Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prim Pairing: Taupe and Cherry Red

There is something so decadent about going for ice cream when the sidewalks are still snowy, like wearing white to a wedding (not that I ever would) or smoking a cigarette in bed (ditto).

It's just a tiny defiance, but walking home yesterday, after enjoying a bowl of coffee ice cream from the newly opened Van Leeuwen shop in Brooklyn, I felt I had made spring come to me. The only thing I would have added: a few a pretty red cherries.

With months of cold to go I wanted to make the feeling last, so I painted my nails in Opi's Nomad's Dream, a rich, soft, coffee ice cream-like taupe.

And painted my lips in Lancome's creamy L'Absolu Rouge.
Photo via and via.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Prim Knickers and the Impossible Ponytail

I woke up late Monday, hair still a tangle of fallen-out curls and sticky hairspray from my Sunday dinner do, and had no choice but to pull the whole mess into a ponytail. Luckily, years of chronic lateness have left me with a well-honed ponytailing method that ideally gets me some, much less runwayish version of this.

Here's how:

1.) Comb a tiny bit of dry shampoo through greasy bangs.

2.) Pull on thin black headband to keep ungreasified bangs off face.

2. a.) This is a huge secret, so you're welcome. Rather than buying slim headbands that are too tight or too slippery, I use a trick I learned from my field hockey team in Catholic high school. Any time a pair of our school-mandated opaque tights got a runner, we would cut them into headbands for hockey practice. You just smooth the tights out flat and cut a 1" to 2" strip straight across the thigh. Tug on it a little to stretch it out, and it will curl up into a nice thin, perfectly stretchy headband. Move your next cut up or down the thigh to make tighter or looser versions.

3.) Don't bother brushing. Tie the rest up onto the crown of your head and pull it tight to pouf up the top.

This process takes about a minute and a half and usually gets me by, as long as I put in contacts and wear tons of mascara.

However, there was no time for contacts. I resorted to my plastic-framed geeky chic glasses, normally saved strictly for amazing hair days in the style of an Oliver Peoples ad campaign.
And what was I late for? Two beauty events. These are meetings teeming with women who know everything about how to look good. I have been given the stink eye before. And the evil eye. I hoped to hide in a dark corner.

And then, the impossible. Multiple compliments on my hair! One beauty editor even told me she could, "never pull that off." Not would never, could never. Huge difference... I think.

Photo via.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Prim Wish: Jason Wu for Madame Alexander

At 6, I told my mom that I would one day sew myself a life-size replica of Barbie's Peaches n' Cream dress and wear it always. So I was wrong about the timelessness and versatility of peach chiffon, but looking to my dolls for fashion inspiration wasn't the worst idea I've had.

Veteran doll stylist turned life-size designer Jason Wu unveiled his collection of reimagined Cissy dolls for Madame Alexander this week. I want them all, including my-size versions of their clothes, which I will unfortunately not be sewing. I vastly overestimated my adult sewing skills.

These poseable little ladies (16") won't be available until August, but feast your eyes in the meantime.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Prim Knickers and the Plaid Sandwich

I don't know if it was true love, my excitement at stumbling into a non-packed SoHo store on Fashion's Night Out, or the shot of Wild Turkey the manager served me (probably that last one)--but way back in September, I got a winter coat.

The Eva Wool Check from Dunderdon fits like it was tailor-made, keeps out 30 mph New York winds, and looks damn cute. It is also red and black plaid.

Now I don't shy away from things I love just because everyone else loves them too. I'm on Team Jacob, I request Single Ladies no matter the venue (even a Bushwick dive bar), and Omar is my favorite character from The Wire. But something about being pushed right up next to another person--sometimes two people--who are also wearing red and black plaid on the subway is completely demoralizing. I'm the meat in a plaid sandwich.

With the plethora of red tartan that's already out there, I need to get over this disloyalty fast. My theory is that we, as a society, can reach a plaid tipping point after which woodsy checks will become so common, my coat will be appreciated--not for its plaidness, but for the subtle fade of each square, the thickness of the wool, and the precision with which it was cut.

If you care to help my jacket and I in our mission, these are my top tartan picks:

The wide collar coat ($44) from Forever 21.

The Hurley Winchester coat ($54) from Tilly's.

And the Delia's Keegan coat ($50).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Prim Knickers and the Ministry of Silly Walks

Hello and welcome!

For the past two years I've been eBay blogger and blogger-in-chief at
Shoetube. But I became so popular that things started to get weird over there and I'm spreading my wings solo (Read: The owners of Shoetube live in Boston and are relaunching the site locally. I live in Brooklyn, where it is tough to be the editor of a Boston shoe blog. The end).

So what does an ex shoe blog editor have to offer? Cautionary tales mostly. Like this one about knit leggings:

My gorgeous, disgustingly creative friend Sheena (that's her) is now on day 286 of The Uniform Project, one year in the same little black dress. Wonder woman that she is, she's posting photos of her accessorizing prowess to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation.

I'm completely entranced by the project, namely the way Sheena layers on cool legwear (so much so that I wrote about it for iVillage).

Naturally, when I saw a pair of chunky knit tights at Elegance that reminded me of a Sheena pair, I grabbed them. Who cares if they're one-size-fits-all and not especially stretchy? They're cute!

The next morning I ripped them open (no, I didn't wash them first... I know, I know) and pulled them on under a black sweater dress. Very Sheena-ish. They felt soft and warm and didn't squeeze my stomach or create any rolls. Time to convert to one-size-fits-all clothes forever! Until the crotch and waistband slowly crept down my body during my walk from the train to work. They continued this behavior all day, forcing frequent reverse wedgie stops in the bathroom. And finally on the way home, they dropped.

I was still seven blocks from my apartment when suddenly, the crotch was at my knees, the waistband at my thighs. Luckily, my coat just covered the wreckage.

The whole mess would be at my ankles the second I stopped walking, so I went faster. They kept on sinking until I was channeling John Cleese and the Ministry of Silly Walks, taking huge speed steps, laughing uncontrollably and looking much, much crazier than if I had just stopped to pull the damn things up.

Still, they are comfy, so I kept them and took them in. But if I could do it again, I'd go for the Rugby Striped Tight from Urban Outfitters, which thankfully, come in two sizes.