Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Number Eighty

I've tried to refrain from divulging too much information about my undergarments and lingerie but I must express my frustration (I say that hesitantly) fantasy and humor about Number Eighty - Spanx.  Let's start with fantasy. What could make a woman more excited than a romantic evening with their significant other, a Hermes handbag, or a trip to Paris?  I'll tell you.  The fantasy that you could eat what you wanted and then put on a pair of underwear that hides all of your overindulgence's.  I believed in that fantasy like young children believe in Santa Claus.  I believed in it so much I actually went out and paid $54 for a pair of Spanx.  (Okay, they are "knock-off" Spanx, but the principle is the same.)  Here's where the fantasy goes to hell in a hand basket and the frustration sets in...Spanx (or their look alike) roll down when you sit down and all your dirty little secrets roll out (pun intended) and there you have the humor.  What else can you do but laugh?

I'm fairly certain that Spanx do work but you basically need a full body version.  (I actually think they make something that falls into that category.)  I'm pretty sure that putting that on would conjure up the memories and gyrations of laying down on the bed to fit into a pair of 29" 501 Levi's (don't act like you've never done that).  Those days are over for me.

Okay, I own and wear shape wear - when it's appropriate.  While I have not had luck with Spanx specifically, I won't give up on finding the perfect "foundational" undergarments that can help a body with a few imperfections and perfections (some people actually like a little butter on their toast).  If it's good enough for likes of Gwenyth Paltrow and Oprah and can be recommended by Nina, then I think I should find the right pair of Spanx for me.

Number Eighty - Spanx. Twenty-seven down, seventy-three to go.

P.S. - If you want to see something really funny about Spanx and Esther watch Wanda Sykes' latest stand-up on HBO.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Number Fifty-three - Amendment

I was driving along today and completely forgot why I chose to write about the man's white shirt.  I guess I was caught up in the whole, "What was I just doing?" idea.  Nonetheless, I was inspired to write about the man's white shirt because of a visit from some friends from Texas.  Their mother is the quintessential southern lady.  She is from Texas and in her early eighties.  I've only met her a few times, but it seems like on every occasion she is wearing a nice white shirt (I have no idea if it's a man's shirt but it looks like it is.) with her collar turned up and the sleeves rolled just a couple of turns.  She oozes class and I envy her every time I see her.

While I love the whole, "Why do I have a man's shirt on?" notion, I love more the idea of being simply classy. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Number Fifty-three

The man's white shirt.  Nothing, absolutely nothing is sexier to me than a man in a crisp white shirt (button down collar is most preferable).  A woman in a crisp white shirt is just about as sexy.  Ms. Garcia says this really needs to be a man's shirt or a really good version of a man's shirt made for women.  I think she makes an excellent point; however, I've never been lucky enough to find either.  If I wear a man's white shirt, it looks like I'm wearing a man's shirt.  There is nothing sexy or chic about it.  If I have a woman's white shirt, it looks like a woman's shirt.  But...I'm always on the search for a great white shirt.

Like the plain white t-shirt, I own several white shirts - they just aren't a man's white shirt.  I get the idea Nina is stressing.  She notes, "It quietly whispers morning after dressing which may or may not be the case."  I get that.  I get how great it is to look like you couldn't figure out what to wear so you grabbed your significant others classic shirt.  The problem for me personally is that when I do wear my husbands shirt, I give off the vibe of a slob rather than the uber chic, "I'm so cool." vibe.

Like other items in The One Hundred, I'm going to try and seek out the perfect man's white shirt because I think I can find the perfect shirt and have that, "What was I just doing?" or "I'm so chic I can wear a man's shirt." look.

Regardless of the look or ambiance you're trying to project, try and find a great white shirt and just as Nina says, try and stay to look of a man's shirt.  It's great with jeans, khakis, shorts, a denim skirt or with an evening gown.  (Nina reminded me of Sharon Stone at the Academy Awards with her husbands white shirt and a gown.)

Number Fifty-three - the Man's White Shirt.  Twenty-six down, seventy-four to go.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Number Twenty-five

Let me just say, that I've been obsessing over The One Hundred for the last two months and today it finally occurred to me that the majority of items are accessories rather than articles of clothing.  I don't know why it's taken me this long to figure this out and I don't know why I'm so surprised. The right accessories can make just about anything look new, trendy, or classic.

So, number twenty-five, the cuff [bracelet].  I must admit that at first I didn't get the need for the cuff.  Especially the $12,500 Verdura cuff Nina obsesses over.

Verdura Cuff

But, after looking through my jewelry box, I came upon a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that I had completely forgotten about.  Then I remembered why I purchased that cuff bracelet.  A girl I once worked with wore a wide, silver, monogrammed cuff everyday and I coveted it from a far.  Why I've never worn it is beyond me.  I think it's because it's bold and I always feel intimated by bold jewelry.  Nonetheless, I do own the cuff bracelet and since I've re-discovered it, I've actually worn it a time or two.  Perhaps I'll get it monogrammed and never take it off.

I don't really love Verdura which is a relief because I'll never be in a position to pay $12,000 for a piece of jewelry.  Okay, you caught me. I'm looking at fakes just to say I have one.  After all, Coco Chanel herself invented and wore costume jewelry; and was the inspiration for the Verdura cuff.

Number Twenty-five - The Cuff.  Twenty-five down, seventy-five to go.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Number Eighty-three

The striped sailor shirt, oui, oui!  You know the ones, the blue and white striped shirt with the bateau neckline.  I love them.  I've owned several.  Funny thing is, I don't think I've ever actually worn the one's I've purchased.  You see, the striped sailor shirt has horizontal stripes and no matter how hard I try to wear one, it seems I can never work up the nerve.  Oh, one more reason why I seem to never wear it - they shrink. But sweet Nina has given me HOPE!

Nina says, "The striped sailor shirt embodies French Chic, and completely disarms the old myth that horizontal stripes are not flattering."  (These shirts are part of the French Navy uniform.) With that one statement, I've decided to pursue the perfect striped sailor shirt.  I've researched all of Nina's suggested suppliers - Petit Bateau, LL Bean, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Armor Lux.  (Nina also suggests the Army/Navy store and it is on my list of things to do.)  I've yet to find the perfect striped sailor shirt, but fear not...I'm confident I will.  I have even gone so far as to have one store (the only store I could find online that sells the Armor Lux brand) call me when their summer supply is delivered.

I really do love these shirts and can't wait to own and actually wear one. (Nina says it's about confidence.  Thanks for the reminder!)  I fantasize about wearing white pants, the striped sailor shirt, and navy blue ballet flats this summer.  I'll let you know if my dream comes true.  (God I'm shallow!)

Number eighty-three - the striped sailor shirt. Twenty-four down (almost) and seventy-six to go.

Picasso in the striped sailor shirt

French actress Jean Seberg  - ooo la la!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Number Fifty

Ooooo...The LL Bean Tote Bag.  It's every preppy's dream tote bag.  I always, always, always wanted one and a few years ago I gave each of my girlfriends one for Christmas.  I didn't buy one for myself at the time, but I was so envious of my friends' gifts that I broke down around mid-January and purchased my own.   I only own one, but I think I'll purchase another.  (Who am I kidding, I'll be purchasing one as soon as I'm done writing this.)  It's summer and you can never have too many LL Bean totes.

Here are my rules for buying a tote. First, it must be from LL Bean and MUST be monogrammed.  If you have one that isn't monogrammed, it's worthless.  Second, you need to use it as a tote, not a handbag.  Even the smaller sizes are just too casual to be classified as a handbag.  Order the medium size or larger.  Third, pick a neutral color like navy, green or red for your first bag.  If you want a more exotic color, buy a second bag.  And last, but not least, please do not purchase the patterned totes.  I don't know why LL Bean chooses to make these, but they are not original and they are U-G-L-Y.

Nothing feels better than carrying my tote to music festivals full of books, warm clothes, and food.  It's the first thing I pack on a road trip because it holds all the things I can't travel without.  I also fold it up and pack it when I fly just in case I get a chance to go to the pool or a beach.  I absolutely love it and am so glad the tote is part of The One Hundred.

Number Fifty - The LL Bean Tote. Twenty-three down - seventy-seven to go.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Number Nine

The Blackberry...the original "smart phone" that revolutionized phones.  (In my opinion, previous phones were dumb - I'm serious.)  I'm going to take some liberties here and say that any "smart phone" would do.  (The One Hundred was published in 2008 and I would venture to guess that Ms. Garcia has a iPhone instead of a Blackberry these days.)

I agree completely that every stylish woman should have some sort of smart phone.  I have a T-Mobile Dash that is almost 2 years old and is considered a dinosaur.  Nonetheless, I can not live without it.  I literally get jittery if it's not in my sight.  I never go to bed without checking my phone and the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my phone.

Other things I do with my phone is exactly what Nina says - I check eBay and I get notices about items (yes, The One Hundred items) I'm bidding on or watching.  I also keep in contact with family and friends AND I get a great deal of work done which actually leaves me more time

In all seriousness, there are several items I will replace the second it no longer works and a smart phone is one of those items.  I love it and it makes my life easier.  Change your contract and embrace Number Nine - the Blackberry (or any smart phone). Twenty-two down - seventy-eight to go.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Number Eighty-six

My sister Charlene says to me, "I have a present for you in my car and I'm sure it's in The One Hundred."  Of course, I couldn't wait to see what she had.  I patiently ate my lunch and dessert and visited with my sisters all the while trying to contain my excitement over the pending gift.  Really, who doesn't like getting a gift.  Finally, we head out to the car and she pulls out number eighty-six, THE most beautiful trench coat - PINK trench coat.  I squealed like a little girl, "OH MY GOD, IT IS IN THE ONE HUNDRED AND IT'S PINK AND I DID NOT HAVE A TRENCH COAT!!!"

As you already know, I have several winter coats and I have a rain coat that closely resembles something the quintessential dirty old man would wear rather than a stylish woman but a proper, stylish, classic trench coat is not something that is in my repertoire.  The trench coat is something I planned to purchase in my obsession with The One Hundred and had I found the coat my sister gave me, I would have purchased it for myself in a nano-second. However, getting it as a gift makes a 100 times more special.

Nina points out that what a girl wears under the trench is not that important and I couldn't agree more although my plans for wearing the coat is really more utilitarian than well...well, that's for me to know and you NOT to find out.

Number eighty-six - The Trench Coat. Twenty-one down, seventy-nine to go.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Number Ninety-nine

Yoga gear.  Yes, I own yoga gear - cute yoga gear.  Here's the problem though, I don't do yoga.  I wear it to lounge around the house.  Thus the reason why I haven't posted for the last 2 days; I've been down with a killer back ache. If only I had actually gone to a yoga class, I probably wouldn't have hurt my back. But damn I look stylish lounging around the house with a bad back in my yoga gear.

I get why Nina says yoga gear is a necessary item for a stylish woman.  It is cute, comfortable, and you can actually make people think you do yoga when you wear it.  (My words, not Nina's.)  In all seriousness though, I like that I have nice yoga pants and tops.  It's so much better than sweat pants and a t-shirt.  Yoga wear is stylish, has a nice fit, and gives you a more put together look.

I do wish I actually wore my yoga clothes to class and perhaps someday I will - God knows I would actually look more stylish in the other One Hundred clothing items if I did but I don't.  Oh well and least I look cute lounging and shopping.

Number ninety-nine - yoga gear. Twenty down - eighty to go.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Number Sixty

There are a few shockers in The One Hundred and the Old Concert T-Shirt is most definitely one of them.  I think what shocked me is that is seems so...low-rent or Wal-Mart "ish".  In my neck of the woods, I see many old concert t-shirts and to me, they are stretched out, stained, and to be quite frank, tacky.

I do not own an old concert t-shirt.  I have owned concert t-shirts, and yes, there are couple I wish I still had just for the sake of prosperity but as a fashion item, I'm still on the fence.  Nina makes a great point that if you own a concert t-shirt, you should at the very least have the songs of the group or person on your iPod.  She also goes on to say that the best shirts are the ones you actually purchased at a concert.  Therein lies my dilemma.

I could scour vintage shops and thrift stores, but for some reason, I just can't get over buying a concert t-shirt when I wasn't actually there.  I would love to own a Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band concert t-shirt, but I want to actually go to the concert and buy the shirt.  I guess I could pull out my old ticket stubs and then look for a t-shirt from a concert I actually attended but now that I think about it, some of the concerts I attended shouldn't really fall in the concert category (i.e. Dan Fogelberg in Sun City, AZ - quit laughing, it was a great concert).

I'll think on the concert t-shirt item.  If I find one from a concert I attended, I'm all over it; but to buy one just to have one, I can't do.

Number sixty - The Old Concert T-shirt. Nineteen down - eighty-one to go.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Number Thirty-four


Seriously Nina - in this day and age? 

I don't care if it's fake or real.

I think it's wrong and quite honestly, I don't get it.  Do you?  I didn't think so.

Number thirty-four - Fur. Eighteen down - eighty-two to go.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Number Eighty-seven

The turquoise and coral necklace.  I have lived in the southwest my entire life and have seen artists use turquoise and coral in just about every way possible.  Seriously, I've seen NFL logos made out of turquoise.  I've also been blessed to see the creations of local artists who travel from office to office with trays of  turquoise jewelry that has been crafted in their homes.  While it has only been in the last two or three years that I've actually owned a turquoise or coral necklace, I have a great appreciation for it as a fashion item.

My husband is partially responsible for my recent desire to own turquoise.  He has over the past 20 years traveled all over the world with the mining industry.  He has seen first hand how destructive the semi-precious stone industry is (especially the diamond industry) and has also reported that, "Turquoise is more rare than diamonds."  In addition, he has purchased several beautiful turquoise pieces for me and encourages me to buy pieces myself. (What woman wouldn't love that as an excuse to buy jewelry?)  He loves it and I have learned to love wearing it.

My most recent purchase was a bamboo coral necklace in the most stunning red I've ever seen.  A young man came by my office one morning with a large tray of handcrafted jewelry.  I saw the necklace and dipped right into the mad money; it was a whole $35 and included matching earrings. While the necklace is stunning, it will never compare to the turquoise and coral jewelry I see in my community.  Furthermore, when it comes to stylish women wearing turquoise and coral, any elder Native American woman wins, hands down.  Their velvet skirts and blouses adorned with turquoise, silver and coral necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and brooches is simply beautiful.

I love my new found appreciation for bold jewelry - especially turquoise and coral.  I've realized it goes with everything from a nice dress to khakis and a t-shirt.  I also love that I get to purchase it from real artists in my community.

Number eighty-seven - The Turquoise or Coral Necklace.  You most definitely need to find the one for you.  Seventeen down - eighty-three to go.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Number Four

Aviators (i.e. pilot sunglasses).  Here's a confession, I am a sunglasses snob - that's Snob with a capital "S".  I've been wearing Ray-Ban and only Ray-Ban sunglasses since I could afford them.  (I'll define afford at a later date.)  I have not however, ever owned a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators (yes I know that other companies make Aviators, but that's not relevant).  I've really always wanted a pair, but they just never seemed to fit me - literally and figuratively.  By now, you know where this is going - me straight to the mall to find the perfect pair of Aviators.

Ray-Ban is the company that created the Aviator sunglasses for pilots in the Air Force.  In keeping with my purist ideals of brands of sunglasses one should own, I began seeking the perfect Ray-Ban Aviators.  I tried on ten different pairs, even switched over and tried on a pair of Ralph Lauren Aviators (what was I thinking?) and I still wasn't satisfied with the look or the feel.  Then, way in the back of the Ray-Ban tray, I saw a pair that somehow looked different.  The very young and very trendy salesgirl gave me a somewhat coy smile and gave me the glasses.  She said, "These are a little bit smaller than the original Aviators and they are polarized."  I was in heaven.

Polarized sunglasses are the equivalent of Valium - once you own a pair of polarized sunglasses, you'll never want to own plain old sunglasses.  So, once I overcame the cost of the perfect, polarized Ray-Ban, Aviators, I walked out of the mall a very happy woman.

Nina gives many examples of those who have made the Aviators famous and I say S-E-X-Y - Kate Hudson in Almost Famous, Tom Cruise AND Kelly McGillis in Top Gun.  That's exactly how Aviators make you feel - like a movie star. 

You do have to find the perfect pair and in my opinion, they must be Ray-Ban's. If you don't ever want to know the benefits or differences of polarized, don't ever even try a pair on.  One last thing, don't look at the price tag, just buy them.  (Reference Number Fifty-two - Mad Money) The Aviators are true classics.  I wear them everyday, know they will never be out of style, and know the quality is excellent.  Good choice Nina!

Number Four - Aviators.  Sixteen down - eighty-four to go.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Number Seventy-four

The safari jacket is one of the items in The One Hundred where I thought, "Whatever, not really necessary."  I spoke too soon.  Thanks to my student worker Vanessa, I had to re-think the safari jacket.  Vanessa is an absolute doll - both inside and out.  She had decided to give herself a make-over this winter and completely changed her hairstyle, started wearing contacts, and bought herself some new clothes.  When she came in for her "reveal"  she was wearing this great khaki jacket.  At first, I thought, "Wow, that's a cute jacket."  Then I thought, "That's a REALLY cute SAFARI jacket."  Of course, I became obsessed.

I asked her where she purchased the jacket and she said, "Ross, about a month ago."  "Damn." I thought - too late.  Cute items at places like Ross and TJ Maxx don't stay around long so I knew my chances were slim to none of ever owning that jacket.  I didn't give it much thought, because while I thought the jacket was super cute, it wasn't one of those things I just had to have.  Wrong again.  She keeps wearing it and every time, I become filled with envy. 

One day while I was shopping (by the way, according to Oprah I shop more than the average married couple has sex) I found Vanessa's safari jacket at Ross.  I couldn't believe it.  It's not exactly the same as the one she has (her jacket as epaulets and mine does not - damn it again!) but I love it!  I can't wait to wear it with a skirt, capri's or jeans.

Nina references Yves Saint Laurent as the designer who put the safari jacket on the map.  Apparently there is a photograph of the model Verushka wearing the jacket with a mini-skirt and hip-slung belt that was all the rage.  I can't find that particular photo, but here's a photo of what is called the saharienne along with a young Yves Saint Laurent. (Nina says call a safari jacket a saharienne if you want to be a fashion snob.)

Again I am pleasantly surprised by the suggestions of Nina Garcia and her One Hundred.  She is right about so many things and I'm so glad to add some of these items to my wardrobe.

Number seventy-four - The Safari Jacket. Fifteen down - eighty-five to go.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Number Sixteen

It's May 1st and today was my lucky day because I was able to wear my Camel Coat. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) Actually, I chose to wear my red wool coat instead of my camel coat because my camel coat is full length and that just seemed...well it just pissed me off to have to wear any winter coat on May 1st so I opted for my short wool coat.

Now that I'm done complaining and ranting, the Camel Coat really is a very necessary item for any stylish woman.  I do own one and I love it.  It's not real camel hair because I'm not a millionaire, but it is made of 100% wool and I bought it at Target for $11.98 three years ago - no joke.

You wouldn't really think that something like a Camel Coat could make you feel stylish, but it does.  As Ms. Garcia points out, you can wear it with jeans and feel dressed up.  But the real reason why I love it, it doesn't show dog hair as bad as a black coat - I'm serious. I would love to own a real camel hair coat and I'll keep my eye out for one - perhaps at a vintage store or end of the season sale but for now, my $11.98 Target coat works just fine for the sake of style.

The Camel Coat is one of several things in The One Hundred that is just so basic and simple.  Most people need a nice, warm coat for the winter so why not have the Camel Coat.  It fills a need while being stylish and affordable. Being stylish isn't always about buying something expensive.

Don't feel bad because my Camel Coat was shunned today; in the winter (May is NOT winter), I wear it often and feel fabulous.  Number sixteen - The Camel Coat. Fourteen down, eighty-six to go.