Kate Middleton’s Ring is America’s #1 Obsession!

Well, according to Emitations.com – check out the amazing infographic above that they put together about the iconic Kate Middleton Ring!  (Probably the most well-known and discussed ring of late…)

If you are looking to purchase the affordable version of the Kate Middleton ring in Sterling Silver or in silvertone (or any other jewelry inspired by Kate and the Royal Family), Emitations has an entire page of possibilities! Also: Until May 9th, take $4 off a $40 order with code HN440, and take $12 off a $80 order with code HN1280 (So the Kate Middleton ring in Sterling Silver would end up at $70 using code HN440, for example.)

What do all of you think?  Is the appeal in owning what feels to be a part of history?  A pretty jewel?  An icon of royalty?  Do tell!

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The Origins of the Sideways Cross Ring: Formspring.me Question

wxtratv.warnerbrofrom formspring.me:

Who came up with the sideways cross ring first? you or madonna/material girl

(does the ring above look familiar?  Forever 21, anyone?)
Hmm. The photo above of Madonna is the first time I’ve seen it, to be honest.  (And it looks awfully familiar to me – I instantly thought it was the Forever 21 ring that they had used to style to shoot.)

I highly doubt the inventor was anybody recent. The sideways cross has a rich symbolic history that dates back to the Bible if not earlier; one of the first re-usages of it was in 1821 when it was adopted on the Norwegian flag; and later, in 1883, when The Emblem of the Order was created utilizing a Maltese cross on its side. (source: Wikipedia.org)

By now, there are pretty much no new ideas in fashion; everything is just recycled, reappropriated, updated, and reused. Neither myself, nor Madonna, nor Forever 21 invented the sideways cross ring – my guess is that it probably was seen in the 20th Century sometime in the 60’s or 70’s (maybe in a Black Sabbath poster LOL), and Forever 21 was one of the more recent recylers of this idea.


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Herve Leger – Style Bandage Dress FOR LESS

We got an email from a fashionista challenging us to find the ubiquitous Herve Leger bandage dress for less than its usual $1000 pricetag. A challenge we can rise to? You betcha!
Here are our picks:

And…drumroll please…we think this is the best match out of all of them:

And, of course, as every frugal fashionista knows, there’s always EBay.

-Carly J. Cais

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Five Fabulous New Year’s Fashion Resolutions

by Carly J. Cais, Fashion Designer & ChicSteals blog
As a designer, I’ve developed an eye for style over the years along with an appreciation for the fact that sometimes, designer pricetags can be downright scary. While life necessitates a splurge once in a while on that can’t-live-without-it fabulous item, much of the fun of fashion is mixing high with low to create outfits that are creative, and also budget-friendly. Each week, I showcase five hot designer-style steals (each for $100 or, in most cases, for much, much less)…along with one must-splurge item.
Now that it’s a new year, it’s time to put those Resolutions to the test & improve physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually…and, while you’re at it, fashionably. Here are our 5 Fashion Resolutions for 2009:


Spring 2009 Brights by Fashiontribes

It’s painful, but bite the bullet and stash all those items guaranteed to make you cringe in the not-too-distant future: yes, we mean the Uggs, celeb-inspired Love Quotes scarves, and matching velour tracksuits. Ditto busy prints that are not geometric, bold, floral or adorned with butterflies (not stars, though: so 2008). The Spring 2009 fashion forecast calls for color, so put away the grays and give all that black in your closet some oomph with cheery brights. To get back on trend, try one-shouldered outfits, rompers, sheer tops, art-inspired prints, and bejeweled items, as well as 80’s-inspired pieces. Here are some of our picks:


Get the Look: Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively by Fashiontribes

If you’re feeling under-the-weather or just fashion-challenged, there’s nothing guaranteed to make you feel even more frumpy like a pair of baggy sweats and stained tee. For little or no more effort, you can pull on a casual go-to outfit that’s comfy, chic, and guaranteed to lighten your mood. (Yes, fashion can be both uplifting & inspirational…when you know you look great, that confidence shines from within.) An easy way to pull together some looks you like is by combing through magazines, blogs (like this one!) and even TV shows…professional stylists have already done the hard work of coming up with the looks; all you have to do is replicate them in your own closet. Alternatively, take inspiration from a celeb who has a similar body type and coloring whose style you like; if she looks chic and pulled together, so will you. We personally adore Gossip Girl Blake Lively, who was recently named one of Marie Claire’s Best Dressed of 2008. Here’s what you’ll need to steal her style:


If your closet isn’t bursting at the seams with unworn party dresses, belts still with their tags on, and way too many pairs of shoes with unscuffed soles – we salute you! For the rest of us, there are just too many options stuffed into the closet, and as a result, a confusing mess. For 2009, we’re planning to donate more and keep less…and then actually wear it. Anything that’s obviously stained, way too small, or somehow never got altered automatically gets purged. And if it hasn’t been worn it in a year, buh-bye! Of the stuff that’s left, why not recruit a girlfriend help you find new ways to create some fresh new outfits? Once we’ve pulled together some fabulous, on-trend outfits, we’re going to snap photos and create our very own lookbook; extra work to be sure, but guaranteed to pay dividends on those OMG-I-have-nothing-to-wear days.


Agyness Deyn Style by Fashiontribes

Day after day, most of us reach for the same handful of items. But much of the fun of fashion is about taking a risk, pulling off the unexpected, and being open to trying new things. Even if you’re not feeling Agyness Deyn-level bold enough to rock a taffeta ballroom skirt with a stonewashed denim jacket and spiked hair, why not try at least one thing you normally wouldn’t? You may be pleasantly surprised. Love day-glo but don’t own a single neon item? Instead of a dress, try a scarf. If you’re more rock ‘n roll than preppy, a slouchy striped tee under a blazer is a fab way to meld the two. Trying something new will also help you get additional mileage out of your closet by formulating more go-to outfits than you would have ever thought of while lounging in the safety of that comfort zone.


We’ve become a nation of fashion slobs by Fashiontribes

People used to dress up. A mere half century ago, even housewives who spent all day cooking and cleaning at home did so decked out to the nines in tight-fitting, crisp hourglass dresses, crinolines, and frilly aprons. Granted, we’re not asking you to don petticoats while dusting or other restrictive garments completely inappropriate to the situation, but the time has come to fight back against the widespread Slide into Slobdom. Since there’s nothing sadder than a closet full of gorgeous stuff hanging unworn, even if you don’t have a fancy function to attend, make up your own and dress the part! Break out those shoes you love and that dress you adore from the back of your closet – even for a short trip to get coffee – just because! As long as you’re chic & pulled-together, you’ll garner stares, extra attention (at worst, they might whisper: “Isn’t she just a little overdressed for Starbucks?” To which we say Pfft!), but more likely you’ll be that woman of mystery who has everyone dying to know what fabulous after-hours fete you’re just now arriving home from.
If there are any high-priced pieces you’d like me to find similar, less costly versions of, please email me at carlyjcais AT fashiontribes DOT com. ‘Til next week, fellow bargain-hunters!

– Carly J. Cais

(photos: Blake Lively – evilbeetgossip.film.com; Agyness Deyn in blue ballgown – vogue.de; 50s housewife – Roman Holiday; Pamela Anderson – The Fashionable Housewife)

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Celeb-Inspired Holiday Fashion with Carly’s Chic Steals

by Carly J. Cais, Fashion Designer & ChicSteals blog
As a designer I’ve developed an eye for style over the years, and an appreciation for the fact that sometimes, designer pricetags can be downright scary. While life necessitates a splurge once in a while on that can’t-live-without-it fabulous item, much of the fun of fashion is mixing high with low to create outfits that are creative, and also budget-friendly. Each week, I showcase five hot designer-style steals (each for $100 or, in most cases, for much, much less)…along with one must-splurge item.
Since all year we focus on getting that look for less, at least once an annum we indulge in dreaming of getting that look…for, well – gasp! – retail. And the holidays are the perfect time to indulge in sparkly dresses, sleek clutches, and feminine toppers.Inspired by our fave celebs and fabulous fashionistas, here’s our fantasy a-girl-can-dream wish list of five fashionable items for the perfect holiday look, plus a festive splurge:

LIQUID LEGGINGS From Mischa Barton to Kate Bosworth to Lauren Conrad, the ruched Black Rats by Sass & Bide have become a favorite Hollywood way of showing off their gym-toned gams. The subtle wet-look sheen updates the quintessential legging, making it modern and sleek whether paired with a tunic, oversize tee, or black drapey top and black blazer for an Olson-sister-inspired look. Sass & Bide Black Rats leggings $180 at Net-a-Porter.com. (Chic Steal: The $21 ING Faux Leather Legging from Macys.com)
BROOCH-DETAIL PUMPS Show off your fabulous legs (or leggings) in perfectly pointy and tres Audrey Hepburn-esque pumps. The 3″ heel is the perfect counterpoint to the retro-chic brooch at the front, and Audrey would have no doubt appreciated the iconic red sole, courtesy of Monsieur Louboutin. (To get the look for a tad less, pick up a pair of affordable satin pumps like the Abaete for Payless Zoey ribbon-weave pump and add a shoe-clip or a vintage-style brooch – Sorrelli makes an eyecatching crystal-cluster pin.) We love this look for evening or everyday glam with a pair of skinny jeans or with a pair of bold cobalt Hue tights. Christian Louboutin Satin Brooch Pump $865 at FootCandyShoes.com. (Chic Shoe Steal: Satin Rosette Peep-Toe Heel $23 from GoJane.com)
SEQUINED DRESS You heard it here first: sequins are a huge trend for celebs & the rest of us for 2009, especially sequin shift dresses. The sweet design and shrunken shape are just perfect for a holiday fete…even if you leave the bow at home for fear of looking like a human Xmas package. Perfect with slightly sheer dark tights, bare legs (if you dare), or even under a military-style jacket and jeans for day (trust us – it really works!). L’Ecole Des Femmes Sequin Bow Dress $218 (sale) at ASOS.com. (Chic Steal: Sequin Minidress $40 at Forever21.com)
CHEERY TRENCH Make like Jessica Simpson and inspire a bit of Holiday spirit in a festive bright red trench. The tailoring and shape create a feminine silhouette, and the fact it’s from Fendi means it will keep you in chic style for a long while. Pair with slim-cut drapey pants in a contrasting white, or try a coordinating print dress and oversized earrings. Fendi Cotton Twill Trench $1850 at eLuxury.com. (Chic Steal: Animal-Lined Trench Coat $90 from Spiegel.com)
EDGY CLUTCH Birds of a fashion feather – like Rachel Bilson – know that a fabulous, custom-made clutch in is just the thing to cure the holiday blues. This retro redux number by Antoinette Lee – fans include Gwyneth Paltrow and Heidi Montag – is the perfect size for carrying all your essentials plus necessary extras, and it features a detachable cuff that’s like a separate piece of jewelry all by itself (not to mention built-in security). Whether paired with a tee tunic and leggings or a short frilly frock, when cuffed on, you will literally be a slave to your fabulous purse. Lua Chain Clutch $271 from StarsandInfiniteDarkness.com. (Chic Steal: purple faux leather (vegan!) Julie clutch $33 at Amazon.com)

STEAL OF THE WEEK: PAVE MOON NECKLACE The best things really do come in small packages, and sometimes even with a small pricetag. This $40 crescent moon pave necklace in a rhodium finish looks luxurious and fabulous – a la Jennifer Aniston. Ultra-thin, ultra-light, and ultra-affordable, the 1.5″ sparkle at your throat would look equally chic with a celeb-worthy LBD, or even at the collar of a cozy pointelle-knit cardigan. Crescent Moon Necklace $40 from PortiaJewelry.com.
And our ultra-steal of the week that costs nothing to wish for? World peace, of course, and Goodwill to all! Happy Holidays from all of us here at ChicSteals and Fashiontribes.com – and may 2009 be an even more wonderful year for all of you.
– Carly J. Cais

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