Oribe! Oribe!

I thought since I’ve spent a small fortune over the past several months trying out a ton of Oribe hair products, I’d go ahead and write a review of the different things I’ve tried and what I think of them. I don’t have any photographic evidence of how this stuff affected my hair, but I think I can use my words to describe how it all turned out.

First of all, I will say that using the Oribe shampoos and conditioners does mean my hair air-dries into a bit of a mess. It’s all natural and lacks all of the sulfites and other stuff that’s supposedly bad for your hair, so while it leaves my hair feeling soft and silky, “soft and silky” on baby-fine hair often = frizzy mess. In that sense, if I wanted to just air-dry my hair without any future styling, I’d be better off sticking with the Goldwell or Moroccan Oil products I use that have the more traditional formulations, because they weigh my hair down more and give me more curl and definition, as well as less frizz. But, since I enjoy styling my hair anyway, I do find that when combined with heat-styling this Oribe stuff is amazing, and in the end my styled hair has less frizz and some really nice wave. Also, I recently added a LOT of blonde highlights to my dark hair, which changed the texture somewhat, and also makes it more necessary to style it than it was when it wasn’t highlighted. Moving on.

I’ve tried a few of the shampoos so far, and here they are:

Oribe Silverati Shampoo and Conditioner

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I got this stuff when I was planning to grow out my gray, and continue to use it at least once a week on my blonde hair now. I don’t know that it really makes my blonde look any blonder, but the highlights haven’t gotten brassy or anything, and there’s a cool factor here because the shampoo and conditioner are both shiny silver instead of the usual purple tint. If this stuff didn’t cost $50 each, I’d dump a bunch of it over my head and take pictures, because it really does look like liquid metal coming out of the bottles.

Oribe Beautiful Color Shampoo and Conditioner

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I also bought this stuff to use on the days I don’t use the Silverati. Both of these lines smell and feel amazing, and do not take much at all to lather up and get to work. Again, they both leave my hair feeling amazingly soft and silky, the only downside being that I must style my hair to add some weight and curl to it since it turns into a little puffball without the usual goop to hold it down. Is it worth the money? I think so – if only because it’s so gentle, it smells amazing, and when used with other styling products (oh, so many styling products in my case) my hair really does turn out great, and continues to look great for 2-3 days after shampooing. With my Goldwell or Moroccan Oil, I can’t stretch a shampoo for three days without looking greasy, but with Oribe I can. So that’s something.

Supershine Moisturizing Cream

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I’ve found that when going full Oribe, products which add moisture are essential for me. My baby-fine hair tends towards looking dry and frizzy, which is interesting, since when using more traditional products with sulfites and other chemicals my hair gets weighed down and greasy, and I tend to have to wash more often. I’d never dream of using so many moisturizing creams and things on my hair before switching to Oribe, but the overall effect is still hair that feels smoother and lighter than when using heavier products. So, this cream is a real must-have for me; I work it into my wet hair right after stepping out of the shower, and can sometimes add a bit to my hair when it’s dry if it looks a bit frizzy.

Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion

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Another cream-based product to put into my hair would have sounded insane before Oribe, but here we are. I didn’t get how to use this stuff at first, and combined it with a few other gels which was too much – now, I just put this on after the Moisturizing Cream and scrunch it into my hair and it’s good to go. It doesn’t add a lot of extra texture when air-drying, but I find that it makes my hair very easy to heat-style into waves the next morning and creates a touchable hold that lasts all day.

Split End Seal

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This is the product I’ve been using up the most; it’s a smaller bottle so that has something to do with it, but it’s a great little cream that I like to put just on the ends after heat-styling. I often throw some on them when it’s still wet, too; my chemically-treated hair needs help, y’all, and I do think this cream delivers. I also like that it weighs down the ends of my hair a little, which helps since it’s so fine; the ends of my hair can look stringy even without all the highlights, and anything that adds some weight to them combats that.

Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Oil

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I was hesitant to commit to this oil at first, still loving my Moroccan Oil as much as I did, but I eventually gave in to the lovely bottle, the great title, and the desire to go full Oribe. It’s an oil. It’s in a lovely bottle. Like everything Oribe, it smells amazing. And in case I haven’t yet mentioned it, my hair is frizzy, y’all, and it loves hair oil. It drinks this shit up. I sometimes dab a bit on, concentrating on the ends, while it’s still wet, sometimes not – but I always apply it last after putting a ton of other products on it after heat-styling. It adds a touch of sheen and weight that makes my hair look and feel silky even though it’s loaded with expensive goop. Good times.

Oribe Balm d’Or Heat Styling Shield

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First of all, aren’t all these bottles just gorgeous? I love to just look at all this crap on my shelves. This was another one of those if-I’m-going-full-Oribe-let’s-really-go-ALL-OUT purchases, but I really ended up preferring it because it’s also a cream, and I feel I can really saturate my strands with it better than the spray form most heat protectants take. Also – and I don’t know why this is – but most sprays I put in my hair end of making it frizzy and dry-looking, including heat-protectant sprays. This stuff doesn’t make my hair crispy or dry at all. And like everything Oribe, I don’t have to use much of it for it to work.

Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray 

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First of all, another gorgeous bottle! And, this is one of the few sprays from Oribe, or any brand really, that I feel I can actually use. It’s pretty light, and it does what it says it will do, which is add some volume and texture to my waves. I don’t use it when my hair is wet, though, even though the instructions say you can – this just gives me frizz for some reason, so I stick to using it as a finishing spray, after I’ve air-dried, heat-curled, and applied the Split End Seal, but before I use the Anti-Humidity Spray and Gold Lust Oil. I just flip my hair over, spray some on, and scrub it in, and poof – a little added texture and volume. Voila!

Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray

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If I feel my hair needs it (and living in Houston, Texas, my hair often needs it) I will add this anti-humidity spray to my daily routine. I also keep a small bottle of it in my purse. Unlike the oilier shine spray from Oribe that I tried and did not like, this one smooths out frizz without making my hair look flat and greasy. I don’t use every day, but I use it often enough to know it works to reduce flyaways on high humidity days without dragging my hair down or flattening it out.

OK, so far, everything I’ve discussed is stuff I use regularly – but I’ve also tried out a lot of items that I don’t use as much because they’re either treatments you use less often, stuff I just bought and am still on the fence about, or stuff I just don’t care for. Here we go.

The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo and Essential Antidote Replenishing Conditioner

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Wow, ladies. This stuff is amazing. I’ve tried a few shampooing/conditioning products by Oribe that don’t even look like shampoos or conditioners – both of these come in cans that look like they would distribute mousse, and in fact both of these have that consistency, more or less. Hell, I don’t even know if they do a good job clarifying or conditioning my hair, but the absolutely luxurious feel of these two products almost makes me not care. The shampoo foams out into a rich, fat-ass lather that actually was WAY more than I needed the first time I used it, so now I know to press that nozzle lightly. Honestly it feels so good I kinda want to lick it after I foam it into my hands; it’s already in a lather as it goes into my hair and overall it just feels (and of course, smells) delicious. It’s also this bizarre silvery, shiny color that matches the bottle, which – how do they do that? It’s amazing.

Then, there’s the conditioner. It also foams out into the palm of your hand, but it feels – I swear to God – like warm honey, and smooths into your hair like butter. So, honey butter for your hair. Need I say any more? I used these both after a major-heavy product-trying day, including one product I seriously over-used to the point that I had a big knot of product at my scalp, and everything rinsed out easily and my hair felt soft and squeaky-clean. Love.

Oribe Bright Blonde Radiance and Repair Treatment

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This is for use in the shower instead of a regular conditioner about once a week; it’s in a pump form, and the treatment is purple-tinted like a lot of blonde treatments are. I didn’t notice anything majorly different about my hair after using this, but my husband did ask me if I’d gotten my hair highlighted any more because it looked blonder after I used it. So, there’s that going for it. It’s fine, but it doesn’t do anything noticeable enough that I would re-purchase it.

Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray

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This was the first heat-styling product from Oribe that I tried, and remember what I said about heat protectant sprays leaving my hair dry and frizzy? Yeah, that happened here. When I mentioned to my stylist that I didn’t like this spray because it left my hair feeling crunchy, she laughed and said, ‘Girl, when a product has lacquer in the name it’s gonna be crunchy,” which I probably should have figured out on my own, but whatever. That said – and this is probably going to make me sound a little crazy – I actually do use this product every day, but only on my bangs. Yes, I am very picky about my bangs, so much so that I use a teeny little half-inch flat iron on them every morning to get them just how I like them (otherwise they curl up and I don’t like them) and for some reason, this laquer spray works with the heat to give me perfect bangs every time. Go figure. So yeah, this big old bottle is only used on my bangs and no where else on my head. As is the little flat iron (in fact, I use three different hair irons to style my hair. It’s a process, y’all).

Shine Light Reflecting Spray

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Nope. One of the few utter fails from my Oribe experiment. It just leaves my hair looking and feeling greasy. I kept trying it day after day as a last-minute afterthought, thinking my hair still looked a little too dry, but it never did anything but kill all the good I’d gotten out of the other products and tools I was using. When I discovered I could use the Gold Lust Oil, Moisturizing Cream, or Anti-Humidity Spray and get better results, I was done with this one. Doesn’t even work on the bangs!

Swept Up Volume Powder Spray

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If you’ve ever tried Big Sexy Hair’s powder spray, then you know what this stuff is – I was always a bit amazed at that product, but the application of it eluded me. I’d always end up with this big WAD of that powder in my hair that I couldn’t distribute through it, so I’d have one blob of sticky, weird, volumized hair somewhere random on my head. This feels like the same product, with a catch – it’s a pump so you can spray the powder onto your head instead of coming in a shaker you have to shake onto it. Turns out (go figure) this makes a huge difference, and I can actually spritz a little of the powder onto my scalp to give my hair a boost without feeling like I’ve put glue in it. But be careful – it’s a powerful little spritzer, and if you aren’t prepared for how much powder comes out with one little pump you’ll end up with glue-head again. It kinda sucks to pay so much more for what’s essentially the same as a $10 product, but form factor matters, people, and trying to shake sticky powder into my hair like I’m salting and peppering myself for supper was never gonna work in my favor. So Oribe it is.

Star Glow Styling Wax

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I’ve been a fan of KMS’s Spray Wax for years, as I’ve often used it in lieu of hair spray as a finisher because it’s softer and more malleable, so what could be better than a spray wax but a non-spray wax, because sprays generally don’t work for me? So I decided to give this one a try – it’s described as a “gel-wax” which, whatever, but it is odd – it looks just like honey and is as hard to squeeze out of the tube as honey can be to boot. I’m still not sure what I think of it, because I’ve only used it once and I’d over-used the spray powder already, so it didn’t stand much of a chance once I’d blasted my scalp with glue. But as hard as it is to get out of the tube, I’m not sure how useful it’s going to be. I literally had to crush the damn tube with both hands to get anything to come out, so I’m wondering if I got a defective bottle or something. More on this one later. I got it in the hopes it could add just a bit more texture to my curls, so that’s how I intend to try and use it.

Gel Serum

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This was the first Oribe product I ever tried and it was at least five years ago; it was one of those times I was at a salon checking out, and I realized I needed some hair gel, so my stylist recommended this one and I tossed it onto the counter without looking at the price tag. I was shocked when it ended up costing $65, but I bought it anyway, and that one damn bottle ended up lasting me four years! You don’t need to use much of any Oribe products at all because they’re all highly concentrated, and this is a good, sturdy hair gel with a nice, medium hold that does the job nicely. It was good enough that I did re-purchase it, but I don’t use it every day, only at times when I feel a little added hold is needed. I’ve found the Texture Waves Lotion to be my primary ‘foundation’ styling product, but this gel pairs with it fine when I want a little extra hold. Plus, it literally is loaded with little gold sparkly flecks, if you’re into that.

Curl Gloss

Oribe Curl Gloss

This is another gel that’s fine, and I use it on occasion, but only paired with other products like the Gel Serum or the Texture Lotion. On its own, it’s just too light to really give my hair the hold it needs, but at times I throw it into the mix and it doesn’t hurt anything.

Dry Texturizing Spray

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This stuff gets raves from everyone, but for me it’s just meh. As a texturizer, it’s a little drying for me, and as a dry shampoo it doesn’t tend to make any difference – but dry shampoos have never worked on me that well anyway – because again, it’s a spray.  Out of this one and the Apres Wave spray I tried, I find the Apres Wave is less drying and gives me better volume without frizzing. This is fine, and it hasn’t ever made my hair look awful, and you can read tons of raves about this stuff from other people online, but it isn’t a huge winner in my book.

Maximista Thickening Spray

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Spraying anything into my hair when it’s wet has always been a fail for me, and this one is formulated to be applied to wet hair. It failed.

Volumista Mist for Volume

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Same.

 

OK, so. That’s everything I’ve tried. I didn’t put prices on any of this stuff because it’s all stupidly expensive, and please don’t anyone add up how much I’ve spent on all this crap. I will say, unlike previous hair product obsessions like DevaCurl that I’ve had over the years, I’ve ended up using almost all of the Oribe I’ve purchased on a regular basis, with quite a low number of fails. Most of it I can still use on occasion even if it’s never going to be in regular rotation, and overall I am really impressed even with the things I’ve tried that haven’t worked out. It’s a huge line of products, by the way, and even as much as I’ve experimented with barely scratches the surface of what they offer, so there’s definitely something for everyone – if you’re willing to cough up the cash.

 

 

 

 

Reviews News!

I don’t wear wigs except for fun in photos and on rare occasions out of the house, so the ones I normally buy nowadays are less expensive and far more costume than wigs for daily wear. But I do love the internet equivalent of window-shopping – I will sit in bed at night with my iPad in front of me while I watch TV or listen to an audiobook and scroll, scroll, scroll through the new wig releases from time to time, and honestly, I have not seen much of anything in the way of new wig styles in the past few years that has motivated me to even consider spending my money. Jon Renau, Raquel Welch, Envy, Estetica, or whatever – the styles don’t look all that different from what’s been released in the past, and the colors generally aren’t all that new or exciting, either. But of course, the huge rise in prices over the past five years has a lot to do with that, too – especially when I’m not wearing them full-time anymore.

However:

ROP 2018

Damned if every time Rene of Paris comes out with new styles I don’t want them ALL. Why is this? I think one reason why is because each time ROP comes out with new styles, they also drop at least one or two new cool colors that really think outside the box – like the new color on the Kai (only pic on the bottom row) or the Hudson. And where all I feel like I see when Renau or Welch comes out with new releases is a few long wavy wigs, one bob with bangs, and a few short shags in the same colors that they’ve been pushing for years, I always feel like ROP’s new styles are truly something new. Maybe that’s because the ROP line isn’t nearly as vast as Jon Renau, so there’s less to compare the new styles to, but also, it feels like ROP will release a good mix of styles – a curly one, something long, something short, and at least one that’s just really funky. Or maybe I am a sucker for the more interesting photos they use instead of the same four women in the same four poses in front of a white background, who knows.

Anyway, what is the point of all this? The point is, while browsing around Friday morning as I drank my coffee, I wandered over to Vogue Wigs and these new styles were the first thing I saw. AND O.M.G. I immediately wanted, wanted, WANTED THEM ALL. Yes, these price points are way higher than back in the days when I could easily snag an ROP wig for between sixty to eighty bucks, BUT these retail prices are still significantly below the sticker shock of a $400 Jon Renau synthetic, and as any good online wig-shopper knows, if you search around and wait for sales and/or know where to go, you’re going to snag even a brand new style for a good thirty percent less than Vogue Wigs or Wigs.com is going to sell them. I bought four of these five new styles – every style but the Dakota – and each one was between $160-$170, which I feel is reasonable for a wig with very nice synthetic fiber in a gorgeous color (which ROP really excels at).

So, the point – WIG REVIEWS COMING SOON! I haven’t made any videos in a few years, so they won’t be great or anything, but I will review these when I get them in, because for the first time in years I’m excited about getting some new wig styles. So stay tuned! 🙂

Wig Review: Georgia by Noriko in Champagne-R

I’ve had a few Georgias over the years, and all but the first one I bought have disappointed me. That first one had gorgeous layers that fell perfectly, and honestly I was in love with that style. Then I bought a replacement, and the layers were wonky as hell so I gave it away. Awhile later I decided to try again, based mostly on how great the first one looked in the video review – but I ended up with wonky layers again.

I gave up on trying to make Georgia work for me, but then I spied this one around $120 online, and since Georgia is a full monotop wig that was actually a good deal, so I decided to give it one more go. I had a feeling this color would be a fail on me, but what can I say – I just HAD to know if Georgia could ever recapture the glory of that first one I still think of fondly.

Sadly, it did not. Once again I just do not like what the layers do here. It’s very full, so perhaps that’s part of the problem, I don’t know – the hair just flops all over the place and the shape it creates is just not good for my face. The color is pretty, but not good on me either. The monotop is well-done and it’s nice to still be able to get a full one now and again instead of all the mono parts I’m seeing lately, but even after trying out parting Georgia on both sides, it was still a no on me. For whatever reason, the cut here just doesn’t work for me.

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You can see it parted from both sides here – it’s a no for me both ways

Once again I just wasn’t into making a video, but snapping some quick pics was manageable, and I kind of like this idea I landed on to make a photocollage instead of a bunch of photos loaded throughout the post – I think this way you can see how it all works together at once and compare the sides and back to the front, etc. Color gets a bit tricky for me as it’s not consistent from shot to shot, but I’d say the Champagne-R color is best represented in the photos on the left side. All these shots came out with a bit of a green tint to them, which I tried to correct, but color correcting is a bitch in general and I didn’t quite get it right here.

The cap is a standard wefted one with the full monofilament top, and it’s plenty comfy. It also didn’t feel small like some Noriko caps can be. I am sure this would be lovely on the right person, but something about the layers just doesn’t compliment me much. Let me know if you want to take her off my hands. 😉 I’m not keeping this one.

Wig Review: Diane by Jon Renau in Color 6F27

I haven’t much felt like making videos lately, and Diane has been sitting in my cabinet for a few weeks. I had just enough time to snap some quick photos this afternoon, so I went ahead and did that in lieu of a video.

Diane is a hand-tied cap, so it’s very comfy and the hair moves about quite easily. Wigs with a hand-tied cap tend to have less pouf than regular wefted ones, and while you can smooth Diane down quite a bit, it still has some nice lift to it. It has a tendency to lie a little flatter than I have it fluffed up here, but this is how it looks best on me. In playing around with it, it was easy to play around with and muss up. It is a cute style, and a lot of fun to wear. It can look a little news-caster-ish on me, but that is always the case with this style.

The hair fiber is a regular synthetic, and it also has a lace front. The lace front looks fine to me; although it has some sparse spots as Renau’s lace fronts tend to have, the bangs on this wig prevent the hairline from showing much anyway. Overall even when pulling back the hair and looking at it, it didn’t seem too bad to me – but I am a lot less picky about that sort of stuff than I used to be. Probably because I don’t wear my wigs full-time anymore, quite honestly.

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6F27 is one of my favorite colors from Renau, and it seems like almost every wig they makes has it as an option. Some of the new browns from the Chocolate Collection are also pretty, but I can never go wrong with the 6F27 which is why I choose it often. It matches my bio hair very closely, too.

The cut is well-done and looks great in profile and from the back. Overall, it looks very much like the advertising photos make it appear, which is always a good thing. It looks a bit fuller on me, but most wigs do, plus I do have it fluffed up a bit in the photos. My only complaint would be that it has a very set flip around the ends that from the back and front views you can see more clearly than from the sides; I had no luck whatsoever trying to tame the flippy ends, which is why I liked it fluffed up this way – when I tried to smooth it down, the flipped ends made it a little a bit too Carol Brady for my liking.

But overall, this is a fun style to play around with, and it’s very easy and comfy to wear. Even when messing it up and running my fingers through it vigorously it held up well – that sort of thing is easier to do with a hand-tied cap since there are no wefts to work around. I was able to move the part to either side with no real problems, and straight out of the box it looked completely natural. The price point is high on this one due to the cap, but if you wait for a sale you could possibly get a decent deal. Plus, it is short enough that I think you would get a decent amount of wear out of it; the ends might get a little frizzy but it should last longer than your average long synthetic even then.

It’s very nice, but the style isn’t ‘me.’ I pretty much knew that when I bought it, but I was curious and wanted to try her out.

Lagenlike

Ha! I thought of another great title playing off the term Lagenlook. I am awesome! Thank you!

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Levitation editing – in the original photo I was just sitting on a stool. VERY easy to do with these pants on, because they’re so baggy they covered up most of the stool I was sitting on, and I only had to edit out chair legs.

I am SO behind on uploading photos to my blog – still haven’t shared my latest portraits or any of my Wings Over Houston stuff – plus I’m way behind on photo editing, too. I have sets going all the way back to September that I haven’t finished processing yet, but since the actual taking of photos is hard to accomplish right now, I guess that’s a good thing. I’ve been able to take clothing shots by just moving my furniture out of my office and sticking the 7D on my tripod, but as you can see I’ve not even bothered to put up a backdrop in months so you keep getting views of my lovely, incredibly un-fashionable carpet and a blank wall instead. Sorryboutit. Moving on.

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Got this green jumper back from the tailor, with the green string-straps replaced with something more durable 

In my last Lagenlook/Oh My Gauze post, I mentioned how great these clothes photograph, as well as being wearable outside the studio, which is nice. Since that time, I’ve gotten back the pieces I took into the tailor as well as buying a few discontinued items off eBay, and buying yet more stuff direct from the store’s website. What can I say, when I get obsessed, I get really obsessed, plus they still have some clearance items for sale and the prices are so good I just can’t resist picking a few more things up here and there (in fact, I was back on the site looking at what’s left on clearance this evening and snagged a few more items. Even my husband took note of the great prices, so there you go).

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The pants here are called the Carnival Pant and I really didn’t think I would like them. But, they were on sale in a color that was unusual and not overly available (all the clearance stuff is in discontinued colors, so I’ve ended up with a LOT of the same colors), and they were really inexpensive so I gave them a go. They turned out to be quite cute on, and they look more like a skirt than pants anyway. I actually get a lot of compliments on these when I wear them. The May vest was a longshot too – I didn’t think I’d get much use out of it but for twenty bucks (clearance price no longer available) I thought why not. And of course, it’s ended up being a very functional piece as well. The key to the whole lagenlook style is incorporating a lot of layers and creating unusual shapes with them, so a lightweight piece like this works to pull looks together quite nicely. The top is called Marcy, and at this point I don’t think there’s any more available in the sale colors. It’s one of the few tops I didn’t have to get altered, as the shape is a bit more slim than a lot of their tops.

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And for what it’s worth, I do think those shoes were a bad choice for this outfit. Oh well.

I don’t know if I’ve shown any dresses from OMG yet, so let’s throw a few in right now:

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There’s the Robin wig again

This is called the Bella Dress, and it’s the first item I saw from OMG that inspired me to investigate the brand. I’m pretty sure it came up in a lagenlook search on Pinterest, and I found the slightly rounded, bubble shape of the skirt really appealing. I did have to get it altered in the top because it was a bit too wide, but as with everything from this line I was careful not to take it in too much as its looseness is part of the appeal. The color here is Fig, and it’s one of my favorite colors – but it’s not a discontinued one. Bella is one of the more expensive pieces OMG has, but it’s hella popular so I can see why, and it was definitely worth it.

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The rare barefoot shot – only because my shoes kept flying off

Then there’s this Lea Blouse Dress, which I think may be my favorite piece so far: the shape is so casual and unusual and the fit is really interesting but still quite lovely (they only have one color left of this one on clearance, so I just linked to the full-priced version). It’s crazy baggy, and it looks like a sack, but strangely, a very attractive and fashionable sack. I love it – but I’ve already gotten the top taken in once and still feel like it’s a bit big, so I will probably take it back for another round of alterations. It’s the neckline that fits me a bit wide, and it keeps slipping off to one side when I’m wearing it, causing me to tug at it a lot to get it back into place throughout the day. It’s quite an interesting neckline, though:

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I guess you can’t really see the neckline here, but it’s kinda square. The boots are Uggs, of course. 

I don’t much agree that this could also be a blouse; it’s a whole lotta fabric to then throw over pants or a skirt, but to each her own. I had the sleeves taken in a little bit too, but as you can see there’s still a lot of room in this thing. And yet, I think it works, and I feel really pretty when I wear this. Hey, some gals want ruffles and a tiara, and I just want a fashionable sack. Whatever works (although I wouldn’t throw a tiara out of my closet if someone flung one in there either, so there you go).

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The hair is my customized Code Mono by Ellen Wille

And now for another dress – the Belva is a new style and is only available at full price:

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Please forgive the goofy face. And the hair here is Coco by Rene of Paris – another really good deal. The shoes are by Sperry, and they were not a good deal price-wise, but they are incredibly comfy. 

One interesting thing about OMG’s new fall colors is that there are a LOT of very springy shades they’re using, like the one above. It’s called Lilac but looks more Periwinkle to me, and while they discontinued a lot of khakis and grays and browns and put them in the clearance section, their new colors include some pastel yellows and greens as well as the one pictured above. I’m not complaining, as the colors are very pretty; it just seems unusual for a Fall line. There are also some more vibrant jewel tones like violet and orange, but still, the colors overall feel more like spring than fall to me (although there are some nice grays and olive greens in there, too). Oh, and this dress needed no alteration. And I adore the hemline. And the pockets. And I forgot to edit one of the many jumping pics I took in it, so you’ll have to see that one next time.

The next few pieces are discontinued items, and can’t be found on the actual site. I got them both on eBay, but they can be found through a Google search at some other online stores.

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I am wearing a hairpiece here, but I can’t recall which one. It’s one of those hairy ponytail scrunchies you wrap around your own ponytail to add volume. And, in my case, horns.

This top is called Rain, and it was not cheap, but it got lodged into my brain from the first time I saw it, and I had to have one. For awhile, all I could find were colors I didn’t really like – crimson red and coral (coral is SUCH a no on me) – but then lo and behold one showed up on eBay in gray and I snatched it up. I’m really glad I did, because it’s lovely, although I may decide to tailor this one too since the neckline might be a little wide on me. I paired it here with the Lola pant, and if you click that link you’ll see that they are a SUPER bargain right now, and in a lot of nice colors too. I did not order Lola right away, because the shots on the model didn’t make them look all that great, and I wasn’t sure how that balloon hem was going to work on a pair of pants.  But in the end – and you should be able to repeat this along with me by now – they were just too good of a deal to pass up, so I got them in a basic black, which isn’t something I normally do. I hate to buy clothes in black if there are other, more interesting colors available, but I went with it for these because I figured I didn’t have a black pair of bottoms to work with my new wardrobe so why not buy something I’m not really sure I’m going to like in the boring color and see how it turns out. Well, how it turned out is that I love them, and have already bought a second pair (in the Fig color I like so much) and I am really trying to hold back on ordering a third (again – so CHEAP!). Really, really cute.

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And just look how they move! And, I think my hairpiece flew off right after this shot.

Here’s another discontinued item I had to search for a little, and that I couldn’t get at a sale price, but was totally worth it:

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The skirt is the discontinued piece here – it’s called Robin and I think I managed to snag it for around $75 on eBay – it usually sells for about $90. I loved it, though, and finally took the plunge; that balloon hem combined with the pockets made it a bit heavy and it was pulling down on me, so I had to alter the waist a bit. But it’s a really interesting shape and it will go with a lot of things. The top is called Sweet – it was too wide on me and had to be taken in, but now it’s a great staple and the ruching gives it a little pizzazz it wouldn’t otherwise have, I’ve mentioned this jacket before – it’s the Rome that had long tails in the front which I lopped off to create a more cropped look that’s made it more wearable, in my opinion.

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Last but not least – whew! There’s a lot going on in this outfit, but I think all the different shapes are really fun:

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OK, what all do we have here? The pant is called the Basic pant, and I think you can see why. Nothing funky there, but it is a nice, loose straight-but-wide leg and in the khaki they’re incredibly wearable (I had to buy this pair off eBay because at the online store the khaki was not available – it was one of the sale colors that has already run out). The blue top (the color is actually called Washed Reef) is called Hawaii and I love it – it’s a tank top, actually, so it’s great for layering and I love how long that asymmetrical hem is. It jazzes up anything you choose to wear it with, and the color is another one that’s unusual for me, but I figured I needed to give my wardrobe a little pop; it’s also got a tie-dyed pattern that isn’t overdone but that adds interest to what is otherwise a fairly basic, subdued outfit. And of course, it was one of the colors that was on sale, which helped me decide. The white jacket is called Siesta and it’s another versatile piece I’ve found dozens of uses for already – I can’t say enough about how well all this stuff works together. I can probably get dressed with my eyes closed now, and as long as I choose OMG pieces I’m not only going to be OK, but look unique and put-together too.

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Photo nerd alert: this is a composite of two shots – yes, I did leap while holding Simon, but my legs were barely off the ground for obvious reasons. It didn’t look all that impressive that way, so I layered a different leap shot where I wasn’t holding a cat over the original and put them together.

Not as much movement with the Basic pant, of course, but those two tops are great for interesting, flow-y movement, In fact, last week we had a couple of very windy days here, and I loved walking outside and feeling everything blow and float around (except the Robin skirt, which got a little dangerous). The hair up there is my trusty Easy Edge by LuxHair HOW, and that necklace came from Nordstrom a few years ago and can only be worn in photos; it’s ridiculously heavy and scratchy against my neck, which is a shame since it’s a really cute piece. Oh well.

Believe it or not, that is it for now – and if you actually read all this, you deserve a medal. Or at least a cute piece from OMG, so get on over to their website and look around! And tell them I sent ya! Speaking of which, I sent the owners of the store a message linking them to my first blog post, and they actually sent me a $50 gift card as a thank you for my review! Ain’t that grand? I just haven’t used it yet because I have to call them to do so since the website can’t process it, and I’m usually online shopping at night past store hours (not sure what that says about me), plus I’m actually pretty shy and am a bit nervous about having to call them up and identify myself as that crazy lady who takes pictures of their clothes while she’s flying through the air and goes on way too long talking about clothes. But I’ll get around to using it sooner or later. And oh – there are probably more leaping photos coming of this stuff; I wasn’t kidding when I said the clothes take great movement photos! And no, I have not yet photographed everything I’ve bought. That may never happen. 🙂

Quick Pics of My Stitch Fix

Helloooo everyone, I know it’s been a minute, but I’m busy as usual and only have a little sliver of time in which to catch up. I’ve taken a lot more Oh My Gauze shots, both posing and leaping, and the Wings Over Houston Airshow was last weekend and I took about 2,000 shots at that. But for now, I’ll pop in here to share a few photos of the clothes from my October Stitch Fix box, then upload some of the other photos later. Let’s get to it:

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The wig here is the Robin by Noriko in Chocolate Swirl; the shoes are the “Fang” flatform sandal from TopShop (cute, but sadly, not comfortable, so I only wear them in photos for the most part)

So what we have here is the Kut From the Kloth “Kate” boyfriend jean, and the Collective Concepts “Lidy” poncho cardigan. The jeans are nice; when I took them out of the box they felt really stiff, but they are 1% spandex and do have some give, so when I got them on they were comfy, just a little heavier than my usual denim. There was nothing wrong with them, but no real reason for me to keep them, since I have all the jeans I might need at the  moment and these look exactly like a few pair of those. Plus, as you can see, they were a touch too big on me. The poncho cardigan was a keeper; it’s fairly light and will go everything. So that piece stayed.

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This is the Crescent “Spooner” Cross Back Top, and I can certainly see why my stylist sent me this shirt, since it’s khaki and loose and a little hippie-ish with the fringe trim, but it just didn’t do anything for me. I think the fringe around the bottom might actually be too heavy for the fairly sheer material of the rest of the top, making it hang a bit awkwardly when it should just flow. Plus, that fringe hits me at an awkward spot and accentuates my widest area more than I’d like. Cute, but no. And yes, it’s very wrinkly, but remember it did come in a box. Moving on.

Last shot:

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Snake-print slips-ons from Vans. And sorry about the weird face I’m making here.

Another pant by Kut From the Kloth, this one’s called the “Siena” Cropped Pant, and although they’re a little snug around the hips (making the side pockets stick out a bit), they are very light and comfortable and with the spandex in them should stretch a little with wear. I may take them to the tailor and get the pockets sewn shut, which I often have to do with chino-style pants that have them. It’s a minor detail, but it makes a big difference in how the pants fit and look once they stop poking out like that. The jacket is not from Stitch FIx, but it is another Oh My Gauze piece – it’s called the Rome jacket and it actually had two very long “tails” in the front that were just begging to be tied into a waist knot, which is something I refuse to do. So, I had my tailor chop the long bits off to create a shorter jacket all around, and I really like it now. Tailoring makes a big difference, people! #themoreyouknow

That’s actually all the shots I have from this shipment; you may have noticed I only took pictures of four items when they are always five things in each Fix, and if so, good for you for being observant! But the fifth item was a chambray, long-sleeve, button-up top, and since I’ve not once liked myself in any top like that I’ve ever tried, I didn’t even bother to put it on. Plus, it was buttoned all the way up, so I would have had to unbutton it to get it on, and it wasn’t worth the effort. Yep, I’m that lazy.

Here’s to the end of another busy week. More pics later!

Stitch Fix n’ Pix Review

Got another Stitch Fix in, and tried to take some decent pictures real quick after filming that tragic Forever Young wig review. I didn’t keep my entire Fix this time, but FINALLY at least, they did not send me skinny jeans!

And before we discuss my latest shipment, can we all just say halleloo and yaaaaas gawd that the SCOTUS ruled in favor of sanity, reason and LOOOOVE? I’m so happy I could backhand anyone who doesn’t agree, so don’t go there with me. Moving on.

Oh, and before I show any pictures, yes, I know my background in these shots is less than stellar. Apparently, this is what you get when you pay $89 for a “wrinkle resistant” material. I’m not sure which wrinkles this thing is resisting, because it seems to find most of them too good to ignore.

Anyway, back to the Fix. Item #1 is right up my alley, but it has a downside: the Skies are Blue Folla V-Neck Knit Top (kept):

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Skinny Ankle Jeans from Ann Taylor Loft, Fairwayy (NOT a typo) sandals by Lucky Brand, Misha wig by Rene of Paris

It is good in that it is basically a slightly upgraded tee shirt, so I can wear it to work and be comfortable as hell. I realized the bad Friday afternoon, when I was out and about and happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection in a store window and wondered fleetingly who the prison inmate was staring back at me. You can’t see it very well, but the shirt has a v-neck, and well, orange v-neck shirt = Orange Is The New Black, basically. So, hopefully if Stitch Fix sends you this shirt you get it in a different color. Other than that, don’t wear this with orange pants and you’re probably OK. It’s roomy and comfy and easy to wear, although it wrinkles easily too. Also looks great with shackles!

Item #2 is the Market & Spruce Bernadette Lace Overlay Raglan Top (kept):

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Same jeans as above, Classic Leather/Snake Slip-Ons from Vans, Coco wig by Rene of Paris

I really like how this photo turned out, for some reason. I think its all those coordinating color tones. And that Coco wig is the business for less than $80. Normally those little shag cuts don’t work on me, but Coco is an exception. Anyway, the top. This is the second baseball-tee-with-lace-detail Stitch Fix has sent me, and since I love me a good baseball tee (as well as any glorified tee shirt I can get away with wearing to work) this one had my name all over it. The other one I got a few months ago is the reverse – the sleeves are lace while the bodice is a ribbed knit, and it’s in navy and light blue – and this one is also a bit more fancy. The jersey knit is incredibly soft, and the lace is lovely and entirely lined. My only complaint here is that it is almost a boat neck, and that’s going to cause problems because my shoulders are so narrow. I can’t stand a bra strap showing, so I’m hoping at least I can wear this gray bra I have under it that will somewhat match the top and look intentional if the straps show – it may show through that cream bodice too much though, so I’ll just have to see. Other than that, this one is a winner.

Item 3 is the Kut From The Kloth Callie Denim Jacket (returned):

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Linen tee from Ann Taylor Loft, Linen T-Strap Mary Janes from Urban Outfitters, Rainbow Stripe 4-in-1 Trapeze dress/skirt from the Gap, Laine wig by Rene of Paris

First of all, this skirt looked so great in photos that I got really distracted by it while shooting, and when I was looking the photos over later I realized I didn’t take even one where I wasn’t swooshing the skirt  around in some way, so this was the best I could do, sorryboutit. And how that skirt can be worn four different ways is beyond me – even the photos on the Gap’s website only showed the model wearing it two ways (as a skirt and as a dress) so I’m guessing they’re taking lots of liberties with that title. I mean, if a six-foot-four skinny sixteen year old can’t get into this dress four ways, how am I supposed to do it? Like, wrap it around my head as a turban, or throw it over my head and wear it as a poncho? Who knows. And those shoes are always on sale 2 pair for $20 at the UB, and you wouldn’t believe how often you’ll wear them if you keep a pair or two handy. I keep one pair at work for days that my feet hurt, and I use them in leaping photos constantly because they are practically like being barefoot but much more flattering than bare feet can be. Sure, they will forever emit a chemical smell that means you can never keep a pair of them contained in a small space without killing yourself the next time you go in there, but keep them thrown in a corner and you’re good to go. And hey, each pair is only ten bucks!

Anyway back to the jacket – it was fine; it had stretch to it and was lighter than your average denim jacket, so I was tempted to keep it, but I have one already that is practically brand-new and doesn’t get worn much so I certainly didn’t need a second one. I liked that this one was a lighter weight so I was torn, but in the end I couldn’t justify paying $78 for a second jean jacket when a barely-used one was already hanging in my closet. It would have been a nice staple,. though, had I needed it, and it was good item for them to include in the Fix as it certainly does fit my style. I can’t say the same about…

Item #4: Skies are Blue Diane Dress (returned):

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Reese wig by Noriko, Snick platforms by Jeffrey Campbell (I’ve had these shoes at least four years now but I still see them being sold in stores, are they still in style?)

OK, I did try this on earlier in the day, but at picture time I had on tons of makeup and since this is pure white linen I did not want to risk getting it dirty – especially since it would have been useless for me to keep it. I dislike everything about this; the cut is one I don’t like, the material is too stiff, the white linen is just asking for trouble, and the length is too short. If you asked anyone who really knows me to come up with a dress that’s the exact opposite of everything I like in my clothing, they’d come up with this one. Back it goes.

Then there was this little Item #5: La Made Leia Pom Pom Infinity Scarf

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I really dislike this picture; my face came out weird and the lighting and color balance are off, but I took it so dammit you’re going to look at it. Anyway, there it is – a cute enough scarf that I almost kept because I would have found use for it, but my goal was to keep my final order under $100 this time, and this piece at $38 put me right over that once I purchased the first two tops. In hindsight I probably should have kept this and sent back the Folsom Prison Special (now that I think of it, the name “Folla” top almost looks like “Folsom” if you just glance at it quickly), but at the time I didn’t realize I was going to look like an escaped convict in it, so back went the circle scarf. Cute poms poms on it, too.

While I was at it, I took some leaping shots in all these outfits as well, but I’ll share those in a different post. For now, there you go – Stitch Fix Quick Pix and some wig shots to boot. Happy weekend everyone!

Stitch Fix Quick Pics: May

How long have I been using Stitch Fix now? I think it’s been about a year. At first, I went back and forth over keeping my service or cancelling it, but they’ve really been sending me some great stuff the past few months, and it’s become my primary way of buying clothes now since I don’t shop nearly as much as I used to (in stores, that is – let’s not kid ourselves I’ve stopped shopping completely).

While my room was set up for photos the other day when I took a bunch of macro florals (I’ll show those in a separate post later) I threw on some of the stuff I’ve gotten from them recently to share here. Keep in mind I didn’t edit these shots except to process them from RAW to JPEG, so they’re not up to my usual standard, but it seems fair to do them that way since it shows the clothes themselves in the closest representation to what they look IRL, rather than adding all my usual bells and whistles. My mug is also SOOC which bugs me a little, but hey, I am willing to suffer for you, people. Oh, and while I was at it, I put on some of my new wigs to change things up in the pics. So here we go.

First up is the Minna Crew Neck Top:

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Minna Crew Neck Top; Gap Authentic Boyfriend jeans; Seville by Noriko wig in Banana Split-LR

The shirt is more orange than it came out in the photo; it’s a true orange and white print, not red-orange. As with pretty much everything SF sends me, I took this out of the box and thought oh HAIL no and started to shove it back in there, but then remembered that I needed to try everything on since those nice people went to all the trouble of packing this stuff up for me and I should least put it on once before casting it off the island. Besides which, I never like anything SF sends me right out of the box, but usually find that I do once I get it on – and this top was another example of that phenomenon. The solid orange sleeves and shirttail are a stretchy jersey knit, which you know I am always a sucker for, and the printed front and back panel are some sort of silky polyester – which usually bugs me as I don’t find it comfortable, but it worked OK here since it was just the bodice and not the whole top. I got it in an extra small, so it was a touch tight in the armpit and chest areas, but not so much that it wasn’t wearable (just a little difficult to get off and on) and it looked great. Put this one down into my ever-growing pile of Stuff I Got From Stitch Fix That I Never Would Have Bought On My Own But Really Like Anyway, because I’ve already worn this top twice and I just got it five days ago. Moving on.

Next up is the Analisse Anorak Jacket:

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Analisse Anorak Jacket; Under Skies shell (also from a Fix I got it a long time ago); Destroyed Wash Straight Leg jeans from Ann Taylor Loft; necklace from Free People; Oprah Wig by Mica for Jessica Lin in Color 6

This jacket came from April’s shipment, but since it was clean and hanging in my closet I decided to show it anyway (I also got a really cute crochet sweater from April’s box that was in the dry clean hamper, so I didn’t show that one). This is a very light rayon jacket that is easy to carry around and throw on when needed; my only complaint is it has all these various ties and zippers and snaps that get annoying and aren’t particularly useful. I never see the point in this MacGuyver-style clothing that can be added to or taken away or converted at random. I get that camping and hiking-style wear has need for all that stuff; but when it’s a faux-outdoors jacket like this one I feel like we’d all be better off if the manufacturer didn’t play like we’re ever going to take this thing camping and leave all the shenanigans alone. I actually cut the waist tie from this one (which could  be used to cinch the waist but I would never wear a jacket that way and the ties were so long it would just come untied every five seconds anyway) and am considering cutting out the one at the bottom because it’s long also and is always banging around my knees – and again, why do I need to cinch the bottom of the jacket, exactly? Exactly. Aside from that ramble, this is nice and light and goes with everything. Love it.

Here’s two pieces put together – the Adam Crochet Detail Top and the Mea Lace Skirt:

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Adam Crochet Detail Top; Mea Lace Skirt; Lucky Brand Fairwayy Sandal (not a typo); Caitlyn wig by Rene of Paris in Coffee Latte

First of all, yes I am over-posing there which makes me look like I’ve twisted my body in some weird way, but whatever. The skirt may be lacy but it’s still casual in style and very comfortable, and an over-the-knee length which means I will actually wear it. I like to have at least a few items like this on-hand that can be dressed up on those very few occasions where I need to do so, but this can also be worn quite casually which is nice. The top was only kept because it goes nicely with the skirt; it’s cute enough but a bit fussy for me, and the cotton fabric isn’t soft or stretchy at all and requires (gasp) ironing, which to me is synonymous with dry-cleaning. It’s also pretty transparent, so although for the photos I didn’t require a cami underneath IRL I will – and there’s this lace panel in the back that hits right where my bra strap would show so that’s another reason a cami is needed. However, it is a cute top and it wasn’t too expensive, and I love me some white tops I can throw on with anything when in a hurry, so it stayed. The sleeves are also a nice touch with the elastic that gives a cute pouf to their 3/4 length.

Oooooh guys, I really love this next one – it’s the Char Geo Print Maxi Skirt:

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Char Geo Print Maxi Skirt; Sweater from Ann Taylor Loft; Braided Circle Scarf Necklace from Nordstrom; barely visible Dayna Point Flat from Free People; Amanda wig by Jon Renau

I got the skirt in my April shipment, and when I saw online that I was getting something called a “geo print” skirt I recoiled in horror. Not exactly my style. But the print is small, and the colors are lovely and spring-y (mint green, soft tangerine, navy blue and white) and it has enough of an A-line that I can actually wear this even though the material is clingy (jersey knit maxi skirts are usually a problem for me). I’ve worn the hell out of this since I got it, although when looking over my photos I realized that the point-toed flats I like to wear with it don’t look nearly as good as I thought they did, since the skirt’s so long all you see are these two little pointy witch feet poking out, and it’s odd. As Cher Horowitz says, always take a photo of your outfits, people, you’d be surprised what you find when you do.

Last but not least is a dress I almost didn’t keep, but my  husband commented that it was pretty, so I changed my mind. My face looked really goofy in this shot and I wasn’t willing to put out the effort it would have taken to photoshop a different head onto my body, so I just cut it off instead. Moving on – it’s the Briar Printed Maxi Dress:

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The color is also reading green here for some reason; the bodice is a true gray and the paisley print is far more green than the light blue it appears, sorryboutit.  The cut on this one is pretty narrow, but I guess my recent weight loss has been significant enough in the hip/thighs that I can actually pull this off. It is a jersey knit (score!) and super-comfortable, and this is another one I started wearing right away.

Now – here’s my one complaint about my recent shipments that I have to mention. Guess what else came in May’s box that I didn’t take photos of or keep? Say it with me people – FREAKING SKINNY JEANS. I have received a pair of skinny jeans at least three more times since begging Stitch Fix to quit sending them to me, and every time they do I have to send them back and miss out on the 25% discount. I am starting to think they are doing it on purpose just to mess with me. Once again I left comments online when checking out, repeating my request to stop receiving them, but so far my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The ones they sent me were a color other than black at least, I’ll give them that after they sent black ones 2 or 3 shipments in a row, but the color was hardly unique – a light faded denim. Plus, they were $160, the most expensive item in my box by far. They fit nicely and were comfortable, but of course I sent those suckers back. So, once again no 25% discount for me since I couldn’t keep the entire Fix. Sigh.

All in all, though, a successful shipment. I continue to wear most of the pieces from SF regularly (except the fabulous jeans I got a year ago that are now way too big), and they’ve certainly been sending me fun boxes of stuff. So, the subscription continues. Now if I can just get them to STOP WITH THE SKINNY JEANS I’ll be all set.

Oh, and if you liked this review and want to sign up for the service, consider using this link so i get credit for it. Until next time!

Wig Review: The Seville Wig by Noriko in Ginger Brown

FYI: I no longer wear wigs except for photoshoots, so I have no information about newer styles than the ones reviewed here. Also, I bought this wig with my own money and no one has paid or requested me to do this review. 

I’ve been curious about this style since it came out in November and finally decided to take the plunge. Since I no longer wear wigs full-time, I try to keep the wigs that I do buy at a reasonable amount; this means I usually have to forgo the monofilament top to keep the cost down. Fortunately a mono top was never a mandatory feature for me, and I can be comfortable in wigs that don’t have one.

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That said, Seville has a lot of permatease even for a non-mono wig (my other recent purchase, Kristen by Jon Renau, doesn’t have a monofilament top or part but it has way less PT than this one – perhaps the lacefront has something to do with that?) so if permatease  isn’t your thing, then Seville probably isn’t your thing either. That said. a lot of people like the shape and lift permatease provides, and this wig has plenty of both. A friend of mine said it reminded them of an updated Laine from the Rene of Paris line, and I can see that. Seville has more of a long bang than Laine had, and not as much PT, but it’s similar in shape and lift to that wig (which I always liked and have owned several of).

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The permatease isn’t quite this bad; I’m using a flash here which accentuates it

If you’re interested in this one, I’d recommend going with a rooted color to hide some of that PT in the parting area. Personally I don’t mind permatease and I love Ginger Brown, so I went with the non-rooted shade  – rooted dark brown wigs never appear to have darker roots than I can see anyway.

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Seville in Ginger Brown, taken with flash again so it’s more shiny here than in reality

The bangs are a bit of an issue on this one; I’ve found this to be an annoyance on a lot of Rene of Paris’s wigs. I suspect it’s due to the thickness of them because even the monofilament tops often have lots of stray wonky hairs hanging down into my face. On a non-mono wig with bangs, it can often be difficult initially to get them to lay in any one direction, and the fiber goes all over the place. But in time I can get them to bend to my will (or with the use of a blowdryer on a low heat setting).  With some playing around I was able to get a nice part into the long bangs, but throughout wearing it stray hairs kept falling into my face. I usually just plucked them out, and with time I think this will settle down.

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As you can see, the cut is pretty and simple, the color is nice, and the hair fiber is true to my past experience with Noriko in that it is exceptionally soft and silky (well, you can’t see that last part, but trust me, it is nice). I like the length, and although the amount of lift in the crown always throws me a little when I put the wig on (my own hair has ZERO lift, so it takes some getting used to) the overall effect is very pretty.

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The cap is very comfortable although Norikos run a touch small – as my bio hair has grown I’ve noticed I need slightly bigger caps now than I used to require, but a Noriko cap still fits my petite/average head nicely. This is a lot of hair, so I wouldn’t call it a good summer wig, but it works just great for January, and when I wore it out I got compliments on  it – mostly the color, which always happens when I wear Ginger Brown. Even while wearing it out running errands the tangling kept to a minimum and it was an easy wig to wear. The only issue is the little stray hairs hanging down into my face, but like I said, I think that will calm down with time.

To get a better idea of what Seville looks like in natural light without that bright flash hitting it, here are a few more shots taken outdoors and without a flash on my camera:

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Overall, I think Seville is a simple and classy style that’s a nice addition to the Noriko line; but that permatease is going to knock it down a notch in my book, because I know a lot of women aren’t going to be able to deal with it. And I sort of feel paying $120 for this wig (which is what I paid at Name Brand Wigs) is a little much for what it is, especially once someone pointed out to me how similar it is to some of the other ROP Hi-Fashion long wigs you can get for around $80. I’m not sure it’s worth $40 more when you could score a Laine or a Misha and give it a trim to perhaps get the same effect. I think the hair fiber is nicer on Norikos than ROPs, but not by much, so perhaps this one is a bit overpriced. For someone who’s lazy like me, though, and would never take in a wig to get it trimmed even if I had the best of intentions to do so, and who likes to try out a new wig here and there when they come in, this one’s a keeper. I’m certainly not disappointed with it at all. So there you go.

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And by the way – when is the entire Rene of Paris company going to get with the program regarding lace fronts and hand-tied caps? Every other major manufacturer has incorporated lots of both options into their lines, but ROP still isn’t offering these options with any regularity. It’s really starting to make the company look stodgy and behind the times, in my opinion. Then again, they were wise enough to steer clear of the whole heat-stylable-synthetic-fiber fiasco so maybe there’s something to be said for resisting trends. But lacefronts and hand-tied caps are safely beyond the trend stage now, so they really could stand to get on that train with the rest of us.

 

Purse Post: The Free People Slouchy Vegan Tote

I have to rave about this Slouchy Vegan Tote I bought recently from (no surprise) Free People. I loved it so much, I bought three of them.

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Simon likes the brown bag best

I am actually not a big purse person (a “purse-on”?); I tend to find one I really like, then keep it for several years, or buy the same style for several years in a row. My last favorite was a large tote by Tory Burch that was very big (I love a huge purse) and square and open (love a big-mouthed purse too; one I can just toss things into from across the room) and most importantly, it had pockets on both sides that made it incredibly convenient to place keys and cell phones in them and know exactly where they were. But in the past year or two TB quit putting side pockets in the totes, which made them decidedly less fabulous in my book, so when I realized the huge blue one I’d carried for two years needed replacing (I am VERY hard on handbags), I needed to find something new.

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My pics are unedited and kinda sloppy, sorry – had a lot to do tonight so I had to prioritize.

I wanted something big, of course, and floppy, because I much prefer soft purses to sturdy, structured ones (again, I like to throw tons of stuff in there and sort it all out later, so floppy helps with that). I also wanted something a bit bohemian, perhaps with fringe or some interesting print – but it was not to be found. Apparently, my current style obsessions are not IN style, at least not in the purse world. I’ll skip over the part where I bought a Coach bag on sale in a snake print, just because it was the closest thing I could find to an interesting print and it was good deal, and skip right to two weeks later, when my friend Candace and I spied this bag on the way out of the Free People store in the Galleria. It was floppy (check) and big and square (check-check), but then we discovered so much more when we looked inside. It also had a very large zippered clutch-type removable insert (people in their reviews refer to this as a laptop case, then complain that laptops don’t fit in it, which leads me to believe it was not intended to be a laptop case in the first place, but I could be wrong about that) and a third, small zippered bag roughly the size of a large square wallet. It also had an extra-long strap, and – here’s the real clincher – the purse is also reversible. It’s also NOT leather, although it looks like it (in fact, most people who’ve asked about the bag since I started carrying it were under the impression it was quite expensive) and it feels buttery soft, so it is both cruelty-free and inexpensive – the bag retails for $68.

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A peek inside the smallest pouch.

I bought one, then a few days later decided I needed a few more. One reason for that is the one I’ve been carrying around since I bought it is starting to “peel” a little around the edges (see pic below), so I thought having a few others to switch around might help slow that down a little. I don’t really care about the peeling so much though, and mostly wanted a few more just because I love this bag to death and was feeling spendy. When it comes to bags, I am not opposed to handing over some decent cash (although I’d never pay the cost for a Louis Vuitton or anything like that, at least I haven’t up to this point) for whatever it is that I like, and since this one was not expensive, I figured getting two more still kept it in a good price range for me.

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A close-up of the peeling – you can also see the magnet that holds the purse closed no matter which way you’ve reversed it

The cool thing is how many ways I can mix and match all these pieces. Because the bag itself has nothing going on inside (no pockets of any kind), I have everything I regularly carry arranged to be either in my wallet, my makeup case, or one of the two pouches that come with the bag. My ID holder/debit card and cell phone fit perfectly into the smallest bag, I think it’s obvious what my wallet and my makeup bag hold, and the big zippered pouch holds everything else. This way, it’s super-easy to switch purses by grabbing those four pieces and stuffing them into another big purse; no pockets to go through and organize or anything. If I have time I can do some color-coordinating, of course, by taking all my stuff out of one colored pouch and putting them into another one, but if I don’t want to mess with that, the switch can be made in about four seconds.

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A peek inside the larger pouch – Simon was interested, too

I’ve also found that the small zippered pouch works well when I don’t want to carry the big bag somewhere, as I can just pull it out and go, and the larger zippered one is easy to pull completely out of the purse and dig through for whatever it is I’m trying to find. The only downside I’ve discovered so far is that the inside of the big zippered pouch is black, which can make it hard to find what I’m digging for. And, I found the dark brown one to be stiffer faux-leather than the black or the natural one, so the softness of the vegan material isn’t consistent I suppose. But other than these two things, I am in love with these bags. I got six purses, really, for the price of three (although the reversed color of the black is almost identical to the natural colored one, it’s just a touch lighter) plus 6 multicolored pouches to play around with, and in total I spent about $210 for all of it.

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The black purse – the reversible side is the same cream color as the small pouch

I’m not one to go around switching bags to match my outfits, but for that price and for how easy it is to do with these, I am going to start. It’ll also help each bag last longer to switch them out, because as I said, I am hard on bags. I’ve carried all my usual stuff, plus my lunch, an iPad, and an extra pair of shoes in this thing a few times (when going to work) and it can handle all that and still look great, but I know from past experience that won’t last forever. Fortunately this appears to be an incredibly popular bag at the Free People site, with a lot of color options they keep updating, so I think it’ll stick around for a season or two if I ever need more. It certainly feels sturdy to me, even when loaded down and requiring the bigger strap to carry, so I hope they last awhile.

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The brown bag reverses to cobalt blue

Now I just have to figure out what to do with that Coach bag that I only carried for three weeks and no longer want…if anyone wants to buy it off me, make an offer!

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The bags reversed!