Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dream Wardrobe for Fall 09

I am sitting in my living room watching the Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo TV. Next to me, my newborn son is napping on his rocking chair. The windows are all down, and I am thinking of turning the heater on. I have been a little bit sick since a cool front blasted in the usually hot Houston's summer. I know now that Fall is on its way. And this could mean only one thing: my love hate relation with Fall will start again (hating the unsettling weather, loving the new fashion trends).

A little fashion therapy would probably chase my cold away (at least for a few hours). Frankly, I am so itching to go shopping right now, I cannot stand still. But since I do not have the money to go crazy, I will scratch my itch with these following two options: daydream about the fabulous Fall wardrobe I want, or just update the clothes I got during the summer (and never wore because I was as big as whale pregnant).

In this post, I am going for option number one. Daydreaming is very easy and surely cost free. So here it is: my Fall 2009 Dream Wardrobe:

1- Black or Brown Leather Jacket.
I so want a short leather jacket to harden a soft look. I think that the color black is the safe route to go since it goes with every color. As Stacy and Clinton would say, it is a neutral. But so is brown for which I am rooting for. Brown is such a fall color. And I have an idea that it would look great on my skin. Real leather jackets are petty expensive therefore go for the "faux" leather jackets that pop up every where lately.

Heritage Faux Leather Jacket available at Forever21.com ($34.90)



2- Suede Platform Pumps
I have not bought a pair of pumps in a while. I used to think that pumps were just made for work. But recently I saw so many celebrities rocking the pumps casually that I am beginning to change my mind about them. Furthermore, I was never a fan of platform shoes. They make me think of hookers or trannies whenever I see them. Yet, now they are more and more associated with high fashion. Therefore for this Fall, I would love to find a pair of platform pumps in suede. They could look great under a dark wash jeans for casual days or paired with a great dress for parties.

YSL Trib Two Blue Suede Pumps ($795)



Abaete for Payless Dauphin Pump ($34.99)



3- Animal Print Blouse
This has probably nothing to do with Fall, but I always craved an animal print blouse. There is something wild about wearing an animal print. It makes you look instantly hot. I particularly like this one below with the ruffles. A blouse with ruffles, is also something I am looking to get my hands on. I used to have one in spring colors that I gave away because I could not figure out how to match the ruffles with my Hijab. Yet now, I am ready to step into this daring look.

Silk animal print blouse with ruffles



4- Animal Print or floral cardigan
Out with the plain colored cardigan (black,off white)! This Fall, I am going for the daring by choosing a cardigan in some kind of print like animal print or floral. The print can be hard to match with other outfits but that is the challenge.


Animal Printed cardigan Elisabeth Hasselbeck for Dialogue available at QVC ($59.00)



Merona Printed V neck cardigan Rose Bouquet available at Target ($8.74)



5- Long Striped Sweater
I absolutely love sweaters. There are the reason why I enjoy Fall/Winter so much. I do have multitude of sweaters in every color and every design. Yet, I still want to get a long sweater with stripes. I cannot get enough long sweaters because I like how they cover my thighs. Last week end I saw a woman wearing a white and navy striped open sweater like this one below.

Navy and White Stripe Pocket Cardigan available at quizclothing.co.uk (£16.99 or $29)



It was so gorgeous yet laid back. I immediately wanted one just like that. I did not ask her where she got the sweater from but I got an Old Navy or Gap vibe out of it.Unfortunately, I checked at both Gap and Old Navy but could not find the same piece. Yet, they had other options.

Women's Striped Toggle-Front Sweater Coats available at OldNavy.com($44.50)




6- Hooded Wrap Cardigan (or Open Shawl)
I already own a grey open shawl or wrap cardigan. Yet for some reasons I cannot stop thinking about this hooded cardigan Mary J Blige was sporting during an AT&T commercial. Unlike my actual cardigan, this one is very long and has a hood. It is so Hijab friendly. The brand is Alexander McQueen and as you guessed, it is very pricey. That is why I will be on the look out for cheaper versions on the market.

Alexander McQueen Waterfall Hooded Cardigan available at Farfetch.com ($1208)



7- "Animal" Bag
It is said that this year trend is some kind of "animal" material on the bags such as python or crocodile. Python is very in and can be found practically on any major designers collection.

Gucci Galaxy Large Shoulder Bag available at gucci.com for $3500



I am not necessarely into trends or animal material bags. However, I found myself falling in love with this beautiful patent crocodile handbag by Serena Signature, a new line made by the famous tennis player/designer Serena Williams. I came acrsoss this bag last week when I inadvertly clicked the HSN channel button on the remote. Serena Williams was invited at HSN to present her new line. I loved everything she was selling (particularly the jewelry-I will talk about it in the next section) but the bag interested the most. It is a nice size and very affordable compared to what is out there designer bag wise.

Serena Signature Metal Handle Time To Shine Handbag available at HSN.com for$69.95



The designer sporting her own bag



8- Bold Jewelry
All this summer, I had stocked bold jewelry and barely wore it. Being pregnant during summer, I felt like it was too hot to wear a big necklace or cuffs. And if I eventually wear them, I end up taking them off after just an hour. However, this fall, I reckon I can afford to wear big bold jewelry. I would start my shopping with the Serena Signature line of cuffs and tennis bracelets like this one below. The thing is to get many of them and to stack them (beautiful). What I like the most about this design is that it is leather, something I have not seen done recently.

Serena Signature Rings of Bling Woven Leather Bracelet 2009 Edition available at HSN.com for $59.95



I also have my eyes on this bold ring, perfect for a party or special event. I just need to put one of these and nothing else (I mean accessory wise).

Serena Williams Signature Statement The Winner's 2.53ct CZ Pavé Open Circle Swirl Ring available at HSN.com for $49.95



I also found this amazing necklace while checking QVC (I never check TV shopping channels, but since I saw some nice pieces on HSN, I was curious about QVC as well).
It is from the fabulous Joan Rivers collection. This thing is so pretty, and I can think of plenty of ways to wear it. I may even stop my backward thinking that this necklace just need to be showcased during an event, and pair it with a casual look of white tee and jeans.

Joan Rivers Couture Faceted Crystal Adjustable Bib Necklace available at QVC.com for $54.84



9-Event Dress
I am always on the lookout for the perfect event dress. It is very ironic since I am a person who does not get to go out much. Yet, considering that this all a daydream, let me elaborate on what I think could make a perfect party dress for this fall. Again while watching the Rachel Zoe Project, I fell in love with this Matthew Williamson dress, the stylist was wearing to one of his event. The dress is an asymetric print maxi dress. But what makes it exceptional is the beading around the neckline and the waist: simple, yet chic.

Amboise georgette asymmetric beaded gown pink orange by Matthew Williamson, available at Matthewwilliamson.com for $2369



There it is, my fabulous dream wardrobe for fall. It is a pity I do not have enough money to afford it. Maybe someday....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What goes around, comes around

It usually happens to me twice to tree times in a year- usually when the season changes-. It feels like I get possessed. I look at my closet or at my suitcases, and all of a sudden I get into this rage, this frenzy. I discrimately separate all my clothes in two to tree packs: the one I will keep, the one I will donate and the one I will throw away. I usually end up with this huge pack of clothes to donate. I pack them all in boxes and send them to the nearest donation center or box, or save them until I go back home to give them to my cousins.

I was raised with parents who each had a strong opinion when it comes to clothes. My father is a giver. He would always "clean" his closet, offering clothes he judged that he did not need anymore to his family members or people in need. If you take a peek at my father's closet you would see just the necessary items (shirts, t-shirts, pants, suits and traditional clothes). My mother, on the contrary, is a keeper. If you search inside her overstuffed closet, you would find "vintage" clothing. By vintage I mean clothes that she used to wear when she was still single (almost 30 years ago). My mother is generous but she finds a sentimental value to her clothes. Therefore she keeps them all the while accumulating new ones. She also thinks that clothes always come back in style even her old ones. Therefore, she thinks that it would be a waste of money to give them away.

As far as I understand where my mother is coming from, I grew up hearing my father say : " if you give something to someone, you will receive something even better in return" Over the years I found this saying to be true. Whenever, I gave something to someone, sooner or later I would receive a gift of the same nature. For example, if I gave my best friend a black pair of shoes, I would receive a black pair of shoes. At first, the concept fascinated me. But over the years, I got used to it so much that I was indeed giving away things expecting to have something in return.

However, my giving urge does not have anything to do with the idea of payback. I just give stuff away because I have so much (not that I am bragging). I am a shopaholic. And I find shopping to be a great stress reliever. Therefore, when I have little money, I go into this shopping frenzy. I buy stuff that I do not need and they end up being lost in my closet. For example, I have this pair of brown suede pumps with embroidery that I bought in Australia in 2004. They were a bit tight but the price was so affordable that I just purchased them (even my hubby confirmed that it was an occasion that I should not miss). Well, as much as I love the shoes and find them elegant, they sat in my closet for over 4 years, waiting for a moment to shine. I decided that maybe I would take them home on my numerous trips there. For sure, in Senegal I would find an occasion to wear them. But when I think of the suede being damaged by the dust on Dakar's streets, I always decide against it at the last minute. My best friend even asked me to give her the shoes several times and I just refused. Eventually I found an occasion to wear them during a party at my hubby's company. And I was not even going to do it but my hubby forced me to by saying that if I did not wear the shoes, he would pack them and send them to my best friend in England. The shoes are not the only items in my closet which were never worn. So whenever I get tired of having a dysfunctional closet, I just clean it.

The cleaning up and giving part leave me always refreshed. My closet looks like it has space and I can now find items that I need. Moreover, on the spiritual level, I feel great knowing that people are going to benefit from my clothes. However, from time to time when I think of some of the clothes I gave away, I have this pang of regret. Two days ago, I was looking at some old pictures of my shoes. I came across this picture of white heels that I had purchased at Payless during my working days. They were cheap and slightly worn, but they were nice. And I just gave them away. I am sure that I would not need them in my new lifestyle (stay at home mother). Nevertheless, I like the option of having them. There are other items I regret giving away: a white blouse that would have been perfect for my pregnancy, a red hot leather coat (how stupid of mine), snake skin wedge shoes and assorted bag. I just give and give like I am possessed. And months or years later, when I take time to think about it, I regret it.

Well, this teaches me a lesson, actually tree:
1- always shop for items I will wear (or that I actually need)
2- never wait for an occasion to wear clothes
3- always think it through before giving away clothes

I hope I can stick to these rules in the future.

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