just plain sara: May 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This One’s For You…

Above: Onyx Nite Stretch Satin Dress, $59, www.silhouettes.com**
Left to right: Tropical Print Dress, $69; Eyelet Shirtdress, $59; Shirtdress, $49 all available at www.silhouettes.com**

I’ve had a few emails from readers requesting that I include at least one item for women sizes 14 and up in each post. Most times that proves difficult but while looking over Silhouettes.com for an upcoming post, I noticed that a lot of their dresses where relevant to posts I’d written in the past. For example, take the “Take a Leaf Out of Her Style Book: Halle Berry” post. I chose these dresses but you can check out the Eyelet Shirtdress for $59. One of summer’s popular must-have dresses is the Maxi Dress. I loved these choices but try the Tropical Print Dress, $69. And lastly, for an ultra chic Satin Dress you must Onyx Nite Stretch Satin Dress. At just $69, it beats out my original picks.

**Use the search function on www.silhouettes.com to find the dresses above!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bargain Hunting at its Best!

I’ll be the first to admit that I hate outlet shopping. Sales at my favorite chain store are exciting. Vintage shopping exhilarating. But outlet shopping I just find exhausting and I rarely get rewarded for my efforts. This all changed Memorial weekend however as my mom dragged me into our local Marshalls. Typically, I avoid this particular store like the plague because the clothes are literally thrown anywhere and the checkout lines are RIDICULOUS! So you can imagine my glee when I found dresses by DKNY, Laundry by Shelli Segal/Design and London Times all priced at a quarter or less of their original prices. I spent close to $200 but I walked out of the store with 4 designer dresses! I have a new found respect for women who spend hours trawling through rails of disorganized clothing in the search for that one precious jewel (be warned that it can become addictive). I encourage all of you still in doubt to try and outlet store at least once. Need more encouragement? The dress pictured is still selling for $395 at Bloomingdales. I bought it for $60 this weekend. I am such a believer!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Calling NJ Heroes... upcoming events

Calling NJ cosplayers & gamers! >> There are a couple of events coming up that you won't want to miss.

JUNE 21st at Comic Fusion in Flemington, NJ -- FREE RPG day. Just like Free comic book day, FRPG day is something special for anyone who currently plays or is a past player of role-playing fun. You might not admit it to your coworkers but come on - you know you love it! Come out to Comic Fusion on June 21. If you've got a costume to represent your favorite RP character and you'd like to be one of our guests, send me a message so I can get a list started. My City of Heroes character, Amber the Superhero Stylist will be there for photos and general gaming geekery.

JULY 4th at New Moon Comics in Little Falls, NJ -- Celebrating our country's Independence, I'm organizing cosplayers to come out in their best patriotic super suits. We have Wonder Woman and Power Girl ready to appear with some expectations for Bucky and Josiah Bradley, the first Capt. America. Getting as many supers as possible would make this 4th even more spectacular. Let me know if you're able to make it and which character you plan to come as. No costume? Come anyway for the fun! And bring a camera!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Uptown Emerging Designers Market

Launched on May 17th, 2008 by Enyinne Owunwanne and Michelle Gittens, the Uptwon Emerging Designers Market (UEDM) is Harlem’s newest fashion retail destination featuring a variety of cutting-edge designers of apparel and accessories. The aim is to periodically hold market days where keen-eyed fashionistas can scour the exclusive clothing on offer and meet the vendors who created them. According to their site, UEDM's mission is to…

• Underscore the importance of the UEDM as a vehicle for bringing fresh styles and new designers to the public's attention.
• Provide a profitable marketplace and tools/resources necessary (including fashion business workshops and an online community for designers, stylists, models, etc.) for emerging designers to build and expose their product.
• Position the UEDM as an essential resource for Harlem's economic development and provide additional exposure to Harlem based businesses.
• Establish the UEDM as a tourist destination and a must-see attraction for lovers of cutting-edge fashion, affordable styles and affordable accessories.

Every major city should aspire to hold events like this. We need more opportunities for emerging designers to get noticed. I especially love that one of their missions it to raise Harlem’s economic portfolio and exposure to the world. Visit www.uptownedm.com to sign up for their newsletter and learn about their next event. Thanks to Johanna for informing me about this site. :)
Latoya Henry of Memory Lane by Toya and Idyllic4U (Karen Brown) & Metal (Nkrumah Jennings).
Nit Ra Sit & Denise Beckford and necklaces from Mifflin 5.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Beyonce on her way to the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics game during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at the TD Banknorth Garden May 14, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Beyonce looks extremely well put together here but in general, her style choices are hit and miss. She’s one of those celebrities that always look presentable but doesn’t have a discernible style of her own. In any case, she knocked this look out of the park and the goods news is it won’t cost an arm and three leg to recreate. See below for some tips.

Steal Beyonce’s Steal…

Jacket: Marc Jacobs Cropped Tweed Jacket, $685, www.catwalktocloset.com
Pants: Wide-Leg Cuffed Trousers, $32.50, www.oldnavy.com

Top: Puff Sleeve Drape Top, $9.99, www.wetseal.com
Space Dyed Beret, $24,
Necklace: Rose Bead Necklace, $7.80,
Bag: Bow Dacious Large Tote, $99,

I’m guessing most of us can’t afford the $685 Marc Jacob classic cropped jacket (the original cost was $2800!). So in true I Like Her Style! Fashion, I found this Plaid Tailored Blazer for $98, at www.freepeople.com. It’s not tweed but it’ll get the job done. Oh, and don't forget a brooch for your jacket ;)

Monday, May 19, 2008

High Drama!

A look from Bill Blass’ Fall 2008 ready-to-wear collection
Chanel Iman (in 3.1 Philip Lim), Eve (in Emanuel Ungaro) and Eva Longoria (in Marchesa) stop traffic in their dramatic outfits.

It’s not enough to just walk into a room looking fabulous. Nowadays your outfit has to shout it from the rooftops! The classic black dress is all good and well but when you really want to make a show, opt for something theatrical. Many of the Fall/Winter 2008 collections during New York Fashion Week were filled with high-neck collars, fanciful frills and dreamy chiffon ruffles. Bill Blass’ collection, for example, is the epitome of dramatic flair though if you’re not too sure you can get away with such an exuberant entrance look to Victoria Beckham and Charlize Theron who took this look to the streets. Try this Sheer Ruffle top by Wetseal.com. For those of you who love the attention, take a leaf out of Chanel Iman, Eva Longoria and Eve’s style books. They definitely know how to put on a show.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Work it Out

Mary J. Blige working out on Miami Beach, Florida on March 24th, 2008.
Venus Williams stretching before a workout last year.
Serena Williams of USA during the shooting of a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour global TV advertising campaign on May 12, 2008 in Rome, Italy.
Mel B post workout in Los Angeles California, September 3, 2007. There's still time people! Though the sun has started to rear it's head, we can still get a few good weeks of body toning exercise in before our summer vacay. With obesity among African American women at an all time high, there's no excuse for not squeezing in 3 half an hour workouts into your week. To brighten up a mundane workout session you can do at least one of two things: 1.) find something active that you love doing and doesn't feel like exercise (salsa, hip hop aerobics, yoga); 2.) look fabulous doing it! That's where I come in. Scroll down to get some ideas on how to look cute whilst in a sweaty funk!!

My Workout Picks!

Vest: Ribbed Tank Top, $6.50, www.wetseal.com; Hoodie: Stripe Tunic Hoodie, $39.50, www.delais.com; Sneakers: Puma Women's Complete Magnetist, $129.99, www.footlocker.com; Shorts: California Athletic Short, $10.80, www.forever21.com; Gym Bag: adidas Ultimate Rendezvous Duffel II, $60, www.ebags.com
Top: Nike Paris Tennis Tank, $55, www.nike.com; Skirt: Nike Control Pleated Women's Tennis Skirt, $41.99, www.nike.com; Bag: Nike Premium Shoulder Bag, $21.99, www.nike.com; Sneakers: Nike Free, $76.50, www.activa.com; Cap: Nike Feather Light Reflective Women's Golf Hat, $25, www.nike.com
Pants: Gray Yoga Pants, $30, www.laduchess.com; Hoodie: Halter Hoodies, $24.50, www.oldnavy.com; Top: Champion Powerlite Seamless Empire Tech Tank, $36, www.championcatalo.com; Headband: Vinyl Headband, $4.80, www.forever21.com; Sneakers: Asics Metallic Ultimate 81, $29.99, www.urbanoutfitters.com; Gym bag: Puma Women's Phantom Grip Bag, $64.99, www.footlocker.com

It goes without saying but pick the most appropiate outfit for your exercise of choice. Skirts and yoga don't go well together - we don't need to see all of that! Similarly, wearing pants to a tennis match may cause you to heat up prematurely. I'm a big advocate for looking good on and off "the field" so throw on a cute hoodie, grab your stylish gym bag and strut home with the new found energy your workout has given you!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Star Ledger/Munchmobile

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of NJ's Munchmobile hot dog wagon. I was there with a bunch of other superheroes and many of the state's team mascots. You can see us on today's edition, page 51 and again in Sunday's edition.

Thanks to Mighty Munch for inviting me! It was a great time!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Like His Style!: Gavin Douglas

Gavin Douglas and a model at his Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear collection during London Fashion Week.
How many young designers can debut a collection in 2006 and by 2007 say that they’ve won a prestigious fashion award, secured a deal to sell their collection in U.K.’s most exclusive department store Harrods and have Tom Ford (savior of Gucci) take them out for a drink? Meet Gavin Davis, the U.K. designer who can claim all of the above. He’s clearly on the come up! With professional qualifications and training in the fashion and textile industry, Douglas is a dynamic, young designer who carefully researches, designs and crafts each individual piece of clothing, ensuring its uniqueness and quality.

In September 2006 Gavin Douglas won first place in the prestigious Fashion Fringe 2006 designer awards in London, England. As part of the award, Gavin won business, legal and technical support and development grants from the Centre for Fashion Enterprise and ultimately showcased his 2007 Spring/Summer collection at London’s Fashion Week.

Among his many achievements to date, his most notable are winning the Young Avant-Garde Designer of the Year award in 2004, showing in Caribbean Fashion Week 2005, Barbados Fashion Week 2006, Paris Fashion Week in October 2006, Brooklyn Fashion Week New York, taking part in the Black British Style Exhibition event and of course, getting Tom Ford to buy him a drink after Mr. Ford helped seal his fate as a judge for the Fashion Fringe award in 2006. I’m particularly proud of this designer because a.) he’s from Birmingham, U.K. where I spent most of my childhood and b.) his clothes are the epitome of eclectic chic.

Douglas doesn’t have a site up at the moment but you can view his latest collection here and see below for an interview with the designer. His line is currently available at Harrods and www.yoox.com.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige & Alicia Keys cover Essence...

Essence magazine's annual music issue is on stands and you can choose between three phenomenal covers featuring Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige & Alicia Keys - 3 of my favorite singers! The songstresses talk about their artistry, pressure from record label execs and keeping their sound relevant. Oh, and also be sure to check out my tiny feature on page 92 in the 'Work & Wealth' section. (Shout out to Jennifer for letting me know and Piper for hooking me up with the Essence writer :) I haven't even seen a copy yet but I'm super excited!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pop Culture Sale - Rogue costume up for bids

I'm cleaning out my house looking for collectibles I'm willing to part with. Even though it pains me, I am not getting as much paid work as I need so I have made the decision to sell some of my treasures.

I've already listed most of my Beanie Babies on eBay along with all of my Barbies which breaks my heart. I love Barbie. Anyway, I'm also listing my first comic book costume which was Rogue from Marvel's X-Men. It's also the only costume in my closet that I didn't personally make. I figure that when things get financially better, I'll be able to make one for myself in the future.

This suit was originally made for me by an anime cosplay designer. It's not dead-on perfect as a copy of Rogue. But with a jacket an accessories, it works really well. If you need accessories, my skill levels have developed quite a bit as have my contacts with other designers so feel free to contact me with questions on making this a complete outfit. (Needed accessories: headband, wig, yellow boots, belt, jacket and gloves).

A portion of all my eBay sales will go to the Safe Haven Rabbit Rescue which is why I've got slightly higher starting bids than other sellers. I feel that giving a portion to charity is very important.

This Rogue costume is one of a kind and definitely something that you'll love wearing. It brings out the feisty Southern girl in all of us.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Are your feet ready for summer?

Stop hiding your feet in those pumps – get pedicured up!
Top: Casting, $79.95, www.stevemadden.com; Lansing, $30, www.aldoshoes.com; Sirprise, $89.95, www.stevemadden.com
Middle: Trinangle Sandal, $34,
www.urbanoutfitters.com; Croww, $79.95, www.stevemadden.com; Le Petit Sperone, $60, www.piperlime.com
Bottom: Hendrix, $90,
www.dune.co.uk; Volatile Cassie Thong Sandal, $38.95, www.endless.com; Belle by Sigerson Morrison, $225, www.piperlime.com

Shoe shopping is one of life’s little pleasures, but I delightful day in the shoe department of Saks can quickly turn into a nightmare if your feet aren’t perfectly polished when the sales clerk tries to help you slip on those Louboutins. Avoid the potential embarrassment and get your toes Manolo ready today. You don’t have to spend a fortune at a spa. In fact, I prefer creating my own pedicure at home - I’m too ticklish for someone else to handle my toes! Try Tweezerman’s deluxe pedicure set available at Sephora or their more modest version for just $14.99 at Target. After you’ve spoiled yourself, pick the perfect color* to match your sandals and away you go!

*All nail colors by Nars Cosmetics. Click here for their regular selection and here for their vintage line.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

They like me, they really like me!

Ladies I'm so excited. I just found out that I won the fashion category of the first ever Fabbies (an award ceremony for fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers)! I beat out some stiff competition, so I want to thank all who voted for me. I know you had to register and log in before voting so I appreciate the effort it took :). The award ceremony is going to be held during Fashion Week in New York this September. I must also give a shout out to Afrobella who won in the beauty category, Young, Black & Fabulous for lifestyle and The Satorialist who won for his streetstyle blog!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Aaliyah covers Fader…

Fader magazine is honoring Aaliyah on its June cover. The annual Icon issue highlights the life and legacy of the revolutionary songstress. My personal favorite song/video of hers is “We need a Resolution” and “Rock the Boat”. I was truly devasted when she died. No entertainer has filled the void that she left. Pick up a copy of the magazine to read what many of Aaliyah’s family, friends and industry peers have to say about the fallen star. Read some of their tributes below:

Missy Elliott
“We was gonna save the world. We was gonna change music every chance we got. We was gonna always be family. Forever.”

Mark Ronson
“If it wasn’t for Aaliyah being the face and voice of [Missy Elliott and Timbaland’s] sound they might have never got to where they did. They were presenting their sort of brilliant but challenging breakthrough music through this beautiful young girl who could sing it perfectly.”

Kidada Jones
“I think about her all the time…Anytime she’s brought up or her music comes on the radio, it’s sweet, but it definitely sounds like she found a niche before it was here. If you listen to her music it’s so relevant today, but we had it so long ago.”

Damon Dash
“She was already a fashion icon, she was getting into movies, she had already planted that seed. If she was alive today she would be so relevant. I see little bits of her everywhere I look, in a lot of artists.”

Jomo Hankerson
“I think a lot of that mysteriousness they talk about was just what she was. She seemed like she came here already grown up, from the beginning.”

Friday, May 9, 2008

Style on the Go…

Joy Bryant,Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles attend the 40/40 Club Hosts Jay-Zs Exclusive After Party at The 40/40 Club in New York on May 6, 2008.
Paula Patton at the 2nd annual Allure magazine "Most Alluring Bodies" exhibit on May 7, 2008 at Skylight Studios in New York.
Rashida Jones at Stella McCartney’s screening of Peter Sellers’ “The Party” on May 6, 2008.
Ashanti onstage during the MTV Networks Upfront at the Nokia Theater on May 8, 2008 in New York City.

Joy Bryant looked nothing short of stunning at Jay Z’s recent bash at his 40/40 club. Though the dress is a little Fredericks of Hollywood, she somewhere makes it work! After 13 years of wearing makeup, I still can’t get my eyes to look that neat and defined. Liquid eyeliner just burns my eyes! I'm also still looking for a natural lipstick color - suggestions welcome :)

Paula Patton is wearing my favorite color and she’s doing it justice. I think the shoes are a little boring but I guess you can’t go wrong with a classic black Christian Louboutin pump. Both Paula and Joy are sporting heavy bangs which is such a cute look with layered hair. No, I don't know where to get this dress but I know Target has a cute, affordable purple dress for $23.

Rashida Jones is ready for summer! She flaunted her shoulders and legs in a sexy, one strap chiffon dress a recent Stella McCartney evemt. Rashida’s style is never offensive, but I wish she would take more of a risk with her hair and/or makeup. How about a chin length bob? She’d also better keep an eye on that clutch…

Ashanti is slowly making her “come back”. Though I doubt the music scene has missed her, her style evolution has been great to watch. This black and white dress is a classic. Twenty years from now, body shape permitting, you could still pull out this dress and wear it like it was a recent purchase. Now if only we could get Ashanti to try another lip gloss color. That frosty pink is so 1982!

Credit: TheYbf.com for photos of Ashanti.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Metropolitan Museum's Superhero Exhibit

You'll be able to find a great deal of information on this exhibit which runs until Sept 1st. I saw the E! coverage and then looked through the USA Today photo gallery which gives you a nice look at the celebs in their "comic themed" formal wear.

I'm hoping to get to this. Based on the news coverage I saw, there didn't seem to be much that actually looked like superhero stuff other than DC's Trinity display and a Catwoman display. The E! coverage yesterday of the previous night's gala showed a lot of celebrities in gowns "inspired by superheroes" and I honestly didn't much connection with really using my imagination.

The best imo was Christina Ricci in a Wonder Woman style suit under a pale pink chiffon overlay. Fergie was in a black gown with a cheetah brooch on her shoulder which I'm guessing could pass for a Catwoman theme. Katie Holmes was wearing a red gown with blue shoes. Victoria Beckham could pass for an Emma Frost influenced in her white coat style gown if you really stretch your imagination. Naomi Watts was in an all white gown sort of Roman style which had a nice size metallic star on her belly. As for the men, Zac Posen in a shiny purple suit is really the only that looks like something other than a Bruce Wayne formal black tux.

Kate Bosworth, Kimora Lee Simmons and designer Diane von Furstenberg all looked like comic books threw up on them. Vogue editor and the event's organizer Anna Wintour claims to have looked to X-Men's Storm for her gown but to me it looks more like Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Venus Williams had this massive red cape over her gown which looked ridiculous.


FCBD '08 recap

Comic Fusion raised just over $500 for the CBLDF! Not bad for a gloomy Saturday at a small shop. I appeared as Sue Storm alongside War Machine, Iron Man and Iron Lad. Later I changed into Power Girl.

We had a great time with three local artists: Glenn Whitmore, Chris Muller and Rob Kramer!

The Iron costumes were all made or modified by the daddy of the group who dressed as War Machine. All had working chest lights. WM's had working palm lights as well. They enjoyed a trip to the Iron Man movie when they left and got a standing ovation when they walked in. :)

Next up is the Star Ledger party in Newark followed by Kids' Day at the American Legion in Flemington.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Take a Leaf Out of Her Style Book: Halle Berry

Halle Berry is the undisputed queen of summer time chic. Her easy breezy style is simple yet elegant and her accessories understated yet necessary. If you're anything like me you avoid wearing heels (I love them but as I get older I appreciate comfort more), so Halle is one of my ultimate style icons. In keeping with the crisp white theme in the Toni Braxton post below, I decided to highlight Halle's cutest flowy white dresses. Remember, this look was made for lazy summer days so grab a pair of stylish flip flops, designer sunglassess, a slouchy hobo bag and you're good to go!

My Picks!

Left to right: Disc Trim Pleat Dress, $22.50, www.wetseal.com; Rosegarden Lace Dress, $22.80, www.forever21.com; Karen Kane Eyelet Dress, $44.50, www.delias.com; Sackrace Dress, $44.50, www.alloy.com
Left to right: Linen-like Pinafore Dresses by Zuccaro, $106, www.edressme.com; Babydoll Sundress in Solids, $55, www.victoriassecret.com; Puella Gathered Smock Dress, $167, www.pinkmascara.com; Karen Kane Eyelet Dress, $118, www.shop.nordstrom.com

Though jewelry like pendants and earrings would really complete this look, don't ruin the shape of these dresses with belts or scarves. Also think about going makeup less if you can. This look is meant to be fresh from head-to-toe. ;)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton gets picked up by an SUV in Beverly Hilss Los Angeles, California on April 3rd, 2008.
When more than five people email me about a celebrity look, I try and follow through as soon as I can. My apologies for taking so long to post this Toni Braxton “Steal Style”… better late than never! White is such a clean and crisp look for summer and basic tops and shirts in white last for many hot seasons to come. Take a leaf out of Toni’s book and invest in a white shirt that’ll work perfectly with jeans in spring and shorts in summer. See below for my picks.

Steal Toni’s Style

Top: Crochet-trim blouse, $38, www.victoriassecret.com
Jeans: David Kahn Jeans 'Nikki K Pocket' Stretch Jeans, $158, www.shop.nordstrom.com
Pumps: Barbe, $69, www.piperlime.com
Sunglasses: Dior Cannage, $216,
Bag: Modern Prada Style Utility Tote, $37, www.anyknockoff.com

Victoria’s Secret has some really cute summer dresses and tops online and many of which are on sale. Head over there now before they all disappear. My favorites are the day dresses.