Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Cheap & Chic

Frugal Fashion: DeGeneres, De Rossi step out at Teen Choice Awards

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

What do you wear to an awards show where the average audience member is under the legal drinking age, the main attraction is the cast of the "Twilight" film series and the awards are rainbow surfboards? The correct answer is whatever you please.

Pint-sized stars flooded the pink carpet at the recent Teen Choice Awards at the Gibson Amphitheatre in anything and everything from jeans and leather pants to cheeky cocktail dresses and skintight minis. Justin Bieber arrived in casual white pants and a camouflage tee, while girlfriend Selena Gomez sported a Dsquared² Resort 2013 flirty pink pleated mini. On the dressier side were "Choice Action Actress" Zoe Saldana in a matching patterned crop top and skirt by Jonathan Saunders and "Glee" star Lea Michele shining in a metallic Versace mini.

Power couple Ellen DeGeneres (who won the award for "Choice Comedian") and Portia de Rossi stood out as a fun, stylish pair who looked chic but didn't take themselves too seriously. DeGeneres chose a menswear-inspired look in a plain V-neck tee, black blazer, khaki pants and a Repp stripe tie belt. De Rossi appeared laid back but elegant in a black tunic tucked into shorts and strappy heels.


To get DeGeneres'  preppy menswear look, try the American Eagle Outfitters Boyfriend blazer in true black for $69.95 from, the Bennett chino from for $79.50, the navy-and-red Repp stripe tie belt from for $24.99, the DV Dolce Vita oxfords in clay from for $79 and a wardrobe must-have staple, the Hanes classic 3-pack V-neck tees for $24 from These V-neck tees are perfect to have on hand for any occasion.


For De Rossi's more feminine, dressier ensemble try the Michael Kors peasant tunic top from for $70.99, the Lands' End chino shorts for $15.99 from Lands' End Canvas and the Kenneth Cole Reaction rise guy slingback sandal from for $68.87.


Try Ellen's look for a backyard BBQ or go glam like Portia for your next party. Both looks are versatile enough to wear all summer long.

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


Frugal Fashion: Naya Rivera a sartorial heroine at Comic-Con

Frugal Fashion: Gwen Stefani goes rocker glam in L.A.

Frugal Fashion: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' star Emma Stone

— Jenn Harris

Photo: TV personality Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi arrive at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images.

Middle photos, from left: American Eagle Outfitters Boyfriend blazer, $69.95 /; Bennett chino, $79.50 /; Navy and red Repp stripe tie belt, $24.99 /; DV Dolce Vita oxfords, $79 /; Hanes classic 3-pack V-neck tees, $24 /

Bottom photos, from left: Michael Kors peasant tunic top, $70.99 /; Lands' End chino shorts, $15.99 / Lands' End Canvas; Kenneth Cole Reaction rise guy slingback sandal, $68.87 /

Frugal Fashion: Naya Rivera a sartorial heroine at Comic-Con

Naya Rivera at Comic-Con

Where can you find bloody zombies, the amazing Spider Man and a hobbit all in the same room? The annual Comic-Con comic book convention in San Diego brings together fans from all over the world -- many of whom dress up as their favorite characters. But over the years the convention, which wrapped up Sunday, has become a place to spot style trendsetters as well. The eclectic mix of fantasy and fashion is now a main attraction for the celebrity set, who attend to promote various projects.

The convention’s sartorial heroes ranged from pretty starlets Michelle Williams (in a  print dress from the Giulietta resort 2013 collection) and Emmy Rossum (in a pale blue suit jacket and vest by Ralph Lauren) to heroines in tougher, sexier garb. “Twilight” saga star Kristen Stewart rocked a cropped white Fluxus T-shirt, mini skirt and high-top sneakers, while Karen Gillan wore a graphic shirt and black mini.

PHOTOS: Starts are casual-chic at Comic-Con 2012

Striking just the right balance of sexy and tough, casual and red-carpet-ready,  was "Glee" star Naya Rivera. Rivera chose a grey Razan Alazzouni top, electric blue high waist pencil skirt from H&M and neon yellow pumps by Giuseppe Zanotti. She let her color combination steal the spotlight by keeping her accessories and makeup minimal. She chose a pair of studs, dark nail polish and a simple nude lip.


To get Rivera’s look, try the wrapped crop tee from for $32, the midi high-waisted millennium pencil skirt in cobalt blue from Charlotte Russe for $18.99 and the BCBGeneration "Cielo" pump in neon yellow from Nordstrom for $88.95.

FfnayamakeupFor a matte nude lipstick, try the Stila long wear lip color in “In the Nude,” available at for $20. Black nail polish is no longer reserved for adolescents going through a certain phase. Try a couple coats of the Milani high speed, fast dry nail lacquer in black swift 23 ($4.49 at to add a little edge to your ensemble.

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


Frugal Fashion: Ines de la Fressange at Paris Fashion Week

Frugal Fashion: Gwen Stefani goes rocker glam in L.A.

Frugal Fashion: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' star Emma Stone

-- Jenn Harris

Top photo: Actress Naya Rivera attends the "Glee" Press Room during Comic-Con International 2012 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

Middle photos, from left: Wrapped crop tee, $32 /; midi high-waisted pencil skirt, $18.99 / Charlotte Russe; BCBGeneration "Cielo" pump, $88.95 / Nordstrom. 

Bottom photos, from left: Stila long wear lip color in “In the Nude,” $20 / Ulta; Milani nail polish, $4.49 /

Frugal Fashion: Ines de la Fressange at Paris Fashion Week


When you think of someone who embodies French chic, it's no surprise that Ines de la Fressange comes to mind. The former model and designer has been a force in the fashion world for decades. Last year Fressange wrote a book called "Parisian Chic: A Style Guide," in which she divulged her secrets to dressing, eating and acting like a Parisian. 

When she's not giving away her style pointers, gleaned from years in the fashion industry as the face of Chanel and brand identity consultant for Roger Vivier (among other things), De la Fressange can still be seen on the runways in Paris. In 2009, she modeled two dresses in the Jean Paul Gaultier spring-summer haute-couture collection and also made an appearance on the runway for Karl Lagerfeld at the Chanel spring 2011 show.

De la Fressange is also a fixture off the runway, spotted in the front row at shows during Paris Fashion Week this month. She attended the Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture fall-winter 2013 presentation in a white blouse with sky blue blazer and dark capri denim. She added flats with a sparkly buckle and classic accessories in the form of a red bag, coral-colored bracelets and a long beaded necklace. It was signature de la Fressange: simple, understated elegance.

De la Fressange's outfit is a combination of affordable basics and well-curated accessories. For a similar look get a versatile, plain white blouse, cropped denim pants and a blue blazer. Try the  Robbi and Nikki jersey contrast top from for $58, the Black Orchid denim capris from for $79 and the Pale blue boyfriend blazer from Topshop for $70.


For a patterned pair of flats with a buckle, get the Via Spiga Odessa snake embossed buckle flat for $118. Accessorize with the 31 Bits Designs Waverly necklace from for $34, the Kenneth Cole New York "modern Riviera" coral bracelet from for $48  and toss your cellphone, wallet and keys into the Banana Republic leather market tote from for $89.99.

Mix and match these basics with existing items in your closet to give your wardrobe a budget-friendly lift for any occasion.

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


Frugal Fashion: Gwen Stefani goes rocker glam in L.A.

Paris Fashion Week: Jean Paul Gaultier gets in the aloha spirit

Photos: Spring-summer 2013 menswear & women's fall haute couture

-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Ines de La Fressange attends the Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture show as part of Paris Fashion Week fall-winter 2013 on July 4 in Paris. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Middle photo: Robbie and Nikki top, $58 /; Black Orchid denim capris, $79 /; Pale blue boyfriend blaer, $70 /

Bottom photo: Via Spiga Odessa snake embossed buckle flat, $118 / Last Call by Neiman Marcus; 31 Bits Designs Waverly necklace, $34 /; Kenneth Cole New York "modern Riviera" coral bracelet, $48 /; Banana Republic leather market tote, $89.99 /

Frugal Fashion: Gwen Stefani goes rocker glam in L.A.


Gwen Stefani was a fashion icon to her "No Doubt" fans long before she launched her L.A.M.B. and Harajuku Lovers labels. The platinum blond was the poster girl for skaters everywhere. She was frequently photographed in a mix of crop tops, baggy pants, studded belts and chains. Over the years, it's been fun to witness the singer transform into a more polished version of her ska rocker self in pieces from her own L.A.M.B. line.

Stefani recently attended the opening of the Exposure 2 photo exhibition in Los Angeles, where she donned a menswear-inspired outfit that was a little of the old "No Doubt" Gwen and her new fashion designer persona mixed together. She wore a pair of Rag & Bone leather pants, white blouse with contrast collar, square-tip tie and cap-toe heels. The silver cuff was a nice touch, and Stefani's best accessory tends to be her signature ruby red lips.

The zipper-embellished pants, silver cuff and contrast collar are rocker chic, while her heels and red lips appear sleek and feminine. The tie adds a funky menswear twist -- perhaps it's a throwback to when Stefani would wear a plain black tie with her bikini tops or with an Oxford shirt and sweater like a school girl.


For a similar blouse with a contrast collar, try the Asos blouse with double collar for $31.48 from offers a sleeveless version with the Peter Pan collar blouse by Ark & Co. for $49. Tuck your blouse into the Mum trousers from Zara for $59.99. The jean's metallic sheen gives a look similar to leather without the high price tag. The Gitman Bros. burgundy knit silk slim tie from for $68 offers a fun retro style  or any borrowed skinny tie from a boyfriend or husband can also do the trick.


For a bold silver cuff, get the Hammered cuff by Hive & Honey from for $18. Finish the look with Nine West gray and pewter baroque pump from for $79 or if you don't mind mixing your gold and silver, go for a sleeker black and gold version with the Asos Sydney pointed high heels with metal cap toe from for $74.57.

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


NBA, Quiksilver partner for team-branded board shorts

Frugal Fashion: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' star Emma Stone

Painted Bird crocheted shoes arrive just in time for summer

-- Jenn Harris

Top photo: Gwen Stefani attends the opening of Exposure 2 photo exhibition hosted by Prevu on Thursday in Los Angeles. Credit: Todd Williamson / Invision for Prevu / Associated Press

Middle photos, from left: Asos blouse with double collar, $31.48 /; Peter pan collar blouse, $49 /; Mum trousers, $59.99 /; Gitman Bros. burgundy tie, $68 /  

Bottom photos, from left: Hammered cuff, $18 /; Nine West baroque pump, $79 /; Asos Sydney pointed heels, $74.57 /

A $2,012 toilet paper wedding dress gives new meaning to 'cheap and chic'


A wedding can be the most expensive soiree you'll ever throw. There's the caterer, the flowers, a band and, of course, the dress. But what if you decided to do away with all the embroidery, lace and taffeta for a dress material that was, say, a little more economical? How about a gown made of plain white toilet paper?

That's the idea behind's eighth toilet paper wedding dress contest. The site asked people to use nothing more than Charmin toilet paper (one of the contest's sponsors), tape, glue and/or needle and thread to make a wedding dress, then submit pictures. The submissions were judged on creativity, originality, beauty and the use of toilet paper.

The winning design came from Susan Brennan, a 26-year-old aspiring artist and designer from Orchard Lake, Mich. Brennan used 10 rolls of Charmin toilet paper to make her Bohemian Cupcake dress. She won the grand prize of $2,012 for this year's entry. Brennan was also the 2011 grand prize winner.


A second-place prize of $1,000 went to Katrina Chalifoux, a 50-year-old electronics technician and mechanic from Knoxville, Tenn. Chalifoux used 28 double rolls of Charmin to make her dress. She is a three-time contestant and the 2008 grand prize winner.


A third-place prize of $500 went to first-time contestant Jennifer Henry, a 31-year-old alternative material designer and stylist from Las Vegas, Nev. Henry used 36 rolls of Charmin and no needle or thread. Instead she used packing tap and double-stick tape to keep her dress together. 


Potter heads: Team USA Quidditch jerseys now on sale

Frugal Fashion: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' star Emma Stone

Shopping L.A.: David's Bridal offers new Luxe gown collection

-- Jenn Harris

Photos: From top,  grand prize winner Susan Brennan in her toilet paper dress,  Katrina Chalifoux's entry and Jennifer Henry's submission. Credit:

Frugal Fashion: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' star Emma Stone


Actress Emma Stone is on quite a roll. This month's Vogue cover girl and star of the upcoming film "The Amazing Spider-Man," slated to open July 3, is on a worldwide media tour for the new action flick. As she travels from city to city she's been been popping up on our fashion radar in outfits that are bold and polished -- just what you'd expect from the rising starlet.

Stone was recently spotted in a royal blue Carven dress and Christian Louboutin heels at a lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building with her costar and real-life beau Andrew Garfield. She wore a black and white cocktail frock by Jason Wu at a photocall in Rome, a long maroon and blue color-block dress by Roksanda Ilincic in Madrid and a black and yellow hand-painted Lanvin dress in Moscow. 

At a news conference at the premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man" in South Korea, Stone once again wowed, in a Burberry Prorsum blue and brown stripe shirt and black pencil skirt, bright turquoise necklace and red Brian Atwood pumps.


For a versatile pencil skirt similar to Stone's, try the pencil skirt with frill at the front from Zara for $49.90. Pair with the American vintage stripe shirt from for $88 and add a pop of color with a chunky necklace. For a real statement piece, get the Kenneth Jay Lane necklace from for $83.25 or the Syanne Bib necklace from for $69.

FfemmaheelStone chose a pair of red shoes, but this look can work with any solid-color heel. A black shoe might be nice, or a neon color could spruce up the ensemble for summer. For a simple red heel, try the Unityy heel by Steve Madden which comes in suede or patent, both for $69.95.  

The pencil skirt, striped top and turquoise necklace are stylish but not stiff and can be appropriate for anything from a party to a job interview.

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


Results of the 2012 L.A. Beard and Mustache Competition

Missoni for Converse Auckland Racer debuts on Milan runway

American Eagle Outfitters' new campaign features three Angelenos

-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Actress Emma Stone poses during a news conference at the premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man" at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Seoul, South Korea.  Credit: Kim Hee-Chul / EPA

Frugal Fashion: Jamie Chung looks fresh and far from a 'Hangover'

Jamie ChungActress Jamie Chung may have started her career as a cast member on the MTV show "Real World San Diego" back in 2004, but the petite starlet has come a long way since, as the show's intro says, "people stopped being polite, and started getting real." She's appeared in major films such as "The Hangover Part II" and "Sucker Punch," but we've had our eye on Chung for other reasons. A frequent player on the L.A. social scene, Chung is on the fast-track to style stardom. Whether she's rocking a leather dress or going glam in a floor-length gown, Chung is definitely one to watch.

The actress made a stylish appearance at the recent Karla Deras for Roman Luxe jewelry launch at the Chateau Marmont, where stars Mena Suvari, Katie Cassidy and Monet Mazur all feted the new line. Chung displayed her affinity for fashion-forward cuts and playful colors in a cropped blue tank, black tulle skirt and color-block sandals. She accessorized with a collar necklace with crystal stones from the Karla Deras for Roman Luxe holiday line Lapis of Luxury.


Chung's outfit consists of fun, versatile summer staples. For a similar cropped top to pair with any high-waist pant, skirt or shorts, get the  silky loose crop tank from American Apparel in cordial blue for $32. The Kenneth Cole pleated knit maxi skirt from for $79.50 or the Kensie pleated chiffon skirt from for $39 make for fun skirts to wear through the summer season and into fall.


Chung chose green and blue sandals to give her outfit a pop of color. Try the Leyna sandal by Lucky for $89 for a similar effect. Her "Lapis of Luxury" necklace won't be available until this year's holiday season, but for an equally chic collar necklace, get the Sabine python collar necklace for $27.99 at

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


More Frugal Fashion

 Donna Karan launches travel-ready collection for

Mena Suvari, Katie Cassidy celebrate Roman Luxe jewelry launch

-- Jenn Harris

Photos, from top: Actress Jamie Chung attends a party launching Roman Luxe's jewelry line, hosted by and Karla Deras on June 13 in L.A. Credit: Chris Weeks / WireImage.

From left: Silky loose crop tank, $32 / American Apparel; Kenneth Cole pleated knit maxi skirt, $79.50 /; Kensie pleated chiffon skirt, $39 / 6pm.

From left: Leyna sandal, $89 / Lucky; Sabine python collar necklace, $27.99 /

Frugal Fashion: Model Alek Wek heats up the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic


Next week marks the official start of summer, and with it an entire social calendar full of outdoor parties and reasons to give your summer wardrobe a chance to shine. The recent Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Jersey City, N.J., got a jump on the season as celebrity attendees cheered on the match in attire that ranged from flowing dresses to sleek shorts.

Designer and stylist Rachel Zoe walked the polo grounds in a maxi and black floppy hat, actress Minka Kelly chose a simple white lace dress and actress Zoe Saldana stood out in a plain black T-shirt and black leather shorts.

Emerging among the best-dressed of the celeb bunch was model Alek Wek, in a cream-colored, cap-sleeve dress by Shoshanna and strappy heels. Her floppy straw hat was a functional, stylish accessory and a black leather bracelet toughened up the girly look just a tad.


Wek's dress with its flattering silhouette and light color is an ideal piece for any summer party. Look for something with romantic details such as lace or subtle embroidery for a similar effect. If you have less than $100 to spend, but need a party dress, try the Guipure lace dress from for $89.90 or Ladylike lace dress by Pim + Larkin from for $79.


Summer parties mean fun under the sun and the need for a versatile hat. The Magid straw floppy hat from Loehmann's for $21.99 is an inexpensive way to keep covered. For a pair of strappy sandals to wear with any dress or white linen pants, get the Chinese Laundry Women's Willy dress sandal from for $59.93.  

FfalekcuffWek went minimal with the accessories, forgoing a necklace and earrings for a simple black cuff. For a similar piece get the Linea Pelle double wrap harness cuff for $50 to wear withsuch outfits as a dress or a T-shirt and jeans.

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


Frugal Fashion: 'Snow White's' Kristen Stewart at Cannes

Frugal Fashion: Leighton Meester white hot at MTV movie awards

Frugal Fashion: Jessica Alba summer-ready in a maxi

-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Model Alek Wek attends the fifth annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on June 2 in Jersey City, N.J. Credit: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images for Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic.

Frugal Fashion: Leighton Meester white hot at MTV movie awards


The MTV Movie Awards show is always quite the spectacle, both onstage and on the red carpet, and this year's show was no different. Take for instance, Elizabeth Banks, who plays Effie in "The Hunger Games." Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum and a shirtless Joe Manganiello presented Banks, who wore a black jumpsuit, with a golden popcorn for best on-screen transformation. Banks playfully fondled all three men before being carried off by Manganiello, who made a fashion statement of his own in a fireman's pants and suspenders.

The red carpet was equally hot with stars opting for shorter, flirty dresses for the occasion. Charlize Theron dressed in red Lanvin and "Snow White and the Hunstman" costar Kristen Stewart in a micro-mini by Guishem and "Gossip Girl" star Leighton Meester in cream-colored shorts and vest.

Meester, who presented the award for Best Kiss with "That's My Boy" costars Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler, looked cool, confident and relaxed, yet polished in her sleeveless jacket, shorts and silk print top -- all by Christian Cota. She accessorized with Neil Lane jewelry, a nude envelope style clutch by Jimmy Choo and nude, suede Brian Atwood heels. Her pulled-back hair and bright poppy lipstick were perfect complements to her casual chic summer attire.


To get Meester's white-hot summer look, try the Ivory sleeveless blazer from for $90 or the Oversized pocket vest from for $49.95. Pair with the white chino shorts from for $34.99. For a pop of color, get the warehouse printed top from for $69.58 or for something a little dressier, try the Asos premium silk shirt with florals and studs for $78.28.


Meester's nude heels and envelope clutch keep things simple and polished. For a similar pair of heels and clutch try the Aldo Prak shoes in beige from for 69.98 and the Asos envelope clutch for $31.31.

This outfit is full of versatile pieces that can be basics all summer long.


Frugal Fashion: 'Snow White's' Kristen Stewart at Cannes

Frugal Fashion: Jessica Alba summer-ready in a maxi

Frugal Fashion: Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel at a Lakers game

-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Actress Leighton Meester arrives at Sunday's MTV Movie Awards in Universal City. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Frugal Fashion: 'Snow White's' Kristen Stewart at Cannes

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart has been working red carpets on behalf of "Snow White and the Huntsman," which opens Friday, and in Cannes last week for "On the Road," due out later this year. Doubtless, she'll be doing the same before  "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" comes out in theaters in six months.

The busy actress has proved she looks glamorous in gowns, choosing a sexy Balenciaga embellished white gown with a high slit for the Cannes' screening of "On the Road"  and wowing in a red hot Reem Acra dress with plunging neckline at the Cannes premiere of beau Robert Pattinson's film "Cosmopolis."

But Stewart also proved she didn't need a gown to turn heads when she took a break from the floor-length frocks at a media event at Cannes for "On The Road." She appeared refined with a bit of punky edge in printed yellow pants by Balenciaga, a draped Rebecca Minkoff blazer, white Juicy Couture tank, white gold Cartier bracelet and plain black leather pumps.

Get Stewart's look with the Crop front draped blazer from for $29.80 and City solid slub tank top from for $19.99. Stewart's pants feature an elaborate print, but you can achieve a similar effect on a budget with the Denimocracy tie-dye skinny jegging from for $98.28 or the unisex tie-dye stretch twill slim slack in fluorescent yellow and black from for $78.


FfkristenglassesAny pair of plain black heels you may already own will finish the look, and don't forget some shades. Try the With Love from cat-eye sunglasses for $14.50 for a classic pair in a fun cat-eye shape. 

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.


New swimsuits for summer 2012

Sunscreens that multitask as much as we do

Frugal Fashion: Jessica Alba summer-ready in a maxi

-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Actress Kristen Stewart attends an "On the Road" event May 23 at the Cannes Film Festival in  France. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Middle photo, from left: Crop front-draped blazer, $29.80 /; City solid slub tank top, $19.99 /; Denimocracy tie-dye skinny jeggings, $98.28 /; Unisez tie-dye stretch twill slacks, $78 /

Bottom photo: With Love cat-eye sunglasses, $14.50 /



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