Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stuff I Can Actually Afford

I'm gonna take a break from the fantasy world that is high-end designer fashion and take the time to appreciate clothes I can actually afford! I fell in love with H&M when I lived in D.C. last spring due to their tendency to recreate looks that high-end designers have created and bring them into the mainstream by making them super-affordable. You could easily pick up a top for under $20 or grab a chic dress for under $30. Texas doesn't have a single store, and that makes me very, very sad. That being said, everytime I'm in Cali, my cousins know that a pilgrimage to H&M must be made while I'm there.

Their Fall collection is a succicnt summary of the upcoming season's trends and it seems like a prominent theme is volume. I don't know how I feel about all of the baggy silhouettes. Harem pants were reintroduced last fall and I although I love the idea (I've envied Princess Jasmine's turquoise harem pants since I was kid.....MC Hammer's, not so much), they are not typically very flattering. Last year, the harem pants were made out of stretchy materials and were light and airy. They had a more casual look and I saw many unfortunate consumers pairing them with flip-flops. I loathe flip-flops. This year, harem pants are more structered and chic. I would definitely rock some with heels or booties. The only issue I have with the baggy pants look is what it does to the crotch area. I've seen other designers completey butcher the harem pant by making the crotch area look completely awkward. More on this on another post.

My absolute favorite piece in the collection, though, is a wide black leather belt that would look fab over a structured, white button down. There is a white button down in particular that i spotted with voluminous sleeves (kind of an ode to the infamous "puffy shirt"from Seinfeld) that would look great with a sleek high-waisted pencil skirt or skinny jeans, like the model is wearing. Again, there is lots of unnecesary layering that is clearly there to show off as many pieces from the collection at one time as possible. I guess since it rarely gets under 70 degrees in the Texas winter, I've never really appreciated 7 layers of knit blouses, jackets, scarves, etc. H&M also included a jacket that is a nod to the black, crystal-embellished Balmain jacket from the spring (which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and will probably dedicate an entire post to). I'm going to be in California in September and will mos def pick up a piece or two or 10....and will not have to break the bank to do it!

Harem Pant

Harem Pant with layers, layers, and more layers.

Black leather belt... <3

White Puffy Shirt

Love it.

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