Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Lotta Pilotto: Testing out the Crop Top Look

Peter Pilotto for Target cropped sweater, T by Alexander Wang skirt, MMM x H&M plexi heels and Prada sunglasses
I haven't worn a crop top in like 20 years, since the early 1990's, and maybe I should keep it that way. The crop top trend has been around for quite a few seasons now, at least back to the Spring 2012 runway shows, notably with Prada. Fortunately this time around, there are no exposed navels, that would just be way too Britney Spears and I am way too old for that. I guess it is not a fleeting, single season trend, so I decided to give it a shot with the Peter Pilotto for Target collaboration. This is the cropped sweater that caught my eye from the collaboration from an early look in Vogue, and it finally arrived after almost 2 weeks in transit (boo Target). It's not bad for $30, I like the simple blue white black pattern, and the lightweight knit is comfortable but even in an XS it is slightly big, slightly baggier and longer than I would like (the skirt waistband is right at my navel and I also have a long torso; surprised the sweater is still so long), but given that it is mostly cotton, I should be able to carefully shrink it a bit. I don't find high waisted pants / skirts comfortable, so maybe this is not the right look for me. Still not sure I would actually wear it out, but at least I gave it a shot.I think it's a little too much pattern with a Peter Pilotto x Target pencil skirt, would keep it simple with a black pencil skirt.
Peter Pilotto for Target Cropped Sweater and Pencil Skirt, MMM x H&M plexi hells and Prada Sunglasses

Monday, February 17, 2014

Some More Pilotto: Working Girl Flashbacks

Peter Pilotto for Target Pencil Skirt, Maison Martin Margiela x H&M sock sweater and plexi heels, Prada sunglasses
In honor of Peter Pilotto's FW 2014 London Fashion Week show, another Peter Pilotto for Target look. This would be a perfect work outfit; too bad I don't work in an office anymore. I pretty much wore a pencil skirt everyday to the office, and haven't worn one since. I just associate pencil skirts with work, not something I would wear everyday or even out to dinner / drinks. Despite that association, I like this skirt more than I thought I would; the fabric is a thick cotton that shows off the vibrant print well. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the post above, there's too much extra fabric in the back so it's not a keeper.

Interesting LFW show by Peter Pilotto today with some of the signature clashing prints, similar to this collaboration. Not sure how I feel about furry turtlenecks but I like some of the slinkier silhouettes in the collection.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Little Pilotto + Rules for Shopping Designer Collabs

Peter Pilotto x Target colorblock cotton and mesh cardigan, Helmut Lang tee, Isabel Marant x H&M kids sweatpants, Isabel Marant Betty sneakers
So I know I said I wasn't staying up for the Peter Pilotto x Target release as there were no must have items for me from the collection, but k was working late that Saturday and woke me up when he came in around 1am, so I hopped online to check it out on first Net-a-porter then The styling and descriptions were much better on Net-A-Porter, plus I trust that the buyers at Net-A-Porter bought only the best pieces from the collaboration so it was a good starting point. A couple of the items were more expensive on Net-A-Porter than on Target so I ultimately ordered a bunch of items from, just so I could check out the quality, fit and style in the hopes of finding them on sale. Only half of my order has arrived, the rest is delayed "due to weather." Now that I've shopped a bunch of these collaborations, I have a couple of rules that I try to stick with. First of all, especially with the Target collabs, I try to buy pieces that are at least 50% cotton. The 100% polyester pieces just feel a little icky, they are usually staticky, wrinkle easily and cling in the wrong places. Second, also with the Target collabs, always go with the smallest size; Target sizing always runs big for me and sometimes even the smallest size doesn't fit, and I don't consider myself particularly "petite." Third, keep only the pieces that you love that are sold out online, as the Target collaborations are often found on the clearance racks; I've scored several pieces in the past from Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung for up to 70% off. Fourth, be wary of matronly cuts; a lot of the dresses are knee length and high necked which may look cute on 5'10" models but just matronly on ordinary beings. Finally, with these collaborations, I try to buy pieces that are "signature" designs / style of the brand, otherwise you are just buying a regular Target piece of clothing (of course there's nothing wrong with that either). To be fair, this cardigan doesn't really scream "Pilotto" to me as I usually identify Pilotto with bold digital prints; this is probably one of the most subtle pieces of the collaboration.

This mesh colorblocked cardigan didn't jump out at me online, but I saw it in store at Target and thought it was quite cute. I really like the sporty mesh details on the sleeves and back, reminds me of Alexander Wang. I bought it to "contemplate" it further but ended up taking off the tags and immediately wearing it out to dinner as the A/C in the restaurant was on full blast. I really like the cardigan, it's quite versatile and I can see myself wearing it a lot, goes with my very casual lifestyle. As for the other pieces that I have received so far, I like the long sleeve printed tee; a good easy to wear basic that I will get a lot of use out of. I like the pencil skirt, as with most Target items for me, it runs big; the size 2 is still too big for me in the back. Plus, I just don't see myself wearing pencil skirts that much; too dressy for my everyday life with little k, a little too buttoned up for when I actually want to dress up and go out for a night on the town.
Little k is wearing a RH baby and child faux fur vest, Tea Collection dress, Splendid Littles leggings and Stride Rite Mary Janes

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Red + White Valentine

Lanvin x H&M tee, white Zara mini skort, Maison Martin Margiela x H&M pumps and Prada sunglasses
Outfit for a casual dinner out on Valentines. It's so warm in LA that it feels appropriate to wear a white skort in February. Love this Zara skort, scored it on super sale a few weeks ago. I even got complimented on the skort by a guy while waiting for a car wash. Slightly creepy, but flattering I suppose. The tricky thing with the white skirt is to prevent it from looking like I'm wearing my tennis whites. I think this embellished Lanvin (x H&M) tee does the trick; I first paired the skirt with a white Helmut Lang v-neck tee but it looked like I was on my way to the country club. With the Lanvin tee and a pair of patent red heels, just dressed up enough for Valentine's day.  Sidenote: white is so hard to photograph especially in the blazing hot afternoon sun

Friday, February 14, 2014

All You Need is Love

Happy valentines day from little k. Outfit: Gap toddler girl love sweater, Target jeggings, Old Navy kitty flats, Janie & Jack bow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Head to Toe Etoile: Floral Cut Outs, Dogtooth and Flat Boots

Etoile Isabel Marant Presley blouse, Etoile Iti Houndstooth cords and Isabel Marant Dewar Boots
It's warm yet again in southern CA (sorry east coasters), so time to break out a few of my final FW 2013 Isabel Marant purchases: the Presley blouse, Iti dogtooth corduroy jeans and Dewar Boots. Worth the wait and patience; all purchased on second markdown at Barneys / Net a Porter for 60%+ off. I liked the blouse and cords when I saw them on first markdown but decided to wait for second markdown and take my chances. This is my first Isabel Marant blouse, she makes the best lightweight chiffon blouses, though this one is a little challenging to wear with the cutouts and sheerness in the body. One can never have too many pairs of Isabel Marant cords; I have several pairs which I love, including the Ivos and Itzels from last fall, so this one was a nice pick up at 70% off and the pattern is rather subtle which I like. I decided to go with a bigger size this season, a 36, so they are a bit loose but a lot more comfortable. After many seasons of wearing her super comfortable heeled Dicker boots on an almost daily basis, I never thought I would be wearing flat boots, but was convinced to buy this pair after seeing someone else try them on at Barneys looking super chic and effortless. I'm rather relieved that sale season is pretty much over; spent way too much as usual!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Peter Pilotto for Target

from February 2014 issue of vogue
Peter Pilotto for Target launches tomorrow. This is the first Target collaboration in awhile that I won't be waiting up for the online launch for (in contrast with the last two major collabs: Prabal Gurung and 3.1 Phillip Lim). While I usually like digital prints a la Mary Katrantzou, these prints aren't really speaking to me, a little too busy and I don't like the color palettes. The styles aren't my favorite silhouettes and judging only from the pictures, I think there will be high polyester rayon content, which is usually my gripe with the Target collaborations. My favorite look is the one above shot by Vogue, but wish the skirt was a simple pencil skirt as opposed to a more flared shape. I can definitely wait til this collab goes on sale to see if there's anything worth trying.

Perfect Pancakes

So I have finally found the perfect pancake recipe: sour cream pancakes via smitten kitchen via pioneer woman cooks. I've tried all sorts of recipes: traditional buttermilk, whole wheat, yogurt, with fruit inside, but this is my favorite. Airy and light on the inside, buttery golden with a little crisp on the outside, with a hint of tangy sweetness. So good you can eat them on their own (a la little k) or piled high with fruit and maple syrup. The batter is just the right consistency, something I've struggled with in other recipes, so that it spreads when ladled onto the pan but isn't too runny, making the perfect round pancakes with just the right thickness. I also like keeping the fruit separate from the pancakes, often putting fruit into the pancakes messes with the consistency and I have trouble cooking them perfectly. Only change I made to the recipes is using part whole wheat flour. Makes me want to keep a container of sour cream in the fridge at all times, nothing better than impromptu Saturday morning pancakes. Only complaint is that this recipe barely makes enough for the three of us!
Sour Cream Pancakes (adapted from smitten kitchen / pioneer woman)
  • Heat up a non stick pan over medium low heat and butter the pan
  • In a medium bowl, sift together 4 TB of AP flour, 3 TB of whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 TB of sugar
  • Fold in 1 cup of sour cream until just combined and no dry flour
  • Separate small bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs and 1/2 tsp of vanilla (sometimes I grate lemon zest too)
  • Fold into medium bowl, careful not to over mix
  • Turn the stove up to medium and make sure the pan is well buttered (I have really small burners and use a large 12" pan to maximize the # of pancakes, so I turn the heat higher than most recipes)
  • Ladle scant 1/4 cups of batter into the pan. Usually I fit about 4 on a pan. Flip after about 3 minutes when you see small bubbles in the batter. Should flip easily and should be golden brown. Cook for another 2-3 mins on the other side

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Kitty Flats

I almost died from cuteness overload when I saw one of little k's friends wearing these kitty flats at library storytime the other day. I've been obsessed with Charlotte Olympia's Kitty Flats for forever now and tried really hard to find a pair this sale season (for myself) but came up empty handed. I couldn't believe this pair from Old Navy, just adore the black (faux) suede and gold embroidery details. Sadly, these shoes are pretty much all sold out online and in stores, I called a bunch of stores this morning. I bought this pair on the promenade but they are just a bit too snug for little k, so sad! I also bought the mouse and fox versions, but they just aren't as cute, but for less than $7, they are keepers.
Charlotte Olympia version. Image from


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