Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Thank you all for making 2011 a wonderful year! Enjoy the holidays and we'll see you back here on January 2, 2012. Until then, smooches. XOXOXOXOX

Links A La Mode

Links For Your Holidays!

Edited by: Collette Osuna of Statements in Fashion

At the risk of sounding like a Christmas song, isn’t this the most wonderful time of the year?

I love hearing all the Holiday music playing in the stores! Trees are getting trimmed, gifts are being purchased, and people for the most part, haven’t forgotten the true meaning of the season. I’m taking some time over the next few weeks to re-vamp my closet, bake up some Holiday goodies, and make some new memories with my family and friends. However you may be spending the Holidays, be safe and keep the ones you love near to your heart. I will see you in the New Year!


Have You Ever Wanted to Buy Something Out-of-Season?

Well, the weather outside isn't frightful just yet. But Summertime is definitely a distant memory in this chilly Autumn. So, why do I have the strong, sudden urge to get one of these lace party dresses from LucieLu?

I mean - there will be parties over the holidays, right? And I could possibly Winter-up these dresses with some nice tights and a cardigan, right? Ideas?

Halloween: The Saga

The office costume party sort of sneaked up on me this year. But I'm not going to run out to the mall in a panic. Nope, that was the old me. I'm thinking that with my quirky background, surely I already own more Halloween-y things than the average chick. So I'm going to "shop my closet" for the perfect pirate get-up. And if I need anything else, I'll make it with my own widdle hands. I've spent the last couple of days doing research on (Googling) female pirates and the one with the best swag in my opinion is whatever character Penelope Cruz played in that movie.

I'd like my attire to be something like that, but a little more fancy. I've already started decorating a crushed velvet hat I bought a few years back and I've added a felt flower blossom to a plain eye-patch. I have a tiered lolita skirt, striped bloomers and some big lace-y shirts (one of them will surely work, right?). I think if I pile on enough seaworthy jewelry and accessories after that, I'll be all set. What do you think? And more importantly, are you dressing up for Halloween this year. If so, who or what are you going to be?

Top left picture from Hostess with the Mostess

But On The Other Hand...

Have you seen Australian plus-size model Robyn Lawley? The size 16 beauty graces the latest cover of French Revue de Modes. Very glam, don't you think?

So Long, Crystal Renn

Well, we knew this day would come.
You ladies know we love to champion plus-size models here to be sure they get the love they might not get other places. So, it was obvious a few months ago that we might eventually have to say goodbye to Crystal Renn as a subject on our blog. Not as a person - she has the right to do whatever she wants with her body. But as a woman who used to show the world that curvy can be beautiful, she no longer fits the bill. Yes, she's virtually unrecognizable since her most recent weight loss. But it's not her it's us. We're just not here to shed light on everyday stick thin models. That's what those other style blogs are for.

As EntertainmentWise.com wrote last week, such a dramatic change after years of Renn's talk (and a book!) about plus size beauty seems to promote the idea that "everyone wants to be thin, regardless of how many times they say 'I love my body the way it is.'" And we can't be part of that.

A Vintage Inspired Look

I just received some pictures of Mad Men's Christina Hendricks at the premiere of "I Don't Know How She Does It" in New York City. I think she's a curvy girl who knows how to wear vintage-inspired looks in a modern way. What do you think? Who are your fashion idols when it comes to this style?

Jewelry by Katerina Maxine

Crazy Month!

What a weird and wacky month. East coast earthquakes, hurricanes, and power outages. If we haven't been blogging as much as usual, it's because we've sort of been through the wringer. On top of that, my little one started Kindergarten on Monday and turned five on Tuesday. (Happy Birthday, Pumpkin!) But you know what? We're making the best of it. Plugging away, barreling through, grinding it out, making headway. I don't know where we're going, but we're getting there! So expect lots of new and exciting posts for next week. As for you, August 2011. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

My New Favorite Body Cream

August is no time to get caught with dry skin, amirite? The higher temperatures mean we have to bare more, so we have to stay moisturized. Plus, it's just good grooming. I don't think I'm the only woman who has a choice of creams, lotions, salves, oils, and butters to slather on when she gets out of the shower. But recently my collection had been seriously lacking and I know from experience that having products you're excited about makes you more likely to actually use them. So I decided to buy one of the items I'd bookmarked on Etsy. It was the Whipped Satin Luxury Cream by PinkDandy. I had contacted the seller ahead of time to make sure the fragrance I wanted - OK Sugar - was available. She was friendly and very open to customizing my order in just about any way possible, which means a lot to a very picky person like me.

My order arrived a few days later, well-packaged and with a generous sample of a second body cream labelled "birthday cake". I dove right in to the full-size body cream and - what a treat! It was very thick, but also light and creamy. The scent was divine. It reminded me of Jones Cream Soda, but with the tiniest twist of lemon. Very crisp and summer-y. I will definitely be using this cream for the rest of the season and beyond. And as for the sample, it is entirely too yummy. Since the Birthday Cake scent layers well (see what I did there?) with the OK Sugar fragrance, I keep the sample on my desk at work for little touch ups throughout the day. Here's a picture of my little haul today at the office.

Links A La Mode

Love Yourself Always and Forever.

Edited by Nubia of NubiasNonsense

Loving yourself might very well be the key of living a happy life. Love your strengths, your weaknesses, everything! Everyone who made a submission to Links à la mode should be very proud and content with themselves. You are all fashion bloggers with a voice and have something to share with others. Did you know that your post could make someone's day? Your DIY shorts might have been the highlight of a young girls day. Your inspirational post might have motivated someone who had the blues. These are all reasons to keep writing great content and when in doubt remember... YOU INFLUENCE PEOPLE.

Angel Secret Review

So, I was looking for a season-less blazer. If this year's Spring cleaning taught me anything it's that there is almost no point to having so many clothes that can only be worn for a few months out of the year. I was looking for something out of the ordinary and slightly punk-y when I spotted this plaid power-shoulder blazer at a store called Angel Secret on eBay:

Don't worry - I had no intention of wearing it the same way as the model. That would be a bit much, even for me. No, I saw myself toning it down with a plain white shirt underneath, a well-worn denim skirt, and my strappy Aldo wedge thingees. I saw that the seller Angel Secret was locatedin Hong Kong, which meant the jacket could take a long time to arrive, but I took a chance and bought it anyway. A couple of weeks later it arrived in good condition. Here's my experience: The jacket is made in several sizes, but I was surprised that it fit as well as it did. I thought the sleeves might have been a tad too long. I'm not sure that's actually the case or if it has to do with my personal preference, but I rolled them up. This turned out to be just fine since the entire jacket is lined with a satiny dotted material. It has cute brass-y buttons down the front but they don't actually button; instead a super-strong hook-and-eye mechanism holds the blazer closed in the front. I thought this was a well thought-out detail because it's the same way that my favorite military blazer works. Anyway, here's the final result. (Forgive the blogger-at-work pics and the flat hair and the leggings- it's very cool in my office.)

I could definitely see myself buying again from Angel Secret. For $49 and free shipping I received a lightweight blazer that could be dressed up or down. In fact, I recently ordered this jacket from there...

...and I'll have a review of it very soon. As you can probably tell I'm a hard core fan of blazers because they help me to get out of the door in a hurry. There are lots of mornings when I'll just throw on a pair of jeans, a random top and a blazer. Regardless of the season, the blazer pulls it all together. Do you have your own secrets for looking "pulled together" in a hurry? If so, please share! Also, where do you get your blazers? I'm always on the lookout.

Canvas & Fabric Handbags

Maybe it's a sign of the economic times, but canvas and fabric handbags are apparently making a comeback. I've been seeing them everywhere. Dolce & Gabbana wants over 300 bucks for that little number in the corner up there, but you can find similar ones for a better price! I'm definitely thinking about picking one up but... read more on our review blog

I haven't narrowed down my choices just yet. When I do, I'll be sure to come here and share. So, what about you? Any interest in canvas handbags or are you partial to another material? Tell me all about it in comments!

Links A La Mode

Your Blogs Perfect Accessory: Brilliant Pictures

Edited by Denimology

As I was selecting my posts for this weeks Links A La Mode, I realized how important it is to have attractive and original images in your posts. I noticed that I would open a post and close it promptly if the images looked rather..... what's the word... meh.

Here is how to have your blog posts chosen by me [Denimology] for LALM:

  • Images Are The Main Course -- A great image will draw in your reader. The image might be beautiful, odd, heartwarming, instructive or just curiosity-provoking, so long as it keeps the reader wanting to read your post.

  • Don't Forget To Use an Image -- It’s better to use a generic image than no image at all but ultimately your image should represent what the subject of your post is about.

  • High Quality Images Are Best -- We've all heard the saying "Pictures speak a thousand words", but in the blogging world they speak even more. Adding HQ pictures to a blog post will visually stimulate your readers and help them identify with you, the writer.

  • Resize Your Images -- While images can make your blog looked polished and professional, having images that hang over into the margins or that are cut off is sloppy blogging.

Links à la Mode: May 19th


Sexy Tops at Shopbop: Vena Cava, Blue Life, Monrow, Vince, Wildfox,

LnA, Equipment blouses, LAMB, Zac Posen, Rachel Roy & Jill Stuart

DIY Almond Rosewater Facial Scrub

I've been playing around with this for a few weeks, but I think I now have the perfect all-natural facial scrub. My skin is pretty clear right now and I think I owe it all to my new creation. I've been using it every night and I made it with four really simple ingredients. Here's what I used:

1/2 cup of almond meal (I got mine from Trader Joe's but there are lots of sources online, too.)
A generous amount of rosewater
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil or almond oil
1 teaspoon of natural witch hazel (different from the kind at the corner drugstore)
Optional: capful of gin or vodka

I added the almond meal to a bowl and mixed in enough rosewater to make a very thick paste. (Feel free to experiment with the consistency, though, and make it the way you want!) Then, I whisked in the oil and followed with the natural witch hazel. I used a whisk or fork each time I've made it, though I supposed you gourmet-types could get a smoother concoction using a hand-mixer or blender. Any way you mix it, it's a great little scrub that isn't too rough and won't leave your skin all red and angry. In fact, it's pretty soothing. As with all natural products you'll need to think about how to keep it fresh. I've been either refrigerating mine or adding a capful of gin. With the gin it will last 3 or 4 days in a cool/dry place, but it'll keep for more than a week if you shove it in the refrigerator when you're done.

I'm really pleased with the results (obviously, right?) so I just had to share. But I'm still fiddling with other creations, so I'm pretty sure I'll have more of these projects to share down the road. Do you make any of your own skin care products? If so, which ones?

Short Rompers & Jumpers

Maybe you were hoping rompers would just go away? They certainly didn't seem convenient or even entirely flattering the last time we talked about them. (We can only imagine what Tim Gunn would say!) But here we are taking a look at the updated "one-piece jumper thingees" coming out in time for the warm weather, and we have to say - some of them are pretty darned hot! What do you think??? Way to go? Or... oh honey, no? See more of what we're talking about here.

Links A La Mode: This Week

As the World Turns

Edited by Fajr of StylishThought.com

With so much going on in the world, the Japan earthquake, the upheaval in Libya, the aftermath of John Galliano’s actions and the social phenomenon that is Charlie Sheen, it’s great to see the fashion blogging community talking about the issues and bringing a little light with the fancy of fashion! Included in this week’s amazing links: Shopping to Aid Japan Relief, an outfit post for Charlie Sheen, exploring the new neon trend and behind the scenes of how Hermes scarves are made!

Links à la Mode: March 24th


Shopbop Sale: Jen Kao, Maison Scotch, Free People, Tibi, Jil Sander, Herve Leger, Tory Burch, & Alexander Wang


This time of year it seems everyone is either sick or taking care of sick people. Guess which one I am? The latter, or course! So far, I'm the last (wo)man standing so I've been busy looking after two fellas who seem to be taking turns with various manifestations of cold and/or flu. They're getting better, but for the last couple of weeks I've had absolutely no time to blog. I'll be getting back into the swing of things with new reviews and posts before the end of the week. Hang in there - Spring is almost here!

Intimates & Sleepwear Sale at Torrid

Is your underwear unraveling? Shapewear out of shape? Bras no longer lifting-and-separating? Just in the mood for better lingerie? If so, you might be in luck. Until Valentine's day, Torrid is giving 25% off sexy sleepwear, bras, shapewear and panties. So pop over there if your intimates need updating.

IFB Presents: Links a la Mode

links a la mode

It's Getting Hot In Here

Edited by Ann of Holier than Now

Though you may be living in a snow globe (sure feels like it here on the East Coast), you're never out in the cold - assuming the snow hasn't knocked out your internet ... This week's links will warm you up with hot topics that, ideally, bring out the best in a thoughtful, vibrant blogging community. Take your gloves off (the wool kind, not the boxing kind) and join the conversation!

P.S. If you'd like your voice heard here in Links a La Mode, take a look at this helpful guide by Grit & Glamour.

Links à la Mode: January 27th


Shopbop: Clogs, Flats, Heels, Platforms, Knee Highs Boots, Wedge Sandals, Booties, Open Toe, Shoe Sale, Designers

Tennis, Anyone?

Am I the only one who didn't know that Nike makes plus-size sportswear? I don't even play any competitive sports (unless you count working in DC) but I think this little tennis outfit is cah-yute!

Each piece is $50 at Nordstrom.

IFB Presents Links A La Mode

links a la mode

In With The New

Edited by: The Sunday Best

It's funny how an arbitrary measurement like time can cause us to reassess our lives, make long lists of promises, and end up overpaying for bad parties filled with depressed people staring into their drinks. Just me? Let's start the year off right with a collection of links bursting with new year-y goodness.

Links à la Mode: January 6th


Shopbop Boot Sale: S.Weitzman, Dolce Vita, Ash, S.Edelman, T.Burch, J.Campbell, Minnetonka, Loeffler, Hunter, UGG, Frye

Happy New Year, Brickhouses!

So far, so good in 2011. After just a few days, this year is already looking better than the last one. We are working on a kick-arse list of the top trends going into the coming seasons and we're writing-up some long overdue fashion reviews. But we'd also love to hear from you! What are you looking forward to in the coming year??? Beauty-wise? Fashion-wise? Life-wise? Do tell!

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