Presents by Polyvore

Birthday time is the perfect opportunity to mull over the options in your closet and reflect on another year of your style. I personally like to dramatically pull open the doors on my wardrobe simultaneously a la Carrie Bradshaw. I am always underwhelmed.

When October approaches (where did the year go, by the way?) I start to get the “what do you want for your birthday” emails and phone calls from my mom and dad and grandma and aunts. Typically, I don’t have anything to tell them. “Clothes,” I think, but I would never dream to express it verbally because I fear what I may end up with.

There are of course standard gift cards, but I dislike their impersonal quality. Moreover, I still love opening presents. To avoid opening a bunch of flat envelopes I opted to make a wish list this year with my favorite online shopping utility, Polyvore.

Polyvore works like a digital scrapbook for all of your wildest fashion dreams. Users drag and drop items on the site, which are all available in stores or online, to a white canvas and organize them in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Depending on taste, a Polyvore “set,” as they are called, can end up looking like a mood board, a magazine spread or more collage-y.

The site conveniently organizes all of the items on the page into a shopping list that tells the brand, the store and the price of each piece. When sets are published they can be shared with friends and family or saved for personal reference.

After wasting hours perusing online stores I finally edited down my birthday wish list to these 6 things. I think they’ll fit seamlessly into my wardrobe and give some of my well-worn favorites relief.

  1. Wine colored, high-waisted jeans – This romantic color is all over the place this fall. It’s less bright than the pastel jeans from spring and summer so it will work perfectly for the darker, colder months ahead. Plus, they are really easy to wear and automatically have much higher cool factor with a simple t-shirt than standard blue jeans.
  2. Chunky sweaters – Need I say more? My closet is full of them already because it’s beyond easy to throw one on and look put together in a snap.
  3. Black Doc Marten’s – I wore these in brown as a gangly second grader. As much as I would like to avoid going down that memory lane, my boot collection feels incomplete without these.
  4. Kate Spade stud earrings – These come in oodles of colors at a really reasonable price point (under $40!). I’m digging the black though because you can wear them with anything.
  5. Pleated leather mini-skirt – I get so much flack from friends when I stop at the mall to admire these gems. I really want one. What’s more glam-rock than a full, girly silhouette in black leather?

(Well received) British Invasion

Anglophiles and British fashion fans have long loved the U.K.’s most hip chain brand, TOPSHOP.  For years the clothing, famous for its brave approach to current trends, was the envy of us Americans and sported stateside only by lucky jet-setting Hollywood starlets.

Eventually the brand hopped the pond, but American fans still had to make a pilgrimage to New York, Chicago or Las Vegas to shop the line in-store. But rejoice! This past week the clothing made its debut in select Nordstrom stores across the country making TOPSHOP more accessible than ever before.

The affordable offerings include some of the brand’s best sellers in addition to limited edition pieces that will no doubt be snagged up in short order. The department store is also carrying a full line of shoes and accessories, maternity wear, and TOPMAN products for the gentlemen.

The pieces, which are conveniently available online from Nordstrom too, are super on trend for the fall. There are tons of innovative prints, studded tops, chunky sweaters, and tailored tops and bottoms.

So plan a spree at Nordstrom and make off with some of these awesome pieces. Bonus points if you master an English accent to accessorize your new threads.

Fall & Fetherston

Fear not fashion enthusiasts, as confirmed by my Intro to Meteorology professor, fall is finally upon us. Months of oppressive heat, bad hair days and awkward tan lines will soon give way to the characteristically brisk weather of the superior season.  It is with great enthusiasm that I swap out flip-flops for leather boots and t-shirts for chunky knit sweaters.

Of course fall has more to offer than the chance to play with layers, it also heralds in a brand new crop of lust-worthy clothing at New York Fashion Week.

Before fashion lovers even have the chance to romp about in their fall wardrobes, the who’s who of the industry are displaying their Spring/Summer lines in spectacles of style across New York City.

These fresh looks might not hit shopping malls for months, but no one can stop you from getting a head start on 2013’s inevitable trends.

Erin Fetherston’s Spring 2013 collection was one of the first to show yesterday, kicking off what’s certain to be a bold, pattern laden Fashion Week. Fetherston, who’s been on my radar for years because of her fantastically feminine couture and ready-to-wear lines, gave yet another dazzling performance on the fashion stage.

The new collection has a distinctly glam, 60’s mod vibe, a departure from previous more ethereal looks, that I am absolutely loving. While the mini-dresses and tube tops don’t translate very well to the cool fall days of the near future, other elements of her clothes can, nay should, make appearances in your outfits this season and next.

Here are the notes you should take away: Collars are key. Opt for smaller, square shaped collars that are buttoned all the way up for a polished, as opposed to preppy, look. Embrace the unexpected. Fetherston gives typical feminine pieces new rocker attitudes by adding studs to a cropped cardigan and using black leather to amp up the drama of a classic swingy dress. Go bold or go home. Some women fear patterns. That’s silly. Don’t shy away from them! Patterns don’t have to be as loud as Fetherston’s neon lips and big cat print to make a statement. Give them a fighting chance with a floral blazer on top of a simple blouse or a tapered polka-dot trouser.