Monday, December 31, 2012

Best of 2012, a Somewhat Random List

Instead of best of blog, I thought I'd compile a somewhat random, loosely fashion-related list of what made 2012 truly memorable, in no particular order.

Best film of the year, bar none. I laughed, I cried, I watched it four times in one month. Required viewing.

2. Margiela x H&M 
Love or hate these collaborations, you have to admit that every time you see the candy wrapper clutch, you go pea-green with envy wishing you had one.

Sadly, I didn't get to see it in person but it was one of the finest concepts by the Costume Institute. Get the book.

Since they came out last spring, I've barely touched another lipstick. Flawless formula with brilliant colours -- my favourites are Ink Pot, Neon Angel, and In My Room.

To be honest, gowns do very little for me. I've never been much of a red carpet watcher, but Rooney Mara makes me pay more attention. The clothes, the hair, the makeup.

6. Grace, A Memoir
Intelligent, honest and delightfully witty, Grace Coddington penned the best celebrity (I guess we can call her that) biography of the year. The highlights are, of course, her charming illustrations.

7. Raf Simons's swan song for Jil Sander
If I had to commit to only wearing a single collection for the rest of my life, Jil Sander FW 2012 might just be it.

We all loved the abundance of florals of the past two fashion seasons. But one magazine that truly nailed its essence was Dazed & Confused: this is how you present flowers.

9. Girls
I was never much of a Sex and the City fan, although I hate-watched it loyally and I enjoyed an episode here and there. But Girls is a show that actually feels like real life, brilliantly written and acted, and, yes, that is how girls in their 20s actually dress.

10. Frank Ocean "Channel Orange" (not pictured -- sorry: layout woes!)
If I had this album on cassette tape, it would be all worn out and make that weird fuzzy sound, because that's how much I've listened to it. Indirectly stylish.

Bye bye, see you on the other side.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Screen Style (Holiday Edition): A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Forget Love, Actually and other Hollywood holiday cheese: A Charlie Brown Christmas is the best thing ever. I love how glum it is; I love that Charlie Brown is kind of a mopey loser. We've all had those years when we're just not into Christmas. In fact, I'm having one of those this year. 

All the Peanuts kids are kind of jerks, and wise beyond their years. Love or hate her, I'm totally Lucy -- I think I have this conversation daily:

Lucy: You do think I'm beautiful, don't you, Charlie Brown? 
Charlie: [pause] 
Lucy: You didn't answer me right away. You had to think about it first, didn't you? If you really had thought I was beautiful, you would've spoken right up. I know when I've been insulted. 

She's wicked: a cynical mean girl, but really just as hard on herself as she is on others. Also, she's got style to boot. Today, Lucy would totally kill that preppy, librarian thing.

I've always loved Violet too. I've always thought of her as sort of a Blair Waldorf, with her little green dress and adorable ponytail. And she always says it like it is:

Charlie: Thanks for the Christmas card you sent me, Violet.
Violet: I didn't send you a Christmas card, Charlie Brown.
Charlie: Don't you know sarcasm when you hear it?

And the boys? Oh so sad and funny. Charlie is that miserable boy next door, always going though some sort of an existential crisis. His style, however, is definitely crisis-less, classic and all-American, with his newsboy cap and classic brown oxfords. 

Charlie: Rats. Nobody sent me a Christmas card today. I almost wish there weren't a holiday season. I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it? 

Truer words have never been spoken. At least Snoopy was always happy.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Unplanned Hiatus

Please forgive my absence. I had a flu and a cold back to back -- didn't think it was possible. But, alas, it is! Since I missed many opportunities to do a series of amazing gift guides (honestly, I've done like 10% of my Christmas shopping and I'm in trouble, and will be zombie-walking tomorrow to the stores hoping something brilliant will come to mind), I'll be back shortly with a special holiday-themed Screen Style post that will hopefully win back some reader hearts. Can you guess what it is?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Item of the Week: Club Monaco 'Lee' Moto Jacket

I got a similar Club Monaco motorcycle last spring, and it got a crazy amount of wear over the summer. I love wearing tougher looking jackets over feminine dresses and blouses -- it tones down the girlie effect. Club Monaco tends to recycle designs often but, in this case, I'm totally cool with it.

This one would look gorgeous paired with a lace holiday dress, especially the gray version. (Not that I have any dressy holiday parties this year.)

$229 at Club Monaco.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Icons of Men's Style

I wish someone would do a simple, comprehensive book on womenswear that matches the intelligence of Icons of Men's Style. Yes, I realize the world of womenswear is a tad too complex to be broken down into a formula, but I like the idea of a book that traces the origin of a selection of celebrated basics. 

From outerwear like the fishtail parka, the pea coat, and the blousson, to the trouser family of khakis, jeans, and cargos, to suiting and accessories, and, most importantly, the men that wore them, this book is basically like a cheat sheet to men's fashion. 

The usual suspects make an appearance: Gregory Peck (who makes the cover) and his bomber jacket, Paul Newman with his famous white tees, James Stewart and his beloved tweed blazer, Mick Jagger and his Panama hat, John Lennon and his Savile Row shirts, Michael Jackson and his Bass loafers, Tom Cruise and his Top Gun Ray-Bans, and of course Steve McQueen and his everything.

Can't think of a better gift for any man in your life. Or for yourself as eye candy.

$29.95 at Chapters.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shoe Wednesdays: Alden 'Indy' Boots

If these look familiar, it's because they were worn by a legendary fictional character, Indiana Jones. I spotted these on a friend last week, and thought they were the coolest. I'm sure the friend would be kind of ticked for sharing his boot secret with the world, but since I know he doesn't read my blog, here they are. 

Indiana Jones

The boot now known as the 'Indy' boot is by one of the oldest American shoe manufacturers, the Alden Shoe Company of San Francisco, which believe it or not, dates back to 1884. Originally, Harrison Ford was supposed to wear another American classic, the Red Wing boot, but the handsome actor had a preference for the Aldens. The rest is history.

They also come in dark brown, and will look even better with age. 

$468 at

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Style Icon: Steve McQueen

If there was a Style God or some higher power deciding what men should look like, everyone would just dress like Steve McQueen and we'd call it a day. In fact, one of the reasons I love Daniel Craig so much is because he reminds me of McQueen, at least looks-wise. They are both guys' guys, which is some kind of rare in today's sea of pretty boys in Hollywood. There's no denying it, the guy was so ridiculously cool that he was nicknamed "the king of cool" before that word was really a thing. (Plus, he was married to Ali McGraw, who I love.)

The characters he played blended with the real Steve McQueen. In many ways they were one: he didn't really choose the roles, they chose him. Pretty much every film he stared in was written for him -- that's a sign of a true Hollywood star. And in his relatively short career, spanning less than two decades, McQueen left an enduring influence in men's style. Something about him is just so timeless, I'm pretty sure several heritage clothing companies survive solely on the fact that once, a long time ago, Steve McQueen wore something of theirs. 

The original 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair, with the breathtaking Faye Dunaway, has been on my Screen Style list for two years now -- I suppose I'll get around it eventually. Although my favourite menswear-wise is Bullitt.

The film, in which McQueen played a saucy lieutenant, popularized quite a few items. For example, he was responsible for the return of the turtleneck in the late 1960s, bringing the prep back into a garment that was long associated with beatniks. Rumour has it that Manhattan’s Bonwit Teller completely sold out of them a couple of days after Bullitt premiered. 

There was also the brown suede chukka boot, either designed by Sanders & Sanders or George Cox... the jury is out on that. Then there were Persol aviators, which are still really amazing, and the Baracuta 'Harrington' blouson jacket (although James Dean and Elvis both rocked it a decade earlier). All of these items are still considered timeless classics. 

Aside from wearing sportswear with such swagger (well, the ever-present dangling cigarette may have helped), he also looked really amazing eating donuts -- I just adore this picture. 

Steve McQueen fan? Honestly, find me a more stylish man, and I'll buy you a drink. 

PS. McQueen, of course, has an entire Barbour collection dedicated to him

Monday, December 3, 2012

Item of the Week: Barbour 'Beaufort' Jacket

Contrary to the fact that my blog is named I'm the It Girl, and that it very often features items with bows, I do, in fact, have a fair amount of males following. Or at least women that are menswear enthusiasts. So, here's my inaugural menswear week, something I hope to do often.

There is really no better place to start that with Barbour's classic Beaufort hunting jacket. Designed in 1982, the jacket propelled the century-old Barbour from an industrial clothier to one of fashionable country wear. It is, of course, the choice jacket of the English royals (even the Queen has one), and the staple of the original Sloane Rangers (one of my favourite posts ever, by the way). 

$399 at Lord & Taylor. For complete stockist info, visit