Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bits & Pieces

[ Decorative trumpets proudly sprout from the side of Macy's (RIP Marshall Fields), making a winter stroll in downtown Chicago just that much more Christmasy. ]

While I expected nothing less, my Christmas this year was warm, happy, and relaxing. A couple days before the 25th, I headed downtown with my friends from home for some last minute holiday window-shopping and wandering amongst the busy crowds. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home with my family as always, and somewhere between all the feasting and generous gifting I realized how truly blessed I am. My blog tends to focus on life's fun yet unnecessary details like shopping and clothing, and this time of year especially makes me conscious of how fortunate I am to have the pleasure of even writing about these things. I hope your Christmases left you with just as much joy and gratitude as mine did.

[ I was lucky enough to receive a pair of red Hunter rainboots, which sat at the top of my Christmas list. In a bold cherry color, these are sure to come in handy for long, cross-campus treks through rain and snow. ]

[ One of my best friends showed off her Christmas spirit in her classic Santa hat while I snapped candids of her and my other buds eating roasted nuts and singing carols. ]

[ These Kimchi Blue platform pumps ($69, urbanoutfitters.com) remind me that the holiday season is far from over with New Year's Eve just days away. The on-trend block heel and ritzy glitter make them the perfect post-Christmas gift to buy for yourself. ]

xo Heidi

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Collar ID

It's the outfit no-brainer--a collared shirt worn under a sweater. Although this combination has been a go-to for over fifty years, I've recently noticed it take on several modern twists. The collar/sweater collaboration is no longer popping up only in mainstream fashion as women creatively tailor it to their own unique styles. A warning to the preppy woman's closet: hold on tight to this classic layering trick--it's no longer exclusively in your domain.

[ A chambray shirt poking out from under a soft boatneck sweater is unexpected, even more so when a dainty yet quirky necklace is added to the equation. ]

[ Gold studs and chains punk up the unconventional union of black collar and crew-neck sweatshirt. ]

[ A step up from the original combination, this ensemble features a typical white button-up and sweater but adds polish with a chunky necklace of twisted pearls and gems. ]

All images via Pinterest.com.

xo Heidi

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last-Minute Luxury


If you're anything like me, the fact that Christmas is four days away doesn't mean that the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping has ended for you. Every year I find myself scrambling to purchase last-minute gifts, an endeavor that usually concludes with me presenting candy and gift cards (and one time cash!) to those poor few whose gifts I managed to neglect until Christmas Eve. This year, however, none of my friends and family will be receiving a few crumpled fivers from me. My annual problem was solved as soon as I smelled Philosophy's Creme Brulee shower gel/shampoo/bubble bath. Not only does this product conveniently multitask (see end of previous sentence), this baby lives up to its name as well. While I expected it to simply have a souped-up vanilla scent, the body wash undeniably boasts a fragrance identical to that of a dish of creme brulee. Moreover, if you'd prefer something a little less saccharine, the brand offers dozens of fun versions of the product; it scents the washes to resemble everything from margaritas to gingerbread. I don't know how Philosophy does it, but it gets every last top note right. 

While I've known about the line for years and have always adored the clever packaging it uses (each bottle lists an edible recipe for the food its scent resembles), I'd never realized what a luxurious present one of its products would make. With its ability to transform your shower into the aromatic kitchen of a French pastry chef and its reasonable pricing ($16 for 16 oz), Philosophy's Creme Brulee stands as a savior for all my fellow gift-getting procrastinators.

xo Heidi 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Multiple Sides of "Nasty"

Everyone who speaks English knows the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover," and I can't think of a better way to describe my experience with NASTYGAL.com. I happened upon this unique online retailer of designer and vintage pieces a couple months ago, and although I first expected its merchandise to be a little too suggestive for my personal taste, I've been irrevocably obsessed ever since. Founded in 2006 and owned by stylist Sophia Amoruso, Nasty Gal should in no means be prejudged due to its, well, provocative name. In the likes of Urban Outfitters and Lulus.com, the site offers fairly inexpensive yet unconventional articles of clothing that are typically not found in stores at the mall. No, the apparel you purchase from Nasty Gal evokes that giddiness only experienced when discovering a one-of-a-kind piece at a boutique. You know, those garments that you involuntarily handle with more care. The ones that find yourself putting on the "good" hangers and only washing by hand, just in case. 
Furthermore, Nasty Gal suits various personal styles (as I demonstrated above) and can clothe you for a range of occasions. Floaty tops, full skirts, and cotton dresses fulfill the need for everyday essentials, while body-hugging mini skirts, daring crop tops, and sequined dresses do the job for nights out. Whether you're drawn to romantic lace and the more modest ensemble, or you dare to don bustiers and lace-up hotpants (see #15 above!), Nasty Gal is sure to satisfy your craving for eclecticism when you're snapping up clothes online.
1. Plum Fringe Dress, $78
2. Luxor Sequin Dress, $58
3. Cut It Out Shirtdress, $68
4. Fancy Knot Dress, $88
5. Caged In Halter Dress, $58
6. Birkin Fringe Top- Black, $78
7. Angel Crop Top, $72
8. Chiffon Crop Blouse- Orange, $38
9. Cloudy Ruffle Top, $68
10. Double Cross Tee- Black, $38
11. Stacked Stripe Knit, $48
12. Ariel Sequin Shorts, $78
13. Ikat Heart Blouse- Blush, $38
14. Red Lace Dress, $78
15. Velvet Corset Shorts, $78
All items currently available at NASTYGAL.com.

xo Heidi 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cool Style Like Crazy

(All movie stills from hollywood.com)
   Every now and then I'll see a movie that I can't stop thinking about, even long after the credits have rolled. Many times it's simply due to a great story line or a talented cast. The recent film Like Crazy actually has both of these attributes (along with the honor of being the only movie ever to cause me to cry), but another big reason I've played this love story's scenes over and over in my head is the wardrobe. Cozy, unassuming, and undeniably unique, the film's clothing had me head-over-heels from the first scene. The two main characters, star-crossed lovers from different sides of the globe, are about to graduate from their university. As a college student myself, I felt instantly connected to their ways of life, and moreover, their ways of dressing. Their outfits, especially the female protagonist's, were utterly believable but oh-so cool. From oversized sweaters and jackets to easy skirts and tees, the style exhibited was genuine. Add that to fantastic performances and largely improvised dialogue, and it's no wonder I was so emotionally moved by this movie--it felt like real life.

[ Anna, played by Felicity Jones, sports a comfy-looking striped tee and finishes her look with a high-waisted skirt. ]

[ The couple lounges in the sand in relaxed attire, Anna in a boxy cargo jacket and denim shorts with a simple elasticized waist. ]

[ Jones' character complements her delicate pink blouse and quirky printed skirt with natural-looking hair pulled into a loose and messy braid. ]

[ Under her basic long necklace, Anna wears minimal makeup and a gray boatneck sweatshirt. ]

[ Newcomer Jones is undoubtedly one to watch in both the film and fashion worlds. Here, at a screening of the movie, she glams up in a retro-inspired Dolce & Gabbana floral frock. ]

xo Heidi

Love of the Moment

Beauty Steal: I bought my tube at Ulta for a cool $6.99.

Every once in a while, you'll come across a beauty product that you instantly deem a game-changer. You'll swipe, brush, or draw it on and have one of those pinch-me moments while thinking, damn, who knew I could look this good? For me, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Violet Frenzy has been just that: a game-changer.

Some girls can't get enough of their lipgloss, and some don't leave the house without their classic red lipstick. I've never had such a love affair with a lip product before I met this little guy. The color is perfect for fall, an eye-popping mix of purple with a hint of fuschia, and it looks great against the dark, muted tones of winter's attire. Also, the creamy application is easy to either blot for a casual day look or load on for a more dramatic effect. A simple swipe of this baby really spices up a typical flannel shirt and leggings! The trick is to keep the rest of your make-up simple when wearing a lip color this bold. I've been wearing this in the daytime along with just concealer and mascara, which makes getting ready so much quicker (score!). Just another reason I'm looking forward to my fall love affair with Mr. Violet Frenzy.

xo Heidi

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Beginnings

Little me, a clear style maven, circa 1992

     Welcome to A Shoe or Two! As New Year's Eve approaches, I decided that now is a good time to start considering resolutions for 2012. Ever since I can remember, I've been fascinated by fashion and styling. Maybe the dress made out of roses I designed when I was 8 isn't exactly something I'd keep in my closet today, but it does mark the start a true passion I've always held. This blog, my first, stands as a kind of fresh start for the new year and is a place where I hope to share my love of clothing and all that is chic with other people. I aim to grow this blog into a compilation of my musings on fashion, style, and beauty, along with other bits and pieces of life that I love. 2011 has been a significant year of self-discovery and growth for me (I've just declared my major of Textile and Apparel Design!) due to inspirations from various facets of life. I hope that A Shoe or Two can have a significant effect on you, whether it merely gives you an idea for an outfit or helps you discover passions of your own. 
To new beginnings and a future filled with plenty of joie de vivre!

            xo Heidi