February 26, 2010

WTF Friday: Mariah Carey & Lily Allen

Happy Friday everyone! Up for WTF'dom today are Mariah Carey and Lily Allen. Both of these lovely ladies have made notoriously heinous outfit choices in the past and what do scholars say, hmmm?! Yes, the past typically predicts the future. Case and point below...

Um, Mariah...did you raid the dress rack from a 1984 quinceanera? This dress is just fugtastic...and doesn't do a damn thing for her curves. Ack. Plus the color washes her out and that is too much boobage - even for Mariah. One pop and lock and she would give Janet Jackson (circa Superbowl 2004 wardrobe malfunction) a run for her money. Mariah - pretty please hire a stylist.

And then there is Morticia Adams, oh wait, I mean Lily Allen. I get that she's trying to be edgy and dark but this is just laughable. It looks like lovely Lily snagged some hefty bags, found a breastplate from the 1700s and mashed them all together. ACK.

What do you think lovelies, are these not some tragic WTFs?

February 25, 2010

Cubicle to Cocktails: Major Love for Ann Taylor

Hi all! Today's edition of Cubicle to Cocktails features one of my newest dress obsessions - this one is currently available at Ann Taylor - the Knit Jersey Drape Neck Dress. The dress retails for $98 and it looks suuuper versatile. Chloe, from The Chloe Conspiracy, models it so well here!

I think this dress would work very well in a variety of office setting and cocktail situations alike. While knit jersey isn't every chic's best friend, I'm guessing that this particular cut would work well with a variety of body types/shapes. Part of me thinks that the work look is a bit too patriotic for my tastes, but hey, I gave it a go. As for the cocktail look, this dress would look fantastic with some colorful sandals  -the ones below are mighty colorful, and I dig it.

Oh, and through February 28, Ann Taylor is offering 30% off of all online purchases $100+ with the code SHOP30. Happy shopping!

What do you think of today's edition?

Ann Taylor at ShopStyle

February 24, 2010

Cheap Thrills - The Exhausted Edition

Happy Wednesday everyone! Well, my big event went off without a major hitch yesterday and I'm quite pleased that it's over. I am, and probably will be, exhausted for the next few days...bear with me!

Now on to cheap thrills...today's edition of my own cheap thrills is exhaustion. And here we go...

  • Big, fluffy pillows - especially down feather pillows. Come.To.Mama.
  • Correctly identifying the Wheel of Fortune puzzle before the contestants do (ok, not exhaustion related, but it's a great cheap thrill)
  • Grippy socks
  • Sweatpants...yes, sweatpants in general (bonus points if you can rock them all day)
  • Sleeping in...'nuff said
And a quick Polyvore set of cheap thrills...enjoy!

February 22, 2010

Product Review: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nailpolish, Lively Lilac, B+

Hi all! I hope every one of you had a great weekend!

Up for review today is Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Nail Color in Lively Lilac. I can't find a stock photo of this lovely lilac shade, so all I can offer is my own photo. This is three days post-application...so take it for what that's worth.

If you haven't tried Sally Hansen's nail polish, I suggest it. They offer a wide range of colors that frequently change with the seasons and they are fairly affordable. The polishes retail for roughly $4.99 at your local CVS/drugstore. And my review details...

The Good: As mentioned, this is a fairly well created polish line that offers a variety of colors and stays put. Granted, you will get some chipping, but for a drugstore brand it's not too bad. Load up on an extra dose of topcoat, and you'll be in pretty good shape.

The Bad: The brush takes some getting used to - it pulls out a ton of polish and you really have to watch it before you apply to your nails. Also, the brush is much fatter than OPI or Essie, as it's designed to cover your entire nail with one swipe. Not the worst thing in the world, but it definitely took some getting used to.

The Verdict: B+, this is a pretty decent polish for the price. I give it a "+" because I like their array of colors - especially the new-ish, Lively Lilac. I've been seeking a pale purple for some time now and I wasn't a huge fan of Essie's grayish Lilacism. This color is warmer and has a very (and I mean very) subtle sheen to it. It's a really nice spring-y shade.

What do you think? Are you a fan of lilac polish?

February 20, 2010

Reader Request: How Does Coley Shop?

Happy weekend everyone! I recently received a very simple, yet very important question from a CCC reader/follower. She wanted to know how I shop and how I prioritize my purchases especially give the mass amount of options both online and in-store. Great question, as I battle with purchase priorities all zee time.

Well, here's how I roll...I make a list, first and foremost. Since acquiring my iPhone, I keep a note with all the items on my "wish list". This wish list often changes with the needs, seasons and trends. Here are my shopping suggestions to ensure that your wardrobe stays fresh and up to date, without spending a fortune on frivolous, way-too-trendy items.

1) Make a "Wish List"  - Compose a list of items that you are craving, don't forget accessories. I take inspiration from anywhere and everywhere - TV shows, other blogs/bloggers, magazines, etc.

2) Evaluate - Now, go back and evaluate those items. Gigi, from Gigi's Gone Shopping, has a great rule - The Three Outfit Rule. She makes sure that each piece can be worn at least three ways (or with three different ensembles) before purchasing. I completely agree with this. Make sure that most, if not all, of the items on your wish list have "mileage".

3) Eliminate - The Three Outfit Rule will help you eliminate unnecessary or way too trendy pieces.

4) Closet Check - Take the list and periodically evaluate your closet for duplication.

5) Shop - Use your list while shopping, this will help you stay on track.

6) Befriend a Tailor - Make sure the items you buy fit well and accentuate your shape. There is nothing worse than buying a great jacket and never wearing it because it doesn't fit you in the waist, or there are gaps between the buttons. Tailor in as needed - very few items fit perfect off the rack. I've found that all of my tailored pieces are my go-to items as they make me look my best! Invest in tailoring - it will pay off in dividends.

This system may seem overly simplified, but it helps me stay on track both financially and also ensures that each season has representation in my closet. AND, it helps curb the random, impulse purchases from making their way into my closet. (Husband cheers and pumps fist in jubilation)

One other quick item - I do quite a bit of shopping online. It's a bit more risky, so you really have to a) know your measurements (buy a cloth tape measure), b) make friends with customer service and c) learn the return policy.

Hope this helps! Happy shopping!

Any shopping strategies you would like to share?

February 19, 2010

WTF Friday: AnnaLynne McCord & Kim Kardashian

Happy freakin' Friday! As I mentioned in my posts this week, it has really been a long one for me! So glad the week is ovaaaaaa!

And how about a dub-tee-eff....

First up is AnnaLynne McCord - a repeat WTF offender!

Photo credit: Landov

Oh AnnaLynne. Girlfiend often looks like she's wearing a costume! WTF - Halloween only comes once per year. Miss K offered up another one of AnnaLynne's WTF outfit choices here. Seriously, I'm so confused. In the photo above, she looks a hot mess - a cross between a flamenco dancer and Malibu Barbie, circa 1996. AnnaLynne, sweetie, please hire a new stylist, preferably one with taste - you are way too purty to dress this way.

Photo credit: Jerritt Clark/WireImage

And then we have the gorgeous Kim Kardashian. Kim looks great about 90% of the time, the other 10% she looks a bit...well...odd. Like above. Ohhkay, Kim, we get it, this is your new line for Bebe, but a plasticky bustier over a stretch dress is fug - even on you. And WTF is with the gloves?! And the hood?! Not cute, at all. Walk, no...RUN...to the nearest shopping mall and return this unfortunate ensemble. You can do so much better.

Hope everyone had a great week! Any WTFs out there?

February 18, 2010

Cubicle to Cocktails: Surely Sheerly

Hi all!

I think Cubicle to Cocktails might be my most interesting, yet challenging, post during the week. Why, you ask? Well, finding clothing that is a) work appropriate, b) stylish, c) affordable and d) versatile, can be quite difficult. I try to pick items that many of may have in your closet and try (emphasis here) to use them in new ways. Aka - I really do put thought into these looks!

I think many of you may have some type of sheer tie/bow top somewhere in your closet. I like this one from ASOS because the bow can be tied in many ways. For the work look, I kept it pretty conservative, i.e. banker friendly (I use banker b/c Charlotte has oh-so-many financial institutions), but for the cocktails look, I would prefer the shirt untucked and untied - a la Aerosmith style. That is, minus the crazy scarf around a microphone. By loosening up the shirt (literally), I find the look much more casual and boho chic. Throw on a bright, beaded bib necklace (hello alliteration) and you are hot to trot.

Do you like the versatility of these pieces?

Is the work look too timid for you or just right for your office?

Asos at ShopStyle

February 17, 2010

Cheap Thrills...And a Nod to the Olympics!

Happy Wednesday everyone! I have to halfway apologize, my posts aren't really going to be up to snuff for the next week or so. As many of you know, I do work a full-time job and it's really crazy right now! So, thanks for understanding. :)

A few of my favorite cheap thrills...this week my cheap thrills are themed in Winter Olympics!

  • Figure skating...especially pairs! The Chinese pairs KILLED IT. Yes, multiple pairs, the two pairs teams from China took home the gold and silver on Monday night.
  • The Opening Ceremonies, sadly this year was kinda lame-o.
  • The accents. In general, I just love an accent. I giggle inappropriately when I hear the Russians (especially the males), as I immediately think of the villain in Die Hard. Inappropriate - maybe.
  • The ladies skaters' costumes. Who doesn't love a sequin, a rhinestone, sheer netting AND feathers all in one?! Go go gadget Bob Mackie. BTW - did he ever design a skater's costume? He totally
  • Quad jumps...'nuff said.
And here's my little set of cheap thrills. Enjoy!

Cheap Thrills - Every Item $25 or Less

Items in this set:

February 16, 2010

PSA: Laura Mercier at HauteLook

Hey everyone! Just a quick PSA - Laura Mercier is available at Hautelook! Super discounted prices...they have some really great eye and lip palettes in addition to a ton of other goodies. I would act fast if your hoping to snag some goodies! Also, HauteLook is giving away a deluxe sample of LM's tinted moisturizer with every order...and that stuff is fabulous. Happy Shopping!

If you need an invite to HauteLook, click here!

February 15, 2010

Product Review: N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Loose Powder, A

Hi everyone!

Hope you all enjoyed a great weekend...I'm still recovering from a very fun weekend in NYC!

In honor of New York, I wanted to review N.Y.C.'s Smooth Skin Face Powder.

I'll get right to my review...FYI-I purchased this powder in Translucent.

The Good: This powder goes on smooth and gives a great finish...oh, and it's only $2.99! It is perfect for setting your foundation/concealer/moisturizer and definitely holds up well to reduce shine.

The Bad: Not too much bad here....if possible, I'd like longer anti-shine coverage. Oh. An te included powder pad is horrible.

The Verdict: A all the way. This powder does the job on the cheap. I'll definitely be re-stocking at my local Tar-jay very soon! Just make sure to snag yourself a fluffy powder brush.

Are you a fan of any N.Y.C. products?!

February 12, 2010

WTF Friday - Gaga-licious

Happy Friday! T.G.I.F...and I am not referring to Family Matters & Step by Step.

Up for today's WTF is Lady Gaga. Now, before all you little monsters start defending her, let me just say a couple things. I think Lady Gaga is verrry talented. She is also really out there, so in essence, there are many times when I say WTF?! when I see a photo of her wearing something odd - it's expected.

That being said, there weren't too many heinous celebrity ensembles this week. I think celebs are better dressed b/c of NY Fashion Week - seriously, just about everyone looked sharp and put together.

So, without further adieu, here is Gaga at the amfAR & MAC Cosmetics gala in NY.

Photo credit: Andrew H. Walker/Larry Busacca/Getty via JustJared.buzznet.com

ohhhhkday Gaga. We get it. You're edgy and different and random. But pearls on your face and body? WTF? I would NOT be able to keep my hands away from my face. I wonder how many fell off her face and someone ended up tripping on them - a la Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory...

But I digress...Gaga is nutty, I have come to expect that. And day-um...she must have been cold in New York - I bet she blended right in with the snow!

And one more WTF to share...oh John Mayer...

Um, John Mayer's interview in Playboy. Besides being arrogant, ignorant and insensitive, he sadly uses the "n" word in his interview. Oh, and he just sounds like a complete doucher. Here's a few short excerpts of the other WTF pieces of his interview:

"Someone asked me the other day, 'What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?' And by the way, it's sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a n***** pass,'" he said, then added: "But I said, 'I can't really have a hood pass. I've never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, 'We're full.'"

And yeah...he describes Jessica Simpson as "sexual nepalm" and says Jennifer Anniston "wishes it were still 1998". Major publicist FAIL.

John, you're a talented musician, but please do not open your mouth unless you are going to sing. Don't you remember your song, "My Stupid Mouth"? May want to look into that...moron.

Any WTFs to report?

On a more serious note, rest in peace Lee McQueen. I'm sure many of you heard that the legendary founder and designer of Alexander McQueen (Lee) was found deceased in his apartment just yesterday. Very, very sad. The man was such an innovative designer and always created the most incredible looks.

February 11, 2010

Cubicle to Cocktails: Featuring J. Crew's Neopolitan Pencil Skirt

Hi everyone!

Today's edition of Cubicle to Cocktails features J.Crack's new Neopolitan Pencil Skirt. I saw this skirt in store and I really liked it for spring. The color mixture is just bright enough for spring/summer, but can also be winterized with some dark tights.

Clearly this skirt was maaade for work. It's completely office appropriate - just make sure the length flatters your body. As Tim Gunn would say, right above the knee or right below - don't mess with the in-between. I personally enjoy my pencil skirts hitting just above the knee, but it's up to you! A quick tailoring makes all the difference.

So, utilizing this skirt, or a similarly patterned pencil skirt in your collection, I warmed it up for the office with a nice neutral turtleneck and lightweight cardi. For the drinkity drinks, I really like this flowy silk, strapless tanked and would tuck it into the skirt and belt it up. The crackled copper shoes may be a bit much for some office settings, but I love a little shine at the feet. Plus, this copper is surprisingly neutral and can work with a variety of color palettes.

So, what do you think of today's Cubicle to Cocktails? Have you tried J.Crew's Neopolitan pencil skirt?

February 10, 2010

Cheap Thrills!

Hi all...alrighty....Cheap Thrills Wednesday comin' atcha...

Some of my favorite Cheap Thrills - today's theme is salt...yes, salt...

  • Auntie Anne's soft pretzels yummmm
  • Sea salt scrub....even the cheapie stuff is fabulous
  • Salt water taffy...too bad I can't eat it anymore, it would literally pull out my fillings
  • Salted caramel brownies...there is an incredible bakery in Charlotte - Amelie's - that sells these...there aren't enough superlatives to describe this treat
As for other cheap thrills - enjoy the set below!

Any cheap thrills to add?

February 9, 2010

Hi all!

Just wanted to send out a big "thank you" to all of you who visited, voted and/or commented today! I sincerely appreciate all of your feedback!

The poll shows an approximate 70-30 split in favor of Outfit B. I'm leaning heavily towards that option myself, but I will keep an eye out for the rough weather coming to NYC during the coming days. Regardless, I will post a real life photo of my chosen ensemble on Saturday evening before I head out for the night!

Thanks again to all-your commentary and feedback made my day!

Location:The Results Are In - Thanks For Voting!

Dress Me Please!

Hi all! Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday!

I am heading to NYC this weekend to celebrate my future sister-in-law's shower and bachelorette party! So, I've been plotting my outfit for Saturday evening. On the agenda - dinner at a Tapas restaurant, bar/karaoke/drinks and maybe some dancing.

So, which outfit below do you like better, A or B? This is the first time I'm implementing a poll, so please vote below if you don't mind!

Also, if you're thinkin' something different for me, please recommend. Thanks all - happy voting! :)

February 8, 2010

Product Review: Milani Luminous Blush, A-

Hi everyone! Today's post will be a quickie, as I'm posting from my iPhone...

Milani makes a pretty nice line of drugstore makeup AND they make a great blush that is a pretty good ringer for NARS' Orgasm blush. If you're not familiar with NARS Orgasm, you can check it out at Sephora. It's a gorgeous, peachy-pink shade with a golden shimmer. It looks great on 90% of people...

Problem is, NARS blush is price-ay, as in $26 for .16 ounces. Therefore, I went on a drugstore quest to find a nice substitute, and I found 'er!

Milani's blush in the "Luminous" shade is a really decent substitute.

It's a similar peachy-pink shade with a hint of golden shimmer. Oh, and it's only $6.50 for .1550 ounces. Nice.

Overall, this product gets an A-for me. It's a nice, neutral shade blush with a hint of shimmer. My only wishes are that it lasted longer and was a bit more pigmented. But, for $6.50, it's a great substitute for NARS famous orgasm blush.

Have you ever tried Milani's products? How about NARS famous blush?

February 5, 2010

WTF Friday: Attack of the Killer Fabric

Happy Friday everyone! WTF Friday is in full force! And here we go...

Oh Ciara...girlfriend...I know that fur vests are "in", but this maribou jacket is engulfing you. Attack of the maribou jacket!!! Not only does it make her upper half look insanely large (and this chica is teeny tiny), but it looks like the fattest, furriest cat just imploded on her shoulders. YIKES. Repita - burn.this.jacket.now.

And RiRi. WTF. Her grammy dress was a stunner, but this frock looks like an art project gone awry. I know Rihanna likes to push the envelope, but this look does nothing for her It's like she's riding the biggest chiffon wave I've ever seen.

Any WTFs you've spied this week?

February 4, 2010

Cubicle to Cocktails: Deconstructed Suits!

Hi all! This has seriously been a long week, hasn't it?

Up today is the Thursday Special - Cubicle to Cocktails! Today's edition features a plain black skirt suit - for all of you corporate chicas out there, I guarantee that you have one in your closet. It's plain, it's boring, it's basic - it's a suit.

SO, to take your look to cocktail hour see the look below. What's great about a well-fitting suit it that, clearly, you can deconstruct it and use each piece on its own. I broke down this basic beauty and paired the plain black jacket with a trendy lace mini. Justine who writes a lovely blog, Fetching Fashions, blogged about this little wonder just a week ago.

AND...much to my husband's chagrin, I picked one up at F21 - it really is super versatile and a great piece overall! It's definitely on the trendy side, but for $25, I'll get my wear out of it in no time. Very french....or Carrie Bradshaw...whatever.

So, what do you think of today's Cubicle to Cocktails?

Cubicle to Cocktails: Deconstructed Suit!

Items in this set:

February 3, 2010

Cheap Thrills - Do you smell what I'm cookin'?

Hi all! We're halfway through the week - hooray! Hope everyone is having a good one.

So, I wanted to theme today's Cheap Thrills with smells...I know, sounds weird, but as Jimmy John's says, "Smells are free!"

Here are my favorite cheap thrills - scented edition!
  • Chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven...holy YUM
  • Freshly baked french bread
  • Sauteed garlic
  • Irish spring soap...I've always liked that scent

By the way...I plan on adding more items to Coley's Closet Clearance within the next day or two and will be heavily discounting the items available now!

And, surrrriously someone needs to purchase the red Bebe dress, it really is so stunning in person.
And now on to the feature of the day - enjoy!

Cheap Thrills - Each Item Less Than $25

Items in this set:

February 2, 2010

Grabbin' Grammy Style

Hi all! As promised, here are a few of my favorite dresses from this weekend's Grammy awards. I found a few inspired dresses...let me know what you think!

Lea Michele in Romona Keveza

And the inspirations:

Arden B at ShopStyle

Haven Girl at ShopStyle

Fergie in Emilio Pucci...

And the inspirations...

Maggy London at ShopStyle

Victoria's Secret at ShopStyle

Heidi Klum in ???

And the inspirations...

Free People at ShopStyle

French Connection at ShopStyle

Miley Cyrus in Herve Leger by Max Azria

And the inspiration...

Asos at ShopStyle

Olivia Munn in Tadashi...

And a close inspiration...

Rachel Pally at ShopStyle

So those are just a few inspirations from this year's Grammy awards! I was also a huge fan of Rihanna's look, but honestly, it's tough to find an everday inspiration of her dress!

My favorite dress is actually Lea Michele's - I love the color and the cut.

What's your favorite?

February 1, 2010

Product Review: Garnier Nutrisse Wonder Waves Wave-Enhancing Spray, B

Hi everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Up for review today is Garnier Nutrisse's Wonder Waves Spray. This spray is supposed to...

"...enhance and shapes your natural waves, creating a soft, tousled look. Lightweight formula provides smooth definition, shine and frizz control. Can be used anytime, anywhere to revive the shape of your waves."

I gave it a try last week with my newly shorn locks. FYI - I cut off 5 inches of hair on Friday evening...so I'm trying out different styling techniques and products. So, here's the skinny...

The Good: For $3.99, this wave spray pretty much does what it claims. It helps to create tousled waves and adds body to your hair. I can't speak for those who have pin straight hair, but it definitely did the job on my wavy locks. It also adds body, smells great and lasts for hours.

The Bad: No one likes a crunchy head - especially me. While I really dig the results, I did experience a few "crunchy curls" around my head. The reduce the tad bit of crunchiness, I recommend spraying the product into your hands and distributing throughout your hair, rather than haphazardly spraying around your head.

The Verdict:  Overall, this product gets a B for me. While it just about lives up to its claims, I still get a teeny bit of "crunch" from the spray. If you really want to get that wavy look, give this product a try in conjunction with a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer. While I'll continue to use this spray, I am always on the lookout for a great, affordable wave spray!

Any affordable wave sprays you recommend?