Neon? More Like Ne-off.

I’ve decided I hate something.  Which obviously means I should take to the blog and bitch about it.

What I hate has to do with the neon color trend. When it first started to crawl out from the hole that is the 1980’s, I didn’t hate it. In fact, as an accent I did and still do, kind of like it. When done right, neon is fun and funky. But when it’s done wrong, you can’t NOT see it and it becomes this invitation to look at the cheap, horrendously bright t-shirts Forever 21 is slangin off their sales racks.

Google ‘neon trend’ and a ton of cute shit pops up, but somehow, this is never the shit I see out in the real world. I don’t think college girls slapping on the brightest fucking pink t-shirt they’ve ever seen is cute. Pairing a neon t-shirt with your regular blue jeans? No! No, I just … I can’t stand it. Let’s look at some examples of wrong before I show you how right it actually can be.

No. I hate this so much. With all these other muted colors? Not to mention the insane proportions of that tank/skirt. I just despise what it does to my eye. It’s a lazy way to work neon and with this trend all lazy does is make me want to chug whatever kind of alchol that advertisment behind her is trying to sell me.

This ad is everything that’s wrong with stupid neon. Every time I see it on the street, god damn I get so distracted, and not in a hot guy way or in a child playing with a puppy kind of way, but in a bum taking a crap on the street kind of way. I can’t really look away cause it’s so glaring, but I also can’t stop my nose from crinkling in disgust either.

Nope. I sometimes don’t mind when it’s ALL neon, but this really makes me want to shield my eyes.

Gross. Don’t like. Argue with me on that one. Go ahead, but I just, can’t be convinced.

Holy Hell what is going on here?

Maybe I just hate green/yellow neon? No. I think just extra hate yellow/green neon.

A lot of the time, neon can look really, really cute! I honestly think it’s when bitches don’t try that hard or when they just throw it in with the rest of their normal wardrobe without any thought that I develop an aversion similar to what it must be like to break out in hives.

Here are some looks that give me the opposite feelings.

Remember this? I actually really liked this. Because it’s not a main component of her actually clothing. This is like having hot pink toenails, which can be really cute!

Also this – I would and want to be wearing this outfit right. now.

So cute. I love it. Where do I buy it?

Oxfords were/are poppin up everywhere and I really adore this take on them. In fact I want them! I even saw them in real life at the bar the other day on this woman who was a hot, hot mess and I was much more likely to disregard her slurring nonsense talk because her shoes were so pleasing to me.

See? It’s clearly a really drastic spectrum for me.

What do you think about this? Here are those shoes on someone and you know, it’s similar to J. Alba up there, but what I think saves this for me is that she’s worked in neon throughout. It’s not just some random bright ass pants. And the proportions are right.

Ultimately, I think 9 times out of 10 I hate neon. It’s completely case by case, but what I’ve learned sifting through the images is that I think I like it in moderation, sparsed througout an ensemble or when babes go all out, all neon. Don’t be lazy and don’t be afraid.

If you really want to look like a piece of tropical fruit, really go for it.

Because as cute as this girl is and as much as I almost like this … I still wish her pants weren’t the color of an electric melon.

I feel like I’ll have some naysayers on this one, so go ahead, weigh in and argue with me. Send me pics of you in your hot pink shirt. Double arguement points if you’re wearing Jefferey Campbell Lita’s. I should probably never move to Miami.

xoxo, Lou

Cheap Wine and Lady Like

God Bless guest blogs. Amirite? This one here is from my sister. She’s a lady. A proper lady with very lady-like fashion, and very lady-like speech. Unlike my cuss mouth. And I’m also pretty sure she wasn’t drunk when she wrote this, although she is a Dwyer, so you never know.
My big sis happens to be poor like me on account of obtaining a stellar, expensive as fuck education. Yay! Instead of crying about it, we like to find ways around it (sometimes we cry about it), which is what she’s here to tell you about. Finding lady-like fashion options all on the cheap. So grab a glass (or bottle) of wine and enjoy!
(PS – like what you see? Check her out here:
Style Icons. We all have them, and they exist in a myriad of incarnations. When I think of my sisters, I appreciate how distinct our different styles are. My older sister has a very relaxed yet elegant style, similar to Blake Lively and Jennifer Aniston.

Meanwhile my younger sister – author of this fantastic blog – has, as you can see, a very hip, edgy, bohemian vibe a la Sienna Miller or Nicole Richie.

For me, it’s always been the Classics. The Hepburns, both Audrey and Kate. Jackie O. Grace Kelly. Coco Chanel. Give me pearls and pencil skirts and a-line dresses and cardigans galore! Bows, polka dots, and skinny capri pants rule my closet.

If I could afford it, I would probably never shop anywhere other than Kate Spade and JCrew. But yikes – have you seen their prices?? So how do I dress myself with ladylike flair as a gal of limited means?

Here’s where we talk about one of the most important words in this post: Sale.

Can you remember the last time you bought something full price? I cannot. In fact, it has been so long since I felt justified in purchasing a Brand New item, that I’ve been hemming and hawing over this dress for months now. I have a job. I can afford it, more or less. It’s for a Friend’s Wedding that I am Officiating. I have the Bride’s Approval (xoxo, C!) so what is holding me back?? It’s not on sale. And on sale is the only way I know how to shop. Well, On Sale paired with Thrift Stores and Buffalo Exchange, which amount to essentially the same thing.

Here’s a prime example: I am obsessed with these pants. Obsessed. They look great, they’re comfy, and I can ride my bike in them. Exhibit A:

-Confession: this was for a film shoot and that’s not my bike. I’m wearing a ton more makeup than normal and those lashes are completely fake. But those are my Minnie Pants-

But I can only buy them when they go on sale. In my size. Because $88+ for pants sounds crazy to me. I live on an artist’s salary, people. So at the moment I have two pair, though I must confess, that Vibrant Flame color is begging to be #3…. (Go on Sale, Vibrant Flame Minnie Pants!)

My denim Minnie Pants are the perfect base for Ladylike Casual, and my knit Minnie Pants are perfect for workplace attire. If only they went on sale more often.

When shopping on a budget it’s also key to scour thrift stores and shop at Buffalo Exchange, if you’re lucky enough to have one where you live. Scouring is key. You have to hunt for the gems, so don’t head out to shop expecting instant gratification. Some of my favorite items from such excursions include:

JCrew flats

1950’s vintage party dress

This shrug.* That necklace. And those gloves.

Not a single item featured above cost me more than $30.

Another key word in fancy dress for less: Borrow. Let’s zoom in on those Ah-mazing heels featured in the first photo of me:

These are not mine. These belong to my friend Amelia, who also dresses like a lady but has longer purse strings. Luckily she is also kind and generous, so I get to borrow these shoes.

There are some items though that just remain elusive, in spite of the aforementioned tactics. For example, I’ve yet to find a black, structured, ladylike bag that I can afford, even on sale. I love this bag and this bag, but even on sale they’re too much, and I have found nothing comparable in my price range.

This leads us to, last but not least, a handy little phrase: Save to Invest.

It might seem insane because you are so thrifty, but I promise that if you find something that you Love that is of Very High Quality, it can be worth it to pinch those pennies until you can afford it. Odds are good that if you properly care for such items, they will be with you Forever.

Case in point: When I ended up going to Paris on my way to study abroad in Spain, I couldn’t stop dreaming of Shoes. Shoes in Paris. So I made a point of including a Shoe Budget as I saved up for my trip. In the end I had about $300 to spend on shoes. Which yes, is totally F*ing bananas. But I may never go back to Paris, because I’m too busy paying off the student loans I took out to study abroad in the first place, so there I was living in the moment. And the end result?

These were not on sale, and they were not cheap. But I’ve had them for five years now, I’ve worn them a ton, and they look as great as the day that I bought them. They’re also the only stilettos I own, because they’re the most comfortable stilettos on the planet.

To sum up, think of your quest for affordable lady clothes as your own personal battleship: The SSBS. Save. Scour thrift stores. Borrow. Save to invest.
Class dismissed.

*Yes, it’s real, vintage rabbit fur. And I love it. A bunny may have been killed 60 years ago to make it, but I still love it.