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I'm a Jewish fashionista living in New York and I write this blog to try to deliver modest fashion to all women, everywhere. This blog is all about Less Is More. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @vinniecocoa and on instagram @the.oak! CONTACT & INQUIRIES:

Friday, October 29, 2010

And That's Why I Love...

Forever21! I had an entire post not too long ago about how amazing and revolutionary this store has become. And now you know my secret to where I got these fabulous, amazing, and believe or not, super comfortable booties. Only one person (mad shout out to M. Scharf) guessed, and even though he doesn't win a prize, he deserves recognition. P.S. Scharf, love the boots you showed me.

So how much did they cost, you ask? $29.98. Hells to the yes!

Perfect for Fall, these booties are great to wear at work and transition wonderfully to the nighttime. And, since they  cost about the same as 4 Starbucks' coffees, you have a great seasonal pair of shoes that you can always get rid of in a year or two, without feeling guilty. WIN!

Now, pardon me while I got strut my stuff, Forever21 style.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love Means Never Having To Pay Full Price

Ok, so I am a little more than slightly obsessed with the new booties I bought recently. I have a little bit of a crush on them, borderline wanting have their babies . As a little challenge to you,  I refuse to tell you the price or place at which I purchased these shoes until tomorrow, instead asking you to guess! Fun, no? Even though they look expensive, they were totally a steal (no I didn't steal them--that would be against the Torah).

In the meantime I want you ogle these like it's Jake Gylenhaall on the TV screen, and he's whispering your name. I know it's what I'm thinking, and I am sure glad to be wearing these shoes when he does.

I'll be right there Jakey-poo.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Racey Lacey--Not So Racey!

I have been so impressed lately with Michelle Williams, as previous posts have no doubt indicated. She's classy, cute and modest in a modern day, Herve-Lerger-form-fitting-only Hollywood. The Mich wore this stunner of a lace dress to a recent premier of hers, and she's SO close to complete tzniut, it's ridic. At first glance you think, "Hey, that's pretty covered up"... until you see the exposed midriff/backwards cleavage action going on in the torso area. But I'll give her points anyway for being totally awesome.

It seems this lacey skin-baring/negligee-exposing trend  is popular, because check out Jessica Biel in this almost tzniut number at a Glamour Magazine event. Kristen Cavallari (below Jessica--where she belongs) dares to bare all in what would seem like a perfectly modest dress...had her bra and panties (and then some) not been completely exposed to the world. Lace used to be defined as the utmost respectable, romantic and classic fabric, and these women kind of just said to hell with that. Unless your definition of romantic means a quickie in the bathroom at some club, this just ain't romantic.

So how can you do lace in a more modest fashion? Well, here are a few options for you. Now, this first dress from Neiman Marcus is a bit pricey, and also a bit short, but that model is especially leggy, so I'm feeling a little hit-the-knee action for you run-of-the-mill shorty Jewesses. (Yes, I'm blessed with my complete lack of height.)

This dress from Talbot's, is a bit on the softer side in the lace department, but still hits all the right notes, without looking like the doily your grandma wears to shul. I'm kinda loving this one, and you should too!

Finally, some of you may kill me for this one, but it happens to be my favorite. Now, cleavage baring aside (a camisole will rectify that little dilemma), this dress from ASOS is SO pretty, especially for a wedding or occasion. And it's mad affordable (plus free shipping on the website, both ways--just sayin!) The lace is subtly done, and the dress has great movement (you can watch a runway clip by images section on the site).

So what did we learn today, ladies? Lace can be sexy and modest when done right. Please don't go out looking like a hooker (ahem, Kristen Cavalarri) with your midriff exposed through barely there lacey underthings being used as dresses. Romance is NOT dead, (although a few past relationships might support the contrary), so go get your lace on, and keep Victoria's Secret a secret.


Friday, October 22, 2010

J. Crew Factory Outlet Online!

Come one, come all you preppy prepsters. For all of you who love J. Crew, but hate their ridcuculous, uncalled for, exorbitant prices, take a look at the J. Crew Factory Outlet online! It started today, Friday at 12 am, and goes all weekend through sunday, so click on the link below to grab up some great deals. This goes for both men and women, so hop to it!

Am I your new best friend or what?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm Bringing Sexy Back

I know this may be hard to believe, but there is one item that I secretly find adorable that has been shunned by trendy frummies everywhere...especially the non married ones. It's the snood.

OK, now before you shudder at the idea, like in the picture below, in the 1930's and 40's, the hair snood was super popular; I happen to think these hair accessories should make a fashionable (yet modern) comeback.

Don't get me wrong, you married folk can have the snoods that cover every strand of hair--we understand your plight. However, there are some cute snood-like hair accessories that are so adorable, if they were food, they would only be described as scrumptious.

BUT, this comeback must be done right. You see, snoods sort of made a huge comeback in the 80's and 90's with devestating effects:

Exhibit A:

Now you can shudder.

The truth is, though, that the berets and beanies they sell in stores today are much more snood-like than you think, and are completely adorbs. You have to be willing to go for the retro look here,  but check out this snood by Patricia Field (the fashion director for Sex and the City).

To really pull this look off, you have to wear the snood toward the back of your head--otherwise you are one hairline short of "Is she married?". As for all you married ladies out there, I'm not a hater--if you want to pull off this look too, just do the same thing with your falls/sheitels. The wider the netting on the snood, the more fashion-y it is.

If I am being a bit to brazen in my 'bring-back', you can feel free to dial it down a notch, and try something more hat-like. try a knit hat like this from Free People at Nordstrom:

Now, these are certainly not for the office, and are definitely weekend-only pieces, BUT, feel free to use them as outerwear in the fall, like you would with this hat.

I know it's a brave request, but if you are willing to take the plunge with me, I suggest keeping an eye out for these accessories. They are all over the runways, and it's only a matter of time before they hit your local department store.

Snood is probably the weirdest word I have ever heard btw. Snood--it sounds like a combination of snot and dude...yup, a guy must have definitely invented these things.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Boy Meets World

No, I am not referring to one of the most AWESOME shows that ever was (you don't have a character named "Topanga"--even though her career went nowhere--without being awesome). No, I am writing to my boys again, because my last guy post was such a success.

It kinda sucks that you guys have almost nothing to worry about on the tzniut front, however, you have to deal with one MAJOR problem us gals don't--you're men. That in itself poses a huge problem.

It's kind of a funny thing to watch you boys evolve from, well, boys to men (again, not the band--their careers went nowhere, too). Just about every guy I know has had a 'sloppy' phase, which basically consists of the first 20 years of their lives. Yes, even in college, getting dressed for you boys basically consists of finding what you left on the floor from the day before. Then, suddenly, like you never saw it coming, you are forced into the "real world", and now you, like, actually have to wear decent, matching, fresh clothing.

Now, I can't pigeonhole all you boys into this stereotype, but I would say a good majority have had this rude awakening. Some of you guys are lucky enough to have wives/girlfriends at this most transitional phase in your lives (let's call it your "Bar-Mitzvah: Part II"; after all, this where you really become a man). These gracious women will dress you and mold you into the fashionable, presentable men that you are. Some of you, however, do not, in which case allow me to step in. Here are a few do's for your 'mandrobe' (that's a contraction of the words 'man' and 'wardrobe'--I'm clever like that).

Like I said to the ladies out there, button-down shirts are essential. You guys are actually pretty handsome when you're all spiffed up, and the workplace is no exception. Being presentable is as essential for you men as it is for us ladies (we judge you based on looks, too). Feel free to play with patterns, just remember to keep the shirt tucked in. You can check for some more wallet friendly shirts at Gap, but you are willing to spend a bit more dough, try these shirts (and ties) from Brooks Brothers:

No skinny pants, please! There is a time and a place, and if you're into the whole Emo look, that's fine...for the weekend (actually, that's not fine--we need to talk). Try and keep your black Justin Bieber pants (and hair) at home, and go for classic, tailored pants. Dark neutrals are best (black, brown, navy, gray) and depending on where you work, or your employment position, khakis are totally fine too.
Try a look like this:
(P.S. I Will totally take one of him--to go, please.)

Obvi (read: obviously), a suit is classic, but from what I am told, a suit is annoying. Just in case you are feeling the urge though,  stick to classic neutrals here as well. FYI guys always look more powerful in a suit. It's why they call it a 'power-suit'. Just sayin.

My mother has recently introduced my once fashionably-retarded father to cashmere sweaters (Ya, I'd say he's whipped too); not for nothin', but the guy looks good! Slip one of these sweaters over a button-down with black slacks and you are good to go for the office. Try one like this from Banana Republic:

I kind of stuck to the basics here, but I figure since I am not actually your wife or girlfriend, I owe you nothing. I do care about how you look though, so I beg you to take this advice. Also, I beg you to take it down a notch on the cologne--yes, it smells good, but If I am in Brooklyn, I do not want to be smelling you from Long Island. Thanks.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Case of the Butchered Dress

I want to personally thank Katie Holmes for  single-handedly proving the mantra "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" (say that with a Brooklyn accent--it sounds  better).

Mrs. Tom Cruise decided to go to an event in this Louis Vuitton dress; while it looks OK at first glance, I think this Scientology thing is seriously getting to your fashion sense, Joey Potter, because there is a reason that Louis V. made this dress long in the first place.

This is how the dress was originally produced, and it is S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G (and oh so tzniut!). The updated Stepford look is so chic; this is simply a gorgeous, sexy dress, even covered up from elbow to knee. The Mad Men effect has truly left it's finger print on modern fashion, and now women are covering up--so why did you have to go and ruin that Katie. Why??

Check out how this other raven-haired beauty, Angie Harmon (wife of football player, Jason Seahorn) wore the dress. Talk about Law & Order (I know, these pop culture references are amazing). Now, while I very rarely go around laying in a bed of grass with a nearly $4,000 dress on, Angie makes this modest dress seem so alluring and sexy, with the integrity of the dress completely in tact (shame on you Katie).

I think the moral of the story here, ladies, is that
     A) Katie Holmes has, in fact, gone off the deep-end, and
     B) I need to dye my hair black.
Nah, I jest. The real moral is that covering up is not always ugly, and is actually pretty beautiful (especilaly when it's in Louis Vuitton); sometimes, taking modest clothing and butchering it to be more 'sexy' and brazen is not always a beautiful thing.

Now, if I had a daughter named "Suri", I wouldn't be going around chopping off the bottom half of my dress, but I guess there is an exception to every rule (like a non-Jewish person naming their daughter Suri, for example). Eh, Fuhhgettaboutit (say that in a Brooklyn accent--it sounds better).

Anyway, I hope you'll excuse me while I go find a bed of grass to lay in, so I can go get my modest sexiness on. I sure hope Don Draper will be there...


Monday, October 11, 2010

Lauren Conrad Saves The Day

I could not have said it better myself! (disclaimer, frummies, there is some bleeping in this vid.)

I love me some LC, and this satiric fashion PSA (courtesy of my fashionista friend, Sandy (holla!) by Lauren Conrad is too funny. There is no denying the girl has style, and she gets triple the points for being exponentially cooler and classier than Spiedi will EVER be (willing to bet my life on it--and Spencer's life too. In fact, take Spencer's life. Please.).

Miss Conrad has a style book coming out, aptly dubbed Lauren Conrad Style, and color me curious, because I am super psyched to see what she has in store for us. She's no Audrey or Marilyn, but Lauren always knows how to dress age appropriate, and for all intents and purposes, she's pretty modest and tame given the lewdness that has become Hollywood style.
And, while we all know how long it takes for her to chew on a piece of lettuce (thanks Laguna Beach and The Hills for those instightful, introspective shots of your 'actors' eating and 'processing' their thoughts), we cannot deny the girl has talent--in the fashion realm, at least. Her clothing line,  LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's (yay, cheapies!) is actually super adorable.  PLUS, the girl is stunning--she is an inspiration for nose jobs everywhere.

Thanks, Lauren for this PSA. You have done the world a great service. Now, if you'll only stop "writing" those L.A. Candy books. Stick to what you're good at, babes.

P.S. To all the people I walk out in public with--aka, my twin sister, Miriam--please pay attention to this PSA... it means a lot to me that you don't ruin my reputation. Thanks.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Modest Hollywood

Gilmore Girl

I shed a tear when I think about the loss of a most beloved show like Gilmore Girls; I can't, however, shed a tear for the fabulousness that is this dress being worn by none other than Ms. Rory Gilmore. Color-blocking is so in right now, and the futuristic angles on top, mixed with the feminine draping on bottom makes Alexis Bledel look super chic...and super frum (have you seen that high collar??). 

P.S. Lex, can I have your shoes. Thanks.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Like It In The Passenger Seat

You may be curious as to what that means, and you'll be shocked to find out that it's my facebook status. No, it has no sexual connotations whatsoever, but the double entendre is too hard to ignore.

Over the past few days, you may have noticed a myriad of facebook statuses connoting various places and positions that girls "like it". What does it mean, then? It's where you like to put your purse, silly! (Remember how this is a kosher blog! Dirty minds...)

In an effort to raise awareness for Breast Cancer (it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month), the second annual facebook status thingy (very professional sounding, no?) has come to fruition. Last year girls were told to post their bra color as their status in an effort to tease boys by leaving them out of the facebook universe joke (Pink satin, FYI), but even more so, it got people to ask "What is going on with all the color stauses?", and that led to "Oh, it's for Breast Cancer--now go donate." This year, women were told that the secret question was to indicate in your status where you like to put your purse by saying "I like it (enter specific place here)".

The idea is definitely cute, and the ability to tease boys and mislead them is ALWAYS a fav past-time, but let's turn this purse thing into a real awareness for Breast Cancer. Here are a bunch of (fashionable!) totes bags and purses that you can purchase, and all donations will go to help find a cure for the disease. Use these purses to carry groceries, extra pairs of shoes with you to work, or gym clothes. Also, don't forget to go to websites like the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website, to keep updated on advances in science, events and much more. Either way, make difference, so you can say "I like it in a world free of Breast Cancer".

Click here to find more great bags, clothes, hats, and more for breast cancer. Go donate now!

P.S. I really do like it in the passenger seat. My purse, that is.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear H&M, When Did You Get So Expensive?

After perusing the racks at few of my regular haunts with no success, I passed an H&M and thought to myself, "Why did I stop shopping here?" Then I walked inside and it all became clear to me; somewhere along the road of the past 7 years, H&M decided it was a good move to jack up their prices for cheaper quality clothing.

Well, here's what I say to you H&M: I have a new best friend and her name is Forever21. She has better prices, better selection, cuter clothing, and by far the best, cheap accessories ever. She makes me feel good about shopping, which is something you haven't done for me in years! You never listen to what I want, you're sloppy, and while your clothes are damn cute, I prefer wearing something that will last longer than 4 and a half minutes and didn't cost me 90 bucks.

Now, I know what you all are thinking--"Isn't Forever21 that trashy store at Kings Plaza Mall?" Going to Forever21 for a frummie used to be like walking into unholy territory (or immodest at the very least); you would be hard-pressed to find anything tzniut there. Well, times are a changing, ladies, and the less-is-more concept is making serious waves--score! Not only does F21 have more than enough three-quarter tops and knee length skirts that are completely work appropriate, but they have a huge selection of Shabbat clothing in in their slightly more expensive, but still completely reasonably priced 'Twelve by Twelve' line. The giddiness has overcome me, and I can no longer walk out of that store without spending at least 50 dollars each time. Dang, it's good I have a job.

My personal favorite line is their Love21 line. The quality of the clothing is much better and the overall effortless look to the line is chic and comfortable.Take a look at their website for absolutely adorbs clothing; trust me, you'll be saying buh-bye to H&M pretty fast (sorry to all my Israeli friends who only just got H&M in Israel this year--you can have her though). Not to mention, the store has cleaned up pretty nicely in the past few months, and they revamped their whole look. Can you say classy?

So H&M, it looks like we're no longer friends. Your elitism just got in the way of my bargain hunting, so I think it's best we part ways. Excuse me now while I go make a new secret best-friend-handshake with Miss F21.



Monday, October 4, 2010

T is for Tights. B is Boo. Boo Tights.

It's finally reached that time of the year...tights time. I can feel my stomach muscles cringing already.

As with most of you, I have a love/hate relationship with tights; this adorable accessory that dresses up any outfit with panache, sleekness, and cutesy-ness is also the single-most reason I despise being of the female variety. (That, and because boys get to pee standing up--read on for more details on that.)

I need not explain to you ladies why tights bite the big one, but for all you gentlemen out there who need only worry about what dirty shirt to pair with what dirty pair of pants each morning, allow me to explain why I am whining. Tights, aka stockings, have the dreaded muffin-top effect (ew, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit there).

That horrendous, awkward midsection line smack in the middle of your torso that not only cuts off your circulation past the point of normal breathing, but makes you feel like you are being cut in half by the elastic waistband from hell, and gives girls unattractive rolls of flab (that we never knew existed!), often resembling the top of a muffin.

And don't even get me started on going to the bathroom. It takes two years and a day just to go the bathroom with tights on! Boys, I hate you--there is nothing more frustrating than waiting on line for the girls bathroom, while 400 dudes just whiz--no pun intended--past you on their own line. Grrrr.

For all their bad points though, tights are completely and totally adorable, as well as practical. I mean, they do keep our legs warm in the cold, so what more could we ask for, right? Bonus: they pretty much are a safeguard against creepsters on the train trying to catch a look at the undies your wearing under your skirt. Totally been there, and totally creepy... public transportation is always better with a pair of tights on.

Here are a few do's and don'ts of wearing tights:

Colors: embrace colors, especially for the office, because odds are you are wearing mostly dark neutrals in the fall and winter. Make sure you don't get too crazy in the color area for the office though--try and keep the neons for the weekend at the risk of blinding your co-workers.

Fishnets; there is a fine line between a classy fishnet stocking and a hooker fishnet stocking. The smaller the fish-netting, the more work appropriate the tights are; obviously the larger your fishnet is, the more "Pretty Woman" you look, without the handsome Richard Gere, so try and save those for the right moment and the right outfit.

Opaque tights: FAVORITE ALERT! Black, opaque tights are a staple in my closet and are the absolute BEST winter accessory you can have to cover those beautiful legs of yours. The thicker material makes them last longer and prevents runs, making them a worthy investment. I suggest buying at least 5 pairs (I have close to 20--I just counted), as you WILL wear these religiously. Seriously, this is a religious blog, and I'm like the Rabbi of tights here, so trust me. Feel free to wear black opaque tights with just about anything. Seriously--anything.

Patterns: In the past few years, patterned stockings have become so chic and are really a focal point of many an outfit. If you are going to be fierce and work a pattern, be sure your outfit is neutral and tame enough to counter the business going on on your gams.

White tights: I've said it once, and I'll say it again (even though you never heard me say it, so really this is the first time your hearing it--memorize this though): white tights are reserved for girls UNDER 9 years old ONLY. Once a little girl hits her double digit, white tights become a no-no. You can try and work an off-white when you're older, but anything that is white is just too juvenile and looks a bit ridiculous. That's just one blogger's opinion.

You can find tights at almost any major store, but here are some especially cute (and wallet-friendly) tights you should try.

Good luck in the bathroom--I'm sure I'll see you waiting on line.

Modest Fashion Network