Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Emmys 2012 Fashion Review

It's that time of the year again, folks. 

You know I love award season. It brings out celebrity's inner fashionistas.. and we get to see their style come to life on the red carpet. We also get to see it die a long, miserable death when they pick a complete dud of a dress. Let's get started.

Note: These opinions and reviews are my own. You are welcome to agree or disagree (or not give a damn either way). The best part about fashion is that we can all have different opinions... but mine are always right :) 

Here are some of the trends I noticed throughout the evening:

Not So Mellow Yellow

I don't love this-- it's kind of plain for an award show, but Julianne looks beautiful as always.

A pregnant Claire Danes glows in this gold, blousy number.

Taking it to more neon end of the spectrum.. I don't dislike.

Loving the pop of color in the earrings. And she's married to Judd Apatow- major brownie points.

One strap paired with a high slit and a little bit of boob overflow make for a fun Emmy ensemble.


Her hair's a hot mess and the shoes aren't my favorite but the gown intrigues me.

Pretty in Pastel

Godbless Heidi Klum. When I'm a mom, I'd like to look like this.

In my book, ZD can do no wrong. This light blue gown is gorgeous
and effortless against her porcelain skin!

This isn't good. Julianne has a great body, but there's too much going on IMO. Attention on the boobs,
corseted waist, mermaid fit, embellishment on the bottom, a train, pleats... 

Heavy Metal

Lucy Liu looks pretty, but she also looks like she has a stick up her you know what.
How does she move in that stiff silhouette?

The matching blue strappy shoes are a bad call. I think if Nicole had worn her hair
up in a more editorial style, this look could have been saved.

A metal mini? Not my fave but damnnnn girl! Hot stems.

Then there were the trends I noticed that I wish I hadn't.

Prime Time Prom

I don't actually have a comment for this one. It's that awful.

With the hip embellishment and half up/half down hairstyle, she's ready to go to junior prom.

Mother of the Bride.

Drab and more drab. The most boring prom dress ever.

Table Cloth and Too Much Tulle

Black floral table cloth.

Green floral table cloth.

Too much black tulle. 

Too much white tulle.

Table cloth ripped apart, with not enough tulle. Yuck.

I need to lift my spirits. Let's get back to some of the night's better looks.

Nothing but the Hits

Opulent color, perfect fit for her body, hair off the shoulders. Tina killed this look!

Simple in burnt sienna. Kat looks like a Greek goddess.

Kelly Osbourne has come such a long way. She looks stunning in this Zac Posen purple gown.

Let's have a threesome. For serious.

So.. who was your best and worst dressed of the night? Did you notice any other trends to sweep the red carpet?

Looking forward to your opinions!

**All photos from Huffington Post

Until next time, remember to GJU :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Set Up: Part 2

Hi guys!

You might remember my post called The Set Up from a few weeks ago. I have an update! But it's not what you may think...

As fate would have it, I met someone. I met him two days after I wrote the post. Two days after I was approached by the sisters in Wegman's and asked if I would go on a blind date with their brother. Two days after I shared the whole story and email correspondence with you guys.

Almost a month went by, and I was still seeing the new guy. I got an email from the one sister who was setting up the whole blind date. It read:

Dear Jess and Jeff,

We hope you are excited for your date tomorrow night!  Here are the final details:

7pm  Meet for Dinner at

        Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point
        Reservation under "The Set Up!"

        Dinner is on us!

After Dinner…Take a stroll through Fells

Consider stopping for a warm drink or dessert at The Daily Grind

Please take at least one phone photo as a memoir of your date and email it to me.  Also, please call/text me if you need anything.

Have a great time!

Oh shit. My turn to make a move. I didn't want to ruin the good thing I had going so I cancelled the date. There's always that "what if" in the back of mind... but at the same time, I want to give what I have going on a worthy shot. Here's the email I sent back:

Hi there,

Thanks for setting all of this up, but I'm afraid I have some bad news. A few weeks ago I started seeing someone, and after careful consideration, decided it's probably best not to go out on a dinner date with Jeff. I put myself in Jeff's situation when I made that decision-- would he really want to meet someone who's already starting to get involved with someone else? I didn't think it was fair to either Jeff or this other guy.. so unfortunately I have to cancel.

Please keep me posted on Jeff's Set Up success. I love the idea behind the whole thing, and I love what you and your sisters are doing for your brother. Although I've not met him, I wish Jeff the very best.

Good luck!

I felt bad canceling last minute, but knew it was the right thing to do.

If you're single, go walk around Wegman's in Hunt Valley during your lunch hour. Jeff seems like a great guy from what I could tell, and I ruined his date for September. I'm sure they need to fill the October - December slots :)

Love you all. Thanks for checking in


Monday, September 17, 2012

NYFW: Spring Fashion 2013

My go-to accessories guru Abby Draper shares her thoughts on top trends that came down the runway during this Spring's fashion week.

It’s a wrap. This year’s New York Fashion Week has ended and trends have been spotted. Ladies, get ready for stripes, sheers, midriffs, and lots of white.

My favorites from the runway and how you can make them your own:

Runway Stripes

I cannot get enough of this Oscar de la Renta. I’m also a fan of how it’s been accessorized. 


Banana Republic does a nice job of keeping up with trends, and this can be worn in fall, too. 

Runway Sheers

I recently learned of Timo Weiland and am now obsessed. I love this look and will definitely rock this spring. 

I found this LBD at Lulu’s and can’t wait for it to arrive. A very simple, sexy piece.

Runway Midriffs

If you find a way to stop staring at this, please let me know. (I told you I’m obsessed with Timo Weiland) 

Make midriffs your own

It hasn’t hit the shelves yet, but this Michael Kors dress combines two of the Spring trends, and is subtly sexy for any occasion. 

Runway White (Side note, did you see Victoria Beckhams’ white collection? Amazing)

Diane von Furstenberg. Enough said. 

This is such a timeless piece that gives you so many options to accessorize. A jacket, chunky jewelry, any color shoe you want. Michael Kors always knows how to make one piece multi-functional that lasts forever. 

I want to hear what you thought of #NYFW. Tweet me @AbbyDraper

Monday, September 10, 2012

She Got Jessed Up

Hiiiii loves. My friend Caitlin (who, by the way-- has a fabulous blog!) is getting married. She asked me to style her outfits for her engagement photos and I jumped on the opportunity! I love this girl.. and was honored to have a role leading up to her special day. Caitlin wrote a blog post about our style session, and was kind enough to share the photos with us! Enjoy :)

Hi, folks! This post is long overdue and I apologize, but I hope to have a good explanation for you soon enough! Blah blah blah rewind a few months and you'll find me: thinking about what to do for mine and J's engagement session. Now I've found that, if you go to any wedding-related website or blog, you are bound to find one bajillion and a half tips and tidbits of advice. Some of this advice is helpful and some of it is not. In my opinion, most articles tend to suggest watering down your typical style and going for a streamlined, cohesive (and sometimes all too formal) look. Pish posh. 

You know the state of wedding planning and engagement sessions is out of control, when this article is the most helpful thing I've encountered in my time as a future bride. Seriously, read it - you won't regret it. Anyway, when it came to finally planning out my own engagement session, there are really only two pieces of wisdom I felt were worth the energy it takes to repeat them: 

Your engagement session is a great way to get to know your photographer in a relaxed, two-on-one setting. 
This one is so true and so very helpful. Being the frugal (read: cheap) planners that we are, J and I did a little research on photographers in the Lancaster, PA area and immediately signed a contract with the most inexpensive one. Save your shock for someone else, because it turned out to be a great choice on our parts. Dan of Simple Life Portraits turned out to be amazing and we actually had a blast in the time we spent with him for our shoot. It definitely set our minds at ease about our big day and now we can focus our energy and fears on something else entirely. Like whether or not the bridal party will be standing by the end of the night.................... *sigh*

Your engagement session should speak to your style as individuals and as a couple. 
Do you hate frilly dresses and failed attempts at celebrity-esque mermaid curls? Well.. I do. I knew I didn't want J in khakis and a polo and I certainly didn't want to be prancing around the parking lot of the Cork Factory Hotel in a pencil skirt + cardigan number. We knew we wanted to be relaxed, comfortable, and able to have fun in whatever outfits we chose. We figured we will be gussied up enough for the wedding itself, so why not keep it casual? J looks great in blue and blue jeans and I love pops of color and statement pieces, so we ran with that theme. Whatever your "style" is.. run with it. The Knot be damned. Finally, see Look #3 below for something that really speaks to our shared interests as a couple.. :)

Now, I've been a supporter of Jessica Platt and Get Jessed Up from the very start and I knew this would be a great opportunity to call in the help of an expert to help me translate my vision into a reality. The pictures from our engagement session will be used on our save-the-dates, our wedding website, and any other place we feel like using them. I knew I wanted to "break some of the rules" when it comes to what to wear (and what not to wear) and I knew Jess would be the perfect lady for the job! 

Jess and I went shopping at the Columbia Mall, set out to find some comfortable and laid-back pieces for my engagement session. I knew I wanted small pops of color and the perfect pair of jeans. Our final purchases were made at ALDO Accessories, Ann Taylor LOFT, and Gap. The best of these purchases was - hands down - the 1969 Real Straight Jeans from Gap. These jeans are my denim soulmate and I'm absolutely indebted to Jess for helping me find them!

All in all, we had lots of fun shopping for specific clothing items and statement pieces. Jess will also be writing a segment on this experience from her point of view. If you're interested in her services (whether it be a personal shopping trip or a wardrobe edit), I highly recommend heading over to Get Jessed Up. Below are a few snapshots of my outfits - enjoy! 

Look #1
Top: LOFT // Jeans: Gap // Shoes: Piperlime // Necklace: ALDO Accessories

Look #2
Cardigan + Jeans: Gap // Sandals: ALDO Accessories // Watch: Fossil
Look #3
What? You don't chest bump in your engagement photos?!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

All Aboard: Nautical Nuptials

My friends Sandra and Mike got married this past weekend. The wedding had a nautical theme-- the ceremony actually took place on a boat right off the dock! I was fortunate enough to be part of the celebration, and was able to capture some great moments during the ceremony.

A casual affair, guests were encouraged to wear tropical shirts, sundresses, and all around nautically themed attire. I was SO ON BOARD with this! Groomsmen wore Tommy Bahama shirts, and the bridesmaids donned navy dresses from J. Crew. Sandra's gown was a stunning Nicole Miller satin halter dress that looked flawless on her! She also wore a fun, peacock feather hair accessory that added something blue and a hint of her unique personality. I chose a dress from J. Crew that was covered in an anchor pattern. Very subtle- true to form :)

Congratulations again to Sandra and Mike. Your wedding was beautiful. Best wishes for a long and happy marriage!

Waiting for the bride
The flower girl was the most adorable little munchkin ever

Here comes the bride!

Exchanging their vows


Gorgeous bride

Close up of the Etsy hair find

With the beautiful bride

With the dapper and ever handsome groom

Their cake topper was awesome!
What would you wear to a nautical wedding? What's the most creative wedding theme you've ever been to/experienced?

Hope you all had a lovely long Labor Day weekend <3 div="div">

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Set Up

I'm single. And I must have a sign on me that reads: "Set me up with your single friend/relative/colleague/neighbor." At least once a week, someone tries to set me up with someone they know. Recently, this has been happening at an all time high.

The most recent occasion, however, was different from all the rest. I've decided to share it with my GJU readers, and chronicle the whole adventure with you... so you can be with me every step of the way, through all the excitement. 

I was at the Wegman's salad bar last week grabbing lunch when I was approached by 2 women. They handed me a piece of paper with a couple photos of some guy on it, and some descriptions about him, including what traits he likes in women, his education/occupation, what he looks for, and what to do if I'm interested.

I glanced at the paper while the women, who I come to find out are sisters, explain to me what they're trying to do. Each month in 2012, they are setting their brother up on a blind date. They told their brother, Jeff, about this project at the end of 2011. At first he was apprehensive, but always up for an adventure, Jeff appeased his sisters and the dating has since begun.

Now, they need someone for September. Enter: me.

After talking it over with a couple trusted gal pals, I decided: why the hell not!? I, too, am always up for something new. And if nothing else, this whole thing will make for a couple quality blog posts.

So I responded to the email address on the paper and answered a couple questions about myself and what I look for in a guy. I also sent 2 recent photos, as requested. Here's my exact email:

Hi Ladies,

It was nice quickly meeting you this afternoon at the Wegman's salad bar. Sorry I was stuffing my face with broccoli as you were explaining your project. As you know, they charge you by the pound and broccoli is heavy... so it's cheaper to eat the broccoli as you go. Anyway..

I'm down for giving this a shot. Why not?

Here are the answers to your questions:

1) Jess

2) 24
3) Baltimore
4) Shopping, hanging with friends, going out to eat, relaxing by the pool, watching movies, sports
5) Syracuse University; I'm in retail management
6) Never married; no kids
7) Looking for a nice guy. I like to go out and have fun, but I also really enjoy staying in and taking it easy after a long week. I won't date a smoker or someone who drinks/parties excessively. It's just not my lifestyle. I also prefer tall guys. I am about 5'5''/5'6'' and like to wear heels sometimes. It's always nice when a guy I am dating is still taller than me when I'm wearing heels. Must be close to his family but not overly dependent. Must be self-sufficient. 
8) I think I possess the qualities Jeff is looking for. I don't smoke, I'm pretty healthy, I want a family, and I have good morals. I don't know if I have a pretty face.. he can be the judge of that :)
9) A first date should not be at the movies--- you can't talk and get to know each other. A good first date is casual, low key, and no stress. Meeting out for dinner is perfect. I truly believe people open up over food.. and a glass of wine always helps break the ice.
10) September is a good month for me.

I'm truly intrigued by this Set Up project you have going on for your brother Jeff. I think it's sweet you're trying to get involved and help out. However..  my one concern is that you are doing it because he is awkward in social settings/unable to meet women on his own. This isn't the case right? I'm a pretty outgoing person so I wouldn't want to be too overbearing/overwhelming for him. 

Photos are attached, as requested.

Looking forward to hearing back :)


A day later, one of the sisters replies. She wrote:

Jess,  Thank you for responding to the set up we are planning for our brother Jeff.  We are excited to send him on a date with you! 

Regarding your concern about Jeff's social comfort, I can say that he has a lot of friends, hangs out all the time and is generally not awkward in social settings.  He meets new people but just hasn't found "the one".  He is not super outgoing and definitely not the first guy on the dance floor but he is a fun guy, a true gentleman, and very dateworthy.  He is totally up for trying new things (like The Set Up!).  The only other thing I thought I would mention is that he is not tall.  I think he is 5' 9" so that's a little taller than you... 

Take a look at the date spread we've attached to present to Jeff to tell him about the date and about you.  We are hoping to present it to him sometime this weekend.  Please let me know if there is anything about it you would like to be different.  Also, let me know if you have any other questions or if you still have concerns! 

Talk to you soon!

Here is the "date spread" the sister mentioned in her email. It includes the two recent photos I sent over, and the answers to the questions in the original email:

On the bottom of the Date Spread, the sisters suggest a date location/activity based on my answers and what they know about Jeff's interests. The date they suggest is dinner at Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point (a place I've wanted to try for a while!) and walking around Fells after that. Sounds ideal, actually, for a first date. 

At this point, I am waiting to hear back after they speak with Jeff. If this date actually happens, I can't wait to tell you guys all about it. Should be interesting.

Honestly, something about "The Set Up" seems more legitimate than meeting a stranger at a bar. While intoxicated. And sweaty. It seems like it could potentially work, and if nothing else, result in a new friendship based on some similar interests and commonalities.

I'll keep you posted. 

ps: do you know this guy?!