My Quest For The Perfect Maxi Dress

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It might sound nuts that I cannot find the right maxi dress, right? I mean they are everywhere. My GOD, they sell them at freaking Walgreens, for crying out loud. But real talk for a minute, I get it if a Walgreens at the shore (or the beach for you non-tri-state area folk) sell maxis, but one right outside of a city? Really? Stop it. No one wants any of that. But I digress.

The last time I found a maxi dress I wanted to live in was about three years ago at Loehmans (RIP … pouring some out for the raddest store EVER). It was one of those garments that I had no problem wearing once or twice a week. It was everything. And then I shrunk it like an idiot. And no one wants to wear a maxi that comes up to your calf … am I right?

Since then I’ve been living in maxi skirts, which, don’t get me wrong, rule … but sometimes I don’t feel like pairing a shirt together with a maxi skirt, alright? Yes. I’m literally THAT lazy. I just want to throw on a maxi dress and be done with it. I preferably one that doesn’t have chevron print on it. I mean that is what summer is all about.

Right now I find myself having what I like to call “MDE”… Maxi Dress Envy. Specifically with Kristen Taekman of the Real Housewives of New York. She’s currently the only one I don’t want to throw a shoe at, so that is saying something, right? But her maxi dress game is on POINT. Everyone I want to rip off her body, Cinderella step sisters-style. Look at the one below (sorry for the shitty image). Now this is something that I would live in until Labor Day. I mean mind you it would be a stained hot mess by then, but at least I would be comfortable.

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You know how they say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again? Perhaps they are right. I’ve been going to my same old stomping grounds, H&M, Urban, Zara, TJ Maxx … and just haven’t had any luck. Yet I keep going there over and over again and keep getting let down. And then someone brought “LOFT” to my attention. And I am using quotes because (now don’t throw anything at me) LOFT is Satan to me. I loathe it. So much that I have never stepped foot in there. I can’t tell you why, I just do.

BUT in the same breath, I am all about “pieces.” In no way shape or form is my wardrobe from one store only. I have Marc Jacobs all the way down to Target. I’m not a label snob (unless you are buying a maxi dress from Walgreens outside of a city, then you will get an eye roll from me). So perhaps one item from LOFT won’t kill me, right? I am that desperate (and I know I’m probably offending lots of LOFT lovers, which is not my intention … love you, kisses?).

So here I go on my journey of exploring stores I’ve never stepped foot in just to find the perfect maxi I can rock all summer. Talbots, I’m coming for you!

Hahahaha … kidding. Never. Never ever will I EVER step foot in there. Only because I did once for a job when I was in high school. They told me I would have to wear a suit and Fridays were considered “casual” where employees wore aprons over their suits … and then I left. I think I left so quickly there was a dust imprint of my body still standing in front of the store manager. Bitch, please.

The Best Of The Best Of The Best … 2011 Styley

The ball is about to drop kiddos, and I don’t know about you but I am welcoming 2012 with open arms. Hell, I might even make out with it a little bit … good riddens to ya 2011. But on that note, it has been a fabulous year for fashion and for this blog. So I would like to share with you what I like to call “The Best Of The Best Of The Best … 2011 Styley” list. The things that inspired me, the trends I loved, the trends I didn’t think I was going to love but did, the trends I wanted to punt … you get the gist.

So here it is ladies and gents, join me in bidding 2011 adieu.

Best Fashion Website:

The winner goes to Refiney29.com. I don’t even know how I stumbled upon it, but I live on it now. My favorite thing about the site is that they not only discuss trends, but supply these fabulous slide shows of where you can get the trends from $10 to $1,000. Genius. From cool new ways to wear a trend, to hangover cures, to cool artists who vomit paint onto a canvas, this site inspires me everyday … and has enhanced my wardrobe quite a bit.

Old School Trend I Didn’t Think I Would Ever Rock: 

The jean jacket. For the love of God, I thought I retired that nonsense back in the second grade, along with my bedazzler. But when I invested in a maxi skirt and had nothing respectable to wear with it besides a blazer, which made me look like a weird school marm, I drove myself to H&M and invest in a jean jacket. It was my go-to for everything maxi this summer. Sure, there were some days when I looked like Brenda Walsh from 90210, but it was a very stylish retro look that I couldn’t get enough of.

Style Stud Inspiration: 

Lady Gaga … I know I know, the woman looks like she gets dressed in a hurricane everyday and is wild and how could she EVER inspire my sense of style, blah blah blah. I’m not saying I’m walking about in nothing but a leather jacket, ripped fish nets, black and white hair and heelless boots, I’m absolutely not. But the reason she inspired me this year is her confidence with fashion. There are days when I stare at a leather skirt in my closet and wonder to myself, it is too much, is it too short, will I look like a hooker? When if it was her, it wouldn’t even be a thought. She loves fashion and she isn’t afraid to pull those crazytown couture looks off the runway, you know the ones that are only seen by like 20 people, while the rest of us are scared of them, and make them her own. We should all take a page from her book, think of how freeing it will be.

Favorite Accessory: 

I absolutely had a cuff addiction this year. Not just a cuff addiction but a cuff and big watch addiction. I didn’t really care about the necklaces or the rings or the other nonsense. But give me a sparkly or bold cuff and a menswear watch and I was in heaven. My wrists were very loved this year.

Favorite Store: 

I’m a Forever 21 and H&M girl at heart. But this year I had a secret love affair with Zara. I would drive my car into the city and literally wander around Zara for hours with piles and piles of clothes, allowing myself to try things on for “funsies.” And usually those were the things I fell in love with. From the color blocking, to the original dresses, I was in heaven. In fact, I’m going through withdrawal as I type.

Favorite Nail Polish:

Again, I’m usually an OPI girl, but a little sale and I started cheating on OPI with Butter. From the packaging to the colors themselves, they are fabulous and for some odd reason really make me feel special. I usually switch between black, nude, navy and red … but at the end of the day, my nails are usually red 85% of the time. I highly recommend Come To The Bed … it is my life. I’ve already gone through two bottles … I did the impossible, I finished 2 whole bottles of nail polish!

Biggest Trend Failure:

Tail hemlines. Ugh. I loved them, loved, loved, loved. So I invest in a sheer, pink (first fail) tail hemline skirt, thinking I could make it a little edgier with a pair of biker boots and a plain white T-shirt with a lot of bling. Instead I ended up looking like a cracked out ballerina. You know that scene from Ace Ventura when he goes to the loony bin wearing a tutu … yep, that was me. I got violently angry every time I tried to mold it into something fantastic. I even tried a tail hemline shirt, but ended up looking like I was going to Poison concert circa 1982 with my belly slightly exposed. Gross, I despise you.

Trend I Couldn’t Live Without: 

With the crazytown weather we had this summer, I would have been utterly lost without my maxi dresses. In fact, I am looking into long sleeve maxi dresses right now because, yes, I miss them that much. They were romantic, stylish and EASY. Sigh, how I miss them.

Over It:

I realize I may offend like half the female population when I say this, and for that I apologize, but I’m done with the whole longer top with leggings. Over. Done with it. It isn’t because it’s not chic, but because it is played out. You know when you hear the same song on the radio so much that the minute it comes on again you want to punt your radio? Well, that is how I feel about this trend. If only it was socially acceptable to wear leggings with anything … I would be a much happier person.

Favorite Shoe Designer: 

Jeffrey Campbell, hands down. Now, of course he doesn’t design “every day” shoes, but his vision and the fact that his shoes really are art make him my fav. I personally can’t wear his shoes because I would look tranny-rific, but if you are looking for a statement piece in your wardrobe, become one with Jeffrey. I do love going to visit them in the Nordstrom shoe department though.

Best Fashion Moment:

For me, it was absolutely the McQueen exhibit at the MET in NYC … the only time standing in line for four hours was SO beyond worth it. I hope some of you got a chance to see it, and for those of you who didn’t, well I hope it comes around again. It was so moving, so powerful and so beautiful, it literally moved me to tears.

So there ya have it. I mean obviously this isn’t every thing, but definitely the ones that stuck out the most. Hmm, I wonder what crazytown things we will end up wearing in 2012 for the sake of fashion.

 

 


 

 

 

Holy Heat Wave!

Leaving work today, the inside of my car said it was 107 degrees … and what it says usually goes. In the winter, when it gets below 20 degrees … it will say something like “ice warning.” I wonder why it didn’t say something like, “holy shit your car is about to burst into flames … RUN,” today. Anyways after burning my legs on my fiery hot leather seats (I know, I know poooooor me), and listened to the weather, it was brought to my attention that most of the U.S. is in heat wave mode, 13 plus have already died, and, sigh, it is only going to get hotter throughout the week.

So for those of us who have to look like decent human beings while in our workplace, here are some suggestions on how to stay classy, chic and cool. For those of you who don’t have to go to work, I envy you … and by envy I mean hate … and really the only suggestion I have for you is to: A. Either find a bathing suit, a pool, some SPF and work on your tan, or B. Walk around naked … wanna know why? Because you can!

Who Wears Short Shorts?: A lot of dress codes aren’t down with shorts, but hopefully your dress code melts a little along with everything else in this heat. Shorts on me personally do not work because I am 5’9 and everything tends to look shorter on me than they actually are, so I would be bordering Hookerville if I wore these in my office. And I would most certainly avoid jean shorts for fear of a “Britney” moment … wait … not THAT kind of “Britney” moment … but a “Britney” moment when she was married to K-Fed and only wore beaters, jean shorts with the pockets hanging out, and trucker hats … ick. City shorts are fantastic as they are office friendly, a bit on the longer side, and completely flattering and chic paired with a the right tank. Jazz it up with some statement jewelry and a pair of fierce wedges and you, my friend, will most definitely not be sent home with a dress code violation.

Maxi Everything: I never thought I could love something more than my maxi dress, until I met the maxi skirt. Both are MUST HAVE staples, especially in a heat wave. They are simple, they breathe, they are ultimately chic, and did I mention they literally take no thought, because they don’t … and who really wants to think in this heat. People say not to wear black when it is hot out, but I refuse to retire the black parts of my wardrobe for any kind of natural disaster or weather warning, so a great maxi skirt like this one from TOPSHOP can be transformed into several different looks. And even if you are on the shorter side, there is nothing more charming than walking around having to pick up your skirt elegantly so it doesn’t graze the floor. I don’t have that problem, but I do it anyway because it makes me feel fancy.

Do The No Pants Dance: Minds out of the gutters people, seriously, who wants to wear pants when its a bazillion degrees outside? Welcome to suffocation station … supplement the pants with flowing dresses and skirts. Without a doubt, Zara has some of the most interesting and classic dresses out there (and they are having a MASSIVE SALE right now … eeeeee!) The pleated dress would be a great example of a classic look with a little bit of an edge. It’s kind of a blessing that Zara doesn’t have an e-commerce section to their website, otherwise I would be the girl who lived in her million pretty little Zara dresses. They truly have something for EVERYONE … and a lot of their stuff is work appropriate, so much that you don’t even need to throw a cardigan over it.

Hydrate For The Love of God: I know this might seem like common knowledge and you might be wanting to exit out of this blog post, pointing at your screen calling me “Captain Obvious,” but wait … wait … wait for it. Looking fashion forward instead of a hot, sweaty, disgusting, makeup melting mess … starts with water. Being properly hydrated allows your skin to naturally glow, which is the base camp for style. So make sure you carry as many water bottles as you can in that fashionable purse of yours … which can also double as a work out if you carry several. Hello killing two birds with one stone!

So everyone be mindful in this heat and take care of yourself, loved ones, pets, and the elderly. And for those of you, again, who get to kick it by a pool and work on your tan whilst sipping margaritas and other frothy drinks … I hate you, but pour some out for me.