Category Archives: fashion

$30 jeans and other sale items at Gap

Over at The Budget Fashionista, you can find five pairs of Gap jeans for under $30!

I love Gap jeans. My favorite go-to jeans are Gap Long and Leans. I usually buy one pair and wear them to death over the course of a couple of years since they run on the pricey side for non-designer denim, but Gap also has great sales like this where you can get their terrific jeans for less. They have plenty of other great deals right now too, like this great menswear-style shirt for $17.99:

They also have some pieces you can use to transition your summer clothes into fall like this cardigan that comes in four colors and starts at $14.99:

I find that Gap’s tops and tees tend to run a little roomy and I usually don’t need to worry about going a size up like I do some places. The fit of their jeans tends to depend on the cut and style, so you may want to try them on in-store. But if you can’t get to the mall, don’t be afraid to order online: Gap has a very generous return policy and takes online returns in-store.

If falling into the Gap isn’t your cup of tea, check out some other denim options under $40.

All images courtesy of Gap.com.

This season in undies…

Somehow I have accumulated a lot of links to different stories about underwear. They don’t necessarily connect in any way besides the core undie topic, so I’ve been sitting on them. Also I’m a procrastinator – nobody’s perfect, right?

Which actually brings me to the first link! StyleList has a pretty comprehensive guide to wearing shapewear in the summer and Instyle.com has handy list of bras for summer clothes (including a backless option). I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in New England it’s been hot and sticky, and the thought of wrapping any part of myself in spandex is pretty unattractive. I tend to avoid any clothing form-fitting enough to require stretchy armor in the summer. I’m only willing to suffer so much to be fabulous. But when I do wear shapewear I use a high-waisted thigh slimmer to smooth out my pear shape. Hanes makes a line of shapewear (on sale on their website!) that includes the thigh shapers as well as shaping panties. They work as well as Spanx without the hefty price tag.

Remember how we learned that big butts are trendy? Well apparently that’s not the only asset that’s “big” right now. Big breasts are in too! Given the amount of implants running around Hollywood I don’t know when big breasts were ever actually out, but apparently this “new” trend means lots more gel and push-up bras. I used to wear a gel bra (I’m pear-shaped, remember?). They’re heavy and not always terribly comfortable – which is what I’m told by my better-endowed friends is a little like actually having large breasts, so I guess the gel bra wins for authenticity.

But if you want to be trendy and the life of the party? Go with this:

The Wine Rack is a sports bra that holds 750ml of any beverage (the equivalent of a bottle of wine), using said liquid to create the illusion of larger breasts. Once you drink your boob cocktail you can use the attached straw to inflate the bra so you don’t look… deflated.

And if you happen to fill that bra with say… beer, which might make you a little gassy? Check out Subtle Butt, a disposable stick-on patch that goes inside your underwear to absorb unpleasant odors. The Subtle Butt’s inventor has a series of stick-on clothing innovations, including the Knicker Sticker, a patch designed to prevent the dreaded camel toe if you decide to forgo undies altogether. If you do want to wear underwear but still want to avoid a “frontal wedgie?” Well there’s a product for that too.

So there you have it. Everything you need to smooth, suck, enhance, hide, and drink out of your lady bits this season. Enjoy!

New dumb trend: socks with sandals.

One of my favorite things about summer is the fact that I can pack away all my socks until it gets cold again in favor of bright pedicures and sandals. Well, bad news for me, because apparently socks with sandals is now a trend.

I ask you, does this look cute?

Image courtesy of NYMag.com

That’s actually not the worst example they’ve got – you should really check out the slideshow. This look was all over the spring runways, too.

I don’t get this. Isn’t the point of sandals and open-toe shoes to be… open? Isn’t that why they exist in the first place? So we can enjoy one less layer of fabric in a hot season? I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here in New England it’s hot and sticky. The less unnecessary fabric I can get away with, the better. Even worse, all the socks in the New York Magazine slideshow look like they’re mostly nylon – can you think of a sweatier, less desirable fabric to wrap around your feet in the heat of summer?

Sorry fashion world, I’ll be sitting this one out. I’d rather flaunt my brightly-polished toes in your disapproving faces than deal with sweaty, hot, smelly feet. Also, I’m not really interested in taking fashion tips from this guy:

Image courtesy of Top10Kid.com

Yet another dumb way to cover your assets.

Remember the Backtacular? The silly-looking bedazzled patch made to cover your ass crack in low-waited pants? Well apparently ridiculous crack-camouflage is a growth industry. I give you the Hip-T:

Image courtesy of Refinery29.com

In case you think your eyes are deceiving you, yes, that is a band of fabric made to do nothing but sit around your waist and look like you’re wearing a tank top underneath your shirt. To which I ask… why not just wear a tank top underneath your shirt? Most retailers make nice long tank tops now – I have a long waist and I own plenty that are more than long enough for me. And all of those tank tops cost less than the $14.95-19.95 that they want for the “Hip-T.” $20 for a band of useless fabric! For the price of two of these things, you could get a pair of jeans that covers your ass! (I’m sorry, Hip-T calls it “bum cleavage.” I guess that’s better than calling it a “coin slot.”)

I really just don’t understand why there’s a market for overpriced items like this. This one is especially confusing – what keeps it from riding up? Or just bunching itself up into a rumpled sloppy belt? What’s the point of paying money for a glorified ace bandage to mummify your middle? I have to agree with the folks at Refinery 29 who covered this before me: you’re better off just buying pants that cover you. Or invest in a few long tank tops for layering.

Weekend Quickie: Hit the Sales!

It’s a big sale weekend, so if you have the time, hit the stores for some great deals.

I just got this dress at New York & Company for $19.99, reduced from $56.95:

Image courtesy of NewYorkandCompany.com

It’s smocked under the bust which creates a flattering line, and it’s super comfortable. Plus the halter top let’s you adjust the strap length.

Other retailers having big sales this weekend:

Bath and Body Works – Up to 75% off bath and body products, perfumes, and cosmetics.
Victoria’s Secret – Get deals on lingerie, clothing, and beauty products (though the clothing is only available online).
Gap – I saw better deals in-store than online, so check out the store in person for additional discounts if you can.
Payless – Select styles as low as $7!

There are plenty more that I’ve missed, so hit your local mall if you have the time for some great summer deals.

Don’t believe what you see!

It used to be you could trust a photograph to show you a factual representation of a source or subject. But not anymore! Why? One word: Photoshop. I confess, I am a Photoshopper. Any photo of me that touches my computer gets “fixed:” teeth whitened, color corrected, blemishes banished. But magazines and advertisers go a lot further than that. They use Photoshop to take an existing image and turn it into something that not only doesn’t exist, but sometimes can’t possible exist.

For example, Ralph Lauren caused a controversy last year over this image of an impossibly proportioned model (her shoulders are wider than her hips!):

Image courtesy of the Huffington Post.

Before that, Redbook caused a stir with a heavily retouched cover shot of Faith Hill. More recently, ads featuring Demi Moore and Julia Roberts have been so heavily altered that it’s hard to tell that these already beautiful women are even human.

Not even Betty White is immune! She’s 88 years old and they’ve removed all her wrinkles. Is it no longer acceptable for an 88-year-old woman to have wrinkles?

In a world where women are expected to aspire to beauty ideals, these types of images create an even more unattainable idea of the beauty norm. (Though if you can find me an actual adult human woman whose shoulders are wider than her hips, I’ll consider a retraction.) We’re constantly bombarded with images of women who are impossibly thin, ageless, and devoid of imperfection. How can any woman feel comfortable in her own skin surrounded by this crap?

Fortunately, the wide exposure of recent years has started a backlash and is – slowly – beginning a movement in opposition. Jessica Simpson famously posed for the cover of Marie Claire with no makeup and no retouching a few months ago. (And if you ask me, she looks fantastic.) And now a UK department store is openly displaying before- and after-Photoshop shots of a swimsuit model in their stores:

Image courtesy of NYMag.com

It’s a refreshing move, but there’s still a long way to go. The truth is that Photoshop is never going away. It will always be used to clean up flyaway hairs and blemishes and correct color at the very least (and you can pry my copy from my cold, dead hands!). But until the fashion and beauty industries scale back the usage to those parameters we’re going to have to treat every image we see with skepticism. Jezebel has a really interesting gallery of Photoshopped images here. Check it out and see just how much you’re being fooled.

DIY Quickie: The 1-Hour Dress

Summer is the time for dresses! And if you like making your own clothes, check out this 1-hour dress at CraftStylish:

Image courtesy of CraftSylish.com

There’s some argument in the comments about whether this dress can actually be made in an hour. (I don’t sew, so I can’t say how accurate those comments are.) But they include a detailed list of what you’ll need and diagrams to help you along your way and the instructions were easy enough for a non-sewer like me to understand. I love that the silhouette is simple enough that you can make it in stretch jersey and have a comfortable day dress, or bring up the hemline and use a fabric with metallic threading for a cute cocktail look.

If anyone makes this dress at home, let me know! I’d love to post your pictures and hear how well this pattern actually works.