All posts in Fashion

Traveling with the LA Lady: basic travel essentials

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So this year is going be big big BIG.

I will be traveling to Peru to hike up to Machu Picchu.

I will be traveling to Paris for two weeks just for funsies.

I may or may not be doing another trip to Europe… we’ll see…

But I’ve obviously been doing a ton of research (as I’m so apt to do) on my destinations, especially for my Peru trip. I want to be as prepared as possible since it will be a strenuous hike and well outside the norm. It’ll also be the first trip I’ve been on that requires a trip to the doctor for some vaccines and boosters… yeesh.

I’ll be detailing these trips, especially the gear and various preparations for Machu Picchu in subsequent posts but I’ve been browsing the internet looking for travel-friendly clothing and gear. Most of the time, anything “travel-friendly” falls under what has been (incorrectly) described as normcore. At some point it passes the point of simply being versatile and becomes boring. I swear… if I never saw a pair of wrinkle-free cargo pants again…

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Why I’m done with Lululemon (and overpriced athletic clothing): a tall women’s perspective

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So we’ll ignore the fact that I haven’t posted in a while. I’ll be catching you up on what’s been going down since then. But as I’m spending my weekend looking for workout clothing, I realized I had something to talk about.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m 5’11” and any pants that are considered “regular” length simply look like capris. It might sound selfish to complain about being tall but the fact is I’ve spent a good chunk of time looking for longer lengths in pants and tops alike. Slowly, retailers like Gap have rolled out “tall” sizes and it has been my saving grace, especially for basics. Workout, athletic and “technical” clothing is still a little far behind the times but slowly they’re updating as well. Lululemon was one of the first I experienced that had dedicated tall-sized pants and their jackets and tops ran a little long as well.

In case you’re wondering, I do have a little bit of street cred when it comes to workout apparel. I’ve spent well over a decade stuffed inside leotards and have learned what makes them great, what makes them terrible and how to care for them to get the most amount of wear possible . Somewhere in there I started buying yoga apparel and that goes for Lululemon as well. At first, it was like someone answered my prayers! I justified the high price tags by reminding myself how difficult it was to find long inseams and lengths.

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Obsession: Ankle-zip pants

When skinny jeans debuted I wasn’t thrilled. Having thighs akin to Beyonce’s meant skinny jeans weren’t necessarily a good look for me. Every once in a while I’ll see a skinny pant/jean with zippers located at the ankle. More often than not, they appear on the outseam of the pant and not the inseam and I think more designers should consider the inseam. It’s a cleaner look from the outside and still gives you that fitted-with-a-slight-flare for those of us who don’t want to go Full Skinny. It’s easier to find an ankle-zip pant than it is to find pants or jeans with a demi-bootcut that’s fitted all the way to the lower calf and then a slight flare at the ankle (but if you are looking for that, American Eagle’s Skinny Kick jean is just that: almost completely skinny but with a slight flare just at the ankle). This way, your leg opening is customizable!

Anyway, now that the motorcycle-look is reappearing, there are more pants and jeans with random zippers popping up and so I’ve rounded up a few ranging in price. Click the photos for links on where to buy.*

 

Old Navy “The Rockstar Zip Pocket Pant” should really call out the zippers at the ankles and not the pocket. They come in four colors including this awesome red one. About $35. Bonus: TALL SIZES.

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New York Fashion Week Backlash: a sign of a larger problem for the fashion

I don’t fancy myself a fashion blogger. I’ve never attended fashion week and the craziest I get with fashion is a great trunk show or flipping through a magazine. Recently, the subject of New York Fashion Week came up after Oscar de la Renta (one of my favorite designers of all time–so I know enough to know what I like) commented that Fashion Week now overcrowded with poseurs and celebrities and the people who “need” to see the clothes are getting elbowed out by photographers and the chaos of the show. While he has a point, he’s opened up a discussion about who belongs in the fashion need-to-know circle (editors, buyers, etc) and who doesn’t. The latter seems to be focused on bloggers, along with celebrities. To me, all of this sounds familiar.*

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Skip the dryer, save your clothes: the benefits of line drying your garments

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Being a woman of almost six feet tall, I had a hard time over the years finding jeans that were long enough. Within the last decade it got a lot better, but even then it’s difficult to find a 35″ inseam. Even worse, most shirts and tops were on the short side due to a long torso, so I coveted all of my shirts that were on the longer side. Styles have changed and now it’s quite easy to find tops that run long, but I still like to preserve some of my favorites.

What I’ve discovered is nothing new. Even your hair and skin do not benefit from getting wet and then drying quickly over and over again. Think of it this way: my dryer is about 10,500 BTU’s (gas) which is 500 more BTU’s than the heater that heats my whole home. That’s a lot of heat! I never use the “regular” or “permanent press” settings on anything other than towels. It’s low low low all the way. This might seem like a lot of extra work but what ends up happening is:

  • My clothes don’t shrink
  • My clothes keep their colors longer
  • My clothes last longer and don’t pill as much
  • I use less energy by line drying

Most mid-range and cheap clothing is made so poorly these days that you have to handle them with care or they’ll be falling apart in less than a year. This is a good way to keep your clothes a little longer. It’s sad that this is the way the garment industry operates. Unfortunately, every company making consumer goods has decided that making cheap products that have a very short lifespan is the best way to keep making money. So it goes…

Denim and other cotton especially benefit from line drying. After speaking to the folks at Denim Revival in Los Angeles, they recommend dry cleaning premium denim. This can get pricey so I either use Dry Cleaner’s Secret (which has a lot of chemicals so I don’t use it very often) or spray with water mixed with some Ecover fabric softener and throw it in the dryer for a few minutes. This method is a great way to refresh almost any garment that’s not really “dirty.” If for some reason I’ve rolled around in the dirt, I will wash in cold water and hang dry.

I’ve mentioned previously that I use baking soda and vinegar in my laundry, and that certainly goes for line dried garments, too. The vinegar smell disappears when the clothes have dried, so no worries smelling like an Olive Garden salad.

The downside to all of this: time. Yes, it’s going to take the better part of a day to dry a pair of jeans, especially if you’re doing it inside. Best to line dry in a well-ventilated room. If you have outdoor space to line dry (and live in a place where people won’t complain about your laundry) then go for it, although keep in mind your local air quality. If I leave my window open for extended periods of time, a fine layer of Gross Stuff will be sitting on the window sill. If you put something wet outside, it’ll be a magnet for whatever is floating in your air.

Friday Linkathon: Spring Edition

It’s been a weird week.

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Friday Linkathon

I’ll be perfectly honest: there is a small part of me that started this blog so I could post awesome stuff like this.wiener_wipersOK, now that we got that out of the way…

I’d like to make Friday Linkathon a new L.A. Lady tradition. In it, I’ll have something to wear, something to eat and something to see. And a gif like the one posted above.

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Flash sale sites: make them work for you.

My first foray into the flash sale site was Rue La La. I loved getting that email every morning notifying me of their latest sale. It was an adventure and totally new.

Flash forward and now you have a billion: Rue La La, Gilt, Hautelook, Beyond The Rack, JewelMint, One King’s Lane, Joss & Main, Fab.com, and then there’s the Groupon, Living Social and Bloomspot to look over. And now I have no less than SIXTY emails every morning telling me there’s a can’t-miss sale happening and I just gotta take a look. Thank goodness for email filters*…

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Nail Appliqués: The reason I don’t get manicures anymore

All things aside, I have pretty awesome and healthy nails. They’re very white thanks to the amount of milk I drink, or so I’ve been told. Every once in a while, I liked to treat myself to a manicure or paint my nails. About four years ago, I was at Walgreens minding my own business waiting for a prescription when I saw Incoco nails.

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The Perfect Handbag: The search is over thanks to Hobo Bags

I love a good handbag as much as the next gal, and at first glance there are a lot of bags that I love. Over the years, I’ve fine tuned my must-haves and I have a feeling I’m not alone in some of these requests:

  • black. or gray. leather or some kind of material that looks like leather. 
  • a lining other than a dark color. When I’m trying to look for that quarter at the bottom of my bag to feed the meter, it doesn’t help if the inside of the bag is like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole.
  • In addition, the lining should be fitted to the inside of the bag. Have you ever felt like you’re walking around with a pillow case inside your bag? That’s what happens when things are mass-produced and they don’t take care of this detail. There have been times where I’m pawing around inside my purse, fighting with the lining to try and find chap stick.
  • not too big. For a while (and even still) luggage-sized bags were in. I tried that with a few of my bags and all it does is hurt my back and shoulders. And then one day you’re carrying around a Nalgene bottle, a pair of shoes and your leftovers from lunch inside you bag and you realize YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. The Law of Handbag Sizes states: no matter the size, you will eventually fill it to the max.
  • has to fit my iPad. This is a more recent addition to the list but it’s a necessary one. I don’t always carry my iPad around but it needs to be big enough to fit it when I do.
  • Has some decent pockets, inside and out, for my smart key, wallet, iPhone, etc.
  • Has to look like a handbag and not some dude’s laptop bag. A lot of bags meet my iPad requirement but look pretty geeky. I save that look for camera bags.
  • Has to have a decent handle drop. I usually wear my bags as shoulder bags so it needs to be easy to carry on my shoulder when I have a jacket on.
  • No cross-body bags
  • No monogram patterns
  • I like a more structured look rather than a slouchy hobo. I’ll consider slouchy if all of the other requirements are met.
  • Should retail for $$400 or less. I’ve never spent $400 on a handbag but I’m pretty good at finding $400 handbags for half the price or more on the internet.

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