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.