Stocking Stuffer Musts–If Santa Is Not A Sure Thing

I am incapable of shutting my mouth and smiling kindly when backed into a corner. It is a glaring flaw in my personality. Just today I was telling my mom about a conversation where my inner common sense was screaming at me to just listen to someone I completely disagreed with and let it go. Just listen and let it go. Nope. I firmly ignored that poised inner beauty and let the sweaty, striped capri pant, crazy haired girl with red armpits from laser treatment carry on like a Halloween lunatic. I’ve been this way since childhood. This unfortunate characteristic was the reason for the entire Santa Claus unmasking. The well mannered, quiet girl would have gotten a couple more years of childhood, but the loud mouth had to be protected by her mother. Here is what happened.

Third grade started off with getting an out-of-the-blue giant nosebleed on my new dress, on the first day of school and my teacher would not let me walk the one block home to change my dress. This was a sign, in hindsight. Near Christmas vacation, we were in class doing a Christmas craft. The girl next to me said Santa Claus was not real. I told her if she believed that then he would not come and bring her presents. She said that she knew he was not real. This started a full blown discussion/argument including everyone around our desks and I was the ONLY one on my side. (Ok, Kristen Amy, WHERE WERE YOU, best friend??) I went home and indignantly replayed it all for my mother. A couple of hours later, she took me across the street to our church, early before choir practice. We sat in the sanctuary and she told me that Santa was really named Leanne and Dennis–but really just Leanne because I know my dad wasn’t picking out the presents. I sobbed. I was devastated. I asked if this meant that the tooth fairy also was not real. So many dreams were shattered that night.

IF Santa is not a sure thing for your stocking, may I suggest some must haves to make the holiday stocking commercial, merry and feminine.

BEAUTY Category:

I found the brand Beautycounter and am a convert. They stand on the premise that we must do a better job promoting safer products. Our skin is our largest organ and we slather it with unregulated chemicals. Rest assured that everything this mom owned company sells is safer for you and your littles. I sell it on the side, but these are two of my favorites. I could go crazy telling you about all my favs, but here are a couple. Want more info, http://www.beautycounter.com/katieszurpicki

Cleansing Balm, or aka miracle balm. $80 and lasts about 6 months. The price is steep, but lasts forever and is worth every cent. Cleanse your face with it, remove make up, slather it all over after a day in the sun or a day in a blizzard, rub it over bitten cuticles or tiny cuts. It is the most incredible soothing product I have ever used. The incredible scent comes from essential citrus oils.

cleansing-balm

Beautycounter Body Butter, $39. Winter dries out your skin. You need that extra layer of thickness to protect yourself. My fingers crack, even in 65 degree weather. This is amazing. Again, the scent is from essential citrus oil. You are paying for the extra time in sourcing the ingredients and time spent ensuring its quality and safety. Support safer products. My lion cub has very sensitive skin and this soothes his baby eczema.

beautycounter-body-butter_citrus-mimosa-view1-1534x1168

Lush bath bombs. Perhaps the phrase “it’s the bomb” came from referring to this fabulousness? My entire family loves these. I convinced my child at 10 months that baths were tolerable with the magic dragon egg bath bomb that turned colors as it fizzed. Buy them. Don’t worry if your tub turns a color. A good clorox spritz will get rid of it and you can bathe again with more of these magic balls. http://www.lush.com

Everyone Soap and Lotion, $11ish. I found these at Whole Foods, although available on Amazon.com as well. This is a non GMO and essential oil scented line. This is a HUGE bang for your buck and it’s fantastic. I bubble up the boys’ bath to the tippy top and then turn around and use it neck to toe on myself. This is my new fav for the bathing process.

everyone-soap

Living Proof Dry Volume Blast, $29 sephora.com. I just received an unfortunate haircut that I am referring to as the reverse mullet. I have more styling options with this as my #1 favorite hair product. Spray it after drying your hair, all over, mess it up and finish styling. It is equally as awesome as their dry shampoo. Don’t judge the product by my hair, just trust me.

living-proof

 

Wearables:

Ditch the conventional stocking and fill up some pretty cowboy boots with goodies instead. This is the most versatile shoe ever. I’ve been wearing boots for 20 plus years. I’ve given up my highest heels after having 2 teenies, but boots make me feel pretty and I can chase my cubs at the park in them. If you’re new, don’t go conservative. Jump in. Wear color. Cute dress with boots? Why not. Skinny jeans tucked in? Absolutely. Feeling fat? Boyfriend jeans, cuffed with a hint of boot peeking out. Perfection. No one looks at thighs when you have a detailed boot. http://www.countryoutfitter.com has my favs. Check out the Corral brand. Yes. Please.

pink-boot

Athleta Chauranga capri, $64. It may be the first stripe to make thighs appear thinner and your booty perkier. I swear on all that is sacred that this is the BEST capri ever made. Put an IOU in the stocking with this picture because they’re back ordered until January, but get them. GET THEM!! Amazing. Plus, you can size down. Vanity sizing works for me. They come in a full length tight as well, but the fabrication is not the same. The magic is in the capri.

athleta

Lou and Grey Steeeetch top, $59.50. Lou and Grey has wearable pajama fabrics. It’s the equivalent of a security blanket that has been washed 1000 times. Their fabrics are to die for. The fit is beautiful and skirts the timeless and trendy category in just the right way. I like this top because you can go full on athleisure with it. Pretend you are going to the gym when you pair this with your chaturanga capri. Check out the thumb tab on the sleeve. You look like you are pulled together with fitness goals. Win.

lou and grey.jpg

Thingies:

Thegrommet.com. This site is my current obsession. They launch new products regularly and it is all based upon individual creativity. I. LOVE. IT. MADLY. You also get a video of the product. Check out the chicken launcher game. I was crying with laughter. BUT, to continue with the feminine stocking stuffer, I really eye balled the Impwear laminated cotton bags starting at $24.95. Laminated cotton. This not only appeals to the mother in me, but the clean freak. It is a giant pain to clean makeup bags, but I gag when bags get too dirty. This is a wipe down bag WITH a loop to hook upon things. You have several options in color combos too. Perfection.

JBL Flip 3 Wireless speaker, $79.99 (currently at Target.com). I’m not tech savvy. I know Beats and Bose have these too, but the JBL had the best price and I love it. I hook up my Pandora app from my phone and have been rocking out to Christmas carols (Hello Trans Siberian and Manheim Steamroller) since November 1. I love that there are color options too. Perfect for a techie wannabe.

JBL-Charge-2-Portable-Wireless-Bluetooth-Speaker-5.jpg

Oil Diffuser. I’m not into candles. I don’t like the dust that accumulates on top and I’m over plug ins now that I have discovered the beauty of essential oils. I am a sucker. Plus, I feel fancy blending the scents. I am a scent junkie and this hits the spot. Plus, if you blend Eastern and Western medicine, there is science to essential oils and healing properties. In full disclosure, I rubbed fennel oil all over myself in an attempt to nurse the tiniest tiny longer and it didn’t work. However, I diffuse the left over fennel oil and it works instantly to make me smile with its scent. Amazon has a million oil diffusers to choose from.Youngliving.com has the best oils, but man are they expensive! Their Thieves oil is both therapeutic (hello cold and flu season) and it’s the best smell ever. It comes in cleaning products as well as the oil. It is the icing on the essential oil cake. It is, however, about $41.

thieves

Here are a couple from Amazon that I have loved blending and are in the $7-$12 range. Clove and sweet orange are lovely together and perfect for a cozy winter afternoon. They are not just for the ladies either. My husband asked for a diffuser and starter set for his office. Boom.

now-orangeclove-oil

LaMarca Prosecco sparkling wine. My dad decided he had enough ties and shirts and decided to switch to buying fancy wine. He built a wine rack and started buying wine from The Wall Street Journal recommendations. He has a dot system for coding how fancy the fancy wine is. His children are not allowed to choose bottles with dots on them, certainly not a 3 dot bottle. In fact, after I stayed in my parents’ home for 5 weeks and they were concerned we would never leave, he implemented a top shelf only rule for me. I am only allowed to help myself to top shelf wine. He brought this one home for me one night. It’s very moderately priced and has a great sparkling taste that is not too sweet. Thank you Dad.

Cards Against Humanity Game. This is not a new game, but so funny and wrong. It’s wrong that one might put it in a stocking, which makes it so right. You learn about people and how to play to your judge. For example, I learned my mother generally played the dirtiest card but would never vote for a dirty card when she judged. I love you Mom.

Merry Christmas! 

 

 

Personal Comfort Counts

I moved to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I was determined to make the most of my education and my first order of business was to get an internship for fashion week. I chose my favorite brands and went to the showrooms representing the brands to inquire about employment. I was very fortunate to land an internship with my favorite denim brand. As an added bonus, a hot new pant designer was also showing there for fashion week. My job was to bring coffee, water, snacks, etc to the buyers while modeling the jeans. I worked with another intern who was a very tiny, hip skater girl from Long Beach. The day that the Nordstrom buyers were coming through was the day it all went to sh*t for me. The new pant designer felt too much attention was being given to the denim line and instructed me to put on his pants. He threw his trendiest pair in a sample size at me. I was a FULL size bigger. I really did not have a choice. I squeezed myself into pinstripe, flesh colored cargo pants with back pockets that are best described as pig nose pockets. It was a travesty. I had to walk around pretending to be peppy and hip while saying things like, “Aren’t these just amazing?” “Yes, I am so comfortable. I HAVE to have these.” All the while, skater girl looks unbelievably cute in my favorite jeans. I was certain my career was over. Nordstrom and every other buyer coming through would remember me as the girl who clearly has ZERO fashion sense. Why would anyone hire me? I might as well quit school before it starts and move home.

I did not quit school and I learned something from the experience. I swore I would never make anyone feel as ugly as I felt that day, and to my knowledge I have not. I have legitimately fit hundreds of regular women for fashion shows and I altered whatever made them feel ugly so that they would shine in front of other people. It was possibly the best lesson I learned while in school. This lesson applies to my personal life too. My tiny one hates clothes. Hates ‘em. I have drawers of darling, expensive outfits and all he’s interested in is how soft are his underpants. Oh, and shoes. He really likes shoes. We have a deal that I let him run naked whenever he wants at home and he does not fight me getting dressed when we leave home. It works for us. He has the rest of his life to wear clothes. We live in Southern California. You really do not need clothes. His current shoe obsession is with glow in the dark Native shoes. Being a stellar parent, I forgot to pack shoes for him and my mom bought him his beloved shoes in lime green. (no boring colors for this beautiful boy) We discovered by accident that they also glow! Native shoes come in a million colors, are very water friendly and slip on and off. No laces or Velcro to slow a wild child down. My favorite style is the Jefferson. At $32-42, they aren’t the cheapest shoes, but they are rugged and stylish. They are hands down the perfect summer shoe for boys or girls. My naked boy now chases fireflies at night with his glowing shoes. I should probably just get him a loincloth to go with it—if he was comfortable with it.

 

My preferred brick and mortar or online Native resources: Nordstrom, Nordstrom.com, Amazon.com, Zappos.com

 

Dancing “Cheek” to “Cheek” at Trina Turk

I found myself packed into a sweaty tent with roughly 100 other women, all scouring the racks for a designer bargain.  My pulse was racing, my eyes were narrow and evil looking, and I guarded my 4 inches of personal space fiercely.  Why would I spend a free Saturday morning in a humid tent in 90 degree weather?  For a Trina Turk sample sale, to be exact.  I had heard of this mystical happening, but had never experienced it.  I was driving home and spotted several well dressed women teetering down a shady, commercial street and thought “This must be it!!”  It was.  I had found it!  It happens 1-2 times per year and I finally stumbled upon it!!

I loaded my arms with unsized merchandise and entered the communal dressing room to find potential treasure.  What I really found was that I was lined butt cheek to butt cheek with other desperate women.  It’s slightly unnerving to ask a woman who has her cell phone holstered to her underpants if she would mind moving over so you can peek in the mirror she is hogging.  If you have not participated in a sale of this ilk, here are my tips:

  • For goodness sakes, wear some decent underpants.  Because I am unbelievably nosy, I stared at everyone’s underpants and was very underwhelmed.  There was nary a sexy pair to be found.  Many were in shades I could not confidently attach to a specific color.  If I could have taken a picture without looking like a total creep, I would have so I could have shown my husband.  It would have totally blown his idea that women just “hang out” in sexy underpants.  (To any men reading, no one was close to starting a pillow fight in the tent either.)
  • If you are brave, a thong works best, but know that you will find yourself with your hiney to the wall as much as possible.  A thong eliminates any visible lines and will give you the most accurate assessment of the garment, which you will need due to speeding through the trying on process.  If you do not wear a thong, definitely wear seamless underpants.
  • Be kind to yourself.  The woman next to me was tiny and was bemoaning her tummy.  While it wasn’t a 6 pack, she was darling and I would never have noticed if she had not pointed it out.
  • If there are sizes on the clothing, know that they will not be accurate.  There are salesman samples and then there are fit samples.  Salesman samples are not accurately fit.  The size is not 100% true to the designer’s vision.  The garment is initially created for sales people to show to potential buyers.  Fit samples are going to be much more representative of the designer’s vision, but you will never know which is which.
  • Sample sizes usually run between a size 0 to a size 8.  A lot of sales will also have end of season garments that will be in all sizes, so even if you aren’t a sample size, you should always look.

I left with 2 beautiful blouses that I paid $30 each.  Her blouses at full retail are in the $200 range.  Score.  Stay tuned for why every woman needs blouses in her closet!

The Dress That Launched 1000 Ships

There are two things my husband regularly requests of me:

  1. Please wear something short and tight.
  2. Please consider dyeing my hair so black that it has purple undertones.

In reference to the latter, I keep trying to explain that a pasty white girl cannot pull that one off without looking deathly ill.  He is not buying it.  As far as short and tight goes, it just isn’t comfortable, but I am working on it.  Enter Diane Von Furstenberg.  Every woman should have a go to brand that you know will work in a crunch.  My crunch is that the tiny one and I flew to Omaha much earlier than anticipated and I am completely unprepared for the big, upcoming reunion.  I have ordered several dresses to try, and one of them is a DVF because I know it will fit.  It is my ‘sure thing’, my bff of the closet.  Diane Von Furstenberg is known for her sexy and feminine wrap dresses, and her impeccable taste in prints.  She is the queen of femininity, in my book, and my heart beats a little faster when I see new collections.  She manages to bridge the worlds of super trend and timelessness.  I have little loyalty to most things in my closet, but I horde my pieces by her.

My dress arrived today, and true to form, it is an incredible fit.   I looked in the mirror and grinned.  It manages to be proper and racy in one dress.  Like a mullet, it’s business up front and a party in the back.  It hugs curves like a race car and is just as exciting.  My mind is relieved.  I know I’ve got a dress that makes me feel comfortable, but is as tight as second skin for my husband.  Life is about compromises.  In this situation, this compromise is definitely a win-win.

Here is the dress.  It’s offered in 2 colors.  Nordstrom has the purple on sale.  Saks has both colors at full price, but really fast shipping!

dvf purple dvf

 

I Stole Out of an Easter Basket

I am on videotape stealing out of my brother’s Easter basket. I was not 2 or 3 stealing out of my teenage brother’s basket; that would have been cute. I was in the 7-9 range, stealing out of my 2-3 year old brother’s Easter basket. I am honestly not sure which bothers me more; the fact that I did it, or that I did not notice a giant 1980’s video camera recording my every move. There isn’t any verbiage on the tape either. It’s like one of my parents was recording an animal in the wild doing what came naturally. I am fervently against stealing, as a side note. Whether it is physically stealing goods or stealing ideas, it is not ok. I do not know what came over me. I am an honest person; I know my flat spots and thievery isn’t among them. I blame the excitement of the goodies in the Easter basket after a mean, competitive hunt for the most eggs. Maybe I was actually just counting his eggs?

Next year the tiny one will get to participate in Easter and I cannot wait. I already talk to him about the true meaning of Easter, but for all children, the egg hunt and basket really are what make it an exciting holiday. The reverence comes later. In honor of the commercial side of Easter, here is what I would stash in my own Easter basket.

MAC lip liner in Whirl.  They are recognized for their Spice color, but I swear it is secretly an eye liner. Whirl is incredible. It is like the color of your lips after a high school make-out session. It enhances red lipstick and is the perfect base to a nude gloss.
MAC+Whirl+Lip+Pencil+Review

Nails Inc Feathers Effect Nail Polish.  It looks like an Easter egg.  This should only be worn on grown up toes or little girl fingers. The only thing creepier than an adult woman accessorized like a child is a child accessorized like an adult.
nails inc

Kai Body Butter. This smells exactly like California in Spring, and it is fantastic. January through April is by far the best part of a Southern California year and this embodies it. I like the idea of smothering my body in the scent.
kai

A Fantastic Statement Necklace, like this one from Anthropologie ($68).  These have always been my signature style. I cannot wear them with the tiny one’s curious fingers, but in a year or so, I will again. When you have a basic, flat outfit, all you need is a wow piece of jewelry to off-set the boring. Costume is usually even more baroque and fabulous than real.
necklace $68

Target Champion Sports Bras.  I need the motivation and I love the colors and fabric. They last forever.
champion-neon-sports-bras

Coffee from Koffi in Palm Springs.  I had a malted mocha latte from there recently and I DREAM about it. So, so fabulous. http://www.kofficoffee.com

Baby Gut

“Come on Baby Gut, get going!” This was the inspirational phrase my Pilates teacher chose to use mid class after I had shared with her my concern over my lack of hard abs 2 months post T’s delivery.  While I was not in the least bit embarrassed, it did create an interesting desire to pull my shirt up and ask for thoughts on the supposed baby gut amongst my classmates.  Relying on a phrase from childhood, I remembered that it isn’t always about me and continued on with class.

I have no patience for yoga, other than prenatal yoga where you are encouraged to not work too hard and stretch a lot.  Pilates, however, is a life and ab saver.  I love Pilates mat classes.  Most gyms and many yoga studios offer this class and it is energetic enough to keep me occupied, and definitely challenging enough to whittle the middle.  If you have not tried Pilates before, give it a go.  It is less embarrassing than doing Zumba for the first time, and is the best thing I have found for toning.

What to wear to class?  My current favorite tees are the GapFit Motion tees, which are a total knock off of Lululemon’s cult favorite, yet overpriced tees, but with a less delicate fabric and a nicer price of $34.95.  The fit is snug, but not clingy.  It’s long enough to not have to worry about flashing while bending, and it covers the upper arm area.  I find I am more inclined to attend class when I am wearing a cute outfit.  I never claimed to be deep.

gap tee

Man luxuries

It all started out with an innocent debate as to whether Wes was on the Real World Austin or Sydney.  Pat and I both felt strongly and decided to put a wager on our answer.  The loser had to sprint to the trash cans nude.  This isn’t as outrageous as it sounds seeing that it was 10:00 at night, our trash is 5 feet from the back door, and isn’t easily viewed from the street.  Still, the excitement was there.  I won.  Pat dragged his feet, but like any good man, owned up to being wrong and sprinted out the door.  I immediately slammed and locked it.  I then started yelling, “Who’s out there?” and our dogs went nuts.  Our neighbor’s lights came on and Pat used words that were 100% appropriate for the situation.  I let him back in and he said that just like game night, I had ruined any future betting opportunities.  (I might or might not have thrown a Scrabble board after losing.)

Today’s post is dedicated to little luxuries for your man.  I had some making up to do.  It was totally worth it, by the way.  The items below are tested tried and true by some of the most important men in my life.

Lululemon game on boxer briefs, $24.  The men said they were too expensive to buy themselves, which makes them perfect for gift giving.  The fit is great and the colors are vibrant.  The packaging is nice as well, no pun intended.

lulu boxer

Kikkerland pens, $6 for 5.  These were inspired by Mad Men and brought my brother back to his days of sitting at my dad’s desk.  The fit is comfortable and has a clean print.  I have never understood a preferred pen, but both my brother and my husband have preferences for their work.  It is a man thing.  http://www.kikkerland.com/products/retro-pens-set-of-5/

pens

American Apparel V-neck tees, $21-28 for short sleeve.  “You know how new sweatshirts are really soft until you wash them?  I like these tees because they stay soft, like a brand new sweatshirt.”  When men comment on a fabrication, you know it’s good.  This fit model looks like a jailed junkie.  They look better on real men.

tee

Bugatchi socks, $19.75.  When we were in France, the only thing my husband bought for himself were French socks.  Printed socks are popular with men and give you a glimpse into their personality.  I love finding an unexpected print peeking out of a serious suit.  Bugatchi has fantastic prints and they last a very long time.  Where to buy them?  Of course….Nordstrom.  Zappos also carries them.

bugatchi

Dunkin Donuts coffee, roughly $10 for 12 oz.  I had no idea there was a cult following to this coffee.  A good friend of ours was harassed in the store for refusing to say ‘dunkaccino’, but still goes back for the coffee.  I have heard from several men that this is the BEST coffee.  Apparently a Southern California store arrival is causing serious excitement.  While you are at it, pick up the disposable coffee cups from the grocery store too.  Their convenience is appreciated by your man.

Kiehl’s Products.  Kiehl’s has clean, neutral packaging, appealing to men.  They are no-nonsense and straight forward in their promises and goals.  From their men’s line, my husband likes their facial fuel.  They also have the best non-scented lip balm.  Bloomingdale’s has a good in-store shop.  I find that their associates are honest about the products too.

kiehl-s-lip-balm-#1

Today’s Denim, a Fit Experiment

 Katie: I’m sorry.  I know this is serious.  I am listening to you, but I just need a moment to process the fact that I need to gain weight.  That is the nicest thing anyone has ever told me.

What I had just heard from my ivf doctor was, “You need to gain weight in order to maximize your chances  for a successful ivf transfer.  Blah blah blah blag too skinny.  Blah blah blah blah need more meat on your stomach.”  It might have been the greatest moment of my life.  Should I send a group text or let people know one by one that for the first time in my ENTIRE life, someone thought I needed to gain weight?  I am not too skinny.  I am normal by all accounts and regularly feel that I need to lose 5 pounds, but for one moment in life, I was too skinny.

The next month I split my beloved Joe’s jeans which leads us to today.  I could not rationalize spending  $150 on jeans that were a size bigger than normal and might not even fit afterwards if ivf worked and I became pregnant.  What to do?  Head to the Gap.  Premium denim was a rare thing 10 years ago, but now every mass marketer has it.  Status denim forced the change of denim the specialty stores offered and brought me back to a store that I had not stepped foot in for probably 10 years.

We all have our favorites, and different vendors all have different fits, but there is no longer a need to spend a huge fortune on denim, if you do not want to.  I was pleasantly surprised by what the Gap offered, and today I will also show you what Banana Republic, J Crew, Gap, and Urban Outfitters offer for a more reasonable price.  My darling model is my sister-in-law, Anna Goeschel.  She is athletic in build and tall.

Banana Republic. Our basic call out was that we would have preferred to have the pockets closer together.  If you want your tush to look smaller, look for pockets that are slightly angled and close together.  Banana offers a nice wear-to-work option in denim.  All denim styles shown were $79.50 and 89% Cotton, 8% Polyester, and 2% Spandex.

Sizing: runs more generous than premium denim lines.  Anna went down 2 sizes from what she wears in other denim.

Boot:

BR BOOT BR BOOT BK

Curvy:

BR CURVY BOOT BACK BR CURVY BOOT

Skinny:

BR SKINNY BR SKINNY BK

Gap: Gap usually fits me very well and they had the widest variety of styles.  Anna was pleasantly surprised by how well she liked some of the fits.  Gap is the most economically priced as well.  All styles were under $70.  I felt the back pockets, washes, and details were more updated than what Banana Republic offered, but not as wear to work friendly.

Sizing: Runs a little more generous than premium denim lines.  Anna went down 1 size.

Always Skinny: $69.95.  98% Cotton, 2% Spandex

GAP ALWAYS SKINNY GAP ALWAYS SKINNY BACK

Curvy: $69.95. 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane

GAP CURVY GAP CURVY BK

Perfect Boot: $69.50.  79% Cotton, 20% Polyester, 1% Spandex

GAP PERFECT BOOT GAP PERFECT BOOT BK

Real Straight: $69.50. 79% Cotton, 20% Polyester, 1% Spandex

GAP REAL STRAIGHT GAP REAL STRAIGHT BK

J Crew has the priciest denim, but had Anna’s favorite fit.  For me, it runs a little long.  I feel it’s best for a taller customer, but they do offer petites.  They only have skinny denim right now, but the shape of both offerings is right on trend.  The washes were a nice, flattering dark wash, but were light enough to look more current than the curvy wash at Gap and all of Banana Republic’s washes.  All denim is $125 and 93% Cotton, 6% Polyester, and 1% Spandex.

The sizing runs smaller than both Gap and Banana Republic.  Anna wore her regular size in comparison with premium denim lines.

Matchstick:

J CREW MATCH J CREW MATCH BK

Toothpick:

J CREW TOOTHPICK J CREW TOOTHPICK BK

Urban Outfitters offers their private label brand, BDG, at a very economical price.  The average is $58, but they often run pricing specials.  Colored denim continues to be huge, and a blue wash is a safe way to venture into the trend.

Sizing runs similar to premium denim lines.

URBAN URBAN BK