Sunday, June 30, 2013

molly goddard for Asos

Do we like these?

No, right?


Thank you Anna for the tip.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

speaking of armpits. and pit stains...

I got this question more than a month ago and I quickly emailed Rachel (silk-wearer extraordinaire) to get her professional opinion, but I've been avoiding posting it because.... Armpits.

Today seems like the day.

Dear ESB,

Like you, I hate polyester. I almost didn't find my wedding dress in time because I was holding out for 100% silk in my tiny budget. (Found it, miracle.)  

But what about, you know, sweat stains? I'm not a sweaty person, but the minute I put on a long sleeve silk shirt I'm all damp. I can't wear my favorite emerald green blouse unless it's like exactly 50 degrees and cloudy. 

Any tips on prevention, cleaning?


Here's what Rachel had to say:

Hmmmm ... oddly, given that I'm sweaty and I wear silk often, I don't have much advice for this. I find silk less sweat inducing than polyester, which is why I held out for it at the wedding. Is the wedding dress long sleeved? I can see how that would be a concern.

My only suggestion is going to be one that you aren't into at all. Bring in the big guns, serious antiperspirant. I used Certain Dri a couple times the week of the wedding. I'm sure it's terrible for you and it made my pits itch like hell the first time I used it (apply lightly the night before, never right after shaving and test it out a couple times before the wedding) but damn if it doesn't keep me totally sweat free.

Re: cleaning. I've never tried cleaning my own silks and just take them to my trusty, if exorbitantly priced, dry cleaner. Honestly, any pit stains would have been the least of the damage done to my wedding dress by the end of the night. I ripped out the hem in the photobooth, safety pinned the back in a fake bustle to keep it out of my way for dancing and then spilled beer all over myself when I tried to be helpful and haul out a recycling bin towards the end of the night. And I didn't care at all.

[Editor's Note: I haven't used Certain Dri in YEARS. Because we all know I'm a hippie. But that stuff saved my ass in high school....]

Photo: Shalom Harlow by Cass Bird for Oyster #99

such amazing, vegetabular dresses

On sale! (Thx, my anonymous German reader!)

Sadly, they're only available in Europe.

Seeking: a red dress that will blow his mind

Okay, so! I have been a faithful daily reader of your blog ever since my sister got married a couple of years ago. I had perfected my role of older, unattached cool sister. I was interested in researching as much as I could about how to be a Maid of Honor, even though the subject frankly was not at all interesting to me.

But something kept me coming back to this blog. And six weeks ago, out of complete nowhere, I met my match.

Everything is beautiful, everything is perfect, except for the fact that he lives in DC and I live in Des Moines. We have planned a trip to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. The theory being that it would be wise to continue to get to know each other on neutral turf.

My issue is simple: I need to buy a dress that will blow his mind when I step off of the airplane. It needs to be red, and it needs to be relatively form-fitting in the ass area, and it also needs to not be so tight in the armpit area that it shows pit stains, which will certainly emerge due to my excitement and the climate.

I promise that when all is said and done I will show the wedding money shots that I am of supreme confidence will follow. I just need some direction, some shopping help. I am prepared to work it like I have never worked it before. I just could use a little input.



There is no need to work it so hard.

Have lots and lots and lots of sex (Vegas is good for that) but don't even think about marrying the guy until you've tried living in the same city first.

Okay, rant over. Who feels like shopping??

Marion Cotillard by Ellen von Unwerth for Tatler (June 2010) via Fashion Gone Rogue

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I mean, check out the whole wedding, but CHECK OUT THAT DEMEULEMEESTER

I found it in grey over here. On sale. You're welcome!

The photo is by Tec Petaja, and all credit goes to kidchamp for the tip. (I've been boycotting Design*Sponge ever since they implemented that hideous redesign.) 

I found his secret sex toy stash

Dear ESB,

My fiance and I have been together about five years, engaged for five months. We just bought a house together about a month ago and plan to get married next year. Earlier in our relationship, it became apparent that his sex drive is much stronger than mine. I do enjoy sex and have had the best sex of my life with this man, I just don't initiate as much as he'd like. I always get into it once we get going, but it's rarely ever my idea.

We've talked about this a few times, though it's hard for me to discuss without getting emotional because I end up feeling like a failure as a woman and a sexual being. I think it stems from some old insecurities of mine. He really can't stand it when I get very emotional, so sometimes he avoids topics he knows will set me off. At one point I thought we weren't compatible enough in terms of sex drive and he'd never propose and we'd eventually break up. But he did, and he also stopped commenting on my lack of initiation.

So recently we've settled into a routine of doing it first thing most mornings, aka not my body's favorite time to be intimate to begin with. I roll with it as enthusiastically as possible. He always seems to enjoy it and is very complimentary, especially when I give him a blow job (often).

Anyway, I was packing for a trip recently and found his secret sex toy/lube stash under a couch. Specifically, it was a butt plug. I'm not that weirded out, because I know even straight men like stimulation there, but I'm hurt that he was keeping a secret in our house, and I'm back at the feeling of failure because I'm obviously not fulfilling all his needs and he doesn't feel like he can share this with me. I have been really busy lately with work and other stuff, but we do it about four or five times a week. I know he masturbates and watches porn sometimes when he's alone, which doesn't bother me, but for some reason this strikes me as a more serious need. Am I overreacting? I am not sure how long he's had this, but it would have been harder to hide it in our apartment, which was smaller.

Should I confront him about it? Ignore it and keep with the status quo, which meets my own needs? Put my finger there next time we're doing it and see how it goes? (I think I would be open to more experimentation along these lines...) All other aspects of our relationship are awesome.



I'd open with "Hey, I found your butt plug!" 

No, really. I bet he wanted you to find it.

Play with the butt plug or don't play with the butt plug. The butt plug is not the problem. The problem is "the status quo," as you put it, which sorta meets your needs but also sorta has you doling out blow jobs every morning when you'd really rather be asleep.

You love this man so much you're willing to go above and beyond in the sack (4 or 5 times a week is a LOT for most couples, trust) and he loves you so much he's willing to squelch his desire for you to initiate, but resentment will build up eventually. On both sides.

What are these "old insecurities" of yours? Have you tried talking to a therapist?

Maybe this is something you can work through, or maybe (surprise!) you two are just not sexually compatible.

But please don't commit to Mr. Libido -- for life -- while you're "feeling like a failure as a woman." Please. A ring will not make everything all better.

Amours Boudin II by Fabian Souche

Friday, June 21, 2013

Where do the cool girls shop? Part 1.

(Garrett Leight from Mohawk General Store)

The people have spoken, and they have demanded a Where do the cool girls shop? series. (But you just launched a new series! I KNOW, IT'S CRAZY.)

To start, I figured I'd hit up some of ESB's best/coolest shoppers. Duh.

Here's Rachel A\\\\\, who just so happens to live in my neighborhood and also has AMAZING HAIR. Is that relevant? I think yes.

Anyhoo. Here she is, with a guide to shopping Los Angeles/online/the mall/your mom's closet....

Los Angeles is, bar none, the most versatile clothes-shopping city on the west coast. We're equal opportunity -- whether you want to look like a hipster farmhand, a platinum-card princess, or a derby doll, we've got you covered. Still, I’m such a magpie scrounging clothes from all over the damn place that when asked to share my favorite places to shop, I generally freeze up. A list of where I wished I shopped, or where I solely window-shop, would be far easier… but for the first time (only for you, ESB), I'll try. My top places where I’ve actually bought more than one thing ever include:

aerie - The "vintage lace bikini" from AE's aerie line is my biggest life-improvement secret. You're welcome.

(Vintage lace bikini from aerie)

American Rag - Their denim bar is the best. Stuff that isn't sold anywhere (Naked & Famous!) turns up there. I haven't bought anything else at AmRag in years but if your pockets are deep it's a great resource for everything else, too. P.S. My second-favorite jeans are from Forever 21.

ASOS - THE BEST ONLINE SHOPPING EVAR. Shipping is always free, there's a new vintage section that seems really rad, and their sales are great for stuff like a wool-and-leather cape that sounds insane but turns out to be indispensable.

Barneys - Since we don't have Bergdorfs, when you need big-girl clothes the next best is Barneys. 

Designer sample sales - 100% A-#1 way to shop. Every LA-based designer has to get rid of backstock at some point, and R29 is really good at tracking all the upcoming sales.

Jet Rag - for vintage that isn't (necessarily) costumey, Jet Rag is a joy. Their racks of everything-under-the-sun are arranged by category and color (<3 <3); they have loads of great leather jackets and so-hot-right-now vintage Hawaiian shirts if you want to bring your guy along; I got my Enid Coleslaw outfit there; and my very favorite skinny teal belt is from their weekly $1 Sunday sale.

[Editor's Note: I've now been living in LA for 7+ years. How have I never heard of the $1 Sunday sale??]

J.Crew - wait for their sales, when all the best weird sweaters, ugly-patterned pencil skirts and sherbet-color ballet flats get marked way way down. I also want 9 million of their super-flattering "perfect-fit" tank tops to wear under EVERYTHING.

Jenette Bras - for those on the stacked side (or just weirdly sized like me), Jenette's skivvies selection and ferociously knowledgable ladies are lifesavers. 

Mohawk General Store - I hate how much I like Mohawk General. Their independent clothing and shoe designer roster is flawless, but it's the gorgeous mid-century decor, jewelry by my lovely friend Kristen Elspeth (OBSESSED with the silver finger chain I just got from her), Garrett Leight glasses, CDG clutches, and Mast Bros. chocolate that make you want to move in.

My lady relatives - I've raided the closets of my mother, my stepmother, my aunts, my grandma, my other grandma, my best friend's grandma, my mother's boyfriend's mother… this isn't a store, it’s just a tip: befriend All The Moms.

Steven Alan - I used to work in Venice and stop into the neighboring SA store almost daily to try on shoes by Marais and Rachel Comey, floral button-downs, leather bags, and the wonderfullest little gold rings made by Steven's dad.

(Boyfriend shirt from Steven Alan)

Zara - fun for basics, incredible for shoes. SHOES SHOES SHOES. SHOES.

If you're interested in writing a guide to shopping your city/the mall/online/your mom's closet (or whatever your version of that is), hit me up!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blog of the week(ish): My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter

Okay, so the blog is this Pinterest board.


Seeking: An Imaginary Reception Dress

Dear ESB,

First off, I've been reading your blog for ages. From waaay before I even got engaged. Yours is pretty much the only bridal website I don't hate. So, thanks!

Anyway, I am engaged now to a wonderfully awesome man, the love of my life. I'm wearing the gown my mother, grandmother and great aunt all wore, and it's lovely. Clean lines, beautiful off-white satin. But not exactly a party dress. I thought the best way to go is to wear the beautiful family dress for the ceremony and get something more 'me' to wear for the rockin reception afterwards.

The issue is that I know what I want that dress to look like. But, so far, only in my head.

It's almost like a short 20s flapper kinda thing. It's very off white, even gold or rose or peach, with a shift dress feel to it, like not hugging my body. Some (or lots of) shiny beading. I'm really tall and skinny (size 0-2), if that helps at all.

Before I go down the get-the dress-custom-made road, I was hoping to find it on the internet. Turns out, I am TERRIBLE at finding dresses online, and you and your readers definitely have that skill.

Because the family dress comes with no cost at all, I can go nuts with the budget. I'm the type of person who normally would spend a lot of money on my wedding dress.

Please help? If you or your awesome readers could find it I will love you forever. Seriously.



I think what you want is a Jenny Packham, and you won't find it online.

But hey! If you're the type of person who normally would spend a lot of money on her wedding dress, you must be the type of person who would fly WHEREVER to get it, right??



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A tale of two dresses.... The FOLLOW UP

I told you she'd ROCK that ombre dress.

Paige says:

The day and the dress were perfect (minus not exactly fitting, big girl + little dress = keyhole open back cuz it wouldn't button...but I kinda dug it!) (also minus the photo booth company completely failing and not working at all --- OH WELL!)

Other side note - I had my 15 year old INTERN take these photos, it was a HUGE learning experience for her and I got to walk her through every step (and edit the photos myself, big plus). huge huge huge exposure and experience for her, and a HUGE budget cut for us!

#umhelloamazingphotos #radinteren

Tune in to 100 Layer Cake first thing tomorrow morning for tons more photos/dets.

I'll tell you a secret: The dress is gorg, of course, and the images are gorg, but THE WEDDING THE WEDDING THE WEDDING.

Digby & Iona + TAXIDERMY!

Two of my very favorite things.

See more of the photos by Amy Shutt over on style carrot.

Shop Digby & Iona here and here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Welcome to our sexy sexy first installment of WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG?

(Click to enlarge, should you care to.)

Inspired by this post that for some reason really amused me this morning (plus every "What's in your bag?" series on every blog ever), I bring you WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG? ESB-style.

I know nothing about this anonymous reader except that she is rad.

What bag is currently in your wardrobe rotation? A LV tote borrowed from a friend for last weekend in Napa. A purple marker opened up on the inside and made a huge stain. Have not figured out how to position this yet.

What’s inside? My stepson’s phone we confiscated for inappropriate use. My phone which holds a charge for about ten minutes. Two reminders for counselor appointments, along with the Wi-Fi code for the psych hospital. Two dirty scrunchies, a bracelet from the Napa Valley festival. Allergy meds and Pepcid. Detangling brush and comb, along with texture paste for fine hair. Four drug store lip balms, blush from 2009. IPad, company id badge, sunglasses, 1 mentos, 26 store receipts, the map of my community for community watch. Also a crumpled paper towel I used to wipe glazed donut crumbs off my fingers this morning. Hand sanitizer. 27 cents. No idea where my wallet and keys might be. DVDs of Love Actually and Bridesmaids - we're carrying these now, right?

What is the one item we will always find in your bag? Cough drop wrappers

What is your favorite thing about your job? Counting how many people don’t wash their hands after they pee.

Where is your favorite place in Los Angeles to grab a drink/bite? Cheesecake Factory and Olive Garden.

What are your top three favorite stores in Los Angeles to shop? Macy's, Kohls and Forever 21.

If you could tell your 22-year-old self one thing it would be.... Look into rose oil

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure? esb

p.s Have I told you lately that I love you? I FUCKING LOVE YOU GUYS.

Do we need a Wedding Photographer? (Sponsored by Calin + Bisous)

Several brides have emailed me in the past few months to ask "Do we need a Wedding Photographer?" "Can't we just ask our friends to send us their photos?" "We don't feel the need to capture thousands of perfectly styled images of our wedding…" etc.

Here's Callie from Calin + Bisous to answer that very question….

You do not *need* a wedding photographer. You want one! And it's okay! And here's why.

1. Your wedding is a big deal. Your wedding photos are a big deal, too. And we are professional photo takers. Unlike your arty photographer friend from college, who will wander off during the first dance to take pictures of the catering truck, or the fashionista friend with the really great 35mm camera who will run out of film in the middle of the ceremony.... we are on top of our game for 8 hours straight.

2. Our job is to make you look fantastical in your photos. We like to run around and fix your hair and adjust your bridesmaids' boobs (if necessary). And we always tell you when you have lipstick on your teeth. We learn where you need to be and when, and we calmly get you there because we care that you're not flipped out and crazy lookin. Like I said, we want you to look really good in the photos.

3. We are crowd pleasers. We are day-of planners that you didn't ask for. We are your very own fairy godmothers. We usher you and your new spouse away when that receiving line you didn't plan on starts forming. Our camera bags double as bouquet and clutch holders. Your step-uncle once removed, who took one photography class in college, 37 years ago, brought a flask of whiskey to your all-local-craft-beer wedding and he's chatty? I got this. Go be at your wedding.

4. I can't speak for other wedding photographers, but I care deeply that people are happy whenever they're around me. (Happy people make for better photos.) The more I am running around getting shots, helping out, keep the massive cluster-!@&$ of family photos moving along, the more delighted I am.

This last one's just from me.

5. Everyone should be able to afford the photography they want, wherever they are, without hidden fees or scary terms or such bare-bones "basic" packages that you have to include all the extras to make them work.

I offer an all-inclusive rate of $4,000 for 8 hours of wedding photography anywhere in the continental US.

And I'd really like to shoot your wedding!


(Photos by Calin + Bisous. Obviously.)

Seeking Sage Advice on Bridezillas and Feeling Like A Shitty Friend

Dear East Side Bride,

I'm in a bit of a conundrum as we speak. Currently, I am set to be one of two MOH's at my friend's wedding.

A little background -- we have been friends for 14 years -- close at times and distant at others -- she is one of my oldest friends. About a year and a half ago, she started dating her now fiance and truth be told, just because of the different things we were going through at the time, we weren't particularly close. Fast forward a few months later, they're engaged, I still don't see her too much and really don't know him very well and can count the number of times I've seen him on one hand throughout their whole whirlwind relationship.

This girl is no low-maintenance bride. When she originally asked me to be a bridesmaid, I knew they would be getting married in Mexico, and no other ceremony had been planned. What started out as a simple destination wedding has turned into a full-blown circus involving TWO full blown weddings --one smack in the middle of Labour Day weekend (of which none of us bridesmaids had been consulted as to whether we will be in town/ available for, but we are all expected to help set-up), a secondary "symbolic" wedding in Mexico a few months later, not to mention multiple out of town day trips in order to find her two wedding dresses, our bridesmaids dresses AND taking a day off of work to do alterations two hours from where we live (We live in a very cosmopolitan city and this girl isn't getting any special deals/special connections to justify doing them so far away).

I've been in a handful of weddings and have plenty of girlfriends who've gotten married, but this is by far the most high maintenance bride I've ever dealt with. Which usually, I would say is fine -- if you like what you like and know what you want and are adamant about it and honest from the get-go, then by all means, go for it. Problem is, she tries to mask her bossiness by asking our opinions AFTER she's already made up her mind about something, and if your opinion goes contrary to what she wants, she claims she's "Pulling out the bride card." Truth be told, she pulled out the bride card the second that engagement ring went on her finger.

I'm not particularly close with the other MOH and bridesmaid, so I have no idea if they're thinking the same thing. Part of me feels like a shitty friend for thinking all these things, especially since the other two are seemingly going on with everything with no muss or fuss, like, Maybe I'M the crazy one. My friend is getting married, I'm supposed to be happy for her -- instead I find myself dreading every wedding-related conversation.

Fast forward to the present day. I am currently going through a difficult time where I've broken up with my boyfriend of 4.5 years, and I'm not feeling particularly supported by her as a friend. When I informed her of my situation with my boyfriend, she exclaimed "Hallelujah! Did you tell your family, are they going to throw you a party?" (A little background on MY relationship -- he's a lovely man, we love each other very much. However, he's been in a place for some time where he has a lot on his plate where it doesn't allow for much to be put into our own relationship and we've only admitted such to ourselves recently.)

The last time I spoke to her about my relationship I mistakenly told them about a particularly reckless period in Lovely Man's life (when he was much younger and years before we met). She and her girlfriend ganged up on me and kept asking "Are you sure he's not cheating on you? How do you know he's not like that anymore?!? Are you SURE about that? How do you KNOW?" I'd like to point out that this is no more than 30 minutes after my own bridezilla friend admitted she has such vivid dreams of her fiance cheating on her, she is convinced they're real and will call him upon waking up,  accusing him of infidelity. And what did I do as she told me this? I politely smiled, lent a sympathetic ear and exclaimed "that's AWFUL!" without flaming out any accusatory questions or statements.

At this point in time, I can't help but dwell upon the fact that I've signed on to invest a lot of time and money into making her happy, yet she can't seem to grasp the basics of Friendship 101 with me. While not all of her demands are completely outlandish, I feel like this has been the straw that broke the camel's back because here I am jumping through hoops for this girl like a goddamn circus monkey, and she keeps trivializing what has been the most important relationship of my life.

So what do I do? Do I bite the bullet, put up with her outlandish demands for another few months, or do I attempt to bow out gracefully, knowing full on that this will definitely affect and potentially end our friendship?



I know you're writing to ask my permission to bow the fuck out, and here it is....


Life's too short.

Michal Pudelka for Anonym Magazine

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dear ESB...

I am in a bit of a planning quandary.

Here goes: My fiancé and I have been together for 6 years, and we finally got engaged on March 1st (yay!). We would like to get married September/October 2014, so of course planning should start fairly soon. My future mother in law has been battling stage 4 colon cancer for almost 3 1/2 years. We have gone through the various ups and downs, "She's going to die in 3 months," "She's almost in full remission," "we need a stronger chemo," "she's doing great," "The tumors are spreading," etc. etc.

Currently, she is on the last available option (a pill she takes 4x/day) for her condition, which means it's a waiting game. She is feeling and looking a lot better than she has in the past, and we are trying to take advantage of her not being sick from chemo all the time.

She has inquired about wedding plans and would like to start helping, but to be honest, I am reticent to plan anything because her health could plummet very soon. I also would hate to bug my FH with stupid questions about flowers or the guest list when he is about to lose his mother. I just can't imagine planning such a big event and the both of us having to deal with the loss of a mother at the same time. I thought about maybe waiting until she goes, but that feels strange, and it makes me feel like an asshole for even typing it.

Is it better to spend time and plan as much I can with her, then just figure out how to maneuver the bizarre stages of grieving/wedding to-do list when that time comes? What if she passes away right before the wedding? Am I being selfish?

I'm driving myself crazy constantly living in the future world of "what ifs," but I want to be respectful of my future husband and his mother.

What should I do?


I say go ahead and start planning the wedding.

Your FMIL could die tomorrow or she could live for five more years. You can't put your life on hold, and she wouldn't *want you* to put your life on hold. In fact, what she really wants is to help you plan this thing.

Just be willing to be flexible. (And don't beat yourself up for having the occasional assholic thought.)


Ten variations about planking after Freud by Aníbal Vallejo via The Jealous Curator

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And the award for BEST WEDDING HAIR goes to....

Dear ESB,

First off, thank you for existing. Thank you for being there from when I had Wedding Brain until I decided to say fuck it and start from scratch.* And most importantly; thank you for being a part of my daily wedding planning ritual so I didn’t completely lose my shit.

A very short backstory; we swapped out the large/complicated wedding we never really wanted for a small San Francisco City Hall wedding + 3 month Europe trip (which starts in July). (You can follow us on our trip over here.)

Onto the wedding day stuff:

I woke up with so many butterflies in my stomach I thought I was going to puke. Or it could’ve been the pre-wedding tacos from the night before (not recommended unless unless you’re ok with having a food baby all the next day).

We started our morning lazily getting ready together and then went our separate ways to get ready with friends. If you’re doing your own hair or make-up I highly suggest knowing exactly what you’re going for or you might go over your allotted “getting ready” time like someone I know...

We almost didn’t do that “first look” thing, but I’m so glad we did. It felt kind of like when you’re little and you beg for a specific toy for a long time and you’re pretty sure you’re going to get that gift, but when you finally open it your heart fills with a burst of joy. Just like that.

After getting tons of portraits done at the Queen Anne Hotel we ate some delicious wedding donuts, drank some wedding juice and hopped in cabs to head to City Hall.

We arrived at City Hall, ate more donuts and got married. Then we all hopped into a party bus, picked up some sushi and ate it outside of the Exploratorium.

We spent the rest of the day walking around Fisherman’s Wharf and watching the sunset. Then came pizza dinner/beer at The Pizza Place. One of our favorite things about the wedding was how almost everyone ended up giving an unplanned speech at dinner, most of which were hilarious.

After dinner we tried to catch some cabs but had no luck. So we took buses to our next destination, which led to the parents referencing The Graduate a lot. We ended up at Buckshot, aka Skee Ball/Photobooth/Dance Party Central. The night ended perfectly with the DJ playing You Make Me Wanna (Shout) for us.


*Following the suggestions of you and your readers, we ended up personally calling everyone that wasn’t invited to City Hall and ended up celebrating with them at a later date. Win/win!

Srsly, who has better hair, Shana or Jerrad?


Also: Those shoes on that man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Photos by Maddie of Hart and Sol West. Go check out more pics -- and read more from Shana -- over on A Practical Wedding.)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Seeking: a PEYOTE SPACE QUEEN dress

Dear ESB,

This is (I hope) a fairly straightforward dress question that I'd like to unleash on your readers.

We're in the very early stages of planning, but of course the dress is the most fun part so I've been thinking about it a lot. I've fallen head over heels in love with this Alessandra Rich dress, with this Temperley a very close second.

I'm really, really feeling the clean, graphic, red-and-white high priestess vibe, but the Alessandra Rich is pushing the budget further than I would like and the Temperley is just insane. I just can't justify spending as much on a dress that I'll wear once as I would on a Macbook Pro. My budget is between 800 – 1,000 euros. I'd obvy like to find something at the lower end of that scale.

Additional details: I'm a particularly shrimpy 5'5", usually between 52-55kg, Irish pale, strawberry blonde, and, uhm, a competitive Olympic weightlifter. This means broad shoulders, tiny waist, thick thighs and the kind of ass you usually see in a Juvenile video. Seriously, I have a pretty major butt going on, but it's all muscle. Which, I suppose, would probably rule out both the dresses I posted, but I think I look pretty decent in pencil skirts/column dresses.

My style skews classic and boyish – I read Tomboy Style obsessively, but I think I'm going for a more Jodorowsky peyote space queen vibe for the wedding. No flower crowns though, please.

Your readers are pretty great at reading between the lines on these kind of questions. I'd love to see what they come up with!


The Alessandra Rich is on sale for $958 over here if you set your location to the United States. Is there anyone who could mail it to you??

(Though I do wonder whether those tight sleeves will fit what I imagine are your amazing arms....)

p.s. The Temperely is also on sale, over here, though still over budg.

p.p.s. Best dress request EVAR. Even though you promised you'd never ask me about dresses. Silly lady.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bernhard Willhelm A/W 2013-14

Saturday, June 8, 2013

more on harassment

On Episode 344 of the Savage Lovecast (beginning at 14:38), Dan answers a question from a 24-year-old woman about how to deal with casual sexual harassment. He missed the mark slightly.

On Episode 245 (beginning at 42:28), he runs an AWESOME string of responses from female listeners.

I decided not to include the above links in yesterday's post, but the advice from the women who called in to the Lovecast has stuck with me. Felt like I ought to share.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dear ESB (from a harassed bride yay)

Dear ESB,

I'm in a shitty social situation. My fiance is very friendly with lots of people from his work, and we end up hanging out with various coworkers at least monthly. I've known most of these people for a few years now.

A month ago, we were out at a bar. My fiance was talking to one cluster of people while I was with another -- which consisted of two couples, one being two acquaintances of mine, the other, a coworker (let's call him Z) and his girlfriend.

We were shooting the shit, when I mentioned this odd fact that I've been in a few family bridal parties recently, while my fiance was not, despite these weddings being on his side. Z, who may have been drunk (I couldn't quite tell), immediately responds with, "Well yeah, look at you: You're stacked! [My fiance] not so much, but who wouldn't want you in their pictures?" Z then continued to laugh with the other dude in the group about my body. 

I obviously told my fiance, who was fucking horrified. We haven't talked to them since, but avoiding them forever is inevitable. We were going to invite them to our wedding, but we obviously don't want to anymore. Z has since invited us to a few intimate social events so I'm not sure he understands that his "joke" was not acceptable.

What do we do? Do I need to lighten up? Can we just passive aggressively not invite them? Does my fiance have to confront Z? For what it's worth, Z's girlfriend is super great.

Thanks for your advice.


I know I'm about to get shit for this, but: Lighten up.

If this is the ONE TIME this guy has said anything offensive to you, chalk it up to too many beers and let it go.

If it happens again, however, don't let him off the hook. Tell him "That's not how you talk to a lady." (And then you can cross him off the list.)

Elina Mitrofanova by Tatiana Leshkina for Spleen via coup de foudre

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Helmut Lang, FUCK YEAH

Kara just asked what we think of this Helmut Lang, and I think what we think is: FUCK YEAH.

Now $231.75 and avail in sizes 0-12. Like i said....

Balenciaga: yay or nay?

I'm kind of digging it for the right somebody....

In related news:

Do we like Lake Bell's custom Marchesa?

Look who's wearing Mara Hoffman!

Pls don't buy your wedding dress at Nasty Gal.

(Thank yoooooooou Rachel + Alison)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Guest List Advice, for the love of god!

Dear ESB,

I'm a new reader to your blog and I appreciate your sage and brutally honest advice. I'm having a hard time with this one, so I figured I'd give this a shot:

My younger sister rushed into her wedding back in December 2012. The guy she married is a young, has-a-temper, soon-to-be-career-military guy, and their impetus to wed was likely due to his future relocation to the West coast. My sister did most of the planning in secret, didn't involve our family which was quite hurtful, and was generally a defensive ball of fire the months before her wedding. My Mom and I asked if she was really sure this was the guy she wanted to be with, which my sister of course told him about this, and he proceeds to berate my Mom with text messages in the middle of the night (real stand-up guy). Needless to say, he's not well-liked among my family, and we're not well-liked by his. Her ceremony was held at a chapel on an army base, and her reception in a hotel basement ballroom.

The week before her wedding, I get a text message from my sister that says her fiance is wary of having me at the wedding and that I need to call him to smooth things over. I told my sister that I didn't particularly want to speak with someone who has a clear anger management problem, and if needed to speak with me so badly, he could come to me himself. I come to find out that he's already called the army base security to let them know that I was to be arrested on sight. Not wanting to be arrested on a military base, I was essentially being told I couldn't attend my sister's wedding. My sister, unable or unwilling to convince him to change his mind, couldn't do much, so I stayed at the hotel to catch up on my wine drinking while the rest of my family went to the chapel. Since my parents financed most of the reception, I was allowed to attend that, although my sister didn't speak with me the entire night. Nor for months after that, despite calling, texting, and emailing. My sister and I are still trying to patch up our relationship, months later.

My fiance and I waited to get engaged until her wedding was over to avoid claims of spotlight-stealing. Now that we're planning our wedding, we've come to that sticky point on our guest list. We want to invite my sister, but I don't particularly want to have her husband attend our wedding. My fiance seems to think our wedding would be a great way to extend the olive branch; I think its a horrible idea and think its a waste of money for him to bad-mouth me and my family, get super-drunk, and pick fights with people. How do we resolve this? And how can I invite my sister without him showing up?

Thanks for any advice you can provide. I'd appreciate it.



Be the bigger person.

Turn the other cheek.


Your sister is married to this guy. You can't just not invite him to family functions for the next 50 years.