Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gettin' Handsy

Cute and cheeky in a bold red color. AND on sale. 
Hurry up, little shoppers.

Winters in Chicago and Wisconsin are far from what most would consider pleasant, but I've always had an unexpected preference for the cold; I'd take 45 degrees over 85 or ninety degrees any day. Curiously, the briskness and bite of the chilly air and the way the sunlight plays off the accompanying snow have always lifted my spirits. That is, if I'm covered up. Over the weekend I thoughtlessly forgot to don a pair of mittens or gloves when I went out--3 times. So when I saw these Kate Spade Hi 5 Mittens, I (and my frozen fingers) became desperately infatuated, even more so when I discovered that they're marked down from $65 to $32. Simple but sportive, they even lend a chance to make a new friend if I take heed of the pair's clearly knit (and possibly instructive?) phrase. But on second thought, I think I'll avoid walking down the street with my hand positioned and waiting mid-air.

xo Heidi
[PRESS PLAY: "Cousins" by Vampire Weekend. Available on iTunes.] 

Monday, January 30, 2012

5 Things I Hate About Me

[ Ever have one of those days? ]
Picture via

I've never been the confident girl. While that may not be smart to admit--on the internet nonetheless--it's true, and most of my friends and family can attest to this confession (partly thanks to past regrettable nights spent playing too many drinking games). This past week marked the start of a new semester of classes along with, frankly, a whole lot of just sitting and pondering/anticipating my future. The unpredictability of what's coming next always gets me worked up, and that's when I start my wallowing. But one thing that has significantly mended those old scars of self-doubt is reframing. Reframing my thoughts, that is. Every defeatist brooding I have is one I have to put a favorable spin on. Often the positivity feels utterly contrived, but there's something about forcing myself to smile that makes me laugh instead. And that's genuinely the goal, after all.
Alas, 5 things I hate (and kind of really love) about myself:
 1. My cheeks are fat. Yep, go ahead, tell me I'm just being an insecure girl and to shut up. That may be so. It's an inhibition that's been with me since high school. BUT...I can remember at least 2 separate times I won Chubby Bunny contests. You know, that admittedly dangerous kiddy game where you fill your mouth with marshmallows? Champ, right here.
2.  I'm always befuddled and at a loss for words when talking to strangers. And not in any sort of cute, charming way. In a weird way. Weird meaning I resort to my sarcastic sense of humor to help me through a conversation. The problem is, insulting someone when he or she doesn't know you're kidding doesn't exactly start a girl off on the right foot. BUT...If a person doesn't understand my humor, do I really wanna be buddy-buddy, anyway? Soon into the friendship, my thoughts would be along the lines of, Wimp, it's time to turn off the Grey's Anatomy and watch a little It's Always Sunny.
3. Possibly my most haunting worry, I'm the complete opposite of athletic. My 5th grade gym teacher threatened to fail me because I couldn't serve a volleyball. Fail me. In gym. In 5th grade. It's probably a talent in itself how bad I am at sports. Hey! There's the bright side! I'm awesome at being terrible athletically! I know, that's probably cheating. Just let me have that one.
4. I'm lazy. Sooo lazy. I order food in when I could easily pick it up just a block away. BUT...I've really broken in my bed from sitting in it so often. I know where all the comfiest spots are.
5. I'm overly sensitive. I take things personally, overanalyze obscure matters, and never know when my next big cry is on its way, something that can cause a lot of awkwardness when it arrives in a public setting. BUT...Can you easily forge your way to the front of the line at the grocery store? I can. Crying chicks tend to make shoppers really uncomfortable, sometimes so much so that they ditch their packed carts and leave the store.
And on that note, I suddenly have a craving for marshmallows. 

xo Heidi

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wear the Rainbow

The British way to do brights via topshop.com

What is it about falling in love with a clothing article that creates a longing to buy said article in every color, shade, form, and version? Don't fix what ain't broke, I suppose. Big-time Brit retailer Topshop gets it. Their selection of MOTO jeans mimic a rainbow, and in the age of the skinny jean, you never know when an outfit will call for an electric turquoise pair. Or a unicorn-swathed pair for that matter. Bonus: all jeans go for about $80 a pop. And looking at this vibrant assortment, those eighty bucks may land you quite the "pop."

xo Heidi

[PRESS PLAY: "Forever Young" by Alphaville. Available on iTunes.] 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Obsessing Over...

...Zooey Deschanel's sultry, blunt blow-out

Zooey Deschanel is no stranger to the spotlight and accompanying beauty endorsements (Rimmel, anyone?), and she's been on my fashion/girl crush/wish-I-had-her-life radar for years now. But last week at the Golden Globes I really did see a New Girl. Although those big baby blues have been gazing past her signature brunette bangs for some time, I was taken aback by her absolute allure. Was it the few inches she chopped off her long wavy mane that got me? Or maybe the combo of her hair's perfect luster, fullness, and 60's Bond Girl shape? Whatever it was, throwing that green and black speckled Prada gown into the mix didn't hurt. 
Don't get me wrong. She's always been gorgeous and lovable (ahem, my embarrassing wanting-her-life confession a few lines back), but of this I am sure: a pair of scissors, a round brush, and some shine serum can make all the difference.

xo Heidi 

[PRESS PLAY: "Lights" by Ellie Goulding. Available on iTunes.] 

Photo via imdb.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Decked Out in Deco

Berenice Bejo's "Peppy Miller" in The Artist

If you follow my blog, you already know of my propensity for paying way too much attention to the wardrobe department's work when seeing any given film. And, yes, when I saw The Artist last week, I fell in love with both the story and the outfits. But I'd really like to know: when a movie takes place in the 1920's and 30's in Hollywood (and is silent), what else are you looking at? Come on, people. We're talking about the age of art deco, one of fashion's AND architecture's AND visual art's most exceptional heydays. And if you couldn't already tell, one of my favorite styles of design. Totally lost? Lemme give you a little history lesson. 
Starting in Paris (where else?) in the 1920's, art deco eventually brought its eclectic effects over to the U.S., where it truly exploded into the mainstream in the 30's and 40's. Based on simple geometric shapes but borrowing lavish influence from the arts of Ancient Egypt and Aztec Mexico, it was considered ornamental and elegant, and even looking back from today, I couldn't agree more. Exoticism joined the expected as materials like zebra skin worked alongside wood, aluminum, and lacquer; sunburst and fountain motifs and chevron patterns popped up everywhere from clothing to automobiles. And ya know that big thing in NYC, the Empire State Building? You can thank art deco. 
Getting the picture? Well, all in all, what you should take from my brief (and rare) lecture is that deco was a stunning art style, and it remains one today. 
Oh, one more thing: the web is filled with deco-inspired accessories, clothing, and jewelry. You're welcome.

vintage 1960s // art deco beaded collar

Vintage Earrings Art Deco Marcasite Sterling Silver 925 Earrings With Swiss Blue Topaz  Gemstone

Vintage Art Deco Black Hair Comb

Hat: Flapper Cloche, $119.99

xo Heidi

[PRESS PLAY: "We Are Young" by Fun. Available on iTunes.] 

Photos via imdb.com and etsy.com 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If $ Grew on Trees...

...these fluorescent Christopher Kane pouches would be mine to clutch.

A little smaller than a piece of printer paper yet retailing for $530, one of these leather babies obviously packs a lot of value into every square inch. But if I had the cash, I'd say to hell with financial practicality--why not?! With summery hues that normally belong to popsicles and meticulous laser-cut detailing that achieves an ultra-femme lacy pattern, these clutches are both carefree and done-up. And they'd provide a happy-go-lucky, counting-down-to-summer air to the wintery, head-to-toe blacks and grays I'm unfortunately prone to wearing. But I've got textbooks to buy, and therefore, choices to make. What's a college kid to do?

xo Heidi 

[PRESS PLAY: "The General Specific" by Band of Horses. Available on iTunes.]

Friday, January 20, 2012

Penny for Your Thoughts

Secrets, secrets are no fun, but animal bedecked journals sure are, whether or not they're actually the keepers of private thoughts. At least that was my reaction when I came across these circusy little notebooks. They're discreet enough to put in my purse, and their design is suggestive of Water for Elephants. Moreover, the set of three allows for some Type A organization (says the girl with the Type B personality). But the best part is, I'll truly use them! Guaranteed. I'm a listmaker and always have been; whether I'm jotting down a to-do list for the day (productive Heidi) or taking notes on the things I want while reading InStyle (greedy Heidi), I'm partial to the old-fashioned personal journal. Maybe I still just don't wholly trust technology and all of its gadgety--and sneaky--ways. I'm watching you, iCal. 

xo Heidi

 [PRESS PLAY: Currently listening to "She's Got You High" by Mumm-Ra. Available on iTunes.]

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rooney & the Red Carpet

Top, Left to right: Calvin Klein Collection, Roksanda Ilincic, Valentino.
 Bottom, L-R: Louis Vuitton, Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo should from now on be referred to as The Girl with the Badass Style, because ever since I started seeing more of Rooney Mara on the red carpet, I also started wishing I too had a severe black haircut I could pair with confections as daring as these.
The critically acclaimed movie that shot her into the spotlight only came out a month ago, but Mara is already my new Hollywood fashion idol, with a style that can only be described as killer (no pun intended). Although she chooses to sport anything from minimalist jumpsuits to lacy, long-sleeved gowns, she proves that a gal doesn't need color to make a statement. Black, white, and gray make up Mara's go-to palette, but she still manages to be the most boldly dressed one at an event. And moreover, her limited use of color allows the decision to wear a bright scarlet stunner to be all the more unexpected and cherished.
I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and read the book), and to be honest, I loved it. I really hope the next two books are converted into films as well. But to be even more honest, the main reason I'm rooting for a sequel is so that I can see more of Rooney Mara on the red carpet.

My Top 3 Favorite R.M. Looks
 [ Jumping on the two-piece dress trend, Mara obviously pulls off this Miu Miu ensemble. Talk about making a girl wanna get on the elliptical. ]

[ This exquisite silk crepe selection by Prabal Gurung was the first Rooney dress of many to catch my eye. Ethereal yet sultry, the dress hooked me with its line of buttons against a nearly bare back. Be still, my heart. ]

[ I was a bit unimpressed by the fashion line-up at the Golden Globes this year (then again, the actresses were there to support their amazing films, not satisfy my thirst for sartorial eye candy), but this dress surprisingly saved the show for me. I say surprisingly because I'm normally bored by black gowns at awards shows--I see them as a cop-out. But the simplicity and downright prettiness of this Nina Ricci one paired with Mara's gorgeous eyeliner forced me to surrender this old hang-up. ]

xo Heidi

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Babies Be Crazy

Clothes clockwise from top left: Baby Dior Flower Dress, $605; Dolce & Gabbana Mixed-Media Dress, $265; Reed & Barton ZoomZoom Baby Flatware Set, $50;
Burberry Check Jumper, $155.
As I often do on gloomy days, I was browsing Neiman Marcus's online store this morning, drooling over bags and dresses whose prices equal my college tuition. Eh, who am I kidding, I do this pretty much every day. But that's neither here nor there, because in a moment of strength I was able to peel my eyes off of these Lanvin flats long enough to realize that the website also includes a baby boutique. Tickled by the adorable thought of teeny, tiny clothes, I decided to explore the section. And that's when I had a moment where if I had been taking a sip of water, it would have ended up spit out all over my Mac. Dior, Burberry, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Armani. Damn, babies these days have it all (flatware?)! I mean, hey, don't get me wrong. I obviously appreciate designer wear, and I'd definitely drop some cash on it if I could. But babies in $600 couture? Pooping, vomiting, drooling (yeah, I realize I mentioned myself doing just this a few sentences ago) babies? Not to mention they grow like weeds. Sorry to my future kiddies, but any baby who owns an outfit that costs more than my rent will receive a time-out from me personally.
BUT. I am no stranger to less than practical splurging. Here are a few more reasonable, pint-sized pieces I could get on board with. Even if they do elicit my oh-so obnoxious baby voice. Side note: My someday baby will definitely wear itty bitty Uggs. And wittle TOMS fwats too.

Left to right: Little Marc Jacobs Miss Marc Peek-a-boo Diaper Cover, $45; Ugg Australia Erin Boot in "Neon Violet," $50; TOMS Gold Glitter Shoe Tiny, $34.

All clothing available at neimanmarcus.com

xo Heidi

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chained, Roped, Stoned

Sometimes a good outfit becomes great when it's brought down to earth. The raw feel of these The Vamoose necklaces add color, interest, and texture to an ensemble begging for a more natural and unrefined air.

xo Heidi

Who wears body chains? Ballsy chicks, that's who.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Instant Snow-Melt

I've always found January to be a drearily difficult month to get through. Its gray skies and brutal weather can make anyone pledge to stay well-within the toasty perimeters of home. Luckily, these bleak 31 days don't seem to slow down my favorite retailers and online stores. Summer is already the horizon for them, and the above compilation of items causing me to ache for a hot day next to the pool are proof. From pina colada-reminiscent lotion to an easy summer-ready dress featuring geometric shapes and pastel shades, these pieces just might help mid-June come a little faster.

Pastel Geo Tunic, $40, topshop.com
Anchor Stud Earrings, $18, topshop.com
Neon Satchel- Yellow, $48, nastygal.com
Vibrant Braided Necklace, $8.80, forever21.com
Coconut Milk Body Lotion, $12, thebodyshop.com
Geo Print Round Sunglasses, $16, urbanoutfitters.com
Kimchi Blue Printed Platform Heel- Red, $59, urbanoutfitters.com
Woven Flower Fedora- Natural/Black, $12.80, forever21.com
Benefit Sun Beam Luminizer, $26, sephora.com

xo Heidi

Friday, January 13, 2012

Isle of Enchantment

[ Though it stands out from the other warm weather vacation spots I've visited, Key West still succeeds in offering alluring scenery and beaches. ]
Last week during my family vacation I was fortunate enough to visit the beautifully bewitching Key West. I had never been there before, and quite honestly, the way I fell in love with the island took me by surprise. I'm not a huge fan of tropical vacationer-jammed getaways, probably due to my claustrophobic tendencies, utter impatience for crowds, and general dislike for the same old tourist traps. Key West is different, though. It obviously stands as a common vacay destination, but amongst the typical t-shirt shops lie surprises of all sorts. From roosters and scrumptious eats to a rich history and picturesque shop-lined streets, the "little things" truly make Key West an eclectic gem of an island.  

[ During inhalation, I somehow managed to take a picture of the final few bites of my first-ever (and surely not last) piece of luscious coconut cream pie. ]

[ The unique lamps peacefully dangling from trees of the spectacular hole-in-the-wall restaurant at which we dined set an Urban Outfitters-meets-backyard atmosphere. ]

[ One of the more mystifying features of the island, roosters randomly wandered every side road and patch of grass. The birds, along with the famed Ernest Hemingway's hideaway, added an All-American, down-home vibe that islands don't normally provide. ]

xo Heidi

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Obsessing Over...

...Diane Kruger's flouncy, sheer confection

At first look, it's seemingly another black gown ready to be brushed off as expected and common. It's a good thing this dress stimulates a double-take, because it isn't until the second glance that you realize how intricately exceptional it is. I should've been smarter during my initial perception of the Emilio Pucci design, because I almost failed to note the contradictions it makes; it is Diane Kruger after all, a woman who doesn't dare don a run-of-the-mill ensemble (in fact, this post should really be called "Obsessing Over Diane Kruger"). Something about the complexity of the sheerness and the lace and the quasi sweetheart neckline paired with the solidity of the halter neck and upper part of the skirt make this dress one to remember. But maybe it isn't only this juxtaposition of bold with diaphanous that deems the frock a winner. Maybe it's also the way Diane always looks so unfazed by the fact that she's wearing the coolest outfit in the room--and at that moment, the coolest outfit ever.

Picture via instyle.com

xo Heidi

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two-timing Trends

So far, 2012 is proving to be a fairly unpredictable year. The January weather waffles between springlike and look-out-for-that-blizzard-like, and the political arena's complexity as the presidential election approaches has me so dumbfounded that I'm going to stop talking about it right here. But before you enter a state of anxiety induced by all of this uncertainty on what's coming next, look on the bright side--the wavering temperature allows the best of both worlds in what would be the dead of winter. Lay out by the pool on the 10th and curl up next to the fireplace on the 11th. And as far as politics go, well, I said I was going to stop talking about that. But luckily, recent shoe styles warrant the same opportunity to dabble around and avoid the boring day-to-day predictability of winter. 
The persistence of the chunky block heel and the reemergence of the dainty kitten heel ensure that footwear will by no means become as much of a pain mentally as it can be physically. The tedium of one shoe trend has been banished by the coexistence of these two polar opposite designs. While a robust block heel will fortify any iffy ensemble, the fragile kitten heel merely adds a whisper's amount of statement to your already formidable outfit. And the best part: any time you grow weary of one style, flirting with the idea of the other (and acting on the idea) is totally allowed. No forbidden musings here. What I said earlier about tanning outside in January, though? That may have been more of a half-baked yearning than actual advice (read: I don't recommend it ).

Shoes, clockwise from top left:  
LOVE Colour Block Suede Sandal (topshop.com), 
Indicon by Ivanka Trump in "Leopard pony hair" (piperlime.com), 
Kimchi Blue Platform Pump in "Black" (urbanoutfitters.com),
High Heel Moccasin with Tassels (zara.com),
ASOS SORT Slipper Vamp Kitten Heel Shoes in "Mint" (asos.com),
ASOS SERRAN Cage Kitten Heel (asos.com)

xo Heidi

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kitsch Me

[ Who needs to see your real eyes when you've got a big, wacky pair staring out from your tee? ]
ASOS T-Shirt With Flutter Plastisol Eyes, asos.com

I wasn't the girl who wore sweatpants to class. No, I was the girl who meticulously mapped out her outfits the night before wearing them. The girl who could easily spend a couple hours an evening experimenting with different clothing combinations until she found one that felt juuuust right. And maybe it was due to these nightly preparing rituals that I was consistently so confident in what I wore.
However, what have always intimidated, disheartened, even frightened me about fashion are The Rules. You know, those ever-changing Rules that proclaim, all ye who weareth white after Labor Day shall be burned at the stake. But wait, now it's okay to wear all white in October, just don't match your purse to your heels. Never mind, that ladylike shoe/bag harmony is cool again. But HOW DARE you ruin the fluidity of a delicate, minimalist dress with clunky platforms. Psh, you fool. Are you from the Midwest or something?
While I certainly hope to avoid looking like a complete disaster after getting dressed in the morning (and why yes, thank you, I am a proud Illinois resident and Wisconsin Badgers fan), I absolutely despise The Rules and think they're complete crap, for lack of a better word. Life's too short to wear something that doesn't make you giddy with the knowledge that the materials encapsulating your body are essentially saying, hey, this is me.
So, in honor of my emancipatory spiel and rejection of The Rules from this day forth, I've rounded up some of my favorite garish pieces. They're silly, tacky, and can look plain stupid. But when you're having an off day and feeling beat down by life's real rules, sometimes stupid is exactly what you need.

[ Feeling trapped by worldly pressures? Get the space you need by displaying an enchanting landscape across your, er, nether regions. ]
Motel Rocks Becka Skirt, shopakira.com

[ Soften up your stuffy duds (and a predictably lame day) with a cute beaded sidekick/coin purse. Come on, how can you not adore this little guy? ]
Cooperative Panda Coin Purse, urbanoutfitters.com

[ Really a decidedly pretty shoe, this'll surely perk up a sober ensemble that's just begging for a little "strange." ]
Ecote Split Wedge in "Watercolor," urbanoutfitters.com

[ Because somedays, channeling Dorothy is just what the doctor ordered. And by declaring the matching pants optional, this cute sun-top can take a sexy turn paired with a high-waisted skirt or shorts. ]
ASOS Bra Top With Gingham Print in "Blue Print," asos.com

[ When your jam "California Gurls" ends and you still need your Katy Perry fix, it'll be a piece of cake to sneak this sweet earring set into your outfit. Or should I say piece of cherry pie? ]
Sparkling Cherry Post Earring, urbanoutfitters.com

xo Heidi