolce & Gabbana Gold Leather Bomber Jacket, $1,200,; Doma Bomber Leather Jacket, $595,
Middle Row: Lindsay Lohan Leather Jacket, $92,
Bottom Row: SSGT Bomber Jacket, $120,; Lux Faux Leather Bomber Jacket, $128,
Fashion Bomb newcomer Sarah said, "I was wondering if you could help me find who the designer of the purse Ashley Olsen has on...PLEASE!!"
"I need it in my life!!! Thank you!"
Hey! The Fashion Bomb is down for diversity, so this question's game.
I did quick web search, and found that Ashley is wearing Givenchy's Nightingale purse...
Get it for $1,395 at
Lastly, Chisa says, "I absolutely love the shirt that the girl in this picture is wearing..."
"...Can you please help me find it or something like it? Thanks!"
Hey! Couldn't find an exact match, but this Sheer Animal Print Top comes close:
...get it for $15.80 at
My job here is done.
Now for a few questions for the group. Comment if you can help!
Reader Mecca says, "Do you know of any websites or clothing stores with fashionable/trendy styles that cater to tall women? I am 5'11 with very long legs and I wear a 36 inch inseam. When I wear regular length dresses, they look too short on me, and the long dresses arent long enough to fall at the ankle. I find that if a store/website offers tall/long styles for pants they are usually not all that cute, just basic and boring styles. Thanks!"
Any long legged ladies want to interject?

Also, reader Uyi says, "I'm a frequent (daily) visitor of your site and I wanted to ask you if you knew of any sites that sold size 11-12 1/2 shoes for women. I stand at 5'10 and as you can imagine its very hard to find shoes my size."
If you know, share the wealth!
Thanks guys!

Now, for the contest.
Emerald has been the color du jour, showing up on many red carpets... flowing Grecian as well as more body contoured styles.
In the spirit of going green, I'm going to give whoever can tell me the make of Gabrielle Union's dress (or find something close)...
...and the make of Beyonce's bag...
...this fantastic green onyx accented 24k gold Oak Leaf Necklace ($178 value) by Bridget Lynne Designs (
...along with a $50 gift certificate to the super delicious French restaurant Bruno Jamais (
..located at 81st and Madison in New York. (And if you're not in New York, you have six months to plan a trip and use it!) The restaurant is blocks away from all of the upper east side's museums and hotels such as The Carlyle, The Mark and The Stanhope, and serves yummy treats like Lobster Brulee and Foie Gras. Yum!
So e-mail me at with the scoop. I'll reveal the winner plus the answers next week.
Happy Searching!
Fashion, News and What Nots
*Have great weekends!!
*Deal of the Day:
Dolce Vita Allure Cuffed Boots, $67.50 from $227,