Month: December 2007

Pulling it Off 101: 4 steps to maximizing your wardrobe and completely rocking your own unique personal style

Do you have an over-flowing closet, but nothing to wear? End up wearing the same boring things over and over? Or maybe you get really confused and have no focus when you go shopping. Think you know what you like, but fear you can’t pull it off? Well then sweetie, you need to keep reading…

1. Figure out what you love.
Take out the top pieces in your closet that you love, not neccessarily things that you wear all the time. I’m talking about your most special, going-out pieces. Like the overtly impractical cocktail dress that you spent too much on because you had to have it. The over-sized peacock pendant that you shouldn’t wear dancing cause it hits you in the face when you pogo, but sometimes you can’t resist anyway. Your favorite uncomfortable shoes, your grandma’s silk Pucci scarf from the 60s and that hat you sometimes wear even on good hair days. Whatever it is, if your heart goes pitter-pat when you put it on, pull it out. But be selective and forget about trends. Try to lean more toward things you’ve had and loved for a while, not just your newest and trendiest acquisitions.


2. Take a look at your favorite go-to staple pieces.
Pull out your perfectly worn out indigo skinnies. Your Audrey-est little black dress. Your comfy leather shoes, slouchy grey cardigan, colorful vintage sneakers, well-tailored black jacket and very versatile pair of flats. Choose the things you wear the most, while thinking mostly of their aesthetic value; how good you think they look on you, not how comfortable they are. You’re trying to figure out your personal style, not what to wear whilst hungover on your couch watching the 3rd season of Arrested Development.

3. Assess your tendencies.
Ponder your choices and think of a few words that describe your aesthetic. According to my picks, I tend to gravitate more toward 60’s styling and feminine details combined with edgier, more casual pieces. Next time you go shopping, think about these 20 pieces and try to choose things that enhance them and round out a strong aesthetic. But don’t be too strict for too long. Always allow room for your style to evolve. Choose your trends carefully and don’t let them rule your style.


4. Confidence, confidence, confidence…
Do you really want to live the rest of your life worrying about what people think? Those rare pieces that give you more confidence are few and far between. I hate it when people say, “I’d love to wear that, but I’d never be able to pull it off.” Pshaw, my friends, pshaw. With the right amount of confidence, you could pull off zebra-striped overalls, even if you’re not M.I.A. Once you’ve figured out what you truly love, the only thing left to do is rock it! When in doubt (god forbid) sneer, strut or just grin and no one will ever doubt your rockin style choices ever again. And who gives a poop if they do, they call it personal style for a reason.

In conclusion, I think we could all make a new year’s resolution to be more like wee Stella here:


We’re going to be deep in the redwoods for the remainder of this amazing year, but we’ll be back with a whole new layout with translation capabilities for all my international readers (Singapore, reprezent!) Thanks so much to you all for this amazing year (although Painfully Hip is only 9 months old!), I couldn’t be happier doing what I do and getting all your awesome feedback. I’ve virtually met so many amazing bloggers and readers and shop owners over the months and I just want to thank you all again for visiting me every day.


painfully hip teen street style

i wish all 16 year olds had the balls to dress as joyously as my roommate Dylan and his friend Diana:

fuck juicy couture.


10 Cosmetic Products You Don’t Want to Live Without

Painfully Hip just got the exhilerating (!) news that we are to be included in a book about the 500 Most Interesting Blogs on the Web!! We are extremely excited to be included in such an endeavor and were even more stoked to have the author offer to guest blog on Painfully Hip. A really truly author! Here’s her extremely useful post on how to stay easily beautified. Vicky Zhou of

It seems like every day there is a new cosmetic product that’s out on the market and it can become very difficult to keep up on the latest styles, little own deciphering which one looks best on you.

Luckily, there are 10 key cosmetic products that every woman should own, as these are what will really enhance your natural beauty and get you looking your best.

While it’s fine to try out a variety of different colours and effects with your make-up, try and keep these ten pieces relatively constant to ensure you always look great.

A Lengthening Black Mascara

When you ask the vast majority of men what the one thing they notice when they look at a woman is, you’ll often receive ‘her eyes’ as your response.

Using a good lengthening black mascara will help enhance the look of your eyelashes, which creates that eye opening appearance that will get you noticed.

A White Eye Liner

White eye liner can really work wonders for your eyes if you use it at the very inner corner. By placing a small white line there, regardless of whether you carry it around to the outer corner, you can again make your eyes appear larger and give you a more awake look.

Since white will work well with almost any colour of eye shadow, you can use it with all the looks you are trying to create. Don’t be afraid to use another eye liner colour as well, just keep the white liner area limited to the very innermost part of the eye.

Some Shine-Free Powder

Having some shine-free powder that you can carry around with you when your face starts to get shiny is a great way to keep your look matte, preventing an oily appearance.

Do make sure you don’t overdo the shadow though, otherwise you’ll get a ‘caked’ on look. Just gently dab it with a puff over the areas that cause problems (usually the T-zone).

Lightly Coloured Lip Gloss

Gone are the days when you want to sport deep, matte lips. Now, the definition of kissable lips is a slightly wetter look, giving a full and supple appearance.

If you prefer to wear a lipstick, place just a dab of gloss in the very centre of the lips. This will give your pout a hint of shine, while still allowing the stronger lipstick colour to show through.

If you’d prefer to just go with a gloss, rub it all across the length of your lips, being sure it’s evenly distributed.

A Good Make-Up Remover

Next, just as important as creating the right make-up look is removing that make-up look from your face. Having a good quality make-up remover is essential for keeping your skin clear from blemishes and for preventing fine lines.

Be sure to use it every day without fail and you should soon start to notice a real improvement in your appearance.

Long-Lasting Blush

Finding a good long-lasting blush is a must for every woman. What you don’t want is a blush that will end up fading as the day goes on, or worse yet, smearing across your cheeks when you start to sweat (since we all sweat a small amount throughout the day).

It is worth your money to invest in a higher quality blush, as often the duration that it will last will be the predominant difference between higher priced and cheaper varieties.

Crease-Free Cream Eye Shadow

When it comes to applying eye shadow, you’ll likely find that the colours you choose to use will go on a lot smoother and stay on longer if you use a base first. A nice creamy colour works well for most skin types and won’t really change the colour that you choose to use all that much.

Try and find one that does not crease however, as if it starts creasing it will begin to affect the look of any other shadow you place on top of it.

Moisturizing Lip Balm

Regardless of what type of lipstick or gloss you use, it’s not going to look good if your lips are all dry and chapped. Finding a really moisturizing lip balm that you can use right before bed and first thing upon waking can help retain the soft condition of your lips so you never have to experience this problem.

Clear Mascara

Every woman should have a clear mascara in her make-up bag because it works great as a way to maintain a good shape to the eyebrow. Simply swipe the wand across the brow, making sure all hairs are lying in place.

Alternatively, clear mascara can also be used for unruly hair around the hairline, so consider this benefit as well.


Finally, the last essential cosmetic piece you should always have in your cosmetic bag is Q-tips. Q-tips are terrific for fixing any small errors you make during application. This could be things such as mascara that has smeared under the eye, lipstick that is starting to run, eye shadow that got a little too out of hand, or for touching up nail polish mistakes before they dry.

Another great use for a Q-tip is to smudge some dark eye shadow – ever so slightly – so as to create a really great smokey image.

So, next time you’re trying at the beauty department purchasing some new cosmetic products, double check and be sure that you have all of these 10 base products covered.

Vogue UK: past December covers of questionable taste

When i saw this cover of the latest December issue of Vogue UK, I was impressed by how over the top and verging on cheesy it was.

So I thought it might be fun to check out December covers from the past. Are they always this over the top? No, but here are some real doozies…

vogue dec02
Vogue UK, December 2002
I see. Apparently Vogue thought it totally okay to put Liz Hurley in a barely there mini dress with one boob popping out, as long as they de-sexified the situation by sticking her exposed chocha in a very gay man’s face. Fair enough.

vogue dec92
Vogue UK, December 1992
Wow. I hope that whoever thought of slapping that frosted mullet wig on Christie Turlington is now doing something else for a living. Like plumbing.

vogue dec 90
Vogue UK, December 1990
I think they should’ve taken this at least one step further and put this cover photo on the vogue covers on her dress. META.

twiggy vogue dec 1974
Vogue UK, December 1974
Twiggy must’ve been barely 25 when this photo was taken, but with all that Studio 54 Whore makeup, she looks almost the same as she does now.

vogue uk dec 1970
Vogue UK, December 1970
Although amittedly kind of awesome with its artsy shit-eating grin, this photo seems like a very odd choice for any cover. Nevermind a December issue, which one would expect to be somewhat sentimental and/or glamorous… and not featuring some hippie dressed as a macaw.


and the most painfully hip diy is….

delilahpurple’s adorable necktie dress!
it was our first and most awesome entry. made completely out of Daddy’s neckties! she also made a sweet necktie clutch.
check her out, she’s supasweet!


she wins a $50 gift certificate from Lady Language, a copy of ‘ReadyMade’ from ModCloth, plus $50 in cold hard cash!
leave a comment, delilah, and i’ll send you the good stuff.
we love it!

you can see the rest of the awesome entries here!


Git busy.

Today is the last day of our Painfully Hip DIY Contest, so upload your painfully awesome entries to before midnight (PST) tonight! Don’t forget to tag your entry with “DIY” to be entered.


Many thanks to those who’ve entered so far!

Let me tell you ’bout the birds and the bees.

I suppose this new-ish fashion obsession began quite some time ago.  When I was formulating this current blog in my mind, I remembered an old blog entry: Tuesday May 30, 2006. And one [reason] why I am glad I came back. “Anglo Mania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion.”  At the MET.  Yesterday.  The Stephen Jones Raven Headdress was debilitating. 

I had just returned from studying in Italy and was none too happy about it.  After traveling to New York to visit some friends, my spirits had been lifted.  Perhaps it is within this euphoric fashion rush that my current fascination first took unconcious root. 
I am sure that many of you have seen the stunning images from the Alexander McQueen s/s 08 collection.  Here are just a few that best display the fashion topic at hand:


Feathers in general are HUGE this spring, but Philip Treacy and Alexander McQueen created the most elaborate themed accessories, bar none.  From steel headdresses with giant dragonflies to swarms of butterflies to feathered faces to flock-like dresses, they did it all.  And if there is one thing I adore most, it’s fashion at it’s most artistically forward.  Nevertheless, aesthetics must still have function in fashion for the average wearer.  And just as quickly as I was pondering about the flora and fauna’s wearablility, one of the most trend-setting Swedish bloggers on the Internet re-interpreted these Isabella Blow-worthy pieces into something much more delicate and everyday.  Amanda of The Moderniteter:


Now, since I cannot read Swedish, I cannot be completely sure of what material these particular butterflies are made.  I do know that while thrifting the other day I stumbled across a bag of old florist butterflies.  Which are made out of feathers!   (And I paid only a quarter a piece!)  Once home, I wired them to a small barrette with rose buds (also purchased at a thrift store) and voila!  – killed two birds with one stone.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.


Parfait, my new favorite ‘zine

Emily K. Larned of Red Charming recently sent me a copy of her awesome ‘zine, Parfait, “…in which your discerning editor turns her sartorial eye to antiquated books seeking fashion inspiration for all.”
Pretty much like Painfully Hip’s thrift stars, but with vintage photographs …and good writing.


Obviously right up my alley- I absolutely loved it. It came beautifully hand-bound and packaged and was entertaining as f#$%. Here’s an excerpt (and a regretfully bad scan):


It is 1965 and dude is on a skateboard vying for our attention, but who are we really looking at? That’s right, dude all the way back all in white. We’re looking at you. We like your look. Note how he does not ruin his all-white awesomeness by not wearing white shoes. He’s on it. None of his friends are as stylin’ but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t judge.

I’d recommend sending a copy to your fashion-obsessed penpals in lieu of a lameass christmas card. seriously, they’re only $6!

She also sent a beautiful hardcover book she wrote packed with titillating photography called Thrift Store, The Past & Future Secret Lives of Things, another perfect gift for the insatiable thrifters in your life.


thrift stars of the week! 18 Dec 07

Some wicked awesome outfits going down on wardrobe remix. these lovelies speak for themselves!
EDIT: but i will add comments since you all are so demanding. 😉 thanks for the love! here goes.

sleek personified! this could go from business meeting to the front page of facehunter with just a touch of lipstick. damn.

lovely outfit, mysteriously foggy setting, shiny shiny hair and the most awesome sock-shoe combination in history.

ah, i just wanna put her in my pocket! those tiny jeans are perfect on her.

lovely vintagesocietygirl is on a roll! plus, i’m a total sucker for those grey booties.

ironchic always resembles Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday if it was set in the early 90s. it’s a good look.

that sweater is a badass combination of oversized checks and houndstooth, and green! all of which i am totally into right now.

c’mon. this girl is the embodiment of adorable.

that’s some next-level colorblocking! love.

theclotheshorse is putting a spell on me with her excessive cuteness.

modern beatnik chic. she’ll be the most stylish girl at the war protest.

i totally have a shirt that says “I love hermsprong‘s perfect cardigan and little peekaboo of metallic leggings.”


Painfully Beautiful: the Artwork of Raquel Aparicio

oh delight. a friend pointed me toward these illustrations by Raquel Aparicio of Ávila, Spain. I know that this breed of “creepy pretty” art is sorta huge these days, but this girl does it right with a lovely sense of vague foreboding.

yellow jumper
cookie monsters