Thursday, April 15, 2010

Obakki Dress Review

Initially, the lovely folks at Obakki sent me a fantastically sculptural wool dress, but I could barely squeeze my thigh into it. It was a size 8, and while I certainly have been known to go up to a 10 or 12 in certain styles of dress, this guy looked a lot like a U.S. size 4 to me. So I traded it in for this brown silk summer dress instead, a size 12 and a perfect fit in the hips. I swapped out the self-belt for this studded affair and glammed myself up a bit for the shoot!

It's not my typical style, and I couldn't exactly wear it to work on its own. But man alive, it's absolutely sumptuous to wear. Soft, flowy, elegant, and avant-garde. This is the kind of dress I'll be glad to have around when I start getting invited to fancy-ass cocktail hours, or need to look as high-fashiony as possible.

Obakki is a Canadian company that designs and sells arty, unusual garments from top quality materials. This stuff ain't cheap, my friends, I won't lie to you. But there are some AMAZING deals to be had in the sale section of their website., and you can get 10% off your purchase by using code "alreadypretty." Additionally, the associated foundation raises money for a variety of worthy causes, and donates all foundation sales proceeds directly.

Are you gonna stock up from this amazing vendor? No. But this blouse is bound to turn heads, and this dress is gorgeously classic, and neither piece is going to be recognizable as mass-market mall goods or overbranded designer duds. If you're looking to invest in gorgeously unusual pieces, Obakki is a great bet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tsubo Ina Review

The good folks at Tsubo were kind enough to send me a pair of these DARLING Ina sandals to review. I love the shape but I'll admit that, at first, I was felt serious trepidation about that print. I'm not much for printed shoes, and wasn't sure what to do with this brown, black, and gray streaky business.

But while these shoes are a little odd looking in photos, they're fantastically cute on an actual foot. Behold:

They've got the same cushiony, comfy footbed as my beloved Acreas, but will give my tootsies some breathing room come true summer. These are my first Tsubo sandals, and I'm excited to see how they fare as the warm weather wears on.

What do you guys think of these shoes? Do you like the design but not the print? They've got 'em in solid black, too, if you like something more classic ... or a crazy ORANGE stripe if you want something wilder!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Third Willow Clutch Review

The proprietor of handbag and leathergoods vendor Third Willow contacted me a few weeks back since we are both Twin Cities residents. He was such a lovely fellow and I had so hoped to meet up with him at his upcoming trunk show at I Like You, which is part of the MN Fashion Week extravaganza ... but sadly, I'll be out of town. So he was kind enough to send me a clutch bag to review!

It was seriously tough to pick a favorite from the Etsy shop selections, but I am just thrilled with my choice. The bag is a smidge small, but then again I tend to carry 50 tons of stuff in my handbags, so it'll be good to have one that forces me to stick to the basics. The navy leather, textured olive suede, and rich brown croc-print trim are a dynamite combination and I am totally enamored of the harness and stud details. The interior is satin lined with three small pockets and a large open compartment.

AND! I found out when I took my new clutch outside into the sunshine that it is, in fact, a MOOD CLUTCH. Check out how the textured leather turns purple in spots:

This clutch appeals to my softer, warmer palette, which makes it ideal for spring and summer use. And although I generally reserve clutches for fancy evening use, I love that this one could go either casual or formal depending on the accompanying outfit.

If you live in the Twin Cities, PLEASE swing by I Like you on Saturday, April 17 between noon and 5 p.m. for the Third Willow trunk show. You won't want to miss snapping up one of these gorgeous handmade bags!

And if you're NOT a TC resident ... well, I just might have a giveaway for you a little later, so stay tuned.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Input Request: Reality in Style

So. Remember the fine folks who sent me this dress and then responded so swiftly to your input about sizing concerns? They're hoping to get MORE input about something many of us absolutely adore: Cashmere.

Reality in Style is planning to include a cashmere sweater in their fall line, but they're not sure which direction to take the piece. If you'd be willing to weigh in, you might make fashion history by swaying them one way or another!

Here are some questions that Denise, one of the founders sent along to me. Please chime in in the comments. They'd be so grateful for your input:

  1. Length: I know some people like shorter sweaters & then there are the people like my mother who like them to be even longer. Do your readers have a preference?

  2. Pullover vs cardigan style: I know this is a tough one since people are apt to wear both. However do you think if your readers were shopping for 1 new sweater for the fall they would prefer a pullover or cardigan style?

  3. If they like pullovers, do they tend to prefer v-neck or crewneck for the fall?

  4. If they like cardigans, do they tend to like the ones that have no closures (just lie open), zipper fronts or button fronts? If they like button fronts--do they have a preference on the number of buttons? Or perhaps they would prefer one hidden closure device so that the sweater is almost completely open but they can pull it together?

  5. In they like cardigans, would they like it to be like a sweater-jacket (complete with a fuller collar)?

  6. Sizing: In general, do you think your readers prefer form fitting or looser sweaters (ie should they be fitted on the sides or looser)? Are they more apt to buy one size up in sweaters to give themselves more room?

  7. Pockets: If they like the cardigan style, do they tend to like patch pockets, side pockets (the ones that are hidden on the side seams) or no pockets?

  8. Do they like their sweaters to fall "loose" at the bottom (you know how some sweaters have ribbing that makes them tighter at the bottom)?

  9. Lastly, if they were going to buy a sweater in a color for fall other than black or grey, what would it be?

I'll kick things off, shall I?

1. I prefer actual cropped sweaters ... but know most don't. I still prefer a relatively short one to looooong ones.

2. Cardigans are more versatile, I think.

3. V-neck.

4. I prefer button fronts.

5. Nah, not a fan of sweater jackets.

6. I prefer fitted to boxy.

7. DEFINITELY loose bottom, I abhor ribbing.

8. Maroon, purple, magenta ... something warm and jewel-toned.