Steal of the Moment Vol. IV

November 20, 2009

Speaking of dressing up for the holidays, I’m obsessed with this festive (and frugal) frock from LuLu’s.  It’s perfect for charming the gravy out of grandma, and with a classic cut, this versatile dress will last longer than the lines on Black Friday.  Did I mention it’s only $26??


Do it for the turkey.

November 16, 2009

Every year, I arrive at my aunt’s ramshackle farmhouse in my holiday best–suede boots, tights and a dress, or perhaps a classic cable knit–only to find that my tens of cousins and their hundreds of children have chosen to celebrate Thanksgiving in their pajamas.  Even though I know there is no one to impress (we’re all forced to be together, anyway), I thought the point of a holiday or a special occasion is that they aren’t like every other day.  So why then is everyone still dressing like a schlumpadink?  If you don’t dress up for me or those mysterious pilgrims, at least put on a show for those toiling aunties and their picture-perfect pumpkin pies.


This week, I visited Kati Christensen, the manager of fab’rik (pronounced just like “fabric”) in Des Moines.  fab’rik is a small franchise boutique based in Atlanta, GA that promises high-end trends at bargain prices.

HauteHabit: How did the store come to Des Moines? 

Katie Christensen: The owner wanted to start a store in Des Moines because Des Moines doesn’t really have any options.  You either have really cheap stuff or really high end clothes. He wanted to have somewhere to shop where you can buy several things instead of saving for weeks to buy one thing.  The only thing over $100 in the store is our denim.

HH: What’s the general aesthetic/style of the store? 

KC: Anyone who wants to be trendy but not have an item that you see all over the city.  I think everyone can find something here.  I can find a jacket for my mom, and something for myself. People think of high-end boutiques as young and really trendy, but we carry a little bit of everything. 

HH: What determines good style?  

KC: Good style to me is someone who can pull off an item that doesn’t look good on the hangar.  It just takes confidence. 

HH: What should women be thinking about when trying to develop a personal style?

KC: Trying new things.  I always have people who say, ‘I could never wear that.’  If you put things on that you wouldn’t normally wear, you can start to develop ideas of what looks good on you.  

HH: How would you describe your personal style?  

KC: I’m also a cosmetologist, so I’m all over the charts.  I go from a pair of jeans and a  t-shirt to colorful tights and a crazy top.  Boots–boots are my thing.  I love to be comfortable and fashionable.  Oh, and accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

fab’rik is also on Facebook: Fab’rik Des Moines

I have to admit those fab mittens of two weeks ago were a little more of a splurge than a steal (they were just so coooool!).  I will make it up to you, however, as this week’s steal comes to you at the astoundingly, impossibly low price of $1.30.  Now the last time I checked, a pack of gum cost $1.49…. If you would, please draw your attention to these ladylike+badass zipper-trimmed rosette earrings from gojane.  Heck, I don’t even have my ears pierced and I want them.  Recession be damned–what a steal!gojane_2078_637681259

Gleeful Style

October 23, 2009


Along with everyone else in the nation, I’m completely hooked on Glee.  It’s a musical-geek’s fantasy, and its endless drama is the stuff of my dreams.  The Quinn/Finn/Rachel triangle and fantastic songs (Sweet Caroline, anyone?  Hot damn!) aren’t the only reasons to tune in, however.  The over-the-top, flawless style is enough to keep anyone coming back.  Some of my favorites: Kurt’s ridiculous turns in Marc Jacobs, Mercedes’ endless supply of ghetto fabulous, and Sue Sylvester’s countless (but let’s be real, fabulous) Adidas tracksuits.  The style heroines of the show, however, have to be Emma Pillsbury and Rachel Berry.  Rachel’s unexpected geek-chic and Emma’s ever-so-ladylike J. Crew-esque ensembles have me weak in the knees.  If only we had all been brave enough to dress like that in high school…

Rachel Berry courtesy of TvGuide

Rachel Berry courtesy of TvGuide


Emma Pillsbury courtesy of Daemon's TV

Emma Pillsbury courtesy of Daemon's TV













And just for fun…

Steal of the Moment, Vol. I

October 13, 2009

If you’re like me (a Minnesota-weather-worn college student who left everything resembling outerwear at home), all you can think about is how nasty this premature winter is.  My dreams are filled with pea coats and wool socks, and my waking hours are spent running from building to building to escape the frigid Midwestern tundra.  Naturally then, this week’s Steal of the Moment is a cozy pair of fingerless mitts from Urban Outfitters.16653222_01_a
These wooly beauties are perfect for holding hands, using chopsticks, and being generally adorable.  The better news?  They’re only 18 bucks.


The Ugly

In addition to using this blog to showcase excellent deals and irresistible fashion bits, I can’t help but do a little harping, er, tutoring.  Which brings us to this week’s topic: what to wear for a night on the town.  I’m not talking about dressing for a man or to show up all the other biddies in da club, this is about dressing for your own dignity and the best nights of your life.   

Let’s start with the ugly (left).  You may laugh, but I have witnessed this outfit on many a lady, and let me tell you, a short skirt and extreme boobage does not a hottie make.  This outfit leaves nothing to the imagination, and makes getting dressed seem unnecessary.        

The Bad

Next, The Bad (above).  Clearly, this outfit has potential, and if we were to listen to our Heavenly Father, Carrie Bradshaw, she would tell us that underwear is outerwear, so that bra hanging out is just part of the fabulous outfit.  Unless you have the Jay-style cajones, however, you may come off as trashy (especially in those prom shoes), so bare your Secrets wisely.

Last, and certainly loveliest, The Good (below).  A perfectly flattering and fun (dancing in fringe, anyone?) tank top, dark jeans, and some all-night-long gladiator sandals.  You’ll be running this town soon enough.  P1010254


If there’s one thing I know about today’s recessionistas, it’s that, aside from being impeccably well-dressed, we are a bunch of cheap biznatches.  The dollar is tighter than ever, and though the news and our instincts tell us to save, save, SAVE! there’s a small part of us aching for a trip to the mall to check out what’s new for fall.  To appease that little voice, I’m introducing the Steal of the Moment feature, where I can give you a heads up on the best deals around.  Today’s Steal of the Moment is a lesson in recycling (and, thus, saving!).  

Women's Tall Faux-Suede Boots

Women's Tall Faux-Suede Boots

Check out these fabbity-fab Minnetonka-esque boots from Old Navy.  They come in 4 colors, and are only $34.5o!  Can you say steal?  Just slap on a little Kiwi spray, and these puppies will get you through rain, sleet or snow.

“But I have nothing to wear them with!” you may say.  Well, quit your whining, and whatever you do, don’t spend your entire paycheck on this fall’s leather pants or velvet dresses.  

Picture this: prancing around in your new (cheap, stellar, fabulous, etc.) boots paired with the jewel tones of Fall 2008.  Trust me, it’s a perfect, dressed-down combo, and you won’t regret not blowing your bucks.  


Courtesy of

Courtesy of


Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Sweating the Fall Stuff

September 25, 2009

Tuesday marked the beginning of fall–a magical season for fashion lovers.  With changing leaves comes the September issue, Fall Fashion Week,  and a new cardigan to toss over the barely-there sundresses of warmer months.  Take heed, however.  Fall is also a chance for many of us to return to our old faithful, our BFF, our sweat pants.  My firm opinion is to JUST SAY NO.  Trust me, you will feel much better about yourself if your butt is tucked nicely in a pair of jeans than if it’s lolling around shapelessly in ill-fitting gray knitwear.    

If you must say yes, however, Fall 2009 is just the season for you.  In Vogue’s aforementioned September issue, Christopher Kane shows off his stylized sweats for Topshop.  At $160 bucks a pant, however, a more wallet-friendly option is order.  Twelve by Twelve offers bargain hunters an ultra-cool pari of side zip knit pants for just $29.  

Though I can’t approve of the sweat pant wholeheartedly, if you must, you must, and you might as well try to look cool.  

photo courtesy of Forever21

photo courtesy of Forever21

Photographed by Norman Jean Roy, courtesy of Nitrolicious

Photographed by Norman Jean Roy, courtesy of Nitrolicious


Twelve by Twelve’s side zip pant











Christopher Kane for Topshop

September 18, 2009

For some, like me, fashion is like religion: it shapes our day-to-day lives with moral guidelines, ideas of what’s right and wrong, and hope for life after death, or in this case, the occasional fashion misstep.  

Seeing as this is my first post, I thought I should go over a few key points, so you don’t feel so lost on our forthcoming religious journey:

God:  Carrie Bradshaw

Devil: Your mother

Heaven: Eating German chocolate cake while wearing ink-rinse jeans and reading Vogue.

Hell: Coldwater Creek