Thursday, December 31, 2009



G)oodwill: I found a Dior sweater at a Goodwill for eight dollars a few years back. There is a lot of muck to sort through but on a good day you will be rewarded with true jems for five dollars.

H)ennes & Mauritz: Key pieces here are any trendy items you are drawn to but cannot commit a paycheck to pay for. (150 Powell Street and 865 Market Street)

I)cing: The cheap accessories are a given but I spotted some hot trendy boots for thirty-six dollars that someone should buy and write me about. (865 Market Street)

J)ust stick with the basics and splurge on accessories and shoes to create impactful looks. You can take looks a long way with the right versatility in adornments.

K)id's Section: For petite women, shopping in the children's section can be a cost effective way of finding clothes that will fit them better without alterations. Children's collections follow adult trends for half the price.

L)eggings: They haven't been a huge trend for at least four seasons, but consumers will not them go. You can recycle a sweater dress or tunic by switching out solid leggings for patterned styles.

Ruffled Dress, Fun Fun, $34.00 from X Generation 1606 Haight Street

Purple Tights, $2.75 from New York Apparel 1772 Haight Street

Booties, Forever 21, $20.80 from Forever 21 7 Powell Street

Bangles, Forever 21, $5.80 from Forever 21 7 Powell Street

Belt, Photograper’s Own

Total: $63.35


MODEL: Shelby Rothwell

STYLIST: Seth Leeper

Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Every true fashionista knows: when you're strapped for cash, it is not about which designer label you are wearing, but looking like you are wearing it. Of course, every true fashionista has at one time or another skipped a meal here and there to help pay for those special items with aspirational price tags.

Below you will find your secret A to Z shopping index of San Francisco's best places to satisfy your sartorial fetish with a high style quotient at a low price. Some of these places you may have heard of, while others are smaller boutiques - soon to be your new obsessions where you can find a range of fashions from Marc Jacobs jackets for $32.50 to Diane Von Furstenberg-inspired dresses for under $50.

I scoured and hunted many of these places to present you with four styled looks for $100 or less, including shoes and accessories. I dug, toiled, and fought over Missoni sweaters for eleven dollars (yes, you read that right), at Goodwill, and cried when the Dries Van Noten shoes were not my model's shoe size, but alas, I emerged triumphant with heaps of cute clothes and styling solutions report back on.

A)merican Apparel: This entry should come as no surprise. Child porn-ish advertisements and glittery leggings aside, American Apparel is a reliable source for basics. Key items to shop for here are T-shirts, cardigans, and zippy sweaters. (2174 Union Street, 1615 Haight Street, and 363 Grant Avenue)

B)uffalo Exchange: The prices have risen here in tandem with the rest of the Haight Street thrift stores, but you can still find women's shirts for under five dollars. (1555 Haight Street and 1210 Valenicia Street)

C)rossroads Trading Company: You'll have a lot of luck finding big name designers for small prices at the Irving and Market Street locations. Cross your fingers they have your sizes, too. (1901 Fillmore Street, 1519 Haight Street, 630 Irving Street, 2123 Market Street)

D)SW: The women's shoes are much more consistent than the men's collection, but you'll find rock bottom prices for name brand footwear in the basement, where the clearance is located. (111 Powell Street, 306 Westlake Village)

E)state Sale: It may seem creepy to wear a dead woman's clothes, but she can probably save you a lot of money.

F)orever 21: Key items here are booties for under thirty dollars and stacks of bangles and bracelets you can get for just seven dollars. There's also the designer-inspired pieces and leather jackets you can get for around thirty dollars. (7 Powell Street)

*Portions of this text were originally published in Xpress Magazine.

One-Shoulder Dress, Double Zero, $31.99 from Pink Lilly 1748 Haight Street

Heather Grey T-Shirt, H&M, $9.90 from H&M 150 Powell Street

Booties, Forever 21, $20.80 from Forever 21 7 Powell Street

Tights, $2.75 from New York Apparel 1772 Haight Street

Total: $65.44


MODEL: Shelby Rothwell

STYLIST: Seth Leeper

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Stay tuned. This week I'll be unveiling a new fashion spread. Pulled from San Francisco boutiques, I styled four distinct looks for under $100 as a companion piece to a recession-friendly shopping guide I wrote, originally published in Xpress Magazine. I'll post a shot per day and portions of the article to accompany each day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009



As we approach the start of the decade's final year, the future of fashion is up in the air. True, there a trends that can be forecasted, since we can already see what designers are going to dress us in next Fall, but how will the 2000s be remembered and what will the 2010s look like?

The fashion cycle accelerated at a fierce pace in the 20th century that was unprecedented, thanks to the Industrial Revolution, which brought the ability to mass produce garments. Where before a single silhouette or style could be in vogue for several decades or even hundreds of years, suddenly each decade brought with it new styles and innovations that would cast out what came before.

While fashion is essentially about change and looking forward, somehow we would find ourselves looking back to take inspiration from the past into the here and now. In the 90s we abhorred the 80s, celebrated minimalism, and somehow found ourselves back in a relaxed 70s aesthetic of plaids and wide leg pants, for which I blame Old Navy.

Now that we're nearing the end of the 00s, looking back it seems the 80s has left its stamp on fashion. The decade that was once thought best forgotten by those who lived through it was ushered back in by their children: first in the guise of music, then by the appearance of the skinny jean, which bubbled over into the resurgence of Members Only-inspired jackets and studs.

It seems the past couple decades we've simply skipped the decade that came directly before and mined the one before that for inspiration. The 90s looked back on the 70s, and the 00s yearned for the 80s.

Does this mean we're poised for a 90s renaissance? Fashion editors have already seen the 70s creeping back, which, frankly, is just a step away from a free fall of 90s mania.

How do you like them apples?

PHOTO CREDIT: Alexander Wang Spring 2010 from

Wednesday, December 9, 2009



Though he branched out and offered suiting pieces, Wu's dresses were the highlight of his Pre-Fall 2010 collection. A triumph of draping and ruching, Wu's dresses are modern, sexy, and versatile. Take them from day to night with metallic jewelry and boots, ankle or tall.

PHOTO CREDITS: Jason Wu from

Saturday, December 5, 2009



Studs may come and go and skirts will elongate and shrink, but proportion is forever. The one consistent trend you can count on is volume, sculptural techniques that give silhouettes exaggerated shapes and power shoulders. Details that exaggerate the waist, or flare in an a-line silhouette. These are the lines that speak chic, easy, and fashion forward moving through the next few seasons.

Pre-Fall 2010 is an apt indicator of this. Pictured are looks from the Pre-Fall collections. Click on thumbnails to see full-size images.
PHOTO CREDITS: Narcisco Rodriguez [top], Carolina Herrera [left], Donna Karan [bottom], and Oscar de le Renta [right] from

Wednesday, December 2, 2009



A look through Monique Lhuillier's Spring 2010 collection is a snapshot of the major trends of the past few seasons: bows, volume, draping, and animal prints.
PHOTO CREDITS: Monique Lhuillier from