Kate Middleton wears an actual gown

I’m not going to refer to her as Duchess Catherine because I don’t live in England.

Whether you loved or weren’t very impressed with Kate’s wedding dress, you can probably agree that it was the most interesting thing she’s ever worn. Duh, it was her wedding dress. But now that Kate’s married — and has a few extra pounds in her pocket (she needs them somewhere!) — she might be stepping into some snazzier dresses.

Today she wore a sparkly, pale pink Jenny Packham gown for the ARK gala in London, during which William reveals his new charity or something, but back to the dress.

It’s the first time I can think of that Kate’s worn anything embellished besides a hat, and while she could have slipped on a bracelet or mismatched her clutch, this is major progress. The royal stylist probably has cabinets full of samples and ideas for her new charge, and I can’t wait to see them.

Photo Credit: Hollywood Life

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To keep you busy until I return…**

I’m going to be doing a bit of traveling over the next 10 days (Chicago! Seattle!), so posting will be sparse. But in the meantime, I want to forward you to two of my favorite new online reads, if you haven’t found them already.

Life 2.oh!: My high school friend Julie Miller (and 4th grade talent show co-choreographer) has moved on from Seventeen and now maneuvers the quarter-life crisis. She and her friend Lauren Metz just launched this spring Life 2.oh! — an online magazine dealing with fashion, relationships, career advice and party planning tips. Its contributor-style, social media-rich platform makes browsing the site feel more like an actual break-room pow-wow.

XOJane: Former Jane and Sassy founding editor Jane Pratt has a new webzine, XOJane, and it’s hilarious. Pratt’s willingness to take on — and search out — hushed up topics explodes on this site, supported by a team of (yes) sassy, smart, confident (but still self-deprecating) writers who publish articles like “Men I’m Over: Foodies,” “I Am Online Stalking My Dream Dress,” and “How My Friend’s Canceled Wedding Saved a Cab Driver’s Ass.” Please hire, me Jane Pratt!

**Oh, and just in case you were confused, that is not a picture of me getting ready to jet off to Chicago and Seattle. That’s Giuliana Rancic sitting first class, in a picture I stole from Life2.oh!

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Downtown style: do you really sleep in your daytime clothes?

When Alexander Wang released his first collection, he admitted part of his inspiration was the soft, worn-in tees he slept in, then kept on during the day. They were thin, a little stretched out, and instant favorites of downtown groupies like Erin Wasson and other MODs. Comfy and cooly sexy, sure, but also a little gross? Who wants to go out to dinner in the sleep-shirt you tossed and turned in, (and sweated out your downtown partying in)?

Last week Fashiontoast’s Rumi Neely reminded me of the slept-in trend, which is apparently still having a moment, even on the West Coast. She paired her red JBrand 811s “with the tshirt [she] slept in all weekend.” No offense to Rumi Neely, I just keep wondering, if you have enough time and respect for yourself to do your makeup, your hair, and put together a cute outfit, why can’t you pick out a clean shirt?

And if you do love the slept-in look enough to actually do it, are you one of those people who shuffles down to the hotel breakfast buffet in our pjs, shaking your dead skin cells all over my scrambled eggs? I just don’t see the difference.

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Surprising brands to covet this summer

I used to only get L.L. Bean and Fossil catalogs around holiday time, but I’ve been impressed with their spring and summer mailings that have arrived the last few months. And while Fossil overhauled its mostly classic accessories image a few years ago by integrating fun new colors in leather goods and new American sportswear staples, L.L. Bean Signature’s very recent collections have truly surprised me.

Summer’s a natural season to look to crisp, classic looks that battle heat and humidity, and dresses, shorts, sandals, and blouses from these two outfitters are reasonably priced for their quality and reputation (particularly L.L. Bean). So get over your hipster or trendsetting ego and stock up on some of these season-spanning looks:

Fossil Willow Skirt

Fossil Rachel Dress

L.L. Bean Signature Desert Bootie

L.L. Bean Signature Ruffle Tie-Neck top

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Filed under Most Wanted, Online Shopping

Best of The FIND Houston, spring 2011 edition

Mr. Larkin designs

On probably the last gorgeous day Houston will see until mid-October (if that), I hit up the fashion market, The FIND, at Boheme. It was the perfect venue, too: designers and their booths snaked around the cafe and bar’s back yard and patio area, drinking cocktails in the sun and chatting with customers and curious parties from inside. Here’s the best of what I found, and who I’ll be featuring in the coming months:

Keep reading…

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Filed under Fashionable Event, Gift ideas, Industry, Most Wanted

For brides who’ve waited until the last minute…

Shopbop’s got new merchandise, presumably for the procrastinating June bride. Lucky for her it’s all sensibly priced and stocked in every size (for now)!

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BCBGMAXAZRIA does Bingo

Thanks to my friend Andrea Bonner for this tip: the BCBG store at the downtown Houston Pavilions loves Bingo.

Wednesday, May 25, you can pop into the store for lite bites, cocktails and bingo. The first of three games starts at 6:30p.m. Do yourself a favor and take it seriously: winners get prizes from BCBGMAXAZRIA.

I’m hoping this is a regular, or semi-regular event?

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