Sunday, November 18, 2007

300 Post Anniversary!

Congratulations to Style Bard Shoes, the baby sister of Style Bard, for reaching 300 Posts! That is 300 amazing money-saving deals from all over the internet for readers to peruse and ultilize when buying fabulous new shoes for themselves and the ones they love. Why buy sneakers, boots, or heels for full price? From Payless to Michael Kors to Adidas to Louboutin, Style Bard Shoes brings you all of the Free Shippings and 40% Offs and Weekend Sales to let you shop guilt-free and walk proud in your hot new kicks.

Looking forward to the next 300 and seeing you all there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Low-Cost High-Shine Lip Gloss

You probably know of C.O. Bigelow’s infamous Rose Salve lip balm, but have you tried their Mentha Lip Shine line yet? These glosses boast an alluring combination of moisturizer and gloss plus a mild, tingling minty freshness. Talk about a triple threat! The best part? Wait for it- that’s right, it’s the price. You can purchase one tube for $7.50, but why stop there? Grab the original formula and then add the color tint variety and you’ll receive both unbeatable products for $5 each! These hard-working glosses beat bad breath, they work wonders and they’re affordable, too. You can find them at or visit your local store. You’ll soon be wondering how you ever lived without these in your collection.

Look for new flavor varieties such as Orange Soda, Black Cherry Soda, Vanilla Cola, Lemon and more! C.O. Bigelow is a rising star in the world of go-to lip glosses and they're the ones to beat in terms of novelty and quality.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Thanks, Kenneth Cole!

Behold, the "Bard Tender":

Thanks, Kenneth Cole (may I call you Ken?)! How did you know I needed new flat boots this Fall? Trust me, I feel quite tended to.

Available to the common masses here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Makeup or Make Believe?

It's been summer 'round these parts (in case you haven't noticed), and I spent a good deal of mine lusting after a beautiful Estsee Lauder compact with translucent pressed powder that would reduce the glistening state of my face (especially nose) during those hot afternoons. I could just see myself sweltering on the bus (do I even take the bus?) on my way to somewhere important (where?) and whipping out my gorgeous, sophisticated metallic compact to powder my nose in the most old-fashioned of senses. How chic! And much better than dabbing at my sweat with a napkin, am I right?

And then recently, without warning, I have found myself ogling radiance sprays, especially with Vitamin E (or hell- flecks of real gold!) to keep my skin dewy and glowing all day. I would glow! I would shine! How badly did I yearn for the ubiquitous Guerlain L'Or Radiance Concentrate? So badly!

But um... wait, what? How did both an anti-shine and a moisturizing spray, both for the face, end up on my beauty wish list?? Am I seriously oily when I wish I were dry, and dried out when I really want to be shimmering and damp? Am I so out of balance that a complicated system of sprays and powders and pulleys and a trap door are necessary to save my face? (On top of, let's be honest, my daily washing, toning, lotioning, concealing, and general makeuppery?)

I... have to believe that rather than being a flawed, greasy, scaley freak of nature, I have actually been cowed by beauty blogs (no offense!) and magazines (lookin' at YOU, Glamour!). I have been sucked into a paradoxical black hole of beauty contradictions, all in the vain (heh) effort to be PRETTIER. Lord knows I won't get that job promotion or hunky boyfriend without my tool belt of makeupical uppers and downers, right?? (Yeah, I went there, I made up a makeup word.)

I think that cross-checking beauty and fashion (and hell, grocery) lists is pretty good for the soul. Let's weed out the advertising and get down to the nitty-gritty of what we personally need to highlight our assets. I mean, come on, do I really need a bigger trash can AND more at-home storage devices? Do I really need Kashi GoLean cereal bars (fiber! on-the-go capacity!) AND soy sausage (sit down for more meals! more protein in the mornings!) on my shopping list? Extra tall riding boots AND those under-boot over-the-knee tights everyone's swooning over? I don't think so.

Make up (heh) your mind, Bard!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

fashion: the disorder

I NEED to meet this girl. I think it would just make my life.

From Overheard in NY:

Trendy chick: I can't go to places like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters 'cause they study and watch me on camera, ripping off my style.

--Bar, 14th St & Ave B

And she needs to really, really take herself seriously. Ah, sigh. Some people are better than fiction, my friends.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Latest for HerFabLife

Here's the latest Bard installment for HerFabLife!

Four Easy Steps to Your Cleanest Face
- How to keep your skin clear, youthful, and healthy.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A New Attitude

I just moved. Like half of the rest of the world did last week.

Before I packed, I had a powerful desire to purge my closet. Moving! A big change to a new state and job! What a great excuse!

I got rid of about 1/3 of my closet actually, between a trip to consignment (2 bags of clothes, 1 of accessories) and two trips to Goodwill (1 bag of clothes, 1 bag of accessories, and some nicer things not in season so consignment wouldn't take them, phooey). And damn, it feels good. Nice and light. Sure, I look at my startlingly small concentration of certain objects I used to have more of, such as tanks, and worry. But for the most part I haven't missed anything yet, and yes, it really does make it easier to get dressed every day. I couldn't recomment it more highly.

By the way, did I mention that I went from having an entire wall of closet space to having 1.5 closets in the whole apartment? Because I did. And when I signed for the apartment, it scared me. But everything fits! So I don't regret the purge.

Meanwhile, a tight budget and the thrill of feeling unburdened combine to keep me from shopping as much as I did in the past year. So why not take this opportunity to finally ACTUALLY follow the mantra of shopping less but shopping quality? I've been to the mall about 4 times in the past week for various reasons, and I haven't bought anything. I haven't even been tempted. I don't feel like my wardrobe is necessarily missing anything right now, and when it is missing something, I want to be able to reward myself with a quality and costly article of clothing to begin building my quality and sophisticated closet. It doesn't have to be December to start forming resolutions, right?

Besides, the local mall has kind of crappy stores. No offense, mall. We're on the same team. But if I actually shop smart from now on, I might want to reward myself with a drive to the farther, more upscale mall, and get some nice things.

Not only that, but I actually returned the last belted Alfani shirt that bought at Macy's. I got it home and it was fine, but it didn't thrill me and I wasn't excited to wear it immediately, so I thought I might as well return it. Let's save those 50 bucks for the $150 top I can't live without. And I should (hopefully!) be getting some money back from consignment to go into that pot as well.

And yes, this also goes for shoes. I'm enjoying the gold flats I got for $20 at TJ Maxx but I'm thinking -- how does this ownership make me happy compared to how some new flat riding-style boots I could be saving for would make me happy? No comparison, really. I do spend a good portion of my time each week scouring deals on affordable shoes. Not that there's anything wrong with affordable basic shoes if you like them and they aren't too cheaply made! Especially if you can afford to buy whatever you want, (yes that goes for buying low-cost items as well as high-cost!), and grab shoes on a whim because you can. But those aren't the special shoes I really want, and if I need to choose between 6 pairs of cheap flats just to have new shoes, or a really amazing pair of boots, I'll take the boots, please! ... I can kick this habit. I think I can, I think I can.

I see the light.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Amazing Shoe Sale

Y'all I don't often do this, but I have got to share an amazing shoe deal from Style Bard Shoes with you here.

This deal only lasts through the 27th, but there's plenty of time to get your hands on amazing, quality shoes for sale on

They're already 75% off. You get an additional 20% off. And there's Free Shipping.

Best of all, I just love so many of these shoes, and they're perfect for Fall. My favorites are these Caligarius 'Anita' pumps in Plum Suede. How work-appropriate and gorgeous are these? And that low heel won't have you kicking off your heels under the desk. I mean, you can if you want to.

I don't need work shoes at the moment, but I'm trying to make my mother buy these so I can live vicariously (and borrow them? mom?). I scrutinize and shop at shoe deals day in and day out, and I think this is an exceptionally good sale.

For more sale details: Click Here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

New Article for HerFabLife!

Here's this week's installment for HerFabLife!

New Neutrals for Fall
- Introducing new rules for neutral shoes.

** cross-posted to Style Bard Shoes

Panties Speak a Thousand Words

Storytime! And this is a little story about a pair of panties. Yes, my friends, we're talking about underwear.

I recently encountered a bizarre little situation that illustrated for me how succinctly an article of clothing can represent your (sad) life story.

A friend of mine was over for the weekend and forgot to pack panties. I have done this before. Um, a lot. I'm always the guest who forgot ONE thing, and, you know, if I'm coming to visit you, just plan on visiting Super Walmart at 3am, because that's when I'm going to need a bra/deodorant/toothbrush or whathaveyou.

However, being in Boston, where there is CERTAINLY no Super Walmart - no, not even Boston, but Somerville - home of 'Nothing's Open Past 7, so Hunker Down for the Night, Ladies' - there was definitely nowhere for her to grab another pair for the next day. Great friend that I am, I said I'd lend her a pair.

And ew, no, shuttup. I'm the kind of person who forgets she buys something the minute it's put away, so I usually have 3 of anything with tags still on. (Sidebar: To counter this, I usually leave new things in the bag on my floor until I'm ready to wear it. There you go.) Or I'll buy a multipack of panties (what? sometimes you're just broke and need some cotton undies to get you through a long laundry spell!) and then I won't like one or two of the colors (WHITE), so I assumed I'd at least have those extras in my drawer. ANYhow, I assumed I had some clean, UNWORN panties to lend her.

So I pull open my drawer (second one down, thanks, the top is too cliche) and triumphantly saw a tag right away and yanked the pair out, handing them to her. Pink. Pink and frilly. Pink and frilly and sheer girlygirly panties!!

Caught, abashed, I mumbled, "Because.. I just... I guess I bought them to have something sexy-- for--- I guess my next boyfriend? And that's - why - the tag's still on. Um."

Yeeeeeah. But she wore them, oh yes she did. My panties and I saved the day! Unfortunately, I think that good deed gave away more about me then anyone necessarily needed to know. And now you know, too! Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Latest for HerFabLife!

There was a little lapse there, but here's the latest Bard article for HerFabLife!

The "It" Factor Can Change Your Life
- Some tips on how to streamline your image to create an "It" public image.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Purse, New Shoes

So here's a picture of my new adorable purse and shoes.

Are you ready for the best part? You ready? $20 each at TJ Maxx. I'm like a walking commercial, baby.

I would've spent a lot more on them too. Comfortable, cute, and the green purse I've been seeking for - mmm - 6 months?

I may have been over this before, but I'm not really a purse girl. I just don't understand them; they fall off my fashion radar. They don't "do it" for me. (Ew. I think I hate that phrase.) Anyway, I buy a purse about once or twice a year, when the one I have is ripping or in some other way irking me. I just use it and use it everyday, I buy something neutral and all-encompassingly practical, and maybe switch it out to its tinier counterpart for an evening event. Shoes, I'll go nuts about - the perfect "feel", how they'll function in my wardrobe, what I'll wear them with, what I'm lacking to complete my collection. But purses? I've got nothing. I would love nothing more than to fall in love with one purse, spend a fortune on it, and never buy another purse again. Ever.

As my last purse (from December) got stained, I threw it out and got this one. I am very happy. It could be a little deeper, but I am happy. It has pockets. Three large pockets! And for twenty bucks, if the shallowness bothers me in a month or two, I can go back and buy another one guilt-free. As a last comment, it has bronze adornments, and I like bronze because I can wear gold or silver jewelry without feeling too odd. (Or matching bronze flats! I know purses and shoes don't have to match anymore but I imagine I'll be wearing these a lot come fall, so the matchingness excites me! Exciting!)

That is all. No wait - I think it begs to be mentioned that my past 3 purses (that's a year and a half to you calendar folks) were all black. So this is a big step in the world of pursely accessorizing. Yay!

**cross-posted to Style Bard Shoes

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Product Review ~Dream Matte Mousse~

I've been wanting to try Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse for awhile now, due in part to favorable reviews from some of my favorite beauty bloggers. I haven't shopped for foundation anywhere but Sephora for a the last few years for several reasons. Namely, because I like to try before I buy, and because I believe foundation is the single most important item of makeup a girl uses. You don't want something cheap and cakey ruining your look, or worse, your complexion. Bad foundation- not necessarily horrid, but maybe not the best for you- will undermine anything else you try to do with your makeup. Hell, it'll undermine whatever you try to do with your look, because if your style is right, attention should be drawn to your natural beauty, especially your face.

But let's face it, Sephora is a little pricey, and it's not quite ubiquitous yet. Even if it has to be crammed into J.C. Penney's to reach every mall, I'll take it for the sake of convenience. Until them, having a drugstore backup is key.

Borrowing from my cousin with a similar complexion gave me the opportunity to finally test the Dream Matte Mousse without buying it (and risking, as I have in the past, using it twice and throwing it away). So here's the report.


Texture- I really liked the light, fluffy feel when I spread it across my face. When I first inserted my finger (more on that later) I was doubtful, but the moment it glided on, smooth and light, I was happy.

Color- Maybe it's a total coincidence that the one shade I got my hands on matched my coloring. But I'm going to count this as a plus, because it blended so well with my other makeup and my coloring without standing out or not blending at all.

Price- For approximately $7, I would use this in a bind. It's fair for the product and much cheaper than what I'm used to. Also, due to the fluffy, condensed texture of the mousse, it spreads easily and I feel it would last a good while for the price.


Packaging- No applicator? No mirror? Really? I do buy my makeup based on both the product and function. I need to apply and touch-up makeup on the go, I need to use great tools to make great makeup work to the best of its ability. More to the point, I don't want to buy something separate that'll get lost, and I reallyreally don't want to press my fingers into mousse. Eeeew.

Settling- I liked this foundation a lot more when first applied then I did when it had dried and set. In normal poor indoor lighting, it isn't as smooth against the contours of my face as I would like, it doesn't quite fall, drape, like an upscale powder will, so some flaws are actually defined. It's worse close up than from afar, but it was still noticeable to me.

Longevity- My trial only last 2 days, so I can't say how the product holds up after constant use. But then again, I wasn't inclined to use it frequently or for a long period because of the performance. It would never be my daily foundation. I did notice that the mousse seemed to get a bit mushy and maybe even dirty? after finger being dipped and dipped and dipped into it. It's no longer all swirly and appealing like the picture, no sir.

The bottom line:

In a pinch I would grab this because the color works, it feels light and nice on, and I know what to expect and what its downfalls are, rather than try to navigate an unknown drugstore choice. However, it's not something I'm in love with, and I don't want to know what my semi-sensitive face would do if I wore this for more than two days in a row.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Shoegly ~Tommy Hilfiger's Constance~

A shoe so ugly it's shoegly!

Tommy Hilfiger "Constance"

Oh, Tommy. Our unrequited love-hate relationship burns on...

*cross-posted to Style Bard Shoes

Friday, July 13, 2007

Project Runway is Inspirational

Smash hit television reality show Project Runway (which, by the way, needs to have another season already) has been covered on this site from time to time, and I cannot say with more enthusiasm what a fan I am of Blogging Project Runway and its moderators, who do a bang-up job of providing a friendly space for the fans.

Unfortunately, new generations of fashion designers aren't all the show seems to be inspiring. Check out a recent entry from AOL-affiliated fashion blog Style Dash: Clothing from Condoms. Does this picture look familiar to you:

Because it looks very familiar to Project Runway fans, if you've been around since Season One:

Balloons sure do look a lot like something else suddenly, don't they?

Now the candy-and-balloon bikini has lost some of its innocence (I didn't even know that was possible), and you want to look at all-American mother Wendy Pepper in a whole new light. If you didn't look at her cock-eyed already.

Now how about re-creating all of the Project Runway favorites out of prophylactics, hmmm? "Project Birth Control." I smell a new challenge, Heidi!

For more creative contraceptive style, check out Artifactual Creations recycled birth control pill jewelry!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Skeletons in the Closet

What's scarier than a gruesome skeleton in your closet? That article of clothing that is your secret shame; we all have one. It's that piece your friends cringe to see you wearing outside of your bedroom and you swear they just don't understand!

What's mine, you ask? It's worse than you think.

A flannel.

A man's flannel.

It was seven dollars. I think it was from L.L. Bean. It looks eerily similar to this:

(Sidebar: On the L. L. Bean site, it says 'durable buttons' in the description, and I thought it said 'adorable buttons' and I sat here in smug amusement for a good 45 seconds, marveling at how poorly they understood their audience, or thinking maybe the writers for the site have a great sense of humor, before the word actually became 'durable' to me. Yeesh.)

I say "looks" rather than "looked" because while I do see the benefit of lying and saying I've gotten rid of the thing, I believe in truth and honesty and all that. Not only do I wear this $7 flannel, but I wear it around, like, a lot. In public! Because it is soft. So soft, and comfortable! And warm! You know how a sweater can be too warm in air conditioning, and light sleeves can leave you chilly? You know what's always completely perfect? Flannel. Checkered, plaided, collared, Luke-from-Gilmore-Girls, Paul Bunyan, "Tiiiiiiimber!" flannel.

I admit, I have been embarrassed when a simple 4-hour Greyhound bus ride turns into multiple random encounters with people I know, or let's-just-make-a-stop trips to the mall, or somehow, places where I will be photographed. I never mean to actually be caught wearing it and being conscious at the same time! Yet, such is the risk when it leaves my house at all. Like Old Navy flip-flops and plain cotton panties, the flannel is one of those things I say I won't wear, I'll just have it for comfort and sleeping, and then I totally am a big, fat liar! What can I say? I travel a lot (6 buses in the past four weeks), and I have been blessed with the ability to sleep on public transport, given the right flexibility of comfort in my apparel. I cannot resist this flannel, my friends. Shame on me.

What I felt I needed, really, was to confess my sins, get it all out in the open, and face my demons. I hope to find the strength to change. I am looking for support from my fashion support group. "My name is Style Bard: I wear my oversized flannel, like, around. Around people who can see." (And I only try to cuten it up (encuten it?) with heels or girly accessories about 40% of the time. Honestly, it helps. Stilettos and a fuckton of sparkly will glamorize anything.)

At least I know better than to wear it with my Birkenstocks.
Aaah, okay, but I kid, I kid.

(Seriously, I don't own Birkenstocks. There's a line, my friends. A line. And also there's always Old Navy flip-flops.)

Now, you trump my fashion "Don't" in the comments or link me to your blog, and make me feel better about myself. Thanks!

Downside of Dove

Hey! So true. It's a mini-update on Dove from a very wise blogger, along the lines of, "Do you enjoy seeing me try to balance this stupid bottle on its precious little nose?"

Get back on the wagon of customer ease, Dove. I friggin' despise this type of click dispenser top.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Irregular Choice Apparel, Yay!

As we may all remember from early in my Barding career, my favorite shoes are Irregular Choice. The original post on the matter is here, for nostalgia's sake. (And to prove that I hearted booties before everyone else hearted booties. Though I still loathe the word 'booties.') For most people, UK-based Irregular Choice are the shoes they love to hate, for reasons I just cannot fathom. In a world of trend-stalking knocked-off recycled shoes, Irregular Choice creates shapes and styles that are actually novel. I don't care if they swing and miss, since when they don't miss, the hits are out of the ballpark. You see what I did there? That was a sports metaphor. I get a cookie.

This is why I am very, very excited about all of the possibilities for when I.C. launches its debut clothing line this year. The preview is online for one week, from July 1st.

Like the shoes, I find I.C.'s aesthetic to be young, edgy, and risk-taking. (You know how I could tell they were those things? Thumb holes in the sleeves! Also, in one photo, the model is leaning against a motorcycle. Badass!) I particularly love the Granny's Tea Party (shirt? dress?) piece seen above. I wouldn't have anticipated approving of saddle-bag style pockets, but Irregular Choice proves the 'you don't know until you try' theory. And, mysteriously, sometimes you still don't know. But it's gonna make you think. And that's just one shirt. (Dress?)

I would heavily advise against pairing I.C. shoes with any I.C. item. These are feature items, folks, they are not to be overlapped. That's not an ironic fashion statement, it's a statement like, hey, I'm vision impaired- and now you are, too! But alone? As a focal piece? Absolutely.

If you go look at the rest of Irregular Choice's offerings, you can leave them some feedback and be entered into a drawing to win a free article of clothing. Also, for no prize whatsoever, you can let me know what you think. It's up to you.

I can't wait to see what else they do as this line matures.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

New Article

Style Bard's freshest article is up at! Read it here:

Comfort vs. Beauty
- Can a girl have both and keep cool this summer?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Al Amirah Trunk Show

Al Amirah, a new shoe brand out of California, is having a Trunk Show at Amelie's in the Village of Claremont, CA. If you're in the area, you should definitely go! The sale is 10% off store-wide, featuring 20% off Al Amirah shoes. They've got some irresistibly cute shoes, which have been recently featured on Manolo's Shoe Blog and Style Bard Shoes. I've also seen their Fall 2007 line and I think we can continue to expect great things from this label.

Here's the info:

Al Amirah Trunk Show
Saturday, July 7th
132 Yale Ave Claremont • California • 91711 • Telephone: (909) 624-5651•

You can also check them out - and shop - here:
Save 20% Off their online store through July 1st with code SUMMER20.

*cross-posted to Style Bard Shoes

Friday, June 22, 2007

Style Bard for HerFabLife

The Style Bard is now writing articles for HerFabLife! HerFabLife is the newcomer women's site for categories such as Style, Restaurants/Bars, Hotels/Spas, and Stores. You can find great hotspots in your area for dining or shopping. Here are the latest articles by yours truly:

Quirking up the Return to Simplicity
- Examining the myriad definitions of the once-simple ballet flat.

The Little _____ Dress
- Looking at the summer sundress trend from '06 to '07.

You, too, can contribute! Check out the site to see how.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy 100th, Style Bard Shoes!

Wishing a Happy 100th post to Style Bard's sister-site, Style Bard Shoes, where you can find all of the best shoe savings on the internet on one page!

For more info and celebrations, go here.

The Trying Trapeze

Speaking of Trapeze-style dresses (why can't we just call them A-line, again?) here are some great, flattering Trapeze dresses and shirts (and those dubious lengths in between- shresses? drirts?) from Style Violet:

Floral Trapeze Shirt, $32

Dot Trapeze Mini Dress, $29.50

Kaleidoscope Trapeze Tank, $36

These are very much the improvement over the flowy, hippy-dippy prairie dresses I featured before. If you think the trapeze shape is something that would flatter your form (and hide the rest), don't fear having fun and being comfortable and breezy in these tops that don't try the trapeze limit. And if anyone asks if you're pregnant? Punch them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Product Review ~Dove Night Lotion~ (+ Free Samples!)

I'm sure that reviews are supposed to be somewhat unbiased, but let's face it, who doesn't love Dove? I think most of us own at least one Dove product, and Dove loyalists are the type who buy their certain product(s) over and over again. In fact, other than perhaps liking another product a bit more, I haven't actually stumbled across any anti-Dove reviews on the web. Good for you!

The specific product that I'd like to praise today is Dove's Regenerationg Night Lotion (or Calming Night Lotion, depending where you look, though it appears that they're the same thing).

I received this lotion at first through Dove's Offers program, where you can sign up and have samples of their new Shampoos, Conditioners, Deodorants, Body Washes, or Lotions sent to you to try for absolutely free. Previously, I have received samples of their Energy Glow Daily Moisturizer, and I ended up purchasing a full-size bottle before the sample had even run out. So I was very excited to receive my new one in the mail. (Yes, they do take approximately forever to arrive (8 to 12 weeks) but that's kind of even better... when they come you've already forgotten requesting them, and then, surprise! A tiny present along with your fearsome bills.)

At first I was hesitant. I was sent a lotion and a bodywash (suggested for night showers, to relax before bed) and I am not the type who enjoys lavenderish, incense-y, typical relaxing scents. I was assauged by the descriptiong: "soothing honey & micro-pearls of shea butter." That seemed underwhelming enough. I did, as prescribed, attempt this product in the evening. Let me say? That I love the scent. I'm not great at describing scents like the infamous Annie of Blogdorf Goodman, or Kristen of Beauty Addict (I am so envious!), but it is soothing without being overpowering. When you're caught sniffing the back of your hands at 1AM, you know you've got a winner. (And that you're a hopeless night owl with an addiction to new beauty regimes, whatever.)

The result is not greasy, but it lingers gently on your hands like a veil, and it keeps them moist for awhile. It isn't thick and smothering, like some lotions that I employ, but I suppose it doesn't particularly matter if you're about to fall asleep; in fact it might be better that it doesn't get all over your bedding. I find the process of applying this to my hands a very soothing new routine, and I keep the sample at my bedside. I don't know if my hands are especially revitalized when I wake, as the product claims, but I always prefer my morning hands (and lips) when they've been moisturized the night prior, and I certainly prefer this scent and experience to many I've been through. When I finally deplete the sample, I daresay I will be throwing a regular-sized tube into my cart the next time I visit CVS.

As for the body wash? Well, I'm saving it. Some nights you really just need a long, especially relaxing shower or bath, and since the sample's just big enough for one shower, I'm going to wait. But I'll let you know!

I just want to sincerely thank Dove for their Offers program and to encourage them to keep it up. I have personally begun buying their products specifically because I have tried them previously through mail samples, so I can vouch for the success of this endeavor. Or else I am just incredibly suggestible. Whichever. Thank you, Dove!

For your own free Dove samples, click here and fill out a brief form with your information! It's worth it, I promise.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Caution: Take Heed with Heelys

USA Today recently published a short article outlining the dangers of Heelys, the wheeled sneakers that allow obnoxious children to be mobile as well. Not only are those adorable monsters going to be knocking you over in the mall, but they're apparently going to pluck your heartstrings as well when they tumble over and hurt themselves. That's right, as cool as they look (don't lie to me, you know you wish you could wear them), Heelys and their ilk might soon be required to be worn with helmets and safety pads, much like current bicycle laws. USA Today reports that while "doctors from Ireland to Singapore" have been reporting injuries caused by Heelys, and even one death, the sneakers that have inspired an "international craze" still have a lower injury rate than skateboarding, inline skates, and swimming.

My take? As with all recreation, children should be supervised. Just because they're sneakers half the time doesn't mean that a child shouldn't be carefully looked after when they are in fact wearing wheels on the bottom on their feet. They should probably not be worn to school, formal occasions, or professional events. We all know children tend to be a wee bit clumsy and a little hyper (hem), but considering the fact that they can probably sprain a wrist playing hopscotch just as easily as wearing Heelys, I think helmets are a tad unecessary (unless kids are legally required to wear helmets at all times, which... awesome). Just watch your kids, teach them to be safe, and be aware of the elevated risk of injury when you buy them sneakers with wheels on the bottom. Kind of obvious, isn't it?

*cross-posted to Style Bard Shoes

Great Shoes Deals This Week

Check out Style Bard Shoes for this week's great deals, including GAP, Old Navy, and Zappos!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Game from Bluefly!

Okay, so I've never won more than Free Shipping from Bluefly's games over the past year or more... and in the fast-paced and highly competitive world of online shopping, Free Shipping is no big whoop anymore. You can pretty much find what you're looking for without paying shipping these days if you're willing to root around for codes or search additional sites.
(And if you can't, I probably can. Feel free to email me, I'm a sucker for a good shopping challenge.)

However, I still find Bluefly's games cute and addictive (as long as the flash happens to load on that given day.)

Our theme this time is a fishing trip, where you can catch great accessories with your rod- just don't let them fall back into the water!

Play everyday for the ultimate prize - a $1000 Shopping Spree!

Good luck, and make sure you let your friend Style Bard know if you ever win something concrete... because she has many internet and in-person friends who play these games, and it seems like no one ever wins! Boo, Bluefly! Give us something to come back for!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Are You Serious, Store?

"Gray, knit, sequins and more Fall designer trends from Neiman Marcus"??

It's June 12th, store! I just hung up my warm weather skirts in the closet space where sweaters used to be. It snowed 6 weeks ago! Are we kidding, or what?

Please keep these emails to yourself, store... at least until August. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Love. Want. Need. ~Skull Flats~

Because my younger sister really loves everything pirate and skull, I have let the trend pass over me and to her at every bend. Every sale, every trinket, every high-end Hot Topic-like souvenir, I have helpfully guided her to.

But these shoes? Are for me.

I love how they're kitschy to the max, and yet still so chic, trendy and yet I can see them being timeless if worn appropriately. These shoes can be pulled off by all ages- only a sense of humor is necessary.

Best of all? They're both on sale and available for free shipping from Neiman Marcus. For more information and links, go to Style Bard Shoes.

Friday, June 01, 2007

World of Good

"Make Beautiful Things Happen"

One of the biggest challenges artisans in developing countries face is gaining access to outside markets. World of Good, Inc. creates opportunities for these artisans from around the world to share their crafts with a larger market. They provide access to fair wages, safe working environments, and long-term economic stability.

I wholeheartedly support this company, and you should, too. On top of making you feel like a more aware and thoughtful human being, you can buy pretty jewelry and crafts!

As shown above, I have a gorgeous jewelry box with eggshell inlay sitting on my dresser:

Handmade using a labor-intensive 13 step process, villagers in Ha Tay (Vietnam) mak the laquerware when they aren't harvesting and planting their crops. Access to outside markets provides employment and preserves traditions for the men and women in this village. My roommate is very jealous of this lovely and unique craft.

I am also the proud owner of this bracelet made from Tagua nuts:

This was handcrafted in Colombia and is all-natural. This bold jewelry piece strikes up many conversations when I wear it out. You can't really see all of the details of the nutshell or feel the reassuring weight of it in the picture. Please kindly refrain from pointing out how badly I need a manicure!

Every piece through World of Good, Inc. is equally beautiful and they make great gifts for loved ones. To learn more, click here to go to their website.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reminiscent of Trends Past

For some reason, these:

Remind me of these shoes. But the new Ingelmo sandals from Neiman Marcus are less chunky, and more everyday chic. I have the exact same misgivings about them, though. Two words: plastic chaise.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Flying Trapeze

A friend of mine, C., sent me a link to this dress and asked me to help explain why, why on earth, this bland monstrosity would be Sold Out at J. Crew:

I honestly couldn't tell her. While I have seen a (very) few women able to pull off- no, rock- this shape, I can't see how enough J. Crew patronage would be able to wear it at all to merit its unavailability. How to tell if you can work the long trapeze? Are you tall and slight? Aw, you neither? Then I suggest playing it safe and leaving it on the rack.

If I were going to try to pull this off personally, I would definitely opt for something with a little splash of color. I feel as though this poor, pretty model would fit right in picking wildflowers out on a prairie. And that's just never a good look. For summer's sake, let's stay away from oatmeal tones, monochrome, and prairie patterns. (No offense, general J. Crew patronage!)

However, as The Fug Girls have pointed out, maybe a big, splashy print isn't always the answer to owning this shape:

Sorry, Kelly. But thanks for setting the necessary example! (In your defense, I do prefer the V-neck to the square on the above model.)

Also, Lauren Ambrose:

Fugged. I mean, thank you for wearing it at a length where your feet aren't being swallowed, and high heels definitely help. (Although apparently in the 50's when this shape was developed, it was meant to be worn with flats? Strange...) But this is still a no-go. Helpful hint: don't pair flowy, shapeless garments with flowing, shapeless cover-ups! You've got a shape in there somewhere, right? Right? And maybe a concealed bag of Cheetos for later, hm? Mmm, Cheetos... But maybe she can't afford a stylist since Six Feet Under ended. Can't her buddy and castmate Michael C. Hall get her a bit part on Dexter? I can totally see her playing a serial killer, possibly homeless, whose clothes on her back become her sleeping tent at night! The red conceals the blood... oh, go with it. Girl needs a job and some conditioner!

I have seen a few of these that appear to be working the correct length/shape/coloring at Urban Outfitters of all places, but I couldn't find the same garments on their website. Fear not, readers, the trapeze-ish dress watch is on!

Here's a helpful article about this shape. I particularly like the part where Suzanne D'Amato advises: Choose a frock that hits above the knee. Anything longer is not a trapeze dress; it's a muumuu. And then she goes on to call what the above ladies are wearing "body-hugging sheaths." Nice!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Shoes

... but while you're waiting for me to get my act together and talk fashion to you, how about checking out 'New Shoes'? Yeah!

I actually heard this for the first time while I was shoe shopping. It was a sign from the Heavens, I'm telling you!

...okay, I'd probably tell you that the sun rising in the morning was a sign to buy some shoes. But you can't prove it's not!

Sing it, Paulo Nutini.

[*cross-posted to Style Bard Shoes]

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy 100th Post!!!

Hey guys! This is the Blogger-style Anniversary of Style Bard! I have reached the magical one-year mark, and I have also reached the exciting 100th entry!

I'd like to thank everyone who helped me start and perpetuate this blog. I've loved the process of discovery involved in this project and I hope that it continues to build, despite the rough patches.

In honor of these concurring events, I'd like to take the opportunity to point my readers over to my new site: Style Bard Shoes.

I've been working on this project for awhile, and I think it's going to be as much if not even more of a blast than Style Bard has been! I'm sure you've noticed by now that my passion strong-point is Shoes, so I thought that rather than overcrowd Style Bard, I'd give them their own space to breathe. Working with the blossoming deal site Judy's Book has given me great insight to the world of deal-shopping for shoes, and I want to make sure that all of you can benefit from my newfound expertise. So please join me, browse my finds, and enjoy some great bargains, deals, and sales on your favorite shoe designers and stores!

Style Bard will continue to hobble along while I round out the process of expanding my blogging world, but I'll be sure to let everyone know when we're back on some kind of a schedule here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Keep An Eye Out

Hey guys!

Sorry for the absence, but please keep an eye out for my new blog, Style Bard Shoes! Everything should be back on track shortly, and I think you'll like what I'm working on!

Thanks for your patience,
The Bard

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Bigger Picture

I don't know why I like these shoes, but they caught my eye, and I do.

Sure, they combine all of the latest, snazziest trends- patent, peeping (of more than just toes), combined neutrals.

I don't like the overall look. I never buy brown shoes. (Yes, these are a dark brown and not black. I wish they had patent black at, but the option wasn't available. Whyyyyy?) Somehow the horizontal straps of patent are reminiscent of the plastic lounge chairs at my grandma's pool, and the marks on your ass after sunning for hours on end... (I know, I know: throw down a cushion or a towel or something, Bard!)

And then there is the overhead view, which I find to be the.most.critical.view. when you're shopping online and observing the photographed shoe from every angle (if you've been shopping on a shoe site that doesn't afford this option, please stop using it! And let me know; I'll write them a letter). The overhead view is what you will look at, my friends, all day as you're wearing these new shoes you've purchased, with every step walking farther away from any sane chance at returning them. This snapshot will prevent you from worrying about buyer's remose when you're riding the subway and watching people check out your shiny, shiny shoes - from the top. On these 'Tax Spike' shoes (yes, that's their name), the bird's eye view is just... well it's kind of gross and unattractive. Orthopedic, somehow. So that's another nail in that shoebox-shaped coffin.

With those unappealing elements combined, of course the one thing I can think of to justify the inexplicable allure of these shoes is: tights. Boy do I want to pop some bright blue or marigold tights under these shoes and let those cut-outs do their work!

The other explanation is that these are Aerosoles, promising comfort despite the many places I can imagine those strips and nooks rubbing my feet raw through the first few trials. Despite the 3" heels.

I guess in this case, the bigger picture is being able to incorporate these shoes into a few fabulous outfits (fulfilling the nagging voice of my mother that haunts me when shopping: "But what will you wear it with?") and I can already see them coming to life from my wardrobe: empire blue babydoll dress! navy tights! Plus, I do tend to give brands that I trust a little leeway, rather than being pessimistic about their comfort level. Maybe they'll defy every New Shoe rule and they won't rub at all. Right? Riiight. (Besides, you know this gal never treads in new shoes without some back up bandaids or blister pads.)

So, in terms of the shoe: great grabbing power, dubious design. Bigger picture: very wearable. Would I buy this shoe? Definitely a possibility. Now let's just hope that the Biggest Picture of All (price!) helps me make up my mind... $89.95, but Free Shipping. So I guess the Big Picture comes with a Huge Question: when are these going on sale?

Friday, February 16, 2007

President's Day Sales

Here are two exciting deals (and a place to find more deals) to boost your weekend:

Macy's President's Day Sale

Need an excuse to buy some great shoes this week? Maybe you didn't receive exactly what you wanted for Valentine's Day, or else you're feeling a little self-conscious about those chocolate-covered strawberries you feasted upon and need to feel good again? How about a President's Day Sale - 10-50% off store merchandise at Macy's? Plus, receive an extra 25% off Clearance! And to add to your shopping justification, Free Shipping from with the checkout code PDAYFREE! If all of those aren't reason enough for you- how about buying these Sam Edelman "Jules" boots? You can say that the military-inspired style honors our forefathers and founding fathers and all of the hard work that former presidents have put into shaping this country and keeping it safe and free! Can you hear the Star Spangled Banner yet? I can! Now on sale for only $79.99!

JCPenney President's Day Sale

There are reductions a-plenty at this President's Day, but the spectacular savings come when you use your Penney's Card and receive an additional 15% off all of your purchases! This applies to sale items and regularly priced items. To get this deal online, select 'Yes' under 'Discounts' at your shopping bag, and then enter the code WPJCP15 at checkout. Can't you see your Spring pedicure peeking out of these gorgeous a.n.a 'Maria' Double-Band Sandals? I love the trendy metallic hue against the geometric black, and the insole is cushioned for comfort! Also available in Black and White. Now only $34.99 - before your President's Day discount!

For more President's Day Sales on items in every shopping category from travel to restaurants to technology, from the the ever-helpful deal site, Judy's Book, click here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love. Want. Need. ~Olivia Boot~

I have wanted these shoes since the moment I laid eyes on them.

When I talk about "style," I try very hard to convey what this theory means to me, because I have a very specific and solid idea of what it means to have personal style as opposed to having limitless money, a knowledge of trends, or wearing individual things you see and like. While I define and sculpt my concept of true style, I am also working to conclusively choose my own. I have been through many style phases in my life, and while that was fun as a teenager, I am now in my twenties and I need to get a solid idea of who I am in fashion. I need to stop buying disposable fashion. I need to stop ending up with a schizophrenic closet full of clothes I can't bear to part with, but which don't fulfill my flavor-of-the-season style needs. My best friend mentioned that I am able to pull off many 'looks' and that this is a benefit for me, stylistically. However, while I have enough dare, fashion knowledge, and awareness of my body shape for this to be true, it does not a personal style make.

However, when I saw these boots, I knew that they WERE my core style, matching my regal, romantic, gothic nature with my classic, chic, city-girl aplomb.

First, I loved them at $123.99 and thanked the heavens for my wise decision to sign up for a Macy's Card. (Trust me people, this one isn't a gimmick; I shy from credit cards because debt frightens me, but Macy's offers enough benefits and discounts to cardholders to really save me money as long as I use it wisely. Plus it is easy to pay off in-store or through their website, so I have never regreted owning this.) Now they're $92.99 - I will probably receive 10% off with my card - AND I can take advantage of their President's Day Sale and receive free shipping through Feb. 19th (code: PDAYFREE)! This is totally a nail-biter and I don't know - should I, or shouldn't I? My mother weighed in and said she likes them but she's afraid that I'll break my ankle (very reminiscent of A Christmas Story's "you'll shoot your eye out!!!") and I replied, "On this one, mother, I am more worried about breaking the bank."

Help a sister out, let me know what you think!

Monday, February 12, 2007

I Am My Own Valentine

You know what I wanted this Valentine's Day? The same thing I want most of the time: new shoes.

There are two kinds of new shoes that I was looking for last week:

1) Comfortable 'errand' shoes. These needed to be something in which to run around Boston and buy groceries or shop, and to sometimes wear when I'm lazy and it's cold (shockingly, this is a frequent occurence), rather than my well-worn lace-up boots. Wearing 4" heels on a casual shoe can really do a number on your arches.

2) Comfortable work shoes. These need to be not flats but not high heels, sensible but not boring. They need to transcend to going out after work, without being too playful for the office. This has been insanely tricky. I think something sexier than a loafer, with a compromising 2" heel would be nice. I am willing to dole out a lot of dough on these of they're, say, croc or snakeskin or something timeless.

The first pair, I was fortunate to find in time for Valentine's Day, so I unhesitatingly ordered a pair for myself. (The second I have not discovered yet, despite endless perusing of web sites and several visits to multiple Boston shops.)

Keds' "Shi Shi" Flats -- these will look great under jeans, but I think I can dress them up (a little) as well. Don't believe me? Ask Mischa (in gold):

And they'll definitely be effortless to kick on or off to run around the downtown area. I found these at Nordstrom's first for $44.95 but a little web persistence led me to the same pair (in red) at Piper Lime, for $30 with the discounts I received for using my Old Nacy credit card (PL is a new shoe division of the same company that owns GAP, Old Navy, and Banana Republic). I also got Free Shipping! Color me excited; no, color me in love!

Monday, February 05, 2007


Vegan, Cruelty-Free Shoes at Mooshoes

Finally, associate NYC with being cruelty-free. That is, if you're talking about shoes - Mooshoes, to be exact. Mooshoes is a new shoe store in NYC with an online store. They have some super-cute shoes available, and while the synethetic, organic deal usually runs a ltitle pricey, these can definitely be considered affordable - and, of course, they're guilt free. I'm loving the fun name, playing on words to remind you that cows need not be harmed to look fantastic and own great shoes. Featured shoe: Bridget Beige, also available in Black and Brown. Look good, feel good, and experience "fashion with compassion."

*cross-published at Judy's Book

Winning $2500 Will Buy Many Shoes

Would you like to win $2500 towards shopping at Neiman Marcus? I sure would! That would buy so many pairs of delicious shoes! (Well... at Neiman Marcus, I suppose $2500 would buy significantly less pairs of shoes than at many other stores... but I'm sure they'll be gorgeous!) Just go to the site, sign up for Neiman Marcus emails with accurate information and you'll be automatically entered. Even better? If you sign up five of your friends and THEY subscribe, you get entered five more times into the drawing! Deadline is March 30, winners will be notified April 15th. Best of luck, and let me know if you win and what you buy with your winnings!

*cross-published at Judy's Book

Friday, February 02, 2007

Love.Want.Need. ~Catastrophe Tunic~

Siiigh. How I long for this shirt with every fiber of my being... it looks so comfy, so soft, so deliciously individual (despite the fact that I found it through Style Dash). Designed by artist Paul Coors, this unique article features scores of fiesty natural disasters destroying the world on both front and back of the shirt, which is a feature I love-- and would I dare wear it backward AND forward if under a blazer?

However, this poor Bard is, well, poor right now, struggling to make her way through bills and both a recent move (back to Boston) AND a job change... and can only gaze with longing upon the articles she hopes to buy when her new job(s) feel more secure. But she will continue to share these loves, wants, and needs with you, in hopes that some of her loyal readers may derive the exquisite shopping joy that the Bard cannot.

$36 at Art in the Age, 40-ish with shipping.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Roses for Valentine's

Roses for Valentine's Day may sound like a tired cliche, but the flip side of many such stereotypes is the aspect of tradition. Roses are a timeless trinket of devotion, symbolizing love and passion. Despite the lectures we receive every year about being gift-creative, everyone enjoys receiving flowers. It's a classic gesture, and they're always bestsellers on February 14th.

Along with the Gift Guide I mentioned in a previous post, Judy's Book is also offering a Rose Guide. This chart organizes floral shops online for your convenience - you can sort by price, store, or location - there are 26 cities currently included so that you can find the florist near you. If you aren't by one of these locations, there are also national listings. Find the best deals on those roses you're going to buy to go with the 'creative gift' you can find in the V-Day Gift Guide. (Naturally, I recommend shoes!)

Judy's Book offers these tips:

1. Order one week in advance. Florists do not publish strict ordering deadlines for Valentine's Day.

2. Don't order too early. Many florists run promotions during the first week of February.

3. Roses become scarce. And more expensive. You may find better bargains purchasing flowers other than roses.

Hope this helps!

Monday, January 15, 2007

If It Doesn't Look Good on Her...

And yet another installment in the tragic lesson entitled:

If It Doesn't Look Good on a Model, It Won't Look Good on You.

This week I'll go so far as to add, if it doesn't look good on a Victoria's Secret model, it will look like unflattering swaddle on any of us. To wit:

Victoria's Secret Off-the-Shoulder Dress. It says: Woe is me, for matching a shirt to a skirt is so tediously hard! I shall only bear garments that are one piece of fabric, even if that fabric is jersey, and makes me, in my waifish size zero glory, look like my thighs and hips can destroy a small town. It also says: I wish VS paid me in merchandise, for then I could wear a flattering bra and try to save the shape this fugly dress forces upon my figure. Woe!

Victoria's Secret Cable Sweater Dress. I can just hear Tyra now. "You're a beautiful girl, and all of the judges believe you have what it takes. You came in here with bone structure and confidence. But all of the smoldering looks in the world won't make you a Top Model if you don't learn how to angle your face. You need to elongate the neck. Make up for your lack of jaw. Practice in the mirror until your short face looks fierce. And girl, even when designers put you in a god-awful dress that makes it look like a cable-knit snake is devouring your entire body and adding ten pounds, you need to stop scowling and work it!"

Victoria's Secret Back-Pleat Skirt. Um, my boyfriend is like, studying art in college? And like, he's taking this origami class? He totally made my favorite cotton skirt look like a napkin... one that's already been unfolded from a swan and sitting in someone's lap all night. But it's cool, you know, because I totally look like a beautiful swan myself now, right? Or some other exotic tailfeathered bird. Right? Oh well, as a last resort I can use it for tennis.

Victoria's Secret Ruched Pencil Skirt. Girl to perspective employer: Thank you for seeing me about this job. I know the sleek-and-tailored look is in right now, and makes me look like a professional who's got her act together. And I know a pencil skirt will totally flatter my tiny waist, girlish hips and flat stomach. But tell me the truth. Can you tell I've been sitting on a Greyhound bus for 14 hours overnight just to make it to this illustrious interview? Because that's how much I want it. I mean I didn't care enough to bring an iron or change clothes, but I really, really think I'd be an excellent employee at your company.
Perspective employer to girl: I can tell, but don't worry. You aren't the first girl this has happened to.

Victoria's Secret Bubble Skirt in Plush Corduroy. So, like, I know bubble skirts are totally in right now and everything. I mean, I see them everywhere in mainstream stores, not just on the extra-extra reduction rack at BCBG, or on kooky TV personalities like that chick nobody liked on Project Runway. That means that if I wear it I am totally in style, no matter what context is, right? Because, um, some girls in snowsuits were totally laughing a few minutes ago, and I kind of thought they were laughing at me. But how could they! This is corduroy! That makes it a perfect skirt for the snowy Colorado slopes! Well, anyway, they were probably laughing because they wished they had my hot, sexy legs. Which are actually kind of.. cold.. and blue right now. Oh well! Off to the Bunny Trail I go. Wish me luck!

And last but most exemplary of the rule:

Victoria's Secret Sequin Boots. Not a bad close up, if you're into preparing veryvery early for Halloween. Some people are just planners by nature. But... This says: Fifty dollars? Sir? Fifty... no? Okay, okay, twenty dollars. Twenty bucks, come on! Ten?! That's insulting! Make it twelve. Yes, sir, we have ourselves an arrangement. And oh, before we get back to the motel I should ask... would it bother you if I were actually a man, in drag? NOTHING. I said nothing! I said... pass me your cigarette, man, I'd love a drag...