For A-List Living on D-List Dimes......

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You Can Stand Under My Umberella

When I packed my spotted handkerchief many moons ago and made the arduous journey across the Atlantic to the land of opportunity there were many thoughts that trundled through my mind. I thought of the family and friends I was leaving behind, I thought about the new adventures that lay before me but most of all I thought about the fact that I was venturing away from the dismal rain that torments my homeland and moving to the Californian coast where sun and surf would no longer be associated only with vacations. Foolish girl.  Today, for the first time in my life, I arrived to work and was able to physically ring rain water out of my socks. Indeed, my sartorial indulgences over the past number of years have always relied on the assumption that the weather in San Francisco is permanently chilled out. For the most part, it never gets too hot or too cold here and it’s only when venturing to the East Coast do I ever freak out and scour the internet for a warmer winter coat (we don’t tend to need them lined out here on the wild wild west). Nonetheless, unexpected weather days like today seem to constantly catch me on the hop. I just don’t own very many warm sweaters nor does anything in my wardrobe resemble waterproof. I thought my flat, over the knee black Zara boots were a smart choice for today but they are now lying damp and dejected beneath my desk being singed by a portable heater. Sad. To add insult to injury, there allegedly hasn’t been a drop of rain in Ireland for the last three weeks. Sadder again.

While I love the fast lights of Jay Z and Alicia Key’s New York City I’ve never been enamoured by its’ weather. I’ve sweated my ass off on the subway and slipped on ice in the fall but NEVER have I stooped so low as to buy rain boots. If I’m to be perfectly honest, I don’t believe anybody whose age is in the double figures realm should ever don such atrocities. My friends on the East Coast look completely ridiculous when wearing them and I am never afraid to tell them so. Nonetheless, desperate times call for desperate measures and I have found myself trawling through the internet today trying to find the least offensive pair of galoshes known to mankind. Why a grown adult would wear any type of boot with images of ‘Hello Kitty’ slathered all over them is completely beyond my comprehension – and don’t even get me started on rainboots of the Croc variety. In my opinion, a rain boot is like flesh colored underwear – it serves its purpose but best kept unseen. For this reason, some of the preferred choices that I came across are what I would like to describe as ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ rainboots.  This biker boot inspired rain boot below seem like an acceptable choice to me.  Just as a strawberry blonde is not easily identified as the spawn of a red-head so too does this not appear to be in the 'gum boot' family at first glance.
Chinese Laundry at DSW

But rain-proofing our wardrobes does not just end with a simple boot.  Finding a presentable rain jacket proved almost trickier than sourcing a rain boot - apparently this is a garment designed purely for the middle-aged.  Wannabe designers take note - there is most definitely a gap in the market for cool rain coats!  Nonetheless, I did come across this little cutie below from my favorite boutique Tar-jay (shhhh!!).      And what better way to finish off your ensemble than with this to-die-for Parisienne inspired umbrella from Distinctive Umbrellas.

Target $29.99

Distinctive Umbrellas $19.95

But if all else fails, just go DIY like this!!  FIERCE!!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

St Patrick's Day - Fashion Parade or Parody...???

There are few public holidays that can be associated with style and grace. Indeed, whenever I think of any bank holidays my thoughts tend to veer towards images of ‘girls gone wild’ as opposed to ‘God, what a country’. Any Fourth of July party I’ve ever attended could have been cast and directed by the illustrious Joe Francis. From the bad 'stars n stripes' t-shirts to the Statue of Liberty foam hats, people tend to present themselves as parodies of the festivities as opposed to actual proponents of it. But, few holidays can measure up to the fashion road kill that is St Patrick’s Day. Now I know, I know – this is not an official holiday in the U.S of A but, let’s face it – it may as well be.

Ah St Patrick’s Day. A Holy Day of Obligation for us Irish at home.  A celebration of our Patron Saint and one of the most unflattering colors known to mankind. To be fair, us Irish were never really given a fighting chance. With our pale skin and alcohol-induced red faces – supermodels we were never destined to be but the emerald tones so associated with our country must have been the brainchild of the British as another means to keep us down. Nobody looks good in it.  Throughout the years, I’ve collected an array of St Patrick’s Day accoutrements. From the ever classy ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ t-shirt to Heineken logoed braces and the always-stylish green cowboy hat (cos as we all know, the cowboy hat is a staple in Irish daily fashion wear) – you name it and I’ve got it.

So with the onslaught of Paddy’s Day emails (no, not Patty's Day - get it right, Americans) threatening various pub crawls and green colored alcoholic treats I got to thinking – how does a girl stay fashionable in the face of fashion road kill?? Let me tell you, if you are looking to don the color of the Emerald Isle but would like to steer clear of any items of clothing that feature imagery of either shamrocks or leprechauns there are slim pickings out there. The trick with this atrocious color is the old ‘less is more’ rule. Unfortunately the fellow I met en route to the Prince concert last week was blissfully unaware of this. He was sporting a green and white paisley jacket, green corduroys and a wide-collared green shirt. The ensemble literally hurt my eyeballs and that it was not an ode to this Irish festival was even more baffling. On St Patrick’s Day, I’m more interested in wearing a green tank under a chiffon black cardigan, or a casual little sundress with ballet flats. Here were a few of my favorite finds…….or if I’m to be a little more honest……these were pretty much the only wearable items I was able to find after trawling the internet for well over an hour.

Old Navy $14.50

Target $18.00

Old Navy $19.90

Zara $29.90


I repeat - sliiiiiiim pickings!  Try as we may, there are few real fashion trends that lend themselves to this day and it is fair to say that those who truly embrace the festivities of this holiday can only ever end up looking like St Patrick's Day  vomited all over them.  Nonetheless, when I look at the picture below I can't help but smile.  Sartorially savvy??  Absolutely not but the craic must have been mighty.........

Happy (almost) St Patrick’s Day!!

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