M hearts Matthew Williamson for H&M

(image courtesy of http://www.stylefinder.com)

I am known to treat myself to a bit of payday indulgence here and there (or as often as bi-weekly paychecks allow). This week was no different. After browsing the Matthew Williamson for H&M racks at my downtown H&M for weeks, I went in prepped to finally buy a piece or two. Lo and behold, I walk in and the Matthew Williamson racks gone.

Never one to be detoured by an obstacle when there is a fashion goal in mind, I started to scour the racks around the store in hopes of finding some of my beloved Matthew Williamson. After a few short minutes of flipping through racks of 30% off summer pants and burnout tees, I find the sleeveless peacock print top. In an extra-small. Exactly what I wanted. Hallelujah.

Two big thumbs up on this purchase from this fashionista. While it's made of viscose, it feels silky. The scoop neck falls perfectly. The colors go with any pair of dark denim jeans and makes an after-work outfit 'pop.' I'll admit that I (ew) wore it two nights in a row this weekend. Possibly unsanitary, I assure you readers that it's safely in my hamper now and will be washed for plenty of more wear. I only wish I had been able to get my hands on the peacock print tunic dress (seen on Nicky Hilton and Katy Perry here!). Woe is me.


How (not) to organize your closet

Hi, my name is P. and I'm a confessed closet-clutterer...wardrobe-wrecker...or whatever else you'd like to call me (and yes, neglectful blogger wouldn't be completely out of left field).

Every so often (usually every semester while I was still in school) I redo my closet (that is usually in a state of shambles)...things are pulled out, tried on and tossed, old clothes rediscovered and many many many instances of buyers remorse relived...

I went through one of those recently, after noticing that I was in the habit of pulling out the same reliable believe-it-or-not Gap black button down and dark Sevens...I would team "the outfit" with flip-flops and a large tote for grocery shopping with the parents, with gladiator sandals, large gold hoops and a stack of gold bangles for a night out, with poker straight hair, pearls and heels for work, hair thrown up in a messy bun and a bright red headband and flats for a Starbucks run with friends...I knew it was bad when I tried to make it interview-appropriate (don't worry, dear reader, a sudden flash of common sense steered me away at the last moment)

I figured the best thing to do was to purge my wardrobe of all the stuff I hadn't worn in the last year and go fish for new outfits, mix-n-matchable stuff if you will, in the dark deep depths of my closet...

So much for that theory...

I pulled out everything out of my closet, let it lay around in my room for 4-5 days and packed
about 75% of it away into wicker baskets courtesy IKEA...

Now I'm left with the few pairs of jeans and t-shirts I have on constant rotation...and the perfect excuse to go shopping for a whole new wardrobe...

Oh well, you can't say I didn't try...

"I'm Your Biggest Fan, I'll Follow You Until You Love Me, Papa-Paparazzi"

(image courtesy of: http://the-entertainment-fanatic.blogspot.com)

The rain started to roll into Boston, giving me time to catch up on Lady GaGa's latest artsy video venture, the music video for Paparazzi. When I initially listened to The Fame last summer, Paparazzi jumped to the top of each and every of my iTunes playlists and ringtone choices. I loved the pop culture fanatic message of the song and what it says about today's contemporary culture, tied with GaGa's sarcastic approach to it.

GaGa's video for her upteenth (okay, only 4th) single from The Fame proves to continue down her pop arty, pop culture questioning, cheeky and dark image that she's created. Entertainment Weekly wrote that they, "Have no words" for the eight-minute long epic of a music video. She gets thrown off of a balcony by a skeezy boyfriend, has an orgy with a bunch of Daisy of Love girls, appears with teacup (!!!) and does something mugshot worthy. Tasteless? Watch for yourself. Entertaining? Yes, probably, although if I want to watch a video warning about the dangers of paparazzi, I'll probably stick to the standby Britney Spears Everytime vid. Another personal favorite.


Fashion Roundup!

(image courtesy of: http://www.debutanteclothing.com)

I've been a neglectful bad blogger! My regrets. Forgive me and enjoy the rundown of my interweb findings.

Introducing my new obsession. Theoutnet.com. My alliances are fully with Rue La La, don't get me wrong. But don't tell my boss, but everyone knows that a key to bargain shopping is shopping around. Having choices is key, so just like Marshalls and TJMaxx, we have Rue La La and The Outnet. Tomorrow's deal? Christian Louboutins for $300. While it's a bit much for a pair of shoes, the red soles are so worth it. Also worth glancing at on The Outnet? Their DvF collection. In particular, this silk dress that is 80% off. Jump on that size 4 fashionistas.


In the advertising world. Welcome the summertime Snuggie, the wearable towel. I know what I need to ask for my next gift...


Lastly, by now everyone knows that traffic is blocked in Times Square in NYC. I'll be able to see this for myself while I go visit bestie A in her Midtown apartment in a few weekends (just in time for the DvF sample sale!), but my current view? Not even the elimination of cars and taxis can make Times Square any less of a tourist seizure. No thank you.



Blair Waldorf (and I!) LOVE Dior

(image courtesy of fabsugar.com)

In a recent episode of the best show ever (also known as Gossip Girl), Blair Waldorf is seen with a gorgeous Christian Dior Cannage Leather Tote from the Lady Dior collection. I was lucky enough last week to see some bags from this collection in person (and write product descriptions on them) for an upcoming RueLaLa.com sale. (Sidenote: my job rocks, I know, no need to remind).

Consider this bag, along with the large, navy blue, patent leather cannage print shopper tote on my droolworthy and lusted items I need list. The bags are surprisingly huge, but don't give off a Mary Kate Olsen vibe where you feel kind of like that older woman at Whole Foods with a grocery bag. They're structured, sturdy and classic. Dior never fails to amaze me and every other fashionista.


Gossip Girl Spinoff? Thumbs Up!

(image courtesy of: http://cdn.buzznet.com)

Firstly, my apologies, dear readers. My new job brings few opportunities to blog. I believe in the quality over quantity value, and so should all of you.

That being said, who caught last night's
Gossip Girl, that included the pilot for the yet-to-be-titled Lily Rhodes Van der Woodsen spinoff? For the first time in a long time, I disagree with this weeks' Daily Intel roundup. I sat in my living room with my friends and we ate up every moment of the episode. The transitions from 1980s Lily to current day Serena and gang were seamless. The 80s fashions were believable and admirable -- enough for us to decide to throw an 80s themed party in the near future. Plus, can anyone else sense some of the 80s look coming back? Did anyone else swoon over Lily's blazer (see above photo)? I love me some tweed. Anyway, we love Lily as a teenager just as much (if not more), than Serena -- at the very least, Lily had impeccable hair as a teen and doesn't look like she rolled out of bed like Serena always does.

There, of course, were a few downsides. Unlike the Daily Intel, the thought of Keith Van der Woodsen being Serena's father is gagworthy. As a former Rufus fan, I wonder how Lily could have possibly chosen Keith over Rufus. His Tom Cruise circa Top Gun look was enough to make me want to cry. Also, why couldn't Gossip Girl have given us a proper prom episode? Blair and Serena going to get their makeup done. Their updos perfected. Their mani/pedi combination. Sigh. If only.

But, of course, every negative is erroneous when the fact of the matter is that No Doubt was on Gossip Girl! I loved them as an 80s band. I love their cover of Stand and Deliver. I love Gwen Stefani. Period. The end.


Anna Sui Hearts Gossip Girl!

(image courtesy of: http://fashiontribes.typepad.com)

According to The Cut, Anna Sui is in plans to create a Gossip Girl inspired line for Target. I feel as though no further details are necessary, because this fact alone is enough to make me, P, and every other twenty-something, female friend of mine squeal with excitement. Count me in for being in the long line of girls the day these threads hit the racks.


Fall Into The Gap

(photo courtesy of: http://fashionindie.com)

There's been Matthew Williamson for H&M and Vera Wang for Kohls. Now, count Alexander McQueen and Vena Cava in for The Gap. With a khaki-based theme (how summer prep!), Alexander McQueen and Vena Cava's lines for The Gap will launch on June 16th both on gap.com and in retail stores. Save up your extra pennies and look at the full photos from Racked. While some pieces are misses (you can't pay me enough to wear a feathered bucket hat), but the dresses (shown above)? I love. Love. Love. Love.


"Don't You Just Love A Bargain?"

(image courtesy of: http://agentsofurbanism.com)

Bargain shopping is not a new activity for me and my group of friends. Although the droopy economy boasts our efforts as now-chic and responsible, we spent the better part of our years in school scouring through racks at our favorite discount designer hotspots. Our closets stand stocked with Juicy Couture sweatsuits, Lacoste polos, Seven for all Mankind jeans, and Theory blazers. Our dirty little secret is that we almost never pay full price. I mean, do I look like I can afford a $455 Theory blazer (seen here, on the left)? It's cute, but not 'I might as well sell my first born' cute. My secret? I paid $30 on clearance at a discount shop on the North Shore of Massachusetts. A recent Wall Street Journal article examined such bargain shopping techniques and what it means for the future of retail and luxury goods. Pop Culture Paradox realizes that bargain hunting is an art - one that we feel that we mastered after years (and lessons from our dear mothers) of practice. Let us share some of our secrets so you too can look like you paid a zillion dollars for your first date outfit, when you really only paid about a hundred.

In the WSJ article, it asks, "...What next then for retail? It looks like the immediate answers might be found in three concepts: designer shopping online, discounted online luxury sample sales and discount designer malls." I will admit, it took a little bit for me to jump onto the members-only, online sample sale bandwagon, but once I did, it hit full force. WSJ showcases Gilt Groupe (where, if you're not a member, join here with me as a reference). Their recent sales include Christian Louboutin (!!!), Tory Burch and J Brand. Gilt Groupe is currently holding a Jack Spade sale (only until noon today) where laptop bags are $68 (normally $225).

I can't resist a bit of shameless self-promotion through this blog post, as even better than Gilt Groupe (there, I said it), is the site that I will be full-time Product Writer at, Rue La La (Join as a member through me here!). What's great about Rue La La? For myself and my own benefit, they're based out of Boston, which always gives a company brownie points. But more importantly, their price point is set lower than other sites, allowing the shopper to feel that they truly are getting a deal. Recent sales include Juicy Couture, Kenneth Jay Lane, Moschino Cheap & Chic. Today's new slew of sales include John Hardy and Gottex (whose perfect-for-the-beach miniskirts are selling for $35 -- regularly $98). Later this week expect to log in just in time to nab a new Balanciaga bag or some Hanky Panky necessities.

The other notable online sample sale boutique worth mentioning, Hautelook (If you need to join, comment to this entry with your email address and I'll send a referral your way!). The great thing about Hautelook? Their dead-on perfect sales for twenty-something appropriate casual wear (past sales include C&C California and Habitual) and their focus away from just clothing. Their GoSmile Whitening system sale gave Sephora's price a killing (normally about $50, Hautelook offered the same products for $30 and under), and their upcoming Gaggia sale gives an opportunity for everyone to give their kitchens a facelift through a new espresso machine. On sale right now? Manolo Blahniks. Yes, you read that right.

Before the land of online sample sales - and still my bi-weekly indulgence - are cheap clothing shopping sprees at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Filene's Basement (which recently filed for Chapter 11, despite my best efforts to personally boost their sales). If you're in the Boston area and looking for a deal, take a short drive down Rt. 495 to the Wrentham Outlets. It almost hurts how great these outlets are, and definitely worth the 45 minute drive from the city. How good you ask? Think Off 5th (Saks Fifth Avenue's own outlet) where I bought a pair of Tahari pants for $14 kind of good. A Barneys New York outlet where I nabbed a Barney's brand black satin evening clutch for under $30. A Theory outlet, where best friend A picked up a a colorblock dress that she had seen in a Greenwich, CT, full-priced Theory store only days prior for 60% less. In this economy, a little retail therapy is needed (and justified) - and these places are all like 90 calorie snack packs. They all allow for you to indulge minus the guilt.


Graduation Fashion?

(image courtesy of: http://shenyuepop.com)

Here in Boston, Northeastern University's graduation is today. This would explain the influx of billowy, black, trash bag-esque gowns wandering around the Prudential Center this morning. I remember the first time I stepped into a graduation robe. Last year. 2008. At my own college graduation. I was shockingly excited to wear the frock that the commencement office handed over to me, simply due to it's newness. I attended a small, private, New England prep school for high school, and an even smaller, private New England independent school for Kindergarten-8th grade. Both graduations required white sundresses for graduation. No trash bags for the proper and preppy.

My excitement last year wained about 10 minutes after throwing on the cap and gown. The gown made me look even smaller than my 5'0" stature. The hat ruined my makeup on my upper forehead. It took 20 bobby pins to keep my cap in place. Lastly, black on a hot day is a curse from graduation gods. Who thought putting graduates in all black was a good idea?!

I think the private schools that I attended were onto something when they shunned caps and gowns at graduation. White dresses are so chic now. The LWD is the LBD of the daytime. One quick glance at Neiman Marcus online shows a slew of pretty, can-be-worn-all-summer white, graduation appropriate dresses. My personal favorite is this Diane von Furstenburg. It's perfect for graduating, boating, beach walking, bbq'ing (just don't forget the Tide To Go if you're as klutzy with a cheeseburger as I!). Ideal white dress options are also available from Catherine Malandrino (although I prefer her black, studded, Serena Van der Woodsen worn dress that I never got my hands on - so sad!), Dolce & Gabbana, Theory and Nanette Lapore.

So, soon-to-be graduates, rebel against the trash-bag attire, and look pretty! Nothing says celebration like a flowing, cotton (or cotton-blend) white dress. Pair it with a lily behind your ear and either a white clutch (like
this fun Marc Jacobs) or go for a bit of color and spurge on this perfect, deep blue Alexander McQueen clutch. We might be in a recession, but it's your graduation, and you know that after four years of all-nighters, research papers, boring lecture hall classes, and senior thesis writing, you deserve a good gift.


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