Archive for the ‘Shopping’Category

Inbetweener fashion: ankle boots

clarks heath harrier

Clarks Indigo Heath Harrier in taupe

I’m really into ankle boots at the moment, especially after my recent purchase of a pair of Clarks Indigo Heath Harrier boots. I’ve been looking for a comfortable, easy pair of boots that I can dress up or down, and I think I’ve found them. I got mine in taupe, though the color is more like a chocolate brown than the grayish brown color I saw online. No matter; they’re still neutral enough to match with lots of things, and the distressed material makes it so I’m not so afraid of scuffing them (which I totally did the minute I put them on, of course).

Even though I love these, I’m having a bit of a hard time styling them. Obviously I’ve worn them with skinny jeans, but can I wear them with other pants that require a larger cuff when folding them up? And then do I wear them with or without visible socks? I’m talking winter looks, not spring/summer looks with dresses and shorts. Any advice, dear readers?


01 2013

Shop small this Saturday

This Saturday, Nov. 24, is Small Business Saturday. Support your favorite local small business in between getting your deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some of my favorites include Goo Salon, Giant Robot, Valerie Confections and just about every restaurant in Los Angeles.

Yes, Small Business Saturday is a movement founded by the large business American Express, which charges all businesses a lot for its services (that’s why a lot of stores won’t accept AmEx), but it’s still a good idea to shop small when you can. Small businesses give your city, your neighborhood, character, as well as provides jobs (duh!). If you haven’t seen the commercial, here it is:

If you have an AmEx card, sign up to get $25 back one time when you spend $25 at a qualifying small business on Nov. 24.

Happy shopping!


11 2012

Custom made in L.A. at den.m bar

den.m bar's style options

den.m bar’s style options

If you wear denim — which, let’s face it, is most of us — then you’ve probably been on a life-long quest to find the perfect-fitting pair of jeans. And you may have thought about getting a pair custom made, but that just seems cost-prohibitive.

Well, maybe not.

Downtown Los Angeles’ den.m bar, which opened earlier this year, is offering custom-made jeans at a fraction of normal costs. For about $300, you get to choose your own denim (sourced from the United States, Japan and Europe), pocket lining, thread and hardware (buttons, zippers, rivets, etc.) to be fashioned into the style of your choice cut to the exact dimensions that fit you — all within the span of two weeks. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal, especially for a pair of pants you’ll probably wear a lot for years to come.

Denim choices

Denim choices

Thread, lining and hardware choices

Thread, lining and hardware choices

Once your measurements have been taken, den.m bar will keep that pattern on hand for future purchases. And if you have a pair of old jeans that you love but they’ve just worn out, bring it in and the folks at den.m bar will use it as a pattern to make you a new pair.



While the store obviously fits both men and women, as evidenced by my first photo, it turns out that most of den.m bar’s customers are men. Why am I not surprised? Ah, to be a single man with disposable income!


10 2012

Live good with Live Good organic cotton

Lion baby pillow

Lion baby pillow. Photo from Les Violettes.

You care about a lot of things.

You care about what you eat and how your food was grown and prepared. You care about who makes your clothes and how they were made. You care about how companies treat their employees and their stance on the environment.

You care about living good.

So does Jennifer Chi, who founded Live Good, Inc., which makes fully certified organic cotton products. Not only that, but Live Good manufactures in the United States (Orange County, Calif.) using sustainably sourced materials, including organic cotton fabric and thread, organic and renewable kapok fibers, unfinished wood buttons, and formaldehyde-free water-based inks.

“There are just so many reasons why I felt a need to start Live Good, Inc.,” said Chi, who has spent time working as an international investigator examining factory production. “At the heart of it all was the challenge to prove to myself, as well as the corporate community, that it could be done. I wanted to see what it takes to build a company that creates quality products while complying with environmental and ethical standards. I want Live Good, Inc. to set an example for other businesses.”

As a factory investigator, Chi witnessed factory workers getting sick from dealing with toxic materials and unsanitary working conditions, in addition to them working long hours and being paid low wages. That’s why she wanted to manufacture in the United States — to maintain the highest standards of hygiene, fair labor practices and respect for the surrounding community. And that’s why all Live Good’s products are free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and irradiation.

The results are soft-to-the-touch sateen sheets, terry blankets and decorative canvas pillows. The Live Good ethos is especially important when it comes to children’s products, and you can rest easy knowing the company’s baby items won’t be harmful to your little one. The pillows, which come in five cute animal designs that depict endangered species, come as an organic kapok insert that’s moisture-resistant, quick-drying, lightweight, hypo-allergenic, mold resistant and odorless wrapped in a sateen cover printed with water-based ink. Sounds pretty good when you think about how babies always put things in their mouths!

I would like to see Live Good succeed in its corporate social responsibility. Hopefully we’ll see more socially and environmentally friendly products from this company soon.

Note: Live Good provided a complimentary baby pillow.


08 2012

Personal pick: Keds by American Rag

I’ve never been a big fan of Keds shoes, but its collaboration with American Rag at Macy’s has yielded some pretty cool results: two limited-edition laceless sneakers in purple leopard and grey geometric prints. While the grey triangle print looks very early 90s, as is the style these days, the purple leopard print is just plain fun.

Purple Leopard Keds by American Rag

Purple Leopard Keds by American Rag

Grey Geometric Print by Keds by American Rag

Grey Geometric Print by Keds by American Rag

There is also a zebra print and a more traditional leopard print available, but the two newer prints are more my style. Also, I love purple! But maybe the best part is these collaboration shoes are totally affordable at $45 a pair.


07 2012

Travelogue: Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Mt. Werner, Steamboat Springs

The view of Mt. Werner from downtown Steamboat Springs

Every winter, between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Rory and I travel to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to visit his family. Now, I’m not a cold weather sports fan — I don’t ski or snowboard, and when I’ve tried other things like snowmobiling or sledding, I’ve ended up hurt — so I tend to gravitate toward my shopping and eating standbys. Here are some of my favorite places to go in The Boat.

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01 2012