The Weekender: My Search for the Perfect Crossbody Under $50

The Weekender ATG FINAL

{Click image to enlarge.}


I don’t know about you, but I have “purse moods.” This means that I’m often rotating handbags depending on the day, the outfit, or time of year. Admittedly though, ever since I splurged on my beloved Madewell Tote as a birthday present to myself earlier this year, I’ve been using it religiously as my go-to bag during the week. It’s incredibly versatile, chic, sturdy, and holds everything I need to get through a busy workweek. The beauty of this tote is the more you use it, the better it looks. There’s just something eternally classic about worn leather. It was well worth the purchase. (I’m learning they don’t call the place “Madewell” for no reason!)

Random fact about me: I’m not a fan of using small handbags during the week. There’s something so comforting about knowing that I have any and everything I need for any and every situation. The caveat, I’ve learned, is that the larger the bag, the more stuff you somehow manage to add to it because you have the room for it!

It’s a slippery slope.

The weekends, however, are a different story. I HATE lugging around a big bag as I run my errands, find myself out and about exploring the city for a blog post, or heading to a late afternoon movie. I almost always ditch my tote, pare things down, keep it simple, and load up what I call, “The Weekender.”

The Weekender is my go-to Saturday and Sunday small crossbody handbag. It’s function: to keep things light and hands-free (stylish doesn’t hurt either).

Ideally, it should hold my weekend essentials: debit card/cash, phone, sunglasses, digital camera (mine is tiny) for high-quality blog pix, my Kindle (because I always carry a book with me), and Chapstick.

My current go-to weekender that I bought at Forever 21 about 4 years ago finally broke-up with me. (Realistically, anything that last more than 6 months from Forever 21 is impressive, so I realize 4 years for a $20 bag is a considered a lifetime…or 2.) I was pretty bummed at first and even entertained the idea of having it fixed, but I’m sure the cost to do so outweighs what I actually spent on it. Even better, it gives me an excuse to look for a new bag (what woman doesn’t like that!?!) and an idea for a blog post. Win, win.

My four main requirements for my search was that it had to be crossbody-style, a color that would go with anything, on the small-to-medium end in terms of size, and under $50.

So just in time for the weekend, let’s explore my hunt for the new weekender.

What’s your favorite? (I’m always open to suggestions if you have a weekender that’s just FAB! There’s only so many hours in a day and websites a gal can visit on her own.)

Have a great weekend! x

Sources/Links:
1.  //  2.  //  3.  //  4 . //  5.  //  6. //  7 . //  8.  //  9. 

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Best Dressed: The Top 5 Fashion Hits of the 2014 Emmy Awards

Emmys Best Dressed ATG FINAL


Admittedly, I didn’t watch the Emmys this past Monday night. It certainly didn’t help that my Facebook newsfeed went crazy as the winners were announced well before the west coast broadcast anyway. (Gotta love that 3-hour delay.)

I am somewhat proud to gloat that I did the right thing and went to yoga class as planned. (It’s much more likely I’d be closer to channeling some of the best bodies in Hollywood by working out rather than sitting on the couch watching them with takeout on my lap, right?)

I did, however, make it a point to keep an eye on the red carpet. So the next day over my morning latte, I went about the business of catching up on all things Emmy fashion.

Overall, I was rather underwhelmed during my “research.” I’m sure if someone had a camera on me as I sifted through hundreds of pictures – you’d have seen quite a few actual frowns.

There was a lot of white on our starlets this year, which is always a hard color to pull off, but a few ladies got it right. I also felt that some dresses might have looked fan-tab-ulous in person, but didn’t photograph well – something that I hope any decent stylist would keep in mind when working with a celeb. (Who cares if it’s cute, when it doesn’t work well on camera!?!)

In the past I’ve usually called out both my fashion hits and misses (read: why did you leave the house looking like that?) in posts such as these, but in the spirit of keeping things positive I’ll forgo the latter. I’m sure those poor ladies already got an earful from every media outlet in the world and I often wonder if those who clearly exude an “I don’t give a crap attitude” do it for the coverage. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity – even when you’re on the worst dressed list.

As usual, when thinking about my favorites of the night, I went for total package glamour. This meant not only a show-stopping gown, but impeccable hair, make-up, and accessories. There’s nothing worse than a gorgeous dress with terrible styling. These ladies nailed it…and clearly gave a crap.

Here are my top 5 picks of the night…

5. | Edie Falco in ESCADA
rs_634x1024-140825153422-634.Edie-Falco-Emmy-Awards.jl.082514

 4. | Sophia Vegara in ROBERTO CAVALLI
8d3f9f90-2cb4-11e4-80cc-ab228d134167_Sofia-Vergara-2014-Primetime-Emmy-Awards

3.  | Julia Roberts in ELIE SAAB
rs_634x1024-140825170449-634.Julia-Roberts-Emmy-Awards.ms.082514

 2. | Camila Alves in ZUHAIR MURAD2372cfa0-2cbf-11e4-94e0-cbf67bc3f18a_Camilla-Alves-2014-Primetime-Emmy-Awards

BEST DRESSED | Halle Berry in ELIE SAAB

d6716ef0-2cd2-11e4-90ec-29c9129bb37c_Halle-Berry-2014-Primetime-Emmy-Awards (1)(This woman is 48 YEARS OLD!?! She gets better and better. Nailed it!)


**Disclaimer: Since it’s obvious I wasn’t at this year’s ceremonies snapping high res photos, all photo sources are noted below:

Edie Falco
Sophia Vegara (slide #7)
Julia Roberts
Camila Alves (slide #13)
Halle Berry (slide #1)

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Oh, Let’s Romp

Romper ATG FINAL

{Click image to enlarge.}


Similar to my now not so secret affection for overalls, the return of the romper is making me quite giddy. Perhaps it’s because it channels the flair of a dress without the full commitment. And when you find the right fit, there’s an undeniable flirtiness while saluting pure comfort that I find particularly appealing. The no-effort-required attribute make it the perfect versatile piece. Grab a blazer and some wedges and you’re set  for a summer night out on the town with the girls. Throw on a pair of flip-flops and a jean jacket and you’re out the door to grab brunch or run weekend errands.

As I researched this post, I often asked myself what is age appropriate to rock the ever trendy romper. Ideally, they seem fitting for teens and twenty-somethings given how short the inseams typically are on the standard romper. I’m not in either category anymore, having just entered my 30s. And yet, I’m still a fan. Not that I’m close to being an old lady quite yet, but it prompted me to look into the styling on other women of all ages and body types. I came across more than enough inspiration, making it a non-issue thanks to a simple Google search.

Interestingly, what I noticed is that a change in fabric to something more structured (as opposed to a casual/flimsy material), and/or opting to experiment with a more covered bodice area (as opposed to a strapless or spaghetti strap style), makes the romper more than just something the youngin’s can enjoy. And while you can play a bit with the inseam to get something slightly longer if you really keep your eyes peeled, it seems they tend to run short more often than not. If you can’t get behind that, no worries – the romper’s cousin, the jumpsuit, is your friend.

The more I think about it, rompers really are a simple case of “Hey, if she’s got the confidence to pull it off, by all means Work. It. Out.”

Needless to say, I’ve been itching to join the romper family. The great news about LA, is that the near year-round warm weather make it a good investment. I think one of these options just might be hanging in my closet come payday. Though I love all of these featured interpretations of the romper, I’d personally opt for something you can comfortably wear a regular bra with (shout-out the heavier-chested ladies that need support!).

Until then, all eyes are on the romper as my current fashion obsession. So, indulge me…and let’s romp!

Sources/Links:
(Right to left)
1st row: 1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7.
2nd row: 1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7.
3rd row: 1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7.

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Highlights

Day70ATGFINAL

{Day 70: Sweet peaches. Hello summer!}

I can’t believe it’s already June, and another week gone by! Where does the time go? I can’t say that this week was too eventful and I’m happy for it. There’s been enough drama as of late. I’d say the highlights of my week came after hours. In particular, making the “crazy” decision to drive down the sunset strip in rush hour traffic to the Sundance Theater to celebrate their new $5 Tuesday movie screenings to see Jim Mickle’s new film, Cold in July. I really liked it. It went on a journey you wouldn’t quite expect. I can’t say I’ve seen too many films that do a good job of mixing thriller-like intensity, with humor (à la Don Johnson…who was fantastic by the way).

Aside from that, I made it a point to head home most nights after a long day, be a loner, and relax solo. I think one of the best things about living alone is getting in, making homemade pasta for dinner (or grabbing Chinese take-out on the way home), vegging on the couch, watching whatever I damn well please. I’ll admit, I have an affinity for watching cheesy movies (I found True Lies on HBO Go one night and had a blast reliving that one!). And sometimes a gal just needs a good Sex and the City fix to unwind after a draining day.

Though summer doesn’t officially join us for another 2 weeks according to the calendar, it’s pretty much here if you ask me. I’ve had the best time devouring sweet fruit (hello peaches!), wearing dresses, rockin’ sandals and bright lips, smiling often as I step out into the temperate LA sunshine. My favorite time of year has arrived and I can’t wait to start planning my summer. I’m especially looking forward to those lazy Saturdays on the beaches of Malibu – followed by a fruity cocktail in a watermelon shell at Paradise Cove. Once I’ve made the trek there in the very near future – I’ll know I’ll be in that summer state of mind. From there, it’s only a matter of time before those 100° plus days make their way and you’ll start hearing me complain about HOT it is…and how my electricity bill has doubled because I run my A/C non-stop.

As far as the weekend goes, I’m undoubtedly most excited to FINALLY start John Green’s The Fault in our Stars. I’ve been on the waiting list for months at the library to download a copy on my Kindle. Though I hear it’s a tough read, it’s supposed to be pretty spectacular.

I made it to the final month of the 100 Happy Days Challenge – 26 more days to go…a  few of my favorite moments posted.

Have a great weekend. xx

Day73ATFINAL

{Day 73: It’s summer. New sandals required. Especially, when on massive clearance!}

Day68ATGFINAL

{Day 68: Yeah, I’m pretty giddy about this. One week until Channing and I get to spend some quality time together. 🙂 }

Day71ATGFINAL

{Day 71: “Cold in July,” in June.}

Day69ATGFINAL

{Day 69: A mini cupcake surprise from my BF. (I’m noticing a pattern of me holding food…hmmm).}


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Anatomy of a Do: The Overall Comeback

overallsATGFINAL-v2fixed

{photo source: Viva Luxury}

I might lose cool points for this (depending on the person), but there’s nothing that I’m more excited about on the fashion-front than the return of overalls. Yes, you read that right. Overalls.

I practically lived in these during my late teens, and let’s just say we were well into the new millennium by that point to give you a frame of reference, likely making me one of the last people in LA, possibly the entire state of California (that wasn’t a farmer), to officially let them go. I remember proudly rockin’ overalls to my classes in film school, thinking I’d be extra “hip” and don a slightly off-centered baseball cap for added “style.” (Ah, the things we do when we’re young, broke, and trying to find our way in college.)

Admittedly, after many moves since those collegiate years, and multiple closet purges, I could never quite bring myself to throw them out and said overalls are STILL hanging in my closet (albeit deep in the back) as I write this.

Suffice to say, I have a lingering fondness for overalls, though I haven’t personally worn them in over 10 years now. My boyfriend has laughed at me more than once when I’ve mentioned that I’m thinking about buying a new pair and rekindling my secret love affair with that illustrious one-piece denim suit with the built-in denim-clad suspenders.

And I’ve found the perfect styling inspiration from Annabelle over at Viva Luxury on the right way to rock the return of overalls…and keep it 2014 appropriate.

What immediately makes this look very modern and fresh is that Annabelle chose a fitted pair of overalls in a dark wash, with just the right amount of distressing at the hip (as opposed to a baggy fit in a stone wash, channeling 1995).  She keeps that momentum all the way through via the rolled pant legs, which produces a more relaxed feel – and highlights those amazing metallic Armani ankle strap heels, playfully contradicting the overall casualness of the ensemble by including a touch of polished high fashion.

When accessorizing, nothing screams “on-trend” at the moment so much as chunky statement jewelry and the dynamic layering of bracelets built of different styles and textures. Further, so as to not compete with our focal piece, Guess’ Classic Denim Overalls, she opts to carry a light clutch over a large satchel or cross-body to impeccably bring the look together.

What I adore about the styling here is the contrast of ultra glam against super casual, showcasing a creative approach for a piece that many might consider a trend best left in the last millennium. I can certainly see the argument for those in favor of and against its return. Overalls aren’t necessarily an easy thing to pull off. Despite how comfortable they can be, there’s a limit to how and where a gal might be able to wear them particularly, over the age of 10. However, I think Annabelle found the best inspiration I’ve seen yet. I think I might have to take the plunge and grab a pair before the window closes and overalls are, yet again, a thing of the past.

This is the anatomy of a do… and it’s the overall comeback.


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Journey of a Dress: From Princess to Fashion Legend

DVF Header

What: Journey of a Dress

$: Free

Where: Wilshire May Company Building

Location: 6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile

 


D.V.F. 

You know someone has made their mark in the world when you refer to them with just three single letters. Without question, Diane von Furstenberg, is and will leave this world, a fashion legend.

Once, a real life princess in the early 70s wanted to be more than just someone’s glamorous wife and decided to start a fashion career shortly after marrying a real life prince. Unlike most fairy-tales filled with princes and princesses, theirs wasn’t a happy ending. Luckily, this isn’t the end of her story. In fact, it was just the beginning.

DVF ATG

{DVF, 1972.}

DVF’s claim to fame came in 1974 when creatively taking an everyday piece of clothing, the woman’s dress, and revamping its design to harmonize with the changing of times for the then modern-day female.

It was the wrap dress. A cotton jersey knit, drip-dry dress that typically hit just above the knee, conveniently wrapped in front and tied ever-so-chicly at the waist. It came in vibrant colors and eclectic patterns. It signified independence, playfulness, sophistication, confidence, and sexual liberation – while catering to practicality, comfort, and femininity.

Wear a dress logo final

{The tag that started it all.}

Women no longer needed their significant others to help them in or out of dresses that had tricky buttons or hard to reach zippers down the back. They could easily dress (or undress) themselves in no time at all. DVF’s ever popular design worn by millions, could easily take a woman from the rigors of the boardroom to a night out on the town. In effect, the 1st generation wrap dress revolutionized fashion and womanhood during the frenetic energy that was the 1970s.

And it turns 40 in 2014.

DVF thew it a big 40th birthday bash and invited us all to the party.

Thus, the phenomenal exhibition, Journey of a Dress.

ext. may co

{Exterior – Wilshire May Company Building, today.}

Just adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), resides the historic May Company Building on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax Boulevard. Once home to one of the finest department stores on the legendary Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, the Art Deco inspired building is now an LA landmark due to its streamline moderne architectural design. The building itself is nostalgic to fine retail, high fashion, conservation, and permanence in Los Angeles culture. Most appropriately, it’s the site for our “Journey of a Dress.”

Collage Exterior

{Exterior – Wilshire May Company Building, today.}

The moment you walk into the space, you realize very quickly that the theme and intention of the exhibition is to remain true to the spirit of her iconic wrap dresses. The ambience is fun, feminine, and vibrant.

The first gallery pulsates with upbeat music, bright pink walls, neon writing, and her famous signature chain link dress print creatively used as treatment on the floor. Picture after picture of Ms. DVF herself and the impact of her dress across fashion, film, politics, and the everyday woman is showcased in a visually enthralling timeline format.

interior gallery

{Timeline gallery.}

As you take in the large photos of everyone from Cybill Sheperd in Taxi Driver in 1976, to Michelle Obama on current political business, each donning the wrap dress as they move through their endeavors, you grasp the lingering impact of what really is just a simple idea. From Studio 54 to the White House, the wrap dress, which epitomized versatility in design, was and is versatility itself. And though it’s turning 40, the age where women might start to feel less than youthful, the wrap dress is proving to be otherwise. It’s proving to be timeless.

Wrap-Dress Gallery #1

{Madonna, Michelle Obama, Penelope Cruz among others to rock the iconic wrap-dress.}

Suddenly, you’re in the next gallery. The music a touch louder, the floors (and now walls) all covered in DVF’s vibrant signature dress prints.

And then, there they are – hundreds of mannequins inside a large spacious showroom, decked in all things DVF over her incredible career. Vintage wrap dresses, contemporary wrap dresses, special collection/anniversary items, and jumpsuits surround you, treating your eyes to a fashion feast and the ultimate closet.

Mannequins Final

{Wrap dress gallery, first display.}

5 Favorite Looks

{Five of my favorite looks from the collection.}

Of course, it’s not over yet. The exhibition also makes it a point to take a moment to reflect on the woman herself in a section just off the main galleries that is more calm, intimate, and modern in atmosphere. The final gallery finds you enveloped around stark white walls filled with portraits, where legends of the art world take center stage: paintings of DVF by Andy Warhol, photographs of our heroine by Peter Lindbergh and Annie Leibovitz to name a few. There’s such a sense of history to the work that graces the walls in various forms of artistic expression and it’s quite fascinating to see how each artist captures the spirit of the exact same woman in different phases of her life.

andy warhol dvf

{Andy Warhol, Diane von Furstenberg, 1974.}

While the exhibition celebrates the “Journey of a Dress,” it’s really also a salute to a woman who somehow managed to one-up herself. What might have been thought to be the end of the fairy tale once the princess leaves her prince, turns into a testament of how the (now former) princess did even better. She built an empire estimated at $1.2 billion, eventually found a new prince, and re-wrote her fairy tale.

It’s quite inspiring to see, experience, and celebrate DVF’s achievements up-close and personal through the Journey of a Dress exhibition. And though the perks were likely nice, it’s also beyond inspiring to see what a strong-willed, confident, and creative woman can do when she’s no longer a just a princess, but a woman with a vision. It’s almost as if the show is really about the “Journey of an Icon.”

The exhibition runs until May 1st.

It’s art. It’s fashion. It’s vibrant, feminine, inspiring, refreshing, and just plain fun.

It’s one hell of a party. Make sure you RSVP.


Wrap Dress Showroom


showroom2

showroom1

showroom3

sowroom4

showroom5

showroom7

showroom6

showroom8


The DVF Art Salon


 

Art Salon Gallery

{Interior. DVF art salon.}

dvfandy1973

{Andy Warhol, Diane von Furstenberg, 1973.}

ashonlinen

{Zhang Huan, Diane, 2011.}

DVFBarry

{Annie Leibovitz, Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, ca. 1990.}

DVF2005

{Peter Lindbergh, Diane, 2009.}


Signing Off


Blend me and book

{Signing off, but not before signing the guest book. Good times!}


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Dressed.

1-1-Collages

{Click image to enlarge.}

It’s on record that I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to embracing dresses. I fondly recall wearing them as a six-year-old, but as I moved toward adolescence – I stopped wearing them pretty much altogether unless it was for a very rare special occasion. I went through a lengthy period where I just felt more comfortable in jeans (read: covering my legs). In fact, it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I actually even started buying dresses again. (If I met me 10 years ago, I wouldn’t even know me!)

However, as I’ve gotten old older, I find myself accepting my femininity much more than I ever have. I’m not at all saying that being in a dress over a pair of jeans epitomizes femininity by any means, because it doesn’t; but because of my resistance to them – I’m attributing this recent development to finally giving in to the fact that I’m becoming more comfortable in my own skin.

I still don’t own as many dresses as a typical woman might at my age, but as I’ve hit a recent new chapter in my life, I’ve felt a sudden shift in my relationship to them. I appreciate the different shapes of a dress, the movement, the ease; and yes, even the new-found comfort that I get in exchange. While part of me will always be a jeans girl at heart, it’s nice to not have the waistband digging into your stomach (because you’ve had one cupcake too many) or experience the constraint that you just deal with while wearing a pair of cute skinnies in the name of fashion! Even better, I’ve come to love how a simple change in styling/accessorizing can take a dress from weekend casual to office chic (by easily adding a blazer). There’s an incredible versatility when you have a good dress in your closet.

And thus, I’ve been coveting a new dress (showing my legs and all) lately. Go figure!

In an ideal world, they’d all be in my closet ready to greet the sun and celebrate the warm days ahead. In reality, a post dedicated to getting “dressed” will simply have to do. Here are 15 of my absolute favorites, at a variety of price points – because let’s be real – who in the world can actually afford a $400 dress most of the time (and I hate when bloggers only showcase high-end designers).

Perhaps a splurge on at least one is in order in the very near future. From Forever 21 to Shopbop….here’s to getting dressed. xx

Sources/Links

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. | 9. | 10. | 11. | 12. | 13.14. | 15.